It was a quiet Friday afternoon, the beginning of the weekend that heralded the end of summer. It had been a quiet week, but Eames knew it was simply the calm before the storm. She was happy, however, to take the calm in whatever form it came. Across from her, Goren was buried in a file, and she didn't want to know what file it was. She didn't want to hear it. Not today. If he was going to stir up trouble, well...she just was not going to let him. "Hey, Goren."

He looked up. That was a good sign. When he was engrossed in something, it often took several tries to get his attention. "Something wrong?"

"There will be if you find something for us to do this weekend. I have plans."

He looked interested. "Date?"

"No. Family barbecue. Dad likes to get everyone together for Memorial Day and Labor Day."

"Family tradition." He nodded slowly. "It's good to have family traditions."

"Do you have any?"

"I suppose I would if I had a family." He shrugged. "Right now, Wednesdays and holidays is as close to tradition as I get."

He turned his attention back to the file, closing the conversation. She let him retreat. She knew how she would feel if her family were not in her life--alone. Even though he must be used to that by now, she hated to think of him alone. "Uh, Bobby?" He looked up again. "Do you have any plans this weekend?"

"Not really. I may give Lewis a call tomorrow. Nothing's set in stone."

"What about Sunday?"

"What about it?"

"Would you like to come with me?"

His brow furrowed a little. "To your barbecue? I'm not going to intrude on your family get-together."

"What intrusion? We're welcome to bring spouses, significant others, dates, whoever. And since I'm not seeing anyone right now, and you are the closest thing to a significant other I have, why not?"

Amused, the corners of his mouth moved slightly. "Am I a last resort, Eames?"

She looked annoyed. "Of course not. I wasn't planning to bring anyone, but if you're not busy, there's no reason you can't come. After all, you're my partner. That makes you as close to family as anyone can get without being born or married into it."

"Do you think so?"

"That's the way it's supposed to be; the way it is for a lot of partners. Besides, Dad likes you alot."

He couldn't hide his surprise. "He does?"

"Yes, Bobby, he does."

He looked thoughtful. "So this isn't because I don't have a family of my own?"

"Of course not. I don't feel sorry for you. After all, you have me."

He laughed. "You're right about that. All right, Eames. I'll go with you."

"Good." She looked at the clock and stood up. "I am going home now, unless you've found something in that file..."

"No. You're safe. Go on."

"I'll pick you up Sunday morning around 11."

He waved at her. "Ok, I'll see you then."

He watched her leave, leaning back in his chair. She considered him a "significant other." He wasn't sure just what to make of that, but he liked it. After all, she was the most significant person in his life, just about the only family he had. He loved his mother, but she'd left him a long time ago and he was used to the idea that, little by little, over time, she was slipping away from him. Much of the time now, she was someplace he couldn't follow. Since Eames had become his partner, though, he never had any desire to try. With a heavy sigh, he returned to his file.