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17 March 2010 @ 05:14 pm
Below the Surface [CSI/The X-Files; Grissom/Catherine, Mulder/Scully]  
TITLE: Below the Surface
CHAPTER 10: En Route
FANDOM(S): CSI, The X-Files
PAIRING(S): Mulder/Scully, Grissom/Catherine
SPOILERS: [CSI: Fourth season]; [X-Files: Seventh season] (one specific allusion to "all things" in this chapter)
RATING: R (for language, violence, etc.)
SUMMARY: "How many different lives would you and I be leading if we'd made different choices at different times? A life is defined by moments and choices."


*****

"Catherine, don't drive so fast."

"Gil, don't be such a bad passenger-seat driver."

The criminalists exchanged a look, glaring facetiously at one another, before Catherine's lips spread into a smirk. "It's not like we're gonna get a ticket or anything."

He cocked his head slightly, giving her his best 'Grissom' look. "I'm just thinking of the agents that are trying their best to follow us. They can't, very easily, with your lead foot."

"They've been here before! And besides, even if, for some strange reason they did get lost, they've both got cell phones. They have both our numbers." She reached over briefly to pat his hand that was resting on the center console separating them. "Everything will be fine."

She watched him briefly in her peripheral vision as she kept her hand on his a second longer than necessary, and was pleased to find his own eyes cemented to their joined hands. She then brought her hand back up to the steering wheel only for the purpose of changing lanes, feeling his head turn toward the passenger-side window, before she dropped her hand onto his again, calling his name. "Gil..." She had his attention before she'd even spoken his name, and her smile spread a little more at the thought.

"Yes?"

"Do you ever wonder where we'd be if..." She paused, furrowing her brow as she struggled for the correct way to word things. "If we'd taken a different path in life?"

"A different career path?" he asked, furrowed brow mirroring hers as he contemplated the meaning to her words.

"Sure. If we'd both taken more dangerous jobs. Like Mulder and Scully." She paused once more, fingertips wandering lightly over the hand that was laying still beneath hers. "Do you ever consider where our relationship would be if we'd done one or two things differently?"

He shrugged. "I guess I don't understand what you mean."

"If we'd had jobs where we were both constantly put in harm's way, do you think we'd be closer?"

"Catherine, we have dangerous jobs right now. We've both been in harm's way before."

"I know that. I mean if we were constantly in harm's way, and constantly having to look out for each other, and save each other. Do you think we'd be closer?"

What she'd expected was more evasiveness, more inane ramblings about why it should matter, but instead, she got a one-shouldered shrug and a very nonchalant sounding, "Of course," accompanied by a light squeeze of her hand.

She glanced over at him in surprise, both at the earnest response and at the physical contact, feeling as though he'd given her heart a squeeze as well. Suddenly breathing became an issue, and she was almost relieved when he pulled his hand back to his lap. "Really?"

"I think the element of not knowing when one of us could be seriously injured or killed would add a certain intensity to our friendship."

"Oh..." She paused, waiting for more. Upon receiving nothing but silence in return, she furrowed her brow. "Is that it?"

Another shrug, then... "It's hard to say, Catherine. I mean, how many different lives would you and I be leading if we'd made different choices at different times? A life is defined by moments and choices. Think about it. If one of us had done something even slightly different in our lives, we might not have even met."

She nodded slowly. "I see what you're saying. All the choices would lead to this very moment. One wrong turn, one wrong decision, and we might not be sitting here together."

The pair glanced at each other, eyes meshing with understanding. "Says a lot, doesn't it?" he murmured.

"Yes. It does, Gil." She smiled through the windshield. "It says a lot, a lot, a lot."


*****

"Mulder, you don't have to speed."

"Stop nagging me, Scully. I'm trying to keep up with them."

Her hands rose in the air briefly during her shrug before falling back to her lap. "We know how to get there already! It's not entirely necessary that we attempt to ride their bumper."

"What's wrong?" He hadn't meant for the question to sound so undeniably harsh, but that was how it had spilled out.

"Nothing's wrong," she huffed immediately. "I'm fine."

Though irritated with her constant denial of her feelings, his eyes briefly shone with amusement. "That gonna be the epitaph on your headstone, Scully? 'Dana Katherine Scully: I'm Fine.'"

