Name: Thomas Michael Gates, “Tommy”
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York.
Current Residence: Omaha, Nebraska.
Status: Recently made Detective at the Omaha Police Department, member of a federal joint task force on human trafficking based out of Chicago, very reluctant heir to the Downey fortune (prides himself on not having touched a dirty dime of it). Workaholic.
Aspirations: Raising a family in Nebraska, having an entire conversation with his father without arguing.
Hobbies: Hockey, working.
Grandparents: Maeve O’Malley and Paul “Pauli” Downey, Thomas Gates and Elizabeth McKinnon
Significant Other: FBI Agent Ginny Sommers
It’s not like he would ever join his father’s criminal enterprise, not that that was ever an offer on the table, but he hated the feeling like he was selling a part of his soul every time he overlooked where the money had come from. At the same time, what good did it do holding on to his pride? If he cut them off entirely it wouldn’t change his situation at work, or the way people acted around him. And so here he was again, getting sucked right back in. Maybe if he had chosen another profession it might have been easier, but he loved being a cop. He loved keeping order and peace, catching criminals. He loved being the ‘good guy’.
He loved the idea that what he did everyday helped ease the fear out of some young mother’s eyes and put hope in a child’s heart. The fact that his own father put that fear in so many people’s hearts and minds over the years made him feel like he was constantly being split in two. Just because the bully was always nice to you, never stole your lunch money, didn’t make him any less of a bully, did it?
“When I made the decision to give him a chance I did it with my eyes wide open. I’m not blind to who Mickey Downey the criminal is. But I’m tired of pretending I don’t want to know who Mickey Downey the father is. I spent most of my life pushing him away. You want to know why? Because even having next to no contact with him I still thought of him every day of my life. Every. Single. Day,” Tommy looked away quickly as his words got choked in his throat.
Ginny tried to put her arms around him. Tommy gently pushed her away. He could see the hurt and regret on her face but he couldn’t worry about her emotions anymore when he wasn’t able to be master of his own.
“I was worried that if I cared that much from a distance,” Tommy continued when he was under control. “What would it be like if we had a real father and son relationship? But I decided to try because it wasn’t helping either one of us pretending it didn’t matter that he never gave up on me. And yes, making that decision requires me looking past what he has done in the past and focusing on what he is doing now. I can’t know if it will work if I don’t try.”
“There’s only two ways it will end if you get back in full time. Death or prison. And if by some miracle you still manage to cheat those, I will not be a part of your life. I can’t.”
“So that’s your choice then? I quit and you’re on your own with Carlo?”
“No! I—” Tommy stopped and gripped his hair.
This was not going as he had hoped it would go when he sought Mickey out. One would think he would be used to that by now.
“I just need your help this one last time, just enough to get me in then… then, of course I want you to quit.”
“Just this one last time is the lie I’ve been telling myself since I stole a pack of gum from Waldbaum’s at age seven. If I got back in it would be for good and it would be to help you. Even if it cost me your presence in my life afterwards, I could be happy knowing I gave you that gift.”
“That’s bullshit and you know it! You wouldn’t be doing it for me, you’d be doing it for you! Using me as an excuse to get back in.”
“Or I’m doing it for both of us.”
Tommy shook his head, “Take me out of the equation. Pretend I don’t exist.”
“Don’t be absurd…”
“More absurd than asking me to bear the burden of a Sophie’s Choice so you don’t have to take responsibility for your actions? Again? Fine. I’ll make the choice. You’re out. I’ll take care of Carlo myself. James and Ginny can figure out who’s targeting Kiki. Frankly, I’ll rest easier knowing you won’t interfere. At all. No ‘taking care of this my way’ from you.”
Tommy watched his father’s face struggle to remain calm. He could tell by the slightly flared nostrils and white lips fused in a tight line that it wasn’t the decision Mickey wanted to hear.
“And you’re going to do that for your children, for my mother,” Tommy tapped the bassinette, “for this baby, and most of all for yourself.”
“Myself?” Mickey sneered. “My self wants to make these assholes regret ever coming after my family.”
“You know the only way to end a war? Stop fighting.”
“Or kill ’em all.”
Tommy and Mickey glared at each other.