Disclaimer: I don't own them. Simple as that.
Author's Note: Just something that popped in my head during the final minutes of "Vaya Con Dios." It's simply me being cute as always.
Beta: My beta has life to deal with, you know the drill.
Timeline: The night before the final scene in "Vaya Con Dios."
After arriving in Washington D.C., Adam Schiff and his top A.D.A.s slogged to their hotel, their minds consumed by their appointment before the U.S. Supreme Court tomorrow over the case of Colonel Pantoya.
"Thanks for dinner, Adam." Abbie cut into the substantial silence in their elevator ride.
"Yeah, thanks." Jack's jagged voice spliced in.
"I'll just garnish it from your wages if you lose; same with your rooms," Adam grimly jabbed. The younger lawyers eyed each other in response.
"I'm kidding." The D.A. rolled his eyes.
They chuckled nervously as the elevator doors parted and couldn't wait to leave the seemingly claustrophobic implement.
"You got an idea of your opening argument?" Adam queried to Jack.
"Somewhat, although writing it will be an all-nighter. I'll have to get some room service depending how long I'll be."
"Don't go insane with it; I'm not made of money," the elder grouse growled.
"Don't worry, Adam. I'll keep an eye on him just in case," the woman volunteered; she shot a darting glance to the E.A.D.A.
"Well, I'll certainly need her help," Jack chirped.
"Fine, fine. Since the day is getting away, I'll leave you two to work. I have only this as encouragement: don't screw it up," Adam snapped as they arrived to their scattershot placed rooms in the hallway.
"That's encouragement?" Jack barbed.
"I could always quote Vince Lombardi: 'If you lose, you're out of the family',"
He shrouded his panic. "I'll take 'don't screw it up.'"
"Good answer. And good night." Adam slammed his door in the faces of his A.D.A.s as he retired for the night.
"So, I'll see you soon, Jack?" The Texan had a whisper of a grin on her face.
"I'll be ready, Abbie." He volleyed back the grin as they moseyed off to their respective rooms.
Jack scribbled back and forth his opening argument on a legal pad and sighed in frustration. It was the Supreme Court: he could deliver only his best. He promptly recalled a dream he had in law school where he unleashed a counterargument in front of the nine Supreme Justices in his underwear. The sensation flooded him as he scratched out another paragraph. He glimpsed at the clock: 11:30 P.M. He only had two more paragraphs remaining; it could keep until the morning.
Two soft knock shattered his thoughts. "Finally," he grumbled as he ambled to the door. He opened it to find one Abbie Carmichael in a white T-Shirt and matching panties.
"I couldn't come out sooner; I had to wait 'til Adam finally went to sleep. Serves me right for having my room so close to his," she griped as she slipped into the room.
"Don't worry; I have been making good use of my time. Your research skills never cease to amaze me."
"I try. Just slipping in and out your door as your A.D.A. vs. as your girlfriend is the tricky part." The female firebrand collapsed on the bed.
"Part of the game, Abbie, until the time is right." His voice drifted to a bitter one as he entered the bathroom.
"I know. When I left you,—officially speaking, that is—you had a page done finally. What have you got done now?"
"I have two paragraphs left. It can keep 'til morning," he affirmed while he undressed himself.
"This would be perfect; if you ignore the fact our boss is right across from us."
The E.A.D.A. evoked one of his famous smirks. "I know, but what's a perfect getaway for us anyway? Remember the B&B in Ithaca?"
"And the defective tub? I never thought I'd get that water out of my ears." She performed an ear-cleaning gesture.
"Or out of the floor? We rather warped the wood there." He emerged from the cramped lavatory, wearing only a pair of cobalt blue pajama bottoms.
"I'm glad it's not all like that. It almost comes off like a bad sitcom, doesn't it?" she observed while he slid into bed with her.
"That time it did." He snuggled against her.
"Well, 'I knew the job was dangerous when I took it,'" she jovially quipped.
"I know what that means, Abbie." He cracked a slight smile.
"Good, then you'll know what this is." She clambered up and kissed him on the lips.
"I love you, too." Jack returned the favor to his girlfriend, switched off the light, and cuddled with her in the dark.
4:30 A.M. and Adam's prostate was up and at them. He scurried back and forth to the bathroom. Once he was finished, he heard a door clicking right outside his. His curiosity intrigued, he gingerly tottered to the keyhole and discerned one minimally dressed A.D.A. Carmichael slinking out of one E.A.D.A. McCoy's room.
