The World kept Turning
This is the last chapter, and I am assuming given the lack of personnel in 1PP when Gage was brought in that it early evening.
Reviews always welcome.
She dropped him off at his apartment; they'd agreed that after Gage's interview she'd drive him home after. They drove in companionable silence. Crisis upon crisis had seemed to interfere between them of late, so that neither had been able to give full attention to their friendship. But when the threads stretched so far that they could go no further, one of them acted to re-affirm their relationship.
Declan thought he'd set him free. Free to do what, he'd just watched the man he considered his father arrested for organising the murder of his brother and killing Nicole. Free, ha. And he'd pissed Eames off yet again and big time. He'd winced when she told him Gage had accused her of killing Frank, setting him up.
Bobby rested his head against his hand. Watching the road, where did they go from here.
What do we do now Eames? Neither of us does well alone. But sometimes I wonder why we're still together. You're my Achilles heel, and I'm yours. Oh yeah, I know I've pushed the limits more than you, but you push to. We each know too much about the other, yet we don't know enough. And as you've told me more than once, each of us has baggage, and depending on the journey one of us has to have the larger share.
Alex stopped at the lights.
"Do you want to have dinner tomorrow?" His voice broke the silence, she nodded.
The lights changed, she glanced over at him "That'd be nice, what time, shall I pick you up?"
See how well I'm trained here Eames, I don't even put up an argument about you picking me up.
"About 9.30 for 10?"
"Fine. Ross gave us the day too so a lie in, is in order."
He didn't miss the hint to get some sleep, but that was something he doubted would happen he was still running his confrontation with Gage through his head.
She dropped him off and headed for home, she knew sleep wasn't in his plan but hoped he'd try.
At nine she rang from the car.
"Your ride awaits"
He checked his pockets, wallet, cell, cigarettes, keys picking up his coat; he checked again then locked up behind him. Eames was standing by the car. Bobby noticed she was taller, her head was almost level with his shoulder she was wearing heels.
"I was just on my way up Goren I thought you'd stood me up?"
"Just making myself beautiful."
She chuckled, "The Fonz lives."
It hadn't escaped her attention he was looking good, he'd even shaved, and he was wearing the aftershave she liked. He'd made an effort and by the looks of him he'd got a little sleep.
"So where are we going?"
"I thought s ...somewhere with music?" His head tilted toward her in question.
"Okay, I assume you have a place in mind?"
He leant forward, eager now. "Take a left here."
"Get any sleep?"
"A little but I'm glad Ross gave us the day, what did you do?"
"I slept in till nine it was heaven, picked up my dry cleaning, came home took a nap and then got ready for my date."
"Date, is this a date then Eames?" She loved the confident Bobby she was seeing now.
"Man asks you out for dinner, what would you call that Goren?"
"I'd call it a miracle, a man has never asked me out for dinner."
God Eames, you smell so good. I've missed this, how did we go so far off track.
"Glad you noticed it's my best asset."
Reaching over she considered smacking him in the arm, but drew back. She'd missed this.
"It's your only asset Goren."
"Heeeeyyyyyyyyyy…" His best Fonzie impression.
This time she laughed and smacked his arm.
"Take a right here."
Although she now had a good idea, where they were going, she let him carry on with the directions. Hearing the normal tone in voice was reassuring, small snippets of normality like this were not to be sneezed at. Small patches when joined together made a whole in time. She swung the SUV into an empty space.
The place was somewhere they'd been before but held no special significance, good or bad. The food was good, and they had music, something they both liked while they ate, and dance. Yeah that information would surprise quite a few, and possibly stun Ross, but on occasion they felt the need to be in contact and dancing was their way. The dancing had started after her maternity leave, but still after eight years their dances could be counted on one hand.
Over the years they came up with boundaries that worked for them. They never contradicted each other in the presence of others, yes they'd voice opinions, but they remained professional. Oh yeah they finished each others thoughts, sentences, appearing at time to speak without words. Their boundaries were movable, flexible, but they never disappeared. He knew they needed to talk.
Our talks are always interesting; the best ones were those that went on into the early hours. Where we were just Alex and Bobby, those are the ones I treasure, where we talked about nothing, but they meant everything.
But they had other talks as well about work, disagreements, opinions that needed airing, they were resolved in the car, it had become over time their safety zone. Truth and honesty were the only two rules of car conversations.
