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.

Between Truth and Lie
By Kassandra Luem



Moonlight reflects on your hair, making it shine like a halo. You look so peaceful when you sleep. When there are no worries tugging on the corners of your mouth, no struggle to keep composure and no suspicion narrowing your eyes. It's just the two of us here in this room, laying snuggled closely to each other, moonlight shining on the scene through the open window, the wind blowing the curtains. I've never felt so content in my whole life.


Interlude: Elliot

It's been two months since the two of you got together. In retrospect it's a shame I never noticed anything. Now that I look back, I remember the glances flying between you, heating up the room's atmosphere. I knew you were gay, but somehow I couldn't imagine her to be. I also guess I just couldn't imagine you falling for the Ice Queen. You must have seen something in her we couldn't. But recently I got to know her better and now I think I understand. I saw her compassion, caught a glimpse of the woman beneath the ADA's mask.

However, when you first told me I was completely taken aback. You and Alex, it seemed so… unfitting. And yet, now I'm convinced that it works. I can see the love in her eyes when she looks at you and the love in your's when you return her gaze.

I always thought that you two must be the happiest people in the whole world, having found the one person you want to spend the rest of your life with. But then I'm wondering why none of you is walking around, grinning in a silly way from ear to ear. I'm wondering why you never take each other's hands when you meet at night at the precinct and it's only me in here, who know's already. I'm wondering why you don't seem happy at all.


Chapter One: The Argument

I shouldn't have done this. I shouldn't have yelled at you. Although I can't hear you, I'm sure you're crying, safely locked in the bathroom. Guilt is snapping through my stomach, pressing the air out of my lungs. I don't know what came over me that I acted like this.

I came home, hearing you rummaging in the kitchen. At the sound of my key in the lock you came towards me, kissing me gently on the lips. You were smiling at me, telling me that you missed me, that you couldn't wait until I got home from work.

You're always so gentle. A deep felling of love washed over me, bringing with it a contentment I never experienced before. And it scared me. It scared me that I was so dependant on you, that you had such a power over me.

So when you began softly caressing my cheek, pressing your body close to mine, I backed away. You looked at me with that questionning look in your eyes. Those deep blue eyes, brimming with love. Suddenly I felt the urge to run away. I've never been confronted with something like this. Roughly I pushed your hand away, turning out of your embrace, creating a safe space between us.

"Liv, are you alright?" you asked me carefully.

"Yeah, of course I am! I just need some room to breathe! You are crushing me with your constant kisses and embraces! I don't want to be so close all the time! I need my freedom, alright!"

God, that hurt look on your face will be haunting me till my last day. Firstly you just looked at me in shock, then your lip started to quiver. Still you managed to keep your voice bare of any emotion as you said

"If this is what you want, then enjoy your free time right now. I won't be annoying you"

Turning around, a curtain of blonde hair covered your face, preventing me from catching a glimpse of your expression, as you made your way to the bathroom. The last thing I heard was the door closing and the key clicking in the lock.

And now I'm sitting here on our bed, asking myself what I've been thinking, yelling at you, telling you what I did. I never wanted to hurt you. I guess I'm just not ready for all of this. Sighing heavily, I roll onto my stomach, pulling a pillow over my head.

I'm crushing you. You don't want to be so close. Endlessly your words keep replaying in my mind. I don't give you room to breathe. I'm too close for you. I don't understand. It's like someone just turned the world upside down, leaving what had been certain unsure and what had been safe insecure.

What have I done wrong? Have I been so wrong in judging the situation, in judging your feelings for me? Questions over questions and I haven't got any answers.

I'm sitting here on the toilet, my mind going wild with thoughts, memories, fragments of conversations and scenes of you and me. I just don't know what I have done wrong to make you so angry. I don't know which mistake I made to lose your… to lose you. Because that's what I feel like. Like I'm losing you.

You said you just don't want to be so close. But what do you want then?

My mind is spinning, I can't think clearly. All I know is that I love you. And that's why I want to be with you as often as I possibly can. Why I want to hug and kiss you and never let go again. Liv, please, I want to spend my life with you, don't leave me.

I guess that's what you meant, isn't it?

Laughing bitterly, I realize that my voice is shaking and I can taste the salt of my own tears on my lips. Covering my face with my hands I bend over my knees and try to supress the sobs rocking my body.

I don't know how long I've been sitting like this, but when I finally emerge from the bathroom and enter our sleeping room, you're laying on the bed, sleeping. I look at you and there's just one thought in my mind. I can't lose you. I can't lose you, Liv. Whatever it takes, I'm going to do it, as long as it makes you stay. If you need your freedom, then go ahead with it. I won't complain, I promise. I won't be restricting you. Just stay.


