Deakins arrived in Miami just as the sun was beginning to peek over the horizon. He passed through airport security and was on his way out when he was stopped by a young man who, in his opinion, looked barely old enough to have a license, let alone the badge he was carrying.

“Excuse me, are you Captain Deakins?”

Deakins answered with a quick nod, eyeing the young man critically.

“Yes, I am. And you are...?”

“I'm Ryan Wolfe. I'm with the Miami Dade Crime Lab. Lieutenant Caine sent me to meet you, and to let you know that all four of your detectives are safe.”

Those words were literally music to Deakins' ears, and he couldn't hope to hide the relief he felt at the news.

“So Eames and Barek were rescued, and you found Goren and Logan?” he asked. Ryan hesitated, and Deakins felt his stomach tighten once more. “What happened, Wolfe?”

“Actually,” Ryan said tentatively, “the Mal Noche released Detectives Eames and Barek unharmed.”

“Unharmed?” Deakins echoed incredulously, slowing to a halt and fixing a hard look on the younger man. “Which would mean that Goren and Logan...”

“They're okay, Captain Deakins. They're at the hospital, and are being treated now.”

Deakins' stomach twisted almost painfully.

“They did it, didn't they? They exchanged themselves for Eames and Barek.”

“I'm really not the person to be telling you all that,” Ryan said uneasily. “You should talk to Horatio about it. He can tell you all the details.”

Deakins drew in a sharp breath as they started walking again.

“They did. Of all the stupid, impulsive... How badly were they hurt?”

Again, Ryan hesitated. Yes, he knew that Bobby and Mike were going to be okay, but he still didn't like the idea of telling Deakins that they'd both been stabbed.

“It's not life-threatening,” he said firmly. “They're going to be fine. C'mon, Captain. I'll take you to them.”

For a split second, Ryan thought Deakins was going to argue with him. But then, he seemed to think twice about it and, with a reluctant nod, followed Ryan out of the airport.

They got to the hospital, and Ryan led him through to a private waiting room where Horatio was waiting with Alex and Carolyn.

“Captain,” Alex said guiltily as she and Carolyn got up to face him. “I'm sorry, sir. We messed this up big time.”

Deakins didn't hesitate. He pulled first Alex, and then Carolyn, to him in a fierce hug.

“You're both okay. That's what's important.” He looked at each of them anxiously. “You are okay, aren't you?”

“We're fine,” Carolyn reassured him. “They didn't hurt us.”

Deakins nodded, and then a frown crossed his features.

“Now, where are your partners?”

“They're both in the ER, Captain,” Carolyn answered, wincing a little at his expression. “They were both stabbed by Richie... and Bobby has a broken arm. They both lost a fair bit of blood, but other than that, it's not too serious. They're going to be okay.”

“Good,” Deakins growled. “Because when I see them, I may just kill them myself!”

“Captain, go easy on them, please,” Alex begged him. “They're both pretty badly shaken. The last thing they need is to have anyone ripping into them.”

Deakins frowned again, but conceded with a reluctant nod. He then turned to Horatio, finally acknowledging the lieutenant.

“Lieutenant Caine, I presume?”

“I'm Horatio Caine,” Horatio answered.

“Please, tell me that you have Richard Goren in custody?”

“Richard Goren is dead,” Captain Deakins,” Horatio answered quietly. Alex laid a hand gently on Deakins' arm.

“Captain, Bobby killed him.”

Deakins felt his stomach roll unpleasantly, and he sank slowly into the closest chair as he struggled to digest the news.

“Bobby killed his brother...?” he asked finally. Horatio sat down beside him, and spoke quietly.

“It was an act of self-defence, Captain Deakins. Richie was going to kill both him and Detective Logan. Detective Goren had no choice.”

The captain regarded Horatio grimly.

“That's not going to make it any easier for him to deal with, Lieutenant.”

“I know,” Horatio conceded. “I'm sorry.”

“When can I see my detectives, Lieutenant Caine?”

Horatio stood up.

“Now, Captain Deakins.”

Mike had long since given up on trying to talk to Bobby. The other man had shut down completely and wasn't communicating with anyone at all. Not that Mike blamed him, of course. He didn't, not at all. But it still concerned him deeply that Bobby couldn't seem to bring himself to talk even to him.

He glanced over to where Bobby lay on the next bed over, staring up at the ceiling in silence, and he wondered just what was occupying Bobby's mind – Richie's death, or the news Richie had imparted before everything descended into the tenth level of Hell. For his part, he found himself replaying Richie's words in his mind over and over again, dazed by the revelation.

It wasn't our dad that fucked around with his mom. It was his dad that fucked around with our mom. That's why Dad hated the sight of you, you fucking runt. You weren't his kid, and he goddamn knew it.

