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Those Who Don't Study History

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The interrogation room was exactly the same as every other interrogation room Trixie had ever occupied. There was the uncomfortable chair, the flickering fluorescent light overhead, and an unhappy police officer pursing his lips at her to complete the picture. Idly, Trixie wondered how many times she’d been in this particular interrogation room at One Police Plaza, and before she could come up with a reasonable number (or decide that the effort wasn’t worth her time), Chief Rawley started to speak.

“Well Ms. Dixon,” He said slowly, and Trixie resisted the reflexive “Trixie, please ” that she had given up on after their second meeting when he’d sniffed at her something about maintaining a professional demeanor.  He shuffled the papers into some order only he himself understood. “Here we are again.”

See, situations like this were the reason that Trixie didn’t like Rawley. Of course, Sabien was always going to be a tough act to follow, but Sabien’d had a soft spot for her, and not only had she known it, she’d known exactly how to exploit it without ruining it for him. Rawley didn’t have that same soft spot; Rawley reminded her of an administrator of a stuffy old British boarding school. He liked things done properly, and in order, and was willing to go as slowly as he needed even if the mayor was breathing down his neck. It was twice as hard to take advantage of him, and in a line of work like Trixie’s, that was time she could be using in the service of her clients.

“Here we are,” She nodded, agreeing with him, and then, drawing a coy smile slowly on her lips, added, “I know you’re claiming you arrested me, but you really just missed my face, didn’t you? It’s okay. You’re not the first.”

“Ms. Dixon,” Rawley looked at her, his face not moved an inch. “You shot a man.”

Trixie sighed. Sabien’s neck would have been red by this point. “I mean, I guess from an evolutionary standpoint, Jack could be considered a man.”

Rawley didn’t even look up from the paperwork. “I’m don’t care about his evolutionary status, I only care about his legal status, and in the eyes of the law, Jack Justice is a man. A man that you shot.”

“Well that’s one version of the story.” This was Trixie’s way of agreeing.

“The story that reads,” He paused here to read over his paperwork. His glasses didn’t even slide down his nose. Trixie was disgusted. “Jack Justice came to your office around two p.m. this afternoon. You met, and after an indeterminate amount of time you got into an argument, drew your weapon, and shot Mr. Justice in the right foot.”

“Look,” Trixie said patiently, “I’ve asked twice now for someone to call Vic Sabien, and I’ve never in my life had to ask for anything three times.”

She let the insinuation hang there in the air, where it promptly thudded on the table as Rawley raised an eyebrow. “What on earth could you need former Chief Sabien here for?”

“He validates my alibi!” Trixie insisted, restraining the urge to slap a hand against the table. She got the impression that Rawley wasn’t taking her request seriously.

“You need,” Rawley said very slowly, as if putting the words and their meaning together in his head. “Chief Sabien here to validate your alibi.”

“Yes.”

“Your alibi of…” He paused to flip back a page, and then read to her mechanically: “He had that smug look on his stupid face .”

“Yes.”

“Ms. Dixon,” Rawley put the paperwork down and steepled his fingers. Trixie thought she was starting to get to him. “You got an unarmed man.”

Unarmed !” That was the single most offensive thing that Trixie had heard all day, and that was impressive considering that Trixie had met with her former partner for the first time in years and they’d engaged in an argument where he’d basically insisted she shoot him. At least, that’s how she remembered the argument going. The point was, Trixie had been deeply offended several times that day, but this - “Jack Justice hasn’t been willingly or consciously unarmed since he was in diapers! Did he seriously put that in his police statement?”

Something flickered on Rawley’s face, and Trixie felt a moment of elation - she was getting to him. He flipped through several pages, finding the one he wanted closer to the end of the stack. “Jack Justice’s police statement consisted of him propping his bandaged foot on the table and gesturing to it angrily every time we asked him a question.”

“Then you understand,” Trixie began triumphantly, “Why I need -”

The door opened, and for the first time in her life Trixie was pleased for Nelson’s interruption. “Eh-Excuse me sir? I have - Oh, hi Trixie!”

The smile that lit up Trixie’s face was genuine. Despite the fact that Nelson attempting police work was better than those old Buster Keaton movies, Rawley seemed to respect the number of years that Nelson had put in and Nelson had flourished under Rawley’s non-shouting policies. She brought up one hand under her chin and waggled a couple fingers at him. “Hello Nelson.”

The blush that bloomed on his cheeks was instant and noticeable, and Trixie felt re-energized after being trapped in the room with the robot across the table from her. Rawley looked displeased, which further empowered her.

“I didn’t know you were here. What did we pick you up for this time?” He started to reach for a chair.

Rawley cleared his throat loudly, finally drawing Nelson’s attention away from Trixie. Nelson shrank back. “She was picked up after a complaint by one Jack Justice that she’d shot him in the foot.”

“But that happened almost ten years ago!” Nelson exclaimed, and the effect on Rawley was immediate and deeply pleasurable to Trixie. She’d never seen him caught off balance before.

He coughed. “Ms. Dixon,”  He shuffled his paperwork. “Are you telling me you’ve shot this man before?”

Trixie pounced. “Technically Nelson told you.”

It was a mark of how unnerved he was that Rawley did, indeed, turn to Nelson for an explanation. He shrugged. “Well they were partners for like fifteen years. Didn’t you notice his name is still painted on the door?”

“I’m getting that fixed next week!” Trixie protested. Although… she probably wouldn’t. For how much she’d made fun of Jack for leaving Fellow’s name up, she hadn’t been able to bring herself to paint over Jack’s and give herself the top billing she deserved. Seeing his name every day was good at nauseating her so she didn’t eat too much at lunch. Girl’s gotta keep her figure.

Nelson addressed her. “Which foot did you shoot him in this time? Was it the right one again?”

“I didn’t realize I was so predictable,” Trixie murmured, fixing him with a glare that clearly indicated she would commit her crime again given access to her gun and Nelson’s feet.

There was a long moment of silence. Nelson stood there stupidly. There was now the faintest blush crawling up Rawley’s neck. Trixie leaned back and crossed her legs. It was good to have control of the room again.

“Okay, Ms. Dixon,” Rawley said slowly, once again pulling apart and resorting his paperwork. “I’m going to need to start at the beginning.”