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10 March 2008 @ 09:08 pm
The End of the Rainbow [CSI; Grissom/Catherine]  
TITLE: The End of the Rainbow
FANDOM: CSI
PAIRING: Grissom/Catherine
SPOILERS: None; pre-series fic
RATING: PG
SUMMARY:


*****

"How can you like this movie?" Gil complained, voice slightly muffled from the material of her shirt.

She'd made him watch 'When Harry Met Sally'... again. He had to listen to her wistful sighs and watch her become absorbed in the movie... again. And, judging by the lack of a reply sounding from the strawberry blonde, she fell asleep... again. "Cath?"

One lift of his head off her abdomen confirmed it. Her head had lolled back against the arm of his leather couch, her face turned toward the inside, her closed eyelids fluttering with activity. He smiled. Catherine was long gone. His smile then turned to a concerned frown as he reached out and twined his fingers through her long, silken hair.

She'd been tired a lot lately. It almost seemed she was working herself to death at the lab. Granted, she was still fairly new and wanted to make waves... she wanted to prove to A.D. Cavallo that she was perfectly capable of working alongside Gil, but... she was running herself ragged. She'd push herself toward a nervous breakdown before she even became a CSI level-two, at this rate.

Another glide of his fingers through her hair and she stirred, a contented sigh escaping her beautiful, plump lips. He smiled and, on a moment's dare, leaned in to kiss those lips. True, kissing her was still illicit until she broke up with her current boyfriend, Eddie, but Gil just couldn't help himself. He was enamored with her, falling completely in love with her... slowly but surely.

They'd began as just acquaintances... she was still performing as an exotic dancer at Dream Dolls, and he was a CSI level-one sent in to question her about the death of a bouncer. But there was something about that first chance meeting. A chemistry almost electric in nature. He'd found himself almost entranced by her eyes, liquid azure that practically glittered in the club's dim lighting.

And he knew she had felt it too. He could tell in the way she held his gaze, the way she smiled at him, and... though he'd never told her this... the way she blushed. It was faint, but his trained criminalist's eye picked up the shade of pink that had crept onto her cheeks. He hadn't even noticed until after leaving the club that she'd been completely topless the entire time. He was too enthralled with her face, her voice, and her mind, to pay much attention to her state of undress. After a couple repeat visits, under the guise of following-up on the case, he had somehow convinced her to leave her current occupation, offering her a spot as an intern in the crime lab.

Two years later, and here they were... working side-by-side at the lab almost every night, except when his seniority would draw him away to the higher-profile cases. They'd been growing closer inch by inch, smile by smile, until now. Now, movie nights were somewhat of a common occurrence for them while Eddie was 'at work,' and, as of late... kisses had become a crucial part of those movie nights.

The first time it happened had been a sheer fluke. He'd cracked a joke about some part of whatever movie they'd been viewing and she, being the affectionate person she was, had leaned over to kiss his cheek at the same time he'd turned to smirk at her. Their lips had unintentionally caught... and stuck. They didn't tear their lips away from the other for the rest of the evening, until Catherine had to head home.

It had never gone beyond kisses, though. Kisses and light, romantic caresses were all they'd ever done... were all he'd ever allowed them to do. He was well aware that Catherine wanted to go further, but until her relationship with Eddie Willows was over, Gil couldn't let himself do it. What they were doing now was bad enough. Moving their relationship into the sexual realm would complicate things ten-fold.

He strained up to kiss Catherine's slightly parted lips, and as they brushed, he heard her sigh once more and he chuckled against her lips... effectively bringing her out of her twilight sleep. He watched as her eyes fluttered, and she broke away from his lips with a confused, "Mmm?"

He knew he probably looked the part of a lovesick fool, but he didn't care. That was what he was, after all. "Morning, sunshine," he chuckled.

"The movie over?" She curled one hand into a petite fist and brought it toward her face, rubbing the sleep out of her eyes.

"Yeah." His eyes made a slow path over her angelic face, tracing every line, curve, and nuance. "It ended a few minutes ago."

"And lemme guess... you've just been staring at me this whole time?" She grinned.

He shrugged one shoulder, propping himself up on his opposite elbow, and grinned right back. "I couldn't seem to help myself."

