DISCLAIMER: All television shows, movies, books, and other copyrighted material referred to in this work, and the characters, settings, and events thereof, are the properties of their respective owners. As this work is an interpretation of the original material and not for-profit, it constitutes fair use. Reference to real persons, places, or events are made in a fictional context and are not intended to be libelous, defamatory, or in any way factual.
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By mel




What was that? Alex thought as she turned to see Olivia sprawled across the pavement. Liv! No! Got to help her … aaaargh! What? Nonononono, let me go! I gotta get to Olivia. She's been shot, she needs my help!

The arm around her neck flexed, squeezing her throat and making breathing an even more difficult task than it'd been mere seconds before. She instinctively wrapped her fingers around the arm, desperately trying to pry it away from her neck so she'd be able to breathe. Desperately trying to pry it away so she could run back to Liv. She couldn't believe that he'd shot her.

Shot her. She hadn't even done anything to him and he fucking shot her.

God, but it's getting hard to breathe, Alex thought. If he would only loosen his damned grip I'd be able to breathe.

Desperate eyes scanned the dank and dirty alley but found nothing that she could use to help herself escape. She was at his mercy, and she definitely didn't like that. A wild kick landed on her assailants kneecap, the impact making him jerk his arm tighter and lift her up higher before he threw her down on top of a trashcan. Bile rose in her throat as she felt the hard length of him pressing against her ass, that physical manifestation of his want more terrifying than his muttered curses and derogatory statements about her sexuality.

She had to get free, she had to get away from him. But how?

Fight, the voice in her head responded, somehow managing to sound as if it were dripping with sarcasm even though it was her own conscience.

Fight Alex. You're strong, don't let him do this to you. Don't let yourself become a statistic for your own fucking office to deal with. Don't let yourself become a victim for SVU to have to seek retribution for.

Fight Alex. Fight.

Olivia awoke to Alex's heavy breathing and whimpered moans as the blonde struggled to free herself from whatever subconscious movie she was trapped in. Alex, at that moment, was an incongruent mess of images – her blonde hair splayed across her pillow like a halo highlighting her pure spirit, and her wrinkled forehead and pained expression drawing the eye away from the unsullied beauty of her form to her agony.

Alex whimpered again and thrashed in the sheets as if she were struggling for her life. This realization shook Olivia to her core and she moved to wake her lover. "Alex," she called out softly as she sat up in bed and turned to look at Alex. "Alex baby, wake up," she tried again, this time reaching out and giving the blonde a good shake.

She'd expected Alex to startle awake, she'd expected her to open her eyes and perhaps struggle to distance herself from her most certainly did not expect one of Alex's flailing arms to land a solid jab to her injured shoulder.

"Holy fuck!" Olivia hissed through clenched teeth as a bolt of pain shot through her and her good hand moved to soothe the wounded shoulder. "Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck!" she swore as she flopped back onto the bed and pushed hard into her shoulder, almost as if she were trying to push the pain back by brute physical force. It wasn't working. "Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck!"

Pulled out of her dream by the physical contact, Alex instinctively rolled away from what her mind perceived to be a threat and smacked her face on the edge of the nightstand on her way to the floor.

"Sonofabitch," Alex swore loudly, instinctively reaching up to cradle her injured face. "Goddamn mother fucker fuck!" she continued to rant as she curled in around herself and gently covered her cheek with her hands, her body rocking slightly in an unconscious motion of comfort.

Alex's curse drew Olivia's attention away from her own pain and allowed the feisty detective to focus on her wounded lover.

"Alex," Olivia grunted as she rolled out of the bed, her good hand still pushed into her bad shoulder as she moved. "Alex, baby, where are you?"

"Fuck fuck fuck sonofabitch fuck fuck," was her only response from the floor on the other side of the bed.

Olivia quickly moved around the foot of the bed to find her lover curled into a ball on the floor, cradling her face in her hands and rocking slightly in time with her rhythmic curses.

"Alex," Olivia murmured as she carefully lowered herself to the floor beside the blonde. "Baby, what happened?" she asked, having already forgotten about her own pain the moment she was faced with Alex's suffering.

Curled in on herself Alex whimpered in pain. "It hurts."

"Alex baby," Olivia tried again. "Let me see what happened. Can I help you sit up?"

Alex drew a fortifying breath and shook her head. "I can do it Liv," she whispered, her voice tinged with pain, as she slowly moved herself into a sitting position; her hands never leaving her face as she moved.

It was a testament to how worried Olivia was that her eyes never once strayed from Alex's hands covering her face to take in the heavenly sight that was Alexandra Cabot in the nude. "Can I see?" she asked softly, not wanting to push the blonde too hard but knowing that she needed to check out Alex's injured face.

Shaking hands slowly fell away to reveal tear soaked cheeks and a vicious cut through the middle of the bruised half of Alex's face that was already beginning to swell and purple again from the recent contusion and which was also seeping copious amounts of blood into the blonde's tears.

"Oh baby," Olivia crooned as she instinctively moved to embrace her lover.

"It hurts Liv," Alex whimpered as she fell into Olivia's protective arms.

"I'm sure it does baby," Olivia bit her lip to try and keep her own tears at bay as she carefully squeezed her lover, trying to convey a reassurance that she really didn't feel. "I'm going to give you something to put on that and then I'm going to call a doctor," she whispered against blonde silk. "I'll be right back," she murmured as she let go and carefully got to her feet, wincing slightly at her own stab of pain as she moved.

She moved quickly down the hall to the kitchen where she pulled a zip-top bag out of a drawer and folded the top over as she moved across the room to the fridge. She glanced at the ice dispenser and, seeing that it was already set to crushed ice mode, slid the bag into the space and pressed the lever in. The bag slipped out of her tenuous grip and fell to the floor as the first pieces fell in and she swore softly as she quickly retrieved the bag and pinned it to the appliance with her bad arm before again attempting to fill it. Several loud grating minutes later the bag was half full of crushed ice and she was moving again. She grabbed a kitchen towel that was laying on the island on her way out of to the kitchen and hastily wrapped the bag in the protective cloth as she grabbed her cell off of the bar before she practically ran back to the bedroom where she'd left Alex.

"Here baby," she murmured as she dropped to her knees before Alex. "Put this on your cheek while I call Melinda," she instructed as she carefully set the towel clad bag of ice into the blonde's hands.

Alex did as instructed and winced as the bundle came into contact with her injured face. "Cold," she shivered as she molded the ice around her cheek.

"I know Alex," Olivia murmured thoughtlessly as she frantically scanned through her contact list until she found Melinda Warner's phone number. "Finally," she whispered as she highlighted the contact number and hit send.

