TITLE: Our Highs and Lows
ARCHIVE: Anywhere, just let me know so I can brag...
SPOILERS: High and Low (3-10) and brief mention of Justice is Served (1-20)
DISCLAIMER: All known characters and premises belong to their respective owners. So there.
SUMMARY: Things get a little heated after Catherine confronts her secretive supervisor.
Catherine stopped in front of her supervisor's office; her eyes travelling his form, taking in his somewhat tense state. She took a deep breath, and walked in, speaking before his acknowledgement. "Closed that murder I was working." She decided a safe route would be to keep the conversation on work related topics, instead of a more important issue that was plaguing her thoughts. "A man's life for a dog's life for a mulberry tree. Sometimes I wonder if people are meant to live together."
Gil finally glanced up, his eyes roaming her beauty before finding his voice. "Well, you know what they say -- 'good fences make good neighbours.'" He muttered, his eyes darting to his screen before returning to her.
"Then you'd make a great neighbour..." Catherine jested, though she hoped that he would pick up the soft truth laced within.
Gazes held as both tried to read the other out, and finally Gil's eyes returned back to the screen, a small grumble of confirmation drifting by.
Her light chuckle mingled with his mumble and she pressed on. "New case?"
Gil's eyes continued to soak in the information in front of him – giving him insight to the ailments and treatments of his pending disease. "Ongoing." He offered, almost uninterested. His fear of succumbing to the silence that inevitably would take over his life, had caused him to withdraw more and more from the world. He didn't necessarily enjoy his solitude – he had no choice, for his ponderation lead him to accept that 'it was his disease, thus his problem'.
Catherine sighed, hating being shut out by the man she thought a special relationship had formed throughout the years. Determination and love pushed her to inquire further, and she leaned over his desk, straining to see the computer screen. "Oh...bugs." She deadpanned, grimacing slightly as she caught view of the webpage changing abruptly. She withdrew slightly and walked around the desk, now standing behind him.
Gil straightened up slightly, his face donning a frown. He shifted nervously in his seat, as his eyes followed her form, and his nose trailed her scent. He felt her stop behind him, and he awaited her next move.
It felt like an eternity, and both beings just soaked each other's energy, a general feeling of completion in the air.
Gil began to relax a bit, assuming the strawberry-blonde was merely reading over his shoulder, though he was a little taken aback by her sudden interest in the entomological world.
In an unexpected movement, Catherine swiped the back of his head. "Enjoy." She huffed, ire no longer being able to be contained.
"Cath!" Gil held the back of his head, more out of shock. "What did you do that for?" His voice raised two octaves, incomprehension trailing his words.
"Bugs...Gil? Bugs?!" She cleared the papers off his desk in frustration, her anger now bubbling at his refusal to deal with the issue at hand.
Gil sat back in his chair, watching her pace the room before glancing at the mess of papers on the floor. "Are you going to clean that up?" He asked, a little harshly if only for the confusion that he found himself surrounded by.
"Right after you clean up this!" She motioned back and forth between them.
He placed his elbow on his desk, hand cradling his cheek as a sigh escaped his lips. "I don't know what to say."
"That seems to happen a lot, doesn't it?" She said with acidity. "God Gil...how long were you going to keep this from me?"
He unconsciously shut down his computer. "You...uh, know." He stated, not meeting her eyes. "How?"
Catherine sat down in front of his desk. "I read the signs Gil." She dropped her eyes to the ground, "and I uh...I checked your computer." Her voice leveled, instilling confidence in her actions without regret.
Gil's eyes snapped to hers and he leaned on the desk. "You went through my computer." He repeated, his eyes burning with anger.
Catherine leaned forward too, until her face was mere inches from his. She didn't vocalize, but her eyes confirmed that no fear was present; she knew he would never harm her. She had realized that the only way that these matters would be opened for discussion if trickery was present. A slight pang of guilt caressed her mind – hurting her supervisor was not amongst actions her heart could bear, but if it meant ultimately saving their relationship, the risk would be attempted.
Gil's jaw tightened as he gazed heatedly into her eyes. He breathed heavily through his nose, trying to calm his injured spirit. "Close the door." His voice was loud, but controlled and forced the strawberry-blonde back slightly.
Catherine closed the door and leaned against it, staring straight ahead at the blue-eyed man pacing the area behind his desk.
"Sit down." He barked, feeling the heat rise in the room. He was trying to command his temper; feeling betrayed that she would feel the need to investigate his own personal matters, behind his back.
Catherine narrowed her eyes, before pushing herself from the door and sitting down in front of him. She kept her mouth closed, she too breathing sharply through her nose.
"I can't believe you would go through my stuff, Catherine!" Gil yelled, raking a hand through his hair. "I thought you trusted me more than that...respected me more than that."
