Author: lynne z PM
Alex's thoughts after waking up in Bobby's bed. Please review.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Words: 4,206 - Reviews: 15 - Favs: 20 - Follows: 1 - Published: 04-15-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4199325
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: Just playing…not gaining anything…
A/N: So this is an idea that hijacked my brain for a couple of days. It's kind of a "missing scene" from my fic Beginnings and takes place immediately after the first chapter, but it could be read as a stand alone also.
As I turn my face further into the pillow I slowly become aware of the fact that I am not in my own bed. I smell the subtle scent of my partner's after shave and notice fingertips skating along my exposed back, which brings back all the memories of last night.
I showed up on my partner's door, I kissed him, tried to leave, he convinced me to stay, and took me to bed.
I really don't want to be awake right now because I'm not sure if I'm really ready to deal with this, but I know faking sleep would be futile since he is probably well aware that I am in fact awake.
The natural easiness of last night is much more muddled now that one of us has to voice the question that we both are wondering: what now? What are we now? What do we do if…
There are so many things that could fill in that blank.
What about our jobs? Who do we tell? Is there anything to tell?
Was this just some mistake made out of loneliness and convenience?
This could end so horribly.
He's my partner, my friend, the last person I should feel these things for and do these things with.
The few sexual encounters I've had since Joe's death have been physically satisfying, but otherwise meaningless. This is different. This is Bobby; a man I understand when most don't, one who, if necessary, would take a bullet for me, and one who I have started to care deeply for; probably more than I should and definitely more than is allowed.
He doesn't say anything, he barely moves, but I can feel him watching and waiting for me.
I let out a breath as softly as I can and turn my neck to look at him. He's on his side, his head propped up on his elbow as he meets my eyes. His hair is tousled and I can't help but think how adorable he looks.
The certainty that was etched into every one of his features and movements last night is now only partially there and it occurs to me that he is much more insecure than he cares to admit.
He still doesn't speak and I understand that he's leaving it up to me; that he's half expecting me to dissipate into his sheets and will have to accept this as a particularly vivid wet dream. I know this because a part of me is holding my breath as I expect the same thing, but after several seconds that seem like miles turning into years we are both still here in his bed, staring.
"Hi," I say, finally, but soft enough that he can easily ignore it if he's not ready to step out of the safety of the little pinhole of a world that we have created in this bed.
His fingers don't falter in their movements as he says, "Hi," and then they venture a little lower, as if testing the waters.
I try to swallow the soft gasp I desperately want to let out, hoping he may not notice, but when I see that the certainty in his expression is less fifty/fifty and more like seventy/thirty I know it didn't go unnoticed.
"Have you been up long?" I ask, thinking that starting with a simple question is best.
"Uh…a couple hours I guess," he says.
Something about the idea of him watching me all that time while I slept makes me inwardly squirm with affection, desire, and a little bit of fear.
I just might be falling in love with this man, but I fight the thought, because I know neither of us is really ready to make promises or confessions.
"Uh…did you want to get breakfast…or…" I ask, even though I know it's lame and inadequate.
"I-I need to leave soon…"
"Oh," I say a little flustered and about ready to scramble off the bed when I feel his palm cupping my shoulder.
"I-I'm sorry…it's just…it's Sunday and I always go up and visit my mom. If I'm late it throws off her schedule…sh-she can get kind of agitated."
Now I really feel embarrassed at my own insecurities that I'm sure are starting to show.
"Right," I sigh more than say, then it dawns on me that I do actually have plans today and start searching for a clock. "What time is it?"
"Uh…" he seems a little startled by the suddenness of my question. "Not quite eight…"
I gather the sheets around me, shifting until I am sitting and he follows, studying me with a worried gaze.
"I told my sister I'd baby-sit today…I have to go home if I'm going to make it to her house before eleven," I say.
He nods and we both stare at each other again; both of us hesitant to get out from under the amour of his sheets.
He stutters something that I don't really catch and then turns so his back is to me, planting his feet on the floor. He's officially back in the real world where there's consequences, questions, and uncertainty.
I watch the muscles of his back flex as he scrubs his palms over his face and then finally take my cue to throw the covers off and get out of his bed.