She rolled her eyes, then reached out to enfold his face in her hands. "You're something else, Gil Grissom." She drew him to her, pulling his body halfway atop hers while her lips caressed his, and this time, they both hummed at the sensation.

After several moments of languid kissing, they drew apart, Gil's hand finding her abdomen beneath her shirt, caressing the soft skin lovingly. He stared into her eyes. "I don't want you to leave tonight," he murmured.

She shook her head solemnly, the fingertips of her right hand tracing his facial features. "I don't want to, either. It's hard leaving you every night to go home to Eddie."

He smiled, attempting to keep the mood light though her words had sparked sadness within him. It was hard for her to go home to Eddie after being with him... and yet she hadn't done anything about it. "Well, then the answer's simple. Dump Eddie and you won't have to leave at night."

He felt her fingertips on his face slow... saw her expression sadden. He ignored the slight fluttering sensation of her abdomen as his fingers moved across it, laying his palm instead against her waist. Though the only light in the townhouse came from the flickering images on the television screen, he saw Catherine's eyes misting over with tears. "I wish it were that simple," she whispered.

Gil furrowed his brow. "Cath, how could it be anything but? If you're afraid of Eddie doing something, or coming after you, you know that I'd do anything to--"

One slender finger against his lips halted the rest of his vow, and she nodded in understanding. "I know."

He pressed a kiss to her finger, his expression solemn, eyes intense. "Catherine, I'm in love with you," he stated softly, but strongly.

Catherine blinked a few times in quick succession, and he was surprised to see a tear gliding town her cheek, carving a shimmering path down her face in the flickering light. "I know that, too," she whispered. "And I'm in love with you."

"Then how much more simple does it need to be?" His eyes practically pleaded with her. "We love each other, Cath."

"I'm pregnant, Gil."

Those three little words froze him stiff, every nerve and muscle in his body hardening. His voice left him in nothing more than a crippled whisper. "What?"

She nodded, tears flowing freely down her cheeks while her chin trembled and her mouth contorted with the onslaught of emotion. "And that's not all," she managed to whimper, reaching for his hand.

He clutched it to his chest like a drowning man would clutch a life preserver. "What else, then?" he choked out, pushing his words past the lump swelling in his throat.

Three more whispered words undid him completely. "I'm marrying Eddie."

At this, he dropped her hand, absently catching the sight of her chin defeatedly dropping to her chest before he rose to his feet. "Catherine..."

"Gil, I'm so sorry!" she cried, words practically inaudible behind the dam of tears cracking and bursting. She too rose to her feet, reaching both arms out to him while he paced in front of his counter. "Please, you've got to believe me..."

"My God." Never in a million years did he see this coming. For once in his life he was really, completely happy. He was looking toward the future for once, imagining her in it beside him the entire time. He was a fool.

How could he have allowed himself such happiness? How could he have allowed himself to let somebody in? He knew it had been too good to be true. And here, finally, was his proof. It was all being pulled out from under him. The happiness, the love, the security... all wiped out from beneath his feet... leaving just a black, desolate void on the floor of his heart. Catherine was his undoing. And now, completely undone, he was falling apart.

"Gil, I didn't mean for this to happen! God, you hate me now, don't you?"

The agony in her voice, ripping at the remains of his shredded heart, drew his eyes back up to her face. The tear-streaked vulnerability forced him to lock away any agony he, himself, was feeling... and he went to her, pushing away the pain to hold her in his arms. She collapsed in his embrace, burying her face in his chest while she erupted in heart-wrenching sobs. Her hands clutched fistfuls of his shirt while his own hands glided through her hair and down her back, then up again to repeat the process... all in an altruistic move to soothe her, though he was the one that was in need of comfort.

"Gil, I really didn't mean for this to happen, I didn't..." she cried, more of a whimper now as her sobs began to wane. "I don't even want--I mean, I thought about just... but I couldn't bring myself to..."

"Shh, shh." He pressed a kiss to her hair. Though her sentences were choppy, the message was crystal clear. "Cath, I would never want you to do that. Never in a million years."

"And I don't want to--"

"I know," he murmured, getting the second message with only half the statement vocalized.

