A SMALL WORLD

CSI Headquarters
Miami Dade County

Lieutenant Horatio Caine was sitting in his office, reading through forensic reports, when a shadow fell across his desk. Looking up, he found himself staring at Frank Tripp, the detective who worked closely with him and his CSI team.

“Frank?” Horatio asked, leaning back in his chair a little. “Is something wrong?”

He nearly winced at his own choice of words. Considering they had a brutal triple homicide on their hands, and the only suspect in their custody had not actually committed the crime himself, but was too big a fool to save himself and give up the identity of the real culprit. Richard Goren was a stubborn idiot, and Horatio had yet to work out whether it was because he was afraid, or just plain moronic.

Frank, he realised as his thoughts slowly came back to the present, was looking rather uncomfortable.

“Horatio, you remember I told you there might be some folks coming to see Richie Goren? From New York?”

“I seem to recall you mentioning it. Why?”

“Well, they’re in Interview Three now. Just arrived in Miami, apparently.”

Horatio rose up slowly from his chair.

“And what did you tell them?”

“Nothing, yet. I didn’t know what to tell them. Apparently one of them is Goren’s little brother.”

“Okay,” Horatio said, fighting an urge to sigh. “Well, I guess we’d better go and talk to them.”

“Uh, Horatio, there’s one other thing. They’re all cops.”

Horatio paused, one eyebrow going up, and Frank shifted uncomfortably.

“They’re all gold shield NYPD detectives, Horatio. From the Major Case Squad.”

A sinking feeling settled in Horatio’s gut. Richard Goren’s brother was a Major Case detective? That was all they needed, to have a high profile detective from another jurisdiction causing them trouble… as if they didn’t have enough already.

“All right, Frank,” Horatio said in a considerably more subdued tone. “Let’s go and talk to them.”


The first things that Horatio noticed when he walked into the interview room were the walking sticks that both men held on to. His gaze flickered briefly up and down before he spoke in greeting to them.

“I’m Lieutenant Horatio Caine,” he introduced himself to them. “You folks are here for Richard Goren, correct?”

Bobby stood up slowly, leaning heavily now on his walking stick. He accepted Horatio’s outstretched hand, and spoke quietly.

“We’re here about him, Lieutenant. Not for him. I’m Robert Goren. This is Mike Logan, and our partners, Alex Eames and Carolyn Barek. We need to see Richie, Lieutenant.”

“May I ask what it’s about?” Horatio asked. Bobby hesitated before answering, looking across at Mike, who nodded wordlessly.

“We have some questions that we need answers to, Lieutenant,” Bobby replied. “They’re questions that only Richie can answer for us.”

Join the queue, people, Horatio thought wryly.

“Okay… Have a seat, Detective Goren. Please…”

Bobby sat back down, and the relief at being able to relieve the pressure from his leg was written all over his face. Once they were all seated, Horatio went on, choosing his words carefully.

“Can I ask, are you aware of the charges pending against Richard?”

“Detective Tripp filled us in on that,” Bobby confirmed.

“Look,” Mike said quickly, leaning forward as much as he could. “We don’t want to interfere with your investigation. We’re not here to bail Richie out. We just want to talk to him, and that’s all.”

“Fair enough,” Horatio conceded. “Here’s the problem, though. Richard Goren is no longer in our custody.”

Silence met Horatio’s statement as the four detectives exchanged dismayed looks. In the space of a few seconds, Horatio observed some very diverse expressions on their faces. The women, he noticed, looked irritated. He could have sworn that Mike Logan looked disappointed, and Richard’s little brother…? He looked relieved.

Horatio supposed he could have been mistaken about that, but somehow he doubted it.

“Well, do you know where we can find him?” Mike asked. Horatio looked back at Frank to answer that one.

“We have an address for him, but as near as our surveillance can tell, he hasn’t been back to that address since he was bailed last night.”

“I told you we should have come by plane, idiot,” Carolyn growled at her partner. Mike, for his part, was not the least bit apologetic.

“Hey, it’s just a minor setback. So we have to track him down now. We can do that.”

“Actually,” Horatio interjected, “I’d appreciate it if you didn’t take it upon yourselves to do that. The point being, ladies and gentlemen, is that Richie has fallen in with some very dangerous people, one of whom may be responsible for a vicious triple homicide.”

The look he got from Mike at that moment almost had him feeling like a recalcitrant child who’d just said something phenomenally stupid. Mike stared him down for several seconds, not so much as blinking, before speaking coolly.

“Lieutenant, do we look like rookies to you? We’re cops, the same as you, and tracking down the worst killers is what we do for a living.”

Horatio nodded passively, suddenly anxious to defuse the sudden tension in the room.

“Be that as it may, Detective Logan, this is not your jurisdiction, and I hope I don’t need to point out that you don’t have any authority here.”