It was a testament to the dedication of the NYPD's Medical Examiner's office that Melinda answered on the second ring and actually managed to sound wide awake, despite the pre-dawn time of the call.

"Warner," she answered in what was the NYPD's standard identification process.

"Melinda, it's Benson," Olivia replied. "I know it's early, but I had a question and you're the only doctor I know."

"What is it?" Melinda asked, her voice tinged with worry. "I heard what happened. Are you okay?"

"I'll live," Olivia told the worried doctor. "Alex fell out of bed and bumped her cheek on the bedside table," she explained their current situation. "The impact cut her cheek through her bruise and it's bleeding."

"How much blood?" Melinda asked and Olivia swore she could hear the Medical Examiner moving around and pulling out clothes.

Olivia turned her back to Alex and whispered into the phone. "Enough that I called you," she whispered, not wanting Alex to worry. "Do I need to take her to the ER or should we…"

"I'm not going to the emergency room," Alex interrupted loudly.

"She's as good of a patient as you are Olivia," Melinda chuckled. "Is she dizzy?"

"Let me check," Olivia muttered before she covered the handset and turned her attention to her now scowling lover. "Alex, honey, are you dizzy?"

"No," Alex growled.

"Stand up," Olivia instructed, wisely deciding to not take the stubborn blonde at her word.


"To double check," Olivia replied seriously. "We need to know if your vertigo has returned."

"Fine," Alex huffed, setting the bloodstained towel full of ice onto the bed and pushing herself to her feet. "See," she swayed slightly. "I'm fine."

"She says she's fine but she swayed a bit when she stood up," Olivia reported into the phone.

"I'm not going to the ER," Alex repeated herself.

"How about if I come by and have a look," Melinda offered. "If she's fine then it'll be precautionary, and if she needs something that I can't help with we'll be able to force her to go."

"That would be great," Olivia smiled.

"Whose apartment are you at?"

"Alex's," Olivia answered. "Do you know where she lives?"

"Yeah, I had to drop some files off to her a few months ago before a trial. It's early enough that there shouldn't be any traffic, so I'll be there in twenty minutes – I'm running out the door now."

"Thanks Melinda," Olivia told the doctor gratefully. "We'll see you in a few."

"Melinda's coming here?" Alex asked as she watched Olivia toss her cell into the middle of the bed.

"Yeah," Olivia nodded. "So let's get some clothes on before she gets here."

"You're bleeding," Alex gasped as she noticed Olivia's stained bandage.

"It's probably from your cheek," Olivia reassured Alex, but internally realized that it probably was her own blood and that the shot Alex had landed to the injury had popped a stitch. She'd just have Melinda check it out once the doctor was done with Alex. "C'mon, let's pull some clothes on. Once we're dressed we can start some coffee."

Fifteen minutes later the two women were dressed and nursing cups of coffee as they sat on the couch and waited for Melinda's arrival. Alex had called down to the security guard at the front desk and let them know that she was expecting a visitor so that way Melinda would be able to come on up without a hassle.

"So are you going to tell me what you were dreaming about?" Olivia asked softly as she carefully watched Alex for a reaction. From Alex's behavior earlier she had a good idea, but she was hoping that getting her to talk about it would help her deal with what had happened.

Alex winced and bit her lip as she shook her head. "Can I tell you later?" she asked, her voice pleading. "I don't want to get into it now. Not when Warner's on her way."

"After Melinda leaves?" Olivia asked.

"Yeah, okay," Alex acquiesced. "I can't believe she's coming out to check on me at four in the morning," she murmured over the rim of her steaming mug. "Why in the world would she do this?"

"You're family. We take care of our own Alex, your should know that."

Alex shook her head, her hair swinging gently in the ponytail she'd pulled it up into to get it out of her face. "I'm not," she argued. "Hell, I think you're the only one who likes me in the whole one-six."

"That's wrong on so many levels Alex," Olivia groaned. "One, I love you so I can't hate you. Two, have you already forgotten the way Elliot fought for your at the hospital?"

"He's your partner," Alex mumbled. "He was just looking out for you."

"He was also looking out for you," Olivia ducked her head so she could look into Alex's eye. "We all love you Alex. All the guys do."

"Yeah right," Alex grumbled as she readjusted the ice pack on her face, wincing noticeably at the change in pressure against the bruise.

"Hey," Olivia snapped. "Why the pity party Alex?"

Alex sighed, her shoulders dropping in defeat. Olivia was right. She was being a whiny petulant child. "I'm sorry," she murmured, her gaze still focused on the rug beneath the coffee table. "I just …," she started to explain when she was interrupted by an authoritative knock on her front door.

"That's Melinda," Olivia stood. "We'll talk later," she told the sullen blonde, placing a gentle kiss to the top of her head before quickly crossing the room and disappearing into the foyer to answer the door.

"How are you feeling Alex?" Melinda's careful voice drifted across the room, pulling the blonde out of her thoughts. "Olivia said the bleeding has slowed?"

"I guess?" Alex shrugged noncommittally. "She hasn't let me near a mirror to check it out for myself so I'm not sure."

Melinda turned to look at Olivia. "Really?" she replied, arching a brow questioningly.

Olivia smiled sheepishly and rolled her eyes. "No point worrying her until we know if it's worth freaking out about or not."

Melinda smiled and turned her attention back onto the sullen blonde on the couch. "What happened?"

"She was having a bad dream," Olivia answered the doctor's question. "I woke up to find her tossing and turning and mumbling in her sleep. When I tried to wake her she punched me in the shoulder," she waved at the bloody bandage exposed by the cut of her tank top, "and then rolled away from me. She fell off the bed to the floor and hit her cheek on the nightstand on her way down."

"I see," Melinda nodded as she crouched down in front of Alex and gently pulled the icepack away so she could have a look at the injury. She was pleased to note that Olivia's observation of the bleeding slowing was correct, Alex would most likely not need stitches. "I'll just clean this up and then put a couple butterfly sutures onto the cut to keep it closed," she told Alex as she dug in her bag. "The area is already swelling though, and I'll imagine that the bruising will get worse, but you should be fine."

"Thank god," Olivia breathed a sigh of relief.

"Will I be able to take the sutures off before I have to testify?" Alex asked, already imagining Trevor trying to play up her recent injury in an attempt to deflect the jury's attention from the fact that his client had caused the original one.

"You should," Melinda told her. "Why?"

Alex shrugged. "Just wondering. Melinda, could you have a look at Olivia's shoulder and make sure that it isn't her blood seeping through the bandage?"

