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

By Les Miserables 1998

In secret we met, in silence I grieve that thy heart could forget, thy spirit deceive"

When We Two Parted, Lord Byron

Liz Donnely sat in her office thinking. Maybe she mistook what she saw the other night. Perhaps Alex and Olivia were just having an innocent dinner together. Innocently holding hands and leaning into each other?

The fact that Alex and Olivia might have "more than a professional" relationship didn't bother Liz at all. No, she could care less. What bothered Liz was the fact that Olivia had gotten to Alexandra first. Liz reddened at the thought: her wanting Alexandra Cabot. Liz pushed the thought out of her mind. But was Alexandra trying to keep this a secret? Did she mind if others knew? Evidently, Alex wasn't too concerned about public opinion the other night…

Liz was interrupted from her musings as a soft knock resounded on her office door.

Alex stuck her head in. "You wanted to see me?" She asked not fully through the door yet.

Liz rose from her chair. "Come in," She said as she shut her office door and returned to her desk.

Offering Alex the chair across from her desk, Liz sat down.

"Alexandra, the reason I asked you to stop by…" Liz began.

Alex held up her hand to interrupt. "Liz, I apologize for being abrupt with you Friday night. It's just that I had a long week, and I really wanted to begin my weekend." Alex smiled.

Liz took Alex's words as an opportunity to get to the real reason she had asked Alex over.

"Yeah, I heard that you were really upset about Olivia's shooting," Liz tried to maintain a neutral tone.

"I think we all were, Liz." Alex gave nothing away.

Liz nodded her head and tried again. "Did you have a nice time on your date Friday night?"

Alex looked a bit puzzled. Liz rarely discussed personal matters.

"Uh, yes…it was very nice."

"Anyone I know?" Liz pretended to shuffle some papers on her desk.

Alex began to feel a flutter in her stomach. Where was this going?

Sensing Alex's nervousness, Liz got right to the point.

"I saw you and Olivia at the restaurant Friday night, Alexandra. I was on my way over to speak, but the two of you looked…um…involved."

Alex froze. What had they been doing, besides drinking too much wine?

Oh, shit! Did Liz see her holding Olivia's hand?

Alex did not know what to say. "Liz what ever you think you saw…I can assure you that Olivia and I…NOTHING is going on!" Alex blurted out.

Liz continued, "Alexandra, it's really none of my business, I know that. I was just wondering…"

Alex was angry now. Who the hell did Liz think she was asking these questions?

"Damn, right it's none of your business," Alex shot back. "Can't two friends have dinner together without something going on?"

Was Alex mad because she was busted or because Liz had the audacity to ask these personal questions?

Liz took Alex's attitude in stride. "Alexandra, your defensive tone suggests that I may have hit a nerve?"

Liz searched Alex's face, which had become very red by now.

Alex said nothing.

Liz took a deep breath. "Alexandra, I know that you have political aspirations, so you might just want to be a little more discrete with your…umm…"

"With my what?" Alex was livid. "Whom I choose to date is MY business, and it should have no bearing on my career."

Liz looked Alex in the eyes, "I just want you to know that the road could become rough, and…well, I will support you no matter what."

Liz's words caught Alex off guard. This was a kinder, more sympathetic Liz than Alex had ever seen.

"However," Liz continued, " if you do want this 'whatever' not to be misconstrued, just watch the hand holding in public." Liz gave Alex a sly smile.

So she had seen.

"Thank you, Liz," Alex said getting up to leave. Alex paused a moment and opened her mouth to speak, but thought better of it. With that, she turned and walked out the door.

"Well, I think that went well," Liz sarcastically said under her breath.

Alex looked at her watch. It was almost eight o'clock. She hadn't talked to Olivia today. She hadn't wanted to talk to Olivia today. Alex was still replaying her earlier conversation with Liz. How could she be so careless? Had anyone else seen them? She HAD to be more careful, had to be! Indeed, Alex wanted a political future. Judge, District Attorney, Governor…

Would the people of New York ever elect an openly gay…

"Stop this Alex," she chided herself. Damn! This was all so complicated. Alex wanted her career, but she wanted the beautiful detective as well.