Chapter Two: Aftermath

It's been a week since our argument.

When I woke up the next morning, you were laying beside me, almost completely covered by the sheets you had pulled over your head. I made some coffee before gently waking you up. My heart was beating heavily in my chest, fearing your reaction when I started :

"Alex, about last night…"

I trailed off, unsure of how to continue. You just looked at me silently, then you hesitantly took my hand, saying

"I don't want to constrict you. If you need your freedom, then take it, Liv."

"Alex…" I didn't know what to tell you, I just wanted to take that hurt expression off of your face.

"Liv, I don't want you to feel uncomfortable. If you think that you need more space for yourself, then I'm ok with it."

You squeezed my hand, looking into my eyes. I didn't know how to react. I had expected the hurt I saw on your face before, I had expected tears and shouting and now this. Understanding? Somehow I couldn't believe it. Something just felt…wrong.

But then I started to think about all of this again. Maybe this really was the way you wanted it to be. More freedom for me, didn't it also mean more freedom for you? So this was the conclusion you had reached last night. That perhaps a less tight relationship would really be for the better. I didn't know why, but somehow it bothered me. But damn, wasn't this what I had been wanting all along? The exact way I wanted our relationship to be? This was the best thing that could happen to me, I just had to get used to it.

Reaching this conclusion, I smiled at you, saying

"Thank you. Thank you, darling."

And then I added, looking right into your eyes

"I love you, Alex."

You smiled back at me, telling me you loved me too, before getting out of bed and slipping into daily routine, as if nothing had happened at all.

But something has happened. For a week I've been coming home later than ever, staying at the precinct rather than coming home to you for some three or four hours during an investigation. Partly because I think that it's just more practical this way and don't feel obliged to rush home every single second that's possible. But ever so often I'm afraid that you might prefer me to stay away, now that we're having this "free" relationship, you seemed to agree with so well.

Getting home late at night, like I'm doing right now, I'm no longer greeted by the sign of you sitting on the couch, waiting for me, struggling to keep your eyes open. I always told you that you didn't need to stay awake this long, but you kept telling me that you found falling asleep without my by your side terrible. Well, you don't seem to have trouble with that right now. As always during this week, you're already laying in bed, sheets up to your chin. I suppress a sigh.

Somehow this has totally gotten out of hand. I can't help the impression that you're avoiding me. I hardly get to see you lately, at least not when you're awake. You've stopped your regular visits at the precinct and though you're saying you're just busy, I feel like there is more to it. I'm wondering what all of this means. You would have told me if you did't want this relationship any more, wouldn't you?

Suddenly I feel my chest tighten. Is this it? You don't want me any more? It's been our argument, hasn't it? It must have convinced you that I'm just too much trouble for you, that I'm not worth all the problems I'm pulling up. And now you're waiting for the right moment to tell me to go or for the problem to solve itself by us growing apart.

I can hardly breathe, thinking that this is what you're up to. To leave me. The thought hits me like a ton of bricks. And it's just now that I fully realize what you mean to me. I don't want to lose you, Alex!

But well, doesn't seem like I've got much to say at this, do I? You've already made up your mind. I guess I'm going to sleep on the couch for the rest of the night.

Why aren't you coming?

I'm laying in our bed, waiting for you. Although it must be late at night I'm still awake, just like I've been every single night of this …well, hell of a week. I'm trying, you know. I'm trying so hard not to crush you, that I feel like it's crushing me instead.

Truth to be told, I'm not sure of anything anymore. I've started to second-guess every single pattern we've developped in our relationship. Me waiting for you was one of those too. Have I been making you feel obliged to come home earlier by staying awake until you came home? Actually I believed that you liked it, but I've already prooved myselfen not to be the most reliable source when it comes to what you're feeling.

But I heard your key turning in the lock, so you must be home. What the heck are you doing then? It must have been a good half an hour since you got back and there is still no sign of you anywhere near our bedroom. Normally you go straight to bed, which is my signal to close my eyes and pretend to be asleep. I don't want to give you the impression that I still want you by my side as often as I possibly can. I don't want to constrict you, after all.

Good God, talking to you that morning was so very hard! You know, you're the most precious thing in the world to me. If I need to give you more freedom to make you stay, then I'm doing it. If I have to pretend that I don't mind you staying away at night, not calling me when you come home later or never kissing me when we meet at work with only Elliot there, who knows already, I'll do it.

