Summary: Alex and Bobby are on their way to lunch after hearing some nasty rumors about why Alex stayed. Starts in between 'Masquerade' and 'The War at Home'. 'About Us' by Brooke featuring Paul Wall.

A/N: Just listening to 'About Us' I thought of Bobby and Alex and their relationship. I just couldn't help it.


"I heard that when she gave birth a few years ago, it was really his but Deakins made them give the baby up if they wanted to stay together on the job," Detective Lisa Calder told her friends.

"I heard that she didn't want to have the baby, but he made her," the second of the three women, Detective Molly Yenta, added.

They shushed as the topics of their discussion passed them, thinking that they hadn't heard what they were talking about. Unfortunately for them, Alex and Bobby both had heard what they were saying. The woman in question pulled out her picture phone, flipped it open and called up a picture of her three-year-old nephew.

"Does this child even look like Bobby Goren is his father?" she asked the three women, her anger and irritation obvious.

The three women looked down, embarrassed to have been caught and wise enough to know not to say a word as Alex continued, "That's because he's not! I don't know about you, Calder, but I for one am not sleeping with my partner."

Without another word Alex turned around and continued walking with her partner back to their desks. Bobby stayed silent as his partner quietly fumed over the nerve of some of the people in their department. When Deakins had been there no one had dared to say anything about them in the squad room. No sooner was he gone, and Captain Ross took his place, and the rumors started up again with full force.

"Eames," Bobby said quietly about half an hour later, "They don't deserve your anger." He looked at his watch, "Come on, partner, I'll buy you lunch."

Alex's mouth quirked in a small smile, "The deli on the corner?"

He looked hurt for a second before saying, "No, that Italian place ten blocks down that you like so much."

"Wanna take the car?"

"It's ten blocks, Eames."

"So? I don't wanna walk."

"Fine."

A few minutes later they were in the car, on their way to the restaurant. The radio was on, and Alex was about to turn it off when the words filtered through her anger and registered in her brain:

We got em talkin' but really they ain't saying too much
Just speculating the gossip truth is they don't know about us

I see your lips moving but I don't hear nothing
Everybody talking like they really know something about us
But they don't know nothing about us
I see your lips moving but I don't hear nothing
Everybody talking like they really wanna know about us
But they don't know nothing about us

Bobby glanced at his petite partner as she drove the short distance to the restaurant. "You know, Eames – they really don't know anything about us."

Alex sighed, "I know. But it still hurts when they accuse us of that stuff."

"It's not like this is the first time, though."

"No, I guess you're right. They've been doing it ever since I didn't leave after you used me as bait in the Talbot case."

Bobby glanced at her as the song continued, this time with the man doing what he could only assume passed for singing.

They talkin' bout us so I guess were doing something right
Ballin' in the mix with the camera lights shining bright
They know we caked up but they don't know how much we worth
people clear the ceiling off because we getting work.

When the woman started singing again, Bobby watched as Alex started to relax and actually listen to the words of the song. It fit their situation so well … no one really knew anything about them. Mike Logan and Captain Deakins at least didn't listen to the rumors. Then Deakins had to go and retire on them, leaving them with a captain who it seemed did nothing but listen to the rumors.

Picture yourself up in my shoes
Top story in the news
Everyday its something new
Everybody's watching you
But they ain't seen nothing
They Ain't heard nothing
Everybody's just fronting its what they do

I see your lips moving but I don't hear nothing
Everybody talking like they really know something about us
But they don't know nothing about us
I see your lips moving but I don't hear nothing
Everybody talking like they really wanna know about us
But they don't know nothing about us

Stop, stop, stop
I'm not listening
You can save your breath
I don't wanna hear the rumors people are spreading
Why, why do people go
Out of there way
To try to bring us down
They wanna know about us

"I think this is our theme song," Alex said as the last verse was repeated. She glanced at Bobby as she waited for the light to turn green, "What do you think, Big Guy?"

Bobby's brow furrowed, "I thought that other song was our theme song?"

"What one was that?"

"Here We Are by Jimmy Buffet. Remember, Eames? It was playing the first time I met your family and your sister said that would make a good theme song for us."

She just shrugged as she pulled into a recently vacated parking spot, causing the man who was also trying to pull in to glare at her and stick up a finger she didn't really want to see. "So?" she said, "We can have more than one theme song, Bobby. I was talking to my niece the other day and she was telling me about this new song by the Dixie Chicks called Not Ready to Make Nice. That'd make a good theme song, too."

"Why did you stay with me after the Talbot case?" Bobby asked suddenly as he held the door the restaurant open for her.

Alex smiled at him as if he was asking the obvious, "You made me dinner."

"What?" Bobby was beginning to think he'd never being to understand his partner. He'd thought he had the opposite sex down pretty well, but Alex was always throwing curve balls at him.

