Disclaimers et all in the first chapter.

Author's Note: For DJ, who, despite the abuse (the horrid, horrid abuse - I'm taking whips et all) still managed to get me to write. grin A feat that should be celebrated. I hope this doesn't disappoint.

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«Head floating on top of an elongated spine. Silence filtering through an alert, yet relaxed body. Breathe in through the nose. Breathe out through the mouth. Peace. Tranquillity.»

"CATHERINE!"

Her eyes snapped open and she jumped up, rushing towards the sound's source. Her toe nicked the table's leg and she cursed loudly, hobbling towards his room. She burst through his door, leaning on the door frame for support as her toe throbbed. Rushing over to his side, she knelt down, cringing as her toe bent a little too far than intended. "What's wrong? What? Are you okay? Where does it hurt?" Her rapid fire of questions mirrored her busy hands as they gently but firmly roamed his body, testing the waters of confusion.

"Hi." He replied, eyes still closed and a dopey smile resting on his lips.

Silence.

She stared at him blankly, mouth slightly parted in shock.

"You seem tense."

"I..." She trailed off, still unsure of what was happening around her.

"Did you try doing some yoga?" He asked, eyes still shielded from her view.

"Yes I did - "

" - didn't work, huh?"

" - no, but that's because - "

" - you should try some of these." He produced the bottle of pills from under the covers, shaking it weakly.

Her eyes went wide before grabbing the bottle, eyeing the amount left in her possession. Assuring herself that there wasn't a significant sum missing, she placed the remainder inside his bedside table, relishing on the warmth that had transferred from his hold to the bottle. "Gil," she began slowly, "how many pills did you have?"

He finally glanced at her, through a hazy gaze. He tried to whisper out an answer, but only rasp mutterings travelled out.

She raised her eyebrow, glaring playfully at him. She picked up the water bottle from the bedside table and slowly unscrewed the cap; her eyes still smiling at his form. Placing one hand at the base of his neck, she helped him raise his head and take a sip of the cool liquid.

Gil smiled sleepily, smacking his lips together after swallowing the water. He chuckled when his actions were recompensed with a giggle from the strawberry-blonde. "I love making you laugh." He stated, looking at her through his lashes.

Despite herself, a blush crept to her cheeks, teasing them. "Gil..."

"My ears crave the sound of your voice, Cath." He continued, his eyes slowly pulling closed. "But it's your laugh that brightens up my day. When you giggle, your eyes light up with this pure spark of joy." He sighed happily. "It's such a welcome sight from the blank stares of the dead."

She sat down on the edge of the bed, resting her hand against his chest. "Gil, that's the sweetest thing you've ever said to me."

He placed his hand over hers, his eyes opening, thirsting for her beauty. "And do you know what I love the most about you, Catherine?"

"What?" Her voice soft, already glowing with an intimacy often toyed with, but never adopted.

He squeezed her hand, his eyes dropping down to her lips. "That..." He closed his eyes, and painfully turned on his side, "that you promised me a massage." He huffed out the last part of the statement, as he flopped on to his belly, grunting as the aches in his back pulsated.

She glared at him, unamused.

He folded his arms underneath his pillow, resting his head on its side. After a few moments of silence and inactivity, he wiggled his rear, trying to gain some attention from her. "Come on," he coaxed her, "don't be shy."

She sighed and climbed on the bed, straddling his lower back and placed her hands on his shoulder blades, closing her eyes as skin-on-skin contact was made. She began to gently knead the muscles, feeling the tension slowly shift from area worked upon. Her hands glided across the smooth skin, feeling his spine relax beneath her touch.

"Mm, lower." He mumbled, pressing his face into the pillow.

She raised her eyebrow, and shrugged, complying with his demand. Kneeling down on either side of his thighs, she sat down, cushioned by his buttocks. Holding her breath, she tried hard not to think of the repercussions of being in such close proximity with her supervisor; consequences that could both delight and destroy their complex relationship. "Better?"

He nodded, letting out a low moan as her hands explored his bare back. He squirmed slightly, his arousal being awakened further by her presence. Arching his back into her touch, he gave in to the cravings that were attacking his heightened body. He felt bolder, more confident and sensuality tingled at his fingertips.