By then, Mike’s expression had turned truly dangerous and, as he got slowly to his feet, Horatio took an instinctive step backwards.

“I think you just did, Lieutenant Caine. So tell us… does that mean you’d arrest us if we disregard you?”

“Okay,” Alex said quickly, deciding it was time to step in before things got out of hand. “Cool it, Mike. Lieutenant, it really is important that we find Richie quickly. Our captain has only given us a week to get this sorted out, and then we gave to be back in New York.”

Horatio regarded them soberly.

“What, exactly, is this all about?” he asked again. When the four detectives hesitated in replying, Horatio tried another tact. “If you could explain this to me, then I might be able to help you.”

Mike, however, moved around to the door, his expression still dark and angry.

“The only thing that will help will be finding Richie.”

With that, he limped out of the room, slamming the door shut behind him. Sparing her friends a rueful look, Carolyn got up and hurried after her partner.

“I’m sorry,” Bobby apologised quietly to Horatio and Frank. “He tries to hide it, but Mike is really on edge about this.”

“You really don’t have to apologise,” Horatio told him. Bobby nodded appreciatively.

“I know, but I want to. You see, we’ve been through so much together recently, and it really was Mike who held everything together. Now we come here, hoping to get some answers from Richie, only to find out that he’s out on bail, and we have to track him down all over again… I guess it was one thing more than Mike could take.”

“He seems more anxious to find your brother than you do,” Horatio pointed out, and Bobby nodded again.

“That’s because he’s the one with the questions, Lieutenant. Personally, I’d be happy if I never laid eyes on Richie again.”

“They why not just let Logan come on his own?” Frank asked, frowning.

“Because,” Bobby answered, “I know what Richie is really like. Mike doesn’t. Not yet. I don’t want him to get hurt because he’s underestimated what Richie is actually capable of.”

“You two must be very good friends, for you to be willing to watch his back like that,” Horatio mused. A small, knowing smile touched Bobby’s lips.

“Yes, Lieutenant. We are.”


“Why didn’t you tell him the truth?” Alex asked softly as they exited the building. Bobby raised an eyebrow at her in puzzlement.

“I didn’t lie to him, Alex.”

“No,” Alex conceded, “but you didn’t tell him the whole truth, either.”

Bobby sighed, then.

“That’s our own business, and we shouldn’t have to use it for leverage to get what we want.”

“Fair enough,” Alex murmured. She paused, and then spotted Mike and Carolyn sitting on a bench nearby. Slipping her arm through Bobby’s, she guided him over to them.

“I’m sorry,” Mike muttered, a touch sullenly as Bobby and Alex joined them. “I just felt like we were being stonewalled, and it pissed me off.”

Bobby dropped onto the bench with a soft thud.

“It’s okay, Mike. That lieutenant is a decent guy. I gave him my cell phone number, and he promised to contact us as soon as he knows where Richie is.”

Mike’s frown deepened.

“So that’s it? You’re not going to even try and look for him?”

“No,” Bobby growled, putting an extra note of warning in his voice. “And neither are you. You’ll get your chance, Mike. Don’t blow it by jumping the gun.”

With extreme reluctance, Mike conceded, though Bobby thought he saw a familiar, unwelcome glint in his brother’s eyes.

“Okay… Okay. So, what now?”

“We get you two bozos back to the hotel,” Alex stated firmly. “It’s exercise time, and then we’ll go for dinner.”

“Don’t look so down, Mike,” Carolyn told him warmly. “We made progress.”

Mike, however, only looked even more sour.

“Doesn’t feel like we did.”

Bobby slung an arm around Mike’s shoulders in an affectionate gesture.

“We’ll have a chance to ask him what we want to know, Mikey. And in the meantime, we’ve here in sunny Miami, and we’ve got two beautiful women to enjoy it with. I say we make the most of it while we’re here.”

Mike nodded, slowly caving to Bobby’s way of thinking.

“Yeah, maybe you’re right.”

Bobby grinned.

“I know I am.”


“So, what do you think?” Frank Tripp asked as he and Horatio watched the four New York detectives leave.

“I think,” Horatio murmured, “that they’re holding out on us. We didn’t even get close to the full story, Frank. Did you notice the way they side-stepped each time I asked them what it was about?”

Frank nodded. Yes, he’d definitely noticed that. Horatio went on quietly.

“I think I might run a check on Detectives Goren and Logan, and see what comes up. Frank, I’d appreciate it if you’d let me know when you locate Richie Goren.”

“Consider it done,” Frank replied.

“Thankyou,” Horatio said. “Now, let’s find out what the good detectives weren’t telling us.”


tbc...

A/N: Hands up anyone who thinks Mike will be able to sit back and let the MDPD find Richie... No takers? Didn't think so...

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