I'm still a Logan, Mike thought with a mixture of guilt and relief. And, strangely, he found himself more willing to accept that his father had been the one to have an affair, rather than his mother. Unfortunately, now it was Bobby who was left hanging in limbo, and Mike didn't know where to begin to try and make it better for him.

“I'm sorry, Bobby,” he tried again. “If I'd had any idea...”

“You still would have pushed ahead,” Bobby said abruptly. Mike pushed himself up a little, startled to actually get a response.

“Yeah, I probably would have,” he agreed.

“Then what are you apologising for?”

“I... Well...”

Bobby shifted a little, so that he could look at his brother a little better.

“You're not sorry, and you don't have any reason to be. Don't apologise for the truth... no matter how painful it is.”

Mike grimaced.

“You're not making me feel any better.”

Bobby shifted again, this time turning away from him.

“I didn't realise I was supposed to.”

Mike sighed softly.

“I didn't mean it like that. Bobby...”

He trailled off, at a loss for what to say. He was still trying to decide when the curtains that shielded their beds from the view of anyone else in the ER were pulled aside and Horatio led in a familiar face.

“Captain Deakins,” Mike stammered. Bobby stiffened just slightly at Mike's startled greeting, but made no effort to turn back to look for himself. Deakins paused, looking from Mike, to Bobby, and back to Mike again before speaking.

“Lieutenant Caine tells me you'll both recover,” he said tonelessly, betraying nothing of what he was really thinking or feeling. Mike glanced at Bobby again before answering tentatively.

“We're okay,” he confirmed. “Captain, I'm sorry. I... We did what we did to save Barek and Eames.”

Deakins nodded, his expression softening noticeably at Mike's sincere words.

“I know, Mike.” He looked back at Bobby, puzzled that Bobby hadn't so much as looked at him. “Bobby...?”

There was no response. Deakins regarded him thoughtfully for a moment before looking back at Horatio.

“Lieutenant, would you mind letting me have a few minutes?”

Horatio nodded and slipped out without a word.

“All right,” Deakins said quietly once Horatio had gone. “Which of you is going to tell me what happened?”

Still Bobby didn't move or speak, and Mike sighed softly in resignation.

“You know everything up to where...?”

Deakins focused a hard look on him.

“Up to where you and Bobby did a repeat of your little escape stunt.”

Mike winced at his tone.

“Okay. Um... We didn't exactly have a plan...”

“I figured as much.”

“We just wanted to do whatever we had to so that Alex and Carolyn would be okay, so we went to a bar, and we just waited.”

“And the Mal Noche came to you,” Deakins guessed. Mike nodded. He spared Bobby a sideways glance, searching for any reaction, but so far there was none.

“They found us, but we wouldn't go anywhere with them until we knew for sure that Alex and Carolyn were safe. When we got that...”

“You gave yourselves up to them,” Deakins said when Mike hesitated. “And, I'm guessing that you didn't have a plan at this point, either.”

Mike looked uncomfortable.

“No... Not really.”

Deakins sighed softly.

“All right. What happened then, after you idiotically turned yourselves over to a brutal crime gang?”

Again, Mike looked over at Bobby, but there was still no reaction. Apparently Bobby had elected to let him deal with this one entirely on his own.

“They blindfolded us and drove us around for half an hour or so. Then they took us to a motel...”

“Original,” Deakins retorted. Mike nodded.

“Yeah, we know. Bad guys have no originality. Anyway, they left us tied up in one of the rooms, and then Richie showed up maybe ten minutes later. He, um... said some things to us, taunted us a little... Then, he pulled a goddamn butcher knife out of a bag and was going to gut Bobby with it. I got out of my ropes, and tackled him, and that's when I got stabbed...”

“Hang on,” Deakins growled. “Back up, Mike. You got out of the ropes they tied you up with? How? Were they particularly sloppy in tying you up?”

“Not exactly,” Mike answered. “I swiped a scalpel from the hospital before we bugged out, and hid it up my sleeve with a little bit of sticking plaster. I'd kind of counted on them only looking for guns, which they did. I used the scalpel to cut the ropes.”

Deakins couldn't help but smile.

“Very intuitive, Detective.”

Mike didn't smile.

“When Richie stabbed me, Bobby tipped his chair over to break it, so he could get loose. He grabbed the butcher knife, and when Richie tried to jump on him, Bobby... You know.”

“I know,” Deakins murmured. He was silent for a long moment, contemplating what to say before speaking again. “What things did Richie tell you both?”

There was no way that Deakins could possibly miss the way that both Mike and Bobby tensed at his question. Mike looked over at Bobby, whose breathing had quickened noticeably. Deakins eyed Mike thoughtfully before turning and walking around to the far side, so that he could look at Bobby. What he saw there in the detective's face hit him like a sledgehammer to the gut.

Bobby's eyes were red and swollen, and his cheeks were wet with tears. He didn't seem to be seeing Deakins at all.

