DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and
its characters are the property of NBC and Dick Wolf. Any other characters you
think you might recognize as real people... nope... it’s not them. Really.
Author’s Note: In the fanfic world, there are some really good stories and, well, then there are mine. With any luck, the fanfic police will send a fanfic detective resembling Olivia Benson to investigate my heinous writing crimes and a fanfic ADA resembling Casey Novak will prosecute me into submission.
Ooh, throw the book at me - I’m guilty, guilty, guilty! <.g.>
Anywho... these are my latest crimes. You have been warned. <.g.>
This is the third story in the series. This one actually takes place the same day as the last one (MISHAP). It’s just going to let you in on what was going on with our favorite ADA while Liv was slaving away at home. I know, I know... you just want to know why the last story ended the way it did. I’ll cover that in story number 87. ;o)
Kidding, just kidding. Start reading. Oh and hold on tight - this one is going to be a bit of a bumpy ride.
Btw…did y’all pick out all the XenaVerse and SVU in-jokes in the last story? Whew. I squeezed a bunch of those suckers in there. ;o)
(story 3 in the MIScommunication Series aka It Sucks To Be You Series)
October 15, Sunday 8:45 pm
Casey turned away from Liv so that she could hide the grimace caused by the pain. Olivia immediately jumped up from the chair apologizing profusely.
“Ohmigod. Oh Casey... I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I thought you weren’t mad anymore. I’m sorry....”
Casey turned back. “No, Liv... no.”
“I’m sorry, honey. I won’t....” Olivia was cut off by two fingers placed across her lips.
“No... no, Liv. It’s not that. I’m not mad. How could I be mad? Look at everything you did for me today.” Casey’s eyes gentled with concern. “Oh sweetie, it’s definitely not that. Far from it. I love when you touch me.” She smiled. Then laughed as Liv nibbled her fingers. “And that too.” Casey leaned in and replaced her fingers with her lips and gave Liv a soft kiss.
“But... but... I thought....”
Casey interrupted Liv with another kiss. “Let me explain, okay?”
Olivia nodded. Casey took both of Olivia’s hands in her own and directed her back to the couch. When Liv was seated she took Liv’s right arm lifted it onto the back of the sofa. Casey then sat down close and arranged the detective’s arm to carefully drape over her shoulder. She snuggled in and reached across their bodies and sought out Liv’s free hand. She joined her fingers. Casey leaned her head on the detective’s shoulder and smiled when she felt Olivia release a big breath and relax.
“Okay, let’s do the cheesy domestic thing you are quite fond of... only vice versa.”
Olivia’s brows knit in puzzlement for a moment and then her eyes opened in amazement when she figured out what Casey meant. “Vice versa? Then you have to start.”
“Hi, Honey, I’m home,” Casey warbled cheerfully.
Olivia kissed Casey’s cheek. “Hi yourself, how was your day, sweetie?” She asked per their running joke script.
“Well, let me tell you what I did today....”
Benson/Novak Residence Outside
October 15, Sunday Morning 9:58am
Casey pushed open the door to the street and immediately put up her hand to block out the sun. She squinted and looked down while she dug through her purse looking for her sunglasses, then slipped them on. Her attention was drawn to a car parked at the curb and to the black denim encased legs of the person leaning on it. Her eyes started at the Nikes, worked their way up the snug black denim to an intricately decorated leather belt. Continuing upward Casey saw leather jacketed arms crossed over what appeared to be a blue polo covered body. Her eyes raised just a bit more and she was caught. Caught by a smirk. She just knew that the eyes behind the Raybans were laughing at her.
“Novak.” Liz lowered her glasses to the end of her nose.
Oh crap, Casey thought to herself. I am never gonna live this down. “You’re wearing jeans?” she asked in an astonished voice. “I’ve never seen you wear jeans. Ohmigod and sneakers too!”
“Well, you’ve never seen me in my underwear either but it’s a good bet I wear it as well. “ She paused. “Well... most of the time anyway.” Liz pushed her glasses back into place.
“Waitaminute, I’m not talking to you....” Casey started to say but was cut off.
“Yes, you are and you will continue to talk to me; however, for right now, you will be listening to me.”
“You want to gloat about your date with Liv last night?”
“Casey,” Liz’s tone turned stern. “It was not a date. We went out to dinner at my insistence.”
“Dinner? Sounds like a date to me.”
“Did Olivia come home last night?” Liz recrossed her arms.
“Then trust me, we weren’t on a date.” Liz pushed herself off the car and turned to open the passenger door. “Now, will you please get in the car?”
“This is your car?” Casey said with awe. “You drive a Mercedes SL Roadster?”
“No, I stole it. Yes, of course this is my car. Now get in.”
Casey walked around the outside of the car, ignoring Liz’s request. She whistled. “Whoa, nice wheels. Automatic?”
Liz snorted. “I don’t think so,” she said sardonically.
“What color is that?”
“Capri Blue Metallic.”
Casey looked in the open door. “Oooh, leather everything and wood trim.” She turned to Liz. “I wanna be you when I grow up.”
Liz chuckled. “Now that you are done ogling my car, will you please get in?”
“Can I drive?”
“Please, please, please... I’ll be your bestest friend in the whole world.”
“What are you - five years old?”
Casey poked out her bottom lip in a pout.
“No-vak,” Liz admonished. “Put your lip back in before someone walks on it.” She looked at the puppy dog eyes Casey was giving her. “My, my... you are five years old.”
“Maybe, but I am a five year old with a driver’s license. C’mon, let me drive. Just a few blocks. Please?”
“Can I at least sit in it and pretend?” Casey tilted her head to one side and looked up at Liz. She raised her hands to hold a mock steering wheel. “Vroom, Vroom!” She smiled. “Please?”
“Okay, look... since we are only taking my baby here back to the parking garage a few blocks up - don’t make me sorry Casey - you can drive.”
Casey pumped her fist in the air and did a happy dance in the middle of the sidewalk.
“Novak? Novak? NOVAK!”
Casey stopped her dance.
“Up to the garage - no speeding, no cutting in and out of traffic. Got it?”
“Yes Ma’am.” Casey saluted.
Liz threw Casey the keys and got into the passenger side.
Casey opened the driver’s door and reverently got in behind the wheel. She ran her hand over the smooth wood interior and the leather steering wheel. She sighed.
“Would you two like to be alone?” Liz asked sarcastically.
“Would you?” Casey quipped.
“Just start the car, Casey. The faster we get this back to the garage the faster we can grab a cab and get to our appointment. We’ll talk while we are in the cab, understand?”
“Fast? I can do fast.” Casey peeled out in a screech.
Somewhere in Greenwich Village
“Hey, where are we going in such a hurry?”
Casey Novak hopped on one foot as she attempted to tie the sneaker on the other foot while still moving forward. She snuck a peek at her walking companion. Liz Donnelly was several yards in front of her and still moving rapidly forward.
“Liz! Liz, will you hold up a second?”
Casey noticed that the Judge didn’t even hesitate a half step, nor did she turn around at the plea. Hurrying to tie the shoe, Casey hopped a couple of times more and then proceeded to practically run to catch up.
“C’mon, Liz, you can’t stay pissed all morning. I told you it wasn’t my fault.”
Liz stopped and turned toward the ADA. Casey caught up and she leaned over with her hands on her knees and sucked in a few deep breaths.
“What exactly is not your fault? Leaving half my tires in front of your apartment building? Scaring the hell out of me with the way you drove? Running the red light? Flirting with the cop so that you didn’t get a ticket? Which one is not your fault?”
“Well, when you put it that way... okay, they are all my fault. But it’s not my fault we were thrown out of the cab eight blocks ago.”
“Are you proposing that it was my fault? My fault?”
“Let me think about that.” Casey paused for a second. “Yes,” she replied emphatically. “When we got into the cab, you were in the process of hitting me with your purse. The driver had to ask you to stop. Four times. Then you were muttering something about burying another body in Central Park. Waitaminute... another body?”
Judge Donnelly evilly grinned. “And I suppose you don’t think I would do it?”
Casey looked into the glaring brown eyes of the Judge and then looked quickly away. “I’m sorry, Liz. I shouldn’t have used your car like that. I just got so excited. I’ll pay for any repairs you think are necessary.” She paused and smiled. “It was really cool how I got out of the ticket. I didn’t even flash my ADA badge.” Casey saw the disapproving look the Judge was giving her. Umm, not that I would have... because that would not be a good thing to do.” Then quietly she added, “Again.” She smiled sweetly at Liz. “I’ll shut up now. But wasn’t it cool? That young cop was putty in my hands.”
“Oh, so you admit you were flirting? Hold that thought.” Liz looked around quickly, then rolled her eyes. “Let’s go in there.” She pointed to a small café. “We need to talk.” Before any objection could be voiced, Liz grabbed Casey’s arm, pulling her off balance enough to cause her to stumble a step, and dragged her toward the coffee shop.
The café had an outdoor seating area and they chose one of the small bistro tables and sat down. It didn’t take but a moment for a waiter in a medieval costume to make his way to the table.
“Well hello, lovely ladies,” he bowed and put a couple of beverage napkins on the table. “Welcome to Caffeine Castle where coffee is king. I am your humble servant Merlin, the Java Magician. Your every wish is my command.” He winked at Casey.
“Is your name really Merlin?” Casey asked. She rested her head on her hand and looked up at him through her eyelashes.
He turned a chair around backwards and straddled it, his arms crossed on the back of the chair. “Nah, it’s actually Irving, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do to make a buck, y’know?” He leaned closer. “But my fingers are magic.” He waggled his eyebrows and his fingers.
He glanced over at Liz and then back to Casey. “So what will you,” he paused for a second, “and your mother be having?”
“Why you little....” Liz muttered.
Casey started to answer but was interrupted by the waiter.
“No, wait... let me see if I can guess what you both will be drinking. I’m pretty good at this if I do say so myself.” He looked first at Casey and then turned and looked at Liz. “I got it. You, my dear lady,” he addressed Casey, “are hot and a little spicy. So I think a skinny quad venti two pump gingerbread mocha half caff with extra whipped cream is perfect for you.” He turned back to Liz. “Now you on the other hand, give me the impression of someone who is too cold... I mean cool for words. Straight and to the point. I think a vanilla bean frappe fits you.”
He looked back and forth between them. “So ladies, how did I do? Am I right or am I right?”
Liz looked at Casey and Casey looked at Liz. They both turned to Merlin and alternately answered his inquiry.
Merlin got up and turned the chair back around. “You have got to be kidding,” he said, a bit disgusted. “We have over 200 different coffee combinations and you want yours black?
Liz tilted her head and looked up at the waiter. “Ir-ving?” she said, drawing out his name a bit. “Let me put it this way... coffee, black, large, now OR tip, green, non-existent, later. Understand? You said you have magic fingers - do you have magic feet too? I suggest you find out and get us our order.”
Casey raised her hand to her mouth to hide the snicker. Merlin decided getting the order would be in his best interest but not without one last pleading look at Casey. She just waved him off with a shooing motion. Liz then turned her attention to the young ADA.
“Casey, we need to talk,” Liz, checked her watch and sighed quietly. “I want you to answer a few questions first though.”
“Oooh, an interrogation. Do I get handcuffed and frisked?” She said sarcastically.
“Did you bring a pair? Because I don’t usually carry mine with me,” Liz replied drolly. “This is serious.”
Casey straightened up and listened intently.
“Yesterday, the behavior of the so-called ‘Order’ team was anything but orderly. Every one of you acted like a spoiled child. It was, frankly, appalling and embarrassing.”
“Liz, I didn’t....”
“Yes, you did. Casey, I spent many, many years where you are now. I had to fight tooth and nail for any respect, even grudgingly given, because I was a woman in a man’s job.” Liz made quote marks in the air. “You, Alex and Abbie acted like children fighting over the same toy.”
“But she did....”
“Did what, Casey? Think about this. You spent more time flirting....” She paused while the returning Merlin placed their coffee on the table.
“Will there be anything else ladies? A pastry or cookie?” He looked between the two. “A plain cracker?”
“Watch it, Coffee-boy,” Liz growled.
Merlin took the hint. He bowed again and left to wait on another customer.
