Title: Transitions
Author: untapdtreasure
Pairing: Goren & Eames
Rating: K
A/N: This is for lynnez59. This is my first time ever participating in a secret santa thing for any fandom. I hope this is what you were wanting. I tried so hard. I enjoyed this very much. It tested my mettle. And my sanity. Thank you so much Vicky for the beta work. I couldn't have done this without you!

LOCI

He rolled onto his back, breathing heavily. Sweat covered his brow and slid down his back. The woman beside him tried to curl into his side. He dislodged her in his haste to get out of bed. "This was fun, but I got to work tomorrow..."

"Come on, baby. I'll get you up in plenty of time to start your day off good..." Her honey blonde hair fell in sweaty locks across her face. She brushed it away.

He pulled up his jeans. "I'm sure you would, but I have to get in early enough to finish up some paperwork."

She propped up on her elbows. Light glinted off the sweat between her pale, naked breasts. "Get your partner to do it."

Bobby's eyes flashed fire. "Eames is my partner not my secretary."

Lucinda sat up, a frown creased her brow. "Relax, Goren. It was just wishful thinking..." She thought she would have learned by now not to expect him to stay all night. She was a convenience for him and did not say no like she knew she should.

Bobby snorted, "Selfish desires is more like it."

Lucinda rolled her eyes. "Why do you even keep coming over here? Every time that partner of your's gets your balls in a knot, you..." She trailed off at the look in his eyes. The truth finally dawned on her.

Bobby's whole body was rigid. "This has been fun, Cindy...but I can't do this anymore." He pulled his shirt over his head.

Lucinda snorted. "Next time she gets you all worked up, bang on her door."

Bobby growled, "You have no idea what you are talking about." He turned and left without looking back.

LOCI

Bobby drove home in a fuming rage. Driving more by habit than conscious thought, he barely registered the changing lights as he maneuvered his car through the streets of the city. His mind kept returning to that afternoon in the interrogation room. She had been so angry at him, and he had been powerless to do anything about it.

So he had stormed out, leaving his binder and paperwork scattered all over the floor. She had called his name, and he had kept walking. If she did not understand that it was all too familiar to him, then he could not be around her right now.

It's why he had ended up at Lucinda's. It's why he had knocked on her door, and why she was under him before she even had a chance to register what was going on. He had gone to her time and time again, exorcising his demons. He did not need his profession to tell him why he had chosen her. Her body type was just like hers. Her hair was the same shade of sun-kissed honey blonde. Her eyes were even the same color. She was his substitute for not having the real thing. For not having Alex.

He pulled up outside his house, slamming the door. He cursed softly under his breath when he realized that he had forgotten his coat at Lucinda's place. "Fuck..."

Stomping up the walkway, he looked up. There sat a lone figure on his stoop. He would know her anywhere. "Eames..." he barely managed to whisper. Why now? Why tonight?

Alex stood slowly. "I've been trying to call you...all night."

Bobby shrugged. "Turned off my phone." He brushed passed her, moving up the steps. He shoved the key in the lock. "There was no need to drive all the way here..." He turned, keeping himself wedged between his partially opened door and her small frame that now stood only a small distance from him. He was not in the mood for company. Not her company.

"Bobby, I want to explain..." She began.

Bobby held his hand up. "There's nothing to explain, Eames. Really. Everything is okay." He gave her what he hoped was a convincing half smile.

Alex frowned. "Bobby..."

Bobby shook his head. "I can't do this tonight, Alex. Okay? I need...It's late. I'm tired." That was a lie. And he knew she knew it.

Alex snorted, "Since when do you sleep?"

Bobby's eyes closed almost involuntarily. "Eames, we can discuss this tomorrow." His voice held and edge that he was not accustomed to using with her.

Alex winced visibly. "I just wanted to let you know...that I'm sorry for losing my temper with you." She turned, heading down the steps.

Bobby's heart softened. "Eames...Alex..."

Alex put her hand up. "See you tomorrow, Bobby." She bit her lip to hold back tears.

Bobby's feet moved down his stoop of their own accord. He had heard something in her voice, something that said if he did not stop her now, this was going to be the end of their partnership. Their friendship. He reached out placing his hand on her shoulder. He said softly, "Alex..."

Alex trembled under his touch. "It's okay. I'm heading home...like you wanted."

Bobby quickly moved in front of her. "I...just, you don't understand how hard it was in my house...growing up."

Alex met his eyes then. Fire blazed in her brown eyes. "And I've wanted to try and understand, and you shut me out, Bobby."

Bobby rubbed the back of his neck. "It's not easy..."

Alex shook her head. "You're a coward, Robert Goren. A coward."

Bobby snorted. He rubbed his hand down his face in frustration. "And you think I don't know this?" He stepped closer. "I've never had anyone like you in my life...and everyday that you stay, I get a little more scared. I don't...trust people, Alex...not like I trust you. And I know it's hard, but I'm asking you to be patient with me. I know you have been. You've gone above and beyond what...a partner should ever have to put up with...and for that I'm thankful. I wouldn't have lasted in Major Case if I didn't have you."

Alex rolled her eyes. "That's bullshit, Bobby. Just plain and utter bullshit."

Bobby's eyes narrowed. He was confused. "How can you say that?"

"Because I remember the games that you played in the beginning to get me to walk. You pushed and you were just waiting for someone to push back at you just as hard. And I did." Alex's anger was started to bubble to the surface. "But I'm telling you, Bobby, I've about had it up to here with all that crap."

Bobby could not help but smile then. He saw her face fall and her frown deepened. "Don't be mad at me, Alex..."

"What happened to Eames?" Alex snapped.

"I thought you wanted to change our relationship?" he said with raised eyebrows.

Alex rolled her eyes. "I do, but I can't do this anymore if nothing is going to change."

Bobby let out a soft breath. "What if...I promise to try?"

Alex studied him. "I need more than that," she said so softly that he had to lean forward to actually hear her.

"We could get together outside of work...for drinks?" He suggested softly, tapping his chin gently. He watched her, waiting for her reaction.

Alex visibly relaxed. "And you'll tell me something about your life?" When he nodded, she nodded. "Then it's a date."

Bobby smiled. He gestured toward her car. "It's late, and I can't let my partner be too tired in case she has to kick ass tomorrow."

Alex smiled. She stepped forward doing something she had never done before. She hugged him. And even more surprising, he hugged her back. The biggest bear hug she had gotten from anyone in a long time. "I do kick ass, don't I?" she chuckled as she stepped away, moving toward her car.

Bobby chuckled. "Night, Alex..." He watched as she climbed into her car and started the engine. She revved it up, letting the horses thunder under the hood before pulling away from the curb and disappearing into the New York City streets.