Title: But it Will Come Around
Spoilers: Lady's Man, Loyalty.
Archive: Anywhere – no need to ask – just attribute, and let me know if possible
Disclaimer: Not mine
Summary: BA WAFF. Between Loyalty II & Season 10. Eames's plan to be seduced by Goren during a cosy little getaway is helped along by an unhelpful ex.
A/N: I just want them to be happy.
Alex was sitting on the big bed feeling absurdly joyful, when a soft knock came at their connecting door.
She didn't answer at once, despite being deeply drawn to what awaited her on the other side. Instead she paused for a few moments, letting her senses take in everything around her; the cool dry cotton and cuddly flannel bedding under her fingers, the deep quiet nap of the carpet against her toes, the bright, peaceful glow of the setting sun reflecting on the lake and the distant mountains, visible through the huge windows.
When Bobby had asked her a couple of weeks ago if she'd like to accompany him to an out-of-the-way lake resort to say goodbye to summer, he had been cutely flustered and self-conscious, stumbling over his words to reassure her that they'd have separate rooms, and he wasn't trying to, um, you know.
Make a move on her. Which would have been disappointing, except she'd decided that if he didn't make a move on her anyway, despite assurances, then she'd just have to make a move on him!
They'd been seeing each other for a couple of months – actual, organised excursions that felt like dates – at least to Alex – but despite enjoying each other's company, frequent touches and much laughter, they had never kissed or embraced, and they hadn't actually said anything about what they were doing.
Alex was confident that Bobby was interested in pursuing something with her in that way, and although he almost certainly didn't invite her out here to hustle her into bed (not that she'd complain!) she was fairly sure that he would use the opportunity to declare himself to her somehow.
September was cool and dry, and Bobby had told her in no uncertain terms that on their weekend away they'd be hiking and dining at the fancy patio restaurant, among other things (it was those other things that she was interested in, frankly), so she packed jeans, walking shorts and sturdy boots, layerable tops from tanks to a cuddly fleece, as well as a couple of dresses. And, because she was interested in those… other things, a nice night set and undies, in addition to the thick pyjamas she'd been warned to bring.
The lodge Bobby drove her to (making her feel happy and strange, in the passenger seat being chauffeured by such an imposing, dashing man) was classy and quite modern, but still a bit rustic. All wood and glass outside, the rooms within were spacious and comfortable, decorated in just a tiny country twist on hotel chic.
Bobby had been quiet on the drive up, and had carried his bag almost stoically up the grand staircase to their adjoining rooms.
He'd given her a long, inscrutable look as they stood by their respective doors, waiting for the bellhop to admit them. Then when she'd knocked on the connecting door a few minutes later, he'd grinned sheepishly at her silent observation. "Um yeah, didn't I tell you? I thought it would be more, um, convenient." She just smirked and shut the door, spending the next 40 minutes getting ready for dinner.
And so, here they were.
"So you seem to know this place pretty well. Been here before?" Her question was innocent, but Bobby blanched ever so slightly, squirming in his seat.
Bobby looked so delicious – in a tux no less! – that Alex had spent most of their evening so far trying to stop herself from just jumping over the table and sticking her tongue down his throat. He was so distracting that she'd barely noticed the food, which was quite frou-frou and fancy, but delicious (as far as she could recall), never mind the view (at least the view past her dinner companion).
Bobby didn't need to answer her – she knew from many tiny tells that he'd been here before, probably with a woman (or women). The thought didn't really bother her – in fact it gave her hope… if this was his version of Makeout Point, then she had something to look forward to.
But in the meantime she was enjoying seeing him squirm.
"Um… once before, yeah," he stammered, his voice breaking a bit. He reached out with his beautiful fingers and fiddled with the tray of pastries that constituted their dessert.
Dinner had been an interesting and pleasant affair. The restaurant itself was on the huge, cantilevered patio attached to the lodge, overlooking the water and the beautiful sunset. Elevated space heaters warded off the chill, and the atmosphere was refined and festive. And romantic.
The food was a sort of mish-mash of fine dining… they called it West Coast Fusion, whatever that was, but it was tasty nonetheless. Their choice of appetizers was like regular starters but Asian-influenced; Alex had a sort of sashimi but made with smoked salmon, asparagus and a gently-poached quail egg, with wasabi flavoured hollandaise sauce, and Bobby had ceviche served with fresh-made sesame-rice crackers.
Their entrees were more conventional; they both had steaks, which were regular except for the heap of unknown (to her) mushrooms that came piled on top, which Bobby identified for her. She asked him if it was Kobe beef they were eating, and he said no, but it was pretty darn good.
Dessert was an array of tiny sweets… Aftertizers the menu said… A shot glass of hot chocolate with spices and some spirit they couldn't identify… Tiny custards in cups of hard chocolate… Little mini lemon soufflés with hot buttered brandy sauce… and several others.
