A/N: I’m fully aware that this chapter might make me kind of unpopular with those who might be hoping for a quick resolution, but what can I say? Sorry, I just don't do 'quick fixes'. The muse will go where the muse will go…

It took Deakins the better part of forty minutes to get clear of the grid-locked traffic, and by the time he ran into the ER waiting room of St Barnabas he was nearly sick with fear. He couldn’t remember being this afraid for a long time. He couldn’t remember ever being so acutely aware of the possibility of losing two men under his command.

He entered the waiting room, and quickly located Alex and Carolyn. They sat in a far corner, holding each other’s hands for comfort. Alex was looking shell-shocked, while Carolyn was crying softly into Alex’s shoulder. Deakins approached them slowly, a chill deep in his gut.

Alex looked up at him as he approached, her ashen features reflecting the horror they had all just witnessed.

“They’re both in surgery. The doctors said they’d do all they could… but it’s bad… for both of them.”

Deakins sat down next to Carolyn.

“They’re both strong guys. Until we’re told otherwise, we assume they’ll pull through.”

Carolyn looked around at him, tears in her eyes.

“Mike went into cardiac arrest in the ambulance. They revived him, but for a minute there… he was dead. For just a minute there, Mike was dead.”

Deakins embraced her warmly as she dissolved into tears once more, wishing there was something he could say that would help, even in just a small way.

“You know,” Alex said suddenly, bitterly, “the worst part is that there’s no one we can call for either one of them. No family… nothing. We are their family.”

Deakins looked at her over the top of Carolyn’s head.

“Your father would come. He’d be here in an instant.”

Alex swallowed hard. Deakins was right. Her family… and her father in particular… had taken Bobby into their hearts a long time ago. To them, he was as much a part of their family as she was, and they would come without hesitation to show support for him. She only needed to make the call.

Sighing softly, Alex pulled out her cell phone to call her parents. While she was dialling, Deakins’ phone started ringing. Frowning, he answered it gruffly.


“Captain, it’s Jackson. I’m at the squad room with Myers… Uh… Do you know anything about a kid…?”

Deakins sucked in a sharp breath.


“I, uh… I guess you do know, then.”

“Where is he, Jackson?”

“In the break room, cleaning out the fridge. You want us to kick him?”

“No! No, leave him be... Wait… Actually, put him on. I want to talk to him.”

There were muffled noises, and then Jeremy’s voice came over the cell phone.

“Hi, did you make it in time? Did you find ’em?”

“We found them,” Deakins confirmed. “Thanks to you, Jeremy. I promise I’ll make sure you get to your aunt’s place for this.”

“So, they’ll be okay, then?”

Deakins’ stomach rolled ominously.

“We don’t know yet, Jeremy. They were both very badly hurt. We just have to wait and see.”

“Well… can I come to the hospital?”

“Maybe later. There’s something else now that I need you to do. I need you to talk to the detectives that are there, and tell them absolutely everything you can remember about Friday night. Would you do that?”

“Yes, sir. I’ll do that.”

“Thankyou. Now, put Detective Jackson back on.”

There was more muffled sound, and then Jackson was back.

“Captain? What the hell is going on?”

“I’m at St Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx,” Deakins told him. “Eames and Barek are here with me.”

“Eames and Barek?” Jackson echoed, puzzled. A moment later, understanding dawned. “Does this have something to do with why they were asking about where Goren and Logan went on Friday night? Has something happened to Goren and Logan?”

“Yes,” Deakins admitted softly. “To put it simply, they were accosted and abducted late on Friday night, and locked in a cage in the basement of Collins Street Apartment Block.”

There was a long moment of silence that followed that statement.

“But… that block was supposed to be demolished tonight… wasn’t it?”

“Yes. It was.”

Another long silence.

“Oh… fuck… Are they badly hurt?”

“They’re both critical,” Deakins told him, finding it difficult all of a sudden to speak without his voice cracking. “The demolition started before we could get there… The only reason they’re alive now is because one of the explosive packs failed to detonate, and broke the sequence, but they were damn near crushed to death anyway. It looked bad when they were pulled out of there. Logan arrested on the way to the hospital, and Goren… It’s bad, Jackson. We could lose them both.”

“Oh no… Look, Captain, I’d like to call the rest of the squad and fill them in, if it’s okay with you.”

“That’s fine, Jackson, but I want you to take a formal statement from the boy. Call Carver, and have Child Services send their advocate. Make sure everything’s done properly. And try to get a hold of a sketch artist, if you can. I want a composite of a guy that Jeremy calls Big Joe.”

“That’s the son of a bitch who did this to Goren and Logan?”

“One of them, according to Jeremy,” Deakins answered carefully. “Treat that boy decently, Jackson. If he hadn’t come forward, we may not have found Goren and Logan at all.”

“Will do, Captain.”

