AN: So here it is. The last chapter. Are Goren, Nicole, and Emmie all one big, dysfunctional family, or was there just a big misunderstanding? Thank you for the great reviews! They motivated me to get this up a little bit faster. I actually had written three endings, but this was the one I decided on. I hope you all like it!
June 15, 2007
"Any more nightmares?" Dr Elizabeth Olivet asked, looking up for her notebook to the nervous young woman chewing her thumbnail seated on the couch across from her.
Emmie started to shake her head in the negative, but stopped halfway through. "Not as often as before," she said, after a beat. She lowered her hand and looked Olivet in the eyes. "They've really cut back. Um, I've been going out again, too, with friends from work."
"When did that start?" Olivet asked, interested. She wrote on her pad: Socializing returning to normal, nightmares subsiding.
"Saturday," Emmie answered. "And last night. Not the same place we used to go, obviously. But we do karaoke and I have fun."
Olivet nodded. "And how is work?"
At this Emmie rolled her eyes. "Ugh, I hate being at a desk, all day, every day. I can't wait to get back out into the street."
"Well it may be sooner than you think," Olivet admitted. "I'm seeing some great improvement, Emily. I don't see any reason to keep you on desk duty for much longer."
Emmie couldn't suppress a grin. "Really? How soon?"
"Maybe next week," Olivet said. "If you feel you're ready."
"Of course I'm ready!" Emmie couldn't contain her excitement. "Almost two months inside, I think that might have more of a damaging psychological impact on me that being stalked, kidnapped, held prisoner and shot. And my doctor signed off on the medical paperwork," she went on, "so medically I'm good to go."
Olivet nodded in agreement. "Our hour is about up," she said. "I'll let you know on Tuesday when you can go back to work full duty. Now, you understand that I still expect you to come in twice a week."
Emmie nodded. "Hey, if it means I can do my job again, I'll stand on my head till my face turns blue."
"I can see him going for you," Goren said. "Get him to make a move, and we establish that he has no aversion in cheating on the wife."
Eames nodded along, not thrilled with the idea of dangling herself in front of a possible murderer as bait, yet again, but it did seem the logical way to establish motive. If Roberts was involved in an affair and needed a way out of the marriage, murder would be the most effective way, not to mention the insurance payout.
"Detectives," Ross curtly greeted the two as he stepped up to their desks. "Nicole Wallace woke up from her coma. She's at Bellevue, in the prison ward. Go… chat her up."
Eames watched the Captain walk away toward his office as she gathered up papers. "We don't know for sure that there was an affair," Eames said quietly to her partner. "How do you know he'll go for me? We don't know his type."
Goren shrugged one shoulder as he stood. "Who wouldn't go for you, Eames?"
He was halfway to the elevators before he realized Eames wasn't with him. He turned and saw her standing at her desk, staring at him with eyebrows raised and mouth slightly agape.
Goren held back a chuckle and made his way back to Eames, stopping inches in front of her. "I saw him checking you out when you left the room to take a call during the first interview," he told her quietly.
Emmie stepped from the front stoop of Dr. Olivet's office and onto the street, unconsciously pulling her sleeves down to her knuckles. She breathed in the fresh, late-spring air and turned to walk to the corner where her car was parked. As she approached the Beetle, she fumbled with her keys, finding the remote to unlock the door. Once inside, she buckled her seatbelt and took a deep breath before putting the key into the ignition.
Then, it hit her.
The surrounding Manhattan street was gone. She was in a fight for her life in the middle of the road, grappling with a blond psychotic, but she was almost winning, until her assailant pulled out a hypodermic needle and shoved it deep into Emmie's side.
Emmie gasped and opened her eyes. She hadn't realized how hard she'd been gripping the steering wheel; her knuckles were white.
She breathed deeply again and blew the air out slowly, shaking her head.
"Get it together, Emmie," she muttered to herself, putting the car in drive.
As she eased out into traffic, she felt her phone vibrating in her pocket and pulled it out, flipping it open without looking at the ID.
"Yeah," she answered.