“As I was saying, you spent more time flirting with the cop and Irving here than she did all of yesterday. Why are you even mad at her?”
Casey thought for a moment. “She kissed Abbie.”
“Abbie kissed her.”
“She, she....” Casey’s voiced trailed off as her mind ran through all that happened the day before. She sat back in her chair and sighed. “She really didn’t do anything.”
“Congratulations, you managed to pull your head out of your butt. Today is now looking up.”
“Okay, so I am not really mad at Liv. I’m still mad at....”
“Don’t you even....”
“No, I’m not really mad at you either. Can’t I be mad at Alex and Abbie?” Casey questioned.
“Why? What did they do?”
“They flirted with Liv.”
Liz cut her off. “And Liv didn’t flirt back.” She took a sip of her coffee.
“They implied some things....”
“About you and Benson? Yes, that they did. You let Alex and Abbie push every one of your buttons and drag you down to their childish levels. Then you got mad and took it out on the one person who didn’t actually do anything to you.”
Liz nodded her head.
“I’m more mad at me. I was... jealous.” Casey admitted quietly.
“Why? Think about this, Casey - who is Liv with? She came home to you. Even after all the humiliation she put up with yesterday. She lives with you. She never lived with those other two. She loves... you.”
“I’m such an ass. I’ve got to go home.” Casey slid her chair back and began to stand up.
“It’s apparently going around.” Liz grabbed the ADA’s wrist. “Sit down, Casey. You aren’t going home just yet.”
“Liz, I appreciate everything you did and this chat but I need to talk to Olivia.” Casey pulled her arm free and picked up her purse.
“Casey, sit down.” Liz looked up. “Please?”
Casey sat back down.
“Yes, you do need to talk to Liv, but not right now. She is at your home, right now, trying her best to make up with you even though she didn’t do anything. She is trying to prove to you just how much she really loves you. And you are going to give her that time.”
Casey put her head in her hands. “I feel horrible.”
“Good. More progress.”
Casey looked up at Liz. Her eyebrow arched.
“Today, you and I are going to go meet with Alex and Abbie. And we are going to bond. We are going to go out and have a pleasant afternoon and we will work out any problems.”
“No. Just think about something here, Casey. There is more involved here than just you and Liv. You three completely annihilated any inherent respect to the public positions you hold during yesterday’s free-for-all. Was it worth it? Do you know how hard it is going to be, if not impossible, to get it back once the show airs? Do you realize the scrutiny you will be under in the press? The credibility problem?”
Casey hung her head and sat silently.
“By the end of the day, we will either be friends or I will be looking for a new spot to bury some bodies in. Understand? Any future dealings between the three of you, whether public or private, will be handled with mutual respect. I will not risk another public spectacle to the office and to the profession I love.”
Casey nodded once.
“Good. Now let’s see if we can get Irving here to bring us the check.“ Liz looked at her watch and frowned. She began to stand up and Casey rose too. The Judge waved the waiter over. “We only have twenty minutes before we have to meet with Larry and Curly."
"Does that make you…?"
"Watch it, Casey Moe-vak."
The Lighthouse Restaurant
The hostess acknowledged their arrival with a nod of the head. “Good morning, Judge. It’s nice to see you again. We’ve been expecting you. Your other guests haven’t arrived yet.” The hostess picked up some menus and handed them to a waiter who was standing by. If you both will follow Todd, he’ll get you settled and I’ll send your other two guests along as soon as they arrive.”
“Thank you, Heather. That would be wonderful.”
Casey and Liz followed Todd to the table. He seated Liz first and then Casey.
“Can I get you ladies something to drink while you wait for your other guests?”
Liz turned to Casey. “I think a drink or three will probably be the order of the day. How about a Bloody Mary?”
“Sounds good to me.”
“Coming right up, ladies.” He half bowed and excused himself to get their drinks.
Casey was taking in the sights and sounds of the restaurant. Liz put a hand on hers to get the ADA’s attention.
“Casey?” Casey turned to the Judge. “Just remember, no matter what Frick and Frack do or say, do not sink to their level. You take the high road and let me worry about adjusting their attitudes.”
“Oh, speak of the devil....” Liz gestured to a spot behind Casey.
Casey turned in her chair. Her jaws tightened as she plastered on a fake smile.
Alex and Abbie approached the table. Although they were not talking loud, Liz could see that they were having a heated discussion. Alex poked Abbie in the shoulder. Twice. Abbie just rolled her eyes. The argument stopped as they reached the table.
“Ladies.” Liz acknowledged.
Abbie pulled Alex’s chair out for her and held it for her to sit. Alex looked incredulously at Abbie.
“I don’t think so, Carmichael. I’ll get my own chair.”
Alex removed Abbie’s hand from the back of the chair. “I don’t trust you not to pull the chair away, I can seat myself.”
Abbie shook her head. “Get over yourself, Cabot.” She grabbed the chair again and pulled it out. “Siddown.”
“I said I can do it myself.” Alex growled. She pulled the chair back in the opposite direction. Abbie retaliated by pulling it toward herself. A tug of war ensued. They were oblivious to the return of the server.
Todd dodged first one way and then the other trying to avoid getting caught in the flying elbows of the back and forth pulling. Casey noticed the tray tilting and stood quickly. She removed one of the drinks before it could slide off and handed it to Liz. Todd grabbed the other one with his free hand.
“Thank you, ma’am. He smiled at Casey and took a deep breath.
“I said let me do it myself.” Alex pulled hard once more.
“Fine.” Abbie let go of the chair.
Alex stumbled backwards a step once the resistance was removed her arm connected with the drink Todd was carrying and it went flying all over him.
Alex dropped the chair. “Oh my... I’m so sorry. I didn’t see you there.” She grabbed a napkin off the table and tried to help wipe the drink off of his vest.
“It’s okay, ma’am. Please, stop... I’ll be fine.” Alex continued running her hands up and down his front. “No harm done, really. Ma’am! Ma’am! Ma’am, please! It’s fine.” He said exasperatedly. He took a deep breath. “Excuse me, ladies. Let me go change my vest and I’ll bring you back a fresh drink.”
“See what you did now, Carmichael?”
“Me? ME? I didn’t do anything; you’re the one who broadsided the poor guy.”
“Well, if you had just let me sit down....”
“Geez, Cabot, I was trying to be polite. Excuse the hell....”
Judge Donnelly stood up and leaned forward with both hands on the table. “Both of you sit down. NOW.” The Judge ground out between clenched teeth. She then returned to her seat.
Alex immediately sat but Abbie remained standing.
“Something wrong with your hearing, Ms Carmichael?”
“Nope, can't say that there is. Especially since my ears were tested by a persistently ringing phone at oh-dark-thirty this morning with your wake up call. Just the way I like to start my Sunday mornings - damn early and listening to demands." Abbie looked around the table. “Since you didn't leave a number, I just wanted to stop by and tell you that I can't stay. I already have a lunch date today. Jack and I....”
“Jack McCoy?” Liz asked. Abbie nodded. “Reschedule it.”
“Your presence is required here with us today. You can have lunch with Jack another time.”
“Sorry, but my presence is looking forward to a beer and a big ol' steak...." Abbie’s voice trailed off as she watched Liz take out her cell phone and dial.
“Jack? Liz. No it's not about the Miller trial. Look, I have a favor to ask. Do you mind if I reschedule your lunch with Ms Carmichael to tomorrow?” She paused and listened. “I need her attendance here with me.” Another pause. “Okay, I’ll tell her. Thanks, Jack. Bye.” Liz clicked her phone shut. “Please sit down, Ms Carmichael; it seems that you are now free for the afternoon. Oh and Jack asks that you stop by the office tomorrow. He said he would take you to his favorite place for lunch. I’m guessing that probably means a hotdog in the park.”
“What the hell? Using your influence as Judge to get Jack to play your game? I see how you work now." She leaned on the back of the chair and leveled a stare at Liz.
“First of all, Ms Carmichael, I would never use my professional influence, as you put it, in a personal nature. If you knew me at all you would know that I value integrity and ethics above all. You are way out of line.”
Abbie, not one to back down easily, forged ahead. “Then what,” she paused and considered her word carefully, “*personal* hold do you have on Jack?” A thought crossed her mind and her eyebrow rose. “Are you sleeping with him?”
Liz smiled sweetly and muttered in a low tone, “Been there, done that.”
Casey covered her grin with her hand. Alex didn’t even try to suppress the laugh.
Abbie glared at Alex which just made her laugh harder. “Okay, what gives? Joke’s on me - I got it. Tell me so I can laugh, too." Abbie’s voice got a bit louder.
“Ms Carmichael, I am asking you as politely as possible to please lower your voice, sit down and join us for lunch. I will explain it all in a few minutes.” Liz looked over at a grinning Alex. “Yes, Alex?”
“Oh, please Liz - let me tell her? Please, please, please?”
Liz waved her hand dismissively, “Oh go ahead.”
“Carmichael, in all the time you worked for Jack, did you ever hear him talk about his ex-wives?”
“Some but what does that have to do with anything?” She asked, oblivious to Alex’s train of thought.
“What did he tell you?”
She began to count off on her fingers. “He said angelic first wife, she-devil second wife and I think his third wife was an attorney. He referred to her as Patton in Pra-da.... Ohmigod....” Realization dawned on Abbie. She pulled out the chair and dropped down in it. “It’s you....”
Liz wiggled her fingers at Abbie.
“You were wife number three.”
“Ding ding ding - we have a winner. Yes Abbie, Jack was ex-Mr. Donnelly number....” she paused and looked to Liz for clarification. Liz held up two fingers. “Two.” Alex barely got it out before she broke out in laughter. This time she was joined by Casey and Liz.
“Fine,” she said curtly. “Geez, you think McCoy could have mentioned a name in the three years we worked together. Jack will pay... dearly. But it doesn't explain why I have to be a member of this little hen gathering?”
“This ‘little hen gathering’, as you put it, is my way of correcting a very big problem which reared its ugly head yesterday. You three, or more precisely your behavior, were deplorable. Not only were you an embarrassment to yourselves with all your sniping but an embarrassment to your profession. Attorneys are not normally blessed by the media with great and glowing reputations. You three played right into the sleazy, back-stabbing stereotype. We are supposed to be the good guys. I know I have worked long and hard to get where I am and to earn the respect of public that I serve. I know you three have too. Once that show airs, what do you think happens to that respect?”
Casey and Alex both ducked their heads contritely.
Abbie looked over at both repentant ADAs. She snorted a short laugh. “Okay, you're pissed. Newsflash - join the club.” Abbie stood up and leaned on the chair. “I, unlike Mutt and Jeff here,” she jerked her thumb at the two of them, “am not one of your little flunkies you can order around. So, I'll see you around.” Abbie patted the back of the chair and turned to leave.
“Sit down please Ms Carmichael before I have to go Warrior Princess on your ass,” The Judge said with a hint of challenge in her voice.
Abbie sighed and shook her head. “You just aren’t getting this. Hello, Earth to Donnelly...you have no power over me. I work for the Attorney General’s Office in DC. Out of your jurisdiction and well out of your sphere of influence.”
“Really?” Liz drew out the word.
Alex knew that the Judge was incredibly mad and could not understand why Abbie just continued to bait her. She looked over to Casey and was puzzled by the grin on her face. What does Casey know that I don’t?
“Liz, can I do the honor this time? Casey asked.
“Go ahead, Jeff or are you Mutt?”
Casey rolled her eyes. “Abbie, you really should have quit while you were ahead. Well, okay not really ahead but at least you probably would have still been able to see out of the hole. Now you have buried yourself so deep, you may never see daylight again.”
“Novak, what are babbling about? This woman has no say in what I do professionally and certainly not personally.”
“You work for Stephen Borden, correct?”
“Yeah, so? Judge Doom here has no professional influence with my boss. Bordie'll eat her for breakfast.”
Casey looked quickly at Liz. “Please don’t say it.”
Liz just smirked.
Todd made his way to the table and set a glass in front of the Casey. Conversation stopped with his arrival and they waited for him to speak. “Excuse me ladies,” he spoke to Alex and Abbie. “Would you like to order a beverage now?”
“I’ll have one of those too.” Alex pointed to Casey’s drink.
“Very good. I’ll bring it right out. And you miss… are you not staying?” He turned his attention to the standing Abbie.