Melinda nodded and allowed Alex to deflect her attention to Olivia. "Absolutely, that was next on my to-do list anyways," she replied as she stood. "Olivia, let's have a look," she motioned the brunette closer, carefully peeling back the bandage to have a look at the detective's shoulder, not surprised to see that Olivia had popped two stitches in all the excitement.

"I know," Olivia murmured softly. "I don't want her to feel guilty. Can you send her for something in the other room or something and just whack some dermabond on it?"

"Is it okay?" Alex asked from her perch on the couch, her face once again obscured by the icepack she held against her cheek.

"Yep," Melinda directed her response to Alex as she nodded her agreement to Olivia. "I just want to have a look at the table you bumped your cheek on to compare the edge to the cut on your cheek," she told Alex while she surreptitiously slipped a thin tube of dermabond into her pocket. "Olivia, could you show me where it is?"

"Yeah," Olivia smiled her thanks. "Alex, just sit tight and we'll be back in a few."

"Okay," Alex leaned back into the couch and closed her eye.

"It's this way," Olivia nodded indicatively as she turned and led the way down the hall toward Alex's bedroom.

Melinda followed at a respectable distance and noticed the door to Alex's guestroom was open and the bed still made. She filed the information away as she crossed the threshold into Alex's room and closed the door behind herself. "So, how long have you two been a couple?" she smiled as she pulled the bandage off and carefully cleaned the area with an alcohol wipe she'd palmed.

"Friday," Olivia blushed. "How did you know?"

Melinda chuckled and tilted her head toward the guest room. "Spare bed is made and the one in here has two rumpled pillows," she reported her observations as she cracked the tube of dermabond and moved to apply it to Olivia's shoulder. "And," she hiked her brows teasingly, "you've got quite a hickey on your collarbone here," she used her pinky finger to indicate the spot on the brunette's left side. "Probably want to cover that up for court."

"Oh god," Olivia groaned.

Melinda nodded thoughtfully as she finished applying the skin glue and blew softly onto it to help it dry. "It's not that bad," she reassured the embarrassed brunette as she carefully placed a new bandage over the wound. "Keep this dry for a few hours, you can shower this afternoon if you really want to," she instructed. "I tried to keep the dermabond away from the stitches, so it shouldn't be too hard to pull those when it's time."

"Thanks doc," Olivia smiled.

"My pleasure," Melinda smiled as she opened the door and motioned for Olivia to lead the way. "You know you can always call me if you need anything."

"I know Melinda," Olivia nodded. "And I really do appreciate it," she continued as she led the way back down the hall toward the living room, Alex's blonde tresses easily visible above the back of the couch.

"So, what did you think?" Alex asked without turning around.

"About what?" Melinda asked.

"The nightstand?" Alex turned around to focus her one good eye on the doctor.

"Oh, right," Melinda nodded. "Yeah, it looks like a match. No chips in the surface so I don't think you need to worry about splinters or debris in your cut, you should be fine," she lied smoothly.

"Okay," Alex nodded. "Thank you for coming out to check on me this morning," she told Melinda gratefully. "I really do appreciate it."

"Alex, honey," Melinda smiled. "You're family and we take care of family."


"Really," Melinda assured her. "Now, go easy on Olivia – she's still wounded and shouldn't be moving that arm," she lectured good naturedly.

"Oh god," Olivia groaned.

"What?" Alex asked.

Melinda smiled and shook her head. "Just, take a break from the amorous behaviors for a few days and let your bodies heal."

Alex stared. "How did you …?"

"Detective Benson is sporting quite an impressive hickey," Melinda laughed. "And it looks fresh."

"Oh god," Alex groaned.

"I'm happy for you two," Melinda assured them. "Really. You've both been pining away after the other for too long now; it's nice to see that you've finally figured it out. And, you can trust me to keep this quiet," she wagged a finger between the two blushing women. "I'll let you two share the good news when you're ready."

"Thank you," Alex sighed.

"My pleasure," the doctor assured the blushing attorney. "Now, as my work here is done – I guess I shall head down to the office and get working on the piles of paperwork that our insanely demanding ADA will undoubtedly be asking for as soon as she returns to work next week," she winked at Alex. "Rest up, we miss you already."

"How are you feeling?" Olivia asked softly as she returned to the living room after seeing Melinda out. "Has your Tylenol kicked in?"

"Yeah," Alex nodded. "I'm actually feeling sleepy."

Olivia nodded understandingly and quickly moved to help Alex stand. "C'mon, let's go back to bed and try to rest for a bit."

"You sure?" Alex asked. "You sound like you're wide awake," she observed.

"I am," Olivia agreed. "But I like holding you close. Let's go back to bed and cuddle."

"Okay," Alex agreed easily, she really was feeling the effects of her pain medications.

"Good," Olivia twined their fingers together and led the way down the hall. "Here ya go," she carefully helped Alex back onto the bed before scurrying around to her side and climbing in. "Now, come over here and let me hold you," she smiled.

"I love you Liv," Alex murmured as she moved over into the brunette's arms and snuggled in close.

"Love you too Lex," Olivia whispered, pressing a soft kiss to Alex's forehead as the blonde fell asleep easily.

It was nearly ten by the time the sunlight streaming down the hall and cascading through the open doorway from the open windows in the living room fell across Alex's face and roused her from her slumber. She could hear the steady rhythmic beat of Olivia's heart under her ear and she snuggled herself that much closer to the sleeping woman, burying her head in the crook of the brunette's neck and breathing deep the intoxicating scent that was purely Olivia.

"Hey you," Olivia's gentle voice surprised her.

"Hey," Alex smiled and tilted her head to press a soft kiss to the underside of the brunette's strong jaw. "Did I wake you?"

"Mmmhmm," Olivia yawned. "But it's okay, I didn't mean to nod off in the first place. How are you feeling?"

Alex tucked her head back down and sighed. "Better. My cheek is throbbing again though."

Olivia turned her head and stole a quick glance at the alarm clock on the nightstand. "Well, it's been six hours since your last dose, you want me to go get you another pill?"

"I can do it," Alex mumbled.

"Sit tight," Olivia instructed as she slid out from under Alex's arm. Melinda had warned her to keep Alex as still as possible for the day in case the fall had reaggravated Alex's concussion, and she figured the longer she could keep the stubborn blonde in bed the better. "I need to use the restroom anyways. You want me to bring back something to snack on?"

"Sure," Alex agreed, too easily in Olivia's opinion. "Thanks Liv."

"No thanks necessary," Olivia assured her. "I'll be back in a couple, just close your eyes and rest a bit more while I'm gone."

