Disclaimer: Everything belongs to Dick Wolf, which is probably a good thing considering that I'd turn the show into a melodramatic fluffball!


It wasn't unheard of. It had happened to George Huang and Elliot Stabler from Manhattan SVU a few years ago. As much as everyone wished they could block it out, the dirty truth was that it had happened many times before, to many good cops. Sometimes they lived, sometimes they died. Sometimes they ended up somewhere in between the two. Reprimands were given to some who had left themselves open to the situation, while medals of valor were given to others who fought back bravely.

Sometimes there was only one person in the room. Sometimes there were two, partners. He had always thought the times when it was partners must be the worst. When it happened, there was the inevitable guilt. Guilt on all sides, of course, except the side of the attacker, but most unbearable and acute to the person who had been there, who had jumped up in horror, maybe tried to defend their partner, but had ultimately been forced to watch their friend suffer the attack.

It was the guilt of having allowed it to happen. It was the guilt of a survivor, wondering why me? It was the guilt of thinking that maybe they could have done more, avoided it or put a quick stop to it. The guilt of wondering did I cause this?

It was the guilt that had finally broken Bobby.


There hadn't been any indication that this interrogation would be different than the thousands they'd conducted before, both as individuals and as partners. The suspect had seemed normal - obviously nervous, but neither aggressive nor submissive to the officers who brought him through the squad room and into Interrogation Room 1. He hadn't struggled or spat threats at onlookers. He hadn't insisted that they take the handcuffs off of him when they sat him down, although they did anyway because that was just procedure. He had been soft-spoken through the first few minutes of the interview, answering Eames's background questions in a bored-sounding monotone.

He had begun to look agitated when Goren asked him why he had chosen to kill children. "Did you miss out on your childhood?" he had prodded. "Did you think that killing these innocent kids," he said, spreading out the nine photographs in front of him, "would bring back whatever innocence you once had, innocence that you lost a long time ago?"

The suspect had glared at Goren and bit out, "No."

"Oh? Then what was it? Did you get off on it, Steven? The sight of tiny children being broken under your hands? Did you come in your pants as you snapped their necks?"

Eames had let out a tiny gasp, shocked at Goren's crude questioning even though she had been expecting it.

It had probably been the gasp that decided the events of the next two minutes. She had drawn attention to herself.

Suddenly the room exploded. It only took seconds, but to Goren it seemed like forever. The suspect flipped the table almost directly into Goren's lap, with enough force that it might have flown completely across the room if it hadn't run into the sizeable body of the detective. While Goren struggled to get his breath back and the table off of him, and before Eames had time to do more than jump to her feet in alarm, the man had used his uncuffed arms to slam her into the wall.

Goren watched helplessly as his partner was overpowered, feeling like he had been slowed to half-speed while everything around him continued at a breakneck pace. Her head snapped back and thudded into the raised edge of the one-way mirror a second after her body hit the wall, and he could hear the crack of ribs snapping a second later as the man's full body weight hit Eames and tried to keep going right through her.

She had hardly made a sound. There hadn't really been time. All that came out was a shocked breath when he first hit her, followed by a high-pitched wheeze when the air was crushed from her lungs by 220 pounds of raging criminal.

Goren was on him only a second after he heard the horrible cracking noise. Possibly less than a second, but surely not more. He was taller than her attacker, which gave him an advantage when he wrapped one arm around the man's neck in a choke hold and tried to yank him backward.

The suspect threw his weight forward at the same time, resisting Goren's tackle long enough to get a hand around Eames throat and squeeze sharply. Desperate now, knowing she might be killed right in front of him, Goren threw his weight into pulling the man away from her. The action succeeded, but with no weight left to balance himself, Goren went down onto the upturned edge of the table, taking the suspect with him.

A second later, a flood of blue burst into the room. Someone grabbed the attacker by his hair and slammed a fist into his jaw. Someone else threw himself down and joined Goren in holding the thrashing suspect on the floor. Two figures detached themselves from the pack and ran to the slumped body of Alexandra Eames, who had been kept upright throughout the attack only by the suspect's hand and weight. Without him pinning her there, she simply didn't have the strength to hold herself up.

A pair of handcuffs flew through the air into Goren's hands. He grappled with the suspect for a long moment, forcing his hands behind his back with the help of another detective and deliberately snapping the cuffs a few notches too tight. The cuffs made the distinctive clacking sound that indicated that the mechanism had engaged, but the noise was completely overshadowed in his head by what he heard a voice call from across the room where his partner lay:

"Oh, Jesus, someone get an ambulance!"