“Just a moment. Well Casey, what is the big issue?”
“You did double duty when you first started as an ADA, didn't you? Part Majors and part SVU, right?"
"Are we playing *This Is Your Life Abbie Carmichael* today? Yes, I filled in for a little while before Cabot got the permanent assignment as the SVU ADA. I think I was filling in for some chick that left to get married or something."
"That chick, as you put it, would be Liz here."
"Good lord woman, have you left any single men in Manhattan untouched?"
Liz answered with a raised eyebrow.
"Her name changed from McCoy to Borden."
"Stephen Borden was ex-Mr. Donnelly number three."
Abbie looked from Casey to Liz and back again. Casey smiled a tight smile; her eyes conveyed she was telling the truth.
Liz cocked her head and nodded. “Stephen was a very bad boy when we were married. But we had a very amicable settlement. He likes to keep me happy and I conveniently forget where those pesky skeletons are buried. Knowledge is continued power...” Liz picked up her glass and took a sip of her drink. "And influence." She took another sip. “Sucks to be you, huh?”
Abbie sat back down. “Son,” she directed her attention to the server. Bring me one of those, hold the tomato juice and double the good stuff.” She looked at the three women at the table. “It’s going to be a long day.”
Alex looked over at Liz. She rested her head on her hand and batted her blue eyes at her. “So Judge....” She was fighting a threatening smirk and losing, badly. “You were married to Abbie's boss, huh?”
“Yes Alexandra, your point?”
“Did he call you Lizzie?”
Shenanigan’s Bar and Grill
“It's ya young blondes that make us look so dum...b. If I knew how to swim, I’d swim out there an’ tip you over!!" Abbie shook her head. “I mean here we are in the middle of a trial an’ Judge Taft has us in chambers an’ he is tellin’ one blond joke after another. I tol’ him that I wasn’t blonde and I still found those jokes oh-ffensive. He said, in this really con-de-scend-ing tone, ‘in case *you* haven’t noticed, Ms Carmichael, I do have blonde hair and I find them ex-treeee-me-ly funny.’ Then he ask...ed if I had a sense of humor. I said suuure. I’ll even tell you a brunette joke.”
Abbie took a long sip of her drink. The ice clinked in the empty glass and she set it down on the table. “I tol’ him a brunette was walkin’ through the country when she finds a bottle. She rubs the bottle and a genie ‘pears. The genie says ‘Yer allowed three wishes but I warn ya, anything you get all the blondes in the world’ll get double.’ The brunette says, ‘Gimme a nice house.’ Poof. The genie replies, ‘You have a nice house and all the blondes in the world got two.’ ‘Cool,’ the brunette says. ‘Now gimme a gorgeous lover.’ Poof. The genie says, ‘You now have a gorgeous lover waitin’ for you at your house and all the blondes in the world got two.’ ‘Wow! Okay, for my last wish... hmmmm. See that stick over there, Genie? Beat me half to death with it.’ ” Abbie laughed.
The table of blondes just stared at her.
“Oh, so you want me to tell the joke again... slower?” Abbie snickered and picked up her glass, peering into it. “Whose turnsit to buy the next roun’?” She twirled the ice cube in the empty glass.
“I find it hard to believe Taft let you geddaway with showin’ him up like that.”
“He di-n’t. I got cited for con-tempt and ended up coolin’ my heels for a few hours. Jack hadda come bail me out.”
“I think he test-es out all the female ADAs thaddaway. Ugh, he did that to me too my firs...t day in his courtroom. That man was sliiiiimeeeee,” Alex added with a shudder.
“I tol’ him a blonde joke - and got tossed for con-temp...t too.”
“What was the joke?”
“I don’ think I oughtta tell it.” She looked around the table but no one was objecting. “Okay, whaddaya call a smart male blonde?” She paused. “A gol’en re-trie-ver.”
They all shook their heads.
“Casey, jew go through the same thing?” Alex asked.
“Yep... on more’n one occasion. I seemed to be a fa-vor-ite target of Judge Taft.”
“So whaddya do?”
“I got him moved... re-moved from the bench,” she said offhandedly. Casey sat in dead silence. “Ummm, round? I thin…k it’s mine. M’kay, what does ever’one wan’ this time?”
“Get somethin’ with a real kick. My buzz’snot buzzy ‘nough. How’s ‘bout some Sun-rises?” Abbie suggested.
“’Kay.” She waited for everyone to nod their assent. “I’ll be riiiiight back.” Casey pushed herself up to a standing position and moved toward the bar to place the order.
“So tha...t’s whad happened to him. I heard he was ‘cused of bias and cor-rup-tion and removed but I di-n’t know.... Wow, did...n’t think No-vak had it in’er,” Abbie addressed the Judge. Alex just nodded in agreement.
“You’d be s’prised ‘bout Casey. That trial allll-most cost her the ADA job. But she kept with it - found some prior in-dis-cre-tions in the Judge’s past trial be-havior, then took names an’ kicked ass.” Liz shook her head. “She reeeeally came into her own with that one. She earn...ed the re-spect of a lot of people. I think that was the firs’ time she knew she’d finally stepped out of Cabot’s shadow. It was somethin’.”
Alex’s eyes widened in surprise.
Casey returned to the table. “They’ll be bring...ing the teq....” She looked puzzled as both Abbie and Alex, stood up, albeit wobbly then applauded. “Ummm, it was my turn, right?” Casey looked down at the seated Judge.
“I tol’ them ‘bout the case.”
“Nice goin’, Case.” Alex smiled at her.
“Baaaaadass K.C. No-vak - nice rrrrrrring to it, no?” Abbie grinned.
“Siddown, guys.” Casey ducked her head and blushed a bit. “What’re we talkin’ about ‘fore you three decided to em-barr-ass me... again?”
“We were doin’ blonde jokes.” Abbie supplied with a twinkle in her eyes.
“Ab-bie!!!” Alex whined. “E-nough with the blonde jokes. In case you ha-n’t notice...d you’re sur-roun-ded by blondes.” She looked at Casey. “Well, mos’ly.”
“Hey!” Casey objected.
“Okay, okay then, ummmmmm....” She thought for a moment. “Goddit.” She tried snapping her fingers, twice, with no successful result. She gave up with a shrug. “Hey, wha’s the wors’ lawyer joke you’ve come ‘cross?”
Alex contemplated. “The worst law-yer joke? Tha’s easy. Trev-or Lang-an.” She started to giggle which then infected the rest of the table.
The server made his way to the table, placed the drinks in front of the ladies and picked up the empty glasses. Everyone tried out their drink.
“Whoa.” Casey muttered.
“Abbie, whadd’reya tryin to do to us?” Alex coughed.
“Teq…uila puts hair on yer chest.” She replied and thumped her chest.
“You like thistuff?” Alex asked.
“So, lemme see.” Alex leaned over and pulled Abbie’s shirt away from her body and peered down into the gap.
“Stop thad.” She slapped her hands away. “We have’t even goned on a date yet. I’not thad easy, y’know?” She joked.
“Not whad I hear...d.” The Judge uttered low and scratched her nose. Her hand covered her sly smile.
“Ooh, do tell.” Alex put her chin in her hand and stared intently at the Judge.
“Lader.” She let Abbie hang for a moment, then winked at her. “Maybe.” She laughed. “I got a law-yer joke. Wha’s the diff’rence ‘tween a pitbull an’ na-ttorney?” She paused and took another sip from the straw. “Y’know, the tas-tes of these’ll grow on ya.”
“So wha’s the an...swer?”
“Answer? Oh to the joke? Jew-el-ry.”
Snickers went around the table.
“Yer turn, Casey.” Abbie pointed to the ADA.
Casey thought for a second. “I got one. Why does Cal-i-forn-i-a have the mos’ ‘ttorneys and New Jersey the mos’ toxic waste dumps?”
“I hear...d that one.” Alex spoke. “New Jersey got firs...t pick.”
“Well ‘kay then, Alex?”
“Whaddya call an a...ttorney with a nIQ of 12?” Alex asked. She paused and looked over at the blank faces. She waited for Liz to take a drink. “Your hon-or,” she answered.
Liz spit a mouthful of drink all over the table. Casey and Abbie threw their napkins on the table to soak up the liquid and Alex just scooted her chair back a foot. Liz raised both eyebrows in challenge to Alex.
“Whoops!” Alex snarked and grinned.
La Vida Loca Cantina
“So, there I’m’n wha’s turnin’ outta be a nas-ty battle... Pe-trov-sky’s pre...sidin...g and Sta-bler was on th’stan’. I wen’to sid back at my table, right?” She took a sip of her margarita. “I looked o’er at Langan - he goddup an’is jacket’s’open. No big deal. ‘Cept tha’ was’t the only thing open. So was his fly.”
Casey and Alex giggled. Liz just smiled and took another chip. Abbie who was taking a sip of her drink, coughed and slapped the table.
“Zactly. I’m tryin’ so hard not to laugh. I put my han’ up to my mouth to smo...ther the grin. Langan was talkin’ and pacin’ roun’ blowin’ hot air. Sta-bler looked at me and he had this question in his eyes. I shrugged and cut my eyes to Lang-an. He mouthed ‘what?’ So I made this zip-pin’ motion ‘cross my lips. He looked at me all confused. Then Langan asked Stabler his ques’ion. Stabler had to ask him to re-peat it since he wasn’ payin’ ‘ttention. When Langan did he raised his hands for em...pha...sis and Stabler’s eyes roamed down. Well, now Stabler’s got the smirk going... jew know the one.”
She looked and everyone nodded. “He answered Langan’s ques’ion... deeeeeead serious.” Alex poured herself another drink from the pitcher and then offered the last to Casey who was sitting next to her. Casey declined. Liz took the pitcher and emptied it into her glass.
Alex continued, “Langan turn’d his back to Stabler so Stabler leaned over an’ looked ‘round him direckly to me. He rolled his eyes an’ shook his head. Trevor was still sooooo oblivious. Langan pi...vo...ted ‘round a-gain; his jack...et flared out an’ I thoughd Ell’ot was gonna to loooose it. Trevor ask-ed him a stooopid pro-ceeee-jure ques’ion – somethin’ like whad was the firs’ thin’ you did when you got outta the car at the crime scene. And Elliot, ohmigod, don’ever play poker with’im... looked ride into Langan’s eyes an’ said, ‘I check...ed my fly.’ He cud’is eyes down to Trevor’s crotch an’ back up ‘gain, hopin’ to giv‘im a clue. Trevor had this *whad the hell* look goin’on when he saw Ell...i...ot cud’is eyes a second time. So Trevor lookedown an’ his eyes got huuuuuge. He pulled’is jack-ed closed an’ turn d’away from the jury an’ the bench but he re...al...ized thad peoples watchin’ the trial could still see him. So there he was... tryin’ to zip up without causin’ too much more em...barr...ass...ment and the mo-ron god’is shirt tail caught in the zipper.”
Casey and Abbie broke out in hysterical laughter. Casey wiped some tears from her eyes.
“So he stood there... tuggin’at his pants. Pe...trov...sky waided a few mooooments and then deadpan ast him if he wann-ed to be alone. He turned briiiiight red and shtam...mered out ‘yes, please, y’honor’. She fin...al...ly called a recess. I ne-ver knew the woman could laugh ‘til thadday. You could hear her cacklin’ alllllll the way to ‘er chambers.”
Alex reached for some of the chips and salsa. She took a bite. When she finished chewing she added, “Ever since thadday, ever’ time he sees Deeee...tec...tive Stabler, he checks his zipper.”
“OHMIGOD. Issa good thing he wasn’ goin’ commando. Owwww-ie,” Abbie joked.
“Ell’ot do.” Casey said quietly.
“Oh God... did’I say thadou’ loud?” She looked at her drink and frowned.
“Howjew know Miiiiizzz No-vak? Spill.”
Casey bit her lip. “No tellin’... but Liv tol’ me.” She cringed. “She’s gonna kill me.” She contemplated another thought for a moment. “Oh hell. I c’n tell ya somethin’ else though... from pers’nal e’shper’ence.” Casey leaned over the table and lowered her voice. “Ell’ot Stabler looks miiiiiighty fine... tha’s F-I-N-E in a Shpeedo. Whoa!”
