Title: A Slithy Tove

Author: RivErStaR

Rating: PG-13 to possibly R because of the swearing content

Summary: Some April Fools' antics at the One Police Plaza. Eames turns this normally psycho happy day into something more devious, tricky and annoying!

Disclaimer: Why do they even make us write these things? I'm sure everyone knows that I don't own, or claim to own anything to do with Dick Wolf's creations (i.e. anything remotely Criminal Intent canon). All I am claiming is the story idea which I made up from the top of *my* head and any original characters if there are any in here because seriously I don't remember.

Author's Notes:

See I'm like so poor that I don't even own the title of the story. For those of you wondering where it came from, I borrowed it from Mr. Lewis Carroll's poem "Jabberwocky" which I took from his books "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." Now to be the nicety that I am, I'm going to go into a *very* lengthy description on how "A Slithy Tove" relates to this little fic of mine. But for this to work, you all must keep in mind that this it an April Fools' fic; and that in itself is vitally important to this title description. However I must add that if you couldn't care less about the title, then skip this long section and move straight to the fic because well, it is just a title. However I do urge you to read this purely because, well personally, I find it interesting and insanely clever on my part; but then again, I'm probably just biased.

The Origins of the words: As I just explained above, the two words 'slithy' and 'tove' were taken from one of the best poems around; "Jabberwocky." Many of you, me included after reading this poem must wonder as to what exactly Carroll was on when he wrote not only this poem but the books too. Whatever form of opium or crack it was that he was on, I want some too lol

As to their proper origins, I can't even find them (the words) listed in my "Dictionary of word Origins." So all in all, I basically think that Lewis Carroll purely made up these two words from the top of his head. What a clever bloke *grins*

Definitions: Now since these are not your regular 'normal' or everyday words, I had to stretch a bit to find the definitions but thankfully, Lewis Carroll was nice enough to provide me with the answers in his book "Through the Looking Glass," or TTLG as I will now call it. Alice first reads the poem back in chapter I of TTLG and, like so many people who first come across it, basically thinks, to put it bluntly, what the f***. So a few chapters on (I'm talking like 6 chapters later when you've like totally forgotten about the poem and moved on accepting that you'll never understand what it's all about), she meets up with Humpty Dumpty who ever so politely explains the first stanza for us (which is just fine for me since the rest of the poem actually does make sense... Well to a degree!).

1) 'Slithy:' According to Mr Humpty in chapter VI of TTLG, 'slithy' simply means 'lithe' and 'slimy;' however in the true sense of the word 'lithe' means 'active.' Yes it's ok; this will only get more confusing as I move on through. It's best if you just don't ask. So I guess the full definition of 'slithy' (according to Mr. Humpty) is 'lithe,' 'active' and 'slimy.' Now you may be thinking, "ok so how does that relate to her fic, and well, being honest; it doesn't really, which is why I added 'tove' as an accompanying word.

2) 'Tove:' Now this is the word that's going to give most of you a headache just trying to get your head around. It's a real bitch of a word but it is 'tove' which really makes the title.

Mr Humpty says that 'toves,' and I quote, "are something like badgers -- they're something like lizards -- and they're something like corkscrews." So basically 'toves' are weird looking creatures that well... Look very weird.

As to how 'tove' relates to the title, well that's a lot simpler than it looks. After reading Humpty's definition of what a 'tove' is, I then went to the Oxford English Dictionary and looked up the words 'badger,' 'lizard' and 'corkscrew;' and yes I did already know what they are but I wanted the correct dictionary meaning. Anyway according to it a badger was defined as being 'burrowing creatures who belong to the weasel family.' So I took my definition of what a weasel is; conniving, scheming little pricks and used that as part of the definition of what 'tove' means.

Next on the list was 'lizard;' cold-blooded, quick and slippery little blighters which I added to the definition. And finally I moved onto the corkscrew; and I must say I had no idea on how this would help in relation to what I wanted in the title, but after reading the definition from the dictionary, I was pleasantly surprised. Corkscrew, 'a twisted thing,' and plus I added that since they're usually linked with wine/alcohol and drunkenness equals stupidity and this is an April Fools' fic, it was totally fitting.

So in conclusion I'd like to just summarise what I have tried to say above. "A Slithy Tove" means 'a lithe/active slimy, cold-blooded, scheming, conniving and twisted being,' which when you read and find out just the sort of antics the two protagonists plan and conduct in my fic, it is one extremely great title. I will say that I'm more proud of the title than I am of the rest of the story, but don't let that put you off reading it. It's still very good, I just like the title more, happy reading.

Just one more very brief note before I start, Alex and Bobby may seem very out of character but remember this, who usually is in character when pulling pranks on April Fools' Day? The entire point of this is to make them lighten up and have fun, which is something we don't see on the show. Albeit that Goren thinks probing dead bodies *is* fun, but I'm talking about humorous/slapstick fun here not warped fun *smiles* Ok Ok I'm done now!!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

'Jabberwocky' by Lewis Carroll

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

'Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!'

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood a while in thought.

And, in this uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

'And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

A Slithy Tove

~*~*~*~*~ 1:47 pm - Wednesday March 26 - Apartment of Alex Eames ~*~*~*~*~

There were just six days before April first, and as Alex lay completely awake in her bed, she was more than aware of this data. Normally the first of April had little effect on her, and sadly the majority of the world as it was becoming a tradition of the past, however this year, she was determined to change that. Some minutes earlier, Alex had decided to brighten her life, regardless of the consequences of her actions. The people around her were way too stiff and had little fun in their lives so she had decided to have some fun and games with them; and what better day to do it than the national day of practical jokes; April Fools' Day.

According to her, by far the most perfect victim for her pranks was naturally going to be her ever-serious partner, Robert Goren. Now this in itself was going to prove a challenge because tricking a smart person was never easy and with Goren, it was going to prove near impossible. Luckily for Alex, near impossible was not totally impossible so there was still a chance, as slight as it may be, that she would pull it off; and her being a smart one too, definitely had its advantages. Besides, what was life without a challenge?

It was however getting way beyond late for one who was expected to get up early in the morning for a job where there would undoubtedly be horrible criminals to catch. Don't get me wrong, Alex loves her job however running around after one Robert Goren as he follows a lead and trying to interpret what he is saying half the time is enough to make any normal person tired and well, compared to Goren, Alex is a normal person. April Fools' Day would just have to wait at least just one more day, besides there was plenty of time to cogitate her plan.

~*~*~*~*~ The Next Day ~*~*~*~*~

Detective Robert Goren was sitting at his desk when Alex walked in. As per usual he was working on... Something and even though she wasn't late, he had once again beaten her to work.

Silently waltzing up to him, she peered over his shoulder and standing behind him just intently observing. Goren was so caught up in whatever it was he happened to be doing that he failed to notice not only her arrival but her standing behind him too. Very aware of his lack of concentration on his surroundings, Alex leant over so her mouth was level with his ear.

