I Wish You Could
By The Sentinel

Damn Jack and his irrepressible stubbornness! He tells me to trudge all the way down here in the fucking snow just to find out that this creep knows nothing! Not just nothing about the case, but nothing at all. I don't even think he knows... oh never mind. I'm going to rip Jack a new one for this. This case stinks worse than the Hudson in the middle of the summer and he knows it. He just likes to push my buttons. Well, guess I'll have to teach him a thing or two about pushing.
I'll march right into his office and tell him all about Mr. Robert J. Smith and how he didn't even have the first clue what the DA's office was, nor what they might want to speak with him about, not to mention that he could barely speak. Fuck you, Jack.

Office of EADA Jack McCoy

"Excuse me?" the brooding bastard behind the large desk snapped when I accidentally pushed the door closed a little too hard.
"You bastard!" Yeah, bet he wasn't expecting that. "Why did you send me to talk with the King of the Idiot Brigade?" I slapped my notebook down so hard on his desk I'm sure he'll need to change his pants.
"Miss Carmichael!"
Wow, his face is really red. Maybe this wasn't the best way to begin a conversation, fuck it. He sent me out there to talk to this guy and all I got for my trouble was the damned flu -- well, I'm pretty sure I caught something. My head is beginning to clog and I can feel one hell of a sneeze building.
"Jack, I got less than nothing from that guy. Robert Smith. He doesn't even have his head screwed on right! Hell, I'm not even sure the guy has a head!"
"What is wrong with you?"
"What's wrong with me?" Apparently Jack doesn't have a head either. "Do you know what I went through? First, I had to walk... walk, Jack... down to the bowels of the city. Are you aware it's fourteen below with the wind-chill? Then I spent an hour trying to figure out which guy was Robert J. Smith, enduring some pretty disgusting gropes and glances. After that, I spent two and a half hours trying to get the asshole to talk to me. And once I realized he knew less than the dirt on the ground, I had to find my way back here, again on foot, to tell you what I'd learned. And do you want to know what that is?" A slight pause to see him swallow hard to keep from snapping at me again. Bastard. "I learned that if you ever send me out on a fool's errand like that again, you will be looking for a new partner, and you'll find yourself with one extra orifice!"
He leaned back in his chair, arms folded behind his head, a smug grin plastered on his weary features. "Is that a threat, Miss Carmichael?"
"No, Jack. It's a promise!" What is with him?
"Good. I wouldn't want you to back down."
Is he serious? Folding my arms over my chest, I'm standing firm on this. I am NOT backing down. What he had done was reprehensible. There was no reason to end me down there by myself. "You don't get it do you, Jack?"
He frowned. "Get what?"
"Forget it, Jack. I'm taking the rest of the day off." I'm leaving, out of here. I can't take this, not today. He's pissing me off!
"Abbie, wait." He's standing behind the desk, ready to walk around it. "I'm sorry..."
"Kiss my ass, McCoy!"
"Don't slam --" he yells after me, as his office door slams shut.
A quick stop by my office to retrieve my briefcase, though I have no idea why I even care, and I'm gone. I'm going back to my apartment. Away from Jack and the DA's office, as far away as I can get without leaving Manhattan.

Apartment of Abbie Carmichael

A nice warm bath, loaded with bubbles and scented oils. Several candles flickering around the tub cast a warm glow. Sighing contentedly, I enjoy my bath; eyes closed, head resting against the lip of the tub. I think I'll stay here forever.
Maybe not. Stupid phone. Now what? Answering machine, go to work. I'm going to enjoy my bath.
Dammit, it's Jack. What the hell does he want now?
"...just calling to make sure you got home all right. Um, also, can we talk? I want to explain this morning..."
He's gonna say something about wanting to apologize.
"...and apologize..."
Told ya.
"...so, give me a call. You know where to find me..."
Of course I do.
Fuck off, Jack!
Shit. Now my bath is cold. Probably should get out anyway, before my skin prunes.
Jeans and an oversized button-down shirt, and my trusty old cowboy boots that I haven't worn in months... nope, dammit. The snow. I'll have to wear my big, heavy-soled boots. Hopefully I won't fall on my ass. Coat, gloves, I think I'm set. Jack's expecting me to call. I think I won't.

