2010-07-25: Something Which Warrants Importance



Guest Starring:


Date: July 25th, 2010


They make us do crazy things…

"Something Which Warrants Importance"

New York County District Attorney's Office

Floor length windows have been outfitted in this particular office, making it the envy of others, yet most of the shutters have been currently pulled, banishing natural light in favor of the situation of bright Ikea lamps perched on a shelf behind the desk. Quiet reigns from the other offices around — Sunday is either a day of rest, or a day of intense study here. The latter seems to apply to the woman in that massive black chair, her head bent to resting against the knuckles of the arm she's propped to the desk. Some sort of breakfast — more specifically, an opened but only half-eaten selection of strawberry poptarts — sits ignored at the edge beyond her elbow.

Today, Jocelyn wears yellow. A bright yellow like might be better suited on a sun-dress, but does well anyway in the lacy collar about her neck, the loose sleeves that have been folded back. Her grey pants hang over crossed legs as she sits at that angle, her hair pulled into a tight but impromptu ponytail just to stop all those stray strands from falling into her way as she sideways regards the printed out form in front of her. While one hand holds the document straight on, she reads over the top of black thick-rimmed glasses, lips mouthing the words, with the occasional sentence escaping quietly into the air.

A couple of knocks at the door interrupts the quiet of the office. The knocking is soft and polite, as if not wanting to jar the occupant, not wanting to intrude — though the very nature of a knock is just that: asking for permission to intrude into someone else's space. This visitor at least does so politely, besides the fact that this meeting is unscheduled.

The door, not quite shut, is given an exploratory nudge inward after the knock, a sliver the visitor making an appearance. Blonde hair, probing blue eyes, brown leather — of a coat that's far too heavy for the hot, humid late July weather, but the sky has had a habit of breaking open with rain these past few days. "Ms. Danvers? Sorry to intrude— " soft-voiced but purposeful, and sincere in the quick apology, " — it's Detective Maggie Powers — " Are cops a dime a dozen to the DA? "Can I come in?"

Jocelyn's head shakes naturally when she looks up, just a small motion to resettle her hair and her attention, the latter of which scopes out Maggie at the door with a preciseness that is also in the quick, polite way she smiles. Beginning to rise, she waves a hand towards the seat across the desk from her own — the visitor's chair. It's far less of a presence than her own leather throne, but not an entirely uncomfortable looking piece. "Of course. Detective Powers. I remember you," her voice, at first a bit hazy with trying to shake whatever it was she was concentrating so hard on, evens out soon enough. "Funny habits, right?"

A flickering glance at the large digital numbers above her desk displaying the time squares her shoulders a bit more seriously. "Of course," repeated more now sternly, "you don't mind if I keep working…? There's a hearing tomorrow and I'm afraid I didn't schedule in surprise visits…"

Right, funny habits — Maggie's mouth stretches into a thin not-quite-smile. She moves into the office, which is given a quick cursory study as she urges the door back to its not-quite-closed state and lopes toward the visitor's chair. She stands out in the world of legalese, dressed down where Jocelyn and her colleagues are dressed up: the light blue-grey t-shirt and the black jeans with their utilitarian belt are all very neat, but all very casual. The badge that, every-so-often with a shift of her open coat as she walks, gleams at her belt, at least designates her as someone who has half a reason to be here.

"I would have made an appointment, but I wasn't sure when I'd be able to get away." Crime doesn't take Sundays off but, more accurately, it's Maggie who doesn't take much time off. She gives Jocelyn's desk — the work there — a sort of eyeing, saying nothing of the DA's intent to multi-task, only answering with a quick polite smile. "It's about these cases — the gangs." She only stands beside the chair with one hand on it, seeming presently too on edge to actually sit down; she's composed all the same, but up-close looks tired. Like someone who didn't sleep. "I don't know how in communication you've been with…" She pauses, briefly, as Sam and Agent Wright cycle through her mind as the first options, "…with Detective Wright specifically on the case since the last updates, but— Ms. Danvers… I think we're sitting on evidence, here."

More than intending, Jocelyn heads right back to those documents in front of her — the same legalese that might go over Maggie's head as it does by her wardrobe — though her cheek doesn't return to her palm. She gives her desk a rap-tap-tapping with a newly retrieved pen before sparing the standing detective a glance up. "Mhm," the gangs is a certain point of tension for both of them; the attorney shifts a bit noticeably in her chair. Composed as well, but not closed off, she emotes quite easily to the keen eye. There's a brief pause where she seems to be scanning her earlier work rather than respond, but at the end of a sentence of reading, she replies off-handedly, "That's right. You are." It's a bold distinction, not at all timidly made. Perhaps emboldened by home advantage.

