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


"What? You afraid you're going to discover the little exhibitionist in you?" I touch my fingers to your jacket lapel, caressing the leather as I would your skin.

"Stop it, Alex! I mean it!" You try to stifle your yelp.

"Stop what?" I feign innocence. "I'm just trying to get the spot of grease off your collar."

"Right," you mumble, looking around, as if for a place to hide.

I suck in a quick breath, and tug at your arm. "Come on, baby, please? I want…" I murmur throatily, in a way only you would recognize. "I need…"

"Shhhhhhh…" You hush, drawing attention to us. "…it!" You add, to cover your outburst.

I just smile and grab your finger. "Are you okay?" I ask, rubbing it. "That must've hurt."

"Yeah, ow!" You pretend. "Alex! Stop it!" You whisper loudly.

"I'm just trying to make sure it doesn't bruise," I justify, making slow circles around your finger tip.

"Please, Alex, stop?" You whine, blushing furiously.

"All right, if you insist," I agree, and let your hand drop. "Boy, is it hot in here!" I fan myself. "Don't they know winter's over?" I grouse, and start to undo the button at my throat. Then another one.

Your eyes are bugging out of your head when I reach the third, and you grab my hand. "Okay, you win."

"Win what?" I ask, completing the question with a quiet whimper.

"Please Alex…"

"Please what?" I repeat the performance. "What do you want? What would you like me to do? Would you like to watch me do this?" I cross my arms casually, making small movements with my fingers. Really, I'm just rubbing the pads of my fingertips together. Judging by the glazed look in your eyes though, I'm sure I know where your imagination is taking you. "Wouldn't you rather do this yourself?" I smile slowly, and reach for your hand.

"Okay, Alex," you tighten your grip. "Let's pay for this stuff and get out of here."

"And?" I lick my lips and bite down.

You try hard not to stare. "We're not buying my fish a church, okay?"


"And what, Alex?"

Leaning in, I flick my tongue quickly at your earlobe. "Mmmm…" I can almost taste your shiver. "So who's insatiable?"

"That's so not fair…"

"When we get home," I lace my words with suggestion, "I'll let you win some other ways…"

462 Embarrassed

I can feel my face burning as you tease me. I can tell by your face that you know you have me wrapped around your little finger. I can feel arousal flooding me, and it's entirely…irritating. I watch with my mouth open as you start unbuttoning your shirt, while you tease your moans into my ears.

"You can tease me when we get home…" you say gently.

I slide past you, pushing the cart to the cashier. Throwing fish food, fish castles, fish plants, fish medicine, and various and sundry other fish materials onto the counter, I look up at the cashier who hasn't bothered to move. He must be seventeen, if that. Tell me he's new and this will take all year. I look at him and realize he's not looking at me, or the small mountain of fish material in front of him. I look at him for a second, quizzically. He seems to be intent on something… I follow his eyes and realize very quickly what's so riveting.

Your shirt, the buttons are still undone. You don't seem to notice him ogling you, but I can feel the anger rising in my throat. Those are mine and this kid, this pervert, has no right, no business. Well. Okay, maybe they're not mine, per se, but that view's for me.

You smile at me, adjusting so both he and I have a better view.


You know? You know that he's…and you're…and…both of you are getting off on this. Him from the lace covered cleavage and you from the steam that must be coming out of my ears.

"What's wrong sweetie?" You mumble loud enough for him to hear.

For the first time he looks at me, and then back at you, and then back at me as the stages of recognition cross his face.

"It's cold in here," you complain, as you shove your hands into the back pockets of my jeans.

I stare at the kid, and he stares at me and then back at you. I can feel your breath on my neck, warm and wet. Good Lord.

"Are you going to ring those up?" I ask the kid, snapping him back to reality. I'm desperate to get out of here before your hands are in my shirt and this kid is having an orgasm.

I'm going to kill you.

I'm so going to kill you.

But it'll be fun.


I watch with amusement as you roll the cart out to the parking lot like your pants are on fire. As soon as I unlock the trunk, you start shoving the bags in.

Before getting into the passenger seat, I hand you the keys. This time, you accept without protest. Guess the talk about trust and allowing me the means to show that I do believe in you helped.

You run the cart back in equal hurry. In less than a minute, you're knocking on the window. The look in your eyes makes me breathless. I know one way or another I'm going to pay for what I did to you in the store. If that's the case, I might as well have my fun while I can. I smile and unlock the door for you.

"I can't believe you did that," you grouse as you're sitting down.

"Do what, Liv?"

"Don't tell me you didn't see the way the kid ogle at you, down your shirt."

"Oh, come on, it's just a little lace edging. it's not like he could see through the cami to the bra even."

"Imagination is a very powerful thing, especially for a hormonal teenager," you respond, starting the car. "He's probably got you naked wrapped around me, or better yet, him, before we even walked out the store."

