Character's thoughts are in italics.
Disclaimer: I do not own them. *mutters under breath*
This is inspired by the song, "Same Old Lang Syne", by Dan Fogelberg. (But thankfully, not as angsty as the song)
Bobby spotted her right away. She was half-way across the grocery store, but he couldn't miss that familiar gait. He had always enjoyed watching her, and he suddenly remembered what it was like to walk through the bullpen with her as she updated either of their captains on the most recent case developments. He would often start out next to them, but then hang back a little so he could sneak a peek at her while she walked; taking in the stride of her legs and the soft sway of her hips. Eames.
It had been too long since he'd seen her, a little more than nine months. After he retired, he told her he'd call her once he "got settled", but he never did. He knew he wouldn't, and apparently she did too, because she didn't try to contact him either. Not even once. After all they had been through much during their last couple of years, and as much as they wanted to pretend they were "fine", they both knew that they weren't. So, when they left the NYPD, all they both wanted was time alone.
However, he really did think she would try to contact him eventually. So when she didn't he was surprised. At first his pride was a little hurt. He was certain she would at least send him a text, but she didn't. He couldn't blame her, but he was just…surprised. So he wasn't all too sure if he should even approach her. Instead, he decided to follow her at a safe distance for a while. He looked around occasionally, making sure no made him as a stalker, and he tossed random things into his basket to appear "normal". Heh…Eames would surely have something to say if she heard me try to refer to myself as normal.
As he followed her through the isles he couldn't help but think about why he never called her. The truth was, he didn't call her because he was afraid of what might happen if he did. Not having any regulations to keep him from asking her out, he was afraid he would do just that and it would end disastrously. He felt that if she said no to him, their friendship would be ruined because, really, how can you recover from that? And if she said yes to him, inevitably she would either get sick of him, or he would do something to drive her away. So instead of trying to remain in contact and stay 'just friends', he chose the easy way out. However, seeing her then made him second guess his decision. He had always been attracted to her, but watching her in that store made him realize just how much he wanted her, and how much he missed her.
It was in the frozen foods section when he decided to get closer to her. He had turned the corner and found her squatted down, one hand propping open the freezer door, and her head almost completely inside as she used the other hand to search past some bags of cheese ravioli. What she was looking for, he didn't know or didn't care. All he could see was that her black low-rise jeans had pulled away and down while her leather jacket rode up, displaying the most tempting patch of her skin that he had ever had the pleasure of seeing. Topping it all off was her red lace underwear, and when he saw that he cleared his throat, "You look like you could use a hand down there." Pun intended.
As soon as she heard his voice she removed her head from the freezer and twisted her body around to get a look at him; unsure if her ears were playing tricks on her. Her eyes widened when she saw him standing there. "Bobby?", she said as she stood up. She put her arms around his shoulders and pulled him into an embrace. He wrapped his arms around her waist and it wasn't until that very second that he realized just how much he had really missed her.
When they pulled away from each other his eyes roamed up and down her body, "Alex…you look…great." She saw a goofy grin on his reddened face and she didn't know why he was looking at her like that. He knew it was because when saw that she had on a soft red v-neck sweater, he immediately assumed that her bra probably matched her panties. He was aware that his face must have been the color of her sweater and tried to come up with a lame excuse as to why that was. "I'm-I'm sorry… I'm embarrassed that I never called you after…" he let the rest of his sentence trail off because she was shaking her head and giving him an 'I understand' look. "Don't - let's not go there." Then he watched her give him the once over and when her eyes met his again he saw her smiling at him, "You look really good, Bobby. Rested… relaxed."
He was in jeans and a black button down and she thought that he had lost some more weight since the last time she had seen him. He was also wearing his same black leather jacket along with his usual black shoes and while she always knew he was handsome, she found herself thinking that he seemed to have gotten even better looking. Her attraction to her partner was something she had always gone to great lengths to cover up, but now, she didn't feel the need to hide it. All while they worked together, she had used her wit and a stoic façade to keep him at arms length. But despite that, night after night she would fall asleep thinking of him. It hadn't gotten any better for her since they'd stopped working together. She still thought about him constantly, to the point where she would see random men on the street and imagine they were him. She'd even gone so far as to stop a guy once, and was thoroughly disappointed and embarrassed when a complete stranger turned around instead of him. But now he stood right in front of her, and damn it, he looked good. Stop staring at him, Alex! He looks great, but you can't stare!
He gave his head a quick nod, "Thank you. I haven't felt this good in…well…I think ever."
She looked around the store, "Do you have some time to catch up or are you here with someone?"
