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Food for Thought
By Ann


The plane finally touched down after circling the airport for over a half an hour, and Alex breathed a sigh of relief as she looked out the small window at the dark sky. It was her turn to attend the latest conference on trial procedures and strategies, and even though she picked up a couple of pointers, the week away from Olivia had been hell to say the least which was precisely why she chose to take the redeye instead of waiting for her midmorning flight.

Once the plane had taxied to the gate, Alex quickly grabbed her carryon and took advantage of her first class status as she exited the plane before any of the other passengers. Her plan was simple; claim her luggage, hail a taxi, and head home to wake her lover. Smiling, she lengthened her stride as she walked to the baggage claim area.

Putting her key in the door, Alex balanced her luggage and quietly entered the apartment. She decided to leave her larger bag near the door and unpack it later. Shouldering her carryon, she made her way to the bedroom and more importantly, Olivia.

She stepped into the bedroom and glanced around the room. The moonlight shone through the window casting a soft glow on the bed, the empty bed; the bed which was made-up and looked as if it hadn't been slept in all night.

Frowning, Alex moved to the comforter and pulled it back to reveal the matching sheets. She noted the freshly laundered look, and her suspicions were confirmed when it became obvious that the sheets hadn't been slept on all week.

She immediately grabbed the nearby phone and dialed a familiar number. Her irritation grew by leaps and bounds as her call went unanswered. In fact, it didn't even go to voicemail.

Hanging up, she dialed a second number without thought to the time of day.

"Stabler," an obviously groggy voice answered.

"Oh Elliott, I'm so sorry to wake you. I didn't even think about the fact that everyone else is sleeping while I'm still on California time, but since you're awake now, perhaps you can tell me the location of my absent partner," a somewhat apologetic Alex said.

"Alex? Am I ever glad you're home. Olivia has been running me ragged all week. She thinks we have to solve every case on file within a twenty four hour period, and she hasn't been eating or sleeping very much since you've been gone. The only time she gets any sleep at all is a quick cat nap in the crib which is probably where she is at this very moment," Elliott explained with obvious relief at hearing the sound of Alex's voice.

"Okay, thanks Elliott. I'll go down to the station and retrieve her as soon as I hang up. I apologize once again for pulling you from a sound sleep," Alex replied as she began to formulate her plan on how to entice Olivia to leave the station.

"No problem, Alex. And if you manage to talk her into going home, make sure she stays there. Captain Cragen doesn't want to see her for the next two days. He's ordered me to force her to go home tomorrow, and to be honest, I wasn't sure how I was going to manage it," Elliot responded with a chuckle.

Smiling, Alex offered, "I'll handle Olivia, and you just get some more sleep. Good night Elliott, and thanks again."

Alex hung up the phone and grabbed her purse as she headed for the apartment door. A plan began to take root on the elevator ride down to ground level.

Stepping into the crib, Alex closed the door and leaned back against it, allowing her eyes to adjust to the poor lighting. She noted the cot-like beds scattered around the room, and she zeroed in on the one occupied bed at the far end of the room.

She silently walked towards her lover and took a seat on the adjacent bed. Looking at Olivia with a critical eye, Alex noted the tired expression and the dark circles. Olivia's hair was in disarray, and her clothes were terribly wrinkled.

Alex watched her lover sleep and realized Olivia looked exactly as she did when the two first met. She would get so wrapped up in a case; she wouldn't eat or sleep for days, and the crib would become her home away from home.

Once the two started dating, Olivia confessed that her work was all she had, and she devoted everything to it. When the pair moved in together, Olivia told Alex that she finally had a reason to come home at night.

"Oh, Olivia," Alex softly whispered as she brushed the hair from her lover's face.

Returning to the present, Alex smiled and reached into the white bag for her recent purchase.

She pulled out a chocolate éclair and took a bite making sure that she had a mixture of chocolate and cream on her tongue. Swallowing the morsel, she leaned forward and slowly, but thoroughly, kissed Olivia until she found herself being pulled on top of her lover.

The welcome home kiss began to heat up quickly, and Alex, fearing someone might walk in on the exchange, reluctantly pulled away and looked down at her smiling partner.

"Alex, you're back. I didn't think you would be home until tomorrow night," Olivia pointed out happily.

"I couldn't stay away from you a minute longer, Liv. And from the looks of things, I'm certainly glad I took the redeye," Alex replied as she gently chastised her lover.

Closing her eyes, Olivia said, "I know I promised you I would only sleep in the crib if it was an emergency, but I couldn't go home knowing you weren't there. Besides, there are so many cases that need my attention."

Deciding to give her lover a reprieve, Alex replied, "We'll talk about this later, but for now, let's go home."

Olivia opened her eyes and smiled. She rolled to the side and allowed Alex to stand first and then followed suit. She reached for Alex's hand, and the two walked toward the door. Surprised that Olivia didn't offer any resistance, Alex almost forgot about the éclair plan she had come up with.

"Wait," Alex said as she suddenly stopped and turned back toward the bed where the white bag proudly sat. Grabbing the abandoned bag, she made her way back to her lover.

"You know, I thought that part was a dream. I mean, I knew it was you kissing me, but I thought I imagined the taste of chocolate and cream. I can't believe you brought me chocolate éclairs," a grateful Olivia replied.

Smiling, Olivia held her hand out for a sample of the goods, but a smug Alex folded the top of the bag tightly and walked past her lover, out the door.

"C'mon Alex, don't tease me. You know how much I love éclairs. I'm not taking another step until you give me a bite," Olivia responded with a pout.

Holding the bag out in front of her as an enticement, Alex answered, "Well then, I guess I'll have to eat the three of these all by myself while lying naked in our bed. I think I'll lick the chocolate off the tops first and then use my tongue to remove the creamy centers. I bet if I took my time, it would take me hours to eat them in their entirety."

Alex immediately turned on her heel and walked down the stairs leading to the precinct's ground floor.

Seconds later, a thunderous noise was heard as a set of feet raced down the steps and out the door toward a waiting, occupied taxi.

The End

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