Goren dialed Eames number but it went straight to voicemail. "I get it you're still mad at me. I deserve that. Look Alex. I'm sorry. I'm fucking this up. I know that. I'm not good company right now. My head is in such a dark place right now. So, I'm going to take some time and stay at my apartment and let our tempers cool. For what it's worth, I love you and I'm sorry I said what I said. I didn't mean it. I was angry and I wanted to hurt you and it was a shitty thing to say. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that. Okay. Uh...bye."

She listened to the message. She heard his genuine apology. He usually ignored his behavior and tried to move on like nothing happened. Here, he actually acknowledged it. Maybe, he is trying. I egged him on. I know it's partially my fault. I questioned his manhood which was a low blow but I didn't know how else to shake him of this submission to depression. It was stealing him away from me. I need him. Maybe, I do deflect with sex and sarcasm it was easier than admitting how much I'm hurting inside.

She clutched the phone to her chest and prayed that she'd be able to hold back the tears she felt well up inside and shifted into work mode badass Alex compartmentalizing everything within the last couple of months.

At lunch time, she caved and dialed his number but there was no answer. "Bobby. It's Alex. I understand you need to do what you have to do. We both said some things...Bobby, can you just call me when you can." She put her hands over the phone. "I love you."

She spent most of the day frantically looking at her phone willing it to ring. She hated how they left things. They knew each other's sore spots and knew exactly how to push the buttons to enrage the other. Deep down, she knew they both still cared about each other but despite them being fairly candid with each other, they still left so much unsaid. She didn't know what to do to convince him that she wasn't going to hurt him the same way all the important people in his life did. He just had been so let down that he couldn't see that she was more than his stabilizing force but someone that would always be in his corner.

She wanted more. Intimacy. They had started with some real vulnerability but every toe dipped in the honesty and vulnerability well was a football field backwards into safety. There was so much fear in being truly open but neither realized they were too invested in each other to walk away now. They had safety if they acknowledged their real feelings.

"Eames." The captain's voice interrupted his thoughts.


"Look, I know you have loyalty to your partner. It's admirable. You are one of my best detectives and the time has come we need you out in the field. And since we don't know when your partner is coming back, I will have to put you with someone."

"I already told you my feelings on that."

"And they are noted but I am your captain and if I need to pull rank I will or we can do this the easy way and you just agree now."

"Temporary. I don't plan on working and breaking someone new. Goren and I already have our chemistry and understand, for the most part, each other's idiosyncrasies. Plus, we all know he is one of your best detectives and if you don't, look at his stats since he switched to major case then look at our stats together. You need him too."

"I have talked to Chief of D's and brought it to his attention. Between me and you, your partner has pissed him off very badly, maybe touched a nerve that needed not be touched. I don't know what bridges have been burn or how. I could take a guess but it seems he's fixed on making an example out of him and our hands are tied. I know neither of you are happy about this. I've always pictured you as the more pragmatic detective and I hope you won't make a bigger mess of this than it already is. Let this blow over."

"For how long?"

"As long as it needs to be. He'll come to his senses, eventually but until then, we make do."

"How is he? I try not to put much stock in rumors…" He was searching her nonverbal for any clues on how far gone, Goren actually was.

She rolled her eyes. "People talk, especially about him, doesn't make it all true."

The captain acquiesced.

"He's not great. This job is important to him. He's good at it. I just wished people would just stand back and let him do it."

"Consequences have to matter too."

"We're past the point of Consequences." It was a verbal nudge basically pushing him to do his job and lead rather than just blindly following orders.

"Let's do our part so when he comes back. We can smooth things over."

She just nodded and clicked her jaw. The sooner this is over, the better.

When she got home, her apartment was empty and so was her phone's call log. She knew he needed his space and maybe they both did but she wanted him here and the feeling of a united partnership. He was just so mentally far these days and she felt alone. She hadn't felt so alone since Joe's passing. That emptiness of someone's love just out of reach. No physical contact and nothing to do to fix it. She washed her face, changed and slipped under cover with a hot water bottle needing to feel something other than the cold untouched spot he normally occupied.