“An’ we know thish hoooooow, Case?
“Saw id... him... with my’nooooown eyes. Liv an’ I wen’t’a pooooool party with’im an’ ‘is family. Whoooooo baby - Kathy izza lucky woman.”
“Aw c’mon, Casey; you’re makin’id shound like you’d sleep with ‘im.”
“I would,” Liz interjected quickly. She met three stares with one of her own and upped the ante by raising an eyebrow. “C’n I have ‘nother of these?” She waved her glass around.
Abbie motioned to the bartender for another pitcher of margaritas. He nodded.
“Y’know, Jack useta go c’mmando.”
“No, he doesn’.” Abbie argued.
Casey and Alex looked at each other then at the other two.
“I said... use-d to, Abbie. He learn...ed his lesson.” Liz took a chip and pointed it at her.
“Well’s yer well aware, he al’ays changes oudda his suit ‘fore he leaves for home ad night. Well this onnnne night, he thoughd he’s the only one lef’ in the office, so ‘nstead of duckin’ inna the bathroom to change, he jus’ dropp...ed his pants righthere. In walked Judge Mar...g’ret Baaaaarry.”
“Oooooooh no.” Abbie moved her glass so the bartender could set the new pitcher down. Then she did the honors and refilled all their glasses.
“Jack tol’ me he grab...bed some legal briefs offn his des’ and tried to cob…ver himself. Judge Baaaarry looked him in the eye-ball and tol’ him to buy some bossers ‘cause briefs did nothin’ for him.”
The table broke out in gales of laughter. They all lifted their filled glasses and clinked them before taking sips.
“Hey,” Casey shouted about the low roar of the tavern, “I thin...k someone’s cell’s a-ringin’.”
Everyone but Liz set their margaritas down and checked their phones.
Abbie held hers up. “Nod mine.”
Alex did the same.
Casey rummaged through her purse and held up her silent phone. “Mus’ be yours, Liz.” Then Liz’s purse began to vibrate as well.
“Oooh, look... now nod only’s your cell singin’, it’s dancin’ too.” Alex snorted with the giggles. “Or you got some reeeeeeally cool toy in there.”
Liz put her glass down and reached for her purse. She opened it and began to rummage around for the phone. The once muffled ring tone began to sound clearer.
Casey’s eyes squinted in thought. “Hey, wha’s thad playin’? It sounds soooo fa...mil...i...ar.”
“Jus’ you neber min’,” Liz replied as she finally pulled the phone free and opened it. “Don<.hic.>nelly.”
Casey snapped her fingers. “I goddid.” She grinned evilly at Liz. “It’s the theme from....”
Elizabeth put her free hand over Casey’s mouth and then glared at her. She mouthed 'don’t you dare.' Then she went back to addressing her phone party.
“Gooooood af’ernoon, Det<.hic.>....”
Casey licked Liz’s palm much to the Judge’s disgust. However, it did get her the result she was hoping for when the Judge moved it. She smiled smugly.
“Hol’, please,” Liz addressed the phone. Then wiped her other hand on her jeans. “Thad was so nod called for, Noooovak.”
“Iz’at Lib onna phone? I wanna talk t’her.” Casey reached for the phone and a tug-of-war commenced. “C’mon, Liz, leggo. Gimme.”
Abbie and Alex both grabbed their glasses and slid their chairs back a foot or so to remove themselves from the melee. They grinned at each other, clinked glasses and were totally enjoying the front row seats at this wrestling match.
“Casey, leggo of the phone.” Then she added in a higher than normal tone, when Casey managed to actually take the phone away from her. “Is nod Lib.”
Olivia was listening to the struggle, when she realized what had occurred, she thrust the phone at Keith. “Here,” she said in a hushed tone, “get the Judge back on the phone.”
Keith, surprised at being dragged into the fray, responded in a whine, “But Detective Ben....”
“Hello. Heeelllllllooooooo. Who’s this? Lib?” Casey inquired as she grinned smugly at the annoyed Donnelly.
“Hello,” Keith squeaked out, then coughed and purposely lowered his voice. He knew Casey had heard some part of the exclamation to Liv. “This is Detective Ben... ummmm....” He looked frantically around the apartment. His eyes landed on the cage. “This is Detective Ben... uhhh... Bird, Ma’am. I am trying to locate....” He paused and looked at Liv in question. She mouthed the name. “I’m trying to locate a Judge Donnelly.”
“Ossifer… Offff-ficer Bird....”
“Detective Bird, ma’am. My mom was very proud of me getting that gold shield.” He grinned at Liv.
“Deeee-teck-tive Bird, sorry. I thod you were someone else onna phone. I thod I heard the name Benson. I’ll led you talk to the....”
Keith cut her off. “Detective Olivia Benson?” He inquired, with an innocent tone.
Olivia began to worry.
“I know her. She’s totally a babe. A tall, hot, brunette with a gorgeous set of....”
“Hey! Tha’s my girlllfrien’ you’re talkin’ ‘bout, mis-ser.” Casey voice was anything but friendly now.
Olivia smacked Keith on the back of the head.
“Ow, uhhhhhhhhh, sorry. Can I please speak to the Judge now?”
Casey handed the phone back to Liz. She put her chin in her hand and focused her attention on the Judge.
Keith handed the phone back to Olivia.
“Just listen, I know Casey is probably hanging on your every word trying to figure out what’s going on.”
“Yes, tha’s correct.” Liz looked over at the ADA.
“I was just wondering if your idea is working.”
The Judge looked at Alex and Abbie leaned back in their chairs and attempting to balance tortilla chips on their noses. Back and forth friendly jostling was not making for a successful endeavor. Yeah, they are both several sheets to the wind already. Casey was glassy eyed as well. She’s on her way too. “Vera well, as a madder-of-fac’.”
“Good. And what time can I expect Casey home?”
Liz looked at her watch. “I’d say our meetin’ ‘ll take a few ex’ra hours. Le’s say sebenish.”
“Thanks Liz, I owe you.” Olivia began to mentally try to set up a time table.
“Yep, ya do.” She looked at her table mates who abandoned the chips and were now mock-sword fighting with straws. "An' we'll dizcuzz thad plea 'greement ada laaaaader time."
“Ooh, that sounded all official.”
“Beddon it. Goooood affernoon, Detec’ive Ben....” The Judge stopped and cringed knowing she’d just made a mistake.
“Ben Bird,” Liv replied quickly.
“Riiiiight... Detec’ive Ben Bird. See ya then.” Liz looked puzzled at the phone and shook her head. She put it back in her purse. “Okay, whose turn to buy the next round?”
“I thin’ is Novak’s,” Abbie replied and held up her empty glass.
“Ooookaaaaay. I’ll order ‘nother roun’ on m’way back from da liddle lawyer’s room.” She stood up with a bit of help from the table. “Then when I ged back, Judge-y here can answer a ‘portant ques’ion ‘bout da phone.”
Casey held up her hand. “Nodabout th’call. I wanna know why da theme from Mighty Mouse is your rrrrring toooone.”
La Vida Loca Cantina
The server finished writing down the order, then he gathered up all the menus and turned to leave. “Thank you, ladies. While you are waiting for your food, I’ll bring you another basket of chips.” He nodded at Alex, “and salsa without the cilantro.”
Abbie held up the pitcher. “An’another one of these.” She pointed in the Judge’s direction. “S’on her.”
“And so’s the food; jus’ brin’ me th’check.” Liz added.
The waiter nodded and left.
“Ya didn’ hav’ta do thad, Judgie.” Abbie smiled and showed off her dimples.
The Judge shrugged. “Leas’ I could do. S’my party. Ad th’ ris-k of jinx-zing this swo... swo... gath’rin’, I thin’ we’re allllll habin’ a good time, yes?”
The three attorneys looked at each other and had to agree.
There was silence at the table as the conversations lapsed.
“Mmm’kay, so now thad we’b ack-tually order-ed something t’eat to go ‘long wid alllll thiz’lick-wid we’b been con... con... con-suuuuming, jew gonna answer th’ques’ion, y’honor?”
“Whad ques’ion was thad, NOOO-vak?” The Judge deliberately drew out the Casey’s name. She added a stare for intimidation.
“Oh, pul-lease, li’ thad wor’s affer I sad here lis’nin’ to you tell funny sto-ries.” Casey waved her hand around. “The rrrring tone ques’ion.”
The Judge sighed. “Yer like dogs widda bone.”
All three attorneys grinned at her. Casey barked. Alex followed and then Abbie.
The Judge had to laugh. “Watch it - I’ll smack you widda roll-ed up newspaper.”
“Yeeeeesssss, Casey, is th’ Mi-dee Mouz theme.”
“I knew id.”
“Mr. Don-nelly nummer one, who ack-tually was Mr. Don-nelly by th’way, gave me the nickname of Mi-dee Mouz when I firs’ starded tryin’ cases. He useta listen t’me talk ‘bout some of th’hopeless sit-chu-ations I faced in court.”
“Aw, tha’s sweed.” Casey interjected. “Whaddja call him?”
“Jake. S’name’s Jake Don-nelly.”
“Aw, c’mon... if he gabe you a cu’esy name, you musta had one f’r’im. Whad was it?”
“Nebermin’ thad.” Liz’s eyes took on an evil glint as an idea formed and she put it on temporary hold. “So, now thad I con...fessed my rrrring tone, I bed each of you’b god one thad is jus’ as em... barr… rass... ing, correck-t?”
All three looked at each other.
“Ummm, I al’ays keep my phone on viiiii-ber-ate. No rrrring tone fo’me.” Alex reached for her glass and took a long drink.
“C’mon darrrr-lin’, you musta pigged oud somethin’ pers’nal for the tone. Everyone does. I bed yers is somethin’ classical. Highbrow stuff.”
“You thin’... really? No steam’s comin’ oucher ears.” Alex smirked and made an effort to look in Abbie’s ears. “Ms Smartybritches, whad’s yours?” Alex fired back at Abbie.
Abbie leaned over conspiratorially, “Smartybritches? Are you eighd years ol’ or was thadda slip of th’ tongue an’ you was atch’lly thinkin’ ‘bout my britches, Alex?” She winked at her. “I’ll letcha hear mine if ya let me hear yers.”
The server brought out the new pitcher, new glasses and a basket of chips. He cleared away the old.
As soon as he left the Judge ordered, “I thin’ we need Show-n-Tell time, kiddies. Ged th’ phones oud.”
Alex grumbled and reluctantly dug through her purse. Casey and Abbie had already put theirs on the table.
“I’ll go firs’; is not like is tooooootally em...barrassin-g. Atchu’lly, if you know me at’all it makes per-feck sense.” Casey picked up her phone, pushed a few keys and it started to play.
Abbie listened intently. “Tage Me Oud T’ Th’ Ball Game?”
“Uh huh. I play on the SU... UV... SVU sof’ball team. I habe for years.”
“Niiiiice. See Cab-bot, thad was’t so bad.”
“Atchu’lly, I’b got in-di-bid-jual rrrring tones sed up for incomin’ calls too. Maureen, Elliott’s daughder, sed id up for me. Spe...ci...al peoples in my phonebook ged their own tones. Although, like Alex said, I very rarely habe id sed on rrrring. Usually is jus’ on vib-er-ate.”
“So wha’s Lib’s tone?”
Casey hit a few more buttons and let it play. “Is Brown-d Eyes Girl.”
“Verrrrr’ cool, Caaaaasey,” Abbie acknowledged. “Now th’ secon’ part of th’ques’ion... wha’s yer nick<.hic.>name? Wha’s Lib call you, mmm? An’ if’s somethin’ ‘sanely sweeeeet, I muh hurl allllll ober th’table.” Abbie belched.
Casey laughed. “Please don’,” she replied drolly. “Atchu’lly, Lib reeeeeally only calls me Case or Caaaaaseeeeey with a no...ccaaaasion’l *sweetie* when she reeeeeally wan’s somethin’.” She picked up her drink. “Now th’team does call me Ceeeee-NO. ‘Cause when-d I pitches ya sees NO hits and ya sees NO runs.” She smiled and took a sip.
Abbie chuckled. “We shoul’ seddup a game ‘tween yer SU… SVU team and th’AG Ossife.”
