DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and all characters are
property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Look! My second A/O fic! I kinda thought about doing this when someone on the TwoP board asked if, you know, I could write a story that had a happy ending. Folks, that's like asking me to write in Latin. So naturally, I had to try it. Thanks, anomalys. (I'd give my props to the TwoP board ON the board, but, ahem, I've had my posting privileges removed. *innocent face*) I'm still not sure I've got the characters right yet, but if the muse continues to strike, I can only get (hopefully!) better.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Just when the silence in the small box was almost unbearable, Olivia spoke up, barely disguising her smirk.
"Alone at last."
Though she couldn't quite make out the face of the person across the tiny elevator, she couldn't mistake the unimpressed tone of Alex Cabot.
"Not funny, Detective."
She waited for a few seconds, knowing she lulled Alex into believing the comment had been met with dutiful apology before lobbing, "In other good news, the circulation has come back to my arm."
"You're really enjoying this, aren't you?" When Alex heard a soft chuckle in reply, she couldn't help but give in to the moment and visibly relaxed against the wall.
Ten minutes ago, the two women had been walking down the hallway of the courthouse and were debating the merits of their case. They had stepped into the empty elevator and Olivia had pressed the 'down' button.
They didn't quite make it that far.
In fact, Alex figured they had made it all of nine feet before the car jerked to a halt and the lights flickered twice before settling on the half-light they were given. Throwing decorum and pride out the window, she had grabbed Olivia's arm in a death grip and didn't let go until the dark-haired woman cooed soothing words of encouragement, at which point, Alex quickly pulled away, fearful that Olivia would feel the flush that crept up her neck burn through her palm.
"I squealed a bit, didn't I?"
The dim light of the elevator did little to hide the broad grin of the cop.
"Yeah, a little." Hearing Alex groan, she pretended to brush it aside. "It'll be our little secret, I promise." She let a sliver of silence drop between them before slyly adding, "Besides, who would believe me?"
Alex repeated her earlier refrain. "You really are enjoying this, aren't you?"
Olivia leaned back against the wall and shrugged. "Why not? All that's waiting for me is a pile of paperwork on my desk. Instead, here I am, with a perfectly good excuse to not do work, I don't have to worry about some perp hiding around a corner waiting to crack my head open with a tire iron and, you know, the company's not so bad." She stole a glance in Alex's direction. "I could think of a hundred people who'd love to be in my shoes right now."
"Yep." She stretched her arms over her head then laced her fingers behind her head. "You know, I just wish I had known I woulda grabbed a coffee first."
Alex laughed. "You would have grabbed a coffee had you known the elevator would get stuck?"
"That would imply you would get into an elevator with the knowledge that it would get stuck."
"Did I not just tell you I'm enjoying this?"
Alex laughed again and Olivia joined in. "Well," the attorney finally said, gesturing to the emergency phone that Olivia had picked up once she was assured Alex wouldn't tear her arm off, "according to your source, it's only going to be a half hour, and that was ten minutes ago. I'm sure your caffeine addiction can wait until you get to the office."
"First, it's not an addiction, it's ," she paused, not willing to concede. "And second, are you counting down the minutes?"
Alex pushed up her glasses and tilted her head, as if giving the question a long hard thought. "No," she replied at last, "in fact, I think I might be enjoying this myself. As you said, Detective, the company's not bad."
Brown eyes met blue through the half-light as if it were clear as day. Eyebrows of both women went up, partly in challenge, partly in amusement. Olivia licked her bottom lip and chuckled. "Right. Speaking of company, I'd better call Elliot and tell him what's up." She patted the pockets of her leather jacket for her cell phone. "I wonder what kind of reception I'll get with this thing," she mused as she flicked open the cover.
"Probably a better reception than the one you'll get when Elliot realizes he's going to have to do some of that paperwork on your desk all by himself."
"Very clever," she praised. She was right to question the reception; her ear barely picked up the sound of Elliot's voice through the crackle.
"Elliot! Can you hear me?"
"Liv? Whe you?"
Olivia cupped her hand over her open ear, as if that would help the signal come in clearer. "Elliot, I'm stuck in an elevator."
"Elevator. Courthouse. Alex Cabot." She felt like she was playing Clue.
"With the candlestick," Alex quipped.
The look she gave Alex was one of utter amazement. Turning back to her phone, she asked, "What? Elliot? What?"
"I said, 'Ooooh, alone at last'." The reception for one brief shining moment was as clear as a bell.
"Wise ass," she immediately retorted, not giving her partner the satisfaction of knowing she was on exactly the same train of thought.
"Shoulda ought you camera phone Chri mas."
Refusing to get on that train, she cut off any further one-liners and said, "Bad reception, El. Gotta go. Call you later. Bye."
"You two are close, aren't you?"
Olivia dropped the phone back in her pocket and looked over at Alex. "What do you mean?"
"You two are close. I can hear it in the way you talk to each other when we're all together."
