1Double Cross

"Alex!"

Bobby's yell from the bedroom almost caused her to drop the steaming hot travel mug of coffee that she was in the midst of pouring. She walked down the hall towards their bedroom to see what the "emergency" was, laughing as she thought to herself, "I liked him better with laryngitis." She stood in the doorway, watching him grow more frustrated as he rifled through his closet

"ALEX!"

"I'm right here, what is it?"

"I can't find my favorite tie – the one from the Metropolitan Museum of Art."

Her eyes shifted back and forth, as she shrugged her shoulders. "Sorry, I don't know your ties by the brand; what's it look like?"

"The one with the nice pattern – you know, its midnight blue and beige and burgundy. I wear it with this suit," he said, holding up the navy blue Armani suit jacket on the hanger.

She looked at him blankly. "Just pick another one – there must be fifty ties in there."

"It's gotta' be here," he said, ignoring her comment.

Alex sighed and rolled her eyes, but was inwardly amused. "Tell me again what it looks like."

"You know, th, th, th the one you said looks like Roman columns and upside down church windows," he said.

"Oh, that one," she exclaimed. "It's right over there."

He exhaled with relief – his frustrating search was over – and watched as she crossed the bedroom to his armoire and retrieved the tie, still on a hanger from the dry cleaner. She stood with the hanger dangling from her finger and smiled.

"Thanks," he said, as he grabbed it and stood in front of the mirror, turning his shirt collar up.

"I still don't know why you just couldn't wear one of the other ones."

"I like this one with this suit," he answered, thinking to himself, "I'm gonna' have to give my little bride a lesson in men's fashion."

"Really," she asked, as she watched his reflection in the mirror as he tied a perfect Hanover knot. "I kinda' like the one that has the little warped starfish all over it – or the one with the crazy paint swirls – – no, no, the one with the zigzags that gives Deakins a headache when he looks at it," she teased him. "At least that one keeps us out of his office all day," she smiled.

Bobby chuckled as he donned his suit jacket and grabbed his wallet and gold shield from the dresser. "You ready yet?" he sarcastically teased her. He knew the question would aggravate her and laughed as he got the exact reaction he expected –– she shot him a dirty glance and exited the bedroom.

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The drive to work was uneventful and Bobby was grateful that it had always been their practice for Alex to pick him up and drive to work together. That way, no suspicions were aroused regarding their "togetherness" when the black SUV pulled into the parking garage at One PP.

As they walked towards the elevators, Bobby relieved Alex of the bag she was carrying, which contained his supply of Kleenex and cough drops.

"Thanks," she smiled at him.

"Thank you...for taking such good care of me all weekend," he softly said, dipping his head to steal a quick kiss.

"Hey, you better watch it...there 're cameras here," she warned, as the elevator doors opened.

He hit the "11" button and kissed her again, for spite.

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Alex checked her watch as the elevator doors opened at the 11th floor. "Eight o'clock...right on time." They made their way to theirs desks and began settling in for the day. Alex took a quick glance at Deakins' office – the door was closed. She stifled a smile as she wondered to herself what the Captain had in store for Bobby, but was hit by a flash of guilt: she wasn't supposed to keep secrets from her husband and didn't want Deakins to lay into him too badly – just enough to watch him squirm. Her pang of guilt passed quickly when she thought back to the previous evening and how he had unceremoniously scooped her up against her will and dumped her on the bed. "Yeah, he's got it comin', all right," she thought to herself.

Bobby stood, holding a file. "Eames," he said more out of habit than for "show" purposes, "The tox results are back on the Robbins case. I'm gonna' go down to the lab and pick 'em up and talk to Bowden for a while. You wanna' come?"

"No, that's okay. I have a few calls to make on the Greenberg case. I'm gonna' stay here and get busy."

"Okay, I'll be back in a little while," he said, already heading down the hallway.

As Alex hung up from the first of her return calls, the door to Deakins' office swung open and the Captain emerged, putting on his grim face to "play" Bobby. When he saw Bobby's desk still empty, his expression changed to one of concern, as he walked towards Alex.

"Bobby's still sick?"

"No, he's here – just ran down to the tox lab to pick up a report," she explained.

"Oh – how's he feeling?"

"Good enough to drive me crazy all weekend," she replied. "So, what do you have in store for him?"

Before Deakins had a chance to answer, he heard the intercom from his office, paging him with a call. "I gotta' grab that...I'll fill ya' in later."

Alex nodded, "Well, whatever it is, believe me – he deserves it!" she laughed.

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Simultaneously, on Bobby's way down to the Toxicology Lab, the elevator stopped at the 7th floor. As the doors opened, he was greeted by Trish – secretary to Captain McClaren in I.A.D. They had once dated and had a short-lived fling several years back but, ultimately, had gone their separate ways on good terms. They were still friendly and cordial and, in fact, Trish had recently become engaged to Ed Stein, one of I.A.D.'s top detectives.

