DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: CI and its characters are the property of Dick Wolf and NBC. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Flow Sweetly, Hang Heavy (You Suddenly Complete Me)
'So you're leaving,' Alex says quietly, leaning on your desk. It's not a question, just a statement and you look up at her. Her face is impassive as always, her cheekbones stark in the fluorescent light of the squad room without the lines of her hair behind them, softening them.
'Yeah,' you answer, and shuffle a few papers between your fingers to distract you, because you've never liked goodbyes, never been good at them, and you weren't looking forward to this one.
'Back to D.C.?' Alex asks.
'Yeah.' You want this to be over as soon as possible, because you want to get back to your apartment and pack and leave, now that it's all been decided, now that there's pretty much no going back.
'You said you hated the FBI,' Alex says. Her voice isn't accusing, merely curious, and she's telling the truth. You don't particularly want to go back, but you got the call a few weeks ago from your old boss and anyway, there's nothing here in New York to tie you down, to keep you here, is there?
(Except except that Alex is here, leaning across your desk, you're not looking at her, but her hand is splayed across one of your files and you don't want to admit it to anyone, but you will miss her. You will miss her sharp, dry voice and sharper eyes, and there will be other people in D.C., other people who you don't work with and who a relationship with not that you really wanted a relationship with Alex, or maybe you did or do would not be against the rules. You've never been one for rule breaking.)
'I know,' you tell her, and your voice is heavy. You lean back in your chair and look at her again. She sort of squints at you, looks at you in the way that she may or may not use on suspects, and you, suddenly, feel a little guilty. 'I know,' you say again, 'but when the FBI calls, you answer.'
'Do you?' Alex says dryly. 'I wouldn't.'
And of course she wouldn't, Alex, who is sharp as a knife, Alex, who has cheekbones like ice and a voice that can be like shards of glass, when she chooses. Alex wouldn't do anything if she didn't want to, you know that. But you're not like that, and you've always done what you're told. Maybe that might be too passive, you don't know, but it's always worked for you, pretty much.
'You want to get a drink?' Alex asks, then half smiles. 'Last one?'
You almost don't want to, but then Alex raises her eyebrows a little and smiles, a real smile, and it crinkles her eyes at the corners, and you figure, why not? It can't hurt.
You don't really talk much while you're in the bar, because it's a Friday night and the bar is busy and you don't really have much to talk to Alex about anyway. So it's no surprise when after only half an hour Alex puts down her empty glass and leans across to you (so you can hear her over the noise of the bar, you tell yourself) and says, 'You want to get out of here?'
You walk for a while in silence and by some unspoken agreement you end up on the bike pathway near the Brooklyn Bridge. It's not far away from One Police Plaza, not far away from your car. Alex stops.
'I'm surprised you're leaving,' she says suddenly.
She shrugs. 'Not sure you just seem like you worked well in Major Case, with Logan.' A pause. 'I thought you'd be staying for longer.'
You sort of shift from foot from foot. 'Well, like I said, the FBI wants me back, and there's nothing to keep me here. Is there?'
Alex studies you for a second, then turns away. 'I guess there isn't,' she says, and she's not looking at you and you think she might sound a little disappointed.
'So,' you say, because you're starting to feel uncomfortable. 'You got someone at home?'
(You're not entirely sure why you said that because all it will do is make you feel more uncomfortable than you already do, but you did want to know, and it's happened now anyway, so there's not much you can do about it.)
'No,' Alex says, and she sounds tired. 'I was married, but my husband died seven years ago.'
'I know,' you say quietly, because you've read her file and seen the newspaper clippings. You read about it when it happened too, all those years ago, a cop shot in the line of duty, leaving his wife (Alex) a widow.
'So you got someone back in D.C.?' Alex asks after a while, and you don't like the question, but you figure it's only fair for her to ask.
(Logan asked you this, right after your first case, because he found your way of working strange and you could see in his eyes that he was curious about you, about who would be with someone who talks to herself. You looked at him carefully when he said it, and then you said 'no.' There was nobody in New York, and there was nobody in D.C. When you worked for the FBI there was nothing but work, and you left every morning in the early light but no matter what time of the year it was, you always came home in the dark, always came back to a cold apartment and emptiness and silence. You didn't say all this, but you were sure that he could tell.