"M'kay," Alex yawned and snuggled back down under the duvet.

Olivia nodded to herself as she left the room quietly and headed into the kitchen where she quickly filled a glass with water from the tap and downed her own pain pills before refilling the vessel and pocketing Alex's bottle of Tylenol. A quick look through the pantry yielded the bag of leftover donuts from their 'party' which she grabbed along with the roll of paper towels off the counter before heading back to where Alex was laying.

"Find everything okay?" Alex mumbled, turning on her side and propping herself up on her elbow so she could look at Olivia. Her injured cheek had swollen her eye shut again.

"Yup," Olivia smiled. "Even found the bag of leftover donuts in your pantry," she held the bag up indicatively.

"Thank god for Abigail Carmichael," Alex chuckled.

"Amen," Olivia agreed as she dropped the bag into the middle of the bed and handed Alex the glass of water and her pill bottle. "Take these first and then eat."

"Yes mom," Alex grumbled as she shook a couple pills into her palm and tossed them back with a generous drink of water.

Olivia just smiled as she walked around the bed and climbed in under the covers next to Alex. She pulled the duvet up to her chest and tore off a paper towel before she reached into the bag and pulled out a Boston Cream donut as she watched Alex take a rather large bite out of her own pastry.

"So," Alex mumbled around a mouthful of Boston Cream. "Do you still want me to tell you about the dream?"

Olivia looked over at the blonde with surprise written clearly on her face. She'd figured Alex would try and ignore what had happened. "If you want to," she offered carefully.

"I was dreaming I was back in the alley," Alex mumbled, focusing on her donut. "I was fighting to get free so I could go back and help you. I guess that's when you tried to wake me up and I socked you."

"Mmmhmm," Olivia nodded. "I figured as much. You know," she started carefully, "you've never told me what happened that night," she murmured, allowing her observation to stand as a question.

"I know," Alex nodded and took another bite of her donut.

Olivia watched silently as the blonde chewed thoughtfully.

Alex swallowed and nodded to herself. "I've never been so scared in my life Liv," she confessed, biting her lip as she fought to control her emotions. "I wasn't strong enough to fight him off."

"Oh baby," Olivia murmured, her heart clenching at the obvious fear and pain in Alex's voice. "I know. I was scared too when all I could do was watch him drag you off. I waved Elliot on, told him to leave me where I was so he could get to you faster," she set her breakfast down and reached over to grab Alex's hand.

Alex looked down at their joined hands and nodded. "I'm so thankful he got there when he did," she murmured as she twined their fingers together and then grasped their joined hands with her free hand. She drew a deep breath before continuing, "So, do you really want to know everything?"

"Alex," Olivia lifted their joined hands to kiss the back of the blonde's knuckles tenderly. "I will always want to know everything about you. Do you want to talk about it?"

Alex looked over at her concerned lover and nodded. "I think I do," she murmured.

"I'm sorry I couldn't protect you," Olivia whispered as she pulled Alex in closer after the blonde had finished recounting her attack. "I should have drawn my weapon faster, he should have never gotten that close to you," she continued to apologize.

"Liv," Alex admonished. "Please. I didn't tell you what happened to make you feel guilty, I just needed to share. I'm sure you've heard worse, hell," she squeezed the brunette for emphasis, "he didn't even rape me. So I know you've heard worse."

Olivia shook her head. "It's different when it's somebody you love," she murmured. "I'm so thankful that you're going to be okay Alex."

"Me too," Alex agreed. "So, now that we've gotten the pity party out of the way – what do you want to do today?"

"How about if we just lay on the couch and watch a movie?" Olivia suggested. "I'd say lay in bed and watch a movie, but for some bizarre reason you don't have a television in here."

"It's not a bizarre reason," Alex smirked. "It's a perfectly logical reason."

"Well then, enlighten me Counselor," Olivia smiled, pleased to see Alex's mood improving.

"Beds aren't for lounging in and watching television," Alex murmured as she leaned in and kissed Olivia softly. "Beds," she kissed the smiling brunette again, "are for sleeping. Or," she smirked and ran her tongue over Olivia's lower lip, "other much more fun activities that if done properly lead to exhaustion and sleep."

"Oh," Olivia smiled. "I see."

"Do you?" Alex teased, running the pad of her index finger over the brunette's lips.

Olivia opened her lips and captured the digit, sucking it playfully deeper into her mouth which caused Alex to moan appreciatively. "Yes," she smiled as she released the captured finger. "It's a shame the doctor said we need to take it easy for a few days."

"Since when do you listen to doctors?" Alex pouted as she watched Olivia climb out of the bed.

"Since she has your best interests at heart," Olivia answered honestly as she gathered the remnants of their breakfast in bed. "C'mon hot stuff, race ya to the couch. First one there gets to choose the movie."

"Alright, alright," Alex grumbled as she threw the covers back and carefully set her feet on the floor. "But, just so you know, when I'm feeling better I'm planning on taking advantage of you again."

"Oh, I'm counting on that Counselor," Olivia chuckled as she watched Alex carefully get to her feet. "You okay? Dizzy?"

Alex shifted her weight from side to side. "Nope. I'm good."

Olivia nodded. "Good. Then it looks like you didn't reaggravate your concussion."

"So does that mean we can play later?" Alex smiled hopefully.

Olivia shook her head and laughed. "You are incorrigible," she chided.

"I think you mean insatiable," Alex corrected her with a smirk.

"That too," Olivia agreed. "Now, please go sit on the couch and stop trying my self control? I'm only human and you look too good to not eat," she smirked.

"Ooooookay," Alex laughed. "I get it. Later."

"Later," Olivia leaned in and kissed Alex tenderly. "When we're both feeling a little better," she assured her.

The buzzing of her cell phone against her leg woke Olivia from what was an extremely pleasant dream, so it was a rather upset, "Benson!" that greeted Elliot's ears when he was finally freed from the hell that was Olivia's ringback tone – Man I Feel Like a Woman.

"Why the hell do I have to listen to that song when I call you?" Elliot groused, deciding to ignore his partner's mood and skip to the most important matter at hand … his emasculation.

"Wha?" Olivia mumbled.

"I have to listen to that damn Shania Twain song when I call you now too? It's not bad enough that it's my personal embarrassing ringtone whenever I call you?"

"El, Abbie must've changed it when she was here. I swear," she added when he started to protest. "I'm too damned cheap to spend an extra buck on you like that. Now, as I was sleeping and having a really good dream and you calling woke me up – this better be good. What's up?"

"Who was in this really good dream?" Elliot teased.

