"Bobby?" she ventured quietly, not lifting her head. Being burrowed into him felt entirely too good to give up without adequate cause. Although if his arms got much tighter, her ribs might overrule that.
He exhaled heavily, and she could smell the wine on his breath as it drifted past her cheek. She wondered idly how drunk he was feeling after those five glasses of red. She was definitely feeling a little numb after her own four drinks. In fact, the numbness might have something to do with her reluctance to pick up her head or stand up. It would be embarrassing to get to her feet and promptly fall flat on her face after an emotional scene like they'd just staged. Speaking of which . . .
"Does sighing dramatically signify a yes, or a no, Bobby?"
"I, uh . . ." He sighed again. "I'm fine. Sorry."
Without moving either of his arms from around her, he managed to shrug. "Everything. I've been . . . unkind lately."
"No you haven't!" she protested, finally pulling away, just to stare at him. "There's a lot of things you have been, but 'unkind' isn't one of them. Except maybe to the captain," she added facetiously. "Not that he didn't deserve it. But you certainly don't owe me an apology for unkindness."
"I . . . I don't?"
"No. But you can apologize for keeping me in the dark about all this. That one I'll accept."
He closed his arms back around her and nodded slightly, his nose brushing her ear as he inclined his head. "I apologize."
"Forgiven. And that tickles, stop it!" she added, elbowing him in the side.
"Huh? What tickles?"
"You're breathing on me!"
Thirty seconds later, she elbowed him again. "I didn't tell you to stop breathing, idiot! Just breathing on me!"
Bobby let out the breath he'd been making a point of holding, then grinned at her. "You have to be specific about things like that, Eames."
She rolled her eyes. "I ought to know that by now. After all these years with you, Bobby . . ."
"Yeah," he said softly. "Years. How long, Eames?"
"Seven," she replied without hesitation.
"Sev- no, that's not right! It was 2001, which means -"
She chuckled. "I wondered if you were really asking, or if you already knew the answer. Ok, it's six. Almost seven. Feels like seven."
"Have I tired you out in only six years, Eames?" he teased, feeling courageous in the face of tonight's closeness, both emotional and physical.
"Tired me out?" She stared at him in exaggerated disbelief, then laughed. "Bobby, I haven't had a full night's sleep since I met you!"
"You haven't? Why not?"
"Hmm." She smirked. "Keeping up with you is a full-time job. Frankly, I can think of better things to do with some of the nights I've spent chasing you all over New York."
"You, uh . . . you can?" He tried to hide his wince. She had better things to do than spend time with him. Of course she did.
"Yeah. Like not chasing you all over New York. You ever consider sitting still for a night or two? Maybe with a friend?"
"A . . . friend?" He was struggling to figure out where she was going with this.
"Or a girlfriend." She snuck a glance up at him. "If you've got one."
He blinked, wondering where the slyness in her voice had come from. "I don't. Uh, well, unless you count you."
She abruptly stopped laughing and stared at him in confusion. "Me?"
He managed a weak smile. "Yeah. My brother . . . Frank . . . when we ran into him, he thought you were my girlfriend. Well, my wife, actually. Then my girlfriend, when I told him we weren't married,"
"Er . . . oh." She paused, wondering why he hadn't mentioned that to her when it happened, then just shook her head humorously. "Not the first time someone's assumed that."
"Well, no. But . . ." He swallowed. "You know, he's my brother. He grew up with me."
She raised an eyebrow. "And . . . you think maybe he knows more about you than a random criminal who assumes we're a couple?"
"S-Something along those lines. I just, uh . . . I wonder sometimes, you know?"
"Bobby." She raised a hand to pat his cheek jokingly. "Trust me. If we were sleeping together, at least one of us would have noticed. We're detectives like that."
"That's . . . not what I wonder."
"It's not? What, then? Did I miss something in this conversation?"
He shrugged and slumped back on the couch. "I wonder . . . sometimes, I mean . . . I wonder what it would be like."
Alex thought about that for a second. "It would be . . . nice, I think."
"Yeah. Nice. We make a good team in just about any context, if you hadn't noticed. I don't see why sleeping together would be any different."
"How much did you have to drink?"
"Four drinks, and you had five. Why?"
He shrugged awkwardly. "We're talking about sleeping together."
She mulled that over, then nodded a frank acknowledgement. "You're right, we are. You feel drunk?"
"A little. You?"
"A little bit more than a little. Hey, Bobby?"
"If we're drunk . . ."
Bobby waited, eyebrows raised, for her to finish that sentence, but she didn't. Instead, she lifted her eyes to his face speculatively and tightened her arms where they had gone around his waist. "Eames?" he ventured, unable to keep himself from lowering his head to nuzzle her hair.
She raised her head at the same time, and their lips met.
A/N: I think this might be the end. I could turn it into a huge production where they have sex, and then one of them regrets it, and the other one is hurt, and blah blah, but, well, we've all read that plot fifty times before. So I'm inclined to leave this as it is, and let you use your imaginations for the rest. Well, probably.