AN: sorry guys. I'm very tired at the moment. Should be correct now.
P.S this was a muse collaborated fic and definitely one of my favourites :)
There is another knock on the door as Gillian approaches it. "Yeah," she calls through the wood, to let whoever is there know that she is there too. She unlocks it and pulls it open to reveal a gush of cool spring air and Cal standing on the other side.
"Hi," he greets simply.
"Hi," Gillian echoes. She doesn't move to let him in. So Cal asks if he can. "I don't really feel like company right now," she tells him gently.
"Are you not alone?" Cal queries.
"No," she responds too quickly.
"I want to talk."
"I don't feel like talking."
Cal steps up to the door frames and pushes his way inside. Gillian doesn't resist but she doesn't move out of his way either and so his chest presses against hers as he makes his way inside. He's warm. "Bought you a peace offering," Cal gestures a bottle of red wine in her direction as he moves past her. He disappears into the house and Gillian resigns herself to the fact that she won't be able to get rid of him until he's said what he came to say, nor did she try very hard to dismiss him in the first place. She closes the front door and moves into her living room. Cal must have moved quickly, because he's already been to the kitchen to get wine glasses and he's in the process of removing his light sports coat. When she comes in he takes the wine from her again and opens it.
"Should you really be drinking?" Gillian queries as he pours.
"I'm fine," he tells her.
"Of course you are," she responds under her breath as she takes a seat on the far side of the couch. The distance is not lost on Cal. The air between them grows thick.
"You didn't give me a chance to explain," Cal starts, sounding almost like he is accusing her. He puts the bottle down, picks up her glass and comes to sit next to her, close, his leg bent across the cushion so he is facing her. He hands her one of the drinks and she watches him almost suspiciously. "Every minute of that case was pure torture for me."
Gillian double blinks in surprise. She grips her glass stem with both hands lest she drop it, or her suddenly slightly shaking fingers give her shock away.
"Torture," Cal repeats with meaning, staring her dead in the eye. He's not even reading her features.
"For me too," Gillian lets slip so quietly it's practically a whisper.
Cal shifts a little closer and his hand comes to rest on her knee that is up in the air, her foot on the cushion. It was meant to act like a barrier between them, but those kinds of physical cues have never stopped Cal in his tracks for long. "Gill, I want you to know, I never meant to hurt you with this case. It was a delicate game..."
"Those games hurt me sometimes."
"I don't mean to."
"I know. But..."
"Go on," Cal urges sincerely.
"After what we talked about in Norfolk?"
"I know, I know," Cal gives a slight wince. "But... I read your profile on Ward. You know what happened was the right thing."
"Doesn't mean it doesn't hurt me. Especially when I find out that it was a con for you all along and I didn't know. I feel like you play me too."
"I rely on playing you," Cal says hesitantly. "I need you to react the way you do to make the con work. To sell it."
"React how?" She gives a wry smile.
Cal wants to smile because she is, but this is not something he should find amusing. "I knew you would refuse to be alright with what I was doing."
"Why?" Gillian immediately asks affronted. "You think I would be jealous?"
"No," Cal corrects her carefully. "I knew you would see through her." He pauses. "Why? Were you jealous?"
"No," Gillian scoffs although she's not sure. "You didn't see through her."
"I saw through her the minute she walked through the door."
"Of course you did," Gillian responds drolly rolling her eyes.
"I knew you wouldn't let it go. You would push the investigation forward. I rely on you having my back at all times. I felt terrible for distancing us," he ploughs on, not entirely sure which part of this is meant to assuage her, but knowing somewhere in the mess of his words she would find some comfort on some level. "But I did that to make sure she wouldn't hurt you too. She oozed jealousy when you were around. I even called Em to get her to stay with her grandparents just a few days longer."
Gillian looks surprised at this.
"But I couldn't tell you that, because then you'd know," Cal continues. "Without that drive, without your insistence... Every little element of the con worked out in the best possible way." He implores with his eyes. He wants her to understand, but words are not his friend. He's unable to put together the right combination for her; just her, everyone else he's fine with. It's only Gillian that tangles his tongue in a web of confusion.
