TITLE: Trusting Me

AUTHOR: Gomey (grissomsgnome@yahoo.com)

RATING: R

SPOILERS: None

ARCHIVE: Anywhere, just let me know so I can brag. *grin*

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

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Catherine sat at the bar, her finger stirring the tan liquid that lay heavily in the glass. Thoughts of her case bubbled in her mind, and she closed her eyes painfully, willing the terror of transitioning thoughts to pass her by. «Seven years old...» Her thoughts glided to Lindsey, and she missed her daughter now more than ever. It was these cases, the inhuman cases that reminded her how lucky she was to have such a beautiful and intelligent little girl in her life.

"Excuse me."

She glanced at the man sitting beside her, his looks nothing but plain. She watched the bartender place an ordinary beer in front of the ordinary man, chuckling at how disdain his life must be. «Accountant or enveloppe stuffer...» She thought, a small smile resting on her lips. A swift movement struck her peripheral vision, and she swiveled on the barstool just in time to see the beer glass tip over and splash on her lap. "Shit!" She stood up, hands in the air.

"I am so sorry." The man got up too and held out his hands helplessly.

Catherine shrugged and put up her hands to stop him. "It's okay." She turned to the bathroom, ordering the bartender to watch her drink.

Several minutes later, Catherine emerged from the unisex bathroom, the bottom of her shirt still nursing several droplets of beer, her pants victim to the same liquid. She sat back down at the bar, and toyed with the glass that housed her drink, noticing the man was now enthralled in a game of pool - solo style. «A style he's probably all to familiar with.» She commented to herself, taking a large gulp of alcohol. She grimaced, suddenly feeling light-headed. Glancing inside her drink, she felt her fingers numbing ever-so-slightly. She fumbled with her phone, dialing an all too familiar number.

***

"Grissom." He answers, cradling it between his ear and shoulder as he made his way through the calm corridors of the lab. He stopped in front of his office, and took the phone in his hand, looking at the Caller ID. "Catherine?" He again waited for a response.

".....Gil?"

Her voice was weak and Gil felt his heart rate pick up. "Catherine? Where are you?" He tossed the files he was carrying on to his couch and picked up his jacket, already heading towards the parking lot.

"Gil ... God Gil - I don't feel good."

It was slurred, but not in the drunken sense. "Cath...you have to tell me where you are." He said, pushing open the doors of the lab. He'd call Warrick to take over later, right now, Catherine and her safety were the only two things on his mind.

"Cath...? Cath stay with me." He pleaded into the phone. Fears were slowly consuming him as her present condition seemed to be wrapped in a cloud of mystery. Desperately seeking answers to clear up the fog, he sped up, not sure where he was driving to.

"Granby's..."

Her voice was distant and he heard a deep male voice in the background.

Still listening, he made his way through Vegas traffic, his own safety pushed into the far recesses of his mind. It was Catherine - everything and anything Catherine. He double-parked in front of Granby's Pub, demerit points and money not worth the life of his angel. Pushing the door open, he spied her cellphone on the bar. Picking it up with haste, he placed himself in front of the bartender.

"Where is she?" He demanded, worry and adrenaline coursing through his veins. He pivoted on his heel, running towards the back, where a dimly lit corridor led to a unisex bathroom. He didn't even try the lock, but just kicked the door open. Taking out his gun, he pointed it at the man who was slowly unzipping his pants.

"You better as hell hope I'm out of bullets." Gil spoke sharply, through gritted teeth.

The man stepped aside, his pants falling around his ankles, and Gil's eyes momentarily flicked to the body propped up against the wall. Her eyes were half open, incoherent mumblings tasting her lips. "You bastard." Gil threw his gun down, and lunged at the man, madness taking control of his body. He pummelled him, his fist connecting with an already swelling eye, and in the back of his mind, Gil registered that Catherine must have gotten at least a hit of her own. «That's my girl.» He thought proudly.

After a few minutes of endless pounding, hands restrained him, while an officer came and escorted the barely conscious man away. Gil struggled against the officers who finally let him go, upon hearing Jim's orders. Gil stumbled forward, rushing towards the incapacitated Catherine. "Cath...honey..." His breathing was ragged, his fists hurt and his mind was a blur, but he just wanted to get her out of there.

