by s.a.

Sometimes Lenny Briscoe really hated the Order part of the equation.

He took the brown paper off the bottle of unopened Jack and set it across from him on the table. His eyes wandered around the kitchen, not settling on anything in particular; just scanning the darkened room for anything that caught his eye. Nothing did.

He appeared in court today; the 137th time in his decades-long career. Half of his testimony was overturned because the slick lawyer from out of state gave convincing evidence why he and his partner of the week had screwed up.


It was coming home after shitty days like this that made him stare hard at a bottle of alcohol and go over the reasons why he wasn't drunk on the floor right now.

The first that came to mind was his job. It was always the job; he was the job. First and foremost a cop, second a man. Even when he was at home, his body was itching to be back at the station, working on a case. He wanted to be talking to people, pounding the pavement, or for chrissake, even doing paperwork. He hated coming home to empty rooms, but not as much as he hated leaving work.

He was a different man when he was on the job. Nothing mattered except solving a case and catching the perp. Everything else was either shit or gravy, and half the time he couldn't tell the difference between the two.

Lenny Briscoe had been a cop for a very, very long time. He didn't think he'd ever be able to leave the force. But he'd never wanted to make Lieutenant. He didn't want to deal with the beauracratic bullshit and the PR and the administration and most definitely not with other cops' problems. He'd been a detective for as long as he could remember, and as far as he could tell he wasn't going anywhere.

None of that changed the fact that he'd had a hell of a day, the kind that ended up with him sitting at his kitchen table staring down a bottle of whiskey.

More and more he wondered if he's a good cop. Sure, he'd been given a few medals. But he'd also been suspended, and IA's given him a look more than once. He solved the cases, yeah. But half the time all the effort, all the brainpower and energy put into finding the assholes who litter the street with the shit they pull, was destroyed with one curt nod from any of a dozen judges' heads.


So now, more than ever, he was wondering if it was worth it. To do the best he could, and then to walk into a courtroom with twelve pairs of glassy eyes working him over and a testimony that'd been drilled into the back of his head, only to be thrown out the goddamned window in the next instant by some technicality that meant there wass another damned psycho, or rapist, or serial killer out on his streets. His streets, the ones he was supposed to protect and serve, except when the Order part of the team royally fucked him over. Again. For the fifty-third time.

Lenny Briscoe unwrapped the bottled liquor, moved over to the sink, and watched solemnly as what was once the only way he lived funnelled down the drain.


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