This is the end of the prologue. Sorry it took so long. School started, I had to work, and I had writer's block. Please comment and review as always. Let me know if you would like me to post part 1.
The footsteps of the defense attorney echoed hollowly, every step piercing the tense silence of the courthouse. His name was Eric O’Brien and he had a very strange and yet harmless appearance. His gray hair was combed over to the left. Nineteen-fifties, huge, square-rimmed glasses magnified his eyes to a disproportionate size. A pair of black loafers matched his black suit perfectly.
“Hello Lisa,” he said kindly…too kindly.
Obviously he was trying to lull her into a false sense of security. Cuddy was not playing that game.
“Hi,” she replied coldly.
“This is going to be intolerably cruel,” Sarah whispered, a hint of disgust tainting her tone.
“Cuddy can stand on her own against him,” Wilson said tiredly, his resolve nearly non-existent.
Then it was Sarahs’ turn to do something unexpected.
“Only a small sliver of this travesty of an arraignment is your fault,” she said.
Her voice maintained it’s sarcastic tone and it wasn’t as comforting as complete absolution, but Wilson knew that for her that was kindness. Never in the four years he had known her had she tried to be nice to him. Sure they were friends, but it was a strange friendship. Then again none of his friendships were normal. What was with his attraction to bitter misanthropes, to people with something incredibly dark in their pasts? House had had an abusive father, Cuddy and abusive mother and whatever had driven her to America, no one knew much about her past, not even the government, and Sarah, no one knew anything about her. Wilson assumed that something had happened to her to warp her into this bitter, caustic woman. After all, people don’t end up like her by growing up in a perfect family. Occasionally, however, her bluntness was nice. She didn’t tell palliative lies, which meant that in her opinion that it really wasn’t, at least for the most part, his fault. Oddly that made him feel better.
“Thank you,” he said.
“Don’t get all mushy on me Flo. It is still partially your fault,” she hissed.
And there it went.
As Cuddy was once again forced to relieve the worst moment of her life in front of the spectators of the court, undoubtedly the defense attorney was attempting to break her down before he publicly slandered her, House distracted himself with plots to kill Tritter, plots he wasn’t sure he wouldn’t go through with. No one touched Lisa Cuddy. Why was he so possessive of her? She wasn’t his girlfriend; they spent the entire day at each others throats. None of his feelings about her current issues made any sense. What Cuddy was going through was Cuddys’ business not his. It didn’t affect him in any way. Yet, here he was sitting in the town courthouse, witnessing on her behalf, and plotting ways to kill the man who had put her through this. He reached into his pocket and took a couple of much needed Vicodin.
“Can you tell me what happened before the alleged crime,” the defense attorney inquired.
Cuddy cringed at the word “alleged”.
“Going back how far,” she asked warily.
“Let’s say an hour.”
“As I have stated several times I was at a hospital charity party.”
She did not sound annoyed like she had intended; instead she sounded strained.
“The witness will not be hostile,” the judge said in an ironically hostile tone.
That one chastisement completely obliterated what little confidence she had had. She realized that this arraignment was not an arraignment at all. The decision had been made before one single person had opened their mouth. It did not matter that she had not gone to the ER and gotten a rape kit. Just like it did not matter that she had tormented herself by giving a painstakingly detailed testimony. No matter what she did she would lose, just like Tritter had said. The only reason this arraignment was taking place was to give the illusion of justice. When other people looked at this trial they would see a whore who had tried to falsely charge a cop of rape out of shame. The judge and Tritter and whoever else was involved were tossing her to the lions like a sacrificial lamb, and for what? The image of the Princeton Plainsboro judicial system. Worthy cause, Cuddy thought bitterly, but she wasn’t ready to give up hope completely yet.
“Sorry,” she said insincerely.
The defense attorney continued like nothing had happened.
“Was there drinking at this party?”
So that was how they were going to make it look like she consented. Oh well, it wasn’t like she could lie. Tritter had seen her half-glass of wine, the one she hadn’t even drank. Originally it had been non-alcoholic, but she had seen House switch it out as she was returning from the bathroom. Hence, why she hadn’t drank it.
“Yes,” she answered tightly.
“Did you drink?”
“She had at least one glass of wine,” Tritter interjected.
“Objection,” Cuddys’ attorney said, “the defendant is speaking out of term.”
“Overruled,” the judge replied, “I will not allow perjury in my courthouse doctor Cuddy. For that you will spend the next week in jail.”
“I’m not lying,” Cuddy said indignantly.
“Why is his word worth more than mine?”
“Two weeks. Do you want to make it three Doctor Cuddy?”
Cuddy clamped her mouth shut. However, Sarah had other ideas.
“Uh, objection,” she said standing up, “Shouldn’t the powers that be have put a less biased judge on this trial?”
“Sit down,” the judge ordered, “or I will find you in contempt.”
“There are only three things in this courtroom I have contempt for. You, Tritter, and his defense attorney.”
“Dr. Savaijeya, you will spend the night in jail. Sit down or you will spend two night.”
Sarah stuck out her tongue and sat down.
“Make that two nights.”
“Shut up,” Wilson hissed.
“I will not be oppressed by this tyranny! Fight the power.”
“Bailiff, get her out of here!”
“You’re just upset because I stood up to you while you were sitting on your throne of lies. You call jailing a rape victim who runs a hospital and her friend who runs research projects, a diagnostics department, and a psychiatry practice justice.”
By that time the bailiff was already leading her towards the holding cell. Wilson shook his head while House was laughing silently. Cuddy brought her hand to her forehead. Why couldn’t Sarah keep her mouth shut?
“Due to the alleged victims’ perjury I will not allow this case to go on,” the judge snarled.
Someone tugged at Cuddys’ arm roughly until she stood up. It was a different bailiff, her turn to be arrested. Her arms were twisted behind her back and cold metal cuffs were tightened around her wrists. As she was practically dragged across the courthouse she could feel Tritter staring at her smugly.
“Breathe a word of this to anyone and you will only make life harder for yourself.”
He had warned her. She would pay for this. From that day on she was marked by death, Tritter, and herself.