Meeting the Dads: Bobby Goren
Summary: Walsh must have been trying to override Buffy's height when she chose this guy! Part of 'Who's Your Baby's Daddy?' series.
A/N: In response to Challenge 3064: conception by conspiracy *non-stargate* by shelli.
A/N2: Thanks to my betas: zigpal, JediKnight and AnnoushkaBallard.
A/N3: I've gotten some concerned reviews about the idea that Buffy would consider an abortion when her whole life is about saving others. Just to point out, it is only considering. Given the danger of being a pregnant Slayer would be a good enough reason for her to think about, not to mention worrying that she was carrying the child of the human equivalent of a monster. So while she will talk about it, that in no way indicates that she'll actually do it. Okay? Feel better now?
Warning: Non-fuzzy type feelings for Maggie, Riley and the Initiative…duh!!
Rating: FR15 for language and talk of sex, of course, she's pregnant after all.
Pairing: Basically a Buffy/Giles friendship. Anything else is up to you, the reviewers – within reason of course.
Disclaimer: BtVS characters belong to Joss Whedon / Mutant Enemy. Law & Order: Criminal Intent characters belong to Dick Wolf, NBC and USA Network. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.
Major Case Squad, NYC
Buffy reached for Giles' hand. Despite her prior meetings with law enforcement guys on this trip, and how good they turned out, she couldn't help the shudder of fear in walking into this building. She wasn't sure if she should take that as an ominous sign or just proof that her encounters with the Sunnydale PD scarred her deeper than she previously thought. Even the detective earlier today didn't help much in calming her worries – and he turned out to be pretty cool about everything.
Giles squeezed her hand in understanding. They were walking into the lions' den with raw meat hanging around their necks. These people solved difficult, high-profile crimes on a regular basis. And were damn good at it, too, judging by their percentage of closed cases – a fact that Mulder had quickly shared with them the last time they talked. The FBI agent felt they needed to know the man they were going to see would be hard to bullshit – Mulder's words.
With that in mind, the Slayer and her Watcher discussed the likelihood that they might need to tell him the whole truth, and let the chips fall where they may. In the end, they decided to play it by ear – see what kind of man he was, and whether or not they thought he could handle the truth. That statement caused a nervous giggle to escape Buffy's lips. Then she had to explain the pop culture reference, earning her a half-hearted glare.
So, now they stood here, searching for the next name on their list. Feeling calmer now, Buffy caught the attention of a perky looking woman about her height – a fact that delighted the petite Slayer to no end – to ask for assistance, "Excuse me, could you tell me where we could find Detective Robert Goren?" Buffy felt a little strange using his full name, but she wasn't about to accidentally tell all this to the wrong person.
The woman's eyes widened at the formal-sounding request, then narrowed a bit in suspicion. "Why?" she demanded, not in a rude manner, but more a protective one. Something both Sunnydale residents recognized immediately.
"I need to talk to him about a personal matter," Buffy replied honestly.
The woman studied them, trying to decide whether to trust them or not. Finally, she ordered them, "Okay. Follow me." They stayed close behind her as she weaved between the desks until she reached one where a scruffy and very good looking man – in Buffy's humble opinion – sat, immersed in the papers in front of him. The woman cleared her throat and he looked up curiously at her. "These people want to talk to you," she said.
Goren smiled warmly at the pair and asked, "Hello. How can I help you?"
Mentally wiping the drool from her chin, the Slayer regained her composure right away so she could answer, "Hi. My name is Buffy Summers; this is Rupert Giles. Is there somewhere we can talk in private?"
"Sure. Is this police-related or personal?" he inquired as he stood, wondering if his partner should be joining them or not.
"Um, personal," Buffy said with a blush. God, what was the matter with her? Just 'cause he was tall, sexy-- She cut her hormonal thoughts off before they could get her in trouble.
Goren noticed the blush and felt oddly flattered by it. "Okay. I'll be right back then, Eames," he told his smirking partner. It was clear that she had seen the blush as well, and guessed his reaction.
When they had made themselves comfortable, Goren got right to the matter at hand. "So, what did you need to talk to me about?"
"Have you ever heard of a Maggie Walsh?" Buffy checked. After all the surprises they came across during their visits, she decided that this question might actually come in handy when starting the conversations with the dads. That woman was better known than Cher with these guys.
Goren leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes as he checked his memory. "Let me think…"
Buffy threw out a hint, "She was a professor of psychology."
He nodded in recognition. "Oh yeah, now I remember her. She had some fairly radical ideas on behavior modification." Catching her use of past tense, he ventured a guess, "She's dead?"
"Uh, yeah. Anyway, she's sorta the reason we're here," she said, looking uneasy.
That surprised Goren. "Why? I didn't know her personally, just knew of her."
