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letsallchant ([personal profile] letsallchant) wrote2011-10-30 09:11 am
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Interrogation: "I Know you too well..."

Note: This beast is quite long. It was also my first fic (which explains a lot).





She hates small talk. She used to be the queen of small talk, but that seems to have gone by the wayside within the past couple of years of her self-imposed exile. Sadly, she remembers that she has nothing in common with these women anymore. She's a little rusty in this game of going on endlessly about nothing, and wonders how she ever did it in the first place. Undaunted, she pushes that thought away as she asks Karen about her new stroller.

 
"Oh, it's a Zippy!", Karen says excitedly, as if that's supposed to ring a bell with her.
 
"A what?"
 
Karen laughs, "It's amazing, my mother-in-law ordered it for us, custom made. It folds up like a dream. Gwyneth Paltrow had one", she says as though impressed with her own admission.
 
Alex wonders when it was that Karen decided to transform into a yuppie. This M.O. did not fit with the girl she used to share joints with, commiserating often with stories of alcoholic family members and cheap dads. They grew up in the same neighborhood, Alex's father a cop, Karen's a firefighter. She had gotten married right out of high school, predictably getting divorced four years later, claiming "never again". But here she sat, 42 years old, 6 months pregnant, engaged, olive skin glowing, and happier than she had ever seen her.
 
"Karen, I forgot to remind you sign up for baby-yoga class with me, there's a wait list, so you better hop on this while you still can", a blond pipes up.
 
Alex suddenly feels the urge to jump out a window.
 
Honestly, she had no desire to attend this bridal shower at all, but at one point in time, Karen had been like a sister to her. So there was still some lingering solidarity, even though they hadn't spoken in more than a year.
 
Karen wants Alex to stay, but she leaves early anyway, telling her it's her day with her nephew. She forgets that Karen's known her for far too long, and can tell when Alex is lying. They both stand, mutually disappointed at the way it's turned out between them, neither really knowing how to fix it. Karen gives her a big hug, enveloping her. Alex tells her she's happy for her, and right then, Karen knows she's being genuine.
"Oh, and don't forget your gift bag", she hands Alex a pink, marabou trimmed bag, with the initials A.E. embroidered on it. "There's something amazing in there, take my word for it, I feel like everyone will thank me later", she winks at her, as Alex leaves.
 
Alex almost makes a smartass remark about winking, but decides against it, and thanks her instead. She misses the old them.


She feels isolated. Sure, she has her siblings, her nephew and nieces, and she's also lucky enough to still have both of her parents around. But they're there, and she's always just here, alone. She thinks about Karen, and her new family, and of second chances. Lately, she thinks about how time is ticking away from her, greeting her in the face with every fine line. In some ways, she feels 20, other days, she feels like she's 80. She wonders if she's going to end up alone, then stops wondering, she knows she is. She regrets she's not a cat person. Maybe she could be the crazy dog lady. Really, though, she doesn't have time to take care of either. And anyway, she still misses Polly.


She slides these feelings of desperation away like a bad memory.
 
She pulls out the mini vibrator she'd gotten as a gift at Karen's bridal shower. As she searches for that point of pleasure, she thinks about Joe. His strong, capable hands on her the first time they made love. Joe kissing her gently and passionately after one of their fights. Joe, handsome in his dress blues. Joe being buried in his dress blues.
 
She gives up. Her sobs echo throughout the dark emptiness of the room.
 
They catch a case the following week. It's a horrific one, as the most gruesome ones tend to surface in the deep middle of summer. A CEO's 15 year-old daughter had been missing. They work around the clock to find her, each of them taking turns bunking out upstairs for a couple of hours, while the other followed leads and fielded phone calls, bloodstreams erratically running on coffee. But it's no use, as this is a lost cause from the start. Goren could feel it, however, he does figure out where she is. They show up, flashlights ready, at a creaky abandoned building in the Bronx, slightly hopeful, and a little bit doubtful.
 
When they find her, her small form is slumped over, bruised, eyes frozen open and lifeless, rigor mortis already settling in. They discover her chest has been sliced into. They also identify coke residue on her. With horror, they discover each of her fingers have been broken off, she was no doubt tortured until the very end. Rodgers says she wouldn't have made it if they had found her 4 hours earlier anyway, as if that's some consolation. It doesn't matter. They've failed. Ross, in a rare moment for him, tells them that it's just one of those cases, but they can't find comfort with that. They can't accept failure, especially their own.
 
