TITLE: Hauntings


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


SPOILERS: Minute "Primum Non Nocere" (2-16)

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

SUMMARY: When sleep runs its course...what will become of him?

He is watching her sleep: her blond hair fanned out on the pillow beneath her. The covers hug her body, rippling at her waist then dipping, granting him a pleasurable view of half her buttocks. The smooth skin of her back calls to his lips, and his mouth hungers for her as he approaches the bed. He kneels known, thoughts of the previous night invading his thoughts and calling forth a serene smile.

He dusts gentle kisses at the base of her neck, gliding lower and tasting the path from the top of her spine to the small of her back. One hands finds her slender waist, and he lets it caress her tummy, as he mischievously tugs the covers lower, revealing his 'Venus' to his lusting eyes. He threads his hands through her soft curls, adoring how it felt against his skin last night.

Their bodies had moved as one, feeling, tasting...loving. Buzzes still courses through his veins each time he relives their passion-kissed night and he selfishly wants to feel her body against his at this very moment. He rouses her, desperately wanting to heel her desire and hear her sensual voice in the throws of climax. He twirls a strand of strawberry-blond around his finger, pondering methods to wake his sleeping beauty.

He snakes an arm around her frame, gently pulling her towards him. A cheeky grin, he knows he's but a breath away from tasting heaven, from basking in her heart-warming glow.

He gasps.

He stumbles back, half falling off the bed as her blues stare back at him: wide, expressionless...blank. Blood slowly drips from the side of her neck, puddling a contrast against the purity-soaked sheets, those same sheets that had held their joining scent, their love.

Gil awoke with a thundering start, sweat forming in tiny beads, rolling down his forehead and cheeks. He passed a hand along his smooth chest, also wet with perspiration. He knew fright would have been even more present had the dream been fresh, but too many nights boasting the same tune had forced him to expect such monstrosities.

He threw his legs over the side of the bed, and sat there, head in hands. How many times need he suffer? How many times need -she- suffer? His heart ached from its rapid palpitations and the mere hellish thoughts that had occurred during his hours of sleep and wake, were enough to incite an upsetting air to his stomach.

He made his way to the bathroom, donning a robe as he exited his bedroom. He felt the start of cold chills, his teeth chattering in compliance with his psyche's demand. Splashing cold water on his face, he glanced in the mirror: darkness running circles around his eyes, drawing them down and sunken. He hadn't slept well in days, spending his waking hours pondering the meaning behind such ill nightmares. He was haunted by the one thing he feared: her departure from his life. Every night would call upon a different means, a varying method to see his heart break before his very eyes.

But horror had a way of toying with the mind, and always granted him moments dear, drowned in extreme pleasurable bliss - before the abysmal hands sought justice.

He glanced at the clock, knowing that she would be in slumber's grasp but still reached for the phone, despite his conscience's protest. Every occurrence, the same actions would offer themselves, and every moment given, he selfishly indulged to feed his sanity.

It would follow the same pattern: the sweetness of her voice weighed with sleep, would inquire after two rings. No words would be spoken, and he would hang up before she had the chance to pursue the caller's identity.

After his fears calmed, he would sit awake in bed, trying not to relive the atrocity but reluctantly allowing his scientific mind to pick at it - giving meaning to the horrors and wishes to the pleasures.

Catherine sighed, trying to blink out the sleep in her eyes. As soon as the shrill ring had pierced her slumber, she knew it was him. Her caller-ID had confirmed her suspicions and she lethargically tossed the phone beside her, pondering her situation.

Every day, for the past week, the schedule had not changed. The ring, her greeting...his silence. She would always wait until she heard the familiar dial tone before hanging up and laid awake in her bed for the rest of the afternoon.

She wanted to confront his peculiar behaviour, knowing that he had a reason for such repetitive actions, but she was afraid of his reasons. Weakness was not something she herself dare showed, and she knew her supervisor had the same reticence towards vulnerability.

She made her way to the bathroom; a warm shower with the hopes of clearing her mind being her motivation. Leisure granted her satisfaction as she immerged from the bathroom a good forty minutes later, her body now fully awake, leaving her mind to be plagued by her supervisor's fears, such terrors she had yet to discover.

