A/N: Since I got a positive response to the first chapter, I figured I'd post chapter 2, and you can get an idea of where this is heading.
Warning: For strong language
Some time later
Bobby awoke to pain. Pain in his leg, pain in his gut, pain in his shoulders, pain in his head. There were very few areas on his body right then that weren’t hurting.
Gradually, he came to the realisation that he was lying on some sort of make-shift cot, but where…? Reluctantly, Bobby opened his eyes, and was relieved not to be assaulted by bright lights. With the way his head was pounding, he didn’t think he could have stood it.
As he slowly came back to his senses, Bobby became more acutely aware of his surroundings. Concrete walls… Dim lights, stripped of their fittings and hanging by only their wires… And were those bars…?
He started to push himself up, only to be stopped by the fiery pain that flared through his leg. Propping himself up on his elbows, Bobby peered down to discover the right leg of his suit pants had been torn wide open, and there was a thick bandage wrapped tightly around his wounded thigh.
He dropped back against the cot, baffled. Just what the hell was going on…?
A muffled groan alerted him to the fact that he was not alone. Looking around, he spotted Mike lying on a second cot nearby, with his left leg similarly bandaged.
He tried to speak, but the best he could manage was a hoarse whisper. His mouth was horribly dry, and he couldn’t even generate enough spit to get rid of the blood that he could taste. Mike heard him, though, and turned his head slowly to look at him with pain-filled eyes.
Again, Bobby tried to sit up, and this time he succeeded. Taking a moment to let his head adjust to being upright, he then swung his legs carefully over the edge of the cot, and tried to stand up. In retrospect, he should have known better. As it was, his legs buckled beneath him, and he collapsed with a painful thud on the cold concrete floor.
His own injuries momentarily forgotten, Mike climbed off his own cot and crawled over to where Bobby lay in a crumpled heap, clutching at his leg and shuddering violently in pain.
“Well, that was just plain stupid,” Mike muttered. “C’mon, Bobby, try and sit up.”
Gradually, with Mike’s help, Bobby managed to get himself upright again, and then the two of them sat side by side on the cold, hard floor, each man lost in his own thoughts. Mike was the first to finally break the silence.
“Just where the hell are we, anyway?”
Bobby shook his head, closing his eyes as his stomach rolled unpleasantly. The last thing he wanted right then was to be sick.
“I don’t know.”
Silence fell again as Mike looked around, taking in their surroundings with slowly dawning horror.
“We’re… in a cage…”
Bobby glanced around, a bleak expression on his pale face.
Slowly, painfully, Mike dragged himself to his feet so that he could look around properly.
“We’re in a fucking cage!”
“Sit down,” Bobby ordered him softly, “before you fall down.”
Mike sat down on the cot, where Bobby had lain only a short while ago. After a moment, Bobby pulled himself awkwardly up off the floor to sit beside him.
“We’re in a basement, somewhere,” Bobby deduced. “Beyond that… I don’t know. We could be anywhere in New York City.”
“What the hell do they want with us?” Mike muttered sourly. He’d had very specific ideas on how he’d planned on spending his weekend. Locked up in some dank basement somewhere with Major Case’s resident oddball genius had definitely not been on the agenda. Bobby didn’t answer, and after nearly a minute of silence, Mike turned to take a good look at his colleague.
The left side of Bobby’s face was badly grazed from being mashed into the sidewalk and his head was bleeding where he’d been struck a brutal knock-out blow. They’d both been stripped of their coats and jackets and, just visible beneath Bobby’s shirt, Mike could see other ugly bruises just coming up from where he’d taken a vicious beating.
Then, on top of those injuries, there was also the bullet wound to his thigh.
Mike took a moment to examine his own leg, staring at the firmly bandaged wound in puzzlement. What was the point of shooting them, and then treating the injuries? It didn’t make any sense. None of it made any sense.
“I’m sorry,” he said finally. His gaze was fixed squarely on the floor, and so he didn’t see the strange look that Bobby sent his way.
“Sorry? For what?”
Mike waved one hand vaguely in the air to indicate their grim surroundings.
“For this. If I hadn’t insisted on dragging you to that bar…”
“Then you probably would’ve gone alone, and you’d have been stuck in here on your own,” Bobby finished off bluntly. Mike grimaced, and refrained from pointing out that he had actually managed to get loose, while it was Bobby who had been overpowered.
“But still…” he protested.
