Disclaimer: All rights belong to Wolf Films.
Author's Note: It's a compensation for Jack and Abbie's non-roles in "Empire." Also, happy 36th birthday to Angie Harmon, who was cast onto the series 10 summers ago. It's my first fic in five months, so apologies if I'm a tad off on anything. I may alter this into a songfic, but I haven't decided, yet.
Timeline: The night of "Empire"'s climax.
Update: I corrected additional typos, including the Robert Frost error. Why am I confusing him with David Frost? Heh. Consider this a new feature, so you'll know when a story has been edited, and what not.
A man on a B.M.W. motorcycle was cruising around the outskirts of a newfound stadium. Idling by the barbwire fence, the gangly biker in denim stared at the site. Suddenly, a Taurus model car arrived, steered by a slender young woman in business black. His posture straightened, as the driver approached him. "What are you doing here?"
"Hello to you, too, Jack. And I'll ask you the same question."
He disembarked from the vehicle, opposite her. "I'm just riding my bike in my off hours. Is there a problem?"
Her lips tightened. "You tell me. You're the one that's been silent ever since we returned from the courthouse. I go to your office to discuss the matter, and you already hit the garage. Given your natural ability to obsess, I pegged you to go to the source — Spector's soon-to-be stadium. That's all there is to it."
Jack removed his helmet, his short, gray hair glistening in the streetlights. "Am I that predictable?"
"What do you think? Now, can I have a valid explanation, please? You were fine about this earlier in the day, so what happened?"
"I was alright until I recalled what Adam said — Spector killed a person. We convicted him, but it doesn't take away from the crime itself. I know the system worked, yet it still failed, in a way.
"Such thinking sobered me, to say the least. I had to come here because the stadium was why Spector did it. Nevertheless, I obviously freaked and shut you out in my switching gears. I am sorry." His hand chopped throughout the air.
She nodded. "Apology accepted. I don't mind you 'switching gears,' providing you warn me beforehand. Speaking of which, there is another reason why I'm here — I was somewhat afraid you might do something rash inside."
"Abbie, give me some credit. Vandalizing the place is a short-term pleasure, at best, and wouldn't solve my overall problem."
"I know, but there is the weird twinkle in your eyes whenever your hippie passions are stirred. I mean, I half expected you to dump pig's blood on Spector."
He snorted. "How apropos."
"You wouldn't be smug, once Adam unleashed his own Carrie-like rage on you."
"I fear it — the man can dish it out."
"I'd be the lucky one to prosecute you." Abbie crossed her forearms near her body.
"I'm sure it would stir up your own passions against hippies."
"Depending on what you did, maybe. Mostly, I'd try to get a good laugh out of it."
"I could use the laugh, myself. However, we'd both be disappointed — Spector isn't worth the jail time."
"That's a pity, for the idiot deserves it."
"Right. Listen, I'm not going to do anything here, so why don't you head back and enjoy the free night while you can?"
"If I had a hot date or something, I'd be tempted," she moseyed to her backseat. "But, nah, I got a better idea."
"What would that be?"
"As the rural people say, I want to 'shoot the breeze' with you and make nice. Of course, it wouldn't be complete without beer, as per our sensibilities. We're working tomorrow, so I'm using a non-alcoholic version."
Jack cocked his head. "Non-alcoholic, huh?"
She returned with two nondescript beer cans. "I know it's a contradiction in terms, but do you want to get drunk with real alcohol? And they are cold, because who wants to drink warm beer?"
"Point taken on all fronts, Abbie. So, what's the occasion?"
"Something I've put off for several months. It's either I didn't have the free time, I couldn't get you out of the office or I couldn't leave. The rest, you can thank my ever-prepared mini-cooler and its solving of beer scheduling dilemmas. Its timing is actually perfect, because drinking right here could be your only chance of getting over this giant eyesore." She gestured delicately with her occupied fists.
"That, it would. Your logic is tight, as always, Counselor."
