TITLE: Better Than That


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

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


SPOILERS: Burden of Proof (2-15)

SUMMARY: He wanted to promise her the stars...


Gil Grissom sat at his desk, enjoying the solitude of his office. He glanced up slightly, eyes drinking in a simple yet touching picture encased in a silver frame: a gift from a little blond girl he wished he could one day call his own.

A loud slapping noise jarred him out of his reverie, and his gaze leapt to her form.

Catherine Willows had been standing in the doorway, waiting to be acknowledged by her supervisor; a little put off her that her presence had gone unnoticed. But when she saw his eyes travel towards the picture of Gil and Lindsey that her daughter had given him, a warmth spread through her. Tired of flitting around a subject that hindered their growth, not only as CSIs but as human beings as well, she had surfaced near his office with a playful intent to put an end to their doubts. Paper reposing on the table, she awaited his response.

"What's this?" Gil asked, his eyes trailing up her body to finally rest on her comforting beauty. He read the paper and broke out into a grin. "...because you feel your skills are going unnoticed?" He asked, eyebrow raised. "You know you're one of the best CSIs around - I remind you all the time."

Catherine leaned forward, her eyes levelling his. "Who said anything about 'CSI' related skills?" She asked impishly, turning on her heel and heading towards the door.

Gil opened his mouth, but no sound came out. He watched her reach the door and called after her, "what do you want me to do - buy you a plant?" He joked, suddenly realising the somewhat honest undertone that lay lightly dormant behind the accusations.

"Oh, I'm sure you can think of something better than that." And with that, she continued on her way, leaving behind the desired cocoon of his aura, knowing that the stoic look that adorned his face would disappear with her departure; a serious, worried expression in line to take its place. She knew him well, a little too well, and knew this was one of the only methods to provoke him into taking action. She felt a heel for abusing his gentle nature, but she knew it would be worth it, all due to the positive repercussions that would soon follow.

Gil nervously chewed his lower lip, still part of a now uneasy smile. He glanced back down at the paper, his fingers lightly tracing over the word 'resignation', printed in black, bold lettering. He eyed the clock, mouthing his calculations as he gathered his belongings and headed for the door. Reaching for the lock, he threw one last smile towards the mini-deity in his life and headed for the parking lot. For the first time in his life, Gil Grissom left work early, though aware of his soon to be hasty return.

Catherine pulled up in the Crime Lab's parking lot. Claiming her space, she walked to the front doors, suspiciously taking in her surroundings. «I swear Gil, if there's a plant with my name...» Stepping in front of the receptionist, she smiled a 'hello'. "I was called with an urgent message left for me?" A tight smile tried to hide her brewing frustrations, a deadly mix of one part cryptic receptionist and two parts clueless supervisor with a dash of blissful ignorance.

"Yes Miss Willows, this note was left for you." She smiled brightly, unaware of the festering anger that was accumulating in the fiery strawberry-blond's body.

Nerves causing her to act with ire, she tore open the simple white envelope and read the note. Crumpling it up, she rolled her eyes as she headed towards the fire-escape stairs, threatening the blue-eyed man along the way.
"So I thought you'd never show." He said, waiting for her at the top of the stairs.

"Gil, couldn't this have been said over the phone?" She replied, exhaustion quickly replacing her fuelling fury.

He gave her a timid smile and motioned the rooftop with a nod. "Close your eyes." He ordered her gently, ignoring her previous question.

Catherine closed her eyes, though her eyebrow remained peaked, revealing her confusion and disbelief.

"Promise to keep them closed?" He grinned, opening the door and holding it open with his foot. He leaned over, guiding her with his hand lightly touching the small of her back. "Okay, step down." He voiced a few directions, until he had her standing out in the crisp evening breeze.

"Now what?" She asked, impatiently.

"Just keep your eyes closed."

She heard him shuffling about behind her, and ached to turn around and shed light on the situation. "Please Gil, I'm not a particular seven year old girl who can't curb her excitement." She muttered, though a smile surfaced at the mention of her high-spirited daughter.

