A/N: Here is my NaNoWriMo story, as promised. Since I have only the epilogue left to write, I figured it was a pretty safe bet to go ahead and post it. Please be aware, though - this was very much a 'head down, bums up, shove it through at any cost story. In accordance with NaNo recommendations, I did as little re-reading, etc as possible in order to focus on getting the word count. I think I've come up with a reasonably cohesive story, but if there are any discrepancies, please forgive me.
Secondly, in the process of doing this project, my friend and I realised what my motto is:
'Bad things happen to good people. A lot.'
Yes, this holds true for this little angst fest.
Disclaimers: The usual. I do not own the Law & Order characters, Mr Dick Wolf does. Lucky bastard. Nor do I own the characters of Jason Scott, Tommy Oliver, Kim Hart, Trini Kwan, Billy Cranston or Zack Taylor. Haim Saban owns them, and I'm considerably less distressed about that fact.
However, the characters of Melissa and Alan Scott, Donavon and Sarah Scott and Ben Paxton are my own. Not that that counts for a hell of a lot in the grand scheme of things.
I'm placing a T rating on this, because after reading all the happy little torture fests that sit comfortably with a T rating, I figured this is not so bad. At least, it's not when compared with my other sick little torture tale, Blind Trust.
However, that aside, I will warn readers that there is violence and angst in this story. I mean, hey, it's me! What else did you expect...?
Fifteen years previous
Melissa Scott sat in the dark of the family room of her home, her hands clenched tightly together on her lap. She sat in silence, staring blindly ahead, barely aware of the tears on her cheeks.
She wasn’t merely afraid – she was terrified. It had started out as an ordinary enough day. She had risen at five o’clock as usual in order to make sure everything was ready for when her husband got up an hour later. She’d set out her husband’s clothes for him, and then roused her eight year-old son, Jason. She had then set about cooking breakfast for Alan. Bacon, eggs, sausage and steak – rare, not well done – just the way he liked it.
By the time Alan rose, his wife and son would both be dressed and presentable, and a hot breakfast would be on the table waiting for him – just how he liked it.
Alan would leave for work at seven-thirty on the dot, and she would see Jason off to his school in the Bronx a half hour after that. She had to make certain Jason was inside the school gates by a quarter past eight, because Alan would inevitably call and check. Not everyday, mind, but often enough that she dared not deviate from the routine set by him in any way. To do so meant punishment, for herself and her son.
So she saw Jason safely off to school, and then promptly returned home to clean the house, wash clothes, and deal with any other tasks that her husband may have set for her.
Sometimes he left a note for her, specifying what he wanted for dinner that night, whether it was steak, chicken or beef, and she would then call the local butcher and have the meat delivered. She never went to the shops herself, not on her own. Never on her own. Going on her own meant running the risk of running into someone who might ask difficult questions, questions that might eventually get back to her husband. Questions that might lead to punishment.
Today, though, he’d left no such note, which meant he did not intend on coming home for dinner. On nights like that, she and Jason had what they called ‘fun’ meals. They’d have spaghetti and meatballs, or pizza, meals that had the potential to be messy. These were the types of meals that were never permitted when Alan was home. He hated mess. Tonight, it should have been a ‘fun meal’ night.
So, with that in mind, she’d thrown herself into the housework with extra fervour, taking care to be extremely thorough. He demanded thoroughness in her housework, and she tried so hard to meet his expectations, and when she did he was pleased. And when he was pleased, everything was good.
On those times when she didn’t meet his expectations, when she didn’t please him… Well, she preferred not to think about those times.
This morning, she had been a little too thorough. She had been collecting clothes to was, and was hanging up other clothes when she found the bag.
It was sitting on the floor of her husband’s closet, a small black sports bag. She didn’t recognise it, and allowed curiosity to take hold long enough to bend down and look inside.
In hindsight, she really should have known better.
At first, she didn’t understand what she was looking at. Inside the bag was a knife and multiple pairs of underwear. Women’s lacy, skimpy underwear. And all of them were stained with blood. Not menstrual blood, either. No, this was blood, as though from someone who had been cut, badly cut.
