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No beta. Sorry. Written rather quickly too. No intention of stealing the work of others. The characters belong to Fontana, Wolf, Levinson, etc. They are not mine and I'm making no money from this.
Family Reunion 10/?
Chris sat up slowly and swung his legs over the side of the bed. Toby stopped his search of Kathy's bedside table and looked at him.
"Has something happened to him?" Chris asked Cragen. "Has something happened to my brother?"
"That's what we're trying to find out, Chris. I don't suppose you know where Elliot is?"
"I haven't seen him this morning."
"Nor has anyone else, including me. He came into the precinct early before I arrived and left me a letter. Do you know anything about that?"
Chris' heart sank.
"He's resigned because of his family connection to the Russian mob?"
"More or less. When you find him tell him I need to talk to him. Tell him that I won't accept his resignation. Let me know where he is. You need to let me know if you think Elliot is a risk to himself ... or anybody else." Cragen added the last part as an afterthought.
Toby watched Chris hang up the phone.
"Goddamn it," said Chris. "I might have guessed."
"What's happened?" asked Toby. "Has Elliot resigned?"
"Yeah. Apparently he put his letter of resignation on Cragen's desk this morning early before Cragen came on duty. Now Cragen wants me to find him."
"Where is he?" said Toby.
"I haven't seen him since last night. When I woke up he was gone and left no message. He's not returning phone calls."
"Maybe he's with Kathy and the kids," suggested Toby.
"He's not with Kathy," said Chris, shaking his head.
He got up off the bed and pulled up his sweats again.
"Gotta see if he's returned my calls yet."
Toby followed Chris downstairs again. Chris checked his messages at the coffee table. Nothing. Called Elliot's number. No answer.
"Is there anywhere he'd go if he wanted to be alone?" Toby asked.
Chris realized he had no idea. There were basic things he didn't know about his brother.
"I don't think he's a suicide risk," said Toby. "I doubt he'd do that to his kids or to you. Besides he wouldn't have handed in his resignation if he was going to kill himself. Maybe he just needs some space."
Chris shook his head.
"No, he's in trouble. I know it."
"Do you think the Russians would do anything to him? It's not as if he saw anything he shouldn't have."
"He knows he's the Spook's son now," said Chris.
"Would they kill for that?" asked Toby.
"If the wrong person found out they might use him as collateral."
Chris could see that Toby was thinking that they might also use him as collateral.
"Are you going to contact the Spook?" was all Toby said.
"I'm going upstairs to get dressed," said Chris. "We gotta go out and find him."
As he was dressing in the bedroom he slept in at Elliot's house Toby came in. He was wearing his coat again and held his scarf and hat. He watched Chris tie his boots.
"I think he's gone to find the Spook," said Chris. "He wants answers. Only he doesn't know where to look for him. He has never been to the Spook's headquarters. He has no idea where to start looking. He could be anywhere. Christ."
"Where did you say you met the Spook on the twenty fourth?" Toby asked.
Chris had told him about the adventures of the twenty fourth when Toby had called on Christmas day. Chris looked up at him.
"He's sitting at the park. Or maybe he's staking out Mrs. Soper again."
"I'm betting on the park," said Toby. "From what you've told me I'm certain Mrs. Soper's house is empty by now."
They hurried down the stairs and out of the house to Chris' silver Mustang.
"Can't wait till I'm legal again," said Toby, as they got into the car.
His restrictions regarding driving would be lifted once he'd been out of prison a year. He meant to buy himself a car just like Chris' when they were.
They drove through Queens at a barely legal speed, Chris telling Toby the details of what had happened over the past few days. Toby knew the outline from their phone conversation, but he hadn't been able to ask all the questions he'd wanted to ask then.
"I must've sounded pretty shitty on the phone if you came back to check up on me," said Chris at the Manhattan Bridge.
"You sounded fine," lied Toby. "I just wanted to make sure. Isn't this where those Russians started trailing you? Would you recognize a tail if we had one now?"
The question had crossed Chris' mind too. He wasn't sure that he would. He glanced about him. As far as he could tell the coast was clear.
"Fuck," he said.
Once or twice he thought he saw cars tagging them, but they always disappeared after a while. Of course they might be changing places with other vehicles.
"I shouldn't have brought you into this," he told Toby.
"Yeah?' grinned Toby. "Like you had a choice."
He squeezed Chris' leg and left his hand on it. Chris squeezed Toby's hand back while he reached down for the gears. At one point they pulled over ostensibly to buy a coffee from a vendor, but really to see if a black BMW was going to slow down or stop. It didn't.
Getting to the park took longer than they expected. Chris was praying that Elliot would still be there. They pulled up behind his blue Ford sedan. Chris turned to Toby.
"You never cease to amaze me, Toby," he said.
"I've got a few insights into how Elliot's mind works from being around you," Toby told him.
"Yeah?" said Chris.
"Yeah," said Toby. "I'll wait here."
Chris walked over to the Ford. It was empty and its hood cold. He found Elliot in the park. He was sitting on a park bench out in the open, as if he wanted to be found, just staring into the distance. Chris had never seen him look so sad.
"Hey," he said.
Elliot looked up at him.
"Hey," he said dully.
"I've been calling you all morning," said Chris, sitting down next to him.
"Mrs. Soper's gone," said Elliot. "moved out over night. Drove by her house this morning and spoke to the neighbors..."
"After your visit to the precinct?" asked Chris.
Elliot looked at him. His eyes were red-rimmed.
"Cragen called. He wants you to know he's not accepting your resignation."
"Too bad," said Elliot.
"Yeah," said Chris. "That's what I said. Now you're free we can go into business together."
"What business would that be?"
"Private detectives. We both got connection on both sides of the law. We can pass as one another. It's perfect."
Elliot stood up.
"Chris?" he said.
"Yeah?" said Chris.
Chris flinched and then smiled an angry smile. His eyes glittered. He stood up too.
"You wanted to find me. Now you want me to get lost again. Well, it ain't that easy, Elliot. Things don't just come and go because you want them to."
"Chris, I'm sorry," said Elliot. He had tears in his eyes now. "That's not what I meant. I just need some time to figure things out, OK?"
"No, Elliot, it's not OK. This is my first Christmas out of prison in years. We spend the whole fucking time following a lead you want to follow. I tell you not to do it, but you don't listen to me. I don't wanna follow it, but you expect me to drag along with you. Then when you finally find what you're looking for, you don't like it. And now you're falling to pieces and resigning from your job. What the fuck did you expect? To find out our parents were fine, upstanding citizens and that they somehow mislaid us?"
"Chris, not now," said Elliot. "I just need to be alone."
"So now you're fucking Marlene Dietrich? And what about me? You don't care what I feel. This whole goddamned Christmas we've done things to suit you - seen your family, gone on your stakeouts, followed your fucking leads. Now you've had enough, so you go out without telling me where you're going. I just spent the whole goddamned morning looking for you. What are you going to do? Cry like you did over that fucking diorama?"
"Don't push me, Chris," warned Elliot.
Chris shoved him. Elliot swung at him, but Chris ducked the blow.
"How sweet," said a voice behind them, as Chris drew back his arm. "Your first fight."
It was Beecher. He was capturing the moment on his mobile phone's camera.
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