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property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
The lights blinked off in the squad room. You could hear a dozen or so police officers swearing and then groaning, before the power buzzed back on. Then off. Then on.
That sort of thing had been happening way too often, lately. It wasn't anything to do with the electric company, (it wasn't as if the NYPD couldn't afford to pay the bills). Cragen had been barricaded inside his office, making heated phone calls to god knows who.
"I don't care if you can't find anything wrong with it. We can't see a goddamned thing!"
It didn't seem to make any difference. It just meant that Olivia took her work home a lot, lately. At least there she didn't have to squint to read. But her desk was too small, her couch too lumpy. She decided she was better off at Alex's.
"You look exhausted."
"Great, so I look like shit?"
"No," Alex huffed out a breath. "You're a giant hunk of hot cop."
Olivia still glared. "You're not funny."
"Get in here," Alex kissed her briefly in the lips. "I thought you were deep in a case."
"I am," Olivia sighed, falling onto the soft cushions of Alex's couch. "Haven't you heard?"
"About the power outages this week? Yeah," Alex shrugged. "So, what? You can't work at all?"
"They won't even let us back in the damn station." Olivia motioned to the box of files she'd dragged in. "So Elliot's doing the leg-work, following up on some leads, and I've got the dull part." She grimaced.
"Well, do they know what's actually wrong with the building?" Alex walked into the kitchen and stirred something on the stove.
"Wiring? Sparks kept flying, and popping, and they're afraid a fire's gonna start ." She raised her eyebrows. "Don't tell me you're cooking?"
"What'll we do if we ever have children?" Alex tried to look innocent.
"Ship them off to Elliot until they're old enough to order take-out?"
Alex shook her head and almost laughed. "You'll develop scurvy if you don't get something unprocessed into you."
"As long as you're eating it as well."
Alex strode back, and curled up next to her on the couch. "This is a democracy. We'll get food poisoning together."
Olivia stroked her head. "You haven't had anything like this down on Hudson Place, have you?"
Alex tilted her head up, "Like what?"
"The electricity." Olivia muttered. "I dunno. Has anything strange happened?"
Alex planted a kiss on Olivia's lips, and ran a finger along her jawline. "Only the fact that my girlfriend never visits anymore."
"So am I. Do you know how disappointing it is to be told that a detective's there to see me, only to come face to face with Munch?"
"As long as he hasn't replaced me," Olivia laughed.
"He'd never get my take-out order right."
But there had been strange occurrences down in the DA's office. Olivia kept bumping into Serena Southerlyn, who breathlessly conveyed updates.
"The wiring's doing something bizarre. The electricity's on and off like no one's business. God, I wish this was an election year."
"So, what? The City of New York forgot to cross a T?"
"Well, they can't be responsible for whoever's been swiping my lunches," Serena muttered. "Every day? It's hard to buy consistent vegetarian meals, when you've no time to be picky."
"I'm sure," Olivia tried to sound sympathetic.
She wasn't sure why Alex hadn't mentioned the electrical failures. And whenever she brought it up at home, Alex shrugged it off.
"It's my job to prosecute, not investigate."
"So you really don't care?"
"I really don't."
And then the ADA rushed off to one of the thousand things she had to do lately. Olivia swore Alex had never been this preoccupied before. Maybe it was just her heavy case-load? Maybe the unexplained phenomena pissed her off? You can't try something like this for a life sentence.
At least Olivia had Munch to confide in. His bizarre theories were seeming more and more plausible lately.
"The government's cutting funding all over the place. And denying it, of course," he smirked. "It's no wonder our beloved captain hasn't been making any headway."
"Woah, you don't think it's the government?" Olivia muttered. "That's your big explanation?"
"That's all it takes."
Olivia sighed, "It seems a little too tame, to be coming from your mouth."
"What can I say? I've mellowed."
Even Elliot was disappointing.
"You don't need to over-analyze this, Liv." He was less irritable, now that they had the use of another precinct's interview rooms and databases. "It's just a technical screw-up."
"Yeah, well. It happens."
Olivia wasn't the type to follow through on theories this bizarre, and she had a lot of work to do. She tried to let it slide.
They'd gotten a few scares in the past month. It turned out they were stepping on the DEA's toes with the rape and murder they were investigating. The victim was an undercover cop. One of the conditions of the investigation was that the detectives weren't allowed to reveal this information to their ADA. Still, Alex's face drained of color, whenever Olivia mentioned the case, or the name Raphael Zapata.