"Alex," Olivia replied before she could think her answer through. "Shit. Never mind. Forget I said that. What do you need?" she asked, shifting slightly under Alex's sleeping form as she glanced at the television to see that Oprah had ended (thank god because, seriously, who the hell needs to know what the inside of their stomach looks like anyways?) and it was now time for the evening news.

"I need to know what Ms. Cabot was doing in your dream," Elliot laughed.

"Nothing I'm going to tell you about," Olivia smiled. "You know I don't kiss and tell," she continued, before realizing that that comment, too, was going to land her in a world full of hurt.

"Oooo," Elliot sang. "So it was one of those kinds of dreams huh? Tell me, tell me!"

"Elliot," Olivia groaned. "No! You're being ridiculous."

"I'm not," he argued. "I'm married. I have to live vicariously through you, Kathy's cut me off until I go and get fixed!"

"Good girl Kathy," Olivia smiled. "Just go get the surgery El, what's the big deal?"

"I don't want a doctor poking around down there, do you have any idea how embarrassing that would be?"

"Um, yes – yes I do," Olivia nodded. "What the hell do you think happens at a gynie appointment El? Did you think the stirrups were just there to add to the kink of the place?"

"I prefer to think that, yes," Elliot grumbled. "Fine, forget it. Leave me to suffer alone with my magazines."

"El, I know Kathy doesn't let you have those magazines," Olivia told him with a laugh.

"You suck Liv," Elliot retorted childishly. "I was calling to see if you girls would like me to bring by some dinner for you as I'm on my way home now. But, I'm starting to think that a little starvation might make you play nicer with me so I'll just leave you two to suffer."

"You kidding?" Olivia laughed. "I'm with Alex, there is plenty to eat."

Alex, who had woken up somewhere around the stirrups discussion decided that Olivia's last comment was a little too much and slapped the surprised brunette's leg playfully as Elliot's boisterous laughter rang out of the handset still clasped in the detective's hand.

Realizing what she'd said, Olivia had the grace to blush profusely before mouthing "Sorry" to Alex and raising her voice to yell into her phone, "Shut it El, you know that's not what I meant! I meant that Alex can actually cook!"

"Yeah right," Alex drawled with a smile as she lifted Olivia's shirt and began tracing delicate circles onto toned tan abs with her tongue.

"God," Olivia breathed appreciatively when Alex nipped gently at a protruding hip bone.

"No! No religion!" Elliot screamed like a little girl.

"Grow up El," Olivia half scolded, half moaned as Alex's tongue began trailing lower until the blonde's teeth clasped the waistband of her shorts and began to tug them downward. "Christ, Alex," she breathed, her hips bucking slightly as the blonde's chin brushed roughly over her mound.

"I'll be there in thirty minutes with four bags of Chinese, Munch and Fin," Elliot laughed. "Don't spend too much time at church, I'd hate to interrupt you two. Our esteemed colleagues, on the other hand, would love to watch so take your pick."

"M'kay," Olivia moaned her vague agreement having not really paid attention to Elliot's last comment as she disconnected the call and tossed her cell over onto the nearby armchair. She'd gotten the thirty minutes part, and knew there was something about food and the guys, but she really couldn't bring herself to care too terribly much about such mundane things when Alex's wickedly skillful tongue was busy doing what it was doing.

"Hi," Alex looked up and smiled as she took a moment to observe the woman she'd been busy undressing. "How are you?"

"Alex," Olivia groaned, biting her lip adorably as she fought to keep her hips from lifting traitorously into the blonde's touch. "I think you know the answer to that question Counselor."

Alex smirked as she moved lower and nuzzled the brunette's center, wincing slightly as Olivia's shorts brushed her cheek but ignoring the small discomfort in deference to focusing her attention on breathing deep the heady aroma of Olivia's obvious arousal. "I do believe you're correct in that assumption Detective," she purred. "What was I doing in your dream Liv?"

"Oooooh," Olivia gasped as Alex's fingers began tugging gently at her shorts. "How long were you awake?"

"You were saying something about stirrups," Alex replied, frowning slightly when Olivia refused to lift her hips and allow her to remove the shorts she'd been slowly working at. "What?" she asked, giving up on the small battle over Olivia's shorts to sit up and see the brunette's eyes better. "Liv, what's wrong?"

"Alex, baby," Olivia ran a tentative finger around the perplexed blonde's jaw, "how are you feeling?"

"Fine," Alex shrugged. "Why?"

"You can see out of both eyes okay?" Olivia pressed, not wanting to scare the playful woman who was offering to bring her to the gates of ecstasy and beyond but needing to double check.

"Yes," Alex's brow furrowed as she sat up between Olivia's legs and crossed her arms over her chest. "Well, not so much out of my left but it feels like it's swollen shut again. Why? What is it Liv?"

Olivia pursed her lips thoughtfully as she ran a reassuring hand down the length of Alex's right triceps before answering. "You're bleeding again," she murmured.

"Ah shit," Alex groaned as she lifted her fingers to her cheek tentatively. "Must have opened it up when I brushed against your shorts, how bad is it?"

"Eh," Olivia hedged. "Not as bad as this morning, but I'm thinking you're going to want to see a doctor about it."

"You think?" Alex frowned as she pulled her fingers away from her battered face to observe the crimson tint on her fingertips.

"Yeah," Olivia nodded. "I do."

"This sucks," Alex grumbled as she pushed herself up off of Olivia and walked around the back of the couch to where her cell was sitting on the console table. Olivia watched as one blue eye focused on the tiny screen, narrowing slightly in concentration as Alex scanned through her contacts list. "Here we go," Alex mumbled as she lifted the phone to her ear.

"You calling Maggie?" Olivia asked softly.

Alex shook her head no. "Her brother, my Uncle Matt. He's a plastic surgeon – if I have to get stitches on this thing I want to make sure there won't be a scar," she explained as she waited for her uncle to pick up on the other end.

"Yeah, because everybody has a plastic surgeon in their phonebook," Olivia mumbled, once again realizing how completely different her and Alex's worlds really were.

She was thankfully ripped from her reverie by Alex's soothing alto. "Uncle Matt, it's Alex. … Yes, I figured that Maggie would have told you what had happened. … Yes. … I know I could have called you, but there was nothing you could have done then. … Yes, I mean then. … Do you feel up to a house call Matt? … I kind of fell out of bed and bumped my cheek on the nightstand. … It wasn't on purpose! … I don't want to tell you what happened. … Because it's embarrassing. … No, it wasn't crazy wild monkey sex – you really need to stop hanging out with your sister. … I don't care if she's your twin, it's getting obscene. Look, will you come over and sew me up? I really don't want a scar. … Great, thank you Uncle Matt. See you in half an hour or so, I'll call down to the desk and let them know that you're coming. … Thanks again, see you soon. Bye."

