DISCLAIMER: The original characters are ours; the rest we're borrowing from Dick Wolf. This is a love story between two consenting female adults, and may contain adult material. Caveat emptor.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Third prequel series to the Lemon Seed Orange Tree series. This is the fifth of seven stories…
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Falling For You
By Adrienne Lee


It was a slow morning, not that it was a bad thing, considering their line of work. However, Olivia was bored. There was nothing pressing she had to do, no paperwork, no filing, nothing. She wondered briefly what her partner was doing, with his family. After all, it was a Saturday morning, albeit a rainy Saturday morning.

Where's Munch and the damn coffee?

Suddenly, she heard a familiar string of laughter. Must be my imagination. She's probably home, curled up with a book…

Then Munch's voice traveled from just outside the door. "Say, Alex, what do you think of…" His sentence trailed off.

So I wasn't hallucinating. Wonder why she's here. The brunette quickly combed her fingers through her hair and straightened her collar. Oh, who cares. She's here. She smiled to herself, while opening a random file, just so she'd look like she was hard at work. Maybe, maybe she's here to see me… A girl could hope…

Another string of bright laughter interrupted her speculation. What's he telling her? Have I even heard her laugh like that before? She dug deep into her memory, deciding that she had. Still, her brows remained knitted. What are they talking about? And why are they standing out there?

As if on cue, the pair waltzed in.

Immediately, Olivia noticed Alex's arm in the crook of the other detective's. What the hell's up with that? She fumed.

"Oh, John, you're my hero."

"Aw… Alex, I just ran into you at an opportune time."

"I can't believe I walked out of my apartment without my umbrella." The blonde gushed, "My knight with the very large umbrella."

"You really shouldn't be so hard on yourself," Munch consoled. "It wasn't supposed to rain until this afternoon."

"Still, you rescued me and my shoes." Alex kicked up her leg to show off her new suede pumps. "Let me at least buy you coffee later to show my gratitude."

"If you insist, Counselor," the detective slid into his chair, and watched as their ADA settle herself on his desk. "So why are you so…"

Great, just great. Why couldn't that have been me, out there, with the umbrella? Just what I need, Alex fawning all over Munch. Finally, Olivia couldn't hold her tongue for another second, "Ahem. Speaking of coffee…"

"Oh, hey, Liv." The blonde waved, smiling casually.

"Hi Alex," the brunette smiled back, her mask of pleasantness fully in place. "Thanks John," she said, when he placed a cup in front of her. She took a sip and grimaced at the lukewarm drink.

"Sorry, it's my fault your coffee's cold," Alex explained. "It's kind of hard to take big steps in this." She tugged at the hem of her shorter than professional skirt suit, one that could have been from the set of Ally McBeal.

Olivia waved off the apology. With her eyes focused on the blonde's face, and a huge smile plastered on her face, she asked, "What brings you by on a Saturday morning?"

"Oh, I have some things I'd like to go over with John. Just to make sure I have all the bases covered for Monday."

"I see…"

"So Alex." Munch returned to his seat, sweeping his eyes over the long elegant legs as he did. "I was going to ask: why are you so dressed up?"

The brunette was ready to rush over, pull the glasses off his face, stomp on them, and gouge out his eyes. Instead, she chimed in, "Yeah, going somewhere?"

Great, Benson. Can you sound anymore asinine?

Alex threw her an inscrutable look, and turned again to Munch. "Oh, I had a lunch date, with an old friend."

"A male friend?" He wiggled his brows.

"No. My best-friend. We grew up together. Anyway, she had a last minute client meeting."

"On a Saturday?"

"Yeah, you know lawyers and their hours," Olivia offered. Somehow, it made her happy to know that she had more on Alex than the other detective did.

The look Alex gave her was as unfathomable as the last. Once more, the blonde returned her attention to Munch. "Well, shall we get started?"

"Sure. Let's…" John began.

