Title: Better Than Okay

Author: Sassy and Jacquie

Rating: K or K+

Summary: Bobby finally confesses to the one who matters most.

Archive: Anywhere just let us know.

Disclaimer: I do not own them Sam I am I do not own…oh crap I can't rhyme it grins I don't own CI or any of it's affiliates or characters.

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Alex dragged her feet up the steps to her apartment. Sensing someone watching her, she looked up. It was Bobby. She smiled. "Hey, you. How long have you been waiting?"

"Not long." Bobby looked her up and down. "How was your date?"

"Don't ask." Alex turned the key in the lock and shoved the door in. I couldn't talk about anyone but you. Don't you see that I only want you? "Couldn't stop talking about you."

"Can...Is it okay if I come in for a minute?"

"You're always welcome here, Bobby. You know that." Taking her coat off she revealed the black tank top and tight jeans she was wearing. "Want a beer?"

"Sure."

Alex moved in to the apartment and toward the fridge. "All I have is light beer. That okay?"

"Yeah, that's fine," Bobby said softly. He was still studying her. You can do this, he told himself...just take a deep breath.

Popping the cap off his beer, she handed it to him. Using only her feet, she removed her shoes. She moved to the window and opened it. "It feels great out tonight, don't you think?"

"We can go out on the balcony if you want."

She smiled at him. Opening the balcony doors, she stepped out ahead of him. She sat on the railing and looked out across the city. "The rent may be high, but I have a great view." She looked back at him and smiled.

He tried to smile back. His palms were sweating. She didn't miss him drying them on his pants.

"Is something wrong, Bobby?" Immediately growing uneasy, she stood and moved toward him. "Your mother?"

"No, my mom's fine. I just came from seeing her..." He took a deep breath.

"What's wrong?" She touched his arm.

"It bothered me that you went out with someone else," he blurted.

Then he turned away from her. She sat back down and let what he said sink in. "You keep going out with Denise and I thought..."

"Alex, I'm not going out with Denise anymore. I broke up with her a week ago," he said softly.

"You...I didn't know." Alex looked out at the city. "You can't ask me to sit at home and wait for you. You'll get bored with me. You'll find someone else. Then, I'll be just a memory. You can't ask me to do that."

"That's not true. You...you make me feel human. I can't get rid of that...I need it to feel alive...I..." his voice broke.

"You've known for over a year now how I've felt about you. Why now?" Alex met his eyes, needing to know the truth.

"I realized I was afraid," he admitted. But then he stopped, not knowing how to explain to her.

Alex remembered the day she'd laid her feelings for him out. He'd looked at her and whispered, "I'm sorry."

She'd left his apartment and from that day on tried to forget what she'd said to him. He'd let it go back to business as usual. Did he know how many nights she'd cried herself to sleep? The many men she'd took to her bed, hoping just one would erase him from her heart. And when none did, she gave up and settled for casual dates and only getting him at work.

"That's not good enough, Bobby." A single tear slipped slowly down her cheek.

"I know. I...I've been thinking about that a lot."

"Thinking," she scoffed.

"Look...you were right about me, alright? I admit it." Bobby's voice cracked. "I'm an unfeeling jerk. I have no idea what to do when someone tells me they love me...I shut down."

"How do I know you're not going to shut down on me again?" Alex asked with a sliver of hope in her voice.

"Look at my face, Alex. What do you see?"

She studied him for a long moment, "A man who has great feelings, who doesn't like to lose control...and is on the verge of doing just that." She took a step closer. "You can't shield me from you, Bobby. You have to let me in."

"I thought I could protect you from me.." he whispered. He was starting to tremble.

She took his hand in hers. "I love you and I don't need protecting."

He gently kissed her hand. Then he frowned when he saw that she had tears rolling down her face. He pulled her against him.

"It was hard seeing you...wanting you...needing you...and not having you," she said softly.

"I'm here now."

Sniffling a little, she wiped her eyes and looked up at him. "I know."

He caressed her cheek, wiping the tears away.

She closed her eyes at his touch, softly whispering, "Bobby..."

