Birthdays and Bets
Rating: CSI-1
Disclaimer: I do not own CSI
Summary: Knowing Grissom, it was probably some sort of experiment…
A/N: I started writing this fic years ago. Years and years and years. And finally, tonight, I found the inspiration to finish it.
Date: Nov 2007.  Posted as part of the 49 Fics Challenge at graveshiftcsi in honour of Marg Helgenberger's birthday.

Crime Lab March 25th 11.58pm

Catherine was on her way to DNA to see if Greg had any results for her, when she heard Grissom calling her. Turning she saw him running towards her along the corridor. A look of panic swept across her face.

“What’s hap-” she began, only to be cut short by the sudden impact of his lips on hers. He placed his hands either side of her face and held her close to him as he softly, but passionately, caressed her mouth with his own.

Before she had registered what was happening he had pulled away, looked at his watch, exclaimed “Phew!” and returned to whence he came.

Catherine looked around, partially hoping that nobody had seen, but also hoping they had so she could, one, check that it had actually happened and two, ask what the hell had just happened! But there was no-one there.

She considered ignoring it. Knowing Grissom, it was probably some sort of experiment. But, knowing how she had felt when he kissed her, and how she still felt now, even after he was gone, she followed the path he had taken. She had to know what it was all about.

She found him sitting in his office completing paperwork. She stood in the doorway and eyed him curiously. He looked like he had been there for hours. She wondered again if, perhaps, she had imagined it. And she probably would have been convinced that she had if he had been able to restrain the smirk that was tugging at the corner of his mouth.

Smiling she stepped inside. “I think you should be given a chance to explain before I file a harassment complaint. But it’d better be good.”

“I’m sure I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Grissom smiled, keeping his eyes fixed on his papers.

“So you plead not guilty? Well, I have witnesses to testify to the contrary,” she lied, believably.

Grissom looked up, a look of fear gripping his features.

Catherine nodded. “Yep. That’s right. It’ll be all over the lab in five minutes. You’d better be prepared for the barrage of questions.”

Grissom frowned. “Who saw us?”

She shook her head. “You get your answers after I get mine.”

Grissom shrugged. “I just… felt like kissing you.”

Her expression told him that she did not buy that story for one second, a response that he had expected.

“You want the truth?”

Catherine smiled, “Yes, please.”

“Can you handle the truth?”

“Gil!” she exclaimed, impatience finally getting the better of her.

“Okay,” he grinned. “Do you remember your last birthday? We had that little party in the break room?”

Catherine nodded to confirm she knew what he was talking about.

“Well, after he’d had a little too much to drink, Warrick stumbled over to me and said that he had seen me – and I quote – ‘gazing at your fine ass’”

Catherine’s eyes widened at learning Warrick thought that way of her butt, at hearing Grissom say those words, and at the thought of him gazing at any part of her. She laughed slightly, tilting her head with a smile of appreciation.

“Don’t thank me yet,” he warned, increasing her curiosity further. “He then accused me of – and again, I quote – ‘fancying the pants off of that damn fine ass’, which I, of course, fervently denied.”

“Oh, of course,” Catherine said, in a mock serious tone whilst still laughing at the visualisation of that conversation that her mind had formed. “But, wait, I don’t see how this explains why you kissed me,” she queried.

“Well, after I finally gave in and admitted that I did, in fact fancy you, a little, okay, a lot, he then insisted that he didn’t believe that either, and bet me that by the same day next year – so this year- I wouldn’t have even kissed you. I was a little drunk myself, and I think we bet some ridiculous amount, and I couldn’t risk losing.”

He had spoken so quickly, possibly even without taking a breath, that Catherine was still processing all the information. She had been slowed down by the detour her mind had taken after realising he had said that he did fancy her – a lot. It had wandered through the fact that she felt the same, then remembered that kiss, then imagined what could have happened if she hadn’t let him run away, then got a little carried away with the idea of throwing everything off his desk and demanding that he make love to her right now, right there. Somehow she had managed to tear herself away from that image and return to the task at hand. Something about a bet? Ah yes.

“You kissed me to prove to Warrick that you do fancy the pants off of my damn fine ass?” she asked, just to make sure she had interpreted him correctly, given her minor distraction.

