DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and its characters are the property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Total stand alone, no links to any episode- big thanks to Em for the Beta..Any errors are mine following formatting.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Elliott pushed the keyboard away from his reach. Leaning back in his chair and stretching, he sighed loudly. He stood, making his way to the coffee pot near the door. Pouring himself a cup of fresh coffee, he was about to offer a cup to Munch as the squad room door opened. Olivia appeared to be struggling with a number of bags.
"Landlord throw you out?" Elliott put his cup down and went to help her.
"Burst water pipe, I have to vacate the premises while they clean up." Olivia gladly handed Elliot the largest of her bags while she lifted another two, heading for her desk.
"Tell me this isn't the only stuff not damaged?"
She shook her head, "I packed up enough stuff to last me a few weeks. They don't know when I'll get back into the apartment."
"Do you have somewhere to stay?"
Olivia walked to the coffee pot, and helped herself to Elliot's discarded cup. "I called around; The Holiday Inn has some rooms."
"I'm sure Kathy can fix up a bed for you at our house."
"No offence El, but I don't think I could cope at yours. I'm too used to my own space."
"We're down to four kids now remember, with Kathleen at school."
Olivia smiled, "Thanks, but that's still four too many." She moved to her desk, switching on her computer. "I'll be fine at the hotel until it's ok to go home."
Elliot moved to sit on her desk, "Well, the offer is there." He lifted a file that had been left on her desk. "I told Cragen we'd head over to Central Park and try to get some statements on the Jane Doe from Tuesday night."
"I'm supposed to be meeting Alex to go over my testimony for Monday."
"You want me to take Munch?"
"Alex is squeezing me in between meetings, I don't want to cancel on her."
Elliot stood, taking the file with him back to his own desk. "I'll catch up with you later then."
Olivia nodded as she turned her attention to her email.
Alex Cabot was reading through preparation papers for an impending trial when Olivia knocked on her door.
"Am I interrupting?" Olivia stuck her head around the door.
Alex closed the file on her desk, offering Olivia her full attention. "Yes, but it's a welcome interruption, come on in."
Olivia closed the office door behind her, coming to sit opposite Alex across her desk. Alex reached into the bottom drawer of her desk, and withdrew a folder. She laid the folder open on her desk. "Mitchell Harper is still pleading not guilty."
"Did you expect anything else?"
"Malcolm Turner is one of the city's best defence attorneys, he knows the evidence we have against Harper, yet he won't take the offer on the table."
"Harper doesn't want to admit the charge, even if it means going to prison for the rest of his life."
Alex lifts a sheet of paper from the file, handing it to Olivia. "This is a list of questions I want to ask when you're on the stand. Take it home and look over it. You might have to go back over some of the witness statements in advance."
"It'll give me something to do while I enjoy room service for the next few nights."
Clearly not understanding, Alex raises an eyebrow, "You going out of town for the weekend?"
"I wish," Olivia said, shaking her head, "My apartment got flooded, I'm homeless until the super works his magic and gets the place habitable again."
"So you're going to stay in a hotel?"
"Either that or run the risk of strangling Elliot's kids at his place."
Alex took off her glasses and rubbed the bridge of her nose. "I have a spare room you're more than welcome to use."
Olivia appeared surprised by this offer, "I couldn't do that, it might take them weeks to get my place ready."
Alex shrugged, folding the legs on her glasses and placing them on top of the paperwork on her desk, "The room's just sitting there. I spend hours here or in court each day, so you'd have the apartment to yourself most of the time. I rarely get home before eight, and I'm out by seven thirty most mornings. It seems a waste to spend money on a hotel room if you're only going to be there a few hours every day."
Olivia sat back in her chair, contemplating Alex's offer. "Are you sure?"
"I wouldn't offer if I wasn't. I'll come by the squad room when I finish and give you a ride."
"Thanks Alex, I really appreciate it."
Alex smiled, "Of course, I do have a hidden motive, this way I know you'll actually read over the papers ahead of Monday."
Olivia laughed, "Counsellor, did you doubt me?"
Alex shrugged as she started to tidy the papers on her desk, sliding her glasses back on, "I know you detectives just tell me what I want to hear."
Olivia, noting the tidy up, took the hint and stood. "I guess I'll see you later."