Eventually, they find a snitch and apprehend the dealer who did this. Goren has to stop himself from manhandling him. Eames just wants to book him and get this over with. She thinks of her 13 year-old niece. And of bloody curtains and defenseless pleas. Being tied up, probed, prodded and violated, of Jo wanting her to scream.
 
Both of them walk back to their cars, weary, even though it's been a day since they closed the case, having had the luxury of being able to go home and rest. They buried themselves in their work, even though neither could find much focus. He's noticed Eames had been pensive, barely saying a word all day. He hasn't seen her eat a single thing for the past 2 days, though she's had to have eaten something.
 
He turns to her before she can walk past him. "Hey, are you okay?"
 
He feels guilty for not asking her this question days ago.
 
She looks up at him, with those sad, hazel eyes that almost always makes him stop in his tracks.
 
"I'm okay," she huffs out.
 
He's unconvinced. She's been strange since the Mulrooney trial wrapped up. He noticed it was more pronounced in her the day before they caught this case.
 
"You've been quiet", he says bracing himself before adding " for the past couple of weeks."

They both know she's not okay, and he can't just let her go on like this. He needs her to be stable, not only for their partnership, but for his own peace of mind.
 
"You can...uh, tell me. Talk to me, anytime Eames," he says, stumbling over his words. He's not used to doing this with her. He does want to reach out to her, it's just that he feels as if she's his own personal landmine sometimes.
 
"It's going to take a whole bottle of scotch for me to talk", she smiles, but her eyes betray her.
 
"But thanks, Bobby. I'll see you Monday," she says quickly as she turns away, keys jangling in hand.
 
"Eames," he calls out after her, stopping her before he can stop himself.
 
"About that bottle of scotch, I know a place".


"eh, BOBBY!"
 
They both turn around, startled.
 
A thin old man with a ruddy complexion comes limping towards them. He's wearing a fedora. He was probably a sharply
dressed man in his day. He resembles an older, drunk, dapper version, of Declan.
 
Bobby smiles in recognition, "Mr. Corbin, long time, no see."
 
"Where have you been for the past couple of months? Tom and I missed seeing you around here," the old man points to the bartender. "You were like furniture here for a while."
 
Bobby shyly smiles as he wishes Mr. Corbin to a cornfield.
 
"And you brought a girl, I see," Mr. Corbin says, giving Eames the once over. "And a pretty one at that". He nudges Bobby in the ribs and stage whispers to him, "you better not let this one slip through your fingers and escape. Otherwise, me or someone else is liable to take her away from you."
 
Bobby feels himself getting uncharacteristically annoyed, both at Mr. Corbin and this fear the old man seems to have unconsciously picked up on.
 
And with that, Mr. Corbin turns and leaves for his designated corner of the bar, hacking out a laugh that's almost maniacal, that is until he starts coughing.
 
They watch him stagger away.
 
"Furniture?"she says raising her eyebrow, amused, her eyes dancing.
 
"Though, I understand. I mean, sometimes you do want to go to a place where everybody knows your name."
 
"If you start calling me Norm, I'm outta here," he warns her.
 
They share a smile as they sit down at an empty part of the bar. This feels easy, they think as they each mentally breathe a sigh of relief. They haven't done this in a while, and it feels like old times.
 
"I went to a wedding shower last weekend, for my friend. It was weird."
 
"Weird? Weird how?" he says without looking at her.
 
She feels like she's supposed to be setting up some kind of lame vaudevillian joke. And how weird was it? she thinks to herself.
 
"My friend, Karen, she's not who she used to be...actually, it was like we were strangers" she corrects herself. She feels like she's throwing Karen under the bus.
 
"I couldn't relate to her, and I don't know, I was out of place. I think I was the only one there, unmarried, besides the bride to be..and without kids."
 
"Nothing wrong with that." He looks at her sideways before ordering his fourth drink of the night. She's still ahead of him by two.
 
"It made me think about what could have been. Joe wanted them. Actually, it was more our parents that wanted them." She smiles and shakes her head.
 