"Boo!" she half yelled.

Bobby was so startled by the sudden loud noise that he fell off his chair and swore, loudly.

"Shit."

He scrambled up, did a quick one-eighty and glared at Alex who was indeed laughing her head off.

"That wasn't funny Eames," he berated her, more than obviously not impressed by her antics.

"Not funny for whom?" she mocked. "It was funny if you were me or anyone else in the room."

She pointed around the room and sure enough, their colleagues on the floor had witnessed the entire event and were, like Alex, laughing. But as soon as they caught Goren's murderous, they quit with their jokes and got back to work, for none wanted to be one the bad side of the 'big guy.'

Even Deakins had heard the commotion from inside his office as he poked his head out to find out what was causing it. All he saw were his two top detectives standing face to face obviously having a disagreement over something. He noted that Eames was laughing hard and Goren was scowling. Evidently, Eames had done something to provoke Goren and he hadn't appreciated it, but that's what made knowing Alexandra Eames fun. She was quick witted and had one of the best senses of humour around; and even Goren was amused by it... Well, most of the time. Deciding it was high time to intervene before things got ugly he started to approach them. All he caught of their conversation before they acknowledged his presence was Goren telling Eames something about how tragedy was if he cut his finger and that comedy was when he fell into an open sewer and died.

"What's all this I'm hearing about falling into open sewers and dying?" he asked Goren.

"It's just something Mel Brooks said about how humans function in society," he tried to explain. "Eames said that she found something funny so I told her that 'tragedy is when I cut my finger and comedy is when I fall into an open sewer and die."

Eames just grinned at Deakins who obviously had no idea on what Goren was getting at. So being polite she tried to justify Bobby's statement.

"He fell off his chair, sir," she told him. "I said that it was funny if he was me and he comes back at me with that mother of a saying." Turning to Goren she added, "Seriously though, where do you get these little gems?"

Goren just shrugged.

"Wait and just back up a minute," Deakins interrupted. "You fell off your chair?"

This set Alex laughing again as both men looked at her: one silently telling her to shut up, the other looking for an explanation.

"You really should mention to the higher ups that seatbelts need to be attached to these chairs," Alex explained to her boss while receiving a 'don't you dare' look from her partner. "Someone could get seriously hurt, like Goren here."

Glancing at her partner, whose look had changed from 'don't you dare' to a more vicious 'eat shit and die' expression Alex continued while patting him on the arm. "So what do you say?"

Deakins watched as Goren rolled his eyes at her and couldn't help the smile that spread across his features. "I say, enough with the antics. I'm not running a three-ring circus. Now get back to work."

Both Goren and Eames nodded their heads in lieu of an answer before returning to their desks. Deakins walked off but stopped and turned after taking only three steps.

"Just be careful of that chair Goren," he warned his top detective. "I can't afford to have you off duty. You're needed here." With that, he continued on his way to his office.

As soon as the door clicked shut, Alex burst into a fit of giggles. Goren however was still not impressed. "Will you get back to your work please? You can tease me to your little heart's content later."

"Fine," she muttered as she started to type up some long over due report.

All Goren did was just sit and stare at her. He was still totally befuddled with her earlier behaviour and if she wasn't going to talk to him, he would stare her down until she gave in. Besides it would only be a matter of minutes before he had his answer... Or so he thought. Finally feeling his intense gazing, Alex looked up from her computer.

"What?" she asked him curiously.

"Why did you do it?" was his reply, referring to her earlier antics with the desk chair.

She put on her best innocent expression and asked, "Do what?"

'Damn her,' he thought as he realised she was getting way to good at these mind games. "You know what you did."

"Do I?"

It was then obvious to Goren that he was not getting his answer.

'Geez, when did she get so good,' thinking to himself as he continued to look at her watching him with a smirk forming at the corners of her mouth. 'I'll teach her.'

"Get back to your work," he gently ordered, sounding firm but not so as to get her pissed.

"Aye Captain," she cheekily joked throwing a mock salute.

He couldn't do anything except shrug his shoulders, shake his head and get back to work. Sometimes he wondered if her hormones were acting up but he knew better than to ever mention it, for one Alex Eames packed a mean right hook.

Suddenly a thought hit him. He knew the perfect way to pay her back. Looking up from his work he smiled to himself.

"So Eames, tell me," he started. "Have you been mainlining the coffee again?"

Alex's head whipped up so fast Goren swore she'd get a head rush if she wasn't careful.

"What did you say?" She had suddenly gone very pale and looked faint.

"I asked if you'd been getting high off the coffee again," he smirked. He was more than pleased that his little comment had received the reaction he had hoped.

Alex's little adventure with coffee was well known throughout the precinct. Normally, Eames drank decaf however someone, playing a trick for no reason, swapped it for an extra strong blend with three times as much caffeine, and let's just say that Alex makes for one amusing caffeine drunk.

"That wasn't funny," she growled at him. Her expression would have killed a lesser man.

"Not funny for whom?" he questioned in a mocking tone, mimicking her exact words from earlier.

Eames glared harder, and it was possible to see the daggers shoot from her eyes. She was beyond pissed. All Goren could do was laugh and that took some guts considering her murderous glare.

"Well it looks like we're back to square one," Goren stated to her. "Only this time the scores are levelled at one a piece."

"Oh so you want to turn this into a game do you?" she spat. "Well 'dick' boy, bring it on."

"I'm not going to turn this into a duel of tricks," he informed her politely. "Let's just settle this like the adults we are."

"Fine," she answered with an all but evil smile spreading across her features. "Just remember one thing for me."

"And what's that?" he queried.

"Payback's a bitch."

~*~*~*~*~ 7:16 pm Monday March 31 ~*~*~*~*~

The day was almost done. All Goren had left to do now was to pop his individual graffiti mark on his reports then he could go home. He looked across at Eames' desk, which she had promptly vacated some many minutes ago. When it came to paperwork, she was the more efficient of the two. It was way too tedious for the likes of Robert Goren who much preferred to chase down the bad guys. However, he had finished now and it was time to leave.

Packing up his belongings, he grabbed the stack of reports, dumped them on Deakins desk and headed out for the night.

'Another day gone,' he thought to himself. 'I wonder if Eames is still plotting her revenge? It's been almost a week now since she issued her 'threat.' Maybe she's forgotten.'

He chuckled to himself as he thought back to that day where Eames had quite literally knocked him off his feet. Bobby loved that about his partner; her ability to push his buttons and stir him up with that warped sense of humour. And the thing was, he let her get away with it. Not because he had no choice in the matter, but because it was fun to see her in a playful mood and because she could always sense when to stop. Alex never got carried away with her joking and he knew not to let them get to him. Besides, it was hard to stay pissed at Alexandra Eames for long periods of time.