Office of EADA Jack McCoy

"Abbie. I thought you were going to call."
He thinks he's so smart. Why would I call? Because he asked? Ha!
"That would be far too easy, Jack. If you're planning to explain and apologize, the least you could do is say everything to my face."
"Abbie, have a seat."
If you insist.
"Look, I'm sorry about this morning. I was given information about a possible witness and you were the only person available. Briscoe and Green were off searching for another witness...."
"Jack, this is a shit case. Why do you even care?"
No answer? I've left the great Jack McCoy speechless? I'm impressed.
"Oh, and you were horribly misled about that witness."
"I know. Twenty minutes after you left this afternoon, I got a call from Briscoe about a witness they had just brought in."
Is that really why he had called me? He was going to tell me about this witness, but changed his mind? Bastard.
"Abbie, I'm really sorry. If I'd had any idea what was going to happen, I never would have sent you down there alone."
"Jack, that's not the point. I can take care of myself. I'm pissed that you focused so much attention on a witness who isn't even a witness."
"Actually, I didn't."
Huh? What does that mean? Whatever. Something else had been bugging me. "Just out of morbid curiosity, what is the name of the witness Lennie brought in?"
He cringed a bit. This can't be good. "That's what I was going to tell you. Roberta J. Smith."
He thinks this is funny? What the hell?"
"Jack, that is not funny!" I can't sit on this couch anymore.
"I'm not laughing." Defensive bastard.
"No? Neither am I. Jack if this is how you get your kicks, you are in serious need of help." He's lucky there's a desk between us, because if there wasn't, my fist would be in his face.
"Get my kicks? Abbie, it was an honest mistake."
Mistake, my ass.
"Jack, this case is shit. We don't have a single witness, and even if we did, we don't have enough evidence to even bring an indictment."
He's frowning. Now what? "It's not just the case and your trip downtown that's bothering you, is it?"
"There's something else bothering you."
Whoa, Jack. What are you doing? You'd better not touch me.
"Come on. Sit down."
That's cute, Jack -- patting the couch, beckoning me to sit, like we're best friends. Fine, if it means you'll stop giving me that look, I'll sit.
"Talk to me, Abbie. Something else is on your mind."
I can't talk to him. I'm so angry. But, is it really about him and that walk I took this morning?
"Abbie," he put his hand on my shoulder, "talk to me. I'm listening."
There's a first time for everything. "Jack, do you know what today is?" I asked.
Shaking his head, he replied, "No. Should I?"
How to tell him, well, he already knows, but not this part. "Today was the day I was raped."
"Abbie..." His eyes fell. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"Would it have made a difference?"
"Of course it would. Abbie, I'm not heartless."
Could've foo... ah hell. This is too hard. "Jack, I've never really told anyone about that day. I mean, yeah, I told you I was raped, but that was it."
"So, tell me now."
"No. I can't talk about it."
"I can't understand if you don't tell me."
All I can do is shake my head. I can't tell him what happened. I can't tell him that the upperclassman was waiting outside my dorm room and pushed himself inside, even after I informed him I was not interested. Then, that he proceeded to beat me and tear my clothes off so he could do what he wanted. True, I knew him, talked to him, and until that night, considered him a friend, but none of that gave him the right to do what he did.
"Huh?" Oh yeah, that was intelligent.
"It's all right. You don't have to tell me anything if you don't want to."
"No, Jack. I need to talk about this." I told him everything; relayed the whole sordid story. I nearly cried halfway through and caught Jack seething every time I looked at him. His sense of justice really is unrivaled.
Again, I've left him speechless, though I can tell he wants to find the guy and dispense his own justice on him. Wish you could Jack; wish you could.


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