Title: The Oath of a Partnership

Show: L&O: CI

Pairing: BA

Disclaimer: Sadly enough, I don't own anything. This is written for pure enjoyment only and no profit to be gained!

Rating: T for references of abuse as well as language.

Spoilers: Slight mentions of "Untethered" in the beginning but that's it. ALL post "Untethered." Oh, and also a quick thought about "Blind Spot."

Authors Note: I started writing this right as I started my "Downfall and Release" fic. I put it off for months, but now here it is.
This story has nothing to do with "Untethered." Surprising, right? LOL It's only mentioned a few times in the beginning and maybe once or twice more throughout. The timeline is about month or two post "Untethered." I guess it really doesn't matter too much. You decided. Just note that no other episodes have occurred and I kind of just assume that he came back without going undercover. I'd say it's probably AU (smiles). But guess what? For once there's not really any Goren angst, More Eames than anything. LOL I just like using the genre (and Hurt/Comfort).

Length: This story should be around 10,000 words. So not too long.

Note: No BETA used throughout the story.

CHAPTER 1:


"Friendship is essentially a partnership."

-Aristotle.


Though it had been a month or so since Bobby's return to work, he still had Tates in the back of his mind. Slowly, however, it was starting to die down. He was well aware of the fact that those memories of the place would never leave him, they would always be apart of him, but he had accepted that. There was no way to forget about the occurrences that went on inside of Tates, nor could he forget the thoughts he had running through his mind at the time. It was a change that occurred in him, though he knew he had to do it, it had woken up demons within him. There was nothing wrong with Bobby though. He knew himself to be sane no matter what everyone else thought of him. It was just that that place had challenged him to the depths of his sanity. It had pushed him to the end and at one point, he thought he'd never come back from it all, but he did.

It surprised everyone.

Bobby had the whole weekend to himself to relax. Alex and him cleared their last case and were granted the weekend off without being on call. He didn't really do anything interesting Friday night, but allowed himself time to clear his mind. He granted himself the ability to quietly ease back into society; as much as he allowed himself to. He went out for a beer on the way home from work, of course by himself, and then went home to unwind. Saturday was one of his favorite days. Lewis had called him up and asked him if he wanted to help work on an old Chevy Camaro with him. Surprisingly enough he eagerly agreed and drove over to Lewis' garage. They shared some laughs, worked on the 1969 Camaro, ate pizza and drank a few beers. On Sunday Bobby was tired and decided to stay home and watch a few movies. He read along the way, but all in all it was pretty uneventful, and yet, he welcomed it. He smiled at himself as he went to bed Sunday night.

Not once did I allow myself to wallow in self-pity. I know I have problems, I know I have concerns that I need to deal with, but all that is put aside for now.

The enjoyable weekend Bobby had was not the case when it came to Alex's weekend.

It was a groggy Monday morning when Alex Eames walked off the elevator of One Police Plaza. She was tired and sore from things she promised herself she'd never mention or think of again. Her mind was getting the best of her however, as she thought about the past weekend.

Dammit, Alex, he was drunk. Hell, I was drunk… She rationalized. But that's still no excuse. He told you he was sorry…that he didn't mean to do it…at least that's what I keep telling myself…and my battered body.

Her glanced was casted down to the floor as she continued to muse. In all honestly, she was ashamed. Ashamed of herself and the lack of control she had over the unforgettable situation that occurred this weekend. She was definitely a different woman than the normal Alex Eames who usually strolled into 1PP every day. She felt weak, though she would never speak of the reason, and lacked her normal confidence. Something was missing in her stride but that all changed when she saw him.

Bobby.

Her head perked up a bit as she entered the bullpen and when her eyes immediately spotted Bobby sitting at his desk, looking over some paperwork and sipping coffee, she sighed. Her body unconsciously relaxed as she took in his tranquil form.

She felt safe.

God, it's good to see him. I definitely have to keep this from him. What's the big deal anyway? So I was roughed up a bit. And then she immediately became angry with herself. I'm a cop! That's the big deal. I should be able to defend myself! I never should have allowed myself to get so drunk.

Her body tightly clenched at the thought and every muscle in her body began to protest until a voice pulled her from her thoughts.