But I blurred the edges didn't I? Mistaking caring for for…God Alex I wanted you so bad, in the days following the funeral I could still smell your scent on my jacket, feel your fingers in my hair. Then I opened Joe's case, and it I knew, you were still in love, with your husband. And I made you relieve his death.
The place was busy but not full.
"I booked a table for 10, the names Goren."
The girl looked through the list, "Ah yes Mr Goren table for 2, I have it here, can I take your coats."
Alex shook her head, "I'll keep mine for a moment thanks."
Bobby had his coat over his arm, he smiled. "I'll check them in a bit."
"Would you like to wait at the bar…" the girl gestured toward it. "I'll fetch you when your table is ready."
They made their way to the bar, "Evening; what can I get you folks?"
Alex smiled at the barman as she glanced towards the eating area; a 20 minute wait, and she didn't want alcohol without food, or did she?
"We're waiting for a table" Bobby some how felt the need to speak, the bartender nodded. "I'll have Scotch Glenlivet."….the barman started to walk away but he stopped him hand gesture. "Eames?" Bobby looked at her a question in his eyes
Way to go Alex, you're driving.
She reached out catching the bartenders arm "Make it a double" The words were out before she could change her mind.
Ignoring Jiminy Cricket sitting on her shoulder, it had been a hell of a week.
That's what cabs were invented for. Oh great Eames now you're snarking yourself.
Shifting her bag from her shoulder, she shrugged off her coat. He reached over to help her as he did his throat went dry she looked amazing, a black dress just below the knee with a V neck back and front, the cross she'd been wearing since the kidnapping glinted. And she had her hair up, just loose enough it brushed her shoulders.
"You look beautiful"
"Why thank you kind sir."
"I'll check the coats."
She watched him make his way through the crowd, as always graceful.
He looked good too, dark slacks and matching jacket with a white shirt. He'd forgone the tie; she knew they reminded him of work. As he waited in line he turned and smiled, a proper Bobby Goren smile; eyes, heart and lips in perfect harmony. She returned it. As he checked the coats he made small talk with the girl.
Still flirting Bobby.
She smiled to herself, he'd be okay. Small pieces did make a whole even if you didn't pay attention, maybe especially when you didn't pay attention, because they unravelled that way.
He watched her from across the room, she was biting her bottom lip a sure sign she was thinking.
Shit Eames, after the funeral. I knew you weren't playing me but it seemed that way, without meaning to you messed up my head, that's why I flipped out and I distanced myself. Striking first has always been safer. But keeping you at a distance hurt me more, than I ever thought possible. You're right my wounds were self inflicted but blood letting is an ancient form of clearing the mind.
Suddenly he was back, leaning on the bar next to her; they looked through the menu, he teased her about her food choices, which he always thought were to limiting. Soon the waitress was there "Your table's ready will you follow me" The girl moved through the people effortlessly, picking up their drinks they followed her.
They sat opposite sides of the table, placing their order immediately both realising they were hungry. He started to tell her about his time in the army and an escapade that went slightly wrong, and had ended with him getting a black eye. Alex laughed out loud, tears rolled down her face, and she nearly spilt her drink.
Wiping her eyes, she placed her drink on the table. "You had no business saying that to someone."
"B - but it was true."
She started laughing again. "Bobby it's no wonder you got punched."
"That's it Eames, laugh at my misfortune." He replied, averting his eyes, but he was laughing too.
God Bobby; why did we let it become so hard between us. I've missed this.
Reaching across she jabbed him in the arm….. "I am"
They were still laughing as the food arrived, chatting as they ate.
"You know I didn't mean to scare Rodgers?"
She sighed and bite down on her lip, "I know. Thing is Bobby you did."
"I was thinking, maybe I could get her some flowers?"
She choked on her drink…. "F- flowers"….. Spluttering.
He jumped up "Eames, God are you alright, I didn't mean…here" handing her the napkin.
She gestured to the water jug and he turned one of the glasses over pouring the water and handing it to her…. "Eames?"
The waitress rushed over "Are you alright?"
Alex laughed really laughed, "Yes I'm fine…thank you"
He was still half standing, looking sheepish and more than a little worried.
