Title: "Aftermath" 1/1
Email address: email@example.com
Feedback: If you like it please share with me. (I'm open to any kind of fb, both good and bad.)
Fandom: "Law & Order: SVU"
Date: September 14, 2003
Archive: Please ask.
Category: Slashy (specifically femslash).
Disclaimer: No intent to infringe on any legal ownership. No intent to defame or slander anyone. Totally fictional and intended for entertainment only. No monetary gain occurred or is intended.
Summary: Olivia deals.
Warnings: Slashy -- specifically femslash (women 'involved' with each other). Beta: Yes! Happily FatJoey was online and available to read this over. Thanks, Joey! Both for the beta -- and for getting back to me so quickly!
Dedication: To FatJoey (Joey) who runs the LawAndOrderSVUFanfic list. He's a terrific friend, amazing beta -- and great moderator!
Spoilers: For 'Loss'.
She was staring out the passenger-side window of the car into the passing darkness wishing she didn't have to turn to answer. But he was her partner -- he didn't deserve to be kept out in the cold.
"I..." she was striving to keep calm. To not give way to the tears that were dancing on her lashes and burning her eyes.
"Hey, you okay?" Elliot asked gently, his eyes on the road.
"I really need a drink," Olivia replied, her voice husky. "Elliot, I could really use a drink."
"Yeah, me, too," he said, turning the wheel of the car smoothly.
They both climbed out of the car quickly once it was parked. The habit of good cops not to dawdle once the engine was cut.
Elliot was shadowing her, letting her lead the way toward the bar. It was as if he were somehow literally watching her back. Yet when she reached the door he was there first, moving into the room with his eyes shooting ten directions at once. It wasn't unusual, though there seemed to be an intensity that was beyond the norm.
Or maybe she was hyper-sensitive. Hard to say. It had been a rough go the past several weeks. And tonight had certainly been the capper...
She didn't shoot him a glance as he lightly took her arm while they moved across the room to a corner booth. Olivia knew where his head was. After all these years working together, she probably knew him better than his wife Kathy did. In some ways, anyway, she thought, allowing herself to smile.
"This okay?" Elliott asked as he folded his tall body behind the table and slid along the bench seat.
Olivia nodded and sat beside him, surprised at herself. Normally she'd have taken the seat across from him so they could talk across the table. Could watch one another and gauge reactions to what was being said.
In fact, Olivia usually sat across from Alex, too. She'd always enjoyed the opportunity to stare into that sweet face -- those intense, intelligent eyes. To watch the expressions and body language that could often tell far more than the words they shared in public places...
Alex. The stab of ice in her chest was about Alex. Her emotions were mixed beyond any simple attempt at reason.
She could hear that silent litany pounding in her ears. 'Thank God. Thank God. She's alive. She's still alive.' The shock had been almost more than she could take.
"Two beers," she heard Elliot saying to an attractive blond barmaid. Olivia's bent head obscured a clear view of the woman jotting on a small pad, but revealed enough to make Olivia's heart do a flip-flop. There was something vaguely like Alex about this person standing so close to her. Was it the long blond locks brushed so smooth? Or the wisp of scent? A smell that was slightly exotic; a subdued undertone of jungle flowers and unknown spices.
"You could have knocked me down with a feather," Elliot said, as the woman turned back to the bar.
"No shit," Olivia managed to mutter, hoping she didn't seem as out of it as she felt.
It took her a beat to realize Elliot had spoken those words. Olivia's private litany given voice.
"Yeah. I can't believe it."
"What's amazing is that they allowed her to see us," he said, his hand slipping inside his jacket.
The barmaid was back with their beers -- and Elliot pulled free his wallet and paid while Olivia tried not to stare at the woman.
Was this some weird cosmic joke? The woman seemed like a dead ringer for Alex Cabot. Why wasn't Elliot reacting? Wasn't he as stunned as she was?
"Keep the change."
"Thanks." The voice was low pitched and warm. Familiar enough to give Olivia goosebumps.
"Miss," she called out at the woman's retreating back. "I need something one hell of a lot stronger than this," she said, lifting the glass as if in a toast.
The barmaid put her tray on the edge of an empty table and picked up her tablet. She stood waiting, pen ready to write.
Olivia was suddenly tongue-tied. She was looking at a lovely young blond who bore very little resemblance to Alex.
"Get her a scotch rocks. Hell, make that two," Elliot said, rescuing her. "You know," he added, "make those doubles."
Olivia turned toward her partner and he smiled at her. She knew her face was flushed but she didn't care. She felt one tear escape and streak down her cheek as she grinned back at him.
"Hey, we're in this together."
Not really, she thought.
She lifted her glass and he lifted his and the clinked them lightly together. It was a damned good thing to have a partner you liked and trusted. Someone who did have your back -- and then some. She was lucky. Very lucky.
"Penny," Elliot said, setting down his glass and wiping the foam from his mouth with the back of his hand.
"I'll miss her," Olivia answered, simply.
