This picks up just after "Smile" but before "Depths" in season 7. This fic has previously been published but it was a long time ago and you have to start here to get the rest. Hope you enjoy!

Disclaimer: Don't own them. Wouldn't know what to so with them if I did!

Chapter 1

This is the third day in a row she's left without so much as a "see you later," Bobby thought as he watched Alex stride quickly to the elevator. As she disappeared around the corner, Bobby jumped up out of his chair sending it flying four feet or so back, grabbed his suit coat, and took off after her. He caught her in the parking garage just as she got to her car.

"Alex!" he said as he leaned on her car, bent over, out of breath.

"What 'ya do, take the stairs? Try a cardio workout one time Bobby".

"Look, I know you're upset. I just don't know why… exactly".

"Took you four days to figure out I was upset. Small wonder you don't know why, exactly, it is that I am upset".

"Can we get some dinner and talk? Do you have plans?"

Alex sucked in a breath and paused for a moment. "I don't know that I'm in the best mood right now Bobby. I'm not sure I feel like hashing it out tonight."

Bobby's hand went to his pocket and he fell back against her car. He shuffled his feet for a second and turned back to face her. "Please?" was all he could say.

Alex paused, fought a yes/no battle in her mind and answered with, "OK, let's walk".

They emerged from the parking garage through the pedestrian entrance and encountered New York at dusk. There was a cool breeze and a full harvest moon. They walked a good five minutes without a word. Bobby reached over to put a hand on the small of her back, ushering her to the left at the crosswalk. Another three blocks, and still not a word.

Alex stopped short and crossed her arms over her chest. She leaned on one hip and with still a hint of disdain, she quietly asked "Where are we going Bobby?".

Bobby stopped just in front of her. He turned to the side and started inching down the sidewalk. As he scooted away, he said almost desperately, "It's just here, around the corner." He pleaded with his puppy brown eyes, eyebrows arched, and head nodding in encouragement. Alex could only snort and shake her head. He slowed and waited for her to catch up. When they turned the corner, Alex stopped short again. This time her hands fell to her side and her jaw dropped in reaction to this hidden treasure that only Bobby could know about. She turned her head toward Bobby and her mouth formed the start of "What" but nothing came out. She turned back to the stunning courtyard overflowing with trees and bushes and fall blooming flowers. Bobby held out his arm beckoning her to enter through the opened iron gates. Under a large oak tree, stood a single iron bench. Bobby walked over to it and took a seat smiling as Alex walked the edges of the garden. The sounds of the city at early evening were barely audible here. Alex stopped in the center of the garden, five feet in front of Bobby.

"What is this place?" she said in a quiet voice.

Bobby stood and walked over to her. He scooted in behind her and leaned in as he pointed to an old brick building visible over the stone wall at the far left of the courtyard. "That building use to be the state mental hospital. My mom had weekly, sometimes twice weekly visits here for years. I found this courtyard on one of her visits. They used to keep the iron gate we came through, locked. They let some of the more permanent residents tend the gardens. My mom stayed here one time for a month or so when I was sixteen. Those azalea bushes were her personal project. Well they aren't really bushes, I guess," he said almost under his breath as he stepped backed from Alex and looked down at his ever moving feet. Alex turned to watch him. "They're actually flowering shrubs in the Rhododendron family. They flower all at once in the spring. They have so many stems that when they bloom, they become a solid sea of color". He jerked forward again and pointed to the shrubs. "Those two have white blooms". Alex looked over her shoulder. Bobby moved closer. "And that one in the middle is a brilliant red". For a split second, his chin rested on her shoulder while he pointed. "My mom had me bring it to her. She thought it the perfect punch line to drop a fire engine red azalea shrub right in the middle of two angelic white ones". When Alex turned back to Bobby he was looking past the shrubs, toward the old brick building with a sad smile on his face.

"You'll have to bring me back in the spring so I can see".

Bobby turned his head and looked at Alex, her eyes were soft again, sincere. A quiet moment passed when Bobby suddenly spun on one heel and came face to face with Alex. "I'm sorry... I've been... hard on you. This past year, … it's been hard."

"Yes it has. I feel like you don't trust me anymore, Bobby"

His head shot up. "What?"

"What do you mean, 'What?!'? You've spent the better part of this past year pushing me away. I just assume it's because you don't trust me anymore."

"No, No," he said frantically, "You couldn't be more wrong, Alex. It's just... I... well, I..."

"What Bobby?"

"I don't even know where to start."

"How do you think I felt finding out about your mother second hand to Ray Wizenski? How do you think I felt when you told me to 'Back Off'? How do you think I felt Bobby, when you guilted me into trusting you and letting you go see Mark Ford Brady by yourself? And, how do you think I felt when you tore open Joe's case with no warning? Yes, Bobby, I would say it's been a hard year."

Bobby was stunned. All he could do was stare at her. His mind was racing to the point of dizziness.

"You really had no idea did you Bobby"? And with that, Alex turned and hurried out of at the courtyard. Bobby didn't even have it in him to follow. He sank back on the bench, stunned. "How could I have been so unaware"?


A/N I thought it would be easier to republish an edited "Working it Out" rather than having readers have to go and find it. Thanks for reading. Reviews always appreciated.