Title: If you'll really hold me tight
Type/Pairing: Romance, Cal/Gillian
Summary: It's another Christmas party at the Lightman Group.
Disclaimer: I own neither the show nor the characters. I don't earn any money; it's just for fun.
Author's Note: I present you my first Lie to Me fanfiction. After many poking and prodding from csiangel, who's also my beta (and whom I cannot thank enough for being a wonderful beta and coping with me!), I've finally given in, and wrote this. This is also a late Christmas fic. The title comes from the song Let it snow.
Emily organised the office Christmas party once again, but with Liam's help this time. Cal didn't think it was possible, but she did manage to find an even bigger Christmas tree than the one they had last year. He had wanted to ask her where she found the money to buy it when he had first seen it in the lobby, but one look at Emily and Gillian as their eyes were set on the still untrimmed tree, made him shut his mouth. They were happy and that was what mattered.
Seeing the office all decorated tonight, he was once more glad that they had managed to convince him.
The party was in full swing, now, and he could see that all of his staff was enjoying it. Gillian and Emily once more told him that a Christmas party would be good for morale, and they were right, as it often happened. And he had to say that the party was lightening his mood too after the long week they had had.
Noticing that Gillian wasn't anywhere in sight, he wondered what prompted her to leave the party, and decided to go look for her. He found her on the balcony. The snow was falling over Washington DC, laying a white cover on the ground. She had taken cover, but her eyes were trained on the spectacle in front of her, as if she had never seen it before. He couldn't see her face, but he was pretty sure there was a smile stretching her lips.
As he stepped outside to join her, he saw her shivering slightly, and instead of coming to stand by her side, he stopped behind her, and wrapped his arms around her body.
"You know, a real gentleman would have offered me his jacket," she said, her voice nothing but a whisper; if he hadn't been standing so close to her, he might not have heard it.
"Who said anything about me being a gentleman?"
He rested his cheek against her head, as her hands settled on his arms, bringing him closer to her. They stayed silent for a few minutes, just looking at the snow falling before their eyes.
"What are you doing out here by yourself, love?"
"I wanted to breathe in the falling snow."
"Only you, only you," he replied, chuckling lightly. "We're going to have a white Christmas."
"Yeah, it's great." She paused and took a deep breath. "I miss her," she whispered, and he didn't need to ask who she was talking about. "I've never even spent a Christmas with her, but I still miss her at this time of the year. I wish I could hold her one more time, one last time. But I'm not sure I would be able to let her go."
He didn't say anything; he couldn't say anything. He didn't know what it meant to lose the child you wanted so much. And he didn't think that any words he might say now would be of any comfort to her.
So he did the only thing he could; he tightened his hold on her, anchoring her to the present time. He wanted her to know that he was there for her if she needed him to be.
"I'm okay, Cal, don't worry", she whispered, understanding what he meant by his gesture.
"Do you want me to...?"
"No, stay, please," she interrupted him, gripping his arms a little tighter. "It's a bit chilly," she mused out loud.
He dropped a kiss on her shoulder, before resting his head there once more. He looked out at the falling snow, hoping that they wouldn't end up stranded in the office for the night, but not really caring if they were. This was nowhere near a blizzard, but in all his years in Washington, he had learned to not always trust it.
Looking down, he couldn't help but smile at the view Gillian was offering him.
"Do you realise that I can see down your cleavage from here?" he teased her, and she elbowed him in the gut in retaliation. "Ouch! And to say I was about to compliment you!"
"Yeah, right. I believe you, Cal."
He relinquished his hold on her and came to stand at her side. He could see that she was shivering slightly from the cold, and shrugged off his jacket to put it around her shoulders.
"Wouldn't want you to catch a cold, love," he replied to her questioning eyes. He watched as she put the jacket tighter around her; it was too large for her, but he liked seeing her wearing it.
"We should probably go back inside. Emily's going to wonder where we are."
"We have time. It's not time for the Secret Santas, yet," he assured her, and it provided him an opening for what he wanted to do next. "And actually, it turns out I'm your Secret Santa, this year."
He read her face as it went from confusion to happiness, a big smile stretching her lips. He stayed silent, not revealing anything else, and he could see some frustration taking place on her face, as she realised that it wouldn't be easy.
"Come on, Cal," she finally said, after a few minutes of silence. "Where is it? Where's my present?"
"You were insufferable on Christmas morning when you were a kid, right?"
"Who said I ever stopped?" she teased him, and he could see the truth behind it; he wasn't surprised though, Gillian was still a big kid at heart.
