Sometimes, it took a lot out of him, and this was one of those times. Eames could see it in his eyes, in his posture, in the lack of energy in his body. He took comfort in nailing the man who'd beat his twelve-year-old son almost to death, and in taking his wife down as an accessory for not stopping it. But this was a hard one because it struck close to home. Thirty-three years ago, that twelve-year-old boy could have been him.
She watched him from her desk, face buried in his hands, but she didn't know what to say. She didn't know if there was anything she could say. A hand came to rest on her shoulder and she looked up at Deakins. "Good job in there, guys."
"Thanks," she answered.
The captain looked at Goren, then pulled out his wallet and handed Eames a couple of bills. "Take him home, Alex. Stop and get a few drinks on me, and then take him home. I'll see you guys on Thursday."
They'd earned a day and a half off. "Did you hear, Bobby? The paperwork can wait."
With a heavy sigh, he nodded. He was exhausted. She watched him force himself to his feet and she followed him from the squadroom.
They sat in a booth at Delaney's, waiting for their drinks. She was quiet, but she watched him. He knew she was watching, and he didn't care. "Hey, guys."
They looked up as Logan and Barek approached the table. Logan nudged Goren and slid in beside him as Barek took a seat beside Eames. Logan raised a hand at the waitress. "Hey, Kelly! Two burgers with the works and coffee."
She waved at him and he turned back to the table. He saw Eames' annoyed face and said, "We won't harrass you all afternoon. We're grabbing a late lunch and Deakins asked us to check on you." He looked at Goren. "I saw part of that interrogation. You held it together. I'm impressed. For a minute there I thought you were gonna lose it and take the guy out."
"Don't think I didn't want to."
"Yeah, well, there's a good reason they don't let us step in there armed. A couple of good reasons, actually."
He looked up when Kelly set a cup of coffee in front of him and Barek, a beer for Eames and whiskey for Goren. "Thanks," Logan said. Then he looked at Goren again. "I saw it in your face, Bobby."
"Who were you seeing? Your old man? With me it was my mother in there with you."
Goren looked up at Eames, then at Logan. "Yeah, it was my father."
"Well, I won't get into swapping war stories today, but I can't say I would have done as well with a suspect like that."
"You can't let them see you lose your cool. You lose everything if they know they got to you."
"That's when your partner takes over. You know, covers your ass."
Again he looked at Eames. She did that, and more.
Across the room, on the other side of the bar, a pair of dark eyes watched the four detectives closely. He was nursing a gin and tonic and remembering, and he wondered if his little brother remembered, too.
By the time Logan and Barek were done eating, Logan had Eames laughing and he'd managed to coax a grin from Goren. Eames wasn't sure if it was Logan or the whiskey that had relaxed her partner, and she didn't much care. They paid the tab and got up to leave. As they got to the door, a voice stopped Goren cold. "A cop named Goren. Who would ever have thought?" When Goren didn't turn he said, "I'd heard you were back in the city, after Germany."
Quietly, Goren answered, "I left Germany almost twenty years ago. I see how interested you've been."
"What can I say?"
Finally he turned. "Not a damn thing, Bill. Just go back to hell and leave me alone."
"Not gonna introduce me to your friends?"
"No." He stepped between Bill and Eames as he turned to head back toward the door.
"Protective, are we, little brother?"
Goren closed his eyes. A bad day just kept getting worse. He chose not to answer and continued toward the door. "Where's Mom, Bobby?"
He hesitated. "Why do you care?"
"She's my mother, too. Just because you were her favorite..."
Goren spun. "Her favorite? I'm all she had after you and Dad took off. And when Dad died, where were you then? I've got nothing to say to you, Bill."
"I guess you've moved up from those seedy joints Dad used to take you to."
Eames didn't have to look at her partner to feel his tension. She looked at Logan, who moved to place himself close enough to grab Goren if he had to. Bill moved closer, barely glancing at Logan, but letting his eyes linger on Barek and Eames. Barek knew the look and snarled at him, "Not in this life, buddy."
He laughed. "You like 'em feisty, huh, little brother? Never would have thought that of you."
Goren glared at his brother. Eames turned toward him, pressing herself into his side as she slid his gun from his holster into her waistband. He looked down at her and she met his eyes. She was taking no chances. Bill laughed. "Ah, I see. You prefer blondes."
"It's not all about living in the gutter, Bill. I never took after Dad."
"Of course not. You were always Mommy's boy. Why do you think she went to such lengths to protect you?"