"Eames?" Bobby said for the second time. He noticed almost immediately that something was wrong.

"Huh? Oh, hey, Bobby."

"Long weekend?" He eyed her suspiciously, noting how tensed she looked.

You have no idea.

"Um, yeah." She said as she sat down at her desk, only to wince in pain. She had hoped Bobby didn't catch her discomfort, but he did. Bobby always caught these sort of things, especially when it came to people he cared about the most. Alex was on the top of that list.

"Eames, are you alright?" Bobby asked concerned, setting a file down.

"Oh yeah, just too much time at the gym this weekend." She lied.

Oh yeah, that's it. Just lie to your partner, the one man you truly trust. Like he isn't going to notice that something's wrong. You know him, Alex, he always gets his answers in the end. Why can't you just trust him and confide in him?

Bobby kept his eyes on her but didn't question her the rest of the day. Alex knew he was looking at her differently than most days. She could feel his stare, his glance casting towards her direction every now and then and there wasn't a damn thing she could do about it. Not unless she told him. It was driving her insane; not because he was looking at her but because she lied to him. She wanted to scream, though she wasn't sure if it was directed at him or herself.

Of all people to lie to…

And somehow she knew, one way or another, he'd find out. The only thing she could hold onto was hope that he wouldn't and that's all she had right now: hope.

Every time their eyes met, she'd faked a half ass smile and then turn away from him knowing that she'd have to face him everyday with a lie on her chest.

He has to ask soon. Knowing Bobby, he will. He'll find out. God, I'm such a drama queen. He doesn't need anymore shit in his life right now.

The day in itself was slow. It was one of those days where they had time to catch up on paperwork, which both of them hated doing. Bobby finished his relatively early, and decided to read a book on the human mind, while Alex had problems of her own.

God, I'm being such a baby. It's only a few cuts and bruises. I can handle this myself. I don't need anyone to look after me!

But Alex was only kidding herself. She had mixed anxiety. Her emotions were telling her two different things. She wanted to keep it a secret. She wanted to lock the entire weekend up in a bottle, tie an anchor to it, and throw it in the Hudson River. She never wanted to see it ever again. She longed to forget it had ever happened but she also knew that she yearned for someone to be close.

Oh god.

She knew who she wanted. She couldn't stop herself at that moment from glancing across her desk and over to where her partner sat. She knew before, but she wouldn't allow herself to ask. Alex wanted, no, she needed Bobby by her side. The thing that scared her was she wasn't even sure why.

He's a mess. I can't need nor want a mess. The man's an emotion wreck right now. I can't need him…can I?

And then Alex sat back in her chair further as she realized the feeling she was having. It was the same feeling she had after she was released from the hospital after Jo kidnapped her.

Alex was in pain, not just physically but mentally as well. She continued to sit at her desk, ignoring the looks Bobby was giving her every now and then, and thought back to her now ex boyfriend. Bobby could've taken off all of his clothes, got on his desk and started dancing and she would've never known.

God, what should I do?

Looking back to the weekend, Alex recalled how excited she was. She was looking forward to the night and had been for the entire week. She recalled back to the bar where she had first met him about a month ago. They had met up every weekend since then when she wasn't working. They had hit it off well from the beginning; it helped that he didn't run the first chance he got when she told him that she was a detective with the NYPD.

So, once again, they went out. It started out fine; great conversation and all. After becoming plastered, however, they made their way back to his apartment and that's where it all begun.

He started to get rough with me. I should've known then. Hell, I should've known he was like that before it ever got that far. Some Detective I am.

At first, when they were rough as they staggered into his apartment, Alex didn't mind too much. They were both stumbling, drunk as hell, so she didn't think twice about it. He quickly stripped her of her shirt and that's when he seemed to get possessive. Not possessive as in an, "I love you and you're all mine" sort of charm, but a scary, new dark side of the word 'possessive.' He had that unhealthy want in his eyes that told her that she would obey him or else. He hovered over her like he was hers and nobody else's.

By this time, Alex started to ask herself what the hell she was doing. It was like she had finally come out of her drunken stupor. She could remember that much. She knew that she didn't feel like herself. She wasn't the type to go out to the bar, get drunk, and then go to a man's house, which she hardly knew, and fuck him. It had been a month since their first date, but they still hardly knew each other. Her mind had finally caught up to the moment and she started to resist, making up some lame excuse about how she couldn't do it. How they hardly knew each other. How it was wrong.

