A/N: The conversation between Deakins and Mack Taylor in this chapter was a deliberately planned scene that I have thought over very carefully. I have just not decided yet whether exactly what that is about will be made known at the end of this story, or at the beginning of the new story that I am already plotting. All I’m asking is that you keep that conversation in the backs of your minds, for later on.

Two days later
Mt Sinai Hospital

“Mike, please,” Carolyn pleaded with her partner, trying at the same time to hide her growing frustration. “You’ve got to let them…”

“The hell I do,” Mike snapped. “I’ve been poked and prodded for the last week. I’ve had a tube shoved down my throat, and been sedated at least three times that I know of. They can take their blood tests, and shove it up their asses! I’m not having another fucking needle stuck in me, unless it’s loaded with morphine!”

“Detective Logan, we need these DNA samples,” Detective Mack Taylor insisted, but Mike silenced him with a glare.

“You can’t tell me that you can’t get what you need from all the tests the doctors have done.”

“No, we can’t,” Mack argued. “We need separate, uncompromised samples, so we can compare your DNA with the DNA that might have been left behind by the men who attacked you and Detective Goren.”

“Why the fuck couldn’t you get all that crap while I was out to it in St Barnabas? Why wait until now?”

Mack sighed softly. He’d anticipated reluctance on Mike’s part, but not this outright stubborn refusal to cooperate.

“Because we needed your permission to get blood samples, and your doctor at St Barnabas wouldn’t let us anywhere near you.”

Mike grunted.

“Smart doctor.”

“We need those samples so that when your squad locates a suspect for your assault, we have something for comparison. According to the boy that witnessed your abduction, you and Detective Goren were loaded into the trunk of a car. If we find the car, we may find samples of your DNA in the trunk. We just don’t want to take any chances with this case, Detective. When Major Case nabs the guys that attacked you, we want to be able to just about bury them with rock-solid evidence. I want this case to be so damned tight that suffocates any possible defence.”

Mike, however, was unmoved by Mack’s plea.

“I’m touched,” he muttered, looking away sourly. Carolyn groaned in frustration, then, unable to understand her partner’s reticence.

“For God’s sake, Mike, Detective Taylor isn’t going to hurt you! Why can’t you just let him do what he needs to do?”

Mike looked back at her slowly, and she was taken aback by the anguish in his green eyes.

“You just don’t get it, do you? You say it won’t hurt me, but you’re wrong. It will. Right now, I hurt. There’s not a spot on me that doesn’t hurt. They only have to touch me with the tip of a needle, and it feels like I’ve been stabbed. Do you have even the slightest idea of just how much this IV in my arm hurts right now? My whole fucking body feels like it’s on fire, and I don’t mean that in a good way!”

“Hypersensitivity to pain, you mean,” Mack murmured.

“Yeah, that’s what Dr Harrison called it,” Mike said bitterly.

Mack sighed again.

“Well, conceding the extreme trauma that your body has suffered, I’m not surprised. But it doesn’t change the fact that we need these samples.”

Miked stared at Mack, tired and distressed but fast losing the will to argue with the CSU detective.

“If I keep saying no, you’ll just get a court order, won’t you?”

“I’d rather not resort to that, Detective Logan,” Mack told him quietly. Mike shut his eyes.

“But you will if you have to.”


“Carolyn,” Mike said softly, “why don’t you take a walk… Maybe go to the cafeteria, and get me a coke?”

She stared down at him, unsure whether to be offended at his request. She took in the look of sheer misery on his pale face, and wavered on the side of understanding and compassion.

“Are you sure you don’t want me to stay?” she asked softly. “I will if you want me to.”

“No,” he murmured, though she thought his eyes told a different story. “Go on. I… I could really use that coke.”

Still uncertain, Carolyn ruffled his hair affectionately before sliding off the bed and walking silently out of the room. Once she was gone, Mike looked back at Mack, and the nurse who stood near the door, waiting with a small tray of supplies.

“Okay,” he said, not quite able to keep his voice even. “Do what you have to.”

Carolyn was almost to the end of the corridor when Deakins rounded the corner, accompanied by a young boy. She managed a weak smile, and spoke before Deakins had a chance to.

“This must be the hero who helped to save Mike and Bobby.”

Jeremy blushed violently and ducked his head shyly, much to the captain’s amusement.

“Detective Barek, this is Jeremy. Jeremy, this is Detective Barek. She’s Mike’s partner.”

Jeremy’s head came back up to peer at Carolyn curiously through a wild mop of hair that flopped forward over his eyes. Deakins went on quietly.

“I brought him in to see Mike.”

Carolyn’s eyes widened a little.

