Five Times Logan and Bobby Had to Spend Time Together.
1. The ride over to the community center is strangely peaceful. Traffic is light - for the crosstown - and Logan is riding high on two parts solid detective work and one part Being On The Team. It's a bit stupid, he knows, but it feels good and he's not going to shoot himself down for taking pride in how far he's come.
He owes a lot to Deakins and knows it.
"So, how do you know so much about the Rat Pack, anyway?" The soft question startles Logan a bit. He'd almost forgotten the other detective was there, given how quiet he'd been since they'd pulled out of the underground parking garage at One Police
Plaza. Which, thinking back, was odd in and of itself. He hadn't spent much time around Goren in any concentrated situation, but from what he'd observed the guy wasn't exactly quiet or restrained. He was curious though.
Logan shrugged a shoulder and neatly cut some idiot in an SUV off. "Like I said. My dad liked 'em. You pick stuff up as a kid. Plus, hey, as sick a punk as this little brat appears to be, there could be worse role models than Dino and Sammie."
Across the car, but much closer than Barek usually was, Goren nodded. "True enough. Still, you have to wonder why that... genre. That era is so attractive to this kid. All these kids."
"No, you gotta wonder that." Logan slid into the right lane and turned on his signal. "I just shrug and arrest 'em. And you're no slouch in Rat Pack mythology yourself. How'd you come by all that?"
"My dad. He was a fan." Goren said it in the same way that Logan often heard himself talking about his mother. A few more pegs slotted themselves into place in his brain, and Logan nodded.
"Popular guys, our boys."
The rest of the ride was silent.
2. Two months after he's transferred in to Major Case, Mike Logan finally works up the nerve to walk into the squad's chosen bar.
It's a quiet little dive that's been around the corner from police headquarters since the day the building opened for business. The stools are full of DA's and ADA's and higher level detectives with long days and even longer stories behind stony eyes, and the tables are scarred and battleworn by hard use and crappy maintenance.
He hasn't been inside in over thirteen years, but the smell and the sight and the aura of the damn place is exactly the same as he remembers it. Even Old Joe - no one actually knew if Old Joe had a last name, or if his name even was Joe, but then no one really wanted to ask - looked the same. A little greyer and maybe a bit heavier about the face and waist, but still. The same.
Only a few of the people at the occupied tables look up when he passes. He doesn't let himself examine the expressions because in that direction lay dragons of things he doesn't want to think about. He's here because it's been a long damn day, and on the way out the door, he'd asked his partner out for a little booze, a massive appetizer, and another brainstorming session. She'd smirked at him and waved him off to get a table. Apparently, she had a short meeting with someone mysterious, but would join him soon.
So here he is.
"Logan." Old Joe nods at him and dumps a beer on the shining bar in front of him. It's a Sam Adams, and Mike has to shake his head not to ask how Old Joe remembered. No one questions Old Joe. There are too many secrets that have been whispered in these walls. Pissing Old Joe off is just a general all-around bad idea, and one no one's ever considered with any conviction. Logan nods in a manly way, bracing himself slightly, before turning around to face the room at large.
It's almost anticlimactic that no one's paying him any attention.
Well, almost no one.
Smirking, because he really is that much of an asshole, reformed or not, Logan wanders over to an occupied table. "Fancy meeting you here."
Goren, on his behalf, just snorted and raised his own bottle of beer in a salute. "Done for the day?"
Mike dropped into the chair opposite him and shrugged. "Kind of. Barek's in some mysterious meeting for the next little while and told me to go amuse myself here until she came down with the paperwork. You?"
Goren shrugged and took a long pull from his bottle. "Same thing. It's Tuesday."
"And that's important why?" He wouldn't say it out loud, but he was glad he'd found Goren here. Drinking alone wasn't something he enjoyed much anymore, even if it meant spending time with Mr. Wacky Pants himself. And it wasn't like the other members of the squad were lining up to welcome him into their midst. Not that he blamed them, exactly.
The other man just grinned around the lip of his bottle. "You'll figure it out."
Logan gave him the wary eye, and went back to his beer. Almost exactly half an hour, and another round, later, Eames and Barek strolled in together, completely serene and calm... except for the smirking.
"Oh, hell." Logan's feet, which had been stretched out, blancing the lean he was doing with his seat, hit the floor hard and solid, a few seconds behind the chair legs. "Oh, HELL. They network?"
Goren just kept snickering.
3. Logan found it fundamentally unfair that the two six-foot-plus members of the collective partnerships were stuck in the smaller-than-reasonable back of the surveillance van; where as outside, the two people who probably would have been comfortable in the hard plastic chairs bolted to the running board were walking around happy as could be.
