Disclaimer: All rights belong to Wolf Films.
Author's Note: It is my postponed reaction to the Michaela McManus removal. (The story has been delayed and revised considerably, courtesy of my computer woes.) Bear with me, as this is my first writing attempt of the Kim Greylek character.
Dedication: To both Michaela McManus and Kim Greylek. If you follow my Livejournal commentary, you should know why.
Nota bene 1: See my profile regarding any proofreading issues. I'll try to do as many as possible, until I have a long-term, non-malfunctioning computer and re-edit any errors accordingly.
Nota bene 2: The story was written prior to the crossover feature. It will be regarded as your basic SVU fic, due to its overall themes. If I change my mind, I can always re-edit.
A slender young woman reached the end of a long office hallway. "Why did they make the corridor this long? I swear it must have been done on purpose," she muttered.
She knocked on the door and entered the room. "You said you wanted to see me?"
On the opposite end was a lanky older gentleman, seated at his desk. "Yes, Kim, I have the paperwork for your transfer to Washington almost ready. Before it's processed, I want to have a conversation with you."
"Very well, sir."
"There is no need for that, as first-name basis is fine with me."
She blinked rapidly. "Certainly, uh…, Jack."
He loosened his red tie. "Fine, then, we'll begin. I was quite surprised by your request, as I thought you were doing alright with us."
"No one is more surprised than me. I didn't think I'd be taking up the new administration's offer, but here I am."
"You're certain about this? It will be difficult to undo, should you have second thoughts. I'm good, but I'm not that good at parting forth the Washington level of red tape."
He leaned forward. "Anything I could say to convince you, otherwise?"
She waved a few fingers through her arranged hairstyle. "No, I don't believe so."
"Could you shut the door, please?"
"Sure." She complied, her neckline tensing.
He performed a steeple gesture. "Look, I don't do my usual 'hardass' act, unless I have no choice. You are a capable prosecutor, Kim, so what's really going on, here?"
"I simply underestimated how rocky my transition to New York would be."
"How so? Is it the sex crimes angle? I'm not being condescending, as SVU A.D.A.s are typically my rarest commodity."
Her upper lip curled inward. "No, though, I am disgusted by them. I won't lie in that I'm still adjusting to real life victims."
"I won't bore you with my similar stories on the subject, even though, it's a natural feeling to have. So, what is it? Is it your personal life, your colleagues or anything you can possibly tell me?"
"I'll opt for the former."
Jack's forehead was knitted. "I think we're better off without the pretenses. I realize I'm only your boss, so I don't expect you to spill your guts. I'm also not the warmest person, which has served me well as a prosecutor. Unfortunately, it hasn't helped me with my people skills.
"I may not be the best with advice or emotions, but I can observe and listen. From what I see, you're almost frazzled. If you can confide in someone, you should. It's better to vent than to explode — I can't even count how many times I wish I had done the former. Prying is not my style, but, if I didn't think you could cut it, I wouldn't be doing this."
Kim's pupils dilated. "I'm not sure how to respond to all that; you're definitely not the typical D.A."
"It's part of my charm." He wiggled his fuzzy caterpillar eyebrows.
"I can see that."
"Now that we're on more friendly terms, care to tell me some semblance of the truth?"
She gazed southward. "It's complicated."
"Complicated in what way?"
"It's complicated in that it involves a few select people. I'm trying to sort things out, myself, but it isn't going too well."
"It must be bad if you're willing to return to Washington."
"I was hoping it would be settled by now. I've been reading the handwriting on the wall, between that and my crazier defendants." She laid her hand on the open collar of her white blouse.
His Adam's apple leapt upward. "Are you being threatened? I remember your courtroom scuffle with the Bernardi woman."
"No, it's latent, non-violent tension from an unexpected source."
"Coming from where, exactly?"
She inhaled sharply. "I suppose I don't owe these people anything, or, if I had, it no longer matters. It's the 1-6th precinct."
He pulled backward. "You're having a problem with the cops?"
"Somewhat. They do what I order, but they sometimes act like it's a painful chore. I don't know if they're objecting to me personally, or if they're still lamenting over Casey Novak. From my vantage point, it has become a question of 'the chicken or the egg.'"
