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


"Domingo or Pavarotti?" I ask you.

"Neither," you say without pause. "Carreras."


"Really. Why do you look so shocked? What? Not expecting me to have a preference? Or recognize them?"

"Well... Maybe a little bit of both?"

"I did pass your mom's culture test."

"True." How could I have forgotten?

Suddenly your expression turns serious. "How is your mom?"

"Good, I guess." I hedge, not sure what, if anything, you're trying to get at.

"I bet she hates me now."

Ah. That. "Actually, I didn't tell her anything."

"What about Thanksgiving? We were supposed to..."

"I just told her you had to work..." I start to say. "And that we decided to cool things for a while."

"You didn't tell her...?"

"No." I smile up at you, and smooth my palm along your cheek. "Independent," I say, eager for the jovial lightness to return.


"I just told you. So how old were you?"

You chuckle. "Isn't that a cop out?"

Oh, like can you be straight and... I stop myself, and pull you towards me by your collar. "So? How old were you?"


"14! Were you coerced or something? I didn't even know what sex was when I was 14!"

"No, actually, I jumped the boy. How could you not know? What happened to sex ed?"

"I led a sheltered life, all right? Mom refused to sign the permission slip. 14? Wow."

"Yeah, well, some people bloom earlier than others, I guess." You smile. Seemingly thoughtful, you ask, "So what was that look for?"

"What look?" Really, what look?

"When I called you a cop out."

Oh. I bluff, "You accused me of being a cop out! What did you expect?"

"Come on, Sweetheart, I'm a detective, and I know you better than that."

What's the use? Might as well get this out and over with. Why do things have to be so complicated? Can't we get away from the past? Oh, but I guess I started it. Sighing, I explain, "Just remembered something you told me before... that we argued about."


"Labels. Specifically you and labels."

"Oh." Your face darkened. "Why does it really matter? What I am."

"No, not to me. I tried to tell you that before."

"I guess if loving you makes me a lesbian," you say, then shrug. "Oh well..."

I can feel my face split into a smile. "Really?" That's it? Suddenly, it's so easy? Or was that something you thought long and hard about in the hospital?

"Unless you're planning on pawning me off on Serena after you got tired of me."

My smile freezes, and I stare at you. You're grinning widely. This is obviously a joke, at least I'm supposed to take it as one. But... Is this about Serena and me? Or is this about me and you, and how committed I am to loving you?

"I'm not," I close my eyes, and reach up to kiss you, deep and slow...

362 Serious

You kiss me, deeply, but I can feel the jealously flooding through my body. I try to concentrate. Concentrate on the feeling of your lips pressing against mine.

You're kissing me because I said Serena. I brought her in here with us, when you weren't expecting it. I can tell from your face that you were shocked—shocked that I would bring her up. That I would bring her into what we have together, here, and now.

But you started it.

You had to bring up labels. Had to bring up the past.

Okay, so maybe that's not mature.

I'm not sure how I feel about being a lesbian. Or not being one. But you seem happy with my willingness to tell you that whatever loving you means I'll accept. I guess now I'm going to have to be willing to actually accept that.

But what about Serena?

Did you kiss her like this?

If you did, I don't think I want to know.

Who am I fooling? Of course I want to know.

I want to know that you feel differently about me. I think you do. I believe you do. But is it just wishful thinking?

I kiss you back, forgetting the jealousy. Forgetting the confusion that I feel flooding through me.

I pull back from you. "Why didn't you tell your mother?"

"Hmm?" You ask, your eyes still shut from the kiss.

"Why didn't you tell your mother?"

"It wasn't important for her to know?"

"You didn't want to tell her that I slipped."

"Does it really matter now?"

"What do you think she would have said?" I ask you.

"She would have said I told you so."


"She would have told me that she had told me you wouldn't be sober forever and that me expecting that was

irrational. She would have told me that alcoholism was a process, and that there would be backslides."


"I didn't want to hear it." You say slowly.

"She never said that to me."

"No. But she'd loved an alcoholic…"


"Your grandfather..." You say slowly.

"Yes. My mom understands. She knew. She was right. All right?" I concede; I plead. "Now can we put this behind us? Please?" I reach for your lips again, and you pull away, holding my wrist in your hand.

"Your mom didn't have a choice. But you do... Why..." You struggle for your words. "Why are you here?"

Wait. Why am I here? Didn't you spent the last x-number of weeks bringing me flowers, wooing me, as you said, so I'd come back here? Instead of saying that, I look into your eyes, and try to find answers or clues. "I don't understand."