I find my clothes and slip back into the black dress I had arrived in and I can't help but think how cliché I am: slipping out of a man's apartment wearing the same, but now disheveled clothes I had on the night before.
While I dress I hear him rise from the bed and slip into a pair of sweat pants that he pulls from a draw.
When I turn back to face him he is watching me and wringing his hands together. He finally turns toward the door and I follow him back to the front door.
Neither of us knows what to say as he stands leaning on the now open door and I hover half in and half out of the apartment. I'll call doesn't seem genuine and I'll see you later is too flippant.
I watch his hands hesitate between us, arguing with the rest of him that is too unsure to do what he wants. I take a fraction of a step toward him and hope that it's enough of an encouragement.
It is, because I feel his palms on my cheeks and then his lips on mine. It's simple and thankful more so than demanding and more memories from last night begin to flirt with my head.
He pulls back, which I'm not completely prepared for, but his hands are still on me and his thumbs brush back and forth against my cheekbones.
"I should go," I say.
His hands slip back to the space between us and then he watches me leave.
I'm on autopilot as I drive home, get into my house, and then start the shower.
I spend the whole time thinking about him and as I scrub my body clean of any sigh of him, I find myself mourning the loss.
I feel like some idiotic school girl as I wonder what he's doing. Has he already left for Carmel Ridge? Did he feel just as naked as I do now, when he washed my scent off of his skin? Is he even thinking about me? Will he call me tonight? Should I call him? Do we both need the distance before we can really process all of this and its meaning?
I force myself out of the shower and get ready to go see my nephew, who's probably the only other living human being who might be able to get me to stop thinking about Bobby.
Within an hour I am back out the door and make the drive to my sister's house.
I try to play it cool as I chit chat with Carrie and her husband as they prepare to leave for their day trip and pray that she doesn't see it.
They finally leave us and it's just me and Nathan. He's starting to walk a little, but is still unsteady on his feet and latches on to whatever he can find to pull himself where he wishes to go.
My nerves ease as I watch and play with him. This little boy will probably never understand what he has done to me.
In many ways, after Joe died, I shut down when it came to my personal life.
Nathan has opened a door in me, giving room for someone else to move in. Apparently Bobby sees this and more importantly I'm discovering that I want to invite him in.
We have a quiet but wonderful day and when my sister gets back home Nathan is already down for the night.
I return to my empty house and get ready for bed. Since my distraction is now gone, I can't help but start to think about Bobby again. I curse my brain for wandering to my partner and then my body for its reaction.
I can't be this woman. I don't pine; I don't get googely-eyed. Why can he do this to me? I never thought of him this much before. Did I?
I look over at the phone resting on my night stand and wonder if he's debating whether or not it's appropriate to call, but he doesn't call me and I don't call him.
Monday morning almost seems like any other. I come in to find Bobby already at his desk and reading a file.
He gives me a small smile, which I return easily despite the questions that scream between us and I hope we're the only ones that can hear them.
We go through the day as if it's any other. We get called out to a crime scene and talk to witnesses. Then head to the morgue to get another look at the body and hear what Rodgers found.
As we listen I watch him as he carefully lifts the victim's arm with his strong but graceful fingers and I remember how those fingers pleaded, conversed, and finally danced with my skin.
I notice Rodgers glancing over me with the perplexed scowl that Bobby usually earns from her. I shake it off and move closer to the body, though I can feel the pink creeping over my cheeks.
Bobby rattles off theories and ideas and I nod along.
We go on with our day and make pretty good headway on the case. To anyone else I'm confident we seemed like the usual Goren and Eames, bouncing ideas and findings back and forth with ease and little discussion.
We wrap up the day and I head to the elevator with him only a couple steps behind me. It's a regular occurrence, but this time instead of trying to decide what I might have for dinner or whether or not I'm going to drop by to see my nephew, I focus on walking straighter than normal and fight the urge to glance over my shoulder to see if I might catch him in the act of checking out my ass.
We step on the elevator in silence and my nerves twist my stomach into knots. Was it a fluke? Did he get what he needed and is never planning to bring it up again? Did he just fuck me when I could have sworn that every tentative movement was him making love to me?
God, did I really just use that term?
But that night he said that we couldn't go back and he respects me too much for to use me. So why—
"D-did you want to get dinner?" his voice breaks into my head.
