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08 September 2007 @ 10:38 pm
A Weird Little Story...  
This came to me a couple of weeks ago and I felt like writing it tonight, for some strange reason.

Title: Untitled (yet)
Author: DiNovia
Fandom: Law & Order: Mothership
Pairing: None
Character: Lennie Briscoe
Disclaimer: I don't own anything or seek to profit from this story.

The first thing Lennie noticed was that he couldn't smell New York anymore. It wasn't a subtle thing. As a native, the piquant combination of exhaust fumes, garbage, pretzel carts, lukewarm hot dog water, drycleaners, sweat, steam, newsprint, tar, and the dark side of the Hudson river was an ever-present part of being in New York. Like Lady Liberty or Times Square, the smell had its own presence, its own specificity. It told him where he was. It--strangely--comforted him. Now it was gone. Vanished. Against all probability.

Lennie opened his eyes though the effort felt Herculean. He immediately raised his arm to shield his eyes and wished he'd had his old Aviators, the ones with the bottle green lenses that he'd owned back in the 70s. He'd been the shit back then. A wise-crackin', gum-chewin', Aviator-wearin' cocky ass detective, first grade. He chuckled now, thinking of himself back then. He was gonna save the world. He was going to break every case that came across his desk single-handedly. He was greener than an avocado and just as big a fathead.

I wonder where I lost those glasses? he wondered. And just as quickly as he thought it, the answer was there: he'd left them in the back of a cab somewhere in Queens, after a night of heavy drinking. Lennie wanted to feel alarmed that he knew so suddenly and so clearly where he'd left those glasses. He hadn't thought of them in years and they were lost during a part of his life where whole weeks were lost to the haze of bad rye and worse rotgut. How could he possibly know now where he'd lost those glasses?

Before he could focus on the question, though, the terrible light--white and humming slightly--receded just a bit and he found he could see...after a fashion. Shapes that might be Human seemed to gather just ahead of him, a small distance away. He tried to walk there but found his legs wouldn't work. In fact, he couldn't feel them at all.

Must've been some drink, he thought, but not seriously. He knew he hadn't been drinking. He knew everything, it seemed. Except for why his legs weren't working. Now that bothered him. But not enough, it seemed. He could feel the worry and the frustration but they seemed far away and disconnected somehow.

More shapes seemed to be gathering; the gray blobs undulating inside the glaring white light. He tried to join them and failed again.

I want to go over there, he groused and just like that, he moved in that direction. The blobs became only slightly more defined. He gritted his teeth and willed himself forward. Slowly, he seemed to glide toward the shapes. He squinted against the light, cursing whoever would drench the area in this much fluorescence, until his vision cleared suddenly and he found himself standing before a stylish couple. The man and the woman were both tall and the woman's salt and pepper hair was swept up on her head. She looked stately and the man was smiling widely. They looked familiar to Lennie somehow and the thought niggled at the back of his mind until the woman reached out her hand to him.

"Mom?" he asked, his voice quiet. The shock and disbelief he felt again seemed distant and unconcerning but his certainty was rock solid. He took her hand. "Mom?" He looked to the man whose grin had never abated. "Pops?"

"Leonard," said Marian Briscoe. "My son!" Tears glittered in the corners of her eyes but twinkled away before they could fall. She took her boy into her arms and kissed him for the first time in eons, reveling in the scent that still clung to him. She breathed deeply, knowing the scent would dissipate soon. When she'd had her fill of it, she released Lennie to his father and Ira clapped his son on the back before hugging him openly.

"Welcome home, boy," he said, his deep voice betraying deep emotion. "Welcome home."

"Home?" Lennie looked around but found only the maddening light hiding other shapes. "Where is this?"

Marian laid her hand on Lennie's arm. "Leonard, sweetheart, you've passed through." When his face did not register understanding, she said softly, "You've died...on Earth."

"I'm dead?" he asked but the question was moot. As soon as he asked it, he knew it was true. His heart had given out on him. He'd gone to bed early after a slow night on Branch's payroll and hadn't woken up. Or rather, had woken up here.

"It's alright, son," said Ira earnestly. "You'll get used to it in a minute. Let it happen."

Dead. I'm dead. Deceased. Shuffled off the mortal coil. I'm an ex-Lennie. He laughed a little. Surely there was something fundamentally wrong with paraphrasing Monty Python at the moment of one's death.

"Leonard, dear, we've got your little girl," said Marian, bringing him back to the present. She opened one arm in a welcoming gesture and another gray blob came forward. Lennie felt his whole heart fill up with the awesome light.

"Cathy?" His little girl, murdered so young, so terribly. Murdered for doing the right thing. For trying to be Daddy's Little Girl. He pulled her into his arms and cried, pressing his face into her hair. "My baby," he whispered. "My baby..."

"Daddy!" Cathy pulled away a little to smile at her father. Her hair shone in the now-softer light and Lennie took the time to really look at her. Her bright eyes twinkled and she grinned. Her face was unblemished and full; her body unbroken.

