DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and all characters are property of NBC and Dick Wolf. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Takes place between the episodes Loss and Ghost. Thanks to atfm for directing yet another day.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

The Eighth Day of Christmas
By Ann


Boots, definitely not conducive to the icy elements, slipped and slid across the tops of the frozen steps, and had their owner not been holding onto the railing, she'd have found herself in for a world of hurt. Breaths of steam escaped from another round of muttering.

"Why Fargo? Why couldn't it be Miami or some obscure town in Texas or California? Somewhere where I'm not turned into a human popsicle."

Olivia trudged the rest of the way up the narrow wooden steps which led to her lover's tiny three-room apartment. She hugged her package tightly against her body and glanced over her shoulder before placing the key in the lock to be certain no one had followed her. She chuckled at the thought.

"No one in their right mind would come to this godforsaken frozen tundra even if they knew Alex was here." She turned the knob and stepped inside; her next words were whispered softly. "Well, except for me."

Unzipping the bulky one-piece outerwear, Olivia shimmied out of one sleeve before shifting the package to her other arm so that she could repeat the process. Free from the restricting confinement, she placed her purchase on the floor and bent at the waist to unlace her boots. A few moments later, she stood in her jeans, NYPD sweatshirt, and stocking feet as she finally surveyed the room.

Alex lay in the exact same spot where Olivia had left her, bundled up on the couch, sound asleep with a book across her chest. Olivia smiled and quietly hung the wet apparel on the tree stand. She'd had to eat her words when she'd adamantly proclaimed that there was no way she was wearing the unflattering outerwear, stating that she'd look like the Michelin man. Two steps down the stairway had her coming back to struggle into the one-piece outfit while Alex had watched with a knowing smile.

"Alex, I'm back." Olivia spoke softly so as to not startle her lover. Truth be known, she loved watching Alex sleep and hadn't really intended to rouse the sleeping woman.

Alex never moved a muscle as she continued in her deep slumber. Olivia smiled once again and reached for the package which contained the parts she'd picked up to repair Alex's furnace. It was one thing for the outside to be sub-degree temperatures, but it was quite another for the interior to be colder than the foods inside the freezer unit of the refrigerator. Olivia headed for the 'older than dirt' furnace to try to work her magic.

Alex bolted up from the couch at the sound of a loud clatter. Reflexively, she placed her hand over her healed scar as memories of her shooting resurfaced. Her terror-filled eyes quickly scanned the area, finally coming to rest on the decorated tree in the corner. She stared at the slowly blinking lights until her erratic breathing eased into a more normal rhythm. Another loud bang was followed by a string of curses.

"C'mon, you rusty piece of shit; you've got a new damned valve, what the hell else do you want?"

This time Alex wasn't frightened by the noise; she knew exactly what had made the sound. Rising from her warm shelter, she wrapped the blanket around her shoulders and went in search of her lover, her quest made much easier since she knew exactly where Olivia would be. She walked into the other room and grinned at the sight.

Olivia was bent over the metal beast, fiddling with some sort of shiny part of the furnace that looked completely foreign to the rest of the rusty-looking apparatus. Not interested in the finer mechanics of 'furnace repairing,' Alex shifted her focus to something that was much more interesting, the denim-clad ass of her lover.

"Listen, you bitch, if you don't start producing more heat, I'm going to shoot you so full of lead, you'll be nothing but scrap metal."

Alex laughed out loud, and Olivia turned towards the sound. "Hey, did I wake you?"

"No, I don't usually nap for long," Alex lied smoothly, not about to tell Olivia that she'd scared the ever-living daylights out of her. She walked closer to her lover. "So, what's the verdict?"

Olivia gestured to the furnace with the wrench she held. "I've done everything I could; it's up to her now."

"Her?" Alex's eyebrows scaled upwards.

Olivia smiled. "Yeah, only a woman would be so stubborn." She stepped into Alex's space. "Think we could come up with some other way to keep warm until she decides to work?"

Alex looked at the grime smeared on Olivia's cheek, and then moved her gaze to her lover's hands which were coated in the substance. She took a step back.

"Not until you've showered."

Olivia made a face. "Ah, Alex, that water's lukewarm at best. I'll freeze my ass off."

"I tell you what," Alex dared to inch closer, "you wash that dirt off, and I'll give you a reward for your troubles."

"What kind of reward?" Olivia tilted her head and smiled.

"One that will guarantee that your ass stays warm."

Olivia dropped the wrench and raced for the bathroom.

Nestled comfortably into Olivia's neck, Alex slid her arm across her lover's bare waist. She closed her eyes and sighed.

"You okay?" Olivia gently ran her hand through the silky blonde strands.

"Perfect; I'm just perfect."

Olivia kissed the top of her lover's head. "You know, Cragen didn't bat an eyelash when I asked for next week off. He just nodded and told me to take the rest of this week, too."

"Do you think he knows?"

"I think he suspects, especially since I usually ask to work on Christmas Day, not request the entire Christmas week off."

Alex slid her leg over the top of Olivia's. "Well, I trust Don. Besides, even if he knows we're together, he doesn't know where we are. It was nice of him to give you more days."

Olivia reached for the sheet, pulling it across their naked bodies. "I think it may actually be a little warmer in here."

Alex chuckled. "It ought to be; we generated enough body heat to warm the whole apartment."

"That's true," Olivia smiled, "but, it's definitely warmer than it should be. Maybe ol' Bessie decided to take me up on my offer."

"I can't believe you named the furnace."

"Whatever it takes, Alex."

"If I had thought that naming the thing would've helped, I'd have named it long ago."

Olivia nodded and pulled her lover closer. "So, what do you want to do for the rest of the day?"

Alex's reply was to move her hand to a firm breast and squeeze.

