Title: Waiting

Author: Jenn

Rating: K

WAITING

Alex handed her gun to the uniformed officer, but her attention was on Bobby. He was at the street, talking to Jonas. The uniformed officer said something about going back into the Courthouse. She ignored him. She needed to wait for Bobby. Over time, Alex had become used to the seemingly complex, but actually very simple, relationship she and Bobby had.

On a professional level, her role was to be one of the only detectives in the NYPD who could keep up to Bobby. And, of course, to watch his back. She'd learned early on that once he knew who the perp was, Bobby got tunnel vision. He'd focus completely on that person. This meant her job was to watch all the other people. What had just happened was the perfect example. He'd been so focused on Jonas, that he hadn't seen Chase pull his gun; but she had.

But that was the professional level. The way they worked as partners. But they weren't just partners. They were also friends. On a personal level, as his friend, her job was to wait for him. To not leave him. Not abandon him. She knew some might wonder why she was willing to do this. The answer was very simple. Jonas drove off, and Bobby looked around. She knew he was looking for her. Seconds later he was taking the stairs two at a time to get to her. And that was why she would always wait for him. Because he would always return to her. No matter what happened, no matter how caught up he got in a case, he would always return to her; so she would always wait for him.

With Jonas gone, Bobby began looking for Alex. He knew she'd be somewhere close by. She always was. It was the one thing in his life he could count on. She was the one thing he could count on. Seeing her at the top of the stairs he hurried to her. The image that came to his mind was a lighthouse, on a dangerous shore. As he climbed the steps he realized how perfect that image was. To catch their suspects he would lower himself to their level, get into their heads and their darkness.

He knew that without Alex he wouldn't be able to do it. He wouldn't trust himself. It would be far too easy for him to become lost in their dark world, and never find his way out. The waters would be too treacherous. Especially when dealing with Nicole. But Alex was always there, as she was now, a light to show him the way back. And she did it without even trying, with just her presence.

Reaching her, he gave an apologetic smile, and wrapped an arm protectively around her. Using his larger body to shield her from the press, who were now turning their attention form Carver to Alex, he led her inside.

"Sorry to have kept you waiting," he apologized.

"It's okay. You're worth it," she replied.

Two hours later, Bobby sat on a bench outside the room where IAB was questioning Alex. They'd questioned him, but since Alex had done the actual shooting her interview was lasting a lot longer than his had. He was glad Carver was in the room with Alex. He and Carver had had their differences over the years, but he knew Carver was a good lawyer, and would look out for Alex.

Finally Carver and Alex came out into the hall.

Alex found herself unsurprised to see Bobby there, waiting for her. Carver excused himself, and left for his office.

"You okay?" Bobby asked, in a soft voice as he stepped close to her.

"Yeah, I'm okay," she assured him. "You didn't have to wait."

"Yes, I did. And besides, you're worth it," he said, purposely echoing her earlier words.

She threw him a look, which he pretended to ignore. "Just for that, you get to buy me dinner," she told him.

He took her wanting to eat as a good sign, that she really was okay, and smiled. "What are you in the mood for?"

'You,' the thought came unbidden to Alex's mind. Aloud she said. "Mexican sounds good."

As they walked towards the door Bobby's hand rested at the small of her back in an unconsciously protective gesture.

THE END