DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and all characters are property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
SERIES: First in the Defying Gravity series.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By Les Miserables 1998

I've fallen. I have sunk so low. Better I should know, so don't come around here and tell me I told you so.

"We have enough to convict you, Mr. Tarsi," ADA Alexandra Cabot stated coolly as she entered the interview room. "Even if you did pass the lie detector test, you confessed to the police."

"Confessed? I didn't confess…I said that I feel responsible, not that I attacked her."

Alex glared across the table at the man who was accused of killing his girlfriend. "It was your DNA found inside her."

Tarsi rose from his chair to face the window as Alex continued to glare at him.

"We fell in love," Tarsi sadly smiled as he turned back to face the ADA. "But we couldn't tell anyone."

"Why not," queried Alex. "What or whom were you afraid of?"

"Her father. He promised her to an Afganistan government official's son." Tarsi turned back to face the window as the ADA's ice blue eyes melted and a surge of guilt and understanding flooded over her more rational thoughts. Alex knew all too well the burden of a hidden love.

"I wouldn't expect you to understand, Miss Cabot." Tarsi's voice trailed off to barely a whisper.

"And the night Nafisa was attacked?" Alex brought the conversation back into her control, although her features were growing softer with every word that Tarsi spoke.

"That night…I asked her to marry me. She said 'yes'."

Alex knew this man did not murder his fiancee.

"Why all the lies?" She calmly asked although she already knew the answer.

Tarsi lowered his head and began to cry softly.

Inside, Alex cried with him.

Alex entered her office, threw her briefcase on the desk and sank into her chair. Why had the interview with Tarsi affected her so much? Was it because she, too, had a love that she had to hide? Truth be told, Alex and Olivia were getting rather good at sneaking around. Sometimes it was fun, exciting. It's not that either was ashamed of the relationship, oh no, just the fact that in their line of work cops tended to be somewhat homophobic. Alex and Olivia had discussed their situation, and both had agreed, no, actually, Alex had agreed that silence was best for now. She and Olivia had argued about this a few nights ago…

"This topic is not open for discussion any more," Alex firmly stated. "We both agreed that it's best to keep our relationship to ourselves. Why are you questioning this?"

Alex was clearly frustrated.

"I'm not suggesting that we tell the whole world, " Olivia calmly replied. "I just think that things would be easier if some of our close friends knew, that's all."

"First our friends, then the world," Alex let out a humorless laugh as she sank onto the couch. "Olivia, I have aspirations. Political aspirations. I can't risk this right now, not even for you."

Alex's words stung Olivia. On one hand she was right. The more people who knew, the more risk associated. But, if no one knows…

Olivia could tell that Alex was finished discussing this with her, and honestly, Olivia was still hurt at the last curt words out of her lover's mouth.

Olivia said nothing as she slowly picked up her jacket and slipped out the door…

Alex's mind would not let this go. She and the detective had not really spoken since the argument. Who could blame Olivia for keeping her distance? Alex had not held back and had spoken harshly. Maybe too harshly. She couldn't imagine a life without Olivia. She was in love with Olivia, but she was in love with her career as well.

Alex picked up the phone and dialed.


"Hi, baby. You busy?"

Alex just needed to hear Olivia's voice.

"Not too busy. We let Tarsi go. What's up?" Olivia was clearly distracted.

"Can I see you tonight," Alex asked. "There are some things we need to talk about, okay?"

Olivia wasn't sure that she wanted to have another discussion with Alex, but she missed her and did want to see her.

"Okay, what time?"

Alex didn't say anything.

"Alex, are you all right," Olivia asked as a hint of worry crept into her voice.

"I'll be fine when I see you," Alex smiled. "My place. 8:30."

The line went dead before Olivia could say goodbye. She placed the receiver back onto its cradle wondering just what was going on in the beautiful ADA's head.

Does she want to just end this whole thing?

Her thoughts were cut short as Elliot tapped her on the shoulder.

"We got a girl beat up pretty bad downtown, possible rape," he stated, grabbing his coat and handing Olivia hers. "Suspect's reported to still be in the area."

Olivia followed Elliot out of the squad room still wondering what tonight was all about.

"Hands where I can see 'em," Elliot shouted.

Olivia was right behind him, both with guns raised. They had found the battered girl, and they had also found her attacker not far away. They had him cornered in an alley, and until the backup arrived, it was just the three of them.

"I'm not going to jail," the perp screamed. "That bitch played me. I got what was mine."

"Okay, Ronnie, okay," Olivia said as she took a step closer, inching in front of Elliot.

Maybe she could get through to him.

"Just put your gun down, and we'll talk about this."

"I don't wanna talk about nothing," Ronnie's shouts were frantic now. "I'm NOT going with you!"

"You bitches are all the same. You say one thing and then do another. It ain't right!"

"Ronnie," Olivia kept her voice neutral, "Just put the gun down so nobody gets hurt."

"Liv, get back here," Elliot said with a panicked tone. "Wait for the backup, please."

