DISCLAIMER: This is a love story about two consenting female adults. Can't handle it, don't like it, don't read it. We're just borrowing Dick Wolf's characters for fun; we aren't making any money from it.
AUTHOR' NOTE: When two writing heads get together in a round robin...
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

It's Gotta Be Love
By Katherine Quinn & Adrienne Lee


"Come on, baby, let's go home," I hear you whisper in my ear.

I groan. "Let's stay."

"We can't. Come on, sweetie," you say. "I've got your bag all packed up and everything."

"Great. Thanks. 'Night."

Then I feel your hand on my shoulder, shaking me.

"Alex," you call.


"You need to get up," you insist, your hands sliding over my body.

Involuntarily, I moan, and I arch up against you, wanting to pull you to me.

"Alex!" You laugh.

"What?" I force my eyes open to look at you. "If you're not gonna, then don't start…"

"I'm not starting anything. You need to get up."

"No I don't. Let's stay here. There's enough room, for both of us." I move towards the back of the couch. "See?"

"Sweetie, we need to go home," you repeat, pulling at my arms again. "I'll carry you if I have to."

Carry me? Wait. Whoa. I shake myself awake. "No thanks. I can walk."

"Good." You pull me to my feet, and grab my briefcase.

"You packed everything?"

"Yep. Come on, let's go," you lead, holding my wrist with one hand and my bag with another.




"Oh." You dig my keys out of my purse and lock the door. Then you take my hand again and usher me into the streets.

Groggily I follow you to the car. Sleep grabs hold of me once more while you buckle me in. You take such good care of me… "Love you…" I whisper, before returning to Nod…

1322 To Bed

I smile as I hear your gentle snore as I pull the car into our assigned parking space. I laugh to myself, knowing how vehemently you deny your snoring. I think it's cute, but you refuse to believe me. I take a minute to watch as you sleep. You look so delicate, like you could be broken with the gentlest of touch. Your head is drooped and resting precariously on the window.

Carefully, I reach out and tuck your beautiful straw colored strands of hair behind your ear, so I can see your profile. When I touch you, you stir gently. The gentle curve of the features I know so well fills me with reassurance, with love for you.

Slowly, I gather our things, wanting the last thing I have to do is disturb you.

"Baby," I whisper.

"Mmm.." you protest a moan.

"We're here."

"Home." You say with a smile.

"Yep. Time to get up," I say, as I pull your seat belt off while you rub sleep out of your eyes.

"I don't know what my problem is."

"You're all worn out." I say quietly.

"Yeah." You sigh and stretch, letting me prop open your door. In a minute, I'm on the other side, holding your hand and letting you lean heavily into me. I pull open the doors in front of us, and help you struggle up the stairs and through the elevator.

I don't let you stop, and when we get inside our apartment, I keep pulling you right into the bedroom.

Slowly, I reach around you, pulling your clothes off and replacing them with the NYPD t-shirt you love to sleep in. "Come on, baby," I say, as I pull you towards bed.

"I can't…."

"Sweetie, you're too tired. We can get up early."

You pout at me, for only a second, before deciding that bed sounds better than you want it to. You crawl in and let your head hit the pillow. I turn off the lights and hear your voice.

"Aren't you coming to bed?"

"In a second sweetie," I whisper, as I close the door and let you fall into a deep sleep.

1323 LIGHT

It's cold, my body registers. And I turn in half sleep, instinctively reaching for you, to steal your warmth.

By now, I should've reached you, but so far I've found only linens as cold as I am. So I open my eyes. It's as I realized - you're not in bed. Judging from your pillow, you haven't been.

What time is it?

I twist my head towards the clock, and the sharp red of time burns my eyes. It's almost two in the morning, where are you, and what are you doing?

Why didn't you come to bed?

Did you fall asleep in the couch watching tv?

Oh well, since I'm awake, I should just get up.

Luxuriously, I stretch out my muscles. Then I stand, noticing for the first time you've helped me out of my work clothes and into your tee. A smile comes unbidden as I pull on my robe, which you left hanging on the back of the chair.

Little things like that, they show me how much you care. They remind me how lucky I am.

Quietly, I pull open the door, and peer out into the living room. In the darkness, I see only shadows, and I can't find yours.

I move closer to the couch, until I'm bending over it, and confirming by touch that you're not there.


Where could you be?

I turn, and a line of light catches my attention. Huh.

Gently, I creep towards the study. Slowly, I pull open the closed door, to find you pouring over something with rapt attention.


"Oh, hi," you face me with a guilty smile.

"What are you doing?" I ask, moving towards you.

"Uh. Not much. Just, you know, stuff. Couldn't sleep."

I look over your shoulders. "Are those my files?"

"Yeah, I just wanna make sure, you know, that they're in order, like, making sure I haven't forgotten to pack anything, and they'll be ready for you when you wake up, which is now. So, here," you slap close the folder, and stand. "I'm going to bed."

I flood of warmth fills me, and I catch you before you can bolt. And I wrap my arms around you, pulling you into a kiss, which quickly turns ardent. "I love you," I breathe, pulling at your clothes, suddenly needing to feel your skin on my skin. "God, I love you."

"I love you, too," you laugh. "What about your work? You know you'll want to sleep afterwards if we..."

"It's okay, I'll wing it tomorrow, I know enough," I explain, while snaking my hands under your shirt. "Ninety-five per cent is theatrics anyway."

"You mean to tell me I lugged your work back here, and stayed up for nothing?"

"No, not for nothing." You showed me how much you do care…

1324 Exposed

My eyes are burning, but I force myself to stay awake. I need to do this for you, knowing that when you get up, you'll be angry at yourself for not having done it yourself. I've spent enough time with you to know how you like the files you're preparing. I shuffle through the papers and put the things in order.

I take a deep breath, stretching for a moment, and then forcing myself back to the task at hand. This is important. You need me for things like this. Besides, it's good for you to take a break, to get some sleep that you sorely needed.

I look over the papers in front of me and wonder what else it is that I can do for you. I open another file from your desk and start piecing it together for you.

Carefully, slowly, I plod through the papers until I hear a sound behind me.

I turn and see you, sleep still in your eyes, wrapped tightly in a bathrobe smiling at me.

"What are you doing?" You ask, and for a moment, I'm not entirely sure.

"Trying to help. I wanted to get these in some order for you."

You look at me, as though you were judging my character. "That's so sweet." You say, crossing the room and taking me into your arms before I have the chance to sneak by you guiltily and hide in bed.

You kiss me, on the cheek, on the tip of my nose, and finally let our lips touch into a deepening kiss.

This time it's my protests, and not yours. "We shouldn't, you'll fall asleep…" I say, trying to hide my smirk.

You let my comment go, and kiss me again. "I'll wing it," you whisper, as you slide your hands up my body.

I moan at your touch and at the anticipation of what's about to happen.

You pull me back into our bedroom and stretch me out on the bed. You hover over me, undressing me with your eyes, and sliding your fingers over my clothed body teasing me mercilessly.

You let your lips touch mine and pull away. I whimper for you to come back, but you keep staring at me, making me feel both vulnerable and desirable in the same moment.

You take your time devouring me completely. I feel semi-conscious as you take your time, driving me closer, pulling me back, teasing me and taunting me and driving me over the edge.

1325 TIME

I can tell by the periods of silence between your moans that you're half asleep, as I kiss my way around your body, sliding my tongue over you, inside you, tasting you, drawing you into my mouth, and temporarily back into consciousness.

Regularly, a person might feel insulted, when their lover falls asleep in their arms. Not me. Not like this.

You trust me enough to let go, to allow me free range over your body, your pleasure completely contingent upon my actions. Yes, I'm a control freak, as you so often remind me, but so are you, especially in bed.

Yet, sometimes, like right now, you relinquish your will, your needs, trusting me to know them, to fulfill them…

Slowly, I take my time, sliding my hands over you. Your moans and sighs tell me you're close, and I ease off. I don't want to just send you over the edge, and call it a night. I want it to last, like you so often tell me.

I want us, I want our love, to last.

So we fall into bed quickly. In the most inappropriate of times, like now, I should be working. But seeing you sitting at the desk straightening out my files made me realize something: that my priorities are off. There'll always be more work waiting for me. This was supposed to be our night, reserved for each other. Instead I had let work interfere. By this time, I can try most cases with my eyes closed; I didn't need to let my boss or my job steal this time from us.

So, easily we fall into bed. There's really nothing wrong with that. Our worries this weekend were just that, worries. This is an expression of our love for each other. We're most open, most vulnerable, and most intimate. This is not just sex. This is us.

"I love you," I whisper, kissing you gently, and feeling your fingers winding in my hair. I know you'd want nothing more to urge me, to move down, to where you want me again. In your place, I would've applied pressure and half shoved you. But you don't. You just let your hands linger against my skin, holding me carefully, pleading with your whimpers and moans.

Have you noticed how rough you are with me sometimes when we make love? And how delicately I treat you when I make love to you? If I mention my observations to you, will things change? I can't be sure, so I don't. I love it when you're wild, and when you're gentle. I love you when you're like this, so soft, so… almost fragile…

I let my arms encircle your waist, lifting your hips off the bed, and keeping you still.

You hold your breath, and wait, then gasp to my first caress. A second follows, then a third, sliding slowly along the length of you, teasing you.

"Please?" You ask, breathlessly, trying not to push and buck against me, your fingers now grasping handfuls of sheets and blankets.

I change the pressure of my touch, rubbing my tongue against you rhythmically, knowing what it does for you…

Then I curl my fingers inside you, touching you where you love, driving you over the edge…

And I keep on, growing your want, your need…

Wishing this love we have will last.


1326 Love You

You drive me to the edge, prolonging my orgasm longer than it feels possible. My body throbs at your touch, and the wonderful release lingers in my body as the dull throbbing pulse continues as you continue your assault long enough to draw it out.

Your name is on my lips as I plead my case to you. Plead my love.

You moan against me as my body starts to relax, and rather than simply slide up my body, and lay in my arms, you stay put, starting again. You play my body like it's an instrument you've practiced for years, plucking strings in my core.

"Love you," I moan, as I crash down around you again.

You kiss me, long and quietly, taking your time, you run your tongue along the insides of my thighs.

With a well placed kiss, you drift up my body, kissing my stomach, my breasts, and finally let your lips connect with mine.

"That was…" I whisper, wanting to thank you, but not sure how.

"Shh…" you whisper as you touch your fingers to my lips.


"I know." Is your simple response, making my words unnecessary.

We kiss gently, you cuddle yourself against me.

I try to make my kiss more ardent, wanting to give you back what you gave me, but you refuse. In my arms, you snuggle up close, hugging me into you. In what seems like seconds, you're asleep against me, your gentle snore reminding me of your presence.

I wonder what I did to deserve that.

Maybe I should do your paperwork more often.

But that wasn't it. There was more to it, more to the way you touched me.

I almost feel guilty for the way I manhandled you earlier. But I know that sometimes, you like to be treated like that. I can tell by the way your body responds. You never do the same to me, never fuck me like I did you. I wonder if you know that's not what I want from you. That I've had too many of those nights, ending in tears and regrets. You treat me instead how I longed to be treated for all those years, with a gentle touch and a loving feeling.

Tonight, I fall asleep with you, fully in love and happily content.


The incessant squawking of the alarm clock jars me awake. I turn, to find you still asleep, so I reach over, and hit the snooze button. With a thud, I sink back into the bed, and into your arms.

You're still asleep. The realization keeps me awake.

That's so unlike you.

I guess you're worn out too, from all the driving, and staying up to work on my files, and from our love-making...

I feel a smile grow on my face, one that's entirely inappropriate. I think I know how you feel when you have that smug smile on your face.

Gently, I slide my hands over you, watching your body respond.

Then softly, I press my lips to your mouth, teasing you from sleep.

"Mmm…" You stretch against me, with your eyes still closed, the corner of your lips curl in contentment. "What time is it?" You ask me, molding our bodies together.

"Time to get up, unfortunately."

You stretch again, awakening my senses.

I pull the blankets from you and wrap them around myself. "We need to get up," I repeat, more to remind myself.

