DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and its characters are the property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Several readers requested a sequel to last year's Mardi Gras short, so I thought I would give it a go. Hope it lives up to expectations.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To sunsetwriter[at]mindspring.com
SERIES: Part of the Holiday Shorts series.
Holiday Short Fat Tuesday
"No offense, but I don't really trust cops. I want to hear it from someone who I know can't lie to me before I spill anything. I gotta protect myself."
Olivia rolled her eyes and sighed. She pushed her chair backwards, making an obnoxious grating noise on the floor, causing the woman she was questioning to cringe and put her head in her hands. As expected, Dixie Robichaux was exhibiting the symptoms of a bad hangover after spending the previous night in the holding cell to sober up. Her lack of cooperation in answering Olivia's questions did not make the detective very sympathetic to her condition.
"Dixie," Olivia said, trying one last time to get the woman to tell her how she knew their suspect. "We're not the vice squad. I can promise you that we're not interested in any drugs you may have used or johns you may have picked up. We just want information about Darius Jackson and when and where you may have seen him last Friday."
The woman removed her head from her hands and said loudly, "I told you-" She grimaced at the loudness of her own voice and lowered it before continuing. "I'm not that kind of girl. I don't pick up men for money."
"But you bought drugs from Darius, didn't you?" Olivia prodded.
Dixie shook her head, causing an involuntary groan as she folded her arms on the table and laid her head on top. She said, in a very muffled voice, "I'm not talkin' anymore until I know you're not gonna arrest me for what I tell you."
Olivia shook her head and sighed again. "OK. I'll go give our ADA a call, but, believe me, you don't want to piss her off." The detective flicked her eyes to the observation window where she knew Alex was watching, and then stood and exited the room.
The frustrated detective headed straight to the observation room, where she found Alex, standing with her arms crossed, watching the suspect through the window. Fin was leaning against the wall. Alex turned and gave Olivia a curious look as she entered the room.
Olivia gave a slight shrug and tried not to smirk. "Just trying to give her a little more incentive to talk is all," she offered as the explanation Alex seemed to be silently requesting.
Alex nodded. "I see." She lowered her eyes to Olivia's chest and then back up to her face, amused to see that the detective's eyebrows were slowly rising as she watched the ADA openly appraising her. "Well then, maybe you should unbutton another button and put your leather jacket on before you go back in there." Olivia's eyebrows practically disappeared into her hairline and she looked quickly at Fin, who merely shrugged and tried his best to suppress a smile.
Looking back at Alex, Olivia asked, "Sorry, what?"
Alex shrugged. "From what I hear, she was rather enamored with you earlier, so if you want to give her an incentive, maybe that would help."
Olivia cut her eyes to Fin again, who tried to look innocent. "Elliot has a big mouth," she muttered under her breath. A little louder, she said, "I don't think it was me she was interested in, I just happened to be the one in front of her."
"Not the way I heard it," Fin offered with a chuckle. Olivia glared at him and he held up his hands defensively. "Just sayin'."
"Or maybe you should go back in with more beads to toss," Alex offered, amused by the slight reddening of Olivia's cheeks.
Fin laughed. "Yeah. It sounded like she was really rackin' 'em up last night, thanks to you."
The detective rolled her eyes. "You two are quite the comedy act," Olivia said dryly.
"So she really flashed you her double-Ds?" Fin asked with a smile.
Olivia sighed and cracked a smile as she leaned against the window, crossing her arms and mirroring Alex's position. "Yes, she did. I had to throw her the beads just to get her off the damn bar," Olivia answered with a wry chuckle. "I'm not sure she even remembers that, so I'm not planning on reminding her," she added with a shake of her head.
Alex smiled. "Oh, I am."
Olivia's smile disappeared and her eyebrows skyrocketed again. "What?! Why?"
"I guess that's what she gets for pissing me off," Alex said smugly. "Shall we?" she asked as she breezed past Olivia toward the door to the interrogation room.
Fin smiled as he turned toward the window to watch. "This is gonna be good."
"I'm so screwed," Olivia said with a sigh as she pushed off from her leaning position and reluctantly followed Alex.
"Play your cards right, and you just might be " Fin said quietly, laughing to himself.
The ADA opened the door to the interrogation room rather forcefully, causing the woman waiting inside to flinch noticeably as she raised her head from its resting place atop her arms. Alex stood aside to allow Olivia to enter and then closed the door loudly, just short of slamming it. The noise did nothing to help Dixie's hangover headache and she flinched again as she scowled at the loud sound.
Giving Alex a curious look, Olivia stepped toward the table where the woman was sitting. "Dixie, this is our ADA-" she began speaking when Alex interrupted.
"Assistant District Attorney, Alexandra Cabot, Ms. Robichaux," Alex said, introducing herself in a commanding voice. "I understand that you have been less than cooperative with detectives during questioning."
Dixie looked through slightly squinted eyes from Olivia to Alex and back to Olivia. Olivia gave her a slight shrug as if to say, 'I told you so.'
Looking back at Alex, Dixie said, "I just want to know for sure that I'm not gonna get arrested for anything I tell y'all about."