"You're getting cold," he whispered. "Let's get you inside."

She shook her head. "Not cold..."

"You sure?" He rubbed her arms.

She licked her lips. "I'm sure."

Bobby couldn't hold back anymore. Mentally asking her not to kick him in the shins, he leaned in to kiss her.

Pulling his mouth firmer against hers, she slipped her tongue into his mouth. A low moan came from her throat.

Bobby whimpered softly as he cupped her face. His mind reeled when he tasted her. His body was starting to shiver as he realized that his control was slipping.

Needing air, the kiss ended. "Don't hold back," she whispered.

"You okay?" He grinned at her.

"Better than okay." She nibbled at the hollow of his throat.

"Still think we should go in...more private," he whispered in her ear.

Getting a devilish look in her eyes, she responded. "I like the way your mind works."

"After five years, I certainly hope so," he chuckled.

Taking his hand, she pulled him back inside, only to be pushed against the wall. He changed his mind suddenly, chastening himself for treating her like Denise and all the others. His movements were much more gentle, but still sincere as he steered her toward the couch.

Pulling him back to her, she whispered, "It's okay."

"Better than okay," he whispered back as he felt her arms go around him. He buried his face in her hair.

She shivered when she felt his unshaven check caress her collarbone.

"This feels good," he whispered.

She couldn't speak. She nodded her agreement.

He tilted her chin up to meet his eyes. "Hey...Alex...I'm not going to hurt you," he whispered. "It's alright."

"That's good because my brothers like to beat up boys that don't play nice to me." Alex teased.

"Guess I better watch my behind then, huh?"

She smiled and pulled his bottom lip between her teeth. "Damn straight." Bobby groaned as his body relaxed against hers. She pushed him back a little. "I'm old fashioned. I want to go out with you. On a date, I mean."

"Musta read my mind. I was just gonna ask you if you wanted to go on a good old fashioned date." Don't pressure her...she's been hurt too many times.. an inner voice warned him.

Alex smiled and nodded. "I'd love to."

He was reluctant to leave her, but he kissed her hair. "You've had a long day. I'll let you get some sleep."

"When are we going out?" She asked as she walked him to the door.

"I'll pick you up. Tomorrow at seven." Tomorrow was Saturday, and they were both off.

Smiling, Alex leaned up and kissed his cheek. "I'll be ready."

"Night." Bobby left again.

Closing the door behind him, she leaned against the door with a true smile on her face. She stripped off her clothes as she made her way to the bathroom. Tomorrow was a good day to start new.

Bobby didn't go home right away. He spent the next few hours arranging for his date...making reservations at her favorite Spanish restaurant, ordering flowers. He even bribed his good friend Lewis with Yankee tickets if he would let him use his car.

Alex lay huddled under the covers and the urge to call him finally won out. Picking up her phone, she dialed his number. "I just wanted to tell you good night." She could hear jukebox music in the background and the sound of drills. She knew he was in Lewis' shop. "You seriously can't be working on a car at this hour." She looked at her clock. It was after midnight.

"Nah...Just dropped in to run an errand."

"I see." She laid her hand up over her head and sighed. "I'll let you get back to it. I was just wanting to...hear your voice."

"Get some sleep, Alex," his voice was soft. "I'll see you tomorrow."

"Night."

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Alex was running late. Her hair wouldn't do right. The dress she'd originally chosen wasn't as flattering on as it was in the store. She was pulling things out of her closet tossing them on the bed. Finally she settled on a silk navy gown with a slit up the side. She'd just finished zipping it when she heard his knock on the door.

Bobby smoothed down his shirt for the hundredth time...or what felt like the hundredth time, anyway. "What's the big deal, Goren? You've gone on dates before," he muttered to himself.

"Were you talking to someone?" Alex asked as she opened the door.

"Just me, myself and I." He smiled, presenting the carnations from behind his back.

Pulling them to her nose, she breathed in deep. "They're my favorites."

"I know."

"Let me put them in some water." She left him standing at the door. "I have the perfect vase."

Bobby didn't dare move. He stood where Alex left him.

