TITLE: Escape to my Haven

AUTHOR: Gomey (grissomsgnome@yahoo.com)

RATING: Strong R

SPOILERS: Too Tough to Die (1-15) and a whisper of Table Stakes (1-14)

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

SUMMARY: Gil contemplates his worth in the eyes of his co-workers.

NOTES: This is my response to the February Challenge, containing:

- Centered around Gil Grissom

- Work in the title of one of his movies

- Mention the #52

- Mention his tongue

- Mention Chicago and/or any Chicago Sports Team

Cheers!

------

"I wish I was like you, Grissom. I wish I didn't feel anything."

Gil Grissom watched as she left the room, his eyes then dropping to the floor. He stopped his morose chuckle. «If I didn't feel anything, then why does it hurt?» He asked himself; Sara Sidle's words still cutting through him. His eyes searched the cold linoleum flooring for an answer, and when none arose, he got up and decided to retreat into the inviting harbor of his privacy. His townhouse was not his home - the lab was his home; his town house being more of a refuge, if anything, a place where he could be himself. A place where he was no longer afraid of physical and emotional contact . . . a place where he just *was*.

He walked down the still crowded halls, filling in with day-shift employees, though each passing body him in a haze. «Do the others see me in the same light?» He asked himself. «Am I some sort of heartless ogre in their eyes?» He picked up the pace; his darkened townhouse all the more appealing.

Catherine Willows glanced up from her crouched position, her hands still rummaging in her purse. She stood up, calling his name as he breezed by her. "Gil!" He didn't stop. She picked up her purse and broke out into a light jog, curious as to why her best-friend dawned such a sorrowful look.

"GIL!!"

Gil spun around, coming face to face with his favourite strawberry-blond. They were close . . . a little too close, and Gil took a step back, though every muscle in his body just wanted to press up against her, making the pain go away. "Catherine." He breathed, his cheeks somewhat flushed from their earlier proximity. His eyes, even though still fixed on her form, suddenly withdrew from her. He glanced at her with empty eyes, wondering if she thought the same of him. He had felt their relationship somewhat blossoming, each day drawing closer to opening up to her. But the natural progression seemed to be retreating, and he felt a distance grow between them. «Does she share Sara's thoughts of me?» He focussed back on her, unmistakable fear settling in his gaze.

Catherine eyed him suspiciously. "You seem . . . upset." She shifted her weight to her left leg, crossing her arms over her chest.

"I'm fine." He said, unconvincingly. He looked into her eyes, head cocked slightly to the side. «Does she think I don't care?» He questioned himself. His eyes watched as Nick and Warrick headed by them, smiling at Catherine and throwing him a 'goodbye' over their shoulders. «Just because I believe in a professional attitude doesn't mean that I don't feel anything.» He glanced back at Catherine who was looking at now looking at him rather intently.

"You're in a daze, Gil." She placed a hand on his forearm, giving it a supporting squeeze.

He glanced back at Warrick and Nick who had also turned around at the same time. They caught eyes, and the two younger CSIs broke away, and hurried out the doors. He inhaled sharply. «God, the last thing I want is pity.» He turned back to Catherine. "I'm just tired."

"Tired?" She asked, incredulously. "More like in a frenzy." She raised her eyebrow of his look of incomprehension. "C'mon Gil, it seemed as if all 52 bones in your feet were on fire - I'm sure you've violated several speeding laws." She winked at him. "So, you want to talk about it?" She asked, noting his somewhat depressive mood, which left an unsettling feeling in the pit of her stomach.

Gil shook his head and turned to leave, but her hand still held on firmly to his forearm. "Catherine." It was an exhausted plea; he just wanted to leave.

Fear now claimed her body - she had never seen him so dispirited. "Gil, I'm offering an ear - y'know it helps to talk about your problems." Catherine said, her grip loosening slightly; she didn't want to force him to listen to her, but wanted him to come to her on his own accord. She thought they were closer than that, that he trusted her and she wondered if her perception of their relationship was wrong.

Gil's arm slipped from her grasp and he continued walking towards the exit. He didn't want to leave her; if anyone Catherine could make his pain go away, but he didn't want her to help him out of pity, to burden her with his problems. He passed Sara in the hall, who had just returned to claim her jacket.

"Grissom, look, I'm sor -" Sara watched as Gil walked right by her, not even making eye-contact.

Catherine had watched the exchange, and deducted that the ever bold CSI might have had something to do with her supervisor's mood, and she vowed to let the younger CSI know that some lines were not meant to be crossed, especially concerning a certain blue-eyed man whom not only held her respect, but her heart as well.

Gil sighed as the bright sunlight blinded his eyes. He sluggishly put on his sunglasses and headed towards his Tahoe, thoughts of his bed an incentive to actually leave his work environment. He glanced back at the doors where he saw Catherine standing outside. He smiled as he saw her raise her hand, giving him a shy wave. He pulled out of the parking lot and headed towards his house.