"Horn dog," you smirk.

"Yeah, well, it's your fault."

"Oh, right, I forgot, it's always my fault."

"Yep." I smile, and kiss you on the nose. "So what are we doing today?"

"Work? You have court, remember?"

"I mean, after work."

"I don't know. What do you have in mind?"

"Don't you think we should start Christmas shopping?" I snuggle back into your arms. "It's less than two weeks away."

"Why? You don't like rushing into the stores on Christmas Eve and grabbing whatever they have left on the shelf?" You ask, wagging your brows.

I know you're not serious. "So what do you want for your present?"

"I don't know. What do you want to give me? Besides sex." You smirk. "And besides great sex."

There's only one way for me to respond: I swat you.

1328 HELP

"Do you ever go home?" Stabler asks me from across the desk. "I mean, don't you have a wife to care for?" He asks with a small laugh.

"Do you ever stop eating?" I ask him, as he takes another bite of the biggest sandwich I've seen him eat yet today. "Don't you have a wife to keep in shape for?"

"Occasionally I have to let my jaws rest, and Kathy doesn't complain." He says with a sly smile, and I shake my head at him.

"I'm waiting for someone." I say quietly, not looking up at him but keeping my eyes on the file that's spread before me.

"Let me guess," he says, sarcastically, his voice betraying that he's rolling his eyes at me.

I look up at him and give him an evil glare while he laughs.

"Ah, to be a young newlywed."

"Come on, you're married," I say to him.

"Married is not the same." He scolds me.

"You love Kathy," I defend, knowing that he does more than he often admits to himself.

"Of course, but it's been a damn long time since I've come to work with that same smug just been fucked look you come in with every morning."

"Jesus El," I say, feeling myself starting to turn red, a thing that only Elliot can do to me.

"So what are you two doing tonight?" He asks, letting his remark go and thankfully not mentioning the blush on my face.

"Christmas shopping." I sigh.

"What are you going to get the little lady?" He asks.

"I really don't know," I sigh, admitting for the first time something that I didn't honestly want to admit to myself.

"Kathy gives me a list now."

"A list?"

"Yeah, I get exact information. You only get one Christmas where you get to give a vacuum cleaner before they start supplying their own gift ideas." He says, shaking his head.

"You gave Kathy a vacuum cleaner for Christmas?" I laugh.

"Oh sure, laugh it up. I thought it was practical. She almost castrated me."

"Well if it makes you feel better, I'm on her side." I laugh. "So you're not going to help me with something romantic?"

"Not a chance, partner. The only advice I can give you is not a vacuum cleaner."

1329 LOUSY

"How was your day," you smile up to me as I lean against your desk.

"Ask me again tomorrow."

"Did you blow the case?" Stabler chimes in.

You and I both give him the evil eye. Then you look at me, wondering the same thing without actually asking the question.

"No. I didn't blow the case."

"We won?"

Does he have to sound so surprised? "Yes."

"So I guess you'll be going home to celebrate?" He leers from his humongous sandwich.

Why do I get the feeling that your partner lives his sex life vicariously through us? "No. We're going shopping," I tell him resolutely, and straighten my legs. "You ready to go?"

"Yeah," you pull on your coat and shove your hands in your pockets.

"'Night, ladies," Elliot sends us on our way.

I sigh, finally able to relax, and I smile the first smile of the day - I smile at you.

You push at the elevator button, as if your impatience would make it come faster. Then as soon as the door closes behind us, you pull me into your arms. "Rough day?"

I just nod, and lean against you.

"Poor baby."

"I'll be all right."

"What happened?"

"Just… work. You know, same as usual." I begin to relax to your gentle rubs on my back. "It's not worth talking about."

"Are you sure you still wanna go shopping? Maybe we should just go home… Unless you think it'll take your mind off and help you feel better…"

"I don't know." I can't decide.

"How'bout we grab dinner, then we'll see how you feel afterwards."

I sigh against your neck, and give you a brief hug before the elevator door slides open. "Thank you." I smile. Simple being with you makes me smile. "So how was your day?" I finally remember to ask.

1330 Home

When the door to the elevator opens, you pull away from me begrudgingly.

"Are you going to hate me if I ask if we can just go home?" You ask, tentative, seemingly unsure that that's really what you want.

"Not at all," I say with a half smile, glad that I'll be able to take care of you rather than have to fight people in overcrowded shops to find the perfect gifts for people that I barely remember but who are on our list of social responsibility. You look at me with a sadness that I haven't seen in your eyes in a long time, but I know that in your own time, you'll release it to me. Until then, I can only wait.

You throw me the keys from your pocket, and I've noticed that you've stopped driving us everywhere. You just hand them to me, showing me your trust, relinquishing control to me.

"Do you want to pick something up?" I ask, as you sink into the seat and throw your briefcase behind us. Your head leans heavily into the seat while you seem to struggle pulling the seat belt over you.

"I don't know," You say, simply. "I'm not hungry." You finally seem to decide and I look over at you carefully examining you, like whatever is bothering you will be written on your face.

"What's wrong?" I ask you, putting my fingers on your face forcing your eyes to meet mine.

"Nothing, I'm just so tired. It wasn't even a bad day. It was just so…tiring." You sigh.

"You getting sick?" I ask, gently.

"Don't say that." You moan.

"Baby," I whisper, watching you knowing in my gut that's exactly what the problem is.

"Let's just go home." You sigh.

"Whatever you want. I can make you something for dinner there."

You whine something at me, and it suddenly comes back to me that you're not the best patient in the world.

We may be in for a long night. I lean into you, kissing your cheek, and telling you that it'll be okay.

"I'm not sick," you protest as we pull out of the parking garage. Nope, you're just fine.

1331 AWFUL

"I'm not sick," I protest, sticking my tongue out at the thermometer you're waving in my face.

"Come on, Sweetheart, you're burning up."

"I'm not sick," I insist.

"Then prove it to me. Let me take your temperature. If it's normal, you can yell at me."

"But I hate the taste of rubbing alcohol." Somehow I can't keep the whine from my voice.

"I'm sorry. I had to clean it." You shrug apologetically, and press the cold stick against my lips. "Open wide."


You take the opportunity to slide the thermometer into my mouth. "I'm not a child," I mumble around it.

"Then don't act like one."

I grab a pillow to throw at you. It lands in my own lap, and I stare at it. Great. I don't even have the strength to throw something as light as a pillow. Just great.

Meanwhile, you manage to stifle your triumphant smile and replace it with a look of genuine concern. "Come on," you push the offending pillow behind my back.

I stare at the clock, and wait for the letters to change. Just how long do I have to hold this thing in my mouth? It tastes awful. I feel awful. Like my head's about to explode awful.

Finally, an eternity later, you retrieve the damn stick and furrow your brows at it.

"What?" I croak. Clearing the frog from my throat, I try again, "What?" I still sound like a damn frog after ten packs of cigarettes. Great, just great.

"You're running a fever," you announce.

Tell me something I don't know, will you? "I'm not."

"Yes, you are. You're sick."

"Absolutely not!"

You sigh. "Alex, Sweetie, you need to rest."

Begrudgingly, I let you pull my body horizontal, and tuck the blankets around my shoulders.

"I'm gonna go get you some aspirin, okay? It'll help with the fever."

"I'm not sick," I mope.

"Sure, sure. You're just under the weather."

"I'm not!" I argue while you disappear from the door…

1332 Whine

You moan after me that you're not sick and I smile and shaking my head. I nearly laugh. You and I are entirely identical. If our positions were reversed, it would take an army to tie me down to bed. All things considered, you're actually behaving remarkably well, since I haven't had to actually restrain you yet.

You're being entirely ridiculous. You know it, I know it, and I know that it's only a matter of time before you break down and admit what we both already know.

I grab some aspirin from the bottle in the bathroom and a cup of water from the sink, also grabbing a wet washcloth to put on your forehead. Carefully, I put my face back in place as I go back into the bedroom and hand them to you. You look at them leeringly and start to protest again.

"Just take them," I say cutting you off, not wanting an argument.

"I'm not sick." You say for the fiftieth time.

"Fine, you're not sick. Take them."

You pluck the pills from my outstretched hand and swallow them. I resist the urge to make you open your mouth and make sure you actually swallowed them.

"Get some sleep." I say, giving you the washcloth and kissing you on the cheek.

"I have stuff I have to do," You say, pulling the covers off of your body.

"Whoa, whoa," I say, turning around and pulling them back up, fighting against your waning strength.

"I have work I have to get done."

"Alex, no."

"I have court in the morning." You demand, kicking the covers off again.

"Stop being ridiculous. You're not going to work." I say.

"I have court in the morning." You say again, as though you think I didn't hear you the first time. As though maybe if you repeat it a few times, I'll understand better.

"You aren't going, Alex. You're sick. You need to stay here in bed and rest."

"I didn't get work done last night," you say accusatorily.

"And still you won in court today."

"I have to do my work, Liv. Move." You say, demanding more than suggesting.

"Alex, you're sick." I say again, pulling the covers up, and meeting your angry gaze with one of my own.

"I'm not sick." You complain.

"Not sick people don't have fevers of one hundred and two Alex."

You cross your arms and pout at me.

I don't know whether to laugh at you or cry…

1333 NEEDY

"You're mean!" I turn onto my side and away from you while you straighten the blankets around me, cocooning me in the heat.

"Sue me."

As soon as you're done, I kick to undo your work.


"It's claustrophobic!"

"But you need…"

"It's hot!"

"That's because you're running a fever, Alex. You need to stay covered," you explain as if I were a child.

I flip onto my back again and glare at you. "You suck."

You laugh. "I will, when you're well."

"That's lame," I mumble, feeling weaker by the second.

"Come on, Sweetie, I know you think I'm asking you to commit murder, but would you try to get some rest? Please? The sooner you do, the sooner you'll feel better."

"I'm not sick," I insist, still denying reality and fighting the overwhelming wave of neediness.

You sigh, and kiss me again on the cheek. "Just close your eyes, and rest."

Then I hear your footsteps shuffling away. "Where are you going?"

"To the living-room?"

"Are you coming back?"

"In a little bit, I'll come back to check on you."

Instead of the earlier impatience, I hear a lightness in your voice. Are you laughing at me? That makes me whinier. "Don't go?"

You walk back to the bed, and readjust the towel on my head. "I'm hungry."

"Oh." I feel my face fall.

"And I'm going to start soup for you while I'm in the kitchen."

"But I'm not hungry…"

"You will be, when you feel better."

"I'm gonna die…"

"Alex, sweetheart."

Can't you just put me out of my misery? "I don't feel good…"

1334 Whine

In a few minutes, you turn from the beautiful thirty year old woman I married into a nine year old child who wants her mommy NOW. You frown at me, somewhere between sad and angry, and I wait for your next move. I sit next to you on the bed, while your voice takes on another pitch of neediness.

"I don't feel good," you whine.

"I know baby," I say, brushing hair out of your eyes and behind your ears. I'm glad we came home so quickly instead of going out shopping. I am glad that I had the good instincts to at least get that from you. Normally, you would have demanded that we go, because our plans had been made in advance. I'm glad I thought enough of you wanting to change our plans to bring you back here.

I try to think of things that will make you feel better, and instinctively I take your hand and kiss it, turning the damp cloth on your forehead over.

"I don't want to be sick," you demand. "I can't be. We don't have time for this. It's too close to Christmas."

"I'm sorry sweetie, but I think you are. It will all work out, but you need to get your rest so that you can get better."

"My head hurts." You complain, not following a logical thought train.

"The aspirin'll make it feel better." I try to help.

"My body hurts," you complain again.

"I'm sorry baby," I say, kissing your hand gently.

You frown at me, and then look at the wall. "I'm sleepy," you say.

"You can close your eyes," I say, gently, wanting you to fall asleep knowing that your body needs that now.

"I don't want you to leave."

"I'll be right here," I say, giving you a kiss on your forehead.

"It's too hot." You whine, kicking at the blankets.