The elder nearly had a coronary by the evidence—an attractive woman in her underwear exiting her superior's hotel room? What other conclusion could the D.A. draw? Adam wanted to be livid and deal with this now but the night before addressing the Supreme Court should not be tainted with such triviality. The matter can wait until after the opening arguments.
Adam paced back to bed, but his mind buzzed with so many questions. How long has this gone on? Was this lust or an actual relationship? Didn't Jack learn his lesson from Diana Hawthorne and Claire?
The man hardly had a wink of sleep.
Adam wanted to kick his A.D.A.'s doors down as sunlight crept up on the sky; however, his restless sleep countermanded that. He swaggered to the hotel's restaurant, with the hope that a good breakfast will bestow him the strength to endure the day and later reprimand the young pair. Imagine his surprise when he noted Abbie sitting in an errand booth.
He loomed towards her. "Ms. Carmichael. Why are you up at this hour?"
"It's a big day, sir. How often do you get to go before the Supreme Court?" she yawned.
"Indeed." He sat across from her, his eyes probing her wrinkled gray blouse from yesterday. "I hope you're not going to be dressed like that."
"No, just slapped something on for breakfast."
"You didn't get much sleep?" He concealed his true reaction.
"Some, but I kept going back and forth to Jack's room, thinking about cases that he could use. Oh, he's still working on his draft. He'll join us, one of these years."
A waiter materialized and offered them menus. The twosome ordered their beverages and waited for the server to return. The D.A. considered which approach would best: a subtle cross-examination or a direct, albeit out-of-the-blue interrogation.
"So you've been here for two years now; you enjoying the job and the odd twists it takes?" He mused that a simple interrogation is best.
"It's interesting to say the least. Where else can you see the sublime to the ridiculous—defective baby traffickers to little girl killers? It would be good for a laugh if it wasn't so pathetic," she snorted.
"Nice to see your wit still finely honed."
"It keeps me from screaming, sir?" Her defense mechanisms elevated.
"You can stop with the 'sir'."
"Sorry, but I think this is the third one-on-one chat we had together in two years? Pardon me if I'm a little on my guard," she defensively responded.
"Right." The waiter reappeared with their beverages and the duo ordered their meals. Adam deliberated the next question while the waiter skulked away.
"So how do you like working with Jack?" He sliced into the encroaching silence.
"He's certainly full of surprises." The irony was not lost on the woman.
"I have to admit, he makes stomaching the insane judges and defense attorneys worth it." The Texan spitfire would have purred, if it weren't for her current audience.
"Interesting choice of words," he judged.
"I thought so. Ok, what's this about?" The prosecutor side of her was triggered.
"What's what about?" The mature one of the duet adopted a semblance of innocence.
"You're asking about how I feel about my job after all this time. You're firing me, aren't you?"
Adam's earlier coronary evolved to a full blown aneurism. "No, no. Not in the least."
"Then why the questions?"
"I suppose honesty would be the proper course of action, wouldn't it?"
If it were anyone else, she would be more flippant in her answer. "I would think so."
He sucked in a breath. "Earlier this morning as I went to the restroom, I heard a click near my door. I looked through my peephole to find you in your underwear sneaking out of Jack's room. You care to explain that?" Her superior faintly but firmly glared at her.
Now it was Abbie's turn to have an aneurism. "I…I…"
The D.A. almost derived pleasure from this: he finally found the button to deactivate his Texan A.D.A.'s mouth. "Just as long as you don't tell me you two were working, you just yawned, and your clothes fell off." His mordant character revived in perfect pitch.
"Well, what would you like me to tell you?" Her panic amplified.
"The truth? Or at least enough answers to satisfy my curiosity?"
"Alright. Where should I start?"
"Try the beginning," he slightly deadpanned.
"Right. Well, after we started to work together, I felt an attraction, but I didn't dwell on it because I am a career woman and I knew of his reputation with his female assistants. Then, a particular case happened and I found myself opening up to him, telling him things I haven't told anyone. One night on another particular case, he opened himself up as well. We just went on that emotional slippery slope and addressed our feelings to each other, and all the pitfalls and obligations attached with such a relationship.
"We've been sneaking around for months. We don't want to, but we have to. I should have been more cautious tonight but then I didn't think you or anyone would be awake. Served me right." She nearly trembled from such a monologue.
Adam hoisted an eyebrow. "I see. I take that this is more than lust?"
"I wouldn't risk my career or myself if it was just lust." The firebrand's conviction could not be any more palpable.
"Would you call this love or leading to it?"
"Yeah, I do." She would dissolve in her emotions for the E.A.D.A. if she wasn't grilled for them at the moment.
