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


You take my hands into yours and play with my fingers. "So."

I gaze across the table, into your eyes, hopelessly, I'm sure. "Yeah?"

"What would you like to do after breakfast?"

Go back to the hotel, and get naked? To have nothing between our bodies but the perspiration from passionate love-making? "I thought you want to go souvenir shopping?"

"It was your idea, Alex, remember? To get it over with so we can focus on us?"

"Yeah…" I pull one hand away from you, and touch your cheek. "Are you sure it doesn't hurt?"

"Yeah. Just a little tight. That's all. Don't worry about it."

"I think the foundation looks terrible."

You laugh. "I thought so too."

"Then why did you put it on?"

"To please you?" You give me your cheesy grin. "Isn't that what I'm supposed to do?"

I giggle. How do you do it? Making me feel like a school girl… "You got that right, Benson."

Yeah. A school girl with her first crush, dying for a moment alone so she could maul her lover, or throw herself at her. Either way. I've really got to stop thinking this way.

Either way, I feel the overwhelming surge of tenderness…

"And what do I get?"

Me? "What do you mean what do you get? Satisfaction knowing you make me happy?"

"Do I really make you happy, Alex?"

Deliriously. I see the waitress approach out of the corner of my eye. "Oh, look, I think that's our food."

"Good. I'm starving."

"That's a switch." I smile up to the woman who places our food on our table. After making sure we have everything we need, she leaves us. Leaves me with you, and myself. Without another word, I dig into my food.

"You haven't answered me yet."

"Hmmm?" I lift an eyebrow to emphasize my question.

"Do I make you happy."

"Very." I mumble and nod, and go back to chewing.

"Is anything wrong?"

I swallow my food, and smile. "Nothing. Absolutely nothing."

"You seem distracted."

"Just thinking about what to get everyone. I'm looking forward to a little shopping." Thinking about how much I love you…

702 Playful

I pick at what's on my plate, something mysterious again. It's not bad though, I think as I chew it thoughtfully.

"Is it good?" You ask, watching me carefully.

"Yep." I say.

"Do you know what it is?"


"You're so…adventurous. Can I try?"

"Nope." I say with a smile.


"You got your own. You choose eggs, you stick with eggs."

You smile at me and laugh. "You don't know how to share?"

"Nope. I need all the energy I can get."

We sit outside on the plaza with the sun warming us. The warm light brings out the colors in your hair, shines against your skin. You look like an angel, my angel.

I watch as you eat ravenously, while you smile at me, telling me what you think might be good for souvenirs for the guys between bites. I can see the excitement in your eyes, and it makes me happy, happy to know that you're happy.

I pay the bill and you take my hand as we wander down the twisting street.

"Do you know what you want to get them?" You ask me.

"Not really, I'm thinking it'll hit me when I see it."

"You don't even have an idea…?"

"I liked the grass wig."

"You are not giving that to your boss."

"I wasn't going to give it to him, you were."

"Okay, you're not doing that either."

"I really think he'd enjoy it. Especially if it comes from you."

You swat my arm and I laugh.

"Haven't you learned it's not nice to hit people?"

"I didn't do it on purpose." You say, crossing your arms.


"Uh-huh. Right." You look entirely unconvinced.

"I didn't do it on purpose!" I defend myself. "Nobody told you to surprise a sleeping person."

"So now it's my fault I got this whopping bruise on my face?"

"It's not that bad, and yes, it's your fault!"



"You finally agree with me. On all counts."


"I've been trying to tell you since last night."

"No, you were whining last night."

"Well, anyway, it's not your fault, and it's only a little bruise."

"You tricked me." I feign hurt, and walk on ahead.

"Come on." You catch up and grab my arm. "I love you."

That's just not fair. All you need to do is say those three little words, and I'm smiling like an idiot. A besotted idiot. "Hmpf."

"I do love you." You pull me into a small space between two buildings, and press your body up against mine. "I can show you."

I laugh, and swat you again on your arm. "That's quite all right. We don't need to give anyone a show. Or be arrested for public indecency."

"Who said anything about sex?" You smirk. "Is that all you think about?"

"That's it, Olivia Benson, I'm not talking to you." I push you away and stalk off with my arms crossed.

I fully expect you to catch up and apologize or otherwise wheedle your way back out of the crater you just dug. Half a block later, I still don't hear your steps. So I turn around, and I realize you're not following. In fact, you're no where to be seen.

Where are you?

A sudden panic seizes me.