"Should be out of court by five, so when I've written up my notes, I'll head straight over. I'll pick you up around six thirty?"
"I'll see you then."
Watching Olivia leave, Alex couldn't help admiring the view. The detective was wearing dark blue jeans that fit snugly to her long legs, and even more so around the ass. The maroon sweater was also tightly fitting, and the low v-neck showed off just enough cleavage for Alex to be conscious of where her eyes had been during their conversation. Shaking her head to clear the image of Olivia, she reached for the briefcase at her feet. She was due in court.
Olivia was sitting at her desk when Elliot returned, accompanied by John Munch.
"How'd it go?"
Elliot shook his head as he sat at his own desk, opposite Olivia. "No one knows anything. We've got people who jog that section of the park twice a day, and no one remembers anything. Most of them ran right past her without noticing she was lying at the side of the path."
"It was early, and when you're plugged into an iPod, you don't pay attention to anything other than your legs."
"I don't believe no one saw anything. We know she was dumped sometime after 5am, how can no one know anything?"
"Did we get anything from the cameras?"
Munch came to Olivia's side, sitting on the edge of her desk, "Not so far. Picture quality isn't that great in the low light, and since we don't know which direction they came from, we're having to study over four hours worth of tape for over two dozen cameras."
"Did the ME's office get anything?"
Munch shook his head, "No hands, so no prints. Dental tells us she's possibly European, but beyond that nothing. Without prints we can't check immigration, so we're stuck."
"CSU find anything at the site?"
"Nothing." Elliot lifted his jacket from the back of his chair. "I'm heading home. I promised Cathy I'd be on dinner duty."
"See you tomorrow."
Munch waited until Elliot was out of earshot before turning to Olivia. "Next time, you go with him."
Olivia offered him a small smile, "You get used to him."
"I don't want to get used to him." Munch moved away from Olivia, walking to his own desk.
Olivia turned her attention back to the papers on her desk, and quickly became engrossed in the Jane Doe autopsy report.
Olivia became so absorbed that she didn't hear the approaching footsteps, and was only aware of someone behind her when a hand fell onto her shoulder. Physically jumping in surprise, Olivia spun around in her chair.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you." Alex held up her hands in mock defence.
"It's ok, I just didn't hear you come in." Olivia looked around the bullpen and was surprised to find she appeared to be the last member of the squad left. "What time is it?"
"Just after six. Court got out early. Are you ok to go now or should I wait?"
Olivia started gathering together the paperwork on her desk, "No, we can go. I'll take this for reading later."
Alex lifted one of the bags from beside Olivia's desk, "I'm parked out front."
Olivia grabbed the remaining bags, and followed Alex out.
Olivia had guessed that Alex's apartment would be nicer than her own, but she was still stunned when she followed Alex inside. Real wood flooring, cream walls and furniture, and a view over Central Park almost took Olivia's breath away. Alex walked through the apartment, leading Olivia down a hallway off the large living room.
"Guest room. You have an en suite, and there's a small terrace, although I'd say with the weather these last few days you won't get to use that."
"Alex this place is beautiful."
"I can't take the credit, my friend is an interior designer, so this is all her doing."
Olivia entered the guest room, and dropped her bags on the floor.
"I'm going to start dinner, feel free to have a shower or just unpack."
Alone, Olivia walked to the window and opened the French doors, walking out onto the small terrace. A small wrought iron chair sat just outside, and although cold, Olivia couldn't help but sit and admire the view over the city. As the sun set, the orange glow travelling between the high rise buildings cast long shadows over the greenery of Central Park. Olivia pulled her jacket tighter around herself, and simply sat watching the city below.
She hadn't heard the knock on the door, and having learned her lesson earlier, Alex called out to Olivia as she entered the room.
Olivia stood and walked back into the room, "Sorry, couldn't resist the view."
Alex came into the room, "I have to apologise. I've just had a call from a friend who is currently on her way over here for drinks."
"So why do you owe me an apology."
"Because she will be followed by another two friends, and any hope you had of getting any work done just went out the window. I forgot it was my turn to play host."
"Should I make myself scarce? I can-"
Alex shook her head, "No, you don't have to go anywhere. I just wanted to let you know, since you brought that file home to work on."
