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10 March 2008 @ 08:05 pm
Blink [CSI; Grissom/Catherine]  
TITLE: Blink
FANDOM: CSI
PAIRING: Grissom/Catherine
SPOILERS: "Viva Las Vegas" (5x01)
RATING: PG-13
SUMMARY:


*****

In the blink of an eye, everything can change. Your world can end... or begin anew. A life can end, another can begin, another can be altered forever. All it takes is a blink. Just that split-second between the moment when your eyes close, and then open again. Everything can get turned upside down...

**

Blink.

You know you look hot. You spent a tiny fortune on that black tank top with the criss-crossy straps. You know it shows off the curves like no other shirt you own. And you know you always look hot in those tight black pants. The ones that ride low on your hips. Yes, the mirror was definitely your friend tonight when you were getting ready.

Blink.

You spread your glossy lips into a smile... one that you know makes every man melt... and direct it toward the young bartender, your eyes asking where your boyfriend is. And the bartender nods in response to this silent question... even in the dim light, he can read those big sparkling eyes... and he points to a door off to the right, to the side of the bar.

Blink.

You feel your body start to move toward that door, and for some reason your heart picks up speed. You can't quite figure out why yet, so you just raise your hand to the door and begin to push it open... staring for a moment at your fingernails. Should you get those French tips redone?

Blink.

The French tips are forgotten as your eyes open once more, and register on a sight you hoped you'd never see again after Eddie. There's your boyfriend... with his pants undone... his arms around some skanky cocktail waitress, whose legs are wrapped around his waist. It doesn't take a genius to figure out what's transpiring here.

Blink.

Oh, imagine that. They noticed you amidst all the thrusting and moaning. The slut is blinking rapidly, her expression incredulous... while your boyfriend hardly looks fazed by your presence. His face shows no remorse over what he's been caught doing. He merely shrugs his shoulders, as if it's no big deal.

Blink.

As he spouts off some line about how you should've seen this coming... you feel the tears spring to your eyes. It's happened again. You fell for a charmer, again. You got screwed over again. But you won't cry. Not now, dammit. You won't give the bastard the satisfaction. You won't even give him the satisfaction of being worthy enough of a slap.

Blink.

You do the only thing you can think of doing. You turn tail and head out the way you came in. But you don't cry. Even as you slip past the bartender and feel his questioning eyes on you, you still don't cry. But the tears are still threatening to spill over.

Blink.

You can barely feel your own hands as you push your way through the crowd, not caring how many people glare at you or call you a bitch for your behavior. You've been called worse, after all.

Blink.

You're now back out on the street, and the cool night air rushes over you. It's then that you realize the first tear has begun to carve its path down your face... but instead of wiping away the evidence of its existence, you merely let it congeal there; you let it harden against your skin as you head for your car.

Blink.

Once you've shut yourself into your Denali and slide the key in the ignition, you feel a couple more tears escape... and you silently damn those droplets of water. For betraying you. For betraying that strong, collected exterior of yours, and exposing your hidden vulnerability.

Blink.

The engine roars to life, just barely concealing the brief sob that escapes your lips, and you reach for the dial on the radio, turning it up practically full-blast. You're not a religious person, and yet, as your sniffles mingle with the sounds from the radio, you pray for a sign. A sign of what to do next... where to go now.

Blink.

And suddenly it's there. Embodied in a song you haven't heard for quite some time... and you know exactly where to go as you hear those lyrics that had echoed in the desert night just months before: "Are you gonna be my girl?"

Blink.

Your heart skips a beat as you remember the last time you heard those lyrics... who you were with the last time you'd heard them. And then, far more powerful than that last sign... another hits you. How could you have been so blind?

Blink.

Had you really never taken the time to notice it before? To notice who you went to when just a blink tore your world apart? For twenty years you'd been doing this without even realizing it. How could you have been so unbelievably oblivious?

Blink.

The tears get forced back as you throw the SUV into gear and pull out, heading straight for your destination on auto-pilot while you hope he's still there. You almost chuckle grimly at the fact that he's still there at all after twenty years of this.

Blink.

A blaring car horn fills your ears and you realize, in your frenzy to get to him, you've just run a red light. And while your heart thuds a little quicker at the close call, you mentally shrug it off. It's Vegas. They'll get over it. And you can't exactly get in trouble, either. All the cops in Vegas are your colleagues. You've had them all wrapped around your finger since day one.