Olivia arched a brow questioningly as she watched Alex toss her Blackberry back down onto the table. "Crazy wild monkey sex? Sounds fun."

Alex pursed her lips thoughtfully before replying with a smirk, "It would have been. Too bad you made me stop what I was doing earlier."

"Not fair," Olivia groaned. "You're bleeding! Do you really expect me to ignore that for an orgasm?"

"One," Alex pointed her finger at the now standing brunette on the opposite side of the couch, "it would have been more than one orgasm – you were looking at three, minimum, before I was going to let you up. And, two …," her voice trailed off as her one good eye glazed over.

"Alex," Olivia murmured. "You okay?"

"Huh? Yeah," Alex shook her head slightly in an attempt to clear it. "Where was I?"

"Two …," Olivia offered helpfully.

"Right," Alex nodded, her brow furrowing in concentration as she tried to regain her earlier train of thought. "Two … two … two … Hell, I don't know – I got distracted by the mental image of the way you'd look after that third orgasm."

"Mmm," Olivia smiled. "While that does sound fun, I care more about you getting healthy. Elliot said something about him and the guys swinging by with dinner – you okay with that?"

"Yeah, sure," Alex shrugged. "I'd kinda figured that Fin and Munch would be swinging by to say hello sometime soon. They'll be able to keep you company while Matt is fixing me up."

"You sure?"

"Yeah, why not?" Alex smiled. "I'd like to see the guys too, it was nice – but weird – to spend the day lounging around watching movies and stuff and not doing paperwork and yelling at you guys."

"Heh," Olivia chuckled. "Yeah, I'm sure they missed you and all your demands too Alex."

"Hey Elliot," Alex smiled as she opened the front door all the way and stepped back to allow the burly detective inside. "Thanks so much for offering to bring us dinner, I really appreciate it."

"No problem," Elliot studied the blonde. "What happened to your face?"

"Gee, what a way to boost a girl's ego there Stabler," Alex laughed. "I bumped it on the nightstand when I fell out of bed. Flashback," she explained, trying to downplay the injury with a shrug.

"I see," Elliot nodded. "You know you're bleeding, right?"

"Yeah," Alex groaned. "My Uncle Matt is coming to sew me back up. He should be here any minute. Where are Munch and Fin?"

"They're coming, Dad wanted to have a 'talk' with them about something so I came on ahead to make sure you two were behaving yourselves."

By this time they had meandered into the living room and they could see Olivia busying herself in the dining room setting out one plate at a time around the table.

"How's Liv?" Elliot asked.

"She seems to be doing better," Alex shrugged. "I'm not a doctor so I don't really know, but she isn't wincing as much when she moves around and she actually managed to get a bra on tonight."

"Too much information Counselor," Elliot laughed. "But, I'm glad to hear she's doing okay."

They were interrupted by another knock at the door so Alex shooed Elliot off to the dining room to help Olivia while she padded back down the hall to answer the door. A quick glance through the peep-hole showed a distinguished mid fifty year old man with dark brown hair graying at his temples in a polo shirt and slacks with a bag hanging off his shoulder checking his watch and shuffling from side to side.

"Thanks for coming Uncle Matt," Alex smiled as she threw open the door and pulled her favorite Uncle into a one-armed hug.

"Alex, you know I'm always willing to help," he smiled. "Now, where we gonna fix you up kiddo?"

"Bathroom," Alex answered with a shrug. "Best light for this kind of thing, I'd imagine."

"You're probably right," he nodded

"So," Elliot glanced up at Olivia as he pulled take-out cartons out of plastic bags and arranged them in the center of the table. "How you two doing?"

"Hmm?" Olivia looked up. "Oh, fine. Why?"

"Alex said she had a flashback."

"Yeah," Olivia nodded thoughtfully. "It was pretty bad. She ended up smacking me in the shoulder and popping a couple stitches as she was flailing around."

"She said she fell out of bed?"

"Yeah, right after she nailed me," Olivia grimaced as she waved toward her injured shoulder.

"So what's your friend's name?" Matt asked as he fastened his headgear on with the little light and magnifying glasses. "I'm assuming she's who you're not having crazy wild monkey sex with?"

"We're too injured for crazy wild monkey sex," Alex grumbled good naturedly.

"Maggie seems to like her," he reported as he carefully injected Alex's cheek with a local anesthetic. "Said she was perfectly protective of you and that the girl can handle the Cabot sense of humor."

"She survived Maggie and Abbie on a tag-team," Alex murmured, being careful to sit still while her uncle readied his materials. "She's definitely the first one to ever do that."

"Ah," Matt smirked as he held up a needle and super-thin dissolving thread. "So, is she 'the one' then?"

"She is for me," Alex told him, a ridiculously sappy smile tweaking her lips.

"What were you two up to today with no Abbie here to throw wild thank god you finally fucked parties?" Elliot chuckled as he settled himself into an overstuffed armchair cattycorner to the couch Olivia had claimed.

"Watched movies," Olivia shrugged. "Napped. I don't think I slept so much in the three weeks before all this as I have these last few days."

"Sleep is good," Elliot shrugged. "Helps the body heal. When do you think the doc will release you back for desk duty at least?"

"I'm hoping next week," Olivia rolled her head from side to side. "Laying about all day is one thing when Alex is here to keep me company, but I know I'll go stir crazy if I'm stuck home alone once she returns to work next week."

"She serious about this?" Elliot asked tentatively.

"I know I am," Olivia shrugged. "We talked and she's not adverse to the idea of telling people – I was actually more hesitant than she was, so I'm thinking she is … yeah."


"I know," Olivia nodded thoughtfully. "Who'd've thought?"

"Not me," Elliot grinned. "I'm happy for ya partner. Are you going to tell the guys?"

"We actually didn't talk about it," Olivia shrugged. "I'm sure they'll figure it out – you know I suck at hiding when I'm happy."

"You do," Elliot agreed with a small laugh. "And you definitely sounded 'happy' on the phone earlier."

"Yeah," Olivia grimaced. "Until I saw that she'd split her cheek again and was bleeding. That's kind of a mood-kill."

"I can imagine," Elliot pursed his lips thoughtfully. He looked about ready to ask something else when the doorbell rang. "Sit tight Liv, I'm sure that's the guys – I'll get it."

"Thanks El," Olivia smiled gratefully as she leaned back into the couch.

