A/N: Someone mentioned in a review that they wanted to read more about Bobby, and my muse agreed. So we decided in this chapter to visit Bobby over in St Barnabas, and see how he’s doing

Eight minutes later, Deakins was standing in the observation room between Interrogation Rooms One and Two, looking in at the hulk of a man who was currently conversing with his lawyer.

“That’s Big Joe?” he wondered, barely able to hide his disgust and anger. Jackson nodded.

“Yeah, that’s him.”

“So how did Doyle and Masterson find him?”

“Doyle has a snitch that occasionally does business with members of the Masucci clan. The guy called him and tipped him off to this guy’s whereabouts. Word on the street is that the Masucci family isn’t happy about what happened to Goren and Logan. They probably wouldn’t have given a damn ordinarily, but it happened right smack in the middle of their turf.”

Deakins nodded wordlessly, recalling the conversation he, Carolyn and Alex had had with Alvin Barone more than a week ago, and Barone’s reaction when Carolyn had mentioned someone else moving in on Masucci territory. It didn’t surprise him in the slightest that the Masuccis had given this clown over to the police.

“We not only got this mutt,” Jackson went on, oblivious to Deakins’ reaction, “but they also tipped us off over where to find the car that was used to get Goren and Logan from the bar to the apartment block. CSU are going over it right now. It’s going to be a while before we get solid results, but word is they’ve already found blood and hair samples in the trunk. Listen, Captain, Doyle and Masterson were the ones who brought him in, but they’re willing to step aside and let Eames and Barek take over. After all, it’s their partners who were nearly killed.”

Deakins smiled faintly.

“I appreciate their consideration, but I’d feel better if they handle it. Eames and Barek are too closely involved to be able to remain objective, and a defence lawyer would be all over that like a rash. Secondly, I doubt we’d have any hope of getting them away from their partners.”

“How are Goren and Logan doing, anyway?” Jackson wondered.

“They’re improving, slowly. Goren’s finally stabilised enough now that they can transfer him from St Barnabas to Mt Sinai, which will be a big relief all around.”

“Yeah, I don’t doubt it,” Jackson agreed. “When is the transfer going to happen?”

“It’ll be either tomorrow, or the next day, whenever an air ambulance becomes available. They’ve decided to transport him to Mt Sinai by air, rather than road, to make it as smooth a ride as possible. He’s stable, but getting jolted around in an ambulance could end up doing him more harm, and they don’t want to risk further injury. I just need to get over there to sign the necessary papers, and they’ll be good to go.”

“And when they get him to Mt Sinai, what then? He and Logan going to be close to each other? You know that’s all Goren asks, any time any of us have been to see him since Saturday? First thing out of his mouth, have we seen Logan, and how is he doing? And Logan’s the same. I’ve been in to see him a few times, and every time I walk in, first thing he asks is how Bobby’s doing. I’d swear, you’d think they were brothers, or something.”

Deakins shot Jackson a strange look, but only shrugged.

“They went through a lot together, Jackson, and Logan saved Goren’s life, more than once, but he’s still blaming himself for what happened. I think Goren knows that, and he’s worried about Logan’s state of mind.”

“You had a shrink in to talk to him yet?”

“Mm, yesterday. I tracked down Dr Olivet, and she went and talked to him for over an hour.”

“Olivet, huh? Thought you might have brought in Huang from SVU.”

“I thought about it. I even called Don Cragen to see if Huang could spare the time, but Cragen suggested I ask Olivet instead. He said she and Logan are well-acquainted with each other, and he trusts her about as much as he’s likely to trust any shrink. At any rate, he didn’t seem to have any problems opening up to her.”

Jackson grunted wordlessly in response, his attention going back to the interrogation room, where their suspect appeared to have finished his parley with his lawyer.

“Looks like we’re good to go, here.”

Deakins’ jaw tightened as his attention turned once more to the big man in the interrogation room.