Blink.

Especially him. For twenty years he was there for you... taking you in after you and Eddie had fought, or nursing you back to health after another cocaine binge. For twenty years he listened to you bitch about not being able to find any quality men in Vegas.

Blink.

And you'd never returned the favor. Granted, he'd always been a bit closed off about things in his personal life, but even when you noticed things were going on with him... did you even stop to question him about it? No. You were always busy with something or someone else, weren't you?

Blink.

Another thought hits you as you reach your destination and throw the Denali in park, climbing out. You don't deserve him. You never have. He's been there for you for twenty years, his loyalty never faltering, and you've given him nothing in return.

Blink.

You're hesitating now, so scared. So scared that this will be the time he'll realize you're not worth it. You're not worth dropping everything on a moment's notice. You're not worth his help... his care... his time. And you're certainly not worth his love.

Blink.

You realize you've been standing frozen in your spot outside the crime lab, and that the people emerging are giving you funny looks. Probably inwardly questioning why you're staring at the building looking so lost. You're here everyday, so why are you looking at the brick wall like it's an alien life form?

Blink.

You gather any sliver of courage you have left and head inside... realizing upon entering the building that the funny looks you were getting was because of your appearance. Dressed to the nines, but looking like your dog had just died. You wipe at the tear tracks on your face, attempting to throw reassuring smiles at the colleagues you pass, but failing miserably.

Blink.

You're at his office door now, and as you peek inside you catch a glimpse of a brunette sitting opposite his desk. And, despite the turmoil in your life right now, you can't help but roll your eyes. She follows him around like a puppy dog, and always has. After four years of it, such a sight still sickens you.

Blink.

They both have noticed your presence, and while he looks slightly surprised, but pleased to see you... she, on the other hand, looks furious. Her sable eyes burn you, but you merely stare blank-faced in return. She doesn't scare you. You could snap her neck like a twig if you had to.

Blink.

He calls your name, drawing the end of it up questioningly, and you want to smile. You love how he says your name... how he almost turns it into a term of endearment simply by reducing it to its first syllable. And how had you never realized that that made your heart skip a beat?

Blink.

You draw your gaze up to his, and open your mouth to say something, when she interrupts. She huffs something about being 'in the middle of something' and asks if you can come back later. And, while at other times you'd fight her on this... and win... you don't, now. You merely nod your head and begin to duck back out... perhaps out of lack of strength to lock horns once again with this woman... but perhaps to save your own ass. Maybe you're not ready to deal with all this new stuff just yet.

Blink.

As you spin on your heel and are about to head out, you catch him leaping to his feet out of the corner of your eye. And as you begin to walk away, he calls your name again... that single syllable that makes your heart melt.

Blink.

The next time you open your eyes, he's at your side. He's reaching out to you, and you allow his fingertips to caress your arm... to glide downward until he's got your hand grasped in his, those stunning cobalt eyes studying you as if you were a crucial piece of evidence.

Blink.

And then she's at it again, huffing and puffing about 'really needing' to talk to him. And yet, his gaze never wavers from yours. He merely tells her, while holding your eyes within his, that he can talk to her some other time. The younger woman then flounces out of his office, muttering an insult at you under her breath before disappearing around a corner. You and he are now alone.

Blink.

His gaze finally breaks from yours and he pulls you into his office, concern still showing in his eyes. He asks what's wrong while shutting the door, and you can't help but chuckle grimly. What, about your life right now, isn't wrong? You fall for charmers, smooth-talkers... cheaters. You allow those slimeballs to eat up precious time you could be, and should be spending with your daughter. You're one of the two most brilliant criminalists in the nation, and while you can pick up on the minutest details of a case or piece of trace evidence, you can't see what's been right in front of your nose for the past two decades. In a nutshell... you're an idiot.

Blink.

You realize you haven't yet responded to his question... and have actually been silent for awhile, because he asks you again what's wrong. You take a deep breath, glancing down at the hand that's still encased in his, and you almost faint when he commences with gently kneading the back of your hand with his thumb. You're blinded by your love for this man momentarily, and you have all you can do not to break down in tears.

Blink.

Before you're aware of what's happening, you're in his arms. Those strong arms that had been holding you up for years are once again catching you before you fall. And it's in those arms, where you've been so many times before, during all the other lows in your life... that you finally break. Your sobs fill the silence as you cling to him, as if releasing him would cause you to slip into a crack in the earth's foundation and disappear indefinitely.