"Yeah, so? What's the problem?"
Sure, Zapata and Velez were a scary couple of guys, but this was hardly the most gruesome case Alex had been involved in.
Alex wouldn't look Olivia in the eye, when she and Elliot came to her office, requesting a warrant.
"Look, counselor " Olivia stared down at the desk. "A woman was raped and murdered."
"A hooker, you say?" She almost seemed to be challenging them.
"Yeah," Olivia hated the lie. "A hooker."
"I'm not getting you a warrant."
"Why the hell not? Because she's a hooker?"
"No, Olivia." Alex was back to organizing her paperwork.
Elliot narrowed his eyes. "What do you mean, you won't?"
"Well, fine then," Alex shrugged and glared. "Name your informant, and I will."
"What? We can't," Olivia snapped. "Alex, you know occasions arise where witnesses are safer remaining anonymous."
Alex slammed her files down. "What would happen if I needed his testimony to be verified?" She glared, a little too vehemently. "Jesus, did you ever think of that factor?"
"What?" Olivia gaped. "Look, we trust him."
"Tough. I don't."
When the detectives trudged out of her office, Elliot turned irritably to Olivia.
"What's eating her, today?"
"I wish I knew."
Elliot grunted. "We need that warrant to search Zapata's boat. Like she ever cared about anonymous witnesses before."
"I know, Elliot. Give it a rest, Ok?"
Olivia hated the look he was giving her. What, did he think she had some divine influence over the ADA, just because she was sleeping with her?
If anything, Alex had too much power over her. She felt Alex kiss down her stomach, her fingers trailed over Olivia's hip.
"Why do I get the feeling I'm being lied to?" she paused at Olivia's abdomen.
"W..what?" Olivia swallowed. "You're what?"
Alex looked up at her, and smiled. "At work, today."
Olivia was concentrating on the way Alex's touch circled above her pelvis. "What?" she managed again. "We don't talk about work at home remember?"
Alex was shaking her head. "Maybe we should." Then she lowered her head, and Olivia felt her lips hesitate, and kiss away from her, down her thigh, up her leg.
"Alex what .?"
She felt Alex breath's on her skin. Alex's hands stroked up her thigh again. God this was torture.
"Ok, ok .God, you're unbelievable." Olivia gasped, as she felt Alex's tongue, teasing her slowly. But, it didn't last long.
"So she wasn't a prostitute?" Alex murmured, sliding out of bed.
Olivia sighed, feeling irritated. "Fine, ok she was a cop."
"And an undercover cop? Like your witness, I imagine?"
"What are you, psychic?" Olivia rolled back and watched as Alex got dressed. "Jesus, you're trying to kill me, aren't you?" She narrowed her eyes. "And you still won't do anything to catch him?"
"Two years of work, Olivia. I don't want to screw up their undercover operation by making them testify. I don't want to get anyone killed." Alex slid on a pair of jeans, and rolled her eyes, but she looked anything but calm.
"Who says they have to testify? I just want a goddamn warrant!"
"It isn't going to happen."
"Detective Sandoval is dead because of that psychopath." Olivia marched out to meet her. Alex's eyes involuntarily trailed up and down her naked body.
"My hands are tied."
"You're just gonna let that bastard walk?"
Alex was giving her a strange look. "I have to." Her voice was strangely quiet. She kissed Olivia softly, before pulling away. "Please, Liv. Drop it? I just have to."
It didn't fit. Olivia couldn't believe Alex was backing away from something like this. The ADA dropped the case without a moment's reservation. And the Squad ended up shelving the investigation. Another woman who wouldn't be getting any justice.
Oddly, it was at that point when the electricity began to go strange.
Still, eventually the power outages down at the precinct stopped being an issue, and people stopped pretending to care about how unexplainable their appearance had been.
But then, something strange began happening in Alex's apartment. Olivia hadn't noticed it at first, because she was too preoccupied with interviews and the fact that SVU was barely managing to organize itself.
Her cell phone continued playing up. It didn't seem like such an important thing, initially. But it refused, point blank, to recharge. That's when she leant it to Elliot, for him to tinker with. But when he dropped past Alex's apartment with it, he gave her a strange look.
"It's working fine."