"I was in my 20s, and still fresh out of the academy. The last thing I wanted was to be stuck at home, popping out a couple of kids." She looks like she's a million miles away, as she stirs her drink.
 
"Sometimes I regret that we didn't start as soon as we could, but honestly, I'm glad we didn't have any." She turns away from him.
 
He tries to catch her eye to tell her he understands, but it's fruitless, as she refuses to look at him. He gives up.
 
"and besides, I don't think I would be good with kids anyway."
 
He glances at her, taken by surprise at this statement. "I would have guessed the opposite."
 
She shrugs as if it was the most natural thing for her to say in the world, "I don't have much patience. And there is... the job." She says the word job with a dreadful wistfulness.
 
He wants to tell her he thinks she has plenty of patience, but he lets her go on.
 
She suddenly feels the need to explain. "I mean, I love my nephew. I love him, it's just- confusing sometimes. There are days when I wish I had someone to come home to, to be excited to see me like he does every time I visit. Other times, I know I'd be a lousy parent. It's just that...", she debates saying this, but decides to let the liquor talk anyway. "I see a lot of my dad in myself sometimes."
 
She decides to not reveal anymore at that. He knows not to goad her. He's never seen Eames this drunk, and he's not going to risk her ending this by blowing up at him, as she is wont do when he's pushed her too far. They have that much in common.
 
"Do you want kids?" she asked, quickly switching the gears.
 
"Um, with my history, Eames, I don't think it's going to happen. So to speak."
 
She straightens up so she can face him, "Well, you should...have them, I mean. You're good with kids, Bobby", she says as she returns to nursing on her drink.
 
He contemplates this, "I'm set in my ways. It might be too late anyway". He wants to keep this part of their discussion short, sweet and schizophrenia-free. He's tired of being reminded.
 
She looks at him and marvels at the fact that they both seem to be closed for business
.
"And besides", he adds, I'm not exactly who I used to be either." He gestures to his current, gray, inflated form.
 
"I'd hit it," she says nonchalantly as she takes a drink. He looks over at her in surprise.
 
"Eames...you're drunk". But really he's both amused, and most of all, flattered. He smiles.
 
He expects her to laugh, but she looks him directly in the eye, "Well, I would," her voice dead serious, almost husky.
 
He looks incredulous, and actually kind of scared. Then she laughs, her eyes warm honey, and crinkled. She enjoys the fact that she can still make him squirm occasionally. She used to do this a lot in their early partnership. She misses it.
 
The truth is, she would, then and now, but that's something he won't allow himself to think about.

He actually misses the earlier days, when he wasn't so attracted to her. When she was snarky, dismissive, eyes occasionally rolling to the back of her head. All girl next door spitfire and swinging short strawberry blond hair. He thought of her as the sister he never had, and he clung to that idea of her for so long, but eventually the voice in the back of his mind would reveal himself, telling him she's not his sister at all.
 
That voice was starting up again as he watched her down the last of her scotch. A stray drop traveled down the length of her neck and collarbone, settling in between the swell of her breasts, finally disappearing down her shirt. He knows he can't do anything about this elephant in the room, this thing in the air between them that's been growing, threatening to suffocate them and their partnership. They've gone this long, they could stick it out for however long they need to before it disappears, if it ever will, he tells himself.
 
He's only allowed himself to think about having her once. In his fantasy, it was a slow burn, passionate and all consuming, with him exploring her, tasting her, making her writhe and call his name. He imagined her breasts would be small and firm, her body soft and unbearably pliant. He would call her Alex. In the afterglow of this fantasy, he felt disgusting and empty. He'd used her image for his own pleasure. Feeling like he had committed something heinous, he promised himself he would never do it again after that. To him, this was far more disturbing than any wet dream he'd had about Nicole, which up until then, he'd considered to be the most fucked up thing currently going on in his brain.
 
He sighs. He sees Mr. Corbin start for the door. "I think it's almost closing time," he says as he checks his watch.
"Aww, and I was just going to order another one," she pouts.
 
The night air feels damp and mildly stifling, the city still noisily buzzing, feeling little bit lighter and friendlier. She stumbles over her own heel as she walks towards the cab he hailed for her, pretending like it didn't happen. As she slides into the cab, she waves and lays her head against the seat. Honestly, he's worried about her making it home safe. She looks vulnerable, an easy target. He knows Eames is a capable police officer, even more decorated than him (she's got the badges to prove it), but still, he worries.
 