She marvelled at the effect he had on her: her racing heart, her heated core, the love and lust that had been building throughout their friendship. Her hands grabbed at his flesh, feeling muscle responding to her touch. She fought the urge to strip and press herself against him in a skin-against-skin discovery. She felt him stir beneath her, and thinking she was too heavy for him, she shifted her weight to her knees, her body no longer touching his.

Gil took the opportunity to quickly, albeit painfully flip himself over, so that he was now resting on his back, facing the strawberry-blonde woman hovering over him.

Kneeling down over him, she observed the contorted look of discomfort on his face. "That looked like it hurt." She cringed.

His face crinkled due to the soreness in his back, but he still managed a weak smile. "It was worth it." He bent his legs, alleviating some of the stress on his lower back and creating a backrest for her at the same time.

Catherine straightened her back, unsure of her best-friend's motives but still curious enough to remain in place, balancing her weight on the balls of her feet and her knees. "Am I crushing you?" She finally asked, making slow preparation to move away from the uncertainty of his future actions: a prospect that both thrilled and frightened her.

"No, stay..." His voice was smooth, and he placed his hands on her thighs, inciting her to sit on his lap. He dragged his hands up and down her thighs, his nails sounding against the material of her pants.

She vaguely registered the minute rocking motion that his hips took on, and her body caught up with the sensations of his arousal rubbing against her before her mind did. She gripped his right hand that had crept up to her breast, and held it there, as his hips jerked against her, creating an enjoyable friction.

"Come here, Cath." He coaxed her closer, his hands snaking around her waist, pulling her closer to him. They both sighed as her breasts met his chest, each staring at the other. Bringing one hand to rest on the nape of her neck, he gently pushed her further, forcing her lips to mingle with his own. One hand slid from her waist to her butt, where he slipped his hand underneath the thin jogging pants, feeling her heated skin.

The intimate gesture caught her by surprise and she bucked her hips, hard against him, eliciting a moan derived from pleasure from both mouths, still tongue-tangled and carnal. "Gil?" She breathed into his mouth, wanting to know what had changed - what had forced him to take such a drastic step in their relationship. She always knew that something was there, something extra that he didn't share with any other friendship...but she was still curious as to what snapped, allowing the walls to break and for him to take that first step.

His lips detached from hers, granting her time to breathe, but his oxygen was sought through her pores. He needed to taste her, wanted to feel every bit of skin caressed by his mouth. His teeth found the tender skin of her neck, and he nipped her gently, all the while his hands still busied themselves with touch. One hand found refuge in the wild strawberry-blonde strands of her hair, while the other continued to offer and derive pleasure from the firm skin of her buttocks.

Catherine tilted her head to the side, offering him more skin to taste. A thought suddenly flashed through her mind and she blindly reached for his bedside table, opening it up and grabbing the bottle of painkillers. Her eyes scanned the warnings and she dropped her head against his shoulder. "...possible sexual side effects." She mumbled to herself, dropping the bottle back in the drawer. Pressing her hands against his forearms, she pushed herself up and out of his embrace, but still remained connected at the hips.

He swallowed hard, interrupting his primal panting as his lust was ever growing. "Why'd you stop...?" He asked, out of breath.

She glanced down at him, hovering over him with her hands still bracing her weight on his arms. "You don't want this, Gil." She stated, a hint of sadness in her voice. Her chest was heaving and she knew she was but a few touches away from achieving her release.

"I do." He answered simply, grabbing hold of her arms and pulling her down for another kiss.

She fought his hold, and pushed herself back up, chewing on the lips that, seconds ago, held high heat from kisses exchanged. "No...it's the pills - "

He yanked her down, and held her firmly against him, groaning as her squirming brought only successful pleasure to both their southern regions. He gyrated his hips against her, settling for the mimicked version of the act he truly craved. "It's not the pills, Cath...it's you." He whispered, his lips brushing against hers as he spoke. "I want you."

"Gil -"

" - no...I want you. I want you in my arms, want you in my bed." He looked at her through lust-lidded eyes, heavy with love. "I want to feel you when I go to sleep and when I wake up..." he paused, his lips falling into a weak pout, "and sometimes in between."

She giggled, placing a butterfly kiss on his lips, her eyes shining with hope.