He fought back a smirk. Nice interrogation technique, Eames, subtly always worked so well for you. "I'm alone, but I'm surprised you are. After all it's," he looked at his watch, "ten-thirty on New Year's Eve. No plans for tonight?"
She shook her head, "Nope. I just had dinner with my sister, Jill. She lives about a block away from here now. She wanted me to stay up and ring in the new year with her and Steve, but I just wanted to get home…you know…get off the roads before the drunks take over."
He motioned toward the freezer, "What was so allusive in there?"
"Oh," she looked at the freezer, "meat ravioli. I felt like making a sauce tomorrow and having some."
"Here…let me." Then she watched him get on his knees and dig through the case. She noticed , not for the first time, the beautiful curl to his hair, and even though it was a little more gray, she felt that old desire to run her fingers through it so she stuffed her hands into her jacket pockets to avoid giving into temptation. But what the hell do I have to avoid it for anymore?
He emerged victorious, holding up a bag of meat ravioli, and giving her a sheepish smile.
She took the bag from him and then from out of no where she said, "Care to join me for dinner tomorrow?"
He stood back up and tugged his jacket down. "Oh…I wish I could, but I have plans."
He saw her disappointment so he added, "How about now? Why don't we put our groceries in your car and get a drink? I'm sure it's cold enough for your things to keep…even the frozen foods." Then he added, "I promise, Alex…you'll be home and off the streets before midnight…just one drink."
She agreed but once they got to the car she had another idea. She put the bags into her trunk, then she reached in and held up a six pack. "I had stopped in the package store earlier. So how about, I drive you to your apartment, and we have a beer in the car before I head out?"
"You know you can come into my place, Alex. I won't bite."
She laughed a little at his humor before replying, "It's just that I really don't want to stay out too late…tonight of all nights…but I'd like to take you up on your offer for another time."
He looked at her, trying to figure out if her hesitation to come into his place was really just about it being New Year's Eve. He decided that he better take what he can get, "Sounds good. Let's go."
His street was almost deserted, it seemed as though everyone was out ringing in the New Year except for them. She parked the car but left it running for the heat. He opened up two bottles of beer and handed her one. Before she took hers, she decided to take her jacket off. He gripped the beer tight and he couldn't take his eyes off of her breasts when she shimmied her arms out of her sleeves. His mouth hung slack and his eyes then moved lower and saw a little strip of her belly that become exposed when she raised her self up a little to slide the jacket out from behind her. "Okay, there…sorry…I didn't want to get too warm."
He shook his head in an attempt to clear his dirty mind and handed her a beer, "Here you go…cheers." They clinked beer bottles then each took a sip as he adjusted himself in his seat since his jeans suddenly felt a lot more snug. Don't be an ass Goren, leave her alone.
They quickly covered all the 'small talk' area's: what he was doing (still in Manhattan, consulting with the FBI's anti-terrorist task force), what she was doing (assistant director of a non-profit agency in Garden City that supports women and children in crisis); how her family and Lewis were doing (all good); if they saw anyone from NYPD (he didn't, and she only saw a few old colleagues from time to time).
Then when one beer turned into two, they became more and more comfortable with each other and their conversation took a more personal turn. "So Alex, are you seeing anyone?" The tone in his voice suggested to her that he might not be asking out of small talk any more and it caught her a bit off guard.
He knew he made her uncomfortable so he tried to retract his question, "I'm sorry, it's none of my business."
"No! That's not it, really, Bobby. It's just that I wasn't expecting you to ask because, well, we never used to talk about things like that…but to answer you again… I have been seeing someone. Jeff…is his name…for a while now. You know, on and off."
He leaned in a little, "Why on and off?"
Leave it to him to turn this into an interrogation. She considered giving him a brush-off answer, but something told her to be honest. Or at least, as honest as she could be given the fact that she'd never been able to be serious with any guy because she kept comparing them to him. "He's nice enough, but there's just something that's…missing." She couldn't look at him so she stared at her hand as she picked away at the bottle's label.
"Does he treat you well?" Did I just sound jealous?
She'd had enough, "Yes, he treats me just fine…what about you? Still have a bevy of beauties at your beck and call?" He heard her anger flair and knew he hit a nerve but didn't know why.
"You know, Bobby, all those women that would swoon at your feet the minute you turned on the charm."
He gave her a soft laugh and chose not to take the bait, "I've been seeing someone for about six months now," he was surprised to see her become crestfallen when he said that, "but lately…I don't know..." he shakes his head, "I think I've worn out my welcome with her."
"What's her name?", she asked because she didn't know what else to say.
"Pretty name, I bet she's beautiful."