She looks over at him in annoyed bewilderment when he slides in next to her, shutting the door. "111-1967 Forrest Hills" he instructs the driver.
 
Five minutes into the ride, she falls asleep.



 
Reluctantly waking from her slumber, she gets out of the cab. Reaching for her wallet, she slips out a couple of bills, but he's already taken care of it. This pisses her off, because she knows things are still tight with him money-wise. In that since, he reminds her of her mother and her constant selfless martyrdom. It confuses her how he can be so considerate towards her in areas like these, but not in other ways. This bitter thought is interrupted as she shifts one sore foot and nearly loses her balance. This is getting pathetically embarrassing for her. She remembers why she hates getting drunk; she does stupid things.
 
"Thank you", she says, gathering up her dignity and fighting off the dizziness. She still has to make the long journey of climbing up five concrete steps to get to the main door. She doesn't realize she's been starring at those steps for a little too long until he comes up next to her and hooks his arm with hers.
 
"Bobby, you don't have to..."
 
"It's no problem," he murmurs.
 
They make it up the stairs, feeling accomplished.
 
He can tell she's embarrassed, and he finds this endearing. Also, it distracts her from how drunk he is.
 
She's reached that state of being so tired she's gone right back around to wide awake. She doesn't want to end everything just yet. Which is the second reason why she tends to avoid getting drunk: she was never good at calling it a night. Much like her Aunt Maggie.
 
She blurts it out before she can censor it. "Do want to come up for some coffee?", she says with a slight slur she can't control. Cringing, she worries that he'll understand her wrong. Then she remembers who she's dealing with, and calms down. She thinks he's taking a little too long to answer, but honestly, she won't be hurt or surprised if he says no.
 
"Uh, sure," he says.
 
It takes her three tries to get her door unlocked, when they finally burst in, she sprints to the bathroom, muttering an apology.
 
As she finishes up and washes her hands, she looks in the mirror, giving herself the once over. Her hair is rumpled from her nap, and her mascara slightly running, but she expected worse. She wishes she didn't care, as she fixes herself.
 
When she returns to the kitchen, Bobby is standing over her coffee maker, poking around one of the buttons, looking lost.
 
"Allow me," she says with faint amusement on her lips, as he lets her take over.
 
As she fixes their coffee, he gives himself the grand tour. He's only been here once, to pick her up on the way to a crime scene while her car was in the shop.
 
"How do you like this place?" he calls to her as he looks out the living room window.
 
"You mean other than it being a free-for-all? It's just peachy," she responds, referring to Kevin Mulrooney. He remembered how upset she was during all of that mess, and how he wanted to punch his smug little face in, even before he was a suspect.
 
"It does have a nice view though, I'll give it that." He hears her walking towards him, stopping short to stand beside him. They stand in silence for a while, looking down at the glittering traffic.
 
As she moves to go sit on the couch, he follows her. They feel as if they're on an awkward date, all self-conscious, body language stiff, and each a little too aware of the other. He's been trying to pin point when this weird undercurrent started between them, and he keeps coming up empty. He thinks it might have started after her maternity leave, but he's not sure.
 
He sneaks a quick peek at her. She looks like she's willing her kitchen to burst into flames. He notices how long her hair has gotten, he'd never seen it quite that long before. He has a theory on how the length of her hair seemed to correlate to how close they were at different points in their partnership. The shorter it was, the closer they were.
 
"Come on, I think the coffee's ready," she announces, standing up. It's actually pretty ridiculous how long their stretch of silence went on, considering how chatty they were at the bar, she thinks, as she rises up. Her world is still spinning from the scotch.
 
She gets out two mugs, abruptly slamming them down, albeit unintentionally, and shakily fills them. He leans against her counter, and she sits herself down on top of the space next to him, so as to keep from swaying. She feels as if her mind is sober, believing only her body to be slack.
 
He picks up the pink bag from the bridal shower. "Is this from..?" he questions, before digging through it. She takes it from him.
"Never dig in a ladies purse." She's grateful that she's already stashed away the vibrator, but she knows the box it came in is still in there. She tosses it back on the counter. Though, he pretty much has an inkling of what she's trying to hide anyway.
 
