Setting: After Frame.
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. They belong to Dick Wolf and the wonderful world of Law and Order: Criminal Intent.
This has been on my pc for a few months, and I feel stuck, so I decided to post it so now I will do something more with it.
"Bobby... do you love her?"
He sat in the chair. Motionless. This is the conversation that he knew he needed to have. A confession he desperately wanted to make.
"In love with her?"
"Without a doubt."
Dr. Olivet watched him. Usually, he was constant motion. When he wasn't fidgeting his entire body, he was rubbing the back of his neck or running his hands through his hair. If his foot wasn't tapping, his fingers were picking at tiny pieces of thread poking out of the seams of the oversized chair that he always chose to sit in. Now, he was still.
I've gotten to the root of the problem. I've hit the bulls eye.
"But you push her away... why?"
"That's just it. I'm not the only one doin' the pushing."
"Does she love you?"
"Yes." He didn't hesitate.
"In love with you?"
His eyes skipped around a little. Olivet noticed he started to rock a leg back and forth but then stopped.
"I - don't know. Maybe."
"Bobby, don't sell yourself short. It's okay to open yourself up here. Let me ask you again... do you think Alex is IN love with you?"
"I think she was, but I'm not sure about it anymore." He was playing with his tie and biting the inside of his mouth.
"Well, I think she still is." Olivet gave him a soft smile. "And do you know what? It's okay that you love each other. And I think that there was a time that you were both aware of it, and you were happy. That deep down you both knew you had something between you and it made you feel good. But somewhere along the line that got away from you. We both know that there have been many opportunities for that to happen."
"Yes, that's true." He was nodding his head. His hands were still again.
"Well, Bobby. How do you think you can get back to her? Get back to what you once had together?"
"I d-don't know." His foot was tapping.
"I think you do know, but you're afraid to open yourself up."
"She' afraid too, ya know. She pushes just as much as I do. I'm tellin' you, she doesn't want me around anymore. She's fed up with me, she's done." He was getting agitated.
"Maybe she pushes for a different reason than you think." She said in a calm voice. It seemed to settle him back down.
He never thought about that. He let his head drop back against the back of the chair and he stared at the ceiling for a few minutes. He sighed.
"How do I find out?" He was looking at her like a lost little boy. He sounded like one, too.
"You need to spend time together, you need to talk about the past, the happy times. You both have to see that there was a lot of good in your relationship... Then, Bobby, you need to tell her something. You need to tell her that she is a big part of your life. Share that with her." He looked horrified. She continued, "I'm not saying you need to confess your undying love... just let her in a little... see where it leads."
He thought about for a while then he nodded.
"Bobby, I think you might be surprised what you get in response."
Bobby called Alex before he left Olivet's office. He asked her to take a drive with him on Friday, their next day off. She was curious as to why, he told her he thought it would be nice to spend some time together. She was confused but she agreed.
It was a summer day. The temperature was as warm as you would imagine it would be in August in New York, but the humidity was low. He picked her up mid-morning. He pulled up to her place and she was waiting for him on her steps. He had told her to dress casually, so she was in a pair of jean shorts, a green t-shirt and flip flops. She had a bag tossed over her shoulder and her sunglasses were perched on top of her head. He was happy to see she did dress casually because he was in khaki shorts, a black t-shirt and sandals.
"Sweet!" Alex couldn't believe her eyes.
He borrowed a 1969 red Mustang convertible from Lewis. It was in pristine condition. Alex knew enough about cars to know that this was one special ride.
Bobby was feeling like a proud papa as she gushed about the car. He loved watching her get so excited. He knew he hasn't seen her that happy in years. We're starting off on the right foot.
"So… where are we goin'?"
"I thought we'd just drive to Connecticut, take it from there." He glanced over at her to see her reaction to the lack of agenda.
"Sounds good to me."
He sighed in relief. "I think we'll just know where to stop when we see it."
She nodded and dropped her sunglasses over her eyes.
As they drove along, they talked casually in between Alex playing with the radio and just enjoying the day.
They got about 20 minutes into Connecticut when they saw a sign for a state beach. They looked at each other, and without speaking Bobby pulled off the exit.
The beach was beautiful, and surprisingly not very crowded since it was late summer. They walked the trails for a while, and talked about Nathan and the rest of Eames' family. As they walked back towards the car, Bobby took Alex's hand in his. Just before they got to the car she took his hand in both of hers and kissed them. He looked down to find her smiling at him with tears in her eyes.
"You alright?" He didn't know what to make of her doing that.
"I'm just… happy." She let go of his hand and he let go of the subject.
Back at the car, he opened the trunk to reveal a blanket and a cooler. He had packed some sandwiches, waters and a bottle of wine.
They made their way to the beach and spread the blanket. Once they were settled on the sand, Alex got out the sandwiches and glasses while Bobby opened the wine.
Over lunch, Bobby started asking Alex what some of her favorite cases were that they worked on. They spent the afternoon laughing about different suspects, Carver, Deakins and of course, Ross. As they reminisced, they were both reminded of the good times they had shared.
Alex was laying back but she had her upper body propped up on her elbows. She was looking towards the water. Bobby was laying on his right side. His head resting on his hand, looking at Eames.
"Alex, I remember you telling someone once that her husband was 'just like your partner, he just wants to be left alone to do what he does best'."
"Yeah, I remember that, the silver burglar."
"Right. Well, did you really mean that? I mean, do you think I really want to be left alone?"
"Not at first, but then it seemed like you didn't want anyone around."
"That must have hurt you."
She turned towards him mirroring his position. She pushed her sunglasses up on to her head. "It did. It still does."
"Do you think you push me away sometimes, too?"
"Yes, I know I do." Eames didn't hesitate.
"Do you know why?" Bobby was shocked she answered as fast as she did.
"From what I saw, after Jo Gage, you changed. Instead of letting me in, letting us heal together, you shut me down. I had no idea why. It really hurt me. Then… you know… so much happened in your life. But as each thing came up, you closed me out more and more. It got to the point that I started to push you away first before you could do it to me." She was looking right at him as she spoke.
"Do you ever feel like you pushed me away for your own reasons?" He was afraid that question would shut her down but he had to ask it.
She looked down and played with her wine glass. She was embarrassed and he saw that. He decided to drop it.
"Alex, look. I just want you to know that you are a very special person. To me. In my life. And I am so happy and feel so lucky that you are still here."
She felt like she could be blown over with a feather. Her mouth hung open and she didn't blink.
"D-did I say something wrong?"
"No. No Bobby. I just… wasn't expecting you to say that." Now she was smiling. Her smile made him smile.
"Alex, I miss you, and I miss us."
She closed her mouth but she was still in shock.
"Can you say something?" He was worried he said too much.
"Thank you, Bobby. Thank you for trusting me with your feelings."
"Little by little, Eames. Right?"
With that, they packed up their picnic and headed home in their sweet ride.