"Yeah, me, too. It sucks," he said, summing it up well with those two words.
"It sucks," she echoed, taking another swallow of beer.
And then it was several drinks later. She lost count somewhere along the road to serious inebriation.
They were both laughing and punching each other a lot. They were louder than they should be. But they were still careful. Not talking about Alex Cabot at all. Just two cops on a drunk. Nothing strange about that in this particular bar.
"God, I think I'm going to be sick," Olivia said, trying to rise.
"Shit. Let's get out of here, then," Elliot said, grasping her arm firmly as he slid them both out of the booth.
He tossed some bills on the table and they moved -- both unsteady -- toward the door.
They made it to the street before she lost it. She leaned over the gutter and puked while he held her. Then finally they rose and headed back to the car.
"You're too drunk to drive," she said thickly, using his proffered hanky to wipe her mouth.
"Yeah, I'm gonna call Munch. He'll come. We can sit in the car while we wait."
He helped her in then slammed the door closed. Then she could vaguely make out small snatches of his cell call to John Munch. Finally he climbed in and shut the door behind him.
"You okay now?" he asked, his tone worried.
She started to say 'yes' -- and was surprised at herself as she burst into tears.
"I'm... I'm sorry," she said between sobs.
Elliot wrapped her in his arms and pulled her against him. Olivia could hear him making those small wordless sounds that were so comforting as he rocked her. 'It must be nice to have a dad like him,' she reflected as her crying began to calm.
He made a hushing sound before easing back to let her up for air. "Better?" he asked. She felt like kissing him. He always seemed to know when it was best to use few words. To say enough to show he cared without saying too much.
"Hell, don't be," Elliot replied. "I'm almost as emotional about this as you are. And I don't feel right telling Kathy about this. So it's you and me. Like I said before."
"I love her, Elliot," she blurted, relieved to have said the words at last.
"Yeah, she's the best," he agreed. "The best."
Olivia put a hand on Elliot's arm and stared directly into his eyes.
"No, you're not following me. I'm in love with her. Alex and I are..." she paused and took a deep breath, "...we were lovers," she continued, forcing herself to stress the word 'were.'
Elliot's face briefly betrayed his shock, but he quickly managed to hide it. She could imagine he must disapprove, considering his own background as a typical husband, family-man and Catholic.
"Sorry. That wasn't how I planned to tell you," she said, her voice soft.
"Don't be sorry," he said, taking her hand between his. "I just feel stupid that I didn't see it before. I mean, I guess I did see it in some ways," he added. It was dim inside the car, but Olivia thought she could make out a grin spreading across Elliot's face. "There've been times..." he trailed off, sighing.
"Yeah. If anybody could have seen it, you'd be the one." She noticed the pleasure in her own tone and realized how glad she was that he had sensed it, however vaguely. She'd longed to tell him many times. Had always planned to share it with him, sooner or later.
But not like this.
"I'm so sorry," he said, breaking the silence. "God, this whole time..."
"Everybody loses people," she began, trying to ease the situation.
"I wish I'd known. I mean, I'd have been more..." There was clear misery in his tone. Regret.
"You couldn't have been there for me any more than you have been, Elliot," she said, her voice firm. "You've really been a rock, you know."
"Yes, you have. It's been pure hell."
"I can't even imagine it."
"Sure you can. You've thought about what it would be like to lose Kathy, haven't you?"
"A million times."
"God. Olivia, I don't know what to say."
"You've already said it, Elliot. It just feels better, somehow, being able to share it with someone."
They sat in silence, her hand sandwiched between his.
What would it be like? They'd always felt it necessary to hide what they shared. So they'd never been able to live entirely together -- the way they'd wanted to.
Olivia was sorry about that now. At least she'd have had more time with Alex if they'd shared a home...
Time. It suddenly mattered a great deal. Even those rare seconds of snatched intimacy in some courtroom corner -- a brush of fingertips to fingertips.
And now Alex was gone from her life. Perhaps forever. With nothing more than a hurried goodbye on a dark road...
"How do people do it, Elliot?" she asked him, voice matter-of-fact.
"One day at a time, I guess. I suppose it gets easier sooner or later."
They both sighed. Elliot turned to stare out the windshield into the night. The seconds were ticking by and Olivia could feel the weight of each one...
"You know, I'm not sure I want it to get easier," she said.
She saw him nod in response, the black outline of his profile bobbing up and down.
"Yeah," he said in a taut voice.
"I'm okay, Elliot," she said, soothing him. She sensed he was on the edge of tears himself.
They both started at the sound of pounding on the side of the car.
"You two awake in there?" John Munch called.
Olivia shifted to open the door and slipped out of the car. The night air felt cold. And she felt entirely sober. Ready to face a lonely future...
"Let's go," she said, her words an order. "Tomorrow's a work day."
Time enough to think things out in the future. She was facing a lot of empty nights from here on out...
Return to Law & Order Fiction
Return to Main Page