He winced slightly, taking in her appearance, vomit and beer on her shirt and pants. Without a second thought, he picked her up with ease, and headed towards the door. "Jim, get my gun and Cath's cell ... oh and her glass too." He suspected rohypnol, but needed proof to condemn the bastard. Setting her in his car, he refused help from the paramedics, stating that if there were any complications he would take her to the hospital himself. Right now, he knew that she needed to get out of those clothes, and into a warm bed. He drove her to her place, knowing that Lindsey wouldn't be home until next weekend; and then it dawned on him: her attitude was out of place - Catherine rarely went to bars, hating the smoke and ogglers. «But, does she hate that more than an empty house?»

***

Gil pulled up into her driveway and got out of the car. Walking over to the other side, he opened her door, and leaning over her body, he tried to unbuckle her when he was rewarded with a whack against the back of his head.

"Stop - no!" Catherine began fighting him in her delirious state.

"Cath..." he leaned over again and succesfully reached his goal.

Scooping her up, he closed the door with a swing of his hip and walked towards her house; every once in a while Catherine struggling against his strong hold. "Stop fighting me, Catherine." He puffed, fishing for his keys while balancing her in his arms. He managed to get the door open, and kicked it shut once they were both inside.

He walked straight to her room and placed her gently on her bed. He sighed, realizing that he would have to undress her. He removed her comforter and settled her against the pillow. Placing the covers over her, he maneuvered his hands under from the sides and began to undo her button-down top.

His eyes roamed her face, and he sighed sadly, realizing that the only time he was granted such an intimate gesture, was when she was incapacitated. He chided irony and pulled her top from under the covers, letting it rest on the floor.

Her skin was sticky, and he nervously chewed on his lower lip, wondering whether to clean her up. He reached behind her, his fingers creating crevices in the soft mattress that moulded to her body, and he unhooked her bra. His eyes absorbed her flawless beauty; lips aching to be tasted, neck demanding to be nuzzled...he sighed, letting the bra fall to the floor on top of the shirt.

He reached down further under the covers, always keeping his eyes glued to her face, and undid her slacks and pulled them down. His hands bashfully passed over the top of her underwear, and he sighed in relief at the state of them, allowing him to leave her with a little dignity.

He stood up from his kneeling position and rolled up her pants, adding the shirt and bra, and tossed them into her hamper. Heading towards the bathroom, he picked up a washcloth and wet it with lukewarm water. Rushing back to her side, he slid his hands under the comforter again, and passed the cloth over her, trying to cleanse her body and state of mind.

"Stop....please!" She cried out, vain attempts to stop her 'intruder'. She tried to move, but couldn't. "Don't touch me...."

Gil retracted his hand close to his body, leaving the damp washcloth on her tummy. His brow furrowed in a worried expression, he felt his heart breaking for her: he couldn't even protect her from himself. He waited a bit, trying to find his voice.

"Cath...honey....it's me, Gil." He smoothed her hair, and cupped her cheek with his hand. "Just trust me..." He whispered, his hand once again sneaking under the comforter. He passed the cloth over her toned abdomen and gently over the swell of her breasts. He let out a breath, cursing himself for reacting inappropriately. He brought another towel and quickly brushed it over her, drying her.

Pulling the covers up to her chin, her bent down to kiss her on the cheek, only to have her turn her head away from him. "Leave me alone, please..." She whimpered, and he place a hand over his eyes, feeling moisture gather.

He knew she was probably using transference of some sorts, thinking that he was her attacker, but it still hurt. Gil sighed and sat on the other side of the bed. He had studied the rohypnol and knew of the symptoms, and realized that he couldn't leave her alone. He chuckled morosely to himself, knowing that his actions were not completely faithful to her - a more selfish reason presented itself in his mind: he wanted to just watch over her, giving him a sense of security in her safety.

He looked down at his shirt, noticing remanants of Catherine's vomit and beer having seeped through the fabric when he had carried her. He shrugged and stripped down to his boxers. He paused, contemplating the couch, but then climbed in next to her. Propping himself on his elbow, and watched her, his heart beating for her peace of mind, his soul cursing the man who put her in such a state...

