Law & Order SVU: "IMPERFECT WORLD"
By Jordan "BluntJoey" Adorno
"But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!" – Amos 5:24
(Author's Preface: This fic is Alternative Universe, taking please immediately after Season 12, striking totally out Elliot's departure and everything there forward. Enjoy...)
CHAPTER ONE. "Suspenseful Endings Without Suspensive Ends"
Assistant District Attorney Casey Novak couldn't believe how nervous she felt internally. Following fifteen minutes of short court recess, solo a ranger but never any less so THE uttermost determined, 'back-from-the-dead' Casey Novak (as closer colleagues were calling her these—yes, still—embarrassingly burdensome late days, given light of her recently-repaired prosecutorial career as a Manhattan ADA respectively) now rose to make the ever-essential rebuttal argument. This was her very final chance to strike a chord in the surveying jury's weighted perspective before they were sent back to deliberate on their own.
Unduly conscious of herself become nearly hypersensitive in emotion, the newly-instated ADA Novak felt extra, extra-vulnerable as she stood in court prosecuting only her second case since her three-year suspension ended. Taking a long, HIGH reactionary breath out of (in just plain layman terms, anyhow) an inward biting oversensitiveness, her uncomfortable gaze dead-ended alas at a distrustful intuitive will, and thereupon crashed like a bad turn into the self-deprecating dark corner of her already withstanding half-fragile position. Thereby toiling so much over her, unsubtly so to speak—henceforth hitting hard walls' wordless obscurity and subsiding into a befouled unnatural form—straightaway it viciously accosted full-on stabbing "visible" injury across her reluctantly-obliging, emotive body; And indeed, currently in presentation here now before staring wide-eyed members of the jury, alone notably at last YES, that very worst unfortunate timing possible for which her demeanor could ever thus rapidly alter into a "shiftier", absolute disrecommended mutational-like state! (In ill-ridden definition, this nervous break likened perhaps the discomforting anxiousness as result of one's forced polite first glance at a sudden all-reproaching face.)
Nonetheless, Casey buckled up inside and approached the jury, feeling the moment pass startlingly, a bump met only alas...indeed, that's precisely how warped her ultra-nervous mind dysfunctionally processed things right now (at least while stuck in this diminished overtired state, anyway). And, breathing yet a bit unevenly, valiantly she fought apprehension with great determination to fully constrict herself to a reserved, measured composure even despite the tension unfaltering from their studying overall survey; each jury member pinnacle as ever, still together they were closely uniform at least in that they all were stealthily wearing, rather specifically, each an individually-chosen expression EXCEPTIONALLY from the list of world's "hardest-ever-to-read" gestures, it felt no less! At the moment just attempting to be compelling as possible, she thus tried persuading the jury with all her might: "[CLOSING ARGUMENTS: Rebuttal (cont.)]...Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I concludingly ask you please not to fall for the Defense's strategy to make Mr. Brown the victim here," she began sternly, taking a breath. "You are smart. If you accurately follow the evidence to conclusion, for certain your minds will see right past that veil of deception. You each witnessed little Angie Walterson bravely take the stand and personally recount the depraved details of her sexual abuse in a sincere, candid way that in no way could've been forced into her. You each witnessed the uncontrollable tears falling down the poor girl's face; you each saw the sorrow of her crestfallen, childless gaze. So with these details at mind, I ask you to follow the truth within your hearts, which I know without a doubt will rivet you to render a verdict of 'Guilty', for that alone can bring this trial to its rightful end: at the safe, empowered hands of Pure, Rightful, Legal JUSTICE! So that henceforth this vicious, fright-filling decrepit criminal predator, wrongfully however yes falsely-trusted, can never again be allowed to hurt another child; and that YES, affirmatively indeed the evil unearthly-seeming Maurice Brown, whom you see before us, cannot even ONCE more attempt woefully stealing another defenseless child like Angie Walterson of his or her innocent, pure heart-filled soul."
Although at first she'd had mixed feelings about her decision to this time experiment with a more upper-level vocabulary and pointedly overall heavier linguistic speech (aiming rather for a 'prolific' sound in an aspiring try), Casey Novak now nonetheless felt just a slight bit of genuine confidence as she closed her last plea to the jury with remarkable eloquence.
Meanwhile watching as she took a bow and sat down one last time, Elliot Stabler, the counterpart lead detective on the case, congenially smiled, gleaming in fact at Casey. He was largely proud of Ms. Casey Novak, who today indeed right there front-and-center remained both his friendly comrade and probable, also, all-time favorite ADA among all that he'd previously worked alongside of, come to think. 'Hmm', he found himself abruptly pondering, (somewhat) notedly more so sensitively mental-cautious as he did. 'She really is great. Casey's an awesome gal, that I can bet anyone...'