After a moment's consideration, Deakins reached out and laid a hand gently on Bobby's shoulder in an attempt to draw his attention.

“Bobby, look at me.”

For nearly a minute, he got no response. Then, finally, Bobby's eyes blinked slowly, and he lifted his gaze to look at his captain.

“Talk to me, Bobby,” Deakins encouraged him softly. “What did you find out?”

Bobby didn't answer him, and the distraught look on his face only worsened. Deakins was just considering his options when a creaking noise drew his attention, and he looked to see Mike easing himself out of bed.

“Mike, what the hell are you doing? Get back in bed!”

Mike shook his head, and walked gingerly around to join the captain.

“Bobby, I really am sorry,” he told his brother softly. “It never occurred to me that it was my dad who... strayed, and not yours. I swear, if I'd had any idea, I would never have chased this. I really wouldn't have. I swear that I never wanted you to get hurt... Not in any way.”

Confusion flashed across Deakins' face as he looked at them both.

“Mike? What do you mean, your father?”

Mike looked back at Deakins, and spoke softly.

“That's what Richie told us. It wasn't my mom and Bobby's dad. It was the other way around. My dad... and Bobby's mom.”

“Lord almighty,” Deakins murmured in dismay as Mike's words sank in. He fell silent, at a loss for what to say or do. This was a development that none of them had been expecting.

“I’m sorry,” he said finally, softly. “I really am. Both of you…”

He trailed off as Bobby suddenly spoke in a strained voice.

“I… had to…”

“You had to what?” Deakins asked, although he suspected he already knew what Bobby meant. He wanted Bobby to face it, though, and accept it – however hard it was to do that.

“Richie,” Bobby stammered. “H… Had to… kill him. H… He was going to k… kill us… I had to…”

“You did what you had to do to protect yourself and Mike,” Deakins assured him. “You saved your own lives. I wouldn’t have expected anything less from either of you.”

“But… He was my brother…” Bobby choked out. “I killed my own brother…”

The tears came in a veritable flood as reality finally sank in. Pushing Deakins rather unceremoniously out of the way, Mike leaned in to hug his brother as best as he was able.

Deakins moved silently back and watched as Bobby gave in almost straight away, and willingly accepted the offer of comfort from Mike. Their bond was as strong as ever, he noted with gratitude and relief. With a little bit of luck, it would see them both safely through this latest trial.

As he slipped out of the cubicle to go and rejoin Alex and Carolyn, he wondered whether they knew yet about this latest revelation over Mike and Bobby’s parentage. He suspected not, and it wasn’t his place to tell them, either. That decision had to be entirely up to Mike and Bobby.

He emerged into the waiting room to find Alex, Carolyn, and the Miami lieutenant watching him expectantly. Sighing aloud, he sank into an empty chair to gather his thoughts before speaking.

“You were right,” he said finally to the women. “They have been badly shaken. It may take some time before they’ll recover from this.”

“Did they tell you anything about what happened while they were alone with Richie?” Alex asked. “Because Mike would only talk about the actual fight, and Bobby wouldn’t talk at all. We figure that Richie must have told them something, but we have no idea what.”

“He did tell them something, Deakins confirmed, “but it’s not for me to tell anyone else. That’s a choice for Bobby and Mike to make. Not for anyone else to make for them.”

“It’s something serious, isn’t it?” Carolyn asked uneasily. Deakins looked back in the direction of the ER. That knot in his stomach had not loosened off one iota.

“Yes,” he confirmed softly. “It is.”

It could have been minutes or hours before Bobby’s distraught sobs finally eased, and eventually stopped. When the two brothers finally detached themselves from each other, a visible calmness had returned to Bobby’s eyes, much to Mike’s relief.

“I know you don’t want to hear it,” Mike said softly, “but I really am sorry.”

Bobby sighed.

“How many times do we have to go over this, Mike? I don’t blame you for any of it. All of this… with Richie… It never needed to go this far. What happened in that motel room wasn’t your fault, or mine. If I’m going to blame anyone, I’ll blame Richie. And that’s who you should be blaming, too.”

Mike didn’t argue; something that Bobby was inherently grateful for. He simply didn’t have the strength to fight with him over the issue of culpability.

“So,” Mike said quietly, “what now?”

Bobby was too tired to play ignorant. He knew what Mike meant.

“I don’t know. With Richie gone, there’s only one person left who knows the whole story.”

“Your mom?”


“Do you want to know?” Mike wondered.

“Part of me does… Part of me doesn’t. I don’t know what to do, Mike.”

“I’ll tell you what we’ll do,” Mike responded. “We’re going to go home to New York, and heal up. We’ll decide what to do after that, and we’ll decide together. Okay?”

Bobby nodded, grateful to have an attainable goal set in front of him.


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