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Silly Exhibit Thing
Olivia paused next to her partner's desk, purse in hand. "Hey, Elliot, Munch and I are going out for a sandw-oh, my God, what is this?" She grabbed a sheet of paper off her partner's desk.
"Copy of the exhibit list for Cabot's hearing this morning," he said.
"Some would argue that a single item does not constitute a `list,'" Munch noted idly. "What's the hearing?"
"Finkster," Elliot explained. "Under the conditions of his parole, he's supposed to get rid of all his porn. He shreds eight hundred and forty seven magazines, all except this one: May 1988 Busty Babes." He shrugged.
"Oh, my God," Olivia mumbled.
"You all right?" Elliot asked. "What a fuckup."
Olivia covered her face with her hand. "You know, you're young, you try things . . . ."
"What are you talking about?"
"Um . . . what are you talking about?"
"Finkster," he said. "What a dumbass."
"Oh. Yeah. Me, too." Olivia glanced nervously toward the squad room entrance. "Listen, I forgot I had to -- uh, do something away from the office this afternoon. If Alex comes by, tell her I'll try to get back to her in a week or two." She hurried out the door.
Alex loomed in front of the witness stand. "Mr. Finkster," she said sternly. "You've heard from our technician that he found your fingerprints on every page. Our analyst matched your DNA to saliva on some of the photographs. Our court-certified expert testified that the notes in the margins are in your handwriting." She waved the offending publication at him. "The address label on the cover has your name on it. Do you still deny that this is your magazine?"
"No!" Finkster cried out. "I admit it! It's mine! I couldn't get rid of it! It's a classic!"
"Oh, please," Alex said disdainfully. She flipped open the magazine. "What could possibly be in here that--oh, my God." Her eyes widened. "Oh, my God." She turned the magazine sideways, and dropped with a thump into her chair.
"Miss Cabot?" Judge Seligman said.
"One moment, Your Honor--oh, my God." Alex turned another page. And another.
"Miss Cabot, do you plan to enter that into evidence for the Court's review?"
"No!" she shouted. "I mean . . . ."
A moment passed while the prosecutor considered what would best serve the needs of justice.
She rose to her feet. "Your Honor, the People move for the dismissal of the charge against Mr. Finkster," she announced, hastily adding, "--subject to his surrender of the contraband."
"What?" Dual exclamations of surprise came from the court and defense counsel.
"Mr. Finkster has stated that he retained the magazine in question because it is a classic," she said. "Having reviewed it, the People are inclined to agree. If Mr. Finkster relinquishes the publication to the District Attorney's office, the People will be satisfied."
She opened her briefcase and, after another quick peek, tossed the magazine inside.
Finkster nodded his reluctant consent.
"Court is adjourned," the judge announced with a bang of his gavel.
Alex hurried from the courtroom to the station house, where she spied Olivia Benson unlocking her car in the parking lot.
Oh, damn. Olivia slowly turned around.
"Going somewhere, Detective?" Alex leaned against the car with a smile. "I was hoping for your help on a little . . . authentication project."
Hmm. Alex didn't seem too disgusted. Not disgusted at all, in fact . . . . "I'm at your service, Counselor."
"Glad to hear it," Alex purred. "I have an exhibit in my briefcase, and I need to compare it with the original."
"Is that so? And what would that be?"
"A classic," Alex replied.
"The exhibit, or the original?"
"Both." She stepped around the car and got in. "Your place, Detective. We've got some forensic work ahead of us that you won't see on CSI . . . ."
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