Fourth Chapter: The Lost
Danny looks up because excited voices – whispering and muttering – reach his ear. For half an hour he had been perched onto an uncomfortable plastic chair, his face resting on his palms, eyes closed, blaming himself for what had happened. What on earth had he done? – Sent two of his detectives in the lion’s den. One of them has a basal skull fraction and the other one – dear, everything went awry.
The crowd of Major Case Detectives, uniformed Cops and members of her family divide and Danny’s eyes fall on a tall and familiar stature. Oh no, I should’ve known. He is the one. He wears a dark grey Armani suit, crinkled from the flight. The 6' 3½" man rushes from the elevator through the long corridor of the gynaecology. Danny gets up to meet Robert Goren.
“Captain, where is she?”
“Right over here,” Danny said sheepishly, leading Bobby a few steps down the hallway, up to room number 235.
“Eh’hem,” he swallows, and lays his hand on Bobby’s shoulder.
“I want see her…now.” Bobby sounds more and more desperate. His knees feel like butter, he thinks he might tumble any second.
“I’m so…” Danny chokes on his apology. He can’t apologize. There is no excuse.
“Where is he?” Alex babbles. The painkillers in her system make her tongue thick and slow.
“Must be here any minute.” Frankie checks her watch again, while she holds Alex’s hands and tries to comfort her. She moistens the cloth again and swabs Alex’s sweaty forehead.
Their heads fly to the door as they hear a knock. As Alex’s eyes make out Bobby, she turns onto her side – away from Bobby’s gaze. She brings her legs slightly to her breasts, tightening her arms around them and curls herself to a ball. She wants to stay in this position, but the pains from the curettage from two hours ago are making her tremble. She must let go, must stretch her legs a little. He is finally with her and she realizes at last what happened to her.
She can’t – can’t look into his eyes, can’t speak. There are only sobs in her throat and pain in her heart. She hasn’t been able to digest the scope of this, let alone explain it to someone else. It hurts too much.
Whimpering quietly, Alex can only manage five words, “Please give us a minute.”
Her parents and Frankie leave the room. Sarah and John both shake Bobby’s hand and Frankie kisses his cheeks softly. “We’re waiting outside. Take all the time you need,” she whispers in his ear.
Bobby’s pulse is racing, he trembles and his teeth are chattering. He doesn’t know what to think. His brain is crushed and he is numb with fear. Slowly Bobby shuffles to the hospital bed, coming up to Alex’s back. Bobby can make out her silhouette beneath the thin sheet, only her honey blond hair peeks out from underneath.
“Alex…?” He’s choking back tears.
She maltreats her lips, bites them bloody and turns around in slow motion. Alex doesn’t catch Bobby’s eyes. Her gaze is fixed on his hands baled to fists.
“Alex, please…!” He can’t breathe anymore.
Step by step her eyes wander higher. Mhm, the dark grey one, combined with a dark blue dress shirt. I love that arrangement. The simple silver tie clip, a loosened Italian silk tie. A smile purses her lips. His lips are a compressed line. Eyes full of panic, sorrow, fear and love.
“Bobby,” Alex’s eyes fill with tears. Her hands rush to her mouth and through her barely parted lips she says, but he knows what has happened before she says out loud, “Bobby, I…I’m so sorry. I’ve l…lost our…our baby.” And she starts to sob uninhibitedly.
Bobby’s world implodes. Only four hours ago he learned that he will be a father. He was happy from that first moment on. He wanted that baby and Alex – a family, finally. And now, everything is falling apart.
He crawls into the bed, clutching Alex’s quivering body tightly.
She presses her teary face against Bobby’s chest and keeps repeating her apologies. Bobby allows his tears to run freely, soaking Alex’s hair. Together they grieve for their lost, for their last chance, for their family.
After moments full of sobs and crying Bobby asks, “A miscarriage after an attack? F…Francesca mentioned something on the phone, but…”
“During your talk with Emanuel Carlo?” He kisses her forehead softly.
“Talk,” Alex snorts. “He…at the beginning everything was okay – it should be my last field work – but then a homeboy of the other gang was there, too and everything went sour. Daniels got a hit on his head. I don’t know how he is doing. Nobody is telling me anything.”
Bobby finally notes the dark red marks on Alex’s throat.
“What did he do to you?” he asks excitedly, his left hand strokes the marks gently, the right is baled. His knuckles shine white.
“He…he lifted me off the ground, held me just by my neck. I couldn’t breathe, and then he punched me into my belly, killed our little…little boy…” Alex sobs heavily. “I tried to save him…but failed.”
“A boy…it was a boy?” Bobby asks amazedly, and pulls Alex even tighter. They cry again for a few minutes.
“The doctor told me after the…”
“…I know. D…did you see him?”
“No, I couldn’t.”
“Okay,” Bobby repeats sadly, and presses his dolorous face into the soft curve of Alex’s neck. His hand lies on her bare tummy, stroking the soft skin and the hole that is left.
“Alex, I missed you so much. Your letter…these were the best lines I ever read. I’ve been thinking about you for the last three months, every minute. No, actually, every second. I remembered our night over and over again, thought about our friendship and partnership. Oh dear, I wanted that baby so much…from the minute I read your letter.”
