The morning air is fresh and clean as Logan pushes open the door of the station house, and then his nostrils are assaulted by the combined scents of coffee, twenty-three different colognes, sixteen different aftershaves and stale cigarette smoke. He makes straight for his desk, nodding briskly to Barek, who is pouring out her caffeine buzz, as he passes her. He is almost to his desk – which is flooded with papers, he should've known he'd get paperwork in his absence – and thinks he is home free, but then he hears Eames' distinctive voice as clear as a bell across the ringing of phones and shuffling of folders.
"Logan!" He half-turns without meaning to and curses himself inside. "How are you feeling? Heard you called in sick yesterday."
"I'm great," he says with feigned nonchalance and grabs the top folder from the shapeless pile on his desk. Barek's side is pristine. "Now, if you don't mind –"
"Bobby called in sick too." Eames is leaning on the edge of his desk, one hand on the stack of folders. Her face has an unaccountably smug expression on it. "Not two minutes after you did. The switchboard said both calls were made from the same phone."
How the hell does she – oh, right. She's a detective. Logan could kill himself now. "We were out drinking, remember?" He is scrambling for excuses, but to give him credit, the words are coming out smooth and clean. "I took him home after. He knocked out on my couch. Neither of us were in any shape to come to work after that."
"Yeah?" Eames is smirking. "Funny, you seemed pretty sober when I left. And didn't you take him home? That kind of coordination...come on, Logan, who are you trying to kid? You weren't drunk."
"I wasn't feeling well," he grinds impatiently, wanting to wipe the smirk off her face with the back of his hand, and opening the folder, holds it up in front of his face. Which means he misses Bobby Goren's extremely entertaining entrance.
Goren throws open the door with what is unusual exuberance even for him and strides through Major Case, shoulders thrown back and chest thrust out, with what must be the last vestiges of his militarism from his time in the army. His brown notebook is clutched tightly in his right hand, and there is a half-grin that no one can account for on his face. His gaze is fixed on the air in front of him, and he whistles as he walks. His hair looks like it hasn't been brushed in ages and he is unshaven, but he looks happier than he's ever been in his life. Or, as Logan thinks with a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach, like he's just been laid sixty ways to Sunday.
"Hey, Bobby." Eames slides off Logan's desk, looking like Christmas has come early. "Mike here was just telling me about your misadventures last night."
"Hmm?" Goren does a double-take. He squints at his partner as though he has no earthly idea what she's talking about, and in that moment Logan loves Goren for his ability to change expression without the slightest prior notice. "What misadventures? My night on the couch, you mean?"
Eames gives Goren a conspiratorial look. "C'mon, Bobby. You're not fooling anyone with that innocent act. Did you two pick up a girl and do the French thing or didn't you?"
Goren's expression flashes to that of a deer caught in headlights, and Logan has an idea that he must be looking the same way. "The French thing," Goren says slowly. "You mean a ménage à trois? A threesome? Me and Logan? Are you kidding me?"
Logan, unable to contain himself, bursts out laughing, which after a moment sets Goren off as well. Soon Eames is giggling at the two men acting like idiots, and Barek cannot help but join in. Which of course brings Deakins out of his office to see what the matter is and why the hell his four pet detectives are cackling like Macbeth's witches.
"You four," he says, and they look so comical that it is hard for him to be stern. "In my office. Now."
He closes the door behind them and stands behind his desk, arms folded, waiting patiently for them to sober up. Which they do. "What on earth is the matter with you four? It's quarter to eight in the morning, don't tell me you've all shot up on crack already?" Barek lets out a stray hiccup of laughter, which has Logan trying unsuccessfully to muffle a snort. "Okay, I don't know if you guys realize this, but I do require an explanation."
Logan masters his face at last and peels the smile off. "I'm sorry, sir. Private joke. Eames' fault."
"Very unfunny," Goren deadpans. "But hilarious in its humourlessness."
Deakins raises one eyebrow in stark amazement, and looks at Eames for confirmation or denial. Logan holds his breath. What she says could damn or save them. He exchanges a barely noticeable glance with Goren, whose features are absolutely calm.
"Don't worry about it, sir," Eames says easily. "It's nothing." Barek nods in agreement, and bewildered and unsatisfied, Deakins nonetheless releases them back into the hustle and bustle of the plaza.
Logan sinks into his chair with an audible sigh of relief. Barek takes her place opposite him. Her dark eyes meet his, and she gives him a queer little smile. And he knows instantly that she knows.
"Don't worry about it, Mike," she tells him familiarly, looking at him through the steam rising from her coffee. "Some things are best left unspoken. That way if asked, I can freely declare that I have no idea about them. Plausible deniability." She slides a folder across the table to him and smiles ever so slightly, chewing on the end of a pen. "Besides, Deakins is on a need-to-know basis."
Logan thinks he could hug her.
Over at the Goren-Eames table, a similar conversation is about to take place. Goren, who has launched directly into his backlog, gets off the phone at last and moves to open the laptop but is stopped by Eames' small hand. "Bobby," she says seriously, "I'm not an idiot. I know."
He looks up at her, careful not to let his face show emotion. "And?" he asks very calmly.
"And as long as you keep it off the job, I can't see a problem." Eames offers a faint smile. "And if you want us to be even..." She leans forward and whispers the most surprising thing he has heard for the year into his left ear.
Goren's eyebrows rise slowly. "Really..." He nods. "I never would have thought it."
"Likewise," his partner says dryly. "You don't look the type. Logan either. But I guess none of us knows each other like we thought we did, hmm? Seeing as everybody just shocked the life out of everybody else?"
Goren shakes his head. Her confession, while it initially surprised him, doesn't bother him in the least. Just as his didn't bother her. "No."
"Great." Eames smiles swiftly and resumes her seat. They work in silence for a while, and when she deems it safe she flicks a deceptively casual glance over at Barek, who gives Eames an answering smile that threatens to paralyze her.
Goren and Logan, you see, aren't the only ones with secrets.