“Is Carver here?”

“Yes. He’s been preparing with Doyle and Masterson.”

“Okay, Jackson. Tell them to get in there, and bury that son of a bitch so deep that he’ll never claw his way out.”

Joey Baker was nobody’s fool. He might never have been the brightest spark around, but nor could anyone truthfully label him an idiot. So, when the cops knew exactly when and where to find him, he was under no illusions about who had ratted on him. He doubted it was any of the kids that he had under his thumb. Instead, he knew, without a doubt, that it was the Masuccis who had tipped the cops off.

He didn’t deny that he was pissed off about it. After all, what had he done, except try to rid the streets of two pain-in-the-ass detectives – detectives who, by all accounts, had each caused the Masuccis a lot of grief in their time. It wasn’t as though he’d been planning on taking over. He just wanted his little patch, and no cop was welcome in his territory, no matter what their rank.

Apparently, Carl Masucci felt differently.

He sat now, scowling at the table top and drumming his fingers rapidly on the smooth surface. The Masuccis had ratted him out, but he was still a long way from facing a prison sentence. Big Joey Baker had no intention at all of going to prison. He would kill with his own bare hands before that happened.

The door swung open, and the two cops who had arrested him walked in, followed by a suit that Baker assumed was their prosecutor. The suit sat calmly in one of the two chairs opposite him, while one cop took up the other chair and the second positioned himself in the corner, to the right of the mirror.

“Mr Baker,” the seated cop spoke, “do you understand why you’re here?”

Baker regarded him sullenly, but said nothing.

“My client understands he was arrested on some trumped-up charge of assault,” the defence lawyer answered.

“There’s nothing trumped-up about it,” Carver said smoothly. “We have a witness who will identify your client as the individual who not only instigated the assault on Detectives Goren and Logan, but who abducted them, and left them locked up in the basement of a building that was scheduled to be demolished within forty-eight hours. And that’s not counting the identifications that will be made by the detectives themselves. Your client’s goose is cooked, Mr Gates. His only option is to confess right here and now, if he wants to avoid the death penalty.”

“My client didn’t kill anyone, Mr Carver,” Gates shot back. “Don’t make threats you can’t follow through on.”

Carver was unperturbed.

“Mr Gates, Detective Goren and Detective Logan were both nearly killed, and I will be happy to let you see the medical reports that support that statement. Detective Logan went into cardiac arrest before the paramedics were able to get him to St Barnabas Hospital. Detective Goren was comatose, and on life support for nearly a week before regaining consciousness, and that in itself was nothing short of a miracle.”

Gates snorted derisively.

“Save the dramatics for the courtroom, Mr Carver.”

“I’m hardly over-dramatising,” Carver said quietly. “And I can put several reputable witnesses from St Barnabas Hospital on the stand to testify to that. The bottom line is that your client will be facing charges of the attempted murder of two police officers, aggravated assault and grievous bodily harm, abduction of two police officers, wrongful imprisonment… The list goes on, Mr Gates, and the two charges of attempted murder alone carry a sentence of life without parole. Do you really think any judge wouldn’t place Mr Baker on death row for what he’s done?”

“You can’t prove I had anything to do with it,” Baker said suddenly, ignoring Gates’ warning to be quiet. “I’ve got two words for you, Mr Fancy Lawyer man. Reasonable doubt. I know what that is, and no jury is gonna convict me because of it.”

Doyle grinned.

“For a smart guy, Joey, you’re awfully dumb. Didn’t you hear us? We have a witness who saw what you did to Goren and Logan. We have a witness who can identify you. Do you understand that, smart guy?”

“And we’ll be able to produce ten witnesses to gainsay your one,” Gates snapped. “Unless you have forensic evidence to support the charges, this case won’t even get as far as arraignment.”

Masterson moved forward slowly, then, his gaze focused on Baker.

