Sunday morning broke with a gentle rain falling. The sky brightened, but the sun could not penetrate the heavy clouds. Gradually, the wind began to pick up, and the deep rumble of thunder sounded in the distance.
In his room, she rolled over in her sleep, settling her back against him and sighing when his arms pulled her closer and he kissed her neck. He was awake, listening to the approaching storm. He lightly caressed her abdomen, drawing comfort from her closeness. This was where he had wanted her to be for almost as long as he'd known her. Two nights now, he had slept without dreaming, and when he woke, she did not dissolve into nothing, leaving him alone and lonely. He allowed his hand to stray from her abdomen, smiling when she stirred in her sleep. A few more minutes and she turned again, back toward him, seeking his lips with hers. "Good morning," she whispered.
"Yes, it is," he replied, closing his mouth over hers again.
He had just come out of the shower. Dressed only in jeans, he was drying his hair when a knock sounded at the door. Draping the towel over his shoulders, he opened it. Carrie and Freddie smiled at him. He smiled back. "Hey, kids."
"You're checking out this afternoon, aren't you?" Carrie asked.
"Yeah. I've got to get back to work."
"Mom said your partner checked in the other day," Freddie said, eyes dancing with excitement.
"Yes, she did."
"Would you both join us for lunch before you leave?"
"Please," Freddie begged.
He rubbed the back of his head, pretending to think about it. "I'll check with her..."
"Aw, come on," Freddie started bouncing in the hall. "I wanna meet her!"
Goren laughed. "Ok. What time?"
"We'll be there."
They headed down the hall, and Carrie said to her brother, "Geez, Freddie, you're such a dweeb."
"What? I do wanna meet her."
He closed the door, laughing softly. "Who was that?" Eames asked as she came out of the bathroom, wrapped in a towel.
"The owner's kids. They want us to join them for lunch before we head back to the city."
"That's a generous offer."
"Freddie is dying to meet you, it seems. He didn't really give much thought to girl cops until I told him about you."
"Told him what about me?"
"All I said was you're a good partner." He put his arms around her. "The best partner I've ever had, in fact."
"That's just because I let you take a case and run with it."
"You let me run with a case, and you don't have to sprint to keep up."
"Nope. I just follow along in your wake until the pieces fall in place. Sometimes they fall faster than others, but I always get the picture."
He pushed her hair behind her ear, letting his hand linger near her jaw. She saw the flame burning in his eyes, and she trembled at the thought of the touch that would follow. She caught her breath as the fire started and the towel slipped to the floor.
They arived for lunch a few minutes early so he could introduce Eames to the kids. Carrie led them into the living room to wait until her mother called them to eat. On one side of the room, sitting with Goren, Freddie stared at Eames with an odd look. "What's the matter, Freddie?" Goren asked.
"She doesn't look much like a cop."
"That's what makes her a great cop."
"But Carrie's bigger than she is."
"Size doesn't matter. I'd rather tangle with a man twice her size than get on the wrong side of her."
On the other side of the room, Carrie leaned toward Eames. "What is he like as a partner?" she asked.
Eames smiled. "Well, I can honestly say I have never had a partner like him before."
"You never had a guy partner?"
"No, all of my partners have been guys. Just none have been quite like Bobby."
"What makes him different?"
"You know, that's hard to pin down. He's smarter than anyone I know, and he's a great cop. He's not one to go for his gun at the first sign of trouble. More cops should be like he is."
Martha poked her head into the room. "I hope they aren't bothering you too much," she said.
Goren smiled as Eames replied, "No, not at all."
"Lunch is ready whenever you are. Let's go, kids. Set the table."
Freddie started to protest, but his sister gave him a shove toward the door. "All right, I'm going!" he snapped.
Laughing, Eames looked at Goren. "Nice kids."
"Yeah, they are." He pushed open the door to the dining room, holding it open for her. As she passed him, he rested his hand on her back as she trailed her fingers across his abdomen. He sighed happily and followed her into the room.
It came as no surprise Monday morning when they walked into the squad room and Deakins hollared for them to get into his office. Once they were seated, he looked from one detective to the other, his eyes finally coming to rest on Goren. "You look good. How do you feel?"
"Have you dealt with whatever crisis you had last week?"
"Is there anything else I need to know?"
He looked at Eames. "I take it you knocked some sense into him."
"Of course," she smiled. "He'll behave now."
Goren glanced at her, an amused gleam in his eye. Deakins studied them, eyes shifting from one to the other. "So everything is ok, now?"
Goren nodded as Eames answered, "Everything is fine."
He looked back at Goren. "Do you want to tell me what was wrong?"
"Uh, no, not particularly."
"But you've got your head back on straight?"
"Yes, sir, I do."
"All right, but next time you feel yourself slipping, call your partner, will ya?"
Goren looked at her, half a smile on his face. "All right, Captain. I will."
"Go find something to do. Next case that comes in is yours."
They left the captain's office. "There better not be a next time," Eames warned.
"Oh, I don't know. I kinda had a good time," he muttered, leaning closer to her.
She elbowed him and he laughed as he walked around to his desk. She sat down but looked up at him and smiled. He winked at her as he pulled a stack of files from his inbox and opened the first one.
From his office, Deakins watched his best team at their desks. Something was different. There was an ease to Goren's manner he'd never seen before. He wondered what had happened, but he had a feeling that was something he would never find out. He watched Eames throw a paper clip at her partner. Goren looked up and listened to what she had to say. He laughed, made a comment and returned to whatever it was he'd been doing. Deakins laughed to himself when Eames stuck her tongue out at him and picked up the phone. Whatever it was, it didn't matter. Everything was back to normal.