Written as part of the 2005 Yuletide obscure-fandom secret-santa project, for pepperlandgirl.
Many thanks to my betas, elynross and Merry , and again to Merry for inspiration. 

written December 2005, posted January 1, 2006


I Coulda Been a Defendant

by Arduinna


"Dan, Dan, Dan," Harry said, shaking his head. "This saddens me, it really does. I never thought I'd see the day when my prosecuting attorney was brought up before me as a defendant."

Dan's head drooped a few inches lower, the picture of furry pink dejection. "Harry..."

"Ahem." Harry lifted his robe a few inches away from his body and shook it, thoroughly enjoying himself.

Dan raised his head again, glaring, giant ears practically quivering defiantly. "Fine. Your Honor, clearly, this is all a misunderstanding."

"Oh, I'm sure. So why don't you enlighten me?"

"Your Honor--"

Harry held up a hand to silence the fill-in district attorney. "Thank you, Mister Prosecutor, but I don't think a simple report is going to do this justice." He glanced at Christine, who was at her desk, with her head pillowed on her arms, laughing helplessly. "And since the defense appears to be a tad... indisposed, at the moment --" he shook his head as Christine raised one hand in the air and waved it helplessly "-- I think I should hear this straight from the bunny's mouth. As it were." He raised his eyebrows at Dan, who grimaced.

"Enjoying this?" he asked snidely.

"Very much, yes," Harry agreed cheerfully. "And I gotta say, love the suit. It's really you."

Dan stood up straight, yanking the bunny suit around him with all the dignity he could muster. "It's all I have with me," he said disgustedly.

Harry patted the air with one hand. "It lends a certain something to the proceedings. And it's better than the alternative. Now, about what happened --"

"Right." Dan took a deep breath, raising a hand to run it through his hair and only faltering for a second when they touched plush bunny ears instead. With as much aplomb as he could manage, he swept his hand over them and let them bounce back up into place. "I was at a club, a very exclusive club --"

"Wait, you were a Playboy --" Harry stopped at the death glare Dan aimed at him. "Sorry," he said, grinning. "Please, continue."

"This club was having a costume party. Obviously," he added with a glare at everyone in reach. "This... ridiculous thing was the only costume I could find that fit me. While I was there, I spoke with several people, one of whom said something that suggested he was having problems with someone blackmailing him about certain personal habits."

"And that would be..."

"Me, Your Honor." A slim man in his late thirties got up from his seat in the gallery, holding up his hand as he came forward. "I'm Paul Scofield. Detective Paul Scofield."

"And what's your side of this, Detective Scofield?"

"He solicited me, Your Honor."

Harry's eyebrows climbed. "He... did."

Dan was huffing and gesturing. "I offered you my legal services!"

"Oh, please," Scofield said, almost sneering. "I know a come-on when I hear one." He turned back to Harry. "That club is a front for a brothel, Your Honor. I was part of a sting operation, and this... bunny person solicited me."

"I did NOT!" Dan yelled.

Harry's eyebrows were up almost in his hairline now. "This just keeps getting better, huh, Mac?"

"Oh, yes, sir," Mac said happily.

"Harry, would you please tell this so-called detective that I am, in fact, an attorney?"

Harry decided he'd milked the situation about as far as possible, and grinned. "I'm afraid he's right, detective. Dan Fielding is the assistant district attorney who works in my court."

Scofield blinked, looked Dan up and down, and looked back at Harry, who nodded.

"I know, hard to believe a bunny could pass the bar, huh? But he did. If you implied to him that you were being blackmailed -- for being gay, I assume, given the charges? -- he was simply discharging the duty of his office by offering you his services regarding the situation. You misunderstood, that's all."

"Hah!" Dan jabbed a finger at Scofield. "I told you!"

Scofield was shaking his head. "If you say so, Your Honor. But I'm telling you -- he wiggled that little cotton tail at me. I didn't misunderstand that."

Harry couldn't help himself. He leaned sidewise to get a look at the tail in question, breathing out a quiet sigh. It was a lovely sight, even covered in pink plush.

"I'm afraid you must have, detective. Mister Fielding is many things, to many... many people, but he's not a--" Harry paused. Hooker? Gigolo? "He doesn't work at a brothel. This really was just a misunderstanding." He picked up his gavel and banged it once. "Case dismissed."

Scofield walked away muttering. Harry looked around the courtroom. Mac was sitting upright in his chair but his shoulders were shaking; Roz and Bull were snickering; Christine was still a heap of giggles; and Dan was a gigantic affronted bunny in the middle of the room.

Grinning from ear to ear, Harry banged his gavel again. "I think that's lunch, people! Dan, can I see you in my office, please?"

"Oh, yay," Dan muttered, stalking out. Christine, who'd raised her head at the mention of lunch, collapsed again.

Harry took his time crossing the hallway to give Dan a few moments to collect himself, and shut the door gently behind him when he entered his office. "Dan --"

"Look, Harry, I appreciate the help out there -- although I could have done without some of the taunting, thank you very much -- but I'm really not in the mood for a lecture on the evils of my club life, all right? I have to find someone to help me get out of this suit."

"Dan," Harry said softly, leaning back against the door.

"What?" Dan asked, sounding irritated. He wouldn't meet Harry's eyes.

"I lied for you in there, Dan."

Dan froze.

"You did shake your tail at that guy, didn't you?"

"I didn't solicit him," Dan said quietly. "I wasn't asking for money. And when he hinted at being blackmailed, I did offer him my legal assistance. He did misinterpret that, Harry." He looked pleadingly into Harry's eyes.

"I know," Harry said, nodding as he took a few steps forward. "If I wasn't absolutely sure of that, I wouldn't have judged that case anywhere near as quick. But Dan -- "

"Please don't," Dan whispered.

"It's just, I noticed he looked kinda like --"

Dan shut his eyes, a tiny sound escaping him.

"--me." Harry was only inches away from Dan now, and could see the sweat sheening his face. "I'm not wrong, am I?"

Dan backed up a step, eyes still closed. "Harry," he said, his voice raw.

Harry stepped in again. "It's okay, Dan," he murmured, hooking his hands behind Dan's neck. Dan's eyes flew open in shock. Harry smiled. "It's okay." Carefully, he slid his hand around to the zipper on the suit. "What say we get you out of this?"

Harry's clear intent was enough to bring the confidence back to Dan's eyes. He smiled slowly, bringing all his charm and power to bear. "You know," he said huskily as Harry started tugging the zip down, "there is another reason I wore this suit."

Heat lanced through him at Dan's voice, the expression on his face, and he drew a shaky breath. "Oh, yeah?" Dan's scent reached him as the suit parted and started to fall away, and he had to force himself not to lean in and start licking right then.

"Yeah." Dan settled firm hands on Harry's hips. "'Cause I just keep going... and going... and going..."

~ fin ~

Feedback of any sort, from one line to detailed crit, is always welcome, at arduinna at trickster dot org.


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