TITLE: Five Shots - One Reason

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: Strip Strangler (1-22)

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

SUMMARY: The repercussions of Catherine's actions catch up with her.

NOTES: Criticism is more than welcome. I wrote the beginning by memory - so there might be some inconsistencies with the actual script from the episode. My bad. *grin*

Cheers!

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The two senior CSIs watched the rest of the team get up and leave, to pick up their food at the counter. Gil Grissom turned to his partner and long-time friend. "I shouldn't have put you in that position, Catherine. I'm sorry." He looked down at the table separating them, but couldn't keep his eyes away from her beautiful face.

Blue eyes met blue. "What position?" She asked, putting on a brave smile.

Gil cocked his head to the side, his gesture telling all.

She shrugged. "Never doubt, never look back - that's how I live my life." A dazzling smile sealed her motto.

Gil sighed and looked down, not knowing how to express his gratitude for having her in his life. He finally looked up. "I admire that." He said softly,

Catherine's eyes roamed to meet his, her heart melting with the sincerity that emanate from his being. The two held each other's gaze, trapped in a moment that neither wanted to end.

"Who ordered the fruit bowl?" Sara asked mockingly as the three younger CSIs made their way back to the table, unknowingly interrupting a pivotal moment in the two senior CSIs lives.

"I did." Gil frowned playfully and grabbed the plate from Sara's hands. He placed it down, once again throwing a glance at Catherine.

"So." Nick said, mixing up his food. "What I don't understand," Nick's Texan charm made its way through a mouthful of food, "is why you found it necessary to empty five bullets into the suspect, Catherine." He took another spoonful and shoved it into his mouth, his eyes searching for an answer in hers.

"Nick." Gil's voice was low, thick with warning. He didn't even bother to look at the younger CSI, his eyes chose to capture Catherine's reactions instead. He could feel her becoming restless, knowing that strength was something she prided herself in, and he wouldn't let that be stripped away from her. He nodded towards her, trying to change the subject. "What did you order?"

She looked at her supervisor and smiled weakly, thanking him silently for letting her keep a little dignity. Truth was, she was terrified of the events that had just transpired, but her little speech in front of Gil, long time friend and mentor in so many ways, was a feeble attempt to appear stable and to hold on to his respect. Admitting the reason behind her actions would ensue her fear leaking out and she was afraid that such discovery would drive a wedge between her and the man who held her heart since the day they met. She smiled, realizing that it was affection and lust at first sight, loved soon evolved and now blossomed into a form of beloved devotion. The man had the ability to make her life not only bearable, but liveable and aside from her daughter, she knew that every breath was for him.

"Because I mean, five shots!" Nick continued on, oblivious to the tension steaming from each plate. "One would have been enough to render him incapable - "

" - NICK!" Gil yelled, just as Catherine got up and crawling over Warrick, made a bee-line to the bathroom. "Cath." Gil sighed, her pain causing him an even greater amount. He stepped over Nick, deliberately kicking him in the shin as he passed by, an air of smugness hung heavy.

"Ow, hey!" Nick grabbed his leg and grimaced. "Daaamn, Grissom!" He exclaimed as Warrick and Sara shared a laugh. Nick bit his lower lip, trying to control the ache and watched as his supervisor moved away from the table. "What I do?" He asked the other two who only shook their heads.

Gil headed to the washroom with a grin following close behind. He pushed the door open to the ladies's room and peeked in discreetly. "Catherine?" He took a step in, leaning against the now open door. He felt an imaginary knife skewer his heart as she entered his line of view. He swallowed hard. "God Catherine . . ." He whispered to himself, witness to her sobs and despair.

Catherine threw the tissue in the garbage and sniffled. She pressed the back of her hand against her trembling lips; horrifying images of Sid holding the shovel above his head, ready to strike. Adrenaline and fear provoked her to take such actions without immediate repercussions. But it wasn't the act of shooting a human being that seemed to pull her into the vacuumed abyss, though taking a life does have emotional alterations - but it was more the 'what ifs' that chilled her to the bone. What if she had taken a wrong turn, or gotten stuck at a light. What if she had decided to investigate the apartment instead of listening to the little voice in her head, telling her to visit the laundry room first? She almost clawed at her eyes, willing the tears to stop escaping.

"Cath?" Gil let the door swing shut and walked towards his deity, concern and fear gracing his boyish features.