A long moment of silence passed in which they just held each other, Catherine breathing in the scent of Gil's shirt while he continually smoothed his hands over her hair, pressing errant kisses to her forehead and hairline. She let out a hiccup in the aftermath of her sobs, and then sniffled, her voice a whisper. "Gil, what are we gonna do?"

He swallowed, attempting to push that rising lump in his throat back down where it belonged. "You... you are going to have a baby," he told her calmly, though his heart was thudding tachycardic at the very thought, "and you're going to marry Eddie. Because it's the right thing to do."

And as awful as it was and seemed, he knew it to be true. Giving her unborn child a family to grow up with, one that included the biological father, was the right thing to do. His heart broke knowing she would be wed to another man, knowing that this could be the last movie night... and her soft voice broke through his thoughts, tentative... unsure. "And you?"

He sighed. "And I..." What would he do? Could he sit idly by and watch her build a family with another man, knowing that it was really him who her heart belonged to? He swallowed that lump once more, along with his pride. "And I'll be here for you."

"You will?" She pulled back to search his eyes, her arms staying locked around his waist, and when he nodded, her eyes teared up once more. "God Gil... what did I do to deserve you?"

With that, she was back in his arms, her face burrowing into the material of his shirt while he rubbed comforting circles into her lower back. "Probably the same awful, but wonderful thing I did to deserve you," he replied, silently adding, 'even though you're being torn away from me.'

She exhaled through her nose, the cool expanse of air hitting his chest through his shirt. After another long moment, she spoke. "I wish I could be like Dorothy."

Despite the sadness of the moment and the despair he was feeling, Gil chuckled, pressing his lips to her hair. "What?"

"Dorothy Gale." Catherine pulled away, her teary eyes gazing into his. "I wish I could go over the rainbow, into a whole 'nother place where I can just have the ideal happy ending."

He furrowed his brow. "I don't think that's how the movie went, Cath."

She rolled her eyes, chuckling through her tears. "You know what I mean, Gil." She reached up and with the back of her hand, swiped at the tears under her eyes.

"No actually, I don't."

"I wanna go over the rainbow. I wanna go to some other time and place where I'm not pregnant, and there is no Eddie Willows." Her chin trembled briefly with emotion as she reached up to caress his face. "Where you and I can be together, and be happy."

He nodded in understanding, his own eyes clouding with emotion though he was trying desperately to blink them back... and he brought his hand up to cover hers on his face. "I'm sure someday we might be able to have that," he told her, hoping like crazy that they actually could. He then shook his head. "But now is obviously not the time. You can't get to the end of the rainbow yet, Cath. You have to cross it, first." He dropped a kiss to her cheek. "And when you do, I'll be waiting for you on the other side."

Still attempting to inject a little light into the darkness threatening to engulf them, Catherine smiled. "With a pot of gold?"

He smiled back. "I don't know if I can promise you that pot of gold... would you be willing to settle for just me?"

Her teary smile then became dazzling, already mending his shattered heart. They were going to be fine. "Absolutely."

He nodded, then, with his arm still around her waist, helped her gather her purse and her coat before walking her to the door. "You'll be okay getting home?" he asked tenderly. "As much as I'd like to have you stay Cath, I just--"

"I know," she nodded, her chin giving just the tiniest of quivers while her mouth quirked downward. She fought the emotion. "Not a good idea."

"No."

"I'll be okay," she assured him, and reached up on tiptoe to kiss his cheek... at the exact same time he turned his head toward her.

Much like the first time, their lips caught... and stuck. Both choked down the fear and sadness growing in the pit of their stomachs, knowing what they were doing was for the best. They then slowly broke away, tear-splashed aqua and misty sapphire meeting in a silent understanding... a silent exchange of love. Then, with the barest hint of a farewell smile, Catherine turned and made her way down the steps of his townhouse, toward her awaiting car.

Gil watched from the doorway, wanting to make sure she got in safely, and waved as she backed out of the driveway. A long road lay ahead for them, of that he was sure. But what he was most certain of was, that... when it was all over... he'd be waiting for her at the end of the rainbow.



FIN


 
 
 
The keeper of loneliness: GCwanderlonely on March 11th, 2008 03:53 pm (UTC)
::loves the sweetness and the angstness::

a.: marg; baby blueregalish on March 13th, 2008 12:43 am (UTC)
Heee! Thanks, honey! This one's very near and dear to my heart :)