Arriving home about an hour later, he enters his apartment, turns on his Beethoven CD and sits down to read one of his many educational 'encyclopaedias.' This one in particular was a step-by-step guide on learning Aramaic. Ever since that case with the Aramaic scrawled across that bedroom wall, he was determined to brush up on his skills so he could in future 'impress' Eames.

~*~*~*~*~ Meanwhile, in an apartment somewhere in NYC ~*~*~*~*~

Sitting on her couch in front of a switched off television, practical joke book in hand, Alex read whilst thinking up numerous possibilities to get back at Goren. Wow, talk about multitasking... She had most definitely not forgotten about her issued 'threat' the other day, she was merely patiently waiting for the perfect opportunity, which happened to be handed to her on a silver platter in the form of April the first; April Fools' Day.

The timing was perfect and the pranks were firmly planted in her brain. All that was left was to arrange them in a practical order. The jokes had to link somehow; each one leading into the next, however getting Goren to walk into each 'trap' was going to be a challenge as he was as unpredictable as they came. Then there was also her need to be prepared for any retaliation Goren was likely to come up with. If he was to get her at her own game, she needed to be one step ahead and working out what was going on inside that head of his was not going to be easy.

Only one thing Alex was one hundred percent sure of was that she would get a reaction from Goren. First thing in the morning, she was sure he would have no idea of the significance of April first, however after a few pranks, he was bound to catch on; and being as stubborn as Alex, he knew a challenge when he saw one and was not one to throw down the gauntlet. So far, the scores were tied at one all and by midday on April one, she was hoping to have a huge lead.

It was certainly true that time flies when you're having fun, although Alex was having more than fun. Things were definitely starting to heat up as April one fast approached however plans like hers needed full and undivided attention, and that meant sleep. So turning out all the lights, Alex crawled into bed and drifted off into the land of nod with a huge grin on her face.

~*~*~*~*~ The Next Day - 5:00 am Tuesday April 1 ~*~*~*~*~

A persistently annoying high-pitched ringing woke Goren. He groaned as he opened his eyes, turned on a bed lamp and answered his phone.

"'Lo," said his groggy sleep fogged voice.

"Goren, hey it's Alex," came an equally sleepy voice from the other end.

"Eames, what are you doing calling me at..." He stops to look at his clock. "Five in the morning."

He hears her laugh into the phone.

"Believe me, it's not my cup of tea being awake at this time either but I have to pass on a message."

There's silence, until Bobby breaks it about minute later.

"Well," he says slightly irritated. "What's the message?"

"Oh yeah right, sorry," she apologised. "I just got off the phone with Deakins and he said he's given us the day off."

"Why the hell didn't he tell us that last night?" Goren questioned getting even more irritated.

"You know I asked him the same thing," she stated having anticipated his question. "He didn't give me a straight answer."

"Yeah well..." He sighed. "I'm going to use this time to sleep in. Will catch you in two days. Bye." With a click of a button, he ended the call, dropped the phone on the floor, switched off the light and promptly went back to sleep.

~*~*~*~*~ On the other side of town ~*~*~*~*~

Alex laughed out loud as she heard Goren end the conversation. There, she had done it. Phase one of her plan was completed and it was mission successful. Bobby was so predictable at five in the morning but then again, who wasn't. Now all she had left to do was get to work and set up the following phases of her plan before he realised what she was up too.

After getting ready, the first stop she made was to Goren's apartment; no, not to pick him up for work, but to hide little 'clues' as she had called them. Eames knew that they were bound to annoy him for the rest of the day, as he hated loose puzzles that seemed unconnected to anything. So slipping a piece of paper under his door and attaching one to the steering wheel of his car (yes she had taken 'how to break into cars 101' and passed) she left and headed for One Police Plaza.

Upon her arrival early in the morning, the building was almost deserted, except for the odd few people here and there. She stopped at the receptionist's desk and left an envelope addressed to Goren on the counter; it was yet another 'clue.' Travelling up to the fourth floor, she made her way to his desk and kept up with her sabotage. The inks from all his pens were removed, she installed a programme onto his computer which would force it crash whenever a key was touched, his desk drawers were locked and the key discarded and best of all, using sticky tape, she stuck the pages of one of his most prized books together, but not before leaving yet another 'clue' on his desk. Sure, her pranks were very trivial and like those pulled by school children everywhere but Alex didn't care. It was their simplicity that would annoy Goren the most because if she had guessed correctly, he would be expecting bigger, more adult and more intelligent pranks from her.

Alex was working her 'magic' for over an hour and by the time she had finished, the floor was a buzz with people. Even Deakins was in his office, completely unaware of what she was really doing. Alex meanwhile had been too busy to acknowledge his entrance, so in way of a 'hello' she smiled at him. At her grin, Deakins stood and made his way over too her wanting to know why Goren was later than usual.

'Shit,' she thought as she watched him approach. 'He knows.'

"Goren not here yet?" he asked indicating the vacant desk.

Eames sighed inwardly silently thanking some higher up for not letting him find out what she was up to. "No not yet."

James studied her before answering. "Looks like you finally beat him."

They both laughed. Goren was always early and never had she managed to arrive before him. Even when she had tried, somehow, he was always there in his chair working away.

"Maybe he got caught in traffic," she offered by way of an explanation. "Sometime in your life you have to get stuck in traffic and maybe today's Goren's day."

"Possibly," he stated simply. "Well let me know when he gets here."

She nodded her head and Deakins, having got his answer, pivoted on his heels and went back to his office.

~*~*~*~*~

One and a half hours later, there was still no sign of Goren and Deakins was getting antsy. Goren had never, to his knowledge, missed a day and he was sure that if Goren were in fact taking a day off, he would have called.

"Eames my office now," he hollered five minutes later.

'Uh oh! Now you're gunna get it,' her inner devil informed her. 'Oh shut up, I never asked for your opinion,' she thought back to it, abruptly shutting it up.

She rapped on her boss' door and entered. "You wanted to see me?"

Deakins nodded and motioned for her to sit, which she did, calmly.

"I just called Goren and it appears he's having 'car troubles," he told her. "He said he'd be here shortly. In the meantime here's some more files I want you to finish up and when Goren arrives, make sure he gets half that pile. Understand?"

"Sure," replied Alex relieved that she hadn't been busted for telling her partner that he had the day off. "I'll get straight to it." Taking the huge pile of files, she returned to her desk and got to work on the seemingly endless reports both her and Goren were being forced to write up lately.

~*~*~*~*~

Silently grumbling, a very, very, very, very pissed off Goren stormed into the One Police Plaza lobby. He was heading to the elevator when the receptionist called out to him.

"Detective Goren," she called. "I have this letter for you." She held out a white envelope for him.

Taking it, he turned it over looking for a return to sender address and as luck would have it, there was none.

