Arraignment of Richard Goren,
Judge Andrew Conroy presiding

“Your Honour, I ask that my client be released on his own recognisance…”

“Your Honour, Mr Goren is a definite flight risk,” Casey Novak interrupted. “Given the fact that there are two more suspects that haven’t been apprehended yet, I ask that bail be denied.”

“That is unreasonable,” Kristen Adams argued. “My client has not been charged with committing any acts of violence…”

“He has been charged with complicity in an extremely violent attack on a New York police detective, a man who also happens to be Mr Goren’s brother,” Casey stated. “We have no reason to believe that he won’t disappear the moment he sets foot outside.”

“I’m inclined to agree with Ms Novak in this instance, Ms Adams,” Judge Conroy said firmly. “Given the seriousness of the crimes committed, but taking into account that the police have not yet charged Mr Goren with an actual act of violence, I’m setting bail at fifty thousand dollars.”

“Your Honour, that is totally unreasonable!” Adams protested. “My client can’t possibly afford that, and he owns nothing of value that he can put up as collateral!”

“Then he’ll just have to cool his heels in jail, Ms Adams. And before you argue with me further, I suggest you have a good look at the pictures of Detective Goren’s injuries. Then, be thankful that I’m setting bail at fifty thousand, and not one hundred thousand!”

“Nice job, Casey,” Cragen praised her as they exited the courtroom. Casey looked grim.

“It wasn’t that difficult. Did you see the look on Conroy’s face when he looked at the pictures, and we played that segment of the statement from Detective Goren that Elliot and Olivia recorded? I think he wanted to be sick.”

“Well, it buys us time,” Cragen murmured. “Now, the slimy son of a bitch is right we’re we need him to be for when we question him again. Now, I’ve got Fin and Munch going to Rikers first thing tomorrow morning to talk to the wardens there that dealt with Richard Goren, and Elliot and Olivia are chasing after the Simon Matic angle.”

“And going by what Detective Goren had to say, there is still one person yet to be identified,” Casey murmured. She paused in continuing, her gaze going to someone approaching them from the other direction. “Ron,” Casey greeted Ron Carver in surprise, “I didn’t know you were in court today.”

“I wasn’t,” Carver replied. “Captain Deakins asked me to come by and find out how Richard Goren’s arraignment went.”

“Bail set at fifty thousand,” Casey replied with a smug smile. “He’s not going anywhere.”

“Very good,” Carver murmured approvingly. “Now, if we can locate Mr Matic, then perhaps some more pieces will start falling into place.”

“I’ve organised for a police guard at the Coulter residence,” Cragen said. “If Matic tries going after Maggie Coulter, he’ll walk straight into a police ambush.”

“Well, be aware that the man is a very slick customer,” Carver warned Cragen. “It took some skill on Detective Goren’s part to nail him the last time. I see no reason to think this will be any different, especially while Richard Goren refuses to talk.

“Oh, he’ll talk, Ron,” Cragen promised. “Sooner or later, when he realises he’s not walking free from this, then he’ll talk.”

Casey nodded in agreement.

“And we’ll be waiting.”

Major Case Squad

It was getting late on Monday afternoon. Deakins sighed inwardly as he finished the report he was working on, and finally pushed back from his desk. It had, quite possibly, been the longest day of his life. From arriving that morning and being confronted by the inconceivable callousness of Bobby’s fellow detectives, to the time wasted reporting to and placating his superiors upstairs, and finally to the mind-numbing paperwork that he’d spent most of the day completing…

That was the worst of it, having to waste so much time on paperwork, when he should have been at the hospital with Alex… and with Bobby.

That was where he was headed upon finishing up here. Angie had called him a short while ago to suggest that he head straight to the hospital, rather than going home first. She would take a taxi, and meet him there.

Deakins sighed again, aloud this time. Damn, he loved his wife, and he appreciated her no end for the patience and understanding she was showing. He’d said as much to her over the phone, but she’d dismissed his words. She was as concerned For Bobby as he was; especially knowing the detective had no family to be there for him.

Deakins quietly suspected that her concern was equally strong for Alex’s wellbeing, but he’d kept that thought to himself. After all, he too was concerned about Alex. However, he knew damn well that no amount of persuasion was going to convince her to move from Bobby’s side, particularly while there was no one else to take her place. All he could hope for right then was that the team at Major Case would come to their senses sooner, rather than later, and get a vigil organised.

A shadow fell across his desk, and he looked up to see Detective Chris Lambert standing in the doorway of his office. He didn’t look particularly happy, Deakins noticed disinterestedly.

“What is it, Lambert?”

He made no effort to keep his tone neutral. He wanted to get going and get to the hospital, not stop to deal with the trivial concerns of arrogant detectives.

“Sir… Has someone been talking?”

Deakins felt his irritation levels start to climb. Fast.

