Disclaimers et all in chapter one.
Catherine pushed open the heavy metal door to one of the lesser-used morgue rooms. Keeping her foot from letting the door closed, she scanned the barren room. "Greg?" She called out softly, her voice lowering as a natural reflex whenever in the entertainment of such a sombre vicinity. She heard a noise from the far corner, where a door was ajar and a soft light's glow filtered through. Taking off her shoe and using it as a doorjamb, she instinctively went to investigate the curious noise.
Poking her head in the door, her inquisitive state was replaced with ire. "Oh, it's only you." She leaned against the door, arms folded across her chest. "What are you doing here?"
Gil casually glanced up at her, shrugged and then went back to observing one of the corpses. Silence ensued save for the loud crinkling that the body bag produced as Gil side-stepped on it; his focus still donated to the body in front of him.
Catherine observed him, swallowing hard. His concentration and devotion had always been a strong turn-on, and she often imagined being the center of such attention. He wasn't outgoing, but she had the strongest of suspicions that he was a passionate lover - his dedication to whatever he set his mind and heart on being the strongest intention to achieving not just satisfaction, but complete bliss.
And she wanted to feel that. She wanted to feel him...wanted to feel him feeling her.
Her eyes focussed on his body, still hunched over the DB in the tiny room. "What?"
"Greg told me that Robbins wanted me to help him with a body...something about being backed up at the morgue." He prodded the lifeless being and leaned back slightly, observing it. "I thought it was this one, but it's already been autopsies." He traced along the Y-incision, feeling the ridges and bumps beneath his latex-clad finger. "As have all the others." He pointed to the other bags, most of them sealed.
Catherine let out a disgusted grunt, watching Gil zip up the bag. "Greg told me that the DB from the case I wrapped up yesterday had been wrongfully disposed here." She scrubbed a hand across her face. "He wanted me to ID the body and - "
Her words were interrupted by a loud metal-on-metal slam and she leaned back, glancing at the door. Her eyes went wide, burning with anger as she saw the little lab rat holding up her shoe, on the other side of the window. She flashed him the finger as he pointed at the shoe, and then rubbed one hand underneath his eye, in a blatant crying-jest. She glanced back at her supervisor, who, still unperturbed, was now observing another body. "This doesn't bother you?" She waited, watching him with a festering frustration. "Grissom!" She yelled, trying to analyse the confusion in his eyes when he finally looked up at her. "What the hell is your problem! The door just - "
He watched her turn away from him, his eyes having seen movement in her mouth, but his ears not registering her verbal action. He closed his eyes, cursing his condition.
Awaiting a response, she whipped around only to find him in his own little world; head tilted slightly to the side, eyes gently closed with a furrowed brow. Curiosity and a twinge of worry crept up, denying anger to continue its boil. "Grissom." She said quietly, stepping closer when he failed to respond. "Gil..." It was a little louder this time.
He jumped when he felt her hand on his forearm; her eyes searching his for well-kept secrets. "Sorry, I thought you left." He mumbled, hoping his voice carried out his mind's blind message.
She jerked her thumb over her shoulder. "I just told you that Greg took my shoe, which was the door-jam, which was effectively keeping the door from locking closed." She babbled, pointing to her right foot, now boastingly bare. "That little rat!" She charged the door, banging on it hard before letting her nails scrape at the stainless steel exterior.
He glanced towards her direction and then back at the body in front of him. "So...Greg told me that Robbins needed help here, and clearly that's not the case." He pointed at Catherine, signalling her explanation.
"Greg told me that I had to come to this particular room to ID a body from a case that I recently closed." She pursed her lips, looking her supervisor in the eye all the while trying to process many worrying thoughts at the same time.
"And said rat just ran off with our door-jam."
The two stood in silence, staring at one another whilst trying to assess the damage caused and the future destruction that suspiciously lay in waiting.
"I think it was a message." Gil finally said, breaking the muted atmosphere.
"Y'think?" She huffed, falling back heavily against the wall, before sliding down to a sitting position. She brought her knees up to her chest, resting her forearms on top of them. She glanced up at her supervisor, watching his attention slowly deter back to the dead body in front of him.
