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Typed fantasies inspired by Jack Davenport

Cat & Bird Corp.


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Abyss (R) (Smash) Part 12
JackDav-8
blackpoetcat_2
Title: Abyss
Author: blackpoetcat
Rating: R
Character: Derek Wills
Disclaimer: NBC owns all, just playing drama with
Summary: Everyone knows he doesn't give a shit about anything but the show. So when Derek's life capsizes, will anyone give a shit about him?

(Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10,
Part 11)

After wearing the orange jail uniform for nearly two and a half months it was a strange feeling for Derek to dress in his own clothes for the trial. Bellamy had taken his suitcase home after he had paid the hotel bill and even took some of the clothes to the cleaner, for which Derek was truly grateful. Nevertheless, he felt extremely nervous when he was escorted to the courtroom.

Not only was it the first time since he left rehearsal to get arrested that he would meet his former colleagues, except Eileen and Tom, it would also be the first time everyone would see the famous Dark Lord cuffed and completely at the mercy of others. He was pretty sure to be greeted with an atmosphere of loathing and glee.

But what he feared the most was the confrontation with Tracy's parents. Not so much because of their civil action, though he would be definitely bankrupt for good if the horrendous amount they sued him for would be awarded by the jury. No, Derek was far more afraid of how they would probably look at him, and he honestly felt that it would be much easier to bear if he could only remember what happened, even if he really was responsible for their tragic loss.

During his confinement Derek had begun more than a dozen letters addressed to the girl's family wherein he had tried to explain his feelings about her death and offer his condolences, including an apology for involving her in his very own abyss at all. But in the end, he always felt that his words were hollow phrases, nothing but poor excuses for something absolutely inexcusable, so he never dared to actually send one.

***

As expected, the courtroom was packed and everyone stared at him when Derek was finally led in. He tried to concentrate on Bellamy; at least until he reached his place and the guard removed the cuffs. After greeting his attorney and a deep breath he dared to carefully glance around. Right in the first bench behind the defence area Tom, Sam and Julia welcomed him with nods and encouraging smiles which he was only too glad to return. He also recognized Kevin, who sat a few places away from them and winked at him. The beautiful woman at his side Derek assumed to be Kevin's wife and he smiled back at both of them, sincerely thankful for their moral support.

He then slowly turned his view to the bench behind the prosecution deputy's place. Eileen stared straight at the judge's still empty seat, obviously ignoring him. Karen seemed to be quite nervous, for she quickly peeked at him, but then lowered her head and fumbled with her bag. Derek raised an eyebrow when he observed that the next moment she pushed Dev's hand away in a gruff gesture when he tried to take hers, and hissed at him. If they had reconciled, Tom would have told him; but it seemed to Derek that this stupid politician was still trying to get her back.

Well, for her career's sake he hoped Karen would not fall for that jerk again, and he looked away -- and promptly met the stares of a couple standing together with Deputy Nichols and another strange woman. The terrifying mixture of sorrow, hate and disdain he read in their eyes was even worse than he had expected it to be and Derek felt absolutely unable to stomach it. With pressed lips he turned away from Tracy's parents and just dropped into his chair, feeling nothing but utter despair. How was he to deal with this when he would probably never remember what really happened that night? No matter the judicial outcome, he would stay unknowing for the rest of his life whether he was responsible for the girl's death or not. For the first time it dawned on Derek that such a horrifying future might break him for good.

***

Though Bellamy had, of course, instructed him again very firmly to stay quiet under all circumstances, Nichols' whole manner as he spoke of Derek while questioning his first witnesses was unnerving him. As in the hearing, it was obvious that the deputy was not only completely positive about charging the right person but despised him personally and his attitude of arrogance just made Derek sick. The very fact that his own attorney didn't ask Tracy's friend, the barkeeper and the guest who recognized him or even the lab scientist anything didn't make him feel any better…

"Detective Shaw, did your team try to find any witness who may have seen the accused between the time he left the 'Box Seat' with Ms. Peterson and his arrival at his own hotel?"

"Of course. We asked everyone in the house itself and in the neighbourhood for two blocks around if anyone saw him during that space of time, and we inquired through every cab company, to no avail. So we must assume that Mr. Wills had been in the apartment at this particular time and therefore was the one who tied and gagged the victim."

"Objection, Your Honour! Assumptions are not part of the witness's duty," Bellamy cut in for the first time.

"Granted. You will stick to facts, Detective," Judge Salamon advised Shaw. Though she seemed an even-tempered and businesslike elder lady who didn't show any emotions pro or contra regarding himself, Derek was still anxious about her -- and about the jury, because despite his hopes they were seven women and only five men. Given his tough luck with females, he couldn't help seeing this constellation as a bad omen.

"Sorry, Your Honour," the policeman said and continued: "As Dr. Chaketis already explained, the sperm in the found condom was clearly attributed to the accused, as were the skin particles beneath Ms. Peterson's fingernails to the scratch beneath his collarbone. In addition to that, the search for clues discovered no other usable DNA traces in the apartment, except Ms. Peterson's own. It is also clear that the apartment's door hadn't been opened by violence, so we can definitely eliminate the possibility of housebreaking after the only person who was invited in had left."

"Thank you, Detective Shaw. No further questions."

Nichols' expression showed every inch his satisfaction as he returned to his seat while Bellamy addressed Shaw:

"Did you find any other fingerprints on the door or in Ms. Peterson's apartment, Detective? Other than hers and those of my client?"

The detective nodded. "Yes, of course."

"Have they been identified?"

"Not all of them." Shaw shrugged. "As Ms. Ramirez, the victim's friend, already said -- she had sporadic one night stands, received packages from her parents or delivery services... It's common to find prints of people without records in door areas."

"I see." Bellamy's small smile didn't reach his eyes. "And how do you know with certainty that every unidentified print is older than from that night? Did you put the forensic lab on that track? Is it a proved fact that they all are, without exception?"

Shaw's jaw dropped, he opened and closed his mouth a few times, but didn't respond.

"Answer the question, Detective," Judge Salamon ordered.

"Er... well... no," he finally confessed.

"So it is possible that any of those unidentified prints could have been left the very night Ms. Peterson died, even after Mr. Wills had been long gone?"

"Well, as far as my experience..."

"Yes or no, Detective," Bellamy interrupted sharply.

"Well... yes, it is possible," Shaw affirmed with a sour expression.

"Thank you. That would be all for now."

Bellamy glanced at Derek who actually felt a little less anxious after this first cross-examination of a prosecution witness. He could now be absolutely sure that his attorney would try everything to cast doubt or at least uncertainty in the jury. As he had no chance to present an alibi, a fact that the police investigation unfortunately had confirmed, it was the only weapon they had.



Continued in Part 13

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(Deleted comment)
Well, then let's see if there really is any reason for some hope. And without telling too much I can confirm that the trial will be -- well, trying ;)

*hugs you*

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