They sit, and he stares at her as she takes a sip of her coffee. He flashes back to watching that drop of scotch make it's way down her shirt. He's sick of this silence because it's making him think too much, so he decides to go with a subject from earlier that he knows will make her amuse her, and possibly ease away this tension.
 
"So Eames, what you said earlier, you don't think I'm that bad?"
 
"What?" She tries to mentally go through the catalog of their conversation from earlier, but the fog in her brain is making it hard. Finally, she remembers.
 
"Oh..." She laughs deep in her throat. "Do you want me start referring to you as 'handsome' at work? 'Cause I will."
 
"Or do you prefer 'adorable'? Wait... how about 'brown eyes'? This is going to be so hard. You know, we might have to take a poll or something." She's gleeful.
 
They laugh.
 
She looks at him, "You don't believe me do you?"
 
He looks at her with faint bemusement.
 
Truth be told, she was the most physically attracted to him in the beginning. She loved the curl of his hair, his expensive suits, the way he towered over her, how agile and restless he was. She had a crush on him then, believing it to be harmless. But it's really the things that have stayed the same over the years that set her off; it's his charm, how gentle he is, even the cocky attitude he gets when he knows his theories are right over everyone else's.
 
Her feelings for him lately have been an ever changing cesspool of anger, affection, pity and annoyance. He tires her some days, making her wish she could feel cold hard apathy for him, but it's too late. She cares about him against her own volition, and this annoys the hell out of her. Tonight though, she wants to forget all this dysfunction. She mostly just wants to have fun with him, and to play with him.
She leans over and smiles, her hair falling over them. She looks him in the eye as if in a kind of spell, each of them breathing in the others smell of perfume, cologne and alcohol. This is getting dangerous.
 
As her hand runs along his stubble, she decides to take the opportunity to run her thumb over his lips. She's always liked his full lips. Though, secretly, she's actually pretty jealous of them, as she's always hated her own too-small ones. And this is not the most well thought out idea she's ever had, nor the smartest, but somewhere along the line, she's stopped thinking. Suddenly aware of what her body is doing, she draws her hand away.
 
He sees that brief flash of panic in her eyes. At this moment in time, he makes a decision, that he knows is not the right one, but one that feels the most natural.
 
He gently grabs her wrist as she tries to pull it away, bends it over, and kisses the pulse point, looking deep into her eyes the entire time. Like many of her interactions with Bobby over the years, she finds this chaste, yet strangely erotic. It gives her chills. She wants to brush this off, to tell him thank you, sending him on his way pretending this never happened. Another, darker, destructive part of her wants to morbidly see what will happen.
 
She decides to do him one better, and leans into kiss him, brushing her lips softly against his. He almost jumps, and she feels something deep in her stomach flutter at this brief contact. As she breaks away, he leans her chin towards him, hungrily kissing her back, sucking in her bottom lip. Soon, their tongues meet, and before they know it, he's between her legs, and her arms are wrapped around his neck putting him in a vice lock. Too quick, too quick, he thinks, but at this point he doesn't care, as he feels her legs wrapping around him.
As they come up for air, they look at each other until he starts kissing his way down her face. He loves her face, her expressions, her cheek bones, the cuteness of her nose, the way her eyes sparkle when she's happy or furious.
 
She sighs when he makes his way down to her neck and clavicle. In this quid pro quo of silent communication, she wants more contact, and to give him more skin. So she lifts up her shirt, forcing him to stop for a second, as she slips it over her head.
She doesn't count on him to fall out of this haze they've been in together.
 
"Eames, I-." She thinks she hears an 'I don't know' under his breath. If there was any hesitation on her part before, it's completely obliterated now that he's pissed her off by trying to back out like a coward. She reaches behind her, unsnapping her bra, tossing it behind her, next to that ridiculous fluffy pink bag.
 
To say he is floored by this sudden action is an understatement, all he can do is stare agape, eyes wondering over her. He's pretty sure she's lost her mind. This is not the Eames that he knows. In fact, this version is kind of freaking him out.
 