“Look, Mike,” Bobby said wearily, “my head and my leg are really hurting. I don’t have the energy to argue with you. The bottom line is that I still had free will the last time I checked. I didn’t have to go to that bar with you. I went because I wanted to. If I really hadn’t wanted to, then nothing you could’ve said would have gotten me there. It wasn’t your fault. End of discussion.”
Mike frowned, not sure whether to be relieved or annoyed. Finally, he sighed in resignation, but didn’t offer any further protest. Nearly five minutes passed before either man spoke again.
He spoke perhaps a little more sharply than he had really intended, but he was starting to feel particularly sour. Not to mention, he was waiting for Bobby to recover enough to really get angry at him for landing them in this mess.
There was a brief moment of silence, and then Bobby spoke softly.
Mike blinked, effectively pole-axed. He stared at Bobby in confusion, but the other detective had his gaze fixed firmly on his hands and was refusing to look anywhere else.
“You’re thanking me? Why?”
“For not… not abandoning me.”
For the second time in a matter of minutes, Mike was completely taken aback. Bobby went on softly.
“You could have gotten away… You could have said you were running to get help, and no one would have disputed that… But you didn’t. You… You came back.”
Mike let his breath out in a rush. For a brief moment, he almost came back with a crack about not being game enough to ditch Bobby because he was too scared of Alex, but he caught himself at the last possible moment.
“I don’t abandon fellow cops,” he said quietly, sincerely, “and I sure as hell don’t abandon my friends.”
Bobby looked at him finally, one of those odd, patented sideways Goren looks.
“I just… I don’t have too many friends who’d do that for me. In fact, before this I think Eames might have been the only one who would have.”
“It’s okay, Bobby,” Mike said wearily. “I don’t have a lot of friends like that, either.”
The two men sat there in silent solidarity for a while before Mike suddenly grunted in frustration and got to his feet once more.
“What are you doing?” Bobby asked hoarsely.
“Looking for a way outta here. I am not sitting on my ass waiting for those sons of bitches to come back. They put us in here. There’s got to be a way to get out.”
Bobby couldn’t dispute the logic in that argument, and he wasn’t entirely happy with just sitting and waiting it out, either. Gritting his teeth, he pushed himself awkwardly to his feet. Mike looked back at him with a frown.
“What are you doing?”
“Helping you look for a way out.”
“Hey, you think I’m going to just sit back and let you do all the work? You’ll never let me forget it.”
Mike looked down pointedly at Bobby’s wounded leg.
“Yes, well, if you collapse and bleed out on me, Eames will never let me forget it.”
Bobby looked down to see the bandage around his thigh was stained dark red with the blood that was steadily seeping through.
“It’s okay,” he insisted, even as he took in Mike’s sceptical expression. “If the bullet had hit an artery, I’d be dead already. I’m not going to bleed out.”
Mike shook his head but, as Bobby had said not too long before, he simply didn’t have it in him to argue.
It didn’t take them long to find the door of their makeshift prison. It took them even less time to come to the realisation that there would be no exiting through that door.
“I don’t believe this,” Mike growled as he examined the lock on the cage door which, by all appearances, had been welded shut.
“They really don’t want us to go anywhere,” Bobby murmured, his shoulders slumping noticeably.
“I don’t get it,” Mike said heatedly. “Just what the fuck is going on here? They ambush us in the street where anyone could have seen, shoot us both in the leg, and then they leave us locked up in here like fucking animals. What the hell are they playing at?”
Bobby didn’t answer, his attention focused elsewhere. Mike felt a sudden knot of tension in his gut. He hadn’t been working alongside Bobby for very long, but he was already starting to recognise certain mannerisms and affectations. In this instance, he knew Bobby had spotted something that was probably of great importance… or great concern… to the both of them.
“What is it?” he asked, rejoining his colleague at the bars and looking at him in genuine concern. Bobby spoke softly, his voice sounding hoarse and sore.
“Over there, by that pillar. Do you see it?”
Mike peered intently in the direction that Bobby had indicated. At first, he couldn’t see anything in the dim light. But then, as his eyes gradually adjusted, he could finally make out what Bobby had spotted, carefully packed at the base of a nearby support pillar.
“Oh… crap… Is that what I think it is?”
“Yeah,” Bobby said softly. “Explosives. And see that label? That’s a City Council seal. They’ve locked us up in a building scheduled for demolition.”
Mike turned away from Bobby, suddenly very angry and very scared. It was at that point that he saw it. Limping across the floor, he leaned down and picked up two small water bottles, one of which had a note attached to it.
