TITLE: Delicieux (2/?)
Standard disclaimers apply.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: I wrote it! I actually wrote it! I have part 3 already planned out:) Hope you enjoy this one... Not too many "delicieux" scenes per se, but there's the hint of 'em:) All for you, my dear Lav, and the rest of you Yummy fans:o)... Keep in mind I take as a given that Larry returns after "HOTL" (heh heh... that can be read as "HOT L[...arry]" :) I just realized that... oooh boy. The weird things I notice...;)), because, well, he *will* :o)



Pt. 2

Nelle walked briskly through the prison corridor, Ally in tow. The latter was looking around nervously, her eyes meeting with the eyes of the angry women behind bars.
"Are they armed?" she asked quietly.
Nelle looked at her, a sarcastic smile slipping her face.
"Yes. And legged." Then, pointing down, mock-gasped. "Apparently, so are you!"
"Nelle!" Ally hissed.
"Just come on..." Nelle replied.

- - -

Karissa Kinderly was about as unattractive as women get, Ally decided. Even the clients she'd worked with previously had been prettier. She was leading all of this to the decision that poor Charlie did the *right* thing when he dumped her, but deep down she was still convinced Karissa did have the right to take matters into her own hands...

"Axes aren't 'matters', Ally..." Nelle tried to reason with her later on.
"Fine. Go ahead. Ridicule my defense. She's not nuts! And even if we make her whoop, run around, yelp & clap on the stand, the jury *still* won't buy that she's nuts!"
"The only way we'll get her out of a life sentence is by pleading insanity..."
"And you still *won't*!"
"Okay, suppose you're right... what difference does it make then?"

Good question. Ally was desperate to reply, but couldn't. Nelle had a point. She was forced to admit it.

- - -

"... and so then I went over to Jenna's sister's husband's parents' house to find Eric, and Kasie's like "Eric's not here", so I went over to Eric's sister's house and Eric was there with Brian - you know, the one I dated? - and so I talked to Brian, and then I-"

"Okay. I'm lost." Ally admitted to a very erratic Karissa.

Karissa threw her hands up in the air. "What is with you lawyer people?! You can't understand anything! What's the point of having a law degree if you can't even understand people! Ugh..."

Nelle was obviously putting all of her efforts into holding back from exploding with anger. People like Karissa annoyed her tremendously. Ally was holding up, though, and even managed to find out Jenna's sister's husband's parents' neighbor's phone number to track down the aforementioned parents and ask them several questions. However, she was on the verge as well, and Ling came by to exchange shifts with Nelle and help Ally handle Karissa.

"Are we ready for court?" Ling asked, genuinely interested in how things were going.
"Yeah, definitely. We only lack a defense altogether, but other than that we're spamtastic." Ally replied dryly.
"Go with insanity..." Nelle mumbled, too tired to argue in a more convincing tone.
Ling nodded. Turning to Karissa, she ordered "Bulge out your eyes."

Karissa did as she was told, intimidated by Ling's glare.

"There." Ling grinned. "Doesn't she look every bit as insane as we need her to be?"
"And more..." nodded a terrified Ally.
"Good. There's your defense." Ling plopped into a nearby chair, satisfied.

- - -

Ally gazed into the gray murk, unable to make out the dark silhouettes of the furniture in front of her. She lay on her stomach as his hand slipped under the covers to gently stroke her back. It moved first higher, then lower, caressing her neck, running over her hair, her shoulders, her cheek. She closed her eyes and smiled. She knew he loved her, and that was all she needed to think about at the moment. She'd have enough time to shed tears later.

That or she wouldn't shed them at all.

It wasn't something of global importance, something she needed to decide right away. Well, it *was*, but she didn't need to think of it that way. The time would come for everything. For now, she'd give in to his slow seduction, not only because it was the only thing that could keep her mind from venturing into depressing topics, but also because it was sheer bliss... He wasn't something she was ready to let go of. But, according to her brand new grown-up rules, she'd have to.

"Ally..." he whispered, his fingers continuing to draw patterns on her back.
"Mm-hmmm..." she answered, smiling. She couldn't help but smile.
"Tell me what you're thinking..."

She was at a loss to reply. What *was* she thinking? A million different things, things she couldn't even phrase, things maybe even *he* wouldn't understand. But she knew she had to say *something*...

