Eames gazed at Bobby for several minutes as he slept. She studied his face and noticed his stubble was coming back; it was only noon. She smirked slightly, thinking he would need to shave in a few hours. Her eyes traveled from his messy, curly hair to his round cheeks and small nose; his eyes fluttered in REM sleep. Eames thought for a moment about her brief meeting with Frank; the brothers do not look much alike. They're definitely related though; their mannerisms and gestures are similar. She knows Bobby looks like his mom; she figured Frank looked like their dad but she never saw a picture of William Goren. She remembered that Bobby would talk of Frank as being a straight arrow in high school and college; getting good grades, being very athletic, and the hope of their parents. He doesn't like to talk about Frank's descent into drugs and gambling. She pondered how Frank can be so mistrustful, irritating, and charming all at the same time. Her obvious disdain for her partner's brother is palpable even though he helped make Bobby who he is today.
Captain Ross chose that moment to enter Bobby's hospital room for the final time. He wanted to inform his detectives he would be leaving for New York. Eames stood by the bed as he approached, "are you taking off, sir?"
He nodded, "yeah. My cab will be here in a few minutes. I just wanted to let you both know." He indicated Bobby, "he looks better…er better than a couple hours ago, anyway."
Eames gave a half smile and nodded affirmatively, "yeah. Um, has there been any word about Donnie?"
Ross looked apprehensive and shook his head negatively, "he's vanished without a trace."
Eames sighed heavily and worried what the consequences would be for Donnie when he was found.
His cell phone was ringing incessantly. Frank Goren rose from the bed and reached for the end table; his eyes still closed, he opened the phone. He clicked the green button and lay back on the bed, "what?" The soft sound of computerized music met his ear; he waited a few seconds, "hello?" The ensuing silence caused him to rise to his elbow; he could make out soft breathing. He had a surprising flutter of worry in his stomach. Frank owed money but wouldn't have any until next week. "Hello…who is this?"
Donnie…it was Donnie. He reclined back on the bed and sighed in relief. Shit, Donnie! "Donnie?"
He sat on the edge of the bed, "Donnie? Where are you?" It was obvious he was no longer at Tates. Several questions went through his head; what happened; did he escape; was he released?
"I'm ok," Donnie said as the connection was starting fade; he was calling from a pay phone. "…Bobby…Tates….he's in heaven."
Heaven? Bobby's in heaven? Bobby's dead? Frank got to his feet and moved to another room of his apartment to get a better reception. "What, Donnie? I can't hear you."
"…wrong…Bobby…in…" the phone went dead.
Frank sighed as he rubbed the back of his neck, Donnie's not at Tates anymore and calling from a pay phone about Bobby. Christ, what has he done now? Bobby must have been making trouble at Tates; when wasn't he making trouble anywhere? When they were kids, Bobby was constantly in trouble. Their mother was always insistent about Frank looking after him; "look after your brother, Frankie; keep an eye on Bobby; make sure Bobby doesn't wander off." Their father was happier just to leave Bobby behind. William Goren didn't make it a secret that Bobby was an accident and wanted nothing to do with him. When he was nine, Frank asked his father why he called Bobby 'little bastard' instead of his actual name; the query earned him a slap in the face. Like all siblings, Frank and Bobby competed for their parent's attention. Frank would usually have the most success and would often use deception to avoid a belting. By the time Bobby was in high school he was skipping school, stole two cars, and was caught with marijuana. Frank was in college when their mother was hospitalized indefinitely. Bobby spent a brief time in foster care; he still managed to visit his mother nearly every day and stay the weekend with Frank. However, Bobby was always angry; there were several instances of him running away.
Frank received a call form Jan and Clark, Bobby's foster parents three days ago. Apparently, Bobby had a fight with Clark over some missing scotch; he decided to run away. Between taking classes at Columbia, he was searching for Bobby. He called Lewis who informed him he hadn't seen him for about a week. On Sunday, Frank walked down the street from the bodega on the corner. He turned the next block and caught movement in front of his apartment. Bobby was sitting on the stoop with his backpack at his feet. He slowed as Bobby stood and slung his bag on his shoulder, "Bobby?"
"Hey man, what's uuu…" he didn't finish his question. Frank dropped his bag and grabbed the front of his T-shirt, slamming him against the side of the building. He rubbed the back of his head, "ow!"