“Ooh, it’d be fun watchin’ you Freds... Feds eat’n our dus’.”
“Drrrream on, Ceeeee-No.” Abbie challenged. “I’ll call ya af’er I ged back to DC an’ we’ll see whad we c’n seddup. Maybe toss in a few shhtakes where th’loooooosers dona... donu... gibe some cash monies to chaaaaariteee.”
“Deal.” Casey held out her hand and Abbie shook it. She turned to Alex. “Soooo Cab-bot, ya ready t’share yet?”
“Oh looooook, is dinner.” Alex exclaimed as the server made his presence known. “Than’ you.” She smiled at him. “Mmmmmmm, dig’n while is hot.” She took a bite.
“Fiiiiiine. Ya know we habe ways a makin’ ya talk, doncha?” Abbie leaned over and tickled her.
Alex put a hand up to keep from spitting a mouthful out. She swallowed hard, then glared at Abbie. “Noooo touch-ching th’Ca...bot merch... merch... goods ‘thoud per...miss...ssion.”
“Soooo - gibe me peeerrrrmission.” Abbie wiggled her fingers.
“Nod’n thiz life<.hic.>time.”
“Oooh, admidid - ya wan’ me, Cab-bot. Ya wan’ me baaaaaaaaaad.”
Alex looked over at Abbie and batted her eyes. “I admidid, I do wan’ you. I wan’ you....” She paused, leaned over close to Abbie and pursed her lips.
Abbie patted her lips with her napkin and leaned in close. She gave Alex her rapt attention.
“... t’go ‘way.”
Abbie blew her a kiss. “Well, I know-d ya wan’ed me.” She smiled a charming smile. “Now, ‘bout thad rrrrring tone....”
“AARRGGHHH!” Alex exclaimed. “Min’ like a steel trab.” She took a big gulp of margarita. “Fiiiine.”
Alex opened her cell phone and hit the button to take the phone off vibrate. “Casey, call me.”
Casey punched Alex’s speed dial listing. Everyone listened for the ring. The familiar opening notes of Ice Ice Baby sounded.
“Ya gotta be kiddin’! Ale’x ‘uptight’ Cab-bot has a rrrap tune f’rrrring tone?”
“Is was Fin’s idea. I foun’ oud thad th’ ‘teck...tives, when I firs’ shtarded, ref... ref... called me ‘Ize Bitch’. When they firs’ heard it rrrring, it showed thad I was’t ups... mad ‘boud the nickname.” She ducked her head. “Id helped me fid’in.”
Casey put her hand on Alex’s arm. “I knows whad ya mean.”
Alex looked up at Casey. “I k-now you do and I’n sorry f’r my pard a thad.”
“Nod yer fault, Alex.” She patted her arm. “Bud than’s.”
“Oookaaaay Carrrrr-mike-ull, thad leabes you t’finish ub this show-n-tell.”
“Well Jag gabe me the nickname of ‘Hang’m High Car...mich...ael’ af’er our firs’ case t’gether. Guess I made quide the immmpression.” Abbie hit a few buttons on her phone and the William Tell Overture started playing.
“I heard id’s ‘Lub’m and Leabe’m High and Dry Carrrmichael’,” Alex snarked.
Abbie raised one perfect eyebrow. “Jealous much, Cab-bot?” She picked up her glass and tipped it in their direction. “Hi Ho Sliver... Silver ‘way,” then drained it.
La Vida Loca Cantina
The rest of their dinner went along relatively silently. The only conversation had to do with how good the food tasted. The Judge kept looking up at them. Dares I s’gest it? Gots to be a way. I knows.
The server came and cleared the dishes. Everyone decided that they had had enough margaritas but were not quite ready to give up the pleasant buzz. They ordered Irish Coffee instead. Casey excused herself to go to the restroom and caught up with their server along the way.
“When you bring mine, make id ‘thout liq... liq… booze, okay? Straighd coffee.” She tucked some cash in his shirt pocket.
Casey returned to the table about the same time the coffee arrived. The server set the tall mug in front of her and winked. She smiled back.
“Ooh Casey, flirtin’ with th’help... ya dog, you.” Abbie joked.
“Well, he’s cude in a puppy dog way.” Casey took a sip and was relieved at the taste of the strong coffee.
“Well,” Liz interjected, “I have t’say thiz day turned out bedder than I hoped. Id seems thad I straightened you girls out....”
That comment got her incredulous stares in triplicate.
“... so t’speak.”
“Now les’see if you pass th’final ‘xam. No ‘hen party’ as Abbie called id earlier woul’ be comb... woul’ be comb... woul’ be done ‘thout a roun’ of *truth-r-dare*.”
Groans met that statement.
“Id’ll be fun. One ques’ion each, direck...ted to th’ group, ever’one answers th’same ques’ion if ya choose tru-th. If ya choose dare yer ad th’mercy of the ques... asker. God’id?” She waited for the assenting nods of all three attorneys. “Caaaseeey, why you don’ go firs’?”
“Oookay, truth-r-dare? Alex?”
“Oookaaay,” Casey took a deep breath and tried to find a question that she wouldn’t be embarrassed to answer herself. “I god’id. How ol’ were ya when ya god yer firs’ kiss an’ where were ya? I’ll start. I’s thirteen; was at a jun’or high skoo’ dance.”
“Boy-r-girllll, Caaaseeey?” Abbie queried.
“Is a boy.” Casey laughed. “I di’n’ know any bedder back then.”
“Meeee too,” Alex chimed in. “Bud I’s only sigz ad th’time.”
“Whoa Aless, robbin’ the crable… crable… cray-dull?” Liz joked,
“How coul’ she, Judge? She’s still ‘n’it.” Abbie sarcastically added.
“Whad c’n I say? I’be al’ays know-d-n whad I wan’ an’ I go af’er id.” Alex met Abbie’s eyes for a moment. “Whad ‘bout you, Teeeexxxx?”
“I’s twelbe an’ is was behin’ th’barn.”
“Mar’ Lou Will’ams.”
“AHA, a giiirrrrrl.”
“Yep, preddy li’l thin’ wid blon’ pigtails.” Abbie sighed. “I wonner whad she’s ub t’these days.”
“F’you were her firs’ kiss – prob’ly a con-vent,” was the snarky reply.
“Aless, be nize,” the Judge admonished.
“Oh fiiiine.” She turned to Abbie. “I’n shure you din’ mean t’scar her f’life.” Alex smirked.
“Verrrrry funny, Cab-bot.” Abbie rolled her eyes. “How’s ‘bout choo, Liz?”
“I’s fifteen an’ id’s a boy.” She waited for any follow up question but none came up. “Ooookaaaay, Aless, yer nest.”
Alex polled the table, “Truth-r-dare?”
Everyone answered truth again.
Alex posed the question, “Who’s th’firs’ woman you ser’ously dated? I’ll ans... go firs’... Lib.”
“Lib.” Casey answered too.
“Haddrick... Lib,” Abbie answered.
“Lib,” the Judge added. She looked at the questions on their faces. “Whad? Whad jew ‘spect me t’say?” She paused. “Id’s las’ nigh-d. Id was th’only wo-man. Bud I woul’n’ call id’a date.” She pointed a finger at Casey.
Casey held up her hands in surrender. “Du-a-ly noded.”
“Ooookay, truth-r-dare, fo’ks?”
Everyone again chose truth. After seeing Abbie’s mischievous side all day, no one wanted to chance it.
“Well, y’all ask...ed sof’ ques’ions. Guess is ub t’me t’ask th’tough ‘un.” Everyone cringed while Abbie grinned. “Where’d jew lose yer vir...gin...ni…ty?”
Alex had just taken a sip of her coffee and started to cough. Abbie slapped her on the back.
“Fine, fine.” She coughed again.
Abbie saw that she was all right and continued on. “Who’s firs’?”
Casey sighed. “I’ll go firs’. Prom nighd-t. I’s livin’ in Bir... Vir-ginia ad-t th’time.”
Alex jumped in next. “Same here, bud Boston. Carrrr-michael?”
“Dalllllllas, Tex-as an’ th’bagsead ‘f my Dad-dy’s Cad-dy. God, I lobed thad car.” She grinned in reminiscence. “How’s ‘bout you?” Abbie turned to the Judge.
“Woodstock.” Liz took a sip of her coffee.
“You wuz ad Woodstock? THE Woodstock?” Casey asked.
Liz nodded, “Id’s crazy, ab-so-loooot’ly crazy.”
“I’sn’t even born-d yed.”
“Ed-t too, Casey?”
“Well, noooo - I wasn’ born yed-t bud I thin...k id’s reeeeally cool you were ad Woodstock. You’ll hab-ve t’tell me aboud id someday.”
Abbie coughed, “Suck-ub.”
Casey stuck her tongue out.
“Chil’ren.” Liz shook her head. “I guezz thad jus’ leabes my turn.” Liz looked at each of her companions. “’Fore I as’ my ques’ion, I’n gonna change th’roools jus’ a bid....”
“No faaaair, Lizzz.”
“Yeah, why’d’jew gedda change th’roools now?”
“Why d’I thin...k we’re allllll in trouble?” Casey muttered softly.
“’Cause yer th’smard ‘un,” Liz replied with a twinkle in her eyes. “I’n changin’ th’roools f’yer bene... benefid.” She held up her hand to stall any more questions. “I’n jus’ gonna as’ th’ques’ion firs’ an’ then gib ya a chance t’decide truth-r-dare. Fair ‘nough?”
Everyone reluctantly nodded.
“Good, here’s yer ques’ion. Name alllll th’co-workers-es you’b slept with.” She blinked innocently at her table mates. “Well?” She smirked at the replies.
Somewhere in Greenwich Village
“Hey Liz, where’re we goin’?”
“Yeah, jew eber gonna tell us whad th’dare’s gonna be?”
“Are we there yed?”
Liz stopped and turned around and leveled her best stare at the whining trio. Well, the best stare she could manage at this moment considering they looked more like a sextet than a trio thanks to her intoxicated eyes.
“I al’ays wan’ed t’say thad....” Alex giggled. “Mom.”
Liz rolled her eyes and immediately regretted the dizziness that resulted. She grabbed onto the nearest arm which was Casey’s. “Whoa.”
“Ya okay, Judge?”
“Fiiiine,” Liz turned, “Oh… we’re here.”
“Pookie’s? Wha’s a Pookie?” Casey asked.
“Pookie’s? What’s Pookie’s? Liz took you to a strip club?” Liv asked angrily.
“Whoa, honey. Chill.” Casey lifted their joined hands to her lips and kissed them. She had finally gotten Liv to settle back down again after her ill-timed scream. Casey snuggled back in, albeit gingerly. “I’m getting to it....”
Liz pulled open the door which Abbie then held. Liz and her entourage entered and were immediately assaulted by the medicinal smell. The girls looked at all the artwork hanging on the walls and their eyes grew large when they realized what Pookie’s was exactly.
Alex turned to the door, “OOOOH no... I’n NOD gedding a tattoo.” Abbie grabbed her arm to keep her from leaving. As she continued to pull away, Abbie’s hand ran down the arm until she clasped their hands together. “I’n nod marrrr-ing th’perfeck-t Cab-bot skin. Whad woul’ m’mother say?”
“’Boud damn...ed time. I broughd her here twen’y years ago t’ged hers.” Liz retorted.
Alex opened her mouth to reply then closed it with a snick.
“I’n kiddin’, Aless. Now stob bein’ a baby. Ever’ one ‘f’you chose ‘Dare’. Are ya nod wimmen of yer word? Are ya gonna wuss oud on a dare?”
“Soun’s good t’me.” Alex was pulled back up short by Abbie who had yet to let go of her hand.
Abbie leaned in close to her ear. “Aw c’mon Al... where’s yer sp’rit of ‘venture? Walk on th’wil’ side fr’once.”
"Liz took you to a tattoo parlor. What is she... freakin' nuts?"
"Liv," Casey admonished, "hush and let me finish the story. Then you can ask questions." She stole a quick kiss. She pulled back and looked in Liv's eyes and leaned in for a longer one. She smiled when they separated. "Anyway, where was I...?"
Just then a long haired man walked out from one of the individual rooms. “Mighty Mouse - you come to save the day?” He walked up to Liz and picked her up off the floor in a crushing hug. He put her back down and leaned it for a bruising kiss.
