So Much To Say

By Saz

Pairing:  G/C

Spoilers:  Minor for Season 3


She's half way through packing when the knock sounds at her door.  She knows who it is without needing to ask who's there, there's only one person that it can be.  Sighing softly, she closes her suitcase and pads to the front door.

As she pulls it open, she hopes that the annoyance that she feels deep in her bones is mirrored in her face.

"What do you want, Gil?" she all but snarls.

His eyes widen slightly in surprise, and he takes a half step back from the door.  "I came to see how you were doing.  Can I come in?"

All she wants is for him to go away, but when he fixes those eyes on her, when those same eyes glint with concern like they're doing right now, she can't refuse him.  She never could.  "Fine," she shrugs as she pushes the door open a little wider and turns to go back to her packing.

She can feel him, walking behind her.  She can almost feel him trying to build up the courage to reach out and touch her, stop her from walking away from him.  She's not going to give him the satisfaction just yet.  Entering her bedroom, she opens the suitcase again and resumes her packing.

"Catherine-," he stops as he enters the room behind her, stopping in the doorway.  "Are you going somewhere?"

"I would think that much is obvious, Gil."

Catherine can feel his eyes burning into her back.  She closes her eyes for a moment, trying to contain the rage that is threatening to boil up inside her.  Why did he choose now to suddenly become concerned about her?  Why now and not months ago when she'd needed someone to talk to, when she'd needed her best friend?

"Where are you going?  For how long?"

His voice sounds confused to her ears and she forces back the urge to look at him.  She sighs softly and jams a shirt into the suitcase with a little more force than is necessary.  "Why does it matter?  It's really none of your business what I do or where I go."

She can hear his footsteps move cautiously into the room, and tenses her shoulders.  A surge of anger shoots through her body.  *Why is he here?  Why doesn't he just go away and leave me alone?

His footsteps stop behind her, and she can feel his eyes on her back.  "Maybe I want to make it my business."

Her eyes slide shut and she struggles to keep the frustration at bay.  "Why now Gil?  Why not three months ago when Eddie died and I needed a shoulder to cry on?  I needed you then and you were nowhere to be found!"

Hands touch her shoulders, startling her into turning around to face him.  Her eyes meet his, so full of concern and remorse that it almost overwhelms her.  "I'm sorry.  I should have been there for you."

Catherine tears her eyes away from his and turns away from him.  She knows that if she keeps looking into those blue eyes of his that she'll forgive him, and she doesn't want to forgive him just yet.  He created this distance in their friendship, now he has to work to gain it back.

"It's a bit late for that now," she snaps as she resumes her packing.

He sighs softly; she listens as he moves away from her and takes a seat on her bed.  "You're not going to make this easy are you?"

"Why should I?" she asks, her voice rising sharply in frustration as she throws a shirt on top of the suitcase and turns to face him again.  "If you want to repair what's left of our friendship why don't you start by explaining exactly why you distanced yourself from me in the first place?" 

He flinches and looks away, and she knows she's struck a nerve.  A thick silence envelops them, awkward and bitter.  "I thought as much," she mutters, turning her back to him once more.  "Why don't you just go, Gil, my flight leaves in a little over two hours and I still have to finish packing."

"No."  His voice is almost petulant, but she can hear the quiet decisiveness in its tone.  "I'm not used to opening up to people, you should know that by now Catherine."

"Yeah, but I'm not just anybody, Gil.  We've been friends for nearly twenty years.  You've been there for me through thick and thin.  You were my anchor, you helped me keep my sanity when things went nuts, but never *once* have you opened up to me.  Not once Gil, in twenty years!"

He's standing again, she can hear his footsteps drawing closer to her until a hand closes on her arm and turns her to face him.  "I'm sorry Catherine.  I didn't mean to shut you out, I just ... I didn't know how to talk to you."

Catherine fixes her gaze on him, unable to keep the anger and disappointment from her face. "You could have at least tried!"

He flinches, but doesn't look away.  "I know," he sighs, loosening his grip on her arm.  "You have no idea how much I've regretted not saying anything to you.  How many nights I lay in bed wondering if I should pick up the phone and call you but by then it was too late, I'd waited so long that the damage was already done."

"You still could have come to me!"

His hand falls away from her arm and his shoulders slump in defeat.  "I know," he replies in a small voice.  "I'm sorry."

Brushing an errant wisp of hair behind her ear, she sighs softly and gives a rueful shake of her head.  "That's beside the point, isn't it?  What happened to us?  We used to be so close."

His shoulders slump further, sadness filling his features.  "I know," he acknowledges.  "I should have come to you instead of shutting you out.  How many times do you want me to tell you I'm sorry before you forgive me?"

The desolation on his face tore at Catherine's heart.  Gil Grissom was never a man to show much emotion, that he showed it now was testament to how bad he was feeling.  Her features softened and a tired smile touched her face.

"There's nothing to forgive," she told him, pausing to watch the relief wash over his features.  "You know I really do have to pack, Gil."

"Then don't go.  Stay, we can talk, try and work this out," he says, a pleading tone filling his voice.

Catherine sighs and looks away from him in an attempt to hide the guilt that was rapidly filling her features.  "I can't, this is important."

"More important than our friendship?"

"Our friendship has nothing to do with this," she whispered.  But without even looking at him she could tell that he knew she was lying to him, that it had everything to do with the tattered remains of their friendship.

