Summary:Lynne helps Bobby deal with the turmoil of losing Alex at the start of season six.

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Mike watched the burly detective slowly come undone as the day wore on. He wasn't the only one who noticed how Bobby was falling apart, either. There was a small group of detectives who had been talking about it off and on all day. It seemed, however, that they weren't going to do anything about it.

When he approached one of the men about it, though, the man just shook his head and said that she'd be there when she could.

She? Who's she?

They forgot that he wasn't there back when Lynne used to come around. But when Logan tried to press for more information the detective just shook his head and refused to elaborate any more than saying, "You'll see soon enough."

Mike Logan did see soon enough.

His first hint that something was up was the way the other detectives were trying to be covert as they looked at the elevators. Soon enough one opened on their floor and a petite woman with dark auburn hair came out, the click of her heels on the tile causing detectives to sigh in relief. Mike was a bit confused as to why she had a container of Tupperware in one hand and a suit in the other.

To the shock of Mike Logan she walked straight up to Goren's desk, where he was sitting with his head between his hands in utter despair, and let down the plastic container with a thump. Without waiting for a reaction from Goren she started talking, "You will eat at least half of the orzo salad in that container, and then you will wash up and change your clothes, and then you will go upstairs and lie down for at least four hours. If you attempt to deviate from this to do list, you will not appreciate the consequences."

Much to Logan's surprise, Bobby's head came up and he set about opening the lid on the container and started to eat the prescribed amount of orzo. Around him other detectives were letting out sighs of relief as Goren continued to eat.

The woman looked around and found a vacant chair a few feet away that she pulled up so she could sit beside Goren. Mike added the information that she purposefully looked over Eames' chair during her short hunt. Bobby was the first to break the silence, "Where are Wyatt and Hannah?"

Her answer was the quiet reply of, "With Lewis." Bobby raised an eyebrow at the answer and she elaborated, "We may be divorced, Bobby, but he's still their father and they love him."

"They're two. They love everybody."

"Especially their Uncle Bobby and Auntie Alex," she shot back. He fidgeted in his chair and she changed her tone back to soft and comforting, "You didn't seem to think Lewis was such a bad guy when we got married nearly four years ago, Bobby."

"That was before." She didn't need clarification to know that he meant before Lewis started limiting the amount of time she spent out with her friends. Possessive was the only word for it.

"We make much better friends than we ever did marriage partners," she smiled sadly at the memory of her failed three year marriage. She noticed that he was now only picking at his food, "Eat up, mister, you don't want Alex to come back and find you sick, do you?"

His gaze suddenly turned haunted as he stared at his partner's empty desk. The unknown woman slid out of her chair and took Goren's face in her hands, forcing him to look at her. "Stop it," she ordered him. "She's coming back, so just stop thinking like that right now."

"How can you be so positive?" he whispered.

Her eyes were full of confidence and sincerity as she replied, "Because she wouldn't leave you like this. Not after everything is said and done. Because I've been there, and I know. Call it intuition or a gut feeling, Bobby, but I just know that she's going to come back, alright? Now buck up and finish eating, the orzo's getting warm." She released his face and pointed toward the container with the command written on her face. Goren knew when not to argue.

"Where'd you get this recipe anyway?" Goren asked as he got back to eating.

"Oh, it's one I found in that cookbook Mrs. Goldstein gave me for my birthday, Hip Kosher. Do you like it?" the woman asked, knowing when it was time to change the subject.

"Would I eat it if I didn't, Lynne?"

"Yes."

"I never thought blueberries would be appropriate with orzo, but it is good."

"Wyatt thought so, too when I gave them some for lunch today. It was Hannah's idea to bring you some, actually. She was very worried about you."

Bobby finished eating and pushed the container away. Lynne stood and handed him the suit, "Half an hour, Bobby. If you stay in there longer I'm coming in after you." Her stern look made Mike believe that she wasn't kidding, and that it wouldn't be any fun for Bobby if she had to go in and get him.

The big burly detective nodded and made his way to the locker room used by detectives who had to work long shifts.

Lynne let out a deep breath as she saw him disappear from view. When she knew he was out of hearing range she turned her attention to the throng of detectives who had been watching her with interest. "Well?" she asked, "Don't make a liar out of me."

Deakins couldn't have gotten a faster reaction from his detectives as they got back to work.

--

Ross watched the woman's handling of his detectives and had to scratch his head. She looked familiar somehow, but he couldn't place it. He watched her as she walked around his squad room as if she'd worked there for years, fixed a cup of coffee, took a sip and threw it away in disgust. He watched enthralled as she tossed out the rest of the coffee and made another pot. She moved fluidly and gracefully as she waited for the pot to brew.

Finally, as she drank happily from a fresh cup of coffee, Ross got up the nerve to find out what the hell she was doing in his squad room and prancing about as if she owned the place.

Her response to the initial inquiry was to raise her eyebrows and smile indulgently at him, "Captain Ross, I may not own this squad but that doesn't mean that I have no place being here. Just ask any one of your senior detectives. As it is, however, I was asked to come here today to make sure that Bobby doesn't forget his priorities."

Ross eyed her critically, "Who asked you to come?"

Her smile turned sarcastic, "A detective."

"Why?"

"For Bobby, like I just told you."

"What's so great about Goren that you'd come down here in the middle of the day to make sure that he's all right?" The contempt in Ross' voice was evident and Lynne's hackles rose at the sound.

Her voice was overly sweet and calm as she replied, "Captain, never underestimate the importance of Bobby Goren to your squad - or to me. He's a magnificent profiler and detective. Not to mention how much he's done for so many victims over the years." Her eyes bore into his as she continued, "His colleagues realize all of that, even if they still think he's an odd-ball. That's why I'm here."

Without waiting for a response Lynne brushed past Ross and made her way to where Bobby was now standing by his desk.

She looked at Bobby with her head cocked to one side. "Think you can make it up to the bunks on your own?"

He gave her a look that clearly protested his need to sleep but she cut him off before he could argue, "You're no good to her dead on your feet, Bobby. Go get some sleep, I'll make sure someone wakes you up if there's any sort of development."

Even though Bobby didn't want to give in, he felt his body about to give out and nodded. "I have your word on that?"

"Have I ever lied to you, Bobby?"

A head shake was her only answer as he turned around and went to the elevators to ride up to the floor with the bunks.

Lynne nodded as he walked away, knowing that he might not sleep as much as she would like, but he'd at least rest his body for a few hours.

After he was in the elevator and headed up, Lynne smiled wistfully before turning to look at the detectives around her. "No one disturbs him for at least four hours, got it? No one. Short of Eames being found nothing is more important for him right now than sleep."

She turned to make sure her orders were being followed before nodding and moving to head to the elevators. Ross, who had approached during the scene, grabbed her arm before she could get more than a few feet away.

Turning around to face him she calmly asked, "Was there something else, Captain Ross?"

The older man was a bit shocked by her cool, blunt attitude toward him. "What exactly is going on between Eames and Goren?"

Lynne smiled softly, almost bitterly, Not as much as there should be, "They've been partners for almost seven years. You figure it out. Now if you'll excuse me, I have two children waiting for me, along with three suits that have to be finished by the end of the week."

Without another word she walked away, leaving Ross and Logan to ponder some more just who she was and what the hell was going on between Goren and Eames.

Lynne just prayed that Alex's relationship with Bobby was made of firmer stuff than her own had been. She'd never seen Bobby as happy as he was when he was openly with his friend, confident, and lover.

Fin


A/N: Perhaps not the ending you wanted, but the only one I had in me to give. Please accept this humble offering to the alter of fandom.