In a panic, she’s zipped the bag up again, banged shut the doors of the closet and retreated to the family room to think. And that was where she sat for the next hour and a half, steadily working herself into a state of pure terror.
Melissa had often been accused of naivety by her husband, and in his opinion, naivety and stupidity were one and the same. But naivety does not equate to stupidity, and Melissa Scott was most certainly not stupid.
Though she desperately wanted to deny it, Melissa understood what those items in that bag represented. She understood, and it terrified her.
She knew all too well her husband’s ferocious temper, and deep in her heart she’d always known he was capable of killing someone. Her greatest shame, at that very Moment of realisation and understanding that he had actually gone out and taken a life (more than one, by all appearances), was that it wasn’t on her the receiving end of that terribly sharp-looking knife.
Briefly, she considered pretending she’d never seen the damn bag, or what was in it. She could pretend, just push it right out of her mind. But Melissa was a good, caring person, unlike her volatile husband, and she couldn’t turn a blind eye now that she was aware of her husband’s misdeeds. And therein lay her dilemma.
Firstly, was she willing to risk not only her own safety, but that of her son as well by turning her husband in? If the answer to that question was yes, then who could she possibly turn him in to? Her husband had the rank of Detective First Grade with the NYPD Homicide unit, and he was well-respected by both his peers and his superiors.
Melissa remembered with painful clarity the last time she had officially made a complaint against Alan. It had been early in their marriage, when Jason was barely more than a baby, and she had made the mistake of preparing cereal for Alan instead of the hot, cooked breakfast that he always expected. When she had tried to apologise, saying that the baby had kept her awake most of the night, and she’d woken up late, exhausted, Alan had first punched her, and then he had turned on baby Jason.
Melissa waited until he’d gone off to work, and then called 911 to report that her husband had beaten both her and her child. Thanks to Alan’s many connections, though, the complaint had never been followed through, and she had found herself locked up at the Carmel Ridge Institute for the Mentally Ill. She’d been there for a month, locked away and hysterical with fear for the safety of her baby, before Alan had finally seen fit to have her released.
He never laid a hand on her when he brought her home, not that time, but the unspoken threat was only too real. If she ever dared to report him again, he would have her committed, and never released. She believed he could do it and so, from that time on, with thoughts of her precious son foremost in her mind, she had never again considered turning him in. That was, until now. But the question remained, who? Who did she dare trust?
Even as she wondered, a name came to mind. Goren… She remembered an Officer Goren… Robert, had he called himself? Yes, Officer Robert Goren, a young uniformed officer from one of the local precincts. The Two-Seven, she thought. He had been one of many officers who had come to their door in answer to numerous complaints of spousal and child abuse from – in Alan’s own words – fucking nosy neighbours. And of all those officers, only he had looked doubtful and suspicious at her husband’s flippant excuses for the disturbances. Only he had dared to try and nudge his way past Alan into the house – unsuccessfully, of course, and Alan had been furious later on at the young cop’s audacity – and only he had asked to speak directly to Melissa, rather than simply taking Alan’s word for what had happened.
She remembered clearly the look on that young man’s face as she tried to laugh off the bruises, blaming them on her own clumsiness. He hadn’t believed her, and he definitely hadn’t believed Alan. He had eventually gone away that night, but Melissa had happened to glance out the window nearly twenty minutes later and had been surprised to see that young officer still standing there, watching the house. Though she couldn’t be sure, with the light of day dimming fast, she believed he had been genuinely concerned.
A couple of days later, her belief in that young man’s sincerity and honesty was cemented when Alan came home in a rage. That very same young officer had started sniffing around, and had actually had the nerve to approach his superiors, pushing for an investigation, and asking for protection for Melissa and Jason. Alan had been angrier than she’d seen him for a long time, and had ranted for over an hour that he was going to bust that young cop so far down the ladder that the police sniffer dogs would be a higher rank.
The next day all had been fine again. Alan had come home looking smug. The cop who had been nosing around had been removed temporarily from his precinct, and shifted to SVU, to do their ‘dirty work’ for them. In other words, standing guard over dead bodies, helping in crime scene clean-up, and other nasty little jobs that most cops preferred to avoid. He would eventually be reinstated at his own precinct, Alan had told her benevolently, but only after he’d learnt a little bit of humility, and respect for his betters.