"But not— me," Maggie places her own distinctions on the matter. She whisks around to sit on the chair after all, but it's on the edge, where she remains still, leaning forward toward Jocelyn's desk, however distracted the other is by her work. "With the Takahashis it's all bits and pieces. But their rivals, the Irish; I have more… I've seen more than enough to make a case against these guys. Look— my hands keep getting tied in this. I'm going through every channel I can." She clamps her mouth shut to delay the further words — information — she clearly has. Giving pause to study Jocelyn, Maggie's visible tiredness somehow does not manage to obscure the clarity of her eyes; they're focused and intent.

A sigh. Jocelyn turns her body more attentively to Maggie, a decisive movement pulling the reading glasses from her face suggesting that the detective has gotten her full focus for the first time. "It isn't just about the case," she pronounces carefully, measuring, "We all have stake in this. Professional feelings — personal, too. But it isn't just about the collar, detective. It's about making all of this information stick. Roberto? The leader, right? He escaped from an asylum. The defense is just going to put him right back in there and, I'm sorry, but I'm not okay with that. So." She whips her hand in a flippant gesture at Maggie — or maybe the system she represents. "Maybe when the FBI feels like telling me why they can't present their key witness."

At which point she goes back to her work. Which I forgot to say.

"Well I've been buffered between the police and the FBI, maybe I feel like telling you," Maggie states boldly without hesitation, her own professional and personal stakes in this case — along with impatience with it — bringing a snap to her otherwise measured voice. All the while, she remains poised over her knees, her gaze unmoving from the attorney. The intensity of her words mar her stillness with nods of her head as she goes on, straightened blonde hair swaying just a bit. "The one of three valuable witnesses who won't talk — or the key witness who they lost and don't feel like looking for? The one who, the longer everyone waits for everything to fall neatly into a box for them, stands less and less of a chance of even being alive? That key witness? That's what I'm not okay with. You're not okay with sending Roberto back where he came from, so what are you okay with."

"Shit." Professional goes out those one-story windows when the attorney is next looking at Maggie, her stern expression marred by an impatience similar to the other blonde's. "Lost? Really?" Her skepticism is not for the detective's honesty, but that this kind of thing really happens. "So, of course they give me the runaround." Irritation briefly distracts her. She starts and abruptly redirects several motions: attempts to fix her hair, picking up the pen, smoothing her pants. All quick darts of movements while she attempts to refocus around her apparent frustration. "If we're being very frank with each other, Detective Powers," which, apparently we are, "the FBI's stalling. And for what I don't know and I'm fairly certain no one will share with me. I've had enough for the warrants for weeks." She presses a hand to her mouth and then lowers it to gesture at Maggie, "Your turncoat witness—? He's gone back to the group, maybe. Spoiled evidence. See, these are things I need to know."

"No." Maggie is quick to shake her head in denial, adamant. "No, his evidence is good," she insists, her eyes shifting away — she thinks the statement through even as she says it. In the end, she comes to believe her words. "As I see it, there are two reasons for him to go dark. One, he has a plan he didn't share with the class — it happens — or two, something went wrong in there. He was hurt, or they found out who he really is." Who he really is seems to be someone Maggie knows; how else could she speak with conviction over a faceless undercover agent? "And that makes the option that he's dead a popular opinion." A popular opinion; she doesn't say it's hers. The detective tenses, swallows. She eases upward slightly, sitting straighter. Her serious voice lowers. "The evidence is good, Ms. Danvers. There's no question that the FBI is stalling. Where I .. come from… things are more straight-forward. I just have to know there's something more we can do."

"Hold on, hold on." Throughout the conviction by Maggie, however meant, Jocelyn appears a touch like she's lost something — some thread of the conversation. "Found out who he really is," she repeats, pushing forward some wanted belief to taint her questioning tone, "You mean found out he's a snitch. The witness. We're talking about the gang member they convinced to flip." But the naivety begins to melt off the surface as cynicism, realization simmers below the surface. Dark eyes narrow in on the detective, honing in on details she maybe hasn't had the extensive training to find but has the same experience with nonetheless. "You're… talking about someone whose reputation you value… it sounds like you're referring to a colleague… Detective…"

"You know that I can't say," Maggie states with forced neutrality. The stillness of her features is forced as well; the tightening of her muscles to keep this neutrality have the opposite effect, the struggle becoming visible. "Officially — I can't." But her look to Jocelyn, deliberate in the way she looks the other woman in the eye, knowing, with a hint of imploring, confirms what she can't — officially. The detective has already said too much, in all likelihood, but she's had an affect— and that's what she wanted to start with. "And because of it I don't know if you can use anything I've said. But it's been … weeks," her voice dips. "Something… has to give. What's going on here, it can't be lawful."

