A/N: This is my newest offering. It's another epic (length) I haven't mastered that brevity thing yet. This has no storyline relationship to my 2 previous fics. This one is a completely canonical interpretation of all 10 seasons (at least that's the plan). I feel like I'm embarking on War and Peace. I cherry picked episodes and scenes that I liked and felt were really pivotal to character development and relationship growth.

Again this is an M fic but not at first so give it a shot even if M isn't your bag.

"To everything, turn, turn, turn" (The Byrds in case you were wondering - Ecclesiastes for the purists)


She didn't humour nerves generally speaking, but today, well, today felt like a day to give in. Today they were going to be assigned their first case (murder permitting). She pulled on a dark suit and eyed herself critically in the mirror. That's a good little boy, she mocked her androgynous reflection. Androgynous by the super sexy standards of her previous position anyway.

She ran a comb (and then borderline manic fingers) through her straight short hair each time finding they tumbled into thin air at the base of her neck, grasping for length that wasn't there. She'd gotten this haircut after her last case in Vice. Vice was a place for fishnet stockings, leather minis and scraggly long tresses that looked just a little to shiny, just a little too clumpy. In Vice she'd needed to be the lowest common denominator - inviting all the boys in the hood to 'go into her' mathematically speaking of course. For all those years she'd gotten her look just right when she reeked of wrong. When Major Case had accepted her - yes much like admissions to the Ivy League many applied but few were invited - she had shorn her hair like an eager cadet and treated herself to the least sexually appealing outfit on the rack.

Fun and games were over.

Alexandra Eames marched mechanically up the wide granite promenade toward the 12 foot tall glass doors of 1 Police Plaza. The grandeur said 'you've arrived' and her posture said I'm here to get a job done. She sped past reception and into a crowded elevator. She reached around a woman in a hijab to press eleven. She was ready for a case. She'd been ready for this day since the academy.

But was he?

When she stepped off the elevator and onto the floor of the squad room he was already there, and he was doing what could only be described as holding court.

Her partner.

Her new partner.

Robert Goren.

He was the one head and shoulders above a small crowd of women. Alex recognized their backs. A temp admin from holding named Laura, another was Deakins' right hand Sherry and the third was Jeanine from HR. Alex rolled her eyes. If this was business she was a supermodel. One look at her partner's big, thick, body and that unsavoury predatory glint in his eye, and she wanted to turn around and leave the room. But she didn't because this wasn't day one, just case one. Alex had been working shoulder to shoulder with him for almost a month now. A month wasn't long enough to be comfortable but it was long enough not to be surprised. In their month together she'd seen this phenomenon before with Goren and the ladies. There was clearly something compelling about him, Alex couldn't say what exactly because she wasn't in his thrall, but there was something.

1 month and with him it felt like 12.

So far they hadn't done any actual detecting together, they had been working in a grunt capacity.

"Consider it Major hazing" Jimmy Deakins had laughed, dimpling them to death. "Everyone here has gotten it one way or another."

So, as ordered they'd been tailing the top MCS detectives, nothing demeaning really, just watching bits of someone else's action interspersed with doing bits of someone else's paperwork. Basically learning the ropes through rote and review and reprimand. Things were different in this rarified air 11 storeys up. They weren't precinct po-po anymore and they needed all that provincial thinking beaten out of them. They were padawans on the precipice, plucked from obscurity because of their stellar records. Major Case detectives were expected to have a certain cachè, a certain breadth of knowledge, a certain confidence and most of all an approach that set them apart.

So with all these notions of greater good and higher calling floating around her skull was it any wonder that Alex was disappointed? She gave him a look. And then she gave those women a look. And like fancy confronted with reason his groupies seemed to evaporate. And it was just the two of them on their grey metal 8 legged island, divorced from the hustle and bustle of the squad room around them.

She nodded at the retreating herd of women. "Is there a clerical crisis I should know about?" Her voice jabbed like a pen knife, quick and dirty, because that was where her strength lay.

"Ha ha." He said dryly lowering casually onto the desktop. Somehow she'd thought he would straighten up, dial it back for an actual case. But Alex found on this oh so important day Goren still had two settings: ON and MORE ON... Moron. No, no. MORE ON. She tried not to be hostile - even on the inside - because she knew hostility could seldom be kept a secret, it was toxic.

"Good morning Alex." He greeted her formally, even cheerfully, starting over. He swivelled toward her on some poor piece of paper that wrinkled and tore under his posterior.