Though she’d dared not show any reaction, Melissa had felt like weeping. The first time someone showed concern, and her husband stomped on them like a bug. She subconsciously stored that young man’s name in the back of her mind, though, and now it came to her again, like a candle in the middle of the darkness.
Officer Robert Goren…
She didn’t have a direct number to reach him, of course, but her husband had let slip that he was currently assigned to SVU. She knew from the sporadic work stories Alan had told that SVU stood for Special Victims Unit. According to Alan it was the bottom end of the NYPD, the unit that dealt with victims of sexual crimes. Whores and scumbags, in his opinion.
After eight years of marriage to a cop, Melissa was not without some knowledge, and one of those titbits of knowledge that she’d stored away was the rolodex of precinct phone numbers that Alan kept in his study. It was bound to include a number for the Special Victims Unit. Melissa knew her husband well, and she knew he would be inclined to make semi-regular calls to the squad, checking to see how the unfortunate young officer liked his new assignment.
If she could just find the number, then she would find Officer Goren.
The phone rang. Melissa jumped, frightened nearly out of her skin by the unexpected ringing of the phone. It had to be Alan, there was no one else who would call her during the day. Drawing in a long breath to steady her nerves, Melissa answered the phone.
“How did you know it was me, Hon?”
“Well, I don’t get calls from anyone else.”
“No. You don’t. What are you doing?”
Melissa felt her anxiety start to rise.
“Just cleaning. Did… Did you forget to leave me a note about what you want me to get for dinner tonight?”
As soon as the words were out of her mouth, she was mentally kicking herself. An assumption like that was good for at least half a dozen slaps across the face.
“No, just shut up and listen to me. Did you clean in our bedroom yet?”
“I said shut the fuck up.”
Melissa clamped her mouth closed. Wherever he was, it had to be away from his colleagues. Even he wouldn’t have dared speak to her like that in front of other cops. As far as his colleagues and buddies knew, he worshipped her to the stars and back. Oh, what a joke that was.
“There’s a black sports bag on the floor in my closet. I don’t want you to look inside it, or even touch it. Do you understand me?”
She hesitated. For a split second, while her frantic brain tried to come up with the right answer, she hesitated. On the other end of the line, her husband suddenly went very quiet.
“You already looked.”
It wasn’t a question, and she found that, after years of enforced subservience, she couldn’t lie to him.
Her voice was barely more than a whisper. She felt sick to her stomach. God only knew what sort of punishment this infraction was going to bring her, and what frightened her most was the deadly silence on the other end of the phone. Finally Alan spoke again, and when he did it was in a chillingly calm voice.
“You sit down in your chair, and don’t you fucking move. I’m going to collect Jason from school, and then I’m coming home. We have to talk.”
The line cut out.
Melissa let the phone drop back into its cradle, her fingers suddenly numb. An icy cold wave of panic crashed down on her head and swept down through her body in powerful waves, one after another. A Moment later, a choked sob of fear escaped her and she buried her face in her hands. The threat had just gone well beyond the usual punishments. If he was collecting Jason from school, then…
She turned and stumbled towards Alan’s study, suddenly galvanised by the realisation that it was not merely her life in jeopardy, but her son’s as well. Whatever Alan was planning for her, he clearly was including Jason in that threat as well. Otherwise, he would have left the boy in school.
Starting over… He’s coming home to clean up a mess, and then he’s planning to start over…
She burst into his study and snatched up the rolodex, flipping frantically through the cards until she found the one she was searching for. Heart in her throat, Melissa Scott picked up the phone and dialled the number of the card, praying to God the officer she was after was there.
Special Victims Unit
Officer Bobby Goren sat down with a heavy thud in the men’s locker room of the SVU squad rooms. It had been another long night, just another in what had been a long line of many since his so-called ‘temporary’ transfer from his precinct to SVU. Though his superiors had tried to make out as though it was a big honour for him to be sent there, in reality he knew what it was about.
He had pushed too hard over Detective Alan Scott and his family, and had pissed off one too many of the brass. He knew Scott was well-liked, and well-respected, and his opinion that the guy was a slimy bastard meant nothing to anyone. His assertions that Scott was definitely abusing his wife, and possibly his son too, had fallen on deaf ears. Well, perhaps not strictly deaf. They had heard enough to help them to decide to shunt him off the radar, to SVU.