"It charged straight away." He shook his head, and appeared to be about to make a comment regarding women and technology, but he stopped himself at Olivia's dark look.
"Maybe you forgot where the charging socket goes in?"
"Oh, believe me - you don't wanna know where I'd like to shove that charger right now."
She didn't bother telling Alex about it. Her girlfriend barely seemed aware of anything these days, except all the work she was getting in. Did she even take any days off, anymore? Olivia couldn't get any straight answers out of her.
After that, Olivia became more aware of how strange Alex's apartment was. The electricity buzzed, not quite going out, not quite flowing through. The digital clocks never kept the right time, no matter how many occasions Olivia fiddled with them, swearing. The TV kept losing its signal, and it never showed the programs that were supposedly on schedule. She kept getting reruns, or episodes much too far ahead in the plotline.
Her copies of the Times were delivered a day late, every day. It didn't matter how many times Olivia tried to fix the subscription. And Alex didn't seem to care.
"Look, I know what's happening in the world, anyway."
"Yeah, a day after everyone."
"I know already," Alex muttered, flipping over another caesefile. "Nothing in the paper surprises me anymore."
They had been dating for over two years. Sure, they irritated the hell out of each other sometimes. But this was different. It only started happening a few months ago. Alex got this glazed look sometimes, it made Olivia worry that she was about to have a seizure.
Olivia didn't know what to think, except that it was strange when you couldn't trust someone's apartment to behave normally.
She was constantly on the lookout for strange things, now. She'd even taken to spying on Alex, (on the street, out on a lunch break) when she wasn't looking. She'd begun to search through her girlfriend's things, casually, not suspiciously. But worried that there might be something to find.
And that's when it happened.
"Oh my god. Where did you get this?"
Olivia had found it in Alex's bottom drawer, tangled amongst her underwear. It looked like a
"Jesus, you've been holding out on me," she tilted her head, but Alex wasn't even looking in her direction.
"This " Olivia chuckled, feeling relieved. "Is it a vibe?"
"Wait " Alex's attention snapped away from her paperwork. "What?" Then her eyes narrowed, and she blinked.
"That's nothing," she snapped.
"It looks unbelievable."
Alex jumped over the bed, and closed her fingers over it. "It's not a vibrator, Liv."
"Then what the hell?"
Alex sighed, "It's just "
Olivia pressed one of the buttons. "It flashes!"
"Let go of it," Alex's lips were thin. "It's just a fancy remote control."
Olivia relented. "You don't have to be such a bitch."
Alex slipped it into another drawer, and locked it.
"I'm sorry, Olivia. But it really isn't anything that interesting."
Olivia hadn't survived a childhood with her mother, without learning a few things about breaking in and out of places. It didn't take her long to break into that drawer again, and snatch the device from under Alex's odd socks and stockings. She squinted at it, and noticed how it had a strange texture, over one end at it. She smirked, and tried to find the button she'd pushed before.
But nothing happened. It just sat there in her hands, looking more and more like a children's toy. A magic wand? A remote for an expensive toy car? It was black and grey, and when she turned it over she noticed a small button, hidden under a layer of thick plastic.
"Jesus ." What the hell was Alex messing with? Was it government technology?
She took a breath, then pressed the button. Pressed again.
"Shit," her eyes were hurting. She felt dizzy.
Then her stomach lurched, and she felt like she was going to throw up. Her hands felt hot, around the device. She grunted in pain, and dropped it.
"What the fuck?" her hands stung.
Then she noticed Elliot staring it her. No, he was gaping.
"Liv? Olivia? Hey, are you ok?"
"What the hell are you doing here?" She snapped, wishing she'd locked Alex's drawer already.
Then she stared across the desk, and saw Alex, gaping at her. Alex, sitting at her desk. In her office.
She was in Alex's office.
Elliot was glaring at the ADA. "What do you mean, you won't get it?"
Alex narrowed her eyes. "Do you have a problem, detective? Fine, name your informant, and I will."
"What?" Olivia snapped. "Alex "
"Is everything alright, Olivia?"
"Alright?" Olivia's eyes scanned Alex's office. She touched the desk, ran a hand down its side, then she tested the floor with her foot. No, it was solid.
"Olivia?" Alex's voice was harsher now. "Elliot would you?"
Elliot was still looking irritated, but he shot Olivia a quizzical look. "Yeah, sure. Fine." He slammed the door as he left.