"Why do you..."

"Why do I love you, Liv?" I ask you softly, and wait for your nod. "I thought we went down this road before. I just do."

"But Serena."

"I tried to explain to you last night. Guess I didn't do such a good job." I sigh, and search for a better way. Do I even have an answer for myself? A real one?

"I know what you said, I heard you, and I understood." You draw in a deep breath. "At least on some level I do. But when I think about her, about you and her..."

"You get jealous?"


"More than you were about Abbie?"

"Well..." You stop to think. "Yeah."

"You shouldn't be. Not about Serena. And not about Abbie either."

"When you kiss her..."

"You mean do I kiss her like this?" I ask you, and reach up to demonstrate. This time you let me.

"Do you?"

"No." I hold onto your gaze, and take your hand into mine.

When you realize where I'm about to lead you, you hesitate.

"Please," I whisper, guiding your fingers through the front of my robe. "Touch me."

You pause at the entrance. Involuntarily, I buck my hips; and easily, you slide in.

"I don't get like this just kissing Serena," I tell you, fighting the desire to abandon myself to your caress. "Or anyone else for that matter."

364 Hopeless

You slowly, gently, carefully, slide my fingers between your legs. I feel the warm wetness pooling there, and feel a mixture of pride and happiness mixing in my soul. Your bright blue eyes look up into mine, fully aware. We're almost joined together by our eyes, a palpable connection between us.

"No one makes me feel like this, just from a kiss." You mumble, as my fingers slide against you, knowing immediately what you want from them. I let them press inside you, and you moan gently. You close your eyes and let your back arching against my hand. Your fingers snake behind my head and pull my head down into a deep kiss.

You moan against my lips. Slowly and gently, I pull my lips from our kiss. "I love you," I whisper.

"I love you too Liv," You manage, between moans.

Slowly, I pull my hand away from you, and you moan. I can feel your disappointment, but I stop you. You try to pull my hand back to you, back into you. "No, Alex." I whisper.

Your eyes open, and you stare at me, looking almost afraid. "Please?"

"No, look at me." I say, gently resting my hand on your stomach.

I stare at you, deep in your eyes. Seeing the confusion running behind yours, seeing the pain and the heartache I've put there, seeing the love flowing from them making me feel whole. "I love you." I say.

You smile, a gentle smile. One that's full of promise and caring. "I love you too."

With that, I lean down and kiss you. "No one else makes me feel the way you do." You smile again. "You make me whole." I mutter. "I don't want to go back to living without you. Not again."

You turn over and sit up, pushing yourself into my lap facing me. You lace our fingers together, and slowly, gently you kiss me on the lips.

"I don't either." You say.

I melt into your kiss as warmth floods through me. My fingers glide back into your open robe, sliding over your body.

I listen to your moans, your deep sighs, as I find my goal. Your screams echo in my ears as I drive you over the edge.

I watch your face, shower you with kisses, knowing how hopelessly in love with you I am.


Time seems so irrelevant, when we're together, like this, just the two of us. My head pillowed on your extended arm, I can feel your steady breathing against my neck. Your other arm is wrapped around my waist, your fingers laced with mine, holding me to you... I feel so warm, so protected, so safe.

When we're together, like this, time almost comes to a standstill. At least I wish it would...

I wonder if you're still asleep, or if you even slept at all... I remember kissing you; I remember you telling me how much you love me; I remember screaming out my pleasure... Somehow I don't remember drifting off.

Then a quiet rumble moves through my middle. Then I hear a quiet chuckle behind my back. Guess that answers my first question.

"Time to feed your belly again, huh?" You whisper, with a hint of snicker in your voice.

I choose to ignore your remark. "How long have you been awake?"

"Who said I've been asleep?"

"Have you just been holding me while I nap? I hope I didn't..." I twist around in your embrace, and notice the smirk on your face. "What's that for?"

"What's what for?"

Great, now you're answering my questions with questions. "You look like a cat who ate a canary."

"Well... you're blond, and I..."

"Oh, hush." I say, and kiss you. I don't need that kind of reminder right now.

You're still smirking when I pull away.

"Shut up," I gasp, trying to catch my breath.

"I guess I'm good, huh? Really, really good."

"What do you mean?" Why did I ask? Do I really want to know?

"First, I zonked you out. Then, as soon as you woke up, you're hungry. So, that can only mean one thing..."

"Shut. Up." I warn with a big smile. "So what are you in the mood for? Are you hungry?"