And this is what I told you when you woke me up. I could tell that you were nervous, that you regretted your harsh words from last night. And when you looked at me with your beautiful brown eyes I just had to make sure that you didn't walk away, because even if you regretted the words themselves, I'm sure you meant what you said.

Only the thought of losing you is driving me crazy. Then I prefer this. I prefer laying awake every night, I prefer feeling that now familiar knot in my stomach and the stabbing in my heart everytime I want to reach out to touch you, or to tell you I love you and suppress it because I'm afraid of crossing the line between what you might be pleased with and what you'd think of as too much.

Truth is, I've been thinking so much, that I hardly got to doing anything. And everytime I feel like getting close to you and hold back it's so painful that I feel like falling apart. But I know that this is nothing compared to how I'd feel if I should lose you. I'm constantly afraid that you might notice my struggle to keep my emotions to myself and as I'm sure of how you'd react if you found out, I've been trying to stay by myself as much as possible. I mean, this is what you wanted, so you should be content, shouldn't you?

But sometimes I get the feeling that something's bothering you, too.

What am I doing wrong, Liv? I'm really trying, you know. I don't know what I could possibly have been doing to bother you. Perhaps I'm just imagining this, after all. I want to sigh but suppress it, just in case you're anywhere near.

This is getting really strange. I turn to look at the clock on my nightstand. Precisely 2:53. It's been more than an hour now. I just can't imagine why you aren't coming. Confusion and curiosity get the better part of me and I decide to go looking for you, an excuse as to why I'm still awake already somewhere in the back of my mind.

But the sight that awaits me walking into the living room drives every thought out of my consciousness. You're sleeping on the couch. I don't get it, Liv. Why are you doing this? My thoughts return with the force of a hurricane.

Sleeping on the couch? I know what this means. I know what it announces. Fear is rising in my very core, consuming every other emotion that might have been there only mere seconds ago. So you really want to break up with me. Appearently I didn't try hard enough.

No Alex, calm down, perhaps she just didn't want to wake you up, crawling under the sheets, when she still has to get up after 3hours.

But I know that believing this would mean choosing a not even half decent excuse over the simple truth. And I've never been one to fool myself. You want to leave me. The sooner I accept this, the better. Inspite of everything I tried, I'm still not enough for you. You're going to walk out this very door I just passed searching for you.

Please, I love you, Liv. No matter what you said to me. No matter how much you love your work, no matter how difficult being with you can be. Don't you see that? Or do you just not care? The thought of you leaving keeps replaying in my mind, again and again. And all I can do not to burst out crying right in front of you, sure as hell waking you up in the process, is covering my mouth with my hand, muffling a sob.

I make my way to our bed- soon to be only mine, I think bitterly- and throwing myself on top of the sheets I finally release the sobs I've been holding back. You're going to leave me. For good. Really, really leave me.

Laying here, crying like I never did before, I wonder when you'll finally end it. Will tomorrow be the day? Or will you give it three more days? Give me three more days? I can't bear it, Liv. How can you do this? Does it mean nothing to you that I love you? Or is it just not enough for you? Perhaps I'm just not enough for you.

If only I could turn back time, to when we first got together. But now I start to wonder if even that was real. In my current state of mind I'd even start to question the moon and the sky if they had anything to do with you.

What are you doing with me, Liv?


Chapter Three: Boiling Point

What's going on with you, Alex?

Since I woke up today, something is just horribly strange. It's Tuesday, and on Tuesdays we always get up, make breakfast and go to work together, because it's the weekly briefing at the precinct.

Sitting here on the kitchen table I start to think that today must be the day you decided to be our parting day. I mean, just the way you're behaving is speaking volumes. You won't meet my eyes, turn down every attempt of conversation and you've got that expression on your face you normally wear at work. The Ice Queen is back. So this is how you want to do it. Play the rational, distant part instead of the lover.

I still can't believe it. All of this just prooves that I've been right from the beginning. Letting someone close just means to get hurt when they leave. How I wish I had been wrong just this time.

I can't believe how much all of this hurts. God Alex, you have no idea what you're doing to me. Absentmindedly I reach for the coffee, shocked when our eyes suddenly meet. This incredible blue… but then I realize why you're wearing make-up this early in the morning. I must admit you really did well, covering the red, puffy way eyes usually look like after crying. So this isn't easy for you either. Good, I think bitterly. At least I must have meant something to you, sometime.

You break eye contact again. This is really getting frustrating, you know. I wished you'd just get over with it. Sitting here with you like nothing's wrong when I know that my world is about to be shattered into pieces just feels unreal. I wished it was.