TWO HOURS LATER...
Casey was alarmed by a sudden loud knock on her office door, hopping an inch in her seat. In a startled, hoarse-sounding voice she quickly answered, "Come in!" Anxiety unnerved her instantaneously: the most logical expectation was of course that the jury had at last reached a verdict. She'd spent the last two hours pretending to be ready for this moment, yet now her heart was leaping to the FULLNESS—
Elliot Stabler, appropriately dressed for court in a black suit and tie, walked in. The prudent detective, who had worked with her in countless SVU cases, lit up, and wasted no time whatsoever: Excitement radiant in his demeanor, Stabler exclaimed seriously, "Casey, get ready! Jury's back...Court resumes in twenty."
Apprehension overpowered her senses quite like nothing else in this very tantalizing, cliff-held moment in which she felt those four last words shudder her right by. Gulping, the recently reinstated ADA nodded her head at Elliot, and then finally rose from her chair. "Okay," Casey replied in a guttural, unintended tone, not meaning to sound so breathless.
She unstoppably flushed a vivid color of red instantly. Elliot thus surveyed her uncertainly. "Ready?" His worried tone begged for her vocal reassurance.
Once again (though not without another momentous leap of the heart no less) Casey nodded her head, except this time braver; surpassing earnest, she spontaneously felt herself grow fuller in yearn for understanding. Readier and readier, she sensed herself become slowly anticipative, even, more so and more so until finally prepared to meet this long-lasted tribulation at its pivotal, conclusive framing depiction; hence, that which would serve as the trial's (really) single-handedly important monument of ageless recollection. Thinking this, Casey exhaled freer, for in that all-illumined neat moment, there was to be found a clearer sense of self-reach. "Ready."
About eighteen, truthfully though, of those twenty minutes later, Casey was beginning to feel extremely nauseous. The suspense was killing her; in fact, she somehow in this tormented moment felt dreadfully that she had undoubtedly lost, surely so...Forcing her breath, Casey alas gulped back painfully a few moments later, returning the pronouncedly sobered look of Elliot's, and nervously then retreated to the Prosecution bench. Naturally, Casey searched for clues among the eyes of the jurors as they sequenced out into the courtroom in their same ordinary arrangement as always, proctored straight to their seating appropriately, and as expected found, still, nothing. Her heart was beating at the speed of light, her toes tipped and tapped in a spasm on an unbraced floor erratically, her gulp sent a hard-striking pang fully down her dry throat. Would all her hard work pay off? She was going to find out in mere minutes now, once Juror #4, foreman—a tall middle-aged stockily-built black man whom Casey had never once seen smile or much so change from his vapid expression—read the verdict aloud for the whole world's ears to slip right into.
As usual, Judge Petrovsky maintained her objective, indiscernible composure as she took the piece of paper and checked which verdict the jury was rendering. Proceeding as custom, the judge handed the slip back to the court clerk, who then returned it to the jury foreman, whose face revealed both his impatience and quite, perhaps, an afterglow of the very prolonged affliction which came inevitably from forfeiting oneself to the overwhelming ins and outs of a long trial's heavy hardship…
Moving along nevertheless, as perfunctory, Judge Petrovsky next directly addressed the foreman, staring very seriously upon him, and loudly inquired only then, "Ladies and Gentleman of the jury, have you reached a verdict?"
"We have, Your Honor," he replied promptly, as was expected; his voice deep but loud and clear no less.
Petrovsky nodded approvingly. (Casey, meanwhile, desperately wished she could stop the unsettled nervous dangling of her legs below the table.) "On the sole count of the indictment, 'Rape in the first degree', how do you find the defendant?"
Looking rather proud of himself in one expressive moment, the confident man, forties in age, perfectly enunciated their ultimate collective decision at high volume in a speaking voice that would resound in palpable echo throughout the whole courtroom momentarily: "Guilty, Your Honor. We find the defendant...GUILTY." 'Guilty', had he indeed truly read? Guilty? GUILTY?! Was that so? Yes!? Casey couldn't believe it, paralyzed to a shell of disquieting shock; almost like she didn't at present-occurring moment capably fathom that she really had made it happen—
YES? YES?! TRULY?! THEN LET IT SING OUTWARD IN A SUPERB MAXIMUM-VOLUME, LIVENED CARRYING SOAR...LOUDER, LOUDER, LOUDER...FOR DOUBTLESS EARS EVERYWHERE WIDE-AND-ACROSS TO OVERHEAR OF ALL MIGHTILY-FILLED FORTUNE NEWLY-RISEN!