Now, he worked a night shift that entailed primarily of body watch duty, and all manner of crime scene clean-up. When he wasn’t doing either of those things, he was used by the detectives in the squad to do all the sorts of menial duties that were usually reserved for the civilian staff. It was humiliating, and humiliation was the point.
Bobby had no doubt that Scott had pulled strings to make this transfer happen, but what really stung was knowing his captain at the Two-Seven had been happy to see him go, and was in hurry to have him back. So now, he was stuck in a dead-end assignment that had no end in sight, and potentially no job to go back to when it did finally end. And that, he supposed, would only be when Alan Scott, Detective First Grade, forgot about him.
The one redeeming feature of his current assignment was the detective to whom he had been officially assigned, Detective Ben Paxton. Paxton seemed to have taken a liking to him, and he was the only cop in the whole damn squad that didn’t treat him like an errand boy.
He looked up as the detective in question came in to the locker room, paused at the sight of him, then grinned and walked over to sit next to him.
“What’s the matter, Bobby? They getting to you again?”
‘They’ being pretty much everyone else in the squad.
“It’s okay,” Bobby mumbled. Ben clapped him soundly on the back.
“You don’t have to keep it to yourself, buddy boy. Not around me. I know they’re all being a bunch of pricks, but it isn’t going to last. Sooner or later, someone with a bit of clout is going to see how brilliant you are, and then your career is going to absolutely fly. Just don’t you quit on me, you hear? Because if you do that, I’ll kick your ass.”
Bobby laughed softly, and got up, pulling his coat on over his uniform.
“No problem. Just don’t let it get to you. I’ve got your back, pal. Ain’t no one gonna shove a knife in while I’m watching. Now, you clocking off?”
“Yeah. I just finished a double-shift. Captain Rice had me fill in for Clarke yesterday after he called in sick.”
“Crap, I hated doing doubles when I was in uniform. Look, I’ve just got to hand in my paperwork to Rice, and then I’m off, too. Come with me to Joe’s, and I’ll buy you a beer.”
Bobby hesitated. As much as he liked Ben’s company, he was also conscious that Ben was suffering some for his sympathetic treatment of him. Ben grinned up at him. There was a good fifteen years difference between them, and Ben was frequently making jokes about the unfairness of it, in that Bobby was six foot four, and he was only five nine.
“The answer to that is yes, Bobby. Don’t make me pull rank on you. C’mon, I’ll even buy you a bottle of that German shit you like so much.”
A small, shy smile flickered across Bobby’s lips as the argument finally won him over.
“Okay. Thanks, Ben.”
Ben nodded as they exited the locker room.
“Okay. Wait here, and I’ll just drop this crap off. And if anyone tries to pull any of that ‘since you’re just standing there doing nothing’ bullshit, tell them you’re off duty, and I’ll personally shoot anyone who bothers you.”
Bobby couldn’t hide a grin as he watched Ben cross the floor to the captain’s office. Yes, the one redeeming factor in this whole dismal business was Ben Paxton, and it was one hell of a big redeeming factor.
Bobby looked around, gearing himself up to tell whoever it was that he was off duty. A Moment later, his gaze fell on of the other uniforms who worked the front desk phones. That was the one thing they hadn’t stuck him with doing, thank God. He knew he’d suck at it, and he suspected that Rice knew that too.
“Call for you, line two,” the uniform called. “It’s some female, she sounds pretty hysterical.”
“Hey, you knocked someone up, Goren?” someone hollered across the floor, and a ripple of laughter swept through the bullpen. Ignoring the laughter and the banal comment, Bobby picked up the phone and pressed the corresponding line.
“Officer Goren, thank God…”
He recognised the voice instantly, though he’d only heard her speak once, and that had been over a month ago.
She was crying, but she didn’t sound hysterical to him. Terrified, yes, but not hysterical.
“Is… Is there something I can do for you?”
He could have kicked himself for the asinine question. The fact that she went to the trouble of tracking him down, probably behind her husband’s back, screamed that she believed there was definitely something he could do for her.
