Thursday, August 5, 2010

Chapter Five

"That," he groaned, rolling onto his back, "is definitely the way to start a Sunday morning."

Vanessa leaned against him and kissed him slowly, taking her time to explore the mouth that had just been hissing such naughty things in her ear. He had gotten up to brush his teeth before she woke up, and he tasted like mint and sex.

His hands ran over her body one more time, almost regretfully, knowing he was going to have to get ready to go see his mother soon. He didn't know when exactly they had fallen into the habit of trying to squeeze a week's worth of sex into two days, but the two days they spent doing it were magnificent. Her tongue was laving his own, slow and sexy, almost as if this was foreplay instead of afterplay. He couldn't help but think that if he were twenty years younger, it would all blend together and the end of one encounter would be the beginning of the next. Of course, he also wouldn't be visiting his mother upstate, and he wouldn't be here with her--she would be all of twelve. That thought was incredibly distasteful. He pushed the logic out of his mind and focused on his wife's kiss, now moving away from his lips and over to his ear.

He smiled. "You know I have to shower soon." Her skin was so soft, so smooth. She was so keyed up still he had to ask--

"Did you?"

She laughed softly in his ear. "Don't be stupid...of course I did...and it was really good too...really, really good...but I'm not opposed to it happening again..." and she caught his hand, leading it across her thigh.

He chuckled into her mouth. "You taste so sweet. You're turning me into a voyeur...I like to watch you..."

And he did just that as his fingers manipulated her gently until she was arching against him and crying his name. He knew she did that to please him and he couldn't help smiling against her throat, kissing it gently. After, he kissed her lips again, then whispered, "You know, female orgasm helps semen travel up to the uterus--"

She sighed softly and tangled a hand into his hair. "When you commit, you go full steam ahead, don't you?"

"You could say that." His lips touched her forehead before he climbed out of the bed and headed for the shower.

She lay tangled in the sheets and pressed her face against the pillow, smiling. Yesterday had been companionable. They had talked several times about the idea of starting a family. He had shared several articles he had found about the onset of schizophrenia, new treatments, genetic components, and environmental factors that might influence early onset. They had talked about how he was nervous about her getting pregnant. But this morning, when she had awoken pleasantly in his arms to his gentle touches and nibbles, he had entered her without a condom. When she had tried to stop him, he stopped her, murmuring, "No...I want to see our baby..."

Their lovemaking had become increasingly passionate, almost frenzied, at the thought of conceiving a child together, and his words were raw and honest, bringing her to climax quickly. He came almost as soon as she did, then brought her again before he ever withdrew. The last one was just icing on the cake.

Their sex life had always been close, passionate, loving. There was something so innately intimate about conceiving a child together that she couldn't help but keep her eyes closed and fantasize that their morning continue, over and over, more and more, until they saw that thin pink line.

She heard him leave the bathroom and she opened her eyes; he was drying off and pulling on a pair of boxers, then jeans. Suddenly he caught sight of her watching him, and with a self-conscious smile, he asked, "What are you doing?"

She rolled toward him, the sheet slipping down and revealing her breasts. "Watching you." She rested her head in her hand. "Are you disappointed? Should I be in a handstand position?"

He laughed. "No...I think we can keep working on it as time allows." He grabbed a polo shirt out of the closet and pulled it on.

"Bobby...are you sure about this?"

He grabbed a pair of socks out of his drawer, then sat on the bed next to her. Hesitantly, he traced her face with a finger. "Yes. I'm sure." He pulled his hand back and sat for a second, looking down, before he turned to her again. "There's always the possibility that a child of ours could have a mental illness...there's no way we are going to get around that. But you're right. My dream was to have a family. The whole thing. I have a beautiful wife that I love more than anything...and I know any child we have will be loved and cherished unconditionally." He was fiddling with his socks, still not putting them on. After a minute, he said, "Honestly? As close as I've always felt to you, I've felt even closer this weekend...I can't imagine what it will be like when we have a baby together."

She couldn't help the smile that crept across her face. "I know exactly what you mean."

He quietly pulled his socks on, smiling the whole while, and slid into his shoes.

"I should be back by five, as usual...enjoy your time alone..."

'I will." She reached out to him. "Hey Goren...if that thing about female orgasm is true, I think we should definitely keep up with that strategy."

He smirked at her. "I figured you would."

She watched him as he left the room and listened as the front door opened and closed. Sighing to herself, she stretched out in the bed. No reason to get up any earlier than she had to, and right now she had no plans until five p.m.


They arrived together, ready for work. He had humored her as usual, stopping at the coffee shop on the way in, and purchasing drinks for both of them as well as a decaf for Eames. She had given up caffeine when she got pregnant, and Vanessa couldn't imagine how difficult that had been for her. As everyone knew, a caffeinated Eames had been a happy Eames.

Bobby had teased her, telling her soon he'd be ordering the same for her. She had elbowed him and responded, "Not yet."