"You are so beautiful," he said and he felt the same way he did when he first held her in his arms, so long ago. Falling in love with a seven-pound bundle. Falling in love with his daughter. "Oh, Cathy..."

"It's okay, Daddy! I'm fine. Happy. Healthy. Daddy, it's okay!"

He didn't want to let her go but he did. His smile lit up his eyes and he felt some of the darkness inside of him fall away. "I love you, Cathy," he said and she laughed. Giggled, really. Like she used to when she was little. Before she knew why Daddy "talked funny".

Dozens of people came to greet him; to welcome him Home. That seemed a good enough word for it. Home. Some cousins, his aunts and uncles, his grandparents. A couple of buddies from the academy. A sergeant from his first beat. A girl he was engaged to once. His best friend from parochial school.

He greeted them all, let them welcome him, let their joy pour over him. It buoyed him up, made him feel lighter and younger with every "step". And finally there was only one more blob left. It seemed to hang back as if reluctant and he found himself squinting against the light again. Then she stepped forward.

Her smile was shy but beaming. Her dark hair framed her face just like it had the last day he'd seen her. Her eyes shone with recognition and joy. He felt the tears start again. Would they ever stop?

"Hey, Lennie," she said lightly. As if they'd just run into one another on the street.

"Claire." His voice broke on the name. "Claire Kincaid."

Thanks for reading!

Tiffany: comic ds domo arigatopiekid on September 9th, 2007 03:07 am (UTC)
See, it is me! I'm proud of you for getting this finished, sweetheart. Great job.
seftiri: Red Robot GI Probsseftiri on September 9th, 2007 02:26 pm (UTC)
What do you mean, it's you? Silly girl.

I'm glad you liked it. :) And no, I'm not having GI Probs. I just thought one good Red Robot icon deserved another. LOL
Tiffany: comic ds red robot + piekid = <3piekid on September 10th, 2007 12:20 am (UTC)
Bwahahaha! Two can play at that game then!

Yes, I do love me some homicidal Red Robot.
Katie: serenacaptivatedkatie_drake on September 9th, 2007 07:46 am (UTC)
WOW...that was really good. I miss Jerry Orbach he was such an awesome actor and Lennie was a hilarious detective...great job!!
seftiri: ER come hitherseftiri on September 9th, 2007 02:28 pm (UTC)
Heh... While I'm mirroring icons with like icons...

Thanks! I miss Jerry Orbach terribly. He was one of my all time favorites.
Danielle: [Charmed] Prue - Saddani_ellie on September 9th, 2007 12:19 pm (UTC)
Awwww! That made me teary!
seftiri: Crushing Blowseftiri on September 9th, 2007 02:29 pm (UTC)
Ahhh! I don't have a Shannen icon! So I will use my sad icon to mirror.

It was a little bit sad... Sorry...

tulliolustulliolus on September 11th, 2007 02:12 am (UTC)
That's very cool. I haven't read many of your fics before, but I can see from this one that your snappy turn of phrase isn't just confined to snarkage. I shall have to take a look at some of your other work.

Hmm, I want to write again, now. What should it be - my L&O fic, my DS9 fic? So many projects started and abandoned.

Oh, I nearly forgot - how about "The Choir Invisible" as a title? It keeps up the Monty Python paraphrase and implies that the people we meet have been cheering Lennie on all along.
seftiri: DN2seftiri on September 19th, 2007 02:27 pm (UTC)
Sorry for the late reply! Thanks for the compliments! I love the title "The Choir Invisible". Maybe I will run this draft through the ringer though before I name it. I'm not sure it lives up to such a great title!

Thanks for the heads up on it, though!
tulliolustulliolus on September 19th, 2007 05:13 pm (UTC)
Sorry for the late reply!

No worries.

Thanks for the compliments!

You're welcome.

I love the title "The Choir Invisible".


Maybe I will run this draft through the ringer though before I name it.

Well, it's already better than 98.4% of the fanfiction out there, but that ain't sayin' much. Don't over-tweak!

I'm not sure it lives up to such a great title!

Aww, shucks. Tweren't nuthin'.
Shut up and smile: TV ll Law and Order ll Claire smilemorningafter2 on September 25th, 2007 01:48 am (UTC)
This is why I need to check my f-list instead of just randomly going to people's journals to check for updates every once in a while.

More to the point... aw, Lennie! I miss him so... No one can replace him, really. And for that matter, aw, Claire! I miss her even more, I really do. She was always my favorite character.

As always, I love your writing. This one in particular made me a bit sniffle-y. Good job.
seftiri: Smileseftiri on September 28th, 2007 08:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you, hon. I just had this odd little vision of Lennie up in Heaven and then it hit me that Claire would already be there. She'd have to welcome him.

I'm glad you liked it! I think it needs another rewrite, but I'll get around to that one day.