"I can still do that in here. I might even wrap up and sit outside, the view is spectacular."
"I'll try to get them out as quickly as possible."
Olivia laughed softly, "Alex, you don't have to change any plans for me. You're doing me the favour, remember."
Alex dropped her gaze, "Dinner will be ready in five minutes, and I've opened a bottle of wine."
"I'll be right out."
They had just finished eating when the door bell chimed softly. Alex stood, lifting the empty plates and taking them into the kitchen.
"Should I get that?" Olivia nodded in the direction of the door.
Alex came back out, shaking her head, "No, she can wait." Alex refilled their glasses from the open bottle of wine sitting on the table. Taking a long drink, she carried the glass with her to the door. Alex had only just turned the lock when the door was thrown open from the outside. A tall, dark haired woman swept into the apartment, tearing past Alex and going straight into the kitchen.
"Sorry, but if I don't put this bag down it's going to burst and you're going to be licking expensive champagne off the floor."
Alex closed the front door, and followed her friend into the kitchen. "There's a bottle in the fridge already chilled."
"Can I do anything?" Olivia remained seated at the table, but leaned back in her chair to try to see into the kitchen.
The dark haired woman appeared in the doorway, wide eyed and smiling, "Alex, you didn't say you had company."
"Olivia, this is Melissa. Mel, Olivia is a detective I know from work, she's staying with me for a few days while her apartment is remodelled."
Olivia laughed, "I wouldn't say remodelled, more like repaired."
Melissa, still smiling, made her way to the table, and sat beside Olivia, "A detective. I like a woman in uniform."
Olivia blushed, looking to Alex first before responding, "Well, sorry to disappoint, but I've not been in uniform for a few years."
"Mel, could you fix the drinks please?" Alex was blushing furiously, her stare burrowing into the back of Melissa's head.
"Champagne all round?" She stood, smiling at Alex widely as she passed her at the kitchen door.
Olivia took the opportunity to make her escape, "Not for me, I've got work to do." She walked towards the guest room. "Thanks for dinner Alex, and it was nice meeting you Melissa."
"I'm sure it won't be the last time." Melissa called confidently from the kitchen.
She turned to look at Alex as she reached for the door handle. Alex simply mouthed an 'I'm sorry' before Olivia went into what was, for the time being, her room.
Two hours later, and numb from the cold, Olivia relented and swapped the terrace for the warmth of the indoors. She had worked her way through the autopsy report and initial findings from CSU, and hadn't learned anything she didn't know before starting. She could hear the soft sounds of conversation drifting through from the living room. The idea of a glass of wine was very appealing, and she thought a quick ten minute break couldn't hurt. As she made her way from her room out to the living room, the talking ceased.
"No need to stop on my account." Olivia smiled at the faces sitting around the dinning table.
"Were we too loud?" Alex looked concerned.
Olivia shook her head, "No, I just wondered if the offer of a glass of wine was still on offer."
Melissa practically sprang to her feet, "Of course, pull up a chair."
"Actually, I was going to take a bath and thought it would help relax me in there."
Melissa returned with a glass, handing it to Olivia, "Are you sure, we were hoping you could provide some information on Alex that she won't share."
Olivia nodded, "I'm sure, maybe another time." She raised her glass in the direction of the group, "Good night everyone."
Olivia walked back to her room. As she moved to close the door behind her, she couldn't help hearing Melissa speak. "God Alex, if you don't do something about her, I will."
"Will you stop it, she's not going to be interested."
"How do you know until you try? You'd be amazed at how many straight women I've had."
Alex laughed, "No, I wouldn't. You stopped surprising me a long time ago."
Olivia felt a flush work up her face as she realized they were talking about her.
"How long will she be here?"
"Until her apartment is finished."
"Which gives you plenty of time to make a move."
"Stop it, okay."
"It's been too long Alex. You need to get out there and meet someone. Or, stay in and just do her."
There was laughter from everyone in the other room.
Olivia imagined Alex would be embarrassed by the comments being made, and could picture her pale complexion being replaced by a deep flush. Olivia took a deep breath, and opened the door, walking back out to join the group.
"You change your mind?" Melissa couldn't hide her delight.
