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Life Ain't Black and White (but it is, but it is)

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It's easier to differentiate good from evil in theory than it is in practice.

Carter is a good cop- a good detective. She knows her way about procedure and never wavers in her convictions. Her oath is as sacred to her still as the day she made it, fresh from the academy, and still a little bright-eyed from the war. She knows murder is illegal is immoral, that the law is right and right is the law, that a person should have the security of his or her personhood and belongings. That no one is above scrutiny or the laws she defends and upholds and-

and

And there's a man she's hunting- supposed to be hunting- bleeding on a parking complex roof because of her laws and suddenly the law doesn't look so good, and Snow doesn't look so clean, hiding his piss under layers and layers of fresh powder and she has been made complicit in this.

She's been used. She has beed used, in a conspiracy to commit murder of the first degree sort, how had she not known.

She runs down stairs and darts around corners and she desperately hopes she finds him alive, but even more desperately hopes she doesn't find the Man in the Suit at all because she's starting to realize more than ever that lawful isn't good and unlawful might just not be evil and- oh god, she got him shot.

She got him shot, and there are no more garage levels to go, no more bloody handprints to follo-

"STOP!" because there he is and she's still a cop- a cop complicit in an attempted murder- and she will bring him in-

But he turns to her, and god.

There was a dog four houses down from her growing up with an owner who would kick him when she felt like it. He never complained, never called out, never bit. Just looked at the world with resigned, weary eyes.

Different face, same eyes.

Goddamnit.

Underneath him, the small man she can see is supporting most- Harold?

"You- You're-"

But Snow or his lacky is clattering down the stairwell, and there's no time and she knows that look and goddamnit, she won't be complicit in a successful murder attempt.

"Go." And she'll probably regret this somewhere down the line, but her other choice is waiting for Snow so he can put a bullet between tired eyes. "Go!"

Harold and his parter- employee?- duck into the waiting car, gone before the stairwell door turns and Carter is left staring at the pool of blood the Man in the Suit had left behind. She's still staring when Snow stops beside her, asks where he went.

"You know, Snow?" she turns her head to level him with a flat look, two inches away from slugging him, "You can take your cooperation and shove it."

She's done. She wants to go home, hug her boy and forget about everything that just happened. The last month, if she could be so blessed. Carter heads for her car.

"Detective-"

"No!" she spins back on a dime, watches Snow hesitate back a half step when she shoves two fingers into his breast, "You have made me complicit in an attempted murder, lied and mislead me, and for what? For a case you're not officially or legally allowed to work, regarding a man who you say doesn't exist!"

"Cart-"

"I'm done. I'm done, Snow." she turns back to her car, calls over her shoulder, "You can take yourself from my precinct. I'm not cooperating with you on this again."

Oh, if the world was black and white, if she were allowed to make her own laws. But it's not and she can't. She just has this. And somehow this has to be enough.