Disclaimer: Fox may still have the rights to this show, but they don't love it like we do. Fox sucks, Lie to Me is awesome, etc etc.

The Experiment

Gillian Foster was tapping away at her keyboard, lifting her hand occasionally to reposition the lollipop she was sucking in her mouth. She wrapped her tongue around the bright pink sphere, tasting the burst of strawberry in her mouth. She was so absorbed in her licking and sucking – and trying to do some work – she didn't notice Cal standing in the doorway. When he coughed she looked up, and quickly pulled the stick from her mouth so she could speak. "Cal." How long have you been standing there, she wanted to add, but didn't.

"Alright, love?" he asked, strolling towards her desk. His gaze fell to the lollipop in her hand. "Late breakfast?"

"Mid morning snack," she replied, and his eyes suddenly widened as a surprised grin crossed his face.

"What?" she asked, suspicious of the look he wore.

"Your tongue," he said, pointing, as if she didn't know where her tongue was. "It's... pink."

"Tongues are usually pink, aren't they?" she asked drily, but with slight apprehension.

"Not that pink," he said, still grinning. "Take a look. I'm assuming you have a mirror in that bag of yours?"

"Why, because women are so vain they always carry mirrors and lip gloss in their bags?" she asked, with a slight smile. That grin of his was quite infectious.

"No, no," he said. "But... you have, right?"

Sighing, she picked her bag up off the floor and proceeded to rummage through it with one hand, the other still clutching her lolly. Her fingers brushed against her lip gloss, which she ignored, before closing around the small mirror. Pulling it out, she quickly opened it and, trying to ignore Cal's poorly suppressed laugh, stuck her tongue out. She gasped at the sight that met her eyes; her tongue was a bright – almost luminous – pink.

"It didn't say anything about staining your tongue on the wrapper!" she said, furiously looking around, even though she remembered tossing it in the trash can beneath her desk.

"What's the matter, love?" he asked innocently. "I thought you liked pink. It makes you happy."

"Oh, ha ha!" she said, snapping the mirror shut. "Do you think I can meet clients like this, Cal? Hold meetings, question suspects, try to appear professional when every time I open my mouth they'll see this?" She stuck her tongue out again to illustrate her point, and Cal couldn't help an explosion of laughter.

"I think it's quite cute." He winked at her.

She wrapped the remainder of the lolly in a tissue and sent it to join its wrapper in the bin, then picked up the glass of water she had sitting on her desk and took a few big gulps, trying to swill the water around her mouth before swallowing. "Any better?" she asked, sticking her tongue out, but she could tell from Cal's laugh that the water had done nothing to change her tongue back to normal colour.

"It's interesting," he said, his eyes still glued to her tongue. "What they must put in that stuff, to make it go that pink..."

"Not really interested, Cal," she said, standing up. "I'm going to go and brush my teeth." She retrieved the spare toothbrush and toothpaste she kept in her desk drawer, and headed towards the bathroom.

"You want to brush your tongue, love, not your teeth," he called to her retreating figure, the grin still plastered to his face.

###

It was almost fifteen minutes before she returned; he hadn't left her office, only moving to sit in the chair behind her desk. He was drumming his fingers against the desk when he sensed movement in the doorway; looking up, he saw her enter, the toothbrush and tube of toothpaste hanging by her side. She was walking quickly, not looking in the least bit amused, and, he noted, the bristles of her toothbrush were bright pink.

"Did it work, then?" he asked jovially, and she shot him an irritated look as she threw her toothpaste back in the drawer and disposed of the pink-stained toothbrush in the garbage. "I kept spitting pink water," she said, the grumpy edge to her voice only making her sound more adorable to him. "It stained my toothbrush. And it doesn't even look any paler."

"Oh, darling," he said, trying to put on a sympathetic voice but failing miserably as his laughter spilled out again.

"Shut up," she said, swatting him on the arm. She gave him a brief smile, but he could see that, even though she was partly amused by the situation, she was more irritated. "I've got people to see, I can't..." She trailed off as she sat down on the desk next to him, her chair still occupied.

"Well, we'll just have to try and get rid of it, then, won't we?" he said. "Now, let's see... you tried drinking water, and scrubbing it with a toothbrush, to no avail. Perhaps you should try... transference?"

She gave him a blank look. "What are you talking about?"