"Where the hell have you been?" Frank was angry. Bobby was getting taller but Frank still had a few inches on him.
Bobby shoved Frank's hands off his shirt and pushed at his chest, "what's your problem?"
Frank took a moment to look Bobby over. His face, clothes, and hair was dirty; his body was shaking. "Jan called; are you going to tell me what happened? Where the hell have you been?"
Bobby shoved him again, "around…I've been around." His body shook with anxiety and he looked around wildly.
"You're filthy," Frank said, picking up his grocery bag. Bobby tried to gain control of himself by meeting his eyes. He stepped closer and noticed Bobby's body trembling; he reached for his face. Bobby flinched back and stumbled into the wall. "You're high," Frank said as Bobby averted his gaze and rubbed the back of his neck.
"I'm not high," he said quietly. Bobby shifted from foot to foot, "I'm just hungry."
Frank sighed heavily, "alright…c'mon. I got some left over pizza." He put his arm around Bobby and ushered him upstairs. Once they reached his apartment he pulled a pizza box from the refrigerator. Bobby cleaned his hands and sat at the small table and began to eat voraciously. "So, what happened?"
Bobby's mouth was full, "nothin'." Frank gave him a look of disbelief. "Fine…Clark accused me of stealing some of his booze." He handed Bobby a bottle of coke out of the refrigerator.
"Did you?" Frank grabbed his chin and noticed a fading bruise on his left cheek.
Bobby knocked Frank's hand and arm away, "no, I don't like that shit; he drank it himself."
"Did he hit you?" At that point, Bobby could lie and say the Clark beat the shit out of him. He would be out of that foster home. However, Clark never laid a finger on him; it wasn't his nature. Bobby got in a fight at school. Frank gave a heavy sigh, "you ran away?"
"Yeah, so?" Bobby's defiance showed in his face and posture.
"Where did you go?"
"Nowhere; I've been walking around the city." Bobby shrugged as he finished the last of the pizza. Frank grabbed the box and put it in the sink.
He pinched the bridge of his nose to ward off an on-coming headache. He was getting tired of this; it wasn't his responsibility to take care of Bobby. "Alone? Bobby you're 16 years old; you have to go back."
Bobby looked up and shook his head vehemently. "Can't I stay with you?"
"No, Bobby, you can't," he responded. Bobby's shoulders slumped. "Alright, look, we'll talk about it later. Go take a shower." Frank grabbed a towel from the linen closet and threw it at Bobby.
Frank and Bobby did talk and he agreed to go back to the foster home. Two months later, Bobby and Lewis stole a car and went joyriding. Bobby was driving and totaled the car. He was sentenced to three months at Spofford Juvenile detention center; Lewis got probation. Jan and Clark 'washed their hands' of Bobby. Frank let him stay with him for six months. He had to stay in school and planned to join the army following graduation.
Frances Goren was released from the hospital with new medication before Bobby joined the army. Frank moved back in with their mother with the promise of taking care or her. In reality, he became highly addicted to cocaine three months prior to his own graduation. Bobby came home for leave to find his mother in a women's shelter; Frank had sold all her possessions and disappeared. Bobby reluctantly committed her to the Carmel Ridge facility.
Frank leaned back on the bed in thought. He had made an attempt to get in touch with Bobby's partner a few weeks ago; she wasn't too happy. Whatever is wrong, Bobby's a grown man; he can take care of himself. Donnie is now out of Tates and evidently didn't need any help. Frank looked through his bedside drawer and located the crackpipe, shit; I'll have to go out tomorrow. He will call Evelyn tomorrow morning. He could hear his cell phone ringing and his fingers felt around; it was just out of his distance. Frank dropped the lighter and pipe to the floor and he eased back to the bed. His mind drifted and distorted in euphoria.
In Times Square, Donnie Carlson looked around wildly with the phone receiver at his ear. He heard a click and some soft grunting, "d-d-dad? Are you there? Something's wrong. Dad?" He shouted into the receiver, "Daaaaad?" The phone went dead. Donnie rubbed his forehead and started walking.
Author's note: I know Frank is not a very favorable character. However, I don't think he was necessarily a bad guy until addiction took over. I always like to speculate on Bobby and Frank's relationship as kids (before his addiction); it makes Bobby who he is today.
Thanks for the reviews; they have been very helpful and encouraging. There will be more to come. :)