"Yeah, I've been working too long; I need something to take my mind off it."
Alex couldn't meet Olivia's eye as she came to join them at the table. She selected a seat away from Melissa, but in Alex's eye line. She reached for the open wine bottle on the table, and refilled her glass.
"What are you working on, or can't you say?" A blonde to Olivia's right enquired.
"Olivia this is Sarah, and Rachel. And no, she can't say."
Olivia smiled at Alex, "It's ok. We're working a homicide, but I'd rather not talk about that." She nodded in Alex's direction, "I thought you wanted some dirt on Alex."
Sarah laughed, "I didn't think there was any."
Olivia shrugged, "I can make some stuff up if you want."
"Or we can just change the subject altogether." Alex stood, lifting an empty bottle from the table. She made to leave the table, but Olivia got to her feet, coming to stand beside Alex.
"I'll get that, you sit down." Olivia took the empty bottle. As Alex sat down, Olivia put a hand on her shoulder, squeezing softly, "Why are you all sitting around the table, I would have thought the sofa would be more comfortable."
Olivia went into the kitchen to replace the wine. Coming back into the living room, she was pleased to see the others moving to sit around the sofa. Olivia made her way around the four women, filling glasses before sitting on the floor in front of Alex.
"So how do you all know each other?"
Everyone turned to Alex, who was picking at a lose thread on her skirt. She looked up, and rolled her eyes, "Ok, go ahead."
Melissa spoke first, "I dated Alex in college."
"And I dated Melissa when she broke it off with Alex." Sarah supplied.
"Sarah and I had a one night stand while she was still with Mel." Rachel finished.
Olivia couldn't help her jaw dropping. "You are joking right."
Alex shook her head, "No, it is that sad. All that dating, and cheating, and we stayed friends."
"Wow, I don't think I've ever said more than five words to any of my exes." Olivia shifted position on the floor, backing up to lean against the sofa that Alex occupied. She threw an arm across Alex's legs, leaning her weight against Alex. "That's nice though, that you can still be friends."
"Well, it's either that or we need to be bitches to each other, so we went with friends."
Olivia shook her head, looking up at Alex and smiling, "And you seem so boring at work."
"Hey." Alex slapped Olivia playfully on the arm before raising her glass and finishing her wine. "Someone get the wine."
As Alex closed the front door, having said goodbye to her guests, Olivia was tidying away the empty bottles and glasses.
"I hope that wasn't too traumatic."
Olivia laughed, "They're nice."
"And is there any chance at all that you didn't hear them talking about you when you came out of your room earlier."
"None at all."
"Don't be, I'm flattered. It's not often you hear someone say they find you attractive."
Alex laughed, "Well, I know Mel's not the most subtle."
"You can say that again."
Alex stifled a yawn, "I'm off to bed. Leave the rest of the tidying, I have someone come in who'll take care of it. I'll be leaving at eight tomorrow if you want a ride to work."
Alex went into her room, leaving Olivia alone. Walking to the large windows, she stood in the low lamplight, watching the never ending traffic of the city below, and listening as Alex got ready for bed.
Olivia was up and ready before Alex the next morning, so leaving her a note, she made her own way to work. The apartment was only a few minutes walk to the subway, so Olivia was at her desk for just after eight.
She worked her way through her email, and dealt with a few reports that had been left on her desk. The clock showed ten when Elliott entered the bullpen.
Olivia nodded in the direction of the coffee pot, "That's just fresh. Where have you been?"
"Kathy had a doctor's appointment, so I was home with the kids." He poured himself a cup of coffee. "Any news?"
She shook her head, "I've got an appointment with CSU in an hour if you want to tag along?"
"What for, thought they drew a blank on the scene?"
"I want to go over some other things with them. The clothes she was wearing for starters. Their lab can do wonders with fabric."
"What are you hoping for?"
"Well, the ME said she was European, so can we narrow that down. If we get a nationality, then we can start looking at the communities in the area, see if anyone is missing a sister, or a daughter."
"I've got a few interviews lined up this morning, joggers who didn't have time yesterday. I could meet you for lunch."
"Sounds good." Olivia stood, switching off her computer, "Call me when you finish."
An hour later, Olivia was sitting beside CSU agent West, staring at microscopic views of fabric.
