A/N: Thanks heaps to all the reviewers who have been so positive. Particularly to Angelfirenze for your very encouraging reviews. I'm just glad that people are enjoying what I'm writing. That's the really satisfying part of this whole exercise.
Also, to TrinityWildcat, it's curious you should mention wanting to see Bobby and Alex start to recover from their experiences in Remembrance. You just never know what can happen, even though I do tend to adhere to the 'it's always darkest before the dawn' proverb. Not to give anything away, of course, because even though I have a good idea of what I want to have happen, sometimes it just doesn't work out that way. I reckon most of you probably have a pretty good idea what I mean...

A few weeks later

“I still can’t believe he plead not guilty,” Jason said with a disbelieving shake of his head as he walked along the airport concourse with his parents, Bobby, Alex and Deakins.

Bobby was confined to a wheelchair, much to his displeasure, and to Alex and Deakins’ amusement. His injuries were healing well, but it was a slow process, and he was under strict orders from his doctor not to do anything that could either put his damaged leg at risk, or cause the knife wound to reopen.

Either way, it meant being chauffeured around in the wheelchair, and he didn’t like it one bit.

“It’s his prerogative,” Deakins said.

“I would have thought his lawyer would have pushed for a plea bargain when he failed to have him declared legally insane,” Donavon mused, “but apparently Alan is determined to have his day in court.”

“His loss,” Alex said glibly. “Branch will tear his defence to shreds.”

Deakins nodded. “That was a minor coup, getting Branch to prosecute personally, but I’m going to inquire about that ADA who’s assisting him… Carver, I think his name is. He’d be a good man to have on our team, prosecuting our cases for us.”

“Well,” Bobby said with a faint smile, “between Branch’s prosecution techniques, our testimonies, and all the evidence that CSU have against him, the son of a bitch’ll be lucky to avoid the death penalty.”

“Branch is still thinking on whether he’ll ask for it for the murders of Tommy Oliver and Trini Kwan,” Deakins said. Sarah looked at him worriedly.

“Would they really sentence him to death?”

“He murdered a police officer, Mrs Scott,” Deakins told her gently. “There’s no second chance on a charge like that. It’s an automatic death sentence on conviction. Problem is that the evidence for that murder is a little bit thin, and there’s no guarantee we’ll get a conviction for it. That, and juries are notoriously recalcitrant about returning guilty verdicts when they know the penalty is death.” He paused, glancing down at the wheelchair-bound detective. “On the other hand, there’s no way he’ll be able to get out of being convicted for what he did to Goren and Jason, and abduction, assault and attempted murder of a police officer is an automatic life sentence, with no chance of parole. Either way, he’ll never see the light of day outside prison walls again.”

Jason grimaced.

“We still have to testify, though. I’m not looking forward to that.”

“I am,” Bobby said, drawing surprised looks from those around him.

“You can’t be serious,” Jason said incredulously.

“No, really, I am,” Bobby insisted. “I’m looking forward to getting on the stand, and being able to look that bastard in the eye, and saying yes, he’s the one who abducted us, and tried to kill us.”

Jason sighed as they came into the waiting lounge at their gate, and sat down to wait for the boarding call.

“Well, I’ll leave the enthusiasm to you, if you don’t mind,” Jason muttered.

Bobby grinned briefly and started to shift in the wheelchair, only to have Deakins’ hands come down very firmly on his shoulders, keeping him still.

“I wasn’t going to try and get up!” he protested, glaring up at his captain. Deakins, however, was unrepentant.

“You heard what your doctor said, Goren. I promised him I wouldn’t let you be jostled around too much, and that includes anything self-inflicted. So unless you want to be back in your hospital bed sooner rather than later, I suggest you do as you’re told! You’re damned lucky the doctor even gave you permission to leave hospital for this, considering what happened a week ago.”

Bobby went red at the memory, and sank down a little in the wheelchair, as though he was trying to make himself invisible.