"Gil." Catherine turned away from him, not wanting to let him see her during her moment of weakness. "This is the girl's bathroom." She stated lamely, hoping he would leave her alone, giving her enough time to compose herself.

Gil chuckled despite himself. "Yeah, I was just wondering if you'd like to hold hands during recess." He stated, equally lamely but with a hint of a teasing sarcasm that always seemed to make her smile. "Right now, I don't care about proper etiquette, Catherine." He turned her around, making sure that he held her eyes. "Right now, I care about you."

"God Gil." She pressed her forehead into his chest, inhaling his scent. "I ..."

He could feel her shrug. His hands went to her waist and in a swift movement, he lifted her up and sat her on the counter, right beside the sink. "Tell me." He beckoned her to continue, realizing that his existence was almost for her, and her alone.

She looked at him, touched that he was always there to make her life right. She let her hands run up the length of his arm, and toyed with the lapels of his shirt, trying to find away to express her feelings without giving up her long-kept secret.

Gil moved her legs apart, and off her surprised look, he moved closer to her, wrapping his arms around her waist and pulling her in his warm embrace. "I just want you to know that I'll wait as long as you want, Catherine." He stated, knowing that she would infer 'her readiness to discuss', but aware that he meant it on a more intimate level; he'd wait his whole life for Catherine Willows.

Catherine let out a series of shallow breaths, as her arms made their way around him, snaking along his neck. She let her fingers mingle with the curls on the back of his head, feeling him sigh as he tightened his grip around her. "It was you." She mumbled, pressing her forehead against the side of his head. "I could have lost you, Gil."

He bit his lower lip, feeling the tears splash against his neck. "Did I ever thank you?" He asked, leaning back from the embrace. He looked her in the eye, his placid pools of deep blue trying to convey a sense of comfort to her ever darkening ones.

She dropped her gaze, and stared at the lapels of his shirt, her fingers once more intrigued by them. "What if I didn't check the laundry room, Gil?" Tears came anew. "I wouldn't' be able to live with myself. . ." The whispers caressed his ears.

"Cath," he reached up and cupped her cheek with his hand, "don't focus on the perhaps or the what ifs - just understand that what you did saved my life, and I'm forever indebted." He dropped his hand to her thigh, gliding his hand up and down the material.

"I shot him five times because I was so afraid that he'd kill you - I wasn't thinking, Gil." She shook her head. "Five times!" She closed her eyes, dropping her head to her chest.

"Catherine, it's normal for anyone to feel this guilt when shooting someone, especially if there's a death involved shortly after." He shrugged. "Everyone goes through it and you ultimately have to accept it and move on. Just know that I'm here to help you along the way."

"It's not guilt." Catherine stated, looking at Gil's hand, still caressing her leg. "I shot him, and I'd shoot him again, Gil." She shook her head. "He was going to hurt you and I couldn't let him do it. I wouldn't!"

He placed his other hand on her shoulder, trying to calm her down.

"It's funny. . . in my mind's eye, I can't see the bullets hitting Sid." She looked at him. "All I can see is his intent to. . ." She couldn't finish her sentence.

"Cath, I'm here - that's all that matters." He brushed a hand through her hair, and brought it back to her face.

Catherine placed her hand above his, and leaned into his touch. "You mean so much to me, Gil. More than you'll ever know." She whispered, but reading his eyes, she saw that he had heard.

Desire rose to his eyes like a high temperature climbing a thermometer. "Cath. . ." He brushed his thumb across her lips, moistening his own in the meantime. He leaned into her, wanting to feel her lips against his. He stopped, enjoying her trembling breath battling with his own shakiness. Blue searched blue as each gave up their last ounce of control and lips crashed on lips in a frenzy of desire, fear and love. Gil brought his hands to her waist, holding her as close as possible. He slipped them to her back, memorizing each curve through her shirt. He finally glided them down her back, cupping her firm buttocks. He squeezed them, inciting moans from the back of her throat. Gil groaned into her mouth as Catherine forced his lips apart, tasting his mouth with her tongue. She hooked her feet to the back of his knees, trying to bring him closer. Gil inhaled sharply through his nose, not wanting to break the seal that they both had formed. His hands, still grasping her from the back, pushed her, pressing her into him.

Catherine rested her hands on his shoulders as they both broke away from the kiss, panting and replaying the feelings that were coursing through their veins. The air travelled thinly through their tightly pressed bodies and neither made any move to distance themselves from the other. «Comfort.» Catherine thought to herself, a small smile creeping up. An aroused gasp trickled off her lips as she felt his length press into her. She looked him in the eye, delighting in the glazed look that mirrored back. "Gil. . ." She rubbed herself against him, feeling him grow through the material of his pants.