I pull them back off of you and take the cloth from your head. I rub your face and arms with the cool cloth, and you close your eyes. In a second you open them, "I should be reading for tomorrow…"

"Alex, shh," I whisper, pushing you back into the bed. This time, though, I cuddle in next to you. "Just lie here with me," I whisper.

"I thought you'd never do that," you say with a contented smile as you close your eyes.

I shake my head and kiss the back of your neck. "Goodnight beautiful," I whisper…

1335 BABY

It feels so good, with you here. Okay, it could feel a lot better, especially if I'm not sick. But all things considered, I'm glad I'm in your arms. I can't believe I doubted how much you do care about me.

"I love you," I whisper, not caring to hide the little girl voice.

"Love you, too, Baby," you whisper back, kissing me on the back of my head again. "Go to sleep."

I keep my eyes closed for a moment, then I pull your arms tighter around me. "I'm cold."

"It happens," you say, snuggling closer and covering me with the blanket. "Now try to go to sleep."

"Tell me a story?"

You laugh a light laugh. "What kind of story?"

"I don't care."

"Hm…" You think for a moment, then start, "Once upon a time, there was this wondrous kingdom."

"How wondrous?"

"Everything's magical, and wonderful. People respect each other, and love and care about each other. There are no criminals, or courts, or jails…"

I focus on your soothing voice, letting it distract me from the achiness in my body, and the pounding in my head. "That does sound wonderful…"

"But it's not entirely perfect."


"The kingdom is ruled by a beautiful princess."

"Not a queen?"

"Nope. That's the problem."


"The princess hasn't found a her perfect mate yet. You see, just before her father died, he gave her a globe."

Are you making up a story about me? "How beautiful is the princess?"

"Her hair is soft, like silk," you explain, stoking my hair with your fingers. "It's the color of the sun. And her eyes, they're as blue as the ocean, and as bright as the sky." Then you brush gently over my eyelids, to make sure they're closed. "When she smiles, she could melt the coldest heart."

"Hm." That makes me smile.

"Anyway, the globe. The princess is supposed to look at her suitors through the globe. If it's the right person, if it's her soulmate, it'll glow."

"A radar?"

1336 The Telling

Throughout my story of the beautiful princess who needed a mate, you ask your brief questions, commenting or adding when you see fit. When the story's complete, and the beautiful princess has found her mate in a far from perfect stormy brunette, who even with the initial reservations of the entire kingdom, eventually warms them to her charms. You laugh, and slowly turn your head to me.

"That was about us," You say with a small giggle. It's a precious giggle that warms my soul. Even feeling horrible, you're happy right this moment, and it's all I want for you.

"No, that was about a princess in a land far away," I say back, with a smile that shows in my voice.

"You're not that charming."

"Hey, it was a fairy tale. And I so am." I say, listening to you laugh lightly.

"It was sweet," you comment.

"It was supposed to put you to sleep."

"It was too exciting to sleep." You say, with a short series of coughs. I pat your back while you cough and wheeze, and hold you tight to me until you're body calms back down.

"It's okay, baby," I whisper, when you start to moan.

"I don't get it. I was fine this morning," you protest.

"We spent a lot of time in the snow this weekend," I state factually, "And we haven't been getting all the sleep we need."

"But you're not sick." You whine.

I want to tell you that I probably will be, but I know that'd make you feel bad and that's not my intention. "Someone has to be healthy to take care of you." I say, kissing your neck again.

This time, when you sniffle, I realize it's because you're crying.

"What's wrong baby?" I ask, suddenly concerned.

"You're too nice."


"I'm being so whiny, and needy, and you're still being nice. I don't deserve you," you cry, and break into tears.

Oh, brother.


"Alex? Alex… Wake up, Princess…"

I wrinkle my nose to your gentle prodding. "What?"

"Time to take another temperature and more aspirin," you smile, waving the bothersome stick at me again.

I also notice that you're dressed. "What time is it?" I ask, as I look towards the clock. "Why didn't you wake me up earlier? I'm going to be so late!" I swing my legs off the edge of the bed.

"Whoa. Whoa. Where are you going?"

"To get dressed, for work!" I push you back, and try to stand.

Immediately, you catch me, slowly easing me back onto the mattress.

"Oh, Jesus." I cover my eyes with my hand. That was a bad idea. A really bad idea.

"You shouldn't have done that," you scold gently.

"What am I going to do?" I whine. "I have so many files on my desk. I have court. I'm screwed. We're screwed."

"Work will have to wait. You're sick."


"How are you going to argue in court, when you can't even stand up without falling down?"

Why do you have to be so reasonable? "Maybe I just have to try again."

"Don't make me tie you down, Alex," you warn with a smirk.

I wonder if you'd really go through with it, and I sulk. "You're going to leave me here all by myself."

"I have to go to work."

"Not if you're sick."

"But I'm not," you sigh, sitting next to me on the bed, and smoothing my hair away from my eyes. "Come on, be a good girl."

This time I let you slide the thermometer under my tongue. This time I play with your fingers while we wait.

"Yeah, you're definitely still running a fever."

"Could've told you that!"

"Then why do you insist on going to work?"

"Because I have work to do?"

1338 Prepared

I watch you swallow hard. "So you're going to leave me?" you almost whine, but more plead with a sadness in your voice that's hard to miss.

"Not for long," I say, trying not to feel as guilty as I do. "You won't even notice I'm gone." I say, trying to give you a reassuring smile.

You sniffle. "Why don't you stay with me?" You ask, your nose stuffed up which makes your voice sound more childlike, which melts my heart. You're beautiful, even like this. If I didn't know how miserable you were, I would think it was entirely adorable.

"Apparently, about three quarters of New York's finest is out with the same thing you have." I supply, brushing your hair out of your face. "I tried to stay home, but they need me today."

You mumble, "But what am I going to do alone all day?"

"Rest," I say with a smile. "Besides, you're all set up." I say, gesturing behind me. Before you got up, I dragged a TV in here, and got you everything you could ever need for a day of lying around. "I have a bunch of your favorite movies over there, the remote's right here. That's the novel you were reading when we went upstate that you never finished," I say pointing to you. And most importantly, this," I say, showing you the phone. "If you need me, you just have to call me and I'll be here as soon as I can."

You frown at me. "I suppose you told Liz you were keeping me captive."

"I told her that you were sick and you needed to stay home."

"What'd she say?"

"She said she was glad she didn't have to send you home again. Apparently you have a bad rep," I say with a smile.

"That's not fair." You pout.

"I also called the admin offices and warned them that no matter how hard you beg, that they are not to bring files here, so don't even think about it."

"That's really not fair," you say again.

"And I also told them that if you start pestering them, they have permission to tell you to rest and hang up."

"You can't do that," you mumble again.

"Yes I can. If I don't, you're never going to get better, because you wouldn't take care of yourself."

1339 CHESS

"That's your job anyway, to take care of me," I mutter, trying to smile, to not feel as sad as I do about you being gone.

"Yes, I suppose it is," you smile back, and kiss me gently on my cheek. "So let me do my job."

"Then stay with me."

"I wish I could, Sweetie, but they need me."

But I need you too.

But you're right, you have to go in. We've already taken so much time off… I, should be at work, too.

Still, a sigh escapes my lips.

"Come on, Baby, it's already hard enough for me to leave you like this…"

"I'm sorry. You're right. I'm just being selfish." And needy, and feeling sorry for myself because I'm sick. "I hate being sick."

"I know you do."

Then a thought occurs to me. "The paperwork you brought home last night…"

"No, you cannot have them," you preempt my request.


"No, Alex, you're supposed to rest."

"If I'm going to be up watching tv, or reading a novel, I might as well…"

"No," you repeat, resolutely.

"But it'll help distract me, and help me miss you less," I take your hand, and pluck at your fingers. "You know I'll miss you."


You waver for a moment, so I press, "Besides, how do you expect me to rest knowing I have work in the next room I need to finish."


"I'll just get more stressed out later, trying to catch up."

"But you need to rest."

"And I will, I promise. As soon as I get tired, I'll go to sleep."

You sigh, "I should've known when I married a lawyer…"


1340 Reason

I sigh as I look into your eyes which are pleading with me delicately. I hesitate; I don't want you to have it because I know you. If you have work, you'll force yourself to stay awake, you'll force yourself to keep going and you won't rest. I've seen you watch TV. In a few seconds you're bored and nod off, and that's what I want from you.

"Baby, please take care of yourself today."

"I will, but…"

"Alex, if you have your work, you won't rest. Please, just once, just take a day off and rest. I know you'll be bored, and I know you don't want to have to slow down, but I don't want you to get sicker. I want you to be nice and healthy for Christmas."

You frown at me, looking into my eyes to see if there's something there you can press. "Fine." You say with a pout.


"Yeah." You say, picking up the remote. "When are you coming back?" You ask.

"I'm not sure, baby, but I'm going to try to be back as soon as I possibly can."

"I'll miss you." You frown.

"Not as much as I'll miss you."

You smile. "Okay, so go." You say.

"I have everything here for you." I say, pointing to the aspirin and water I've left beside your table. You need to remember to drink lots."

"I know baby."

"And don't forget to take your medicine."

"I won't."

"And if you need anything…"

"I'll call you."

"Good," I smile.

I get up and kiss you, "I'll be back," I say, wishing instead that I could stay with you.

You smile a weak smile, and tell me that you'll be here when I return.


I wait until I hear the door closed and the locks turned, then I take a deep breath, happy to know it's not setting off another string of coughs.

Maybe I am getting better.

Maybe I can do this. Hopefully.

Slowly, I slide out from under the covers, and I rest my feet on the floor. Okay, Cabot, you can do this, I tell myself as I stand, pressing against the night stand for support.

Okay, you're doing this, I cheer myself on as I fight the wave of dizziness. Just a few steps, fifteen at most, and you'll have the paperwork.

I swallow. Then, carefully, I make my move away from the bed.




It's not so bad, is it? You're half way to the door.


Oh, fuck.

Maybe I should've listened to you, and stayed in bed. From the carpet, with my head in my hands, I fight the swimmy fishy feeling.

Then I hear the locks turning, and the front door opening, and the keys jingling the way they always do before you toss them onto the kitchen counter.

Oh, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.

If mind over matters really works, I'd be back in bed right now, pretending to be asleep. Instead, I wait in dread for…

"Alex!" You nearly exclaim, rushing towards me. "What are you doing out of bed?"

Um. Oh, yeah. "I need the bathroom?" I frown, hoping I sound less guilty to you.

"But you just went."

"But you made me drink a lot of water." Oh, sure, accuse the innocent. "Are you checking up on me?"

"Yeah! I knew when you gave in too easily," you scold, scooping me into your arms, picking me up from the floor, and putting me back in bed.

"But I need…"

You narrow your eyes at me, instantly reducing me to a six year old.

I cling to your neck. "But what if I really needed to go?"

1342 Beg

On instinct I reopen the door, wanting to tell you I love you one more time. Just to make sure that you know I'm not leaving you because I want to, because if I had any choice I'd spend my day with you, making sure you have everything you want and need.

I slip back inside, trying to be quiet in case it's possible that you've fallen asleep in the thirty seconds since I've been outside.

I open the bedroom door and there you are, sitting on the floor.

"Alex," I want to scold you, but instead I can't fight the worry.

You try to smile, and give a lame excuse, but I know what you were doing as well as you do. I pick you up in a swift scoop and put you back into bed.

"What if I have to go?" you whine, begging me with your eyes to stay.

"Alex, I can't stay." I moan at you, feeling a guilty tide running over me.


"I'll call your mom." I decide, thinking that if anyone we know can keep you in line she can.

"I don't want her, I want you." You whine.

"Alex. I don't know what to do. I have to go."

"I know."

"Let me call your mom," I say, picking up the phone.

"No don't bother her," you sigh, "I'll be okay, I will behave."

I look at you and judge your honesty. "Baby, please?"

"I will," you sniffle.

"The sooner I get in, the sooner I can get home."

"Okay," you sniffle again.

"I'll try to drop by in a few hours. We have some witness interviews this morning, so I can escape for a few minutes."

That makes you smile. "Okay."