"I'm replaying the dream I had..." Hey, it was the truth. Some distant corner of her brain really *was* replaying a dream. A dream she had of always being together, no matter what, through everything. But dreams don't always come true, and she couldn't admit that to herself.

"Was I in it?" Larry was genuinely interested. He was also hoping this kind of conversation would at least get her to laugh. Feel happy.

"Is that supposed to be a rhetoric question?" Ally was surprised.

"Sort of..." Larry smiled. "Okay, so I suppose I *was* in it. What were we... um, doing?"

Ally laughed. Larry's grin widened. He wanted her to be happy. It was, after all, nighttime. And such silly things as "problems" should be left to be resolved during the day. The night was theirs, and would always stay theirs, no matter what.

"...Dancing..." Ally smiled softly.
Larry seemed surprised. "Pardon me?"

"C'mon..." Ally jumped up and hit the "CD" button on the BoomBox's remote.

Something lush, instrumental and unidentifiable started. "Dance with me..." Ally looked at him, wanting to do everything at once - kiss him, dance with him, make love to him, whatever else all of that would lead them to.

He raised his eyebrows in that manner he always had when he was at once swept with adoration and amusement.

"Ally, it's 4 a.m..." He moved closer to her.
"Uh-huh... And I feel like dancing..." This time, *she* moved closer, swooping her arms around his neck, running her fingers through his hair.

He couldn't resist a moment more. His arms wrapped around her waist, feeling her skin's warmth through the satinish fabric of her nightgown, and his lips settled into a long, satisfying entanglement with hers.

"Larry," Ally started during a pause. "I don't know what's gonna happen after you leave, but I'm always going to love you, even if I... constantly... tell myself... otherwise. I... um, just wanna make sure you heard that, because this may be the only time I'll say this..."

He looked into her eyes, trying to decipher every emotion they held at the moment, but it was practically impossible. She just looked sad, sadder than she'd been a moment before. It was almost dawn, he realized, and their problems came back, haunting them like before. He wasn't sure what was going to happen after he left, either, because no one knew how long the settlement would take, and whether he'd be able to come back at all, but he couldn't just stand and watch Ally's heart smash into pieces... He'd done it once before, and he wouldn't be able to take it again.

"Ally-" Larry started, but she cut him off. Her eyes took on a sudden iciness, changing from a warm hazel to a cold slate gray. Her heart pounded in her chest, and she was set on telling him exactly what she thought.

"I... I *know* what you're going to say - that you might be back, which will later change into "I'll *definitely* be back", but..." she blinked away oncoming tears. "We've been through this before, Larry. Miracles only happen once. Don't count on anything else..."

She turned away and went into a different room to change. In two minutes, she slammed the door shut behind her.

There, she thought. That was the rational, adult thing to do. She wasn't set on believing in miracles any longer. This was called "Growing Up - Level 2".

Her mother would be proud.

- - -

"If I'm not mistaken, William Shakespeare made great use of the words "Love makes fools of us all"... And that's *exactly* what happened here. The prosecution would most definitely come back at that with "You can't hide *every* crime behind love", and - for once - I completely agree. But this one you *can*. We're not asking you to excuse what Ms. Kinderly did - we're asking you to admit that someone of sane mind wouldn't do such a thing, and understand what made her *lose* her sanity. *Here* the prosecution might argue that *no* killer is ever completely sane, and if the law were *really* as I just shaped it, any lawyer could hide his client behind temporary insanity and while our prisons would be empty, our psych wards would be full. But, you see, no one loses his or her sanity in a split second - something happens, and that causes hidden centres in our brains to go bonkers and *that* is when we do something insane. And while some of those "happenings", so to speak, act as legitimate excuses, others don't. Here, you're to decide whether love - the greatest virtue, the thing we all strive to keep, the thing some of us spend all of our lives looking for - is a legitimate excuse or not. "Nuts" is the perfect term for Ms. Kinderly's condition at the time of the murder, excuse my language choice, and it's perfectly clear *that* is what made her... do what she did. Her boyfriend *betrayed* her - she lost control. She did something insane, something she couldn't even *imagine* doing in other circumstances. People like that need HELP, not prison. Please keep that in mind."