Returning to him, she rolled her eyes at herself. "Where are my manners?" She gave him a big smile. "You could've come in."

"It's fine." He tried to smile back. "Ready to go?"

"Let me grab my keys." She reached for her car keys.

He nodded.

"Where are you taking me?" She asked as she linked her arm through his.

"Sorry. Surprise," he grinned at her.

She groaned. "You know I hate surprises, Bobby," she teased.

"You'll like this one," he promised.

"I don't doubt that a bit." She smiled up at him.

He unlocked Lewis's restored Thunderbird, opening Alex's door for her.

"Nice wheels...this the errand you were running?" Alex asked pulling up her dress to slip in the passenger side.

"Lewis let me borrow it."

"Suits you," she said with a smile as he closed her door.

He got into the driver seat, smiling at her as he started the engine. Twenty minutes later, they were pulling up in front of Philero's Mexican Restaurant.

"You remembered," Alex said with a smile and a squeeze to his knee.

Bobby looked over at her with serious brown eyes. "I know it looks like sometimes I'm not listening. But I am."

"And when I look annoyed, I'm really just impressed." Alex reached for her door handle.

Bobby snuck in a soft kiss to her cheek. "I wondered about that."

"I don't even a pretend to hold a candle to you," Alex whispered.

"You don't give yourself enough credit." Bobby walked around to her side of the car and opened the door again for her.

"Thank you," Alex whispered. "I know who solves most of our cases...it isn't me."

"Come on, Beautiful. Our table's waiting." Bobby kissed the back of her hand.

She had to get used to this. He wasn't like the Bobby at work. He was open and human. She smiled when Bobby pulled out her chair. "I don't deserve this."

"Yes, you do."

"I love the food here," Alex said as she was handed a menu

"Saw that too." Bobby smiled behind his menu.

"You got x-ray vision?" Alex teased.

"Just a photographic memory."

"Blessing and a curse," she said with a girlish grin.

Bobby fell silent as he concentrated on his menu. He felt his cheeks turning red.

"Can I get anything I want?" She said moving the menu just enough for him to see her eyes.

"Absolutely."

"I guess you also know from those great skills that I'm not like most girls. I can put food away with the best of them." She said after their waiter had taken their drink orders.

Bobby instinctively reached over to take her hand, surprising himself. He paused for a moment to get his bearings before telling her, "I fell in love with a strong, independent woman...don't go changing that," he whispered.

Then his eyes widened...I just told her I'm in love with her...

"I won't." She promised.

Slightly embarrassed--and wondering if he had gone too far--Bobby started to take his hand back.

Linking her fingers with his, she smiled up at him. "Leave it."

Bobby tilted his head slightly, as he often did when he was studying someone or something. Alex was finally rewarded with a shy, almost little boy like smile.

"What are you getting?"

"Yo...I was looking at the quesadillas"

"I'm thinking Steak Ranchero with Rice." She looked up at him.

"That's good too." Bobby relaxed, thinking that maybe she hadn't heard his near-slip.

Taking off her high heel, Alex ran her foot up his leg. "You can have me for dessert." She blushed and looked away.

While they were waiting for their orders, a band started playing. Bobby extended his hand to her.

Slipping her hand into his, Alex stood slowly. "I'm not so good at dancing."

"Don't have to be."

"Why? You'll let me dance on your feet?" Alex whispered.

Bobby looked at her, completely serious and said, "Yes."

And he did. Alex's heart was beating so hard and fast that she was sure he could hear it over the band.

He kissed her eyelids before he pulled her against his chest.

"I never want to forget this moment."

You Are So Beautiful To Me began playing. Bobby softly sang in her ear.

She was blushing a deep red, knowing he meant what he said. "I love you."

Bobby tilted her chin up, gently kissing her lips. "And I love you," he whispered.

When the song ended, Alex wished they'd played it again and again. She never wanted to leave his arms

Bobby glanced over at their table where their food and drinks were waiting. "Food's here," he whispered in her ear.

Alex moaned.

"We have all night...we have forever," he whispered as he kissed her neck.

Forever. She liked the sound of that.