Disclaimer: Seriously, people. If I was TPTB, this story would have happened on the show a long time ago.
A.N.: This is basically my first Grillows fic (the other one was more of a GSR angst), so I'd love to know what you think about it. It's set during the episode Who Are You (1x06), where Eddie is accused of raping a stripper.
"You're not still in love with Eddie, are you?" he had asked.
She had been silent.
And now, almost 24 hours and a cleared Eddie Willows later, Grissom could still hear the nagging noise in the back of his mind that kept torturing him: the sound of her silence.
She had answered nothing, yet said everything.
She was still in love with him. In love with her ex-husband. With a jerk that had done nothing but hurt her.
Grissom had watched his best friend stuck in a terrible marriage that had lasted longer than necessary, and he couldn't do anything about it. But he had been there, every single moment. When she suffered, he suffered. When Eddie hadn't bothered dragging his stoned ass to the hospital when she got into labor, Grissom had been there holding her hand. He had been the first to hold Lindsey in his arms. When Catherine suffered a miscarriage seven months later, he had been the one to rock her to sleep as she cried. When she made CSI Level 2, he had taken her out to celebrate. On her daughter's first day of school, he had been the one she had called to talk about her fears of losing her child. The first time Eddie got violent, she had showed up at his door asking if she and Lindsey could spend the night. He had been the first person to know about her decision to ask for a divorce. He was still the one she turned to when she had a problem.
He had been there for her when Eddie wasn't.
But it hadn't mattered, had it?
Gil Grissom sat on his couch after a stressful day at work, his TV on Animal Planet. A documentary on bugs and he wasn't paying attention.
His mind kept drifting back to her. How she had seemed torn in between the ideas of putting Eddie behind bars or saving his life. How she had said she wasn't sure of her feelings. How her face had said loud and clear, even if her voice hadn't, that she didn't know if she loved Eddie or not.
Grissom understood, or tried to, the situation she was in. She had been married to the guy, and they had a daughter together. In fact, Lindsey was the only motive he could think of to explain why Catherine didn't completely despise Eddie. Thinking about how to explain to her six year-old daughter why her father wasn't picking her up on weekends anymore could have shaken Catherine up a bit, which was why he hadn't wanted her on the case in the first place.
But her loving him? Grissom hadn't imagined it would be something to be considered.
And why he was still thinking about it, he could never say.
Why it had been bothering him the whole day? He had no idea.
Gil Grissom wasn't usually the kind of man who accepted having unanswered questions; he had a feeling it wasn't simply the case of being protective of Catherine. However, the more he tried to search for an explanation in his mind, the more confused he got, and the more his headache grew.
Just as he rested his head back on the couch and closed his eyes, a knock sounded on his door.
"Come in" he said.
He knew it was her, and, although he didn't normally leave his door unlocked, he also knew she had a key.
"Where are you? Oh, hi" she smiled as she found him in the darkness of the apartment. The blinds on the living room's window were closed, keeping the colors of Vegas from peering through. The room would have been pitch-dark if not for the light coming from the television.
It didn't surprise him that she was there. They had made a habit out of meeting at his place after a particularly rough case. And he knew this one had taken its toll on her.
He had opened his eyes at the sound of her voice, and upon seeing her smiling at him while closing the door behind her, he knew. He suddenly discovered why the possibility of her loving another man was so disturbing to him.
"Gee, have some light in here, will ya? What are you, a vampire?" she joked, and turned the kitchen light on.
He got up from the couch and followed her, watching as she opened his fridge and looked inside "Well, I have been told to have the same type of charm Count Dracula has"
She gave up on the nearly empty fridge and moved on to the cupboards "Don't take that as a compliment"
"Hey, stop snooping around" he batted her hand away when she went to open the microwave. She laughed.
"It's not like I'm gonna find anything, anyway" she rested her hip on the table and crossed her arms "So, wanna go out and grab a bite?"
He made a face, indicating he didn't want to leave the apartment. "Ok", she said "Let's just starve to death, shall we?"
He had been so lost in the strange familiarity of the situation - her walking into his home and fitting there perfectly - that he almost missed when she bent down to retrieve the scotch bottle from its place under the sink.
"Catherine" he warned.