The front door flew open, and 'Hurricane Lindsey' flew in, flying straight into her mother's arms.

"I saw you through the window!" She giggled, feeling her mother plant wet kisses all over her face. "What are you doing up?" The young blond wiped her scrunched up face with the back of her hand.

"Couldn't sleep." Catherine fibbed a bit, though it was partly laced with truth. After he would call, her affection towards Gil would never allow her to return back to the depths of slumber, so she would busy herself with chores and fawning over her daughter.

"I like it." Lindsey spoke with such honesty that Catherine's lips trembled with emotion. "I like you being awake when I get home from school."

She sighed and hugged her daughter close. "Me too, honey." She leaned back slightly, her arms still wrapped around her daughter, and raised her eyebrow. "Candy Land?"

Lindsey squealed and took off to her room in order to get out of her school clothes and prepare the game that she and her mother had always enjoyed playing together.

"I'll get the cookies and milk!" Catherine called out from the kitchen.

He sighs as he makes his way to his office, glancing around the emptying hallways of the crime lab. He chances an early arrival with thoughts of burying himself in his work to ease the poison that had seeped into his mind courtesy of his dreams. He keys the lock, his eyes narrowing with suspicion upon finding it already unlocked.

He lets it slowly swing open, his eyes observing familiarity, even encased in darkness. Nothing seems out of place, nothing seems disturbed so the he steps fully into the room, switching on the lights and kicking the door shut; not even offering a cringe when the slam's echo makes itself known.

His body tenses as he now feels another presence in the room and his eyes feverishly searches the perimeters. He spies her, curled up on the couch, awaiting his being no doubt. He fears it's to discuss his obsessive calling, and his mind tries to conjure perjured statements to cloak his vulnerability. Walking up to her, he gently places a hand on her shoulder, needing her acknowledgement of his existence in the room. His hand feels something warm and sticky, and he rolls the substance between his index and thumb. His eyes snap to hers and he turns her over, her limp arm hanging off the side of the couch.

Steps are taken back as he shakes his head in silent fear. His eyes take in hers, seemingly extinct as he glances at the knife skewered in her chest.

His eyes snapped open, wide and fear-kissed as he stared into the blues of hers. Those eyes that had been lifeless before were now full of concern, trying to pry information from his current state.

Catherine's brow furrowed, taking in her supervisor's reaction to his awakening. "You okay?" She kept her distance, assuming personal space was something he wanted to cling to.

He just stared at her, unblinking, almost as if in some sort of emotional shock. His gaze never met her eyes but just ventured from her neck to her chest, to the side of her waist back up to her shoulder then retracing its steps in a curious cycle that left her wondering whether he was looking at her, or through her. Reality seized him but partially as he stared at her hand, palm up and inviting. Placing his tentatively in hers, he allowed himself to be helped to his feet.

"You need to hand out the cases."

He began to exit his office when her voice called back to him. He chanced a slow turn, still dazed from his tormenting dream and her immediate presence, and his eyes landed on her being. He pursed his lips sheepishly and exited out of the room, leaving her standing with inquisitive concern and a folder in hand.

Catherine stepped into the break room, eyeing the chatter that was occurring around her. She glanced at Nick and Warrick in deep discussion, though she playfully assumed it was related to some sort of bet. Her eyes trailed to Sara and Greg, where the young lab rat was boldly trying to trick the brunette into a date. The noise however, seemed deafened by her supervisor's silence, who appeared to be brooding in a corner while his eyes were jumping from person to person, save for herself.

She chewed her lip, feeling resentment and worry bubble in a waging war, both seeking out her captive heart. "Nick, you're with Gil and I - DB over at Sportspark." Catherine handed the young Texan a file with some preliminary information. "Sara, Warrick - you guys are both on call so finish up any loose paperwork."

Greg raised his eyebrow. "Has a promotion gone unnoticed by rumour control?" He asked cheekily, inching his way to the strawberry-blond. "So how did you get it...sleep with the boss?"

