"St. Valentine Was On Something"
Disclaimer: Law & Order belongs to Dick Wolf and NBC. I only own this story, for which I am borrowing Wolf's characters, and I make no money from this story whatsoever.
Author's note: This is the third story in my L&O series. It takes place after Jack and Abbie formally got together in "Costume Party, Costume Play," but if you want to place it in L&O canon, it's sometime during the latest season. And this one is for Valentine's Day. Hopefully, you like it.
"I don't want anything big for Valentine's Day."
That was what Abbie Carmichael, his beautiful, fierce, snarky firecracker, had said to him on the first day of February. Jack McCoy, for his part, was all right with that. At least, that's how he'd presented himself. In truth, he knew from experience that when a woman told him she didn't want "anything big" for Valentine's Day, it didn't mean she didn't want something.
Thus, Jack found himself slaving over the stove in his apartment. He had really gone above and beyond, as he usually didn't cook. However, Abbie was special to him and he wanted her to know that. Doubtlessly, she already did, but it never hurt to drive the point home every now and again.
No sooner had he finished his masterpiece than he heard his doorbell ring. Jack quickly made sure his preparations wouldn't burn up if he left them unattended for a minute and then practically dashed to the door, as though he were a young man again. He hadn't been in a long time, but something about Abbie just energized him in ways he'd never felt with either of his wives or his later dalliances.
When he answered the door, he found Abbie wearing a long, heavy coat along with leather gloves, a scarf, and a wool cap. Her face was red with cold and her eyes had an irritably desperate look in them. "You gonna let me in or what?"
"Yes, come on in," Jack replied, escorting Abbie inside his apartment and closing the door behind her.
"Your heat's working," Abbie remarked. "Better than my place."
"Space heater still working?"
"Yeah, but I'd like to not be confined to one spot in my own house." Abbie's nose wrinkled.
"I . . . made dinner."
"Valentine's Day?" Jack waggled his bushy eyebrows in amusement.
Abbie chuckled. "I forgot that was today."
"I'm not surprised. You never really acted like you cared about that kind of thing."
"I don't, but I appreciate the gesture."
"Will you enjoy that gesture with me tonight?"
Abbie snickered. "With you, I'd enjoy just about any gesture."
Soon enough, Jack and Abbie were having dinner and exchanging conversation. "So, how's the new E.A.D.A.?" Abbie asked.
"He reminds me of me," Jack replied evenly.
"Good thing or bad thing?"
"Both. His drive is impressive, but some of his methods are worrisome." Jack leaned forward, as though in contemplation.
"Funny, I seem to remember a certain E.A.D.A. who sometimes couldn't be bothered to play by the rules if he thought he could get a scumbag convicted."
"That was a younger, more reckless man. I've grown beyond that." He smiled. "But he also reminds me of a certain A.D.A. I used to work with who also couldn't be bothered to play by the rules if she thought she could convict a scumbag."
"You flatter me." Abbie's tone was a sardonic purr. "What about your new A.D.A.?"
"She's grown immensely since we first started working together, ad she has a good working relationship with the new E.A.D.A. Of course, I think she feels sometimes that we double-team her."
"'Double-team'? Is there something I ought to know?"
"Nothing like that. Sometimes, Connie will take one position, Cutter will take another, and I'll find myself falling in on Cutter's side of the issue."
"Can't help that. Just make sure she knows her opinion still counts for something."
"She does. At least, I like to think so." He looked up at Abbie from his wine glass. "What about you? How's your crack team of prosecutors?"
"They're an excellent bunch. Determined, driven, tenacious, intelligent – they're everything I could ask for and then some."
"That's good to hear," Jack remarked. "But are we going to talk shop all night?"
"What else is there to talk about?" Abbie asked.
"I could think of plenty . . . if I wasn't so busy with work."
Abbie burst out laughing.
"Did I say something?" Jack was puzzled.
"Yes. You want to talk something other than shop, but you can't think of anything. The curse of a workaholic."
"Yeah, but I recall that you're just as much a workaholic as me. Maybe we both ought to go to Workaholics Anonymous, see if we can rehabilitate ourselves."
"Well, we can always talk about . . . us." Abbie's tone had grown serious and she was now leaning toward Jack.
"Yeah, as in 'you and me.'"
"I think we have a good thing going between us so far. We mesh, for lack of a better term."
"That's what I was thinking, too."
"If you want to take it further, we can . . ." Jack trailed off.
"Nah. I'm not ready to give up my apartment just yet."
"Even though it's cold enough to make Siberia look like the tropics?"
"Ah." Jack chuckled, remembering just why he'd fallen in love with Abbie in the first place. "Oh, well. To be honest, I'm not quite ready to give up living by myself, either. I still have too many embarrassing habits I'm not sure you'll be able to stand."
"Really? So do I."
"I'll be looking forward to learning to ignore those embarrassing habits."
"Happy Valentine's Day."
"Happy Valentine's Day."
End Notes: Ok, so this turned out to be more of a banter piece than anything else. I wanted Jack and Abbie to have an intimate moment, but I thought here was a good point to end on; didn't want to stretch it too far and make it stale. Maybe someday, I can write an intimate moment between Jack and Abbie. Gonna have to work up my nerve first, but hopefully you liked this piece, anyway. Thanks for reading, and see you next time.