***

Light filtered through the white lace curtains, and Catherine groaned, her inner clock screaming from the change in routine. Her body hurt and her head felt like it was contracting. Images suddenly entered her mind: hands touching her helpless body, her futile attempts to fight it off, fists flying - she sat up straight in her bed, the covers pooling around her waist.

Eyes wide, she tried desperately to orient herself.

"Catherine."

She snapped her head to the voice beside her, and grabbed the comforter, pulling it up to her chin. Her body shook and she observed his face: his features, for the first time in their frienship, seeming unfamiliar.

Gil sat up, and leaned in, trying to read her eyes. He reached out to touch her face, and she recoiled. Closing his eyes painfully, he crawled out of the bed, putting a comfortable distance between both of them. "Do you remember anything?" He asked, trying to hide the pain of her rejection.

Catherine eyed him nervously, her eyes travelling down his naked chest to his black cotton boxers. "I...I think I should be alone..." She said, her eyes falling on the comforter. She felt exposed, and wondered why her best-friend would do such a thing. She watched as confusion set in, and anger started to rise in her like bile. «How can he not realize that he...?» She thought, once again feeling hands groping her, carrying her off to some location. She shut her eyes forcifully, her hands grabbing at her hair, willing the demons to cease haunting her. "You should leave..."

She felt a physical hand on her arm, and shook it off, retreating to the other side of the bed. Her eyes scanned the room and then landed on his face, fear etched in the calming blue orbs. "Please..." She whispered desperately, and watched as he put on his pants and walked dejectedly out of the room.

Moments passed, and her eyes never shied away from his absent form. "Why didn't you just ask....?" She questionned the ghost of his form.

***

Gil shut the door quietly behind him and walked to his car in a trance. He climbed in, and sat there: hands gripping the steering-wheel, staring straight ahead.

He turned the ignition, bringing the Tahoe to life, and pulled out of her driveway. Casting one more glance at her house, he headed out to the lab. Knowing that he still had a good 6 hours until his shift, he still decided to go in and work on case reviews - anything to get his mind off the empty feeling that now dwelled in his heart.

***

Catherine was still staring at the door, feeling used and betrayed. She headed over to the bathroom and took a long shower, trying to wash the memories away. She leaned against the wall, letting the water splash against her face.

What she couldn't understand was, the dashes of memories were strange, not comforting. She wrapped her arms around her frame, hugging herself close; Gil always emanated comfort...«he wouldn't betray me like that.» She thought to herself, «it's not in his nature.» She knelt down in the tub, placing her head in her hands, willing herself to think straight through the pounding that was going through her mind.

She finished up her shower and went downstairs to make something to eat. On the landing, she braced herself against the wall as a wave of dizziness hit her. Her eyes began to close against her will, and she lazily made her way to the couch. Collapsing against the deep cushions, she stared at the ceiling, feeling it move and twirl in different directions.

"God...." She clutched her stomach, her eyes slowly drifting shut.

***

Gil looked up from his desk as Jim entered. He had been there for a good five and a half-hours, and expected his team to slowly filter in. His cell phone was on beside him and he kept eyeing it.

"How's Catherine doing?" Jim asked, taking a seat in front of the Graveshift supervisor.

Gil shrugged, averting his eyes. "She's okay ... I don't expect her to come in today."

There was an awkward pause contained with Gil looking down at his hands and Jim took the moment to study him. "How are you doing?" He questionned.

Gil took in a deep breath and looked at Jim, head cocked to the side. He raised his eyerbrows, as if that could replace the words he feared to say. Gil shrugged, words still not present inside, and he glanced at the objects Jim placed in front of him: his gun, Catherine's cellphone and a folded piece of paper.

"The tox results from Catherine's drink."

Gil nodded, his eyes scanning the paper. "Ketamine." He let the paper drop the short distance to his desk. "Hallucinations, distorted perceptions of sight and sounds, loss of coordination, vomiting..." He pounded his fist on the table. "That son of a bitch." He took a deep breath, trying to calm down.

"Did she sleep at all?" Jim asked, knowing that Gil had taken her home.

Gil nodded and looked at the paper again. "I thought it was rohypnol ..." he paused, "well, that explains a lot."

Jim looked up. "What?"

"Transference ... she's associating me with her attacker." Gil let out a sad sigh. "It'll pass ... I hope." He added, as an after-thought.

