Very Important Note: This does not contain anything graphic, apart from a few slashy thoughts and some language. It is, however, a prequel to my fellow writer brynna's fic, "The Birthday Girl", which features a threesome between Goren, Eames & Logan. If this is not your thing, please don't leave me angry reviews about the subject matter.
Also, don't worry, I've not given up on the Bobby & Sienna series. More fic is forthcoming soon, I just needed to get this one out of my system!
I am no longer in Staten Island.
Mike Logan grinned, and took another sip of his drink. He was sitting watching the Friday night sports channel in Mallory's Bar with two other NYPD detectives and his second bourbon of the night in his hand. "Watching" was a euphemism; like half of the other inhabitants of the bar, who were mostly NYPD in varying shapes and sizes, what they were really doing was using the giant screen as an excuse to stare vacantly into the distance, drink, and not have to relate to any other human beings at the end of a long and tiring week.
Abbott was using it as an excuse not to have to go home and face his family yet after a week spent on an exhausting double-murder case. Baines was using it as an excuse to drink and build up more courage to try again with some of the women in the bar, after his ungrateful girlfriend, one of the younger female uniformed cops in Mallory's that Friday night, had just told him she wasn't interested. That was his way of putting it, anyway. Logan, who'd been at the bar in hearing distance when it had happened and overheard their exchange (Baines: "…and by the way, I'm aware you've been faking it lately"; Moran: "Oh, I'm not faking – I really am asleep") was privately on the girlfriend's side and thought that "ditched him like the loser he was" was closer to it.
Logan himself was using it as an excuse to sit and savour two things; a good bourbon, and the thought that kept repeating in his head. Every time he thought it was going away, it would repeat itself with a different emphasis, and he'd grin all over again. I am NO LONGER in Staten Island. He raised the glass briefly; here was to James Deakins, Major Case and never, ever, again having to set foot on Staten-fucking-Island.
Ten years of his life. Ten years. Ah, don't go there, Logan, you'll spoil a good night, he told himself, and distracted himself by looking round the bar. The inhabitants who weren't watching the giant screen were getting a head start on the night's drinking, and the noise was rising to ear-splitting levels. By and large, they were split into two groups; males on one side, eyeing up the females on the other. On the other side of the bar, Logan could see Officer Moran, she of the witty rejoinder, in deep and animated conversation with his new partner, Carolyn Barek, and the other senior female Major Case detective, Alex Eames.
They were probably halfway through the character assassination of Eddie Baines, he thought with a grin. Well, the guy was an ass. He was half-tempted to wait for Barek and Eames to visit the ladies' room and make a play for Moran himself. Yeah, that would be a good end to the week. Not only was he back in the game as a Major Case detective, he would carry off the fair maiden right under Baines' nose. Show the younger man exactly how it was done. He had a reputation as a ladies' man to keep up, after all.
He grinned again, and finished his drink. One welcome side-effect of joining Major Case was that he felt about ten years younger. It was as though Staten Island had been a long nightmare and now he'd woken up, thank God, and his libido had woken up too. Or maybe it was just the effect of being sat in a bar with the cream of the NYPD's female officers, very much off-duty and letting their hair down. He strolled across to the bar, not expecting to get served any time soon, but intending to take the opportunity to have a good look at Moran, work out his strategy. He looked around, playing it casual, aware that Barek and Eames would spot him eyeing up Moran if he was too obvious about it, and then promptly start shredding his character like cabbage in a Cuisinart.
There were women everywhere, he thought happily, and every kind of woman. Slender and elegant, rounded and curvy, trim and muscular, mature and lush. Young and vivacious, older and tougher, sharp and funny. He liked 'em all. Take Alex Eames, for example. Now there was an interesting lady. A woman of contrasts, he thought, an intriguing challenge. Trim, muscular arms and legs, but a mature body that had borne a child. A petite blonde with elegant features, whose force of personality hit you the moment you started talking to her. A tough, intelligent cop with the compassion to volunteer to give her sister the gift of a child, going through the pregnancy and giving birth, and then giving the baby to her sister – that had to have been a big personal sacrifice. A professional woman with an evil sense of humour. And, let's face it, someone who could put up with Goren for years without going crazy.
Bobby Goren, now there was a thought… a thought you should be going nowhere near, Mikey-boy, he thought sternly, pulling himself up and reining in his thoughts. He watched across the bar as Barek left the other two cops with a backward wave, apparently calling it a night. One thing he was grateful for was that, whilst he was not unaware that his new partner was a very attractive woman, she wasn't the type that had his thoughts wandering off down the wrong path. He never wanted to see Staten Island again, and that meant making a big success of his new position in the Major Case Squad. Getting the hots for his partner would be a major obstacle, and one he was glad not to be dealing with. Still, he thought to himself with a snicker, doesn't seem to have stopped Goren & Eames.
The exact nature of their relationship had long been a source of scurrilous discussion among members of the Major Case squad and other detectives who'd met the two of them. The more romantic assumed that a relationship that close had to have led to something more; the more earthy-minded assumed that Eames had to have a pretty good reason for sticking with whack-job Goren. Cue references to Goren's height, build, and shoe size, nudge-nudge, wink-wink.