"Sounds like a plan to me." Olivia smiled and rolled her lover onto her back.

Alex padded into the kitchen area barefoot; it was the first time since winter had set in that she'd been able to go without socks. Plopping down at the table, she watched Olivia stirring the contents of a pot.

"Why didn't you wake me?"

Olivia kept her eyes on the spoon. "You looked so peaceful; I didn't want to disturb you."

Alex nodded; she always slept soundly after their lovemaking sessions. Sighing, she wiggled her toes.

"Bessie's working."

"I know. I fiddled with the new valve some more."

"Well, I certainly thank you for that. I'd have probably lived with a perpetual cold for the entire winter season."

Olivia gave the pot another stir, and pulling the spoon free, she hit it a few times on the rim to knock off the remnants which clung to it. Lowering the heat, she placed the lid on the pot.

Alex sniffed the air. "Yum, that smells wonderful."

"I thought some soup would hit the spot. It should simmer for another couple of hours though."

"Okay, what should we do in the meantime?"

Olivia leaned against the counter. "Well, we could go out and build a snowman."

"You mean an iceman."

"I don't understand how it could stay so cold outside. I'll take New York cold and sludge over this any day."

"Me too." Alex agreed sadly, slowly drawing patterns on the table's surface.

Olivia could've kicked herself for bringing up the subject of home. She quickly tried to change focus.

"How about that game of Scrabble?"

Alex's head snapped up. "But you said you hated word games."

"I don't hate them, Alex; I'm just not very good at them."

"So, you'll give it a try." Alex couldn't keep the excitement from her voice. She loved word games.

"Sure. Why don't you go get the game while I make us some hot chocolate? We can play here on the table."

Alex jumped to her feet and practically ran from the room. Olivia smiled. She'd do anything to make Alex happy, even struggle to make words from the letters Q, X, and Z.

Thirty minutes later, the game was in full swing. Alex slid a few tiles into place and grinned. Olivia, on the other hand, tilted her head and frowned.

"Luciferous? What the hell is that?"

Alex leaned back in her chair. "Are you challenging the word?"

"No; I've just never heard of it."

"It means to provide light to something, a form of insight or enlightenment."

"Oh." Olivia glanced at her tiles and returned her gaze to the board. A huge smile crossed her face as she reached for two tiles. She plopped them down and grinned.

Alex stared down at the play, trying to come up with a nice way of telling Olivia that her word wasn't complete.

"Um, Olivia? Do you have a 'G'?"

"Huh? Why do I need a 'G'?"

"Because packing has a 'G' on the end."

"No, Alex, this is packin' not packing."


"Yes." Olivia smiled, pleased that she'd managed to come up with a word Alex wasn't familiar with.

"Um," Alex rubbed the back of her neck, "sex slang isn't allowed."

"Sex slang?" Olivia wrinkled her brow and looked back down at the word. A bark of laughter followed her realization. "Not that kind of packin', Alex, packin' as in carrying a gun. It's a police term, so it's not considered slang."

"Oh." Alex's cheeks colored. "Sorry, I misunderstood." She looked back at her tiles, trying to regain her composure. Olivia, however, decided teasing Alex was more fun than playing the game.

"Packin', huh? Ever thought about it?"

"No!" Alex almost knocked her tile holder to the floor.

Olivia held in her mirth but continued her line of questioning. "Not you, me. Ever thought about me packin'?"

Alex suddenly wished she'd agreed to go out in the sub-zero temperature to attempt to create a snowman. At least she'd have the excuse of the wind to explain her crimson-colored cheeks.


Olivia took note of the difference in the tones of Alex's two 'nos' and tried to recall exactly what types of stores she'd seen when she'd driven into town earlier. Maybe she could find Alex a Christmas present that would be enjoyable for both of them to 'unwrap.'

"Hey, want to try to build that snowman?" Alex squeaked out. She needed to do something to get rid of the image which currently resided in her head. The memory of Olivia bent over in her tight jeans certainly wasn't helping.


Even though she was thoroughly enjoying her lover's attempts to squirm away from her questions, the thought of getting out of the small enclosure was just too tempting to pass up. Three days of being cooped up, even with Alex, was starting to get to Olivia. She really hated the freezing temperatures outside which kept them captive.

"Sure; you get dressed, and I'll meet you at the door." Alex stood and quickly fled the room.

Olivia watched her lover race through the door. Alex's sudden departure, coupled with the subject of their conversation, had proven to be quite luciferous.

Sticking her head inside the door, Olivia looked around for her lover; the sound of running water alerted her that Alex was still in the shower. Olivia smiled, knowing that Alex was reveling in the hot water. An adjustment to the water heater earlier had corrected the warm water problem Alex had been having.

Olivia slid from the one-piece all-weather suit and hurried into the bedroom. Kneeling down next to the bed, she took another quick glance at the bathroom door before pushing the rectangular box under the bed. Olivia grinned widely as she pushed to her feet. Alex was in for quite the surprise. The less than saintly thought projected another as Olivia began to unbutton her jeans.

Steam billowed over the top of the shower door as Olivia stepped inside the bathroom. She softly called her lover's name and waited to be acknowledged before she reached to pull the door open. Alex was wearing nothing but a smile when Olivia closed the door behind them.

The hot water felt wonderful against Olivia's skin, but nothing compared to the feeling of Alex's wet body against her own. Olivia slid her hands to her lover's hips and pulled her near. The two lovers stood in each other's arms, gazing into the other's eyes. Olivia finally offered a smile as she leaned forward to capture Alex's lips.

With the forecast for the next eight days warning residents not to venture outdoors if at all possible, Olivia's thoughts moved to the 'special' present she'd bought for Alex. She was absolutely certain its many uses would keep them occupied for the duration of her stay.

No, their forced captivity would be far from boring.

The End

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