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Olivia stepped into the pub allowing her eyes to adjust to the low lighting. She scanned the random groups of women without really knowing why. She was heading to the bar. She always headed to the bar. It wasn't as if she was looking to meet some nameless woman for an emotionally empty, mindless encounter. She just wanted to have a couple drinks; to unwind after interviewing the latest in a seemingly never ending line of victims and the horrendous crimes they suffered.
The bouncer greeted Olivia, recognizing her as a regular. Olivia nodded in response and took a deep breath of slightly stale air trying to will herself to relax. Figuring the tension was going to be with her for the foreseeable future she moved over to the bar still unsure if she was in the mood for beer, wine or something a bit more potent.
"'Evening, Detective. What can I get you?" the bartender welcomed as Olivia grabbed a stool.
"Damned if I know, Rickie," she answered, rubbing a hand across her eyes. "Bring me whatever you think I'm in the mood for."
Olivia sat, head bent, seemingly studying the wood grain pattern of the bar when the phrase 'You wouldn't be here if you weren't looking for something,' drew her attention to the far end of the bar. The tone was more intimidating than the establishment warranted. Moving before she conscientiously realized where she was heading, Olivia strode towards the confrontation.
The first thing the Detective noticed was the ram rod straight back of the target. The woman sat almost primly, wearing a classically cut pin striped suit, her wavy blonde hair just falling over the collar of her jacket. The verbal assault she directed at her wannabe paramour screamed 'ADA' to Olivia. Smiling, she slowed and almost turned back towards her seat figuring the woman could more than handle an obnoxious bar lout, when said lout took a menacing step into the women's personal space.
The smile quickly vanished and in three steps Olivia entered the altercation. The alleged 'perp' was too busy trying to intimidate her upcoming conquest to notice the detective's approach. Olivia placed a gentle hand on the blonde's shoulder, causing her to start slightly and turn to see who was at her back.
I was right, Olivia thought as she identified the woman as Jack McCoy's second chair. A smile returned and Olivia placed a chaste kiss on Serena's cheek. "Sorry I'm late, Darling. Green Line was delayed."
Recognizing the detective and adapting immediately, Serena linked their fingers. "Quite all right, Olivia, but you could have just taken a cab."
Preliminaries out of the way, Olivia turned to the aggressor who had backed off slightly but still not completely ready to give up on her evening's entertainment. "Problem here?" Olivia asked to no one in particular as she moved her jacket back to place her hand on her hip, revealing her shield.
"Not at all. Brenda was just leaving," Serena demurred as Romeo took another step back.
Brenda took one last look from Olivia to Serena back to Olivia's badge and huffed a "Whatever," before stalking off.
"May I?" Olivia asked, gesturing to an adjacent seat.
"By all means," Serena answered amidst a chuckle.
Rickie took the opportunity to deliver Olivia's drink now that she was fairly confident medics wouldn't need to be called. "Gotta look into getting myself one of those shiny, gold disks. Seems pretty useful." She slid the glass and coaster to the detective.
"I think it's more the attitude," Serena suggested, utterly amused at how quickly her evening turned around.
"You could be right," Rickie agreed. "Let me now if you ladies need anything else," she added before heading back down the bar to wait on other patrons.
Olivia cradled a highball glass of amber liquid before taking a careful sip. The two drank on in silence for a moment. "I'm sorry," Olivia finally said into the quiet.
"Why? You weren't the one acting like a Neanderthal." Serena asked, honestly surprised at the comment.
"I'm sorry for assuming you needed rescuing like some some incompetent " Olivia let the sentence fall off, at a loss for a polite why to end it.
" bubble-headed bimbo?" Serena finished, amused.
"Yeah," the detective answered quicker than she could sensor the thought. She cringed and shook her head, annoyed at her current lack of suave. Thank god I'm not actually trying to be on my game tonight.
"Detective," Serena put her hand on Olivia's arm to get her full attention. "I could have resolved the situation, eventually. But, your arrival was much quicker and infinitely more entertaining. So I should be thanking you."
"Entertaining, huh? Well, at least I'm good for something," Olivia quipped and took another sip of her scotch. "I'd hate to have offended you and be on the receiving end of a scathing verbal reprimand."
"Nah, it's just nice to see chivalry isn't dead." Serena lifted her wine glass to her lips.
"So, come here often?" Olivia asked to fill the silence and because she had never seen Serena in one of her favorite haunts.
Serena almost choked on her drink as she tried to swallow while laughing. She coughed twice and dabbed her mouth with a napkin. "Does that line actually work for you? Because I've got to tell you, it totally negates the swagger from before." She signaled for another drink.
"Huh?" It took a moment for Olivia to figure out what Serena was really saying. "Oh! It wasn't a line and I'm not trying to pick you up. This is a regular place for me yet I've never seen you in here before. Evidently my interrogation technique needs work too."
"Well, you're correct. This is my first time here." Serena turned and thanked Rickie for the refill. "I usually stop off at a bar near the courthouse, but I didn't want to deal with getting hit on by slimy defense attorneys."
"Was getting hit on by aggressive women more to your liking?"
"Eh, at least if she called me a dyke, she would have had a decent basis for the comment. Guys just assume any woman who doesn't want to indulge their egos simply must be gay." Serena shrugged. "It was worth it. Present company more than makes up for a few minutes of hassle." She flashed a genuine smile at the detective.
"I think I'm being flirted with." Olivia returned the smile.
"I must be loosing my touch. Women usually know when I'm flirting with them." Serena turned to the side and crossed her legs, her skirt rising above her knee.
Olivia's eyebrow hiked towards her hairline and she watched the long expanse of smooth leg come into view. "So you want me to try and pick you up?" She could feel some of the stress draining away.
Olivia and Serena had worked together a few times over the years when SVU and homicide cases overlapped. They had developed an easy rapport relatively quickly and kept in touch over the years meeting for coffee or lunch every now and again. But this was new territory.
Serena lifted several bills from her wallet and laid them on the bar. "Take me to dinner Detective and we can decide if the flirting should continue."
Olivia hopped off her stool and held out a hand to help the attorney down then held her coat. Serena gave her a questioning look.
"You said you liked chivalry. Lead the way Councilor. Let's see where the evening takes us."
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