TITLE: Give Me Strength

AUTHOR: Gomey (grissomsgnome@yahoo.com)

RATING: R

SPOILERS: Inside the Box (3-23)

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

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

NOTES: Finally was able to see ItB and loved it to bits and this lil' idea popped into my head.

Cheers!

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He eyed her, touched by her intent on seeing him; wishing him good luck. 'Good luck' - two words that gave him the serenity he craved. Walking up to her, he stood facing, eyes travelling over nature's beauty, cherishing the twinkle in her eyes, her punctuated nose and her gloss kissed lips, surrounded by the flawless glow of her complexion. He brought his gaze back to her eyes, but her lips threw a temptation, and he couldn't help but steal one last glance before holding her stare. "Thank you...«for showing me that hope exists in this dying world» for being here." He substituted a safer word cluster, afraid of voicing his thoughts.

She smiled, her hands slowly floating up, affected by his words. She glided them over the material of the hospital gown; her hands trailing from his biceps up to his shoulders and then around his neck, hugging him close. She sighed, feeling his arms gently wrap around her, embracing her in his warmth. Her eyes drifted close, a gentle smile carved by her lips - the sensation now branded in her mind.

Gil exhaled slowly, his eyes darting around the room, trying to comprehend and control the buzz that coursed through his veins. He could feel himself reacting to their intimate proximity, and knowing full-well that the thin hospital gown would only reveal more than intended, he pulled back, drinking in her stand-still moment: eyes closed and lips still slightly parted from the sigh that she had shared.

In a moment's dare, he bent down, pressing his lips feather-ly to hers, brushing for about a second's worth, before breaking contact and addressing the nurse, "I don't need that." He followed his pointed finger, walking away from his bravery, leaving the risk behind. He scrubbed a hand over his face, appalled at his behaviour and dreading his return to the lab; her confrontational eyes able to break through the shelter he had erected around him.

Catherine remained for a breath, registering the heat from his lips and opening her eyes but a beat too late. She turned around only to see his figure walk away from cowardice and face his destiny. She knew it wasn't the end: Gil Grissom's purpose was not yet fulfilled, and she knew that great things were in store for this man. A smile crept, and her eyes slowly drifted down the smooth skin of his exposed back, her eyes roaming and tasting below the belt.

***

He saw her through his closed eyes, and his hand tightened against the strong hold of hers. His head ached, but it paled to the sense of completion that her presence held.

"Welcome back."

The soothing words caressed his ears, and his heart skipped a beat, content on having her voice to be the first to infiltrate his audio senses post-surgery. His eyes remained closed, but a lazy smile was uncovered, provoked by her aura. «She stayed with me...?» His vision remained dark by his own will, afraid that his eyes would reveal the one thing that could destroy their treasured relationship.

"Let's get you home." It was a whisper, but it draped a blanket of security over him, willing him to understand that no harm would come his way.

Eyes slowly focussed, and he gave her hand a little squeeze; his message of thanks to her. Words still lingered in his throat - words he longed to say but only found the means to voice them in his deepened slumber.

***

Days turned into weeks, and routines re-established themselves, patterns returning to comfort though nagging thoughts still festered on back-burners and for some, right on the tip of their nose.

Gil sat in his office, eyes on the paper but thoughts elsewhere. He looked up suddenly, surprised by her being, words having just exited her mouth.

"Don't tell me the surgery didn't work?" She asked bluntly, sitting down on the edge of his desk.

He smiled at her concern, dismissing her fear with a wave of his hand. "Just lost in thought."

"Penny?" She asked, offering an ear. "What were you thinking about?"

«You.» "Nothing." «Your smile.» "Wasn't important." He dropped his gaze back to the paper in view, searching for a plausible place of foolery. «Your eyes.» "I've been zoning out as of late." «Your laugh.» "Just really tired, I guess." «Your smell, your generosity, your caring nature, your sense of comfort...» The list kept tumbling in his mind and he let out a secret smile as the thoughts kept accumulating.

"A joke?" She picked up on his grin.

He smiled and shook his head, giving her a minute wink. "It's fine." He offered, then gazed into her eyes, his twitching ever so slightly into a narrow, contemplating her state. "What about you?" His eyes drifted back to his paper, afraid of losing himself in the tranquil waters of her eyes.

She cocked her head to the side, swallowing hard. She knew it had to be tackled, but she feared she would crumble under the repercussions. «One foot at a time...» She told herself, clearing her throat. "That night, at the hospital..."

Gil's eyes snapped up from the paper to rest on her face, and a sharp intake of air on his behalf telepathically willed her to cease the topic of conversation. "Yeah...thanks again for coming to see me, for staying with me all -"

" - you kissed me that night." She interrupted him.

Silence waltzed by, twirling around each body before retreating off stage.

Sensing no more development, no answers nor questions, Catherine slid off the edge of his desk and headed towards the door.

"I can still feel your lips against mine."

It was at that moment that she realized that a breathy murmur could bring a stampede to a standstill. She turned slowly on the ball of her foot, facing him. Her hand reached behind her, and she fumbled, finally shutting the door. "Why haven't you talked to me?" She advanced, standing in front of his desk.

He looked at her, worry controlling his features.

Walking over to his side of the desk, she knelt in front of him, putting a supportive hand on his knee. "What are you afraid of?" She asked, bordering on a desperate plea to open the drawbridge that allowed access across his mote of privacy.

His knee spasmed under her touch, and he clenched his fist, frustrated at the lack of control he had over his own body. "I ..." He looked to the ceiling, tilting his head, resting it against the back of the chair.

"You're the strongest person I know." Catherine's truth, haven words travelled, caressing him with a sense of belonging.

He reached down, cupping her cheek with his hand. His thumb tasted her lips while the rest of his fingers mated with her silk woven hair. "Cath..." His warm breath reached her, her name not far behind. "You are my strength."

A smile echoed through her bitten lip, and she encased his hand within her own. "Draw strength from me, Gil." She coaxed him, climbing on to his lap.

Light traces of his hands held her back - yet sensations powerful enough to cajole shivers into her system. She exhaled a grin as her chest met his, arms toying with the peppered curls at the base of his neck. She leaned forward, foreheads exchanging warmth with each other while her smiles held each other at bay.

A brush. A nip. Unsatisfactory. Breathe. Charge. Collide.

His tongue sought hers, drinking in her being. He moaned against her, as her teeth grazed his lower lip, feeling her gently tug it, sucking it into her mouth. Bruised lips smiled in triumph as they stared at each other.

"God Cath..." He tucked a stray lock of golden hair, reaching to place several feathered kisses along her cheek, inching ever so slowly to the corner of her mouth. Lip against lip, he tried to convey his love, lust, affection, respect...his everything to her.

Catherine wrestled out of his lipped grasp and she journeyed to his neck, forcing his head into a tilt as her mouth ravished the sensitive skin.

He moaned, his eyes floating closed as his hands roamed her back, falling to her toned buttocks. Hand fulls pressed her core closer to him, and he swallowed a groan as he felt her rub against his growing arousal.

She pulled back slightly, mischief glimmering brightly. Her eyes followed her hand's lead as it trailed down his chest, falling on to his arousal. Giving it a light squeeze, she leaned in, her breath tickling his ear. "You up for it?"

"...once I regain my strength." His own Puckish attitude materialized, leaning in once again, but this time to seal their undying love with a kiss.

–Finis–