"Why? You offering?"


"Okay," you relent. "What do you wanna eat? I saw some stuff earlier I could whip another surprise together, if you like."

"You sure you don't mind?" That's so sweet. I could definitely go for another round of your cooking. In fact, I could so easily, too easily get used to it... "We could order out, too."

366 Cooking

I listen to your rhythmic breathing. I love the way you fall asleep in my arms, still letting me gently kiss you. I'm not sure why I'm so content, happy just to hold you safe in my arms and watch you sleep next to me. I feel you starting to move, pushing against me, taking deeper breaths, testing your boundary against me. Your stomach rumbles and I slide my hand over it gently, snickering at your body's response. You look at me sleepily, smiling, as I brag about my prowess. You tell me to shut up, smiling, happy. At least you don't disagree.

Before I know it, you're sitting on the kitchen cupboard watching me combine things that I've found in your pantry.

"Where'd you find those?" You ask me as I put spices into a small sauce pot.

I smile at you. "Been that long?"

"I don't do so well in the kitchen."

"Yeah, I noticed."

"Hey!" You say, swatting my arm.

"Yeah, yeah, I know, you can bake." I say, restoring your smile.

"Yeah, I can."

"So why don't you?"

"What do you want?" you ask, jumping off the counter.

"I don't know, surprise me. If neither of us are dead after dinner, we'll know we're a success." I say, with a smile.

"I'm not sure that death is going to be a great guidepost for success." You mumble.

"Okay, fine, if I'm not deathly ill…"

You swat me again. "I'm not going to make you sick."

"We'll see," I say with a smile.

"You just wait." You say, pulling a pan out from under the sink.


"God, I feel sick," you complain, holding your stomach.

"Me, too. Why did you let me eat so much?"

"I didn't shove food down your mouth, Alex."

"No, you just made everything so delicious. Who knew dishes like that could come out of my kitchen."

"Yeah, well, wait til you come to dinner at my place."

"Is that an invitation, Detective?"

"How does next Friday sound? Dinner? And maybe a weekend movie marathon?"

"Sappy romance?"

"Sure," you say, grinning mischievously. "On one condition."


"You're bringing the dessert. The baked kind."

"Okay." I smile up at you, settling further into your lap. "So what do you wanna do next?"

"Sit here and let my stomach hang itself? Why? What do you have in mind?"

"I could think of a way or two to work off some of this food."

"My, aren't we a horndog?"

"Did I say anything about sex, Liv?"

"No… but…"

"So who's the horndog here? I know it's not me!"

You blush and change the subject. "So what do you wanna do?"

"We could play Twister!"

"Excuse me?"

"Come on! Trevor got it for me for Christmas. I haven't even opened the box."

"Twister. How old are we?"

"Not that old." I say, and use my little girl charm on you. "Come on."

"Oh, all right," you agree, shaking your head. "I can't believe I'm doing this…"

"I'll be right back!" I tell you, hop off the couch, and run into the bedroom, before you can change your mind.

"Hey, Sweetheart?" I hear the phone ringing then your voice from the next room. "You want me to get that?"

"I don't know, could be mom…"

"Hello." I hear you answer.

Guess for some odd reason, you want to talk to my mom…

"Yes, it's me. Where are you?" Suddenly you're sounding all cop.

Okay, you're not talking to my mom. Who could it be? I decide to leave the box on the shelf, and climb down the stool.

"Uh huh. Yes. That's right. You did the right thing. Uh huh…" You nod as you stare at me, with a look of concern. "Just stay there, Serena, we'll be right over."

"It's she okay?" I ask as you hang up the phone.

"Let's get dressed. I'll fill you in on the way."

368 Trouble

I try not to laugh as you storm in from the other room.

"Is she okay?" You demand.

"Umm…yeah, she's okay." I say slowly.

"What happened?" you ask me, crossing the room in a few steps.

"Come on, get your coat, we gotta go." I tell you as, I run into the bedroom to slip into clothes that aren't pajamas. Quickly, I pull on my jeans and grab one of your shirts. You follow me like a puppy, asking questions.

"Come on Liv, what happened?"

"Alex, we really got to go."

"Olivia Benson," You say, grabbing my arm and spinning me into you. You look furious, which makes it all the harder not to laugh. "Where is Serena?"

"She's at the precinct."


"She was arrested."


"She was in a bar fight and she was arrested." I say, trying my best to look sympathetic.



"Serena, the ADA, Serena?"


"Serena was in a bar fight." You say again, slowly this time.