"You know... transfer it to something else. Really, I think you ought to try it for future reference. In case you ever want one of those things again. And it's a scientific experiment, when you think about it."

"An experiment," she echoed, shaking her head. "You do talk a lot of... bollocks," she said, borrowing one of his favourite words, and he grinned.

"Nah. This experiment'll be fun, I promise."

"Hmm?" she said, sceptically. "And what might I be transferring my pinkness to, exactly?"

"To me," he said, enjoying the way her eyes widened for half a second before she composed her features.

"I beg your pardon?"

"Transfer the 'pinkness' to me."

"And how exactly would I do that?" she asked, although she had a sneaking suspicion; how many ways could there be? Immediately she started thinking of some of those ways – different areas of his body that she could lick – and felt herself begin to blush, which she desperately hoped he wouldn't notice.

"Well, I think the best way is probably a kiss," he said matter-of-factly, but followed it with an impish grin and a wink. "Be good to know if you can get rid of it that way, and if those things pose a danger to others."

"A danger to... Cal." She shook her head. "You really are..."

"Yes, a danger to others," he interrupted. "You know... you eat a pink lolly, your tongue gets stained pink, you snog some guy and he ends up with a pink tongue too. You'd want to know beforehand, wouldn't you?"

"I don't think I'm ever going to eat one of these again, Cal," she said, although as soon as she said that she remembered the sweet yet tangy taste of the strawberry on her tongue, and felt a twinge of disappointment at the thought of not enjoying that again.

"You might," he countered. "Or you could warn others."

"So, is this 'experiment', as you put it, about protecting other people from becoming pink when they kiss someone with a pink tongue, or is it about finding a way to remove the pink from myself?"

"Both. It's a double-pronged experiment."

Now she couldn't help but laugh, too. "You're hopeless," she said, shaking her head. He watched her in silence for a moment, then she gave a dramatic sigh. "You might, however, be my only hope."

He barely had time to register what she was saying – or allow surprise or delight to cross his face – before she reached her hands to his face and pulled his towards her, pressing her lips firmly against his. She opened her mouth to him immediately, and he eagerly pressed his tongue inside. He could taste the strawberry, and something else that was uniquely her. The passion that was flooding from her took him by surprise as she deepened the kiss, and his hands flew to her hair, one running his fingers across her scalp while the other trailed down her neck and spine.

Eventually they pulled apart, slightly glassy eyed and a little breathless. There was a smile on her face that he'd never seen before, and he knew his own face would be showing intense arousal and happiness.

"Stick out your tongue," she whispered, her face still close to his. He obliged, and she let out a giggle that made his heart leap about in his chest. "Pink," she said, another giggle escaping. Then, "Am I cured?"

She stuck her tongue out, and he grinned at her. "Nope. Pink as ever."

A sudden knock on the door had them pulling away from each other, and Gillian called out "enter" seconds before Loker wandered in, waving a pile of papers at her.

"Dr Foster, I have that data analysis you asked for," he said handing the files to her.

"Thank you," she said, hoping she could manage to form the words without him seeing the bright colour of her tongue, but knowing, as soon as she saw the look on his face, that she'd failed.

"Uh... I..."

"Will that be all then, Loker?" Cal asked, not even bothering to hide the pinkness of his tongue.

The young man's eyebrows raised again, a mixture of surprise, confusion and amusement all playing out on his face.

"Uh..."

"Didn't you know it's Stain Your Tongue Pink Day today?" Cal asked casually. "You must have missed the memo. I ought to fire you for that."

"You've threatened to fire me for less," came the reply, earning him an "oi!" from his boss.

"Thank you, Loker," Gillian said, trying to keep a straight face. She watched as he let his gaze slide quickly between them again, before turning and hurrying out of the office. Once the door was closed, she allowed her laugh to fill the room, joining Cal's.

"They'll all be gossiping about that now, you know," she informed him, but the sparkle in her eye told him she didn't disapprove of that as much as she was pretending to.

"Let 'em talk." He trailed a hand up her arm, watching goosebumps appear on her flesh and gave her a seductive grin. "You know... I was thinking maybe we just didn't try hard enough with that experiment. I mean, we only did it once, for a start. It could have been an anomaly. To make it a fair test I really think we need to conduct a few more trials."

"Do you now?" she asked, her voice low, her lips curving in a smile. "Well then Dr Lightman," she said as she leant towards him, her lips hovering tantalisingly above his own. "Let's get experimenting."