“Tell me something, Joey. Did you spot Goren and Logan in the bar that night? Or was it just coincidence that you ran into them when they came out?”

“I wasn’t anywhere near that bar,” Joey said dismissively. “I’ve got people who’ll back me up.”

“Yeah, I’ll bet,” Doyle retorted. Masterson regarded Baker with just a hint of a smile.

“Which bar was it again, Joey?”

“O’Reilly’s,” Baker answered before Gates could stop him. Doyle and Masterson looked at each other in open amusement.

“And I thought this guy might actually have been a challenge,” Doyle said with ill-suppressed laughter.

“What are you talking about?” Baker snarled, aggravated by their apparent mockery of him. Masterson sat down on the very edge of the table, an amused grin lighting up his eyes.

“We never mentioned the name of the bar, Joey. So tell us, how do you know which bar it was if you weren’t there that night?”

For the first time, Joey looked worried, and sank down in his seat, glowering at the table top.

“You should know it doesn’t take long for word to get around, Detective,” Gates said coolly. “My client may not have been there on Friday night last, but he does frequent the establishment. He no doubt heard about what happened from the other regular patrons.”

Doyle nodded.

“Uh huh. Right. Can’t wait for the excuse you come up with when we find blood and DNA samples belonging to Goren and Logan in the trunk of your car.”

Gates frowned darkly at Doyle.

“Don’t speculate, Detective. It’s not a good idea.”

Masterson leaned in close to Baker, peering at him intently until the other man squirmed with obvious discomfort.

“It must have really pissed you off, huh? Seeing a couple of cops on your turf, acting like they owned the place. Did it piss you off?”

“Don’t answer that, Joey,” Gates warned him. Masterson ignored Gates, keeping his focus completely on Baker. He’d observed Bobby Goren in the interrogation room many times, and had been itching for a chance to try some of Bobby’s techniques. He couldn’t think of a better moment that right now, while interrogating the suspect who they believed was directly responsible for nearly killing Bobby and Mike.

“Would you care to get him out of my client’s face, Mr Carver?” Gates asked coolly. Carver, however, ignored the request. He knew what Masterson was doing, and he had no intention of stopping him, unless the detective completely overstepped the line of protocol.

“I bet you though you could teach them a lesson,” Masterson said, letting his voice drop a tone and keeping it deceptively gentle. “You probably figured that you could give them a reason never to set foot in your territory again. So what happened, Joey? Were you just going to take them somewhere for a beat down, and then let them go? ’Cause, you know, we’d understand that. They shouldn’t have been there in the first place, should they?”

Baker shifted uncomfortably, but said nothing.

“So tell us what happened, Joey,” Masterson went on. “Did they put up a fight? Maybe even hurt you, or one of your guys? Things got out of hand then, didn’t they? You lost your temper, maybe… Shot them both in the leg, just to take the fight out of them. But then, you couldn’t just let them go after that, could you? You needed to cover your tracks. So, you figured you’d dump them where no one would ever find them, in a building that was about to be demolished.”

None of them missed the way Baker had begun to sweat by then.

“I wasn’t there,” he insisted hoarsely. Masterson allowed himself a small smirk.

“Of course you weren’t. And when CSU runs a ballistics check on your gun, they won’t find it’s a match for the bullet in Detective Goren’s leg. By the way, Joey, did you know that our CSU can lift a fingerprint off a bullet that’s been fired?”

Baker turned green at that.

“Th… That doesn’t prove anything…”

“A jury might think differently, Mr Baker,” Carver said calmly. Gates laid a firm hand on Baker’s shoulder, and then spoke tersely.

“You’re clutching at straws, Mr Carver. Everything you’ve presented so far is either assumption, or purely circumstantial. You have nothing solid to hold him.”

“Wrong, Mr Gates. We have the afore-mentioned witness, and we have the victims. I have no doubt that all three will positively identify your client.”