"Nicole Wallace is awake," an unfamiliar voice said.
Emmie's voice died in her throat. Suddenly the car in front of her was quickly approaching, and she slammed on the brakes.
"Who is this?" she finally managed to whisper.
"Bellevue," the voice said. "Prison ward."
The line went dead. Emmie looked at the display; it was a private number.
"Great," she muttered. She tossed the phone onto the passenger seat and looked up at the red light three cars ahead of her, anxiously tapping the steering wheel.
"I'm not going," she said aloud. "Nope. Don't need to, don't want to."
But, it was only three o'clock, technically her day didn't end until four. So she couldn't go home yet. But there wasn't enough time to go all the way back to work.
"Oh fuck it," Emmie said. She pulled to the right and squeezed in between the line of traffic and the parked cars lining the street, making a left around traffic and running the red light, ignoring the blaring of multiple horns. A few minutes later she was on the FDR, heading up to Bellevue.
Bellevue Hospital Prison Ward
"Ah, detectives," Nicole rasped, managing a sly grin. "Fancy running into you two here."
"Cut the crap, Nicole," Goren said harshly.
"Oh Bobby," she said, mock disappointment hanging on the words. "Where are the manners your poor mother instilled in you? I know she brought you up better than that."
"Reserved for someone who deserves them," Goren retorted.
Eames stayed at her partner's side, but remained quiet for the moment. Goren had always been the one able to get information from Nicole, and this was personal. Still, if his theory was right, he'd be pulled off the case faster than he could say 'paternity.' She was ready to jump in any moment.
"You confessed to the murder of Patricia Handsen," Goren continued.
"Funny, I don't remember that," Nicole said. "Name doesn't ring a bell."
"Emily Handsen's mother," Goren said.
"And who have I allegedly made this confession to? Officer Handsen? Don't you think she's a little too personally involved to be taking confessions?" Nicole's demeanor, at first cocky and lighthearted, was becoming darker.
"She's a witness," Goren said. "A… credible one."
"Whatever you say, detective," Nicole said. "I've nothing more to say without my lawyer."
"You're actually taking this to trial." Eames couldn't hold back anymore. It wasn't a question, more of a statement of disbelief.
"My right," Nicole said, and closed her eyes, ending the conversation.
Eames looked at Goren, shaking her head as they walked out of the guarded room.
"She can't possibly think she's going to win another trial," Eames said, once the door was closed. "I don't care how good her lawyer is, we have testimony from eyewitnesses, physical evidence, she was holding the gun, for God's sake!"
"Yeah, but a lawyer can delay things," Goren said. "If she's ROR, she might take care of any witnesses—Emmie."
"Wh-?" But as Eames watched Goren walked around her, she saw why he'd suddenly said Emmie's name. The young cop was storming down the hall, and did not look happy to see the two of them there.
"Where is she?" she asked, a little more forcefully than necessary.
Goren stopped in front of her, holding up his hands. Emmie sidestepped to go around, but Goren dodged to his left and blocked her again.
"I just want to talk to her," Emmie said.
"I want to talk to you first," he said. He looked at his watch. "Did you drive here?"
"What?" Emmie was thrown for a moment by the change of subject. "Well, yeah, but—"
Goren turned to Eames. "Our day's over, I'm gonna get a ride with Emmie."
Eames nodded. "Okay. I'll see you Monday."
"I'll call you later," Goren said over his shoulder, as he walked down the hallway, pulling Emmie with him.
"Who says I'm giving you a ride?" Emmie asked irritably. "I came here to talk to her, and I'm going to talk to her!"
"No you're not, not right now," Goren said as they passed through the main doors, out to the street. He held his hand out. "Give me your keys."
Emmie stared back for a moment before giving in to laughter. "Oh no, I've seen you drive, Goren."
"I told you, call me Bobby, and you're not driving, you're too upset."
Emmie's eyes narrowed. "I'm not upset," she said. She pulled her keys out, walked quickly to her car and got in, Goren close behind.