"Greg!" Catherine cocked her head to the side. "Greg...go to the lab." She threw him a grin negating her previous scold and headed towards the locker room. "Five minutes in the parking lot."

The three younger CSIs and lab tech all glanced at their supervisor, questions leaking out of their pores though neither one brave enough to voice. They watched him get up, and quietly leave the room, heading directly towards his Denali.

After their tense drive down North Rampart Blvd, all three CSIs got out of the Denali and headed towards the rink.

"This is an actual NHL-style rink!" Nick offered enthusiastically, noting the awkward air clinging between the two. "They offer ice skating, roller skating, arcade...even fine dining!"

Catherine hummed a disinterested response as they reached their destination, greeted by the captain's gruff voice.

"Twenty five year old male - assumed hockey game gone bad." Jim read his notes. "It's brutal, blood's everywhere, even on some cars."

"Vic's blood?" Catherine asked, eyeing the scene in front of them.

"That's your job." The captain grinned, and nodded towards some witnesses already being questioned by a couple of officers. "Excuse me."

Gil sighed. "Nick, help Catherine gather the blood, I'm going to take the perimeters." He muttered, while walking around the rink.

"I guess the ice didn't leave a lasting impression on Grissom." Nick laughed, noting his supervisor's haste to distance himself from the slippery foe.

Catherine shrugged, a little sadness creeping into her voice. "I don't think it's the ice he wants to get away from."

Nick glanced at the senior CSI. "Sorry..." He offered, knowing never to get involved in matters concerning the two best-friends. "It'll work out, Catherine." He gave her shoulder a supportive squeeze. "Hasn't it always?"

The team worked silently for hours, though Catherine and Nick shared their findings with each other. Blood had been recuperated, and theories had been made, though conclusions could only be drawn with further inspection of the body and data collected. Jim had walked by, offering some help concerning a motive as well as three possible suspects.

"I'm assuming that Brent Gregory put up a fight." Jim theorized, looking over some stats of the identified victim. "On the lightweight boxing team, black belt and he was the primary defence man for the local hockey team."

"So what, opposing team?" Catherine offered. "Maybe hotshot was too mouthy for his own good? Provoked or even un-provoked crime?"

"Things can get out of hand when you have adrenaline coursing through you." Nick added, agreeing with Catherine's hypothesis.

"Over a friendly hockey match?" Jim raised his eyebrow, though not completely denying the possibility.

"Please Jim, nothing's friendly anymore." She remarked bitterly, suddenly feeling a pair of eyes on her.

Gil sat on a lone bench, a good distance away from the crime scene, his eyes finally comfortable to watch her work without her consent. He allowed his gaze to travel her form, watching her work and exchange ideas with Nick and Jim. His evidence collected had been catalogued and already secured in his vehicle and he awaited the others' return.

His distracted mind had caused him to take a breather, so he sat alone, content with his own company and her form within his eye's reach.

He finally dropped gaze, his eyes resting on the concrete beneath him and he didn't move when he felt the bench shift slightly thanks to the extra weight added. Shivers ran down his spine the he tried desperately to ignore, as he felt her arm brush up against his.

She sat, inhaling sharply while gathering her thoughts. She had felt and ultimately seen him watching her, and she interpreted as a unconscious demand for help. She knew words were almost meaningless when it came to her enigmatic best-friend; actions that seemed encrypted by others were easily read by her. In an attempt to soothe his obvious injured soul, she had asked the young Texan to finish cataloguing the evidence and bum a ride off the captain, allowing her to corner Gil into a revealing conversation. "You want to talk about it?" She asked, looking ahead at the night's sky.

Gil leaned forward, allowing his elbows to rest on his knees. "There's nothing to discuss." He sighed, knowing that he even he wasn't convinced with his own words.

"The looks, the phone calls," she turned to face him, "I can see the fear in your eyes, Gil." Her stare faltered and she glanced back straight ahead.

"It's nothing."

She raised an eyebrow and stood up abruptly. "Okay, but just understand...I might not always be there to answer the phone."