Gil buried his head in her shoulder, involuntarily bucking against her. "Cath . . ." He was still trying to calm his wild heart and feeling her rub her body against him was causing it to palpitate faster. He closed his eyes, leaning his head back a bit.

"Please Gil . . . God I want you." She let her hands glide over his chest, one hand daring to venture past his abdomen and down to where even her dreams couldn't mimic the sensation she was feeling. She let her hand feel him through the material, and stroked him, wanting to please him. She felt him move against her hand and glanced at him: mouth slightly open, lower lip resting in a pout. She leaned towards him, catching his lip and holding it hostage between her teeth. She bit down, a low giggle erupting as his eyes snapped open, raw emotion surging out.

He dove into her mouth, wanting to inhale or be inhaled by her. His hand travelled up her back, feeling the warm skin that was housed by her shirt. She arched her back, pressing her chest into his as his fingers tickled her spine. She allowed one hand to travel to the front, letting him massage her through the fabric of her bra. "Cath. . . I want our first time to be special." He breathed into her mouth, then travelling down her neck and letting his tongue glide across her smooth skin.

"Gil, I can't wait." She began to unzip him when a gasp was heard. Catherine paused as did Gil, both trying to decipher whether the other had made such a noise, which seemed somewhat alien to both of them.

Gil glanced casually towards the door and then did a double take, staring in the eyes of an open-mouthed waitress who had just come by to do a daily check of the premises. He quickly took his hand from underneath Catherine's shirt as she frantically zipped him up.

She hopped off the counter and, grabbing Gil by the hand, threw an apology over her shoulder and ran out the door. They leaned against the wall near the bathrooms, both red-faced and panting.

"You know we can never eat here again." Gil muttered, still feeling her move against his body.

Catherine let out a laugh and stepped in front of him. "We should, uh, get back to the table." She traced her fingers up his cheek, her fingers moving as he beamed at her. She brought them up to the corner of his eye, adoring the way it crinkled whenever he smiled. She traced the lines, her eyes falling on his lips. "You're going to issue a restraining order against me by the end of the night, Gil." She joked, pressing her lower torso to him discreetly.

Gil looked over her shoulder and caught eye with Warrick. "We should go back." He smiled promises of events to come.

Catherine smiled and turned around, heading towards the table with Gil not far behind. "I'm going to take you up on that offer." She whispered as they both climbed into the booth.

"Nick ate your food, Gil." Warrick smiled.

"I just had a taste. Besides, you owed me something from kicking me in the shin." Nick stated, brow furrowed, inciting a challenging look from Catherine to Gil.

"Hey Catherine, you okay?" Sara asked. "You look a little red."

"I'm fine." Catherine responded quickly. She looked over at Warrick, who as always, held an air of skepticism. "I'm fine." She repeated to him.

Just then, the waitress from the bathroom passed and stopped at their table. "Is everything to your liking?" She asked, the question directed to Catherine and Gil. Both senior CSIs looked away, the reddish-hue once again creeping on both their faces.

Sara nodded. "It's fine, thanks." She said, as the waitress cleaned up their plates. "So, I guess I'll see you guys tonight." She said, standing up and stretching. Nick followed suit and headed towards the door, behind Sara and in front of Warrick.

Gil and Catherine stood at the table. "Come over." He asked her casually. She smiled and placed a ten dollar bill on the table. "I love you, Cath." Gil stated, gently brushing a few errant strands from her face.

"Gil . . ." She smiled, and mouthed the same feelings to him. She leaned in to kiss him but was interrupted by a thick Texan accent. Gil and Catherine stepped apart.

"Woah! Ten dollar tip?" Nick yelled upon witnessing the generous act. He had come back to retrieve his wallet that had fallen out of his pocket. "What did she do to get a ten dollar tip?" He passed the bill between his fingers.

Catherine snatched the bill and slapped it on the table, along with the money for breakfast. "Trust me, she deserves it!" She and Gil shared a knowing smile, while Nick stood there, his eyes travelling from one to the other.

Nick shrugged. "Man, you guys get stranger every year." He watched as they walked out the door, then looked towards the bathroom. He narrowed his eyes, the gears turning in his head. Finally it dawned on him. "Ooooooh."

-Finis-