Each case that involved children scarred you both mentally, emotionally and physically.
This case wasn't any different than the others.
Two three year old twins, one girl, one boy were found naked and dumped on wasteland. Both their throats had been slit and they had both been raped. They hadn't been reported missing, it was almost as if they didn't exist.
Three weeks after finding their bodies, they still weren't any closer to finding out what had happened and Michael Walker knew the case was affecting his team, especially Roisin Connor.
"Go home Roisin." He told her as he stood by the door to her office. He'd been watching for the past half an hour and all she had done was stare at the picture frame on her desk. He knew she wouldn't leave without an argument; Roisin was the most stubborn person he had ever met!
She snapped out of her daydream and looked at Michael. She heard what he said and she sighed,
"I'm fine." She told him but he knew different. He knew her better than she knew herself and he knew she wasn't fine.
"No you're not." He replied as he walked into her office and closed the door, "Don't make this harder than it has to be."
"Or what?" She replied coldly as she kept her gaze on him.
"I'll take you off the case."
"Is that a fucking threat?"
"Roisin! Go home for a couple hours and come back. I don't want to lose you but I-"
She just exploded. All the anger this case created, she took out on him because one he was there and two, he had to be a stupid bastard and tell her to go home.
"You're a fucking prick! There's a sick bastard out there Mike in case you've forgotten."
"I want this bastard caught as much as you do!"
"Fucking looks like it!" She replied as she stood up and grabbed her stuff. She walked past Mike and as she did, he grabbed her wrist and pulled her towards him. Their eyes connected as he told her not to do anything stupid.
"Go to hell!" She answered back as she stormed out of the office, slamming the door closed behind her.
The words Michael Walker told her just an hour before are now a distant memory in her mind. She got lost on her way home and instead, she ended up in a pub, knocking back shots like they were going out of fashion.
She doesn't care. When she drinks, her emotions become numb. She can't sleep without the aid of alcohol. When she tries to sleep sober, she closes her eyes and all she can see is those innocent children on the mortuary slabs been sliced open.
She had no idea how the fuck he finds her in this pub, it's not like it's her local or anything and she comes to the conclusion that he followed her.
"You followed me didn't you?" She slurs. He doesn't answer her, he just grabs her by the arm and she explodes, "You fucking prick!"
"Roisin!" He tries to reason with her but reasoning with a drunken Roisin is just as hard as a sober Roisin, "Roisin! Will you fucking listen to me!"
She stops struggling, "What?" She asks and he looks at her, his hand still on her arm, "I told you to go home."
"Well I didn't want to go home, I wanted to come here and get drunk now piss off." She goes to reach for her glass but he pushes it out of reach.
"Bastard!" She mutters, "Why can't you leave me alone?"
He really wanted to say because he loved her and what kind of man would he be if he stood by and let her get completely wasted? He didn't. Instead he stayed in silence, refusing to answer the question.
"Roisin! I swear to god, if you don't walk out of this fucking pub, I'll drag you out of here myself."
Reluctantly she got up off the bar seat and began to walk to the door. He still had hold off her arm which was a good job otherwise she would have walked into things and caused damage to everything in her way.
"Happy now?" She slurred as they got to the car. He fumbled in his pocket, pulled out his car keys and unlocked the car. Unwillingly, she got in the passenger side and he slammed the door closed behind her before he got in the driver's side.
"What the fuck are you playing at?"
Now it was her turn to not answer the question. She just looked at him and folded her arms across her chest in a childlike manner. He didn't say anything else, turned the engine on and drove in the direction of his flat.
Whenever they had to investigate a child's murder, Roisin always got drunk. He knew that it was perhaps her way of dealing with it but he also knew that if she carried on, she'd develop a serious problem.
One that wouldn't go away.
He got her to his flat and she was sat on his sofa, knees to her chest, staring into space. He knew there had to be a reason for it and it couldn't just be the case they were investigating, there was something else, there had to be.
He didn't speak, instead he made two cups of coffee and put them both on the coffee table and sat beside her. She seemed oblivious that he was there and he touched her arm gently. She jumped out of her skin when she realised she wasn't alone and she stared at the coffee cup on the table.
"How long have you had the problem?" He asked.
"Don't give me that Roisin, the alcohol problem."
She was silent before she whispered, "None of your fucking business."
She was probably right, it probably didn't concern him but she was a great detective and he wasn't about to lose her because she couldn't stop herself from self-destructing for a minute.
"I'm not an alcoholic." She replied, "I don't have a problem. I just—this case makes me remember things that I don't want to remember."
She stood up and excused herself by saying she was going to the bathroom. He nodded and as she walked off in the direction of the bathroom, she wiped away the silent tears that were rolling down her cheeks.
When she came back from the bathroom, she tried to hide the fact she had been crying. He knew she had, he saw the red eyes and the silent mascara lines down her cheeks. She sat down down beside him and picked up the coffee and took a sip.
"What do you mean?" He asked. He knew he had to tread carefully, if he said the wrong thing, it could make her clam up and then he'd, no they'd be back to square one again. A drunk Roisin and a worried Mike.
"The photograph of the young girl on the desk." She replied and he nodded, "It's not my niece, it's my daughter."
"I was eighteen. I'd just split up from the father. I didn't want it but I couldn't get rid of it either. I gave birth to her three months before my nineteenth birthday. I called her Annabelle" There was silence and she took a sip of her coffee.
"When I held her for the first time, I fell in love with her. I told myself I'd always be the best mother I possibly could, do whatever it took to make her happy."
A single tear ran down her cheek, "It was May 1994, it was a nice day. I had to go to work, in the club. I left her with my neighbour, he seemed alright. All evening I had this gut feeling something terrible was going to happen but I didn't listen to it."
He just watched her as she revealed why this case affected her, "I got home and there was police everywhere. Annabelle—"
She paused, burst into tears and continued, "Annabelle was dead. The bastard, the nice, caring neighbour had raped her, cut her throat and watched her bleed to death. But I—killed her. I didn't listen to my gut instinct, if I did, she might be alive."
He wrapped his arms around and she buried her head into his chest, "Roisin, you didn't kill her. He did. You weren't too know what he was like, if I was in the same situation, I would've trusted him."
There was a silence before he asked, "Why didn't you tell me before?"
"Didn't think you'd be interested." She whispered and he kissed the top of her head. They sat in silence for ages, nothing spoken between them until eventually Roisin pulled away and looked him straight in the eye.
"I'm gonna go to bed." She whispered, "Thanks for everything."
He told her it was okay and she smiled a little before she left the room. She went to the bedroom, closed the door behind her and got into bed. As she threw the duvet over her, she sighed. It felt so much better now she had told someone but the choice of person wasn't who she would've chosen.
But love made you do things, you wouldn't usually do.
a/n: if you like it enough to favourite, please review.
this was originally called drunken minds, sober hearts.