“Catherine, you could help me!” Gil exclaimed breathlessly as he darted first to the right, then to the left, and narrowly missed standing on a patch of flowers.
When he received no response, he called her name again, keeping his eyes firmly fixed on his target as it flitted about the lawn, somehow able to predict every move he could think of making.
Again she didn’t respond verbally, but on hearing a sharp intake of breath, Gil stopped and looked towards the house.
Catherine was leant against the wall, her arms wrapped around her abdomen, and her face red.
“Catherine – ” He began with concern, taking several quick steps towards her before realising that there was a wide grin spread across her face. He froze, narrowing his eyes at her.
“I’m sorry,” she breathed through her laughter. “But if you could see you, you’d be laughing.”
He pursed his lips, to appear unamused, but he was unable to ignore the way her face glowed as she laughed so hard she could barely breathe.
“I didn’t have to come and help you, you know,” he pointed out, trying to look stern.
She at least made an attempt to curb her amusement, straightening up a little and wiping the tears from her cheeks. “I know,” she nodded, “And I really do appreciate you – ” She couldn’t make it to the end of her sentence though, more laughter erupting from her.
“I think I’ll go home then,” Gil said with a smug smirk, walking towards the patio doors.
“Oh, no. No, no,” she said, stopping him with a hand on his arm before he could slide the door open. “Please stay and help me.”
“It’s really been more like me doing all the work,” he reminded her.
“Okay. I’ll help I promise… Just try not to be so distracting,” she smirked at him over her shoulder as she sauntered down onto the lawn.
Briefly entertaining the thought that it would be him who was distracted if she planned on moving like that the entire time, Gil eventually followed Catherine. “I can’t help it if you can’t focus when I’m around,” he quipped, joining her where she was crouched to look under some bushes.
She glanced at him for only a split second, allowing him to see the roll of her eyes, then said, “Can you see him?”
“I thought I saw something move then,” he replied, looking more closely at the spot to which he referred.
“Oh yeah there he is!” Catherine exclaimed as a blur of brown moved beneath the plants.
They both edged to the left, their feet shuffling awkwardly along the grass.
“This was one of the worst ideas Eddie ever had!” Catherine exclaimed in a loud whisper.
“It was a sweet idea,” Gil disagreed, “You’re just supposed to keep it in the enclosure. You’ve managed for the last year.”
Catherine rolled her eyes again as they continued to shuffle along, paralleling the path being taken by the creature under the bushes. “It was waiting for me! The minute I opened the door it shot straight past me… You’ve seen how fast it is!”
As if to prove Catherine’s point, at that moment, the subject of their conversation darted out from beneath the bushes, heading straight for the small gap between Catherine’s right leg and Gil’s left.
Both adults were alert enough to turn for that spot, but were too late to grab the rabbit, though simultaneous enough to collide. As the small brown creature bounced off across the lawn, Gil lost his balance, falling forwards into Catherine, whose own balance was then unsalvageable, and the two ended up in a heap on the ground.
Temporarily breathless, Catherine inhaled deeply to get her breath back, and she could feel Gil trembling where he lay on top of her. When he raised his head from where it had landed in her chest, laughing eyes met hers.
She summoned a glare, and after another deep breath, sarcastically drawled, “Thanks for coming to help me, Gil.”
He just laughed again as he fidgeted slightly.
“Don’t get comfy!” she instructed him, even as she herself adjusted her position so that one leg was no longer trapped under the other. “Still think Eddie’s idea was sweet?” she asked him, suppressing the smile that was starting to come through as the absurdity of the situation sank in.
“I do,” he replied, shifting again so that his left elbow was resting beside her head, and supporting his own. “I haven’t had this much fun in ages,” he grinned.
Catherine laughed now, unable to help it.
“What’s so funny about that?” Gil asked, feigning offence.
“Oh nothing,” Catherine shook her head, smiling. “I just had a flashback to when Chocolate ran right under your legs before… The look on your face was hilarious!”
“I’m glad this half hour’s been so entertaining for you. I’m surprised you didn’t bring out a video camera.”
Catherine’s eyes lit up at the suggestion. “Oh the guys would love that. I’ll be ready next time.”
“Yeah,” Catherine pouted. “He knows now how to get past me. You wouldn’t leave me to chase him round the yard alone, would you?”