Nelle turned around and walked over to their table. Ling was grinning, Ally was taking a moment, and Karissa was unhappy - as always. "Why did you call me insane?" she hissed at Nelle. Nelle sat down. "Because it's what you are, and I'm a sucker for the truth." She smiled icily. The next time Richard talked her into a case like this, she'd make her heels meet his groin, she was sure of it.

- - -

"You LOST?! How could you LOSE?! The principal rule of this firm is that you don't LOSE, and even when you LOSE, you *still* don't LOSE-LOSE!!! Nelle!" Richard was almost crying.
"Don't 'Nelle' me!" She snapped back.
"And what were YOU two doing?!" Richard whined.
Too frightened by Ling's defensive glare, Richard turned to Ally.
"What was *I* doing?! I was BABYSITTING! What else could've I been doing?!"
"Richard, I told them straight away that I didn't agree with the defense tactic, but my opinion was ignored, so enjoy your handful *now*!"

Richard was lost. His head spun 180 degrees to Nelle, who looked ready to bite off his head, so his head quickly returned to face Ally.

"You know what, Richard? The next time we have a murder case based on love, why don't you take it? You seem to be an expert on the topic, how about *you* defend the next insane bitch in love?"

"I thought *you* were our love guru..." Ling calmly mentioned to her.

"I *did* what I *could*, and the rest is yours to claim..." Ally's eyes drilled into Ling, her voice sounding metallic. With that, she headed past everyone to her office.

- - -

"Richard, BREATHE..." Elaine desperately tried to comfort him downstairs at the bar.
"You seriously believe there was any way to win this? If you ask me, Nelle did the best she could." John smiled to himself.
"John, you've become useless to ask lately... You're too preoccupied elsewhere..." Richard growled, watching Nelle turn to John, smiling herself.
"Why are you so upset over this case, anyway? We've lost cases before, and you never killed yourself over them." Ling twirled the olive in her martini, annoyed.
"Tangerine, this was our chance to prove to the world that we can do the impossible - and we failed. You expect me to dance around with glee?"
"Richard, it's how you *deal* with failing that counts. Find me a lawyer that would've been able to win it. You *won't*. But just because we failed doesn't mean we don't have the potential to attempt it again... Think about that. And next time, help us." Nelle stood up and took John's hand. They walked away, leaving Richard perplexed over Nelle's reply. They *did* have potential. Now they'd have to *use* it. And, for a change, he could help.

- - -

No lunch break. No drink at the bar. Not even a walk home. Ally did everything she could to live through the rest of the day. She stayed at the office through the whole evening, only briefly walking out to grab a sandwich. She organized all of her case files in alphabetical order. She polished her desk. She divided her candy hearts into groups by colour, then layered them in the bowl, interchanging colours for each layer. She played Free Cell on her computer.

And still he didn't call. She was ready to turn off the light and howl at the moon for the remainder of the night. This was tearing her apart. He was leaving the next day, and there was nothing she could do to stop him. Not a message, not a visit, nothing. She wanted to be with him for at least a night. One last night. Just to savour it, for it to be the last time, because she was still sure the miracle she'd been praying for wouldn't be happening anytime soon.

- - -

Ally carefully examined her coffee, too tired to really doing anything but lie on the couch. Everything else swirled into a ball of colours, shapes, something her eyes weren't adjusted to seeing. When she heard a faint knock on the door, she cursed everything and anything that she wasn't already dead.

It was him.

She couldn't think straight, or see straight, or even talk straight. She wanted to be with him, and she wanted *him*, and it was just sooo... All that she remembered later on were his arms around her, her tears running down his shoulder, his eyes looking into hers... her saying "I love you" too many times to count, her afraid to let go, frightened that he could disappear, him sprinkling kisses on her eyes, nose, lips, cheeks, shoulders... him undressing her, touching her as if she were a precious gem... his hands everywhere at once, so tender, so emotional, so wonderfully gentle, so sweet... him holding her, cradling her, pressing her against himself, muffling her moans and sobs with more and more kisses... whispering "Ally... baby... shhh..." in a vain attempt to calm her down... and her crying through it all...

It was the last time. The very last time. She was absolutely sure of it.

He *wouldn't* be back.

- - - end of part 2 - - -

Any thoughts? *nervous smile*