"There's that laugh that I love so much." He tickled her sides, which only resulted in more shifting which allowed him another teasing moment. His head lolled back as he basked in the sensation as he let out a low moan. "I want to marry you, you know? I've had these daydreams about that - about how I would pop the question, declaring my love for you." He smiled that dopey smile that she adored. "Everything from our wedding to our happily ever after."

"Okay, now you're scaring me." She chuckled, nestling her forehead against his neck. "But Gil, seriously, where is this all coming from? Why here, why now?" She paused, sucking the soft skin of his neck. "Don't get me wrong, I'm ecstatic, but...but what if it was just the pills talking; your delirious state deceptively heightening emotions that may or may not have crossed your mind?" She closed her eyes, "I don't want you to make that mistake." She sighed, finally looking at her best-friend.

Silence.

She dropped her head to his chest, feeling the even rise and falls that complemented his calm, rhythmic breathing. "Pills..." She sighed, gently rolling off him, on to the other side of the bed of her sleeping partner. She curled up, facing away from him, as her body continued to pulsate - energized by their shortened moment of bliss.


Two days had passed since he had woken up next to Catherine. He barely remembered her coming into his room, much less why she was curled up beside him. The comfort that emanate from his bed at that exact moment actually frightened him more than it brought serenity: it scared him how much his own peace depended on her presence.

They had eaten breakfast in a companionable silence, neither speaking of events occurred and those that had been figments of one person's influenced imagination, though the latter did suspect some occurrence that had been kept in secrecy. When he had inquired, a haste response had been made before an equally brisk retreat took chase soon after, though curiosity did lead him to contemplate the mixture of emotions that swam in her eyes.

Two days later found him sitting in his office, his back - though still sore - in better shape than it had been those past couple of days. Now supported by a therapeutic pillow, lodged between his body and his chair, he sat there alone, reviewing some cases that had piled up during his absence.

"So...how's your back?"

His eyes slowly raised, inspired by her curious tone. He watched her through his lashes, a cautious smile on his face. "You have that 'Cath-ate-the-canary' look."

She raised her hands in defence. "What?"

"Feigned innocence is not one of your fortés, my dear." He replied, eyes falling back to his pile of case reviews. He glanced up to see her plop down in the chair in front of him, legs elevated and crossed, bare feet now resting on a completed mountain of reviews.

She clicked her tongue, effectively gaining his attention.

"What?" He asked, slightly irritated by her obvious plotting.

"Nothing." She replied, an angelic tone forced for her teasing purposes.

"Good." He held her gaze a beat longer, before returning back to papers in front of him.

"So did you mean it?"

His eyes snapped to hers, alarmed at the malevolent tone her voice adopted. "Oh God...what did I say?"

She pressed her lips together to suppress a chuckle that was bubbling. "Oh, this and that." She replied with a non-chalant nature. Her eyes scanned his office as she whistled tunelessly, waiting for her supervisor to snap.

"I know what you're doing." He replied, in a sotto voice.

"What?" She drawled out, offering him a toothy grin. "Is it a crime to just sit here, and spend time with my best-friend?"

"To the tax-payers it is." He replied, focus returning on the paper work in front of him.

"Fine, fine...I'm going." She got up slowly, deliberately taking her time putting on her slip-on sandals.

"Cath," he stretched her name out, playing with the vowel in her name, "what did I say?" His voiced mimicked an adult trying to trick information out of a child; it was light and eager, but still instilling trust in the gentle delivery.

"Ah...I don't think you want to know." She paused, leaning over the desk and patting him on the shoulder. "Wouldn't want to embarrass you." She turned and walked towards the door, a smirk spreading across her lips.

"Is this about the Karaoke nights every Thursday night, because I swear, I only go for the forty-nine cent wings." He stood up and walked quickly towards her, speaking as he moved.

She eyed him with a confused air and shook her head before she burst out laughing. "No, and," she poked his chest, "-that's- funny!" As her chuckles began to subside, she chanced a glance at him, noticing the small smile that had crept on to his previously serious face, and how his eyes sparkled as they watched her lips.

"Catherine, this has been bugging me for days...just tell me what I said!" He begged, dropping his shoulders in defeat.

"But first tell me...what you said, is it the truth?" She needed to know, for her body craved the answers more than his peace of mind did. Her body hummed at night, remembering the sensations that his actions brought on.