Calm down, Cabot. Why the paranoia, the drama? For all you know, she's still standing in the quasi-alley, I scold myself, and begin retracing my steps.

Half way to where we were, I see you coming out of a glass door. "What are you…?"

"Here." You shove a bag into my hand. "Truce."

"Okay… What's that?"

"Just look inside."

I push the white tissue aside, then I see it. "You got me a teddy bear!" I close the distance between us. God, I love you…

704 Love

The surprise on your face quickly turns into a whopping grin. You throw your arms around my neck and kiss me on the cheek.

"You got me a teddy bear!" you yell.

"Yeah, it was cute."

"It is," you say, pulling the paper aside quickly. "I love it," you scream.

"I'm glad," I smile, while you pull it from the bag and examine it. "Now you can punch that in your sleep."

"You had to get that in, didn't you?"


You laugh, this time. "Well then, Mr. Bear and I are going to leave you here. Until you can behave." You turn on your heel with the bear wrapped in your arms.

"Wait a minute," I yell after you but you keep walking. "Alex!" I call after you.

You stop for a second and look over your shoulder. "Do you hear something Mr Bear?" You ask your new stuffed animal. "Me neither." You respond to his imaginary answer.

I run after you and wrap my hands around your waist. "I'm ready to behave." I say, and you smile.

"Much better." You say.

"Otherwise you might…" I start.

"Olivia Benson, don't you dare."

"I won't," I smile. "I'm just happy to make you happy."

"We're disgusting, you know that right?" You ask me.

"Yeah, but we're in love."

"That's barely an excuse."

"Yeah, but…"

You wrap your hands back around my waist. "I love you" you whisper, as I smile, truly happy to be here, in the warm sun, alone with you.

705 BEAR

"Are you going to name it?" You poke the bear on its nose.

I pull him away protectively. "Mr. Bear."

"How original."

"Shut up."

"Why is it a he?"

"He's just a he." If you think I'm going to tell you he's actually Master Poppy Blossom Bear the Third, you're out of your mind. "All the teddy bears I had when I was little were boys."


"Why? You want me to name him after you or something?"

"No!" You stew for a moment. "Are you going to sleep with him?"

"We both are. Why?"

"No reason."

'Thank you for my bear though." I press another kiss to your cheek, and squeeze the bear to me. It's amazing, how happy I am. If we were kids, I'd be skipping down the street holding your hand. That's how happy, how happy I am with you.

"You wanna go in there?" You point to what looks like a souvenir shop that we're approaching. "Maybe we can find something for the guys there."

"Sure. Just let me put Mr. Bear back into the bag."

You watch while I carefully pull the tissue back over him. "You really like your toy?"

"Yeah? I love my new bear. Why'd you ask?"

"Just wanna make sure."

There's this funny look on your face I can't quite decipher. "Something wrong, Liv?"

"No, Let's go." You take my hand and reach for the bag out of habit. "Or do you want to carry him yourself?"

"I can carry him. Unless you want to?"

You shrug, and start walking.

Waitaminute. "You're not jealous of the bear, are you?"

706 Jealous

"I'm not jealous." I pout, determined that saying it will make me stop feeling it.

"Are you sure?" you prod me.

"Of course!" I say quickly.

"Are you really sure?" You ask again, smiling. I know you're teasing me, but it's sensitive.

"It's stupid to be jealous of a stuffed animal."

"That doesn't mean you can't feel that way." You say, with a smile.

"I know," I mumble. "Let's just look for souvenirs, okay?"

"Okay," You say, squeezing my hand. "I still love you more," you mumble into my ear.

"Than the bear."

"Uh huh."

"That's so generous of you," I say, rolling my eyes.

"You are jealous." You say quickly, poking my side.

"I am not jealous." I say too quickly.

"Okay, okay, you're not jealous."

"I know." I say, quickly, as you laugh at me.

"So, you have any ideas?"


"For what to get Elliot, and Fin, and…"

"Not really. I'm not so great at this kind of thing."

"What kind of thing?"

"Finding that meaningful souvenir to give to your best friends. That's why I have you."

"Gee, thanks."

"Well you're good at that kind of thing."

"Thanks," you say, slowly.



"He can't sleep with us."


"The bear, he can't sleep with us."

You laugh, a beautiful laugh. "Okay, it's a deal."


I hook my arm around yours, and lean into you as we walk down the aisle. "You know, you did get me the bear."

"Yeah? Your point?"

"You're jealous of the bear you got me."

"I'm not!" You deny hotly.