“If the alternative is me chasing him round the yard alone, then yes,” Gil smirked.
Catherine intensified her pout. “That’s it. Next time I ask Warrick.”
“Oh, I’m going to warn the others,” Gil informed her.
“You’re such a spoilsport – ”
“What are you doing?”
Catherine tilted her head to see around Gil’s as he slowly turned his to face the girl standing by the house, frowning at the sight before her.
“Hey,” Catherine greeted Lindsey. “I wasn’t expecting you back so early… Chocolate escaped when I went to feed him,” she explained. “Gil came round to help me catch him because I didn’t think you’d be back for hours.”
“Sophie’s nan’s not well, they’ve gone to see her… So you’re trying to catch Chocolate?” Lindsey asked, doubt lacing her words.
“Yeah,” Grissom confirmed, with a small nod.
Lindsey pursed her lips in thought for a second and then with a simultaneous shrug and roll of her eyes, muttered, “Whatever,” and disappeared back into the house.
Turning back to each other, Catherine and Gil’s eyes met once more.
“She didn’t seem to believe us,” Gil commented.
“Yeah… I don’t see how the two of us lying on the ground, in what probably seems like a compromising position from over there, doesn’t tally in her mind with us trying to catch a rabbit.”
They shared a laugh at this, and then Gil asked seriously, “Is she going to give you grief about this?”
Catherine sighed. “Probably.”
“I suppose we could have got up when we knew she was there.”
“Yeah. That might have made us look more guilty though.”
“And us staying where we are doesn’t?”
Catherine pursed her lips in much the same way Lindsey had done. “Why are we just lying here?”
Gil mimicked her thoughtful expression. “We’ve admitted defeat?”
Catherine sighed again. “This round goes to the rabbit.”
There was a short silence during which their eyes held the other’s firmly, and both hearts started to pound uncontrollably.
“Do you want me to get up?” Gil asked, eventually, his voice a hoarse whisper.
“No…” Catherine replied softly. “Do you want to get up?”
He shook his head in response.
“Then why are we just lying here?” she asked, pointedly.
“We’ve admitted defeat,” Gil repeated, so quietly as he lowered his head closer to hers.
Catherine nodded once. “Time to give in,” she whispered, just before their lips made contact.
It was a gentle kiss, his lips sliding softly over hers, his hand finding its way to her shoulder, his thumb lightly stroking the side of her neck. She trembled at his tender touch, moaning softly as his weight rested more on her, his body pressing her onto the ground.
The moan parted her lips, and his tongue took advantage, sliding slowly into her mouth, exploring new territory, dancing with her own tongue. Her arms wrapped around him, pulling him even closer to her as her body tingled with the sensation of being lost in him.
“Er… Just so you know…”
They froze at the sound of Lindsey’s voice, and repeated their earlier actions in order to face her.
“… Chocolate has made his own way back. He’s playing in his run right now.”
“Ah,” Catherine smiled and nodded. “Good.”
“I just thought you should know,” Lindsey said, “Wouldn’t want you to spend all day out there looking for him.”
Catherine nodded again. “Er, no… Thanks. We’ll be right in.”
Lindsey nodded this time, and then walked back into the house.
Slowly Gil and Catherine turned to face each other again.
“Getting up that time definitely would have made us look more guilty,” Gil smirked.
A smile swept across Catherine’s lips. “Yeah… Er, I should talk to her.”
Gil nodded before pressing a brief, tender kiss to her lips. “I’ll go with you.”
Catherine raised an eyebrow as if she hadn’t expected that.
“We’re in this together,” he clarified for her. “We both admitted defeat.”
Catherine smiled gratefully. “Thank you.”
They shared one more kiss and then lifted themselves from the ground, dusting the grass and soil from their clothes.
They had taken three steps towards the house when a blur of brown fluff shot past them. They both looked to where the shape had vanished beneath some bushes, and then looked back to each other.
“Lindsey!” Catherine called, only taking her eyes from Gil’s when her daughter appeared in the doorway.
“What?” she asked.
“When you noticed Chocolate was in his run, did you close the door?”
Lindsey looked towards the run, and then back to Catherine and Gil, smiling sheepishly. “No?” she said hesitantly.
Catherine nodded. “Thought not.” Turning back to Gil, she sighed again, then a small smile crept onto her lips as she said, “Round two.”