|Daniel Ciin | Ares (thouros) wrote in paxletalelogs,|
@ 2017-02-23 13:54:00
|Entry tags:||ares, loki|
Them vs. You vs. Me
Who: Nish & Daniel
What: Quasi-coworkers gossip over pizza.
Where: Orange County Courthouse and a nearby pizza place
When: February 17, 2017
Note: Yes, that was an actual case that I found online. You can’t make this stuff up.
“I’d like to enter into evidence as Exhibit “A” this post-it note found in the Defendant’s car at the time of his arrest.” Nish watched the District Attorney walk towards her client in the stand, holding the evidence bag out to him. “Can you read this out for the court?” To his credit, her client didn’t even flinch.
“Robbery, 6pm. 20s and 50s only.”
There were a few laughs from the gallery and Nish sighed and shook her head slightly. She already knew about the note, and already chewed the guy out for it. There was nothing she could do for this idiot except put up the pretence that he was getting a fair trial.
She went through the motions for the rest of the trial, pointing out that it was a first offence, and so managing to at least get the minimum sentence. The judge closed the case and her client was taken away by the bailiff and she couldn’t wait to get out of there.
Outside the courtroom the DA caught her eye with an amused smirk, and she returned it, shaking her head at him. Some days she fights tooth and nail for these people, some days her job sucks, but then there are the days when the hardest part of her job was to not laugh in court.
She checked her watch, noting it was nearly lunch time. Her next case wasn’t until 1:30, so she had plenty of time to kill.
"Nish," Daniel called. He spread his arms wide. "What a pleasure to see you here, doin' the lord's work." His grin was as sharp as his tone, and just as pleasant. "How's it goin'? Got a minute to pay for a nice lunch for a hard-workin' stiff like myself?"
She turned and spotted him with a wide smile. “You cheap bastard,” she laughed, “is chivalry really dead?” she walked towards him, slipping her files back into her shoulder bag. “Where do you want to go?” she asked with a smirk, lacing her arm with his.
"Don't care," Daniel said. He squeezed her arm against his ribs. There was a spring in his step that had not been there when last they had spoken. He seemed amenable to anything, open and careless and visibly happy. "No day drinking, though. I've gotta meet a new client and I can't make a bad impression right out of the gate."
She smirked, “So do I, but that's never stopped me…”
He tipped his chin toward the courtroom he had seen her leaving. "How'd it go in there?"
She rolled her eyes as they headed out of the building. “Is it just me, or is the average criminal getting dumber?” she wondered aloud. “I mean, I can't help them if they give me nothing to work with.”
"Oh, don't be so hard on them," Daniel said. "Everybody's trying the best they can. For the most part. Not everybody had the good foundation such upstanding citizens as ourselves did." He pressed his elbow into her ribs, a teasing little prod. "You and I are here to make sure they get at least a fair shake at a better future. Right?" She chuckled and rolled her eyes at him.
“Yeah, but they could at least hide the smoking gun from the cops,” she said, making a split second decision and leading him to her car. “What is it they say, ‘god helps those who help themselves?’ You can’t tell me you’ve never had idiot clients who jump bail ‘cause they really like the Taco Bell across state lines,” she joked, unlocking her car and pulling open the back seat to throw her files onto.
Daniel laughed aloud. The sound of her car door clacking loudly announced he was, as could be expected, as impatient with getting into her vehicle as he was about everything else. "I actually haven't, not in a long time," he said, sliding into the car the moment the door opened. "But that's because I lay out very strict ground rules when they start with me. God does help those who help themselves. And once they first step in my office, I'm their fuckin' god." He snapped the seat belt against his chest, looking to her with a broad, sharp grin.
"I get that you don't really have that kinda control, though," he said. "Not yet. You gettin' picky about your clients yet, or you still solely on public defender detail?" She groaned in a tired, careworn way and started the car.
“God, I wish I could stop,” she complained. She pulled out of the parking lot and headed down the street, driving on autopilot to a pizza place they both liked. “I’m so fucking done with public defender work, but it’s supplementing my income, at least for now.” Her regular clients kept her and her secretary paid, and the lights on in the office, but her work for the state paid for everything else. She smirked. “I could pare down luxuries, cancel HBO, but then I’d be grumpy,” she joked.
Daniel chuckled. "Who wouldn't be? Imagine all the T&A you'd miss out on if you canceled HBO. Don't do that to yourself." He slid the passenger's seat as far back as it would go, stretching his long legs out into the floorboard. "So that's work," he said. "How's everything else goin'? You still enjoyin' the classes and all? I still need to talk to Stephan about starting some up in our building."
She smiled, nodded, “yeah,” she said, watching the road, but glancing briefly at him. “At least now when I hit someone it’s on purpose,” she said, referring to the few times in class her uncoordinated flailing limbs had resulted in accidental injuries. “A class in our building would be kind of cool,” she added, “you think he’ll go for it? I’d pay good money to see him get in on that,” she chuckled, picturing the eccentric concierge rocking some awesome kung-fu moves.