"Just from a little skin? Come on, Elliot's seen more than that," I remind you the night you saw me in the red dress.

"I'll have to remember to poke out his eyes," you mumble, focusing on the traffic.

"Don't tell me you haven't noticed, he's got much better at home."

"Yeah, well, we're not talking about Kathy's assets..."

"So you did notice!" I tease you, ignoring the tinge of jealousy that crept up unexpectedly.

"That's beside the point." Before I can reply, you continue, "We're talking about what's mine, I mean, yours."

"Yours, huh?"

"Yours, I meant. I was distracted. Didn't you see the cabby just now, trying to run us over?"

"Uh huh. So you don't object if I do this, to my own body, while you concentrate on getting us home?" I ask, while slipping my hand under my shirt.

"Stop it, Alex! I mean it!"

I raise a brow at you and drawl. "You should know by now, ordering me around, unless you're a judge, will get you nowhere."

"I'm not sure even a judge could give you orders," you mutter under your breath, then flinch, expecting me to hit you.

"Sticks and stones, Liv," I shake my head, and put my seat in recline.

Glancing over nervously, you ask, "What are you doing?"

Conjuring my most sultry voice, I respond, "Just getting comfortable." Slowly, I arch and stretch along my seat, moaning softly as my muscles relax.

"Alex, baby, please..."

You don't learn, do you? I chuckle to myself and close my eyes. "Please what?" I whisper, ending the question with a whimper.

"You know you're so going to get it when we get home."

"Oh, I'm counting on it." Slowly, I smile and rest my hand just below my navel. I think I can hear the responding swallow from you.

464 Tease

You aren't going to. You can't be. You just can't. Not while I'm. Not while you're. Not while we're.

I stare at the road, determined not to let you tease me. I stare so intently on the lights ahead of me, I miss them changing. I hear a beep that forces me back to reality. "You paying attention?" you whimper.

I won't give in. I won't. I can't. I must not. I can't look over at what you're…

And then you moan….

God damn it, my head whips towards you, as you giggle like a child. "Gotcha." You say.

"You're going to get us killed."

"I don't know what you're talking about." You say, as I watch you seductively slip your hand further down your body.

"What's with you tonight?" I ask.

"Your face is priceless." You smile at me angelically.

"Great." I mumble back. "I'm glad I can amuse you."

"Oh, it's far beyond amusing." You say, letting your fingers rest on my thigh, tracing tiny circles up my leg.

I feel my foot hitting the gas harder. Get home. Now. Right the hell now.

"Sweetie, I think you're speeding."

"I'm a cop."


"My fellow officers would understand."

That makes you laugh…a light gentle laugh that makes my heart happy.

And then I hear it catch in your throat as we turn the corner to your apartment, our fish's new home.

"Shit," you mumble under your breath.

"What?" I ask you slowly.

"That's Trevor's car…"


Fuck me. Just what I need now. My stupid brother. "Let's turn around," I tell you. "We can spend the night at your place."

"Why?" You reply with determination in your eyes. "Let's get this over with."

"Are you insane?"

"No, obviously he wants to talk to you, Alex."

Since when do you care about what he wants? "Yeah, but I don't want to talk to him. Right now, I'm in no mood to deal with that sorry jackass." Injecting several shades of sultriness in my voice, I add, "I have something, or rather, someone else I'd much rather do."

You sigh, and pull over to the side. "But Alex…"

"Come on, Liv," I tempt, sliding my hand further up your thigh. "I know you want it as much as I do."

"You think he saw us?"

"I don't know, probably not." I pull my phone out, and make sure it's on, and still set on vibrate. "So let's go."

"Look, Alex, I really think we should talk to him. He is your brother, and you two haven't spoken for how many days now?"

"Not nearly long enough."

"What if it's about your mom," you suggest.

"I'm sure my mom would call if she needs me."

"What if she can't? I mean, I'm not saying, you know… You just never know."

I cross my arms and stare at you. "Why are you suddenly so full of reason?"

You narrow your eyes at me briefly, then smile. "I like your mom; she's been so nice to me. And I really don't want to be the cause of some family feud."

"Well. You're not. He is. He started it."

"What is it you like to say? An eye for an eye, and the world goes blind?"

"That's just not fair." I furrow my brows and pout.

"What's not fair, Sweetie?"

"You using my words against me."

You laugh. "You do it to me all the time!"

"That's different!"

"How, Alex?"

"Same way you can't be beautiful but I can." I spit, and stick my tongue out at you childishly.

You just chuckle and shake your head. "All right, you got me. So, should we start moving? Towards your apartment?"

"Fine. Let's see what he has to say."

466 Talk

I grab fish things from the car, and follow you slowly up the stairs.

"I don't see him," you say quickly, "let's go." Picking up my hand and pulling me back down the stairs.

