DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and all characters are property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: For the purposes of this story, let's just assume that Alex and Casey have been working together as SVU ADAs for about a year or so and that they alternate turns in court. Also that Alex's return from WPP was all handled nicely and well and now everything's back to normal.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By Harrisgirl


"Have a nice life"

Casey finds it strange and even a bit ironic that such a courteous and polite phrase actually precedes the end of a 12-year-long friendship. She tries to smile to herself as she hangs up the phone, but only a defeated sigh escapes her lips and suddenly it hits her like an invisible brick wall. Her loneliness. Not in the physical sense, though, because the hustle and bustle of bodies swooshing in and out of doors and the tap dancing of the high heels on the floor just outside her office is almost giving her a headache. No, she sighs again, it's the "abstract" loneliness, if "abstract" is even a proper adjective for it. An emotional absence she knows it will take her a while to grow accustomed to.

She allows a third sigh to pass through as she reaches over to the edge of her desk, where a couple of neatly packaged Chinese takeout containers have been calling her name for the duration of the fatidic phone call. Possibly longer than that, she muses, as a perceptible groan floats upward from her stomach. The thought of her complicated high school friendships is enough to make her forget about her biting hunger, apparently. She deftly picks up the pair of chopsticks lying almost hidden behind the telephone and proceeds to push the thought of the news she just learnt to the tiny "To be dealt with later" corner of her brain, aided by the alternately sweet and sour flavor of whatever it is she just popped in her mouth.

The door opens with a soft thud replacing the usual bang that never fails to break her concentration. Which is why she doesn't notice the cautious slowness in Alex's strut or the fact that she hasn't taken off her coat or closed the door or even the heavy sigh that could rival one of Casey's own. She feels, though, a vibe, a wave, a warmth that immediately warns her that she's not, in fact, alone. In the physical sense only. She finally looks up and she's met with a sight like no other she's ever seen. Alexandra Cabot. Sitting at her desk and looking like she just got the shit beaten out of her. Not literally, of course.

"Tough case?" Casey ventures, knowing it's an understatement, knowing it will probably earn her a cold stare and a snap to mind her own business, but she says it anyway. At the very least, it won't hurt her more than the words she just heard on the phone.

Another sigh. "Judge Patel is a mysoginous, justice-hating jackass". She says it slowly, emphasizing each word. The way she has of maintaining her graceful enunciation even when she is insulting His Honor almost makes Casey laugh at how adorable it is.

Moving on to the second lined-up container, she casually asks, as if referring to the result of the latest Yankees game, "How many objections?"


A slight shake to the drying up noodles and then "How many sustained?"

"One, and only because the defence attorney cannot read a date properly to save his life"

"Not guilty, I take" It is a presumably obvious and matter-of-fact statement, but Alex's gaze lifts as if finally acknowledging the presence of another human being in the room.

Their eyes meet and something sparks. Something different, new. Something neither of them has ever seen in the other's eyes. It is not confrontation, competition, disapproval, disdain or pity anymore. No, this time, both blue and green reflect complicity and understanding. Maybe it's the fact that both of them have gone through Patel's blatant dislike at least once before. Or maybe it's the certainty that no detective, psychiatrist or medical examiner would have understood better the magnitude of eleven overruled objections. But Casey knows. And Alex knows that Casey knows.

They both also know that it is not out of friendship. But later, trapped between the warmth of Alex's lithe body and the ice-cold solidity of the concrete wall, with a thigh between her legs, soft fingers burning lazy circles in the skin of her stomach and a tongue tracing slowly and painfully the outline of her lips, Casey decides it's better this way. Screw friendship. Activities such as their current one would require too much verbal bureaucracy. And Casey's never been a fan of paperwork.

The End

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