Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Spoilers for: Wee Small Hours - sort of, I've only seen it once

Disclaimer: I hold no copyrights for the Characters or properties of Law & Order: Criminal Intent or the situations described in the following.

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Okay, so it's not so unusual for a cop to look over his shoulder all the time, nor to keep his piece by his bed. Most people would think it normal, in fact, or at least understandable. But, even my partner is starting to murmur comments about Paranoid McGee.

I've got a right to be paranoid. I was stupid. Majorly, f--king, stupid. Stupid in an un-f--king-believable way.

I jump a little as the wind whistles past my apartment window, the safety on my gun already notched off before I even think. Christ!

It's bad enough being on the take, which is stupid. Stupid enough. But nothing major, you know. Just little ways, free coffee, free suits, free meals. It's not like I'm making a fortune serving the ungrateful citizenry after all. But it grew a little, you know, slowly, I didn't even notice really. I mean what's the big deal if a piece of evidence didn't make it to the Evidence Room. One little piece of evidence won't that much difference, right? And, hey, I got to pay off my Sears card. Okay, so it didn't stop there, but still ... I mean ... no big deal. So, I let it slip a bust was going down the next night, time enough for the major player to reschedule. We still got some of the underlings, right? And doing a shakedown or two for ... well, they were scum that needed some sense scared into them anyway.

But, big time stupid. Bigger than big time. Huge ... f--king ... HUGE stupid was agreeing to go see Goren's mother. Holy Crap! Was my brain on vacation that day? Did I have a lobotomy and no one told me? Am I just that fucking insane! I guess so...

I flinch as I hear footsteps coming down the hallway... until they stop and go into the apartment next me and I realize it's old Mrs. Ginty with her bum foot. Footsteps I should recognize in my sleep.

I can't help dwelling on the dumbest thing I've ever, ever, ever done. Dumber than lying to Susan that I'd pull out in time and getting trapped in a marriage with three kids before she finally divorced me. Dumber than that time I tried to impress some female by playing with my gun like a cowboy and shot myself in the foot. Dumber even than thinking that Susan's new boyfriend, the wrestler, was going to just let me smack her around like I used to. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Judge Garrett asked me for a favor, just a little one, really, just a moment out of my day. And, it's always good to make judges happy, right? Have them look at you favorably? Hell, I was even in the neighborhood, you know? Nothing out of my way. Just pop in to Carmel Ridge and see Detective Goren's mother. Ask her a few questions about her son, his father and brother. See if I can get some dirt on him, that kind of thing. Nothing major, just some dirt. After all, Goren had put her in that place, she should be feeling a little resentful, right?

And, it ain't like I got too much liking for Goren anyway. The golden boy of the Major Case Squad. Major Case Squad, big whoopty doo. Everyone knows the boy is a nutcase. A real gen-u-ine fruit loop. Okay, so he's got this major solve/close rate. Big deal. People probably confess just to get away from him. So, no skin off of my nose, going to see his mother. Give her a chance to vent a little and maybe pay off my VISA bill.

Until she started screaming, of course. She only got in a few scratches before they pulled her off of me and luckily none on my face or neck. I just need to wear long sleeves for a while, that's all. Jesus! All I did was ask what her Bobby boy did when the old man left. I figured I'd hear the classic stuff, you know: run with the wrong kids, turned into a momma's boy, started hanging out with girls, drinking, smoking, that kind of shit, maybe come up with a sealed juvie record or something, not a flipping outright psychotic moment. Christ!

Still the judge was pleased, once I stopped panting like a scared dog and told him.

Thing is, Goren knows what happened. Big Goren, the guy's huge, you know? F--king HUGE! And crazy. Crazier than his mom if you ask me.

And that's not even the real problem. Not the real cause for my slowly descending into paranoid frenzy. It's that partner of his. Alexandra Eames. That little thing that controls Goren with a soft word and a soft look.

Rumors abound about them, almost as many as about Goren. She's banging him, sure. That's a given. Hell, why else would she still be with him after all this time? He's legendary for his past partners filing for transfer almost a soon as they meet him. She's stayed, five years. She's got to be banging him. And Goren ain't no pretty boy either, so it's probably true what they say about his foot size. But despite that, Detective Eames, she scares me. She's got blue in her blood, family legacy and all. And, all those years in Vice, she knows people, knows them better than she should. She's good, damn good.

I met her once, you know. Scared the crap out of me. We were working with Vice on a sting, trying to take down some dealers who kept a string of ladies strung out and working for them in some really hardcore films. Painful films that even made us guys wince to watch. And Eames, shit she was beating the crap out one of the guys before we even made it through the door. One minute we are taping some nice damning testimony and we hear her tell him to not touch her like that and the next all hell broke loose.

So, she's tough despite her size, or because of it, hell I don't know. But, she's smart too. She made Detective First Class before transferring to Major Case. She observes things, knows things like if the writer was right-handed or left-handed based on the pen strokes, if rope or silk left that ligature mark, crap like that. She's a good cop and she's a good partner. Sticks up for them. True Blue and all that ... and I hear they took the scrapings from his mom's fingernails the other day.

I hold my gun a little tighter, my back against the wall, facing my door, because I figure they will just walk up one day and I'll see hell.