"Alex, I'm sure he probably went inside. He's not the type to sit on the stairs and wait for you."


"Look, I'm dropping this stuff off and leaving you two to talk. You've gotta get over this."

"Ahh, but I don't at all. That's the beauty of it." You say, sliding your hands down my body.

"Alex." I say, warning you, pushing your fingers away.

"Why are you so insistent? You hate him more than anyone."

"He's not my brother."

"True, but he could be some day." I stare at you open mouthed, while you stammer on, "I mean, he's not, not soon." You say quickly.

You have to stab the knife in and twist it, don't you? I sigh and push the key into the lock. "Come on." I say, grabbing your arm and pulling you in the door.

"Get your hands off my sister." I hear a man's voice.

"Oh for the love of God." I mumble as you hide behind my shoulder. "Look Trevor, I don't want to fight with you."

"Sure you don't," he says rudely cutting me off.

"Don't be mean to her," You say, jumping out from behind my shoulder.

"Listen, guys, Trevor. You two...you need to talk...without me."

"Why are you suddenly being nice?" he asks me.

"Because she's your sister, and she loves you. And I don't want to see you guys fight anymore. You and me, Trevor, we're never going to like each other, but we've got to learn to get along, because we both have something in common. We both love her." I say as I hand you the fish food and kiss you gently on the cheek. "I'll be back in an hour, beautiful," as I slip out the door and listen to it latch behind me.

467 TALK

"What to you want?" I demand, venting my frustration on him. Why does he always show up at the worst possible moment?

"Just talk," he says almost timidly, still looking at the door behind my back.

"Well, then start. And don't take the whole hour, I have things to do."

"Like what?"

"We got stuff for our fish," I answer cheerfully, temporarily engrossed in my own excitement. Then I remember. "Anyway, talk."

"You didn't tell mom," he states factually.

"No. I'm not a rat like you," I charge. "Besides, mom doesn't need to know how hateful and immature you are."

He changes the subject. "Are you two living together now?"

We've been spending every night together, but we keep separate abodes, so, "No, not really."

"But your fish…"

"We decided to put them together."

"What? A vicarious trial marriage?" At the look on my face, he adds, "That's what it is, right? You've found the love of your life?"

I search for any signs of sarcasm in his voice, and come up short. Instead, I hear bitterness. "I, I don't know… Maybe?"

"I'm so used to coming first in your life, Alex. Even with that girl you dated, what's her name, who owned the bar, when you thought she was the one."

"But she wasn't."

"But Benson is."

"Maybe she is, maybe she isn't." I let my defensiveness cover my discomfort. "What's your point? Why can't you just be happy for me, Trevor? Do I go around trying to fuck up your relationships? I even help you hide things from your dad."

"About that, I'm not sleeping with her anymore. It's just… wrong."

"Well, I'm glad you finally see the light. I just wish you would… with Liv."

"No one's ever going to be good enough for my little sister. You know that, right?"

"But you didn't have to send her booze, Trevor! What were you trying to do? Give a suicidal person a gun?"

He spreads his hands and try to explain. "I was angry. I was jealous…"

I can tell this is difficult for him. Still, I cut him off, "Yeah? What changed?"

"You, the way you've been acting like I don't exist, even worse than before my stupid stunt. And I've been watching you…"

"What? Stalking me now?"

"Look, Alex, I have just as much right to be in the same building you do!"

"Don't remind me," I mutter, slipping slightly out of anger's grasp.

"I'm not blind, Alex, I see your smile, I see the light in your eyes when you look at each other. And, well," he stares at his shoes, and frowns at the scuff-mark. Then he raises his head again. "I decide that's more important, your happiness."

"Did mom put you up to this?"

"I won't lie to you. We had a talk, and she told me I was acting like a scorned lover." He makes a face, the same one he used to make when I was little, that never failed to make me smile. "And, that's just gross. Really gross."

"Yeah, watch it. Your face might freeze, and you'll really have trouble picking up women."

He chuckles, and extends his arms. "Am I forgiven?"

"That's not entirely up to me," I remind him, walking into his hug.

"I guess I should apologize to her, huh?"

"Why don't you stick around, she'll be back soon. Meanwhile, you can make yourself useful, and help me set up the tank."

He rolls his eyes, but takes off his jacket. "What do you want me to do?"

"You can start by fishing the castles out of the water…"

468 Sorry

I walk through the streets slowly, wanting to give you time to talk to Trevor, but with no real destination, I find myself quickly bored. I breathe in the cold air, and try to clear my mind. Instead, I find myself thinking about you. I wonder about what you're doing right now, what you're saying to him.

I don't really know what I want you to do. I hate him, I hate him for hating me. I hate him for making my life difficult. I hate him for causing you pain and sending me booze and a million other little things he's done to me. But you love him. He's your brother. And while in my heart, I may never want to forgive him, may want to string him up and never let it go, but for you? For you I have to forgive him.