I sigh. Your eyes shoot up to mine, you're looking like a deer in the headlights, fear evident in those bright blue orbs of yours. You seem so lost that suddenly white rage is flaming up inside of me. Which right do you have to look so scared when you're about to break my heart? I welcome the cold fury, for fury is better than tears. It helps keeping the pain at bay.

So I don't fight it when I feel anger consuming me, banning every other thought. I need to know it for sure, I can't stand this game any more.

"For God's sake, Alex, stop it! We both know what's going on here. I'm so tired of this crap, let's just get over with it!"

And the moment the words are out I realize I've made a huge mistake.

You did it.

You finally ended our relationship.

I never meant anything to you. What a fool I have been, making myself believe that you could actually love someone like me. Well, turns out you never did. Your words made that quite clear. If you ever loved someone you don't dump him like that.

You never loved me at all.

The pain is agonizing.

I can't bear sitting here with you any longer. I have to get away from you. I move to get up, to run away as fast as possible. I couldn't bear it if you saw me breaking down. At least I want to take that tiny bit of dignity with me that's left. No begging to take me back, no crying. Oh, screw dignity! If there was any chance that it would change things, I'd be on my knees now, begging, pleading with everything I have.

But you made yourself quite clear. There is no chance.

My eyes are welling up, threatening to spill over. But I'm determined not to cry until I'm at a safe distance from you. I start to run out of the kitchen, knocking my chair over in the process. My hand hurts where it hit the hard wood, but I don't mind. Actually I welcome the physical pain, it makes a nice fit to the pain raging in my heart.

Suddenly there's a hand on my wrist, holding me back. So you want to finish me up royally, don't you? Please, Liv, let me go, I can't take this any more! So you don't love me, I get that, believe me, I get it. There's no need to torture me further.

"Alex, wait!"

You sound… confused, worried. I can't put a finger on it. I wished you'd just let me go, I don't know how long I can still hold up before cracking. I refuse to meet your eyes and when you start speaking, I'm surprised at how soft your voice has gotten.

"Wait. I think we have to talk."

Talk? No, we certainly don't! You've said enough today, Liv, that's for sure.

"No, Liv, we don't have to talk. I got it, thanks. Just let me leave now, alright? I mean, that's what you wanted all along, isn't it? So don't give me this talking crap right now, there's no need for you to make me feel even more miserable than I already do, you know!'

God, I didn't really say that out loud, did I? But seems I did, because your next words are uttered so very gently and I could swear I can hear tears in your tone.

That's what finally makes me turn around and look at you.


Chapter Four: Revelations

You're getting up, intending to leave. But I can't let you go, not now that I've finally realized what's going on here. All these last weeks, they finally make sense! If only I could make you see it too.

Now I understand that I couldn't possibly have chosen my words any worse. Damn Alex, I'm so very sorry for what I must have made you think, what you must be feeling right now. But at least I know how to make it better.

"Wait. I think we have to talk."

Is all I manage. I'm still shocked by the turn all of this has taken and now I'm struggling with how to start my explanation. Your next words however make me abandon every logical thought. First thing that startles me is your voice. It's so harsh and at the same time it's fragile like nothing I ever knew. It sounds on the edge; if I were a novelist, I'd say it sounds like breaking glass. But then your words hit me.

God, Alex, I never wanted to hurt you! Please believe me, I love you, hurting you is the last thing I ever wanted!

I need to get you to listen to me, I need to explain. I can't possibly let you think that I don't love you any longer. All I want to do is to take that pain out of your voice, to set things right. I almost start crying at the thought of it all.

"Alex, I love you. Please sit down and let me explain this to you. Trust me, darling, just this one time, please."

Finally you turn around. The emotions in your blue eyes are flashing through so fast that I can't hold track of them. You look so confused, so much in pain that it's tearing me apart. But there is hope in your eyes as you sit down once again, pulling up the chair you had knocked over.

You still don't say anything, but as you meet my eyes I realize that you're listening and so I start to speak. At first I'm talking about the night of our argument, once again reliving this horrible night. You're clenching your hands more tightly and I know that you too are going through all of it again. Turning to the aftermath I hesitate for the first time.

But then I decide that this isn't the time to be ashamed. If there ever was a moment to tell you exactly how much you mean to me and how much I'm afraid of my feelings for you, it's now. I need you to understand that I'd never leave you. At least not as long as I've got anything to do with it.