He didn't mention it again after that.)
'No,' you reply, and Alex nods and looks away. She crosses her arms, then uncrosses them.
'I'll miss you,' she says, and her voice isn't sentimental at all, and she's not even looking at you. You look at her (she has a nice neck, you've noticed, and when her hair is pinned up like it is today, the curve of it as it sweeps down from her hairline to the collar of her shirt is so lovely that you want to but you won't.) and then you look away (and you will miss her too). But you don't say that.
There will be others in D.C., you remind yourself, others who have blonde hair and sharp eyes and cool voices, and this won't happen with Alex now. It wouldn't be fair, to either of you, and you had time before to say something, maybe, but you didn't do anything, so. Today is your last day at work and next week you will fly back to D.C., back to your old (cold, empty, silent) apartment and you will probably never see Alex Eames again.
You're still looking at Alex, you realise, and you've almost turned away when she turns to you instead. Her face is unreadable, like always, and her arms are crossed tightly across her chest to keep warm, and with her mouth twisting at the corners, like she's about to say something, she looks just like normal. Except. Except that you know you should look away, know that it should be easy, but Alex has her own kind of gravity and you can't (don't want to) move. She sort of reaches out for you, touches your elbow. Then she steps a little closer (it's an almost imperceptibly small movement, but you can tell) and touches your hand.
'I'm leaving next week,' you say, because it's all you can think to say and you shouldn't be doing this, and Alex then tilts her head and studies you for a moment.
'I know,' she says calmly after what seems like a long time but is, you know, only a minute or so, and then she half steps forward again and her hand is cold on yours and then she kisses you.
The rest of Alex (eyes, hands, voice) is cold, but her mouth is warm on yours, and this isn't right, you shouldn't be doing this, not here, not now, but this one barrier between you is broken, and fuck the rest of it, fuck the fact that this time next week you'll be 225 miles away.
When you wake up it's very early morning and there's grey dawn light filtering through the curtainless windows. Alex's bare skin is warm against your back and her hand is curled on top of yours, her arm light on your waist. She's still asleep, you can tell, and her breathing is even on the back of your neck. Last night (Alex's hands on you warm, her voice surprisingly soft, at odds with her voice in the light of day, her mouth gentle on the insides of your thighs, and then her fingers hard and almost demanding inside you. Alex, underneath you in your bed, eyes closed, hands twisting in your hair. And then, afterwards, her palms against your cheeks, her mouth almost affectionate on yours) you fell asleep with Alex easily and you slept deeply, dreamlessly.
It's a bit late for thinking twice, you realise, and it's too late to tell her to leave, and you can't leave, since after all this is your apartment. You don't want to wake Alex up, either, so you simply stay there, and close your eyes again.
You open your eyes. It's a little brighter, but the daylight is still pale, and your back is cool and Alex's arm isn't resting on you any more, and you turn over. The side of the bed she slept on is empty, but it's still warm, and her clothes are still crumpled on the chair by the window. So she's still here, and then you hear the sound of the kettle whistling in the kitchen before it suddenly quiets again.
You swing your legs out of the bed and grab one of the shirts you usually use for sleeping in. You wander through to your kitchen and Alex is there. She turns to you, kettle in hand, and smiles.
'Hey,' she says softly, and she smiles, looking almost nervous. 'I hope it's OK that I did this. I just wanted to bring you some coffee.'
'It's fine,' you answer, and it is. Alex turns back to the mugs (she's found them easily, you realise) and pours the water into them.
(You were going to go to D.C. next week and you were going to rejoin the FBI. You weren't going to come back to New York for months, maybe years, and you certainly weren't going to have a one-night-stand (or something like one) with Alex Eames. There might have been other blondes named Alex in D.C., other Alexes with sharp voices and sharper eyes. There might have been, but any other Alex would be lacking, somehow.
You were going to go.)
'I'm not going back to D.C.,' you say, and it's almost not a question until you say, uncertainly, 'am I?'
Alex hands you a mug of coffee, and the ceramic is hot and anchoring against your palms. And then she smiles, and even in the white-grey of the early morning light, it's like looking into the sun.
'No,' she says. 'No, I don't think you are.'
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