Before long, I realize your hour is up, and slowly I start wandering back to your apartment. Taking a deep breath, I walk up the stairs and stare at the door. I'm not sure what exactly it is that I'm going to be walking into.

It's certainly not what I expect. Your laughter reaches my ears through the door. I guess you guys managed to make up. I open the door slowly, and smile. Trevor's arms are in the fish tank up to his elbows.

"You guys having fun?" I ask gently, aware that my presence could throw off this happy scene.

You cross the space in less than a second and throw your arms around me. "Welcome back," you say, kissing me gently on the cheek. I watch Trevor watching you. I search his face for anger, I search it for hatred. For a second I see the flash of jealousy, and I wait for his cutting remark.

"Hi Olivia," he says instead.

"Trevor," I say, my arm still wrapped around your waist as you turn to face him.

"Look. I need to. I think I owe you an apology." He says quickly.

I don't say anything but look at him expectantly. I can feel your arm around my waist as you give me a quick squeeze.

"I'm sorry. What I did, there was no excuse for it. It was entirely out of line."

"I agree," I say back. Be nice, flashes through my head.

"I'm glad that you make my sister happy." He says, looking like a child, staring at his shoes.

"Thanks," I say slowly, looking expectantly at you wanting you desperately to end the awkwardness…


"Well, now that we're all getting along," I chuckle nervously, not knowing how to end this awkward moment either. "What should we do?"

"It's getting late, I should take my leave," Trevor says, and grabs the towel I gave him earlier.

"Hey, but we're not done with the tank."

He looks at you and you look at him. I'm not sure I catch the exchange between you two.

"Oh, all right," he put down the towel, and picks up the treasure chest. "Since I already got my hands dirty," he mutters as he attaches it to the air pump. "There, all set."

I stare at the arrangement, then take a step back. Hm. "Could you, maybe move it a little to the left? I think it'll look better that way."

He sighs, but moves it anyway.

"Yeah, right there. Oh, wait, maybe a little back to the right."


"Oh, come on!"

"Fine. First the castle, then the plants, now this…" He grouses as he changes the placement. "There. That's it. I'm through."

"Well," I turn to you, "What do you think?"

You smile quickly. "I think it's great!"

"Excellent!" He retrieve the towel again. "I'm going to use the bathroom and wash up, all right? Then I'll get out of your way."

"Why did you let him fix our tank?" You ask as soon as he disappears.

"You're not jealous are you?" I search your eyes, and smile. "You should be grateful you don't have to be covered with fish germs."

"Who says I was gonna? You're the one who wanted all that stuff."

"Yeah, well…" I lean in and kiss you gently. "I want our fish to have everything they need."

"Good thing we don't have a puppy or something," you say with a teasing grin, kissing me back.

"Mmm…" I arch against you, closing the distance between us.



"Remember Trevor?"


470 Alone

You lean in and kiss me, hard. Your body presses against mine in a second, I'm against the wall, your warmth against me, your hands on me, your lips on mine. I feel your fingers under my shirt, in a second, your skin melts into mine.

"Alex," I moan gently into your mouth. Your brother, your god damn brother is still here.

Your response is a deeper kiss, your hands against my shoulders. "You left me here." You growl into my ear.

"You had to talk..." you kiss the words out of my mouth.

In an instant your fingers are out of my shirt and running through my hair. It's all moving so fast, your kisses and your love; it's only been a second and a lifetime.

All I can focus on besides your lips and the warm arousal that's flooding through my body is the idea that Trevor is not ten feet away in our bedroom. Well, your, our, your bedroom.

"Trevor," I mumble into your mouth, as your fingers knot themselves into my hair.

"Who?" You mumble back, a distant look fills your eyes.

"Very funny," I say, sliding away from you, unlocking your fingers and giving you a chaste kiss. "He is not going to like me kissing his sister. Not like that."

"His sister likes it."

"His sister's perpetually horny."

"I am not." You say, pouting like a child.

"You're not what?" I hear Trevor asking from over my shoulder.

"Yeah, Alex, you're not what?" I tease you gently, watching the color rise in your cheeks.

"I'm not ready to say goodbye just yet," you say, quickly recovering and turning to face your brother. You pick up his coat and shove it into his hands. "You almost forgot those."

"But I thought you weren't ready to say…"

"Thanks for coming over, Trevor," you say, pushing him out the door.

"Did I do something wrong?" He says, looking at me.

I shrug my shoulders at him and watch as you whisper into his ear.

"Jesus Alex. Too much information," He moans as he slams the door shut behind him.

"What'd you say to him?" I ask you, as I watch the blush spread across your face…


"Never mind that," I tell you, licking and sucking at your lips, your chin, your throat. My hands under your clothes, desperate to get next to your skin. Hungrily. Passionately.

