TITLE: Scratch AUTHOR : Gomey
ARCHIVE : Anywhere, just let me know so I can brag...hehe.
RATING : M
SPOILERS : None
DISCLAIMER : All known characters and premises belong to their respective owners. So there.
SUMMARY : "...beginner's luck."
NOTES : Another PWP response to the Graveshiftcsi March Challenge.
"Ooh-hoo-hoo!" Greg guffawed, bouncing around the two less-than-amused females. "I hope you like your areas sanitized, because we just mopped the floor with you!"

"Yeah..." Nick agreed, "you guys were whipped -and- creamed!"

The two young CSIs burst into a fit of laughter, patting each other on the back.

"Hey War, you up for a game?" Nick called out to his fellow co-worker, who was sitting alone at the bar.

Warrick raised his hand, politely declining any further embarrassment. "My strength lies in the cards -"

" - you're just afraid because you don't have the balls for it." Greg said, juggling three pool balls, still giggling.

Catherine, Sara and Warrick all shot Greg a glare that forced him to stand up straight. "Guys...c'mon, it's only a game..." He squeaked, standing behind Nick. "Grissom!" Greg immediately spotted his supervisor enter the somewhat deserted pub. He skipped over to him, grasping both his shoulders and giving him a good shake. "How are you doing?"

Gil managed to sneak out of the embrace, heading straight for the bar where Warrick sat. He took a seat beside the young CSI. "How many beers has that kid had?" He jerked his thumb over his shoulder, motioning Greg.

Warrick sighed a laugh. "None."

"None?"

"None." Catherine's voice migrated to the other side of him, and he tried to hide a smile. "Though he is on his third energy drink...talk about Red Bull-shit."

Gil grimaced. "Charming...and we get to deal with this for the whole night?"

"Babysitter copped out at the last minute." Warrick added, gaining a smirk from Gil, Catherine and Sara.

"Yo, Gris, you up for a game?" Nick hollered, taking a sip from his beer.

Gil shrugged, glancing over at the lab's two clowns. "Sure, why not?"

"Here, you might need this."

He looked up at Catherine as she thrust a tall mug in his direction. He held it up, jesting a toast. "I thank you." Giving her a wink, he took a small sip, and head over to the pool table.

Catherine was about to sit down, when she heard Gil's voice calling out to her.

"I'm going to need a partner."

She sighed, walking over to him. "Take Sara - she's much better." Catherine motioned the brunette sitting beside Warrick, deep in conversation.

"But I want you."

She narrowed her eyes, trying to decipher the meaning behind the decrease in volume and pitch in his voice. Had he been flirting with her? Was he drunk? She glanced back at his beer, still standing tall on the counter beside Warrick. Pursing her lips, she looked back at her best-friend, her eyes catching sight of a hint of mischief scattering away from his blues. "Sure." She acquiesced, downing the rest of her beer in hand. "Just warning you...I'm close to being the worst player in history."

"Ever played pool before, boss?" Nick asked, as Greg set up the table.

Gil raised his eyebrow. "A couple of times - not really my scene." He replied truthfully.

"We're fools to play them..." Catherine muttered to him, his beer now in her hand.

Gil smiled, looking at her through his lashes. "William Blake once said 'The fool who persists in his folly will become wise.'"

"Okay, McBoozy and McQuotey, let's go!" Greg called, ushering the two senior supervisors to the table. "Nick and I are unbeatable...the reigning champs -"

" - you've played -one- game so far tonight!" Catherine interrupted him.

Greg offered a sheepish smile. "We still kick ass..." He muttered, almost childishly.

Gil grinned, glancing over at his partner. "Who breaks?"

"The champs!" Greg exclaimed, balancing his pool stick in on his chin.

Nick rolled his eyes and whacked him on the back of his head. "Behave!" He turned to Gil and Catherine, who were still staring curiously a the young lab rat. "So, you guys care to make it interesting?"

"How so?" Gil's eyes were still on Greg, somewhat intrigued and somewhat frightened by his odd behaviour; even though his quirky mannerisms were something familiar to the group.

"How about a bet?"

"A bet!" Catherine slapped him playfully on the shoulder. "Is there anything you -won't- bet on?" She asked, amused.

"Hey, the Bodacious Bods of Billiards have a reputation to keep..." Greg grinned, striking a provocative 'male-model' pose.

Nick elbowed him in the side. "So, Grissom...you in?"