“Yes, please, I need your help. I think you’re the only one I can trust… Can I trust you, Officer Goren?”
“Yes… Yes, you can. What’s happened?”
“In his closet… I found it while I was cleaning, but he knows, and he’s coming home… Oh god, I think he’s going to kill us this time…”
“Slow down,” Bobby ordered her. “What did you find?”
“A bag in his closet. It had a knife and women’s underwear in it. The underwear had blood on it. I think he may have killed someone.”
Bobby’s blood ran cold. One of the hot cases at the Moment was a suspected serial killer who had murdered nine prostitutes over the last six months. All had been slashed to death, and the killer had taken their underwear for a souvenir.
“Did you say he knows you found that bag?”
“Yes, he said he was picking up our son from his school, and then he was coming home to… to have a talk with me. He’s going to kill us! Please, you have to help us!”
“How long ago did you speak to him?”
“A few minutes, I think… Yes, just a few minutes. I… I found the number for the Special Victims Unit, and I just hoped and prayed you were there. I know why you were sent to SVU, it was because you were trying to help me. I need your help now, please!”
Bobby glanced at the clock. It was just after ten in the morning.
“I’ll be there in ten minutes.”
He hung up before she had the chance to reply, and bolted across the floor to Captain Rice’s office, bursting through the door without stopping to knock first. Adrian Rice and Ben both looked around in astonishment at the unexpected interruption.
“Bobby? What the hell are you doing?” Ben asked, cringing a little at the dark look on their captain’s face. Rice stood up slowly, and even Bobby faltered at that. Rice was a big man, and when he actually made the effort to get up, it meant trouble.
“Goren, you had better have a damned good explanation for busting in here like this.”
“I’m sorry, Captain, but it’s urgent. I just had a call from Melissa Scott.”
Rice’s frown deepened. “Detective Scott’s wife?”
“Yes, sir. She found a bag in her husband’s closet with a knife and women’s underwear in it.”
“Oh, fuck,” Ben muttered. Adrian stood frozen. The significance of that was not lost on him, either. Bobby went on, hoping he well and truly had the captain’s attention.
“She said Scott knows she found the bag, and that he told her he was going to pick up their son from school, and then he was going home to deal with her. She’s terrified he’s going to kill her. We need to get out there, sir, now!”
Rice sat back down slowly, staring grimly at the top of his desk.
“We can’t help.”
Ben swung around to stare at his captain in shock.
“What? Captain, didn’t you hear Goren? He could be going to kill her! And probably the kid, too!”
“I heard him, Detective. He said she thinks he’s going to kill her. Do I have to remind you that this is a woman who spent a month in a psychiatric hospital after she made insane accusations about her husband?”
“He put her there, Captain!” Bobby burst out. “You know he did! All the reports of abuse from the neighbours…”
“Can hardly be corroborated,” Rice cut in firmly. “You’ve been down this road before, Goren, and look where it got you. Do you want to be booted off the Force altogether?”
Bobby drew in a shaky breath.
“Please, Captain. At least send a squad car around there…”
“You know I can’t spare resources like that. Now, you’re off duty. I suggest you leave, before I decide to have you thrown out. And don’t you dare go anywhere near the Scott house on your own, do you hear me?”
Bobby opened his mouth to protest further, only to be shepherded out by Ben.
“Damn it, Ben…” Bobby argued.
“Shut it, Bobby. I know. C’mon, let’s get out of here.”
Bobby followed the detective dejectedly. He had told Melissa Scott he would be there in ten minutes. She’d trusted him, and he was about to let her down in the worst possible way.
“Bobby, will you snap out of it?”
He looked around in confusion to see Ben standing a little ways up the street, near his car. The bar they had intended on going to was within walking distance, so why…?
“Will you move your ass, and get in the car?” Ben snapped. “I’m going to have to speed as it is if we’re going to beat Scott back to his house.”
Bobby nearly tripped on the uneven sidewalk in his rush to get into the car.
“Thanks, Ben,” he said breathlessly, for the third time that morning. Ben looked grim.