And that's when he first hit her. She had been half punched, half slapped in the side. She wasn't really sure what to call it because it was rather weak due to how intoxicated he was. There after, she was slammed into numerous things and slapped a few more times. He started to swear at her, calling her a bitch and a whore amongst other things.

You little bitch!

She would never forget that phrase. It wasn't the word, bitch that made her shudder, but the way he used it. It was the way he called to her and degraded her. She felt like she had been manhandled by a pimp. She was frightened but was also as drunk as he was, so her mind wasn't working as much as she'd have liked it to have been. Her motor functions weren't any better. Somehow though, she managed to scream at him and defend herself somewhat by kneeing him in the groin after the initial blow. He immediately pushed her and she fell into what she recalled being a table of some sort. She doesn't really know, she doesn't want to remember. She does remember, however, gathering her shirt while he continued to yell at her. She also recalls her thoughts at the time. She was scared and at that moment, all of her police and self-defense training were thrown out the window. Situations are always different when you're belligerently drunk.

After being pushed up against the wall one last time, she managed to run out of his apartment. She quickly hailed a cab, though she can't remember the few minutes in between getting out of his apartment and into the cab, and went back home where she sat and cried in pain the rest of the weekend. She thought she might have been drugged, but she wasn't sure. She was unable to fight back and it was a feeling she never wanted to feel again.

Helplessness.

She'd truly thought about calling Bobby, but she knew that if she had told him, he'd hunt the guy down and kill him. Bobby was protective of her, though he tried not to show it unless absolutely necessary. He never tried to hide it either. She'd never told Bobby about her "newest" boyfriend, though they hadn't been together that long, and thought that he may think less of her if she'd have told him what happened.

But I know he wouldn't. He wouldn't judge me. Not, Bobby. She struggled with her emotions. God, why did I have to get so immensely drunk? What a lush!

As the day neared the end, she got a call at the office from someone she wished she wouldn't have. He had called three or four times on her cell phone throughout the day, but she had set it on silent, anticipating his calls, and had successfully ignored him until now. Truthfully, she didn't know much about him, but in her mind, it was over. There was no way in hell she'd stay with a man that was abusive; even if he were drunk. It was still no excuse and she feared what he might be capable of. She had no proof that she actually was drugged, but the side effects she had that night were definitely not from the alcohol alone.

"Eames." She answered casually. Her eyes immediately widened when she heard the voice on the other end of the phone.

Alex hesitated for only a second before she dipped her head down towards her lap so that no one could come into view of the shocked look she had written all over her face. Her long, blond hair covered most of her face and for that she was thankful. She didn't want Bobby or anyone else to see the tears that started to form. She wanted to cover up the sorrow as well as the anger she was feeling.

How the hell did he get my work number? Duh, not hard to figure out Major Case Squads number. Way to tell him your occupation.

"What do you want?" She lowered her tone, but not enough so that Bobby couldn't over hear her.

"What? No." She calmly stated, though she wanted to yell at the man.

He was on the other line, talking to her on his cell phone from the parking garage at 1PP.

How the hell did he managed to get in the parking garage? She quickly mused and shook at the thought of him coming to her work. The shudder didn't go unnoticed by Bobby.

The guy wanted Alex to come down and talk to him, but she was afraid. She knew she shouldn't, but she had to. For so many reasons she had to. She was going to tell him to get lost one last time and it would be better if told in person. It would be kept quiet instead of a ranting phone call inside the bullpen.

"Fine. I'll be right down." She finally stated and slammed the phone down.

Please don't make this one of the things I'll regret for the rest of my life.


A/N: So, what do you guys think so far? So, a few notes. First off, if there's a better place than the Hudson River, please tell me and I'll gladly change it. Never been to NY. LOL Also, just a warning now, I'm not sure when I'll be able to update next. This is only going to be about 4 chapters or so, but I've been so busy and stressed with school lately, that I'm going to have to shoot for an update once a week...that is if you guys want me to continue this. If it's boring, I'll stop now. LOL

Anyway, you guys know what to do.

-Snyder-