A/N: This is for blucougar57 and The Confused One, who asked for a Logan/Barek story. Hope you like it :-)
Mike Logan sat on a barstool, looking into his drink. God, it had been a long week! He'd thought about calling Goren--he and Eames had had a long week, too, and he found he liked hanging out with the big detective. But ultimately, he'd decided he wanted to be alone. It had been a year since Deakins had brought him into the Major Case Squad, and he remembered well his first interactions with Goren and Eames, back when he'd dated Gina and he and Goren found themselves on the wrong side of a lockdown, with her life as well as their own in dire jeopardy. He'd watched Goren use his considerable skill with words and uncanny instinct of human nature to save their lives. He'd come to respect him that night. When he first joined Major Case, he resented Goren and Eames, the favored team. Now he actually liked them and was pleased he could call them friends.
He signaled for another drink as his thoughts turned to Barek. He was happy with his partner. Ok, maybe he had some anger issues. But Barek was able to keep him in line. One well-timed smack upside the head and he remembered his manners. But she still gave him the leeway he needed to vent his frustration without stepping over the line. She drew a very well-defined line in the sand and he was careful to remain on this side of it.
He paid no attention to the person who sat on the stool beside him. "Buy you a drink?"
He turned his head, surprised to see his partner beside him. "Sure."
She signaled to the bartender. "A rum and coke and a refill for my partner." She looked at him. "What a week, huh?"
"Seems like everyone had a bad week. Hell, Eames even snapped at Goren."
"It'll be a really bad week when he snaps back."
Logan laughed. "Ain't that the truth?" He finished his drink. "How about going for a walk with me?"
She swallowed the last of her rum and coke. "Let's go."
He laid a few bills on the bar and she added a ten to it. They headed out the door into the night.
It was a cool night, a good night for a walk. He had a nice buzz going, but he wasn't drunk. They walked in companionable silence for several blocks. He really liked his partner. She was smart and spunky, no-nonsense, beautiful...a lot like Eames in many ways, and he'd always liked Eames. But he'd learned quickly that Eames was off-limits and decided it wasn't worth it to mess with Goren. He looked at Barek and smiled. He moved a step closer to her.
She glanced at him, returning his smile, and she didn't move away. Truth be told, she enjoyed her partner's company. He might be a hothead, but he was a good man. He cared about people and protecting the innocent. He had a good heart. His hand strayed to the side, brushing against hers. She hesitated, wondering if it was intentional. Taking a chance that it was, she moved her hand, brushing her fingers against his. In the next moment, his hand closed around hers. She stepped half a step closer and his thumb gently stroked the back of her hand. It felt good to relax, to let the stress of the week melt away. It felt even better, she realized, to hold his hand. The physical contact was reassuring.
"Did you have dinner yet?" he asked, looking at her.
"No. Did you?"
"Not yet. There's a decent Indian place a few blocks from here. My treat."
It was a small restaurant but Logan was right, the food was pretty good. They didn't talk much through dinner. It was enough for them to just be with each other, in quiet surroundings that didn't require them to think or be on their guard. They could simply be with each other.
After leaving the restaurant, he was less uncertain about taking her hand. "How did you know about this place, Mike? It's kind of off the beaten path."
"I live a few blocks away. We can go get my car if you want me to take you home, or you can come up for a little while, if you don't mind the mess."
"Is your desk any indication of what your apartment looks like?"
He laughed. "Why don't you be the judge?"
There was no elevator in the building and he lived on the third floor. Barek looked around her skeptically. "You live in this rat trap?"
"It's not a rat trap," he said with a laugh. "No self-respecting rat would be caught dead here."
He unlocked his apartment door and stepped aside to let her in. She looked around the cramped apartment. It was cluttered, but neat. She sat down on the couch as he went into the kitchen, returning with two beers. He lowered himself onto the couch beside her. "This is my home, sweet home."
"It's not what I expected."
"There are no pizza boxes scattered around, no socks hanging from the lamps. It's...tidy."
"Well, when you consider how little time I actually spend here...I mean it's not as ordered as Goren's place, but it suits me."
He looked at his beer bottle. She had not objected to his holding her hand. He wondered how far across the line she would let him come before she body-slammed him back onto his own side. There was only one way he was going to find out. Hell, if Goren and Eames could cross the line, and he knew they had, and keep it out of the squadroom and their partnership, he and Barek could manage it as well. He found himself thinking more and more about her in more and more enticing yet disturbing ways...enticing because she was a woman, disturbing only because she was his partner...just the sort of woman he knew he needed. And she was exactly the woman he found himself wanting...more and more...
What the hell...Throwing caution to the wind, but careful to position himself to protect delicate body parts just in case, he reached toward her and pushed her hair back off her shoulder, letting his fingers brush across her cheek. She caught her breath, but didn't knock him off the couch. Encouraged, he ran a finger down the side of her face and along the curve of her neck. He inched carefully closer. She closed her eyes, enjoying his light caress. He leaned closer, his breath warming her ear as his tongue gently played with her earlobe. Slowly, she turned toward him, shivering as his mouth trailed along her cheek until it arrived at hers, and she gave herself to him. She slipped her arms around him, surrendering to the same passion that drove him. With a deep groan he lowered her back onto the couch and let their passion lead where it would.