“Yeah, well, I never believed that sanctimonious bullshit about Scott treating his wife like a goddess. And I know you well enough now to know you wouldn’t have gotten stuck into that case if there really was nothing to it. How did she sound on the phone?”
“I don’t doubt it. Hang on, we’re going all out here.”
Bobby grimaced and gripped the dashboard for dear life as Ben turned on both lights and siren, and floored the gas pedal.
When Melissa heard the sound of sirens outside, she cried openly with relief. Alan would never have announced himself with sirens, which meant… She hurried over to the window, and sure enough, a car that was not her husband’s pulled up out the front of the house. A Moment later, two men, one whom she recognised as Officer Robert Goren, climbed out of the car and strode across the front lawn to the house. She was just opening to them when a second car pulled into the driveway.
“Oh my god,” Melissa whispered, her eyes going wide with terror at the sight of her husband. Bobby and Ben exchanged glances, and positioned themselves carefully in front of Melissa. Alan eyed the scene that greeted him with a piercing stare as he got his son out of the car and carried the little boy up to the porch.
“Well, this is a pleasant surprise. Officer Goren, isn’t it? And I’m sorry, I don’t know you…”
“Detective Ben Paxton, SVU,” Paxton answered firmly, and Bobby felt a rush of relief. Scott didn’t outrank Paxton – they were both First Grade gold shield detectives – and Ben didn’t take crap from anyone. If anyone could defuse this situation, it was Ben.
“Well, I don’t know what either of you are doing here, on my private property, but I’ll ask you to leave.”
“We can’t do that, Detective,” Ben answered calmly. “Your wife asked for our assistance. Could you please put your son down, and then we can go back to our station, and discuss this situation properly.”
Scott raised an eyebrow, and Bobby felt a slight tremor pass through him at the look Scott gave Ben. The man’s rage was building, even if it wasn’t showing clearly on the outside. Bobby could sense it as clearly as if he was seeing it.
“I know you’re not arresting me. You’d have shown me a warrant by now if that were the case.”
Ben glanced grimly at his young counterpart. Here was where the shit hit the fan.
“No, we don’t have a warrant, but…”
In the next instant, before either Ben or Bobby had a chance to react, Alan Scott pulled out his gun and fired.
Ben went down with a crash, blood rapidly blossoming out across his chest where he’d been shot. In his father’s arms, Jason screamed in sudden terror and tried to wrestle out of his father’s grip, but Scott wasn’t letting the boy go. Bobby pulled out his own gun, and at the same time lunged forward at Scott. He wasn’t quick enough. There was a muffled ‘ping’, and Bobby felt the excruciating pain a Moment later from the bullet wound to his gut.
He collapsed to the porch, his knees buckling beneath him. Dimly, he heard Melissa’s screams join those of her son as Scott forced her back into the house and slammed the door behind him, leaving the two officers in their own blood on the porch.
“Get… in there…”
Bobby looked over at Ben. The detective seemed incapable of moving, and blood was already trickling from the corner of his mouth.
“You… gotta… stop him…”
Where he found the strength, Bobby never was able to explain. Hanging onto the doorknob for all it was worth, he slowly hauled himself to his feet and, one hand clutching at the bullet wound in his gut, he twisted the knob with the other. To his immense relief, it opened easily. In his rage, Scott had not bothered to lock the door after him.
Following the sounds of terrified, and agonised screams, Bobby staggered through into the family room, and stumbled onto a nightmare scene.
The little boy was sitting in the middle of the floor, screaming hysterical, piercing cries while, just nearby, his father tore into his mother’s body with a knife. Even as Bobby stumbled forward, Scott lifted the knife and, with a final slicing move, slit her throat wide open. She was dead before her body hit the floor.
Then, seemingly unaware that Bobby was even there, Scott turned on his terrified son.
“Shut up! Shut the fuck up, you worthless little shit!”
He swung the knife, and Jason’s terrified screams turned into screams of pain as the blade sliced into his thin shoulder, and then sank into his stomach.
Bobby threw himself forward, tackling Scott and driving him away from the boy. The two wrestled briefly, but Scott had the advantage of full strength, where Bobby was rapidly weakening from the bullet wound in his stomach.
