DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and its characters are the property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
By Kassandra Luem
When Olivia opens her mailbox that morning, jumbling out come three letters: Two invoices and one plain, white envelope with nothing on it but her name, her adress and a stamp. She turns it over and over in her hand, trying to figure out whom it's from. The adress is typed, so she can't figure it out just by the handwriting.
Shrugging, she puts the letters on the coffeetable and gets ready for work. But this one envelope keeps bugging her. And while she looks deeply into her own eyes in the bathroom mirror, a forbidden thought creeps into her head like a butterfly on a clear spring day.
Could it be from her?
But the next moment, she chases that thought away with a determined gesture. Over and done with, Liv. Don't go back there, her own eyes warn her, it will only cause more heartbreak. But still She now itches to open the letter, to know for sure if it really is from her. Because if it is good God. Olivia doesn't know if the thing twisiting her stomach is hope or fear, it's hard to tell. Most probably it's both.
Wary hands cover wary eyes for a moment and she has to think back to the last week. And one hell of a week it's been. She can safely say that she hasn't slept more than 12 hours in total. And if she's slept at all, she's dreamed of her. The way those lovely blue eyes opened wide in shock, hurt darkening them until the color reminded her of the sea on a stormy night. Hurt she had caused. Hurt that was given back more than generously. And then the one person she truly loved turned on her heel, tears glistening in her eyes and never turned around to see the devasteted look that crossed the detective's face.
They haven't spoken to each other since and for all Olivia knows it's over. It took them so long to finally warm up to each other and when they did, they were both surprised at how well they actually got along. And as time went by they learned things about each other, small things that were important nonetheless. How the other one liked her coffee, the other's favourite color, favourite movie, singer and so on. And then there was the day that Olivia discovered the mole on her lover's tigh. This was the night that took their relationship to the next level. Just five months ago.
But in fact, Olivia can't recall ever having been happier than in those months. Of course, things weren't easy. They never are with her. And to be honest, she isn't one for easy and quiet either. A slight grin tugs at the corners of her mouth as she remembers the catfights they have taken out and the following passionate hours of ,,reconciling''.
But what happened last Tuesday is way beyond being fixed by a few apologetic words and heated kisses. The grin disappears as quickly as it's come. Five months were all it took to find out that the love they have for each other just isn't enough. By now, Olivia's fighting the tears that burn behind her eyes. Just five months.
They were so happy. And then that goddamn charity ball came up. At first Olivia thought she was just kidding as her lover asked her to accompany her to the ball. Knowing that this meant meeting the family and being officially introduced as her girfriend, Olivia was honored. But a significantly larger part of her was scared out of her mind. This relationship was getting serious. Her lover wanted to introduce her not only to her family but to New York's High Society just as well. And what countless perps with guns and knives didn't manage, this prospect did: Det. Olivia Benson was afraid.
But of course she couldn't tell that to the woman who put such faith in her. Instead she looked for excuses why she couldn't possibly make it to the ball. Even Elliot and the kids were once used for that in one admittedly very desperate and weak attempt. Still her lover didn't budge. And Olivia felt trapped. Every time the subject came up she became angrier. Why couldn't she just accept that she wasn't doing balls and end of matter!. Tension now filled the air every time they met and instead of the earlier comfortable silences, the silences that now dominated their time together had nothing peaceful or relaxing. From spending almost every night together they had gone to seeing each other about once a week if one of them could actually find it in themselves to make all the way to the other's apartment just to sit in utter silence, staring at each other.
And then, last week it happened. Olivia came home from work to find her lover standing in the middle of her living room, talking on the phone with someone. From what was said it was pretty clear that the person on the other end was in fact her lover's mother. But what triggered the whole fiasco were her lover's last words.
,,All right. We'll be there at 9pm. And please make sure judge Mitchell isn't at our table. She can't stand the guy... Thanks, Mom . Bye!''
The moment she heard that, something inside of her just.. snapped. She didn't know how to describe it, she just felt this white-hot fury surging through her veins and ten minutes and a shouting match later Olivia found herself alone in her doorway, staring after the woman she has come to love so much that it hurts.
And now there's this mysterious letter sitting on her coffeetable. Which means that perhaps she's written her a letter. Olivia can't decide whether this is a good or a bad sign. All she knows is that opening the letter will irrevocably change things. Her own eyes stare back at her as she tries to summon up the courage to find out what her lover has to say to her.
Don't be ridiculous, Liv. Most probably it's something completely different, anyway.
Sighing, she turns away and walks into the living room, where the plain white envelope catches her eye as soon as she enters. Her heart is beating anxiously in her chest. And what if she just wrote to tell her it was over? God, if she lost her Her heart is clenching in her chest. She can't lose her. As simple as that. She just can't lose her. But she can't go on like this past week, either.
Her hand reaches out to pick up the white envelope that gleams in the sunlight, blissfully unaware of the trouble it caused for the person it was delivered to. Turning it over once again in her hand she finally tears it open with a sharp gesture. Her breath catches and she could swear that for a second her heart stops beating as she recognizes the familiar handwriting on the single sheet of paper she has taken out. Alex' handwriting. Her lover's.
Her eyes sweep over the words, trying to take them in all at once. When she's finished, her hand falls limply to her side and the sheet flows to the ground. A stupor seems to have taken possession of her for a second. But then a loud sigh erupts from the very depths of her soul and she races over to the phone, almost knocking over her coffeetable in the process. This time she hesitates only the briefest of moments before dialling the familiar number, her heart jumping with exitement as she waits to hear her lover's voice on the other end. Of course there are still issues to be talked about but Olivia suddenly knows that they are going to find a way to make this work. Finally, the dial tone stops and suddenly Olivia hears the sweetest sound on the other end of the line.
And in the early morning sun, a certain discarded sheet of paper is covered in blinding, white light that makes it gleam like the shining beacon of hope that it has turned into. It simply reads:
I'm sorry about everything that happened. I don't want to give up on us, I know we can sort this out. Please call me. I love you.
And I won't go
I won't sleep
I can't breathe
Until you're resting here with me
And I won't leave
I can't hide
I cannot be
Until you're resting here with me
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