by B. Cavis
by B. Cavis
Bobby realizes just how much he wants his partner at 6:34 on Friday, June 25th.
His realizations are usually brought about by a cup of coffee or a sleepless night or some mental stimuli that hones his attention and focus onto what's really important. In most cases, he comes to some great revelation in the shower and bangs his head against the wall twice to hate himself for not thinking of it sooner. More cases have been solved with a bar of Zest than anyone needs to know about.
He didn't come into the office intending on realizing he's in love. He didn't come into the office intent on anything, actually. He was going to spend a quiet afternoon with his partner, doing the paperwork from their last case and trying hard not to fall asleep or drool out of the corner of his mouth. He was going to be bored, but he was going to persevere.
And that plan had worked all the way up to 6:33 PM on that Friday. Worked rather well.
And then he had sneezed.
Seriously-- nothing more major than that. He had sneezed, hard and unexpectedly, and his eyes starting watering as he searched desperately through his pockets for his handkerchief.
Onto to have a tissue appear in his peripheral vision. A clean, white tissue attached to a clean, white hand, offered without a word or a nod, and it took him a moment to realize that she was offering it to him.
He took it without a word, and she didn't look up from her paperwork. One hand pushed the box she had on her desk closer to his side, and he watched her movements with a little emotion uncurling in his chest that felt oddly familiar.
He had thrown the tissue out. She had kept working. And he had started watching her.
Watching her. Bobby has never realized just how often he does that before-- just how much of his day is focused on the questions of "Where is Alex? What's she doing? Is she safe?"
Those three questions take up at least 50% of his brain functions all day long, and realizing it makes the other 50% of his mind stop working. He takes his considerable brain power, pools it all together, and sets it to work on the problem of Alexandra Eames.
Why am I so focused on her? he asks, and waits for the answer to come.
In the meantime, he plays with a pen, bouncing it against his skin to keep the rhythm of his thoughts steady and sure. It keeps him sane, and it keeps him focused, and he detaches from it so much that he doesn't notice the pain until the same small hand that had come over to his side of the darkness before reaches over, a beacon of light and hope, and takes the pen from his hand.
He looks down at his wrist. Red, deep and angry, has bloomed there. Broken capillaries have formed because he's been hitting himself there for so long. He didn't even notice. And she put a stop to it.
His brain sputters. Burns. He looks up at her, and without looking up from her paperwork, she silently offers the pen back wrapped in a mental warning. Don't damage yourself, or I'll make you regret it.
The thought process speeds ahead, bursting through restrictions and jumping over barriers, and suddenly answers appear written in the air in front of his eyes like a digital read out of life.
He pays so much attention to her because he can't imagine a world where he doesn't see her on a regular basis. He can't picture himself in a place where she isn't there, always, and where he doesn't have the firm, unchanging knowledge that she will always come for him when he needs her.
It comes to him in a wave of truth and lust, and he lets it wash over him without a fight for denial because of the knowledge it brings in it's folds.
I am in love with Alexandra Eames, thinks the emotionally honest little soul on his shoulder, and the very idea sends his body shaking.
He sits at his desk and watches her. Watches her chew on the end of her pen, watches her fingers smudge her writing on the reports in that way that is too her to be changed. Watches her be oblivious to everything in the world except the page in front of her and the breathing of her partner.
When she hears him pause, catch his breath at the revelation that presses against him from all sides, she looks up quickly. Her eyes scan him for physical harm, and her heart looks for the emotional damage that she's so used to taking care of now.
He smiles, distractedly but honestly, and she weighs his face with the knowledge that he might be deceiving her for a long moment, before smiling back and looking down at her papers again.
His emotional caretaker. The thought makes him smile and wince at the same time. Why on Earth she decided to be the guardian of his sanity he'll never know. The hours suck, there's no real money to be had, and the dental plan won't cover corrective surgery or fillings.