"Um, thanks," he said once again heading to the lift.

The elevator was empty when he got in so it gave him the perfect opportunity to open the envelope. Poking his thumb into the end of it then running it across the top, he opened it with ease. Inside was a single sheet of paper with the words "there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so" typed neatly in the centre of the page.

'What does it all mean,' he thought as he arrived on the first floor. 'Probably just one of Eames' sick April Fools' pranks like her telling me I had the day off. I'll show her.'

Moving as stealthily as a lioness out hunting Goren quickly approached his partner's desk. She was busy typing up something so she never noticed his presence until he leant down and whispered into her ear.

"This means war," he informed her quietly.

He didn't wait for a reply before sitting down behind his own desk.

Watching him, Alex couldn't help but laugh. "I guess this is the part where I jump up and say 'April Fools.'"

"Just watch your back," warned Goren. "This is war."

"Bella gerantalii," she spurted back. "Oh by the way, here's your half of the pile." Alex leant over and dumped his share of the files on his desk.

"Wait just go back a bit," he said to her totally dumbfounded. "Since when do know Latin?" He eyed her suspiciously as he thought back to the messages he found earlier this morning. It was then he noticed yet another envelope on his desk.

"What's this Eames?" he added sarcastically. "Another love letter to go with the rest."

Her expression gave nothing away as she appeared to honestly know nothing about what he was implying. "I really have no idea what you're on about. All I did was call you to say that we had the day off."

'Oh damn is she good,' he thought as he tried to analyse her words. Looking for even the slightest sign that she was indeed lying, he found nada.

"Oh and answering your other question," she got in. "I learnt it at school way back."

"Whatever," came his reply, which was very unfocussed. Goren was too caught up in his letters that he hadn't noticed Eames' movement toward his desk. She snatched up the four letters and read them aloud pausing and pretended to think about each one before moving onto the next.

"There's a divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them how we will."

'Tis not the many oaths that make the truth,
But the plain single vow that is vow'd true.

There is nothing either good or bad,
But thinking makes it so.

The fool doth think he is wise,
But the wise man knows himself to be a fool."

After reading them aloud, Alex read them again more quietly to herself, knowing in her head exactly where they came from however Bobby was not to find out.

"Interesting," she played him. "What do you make of it?"

"If it wasn't you who planted them," he said to her. "Then I really don't know what to think."

She pretended to study the quotes once more before answering her partner.

"Well all I know is that they're all quotes from Shakespeare's plays," she informed him. "The first and third ones are from Hamlet."

"And you know this how?" he interrogated her.

"Hey, I'll have you know I am very well versed and Shakespeare is something I know a lot about," Alex pointed out in a very 'matter of fact' tone. "You're not the only 'smart' one around here."

"Whoa, take it easy little woman," he joked. "I was just teasing."

"Tis not the many oaths... Tis not the many oaths," she repeated over and over to herself. "Ah ha, got it. 'All's Well That Ends Well.'" A huge grin appeared on her face as she passed on the new information. "I knew I had heard it before, and that other one is just as familiar but can I get back to you on it?"

"Whatever," he replied. Goren looked at the pile of papers on his desk and decided that he'd better get to work. So turning on his computer, he attempted to get back to work. He hit '5' as it was the first letter in his protection password and it froze up.

"Eames," he started. "You're a computer whiz, what's wrong with mine? I can't do anything."

"How would I know," Alex answered him. "You probably broke it. Let me see."

She bent over his shoulder and mashed the keys with her fingertips. Not getting any response from the computer, she slammed the heel of her hand into the screen.

"It works when mine acts up," she explained at Goren's quizzical glance. "These things are temperamental pieces of shit."

Just then, it beeped.

"What'd you do?" he asked.

"Ah I've seen this before," she explicated. "Someone's accessed your computer and uploaded a new programme into it, which causes it to crash whenever you touch a key."

Goren just shook his head and pretended to understand what his partner was explaining to him in great detail.

"So fix it," Goren ordered her.

"Fine, whatever," she complied. "But you owe me."

"How about I wipe your slate clean for this morning's prank and the chair incident about a week ago?"

"If you think that's necessary," she agreed whilst still trying to mash away at his keyboard from over his shoulder. "This would be so much easier if you moved."

Not standing up from his chair, he wheeled it out from under the desk giving her all the room in the world. "There."

"Thank you."

They stayed that way for about ten minutes while Alex put her hacking skills to work. Finally her 'efforts' were rewarded as the programme fizzled out and died.

"Woo hoo," she cheered. "Who's da man?" She stepped back and did a little 'I'm the best' dance amusing Goren, which was all part of her 'I'm completely innocent' act. Her aim was to make Goren think someone was out to get him and so far it seemed to be working.

"And I thought I was one to gloat," he chuckled at her actions.

"What you need to do is check all your 'secret documents' and make sure they haven't been tampered with and then, change your password." All Alex was doing was stating the obvious, but when it came to computers, Goren was clueless.

"Funny you should mention that," he said raising an eyebrow. "What other stunts have you pulled today? I'm watching you Eames, no more funny stuff."

She dropped her jaw in disbelief. "I can't believe you'd think that I did that to your computer and that I left those love letters for you," she said pretending to get agitated. "I'm your partner Bobby, not a psycho."

"Yeah you're right. Sorry about that," he apologised. "I'm just getting frustrated over these quotes. You know how much I hate unfinished puzzles." It was then he picked up a pen from his desk and tried to make a note on each individual quote as to which play Eames had told him they came from. He reached for another, examined it and then grabbed them all studying each one intently.

"Eames," he said raising his voice. "Why are there no inks in my pens?"

At his question Alex burst out laughing. "Gotcha," she cried. "That was I. I'm not letting this other psycho dude take credit for that."

"Very childish," he said totally disgusted. Instead of saying anything further, he reached over and grabbed one of her writing implements.

"Don't get like that Bobby," she chided. "It is April Fools' for a reason. We're supposed to get childish. It's what the day's all about."

"For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction," he quoted by way of an answer.

"Hey Mr. Quote man," she said referring to Goren. "Keep that up and people will start to think that you sent those letters to yourself because you wanted attention."

Goren shot a vicious glare her way and Alex just laughed.

"Oh I'd really watch out if I were you," he warned her once more.

"Yeah well," Alex started back. "Utinam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant!"

"May faulty logic undermine your entire philosophy," he promptly translated. "How poetic."

"Non curo. Si metrum non habet, non est poema."

"You're really out to test my Latin aren't you?" he asked her. "Magister Mundi sum!"

Not being able to help herself, Alex snorted. "Pfft, you?" she questioned. "You wish, Master of the universe my ass. Caesar si viveret, ad remum dareris."

"Re vera, cara mea, mea nil refert."

"You crack me up Bobby," she said still laughing. "Labera lege... Utinam coniurati te in foro interficiant! Absit invidia."

