Setting It Straight
Disclaimer: I have a plan – we all place money in a jar and buy CI from Wolf – who's with me? And judging from that statement it's obvious that I do not own them – yet. XD
Summary: Mike Logan and Carolyn Barek set the record straight. MC
Author's Note: Okay after Last Rites, Mike's final ep (I love that ep so much!), I wrote a fic called What Matters Most about what I thought should happen to him. In WMM Mike Logan discovered he had fathered a child with his former partner, Carolyn Barek (she sent him letters but he never opened them). He promptly travels to Boston to find her and his son, James Barek-Logan also known as Jamie.
Whilst in Boston, Carolyn gets hold hostage whilst investigating a federal case (she's now a FBI agent). She gets word to Mike who calls her, and he arrives with the Calvary to get her. Mike ends up getting shot three times, and Carolyn once. At the end they decide to start anew.
This story is their continued journey...
Also please note – in What Matters Most I mentioned how Carolyn had a sister called Rosie and another called Hanna...but alas due to unforeseen circumstances, they are both now her cousins. If you want my reasoning feel free to PM me.
Also I do not speak Polish so I used an online translator...we'll just have to see how that turns out...if you do speak it though please tell where I've gone wrong with it. And also as far as I am concerned Carolyn is Polish.
Hasn't been beta'd - enjoy!
Part One: Let the Record Play
It didn't take Mike Logan long to figure out why he hated hospitals.
Firstly it was the constant stream of freezing air from the air con that chilled Mike to the core. Secondly it was the crappy cold food that he was fed – he was sure even prisoners in Rikers got warmer food then him. Thirdly, despite having his own room, supplied by the Feds as payment for his 'courageous but idiotic' actions, they still wouldn't let Caro and Jamie stay with him.
He hated it, he really did. At first they'd been allowed, since Carolyn had been recovering from her own bullet wound, but after she'd been given a clean bill of health the order had been sent that they had to clear out. It was back to normal visiting hours for Mike – which quite frankly sucked.
In those precious hours they were allowed though he spent his time playing scrabble (and losing terribly) with Carolyn, joking around, or holding little Jamie, allowing the small boy to fall asleep in his arms. Sometimes he'd murmur old tales to his son about Lennie, Max, Don, and Phil, placing them into the time of knights and dragons.
When Carolyn and Jamie weren't around, he spent his time calling friends in New York (probably racking up a huge phone bill as did – but hey Agent Yate had said he'd take call of all costs). Megan, had been in absolute shock, and slight anger, about what he'd done – though he suspected the anger was there to hide the fear that he'd almost die. Or maybe she was really angry that he hadn't mentioned Jamie before...
Jim Deakins called wishing him the best health as well as chastising him for being such an idiot, and he promised to drive up to Boston and help out. In fact he was coming up tomorrow when Mike would finally be let out of the damn hospital. Don Cragen had similar sentiments, but he couldn't make the trip up to Boston since his squad needed him.
Ross had simular reactions, and had immediately mentioned talking to the Brass to push back Mike's judgement.
He'd also talked to Alex and Bobby – but the nurses had forbidden for him to call them again, since his vitals started going crazy when he heard about what the bastard Gage had done to Bobby. He agreed with Alex that it was a good thing that Wallace was dead but at the cost it had come? Mike seriously considered breaking out of his room and driving down to New York to see Bobby.
All Mike knew though; was that he wanted out, and he wanted to go back to New York. He'd lived there his whole life and never been shot and after being in Boston for less than a week he'd already been shot three times.
And that led him to the other thing...he was screwed. He was lucky to even be alive, he logically should be dead. It was just pure chance that they got him to the ER in time, everything had been chance. But now he was looking at improper use of his right arm, and breathing was that bit harder.
Hell, even if the Chief of D's didn't fire him, he'd only be able to get a desk job.
And Mike wasn't gonna let that happen.
It actually terrified him about how close he'd come to losing his life. He'd never really cared before, but the thought of leaving Jamie and Caro? It was too much. Nightmares of them crying, plagued as he slept, and every time he awoke he had to remind himself, that he was still alive and on the road to recovery.