I must look like an idiot as I gape at him and try to reassemble any shred of rationality and dignity I can pull up from the floor.
"We-we could go get something…" he says lacing his fingers and I find myself comforted by his fidgeting. "Or-or you could come back to my apartment…I-I mean I could cook."
I've never had a man cook for me. Joe tried once, but in the end we ended up having to order a pizza and to make matters worse, the same night he gave me a taser for our anniversary. He occasionally had his moments, but he was never much of a romantic. Neither am I for that matter and the fact that Bobby probably is makes me both wonderfully anxious to see what he may come up with or do next, but also frightens me as to whether or not I may be reading too much into it.
He shifts and I am probably taking too long to respond.
"Uh…your place is fine."
He nods and gives a smile that I want to believe is reserved only for me.
He follows me quietly to my car in the parking garage and I drive us to his apartment.
Once inside I shed my jacket, draping it over a chair at the small kitchen table, and he begins to rummage through the refrigerator. He pulls a few things out and lists a few different things he could make, wanting me to say which I would prefer.
I watch his shoulder blades move beneath his dress shirt and as he stands straight I step up behind him. I place my hand on the center of his back, silencing him, and then he slowly turns around.
He looks down at me with the same look he gave me when I woke up in his bed a day ago and I understand that he doesn't want to be presumptuous. He wants me to invite him, to give him permission, but I also need him to meet me half way because I don't know if I'm brave enough to make the decision for both of us.
This would be easier if I was taller or if he was shorter, since then I could effortlessly get my arms around him and pull him to me. But I'm short and he's tall and there's more maneuvering involved than I'm used to.
I take the ingredients out of his hands and place them on the kitchen table behind me. I stand on my tip toes, reaching to link my arms around his neck, and he does meet me half way, bending as I pull his mouth to mine.
I think the invitation is clear and I can hear his acceptance despite our inability to physically speak when he clasps his hands onto my waist.
He spins us around and before I realize it, I am seated on the counter with my thighs cradling his hips and our clothes becoming offensive barriers.
Our first time was cautious and explorative, while this time is needy and desperate.
We don't make it to the bedroom and I'm pretty certain that neither of us will be able to look at his counter the same way again.
How can he do this? How can he make me feel like all my bones are about to splash against the linoleum of his kitchen floor?
His lips are against my temple letting out wordless melodies of cries and groans as I grip his shoulders, holding on for dear life and my whole body seems to turn to jelly.
When he finally stills, we both are letting out harsh, shaky breaths and his legs tremble slightly against my thighs. I think that if there wasn't a high probability of him busting open his skull, he would collapse to the floor.
I rest my forehead on his shoulder and plant my hands on either side of his waist, hoping that he hears the message: if you let me I'll catch you.
His hands leave the support of the counter top and move to my cheeks, pulling my head up so that he can see me. He brushes my hair off of my now slightly damp face and leans in for a soft kiss.
His forehead falls against mine and his eyes are so close to mine that it's almost startling. He's not like me; for all of his hiding and keeping people at a distance I'm still better or I guess worse depending on how you look at it. His feelings show through in every worry line and in every fleck of brown that colors his pupils.
I'm just as vulnerable and I think more terrified, but I have always let my cynicism and sarcasm rule my features, but I can feel them starting to soften.
He was right: there is no going back, no pretending that it doesn't mean something even if we aren't ready to clarify exactly what that is.
I lightly kiss him and he gives me that smile that I now know is my smile.
He carefully leaves my body and discards the condom I can't recall when or how he put on, though I'm grateful that one of us had a rational adult thought.
He pulls his boxers back up around his hips and then picks up his shirt.
He drapes the shirt around my shoulders and I worm my arms into the sleeves, knowing I probably look comical with it hanging off of my limbs, but not really caring.
My eyes dart from his downcast face to his nimble fingers that work to slip close the buttons.
"I-I really did have…honorable intentions when I invited you here," he says and I can't help but laugh.
"Well I'm still expecting a dinner," I say and he grins.
He stands straight and lightly tickles my knee with his fingertips.
"Good," he says.
He takes my hands in his and helps me off the counter, my legs still feeling a little rubbery. He dips and picks up my panties. I take them from him before he actually passes them to me and then step into them.
