Five Things That Never Happened to Alexandra Eames
A Law & Order: Criminal Intent Fanfiction
Written by Kate "SuperKate" Butler
The man she came to the bar to meet is sweet and obviously smart, if his taste in alcohol (a double gin with a twist of lime) and conversation (literature, drama, fine art) is any indication. Her choice in beverage, an array of decidedly lower-class beers both domestic and imported, bubbles slowly to her head, and - while she does not completely understand the crack he makes about the selfish nature of the romantic self - she laughs at it anyway, her head tipping back and her hair sparking red-gold in the dim bar light.
She's dressed to kill in her half-sheer black top and her tight black pants and her tallest, sexiest boots, and she knows she looks dark, dashing, and dangerous. He knows it too, and she watches as he leans in a bit closer. "Would you like to go somewhere more private?" he questions quietly, and she can smell the tantalizing tang of lime on his breath. "I know a charming little coffee shop just a few blocks away, and it's far more peaceful than here."
As if on a twisted cue, the out-of-key Irish fiddlers seated in the corner start tuning up their instruments for an encore of poorly-played folk tunes.
She smiles a Cheshire's grin and leans into him, her fingers finding the end of his loosened silk tie. "You know where I'd like to go?" she purrs, her voice a rumble in her throat. He arches an eyebrow and waits for her to continue; she trails a slender finger up the ridge of buttons on his chest. "My apartment."
He blinks at her, obvious surprise in his expression, and then smiles ever-so-slightly. "Alex, this is only our second date," he reminds her kindly, a slight touch of embarrassment catching in his tone. His hands find hers and set them back on top of the bar with the utmost gentleness. She frowns up at him. "I don't want this to be some sort of hot-and-heavy, one-time fling. I want to get to know you better."
Her lower lip protrudes more than she means it to, and she feels her cheeks warming the smallest bit. "Really?" she asks, and she can hear the doubt trembling in her voice.
He pats her hand lightly. "Really, Alex," he assures her. His fingers are soft. "Now, how about that coffee?"
It's just past 7 a.m. and the office is coming slowly to life, the first handful of detectives wandering into squad room, armed to the teeth with coffee, doughnuts, and bagels.
Each time that elevator dings and a new carload of arrivals appear through the doorway to the squad room, they pause mid-step and stare at the one detective who's already settled in for the morning. Her feet are propped casually up on her desk and an extra-large cinnamon bun sits nearby, already halfway devoured. She licks her sticky fingers as she greets each detective by name. She's far from her usual, frantic self, this morning, and her smile is as gooey as the glaze on her cinnamon bun.
Bobby Goren arrives an hour and a half later and nearly runs right into a support column, he's so busy staring at her. He hands her the second cup of coffee he brings to the office every morning - her favorite venti no-foam caramel latte - and can't help but cock his head to one side as he watches her take her first sip.
"When did you get here?" he asks as he slides into his chair.
She grins up at him. "6:30 a.m."
The suspect looks at her coolly from across the table, his eyes flickering with something she wishes was ire and yet, is not. There is both a casualness and an intent interest in his glossy eyes, and he watches as she straddles the chair across the table from him. She ignores it as best she can and flips open his file.
"Six dead women," she points out, sliding one picture after another onto the cool, hard metal. The attorney averts his eyes, pansy that he is, but the suspect keeps staring at her. His eyes never move, even as the horrible depictions of death and depravity are lined up before him. "All with their throats cut and silver dollars left on their eyes, if you can believe it. And what do you know? The silver dollars all had your fingerprints on them." She reaches into her pocket and pulls out a Ziploc bag. The coins jangle as she tosses them on the tabletop. He doesn't even blink. "Nothing to say for yourself?"
The suspect continues staring, the intensity never disappearing, and a moment later she's ushered out of the room by Bobby. He hastily confides in her as he's shoving her into the observation room that he's not sure he likes the gleam in the suspect's eyes, and she scowls at his back as he closes her into the room with Carver and Deakins. Both mean see that she's seething and say nothing.
She rests her palms on the lipped edge of the window and watches as the suspect leans back in his seat, his gaze now roaming the room with disinterest. Bobby settles into the chair she just vacated. "You were looking at her for a while," he points out in his normal, disjointed way, nodding towards the door. "Why? Think she's like the other women?"
The suspect shrugs, and his glossy eyes flick towards the mirrored window. His gaze meets hers perfectly. "Actually, no," he admits with a half-smile. "Unlike the other women, she's a smart, sexy, attractive lady." He looks to Bobby, and his smile widens. "What? Can't a murder admire that in a woman?"
He's been searching for the words since they got into the car ten minutes earlier, and he's just now managing to find them.
"You're… You're my rock," he's stammering clumsily, and she – accustomed to his false-starts by now – is only listening half-heartedly. It's rush-hour, after all, and she's trying to keep her eyes on the road. "You're… You're a lot stronger than I am, and – "
Brakes squeal, and she grits her teeth. The taxi in front of them stops at the last possible millisecond, and she barely manages to do the same. Horns behind her blare, and she flips her gaze to Bobby, ready to tell him to shut up.
He either didn't notice the near-accident or didn't care about it, because he's still talking. "You really… You ground me. I mean, as much as anyone can." She can see his fingers wriggling in his lap, a nervous little rhythm being tapped out with the most obsessive precision. "I really appreciate everything you do for me. You know, how hard you work with me and all. Not a lot of people can do that. Put up with me, I mean."
The light turns green and there's another horn screaming behind her, and she has to look away from him and focus on the task at hand, a sea of yellow cabs and various other vehicles spreading out in front of the dark Chevy Blazer.
And, now that she's looking away, she can feel his eyes on her, gauging her reaction. She brushes a strand of hair from her face and watches the cabbie in front of them make a reckless right-hand turn.
"I guess what I'm saying..." He pauses for the slightest of moments. "Well... Thank you, Eames."
Traffic or not, she turns to look at him, and she can't help but smile. "You're welcome, Bobby."
For the first time in five years with Major Case Squad, she loses it.
Right there, in the middle of the squad room she just breaks down. It's an average Tuesday and they haven't even made an arrest on the case, but suddenly, it's over. She loses all her composure, all the strength she's always showing, all the spunk and sarcasm and flippancy. Faster than she can document her fall, every iota of toughness disappears in a nanosecond and all she's left with is the feeling of her stomach sinking into her boots. Every body she's ever seen, every rape victim she's ever interviewed, every household she's ever broken by arresting a father, mother, sister, brother, son, or daughter flits in front of her eyes, and liquid sorrow runs down her cheeks as she gives in to the overwhelming pain in Major Case's inner sanctum.
As the tears are pouring down her cheeks and she's standing in front of her desk, fists balled at her side and shoulders shuddering, too sick and too upset to do anything other than just stand there with life passing by, two warm arms wrap around her shoulders and she finds her head lulling against a familiar chest. Bobby's voice is soft and gentle, and he hisses a whisper into her ear so softly that she can hardly hear it.
"It's alright, Eames… Just cry it out." She feels her sobs fighting against her throat, fighting for release, and she clutches her white-knuckles onto his starched dress shirt. A clumsy hand smoothes her hair. "It's okay... Just cry it out."
And she does.
Standard Disclaimer: Law & Order and all related characters belong to Dick Wolf and NBC. I am neither, and I make no money off this.
Author's Note: A style of fic picked up from one of my L&O LJ communities. I love the idea of there being things that have never happened to the characters that they would want to have happened. It's fun for me.
Thanks for reading. Reviews are always welcome.
May 1, 2005