“Actually, sir, this might not be the best time…”

Her words were cut off very abruptly by a stomach-churning scream of pain that shattered the quiet of the ICU wing. Jeremy gave a frightened wail at the sound, instinctively throwing his arms around the captain’s waist, while Deakins turned the colour of ash and looked for all the world like he was going to be sick.

“What in God’s name was that?” he asked hoarsely. Carolyn, he noted dimly, looked just as ill as he felt.

“That was Mike,” she said softly, struggling valiantly to hide her tears. “Mack Taylor turned up to get blood and DNA samples from him… His body is hypersensitive at the moment…”

Jeremy inched away from Deakins, horror and dismay written all over his young face.

“What are they doin’ to him?” he asked, his voice trembling audibly. “Sounded like they’re killing him!”

“No, sweetie,” Carolyn tried to reassure him, but before she had a chance to get a full sentence out, Jeremy suddenly broke away from Deakins’ side and bolted down the corridor, towards Mike’s room. Exchanging grim looks, Deakins and Carolyn hurried after him.

“Easy, Detective,” Mack murmured, grimly conscious of the death grip that Mike had on his hand. “Just relax, now. It’s over…”

“Fuck you,” Mike hissed, his voice muffled by the oxygen mask that the nurse had gently secured over his face. His body was effectively locked in rigour, every muscle tensed and rigid as agonising pain coursed through him.

Mack ignored the expletive, waiting patiently for Mike to overcome the pain he was in. Gradually, he did so, slowly relaxing once more in his hospital bed, finally loosening his grip enough that Mack was able to reclaim his hand.

“I’m sorry, Mike,” he apologised quietly as he began to prepare the samples for transport back to CSU. “But it really did have to be done.”

Mike shuddered, and didn’t answer. He was just about out of energy, and barely had the strength to keep his eyes open, let alone respond. Mack sighed inwardly and was about to go when a large mop of hair appeared around the open doorway.

“You lost, kid?” Mack asked, though not unkindly. Mike looked out of sheer curiosity, and was startled when he recognised the anxious face that peered at him from the safety of the doorway.

“Jeremy? That you…?”

Ignoring Mack, Jeremy ventured into the room and over to the bed, his large eyes looking at Mike searchingly.

“Hi, Mike.”

Despite the pain he was in, Mike still somehow managed a weak smile.

“I hear I’ve got you to thank for saving my butt.”

“I guess,” Jeremy mumbled uncomfortably. His gaze skittered nervously up and down, taking in Mike’s ragged appearance with more than a little trepidation. “You got hurt bad, huh?”

“Yeah,” Mike mumbled, too exhausted and in far too much pain to put up any sort of a front for the benefit of the child. “I got hurt bad, kid. But I’m going to be okay. Maybe not right away, but I will be.”

Jeremy hesitated, and started to reach for Mike’s hand, only to gasp a little in fright as Deakins quickly reached out and caught hold of his wrist.

“No, Jeremy. Don’t touch. You wouldn’t mean to, but you’ll only hurt him.”

Jeremy pulled a face, but withdrew his hand with reluctance. He opened his mouth to speak again, only to discover that Mike had drifted into a light sleep.

“He’s asleep,” he said, disappointed. Deakins ruffled the boy’s hair lightly.

“You said it yourself, Jeremy. He was hurt badly. He needs a lot of rest. You’ll have another chance to talk to him, I promise.”

Then, with a glance at Carolyn, Deakins turned to Mack.

“Detective Taylor, can I have a word with you outside, please?”

“All right,” Deakins said tersely once they were away from the doorway of Mike’s room. “What’s all this about needing blood and DNA samples? You should have gotten whatever you needed from St Barnabas when Goren and Logan were taken there after being rescued.”

“We did get what we needed,” Mack agreed quietly, “for the case. I assure you, Captain Deakins, there is a good reason for taking new samples.”

The look on Deakins’ face by then had turned decidedly dangerous.

“I certainly hope so, Detective. Because if I thought for even a second that you put my detective through that sort of pain for no reason at all, I might not take too kindly to it. Do you understand me?”

Mack looked distinctly uncomfortable, Deakins noted with satisfaction as he waited for a reply.

“I understand, sir, and I assure you that it wasn’t done unnecessarily. The thing is, something has shown up in the analyses we ran on both Detective Goren and Detective Logan’s DNA. I needed to take fresh samples of DNA from both of them because I want to run a fresh analysis. I want to be a hundred and fifty percent positive that the result we got is true, and not a false result due to contamination, or a simple mix-up.”

“What result?” Deakins asked, starting to feel confused, and more than a little unsettled. “What are you talking about?”

“Actually, sir, I’d rather not discuss it yet, if you don’t mind…”

“I do mind,” Deakins growled. “Anything concerning Goren and Logan’s welfare at the moment concerns me. Now, spit it out, Detective. What is this about?”

