Title: Last Act
Spoilers: Anything up to Vanishing Act
Pairing: Goren & Eames
Summary: Bobby asks Alex to dinner and a movie. An interruption leads to cold pizza and beer instead.
A/N: I want to thank, sipman, for the idea and encouragement. This one's for you. I hope I did it justice. I may write another chapter.
Detective Bobby Goren looked up at Detective Alex Eames as she gathered her things to head home for the night. He started to relax again. Things had been returning to normal, or at least, he hoped they were. She seemed to have been letting him in a little more.
Alex gave him a short wave. "See you tomorrow." She walked toward the elevator, ready to put this day to bed.
He hurried and grabbed his binder and suit jacket. Tucking his binder under his left arm, he caught up with her at the elevator. The doors had just been about to close when he slipped into the car beside her. "I, uh, was wondering..." He shifted from one foot to the next, resisting the urge to shift the binder from left to right.
She watched him, a playful smile tugged at her lips. One she tried to hide by turning her head. "I'm not getting any younger," she teased him.
"How about a movie tonight?" He watched her, waiting for her usual decline.
"Sounds good, Bobby. My place around seven?" Alex looked up, brushing hair out of her eyes. She didn't hide her smile this time.
He bounced on the balls of his feet in what reminded her of an excited little boy. "I could grab pizza and beer too." The elevator opened. They both stepped out, heading toward the garage.
He swiped his badge and opened the garage door for her.
"Thanks." She gestured toward where her car was parked. "I'm this way."
He gave her a wave. "See you at seven." He had parked in the opposite direction. It wasn't perfect, but it was a start. All his other offers had been turned down without hesitation or much emotion. She was ready to forgive him. Finally.
Approaching his Mustang, he dug his keys out of his pocket. After unlocking his door, he tossed his jacket and binder onto the passenger seat and folded himself inside. Pushing the key into the ignition and turning it, all the horses under his hood thundered to life. He pulled out, careful to watch around him for anyone walking by.
She had smiled when he had asked her. A true genuine Eames smile. His heart hammered in his chest.
I think there are some unresolved issues with a man in your life. Some trust issues. He's betrayed you, hasn't he? Kept a secret from you. Not for the first time. Poor thing.
He gripped the wheel so tight his knuckles turned white. Holliday had it wrong. He had betrayed her, but it wasn't like he said. It was only that once. Only to keep her safe. All he had ever wanted was to get back to her.
They had just start working things out, and he had been certain that Holliday's renewal of her own doubts would take them two steps back. Then she had agreed to dinner and a movie with beer. Maybe things were sorting themselves out after all.
Alex had taken a shower and slipped into a pair of sweats and a t-shirt. Her hair was pulled back in a loose ponytail. She glanced at the clock. It was fifteen until seven. She grew nervous. She hoped that she hadn't made a mistake allowing him to come over? She had no idea what she hoped to accomplish with this, but she knew that keeping him at arms length was killing her inside.
There was a knock at the door at seven o'clock on the nose. She moved to it and opened it wide. Her eyes danced when she saw him. She pointed to the hallway and asked, "You've been pacing around out there for a bit, haven't you?"
He had the two six packs balanced on top of a large pizza box. He rubbed the back of his neck. "That obvious, huh?"
She laughed softly. "Get in here." She turned her back to him and moved into her living room. "What movie are we watching tonight, Bobby?" They'd done this a few times. She loved allowing him to choose the movie because she knew it was usually something that she had never seen, and it always ended up entertaining her.
He pulled out two DVD boxes from under her arm. "I wasn't sure what you'd be in the mood for so I picked up this..." He held up One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. "And then I got this because I never pick anything that...a woman would like." He held up Ever After.
Alex's heart leapt into her throat. That was her all time favorite movie. In fact, she owned two copies. One on VHS that she had worn out, and finally bought a replacement on DVD for herself just last year. She scratched her neck. "You'd actually watch that with me?"
He nodded as he sat both DVD cases on her entertainment center. "Of course. I like...a little romance."
She blushed then and turned away. "Just let me get us some napkins..." She moved toward the kitchen just as a knock sounded on the door.
"You double book tonight, Eames?" he teased as he moved to open her door.
Liz Eames-Donnely looked up. "Bobby?" She shook her head, rushing inside. She had Nathan by the hand. "Where's Lex?"
Bobby pointed toward the kitchen. "Is there something wrong?"
Liz called out, "Lex, I need you to keep Nate. Michael has fallen off a ladder, and we think he broke something. He's waiting in the car downstairs. He insisted we bring him to you. He doesn't want him catching anything at the Emergency Room."
Alex rushed to them, hugging Liz and Nathan at the same time. "Of course, I will..."
Bobby spoke up, "Why don't I keep him and you drive them, Eames?"