“One bottle of water each for the thirsty pigs,” he read aloud, scowling at the use of the crude insult. “Use it wisely.” He pulled a face as he looked back at Bobby. “Use it wisely? What the fuck is that supposed to mean?”
Bobby shrugged, and slowly made his way over to sit back on the cot.
“I guess they just don’t want us dehydrating before the big finale.”
Mike scowled angrily.
Bobby looked up at him, looking sick and pale.
“They’re not coming back. The men who put us here…? They’re not coming back. They’ve left us in here to… to die.”
“Crap,” Mike muttered. He handed one water bottle to Bobby, and hung on to the other as he sat back down on his own cot. “Well, I guess we’ll just have to wait for Eames and Barek to come rescue us.”
Bobby didn’t so much as crack a smile.
“Unless there’s a call-out over the weekend, they’re not even going to know that we’re missing until Monday morning, and that’s probably when this building is scheduled for demolition.
“Well, gee, aren’t you just full of happy thoughts,” Mike grumbled. “C’mon, don’t you and Eames have some sort of psychic connection happening?”
“Psychic…? What the hell are you talking about?” Bobby asked, genuinely confused. Mike flapped a hand in the air.
“Damn, Bobby, everyone sees it. Everyday, it’s as visible as that grey in your hair.”
Bobby frowned darkly, but didn’t retaliate to the insult. Mike went on, barely able to hide his smirk.
“You and her… You only need to look at each other, and you seem to know what’s going on. You even finish off each other’s sentences, for crying out loud! I’ve never seen two cops with a connection like that!”
Mike fell silent, and after a minute Bobby spoke tentatively.
“You’re not going to…”
“Not going to what?”
“To accuse us of… of…”
Mike raised an eyebrow, struggling against a powerful urge to burst out laughing.
“Sleeping together? Is that what you’re trying to say? Damn, Bobby! I didn’t think I even hinted at that, but you know you ought to try and not look so damn guilty.”
Bobby reddened visibly, much to Mike’s amusement.
“It’s just… That’s what most people assume… that we work so well because we’re sleeping together. Or, that Alex has stayed with me for so long before we’re sleeping together. But we’re not. We… We never have.”
Mike chuckled, then, and shook his head.
“Relax, pal. I know you’ve never and I can give you two reasons why I already knew that. Firstly, Deakins is way too perceptive not to know if something like that was going on under his nose, and if it was, he wouldn’t stand for it.”
“Have you ever… you know… slept with a partner?”
Mike nearly choked as he took a mouthful from his water bottle.
Bobby didn’t apologise for the question, but rather sat patiently waiting for an answer. Mike stared at his colleague incredulously.
“You do know that I’ve never had a female partner before Barek?”
“I do now, but you still haven’t answered my question.”
“No,” Mike stated firmly, his eyes lighting up with a warning glare in the dim light. “Not with Barek, and definitely not with any of my other partners.”
Bobby hid the smile that tugged at his mouth by ducking his head down. It never ceased to amaze him, the way that so many men were so defensive about their sexuality. Not that he had ever thought for an instant that Mike was inclined towards men, but it was amusing to hear him so vigorously espouse his heterosexuality.
“I wasn’t inferring anything, Mike,” he reassured the other detective as he lay down carefully on the cot, stretching his body out slowly and trying to get his injured leg into as comfortable a position as possible. “Just… tit for tat.”
“Firstly, I never actually asked if you were sleeping with Eames. You brought that one up all on your own. Secondly, we’re colleagues, not rivals. Don’t play the same whacked games with me that you play with that psychotic bitch, Wallace.”
Even though Bobby was staring up at the ceiling, Mike couldn’t possibly miss the way he flinched at the mere mention of his murderous nemesis. Flooded with remorse, Mike sighed softly and offered a quiet apology.
“Sorry. That was a dumb thing to say.”
“S’okay,” Bobby mumbled. All of a sudden, he was feeling horribly sick and light-headed, and Mike’s unintended affront was as far from his mind as it could be.
“Bobby…? You okay over there?”
Bobby didn’t answer. He couldn’t. Suddenly, nothing seemed to work. Mike’s face sudden appeared above his own, but nothing he was saying made any sense. Bobby could make out his lips moving, but what was coming out could have been Ancient Hebrew, for all the good it did.
Intense heat and pain flared through Bobby’s leg, and he gave a strangled cry of pain, his body arching up off the bed in reaction. Then, abruptly, the world tilted upside down, and turned to blackness.
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