Yay, my exams are over for this year, so I can get back to my stories! But now I've got Christmas to prepare for. I've installed my second chapter for this fic, other characters from KUA make an appearance, so I hope y'all like it*^_^*
60 Centre Street, the arraignment of Hyacinth Bucket.
"Docket number 555 935, the state of New York vs. Hyacinth Bucket, murder in the first degree, one count," the bailiff read out to the court.
Judge Handley glanced over his reading glasses at a very dishevelled Hyacinth and her defence attorney. "How does your client plead, Mr Woll?" he enquired.
"Not guilty, your honour," he replied.
"The people request remand," Rubirosa informed the judge. "Ms Bucket was located in close proximity of the Hudson River at ten pm on Tuesday night, after the body of Keisha Malone was reportedly dumped in the river. Mrs Bucket ordered crockery from Ms Malone's gift shop, but was distressed to find that her order had been processed incorrectly, which gives her motive in committing this crime. The District Attorney's Office ordered that she undergo psychiatric evaluation prior to the arraignment. A court psychiatrist assessed the accused, and has diagnosed her with Borderline Personality Disorder."
"It's Bouquet, Ms Rubirosa!" Hyacinth yelled.
"Mrs Bucket, you direct yourself to me," Judge Handley ordered her.
Rubirosa turned to face the judge. "As your honour can see, Mrs Bucket is unable to control her emotions."
"Your honour, as I have preached before to the District Attorney's Office, my client, Mrs Bouquet, is a respectable woman," Woll contested.
"I'm sure the Queen of England would disagree," Ms Rubirosa argued. "Detectives have already located a weapon. This weapon was found on Mrs Bucket's person when she was arrested. It has also been found to contain traces of the victim's blood, and the blade of the weapon matches the victim's stab wounds."
"My name is Bouquet! It is not Bucket! It has never been Bucket! And my name is of a French abstraction." Hyacinth yelled, a little startled herself by her angered tone.
Judge Handley didn't take much notice of what Hyacinth had said, but found her outburst to be a nuisance nonetheless. He had a whole list of arraignments to get through by the afternoon, and the last thing he needed was a defendant wasting his time, something that unfortunately occurred too frequently. "Let your defence attorney speak for you, Mrs Bucket," he had advised sardonically, quite used to defendants lashing out in the courtroom.
"Your honour, my client is a tourist in our country. Why would she come to the US with the intent to kill someone she hardly knows," Woll protested.
"Oh I don't know, maybe a small business owner who got her order wrong made her lose her temper, and she wanted to get even," Rubirosa pointed out sarcastically. "Research has shown that people with borderline personalities have difficulty in repressing their feelings as well as their behaviour."
"Sarcasm doesn't score you any points, Councillor," Judge Handley warned her. He removed his reading glasses and glanced over at Rubirosa. He took a moment to consider her previous argument. "However, you have made a very convincing argument in regards to the state of mind of the accused, Ms Rubirosa," he reflected. "I think in my professional opinion, Mrs Bucket is a threat to the community, and in great need of psychiatric care. Therefore, I order Mrs Bucket to be remanded to a segregated psychiatric unit at Riker's Island Correctional facility until after the trial. Bail's set at two-hundred-thousand." And with that, he banged down his gavel, dismissing the two parties, and called the next case.
Richard watched frantically from the gallery, as two security guards handcuffed Hyacinth, and escorted her out of the courtroom.
He stood from his seat, and made his way quickly towards Rubirosa, who was making her way out through the door, briefcase in hand, on the other side of the room. He pushed through a crowd of people to reach her.
"Ms Rubirosa," he called out, his voice shaky.
She stopped in her tracks and whirled around to see who the person was trying to get her attention.
Richard made his way through the crowd, and finally caught up with her in the corridor outside the courtroom. "Ms Rubirosa, I-I-I'm Richard Bucket, Hyacinth Bucket's husband." He took a moment to catch his breath, and wiped the perspiration off his brow with a handkerchief.
"Ah, yes." She remembered him from when he had knocked her over at the precinct. "You know, for some reason, your wife is convinced that your name is pronounced Bouquet."
"Oh, no, no, no, I-i-it's most certainly Bucket," he assured her with a nervous smile, still sounding slightly agitated. "I-it has always been Bucket, until I met her."
She tilted her head and gave him a sympathetic glance. "Oh, of course." She had to admit, she found herself very amused by Hyacinth's antics.
"W-w-where are those security guards taking my wife?" He enquired with panic, referring to what he had witnessed in the courtroom.
"Your wife has been remanded to Riker's Island Correctional Facility, until the end of her trial," she told him quit diplomatically. "I expect they are transporting her there."