He glances over at her, winces, and looks down at his thick hands that should be holding his place on the page, but are actually trying to devise a complex way of distracting him from life in general without making a sound. They're failing miserably, and he stills them to stop the nervous twitching that speaks to the instability of his thoughts right now.
Why does she stay with him? Bobby is honest with himself-- he's no prize. He's almost forty. He's got severe issues with trust that all stem from his childhood and can't be dealt with over night. He wakes up from nightmares on a regular basis and he drinks straight from the milk carton because it's too much energy to pour and clean a glass.
His body is a good body, but it's nothing like Brad Pitts or one of those other guys that women gush over to their girlfriends and everyone within hearing distance. His hair is starting to gray around the temples, and it never goes in just one direction anymore. The stubble on his face is constant, and he has no desire to try and get rid of it.
He can dress and his skin is clean and he knows a lot about art, opera, and various other random topics of interest that he could probably use to convince a woman to go to bed with him because he's "so well learned and so cultured," but nothing he knows would be impressive enough to keep one around.
Bobby was a man made for one night stands-- for women to have one last fling before getting married, or for women who have had just a few too many to go home with someone safe who will coax an orgasm out of them no matter what their state.
Bobby is no prize. He never pretended to be, and he doesn't intend on starting now.
He wants her. Needs her. But what on Earth would she ever need from him?
Why exactly does this woman seem to want nothing more than to be his partner? To appear his Watson to the outside world but be his anchor between the two of them? Why the hell does she stay with him?
A small paper ball is launched at him, and he looks up quickly as EXPENSE REPORT FORM 435 bounces off his forehead and lands in his lap.
His partner calmly highlights a line in her file, her lips twitching quietly. He gasps at her, shocked for a brief moment into silence. She blinks innocently and looks up at him.
She looks like peaches and cream and ivory wrapped around sin incarnate and perfect beauty. Her hands drip with wicked intent, and her eyes glow with humor and happiness. There's a light on her skin that he never knew was caused because of interaction with him. She's glowing clean and white.
His parter. His Eames. His Alex.
The woman who stays for unknown cosmic reasons, and the woman he clings to because she is the only stable entity in his level of existence. His Alex.
And on Friday, at 6:34, Bobby gives up. Completely.
A week and a half later, Alex, who is well aware that she has been in love with Robert Goren for the past year and a half, takes the hand of the large man in hers and leads him home like a child. A large, half aware child.
Her womb contracts, and she sighs at the emptiness in her stomach that she hasn't been able to make go away just yet. The life of a surrogate mother. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride, so the saying goes.
Bobby's arm is shaking like he was just dropped into a pool of ice water. She wraps her other hand around his upper arm as well, until it looks like she's clinging to him for strength, but they both know it's not true. The 230 pound man on her arm is relying on her and the sound of her voice to keep him stable, not the other way around.
So she talks. Of this and that and nothing that has to do with anything. He bows his head to the side to listen with more ease, and doesn't say anything in response. Almost like he doesn't hear her.
He probably doesn't, now that she thinks about it. As shaken as he is right now, Bobby is probably just listening to the sound of her voice and clinging to her tone. He needs her voice, not her words. She lends both to him freely.
This case was a doozie and a half, and she hopes that she will know what to do when she gets him back to his apartment.
Post-Case Bobby is an entity she has very little experience with. He's never let her-- every time one of these cases end, the ones that leave him traumatized and weak and nervous, he pushes her as far away as possible, and up until now she's let him. He needs his space, she reasoned, and it was that thought that kept her hand off the phone many a nights. Kept her from calling him up and asking if he was alright and if he needed anything and if he needed her.
Well, she thinks to herself with a grim set of her mouth and a click of her teeth, he's getting me now.
Bobby stumbles a little, and she squeezes tighter. She'd stopped talking for a moment and the lack of her voice disturbed him; offset him. She starts up, this time telling him the story of her little niece's christening, and how she was crying the whole time and wondering if Alie would grow up to be a lawyer like her mother, or a cop like her other auntie. He doesn't say anything, but he doesn't trip again.
