Another story written with The Confused One, which I somehow managed to lose after writing it when Frame aired. It's a multi chapter story, but the good news is that it's already finished. No case, no murders, just Bobby angst, and tons of it! Enjoy, and please remember to review!

Disclaimer: Not ours!

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Alex was staring at the interrogation room door as her partner dealt with Declan. In her chest, her heart was pounding. Whatever it was, it couldn't have been good. She just wanted to see him walk out, in one piece. But she had a sneaking suspicion that that thought was only wishful thinking. There was no way he would remain unaffected by all of this. She just knew it.

Swallowing hard, Bobby finally stood up. Looking down at Declan, he was trying desperately not to fall apart. He couldn't fall apart here. He had been holding it in since he had seen his brother s dead body, and he was determined to hold it in longer. Keeping his voice even and his face void of the emotions that were churning violently inside of him, he pulled out his cuffs and read Declan his rights. He led him to the door and handed him off to a couple of uniformed officers.

As soon as the door open, Alex's complete attention was focused on Bobby. He handed Declan off to another officer, and she saw the look of destitution in his haunted eyes. Ignoring everyone else, she silently crossed the floor, closing the distance between them. She didn't care what anyone else in that room thought or said. He needed her, badly. Keeping eye contact with him, she slid her arms around him and hugged him tightly.

Bobby closed his eyes. He took a shaky breath and buried his face in her hair. Wrapping his arms around her, he held her as tight as he could without hurting her. He felt sick. They worked so hard to keep from drawing attention to themselves and their relationship, but in this moment, he didn't care. As he clung to her, all he knew was that he needed her.

Her hand moved up and down his back. "I know," Bobby, she whispered. "Shh... I know..."

Bobby swallowed against the lump in his throat. He took a ragged breath. He didn't trust his own voice.

Feeling him shudder, she held him tighter against her. "It's going to be okay, Bobby. I promise."

Bobby took a ragged breath. He refused to cry. Taking a deep breath, he nodded and whispered, "I don't... I don't know..."

"It will," she insisted, leaning up to kiss his head. "I promise."

Swallowing hard, Bobby lifted his head, trying to bury his feelings. "I... I need to get out of here..."

She nodded, reaching up to touch his cheek. "Let's go home."

Bobby closed his eyes. He nodded immediately. "Yes, please..." He was feeling completely boxed in there. He felt sick.

Taking him by the hand, she led him out of the squadroom, ignoring Ross and every other detective in the room.

Reaching the car, Bobby took a ragged breath. He rested his hand on the car door for a moment. He closed his eyes, trying to clear his head and compose himself.

She waited until he got into the passenger's side before she slid into the driver's seat and started the car. Once they were several miles from the precinct, she murmured, "Maybe you should think about taking a little time off."

Bobby was leaning back in his seat. His eyes were shut tight. He spoke softly, "I don't..." He sighed heavily. "Maybe..."

"Please, think about it."

Bobby swallowed hard. He nodded slowly and quietly assured her, "Okay... I'll think about it." He was completely defeated, and he just couldn't argue with her or anyone else at that moment. He just didn't have the strength.

Without hesitation, Alex reached over and rested her hand over his, her fingers curling around his.

Bobby took a shaky breath. He turned his head and stared out the window. He gave her hand a soft squeeze. He whispered, "I love you." If there was anyone he knew he could count on, it was her. Declan was right. Others had hurt him. Others had let him down. He had truly believed it was him, and then he had found her. She had been his strength. She had stayed through everything.

"Love you, too." Her thumb began stroking his skin gently.

Bobby continued to stare out the window. He hesitated. "Did... Did you listen?"

She sighed. "Some," she confessed.

He swallowed hard and finally turned to look at her. "How much?"

She stared at the license plates of the cars in front of them. "I know that he thought he was helping you."

Bobby closed his eyes. He took a shaky breath. "He wanted to get me back in the game. He thought... He thought I needed Nicole to hone what he taught me." He hissed the last words and tightened his hold on her hand.

She brought his hand up to his mouth and kissed it. "Well he didn't take me. And you know I'm here for you."

Bobby swallowed hard and turned back to the window. "Yes, I do." He snorted. "He continued to push his theory that you killed Nicole after you left. I told him it wasn't you. He asked me why. Asked if it was because you didn't have the nerve." He chortled. He knew better. "Then he asked if you lacked the imagination..." It was as if the answer hadn't been written all over his face for Declan. It was as if it wasn't obvious why it could never have been Alex.

She shook her head. "The son of a bitch..."

Bobby scrubbed his face with his free hand. He shuddered. "He kept... He kept saying he set me free. He kept insisting that he had done the right thing, was taking care of me..."

She slammed her hand against the steering wheel, furious. Declan didn't know a goddamn thing about taking care of her partner.

Bobby took a shaky breath. He still didn't turn back to face her. "He said... He said right before Nicole died, she told him to tell me..." He closed his eyes. "That I was the only man she ever loved."

She nearly ran into the bumper of the car they were following. "What?"

Bobby finally did turn to look at her now. His eyes widened a little. "I... He said that she said that I was the only man she ever loved."

"Bitch," she hissed, the tires squealing as she put her foot to the gas. Of course she would say something like that as a final jab at him. The woman had devoted five years to torturing her partner, and her final blow had affected him more than any of the others. She just knew it.

Bobby swallowed hard, watching her now. "Alex, slow down! You're going to wreck." For the moment now, his mind was completely off what had been said in that room.

After receiving several honks and loud profanities from other cars, she finally slowed down. That son of a bitch had hurt her partner for the last time. She was going to make sure of that. She didn't utter another word as the speedometer finally lowered to the speed limit.

Bobby breathed a sigh of relief. Relaxing a little, he shook his head. He was watching her carefully now. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't... It's over. I guess that's what matters."

She didn't respond. She just drove, her mind in overload.

Bobby sighed. He turned his head back to the window and let his mind tumble over all that had happened over the last few days. He could have saved Frank. He could have even saved Nicole. Withdrawing into himself, he let his mind wander over everything he could have and should have done differently.

TBC...

A/N: Yeah, we're evil to our boy. And we're only gonna get worse to him... Mwahahahah! Hope everyone enjoyed this first chapter, and please remember to review!