"He's my partner. But yeah, I'm lucky to have him as a friend, too. You know, when he found out I was his new partner, he didn't even blink. Most cops, they either bristle at the idea of getting "stuck" with a female partner, or play the big tough over-protective male. Elliot wasn't either one. And I was lucky to win him over on the first day." Alex raised an eyebrow, encouraging her to continue. "We got into this foot chase with some perp we were tailing on a suspected assault. I got a huge jump on Elliot and ran four city blocks before finally catching up with the guy." She smiled at the memory. "I'm handcuffing the guy and Elliot comes up behind me about a minute later, bends over to catch his breath and finally gets out, 'I meant to tell you earlier I'm glad you didn't show up for work with heels on.'"
The warmth of their laughter filled the elevator and settled comfortably between them.
"Do you find it tough being one of the few girls in a predominantly boys' club?" Alex asked.
Olivia smirked. "Do you?"
Realizing she wanted her to answer, Olivia confessed, "It's not as tough as it used to be that's for sure. I think once you prove you're just as good as the boys, you've won the battle. I've been lucky; our squad's tight and I know any one of those cops I work with would be there for me in a heartbeat. I can't imagine working for any other precinct."
"And how does that extend into your personal life?"
"What do you mean?"
Alex looked down at Olivia's left hand. "As my mother loves to say, 'I don't see a ring on that finger yet'."
Olivia rolled her eyes. "So it's not just my mother." The attorney laughed and shook her head. Shrugging, the brunette said, "I dunno. It's tough. It's not like I can just shut it off, you know? And the only people who get that are the people I work with, so it's like this never-ending loop. How do I invite someone from the outside into my world when even my down time is spent with the people from that world? How can I say to someone, 'Hey, you, wanna go have a drink with me and my cop friends as we try to distance ourselves from some of the worst things no human should ever see?'"
"You could always venture into their world. Distance yourself from your job. Consider it a walk on the less-than-wild side."
She chuckled, then turned serious again. "If this was just a job, then yeah, maybe I could do that, but " Her voice trailed off and when Alex didn't say anything, she asked, "So, how about you?"
"What about me?"
Olivia gestured to Alex's left hand. "It's still bare, I see."
"Yes, Mother," she sighed. Gazing at the detective through her glasses, she admitted, "My reasons aren't nearly as altruistic as yours. Mine are a bit more self-serving, I'm afraid."
"In the distant future, yes."
"So you've got no time for relationships because you've got a time-table on your career."
"For the most part."
"And how's that working out for you?"
Alex narrowed her eyes. "Which part? The career or the lack of relationships?"
Olivia smiled. "Whichever."
Feigning seriousness, Alex looked at her watch and said, "The repairmen should be here within the next five minutes and that's not nearly enough time to get into either subject."
"I'll take a raincheck, then," Olivia said, letting her off the hook. She wiped her brow and blew out a breath of air that lifted up a lock of her short hair. "That repairman better move his ass; it's goddamn hot in here."
"And here I thought you were enjoying yourself, Detective."
She cast a sidelong glance at Alex and replied, "Oh, I am, believe me. Just remind me next time to bring one of those little battery operated fans."
"And a coffee."
"And a coffee," she echoed.
Alex kicked off her heels and fanned herself with a folder from her briefcase. "You had to go and mention the heat."
"Sorry," she apologized, with little conviction. Slipping off her leather jacket, she let it softly drop and followed it to the floor. Her legs splayed out in front of her, she pulled her T-shirt from her waistband and tugged at the cotton in a back-and-forth motion to generate some cool air on her skin. She tried desperately not to look at the long lean legs of the blonde standing to her left.
Alex glanced down at the woman sitting beside her and couldn't resist the opportunity to take a good look. That little thing she was doing with her shirt was suddenly driving Alex crazy. "Fuck," she blurted.
Olivia's head snapped up at the expletive. "Alex Cabot, I do believe that's the first time I've ever heard you swear. I'd tell Elliot, but he wouldn't believe me."
"Very funny," she replied. Seeing the look, she went on, praying Olivia didn't catch the double entendre. "It's just gotten incredibly hot in here and now all I can think about is how much I want some fresh air."
Her brow furrowed in concern and no longer joking, she asked, "You're not claustrophobic, are you, Alex?"
"No, don't worry," she answered, touching Olivia's shoulder in thanks. She quickly realized the touch wasn't such a good idea when she felt an unfamiliar tightness in her chest.
"You know, maybe I am. Great time to find out."
She stood up and took the file out of Alex's hand and started fanning her quickly. Placing the back of her hand on the blonde's forehead, she frowned. "Yeah, you're a bit clammy," she diagnosed, then fanned faster. "The repairman should be here any minute, just be calm." Again, brown eyes met blue and they locked. Olivia's free hand went to her stomach and in an unconscious gesture she had held on to since childhood, she rubbed a soothing pattern across the cotton of her shirt. She nearly dropped the file when she saw Alex's eyes lower to see what she was doing, then slowly made her way up her body and stopped at her lips. The fact that Alex was now breathing through her mouth, her soft lips parted and inviting didn't help matters.