Well he'd find out tomorrow if he really did need to stay in the hospital. Tomorrow was the big day, after four and half long weeks he'd be let out of this pristine white hell hole. He grinned at the thought. And in a day he'd be driven back to New York.
Caro and he had decided that New York was answer to their new start. It had been Carolyn's cousin Rosie who had suggested it. Rosie Barek was well interesting, she was in some ways like Alex really – though tiny as hell she could fill up a room with her personality. She was strong, and direct. She was also very protective of her 'only baby sister who is still in the country'. He could still remember when she'd gotten him all alone for an hour a week after major surgery.
"Now listen Logan – if you are gonna be my cousin's man you had better not leave her, or Jamie. If you do you'll wish that those bullets had killed you," she had said when Caro had gone to change Jamie. The way Rosie had said it was chilling to put it simply.
He had though figured that this was in some ways the equivalent of meeting Caro's parents – and in all honesty though he wanted to make sure there was peace between him and Barek's family. He wasn't sure how her parents would take to him. So he'd responded firmly, "I'm not running, in fact I'll follow her and Jamie to the end of the world,"
She'd raised an eyebrow, "I'll keep you to your word..." she'd surveyed him for a moment, "Do you know how many relationships I've saved?"
He had blinked in shock, "I dunno, a few..."
"A few? A few he says," she had laughed, "Logan – I'm not on every celebrity couple's speed dial for nothing. I know how a relationship will turn out just by looking at the people in it,"
"And yet you've already had three marriages yourself?" he said before he could stop himself.
She glared at him, "And you've solved every single case that's come up? The point is – I know things, but hell with you and my cousin...well I don't want to analyse it – I just want to have faith that you two will make it work," she paused "For Carolyn's sake as well as Jamie's,"
"You care a lot about Caro," he had pointed out.
"Yes," she'd said slowly, "Though Carolyn isn't my sister...well Hanna – my kid sister- has always been aware of herself, she doesn't need to be looked after, never has had to be – hell out all of us she's the one with the perfect life – fell in love with some great Catholic Polish guy, moved overseas, has a safe job, and one kid with another on the way – she's balanced...compared to Carolyn the work-a-holic with the dangerous job, no man in her life, and single mom thanks to a one night stand..." she glanced at Mike "Not that my Aunt and Uncle know about Jamie – thank god...and anyway Hanna doesn't need to be looked out for – but Carolyn does,"
"She's like your sister," he said.
Rosie nodded, "She is, Carolyn is as much my sister as Hanna is,"
"Caro will be fine," he had promised, "I won't let anything happen to her or Jamie,"
"And the bullet wounds are a testimony to that I suppose," she had said lowly. She smiled, "It'll be nice to have you as a brother-in-law Logan, well not brother-in-law, but well..."
Brother-in-law – that equalled marriage. He remembered thinking of that when she'd left the room to get coffee for her and Caro (another reason to hate hospitals no coffee for him). Was Caro expecting him to propose or something? Would her parent's expect that? Hell he was just happy that they were together.
He'd decided to push it out of his mind though; if the time came...well they'd see. In the meantime from the safety of his bed, he and Caro picked out a nice three-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn. They had been aiming for a two-bedroom but nothing fit, and Mike had wanted something in Manhattan but alas rent was a real bitch.
He had wished to remain at his place but he knew that there was no way in hell they were all going to fit in it – especially when Jamie grew up and needed his own room. The other the concern was paying for it. In the end it had been Rosie who had settled big from her last divorce that offered to buy half of it. Mike didn't like it, but Rosie had insisted – once again mentioning how it was a wedding gift slyly to Mike, as well as a present to Jamie. He couldn't see how after three marriages why she was so into them.
"Why does she like marriages so much?" he had asked Caro.
She'd looked at him carefully, "Rosie?"
"Well they do pay her ridiculous rent; and you know how many married couples end up with issues in the first year?" Caro had said, "And it's not the marriage itself – it's the wedding. Rosie likes to party...well you know that, remember when you came to Hanna's wedding?"
