Author's Note: I felt like dabbling in this universe because, at heart, I'm just another obsessive fangirl. You'll forgive me for canonical inaccuracies, right?
When I was young, I was always confused and frustrated whenever an adult told me – on the sly, with a haughty expression that I now know comes from perceived superiority, a byproduct of seniority – that there was a thin line between love and hate. I hadn't understood this concept at the time because, to my younger self, love was an emotion of purity – something that ought not to be tainted with hate, which embodied evil and ugliness. But, as with most things told to us when we are children, I absorbed this life lesson regardless of the way I felt, and believed it to be an absolute truth, because it was knowledge passed down from an adult, and what experience did I have at the time to prove them wrong?
But now, standing wearily in the shoes of adulthood, representing the type of person I would have idolized as a child, I now understand what the adults of my past meant. In fact, I am experiencing it first-hand.
Because while I love Cal Lightman down to the last molecule in my body, there's also a large part of my heart that hates everything about him. And God help me, but I want to kiss him and castrate him at the same time.
Cal Lightman is an infuriating man. He's also, in my eyes, a devastatingly sexy one. The two traits, I've learned, tend to come hand in hand, but that's neither here nor there. What's important is that, due to the second trait, I tend to forgive him for the first, and this lapse in my judgment provides no small amount of self-loathing.
Cal doesn't understand boundaries. From personal experience, I know he has no problem getting in someone's face. But he also doesn't understand emotional boundaries and the need for some emotional secrecy, which I find rather ironic, considering he studies emotions. He's gotten better though, through what I assume is a hard-learned lesson from his ex-wife, sometimes-lover. (I can't say I understand that dynamic, but I'll just chalk it up to the enigma that is Dr. Lightman.)
Cal also doesn't understand that it's hard for me to see him sacrifice himself day in and day out. Because of this, he adopts this cavalier attitude about his mortality, as if nonchalantly staring down the barrel of a gun is an everyday occurrence and as humdrum as taking out the trash. As a result, I can't turn to him after another one of his close calls with tears in my eyes and my arms outstretched for a hug, because the emotions he associates with sacrifice don't equate with mine. And while I sometimes, if I'm terribly lucky, get a hug at the end of a long day, it's a hollow gesture, almost as if he feels he should be giving me a hug but he doesn't know why.
Cal also doesn't understand that his set of ethics isn't everyone's set of ethics. He expects me to go to bat for him constantly; expects me to disregard the law and my conscience as I see fit, because as he sees it, the ends justify the means. But whenever I try to clue him in to the fact that there are just some things I simply cannot do, he leaps right on top of that high horse of his and acts the disappointed and betrayed partner, as if I'm not pulling my weight. It's during these times that I'm most tempted to throttle him, because I absolutely loathe that type of emotional blackmail and haughtiness, even if it is delivered with that lovely, lilting accent of his.
In addition to all this, I really do hate the way Lightman interacts with certain women. I can fully admit that this facet of my intense dislike for him might stem from jealousy – after all, doesn't the female best friend always hate the women in her male best friend's life? But as hard as it is to admit, it's a huge blow to my ego whenever Cal and I fight over a woman in his life, especially when I have a legitimate reason besides jealousy (say, being forced to lie to Internal Affairs), because I always see that minute smirk on his face during the argument – the one that says, "Yes, I know this is bad idea, Foster, and you can say 'I told you so' later, but you really ought to do something about that envy you have written all over your face". And whenever another woman comes between Cal and I, I can't help but compare myself to her, wondering what about me allows Lightman to think he can saddle me with his baggage while the other woman only gets the fun, flirty, sometimes raunchy Cal. Is it that I'm not fiery enough? Is it that instead of pushing his buttons, I opt for compromise? Am I just the genderless therapist to him? These incessant, maddening questions plague me daily, and I have only Lightman to blame.
I hide my hatred from him, for obvious reasons. I might not be the best liar, but I'm adept as distracting myself, and while the face might reveal what emotion a person is feeling, it thankfully doesn't reveal why. If he asks why I'm displaying contempt or disgust, I can breezily reply it's because of the rain, or something I've read in the news, or even the bad cup of coffee I was stupid enough to waste three dollars on.
I have a harder time hiding my love from him. I suspect this is a result of my younger conceptions of the purity of love – likely something about how true love is always obvious, or some other sentimental tripe. Either way, he'll see me more often with a smile than a frown – that's the way I'd like it remain.
He can't know that his gentle, empathic Gillian is also a highly cynical woman, because I don't know if I can handle the fallout that will result from that disenchantment.
Then again, perhaps he already knows. That's another problem with Cal – he rarely, if ever, tells you how he truly feels. I, on the other hand, am a full-disclosure kind of person, and that's why Cal and I are constantly in some kind of conflict.
Inevitably, I know that it's unlikely that I'll ever get to kiss Cal Lightman, regardless of the depth of love I hold for him and his infuriating tendencies.
To be honest, I'd settle for a hard kick to the shin, but something tells me Cal wouldn't agree to it.
I'll just have to smile instead.
Side Notes: I meant no offense (nor did I mean to induce cringing) when I mentioned castration. I used this verb for dramatic, (hopefully humorous) effect, nothing more. Also, this whole piece is a glorified rant in support of Gillian, because after this season, I wholeheartedly endorse her punching Cal in the face.