Just a post Amends vignette. I'm not sure where I was going with this, but to be fair, I've been delirious with an upper respiratory infection for the past two days. Just enjoy for the sheer fun of enjoyment. I've always loved that scene in the car. I've always thought that Bobby was being very careful with what he said, that there was more he wanted to say (this could just be my 'shipper brain) and I've always wondered what that scene looked like when Eames relinquished control of the car.

Disclaimer: Any characters portrayed herein do not belong to me, nor will they ever, and I never expect to make any money or take any credit for them.

Please Read and Respond. As always, praise and constructive criticism are always appreciated. I've found that the CI fanfic folks are pretty awesome and accepting and full of real advice and critiques, so I never worry on this point. :)

The Widow and the Whack Job

She is sitting on the bench where we sometimes eat lunch, just the two of us, when the weather is nice.

Except it's not our lunch break. It's ten o'clock at night, and she is a half hour drive from her house.

I watch her from a distance for a long minute. She hasn't sensed me yet, and this gives me a rare opportunity to see her without her carefully crafted shield. She is sitting on the edge of the bench, her legs streched out in front of her, her hair blowing in the wind so that it covered her face. She pushes it out of her eyes with a careless move, and when her head turns, she catches me. She frowns, and I smile at her. I couldn't help it. I can't ever help it.

I never know what to say to her. I could talk a murder confession out of a nun (I actually did it once), and I can profile a serial killer down the next ham sandwich he'll eat. But talking to Alex Eames is like talking to that popular cool girl in high school who also happened to be smart and nice. These past few days have found me less able than I usually am.

I sit down next to her on the bench, hands shoved in the pockets of my overcoat. I scan the sky, the path, the trees, and the lights of the traffic through the gates. I look at everything but her.

Today, she arrested the man who killed her husband. Today, the wound that had only been bandaged began to heal.

She had told me about Joe's murder sometime early on, how it had happened the year before someone got the bright idea to partner us up. How, all of a sudden, she didn't want to work Vice anymore, and how she applied for the transfer and won the promotion to Major Case.

Before my own arrival, I heard through the inevitable grapevine that because of this awful thing that had happened to her, she was considered something of an unlucky omen to superstitious cops in the precincts and in our own squad room- especially since Joe had been a cop too. Of course, who better to put the crazy new guy from Narcotics with? If someone's going to catch the next bullet, it might as well be me.

I know no one expected it to work, but it did, and blah, blah, blah, the proof is all there. And I'm still alive. So I'm pretty damned certain that the Widow is my good luck charm.

I remember the first punch I threw in her defense. I always wondered if she ever heard about it. I can't imagine that she didn't- cops gossip worse than the old women who used to sit in the restaurant at my grandfather's club. It happened in the men's locker room. A couple of the young upstarts started talking about her- I'll spare the details of what was said- not much got out anyway, before my fist met his face, and he crumpled, and his buddies dragged him off.

No one said anything about her after that- not around me, anyway. I did hear that there were a few choice comments written in the ladies room. If cops aren't gossiping old women, we're teenage vandals.

Of course, I've got my own reputation to uphold- the head case- or, as the Chief of Detectives has so nicely put it, the Whack Job. Capital W, Capital J.

And they wonder why I have authority issues.

At some point, my loyalties changed- her first, NYPD second. It killed me yesterday. I felt like I had stabbed her in the heart when she discovered me with Joe's file. So when the sergeant down in the evidence room came back with that damned attitude and empty hands, I couldn't help myself. I had to prove my loyalty to her, to protect her, to stand up for her, even if that only menat scaring the hell out of the guy.

I half hoped that he would have called my bluff, so I could have torn that place apart. A little physical release from all the heavy that's come down on us lately would have been nice.

I'm okay with my reputation. She is not so used to being on the outside. I don't think she's ever felt it so keenly as she has the last few days, or if so, she hasn't ever admitted it to herself or to anyone else.

She touched on it briefly, when we were driving away from the Quinn house.

The door had opened, and she had come flying out of the house, and down the steps, which surprised the hell out of me, lost in my own thoughts.

"What happened", I began, standing up from my lean on our car.

But she had blown past me, and got into the passenger seat, slamming the door. I looked from her to the house, debating whether or not to go in and find out who had upset her and kill them. Instead, I satisfied myself with glaring at the picture window, where I knew someone was watching. I went over to the driver's side, and slid in. She handed over the keys without a word.

I waited until we had moved a block away before starting again.

"So, how did it go in there", I had asked, taking a deep breath.

She had started slowly, painfully recounting the memories, and how they had just all stopped calling one day. I knew the loneliness that now showed across her face.

"After a while, there just wasn't a place for me."

And what I wanted to say was, 'You will always have a place with me. Always.'

Except that would have made her feel more alone and isolated than she already did. Not only had she had to face these people, these former acquaintances and social friends again, she'd had to do it not as the wife of a popular cop, but as the partner to the crazy guy who went against the buddy boy network and sided with a gang memer instead of with a fellow officer.

She knew it was the right call, but I had sent her into the lions den alone.

The Widow has power. She has stared Death in the face, watched Death take away love. She can certainly stare down a room of accusers.

The Whack Job doesn't have that kind of street cred. His power doesn't come from within, like the Widow's. It comes from the perception of those around him.

All of a sudden, I feel her loop her arm through mine, and put her head on my shoulder. I look down at her gently blowing hair, and smile at her, even though she can't see me.

I loosen my arm from her grip, and pull her towards me in one of those rare moments of intimacy we can only share when no one else is looking. I feel her turn her face into my coat, and start to cry. She holds onto me as if she'll never let go, her hands taking fists of coat and jacket and shirt all at once in a violent motion, as violent as the sobbing. But I can take it.

Here we sit. The Widow and the Whack Job. New York's Finest. New York's Cursed.

God Help Us.