Alex soft sobbing abates. She turns on her side and rests her head on Bobby’s chest.
“We will survive this…together,” he murmurs.
“How long can you stay?”
He wants to say ‘forever’ but Alex goes on. “Don’t leave me, Bobby.”
“Never again, Alex,” he says, and rubs her small of the back gently. Closing their eyes, they take the liberty to rest for a while.
When Sarah peers into Alex’s room an hour later, she notes the two lovers holding each other in peace and sleep.
As he spots his former detective, today in jeans and a black tee, entering the squad room, Danny gets up and slowly walks around his desk. The captain notes that Bobby lingers at his desk shortly, now occupied from a new member of the Major Case Squad. The side table is gone and Eames’ former desk looks different, too. All the little items have changed. New photos and pencil boxes stand in old places.
Although a few months have passed, Danny hasn’t gotten used to the new scenery. He hates to admit that he misses this old team.
“Hello Robert, how are you and Alexandra doing?”
“The last days were not easy for her – weren’t easy for both of us.” Bobby says, while closing the door behind him.
“I understand,” Danny says concerned. He offers Bobby one of the chairs and sits on the edge of his desk.
“What went wrong at that day?” Bobby asks. He knows that it was Alex’s decision to do that last field job. It was her operation and she had to do ‘the talk’. Alex has explained it over and over during the last couples of days – never short of apologizing each time. He doesn’t think it’s her fault, but – in an effort to comprehend – he wants to hear what happened from someone else.
“I can give you a copy of Daniels’ report…”
“How is he doing?”
“He has no permanent damages and he is on the mend.”
“Good. But please tell me what happened – with your own words. That’s why I’m here. I want to hear it from you.”
“Sure.” Danny shifts his weight. “We sent no monitoring team with Eames and Daniels. She didn’t want to risk the talk in any way.”
“I know, she told me.”
“But of all things that could’ve gone wrong, Ted Washington had to show up at that moment. No one could’ve foreseen that. Emilio Carlo and his guys freaked out and injured both Eames and Daniels,” Danny whispers the last words. “Members of Eames’ team found them both on the ground bleeding, unconscious.”
“Why, I thought they were alone...”
“Yes, but Detective Eames set a deadline, and when it was over, the team went in to check on them. They found the storage empty, no trace of Carlo and his gang members. The ambulance got there in less than five minutes, but…but…” Danny swallows. “…but it was too late to save the baby.”
“I know, her gynaecologist explained everything to us in detail,” Bobby sobs. “He was dead the moment Carlo punched Alex.”
Danny lays one hand on Bobby’s shoulder; the other reaches for his handkerchief and passes it to Bobby. “I…I can’t tell you how sorry I am.”
Bobby breathes deeply in and out. He has tears in his eyes, but doesn’t feel ashamed of it.
“What are your plans for the future?”
“I will leave the FBI and DC as soon as possible,” Bobby says more composed. “I’ll come back to New York City and we will…I mean Alex and me…we try… The last days were very hard, the loss overpowered us, but it was nice, too. It’s a new dimension of togetherness. We were never that close. Maybe…” Bobby whispers, but knows that they want to start that second and private partnership slowly.
Bobby looks up and sees Danny’s interested gaze. “It…it happened never during our partnership…”
“No…I never thought that. But it’s wonderful that you two…I mean…” Danny clears his throat. “It was a shame that your partnership was over and it’s really good to know that you will carry it on, if on a more private level. Do you plan to come back to Major Case? I can manage that. I tested the waters to the brass. Moran was not really happy, but I know a few things,” Danny clears his throat again. “I mean I know how to push the right buttons.”
Bobby looks up surprised.
“We had our problems in the past, I know, but you were one of the best and I need the best.”
Bobby smiles; completely flattered. “Do you think you can handle me without Eames?”
“I love new challenges.”
Bobby closes his eyes and goes through his last thirteen years of police work. “No, I think I’ll do something different. I have an idea, but I have to talk to someone before going ahead with it.
“I understand.” Danny replies curiously, and a bit relieved.
The next moment they see Emilio Carlo in handcuffs and escorted by four uniformed policeman coming into the Major Case office. He is still wearing his white masquerade. All noises stop and the air is so thick that you could cut it with a knife. All eyes follow the five men until they disappear in interrogation room 2.
“You arrested him?” Bobby fizzles, clenching his fists.
“Yes, caught him at his headquarter this morning.”
Bobby nods and stands up.
“You can have five minutes with him – alone. No one will behind the mirror,” Danny says, and is serious about it.
“No,he's not worth it…I want to get back to Alex as soon as possible and being in the same building with that dirt under the nails of a hustler, lets me gasp for air,” Bobby says while reaching for the doorknob.
“Okay, good. I hope we will keep in touch.”
“I hope that, too, sir. Alex told me to tell you that she will come back to work next week.”
“What? That’s too early.”
“I told her, but I couldn’t talk her out of it.” Bobby shrugs.
Danny nods. He knows better than to pick a fight with Alexandra Eames. “Bye, Goren.”