A/N 1: Wasn't there an episode where Eames talked about hiding boys under her bed? Chapter spoilers for: that episode.

~.~.~.~.~

CHAPTER FOUR: BUT I'M THE LAST

Thud.

Alex awoke, disoriented and a little panicked, in her old bedroom. What had woken her up? She lay still, trying to shake off the unease that accompanied being roused suddenly after falling asleep, a bit drunk, in the room she'd grown up in. As she acclimated to her surroundings, the sounds of her parents' house delineated themselves; the creak of the radiator, the distant hum of the refrigerator, the faint rumble of her father's snores, and…

Thud.

The panic in her belly re-asserted itself. She fumbled at the bedside table for a light, but froze when the sound came again.

Thud.

Thud.

The sound was coming from outside. She quietly slid out from under the blankets and comforter into the chilly room, and padded barefoot to the window.

She couldn't help it… the sight before her (two storeys below her, actually) made her smile. Bobby, looking so dapper in his great coat and gloves, was hucking snowballs at her window. Badly, it appeared, given the hunks of snow on the flower box, the wall, and the shutters. She quickly threw up the sash and leaned out. "Bobby, what are you doing here?" She whispered through her grin.

He shrugged and threw up his arms. "I n– I uh, just wanted to see you," he replied, laughing.

"Are you drunk?"

He looked up at her and squinted. "I don't think so," he said solemnly. "I just," he waved his arms again, "Wanted to make sure the window was unlocked before I came up." At that, he grabbed the trellis with both hands and shook it as if to test its soundness.

"No, no, no, don't you dare Bobby Goren," she squealed, fluttering her hands in her huge white flannel nightie as if to shoo him away, then continued, quieter, "Come around to the front. I'll be down in a sec."

Shutting the window with a flourish, she almost missed the victorious look that lit up his face.

o.o.o.o.o

The panic she'd felt upon waking was replaced by milder – yet equally disconcerting – butterflies. Bobby looked happy, and he'd come all this way to see her… so it couldn't be something bad, right? The fear that had flitted through her consciousness, just as she was falling asleep earlier, was at the undercurrent of finality of Bobby's goodbye tonight.

The rest of the evening had been OK. A bit lonely without Bobby. It had bothered her that he'd chosen to leave; she couldn't shake the feeling that he wasn't happy with her, with the choice they'd made. A feeling which had been amplified that night, when she realised that dealing with her family might have been way more than Bobby had signed up for. A shame, because they were so much more tolerable with him by her side.

As she tiptoed through the dark, sleeping, chilly house, she noticed the time – 2:10AM. What had he been doing all night? He had to be drunk. Thank god he'd made it here safely. But in the jumble of emotions – irritation, anxiety, foreboding – beneath them all was yearning to be with him, and joy at the prospect of seeing him again. She loved him. It was as simple as that.

She saw the big, dark outline of his body through the frosted glass as she flipped the locks as quietly as possible. When the door swung to, Bobby pushed through in a rush and when his arms tightened around her, she felt the sensation of air beneath her feet as he swept her up in a tight embrace. His skin was cold and wet as he pressed his face into the crook of her neck, and a few snowflakes dotted the salt-and-pepper curls she sank her fingers into. "Hi baby," she whispered against his cheekbone as they held each other tightly. She'd never used that endearment before – had never used any with him, as a matter of fact – but the word felt right sliding past her lips.

"Hmmm, Alex," he murmured, "I missed you."

She let out a soft, throaty laugh. "It's only been a few hours, baby." She felt deliciously vulnerable, suspended barefoot in her nightie in his arms. Mingled with his natural, intoxicating scent, Bobby smelled of the cold, woodsmoke, a hint of the cologne she liked and only a touch of liquor. Alex could feel his pulse where her cheek pressed against his throat, and the rumble in his chest as he made tiny sounds of pleasure. Though separated by several layers of clothing, she felt her body reacting to the heat and hardness of his.

"It seemed like longer." Still holding her, Bobby reached back and latched the door, then turned and tiptoed – not very quietly – towards the stairs.

She wiggled in his arms. "Hey, what are you doing?" She whispered.

He tilted his neck to look at her. "Taking you to your room," he said, his calm, deliberate assertiveness stirring her body's reaction. "It's this way, isn't it?"

"No wait, Bobby…"

Was what she thought, but the words caught in her throat. She wanted to be angry at herself for her passivity, but the truth was she wanted this. Whatever had borne Bobby back to her, made him storm the fortress of her parents' house, represented a turning point for them. She wanted to give herself over to whatever had been stirred in him.