When he had gotten home the night before, she had dinner ready. He didn't come in until almost seven, and she was starting to worry. But when he arrived, he had a bag of books with him and he handed them to her.

'You stopped at the library?" she had asked. "What is this?"

He sat at the kitchen table and had a sip of tea, then said, "Books about conception and pregnancy. I thought we could do a little know, there are things we can do to increase our chances...and things you need to do to make sure your body's ready for a healthy pregnancy. I was skimming through this one...see? It says folic acid--you should already be starting that."

This was going to be more than romantic, she suddenly realized. This was going to be work.

She had managed to persuade him to keep it in his pants this morning, noting the time on the clock. She didn't think she had ever refused him sex in their life together, but she couldn't stand the thought that the sole reason he wanted to do it was to make a baby.

He was sweet though, and after they got their coffee, she had noticed the incessant smile he wore and the gentleness in his touch, even more than usual. It was then she realized that she was being elevated from the status of wife to that of potential mother of his child. She could see it in his eyes.

Bishop was already at her desk with her own cup of coffee. Rayden knew Bishop had come in early every morning since the bust last week. She was afraid of missing something. Goren winked at her, then sat down across from his partner.

Rayden took Eames' cup of coffee to her and set it on her desk. "Hey," she said. "Happy Monday...doesn't your time off start soon?"

Eames leaned back in her chair, holding her belly, and sighed. "Not soon really need to consider if you want to do this. It's not exactly a blast." She shook her head. "This kid's been on my bladder all morning."

"Oh, fun...maybe we can meet up in the bathroom later." Eames knew Rayden's propensity for vomiting over particularly nasty cases, and she grinned at the reference. More than once they'd run into each other in the last eight months.

"Rayden." Deakins' head stuck out of his door and he called her, loud.

She was surprised. In her entire time on the squad--four years now--Deakins had never called her like that. Her mind began to race over what she might have done to piss him off but she came up empty handed. Eames shrugged at her, and she stood to make her way to the captain's office. As she approached, she glanced at Goren's desk and saw both he and Bishop watching her. She turned her attention back to Deakins, and taking a deep breath, entered his office and closed the door behind her.

"Is everything okay?" she asked, not bothering to hide the concern in her voice. Jimmy had always been supportive of her, and she couldn't imagine that was changing right now.

"I don't know. You tell me," he said flatly, tossing a file down on the desk and motioning at it. "You want to tell me what this is about?"

She was confused, and sat in the chair across from him, then picked up the file. He sat in his own chair, looking at her expectantly.

It was a letter from Quantico. The FBI was requesting her personally to join a terrorist task force full time. The letter listed her by name and made a point of thanking Deakins for his cooperation in letting her go. She could understand why he was angry and confused. She was too.

She looked at him and tossed the file back on his desk. "You know as much as I do. I didn't ask for a transfer and I certainly didn't ask to go to Quantico."

"I've been on the phone with the FBI since eight o'clock," he said, barely hiding his anger. "The position is here, in the city. They said your name was submitted."

"Well, not by me!" She crossed her arms. "I have no interest in profiling terrorists. I'm perfectly happy on this squad."

He regarded her carefully, then leaned forward. "Okay. So who put in your name?"

She shook her head. "I have no idea. All I know is it wasn't me, Jimmy. I swear to God." She sighed. "I can't take on more than I already have anyway...this is all I can manage right now."

He looked at her strangely, but didn't comment. Picking up the file, he opened it again. "They wouldn't tell me who submitted your name...and they wouldn't confirm or deny if you did it. Clearly, they want you. I'm supposed to pass along to you that you should call them asap to discuss your new position."

Suddenly the reality of what he was saying hit her. "You're saying...does this mean that I go where they tell me or I don't work? Period?"

"I don't know. The brass likes you, but when Quantico calls, you don't deny them." He handed her the file again. "You need to call and find out what you're supposed to do. I'll fight for you to stay, but I can't keep you if the brass won't let me." His voice lowered. "I almost had hoped you did this without telling me. I'm sorry."

She took the file from him, heart pounding, and stood. "Either way, Jimmy...thanks for everything."

He didn't look up but nodded. "Let me know."


She was sitting on the park bench by herself, tossing part of her hotdog bun at the pigeons, while Goren got his order and joined her.

"This isn't good, is it?" he asked, before taking a bite of his dog.

She shook her head. Her mind was still reeling and her gut hurt. "Deakins got an official letter from the FBI. They're starting a terrorist task force with profilers here in the city, and they made a request to have me transferred. Somebody from the brass--I don't know who--was asked to recommend the best profilers and they put my name in. So I guess I've been drafted."

His chewing slowed. She watched him swallow before he said slowly, "So tell them you don't want to do're content here."