"And I'm sure Jeff looks like Prince Charming."
She gave him a smirk and raised her bottle, "Touché."
He raised his to hers, "Maybe they'd be perfect for each other."
She swallowed hard, "Excuse me?"
He looked her right in the eyes and spoke as softly as he could, "I said, maybe they'd be perfect for each other…because they don't seem to be perfect for us."
She studied his eyes and his lips and had to fight back the desire to kiss him. Why am I fighting these feelings? We don't have anything holding us back, right?
He waited for her reply while he tried to place the look on her face. He couldn't read her and it was driving him crazy. What else was driving him crazy was the barely-there perfume she was wearing. It was understated but sexy and brought out a lusty desire in him. He huffed out a quick laugh when he thought about how the perfume was a perfect fit for her because that's exactly how he would describe her.
He felt like he could sit there all night and breath her in, and as his eyes roamed over her body yet again, he thought that maybe he just might have to let her know what she was doing to him. "Your perfume, Alex…it's…"
"Too much? I'm sorry… I know you never really liked perfume because of your heightened sense of smell."
Without thinking, he leaned his left hand on the back of her seat and touched her shoulder. "No, no, it's just right, it's light and beautiful." Then he looked away for a minute before turning back to her, "When we worked together…you didn't wear perfume often, only on days when we knew we were going to be tied up in interrogation or chasing leads."
She smiled softly at him, "You noticed that? I didn't know."
"I noticed everything about you." What the hell? Did I just say that out loud?
She tried to hide her shock at his statement by doing the safe thing and changed the subject, "You've been calling me Alex tonight…no more Eames?"
He gave her a shy smile, "You - you'll always be Eames to me…but now I think I should call you Alex since we're not partners…co-workers…superior and subordinate…" Sensing he was rambling and on the verge of saying something else that would make her uncomfortable, he quickly shut himself up.
So he was even more surprised when he heard her say, "You're right, Bobby…we're not any of those things anymore…so what would say we are to each other?"
He was quite baffled and answered tentatively, "Friends?"
"Are we though? I mean, we haven't even spoken to each since we left the job."
Misinterpreting her intent, he replied, "I said I was sorry."
"I know you are, and I'm sorry, too. But my point is that right now, we have the opportunity to redefine what we are to each other," she turned so she was facing him straight on, "do you want to take that opportunity?"
He shook his head in confusion. He thought he knew what she was getting at, but he didn't want to assume anything. "What do you mean, Alex?"
"What I mean is…what if we had a clean slate…starting now…and say, we met each other for the first time…tonight…right there in the frozen foods section of that grocery store. And we decided to have a drink together…to get to know each other better…what would you do now, Bobby? I mean, are you thinking 'she's nice but not my type'? Or are you wondering if I'd go out with you on a real date?"
He hated trick questions, and he felt like this must be one for sure. He opened his mouth to say something, then quickly shut it again when he didn't trust his instincts on what would be the correct answer.
As if she was reading his mind, she said, "I'm not trying to paint you into a corner here. I was just wondering if you would like to maybe see me again. But I think I just got my -"
Suddenly, his lips were pressed against hers, but as soon as she went to respond to him, he pulled away from her. "Oh God…I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." He put his beer in the six pack holder then reached for the door handle.
"Bobby." Alex said firmly.
He kept his hand where it was and turned his body away from hers. He couldn't look at her.
"That wasn't right to do to you…just…Happy New Year, Alex…enjoy your life." He opened the car door and started to step out.
She grabbed a hold of his jacket, freezing him half way between sitting in and getting out of the car. Gripping his arm, she said, "Bobby!" She didn't mean to scream his name, but she did.
"Please…just let go."
"Not until you sit back down for a minute."
His head lowered as he slowly sat down.
"And close the door."
He sighed as he closed the door.
She looked at him for several seconds before speaking. "So…that's it? You kiss me and then you run?"
"Alex, I told you…I shouldn't have done that."
Then it was her turn to surprise him. Before he knew what she was doing, she slid her seat back and climbed over and on top of him. She straddled him as she ran both hands through his hair and kissed him hard. His response was to push her away. "Stop."
"Why?" She asked as she peppered his neck and ear with kisses.
"I don't know why…no, yes…yes I do know why." She kissed him on the lips again in an attempt to shut him up. She was a little surprised at how quickly he offered his tongue, but then just as quickly he pushed her away again.
"Make up your mind, Bobby, do you know why or not?" Her hands roamed through his hair and down his arms and every where she touched him heated his desire for her.
His reasoning was hanging by a thread, "It's just…stop and listen to me, please."
