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05 January 2009 @ 12:35 pm
I started this a loooong time ago, and somehow reading up on the Saw series got this working again.

Title: Justice-ology (I suck at titles, wrrrrrryyyyy) 
Fandom: Justice. Brief mention of Saw IV, though only as a movie Alden's watched.
Rating: PG-- mild language.
Pairing/Characters: Alden-centric with significant Tom, Ron, and Luther musings. Very vague Alden/Tom.
Summary: Alden finds an old piece of clothing that gets her thinking on how the team works.
Disclaimer: Don't own either Justice or Saw, etc.

Alden almost never dug through her closet; it was always neat and organized, she knew where every shoe, blazer, skirt, and shirt was. She was one who liked being in control and knew how to take control of a situation, however weird or hairy it got, but she was relaxed enough to take a break, put on a slinky dress, and have some fun clubbing with a date and having a few (though only a few) drinks. Again, Alden liked being in control, and being drunk or buzzed was practically the epitome of the opposite.
But she hadn’t been clubbing for quite some time. She’d pretty much only had the opportunity for the wine-and-dine kind of dates, where she wore the more sophisticated, in-between-conservative-and-sexy dresses. She stepped into her walk-in closet, looking for one of her more uncharacteristic outfits. She hadn’t had one in mind, really, and started rooting through the hangers and shelves for some old, funky clothes that would earn a double-take from Tom, a mildly disapproving look from Luther, and a barrage of sarcastic comments from Ron.
She came across a box. A little bigger than a shoebox, hot pink and dusty, and something that lingered in the back of her head. Oh, this is familiar, but I can’t remember why, and she opened the box.
Her name looked back up at her, monogrammed and slightly unraveled in blue italics, on a white coat with a few stains on it. A smile crept onto her face. Her old lab coat. It’d been a very long time since she’d last worn it, at the very least seven or eight years.
She took the box down, took out the lab coat, and examined it. Long before she’d joined TNT&G, long before she’d gone to law school, she’d been quite the science buff, a vital member to her high school’s Science Olympiads team. If it hadn’t been for a required law-themed English course she’d taken her freshman year in college, she’d have been a physics or chemistry major -- she liked the complicated straightforwardness of the subjects. She hadn’t quite lost her love of them and the time spent in the lab, though she found herself more and more attracted to law as she took more classes related to the subject. So she’d decided to take a minor and got to know a very friendly, very generous professor rather well. He’d offered her a part-time job in his lab and gave her that monogrammed coat when she said yes.
It got her thinking. Justice is a science to her. Perhaps that’s why she gets along so well with Dr. Shaw, perhaps that’s why she could whip that stupidly meek forensic worker in the wife-in-the-pool case into proper shape for court better than anyone else. She immediately understood what he was talking about, and then her natural personality and law training came in. There was a personality test she’d taken where she was dubbed the chief, the mobilizer, the strategist. State the facts. Explain what we need to understand your hypothesis. Physics and chemistry were about equations and tests and decoding the answers into a clear-cut statement and conclusion, not making senseless babble that others can’t understand. Physics and chemistry were about understanding something, and in court, you have to make someone understand something.
That extended to her work with unruly clients and why she was often used in the physical demonstrations of theories. She simply understood what was going on and visualized it better than the rest of her team, and she knew how to proceed in a case with nothing but the empirical evidence presented. Never jump to conclusions unless you’ve found something to support it, but still take a hypothesis you want to support. Don’t ignore what contradict it, but piece things together to find that “Eureka!” Like that umbrella, again from the woman-in-the-pool case. A lot of science was noticing and explaining things, and that’s what she did in court.
And that got her thinking about the rest of her team. They were very much of a team, with the various roles that made them smack the ball into a cage but also let it get smacked into theirs.
Tom is the young hero who hasn’t yet lost his child’s-eye view of virtue. The courtrooms aren’t yet a manufacturing plant that spews out a verdict packaged in media and labeled “justice,” but a battlefield where the good and the bad are clear-cut and straightforward; he’s a dedicated Haverford boy who loved his honor code and social justice requirements like a best friend. Law is about what’s right and wrong more than anything. It’s a beautiful example of what killed Lieutenant Rigg in Saw IV, that burning desire to save others and belief that he, indeed, can-- when Alden first watched that movie on a blind date, she shook her head and whispered, “Oh, no, not another Tom.” (Her date raised an eyebrow when she explained that Tom was just a colleague.)
It didn’t help that Rigg vaguely resembled Luther, either, though Luther’s not quite a Rigg. Luther’s the father. He was once a Tom, a fresh-faced crusader for great justice, but he slowly hardened until he became as stone-faced as his name. He realized long ago that a young man’s justice can’t always be ground out of the courtroom, so he instead puts it wherever he sees he can. He fills his duty, and he protects others: his children from harsh reality by dishing it to them straight in his cold, straightforward manner; to the girl from the roller-coaster case who, at that moment, needed a daddy-- not a father, but a daddy; and to his team, mostly Tom. Luther seems to be waiting for when Tom learns the difference between Haverford justice and courtroom justice, Alden thinks. But she knows that Luther Graves’s idealized justice hasn’t died and certainly has no epitaph. Stubborn. It’s the mark of a true parent.
Ron, however, is the businessman. He gets shit done and takes shit from no-one. To him, morals and humanity are a tool to win one more “justice” label to advertise their packaging plant, but there’s still the occasional glimmer of that same, Tom-like justice when he scolds a particularly annoying client on how much of an immoral pig they are. But like a meat-packing plant, he can sometimes look the other way over the dying cows kept in horrid conditions and all the methane gas leaked into the air. He can push those morals aside when it’s convenient, though he still fights for what he believes in-- typically, the media and exposure of TNT&G and their pay. He certainly loves his Giorgio Armani suits, though Alden can’t say she doesn’t feel the same way about her closet full of designer clothes.
Alden once again scanned over her jacket, stained and tattered here and there. None of her team were scientists like her, nor was she a scientist quite like Dr. Shaw. A sort of happy medium, a departure from the boys, but not in a womanly wiles kind of way, just an Alden sort of way.
Her clubbing date arrived while Alden was applying her makeup. She invited him in and told him to make himself at home. As he idly twiddled his thumbs and wandered around, he noticed a pink shoebox in the trash and a white lab coat hanging in the closet.

