They aren't mine. Dick Wolf owns them, lock, stock and barrel.


Jimmy Deakins opened the door to his office and looked out into the squad room. "Goren, come in here please."

That could mean only one thing. He had another partner for him. This was really getting old. He'd been at Major Case for nearly two years, and nine partners later Deakins still could not find someone who could work with him. The longest one stayed was almost four months; the shortest was three weeks. The average was about six weeks. He sighed and headed for the captain's office. In front of the captain's desk sat a petite blonde woman, young, very pretty. She was the only other person in the office. Maybe this wasn't about a new partner. "Bobby, this is Alexandra Eames. Alex, meet your new partner, Robert Goren."

She turned to look at him, seeing a big man, dressed in a nice suit, with warm dark eyes and a boyish charm when he grinned at her and said hello. Maybe this wouldn't be so bad. "It's nice to meet you," she said with a small smile.

A female partner, he mused. All this time his partners had been male, and he wondered about the change in gender. Sending Beauty in to calm the savage beast? Deakins cut into his thoughts. "Bobby will fill you in on the case he's currently working. Welcome to Major Case."

She stood up and accepted his outstretched hand. "Thank you, Captain."

Deakins looked at Goren. "Show her where her desk is, and, for Pete's sake, Bobby, try not to scare her off."

Goren managed a half-smile that looked more like a grimace. "Come on, Eames."

"I'll be right there."

He shrugged and left the office. Eames turned to Deakins. "Scare me off? What's wrong with him?"

"Nothing's wrong with him. Bobby is just…unconventional. But he's the brightest detective I have ever known. He has a way of getting inside a perp's mind and figuring out what's going on. He has a phenomenal solve rate. When he worked narcotics, his cases had a 100 conviction rate. He's been here at Major Case for almost two years now and he seems to have found his niche. The COD loves him—he makes us all look good. Just don't expect him to act like a traditional cop. He just has trouble keeping partners."

"Why?"

Deakins wasn't sure what to say because he wasn't exactly sure why Goren's partners never stuck around. "His methods are not exactly standard. There's actually nothing about him that's standard. You're partner number 10 since he's been here."

"Geez. And you're sure there's nothing wrong with him?"

"He's just intense, Alex. People have a hard time with that. You'll get used to him. He's a good man."

Eames left the office, not feeling very reassured. She looked around the squad room, locating her new partner with ease. She approached him but before she got close enough to say anything, he pointed to the desk in front of his. "There's your desk, Eames." He never even looked up.

As Deakins had requested, he filled her in on the case he was working, but when he was done, she just felt confused. When the phone rang, he grabbed it. "Goren." He listened intently. "Great. I'll be right there."

He got up and started toward the elevators, stopping when it finally clicked that he had a partner again. He stopped and motioned at her impatiently. "We have to see the M.E. Come on."

Feeling a little overwhelmed, Eames just got up and followed him from the squad room.