Title: Foul
Author: A.j.
Rating: PG

Notes: Unbeta'd and post "Semi-Detached."

Summary: Alex sees it now.

Alex is finishing her report when it hits her. The knowledge, fully formed and whole, explodes in her brain, shuffling off the cobwebs and half-finished musings that have been nagging over the last three days.

The dregs of the coffee he brought her hours ago is bitter and tepid in the back of her throat, but she can't really taste it. This is too big, too important.

She stands, moving carefully, unsure in her own skin and place, now more than the first day back from leave. She'd walked in to the precinct, body still aching, breasts heavy and brain slightly incomplete. Not whole. And there he'd been, eyes hopeful, but different.

Not whole.

It's been months since that day. And it's still wrong. Everything is just slightly off.

It stings that this other woman, Nelda, could show her anything about herself or her partner.

His shoulder is tense and quivers when she lays her hand down. How long has it been since she'd done this?

He looks up, his eyes glassy in a way that she should have seen. Should know. Is I meant /I to see. He raises an eyebrow and she thinks it's been too long since she answered him without speaking.

But it's not gone. Not completely. The partnership is there, if weathered and not right yet. Their foundation is too solid to disintegrate like this.

His hand covers hers then, his eyes are starting to focus, starting to show I him /I again, and ask what's wrong. Why is she standing there just looking down at him?

"I need you," she says. Quiet and sure.

"I didn't think..." Because things haven't gotten bad enough that he doesn't know what she means. "I didn't want-"

She shakes her head and feels some of the tension under her hand drain. "Partnership, Bobby. The street goes both ways."

And there he is.