Disclaimer: Dick Wolf and NBC own "Law and Order". I don't.
A/N: "Trophy" is one of my favorite episodes. What can I say? It's the Jack/Claire shipper in me! It really was a well-written episode. I loved the case, and wow, Diana Hawthorne is one sneaky, bitter bitch! LOL I couldn't stand her!
And Claire was always a bad-ass, but I thought that, in this episode, she was particularly bad-ass! Watching her prosecute Diana Hawthorne was frickin' PRICELESS! Team Kincaid!
That being said, I will never forgive Dick Wolf for killing her off. NEVER EVER EVER.
This fic is dedicated to Jill Hennessy, Sam Waterston, and my friends Jo, Angie, and June. 3 ~ Abby
"I know—but I thought that's what you wanted!" Claire joked, her beautiful smile on display.
"Nice," Jack said, also smiling.
"I'm here all week, tip your servers," Claire quipped with a smirk. "So why did Hawthorne visit you? To turn on the faucets to try to make you feel bad?"
"Basically," Jack replied.
"Let me guess—it was all a bunch of I-did-it-for-you and aren't-you-grateful?"
"Mostly," said Jack. "But she also admitted that you're smart."
"Really?" Claire said, her hazel eyes wide.
"Why so shocked?" asked Jack.
"Well, she did kind of rub your relationship in my face," said Claire. "She's just a tad bit bitter, in case you hadn't noticed."
"Oh I noticed. I would've had to have been comatose not to," said Jack.
"Pretty much," she said. "And she, um…she…knows. She figured it out. That's my fault. I just stared at her like a moron," she added, shaking her head.
"I don't care if she knows," Jack said, stopping in his tracks, his eyes meeting hers as she stopped, too. "Her bitterness is her problem, not mine. Would she have preferred me to pretend I was still attracted to her, as opposed to being honest with her and breaking it off? That wouldn't have been fair to either of us."
"I agree," said Claire.
The two of them walked to their favorite bar in silence for a bit.
"What exactly did Diana say to you?" asked Jack.
"She said she, quote, 'worked with you for four years and slept with you for three'," Claire replied. "I don't know why she felt like sharing. It was probably just bitterness. She later said, 'You know how Jack operates'."
"What's that supposed to mean?" said Jack. "I left my second wife for her! I took her on dates, I bought her gifts, I never cheated on her! Hell, I took her to Ireland with me—I was good to her! That remark was probably because I ended it. I never thought she'd dangle that over my head forever…Talk about holding a grudge…What a waste of time and energy. There's three years I'll never get back…"
"How long were you with Sally Bell?" asked Claire.
"Not long—just a few months…I don't even know why that happened. Just looking for another roll in the hay, I guess…" Jack replied softly.
Claire could tell he was embarrassed.
"Typical 'old' me," Jack went on. "Just couldn't keep it in my Goddamned pants…I loved Rebecca's mother. I did. But I screwed that up…We got divorced, and it was a while before Rebecca wanted anything to do with me, and I don't blame her…If a man's at all a decent father, he feels terrible for hurting his child…Cheated on my first wife with my second wife…Cheated on my second wife with Diana…Then came Sally Bell and a few others that didn't mean anything…I don't know what the hell I was thinking…Scratch that—I wasn't thinking at all…I don't regret being with my first wife. She's the reason I have my daughter…I'm not sorry that it ended, but I'm sorry for how it ended—womanizer me…"
"What made you decide to finally stop?" asked Claire. "Or…have you stopped? Jack, I—I'm attracted to you, definitely, but…part of me has always wondered if I made the right choice…or if I should've just walked away—walked away and asked Adam for a transfer…A small part of me is just…waiting for you to be done with me…"
When she looked up at him, she could see from his expression that her words had hurt him.
"May I be perfectly honest?" he said.
"Yes," she said.
"I should've told you this the first time we made love. I don't know why I didn't because it's the truth," said Jack. "I think I just panicked because you made me feel so strongly. I…I've never been with a woman who's had that effect on me before…"
"What're you saying?" Claire asked.
She thought she knew, but she just wanted to be sure.
"I should've told you that I love you," Jack said.
Claire responded by setting down her briefcase, leaning in, and kissing him deeply, wrapping her arms around his neck.
Jack wrapped his arms securely around her and kissed her back just as passionately, dropping his briefcase on the ground, as well.
Neither of them gave a damn if anyone was watching.
They broke apart when they were both out of breath.
"I love you, too," Claire said.
"Then I'll never be done with you," said Jack.
They kissed again.
Twelve years later—
Jack always hated this particular day. He used to think it would get easier with each passing year. That was bullshit. He felt like an idiot for ever thinking that. If anything, it became more difficult.
He knew it was stupid, but a small part of him hoped it was all just some sort of sick joke—that maybe someday she would come back to him.
Or that this was all just a nightmare, and he would soon wake up.
If she'd just been away for a while, if was ever coming back, he wouldn't be here at the cemetery—here at her grave.
He sighed heavily before placing the bouquet of red roses he'd bought directly in front of her tombstone.
He wiped his eyes.
"I miss you," he said. "I'm…I'm sure you know what's happened lately. Interim D.A. Crazy as hell, right? Part of me still isn't so sure I know what I'm doing…That dream I had a few months ago when I was first appointed—the one where I saw you, and you told me I'd be okay? I still like to believe that was really you and not my sub-conscience making shit up…For once I'd like not to be so skeptical…"
"I think it was you," he said. "You know, this morning, I was thinking about the Diana Hawthorne case—how, after she took your deal, we were talking, and you said a small part of you was just waiting for me to be done with you? Well," he added, holding up his left hand, "you see? No ring. And I don't think there will ever be one again. I think that's for the best. I mean, I'd…I'd just compare her to you. That would be so unfair…You were it, Claire. You really were. I'll never be 'done' with you—ever."
He knelt down and rested a hand on top of her tombstone.
"I love you, Claire Kincaid," he said. "I'll always love you."