***

Back inside, Catherine caught up with Sara in the locker rooms. "What the hell is your problem?" She slammed Sara's locker shut.

Sara took a step back. "Woah Catherine! What crawled up your ass and passed away?" She asked cautiously.

"What did you say to him?" Catherine asked, taking a step forward, feeling like a lioness protecting her cubs.

"Who, Grissom?" Sara asked, perplexed. "This isn't your concern, Catherine." Sara began to put her jacket on.

"Sara, it is my concern when your lack of respect hurts someone I lo -" she paused, eyes wide, " - I care deeply for." Catherine muttered the last part, though her glare speaking volumes.

Sara sighed and sat down on the bench. "Look, I didn't think he'd take it so personally." She looked up at Catherine. "I mean, he wouldn't even look at me in the hall -"

" - yeah, I saw." Catherine sat down beside Sara, her tone softening.

Sara sighed. "I was so angry about the case, Catherine." She explained. "Grissom gave me this speech about not letting my emotions get into it, so I got upset."

"What did you say, Sara?" Catherine asked slowly.

"I told him that I wish I didn't experience emotions . . . just like him." She sighed, rethinking her choice of words.

Catherine paused, trying to assess the damage. She scrubbed a hand across her face, her heart breaking for the docile man. "He gives every breath, you know." She began, emotion getting to her. "He tries to be the best damn supervisor - always looking out for us, covering our asses and this is he gets recognized."

Sara chewed on the inside of her cheek. "Catherine -"

"- no! He only said that to protect you, Sara. To protect you from yourself, and what do you do? You attack him!" Catherine shook her head, one tear escaping. "You have no idea what he goes through for us, the lab . . . and not once has anyone thanked him." She paused, looking at the ceiling. "Not even me." Her voice was soft, as realization hit her.

Sara looked up just in time to see the door to the locker room swing close. "Damnit!" She kicked her locker.

***

Gil was sprawled out on his brown leather couch, classical music humming in the background. Since their last case, Tchaikovsky's 'Waltz of the Flowers' had soon become his favourite classical piece - the significance of it meaning more than the music itself. He shut his eyes forcibly when he heard a knock at the door. Figuring whoever was interrupting his brooding would just leave, he kept his eyes closed, ruminating Sara's choice of words. «I feel, don't I?» A familiar part of the tune caressed his ears and he couldn't help the smile that played across his face. «Catherine.» Butterflies fluttered in his tummy at the mere thought of her. «Sara doesn't know me, none of them do. . .» He paused. «. . .except Catherine.» He could imagine her close to him, could almost still feel her hand on his forearm, concern etched on her stunning looks. He could smell her light soapy-scent that always drove him wild. He let out a soft moan, the feeling of her hand so sharp in his memory that electricity seemed to be coursing through his veins.

"Gil." A soft voice forced him to open his eyes and startled, he sat up abruptly, her hand lightly grazing his arm as she pulled away.

"Catherine." His eyes travelled her being, unsure if some exhausted trickery brought her form in image but not in body.

"You didn't answer the door and I became worried that you -" She stopped herself, giving him a sheepish shrug.

"That I what?" He asked, making room for her on the couch.

She let out a breath of air, falling back on to the couch. "Oh, I don't know, that you," she searched her mind for some sort of euphemism, "went to Chicago or something." She finally gave up.

They sat in a comfortable silence, their energy battling with each other. "Chicago?" Gil glanced at her playfully. "I wouldn't go *that* far, Cath." He said, both of them no longer sure what was inferred.

She let out a laugh, glad to see a playful mood appearing. She had become extremely concerned to see him in such a state of upset, which was one of the reasons she had sought him out. "You seemed really depressed, Gil - I was worried." The main reason was wanting to let him know that he was appreciated, despite words that were thrown at him. She took his hand in hers. "The team values you, Gil. They respect you."

Gil's brow furrowed. "I see you're in the loop - I don't even know why it's bothering me." He shook his head, not wanting Catherine to see him in this weakened state.

"Look, as much as you try not to be, you're human Gil. You're human and that is why it's vexing you. It was hurtful what Sara said, and completely out of line." Catherine huffed, still fuming.

It was his turn to give her hand a supporting squeeze. After a few moments, he spoke again. "I try, Cath . . ." His voice laced with vulnerability.

"I know you do," she said, bringing her free hand to cup his cheek, "and I want you to know that I'm thankful for all that you've done, not just for the team . . . but for me too." She hushed her voice towards the end of her statement. "You've done so much . . ."