"Ok ok ok," he butted in before she took it further. He had obviously gotten the point. "You win, but I will get you back and at the end of all this, spero nos familiares mansuros."

"Hey you said enough with the Latin," she pointed out.

"Vah! Denuone Latine loquebar? Me ineptum. Interdum modo elabitur," at her expression he stopped. "So apart from the inkless pens, what other destructive things have you done today?"

She put on her most innocent expression and told him that there was nothing else and to trust her.

"Well when you put it that way..." he said sarcastically.

"No seriously," she almost pleaded. "There is nothing else."

He then studied her, her expression and then his desk very closely through narrowed eyes. As the day progressed, he was finding it harder to believe a word his partner was saying, but it was fun to see her play mind games with him and in all honesty, he was having fun too. It was then that his desk drawers caught his eye. They were constructed ever so lop-sided so they never sat flush against the back unless they were locked.

"Where are the keys to my drawers Eames?" It was a straight to the point question with no emotion.

She retrieved the keys from her desk drawer and dangled them invitingly in her delicate hand. "Gotcha again," she informed him. "I hope you're keeping score detective because as of right now, I'm way ahead of you."

"You must have done one more thing," he deduced out loud. "The drawer prank was too simple for the likes of you."

He saw her avert her eyes to his bookshelf. 'No she didn't did she?' he asked himself. Pivoting on his chair his eyes roamed the books he had there and sure enough they had been touched. Goren met her eyes and shook his head at her giving her a silent 'I'm really not impressed now' look. Reaching up he took his favourite history encyclopaedia off the shelf and tried to open it. The little witch had stuck them together and that really got his blood boiling.

"How could you deface a book like that," he roared spinning around. "Everything else was funny, cute even, but this is just damn right destructive."

Everyone on the floor stopped what they were doing and watched the scene in front of them as it unfolded. At the moment, all they saw was one usually calm detective Robert Goren going on a rampage; and it was directed at his petite partner Eames who was for some strange reason grinning profusely. The braver observers took a few tiny steps toward the woman in case she needed protection from Goren's wrath, however they half knew in their hearts that he would never ever physically hurt her; or so they hoped.

"Geez lighten up Goren," she ordered as she caught her fellow officers staring. "Besides, now that there's no more surprises, that means you can have your turn at getting me back."

Goren sat back down calming somewhat. "So what are the scores now?" he asked grinning wickedly.

"Umm..." she thought. "Ok the scores were level at one a piece right?"

"Yeah."

"So with my pranks today, the 'day off' phone call, the pens, the desk drawer, the Latin quote game that you said I won and the book I add that up to be me seven points, you one."

"Wait," he interrupted. "How did you get seven? I only count six."

"I get a bonus point for your reaction to the book," she said as she indicated to both the book and the other officers in the room who were still looking on with very confused expressions on their faces.

"Ok fine," he agreed. "But you won't be that far ahead for long."

Alex just shrugged and smiled to herself. She did after all know that she was to get at least another six points, one for each 'letter,' another one for the computer stunt and at least one more for her brilliant plan into making Bobby think that he was being stalked.

~*~*~*~*~

During the course of the day, more and more mysterious white envelopes appeared around the building for Goren. Other people delivered most of them to him however the strangest place he found two was in his coat pocket. By this stage, he had discounted Alex as the culprit as she had not moved from her desk since his little 'problem' with his computer and he was beginning to get more and more suspicious; so much so that he had a few of them sent for analysing and fingerprinting. The problem was that the only fingerprints found on them were those of his and the people who had passed them onto him.

Even the quotes themselves were getting weirder and weirder. No longer were they from Shakespeare, but in all honesty, he had no idea where they were taken from or their significance to anything. Some could be taken as a threat however the majority of them were just philosophical pieces of inspiration and good advice: 'All cruelty springs from weakness,' 'the deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated,' 'there are no facts, only interpretations,' 'when childhood dies its corpses are called adults,' 'some mistakes are too much fun to only make once,' 'the first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers,' and 'may barbarians invade your personal space.' No explanation as to what they were supposed to mean, nothing. Maybe someone was just far beyond obsessed or maybe Goren himself was just looking for answers in too much detail. He didn't know so he dismissed all thoughts about the quotes and his computer and got back to work formulating a plan to get back at Eames for playing with his mind.

Goren was given his first opportunity to get back at her when she rose, left her desk headed toward the bathroom. Once she had gone, he leant across his desk and grabbed a bunch of her finished reports and locked them away in his drawer. Then he made his way over to the paper shredder and started shredding old and worthless documents. A few minutes later, Eames emerged and immediately, upon her arrival back to her desk that her pile of reports had decreased in size since her exit a few minutes earlier.

"Goren, where are my reports?" she asked him taking no notice of where he was standing.

"I don't know," he told her. "On that pile there with the rest of them?"

"No because if they were there..." Her voice trailed off. "Oh please tell me you didn't shred them."

Eames had finally noticed what Goren was doing and putting two and two together, came to the conclusion that he had indeed shredded her reports.

"Now why would I go and do that," he toyed with her.

"Um geez let me think." She pretended to think before continuing. "Maybe to get back at me for this morning."

"Look," he told her truthfully. "I didn't shred your work."

"Whatever. Did you eat them? Because they're not here," she kept at him. "Now I'll have to type them up all again."

She banged her fist on the desk and let out a frustrated sigh while still watching her partner finish shredding some documents. He then moved to his desk and picked up his pile of finished reports.

"Well I've got mine done," he informed her and laughed at her scowl. "Keep that up and the wind might change leaving your face like that."

"Yeah that's right have your fun," she growled. "I still can get you back you know so I'd watch out."

"You just keep telling yourself that," he chuckled as he walked towards Deakins' office. "Well I'm off to hand mine in, shall I tell the Captain that you'll be finishing sometime later tonight?"

The next thing Goren knew was that he was ducking out of the way of a dictionary. It looked oddly like the one Alex usually kept on her desk for decoration. So leaving her in her foul mood he entered his supervisor's office with the stack of paper.

"Ah good, you've finished them," he said with a pleasant smile on his face. "Where are Eames'?"

"Well she thinks I shredded half of them so she's busy retyping them up," he informed his boss with a wicked grin. At Deakins' puzzled expression he continued. "Well it's payback for her April Fools' pranks this morning."

Deakins laughed at the way his two best detectives were acting. "But you didn't shred them did you?"

"Nope," he answered simply. "They're locked in my desk."

"And when are you planning on returning them to her?"

"Oh once she's finished retyping them all," he laughed. "If it's ok I'd like to ask you a favour."

Deakins narrowed his eyes and tilted his head sideways ever so slightly. "Sure, why not."