Rough case. Shaken Bobby and desperate to help Alex. This is a dance they've tried to take before, but only now do all of the steps work with their feet.
"Alex," he whispers to her, and she stops talking for a moment.
His head turns towards her voice, but his eyes don't look like they're really seeing her. She wonders what they're looking at, and knows that it's not nearly as pretty as the scenery around them or as familiar as her face. He swallows, and his whole body moves with the bounce of his Adam's apple.
"You don't have to do this for me, Alex." The guilt that so often lurks in his eyes after a case is leaking out onto his cheeks and collar, and she brushes it aside with an increase in her step.
"I know, Bobby. But I want to." She slips one hand down to grab his fingers in hers, and as unresponsive as the rest of him is, his hand grips hers warm and firm. Fingers interlocked, eyes straight ahead. She nods, clears her throat, and continues her mindless talk.
He doesn't acknowledge it. But she doesn't stop it either, and he doesn't complain.
Works for her. Works for him.
She's never been inside Bobby's apartment before. He's come to hers on one or two occasions, but this is the space that has never been opened up to her no matter what they've done or what terms they've been on. She looks around and decides that she likes it.
It's cluttered. But you know where everything is, and everything is vital. No trinkets and nothing that sits around for the sole purpose of collecting dust. The television is small but flat screened. There are more books on the wall than she's ever read, and she feels just fine with that.
Bobby sits where she puts him and doesn't make a sound. She goes in search of something hot and alcoholic to drink. Irish coffee warms the soul and fuzzes the mind in just the way her partner needs right now. Never underestimate the power of a good drink.
Alex was raised a good little Irish cop's daughter. She knows the healing power of a good brew.
Bobby's kitchen is a study in fine taste. She searches for whip cream and finds only heavy. She makes it fresh and places two thick glomps on top of the Zabar's mugs and smells the result. Perfection.
His hands don't shake as he holds the cup, but his back muscles spasm without control. She watches him until she's sure he's drinking it and not just putting his lips to the edge, and swallows down a good bit of her own. Sweet and revolting to the untrained taste bud, but a fine alternative to mother's milk to Alex.
Bobby winces, but drains his cup anyhow. He puts it down on the coffee table and blinks like he's trying to clear something from his head.
"Right here." He glances over at her, appeased with her presence, and nods firmly to them both.
She smiles. Talking. Talking is a good sign of recovery, right? She tries to think of a way that this could be a bad sign, fails, and makes the leap of faith that response from her partner is a sign of recovery and new strength.
Good things. Very... good things.
She finishes her coffee and picks both cups off the table. The kitchen doesn't have a dishwasher, and she turns the water on hot and pours soap into the sponge she finds under the sink. Her hands work over clean white and orange glass methodically, and she's so absorbed in the movement of her fingers, that she almost doesn't hear him come in and stand just off to her right.
"Why do you stay with me?"
Alex almost drops the second cup. She recovers quickly and cleans the rest of the soap bubbles off. She needs the time to prepare and answer-- the alcohol and his presence have made her tongue more likely to tell the truth, and the truth right now is so far from acceptable that it can't even be considered.
She puts both cups in the drying rack, and turns to face him with the half truth on her tongue. "I stay with you, Bobby, because I'm your partner and I care what happens to you."
The dark loathing in his eyes has stopped being directed just towards himself, and it pours out to fill the apartment with an irrational feeling of desperation that she would be afraid of if she wasn't so sure this man could never hurt her.
He looks at her and he knows she's lying, and she knows he knows it.
"That's not the reason."
"You're right, it's not."
She takes him by the arm and he lets her. The small child in him follows because she looks like she's in charge. The adult in him follows because this is Alex, and Alex knows what he needs.
He hopes she knows what he needs, at least.
Alex takes him into his bedroom and digs through his dressers until she finds him something to sleep in. He could tell her he sleeps in the nude, but his voice box doesn't seem to want to let that little bit of information spill out of his throat.
