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This is not their first stressful case. It’s not even their most stressful case since getting back, but it sure took a lot of legwork to follow up on some of these leads. 

So, they’re tired.

It’s not the bone weary, heavy exhaustion that comes after days of chasing leads that go nowhere, or dealing with criminals who think they can beat the system and escape punishment. This is pure physical tiredness. He is definitely not 30 anymore.

Alex, on the other hand, shows no sign of actually being tired. If anything, she’s almost... bouncy.

Of course that may be all the glucose and caffeine cursing through her body at the moment. And a big body it is not.

He calculated, around a month into their partnership, the amount of candy and coffee she could consume before her hands acquired a slight tremor and her speech pattern accelerated and today she has definitely exceeded that amount.

While he’s let himself go over the years, Alex is still in excellent physical shape, if a little thinner than she used to be. He knows it’s not stress eating at her (not now, at least), nor a decreased appetite (they still eat lunch together every day and share most of their meals when they’re working a case). Maybe she’s just exercising more? She did mention liking her new treadmill.

“Hey Eames,” he calls to her.

She doesn’t raise her eyes from her stack of files while she answers: “Yeah?”

“What are you doing tomorrow?” he asks. Why did he ask? He’s not sure. They have a well deserved day off, on account of the 2 nights of missed sleep going through phone records and emails. 

“I’m driving up to Westchester,” she tells him, smiling. “Why?”

He shrugs. Westchester means it’s a Nathan day, and a Nathan day means that she will be happy the day after tomorrow but also very quiet.

He looks down at the paperwork he should be working on instead of wandering in his own head and sighs. This can wait. He’s too tired to even do a passable job with these forms.

Across his desk Alex sighs loudly. She sends a mutinous look in Hannah’s office’s direction.

“This is not happening today,” she announces. “Let’s get out of here.”

She closes and stacks her files. Caps her pens and puts them in her Santa mug. Her desk is always cluttered, but in order, and she always does her best to keep things neat. She stands up and quickly gathers up her keys and jacket. The she looks at him.

“Bobby?”

He stands up, grabbing his things as fast as he can. He is always carrying something. His binder, a file, books. Alex doesn’t even wear a purse.

They ride the elevator together, down to the parking lot. They step out and walk towards their respective cars. Or he walks and she stays rooted to her spot right in front of the elevator.

“Eames?” he questions, concerned. She’s frowning. He does not like it when she frowns like that, upset.

“Bobby? What day is today?”

“Uh... it’s – it’s Tuesday.”

“Oh,” she says, her face falling.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” she tells him, smiling at him. She must have noticed he was concerned, and so she’s masking whatever is bothering her. He doesn’t like it when she does that either. 

She falls into step besides him and he waits.

“Nate has a birthday party tomorrow,” she says when they reach her car. “Lisa told me last week, I forgot.”

“Hey,” she says before climbing into her sedan. “What are you doing tomorrow?”

“Sleeping in,” he tells her, smiling. “Why?”

She shakes her head. Smiles at him. Gets inside her car and rolls down the window.

“See you later Bobby,” she tells him before driving away.

---x

Bobby awakes to the buzz of his phone on his nightstand. 

Haley calling

He rolls his eyes and takes a deep breath. He could ignore the call, but she’d only call again. He sits up and answers, and half-listens to her asking him to go to the park with her for a coffee festival of some sorts. He says no, of course, because what possessed him to go out with her that one time he doesn’t even know, but he certainly doesn’t want to see her again.

He snaps his phone shut and drops back against his mattress, staring at the ceiling. It’s almost 10 am and he feels like he could sleep the entire day away.

And then his phone buzzes again.

Alex calling

He looks at the screen. Why is it that she’s Alex in every aspect of his life and yet he can count the number of times he’s called her that in one hand and still have enough finger to grab his phone and answer?

They speak briefly, and her voice tells him that she’s obviously just woken up too. She needs help moving her bookshelves and is he busy this afternoon?

He thinks about the park, thinks about Haley and her festival, thinks that he really needs to call some of his other friends, otherwise they might start thinking he’s dead or something. He thinks about how he sees Alex every day, and almost every night, at work and how he really needs some time to himself.

But then he tells her yeah, I’ll help you, and do you want Chinese or Thai for dinner? and just like that, he’s spending his day off with his favourite person in the world.