Fandom/Pairing: LOCI, Goren/Eames
Word Count: 2,900+
Summary: Even when you're working through emotional trauma, you probably shouldn't awkwardly mention a sex dream to a coworker.
Unless it results in said dream coming true, that is.
Before Olivet prescribed a sleep aid--he laughed when she used that term as it suggested he managed to get anywhere near a normal sleep pattern on his own--Goren had disorganized dreams about his family. Different configurations of his mother, Frank, Brady, and the man he'd known as his father while growing up. Usually one or two people waiting for him in his living room and the expected third or fourth knocking on his door.
He told Olivet that in his dream, his family, while not entirely unwelcome, made him anxious. Sometimes he was cognizant the anxiety was due to the fact that every single one of them should be gone--gone gone. Sometimes it was because one of them--or all of them--were asking for something, demanding something, and he could not make them happy.
Olivet nodded and said, "Well, that makes sense."
What Bobby didn't share with the psychiatrist was the other recurring dream. He had a feeling he would not get the reassuring nodding and would, instead, be asked questions. Questions he wasn't entirely comfortable answering.
He hoped the sleep aid would take care of the matter.
He and Eames are back at the bed and breakfast in Pittsfield. He is never sure how they got there, since the proprietress did not let them into the room.
There is no package waiting on the bed. He has a sense that the two of them should be talking about Nicole or Donny or, sometimes, Declan Gage. Instead, Eames asks him about his undercover assignment with Stoat.
Unlike the past, unlike real life, they converse pleasantly about it. While sharing her theories about Stoat, Eames is opening drawers, collecting items from the room as though the two of them are at a crime scene. He stands still, which he knows is not helpful. But he's afraid if he starts to move or make a decision, Eames will remember she's angry with him.
Then at some point in the dream--and sometimes at the very beginning, before Eames has even collected anything--she says, "This is the honeymoon suite."
He nods and agrees.
And suddenly--not slowly and with no transition that ever makes sense to him--she is touching him, undressing him. And his sense memory, hearkening to their few embraces after his mother died, provides him with painfully pleasant detail regarding the feel of her breasts against his torso, the softness of her neck under her fine hair.
The air smells cloying, like the apple potpourri that must have been positioned all over the room. Sometimes he mentions the potpourri to her as he finally begins undressing her (the details of her nakedness are cloudy; clearly, his center for creative thinking is dormant during this part of the dream). She makes a joke he can never quite remember when he wakes.
Then they are having sex. He can always see her face, and she is always watching him avidly, though with a touch of Eamesian sarcasm.
Then he wakes up. Sometimes it is a dream that involves tossing the sheets aside until morning; sometimes he simply wakes up with the desire to call Eames, see if she is awake, willing to discuss what the dream might mean.
At least he thinks that would be his intention for calling her.
Goren was filling out paperwork at his desk when she arrived at her desk the next morning. She set her tea down, threw open her locker for her hat, gloves, and purse. Then she tossed herself at the computer with a huff—it was Monday, after all.
It took her a moment or two to realize he had stopped writing and was looking across the desk at her thermos cup with a peculiar expression on his face.
"It's a new kind of apple cider tea. Want some?" She asked wryly, knowing his answer to tea was always no.
He surprised her, after a moment of staring at her throat, by saying, "Sure."
He rose from his desk, disappeared, and then returned with his own cup of hot water. She handed over her Ziploc bag of tea bags and stared at him curiously.
After he steeped the tea for at least five minutes, he took a sip, then tried to hide a grimace.
"You look like you're drinking cough syrup."
He cleared his throat. "Do you remember the bed and breakfast? In Pittsfield?"
She sat back. Furrowed. "Sure."
"It smelled like this. Don't you think?"
Her chair creaked as she leaned back a bit further. "I guess it did."
He was silent for a moment, then sipped again. Made another semi-grimace. "I've been...dreaming about that room."
Alex hoped her expression was one of concern, but she felt something like a flirtatious leer creep in. "Oh?" It's an encouraging syllable, one she hoped would elicit details.
He seemed to pick and choose them. "It's different. Like we're not there looking for...you know, Nicole or Donny or... and we talk about...about Stoat."
He seemed to ponder taking another sip, then thought better of it, all while staring at her bare clavicle. He set the mug down. "And you're not mad at me."
She crossed her arms and smiled archly. "It really was a dream then."
He finally gave up, pushed the mug out of reach, which stirred another knowing smile from her. He apologized; she shrugged in reply.
“Anything else?” she asked, while sipping her own tea, watching him carefully.