Blink.

You can't stop the tears streaming down your face now. A floodgate has been opened. He gently pulls away from the tight hold you have on him, only to wipe at the waterfall of tears cascading down each side of your face. He then engulfs you in his warmth once more, and it's then that you feel him trembling slightly.

Blink.

He tells you you're scaring him, in a voice laced with emotion that's normally kept tightly sealed within his stoic exterior. You still haven't told him what's wrong, and it's scaring him. He immediately enquires about your daughter, and through your tears, you manage a smile. He's loved your daughter since the moment she was born... almost as if she was his. You assure him that she's just fine... that she's perfect, and he asks again what's wrong.

Blink.

You pull away from his embrace... only to have his hands slip to your waist seconds later, gently tickling up and down your sides while your eyes remain focused somewhere on his chest... gathering strength. You then raise your eyes to his and whisper your ex-boyfriend's name. Tension ripples through every muscle in his body, and you watch as his eyes cloud with fury.

Blink.

His first question is if he laid a hand on you. You squeeze his arms reassuringly and shake your head no... your eyes filling with love at his behavior. He's so protective of you. Everything you went through with Eddie, he went through it too... and you know that the thought of history repeating itself is what's causing his ire now.

Blink.

His eyes calm, as does his voice, as he asks what happened. You then proceed to relay the story to him. When you've finished, you've dissolved in tears yet again... and his arms have once more found their way around you. He's holding you now, so tight. So tight you can barely breathe, but you don't care. Right now, you just want to be smothered by his love.

Blink.

His lips find your forehead as his hands find your shoulders and the ends of your hair, and your eyes slip closed, the last of your tears escaping. You feel his fingers winding around a few errant strands near your neck, and you sigh shakily... feeling all the anger, frustration and sadness drain from your body. You idly wonder if it's his lips on your forehead that are absorbing all these emotions... leaving only contentment, relaxation, and trust in their wake.

Blink.

When your eyes open again, they center on his chin, and the cleft you've often zoned in on countless times... before you feel his lips part from your forehead. His forehead leans on yours then, and he sighs out... telling you, you deserve so much better. You smile at this. You want to believe.

Blink.

You want to believe that you deserve better than what you've been used to. You want to believe you deserve somebody like *him*. But do you, really? Do you deserve something so incredible... so wonderful, so pure? Lord knows your purity has all but disappeared. And you've made far too many bad decisions in your life. Could you really deserve something this good?

Blink.

With your foreheads still pressed together, his hands find your face, enfolding it like a fragile flower as he pulls away. Your eyes meet his... and you see something you've never seen before. A certain sparkle in his royal blue irises, that, you've either never noticed before, or hasn't ever been there before. He then startles you by reading your mind, and tells you in a deep, affectionate whisper, that you deserve someone like him. And before you can protest his statement, his lips close over yours.

Blink.

Your eyes snap shut as you tell yourself just to feel... to not think of how wrong he is by saying such a thing. So you just feel. You feel his lips moving over yours, firm and sure. You feel his eyelashes against your cheeks. You feel his body, now pressing against yours. You feel the love consume you, traveling up from the tips of your toes, swirling around your head until you grow dizzy from the overwhelming sensation.

Blink.

Your eyes flutter open as you both pull back from the kiss, gazing at each other in what can only be described as wonder. His hands are still on your face, thumbs stroking your cheeks tenderly, while you search each other's eyes. And then the smile that curls his lips lets you know... you *do* deserve this. You deserve everything he has to offer... which is, basically... everything.

Blink.

You deserve someone who'll love your daughter as his own. You deserve someone who will love you beyond reason... someone in whom you have complete trust. You deserve the kind of love you never have to question.

Blink.

You smile back as it all sinks in... and his voice buzzes in your head as he tells you he loves you, and always has. Your eyes mist over with tears once more... not out of sadness... but out of extreme, utter elation. An elation you never thought you deserved to feel.

Blink.

You echo the sentiments back at him... telling him you've always loved him, as well. Your limbs then twine together in another embrace as your lips struggle to find each other's... happiness written in both your expressions.

Blink.

*****

It only took the blink of an eye to intertwine two lives... to cross two stars that seemed to be sparkling perpetually apart. Just a blink, and the upside-down world was made right once more. It only took the blink of an eye for everything to change. For better or for worse... for richer or for poorer.

For... ever.



FIN