Bull watched as Gabriel got on Geoffrey Schreiber’s private jet. He let out a breath he didn’t realize he’d been holding. He climbed back in the car and let the driver know he was ready to return to the office. With a small smile he pulled his phone out of his pocket to text Alex.
JB-he’s on the plane, let’s hope this works. Thanks for all your help.
AG-my pleasure. You on your way back?
JB-Yeah. Let everyone know we’ll do the post mortem on both cases when I get back. That includes you.
AG-I will and thanks.
JB-And before you ask, I didn’t eat lunch. Order some pizza.
AG-No problem and you’re getting salad too.
JB-remind me why I hired you?
AG-Potential and I can put up with you.
Bull sat back in the seat and smiled. He felt badly that he hadn’t been able to tell Danny what was happening. But he didn’t want to do anything which could at all jeopardize his plan.
When Bull arrived back at the office there was no welcoming committee, no round of applause. The only two other people who knew about his plan for Gabriel were Marissa and Alex. He headed for his office, virtually unnoticed by all around him. Alex greeted him with a smile, a Diet Coke and a stack of phone messages. Bull took them wordlessly with a little grin of his own. He tossed his backpack on one of the chairs and took off his overcoat. Quickly flipping through the pink phone slips, he set two aside to deal with right after the post mortem.
Marissa and Benny came into the room first. Marissa with a wide grin, Benny looking rather dejected as he slumped into one of the chairs. His jacket was missing, tie was pulled loose and sleeves rolled up to his elbows.
“Buck up Benjamin,” Bull said as he patted his shoulder. Benny looked at him with a completely confused look. Bull just held up a finger, the universal sign for “just a minute”. Benny shrugged his shoulders and settled back down to wait, for what, he had no idea.
Alex arrived with the pizza, salad and drinks. Marissa helped him set out the food while Bull pulled his laptop out of his backpack and booted it up.
“Alex, can you go find Danny?” Marissa asked as Bull waved her over to look at something on the laptop.
“No need, I’m here,” Danny said from the doorway. She tucked her hair behind her ears and wiped her eyes with her sleeve. Bull crossed the room and with a little smile pulled her younger woman into a big hug. Danny stiffened up for a second before relaxing into his embrace with a sob.
“Hey, it’s going to be okay,” he whispered to her. “Come sit,” he suggested as he tugged her hand a little. Danny reluctantly let her boss pull her fully into the room. He gave her a little push in the direction of the couch and she slumped into the corner, doing her best to curl up. Bull walked around the coffee table to sit at the other end of the couch. Alex grabbed a slice of pizza and leaned against the front of Bull’s desk.
“What the hell is going on?” Benny eventually asked. “I get the feeling that Danny and I have been left out of something. Bull, after Schreiber’s trial ended up got that look on your face and the two of you disappeared. You met me an hour later when we went to talk to Judge Wentworth. So that begs the question, what did you do in that hour?”
“I came up with a plan for the situation with Gabriel,” Bull said simply as he reached for a slice of pizza.
“What does Schreiber have to do with Gabriel?” Danny asked as she pulled her knees up, wrapped her arms around her shins.
“As Geoffrey was starting to leave the courthouse, he shook my hand and gave the standard “let me know if there’s anything I can ever do for you” line. In a split second I knew he was the answer to our question.”
“What question was that?” Danny asked with a sigh, she was in no mood for riddles or puzzles.
“How to help Gabriel stay alive.” Bull replied with a grin.
“How?” Danny and Benny asked at the same time.
“At this very moment Gabriel is on Schreiber’s private yet, heading for Frankfurt.”
Bull’s statement was met with confused looks from his lead counsel and lead investigator. “Alex, care to explain, since you did the bulk of the research online.”
“Gabriel is flying to Germany with Mr. Schreiber,” Alex said as he pushed himself away from the desk and like his boss, started to pace around while explaining what was going on. “When they arrive they will be met by immigration officials, at which time Gabriel will ask for political asylum. It’s not ideal, he’ll still be an ocean away but…”
“But he’ll be safe,” Danny whispered as tears sprang to her eyes. She leaned to her right and launched herself at her boss. Bull returned the fierce hug with one of his own. Danny got to her feet and pulled Alex into an unexpected embrace too. The young man blushed and awkwardly return the hug.
