Thanks to D.A. for providing me with a challenge to write something.

Challenge: Write a story where G & S come up with a consensus of when they became "intimate".

Disclaimer: I own nothing… CBS rules all… blah blah blah

A/N: Please R&R.

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Intimate (according to Merriam-Webster online dictionary):

Definition 1a: Intrinsic, Essential

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BEFORE SHIFT

"So, did Ecklie say when he wanted our stories straight?" Sara asked from the couch in the livingroom.

"Not precisely," Gil replied, "but I got the feeling he's going to talk to us again at some point, so I asked him to stop here after shift tonight."

"And what are we planning on telling him?"

"I still say nine years."

Gil walked from the kitchen with a couple cold bottles of water, and sat down on the couch next to Sara.

Sara sighed, grinned, and shook her head at this.

"You know what he's talking about, Gil. He wants to know when we became physically involved," Sara stated, knowing this argument would never work with him – a man who loved words.

"I know, but according to the definition, the word intimate can mean a lot of things – as far as I'm concerned, it means intrinsic and essential," Gil replied.

Grinning, Sara lay out on the couch and put her head in his lap, contemplating the idea.

"If that's the case," she replied, "then we've been intimate a lot longer than nine years."

Gil's furrowed brows conveyed his confusion as he looked down at her. Obviously confused, the word-smith just said, "Huh?"

Sara shyly looked up at his face and said, "I dreamed of your blue eyes and curly hair when I was a teenager. I couldn't see your face, but your eyes stole me. When I took your seminar, I saw your eyes, felt the connection, and you took my breath away."

Gil's grinned as he ran his hand through her long curly hair.

Chuckling, he asked, "How often have you dreamed of me?"

Sara's face darkened as the blush slowly crept from her neck to her hairline.

"I've been dreaming of you nearly every night," she softly replied. Her own eyes, a deep brown turned gold with memory. "I've been waiting for you."

Gil moved his hand from her hair to the sensitive spot she loved rubbed under her ear. Everyday, she amazed him. At the moment he was speechless, as he stared down at her.

"Gil, you have been essential to my existence since I was that teenage girl. Dreaming of your eyes, of running my hands through your hair were all intrinsic to my being. If that's how we are going to define it, then we have been intimate for more than half my life," Sara whispered.

As he rubbed her neck, Gil thought about the teenage girl she had been, he thought about his own dreams – of beautiful brown eyes, long curly hair, and a laugh that made him feel… content to his bones.

"Your eyes sank me, too," he finally responded.

"I've had similar dreams," he confessed, "since I was a teenage boy."

Winding her hair through her fingers, Gil leaned his head back against the couch, and contemplated intimacy. The question was cosmic.

They relaxed on the couch for a bit, each deep in thought, when Sara ran her hand up the side of Gil's face and into his hair.

Her eyes danced with laughter when it occurred to her to ask, "So, you've been dreaming of me for longer than I've been alive?"

"Apparently," he responded, grinning at her. He continued, "Even before I dreamed of you, I think I needed you – I've needed the thought of you, the hope of you, not just the dream of you."

"I think," Gil continued, "that you have always been there."

With this statement, he lowered his head, touching his lips to hers, never closing his eyes – just watching Sara's flare, and knowing the fire in his own would be what she sought.

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AFTER SHIFT

Sara was asleep in the recliner, when Gil walked in the door, followed by Conrad Ecklie.

She looks tired, he thought, and quietly walked over to where she lay, half-sprawled, and not covered nearly enough by the quilt to prevent the cool room from making her curl into herself.

Gently, Gil ran his hands through her hair, kissed her on the cheek, and waited for her to slowly come awake.

"Hey, hon," he whispered, "We have company."

Sara's sleep-fogged mind looked past Gil to Ecklie, but it took a moment to register.

"Oh!" she exclaimed, looking down at her sleeping attire, consisting of a tank top and shorts, then back to Gil.

"Why don't you go change, dear," he suggested, helping her stand up, and guiding her in the general direction of the bedroom.

Turning back to Ecklie, Gil motioned towards the couch and prompted Ecklie to have a seat.

"She'll be a few moments. Care for some coffee?" Gil offered.

"Sure… thanks," Ecklie replied.

While Gil saw to the coffee, Conrad Ecklie had a chance to look around the home. Signs of Sara and Gil were everywhere. Books on entomology were stacked on shelves, while journals on forensics, physics, and chemistry splayed across the coffee table.

A picture of them on a picnic, her hand in his, a grin across both of their faces sat in a frame on a shelf. Sara's purse lay on a side table, next to the recliner she'd been laying in, and her lip gloss lay forgotten on the floor, where it had rolled off.

What was obviously Gil's model cockroach lay still in pieces on a card table behind the recliner, half put together, half forgotten, like a jigsaw puzzle someone casually worked on.

Ecklie spotted a notepad and he picked it up. Flipping through pages, it looked like simple notes from journals and books that Sara had taken, with comments such as Show Gil – he'll laugh when he reads it or Take it to work. It's an interesting concept written in the margins. It wasn't until he'd flipped halfway through that he found the letter, scrawled in the margins.

Dear Gil,

Your heart gives me faith. Your trust makes me soar. Your love makes me want more than I ever thought I could. You will forever be my only one.

Feeling like he was invading a sacredly private place, Ecklie quickly dropped the notebook where he found it and leaned back in surprise. It had never truly occurred to him that their relationship might be more than an affair – a fling. After all, in his mind, if they'd been serious, they would've talked about it – shared with their friends. They'd never said a word.

At that moment, Gil walked out of the kitchen, balancing three cups of coffee, and Sara walked out of the bedroom, dressed in sweats and one of Gil's sweatshirts.

After passing around cups of coffee, Gil sat down on the couch next to Ecklie, while Sara resumed her position in her favorite chair, and threw the quilt over her legs.

Ecklie cleared his throat, took a drink of coffee, then looked from Sara to Gil.

"Do you have your stories straight?" Ecklie asked them.

Sara and Gil looked at one another and smiled.

"Yes, Conrad, we think we do have our stories straight," Gil replied.

He grinned at Sara, then turned to the Ecklie.

"It's very simple. We've been intimate since time began."