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SPOILERS: 2.01 Wrong is Right

The Sum of Contradictions: 1. Ascent
By beurre blanc


No matter how honest one's intent, one's life can never be truly categorised, catalogued, compartmentalised - for every lifetime is the sum of its experiences, and defined just as surely by its inconsistencies: the Sum of Contradictions.

"So what do I get when I beat your ass to the top?"



"If…" declared Jeffries, and she set off suddenly, stealing the march on Benson.

"Hey! No fair!" Olivia exclaimed as she swung onto the wall and started the climb, but even with her cop's reflexes Jeffries' fraction-of-a-second head start effectively put Olivia out of the race. Panting hard she tapped the top of the wall, and tried to glare at a laughing Monique.

"Hey, girl, you gotta work on your 'scary face'. Ain't no perp gonna fall for that one!"

Olivia's façade cracked, unable to suppress her laughter any longer.

"So, what do I get?" demanded Jeffries.

"Get?" Olivia's grin clearly showed she was stalling, and Jeffries rolled her eyes.

"For winning."

Olivia pondered a moment, as she caught her breath. "Latte, my treat. And I get the rights to a rematch!"


Twenty minutes later both women were seated in a booth at Joe's. Olivia sipped a macchiato slowly, and watched as Monique toyed with her glass. Olivia remained silent, waiting for the inevitable outburst. When it came, it was in no way tempered by the endorphins from the climbing session.

"Goddamn fucking Morris Commission!" All her good humor had evaporated. Monique stared at her mug and shook her head slowly. "Those bastards! They got no right- …" Her throat closed over the words, and she pressed her lips together as she looked away, tears imminent.

Olivia reached forward and placed a hand over Monique's. "I know…" she said softly, as Monique fought for composure. After a moment Monique looked back, sniffed, and abruptly changed the subject.

"So how 'bout this new ADA, huh?"

"What about her?" Olivia's hackles rose instantly. She'd barely met ADA Cabot but already she'd been thoroughly offended by her, not least because she'd made Olivia the instrument of her attack on poor Michael Goran in front of the Grand Jury. "Kid's toast." Olivia's own summation to Elliot afterwards had let him know that Cabot hadn't given an inch. She hadn't bothered adding 'I'm not gonna be able to work with this woman' – Elliot already knew – but by the time they'd reached the car her mind was awash with unprofessional invective.

So right now Olivia really didn't want to let a discussion about their 'esteemed' new colleague cancel out her exercise high, but she wasn't quick enough to steer Monique towards another topic.

"Helluva looker, but I gotta tell you, she's one icy bitch." Olivia couldn't argue with that.

"Effective, though. One moment she's quoting Munch verbatim like she's in some friggin' Danny Kaye movie, and the next she's on the phone - to Harriman no less - callin' him 'Uncle Bill' and asking for a warrant for Radial Velocity like it's no more of a favor than borrowing the car keys!"

Olivia's loyalty to her partner surfaced, and her anger flared.

"Elliott tell you what she said?" Monique shook her head. "We get back from Riker's with the kid's 'confession', and it's so goddamned obvious he's been abused by that bastard for half his life, but he won't admit it, so Miss Cabot won't buy it! In her eyes, the kid's not the victim here, he's the perp! Michael confessed, she can smell a conviction, case closed. So Elliot-," she paused to choose her euphemism "-points out the obvious."


"How she's 'protecting her win-loss ratio'. And you know what? She fires his psych evaluation back in his face. Verbatim." Her index finger jabbed the table surface for emphasis: "Both barrels."

Olivia sat fuming with righteous indignation, and not just on her partner's behalf.

"Still, gotta hand it to her. She got a far better result than I was expecting," conceded Jeffries.

"What?" Olivia's eyes narrowed. She wasn't prepared to give up any ground when it came to her opinion of the new ADA.

"Before the Grand Jury. She ended up doing a great job."

"She was one cold-hearted bitch in there!"

"Oh, come on, girl. You gotta admit she came up with the goods in the end. Got Michael to give up Craig Prince, and then talked his charge down to Man-2. Mitigation for Michael, and pulls in the big fish."

Olivia shook her head in disbelief. "I can't believe you're defending her!"

Monique contemplated Olivia's scowl for a moment, and something dawned on her. She grinned.

Olivia caught her eye. "What?"

"Under your skin already, huh? 'Methinks she doth protest…'"

The End

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