Disclaimer: I own nothing. All characters and stories belong to NBC and Dick Wolf.

A/N: Post Refuge. Another one-shot post this episode. Abbie's reflection on the trial, and a sweet moment. Please review. Thanks. Love, Lawabidingchild.


Here, Not There

I can't get passed the trial. The verdict slip is in an envelope on the way to Ricci's parents. This whole trial has been hell on all of us. Me especially. I watched a friend go down in cold blood. I could have prevented this. I sure as hell do not deserve all this sympathy.

Oh, who am I kidding. She could have set this up for herself. "Not one step backwards" to a pair of Russian Mob members? What was she thinking? God, Ricci!

The paper was beginning to feel flimsy between my fingers. It was almost burning a hole in my hand. I couldn't take holding it anymore. The closer I get to the mailbox outside the office, the better. I would just like to stop holding the damn letter.

I reached the wooden doors outside the office. I pushed repeatedly only to realize that the sign read "pull." I groaned inwardly and would have blushed at the few giggles emitting from the office area. If I wasn't so distraught over the case, I might have yelled "shut up!" But not today. I made my way out of the office just to put an envelope in the mailbox.

Once I reached the mailbox, I pulled the cold metal lid open. The icy feel of the metal on my fingertips was literally seemed soothing. I dropped the fiery envelope in it. However, once that envelope hit the bottom of the mailbox, addressed to Ricci's parents, the verdict slip and my letter to them, I burst into tears. "God, Toni!" I sobbed. "Goddamnit Toni! Why you?" I pushed the tears away furiously, knowing I was going back inside to a bunch of people who love to gossip more than practice law.

I reentered the office, this time remembering the door said push. I walked back to my office, ignoring the ridiculing stares that followed me to Jack's office.

Thinking about Ricci made the walk just a little more bearable. I was remembering how we'd work cases together and how much fun we had kicking courtroom ass. Then we'd go out for drinks after work. Fridays nights out were a ritual. We were really good friends. She was smart, almost smarter than me, but less hot-headed. She managed to keep me grounded the whole time I was in Narcotics. I burst into tears again, thinking of that woman that could have been saved. Such a selfish act. I should be crying for all the victims, but I'm only crying for Ricci.

I passed Ricci's office, and took a moment to stare at the people moving things around and putting all her things in boxes. The memorial was still there, including the flowers I bought for it. "Toni," I whispered again. More tears leaked from my eyes. I think that's all I've been doing during this trial. Crying. Anyway, Jack promised me some scotch at Benni's later. I'd better go meet him.

I took the stairs. I wanted to think. Besides, it's not like anyone takes them anyway. I had more time to think as I walked up those stairs. I could see me and Ricci, laughing after work, eyeballing the cute lawyer in the corner over only to realize that he's gay. I could see every single case we worked together. Every time I was about to fly off the handle, I would see her accusatory stare telling me to settle-down. My tears sped up and I could no longer take it anymore.

When I reached Jack's office, he was just saying good-bye to Adam. I could see his salutatory wave and Adam's response. He turned his head around to find me gawking in the window. I tried my best to hide the tears I'd been crying, but that was next to impossible. I entered the office regardless of what he'd seen. When I looked at him though, he had his arms spread out for me. What could I do? I walked into them and felt them close around me. I sobbed into his shoulder, clinging onto the back of his shirt. He rocked me gently and stroked my hair. I just continued to sob into his shoulder. I don't think it was him that let go of me. He clung on until I was ready to pull back, which was about a hour later. "Sorry," I whispered, noticing the stain of tears, eyeliner, and mascara on his shirt.

"It's okay," he said, reaching into his drawer for a spare. "You hungry?"

"No, but I could use a drink."

"I think we all can. Let's go to Benni's. My treat." Once he changed his shirt, he wrapped his arm around my shoulder as a precaution until I could grab my things. We then left for Benni's. I ended up more drunk than he was.