The three attorneys stared in disbelief at the scene.
“Uh, Liz, somethin’ you’d like t’tell us?”
Liz finally opened her eyes and stared dreamily at the man. She shook herself out of her reverie. She turned to the girls. “This id Jake. The or...rig...gin...’l Mr. Don-nelly. This is his shob.”
“Ladies.” He shook everyone’s hands. “So Mousie, you bring me some fresh meat? Recruiting again?” He put his arm around her shoulders.
The girls all turned to each other and mouthed the word *again?*.
Liz smacked his abdomen. “B’nice, Jakie.”
“Uh, Liz, jus-t how many people’ve ya broughd-t here?” Casey inquired.
“Welllll....” she stalled.
“She’s only looking after her business interests.” Jake replied. “Pookie’s is essentially half hers.”
“Come ‘gain? Lizzzz, you owna tat-toooo parrr...lor?” Alex asked with a smirk. “Waid ‘til Pet-trov-sky hears ‘boud this.”
“Is body ard *an’* Lena knows. I dare ya t’as’ her t’play show-n-tell.” Liz responded with her own smirk.
“Don-nelly one, Cab-bot nothin’.” Abbie made a tally mark in the ether with her free hand.
Abbie leaned in and whispered, “Bud ya keeb tryin’ darlin’. Yer sooooooooooooo bee-yoo-tee-ful when yer flustered.” Alex pulled their hands apart and whacked Abbie on the shoulder. “Ooh, bead me, hurd me, take me oud for a ‘spensibe dinner.” Abbie gave her what she hoped was a winning smile.
“Hol’ yer breath,” Alex responded in the same low tone.
Casey moved toward Jake, “So. Jake... c’n I call ya Jake? Tell us ‘bout Liz here. Where’d ya meed ‘er? How lon-g were ya married? How’d she become a *n’art maven*?” The other girls also took up positions on either side of Jake, essentially pushing Liz out of the way. Liz put her hands on her hips and leveled a laser glare at them all. Jake, in the meantime, was enjoying all the attention.
He looked back and forth among the three. “We were childhood sweethearts. I gave Liz her first kiss.”
“Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww,” all three chimed in together. Then looked dreamily at Liz.
“Oh, pulllease.” She retorted. She pushed Alex and Casey out of the way and moved close to Jake. She put her arm around his waist. “You tree... tr... ther-ree each habe a dade with a n’artist. Ya need t’decide whad an’ where.” She grinned.
“Oooh, Lizzie, are you gonna let me ink you again?” Jake asked.
“Maaaaybe....” Liz replied coyly.
“Again?” Casey asked. “You hab-ve a tattoo? Where? Where??”
“C’n weeee see?” Alex added.
“Aw, c’mon. I bed Jakie c’n tell us th’where and th’whad. Can’cha, Jakie?”
“Sure, I did the original art. She has a cute little....”
Liz cut him off. “Do nod say a ’nother word Jacob Don-nelly ‘less y’d like me t’tell them where th’name Pookie origin… orig... came from.”
“Whoops, sorry girls.” He smiled and shrugged. Jake leaned into Liz, “Hey Mousie, I got some of your favorite blend in the office. Why don’t you and me adjourn for a business meeting?” He waggled his eyebrows. “I’ll get the guys out here to help your friends.”
Jake moved away from Liz and disappeared into one of the back rooms. He reappeared a few minutes later followed by two women and a man. “Ladies, I would like you to meet Dite. She is my right hand person and an incredible artist. You wish it and she can dish it.”
Dite stepped forward and acknowledged the attorneys. “Nice to meet y’all.” She shook hands with each of them as Jake introduced them.
“Woooow. Kill-er nails.” Alex had to comment when they shook hands. “Are those...?”
“Racing stripes. They help me type faster,” she replied drolly. She moved onto Casey. Her sleeve rode up just a bit and Casey noticed her tattoos.
“Can I see yours?” Casey asked and pointed to Dite’s sleeve.
Dite rolled up her sleeve. The attorneys oohed and ahhed. “Jake here did most of them.”
Abbie acknowledged Jake after she shook Dite’s hand. “Nize.”
“Thank you.” He responded. Then he pointed out the other two. “This gentleman is Artie and this lovely lady is Polly. Both have worked here for quite awhile, so no matter who does who, you are in good hands.”
Liz leaned in and whispered into Jake’s ear. Unfortunately she wasn’t as quiet as she hoped. “Jew gonna do me, Jakie?”
The girls giggled.
Jake turned to the group and grinned. “We are going to go have that....” His voice rose in pitch when Liz pinched his butt and he squeaked out, “... ummm... business meeting now.” He coughed. “Guys, take good care of them, okay?” He and Liz turned to make their way to the backroom.
“Okay, ladies, do y’all have an idea what you want to get inked?” Dite asked.
Only Casey immediately replied. “Ack-tually, I do have an idea. C’n we see if you c’n draw me up wha-t I wan-t?”
“Sure, step this way into my booth and we’ll get you started.” She motioned to the other artists, “Guys, why don’t you show them some of the booklets and see if they can find something they like?”
Artie held out his arm for Alex to take. “Milady, this way if you please.”
“I’n still nod sure ‘boud this....” Alex said over her shoulder as she was being led away.
“Maaaybe they c’n tat-too a chicken on yer foooore-head,” Abbie joked. “Bawk, bawk, bawk.”
Alex turned and glared or what she hoped was a glare. She wobbled a bit. Whoa, things are still a little fuzzy. It’s a good thing Artie here is holding me back... errr... up or one of those Carmichaels would be in big trouble.
Abbie blew her a kiss. “G’wan, Al; lib a liddle.” Abbie chided. She turned to Polly, “Sooo, m’dear, you’be god etchin’s t’show me?” She winked.
Polly took her hand and headed for her own booth.
Pookie’s Piercings & Body Art
The booth was a twelve by twelve room with three solid walls and a three-quarter wall on the last side. It was more of a partition than a wall. It semi- muffled voices on the other side and provided some privacy but that was about it. Artists could hand stuff over the wall to other artists if they stretched up. Casey watched as Dite readied the equipment. They had already picked out a basic design, which Dite was going to personalize a bit. She was amazed at the methodical way that Dite did everything. It was like she had her own internal checklist. Casey realized she probably did and it was in the keeping things completely sterile and as safe as possible. She grinned as the box of neon pink rubber gloves hit the counter.
“You’ve been doin’ this awhile, huh?”
“Years.” She replied while she continued her chores. “I got my first tattoo from Pookie and it was all down hill from there.” She laughed.
“Yours are gorgeous; very u-nique. Especially that one....” Casey’s voice trailed off as Dite interrupted.
“The armband? Those are my kids.”
Casey’s eyes widened. Dite didn’t even need to look up - the dead silence told her.
“Oh, don’t look surprised. You didn’t think a tat artist could be married with children?”
“No... yes... I guess... I mean... ummm... I think I’ll jus’ stop now.”
Dite laughed. “It’s okay; I get that all the time.”
“Ack-tually, all your art is quite cool and I noticed that all the tattoos are shades of blue and green? Any special reason?”
Dite turned to Casey. “What color are your eyes?”
“And what color is your...?” She hesitated hoping that Casey would fill in the blank.
“Olivia’s are brown.”
“Oh, well, then. I guess that’s real life for you. In fanfic they are always blue and green.”
“Nevermind,” she muttered softly, then added louder. “I just liked the colors. Do you have favorite colors?”
“Oh. Not exactly,” Casey scratched her nose. “Ummmm, I’m kinda known for lime green an’ purple.”
“Whoa, o-kay. Odd combination there.” Dite rubbed the back of her neck. “So, you want me to add your initials to it, right?”
“Yeah. Can you do it?”
“Sure, give me a few minutes to redraw the image for you with your changes and we’ll get started. This is your first, right? So, where do you want the tat?”
Casey pointed to the spot.
Dite’s eyes widened in surprise, “You sure? It’s gonna hurt. And it’s gonna be there forever.”
“Yeah, I’m sure. She already is.” Casey smiled.
“Well, all righty then. Let me do my thing and then we’ll do yours.”
Casey took a few minutes to study the artist as she watched her working on the image on the light box. Dite was shorter than Casey with short brownish hair with slight red streaks. It was cut similar to Liv’s. She was surprised that she didn’t have multiple piercings or at least a nose ring considering the business. Guess I shouldn’t make any more assumptions. Killer tan too, dammit, Casey thought. I go straight from pale to peeling lobster red and then freckle like a Dalmatian. She internally sighed. “You’re Southern, right? Is Dite short for somethin’?” Casey asked just to break the silence.
“Uh huh,” she answered not looking up from her work. “It’s short for Aphrodite.”
“The goddess of love?”
“That be the one,” she replied. “I know,” she then looked up at Casey. “Y’all expect a blonde with that name, right?”
Casey grinned. “And for some reason, a valley girl accent - not a Southern one.”
Dite leaned closer to Casey and whispered, “On the inside... the blonde is on the inside. I can totally like, do the valley speak though.”
Casey smirked and replied, “Bitchin’ dudette.’”
Dite shook her head and grinned. She and Casey high-fived. Dite then returned to working on the image. A self-satisfied nod a few moments later indicated she was done.
“How’s this?” She held up the image. “Right size?”
Casey looked it over. “Perfect.”
“Cool. Do you want it in full color?”
“Yes, red an’ light green an’ then blue an’ purple for the initials. Can you do that?”
Just then a loud groan was heard. It startled Casey but Dite took it all in stride. She banged on the wall behind her.
“Y’all keep it down or I’m gonna get out the fire hose.” She paused. “Again.” She turned her attention back to Casey. “This happens every time Lizzie comes in. I swear, those two....” Her voice trailed off.
“Liz an’ Jake?” Casey grinned madly. “Does Liz come... uhh... visit Jake a lot?”
“At least once a month.” Dite made some last minute adjustments in her equipment and she took out the appropriate color ink pots. “She’s a very hands-on....” Just then they heard another set of moans. She grinned, “... not so silent partner.” She snapped some gloves on and picked up the alcohol bottle. “Okay, Casey - take your shirt off and let’s get down to business.”
Pookie’s Piercings & Body Art
“Okay, we’re almost done here. I just want to do some shading and you can see how it turned out. How you holding up?”
Casey sighed. “I think any alcohol left in my system bled out. But it didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would.” Casey sneezed, then wrinkled her nose at the odor that was wafting over the wall partition.
Dite reached for a small desktop fan, she stood up and set it up on the wall. She turned it on, then sat back down and removed her gloves. She tossed them away roughly, wrinkling her nose in disgust.
“I really wish they wouldn’t do that while there are customers here. And they know....” She knocked on the wall and raised her voice so it would carry, “Mama don’t play that.” Dite pulled on a new pair of gloves.
“Sorry, Mom,” was yelled back by a couple of different voices. Giggles followed.
“Weed. You heard Jake mention a favorite blend. He wasn’t talking coffee. I guess he decided to share.”
“No, he didn’t.” Artie called back nice and loud. “You suck, boss.”
“Very we....” the voice was muffled mid-sentence. More laughter, then a groan.
Dite paused, shook her head and then went serious. “Y’all aren’t going to bust them for it, are ya? I like working here.” She picked up the needle gun.
“Liv’s the cop; I’m the attorney. Those other two are attorneys and you know Liz is a judge. Plus, you are holding that,” she pointed at the gun. “What do you think?”
Dite arched one eyebrow. “I think y’all have prime blackmail info for later.”
“Hmmm,” Casey tapped her chin and pretended to think. “Me too.” She chuckled and shook her head. “Besides, they are all adults and no one is driving tonight.”
Dite continued working on Casey. “They are only getting it second hand. They probably won’t even remember breathing it in. The others were pretty plastered when you came in.” She paused. “I doubt they are gonna remember much about today. It will probably just make them hungry and horny tonight and add to the hangover tomorrow.” Dite looked up. “So, how come you weren’t lit?”
“I cut myself off hours ago. I need to be sober when I get home. My girlfriend is waiting for me with a romantic dinner.”
“Well, then let’s finish up.” Dite returned her attention to the tattoo.