“I’ll believe you have a witness when I see them with my own eyes,” Gates snapped. “Until then, I’ll continue believing that you’re bluffing in an effort to coerce my client into confessing. And as for the victims, I hardly think their words can be relied on as far as accurately identifying anyone goes.”

Doyle looked incredulous.

“Are you suggesting that two Major Case detectives are unreliable witnesses?”

“I’m suggesting, Detective, that there are a number of factors clouding any identification that your colleagues might make. Firstly, by their own admission apparently, they were coming out of a bar on Friday night. I’ll wager they weren’t exactly sober. Secondly, it was night time, and the lighting outside O’Reilly’s Bar is less than adequate. As my client stated before, reasonable doubt. I don’t think I’ll have any problem planting the seeds in the minds of the jurors.”

“Identification or not,” Carver replied, “”by the time we get to trial, I guarantee we will have more than enough evidence to bury your client, and I will be seeking the death penalty. As for your assertion that Detectives Goren and Logan will be unreliable witnesses on the stand, I think I ought to remind you of just who it is that you’re up against.”

“Meaning you?” Gates retorted sneeringly. Carver smiled his best shark-like smile.

“No, Mr Gates. I’m talking about Detective Goren. You have come up against him before, haven’t you? Three times, if I’m correct. You’ve seen how he operates. You know how good he is. Now, imagine him taking the witness stand, still in a wheelchair, and still with an attached IV and blood bag. The detective’s injuries are grievous, Mr Gates, and very, very visible. Personally, I think he’ll make a very sympathetic witness. I strongly suggest you consider how the jury will react when Detective Goren identifies your client. And don’t think you will be able to throw doubt on the validity of his testimony. Even grievously injured as he has been, I have no doubt that Detective Goren will still be able to run rings around you.”

By that time, Gates was looking thoroughly sour as he realised the truth in what Carver was saying.

“All right, Mr Carver,” he conceded with extreme reluctance. “What are you offering?”

“Wow,” Doyle muttered a few minutes later as they watched from the observation room as Gates argued with Baker over the deal Carver had offered. “Baker looks seriously pissed.”

Deakins chuckled grimly.

“Why wouldn’t he be? When you started on him, he thought he was going to walk away from this. Now, he’s facing a choice of taking a deal that will put him in jail for the rest of his life, or risk going to trial, and potentially receive the death penalty.”

“Looks like Gates wants him to take the deal,” Masterson mused.

“He’d be a fool not to,” Carver said placidly, where he stood facing away from the viewing window. “Gates knows full well that we will have an advantage with the two detectives – an advantage that he can’t hope to surpass, regardless of how many so-called witnesses he puts on the stand. No one will believe they’re mistaken about Mr Baker’s identity, and he knows it.”

“Well,” Doyle said with a wry smile, “even if he won’t go for it, we still have one trump card to play. The snitch that told us where to find Baker said that the Masuccis are gunning for him. He was handed to us first as a courtesy because it was two of our own that he tried to kill. But word is that if Baker walks, even if it’s just on bail, he’s a dead man.”

Deakins looked bemused.

“I think we all underestimated just how unkindly Carl Masucci would take someone encroaching on his family’s territory.”

“It’s not so much that,” Masterson explained. “Apparently this guy has been operating in that area of the Bronx for around twelve months now, but he’s been strictly small time and the Masuccis haven’t been bothered with him. He wasn’t interfering in their business, and they left him alone. But Baker blew that right out of the water when he tried to kill Goren and Logan. The Masuccis have strict rules about hitting cops, especially cops from our neck of the woods. By doing what he did, Baker threatened to start an outright war, and that’s the last thing Carl Masucci would want. According to our snitch, he is absolutely furious, and he wants this clown dealt with, one way or another. This is our only shot. If he walks out of this building, we won’t get him back again, except as body parts on the ME’s table.”

Deakins nodded, watching piercingly as Gates finished speaking to a sullen-looking Baker and stood up to signal that they were ready for them again.