"I want you to call the two of us in here and tell us you have just got a new lead on the Danny Rebako case and that he's been brought in for questioning," he explained. "Then, I'll send Eames into the interrogation room first before Rebako 'arrives' and I want you to lock her in there whilst I say 'April Fools' over the intercom. Then we can both watch her through the mirror from the observation room for about ten minutes before letting her out."

"That's a little harsh," he told him. "What'd she do to you?"

Goren shook his head smiling. "Well the real reason I was late this morning was because she called me up saying very convincingly I might add that you gave us the day off. Then she's pulled all the inks from my pens, locked my desk drawers and taped the pages of my favourite book together."

"Ouch," was all Deakins said. "But don't you think you're overreacting just a bit. This prank of yours seems a bit callous for what she did?"

"No not really, because I've been getting strange messages sent to me and am finding them everywhere and well, let's just say that I'm sure Eames is behind it but if she is she's an excellent actress," he went on. "Plus I'm sure she messed around with my computer this morning and tried to blame the same 'psycho' who's been sending me these messages."

"Say no more," Deakins said holding up his hands to halt Goren's speech. "I'll help but if she finds out about it and gets back at me, you're a goner."

"I understand," he promised. "My lips are sealed."

"So I'll call you both in here in a few minutes ok?" verified Deakins.

"Sounds like a plan." With that he left his bosses office and waited to be recalled back in.

Getting back to his desk he saw that Alex was still hard at work retyping up her reports. Feeling slightly guilty he opened his desk drawer and started rummaging around before pulling out a stack of papers.

"Eames?" he asked. "Are these your reports?"

She looked up and snatched the papers from his hands. "Yes they are. What are you doing with them?"

"Well leaving them in my bottom drawer was a pretty dumb thing to do don't you think," he goaded her.

"I just wasted ten minutes typing up these reports again only to find that you haven't shredded them," she was starting to get a wee bit pissed. "Grrr!"

Goren paused and tilted his head pretending to listen. "Is it just me or did I hear a dog in here?"

"What!" she cried raising her voice. "You calling me a dog now?"

"No I just thought I heard something growl that's all," he justified.

Before she could back answer, her words were interrupted by Deakins hollering for them.

"Goren, Eames in here now!"

"Now we're in for it," Eames said glaring at Goren before storming off with her reports in hand.

"Here's those reports you wanted," she told Deakins dumping them on his desk while Goren closed the door.

"Thanks Alex," he said. "Now the reason you're both here is because I've just been informed that there are new leads regarding to the Danny Rebako case."

"What kinds of new leads?" Alex asked him wanting as much information as possible putting her detective fa├žade back on.

"Well it seems a witness has just stepped forward placing Rebako at the crime scene and he's being brought in for questioning as we speak," he lied. "And I want the two of you to question him."

"Sure," Goren piped up. "Just one question. Why has the witness only just stepped forward now?" After all, he had to make this look as real as possible.

"You know the drill," he pointed out the two detectives. "He was scared that Rebako would get off and then come and kill him."

"Right well let's go interrogate the suspect," Goren said winking at Deakins before following his partner out the door.

Once outside, Goren said to Eames, "I'll just grab his file, you go on ahead and I'll meet you in there."

"Sure thing," she said totally unsuspecting. When duty called, Alex was always one hundred percent focussed; and this was work so she never gave it a second thought.

Leaving her partner, Alex headed to the interrogation room. When she arrived, she leant up against the wall awaiting the arrival of Goren and Rebako. Not before too long, she heard a click and then her partner's voice fill the room.

"April Fools' Eames," it said. "I got you good didn't I?"

"This isn't funny Goren," she growled. "And I can't believe you got Deakins in on it too. You're both so dead when I get out of here."

"Do you really think threatening your boss like that is a wise career move detective?" came Deakins' voice.

"Do you really think that locking one of your claustrophobic employees in a room is a wise decision?" she smartly answered back.

"You never said she was claustrophobic," Deakins said to Goren. "What if something happens to her in there and she sues?"

"Trust me Captain," Goren begged. "I've known her a long time and she's never mentioned that before or shown signs of hating enclosed spaces. It's all an act."

The two men both went back to observing the woman on the other side of the glass mirror. She was now sitting huddled in the corner; her knees under her chin and her arms wrapped securely around her legs hugging them. She didn't look very comfortable being locked in there.

"Come on Goren," she pleaded with a desperate tone in her voice. "This isn't funny. Let me out."

"Not until you learn never to do this again," he told her.

"Damn you!" she yelled jumping to her feet. She started to pace the room like a caged tiger. "Let me out."

Her plea was met by silence and the worst thing for anyone who suffered from claustrophobia was to think they were left alone trapped in a small area.

"Goren?" came a whisper as she stopped pacing and approached the mirror.

Still nothing.

"Bobby!" she screamed at the top of her lungs banging on the glass with both her fists. "Ok, ok, I admit that I tampered with your computer, it was me who sent those letters to you. Please, just get me out of here!"

There was still not a sound and Alex was really starting to freak out. She began to quickly pace the room, her face was flushed and her breathing rapid. Pretty soon she stopped pacing and slid down the wall hyperventilating.

"Um Goren?" Deakins started to ask. "Don't you think we should get her out now? Look at her."

He motioned to her crumpled figure on the floor. She looked as though she were about to pass out from lack of oxygen.

"I told you that she's a good actress," he replied. "This is all just an act."

"Well it's a damn good one then," said Deakins totally impressed.

Meanwhile Alex was not giving in and continued her well-rehearsed act. 'I'll even pass out if I have to,' she thought still breathing heavily.

Suddenly her entire body started convulsing until a minute later, she stopped moving altogether. She was unconscious.

"Ok so maybe I was wrong," admitted Bobby quickly, who was now panicking. "We'd better get in there."

Two minutes later, Bobby was at her side.

"She's stopped breathing," he informed Deakins. "Call an ambulance."

Deakins dashed out of the room while Bobby gave Alex mouth-to-mouth in hopes of reviving her. She still had a very weak pulse, which was a good sign as it at least proved she was still alive.

"Come on Alex, wake up," he said to her still form gently slapping her face. "I'm so sorry. I thought you were kidding."

Finally after about a minute's worth of mouth-to-mouth, Bobby's efforts were rewarded as Alex opened her eyes and coughed, spluttered and gasped for breath. He helped her into a sitting position, gently pulled her into a hug and tenderly rubbed her back.

"I'm so, so sorry Alex," he apologised to her now conscious form. "I thought you were joking about being claustrophobic."

After taking another few deep breaths Alex could finally answer. "April Fools." It was only said in a whisper, barely audible, and had Goren not been holding her, her would have missed her confession completely.

Before Bobby could reply, Deakins burst in saying that the ambulance was on its way. He halted as he caught sight of Alex now sitting up and breathing slowly in the arms of her partner.

"Thank God you're ok," he gushed. "You had us really worried there for a moment. Why hadn't you told anyone that you're claustrophobic?"