"Officially," Jocelyn reroutes the word, "This office should be aware of all procedures that could affect our cases or be used against us by the defense." She pauses, but shortly. "Which is rarely the case on its own. And with the FBI — doubly so." There are softer lines in her face now, though: that reaction Maggie was hoping to elicit, perhaps. "Look, I…" her hands fold and then part and then fold again, "I've had some… experience — with the wait time. The lack of communication." Her eyes study the detective's, trying to work out, look for some indication in the other woman. Slowly, testing: "Whether someone will come home or not…" It seems to be this sentiment that she hangs on while she visibly debates some course of action that has her gaze shifting from sympathy on Maggie to a kind of unsure determination at her screen.

As Jocelyn trails off, Maggie seems hold her breath. Long fingers curl into the thick dark denim over her thighs as she denies filling in the blanks. But she knows.

So instead — after a moment's pause — Maggie lifts a hand and runs it through one side of her hair, and picks up another thread: "… The FBI and the NYPD have been worried about information about this case getting out, to anyone. The FBI has been worried about people flipping sides — from the outside in — and they have good reason to. One of my colleagues was crooked. Maybe Roberto has plants around here, I don't know. I'd like to believe the FBI kept things from you for a reason but by this point, frankly— " since they're being frank… "If there is anything that I can tell you that will make this move faster, I'll personally handle the consequences. There are bigger problems out there than just myself."

The attorney absorbs all of this with a return to the thin, strict behavior she began the encounter with, wrapping up those leaking sentiments with a small shuffle of hands and sniff. Whatever she'd been seeking on the screen she abandons during Maggie's denial of silence, leaving her only with tomorrow's work that she flicks a finger against absently. "Tell me…" But it's said too earnestly and she hesitates, waiting to feel out the exact right thing before she starts again, more levelly, "Tell me that if we don't move on this now, there will never be a better chance. That this is it. That no break-throughs are coming, no secret plans enacted. No aces. It's now or never. Tell me— " A residual flicker of that sympathy, no empathy, she wanted to find between them. Unanswered before, lingering now. "— that something very important will be lost."

A question like that certainly puts a heavy weight upon Maggie's shoulders, doesn't it. Her conviction wavers— or… no, at first it seems that way, with her hesitation and softening expression, but it's not her conviction that wavers; it's everything. The whole of the detective's poise. She inclines her head, mouth open, brow stitched with furrows and thought. It lasts a only few moments before, determined, she looks up. Level-headed again, but intensely earnest, she answers Ms. Danvers. "I'm afraid… that if a move isn't made… we might never know if it's the right time. That this case? Is in trouble. And… that yes — something important might be lost."

"Might be?" She's fast to zone in on that change in her more definitive point, make sure the detective is fully aware that she noticed. But it doesn't seem to alter Jocelyn's course, as she pushes her chair a few inches away from the desk, giving her room to open a drawer and procure a piece of paper from the filing cabinet inside. "The security of the case is our highest priority," she delivers loftily — the 'something important'? It doesn't quite seem so, even with her business-like persona in full form. "I'm having the warrants written up and sent to your station. If the FBI feels like taking responsibility for its case and backing you up… more power to them." Her hand twists in a flourishing signature on the page and she sets it aside into the waiting tray of a fax machine.

There isn't much the detective doesn't notice as she watches Jocelyn, especially watchful until the "might be" is passed by. Relief is short-lived — what starts as a relieved sigh from Maggie cuts off almost instantly. She closes her eyes for a few seconds after the all-important signature marks the warrant, then rises from her seat. "Let's hope they do." They might or might not — there's altogether too many maybes in this scenario. Maggie's dimpled smile flashes through her seriousness as she says, businesslike but no less authentic gratitude, "Thanks Ms. Danvers." With one foot planted firm by the chair leg, the other stepping closer to Jocelyn's desk, the detective reaches a long arm across for a handshake. "I'll let you get back to your other work."

Loud busy beeping signals the fax machine's wakefulness as the numbers are dialed and the paper fed through with the typical sounds of technology. Turning away when she's sure the message is secure, Jocelyn half-rises to acknowledge both Maggie's hand and the fact that she's leaving. This shake, however, is barely that. She sort of touches the detective's hand and then is instantly re-seated with a pen already at work scribbling somewhere else, making her look all too busy at something. 'Something'. Her busy scritch-scratches seem exactly that — too vague to really be dedicated work — but she never gives them up while Maggie remains in front of her. It isn't until the detective is nearly almost gone that her voice, if not her gaze, rises to some last thought. "They make us do crazy things…" A long beat holding out for clarification might entertain, instead, interpretation. "… Cases." And still does after it's finished.


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