"Is she okay?" You ask.

"Yeah, but apparently her sparring partner was taken to the ER."


"I'm not kidding Alex."

"I can't believe this." You say, grabbing your coat and following me out the door.


"Did she say what happened?" I ask you while we're in the cab.

"No, she was hysterical. Just said a uniform picked her up, and brought her to the precinct," you tell me, trying hard not to laugh.

I glare at you, all the while legal theories fly through my mind like it's my first year in law school. "I take it that was her one phone call?"


Wonder if I should call Trevor. I look at you. No, I'm not ready for his snide remarks. "Maybe it's all just a misunderstanding."

"She put the guy in the hospital, Alex."

"Some accident? I can't see her getting into a fist fight. And with a guy? What? A five-two a hundred and ten pound weakling?"

"Maybe she hit him with her briefcase. You people lug around a ton of bricks in there."

"You're not helping, Liv, you know that."

You look at me. "Who said I'm helpin…" Suddenly, your cell phone ring. You glance at the caller ID. "It's the captain," you tell me, and flip the receiver open. "Yes, Captain."

Great. Didn't realize you're on call… and I was hoping you'd be there with me. Must be something bad, as I see a storm cloud forming over your head.

"Yes, she's here. Okay, I'll let her know," you finally say, and hang up.

"Let me know what?"

"The captain just look the guy's statement."

"Don? Taking statement? What guy?"

"Serena's guy. The one she put in the hospital. He's gonna press charges."

"Why Don? We don't handle simple assault and battery… Oh, my god. He's not…"

"Yep. Attempted rape."

"Excuse me? This is not happening, this is so not happening." I can't stop shaking my head. Please let me wake up. Please let this be a nightmare.

"Hate to tell you this, Sweetheart, it is happening."

"It's really not so funny, Olivia. Can you imagine what's gonna happen if it gets to court?" Well, and before it gets to court too. Arthur's going to have a cow. A whole herd of rainbow colored cows.

"I imagine you won't be trying it."

"No, but I might have to testify."


"And tell the world she's a lesbian."

"So? She's out, isn't she?"

"Not exactly, I mean, Arthur knows, Jack knows. But depending on the questioning, it may also come out in open court that you and I…"

The snicker left your face in a hurry.

"It's not so funny anymore, is it?"

370 Meeting

I bite my lip as you fly into Serena's arms. "What happened?" You ask her pressing the hair back off her face, searching for indications she's been in a fight.

"It was the most ridiculous…"

"There's a guy saying you tried to rape him." I say, trying not to smile.

"I did what?" Serena asks.

You interrupt me, "Let's not worry about that right now," you say, staring at her. I can feel jealously flooding through me, but I try to keep in check. Try to keep cool. Try not to make a fool out of myself.

"Did she just say I tried to rape someone?"

"Serena, don't worry about it." You scold her, shooting me an evil glare..

"No, I mean, I'm worried about it. Tried to rape him? Is that even possible?" Serena asks you.

That just presses the wrong button. "Yeah, it is possible." I say curtly, pulling her attention back to me.

"Sorry, sorry, but, I didn't…I mean…he approached me, and he wouldn't…"

"So you hit him?" you ask her, obviously annoyed.

"Not until he tried to put his hand down my skirt."

"Oh." You say, deadpan.

"The third time," Serena continues.

This time I interrupt, "We'll still have to take a report from him, listen to his side."

"You believe me, don't you?" Serena asks, looking at me like a lost sheep.

Suddenly, I see four sets of eyes glaring into me. Yours are angry and hers are pleading.

"Yeah, Yeah, I believe you," I say, "But I have to remain objective."

"Right, right." Serena says distractedly.

"Liv, can I talk to you for a second?" You ask me, pulling me away. As soon as we're in a corner by ourselves you attack, "What's your problem?"


"You have to remain objective?"

"I'm a cop."

"That's my best friend."

"That doesn't mean I can just believe what she says."

"So you think she actually tried to rape some scumbag in a bar?"

"No, but…"

"Then stop acting like such a jerk." You ask, as you turn back on your heel and walk back to Serena.


As I walk away from you, I hear a little voice in my head telling me maybe you're acting this way out of jealousy.

Jealousy? For what? A bigger voice snaps. Even so, it doesn't give you the right to act like such a giant ass hole. What if it were me in Serena's shoes? Do you want me treated the same way you're treating her?

But it's not you! I can almost hear you whine in my head.

Oh, grow up. You need to.

"Were there any witnesses?" I ask Serena.

