A/N: This story is being written in collaboration with TriStateCopFan. It's an idea that I've been developing for the last year, and she has been kind enough to agree to help me make a good story even better. We hope you enjoy it!
The city never sleeps. That was the first thought that entered Bobby Goren's mind as he half-stumbled from the bar into the spring night, guiding before him a much drunker Mike Logan. Darkness never truly fell on the streets of New York, and he wondered if there had ever been a time that it had. Logan swayed as he looked up and down the street. "Where we goin' now?"
"Home? But the night's still young. And we haven't picked up any girls yet."
"We're going home, Mike. You don't need to bring a girl home tonight."
"Why the hell not?"
"Because you're not gonna last much past your front door, buddy."
Logan gave that some thought as they started down the street. "I guess you're right. Wouldn't want to waste a good date, huh?"
"You stayin' at my place?"
"Not tonight. I'll just make sure you get home and then I'll go on to my place."
"I know my way home," Logan protested as he turned left at the corner.
Goren grabbed his arm, turned him around and steered him to the curb, checking for traffic and crossing the street in the other direction. "I know you do. Just humor me."
Logan snorted. "I do a lot of that, you know."
"Yeah, Mike," he answered with a smile. "I know."
Goren wasn't far off. Logan made it through the door to the couch, where he passed out. Goren grabbed a pillow and a blanket from the bedroom, and after sliding the pillow under Logan's head and covering him with the blanket, he left the apartment, locking the door behind him.
He headed for home. He'd had a lot to drink, but he was still able to function. It had been a long week for both him and Logan, and they'd chosen to unwind in the small pub near Logan's place. It had been easy to lose track of drinks and time, and he felt good. Since his mother died, and he'd recovered from the grief of losing her, he found something different inside himself. He noticed bluer skies and brighter days. He slept at night. Granted, his sleep was still troubled by nightmares, and more than one of those involved his mother and the issue of his paternity, but when the sun came up, he was better able to put his dreams behind him and face the day with optimism. Just the other day, Eames had made the comment that he smiled more readily and laughed more. Even his relationship with Ross had improved, although he still resented the man's unwillingness to let go of the preconceptions about him he had arrived with. Eames told him to give the captain time. He would have thought enough time had passed, but Eames had a point that the first year had been more than a little rocky. She also pointed out that he was only just now regaining his stride, getting back his equilibrium. Things would smooth over with Ross. They just needed time.
A noise in a nearby alley drew his attention from his thoughts, the sound of metal clinking against metal, then a match being struck. He saw the tiny blossom of light glow in the depths of the alley's shadows. He fought down his curiosity and kept walking. His instinct told him there was nothing going on in that alley he wanted to know about. He was no longer in narcotics, but it was the narcotics cop in him that was set on edge. He recognized the odor that drifted from the alley. Burning crystal meth...bad news. His best bet was to keep moving and hope they had not noticed him. "Hey, you!"
No such luck. He hesitated midstep, every nerve in his body screaming at him to keep moving. Too late. He was soon surrounded. Five to one. He had never liked those odds, and these guys were high on God only knew what. That made them even more dangerous. He held up his hands, struggling to keep steady. "Hey, guys, I'm not looking for any trouble."
"On a bit of a bender, eh?"
"Just out with a buddy, on my way home."
A short stocky man with a joint hanging from his lip moved his arm in a wide, encompassing motion. "You live around here?"
"A few blocks away." He looked at the faces surrounding him and a knot of apprehension settled in his gut. "Look, guys, I don't want any trouble. I just want to go home."
A hand reached out and smoothed the lapel of his jacket. "Nice suit."
"Yeah, and I'd like to keep it that way."
"You ain't no businessman."
"Does it matter what I am?"
To his right, another man snarled, "Yeah, it matters, cop."
He groaned to himself. "What makes you think I'm a cop?"
"I can smell cops."
"That must be a useful skill."
Stupid! That was not the thing to say. Funny that it was his partner's voice that sounded in his ears, his voice of reason. Careful to keep his hands in sight, he said, "I told you, I don't want any trouble."
From behind him, he heard the clink of a length of chain. Oh, Goren, you are so screwed. Never one to go for his weapon first, he continued trying to talk his way out of a rapidly worsening situation. "Look, guys, I don't give a damn what you're doing. You don't have a kid in that alley, so whatever. I just want to go home."
"I don't think so, man."
The chain rattled some more. They closed in on him and he went for his gun.
Twenty minutes later, five men ran down the street, leaving behind an unconscious, bleeding cop to die in the alley.
A light rain began to fall over the city that never slept. In the dark recesses of the alley where Goren lay injured, a breeze began to blow. Slowly gaining in strength and speed, the wind continued to whirl, rising from a soft whoosh into a roaring crescendo. A bright light flashed into the night and was gone, and the alley was empty.