"It tries its best to be. I don't normally do this with superiors, whereas, you're definitely not the typical boss."
He seized the canister, yanking at its tab. "Since we're 'making nice,' you are definitely not the typical assistant, either. It's very rare I'm with someone on equal footing in wit, outlooks and legal positions."
Abbie promptly unsealed hers. "It's worthy of a toast."
The pair clanked the tin cans together, sipping the brew within. "I can drink to that. So, when's the last time you've done this?"
"I only did it once or twice back in Houston."
"They must have been special to you. By the way, good non-alcoholic beer, which isn't an adjective I ordinarily use for such a product." He swallowed two major mouthfuls.
Her tongue protruded faintly. "Not everyone loves scotch as much as you do, and, yeah, they were. The early 90's recession hit them hard, so they just dropped out of sight. I had tried to contact them, but I got nowhere. It's probably just as well, as I had to move on with my life."
"Even so, we should toast to them, anyway."
"Thanks, but you don't have to do that for me."
"Fine, we can drink to Houston's loss and New York's gain, instead." Jack waved his tin at the New York City skyline, his arm was toward the World Trade Center.
"That's one way to look at it. Cheers." They both imbibed another draft. "It feels like only yesterday that I worked in a rinky-dink cubicle. Then, the next day, you popped up in my new, spacious office, stepping over my boxes."
"Whilst shooting daggers at you, because I didn't care for the way you handled that kid's civil rights."
Abbie blinked rapidly. "Oh, yeah."
"I suppose I can admit this to you, now. Originally, Adam told me I was jealous of you, because you beat me to the punch. Six months later, I ultimately realized that our wise man was right — it's no wonder he paired us together."
Her jaw dived. "Where's an instant tape recorder when you need it?"
He did a headshake. "Too bad for you, because I won't be repeating it."
"You just can't give me a break, can you?"
"Not on this one, no."
"Still, it's nice to know I was right."
"Abbie, I never said you were right. I'm only conceding that I would have executed the same tactics, myself." He wagged his bushy eyebrows.
She shrugged a shoulder. "Good enough for me. Speaking on similar tactics, thanks for backing me up about Spector and facing Adam's wrath."
"Spector had it coming; the real shame was that it wasn't our shining hour."
"Yeah, our work was cut out with both Julian and his sexy ringer, Katrina Ludlow. It would be worth killing off the brain cells to forget about them, if this was real beer. And I'm going to stop before I have to hit a restroom, so I'll just hold this." She jangled her half-empty canister, sighing.
"Being a gentleman, I'll bypass the obligatory piss joke and go with your previous statement. To top it off, Ludlow was the greatest manipulator of them all. At least, I didn't fall for her act, which must be some kind of testament on my willpower."
"The woman's been at it a long time, Jack, so don't blame yourself. Meanwhile, I owe her for sassing me, except my indignation doesn't pass the laugh test."
"She was still rude to you. Believe it or not, she didn't get me, but Spector's attorney, Mossbach, did — the man treated me like a five-year-old." He downed a hard swig, his upper lip rolling inward.
"Doesn't feel so good on the receiving end, huh?"
Jack scratched behind his right earlobe. "You pick a fine time to paraphrase Adam, unless you're implying something else."
"There isn't, and Mossbach was ill-mannered to you. The irony just intrigued me enough to think out loud for a second."
"What's the irony?"
Abbie angled away. "Uh, I'm not going there."
"C'mon, it's not like you to not speak your mind."
Her neckline stiffened. "Fine, you asked for it. I just thought it was rather ironic that you, a prosecutor who has been… around the block twice, get reproved in such a manner."
He pulled backward. "'Around the block twice'? Abbie, you can say it — I'm old."
"You're not old. If you're wearing adult diapers and require I.V.s to nourish yourself, then you're considered old to me."
"What a pleasant future ahead."
