A/N: I hadn't intended to put up another story just yet, but I am still stunned by USA network's total disregard for the devoted fans of CI as well as their blatant disrespect for the team who are the core of CI and its success. It will take awhile to recover from this. Anyway, I've been beating my head against the wall to loosen the next chapter out for my ongoing stories and all I got for my efforts was a headache. Then, in the middle of the night like a thief, USA made its announcement. Creatively (and emotionally) that kind of shut me down, until this story popped into my head yesterday. So here it goes. Enjoy!
One more thing before I let y'all go--I have to say that I have long been devoted to Vincent and his career, and it's entirely his fault that I fell in love with Bobby Goren. For that I have to thank him. I will continue to support him and enjoy whatever projects he deems worthy of his considerable talent. As for CI, I am deeply sorry to say that without Goren, I have no interest in the show. He was the show for me and he made it not only worth watching, but worth being devoted to. When Bobby leaves, I will go with him. Regarding CI fan fiction, I will remain here, folks. We are going to have a real need for fresh casefiles and new adventures for Goren and Eames. I do implore my fellow writers (and you know who you are, I am sure) to continue providing us with worthy stories to fill the gap Goren and Eames' departure will leave in our lives. I will do my best to do the same, to keep Goren and Eames alive in black and white since USA is taking the color away. Please, any of you, feel free to PM me anytime. And let me say, yes, I know it's "just a television show," but this particular television show has played an important role in my life beyond the difficulties of daily reality. I have a strong emotional investment in these characters that I am unwilling to relinquish. To Vincent and Kathryn I offer a heartfelt thank you for giving us Goren and Eames.
I know how men in exile feed on dreams of hope.
Alex Eames rolled over in her bed, pulling the covers over her head.
With a groan, she rolled out of bed, slipped her backup piece from its place on the nightstand and went to the living room. Looking out, she was only mildly surprised to see her partner standing on the step. Pulling the door open, she said, "I swear, Goren, if you're drunk again..."
"I'm not," he said quickly as he stepped into the house. "Are you all right?"
"Of course I am. Why wouldn't I be?"
Before he could answer, her phone rang. Moving fast, he went to the counter and picked it up. The display read Logan.
To Eames' surprise, he flipped it open. "Yeah?"
You're with her now?
"Of course I am."
That was fast. Good. I was on my way there, but I'll head uptown instead. Don't waste any time, man. They're on the way.
He closed the phone without another word and set it back on the counter. Eames grabbed his arm and jerked, turning him to face her. "What the hell is with you? You come barging in here at four in the morning, you answer my phone..."
"I don't have time to explain, Eames. Get dressed, pack a bag and make it fast."
There was something in his urgency that threw up red flags in her mind and she did as he asked. When she came out of the bedroom with a small suitcase, she found him pacing nervously, holding her coat. He shoved her coat into her hands as he grabbed her suitcase with one hand and her arm with the other and led her from the house, toward an unfamiliar vehicle.
"Where'd you get this?" she asked, surprised to see a dark blue Skylark instead of the black Mustang he and Lewis had spent two years restoring.
"I borrowed it. Get in."
She got into the car and had barely closed the door when he pulled away from the curb. "What the hell is going on? What is wrong with you and why was Logan calling me?" she demanded.
"Trust me," he insisted, his mouth set in a taut line.
His eyes darted to the rearview mirror; she had never seen him so attentive to their surroundings. He was taking pains to drive carefully, not calling any attention to them. The intensity of his alertness and his caution alarmed her. "Bobby..."
"Not now, Eames. I promise I will explain."
Not fifteen minutes after they left Eames' house, it was surrounded by flashing lights and unmarked cars. They busted down the front door and came out empty-handed. "She's not here."
"So we keep looking. Let's go."
Goren wasted no time getting to JFK International Airport. He parked the car in the long-term parking garage and hurried to the trunk as Eames grabbed her bag from the back seat. She joined him at the back of the car. He handed her a nice leather purse, then he gave her a wallet, a plane ticket and a passport. He leaned in and spoke quickly, urgently. "Your name is Anne Davenport. You're flying British Airways to London to visit your sister. You're not a cop; you sell real estate. You don't know me."
He slammed the trunk, picked up his own suitcase and gave her a gentle shove toward the terminal doors. "Please, Eames. I'll see you on the plane. Hurry. Departure is in less than an hour."
She watched him hustle off toward a different set of doors than the ones he'd pushed her toward. What the hell was going on? Trust me. Her gut told her to follow his lead, so she hurried toward the terminal.
In the wallet he'd handed her, she found a New York driver's license with her picture on it but the name Anne Davenport and an address in the East Village. It also contained three credit cards, seventy-five dollars in cash and pictures of people she'd never seen before. The purse contained an assortment of items typically found in any woman's purse: a package of Kleenex, a cell phone, a roll of peppermint Life Savers, a notepad and a couple of pens and pencils, a romance novel and a book of crossword puzzles. That was Goren's touch, she knew, and she felt a little reassured.
She checked her bag and made it through security and down to the gate just as they were boarding the plane. Goren was nowhere in sight. With a tight feeling in her gut, she told herself to trust her partner. He had earned that. She also knew with all certainty that he would never do something that would intentionally harm her. Steeling herself, she boarded the plane.
Eames found her way to her seat and made herself comfortable. Looking out the window, she watched the ground crew load the luggage and ready the plane for departure. What the hell was she doing on a plane bound for London? She had almost talked herself into getting off when someone dropped into the seat beside her. She turned her head and was surprised to find herself looking into a familiar pair of deep brown eyes. He smiled and held out his hand. "Hi. I'm Ben Haughton."
He winked at her and she felt mildly reassured as she slipped her hand into his. "I'm Annie Davenport," she answered.
"Looks like we'll be seatmates for the flight."
She nodded. "Seems so."
He held her eyes, pleading silently for her to be patient and understanding. She barely inclined her head and he relaxed almost imperceptibly.
Eames turned back to the window and watched the ground crew finish their preparations while her partner watched the flight attendants make theirs.
Twenty-five minutes later, the plane was in the air, and Goren visibly relaxed. Eames noticed and asked, "Flying make you nervous?"
He shook his head. He was relieved they were safe, leaving New York behind them. But he answered, "No, but take-offs and landings make me uneasy."
She put on a flirty face. "Oh, if I'd known that I would have held your hand."
He looked surprised, but recovered quickly. "I wish I'd said something then," he replied, and they both smiled.
His smile quickly disappeared, though, and she saw a darkness settle behind his eyes and linger there. She rummaged in her bag and pulled out the crossword book, the notepad and a pen. Opening the notepad, she wrote, When do I get to find out what's going on?
She slid the notebook into his hand. He read the note and wrote back, Not here. Soon.
She let out an annoyed sigh as she slipped the notebook back into her purse. She was surprised when his hand engulfed hers and he squeezed. She looked up and met his eyes. There was something in them that held both promise and reassurance. She knew without a doubt that something major was going down for him to have done what he did. She gave his hand a squeeze back.
A short while later, she asked for a blanket and pillow, and she snuggled down into her seat to try and get some sleep. Beneath the blanket, she sought his hand and fell asleep holding it.
Goren quietly watched his partner sleep, deeply disturbed by the events of the last twelve hours. He'd been surprised when she grabbed his hand and held it. Now, he absently stroked her thumb with his as his mind wandered. If it hadn't been for Logan, he didn't know where he and Eames would be. For that, he owed his friend and colleague more than he'd be able to repay. At least he and Eames were safe...for now.