Alex stopped touching him and rested her hands on his chest while she waited for him to continue. She felt his hands, too. One was on her back and the other had a firm grip on her thigh. "Okay…tell me what's wrong."
After a few false starts, he began, "I'm just afraid that what ever we're doing here, and what ever this may lead to, that I'll eventually do something to fuck every thing up. I mean really, Alex, you know me. You of all people know how seriously fucked up I am…and I don't want to drag you into it."
She gave him a soft kiss on the lips before answering him. "What makes you think you'd be dragging me? You don't see me running away, do you?"
"No, but -"
"Maybe the problem is that you're having second thoughts…maybe you thought this is what you wanted, that I'm what you wanted… but after kissing me -"
"No." He shook his head and his eyes fell to half mast, "Don't ever doubt how much I care about you, or how much I want you. I've always wanted you, Alex. God knows I have."
Instead of replying, she responded by kissing him slowly and sensually. Her tongue was probing but gentle as she swirled it around his own. Everytime she broke the kiss to get some air, she would whisper his name and leave a small kiss on his cheek before diving back for his mouth. She had all of his senses on overload and as much as he loved it, he was still debating if he should put a stop to it. But his resolve weakened even further when he slid his hand down the back of her sweater and his fingers found the bare spot of her skin that caught his attention earlier in the grocery store. He brought his other hand up to the same place and one hand massaged her ass while the other ran across the rim of her panties.
He lost it entirely when she pressed herself into him and then groaned because she felt the bulge in his pants. Seemingly without thinking, he unbuckled her belt and began to fumble with the zipper on her jeans. She was thrilled when she felt him begin to respond to her in earnest. While she was kissing him, she reached down along side of him and found the latch for the back of his seat and lowered them down.
"Alex…what are you…"
"Shhhhh." One of her hands was tangled in his hair while the other traveled down his chest until it found exactly what she was looking for.
"Ahhhh, oh my god, Alex."
She rubbed and fondled him over his jeans, then used both hands to undo his belt and pants.
"We can't do…this…" He said as he panted.
"Why not?" She had a tone in her voice that let him know she was completely serious.
"We're in a car…on my street!"
She gave him a sexy laugh and whispered in his ear, "Don't try to tell me that you've never done it in a car before." Her hot breath drove him insane for her.
"You know…doing that to me is not going to help me keep a clear head."
"Hmm, that's the point."
He couldn't help but laugh as he mentally kicked himself for not doing this with her sooner. He was more than surprised at her assertiveness; it was a side of her that he wanted to see more of.
While he was daydreaming and admiring the new and aggressive Eames, she had been busy. She had tugged his jeans down and was in the process of doing the same with his boxers when he put his hands on hers.
"Can we please go inside so we can do this right?"
She shook her head and the look in her eyes let him know that it was not wise to get in her way. "We can go inside later." With that, she took his hands and put them on her breasts.
He groaned and bit his lip while he ran his hands over her breasts, then slipped them under her shirt.
She seemed to have produced a condom from out of no where, but at that point he wasn't going to question her. She had also maneuvered herself out of one leg of her jeans, the other pant leg was bunched up by her knee.
"Here," she said as she handed him the condom, "do you want to put it on or should I?"
"Jesus, Alex…you're serious about this aren't you?"
"Are you complaining?" She snarked as she licked his neck.
He kissed her before answering, "Not at all."
"Besides," she reasoned, "everyone is partying…no one is even going to notice," She said as she slipped the condom on him.
He did have to concede that the windows were fairly steamy by then, and when she took him in her hand and held him firmly he forgot all about the world outside the car.
"Bobby," she said as she positioned herself over him. He looked up to see her face right over his, her hair falling softly around her. "I've wanted this…you…for so long." Then she lowered herself onto him and he shouted her name.
They kissed and they touched each other as she rode him. Then he held onto her waist and guided her slowly, trying to savor every moment with her. He closed his eyes at one point and she begged him to open them. He obliged her without thinking twice; he knew he'd give her anything she wanted..
"I can't wait to feel you…and to see you as you come." She growled out in a voice much lower than usual.
He groaned, "Saying things like that is gonna make it happen a lot sooner than I want it to."
"Don't worry, you'll have another chance later…"
"Come on, Bobby."
He tightened his grip on her hips and thrust inside of her several times before holding her to him, letting go in a blissful release.
She collapsed on top of him, kissing his neck then moving toward his lips.
"Perfect." Then he looked at the clock in the car and moved his hands to either side of her face, "Happy New Year, Alex."
She looked toward the clock to see it was 12:01. "Happy New Year, Bobby," She said before she lowered herself and kissed him.