Several days later, Eames was finishing her dinner dishes when the doorbell rang. Drying her hands on a towel, she went to the door, surprised to find her partner standing on the other side. "Goren?"

"I'm sorry to bother you at home, Eames."

"We have a case?"

"No. I…just wanted to talk to you."

Thinking he must have heard about her request, she braced herself for an argument. "Come in."

"I won't stay long. I just want to…apologize."

"For what?"

"I was thinking about what went down the other day, out at the warehouse, and I wasn't fair to you. I…should have told you what was going on. But I'm just not used to working…with a partner."

"Do you think that maybe if you tried a little harder you could keep a damn partner?"

"I do try. It just doesn't…occur to me to explain myself."

"Why? You think I can read your mind?"

"No…well, maybe...I don't know, Eames. Maybe I expect too much."

"You're an idiot, Goren."

"I guess so."

She laughed. She still had no idea what to make of this big, enigmatic but brilliant cop she called her partner. "You want some coffee or something?"

"No, thanks. I don't want to intrude on your time any more. I just wanted to stop by to apologize, since you were gone when I got back to the squad room and I haven't had a chance to talk to you at work. I'll…try harder not to throw any more surprises your way. But it'll help if you…remind me when I forget."

"Don't worry about that."

He gave her a small smile and pulled a little box from his pocket. "I wanted to give you this, too. I'll see you tomorrow. Good night, Eames."

He left. She looked at the box with a puzzled frown. Opening it she found a small Matchbox police car and a set of keys. Pulling out the enclosed card, she read: Eames, Sorry if my driving unsettled you. You can do the driving if it'll make you feel better. Goren.

She smiled. Maybe they could make this work after all. He seemed willing to adjust to her needs. The least she could do was accommodate his…and his most immediate need seemed to be a permanent partner.

The next morning he was at his desk when she got there. A cup of coffee and a white wax bag sat on her desk. She had been surprised to find the black SUV outside her apartment this morning. She looked into the bag. A cheese danish. She smiled at him. "Thanks. How'd you get home last night?"

He shrugged. "Subway."

"That's a bit of a walk to the nearest station."

"Not a big deal." He turned back to his paperwork.

She studied him. "Thanks, Goren."

He smiled at her. "I don't want you to have to stop that elevator again."

She laughed. "Then behave yourself."

"I'll try."

So will I, she thought. She got up and went to Deakins' office. "Captain?"

"Come on in."

She closed the door and asked, "Any luck finding him another partner?"

"No. Why?"

"Is it too late to withdraw my request?"

Deakins looked surprised. "Withdraw it?"

She nodded. "I think that maybe Goren and I can work it out after all."

The captain smiled. "I can't tell you how glad I am to hear that, Alex. I'll withdraw your request immediately."

"Thanks."

"Can I ask you what changed your mind?"

She looked out the glass toward her partner. "He did."

"Alex, he didn't know about it."

"I know that. And I'd appreciate it if you didn't tell him. He's very…different from any partner I've ever had."

"I think it's fairly safe to say he's one of a kind."

"Thank God." She smiled. "I think we'll do all right, Captain."

"Thanks, Alex."

"For what?"

"For reconsidering. I was running out of options for partners for him."

She nodded and returned to her desk. She pulled the danish from the bag. "How did you know I liked cheese danishes best?"

He didn't look up, but she saw his mouth turn into a smile. "Nearly every morning for the past two months that's what you've gotten: a cheese or cherry danish with your coffee, heavy on the sugar. You get the cheese most often, so that's what I got you."

She studied him for a moment before she smiled at him. "Thanks, Bobby."

He returned her smile then went back to his paperwork. She sat down and pulled several forms from her desk, working as she ate her breakfast. She felt good about her decision to remain his partner. He was an odd man, but he had a good heart. She looked up at him. "You were very good with that little girl. She looked comfortable with you."

"More comfortable than you were?"

"Yes…but she didn't see you work a homicide." He laughed, and she liked the sound of it. "You're…different, Goren."

"Is that a good thing?"

"I haven't decided yet. Ask me again in six months."

He smiled. She was planning to stick around. That was good. Maybe she would be the one who would last. He resolved to do his best to accommodate her, to make sure it was not a decision she would regret. He crumpled up a piece of paper and tossed it playfully across the desks at her. She looked up, catching the smile in his eyes before he looked down at his paperwork. Smiling back at him, she threw the paper back, hitting him in the head. They laughed…and began to relax with one another. So began their partnership and their friendship…and both would last.

Fin.


A/N: It was easy to get this one finished driving across the country with not much else to do :-) Hope y'all liked it, and, as always, thanks so much for the reviews.