A/N: Wow, look at me, I exist again! It's been a very long time, if you hadn't noticed, but I might be back. After serendipitiously catching the end of the USA marathon this weekend, I have a sudden urge to get back into the CI world. Now, keep in mind that the last episode I saw before this weekend was the episode where Deakins left. So you could say I'm, er, just a bit behind the times. A tad. Only, oh, a year or so. So please, if what I'm writing is contradicted by stuff I missed, pleeease let me know what it is and what the right answer is so I can correct it.
Anyway, this is a post ep for...um...the episode where Bobby's brother didn't actually die, even though it was his coat on the slab. Not that I know the title of it, being as oblivious as I am anymore, but yeah...that one. I'm not sure where exactly I'm going to take this. Probably a B/A comfort fic, but as those of you who've read my stuff before know, my plots have a way of taking over themselves and going haywire. So maybe it'll end up something completely different. Either way, reviews are going to be my impetus, or lack thereof, for following this up. I don't know if I've still got the knack, you know?
Sorry, enough A/N-ing. On with the teaser!
"Bobby." Alex Eames quick-stepped to catch up to her partner, who was fleeing the morgue in as dignified a manner as one could manage if the hounds of hell were after one. "Bobby, wait up!"
He glanced over his shoulder and mumbled something she didn't catch, but if anything he sped up his stride.
Realizing that she was never going to catch him this way, she went for Plan B. Stopping short in her tracks, she moved a few inches to the edge of the hallway to avoid blocking foot traffic, leaned against the wall, and waited for him to notice that she was no longer giving chase.
It took him about ten long strides before it hit him that something was different. Momentarily lifted from his absorption by the awareness of change, he paused mid-step and looked around to figure out what it was that had caught his attention.
There wasn't anyone dogging his heels anymore, that was it. He looked around again, confused by how she'd managed to disappear so suddenly. "Eames?"
"Back here, Bobby."
He blinked and looked at where the voice was coming from. There was his partner, leisurely leaning up against a puce-colored morgue wall. "Why'd you stop?"
She gave him an enigmatic shrug, pushed off the wall, and unhurriedly made her way to where he was standing. "Why'd you keep going?"
"I wasn't paying -"
"Oh." He glanced down at her, then quickly looked away before she could actually meet his eyes. "Sorry. I'm just, uh . . ."
"Hm." She looked thoughtful. "You want to talk about it?"
"Too bad." Before he could protest, she'd wrapped a hand around his bicep and was pulling him along. "Come on."
"Eames . . ."
"I don't think -"
"Walk, Bobby. No time for thinking; we've got places to be."
That confounded him, and he allowed her to pull him along for a good fifty feet while he tried to figure out where it was they were supposed to be and how he had forgotten. Coming up blank, he returned to reality just as she was about to pull him into the elevator. "What . . . where are we going?"
"Out of here," she answered shortly, towing him into the elevator car. "Work day's over."
He processed that for a second. "It is? I should go -"
"Ohhh, no. You're mine for the night, Goren. We've got stuff to discuss."
Oh, no. When she said that, it never meant anything good. Tonight, especially, he would be bad company. Even now, just facing the prospect of a long, partner-ly discussion, he had to fight the urge to shake off her hand and run. "I don't think that's a good idea, Eames. Really, I just need to -"
She tightened her hand as if suspecting he was going to flee. "You really just need to be quiet and follow me, ok? Trust me," she added, her voice softening. "I'm looking out for you, here. Partners, remember?"
"Of course I remember. I'm just saying that I don't think tonight I'm going to be any use to, uh, well, anyone. Including you."
"You don't have to be of use." Confident now that he wasn't going to just dig in his heels and refuse to move any further, she led him out of the elevator and toward the front door of the building. "I don't plan on 'using' you at all tonight. In fact, I might let you use me."
That got his attention. He stopped again and blinked owlishly at her. "You . . . what?"
She rolled her eyes. "Not like that, Casanova. Would you just walk, please? And trust me for just one night?" When he moved to protest again, she cut him off before he could: "I know the concept of trusting me is something you try to avoid anymore, but just . . . just give it a rest, would you?" she ended up saying snappishly, in spite of herself. "You won't let me in, and I'm worried about you, and Ross is worried about you, and all I want is a little conversation to make sure you're not going to go apeshit and destroy the entire eleventh floor on your next bad day, ok? Your desk was enough."
He gaped at her in response to that vehement speech. "I'm fine."
"Maybe you are. Me, not so much. So just cooperate, here, ok?"
He wasn't going to get out of it. And when she put it like that, the least he owed her was a little cooperation after the last few weeks. He sighed and stopped resisting the pull of her small hand. "Ok."
Eames offered him her first smile since Bobby had been summoned to the morgue. It was weak, but it was definitely an up-turning of her lips. "Thank you. Now, walk."