“About what, Lambert? Hurry up, and get to the point. I want to get to the hospital.”

Was it his imagination, or did Lambert just flinch…?

“Well… About Goren, Sir.”

“I imagine word would have gotten around by now about what happened to him. Why? You think it should be a squad secret?”

There was no mistaking it that time – Lambert definitely flinched.

“Not about what happened to him, Captain. I mean… about us, and not getting a vigil organised for him.”

Deakins fell silent, staring at Lambert piercingly. The other man literally quailed under the intensity of his captain’s stare. A moment later, he reluctantly elaborated.

“Well, it’s just… Blake and I just got back from the One-Nine…”

“Spit it out, Lambert. I’m in a hurry.”

“Sir, it was like walking into an icebox. From the moment we got there, we were treated like… Well, like any mutt off the street. It wasn’t pleasant. When Blake asked what was with the attitude, someone said, ‘that’s what you get for abandoning one of your own’. So we wondered who’d been spreading the word, you know?”

Deakins felt a sudden, smug surge of satisfaction that he had to struggle to contain. He suspected he knew. After all, it would only have taken one word from Alex, and Benson and Stabler would have spread the word very quickly.”

“I don’t know, Lambert. But maybe you should be more concerned about your own attitude than anyone else’s.”


“I don’t have time, Detective. I need to get to the hospital. Goren should at least know he hasn’t been completely abandoned.”

He stepped past Lambert and kept walking, deliberately quashing the desire to look back.

Deakins had the lift to himself on the way down from the eleventh floor. It was just beginning to look as though he would have an uninterrupted ride down to the car park when the lift slid to a halt at the first floor. The doors slid open, and he found himself face to face with Mike Logan, from Staten Island.

“Captain Deakins, I was hoping I’d catch you,” he exclaimed and, much to Deakins’ dismay, stepped into the lift with him.

“Logan, I’m sorry but whatever this is about, it’s going to have to wait. There’s somewhere I have to be.”

“Sir, it’s about Goren.”

Deakins’ stomach lurched slightly. What now…?

“What’s happened to him?” Logan went on, sounding genuinely concerned. “I know something’s happened, but the stories I’ve been hearing all day keep changing. At first, he was just knocked around some, and then the rumours just kept getting worse. Last thing I heard he was… You know. I figured the best way to find out the truth was to come here.”

“He’s not dead,” Deakins answered firmly, and felt a small rush of warmth at the visible relief in Logan’s face. Encouraged, he went on quietly. “He was violently assaulted in his home some time over Saturday night. A neighbour found him just after seven o’clock last night, barely alive. He’s in ICU at St Clare’s right now.”

“It’s… bad?”

Deakins nodded.

“Yes,” he confirmed softly. “It’s very bad.”

Logan sucked in his breath in a long hiss.

“Christ. Any clue as to who did it?”

Deakins hesitated, then answered carefully.

“You’d have to ask Benson and Stabler from SVU that. They’ve got the case.”

Logan slowed to a halt behind Deakins.

“Special Victims Unit? You mean… he was raped? Oh, fuck…” He drew in another long breath. “Sir, is there any chance I could get in to see him at the hospital? I know I’m not family, but I’d like him to know he’s got my support.”

Deakins had no hope of keeping his expression neutral at the sincerity in Logan’s voice, coupled with the open offer of support. Oh, what an irony, he thought, that the people Goren worked with every day had turned their backs on him when he needed them most, but a man with whom he had worked just the once (or, more accurately, butted heads with) had come running.

Without a moment’s hesitation, Deakins motioned to his car.

“C’mon, I’ll give you a ride. That’s where I’m going right now.”

“I’d like to put my name down for the vigil, if that’s okay,” Logan said tentatively. “I know these things are usually kept within the squad, but…”

“I’d love to say yes, Logan, but the truth is, nothing’s been organised.”

Logan blinked in surprise.

“You mean no one’s had time to do it yet?”

“No. I mean no one intends on doing it at all.”

Logan opened his mouth, then closed it again, confused to the point of speechlessness. Reluctantly, Deakin elaborated.

“When I told the rest of the squad this morning, they were only worried about who would have to take on Goren and Eames’ case load.”

“So… What you’re saying is that none of them have set foot near the hospital?”

“Not one of them.”

Logan fell silent, a dark look on his face. Deakins spared him a brief, curious glance, and then returned his attention to the road.

Word spreads fast at any given time, in any given situation. It never takes long for neighbourhood gossip to stretch far and wide, and in that respect the NYPD was not unlike any suburban neighbourhood. Within hours of Elliot and Olivia returning to SVU headquarters and telling their immediate colleagues that Bobby Goren’s fellow Major Case detectives had refused to organise a vigil, or even go to see him in hospital, word had spread to all the surrounding precincts.