She met his eyes then. Her head tilted slightly. "Are you...sure that's a good idea?" She knew he was brilliant with children, and Nathan loved him, but did he really want to do that?
He grabbed her coat and pressed it into her hand. "Go. I've got this. We have pizza...and I'm sure we'll find something to do to entertain ourselves."
Alex took her coat and didn't take long to think it over. She nodded. She just hoped she had a home to come back to after the two of them took it over. "Behave," she said as he shut the door behind her.
Bobby looked down at Nathan. "Do you think she was talking to me? Or you?"
Nathan giggled and pointed at him. "She knows I behave. I heard that you were bad, and she had to punish you."
Bobby rubbed the back of his neck. He chuckled. Nathan must have heard Alex and his mother talking about him at some point over the last few months. "So are you hungry?"
Several hours later, Alex pushed her key into the lock. Everything was quiet. Liz followed her inside and raised her eyebrows. "What do you think happened in here?"
There were couch cushions strewn about all over the floor and her couch and chair had been pushed together with sheets draped over them. Alex's eyebrows raised when she saw two large socked feet sticking out of one end. "Looks like they made a tent," she whispered.
Nathan stirred and said softly, "Mommy?"
Liz crouched down. "Did you have fun?" After nodding, he crawled out and hugged her. "How is Daddy? Did he break his butt?"
Liz tried not to laugh. "Unfortunately, yes, he did. Broke his tailbone. He'll be taking it easy for a few weeks." She picked her son up and stood. He rested his head on her shoulder and started to doze again.
"He can stay..." Alex started.
Liz shook her head. "Looks like you've got some...business to take care of," she said softly. She leaned over, kissing her sister's cheek. "Thank you. I would've been a mess had you not come with us."
Alex hugged them both, kissing Nathan's head. "You know I'll do anything for you. Call me when you get home."
She let them out and closed and locked the door behind them. She picked up the couch cushions and placed them quietly back in place. She heard him stir and turned around to glance at him.
Bobby had himself propped up on one elbow. "Eames, I'll get that." He started to get up.
She waved him to stop. "Stay put. And please tell me you saved me some pizza?"
He nodded. "it's on the table." He watched her disappear and return with a box of cold pepperoni pizza and a six pack of beer. She scooted under the make shift tent and passed him a beer. "I'm starving. The hospital vending machine was busted."
He grabbed a slice of pizza. "How is Michael?"
She took a long pull of beer and snorted, "He broke his ass." She laughed at the look on Bobby's face. "I still can't figure out how he fell off the ladder, but whatever..." She was hungry and tired. She had devoured a slice already and reached for another one.
He took the first bite from his slice and nodded. "I know that hurts." He winced, thinking about how much it had hurt when he had only bruised his tailbone back in Korea.
She wiped her mouth on the back of her hand. "How was tonight?"
He smiled. "That Nate is a trip, Eames. He..."
She interrupted, "Alex. Please. Just...call me Alex."
He tilted his head and nodded. "Alex. Alex, he told me about playing ball with your brothers and his cousins last weekend at your Dad's. He wants me to come. Gave me an official invite." He looked proud.
Alex sipped at her beer. "Are you going to come?" She had invited him on several occasions. He'd only accompanied her once.
He smiled. "I told him I would."
He reached for another beer just as she did. Their fingers brushed. "Sorry," they both said in unison. "You first."
She laughed and nudged his shoulder. "Company first." She grabbed him one and handed it to him. Her eyes met his. "Bobby?"
He kept his eyes locked on hers. "Yeah?" He didn't move to open the beer. He knew that something was on her mind, and he wanted her to talk to him.
"What Holliday said wasn't true. I just...I wanted you to know that. I'm not angry. Not anymore." She looked down then up again.
He reached forward, placing his hand over hers. "I know. I also wanted to tell you that I'll never do anything that stupid again. I could have gotten us both killed, and that...I never wanted that to happen. I didn't think."
She nodded. "You're damn straight you didn't think, but you won't do it again. I trust you on that." Her other hand landed softly on his. He hadn't even seen her place her beer and pizza to the side. "Plus, next time, I'll kick your damn ass."
He chuckled. There would be no next time. That much he was certain of. That had been one of the single most stupidest things he'd ever done in his life, and he wouldn't be repeating it.
She yawned softly. She set the pizza box outside the tent and stretched out on her back. She moaned softly. "I haven't done this since I was a kid. It's...I like it." Especially the company.
He laid back down, but on his side to watch her. "I should be going."
She sat up a little and met his eyes. "You'll do no such thing. I want...I would like you to stay."
He laid back then, and pointed up into the semi-darkness. "There's the big dipper."
A smile crept onto her face as he kept pointing out make-believe constellations. She enjoyed the soothing sound of his voice as she was lulled to sleep. Things were going to be okay. Not perfect, but it was a start.