"The way that's woven together, I'd say it's an Eastern European fabric. Polish, Czech, somewhere like that."
"You can't narrow it down?"
West shook his head, "Sorry. We can't get any more specific. The tags had been removed, so we have no wording to go on either."
"What about shoes?"
Again West shook his head, "Run of the mill Nike, available all over the world."
"And no prints anywhere."
"Sorry. We were too late to fume her, and the clothes didn't yield anything."
Olivia couldn't help but sigh with disappointment. "Okay, I guess I was hoping for too much. Thanks West."
Olivia was just leaving the lab as her cell phone rang. Not looking at the display, she answered, "You finished already?"
A hesitation on the other end of the line was followed by a soft, "Olivia?"
"Yes, sorry are you busy?"
"I thought you were Elliot, sorry." Olivia was now outside the CSU building, squinting in the sunlight. "What can I do for you?"
"I have just had a call from Melissa, and I wanted to give you some notice that we're expected at a party tonight."
"You must have made an impression last night, she's insisting that you be there."
"And if I say no?"
Alex laughed, "You don't say no to Melissa. She'll be outside my apartment at eight with a limo, and I've told her to have the champagne chilling."
"Alex, I don't know, I "
"I'll pick you up from work at five, that leaves us time for a quick diner."
"I don't really have any say in this do I?"
"See you at five."
Olivia ended the call, and started to place the phone in her jacket pocket, as it rang again. "You're letting me off the hook and saying it was a joke."
"What are you talking about?" Elliott's voice on the other end of the phone.
"Sorry, thought you were someone else."
"You ready for lunch?"
"I'll meet you at O'Malley's in fifteen minutes. If you get there first, I want a large scotch."
Olivia didn't give him a chance to respond as she disconnected the call and pushed the phone into her pocket.
"I don't have anything to wear to a party." Olivia was standing in front of the closet she had been using at Alex's.
"Anything other than jeans will be fine." Alex's shouted from her room, clearly smiling as she said it.
"We'll go, stay for an hour to satisfy Mel, then we can leave."
Olivia looked again at the contents of the closet, sighing.
Alex was deciding between two pairs of ear rings when she heard Olivia's door open. The clicking of high heels across the wooden floor tracked her into the kitchen. Alex moved down the hallway, stepping out into the living room. She stopped at the threshold at the sight of Olivia. Skin tight black leather trousers, a black halter neck top with spiked black heels finished off the vision. Alex had to take a deep breath to restart her heart as Olivia looked in her direction.
From Olivia's viewpoint, she seemed to be experiencing the same effect. Alex's pale complexion against a knee length scarlet red dress took Olivia's breath away.
"If that's you having nothing to wear, I'd love to see you make an effort." Alex regained her composure, smiling as she noticed the soft blush rise in Olivia.
"I thought I was doing okay until you stepped out that room. That dress is gorgeous."
Before the awkwardness could become apparent, Alex's cell phone chirped. Alex moved to lift it from the small coffee table in front of the couch.
"We'll be right down." She rolled her eyes at Olivia, "It's now or never."
"I'm holding you to your promise of free drinks."
Alex walked to the front door, holding it open for Olivia as they left the apartment.
The 'party' turned out to be an exclusive opening of a new club that Melissa was promoting. Melissa initially had to spend time networking with clients, so Olivia and Alex made the most of her absence, hovering on the edge of the dance floor, watching young couples move together to the loud music. As promised, the drinks were free, and Olivia found herself enjoying cocktails rather than her usual beer. With the music as loud as it was, she found herself having to stand close to Alex to be heard, each of them resting a hand on the others arm to get their attention before leaning in to speak directly into an offered ear.
"This place is amazing."
Alex nodded, "Melissa only gets involved if she's confident it'll succeed."
"Speaking of Melissa " Olivia nodded over Alex's shoulder.
Melissa was heading their way, with a tray of cocktails in one hand, and a bottle of champagne in the other. She waited until they had each taken a cocktail before discarding the tray.
"You guys having a good time?"
Alex and Olivia both nodded.
"Well, you'd better decide which one of you is dancing with me first, you have the time it takes me to drink this." Melissa lifted the cocktail glass to her lips, and staring intently into Olivia's eyes, she drank the cocktail in one go. "So ?"