"Understandable. You have cleared the air with them, I presume."
"I had, and it didn't work as intended. Detective Benson has been the sole, decent person of the lot. I was talking to a friend from D.O.J., one night, and he indicated that he had a high-level position open. My frustration with everything — the cops, the defendants, the defense attorneys — compelled me to make my move."
Jack narrowed his eyes. "So, your transfer is a retreat."
She angled away. "If you want to look at it that way. You don't have to point out the juvenile nature of the situation, for I'm well aware of it. It's not like I'm giving up prosecuting altogether, as I just want to switch arenas."
"As much as I'd like to criticize your position, I have to pause. I am sympathetic, given my past conflicts with all three groups. I'll concentrate on only the police aspect, since it appears to be the most troubling for you. My infamous defense attorney rants will be for another time."
Kim's spinal column relaxed. "You've had this problem, as well?"
"On occasion. In the good, old days, I only saw the police as nameless enforcers. Likewise, they viewed me as an empty suit. I've since discovered that they don't much care for prosecutors overlooking their shoulders."
"I'm not trying to step on them, but they act like I'm an intrusion. Can't they see that I just want to help?"
"All cops feel that way about lawyers. We often have to undo their messes and/or create potential legal entanglements for them. Naturally, quite a few don't care for that." His chin jutted outward.
"Did you have any lost causes with yours?"
"There have been several, throughout the years. There was this one detective, and he was a refuge from a Sam Spade novel. We had no personal use for each other until a mutual acquaintance of ours was killed in an accident. We then sort of drifted into a kind of friendship.
"He died, a few years ago, and I never let on that he meant a great deal to me. Men can be funny that way, as we either let it all out or bottle it all in. Connections form when you least suspect it, and take a long time to develop." He brushed aside his short gray hair.
She nodded, her head cocked. "Point taken. It isn't hopeless, but I didn't think my work was so cut out for me."
"I'm glad you feel that way, since I do want you to re-engage with the 1-6th. If the relationship is so unsalvageable, then I'll simply transfer you to either another precinct or another department. You might fit well with Homicide, and they can use someone like you. No matter what, Kim, I would like to keep you in Manhattan."
Her jaw drooped. "I don't know what to say."
Jack pointed at her. "As long as you don't take advantage of my generosity or take the easy way out, I don't foresee a problem."
"Oh, I won't. I should ask if this is standard operating procedure around here, because I know it isn't in D.C."
"It isn't, but exceptions are there for a reason. I know that some people can't be reached — it isn't worth losing a good prosecutor over it."
"My last boss would have said, 'Suck it up, Ms. Greylek.'"
He scratched at his left temple. "I was tempted to express that, except it was essential to know your side of the story. I have one final question: are you familiar with Abbie Carmichael?"
"She's a big name down in the Beltway."
"Yes, she is. She was my assistant, and I have noticed much of her in you. You both have an austerity, which the New York justice system desperately needs. If done right, you'll do well by her example."
Kim beamed fairly. "I would be quite honored to be compared to 'Hang 'Em Higher' Carmichael."
"Good, since competent, cold-blooded prosecutors are hard to find. I think that will be all, for now."
"Before I go, can I have my transfer papers, please?"
"Sure." He handed her a manila folder.
She crumpled the documents within and discarded them into the wastebasket. "Thank you, Jack."
He smiled. "That's not the first time that happened to me, either."
"I want to make it official, including this." She unfastened her twist, setting free her auburn tresses. "If I'm going to stay here, I might as well be comfortable."
"Use your symbolic irony to the fullest, Kim. Meanwhile, shall we get back to work?" He gestured toward the doorway.
"First, I have to call my D.O.J. friend and notify him of my change of plans. I apologize about my panicking."
"It happens to the best of us. By the way, best of luck to you and the 1-6th. My door is always open, according to the cliché."
"I'll bear that in mind. Thanks for the peace of mind and preventing a major mistake on my part." She had an ear-to-ear grin.
"My pleasure. Don't worry about it, you'll do fine."
Jack observed her departing form. Once alone, he breathed a faint sigh. "Hope the kid will make it."
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