"Hi, how've you been?" Bobby asked.

"Great," she said, showing Bobby her brilliant engagement ring.

"Yeah, I heard about that — congratulations. So, when's the big day?"

"Sometime next spring, I suppose. It took me long enough to get this far...I don't wanna' push him!" she laughed.

Bobby nodded, "Well, he's a lucky man."

"Thanks," she smiled. "And, uh, just between you and me, I hear 'congratulations' are in order for you, too." She winked and smiled and waited for his response.

"Con,con...congratulations?" He looked at her –worried and puzzled.

"Oh, Bobby – you don't have to worry about me. You know I can keep a secret."

"Well, apparently somebody can't. Who'd you hear it from?"

"Jack."

"Captain McClaren?"

"Yeah, he told me on Friday," she replied.

Bobby became lost in thought, putting two and two together. Jack McClaren and Deakins were close buddies...but how... Bobby's attention snapped back to Trish, as she continued her explanation.

"Jack got a call from Deakins on Friday – he wasn't supposed to tell, but, well, you know how it is...I've worked for Jack for almost 14 years now – he said that Det. Eames, oh, is she still going by that name, or it is Goren and Goren now?" she laughed. "Well, anyway, Alex told Deakins on Friday; Deakins called Jack and Jack told me. That's how I found out. But I swear, Bobby, I haven't told anyone," she said, crossing her heart in a promise.

The elevator stopped at the 4th floor, the forensics and toxicology labs.

"Isn't this your stop?" Trish asked.

"Um, yeah...no, where are you going?"

"I'm just going to the cafeteria to get a muffin," she answered. "Jack's away up in Albany for a conference today, so I'm taking full advantage."

The doors closed and they continued talking on the ride down to the lower lobby. By the time they made their breakfast selections, waited in line to pay (Bobby's treat) and caught the elevator back upstairs, Bobby and Trish had plotted and put into action his plan of revenge.

As the elevator ascended to the 4th floor, Bobby held the door open –blocking it with his body, half in and half out– "You're sure you don't mind?" Bobby asked

"Not at all," she answered, with a conspiratory smile. "I only wish I could be there to see the look on their faces," she laughed.

"Thanks, Trish. Next time I see you and Ed at Carucci's, the drinks are on me!" he promised, as the elevator doors closed.

Bobby met with Bowden in the tox lab for several minutes and headed back upstairs.

Alex was on the phone again, but watched Bobby approaching from the hallway, carrying a file and one of the small "take out" boxes from the cafeteria.

He reached their desks and, smiling, placed her favorite –raspberry and chocolate– Danish, along with a few napkins, on her blotter. She finished her call and smiled across the desk at him, "Thanks."

"You're welcome. I felt hungry when I finished with Bowden, so I went down to the cafeteria," he deceived her, figuring two can play that game.

They continued working through the morning and at about 11:30, with lunch time approaching, Bobby asked, "What d'ya have in mind for lunch today?"

"I dunno' – what're you in the mood for?"

He gave her a devilish grin, "We could always go home," he whispered, accompanied by a wink.

"Is that all you ever think about?" she asked, teasingly, but dismissing the notion as she grabbed for the next file on her stack.

"Oh great," she moaned.

"What? What's wrong?"

Alex tossed her head in the direction of the main hall, "Here comes Andy with the intra-office mail," she sighed.

Bobby fought back his smile, thinking to himself, "Yeah, here comes the intra-office mail, all right." He knew that Andy had a special delivery for Capt. Deakins and the fun was about to start.

Andy slowly rolled his cart, weaving through the desks of the various detectives of the MCS. He reached Bobby and Alex and, cheerily as always, asked, "Who wants 'em," as he held up the half-dozen or so manila envelopes.

"I'll take 'em," Alex reluctantly groaned, as Andy continued on his way.

"Thanks," Bobby said.

"That's okay – I know you're still catching up from the days you missed last week," she said with understanding, trying to disguise her anticipation of when and how Deakins was going to torment Bobby.

A moment later, Andy emerged from Deakins' office and headed back towards the elevator. Bobby began silently counting, waiting; "...10...9...8...7...6..."

"GOREN!" came the Captain's booming yell. He was standing in his doorway in a split second, waving the envelope. All heads in the squad room turned, with stunned curiosity.

"That was sooner than I thought, but just the reaction I expected, " Bobby said to himself, totally amused but trying to act concerned.

"You and Eames, in here!" he demanded.

Bobby and Alex exchanged a worried glance while rising from their chairs, eyebrows raised with question, shoulders shrugging, as if to ask "What's going on?" Alex assumed that it was only Deakins finally putting his plan against Bobby into action, so she played along.

Bobby stood aside, extending his arm and hand, letting Alex proceed into the Captains office first.

Deakins closed the door after them, almost slamming it – causing the blinds to rattle against the glass.

"Sit down," he instructed more than invited.