"We're hearing a lot of that," Buffy muttered, but loud enough for him to hear her.
Catching the bitterness in her voice, Goren asked neutrally, "What do you mean?"
Giles cleared his throat as he took his glasses off to wipe them. "She's more well-known than we originally thought when we started out on this tour."
Now he was really lost. "I don't understand," Goren replied. They obviously had no grief over the woman's passing, so it was doubtful they were here on her behalf.
Buffy snorted, "Trust me, you're not the only one. Alright, here goes…"
For the next ten minutes, Buffy and Giles took turns explaining the experiment and the list of potential fathers. Goren sat there with an unreadable expression, taking in everything they said. After about five minutes, he cocked his head to the side and began to study Buffy intensely. When they finally finished, he was quiet for several minutes.
Sharing a concerned look with his Slayer, Giles prompted the man, "Are you alright, Detective?"
Buffy laid her head in her folded arms on the table in front of her. She was getting so tired of all this. "Great, I broke another one. You suppose this one has his own doctor, too?"
Breaking out of his haze, Goren asked, "Why you?"
She looked up. "Huh?"
Goren rushed to explain, "Don't get me wrong, you're very attractive and everything, but why would she use you for this experiment? You said that you didn't know why or how the dads were picked, but you seemed to understand why she picked you."
Biting her lip, Buffy winced at her slip. "Caught that, huh? Guess that's why you're such a good cop."
That made Goren chuckle. "Are you going to tell me?"
"I don't know. Can I trust you?" she shot back.
Goren considered that for a moment. "I suppose that depends on the secret. Will keeping it put anyone in danger?"
"Whew, that's a loaded question. Giles?" she asked, looking at her Watcher.
Giles sighed, resigned to the fact that they would most likely be sharing her secret for the second time that day. "I would say that it's along the lines of say…a National Security secret."
Buffy smiled. "Hey, that's right! That's what Mu-- the FBI agent told us!"
"Really? And you just willingly share this secret without any authorization?" Goren was surprised that they would risk doing that.
Shrugging, Buffy replied simply, "Well, it's kinda more personal than that. More like I'm the secret. So can you keep quiet about me?"
"As long as what you tell me isn't illegal," he answered as he nodded.
"I guess that's fair enough. One more question first. How open-minded are you? Like, are you willing to accept things that sound crazy, or that can't be explained with regular logic?" she checked with a hopeful expression.
Deciding to be honest, Goren said, "Being a detective, I'm not sure that I can say that I like things I can't explain. But I am pretty good at solving puzzles – even if it means looking outside the box."
Buffy gave him another smile, happy that he answered her like that. It showed that he wasn't just saying things to make her happy, but it also showed that there was a chance he could take it. "I think we're going to have to continue this conversation someplace else. Is there a restaurant nearby that we could go to?"
Standing up, Goren felt a rush of relief that he had answered her correctly. "Sure. Just let me tell my partner that I'm done for the day, then we can get out of here."
"Man, we're sure spending a lot of time in restaurants today, huh, Giles?" Buffy commented as they made their way back to the elevators.
A bit later…
Once they finished explaining about the supernatural world, Goren tilted his head again, trying to decide if they were on the level about all this. Seeing the doubt in his eyes, Buffy offered, "Normally, I'd take you out on patrol with me to show you, but Giles doesn't want me to be seriously fighting while I'm pregnant if I can help it. Now, I can show you a sparring match – or maybe that tape from the Initiative. Or I could just bend a crowbar into a pretzel if you want."
He smiled at her enthusiasm and at her little pout about not patrolling. Personally, he was grateful to the other man for his stance on that matter. If what she said was true – about both her pregnancy and the supernatural – he wouldn't want her to risk herself or the baby either. That brought up another question, though.
"Are you keeping the baby? I mean, there must be a reason why you haven't just had an abortion – especially given the circumstances around the conception." He honestly hoped that she would keep the child. Given his own family history, it would be nice to have someone to care for who might actually care back. That was assuming that he would get to be a part of his or her life.
Buffy figured she owed him the truth. "I didn't want to make a decision until I learned about the men that Walsh chose for the experiment."
Unexplainably nervous about her opinion of him, Goren asked – almost shyly – "And what have you learned so far?"
"Mostly, I've learned that Professor Walsh was even more cracked than I originally thought," she responded quickly. "But about the dads…just that some of them are good," she smiled at him before continuing, "and some are downright evil," she finished, remembering a couple of the names.
A/N: And that's the 2nd half of the Law & Order piece. Sorry they were both shorter than usual, but I figured that it's mostly due to not re-hashing the experiment or slaying in the dialogue. I know that Goren was a lot older than Buffy – at least based on the actor's age – but just subtract 10 years or so off his age to make it better. After all, SMG was 4 years older than Buffy.