“He can apply for a medical license in Germany, start to rebuild his life,” Bull explained as he turned towards Danny. “The two of you can decide if you want to try a long distance thing, or whatever. I’m the last person who will be giving you relationship advice,” he smirked.
“Wow,” Benny said as he shook his head. “How in the world did you manage to do all that in less than an hour?”
“Geoffrey was agreeable from the first inquiry. And Gabriel had no clue until I dropped him at the private terminal at JFK. Like I said, Alex did the bulk of the behind the scenes work,” Bull explained, motioning towards his assistant. The room erupted into applause, leading Alex to blush even more.
“Happy to help,” he said with a big grin.
“They’ll be landing later tonight, Danny. I’ll call you when they do. I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you before I wanted to make sure it would work.”
“It’s okay,” she replied with a teary smile. She gave Bull one last hug turned to leave. “I need a little time to process everything,” she explained as she hitched her thumb towards the bullpen. Bull took her by the arm and walked her towards the door.
“I didn’t have time to tell you before, but you did great. You told his story. It was beautiful, the jackass of a judge wasn’t listening, but you did great.”
“Thanks, Dr. Bull,” Danny said with a smile.
“Go home, relax. You deserve it. I’ll call you later.”
Danny just nodded as she headed for her desk.
The rest of the team hung out in Bull’s office for a little while, eating and doing a little post mortem on the two cases. Eventually Alex and Benny wandered out to return to their own work. Marissa stayed back, helping clean up a bit.
“You want some coffee?” Bull asked as he picked up the pizza boxes to take them to the kitchen.
“Sure,” Marissa answered as she kicked her shoes off and sank down into the corner of the couch.
“Make yourself comfortable,” he teased over his shoulder.
“I always do,” Marissa shot back.
Bull returned with two coffees a few minutes later. He kicked off his own shoes and handed one mug to Marissa who took it with a smile. Bull sat down next to her, tucking one leg under him, facing his best friend. He draped his arm over the back of the couch and propped his head in his hand. Marissa gave him a little smile.
“So if Schreiber hadn’t agreed, what was Plan B?” she asked.
“That was Plan B,” Bull snorted. “I didn’t have a Plan C,” he admitted.
“What was plan A?”
“We tried to find someone to testify, someone to tell his story. Danny tried, she was here until 2 in the morning trying to find someone. Came up empty. At some point I realized our best bet was to let her tell his story one professional to another. She did great, but the judge was an ass. He never had any intention of doing anything other than deporting Gabriel. So when Schreiber made his offer, I jumped. Alex was beyond awesome. We trained that boy well,” Bull said with pride.
“Well, whatever plan you needed to go with, you did good Jason,” Marissa said as she reached out and cupped Bull’s cheek.
“Thanks. When it’s one of our own, nothing else...” he said, trailing off. There was no need for him to complete his thought. Marissa knew what he meant. The team was his family, their family. Marissa nodded and reached to give his hand a squeeze.
“I’m going to try and get some work done for our next case. The family is coming in tomorrow morning at 10:00,” Marissa said as she picked up their empty mugs and turned to leave. “Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?” she threw over her shoulder as she headed for the door.
“Exactly,” Bull agreed quickly. “Wait, did you just quote Hamilton to me?” he asked as he followed her out to Alex’s desk. “She just quoted Hamilton,” he announced to his slightly confused assistant.
“Really?” Alex asked as he looked at Marissa. “We talked you into listening to it?”
“Nope, wasn’t the two of you,” she said with a wink as she headed towards the kitchen. Bull and Alex exchanged confused glances. “Andy,” she announced, saving them from trying to figure it out.
Andy, my 9 year old brother? He did what we couldn’t do,” Alex muttered.
“It’s the curls and the puppy dog eyes,” Bull snorted.
“Yeah, probably,” Alex muttered as he picked up his ringing phone.
Bull headed back to his office, sat down at his desk and picked up his phone messages. With a deep breath, he centered himself a bit and reached for the phone.