Chapter 4- …synergize beautifully

To: Peach

From: Falco

Time and Date: 6:17pm, 5/21/11

Peach. Meet me at Cathedral Park ASAP. Pretty Please? Thanks. Falco.

Falco sighed as he put his phone back in his jacket pocket and took a seat on the edge of the fishing dock, his feel dipping into the river. This wasn't the wharf Peach loved to drive by, but this place was beautiful nonetheless. The Gothic styled Saint Johns' Bridge loomed a hundred feet overhead, giving the park its name, its arches eerily similar to a cathedral arch. The park was lined with beautiful trees that were starting to bloom in the spring. This was a place he wanted to remember today.

He was wearing no officer's suit today. Today he was simply wearing a jacket, shirt and a pair of old ragged jeans. He was ready to sit here all night if necessary. He was prepared, too. He had his Mp3 player loaded with The National's new album, and let the heartfelt music play on his emotions.

With a tap on the shoulder, he looked behind him. She was wearing a nice green sweatshirt, and a long floral skirt. She looked beautiful. They hadn't talked since the standoff yesterday; their drive to the station was quiet and thick with drifting thoughts.

It killed Falco to see her break down like that; because he knew it killed her to break down. It killed her to look weak. But Falco knew she was nothing of the sort. What she had done yesterday amazed him more than any badass fight scene. More than six bullets or only five. She was graceful, intelligent, and beautiful inside and out. He understood her, and one ever seemed to understand him the way she did.

He faced her, and motioned for her to sit on the dock, which she did, her sandals dipping in the water, her skirt pulled up to her knees like a blanket. He looked at her and said "Hello there, Peach."

"Why did you have me come over here?" she asked, almost flatly. Falco was taken aback a bit by her question. Not her usual nod hello.

"Well, I'm not sure if it's too soon or bad timing or whatever, but I wanted just to talk," he said, looking nervously around the park at nothing in particular.

"Talk?" she asked, a bit confused.

"Yeah, I know!" he laughed nervously. "Me, the man of action, wanting to have a talk. I know how you feel; I'm surprising myself."

He sighed, leaning back on his arms. "But I know something happened yesterday, and I can tell you from years of experience that letting something like this go by and not saying a word about it really comes back to bite you in the ass."

"You're a therapist?" she asked with tentative sarcasm.

"No, but I've spoken to several," he replied with a small, devious grin.

"Well, what do you expect me to say?" she asked, still somewhat guarded. "Nothing bad happened; in fact, it was a great moment."

"Then why did you break down crying?" he replied, slowly reaching for her hand.

"Goddamnit, Falco. It was just a tense moment. You act nothing like that's ever happened."

"You hate looking weak. You'd have broken in a window before crying on the job, what with all your feminism and idealism and such."

"…you really do know me well."

"Of course I do, you're my partner," he replied, but his tone lost its footing at the end. "Trust me, Peach. When Rob… yeah, when Rob died, I didn't say a word about it outside of that night. I missed his funeral because I wanted to deny it was there, that it was true. It wasn't until a month after you joined up with me when you finally got me to let go. And… it felt better from there.

"I'm gonna be honest. It still gets me. That scene I made at Red's crime scene… it was definitely a by-product. And I still feel down, closed up. But you're such a great help… I owe you this.

"Now, something's up Peach, something's not sitting well with you. I don't have the damndest of what it is, but that's where you come in. Just… go on, scream it out. I don't want to see you cry again, but if you need to go ahead, I'll be right here. I won't even say anything or ask you 'how does that make you feel?' The floor's all yours."

She sighed in an undeterminable emotion but said "Alrighty. Here goes."

He squeezed her hand silently.

"It was… I think it was just seeing the fiery determination she had for her brother, to do anything for him, it was just… something so unfamiliar to me. And it… well it all traces back to my lack of connection with family."

She looked at him and said "You can back out of this now, you know." He shook his head.

"Well… alright," she sighed, resigned. "I never had an abusive family, or a drug addled family, or an impoverished family. I had a rich family, with a reputation to uphold. The thing is, they were desperate to uphold their reputation and image. And with me being the next of kin, they did that through me.

"They provided for me, but they decided for me. They gave me toys, but never let me pick them out; they decided what I'd like. And often they were wrong. I tried to address them on this but they just said 'Trust us, it's perfect for you this way.'

"So that's how I grew up. They shaped my life, my destiny, for me. They introduced me to the people they thought were good, and oftentimes they took advantage of me and our wealth. Who my parents thought would be the best connections and influences were some of the worst bigots and leeches I'd ever met. They decided I was going to lead the family business next, whether I liked it or not; not that that would be the way they'd say it.

"I didn't know how to get out of it. So one night, a few days before I turned 18, I just packed some clothes together, my purse and wallet, and left without a word while everyone was sleeping and no one was looking. I didn't bother to take any belongings, because I didn't want any of them. And I set out from there. I didn't need to stay with any relatives, I turned 18 by the time I got here in Portland. I was on my own, but it's when I really discovered myself. Yes, I know it's corny, but that's how it was."

Falco took his hand off of hers and wrapped it around her back in a sideways hug.

"And I realized I wanted a voice. I didn't know where to do that, though. I was considering activism, but when I saw on TV about an innocent person shot dead by a police officer, before Sheila's brother, I figured that's where I'd head in activism. But I learned to see from both sides, and I realized instead of being a one-way activist, I wanted to be the difference, so I joined the squad. And met you.

"And when I saw you there, under a knife that could kill you at any given moment, I was scared. And I wasn't going to let you die. All three things that ever really meant something to me… all came to a head at one moment. That's what overwhelmed me."

He gave her a slight smile, a relative of his devious grin. Shaking a bit, she went on "You mean so much to me, Falco. You're always there, you've always got my back, you know me well, and if you'd have died there, and I had missed an opportunity to stop it… I don't know how I'd have coped. So, no, it isn't 'just a job.' "

Facing him, she finished with "And I know you can't tell me it's just a job for you."

He held her gaze for a moment and didn't do anything, his face steady. He didn't say anything, but responded nonetheless, by putting a hand on her face, and pulling her in towards him for a kiss.

It was a short kiss, but it conveyed just as much as Peach had done, if not more. He let her go with an unsteady smile, and stated his own succint statement.

"I've always compared us to badass TV crime partners; you know, Goren and Eames, DiNozzo and Ziva, Mary and Marshall, Jane and Lisbon. One thing I've always noted is how damn frustrating waiting for them to get together is. So... I decided to break the trend and just say it."

"And you truly have," Peach looked at him with admiration. "And I love you so much, as much as you love me."

Falco laughed gruffly. "I'm glad to see that I got my message across! Ah," he laughed as they embraced, looking over the river and their reflection.

"I've always found that words and action go great together," Peach mused.

"Agreed."

Falco smiled as he knew that whatever happened from there on out; circumstances as an officer, struggles in a relationship and life's interference be damned, because they had each other, and they loved each other. Certainly worth speaking up for.

Epilogue- Farrow's Take

I've been kicking ass for years now, and letting my boot do the talking. I never thought that someone would inspire me and show me that action is for more than just violence.

That kiss was the most important action of my life.

A/N –Coming Soon-

MoD