"Self-pity doesn't become you, Jack. Whenever you do pass on, I expect to burst out of your coffin and ride your motorcycle to the heavens above."
"Where would I be without my B.M.W.?" He gently patted his bike's engine. "Alright, Abbie, you're forgiven."
"Great. Besides, you're not done prosecuting the scum of the earth, so you can't leave us, yet. What's the poem — miles to go before you sleep?" Her free palm was forward.
"Thank you, Robert Frost. So much for my being 'too old for this nonsense,' to borrow another of Adam's more memorable quotes."
"Seniority could help you in the job, like if you ever desired to be D.A. Then, you can take care of the idiotic judges and defense attorneys. Be sure to call me first, so I can pay real money to see that."
Jack rubbed the backside of his neck. "D.A.? No, Adam proved the negatives for me nicely, but it is a thought. If I were D.A., I'd go after Mossbach, Spector and the judge for his 'get to the point, McCoy' remark."
"Not like any of the others are any better."
"No, I suppose not. There was one exception — a judge that sexually harassed my assistant at the time. He was a fun guy, in his own Neanderthal way."
"Oh, there's no love, there. He even cited me for contempt, as I fought one of his stupid rulings." He expanded himself.
Abbie's hazel pupils widened. "You went to jail? Well, with your attitude, I'm sure it was bound to happen, eventually."
"Cute. It wasn't so entertaining when Adam had to bail me out, yet I enjoyed myself, anyhow."
"And you managed to survive? You must live a charmed life."
"I do my best. Wait until it happens to you with your attitude." His chin was jutted outward.
"I'll call on you for bail. Deal?"
"Don't press your luck with New York County's future D.A., Carmichael." He then yawned and stretched. "Now, it's getting past my bedtime."
She squinted at him. "Jack."
"Alright, I'll stop. So, do you want to continue, or shall we wrap it up for the night?"
"Not yet. I'm suddenly in the mood for a late dinner chat, if you're up for it."
"There's this rib place I know, if you don't mind late night indigestion. First, you have to tell me where you got the beer. For nonalcoholic, it's not bad stuff." He guzzled the last of his beverage.
"I got it from a beer and soda place around Dallas — I haven't ordered any in years."
"Never the right opportunity for an occasion?"
"Not until recently. In a bizarre way, maybe I should thank Spector for bring us together on this." Abbie stroked her right jowl.
"Life is a strange, old dog. I think I'll write him a nice poison pen letter for tonight, or to myself, for my prior behavior. Again, I'm sorry about before."
"It happens to the best of us, and you overcame it in the end. And, Jack?"
"There is one more thing I need to say to you. I better do it before I lose what's left of my nerve." She gazed downward, eyeballing the tips of her long, dark hair.
"Abbie, just take your time."
"Thanks. Lately, I've been examining my past comments to you, wondering if they were ever over the line. If that's the case, I'll be remorseful. Call it a side effect of my wanting to shoot the breeze with you."
Jack cautiously grasped her upper left arm. "You don't have to do that, for I enjoy the joust, as well. To reciprocate, you're right — I probably would have done something stupid here. I have to congratulate you in choosing the right form of venting for me: talking while knocking back a beer. After drinking here with you, who cares about the stupid stadium anymore?"
"You're all better about it, now?"
"Yeah. What's one sole arena against the grand schemes of things? What's more important is my going after the Spectors of the world. Of course, it's meaningless without a good assistant prepared to deal with me and my character flaws."
"A good assistant knows. Not to mention, someone has to keep you grounded and out of jail. Where else am I going to find a boss with the same wit, outlooks and legal positions?"
He chucked his vacant cylinder into an adjacent trashcan, nostrils curled. "In New York? Who are you kidding?"
"There's always Adam, but he's a little too grumpy for my tastes."
He sauntered toward his transportation, pointing at her. "Wait until you see me at his age — I'll show you grumpy."
She beamed subtly. "I can't wait."
Leave me a review if you wish, and see you in the funny papers.