She stared at the pile of papers in her lap. She had brought most of today's work home with her.

She jumped as the phone began to ring. She lifted the cordless phone off its base and pressed 'talk.'


"Hey," came the husky voice over the line. "What are you doing?"

It was Olivia.

"Nothing, really, just catching up on some work I brought home." **Because I was too distracted all day to work** Alex thought.

"Is everything okay?" Olivia asked.

"Sure, sure," Alex replied. "Just tired."

"Well…I'm just about to leave work. I could come over if you like."

Olivia waited for an answer…

"You know what, Liv? I really need to focus on this work and you would just distract me," Alex let out a slight laugh.

Olivia didn't push, and Alex appreciated that. "Okay." Olivia sounded disappointed. "Call me tomorrow?"

"I will, Liv." And Alex hung up the phone and went back to her work.

Alex entered the SVU squad room trying to keep her eyes away from Olivia. She and the detective had not really spoken or seen each other in almost a week. Olivia tried calling, but Alex always had an excuse to put her off. Alex knew that she couldn't avoid the detective forever…

"What's up, Alex," Elliot said from his desk. "Working late?"

Alex saw Elliot and Olivia at their desks. Munch and Fin were no where to be seen. Probably already gone for the day.

Alex could feel Olivia's eyes all over her. Normally this would excite Alex, but now Alex was more determined than ever to be sure no one could EVER suspect anything going on between her and Olivia. In fact nothing had been going on for the past few days. Alex had clearly been avoiding Olivia.

"Cragen in?" Alex asked coolly.

"He just stepped out, " Olivia spoke up, "but he should be back soon. Wanna wait for him?"

"Ummm," Alex thought for a moment.

"Why don't you wait, Alex," Olivia continued. "I need to go over some testimony with you anyway. Room one?"

Olivia gestured to room one with her hand and led the way. She turned around and motioned for Alex to follow her. Reluctantly, Alex obeyed.

Olivia shut the door and began speaking.

"Alex, what's going on?"

"What do you mean?" Alex asked innocently.

Olivia rolled her eyes. "C'mon, Alex. You've been avoiding me, that's obvious."

"I've just been busy, Olivia." Alex's voice was more than professional.

"What have I done?" Olivia questioned as she reached for Alex's hand.

Alex pulled away abruptly, and a look of hurt clouded Olivia's face.

"Olivia, Liz knows about us." Alex said in a lowered voice.

"What? How?" Olivia looked concerned.

"She saw us in the restaurant," Alex supplied. "I knew this would happen."

Alex sank into the chair by the table.

Olivia's features softened. "Is this such a bad thing?"

"Shit, Olivia!" Alex almost yelled. "Elliot is the ONLY person who can know. But, now my boss does. This could hurt me, you know that."

Olivia stood motionless.

Alex made a split decision, one that would haunt her for a long time.

"Olivia," Alex said rising from her seat, "I think it would be best if we cool things for a while. I can't take the pressure of fearing someone ELSE is going to find out about us. Maybe if there isn't an 'us' for a while…"

"You don't mean that!" Olivia demanded. "We can get through this, I know we can."

"You don't understand…" Alex began.

"We'll be more careful," Olivia pleaded. Tears were forming in her eyes.

Alex choked back a sob. God, this was killing her, but this HAD to be done, didn't it?

"Olivia," Alex couldn't speak anymore without completely breaking down, so instead she made a move for the door.

Olivia blocked her path, and took the ADA in a forceful hug.

"Let me go, please." Alex pleaded, now clearly crying.

Olivia let her go…

"But I love you," Olivia said to a now empty room.

"Hey, Alex, Cragen is back," Elliot offered.

Alex said nothing as she practically ran past his desk and out of the unit.

Olivia approached Elliot with a stunned expression. She slowly sat in her chair, tears still welling in her eyes.

"What the hell just happened?" Elliot asked.

"I think Alex just broke up with me," Olivia said as she buried her head in her hands and let the tears flow freely.

The End


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