Gil shrugged and looked at Catherine. "Up to you..."

She shook her head, declining the bet. "No...not a good idea."

Gil stared at her for a moment, then after a beat, turned to Nick. "Deal." He grinned, gently placing two fingers underneath Catherine's chin and closing her mouth for her. "Don't want to be catching flies, now do we?" He teased, his fingers lingering against her smooth skin.

"I get to break!"

Once again, both were jarred out of their moment by Greg's boisterous voice.

The game started with Greg breaking, sinking a solid coloured ball. Catherine and Gil stood side-by-side watching Greg talk to Nick whilst deciding on his next move.

"So...you any good?" Catherine asked, her eyes still on the younger CSIs.

Gil pursed his lips, contemplating his answer. "I'm okay, I guess." He replied, non-chalantly.

"Catherine, your turn." Greg called out to her. Catherine grinned and headed towards the table. Checking her options, she leaned over and took a shot, sinking a stripe in the meantime. She glanced up at Gil, her eyes twinkling with pride.

Gil smiled softly to himself, taking in her squeaks of joy as she had sunk her first ball. He chuckled to himself, reaching over for his beer and taking a sip.

Giving Nick a look, Catherine crossed to the other side of the table and took a shot of confidence: the cue ball making a bee-line for the corner pocket. "Damn!" She mumbled, heading over to Gil who was nursing his beer. She grabbed the glass out of his hand and took a large sip, handing it back to him.

"Oooh, does 'Kitty-Kat' want to be -scratched- behind her ears?" Greg laughed.

"Greg!" Catherine and Gil warned in unison.

Greg smiled sheepishly as Nick proceeded to take his turn. Nick managed to sink three consecutively, which would have been impressive in the eyes of the senior CSIs, if there hadn't been a smug aroma trailing behind him after each successful shot. "Fastest game in history, I'm sure."

Finally, Catherine gave Gil a pat on the back. "Your turn, Big Boy." She smiled seductively, courtesy of the alcohol's influence, and watched him stroll up to the table.

"Don't worry Gris, we promise not to laugh at you...too much! Nick said, grinning like an idiot. He and Greg were winning by quite a few: they had three balls left, while Catherine and Gil still had a good six balls to take care of.

Gil glared playfully at the younger CSI and bent down over the table, examining his angles. Catherine cocked her head to the side, mouth slightly ajar. She suddenly snapped out of her trance, her eyes falling on Warrick who was sitting at the bar with a knowing smile. He glanced at her, smiling at her wink.

Gil took a shot, his face holding no emotion as he pocketed a stripe. He looked up at Nick, who was surprised at the rather difficult shot that was just accomplished. "Beginner's luck." Gil dead panned, face still void of emotions.

Catherine giggled, walking up beside him. "I thought you said you hadn't played much." She smiled.

"And I haven't." He said, eyes narrowing slightly as he took another shot, not even bothering to watch the ball drop into the middle pocket. He bent over the table once more, staring intently at the blue and red striped balls, side by side. His lips fell into a pout as he contemplated over is next move. With a minute amount of force, the team watched as both red and blue headed in separate directions, each claiming safety in the leather mesh pockets.

"Daaaaamn!" Nick drawled. "Grissom, that's not fair man! You've had to have played this game before!" He whined.

Gil gave Nick a satisfied grin. "It's all about the science of it, Nick." He said casually, sinking another ball. He looked at the table, seeing one striped and three solids scattered about. "Concentration, assumption and calculations."

Silence momentarily filled the air. "Wow boss, you really know how to suck the joy out of everything." Greg mumbled.

The team shared a laugh as Gil sank the last striped ball, now the cue ball and the eight ball the only ones left standing in his territory. The contrasting colours battled it out as Gil looked towards Catherine, who had returned to the bar, listening to Sara and Warrick chat.

"Cath." He called out to her, motioning her to join him at the table. "I want you to take this shot." He said, again with lack of emotion. He watched as she walked over and looked at him nervously.

"Gil, it's two hundred bucks on the line - we can both walk away with a cool hundred if you just take the damn shot!"

He stared at her, blue eyes piercing her own shade. "But I want you..." He smiled, gaining her attention as he repeated his earlier statement. "...to take the shot." He placed a hand on the small of her back. "I know you can do it."

"Obviously you haven't been watching me play." She muttered as she let herself be guided to the table.

"Do it, Catherine." He coaxed her, his voice smooth and inviting.