I turn and leave the room, while you're still smiling. I stick my head back in, "Alex?"


"Just to be sure, I'm taking your briefcase with me."


"Wait! You can't do that!"

"Why not?"

"Because!" I try to think through the fog in my brain. "I'm sure there's some policy against that. You don't work for the DA's office."

"That's not what you said before." You snicker.

"Come on, Liv, I promise. I'll be good. You don't need to police me."

You look at me suspiciously. "Fine. I won't take them with me."


"But I am locking them in the desk drawer and taking the key."


"No buts."

"Are you saying you don't trust me?"

"I trusted you earlier…" You start.

"All right! Jesus," I sulk.

Meanwhile, you kiss me on my head like I'm three, and stand. "I'm going to take care of the files right now, and I'll come back before I leave."


"Come on, Sweetie, I'm just doing it for your own good."

"Fine." I sink into the pillows with my arms crossed.

You try to hide your mirth. "You gonna stay mad at me the whole day?"

"I'm thinking about it."

"Why don't you think about something else you might want or need okay? Before I really have to leave for work."

I want you. I need you. But I'm not gonna have you now, am I? What happened to putting each other first before our jobs? Hmpf. I know I'm being unreasonable, but I hate being sick. I want my mommy.

Okay, I don't want my mommy. I just want you.

I hate being sick.

Soon enough, you pop back in. "Well? Anything else I can get you?"

"A hug?"

1344 Guilty

Elliot looks at me with sheer annoyance in his eyes. "Again, Liv?" He mumbles, as I look at him guiltily.

"She's really sick." Is my only explanation I can give him.

"Then why aren't you with her?" he asks.

"Because we have to get this stuff done," I mumble, knowing that he's right, even though if I pulled off this shift with him now, I know he'd be pissed at me. He's already pissed at me, needling me more than usual about all the time we've been away. All the guys have let me know that my years of covering their shifts on short notice have all been re-paid. I shrug my shoulders until the phone connects to you.

You don't answer on the first ring, and I can feel my heart beating harder. What if something happened to you? The second and then the third ring passes and I'm about to make Elliot head to our apartment to find you and rescue you from whatever has befallen you, and then I finally hear your sleepy voice.

"Hi," Is all you manage, but my happiness to hear your voice overwhelms me.

"Hi baby, how are you?" I ask, ignoring Elliot making whip sounds in the background.

"I don't feel good," you whine.

"I know baby. Are you drinking your water?"

"It tastes bad." You complain like a petulant child.

"What's your temperature honey?" I ask you, looking at my watch.

"I don't know."

"Take it for me ?" I ask and I hear you start to cough in complaint.

My heart is breaking, and in the background I can see Elliot rolling his eyes at me, which only makes me feel like I'm letting both of you down.

I hear you fighting with the phone and the thermometer. I can see you, lying in bed still, hopefully dozing and taking care of yourself.

In a few seconds I hear you pull it out of your mouth.

"I can't read it," you mumble into the phone.

"Alex," I say with more warning in my voice than I want to.

I hear your heavy sigh and your gentle cough. "103." You say, finally.

"Allie, you got to take your medicine."

I hear the tears in your voice before you get very far. "When are you coming back?" You cry.

"As soon as I can, baby," I nearly cry back. "As soon as I can."


I'm a big girl. I can take care of myself. Really, I can.

If I can't convince myself, how do I manage to convince twelve jurors?

I want my mommy.

I want you.

I wish you were here, cuddling me, holding my hand. Instead you're there, not here.

I hate being sick. Why do I have to be sick? I can't possibly be sick. Maybe I read wrong. Maybe it's not 103.



I suppose I did read right that first time, and the second, and the third.

Argh. Being sick sucks.

Maybe you're right, I should drink water, and take the medicine you left for me. Wonder when you found time to get it. Wonder why you couldn't pick better tasting stuff.


Well, at least that's done. Now I just hope I can keep it down.

Bored, I pick up the remote, and flip the channels until court tv comes on.

Divorce court. Cool. That judge cracks me up.

It's funny, I think the last time I watched it, we were at my mom's house, and you were in therapy or something. To think it used to be my guilty pleasure. Huh. When's the last time we watched a Lifetime movie?

Do we really spend so much time wrapped up in each other?

No wonder Elliot makes fun of you. Although, I think he's just jealous that he and Kathy doesn't have the same relationship we do…

"Allie, sweetie," I hear. "Sweetie?"

I don't remember falling asleep. Judging from the silence, you've turned off the television. "Liv?"

"How are you feeling? It's probably time for you to take another dose."

I glance at the clock. You're right, it's time, passed time, in fact. How long have I been asleep? How long have you been home? "Are you staying?"

1346 Caring

What feels like an hour is really only a few minutes before I'm flying up the stairs to our apartment and nearly breaking the door down to get to you. I wheel into the bedroom and sigh when I see you.

You look like an angel, lying surrounded by warm pillow laden blankets. Your hair is sweaty stuck to your forehead, and your face is far too white. I smile, knowing that you fell asleep watching TV, like you have so many times before, your glasses slipping down the tip of your nose. I look at the TV and laugh as I realize that you're watching some kind of closing summations on Court TV. You can't take a break. It really would kill you.

I sit next to you on the bed and you don't move. I look at the table next to your bed and see that you've taken the pills I left out for you. Carefully, I push sweaty hair from your head. "Hi baby," I say, as you start to moan.

"You're here," you whisper.

"Yeah, I'm here." I say with a huge smile.

"Are you staying?" You ask.

"I am." I say, kissing you on the forehead.

You look over at the clock. "How?"

"I finally called you enough times that Elliot made me leave because I was making him sick. Apparently there is a limit on the number of times he can make a fake vomiting noise in one day."

You laugh which dissolves into coughs. The coughs grow harder and into a moan. I rub your back, and I watch as you try to catch your breath.

"You're getting worse," I say, biting my lip, saying it more to myself than to you.

"No," you complain, but I can see in your eyes that I'm right.

"I think," you cough, "I need to get up."

"But Alex," I try to talk you out of it but I know how determined you can be, and determination is definitely written all over your face. Immediately, I try to mediate a solution. "Let me pour you a nice bath. We can put bubbles in it," I say with a smile.

"Sounds nice," you whimper.

"Let me go get it ready," I say, while you dissolve back into coughs…

1347 HOT

Would somebody please just kill me? It would be so much easier.

But if I'm dead, who's going to take care of you?

Although, right now, you're the caretaker, and I'm just the wretched, miserable…



"The bath's ready."

"Okay." I look at you, not quite sure what's supposed to happen next.

"Hang on." You smile, and pull my arm over your neck.

"Wheee!" I whisper, with a quiet chuckle, as you lift me from the bed. I let my hand drape down your chest. "You're so strong."

You kiss me on my cheek, smiling self-consciously. Then proceed to the bathroom. "Here," you sit me on the toilet lid, and start to pull my shirt over my head.

I watch the steam drift from the water, and feel the heat. "It's hot."

"Yes, sweetie."

"It's too hot. I'm going to burn."

"No, it's just right." You dip your hand into the bath. "See? You need to sweat out the fever."

"Oh. My head feels heavy."

"Here," you get onto your knees, and pull me close. "You can rest on my shoulder, while I take these off."

I think I must've fallen asleep, as I awake to hot water on my skin. Water surrounding me. "Liv?" I ask, with my eyes still closed.

"I'm right here, baby."

"My back's cold."

"Hold on a sec," you say after a brief pause. Then I feel your hands on me, pushing me away from the edge of the tub. Then I feel your legs sliding next to mine. "You can lean back now."

Unlike the hard cold porcelain, you're soft and warm, and you hug. I sigh.


"Mm." I drop my head onto your shoulder again, and smile. "You're so nice."

"I just want you to be well."

Why? This could be heaven. "Love you, Liv…" I tell you, before letting the steam and the heat envelop me in a cloud…

1348 Bath

I hold your hot body against mine, while I carefully run a washcloth over your shoulders. You give up control of yourself and let your head lay heavy on my shoulder. I kiss your cheek as you sniffle in my ear.

"What'd you do today?" You ask me, while I gently massage your shoulders, your upper arms melting into my touch.

"I…talked to some witnesses."

"Anything good?" You ask, but I can hear the haziness in your voice. You're not quite there with me, but it's cute that you're interested in my day.

"Not really. El has a hunch though, so we're going to follow up on some more leads tomorrow."

"Mmm…sounds good," You say, as I massage down your arms, taking your hand into mine and manipulating your fingers.

"Was there anything good on TV today?"

"No. I hate daytime TV." You complain.

"I can run out tonight and get you some movies for tomorrow," I offer.

"Tomorrow?" You ask.

Oh Jesus. "So what should we do tonight?" I ask you changing the subject hoping you don't pick on the fact that at the rate you're going, it's going to be a while before you really go back to work.

"I don't know. I can't do much." You sigh.

"We could watch a movie or something?" I offer, letting you know that I want to spend tonight with you. "I have to make us dinner." I add.

"I'm not hungry." You add quickly.

"I know but you need to eat something. Anything sound good?"

"I could eat ice cream. But not a lot."

I smile, while I kiss the back of your neck. "Ice cream it is."

"You're so nice…" You whisper before you drift off again…

1349 NEEDS

I awake to a darkened room. "Liv?" I call. Not sure you can hear me, I try again. Again, it sounds more like a whisper. Are you here?

Vaguely, I remember you washing me. I definitely feel cleaner, not as clammy.

And equally fuzzily, I recall you scooping me from the bath, and patting me dry, then dressing me. And I guess you put me back in bed. My mom definitely doesn't do that for me.

It's so embarrassing to be so useless.

I should be able to take care of myself, dammit!

But I'm glad you're here.

And I'm glad you're mine.


I wonder where you are.

Did you go out to get me icecream? To rent movies for tomorrow?

Wait, did you say renting movies for tomorrow?

I can't stay home and watch movies tomorrow, I have a job to do!

Honestly though, I'm not sure I'm fit to go back to work. I'm going to be so fired when this is over.

Damn snow. Damn what's her name, psychopath. Oh, Veronica. Well, at least we're rid of her, I hope. I can't believe Trevor's so stupid.


"You're back!" I respond to your voice. "Where'd you go?" I really don't mean to sound so needy, but somehow, when you're around, I seem to have no control over my emotions… "I called you earlier, you didn't hear me?"

You sit next to my pillow, and kiss my hand. "Did you need something?"

"A new body?"

"I like your body just fine, Sweetheart."

"I'm sick, how can you think about that when I'm sick?"

You smile and shrug. "So what did you need?

I snuggle closer, and sigh my contentment. "You."

1350 Shopping

"You're cold," you say, reaching out and touching my hand.

"I was outside," I explain patiently.


"You needed something for your cough and we didn't have anything. So I bought you these," I say, lifting the bag I bought.

"What's that?" You ask, sitting up.

"Well, it's all the flavors of cough medicine they sell."

"Why did you buy so much?"

"I didn't know which kind you'd like, so I got a small one of each." You look at me like I'm insane, and I feel shy. "It seemed like a good idea at the time."

You pull the things out of the bag, the multitude of cough medicine, the sore throat drops I bought, the stuff to make your nose less stuffy. I bought you Gatorade since you don't seem to be drinking enough and you need the fluids and more ice cream since it was all you said you wanted. I also bought you a box of your favorite tea, and some tiny cups of soup, which I've seen you eat when you didn't have enough time for lunch. You pull out the stuff I got you, something to help you sleep and some Vicks to help clear up your chest. Then you open the second bag, and smile. I stopped at the video store and rented every movie you had mentioned wanting to see in the last year. You look down at the stuff that's splayed in front of you on the bed.

"How long were you gone?" You ask gently.

"About fifteen minutes." I shrug, and you look at me again.

"How'd you?"

"I ran. I wanted to be here in case you woke up, but I didn't think you'd miss me if I ran out and came back real quick."

"I love you," you whisper, wiping a tear away.

"Why are you crying?" I ask, quickly.

"Because you're too good to me."

"Trust me, I'm not." I say with a kiss to your cheek. "No tears, okay? Let's do something fun."