He notes that her breasts are a lot fuller than he had calculated; her nipples are bigger and rounder than he had imagined. He runs his thumb lightly over a nipple, feeling it become erect from his touch. Her body responding to him is making it hard to act on his feelings of doubt from only 10 seconds ago, and he can't resist reaching out lightly to caress her other breast. He also fails at stopping himself from bending over and running his tongue over her nipple, sucking it into his mouth. Try as he might, he can't control himself when it comes to his natural curiosity to feel and taste. She, on the other hand, was counting on it.
 
Her gasp rings in his ear, he hears a moan in there as she arches her chest against his mouth.
 
She can't resist whispering his name to him, "Bobby." It comes out impatiently in a hiss, as she responds him.
 
"We need to...need to move. To my room" she forces out, as she struggles underneath him. She's nearly laying on the kitchen counter now. There's still a practical side to her that tells her she doesn't really want to fuck where she eats. Though, that is what she's doing right now, figuratively speaking.
 
He lets her up, and they stumble impatiently to her bedroom. She briefly worries about the wedding picture of her and Joe that's sitting on her dresser. She knows Bobby doesn't miss a thing when he walks into a room, but there's nothing she can do about it now.
 
"Shit!" she almost knocks over her bedside lamp in a clumsy attempt to switch it on. She hopes this is as unsexy as it's going to get as they both chuckle. Kicking off her shoes and socks, she reaches for the button to her pants, and he stops her. He leans down, unbuttoning and unzipping her, almost ceremoniously, as if she were some sort of gift, slowly unwrapping her from her slacks and underwear. He moves up to kiss her with all the passion he can muster, their teeth clicking together, before lifting her up and laying her on her bed.
 
He's kissing, licking and feasting his way down her naked body, taking his time. He stops right there, and looks up at her, making eye contact, silently asking permission.
 
She nods her head. It's been about a decade since she's had this. There's no way in hell she's turning this down. She hasn't had this since Joe.
 
Her thoughts about Joe are interrupted as she feels Bobby's warm breath and tongue rolling over her. The sensation is pleasantly hot, wet and rough. She feels a searing, burning surge deep inside of her, it makes her want to simultaneously curse and jump out of her skin. Quickly, she opens her eyes and glances down there, and it's surreal for her, seeing him buried between her legs, so intensely focused. It weirds her out, and at the same time, she feels she could come at that image alone. And his tongue. It's making slow, agonizing circles, it's too much, she thinks, as she bites her lip, her heart beating faster. He seems to actually be enjoying this. He sucks in her clit, and starts to rub his teeth ever so gently against it's base. Involuntarily, she arches against him. As she lets out the small cry she's been holding back, a long, calloused finger enters her, then two, pumping in and out of her. She knows she's going to lose control soon, as she debates between letting him continue his unrelenting assault, and telling him she's close. He returns his hand back to her thigh, holding her down and open. She can feel his wet fingers against her hip, as she shuts her eyes tight. Now the world is filled with nothing but gasps, heartbeats, pulsing pleasure, and the wet sucking sounds of his mouth against her as her body finally gives in.
 
He rises from his kneeling position in front of the bed, the sweet taste of her still on his lips. His knees creak as he stands up and takes in her form as she comes down. She's flushed, breathless and a little red from where his stubble had rubbed against her skin. The bedside lamp illuminates the sheen of sweat on her body, as her breaths hurriedly escape in and out. She opens her eyes, heavy lidded, and they stare at each other for a beat.
 
He can't seem to undress himself fast enough, as he's a flurry of zippers, buttons and clothes. She reaches over to the drawer of her nightstand, impatiently searching for an errant pack of condoms, as she tries to remember how long they're supposed to keep until they expire. They're still the functioning team they've always been.
 
She stands up, as he lays down on the bed, and she climbs on top of him. He jerks a little when she rolls the condom on him. He feels and looks painfully hard. When she pushes him inside of her, it hurts, but she's as ready as she'll ever be, figuratively and literally speaking. She can feel herself stretching, as she bites the inside of her cheek, straddling that line between pain and pleasure. She lays her forehead on his shoulder. They stay like this until she raises up off of him and slams into him again. She's always been a little bit of a masochist, she thinks. They mutually gasp.
 