At the top landing she found her voice. "Bobby, we have to be soooo quiet," she whispered as he toed off his shoes and tiptoed down the upstairs hallway. "My dad is a very light sleeper."

Bobby gave her a smouldering look. "I can be quiet, Eames. Can you?"

o.o.o.o.o

"What?" She asked.

"I love you," he whispered.

All of a sudden it was just too much. This perfect interlude, after living on tenterhooks for weeks over the state of their relationship, was too much. Struggling to contain the overflow of emotion, she barely registered him trying to withdraw from her… she instinctively tightened her grip on his hand. "Bobby… I love you too."

O.O.O.O.O

Bobby started to laugh. Not a little chuckle or sardonic bark, but a full, exquisite belly laugh. Alex instantly came to herself enough to cover his mouth with her hand. "Shhhh! Be happy later!" Her harsh words were softened somewhat by her own chuckle, which she somehow managed to keep to the lowest decibels.

Bobby wanted to jump up and shout, to swing her around and kiss her all over, to sing to the heavens his joy and fulfillment. But he merely mumbled into her little fingers, "Whatever you say, sweetheart," kissing and tickling them with his tongue.

"Listen, we have to be so careful. When we get back on the bed, we'll move at the same time so it'll sound like it's just one person moving."

His little Eames, so practical. Moments ago she'd been completely undone, now she was all business. "Wow, you've really got a system going here…" He wasn't teasing.

"Bobby, just do it."

Which made him really not want to. "But we didn't do that before."

"I know," she said ruefully.

As they both arose on shaky legs and tip-toed to either side of the bed, he heard a door open down the hall. Alex froze, then quicker than he thought she could possibly move after what they just did, she threw on her nightie and gestured to Bobby to get down. 'On the floor?' he mouthed incredulously, and she nodded.

When the knock came, she was already at her door, but she waited a few moments before touching the knob. She turned it quietly, and stuck her nose through the crack.

"Everything OK, Lexi?" Her father asked, his resonant voice echoing through he whispered.

"Everything's fine, Dad. I just fell out of bed. Sorry I woke you." Believable in its simplicity, the lie slid easily off her tongue.

"I never get used to waking up in a strange bed." They shared a laugh over their similar experience. She seemed about to bid him goodnight and close the door when he continued. "How about Bobby? Is everything OK with him?"

Bobby froze and held his breath. Alex looked askance at him as if trying to figure out if the lie could be salvaged. "What?"

"Don't make him sleep under the bed, Lexi, he's not one of those boys you used to sneak up here. Sleep tight. See you both in the morning."

o.o.o.o.o

He should have felt sheepish being caught by the father of his recent secret girlfriend and longtime work partner in flagrante delicto in the man's own house, but instead he felt – well, there was no other word for it – a bit cocky.

He felt badly for Alex, though. She was quiet and subdued the next morning as they both dressed in her little room. As promised, he got a good look at her beautiful body as she slipped on her clothing, but he took little pleasure in it (little, not none) given the awkwardness of the situation.

Knowing that they wouldn't really talk until they got away, and needing to reassure himself that they were OK, he went to her as she shuffled, head low, towards the door.

"Hey," he said, wrapping his arms around her. "Merry Christmas. Are we OK?"

She looked up, surprised, and her worried face broke into a huge smile. She touched his collar in a playful, desultory way that aroused him far more than it should have, and said huskily, "OK? We're way better than OK, don'tcha think?" Then she stepped up on her tip-toes and kissed him. They'd kissed many times before, but this kiss was magnificent. He could feel in it all the love and devotion that she had been longing to give him, and now he accepted it, and gave his own in return.

"Merry Christmas back," she whispered as they exited the room.

They descended the stairs expecting to run the gauntlet of Alex's family, but only her father sat waiting for them at the kitchen table.

Johnny Eames was silent as he served them breakfast from a warming pan in the oven, and as they ate, he poured himself a coffee and sat down. "Couldn't stay away, huh Goren?" he asked gruffly.

Bobby refused to be intimidated, even with Alex's father reverting to his last name. "No sir," he said, trying not to sound too smug or impudent.

The older man grunted. "You know, you're not the first fella to try climbing the trellis to my oldest daughter's room." He stared balefully at Bobby over the rim of his cup, while Alex squirmed and murmured her disapproval.

"I know sir," he said. He smiled at Alex, remembering the stories of her escapades as a horny, sneaky teenager. "But I'm the last."

~.~.~.~.~

A/N 2: I hope you enjoyed it! Please review! And Happy Holidays!

WORDS: 1855 UPLOADED Monday, June 4, 2012