Before Olivia could process what Elliot had said, she heard a loud bang and felt a sharp pain tear through her left shoulder. She was falling backward as Elliot fired two shots and Ronnie went down.

Elliot ran to his fallen partner.

"Oh, God, Liv can you hear me?" Elliot cradled Olivia in his arms.

Olivia was in a state of semi conscienceness as her head bobbed from side to side.

Elliot reached for his radio. "Shots fired. Officer down. Repeat: officer down! I need a bus at east 3rd, avenue A. NOW!"

The backup finally arrived. "Perps got no pulse," one officer stated. "How's the detective?"

Elliot patted Olivia's face. "Liv, hang in there. We got a bus on the way. Just stay with me," Elliot pleaded.

Tears began to fill Olivia's eyes. "Alex…," she whispered.

"What?" Elliot asked.

"Alex." Olivia whispered again a little louder.

Elliot was puzzled. Why was she calling Alex's name?

"Excuse me detective," a paramedic said as they began to work on Olivia's wound. "We need to get her to the hospital now, she's losing a lot of blood. You gonna follow?"

Elliot shook his head, still in a state of confusion.

"How did he let his partner get shot? And why the hell was she calling for the ADA?"

"Cabot," Alex said breathlessly into the receiver.

"Catch you at a bad time, counselor?" Cragen's voice was somewhat irritated.

"No, Don," Alex replied. "Just got back from court. It's been hectic, that's all. What can I do for you?"

"I was just calling to tell you that Benson is going to be all right."

Benson all right? What the hell is he talking about?

Alex's mind raced as she gasped for air.

"What do you mean? What happened to Olivia?"

"I guess you didn't my message since you were in court," Cragen said. "She and Eliot had a perp cornered and the bastard shot at Olivia, hit her in the shoulder. She's gonna be okay, though. Just wanted to let you know."

"I have to be there!" Alex shouted. "I have to be with her!"

She hadn't realized what she had said. All the ADA could think about was getting to her girlfriend to be sure that she WAS all right.

Cragen paused for a moment. "Alex, Eliot is with Olivia, she's fine. Don't drop what you're doing, just go by after work if you like. I'll let you know if there's a change."

Cragen hung up the phone as Alex sat in disbelief.

That should be ME at the hospital with Olivia, not Eliot!

Alex's mind was on fire. Should she go to the hospital now? Should she play it cool and wait until after work?

Damn the secrecy…

"Screw this," she muttered as she grabbed her coat and headed out the door.

Alex saw Elliot as she stepped off the elevator to the ICU wing.


"Alex, I'm glad you're hear. I was just about to call you."

"Yeah, I talked to Cragen. He said that Olivia is going to be okay," Alex commented trying to hide the fear in her eyes.

Elliot gently took Alex by the arm and led her to the family waiting area.

"Can we talk," he asked.

"Uh, yeah…sure," Alex replied swallowing the huge lump in her throat.

"You seem really worried about Olivia," Elliot said as he cocked his head to the side. "What's going on?"

"Elliot, we work together," Alex breathed a sigh of frustration.

"Yeah, I know," Elliot continued slowly. "But, when she went down today, she called YOUR name. Twice she asked for YOU."

Alex's heart broke. Olivia had wanted her there, needed her there, and Alex was not there.

Why? Because nobody knew about their relationship.

Hell, Alex was probably the last to know about the shooting anyway.

She shouldn't even be here right now, but all rational thought had left Alex's brain an hour ago.

She wanted to tell Elliot that she and Oliva are deeply in love, that she needs to be with Olivia now. If only Elliot knew…

Alex drew a deep breath. "Elliot, I don't know why she said my name." Damn the secrecy!

Alex turned on her heels and quickly walked to Olivia's room. Elliot did not follow.

Alex felt a slight pressure on her hand. She looked up to see the detective's big brown eyes staring at her.

"Hi," Olivia weakly said giving Alex a smile that melted her right there.

"Hi, baby," Alex whispered.

"Is it okay for you to be here," Olivia asked cautiously.

Alex could barely hold back the tears. "There's no place else I would be right now."

"But people might…"

Alex cut Olivia off. "That's what I wanted to talk to you about tonight. This whole secrecy issue. I was so wrong."

"Today when you were shot, I was the last to find out. That killed me. I should have been there for you. Instead, I was worrying about my career."

"My God, Olivia," Alex continued not giving Olivia a chance to speak, "if something were to really happen to you…"

"I'm fine, baby, really," Olivia assured Alex.

"This time," Alex argued. "I don't want to be the last to know."

"What are you saying," Olivia slowly asked.

"Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if a few close friends know about us. I should have been the FIRST person Elliot called," Alex replied. She squeezed Olivia's hand.

God, she loved this woman so much, and she had been so selfish. Not anymore.

"I messed up, I know that," Alex admitted, "so let me make it up to you."

Just then Elliot poked his head in the room. "Ladies, am I interrupting?"

Alex rose from her chair and sat on the bed with Olivia. She took Olivia's hand and gave her a reassuring smile.

"Elliot, I'm glad you're here," Alex said.

"There's something that Olivia and I want to tell you…"

The End


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