Alex walked around to the opposite side of the table facing Dixie. She put both hands flat on the table and leaned down to look her in the eye. "Does 'obstruction of justice' mean anything to you, Ms. Robichaux?"
Dixie's eyes widened and she opened her mouth to speak, but Alex continued before she could utter a word.
"If you knowingly withhold information that could be helpful in our investigation, that is exactly what you will be charged with. Not to mention indecent exposure, solicitation of a police officer, no less public lewdness, drunk and disorderly, the list goes on and on." Alex knew she was stretching it, but she was on a roll and her words seemed to be having the desired effect.
Dixie gave Olivia a panicked look. "Can she do that?!" Her voice was at least an octave higher than before.
Olivia shrugged. "I was hoping we could resolve this without involving Alex, but you requested to see her."
Dixie stammered for a moment. "I- I- I guess I was a little tipsy last night, but I don't think I did all those things she said " Her voice tapered off hesitantly, making it clear that she really didn't remember much from the previous evening.
"You don't remember flashing your breasts at Detective Benson in exchange for Mardi Gras beads?"
Dixie's eyes widened again. "She gave me beads?"
"That was the only way I could get you to come down from the bar," Olivia said, exasperated to explain her actions again.
"So then that's entrapment!" Dixie exclaimed and then immediately put her hand on her head in pain. In a little softer voice, accompanied by a childlike pout, she pointed to Olivia and said to Alex, "She should get in trouble too."
Alex straightened up and put her hands on her hips. "I'll deal with Detective Benson later," she said, cutting her eyes briefly to Olivia and doing everything in her power to not crack a smile at the deer-in-the-headlights look she was getting in return from both women. "But right now," she continued in the same stern voice, "I suggest you answer all of her questions. Truthfully."
Then, Alex turned and strode purposefully toward the door. She stopped and looked over her shoulder at Olivia. "And, Detective? If you feel the need to throw anything else Throw the book at her if she doesn't cooperate." With that, Alex opened the door and exited the room.
Dixie looked at Olivia. "Geez, you didn't have to sic your girlfriend on me."
Olivia stared at her for a moment, trying to collect her thoughts. "She's not-" Don't take the bait. She started again. "She's my-" Nope, try again. The detective really hoped that she didn't sound as flustered as she thought she probably did. While she would certainly admit that the ADA's display of intimidation she had just witnessed was indeed intimidating, if she were completely honest, it was also incredibly hot. She shook off that thought and finally said, "She's our ADA. And you can't say I didn't warn you "
"Whatever," Dixie replied. "I'll answer anything you ask as long as you tell me I don't have to face her again."
"Deal," Olivia said as she sat down at the table and began asking her questions again. When Dixie had answered all her questions about her involvement with the suspect, and Olivia was convinced that she really didn't have anything to do with the crime, she thanked her for her time and told her she was free to go.
"I can really go?"
Olivia nodded as she stood up. "You can pick up your belongings from the desk sergeant on the way out," she said as she held the door open for Dixie to leave.
Dixie almost made a run for the door, pausing only to give Olivia a look of sympathy. "I hope you don't get in too much trouble because of me," she said before she disappeared down the hall.
Olivia cracked a smile. "I think I can handle it," she called after her. Then her eyes widened as she heard the tell-tale click of heels right behind her.
"Are you sure about that?" Alex asked in a voice that made a shiver run up Olivia's spine. She turned to see Alex watching her curiously, one eyebrow slightly raised.
"That was just an act in there, right?" Olivia asked a little hesitantly, suddenly realizing what Dixie must have felt like under the scrutiny of Alex's icy blue gaze.
"Did you throw her the beads?"
"Yeah, but-" Olivia started in her own defense, and then she saw the crack in Alex's façade as the ADA was struggling not to smile. With a dramatic sigh, the detective hung her head and shook it slowly as she realized that she was probably in for relentless teasing about this for quite a while.
Alex smiled fully. "God, you're easy," she said as she started walking past Olivia. "Come on," she called over her shoulder. "It's Fat Tuesday. Buy me a drink and I'll let you off the hook."
Olivia chuckled and continued to shake her head as she followed Alex back to the squad room. They wrapped up everything they needed to and then left the precinct together. As they passed the front desk, the desk sergeant called to Olivia.
"Hey, Detective, the floozie that left here a little while ago left these here for you," he said as he handed Olivia a clear plastic evidence bag full of Mardi Gras beads. "She said to tell you to give 'em to the lady lawyer. Would that be Ms. Cabot?"
Olivia tried not to blush and said, "Thanks, Stan."
Alex, who was waiting by the door, cocked her eyebrow again and smirked as Olivia approached with the bag of beads.
Shaking her head and chuckling quietly, Olivia surprised even herself by asking, "How do you feel about dancing on a bar?"
Alex looked at her curiously for a moment and then deadpanned, "I'm giving it up for Lent."
Olivia shrugged. "That's too bad," she replied as she held up the bag of beads and shook it, almost tauntingly.
Alex smiled. "Why? Lent doesn't start until tomorrow," she said with a gleam in her eye as she walked out the door, leaving a wide-eyed detective to stand and gape before practically running to catch up.
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