"I'm not claustrophobic," she once again tried to explain pulling back from Goren's tender embrace. Their baffled expressions forced her to continue. "It's a talent I picked up at college. See one day I was sitting through this most boring speech for over an hour and all I wanted was to get out of there, so I willed myself into hyperventilating until eventually I passed out. Back then it took me a good ten minutes to achieve but now I've got it down to a two minute art."

"So it was all an act?" asked one very dumbfounded Captain. "You've got quite a talent there and you scared the living daylights out of us all. Let me guess, and April Fools prank?"

Still trying to calm her breathing, Alex grinned and slowly nodded her head.

"Looks like your plan backfired Goren."

"Austere perseverance, harsh and continuous, may be employed by the smallest of us and rarely fails its purpose, for its silent power grows irresistibly greater with time," was Goren's cryptic reply.

Shaking her head at Goren's quote, Alex rose slowly to her feet still woozy from her little passing out act. Bobby followed her movements and held out a hand to steady her.

"What exactly was that supposed to mean Goren?" Deakins enquired.

"I think it means he's not planning on letting this one slide," Alex pitched in grinning at her partner while still trying to regain her focus. "Just don't make me have to pass out again because if you do I might decide not to wake back up."

"If you want to continue this little challenge," Deakins started in a very superior tone. "Do it in your own time. Abort this childish grudge match before I put you both on a week's suspension. Have I made myself clear?"

Simultaneously they both answered in the affirmative looking like a pair of naughty school children.

"Good now get out of here and go find something constructive to do with your time," he ordered them politely but firmly.

The two left Deakins alone in the observation room grinning to himself. 'Those two are going to be the death of me,' he thought as he watched them both disappear around the corner. With that thought in his head, he left the room and went for a walk whilst still casually eyeing the two detectives who appeared to be once again at each other's throats.

~*~*~*~*~

"So what does that make the scores now?" Alex grinned as she slumped into her chair.

"I dunno," Goren shrugged in reply. "Listen, I have some things to do. Will you be ok while I'm gone?"

"Hey if you're gone, then I'll be fine," she smirked.

"Not funny. No seriously are you all right?"

"Damn it Goren, I'm fine. Just go do your thing, I'll be here when you get back," she promised.

"You better be," he hollered as he was already half way to the exit.

"Don't worry," she called back. "You can't get rid of me that easily."

Her sentence was lost in the doors of the elevator closing and all she could do was to await his arrival after planning whatever it was that he going to do to get her back. Alex knew her partner better than anyone and if he was going to get her back, he would need to do it before end of shift which was just hours away.

~*~*~*~*~

"Hey Jim!" came a voice.

Jim turned around only to be met by one big guy.

"Robert Goren," he said with a friendly welcoming tone. "Long time no see. What brings you up to this great height?"

"I need a favour," Goren told Jim cutting to the chase whilst laughing at the pun.

"What kind of favour?" came the cautious reply.

"Well." Goren started as he quickly recapped the days' events and his plan to get back at his partner who was working just six floors beneath them.

Once the plan was established and all the details securely worked out, Goren rode the elevator back to the fourth floor and back to his partner who would be getting extremely suspicious by now. She had no idea what was in store for him and Goren just had to wait for about an hour for the equipment that he needed to arrive and his mate Jim was going to set the rest up and was in up to his neck with Goren's little prank.

"Did you get everything sorted?" asked one detective Eames slyly.

"Yes, thanks for asking," he responded while once again taking his place opposite Eames.

"That's good. Glad to see you're all organised."

Bobby just smiled a smile. His expression was blank however there was a little part inside him that made him want to stand up and sing 'I know something you don't know, doo da, doo da, I know something you don't know, oh doo da day.' Although Bobby, who had a lot of self-discipline was able to refrain and just smiled wider at the thought of him doing so.

~*~*~*~*~

Six thirty came and went without the slightest hint of retaliation from Goren, which made Alex slightly more cautious. Her partner was bound to retaliate and the clock was ticking leaving little time for him to do so.

"Well I'm all done for the day," Goren said stretching his hands over his head. "I'm just going to the men's then I'm going home. How about you?"

"Yeah I'll be leaving in a minute too," she told him. "If you promise to be quick I'll wait for you."

"Sure I won't be a minute."

"Time's a ticking."

They both laughed and Goren headed off only to return slightly over a minute later.

"Ok let's go," he said picking up Alex's coat and headed to the elevator.

The ride down was silent and the walk through the lobby equally so almost as if both were nervous about something. Being to preoccupied with their thoughts, neither noticed the others out of character behaviour. It was Alex who broke the silence by poking fun at Goren's lack of retaliation.

"Well it looks like you'll have to wait until next year to get me back," she gibed. "But I suppose you would have forgotten about it by then."

Goren was about to reply when suddenly, from out of nowhere a car shrieked around the corner. Gunshots could be heard as they echoed through the normally silent street and all Alex saw was Bobby reel in front of her then fall noiselessly to the ground covered in blood.

"Bobby!" she cried at the top of her lungs. "Somebody call an ambulance."

She knelt down beside her fallen partner and applied pressure to the wound. Fortunately he had only been hit by one bullet but there was a lot of blood and if the flow wasn't stopped or at least slowed, he would die from blood loss.

"Bobby can you hear me?"

He grunted by way of an answer. It was the only sound he could make for he was in an immense amount of pain.

"Just hold on," she told him almost breaking down herself. "You're going to be all right."

The next few minutes were a blur to Alex, as the ambulance, Deakins and other officers all seemed to arrive instantaneously. All she did remember was one paramedic pulling her away from Goren and standing alone watching helplessly as her partner fought for his life but a few feet away.

Deakins slowly approached her and took in her dishevelled appearance. She looked like death warmed up; cover in blood, Goren's blood and her eyes so full of emotion. Never in his life had he ever seen her look so helpless and distraught but then who wouldn't look that way when their partner had just been shot.

"Are you ok?" he asked.

It was the question he hated to ask and in situations like this was the lamest thing to say. 'Are you ok?' Why do people ask this? You could be, like Goren was now, lying bleeding on the ground and people come up and ask if you're ok. You're bleeding to death but no you're perfectly fine. It wasn't a matter of stating the blatantly obvious, however it was more to do with offering some form of comfort.

He could see she was fighting back tears but being the good strong cop that she was Alex held them back.

"I'll be fine," she almost whispered to him. "I don't know about him. Oh God! There was just so much blood."

It was these words that totally undid her. Tears involuntarily fell from her once dry eyes and that was it; she was gone. Sobs would rack her body until she was told the fate of her partner lying helplessly on a stretcher as the paramedics loaded him into the ambulance preparing to take him away.

"I have to go with him," she said through tears attempting to make her way to where Goren was being loaded.