"I think I wouldn't want to meet Stephan in a dark alley," Daniel said, echoing her laugh. "I feel like he'd kick my ass, even in those incredible heels. You seen the look he gets sometimes? He takes no shit, you can see it on his face."
His head lolled against the back of the seat, turning to look toward her. "You know what, though, while I get that settled… you ever done weapons training? Like real training. Not just poppin' off some BB rounds in somebody's backyard." She smirked and pulled into the parking lot.
“Shit, I haven’t even done that much,” she admitted, turning off the ignition. “I’ve thought about it though,” she shrugged, “it would be a useful skill to have.” She unbuckled and got out, walking with him into the restaurant where they were quickly seated at a table for two. The waiter came by to get their drink orders and she asked for a rum and coke and her usual mushrooms-green pepper-olives pizza.
Daniel kept to his good intentions, ordering two slices of margherita pizza for himself before returning his focus to his friend. Excitement shone bright in his eyes. "Not even a pellet gun?" he asked. "C'mon. We're going to the range then. It's fun and it's a life skill. What could be better than that?" She chuckled and sipped her water.
“You’re not worried I’ll accidentally shoot your ear off?” she asked impishly. “Sounds like fun. My brother would be so proud if he knew.” She hadn’t talked to him in a while, and had told him even less about her life here. For good reason.
"Then you'll have to text him a picture of your target when we're done," Daniel said. "And fuck no, not like I'm gonna be standing downrange. We're gonna take things nice and slow, and as long as you keep the business end pointed the right way, I'll get you all trained up. Promise." She smiled, nodded, chuckled softly.
He curled his hands around his water glass, pulling it closer toward him, though he did not yet take a drink. "So what's your brother like? You never really talk about family. You got me curious now."
Her smile faded slightly. “He’s an asshole,” she said, though a twitch at the corner of her lips gave her away. “And I love him. But god if he doesn’t piss me off sometimes.” She looked up as the waiter came back with their drinks, gratefully taking a long pull from hers when it got there. “He’s a cop,” she elaborated, as if that explained everything.
Daniel's nose wrinkled. It was a melodramatic expression, to be sure, but it suited him, somehow. "Gross," he said. "Bet that makes family reunions crazy fun. You should tell him you're taking firearms and self defense training from a prison abolitionist. That'll be sure to smooth things over."
She laughed at that, “oh my god, that would go over about as well as having a sister who defends the asshats he brings in,” she said, taking another drink, then looking down at it, examining it as if it held some truth. “I honestly don’t know where we got it from,” she said with a slight shrug. “It’s like we were from a completely different family. Our parents, our relatives, were pacifists, you know, ‘live and let live.’ Rob thought it was his job to police the world, and I…” she looked up at him and grinned. “Well, for a while there, I was the ‘world’.”
"And yet again I'm happy to be an only child," Daniel said. "I take it he's still not off your back about shit."
She shook her head, “no, but being on the other side of the country, there's not much he can do about it.”
Nodding, he sipped at his water, then loudly crunched a piece of ice. "Older brother, I take it? Is he why you got into defending folks?"
She shrugged. “Maybe,” she said, toying with her straw, “It's just what I was good at. In law school you learn the basics of all branches of law, and then specialise. I was, apparently, very good at arguing.” And manipulating, but she left that part out.
Daniel chuckled. "No wonder we get along so well. Birds of a feather." He paused as their pizza arrived, still steaming and far too hot to touch. Once the waitress had gone, Daniel picked at the crust of one slice, breaking off a particularly crispy bit. "So when you wanna go to the range?" he asked. "I know you're busy as a cat on a hot tin roof, so I figure we better book this as soon as possible."
It was on the tip of her tongue to joke ‘I'll have to check my calendar for my next scheduled sex’, but instead just smirked a little to herself. ‘I think I'm free Tuesday after work,” she said, sure that she was supposed to be home with Rafe on Monday. She picked an olive off her pizza and popped it in her mouth. “You can be the man and buy dinner,” she teased.
"Fine, fine," he said, "I guess I owe you one." He gestured to the pizza, whose bill -- though small -- was absolutely coming to his more well-heeled friend. "Tuesday it is. Seven o'clock? We'll get an hour at the range, then I'll take you out somewhere. Somewhere in my price range, not yours." She chuckled and nodded, sure that meant drive-thru burritos, but still completely okay with it.
He arched a brow, watching her as she toyed with her pizza. "So I think I saw you at that Valentine's Day thing," he said. "At least for a minute or two. I hope you had better luck with it than I did."
Her smile faded a little, turned into a bit of a wince. “Can we not talk about that?” she asked, more serious than she usually got with him. “Let’s just leave it at...I got so drunk that night I don’t really remember much of it.”
’Not that you’ll admit to, anyway,’ the voice teased, laughing darkly. She took a healthy drink from her glass, hoping that Daniel hadn’t been paying enough attention to her to see who she’d been with, or where.
Daniel seemed quite inclined to play to her preferences. After all, there were details of his own night he had no desire to go into, so he simply nodded and let his food fill his mouth for a time. After a healthy bite or two had disappeared from his first slice, he sucked spilled sauce from his thumb and picked up the thread of conversation.
