Edited: 19/9/08

Six Degrees of Separation

Disclaimer: Don't own it. I only own what you don't recognise.

Summary: Future-fic. The call came at six and that's all that took for Mike Logan to break down.

Authors Note: My muse is a strange thing...a morbid thing in fact. This is just my way to mess with Mike even more...enjoy!


Play

The call came at six.

The call came in the sixth month of the sixth day of sixth hour of the sixth minute of the sixth second.

The phone rang loud and clear in the apartment.

And as Mike Logan answered it, he died inside.

It was meant to be routine. Like all the other times. Just routine. Surveillance. Who would have thought a bomb could have gone off? Who would have thought of that? Hell, they both went out each day and faced criminals. Each day they risked their lives, and each day they knew they'd be back in each other's arms when it was closing time.

He shook, the phone slipping from his hand, and onto the ground. His face was in his hands, but he couldn't cry. His breathing heaved and he felt helpless. Hopeless. She couldn't be gone...not his Caro...not again but it wasn't like last time – she wasn't coming back this time...his Caro was gone...

He cried.

And then his eldest came in.

"Dad, why are you crying?"

And Mike Logan broke down.


Six Minutes

It took what seemed like six hours to get to the ME's office.

Though it was probably only six minutes.

As Mike drove carefully along the streets of Manhattan, he glanced at the back seat. Jamie was sitting back there whispering softly to Sasha whilst Max sat stoic. Sasha was crying softly, Jamie wrapping his arms around her. Max was expressionless.

He hated it. He swallowed his feelings...swallowed it all. He needed to be strong for them...he needed to be strong, he just needed to be. He gripped the steering wheel tighter, knuckles white, breathing deeply - trying to stay in control.

And then little Max spoke up, "Is Mommy with the Angels now?"

And he replied honestly, "Yes...Mommy is with the Angels..."

"When is she coming back?"

He didn't answer.

"She is coming back?"

A tear slid down his cheek. He didn't know how to reply. How to respond. How do you tell a six year old that his mother is dead? Gone? Forever. He had plenty of experience bringing bad news to families. After more than eighteen years on the force he had a lot of experience. But this time it was different.

"Daddy?"


Six Hours

Six hours later Eames and Goren came over. As did Deakins. Ross. Wheeler. Olivet. And even Cragen had ditched work and had come. He hadn't had the heart to call Caro's family yet.

They sat in their apartment...no wait it was his now...he shook and Sasha hugged him. He held her tightly whilst Max slumped against him, all his usual energy gone. Jamie sat on the kitchen bench talking to Goren and Deakins, eyes low, voice lower. Ross was making coffee and there was this is awkward silence throughout the apartment. It was so full of people, yet it couldn't be any deader.

The doorbell rang and Mike sighed, knowing who it would be. He passed Sasha over to Wheeler and rose. He headed over to the door and unlocked it, breathing deeply, his body shaking.

As he opened it a figure flew in and straight into his arms. The figure pulled back, and looked up at Mike. Her eyes were red from crying, her mascara running, her hair a mess. Rosie Barek was shaking, and muttering, eyes pleading him to let her know that it was just some sick joke. That her baby cousin wasn't gone.

"What h...hic...happened? What the..hic...fuck...hic..happened?"

He looked at his feet, "Bomb...they were set up..."

"Set up?! What the...hic...fuck!?"

He nodded, and glanced at Rosie, "I wish I could've stopped her...I should've..."

"Yeah, you should've."

But they both knew he couldn't have stopped her going to work. Doing that would be like stopping the sun from rising. It wasn't possible.


Six Days

Six days had passed.

Six days of tears, six days of hell. Max was unrespondent, silent, Sasha was tearful and threw tantrums at any given moment, and Jamie was reserved and taking care of the family. Mike didn't want to admit it but it was Jamie that made his siblings brekkie in the morning, Jamie who told him that everything would be okay; Jamie who made sure Sasha and Max still kept up with homework, Jamie who was trying to umcrumble the cookie and make sense of what had happened.

He hated himself for it. He should be the one taking care of everyone and yet Jamie was picking up the pieces whilst he lay on his back staring blankly at the ceiling in a darkened room.

But on the sixth day he got up. On the sixth day he needed to stop moping and take action. For the kids, for Caro...he needed to be strong. So in one day he organised a small funeral at a local church that Caro had taken the kids to every Sunday.

He didn't like being there.

It smelt like death...it was death. He couldn't see what Caro saw in it. He just couldn't. But she would've wanted it. She was like that.

No, she had been like that...

He cried.


Six Weeks

He found himself back at work.

He wasn't sure if he wanted to be back. He'd rather be at home looking after the kids. Being the soccer mom...he grinned. No he needed to be back. He needed this. He drew a quick breath and mentally prepared himself as he entered the precinct.

He was met half with silence, the other half with enthusiasm. He brushed them all off and headed to his office. As he hung up his coat and he slid into his seat and stared around his office. It was the same as ever...well slightly cleaner since all his papers had been taken and done by someone else but still the same.

He smiled as a photo showing him, Caro, and the kids at Christmas. His fingers tentatively brushed against the frame. They looked so happy...

His phone rang.

He picked it up and answered, "Lieutenant Logan of the 2-7 Homicide speaking,"

"This is Central, welcome back Lieutenant. We have a double homicide reported at East 124th..."

And so it had begun.


Six Months

"Make a wish,"

The moment Wheeler said it Mike knew what the twins were thinking. Sasha and Max looked briefly at each other and time seemed to slow. He was barely aware of the cheering of their friends and family, as he watched the silent communication pass through them.

They smiled sadly and drew deep breaths before blowing with all their might.

"What did you wish for?" asked Maddy Goren.

