Hi there (:
I'm a German native, trying to improve my English a little. Normally I'm writing in German (and it feels SO strange to write in English). So if you have anything beside the story to comment on the grammar/vocab feel free to let me know. It's the only way I can learn and improve my writing I guess.
Context: No case. No mind reading (well, not really). Just a sick Gillian and Callian-Fluff.
Home is where you feel safe
"You don't seem to be concentrated, Foster." Cal watched her for at least five minutes before he decided to let her know that he was standing in the door. Gil winced at his words and looked up from her formula she was pretended to read. In fact, Cal was sure she wasn't focused at all.
"Sorry, did you say anything?"
"You mean before I impressed you with my genius talent for observation? No."
"Oh please, Gillian! A blind man would have noticed. With closed eyes!" Cal Lightman didn't need to be the best mind-reader in the world to see that something was going on. She was pale, expect the dark rings under her eyes.
"Cal, it doesn't matter if a blind man has his eyes opened or closed. That's a very weak picture to show me-" She stopped herself, shaking her head and Cal could see that even this little movement hurt her. He was right. She was sick.
"Go home, Foster."
"Cal! What time is it? Around five? I have a huge amount of paperwork to do because I wasn't able to do any of them in the last cases. And, you know, you're doing no paperwork at all. That's probably the reason I have to do it doubled. Besides this, I have a meeting at half five. I'm not going home."
He shook his shoulders. "I don't care about the paperwork."
"Yeah, I know. That's why I have to do all of it, remember?" She raised a hand and rubbed her forehead.
"I don't care about the paperwork but I care about you, love."
"I'm okay." She wasn't okay. She was definitely not okay. But there was this invisible border between them and Cal wasn't alike to step over it. He had promised her not to argue with her when he knew she was lying. Maybe this was the only reason their friendship still worked. On the other side, it weren't his mind-reading-skills letting him know that she wasn't feeling good. Everyone would have noticed.
"Hey love, I'm here if you need me."
"I'm okay, Cal. It's just a headache." As she wanted to demonstrate him that everything was perfectly fine she got up, took her papers and walked to the door. In fact, she stopped after two meters, raising a hand to her head and closing her eyes.
"Give me a second, Cal. I'll be fine."
"Gillian Foster, beneath the fact that I can read faces, I am a father. I'm pretty good at telling when someone is not alright at all. You're white as a sheet."
"Stop it." She opened her eyes again, just to give him a look of reproach. "You know we have a deal, right? When I say I'm fine you just take it and you don't question it at all." She took another step, then stopped again. Cal frowned as she closed her eyes and took deep breathes. For a moment he was sure she got even paler.
"I don't want to argue with you."
"Then STOP doing it! I'm fine. I'm perfectly fine! I have work to do, so if you let me get my coffee – I'd love to go back to work as soon as possible." Well yeah, a blind man would have noticed that she wasn't okay in that moment. Cal made a step towards her, speaking now in a soft voice he always used for Emily when something was going on. "I don't want to argue with you, Gil, but I don't believe you that you are alright. I can't let you work like this"
"But I am alright… Just a little bit dizzy, maybe …" Out of nothing she turned to him, hiding her face into his chest. Her words were no more than mumbling. Cal Lightman, irritated for a second, wrapped his arms around his best friend to steady her.
"Okay, deep breathes. I'm here." He tried to force the worry out of his voice, unable to say if it worked or not. Gillian just leaned on to him, saying nothing and trying to concentrate on herself.
"Do you want to sit down?"
"Yes, maybe …"
"Sit down, love."
He gently made her to walk to the couch. Forcing her to lay down and lay her feet high. Then he sat down himself, placing her head in his lap and for a moment none of them said anything. What an unusual situation.
"You're hot." His hand rested on her forehead, she closed her eyes.
"No. Not that way. Well – sure that way but I meant you are burning up."
"I know what you meant, Cal. I just wanted to ignore it. I need to finish the formulas."
"You're still white as a ghost."
"Oh wow. So many compliments." Again, it was just mumbling.
"Do you still want to argue that you are fine?"
"I'll go home I guess." She sat up again, shaking his hands off which laid protective on her shoulders.
"Let me give you a ride."
"I'm fine, Cal. I was able to drive here so I am able to drive back." Cal slightly shook his head, stroke her tress back and got up.
"You know, I'm not letting you drive. Call me whatever you want but you won't sit anywhere else but on the passenger seat."
He knew that she wouldn't argue in the second she got up and had to grasp his arm again.
"Sit down. Let me get your stuff and my jacket and then I'll give you a ride, love."
For the first time she just accepted and nodded. Maybe that worried him more than her arguing.