Disclaimer: Don't own Lie to Me, or any of the characters, places, themes, etc. No copyright infringement intended.
A/N: I'd totally forgotten about this! I had to re-read what I'd done so far about five times to remember what the storyline was. (By the way, this chapter probably won't make any sense unless you do go back and reread the last one.) And considering even then I don't really know where I was going, I'm basically finishing this up quite abruptly. Heh, sorry.
Hysteria: Ever After
"No, you're not."
"I feel fine."
"But you're not. You were bloody shot, Gillian! Not to mention that bomb."
"It's been almost two weeks. I'm well enough to be discharged," she protested. The way she figured, Cal had been through worse without so much as stepping foot in a hospital, and therefore he had no ground on which he could stand and tell her to stay there.
"According to who?" he asked doubtfully.
"Me, and I know myself much better than those doctors."
"Not medically, love," Cal reminded her, laying a hand on her shoulder.
Gillian finally shrugged, deciding to not argue with an immovable rock. She could simply talk to the doctors on her own and convince them to let her go. On more than one occasion, she had found that she could bow men to her wishes.
"Why did you apologize?" she instead asked Cal.
He shrugged, perching on the side of her bed. "Because I should have caught those lies when I went to see Joyce. It's my job."
"You went to see her?" Gillian echoed, blinking in surprise.
"Yeah," he replied, not sounding the least bit guilty. "I saw that you had an appointment with a marriage counselor and I naturally got curious."
After years of knowing him, Gillian had learned to expect that unexpected from Cal, the unpredictability that both lived up to her expectations and surprised her.
Outside of their woven little world, all that was to be heard were the mechanical beeps, the muted voices of doctors and nurses rushing to and fro. Those insignificant sounds seemed to be blocked out by the sonorous silence between them, though.
Gillian had been moved out of the ICU, and was doing great. She could walk, eat, and do anything with limited pain. Physical therapy would help with that.
Her eyes rested on a vase of assorted flowers that sat by her besides. Emily had brought them in a couple of days earlier, all compassion and optimism.
"Thank you," she said to Cal.
"For what? The flowers? Almost getting you killed?" He snorted, shaking his head slowly.
"For saving my life."
He glanced sharply at Gillian. Her eyes were down, and she refused to look up at him, even as he took her hand in comfort.
"She would have killed me if it weren't for you," she continued, running her thumb over the back of his hand.
Even Cal didn't know what to say to that. It was true – he had arrived just in time to play hero. What had happened was that he had burst into the room to find Gillian at gunpoint. He had shot Joyce a second before she pulled the trigger on Gillian, messing her Glock's aim up just enough so that it gave Gillian a stomach wound, as opposed to delivering a fateful kill shot.
"Where'd you get the gun, anyway?"
"Reynolds," they both answered at the same time, bringing a smile to each of them.
Those smiles lasted but a moment, before the graveness of the situation once again took them over.
Gillian stared at their intertwined hands, wondering why she didn't get a thrill from that connection.
Cal sat beside her, pondering the exact opposite. He wondered why he had suddenly felt a tiny spark between them, and when he had finally gotten over his ex wife.
"Would you have found another?" she asked softly.
"Another," he repeated. There were countless interpretations for that single word. Partner, friend, or… otherwise. He didn't take his eyes off their hands as he carefully chose his words. "Probably. But no one could ever replace you, Foster."
"You would move on," she stated, closing her eyes. Gillian knew that this – losing Cal – was a feat she would never in a million years be able to accomplish. It wasn't so much that she wanted him as that she needed him to be her anchor in the raging seas that the bravest sailors dared to call life.
"You would too."
"What makes you say that?" she challenged, wanting to believe that he was right.
"Look at you, love! You've been shot and you've take two separate bombs and already you're – you're dusting yourself off like nobody's business!"
"I'm a psychologist, Cal. I know how to handle it." And I can lie just as convincingly as you.
"Is that seriously your excuse?" he asked, feigning incredulity. His hand tightened around hers. Always Cal had seen Gillian had a very strong and independent woman, cliché as it sounded. And to think that she was lying to herself about these characteristics that he had long since recognized as fact…
"I'm tired," she said. Gillian sounded worn out alright, but more by the direction the conversation was taking than by the hell she had been through.
"Tired? Tired?" Cal stood, leaning in close to her. "So you're giving up or something, are you? You said you felt fine. Come on, get up." He stepped back, daring her to contradict him, daring her to take a stand.
"Get up out of bed and let's go make sure we did that scumbag justice."
"I don't think I-"
For a minute, they had a silent showdown. Cal had the upper hand though, and it was a quick, deciding fight.
Reluctantly, Gillian pushed herself out of bed, instantly wrapping her arm around her weak stomach. A small grunt of pain was the only initial complaint she made.
"You little baby," he accused.
"Cal!" Never before had he made Gillian the victim of his taunting, his provocations and experimental tests. This was crossing some line, surely, and she turned away from him in disgust.
He shrugged, though she couldn't see it. "It's true."
She didn't respond, but turned back to him with a fake glare on her face. Cal grinned at it, showing the palms of his hands in surrender. Gillian accepted the white flag and relaxed. She started to take a step towards him, only to have an acute pain shoot through her body, causing her to stumble.
Cal caught her, and she gratefully leaned into him.
"Sorry," she said quickly, ashamed of her weakness.
"Hey." He wrapped her in a warm hug. "Don't apologize."
Gillian slowly returned the hug, sliding her arms around Cal and abandoning the hold on her stomach.
Neither wanted to move. Neither did.
Gillian found comfort in his solid presence.
Cal held her tightly and was glad to have her in his arms, safe and sound.
As the seconds ticked by, Reason laid down arms and walked off the field.