"Goren, sit down, and next time you get body snatched let a girl know will ya"
"What do you mean body snatched?"
"Well in eight years Goren I've never heard you mention the word flowers let alone offer to buy some….."
He smiled still watching her as if she would disappear before his eyes. "Right, body snatched good one."
"Well if you're not body snatched, then …?"
"Why? Well I've never scared someone I like, in that that before, and I thought…"
"Flowers are a good choice Bobby."
Mind you I could piss Carver off big time, but I don't think he would have appreciated flowers somehow do you?"
"No, no you're right, I don't suppose he would have….." she paused wiping her hands. "Still I'd have loved to have seen his face."
"So would I, shame we never thought of it."
"Flowers would be good Bobby, and a note."
"A note a note…..what do I say?" he rubbed the back of his neck, and sat back distancing himself. "From the department whack job"
"I know, but the look on her face, I didn't mean to ever scare her like that. And she covered for me with Ross saying she'd dropped the tray."
"I know. I was there remember."
He opened his cell and then closed it.
"What's the matter?"
"The only florist number I have is the one who Nicole used….."
"Right," she paused "nice flowers though."
"Yeah they were." He flicked open his cell and dialled in a number.
"Can I order flowers please, to be delivered, 1PP to the ME's office. Dr Rodgers, Elizabeth Rodgers." He paused, "Yes that was me the other day in with my partner
" He paused, "Detective Goren that's right, you remember …what sort? I don't know I'm not good on flowers, mixed I suppose, but make sure they are colourful please full of life."
She sipped the water as she watched him. Something so un-Goren like she'd love to be a fly on the wall when Rodgers got them tomorrow. In fact if she timed it right she could be.
"The sentiment on the card, can you have it say," he looked over at her "I'm Sorry."
She smiled and nodded.
"No - no name, she'll know. Just please make sure they are colourful and bright."
He flipped shut his cell and took a drink. "I'll apologise myself too, when she'd cooled down a little."
"I'd stay out of the Captains way too," she raised her eyebrows slightly, "sending Rodgers flowers"
Couldn't resist that could you, teasing him
Panic flashed over his face. "God Eames, I never thought, should I cancel" he reached for his cell again.
"No Bobby, Ross will be okay I think he understands you aren't interested in making a play for Rodgers"
"I'm not, she's a nice lady. But….." he trailed off "You're teasing me Eames."
She hid behind her hand, "Moi?"
"Yes you, and you got me, got me good." He smiled and relaxed for a moment his hand travelled to his jacket pocket and he considered lighting up a cigarette but she hated him smoking.
"You're just too easy Goren."
"Only to you Eames, Only ever to you"
"I don't mind if you smoke"
How do you do that?
"No, I'm good; I'm trying to cut down."
She smirked knowing she'd unnerved him slightly, "Shall we order coffee? "
He shook his head, "I'll stick with this," he raised his glass, "are you having coffee?"
"No, I think I'll join you in one of those."
He raised his eyes and smiled, ordering the drinks. "Think you can drink with the big boys now, Eames."
"Always could Goren, just didn't want you to feel insecure."
His unexpected laughter was something she'd missed.
The waitress brought over the drinks, and he watched her take a sip smiling as she wrinkled her nose at the taste. But he knew better than to say anything, he kinda liked his teeth where they were.
This is your chance.
He took a sip of his drink before speaking "Eames I was thinking I never said thanks to you"
"Thanks?" She looked genuinely puzzled wondering where he was going with this.
"After the funeral…you know"
He remembered being held by her in the park as he'd cried.
"Thank you for being there for me."
What are we doing, here Bobby.
Her eyes met his, as he lifted his glass again. But this time he didn't take a drink; he just stared at her intently. Cocking her head at him, she waited raising an eyebrow in silent question.
This could go either way here, and I'm not sure which way I want or need it to go. Eames, give me a clue.
He took a breath, and drained his glass, then gestured to the waitress for a refill. Alex shook her head; she'd hardly touched her drink never mind a refill. The fresh glass came and he took another drink.
Okay Bobby, just slow down, that's your 4th I'm not carrying you out of here...
"Hey." She caught his eye. He was as sober as a judge.
