What if everyone at work thought that Alex and Bobby were married to other people, but they were actually married to each other? When they started the charade they never realized how hard it would be to keep the secret.

I own nothing and my bank account will prove it.

Alex walked down the stairs to her home and laughed at the sight that greeted her. The kitchen looked as though it had been coated with a very fine dusting of flour. Every inch was covered with She coughed to hide her laugh and asked, "Problems?"

Bobby looked over at her from his place in the kitchen and shook his head, "No. I'm good."

If she believed in ghosts, she would have sworn that she was seeing one now. He had flour in his hair as well as what looked to be egg yolk. She looked around the kitchen and wondered what had exploded in the room.

She smiled and asked, "Are you sure?"

Another nod and he told her, "We've got it covered Alex."

She laughed and nodded. Instead of replying to her words, she walked over to the fridge and grabbed the orange juice and grabbed a glass. After pouring herself some, she put the carton back in the fridge.

She took a washcloth and wiped off the chair that sat in front of the breakfast bar. She threw it in the sink and sat down to watch Bobby at work. She heard a small voice say, "Mommy!"

Before she could react, she felt tiny arms wrapping around her legs. She smiled at her little girl and asked, "Are you helping daddy cook breakfast?"

"I am! Daddy said that I needed to let you sleep because the baby's growing and you need your sleep. I didn't wake her up daddy."

Looking at her four year old daughter filled her heart with joy. Evelyn Ray Goren was the apple of her daddy's eye. Just a few years ago she never would have dreamed that she would have a family. Never thought that she would have children. She never counted on falling in love with her partner. She hadn't been looking for it. In fact, she had tried to deny her feelings for him. Tried to convince herself that she wasn't feeling what she was feeling.

Her daughter was the perfect blend of them both. She looked just like her father, but she had inherited her mom's red hair. She had her mom's fiery spirit. On her first day of pre kindergarten she had gotten a call from the school and was told that they needed to come to a parent teacher conference. Six months later, they were called into the school at least once a month.

They hadn't planned on having another baby. They had made the decision to stop with one. However, they had found out three months ago that they were having another baby. She'd gotten the news one snowy morning. After nearly a week of getting sick with what she thought was the flu,she went to her doctor's office. An hour later she was sitting behind the steering wheel of her car and had tears running down her face. Yes, she loved her daughter. She knew that Bobby loved her also. She had been afraid that he would be angry with her for getting pregnant again.

She drove home slowly that day. She was glad that it was her day off. She wasn't sure that she would be able to keep the tears at bay.

She closed the door and climbed into bed and closed her eyes. She pulled the cover up over her eyes and tried to sleep. Sleep wouldn't come however. She stared into the darkness of her room and thought back to the day that she realized she was in love with her partner. The day that she realized that she couldn't live without him. The day that they realized that they could live without each other.

The fateful day came after he had been suspended and she had walked out of the precinct. It was that day that she realized that he meant more to her than any job ever could. She had sensed that he had feelings for her also. She needed to confront him and find out if her thoughts were true.

She had shown up at his house and knocked on the door. It had taken him a few minutes to come to the door. When he did, she was shocked at his appearance. Even though it had only been a few hours since she'd last seen her, he looked like he had aged by at least ten years.

He asked her softly, "What do you want Alex?"

She smiled, "Can I come inside?"

"Why? I thought that you would be at the station and..."

Alex shook her head, "I can't."

"Can't what?"

"I can't be there without you. I..."

Bobby looked at his partner and cocked his head to the side. He studied her and finally asked, "What are you trying to tell me Alex?"

Alex wondered if her feelings had been wrong. Maybe he didn't feeling anything for her. Maybe they were just partners after all. She sighed and whispered, "Never mind."

She turned and started to leave. She had gotten to the door when she felt his hand on her shoulder. His other hand was on the door. She sighed softly and whispered, "Please let me go Bobby. I shouldn't have come here."

"Why did you come Alex? I'm damaged goods. I'm not good for anyone."

She turned around and said sharply, "Don't talk about yourself like that Bobby!"