"After that case … I was grumbling about married men using women and completely forgot to eat lunch. You took me back to your apartment and cooked me dinner. I would contend that that was the first time I ever really had steak." She grinned at his blush, "As mad at you as I get sometimes, Bobby, you're still my best friend. Why would I give that up?"

Bobby looked down at his feet, trying to digest her words. After ordering, he looked at her with the little boy look in his eyes that made her want to kiss him. "Eames – Alex …" he trailed off, unsure if he could continue.

"What is it, Bobby?" Alex asked, concern evident in her face and voice.

"My mother's dying," he finally blurted out. "Sh-she was diagnosed with cancer last month. I-It's stage three."

Alex's hand snaked out and she placed it in Bobby's. With a squeeze she said, "We'll get through this, Bobby. Together. Just … don't shut me out."

---

As pissed as she was that he'd stormed out of the squad room and had been stonewalling her all day, Alex was even more enraged at Captain Ross and the Commissioner for calling Bobby away from what little time left his mother had. Ross looked at her in confusion after getting over the shock of Goren's outburst.

"Is he coming back?" he asked the big detective's partner.

"Not today," Alex said, the anger making her voice short and snippy. "Now, if you'll excuse me, Captain, I have paperwork to finish."

Ross let her go, resigned to having to find out what was going on from someone else. Eames did her paperwork (and Goren's) in record time before gathering her things and rushing out of the building. Mike Logan stopped her before she reached the elevators (who had left something in his desk that he needed).

"Whoa, Alex, where are you off to in such a rush?" Logan asked with a friendly smile.

Her eyes told him all he needed to know. He let her go and off she went to find her big oaf of a partner. "Don't let him isolate himself again," he said as parting advice.

"I know that, Logan!" she snapped, "I know Bobby better than anyone else here." As the elevator doors opened she said, "I'll call to let you know if he's coming back to work."

"What happened?"

"Ross isn't Deakins and just doesn't know," Alex said, hoping that would be enough for the other detective. It was all she could give him. The doors closed and she was off to save her relationship with Bobby Goren.

When Logan walked into the bullpen, Ross was on him in a second. "Logan, my office, now!" he ordered.

Mike walked into Ross's office, unsure why he had been called. "Do you know what's going on with Goren and Eames?" the Captain finally asked.

Mike raised his eyebrows, "What's going on with them? What do you mean, Captain?"

"Are they sleeping together?" Ross asked bluntly, trying to determine the extent of their relationship by eliminating all possibilities.

It was all Mike could do not to laugh at that thought: Goren and Eames sleeping together. "Goren doesn't sleep, sir," he replied with a straight face.

Ross's eyes narrowed at him. "Logan," he said warningly.

"As far as I know, they aren't sleeping together – and with their solve and conviction rate being what it is, sir, I must ask you why you'd care."

"It's my job to care, Logan. Quit being a smart ass."

"Captain Ross, with respect sir, they don't do nearly as good a job without each other as they do together," Logan said, knowing that the new captain had to remember what had happened to Goren when Eames was kidnapped. "They've devoted so much of their lives and time to the job, sir. Is it so bad if they get some happiness out of it, too?"

"I don't know, Logan. Is it?"

---

That Monday, Goren returned to work, Eames by his side, much calmer than he had been the Friday before when he'd stormed out. Ross noticed the change in both detectives and had to wonder about it. Eames said something and Goren quirked a smile in response, obviously over what had been bothering him.

The two sat at their desks and continued bantering back and forth to each other while the rest of the squad watched intermittently between their own paperwork and conversations.

It was almost lunch when Bobby and Alex overheard a conversation taking place a little too close to their desks:

"I heard from Sanchez that when she left on Friday to go after him, she jumped him," the first detective said.

The second shook his head, "Naw, man, that can't be true. Look at them – it's like back in the first few years of their partnership. I'd bet that they did have sex though. I mean, I haven't seen Eames in that outfit in a couple months – I think she left it at his place."

Alex raised her eyebrows, looking down at her outfit she tried to remember the last time she'd worn it. It was Bobby who quietly answered her unspoken question, "Six months ago. You wore it when we were working on the Summerhill case."

Alex's lips curved into a smile as she cocked her head at her partner, "You keepin' tabs on my wardrobe now, Goren?"

He shrugged, a sheepish smile appearing on his face, "Photographic memory, Eames. I remember everything you do."

They got back to work on their paperwork, listening as the other two detectives continued to gossip about them. This time, though, Eames didn't get mad. She just thought back to the words of the song they'd listened to in the car a few weeks before:

I see your lips moving but I don't hear nothing
Everybody talking like they really know something about us
But they don't know nothing about us
I see your lips moving but I don't hear nothing
Everybody talking like they really wanna know about us
But they don't know nothing about us

The rest of squad just didn't understand how Goren and Eames worked. Eames and Goren … the infamous Golden Detectives of Major Case Squad … and no one wanted to know any more than that.

Fin


A/N: Please review. I know I left a lot to your imagination ... but if you're nice and ask me to, I may write another one shot about what Alex and Bobby did when she found him.