The call ended, and then Deakins found Alex and Carolyn to be staring at him, puzzled.

“Who’s Jeremy?” Alex asked.

“A street kid,” Deakins explained. “He saw what happened on Friday night and came forward. It’s because of him that Goren and Logan have a chance at all.”

Carolyn sighed softly.

“I wanna meet that kid, and give him a huge hug.”

Deakins smiled faintly in amusement. Jeremy didn’t particularly strike him as the type of kid who would freely accept any show of physical affection, and he could only imagine how he’d react to getting a ‘huge hug’ from the likes of Carolyn Barek.

“I think he’ll just be happy for a one-way ticket to his aunt’s home in Connecticut. Alex, did you call your father?”

“Yes. He and Mom are on their way. Captain, you said this kid came forward…”

Deakins smiled again. “Actually, I found him in the break room when I got back to the squad room this afternoon… While you two were getting coffee. He snuck past security and was waiting up there for us.”

“How did he know who to look for?” Alex asked with a frown. “How did he even know where to find us? I mean, not only did he find his way to One Police Plaza from the Bronx, but he also knew exactly which floor to go to! How the hell did he know?”

Deakins fell silent, baffled. The truth was, he didn’t know, and he admitted as much with some reluctance.

“We’ll have a chance to talk to him later,” he said finally. “We’ll be able to ask him then. But right now, let’s just be thankful that he did find his way to us, however he did it. Because at least now, Bobby and Mike have a chance.”

Carolyn looked at him warily.

“Are you going to investigate how they got into that situation at all?”

“You mean from the point of view of whether either of them was responsible for their situation? I don’t think that’s necessary. From what Jeremy had to say, it was an ambush, plain and simple. They weren’t advertising that they were cops, and they weren’t out looking for trouble… although, I will be looking forward to hearing from their own lips just why they thought it was a good idea to visit a bar in the Bronx.”

“Mike doesn’t have to look for trouble,” Carolyn muttered. “Trouble usually manages to find him.”

Deakins had to smile at that.

“True. Look, right now we’ll just focus on hoping and praying that they pull through. All right?”

Both women nodded in wordless consent. Yes, they could do that.

It was nearly another three hours before a doctor finally emerged and make a beeline across the floor to them.

“Excuse me, folks,” she said quietly. “I’m Dr Jane Harrison. I have Michael Logan in my care. Before any of you panic, I want to let you know that he came through surgery okay, and I believe he’s going to make it. The next forty-eight hours or so are going to be critical, but I honestly believe he’ll pull through. It’s going to take time to recover, and he has some injuries that we just don’t know whether he’ll full recover from, but he will live.”

“Thank God,” Deakins muttered.

“What about Bobby?” Alex asked anxiously. Harrison paused for just a split second before answering.

“Robert’s doctor is Aidan Mackey. He’ll be out to speak to you soon.”

“Is he dead?” Alex asked flatly, her gaze hardening fractionally as she visibly tried to prepare herself for the worst. Harrison shook her head.

“No, he’s not dead. I can tell you that he came through surgery as well, but beyond that I don’t know what his condition is. Michael is in my care, and it’s him that I’ve come out to talk to you about.”

“You said he has injuries he might not recover from,” Carolyn said hoarsely. “Like what?”

“Okay. For starters, I just want to say that Michael was extraordinarily lucky.”

“He might not think so,” John Eames said quietly, no humour in his eyes. Harrison didn’t so much as flinch.

“Be that as it may, he is lucky. The internal injuries he sustained were at a minimum, and considering what he’s been through, that’s no small miracle. The worst damage was to his lung, but we were able to drain it and repair the perforation without any complications. We have him intubated and on a ventilator, until he regains lung functionality. That might be three or four days… A week at the most. After that, most of his injuries are not life-threatening. The only thing we’re really worried about as far as long term recuperation is concerned is his hand.”

“His hand?” Deakins echoed, feeling his heart rate start to climb once more. “What about his hand?”

“Michael sustained a serious injury to the palm of his right hand,” Harrison explained. “There is nerve damage, which we’ve done our best to repair, but we won’t know until he fully regains consciousness what the likelihood will be of permanently impaired use.”

“And in plain English,” Carolyn said tensely, “you’re saying he could lose the use of his hand.”

Harrison nodded, speaking apologetically.

“It’s a possibility, yes.”

“What else?” Deakins asked softly.

“He has a bullet wound in the right thigh, but it’s a clean wound, no complications. He has several broken ribs, as well as a number of other cracked or broken bones. Michael will recover, but I can’t say for sure yet how completely, or how long it’s going to take.”

“Is it possible to see him?” Carolyn asked, straining to keep her voice even. Harrison nodded.

“Yes, of course. He’s just been moved from Recovery into a room in ICU, but be aware that it’s going be some time before he regains consciousness. At least twenty-four hours, if not longer.”