They had a carafe of white with their appys, finished off a whole bottle of a really nice Barolo with the steaks, and switched to coffee to cut the buzz while they enjoyed the afters.
Alex watched him with a smirk as he poked at a ginger wafer. It was so cute that he didn't want to admit to her that he'd been here with someone else. Ironic too, since soon after they started seeing each other, he'd expressed an interest in the cabin upstate where she and Joe had vacationed; Bobby had intuited that that was where she and Kevin would have gone to consummate their brief relationship, and he wanted to go there to mark his territory.
He looked up and she smiled warmly at him. "Well, it's really nice," she said.
Bobby's face relaxed and his gaze rested on her mouth. "I'm – glad, you like it Eames," he managed. He still called her Eames sometimes… she liked it.
All awkwardness gone, they chatted about inconsequential things, while Alex privately wondered if Bobby had any plans for them tonight.
Alex and Bobby both looked towards the woman's voice, in the aisle a few feet away. Alex recognised her as a dinner guest who'd been seated behind Bobby; looking to their table, she saw the woman's dining partner looking perplexed, hovering in his seat as if to spring up and rush over. Bobby for his part looked at the woman blankly for a second, then with recognition. Suppressing a grin, Alex had a crazy psychic flash that this was Bobby's guest from last time… Who by her condescending, irritated once-over of Alex seemed far more bothered by Bobby re-using a location than Alex had, despite the fact that she was doing the same thing with her date!
"Uh, Cynthia." Ever the gentleman, Bobby stood as he greeted her, gesturing towards Alex who extended her hand. "Alex, this is Cynthia, um, Proctor– "
"Gervais now," she murmured, waving towards the man she'd been dining with.
"…And this is, ah, Alex."
What followed was an awkward but mercifully short exchange.
"What a… bizarre… coincidence to bump into you here, Robert?" Bizarre? Did she think he was following her or something?
"Uh, yeah…" Poor Bobby. Didn't he realise he had no reason to be embarrassed?
"Or is this a regular thing for you?" Oh please.
"No, no, not really." He looked sheepishly at Alex, who frowned teasingly, feigning disapproval. "So, uh, you're married? Congrat, congratulations." His voice cracked endearingly.
"Thank you. He's a lawyer." Well that's good to know. If you could only tell us one thing about the man you married, his occupation would certainly be it.
"Oh that's, um, nice." C'mon, smartypants, wrap this up. I'm not getting any younger over here.
"Yes, very nice." Oh yes, everything's so very nice! "And is this your…" Yes, I am HIS…
She was actually a bit curious about what Cynthia and Bobby were going to say about her, but they were interrupted by Cynthia's lawyer hubby coming by to fly the flag. "Honey… our dinner's here. I'm Samuel Gervais, nice to meet you." The little tete-a-tete broke up after that.
Alex and Bobby both sat down as the other couple moved back to their table. She could see that he was bothered by the woman's interruption; he looked miserable, and wouldn't meet her eye. "Bobby," she started, wanting to reassure him that she wasn't disappointed or disapproving, but he abruptly stood up and excused himself.
"I have to, uh… I'll be back in a sec."
She saw the Gervais family watching Bobby's exit out of the corner of her eye. Resisting the urge to scowl in their direction for putting a damper on her evening with Bobby, instead she focused her attention on the lake, and the play of the torches that illuminated the dock on the water.
A little while later she sensed a movement at her side. Turning, she was disappointed to find Cynthia, and not Bobby, looming over her.
Without asking permission, the woman sat down at Bobby's seat and leaned over to Alex. "Left you alone, huh? He was always doing that to me."
Alex knew all about being walked out on by Bobby Goren, but she had no intention of commiserating with the woman about it. "It's his way. Even when he's relaxing, he has a lot on his mind."
"Hmmm… that was certainly my experience." In the pregnant pause that followed, it was clear to Alex that she was expected to beg for more information about Cynthia's experience. Unfortunately, Cynthia mistook Alex's derisive sniff for encouragement. "Listen. Do you know Robert well?"
Alex smirked. "Is that a trick question?" Which earned her a scowl.
"I'm not trying to ruin your weekend or anything," Alex begged to differ, but merely hummed encouragingly, "But I really do need to warn you."
"Warn me?" Alex had a difficult time suppressing the laugh that threatened to bubble up. Just then, she saw a movement behind Cynthia's shoulder. Her dinner partner had returned. He stood stock-still, looking desperately anxious... Oh well, served him right for going out with her in the first place.
"Yes. Not against dating him… he's a perfect gentleman, funny, charming… everything a girl could want. As I'm sure you've noticed."
"Buuuut?" Alex was starting to get irritated. Clearly, Bobby had really turned it on for this woman. And if she thought he was so great, why did she break up with him? And if she hadn't, would he still be going out with her? She sent a brief glare Bobby's way, and was gratified at the way his face fell.
"Don't ever fall in love with him. He's bad news."