1351 FUN

I stare at the array of drugs and food you got me, and the movies you rented, and I know there's no way you were gone for only fifteen minutes.

Did you spend your whole afternoon watching over me, and taking care of me?

Like the other night, last night, I feel suddenly weepy.

You're too good to me.

What have I done to deserve you?

"Alex?" You kiss me gently, which only makes the tears flow harder. "Why are you crying?"

"Because, you're so wonderful."

You smile shyly, and brush your fingers under my eyes. "Don't cry. Okay? Let's do something fun."

"Like what?"

"How'bout a movie?"

"Which one?"

"Your choice."

"I don't know, Liv." I hesitate, looking at all the titles blurring together. "I can't decide."

You go through the stack, and pick out one I know you rented only because at some point I wanted to see it. "Do you want to watch this?"

I pick out the one that's more to your taste. "How'bout this instead?"

"You sure?"

"Yeah," I smile. It's not going to make any difference, really. I'm going to be out like a light in two seconds anyway.

"Okay," you pick up the tape and pop it into the VCR, then carefully, you get back into bed, sliding behind me, and cradling me in your arms. "How's this?"

"Good," I whisper, and press my head against your lips for a kiss. "Love you," I mumble, my eyelids quickly heavy with sleep.

You laugh a gentle laugh, and kiss me again, "Love you, too, Alex, very much," you say, smoothing my hair from my face.

In a few breaths, I feel oblivion again…

1352 Cough

You lie on me, sleeping while the movie continues to play. Your limbs are heavy against me, twisted in mine. Your hand is strewn across my waist, you're holding me like you would a teddy bear.

You're beautiful when you sleep. Angelic even, your eyes closed, your skin flushed from the fever.

I hold you close, and tight, not wanting to let you go. I wish I could switch places with you. I'd rather be miserable than to have to watch you be miserable.

I can hear the wheeze coming from your chest, and I scold myself for not making you take the cough medicine before you fell asleep. I try to lose myself in the movie, but I can't, listening to you breathing becomes my entertainment, watching you turn in my arms to get more comfortable.

Your eyes flicker open for a second, and then back closed, and then back open again. You take a deep breath which like before dissolves into coughs. You look around for a second, then up at me guiltily.

"Welcome back," I say with a smile and a kiss.

"I think I fell asleep," You mutter.

"I think so too," I say, kissing the top of your head again. "You need the sleep though."

"What'd I miss," you ask, pulling yourself up weakly.


"The movie?" You ask, reminding me that the noise in the room is actually coming from the TV.

"I, don't know." I stammer, surprised at how much attention I was giving to you and how little I was paying to the story transforming on the screen.

You yawn again. "I'm sorry I'm not any fun tonight." You say, apologizing for something that isn't your fault.

"Baby, I want you to sleep. I want you to feel better. Speaking of which, what color cough medicine do you want?" I ask, pretty sure that the only difference in flavor will be in the color of dye they put into the bottle.

You eye them suspiciously, and say "Purple."

"Purple it is," I say, carefully pouring it out onto a spoon. You take it like a trooper, and wince only slightly. Afterwards, you lay back into my arms.

"Want to rewind it?"

"Are you going to stay awake?" I ask.

"Prolly not," You shrug.

"Then let it play. You can watch it again tomorrow." You smile, and so do I when I don't hear your immediate protest…


"Baby? Alex?"

I hear you calling, and I peel open my eyes. You're hovering over me, and your hands feel hot on my exposed chest.

"What?" I respond, which sets off a string of coughs, which makes me notice the strong smell of menthol in the air. I look at you in confusion.

"Whew," you breathe, pulling my shirt down, and twisting closed the container of Vicks. "I think we need to go to the ER."

"Why?" I mouth, afraid to talk.

"You were having an asthma attack."

"But I'm not," I start, then the coughs come again. I don't have asthma.

"Maybe it's bronchitis. Either way, we need to get you to a doctor."

"No," I shake my head, fighting your attempt to get me out of bed. "No hospital."

"But Alex, you're sick."

"No. I just need..." more medicine, I point at the bottles of cough syrup you brought home.

"What if it develops into pneumonia? Come on."

"No," I try weakly to push you away. "Hate hospital."

"But…" You start to argue, then you stop. "I'm calling your mom. She'll know what…"

I don't let you finish. "No!"

"Why don't you want me to call her?"

She'll just take over. "I want you."

"But Sweetie, I'm not hundred percent sure I know what to do."

I cling to you, reassuring you with my neediness, "You're fine."

You sigh. "Let me call Warner."

"But she's, for dead people."

"She's still a doctor," you reason, covering my forehead with your hand. "And you're still burning up. We need to do something."

"I'll drink water, and take my meds…"

1354 Scared

The second night of holding you close leads into a third. Nothing is changing, if anything you sound worse, and not better.

I hover over you, watching for any sign that anything's wrong, anything more than the fever that won't break or the cough that sounds like it's coming from your toes.

I've gotten used to counting your breaths, hearing them hitch in your chest and come out in a wheeze. I listen for change, listen for hope, listen for a sign that things are changing. But tonight, it's not hopeful.

I hear your breath catch, and then stop. You cough, a deep wheeze echoing from your chest like you're strangling for air. I wait for you to cough, to stop the wheezing, but you don't.

In my imagination you are turning blue, dying here in my arms.

I pull you awake, and you come back to life, curious and confused. You beg me, plead with me, not to call anyone. Just to stay with you. You tell me you're fine. You tell me that I'm overreacting. I stare into your eyes, which are already starting to cloud back over into sleep.

"Alex…we have to." I mumble. "I'm sorry," I say, turning to the closet.

"What are you doing?" You ask.

"Getting you a sweater."

"Please Liv, I'm fine."

"No, Alex, I can't…I can't live with myself if something happens to you. It's been two days, and you're not getting better…and now you're not breathing right."

"I'm breathing fine," you say, taking a deep breath of illustration that breaks into coughs.

"No, no you're not. Alex, if something… we have to go."

I slip the sweater over you head and am glad you're too weak to fight me. I help you up, and you lean into me heavily.

"I don't wanna…" You whine, complaining before we even get out the door.

"I know Alex, but we need to. I need to know you're going to be okay."


"Not fair," I whine, as you flip me over your shoulder and carry me down the stairs fireman style, as if I weigh nothing.

"Sorry, baby," you apologize. "I've got to do this."

"I'm fine," I try to convince you. Suppose if I were fine, I wouldn't be tripping over my legs navigating the stairs earlier.

"I know," you say, with heavy doubt in your tone.


"Yes, sweetie?"

"Do you think… it's serious?"

"No, I'm sure you just have a really bad cold," you sound even more skeptical.

"Then why are we going to the hospital?" I wheeze in between coughs, determined not to let your fear affect me. "I don't wanna…"

"I know, Sweetie, I know. But we have to."

"But I don't…" I whine while you strap me to the passenger seat.

"Please, Alex."

"You're holding me against my will."

"You can charge me later."

It's obvious I'm not going to win this. I stare a hole through you as you get into the car, and start the ignition.

"Alex," you reach over, and brush my hair behind my ear. "Baby, please, do this for me?"

For you? Huh? "Why?"

"So I know? I need to know you're gonna be okay."

Why wouldn't I be? I just have a cold, maybe a touch of bronchitis. "I'm sure, I'm…" I sigh, giving in to your sincere plea. "O.K."

"Good," you smile a wane smile, and kiss me on my cheek. "Thanks."

You're not welcome. I make a face at you.

You just squeeze my hand and give me another light kiss.

Soon, my body yields to the gentle lulling motion of the car…

1356 Technically

In the hospital at last, we are forced into chairs while you lean heavily against my shoulder, wrapped up in a blanket and I struggle with your paperwork. I hate filling out these forms. There are so many, no matter how many I fill out, it seems there are always twice as many left to finish. By the time I finally hand them over, you're already starting to fall asleep, the car ride here wearing you down.

You're dozing on my shoulder, in seconds, and I stare at you, while trying to figure out what they're going to say about you.

Something's definitely wrong.

I'm glad I brought you here, even if you're not. Your light snore which has been my near constant companion.

I hear your name, and gently shake you awake.

"Baby, wake up." Your eyes open and blink against the harsh light of the ER lobby. "Your turn," I say, trying to smile.

You give me a death glare and start to stand. I put my hand on you, to hold you steady and start to lead you towards the nurse.

"Sorry," She says looking at me, "no friends."

"I'm not her friend, I'm her wife." I say, suddenly defensive.

"Not in this state," she says callously. "Miss. Cabot?"

"Please let her come." You whine at her, while you look at me with panic in your eyes. Panic that you don't need to feel because of this small minded son of a…

I suddenly get an idea. I flash my badge at her. "I need to accompany Miss Cabot." I say, trying to sound ridiculously official.

She looks at my badge like I bought it at K-Mart.

"I thought you said you were her wife." She says, with a snicker.

"I am, but I'm also a cop."

"So you're threatening me?" She asks, with a look.

"No, please. I just want to make sure she's okay."

"She'll be fine." She says, as she pushes me back into the lobby and takes you through the double doors into the back of the ER.


"Liv!" I call after you setting off another string of coughs.


Well, at least you spoke up for us this time, and how you whipped out your badge, that was kind of sweet.

"All right, Ms. Cabot," the nurse comes back, and tosses a hospital gown at me. "You need to change into this."

I ignore her order, and issue one of my own. "And you need to let Det. Benson in."

"I said before, no friends."

"We're domestic partners."


"Look, you let family in. She's family to me."

"Not on my watch, Ms. Cabot."

Under normal circumstances, it might take more for me to react. But I don't feel good, and you're out there worried sick, and I want you with me. "It's ADA Cabot to you."


"Assistant District Attorney."

"Oh? Are you threatening me?"

"You know what, Nurse Brunhilde, as a matter of fact, I am."

"You don't look like you're in any shape to make threats."

"Listen, if you don't let Det. Benson in now, I'll…"

She crosses her arms, and glares at me. "You'll go back out there, and wait ten more hours to see the doctor."

"And you'll explain to your boss when I file a complaint with the New York City Commission on Human Rights why you discriminated against me based on my sexual orientation." Maybe it's the anger fueling the adrenaline and affecting my body. Somehow, I managed that without coughing. Whew.

"You wouldn't do that."

"Try me." I warn, my narrowed eyes tell her I mean business. "And I'm sure whoever in charge at your hospital will love the jury verdict awarding me millions in compensation, when I file a civil suit against you and your hospital."

"You're bluffing."

"I don't bluff." Not about this.

We stare at each other, each waiting for the other to cave.

Finally, she turns. "Fine, I'll go get officer Benson."

"It's Detective. And I strongly advise you to make sure a doctor sees me in the next fifteen minutes…"

1358 Waiting

When the nurse walks back through the double doors with a scowl on her face that would melt marble, and beckons me in, I wonder what you told her that broke down her resolve.

"She's in there," she manages to spit at me, before turning her back and trudging down the hall. I shake my head as I watch her walk away, before turning to you with a false smile on my face, wanting to make you feel comfortable and safe rather than with the sour taste I'm sure that woman's attitude left in your mouth.

I walk into the room slowly, and watch you. You're curled up onto a hospital wing and I can tell from across the room you're shivering. I slide my coat and sweater off and put them over you, rubbing your arms to keep you warm.

"That feels good," you say turning back to me.

"She let me in." I say, knowing you had something to do with it.

"Yeah." You say, reaching for me and holding me around my waist.

"What'd you do, threaten her with a lawsuit?" I laugh.

You look like the cat who swallowed the canary. "Just a little one," you cough. "It was really nothing."

"You really did."

You just nod, which causes me to laugh a little.

"Well, she did seem more chipper." You smile weakly at me, and I want to kiss you and make it all better. But I've tried that too many times in the last few days, and it's still not working.

Your gentle smile turns into a frown, as you sniffle. "I don't want to be here."

"I know baby, but we can get you some medicine and you can get better."

"Not if it's a virus." You point out.