"So what are you going to do about work then?" Matt asked softly as he concentrated on tying off his last suture. "What will Branch think of this?"

"Honesty," Alex sighed. "I don't know. There's nothing in the general conduct policy that strictly prohibits an ADA and a detective from being in a relationship, but I'm sure that if we're not careful it could come back and bite me, us, in the butt. Right now I'm hoping that by keeping things professional at work we'll avoid most of the negative fall-out. It'll probably help to be somewhat discreet in public, but I'm not going to hide this – I figure so long as we behave like mature adults when the world is watching we'll be fine."

"I hope you're right honey," Matt ruffled his niece's hair playfully. "You know we love you, right?"

"Of course I do Uncle Matt," Alex beamed as she stood and wrapped her arms around her uncle. "Thank you for doing this," she waved toward her now perfectly sutured cheek. "No scar, right?"

"There shouldn't be," he nodded as he began placing his materials back into his bag. "A little vitamin E lotion wouldn't hurt either though."

"Can you stay for dinner?" Alex asked as she led the way back down the hall toward the living room. "I'd love for you to really meet Liv."

Matt Cabot smiled. "Of course, I'd love to meet the woman who's finally managed to get you to settle down."

"Uncle Matt," Alex groaned. "Please, we all know that I'm not the playboy of the Cabot Clan."

"Yeah … that title belongs to your brother," Matt chuckled. "How is Adam doing, anyways?"

"Last I heard he was living the high life up in P-town," Alex grinned. "No boyfriend yet, but we'll see – thanksgiving is right around the corner and he always has a colorful companion to share the festivities with."

"You going to bring Olivia up to the house this year?"

"I'd like to," Alex smiled wistfully as she imagined spending the holiday with Olivia and her family.

"You got it bad Lex," Matt laughed as he dropped his bag off inside the foyer.

"Hey! There she is!" Fin's voice greeted Alex and Matt as they made their way into the living room where the entire SVU squad, save Cragen, was assembled. "Nice shiner Cabot – we need to get a picture of that and get you entered into the best bruise contest!"

"Best bruise contest?" Alex repeated as she perched herself daintily onto the arm of the couch next to Olivia. "What's that?"

"Boys being boys," Olivia shrugged. "We take pics of our bruises and whoever the judges decide had the best one wins dinner out on the squad."

"I see," Alex smiled. "You think I have a chance?"

"I'd say you're chances are pretty good at this point," John Munch smiled. "So far the winning bruise is Elliot's from when that crazy woman whacked him in the leg with a two-by-four. But, yours has a lot nicer color variation," he observed. "They greens and yellows are quite impressive."

"Well, who's going to take the picture then?" Alex smirked. "You know I do love to win."

"That we do counselor," Fin grinned as he pulled out his phone. "Say cheese!" he laughed as he framed Alex's bruise up before snapping the picture. "But, enough chit chat, I'm starving – where's that dinner you promised us Stabler?" he asked as he slipped his phone back into his pocket.

"Oh," Fin yelled as the group sat around the table after they'd finished eating. "I forgot – we all chipped in and got you gals some get-well presents."

"You did," Olivia frowned, clearly concerned about what they guys had done.

"Yup," Much nodded as he got up from the table and disappeared into the living room. When he returned he had two identically wrapped packages which he handed to each of the women at the table. "For you," he bowed.

"Thank you," Alex smiled, looking genuinely pleased with the fact that the boys had thought to get her anything at all.

"Our pleasure," Fin assured the suddenly shy blonde. "Really Alex."

"Please tell me it's not porn," Olivia groaned as she played with the packaged Munch had handed her.

"It's not porn," Elliot answered with a grin. "I made them promise."

"Too bad," Alex smirked as she tore into her present, completely oblivious to the slack jawed stares she was receiving from Munch and Fin as well as the blush that was tinting Olivia and Elliot's cheeks.

Matt Cabot, used to such outbursts, just laughed openly. "I take it you lot aren't used to the cruder side of Alexandra Cabot," he chuckled.

"No," Fin replied. "And, I gotta say, I'm damn disappointed that I'm only meeting her now!"

"Aww, Legally Blonde," Alex laughed as she held up her gift. "I love it, thank you guys!"

"Thought you could use the laugh," Munch shrugged.

"She can put it on the shelf with her other three copies of it," Olivia grimaced, the pain of having to sit through Elle Woods fresh in her mind after watching it earlier that day.

"Shhhh," Alex scowled playfully at Olivia. "You can never have too much Elle Woods."

"Yes … yes, you can," Olivia and Matt groaned.

"Shut up," Alex laughed. "What's your movie?"

"A Few Good Men?" Olivia answered, her voice rising at the end questioningly. "Why?"

"You can't handle the truth!" Fin laughed.

"That's not an answer," Olivia frowned.

"Too bad," he grinned. "That's the only one you're getting right now," he tilted his head toward Alex, obviously indicating that he didn't want to embarrass her in front of the blonde.

"It's because of my glaringly obvious thing for lawyers, isn't it?"

Fin stared, disbelieving that Olivia was daring to go there with Cabot sitting right next to her. "Uh-huh."

"You have a thing for Demi Moore?" Alex turned to Olivia.

"Not that lawyer," Olivia grinned as she squeezed the blonde's thigh playfully.

Alex's look of confusion morphed into one of sheer delight. "She too dark for you, detective?"

"Yeah," Olivia shrugged. "I like my lawyers a lot more blonde. Glasses drive me wild too."

Fin leaned over and mock whispered in Elliot's ear. "Have we entered the twilight zone?"

"I forgot about the glasses," Alex mused. "Once the swelling goes down I'll have to start wearing those again."

"The black ones?"

"If you'd prefer," Alex nodded demurely.

"I think we have," Munch cocked his head thoughtfully as he watched the playful banter between Olivia and Alex.

"Oh, I definitely prefer," Olivia licked her lips appreciatively.

"What the hell?" Fin gaped, his eyes flicking back and forth between Alex and Olivia as if he were watching a tennis match.

"Ask them about the balloons," Matt laughed.

"I was wondering about those," Fin nodded. "What's up with the balloons Cabot? Red and black doesn't seem like your color scheme at all."

"You suck," Alex glared at her uncle.

"Hey – just because Maggie isn't here doesn't mean that you get to escape the obligatory Cabot teasing."

"Just be happy you weren't here for the donuts," Elliot laughed.

"What donuts?" Fin and Much asked simultaneously.

"Oh god," Olivia groaned.

"Religion!" Elliot yelled.