Author's Notes (because I can't get them to work behind the cut):
  • Alden's pre-TNT&G years are pure idiotic geeking musing and contemplation and are not canon. 
  • For those unfamiliar with the Saw series, here's Wikipedia's snippet on Lieutenant Rigg.
  • The personality test mentioned is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. I'm convinced Alden's an ENTJ.
  • chaos_harmony takes credit for the original idea of Tom = Haverford boy. After submitting my application, I FREAKING WHOLEHEARTEDLY AGREE. It's such a Tom school.

I should reeaaalllly be writing my Law as Lit essay assigned over break and not spend insane amounts of time organizing my tags.
too late.
Current Mood: busybusy
Current Music: Beware -- Deftones
Marsailbesfishermen on January 5th, 2009 09:49 pm (UTC)
Eh...sorry, I didn't read the story, but I'm sure it was great!

Anyway, you were assigned an essay over break? Really? Every one of my teachers was like "Well, I'm not allowed to assign you any homework over the break, so I won't. But if I were allowed to, I would." It seemed like they'd all gotten a talking to about not assigning any work from Mattingly, or something.

Who teaches Law as Lit?
Marsailbesfishermen on January 5th, 2009 09:51 pm (UTC)
Oh, waiiiit...they were talking about assigning work for the last Thursday...since we all had Lessons & Carols, etc. etc. to go to, they couldn't assign anything. So maybe they /were/ allowed to assign stuff over break? Sorry, I think I was confused. But still, that sucks. How long is the essay supposed to be?
Maggaepicrauko on January 6th, 2009 03:21 am (UTC)
Just long enough to communicate the point, but...ehh, we had two nights to read the entire book, so it's taking quite some time.
Amber: justice | tomminttown1 on January 6th, 2009 04:25 am (UTC)
I really like this.
唐大千chaos_harmony on January 7th, 2009 04:16 am (UTC)
I really like the ideas here, as we've discussed. The main issue, as far as I can tell, is the style of it - while I enjoy the concepts and themes and whatnot, it really reads more like thoughts & speculation on a character, rather than a story or characterstudy!fic. It's statement of fact after fact, but no rhythm to the tale, if that makes any sense. (You could also do with breaks between paragraphs, but that's formatting rather than style or content). Still, I do enjoy certain phrasings and descriptions, and the speculation itself is thought-provoking.
Maggaepicrauko on January 8th, 2009 12:33 am (UTC)
Okay, so what would you suggest for the distinguishing between characterstudy and thought/speculation? For instance, would you suggest putting it in a more solid framework-- i.e. more action on Alden's part, showing that it's *her* doing the thinking and narrating, etc.?