"Okay, not if it's a virus, but at least we'll know, and we'll know." I sigh as I push hair out of your eyes, while you lean into the cot. It seems like hours, but we sit together and wait for a doctor. I can hear that the ER is busy tonight, full of beeps and whirs as machines fight to keep people alive. A new nurse sticks her head into the room and apologizes for the wait. You smile weakly at her, as she sticks her head back out and walks away.

"Can we go home?" You whisper.

Just then, the doctor steps into the room. "Miss Cabot, is it?" He asks, looking at you lying on the cot waiting for your recognition.

You nod, and he smiles.

"What can I do for you today?" he asks, and waits for your response…


I take a shallow breath, and start to answer, before I can, you tell him about my fever, coughs and wheezes and chills, and how I can't seem to stay awake. While you're answering his questions about my general health and habits, he starts to listen to my chest through the stethoscope. As soon as he steps away, you're next to me, holding me protectively and letting me rest my head against you. I'm so glad you're here.

"Sounds like you have pneumonia, Ms. Cabot," he says easily. "Let's get an x-ray of your lungs to make sure. Are you currently pregnant?" We shake our heads. "Okay, the nurse will take care of you, and I'll come back when it's ready."

I nod, then I realize they might take me to another room for the x-rays, and I grab your waist in panic.

The same thought occurs to you. "Can I," you ask, "Stay with her?"

"Yes, of course," he answers with a smile.

I sigh a sigh of relief. After he leaves, I pull you closer. "Thanks for taking care of me."

"I'd say my pleasure, you know, but I wish you weren't sick."

"I'm so tired."

"I know." You kiss me on my head. "Hopefully we can go home soon."

"What if they make me stay?"

"Shh… Let's just wait and see."

Your gentle rubs on my back relax me, and quickly, I relinquish my consciousness. When I awake again, the technicians have wheeled the x-ray machines in, and in a minute, they're gone. This time, I lay on the bed, and you hold my hand, and try to smile at me.

I'm not sure how much time passed before the doctor comes back again, and apologizes for the delay. Not that I've really noticed. Although I'm sure if you weren't here, I'd feel differently. I squeeze your hand weakly, and you smile at me before turning to the man again.

"Are you allergic to any anti-botics?" He asks, while making notes on the clipboard.

"Not that I'm aware of."

"Good. I'm going to give you a broad-spectrum antibiotic; take it for ten days." He hands me a slip of paper. "They can fill it for you at the pharmacy."

"Ten days," I croak my protest.

"Sorry. It's the worst time to be sick, with the holiday coming up and all, I know," he smiles apologetically, and turns to you. "Just make sure she gets plenty of rest and fluids to prevent dehydration." He turns back to me again, "An over the counter expectorant like Robitussin will help your coughs, so they're more productive coughs. And continue to take aspirin."

"That's it?"

"That's it."

1360 Instructions

You frown at me, and at the doctor as he tells you that you need to rest. He suggests to me that you shouldn't go back to work for at least a day or so longer than you think you need to. I smile at that, wanting to tell him that if you had your way, you'd have me carry you to your desk in your current condition and prop you up while you argued in court. I think he can tell when you balk at that, but I guarantee him that you'll be resting like he suggests.

He tells you that pneumonia can be tricky and that if it gets worse, you have to come back immediately so you can get a stronger level of antibiotics.

I can see the complaint register on your face, but you keep it to yourself, while he talks to me about the prescription and how to give it to you. He hands it to you, and tells you to makes sure to get your rest and that he hopes you feel better soon. With the prescription still clutched in your hand, we leave the hospital back to the safety of the car.

"That was totally useless." You complain. "I am basically fine."

"You're not fine. You have pneumonia. That's serious."

"It's serious if I were eighty, or a little kid. I'm a normal healthy adult."

"Alex," I say, with warning in my voice, but I realize it's useless to fight with you. You don't want to be sick anymore than I want you to be. And now, at least, I have the reassurance to know that you will be okay. "We got an antibiotic for you. It's going to make you feel better."

I watch as you smile a weak smile. "I want to feel better."

"I know you do."

I stop at an all night pharmacy and get the prescription, while you wait in the car. By the time I get back, you're sound asleep in the front seat of the car. I sigh, and slip silently into the front seat wanting to not wake you.

Before long, we're at home and I carry you carefully into the building, up the stairs and deposit you gently in bed.

I kiss your forehead, waking you gently, and giving you the antibiotic the doctor prescribed. You take it drowsily, and swallow it, leaving me again sitting over you, watching you sleep.

"I love you," I whisper.

You snore your approval.


"I have to go to work!"

"No, Sweetie," you keep me in bed by my shoulders. "You're not well yet."

"I feel fine. Completely fine. See? No coughing," I argue, pushing at your hands. "Let me up."

"You're still running a fever."

"Point four degrees, Liv. I've gone to work with worse."

"Not with me around, and I'm not going to let you."

"You can't keep me imprisoned in my own home."

"Oh, yes I can," you counter, looking stern. Then you softened. "Come on, Sweetie, just stay home, for another day. Remember what the doctor said?"

"Yes, and I felt fine yesterday."

"You had a fever of 100 yesterday! You don't want a relapse, do you?"

"Of course not." I can see that you're exasperated, so I change tactics. "But I get bored laying around all day, and I miss you."

"I'm sorry, Alex, I have to go to work."

"I know. And so should I."

"But…" you sigh. "Fine. Do whatever you want. That's what you always do anyway."

"Come on, Liv," I tug at your sleeve to pull you back into my arms. "Don't be like that."

"I just want you to be well."

"I know, and I appreciate it."

"Then why don't you stay home? It's Friday. You can go back to work on Monday."


"Please, Sweetie, do it for me?"

"It's not fair. You know what that look does to me."

"It's working?"

I sigh. "Yeah, I'll stay home."

"That's my girl." You smile, and press a gentle kiss to my cheek.

"Can I at least have my files?"

1362 Back

"So this is it," I smile at you, "Are you ready?" You were up far before you had to be this morning, ready for your first day back to work. The weekend was good for you, and you look much better than you did even Friday. Not to mention that you're suddenly complaining about things other than being too hot or too cold. No, now you're complaining about everything. If you weren't allowed to go to work today, I'm nearly positive you would have worked up a commando mission to get to your desk.

"God Liv, you make it sound like this is my first day at school. I've already worked as an ADA. I'm just going back."

"I know, but you've been out for a week." I remind you, which causes you to frown at me harder.

"I'm well aware."

"You were sick," I justify, but you shake your head at me.

"Being gone so long is never good. It just means that I'm going to be swamped today, so I'll just meet you at home tonight." You say, as you push an earring through your ear.

I smile at you. "I'll be at your office at five."

"There's no way…" You start to complain, looking at me. "Just come home and I'll…"

"It's your first day back, but that doesn't mean that you can push yourself and stay all night. You're still recovering and when you get home, you still need your rest."

"If you say that one more time," you say, turning to me to scold me, but before you can get a chance, I kiss you gently.

"Don't," you say, turning to look at yourself in the mirror again. "I'm mad at you," you say, with a smile.

"Come on," I say, snaking my arms around you. "I just want you to be healthy. You don't want to…"

"Relapse. You're turning into a cliché." You complain. "Not to mention that the road to hell is paved with good intentions." You smirk at me.

I give you a fake puppy dog frown, and you kiss my cheek.

"You're insufferable."

"I know," I say with an even bigger smile. Kissing you again and following you into the kitchen.

1363 READY

"Hey, you ready?" You say as you walk into the room.

I don't even have to look at the clock to know it's five. "Do I look like I'm ready?" I ask the stacks of files before me.

"Well, ready or not, we're going home."

"Liv," I look up at you. "I really need to stay and finish some of these."

"You promised."

"I didn't."

"Maybe not in so many words, but you said you would take care of yourself."

"I really can't." You understand, don't you?

Without another word, you walk around my desk, and pull my chair out.

"What are you doing?"

"Taking you home," you announce, and pick me up.

This is getting old. "Put me down, right now."

"Nope." You grab my purse, and move towards the door.

I struggle. "Olivia Benson, put me down, or else."

"Or else what?" You smirk.

"I mean it!" You're not carrying me like I'm a sack of potatoes down the hallway. "Olivia!" When you don't comply, I beg, "Please, everyone's going to lose their respect for me…"

"If I put you down, right now, you'll promise to keep walking, until we reach the car. And you're going to get in, and we're going to go home, and you're going to spend the rest of the evening in bed, and not talk or think or do anything that's in any shape or form work related?"

Furiously, I try to look for a loop hole. Any loop hole.


Damn it. "Fine. Just put me down."

"All right." Carefully, with your hands on my hips, then sliding up my sides, you ease me down along your body…

Is it me? Or is it suddenly kind of warm?

1364 Conviction

You climb into the car giving me an evil glare that makes me crack a smile. You pout at me like a petulant child the whole way home, your arms crossed over your chest, while you stare out the window and frown at me the whole time.

I can't help but smirk at you, which only seems to anger you more, but I can't help it. I'm going to win this fight. It's too important to me that you get better, that you feel better and stay better. I'm not willing to let you have your way just so that you can stay at work.

I'm glad I'm stronger than you. Glad I can pick you up and bend your actions to my will, and glad that you don't have the same power over me. I watch you out of the corner of my eye, and part of you is starting to relax the further away we get from your office full of paperwork. You let your body rest into the seat, and look at me in fleeting glances.

"How was your day?" You ask me, after a few minutes of silence.

"Good." I say, not wanting to talk about work with you, since you believe that everything I do means more work for you.

"Did you do anything exciting?"

"We tried a new donut place. Well Elliot did. He says he hopes you feel better." I shrug and smile at you.

"That's not what I meant." You say.

"Oh, you wanted to know about work?" I ask teasingly and you nod at me a little too eagerly.

"We're not talking about work tonight."

"What are we going to talk about then?" You ask even more annoyed.

"Anything else. World Lit, biology, tv, movies. Anything that's nice and relaxing."

"I think work is relaxing."


"It doesn't matter," you mumble. "You made me leave it in the office."

"Yes. I want you …"

"To be healthy," you finish for me. "I'm not crippled. I feel fine."

"And we need to keep it that way." I say with an overly enthusiastic smile, hoping that it would catch on with you.

1365 STALL

As we get closer and closer to home, the more anxious I become. "You know we haven't done our Christmas shopping."

"You're not going to fight with all those crazy shoppers."

"Then how?"

You throw me a look. "Internet."

"But what about our presents for each other?"


I frown.

"Tell you what?" You smile at my hopeful face. "All I really want is for you to take care of yourself and get well."

"Liv…" How do I argue with that kind of sincerity and caring? "But it's Christmas. It's special."

"Exactly. That's why I want you healthy and well."

I sigh, and watch as the car turn another block closer to home. "Can we at least go somewhere for dinner? I feel kind of cooped up."

"It's the flu season Alex, your immune system's still weak."

"And you don't want me to catch anything," I finish your sentence for you.


"Fine." I sulk. "And how are you going to entertain me for the next five hours?"


"Excuse me? I know you mean well, Liv," I cross my arms tighter around myself and whine, "I'm not eight years old anymore, I don't need you to tell me when to go to bed."

You smirk at my reaction, but reach over and gently squeeze my thigh. "It wasn't an order, I was just speculating from experience."


"I figure after dinner, we can take a bath, with bubbles, and afterwards, I'll give you a massage. That usually puts you to sleep. What do you think?"

Despite myself, I smile. "That sounds nice. Really nice."

"Good. Then we have a date."

I squeeze your hand, and close my eyes…

1366 Bath

I cook you dinner, something I'm always happy to do, but tonight, it has special significance. You sit on the kitchen counter and watch as I mix together vegetables, telling me about your day. The more you talk, the less annoyed you seem at me for making you leave early. By the time dinner is served, you're smiling at me.

After dinner, we recess to the bathroom, where I run us both a bath full of bubbles and lavender oil. You keep smiling at me, a shy smile, as you pull your clothes off and watch as I do the same.

I watch as you step gingerly into the bathtub and look at me expectantly to join you, which I do without hesitation. Sliding in behind you, I gather you into my arms and relish the soft feel of your skin against mine.

