"She laughs because it's funny and can't stop because it's not. BA"
When he finds her, she is sitting with her legs splayed and her elbows splayed and her mind splayed, because she just can't deal with it and so she won't. The bench she is sitting on is partially covered with snow, and it looks as if she only half-assed wiping it off before sitting down. Bobby isn't sure why he notices this but then again he's never sure why he notices anything, so instead he half-asses wiping off the other section and sits down, legs-elbows-mind splayed.
They're good at this, this sitting and thinking thing. It's his normal state of being and she's slowly learned to fall into the pattern too, so the quiet today should be normal but isn't. Instead, today, there're all these unspoken words and cut-off sentences hanging between them like bridges that are never going to be crossed. Bobby opens his mouth to begin a crossing, but the first syllables get stuck in his throat and the rest of the words end up crashing into them.
So instead he snaps his mouth shut and props his chin against both fists, trying not to disturb the petite woman to his side with his brain. He always seems to do that, unintentionally waking or distracting people with the random thoughts that come out of his mouth, the sentences abandoned in the middle or the ones that he somehow forgets to say. Bobby remembers one time after he'd just finished explaining some theory or other, one where he'd failed to finish some sentences and forgot others, and the Captain had looked at Alex like how-in-the-hell-did-you-understand-that and she had smirked in that razor-edged way of hers and told him she'd learned to read the subtitles long ago.
She's like that. Straight and direct and to the point. In a way it's perfect because her directness is the perfect antithesis to his boomerang-ness, because when he is sniffing corpses and flitting from one clue to another, she is stationed by the witnesses and writing down all the relevant notes. Because that's Alex.
The order is unexpected and Bobby jerks, pulled from his train of thought and therefore it takes him a few moments to decipher what she just said. When he does, his jaw drops open and he stares at her. Alex gives him her best sideways glare that says I-don't-question-you and he shuts up and starts talking. About everything. About nothing.
And somewhere in between his recounting of the history of biological warfare and the current conspiracy theories, Alex starts to laugh. She's thinking about how ridiculous it all is, because she just survived being kidnapped by a serial killer and she's tired and cold and hungry, and her partner is talking to her about anthrax.
She laughs because it's funny and can't stop because it's not.
Bobby stops mid-sentence like he knows what she thinking and hell, he probably does. But his somber stare is rubbing Alex's already flared nerves and she thinks she's either going to hit him or kiss him.
So she does. Both.
The hit is hard but not hard enough to actually cause him any damage, and the kiss is so warm and wet and desperate that Bobby can't help the urge to kiss back. Because he's been just as terrified as she by this entire thing, and in his own way, more. Because the petite woman cradled in his big, clumsy hands is the only thing that matters to him and has been for a long time, and the thought of her hanging by that meat hook or on that work table is more than he can bear.
And he thinks, somehow, that if he can just keep her cradled in his big, clumsy hands with his arms wrapped so tight around her shoulders that she's in danger of becoming a part of him that maybe, just maybe, he can keep her safe. He's never really managed to do it with anything else, so he's a little nervous that he won't be able to do it this time either, but he's not willing to give up yet.
Alex pulls away and from the look in her eye he knows that she sensed his thoughts. Her hands come up to cradle his scruffy face and she looks him straight in the eye and says, "Bobby, I'm safe."
And he pulls her back to him and thinks, maybe-now-you-are.