“Well, let’s make sure that doesn’t happen, for Goren and Logan’s sakes. Counsellor…?”

Carver nodded, straightening his tie and jacket.

“Time for round two.”

St Barnabas Hospital

Deakins arrived at Bobby’s ICU room in St Barnabas to find Bobby half-sitting up in bed, listening tiredly as Alex read various news articles to him. She was sitting on the bed with him, balanced on the edge by his legs. As he walked in, Alex favoured him with a tentative smile, and once more Deakins reflected grimly that her trust in him had been severely damaged by his decision to allow Bobby’s life support to be switched off. It was going to take a lot of effort on his part to regain that trust.

“How are you feeling, Bobby?” Deakins asked, taking some small relief in the genuine, if somewhat weary smile that he got from the recovering detective.

“Okay,” Bobby answered softly. “Tired… but okay.”

Deakins nodded in understanding. He didn’t doubt that Bobby was still exhausted. His body had been driven beyond its limits of endurance, and it was going to take some time for him to recover.

“How’s Mike? Have… Have you seen him today?”

For just a split second, Deakins recalled Jackson’s wry comments about Bobby and Mike with some bemusement. It seemed he hadn’t been wrong.

“He’s doing okay, Bobby,” Deakins reassured him. “Although, he’s just as worried about you as you seem to be about him. But in a day or two, you won’t need to worry any longer. You’ll both be together at Mt Sinai, and then you’ll be able to see with your own eyes that he’s okay.”

“He’s not still blaming himself, is he?” Bobby asked. Deakins hesitated. He didn’t want to lie to Bobby, but at the same time he couldn’t see the benefit in telling him the truth. Ultimately, though, it didn’t matter. Sick though he was, Bobby could easily read the truth in the captain’s expression, and in his hesitation to answer.

“He is. Captain, it wasn’t… wasn’t his fault…”

Deakins laid a hand gently on Bobby’s shoulder.

“I know that, Bobby. Everyone seems to have accepted that, except for Mike. I’m hoping that once you’ve been transferred to Mt Sinai, you might have some more luck than the rest of us have had in convincing him he’s not at fault.”

Bobby sighed faintly.

“I’ll try… but he wouldn’t believe me before. Probably won’t now.”

“Before when?” Alex asked. “When you were trapped together, do you mean?”

“Yeah. We… talked a lot… Wasn’t much else we could do. He did some things… stupid things… partly because he was feeling guilty.”

“What sort of things?” Deakins asked, leaning in against the edge of the bed. So far, Mike had been very tight-lipped about much of his and Bobby’s ordeal, refusing to say anything about it to anyone. He’d apparently talked at great length with Elizabeth Olivet, but she’d refused to reveal anything out of doctor-patient confidentiality. It was understandable, but annoying as hell.

“He wouldn’t stay still… wouldn’t stay on the cot. I… I think that’s how he ended up puncturing a lung. Kept getting up and moving around, trying to find a way out. And his hand… He tried to bust open the lock with his bare hands… It was stupid. It had been welded shut. He never had a hope.” Abruptly, Bobby looked anxiously at Deakins. “His hand… How is his hand?”

“It’s going to be okay,” Deakins reassured him. “He’ll need fairly extensive physio, but the doctors here are good. They repaired the nerve damage. He won’t have impaired use.”

The relief on Bobby’s face at that news was palpable.

“Thank God,” he whispered. Deakins paused, looking down at Bobby thoughtfully. He was almost asleep again. If he was going to tell him the news, it had to be now.

“Bobby, are you listening to me?”

Bobby’s eyes flickered back towards Deakins. It was clearly a struggle for him to keep them open.


“Doyle and Masterson got the guy who led the attack on you and Mike.”

“You’re serious?” Alex asked, startled. Deakins nodded.

“I am.”