That she was running away from him.

"I never took you as the sort to run away, Catherine."

His words, spoken softly, struck her with the same force as a slap to the face.  She knows he said it to get a rise out of her, but she still turns to him, shock and hurt written on her face.  "I am not running away," she spat, her hackles rising.  "I don't run away from my problems, I confront them and move on!"

He fixes those intelligent blue eyes on her, now full of confidence and comprehension.  "You're running away from them now, though, aren't you?  When were you going to tell me about the interview you arranged with Horatio Caine?  Or weren't you going to, were you just going to wait until you got the job before handing in your notice?"

She stares at him for a long moment, speechless, and bristling with anger.  But her anger can't compete with the hurt lingering in his eyes, and once again she can't stay angry with him.  "I guess you're not the only one hiding something then, are you?" she replies coldly.  "But at least without the benefit of telling me, I knew about your hearing problems.  You had no idea about my job interview until today though, did you?  You had no idea that something was wrong with me, did you?"

Gil takes a step back, face registering his surprise before his own expression fills with anger.  "No I didn't know until today," he admits.  "But if you think that my hearing problems were the only reason that I distanced myself from you, then you're sorely mistaken!"


He shakes his head and slowly begins to move towards the bedroom door, his attempt at hiding the sadness on his face failing. "It doesn't matter anymore does it?  I came here today because I just realized that I'd made the biggest mistake of my life by pushing you away, but it's too late isn't it?  You're leaving anyway."

For the first time since his arrival Catherine felt tears pricking her eyes.  She feels exhausted, both physically and emotionally.  "I ... I don't know," she responds in a tiny voice.

His face crumbles as he stops in the doorway and turns to face her.  "I suppose it wouldn't make a difference to you if I told you that I came here to tell you how I truly felt.  That I distanced myself from you because I couldn't suppress the feelings you evoked whenever you were near me.  Would you even care if I told you that I loved you?"

With that, he is gone.

Her body is following while her mind struggles to comprehend his words.  She's confused, her mind reeling from his confession, uttered in anger and desperation.  *He loves me?*  Up until now the thought had been an impossibility, that he loved her seemed like a dream, an unlikely fantasy.

She catches up with him at the front door, his hand on the doorknob ready to make his escape as she calls his name to stop him.  He looks in her direction without meeting her eyes, his face expressionless except for the cold anger and rejection burning in his eyes.

But he stops, and that's the important thing.

Catherine stops, making sure she keeps some distance between them, and struggles to find something to say.  Her anger has dissipated, her desire to resume her packing gone.  In one moment everything seems to have changed.

"Did you mean it?"

His eyes flash to hers, search for a moment, before being torn away once again.  He releases the doorknob and takes a step away from the door.  "Do you really have to ask that question?"

Catherine shakes her head as the reality of the situation slowly begins to sink in.  "No, I guess I don't," she responds.  Gil Grissom would never lie about something like that.  "Then it's true? You love me?"

Her voice catches on the last sentence, the unexpectedness of the entire situation getting the better of her.  His expression softens as he takes another step closer to her, the anger slowly disappearing from his eyes.  "I'm not the sort of person to say something like that just to manipulate you into staying."

"I know that," she begins, but is cut off by him raising a hand.

"I wasn't finished Catherine," he interrupts, a hint of amusement in his voice.  "This is difficult enough for me already."

His gaze moves past her and he starts walking again, brushing past her and entering the living room.  She has no choice but to follow.  "You know it'd be a lot easier for you to talk to me if we were in the same room!"

Grissom turns to watch her as she enters, a picture frame clutched in his hand.  He doesn't smile, but he's not frowning either.  His eyes drift to the picture in the frame again.  "When Horatio called today it took me by surprise.  It was a wake up call that I hadn't realized I'd needed.  Until this afternoon I hadn't realized how much I needed you, or how much I'd missed our friendship."

"I missed it too Gil."

"Please, Catherine," he says warningly, wanting nothing more than to get what he has to say off his chest.  "I decided that I had to do something, anything, to make you stay, to try and mend this rift and I had no idea what I was going to do or say until I got here.  You can't go, because I love you."

Her features soften and a solitary tear slides down her cheek before she brushes it away.  "God, you have no idea how much I've wanted you to say that to me."

A hint of a smile graces his lips as he puts the frame back on the shelf and turns to regard her.  "And until right now I didn't believe it possible for you to feel the same way," he tells her quietly as he takes a step towards her.

Catherine feels her cheeks warm as a rush of pleasure surges through her body.  "Even though I flirted like crazy with you every opportunity I got?"

He grins openly now, his eyes sparkling with pure joy.  He takes another cautious step forward so they're standing practically toe to toe, forcing her to look up at him.  Tentatively he reaches out brushes a wisp of hair out of her face.  "Perhaps you were too subtle for me, Catherine."

Her eyes hold fast to his, a soft smile playing on her lips.  "Well then, Gil Grissom, I better tell you that I love you too."

He reaches out and cups her face in his hands, thumbs gently tracing circles on her cheeks as he studies her intently, the look of pure love and desire in his eyes enough to turn her knees to jelly.

"So does this mean you're not going?"

Catherine grins flirtatiously, her tongue snaking out to moisten her suddenly dry lips.  "Well that all depends."

"On what?"

"Whether you hurry up and kiss me."