TITLE: The Nut Cracker

AUTHOR: Gomey (grissomsgnome@yahoo.com)

ARCHIVE: Anywhere . . . just let me know, so I can brag. Heheh. J/K

TYPE: GCR (what else?)

RATING: R (some sexual themes)

SPOILERS: *shrugs* I guess . . .

DISCLAIMER: All known characters and premises belong to their respective owners. So there.

SUMMARY: Classical dance can be a very competitive sport.

NOTES: Thanks to all who have stuck through this story and supported me throughout.

Cheers!

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Gil let out a secret smile as the disgruntled wailing of his beeper went off, interrupting Catherine's flow of words. She stood there, mouth open, ready to speak . . . and watched as he made his way to the lab, to meet Greg. She let out a defeated breath, and followed him like a lost puppy.

Greg held up the paper and quickly retracted it from Gil's snatching fingers. "C'mon Grissom, say it." Greg grinned cheekily, head cocked to the side, eyes closed and ears open.

Silence drew in a breath.

Greg shrugged. "I have all shift." He sang, taunting his supervisor.

"Greg." Another warning, stern and venomous, though humour could only be detected by the skilled. Gil swallowed, teeth clenched, his voice low. "You da man." He muttered it softly, his insides churning. He licked his dry lips with distaste, the slang leaving a bitter hint in its wake.

Catherine gave Greg a half-smile as she walked up beside Gil, hearing his forced confession. "Give me the paper, Greggy." She held her hand out, palm up. Throwing a smug look at her supervisor, Catherine's eyes scanned the paper. She glanced away, an unsettling look crossing her features.

Gil leaned over, his eyes still glued to her angelic face now dawned with disturbance. His chin brushed her shoulder, as he bent down to read what had caused her so much distress. "That can't be." Gil stated and the looked over at his partner. "Can it?"

Catherine shrugged and looked at Greg who nodded, "DNA from the saliva off the Kleenex you gave me." He assured both CSIs.

Catherine looked at Gil, telling him that it was his call. "Brass?"

"Brass." He acquiesced. They both rushed off, leaving Greg slightly confused about his discovery.

***

Catherine watched the dancers and actors warm-up, an array of stretches in duets and solo. She let out a nostalgic sigh, reminiscing of her days as a dancer, albeit not the same circumstances, but the exhilaration of letting the music take over her senses had not been forgotten by the level three CSI. She felt Gil and Jim step up behind her, one on each side. She pointed towards Krissy, who was on the floor, forming a "V" shape with her body: legs and arms pointing up at the ceiling, angled away from each other.

"So how do we do this?" Gil asked, leaning over her shoulder again, indulging himself in her intoxicating scent.

She turned swiftly, catching his impulse and raised her eyebrow. Jim interrupted any further development as he mentioned something about talking to her first - coming as friends to spare the possibility of a chase.

Jim remained at the door while Gil and Catherine walked down the aisle of the auditorium, and climbed up the stairs located at the side of the stage. They made their way between the ever-flexible dancers stretching and straining. Catherine turned around and met Gil's eyes.

"What?" He asked, his eyes piercing hers.

"Just making sure where your eyes are." She grinned, finally reaching their destination. "Miss Samson?"

Krissy snapped her head up. "Yeah?" She asked, her eyes resting on Gil.

Catherine narrowed her eyes, and stepped in front of Gil, blocking Krissy's roaming eye. "We'd like to talk to you concerning your brother, Jarod." Catherine awaited a reaction. "Might be interesting." She added as an after-thought.

"I have rehearsals, we're putting on a show in three days." Krissy spat.

"It's okay," Gil began from behind Catherine, "we've already informed the director to seek someone else."

Krissy stood up and dusted off her leggings. She fixed her leg-warmers and stood tall in front of the two CSIs. "What? How long will this take?!" She demanded, her eyes suddenly focussing on Jim and a uniformed officer. She glanced back at Gil and Catherine, then her eyes shifted to nearest exit. She shook her head, knowing that her options were running thin. "Fine, can I just change out of my shoes? My toes are killing me."

Catherine nodded. "Yeah."

Gil pulled out his cell-phone and stepped outside the exit, feeling Catherine's questioning eyes on the back of his head. "Warrick." He paused and glanced around the barren hallway. "Head back to the Samson house, I need you to pick up something and send it immediately to Greg." He nodded, listening to the younger CSI on the phone. "Yeah, exactly!" He further explained his motives and hung up, just in time to have someone run straight into his chest. He staggered back slightly, still holding on to the woman's arms.

"Arg, let me go!" She struggled against him, and finally caught view of Jim and Catherine not far behind. "C'mon!" She struggled more, but Gil still held a firm hold.

"Good work, Gil." Jim said, slapping a pair of cuffs on her.