"Alex?" You cup my face, and lock gaze with me. "What's gotten into you…"

"Think of it as make up sex," I say, nibbling on your lips, then your tongue.

In between hot, heavy kisses, you argue, "But we didn't fight."

Great. You have to choose this exact moment to be rational. What's wrong with you? I grab your hands and slide them all over my body, my breasts. "Shut up, and fuck me," I moan into your mouth, and sigh when you finally start unbuttoning my blouse…

The next few minutes happened in a blur. Before I know it, your hands your mouth are on my naked skin, your body against mine pressing me down into my bed.

You begin to purr and moan as I reach up and run my palms over your breasts. Then you pull away, with raw lust in your eyes, you whisper hoarsely, "You'll have to wait your turn."

"Why?" I try to recapture the warm softness of your flesh.

This time you grab my roaming hands, and stare into my soul. "I have a promise to keep."

Sucking in a breathless breath, I ask, "Which is?"

"I'm gonna get you," you drawl, smiling slowly. "For torturing me."

"Please, Liv… please, don't?"

"Don't what, Alex?"

"Don't make me wait? I need you… badly."

Your smile turns feral, and you let go of my hand. "Who said anything about waiting?" You whisper before you seize my lips in a deep kiss.

Soon, your mouth is on my throat, your hand covering my breast, your thighs spreading my legs, your thumb over me, your fingers inside me. Your strong arm muscles controlling each thrust, as you play my body, pushing me quickly over the edge.

As your strokes slow, my breathing follows. Opening my eyes, I look up and find you watching me; I smile. "My turn?"

"I just got started, Sweetheart," you say. Leaning down, you fill my mouth with your tongue, and begin moving again… intensely.

Oh, god.

You're going to kill me with pleasure.

And there's nothing I can do, but arch up against and into you, and rock to the rhythm you set…

472 Interruptions

Your body writhes under mine, your skin sensitive to my kisses. Both of us feral, both of us nearly out of control so close to forgetting the world, so close, but not quite far enough. I want to show you I love you, show you the sense of possession I feel for you. I can do this for you. I can make you feel this way. I can push you over the edge or keep you dangling, all with the gentle way I touch you. The way you let me touch you.

The fact that you want me. The way you want me. The way you stuck your hands into my pockets in the store, the way you have teased me and driven me insane, the way you kissed me just now, when you knew that Trevor was only a few week away.

I feel your body respond to me. I smell the warm heady smell of your arousal as my tongue plays against your body. I think I hear the phone ring, somewhere in my deep haze, but I refuse to believe it. I catch myself stopping, your moans cease, and I listen for the confirmation of a second ring.

"Forget it," You nearly cry, "They'll call back."

"I'm on call," I mumble kissing your thigh.

Your exasperation is clear. You sigh loudly and extend your hand while I look at you expectantly.

"Hello?" You mutter, entirely out of breath.

I smile hopelessly; I did that to you. I made you gasp for air.

"Exercising," you say, blushing a deep crimson.

Gently, I kiss your inner thigh and I see your face respond, your subtle sucking in of breath. This is going to be fun.

"Liv? She's here."

I see you close your eyes, squeezing them shut.

"She can't, she's unloading the dishwasher. It could take her hours," you say as I flick my tongue over your swollen center.

I see you stifle a moan, your tooth biting into your lip.

"Call back, Elliot," you say, slamming the phone down into the receiver.

"You just…"

"He wanted to invite you…well us, to dinner," you say, pressing your fingers into my hair and forcing my face back into your body…


My body throbs and pulses to your touch, to your tongue sliding all over me, your mouth devouring me. God, it feels so good, almost a little too good. I wish you would stop…

"Please, Liv?"



"You sure?" You ask, your hot breath against my skin. Instead of waiting for an answer, you change rhythm, gliding gently, so softly, back and forth.

I sigh and relax to the tender attention, to the gentle caress.

"Hey," you whisper.

And I raise my head, and look at you. And find your eyes filled with loving warmth. The same warmth I see when I awake to your watchful gaze. I think I can so easily get used to that, if I haven't already; and it scares me…

Your eyes are smiling now, a feral kind of smile. Without warning, you take me into your mouth.

I fall back against the pillow, dizzy with pleasure. Whatever you're doing, it feels so good. It's almost as if you know exactly what I need, and what I want… So quickly, and I'm already so close...

Oh, god. Please don't stop. Please don't ever stop.

But of course you do. I let out a scream of frustration and stare up at the ceiling. "Liv?"

"I thought you wanted a breather?" You say, with wicked laughter in your voice.

In response, I growl. "Remind me never to tease you in public?"

"Oh, but, Sweetie, it's so much fun."

"For you maybe." I say quickly, reaching for your shoulders, hoping to pull you back.

Then the damn phone rings. "Yes, Elliot," I try not to bark.