"Hmm." He muttered, examining the body from a lower angle.
"Hmm what?" Her tone was slightly irate, as the realisation of being stranded with 'Mr. Awkward' finally hit.
"I wonder how he died." He poked the body, looking for any hints as to the cause of death.
"Maybe he pissed off his best-friend."
He glanced up, sensing a threat in her monotonous delivery, before taking a step closer towards the body and further away from the fuming strawberry-blonde.
"I can't believe Greg had the nerve to lock us in here...like caged beasts." She leaned her head back against the cold linoleum panelled wall.
"We're only beasts if we adhere to our animalistic side, Catherine."
She stared at him blankly, his sage remark dissipating over her head. "Right." She clicked her tongue, eye-brow raised and a curious-yet-confused twitch in her eye. "I just can't believe the little squirrel had the guts to do that." She muttered, resuming her rant and eventual rampage against the spikey-haired boy.
"When you think about it, it was a rather natural response."
"You're sticking up for the little critter?" She was know lying on her back, staring up at the dirty ceiling above. Her eyes darted to the suspended ceiling lamps as they eerily swayed with gentle movement, courtesy of the ventilation's whispers. She shivered slightly.
"I'm not sticking up for him," Gil stepped over her body and sat down, leaning against the wall beside her. "It's just," he paused, searching for a quick explanation. "Do you remember how you used to act when your parents fought?"
She dropped her head to the side, resting it on her arm that was folded under, creating a makeshift pillow. "Please, you are not comparing Greg to our child." She said, her tone inching on mockery.
"You yourself said that these people are building a family around me." He countered as a knowing smirk formed on his lips. "It's very common for a child, especially the youngest of the bunch, to go to great lengths to keep his parents together," he paused reiterating, "to keep his family together."
"I hate that grin." She muttered, turning her attention back to the gritty ceiling.
"The 'I'm-always-right' grin." She sighed, her shirt inching up slightly as she inhaled, then exhaled. "I know that grin all to well." Her tone grew softer.
His eyes graced the milky white plain of her tummy, but his ears registered a saddened voice trailing the murmured air. "You say it like it's a bad thing."
She rolled her eyes and shook her head. "I don't know...somewhere down the line, you get tired of being wrong all the time."
She shrugged, "a little." She closed her eyes, feeling moisture gather, unknowing as to why she was becoming so affected. "You're exposed to so much hate in the World that, it sometimes gets hard to filter it out, you know? You close cases and are rewarded with as much closure as the family, because diving into the evidence is just like excavating a person's life. There's an intimacy that the dead share with us, and that creates a connection. That relationship can either part either way: with justice or with injustice."
"Ah, the one that got away." He understood her sense of despair, having often felt it himself.
"I feel useless at times, Gil. We give the prosecution as much as we can, but the jury is more interested in how many tears the defence can shed. They associate tears with remorse, and where it might be true in some cases, a crime was still committed. Sometimes I wish they would listen to the evidence instead of the tall-tales that are fabricated."
"People often hear what they want to hear...it's a human defence mechanism." He reasoned, his tone softening at her obvious frustrations.
"Yeah well, sometimes, all I want is to be listened to." She threw a glare his way, resolving to bury any discretions.
It flew right by him, as he further attempted to alleviate her stress. "You have a lot to be proud of, Catherine."
She rolled her eyes, choosing to believe his delusion rather than start another fight. "And what about you," she asked morosely, "what are you most proud of?"
He shrugged, watching her as she moved to sit beside him. "I have a lot to be proud of."
A smirk peeked out, tempting his lips to tease it. "Please, let's cut the modesty, huh?"
He raised his eyebrow, noting the sarcasm in her voice. "No I mean...I'm glad I've been able to sustain a relationship like ours without completely destroying it." He admitted shyly, looking down at his hands.
She followed his gaze then glanced back up at his face, offering a jesting tone to match the lightness of their conversation. "No...but you have come close." She leaned in slightly, giving him a playful shove with her shoulder.
"Well that's because I didn't poke my nose into someone else's business, now did I?" Humour gently hugged his thought, as he nudged her back with some playful banter offered.