Catherine stared at him wide-eyed. "You want to talk about trust, Gil?" Pointing to his computer, she shared her thoughts, "I had to search through your computer history to see what you were hiding!" She glanced at him, unbelieving that she had to validate her actions. "I thought we were friends."
"We were." He replied through gritted teeth.
"Oh, very mature." She dismissed his venomous remark. "When were you planning on telling me about your condition?"
"It's called otosclerosis, Cath – oh, why am I explaining..." He paused, cocking his head to the side, "you already know!"
Catherine dropped her head to her chest. "Yeah, I read up on it, because I was concerned, Gil." She stood up, walking over to his side of the desk. "You began to withdraw, hide yourself in your office." She dropped her gaze to the floor. "More importantly, you were distancing yourself from me..."
Gil held his breath, taking a step closer. "I didn't know I hurt you, Cath...believe me when I say that I would never do anything to jeopardize our friendship." He brought a hand to cup her cheek, lightly stroking it with his thumb. He leaned in closer, his lips opening in anticipation, "but what you did was invasion of privacy!" He raised his voice again.
Warrick glanced at the young lab rat, ear pressed to the door. "Greg." He raised his eyebrow. "What are you doing?"
"Shh..." Greg tried to quiet the tall CSI. "They're fighting...Grissom's really letting Catherine have it this time."
"What, again?" Warrick sighed, taking a place beside Greg. "I'm sure Catherine's not backing down, though."
"Are you kidding? She's been yelling as much as he has." Greg shook his head.
Catherine took a step back, mouth open wide with surprise. She pressed her lips tightly together, throwing him an accusing stare. "And you were withholding information!"
"I wasn't with-holding anything that I didn't want to share!" He looked at her perplexed. "What, you think I have a duty to tell you everything?"
Greg cringed. "Ooh, bad choice of words..."
Nick walked by, and watched the two eavesdroppers with intrigue. "What's going on?" His thick Texan accent was immediately shushed by Greg.
"What, again?" Nick asked, pressing his ear to the door. "How bad has he screwed things up this time?"
Catherine held on to the desk for support. She let out a deep breath, blinking away the tears. "Well."
"Catherine..." Gil started, but sighed instead of continuing.
"No, no you're right. You don't owe me anything Gil." She nodded and walked towards the door. "I just thought that, after all we've been through...you might have wanted to share something with me."
Greg's eyes grew wide. "Guys! She's..."
Catherine swung open the door, and leaned back slightly, eyeing two CSIs and a lab tech standing petrified in front of the door. She opened her mouth, then dismissed the moment with a wave of her hand. Pushing past them, she shouldered her bag and headed to the parking lot.
All three men slowly leaned, glancing in the supervisor's office.
"It's empty." Greg said slowly, as confusion to Gil's whereabouts arose. "Do you think he's -"
Greg's words were interrupted by the door slamming in all of their faces.
Gil rested his forehead against the door, his balled up fist readying to pound it. He hated fighting with her, and more-so, he hated himself for the things he had just said. "But she had no right to snoop around." He told himself aloud, his anger and remorse battling a fierce war on the battlegrounds of his heart.
Gil sighed, stepping into his office and tossing his jacket on the couch. He sat heavily in his chair and stared at the ceiling, reflecting the recent moments passed with his blonde counterpart. Their relationship already fragile – crumbling due to his actions, seemed to shatter even more as each case hobbled by.
He had been forced to work alongside her in a case that required her blood spatter analysis expertise and amidst the cold stares, harsh remarks and avoidance, he found himself unable to approach her to make amends. After the collection of evidence, they sat suspended in a contortioned silence as the Tahoe made way back to the lab. When he assumed the tension couldn't strangle him anymore, he realized that all lines of communication between them were severed, as Catherine seemed to have hired the rest of the team as homing pigeons. Their knowing stares were piteous yet caustic, and he knew that his worth in their eyes must have decreased over his disagreement with Catherine. The only one not giving him the brush-off was Sara, but Gil was aware of her reasons behind her actions: he knew of her infatuation with him, and he feared that it would only be a moment's wake before the brunette would make some sort of uncomfortable approach.
He fingered the case notes in his pocket and re-read them, all seemingly written with no emotion at all. Crumpling them up, he shoved them roughly into his pocket, his hand curling with stress.
Catherine slammed her locker shut, thankful that shift was finally over. She had her morning planned: go home to an empty house courtesy of Lindsey's sleepover party, ponder her current relationship with Gil and then drink herself into the next day. Her thoughts fluttered back to moments prior, and she started seething that their current status wasn't bothering him as much as it was affecting her. The more she thought about his reactions, the more frustrated she became. Giving her locker a sucker- punch, she decided the pay the mad scientist a visit.