"What? I deserve it, after the day I had" she poured two glasses and handed one to him. When he refused to take it, she added "It's out of the bottle now. One of us is gonna drink it"
He took the glass from her hands, their fingers brushing softly. She drank her scotch in one big gulp, and the set the glass back on the table, forcefully.
"Eddie has Lindsey for the day" she said, walking to the couch "The house was too empty"
He sat beside her and turned off the television. "Did you talk to him?"
"Yeah" she huffed "He seemed relieved. Grateful, even"
"I'm sure he was"
She rested her head back and closed her eyes, mimicking Grissom's position from when she arrived.
"That girl, Gil. April. She reminded me of who I was"
"Because she's an exotic dancer" he said, nodding.
"No. Because she's a fool"
He turned to her, confused. She couldn't see him, but she noticed from the silence that he was waiting for her to continue.
"She fell for Eddie's smooth talk and empty promises, just like I did. He said he was going to take her off strip clubs. Idiot. He didn't change a bit"
"Catherine" he started, but she interrupted.
"I sometimes wonder if I brought it on myself, you know? I mean, I had a pretty good idea of what he was when I married him. I should have known better" she closed her eyes tiredly.
"You were biased. You loved him" he comforted, remembering the battle he had been having with himself when she came in.
She laughed bitterly "Yeah" after a few moments, she added "But I knew he couldn't have raped that girl"
"Weren't you still biased then?"
"Why would I be? No, if anything, I would be biased to believe he did it, just so I could have him out of my life for good" she opened her eyes and stared intently at the ceiling "He is a scumbag, but he wouldn't go that far"
"Catherine? Cath" the nickname he so rarely used seemed to get her attention and she focused her stare on him "Are you still in love with Eddie?" he repeated his question from earlier, and for some reason, his heart started beating faster.
She was silent.
She sighed, and just when he was opening his mouth so say something, anything, to break the awkward silence, she whispered "No"
He almost didn't hear it.
But he did, and it was enough for his heart to return to its normal pace.
She looked into his eyes, and seemed to read his mind, for she said "It took me working on this case to realize it. I haven't loved Eddie in a long time. Looking back, I think halfway through our marriage, I wasn't in love with him anymore. But maybe this case was some sort of, you know, closure"
He smiled "Well, I'm just glad everything worked out alright"
But there was more he wasn't saying, more he wanted to say. She sensed it and placed her hand upon his, which was resting on the couch in the space between them.
"How about dinner Saturday night to celebrate closure, uh?" he asked, his eyes sparkling.
"We are both on call Saturday night" she reminded him.
"That could be arranged"
They stayed there, looking at each other, smiling, neither one of them daring to make a move. In a bold one, though, Grissom slowly moved his free hand to her face, and enjoyed the feel of her skin under his, while she closed her eyes and leaned into his touch.
"Sounds perfect" she all but purred, her eyes still closed.
"Catherine, I..." he started, but had no idea of what to say next. Should he tell her what had been on his mind the whole day? Should he tell her of the puzzle he had solved tonight, should he tell her that he now knew he wanted her in his life in all ways possible? Should he tell her he never wanted her to leave his apartment, that she looked perfect just sitting on his couch? Should he tell her he thought she belonged there, with him?
"Gil" she said after a while, but her words seemed to be failing her too "I... Just..." trailing off, she moved closer to him, and before he could think, her lips were pressed to his in a mind-blowing kiss.
It wasn't two seconds until he reacted, his tongue begging her for entrance. Her lips parted and she put her arms around his neck, pulling him closer. He rested on hand on the back of her head and the other on her waist as his tongue examined the inside of her mouth thoroughly. Their tongues battled until they decided they couldn't hold off breathing for much longer, and pulled apart.
"Wow" she said.
He looked into her eyes, searching for the answer to his unasked question: was it okay with her what they just did?
She smiled and didn't break eye contact. She allowed him to see the years of longing, of pent up passion, of hidden love. He smiled back, and leaned in to kiss her again, knowing that it was all different now, knowing that she wanted it to be different just as much as he did.
Her silence told him everything he needed to know.
A.N.: I'm not so sure I liked how it turned out, but I promise the next one will be much better. Please, leave a review; they make my world go round.