"Oh, hi, mom." I say, then nearly scream when you run your tongue firmly but swiftly along the length of me.

"Is everything all right, Dear?" She asks, concerned.

"Yes, Mom. Liv dropped dinner. I gotta go help. I'll call you back. Bye." I say, and hang up the phone. "That was not nice, you…" I start to say, then swiftly find my words transforming into moans, when you resume your deep caresses…

474 Recovery

"How's mom?" I ask, flicking my tongue over you, loving the sound you make as your back arches sharply.

"Don't…stop…" you gasp, "I'm so…and don't talk…about…my mom." I giggle into you, at your frustration.

Your body tenses as I tease you, but carefully I don't let you get too close. Your eyes are closed in concentration, biting your lip, and moaning gently. I feel powerful lording over you, knowing that I'm the one in control of your arousal. I don't know why I feel such a powerful need to have control, to feel that I'm causing you this pleasure. Because I felt so out of control while you were teasing me? Because the idea of that kid thinking about doing any of these things to you makes my skin crawl? Because I can do it and he can't? Because I let it get to me?

I'm ready, ready to slide you over the edge, I slide into the pacing, the rhythm I know that makes you scream my name when the phone rings for a third time. This time, I can't help but laugh as you scream, "Fuck! We don't even know this many people!"

Your hand reaches out and grabs the phone.

"What?" You nearly yell. I feel sorry for whoever had the misfortune of calling this time.

I gently kiss your inner thigh as you slide on uncomfortably.

"I said she'd call you…"

Elliot. Poor guy.

"She can't…" you say, stifling a moan as I continue to tease you.

God that's more fun than I want to admit.

"Fine," you sigh and hand the phone to me. "Quick," you whisper.

I smile at you, grabbing the phone, and substituting my fingers where my tongue was.

"Hey El, what's up?" I ask, watching your face respond to my gentle caresses.

"We caught a case," he says.

"Where?" I ask slowly.

He gives me the address which I quickly commit to memory.

"Be there in a few," I say, and you don't contain your sigh. I slam the phone down and give you my best smile at you. "I'm sorry sweetie, I have to…"

"Yeah, I know," you say, pulling me to your face and kissing me gently.

"Rain check?" I say quickly.

You smile and kiss me again, "Definitely," you sigh, as I grab clothes from the closet and slide them over my head.


I stretch along the sheets, acutely feeling the hum of my very wired body. God. Sometimes I wish we had different jobs. Actually, I just wish people were law-abiding so we don't need cops or prosecutors… Yeah, dream on, Cabot. Sighing, I jot down a mental note: in the future, make sure no one's on call before playing any kind of teasing games.

Stretching one last time, I let the touch and sensation of cotton brush away residual memories of yours. Then, quickly, I roll out of bed, pull clothes out of the closet and slide them on. Meanwhile, I call towards the bathroom. "Hey, Liv?"

"Yeah, Sweetie?"

"I think I'll go with you," I announce, sliding into my loafers.

You poke your head out with a towel in your hand. "What, Alex? What did you say?"

I get up, pushing you out of the way so I can wash my face. "I'm going with."

"I'm meeting El at the scene."


"Last time you went out with us, Alex, you lost your lunch."

"Don't tell me the first time you saw an eviscerated person, you didn't react adversely."

"That's different, Sweetheart." You come up behind me, and slide your arms around my waist. "I had to be there. I had no choice."

"Sooner or later, I'm going to see the damage."

"Yeah, but crime scene photos…"

"Are not necessarily easier, especially blown up larger than life and in your face." I stare at your reflection. "That's just wrong, for you to be thinking about that. We're talking about the victims."

"I should be shot." You grin sheepishly, looking slightly contrite. "But you can't blame me…"

"Watch it!" I warn as your hands smooth up my torso. "I don't want to spend the whole night frustrated."

You chuckle, and lean in, your warm breath tickling my ear. "I still think you should stay home."

I kiss you quickly on the lips, and duck aside. "You're going to call me in a couple of hours anyway, I might as well go with, and save us both some time."

"And the sooner we get done." You wag your brows.

"Yes, the sooner we can get..."

"Off?" You interrupt rudely.

"No, I was going to say... Oh hell, why do I bother?" I grab your face, intent on passing all my frustrations to you in this kiss. "There." I breathe, and pick up my bag from the floor. When I turn around, you're still in the same position I left you. See? Two can play this game. I smirk, and slap you on the ass. "You coming or not?"

476 Crime Scene

I can't believe you actually want to come with me. I only vaguely remember the first time you came to a crime scene, back when you first came to SVU. You were so desperate to prove yourself, but you'd never let us see that part of you. Never let us know that beneath that cool exterior your heart was breaking too when you looked at the same victims we saw every day.

