It was always separate. It was how he had carefully managed his life, carefully scripted the days – the work, the interrogations. At what point had he gone off script? When Eames was missing and he worked for four days straight before sleeping? When he missed his weekly visit with his mother because of it? Or was it later- when he found out about her illness, or when she found out about her illness, and subsequently broke – convinced that 'they' were finally coming to get her – that they were finally succeeding?
He didn't know when the script had been thrown out- when the careful rules he laid about each of his days had started to crumble, but now he was faced with the reality that they had. What was he supposed to do now? He had protested going to work- surely someone else could do it- Logan was sure to be free, and he didn't have a dying mother to care for. But no. He was the best, not Logan and the best was required. He didn't ask about where Eames had been pulled from when he arrived. He just went to work- eager to close the case. Maybe that was where it went wrong. He was eager- and following the wrong line of thought. So sure that this woman was just missing – not dead and not killed. Just missing – he could leave if she was missing by her own means. It was then , really that he had turned the page in his perfectly scripted mind – according to him, that was when she jumped in and supported him. But when he turned the page, her lines had changed.
She didn't think she was missing. She was focused on the fiance – then the lover. She was convinced, something had happened to that girl. He was frustrated, bogged down with trying to pull his usual miracle solve out of his ass, and perform for the brass, plus the constant calls from his mother – he had been weighed down. He thought she had understood that – thought she of all people would remove some of that weight. But she didn't follow his lines, she followed her own. It had given him pause, but he carried on, accepting that he could not change her mind, and admitting, if only to himself – that she was probably right.
The final straw had been the Commissioner – so completely wrapped up in his own grief that he refused to see his wife's or even her fiance's. In a case where everything was off script- apparently he too decided to write his own actions. He was a terrible writer- his reaction was unoriginal and petty and childish even, but there was just- just too much to handle. Faced with a cold man who judged him, a mother who clung, and a partner who suddenly abandoning him- he had reacted childishly, indulging in one moment of temper. When he was done, he had left. Left only to have her follow him, asking questions.
He had felt stupid, and tired and like the small child he had acted like. But to have her ask if he wanted the throw it all away- it was it all. The job wasn't everything in his life- his mother was, and had been since he was a boy. And he wasn't throwing that away – someone else was – leaving him to deal with the gaping hole her death would leave. The guilt and pain and relief. So he had lashed out, and hurt the one other person who could help him right now. He had known the hurt that would be written on her face, so he hadn't looked. He had tried so hard not to look at her as the door slid shut. But he had betrayed himself and glanced up. And the image of her face as those doors slid shut was burned into his brain. Hurt and more than a little pissed.
He had gone and walked around- seeking a refuge- from the expectations of Ross, the censure of Eames, the pain in his mother's voice. And he knew- he knew he had over reacted. Once again identifying his father in a man who clearly wasn't. The Commissioner had been right- he had no idea what type of father he was – and judging him in such a high stress situation hadn't helped anything. He had looked like an idiot in the squad room, and worst of all he had taken it all out on Alex. Who didn't deserve it- especially not since she had covered his ass so many times today.
He had gone back, tail between his legs to get on with work- and be a model of professionalism. He had assumed that their connection alone, often unspoken and exchanged through meaningful glances – would be enough. That she would understand and they would be fine. The fact that she didn't look him in the eye should have been a clue. When she had walked away leaving him to do the leg work, he had been shocked. He and Eames- they didn't do this. They didn't argue or have misunderstandings. They didn't let outside instances influence their work- but suddenly they did and it was. She lashed back and he sat there, stung by it.
She failed to back him up during the interrogation, and he was unable to understand it. He was sympathizing with the perp- and she was on Amanda's side. It wasn't like it have never happened before- they were often disagreeing outside of the interrogation room – but her opposing him in front of the suspect had never happened. Her stepping over that line with the perp had never happened, him warning her had never happened. She wouldn't look at him before she left, she just got up and left. He had sat there, moving slowly from confusion – irritated and disoriented by the lack of their usual routine. The lack of his usual script. This was the part where she made the dry witty remark, and he made the insightful one. Instead he was left with eyes that wouldn't meet his and an odd unfinished silence.
Had they lost it? Would this one thing be enough to pull them apart? He couldn't- wouldn't work on them right now. He had too much else going on, like holding his mother's hand and contacting a brother he had frankly never wished to see again. She was supposed to understand, dammit- and now it was like she wasn't even with him anymore. The anger over this one small fact built in him as he sat gripping his leather portfolio. Yes, she had a right to be pissed- but didn't he as well? Couldn't he count on her- to just understand this once and not need explanation?
When he walked past her, he didn't look at her. He didn't see the expression on her face, as he stalked through the bull pen, declaring that they could fire him. Tossing his portfolio on his desk – the one that faced hers, and seemed to taunt him with their failures this time. The desks faced each other- but the owners couldn't. If this was it- if they couldn't pull out of this tailspin they seemed to be in- what good was loving his job if the partner that made it work wasn't there?
"I don't care." He mumbled as he walked away, not looking back. And if she wasn't with him, wasn't going to be there when he came back- he didn't care.