"And besides," Emmie said a few moments later, as though there had been no lapse in conversation, "I don't want you moving my seat around. I have it just the way I like it, and it's a pain in the ass to get it back after you fiddle around with it."
Goren watched her play with her keys another moment before speaking. "Look, Nicole—"
"I just want to talk to her," Emmie interrupted quietly, not looking up from her keys. "She says she killed my mom, I think I have a right to talk to her."
"She's denying it," Goren said. Emmie looked up. "She's taking this to trial."
"No way," Emmie said. "She can't possibly think she's got—"
"It won't matter, if her lawyer can tie things up long enough for her to flee."
Emmie nodded, clenching her jaw, and looked back down to her keys.
"How's Rick?" Goren asked.
Emmie shrugged one shoulder. ""Um. . .Okay. He's dealing. He's going to therapy twice a week also, and last I heard he should be back at work in two more weeks. No permanent damage, thank God."
"I'm surprised he didn't come with you."
"Ah." Emmie smiled, looking up. "That's because he's staying with his… mother."
"You don't get along." It wasn't a question. He didn't need to ask. Her tone said it all.
Emmie shrugged. "At least she used to pretend she liked me, as transparent as that was. But she blames me for what happened." She looked back at her keys, which were suddenly interesting again. "I can't say that she's completely wrong, either."
"Emmie," Goren said softly, "What happened—"
"Yeah, I know, it's not my fault, blah blah blah." She looked up. "Sorry, I had to cut you off. If I hear that sentence again, I'm going to punch the person saying it. You're like. . .four times my size, so punching you probably isn't a bright idea. Anyway, it wasn't going anywhere, we were bound to split soon."
A moment of silence, punctuated by an aggressive cab driver blaring his horn and cursing at another driver.
"So…" Emmie began hesitantly. "Your Captain came to my precinct today."
"Yeah," Emmie said, seemingly bewildered. "He said that when I come back, there's a spot at Major Case, if I want it."
Goren gaped. He couldn't help it. Sure Emmie was a good cop, a good person, but she was young. She'd been on the job less than a year. Major Case was an elite unit, after all.
"I mean," she continued, seeing his face, "it's probably just something like getting coffee for all you big shot detectives but…"
"But…" Goren pressed.
Emmie shrugged. "I accepted it," she said. She turned back to Goren. "I mean, I'd be crazy not to, right? And I just found out today that I'm not crazy. If I were, I wouldn't be going back to full duty next week, right?"
"Emmie, that's great that they're putting you back, but—"
"It's not like I'm going to have my own caseload," she said. "I know that. But it's an in. How many rookies get that chance?"
Silence blanketed the car again.
Emmie huffed a chuckle for seemingly no reason. "I just had a thought… If the DNA comes back and me and Nicole are half-sisters, does that make this a domestic violence case?"
Goren smiled a small smile, slightly shaking his head.
"I uh… I actually was just asking myself… when would be a good time to bring this up," he said, opening his binder and pulling a letter out. He looked at it, as though he wasn't sure what it was, then handed it to Emmie.
"The tests are back?" she asked, taking it. Goren nodded. Emmie read, holding her breath. She came to the end and blew the air out of her lungs. "Thank God," she said, handing the letter back. "Does she know she's not part of the Brady Bunch?"
Goren smirked, putting the letter back into his binder. "Ah, no, I didn't tell her that she's not part of the, uh… the Brady Bunch."
"Like she's not screwed up enough already," Emmie said, turning the ignition and putting the car in drive. "That news might really mess up that bottle-blond head of hers."
"Where are we going?" Goren asked as Emmie turn toward the highway. "My apartment's the other way."
"I know," Emmie said, turning onto the FDR toward downtown. "I feel like Italian tonight. And you're buying, big bro."
AN: Ok, so that's the end. Thank you to everybody who read along and left me reviews. I really appreciate it. Also, if anyone's interested, and because I have no life and the idea of a possible sequal is very appealing to me and something I've been thinking about since like chapter 5, Emmie went and started her own blog. Yeah, she's a trendy kid. check it out at ehandsen . blogspot . com.