Biting back a sigh, Mack reached into his jacket, and withdrew a single sheet of paper, handing it to Deakins. The captain examined it wordlessly for nearly a minute before finally lifting his gaze back up to meet Mack’s eyes.

“Please, tell me this is someone’s twisted idea of a joke.”

“I wish I could, Captain, but it’s on the level.”

“So you believe it’s for real.”

“That’s what I’m trying to determine with these new samples.”

For a long moment, Deakins shut his eyes against a sudden oncoming migraine.

“All right. Who else knows about it?”

“Just my partner, and the tech that ran the analysis. Neither of them will say a word to anyone about it, I promise you.”

“I hope not,” Deakins muttered. “How certain are you that the original result is accurate?”

Mack looked almost apologetic as he spoke.

“Ninety-nine percent positive, sir. There’s not much chance that it’s wrong. But I have to double-check it regardless.”

Deakins felt his stomach churn unpleasantly. God, he hoped it was wrong. He didn’t think he’d ever hoped more fervently for anything in his life.

“All right, Detective Taylor. You’ll contact me as soon as you know for certain?”

“Yes, I will. I promise you’ll be the first to know.”

Deakins nodded and, with a heavy heart, walked back into Mike’s room without saying another word.

Carolyn raised an eyebrow questioningly as Deakins came back in.

“What was that all about?”

“Nothing,” Deakins answered dismissively.

“Right,” Carolyn retorted. “It sure sounded like nothing.”

Deakins took the liberty of ignoring her, and focusing instead on Jeremy.

“Jeremy, did you want to go?”

The child looked over at Deakins plaintively. He’d perched himself precariously on the very edge of the bed, and had been watching over Mike in an almost protective manner.

“Do I have to go? I’d like to stay for a while, if I could.”

The captain looked hesitant. “I need to get over to St Barnabas to work out getting Bobby transferred here to Mt Sinai. I won’t be back for a few hours, at least.”

“It’s okay, sir,” Carolyn told him. “Go ahead. Jeremy’s fine here. I’ll look out for him. We can keep each other company.”

“All right,” Deakins conceded, quietly grateful for Carolyn’s offer. He’d already been reluctant to drag the little boy across the city, especially when it meant taking him back to the Bronx. He dared not take Jeremy anywhere that someone might recognise him. “I’ll arrange for Detective Jackson to come and get you in an hour or so, okay, Jeremy?”

Jeremy nodded, pleased not to be leaving Mike’s side so soon.

“Okay. Thanks, Jim.”

Deakins smiled faintly.

“Okay, then. Barek, I’ll call you in a couple of hours, to let you know what’s happening with Goren.”

She answered with an appreciative nod.

“Thankyou, sir.”

Deakins hurried down the front steps of Mt Sinai, taking them three at a time. He was anxious to get over to St Barnabas, so that they could begin to facilitate Bobby’s transfer from the Bronx to Mt Sinai, and he knew that he was not the only one. Alex, for one, was desperate to get her partner as far away from the Bronx as possible, and as quickly as possible, and he didn’t blame her in the slightest.

Bobby, for his part, seemed to be anxious simply to be back within close proximity to Mike.

A wry smile fought its way onto Deakins’ face. He was thoroughly bemused by the level of concern that both men were displaying towards each other. He would never in a million years have imagined that the likes of Bobby Goren and Mike Logan were capable of bonding like they had. He would never have imagined they were capable of becoming friends.

And yet, that was exactly what had happened. Their experience together inside the walls of the Staten Island prison a year ago had given them respect for each other, but this latest experience had brought them together as friends.

His smile faded. He could only hope that what had been uncovered by CSU’s DNA analysis would not compromise their new-found friendship. He fervently prayed that it wouldn’t.

Deakins had just reached his car when his cell phone began to ring. Frowning irritably, he answered it with reluctance.


Captain, it’s Jackson.”

“Jackson,” Deakins greeted the detective. “I was going to call you. I need to you come by Mt Sinai in a couple of hours’ time, and pick up Jeremy from ICU. I’ve left him here with Barek while I head over to St Barnabas.”

Sure, Captain, no problem. But you might want to hold off on heading over to the Bronx just yet.

“Why is that, Jackson?” Deakins asked, sounded a little more terse than he really would have liked. There was just a brief pause before the detective replied.

Sir, Doyle and Masterson just got back in, and they’ve brought Big Joey Baker in with them.”

Deakins’ breath caught in his throat.

“Say that again, Jackson?”

Doyle and Masterson have arrested the son of a bitch that tried to kill Goren and Logan.”

Deakins let his breath out in a long hiss.

“I’ll be there in ten.”

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