A/N… Another story that hit me many moons ago. It's actually gone through two major revisions but this version is definitely what I'm after and I kept the title because it just fits. This is a two-part story.
NOTE: This story is somewhat AU because…. Joe is still alive! TRUST ME, this is very much a B/A story (I don't write anything else)! Hang in there because you'll like where this goes! Additionally, Amends never took place and Kevin is still alive. Also, Alex was never a surrogate for Nate.
Rated T, but M in a later chapter. This is basically post-Frame.
I dedicate this one to my long-time LOCI friend Hargie! I've been promising this one forever!
Much thanks to JamiW for her advice!
Interestingly… This… (^) is the map symbol for turbulence.
Part I – Chapter 1
... ^ ^ ^ ...
O'Reilly's Pub - Brooklyn, NY
I sat the empty glass down on the bar top and then signaled the bartender for a refill.
My eyes drifted slowly around at the stirrings of the bar crowd. It was a Thursday night and no busier than usual. Billy Joel's song 'Big Shot,' was barely a hum above the conversations and the Knicks game being shown on at least six big screens throughout the bar.
Didn't much care for this place but I had more than enough reasons to be here.
Two bar stools directly to my right suddenly opened up when the couple sitting there finally decided to go find more private quarters. Although I wasn't in full view of their drunken grope-session, it was another sight I didn't need to continue diverting my attention from whenever I happened to glance toward the door.
The bartender placed a refill on the bar in front of me just as I finished replying to a text message. I put my phone away and immediately pulled the glass toward me, clasping it between my palms.
Right then, it was my lifeline.
Mike Logan walked up, greeted me and then signaled the bartender for a drink.
I attempted a smile back and then fixed my gaze idly on the amber liquid in front of me.
... ^ ^ ^ ...
Four hours earlier…
I raced down the block toward the SUV, fumbling with the keys for a moment before finally getting the door unlocked.
Minutes later I was on the FDR and scanning the traffic ahead for the bus that was headed to Mount Sinai Hospital. It transported the victim as well as Eames, who had insisted on riding.
Traffic finally put too much distance between myself and the bus so I pulled my cell phone from my coat pocket, called Captain Ross and quickly filled him in on everything I knew of the incident that had just taken place.
I knew that some how, some way, I'd wind up in trouble with Ross or IAB over this mess no matter what I did. But at least that was done. Ross was 'in the loop' although I'm sure he wasn't too thrilled about it.
All I cared about right then was getting to the hospital.
Every second that passed before I could speak to Eames only further complicated things between us.
Of course, what in the hell could I say to her at this point anyway?
As far as she was concerned, I had completely lost my mind.
I grabbed a parking spot at Mount Sinai, hopped out of the car and sprinted toward the emergency entrance.
The patient, I learned, was already in ICU but I couldn't get a status from the front desk, so I headed toward the waiting area to look for Eames.
I took off at a brisk pace, rounded the corner, and managed to run into a nurse who had crossed my path. I was already in too much of a fog to stop in time. I apologized, excused myself and re-focused my attention on finding Eames.
The two interns, who were blocking the hallway a few feet ahead of me finally moved their conversation into the washroom.
I looked past them and there she was.
She stood by the doors to ICU, listening and nodding as the doctor gave his explanation of the patient's condition.
I approached slowly, and pretty soon I could hear drips and drabs of their conversation. It was enough to determine that the patient would be needing a few more tests, and that they'd know more in a couple of hours.
The doctor finished his last comment, gave her upper arm a gentle pat and then disappeared through the double doors of ICU.
I was maybe five feet away from her when she turned in my direction and met my gaze.
If it was possible to disintegrate just from someone's glare, I think I would have done so right at that point. I don't think I had ever seen such contempt coming from her and it nearly sucked the life out of me.
Words wouldn't form. But of course this went way beyond neglecting to fill her in on my undercover assignment.
Finally, I found my voice. "Hu- how is he?" I asked, as I continued to approach her sluggishly.
I had really counted on her to read my expression and know how sorry I was. To put everything she'd just seen aside and trust me.
Please, Eames… This is just a big mess.
She knew me better than anyone. We're friends. Close friends even.
Or at least, we were…
She didn't reply. When I got closer, I saw the tears in her eyes threatening to spill out.
Dammit...I had caused this.
I didn't want to subject her to more pain, and judging from her expression, my mere presence wasn't helping.
I had so much to say to her and unfortunately, none of it would really make this situation any better. In fact, I didn't have all of the answers yet. But if we were going to survive this, she had to trust me. Sure, it was asking a lot given the circumstances, but I thought that if I could find the right words, maybe I could fix this. I just needed her to listen.
And this moment might be it. Might be all she'd be willing to offer me. Might be my last chance to have her full attention and no place for either one of us to run.
"Don't," she interrupted bitterly.
I felt my chest tighten. My stomach was already in knots.
It was written all over her face. There would be no apologies accepted, no explanations, nothing.
There would be a transfer request on Ross's desk with her name on it before morning.
Reality was setting in. The thought of losing Eames was more than I was prepared to handle.
Well, what else did I have? My job? Might not be the case for much longer. Eames was probably the only person that vouched for me anymore and it looked as though she didn't want anything to do with me.
"God, Eames…" My voice cracked. I was shaking...literally.
"Stop," she cut me off loudly. Four visitors in the hallway turned their heads sharply in our direction, wondering what was about to erupt.
"We have to talk about this."
She took one step and then another until we were just inches apart. "There's not a damn thing you can say to me right now, Goren!" Her eyes bore into mine. "We're done!"
And there it was. All I could do was watch her walk away.
When she was out of sight I leaned back, resting my head against the wall. I closed my eyes and counted to ten, wishing I was just in the middle of some nightmare. I slowly re-opened them only to find the same nauseating yellow-tinted florescent lighting and putrid pale-green walls I had seen numerous times before. The loud speaker paged the same visitor for about the third time since I had arrived.
It was too much to hope that after she had cooled down, we could discuss this.
But then she couldn't avoid me entirely, she was in the middle of this mess, too.
And it was all just getting started…
Because moments ago I shot a cop and put him ICU.
And it wasn't just any cop...
It was Joe Dutton.
... ^ ^ ^ ...
I stirred out of a reflective haze, and finished off my third glass of scotch. It wasn't even good scotch. Besides that, it hadn't really helped.
Not when I could still hear her angry words echoing inside my head...
'There's not a damn thing you can say to me right now, Goren… We're done!'
Logan glanced over at me briefly.
I carefully scanned the bar and the door entrance, before I glanced back and gave him a slight nod.
Another piece to this goddamned puzzle.
But I'd been expecting this.
He removed a rather thick, white business envelope from his inside pocket and placed it in his lap. Pressing his fingers to the seal one last time, he kept it low as he handed it off to his left for me. I accepted it and slipped it into my inside coat pocket.
Then I took out my wallet, tossed several bills down, stood and quickly left the bar.
... ^ ^ ^ ...
A/N...More to come! You'll like where this is going, trust me! Oh, and by the way, not all of my stories will involve Bobby being in some sort of trouble, I promise! :)
PS... I love reviews!