"I know you want the warrant, ok?" Alex was trying to gauge her expression. "But don't you dare pull a stunt like this again."
"What?" Olivia couldn't figure out why Alex looked so furious. "A stunt? You're the one pulling a goddamn stunt! What the hell's going on? How the hell did I get here?"
Alex tilted her head, and stared over her glasses. "Olivia I'm not going to let you search Zapata's boat."
"What?" Olivia was backing away. Then suddenly, Alex's eyes fell on the object by the detective's feet. Her expression grew dark. She slowly arose, and stalked over to pick it up. Olivia backed further away.
"I'm going to kill you, Olivia." And she held it up to Olivia's head, before everything lost focus.
Olivia woke up in Alex's bed. That in itself was hardly a strange thing. But her arms were tied together. Her mouth was gagged.
"You were out for ages." Alex was leaning against the doorframe. All Olivia could do was nod, and stare wide-eyed, as Alex walked over casually, drinking her morning coffee.
Olivia was glaring. She kicked the blanket off the bed, and shook her head, biting into the gag.
"You're not saying you slept badly?" Alex leant against the bedside table. "You barely stirred."
Olivia made a frustrated noise. Her heart sped up, when Alex bent over her and undid the gag.
"What the fuck is wrong with you!" Olivia barely waited to catch her breath. "Have you lost your fucking mind?"
"I should ask you the same question. I did this for your own good."
"You tied me up!"
"You were hallucinating," Alex said, sternly. Then she tilted her head. "You really don't remember?" When Olivia only glared in confusion, Alex let out a heavy breath. "In my office. You kept raving about some trivial thing the pain in your hand? There's no burn on your hand, Liv. See?" She tried to reach for her, but Olivia shoved her away.
"Don't you fucking touch me!"
Alex lowered her eyes, and seemed to be thinking. "I'm sorry you feel that way." Her voice was quiet and hard.
"What the hell's going on, Alex?"
Alex's expression was cold, and she didn't look up. "You are not going to screw this up for me, Olivia." She was gritting her teeth. "You just go in, guns blazing, like a goddamn cowboy."
"God, Alex. What the hell's wrong with you?"
"I refuse to let you throw us into the same shit, all over again. It's not going to happen."
Olivia was barely breathing, "Alex, you're scaring me."
"You just couldn't let it be, could you?" Alex snapped, her voice breaking up.
Olivia was shaking her head. "How did I get into your office? How did I get back here again?"
Alex sighed and sat next to her on the bed. "You are not to leave this room, do you understand?"
"You're not giving me much choice," Olivia struggled against her restraints. "Alex, please "
"The Sandoval case will be shelved soon," Alex closed her eyes.
"What?" Olivia glared. "Jesus, you made us drop it months ago."
"Until it's over, you're going to have a touch of the flu or appendicitis " Alex continued, sighing. "Something incapacitating, at least."
"Are you listening?" Olivia barked. "What the hell are you worried about Zapata for? You let the bastard walk. He's on the streets, thanks to you."
Alex narrowed her eyes. "You're not allowed to talk now, Olivia." She marched over to her set of drawers. "I told you to stay out of here. I made it perfectly clear."
"What's that got to do with anything?" Olivia snapped. "Untie me."
"No." Alex seemed to be having a hard time looking at her. "I can't believe you did this to us."
Olivia had gotten one hand free. "It's ok, sweetheart," she managed to sound calm. "I made a mistake, right? Just a mistake " Her other hand was almost free. Alex hadn't even noticed, because she seemed to be blinking back tears.
"You make me so mad, Liv." Alex had her eyes closed. "Now I have to go through this all over again. Explaining to Branch To Donnelly. Trying not to get shot at again. Don't you know it isn't a toy?"
"I know, I know " Olivia had gotten her hand free. She slid off the bed, trying not to think too hard about what she was doing. She grabbed Alex by the arm, roughly.
"What?" Alex gave her a look of surprise, as Olivia bound her arms behind her with her own rope. "What the hell are you doing?"
Olivia gritted her teeth. "Get on the bed."
"Olivia look, obviously you don't understand ."
She pushed Alex onto the crumbled bedspread. "I understand that you're fucking crazy."
Alex gaped at her, "Untie me. Now."
Olivia smiled coldly, "Ok, now that's funny."