He had grinned, as he remembered how in the early stages of their partnership how Caro had invited him to come to her cousin's wedding as her 'date'. That had been the first time he had met Rosie, and he remembered clearly the big grin on her face.
"So it's the ceremony and the build-up?" he'd said.
"Yeah, I don't really see the hype myself – but then again when we were little Rosie was already planning her perfect wedding,"
"And what were you doing?" he'd asked, raising an eyebrow.
"I was studying," she shrugged, "I didn't really notice guys until Prom."
"Too busy studying?"
"It paid off," she had replied, "And it made my parent's breathe easier to know that they only had one wild child to look after,"
"And this wild child was...?" he asked, grinning.
She sighed, "My brother Dom,"
"So you decided to be the good child?"
She slipped onto his bed, and kissed him, "I don't know about 'good' child," she smiled "The good child was Alek," she gently rubbed his chest, "I was just the youngest," she kissed his neck, "Neither good nor bad,"
He grinned, "Your brothers gonna kick my ass?"
She had smirked, "Dom might, I dunno, but Alek well," she got off the bed, "he'll kick your ass,"
He had to say though; it was different this time around. Before their attraction had been hidden, but now they were more open about it. They didn't care what anyone thought; they just cared about being together, and giving Jamie the best possible future. They were avoiding any secrets, they didn't want to hide things – it was all about regaining trust.
It was nice.
So on the big day, he awoke on his last morning in hospital with a big smile on his face. He sat up, and ran his left hand through his hair, feeling completely at peace. Glancing at the clock he saw he still had two hours until Caro and Jamie would be coming by. Two hours until Jimmy Deakins was coming as well.
He slowly rose out of bed, and walked to the small bathroom just off his room. When he came out he saw Nurse Hayes come in pushing the breakfast tray.
"How are you feeling today Mike?" she asked sweetly, as he shifted back into his bed.
"Great," he grinned, "Couldn't be better,"
"We're going to miss you," she said as she placed down his breakfast
"And I you," he smiled, though really he wasn't going to. He was getting out, he was going home – he really, really wasn't going to be missing the hospital.
She smiled and headed off. Mike busied himself with eating, eventually giving up on his cereal, and turning his attention to his apple. He also grabbed a book Caro had brought him, eyes skimming through it. Every few minutes he'd glance up at the clock, willing it to speed up.
Someone knocked on the door, and he glanced up sharply to see Special Agent Yate enter.
"Logan," greeted Yate shortly.
The Fed stared him down for a moment, before continuing, "You're getting out today right?"
"Got a doctor organised for check-ups in New York?" he asked.
Mike nodded. Once they'd decided to move back to New York, Carolyn had gotten in touch with some doctors at Mount Sinai for him. He still had some physio therapy to go, since his shoulder was as stiff as hell.
Mike watched Yate for a moment. He didn't like the way Yate looked at him. And though the Fed remained eye contact, Mike knew something was up. Mike's body tensed slightly, his breathing slow and steady.
"Listen Logan," said Yate slowly, face still blank of emotion, "I know this is rather late but well...are you sure you want to move back to New York?"
"Carolyn Barek is tied to you – where you go, she will follow...now I don't know why. I've read your record. Hot-head, among other things, a cop's cop - and then going after the DA," he sighed "What's waiting for you in New York? I know for a fact that the Chief of D's wants your ass,"
"What are you saying?" said Mike darkly, "We made the choice to go home,"
Yate narrowed his eyes, "I could've prevented Carolyn from transferring...but hell I didn't because she'd quit. I don't want to lose one of my best, I don't want my people to lose one their best, it's that simple," Mike opened his mouth to argue back but Yate spoke over him, "Now here's my offer to you. You could do some consulting work with us,"
"Like I said you're a good old fashioned cop. According to my contacts you have a golden gut – you can sniff out a criminal like a dog at JFK, you could teach some of our younger agents – help them on cases,"
"You really want to keep Caro,"
Yate shrugged, "Yes, she's an excellent profiler, with plenty of more years to come," he smirked, "And you, Logan, have had your run. The NYPD won't have you, you won't get a job at a security company, you are washed up – so stay here and I can keep you afloat,"
"You're a real bastard," said Mike through gritted teeth. He wasn't washed up, he wasn't. He couldn't believe this dick. And as he saw the triumphant look in Yate's eyes he realised that the hospital, and everything had just been a ruse – to convince him to stay in the hope he could keep Carolyn in Boston.