I remember watching you, distantly, unsure of what to expect from you. You took one look at the mangled body and nearly ruined our crime scene, stumbling away and heaving onto the sidewalk. Both El and I took a little pleasure in seeing you brought down a notch. Maybe it was then I first noticed you, started to love you. I never would have thought, then, that we would be here, together, driving again to a crime scene after so many years and so many trials…

This has bad idea written all over it. I want you to stay behind, I don't want you involved in these scenes. I know you see them, I know you deal with the same heinous acts that we do, but you see it in a different way. You seem so intent, though, grabbing your bag and sliding into your girlie little shoes. This is going to be a long night.

I grab my keys and follow you, locking the door and walking into the cold night air. I slide behind the wheel of the car, as you hand me the keys slowly. Pulling away, I set my mind, prepare myself for whatever horrible thing I'm about to see.

You're talking a mile a minute, and I wonder if that's your way of dealing with this, with what we do. "You okay?" you ask me, and I smile and nod.

I see flashing lights in the distance, waiting for us to pull up. Waiting for us to discover what horrible crime has happened next.

I pull to the side of the road and try to smile at you. "Stay here?" I ask you slowly.

"I'm a big girl Liv, I can handle it."

I sigh and open the door to the car, slowly getting out. I can see Elliot standing back, talking to the beat cop I can only assume discovered the body.

"What's going on?" I ask him as he gives me a quick rundown without even barely looking at me.

He looks up only for a second, to see you standing behind my shoulder.

"What is she doing here?" he asks me.

"I'm the ADA." You throw in.

I don't want you two fighting, but Elliot's tense and I knew this wasn't going to go over well.

"Oh good Lord," he says as he turns his back on us.


As soon as I got into the car, I knew it was a bad idea. What was I thinking?

Okay, okay, Cabot, chill, I tell myself. It's not like I haven't seen dead bodies. I've gone with you guys to the morgue for more times than I care to remember during my tenure with SVU. I've seen my share of mutilated bodies, even warm breathing ones, which were infinitely much worse. That first one only got to me, well, because it was the first. There was just so much blood. It had taken me days to get the image and the details out of my mind. Now, I can't even remember it, except the amount of blood, and even that was an abstract memory.

So why am I so nervous? So nervous that I can't seem to stop my mouth from moving. I hope you're paying attention to what I'm saying, because I certainly am not.

Why do I want to go with you anyway? Is it really impatience? Or did I just not want to stay home alone? When's the last time I was home alone? It's had to be weeks... Most days, you get there before me. On the nights you had to work, I did, too. There are always so much to do at the office...


"When's the last time we spend the night alone, without each other?" I ask you. "Not that I'm having space issue or anything, just trying to remember something."

"I don't know... Definitely not since you bought us fish. Why?"

I shake my head. "Just trying to place something... Oh, nevermind, it'll only makes sense in here." I tap my temple gently, and grin. "Thanks! I think I remember now."

"Glad to be of help!" You answer cheerfully.

I shift in my seat, to mask my relief. Truth be told, I'm a little surprised you haven't caught on, but you must have a lot on your mind, too. It's all good, really. Hopefully, I'm just jumping to conclusions. Don't need you freaking out about me being in the apartment by myself either, I decide, and make another mental note to talk to my therapist. Then I start my rambling again. Soon, we're both distracted once more...

At the scene, I only half listen to Elliot fill you in on the case; I'll get the report soon enough. I'll have all the details then.

Meanwhile, I watch Melinda process the body. Nope, no discomfort there. Guess you build up a level of resistance after a while. And for those who can't... those less or more fortunate, depending on how you look at it, they find means of escape.

Maybe I came to remind myself how difficult it must be for you to stay away from alcohol, your former means of escape. Is our relationship now your escape? Or maybe I'm looking at it wrong. After all, we should be each other's support system, right? Isn't that what people do for each other? People more than just girlfriends? What exactly are we anyway? Lovers now?

"What is she doing here?" Elliot says.

I look up to his voice, to find him staring at me. "I'm the ADA," I tell him, like I've done before.

"For God's sake," he spits, and walks away with disgust.

"Excuse me, Detective." I pat you lightly on the arm, and go after your partner.

478 Train Wreck

I want you to go to the car. Silently, I will it in my head, but you pat me on the shoulder and stalk by me, tracking after Elliot like he's going to disappear from your sight. I can't believe you're chasing him.

I can't believe he doesn't see this coming.

Why can't he be nice? Why can't you realize that with El, it's best to just let the guy have his space to blow off steam?

I feel torn, like I'm about to watch a train wreck. Like I'm the only one who can see the horrible train derailment in front of me, but I'm helpless to warn the engineer, helpless to stop what will surely end in horrible disaster.

Why is it that both of you are so god damn stubborn? So well meaning, so wanting for me what's best. You love me, but I love both of you. Why can't you see that not getting along hurts me more than it hurts either of you? His jealousy? Your demand that he treat you with respect, which of course, I can't blame you for… I feel so torn.