Cal repositions himself, as if to physically shake off the last topic of conversation. "I'm still trying to work all of this out. Sometimes we're close and it feels great and then something happens and you pull away from me so abruptly," he stops and seems to gather his thoughts. He gets a little closer, so his leg is resting firmly along the length of her thigh and her ass. "The thing is. I'm not sure where we stand. We talk about some things but not others and sometimes you kiss me, but you won't let me kiss you. I can feel something happening but I don't exactly know what it is..."
Gillian suddenly leans towards him, bringing her hand to cup around the back of his neck, so he can't move away in surprise. She kisses him. But it's not the sweet kiss she gave him several months ago, this one is firm, its hot, it makes Cal forget to breathe, it makes Gillian's heart beat so hard she's sure her blood is visible pulsing beneath her skin. She breaks away and lets go of him and it takes them both a stunned second to gather their wits again. "Is that clearer for you?" She asks, her voice raw with overwhelming emotion.
Cal gives a brisk nod. "Very clear," he forces out and clears his throat. "Very clear," he repeats more surely, while Gillian takes a large gulp of her wine and avoids his eye. "Gill..." Cal starts again. "I." And he stops. "I don't know what to say," he admits. His hazel eyes are wide.
"Every time you get into trouble... I can't handle that anymore. Not after what happened with me and Zoe. And then every time you say to me that you won't do it again, that things are different now, and then you run off again without a second thought to me or your safety..."
"I know," Cal agrees quietly. "I keep saying it but I'm yet to act on it."
Gillian is clearly stunned. She sits there and would have done a double take if she hadn't actually already been looking at him. Cal swallows his wine in two large gulps and sets the glass on the table nearby to refill it. "Should you really be drinking?" Gillian asks warily again.
"Doc didn't say I couldn't," Cal mumbles as he pours. Gillian finishes her wine and taps the glass against his shoulder. Cal takes it and fills it more than last time; he empties the last millilitres into his own glass.
"Do you need to drink to be able to talk to me?"
Cal's mouth twitches. "I need a drink to talk about this stuff." He puts the bottle down.
"Is it that hard?"
"No," he looks over at her as he hands her, her glass back. "Just scares me."
"Because?" Gillian prompts.
"This is..." he waves a hand as he searches for the word. "Significant."
"Significant." Gillian repeats.
"Life altering, big deal kind of stuff." He gives her a studying expression, as if he is testing the waters with her. "After that kiss..." his mouth twitches a little further into a smile. "I'd be an idiot to think this is anything but."
"You and me."
"Ok," Gillian nods. "We're on the same page. I'm glad."
"Are we on the same page?" Cal takes up his position again; close, hand on her leg, his expression intense, the heat coming off his body palpable. "What does the kiss mean?"
"What do you want it to mean?" Gillian asks sounding worried.
"I want it to mean that..." he hesitates and looks away to think. He looks back to her, unsure, almost begging her to give him the answer.
"What do you want it to mean Cal?"
"Something," he tries and winces again. "God I'm bloody terrible at this." He turns to reach for his wine glass again, taking another big gulp. "I want it to mean that you actually like me and I like you."
Gillian gives him a slight smile. He's so very adorable right now. "I do like you Cal."
He gives a grin. "Good." Then it fades quickly. "In that way though right?"
"Yes Cal, in that way."
His grin is back. He sips his wine. "Good," he gives a nod. Gillian sips hers around a silly smile. "I like you in that way too. Very much."
Cal raises his eyebrows. "Oh did you now?"
"Uh huh," Gillian nods. "You don't kiss a friend that way."
Cal gives her another grin; this one stupid and unabashed and confident again. He finishes his second glass of wine. "So now what?"
Gillian gives a little sigh. "I'm not sure."
"You have second thoughts?" Cal is worried again.
"No. But I don't want to rush anything."
"You mean, you want to see that I really have changed before you jump in with both feet?"
"Is that so bad?" Gillian retorts lightly.
"No. It's probably a very sane idea. A safe idea. You should do that," Cal suddenly seems sure. "We should take time."