"I'm not sure. Maybe, possibly, it was all…" she rambles.

Suddenly, you cut in, "Should you be talking to her without counsel?"

I whip around and glare at you.

You're ignoring me; your attention focused on Serena. "She is the SVU ADA, who may or may not be trying your case."

"There can't possibly be a case, can it, Alex?" Now she's all frantic. "It's ridiculous. The bastard's the one guilty of assault!"

I'm not sure I've ever seen her like this. "Serena… maybe Liv is right…"

"You're kidding me, right? Alex? Tell me this is not going to trial. I cannot… Tell me there's no case…"

"I…" I start, then sigh. "Let me call Trevor for you."

"I don't know, Alex…"

"At the very least, he could give you a referral." I tell her, trying to sound reassuring. "And get you out of here."

"God, Arthur's going to fire me, and he would be showing leniency" she sinks her head in her hands. "Especially after what he said to you."

I can't help but wrap my arms around her. "It's going to be okay, Serena. I started the public fight. Meanwhile, yours was self-defense."

"Assuming everyone finds his story less credible." You mumble, then add quickly. "Which I'm sure they would."

The next time we're alone together, I'm so going to give you a piece of my mind. Right now though, I just take a deep breath and nod in agreement. "I'm sure any reasonable jury would find your story more credible."

"Jury? I can't go to trial on this. I just can't."

"Shhh… Serena, calm down." Kissing her on the head, I try to sooth her nerves. "Everything's going to be all right. I'm sure he'll come to his senses as soon as he realizes you're an ADA."

"You think so?"

"I'm sure so." I tell her quietly, gently stroking her back.

I don't have to look at you to know you're fuming. You and I will just have to work this out later…

372 Pony Up

I see you fuming at me, and I don't care.

Well, I do care, but that doesn't stop me from pointing out that if we're prosecuting this one, you're doing the prosecuting. After all, you are the lawyer for the sex crimes unit, so attempted rape is definitely well within your legal forte. You glare at me as I mention it, but then you agree. That makes Serena all the more hysterical, and soon you're back to lavishing attention on her.

I listen to you trying to calm her down. You offer to bring in Trevor. Yeah, like that's what Serena really needs, your asshole brother. At least the sleaze is a decent attorney, but do you offer him to all your friends in legal trouble? Wait, why are all your friends in legal trouble?

I watch with flames in my eyes as you kiss her head, holding her close to you. Jealous as hell, I stare at you, watching your fingers in her hair, watching you pull her close. And I genuinely hate this, hating watch you being so damn, nice to her.

Yeah, yeah, she's your friend, but I'm…I'm what, your girlfriend? Your partner? The love of your life? The grain in your coffee? You should be more sensitive to....

Oh who the hell am I kidding.

This is only going to make you hate me, make you angry. And after this, after you're hugging Serena, you're going to come back to me, to love me. Yeah, I hate seeing you, touching her, being with her, but you're not going to stop being her friend for me, and I really wouldn't want you to. I guess that leaves me to pony up.

"Look, Serena," I say, sitting down next to her. "We'll take care of this." I take her hand into mine, and look her in the eye. "This stuff happens all the time. El will talk to this guy. He'll see that he's picking the wrong fight, and I'm sure, that once we get all the stories straight here, well, I'm sure that he'll be the one in jail for attempted rape."

Serena looks into my eyes, "Thanks Liv, that means a lot."

"No problem," I say, with a smile. "I'm going to go find out what's happening with this guys statement, okay? Alex, call Trevor, we can get him down here and take Serena home."

I see you smile at me for the first time since we got here.

I stand up slowly, patting Serena's hand once more, and smiling back at you.

Walking towards the hallway, I whip out my phone and dial Elliot, sure that he's in the middle of taking a statement from what has to be the most unlikely rape target in all of Manhattan.

373 BAIL

The only thing good about having a scumbag defense attorney for a big brother is that I could call him, and he'll have to show up at the drop of a hat. Yep, that's about the only benefit.

The way he's looking at you right now, I want to wring his neck. Or should I shove his balls up his ass for the patronizing way he's treating Serena? What's with men and pretty women they can't have?

"Well, Ms. Cabot, whatever my client told you, if your office decides to use it against her, you'll be sure..."

"Mr. Langan, I can assure you..."

"Will you two just stop it?" Serena speaks up, finally her old self again. "What's wrong with you. I'll say it again, I'll say it a thousand times, no wonder people think you're an item. There's so much tension in this room, it's not even funny."

