All I Wanted To Say
Rating: CSI-2
Summary: "Never had I imagined living without your smile..."
WARNING: Character death!
SPOILERS: Up to and including the season six finale!!
Disclaimer: CSI’s characters do not belong to me, nor do the lyrics of 'One Sweet Day' by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men. Both the title and summary are taken from  the song.
A/N: This is very angst-ridden, and like the warning says, contains character death, so please don't read if you don't like that sort of thing.
She steps up beside him, placing her hands on his shoulders in a gesture of support. He pulls away. Hers is not the support he needs.

~ Sorry I never told you
~ All I wanted to say

"Is there a reason you're acting like a jerk?" she shouts at him, audible even over the slamming of the office door.

He takes his glasses off and sits back in his chair. "I wasn't aware that I was." That's a lie. He knows he's been a jerk, he just can't bring himself to admit to the jealousy that's been raging inside him since he saw her dressed up for her first dinner with `Tim'. He hears the name in inverted commas, as if it's not the man's real name, because somehow that makes it easier for him to dislike someone who has so far proved to be perfectly normal and pleasant.

"Don't give me that! What the hell was going on last night?"

She's still shouting and the pretence of innocence is clearly not working. He suppresses the urge to fight anger with anger – though he feels it, he knows it is unjustified; he's never told her of his feelings, she can't be held responsible for breaking a heart she never knew she held. His only option is admittance of guilt – and hope that she'll accept his apology.

He leans forward, resting his arms on the desk, and focussing his remorseful eyes on her reddened face. "I'm sorry."

"For what?" she snaps.

That wasn't the response he was expecting. He frowns, confused as to why she's asking.

"Why are you sorry, Gil?" she continues, dropping her hands to the desk. "Are you sorry because you ruined the evening? Are you sorry because you hurt me? Or are you sorry because Sara's pissed that your behaviour looked a lot like jealousy?"

The venom in her tone at that last utterance brings his anger to the fore once more, and he stands to face her eye to eye. "I'm sorry I ruined your evening. I'm sorry if it hurt you to learn that your boyfriend doesn't measure up to your expectations. I'm – "

"What the hell does that mean?"

"The reason you're upset is because your new boyfriend didn't get along with the man you measure everyone against! So don't come in here yelling accusations of jealousy at me! Direct your insinuations at a mirror!"

She lets out a scoff and paces a couple of steps. "You can rest assured that I am not jealous of Sara! The minute you slept with her you stopped being the man I was in love with!"

"Well you sure as – " He stops as her words register and stands staring at her, breathing heavily for air he missed during the shouting.

She turns to face him, a smirk that resembles evil on her lips and in her eyes. "There was a time I measured every man I met against you… But the Gil Grissom I knew wouldn't have entered into the relationship you're embroiled in now."

The cruelty switches to disappointment as she offers him a sad smile before heading for the door.

"Catherine, wait!" he calls to her, following her across the room, and taking hold of her hand before she can leave. "I – "

She silences him with a glare of the same disenchantment and glances down at their joined hands, pausing there for a moment before slowly extricating hers from his.

As she moves her hand away, her eyes return to his and there's more sadness in them now than anything else. "You made your choice, Gil… I really don't think it's appropriate for you to even think your next words."

And all he wants to do is turn back time to the day they met; tell her he loves her and hold her for eternity.

Instead, he watches her leave.

~ And now it's too late to hold you
~ 'Cause you've flown away
~ So far away

He watches Tim take Lindsey's hand and lead her across the grass towards the car. The tear tracks on the young girl's face cause more tears of his own to well in his eyes, and he balls his fists to fight the onslaught of grief.

~ Never had I imagined
~ Living without your smile

He stands in the doorway of the break room and watches her laugh at whatever it is that Greg is saying. He is aware of the words filtering through his ears, but isn't paying attention to anything but her.

He misses her smile. He misses her laugh. He misses the sound of her voice – be it conversational or yelling at him.

He misses her.

He steps into the room and it isn't long before Greg notices his presence and makes himself scarce – no doubt fearing being caught in the crossfire. The whole lab knows about their argument. They don't know what it was about, but Sara's sudden absence is leading to much speculation.

She turns to see what caused Greg to disappear so quickly, turning away again with a small sigh.

"I just came to apologise," he says, voice soft with genuine contrition. "For everything I said, and everything I did – "

"I think Sara deserves – "

"I've apologised to Sara."

This gets her full attention again and she adjusts on the sofa to face him. "So it's true that she isn't really sick," she says, and it sounds more like a statement than the question her inflection implies.

He nods anyway. "She couldn't face…" he trails off, and she reads the thoughts he cannot voice.

She scoffs and shakes her head. "I haven't even done anything and I'm implicated as a guilty party."

"She knows that nothing has happened – "

"That won't matter," she says, standing up and fixing her outfit as she sighs again. "You've told her you're in love with me… She won't be able to face me, regardless of whether you and I are involved." She starts to walk towards the door, offering: "This is why relationships at work are frowned upon," as she passes him.

"I'm sorry you're caught up in this," he says as he follows her into the corridor.

She shrugs and glances sideways at him. "You can't help who you fall in love with… It'd just be easier if that was the person you chose to sleep with."

He stops walking, tired of her taking every possible opportunity to have a dig at him. "You know, you've made your share of mistakes with men," he points out to her when she turns to see why he's stopped.

Remorse sweeps her features and she nods slowly. "Not here," she states, obviously noticing the eyes watching them from the surrounding rooms.