"Goren." She slapped him back into the 'I'm not your friend' zone. But she kept her eyes on him. How could she avoid it, he was the biggest thing in the room. And I'm the smallest. This partnership is a cosmic joke. His suit was crisp so that was one thing (at least he took dressing seriously) but his hair was maybe a shade too curly, even though she conceded the dark riotous cap suited the boyish fullness of his cheeks.

Lest she look too long (lest he see her lingering gaze as an invitation to chat) she turned away and began to settle in. First sliding off her trench coat, then her purse, then her leather attachè and there was a theme there too, black, sober solid black. A serious colour. She could feel him watching her and so she let her eyes trace the seam between their butted desks. Which reminded her of another petty annoyance, he was sitting in the desk she wanted. It wasn't the actual desk, all these rusty metal cans were the same, it was the aspect, facing Deakins' door. Alex hated sneak attacks. But her partner had fast talked her on desk selection day - something about long legs and proximity to the water cooler and blah blah blah…

"How was your evening?" He asked casually still perched atop. And she casually looked at him like he had 6 heads. What was it about her downturned eyes and iron body that begged for small talk? Some detective.

"Did you finish the R-10 from yesterday?" She asked instead.

"Finished and filed." He smiled. He let the heel of his shoe bang the metal desk rhythmically. It felt like a gong to the nervous system. Alex sat very deliberately hoping he would follow suit. He didn't. She wanted to ask him if something was wrong with his chair, or if maybe he didn't bend at the waist like the rest of us, because she was seeing now - 23 jittery days in - that he liked to move, that a chair was a death sentence to this man. He was the king of perching, leaning, crouching, shaking, rocking and gesticulating. She wanted to carry a skein of rope in her purse, she wanted the option of tying him up.

Instead she asked, "Deakins in yet?"

"No, traffic on the Verrazano sucks."

How eloquent.

"Figures." And she sighed long and deep and he read it. This was her day. This was the day when she was supposed to become a bonafide Major Case detective. The promise of it hovered in the air just frustratingly out of her reach. She wants the action he thought, they'd both come of age on a diet of action. And he was so right, Alex felt like she'd been waiting her whole life for this. She just wanted to get out of here. She wanted to hop into a car, she wanted to slice through traffic with purpose, she wanted to duck under the yellow tape with authority. But funny, discomfited by Goren as she was, she didn't make the connection. She was so hell bent on disliking him she didn't see that first ethereal tether form between them, the first tether in what would become a lifetime of tethers.

They were both restless souls.

She wanted to move too.

It wasn't until 11:07am that the alarm finally sounded.

"Goren Eames! You've got one." Deakins yelled.

Sweetest. Words. Ever. Uttered.

The energy was addictive, their captain's voice booming, his powerful stride marked with urgency. He briefed them in rapid time on the newest Major case. "Two college kids found dead in a Brooklyn first floor, and $300 million dollars - give or take - in missing diamonds." As briefs went did it get any better? Alex could have swooned instead she grabbed her coat and checked her piece. "You got your binder? Your cell? Keys to your requisition?" Deakins was worse then her mom, but they loved every second of it. The captain stepped up to the big man and straightened his tie and said "Make me proud."

Then he turned back to his office and let them fly.

In the grey concrete cavern of the 1PP parking garage Goren moved to the driver's side of the big black SUV. Eames headed him off. "I like to drive."

He looked down on her "Shouldn't we draw straws or something."

"I am the short straw." She looked up, way up, scrappily. And because she made him laugh and because he understood the subtext, that driving was the great equalizer, he took his seat on the passengers side. When they arrived the squads were parked everywhere, lights of blue and red rolled slowly and cops crawled all over the city block denoting their crime scene. And it was theirs. Everyone deferred when Major Case arrived and that shot through both of them like a rocket.


Awesome power.

Unfortunately like all highs it was short lived. By the hands of her watch it took all of 15 minutes - the distance to run the gauntlet between their vehicle and the parents couch - to be exact. 15 minutes before Goren had taken his gigantic wingtip and inserted it into his equally big mouth. Alex listened to him tell the tortured grieving parents, "Mr. and Mrs. Kersten uh, I can't tell you how sorry we are for what happened to your daughter but we will find the people who did this."

Rookie. No one said it but every law enforcement professional in the room thought it, in concert. The epithet was so silently loud that it blew their hair back.

"The Sergeant said they were professionals." That from the destroyed tearful father, "That the chances of you catching them were…"

"Mr Kersten I give you my word. We'll catch em." Goren reiterated earnestly.

And sitting there, Alex sensed that this wasn't an anomaly.

This was Goren and this was only the beginning.