"Correctional facility? Does that mean the security guards are taking her to jail?"
"Yes, Mr Bucket." Her expression turned stern. "Your wife committed a very serious crime, and she must be reprimanded for it, under our jurisdiction."
"B-B-but I-I-I can vouch that there is nobody a-a-as respectable as my wife, I assure you," he tried to convince her.
"As you are close relation of the defendant, you will be subpoenaed to give a character reference under oath later on in the trial," she informed him. "You can vouch for her then."
"M-my wife doesn't belong in jail," Richard protested. "As you can see, she's in need of help."
Rubirosa was becoming very impatient with Richard's insistence, and Richard could sense that he had struck a nerve with the young lawyer. "She's been placed in a psychiatric unit of the correctional facility, Mr Bucket," she continued to badger, seeming annoyed. "She will receive all the help she needs there."
Richard stood there in silence, staring down at the floor. There was nothing more he could say, well, nothing more he could say without getting his throat slit by the NYPD and the Manhattan County District Attorney's Office, metaphorically speaking of course. And he didn't want to get on the wrong side of Rubirosa. He knew she was only doing her job. It was bad enough he bowled her over in his mad panic at the precinct after learning about Hyacinth's arrest.
Rubirosa noticed Richard's discouragement, and knew that he was only being protective of his wife. Her face softened slightly, but her tone remained diplomatic. "I'm sorry, Mr Bucket, it was the judge's ruling. I'll call you about a meeting at the District Attorney's Office regarding your subpoena," she told him, before making her way down the long corridor, her heels clicking as she walked. "I'll keep in touch about the District Attorney's sentence recommendation, also."
Manhattan County District Attorney's Office
After receiving a desperate call from Richard one evening, Onslow, Daisy, and Rose felt it their duty to fly to New York to provide their support for both Hyacinth and Richard. Richard had irately given them details of Hyacinth's arrest, his highly-strung tone exacerbating their worry for his emotional state.
The three of them stood in the elevator of the District Attorney's Office, waiting for it to reach the ninth floor, where they would greet Michael Cutter whom they had an appointment with.
"Oh, poor Hyacinth, locked away in an American prison, so dank and cold," Daisy fretted, feeling sympathy for her sister.
"You shouldn't feel so bad for Hyacinth?" Onslow snorted in disbelief. "She's the one who kicks you down for being a free spirit. You don't owe her anything, we don't owe her anything." Onslow wiped the ketchup on his hand leftover from lunch on his jacket. "It was bound to happen sooner or later, your Hyacinth is a psychopath."
"She's my sister," Daisy reminded him.
"I know. I'm married to the sister of a psychopath." He sighed with exasperation. "Oh well, I guess that's how nature goes."
Rose watched them quarrel amongst each other as she reflected on the love she left back home in England. Mr Pendallberry was his name, and Rose thought she had struck it lucky this time because he happened to be divorced.
"It was very kind of Violet to pay our airfares and accommodation, though," Daisy mentioned, grateful for her sisters' assistance. "We wouldn't have been able to afford it on our own."
"Yeah, too bad she and Bruce couldn't come with us," Onslow replied. "I told Bruce to break a leg with that new show he's doing. What role was he playing again, was it Cinderella?"
"One of the ugly sisters," Rose reminded him, stifling a laugh.
Daisy smiled to herself, looking forward to the time they would be spending in New York. "I know we're here to help out Richard and our Hyacinth, but it can't hurt to take a look at New York," Daisy said cheerfully. "There are some lovely things to see."
"And there's good grub," Onslow chimed in. "Them hotdogs we had earlier deserve a gold star."
Rose sighed thoughtfully, resting against the wall of the elevator. "I hear there are some wonderful men in New York."
Onslow and Daisy exchanged bemused glances, well aware of Rose's underlying intentions in joining them on the trip.
"Oh nice," Onslow retorted sarcastically. "I hope you're not going to bring your fellas into your room in the night. Some of us need our sleep, and those paper-thin walls are no help."
"I do feel guilty leaving Daddy on his own at the hotel, though," Daisy continued. "I hope he doesn't get up to too much trouble. It's bad enough he pinched that maid who changes our linens. I don't think we'll get any more mints on our pillows."
"Your father should have stayed at home in England," Onslow shot back. "New York can become a very dangerous place."
"It's not that bad, Onslow," Daisy contested. "Daddy will be perfectly safe. It's not likely he'll get shot."
One can only dream, Onslow thought silently to himself, his father-in-law being his second least favourite person after Hyacinth. "I don't mean the safety of your father. I mean the safety of the local New Yorkers, when they encounter your father."