Then again, knowing Barek's sense of evil - which was quiet but way more developed than most women he'd ever met - his partner would have happily handed over her stiletto heels and put her feet up in the van.
Even if it was with Goren. Who was staring at the little video monitors like they held the answers to life, the universe, and everything. Mike tilted his head and whistled lowly. Not that the view was bad. Those heels really did wonderful things to their partners' legs.
And he really can't let that pass unremarked. "You know, your partner is hot as hell in that leather mini-skirt."
There was a snort from the man next to him. "And yours is doing illegal things to that tube top."
They eye the monitor for a minute as, on the screen, Barek starts to laugh at something.
"Do you think-"
"But we could-"
"Aww come on-"
The speakers around them crackled to life, and amidst the ambient sounds of traffic and Barek's quiet giggling, Eames' voice cuts through the van like a buzz-saw through dry timber. "We can hear you, remember."
4. Mike notices him in the cafeteria, papers and notes spread across one of the back tables. It's a surprise because Goren usually camps out with all of his paraphernalia in one of the conference rooms upstairs. Hell, most of the squad called conference room two Goren's Domain, as it spent most of its time having different photos and bits of case file pinned all over it.
But then, to listen to the squad grapevine - which Mike is admittedly at the bottom of - things are not so rosy for Goren at the moment.
He never knows quite why he does it. Suspects it has something to do with outsider solidarity, or knowing the black hole of having a woman well and truly pissed at you, or having intimate knowledge of what it's like to have a Captain who wants you pulled to strict heel. He's never completely sure about why he does it. Still, he grabs an extra sandwich before paying and takes his lunch over to sit down.
He drops the sandwich in front of the other man and takes an open chair near the cleanest bit of table.
"Hey," he says, unwrapping his turkey on wheat - damn Barek and her lingering brainwashing - and settling in.
To say Goren's face is stunned is a bit of an understatement. In that moment, Logan feels something like regret. For the guy to be surprised that someone will even sit with him at lunch... bad doesn't even begin to cover it.
"Hey," Goren says. Nods at him. "Thanks."
"No problem. What are you working on?"
Goren tells him.
5. It's an accident that he finds him first. They'd needed someone to check the completely unlikely backup apartment that Nicole Wallace had rented a few weeks previous. Tired of the tension in the squad room, he'd volunteered. After all, Goren was missing and Eames - or what was left of her - was in the morgue downstairs. Needless to say, Ross was losing it, and while he didn't owe the man nearly what he had Deakins, Logan felt uncomfortable watching his Captain come unhinged.
It seemed wrong somehow.
So, he'd been the one to scoot out on a busy-work excuse, leaving Wheeler as cannon fodder.
His first hint that something was not... as it should have been was the door. When he'd fumbled out the key it had creaked ominously open, exposing a long, blue hallway. The call for backup had been quiet and quick, but ever stupid and knowing that somehow he had to be the one to find out what was going on, Logan had unholstered his weapon and gone inside.
Mike'd found Goren sitting quietly next to a growing blood pool, his arms stretched across his knees, wrists exposed. His service weapon lay next to him, magazine removed and empty. Nicole Wallace, beautiful even in death, lay haloed in the blood, eyes wide and staring.
"Fuck. Christ. Goren, fuck." Involuntarily, he stumbles back, dropping his weapon to his side and running a hand over his face. The worst case scenario lay before him, played out in graphic twisting detail.
It takes him a minute, adrenaline making the floor feel like it's tilting and heaving around him, before he can pull out his cuffs. The jingle of the links is loud in his ears, as is his breathing. Goren doesn't move as Logan edges forward, just keeps staring straight ahead, wrists extended. There are flecks of blood across Goren's face and the crisp white of his shirtsleeves.
Mike crouches down in front of the man, careful to avoid the blood and body. The cuffs go on easily and it's only when they click closed that there's any reaction at all from Goren. Just a flinch, but enough to let Mike know he isn't completely gone.
"Fuck," Mike breathes.
Goren's eyes are blank and unseeing, but they must see something because he blinks and tilts his head, just so.
"She was my partner," he says, voice soft and almost child-like. "It was all I could do."
Mike bites his lip, and lets his hands curl around Goren's over the cuffs. Remembers walking away from the 27th and ignoring Lennie's legion of phone calls. Watching Barek pack up her desk to move six rows down, her eyes telling him that she knew what he was doing, and that it was only because it was so important to him that she was letting him get away with it.
Goren had seven years with Eames. Seven years.
"I know, Bobby." Logan looks down at the body of the woman who's finally done what she set out to do. Destroyed this man. "I know."
In the distance, he can hear sirens. Not long now.
Quietly, carefully, he moves around and sits next to Goren to wait.