"Shh…" I kiss you lightly on your cheek, and pick up a carved statuette. "How about this for Elliot?"

"But, Alex, I think that's a fertility god for the locals."

"I know. It's appropriate. Don't you think?"

"He's gonna kill us."

"Fertility god or grass toupee…" I grin you. Then I see the wicked glint in your eyes as you imagine his reaction, and I put the statue in the basket.

"Hell, it's better than a boring tee-shirt."

I pick up a bigger version of the idol, and show it to you. "Hey, Liv, think we should get one for us?"

"What?" The look on your face is priceless.

"Yeah, maybe Mr. Bear and I will have little teddy bears.? Jesus, Liv, just as a souvenir!"


"And so I'll have someone to blame for my horn dog behavior?"

Now you're smiling again. "I guess. If you want."

I put down the big one and get a smaller one. "Since it's just stone, it can probably go in with the fish. You're so silly sometimes." I laugh, and pull you to the next aisle. "But I love you anyway."


"Liv. Behave." I say, and stop in front of a clothing rack. "What do you think of this?"

"For whom?" You furrow your brow at the tropical color shirt.

"Munch?" I joke, just to see your reaction.


"Seriously, I'm thinking Fin."

"I doubt he's gonna wear it."

"He will if we get it in a more subdued pattern. It's a nice material, and he can pull it off…"

708 OUT

You pick up another shirt with flowers on it. "I like this one," you smile at me.

"If you think so," I say, with disbelief.

"You don't?"

"I trust you." I say, looking around.

"But you know him better." You say, slowly.

"I guess." I say, looking through the shirts, but not really paying attention.

"Are you okay?" You ask.

"Yeah," I say, leaning back against the wall.

"Are you sure you don't like it?"

"You decide sweetie." I mumble.

"But Liv," you whine at me, still staring at the shirt.

"But you have better taste in stuff like this."

"You really think so?" You ask, thumbing through the racks in front of you.

"Yeah." I say and smile, leaning against the wall. Suddenly, it's hot in here. I feel like I'm sweating, but I know that I'm not, that I can't be. It's not even warm in here. The wall feels cool against my back, and I smile as you continue rifling, while another rack across the room catches your eye.

I watch you cross to it, and slowly begin flipping through the racks. I keep pressed against the cool glass, letting it cool my overheated body.

I wait for you to decide, and soon, you come back with two. "Which one do you like better?" You ask.

"I really don't' care." I say, wanting you to decide.

You continue thumbing through the rack in front of you, happily chattering, but I can't quite hear you.

I feel dizzy, all of a sudden, and I feel myself slip gently down the wall…


"What do you think?" I pick out and another shirt to show you. When you don't answer, I turn around. "Liv?" I look for you. Then out of the corner of my eye, I see you, slumped against the wall.

"Liv!" I let go of the shirt and drop to my knees. "Are you okay? Liv?" I shake you gently. "Liv!"

You're not responsive at all.

"Liv?" I shake you a little harder, feeling hysterics bubbling through my chest. "Liv?" I try again. Still, you're out.

Fuck, what do I do?

"Excuse me!" I call towards the counter.

"Yes? Can I help?" The shop keeper asks, and starts to approach. Then she sees you. "Oh, she's sick?"

"I don't know." I fret, while trying to remember what to do when a person fainted. Right now though, my mind's a jumbled mess, and I can feel my blood rushing through my veins, my heart pounding up to my throat.

With my hands trembling, almost frantically, I touch your face. You feel clammy, and hot.

"She drunk?"

"NO!" What kind of question is that? "She fainted."

"Sorry. Tourist gets drunk all the time." She bends down and checks your pulse. "I'll be right back," she says, and disappears into the back room.

Meanwhile, I remember that I should give you room to breathe, so I move away, just a little. "Liv? Come on. Wake up, baby, please? Wake up?" I take your hand into mine, and mumble over and over again.

Where did the woman go? I wonder.

Maybe I should pour water on you? Wait, did you drink the water from the restaurant during breakfast? Maybe you're having allergic reaction to your mystery food?

Is dousing you with cold water wise? Maybe I should just sprinkle some on your face… I make up my mind, pulling my water bottle from my bag.

"Come on, Liv," I coax, hoping you can hear me, while I pour water in my hand, and smooth it down your face.

"Here." The woman finally come back with a small bottle in her hand. "We try this," she says, untwisted the cap, and put it under your nose.

A few seconds later, you moan. Then you splutter, and open your eyes.