Oh wait.

Sort of like you must feel when I fight with Trevor.

Hey pot, this is the kettle, you're black.

But this is different, I tell myself.

Trevor's your brother. Elliot's…well, the closest thing that I've ever had to a brother. But then again, Trevor's an asshole. And Elliot can be just as bad.

Okay, so maybe, since we've…been…together, Elliot's been a little less nice to you. Okay, a lot less nice to you.

Elliot and I used to fight with you as a team. You and I clashed heads, fighting horribly, passionately. Now we smile at each other and listen to each other's view points.

I can understand why it drives El crazy, it would drive me crazy if it were him.

"What's your problem?" I hear your voice asking him as he spins around.

"I don't have time for this nonsense." He mutters at you.

"You know, I don't have to deal with this," you tell him.

"Listen, Cabot, you're in the way."

I see flames coming out of your eyes, and I look around desperately for a place to hide…


I'm in the way? I'm in the way. "Listen, Elliot, I thought we were going to try to get along. At least I still am, so I'm not going to repeat what I said to you before."

"Oh why not, Alex? Well, then let me do it for you," he says sarcastically.

"Detective…" I warn.

"Come on now, don't you like the sound of this? It's your crime scene right? That we have to learn rules of evidence from your office?" He smacks his forehead. "That's right! Just last week, I had to attend a lecture the DA so graciously provided, as if I didn't learn how to bag a body at the academy."

"Look." I try to keep my voice lowered, "There are always changes to the law, and we need to keep you updated."

"Whatever you say, Counselor."

"Why did you invite us to dinner, if you're going to act like this?" I demand, the last visage of my restraint slipping away quickly. "Or are you acting like this because I turned you down?"

"I couldn't even talk to my partner for a second," he blurts.

I sigh. "It's, your timing was really bad, all right? Really, really bad."

"You mean…" He snickers, watching my face turn red. "Don't you two ever stop?"

"Coming from a man who has four children."

That makes him chuckle. "Touché, Alex."

"Now that we have that out in the open…" I uncross my arms and looks towards the latest commotion. "Seems like they're getting ready to remove the body."

"Why did you decide to come out here anyway?"

"Once in a while, it helps remind me, what you see every day and every night…" I let the sentence die.

"You mean why we sometimes look for ways to numb ourselves."

I nod in acknowledgment.

"I see."

"Why? Did you think I came out to tell you how to do your job?"

"To show us who's boss, yeah. That was one of my first thoughts when I saw you."

Huh. That's a possibility, I suppose. To show myself I still have some semblance of power over you, since you so obviously control my body, and my heart.

"We've worked together for how many years now, Elliot? I think we've moved beyond that." I hope.


I hear your voice from behind, and involuntarily, I smile…

480 Wanting

"Hey guys," I say hesitantly, walking up behind you. I resist the urge to slide my arms around you and hold you close. It's not professional, not appropriate, but suddenly I yearn for your contact.

Maybe you're right, maybe we're too connected.

"Everything okay?" I ask you.

"Yeah, we're okay," Elliot says, and that lets me know it's at least true for now. He doesn't lie, not to save my feelings at least. Not ever since I've known him.

"Let's finish this up,' I say to him, slowly, watching your face as you step back. A light smile, and maybe some pride mix there while you watch us talk about the scene.

I look at the mangled body on the ground and I remember suddenly why I started drinking. Why I kept drinking. To keep these scenes out of my head, to let me leave them behind. Do I rely on you for that now? Do I expect you to be there when no one else will be?

For the first time in a long time, I crave alcohol. Not enough to lose it, not enough to lose you. Instead it's just enough to make me sit up and notice. What brought that on? This crime is no different than any of the others we've dealt with in the months since I've returned. Maybe it's because you're here. Maybe it's because the wind is blowing.

Will I ever stop craving it, wanting it? Will I ever stop subtly mourning this loss?

I smile at you as I stand up. "We need to go back to the station," I say with a smile I feel myself forcing.

"Oh." You look at me with questions in your eyes. Questions I'm not sure I can really answer.

"I'll be home, I mean, back to your place, later?"

Now it's your turn to force a smile. "Sure," you say slowly. "Hey, you okay?" You ask me slowly, looking into my eyes.

I want to explain, I want to tell you how disturbing it is to know after so long that I still want something to destructive. I know what it would do to you. I know it would make you cry and wail against me. I'd be back to sleeping alone on my couch, albeit hopefully without the bottle. Instead I keep my forced smile, "I'm fine," I say, as I hand you the keys awkwardly.

"Well, then, see you later," You say as you take the keys gingerly from my hand, careful not to touch my skin.

I watch you walk away, wishing I could run after you. Wishing I could hide in your arms…

Part 481

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