"Don't be so rotten," Daisy retorted. "We couldn't keep him at home anyway, because her up the street refused to take care of him after he kissed her the last time. Besides, he's not that bad."
"Not that bad? Lifting up skirts, pointing a bayonet at innocent bystanders? You call that not that bad? It's no wonder your Hyacinth landed in the trouble she's in," he retorted, sardonically rolling his eyes. "Your father is as senile as they come."
Onslow continued ranting. "And you're worried 'bout your Hyacinth? It's poor Dicky I feel sorry for, having paparazzi chasing him, detectives demanding everything he knows about Hyacinth, and having to return overpriced calls to Sheridan. Must be a nightmare." Onslow considered that, deep down, Richard would be relieved not having to put up with Hyacinth after her conviction.
Executive Assistant District Attorney, Michael Cutter, the lead prosecutor in Hyacinth's murder case, heard from the grapevine that her family were in New York, and jumped at the chance at having them helping him in his prosecution. He had contacted them that morning, arranging an appointment with them for that afternoon to discuss possible character references they would be giving in court.
The elevator stopped on the floor ninth floor, and they made their way down the broad corridor towards Cutter's office.
"I wonder what this Marcus Chopper wants with us, aye?" Onslow said, as they stood in front of the reception desk.
"His name's Michael Cutter." Daisy corrected. "He's the prosecutor in Hyacinth's trial. And he said something about us giving character references in court."
"Oooh, I wonder if he's a dishy prosecutor," said Rose, looking into the mirror of her compact, quickly perfecting her caked-on makeup.
"Don't start," Onslow warned her. "It's bad enough you smoked half my packet of fags, fretting over that Mr Pendallberry, while we waited at the airport."
"Speaking of the airport, I don't like how those customs officers manhandle you as you come through," Daisy complained.
"I don't mind that," Rose piped up excitedly. "I think I'll be travelling a lot more in the future."
Cutter's secretary made her way towards them. "Can I help ya folks?" she asked in her Dallas accent.
"Yeah love, we're here to see a Michael Cutter," Onslow replied, standing causally with his hands in his dishevelled jeans pockets.
"Sure," she replied with a friendly smile. "I'll tell him y'all arrived."
Cutter's secretary made her way towards his desk. "There are some British people to see you, Mr Cutter," she informed him.
He glanced up from the case-file he had been reading over. "Are they the Bucket woman's family?" he enquired, his tone bordering on concern. He considered that if they were anything like her, his integrity would be down the crapper. Prosecuting Hyacinth Bucket for murder was enough. He had spoken to a mild mannered woman by the name of Daisy, who said she was Hyacinth Bucket's sister, that morning, and was relieved to find that she was very agreeable. He had also briefly met her husband, Richard Bucket, and he seemed a rather together sort of person, despite his anxiety in regards to her arrest. But he wasn't certain what the rest of her family would be like.
"I believe they are," she replied. "They are her two sisters and brother-in-law."
Cutter closed the cover of the file on his desk, and stood from his chair. In his experience as a trial lawyer, he found that character references from a defendant's family were always helpful in swaying the jury's verdict. He placed his hands on his hips as he stood beside his desk. "Send them in," he instructed.
Cutter ushered Daisy, Onslow, and Rose through the door of his office.
"Afternoon," he greeted in his serious New Englander accent, closing the door behind them. "Now, you know you're all here to discuss Mrs Bucket's trial?" He showed them their seats in front of his desk.
"Yeah, that's right," Onslow answered, folding his arms as he leaned back in his chair, making himself comfortable. "Although, I think you should be given a fair warning. If you should ever encounter her face to face, you should know that she pronounces her name Bouquet."
Cutter smiled in amusement, reflecting back on his unique encounter with her at the 27th precinct, the day of her arrest. "Yes, I know, I have met her."
"We don't want to say anything incriminating against Hyacinth in court. We were also considering that maybe you could give our Hyacinth some sort of deal, one involving a lighter sentence perhaps," Daisy piped up nervously, suddenly feeling intimidated by the stern lawyer standing before them. "I-i-it's just that we're Hyacinth's family, and family stick together." She forced an encouraging smile.
"I know you're Mrs Bucket's family... You poor things," he replied. "But look, I'm sorry. I can't just give Mrs Bucket a deal. It's my job to prosecute her to the full extent of the law."
Rose crossed her legs, and ran her hand down her exposed upper thigh. She gazed sultrily at Cutter, resting her arm on the back of her chair. "Oh, go on, Mr... um..."
"Cutter," he reminded her.
"Go on, Mr Cutter, I'm sure you've prosecuted worse criminals than our Hyacinth, surely. Besides, the only reason we've flown to New York is to merely give her moral support," Rose informed him, battering her eyelashes. Ohhh, that Mr Cutter, he can habeas my corpus any day, she thought silently to herself. She admired his sculptured torso that could be depicted beneath a clinging white shirt.
