Disclaimer: Not mine at all. But then, you knew that.
A/N: Parts of the conversation in this was a dream I had, except Jessica was Goren's ex-wife... but I thought that was just too weird. Please read, enjoy, review, and make my day.
Alex Eames couldn't believe that she had put up with them for that long. Correction, she couldn't believe she hadn't grabbed Bobby and dragged him out. Her makeup felt ready to crack from her forced smiles at all the snide comments. This was a wedding, for god's sake! They were supposed to be celebrating, not making her partner feel unwelcome.
It had all started two weeks ago, when Bobby had shyly (she hadn't even known that he had that expression outside of the interrogation room) asked if she'd go with him to his cousin's wedding. At the time, she'd wondered why he needed anyone else there, but now she figured it was moral support. They'd made it through the ceremony ok, but the reception was where it had all hit the fan.
Comments about his mother were the prefered method of torture. How was she, was HE doing all right, because "you know that sort of thing is hereditary". Every time that came up, Alex felt Bobby flinch, and so she had her arm through his and her hand on his forearm. She had a feeling Bobby woudln't be so happy if she slugged his relatives, but it was so tempting.
After thirty minutes or so of comforting her partner, Alex managed to get him alone. "Bobby, did you know it would be like this?"
His face was strained. "I'd hoped it wouldn't be."
"Oh, Bobby..." It hurt, to watch him making an effort to be social, to be accessile, and to see him rebuffed. She could not, for the life of her, figure out how all these people could be so tactless! Or was it that they just didn't like Bobby? "Why'd you come, then?" Her voice was quiet, lowered so that nobody else could hear her.
"Because they invited me and my mother. And since she couldn't come..." His voice trailed off, eyes widening at someone over Alex's left shoulder. "Jessica."
Alex, hearing the strain in his voice, turned so she was once again standing by his side. She found herself facing a tall red-head who was smiling a little condescendingly past her to Bobby.
"Hello, Bobby. Been a long time."
"Too long." From his tone, Alex realized that the statement was Goren-speak for "It wasn't anywhere near long enough." From the looks of it, this Jessica woman knew it too.
"Yes." She finally spared a glance for Alex. "Bobby, aren't you going to introduce me to your friend?"
Before he could get any words out, Alex looped her arm through Bobby's. "I'm Alex. Alex Eames. And you are?" She arched a brow.
"Jessica Neal. Bobby's ex-fiance." She held out a perfectly manicured hand, which Alex shook.
To her credit, Alex hid her surprise well. "Oh, you're HER." She put just a touch of derision into her voice. She actually had no clue who this woman was, but she didn't like the way she was making Bobby react.
"Bobby, you talk about me? How sweet." God, Alex hated that smarmy voice. Again, she stepped in for an apparantly speechless Bobby.
"Not much. He only tells me the important things." Jessica was now glaring at her with badly concealed hatred in her eyes. With what seemed to be a huge effort, she kept her face almost pleasantly neutral.
"Well," her attention shifted back to Bobby, "have you managed to hold onto that wonderful partner?" At Alex's confused look, Jessica smiled a bit maliciously. "He got a new partner at work and suddenly he was a different person. He was way more social, wasn't as moody... and it was then that I realized we really didn't have much in common." Her voice took on a conspiratorial tone and Alex hugged Bobby's arm a little tighter, suddenly feeling very protective. "Whenever we'd leave the house, he'd always ask if I'd locked the door, did I have the key, had I checked to make sure the stove was off. Got to the point where I'd respond automatically without thinking. He do that to you?"
Alex's smile didn't reach her eyes. "No." Her gaze bored bored holes in Jessica's face. "He trusts me enough to know the answer."
Barely flinching, Jessica continued on her campaign to be a bitch to Bobby's "girlfriend" and to make his life miserable. "You know, come to think of it, he stopped doing that when he go his new partner. What was the name again?"
Bobby's voice was stiff. "Detective Alexandra Eames."
Well, that got the evil woman's attention. Her eyes went wide, her mind struggling to process what she'd just figured out. "But... you're..." After gaping for a few minutes, she turned on her heel and stalked off. Alex grabbed Bobby and dragged him to the dance floor to talk.
"I was the cause of your breakup?" She wrapped her arms around his neck, trying to ignore how right it felt as they moved to the slow song.
"No. We didn't have much in common. I guess that I just wanted company and she wanted a husband she could show off."
Alex's lips twitched slightly. "You, a trophy husband? I can't picture that somehow."
"Well, that's the way it was."
"And now?" Her voice was soft.
"And now I have company. I don't need to go looking for anyone else." His face was unreadable.
"Thanks, Bobby. That means a lot to me." She smiled softly up at him. It surprised her to no end when he leaned down and kissed her gently on the forehead. "What the...?"
Bobby frowned. "Sorry, I shouldn't have done that, it's just..." He was cut off by the soft press of her lips against his. She broke away to look directly in his eyes.
"It's fine, Bobby. Really." He smiled tentatively and leaned down to kiss her again, both of them ignoring the green-eyed red-head in the corner seething with anger. They were too wrapped up in each other to care.