Title: Outside the Microscope
Author: Dana
Rating: K+
Disclaimers: I don't own anything. Everything belongs to Jerry Bruckheimer, CBS, and Alliance Atlantis. I'm just borrowing some characters for awhile.
Summary: Short little post-ep.
Spoilers: 'Burden of Proof,' post-ep
A/N: I have no beta, so any mistakes are mine.

Screwdriver in hand, I make myself comfortable on his couch. I watch him order the plant for Sara and smile. 'From Grissom.' Some sentiment. I know Sara will read more into the gesture than she should, but I'm glad Gil's trying to make amends.

He hangs up the phone and we talk as he finishes preparing dinner. He refuses to let me help, though. He gets the plates down from the cabinet and the silverware out of the drawer.

I finish my first screwdriver and return to the kitchen to make a second one. He smiles as I add a little more vodka than I should have. I ask if he wants another one, but he's still working on his first one.

He plates our dinner and carries the plates to the table. I follow him with the napkins and silverware. He pulls out my chair and I sit, touched by his simple gesture.

"Thank you."

"You're welcome."

We eat in companionable silence. I'm looking at my plate, but I can feel him staring at me. I glance at him, but his eyes quickly dart away. I smile slightly and continue eating.

We finish eating about the same time. "Would you like some more?" he asks.

"It was wonderful, Gil, but I'm absolutely stuffed."

"Okay." He stands and picks up our plates, carrying them back to the kitchen.

"Do you need some help?" I ask.

"No, I'm fine. Go ahead and make yourself comfortable."

I take the rest of my screwdriver back to the window so I can look at the city. He's got such a nice view.

I'm staring out the window and don't hear him until he's standing right behind me.

"Cath?" His hand lightly touches my shoulder.

I'm startled and I turn to face him.

He leans down and kisses me softly on the cheek. "Thank you."

"What for?"

"For making me see that there's life outside of a microscope. I don't want to shut you out anymore," he says with emphasis on the 'you.'

"Just me?"

"Just you." His hand slides down my arm and he takes my hand in his. I can feel him shaking. He's nervous. He licks his lips and shifts his weight, but never lets go of my hand. "I'd like...I'd like to kiss you."

I have butterflies. "I'd like that."

He licks his lips again. He leans down slowly and it feels like an eternity before our lips finally connect. The kiss is soft and sweet, but hints at things to come.

"I wanted to do that earlier but I chickened out," he confesses.

"I'm glad you didn't chicken out this time," I reply.

"Me, too."

We smile at each other and lean in for another kiss.

Sara may get the plant, but I have something she'll never have.