Her mood changed immediately as her mouth hung open. "Well I didn't hide anything from you!" She shoved him harder, physically taking out her anger on him. "This is so like you!" She exclaimed, hopping to her feet and pacing the area. "I just wanted to help, but instead I got shut out and then ignored and finally trapped in a room with my best-friend who's going deaf but didn't have the courage to tell me." She tried to control her voice, but ire was fuelling the volume of her words. "What, was it some male macho'ism that prevented - " She interrupted herself, eyes wide. She slowly turned, facing her best-friend who was still sitting on the floor, staring at the ground beside him.
Silence ensued and he glanced up, looking at her with hurt eyes. "What, did you stop talking or has my hearing gone out." He asked, an acidic flavour to his normally warm voice. He didn't care anymore; she had basically called him a coward and though the words stung, he realized that the aching jolt was magnified by the truth: he was a coward. A caitiff who sought solace and comfort in his work rather than in the one person who always generously offered herself as a crutch.
"...your hearing." She repeated, her voice low to reflect her personal thought process. She knelt down in front of him, her knees on either side of his outstretched legs. "You never heard me..." She pointed to the table, "with the body and Greg locking us in, and..." she vaguely pointed towards his office, "when I literally poured my heart out - " She stopped herself again, afraid of the inquisitive look in his eye.
"You poured your heart out?" He asked, avoiding the primary question at hand.
"No..." She lied, unable to tear her eyes away from his.
"What did you say, Catherine?" He asked, one hand gently resting on her thigh. When words failed to escape, he pressed on, keeping his voice smooth and low. "Tell me, Catherine. Tell me what my ears missed."
She glanced at his lips then back at his eyes. "That..." His lips came back into view, and then the intense prying orbs once more. "That I often thought..." The light pink of his lips, and then the inviting blues of his eyes. She reached forward with her lips, desire to taste him overpowering common sense.
He closed his eyes as soon as her soft mouth touched his, relishing in the gentle caresses her surprisingly timid advances offered. He pushed things forward, giving her thigh a slight squeeze. As she opened her mouth to moan, he slipped his tongue in, creating a more intimate bond.
She pulled back, eyes glazed with emotion. "That's what I wanted to tell you."
He smirked lazily, his hand reaching up to caress her face. "Well, unfortunately my rebuttal can't be expressed in such environments." He leaned forward, capturing her bottom lip with a gentle suction. "My points are best stated in the comfort of my bedroom."
"So how..." She paused, unsure how to inquire about such a deterioration.
"It comes and goes." He replied simply, eyes memorizing the beauty of her face.
"How bad is it?" She asked softly, gently caressing his ear lobe.
"Don't know, yet." He replied with the same tone, his eyes never leaving hers. "I'm thinking surgery."
"Positive outcome?" She asked, keeping her words to a strict minimum concerning the subject. She knew it was a tough conversation for him to have, and there was no desire to push him past his limits to extract information.
"It'll have to do." He traced the outline of her lips with his thumb. "...to not hear your voice would be unbearable." He admitted, his eyes rising to hold her gaze.
"Whatever happens, you know that I'll be with you every step of the way, right?"
"That was one of my fears, you know." His eyes dropped to her neck, where this thumb proceeded to soothingly massage the soft skin there. "I guess I was just afraid that I'd lose more than my hearing..." He trailed off, a depressive feeling lingering.
She gave him a whack on the head. "What the hell would make you think that!" She sighed, brushing a hand through his hair.
He smiled sheepishly, offering no further information to such fears of loss.
"Well either way, you have me now." She smiled, dusting his lips with small pecks. "Closer than before." She grinned, shifting higher and settling down on his lap, pressing herself against him. She felt him slightly reluctant. "But Gil..." She whined, knowing that he was aching for the same kind of release she was. "We've waited around twenty years - "
" - so what's a few more hours?" He gently kissed her temple. "Besides, I'm not too keen on performing in front of an audience." He shifted his gaze to numerous body bags in the room.