"Why are you doing this for me?" He asks again, and she busies herself with finding some thing with enough elastic in it that it won't wall down her body and pool at her feet.
"Because I have to do this for you." Closer to the truth. Not quite there.
"That's not the reason."
"It's as close as I can give you. Change into these." She takes her own and walks into the living room, closing his door halfway to provide them both with some aspect of privacy.
He stares at that door and the barrier it represents for a long moment before shucking off his shirt and undoing his belt.
He hates barriers. They have never done him a bit of good in his lifetime, and they don't seem to suddenly have his best interests in mind right now either.
The loathing builds. Expands.
How fucking dare she, he thinks to himself. How dare she invade my space and my time and then not give me the truth about why she did it? He lowers his pants to the ground and kicks them off into the corner. The shorts she put on his bed are the ones he wears to the gym, and he pulls them on roughly, securing the drawstring absently.
"You're going to tell me why you're doing this," he calls into the living room, and he hears the rustle of his clothes on her as she comes close to the half closed door. He glances over at it, but she's not peeking-- she's got her back to the wall outside and she's listening to him talk and move.
"Bobby, I just want to help you."
"Then tell me why."
"I need you to get some rest, Bobby. You're exhausted and you've been working for three days straight.
He grinds his teeth together and pulls his t-shirt over his head. "No, I need you to tell me the truth or get the hell out. Lying to me is one thing I will not let you get away with, Alex."
He grabs the door and yanks it open, and she looks up at him with exhausted, half dead, half alive eyes, and it's the look of her face that drains all of his hatred out to make a stain on the carpet. She looks up at him, the wounded savior, and he looks down at her, the ungratefully saved. And Bobby is more ashamed.
His mouth opens, and she shifts to one side, as if to prepare herself for the next verbal assault, and he winces at the thought that his words are battering her. "I'm sorry," he whispers, and drops his head because it's become too heavy with bullshit to carry anymore.
Her face softens, relaxes, and she smiles weakly at him.
She cuts him off with the simple exercise of touching his shoulder, and all of the words that he could have said fall dead to the floor. "Yes, Bobby, it is. I forgive you, okay?" She smiles, and this time there's a bit more cheer in it, but not much. "Let's get some rest, okay?"
The reason in her voice sinks into his skin and he nods uncertainly. Makes sense, but still not his first choice of action. Oh well.
He nods and takes her hand in his the way she has done for him on far too many occasions tonight and leads them both towards the bed. She hangs back.
"Bobby, you take the bed, I've got the couch."
"My couch is a piece of crap." And it's true, but not that true. "If you're staying over here to keep an eye on me, you're staying in here with me. I'm not letting you ruin your back because you were being stubborn." And he throws just the right amount of concern and derision into the statement to make her hang back for a moment longer, before dropping her shoulder blades and walking towards the side of the bed he's not on and pulling back the blankets.
He slides into the bed without a second look at her, and she stands for just a moment before doing the same, keeping as far away from his side as possible. Which isn't easy, considering his bulk and the fact that this is only a Queen sized bed, but she manages. Barely.
They stare into unimportant parts of the room, both all too aware of the person on the other side of the bed, and somehow, they relax enough to drift into the space that precedes sleep.
"Thank you, Alex," he mummers, and she nods, yawning and rolling over into their no man's land with more familiarity than she would feel if she was fully awake.
"Any time, Bobby."
He blinks, more awake. "I still wish you would have told me why you're doing this for me, but... you're here, that's what's important."
"Hm," she hums, and her hand flies out to land on his chin, like he was the alarm that she was trying to shut off. "It's cuz I love you Bobby. Sleep time now."
And the magnitude of what she just said hits the both of them at the same time.
Alex is out of his bed in a second, throwing the door open and rushing out of his space. He's right behind her, mouth open and back erect.
Her clothes are in her hands. She slips into her sneakers still wearing his short and an old dress shirt.
"What did you just say?"
She drops her shirt and bends to pick it up in a shaking hand. "Nothing."
"What did you just say, Alex?"
