TITLE: The Fourth Time
AUTHOR: Cyclone
RATING: T
KEYWORDS: Goren/Eames
SPOILERS: Blind Spot
WARNINGS: References to sex
SUMMARY: The first time she went to him it was hard and fast, and if it wasn t exactly what he'd wanted for them then he never let on.
DISCLAIMER: I believe Dick Wolf and Co. retain ownership of everything L&Oish.
NOTES: It's been a while. Be gentle - or not.

XxX

The first time she went to him it was hard and fast, and if it wasn't exactly what he'd wanted for them then he never let on. She left immediately after, terrified because the line she swore she would never cross had proved to be so easily breached.

The second time she was just as aggressive, just as impatient as the first, but he wanted to play. So he took her to the edge time and time again, refused her release, teased and cajoled and drove her near mad with anticipation, and she learned that you didn't toy with him and walk away unscathed. She left his bed, spent and drained, with a delicious ache that came from being well and truly fucked, and knew that she couldn't play this game with him anymore or it would destroy her. So she told him that it couldn't happen again, and he'd agreed so easily that after she'd recovered from feeling insulted, she knew she'd made the right decision.

The third time was an accident and didn't really count, except that in the end it mattered more than the first two times put together. After, she'd tried to leave, but he'd held onto her and peppered her neck with kisses while murmuring just a few more minutes overand over again, and she might have been distracted by what his fingers started doing, but she really couldn't see the harm. So she'd allowed herself to relax and enjoy just being with him because he was so warm and smelled so good and the shadows that haunted him had left his eyes, and she'd drifted off to sleep. She'd woken hours later wrapped in his arms, shivering, because as big as he was he still couldn't cover all of her, and knew she had to get out. She gathered her clothes and dressed, and was about to leave him there on the floor, naked except for a pillow that had fallen from the couch, when something stopped her. She walked into his bedroom, got a blanket from the bed and draped it over him. Her fingers reached out to smooth his hair before she realised what they were doing, and she snatched them back guiltily. She was not going to go down that road; she was smarter than that and it didn't matter how tussled his hair was or how soft his lips were, she was not going to linger in his apartment and chance him waking up and finding her still there like a lovesick puppy. So she left, and didn't look back once.

The fourth time he ripped her heart out, because he didn't want her. She'd woken in a lather of sweat with a scream caught in her throat, terrified that this time she wouldn't be able to hold them in, that this time they'd bubble to the surface and she'd be the one tortured and mutilated on that work table. She'd had a couple of shots of bourbon to steel her nerves, and then gone to him because he was the only one she trusted enough to be so vulnerable around. She hadn't even been thinking about sex, not really, not after the nightmare that still hadn't quite left her when she arrived at his apartment. What she'd wanted, what she'd needed, was for him to put his arms around her and just let her be. She'd wanted the comfort she knew he could give simply by holding her and telling her that she was safe. But he wouldn't even touch her; he kept her at arms length and told her to go home, and she couldn't believe her ears because he was supposed to be some kind of genius at reading people and there she was, falling apart, and he didn't even notice.

She hadn't slept for the rest of the night, and the next morning when she saw him at his desk she couldn't even look at him without her heart hurting. He'd hurt her before, plenty of times, and they both knew that it was only on the strength of their partnership that she'd been able to forgive him. She didn't think that she could do that this time. This time the hurt went too deep, was too personal, and although she realised that that was partly her own fault for breaking her rule and letting him get under her skin, it didn't change the fact that when all the cards were laid on the table, she had needed him and he had pushed her away.

With time, things eventually settled down. She tried to block out all thoughts of him that weren't strictly related to the job, but it wasn't easy. He kept trying to talk about them, but she was still feeling too bruised and betrayed to hear anything he had to say. So she cut him off and walked away, and after a while he stopped trying. That, more than anything else, told her that whatever they'd been doing was done and over.

Except. It didn't feel done and over though, and that was the problem. It felt like something that had been poisoned and cut down before it had even had a chance to take root. It felt like unfinished business, but she didn't know how to finish it without breaking her heart into a million pieces. They couldn't go on as they were, not if they wanted to retain their working relationship, but she didn't know how to separate who they were from what they'd done and move on like he had.

That was why, the first time he came to her, she wasn't going to let him in. But the way he said her name; the way his voice wavered and almost broke gave her pause. So she opened the door, and late that night, after they'd said all the words that needed to be said, and straightened everything out that needed to be straightened, they went to bed and lay the foundation for a happily ever after they could both live with.

End