Jim stood up, and reached over the desk, giving Gil's shoulder a pat. "We'll get him." He reassured the supervisor and left, heading towards the precinct.

***

Catherine's eyes slowly fluttered open and she sat up groggily. She felt considerably better, and hoped the side-effects of whatever was in her system would soon be filtered out. She shuddered involuntarily, images and noises had clouded her dreams. Images of him, touching her, hurting her. A bathroom had materialized, where fists were flying and people were restraining Gil, but they let him go, let him go back to her - hands now dwarfing her frame. She shook her head, and walked slowly to the kitchen, and picked up an apple. Munching, she glanced at the clock, noting that she had but fifteen minutes to get to work. She hesitated at the door - afraid of being alone with her best-friend.

She stepped back inside and called a cab - opting to pay a few extra bucks rather than risk her life should another dizzy spell hit her.

***

Stepping into the lab, Catherine eyed everyone suspiciously, a sinking feeling in the pit of her tummy lying to her that everyone knew of her vulnerability. She walked to the break room and sat down, opening a can of soda. She watched as Sara and Nick walked in, bickering amicably about woman's intent on asking a man what he does for a living.

They both smiled a hello and sat down across from her. Warrick walked in, sitting down beside Catherine. He placed a hand on her shoulder, "hey." When she flinched, he looked at her, concern visible in his eyes.

"Sorry..." She muttered, relieved that no one knew. «I guess he didn't tell anyone...» She thought to herself. «Maybe he pleaded the fifth?» She asked herself, still unsure whether or not to trust the images that floated through her mind.

Her eyes rose to his form as he entered the room, handing out assignments. She watched as Nick and Sara made their way to a 217 on the strip, while Warrick had a hit-and-run case to investigate. "What about me?" She stood up, but keeping her distance. She felt more than heard him sigh. She watched him battle with himself, and as he turned to face her, she took a step back, absent-mindedly putting her arms up in defence, as if to protect herself. He took a step closer, reaching out to her, wanting to show that his intent could do no harm but stopped short at her words, "please, don't..."

Gil dropped his head to his chest. «I won't hurt you, Catherine...I'd never hurt you.» "Go home, Catherine...rest." He didn't look her in the eye, and turned, heading towards his office.

Catherine lingered in the break-room for a little while, hoping that he would come back and ... «and what?» She questionned herself. Sensing another presence in the room, she whipped around, paranoia still present in her state.

"Catherine, how are you feeling?" Jim asked, stepping up to her.

She smiled weakly. "Okay, I guess." There was a pause and her need-to-know took control of her mouth. "What happened?"

"I got a call, a 925 turned into a possible 220, so I raced there as fast as I can." He began to explain.

"Last thing I really remember was heading to Granby's ... it's so lonely at home." She dropped her voice at the end.

"Do you remember any suspicious looking guys around?" Jim asked, knowing that Catherine, as the victim, would have to I.D. the suspect.

She nodded. "I know, I have to make an I.D..." She sat down on the edge of the table. "What happened, Jim? I have recollections and images ... these thoughts just haunt me and I don't know what to believe anymore." Catherine dropped her head to her chest.

Jim sighed, and sat beside her. "Ketamine was diluted in your drink, and I'm guessing the man we have in custody right now, was the cause, and I doubt his intentions were anything but pure."

Catherine looked up at Jim. "I'm sorry - I don't remember this man, or any man for that matter." She bit her trembling lip. "For some reason ... all I see is Gil, and it scares me."

Jim shrugged, unperturbed. "The side-effects of Ketamine involve hallucinations and distorted perceptions of sight and sound..." He placed a hand over hers, not caring whether she tensed up or not. "Gil was there ... but he's the one who saved you."

«Hasn't he always?» A lost voice stepped up. Catherine looked at Jim, wanting him to confirm what he just said. "He was there?"

Jim nodded. "I think as soon as you started feeling drowsy, you called him and he went to you. Kicked down the door to the bathroom where the suspect was going to most probably rape you."

"He kicked down the door?" Catherine asked, the warmth coming back to her body.

Jim nodded. "Just like in the movies..." He chuckled but then grew serious. "He was like a madman, Catherine. It took three of us to restrain him ... pummelling the guy 'till no ends."

Catherine looked down on the ground and continued listening to the captain.

