DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Trial By Jury and all characters are property of NBC and Dick Wolf. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Written in response to a challenge: Find a quotation to write a drabble or story around. Maybe use a Latin legal term. Use any famous phrase as an opening line, a closing line, or have a character quote it. Due to the number of quotes in this fluff, I didn't take the time to credit them to their 'creator'. Special thanks to Debbie for the quick beta.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

A Quotable Fluff
By Ann


Tracey Kibre closed her office door and spared a quick glance at her watch, cursing herself for losing track of time. She cursed again at hearing the tune of 'Another One Bites the Dust' sounding from her cell phone. She didn't know who was on the other end of the line, but the song by Queen told her who it wasn't. Juggling her briefcase in one hand and her purse in the other, she managed to find the phone in her bottomless purse.

"Kibre," she snapped, as she brought the phone to her ear, not even bothering to check its display.

"Tracey, this is Arthur. I need you in my office ASAP," the gruff voice mandated to his ADA.

"I'm on my way," Tracey replied and quickly ended the call. "Fuck," she muttered under her breath at Branch's ill-fated timing. She was supposed to have met Kelly at their favorite restaurant thirty minutes ago. Punching '2' on her speed dial, Tracey increased her stride and prepared to eat crow instead of her usual egg parmesan.

Arriving outside the District Attorney's office, Tracey knocked on the door facing and entered when she was acknowledged. She walked with confidence into the large office and sat in the chair facing Branch's desk, schooling her expression to hide her irritation at being summoned after hours.

"Tracey, we've got a problem case coming up, and I'd like for you to take it on. Mr. George Smart, CEO of Rayford Technologies, has been charged with killing his girlfriend by stabbing her multiple times. The defense is claiming that Mr. Smart went into a jealous rage and had no idea what he was doing. Problem is that in order to go into a jealous rage, one has to be in love, and according to co-workers' statements, Mr. Smart is in love alright, only it's with his job. You're perfect for this case," Branch explained in his usual abrupt tone.

Tracey leaned back in her chair and crossed her long legs, buying her a little time to figure out exactly what the DA had meant by his last statement.

Narrowing it down to a couple of possibilities, Tracey asked, "Why me, Arthur? Because I love my job or because you don't think I'm capable of flying into a jealous rage?"

"Actually, both. You're married to your job, Tracey. You'll never fall in love because it'll interfere with your work. Mr. Smart's exactly like you. I want you to nail this bastard."

Smiling on the outside, while smoldering on the inside, Tracey replied, "I do believe I'm a bit offended by those remarks, Arthur. Yes, I love my job, but I'd like to think I could fall in love if the right person came along."

Shaking his head, Branch countered, "No way, Tracey. True love begins when nothing is looked for in return. You don't ever do anything unless you can benefit from it. Besides, people who are sensible about love are incapable of it."

"Ah, but Arthur, haven't you heard? In the arithmetic of love, one plus one equals everything, two minus one equals nothing, and I am far from nothing, plus I always want everything," Tracey returned with a smirk. Branch should know better than to try to turn philosophical with her.

"You surprise me, Tracey. I'd never figure you for the type who would seek love. Maybe it's like the old cliché says, love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desirable. If so, I think you should give it some more thought because I don't believe you'll find anyone who'd be satisfied with your less than romantic nature," Branch said almost casually as he settled comfortably in his chair. It seemed he didn't know better, after all.

Throwing all caution to the wind, Tracy opened her mouth to rebut the accusations and inform Arthur that not only did she have a lover, she had a younger lover, a beautiful younger lover, a beautiful younger female lover, but, before she could get the words out, she was interrupted by the voice of an obviously pissed off Kelly Gaffney.

"Excuse me, Mr. Branch, but is this a private discussion, or can anyone join?"

Motioning the younger woman into his office, Branch replied, "No, feel free to join us, Ms. Gaffney. I'd be very interested to hear your response to my comment."

Glancing at her lover, Kelly turned back to the smug District Attorney and, with strong conviction, said, "Just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to, doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have."

"So you're agreeing with me," a smirking Branch pointed out.

"No, on the contrary, find the person who will love you because of your differences, and not in spite of them, and you have found a lover for life," Kelly offered in rebuttal.

"But you just said . . ."

Interrupting her boss in mid-sentence, Tracey explained, "Arthur, what Kelly is so eloquently saying is that the heart has reasons that reason does not understand. There is no instinct like that of the heart."

"Mr. Branch, I've always believed that you come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly," Kelly stated firmly as she turned to gaze in her lover's direction, her features softening as blue eyes lit on dark ones and held.

In disbelief, Branch watched the two women staring intently at each other, and if he hadn't been sitting, he was sure he would've landed on his ass in the middle of the hardwood floor.

"Oh, Lord, not again," he muttered tiredly and buried his face in his hands.

The two women just shrugged at the gesture and made their way to the door. Turning, Tracey looked back at her boss and smiled.

"Don't even think about trying to fire either one of us, Arthur, or you'll have a lawsuit on your hands with me as second chair to the most powerful civil attorney I can find. Oh, and I'll be back here in the morning so that we can discuss the case," Tracey promised in a matter-of-fact tone.

Before the lovers stepped across the threshold, Tracey offered one more parting shot.

"You know, Arthur. We've been spouting all kinds of quotations, but there is one in particular I think is very appropriate in this case," she said, pausing dramatically for effect. "There is nothing wrong with going to bed with someone of your own sex. People should be very free with sex; they should draw the line at goats."

Taking her lover's hand, she smiled and closed the door, leaving the District Attorney staring at the solid wood in shock.

"How did you get here so quickly?" Tracey asked her lover as she pushed the button for the elevator.

Kelly glanced back at the closed door and said, "I was downstairs when you called. I had …um, come back to get you, but that's not important now. What I'd really like to know is where in the world did you hear that quote? You didn't make it up just to upset Branch, did you?"

Stepping into the elevator, Tracey tossed back her head and let loose a throaty laugh. "Of course not. In fact, it was a direct quote from a Commander of Order of the British Empire."

"You're kidding. Who?" Kelly asked as she pressed the button for the ground floor.

"The rocket man himself, Sir Elton John," a grinning Tracey replied.

When the elevator doors opened into the lobby, the two usually ultra-professional women stepped out, giggling like a pair of school girls and proving once again that laughter is the closest distance between two people.

The End

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