Trevor and I both stare at her.

"Look, Trevor, I really appreciate you coming here, at this hour, and getting me out. if Alex hadn't told you already, I have no interest in men, which is probably why the guy's making up whatever he's making up."

If this weren't such a serious situation, the look on Trevor's face was positively laughable.

"If you people don't need me, I think I'm going to go home," Serena continues.

"Do you, um, do you want us to stay with you?"

The three of us turn and stare at you, all for different reasons, I'm sure.

"What? Afraid I might jump bail?" She teases.

"No," you explain bravely. "I'm not asking as a cop."

"It's okay, Olivia, I appreciate the offer. I think I just want to be alone. And sleep."

"I can drop you off," Trevor pipes in.

"Would you? Thank you." She gets up from the bench, and he helps her with her coat. "You know, speaking as your sister's friend, you're kinda cute. If only I weren't gay..."

Great. What's this world coming to? What's next? Purple broccoli?

"Can I see you for a minute?" Without waiting for an answer, I drag you down the corridor and into the bathroom.

You look at me like the sky's about to fall on you.

I kiss you, softly at first, then a little deeper. Finally pulling away, I smile, and smooth my fingers against your flushed cheeks. "Thank you."

"For what?"

"The change in attitude."

"Well, I got to thinking... She's still your friend, and I, I don't want you to give that up."

"Thank you." I kiss you again, sliding our bodies together. "Let's go home."

"Yeah, let's..."

As we walk down the station steps, I ask you, "So, what did Elliot or the captain say?"

374 Appearances

"Elliot said the guy was a priest."

I watch as your face falls, your eyes getting wide. "He was a priest??" you ask slowly.

I look at you and smile, "No, sweetie, it was a joke. Ha ha?"

Quickly you hit me in the arm. "What'd he really say?"

"Apparently, the guy has a record."

"That doesn't mean he can't be a rape victim."

"True," I concede. "But, they managed to talk to the bartender who said he watched the guy harassing women all night, and that Serena had clearly told him to leave her alone at least twice in his presence."

"That's good,"

"Yeah, anyway, he said he was going to boot the guy himself, when he saw the guy…grab Serena. You know, right before she decked him."

"So his accusations seem a little…ridiculous."

"Exactly, I mean, it doesn't get her off the hook for decking the guy, but it's certainly becoming a tad bit more justifiable."

"Yeah. I just hope…"

"What did Branch say to you?"


"Serena said, 'after what Branch said to you.' What was that?"

"He wanted me to keep my private life private."

"Ah." I say, not wanting to hear more.

"It's going to be harsh for her." You say, staring off into space.

"You don't think they'd fire her or something?"

"I don't know, I mean, it'd be hard for them to justify it, especially if this guy's story doesn't make sense."

"It was self defense." I supply.

"Yeah, but it's also largely about appearances, and…I just don't know."

"I'm sure it will be okay," I supply, hoping, that somehow, it will be.

375 MOOD

"Is he actually sticking to his story?" I can't believe it didn't occur to me before to ask.

"Unfortunately." You give my hand a small squeeze. "At least so far."


"Maybe he'll change his mind."

"I hope it won't be too late by then."

"Are you okay, Sweetheart?"

"Yeah." I sigh, fighting the urge to rest my head on your shoulder. "I just don't know why appearances are so important."

"You mean with your boss?"

"And everything else." Like, now, only our hands are touching because we're in a cab.

You shrug. "I'm sure everything will be fine."

"Yeah." What else can you say, right?

Soon enough, we're back at my place. "I think I'm going to take a shower."

"Want me to join you?"

For some reason, I hesitate. "Sure."

Under the water, we kiss, we wash each other. I love the feel of your skin under my hands, the touch of you against my body. I want to forget the last few hours, everything, and just lose myself in you.

Somehow I can't; and I don't know why...

"Are you okay, Alex?" You ask again, your voice filled with concern. Except, this time, you're hovering above me, in bed.

"Yeah, I just..." Finally, I just shake my head. "Do you mind if we waited?"

"Um. Sure." You roll off in a hurry.

"I'm sorry, I just..."

"It's all right, Alex." You mumble, staring up the ceiling, your feelings clearly hurt.

"I'm so sorry, Liv..." I raise up, moving to climb on top of you. "Let's try."

Your hand stops me. Turning to your side, you face me. "It's okay, Sweetie," you say, smiling, brushing my hair from my eyes.

"It is really?"


I think you're lying; but there's really not much I can do right now. So I accept your answer.