He wasn’t evasive in an overtly suspicious way, the way most people would be. Too much training and too many years as a detective stopped him from changing the subject abruptly or whistling and rolling his eyes to the heavens innocently.
But after a one-two beat, his “No, that’s it,” didn’t hold much water with her. And his curious inability to maintain eye contact with her the rest of the day was a clue as well.
It put her in the awkward position of having a theory she couldn't share with him. More awkward was the fact she felt that she played a fairly prominent and naked role in said theory.
The next week of work was uneventful--or at least full of the usual events that allowed her and Bobby to settle back into a normal rhythm. In fact, the strange exchange about his barely concealed sex drearm were all but forgotten.
Until the card from the Arrowhead Pequod arrived.
It was on the kind of stationary that had less white space than flowers. Goren showed her the card with a sort of wary but amused expression, then opened it. He read it silently, then passed it across to her.
In flowing cursive handwriting that probably made all the nuns believe their hard work was worthwhile, a note read: "Mr. Goren, I am most appreciative of how polite and sensitive you were to the delicate matter that occurred here several months ago. We are entering our off-season now that the leaves have turned, and I would be happy to offer you a room on any weekend free of charge. Please do not consider this a gift, and do feel free to bring a guest."
She couldn't help herself. "'Do feel free?'"
"Formality never goes out of fashion," he said with the hint of a smile on his face.
"Unlike this stationary. Eesh." She handed the notecard back to him.
Then there was an awkward moment or two of silence. Eames waited patiently for him to ask.
"I imagine we could book two rooms. Pay the difference. You could bring your sister. You could go…do girl things."
"Antiquing. Apple picking."
"Too late for apples."
The sight of him continuing to wave that pansy-heavy notecard in the air made it hard not to laugh, even if she wasn’t feeling particularly comical at the moment.
She thought of that momentary burst in her pulse when she realized what he associated with the apple cider tea...
"Why don't we talk about it over lunch?"
He met her eyes, drank in her expression, her posture.
He stood and grabbed his suit jacket.
He stopped and turned on his heel.
"Leave the notecard here. Please."
Three days later, when he handed her the keys to the Mustang, she tried to maintain her composure. "Are you sure?"
"I don't see why we should break from tradition now."
She closed the drivers' side door and caught sight of their two overnight bags in the rearview mirror.
The momentary physical thrill that coursed through her was mildly embarrassing.
Then she fired up the engine and looked at her partner. His expression was so transparent she thought that the road trip to Massachusetts may have to wait 20 minutes or so.
He composed himself, mostly by looking away from her and putting his hands firmly on his own knees.
"This is sort of like going to prom," she said as she resisted the urge to peel away from the curb.
"You would know that better than me." Under his gaze, she found herself thinking about her prom date, the well-muscled, not-particularly-bright Patrick Harrington, and how glad she was that most sex from that point on had been more...well, more of everything.
"You didn't go?"
"No." He paused, thought silently. "No."
Eames was tempted to ask, but did not. Maybe later, but for now, Goren's past needed to take a backseat to the present and future.
As requested, they did not have the honeymoon suite. However, the room was every bit as flowery (tulips roughly the size of her forearm on the bedspread; some kind of hydrangea lumps on the wallpaper border) and lacy as the room they'd been in only months earlier. After their gracious and grateful hostess left them with a parting reminder about hot toddies around a crackling fireplace at 8:00, she and Bobby were left standing side by side, staring at a bed that was either every 15-year-old girl's fantasy or every 68-year-old grandmother's reality.
Bobby took a stroll, absentmindedly running his fingers over the lace draped and knotted around the bedposts.
The awkwardness was a little surprising, especially considering the frank discussion--or frank for the two of them--that had preceded their joint decision to go to Pittsfield together…
”You’ve never considered it?” Eames tried not to sound too incredulous, though it was difficult.
“I didn’t say never. I wouldn’t call it considering.”
They ate in silence for a moment. Then Eames took a drink of water and continued. "If we get away from the city for a few days, that might give us an indication of what we want it to be. If anything. You know, it could be something that happened away from the city for a weekend. Then we're back at work and..." She paused.
He seemed curious. Intrigued even. "Or...?"
She took a sip of her tea and said, "I think we'll know 'or' if we get there."
He said something to her about the period furniture and started to make noises about examining the bricks in the fireplace when she met him, face to face, and took his hand.
"Maybe we should've gotten this out of the way in the city."
He took his time interweaving his fingers through hers. It was a tighter fit than she'd expected. She couldn’t help but admire how smooth his hands were. Leave it to him to make her curious if he moisturized and, if so, if he could recommend a better one than she currently used.
"'Get it out of the way.'" He repeated it in his level detective tone, which made her smile.