Alex blushed. "Elliot – you're lucky you hooked me up in the hospital buddy," she stared the laughing detective down, her tirade interrupted by the ringing of her cell phone in the other room. "Saved by the bell," she pointed at him with a smile as she left the room to answer her phone.

She found her phone on the console table where she'd dropped it earlier and answered with a brusque "Cabot," not bothering to check the caller ID.

"How are you feeling Alex?" Serena's voice answered her.

"Eh," Alex shrugged as she plopped down onto the couch and propped her sock-clad feet up on the coffee table. "Surviving. Uncle Matt and the SVU guys are all here for dinner, I think this is karma's way of getting back at me for exposing Olivia to Maggie and Abbie. How's the case?"

"Good," Serena answered with a laugh. "Got everything into evidence today and Brennan has scheduled jury selection for eight tomorrow morning – should be done by four or so. Do you girls want me to come up to your place or would you like an excuse for an outing and come down to Hogan to do it at my office?"

"I'd kill to get out of the house for a bit," Alex sighed. "How about if we come to you?"

"No problem. I'll tell Shannon to let you guys into my office if I'm not back by the time you get there."

"Any surprised with the evidentiary discoveries or disclosures?"

"No, Counselor," Serena laughed. "The usual. Trevor has some tech guy scheduled to go over some film from the club's security cameras, but that's about it."

"Have you seen the tape?" Alex asked.

"Yeah, you two looked good dancing together," Serena answered, her voice softening. "There's nothing beyond PG on that tape Lex, you two are fine. Don't worry about Trevor, I won't let him do anything sleazy to you guys."

"Thanks Serena," Alex smiled and closed her eyes as a wave of relief passed through her. "We'll see you tomorrow at four then. If it looks like you'll wrap up earlier, just give me a call or something and we can come down whenever … this being housebound sucks."

"I hear ya," Serena assured her friend. "I'll see you two tomorrow, okay?"

"Absolutely," Alex nodded to herself. "Bye Serena, say hi to Abbie for me."

"Will do. Talk soon Alex. Bye."

Alex smiled softly to herself as she ran a hand through her hair and slid her phone into the back pocket of her jeans. She wasn't particularly looking forward to testifying, but she was beyond anxious to put the sleaze-ball away for good.

"Everything okay?" Olivia leaned in and murmured in Alex's ear once the blonde had rejoined the penis party.

"Mmm," Alex smiled and placed a reassuring hand on Olivia's thigh. "It was Serena. I told her we'd meet her at her office tomorrow afternoon after jury selection to go over everything."

"Sounds good," Olivia smiled.

"So, Cabot – now that you and Liv have finally figured out the obvious, are you ready for the big brother speech?" Fin's voice interrupted their conversation.

"Already gave it to the both of 'em," Elliot chuffed with a grin. "We're cool, aren't we girls?" he pretended to scowl authoritatively at the blushing couple.

"Oh god," Alex and Olivia groaned together.

"Do we get to observe this new religion you two have found?" Fin laughed.

"No!" Olivia held her hand up and glared impressively at her laughing squad mate.

"Damn," Fin, Munch and Elliot grumbled playfully.

"Are you three for real? What's the draw?" Alex asked, genuinely interested in their response.

"You two, together," Fin waved an indicative hand between them. "Smokin'."

"You're sick," Olivia threw a wadded up napkin across the table.

"Yeah," Fin agreed. "But, it's just because we love you."

Matt Cabot cleared his throat as he glanced at his watch. "I gotta get going Alex honey, Jenny is expecting me home soon – her parents are coming over for dinner."

"I'm sorry," Alex looked over at her uncle. "You didn't have to stay for dinner here."

"Please," he smirked. "Take-out is so much better than Jenny's cooking. Don't tell her I said that, by the way," he poked the blonde's shoulder playfully. "Think about what we'd talked about earlier, you know how your mother is about getting numbers settled early."

"Yeah," Alex bit her lip thoughtfully as she stood to see her uncle out. "We'll see what happens – I figure I have a couple more weeks to test the waters for that one."

"Take care Lex," Matt kissed his niece's forehead softly. "Rest up. Call me if you need anything, you hear me kiddo?"

"I got it Matt," Alex assured him with a smile. "Thank you."

"We should get going too," Munch's voice interrupted them. "Dad just called – we gotta head down to a scene. Thanks for having us over for dinner Alex, it was nice to see you alive and well. We were worried about you."

"Aww, thanks John," Alex smiled as she let herself be enveloped in the wiry detective's embrace. "It was nice to see you guys too. Thanks for coming over. And thank you, too, for my movie – I love it."

"Thanks for having us sweetie," Fin gathered the surprised blonde in his arms as soon as his partner released her. "Feel better soon and don't be afraid to call us if you need anything."

"I will," Alex smiled and nodded. "Thank you."

Fin, Munch and Matt made their way out as a group and Alex returned to find Olivia chatting amiably with her partner as he busied himself with clearing the table.

"You don't have to do that Elliot," Alex hurried into the room and began gathering empty cartons.

"Psssht," Elliot shushed her. "Like it's hard to gather this junk and throw it away. Why don't you go sit down in the living room and I'll just finish this up here before I head on out too. Kathy wanted to go see that new Katherine Heigel movie tonight and the sitter will be at the house soon."

"Are you sure El?" Olivia frowned.

"About clearing this mess, yeah," Elliot laughed. "About the movie – not really, but it'll make Kathy happy so it's worth it."

"You're a good man Elliot Stabler," Alex smiled.

"Now you're just embarrassing me," Elliot blushed as he shoved the last carton into a plastic bag.

"Thanks for bringing dinner over buddy," Olivia nodded at her partner. "It was nice to see you and the guys."

"Our pleasure," Elliot grinned. "Now, which one of you is going to lock up after me?"

"I will," Olivia answered immediately, gently steering Alex toward the living room couch that they'd wasted the day on. "I'll be right back," she smiled at Alex. "Why don't you find something good on TV and we can veg for a bit before bed."

"You got it," Alex pecked the brunette on the cheek quickly. "Thanks Elliot," she waved goodbye to the detective. "We'll be at Hogan tomorrow afternoon if you guys need us for anything."

"Shouldn't," Elliot smiled. "But it's nice to know just in case," he continued as he watched Alex settle herself onto the cream-colored couch and flip the television on.

"Oooh, Jeopardy!" Alex exclaimed happily.

"Fun," Elliot nudged Olivia playfully.

"It'll be an experience, I'm sure," Olivia smirked. "Probably as much as your movie with the wife," she laughed.

"The things we do for the women we love," Elliot groaned.

"Amen," Olivia smiled and chucked her partner on the shoulder. "Amen."

Part 6

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