Well Yate really didn't know Caro if he thought that. Caro was going to New York, because she wanted too. She wanted to be near her family, with all their friends. He was the one who would follow Carolyn.
"So what is it Mike?" pressed Yate.
"Shove your offer up your ass," he said, "You're wrong 'bout Caro – she only ever does what she wants to do,"
"Think about it, talk it over with your wife –" he froze, "I mean Carolyn," he proceeded to the door. He paused briefly at it, and looked back, "Despite the unpleasant business, it truly was a pleasure to meet you,"
Mike rolled his eyes, "Yeah good to meet you too,"
He watched as the Fed left, and as soon as he was out of the room, he breathed a sigh of relief. Mike glared at the book he had been reading, and slumped against the pillows. After a minute though, he got up to get dressed.
He flicked on the light in the tiny bathroom, and started to pull on his jeans and a white shirt. As he pulled on a sock, he grinned as he heard Jamie's voice in his room. Mike opened the door, and suddenly the small boy was racing up to him. Well stumbling up to him...he was happy though that Jamie had finally found his feet – and voice.
"Hey Jamie!" he said, scooping him up, "How are ya?"
"I squashed a buggie!" he cried out. Mike looked over at Carolyn who was watching them amused.
"He saw one outside the hospital," she shrugged.
He grinned, and placed Jamie onto the hospital bed, kissing Carolyn lightly on the cheek. She smiled, and sat beside Jamie, propping him up on her knee. There was a brief silence in which Mike sat beside her, taking Jamie into his arms.
"Sleep alright?" she asked.
"Yeah," he shrugged, "You?"
"Fine," she said shortly. Her hand rested on his thigh, "You seem kinda tense...something happen?"
He thought briefly about telling her about Yate, but decided against it. It didn't matter, it didn't matter at all. Instead he grinned, "Seen Deakins yet?"
Her eyes narrowed, "You're changing the subject,"
Jamie started to wiggle and Mike turned his attention to his son. Carolyn sighed and gave him a reproachful look. He sighed, and slipped off the bed, placing his son on the floor. He sat down, and Jamie stood up and went over to Carolyn's diaper bag.
He grabbed the small teddy that lay on top, and went back over to Mike, clambering onto his lap. Mike grinned, and took Mr. Ruffles, and started talking to his son through the blue bear. Jamie clapped his hands, and laughed, warming Mike's heart.
He heard Carolyn sigh above him.
"What?" he asked as he made Mr. Ruffles dance.
"We need to talk,"
"Nothing is –"
"We said –"
At that moment there was a sharp knock on the door. He instantly looked up, and he grinned as he saw Jimmy Deakins enter, his wife Angie following. Jamie also looked at the newcomers in curiosity, mouth open, eyes twinkling.
"Captain, Mrs. Deakins," greeted Carolyn warmly.
"It's Angie and Jimmy," said Angie sweetly, stepping forward and hugging her. Jimmy meanwhile went over to Mike, and knelt down, surveying Jamie.
"This the man of the hour?" he asked, looking at Jamie.
"Who else," grinned Mike, "Hey Jamie?" Jamie looked at him. Mike pointed at Jimmy, and his son's head followed his finger "Jamie this is Jimmy Deakins, your dad's old captain," he pointed up at Angie who had also bent down, "And this is Angie Deakins,"
"Cap'n," said Jamie slowly, "Angie," he looked between them both, "Cap'n loves Angie!"
Angie and Jimmy grinned, and Mike passed Jamie to Angie, and got to his feet. Carolyn shot him a look that implied they needed to talk later, before she started chatting away to Angie. Jimmy saw the look at looked at Mike, eyebrows raised.
His ex-captain smiled though and said in a low tone, "You are one lucky son-of-a-bitch Mike,"
"Don't I know it," said Mike.
