A/N: I own nothing, except the story. I had an idea, and I'm not exactly sure where I'm taking it yet. it's K+ for now, but it might change, doubt it will be M though. I want to write narrative on this one... I can't wait 1 week for each new episode. Story is taking place sometime between the time Stanton was arrested, and before the 11th senior partner left the firm (sometime in that 4 month time frame.)
Comments, ideas, feedback greatly appreciated :)
It was a day like any other. Peter and Jared walked into the office and they both knew this day would be another struggle at Infeld Daniels. Since Stanton left the firm in their hands, senior partners have been leaving almost on a weekly basis, taking their clients with them. They were now subletting half the office space to some plastic surgeon. That was a great idea at the time, but they both knew it wasn't going to bring money in. And this wasn't what they were good at anyway.
They were amazing in court, or so they thought, but running a business was a whole different animal. They could have asked for help but they weren't really close with any other the other senior partners. Karp took off as soon as his uncle got arrested. All they were left with, in terms of loyalty was Ellen Swatello, but she had even less sense for business than they did… and her dashing people skills didn't help. Plus, both Peter and Jared knew that if she'd gotten another offer, she'd leave and never look back.
"I'm still saying we should involve her in some of the decision making process…" said Jared, getting out of the elevator.
"Just because you have a thing for her, doesn't mean she we can trust her. Besides, I guarantee, even if we promote her to senior partner she won't sleep with you, dude."
"Okay, listen. One – I DO NOT have a thing for Swatello. No thing at all. And two – what do we know about business? She is so… what's the word I'm looking for?"
"Heartless? Bitchy? A psychopath?"
"Haha, very funny… I'm trying to say, she has that … quality that might make her actually good at this."
"I still think Stan put the firm in our hands for a reason. He wants us to handle it and we'll handle it… Oh, and you so have a crush on her. Five bucks you smile at her when she says hi."
They both notice the blonde lawyer walk towards them from her office.
"Speak of the devil. Hi Ellen," says Peter with a huge grin on his face.
"Morning," said Ellen, with a poker face. She seemed to be more phlegmatic than usual.
"Good morning!" said Jared with the biggest. "Damn it," he said as he passed a bill over to Peter.
"I didn't say it was good." Ellen look at the floor and took a deep breath.
"Everything okay? You seem to be more cranky than usual…" said Jared, with concern in his voice.
"Don't interrupt me, when I'm trying to do something," she took another deep breath. "I need your help," she finally raised her eyes from the floor, looking directly in Jared's eyes. "Both of you."
"What happened?" now Jared was definitely concerned.
"An old… friend of mine got into some trouble."
"Sure you can take heeer? case it's no problem." Jared said with a questioning smile.
"Well that's just it. I can't take his case. HE said I am too close and he just wants me to recommend someone who can represent him. So, as much as it pains me to ask you this, would you guys take his case?" her eyes were pleading, and they were looking directly into Jared's. He was frozen still. It was lucky that Peter spoke up first, before he could say yes.
"What is he being accused of?"
Ellen looked at the floor again. "First degree murder."
Silence hit the office. Suddenly, none of the three would hear anything besides their own thoughts. Peter finally spoke up again.
"How bad is it?"
Ellen finally looked up with a faint smile on her face: "Pretty bad, considering I'm referring him to you guys. I had made him a list of 10 lawyers before he told me about the circumstances and the evidence. Then it all went out the window."
"And why does he think you're too close?" Jared finally spoke up. He wasn't sure he wanted to hear the answer to this, but if they were considering taking the case, he knew they had to.
"Because I used to be engaged to him."
Silence fell on the trio again, but this time the awkward kind. Someone had to say something, and none of them knew what exactly. Peter knew that this case could be a tough one to win and hard on Jared, so he wanted his partner to speak first. Ellen was done pleading. It was hard enough to ask them in the first place, she was not going to ask again. And Jared was still feeling a mix of very confusing emotions of wanting to help, and something close to jealousy… But he got his thoughts together and decided to break the silence.
"We'll talk to him." He said with a smile. He figured if he cared about Ellen in any way – colleague, friend, lover, whichever – he owed her this much.
Then suddenly, before she could really think of what she was doing, Ellen opened her arms and hugged Jared as hard as she could, whispering "thank you" in his ears. It was a long hug, something that neither he nor Peter have seen her give out, ever. It seemed like it suddenly dawned on her what she was doing and she jumped back like Jared was made of fire. She then looked at Peter, who held his arms out with a huge grin waiting for his hug, but she reached for his right hand and shook it with a solid "thanks".
"He's in my office right now if you guys have time," she said.
Peter spoke up this time. "Sure. Give us 10 minutes to catch up on some stuff in our office and we'll be right with you."
Ellen nodded, turned around and started walking away.
"Dude, what the hell?" said Peter.
"Look how happy she got when I said we'll talk to the guy. I mean, she's out friend."
"She's not my friend!"
"She's our colleague…"
"She's our employee!"
"Whatever she is, I think the least we can do is hear the guy out."
"For the record I think this is a horrible idea. But you're right, hearing the guy out couldn't hurt."
The two lawyers started walking towards Ellen's office, not knowing what to expect.