By the time Richard Goren was arraigned, and the judge set bail to the tune of fifty thousand dollars, word had reached just about all the precincts in the Brooklyn, Staten Island and Queens precincts.

By the time Mike Logan caught up with Jim Deakins in One Police Plaza, word was spreading fast through the precincts in the Bronx and Manhattan and calls were flooding into SVU, with cops of all ranks wanting to volunteer to take a watch outside Bobby Goren’s hospital room.

By the time Deakins and Logan arrived at the door of Bobby’s room in ICU, both were startled to find two detectives sitting there, watching everyone who came and went with piercing stares.

“Detectives…?” Deakins started to ask, feeling puzzled. Both stood up quickly, recognising Deakins on sight.

“I’m Matt Braxton, Captain. This is my partner, Eric Kozlowski.”

“Please, don’t take this the wrong way… but what are you both doing here?”

Both men exchanged brief grins.

“Word got around that no one from Major Case had bothered to organise a vigil for Bobby Goren,” Kozlowski explained, “so Elliot Stabler from SVU organised one instead. They put the word out to all the precincts for volunteers to stand watch. Just between us, sir, I think they got enough volunteers to do twenty-four hour rotations until Goren’s out of hospital, and none of us will have to do double-shift.”

“We hope you don’t mind,” Braxton said quietly. “But no brother should have to be in hospital alone like this. And it stinks that no one from your squad has the balls to even come and see him. Detective Eames not included, that is. No offence, sir…”

“None taken,” Deakins said, feeling warm relief slowly seep into his body. “Thankyou both for being here. I know Goren will appreciate it.”

He and Logan stepped past them with a nod, and went all the way into the room.

Alex wasn’t alone. Lewis had returned, and though he smiled easily enough in greeting at Deakins, that smile faltered visibly when he saw Logan. Alex caught the change in his expression, and looked around to see who was there.


Logan offered her a crooked smile.

“I heard he’d been hurt,” he said simply by way of explanation. Alex sighed faintly.

“That’s the biggest understatement I’ve heard yet. Logan, this is Lewis, Bobby’s best friend. Lewis, Detective Mike Logan, from Staten Island.”

The two men shook hands, and then Logan returned his attention to Bobby.

“Is he… awake?” he asked, peering nervously at the injured man in the hospital bed.

“No, not at the moment. He’s been pretty much out to it since Benson and Stabler were here this morning. He didn’t have much energy to start with when he first woke up, and it wiped him out, giving them that statement.”

“Well, it wasn’t for nothing,” Deakins assured her. “Just so you know, Richard Goren has been charged with conspiracy to commit a violent assault. Judge Conroy set bail at fifty thousand. The son of a bitch isn’t going anywhere.”

Alex sighed softly. “Thank god. Now they just need to find the other bastards.”

“Hang on a second,” Logan said, looking to Deakins with a frown. “Did you just say Richard Goren?”

“That’s right,” Deakins confirmed softly. “Richard Goren, Bobby’s older brother.”

“Oh, man… That sucks.”

Alex couldn’t contain the smile that fought its way onto her face.

“That’s two massive understatements in less than five minutes, Logan. Going to go for the trifecta?”

He quirked a smile at her, but didn’t reply to her challenge. Instead, he spoke to her with gentle concern.

“Eames, don’t take this the wrong way, but you look wasted.”

“Gee, thanks, Logan. Could you tell me just how I’m supposed to take that?”

“I just mean you’re exhausted, and you look it. How long have you been here?”

“Since he got moved in here from Recovery some time after midnight,” Lewis put in quickly, winning himself a dirty look from the detective in question.

“I’m not leaving him alone,” Alex said stubbornly. “Lewis, you said yourself that you can’t stay all night. And you can’t either, Captain.”

“Did you happen to notice who’s just outside the door?” Deakins asked gently. Alex nodded.

“I know, and I appreciate it. So will Bobby. But it’s not the same as waking up, and knowing that there’s someone right here beside you.”

“I’ll stay,” Logan offered. Alex stared at him in disbelief.

“You? Why?”

Logan shrugged. “Because you need to go home and get some proper rest. You can’t call five minute naps in a hospital chair proper rest. And because I want to. I’m offering as a fellow cop, Eames. I’ll stay here with Goren until you come back tomorrow morning. I swear I won’t leave the room, not for any reason.”

Alex stared hard, looking as though she didn’t want to believe him. Finally, though, sheer exhaustion won her over.

“Okay,” she conceded. “But I’m not leaving yet.”

“Hey, it’s cool. I’ll give you a ride home when I go in a couple of hours, Alex,” Lewis offered, perhaps a touch eagerly. A moment later he flushed red at the distinctly threatening looks from both Deakins and Logan, and the suspicious look from Alex. “Just a ride home, I swear it.”

Alex finally conceded with a weary nod, too tired to argue anymore.

“All right.”

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