He curses under his breath. He fears he's not going to last long at this rate, as she starts moving against him, sliding him in even deeper than before, her body hot, tight, and slippery. She feels incredible around him, and he suppresses the urge to dig his fingers too hard into the soft, smooth flesh of her ass. They settle into a fast, steady rhythm, he wishes she would slow down, it's been a while for him. He's surprised he didn't come in his pants when he was going down on her. He grabs a hold of her hips and looks into her eyes.
"Why-what are you...?" She frowns at him, out of breath.
 
"Just slow down" he chokes out, giving a sheepish smile. She laughs and nods in recognition. He reaches up and moves a stray strand of hair so as to get a better look at her face. The only words that come to mind when he looks at her are 'honey' and 'gold'. The lamplight makes it appear as if her eyes, skin and hair are glowing. It's a stark contrast to the cold, unflattering fluorescent setting he usually sees her in. Years from now, this image of her will stick in his mind whenever he thinks of her and this night.
 
It takes an agonizing six more thrusts for him to come, after hitting that final, perfect spot, she quickly follows him as he holds onto her waist. They don't call out each others names.



 
They lie together, wrapped up with each other inside her sheets, as Joe and a younger version of Eames smile across at them, raising their glasses. This feels like some kind of bizarre alternate reality.
 
This feels wrong to him, but mostly, it's making him want to jump up and down and dance around the room.
 
"Why did we take so long to do that?" she murmurs against his chest. He smiles into her hair.
 
"I don't know Eames, you tell me," he kisses her forehead as she looks up at him.
 
She frowns and quirks her mouth.
 
"What?" he asks her.
 
"You still call me Eames even after we've done all of that." He supposes she's right, he could see why it might be ridiculous.
"Alex, I.." he begins again, but she cuts him off.
 
"Never mind, just stick to Eames." She grins at him. "It sounds kind of weird hearing you call me anything else."
He almost reminds her that he's referred to her as Alex before, on three separate occasions, but stops himself. It does feel odd saying it out loud like this, if he were to be completely honest with himself.
 
"We could make this a regular thing, if you want." He says, half joking, half serious, and a little nervous. He's greeted with a long stretch of silence.
 
She almost responds with a retort, but she doesn't want to be flippant about this. She hates to be a killjoy, but this thing that's happened is real. And scary.
 
"...or not." he finally adds.
 
"Bobby, it's not that I didn't want or enjoy this, but you know we can't do it again."
 
"It's not like the I.A.B. is watching us right now...at least I don't think they are. I don't see why we can't carry on." He always has to be right.
"It's not them I'm worried about, I mean Ross and Rodgers are by far bigger-..." she stops herself. She's getting off track, and she knows he's trying to distract her.
 
"Look, we know each other a little too well for this to work. I think you know what I mean." She's getting agitated.
 
"No I don't know what you mean." He's getting offended.
 
She sighs. "I know you too well Bobby. You'll push me away, I'll push you back, the rest will be history, and we'll be back to where we were before all this happened, the same. Maybe worse. It's the way we are. It's us. I've accepted it, why can't you?"
 
"Look, you might think you know me Eames," he said, turning her chin towards him and leaning into her as to get a better look at her, "...but you don't. You don't, okay? he said, his voice getting stronger, louder, and more irritated. More irritating. She was right, this was like an interrogation, she thought to herself as she stifled a laugh deep in her throat. She would laugh if she, and this whole situation weren't so fucking sad.
 
He grimaced. He must have picked up on her facial cues, and she cursed the small tilt at the corner of her lips that she couldn't control.
"Hey", his voice softened as he brushed her lips with his thumb, and swept his hand across her face to catch the stray tear that had somehow escaped without her notice.
 
"You know I love you, right?", he whispered as he caressed her cheekbone. "I want you, Eames." He kissed the corner of her mouth, and stroked her hair, "I want this...us" he said, gesturing between them. He kissed her neck, and she shivered.
He was laying his cards all out on the table. And grudgingly, she had to respect that, because hey, it wasn't something she was willing to risk. She wonders how he can do that, to hand over your heart, your soul, to present these fragile things to someone, and to hope to god they don't shatter them. Hope, she thought, he had hope. For them.
 