She dodges around the coffee table and heads towards the door, like he was the hounds of Hell on her back. He speeds up and jumps around her, blocking the door with his sheer size.
She can't meet his eyes and she's shaking like there's something in her that just can't sit still for fear it might explode. "Let me out, Bobby."
"What did you just say, Alex?"
"If you don't let me out, I'll scream."
"They'll just think I'm fucking someone." Her ears turn red and she flushes pink before taking a few composure regaining breaths.
"Do that a lot, do you?" She can almost convince herself she's not jealous. Almost, but not quite.
"No," he responds, and the relief that brushes down her body when she darts her eyes up to his to confirm it's the truth makes her feel weak with happiness. "But they'd probably just think I was due. What did you just say to me, Alex?"
She can feel the doom edging into the scene, and she swallows her heart down off her tongue. "I was half asleep, Bobby. It was just a... rambling thought."
"Then why are you running away from me?"
Oh, she thinks, good point. Damn he is good at making those, isn't he.
"Because I didn't..." She searches her hands for an answer. "Because I didn't want you to take it in the wrong way." That sounds plausible-- good job Alex! She swallows and nods. "Yeah, I just didn't want it to get weird with us."
"I'd say this is pretty weird, wouldn't you?" There's no humor in his voice, and she hates herself for making them act like this. God damn you and your liquor woman.
"And you just told me another deliberate untruth, if I'm not mistaken. You didn't think I would take it in the wrong way, did you Alex?" She swallows. This is going to hurt. She closes her eyes and braces her shoulders. "You were afraid I would take it in the right way."
She doesn't say anything. She's not sure she has enough breath or thought in her body to say anything, and she doesn't want to risk trying and fail miserably.
"Why can't you look at me?"
She bites the inside her her cheek and squeezes her eyes shut even tighter. His voice is getting closer to her-- he's probably leaning down to try and find her eyes underneath all of her fear.
"Because if anything is going to make things weird, Bobby, this is it."
His breath is coming right on her eyelids now, and she keeps them closed because if she opens them, she is going to either break down sobbing or scream in his face or jump his bones, and none of the three are acceptable at this time of night.
"This won't make things weird," he whispers, and she shakes her head. "It won't," he insists, and all she wants to do is believe him, but she knows it's not true. "This actually makes things a lot easier."
And then there's something soft and thick pressed against her mouth, and even though it's been a while, she isn't so blind as to not recognize what it is.
Bobby is kissing her.
Hello unexpected twist.
She wrenches her eyes open and pushes against his chest to free her mouth. Sometime during her silent hatred of herself, his hands had managed to link behind her back, and even as he lets her mouth free, his own attaches itself to her neck and her collarbone. One hand secures itself to the small of her back, the other to the area right between her shoulder blades, and there is nothing in the world that could get her to believe this is actually happening and there is nothing in this universe that could make him let go.
Oh. Dear. Mother. Mary.
"Bobby," Alex gasps, and his teeth dig into her like he's trying to devour her whole from the neck down. She can feel every inch of his body up against hers, and while it's not a bad feeling... it's not good for the partnership.
"Bobby, we can't do this. This is... yuhhh..." His teeth nibble on the skin above her jugular, and she can feel the stubble that so characterizes his face rubbing soft skin into life. His tongue and her throat are bonding, loving, creating a new being made up of the two of them, and she couldn't shake him off even if she wanted too.
"Yes," he tells her throat, and the vibrations of it rattle her teeth. "We can." His hand creeps up the back of her shirt and she feels his palm on her bare skin for the first time ever and loves the way it makes her feel small and in another place than her body.
He finds her spot, that place that makes her legs shake and her body crumble into the wind, and she grabs the back of his head desperate to hold onto the sensation until it kills her. He allows it, and she his bulk dwarfing her and overwhelming her even though she is the one holding him still.
The door hits her back. She's not sure how, and she's not sure when but sometime during the past life time, he's managed to spin them around so that she's the one blocking the outside world from touching them. His hands leave her back, and she feels the drawstring on her pants yanked.
