A/N: I'm back, with more multi-chapter angst for my two favourite characters. Leave a review if you have a chance :)
Bobby stood next to the baby's crib, looking down. The fact that Alex wasn't there cut to the core of him like a white-hot knife. He had told them, they didn't know Alex like he did. She had survived so much. She had been in many dangerous situations. Even now, there was a psychopath intending to hunt her down and kill her. How could she have survived all that, only to die in a situation that millions of women went through with no problem?
She had already delivered another baby without complications, when her nephew was born. How could she have died having a baby? It didn't make any sense. He couldn't accept it. How could she survive dangerous situations with hardened criminals, only to die giving birth?
The baby shifted, bringing Bobby's attention back to the small form in the crib. This baby was all he had left now. This baby was who Alex had died for. He had resented that fact only until his eyes fell onto the baby for the first time. He had felt nothing but love and protectiveness from the first moment he held his child in his arms. No, he didn't blame the baby. This baby was now his entire world.
Deciding that standing by the crib was not close enough, he reached in to pick the baby up. Only cradling the tiny infant against his chest, with their beating hearts separated only by flesh, bone, and flimsy fabric, could he have the baby close enough.
In a hospital room far away from where Bobby cradled the infant, Alex Eames lay unconscious, unaware that her husband held their baby and grieved for the wife he believed had died.
Chapter One – Boyd (March 2009)
Bobby was sitting at his desk, tapping a pen rhythmically against it, when Alex walked over to him. "I'm on break," she said, perching on the edge of his desk. Bobby looked up and saw her partner heading to the elevator. He wasn't sure where his partner had gone. Probably far away. No one else could put up with him the way Alex had.
"And you thought you'd come and distract me from my paperwork?" he asked, smiling.
"Ah, well, if you're too busy," she joked, getting up to walk away. He stood up and followed her. "Where is your partner anyway?" she asked. "Shouldn't you tell him you're taking your break now?"
"I don't know," Bobby replied. "I'm surprised he hasn't requested a new partner yet. Actually," he said thoughtfully, "he probably has, and it just hasn't gone through yet."
Alex clucked her tongue disapprovingly, but her smile betrayed that she wasn't really annoyed with him. "You should really try to hold on to a partner, Bobby."
"Okay," he replied, wrapping his arms around her as the elevator doors closed. She laughed, spinning around to face him.
"Not exactly what I meant, but this works," she said. He bent down to kiss her.
"Are you two doing okay, still?" Bobby asked after they broke apart. He had one hand resting on her back, the other over her abdomen.
"We're fine," Alex said.
"I just worry," Bobby fretted.
"I know," Alex replied. "Don't worry. Everything will be fine."
"I'll feel better once you're on leave," he replied.
"Will you?" she asked. "I've already been on desk for months. I have a feeling you'll keep worrying right up until the baby's born."
He frowned slightly. "Does that bother you?" he asked.
"No," she assured him. "Not really. If it makes you feel any better, this is my last day," she reminded him.
Bobby nodded. "You're in court for the rest of the afternoon, right?"
"Yes, I have to testify for the Boyd case."
Well, at least she wasn't out on the streets, hunting down criminals, he thought. She would probably be much safer in court. Even though she denied it, he knew that she got annoyed with him fussing over her. But he couldn't help it – he worried.
Alex had left the witness stand and was heading back towards the gallery. She was the last to testify, and the judge excused the jury to reach a verdict. After the combined effects of both her and her partner's testimony, she doubted Boyd would avoid jail time.
Alex's partner was waiting for her at the front of the gallery. I'm pregnant, not incompetent! She thought irritably. Between her two partners, she was lucky that she was allowed to walk around on her own. Both Bobby and Casselman insisted on being with her constantly, something she found both endearing and incredibly annoying.
The feeling of someone looking at her made her turn. Boyd was glowering at her from his seat at the defense table. She was about to turn away again when he leaned forward, and whispered, "I will destroy you."
Casselman was at her side in an instant. "What did you say?" he demanded aggressively.
A slow smile spread across Boyd's face. But it wasn't the smile of someone who was genuinely happy… more of someone who was taking great pleasure in something that was going to happen in the future. "I said," Boyd repeated, "I'm going to destroy you… All of you," he added, including both Alex and Casselman in his unblinking gaze.
"If you're not careful, Boyd," Alex snapped, "we'll add harassment to the charges against you."
Casselman looked ready to say more, but Alex was used to reigning in her young fiery partner. "Come on Casselman," she said quietly, so only he could hear. "Boyd's just trying to get a rise out of you."
Casselman allowed her to lead him from the courtroom. "You okay?" she asked when they left.
"Fine," Casselman replied. "Did it not bother you, what Boyd said back there?"
Alex shrugged. "I've had plenty of perps threaten me. It stops getting to you after a while. But you can still report what he said."
"No," Casselman said. "I'm not going to rise to the bait."
"Boyd doesn't have to know," Alex said. "It's protocol to report what he said. No one's going to think you're scared, Casselman," she added, smiling. "I would appreciate it if you could report it though, because it's my last day and I'd rather not prolong it. You can file the report tomorrow."
"Right," Casselman said. "It was a pleasure to work with you Detective Eames," he said formally, shaking her hand.
"You as well, Casselman," she replied.
She turned to leave. "Eames?" Casselman asked, following her. "I could walk you to your car, if you want."
"That's okay, Casselman," Alex replied. "My other bodyguard is waiting." She indicated Bobby, who was standing at the courthouse doors.
Casselman blushed. He hadn't realized it had been so obvious that he was trying to look after his pregnant partner. She was the senior partner after all, and could certainly take care of herself.
Alex smiled and turned back to clap a hand onto his shoulder. "You're next partner is lucky to have you," she said. Casselman blushed an even deeper red.
"I guess I'll see you at the wedding," he said. He was set to marry his fiancé a month after Alex's due date. He had invited her, Bobby, and the baby to the wedding. Alex had been touched to see that he remembered the due date, and had included the baby in the wedding invitation.
"I'll be there," she replied.
"Take care," Casselman said. He waved to Bobby, and left. Alex approached her husband smiling. Any thoughts either of them had concerning Boyd had vanished… but his thoughts were still focused on them.
"Eames," she muttered into the phone. Next to her, Bobby was also sitting up, woken by her phone.
"Jessie?" she asked. "Slow down honey, what's wrong?"
Bobby frowned with concern as Alex blanched. "I'm coming over," she said. "I'll be there in ten minutes." She hung up the phone and let her hand drop woodenly to the bed.
"What is it?" Bobby demanded. "What happened?"
"That was Jessie," Alex said. "Cassleman's fiancee." She turned to face Bobby, and took a deep breath before forcing the words that rose like poison out from her lips. "She said that he was murdered."