"Shut up, Mulder," she grumbled, crossing her arms over her chest as she scowled out the windshield.

"No, Scully, I wanna know what's bugging you. You've been short with me ever since you called and woke me up." He paused, his eyes sweeping over in her general direction, contemplating her for the briefest of moments. "It's lastnight, isn't it?"

"Mulder, I don't want to talk about this right now."

"Well, we obviously need to talk about it if it's causing you to be so irritated with me."

She merely narrowed her eyes, pursed her lips, and scowled at the road ahead once more. A tense silence descended over their rented Toyota Corolla, both agents silently fuming over the other's behavior. After a long moment, Scully released her pent-up emotion in one anger-laced outburst. "I just don't understand you!"

Mulder nearly careened out of their lane at the abruptness of her exclamation, and glanced over at her with a furrowed brow. "What are you talking about?"

"I don't understand you! You're so... contradictory, Mulder! You want something one minute, then you don't the next!"

"So that's what this is about!" His voice raised to match hers, the anger in his tone mirroring her own. "Scully, I did that for your sake! I stopped because I thought it was the right thing to do!"

"Well thanks for trying to protect me, Mulder, but I'm a big girl! I can make decisions on my own!" She threw him a scathing look, at which he rolled his eyes.

"Yeah, maturity is just radiating from you now, Scully..."

"Don't patronize me, Mulder! How could you do something like that and then just expect me not to get upset about it?"

"I expected you wouldn't get upset about it because you would think it was the right thing to do, too!" He took a deep breath, attempting to calm the ire she was able to stir up so well, and loosened his grip on the steering wheel... color draining back into his knuckles. "Scully, we were both tired. There was a brief adrenaline rush on your part because of the swab results. Things just... got out of hand."

She eyed him seriously for a moment. "Did they really, Mulder?"

He caught her eye, and... suddenly he wasn't sure anymore.


*****

"Cath?"

"Hmm?" A ghost of a smile adorned her lips upon hearing her nickname, and she slowly drew her eyes away from the road ahead to glance at her companion.

"I promised myself I wouldn't let curiosity get the better of me, but..."

After a moment of silence passed, she furrowed her brow. "But what, Gil?"

"What were you grinning about in the office, earlier? Before the four of us left?"

She chuckled at the adorably confused look on his face. "Are you asking me to share gossip with you, Gil? I thought Greg was the gossip queen."

When he rolled his eyes and turned to look out the window, she reached for him, sliding her hand down his arm briefly in an attempt to regain his attention. "Fine, fine." She paused, her plump lips spreading into a slow smile. "Let's just say I see a bit of... potential... between our two agents."

"As in... romantic potential?" He quirked an eyebrow, to which she grinned.

"You could say that."

He eyed her warily. "You're not considering doing any meddling in their situation, are you?"

"Of course not, Gil!" The Cheshire grin slowly crawled across her face, and she leaned toward him slightly in her seat, arching an eyebrow conspiratorily. "'We have work to do'... remember?"

He nodded in agreement... though, as his eyes focused on her lips, he silently contemplated how much more work he could bury his feelings within.



TBC



 
 
 
csiAngelcsiangel on March 18th, 2010 07:34 am (UTC)
Below the Surface [CSI/The X-Files; Grissom/Catherine, Mulder/Scully]
Squeeee! First I love that "if you tweet it, it will come" works ;) Thank you so much!!! I fell asleep last night but this is excellent reading for before work.

Catherine and Gil's conversation was so them! I could picture each expression and hear every word. I so miss when they were close like that :( And I love Gil looking for gossip. Hee hee! And his closing thought, aww.

And as for Mulder and Scully - squeee even more! Love her reprimanding him for speeding and him saying he's just trying to keep up. LOL :D (The parallels you draw between M and C, and G and S are so true!) I love the tension in their conversation, particularly in that last look.

Darn it that they have work to do!! Though I am intrigued by the case too so I'll let you off :)

Thank you again. I love this story so :D
a.: billy/marg; i'll never stop loving youregalish on March 25th, 2010 05:30 am (UTC)
Re: Below the Surface [CSI/The X-Files; Grissom/Catherine, Mulder/Scully]
Heee, thanks Jac! Glad you enjoyed this part :D

I really miss close-Gil/Cath too. They were so delightful.