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Definite

by s.a.

Date: Monday, March 31, 2003 10:31 PM

     Title: Definite
     Author: s.a.
     Rating: PG.
     Pairing: Nada.
     Fandom: Law and Order.
     Disclaimer: I don't make up the 'verses, I just fuck with them.
     Spoilers: Vague spoilers for the thirteenth season episode
     "Tragedy on Rye."
     Feedback: Always appreciated. email: sa@bluezfire.org
     Distribution: HiTG, http://hole.adamao.org as well as list
     archives. Everyone else, just ask.
     Author's Notes: Last in a series of unrelated Law & Order
     shorts. Thanks to Min.
     Summary: So a guy walks into a bar with this look on his face.

Jack McCoy is tired.

He's seen and prosecuted more cases and crimes than most ADAs do in a career, but that's because he's a little more aggressive than he probably should be.

Because he's seen just about everything, he takes most cases in stride. Oh, the moral high road is there. Jack thinks that its something tattooed into his mind, a wide streak of justice that he couldn't be rid of if he tried. And even though a lot of his posturing is so much bullshit these days, and he lives for the days when the trial, part one million and five, is over and he can buy a damn drink without feeling guilty, there's that rousing passion that's as permanent as his moral code. It's that stuff, he thinks, by which he defines himself, and he could talk until he was blue in the face about it all--though he won't, because the trial's wrapped up and he has every intention of buying his pretty fellow ADA her drink of choice.

Of course, she decides to walk home, so he's left picking up a cab and going to the nearest cop-friendly bar, where he knows he'll get a respectable drink although he's not one of the boys in blue.

He's not a regular, but the bartender knows who he is. A couple of people, cops and lawyers and city workers getting off from their own long days, nod and say hello to him, and he nods back and mumbles a drink to the bartender so that it's waiting for him when he finally sits down.

It's whiskey, straight up, none of the cheap shit. The good stuff they hide for only people who know what they're looking for to find. Jack's been a studious consumer of alcohol since he was fifteen, and he's one of those knowing people. He sips at it, takes the flavor rather than the alcohol and looks at himself in the mirror.

He looks tired.

He can feel it in his bones, in his brain--he thinks the job must finally be getting to him, because he knows he's become cavalier about it. Flippant, even, going to prosecute the defendants, knowing he has the case wrapped up. Just short of cocky--more, lack of caring.

He still has it, though. He still can strum up that passion inside him, that emotional response to whatever victim he's defending. He can play to the jury, be convincing, use everything he ever learned from the debate team and rhetoric in law school. He knows, more often than not, he's got it, got the verdict, wrapped up.

At the end of the day, though, he knows he's lost the most important part. The zing. He's lost the zing. He doesn't give a shit anymore, because he can figure out the outcome of a trial halfway through. He can make all the pretty speeches he wants, but it doesn't change anything. It's all academic now, with none of the fire he had when he was younger--hell, not even the fire he had a year ago.

He wishes that Serena would drink with him, because a whiskey, straight up, is too damn depressing on its own.


If you enjoyed this story, please send feedback to s.a.

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