So they walk in silence to his office, where he closes the door behind them.

"I'm sorry I've been so horrible about you and Sara…" she begins as soon as the outside world is shut out. "And I'm sorry it didn't work out for you… I guess I did still have some residual jealousy," she admits with a sheepish smile.

"Despite my uncharacteristic behaviour?" he asks, feigning surprise with a smile of his own.

Her smile widens. "Yes, in spite of that."

There is a moment of silence and he takes the time to absorb her smile; the beauty he's been missing for too long.

He is still focussed on it when it slips away and is replaced by a wistful seriousness. Frowning he shifts his eyes to hers.

"I guess you'll always have a place in my heart," she says quietly.

He smiles, sadly, understanding that that means he no longer holds as great a portion as he used to. "And you in mine."

~ Feeling and knowing you hear me
~ It keeps me alive
~ Alive

He can see her, in the corner of his eye, waiting for him, but still he can't bring himself to move. He can't leave her. He needs to tell her everything she never got to hear. She'll be listening. She promised she would.

~ And I know you're shining down on me from heaven
~ Like so many friends we've lost along the way

"She's asking for you," Tim tells him as he steps out of the hospital room, gently pulling the door closed behind him.

He nods and gives Lindsey a hug before standing up and crossing to the door. Tim stops him with a hand on his arm as he's about to enter.

"This really is it, Gil… Say what you have to."

There's a knowing look in the other man's eyes and while his words break his heart for the most apparent reasons, it also saddens him to think Catherine will never know the happiness this man was offering.

He nods again and takes a shaky breath before entering the room.

She smiles as he walks in – it's weak and her lips are pale, but it's still as beautiful as ever. "Hey," she says, barely above a cracked whisper.

He smiles back and takes the seat that Tim had probably been sitting in as it is pulled up close to the bed. She rests her head against her pillow to look at him. "Hey," he replies eventually, unable to think of anything more imaginative to say. What is there to say when the woman you love is being taken from you by her own body?

"Please don't cry," she whispers, raising a shaking hand to his face.

It is only then that he realises there are tears on his cheeks. He takes hold of the hand that she is using to wipe them away and holds it protectively in his, pressing it against his lips.

"Please don't leave me," he whispers, eyes closed and gripping her hand as if somehow that can stop what is happening.

Her own tears slip free and she swallows hard. "Okay… I promise you now, that I will always be with you… Wherever you go… Wherever I go – "

"There's so much I should have said – "

"I heard it… Even without your words, Gil…"

"But I should have told you – "

She squeezes his hand. "In your own time, Gil… I'll be listening."

~ And I know eventually we'll be together
~ One sweet day

It's getting dark by the time he stands up. The workers wait to fill in the grave, and Sara waits on a bench by the road. He nods to the men, a silent gratitude for their patience, and walks slowly towards his friend. She stands as he approaches and they walk silently to her car.

He pauses at the door and glances back to whence he came. She knows now. A smile creeps onto his face. No doubt she'll give him hell for not having mentioned half of it sooner.

~ Sorry I never told you

"I know you said you knew what it was I never said… But I can't easily believe you were quite so telepathic… It's just not scientific enough for me. So I thought I'd get it all out of the way. So in future we can talk about you; about your day; about what you've been up to…

"I'll start by telling you that you're beautiful. I believe I must have mentioned that once or twice, but in twenty-five years, that's just not good enough. Your looks, your smile, your mind will remain the most beautiful I have ever encountered… And don't even try arguing that I can't possibly know that. Since the day we met there has never been anyone who even came close; and I can say that unequivocally because I have measured every woman to come into my life against you. You always won… You always will.

"I've also always wanted to tell you that I love your clothes. I admire how you can look so … trendy all the time… And I was always too afraid to mention that you look sexy even in a jump suit… Although, you probably figured that out from the looks the men at the crime scenes used to give you…

"In the interest of finding something you probably didn't already know. I could mention that your omelettes were often a little… chewy. I ate them all the same, because they were yours and our breakfasts together meant so much to me… I'm sorry they came to an end. I'm sorry we drifted apart… … Thinking about it again, you also ate the omelettes, so you must have known…

"I am sorry, though, that our friendship seemed to be pushed to the bottom of a long list of priorities… I take full responsibility, and admit that it was jealousy. First Chris, and then Adam… It was clear that your feelings for me weren't the same as mine, and I chose to handle that badly… I'm sorry…

"…

"And it just remains to tell you that I … Words seem so inadequate to describe what it is that I feel… have felt for … I'd be lying if I claimed it was any less than twenty-five years. I never believed in love at first sight… Until I first caught sight of you. Until you spoke those first words to me. `You gotta pay to look at me like that.'… Then you giggled at the look of guilt that swept across my face. I wasn't staring, I was … studying. Your world was a whole new world for me… And getting to know you was certainly an education… I'd only been in Vegas for a year and had surprisingly little contact with the side that gives it the `Sin' of its nickname… until that fateful night… And the lifetime that followed…

"Sadly, too short a lifetime…

"I miss you… I was already missing you… and now you're actually gone… Wait for me, Catherine. We have a lot of catching up to do when we eventually meet again… I'll try not to stare next time… I can't promise anything though…

"…

"Are you still listening? Or have you got bored and tuned me out? I'd understand. You're facing a whole new world now; lots to see; lots to learn… But if you are listening still… please know… I love you. I always have. I always will…"

~ All I wanted to say.

THE END