"To get to know each other?" Gillian seems mildly amused.
"You realise we've known each other for over seven years?"
"Has it been that long?" Cal asks, eyebrows and voice raised.
"It has," Gillian smiles.
Cal gets closer, so he's leaning into her. Gillian places a hand on his shoulder but not to push him away. "But you want to take this slowly?" He asks, eyebrows raised, he knows the answer already. He studies her face anyway and she gives a slight nod. He nods too, mimicking her. "I'm all right with that. I want for us to get this right. No rushing into it and it blowing up in our faces."
She gives him a small smile. Her cheeks have reddened and her eyes glow in the sweetest way. Cal stares at her for a long time, taking in her features. "You're staring," she whispers. It's hard to tell if it's the wine, the topic or that he's sitting so close to her, that is making her feel so warm.
"I've been staring for seven years," Cal whispers back.
Gillian leans towards him slightly and Cal leans towards her. She moves a little bit closer, her eyes flickering between his eyes and his mouth, daring him to kiss her this time. Cal closes the distance slowly and he seems to sigh against her, to relax fully, to want to fall into her completely. Their mouths press together tightly. Just as they simultaneously open their mouths, with twin pulls in each of their stomachs, and sharp intakes of breath, Cal brings his arm around to curl his fingers around the back of her neck. He knocks her wine glass down the front of her chest.
"Oh!" Gillian pulls back abruptly.
"Oh," Cal repeats. "Sorry luv!" He moves back quickly to give her space.
"It's ok," Gillian tells him gently as she leans to pull the fabric of her shirt away from her body. Cal takes her now empty wine glass from her hand and puts it down on the coffee table next to his.
"Have I ruined a favourite shirt?"
"I'll put it in the wash right away and it should be fine."
"Do me a favour?"
"What?" Gillian asks him as she gets up.
"Take your shirt off in here."
She shoots him a smirk as she leaves the room. Cal grins after her and then his expression turns thoughtful. He runs his hands over his face as if he is tired, or defeated.
Gillian's Apartment. Bedroom. Night.
Gillian binds the ties on her pyjama bottoms into a bow and catches her reflection in the mirror. She runs her fingers over her red lips and her eyes stray to the door. She gives a little pleased smile. She readjusts her white tank top and stoops to pick up her wine stained clothes. She takes them to the laundry and makes her way back to the living room. Cal has stretched out on the couch, using the arm of one end as a pillow for his head. His eyes are closed and Gillian watches him for a moment.
"Now who's staring?" Cal speaks quietly.
"Are you staying?"
"Either that or I'll have to call a taxi."
"Hmm," Gillian muses as she gets closer to him. She turns out a light as she goes by, making the room that much dimmer.
"Cos that wine has gone right to my head."
"Move over," she tells him softly and he inches his hip away from the back of the couch, creating a small gap for her to fit in. Gillian climbs over him.
"Wait," Cal speaks again. "If I open my eyes are you going to be naked?"
"No," Gillian scoffs.
"Then I'll keep them closed."
She gives a small smile in response as she positions herself against his side. Cal turns slightly to give her more room and forces his knee between hers gently. He shifts his arm to wrap around her shoulders and she lowers herself so her head is resting in the crook of his neck. Cal's other hand comes to rest on her waist. "This is nice," Cal murmurs.
"Is this ok?" She asks him cautiously.
"It's very ok."
"Ok," she whispers.
"Although you don't have to stay. You have a perfectly comfortable bed in the other room."
"And you want to join me there?" She guesses.
"I'd be lying if I said I didn't. But, you know, I'd have the decency to buy you dinner first."
Gillian gives a light chuckle despite herself.
"I should warn you darling, I get handsy in my sleep," Cal murmurs, already starting to drift off. "Specially if I've been drinking."
"I shall extricate myself later then."
"All right. Good plan."
"You'll be here when I wake up though?"
"Yes. So long as you promise me one thing?"
"Depends what it is."
"I love that," Cal replies sardonically. "No trust."
"What do you want me to promise?" Gillian prompts.
"That you won't slip anything into my breakfast in the morning," Cal answers.