Attempting to lighten the mood, Olivia joked, "It's a good thing you've never been in my bedroom then, or you'd faint. I barely have enough room to change my mind."
Alex's eyes never left Olivia's mouth. "I could think of a hundred more pleasurable reasons to faint in your bedroom, Detective."
Subconsciously, she licked her lips, which only kept Alex's eyes glued to her mouth. It was hard to say whether Alex had tilted her hips forward or if Olivia had leaned in, but the file folder that was now held uselessly at her side wouldn't fit between the two of them if she tried. The back of the hand that had been making comforting circles on her stomach now did the same for Alex; the soft silk of the blouse a cool contradiction to her cotton tee. She licked her lips again. "Yeah, you know what, Counselor? It must be getting really hot in here, because I think I'm starting to hallucinate."
The soft lips formed a smirk. "And what is it you're seeing?"
Before she could form a sentence that involved the words 'you', 'naked' and 'bed', a loud bang rumbled above them.
"What the hell was that?" Alex jumped, startled.
Olivia looked up. "That's your repairman." She checked her watch. "And that must be a service record in New York he's actually here when he said he would be."
"Just my luck," the blonde muttered, which elicited a grin from Olivia.
"Give me two minutes, ladies," a voice bellowed from above, "and I'll have you out in a jiffy."
"Just our luck," Olivia commented, not quite sure what the hell just happened between her and the attorney, but wanting the younger woman to know she acknowledged it.
Alex picked up on the recognition. "So now what?"
The sound of doors being wrenched open thudded just over their heads and slowly, the sliver of light grew to a space just large enough for the repairman to look down and ask, "You ladies okay?" A short laugh from the both of them was his only reply. "You're stuck between floors, but if one of yous can hoist the other one up, I can pull the other one out. There should be just enough room for you ladies to squeeze through the space."
Olivia saw the narrow horizontal space between the top of the elevator and the floor of the level above and said, "I hope those four donuts I ate this morning don't come back to bite me in the ass." She bent down to pick up Alex's shoes. "Here, put these in your pocket." As she did as she was told, Olivia bent over and laced her fingers together. Seeing Alex's puzzled expression, she quipped, "I'm gonna hoist yous up."
"Oh. Right." Stepping on Olivia's proffered boost, Alex pushed up into the outstretched hands of the repairman.
"I gotcha, little lady."
The detective didn't need to see the icy blue gaze to know the repairman was getting The Look. Only her laughter broke the moment of silence. It seemed to take longer than necessary for him to return, and when she saw the sheepish expression on his face as he bent down to offer his hands, she laughed again.
"Sorry for the delay, ma'am. I had to make sure my balls were still there."
The briefcase went up first, then she grabbed his arms and let him pull her up until her forearms were out and she could do the rest herself. Standing up, she brushed herself off and ran her fingers through her short damp hair. The repairman went back to work and she glanced over to Alex who was putting her heels back on. She stepped closer and kept her voice down.
"To answer your question back there, the first thing we do is get me a damn cup of coffee."
Alex's expression of absolute seriousness broke into a groan and an eye roll. "Not an addiction. Right. Continue."
"Then we "
Some of the seriousness returned. "Then we what?"
Olivia shrugged. "I dunno. Go for a drink, maybe?"
"Oh, I see." The glint in her eye was unmistakable. "You've decided to take a walk on the not-so-wild side, is that it?"
The cop met the look with one of her own. "Well, technically, that wouldn't apply, since you're a big part of my world." The two came to a dead stop at the possibilities behind the words. Olivia looked down and brushed a thumb over her bottom lip. Her short cough diffused the moment. "Besides, I bet if we had had another ten minutes in there, you would have disproved your own theory." Alex tilted her head at the comment and Olivia smirked. "That bit about the not-so-wild side?"
Despite the pink tinge to her cheeks that betrayed her, Alex did her best to maintain her façade of control. Head up, she replied, "Interesting theory yourself, Detective. But really, who would believe it?"
Olivia mimicked the long lingering once-over she had been given by Alex only five minutes earlier, and let her eyes trail up the lean body of the blonde. As Alex had done, she stopped at her mouth. The silence stretched out forever and neither moved. After an eternity, Olivia flicked her eyes up to Alex's, and she raised an eyebrow before saying, "I would." She basked in the flush that now clearly stained the counselor's fair skin and couldn't resist one last jibe. "Don't worry, you can always prove your other theory right." She didn't even wait for Alex's puzzled look or questioning word. "You know, the one about there being a hundred pleasurable reasons to faint in my bedroom." She picked up the brief case and started walking backwards, watching as signals from Alex's brain reached her limbs. When one foot went in front of the other and Olivia was assured Alex was coming along, she held up a finger. "But first "
"I know," Alex said at long last, happy to have her motor skills return. "Coffee."
Return to Law & Order Fiction
Return to Main Page