Gil looked her in the eyes, his breath caught in his throat. He swallowed hard, letting his eyes take pleasure in roaming her heavenly face, drinking in her mesmerizing beauty. He glanced at her lips, glossy and calling out to him. His eyes grew wide, feeling her approach him.

Catherine leaned towards him, her eyes still piercing his, and she could only imagine the intense colour that would appear, if their blues would fuse together. "Let me thank you, Gil." She whispered before pressing her lips lightly to his.

Gil remained idle as her gentle lips caressed his. Sensations new to him paralysed his body and all he could do was sit there and feel; feel her heat against his body, feel her tongue prying his lips apart, feel her hand reaching for his shirt buttons. He breathed into her mouth, her tongue awakening his senses. Slowly his hands ached to bathe in her strawberry-blond locks, and he raised them ever so slowly, almost testing the situation.

Catherine broke the kiss, leaving a trail of pecks along his cheek and jaw line. She leaned into his touch, now half cupping the side of her face, half lost in the wild tangles of her hair.

"Cath . . ." He exhaled her name on a breath of air. His fingers found her thigh, and he ached to explore it, but was stopped by her hand against his chest, his shirt now completely undone. His eyes followed her fingers as they dusted his smooth skin, tracing and claiming. She lowered her mouth right above his nipple, her warm breath branding him. He arched into her, her mouth leaving a trail of warm lust and searing love across his chest.

"Gil - let me do this for you." She paused, blowing a cool breath of air on his nipple, making it hard and she grabbed it lightly between her teeth. Her hand made it's way to his tummy, tracing around his bellybutton, feeling the muscles spasm under her touch.

Gil breathed in roughly, as he felt her trail her tongue down his stomach, almost joining her hands that were working on his belt-buckle. Gil watched her hazy-lust as she knelt down in front of him, her hands now toying with his button and fly, her hand ever so often brushing against his arousal.

"Catherine. . ." He hissed as her hand glided over the material of his boxers, barely touching him yet inciting a heart-stopping reaction. He unconsciously lifted his hips off the couch slightly as she pulled his pants down, leaving them in a pool around his ankles.

Catherine reached and began rubbing him through the silky material of his boxers. Her hands itched to touch him directly, but this was about him. "Tell me when to stop." She told him, as she agonizingly pulled down his boxers, her eyes feasting on his arousal. "God Gil . . ." She whispered, trying to remind herself who this was for.

Gil could neither move nor speak, but just kept staring at his best-friend, the love of his life.

She guided herself to his length and she grasped it, causing him to buck against her hands. "Relax." She told him, one hand gliding across the skin of his thigh. She let that hand travel up, running her fingers across his chest once more, toying with his nipple. She felt his erection twitch in her hand and smiled, loving the reaction.

"Cath . . . please . . ." He whispered, his hands gripping the leather of his couch. "Please don't stop." He lay his head back, closing his eyes. A gasp escaped his mouth as he felt her warm breath against his arousal and eventually felt her soft lips caressing him.

She glanced up at him, her mouth tasting him for the first time. It was heavenly beyond words, and she knew that these cravings would only worsen with absence, her very being demanding more and more contact. Her love for his soul would reign victory over her lust for his body any day, but the carnal desire was something she could no longer ignore. "Look at me, Gil." She said, her tongue running along the length of him, wanting to see the intensity in his eyes.

Gil raised his head and looked at her, love burning deep inside him. Emotions were coursing through his body and he willed his eyes to stay open, not to give himself to the ever rising pleasure.

Catherine watched with a grin, taking him deep inside her mouth. She observed him as his eyes slipped closed, tongue peeking out and resting between his teeth. That mannerism drove her crazy and she pleasured him feverishly, wanting him to achieve his release; one so well deserved. She felt tingly, listening to him inhale and exhale loudly through his nose, trying to regain some sort of control.

"Catherine. . ." He moaned her name, urgency in his voice.

"Let go, Gil," Catherine coaxed, "this is just for you." She smiled internally, knowing just where to taste, where to touch to push him over the edge. Going with her instincts, Catherine continued to achieve her intimate objective.

Gil took deeper breaths, chest heaving, heart beating wildly. He forced his eyes open, focussing on her raw beauty, drinking in her features. "Catherine . . ." He shook his head at his lack of control.

Catherine got up off the floor, his arousal still in her hand. She leaned on the couch, her body over his, as she continued to minister waves of pleasure in his direction. She felt him buck against her hand, sensing that he was close. She sought out his lips once more, grabbing his lower fullness, biting down softly. "Gil - for me, please." She mumbled into the fulness of his lower lip, her tongue once again seeking his.

Gil closed his eyes as a warmth spread through his body - a wave of temporary happiness riddling his body. He let out a long exhalation, his moan masking the sound of his ragged breathing as he achieved his release. He opened his eyes, level with Catherine who's heart beat fell into rhythm with his.