Logan himself had been reserving judgement until he worked with the two of them. Sure, they officially couldn't have a relationship – frat regs and all – but anyone who'd been a cop long enough had seen cases where a blind eye was turned rather than lose two good officers, or split up a winning team. He'd still not been sure until the fourth day he'd been there. Goren had been in late due to his wanting to consult one of his many useful friends and acquaintances about a case before starting work, so Logan had volunteered to make the Friday morning Starbucks run whilst Goren caught up on his paperwork. He'd been trying out his brand of flirtatious charm on a grateful Alex Eames as he handed her the coffee, more from habit than anything else, when he'd noticed, in the corner of his eye, a brief flicker of movement. Goren had looked up from his desk for just a second.
Anyone other than a cop would have missed it. Hell, even some cops would have missed it. But Logan had seen it, and Barek too. Just for the briefest second, Goren had looked up and glared at Logan, and it was an expression no man could fail to recognise: stay off my territory. Then, of course, it had been replaced by a polite smile, followed by Goren returning to his paperwork. But it made for a marked contrast with Goren's behaviour so far. The big detective couldn't have been more welcoming to the new guy, albeit in his own weird way. As Eames returned to her desk, Logan and Barek had busted out the telepathic eyebrows; him with the raised eyebrow and quizzical look of You think they're making it?, her with the dual raised eyebrow and firm nod of Yes, for definite.
Since then they'd both watched unobtrusively, and if you knew to look carefully, it was pretty obvious. Logan had to hand to the two of them, though, it was a neat job of hiding a relationship in plain sight. So they spent most of their time together? Goren and Eames had always spent most of their time together, it was why they were so good. So Eames sometimes ate over at Goren's place at very late hours? Everyone knew they worked long hours and Goren was a good cook. So Goren's hands tended to linger on Eames' arms and shoulders just a second or so too long? Everyone knew he had no awareness of other people's personal space, except as a way of unsettling perps for long enough to get them to slip up. So each of them acted a little protective of the other? Mark of a good partnership.
Logan had puzzled for a while over whether Deakins knew, and eventually concluded that he did, but had reached an unspoken agreement with Goren & Eames; if they didn't do anything obvious to draw it to his attention, he wouldn't do anything that might break up the team with one of the highest solve rates in the history of the Major Case squad. God, Goren was a lucky bastard, Logan thought, admiring Eames' figure in the sleeveless blouse she was wearing. Brains, beauty, and a 9mm in her waistband. That was a woman. Damn, he could go for that right now. He couldn't stop himself idly wondering about what she was like in bed. He'd guess that she knew exactly what she wanted, and if you were willing to provide it, there probably wasn't much she'd not do in return. Ah well… fun to think about; not like he'd ever get a chance to find out.
As for Goren himself… maybe it was the bourbon, but Logan couldn't quite seem to stop his thoughts running off in the wrong direction. The big detective had just entered the bar, joining Eames as Moran headed off to join a group of the younger female uniformed officers who were just setting off to explore some of the wilder nightlife on offer in the area. He'd kept on his black suit pants, but changed out of the shirt and tie he'd been wearing earlier into a short-sleeved open-necked red shirt. A practical idea given the heat levels in the bar; Logan had ditched his own jacket and tie an hour back and pushed his own shirtsleeves back.
The shirt suited Goren, Logan couldn't help noticing. A flashier colour than he'd ever seen the other man wearing in the office, but it kinda suited the guy's colouring, bringing out the tanned skin and dark brown eyes he'd inherited from whatever Italian ancestor was present somewhere back in the Goren family tree. Showed off the man's powerful shoulders and arms, too, and the open-neck showed a little dark chest hair, nearly as tempting as a low-cut top would be on a female, if you were in a mood to notice that kind of thing... quite a lot of the female attention in the bar had suddenly started pointing itself towards Goren, but he only had eyes for Eames, and she for him. They were laughing together at the bar, and Logan felt a sudden piercing shaft of envy. It was not a good sign, he thought angrily, that he couldn't quite tell who he was envious of.
He sighed, and shook his head. He'd known since he was a young man that whilst he really, really liked women, he could also swing both ways. The twin combination of the AIDs epidemic of the 1980s, and the fact that the NYPD wasn't the greatest place in the world for anyone whose sexual preferences weren't purely straight, meant that he'd been off the market for his own sex pretty much permanently, though there had been the odd dalliance, here and there… but mostly, he stuck to women.
Didn't stop him noticing men, though, and if you were the type to notice men in that kinda way, Goren was pretty damn near good enough to eat. Logan had never been one for the pretty-but-brainless type, preferring his partners – male and female – to have a bit more personality, present more of a challenge... and Jesus, Goren would be a hell of a challenge, with that quirky, infuriating but fascinating mind, those dark good looks, that big powerful build, that purposeful expression, heading toward me, right now, oh SHIT. He suddenly realised that he'd been staring vaguely in the direction of Goren and Eames for the past ten minutes whilst his mind had been busy. Looked like Goren had picked up on it. He sighed, repeated to himself, I do NOT want to go back to Staten Island, and prepared to sit there and swallow whatever 'Stay the fuck away from my girlfriend' speech Goren was about to deliver.
Way to fuck up a good evening, Mike, he thought morosely.