As Carolyn stood up, Deakins looked from her to Alex, torn. John reached over and rested a hand briefly on his shoulder.

“Go ahead. Go with Carolyn. We’ll wait with Alex.”

Nodding his head in wordless thanks, he stood up and followed Harrison from the waiting room with Carolyn.

Less than ten minutes after Deakins and Carolyn had gone to see Mike, a second doctor emerged into the waiting room, scanning it briefly before heading across the floor to where Alex waited with her parents. She spotted him coming, and was on her feet before her parents knew it.

“How is he? How’s Bobby?”

Mackey didn’t even try to offer her so much as a reassuring smile.

“He’s alive.”

“Alive?” John echoed. “That’s all you can say?”

Mackey sighed softly, and sat down opposite them.

“In the circumstances, it’s a miracle I can even give you that much. Robert has serious injuries. Head trauma… blood poisoning from a bullet wound in his left leg… multiple broken bones… He was in deep shock by the time he was brought to us, and we had to revive him three times during surgery. The third time it happened, he suffered a major seizure. We suspect he may have suffered some degree of brain damage as a result of that seizure.”

“Brain damage?” Alex echoed in dismay.

“We won’t know what the extent of the damage is until he wakes up,” Mackey told her. “It’s possible that there won’t be any damage, but we have no way of knowing until he regains consciousness, and that in itself is not an absolute certainty at the moment.”

“What are you trying to say?” Helen asked, slipping an arm protectively around her daughter’s trembling shoulders.

“What I’m saying,” Mackey answered quietly, sombrely, “is that Robert is in a coma. He might wake up in a few hours… or a few days… Or he might not wake up at all.”

“Look at him,” Carolyn whispered as she and Deakins stood by their colleague’s bedside in the ICU. Deakins nodded in wordless agreement with her dismay and horror. Mike had looked in bad enough condition upon being brought out of the partly demolished apartment block, but there was something intensely disturbing about the sight of the tough detective lying so still and unresponsive, hooked up to a ventilator with a tube down his throat. Even with his visible wounds treated, it was still frightening to look at him.

“I never thought I’d see Mike like this,” she said softly. “When… when we realised they were missing… I never imagined…”

She faltered, and shook her head miserably, at a loss for words. Deakins took a step closer to the bed, looking down at Mike’s passive features. The detective’s face was ashen in some places, and hideously swollen in others, almost to the point of being unrecognisable.

His bare chest was battered black and blue, a grim, visible consequence of nearly being crushed beneath a concrete slab. It was a truly sickening sight.

“I’ve never known anything like this to happen before,” Deakins admitted. “I’ve lost men before… I’ve seen good cops die… but never like this.”

“How could this happen?” Carolyn asked bitterly as she began to cry once more. “How the hell could this happen?”

Deakins squeezed her shoulder in a gesture of fatherly affection.

“I don’t know,” he said softly. “But I promise you I’m going to find out.”

It took every ounce of strength that Alex had not to collapse at the sight of her partner. It had been bad enough when Bobby had been brought out of the building with Mike. Seeing him so badly hurt and so unresponsive had sent waves of near paralysing fear through her body. But now, after the doctors had done everything they could, for him to still be so close to death…

She approached the bed slowly, sitting down carefully on the very edge and taking his hand up in her own.

“You can’t leave me, Bobby,” she whispered miserably, reaching out to gently stroke the side of his face with the backs of her fingers. “You have to wake up, Bobby. Damn it, I’m mad enough at you right now as it is. Don’t you even think about making me madder at you by dying.”

A hand came down lightly on her shoulder, and she looked up to see her father offering her a comforting smile.

“He’s strong, Alex,” John said quietly, “and he’s a fighter. We have to have some faith now that he’s strong enough to win this particular battle.”

“I don’t want to lose him,” Alex whispered, tears rolling down her cheeks. “I… I can’t lose him.”

Helen walked around to the other side of the bed. She paused for a moment, looking down at Bobby’s passive features, and then reaching down to push a lock of hair back from his forehead, revealing an abrasion along his hairline. After a moment’s consideration, she leaned down and kissed Bobby gently on that spot.

When she straightened back up, she looked back at her daughter with a soft smile.

“He’ll live, honey. I believe he will live.”

Alex looked back to Bobby, blinking back the tears.

“I can’t even begin to imagine what they must have gone through,” she said shakily. “They… They must have believed they were going to die.”

“I bet they had faith that you and Carolyn would find them in time,” John murmured. “Bobby isn’t the type of guy to give up easily, and I may not know Mike Logan so well, but I’d be willing to bet that he’s no different.”

“They must have been so damned scared, though,” Alex whispered. The tears came in a fresh flood. “I just want him to wake up, and be okay. Is that too much to ask?”

John hugged her to him fiercely.

“No, honey, it isn’t.”

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