His eyes snapped to hers, and he grabbed her by the wrist; her unintentional choice of words spawning such impulse. Their eyes met, hers of surprise, his of sheer terror. He stared at her, mouth ajar, perhaps seeking fault in her statement, or perhaps trying to prepare himself for such a truth.

She allowed his hold to tighten, never breaking away from his sight as their eyes continued to battle it out. "Tell me." It was a whispered coax and she bent down, kneeling in front of him.

"I can't..." He murmured, finally becoming aware of their contact and released his grip. "I'm sorry."

She stood up, looking down on him. "You don't have to deal with your personal demons alone, Gil." There was almost a dare in her words, aching for him to even begin a contradiction and knowing that she would attack his weakened words with a hunger for validation.

He offered no answer, however - no words of refusal nor acknowledgement; he just kept his gaze focussed straight ahead.

"We have to get back to the lab." She walked away, leaving him sitting alone on the bench. As she distanced herself from him, she pulled out her cell-phone, dialling a familiar number. "Warrick, can you and Sara cover for us?" She spoke in a hushed tone, unsure if her supervisor had even followed her. "Thanks, Nick'll be around to fill you in." She glanced back, noting he was still firmly connected with the bench. Climbing into the Denali, she fished out her set of extra keys, and located his spare key, her eyes having scanned his 'townhouse', 'office' and 'safety deposit box' spares, before reaching the one marked 'car'.

Gil raised his eyes upon seeing his car pull up on the street in front of the bench. He nodded solemnly and climbed in the passenger's side, throwing a glance at his best-friend before turning his eyes back to the road. He leaned his head against the cool glass of the window, his eyes softly blinking closed.
He awakes to find himself in an unmoving vehicle. His eyes finally focus and he looks straight ahead, his eyes catching glimpse of a familiar house: his townhouse. She had tricked him into coming her, with a more likely intent to solve the puzzle that was troubling her. A ghost of a smile materializes and vanishes with the same quick speed allotted as he realizes that he is the riddle that is plaguing her thoughts.

But why had she left him in the car instead of rousing him from sleep. He ponders that as he steps out of the car and slams with force, unexplainable tension coiling around his body. The car shakes and something inside catches his eye.

His hand on the glass, he glances in with wide eyes, her face always facing towards him. He recognizes that blank stare, that partially open mouth but more so the blood. He takes a step back. There's always blood.

"Gil?" Catherine placed a hand on his chest to awaken him, but quickly withdrew upon feeling the speed of his heart rate. She had pulled up to his townhouse, hoping that he would feel more at ease in his haven and reveal his fears to her. Half way towards his house, she had noted that he had fallen asleep and it was only until she eased the car to a stop did she take the time to truly observe his features in such an inhibited state.

She could have watched him sleep for hours on end, but it was only when she saw moisture gather in the corner of his eye did she choose to interrupt to his slumbering misery. She gave him a final shake, and leaned in close, wanting him to focus his eyes on her and not the nightmare she assumed him to be having.

"Cath..." He spoke, and reached to cup her face - an action that surprised both the donor and the recipient. He quickly withdrew his hand, letting fall in his lap as his breathing ached to return to its normal steady pace.

"We need to talk." It wasn't harsh, but her tone left no room for refusal and she got out of the car, letting the door swing closed behind her. Moments followed and his presence exceeded the time she had expected him to fight. She opened the door with her spare key and ushered him in, guiding him to the familiar brown leather sofa.

She set a glass of water in front of him, and sat down beside him, making sure to keep some sort of contact by deliberately placing her thigh against his. Her eyes broke from his form for a split second, as she eyed several books on the table. Her eyes caught the title on one of the books' spine and she mouthed the words, inferring that the others hailed the same 'dream interpretation' subject. "How long have you been having them?"

He lowered his eyes, frowning at her ability to cut to the chase. "A week or so." He muttered, not really in the mood to talk. He was exhausted but he shied away from sleep's double-edged sword.

"Nightmares?" Her eyes were soft, and she kept staring into his reluctant orbs, accepting his nod for an answer. "Why don't you ever say anything when you call?"

