A Light in the Darkness
God, it had been a long day. He hated being at odds with his partner. She had been furious with him. He loosened his tie and unbuttoned his top button as he draped his jacket over the back of the couch. Heading into the kitchen, he opened the fridge and pulled out a beer.
He unbuckled his belt and slid the holster off it. Carrying the gun and holster into the bedroom, he slid open the drawer in his bedside table and dropped them in. He set his badge on the table and sat down on the bed. He sat in the silence, took a drink and listened. Nothing. Empty. Just like he felt inside. He took another drink. This wasn't going to be enough. Damn.
He left the bedroom and returned to the kitchen. Draining the bottle, he set it on the counter and took out another one. He opened the cabinet above the refrigerator and pulled down a bottle of scotch. Then he went into the living room.
He was lying on the couch, watching the ceiling. The room was totally dark, except for the flashlight he held in his hand. He turned it on, pointing it at the ceiling. Then he turned it off. Darkness. Light. Darkness. It was like his life, he mused.
He reached over to pick up his glass, feeling for it in the darkness. Tipping his head up, he drained it into his mouth, then dropped his head back onto the couch. He reached over to put the glass on the table, missing. He left it where it fell on the floor. Turning his attention back to the ceiling, he turned the flashlight back on. Light.
He heard the phone ring, but made no move to answer it. If there was a case, screw it. Let Logan and Barek take it. He wasn't sure he could find the damn phone anyway. He turned the light off again. That's how he felt…dark…empty…alone.
He was used to feeling alone, but things had changed in his life. She had changed his life. Because of her, there was light in his darkness. Whenever he felt lost and alone, all he ever had to do was call her. When he heard her voice, he knew he wasn't alone. Light.
She had stayed with him. Five years, and he hadn't scared her off. He knew he wasn't conventional. He made no attempt to be. He was who he was. He couldn't change that; he saw no reason to try. Darkness.
The phone rang again. And again he ignored it. He had gone through more partners than most cops do. What had she called him last month in court? An acquired taste. Yes. That was the best description of himself he'd ever heard. No one had ever taken the time to get used to him…but she had. She had acquired a taste for him, and having taken that time, she actually liked being his partner. More than that, though, she liked him. Light.
He wanted another beer, but he wasn't sure he could make it into the kitchen to get one. So he stayed where he was, watching the circle of light on the ceiling. Yes, she had brought light to his life. She'd brought joy to his soul. He had never been unhappy with his life; he hadn't known anything was missing. He loved his job. Every case brought a new challenge to him, another mind to get into and figure out. The criminal mind was a very dark place to be…even frightening sometimes. People often feared that someday he would get in too far and never come back. Darkness.
But he didn't have that fear. He always came back, escaping the internal prison in which criminals found themselves. And over the past five years, he found he could dig deeper, go farther, because he knew he could come back. She kept him grounded in the world of reality. He was always able to come back, because she was there. Because of her, he always wanted to come back, and he always did. Light.
The phone again. He flipped off the flashlight. Then on again. He laughed, but there was no humor in it. Off. Damn.
The doorbell rang, but he didn't hear it. He didn't hear the key slide into the lock or the tumblers rolling when the key was turned. Light from the hallway spilled into the dark room. A hand felt for the light switch and flipped it on.
Eames stood in the doorway, noticing the empty bottles on the coffee table. She came in, closed the door quietly behind her and locked it. She crossed the room to stand by her sleeping partner. His hair was messed, shirt open….very unlike him. She counted the beer bottles…nine. Picking up the scotch bottle, she swirled the amber fluid inside it. Less than a quarter full…she wondered how full it had been when he started.
She set the scotch bottle on the kitchen counter then gathered the empty beer bottles and put them into the recycling container under the same counter. She returned to the living room. No wonder he hadn't answered the phone. It wasn't like him not to answer, and she'd become worried. The later it got, the more worried she became. She hated being mad at him almost as much as he hated it. She picked the glass up from the floor, and noticed the flashlight. What was that doing there?
She picked it up. She would never figure him out. She brought the glass to the kitchen and set it in the sink, putting the flashlight on the counter beside the whiskey. Returning to him, she lightly sat on the edge of the couch, in the curve of his body, and gently smoothed his hair.
He groaned and shifted on the couch. She let her hand come to rest on his chest and he opened his eyes a little to look at her. "Eames?"
"What are you doing here?"
"I got worried when you didn't answer the phone."
"Of course I worried, you idiot. Just because I get mad at you doesn't mean I don't care. It just means you're being stupid."
He smiled faintly. "I'm sorry."
"I know you are. You'll be even sorrier in the morning."
"So we're ok?"
"Yes. We're ok. Do you want help getting to bed?"
"No. I'm comfortable here."
"Are you going to be all right?"
"I'll come by tomorrow then."
"Do you…do you have to go?"
"No, I don't have to. Why?"
"I just…I like having you here."
Comfort. He needed comfort. She did understand part of him. "Ok, Bobby. Go back to sleep. I'll stay."
He nodded as his eyes slid closed. "Thanks," he mumbled.
She got up and went to the hall closet. Slipping a blanket from the shelf, she gently covered him. Leaning down, she kissed his cheek. For all his eccentricities and oddities, she loved him. She always would.
She headed down the hall to the bedroom and easily fell asleep in the bed. She was his grounding presence, his beacon on the shore through the storms in his soul, his light in the darkness of his life. It was a darkness he'd hardly noticed until she came along. Now that she was there, the darkness was at bay. It was still there…but he could push it away…because she was there.
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