"Don't you start mauling him, our Rose," Daisy scolded her. "We're here to help our Hyacinth and Richard, not get you a date for tonight."
"I'm not mauling him," Rose shot back indignantly. "I'm just persuading him." She locked eyes with Cutter once again, her expression transforming into a sly smile.
Cutter felt her eyes on him and quickly turned to Daisy and Onslow. He cleared his throat in composure, embarrassed by Rose's advances. "Since you're family of the accused, it is almost mandatory that you each give a character reference," Cutter said. "It would be really helpful in swaying the jury."
"How does a character reference work, exactly?" Daisy enquired, sounding unsure. She had heard of the term 'character reference' before, on crime shows Onslow religiously watched, and in a romantic novel she had recently read. And then of course Cutter had mentioned it to her that morning when he spoke to her over the phone, but she still didn't understand entirely what it entailed
"You will swear under oath in court, and answer the questions I ask you. And you have to answer the questions truthfully, otherwise you'll be committing perjury," he explained, gesturing with his hands. "Then the defence will cross-examine you. Hyacinth's defence attorney will ask questions in attempt to impeach your testimonies, and to overthrow the prosecution's argument."
Three apprehensive faces stared back at him.
"But she's our Hyacinth," Rose protested. "She's family. And don't think we're going to testify against a family member for nothing." Her expression turned sultry again, as she stared him up and down. "Of course, we would expect something in exchange." Her voice was dark and seductive.
Cutter took a moment to consider their proposition. "Let me talk to the District Attorney first," he said, leaving his office. If they think they can persuade me into giving her a deal, they've got another thing coming.
They heard muttering outside the door, before Cutter returned, with District Attorney Jack McCoy following closely behind.
"This is our District Attorney, Jack McCoy," Cutter introduced the older gentleman, as he shook hands with all three of them. "And he has an offer for all of you to think about, in exchange for your testimonies."
McCoy cleared his throat. "I am willing to offer a full expenses paid tour of New York, courtesy of the District Attorney's Office, while you spend your time here," he pronounced.
They all glanced at one another, and nodded in agreement. They seemed excited by the offer.
"Well, like Mr Cutter just said, the defence will also ask us questions that will contradict the prosecution," Daisy pointed out. "And I mean, it's something we're going to have to do anyway."
"Well, I'll tell you one thing Dais', you don't have to subpoena me in testifying against your Hyacinth, that's for sure," Onslow said. "It's about time someone taught her a thing or two about being human." He scratched under his armpit where a mosquito had bitten him.
"You know, I could do with a holiday," Rose agreed, considering Onslow's point of view. "So what do you say Daisy? Are you willing to testify against our Hyacinth in exchange for a trip of a lifetime?" She looked at her sister with pleading eyes, her hands clasped together anxiously, with the hope that she would say yes.
Daisy paused for a moment before she answered. "Oh, alright. If it will make the two of you happy," she relented half-heartedly. The trip may even bring me and Onslow closer together, she pondered to herself wistfully.
Onslow glanced up at McCoy. "You've sold us, Jackie boy," he spoke on behalf of the group. He stood from his chair. "By the way, squires, you mind directing me to the nearest bathroom. Only, them hotdogs I ate for lunch are starting to make a move."
There was a brief pause, both Cutter and McCoy surprised by the berley man's enquiry.
"Um, down the hall, first left," Cutter directed with a forced smile, trying to hide his discomfort.
"Tar," he replied thankfully, making his way towards the door.
Daisy followed him out of the office, Rose lingering behind, spraying herself with perfume.
"Oh, and Mr Cutter, if you're ever looking for... some company, here's my number," Rose handed him a card with a phone number written on it, as well as the address of her hotel, along with her room number. She flashed him a seductive smile, followed by a debauched wink.
Cutter took it from her, smiling only out of courtesy. He felt his cheeks burning, out of embarrassment more than anything else.
"Interesting group, aren't they?" McCoy mentioned quietly to Cutter, watching them make their way down the corridor towards the restrooms.
Cutter chuckled in amusement, agreeing with his boss. "Yeah, I'll say."
"Say, Mike, you haven't got that blonde's phone number have you?" McCoy asked him, referring to the card Rose had handed to him. "Because if you're not interested, I'll take her."
A/N: Next chapter will contain a conversation between Hyacinth and Sheridan as she calls him from prison. It should bring a somewhat amusing element to the story. I appreciate the reviews I've received so far, so feedback is most welcome*^_^*
What do you think? feel free to comment:-D