"I got pretty tipsy myself," Daniel said. "Holidays are good for that, I think. Especially silly made-up holidays. CASKET itself is pretty nice, though, and they did have a good little setup goin'. I need to start goin' there more often. Julian runs a tight ship." He tipped his water glass toward her. "Maybe Tuesday after dinner we can get a little nightcap there. Finish the day off right."
She smiled, swallowing the pizza she was eating. “That sounds great,” she said, but then paused, the smile fading just slightly. “Thank you. I appreciate your lack of judgment.” If he had been Rob...well, she’d never hear the end of it if he knew what went down that night. Especially if he knew she was attempting another relationship.
Daniel waved her off. "Judgment isn't really my bag," he said. Dear friends might have called him out on the lie; for his own part, he firmly believed it to be true. "And anyway, you don't owe me an explanation. I was just askin', you know? I'm glad it wasn't a bust just for me, if you want the truth." He chuckled, glancing down at his pizza and picking off a bit of tomato.
"So what else is new with you, though?" he said. "I feel like I never see you around the place, although I guess I've been a little busy, myself."
Her eyebrow rose as she considered the question, realising she really didn't have an answer. What was new was that she was now in a somewhat steady relationship, and that she was flirting dangerously close to fucking it all up with another man, like she always seemed to. But thoughts of Rafe overruled the others, and she found herself trying to hide a smile that was doing everything it could to get out. She tried to cover it behind her pizza. “Not much,” she lied.
"Mmhm." Daniel finished his bite, his own smile scarcely curbed at all. "That's always my answer when I'm up to no good, too," he teased. "But hey, like I said. You don't owe me anything. Just know I'm totally down to listen to your gossip when you feel like it. Which I'm gonna guess will be around nine o'clock on Tuesday, when we're two drinks deep at CASKET…"
She laughed, setting her pizza down. “wow, passive-aggressive much?” she chuckled. She looked down, picking at some crispy cheese on the crust of her pizza, all but rolling her eyes at what he'd said. “Fine,” she caved, “I'm...maybe sort of seeing someone,” she told him, lifting her eyes from her pizza. “I haven't really had much time for anything else new,” she added with a little guilty grin.
Daniel's grin was so bright it was nearly blinding. "I knew it," he said. "I haven't seen you like this since I first met you, I think." He shrugged, laughter glinting in his eyes. "I mean, other than when you figuratively beat the shit out of a prosecutor. It's a good look on you." She laughed, pure happiness.
He brought his arms to rest on the table, leaning over, his voice a mock-conspiratorial stage whisper. "So who's gettin' lucky? Anybody I know?"
“God, I hope not!” she chuckled. “He's...he lives in our building, but we actually met at CASKET.” She made the split-second decision to leave out the ‘while I was drunk’ part. She smiled softly to herself, perhaps a little too much. “His name is Rafael.”
"Rafael," Daniel said, dragging out the name on a playful, thickly-accented drawl. "I think I've seen that dude around. He was at the little welcome party for a while." He paused for a moment, polishing off the first slice of his pizza. "So why do you hope I don't know him?" he teased. "You think I'm gonna steal him away?"
She smiled playfully. “I’m not letting you near him, he’s too sweet for you.” He scoffed, but said nothing. She was proud of herself that she’d been able to keep this a secret for this long. Jessica had figured it out right away, claiming that she had some sort of glow to her when she’d come into work after their first date. She thought the woman was making it up, until someone else mentioned it later that day. She sighed, picking at her pizza with a smile. “I’m happy.” It was a simple statement, but it said so much more.
"I can tell," he said. "You're basically floating above the chair." He waited until she had another bite in her mouth, angling, of course, for the most amusing response. "Dude must give amazing head."
She almost choked on her pizza, the laugh was automatic. She kicked him under the table. “Oh my god, you bastard,” she laughed, looking down at the dot of tomato sauce on her sleeve and trying to get it off with the lemon from her drink. A grin tugged at her lips as she worked though, an infectious one she couldn’t stop. “Let’s just say he knows what he’s doing,” she added with a soft chuckle.
"Mmhm." Daniel was still beaming as he turned his focus briefly down to his last slice, picking a bit of cheese off the top. "You know what they say, pics or it didn't happen." He quickly jerked his feet back beneath the table, dodging any further kicking. "Really, though, I'm happy for you. You need more in your life than just work and that cat. I'm glad you're takin' those classes, that's a great step, but a social life definitely wouldn't kill you."
“Hey, you leave Bear alone, he’s great company,” she teased. “He’s always happy to see me and I give the best belly rubs.” She paused for a moment, thinking about what that must sound like if the listener didn’t know Bear was a cat. “That...sounded kinda wrong,” she chuckled, taking another bite of pizza, having given up on her sleeve. “Thanks,” she added.
He nodded, already halfway through his second slice. "Any time," he said, once that mouthful was gone. "Seriously, I always wanna hear your good news. Especially if you're buyin' me lunch while I listen to it." He winked at her, chuckling to himself.
She smiled back, “well, if I get any more, you’ll be the first to know,” she said happily.