His grip on Scott’s wrists slipped, and the knife swept down, burying deep in his side. Scott yanked it out and then drove it into Bobby’s stomach and twisted it sharply, drawing a howl of pain from the young cop. Scott shoved him roughly away, then, and returned his attention to his son, who had curled up on the floor and was clutching his stomach where he had been stabbed.
Scott was almost on him when Bobby slammed the full force of his body against him, sending the detective crashing to the floor. It was just about all he had strength for. He had nothing left to fight Scott off with, and so he did the only thing he could think of. He covered Jason’s tiny body with his own, completely shielding the little boy from his psychopathic father.
For a long Moment, nothing happened. Then, Bobby heard Scott utter a howl of rage, and agony flared through his upper body as the knife sank deep into his back once, twice, three, four and five times as Scott vented his rage on him. A hand finally gripped his hair and yanked his head up, and Bobby knew he was about to have his throat cut. He could only pray that, in the Moment of death, his body would lock in place around Jason, and keep Scott from harming him further.
The sound of a gun firing rang loudly in his ears, and Bobby wondered dimly whether Scott had shot him instead of cutting his throat. A Moment later, though, the hand was gone from his head and the pressure of Scott’s body over the top of his own was also gone.
For several long, terrifying seconds, Bobby struggled to rouse himself enough to look around, and finally his questions were answered. Ben stood there, gun drawn and held steady as he pushed Scott over and cuffed his hands behind his back, coughing painfully as he read the downed detective his rights.
“You have the right to remain silent, you piece of shit. You have the right to an attorney. If you can’t afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you… If there’s a sucker stupid enough to take you for a client.”
Shaking his head, Ben collapsed again, dropping to the floor beside Bobby and Jason.
“Shit, what a mess. Bobby, you still with me, buddy?”
Bobby looked up at Ben with pain-filled eyes. He desperately wanted to say something to reassure him, but all of a sudden his mouth wasn’t working. In fact, all of a sudden, pretty much nothing was working.
“Hang on,” Ben wheezed as he pulled out his radio, and called for assistance. “Help’s coming. Just hang on… That goes for both of you.”
Bobby managed to turn his gaze downward to the little boy curled up tightly beside him, blood slowly seeping across the floor from his own stab wounds. The last thing he saw before he lost consciousness completely was a pair of dark brown eyes staring up at him from under a matted mop of equally dark brown hair.
Sometimes, doing the right thing is not always the popular thing. Sometimes, doing the right thing can get you into a whole lot more trouble than if you’d just turned a blind eye. Following your conscience might be great for karma, but it can seriously screw with your career.
For Bobby Goren, his actions saved the life of a little boy and saw a serial killer imprisoned for life, but at a cost to himself that, years down the track during extremely dark Moments of his life, occasionally would have him wondering whether it would have been for the best if he’d just ignored Melissa Scott’s call, and left both her and her son to Alan Scott’s wrath. The wounds he suffered in the fight to save Jason Scott from his insane father left him hospitalised for nearly five months as he recovered from the nerve damage caused by the knife attack. Upon finally being discharged, rather than returning to either SVU or the Two-Seven Precinct, Bobby found himself suspended indefinitely on part pay and being formerly reprimanded for ‘going far beyond the boundaries of what was acceptable behaviour for a junior officer’.
Internal Affairs left him hanging with his future with the NYPD in serious doubt for nearly three months before it was decided not to dismiss him from the Force; and then only after personal intervention from the Police Commissioner who, for the record, was no friend of Alan Scott. He found himself back at the bottom of the ladder, though, returning to the Two-Seven with the rank of a rookie, and relegated to doing the menial jobs normally assigned to a rookie.
He briefly considered quitting, but instead decided to stick it out, clinging to the words of wisdom from the only friend he seemed to have in the Force, Detective Ben Paxton.
As for Jason, he was adopted by his aunt and uncle, who took him right away from New York, to live in California on the other side of the country. And though he would eventually shed his psyche of the nightmares that would plague him for many months afterwards, and slowly rid himself of the worst memories of the brutal attack that took his mother’s life, Jason Scott never allowed himself to forget the face of the young officer who shielded him that day from the frenzied knife attack that would have sent him to join his mother in Heaven.
Back Home Law and Order: Criminal Intent Main Page Next