You relax carefully into my arms, letting your head rest on my shoulder lazily. I wrap my hands around your waist, and kiss you gently on the side of your face.

"I love you," I whisper into your ear.

"Love you too," you murmur, and smile a bigger smile.

I laugh as you splash bubbles around like a kid, turning to kiss my neck.

"Thank you," I say, returning your gentle kiss with one of my own.

"This feels so good," you say, with sleep heavy in your voice.

"Yeah." I breathe back, kissing you again lightly.

You smile again, letting your eyes close. "I think I could stay here forever."

"You'd turn into a prune."

"I'll risk it," you laugh, as you slide more comfortably into me.

"I think we should get out, I still owe you a massage and you're getting sleepy."

"I am not." You complain, with your eyes still closed. "It's only eight."

"Fine, you're not sleepy."

You yawn, as if in response, which causes me to laugh.

"Maybe I'm a little sleepy," you admit with a smile.


"We should get out," you whisper again in my ear.

"But we just got in," I whine, a little. "And this feels too good."

You laugh, a gentle rumble in your chest, and pull me closer to you, sliding your hands around my waist.

"Mmm…" I smile, and nestle into your embrace. I could fall asleep like this…

"Sweetie," you nudge me gently. "The water's cooling off."

"Did I fall asleep?" I shake my head to get re-oriented. "Oh wow. It's eight thirty."

"Yep," you nod your agreement, and step out of the tub, wrapping a towel around yourself then holding mine out for me. "Come on, I'll help you dry off."

I stare at you groggily, with a fixed smile, trying to get my limbs to obey my command. It's not working. "Can't I just stay?"

Finally, you reach in, and help pull me to my feet.

I lean heavily against you as you pat the water off my skin. Normally, you touching me like this would make me hot for you, but I guess I'm more worn out than I care to admit.

After some struggle, we manage to untangle my arms and pull my shirt over my head. Yep. I'm definitely worn out. Guess it's good you made me leave early.

"Let's go." You turn me around in your arms.

"I don't wanna."

"Alex, you gotta."

"I love you."

"I know, and I love you too. But you have to go to bed."

"You, too?"

"Yes. I still owe you a massage. Remember?"

"Rain check?"


"Just want you to hold me."


I turn towards you, and drape my arms around your neck. "Carry me?" I hear another laugh from you, and feel your hand reaching under my knees and scooping me up. Gently, you lay me down into the bed. As soon as you climb in beside me, I pull you close, and drift into blissful oblivion…

1368 Waiting

You fall into an easy snore in what seems like seconds, but more likely its only minutes. Your head rests heavily on my shoulder, as you breathe warmly on my neck. I watch you, sound asleep and then I remember that it's only eight pm, and I'm far from asleep. I'm glad that you're asleep, glad that you're resting, and glad that you're safe here with me instead of spending all night alone in your office.

I watch you sleep as I realize that I'm not tired. I'm not even slightly tired. As you pointed out, it's only eight thirty, and I'm not sure I've fallen asleep this early since I was six years old and still actually did have a bedtime.

I'm more than awake, actually.

I'm wide awake and sexually frustrated.

Your body cuddled into me, and the bath that was innocent and sweet had more of an affect on me than I want to admit. Drying you off, touching you in ways that I haven't since you got sick.,,

Maybe you're right.

Maybe we do have too much sex.

Maybe there's nothing wrong with that at all.

I look at you, and you're definitely asleep. I can't even think about waking you up, because I know how much you need sleep, and I can go without sex. And if I can't, well, I know how to deal with that too.

I sigh.

I have to get away from you.

I slip out of bed and walk into the living room, sure you're not going to even notice I'm gone. I prop a pillow in my place, and you hold it without moving.

I sigh again. This time, I watch as you gently breathe in and out, your beautiful skin lit only by the moonlight.

I slip into our living room, and lie on the couch. Snuggled in there, I flip the TV on and search the channels.


Nothing but my libido drawing my attention away from the TV.

I look longingly in at the bedroom and then back at the TV.

I sigh again.

The TV wins.

I hate the TV.


"Liv…" I hear myself moan, and pull myself from sleep.

Suddenly, I'm wide awake. Almost immediately, I notice I'm hugging a pillow, and not you. For an instant, I feel sad. I wish you wouldn't do that, wouldn't leave me while I sleep. Then I glance at the clock, and realize it's not even ten yet. I shouldn't have expected you to stay with me just because my body gave out. I mean, when's the last time you went to bed before nine?

I listen carefully. The faint noise of the television registers. Guess you're out there watching tv.

Slowly, I stretch my back, feeling my muscles strain and relax. The nap did help. I am feeling much better than before…

Maybe I should join you out there.

Or maybe I should just stay and try to go back to sleep. I'm sure you're tired of my neediness by now, and if not, you'll be soon.

But I'm not sleepy anymore.

And I do miss you.

It's as much your living room as it is mine, right? So I should be able to sit out there if I wish. Assuming you don't chase me back to bed because you think I need rest… Oh, well, I'm thirsty. At least that'll be my excuse when you scold me for getting up. There.

You don't hear me when I pull the bedroom door open. You don't see me either, for you have your eyes closed. Are you actually asleep?

"Liv?" I call softly, while taking my first step into the room.

You gasp, pull your legs off the couch and swivel to face me.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to," startle you, I want to say, then I realize you have a funny look on your face, and you're blushing furiously. "Did I? What the?"

"Alex, sweetie," you start, sounding out of breath.

Why do you look so guilty? I turn to the tv, to confirm that you're not watching something I might find objectionable, or that you'd be embarrassed about. Out of the corner of my eye, I catch you adjusting the drawstrings of your pants.

Then the pieces fall into place.

I walk towards you, holding your eyes the entire time, until I reach the couch. Then I stretch out on it, resting my head in your lap. "Poor baby," I smile up at you.


I twist, and reach under your shirt. "Sorry I interrupted. Want to pick up where you left off?"

1370 Unreleased

I don't mean to start…

The TV blazes in front of me, and I stare at it, trying to ignore the phantom images of your skin against mine, or the feeling of your breasts while I dried you off, the image of you standing naked in front of me. I don't want to think about the way it feels when you tease me, when you rub against me and whisper in my ear, breathing on my neck.

Without conscious thought, my hand slides up my body and starts teasing my breast. It's absent from thought, but when I hear my own breath catching in my throat, I realize what I'm doing. I make myself stop. I'm not going to do this.

Not without you.


No, I tell myself. No. No.

I shouldn't be doing this. I see you again. Teasing me, your hair falling around my face, your body weight on top of mine.

I close my eyes and turn over onto my stomach, my hands clenched under the pillow which lies under my head.

No more of this.

I stare at the TV, begging it silently to take my attention, but even with five hundred channels to choose from, all I can find is crap.

I cross my ankles and feel pleasant pressure when I flex my thighs.

For God's sake. If I just give in, if I just do it, I can at least stop thinking about it.

I flip back over onto my back, and check over my shoulder into the dark bedroom, listening for any sign of your movement. You're quiet. You're asleep. You'll never know.

Biting down onto my lip, I slide my fingers down my body, into the waistband of the drawstring pants I threw on after our bath. I close my eyes, concentrate on the thoughts that made this whole situation get this intense in the first place. Your beautiful body, you touching me, teasing me, begging me to touch myself for you.

I know it's my imagination when I hear you call my name. I'm so close, just a few more seconds, until I realize that you really are calling my name. I stare at you like a deer caught in headlights while I pull my hand away too fast.

You look at me suspiciously, while I flip to face you. You look at the TV, then back into my eyes.

I adjust my shirt carefully, and pull the drawstring closed on my pants. You look at me blankly for a second, and then understanding crosses your eyes, which makes my blush far more furious.

I scold myself for giving into temptation.

I fight my urge to look away from your eyes.

You swagger over to me, falling onto the couch, putting your head in my lap and looking up into my eyes.

I feel my face burn, my embarrassment from being caught far overwhelming my desire to be touched by you. You stretch like a cat, relishing the fact that you have me just where you want me.

You let your fingers trail down my stomach, under my shirt and up to my breast.

"So," you say, as if you are going to propose that we go grocery shopping before we go to work, "should we pick up where you left off?"

1371 PICK UP

"Well?" With a smile, I wait while you stare at me, like I've just sprouted horns on my head.

"Alex, Sweetie, it's not what you think…"

I circle your nipple with the tip of my finger, and grin at your responding shudder. "And just what do you think I'm thinking?"

"Alex…" You moan your sigh. "You should be in bed."

"I know. Care to join me?"

"I mean," you gasp when my thumb join my finger to pinch you gently. "To sleep."

"But I'm not sleepy."

"But you should," you whimper this time as I knead your breast in my hand. And you breathe, "You should rest. You're sick."

"I might not be hundred percent healthy, but I'm not dead," I counter, rubbing my thumb against you again, feeling your body respond. "Obviously, you want me."


"And I want you." I slip my other hand between my thighs, then brush the moisture across your lips. "A lot."

It's my turn to whimper when you snake out your tongue and lick my fingers, sucking them into your mouth. God, I want you.

"Baby, we really shouldn't. You need…"

"Rest, I know. I also need you."

"You'll tire."

I can see that you're struggling within yourself, and your libido is winning. "Are you? Tired?"

You shake your head, confused by my question.

"Then you can do all the work." I sit up, and nibble on your neck. "You can finish what you were doing, for me."

"I was thinking about you, just now, when I," you add defensively.

"Shh… I know," I smile, running my tongue along the shell of your ear. "Please?" I plead. "For me?"

1372 Tease

I blush furiously as I realize what you're suggesting. It's bad enough to get caught, but then, to be asked…

But then again, I always do feel embarrassed when you ask me to touch myself for you. It's silly. We've seen each other naked millions of times now, made love hundreds. But something about exposing that part of myself to you, the part that was only for me You like to watch me, and secretly, I suppose, I like to let you. I like that my body makes you respond the way it does.

I pretend to hate it, I pretend that touching myself for you is the worst thing that can happen, but I sort of like putting on a show for you. I still blush, I still beg to not have to do it, but it's part of the game we play for each other.

You crawl off of me, and sit back expectantly, your eyes wide.

"I can't just…"

"Want me to help?" You ask, as I can hear your voice growing deeper with arousal.

"What are you going to.." I don't get the whole question out when you lie back into the couch. You slowly slide your fingers up your torso and slide them over your breasts, pinching them, teasing them, swirling them which quickly respond.

I swallow hard.

I feel myself responding to you. I feel the urge to slide my hand back to where it had been before you interrupted me. I let my eyes close, but you whisper my name.

They flicker open and you tell me to keep them open. I watch you pull your shirt off, watch as you smile at me and lick your finger, running it over your beautiful nipple that stands on end from the contact.

I let my hand slip back into my waistband, but you stop me.

"Take them off," you whisper.

"You first," I whisper back.

That stops you cold.

Besides the gentle teasing that you're doing now to turn me on, you've never done this for me. Never gone further than that, always watching and never being watched. I've never asked you, always aware that I'm the one who performs for you and never the other way around.

You look at me for a hard second, and I expect you to say no. But you stand up, and slide your pants down your lean waist, exposing yourself to me. I watch, as you get back onto the couch, leaning back into it, and sliding your hands down your body…


When you touch yourself for me, do you imagine that your own touch is my touch? Are you aware that you're putting a performance for me, and touch yourself in ways that might thrill me? Or are you torn, like me, right now?

You seem so surprised when I slide my pants off without protest.

Then of course, you've never asked me to do this for you. Why not? Did you not think I would?

Did you not think I would let my legs fall open, like I do now? That I would spread myself open, to display my arousal before you?

A few times, I've touched myself to tease you, while we're making love. Once or twice I've penetrated myself with a toy to taunt you. But those were nothing but invitations for you to take over; and your imagination filled in the blanks for what you couldn't see.

Now, this time, you can see everything; my entire body is on display, utterly exposed. Totally laid bare, I release your eyes, and watch you follow my hands to my breasts.

