Here's yet another Goren/Eames end of the road fic from me. Yes…I'm still obsessing over this.

References: Unrequited, 3x12 - the first episode after Eames' maternity leave.

A shout-out to LadyBlueDevil86 on this one. She fed me the main idea of this story, then I took it and ran with it. So, thanks!!

Disclaimer: I don't own them.

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After coming home, she collapsed on her couch.

She'd just came back from her and Bobby's retirement party. It was a great night, and she was overwhelmed by the showing of support from the NYPD. They had gathered at a restaurant near One PP, and they ate, drank, and danced to their hearts content. She had a great time and she could tell that Bobby had had fun, too. Knowing he wasn't the most popular cop on the force, she was more than happy at the show of support for both of them.

But, all night long, Bobby was giving her looks. Looks that let her know he remembered.

--

It had been after the Marion Whitney case right after she came back from maternity leave.

When that case came to a close, Alex knew that their partnership had changed forever. After the wrapped things up, they met in a bar for a few drinks. They were both revved up and so happy to have her working again. During their drinks, they both couldn't help but realize that their happiness to be together again was charged by their sexual attraction to each other.

It was the first time that they allowed themselves to speak about their feelings.

--

FLASHBACK

After more than enough to drink, he was toasting her yet again. "Here's to you coming back to me." He raised his glass with a slightly uneven hand, and didn't realize his mistake until he saw the stunned look on her face.

"What?"

"Um…to work…I meant…Here's to you coming back to work."

"Did you… think I wasn't going to come back?" She looked very confused and a little hurt.

He looked down into his drink, "I guess the thought crossed my mind."

"Bobby, I was always coming back," she added softly as she rested her hand on his arm, causing him to look up at her, "I wouldn't leave you like that."

They shared a glance that was surprisingly passionate for both of them. He had actually thought of leaning over and kissing her, but smartly decided against it. Instead, he used the opportunity to say something that had been on his mind for a long, long time. Would he have said anything had they been sober? Probably not.

He hesitated slightly, unsure of the best way to broach the next subject. "I guess… it wouldn't have been all that bad if you didn't come back…to work that is."

She gave him a surprised look. "Really…and why would you say that?"

He nodded quickly as if what he was about to say made perfect sense. "Because… if you didn't, then I could ask you out."

She rested her elbow on the bar and scratched her ear as she thought about what to say. "Now why would you want to do a thing like that?"

He stared at her as he tried to figure out if she really didn't know. "Because I've always wanted to."

His honesty caught her off guard. She looked away; afraid he'd see that she felt the same way.

He dipped his head in front of her to catch her eyes again, "You don't believe me."

"Hmmm. No."

"Well, it's true." He looked back at his glass and swirled his drink around, unsure if he should really take their conversation any further. Then he glanced her way again and saw her looking at him and without thinking, he plunged ahead, "What would you say…if I did ask you out?"

"Bobby…we shouldn't do this…we shouldn't play this game."

He leaned in a little closer and spoke very low, "What would you say?" His words sent a chill up her spine.

"I'd probably say yes."

He smirked, "Probably?"

"A girl has to keep some mystery about her."

He wasn't surprised she tried to make a joke of their conversation; that was what she did, that was how she deflected anyone's attempt at getting close to her.

And when he thought about it, he realized that it was absurd - really - to go down that line of thought. Because she was back, and from judging how well they got right back into sync after her absence, it was obvious she wasn't going any where.

And then she said something that threw him for a loop. "Actually…I would definitely say yes."

He stared at her in disbelief. Not because of what she said, but because of the look on her face when she said it. For a flash, the briefest of moments in time, he saw an Eames that was open and unguarded; she let herself be vulnerable to him. He couldn't shake the look of awe he had on his face.

Then she continued. "See? That surprised you…and if this whole scenario really took place… right now you'd be scrambling…trying to figure out a way to tell me you were only kidding."

"Eames." He shook his head, "I wasn't kidding. I'm ready and willing…you just say the word."

She checked him, making sure he wasn't playing her. She could tell he wasn't. She was tempted, very tempted to 'say the word'. But then her father's face flashed in front of her, his words rang true, even then: 'Remember Alex, all the guys you work with, they're all not used to cops being pretty, so they'll be after you. Don't let them fool you'.

She let one 'fool her' once, and look what happened, she couldn't let that happen again.

"We're partners, Bobby. This can never happen."

"You mean…as long as we're partners." He said slowly.

"You planning on puttin' in a request?"

He chuckled, "No…but I'm thinking that there will come a day when we're not partners any more…We might get reassigned, or when one of us retires."

She regarded him with skepticism. "Oh right… like you'd wait that long."

That made him laugh out loud. "Trust me, you have a much better chance at finding someone before I do."

She looked down at her drink, unable to face him when she confessed her loneliness. "Can't find someone if you're not looking."

He nodded his head then replied cautiously, "So…you agree that there's a very good possibility that we'll both be single for a long time."

"I guess."

"Then let's make a deal…if we're still single when we're no longer partners…we…you know…"

"No, I don't know…we what?"

"C'mon, Eames... don't make me spell it out."

She looked at him incredulously, "Bobby, you can't be serious."

He put his hand over hers then leaned in closer to her. His lips were right up against her ear. "I'm very serious."

He pulled away from her and waited for her response. When he didn't get one, he spoke again, "Tell me… what would you want, Alex?"

He saw the look on her face and thought she was going to try to joke again. So he was surprised that when she spoke, she sounded dead serious. "Well…I don't want to put too much pressure on ourselves…So let's say… just one night."

He offered her his hand to shake, "Deal."

She looked at it for a moment before lifting her hand to meet his, "Deal."

--

PRESENT DAY

Then she heard a knock at her door.

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tbc...