ADA Casey Novak was indeed back….for good this time! A tremendous healthful sense of surreal, simpleminded positive feeling went instantly spiraling through her—FIERY newfound glory, rejuvenating livelihood at that, prided magnificence and so forth—only overwhelming the still amazed, triumphant ADA Novak. Then, greatly startling her, Elliot came from the gallery and rested a firm, proud grip on her shoulder. "Great job, Counselor, very great job, actually; very impressed, too, gotta say matter of fact, that I'll betcha everyone is feeling right now. Told ya, Casey, told ya you'd be all right, didn't I?" Elliot congratulated lightheartedly, happily teasing her not without the dried-up help of pretentious sarcasm sensed comfortably in his voice.
LADY JUSTICE HAD PREVAILED TODAY, REIGNING THUNDEROUSLY, TOO, UPON HER UTTERLY BOLTED "LIGHTNING-STRUCK" ARRIVAL!
Casey was unfailingly filled almost with uncontrollable nonstop grinning the remainder of the day, which conveniently for her had but just begun! Of course hearing from Elliot first off was always especially awesome, but he was hardly even the tip of what seemed, to Casey anyway, more throughout the day, to be a growing-fast, vast surfacing tidal wave. The greatest part, no doubt, was hitting the colossal herd of press parading upon her noisily all at once when she made her first triumphant step outside the courtroom. The flashes of the camera roll were momentarily blinding in their bright white light, a bit surprising her. It took her aback as the crowd of badgering, fast-speaking reporters and camera people henchmen appeared right before her step.
Upon meeting the swarm of press very much, thus, expected, Casey couldn't help being glowingly red from, now not by wish or will, but from inadvertently wearing the spontaneous all-smiling greediness of, unnaturally first and foremost, a barely-hidden mostly unnatural expression of uttermost immodesty; and to enabled topmost decreed leverage, too, given how seemingly obliged was the fullness of ultimate pursuance in its taken freedom to entirely rewrite every possible pressing layer of deplorable, even PARTWAY stagnating emotion across her face with the joyousness in apparent ovation and great standing success before her. That much easily well-weighed effortlessly, rested thus as the matter of sheer decided fact at relief's unregretful hand. How? Because she couldn't be any MORE obvious right now with her playful, overly-importunate gloating clear lack of fear upon appearing, forthright— the sole established notable broadcasted figure of public eye this so all-opportune instance—as more than a slight bit arrogant; as such in her much self-enjoyed celebrity she effectively looked smooth, thereby even adding on conveniently to her soon-to-be-widely-publicized glorying name's already predetermined large, beautiful moment in disseminated "NYC" spotlight.
'Haha, well I did earn it!' Casey — knowingly guilty (actually guiltless would be better said) of taking pleasure in the spotlight and loving every moment of it, to be quite specific — thoughtfully supposed. It didn't matter; she simply couldn't help but relish deep right now in this happy-as-can-be, obviously only temporary moment! As well, likewise could she not help but be in love with the sort of questions they, the parade of press, exactly chose to be asking: "Miss Novak, do you consider your triumph a sense of closure, justice for families of the victim, and the potential unreported case of others so?"; "Are you relieved by the 'Guilty' verdict in spite of many people's speculation the jury would return an acquittal in one's end meet?"; "Are you shocked, proud of your successful performance on behalf of the People?"
The positive lists of undeniable flatter went on throughout the day continuous without close.
Casey and Elliot were enjoying celebratory drinks at Jay's Bar that very evening. Both a bit tipsy at this point, a long-needed, carefree atmosphere had surmounted between the two comrades. Heartily-filled laughter had, easygoing as can be, seemed to utterly overtake the scene no time later.
Giggling, Elliot poked fun. "The verdict practically pulverized Granger, Casey! You really handed him his ass there, Counselor. Very nice."
Casey flushed. "Yeah, I guess I did." (She was so obviously all-smiles, both outside and inside at that, with much sublime thanks.)
Elliot turned his head, tongue-in-cheek. "All right then, Counselor, so you've got no more excuse to not get over the past now. You hear me, Casey?" he said seriously, a noteworthy much 'right-to-direct' forwards her attention.
Casey grinned much so appreciatively back at Elliot. "Yep, I hear ya, El. You're right. Got nothing to lose–onto the next case now. Business as usual, right, detective?"
Elliot's grin maximally widened as he acknowledged the last bit of Swedish beer left in his Jay 's Bar trademark mug, which he then decidedly raised up in traditional fulfillment of a conventional toast. He nodded. "A toast, Counselor! Do it for me!"