Gil bent down at the waist, trying to catch his breath. When Krissy had run up against him, it had knocked the wind out of him. He didn't realize that she had such a strong tackle.

"You okay?"

He felt her hand on his back, slowly moving up and down, comforting him. He placed his hands on his thighs and, taking one more deep breath, straightened up. "Yeah, thanks." He glanced at her. "What happened?"

Catherine shrugged, making her way to the Tahoes. "She just . . . bolted." She pushed open the door, holding it open for him with the heel of her foot. "Good thing you were there, else the chase would probably still be on."

"Ah." Gil smiled. "Right place, right time huh?"

***

Gil sat back in his chair as Krissy was ushered inside the interrogation room. Jim leaned against the wall. He glanced at Catherine who was sitting right beside him, toying with the manila folder in front of her.

"What's this about? You said you had news concerning my brother?" Krissy asked, taking a seat in front of Gil.

"Your room was seemingly untouched, yet Jarod's room seemed quite lived in." Catherine mentioned.

Krissy shrugged, not backing down. "I slept there . . . brought me closer to him." She paused, tears shining in her eyes. "He was all I had left."

"You're ballet shoes." Gil placed the shoes on the table. "I remember looking at Alice Smith, noting that her feet were badly bruised and battered. I thought she had been bound, but there were no other signs to support that theory." He tossed a picture of the victim's feet. "But then I thought of ballet and realized the havoc your toes must go through; skin tears, broken toenails, fractured bones . . . the list goes on, doesn't it?"

Krissy raised her eyebrow. "What's your point?"

"Well, we checked inside the ballet shoes that were hung on the wall next to all of your trophies. You had quite a lot of them, huh? You must have been very proud." Gil glanced at her.

Krissy smiled. "I couldn't have done it without my brother."

"I bet." Catherine added dryly.

"Am I missing something here? Was I called her for a friendly chat or did you find something out about my brother?" She demanded impatiently.

Gil opened his mouth then closed it. He began again, "actually, it's relating to your sister."

Krissy shook her head. "I don't understand - I don't have a sister."

"Not now . . . but you did." Gil answered, his eyes narrowing slightly, trying to read the suspect's thoughts. "The body that we found in your attic, well we matched the DNA to the ballet shoes in your room." He paused. "Or should I say, your sister's room?"

Krissy sat up straight, fear dancing in her eyes. "I - I don't know what you are talking about, you can check the birth records; it was only Jarod and I. We didn't have a sister."

"Jarod had a sister." Gil said calmly.

"Yeah, me." Krissy murmured in a low, threatening voice.

"No," he tossed a couple of photos of the body that they had recovered from her attic, "her." He pointed to the carcass.

Catherine looked at Gil and smiled to herself, knowing that he was probably having a good time with this interrogation.

"So how much does it cost?" He asked, looking through another file.

"For what?"

"For the surgery. It must have been a long recovery, wasn't it . . . Jarod." Gil pushed his luck. His face was void of any emotion, but inside, Gil was beaming with pride.

Catherine pursed her lips together. "A good what, three to one hundred grand."

Gil cocked his head to the side. "Orchiectomy, penectomy, vaginoplasty, augmentation mammoplasty, or all of the above?"

The two CSIs awaited a response. "I think I should get a lawyer."

Catherine and Gil looked at each other simultaneously, each congratulating the other silently on a job well-done.

***

"So this Jarod fellow, kills his sister and hides her in their attic?" Nick asked, taking a bite of his sandwich.

Sara sat beside him. "He was her manager? So what, one day he just decides that he wants to be her?" She lathered a large amount of cream cheese on her bagel. "Why did he kill her?" She asked, mid-bite.

"Apparently, he thought she was getting too fat." Nick mumbled.

Sara retreated the bagel from her mouth, and wiped off some of the cream cheese, leaving Warrick laughing.

Catherine shrugged. "Well, he had a pretty good deal going for him. I mean, no one would suspect him if he had 'disappeared'. They'd be looking for his body, not hers."

Gil nodded. "But Catherine was smart and dare I say, sneaky enough to get us a DNA sample from the unwilling Jarod and we compared it with the prints that were present at the crime scene."

"And the blood from the ballet shoes confirmed a match with the body in the attic." Catherine added.

There was a comfortable silence as the team members ate their respective early breakfasts, save for Catherine who was picking out all the mango pieces in Gil's fruit salad.

"So he got a sex change?" Nick shook his head. "All in the name of ballet?"

"Sexual reassignment - it's not as uncommon as we think it to be." Gil added, spearing the last mango piece and offering it to Catherine. He watched as she took the fork deep in her mouth, then sensually let it slide out, sans mango. She moaned a thanks, taking his breath away.