The incident Deakins was referring to were Bobby’s somewhat premature efforts at independent movement. Two weeks into his hospital stay, Bobby had been transported to the Imaging wing of the hospital, for x-rays to determine that his leg and his arm were both healing properly. Upon returning him to his room, though, the orderly had foolishly left the wheelchair in the room with Bobby. The detective, who had steadily been going stir crazy from the enforced bed-rest, had waited until the orderly was gone, and then climbed out of bed and into the wheelchair and manoeuvred himself out of his room.

Deakins and Alex had arrived only minutes later to find his bed empty, and no one knowing where he was. A frantic search, first of the floor and then the rest of the hospital, subsequently found Bobby in the little hospital greenhouse, out of the wheelchair and lying unconscious on the ground, with the back of his pyjama top soaked in his own blood. In the process of moving himself from the bed to the wheelchair, he’d managed to reopen the knife wound in his back and by the time he’d realised what he’d done, he was beyond the immediate help of any of the hospital staff.

His doctor had been furious, and had threatened to keep him in hospital for full month longer than necessary if he ‘ever pulled any dumb shit like that again’.

In the end, the threats had been unnecessary. Bobby had given himself enough of a scare without anyone needing to resort to underhanded means to keep him where he was supposed to be. It was, they all knew, his meek compliance with his doctor’s orders from that point on which had convinced the doctor to allow him to leave the hospital for just a few hours to farewell Jason and his parents from New York.

“Leave him alone, Captain,” Alex said, jumping to the defence of her hapless partner. “He’s behaved himself since then. He wouldn’t do anything stupid. Would you, Bobby?”

Bobby grimaced.

“Not unless I want to be in hospital for another month or two.”

Alex smiled sweetly at Deakins.

“You see?”

Deakins smirked.

“All right.” He walked around and sat down next to Alex, his gaze going to Jason. “So what’s the plan when you get home, Jason?”

Jason smiled wryly.

“I’ll have about twelve hours to unpack, repack and head off to the police academy in San Diego.”

“They’re not making you wait until the next intake, then?” Alex wondered.

“No. They said that as long as I’m willing to do double-time to catch up with the rest of the recruits, there shouldn’t be a problem. I’ll only be a week and a half behind the rest of them. They’ve agreed to give me forty-eight hours leave, too, to come back to testify against Alan if it comes up during the training course. I think I’ll be okay.”

“You will be okay,” Donavon told him with a smile. Jason grinned sheepishly.

“Yeah. I will be okay.” He looked across at Bobby. “How long before you can go back to work?”

Bobby smiled faintly, feeling a rush of relief and gratitude that he could answer that question positively.

“Another month, and I can go back to work, although I’ll probably be on desk duty for a while.”

“What do you mean, probably?” Deakins retorted, drawing an exasperated groan from Bobby, and laughter from everyone else.

“Okay, I will definitely be on desk duty when I go back. Okay? The point is, I at least have a job to go back to.”

The laughter faded fairly abruptly, and Deakins reached over to pat him reassuringly on the shoulder.

“It was never going to be the same as the last time, Bobby. I wasn’t going to allow them to get away with anything.”

Bobby sighed softly. “They tried, though. Didn’t they?”

Deakins grimaced as his thoughts went back to the night immediately following Bobby and Jason’s dramatic rescue from Alan Scott’s clutches. He had arrived back at Major Case to find a not so small conglomerate of Major Case detectives awaiting word on their colleague. After reassuring them that Bobby was going to make a full recovery, McCall had then told him grimly that there was an IA officer waiting for him in his office.

The confrontation that followed had been spectacular, to say the least.

Deakins had walked into his office, his sharp, suspicious expression taking in the grey-haired man who sat waiting for him.

Captain Deakins,” the man said, arrogantly not even bothering to get up. “I’m Carl Jackson. I’ve been sent to investigate Detective Goren’s culpability in the incident which took place earlier today.”

The choice of phrase had incensed Deakins.

Culpability?” he echoed tensely. “Culpability? Detective Goren was nearly murdered by a vicious killer, and you’re accusing him of culpability?”