Deakins held her back with a gentle yet firm grasp on her arm.

"No let them do their job and we'll follow behind them," he told her trying to offer what little comfort he could.

They watched as the ambulance pulled away from the curb and sped off lights flashing and siren blaring into the darkness of the night. Alex sank to ground and wrapped her arms protectively around her body no wanting to move ever again.

"Come on," Deakins began softly. "Let's get you home so you can get cleaned up."

"No," she half shrieked. "I need to get to the hospital now."

She stood up with such force that James was almost knocked off his feet. He reached out his hand and grabbed onto her wrist before she could escape him.

"All right let's go," he announced while taking his jacket off and putting it over her shoulders.

"Thank you," was all she could say as he helped her into his car.

Upon their arrival to the hospital, Alex flew open the passenger door, slammed it shut and was off like a rocket toward the entrance before Deakins could do anything.

He parked his car quickly and chased after Eames and located her at the main reception yelling at the poor nurse behind the counter demanding to know where Goren was.

Nurse Holloway looked up and saw Deakins approach. She looked somewhat relieved as he put his arm around Alex and gave her a stern but gentle reprimand.

"Look I know you're upset but hassling the nurses like that isn't going to get you anywhere," he quietly stated. "Let me handle this. You go sit over there you don't look to good."

Alex just sighed, nodded her head and in defeat she headed over to the long rows of hospital waiting room chairs. She ungracefully collapsed with fatigue, leaned her head back on the wall closed her eyes and silently wept.

"Nurse Holloway, I'm Captain James Deakins," he said after leaning over the counter and reading her name badge. "An officer of mine, detective Robert Goren was brought in not long ago and I was wondering if you could tell me what room he's in or if you've heard anything about his condition."

"I've heard nothing as of yet but I know he was taken into surgery immediately," she informed Deakins. "He didn't look very good. As soon as I find out anything, I'll let you know."

"Thank you," said Deakins as he retreated over to where Alex was slowly and silently falling further and further apart.

"He's still in surgery," Deakins informed the broken woman. "The nurse said he didn't look good."

Alex opened her tear-stained eyes and tried to focus them on him. "It's all my fault he's in there. If I hadn't been teasing him he would have seen that car coming and done something to get out of the way."

Deakins put his arm around her shoulders and held her to him allowing her to cry, as she needed to do.

"None of this is your fault Alex," he told her. "You didn't pull that trigger and the fact that you were teasing him is irrelevant. Not even Goren could've avoided those gun shots, he's a man Alex, not a God."

"I know that but had I not been distracting him," she sniffled. "He might have heard the car approaching and had time to react."

"You're grasping at straws here Alex," said Deakins. "Fate has dealt you a hand, albeit a horrible one, but you have to learn to let go."

She half-heartedly smiled at his last comment. "That's just like something he would say."

"Goren's strong, he'll pull though this just fine," he said encouraging her to believe his words. "You look exhausted why don't you try and get some shut eye. I'll wake you as soon as I hear anything."

Yawning Alex tried to pretend that she wasn't the least bit tired however at his admonishing look, she shut her eyes and before long, she fell into a fitful sleep on the uncomfortable hospital chairs.

She awoke after what felt like mere minutes later to someone gently shaking her shoulder and calling out her name.

"Huh, what..." She said after waking to find herself in unfamiliar surroundings.

"The doctor's on his way to talk to us," Deakins informed her with an unreadable expression on his face.

Sure enough, a doctor in white scrubs slowly approached then with a grim expression on his face; the news did not look good.

"Captain Deakins? Detective Eames?" he queried studying the pair.

"James Deakins and Alex Eames," Deakins said by way of semi-formal introduction. "What can you tell us about detective Goren?"

He quickly glanced over at Alex who didn't look very well. "Unfortunately I don't have very good news."

Alex paled considerably and looked at point of passing out. This was obviously too much to handle in one night and Deakins helped her sit back down on a chair.

"Please," she all but pleaded. "I have to know, what's going on?"

"Unfortunately there was nothing we could do for him," the doctor informed the distraught petite woman.

"No!" she cried. "He can't be gone. Where is he? Let me see him."

She was hysterical, but that was to be expected after being informed that your partner had died.

"Miss listen to me," the doctor told her trying to calm her. "I never said he was gone. I just said there was nothing we could do for him."

"You mean he's still clinging to life?" Alex asked with renewed hope. "Please let me see him."

It wasn't a request it was more of a demand and who was the doctor to argue with one who looked so frail yet lethal.

"Right this way."

He led them into a labyrinth of corridors and they passed thousands of doors with no thoughts of anything but seeing Goren alive.

"Just keep following this corridor and it's the last room on the right. He's been expecting you," the doctor said whilst pointing in the general direction of the room. "Now I have other patients to attend too so if you'll excuse me..."

"Thanks for your help," Deakins called after him. He turned to catch a glimpse of Alex sprinting down the corridor to her partner's room. 'She could win gold for America in the hundred metre sprint,' he thought briefly before hurrying after her.

Nothing prepared him for what he saw when he entered the room Bobby was placed in. Goren was standing at the window with Eames in his arms sobbing her little heart out whilst giving him the ear bashing of a lifetime.

Goren saw him standing in the doorway with a surprised expression on his face. Before saying a word, Goren lifted his right hand from its place on Alex's hip and checked his watch. It read eleven fifty nine and fifty seconds. Wrapping his arms securely around her waist again his explanation to Deakins came in the form of two words.

"April Fools."

~*~*~*~*~ THE END ~*~*~*~*~

Author's Note:

If you made it this far, boy do I admire you dedication. Just make sure you review this now and I apologise for it taking so long to get up and running. And yes I am aware that it's long past April 1 but you know what? I don't give a rat's ass. You should feel privileged that I even bothered to finish this one *lol* like so many of my other half done fics. Oh well I hope you love this as much as I do and well please review!!!!

Also I am planning on writing an epilogue (and possibly a sequel) but that's coming later. So stay tuned there is more to come eventually when I get my uni work out of the way!!!!

Latin Translations:

1) Non curo. Si metrum non habet, non est poema. - I don't care. If it does rhyme, it isn't a poem.

2) Magister Mundi sum! - I am the master of the universe!

3) Caesar si viveret, ad remum dareris. - If Caesar were alive, you'd be chained to an oar.

4) Re vera, cara mea, mea nil refert. - Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.

5) Labera lege... Utinam coniurati te in foro interficiant! Absit invidia. - Read my lips... May conspirators assassinate you in the mall. No offence intended.

6) spero nos familiares mansuros. - I hope we're still friends

7) Vah! Denuone Latine loquebar? Me ineptum. Interdum modo elabitur. - Oh! Was I speaking Latin again? Silly me. Sometimes it just sort of slips out.

I think that was all I used and I love Latin, don't you?

REVIEW PLEASE!!! (