At her voice he looked down at his hands cradling the glass, he needed to start, "Eames I got us all mixed up. I - I didn't know what to do when Jo kidnapped you, I couldn't loose you, I couldn't find you, Ross was on my case, Declan was tormenting me – or so it seemed, and afterwards when you were better I tried to move away but I couldn't, then I told you to back off….what's the old saying you hurt those you closest to you."
"Bobby you were hurting, your Mom was dying."
"That's no excuse Eames, and …and I wanted to hurt someone, to hurt you."
"As we're being honest here, Bobby, yes you hurt me, by pushing me away…but what hurt more was I'd let you get close enough to hurt me, that's what got me so angry. I swore no one would get that close again."
That's it Goren you idiot remind her.
"Bobby there is no after Joe, I'll always love him, I promised myself when he died I wouldn't let anyone get close enough to hurt me again, but you did, you have."
"Have I Alex?"
He took a deep breath and ploughed on. "After the funeral, you were there and I thought … you held me close and I felt alive you know, and I really wanted …. I mean…. I hoped …and …I thought you did too."
This could go either way here Bobby, I'm not sure which way you want it to go, or which way I want it to go.
"Bobby you were hurting. I know what that's like when Joe died I needed someone to hold me, and they did. Bobby I wanted to hold you keep you safe. Let you know…I didn't mean for you to think that I was offering more."
"Its know Eames, I knew that then and now, but then I wasn't, sorry I mean. I knew just what I was doing afterwards, pushing you away like that." He glanced up at her, "Hate and love are closer than people think; I thought if you didn't want me...you know… then I'd show you I didn't need you."
"Please, let me say it. Frank, Tates, Donnie, and the suspension it was all too much. I needed to get back to my work, but I needed…I…." He took a drink, "I missed you."
"Bobby, I missed you too. You're my partner and my friend. Maybe, maybe more than a friend," she covered his hand with hers, "where do you want to go with this?"
"I don't know, I mean, I know you mean more to me than anyone, we're closer than I've ever been to anyone, that I know more about you than I've ever known about any woman ever, yet I don't know enough. And it scares me that I can hurt you, and that I'll do it again."
Jezz Bobby, talk about cards on the table.
"We are capable of hurting each other Bobby; it's what happens when you people get close."
"But I don't do that. I can't its - its hard Eames. This feeling I don't know what to do with it."
"Bobby, caring for someone, not like how you cared for your Mom, it's a two way street, but maybe one you've never walked with anyone before."
"Alex I love you."
"I know, and I love you.
His head shot up.
Shit Alex you've said it now, don't leave him hanging.
"And if this was going to go another way it would have by now Bobby."
"I guess so. We…we… could have though, at one time." He wiggled his eyebrows a little, releasing the tension.
"Goren!" The mock horror in her tone was obvious, but she softened the rebuke with a smile. "Yeah we could but if we had, would we be here now? I doubt it. Sex isn't what keeps people together, it's this" she turned her hand in his, gesturing to them, "this keeps us together, a little flirting is a good thing. But this is deeper and right now we need this more than anything."
"I kinda liked the flirting."
"Yeah me too, but then it got to real."
He moved covering her hands with his. She was right, the connection he felt was deeper than anything he'd experienced. And he didn't want - no – he couldn't loose that.
Focusing on their hands, the way hers fitted within his how they felt. His expression was unreadable.
You're right, I need someone who cares for me and that someone is you Eames, the... the… intimacy we share its special.
She moved forward slowly and kissed him, "Yes Bobby, it is special."
His ears coloured, ducking his head slightly and rubbing his chin. "Said that out loud didn't I?"
But instead of ducking his head and hiding his eyes he lifted his head and looked at her.
She nodded realising, "Bobby when have you ever said anything without meaning to?
"Oh man, busted!"
"Bobby, love works best when you want someone more than you need them, just now because of…everything. We need each other to much."
"But that could change right?"
"Yeah, yeah that could change, more than likely will because we will."
"Right now I need you as my friend."
"You already have me."
He leaned forward slightly and touched his lips to hers, she parted her lips slightly this time and he tasted her. Groaning he rested his forehead against hers. "I do want you Alex,"
He felt her smiling against his lips, as she moved away slowly placing a butterfly kiss on his nose, "You already have me Goren."
She raised her glass to his, offering a toast. "To us"
Their glasses clinked, "To us."
Well what did you think?
Too shippy or not enough?