|Atlas: 10word challenge
Author: RoadrunnerGER PM
Challenged by Deliriousdancer. Bobby reflects on his relationship to Eames in the wake of Tates.Rated: Fiction T - English - Hurt/Comfort - Words: 1,873 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 1 - Published: 05-16-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4259574
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Atlas: 10word challenge
a Law & Order: Criminal Intent story
Disclaimer: Once again: I don't own them. Dick Wolf is the lucky one.
A/N: Yeah, well, here is the story challenged by Deliriousdancer in her review on Vanquished. I'd be thrilled if more authors would participate. It's very interesting to see how different the stories can be which were triggered by the same ten words. C'mon! Don't be shy! It's fun!
This time these words were given: periwinkle, sunflower seeds, sardines, ferris wheel, Atlas, twist, knit, slink, scramble, disappointed
This time his thoughts were not spinning in his head. Like a ferris wheel they went slowly around and around only to lead him back to the point where he had started. So he could dwell on each part of his misery in torturing clarity.
On the coffee table lay the remains of a pizza. One single slice was missing, the second only lost its tip. The rest was left untouched, slowly drying and getting hard, the cheese becoming an indefinable gum like something with the consistency of tires. And the sardines already started to smell.
The latter was due to the hot summer day. As Bobby did not care about turning on the air conditioner the temperature in the apartment rose to over 100 degrees. If he would not get rid of the rest of his dinner in time he could breed fungi on them.
Actually he did not care if he could breed fungi on himself when he started to smell like the pizza. For a moment his thoughts sidetracked to picturing how his colleagues would work in his living room, windows wide open to get rid of the stench, as they tried to find out how he left this world. They would learn that he just sat there until he stopped breathing, not caring to eat or drink or move or talk or anything else for days.
But would they realize why he died this way? He doubted it.
They won't understand that I couldn't keep going after… after…
He could not even think the impossible, his mind shutting out what could not be.
She was gone!
Alexandra Eames left her partner Robert Goren!
She left him feeling like Atlas, carrying the whole world on his shoulders.
Memories twisted his insides into tight, painful knots.
When he first met Detective Alexandra Eames he was surprised to find a petite blonde carrying forward the Eames dynasty within the NYPD. One day working with her cleared out all differences. First, she was driving. Second, she did not mind being called Alex and offered it herself as she was used to it by the other detectives which reinforced his determination to keep calling her Eames. Third, she was one hell of a detective and promised to be a tower of strength in their investigations he could rely on.
And he never was disappointed.
They had been through so much since this first day.
He remembered how she played the bait for Henry Talbot and what she had to endure later during his interrogation.
He remembered how she stood by him and supported him during the cases involving Nicole Wallace, especially the Daniel Croyden case.
He remembered many occasions when they played their witnesses or suspects as couple searching for flooring, as couple in a dancing class or as passer bys when she let herself be drawn by their suspect while he pretended to hit on her.
Not to mention the countless interrogations they conducted.
Through everything she was capable, willing and determined. Once set on a trail they both did not rest until they reached their goal.
He loved her snarkiness. Once, that was right after her maternity leave when she agreed to be a surrogate mother for her sister, she was asked about having had a date and she replied, "Well, what was I supposed to do while I was pregnant, sit home and knit?" A line he never would forget. And he admired her for doing her sister that favor.
He also would never forget how she popped her favorite candy in her mouth. All the small gestures that were so much Alex Eames.
Of course they did fight.
They had big discussions when he defended John Tagman. They fought over his treatment of Nicole Wallace. She was mad as hell when he emerged alive and well from prison after lockdown, having talked corrupt correctional officers from killing Logan, the prison nurse, and himself. She disagreed with his way of handling the case of the deputy commissioner's daughter Amanda Dockerty.
Their partner- and relationship survived Nicole Wallace, Eames' kidnapping by Jo Gage, Deakins' forced retirement and subsequent replacement by Ross, his mother's death, and his re-opening of the closed case of Eames' husband's death.
And then there was Tates.
When he went undercover without having the permission of their superiors he risked her career, never wasting a single thought on his own. He risked his life and almost lost it. It was thanks to her that he was still walking this earth. But so far he had no chance to express his gratitude. Or better, he had chickened out on every chance he had.