Sasha responded instantly, "It's a secret, if we tell you it won't come true!"

"You made the same wish?" said Goren with a raised eyebrow.

They nodded mutely and the festivities continued.

Later that night Mike found himself being shaken awake. He cracked open his eyes, and sat up slowly. He groaned as Sasha and Max climbed onto the bed and him. He looked at their excited faces and wondered if they had had too much cake.

He knew better.

"What's the matter?" he asked.

"Our wish came true," said Sasha softly.

"Really? What did she say?"

"Nothing," said Max, "But she looked real happy...she was in white and there was all this light..."

Mike hugged them tightly.


Six Years

When Mike got home that night he knew something was very wrong. The apartment was far too silent. The TV should be turned on, Jamie should be playing his trombone, or Sasha on her practice pad, or he should hear Max's radio blaring, or all of their voices chattering away.

It wasn't just the noise that was missing; it was the warmth, the smells of afternoon snacks or dinner cooking. He tensed and crept forward, eyes low. He entered the kitchen to see two school bags deposited near the kitchen table, a spread of homework covering it.

His hand brushed against Sasha's art folder and he flipped it open to see a sketch of an angel...no that wasn't an angel - that was Caro. He sighed and moved on, straining his ears for a sound. He called their names but heard no reply.

Frowning he pulled out his phone. Maybe they went to a friend's. He instantly called the Gorens.

"John Goren speaking,"

"Hey Johnny," said Mike quickly, "Is Max, Sasha, and Jamie over?"

"Uncle Mike!" cried John's voice, "How are you? I'm great – and no, I haven't seen them,"

"Okay," said Mike glancing at the clock. It was five thirty. He frowned, "Listen can you ask your mom and dad and Maddy? And if you do see them, tell them to call home immediately,"

"Okay Uncle Mike,"

"See ya kid,"

He hung up and called Wheeler. They weren't there either and he cringed slightly as he heard the crash of china and the small cry of 'Danny!'. He was slowly working his way through his contact list, heart racing, the panic evident in his voice, when he heard the front door creak open. He rushed into the hallway to see his kids walk in.

They looked a real mess.

Jamie was covered in dirt, loose leaves stuck in his curly locks, face downcast, carrying a soccer ball. Sasha was holding her arm, she too dirty as hell. Max looked the worse, his clothes wet and muddy, limping slightly, a purplish blotch under his right eye, and his lip was swollen.

"What happened?" asked Mike, rushing forward, "Where have you been?"

"A kid hit me," said Max simply.

"What?!"

"I'm going to the bathroom," he said and headed off. Mike watched in horror as he left, Jamie not far behind him. He glanced at Sasha, who was kicking off her shoes.

"Sash?"

"Yeah Dad?"

He knelt down to her height, and gently checked her arm, his fingers gently pressing against her wrist. He swore softly as she cringed. He asked, "What happened?"

"Max called home to say he was coming home from soccer..."

"Max is in the soccer team?" said Mike in shock.

"Try outs," said Sasha bitterly. She pulled her arm back and rubbed it, "He got in but some kid didn't so he took it out on Max...I knew something was wrong when he called though everything sounded fine, so Jamie and I headed back to school and –"

"And you got in a fight..."

"Yeah...listen I'm sorry Dad, I know you always say we shouldn't fight but Max was getting –"

He shook his head, "I don't care that you were fighting...why didn't you call me? Or go to the local Precinct?"

She bit her lip, "We didn't want to worry you..."

His face fell.

"You've been so busy with work and all..." she shrugged lamely. He couldn't believe it. He knew work had been chewing at his ass. He knew he'd had a lot of late nights over the last year but he thought...Christ, how long had things like this been going on?

"How long?" he whispered.

"First time tonight..." she sighed, "Seriously its fine Dad –"

"It's not fine," he said shaking his head, "I should be here more – I will be here more...I am so sorry..." his eyes widened, "Max..."

"We going to the hospital?"

He nodded, "And I want you to report these guys, 'kay?"

"'Kay Dad."

He hurried off to find Max. He reached the bathroom and Jamie was outside, picking twigs out of his hair.

"You alright kiddo?"

"Yeah...I'll go help Sasha," said Jamie, rising and heading off to his sister. This was a mess, a god damn mess...if Caro was here...if Caro was here things might be better – no they would be. He sighed, and knocked on the door before entering.

Max's torso was covered in bruises, and he was shaking slightly, eyes wide as he watched his reflection in the mirror. His shirt was in a crumpled mess on the bathmat. He turned as Mike entered, eyes starting to water.

"It hurts..."

"I know," said Mike gently, grabbing the flannel and wetting it. He slowly wiped away the dirt that covered Max's face. He surveyed him for a moment, "Anything break Max?"

"I dunno."

Max shivered, and Mike grabbed a clean towel and wrapped it around him, hugging him gently. Max's body shook against his, tears running down his face. He said softly, "I miss Mom..."

"I know...I know,"

"I just want her...back," he sobbed. Mike nodded. He wanted that too. He truly did. And he knew he had to try harder to be there for his kids...for their kids. He had to be a better father – screw work; family is all that really matters.


Fast Forward

The call came at six.

Again.

It was almost the same call thought Mike as his hands scurried over the kitchen bench. He was too old for this, he knew it. But he needed to hurry; he needed to see his son before it was too late. He needed to be there, to support and encourage him. No parent needs to see their kid die before they do...no parent...

He found his keys and hobbled over to front door. He grabbed his walking stick for support and furiously made his way to the car. And as he left, the clock kept on ticking.

Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock...

Six seconds and counting...

Fin

Author's Note: I hope you all enjoyed that. This hasn't been beta'd so all mistakes are mine, and mine alone. So what did you guys think?