Catherine grimaced and stood up, offering him a hand. "Next room, now." She pulled him out, closing the door behind him. "Twenty years on the job and I still get creeped out." She shivered, watching her friend climb up and lie down on a clean slab. She sauntered over, gently running her hand from his hip to his shoulder.
He closed his eyes, allowing himself to give into the senses that he had for so long denied. Exhaling deeply through his nose, his body began to relax as she gently massaged his chest. Her eyes spotted something shiny beside him and she quickly plucked it, a skip of fear materializing in her heart. "You almost lay down on the scalpel." She held it up, showing him the offending tool.
"Catherine, NO!" Greg burst into the room, leaning against the open door.
Catherine placed a hand over her heart, trying to shake off her surprised state. "Greg, what are -"
" - you killed Grissom!" He interrupted her, dramatically pointing at Gil's body.
Gil raised his head and glanced at the lab tech. "Greg?"
Confusion met embarrassment as Greg placed Catherine's shoe on the ground, once again using it as a doorjamb. "Grissom, hey." He shoved his hands deep in his pockets, a small school-boy charm surrounding him. "I just thought that..." He pointed to the scalpel that Catherine still held.
"Oh, yeah, Gil almost lay down on it. I was just moving it." She explained, a small grin on her face. "So...are we free to leave?"
He took a step back, a little afraid of the repercussions of his actions. "Listen guys, I just...I just wanted you guys to get along, you know?" He nervously chewed on his lower lip. "No hard feelings?"
Gil glanced at his strawberry-blonde lover with a raised eyebrow. He hopped off the slab, and headed towards the door, picking up Catherine's shoe replacing it with his foot.
Catherine walked up to Greg and placed a hand on his shoulder. "It's okay Greg, we understand why you did it. This place is like a family, and Gil and I are like the parents. It's hard to see your parents fight."
"Actually, you guys yelling at each other all the time was really distracting." He leaned back slightly, off the glare that Catherine shot him. "And the whole family thing, yeah." He gulped, taking another step back from her. "So, no hard feelings?"
Catherine smiled, taking her shoe and putting it back on. "No hard feelings Greg." She turned and smiled warmly at him, "actually, we should thank you." She looked back at Gil who offered her a supportive wink.
"Thank me?" Greg's voice went up slightly, guided by surprise.
"Yeah, without this scenario, Gil and I wouldn't have given each other a chance to really talk."
Greg nodded, a goofy grin spreading. "See, the Gregster knows." He tapped the side of his head.
"He sure does...you're a credit to your profession, Greg." Catherine said, turning and leaving with Gil.
"Aww, thanks guys!" Greg gushed, glancing up to see that both Gil and Catherine had already retreated. He smiled, content with his involvement as he reached for the door's handle. "Uh guys." He muttered to himself softly, as he realized that no handle was present. "Guys!" He called out, a little louder, looking through the small window. "C'mon guys, this isn't funny!" He pouted.
Suddenly, strawberry-blonde hair came into view.
"Catherine! Oh Catherine, thank God!" He yelled, waving at her through the window.
Catherine waved back at the lab rat, and rubbed a fist underneath her eye, mimicking his earlier taunts.
"Okay, I deserved that...but you seriously can't leave me in her alone." He protested, glancing over his shoulder. "It's cold and I'm scared." His voice dropped to a whine.
"Oh Greg!" Catherine yelled through the window. "One of the bodies in there might not be quite dead yet..."
"What do you mean, 'not quite dead yet'!" He shrieked.
Catherine grinned as she walked away, joining Gil who was waiting by the door.
"How long are you going to keep him in there?" He asked, giving her a quick kiss on her collarbone.
She shrugged happily, pointing towards the door. "Oh, I don't know, until he figures out that the door isn't completely closed."
Gil glanced back, seeing a folder strategically placed, thus keeping the door from locking. "Let's hope the little man has nails." He commented, grasping hold of her hand.
"Ah besides, the janitor comes by to make his rounds in about an hour." She smiled smugly. "That should give him enough time to think about what he did."
"You're evil." Gil commented, a wry smile on his lips.
"I know." She grinned, a sultry air to her admission.
"I love that about you."