"Gee, he's pouring it on pretty hard," Alex thought.

He tossed the envelope, which had a memorandum paper clipped to it, across the desk towards Bobby. "You mind tellin' me what this is all about?"

Alex was confused.

Bobby picked up the paper and read it. He rolled his head to one side, with a sigh. "I- I'm sorry, Captain. This was supposed to be delivered to me, and I was gonna' bring it to you...to...to...talk to you about it...you weren't supposed to find out this way," Bobby apologetically explained, excellently feigning a look of regret.

Alex was now more than confused. She was worried. "What the hell is going on?" she asked, trying to reach for the paper in Bobby's hand.

He quickly handed it back to the Captain and sank back in his chair, holding up his hand, "Why don't you tell her," he said, shaking his head.

Alex looked back and forth between Bobby and the Captain. "Whatever's going on here can't be good," she thought, "...and it certainly isn't funny." She now stared at Deakins, waiting for him to fill her in on the contents of the memo.

"He put in for a transfer, Alex," Deakins sternly announced. "It's been approved." Deakins slid the memo across the desk and leaned back in his chair with a long sigh. He rubbed a hand through his hair and over his face. He didn't know what to say.

Alex read the memo. It was approved by the Chief and counter-signed by Captain McClaren. She looked at Bobby in disbelief, tears welling up in her eyes. "I can't believe you did this! How can you do this without even discussing it with me?"

"Or with me!" Deakins chimed in. "Why would you do this, Bobby?"

Bobby looked at Alex, pretending to be caught with his back up against the wall– no other alternative than to tell the truth and confess to Deakins that he and Alex were married. He looked at her with regret and then towards the Captain. "I - I- we have something to tell you..." he stammered.

"Oh, for gosh sakes, Bobby! He already knows about us," Alex announced. There it was: the confession that Bobby was waiting for.

Bobby looked at Alex and Deakins, "You know...but how?" he asked.

"He guessed it, Bobby – he figured it out – last Friday."

"Last Friday? And you didn't mention it to me? We were home together all weekend and you couldn't mention it?" he asked, taunting her with his false indignation.

"Look, Bobby," Deakins said, "not married, married – it doesn't matter. You two are partners; you're my best team and I'm not splittin' you up. What the brass doesn't know won't hurt 'em...geez, I can't believe you didn't trust me enough to come to me with this." Deakins grabbed for the phone.

"Wh-who are you calling?" Bobby asked, nervously.

"McClaren," Deakins snapped, as he dialed the extension and hit the speaker button.

"I-A-D, Captain McClaren's office, may I help you?"

"Trish, it's Jimmy Deakins. Is Jack there?"

"No, I'm sorry Captain. He's up in Albany attending a conference today. He'll be back tomorrow. Is there something I can help you with?" she sweetly offered.

Bobby made a silent mental note to compliment her on her performance, while at the same time exchanged a fake concerned look with Alex – fake on his part, anyway.

Deakins reach for the phone again.

"Who are you calling?" Bobby asked with trepidation.

"The Chief. I'm gonna' undo this before it goes any further!" he stated, while he began dialing the numbers.

"WAIT!" Bobby exclaimed.

Deakins and Alex looked at him.

The charade was over. He was relaxing back in his chair, smiling – laughing with that damn breathy, snorting chuckle of his. He raised his arm, wagging his hand back and forth and he tried to explain over the laughter, "It –it's not real... I didn't put in for trans- transfer...it's a joke."

Deakins looked relieved and pissed off. He didn't know which emotion he felt more. Alex looked at Bobby – her tiny features twisted with her own mixture of relief and anger and she reached over to his chair and punched him in the upper arm.

Bobby was almost doubled over with laughter. "I'm sorry...I'm sorry... I had to do it." He saw the totally unamused glare he was getting from Alex and defended himself further. "It's all your fault!" he said.

"My fault!"

"You knew the Captain knew since Friday...you had all weekend to tell me...but, what? you hide it from me so the Captain can 'play' me?" he asked incredulously. "Nice way to treat your husband," he chided her.

"I'm not through with you, yet!" Alex threatened.

Deakins watched the two of them, smiling and relieved. He was pissed off that he didn't get to play his own joke on Bobby, and wondered to himself how Bobby always managed to stay a step ahead of him– and everybody, for that matter.

"Get back to work, you two!" he playfully barked.

Bobby and Alex rose from their seats and headed for the door, with Deakins eavesdropping on their continuing argument. "So, I guess your old girlfriend was in on the whole thing, too?" Alex asked with a smirk of annoyance and maybe– just maybe– a hint of real jealousy.

"Hey, it's good to have friends in different places. I don't burn bridges," he answered.

"Yeah, well, just wait 'til I get you at home tonight," she warned.

"I'm looking forward to it," he gloated, as he bent to whisper in her ear. "You gonna' play 'bad cop' with me again like last night?"

"Oh, shut up and take me to lunch."

THE END.