"I wouldn't know where to begin. I'm sure defense attorneys could suggest conflict of interest but then, you two are so similar, that would be tossed out," he tittered.
"Yeah, we are; that's one of the first things that attracted us to each other."
Adam recollected his initial remark about the woman to Jack over the arrest of Nicholas Waring. "Nice to know I was right."
"What?" she asked in confusion.
"When you first arrived, I noticed Jack being angry over a tactic you did—arresting that attachment disorder child. I pointed out how he 'was sorry he didn't think of it first.' I knew the pattern would be set with the both of you, even from back then," he stated with a minuscule measure of satisfaction.
"Oh, really?" She would revel using this on Jack next time.
"Yeah," he snickered.
"So, are we fired or one of us banished or…?" She didn't want to mar the mood but the inevitable issue rotted out there. The waiter debuted with their breakfasts but the repasts were to be ignored by the ongoing conversation.
"Before I answer that, has he told you about Claire Kincaid?"
"Yeah, he did. And all the angst he went with my predecessor." Abbie now pondered the tribulations Jamie went through with him during that period.
"Did he tell you the scope of their relationship?"
"Not quite, beyond it was…turbulent."
The older malcontent sucked in another breath. "Well, he and Ms. Kincaid argued endlessly during their trial work, so I can imagine what a relationship between the two would have been like. Before her death, she wanted to quit the job; I can just imagine how a workaholic like Jack took to that. Even so, I never could fathom why they got together in the first place as I finally found out later on. Opposites attracting can lead to explosions, Ms. Carmichael. That is why I paired you with him; I think he needed the similarity and enjoy the job again."
He paused for a moment before he continued. "And I know you have the same passion for the job, so I know you two won't let that get in the way if things go south. As long as that happens, then, I'm willing to look the other way. I've been down this road plenty of times with him, Ms. Carmichael, which is why I'm not lowering the boom that much here. He doesn't surprise me anymore."
The hotheaded woman was ready to laugh maniacally her way to insanity in her paroxysm. "He is predictable, once you know him."
"I don't suppose I can ask what your future plans are," it was not in the form of a query to her.
"Eventually marriage. He wants me to meet his daughter—something he's never done before." The woman's heart undulated with sentiment.
The jaded D.A. was flabbergasted. "I take it back; I am surprised."
"So was I, when he told me." A thin beam adorned her lips.
"I guess it is love," Adam declared.
"Who else knows? You certainly kept me in the dark and you both work for me."
"Just you now; no one else knows." Her manner shifted to a solemn one.
"We'll discuss this after the appointment today. I don't want Jack off his game."
"Right." She bobbed her head up and down in accordance.
"I have to admit…, Abbie, I think you're a good woman for him."
The aneurism altered to an embolism for the spitfire A.D.A., as Adam never referred to her by her given name.
"Thank you, Adam?" she tentatively squeaked.
"Don't push it." He furnished a wink.
"Well, either way, it's a relief to us. Jack wants to tell you, but we had to wait for the proper timing."
"Indeed. Well, you have it now. You two must have been quiet; I didn't hear you at all." The mature one of the couple refrained from the obviously wayward thoughts.
"Actually, we just…cuddled and went to sleep. We do that more than anything." Abbie reddened like a tomato. She mulled over if this conversation was an actual dream and if so, what happened to her underwear?
"Cuddled?" He matched her embolism.
"It's not just sex, what can we say?" Her face had the most endearing blush.
"Cuddled? Kids these days…" He nodded in lighthearted disapproval. Her retort was blocked with the appearance of Jack.
"Hey, you crazy kids. Couldn't find Adam, so I thought he might be with you," the E.A.D.A. elaborated on as he headed to their booth.
"You good on your opening argument?" she posed.
"Yep. Good to go."
"Good. Now let's get a hot breakfast," Adam gruffly ordered.
"So what did you kids talk about?" Jack solicited as he sat next to Abbie.
"You know, Jack, the same old, same old—chicks, monster truck rallies," she jibed in her traditional cheeky delivery.
Jack motioned his hands in a surrendering gesture. "Okay, don't tell me. Must be good if it kept your menus cold."
The D.A. and his youngest subordinate dusted off knowing glances to each other.
"It's quite a page-turner, but we'll tell you after your opening arguments. I don't want any slip-ups." The eldest of the trio barked as he signaled to the waiter.
"Must be quite a story," Jack grinned.
"Oh, it is, Jack. It is," Abbie remarked as her apprehension simmered down but the day was not complete yet. Now it was time to go to work.
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