When I start to explain how I judged your behaviour after our quarrel, your eyes start to water again and you're about to interrupt me, but I softly put a finger on your lips and continue. It's important for me to tell you everything now, because I don't now how long my courage's going to last. After all I'm not exactly one for those laying-your-heart-bare confessions.

So I go on until I finally reach last night and my reason to sleep on the couch. Now, in retrospect it seems ridiculous. You should think that as a grown up woman I'm capable of talking to my lover instead of driving both of us insane.

Finally I've come to the end of what I got to say. Now it's up to you. My heart is beating wildly in my chest as I wait for you to tell me whether to get my things and go or to stay.

I don't even want to imagine you doing the first. Nervously I look up and meet your eyes.


I start, but then my voice is abandonning me. My entire being is filled with such joy and love that for a moment it's overwhelming me. Your words, your wonderful, wonderful words keep replaying in my mind, making my heart swell with relief.

I raise my gaze to look at you, to drown in your beautiful eyes when suddenly I notice your frightened expression.

It's tearing me apart to know that you're unsure of my feelings for you. I've never, never loved anyone the way that I love you and I want you to know that, I want you to never doubt this again.

"I love you, Liv. I've always loved you and I'm so very, very sorry for all of this."

I start, wondering whether I should tell you everything, tell you how I feel about our "agreement". At first I hesitate, but then I remember your words, your honesty with me and I decide that you deserve at least as much .

And so I tell you about the decision I made that night, about my fear of losing you. When I finish, I can't bring myself to meet your eyes. Perhaps my revelation of my own cowardice made you reconsider your earlier words.

"Alex, look at me."

Your demand is soft, but I shake my head. I know I couldn't bare it if you changed your mind.

"Darling, please, look at me."

I still refuse, but then there's a finger lifting up my chin, forcing me to look at you. I'm so incredibly frightened that I can see my clenched hands trembling in my lap. But then I meet your eyes.

They are so filled with emotions that my mind starts spinning, trying to make out every single feeling, every single fragment displayed in those brown depths. You lean into me, softly capturing my lips and I realize that all my fears were for no reason. The look you just gave me, the gentleness of your lips, everything tells me how wrong I've been assuming I had scared you off.

You pull away and I look at you, questioningly. Your brown eyes are clouded, seeming almost black now.

"Alex, I'm so sorry for all of this. Please believe me, I never meant to make you feel unwanted. I got scared, but I should never have said those things. I mean, they weren't even true, after all. Only that when I realized it already seemed to be to late. Please, Alex, forgive me."

As if I hadn't already.

God, Liv, this is at least as much my fault as yours! At least! I mean, how could I have been so stupid! I get angry at myself thinking about how I've been treating you lately, giving you the impression you mean nothing to me.

If only I wasn't such a coward! If only I had asked you straight away instead of keeping all of this to myself, all the time pretending everything was alright, even as I felt it slip away through my fingers. It's my fault that things turned out this way, that everything ended up this complicated. There's no need for you to take the blame, I know it when I messed things up.

"No, Liv, I'm sorry! Please, don't blame yourself, I know it was my fault that you got all those ideas. I… I'm sorry."

I say, regret pouring from every syllable. I can't express how much I wish all of this had never happened.

"Oh Alex, you can't take all the responsibiltiy yourself. Let's just say we both messed it up completely, alright? I'm just so very glad that we got this sorted out. I can't imagine what I would have done otherwise…"

I can't either.

"Me too. God, Liv, only the thought of losing you…"

My voice is leaving me again, but this time I don't mind, because you capture my lips again, making me forget everything else. Finally I know that I'm right where I belong.

"You'll never lose me, Alex. I'm yours forever."

You whisper into my ear, hugging me tightly. I snuggle closer into your embrace, replying with all emotion that I can put into my voice

"I love you, Liv, and I always will."

There's no more need to talk, now I just want to feel you beside me, your lips on mine, your arms around me. I don't think I've ever felt so happy in my whole life, all my doubts gone and cradled safely in the embrace of the woman I love.



Moonlight reflects on your hair, making it shine like a halo. Once again I find myself laying awake, admiring your beauty. Once again I'm marvelling at how peaceful you look when you sleep. It's just like the night three weeks ago, only the two of us here in this room, laying snuggled closely to each other, moonlight shining on the scene through the open window, the wind blowing the curtains.

But something is different. After all we've gone through the past weeks, our relationship has only become stronger. I've never felt as content as I do when you're laying beside me. And now I know that I'm going to feel this content for a very long time, because I don't intend to ever let you go. We belong together and the thought no longer fills me with fear but with a happiness I've never known before.

The End

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