They fall to the floor because she's just that small or he's just that big or some combination of the two, and when she feels the air hit her panties and the cloth covered heat of his erection follow the air, she comes as close to swooning as she ever has in her whole life.
"Bobby," she grunts, and he grunts along with her. She works a small hand down between them (which isn't easy) and all she can do is brush him through the fabric before he grabs her around the waist and hoists her up against the door. Ahh, she thinks, the benefits of having a large man.
He looks at her, then down at the lace and silk that's keeping her from leaking out onto the floor, and a grin flashes across his face. "Black?"
Bigger grin. "I love black on you." And he works her so she's resting in one of his arms, while the other hand reaches down to pull them off her. She kicks them as they drip down to her foot, and they go flying. His lamp has a new shade.
"I love me on you even more," he grunts against her throat, and the same hand comes down to untie his shorts and push then down to his feet. He doesn't step out of them, and if she could look away from his face, she would see them and laugh.
She is about to fuck her partner up against his door.
This is a nice way to have a Tuesday night, actually.
She can feel his cock lingering just underneath her. Whenever his grip shift and he has to lower her a bit, it brushes up against her ass, and she wiggles at the feeling. This is dirty. This is unbelievably hot.
"Bobby," she grunts, and grabs him by the hair to pull him away from her throat. He looks up at her like she's his last meal, and she finds the thought all together too appealing. "If you don't hurry up and fuck me, I might have to..."
Bright boy. Very... fucking bright boy.
He lines her up and drops her. Drops her. And as she falls just far enough to impale herself on him and change her life, she shrieks while he laughs. His breath is warm against the top of her head, and she wraps her legs around him to keep her balance. This is offsetting. This is great.
"Oh fuck me," she groans, and he laughs again.
"Intending on it, love." And he picks her back up, and drops her again just for good measure, before he pins her in place and starts to move for real.
She looks so hot in my shirt, he thinks as she throws her head back against the door and whimpers. She's so small and he's so not and it's the best combination he's ever seen. Her nails dig into the back of his neck, and he presses his head against her still clothed chest, against the breasts he knows are going to be beautiful when he gets around to seeing them, and keeps moving.
Can't stop moving. Won't stop moving.
And he's talking now, and the words are just there and he can't stop them. "Love you, Alex. Have loved you for at least a week and a half, and loved you before that in private and I love you now." And even if he could pour them back down into his stomach, he wouldn't, so they stay and splash against them both.
He doesn't mind. She doesn't either.
She's hot and tight and he can feel every inch of her contracting and burning around him. Her skin is flustered and red, and her throat is spilling little words and sounds out with each thrust and he loves every last one.
"Damn." Shift. "Bobby." She's so hot. "Fuck." So hot. "God."
Her body feels so good around him and her hands feel so good on him and once he gets her to a bed he is just never letting her out so she's going to have to find some way to work around it and if he had known it would feel like this he would have taken her back here the first day he met her and begged her for loyalty and love and sex.
She's wailing, honest to God wailing, and he's grunting and moaning and pleading for mercy into her/his shirt. She gets two handfuls of cotton in her fist and she's pulling and scratching as her hips bounce between his thrusts and the hard wood of the door, and it is the best sensation she could ever hope for.
"Bobby," she gasps, and the world is going dark around the edges. "Bobby, Bobby, Bobby..."
"Alex," he moans. "Alex, baby, love, Alex..."
She blows. He blows. The world turns liquid molten and the sky spills down into the core of the Earth and they fall backwards onto his floor, her on top of him and him underneath her and both of them dead to all of it.
"I love you," he grunts, and she listens to his heart beat for a moment or two before smiling to herself in the secret way that women have and nodding.
"Love you too."
"Come to bed." He wraps her up around him and begins to stand, keeping a firm hold on her in case she decides to run away and evaporate into a wet dream.
"Okay," she whispers against his shoulder.
The world solidifies outside the window.