He swallowed hard, his eyes no longer able to hold her gaze. "Depends on what I said..."

"Fine." She leaned back against the door, staring straight into his eyes. "That you wanted me." She paused, glancing down before meeting his eyes, "in your pants." She took in his embarrassed state - the redness piercing the otherwise pale skin near his cheeks. "You wanted to marry me, dreamt of the proposal and wedding, and how you wanted to take me to the Bahamas for a two month honey moon of sexual bliss, romps on the beach where our only clothing would be sweat - "

" - I did -not-!" He interrupted, mouth ajar. He hoped that she had been making it up, in order to salvage whatever pride he had left. He cringed, thinking about the pity she was going to offer him, or the mockeries that probably ensued after he declared his honest love to her, under the confident influence of medication.

She relented, offering him a weak smile. "Okay, so I made up the part about the Bahamas, but everything else is God's honest truth." She pressed her lips together, her eyes searching his for answers. "And I know you were on that medication and I'm willing to pass it off as being under the influence...but I need -you- to tell it to me."

He remained silent, his thoughts processing faster than his mind could understand.

"Tell me you didn't mean it, and we'll drop this - pretend it never happened." She commanded him, arms folded across her chest.

"I...I didn't mean it - "

" - lies!" She interrupted him, hands planted on her hips.

"Catherine!" He argued, a frown forming to mask the fear of her seeing through his charade.

"I don't believe you."

He shrugged, looking around with confusion. "I don't know how else to validate...or invalidate myself."

She took a deep breath, and held her chin up high, in defiance. "Then kiss me."

"What! No!"

"Kiss me and then tell me that you feel nothing...that it was just the pills that made us both experience that." She challenged him, her eyes blazing with arousal.

He nervously licked his lips and took a step closer, staring at her lips and only her lips, as fear of his true feelings were exposed for her to see in his eyes. Eyes still open, he bent down and gently brushed his mouth against hers, instantly regretting such an action as his lips refused to pull away. One kiss turned into several, as his hands reached up to cup her face, holding her tight against him. His body crushed hers against the door as his tongue probed her mouth, forcing hers to adopt the familiar dance previously experienced. "See..." he breathed, his mouth once again pressed against hers, "I feel nothing."

She sighed against his mouth, allowing herself to be lifted up and pressed against the door. Wrapping her legs around his waist, she ground her hips against him, seeking that level that they had almost achieved. She ferociously fought off his mouth with kisses of her own, and her nails dug into his shoulders.

"Nothing at all." He repeated without truth, as he reached underneath her skirt and teased her through her panties. Unzipping his pants and shifting in his boxers, he freed his erection, stroking it quickly as he neared release.

"Gil..."

Her eyes offered him the question and his actions answered her as he pushed her panties to the side and entered her roughly - each wanting to experience the animalistic side they both possessed.

Gil thrust into her, burying his face in the warmth of her neck. "I'm close, Cath..."

"Me too." She panted in his ear, her cheek pressed up against the side of his head. "Just let go, Gil."

She grasped his ear lobe between her teeth, sending shivers down his neck and all the way to his toes. It was the last step, and he breathed loudly, emptying in to her, feeling her orgasm rock her body right after. They stood there, still connected, using the door as leverage.

"Still nothing?" She asked with a grin, as he gently set her down. He watched her straighten her underwear and skirt and then proceeded to tidy himself up.

He chuckled, zipping up and went to his desk to turn off the light. "Breakfast?"

She smiled softly at him, loving the happiness she saw reflected in his eyes. "Yeah...if you want to call it that - because you -know- what we're going to do once we get home." She opened the door, only to find Warrick standing there, poised to knock.

"Hey Griss..." He eyed his supervisor, taking in his flushed cheeks and messy attire. Holding up his hand, he thought it better to be left in the dark on that account. "So," he opted for a friendlier route, "how's the pain in your back?"

Gil raised his eyebrow, elbowing Cath in the ribs as she squeaked with laughter. "It's fine," he muttered non-chalantly, "except now I have a pain in the ass to deal with." His eyes sparkled with laughter as he jerked his thumb over his shoulder, motioning the strawberry-blonde, who stood there, mockingly slack-jawed.

"Heeeey!"

–Finis–