"Yeah. She didn't want 'them' to get you."
"Half the time I was 'them.' And if I remember right, you weren't there."
Bill laughed. "True. I was hanging out with Dad, getting laid and drunk and enjoying life, while you were at home getting the demons beat out of you."
Eames laid a hand on her partner's arm. "Let's go."
"I want to know where Mom is."
"Go to hell."
Logan stepped between the two men as Goren turned to leave with Barek and Eames. He didn't take his eyes from Bill until the door closed behind them. As they headed for the parking lot, Logan pointed over his shoulder with a thumb. "That's your brother?"
"Yeah. Last I heard he was living in South Jersey."
"Twenty years ago?"
"No. Six months ago. Someone called me about his gambling debts. I told them basically what I told him. I bear no responsibility for his addictions."
"Bobby..." Bill came out of Delaney's and was moving down the sidewalk toward them. "Don't hide behind your friends."
Goren turned around and faced his brother. "I'm not hiding from anyone. That's your specialty."
"So talk to me."
"Why? I owe you nothing."
"Bobby," Eames said softly. "Let's go."
To emphasize her point, she laid a hand on his arm. He looked at her, then back at his brother. Shaking his head, he turned away and followed his partner to where Logan and Barek waited for them.
Bill watched his brother get into the SUV with the pretty little blonde. He leaned against the wall and lit a cigarette as she started the car and pulled out of the parking lot. When he was certain they could no longer see the bar, he jumped on his motorcycle and followed them.
Eames pulled up in front of Goren's apartment. "Do you want me to come up?" she asked.
He shook his head. "I'm ok, Eames. I'm just gonna take a hot shower and watch some TV. I'm afraid I won't be good company tonight."
"Like that's ever stopped me."
He smiled and touched her cheek. "Call me later."
"Ok. If you change your mind, just let me know."
She leaned toward him and kissed his cheek. "I know it's been a bad day. Call me if you need to talk."
He nodded and got out of the car. She watched him walk toward the building and in through the door. The day had taken a lot out of him, but it was nothing a few hours of sleep wouldn't restore.
She pulled away and drove off, not paying any attention to the motorcycle that drove along behind her.
He went into the apartment and shrugged out of his jacket. He took off his gun, which Eames had returned to him in the car. He wouldn't have used it...but he couldn't swear that to her and he was grateful to her for watching out for him, like she always did.
Seeing his brother had unnerved him. It had been many years since he'd seen Bill. He had forgotten how much his brother looked like their father, and seeing him again filled him with such unexpected rage he had to consciously keep himself from shaking. He'd always been grateful for being enough of a blend of both parents that he did not bear a striking resemblence to either. Of course, that had always fueled his brother's adoption jokes. And Bill could always make Dad laugh with his cruelty.
It wasn't Bill's fault that he looked like their dad, but the turn his life took was in his control. The fact that he stumbled down the same path Dad had taken in his life was unforgivable to Goren. William Goren, Jr.--drinker, gambler, carouser...a tribute to his namesake.
After a hot shower, he felt calmer. He ordered a pizza and flipped on the television. After a few minutes, he reached for the phone and dialed. "Hello?"
"Hey, it's me."
She laughed. "It's been what? An hour?"
"I was thinking about you, that's all."
"What were you thinking?"
He laughed softly. "I'm not sure I should tell you."
"Why?" There was a noise in the background. "Hold on, Bobby. Someone's at the door."
He sat up straighter as he heard anger in her voice, but he couldn't make out what she was saying. Finally, she picked the phone back up, but it wasn't Eames who spoke to him. "Hello, little brother."
"Bill? What are you doing there?"
"Getting your attention. Now your girlfriend here will be perfectly fine as long as you listen to me."
"What the hell are you doing, Bill? Gambling aside, Dad was never a criminal. Kidnapping a cop...that's serious. And if you harm her..."
"What, Bobby? What are you gonna do? What did you ever do?"
"I'm not ten years old any more, Bill."
"No, and now you have a gun. Gee, I'm scared." Same taunting tone...
"Ok. You have my attention."
"Good. I'll be in touch. And remember, keep your buddies out of it. I can hurt her bad before any of you get to me."
"Where are you going?"
"You can figure that out. Think about shit that happened back when you were...eleven or twelve. Something Dad and I did...unless, of course, you blocked it out." He laughed. "See you soon, little brother."
The line clicked. He grabbed his keys and ran out the door.