"What are you doing?" Catherine asked, her brow furrowed in amused confusion, as she stepped into Grissom's office.
She had been surreptitiously watching him for the last few minutes – watching his hands fiddling, and hearing his moans of frustration. Finally intrigue took control of her and she asked her question.
Grissom quickly shoved whatever he had been playing with into a drawer of his desk, and shut it, trapping his fingers as he did so.
"Nothing!" he said quickly, through clenched teeth, trying to remain cool despite the throbbing pain in his fingers.
Catherine had cringed as she saw the drawer close on his hand, and now looked sympathetic as she moved further into the room, focusing her eyes on his hands.
"Are you okay?" she asked.
He nodded, although the pain was displayed on his knotted brow and he cradled his sore fingers in his other hand. "Just caught them a little."
Catherine smirked. "Well perhaps you shouldn't have been in such a hurry to secrete whatever it was you put in that drawer."
Grissom put on the most innocent expression he could force through the pain and responded: "I wasn't in a hurry. I was just tidying my desk when you happened to walk in."
"Okay… Sure," Catherine said, and she joined him on his side of the desk. "So you won't mind if I take a look in this drawer then?"
Grissom shrugged, and Catherine was a little surprised he wasn't stopping her.
"You don't mind?" she asked.
He shrugged again. "I doubt I could stop you if I did."
Catherine's eyes flicked to his and she frowned a little.
"What?" he asked her.
"Are you sure you're okay?…" She placed the back of her hand against his forehead.
"Yes I'm fine," he said emphatically, waving her hand away.
She smiled, enjoying winding him up. "And yet you're going to let me open this drawer?"
"If I objected, you'd just do it faster," he commented.
And she had to admit he was right.
She nodded to indicate her concession of that point, and then opened the drawer.
Her eyes widened when she saw what was inside, and she looked to him, shocked.
"What's all this?" she queried.
He stood his ground under her questioning stare. "I think it's pretty self-explanatory."
He shrugged – only a small one this time. "I saw yours, and I was… intrigued."
Catherine's lips quirked into a small smile. "And I take this… mess… and the groans of frustration I heard earlier to mean that you haven't figured it out?"
He simply stared at her for a moment and then sighed, looking down at the open drawer. "No!… I just kept ending up with… knots. Everywhere."
Catherine couldn't help but laugh. He looked so down – defeated by something four year old children could do. "Why didn't you just ask me to show you?"
His eyes moved back up to hers. "Because you'd have laughed."
She smiled, apologetically. "Show me what you've got so far," she offered softly.
Grissom sighed again, and then dipped his hand into the drawer pulling out a handful of brightly coloured plastic laces.
He really did have knots everywhere. And Catherine really did laugh.
"I'm sorry," she apologised when Grissom narrowed his eyes at her. "I just… The image of you trying to do this, and getting into this mess, is funny."
"I was intrigued," he defended himself.
"Okay," she smiled, and looked down at the laces she held. "I think we're going to have to write this one off," she informed him, "But why don't you come over for breakfast after shift… and Lindsey can show you what to do." She really tried not to laugh as she added the last part, and managed just to let out a twitching smile and a slight squeak.
Grissom shot her another unamused glare.
"Is that a no?" she asked, trying to force disappointment through her amusement.
Grissom held her gaze for a few seconds, then his eyes flicked down to the jumble of plastic she held in her hands. He released a dejected sigh and returned his eyes to hers as he told her,
"No, I'll be there."