DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and all characters are
property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
AUTHOR'S NOTE 1: okay I have to admit that I am currently obsessed w/ this pairing I've only watched l&o: svu a few times sporadically, but after watching a few recent episodes I'm hooked on this 'ship
AUTHOR'S NOTE 2: this is unbeta'd so i take full responsibility for any errors or evidence of 'tardation
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
One Month Later:
"Come back to me when you have more evidence detective."
As Assistant District Attorney Casey Novak exited the squad room, all eyes followed and wondered what bug crawled up her ass this week. Detective Elliot Stabler had also noticed the friction between his partner and the current ADA. At first he thought it was because of the Levy case, but that was a month ago. It definitely had to be something that ran a lot deeper than what happened then.
"Hey Liv, what's up with you and Novak?" He asked his partner. "Nothing's up Elliot." She told him, flatly. "Could have fooled me. Seems like every time you two get in the same room together, the temperature drops about twenty degrees." He retorted.
Elliot just shook his head and chucked. He decided that whatever was going on between the two of them, would come to some kind of resolution. He just hoped that no one would get caught up in the backlash.
The walk to the ADA's office was normally a short one, but this trip was different. Casey hadn't spoken to her since the night at her apartment. And Olivia couldn't really blame her for the way she reacted. Truth be told, she was far angrier with herself. Casey deserved better. The very least she owed her was an explanation, even if it wasn't the entire truth. Considering what that truth was, it definitely was not an option, at least not yet it wasn't.
The detective rounded the corner into the hall that led to the office of the assistant district attorney. She took a moment to brace herself for what she was sure to be an extremely chilly reception. "Twenty degrees my ass, Elliot."
Olivia opened the door and saw Casey sitting on the floor surrounded by a mountain of files. She looked very much the way she did the first time she walked into her office. She thought it funny how then the red head seemed ridiculous, and now, she simply looked endearing.
"Casey, do you have a minute?" she asked softly.
"Unless you have that evidence I requested or came to discuss the case, then no, I don't have a minute. As you can see I'm up to my eye balls in files, and seeing how I'm regarded by certain members of this department as, how did you phrase it?" She tapped her chin. "Oh yeah a 'glorified desk jockey, with her head up ass.' I think it best that I do at least try to look like I know what I'm doing."
'Ouch. Nothing hurts more than having your own words thrown back in your face.' Olivia thought to herself. And she deserved everything the counselor dished out, but she was determined to try and make things right with her.
"Casey, I think it's time we talked about what happened."
"Please detective, I think we've said all that needed to be said on that particular topic." She said while getting up from the floor, until she was able to stand with her arms crossed over her chest and backside leaned against her desk. A brief smile ghost across Olivia's lips, as she stood before the red head, regarding her in what she had dubbed "the stance. If the situation weren't so screwed up, the entire exchange would have been quite funny.
"Fine. If that's how you feel, but there is one thing I want you to know."
"And that would be ?
"For what it's worth, that night I honestly wanted to be with you." And with that disclosure, Detective Olivia Benson turned her back and walked out of the ADA's office.
Bolts of lightning lit up the New York City sky. It was a violent storm and in Olivia Benson's apartment, the storm seemed to fit the mood within its confines. The past month had been pure hell on her and not just because of the situation with Casey, but also because she had to bury every emotion she was feeling deep inside. And the burden of that was eating away at her slowly and very painfully. And despite constantly being around people, she felt very much alone.
The knock at the door startled her. Her training as a police officer kicked in and she sprinted to the door to check the peep-hole, making a mental notation as to where she left her gun. Her eyes met the distorted image of a very wet assistant district attorney. She quickly opened the door. "Casey?" "Oh god, you're shivering. C'mon in before you catch pneumonia." The red head wordlessly followed the brunette into the apartment. Her sneakers squeaked against the hardwood floors, leaving behind a trail of rain water.
Olivia walked into her bedroom to retrieve some dry clothes for Casey to change into. A million thoughts raced through her head while she searched for something to give the other woman to wear. First and foremost, she wondered why Casey was here. It had to be incredibly important if she was willing to brave the mess outside to come here. And if that were the case, how was she going to handle the situation?
"Here, take these. I put some towels in the bathroom so you can take a hot shower to warm up a bit, and I'll put on a kettle for some hot tea."
Casey had returned from the bathroom twenty minutes later and still hadn't said a word as to what she wanted or why she was there. They sat there in extremely awkward silence. She took in Casey's current state, garbed in her navy blue NYPD t-shirt and gray jogging pants. Her hair was slicked back from being wet and Olivia noticed the slightest hint of curls at the ends. She seemed even more pale than usual, and she seemed a whole lot younger too. Despite herself, Olivia was enthralled and images of that night flitted in and out, like some cheesy montage from a 1950s movie. Her thoughts made her realize that the young ADA wasn't always what she seemed, especially to the casual observer. What you saw was not necessarily what you got. And that made her that much more dangerous and alluring.
The sound of a mug hitting the coffee table disrupted her train of thought and caused her to look over in the direction of the younger woman.
"Why did you come to me that night?" She finally asked.
"I wanted to apologize for the way I reacted while on the Levy case." She answered. "I was out of line and shouldn't have said the things I said to you, despite the fact that you endangered not only yourself, but also every person involved in backing you up. I can appreciate your enthusiasm, but you're not a cop Casey. You're not trained to do the work that we do. But I had no right to say the things I said."
