It came completely out of the blue when Cal decided to admit his true feelings for Gillian. Well, not completely out of the blue: She had noticed the way he looked at her sometimes (okay, all the time!); she hadn't missed the instant smile whenever she walked into a room or the quickly hidden desire in his eyes if she leaned a little too close, or wore a dress that was a little bit shorter. (Not that that was why she did occasionally lean a little too close, or wear dresses that little bit shorter.)
But, that was all it had ever been: Harmless flirtation; friendly banter. They were partners, friends - though neither title truly captured the depth and strength of their connection - and, although Gillian had thought about what it might be like to take things a step further, she had always held back.
Her reasons were those you would expect: Uncertainty about putting their friendship at risk; fear of rejection; fear of getting hurt again. But the main reason why she would never take that step was because Cal didn't. And Cal Lightman was a man who went after what he wanted. To Gillian, that spoke volumes.
So, you can understand her surprise when, one day, as they stood side by side in his office, watching video footage from their latest case, Cal asked her, "If I asked you out, would you say 'yes'?"
She immediately turned to face him, but he wasn't looking at her. His eyes were still fixed on the screen, but she could tell he wasn't really looking at it, and she noted tension in his jaw: He was nervous.
She watched him for several seconds, and he just let her. She wondered what his question was leading to. There was nothing in their case that should cause him to think along those lines, and she had seen no indication, earlier in the day, that he might be considering asking her out.
Failing to come up with a theory, she tentatively asked, "Are you planning to ask me out?"
Cal rolled his head round to face her and simply stared at her for a moment, his expression unreadable, before he quipped, "Not if your answer to my question is 'no'."
The mischievous grin Gillian knew so well curved his lips and lit his eyes, and her own lips smiled in response. A ripple of anticipation swept through her and the intensity of his stare became too much. Shaking her head, she let out some of the built up adrenaline on a soft laugh as she returned her gaze to the screen.
"I'm not comfortable with hypothetical scenarios," she commented, unable to stop herself from smirking, and well aware of the slight blush to her cheeks.
He laughed beside her, and from the corner of her eye she saw him also return his eyes to the screen.
"Shall I take that as a 'yes'?" he queried.
Her smile tugged to be wider, but she forced herself to remember why they needed to be careful. "Are you sure it would be a good idea?" she asked him, trying to sound serious, but knowing that he would know from her tone that she was still smiling.
"No," he replied, directly, and he faced her again.
He seemed to be waiting for her to look at him, so she acquiesced, finding him grinning widely as he continued. "Wouldn't it be fascinating to see what would happen though?"
Faced with the hope and excitement in Cal's expression, Gillian found that she couldn't think of anything except the fact that her answer to his question - well, to all three of his questions - would be 'yes'.
When Cal's smile widened confidently she knew her thoughts had been revealed on her face.
"You're not supposed to read me," she warned him, though her reprimand had absolutely no force behind it.
"Too late, love," he told her, smugly. "You can bemoan hypothetical situations all you want but the truth is written all over your face."
Still giddy with anticipation, but not willing to let Cal know he was right, Gillian narrowed her eyes at him (in a gesture that said, 'read this!') and swivelled so she was facing the screen once more. "We have work to do," she reminded him, though she hardly felt ready to concentrate.
In her peripheral vision she saw Cal nod. "We do."
They watched the recorded footage for a few more seconds before Gillian just had to ask, "So, now you know my answer, are you planning to ask me out?"
She could hear the smirk in Cal's voice when he replied, "One day."
Gillian raised an eyebrow and rotated her head, finding Cal meeting her gaze as she did so. "One day?" she asked.
His eyes glistened and his look was almost predatory, and a wave of nervous expectation turned Gillian's insides.
"One day," he echoed.
Cal Lightman was a man who went after what he wanted, and she could be in absolutely no doubt now as to what that was.
A/N2: Tim Roth's comment that inspired this was, "One week I'm desperate for them to get together, and then another week I'm in a different world. I think I'm like the audience in that way. It would be fascinating to see what would happen though." So, credit to him for that little snippet of dialogue ;)