"Ok, fine. A clue, then. You're wearing it. Well, you're not exactly wearing it right now, but it's still on you. And hopefully, you'll be wearing it later, too," he added, waggling his eyebrows and making her blush.
He watched her, as she started looking through the pockets of his jacket, having understood what he meant. He could pinpoint the exact moment she found it; the look of surprise was written all over her face when her fingers brushed the velvet box resting in the right side pocket.
She raised her eyes to him, a question in her eyes, but he kept his face blank, and didn't say anything. Instead, he just waited for her to retrieve the box. As she did, she gasped as she saw the name of the jeweller: Tiffany's. He knew she had a soft spot for its jewels, even if she can't afford them most of the time.
"Cal...," she let his name out in a breath, looking straight into his eyes.
"Go on, open it."
She did as he told her, and he heard another gasp pass through her lips as she saw the chain and the pendant nestled inside.
"That's white gold," he explained, "and there are diamonds on the heart."
"That's gorgeous, Cal. But it must have cost you a small fortune. Not to mention you completely went over Emily's price-limit."
She was about to say something else, but he stopped her with a finger on her lips.
Taking the necklace out of the box, he went to stand behind her. Understanding what he wanted to do, she let the jacket fall off her shoulders. Her hair was already out of the way, having gathered it up in a simple bun.
He slid the necklace around her neck, and fastened it so it fell perfectly in place, neither too high, nor too low on her neck. He didn't move from behind her, and watched as she grazed her fingers lightly against it. When she turned to face him, he could see a lot of emotions written across her face, but the main one was still the surprise; she still wondered why he gave her such a present.
He hugged her to him, his arms wrapping around her back, while hers went around his neck, and placed his lips closed to her ear.
"Thank you, Gill, for being here for me, even when I think I don't need anyone," he whispered. "I don't know what I would do without you." He pulled back, and saw the tears welling up in her eyes. "Hey, hey, don't cry. You'll ruin your make-up, and then Emily is going to ask what I've done to make you cry."
"I don't know what I would do without you, either," she admitted, sniffing a bit to keep the tears at bay.
He hugged her tightly once more, resting his head in the crook of her neck. Deep down, he knew she would be better off without him, without him messing-up every day or so. But he was happy that she didn't think so; he was happy that she needed him just as much as he needed her.
A few minutes later, they were back inside, and were walking towards the Christmas tree, side by side.
They stopped in the doorway, watching their employees enjoying themselves. Emily was near the tree, Liam at her side, talking with her Mom and Roger. This year, Zoe had been able to make it, and for the moment, the conversations between them had stayed polite, if only for Emily's sake.
He watched Ria and Eli near the buffet table, and smiled and chuckled; she had him at her beck and call. From the corner of his eyes, he saw that Gillian had followed his gaze, and noticed the same thing.
"We'll have to have a little conversation," he whispered in her ear.
"Leave them be, Cal, as long as it doesn't interfere with the job," she replied, and he knew better than to contradict her; now wasn't the time for that.
He was about to offer her a drink when he noticed that every pair of eyes in the room had turned towards them. Gillian seemed to have noticed it too, because she had stiffened beside him; he knew she hated being under the scrutiny of their employees.
"What?" he exclaimed when it was obvious no one was going to talk. He waited for someone to speak, but Emily simply pointed to something above their heads. "Really?" he exclaimed once more as he saw the mistletoe hanging above their heads.
"Come on, Dad, it's tradition. You have to kiss Gillian"
He was ready to retort something when he heard a little giggle coming from his side. Looking at her, he could see that Gillian was barely able to contain her laughter. She turned her head towards him, and raised an eyebrow. He could read on her face that she was waiting for him to make a decision. He sent her a look, one only she would be able to decipher, and she responded in kind.
Knowing that they would all be waiting for a decision, he just shrugged, and turned completely towards Gillian. He looked at her face one more time, to be sure of her decision, and pressed his lips against hers. One of her hands came to rest against his cheek, while the other clasped his tightly. His free hand wrapped around her hips, and he started to unconsciously draw circles with his thumb.
He didn't need to look at the faces of the people in the room to know what they were showing. He could guess that most, if not all of them, were probably shocked by what they were witnessing, and Emily was probably doing her best to not say anything. Or maybe she was, but he wasn't hearing her. What he couldn't see, and what would have certainly surprised him was the small smile that played on Zoe's lips.
Their kiss was probably lasting longer than any other mistletoe kiss, but he couldn't really bring himself to care. Their employees, Emily, Zoe, could say anything they wanted, he didn't really care.
Their little secret was now out, and he was more than fine with that.