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Coming Out, Staying In
By Katherine Quinn

Chapter 11: Olivia

I had no idea it was going to happen like this. I knew this was going to be hard, telling you about my...extracurricular activities. Not that they are any of your business. Two people I love, in opposite ends of what is not the world's biggest apartment, all of them upset and me in the middle. I'm the tie that binds them; causing both of them pain. Both of them, I love dearly, albeit in entirely different ways, but I can't for the life of me think of how it will be if I'm forced to chose only one of you. I'm relying on Elliot's compassion, but I'm ready to throw him the hell out if he can't accept this. I guess that's because I know he can. He may not want to, but wanting to and being able to are very different things.

It's my defining moment right now. How I handle this will shape and form the rest of my life-the rest of all of our lives in some regards. What was once a partnership built on trust and caring with me and El can be totally undone now. What Alex and I have is so new and so good, I don't want to lose her either. The tears streaming down her face scare me, because I know how easy it is to scare her right now. Even though I'm not necessarily an experienced hand at this stuff, she's far shyer than I ever have been.

I take a deep breath pausing as I turn the corner to find you standing in my small living room pacing like a caged tiger. I look at you hesitantly and wonder what you'll say to me first, and I'm hoping that we can get by all the bullshit and get to the meat of this now, but you're determined to not let this be easy for me.

Just your posture tells me this is going to be a long haul. Your shoulders are hunched aggressively, and your eyes are alive with light. You run your hand over your head, asking me what the hell I think I'm doing. I can't help but shrug and ask you what you mean. I'm assuming you're talking about the little show you saw in the kitchen, but you know what they say about assuming things. You don't seem to think that my inaccurate memory is funny, though, and you're yelling back that you think I know damn well what you're referring too, as you point your fingers in a lame gesture towards the kitchen and the "scene of the crime."

But this wasn't a crime. I tell you that what I do behind closed doors is really my own damn business as is who I do it with. For reasons I fully understand, that particular comment seems to drive you right over the edge of sanity. You start screaming that I'm a lesbian and that our whole relationship which is built on trust is violated by this. You're just lashing out at me and I can feel my own anger rise. You cross the line when you start verbally attacking Alex-you act like I'm a child and she's Darth Vader bringing me over to the dark side.

I rip into you, screaming at you, getting right back into your face. I don't fucking care if this isn't solving anything, you're out of line. I tell you that she's the best thing that's ever happened to me, and that if you don't like it, you can fuck off and get the fucking hell out of my apartment. What can I say? I'm prolific when I'm angry.

You turn your back to me and put your hand on the door and I realize that you're really going to walk out of here like this. I think for a moment, in my angry haze, that it's fine with me. I don't give a shit right now if I ever see you again. Or at least that's what I tell myself. I'm trying to believe it.

But there's a nagging part of me that can't just let you walk out of here, not like this. If you leave here this angry, you might do something that I'll regret. And damn it, El, I really do care about you. I care about what you feel and I want more than anything in the world for you to accept this. I have to stop you. I reach out to you, putting my hand on your shoulder.

"Please don't go."

Chapter 12: Elliot

You want me out. Fine. I'll get out. I'll walk out of here right now and never come back. You want to be like this, well, fine, fuck you too. Next week, when you all figure out how insane this all is, you'll be back.

And, no, this is not mature. And fuck you for pointing that out. This isn't the first time you've told me to get the fuck out, and it probably won't be the last.

I want to believe better of myself that this doesn't bother me to my core, but guess what Liv, it does. It bothers me, okay? It's not right. It's just not right.

I'm here, staring at you, teeth bared like a rabid animal and why? Because you're making a piss poor choice? Because you've found a fuck buddy that finally goes over the top? I told you after Cassidy not to fuck your co-workers.

I can vaguely hear you yelling under my yelling. You're screaming that you love her, and that you want to spend your life with her, and that you don't care if I like it or not. There's something about the way you're talking about this-well, yelling about it. The passion that's in your eyes, the snakes of tears streaming down your face. Alexandra Cabot has firmly lodged herself in your heart.

Damn, this is serious for you. This isn't another one of your one- night stand relationships; the kind that last three weeks and then die. I don't think you've noticed that I've stopped screaming back at you-your words hitting me-- because you're still up in my face. You're angry to the point of blindness.

I turn to leave.

I think I know that if I walk out this door right now, it will be the last time I am here. You'll choose her over me.

I can feel my eyes tearing up, and I have to remind myself over and over that I started this mess, and I will not cry. I will not cry. I will get out of here and out of your life. My fingers wrap around the cold metal of the door, and I can remember what it was like only ten minutes ago standing on the other side walking in thinking I would finally meet your mystery date. I turn the knob, taking a deep breath as the door separates from the frame giving me a clear view of the hallway.

Your hand is on my shoulder. I hear you whisper.

"Please don't go."

Thank God.

Part 13

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