"He struggled out of our grasps, and carried you to his car, refusing to let you go to the hospital - not because he wasn't concerned, but because he knew what he was doing. He wanted to watch over you, knowing that the drugs would filter out of your system by themselves."

"He took me to my place...reality would only hit me once in awhile ... I remember this hold on me, it was safe but frightening at the same time, he wouldn't let me go!" Catherine became a little more agitated.

"He couldn't let you go, Catherine." Jim paused. "You know Gil...when he cares, he cares hard."

Catherine nodded. "He brought me home, he stayed with me the whole night -"

" - and you weren't a pretty picture either." Jim interrupted. "Vomit, beer...your clothes were soaked."

Catherine put her head in her hands and sighed aloud. "And I kicked him out..." She dropped her hands to her side. "I'm such an ingrate." She muttered, disgusted with herself. "I can't believe that I actually thought he -" She stopped herself and looked at Jim, worry caressing her angelic features.

"Catherine ... Gil would never -"

" - I know, I know -" She interrupted him.

" - to you of all people -" He continued.

" - I was just confused -" She explained.

" - He's hurting real bad." Jim ended the ping-pong dialogue. "You know when I said that when he cares, he cares too much?" Jim asked.

Catherine nodded and waited for Jim to press on further. After several moments of silence, Catherine drew in a breath. "That's it?"

Jim shook his head. "It's not the end." From the window he pointed to Gil's empty parking space. "Right now, the man who's always been there for you, needs you to return the favour."

Catherine smiled a grateful thanks and headed out the door, towards the parking lot.

"Catherine!"

She turned at the sound of Jim's voice.

"Just remember that Gil won't hurt you." It was almost a plea.

Suddenly, Gil's voice floated through her mind, and in a moment of clarity, his words, "trust me" buzzed throughout her body. She smiled, staring directly at Jim. "Call me a cab, Jim." She said, her brilliant smile lighting up the room.

***

Gil leaned against his kitchen counter, cursing himself for putting his pride before her safety. He was about to move to his bedroom for some much needed sleep, physically and emotionally demanding, when a quiet knock caught his attention. Walking over to the door, he opened it, letting out a breath he felt he had held since he first woke up to her that morning. "Catherine." He breathed out.

"Touch me." She blurted out.

Gil took a step back in shock, which Catherine took as an opportunity to infiltrate his home. "What?" He absentmindedly closed the door, turning towards her slowly.

"Gil, touch me." Her voice was in control, inciting.

Gil lagged slightly, cautiously making his way to his deity. "Cath, I - ..." He searched her eyes.

Catherine stepped up to him and taking his hand with both of hers, she guided it to her breast. Closing her eyes, she mumbled, "I want to feel you feel me..." As she pressed her chest into his fingers that moulded to the contours.

Drinking in her beauty, he kept his eyes on her, as he allowed her hands to control his; his thumb finally working on its own accord. He traced lazy circles around her nipple, feeling it through her t-shirt. "Catherine . . ." He withdrew his hand.

She opened her eyes slowly. "I'm sorry..." she countered, guiding him to the couch. "These images and voices, and I was so scared..." the words just tumbled out of her mouth. "When I woke up and you were there, I just jumped the gun, thinking you took advantage of me...when I really took advantage of you, of your generous nature." She looked down, afraid he'd see the unshed tears in her eyes.

She pushed him down on the couch, and knelt beside him. "Thank you for saving me, then and now." She gently pressed her lips to his, cocooned in the warmth of his mouth. A moan caught in her throat and was freed into his mouth, as he deepened the kiss, his hands finding her waist and pulling her onto his lap.

His tongue hungered for the creamy skin of her neck and he sought it out, tasting her hungrily, almost devotingly.

Catherine pressed herself into him, her arms weaving around his neck, holding herself close. She sighed when she felt his arousal press against her core, and she slowly moved against it, material rubbing against material.

The bedroom...please..." She placed feather-light kisses from his temple to his jaw.

Gil lifted her up, and she wrapped her legs around his waist. One hand lay flat against her back, while the other cupped her firm buttock, provoking her to push herself further against him. He stopped at the door of his bedroom. "Are you sure?"

Catherine looked him in the eye, and her features softened with the pure smile she shared only with him, "I trust you."

--Finis--