Disclaimers: Not mine

Spoilers: Inside The Box



(Chapter 7)

"Hello?" Catherine glanced over at Grissom, paying more attention to him than to the caller who had interrupted a moment. At least, that's what she thought it was before the phone rang -- a moment. She and Grissom almost had a moment. The voice on the other end brought her out of her thoughts, "No, I think you have the wrong number." With that, she hung up, shaking her head at the annoyance of wrong callers.

"If looks could kill..." Grissom chuckled, seeing the angry expression on Catherine's face as she returned to her seat beside him.

"People need to learn how to dial the right number." She huffed before immediately returning to their previous conversation, "What were you saying before?"

"I don't remember." He answered as blankly as possible.

She gave him a look that meant she didn't believe him. She said nothing though, just waiting in silence for him to talk. Silence. It was the best weapon she had against him. She knew it wouldn't be long until...

Grissom sighed, unable to tolerate the tension-filled silence any longer, "We were talking about the eventfulness of our evening. You insisted that it was unnecessary. I thought otherwise."

"Right..." She trailed off. That had been exactly what they were talking about but she had meant something more specific. Something he had said. Again, she resorted to her silent tactic.

"There's a reason why we've been friends for so long."

"And that is..?"

"You make up for my lack of conversation skills. So this isn't going to work if you don't talk." He gestured at the space between them.

"I'm the one who asked you what was wrong. I can't help it if you don't tell me."

"I did tell you."

"And I don't believe you."

He looked at her sternly, ready to protest, but discovered the same determination in her eyes. He knew this was a battle he wasn't going to win. "I lied."

"About what?"

"About you being right."


"After we left the hospital? You gave me that lecture about telling the team and I told you that you were right?"

She nodded, recalling the conversation, "Yeah...so?"

"Well I lied. You weren't completely right."

"Ok, Grissom, if you want *this* to work," She imitated his movement earlier by gesturing at the space between them. "you're gonna have to start speaking in full phrases."

"I lied."

"And you'll have to stop repeating yourself."

"I'm sorry, I'm not good at this." He shook his head nervously, trying to find the right words.

"Gil, look at me." She demanded and when he did, she continued, "It's just me. Just say whatever's on your mind."

Taking a deep breath, he had no time to figure out where all his previous courage had disappeared to, "You said that you figured I had told you about my hearing because I needed someone there for me.

That's not completely wrong." He paused, when Catherine gave no reaction, he went on, "I did need someone there but not just anyone. I told *you* because I needed *you* there. I could've simply told anybody. Any one of the team. But I told you because you're the only one I feel safe with." He shrugged as if his words didn't mean a thing.

"You feel safe with me?" Catherine asked, a little breathlessly.

"Of course." Grissom shrugged again.

"What about everything tonight?"

"I wanted to say thank you..." He nodded then smiled sheepishly, "and I thought it would serve as a nice segue into all of this..."

"You didn't have to treat me and Lindsey to dinner and ice cream to tell me something like this, Grissom."

"I know but it was a good excuse to spend time with you."

"Alright, what did you do with the real Gil Grissom?" Catherine joked with a smile.

"He went into the operation room and I came out." Grissom answered equally cheekily, "It's almost like the surgery didn't only help me hear...it helped me listen."

Her eyes widened at his observation, "That's exactly what I thought!"

"See, I listen so well, I can hear your thoughts."

"Seriously, Grissom, I don't know what to say."

"Just say you'll never get sick of me cuz ever since I spent those 2 weeks in the hospital, I've developed an..." He pondered for a moment for the right word, "An uncontrollable urge to be with you. I'm not sure what it is but I think it's what socially-accepted people call 'love'."

Catherine laughed at the joke, amused and surprised that Grissom was able to make such light of his feelings. "What made you realize all this?"

He shrugged, "My stay in the hospital. It was just a moment in my life. And having you there with me day and night, it made me realize that I didn't only need you at that particular moment, but that I needed you there in every single moment of my life."

"I see that the surgery not only helped your hearing, it also helped your communication."

"Is that a yes?"

"No." She shook her head, "It's a no. As in, *no* I'm not gonna get sick of you. Ever."

*The End*