A bead of sweat slides down the side of your face, and your breathing becomes ragged as I squeeze my flesh in my palms and pull at the tips, making them taut with excitement. Then raising my breast in my palm, and bending my head, I slip my tongue out, attempting to lick myself. When it doesn't work, I smile, and whisper to you, "Guess I need you for that."

You swallow a whimper in response.

I feel like I'm on fire. Am I blushing furiously like you always do?

Slowly, I slide my hands down my torso, along and up the insides of my thighs, your gaze trailing my every move.

"Liv," I catch your attention.

You jerk your head up. "Mm?"

"Your pants."

Quickly, you stand, and slide them off. Then you get back into the couch, taking the opportunity to edge closer to me, so you can have a better view.

It's so obvious that you've forgotten what you're supposed to be doing with yourself, while I'm bringing myself pleasure. Somehow that makes me more determined to make my pleasure your pleasure…

Your pupils dilates as my finger slides down my center, as it disappears briefly. Carefully, I draw out my arousal, and circle my clitoris the way your tongue usually does, firm, and slow.

"Oh, Liv," I close my eyes, and moan. And I touch myself the way I love to be touched - the way you touch me - driving me closer and closer to the edge. I think I can feel the heat of your breath on me, the power of your muscles keeping my legs open…

I think I can feel your fingers in me, stroking deeper and deeper, filling me full…

"God, Liv, Liv…" My heart pounds in my chest, as I buck my hips rhythmically to your phantom thrusts…

1374 For You

You whimper your pleasure as you slide your fingers over your body. Your eyes are holding mine, staring at me while you smile at me. You tease me with your eyes as well as with what you're doing to your body.

Your smile is coy, not shy. You're not blushing, not the way I'm sure I do, the way you always tell me is so endearing. You like this. You like showing me this part of you.

I wonder why I believed you would hate it.

I watch you carefully, the way you touch yourself mimics the way I touch you. I wonder if that's for my sake or because you really like to be touched that way. That you would choose it yourself.

I watch as you skin glistens, your eyes on mine, watching my face, which is watching how your fingers disappear inside you, and then back again, swirling and curling around your obvious arousal.

My name curls on your lips as you fingers slide in and out, around and in circles.

"Liv," you whisper.

I catch your eyes and know what you want to tell me without you saying it. You're so close. You want to know if I want to touch you now, or if I want you to finish yourself.

I could reach out and touch you. With a few caresses you would be coming around my fingers, but I want to watch you.

I want to see you, in a way I don't get to.

I want to see you lose control for me.

I stare at you, my eyes wide, wanting you. I'm close enough to touch you, close enough to take over, but I force myself not to, force myself to keep my hands to myself.

I watch you expectantly.

You pause for only a second waiting for my touch before you complete it for yourself.

A few frantic strokes and your breath catches.

Your body tenses and releases. You stop your movements while you recover, smiling at me with the most beautiful grin.

"I love you," I whisper, not sure how else to say thank you, how else to express what's going through my head.

You smile at me.

"Your turn," you whisper.

1375 SHY

It's interesting how quickly your expression changes, from feral hunger to bashful modesty in a mere instant.

"Alex…" you hesitate, "I'm not sure…"

"Yes you can. You know you want to." I encourage gently, smiling into your eyes.

You blush even more furiously than before.

I know it's a game we play, that you enjoy putting on a show for me just as much as I enjoy watching you, if not more, but somehow you want me to coax it from you. Why? To show you how much I want this? How much it means to me that you're willing to be so vulnerable in front of me?

"Please?" I plead. "For me?"

"Just for you," you reassure me, like you have, each and every time before. You let me know just how special this is between us, how special I am to you.

Solemnly, I nod. Then I smile. "Love you."

You swallow, and close your eyes. Slowly, you slide your hands up your torso, to cup your breasts with your palms.

You have no idea how hot this makes me.

You have no idea how difficult it is for me to sit back, or how much I want you.

I take a sharp breath, and release it slowly as a moan escapes your lips.

How I wish it were my fingers pulling at your nipples. Suppose it could be my fingers touching you where you're touching yourself, it would be easy, and I doubt you would complain.

But that's not the point.

You shift deeper into the sofa, moaning steadily now. Briefly your eyes flutter open, to make sure you have my attention, to make certain I'm watching as you slide your fingers down your body.

"God, Liv," I shiver involuntarily as you slip easily into yourself.

You smile, knowing exactly the effects your careful thrusting does to me. I wonder why you always touch yourself the way you touch me. Is it to remind me how your fingers feel inside? One of these days, I'll ask. But not now.

Now, I squeeze my thighs together, and fight the urge to reach out, to feel you tremble to my touch. I resist the desire to climb into your lap and let you take me.

God, I want you.

Do you know how beautiful you are, when you're like this? When you push your legs apart, to show me the secret sides of you, your vulnerability, as you stroke and tease yourself towards orgasm…

1376 One

My body releases around my fingers in what seems like only seconds. I moan your name. I try to hold it out a few minutes longer, try to tease myself into staying on the edge.

When I open my eyes, and move my wet fingers away, you slide up against me, kissing the tips of my fingers and smiling at me, but keeping yourself just out of reach.

"You're beautiful when you…"

"You are too," I say with a content sigh.

You crawl into my arms and rest your head on my shoulder.

"Can I ask you something?" You ask, kissing my neck gently.

"Mmhmm," I mumble, happy to feel your weight on me, your heartbeat against mine.

"Why haven't you ever...."

I look at you but you don't continue. "Why haven't I ever what?" I prod, gently, knowing what you want to know, but wanting you to ask.

"Why haven't you ever asked me to do that before?"

"I thought you'd say no."

"But I ask you to." You state, logically.

"But you're different than I am."

"You thought I would make you do something that I wouldn't do?"

"No, but you like…"

"Control." You finish for me.

"Yeah." I sigh, glad you understand.

"I like handing it over to you too, sometimes." You say, kissing me again.

"I really… I really liked that. Watching you like that," I say, stammering.

"I liked it to."

"So you'd… do it again?" I ask.

"Only for you," you whisper my earlier promise.

1377 BREW

"Only for you," I promise, snuggling closer against you, stealing your warmth.

Unexpectedly, you tense, and hold me tighter in your grasp.

I raise my head, to look into the unfathomable depth of your eyes. "What's wrong?"

You shrug.

"Tell me."

Again, you shrug, and lace your fingers in my hair, brushing it away from my face.

"Liv?" I try once more.

"It's stupid. Don't worry about it," you insist, pressing a kiss to my forehead.

I sigh, and lay back against your chest, tracing my finger along your skin. "I don't know why you do that."


"Refuse to talk to me. Shut me out."

"Well, you do the same thing to me."

"True." I concede with another sigh. "But I'm trying not to, and I think I'm getting better."

You stop the movements of my hand, and pull me deeper into your arms, molding our bodies together. "It's just really silly, stupid and silly, and."


"It's just stupid and silly."

"All right." I sigh again.

You tense again, then shake your head. "I just had a jealousy attack."

"About what?"

"You, doing that, for other people. I told you, it's stupid."

I slide up higher along your body, and kiss you gently on your neck. "No." I kiss you again, and repeat my promise, "Just for you."

"No what? No it's not stupid? Or no you haven't."

I hush you with a kiss on your lips. "I love you," I whisper in between deepening kisses. "More than I've ever loved anyone."

1378 Delicate

"I love you too…" I manage, as you steal my breath with your deep kisses. I try to remember that we're talking, but your kisses are so distracting. I want you. I'm not supposed to want you though. You're supposed to be resting, supposed to be recuperating and getting stronger, not lying out here on the couch doing… what we're doing.

"Does it matter what I've done with other people? Knowing how I feel about you right now?" You ask me, looking into my eyes, judging my response.

"No, which is why I said it was stupid." I defend myself reflexively.

"It's not stupid. It's proof you love me. You don't like thinking of me being with someone else the way I am with you. But I'm trying to tell you that the person I am with you, isn't the same person I ever was before. Even if the actions may be the same, and I'm not saying that they are, they come from a new level of love, one I've never felt with anyone before."

I smile at you and accept the kiss you plant on my lips greedily. "So it doesn't bother you at all that I've…"

You quiet me, quickly. "I don't want to hear." You say. "I hate thinking of you with other people," you admit.

"So do I" I mumble as you claim my mouth in a possessive kiss.

"I think it's natural to be a little bit jealous. I mean, I'm secure enough in the fact that you love me to know that you wouldn't… you know, now, but you were someone before me."

"Yeah." I sigh, not wanting to remember what kind of person.

"So… had you?" You ask me, tracing lines with your fingers around my breasts.

"Had I?" I ask.

"Done that before… for anyone else?" You ask hesitantly.

"I hadn't." I say, quietly.

"I know." You say kissing me.

"How do you know?"

"I know you well enough to know how you reacted the first time. It surprised me how shy you were. I mean, for all the tough guy shit you pull all the time, you're really sweet and delicate inside."

"I'm a delicate flower." I say, and you laugh, and I laugh at what seems like the ridiculousness of the statement.

"You definitely are." You say, kissing me some more.

1379 BLOOM

"I'm a delicate flower?" You laugh at my response.

"Yep." I nod, and press a playful kiss to your lips.

"And what does that make you? A snowflake?"

"I'm not that delicate."

"Yeah, right."

"Am not!"

"Uh-huh." You tap my nose with your finger. "And who likes to be carried around like a delicate princess?"

"I do not!" I argue, with as much conviction as I can muster.

You wag your brows and smirk. "What happened earlier? May I remind you."

"I was sleepy, and tired." And not paying attention to what I was doing or saying, and my defenses was down. "That shouldn't count."

"Just admit it," you tickle my cheek with the lightest touch. "You like it when I take care of you."

Well, yeah. "It's nice sometimes, to know that there's someone you can rely on. Someone who'll watch over you."

"And someone there to catch you when you fall."

Do you think I do that for you? "Yeah," I agree, sliding my hands down and around your body, pulling you into a hug.

You lift my head, and kiss me gently. "We should go to sleep."

"I'm not exactly sleepy." I brush my lips along your skin, feeling goose-bumps rising to my touch. "Are you?"

"No, but we should. You're still…"

"Recovering, I know." I nibble softly up your neck. "But I want more."

"Horn dog," you accuse with a teasing grin.

I can see the want in your eyes, too. "Just missed you."

"Yeah?" You kiss me tentatively.

I deepen our contact. "Mmhmm?"

"Me, too."

1380 Once

On top of me, you kiss me, holding me down, while I protest, telling you you're supposed to be relaxing and at resting. I want you to take care of yourself. You're supposed to be asleep. We're not supposed to be going at each other like teenagers who need each other to breathe.

You touch me, and tease me. "Do you want me to stop?" You ask, your fingers swirling around my tightening nipples. You stare appraisingly down my body, a look of lust in your eyes that further drives my arousal.

"Ye..N.., Alex," I moan. My mind and my body are at odds, and fighting for control of my mouth.

"Yes, dear?" You ask, with an evil grin on your face. "Was that a yes or a no? I can stop if you want," you say, pulling your hand away.

My first instinct is to grab your hand and put it back against my skin. At the same time, I croak out "Resting."

"It sounds to me like you may be enjoying this."

I nod my head, and I feel guilty. "You need to rest."

"I need you."

"I'll be here tomorrow."

"Now." You whisper in my ear, your fingers sliding down my body.

I try to stifle my moan which makes you more persistent.

"You want this." You tell me, as you slip inside me.

You're definitely right about that. I do want this.

You tease me, sliding inside me before I can protest more. You drive me, quickly back to the edge, and you hold me still while I fall.

Touching me seems to have worn you out, too. You go limp in my arms, and kiss me gently, your eyes drooping as you lie on me. This time, when I lead you to bed, I know you're exhausted and you don't protest. We crawl into bed together, still showering each other with gentle kisses and 'I love yous'. Together, we snuggle into bed, into each other, and I hold you tightly to my chest.

Your eyes close, and open, while you try to stay awake, but I can tell that sleep is calling you, and within minutes you're asleep, with me only a few seconds behind.

Part 1381

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