Characters: Goren (with a side of Eames and Ross)
thursday100plus prompt: snafu
Rating: PG-13 (for a few words)
Word count: 637
Disclaimer: The characters and universe of Law & Order: Criminal Intent belong to Dick Wolf, NBC, USA, etc. The Private Snafu cartoons belong to Warner Brothers and related entities. No copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Summary: All it takes is one little word to open the floodgates in Bobby's mind, and he is lost in the resulting deluge.
Author's Note: Set somewhere in the vague post-Purgatory wasteland. Bobby's thoughts and musings are, as always, his own.
". . . and it's just been one snafu after another, Detectives. I want it to stop, and I want it to stop now."
Snafu. The word latched its hooks into Bobby's mind like a burr as Ross continued to besiege them with yet another harangue (they'd been subjected to quite a few lately, and it really wasn't fair for Eames to have to suffer along with him; thin blue line collegiality bullshit notwithstanding, he wished Ross would just have it out with him--if he could've mustered the effort, he would have been downright embarrassed by now). In Germany, he'd bunked with an affable Floridian nicknamed Private Snafu for the disasters that inevitably resulted from his lack of attention to protocol and sloppy habits. The soubriquet had turned out to be spectacularly (though rather unfortunately) apt, as he cut a few corners too many during maneuvers one day and was crushed under a tank just two weeks after Bobby had shipped stateside on compassionate reassignment.
Snafu. SNAFU, really. (He could tell by Ross' inflection that he hadn't the foggiest idea that it was an acronym and certainly wouldn't know to capitalize all the letters if he ever got pissed enough to write a memo about their latest debacle. Or maybe that was just his bitterly antagonistic imagination. Nah, Ross really was just that ignorant, and, even more unforgivable, perfectly content to wallow in his ignorance.)
SNAFU. It was old army slang (Old? Coined only twenty years or so before his birth. Shit, he was getting old.) for Situation Normal: All Fucked Up. It had been a bit of a private joke back in his army days (a very private joke, as he'd been the only one in on it) that one little acronym could so perfectly sum up the whole sprawling mess of his life.
Those first few golden years of his partnership with Eames had been an anomaly. Sure, his mother and brother and father (but only the one) and the obsessive self-monitoring of his own questionable mental health status still hung around his neck like a millstone, but it hadn't mattered (mostly) when he was at work. Then, of course, came the cracks in the partnership and lymphoma and anguish worse than any physical pain and death (nowhere near the blessed relief everyone made it out to be) and Brady and the Gages and kidnapping and fright like he'd never known before or since and jabbing his clumsy fingers into Eames' barely healed past to re-open the gaping wound she'd tried so carefully to bandage over and Donny and pills and restraints and suspension and undercover and the cracks crumbling into a great black chasm like the barrel of Eames' gun and he couldn't fix it and he couldn't sleep and he couldn't stop the wheels spinning uselessly in the ruts of his impotent mind and, and, and . . . .
Back in the beginning, he had known (with a calm, accepting certainty) that it had been too good to last long. Now his life was all fucked up again (and so had he), so the situation was back to normal after a short, achingly sweet aberration.
". . . you check with me before you so much as blink at a suspect. Is that clear, Detectives?"
"Crystal," Eames murmured as she kicked Bobby's calf none too gently (at least she had noticed him enough to see that his mind had been out wandering around again) and strode back to her desk, her face set in grim lines that had no business marring her visage and her eyes sliding over him like he was just another unprepossessing specimen in the long line-up of Jerks Who Had Screwed With Her Life. He heaved himself to his feet and shuffled after her, ignoring Ross' glare and entirely missing the soft, sad expression of regret it slid into.