"It's late anyway," you kiss me lightly on the lips. "Let's get some shut eye."

"I love you." You know that, right?

"I love you, too, Alex."

I kiss you again, and roll back onto my side. "Liv?"


"Hold me?"

376 Tears

I slide my arm around you, pulling you into me. My disappointment melts when you ask me to hold you, and quickly, I feel every protective bone in my body take control of my mind. If you want me to hold you, I will, and I will make you feel safe and cared for, even if it kills me. I want to show you, tell you, that I'll protect you from whatever is worrying you, whatever's on your mind. Instead, I'm relegated to simply holding you close to me, pulling you into my arms. I can feel your breathing, slow and shallow, and slowly, very slowly, I feel your body starting to shake.

"Alex?" I whisper into your ear, confirming that you're awake.

"I'm fine," you say, with tears in your voice.

I hear your sniffle and I pull you closer, squeezing you in my arms. "It's okay," I say, rocking you into me, as the tears start to flow harder..

"It's not okay Liv." You whine.

"Sure it is, Serena will be fine." I say, trying to be soothing, trying to make you feel better.

"It's not just that." You say, slowly.

"What's wrong Alex?"

"It's just…this whole thing. That we have to pretend, that we have to live these perfect lives that lead into the expectations of what people think we should be."

"But we don't have to do that." I say, trying to stop your tears.

"Of course we do. Look, even you buy into that. Remember when Elliot told you to grow up? You were willing to dump me over…"

"That's not exactly what happened."

"I don't want to fight."

"I know." I say, slowly, letting the self defensive anger leave me.

"I just, I just want it to be fair."

"It's not, though."

"I know, and that's not fair."

I chuckle in spite of myself, "You're right, it's not fair."

"I'm glad you're here Liv." You say, snuggling against me.

"I'm glad I'm here too," I say, smelling your hair, and giving you a quick squeeze. Before long, both of us are in a deep sleep, still wrapped tightly together…

377 NEWS

"I don't suppose you can get me a job with Trevor's firm." Serena wanders into my office, and flops down in the chair.

I walk around to the front of my desk. "What are you talking about?"

"I just talked to Arthur. Well, actually, he called me into his office."

"He didn't..." Righteous anger rises from the pit of my stomach. "He can't possibly fire you."

"Well, no, at least not yet."

"But?" There has to be a but. I'm sure I'm not going to like this. Really don't know why he thinks he has the right to... because he's the DA. I sigh. "What's he going to do?"

"Which do you want, Alex? The official or unofficial sentence?"


"I'm on leave. Vacation, technically. Pending outcome of the investigation."

"What? He's going to take the word of some perv over yours? I could wall paper my apartment with the man's rap sheet!"

"Well, you know how dad is. What we do have direct..."

"Bearing on his office. Yeah, yeah." I finish it for her. "You're taking this well."

"What else can I do? Kill myself?"

"You were much more upset the night before." To put it mildly.

"Yeah, I thought about it." She smiles and taps her fingers. "At least now the cat can come out of the bag."

"I thought you don't make an effort..."

"To hide? No. But my mom's always been in denial; now she can't."


"So, how's Paradise? And the make up sex?"

"Who said..." Furiously, I blush. "How did you..."

"It's written all over your face, not to mention right here," she points to her neck.

"Oh, christ!" How did I miss that? Did you notice it? How come you didn't tell me?

"Knock, knock."

I look towards the door, and see you standing just outside.

"Speak of the angel, huh?" She winks at my besotted smile, and turns around. "Hey, Olivia. I hope you're here about my case."

378 Surprise

"It was recanted," I say with a huge smile, blowing into your office and being only slightly surprised to see Serena sitting in your chair. You're sitting above her, on the edge of your desk, and she's flopped out, staring intently at your neck.

"What was?" You ask me, pulling your shirt up.

"The guys statement! He admitted that he was the one who came onto you," I say, motioning to Serena, who's sitting a little too close to you for my liking. I try to keep my jealousy in check. I try to keep my jealousy in check.

"That's great!" You yell jumping off your desk and throwing your arms around my neck. Suddenly, I'm glad I fought the urge to be nasty.

"Yeah, it is." I say slowly, smiling happily at the feeling of you pressing against me.

"So what were you guys talking about?" I ask as you pull back

"My meeting with Branch," Serena moans.

"Is everything okay?" I ask slowly.

"Yeah, I get an unexpected break."

"It's too bad I don't have any more time off," you say.

