Diminished Capacity

"We've been assigned a new A.D.A.," Captain Cragen announced somberly.

Benson, Stabler and Munch were all sulking in separate corners of the office. Their eyes were trained to the floor and no one gave the slightest reaction. The events of the past couple days were still fresh and painful. Their family had essentially been torn apart and the captain's announcement was like pouring salt on an open wound.

When his words were greeted with nothing but silence, Cragen continued, "I know Casey's resignation has upset everyone, but we need to start putting our squad back together."

"Who'd they stick us with?" Elliot asked, not even bothering to look up.

"She's new." Cragen opened a thick personnel file, and allowed a small grin. "Her name is Elizabeth Donnelly."

Munch snorted. "Yeah, right, and I'm the Lindbergh baby."

"You shouldn't even joke about something like that, Captain," Elliot said, pretending to shiver. His history with the honorable Judge Donnelly was tempestuous at the very best. "Talk about my worst nightmare."

Olivia smiled, probably for the first time in days. "So, who is it really? That kid from Vice?"

Cragen crossed his arms, looking mildly amused. "Who decided I was joking?"

All three detectives stared back at him, their expressions reflective of pure horror. "But, she's a judge," Olivia stammered. "Why would she-"

"She isn't." Cragen grinned. "It's her daughter."

"Her daughter?" Olivia parroted.

"Yes, her daughter." He stood up and passed around a copy of the personnel file. "She came very highly recommended. Her conviction rate is above reproach-"

Elliot frowned. "You're serious, aren't you?"

"I'm known for many things, detective," Cragen rejoined. "But my sparkling wit isn't one of them."

Munch began to snicker. "I can't believe Rosemary's baby is our new A.D.A.-"

"Can't you do something, Captain?" Elliot loosened his necktie. "I barely survived the first Donnelly."

"It's already done." Cragen checked his watch. "She's due to arrive any minute-"

Munch leaned toward Elliot and whispered, "If I were you, I'd start wearing a cup to work."

"You guys are pathetic," Olivia interjected, flipping through the personnel file. "Donnelly may be a hardass, but she was a great prosecutor. We'd be lucky to get someone with her zeal."

"Zeal is fine," Elliot rejoined. "It's her fangs I'm worried about-"

"I promise to play nice." The group turned at the sound of a soft female voice. What they found shocked them; a completely harmless-looking young woman stood in the doorway, all doe eyes and freckles. She gave a sweet smile as she stepped into the office, and extended her hand. "Hi. I'm Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Donnelly."

Olivia recovered first and shook her outstretched hand. "Detective Olivia Benson. It's a pleasure to meet you." She motioned to the men, and said, "The idiot with a big mouth is my partner, Detective Elliot Stabler, and that's Detective John Munch. I assume you've already met the captain."

"Yes, we've been introduced by my mother." She smiled at each detective. "It's very nice to meet you all."

Elliot was dumbfounded. "You're Elizabeth Donnelly?"

She smiled. "Please, detective, call me Beth. My mother named me after herself, but I've never gone by Elizabeth."

"Donnelly named you after herself?" Olivia smiled. "That's certainly a new twist on an old standard."

"Men name children after themselves all the time. She claims her feminism just took over." Beth grinned. "But just between the five of us, I suspect a lot of Demerol went into that decision."

Cragen seemed pleased by everyone's civility, and interjected, "I've known Beth since she was a teenager. And with her stellar conviction rate and her mother's history with SVU, she seemed like an obvious candidate for the job."

Beth's face darkened. "I was so sorry to hear about Ms. Novak. I haven't met her personally, but my mother spoke very highly of her."

"Its been a bad couple of days," Olivia said with a tense smile.

"Yes, I can imagine." The young lawyer glanced down at her watch. "I'm sorry to greet and dash, but I'm due in court." She stood up and grabbed her attache, offering one last smile. "It was very nice to meet everyone. I'm looking forward to working with you." She turned and walked out of the office, leaving everyone speechless.

Elliot finally found his voice and said, "That can't be Donnelly's daughter. She seemed...nice." He frowned. "Definitely not what I was expecting."

Before Olivia could deliver a scathing reply, they all heard a small commotion from outside. Cragen frowned. "Wait. Who's watching Flashy Joe?"

"Aww, crap," Munch muttered, remembering the flasher they'd arrested on fifth street earlier that day. The detectives quickly rushed into the bullpen, but it was too late; the man had dropped his trench coat and was giving their new A.D.A. a full frontal.

The first time someone had flashed Alex, she'd muttered something about a bail hearing and fled as fast as her Prada shoes could carry her. Casey had turned the color of her hair and unsuccessfully tried to fight back laughter. It was just an unfortunate rite of passage around the 1-6.

Flashy Joe grabbed his manhood and strutted proudly. "What do you think?"

Beth crossed her arms and coolly arched an eyebrow. "I think you could argue diminished capacity," she responded, with an all-too-familiar smirk.

The man looked offended and embarrassed, and quickly covered himself up.

"Now, that's what I expected," Elliot said with a laugh. "She's definitely Donnelly's daughter. No question."

Munch peered over the top of his sunglasses with a grin. "Well, this should be interesting..."


A/N: I know it's random, but I couldn't get the idea out of my head. Reviews, please!