"Man, I still can't believe that was the brother!" Nick exclaimed, wiping his mouth with a wrinkled napkin. "Heh, gives a whole new meaning to the term, 'Nut Cracker' huh?" He grinned, winning looks of disgust from the rest of the CSIs. He clapped his hands together at the lack of positive reaction, and made his exit with haste.

"Hey, you promised me a ride." Warrick yelled, disposing of his napkin and following Nick.

The three remaining CSIs sat in silence, the clock the only distraction. "Well," Gil finally got up, "let's go then - I'm pretty tired."

Catherine watched him with a confused expression. She was just about to ask him what he was talking about when she witnessed Sara get up and walk towards the door.

"Let me just get my jacket, okay?" She called over her shoulder, jogging lightly towards the locker room.

Catherine turned her gaze back to Gil, a thousand questions swimming in the blue-green sea of her eyes. They locked eyes for moments gone by, neither having the courage to speak up first. Her peripheral vision caught strands of dark hair and in a second, the object of her affection had been blinked away. She glanced around the now empty room, her eyes travelling up to the lights, trying to prevent the tears from gathering. She looked back at the door, almost expecting someone to come back. She waited . . .

***

He was sitting on his bar-stool, sipping some wine. His fingers drummed against the clutched newspaper and he glanced at the second glass of wine beside his. Glancing at the door, he let out a sly grin and continued to read the paper. His eyes travelled to the clock and then back to the door, and as if on cue, the doorbell chimed. Getting up, he walked over to the door, and opened it, turning on his heel and walking back to the kitchen.

As he had deduced, his visitor followed, closing the door behind her. "Were you expecting someone?" She asked, flipping her blond locks out of her face. It had taken her a good hour to decide whether or not to confront her supervisor of the events recently transpired and of a chance for those to come.

Gil looked up, dawning a surprised look, completely exaggerated for his amusement. "Oh . . . Catherine." He looked back at the door, faking his expectations to lie elsewhere.

Catherine looked at the glass of wine and at Gil's attire: clad only in a pair of checked pants and a form-fitting black t-shirt. "Am I interrupting something?" She asked him, her voice cracking despite her efforts.

Gil bit his lip, listening to her voice break was causing sharp pains to his heart. "Uh . . . no, it's fine." He replied cryptically, and glanced once more at the door, hoping to push her over the edge.

"You know what? This was a mistake . . ." She began to leave.

"Goal achieved." He muttered to himself, and made his way to the front door, before she did. He turned around, leaning against it, a grin dawned on his face.

"Oh, this is funny?" Catherine asked, slowly becoming more and more irate. "I'm glad my embarrassment amuses you, Grissom." She tried to push him out of the way.

Gil cringed playfully; she only used his last name when she was deeply angered with him. He sighed almost dreamily, feeling a tug at his pants, knowing that something was awakening. He chewed on his lower lip, aware that her ire always seemed to have an arousing effect on him. "Why did you leave?" He asked calmly, his eyes boring in hers.

"You wouldn't understand." She muttered, reaching for the door-handle. Her hand clasped over his, and she desperately tried to move it. "Gil," her eyes pleading, "let me leave with a little dignity?"

He wet his dry lips. "Tell me why you left me, Catherine." He beckoned her.

She brought her hand up to his chest, feeling him on top of his shirt. "Gil . . ." She took a deep breath. "I was scared, God how I was scared." She looked up to meet his eyes. "You've incited feelings in me . . . and it frightened me to actually believe that they were happening." She paused, leaning her forehead against his chest, feeling his heartbeat. "I've felt this way for so long, Gil - and all of a sudden you start returning these feelings, and I . . . I didn't know what to expect."

Gil placed the back of his hand against her cheek, and stroked it lovingly. "All of a sudden?"

She looked up to meet his gaze and let out a sad laugh. "Why didn't you say anything?" She whispered, her lips nearing his.

"My fears are as real as yours, Cath." He murmured back, his lips connecting with hers. It was slow, sensual and everything they dreamed of. Emotions mingled, hitching a ride on their tongues as they explored one another.

Catherine broke away first. "So," she asked coyly, "who were you expecting?"

He raised his eyebrow, grinning at her.

"How did you know I'd come back?" She asked, placing a gently kiss on his neck.

He sighed and traced a finger down the exposed skin of her neck. "I know you. You always come back." He replied softly, voice thick with love.

She smiled as he guided her towards the kitchen, offering her the full glass of wine. "I was afraid that you and -"

"I only drove her home, Catherine." He smiled, appeasing her fears. "What, were you afraid I'd let her take a 'ride'." He stressed the last part.

She took his glass and placed it on the table. Taking his hand, she began to lead him to his bedroom.

"A little forward, don't you think?" He asked, puckish eyes dancing, his skin tingling with anticipation and heart beating for her and her alone.

"Oh, I just want to see how well you handle your stick-shift."

–Finis–