I reach my hand out for your protectively. I want your days off to be with me, so I say a silent thank you prayer that your vacation days are all but over.

"It's okay," Serena says, "I think I'm going to go out of town, get a rest. Get laid."

Now I'm glad that you're not going with her. "Serena!" You say, batting her arm, like you do mine, when I say something outrageous.

"What Alex? God knows I'm not a nun."

"Isn't that sort of how you got into this mess?" you ask her.

"I wasn't trying to get laid, not by that fucking backwards hick."

"Were you drinking?" You ask her, and I feel my face flush. Oh Jesus.

"Look, Alex, not everyone you love is a fucking alcoholic." She says, up in your face.

Yeah, thanks, I'm right here, I think to myself. Your face goes pale and both of you turn to look at me. Serena looks at the floor. "I'm sorry Olivia," she says slowly.

"Don't worry about it," I say, trying to be light, but inside, I feel like dying…


"Anyway, I should get going, before Arthur hears the news, and I'm no longer on vacation." Serena moves towards the door. "Thanks for everything, Olivia. And again, I'm sorry. I really didn't mean anything... Anyway, I'm sorry."

"Sure," you mumble, looking like she just threw your kitten out of a speeding vehicle.

"I'll catch you two lovebirds later," she says, and closes the door behind her.

"Look, Alex, I should get going, too..."

Oh, no, you're not leaving like this. Looping an arm around your waist, I pull you towards me, backing up until I can lean against my desk. "I'm really sorry, Liv. It just, I wasn't thinking."

"It's okay..."

"No, it's not. I should have been more careful... more considerate."

You remain silent, in agreement.

Do you know how hard it is to look into those doleful puppy dog eyes of yours? "I'm just worried about Serena, you know?"


"She's been drinking more than usual lately, and I don't know why."

"Did you ask?"

"You saw the way she just reacted, Liv. How could I?"

"You did me."

"That's different."

"How so?"

"She's my friend, and you are..." The person I want to spend the rest of my life with. I pull you closer still, straightening your collars, and leaving my hands around your neck. "And you're different."

The corners of your mouth twitched. "Oh?"

"You're much more than just my friend," I breathe against your lips, then kiss you.



"Why was she sitting in your chair?"

You're jealous about that? I can't help but be amused. "Because I wasn't sitting in it when she walked in, and that one is piled with papers?"

You follow my head, and see the stack of folders. "Oh. Okay..."

"Now, can I ask you a question?"

Suddenly you look apprehensive. "Yeah?"

"Did you know about this?" Smiling, I pull down my shirt, and point to the general area of the hickey.

The sheepish look on your face provides the answer.

"Why didn't you tell me? I could have worn a turtle neck..." I start. Then realization dawns. "Or, next time you want to mark me, you should pick some place more risqué. Maybe here..."

380 Small Talk

I watch as you point to the hickey that I left on your neck the night before. Okay, so maybe I didn't mean to…totally. Just a little. I try to not look like I knew it was there, but I fail miserably.

You frown at me, but you have a smile in your eyes. I try impishly to feign ignorance.

I smile as you tell me next time, I should aim lower, as you pull your shirt down and show me the top of the gentle curve of your breast. "Okay," I say, smiling, "I can do that," as I slowly kiss you on the newly exposed skin.

You moan which only encourage me further. I pull you up onto your desk, as I kiss you, kiss your mouth, kiss your cheeks, kiss your neck.

"Touch me, Liv," you moan in my ear.

I want to--want to give you what you want from me. I want to touch you, feel you, and slowly I start to slide my hands up your shirt, but I think better of it. "Someone could just walk in here." I say, pulling your shirt back up.

"They'll knock first," You say with your arms still wrapped around my neck.

"And that'll give me three seconds to pull your clothes back on."

"Well you'll have to get yours on too," You say with a half smile.

"Alexandra Cabot." I say, smiling at you.

"What?" You say, batting your eyes at me, pretending to be innocent.

"You remember this when you accuse me of being horny all the time."

"You are though."

I kiss you carefully. "Only with you."

"Good, that's the way I want it," You say, smiling back at me.

"Well, darling, I think I better get back. I mean, I wasn't supposed to be gone this long." I say, with a final kiss as I take all my willpower and push away from you.

You reach for me, and give me another quick kiss on the nose.

"Meet you tonight?" You say.

"Yeah, I'm probably going to be late, but I'll definitely be there." I say with a warm grin.

"It's a date."

Part 381

Return to Law & Order Fiction

Return to Main Page