TITLE: Scratching the Surface

AUTHOR: Gomey (grissomsgnome@yahoo.com)


TYPE: G/C (what else?)

SPOILERS: To Halve and to Hold (1-13)

DISCLAIMER: All the known characters and premises belong to their respective owners, so there.

NOTES: Just a small fic, an after-thought to the episode. Thanks to Caroline for being my 'beta-without-permission'. LOL! Just kidding, Caroline! *grin*



Catherine looked at her watch, content that she had convinced the guys at the crime scene to donate a little more of their time and wait for Gil's arrival. He had seemed rather upset on the phone, and she had realized that calling him during his dinner must have set him off quite a bit. However, not wanting Teri Miller to think ill of her supervisor, Catherine had decided to head up to the restaurant and apologize, in person, on his behalf. She smiled, she had already foreseen his grumpy mood for being disturbed, and was already on her way to the restaurant when she had called him. She still hadn't accepted the pain, ever present in her heart, knowing that he was having dinner with another woman, creating possibilities with another woman . . . falling for another woman.

"Sorry." A familiar voice seemed to whisper by.

Catherine's eyes trailed the blond hair that breezed by, and she turned, looking at the lonely man. A bittersweet smile rested upon her lips, her heart breaking at his pain, but mending at the fact that there was still hope. She ventured cautiously, closer to the table, and just observed him from afar. Her heart broke at the sad expression that his face helds, and she felt ever fibre in her body aching for him.

Gil's eyes were cast down as he fiddled with the napkin. A smell in which he was very well versed in danced across the rooms, and his eyes immediately met the woman now sitting in front of him. He gave her a smile, but only a half-smile emerged; his eyes betraying the emotion he wanted to convey.

She offered him a sad smile, and reached out, taking his hand in hers. She gave him a supportive squeeze, her eyes channelling nothing but comfort. "You okay?" Her soft voice startled him.

He shrugged. "Don't know." He replied plainly. He shook his head, wanting to converse, trying to fight off the beast that was holding him back: himself. He began to realize that it was not the fact that Teri had left that caused him such misery. He let out a morose chuckle. "Would you say that I'm a failure, Catherine?" He asked, his voice dripping with distinct vulnerability.

Catherine eyed him, a worried expression crossing her angelic face. She just sat there, surprised at such a revealing question. Gil Grissom had fears. Her rock, her mentor, her best-friend, the man who had captivated her heart and refused to let go . . . had terrors. "No." It was aggressive, but the honesty cut right through Gil. "You have so much to be proud of, Gil. So much that you have accomplished."

He dropped his eyes to the table, unconsciously eyeing his hand still captured by hers. "Do you think that my crossword puzzles, my bugs, these cases," he designated it all with a dismissive wave of the hand, "do you think they keep me warm at night?" He let out a sigh, fed up. He waited there, listening for an answer from Catherine. When no response came and without meeting the strawberry-blond's eyes, he got up swiftly from the table, his hand slipping from her yearning fingers. "We have a scene to process." He muttered, chewing on the inside of his cheek.

Catherine remained at the table, staring at her hand and the space in which his once occupied, joined, energy flowing between them. "If this is about Teri leaving . . ."

She felt him walk back to the table. "It's about everything, Cath!" He sat down forcibly on the chair in front of her, his warmth still lying in memory.

Catherine lifted her hand slightly off the table, palm facing upwards, invitingly. Mechanically, Gil placed his hand in hers.

"Will I be remembered for my work or for who I was?" He asked, letting out a defeated breath.

Catherine gently rubbed her thumb over the back of his hand. "No one knows who you are, Gil." She said softly. Her eyes implored him not to take it as an insult.

He nodded, his chin pointing towards the exit. "That's why." His eyes followed the path that he assumed Teri had taken, fast retreating from his being. "Inevitably, they always leave before I have a chance to show them." His lower lip jutted out, mimicking a child's pout.

"Hey." She got his attention. "I'm still here."

He gave her a shy smile, boyishly handsome beyond recognition.

"Gil, you're like an archeological dig." Catherine began, an impish grin following her words.

Gil's brow furrowed. "That sounds very much like an insult, Catherine." He glanced at her, "are you saying that what's in here," he poked himself in the chest, "is old?" He asked, jokingly.

Catherine let out a laugh. "It takes time and effort, but the archeologists are driven to discovering a part of history, a part of this world in which they belong." She took his wine glass, and finishing it, she smiled sheepishly off his knowing look. "An archeologist will dig and keep on digging until they find what they desire; and no matter the time spent, it's never in vain."

He met her eyes, the blues smiling a silent thanks.

She grinned, hearing his beeper go off. She got up from the table and extended her hand to Gil. He took it without hesitation and followed her out of the restaurant. "And Gil, I've barely scratched the surface and I've found so many good things in you." She smiled sincerely. "And that only fuels my desire to dig deeper." She stopped at her car, parked beside his. She gently pushed him against his car, adoring the fear that crept into his eyes. "Way deeper, Gil." She inched closer, feeling his breath on her lips. Her eyes flicked to his lower lip, full and inviting. She looked back at his eyes, noting the arousal that seemed to darken his sea-blue storm irises. "Tell me when to stop digging, Gil." She whispered, her voice low, almost a moan. She snaked her arms around his waist, underneath his jacket. Still keeping eye-contact, her hands untucked his shirt from his pants, venturing past the line between flirts and intimacy.

He arched his back, pressing in to her, as her cold hands devoured the warmth of his skin. His breathing was laboured, and he watched her through lust-lidded eyes. His tongue jutted out to moisten his dry lips and a moan caught in his throat as he felt her lips grasp hold of it. He opened his mouth, already inviting her in to share his pains and pleasures. His tongue danced with hers, battling for complete control. He leaned his weight against the car, pulling her to him. He exhaled sharply as he felt her lean in to him, pressing herself against his arousal. He dusted her skin with light kisses, marking his way from her earlobe to her creamy neck. His hands suddenly crept out of their numbing state and rested on her hips, trailing them up and down. He squeezed them together, causing her to buck against him. He felt her hands push against his belt buckle and sighed against her new-found lips. The shrill wails of their beepers forced them to break focus but not their physical hold on each other. They both reached for them, checked them, then clicked them back on. "Vultures." Gil muttered, letting his fingers trace the contours of her eyebrows, eyes and nose.

Catherine felt a warmth spread through her body, witnessing the look of love that was displayed so blatantly in his eyes. She watched as his eyes were following his fingers, memorizing visually and physically each section of skin. He finally focussed, holding her gaze. "We have a crime scene to process." She repeated, a hint of smile parodying his earlier words.

He kissed her aggressively and she found herself turned on at his impulse. The kiss ended prematurely for her liking, leaving her breathing for more. "I'll meet you at the scene." He gave her a lopsided grin. He waited for her to make her way to the driver's seat of her Denali.

"Gil," Catherine brought the engine to life, "we'll continue this little . . . excavation later." She gave him a sexy smirk and drove off, her devilish smile still prancing in his view.

Gil smiled, a general sense of happiness invading his personal space. It was something that he hadn't felt in a long time, and he realized that the snippets of such joy were only felt when she was around. And he found himself a fool to think that this delight could have only been triggered by any blond, when all he needed was one with a hint of strawberry.