"Seriously," said Jimmy, "You got shot, lived to tell the tale, and now have a beautiful woman and son in your life – now that is lucky," he paused for a moment, "But you're still a complete idiot,"
"An idiot with good intentions," he shrugged, glancing at Carolyn and Jamie.
"More like a head full of hot air,"
"Well, yeah..." he smiled.
"So are you ready Mike?" asked Angie, passing Jamie to Jimmy. Jamie though seemed to reaching the end of his tether and was demanding to be put down. Jimmy placed the small boy down, and clapped Mike on the left shoulder.
"It was the right shoulder, right?" he asked when Mike winced.
"He's just being a big baby," said Carolyn as she rolled her eyes.
"Hey I got shot! Three times!" he chuckled, grabbing the small suitcase beside his bed.
"Be lucky it wasn't a fourth," she said, grabbing the diaper bag. Mike sighed, and the four adults with little Jamie in tow went to spring Mike outta hospital.
They quickly drove over to Carolyn's apartment to pack the last remains of her belongings into her car and the Deakins. It wasn't completely necessary for them to be here, but it was nice. It felt like a family and he couldn't help but think if everything went to hell with Carolyn's family (minus Rosie of course) then he still had his family from the NYPD.
Well what was left of it anyway, he knew he was a part of the older generation. Most of his earlier friends had moved on, gotten promotions and were part of the Brass or captains and lieutenants, or he'd lost contact with them after being booted to Staten Island. It was sad really, though at least being in Major Case had allowed him to gain a 'new' family.
Still he supposed growing up he had never had a big family and he'd turned out alright. He looked at his son, and smiled. He and Carolyn were not going to turn out like his parents had. Carolyn was nothing like his mom, nothing at all. And he wouldn't have the distraction of the job like his dad had had.
The day soon began to draw to a close and they found themselves at a nice Italian restaurant, Carolyn and Angie exchanging war stories about bringing up kids. Mike's stomach clenched slightly as he heard about the sleepless nights, the original problems of parenting in its self as Carolyn joked with the older woman.
He really had missed so much, he'd missed it all. If only he'd opened those letters! Instead of being a completely prick. He should've realised there was a reason for the constant stream of contact, he should've known. But he'd been selfish, and just licked his wounds and moved on. He didn't even think about what could've happened.
As their mains came though, Carolyn slipped her hand onto his knee and with one glance he that she was aware of what he was thinking. She leaned over and lightly kissed him on the cheek before turning her attention back to Jamie.
"You make a very sweet couple," said Angie, looking between them
"I don't know about that," smirked Mike, winking at Carolyn.
"Last time I checked having children before marriage was all the rage," she grinned as she fed Jamie. She looked up for a moment, "Now I know who would make a sweet couple,"
"Who?" asked Mike.
"Alex and Bobby,"
Mike grinned. Now that would be sweet, for both of them. They were pretty much already there, and all they needed – he stopped grinning though as he saw the superior look on Jimmy's face, and the warm smile Angie had. Something was up...
Carolyn must have noticed it too because she said quickly, "What's happened?"
"Never thought I'd get interrogated by you two," grinned Jimmy, eyes twinkling in amusement at his former detectives.
"You tell us and we won't have to umm..." he looked at Carolyn, "What's something we can charge them with?
"Conspiracy against what?" asked Jimmy.
"Haven't figured it yet," smirked Mike, "But we'll make it stick,"
"Knowing you two, I wouldn't doubt it," said Jimmy, "Well I'm you both know about the whole Declan Gage fiasco?"
"Yes," said Carolyn shortly.
"Well after I ripped into Ross –"
"You ripped into Ross?" said Mike in surprise.
"I had too," shrugged Jimmy, "True I didn't give the man the easiest squad to take over," he glanced at Mike, "well detectives I should say..."
"I wasn't that bad," laughed Mike.
"Not after I tamed you anyway," chuckled Carolyn.
Mike raised an eyebrow at her, "You tamed me?" he leaned back in his chair, "Well I suppose you did..."