"You know what I mean." To punctuate this statement, she raised his other hand to her breast. No use being subtle anymore.
He pressed into her with the heel of his hand, then moved his palm in lazy circles for a few, friction-filled seconds. Then his fingertips were tracing her collarbone in approximately the same nonchalant, delicate way he'd been touching the lace only moments ago. When he lowered his head, she found herself preparing to be kissed by her partner for the first time...and watched as he bypassed her mouth and put his lips to the hollow in her throat.
The sensation of his tongue against her skin, tracing along the neckline of her shirt, was impressively effective.
Subtlety now a distant memory, she pressed her hips into him.
"Bobby..." His name sounded different now than any time she had ever said it before. He reacted to her tone by pushing a knee between her thighs.
By the time he made it to her mouth, she had to restrain herself from indelicately jamming her tongue down his throat.
She started to lean, hinting towards a laying-on-the-bed position, but he didn't follow all the way. He turned so that he was the first on the bed, sitting, so that now she was just an inch or so taller than him while standing.
Alex had to admit to herself that she liked the way he thought. Especially when the knee between her legs was replaced with his hand.
He didn't even unbutton her jeans. Worked through the fabric as she shed her own shirt and worked on the buttons of his. She marveled at how fast they were able to move from uncomfortable silence to this, hands and mouths all over each other.
Against the bare skin of her stomach, lips brushing above her navel, he said, "I liked watching you drive the Mustang."
She wanted to say something clever about how much she liked driving his car--after all, she really had--but instead she moaned, her lower lip pressed almost painfully under her front teeth, and climaxed.
Falling into him, biting his earlobe for a moment, then laying on her side on the bed (which smelled strongly of lavender linen spray; if she could smell it, it must be olfactory overload for Bobby) as Bobby stripped off her jeans and underwear...she felt like she could barely catch her breath to remark on how ridiculous it was that the two of them were having sex in a Massachusetts bed and breakfast. Goren and Eames, New York City personified, getting naked together in a room that looked like Laura Ashley's idea of heaven while a woman built a fire and heated rum on the first floor.
His talented fingers explored down her stomach, pressing into the tiny pale rivers of her stretch marks (though he hardly seemed to notice) and down her thighs. "Hold still a minute," she grumbled as she set to work on his pants.
She liked the way his voice rattled against her shoulder when she touched his bare thighs for the first time, the way he said her first name like a dirty secret when she put her lips against the fly of his boxers.
This place, the site of so much anxiety and fear, and all she could think about when they were looking at each other and he was pulling her leg over his hip and slowly moving himself, hinting at entering her, was the subtle way he had smiled that first day when the woman in the floppy hat and gardening gloves had announced the honeymoon suite was ready.
There was no "getting to know you" period of the lovemaking...which made sense, she supposed, since they'd known each other nearly a decade. But then, she wasn't slowing things down either. "To hell with hot toddies," she said rawly against his searching mouth. She was on her back, somewhat overwhelmed by his bare chest, wishing she had the strength to get her arms unwound from his neck so she could bury her fingers in all that graying hair.
God bless that woman and her gratitude and her horribly decorated room. She knew Bobby had paid for the room so that it wasn't a gift or a bribe… but that ugly pansy-spackled notecard had opened doors eight years of partnership hadn't managed to unlock.
"What do you need, Eames? What do you need?" He was a bit out-of-breath but, considering how hard and long they'd been engaged in this, surprisingly strong and clear-eyed.
"Just..." She reached behind herself and got rid of a large, shiny, and clearly extraneous throw pillow (as if there were any other kind). Then, flat on her back, pressed her left knee to the top of his ribcage.
For a moment--but only a moment--Bobby looked like he wanted to deliver one of his pause-laden monologues.
A couple of deep thrusts was all it took to reach her second (third, fourth, and fifth) and he followed soon after with an exhilarated-yet-grateful collapse, somewhat into her arms, somewhat onto her.
They rested that way a moment, legs and arms tangled, before Alex pointed out, barely able to contain laughter, they had managed to have sex on top of what was no doubt a very expensive, dry-clean only bedspread less than an hour after checking in.
Bobby's mind went another way: "Can you smell the lavender? It's like the entire room has been doused in linen spray and potpourri. It's overpowering."
"I thought you might mention that." At rest, she felt free to shyly press her fingers into the expanse of hair spanning the mile between his shoulders.
He was looking at her fondly. It was not entirely new; the intensity of it was strange, though not unpleasant.
"What are you thinking about?" she asked.
He moved some of her hair around under the guise of straightening it and said, "I'm thinking we should go for a drive. I've never been in the backseat of that car before."