"Please, where do you think Lindsey gets it from?" He his monotonous voice still held enough jest to incite a giggle. "Just in case though..."

She felt him step up behind her, straightening as his aura infiltrated her senses. Her head minutely lolled back upon feeling silky material caress her hindered eyesight. Shivers taunted as his hands brushed against the back of her neck as she felt his hands busy with the blindfold.

He noted the tension that held her body captive, and placed his large hands on each of her bare shoulders. He leaned in, his chest lightly brushing her back, and he felt her tilt slightly, demanding more contact. Her actions fuelled his confidence and he brought his mouth close to her ear, adoring her goosebumped reaction as his breath whispered by. "Trust me..."

He took a step back, his eyes never leaving her being as they roamed her beauty, memorising curves and forms along the way. A half-smile echoed his worry, and he took a deep, determined breath before reaching down and picking up a large glass jar. His eyes lit up, and his courage augmented as he gently unscrewed the cover.

"Open your eyes."

His voiced urgency caused her to claw at the blindfold, her eyes to snapping open. She froze, finding herself gently cocooned in the amiable glow of dozens upon dozens of fireflies mingling around her body. She turned slightly, watching as some curiously strayed towards Gil while other explorers braved the darkened horizon. "Gil..."

Touched. Speechless. Loved.

He smiled, holding out a hand to her, inciting her to dare her body closer to his. "I want to promise you the stars, Catherine." He let out a shy chuckle, taking in the glow that each firefly haloed around her. "I figured this was the next best thing." His eyes claimed her body a little longer, taking in her features as each was lit by the fireflies' dance.

She smiled, as she watched his childlike eyes break from their gaze, and take in the luminescenced insects with intrigue and respect.

"It's almost like walking through the Milky Way." His eyes jumped down excitedly to hers, meeting her with a youthful smile.

The lights took years off his face, allowing the boyish, playful looks to overpower the stern supervisor that had been sitting in a sterilised office hours before.

He gripped her hand tighter, his eyes imploring permission to indulge his dream's desire. Leaning in, his lips gently teased hers before committing to a tender kiss – each brush recounting the years his love had grown.

She responded, her hand finding his cheek as the glow of the fireflies still echoed around them.

"So..." He breathed, his eyes seeking truth in her heavenly face. "How'd I do?" He needed some affirmation from her, some sign that his intentions, his passion merited her love.

"Much better than a plant." She winked impishly, her gaze now following the fireflies cavorting with one another. Her eyes lulled closed upon feeling his lips press delicately against hers again.

Shyly, he tasted the softness of her lips – tenderly expressing his own devotion to her. Absence of contact forced his eyes to open abruptly as he stared at her with a fearful expression. "What?" Curiosity and worry laced his anxious voice.

"But Gil..." She traced the contours of his lips with her index finger, as a Cheshire smile crept into view. "Surely you can do better than –that–?"

He grinned, pressing his body against her as his mouth attacked hers with the desire he had for so long tried to restrain. His tongue pushed past her lips, claiming the area he had easily accessed. Her taste branded, he groaned against her mouth upon feeling her gently suck on his tongue.

"I want more..." She panted, eyes darkening with fervour. "Show me what you've been afraid to do..." Her lips licking and nipping at his neck's sensitive skin. Her tongue tickled him behind his ear and she felt his body respond to her teasing.

His eyes found hers and he nodded silently, mouth open and breathing deeply; lust riding out with each breath expelled. His eyes suddenly darted up, and he held her close as they watched the last three fireflies lose interest and give in to their journeyed desires.

"They're all gone..." She said, somewhat saddened by their hasty departure. Her stare followed them until their light mingled with those of the stars above, and finally melted into the sky.

"No matter where they end up – they'll always be yours." He said, his gaze traversing the illuminated sky, as Catherine's stars smiled down on them.