Love and Fidelity

Disclaimer: I do own these characters.

Long time CI fan, first time Fan Fiction writer, so please be gentle lol.

Thank you to my good friend maddiemarch for introducing me to the site, editing and encouraging me to post.

The subway was quiet that night. Other than a small clique of young women dressed for a night on the town, several world-weary businessmen and a canoodling couple, Alex was alone. Even the metallic squeal of the wheels on the rails seemed muted. The rectangular window was cool against the back of her head, the vibrations of the floor gentle beneath her feet. She had almost been lulled into a light doze when her purse vibrated against her leg. Rummaging around in her bag, she withdrew her cell phone, flipped open the cover and smiled at the text message waiting for her there.

How was dinner?

Her slender thumbs skipped smoothly across the keypad.

It was good. How's your mom?

There was a telltale delay, a pause that was far too long than would have been required to generate the response she eventually received. She visualized him typing an honest answer, then erasing it, trying again, and then erasing it, before finally sending the message that ended up in her inbox.

She's okay.

Alex shook her head and sighed. He always did this. As soon as she mentioned his mother, Bobby closed up, shut down. She knew how hard it was on him to see her. She could see it in his drawn features every time they would meet up afterward, but he would never speak about it. If she pushed, he would find an excuse to change the subject; if she pushed harder, he would find an excuse to leave, and she would feel horrible for the rest of the night. Still, she couldn't just leave it alone. She knew how melancholy he got and it worried her.

Did you want some company? I could get off at the next station. It's only a few blocks from your apartment.

His response was more prompt this time.

Thanks but I think I'm just going to go and get some sleep.

She pushed away the hurt that followed that message. There was no point. Bobby was Bobby.

Ok. See you at work in the morning.

She held the phone in her hand for awhile, waiting, and had just about given up on a response when words finally appeared on the screen.

See you in the morning. BTW I stopped by your apartment and dropped off the coat you forgot at my place. It's supposed to be cold in the morning, wanted you to have it.

His thoughtfulness made her want to go to him more, to comfort him, to protect him from the mental dangers of solitude. But she forced herself to abide by his wishes.

Thank you. Goodnight, Bobby.

Thoughts of him dominated the rest of the subway trip and the two block walk to her apartment. Thoughts of their relationship, when it had changed, how it had grown and developed. The walls that still stood between them.

The refrigerator hummed quietly as she let herself into her apartment. She tossed her keys on the foyer table and walked through the living room, still lost in memories. When she went to drop the mail on her kitchen table, she caught sight of it. There, right in front of the chair where her coat hung, was a single red rose. Beside it, on a tented piece of paper, scrawled in Bobby's distinctive handwriting was:



As Alex leaned over and inhaled the sweet scent, she recalled Bobby's words from earlier in the day with a smile and a full heart.

Love and fidelity.