I did a short piece on Bobby sometime back, "Living In The Moment", that was sort of a guide to Bobby's thought processes in Seasons 6 through 8, and I think Alex deserves the same consideration. So, without further ado, I offer this vignette. As most of Alex's touchstones came later, so, too, does this fic cover. Basically crumbs from Seasons 5 to 10. Enjoy!

When the defense attorney had made Alex read her uncompromising request for a new partner on the stand – in front of Bobby – it was the first time she had come to realize that her feelings spanned much more than just that of a partner. She wondered at her own response in surprise. Her tears, the sense of betraying her best friend. At that moment, Alex felt raw fear.

When she had found herself blindfolded, tortured, and fighting for survival, Alex thought of her family: Her dad, her sister, her brothers. Nathan. She thought of the agony they would face if she didn't fight. She thought of their fear. Their pain. Then she thought of Bobby. She thought of him, probably desperate, also afraid. She thought of him trying to race against time and solve the puzzle. At that moment, Alex knew she had to fight. She had to win. She had to make it out and make it home. She had to survive.

When Alex had discovered that Joe's killer was still out there, the pain overwhelmed. She was angry. She was desolate. The old ghosts consumed her. She thought of how Bobby played up his maligned reputation just to help her find the lost evidence related to Joe. She thought of how she had held that ruined shirt up to her face, breathed in his phantom scent. At that moment, Alex was lonely and bereft. When Manny Beltran, a doctor, was found to be the murderer, Alex marveled at both the colossal waste and took comfort that Joe could finally be at peace. In that moment, Alex closed a door.

When Bobby had a gun on her and she him, Alex felt sickened. How could she have missed the signs? She wondered how and when Bobby had turned. She wondered at, even knowing this, how the complicated feelings below the surface faltered, but refused to disintegrate. At that moment, Alex was adrift.

When she soon learned it was an illusion, from orders above, Alex felt rage. She felt betrayed. The trust she thought that she and Bobby had did not seem true or real any longer. At that moment, Alex felt abandoned.

As Bobby desperately tried for her forgiveness, Alex felt petty. She felt both drained but vengeful. But his extra deference to her during the Kathy Jarrow mess, his defeated stance open, Alex knew she could not walk away. She may have almost hated Bobby then. But that thin line. So she stayed. And forgave. In that moment, Alex felt restored.

When Kevin Mulrooney upended her life, a ghost from the past, Alex felt threatened. As he made her question her past career moves, her effectiveness as a detective, her judgment as a woman, Alex felt cornered. She snapped and growled at Bobby, who still never left her corner. (Maybe he considered it fair play all things considered.) When Bobby unmasked Kevin Mulrooney as a murderer, Alex felt both relieved – and in chaos. What kind of judgment did she possess that she didn't know sooner? What kind of a detective did it make her? At that moment, Alex was shrouded in self doubt.

When things finally went too far with Bobby in the aftermath of Ross' murder and Alex was given her dream of captain on a silver platter and ordered to fire Bobby, Alex felt devastated. It never even occurred to her to mourn the loss of captain. No, that was forever tainted. Her real agony was at giving Bobby another defeat. When they hugged, when he kissed her cheek, Alex was a thousand different emotions at once. As he physically left what was Ross' office, her soul followed. And in that moment, Alex left the NYPD with no regrets.

And when Bobby's old friend from his Academy days, Joe Hannah, had made captain and got them both back at MCS, Alex felt alive again.

The sense of fun and joy that had left her over time had returned. It seemed the same for Bobby.

So, finally, when that day came that Bobby exited the shrink brownstone and told her that he would keep his job, that she was stuck with him, Alex was at peace.

As they drove off in the SUV, Alex felt like their journey was beginning anew.

She could not wait to see where it led them next. In that moment, she was ready to find out.

Fin