“Big guy?” Bobby asked, his voice barely more than a mumble. “Flat, ugly nose?”

Deakins smiled at the description.

“That’s the one. We got him, Bobby, and I promise you he’s never going to get out of prison.”

Bobby’s only response was a soft sigh as his eyes slid closed, and he slipped once more into an exhausted sleep.

“He can’t seem to keep awake for more than fifteen or twenty minutes at the most,” Alex said softly. “He just has no energy for anything.”

“It’ll come back to him, Alex,” Deakins reassured her. “Think of how much he’s been through. We have to be patient.”

Alex shot him a look as she slipped off the bed and began to fold up the newspaper.

“You didn’t want to be patient last week, when Dr Mackey wanted to turn off his life support.”

Deakins grimaced.

“I’m not going to get into that argument with you, Alex. Not here. Not now. Let’s just be thankful that he’s still here, all right?”

Alex looked away from him, back to Bobby.

“I am thankful, believe me. It… It’s really true? You got the guy who did this to them?”

“It’s true. His name is Joey Baker. We got him, a full confession and a list of every man who took part in the assault.”

Alex raised her eyes to him once more, her expression turning suspicious.

“What deal did Carver cut with him?”

“Life, without parole,” Deakins assured her. “Carver told him and his lawyer flat that he either accepted a life sentence, or he’d take it to trial, and go after the death penalty. The only reason he put the offer on the table was to save Mike and Bobby the grief of having to testify, and also to protect Jeremy. So far, Baker has no idea about Jeremy, and I aim to keep it like that.”

Alex returned her attention to her partner. If Carver had cut a deal that would put the son of a bitch in prison for life, then that was that, and there was no need to talk about it anymore. Instead, she turned the conversation to a subject that was a much more immediate concern.

“Bobby’s worried sick about Mike. Every time someone comes in to see him, if he’s awake, he’ll ask them about Mike.”

“I know. But I guarantee that once he’s been transferred to Mt Sinai, that won’t be necessary any longer.”


“Because I’ve arranged for Bobby to go into a room in ICU with Mike.”

Alex lifted an eyebrow questioningly.

“And the hospital staff went along with it?”

“They did, after I suggested it would be to both Mike and Bobby’s benefit to keep them close together. It’s an unusual situation, and calls for unusual solutions. I want them both to recover, Alex, and I suspect they’ll only begin to recover properly when they’re together.”

Alex sighed softly.

“Thankyou. I… I’m sorry…”

He reached across the bed and gently took her hand in his in a fatherly gesture.

“Don’t, Alex. Don’t apologise for caring whether your partner lives or dies. I don’t blame you for being angry with me. I think I might have been more worried if you weren’t. I just want you to believe now that I didn’t want to lose him anymore than you did. I was only doing what I believed Bobby would have wanted me to do.”

Alex stared at their joined hands.

“Whether that’s true or not… it didn’t make it hurt any less, and if Bobby had died…”

“I know,” Deakins murmured as she withdrew her hand. “You wouldn’t have been able to forgive me. I understand that, and I wouldn’t hold that against you. But he is going to be all right, and so will Mike.”

He paused, wondering briefly whether he ought to tell her about the issue that had come up with the blood tests that CSU had run, only to immediately decide against it. She would have to be told, as would Carolyn but, firstly, it hadn’t yet been confirmed by Mack Taylor. Secondly, the first people to be told had to be Mike and Bobby. Then, and only then, could he even begin to consider telling their partners.

“Captain?” Alex inquired, puzzled by his momentary exit from reality. “What is it?”

He shook his head, forcibly bringing himself back to the present.

“Nothing, Alex. I’m going to go and sign the papers to authorise Bobby’s transfer to Mt Sinai. With any luck, by tomorrow evening Bobby will be back in Manhattan.”

Alex nodded, visibly relieved at the prospect.


He offered her a wan smile, but nothing more as he turned and hurried away to do what needed to be done.

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