Catherine smiled, her hand now lightly exploring his arousal, the tip of her nails grazing the sensitive skin along his length. She reached to kiss him once more, gasping as she felt him react, both in northern and southern regions.

Gil couldn't get enough of her taste and wrapped one hand around her slim waist, while the other rested against her tight tummy. He pressed into her stomach with his hand, while his thumb lightly traced designs, a contrast between the comforting pressure and the tingling tracings. He broke the kiss, staring into her eyes. "Thank you. . ." It was gruff as his heartbeat had not yet attained its resting rate.

Catherine smiled, getting up and heading towards the bathroom. She hummed the classical tune that she had first heard upon entering her supervisor's townhouse, a feeling of fulfilment buzzing through her. She bent over the sink, washing her hands and then splashing some cool water on her face.

Gil walked up behind her, and placed his hands on her hips. He let them glide over the thin material of her black leggings, all the way to the front; his thumbs lightly grazing her center. He leaned in to her, letting her feel his desire against her right cheek.

Without hesitation, Catherine followed Gil to his bedroom, her eyes travelling down to his silk boxers, his shirt tails creating a train behind him as he walked down the hall.

He kept a strong, almost desperate hold on her hand, fearing that she would disappear, much like the many sweet yet sorrowful dreams that haunted his slumber. Dreams he wasn't sure whether he wished he never had, or never woke from. «Tis better to have loved and lost, then to have never loved all.» He quoted, a half-smile creeping on his face. He guided her in, closing the door by pinning her against it. Their fingers stayed laced, the back of her hands being pressed into the cool wood of the door. He pressed himself against her, pushing her harder against the door, and merely remained there.

Catherine could feel the moisture accumulating in his palms, and kept staring back at him. She knew he was nervous, and thus remained still - letting him take command; whatever made him happy. . . that was all she wanted.

Gil's eyes roamed her face, memorizing how her hair fell at that exact moment, how her eyes captured the dim lighting in his room, and transformed it into instant hope, how her lips parted ever so slightly when his sight dawned upon it. He pressed against her once more, his mouth seeking the smooth skin of her neck. He nipped and licked; his tongue declaring all surface touched as his own.

"Gil. . ." Catherine whimpered, struggling slightly against his hands. "This is supposed to be about you - about making you feel good."

Gil paused, lust still clinging to his lips. "Touching you . . . just seeing you makes me feel so good, Catherine." His tongue danced across her collarbone, his hand gliding up the soft skin of her arms up until he reached her face - both hands seeking to caress her cheeks. He smiled when he heard her moan his name. "I get pleasure from pleasuring you, Catherine."

She pushed him back slightly with the force of her kiss and explored the far reaches of his mouth. Her hands moved to his tummy, sliding over to his back, absorbing the energy from his skin. Breaking for air, but not before finishing their moment with a light peck, she moved away from him, stopping in front of his bed.

Without words, he watched as she began to undress, and lay back on his bed, propped up by her elbows. "Catherine . . ." He sighed, walking up to her, indulging himself in her heavenly beauty. He knelt on the bed, turning off the lights as their lips collided, sending tremors throughout their bodies.

***

Catherine grimaced as she tapped the pencil lightly on the crossword puzzle book. She sat, leaning against the headboard, legs stretched out in front of her. She glanced down at the sleeping form beside her, smiling gently. She observed her best-friend and now lover, lying on his tummy, forehead pressed against her thigh. She looked up as she heard the doorbell sound. Placing a warm hand on his naked back, she instructed him to remain.

Gil felt the bed move, and immediately missed her aura. He curled up on his side, letting out a contended sigh as the inviting darkness of his dreams once again blossomed. He smiled in the wake of his sleep, knowing that as long as Catherine believed in him, he wouldn't have to prove his worth to anyone.

***

Catherine opened the door and leaned against it, eyebrow raised.

"Catherine." Sara's eyes grew wide as she took in the senior CSIs appearance; clad only in their supervisor's dress shirt.

"Sara, can I help you?" Catherine asked, serenity drowning out her voice. Her body was still buzzing from their encounter, and her mind was still with him in his bed.

"I just came to see Grissom." Sara tried to steal a glance into Gil's townhouse, but Catherine blocked the way.

"He's sleeping right now, but I can pass on any message you want."

Sara nodded. "Could you tell him I'm sorry . . . I didn't mean to say that -"

Catherine interrupted her " - that he doesn't feel anything?" Catherine shook her head, "I'll be sure to pass it along." She began to close the door but then suddenly swung it open again. "Oh, just to let you know - you *were* wrong: Gil does feel . . " Catherine nodded. "he feels damn good!" With that, she slammed the door in the younger CSIs face, retreating happily back to Gil and the haven created especially for them.

–FINIS--