Olivia started to speak, clearly struggling for something to say, but Alex came to her rescue. "You're too late," she reached out and grasped Olivia's hand, "I get first dance of the night."
Before Melissa could say anything, Alex led Olivia out onto the crowded dance floor, just as the music changed. Going from a loud thumping drum and bass, to a soft, slow dance, Olivia couldn't help but smile as Alex looked awkwardly at her. Olivia reached out and put an arm around Alex's waist, gently pulling her closer. She took Alex's hand in her free one, and held it against her breast. "You're not doing me any favours just standing there, she'll just come over and ask to cut in."
Alex, realising Olivia's point, started to dance with Olivia, moving slowly to the music.
"Is she likely to take the hint that I'm not interested?"
Alex shook her head, "Probably not."
"What would it take?"
"I'd say it's best to just ignore her. She'll keep at it, but she's not forceful enough to make you uncomfortable." Alex rolled her eyes, "Or get her really drunk and escape when she's not looking."
Olivia couldn't help but laugh at that. "You say that like it's a tried and tested method."
Alex shrugged, "We've done it on more than one occasion."
"And there I was ready to find myself someone to make her jealous."
Alex looked around her, "You can give it a go if you can find someone willing in here."
Olivia waited until Alex met her eye, "I had someone in mind."
Alex faltered in her step, finding herself moving out of time with Olivia. Alex dropped her eyes, concentrating on her feet. "She can't hear you over here, there's no need to pretend."
Olivia leaned over Alex, letting out a soft breath alongside her ear before speaking. "I stopped pretending when you stepped out of your bedroom wearing that dress."
The hand that Olivia held clasped to her chest seemed to clench of its own accord. Olivia bent her head slightly, breathing in the scent of Alex's shampoo mixed with the subtle scent she had applied to her neck. She lifted her head, bringing her mouth in line with Alex's, "Do you want me to stop?"
Alex, unable to speak, simply shook her head. Olivia, in response, touched her lips to Alex's. As they met, Alex felt like a bolt of lightening had hit her body, starting where their lips met, and ending at the sensitive spot between her legs.
"Have we stayed the obligatory hour?"
Alex, eyes closed, and still unable to speak, nodded.
"Do you want to go?"
Again, Alex could only nod.
Leading her by the hand, Olivia walked off the dance floor, and past Melissa.
"Thanks for tonight, but we're going to get going."
Melissa smiled widely, "No problem."
Olivia carried on walking, Alex keeping a firm grip on her hand as they left the club.
The cab ride back to Alex's apartment was silent, neither women trusting themselves to speak while the driver was within earshot. Alex had let go of Olivia's hand when they climbed into the cab, but like magnets they had found their hands migrating back to each other. The contact seemed to be needed since it was as far as they could go in the cab.
Alex unlocked the apartment door, and stepped aside to let Olivia enter first. Olivia walked straight to the window, standing silhouetted against the moonlight that streamed in. Alex kicked off her shoes at the door, and stood for a few seconds allowing her eyes to take in the sight of Olivia.
"Are you having second thoughts?" Olivia continued to look out over the city as she spoke.
Alex walked towards her silently, wrapping her arms around her from behind, resting her chin on Olivia's shoulder. "It should be me asking you that."
"If this wasn't what I wanted, I wouldn't have kissed you." Olivia turned, still wrapped in Alex's arms. She leaned down and kissed Alex, soft at first, just another brushing of lips. Alex tightened her hold on Olivia, pulling her close. Her hands slid down Olivia's back, taking hold of her ass and pulling her closer. Alex deepened their kiss, using her tongue to tempt Olivia's mouth open, tasting her. Olivia moaned softly as she shifted her weight, positioning her sex over Alex's thigh, starting a rocking motion that shocked Alex enough for her to break their kiss.
"Are you sure?"
Olivia raised her hands, and slowly undid the zipper of Alex's dress. As the straps slid off her arms, and Olivia reached out to kiss the exposed flesh of Alex's shoulder and breasts, Alex gasped. Olivia raised her head, and kissed Alex deeply. "Does that answer your question?"
Alex stepped back, and taking hold of Olivia's hand, led her into her bedroom.
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