Pookie’s Piercings & Body Art
“Okay Casey, you’re all done.” Dite finished taping the cover in place. “Leave this on for an hour or so and then keep it unwrapped as it heals.” She peeled off her gloves and tossed them. She reached into a box on her work table. “Here’s a care brochure. Follow the instructions and you should be completely healed up in about two weeks with minimal pain and peeling.” She handed her the booklet. “I guess we should go see how the rest are doing.”
Casey followed Dite out and down the hallway. They skipped over one closed door and made their way to the third booth. The door was open.
Dite gestured into the room and turned to return to her booth. She whispered, “I gotta clean up. Go on in.”
Abbie was sitting, leaned back in a chair. Her eyes were closed and she looked extremely comfortable considering someone was still working on her tattoo.
Casey cleared her throat.
One brown eye opened. “Hiya Casey Case Case.”
Casey rolled her eyes. “Hiya Abbie Ab Ab,” she answered in a sing song voice.
“How ya doing?”
She crooked her finger at Casey. Casey moved closer. Abbie then leaned in conspiratorially, “I can’ts drinks no more.”
Casey waved a hand in front of her face to dispel the alcohol breath. “Why?” she asked.
“Gots holes in me.” She waved her thumb at Polly, “She poked me a bunch. It’ll run right oudda me when I stands up.” Abbie started laughing.
“I see.” Casey leaned toward Abbie’s ear. “Well then it’s a good thing you did all your drinking today, huh?”
Abbie turned, her eyes crossed since Casey was less than six inches away. “Hey yer kinda cute. Ya wanna go oud sometime?”
“Um... no; I’m umm... not your type.” Casey blinked. “You go for blondes.”
“Oh yeah. Well, ya’re kinda... sorta....” She leaned back a bit and tilted her head and looked seriously at Casey. “Bud nod reeeally. Know any?”
“Well, Alex is in the next room, y’know?”
“She don’ like me.” Abbie pouted.
“Wanna know a secret?” She waited for Abbie to nod. Oh way to be bad, Novak. Casey smirked. “I heard she does like you. A lot.”
Abbie brightened. “Reeeeally?”
“I think you just need to work on her some, wear her out... I mean down.”
Polly finished wrapping up Abbie new tattoo and patted her leg. “All done. Here’s a care booklet. Follow it and you shouldn’t have any problems.” She handed over the brochure.
Abbie pulled herself to her feet and wobbled a bit. She folded the paper and tried putting in her back pocket. She missed a couple of times. Casey took it away from her.
“I’ll make sure she understands.” Casey pushed it into Abbie’s front pocket.
“OOOH, ya DO like me.” Abbie winked.
Casey blew out a breath. “Yeah, you’re growing on me.” Then she muttered to herself, “Like a fungus.” She grabbed Abbie’s arm and they headed out of the booth. Abbie was walking a bit off kilter.
Polly called out, “You forgot something.” She held up the missing item.
“Thanks,” Casey said as she took the item from Polly.
They stepped over to the next booth and tried to open the door. It was locked.
“Hey, Aless – ya’n there?” Abbie yelled.
“G’way - I’n busy.”
“Oooh, d’ja jump bag ober th’fence?” Abbie snickered. “Was Jakie’s and Liz’s li’l bunny diz-blay ‘spirin’, Allie?”
“Don’ call me thad!” Alex yelled back through the door.
“Ooookaaaay, sugar libs.”
“Aarrgghhh. Don’ call me thad either.”
“Then whad, may I as’, is yer pref... pref... whadcha wanna be called?” Abbie leaned on the closed door.
“By you? Loooooong dis-tance,” was the reply.
Casey, who was leaning on the opposite wall, bit her lip to stop from laughing. “Oooh... one for Alex,” she whispered to herself.
“Bud I’n righd here in th’flesh. C’mon... ya done yed? I’ll show ya mine f’ya show me yers.” Abbie jiggled the doorknob.
“What’s the problem, y’all?” Dite had returned from her booth.
“Allie won’ led us in,” Abbie whined.
“Don’ call me tha,” was the immediate retort.
“Sweedie pie won’ led us in.”
“AARRGGHHHH.” Alex groaned.
“Is locked.” Abbie showed Dite the knob wouldn’t move.
Dite laughed. “Good thing I have a key.” She stuck her hand in her pocket and pulled out a key ring.
Abbie moved over and then stepped up behind her to follow her in.
“Oh no... y’all go back and sit in the waiting room. I’ll go see about your friend. She is entitled to privacy, y’know?”
“Bud... bud... bud....”
Dite pointed down the hall.
Abbie turned, then turned back to say something but Casey grabbed her arm and led her down the hallway.
Artie looked up just as the door opened. “I just finished up. You’re all done, Alex. Do you want to see?”
Alex, who was lying on the work table contorted a bit. Artie used the hand mirror to reflect the image back to the wall mirror. Alex turned, looked and gasped. “Is soooo red.” Her hand went to the spot.
Dite caught it. “No, don’t touch it yet.” She let Alex’s hand go. “We need to put a bandage on it for a little while. You can take it off when you get home.” She paused and looked at the image. “The redness will fade as it heals. I’m kinda fond of the blue and green myself. ” Dite grinned. “It’s cute. I like the....” She pointed to her own eyes. The artist stifled a chuckle. “I’ll just go tell your friends you’ll be out in a few.”
A look of panic crossed Alex’s face. She gripped Dite’s arm.
“Don’t worry. I wont tell them what you have or where. That’s up to you, okay?”
“Okay Artie, do your thing.” She thought for a second. “’Uhhhh... better use a couple of bandages.”
Artie shook his head in understanding and agreement. “Gotcha, boss.”
Dite made her way back to the main room. Casey was sitting and flipping through an art book and Abbie was leaning back on the wall next to her chair. She was desperately trying not to fall over as she weaved back and forth. She had one boot on and the other was sitting on an otherwise empty chair. Dite shook her head and wisely decided not to comment.
“Okay y’all... Alex is getting wrapped up. She’ll be out in a minute. I’m going to call y’all a cab, okay?”
“Bud m’name’s Abbie.”
Dite did a double take and then looked over at Casey. “You got your hands full for the ride home. Alex isn’t in any better shape.”
“Oh goodie.” Casey threw the magazine aside and stood. “I guess I better go collect Liz.”
“Uhhhhhh,” Dite bit her lip in contemplation. Oh what the hell, she thought. “The office is the last door on the right.”
Casey turned to Abbie and took her by the shoulders and pulled her away from the wall. She stumbled forward. “Sit.” She pushed her into the chair she had vacated. “Stay.”
Abbie sat and held out her hand. Casey looked puzzled, but shook it. Abbie then barked and panted. Casey dropped the hand.
“Smartass.” Casey walked off to the office.
She turned to glare at a yodeling Abbie.
“Knock it off, missy, or no cookies for you.” She shook her finger.
Casey wandered down the hallway to the office door. She had just passed Artie's booth when the door opened. She ducked into the open bathroom door when she heard his voice.
"I'll be right back, Alex. I need to get some more adhesive tape. I just ran out. Sit tight... ummm... don't move." Artie came out the door and headed in the opposite direction from Casey.
She peeked out in both directions. She then crept over to open booth door and took a step inside. Alex was sprawled out on the table. Her head was on a pillow and her eyes were closed. Casey looked down Alex's body and her hand flew up to her mouth to stifle the laugh that was about to bubble out. Can't be. She blinked a few times. Nope, it really is. And the glasses. Casey bit her lip and slowly backed out of the doorway. She ducked back into the bathroom as Artie returned.
"I'll have you up and ready in a couple of minutes, Alex," Artie said as he closed the door.
Casey stood in the dark and took a couple of deep breaths. Her body was convulsing from silent laughter. Liv is gonna freak when I tell her. Finally after a few more false starts, Casey got herself back under control. The ADA headed to Jake' Office.
She knocked once and opened the door. “Hey Liz, you read....” She slammed the door closed and leaned up against it. She closed her eyes. Ohmigod. OH.MY.GOD. I did not just see that. She slapped herself in the forehead. Casey looked up and down the hallway in a panic. I need to wash out my brain. How am I ever going to look her in the eyes now? Good Lord. She then silently but quickly stepped back toward the main room. She turned back once, looked at the closed door and shuddered. When she turned back around she just about collided with Dite. Her sneakers squeaked when she pulled up short.
Dite had her arms crossed and was leaning on the doorway jamb. She smirked. “Problem?”
“You are a sick puppy.” Casey admonished.
Casey looked around Dite at Abbie who was grinning ear to ear.
“Not you... well, yeah, you are too but I didn’t mean you this time.”
Casey whacked Dite on the shoulder. “That was mean.”
Dite pointed to her own chest. “Mean ol’ mama... that’s me.” She threw an arm around Casey shoulder, careful of the tattoo and directed her back into the main room. “Liz is in good hands.” She held up her own hands in concession to Casey grimace. “Sorry - poor word choice there. Jake will make sure she gets home all right. Promise. The cab should be here in a few minutes. Y’all going to be okay?”
"We should be," Casey answered and looked to Abbie for confirmation. Abbie just smiled, then her eyes suddenly lit up. Casey knew why when she heard the voice.
Alex, who had just walked out behind Casey, added, “S’long’s we don’ hid any podholes.” She paused. “My head hurts, bud for some reason I’n hungry. Hey, d’ya thin’ we c’n stob for some food on th’way home?”
Sunday 9:15 pm
“So, you each got a tattoo?” Olivia eyes opened wide in surprise. “Wow.”
“You’re not mad?” Casey bit her lip waiting for the answer.
“With the Judge? You bet. She took you three out to bond by getting you drunk and tattooed. Yeah, I do have a problem with that. But with you, no. No, of course not. It’s your body.” She waggled her eyebrows. “And what a lovely body it is too.” Liv watched as the serious look on Casey’s face transformed into a smile. “Can I see it?”
Casey removed herself from Liv’s embrace and stood up. She unbuttoned a couple of buttons on her shirt and pulled it aside. She winced slightly at the pull on her skin but removed the tape holding the pad in place. She lowered her arms to her sides and, shyly, dropped her head. Liv immediately stood up for a closer look.
“Oh, Casey.” Olivia looked from the tattoo to Casey’s face and back again several times. “It’s... it’s... it’s a red tulip. That’s my favorite.” She paused and looked closer. “And our initials.” The detective took Casey’s face in both of her hands, lifted it gently and kissed her soundly. “I love you,” Liv added, when they broke apart for air. “You did that for us?”
Casey nodded. She pointed to the design. “I just put us right where we are anyway... my heart. So now what’s on the inside shows on the outside.” She cocked her head. “Too sappy?”
Olivia smiled brightly. “Never.” She lifted her hand and then stopped. “Can I touch it?”
“Sure.” Casey sucked in a breath and closed her eyes. She braced for what was surely going to be painful.
Olivia raised one finger and gently traced the outline of their initials. Her eyes kept returning to Casey’s face to see if she was causing any discomfort. “Does it hurt?”
Casey felt the feather light touch but no real pain and she opened her eyes. “No, it feels great.” Her grin was mirrored immediately by Liv. “Y’know what, Detective?”
“I think you may need to do more investigating to make sure I don’t have anymore pictures hidden on my body.” She reached for Liv’s hand and started pulling her toward the bedroom.
Olivia stopped short. She dropped Casey’s hand and put both of hers on her hips. “Do you?”
“Guess you’ll have to find out, won’t you?” Casey slapped Liv’s butt and took off running.
“Oh, I see a thorough strip search in your future, Novak.” Liv gave chase. “Up against the wall....” A slamming door was followed by the yell of “Gotcha,” then muffled laughter.
October 16, Monday 6:15 am
Olivia carefully extricated her arm out from under Casey’s head. She turned on her side and propped her head up on one hand. With the other hand, she gently pulled the blanket down exposing Casey’s tattoo. She stared. Liv wanted to touch it but didn’t want to wake her up. She reached over but stopped short. Olivia closed her eyes. She was still in awe that Casey had done this for her... for them. Her eyes popped open when she felt lips close around the pointing finger.
Casey bit down lightly and smiled. She let the finger go. “Morning,” she said sleepily.
“Good morning to you too.”