Alex bristled. Surely this wasn't going to turn into Cynthia trying to warn Alex off him because of his family history? God, when would people give him a break? Now she'd done an about-face, and she was ready to pull this trollop's hair for daring to dump him.
Cynthia seemed to see the storm on Alex's face, but mis-read it. "Oh dear me, it's already too late, isn't it? But listen, I have to tell you anyway… he'll never love you back."
Alex leaned forward and tried to look dead serious despite the completely ridiculous situation. "Never?"
"Nope, never. I happen to know he's in love with a woman he works with."
Alex dug deep to tap every ounce of her professional training to stop her face from showing the surprise and intense glee she felt at the woman's words. Schooling her expression to reflect bored scorn, she tsked and glanced up at Bobby, whose face was ashen. She wanted to put him out of his misery, just not yet.
"Pfft. Like that's ever gonna happen," she growled, rolling her eyes.
"Oh I know," Cynthia agreed, leaning forward again. "It's so obvious, even just from how he talks about her, that she has no idea what she's got."
Alex tilted her head as if she were considering the other woman's words. "Noooo, I don't think that's it," she drawled, looking at Bobby again. "I just don't think she'd ever date another cop." Then she winked at him.
"Another cop. An FBI agent would be OK, or a PI, a criminology professor or a would-be author, but I know for a fact that she'd never date another cop."
At the touch of Bobby's hand on her shoulder, Cynthia startled and beat a hasty retreat. Looking smug as he seated himself in the chair his ex had vacated, he watched Alex a bit quizzically as she picked up her plate and cup and put them next to his. "I think we should keep a chair free," she said, settling herself on his knee, "Who knows who's going to come by next."
Matching wits with that twit Cynthia had left Alex hungry and garrulous, and she spent the next half hour chatting and snacking, but Bobby was quiet. He sat silent and unnaturally still, his big hands unmoving on her waist, as if afraid to disturb their idyll. When she ran out of things to say and to eat, Alex tackled him head-on. "How do you feel, Bobby?"
His mumble was unintelligible, but his hands tightening around her and his breath in her hair were all the answer she needed.
"Are you glad you brought me here?"
"Very," he croaked, pulling back to look at her. "Alex…"
She stopped him with a finger on his lips. "Whatever you're going to say, it doesn't matter. I want you to just answer two questions. First, is it OK that I'm sitting in your lap?" He nodded enthusiastically. "And second, would it be better if I were naked?"
Alex awoke to the sensation of Bobby petting her chastely, the memories of how their evening ended trickling pleasantly into her consciousness as her lover kissed her shoulders and neck.
Even as he mumbled a perplexed Good morning, she wriggled out of his arms and made a dash for the connecting door.
Minutes later she returned, in a long and swirly Ginger Rogers style negligee. Bobby was sitting, head bent, on the edge of the bed with his feet on the floor; she twirled and went to him. "I brought this to seduce you with," she said a bit breathlessly, "But it's too late."
Bobby looked up, his face lit with happy surprise. Moving slowly and deliberately, he first grasped fistfuls of the silky material of her skirt, then ran his hands up her hips and all around the fitted bodice. "Not necessarily," he replied, pulling her to him and rubbing his face across her décolletage. After stroking the soft skin of her arms and shoulders, he tugged the straps down and started to kiss and pet her bare breasts. "You have beautiful breasts," he mumbled.
"Thank you," she said weakly.
Still sensitised and little sore from what happened just a few hours ago, Alex felt wanton and seductive standing half-nude in front of her partner of 10 years. Her nakedness didn't embarrass her. "Bobby, last night was…"
"The best thing ever," he concluded, lifting her easily and laying her on the bed.
"Just the beginning, was what I was going to say."
Four months later, when they both got word that Moran was out and the new administration wanted to negotiate their possible return, Bobby seemed unaccountably twitchy and restless.
"We don't need to go back, you know," she said, resting her hand on his knee.
He grimaced and looked away. "I know…" he said dubiously.
"Or," she continued, wracking her brain for what was upsetting him, "I don't have to go back, if you…" The words died on her lips at the look of anguish on his face.
"I couldn't do that to you, Eames."
"You said that you, you, would never date another cop."
"Bobby," she murmured, smiling, "We're not dating. We're engaged."
A/N 2: I thought up the substance of this ficlet while I was mashing potatoes. The title is from a song When There's Time for Love by Lawrence Gowan that I think is very fitting for Goren and Eames. Go to YouTube and check it out – or google the lyrics. I think it's quite sweet. BTW I now have a YouTube account, SilentGCanada, where I have the song faved in a CI songlist.
Please review! I really really want to know what you think, even if it's two words! Flames welcome!
Also, a huge thank-you to all my wonderful reviewers, PMers, favers, alerters, and a shout-out to leftyred and Ainsley Hibbs, who both review, fave and alert my fics, but don't allow PMs or review replies.
WORDS: 3036 UPLOADED Sunday, November 14, 2010