A/N: This is a post-ep for "To the Bone." Therefore, it obviously contains spoilers. If you're good with that, then all you need to know is that this picks up right where the episode left off. This is just the first chapter of the story, but I intend it to only be 2 or 3 chapters long...not one of my novel-length stories.
Disclaimer: I own nothing in the CI universe and I'm sure as hell not making any money off this!
"Mike." Barek, alarmed at the look she had just seen in her partner's eyes, scrambled to catch up with him as he strode away from the courthouse. "Mike, come on. Wait!"
Keeping up his pace and looking straight ahead, he just shook his head.
She glanced over her shoulder, making sure no one in the gaggle of press and spectators that surrounded the courthouse steps was watching them, and broke into a run, knowing that he was unlikely to speed up because he wouldn't want anyone see him actually running from her. "Logan!" she barked a few seconds later, grabbing his upper arm and applying her full bodyweight to slow him down. "Would you please look at me?"
Allowing her to force him to a stop, he turned his eyes to her, and suddenly she wished she hadn't asked. She'd begun to get used to the haggard look that had hardly left his face in the weeks since he'd shot Tarkman, but now . . . now it was worse. Mixed with the weariness, she could see both rage and despair boiling in her partner's eyes. "Mike," she said again, softly this time, keeping her hand on his arm as she started to walk again. "It's only going to be worse if you take it home with you."
"Yeah?" He gave her a fleeting, disinterested look, then returned to concentrating on the sidewalk in front of him. "Well sorry to disappoint you, but it's coming home with me whether you like it or not. You think I can just walk away from seeing that . . . that thing talk her own kid into taking a leap out a window?" Chuckling bitterly, he shook his head. "I've got issues, Barek. You knew that coming into this. Don't act surprised now."
"I'm not saying you should forget about your 'issues,' ok? I'm just saying that there are ways to deal with this without making them worse, and running away from the damn courthouse - and me - isn't one of them."
He snorted. "Last time I checked, you had zero interest in coming home with me, and that's where I'm going. So unless you've changed your mind, lay off."
"This is a different situation," she sighed, trying not to channel the awkwardness that had characterized their last discussion of her visiting his apartment. "I sincerely doubt that even you have any interest in getting laid tonight."
Another snort from Logan.
"Look, you think I'm happy about this? You think I'm going to forget seeing that kid's body lying on the sidewalk anytime soon? The world doesn't revolve around you, Mike. You're not the only one burning right now."
"What do you want from me, Barek?" he sighed, coming to an abrupt stop that nearly caused her to trip over him. "You want sympathy? Fine, you've got it. Sorry you had to see that. Now leave me alone."
Setting her teeth, she tightened her grip on his arm and yanked. "Come on."
"What? Where -" he began, nearly pulled off his feet by the unexpected force. Quick-stepping forward to regain his balance, he tried again: "Yo! Barek!"
"Would you shut up for once and just come with me?"
"The car! Is that a problem for you?"
Shaking his head, he made another attempt to reclaim his arm. "I don't need a ride. I'm taking the train home."
"No," she replied, looking up to give him a brittle, mildly threatening smile, "you're putting your ass in the passenger seat of my car and keeping it there while I drive you home."
"Listen, I'm touched you care and all, but are you not hearing me when I tell you I want you to leave me the hell alone?"
"I'm hearing you just fine," she shot back, using her free hand to hit the unlock button on her key fob. "Are you hearing me when I tell you that if you don't shut up and get in the car, I'll be happy to force you in?" Noticing the startled look that brought to his face, she nodded grimly and pulled open the passenger side door. "Get in."
He glared at her hotly, but did as ordered and folded himself into the seat.
They drove in heavy silence. Barek looked away from the road occasionally, trying to get a better handle on his expression, but after he caught her doing it, he crossed his arms, scowled, and pointedly closed his eyes.
He wasn't asleep, she was sure of that, even though by the time she turned onto her block he was sitting with his eyes closed and his head leaning against the window. "Mike," she said as she parked the car and turned off the engine.
Still scowling, he opened his eyes, started to say something, and then stopped as he took in his surroundings. "You said you were taking me home."
"I didn't say whose home," she reminded him. "Get out."
"What am I, your fucking dog? 'Get in,' 'Get out.' What's next, sit up and beg?"
Returning his dark look with an expressionless one of her own, she simply repeated, "Get out."
"Jesus Christ," he muttered, unbuckling his seatbelt and shoving the car door open with more force than was strictly necessary. "What part of 'leave me alone' don't you get?"
She ignored his comment and began to herd him into the building. "Move, Logan. Don't piss me off any more than you already have."
"Oh," he laughed incredulously, following her in spite of himself, "you're pissed off? You're not the one whose fucking partner won't leave him alone."
"You're right." She unlocked her door and gave him a shove into her apartment. "I'm just the one whose 'fucking partner' is a goddamn powder keg set to go off and screw himself over. Along with me."
"Nice to know you care," he sneered, refusing to be moved further into the room. "I'm not gonna explode, ok? I did that once and fucked myself over, and once was enough."
"No, you're just going to go home and punch a hole in your wall," she replied, leaving him in the entryway as she disappeared into her kitchen. "And that's not going to do jack to make you feel better."
"Oh, and you are?"
"Probably not." After a minute, she reappeared in the kitchen doorway holding two highball glasses and a bottle of Jack Daniels. "However, this might be a good start."
"You want to get me drunk?" he asked in disbelief, staring at the bottle and trying to fathom her logic.
"I want to get you to talk," she corrected calmly. "And you're way too strung out right now for that to happen. So . . ." Setting the glasses down on the coffee table in front of her couch, she poured a finger of whiskey into each and shoved one toward him. "Drink. And sit," she added, pointing to the couch as she settled into an easy chair.
Still trying to catch up to her reasoning, he just stared at her.
Cursing whatever gods had seen fit to stick him with a mouthy woman partner, Logan sighed and lowered himself onto the couch. "There. Happy?"
"Yes." Raising her glass in a sardonic toast, she gave him what she hoped was an encouraging smile and nodded. "I am. Now drink."