A few moments later, I watch him as he cooks and I realize that he really enjoys doing it. He's probably the most at ease that I've ever seen him and rattles off why he puts one spice in and not another, what consistency you want for a tomato sauce, and the perfect firmness for spaghetti noodles.
Once we sit to eat, I cross my ankles and rest my legs against his thigh. His left hand forks his food while his right massages my calf. We easily talk in between mouthfuls of food. He mentions wanting to talk to the victim's husband again and the case is an easy starting point for us.
He finally asks how my day was with my nephew and I can't help but grin. I explain how big Nathan is getting and that he's walking a little.
I reach behind me, pull my phone from jacket pocket, and then search for the snapshots of Nathan. I pass Bobby the phone and he smiles as he scrolls through.
"He-he's beautiful," he says.
I blush slightly as I read between the lines. In his own round about, I don't want to freak you out by saying this too soon way, he's saying that I'm beautiful. I'm glad that he doesn't say it outright. I've never been good with compliments and it would be too much, too fast for me to digest without a slight twinge of panic because of what him thinking that could possibly mean.
"How about you?" I ask tentatively.
He stills and maybe it's too soon for me to ask about his visits with his mother. I know I don't know everything but I know enough. I have on occasion noticed how he seems more tired some Mondays than he did when leaving the Friday before.
"I-it was okay," he says with a nod and his fingers start working again against the skin of my leg. "She had a good day." He's quiet for a couple of minutes and I leave it alone, returning to my plate. "Th-the meds they have her on are pretty effective…b-but some of the side effects…nausea mostly…can get really bad. But this week she felt pretty good."
I understand how much it takes for him to tell me all this and I don't take it lightly. It may only be a crack, but I honor it and hope, that when the time comes, I can also widen the doors of my past and pain to him.
We keep eating in a comfortable silence and then he clears the table when we are finished.
We both stand in front of each other in his kitchen and we can both feel things getting muddled again. He's not ready for me to leave and I'm not ready to go.
He must recognize this because he takes the first step this time and twines his fingers with mine, gently tugging me toward the bedroom.
I follow and after we are just feet from his bed he pulls me in front of him. The fingers on his free hand lightly trace the lines of my face and I smile.
This eggs him on and he releases my hand so that he can loosen the buttons of the shirt I wear with the same deliberateness he had when closing them. He slides it off my shoulders, letting it flitter to the floor, and he drinks me with his fingertips, which brush against the curve of my breast and then slide down the line of my torso to play with the rim of my panties.
He kneels in front of me, cupping my hips in his hands, and kisses the slight swell of my abdomen that no amount of exercise seems to get rid of since having my nephew.
His fingers slide the short distance from skin to cotton and hooks his fingers into my panties to pull them down my legs.
After we fall into the bed, he proves that his memorization of patterns and ridiculous amounts of knowledge is not lost on the patterns and knowledge he finds painted on my skin or buried in the place he discovers inside of me.
We float in the pond that is his bed as I lie on my side and lazily stare at the white wall across from me. His body is curled around mine; his arm is wrapped around me and his hand is loosely latched to my wrist while his thumb teases my pulse point.
Bobby is a cuddler.
If this were any other man I'd probably feel suffocated. I have never fancied myself as a cuddly person and Joe, though attentive, wasn't either. Maybe I'm a closet cuddler, because a girl could get use to this; to the warmth and the safety of being wrapped up in his limbs.
"Hmm?" I feel his reply whistle against my hair.
"You realize I can't stay through the morning…"
He stiffens and he doesn't have to actually move for me to know he's retreating from me.
"I mean…" I regroup and twist my neck to look up at him. "I can't exactly go to work tomorrow wearing the clothes I wore today…"
He smiles out of relief and maybe a little out of embarrassment.
"I-I guess not," he says and then drops a kiss on my temple. "I-it's okay if…if you want to bring a few things here…j-just in case."
I nod and then rest my head back against the pillow.
"Make sure I wake up early enough to make it back to Rockaway, okay?"
I feel him nod and somewhere under the questions that still haven't been answered we are certain that tomorrow I will be back in his bed and the night after that, and after that. Eventually we won't fall into his bed, but into mine. Some of my things will migrate into his space and the bottom draw of my dresser that I never use will become his.
This may not turn out so horribly after all.