He was starring at her with those deep brown eyes, completely focused on her, reading her and hoping to find an answer in her silence. His gaze was intense, searching, and burning right through her. This was uncomfortable, but mostly it was making her want to climb back on top of him and ride him into oblivion, and that thought was making her uneasy. She hates him. She hates that he does this to her, had been doing this to her since day one. She's not a perp, she's not like one of those women, waitresses, heiresses, housewives, nurses, murderesses...or any of them. She's his senior partner, she rationalizes. She has his back, she makes sure they're an equal, working team, so as to help serve the public, the greater good, the city of New York.
 
She can't and won't let herself feel this way about him. She won't let him do this to her. She's smarter than that. And with that thought, she wonders if she and Nicole actually did have something in common.
When she looks back up at him, he's still starring at her, waiting for something, a cue, anything from her. She suddenly feels a surge of pride that she was able to blank out her face, shutting him out. But when she opens her mouth, she knows she's done for.
 
"Look, this", her voice breaks. She tries again. "This isn't going to work, it just isn't-I can't let this happen, I..." she trails off. Right then and there, she knows. She knows she has to give up, because she's revealed too much, right there, with her words and her voice, but stubbornly, she's going to fight until the very end. And damn, if he doesn't know this already. Fuck him. Fuck him for being him, fuck me for getting us into this mess, fuck this whole situation...and most of all, fuck this lump in my throat and these tears in my eyes...the fuckers, she thinks. She's trying to get a point across, and they're just there, betraying her, letting her down when she needs to be strong, like they always do.
 
She has to push back. There's no other way for her. She has to know, she has to see that he'll pull her back. He knows this, he's watched her for 9 years, and he finds this almost amusing. It's not as if they haven't sat across from each other, breathing the same air, feeling the same feelings. He curses his earlier cowardice, he wishes he had tried with her sooner, back when they were younger, freer, but they've really never been free as long as they've known each other, he thinks. Not really. And honestly, deep in the back of his mind, he likes that fact. It bonds them, makes them who they are.
 
He secretly likes that she's damaged, and that makes him feel shameful. It's one of those thoughts that he dismisses as soon as he thinks it, wishing it away. It's just another thing that strengthens his cycle of self loathing. At the same time, if he were to be suddenly offered the chance of going back in time to prevent Joe from getting shot, he would do it. It wouldn't make her the same Eames he knows, he wouldn't be in this bed with her right now, but he would do it because he loves her so much.
 
He's done with this bullshit. Now that he's had her, he can't go back to life as he knew it before. He's been starving for too long, he knows she has too. He can feel it in her, almost tangible, he sees it in her eyes, and hears it in her voice.
 
In the back of their minds, they each wonder if the reason they've fallen into bed together is because, for them, there literally is no one else. Eventually, he's the one who decides to take a chance and run with this thought.
 
"Look, I'm not trying to rush into anything, or pressure you or, or maybe I am, I don't know." He gathers up his courage, grateful to have scotch still running though his veins. He tries to piece together something that will convince her, though, he feels like he's shooting bullets in the dark.
 
"I'm tired of waiting around for someone when I've got you. There's no one else, and I want it-wanted it that way, for I don't know how long."
He leans over and looks at her, tips her chin and kisses her softly, seeking entry into her mouth.
 
He breaks apart from her. "I wouldn't and couldn't be without you," he whispers in her ear before he assaults the soft tenderness of her neck, nipping and sucking, marking her. He knows this is unorthodox, but he's always wanted to do this to her, and hell, he decides to seize the opportunity while it's still there. He can smell the citrus from her perfume.
 
She hisses out a gasp, as he hits a sweet spot. She's going to have evidence on her tomorrow, and she does not relish the thought of wearing a turtleneck in the middle of July. She moves away from him, covering herself with the sheet.
 
"Bobby," she warns.
 
She doesn't want to reject him, but feels if they let this thing continue on, it could get ugly, fast. On the other hand, if she denies both him and this, she knows they're done for anyway, professionally too. If she breaks him, she knows it would break her, and vice-versa. She doesn't want either of them to be hurt, but she isn't naive enough to believe they're innocently playing games anymore. This is do or die, now or never.
 
With that, she runs her hand through his hair. It's getting curly again.
 
"Let's just see where this goes", she says, reluctantly. "And besides, what would it change?"
 
She kisses his chest and lays her head underneath his chin as he wraps his arms around her. She understands she doesn't have to say anything else. He knows.
 
They've worn each other down.
 

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