Meanwhile, Olivia tuned out the conversation. "Blah, blah, blahblah, blah, blahblah, blah," was all she heard until another guffaw broke out. What the hell's going on over there? She leaned back in her chair to hear their conversation better. Except, now they were whispering.

Why are they suddenly so chummy? She brooded. Then out of the corner of her eye, she saw the blonde uncrossing and re-crossing her long elegant legs. Maybe she was projecting, but she thought she could hear John gulp.

There had better not be tenting going on… Olivia fumed, daring herself to check his pants. Oh, get a grip, Benson.

She was almost successful in convincing her green-eyed monster when Alex laughed again. Damn it!

Their ADA was being disgustingly coy, almost simpering, stroking Munch's ego outrageously. She even reached over and squeezed his shoulder affectionately.

The brunette leaned back a little further, just in time to see Munch wink at the blonde. All right, that's enough, absolutely enough. She's mine, you hear? Okay, maybe not mine yet, but soon, definitely soon. She swore silently, wishing she had the courage to go over there and say what was on her mind. Instead, she resigned herself to simmering in silent desperation.

How could she? Doesn't she know how I feel about her? I thought we were developing a relationship… She stared at the paper cup holding the now cold coffee. Oh, god, maybe after everything I've told her about me, she decided she's not interested… Why did you have to be so honest, Benson? Why did you need her to fall in love with her eyes wide opened, knowing exactly who you are? Couldn't you settle for a little less? Self-doubt turned into self-chastisement.

Once more, Alex's laughter interrupted Olivia's thoughts. She pushed back in her chair, hoping she could hear better. As if to foil her eavesdropping attempt, they returned to speaking softly. What's going on with those two? She wondered over and over again, while everything began to take on a slightly red hue, and all she could hear was a pounding in her ears.

"Well," the ADA said, closing her file. "Thank you so much for your help, John."

"My pleasure, Counselor, just doing my job."

Olivia thought she saw Alex bending towards John. After a bit of quick thinking, she stretched her fists up, arched her back, and faked a yawn.

Apparently, the blonde was just reaching for her satchel, not to kiss the other detective or anything.

The detective was expelling a sigh of relief when she felt the chair rolling out from under her. Windmilling her arms, she tried to maintain her balance, as her seat tilted completely, spilling her onto the floor, and making a loud crash in the process.

Dazed, she felt hands on the back of her shoulders. For a brief moment, she thought she had died, and the angel of death was there to pick her up. Then she realized the golden tresses, and laughing sky blue eyes belonged to her friend.

"Oh god." She struggled to her feet.

"You didn't hit your head, did you?" Alex wove her fingers into Olivia's hair, feeling around for bumps.

"No." Reluctantly, the brunette shook off the tender touch; she muttered, "I know how to fall."

"From practice?"

Olivia scowled at the giggle, and defended herself, "No! Hand to hand combat training."

"Come on." Alex smiled, stepping closer and leaning towards the brunette to make room, while John picked up the fallen chair. "I was just teasing."

"You should be careful, Olivia," the other detective scolded.

"Yeah, whatever," she sulked. "Thanks for coming to my rescue."

Munch shrugged, and retreated to his desk, leaving the women alone.

"You really should be careful, Liv."

Olivia sank into her seat. She was determined to feel sorry for herself. "What do you care?"

"We wouldn't want that body of yours falling to pieces…"

Again, she almost fell out of her chair. "What?"

Resting against the detective's desk, Alex crossed her arms and sighed, "Just be careful, all right? That partner of yours might fall to pieces without you around."

"Oh." Brown eyes glued themselves to the opened folder, avoiding the shapely legs dangling in front. Yep. Too good to be true.

"Hey, I haven't canceled the reservation." Alex covered Olivia's hand gently with her own. "You want to go to lunch with me? My treat."

The brunette looked from their joined hands up to the smiling blue eyes. Suddenly, everything was all right in her world.

The End

Sequel Can't Help Falling

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