Here he was, suspended, without pay, without his brother, without the nephew he never knew he had until just before Tates, without his pride, and, worst of all…
The thought of her kept him alive in Tates when he was strapped down in Heaven. Time did not seem to pass as he lay there, deprived of food and water for God knows how long.
When he finally found the strength to go to her and try to talk she was not having any of his crap. She got mad at him, and rightly so, and he slinked away, hurt and ashamed. He felt embarrassed and, even worse, unable to come up with a single way to change her mind.
For a long while he stood in front of her house, watching it, trying to get a glimpse of her behind a window and trying to make up his mind, gather his strength, and talk to her a second time. His gaze rested on the periwinkles in the bed of her small front garden.
Absentmindedly he fumbled with the plastic bag in his pocket, fingering out a few sunflowerseeds. Nibbling on them he produced a clutter of hulls on the pavement. Unnoticed by him darkness fell, the lights inside switched on, then went out.
Bobby sat in darkness. Over his brooding night had fallen. The temperature still was high as the air conditioner still did not work and the pizza remains still smelled in competition to him. He looked like crap, unwashed and unshaven for days, a mere shadow of himself.
Warily he threw a glance at the clock on the video recorder. When did her flight go?
Why did she have to go to San Francisco?
"Why?" he gasped miserably into the darkness enclosing him.
Because his job still was out on the limb.
Because she had to leave before he could finally take her down with him.
Because it was the best for her to get as far away from him as possible.
Because she got an offer too good to be ignored.
Because there was nothing in New York that would make her want to stay.
Bobby could have screamed with emotional pain.
I don't want her to go! Please, Eames! Stay!
Thought alone in the pathetic stinking obscurity of his apartment his plea remained unanswered.
In his grief he did not realize that he was scrambling up a lot of things. One of the most important being a simple fact that had a lot to do with the events at and around Tates.
You need two to Tango.
It was not his decision alone. His partner made a decision, too. But they never talked about it, not properly.
It's too late. In three hours she'll take off to California and I'll never see her again.
The doorbell rang, but he was too gloomy to answer the door. When all the ringing did not get the desired result the person outside of his apartment started thundering a fist against the wood. The raps echoed through the whole floor.
"Robert Goren, you stupid, pigheaded son of a bitch! Open the damned door before I take the next fire-axe and knock it down!"
His head shot up and his heart beat frantically, jumping in his throat.
There was Eames at his door!
"This is your last warning! Open the damned door!" her voice almost broke.
Before he could even think about it his feet carried him to the apartment door and opened it. Eames stood on the threshold. She was no hallucination. She really was there, in flesh and blood.
It was all he could do to withstand the urge to touch her in order to check if she was real and not just a product of his vivid imagination.
"Don't you want to invite me in?" she pushed.
"Um… sure. Come in. Have a seat."
"I don't have that much time. I just dropped by to say goodbye. I just don't want to do that out there in the hall."
"Um…" Bobby did not know what more to say. Stay, he wanted to scream again, but not a single sound left his mouth.
They stood in the doorway to his living room. Expectantly she looked up at him. When he remained silent for a minute and then another her expression clouded. Wordlessly she turned and headed for the exit.
"Stay!" he blurted out.
She froze in her tracks but did not turn.
"Stay," he repeated, urgently, pleadingly.
Still motionless she asked, "Why?"
"I'm an idiot," he confessed.
"Yes, you are. And?"
"And you were right."
"About what?" She hoped and prayed that he would give her the right answer. If he did she would not have to take the plane and start all over again. She could fight with him and for him to stay with Major Case. She could still work with him, still be partners.
"I… um…" he stuttered. His thoughts were a whirlwind and his stomach riding a rollercoaster.
"You said that I should stop taking responsibility for things that are out of my control and that I couldn't change them no matter how hard I tried." He swallowed. "You were right."
Slowly she turned around to face him.
"Yeah. And… and… um… I…" His ability to speak failed him. "I'm not responsible for your decisions."
Now she raised an eyebrow at him. "So what do you deduce from this conclusion?"
"That… that I'm not responsible for you… you… being in trouble because of Tates."
Nodding deliberately she said, "Thank you."
"For what?" he rasped, his voice bidding him goodbye as his hopes were fueled again.
"For sparing me a flight to San Francisco," she whispered, grabbed his neck and pulled him down into a long, passionate kiss.
She did not leave the apartment that night.