Catherine walked hesitantly towards the table and looked at the cue ball. "I'm going to screw this up Gil...let that loom over your head." She admitted, half-jokingly.

"Don't cut yourself short, Catherine. Just relax and concentrate." He said, bending at the waist, beside her. He looked at the cue ball, then back at her face, his lips but inches from her cheek.

She turned her head slightly, glancing at him. Her gaze floated down to his lips, taking in his full lower lip. Her breath quickened as she witnessed him parting his lips ever so slightly, almost as an invitation. She quickly looked back at the cue ball, hoping he had missed the blush that had wandered on her face.

Gil's eyes roamed her angelic beauty, knowing that the term 'heavenly' could hardly even begin to describe her flawless features. His eyes then flitted to her hand that was holding the cue stick. He watched as she unconsciously glided her hand up and down the stick, her fingers sometimes brushing the tip, leaving a blue dusting in its wake.

He swallowed hard, feeling his length push up against his jeans. He let out a ragged breath, the image now branded in his brain, knowing that he would return to his secret stash of moments whenever he needed to seek release.

Catherine leaned further on the table, struggling to reach the cue ball. She was about to take her shot when his tenor voice gently caressed her ears, asking her to wait. She sighed, feeling his weight lightly against her back. She felt electricity course through her veins as his hand took hers, ever so delicately, and guided her slightly to the right of the cue ball.

"If you hit it slightly to the right, it'll cause the ball to backspin, thus ensuring that you won't scratch." He informed, body still hovering over hers. His right arm still ran parallel to hers and his left hand grasped the end of the stick, right beside hers. Feeling her ease a little with the movement, he dropped his left hand to her hip, unconsciously resting it there.

Catherine fought the urge to arch her back, aching to feel his energy mix with hers.

"Go for it, Cath." He whispered and watched as she took the shot, the eight ball rocketing towards the corner pocket while the cue ball remained, spinning on its own axis where it had hit he black ball.

Gil took a small step back, now standing directly behind her. He smiled as he heard her cheer; her happiness instilling a joy in his heart.

She too took a step back, straightening up at the same time. A gasp got caught in her throat as she felt something hard press against her right buttock. She turned her head slightly, arousing the eyes that stared back at her.

Gil held his breath as he felt her toned buttocks come into accidental contact with his erection. Moments ago, he was thanking Levis for letting his state remain discreet, but here was the cause of tel reaction, now pressing up against him.

He tried to control his eager hips from bucking against her, as he felt her slowly shift her weight distribution from one leg to the other, causing her to rub up against him. He leaned over her shoulder, his breath hitting her tempting skin. "Nice shot..." he hissed.

Catherine leaned against her chest, her knees buckling from his warm breath buzzing in her ear. Tingling all over, she dropped her right hand to her side, reaching back and running it up and down his lower thigh, grabbing at his leg muscle. Tilting her head back, she looked up him, her eyes now heavy with desire.

His lips descended on hers, gently tasting what he had only dreamed about. Mouths teased each other as their tongues shyly mingled with the other.

Catherine's eyes suddenly focussed, meeting all four younger CSIs questioning looks. Her gaze begin to cloud as she felt his lips on her neck, sucking and biting the tender flesh. "Gil..." She moaned his name, trying to get his attention.

"Yeah...?" He whispered, lust melting off his lips.

"Your place...now." She breathed out, gently caressing his cheek. They stared at each other for a beat, then quickly separate: Catherine putting the cue sticks away while Gil paid his and Catherine's tab. Holding up her jacket, the two bid a quick farewell to the still-stunned CSIs and headed out the door.

Sara kept staring at the door, a frown adorning her face. She leaned in closer to Warrick, eyes still fixated on the exit. "What the hell just happened?"

"What do you mean?"

"With Catherine and Grissom..." She finally glanced at him, searching his eyes for an answer.

Warrick swivelled back towards the bar, and picked up his drink. "Looks like they won."He replied casually.

"Aaaaaactually..." Greg chimed in, waving a wad of bills, "I think it's safe to say that 'we' won!" He gave Nick and amicable slap on the back, handing him half of the winnings that Catherine and Gil had forgotten to collect.

Warrick shook his head, not bothering to turn around. "Right...and yet you're sleeping alone tonight. So tell me, who really won?"

Silence followed Warrick's statement as Greg tried desperately to stare him down. "...shut up!"

–finis–