Casey looked Olivia directly in the eyes and said, "I get that Olivia. And I would have been okay if you said that exact same thing to me that day. But you didn't. You humiliated me in front of the entire squad. You wanted to hurt me. I mean, I've come to accept the fact that we weren't ever going to be friends, but despite your initial hostility toward me when I first started this assignment, I thought we had reached a point where we could at the very least, respect each other. I had no idea you hated me as much as you do." The detective was taken aback. The statement was so off, it almost made her laugh out loud, but given Casey's current frame of mind, she thought better of it.
"I don't hate you Casey. It's just "
"You don't like me very much?" She interjected. It sounded more like a statement than a question. "No. That's not true either."
"Then what is Olivia? Because I sure as hell don't know." Casey said sadly.
The brunette got up from the chair she had been sitting in and crossed over to where the red head was sitting on the couch and knelt in front of her. "It's complicated." Casey hesitantly took Olivia's hands into hers and looked up at her with imploring eyes. "So, uncomplicated it for me."
Olivia took in a deep breath and exhaled. "Everything was getting too real for me."
"What do you mean 'too real.'?"
"You, me, us. It was happening so fast and that's just not me. Jesus Christ Casey, I practically forced myse " She stopped abruptly, she couldn't bring herself to utter the words that were too follow. Olivia got up and walked over to the window, she watched the drops of rain that cascaded down the glass. She could also see Casey's reflection, sitting on the edge of the couch with her head bowed. The familiar ache reared its ugly head and she would give anything for it to just stop. It was more than she could bear.
"I lost control." She finally said.
The room became silent again, Olivia's words still hung in the air, and saturated the room. The rain continued to pound against the window pane, keeping a steady rhythm. The detective felt like crying and waited for tears that never came. She didn't know what the other woman was thinking and the silence was unbearable and once again she felt totally alone. She could feel the tension seizing her body and felt helpless against it and it made her that more angry and frustrated. Olivia wanted to scream, and rage against something, anything, just to make all of these feelings go away.
Just as she was beginning to lose all hope, she felt it, a light touch on her right shoulder. She could see Casey's reflection through the window. Her face was red and streaked with wetness. Olivia slowly turned around and pulled her into her arms. And they stood like that by the window, clenched together as if their very lives depended on it.
After what seemed like hours, they pried themselves apart. Olivia was a little more than embarrassed, but was appreciative of the moment of comfort they just shared. Casey was still looking at her when she began to speak. "There are so many things I wanted to say to you. So many things I wanted to yell at you and and now, I'm not sure what I want anymore." "What happened in my apartment that night Olivia, was consensual. It wasn't terribly tender or romantic, but it was apparently something that we both wanted."
"I I'm sorry Casey. I don't know how to explain my mind set that night."
"Was it me or would've any warm body do?" She asked Olivia.
"It was you Case. It was definitely you." The detective's admission confused the counselor. "That's what I don't understand Liv. There was never any indication that you were attracted to me and then all of a sudden you're at my door and we're having mind blowing sex and the next minute you're gone. None of it makes sense." She threw her hands up in frustration.
"I told you, it's complicated."
"What makes it complicated Liv?
"C'mon Casey, it's pretty obvious isn't it?"
"No, it isn't. I don't know what you want from me. I can't even understand how we got here to begin with. So no Liv, there's nothing obvious about any of this."
Olivia sighed. She had avoided telling the other woman the real reason that brought about the current situation they found themselves in. How could she explain herself without opening old wounds that only recently began to heal? She didn't want to dredge up the past anymore than she wanted to consider the future, but the question was, would there even be a future if she didn't let go of the past?
"When you set off to go after Miriam Levy on your own, I got scared I was upset and angry. And it was starting to feel like...like I just couldn't go through that, not again especially not before " She hesitated, not sure just how much she could reveal, how much of herself she could give away, So she changed tract, "Given our line of work, it would just be total insanity to get involved with anyone, let alone someone from the same house. It just It just can't work."
There was yet another moment of silence, Olivia thought that maybe the red head was mulling over what she had just said. She had to admit that much of it didn't really make sense to her and she wondered if Casey understood any of it herself. She heard her sigh, and then she spoke, "I'm not Alex, Liv."
There was something in her voice that broke Olivia's heart. There was an indescribable weariness in her tone. It's as if she had gone down that particular rode more times than she could count and yet here she was, traveling down it yet again.
"I know that Case, and no one expects you to be." She told Casey as she stroked her along the length of her arm. For her part, Casey held Olivia's hand and looked directly into her eyes and said, "And as far as us getting involved, incase you haven't noticed, we're already involved. The question is, just how involved are we?"
The look she gave Olivia was so intense, she felt her resolve crumble. The words just spilled out without her even thinking about them, "More than I should have allowed. I left that night because I knew because I knew if I didn't right then and there, it was pretty likely that we would reach a point when I wouldn't be able to."
Casey just continued to stare at her and that made her feel incredibly exposed and she wished for nothing more than for the floor to open up and swallow her. She hated feeling vulnerable and hated it even more that the woman standing barely a foot away from her was the one who caused her to feel the way she now felt. Casey gently squeezed the hand she had been hold for the past several minutes, which Olivia had been oblivious to during her emotional torrent.
"I think that's enough for now," was all the ADA said as she pulled Olivia behind her, going in the direction of Olivia's bedroom.
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