"She did," said Jimmy, "I never actually thanked you for that,"
"I punch one guy and everyone thinks I overreact,"
"You do though," pointed out Jimmy.
"I do not,"
"Mike," said Angie, "Your Irish temper does like to rear its head," he stared at her "I only say what I see...and hear..." she looked at her husband who grinned.
"Anyway so after I ripped into Ross – I mean I'm gone for two years and, you go through two different partners and pi –" he looked at Jamie, "and you annoy a DA, Alex gets kidnapped Bobby gets put on a six month suspension, Alex and Bobby's partnership gets thrown to the sharks,..."
"You could make a TV show outta the crap that they go through," commented Mike dryly.
"Crap!" cried out Jamie instantly.
Carolyn instantly smacked Mike on the leg, "Language!"
"How was I supposed to know he'd say it?"
"Small children are like sponges Mike," said Carolyn briskly, "Why do you think I know so many languages?"
He looked between Jamie and Carolyn, and asked, "How many languages does he know?"
Carolyn smiled and said softly, "Co jest wasz niosą imię?" Jamie looked at her slightly confused, so she repeated it more slowly.
"Mój niesie jest zawołany Ruffles," he replied.
"He's a very smart boy," said Angie, "What did he say exactly?"
"My bear is called Ruffles," shrugged Carolyn, "He speaks better Polish then English in all honesty,"
"Well we'll have to change that won't we buddy?" said Mike to his son, nodding his head.
Jamie just stared at him and giggled.
Mike rolled his eyes and turned back to Jimmy, "So you were saying...?"
"I called Bobby obviously...and though I'm not one to –"
"Alex answered and from the original background noises we guessed the rest," finished Angie.
"They stopped very quickly," chuckled Angie, "Though it's about time they got together, they were made for each other,"
"At least they waited until I left," said Jimmy simply.
Angie glared at him, "And if they hadn't? If they realised earlier?"
"They didn't though...but I swear to God if Ross finds out and does anything..."
"Danny Ross isn't an idiot," chided Angie, "He'll do right by them I'm sure,"
Carolyn and Mike started to laugh, they couldn't help themselves. Mike should've known something like that would happen if they ever got together...if they were that was. He was defiantly looking forward to being back in New York.
They wrapped up the night and headed back to the hotel they would all be staying at. Mike and Carolyn bid the Deakins farewell before slipping into their own room and putting Jamie to sleep. Mike got ready for bed, and then sat on the queen and watched his son whilst Caro got ready.
When she was done she sat next to him and said softly, "What happened earlier today?"
"You don't forget do you?" he smiled.
"Course not," she took his hand, "What happened?"
"Yate wanted us to stay," he said softly looking at her, "But I suppose you knew that?"
"I suspected it," she said truthfully, "I didn't give him a chance to ask,"
"You hate Boston that much?" he smirked.
"No," said Carolyn, "It's nice, but I'm a New York girl, no question,"
"I'm glad for that," he said, kissing her lightly.
She pulled back, "I've gotta go to the bathroom," she said, getting up. Mike rose, and slid into the hard bed, and waited for her. She left the bathroom, kissed Jamie goodnight and then looked at Mike and the bed.
But he saw the hesitation.
Why was she pausing? Was something wrong? He looked at her, eyes narrowed. And then it hit him...the last time...but this wasn't the last time. This was their new beginning; the past was not going to be repeated. He slid over to the right, in an attempt to make more room for her.
"You okay Caro?" he asked.
"Yeah," she said softly. She walked over to the bed, and slipped between the covers, edging towards him. Their faces were inches apart, each of them staring intensely at the other. She bit her bottom lip, and sighed, "Last time..."
"This isn't last time," he gently reminded her. He reached out, holding her hand tightly, rubbing small circles against her skin.
"No..." she said, "It isn't,"
Stray strands of hair fell over her eyes, as she stared at him. His eyes travelled down from her dark brown eyes, over her smooth tanned skin, taking her in. He let go off her hand, and brushed the hair away. He rested his hand across her face; cupping it slightly, heart rate increasing.
This wasn't last time.
This was now.
And then he kissed her.