"Don't tell me that you haven't thought that a thousand times Alex! I've seen it in your eyes a thousand times over the years. A thousand times that I wondered why I can never be good enough for you! Good enough to lo..."

Alex turned to look at him and whispered, "What?"

Bobby realized that he'd said too much. He'd almost told his partner that he loved her. That he had loved her for years. However, he also knew that he would never be good enough for her. She deserved someone that didn't have his sordid kind of past. He'd loved her from afar for the longest time. He loved her take charge attitude. Loved how she knew how his mind worked. She was the only one in his life that had stuck around long enough to learn about the real him. She was the only one that truly cared about him, but he knew that she didn't love him. She could never love him. He was damaged goods. With a crazy woman for a mother and a father that could have cared less about them.

He turned and faced her. Then he whispered, "Please leave Alex. I don't want to drag you down with me. You can have a wonderful career without me. You..."

He couldn't go on. Couldn't put her best interests at heart when it was killing him inside. However, since he loved her, he had to put her best interests at heart.

She shook her head while he was talking. This is what she came here for. She hadn't come to hear him put himself down. She wanted to tell him that she loved him. That she had always loved him. She finally got up enough nerve and now here he was putting a kink in her plans.

She finally shouted at him, "Would you just listen to me? Please Bobby?"

Despite her tone of voice, Bobby couldn't help but smile. He finally asked, "What?"

She sighed and went into his living room to sit on the couch. She waited for him to sit next to her and she sighed again and said, "You know, I've tried to fight it. I've tried to fight it with everything that I have."

"Fight what Alex?"

She was exasperated and blurted out,"You know, you make it impossible to love you."

Bobby turned to look at her and whispered, "What?" When she didn't say anything else, he asked her again, "What did you say?"

Alex pinched the bridge of her nose and closed her eyes. She hadn't meant to blurt it out like that. She hadn't meant to tell him that way. However, Bobby had a way of making people do things that they never would do. It was one of the things that she loved most about him. She finally sighed and whispered, "I said that I love you."

All Bobby could do was ask, "You love me?"

"That's what I said. Apparently I'm good at blurting things out when I'm around you, but yes, I love you."

When Bobby could breathe again he asked, "Why?"

"Why what?"

"Why do you love me? How can you love me?"

Alex closed her eyes and she felt a tear slide down her cheek. She breathed out deeply and looked at him with tears in her eyes. Then she closed her eyes tightly and whispered, "How can I love you? Is that what you want to know?"

Bobby nodded and she continued, "How can I not love you? You are the most amazing man that I've ever met. You are compassionate. Loyal. You are funny as hell. You are everything that I've ever wanted in a man. I've loved your for years. I've tried to deny it for just as long. Tonight... Tonight I realized that it's useless. I can't deny how you make me feel. Without trying to, I fell in love with you..."

Bobby shook his head, "I'm too weak and..."

"Stop it! You're only weak if you let others make you that way! You are the strongest man that I've ever met. When are you going to realize that? When are you going to accept the fact that you have the right to be happy? I can make you happy." She shook her head and pointed to them both, "We can make each other happy. Happier than either of us have ever dreamed of."

She could see the hope in his eyes. However, she also saw the fear. Saw the doubt and she knew that he wondered if she had been wrong coming here. Maybe her feelings were one sided. Maybe he didn't love her after all.

So, with a heavy heart, she got up off the couch and headed for the door. Before she walked out of his house she whispered, "I'm sorry Bobby. I was wrong coming here. It was a reckless choice. I'll leave now."

With that, she turned and walked out of his house and walked to her car. All the while berating herself for her impulsiveness. She sat down in the car and closed the door. Then she buried her face in her hands and cried for the longest time. Cried for herself. Cried for Bobby. Most of all, she cried for what could have been. They could be great together. She knew it. If only Bobby could see it. She loved him with all her heart, but that love was apparently one sided and until he could admit his feelings for her, any relationship with him would be utterly and completely hopeless...

This is my first shot at a Law & Order: CI fic. Any reviews are greatly appreciated.