Casey rolled her eyes and chuckled at El's bittersweet sarcasm, classic as usual. "Yeah, a toast – just for you." And she raised her glass competently at his. Their glasses touched, cluttered a typical squeak. Precariously at that their eyes directly met spontaneously, upon coincided junctures, glittering back-and-forth discerningly at one another for a shortened yet powerfully forever-felt moment. It took Casey aback when it sent a shivery sensation up her spine and a prevaricated collection of butterflies unstintingly across her stomach.
'What the hell IS this?' Casey wondered ambiguously 'bout a half-an-hour's juncture later, straight off the 'E' train walking directly towards home a rather odd bit faster than usual. 'Gawd, I have no damn idea. But I know there's something not right here, not right whatsoever about how I'm feeling, lately, in the atmosphere between Me and El...'
As Casey undressed and put on an appropriate plainer-like nightgown, in the zone of the lamplight her eyes had fell upon the attention of a leather-bound, thicker-sized journal on the night stand. It was still sealed in the cellophane wrap that she'd bought it in about two weeks ago. It had lingered at her bedside ever since, waiting for Casey to soak up its pages. At the time of the purchase she'd felt determined to keep a journal henceforth, but it wasn't 'till tonight—two hours past the midnight hour at that, rather a bit much inopportune, might mention—that Casey felt that precise burn of inspiration so vitally necessary—
Sighing inwardly, feeling unsure she went to sit at her bedside. Slightly hesitant, it took a moment for Casey to take the journal off her nightstand, rip the plastic, and open it. As she creased her fingers down on the first page, Casey rested the open journal on top her lap, grabbing the mechanical pencil off the nightstand into her left hand, and closed her eyes thoughtfully...Oh, lament.
But what, EXACTLY, to write?!
Rightly, Casey felt frustrated, tiresome, restrained upon this rather stubbornly unstoppable, yet-untested substation; upon a sudden indeterminate wondrous force trying to ponder and decide whether a single pressing potential topic or rather two sidelong admittedly half-duplicate equals better suited, thus, she thereabout deciphered, searched devotedly without jest, a proper choice of ideal cleaned-out, intelligible much-needed sentimentalized context, which hereinafter clear-as-day most-ever-possibly scrupled 'round along this difficultly half-bitten roughed-up moment accordingly, and soon thereby slid straightly OUTWARDS across these plain very beginning journal pages with only the hopefully emboldened promise of greatness—(On otherwise note, that is, to a not-so-affectedly-pleasant irreparable plausible scenario, nonetheless; a reminder tidbit.)
This very brain-teaser was the one which Casey, bewildered, did unfortunately suffer quarreling then, striking wonder all through her mind just next; Right indeed-that: What to make proper worth writing down of; what to inscribe a spot in history for; what merited sealing for in its own self, a memory, one worthy of an individualized encasement on top these seeming holy-bent, daunting diary pages? That sole thing, she momentarily came to find, was going to be quite exact the quarrelsome question to stunt her progress just right…One paramount problem this past fortnight had been discovering that she had no desire, nor chance to reap benefit, from recollecting the stressful events of her everyday into writing. Earnest to get this just right for whatever unknown reason that nonetheless reinforced inside, Casey swallowed a fresh bullet train of calculating thoughts, shooting at her everywhere mentally; before, finally, the urge of her finger to grasp her pen—her favorite one too, as a matter of fact, thick-inked and royal-blue durably—begun becoming irresistible. And then she wrote, wavering unsure here and every now and again as she formed a sentence, wrote until her vulnerability had flown itself straightaway:
May 09 2012
Today I proved to myself that I still have what it takes to be a good prosecutor. It was hell these several past weeks but it was completely worth it the moment I heard that jury foreman so confidently read a guilty verdict. I was shell-shocked for a second there; it'd been a really long time since I'd last enjoyed the honest-to-God, 'mean really just wholly overwhelming satisfaction that really specially only comes from successfully locking up a pedophile. I guess, anyhow—
What's really crazy about it all, though, is that looking back at how crazy I was going, it's a shock I survived, much less won…Hmm. Maybe I just haven't been giving myself QUITE enough credit; maybe I really am fucking back. Me, Casey Novak, seriously back furiously trying cases as usual? No way! YES, WAY, man, haha! I'm back, I'm truly back to being me. And I couldn't feel any happier or more blessed.
Author's Endnote: Yes, yes, yes...Casey and Elliot NO JOKE! Stay tuned, guys; the excitement is just beginning as the unspeakable romance slowly begins to unravel into its very improper existence.