“Yeah,” Grissom nodded. “I’m sorry.”

“And so you should be!” she exclaimed, causing Grissom to jump with shock. “I owe Warrick seven hundred and thirteen dollars now!”

“What?” Grissom queried, understandably confused by her outburst.

Catherine dropped into a chair in front of his desk, and sighed. “At that same party, Warrick stumbled over to me, quite obviously drunk, and stated that he had caught me ogling your fine ass – ”

“Warrick thinks I have a fine ass?” Grissom frowned.

“Focus, Gil!... I denied it, of course, and given that, even when I’m slightly tipsy, my glare is scary, Warrick changed his line of attack, telling me he had also caught you staring at my fine ass,” she smirked.

“You can’t believe everything Warrick says,” Grissom stated.

She just glared at him to stop interrupting her. “Anyway… I told him he was drunk and must be imagining things, but he insisted he had confronted you about it and you admitted to fancying me. A lot… As you quite rightly pointed out, you can’t believe everything Warrick says, so I argued that it was nonsense, and said ‘Yeah right! I bet by my next birthday he won’t have even kissed me.’… He took it literally, said the bet was on, and we bet seven hundred and thirteen dollars that by my next birthday you would not have kissed me!”

Grissom raised one eyebrow. “Seven hundred and thirteen dollars?”

“We were drunk!”

He facially shrugged. “Fair enough.”

“I can’t believe he also had a bet with you!”

“Well, I would think you can quite easily convince him that your bet is null and void, given that he had inside information.”

Catherine focussed on Grissom as she processed that, and then nodded at his suggestion. “Good point… Thank you.”

“No problem,” he smiled.

Catherine smiled back, in thanks, and stood from her chair. “I’ll see you later,” she said, turning to leave.

“Oh, Cath?”

She turned back. “Yeah?”

“Happy birthday.”

Catherine glanced at her watch, seeing it was just after midnight, and smiled. “Thanks, Gil.”

He smiled again, and she turned to continue her exit. She was just at the door when she remembered he had kissed her: and she had enjoyed it. She turned back, only to find him quickly looking away.

She smirked and stepped back into the room, closing the door behind her, and leaning against it, as she clicked the lock into place.

Grissom gulped and looked up at her.

“Were you gazing at my fine ass, Mr Grissom?”

“That would be unprofessional,” Grissom replied.

Catherine smiled mischievously as she slowly walked across the room and stopped in front of his desk. Placing both hands on the surface she slowly leant towards him.

“You’re blushing, Gil… Do you still fancy the pants off of my damn fine ass?”

Impressively, Grissom held her gaze. In the past, men had crumbled under the look she was giving him.

“Maybe,” he responded.

She smiled. “Okay… Well, I bet you seven hundred and thirteen dollars, that you don’t have the courage to kiss me again before I leave this room.”

Grissom shook his head and rose from his seat, leaning his own hands on the desk to mirror her stance. “I won’t take that bet.”

Catherine’s confidence wavered a little, but she fought not to let him see that. “Why not?”

“Because you know as well as I do that if I take that bet, I will make sure that I kiss you before you leave this room… And I don’t want to take your money, Catherine.”

Catherine shrugged, hiding her disappointment. “Okay then.” She stood up straight and prepared to leave. “But, be aware, there weren’t actually any witnesses to our kiss on the corridor. And if Warrick asks, I don’t think I can remember you kissing me.”

“That’s blackmail!” Grissom called after her as she turned and walked away.

She stopped and slowly turned back to face him, finding that he had moved round to the front of his desk.

She shrugged. “Seeing as you won’t kiss me of your own accord, these are the lengths I have to go to.”

She stood in place as he took three steps nearer to her, and looked seriously into her eyes.

“I didn’t know you wanted me to kiss you,” he stated, honestly.

She swallowed hard and inhaled a shaky breath. “Well… Now you do.” She nervously awaited his next move.

He stepped even closer, stopping toe to toe with her. Then he leaned down and softly touched his lips to hers.

Her hands rested on his chest as she melted into the kiss, and she stumbled forward a little when he pulled back slightly.

“Happy birthday, Catherine,” he smirked when she opened her eyes to him.

She slipped her hands up to behind his neck and pulled him closer. “Oh, I think it certainly will be.”