This popped into my head. Not exactly the happiest tale, but it wanted to be written. Maybe because late S8/early S9 is being shown during late night now. This obviously takes place around "Loyalty". Hope you all enjoy, even if it is melancholy!

In the darkened office was where Alex found him.

The chaos following Danny Ross' death had settled into an unsettling silence. The shock of Ross, filled with life, suddenly gone. Most had gone the rest of the evening in a fog, processing, or trying to escape it. Alex later briefly recalled the almost-embrace Bobby had tried to give her in the field, all too aware of the other people standing by, tracking every detail. It took all her strength to not melt into him, to stave off the despair. It was with a Herculean effort that she managed to keep her emotions in check.

It made her remember another time. Another cop.


Once more, Alex closed her eyes, engulfed in a wave of sadness as she remembered Ross' still form in that body bag. With a wet sigh, she stood in the doorway of Ross' office, still filled with his belongings, his presence. Alex silently glanced at Bobby. He didn't seem to hear her, acknowledge her presence.

Rather, he stood at the window, staring out at the lights of the Brooklyn Bridge in the distance, his desolate face reflecting off the glass.

His head dipped then as Alex discretely cleared her throat. His hand reflexively rubbed the back of his neck. Still, he didn't face her. But he broke the silence.

"I didn't know you were still here."

His voice was flat, tired. Oh, so very tired.

Still, Alex took the opening as an invitation, not bothering to switch the lights on, walking to join Bobby at the window. It reminded her of another time here, when Nicole had played Bobby years before, and he admitted his error, his arrogance. Only to her.

Alex rested her head on the cool glass, her breath fogging it. "Nowhere else to go. I…just don't want to go home and…" her voice went silent as she shrugged a shoulder, arms crossed.

Bobby rocked back and forth on his heels, his hands in his pockets. Studying Alex's tense shoulders, one hand went to touch her, but stopped mere millimeters from making contact. Instead, he rubbed at his face, feeling every bit his age and then some.

"Yeah." Bobby sighed. "Yeah." He whispered again. He thought of Nichols and recalled his details about breaking the news to Ross' family, being Danny's old partner.

"Nothing lasts," he blurted, his voice angry.

Alex turned her head, eyes faraway, haunted. "What?"

"Nothing lasts." Bobby repeated. Pushing away from the window, from his own reflection that he could no longer bear to look at, he paced. Waving an arm, he elaborated.

"Deakins left. Carver's gone. My entire family is nothing but a memory."

He raised his head, eyes beginning to pool. "And now, Ross is…Ross is dead." A hand gripped a chair tightly, his knuckles whitening.

Alex stared out at the twinkling lights that shone and sparkled, ever steady, ignorant of everything.

Tremulously, she responded. "We both know the risks of the job." She turned, as Bobby noted how pale she was, even in the dark.

"The job," Bobby repeated shakily. Shaking his head, he let out a long, damp sigh and went to stand at the open office door, eyes fixed on Ross' name.

Bobby breathed heavily, trying not to give in to the urge to break down. Not now. Not here.

"What did the job do for Ross?" Bobby mused, sadly.

He turned to Alex, who was now watching from across the room.

"He died alone, Alex. And all I could think, standing at the window, was what a fucking waste it is." He wiped an errant tear away as he continued to speak past dry lips. "His kids no longer have a dad."

"And…and then I thought about what a selfish bastard I am, because then I thought about how everyone I care about leaves or…or y'know…dies, and…it just hit me that I could end up like Ross, dying alone like that, and…" Bobby rubbed at his face, feeling suspiciously wet.

Alex bit her lip, having given up on trying not to cry. She tasted the salt on her lips as she walked over to Bobby and tentatively placed a hand on his shoulder.

"I learned there are no guarantees, Bobby." Alex shook her head. "Losing Joe taught me that."

Bobby raised stricken eyes to Alex. "Jesus, Eames, I'm sor…"

Alex placed a finger to Bobby's lips, her eyes swimming as Bobby's face shimmered in her gaze.

"No, Bobby. Let me finish."

Dropping her finger, she swiped at her face and took a wobbly breath.

"We could die tomorrow. We could live to be one hundred. I don't know." She licked her lips and met Bobby's stare. "But know this: You haven't lost everyone." A hand touched Bobby's cheek, as he closed his eyes and leaned into it, wanting, needing full contact.

"You'll always have me."

Bobby raised a hand to cover Alex's on his face. Intent on her face, Bobby sighed.

"You'd've been better off if you got away from me years ago."

Seeing that Alex's face was fast becoming stormy, Bobby lowered her hand, turned it and kissed her palm.

"But it goes both ways, Eames. For all the good it does, you have me, too. I'm glad…especially now, you're still here. Even if I still can't understand why you never left me…"

Alex looked down at Bobby's feet.

"Someday, you'll figure it out," she tried for lightness. Her hand was still gripped in Bobby's, taking strength from its warmth.

She gazed at him then, noting his drying tears, certain she looked just as spent.

"As long as we keep holding on to each other, we'll be okay." She rested her head on Bobby's chest as he enclosed her in an embrace.

Bobby rested his head atop Alex's, closed his eyes, and sighed.

"Maybe some things do last."

They remained in that embrace in the inky darkness, somber, taking comfort in feeling the hitch of each other's breaths.