"...I just need to hear your voice." Embarrassed words moulded with shame as he admitted to such an act. "Then everything is okay."

"No, no it's not, Gil. And it won't be until you discuss this." She placed a hand on his knee, wanting him, pleading with him to look at her. "Maybe not with me, but with someone." There was a desperate key to her voice, which caused him to cast a glance at her.

"I want to stop seeing you...like that." He finally offered, worry causing his face to wrinkle slightly. "Each time, my heart fractures slightly and I don't think it'll end until it has shattered completely."

"What do you see?"

"You - no longer..." He couldn't bring himself to speak of her nightmarish demise, "...with me." He shook his head. "Every night...every God-damned night!"

She swallowed hard, less bothered by his dreams and more by his current state. She knew that exhaustion was finally forcing him to reveal, and she was afraid that reliving such tales might lead to a breakdown. "Dreams sometime mean more than they let on..." Her eyes searched the room as if the white walls held the answer to her best-friend's troubles.

"People do too..."

She turned, donning a confused look. "What aren't you telling me, Gil?" She glanced back at the books strewn about the table and then back at him. "You know, don't you?" She shook her head with disbelief. "So all this time, instead of trying to rectify the problem, you've been brooding and avoiding me?"

His eyes settled on her, his look telling all.

"Ah, I'm the problem." She brushed a hand through her golden locks, an exasperated sigh sneaking out. "I can't change that, Gil."

"Yes, yes you can." He shifted so that he was facing her, a sudden confidence springing in his body. "Go back to a week ago." He ordered, awaiting a reaction on her face. "Good, now go back ten years to that date."

Her thoughts immediately found the date, one that she couldn't forget as it channelled happiness, miseries, laughter and tears along with it. "Eddie."

His smile was layered with a sadness she couldn't ignore.

"You never said anything."

"But you knew."

She closed her eyes, a bittersweet smile reposing on her lips. "I just thought those were hallucinations brought on by wishful thinking."

"When I lost you to Ed, I felt my world crumble, Cath." He let out a morose chuckle and dared to stroke the side of her face; faith in himself building as he felt her lean into his touch instead of shy away. "I think somewhere down the line, my morbid dreams misinterpreted the mourning I did for the loss of our relationship."

"I'm so sorry..." She whispered, placing a hand over his.

"My body craves yours, Catherine, and my heart...my heart seeks but yours."

"Gil..." She smiled a murmur, touched by his confession. "What do you want me to do?" She pleaded, wanting to offer any assistance.

"Will you help make them stop...?"

She didn't need to give the question a second thought as she gently pressed her lips to his, sealing a promise of protection, affection and love. She straddled his waist, wanting to channel years of lost love through hungry bodily contact.

He kept her pressed against him, lifting her up and carrying her to his room. Depositing her gently on the bed, his body hovered over hers, kisses blanketing her skin. His mouth found the curve of her neck, and he indulged in the sweet taste of her skin.

Catherine arched her back, her body seeking his body's approval. "This is not just a favour, Gil." She breathed, seeking out his lips. "This is a beginning..."

He smiled whispering words of thanks and love as his mouth tasted hers, giving him a renewed hope that had been ten years forgotten.

Catherine smiled, gently stroking his hair as she watched him sleep. She had never seen him at such a peaceful rest, and it warmed her heart to see his troubled soul appeased. She beamed, tingling at the thought that it was her presence that soothed him. Bending down, she placed a heavenly kiss on his dormant lips, and lay there, wondering what her lover was dreaming about.
He steps out of the shower, a towel loosely draped around his waist. His body hums as he walks the short distance between his bathroom to his room. He stops at the door, and leans against the doorjamb, staring down the beauty who is asleep in his bed. Revelations lead to discoveries which lead to confessions.

His heart jumps as she lies unmoving and he cautiously steps towards the bed, dread already expected. Each time, he tempts a glimpse - each time fearing the worst. His hand finds her naked waist, and he gingerly turns her to face him.

He exhales relief as he finds her eyes, full of life, staring back at him. But it's her smile that catches his attention the most; a smile of purity that assures him that his dreams finally mirror reality.