DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Trial By Jury and all its characters are the
property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Inspired by "Baby Boom" (1.5), but no spoilers. For thenewhope.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
In the Presence of Grace
Tracey stepped into the St. Matthew cathedral with hesitation. When no lightning struck, when no smoke rose from her feet, when no priest looked at her sternly, she continued walking. The sanctuary was full at mid-mass, but she remembered Kelly mentioning once where she liked to sit, to see the stained glass of the Virgin Mary to the right. Tracey walked down the center aisle, orienting herself with the ornate window, and hoping the six hundred people gathered to pray in Latin weren't all staring at her.
She spotted Kelly's blonde hair and slid into the pew. Kelly looked at her with surprise.
"Hi," whispered Tracey.
Kelly looked toward the pulpit. "Hi. What are you doing here?"
Tracey studied her partner's profile. Kelly's hair was tousled, her cheeks pink and glistening with tears under the candlelight. "You're crying."
Kelly gave a weak laugh. "Yeah, well, it's church."
"Is it that moving?" Tracey glanced at the priest. "I don't understand Latin."
"You're an attorney, of course you understand Latin." Kelly pulled a Kleenex from her purse and dabbed at her eyes. "Besides, he's speaking English. Only the prayer responses are in Latin."
"Oh." Tracey squinted at the priest. "Seems so foreign."
Kelly laughed again. "Been a long time since you've gone to church, hasn't it?"
"A long time."
"It's just... This case..." Kelly wrung her hands, holding them in her lap. "How can this happen?" Fresh tears trickled down her cheeks.
Tracey wrapped her arm around Kelly's shoulders, and sighed as Kelly leaned into her. After a minute, she decided to risk smiting and question God in his own house. "Do you mean, how can He let this happen?"
Kelly blew her nose. She put away the Kleenex, and gave Tracey a quick, sad smile. "No. He gave us free will, and left it up to us to do our best in the world. How can we let this happen?" She tucked her head into the crook of Tracey's neck. Kelly's sniffling had subsided.
"Those of us without faith in the divine believe it's only up to us. Us, or nothing."
"So how do you explain it?"
Tracey closed her eyes. "I can't."
"So what do we do?"
"We go wherever we can, for comfort." Tracey rested her cheek against Kelly's hair. She tuned out the priest's orations in favor of the low murmur of humanity around her, echoed in the beautiful, arched ceiling.
"Thanks for being here," Kelly whispered.
Tracey nodded. This was as good as a place as any.
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