"I tried." Her eyes brimmed and she looked away. In fact, that's what she'd been telling everyone ever since she first talked to Deakins six hours before. Her last call had been to the commissioner himself, who had made it clear that while the NYPD would fight the feds over jurisdiction of cases, they would not fight to keep skilled profilers. As he had explained, funding was tight all over and it was hard to justify keeping her on as it was. The feds had come calling and needed her. She owed her country.

Bobby was holding his hot dog in his lap and staring at her hands. "So what did they say? Surely the brass doesn't want to get rid of someone like you...your solve rate is so high..."

She laughed, harsh and cynical, and wiped the lone tear off her cheek. "I spoke to the commissioner himself. NYPD is having enough financial troubles as it is, it's hard to keep me. He said I owe it to my country." She shook her head. "They aren't going to fight it. I either go, or they let me go. Either way, I'm not going to be working here anymore."

"Shit." He tossed the rest of his dog in the trash can frustratedly, then turned back to her. "You know what? Fine. were going to quit within a year anyway, right? We just focus on the baby." He reached over with his napkin and wiped the tears, which were flowing freely now. "Don't cry, honey. It will all work're the one who's always talking about how things align how they're supposed to. It will be okay." He caught her hand in his, then suddenly asked, "Do you want to work on that task force?"

"No!" she exclaimed. "Oh, hell no. You know I've turned them down twice before...I think they just found an in and went with it."

He chuckled softly. "They don't know you very well, if they thought they could strong-arm you into this."

She looked at him. He was watching the people walk past them, his hand still holding hers, and she knew he was taking everything in. She knew the squad would be okay as long as he was there. He was a skilled profiler himself. "Hey. You better be damn sure about this baby thing..."

"I you think I'm not?"

"No. I'm teasing you...I guess I can use my extra time to read all the books you bought."

"Yeah, maybe...that and doing headstands." He squeezed her hand and she laughed despite herself. At least she still had him.

"So now?"

"So now I go upstairs and tell Deakins my decision...and call the feds and tell them too...and then I guess I clean out my office."

He leaned over and kissed her forehead. She could see the empathy in his eyes, and he pulled her close. "I have a good job," he teased her. "Thank God for that...we can still afford to eat."

"Yeah...thank God for that."


She was packing the cliche box when Deakins entered her office.

"Rushing it a little?" he asked, trying to smile.

She looked at him and shook her head, then went back to putting things in her box. "There's really no point, is there? NYPD won't fight for me, and I'm not going to work for the FBI."

He sat down. "Give me a few days to talk with the brass...let the commissioner sit on this. Now that Quantico knows you won't go, they might give up on it."

She sat back and sighed, catching the tightening in her throat and clearing it. "Maybe."

"Vanessa...sometimes things have a way of working out."

"I'm trying to get pregnant anyway, so maybe it's a blessing." She tossed a pen in her box. "Goren would tell you the lack of stress will increase my chances of ovulating."

Deakins chuckled. "Congratulations on that decision. I figured it was just a matter of time."

"Yeah, well...I guess a new career is in my future either way, huh?"

"Let me work on this. And you don't have to clear have leave accumulated and you're certainly not fired, so you can take that for now if you want."

"So I can come back and clean it out later?"

Deakins interlaced his fingers. "I'm hoping it won't come to that. You know how political all of this gets..."

"No, I don't," she replied shortly. She knew she sounded like a child, but she didn't care. "I love my job and I'm good at it. I've done nothing but what's been asked of me, and for that, I get moved away from what I love and bullied into taking something else. Punished for being good at what I do." She looked at him and her voice was shaky. "I know you guys will do just as well without me. You have a great squad of detectives and Bobby is a good profiler. But I...I just really liked what I did."

Deakins' voice was fatherly, comforting. "You'll land on your feet, Vanessa. As a profiler, as a woman, as a mother...your job is a good thing and something you enjoy, but it's not who you are. And you're about to enter into something that's absolutely amazing. You and Bobby will find life to be a completely new adventure."

"I wasn't supposed to tell anybody."

He nodded gently. "My lips are sealed." He stood back up. "Leave the box here...I'll call you in a few days once I've figured something out."

She could feel her chin shaking and willed the tears back once more. "Okay," she managed, watching him walk out of her office. She tossed the box on the floor and stared at it. Four years of her life and it didn't even fill an average file box.

She picked up her purse after turning off her computer. Locking her office door, she thought about how more often than not, her life seemed to change at the drop of a dime. Maybe the next change would be a happy one. Maybe Deakins would call tomorrow and offer her the same job with better hours and work with just the best detectives on the squad. Maybe.

Without speaking to anyone in the bullpen, she made her way to the elevator, then out of the building and onto the street. It was chilly, so she pulled her jacket closer to her and began to walk the four blocks to the subway. It was a quiet walk, despite the fact she was surrounded by bustling New Yorkers on a major street in the city, in the middle of the week.

She had always known loneliness could occur anywhere at any time. But she really wished the reminder hadn't come this way.

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