Casey yawned and stretched. The muscle pull caused a bit of pain and she grit her teeth. “Ow. I didn’t say it was a good morning.”
“Does it hurt? Do you want to stay home today? I can call you in.”
“Yeah, it feels like a bad sunburn but, nah, I’ll survive.” Casey snickered. “I’m sure the others feel much worse.”
“Well, if it felt really bad I was gonna offer to kiss it and make it better.”
“Ooooh, ow, oh the pain, the pain, it’s unbearable....” Casey moaned and groaned theatrically.
Olivia kissed her fingers and lightly touched the tattoo. “Y’know, you never did tell me what kind of tattoos they got.” Olivia readjusted her position and focused her attention on Casey.
“Well, we were a little busy last night. And besides, maybe I shouldn’t tell.” Casey’s eyes twinkled.
“Ve haf vays ov making you talk.” Olivia said in a very bad German accent.
“Hmmmm... a good interrogator tailors her methods to fit the perp being questioned. So for you, the worst kind of thief....”
“Thief?” Casey inquired.
“You stole my heart. Now shush and let me do my bad cop thing.”
“Thank you. Where was I? Oh yeah, for you we first try the K-I-S-S method.”
Casey’s brow scrunched in thought. “Okay, I’ll bite....”
“No kidding.” Liv rubbed her butt. “Ow.”
Casey slapped her arm. “You weren’t complaining last night.”
“Assaulting an officer. You’re going down for that.”
“Geez, I hope so.” Casey waggled her eyebrows. “But first tell me... what does K-I-S-S stand for?”
Liv leaned in and kissed her sweetly. “I thought you’d never ask.” When Casey opened her eyes again, Liv asked, “Want me to demonstrate that again or shall we move on to other methods?”
“Oh yeah, do your worst, Copper.” Casey rolled over onto her back and spread her arms out.
“You asked for it.” Olivia threw the blankets over them both and proceeded to demonstrate her special interrogation methods. Casey tried holding out as long as she could but it was all in vain.
Alex slowly regained consciousness to the sound of her alarm clock. She reached over to hit snooze and knocked it further back on the nightstand. It continued to blare incessantly. She carefully cracked one eye and peered at the clock. “Dammit.”
She rolled over onto her back and immediately jumped up. “Yow!” Alex grabbed her head and swayed for a moment as she waited for her equilibrium to catch up with her movement. “Something must have bitten me.” She rubbed her ass and was rewarded with more pain. “Damn.”
Alex reached toward the nightstand. “Silence! I keeeel you,” she threatened the clock. Two smacks later, the noise finally ended. She waited until she was relatively steady on her feet, grabbed her glasses off the nightstand and gingerly walked to the bathroom. Alex was thankful for all the furniture along the way. She flipped the light switch and closed her eyes immediately. She muttered to no one, “Why do lights have to be so... so... light?”
First one eye and then another opened and she adjusted to the brightness. “I need aspirin... lots of aspirin and a shower,” she mumbled aloud. Walking up to the vanity mirror she took in the sight. Her eyes were red rimmed and bloodshot. She wondered how her hair managed to stand straight up without any mousse. Alex shrugged.
Alex slid back the glass door and turned on the water. She adjusted the temperature and let it run. Back at the vanity, she finally located the bottle of aspirin and took a few. Alex took one final look in the mirror as she pulled off her nightgown. She turned to the shower only to catch a glimpse of something different in the mirror. She backed up. A bandage? A touch revealed it to be real. What the hell? What did I do yesterday?
Alex thought for a second. I went out to lunch with Liz, Abbie and Casey and what else? We were drinking... we were talking... we were drinking some more. Why do I think I’m forgetting something? I must have gotten hurt somehow. Well, let’s see how bad it is.
Alex put on her glasses before she attempted to pull the tape off. She pulled, gritting her teeth against the discomfort. The pain was making her head pound worse. One last tug removed the bandage. She looked in the mirror. She blinked and looked again. Alex pulled her glasses off and stared at them and then put them back on. The scream echoed through the empty apartment.
“Oh my freakin’ God... DONNELLY!!!!!!!”
Abbie Carmichael stirred awake to the sounds of sirens passing by. She was in her hotel suite; sitting on the sofa with her feet up on the coffee table. Her head resting on the couch back. She straightened up immediately feeling both the twinge in her neck and the intense pounding in her head.
Damn, AC, what did you do to yourself yesterday? She looked at her wristwatch. The sirens continued to wail. Geez, can’t folks schedule their crimes at a decent hour? She laid her head back again. Abbie’s still muddled mind attempted to take stock of the situation. Okay, you are hungover. Oh yeah. She listened for any sound in the room. You are alone. That’s good, I think. You are fully dressed. She peered down at her jean-clad legs. Well, except for one boot. She wiggled her socked toes.
I guess we should see if we can get some hair of the dog and some aspirin sent up. Phone? Where’s the phone? She looked around and spotted the phone on the desk across the room. Damn. Abbie removed her feet from the coffee table. Her foot collided with her missing boot. She leaned down, grabbed it and pulled it on. “OW!” What in the hell? She took the boot back off her foot. Pulling up the leg of her jeans she saw a white bandage.
Oh no. Think... think. You went out to meet Jack. No, no, no... you ended up getting sidetracked and you were out with Alex, Casey and Liz. You were drinking and laughing and.... Crap.
Abbie reached down and yanked off the tape in one pull. “YOW! DAMMIT!” She looked down at the new adornment just above her ankle. I’ll kill her.
Liz Donnelly was awakened from a wonderful dream to the sound of her phone ringing. She kept her eyes closed and let the answering machine pick up.
“Donnelly... your chambers... nine o’clock.”
She wasn’t completely sure but it sounded like Alex Cabot. She mentally shrugged. As the dream faded her pains became more evident. Her body ached but her head screamed. Damn, hangover. She frowned. Then thought about Jake. She smiled.
Well, Liz, you aren’t going to get to work on time if you don’t get moving. Liz threw back the covers, sat up and stretched. She noticed a tightness and winced in pain. Guess Jake and I were a little more enthusiastic than normal. She struggled to her feet and hobbled to her bathroom.
While passing the mirror on the way to the shower, she noticed the bandage under the strap of her nightgown. Aw dammit, Jake. Not another one. She reached over her shoulder, grimacing at the pain and pulled the covering off. A skull and crossbones? Oh Pookie, you are going to pay for this one. Liz frowned and shook her head. At least no one will see it.
Liz started up her shower and let the water run. She pulled off her nightgown and got in the tub. She stepped under the cool spray, facing away from the showerhead. Liz let the water cascade down from her head. Then she stepped out of the stream and turned around. She sucked in a breath and braced herself for the cool water hitting her body. She screamed.
Judge Elizabeth Donnelly’s Chambers
Elizabeth Donnelly coolly sat behind her desk. She could hear the two of them bickering all the way down the hallway. Her assistant tried to stop them from entering the office but was overwhelmed.
“Judge? These two want to see you....”
“You bet I do.
“So do I.”
“... but they don’t have appointments. I tried to stop them.”
Liz raised her hands. “It’s okay, Lana. I’ll take care of this.” She watched her assistant leave and resumed her position. The Judge clasped her hands and rested them on the desk. When she looked back up all expression had been removed from her face.
“Can I help you ladies?” She asked calmly. They both started talking at the same time. The Judge stopped them. “One at a time, please. Ms. Carmichael?”
Abbie smiled smugly at Alex who just responded with a huff and by crossing her hands over her chest. She propped her leg up on the desk and pulled her jeans up. “Look what I woke up with this morning.”
Liz lowered her glasses down her nose and leaned forward to look at Abbie’s leg. She pushed them back up and sat back. “Jose Cuervo a friend of yours?”
Alex walked closed to take a look and laughed. “Nice. How appropriate for you... a snake. A bottle of tequila. Oh and look, a cute little lime wedge too.”
Liz motioned to Abbie. “Could you remove your foot from my desk please?”
Abbie removed her foot. She pulled a chair closer to the desk and flopped into it, disgusted. “That’s all you have to say? You got us drunk....”
“Yeah,” Alex chimed in.
Abbie turned and looked at Alex. “You have one too?”
“I didn’t say that. I was just agreeing about yours.” Alex bit her lip. “Now if you are done I would like to talk to the Judge alone.”
Abbie tilted her head and started at Alex. She stood up. “You’re lying. You do have one.” Abbie rubbed her hands together in glee. “Where is it? What is it? Can I see it?” She started walking around Alex.
“Go to hell, I’m not telling and not in this lifetime.” Alex continued to turn with Abbie.
Abbie began to taunt Alex who responded more and more like a child. There was finger pointing and pokes. The noise was escalating and finally Liz couldn’t take it anymore.
The Judge slapped her hands down on her desk and stood up. “Both of you sit down. NOW!”
Abbie sat back in her chair. Alex just stood.
“Sit, Ms Cabot.”
Abbie smiled up at Alex. “Show me yours; I showed you mine.”
“Sit down, Alex.” The Judge said firmly.
“I can’t.” Alex mumbled.
“What?” The Judge asked, not hearing Alex clearly.
“She said she can’t.” Abbie laughed. “Guess we know where yours is now, don’t we?”
“Kiss my ass, Carmichael,” Alex spit out through clenched teeth.
“Now you’re talking.” Abbie closed her eyes and puckered her lips.
Alex slapped her on the back of the head.
“You are never going to see it.”
“C’mon Allie... you’ve seen one butt you’ve seen them all. Although yours is outstanding.” Abbie leered at the subject at hand.
“Stop looking at my ass and stop calling me Allie.”
Abbie stood right back up and they commenced arguing again.
The Judge sighed and rubbed her temples. She stood up again. “SHUT UP! Enough!” She pointed at Alex. “You have a tattoo on your butt. No big deal.” She then pointed at Abbie. “You have one on your ankle. Again, no big deal.” She continued shouting. “You want to know what a big deal is? Do you? Can someone explain these to me?”
Liz ripped open her robe.
Alex and Abbie looked from Liz to each other.
“Good Lord!” Abbie said aloud. Alex squeaked and then mouthed essentially the same sentiment. Then they both crossed their arms over their chest and cringed in sympathy. “Owwwwwwww.”
Well, that’s all folks. Gather up all your belongings and be careful exiting the ride.
Okay, yeah, there is another story. It’s called MISbehavin’ and it’s more of an A/A fic. Oh, C/O are a huge part of it and will be in 90% of the scenes plus a whole slew of other known characters will make appearances. AND yes, I will wrap up everything and finally answer the one question on everyone’s mind…
I’ll tell you what happened to Omelet. <.g.>
Let, me, say, something, about, commas. Yes, I, enjoy, those, lovely, little, pauses. Doesn’t, everyone? What, says, waitacottonpickin’, minute, better, than, a, choice, comma. So, smooth, so, curvy. You, can, use, them, to, separate, lists, of, things, too. Handy, little, suckers. They, separate, clauses, better, than, those, rumors, about, Santa, and, the, flight, attendant. But, she, says, I, indulge, too, frequently. I, told, her, I, could, stop, at, anytime. I, have, them, under, control. She, said, she, had, to, remove, 462, extra, commas, from, these, stories. She piled, them, up, on, my, desk.
462? <.sigh.> I, guess, she, is, right.
I, am, CaseyRocks, and, I, am, a, commaholic.
Beta’s Note: Dear Casey Rockhead...let me explain the correct usage for a comma. NO, it is not used for exercising the ring finger on your right hand. Although, after removing 462 unnecessary commas from these stories, your finger should be the size of a... Well, what it should be the size of would make Casey and Olivia very happy. However, since it is attached to your hand, I am thinking they will never get to use it for the purpose that they have in mind. And if they do, I do not want to know about it. <.g.>
Author’s Note #2:
Big thank you to my beta and drinking <.hic.> buddy Davida. <.g.>
She wouldn't let me list her as a co-author---she was afraid they would take away her A/O membership card and magic decoder ring for playing with the darkside. Anywho, the point is and yes I do have one here somewhere, I couldn't have possibly made the drinking scenes as funny without her help. Of course, I really do not want to know how she manages to hear *intoxicated* as well as she does. Especially when the hardest thing she drinks is chocolate moo. That scares me...really...a lot.
On to Misbehavin'
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