Alex was sounding panicked now. "God, Olivia. Please. Jesus."
"Your vibrator " Olivia looked for it, pulling out all of Alex's drawers. "That was it, wasn't it?"
"Untie me," Alex stood, shakily. "Undo this, and I'll tell you." When Olivia just glared, she closed her eyes, and said slowly, "Olivia .you don't believe in time-traveling, do you?"
"What?" Olivia crossed her arms, and twitched her lip. "What?. No you've got to be kidding."
Alex let out a breath. "Listen, I can't be stuck in here right now."
"If you have superpowers, untie your own damn rope." Olivia picked up the phone. "Or maybe I should just call the precinct? The Post? ADA on party drugs - That'll look great in the papers."
Alex glared at her. "I am not on drugs"
Olivia ran a hand through her hair, "You're on something." She couldn't stand how upset Alex looked. "What the hell am I gonna do with you?"
Alex looked incredulous. "You're asking me? Untie me."
"So, why time-traveling, hey?" Olivia snapped. "Why not invisibility...telekinesis. What else is there?"
"I couldn't stand being away, Olivia. And you missed, me, ok? I know you did."
"Oh, right." Olivia sat down on the floor, "Miss me? You're hardly ever here, for chrissake! Do you miss how I look walking away?"
Alex looked tired. "Look, I just found it." She seemed to be babbling. "And it was complicated, and everything started going wrong .And that generic blonde Southerlynn saw me use it."
"The blackouts?" Olivia gave her a strange look. "Jesus, just don't tell me you're the one snatching her lunches, too. Oh, and of course you're responsible for Kennedy and you faked the moon landing "
"Olivia." Alex was holding her hands out behind her,
"I don't care."
"Now," Alex nodded, speaking slowly. "Let me go .alright? Can you do that?"
Olivia sighed, and slid down onto the floor, against the wall. "I can't believe this."
Alex got up off the bed, awkwardly tripping, still holding her arms out. Olivia didn't know why she felt like laughing. Alex managed to sit next to her.
After a few minutes of uncomfortable silence, Olivia let out a breath. "So Time-traveling?"
Alex nodded. "I'll let you use it anything, alright? Just untie these."
Olivia leant over and slipped the knot out of itself, easily.
Alex narrowed her eyes. "Damn boyscout."
"Yeah, so what?" Olivia muttered, tiredly. "I'm sick of your bullshit, ok?"
Alex nodded, but Olivia glared back. "Alex, details. Now."
"Fine." Alex was rubbing her sore wrists. "You want a simple explanation, then?"
"I want an explanation."
Alex closed her eyes. "God, you're so thick-headed. Sometimes, you know ."
Olivia stood up. "What the hell's that supposed to mean?"
"It means," Alex shot up next to her, "That I tell you something over and over, and it's like running into a goddamn wall. Listen, I just want your word that you'll keep your mouth shut around the Sandoval case. Let something slide, for once."
Olivia narrowed her eyes. "You're serious about the time-traveling thing, then?"
"Don't I look serious? I feel damn serious."
"You're telling me that you time-traveled using your vibrator?"
"God, it wasn't a vibrator," Alex snapped. But she gave Olivia a look. "You're going to be ok with this?"
Olivia closed her eyes. "No. Yes. I don't know." She shrugged, and picked up the ropes. "I had no idea you were into this type of thing."
Alex almost smiled. "This isn't a joke."
"Of course it isn't." Olivia glared. "Jesus. Don't you ever threaten me again."
Alex snatched the ropes off her. "I won't, if you stay out of my way."
The Sandoval case hadn't been shelved yet, and Olivia knew better than to wonder why, just as she didn't question it, when all the dates on the calendars were three months off.
Alex still kept her underwear drawers locked and Olivia never looked too closely, anymore. She didn't care that things went strange, from time to time. Electricity, time, TV, what did it matter - it had already happened, hadn't it? But she stopped looking too closely at Alex, either. They weren't exactly speaking anymore, even though they were basically living together. Olivia just waited for the time to pass again, to bring them further away from catching Zapata. Further away from a normal life, as far as she could tell.
But one morning before work, Alex dropped something into her lap, instead of silently making her a coffee.
Olivia looked up. "What? The thing from your drawer?"
Alex shrugged and smiled. "They say the sixties were fun." She gauged Olivia's expression, before shrugging again. "Care to find out?"
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