The Chief of Detectives personally requested that we investigate,” Jackson said tersely. “Taking into consideration Detective Goren’s past history with this particular suspect, it’s not unreasonable…”

I beg to differ,” Deakins snapped. “It’s highly unreasonable. If it weren’t for Detective Goren, the suspect, as you put it, would have been shot dead by SWAT this afternoon. Detective Goren’s actions prevented the suspect from being injured in any way, and resulted in him being nearly fatally stabbed! So do not come in here and throw around words like culpability! If you want to lay blame, then I suggest you look into the circumstances that saw Alan Scott released from custody to begin with! Now, I suggest you take yourself out of my office right now. The Chief of Detectives might be bosom buddies with that psychopath Scott, but I can assure you that the Governor isn’t. So if I hear so much as a whisper that you’re investigating Detective Goren, I’ll be straight on the phone to the Governor, and then you won’t know what the hell hit you. Am I making myself perfectly clear, Detective Jackson?” Deakins leaned in close to him, his eyes blazing with pure fury. “As far as any of my detectives are concerned... especially Detective Goren… your investigation is over.”

The officer had sat frozen, staring at Deakins wide-eyed for several long seconds before getting wordlessly to his feet and stumbling out of Major Case as fast as his feet would take him.

“They tried,” Deakins agreed, coming back to the present with a shake of his head. “They were never going to get away with it, though. You’re part of my team now, Goren. You screw up, and I’ll come down on you like a ton of bricks, but I’ll also back you to the hilt against any son of a bitch who tries to walk over the top of you for their own gain.”

Bobby nodded wordlessly, looking at Deakins with renewed respect.

“Heads up,” Donavon murmured as the boarding call sounded over the loudspeaker system. “That’s us.”

Jason rose up with his parents, and shook hands first with Deakins, and the Alex. Then, he turned to Bobby, who offered the younger man a crooked smile.

“Hopefully next time I see you, you’ll be a rookie.”

Jason nodded. “Hope so. Um… I guess…”

He never had the chance to finish whatever he’d been trying to say, for Bobby caught his wrist and pulled him in for a quick, fierce hug.

“Take care,” Bobby told him gruffly, and Jason grinned. Really, that was all there was to say, and it was all that was needed to be said.

“Yeah,” he said quietly. “You too, Bobby. I… I’ll see you round.”

Bobby, Alex and Deakins watched as the family disappeared through the boarding gate and then, when the plane was finally taxiing out to the runway, they began the trek back through the airport.

“Back to the hospital, then?” Deakins asked, and Bobby responded with a resounding groan.

“Not yet, please…”

“Aw, Bobby, you’ll miss your nice lukewarm hospital dinner,” Alex teased, and Bobby shook his head.

“That’s the whole idea.”

“Don’t torment him, Alex,” Deakins said with a laugh, and Alex rolled her eyes.

“Spoil sport.”

Bobby strained to look up at the two of them, puzzled but hopeful.


“We thought we’d take advantage of this little sojourn,” Deakins told him. “How does steak and pasta sound?” Neither of them missed the way Bobby’s face lit up, and Deakins chuckled. “Thought so. There’s a nice little restaurant just around the corner from the hospital. We can go there, and still have you back within the time limit set by your doctor.”

“Just be sure to keep your trap shut,” Alex warned him. “Don’t make us regret it by getting us into trouble with your doctor.”

Bobby grinned at her. “Don’t worry, I’ll keep quiet. Scout's honour. What’s the occasion, though?”

She grinned back at him.

“Does there have to be?”

Bobby looked at her with a thoughtful smile before settling back in the wheelchair, feeling happier and more satisfied than he had for a long, long time.

“Nope,” he said cheerfully. “There doesn't. No reason at all.”


Back                         Home                              Law and Order: Criminal Intent Main Page

Your Name or Alias:      Your E-mail (optional):

Please type your review below. Only positive reviews and constructive criticism will be posted!