"Liv!" I fight the urge to throw my arms around your neck. With cautiously contained joy, I ask instead, "Are you okay?"

710 Fish

My eyes close slowly, as a wonderful warm feeling rushes through my body, I barely feel myself falling, leaning slowly down the wall.

When eyes flutter open, I see you leaning into me, with someone I don't know.

"Alex?" I ask. It's so hot, I wonder if you feel it too…

"Are you okay?"

"What happened?" I ask, looking around.

"You fainted." The woman I don't know says, and I stare at her curiously.


"You fainted sweetheart," you say, running your hand on my cheek.

"I don't faint."

"Well you did," the woman argues.

You give her a look that could kill. "Thank you," you say curtly, as you take my hand. "We'll be okay."

She mumbles something as she walks away, but I can't hear her.

All I see is you; all I feel is a hot queasy feeling.

"I…I'm sorry." I mutter, as you stroke my cheek.

"Don't be silly sweetheart, you have nothing to be sorry for."

I try to push myself up, but it sends dizziness through my body, so I let myself flop back onto the floor.

"You don't look like you feel very well." You say, gently pushing my hair back.

"I don't know what's wrong with me."

"What did you eat for breakfast?" I hear the cashier ask me. You shoot her a look, but don't say anything.

"I don't know," I say, wishing I had paid more attention.

"Fish," she says.


"She ate the fish. Happens to all the tourists. She'll be sick as death for 24 hours, but then she'll be fine."

I moan…I don't think I can take this. Not on our vacation, "I'm sorry," I mumble again…

711 SICK

"But I ate fish, too, yesterday," I raise the point with the woman. "At least some sort of seafood combination thing."

"Not the same kind of fish."

"How do you know?"

She looks at me like I'm some kind of idiot. "You're not sick now, are you?"

"If it's common for tourist to get sick on the other fish," I ask, incensed, "Why did the restaurant serve it?"

She shrugs. "Not everyone gets sick. Most people don't. Not like your friend."

I'm about to argue the gaping logic hole when I feel a tug on my shirt. Why am I fighting a pointless war when I have more important concerns? "Yes, Liv?"

"Alex?" You whine softly. "I'm hot."

I touch my hand to your forehead. "You're running a fever."

"I'm so sorry…"

"Don't apologize, Sweetie. You can't help being sick." I brush your hair away from your eyes, and try to smile. "Can you stand?"

"Just sit." The woman instructs.

I look towards her, to see her talking on the phone in the native language. She keeps looking at us. "Maybe she's calling the hospital?" I speculate out loud.

"I don't wanna go to the hospital," you complain.

Finally, she hangs up. "I called a taxi for you. You should go back to the hotel and stay there until tomorrow."

"Thank you. We will."

"You want to buy those things?" She motions to the basket on the floor.

"You going to be okay, Liv?" I touch your cheek, and wait for your nod. "I'll be right back."

"It's not like I'm going anywhere," you mumble and sigh.

Poor baby. I give your shoulder a light squeeze, get up off the floor, and take the basket to the counter.

"Wait a moment," the woman says after she puts the items in a bag, and disappears once more to the back-room. When she returns, she hands me a bottle. "Here. For her. Free."

I stare at the dark brown liquid. "Looks like sludge…"

"Medicine. To help her get rid of the fish."

"You mean…" I wince thinking about my mother's recipe for hangovers.

"She'll get better sooner." The storekeeper smiles, and puts the bottle in the bag, too. At that moment, there's honking outside. She looks out the window, waves to the driver, then turns back to me. "Here's your taxi."

I thank her, and walk quickly back to you. "Okay, Liv, let's get you back to the hotel…"

712 Weak

My eyes are blurry, and I'm sweating, but it's so cold. I can feel myself shivering, but I know somehow at the same time that I'm hot. "Alex…it's so hot."

"I know sweetie." You say, staring into my eyes. Rubbing my face.

"I'm sorry," I try to explain. This is supposed to be our vacation…I'm not supposed to be…you're not supposed to look at me like that, with the caring concern.

We're supposed to be happy, and I messed it up, by, by, just, I don't know…

"It's okay," You say, and I fade in and out. I see you walk away, see you talking to someone. I can hear your voice.

And as I hear your voice, as long as I can hear you, I know you're there.

I let my eyes close, but you're back, and you're prodding me off the floor.

"Come on sweetie, you've got to get up," You say, and I try to push myself off the floor. I feel so weak, but you're right there, holding me up. I lean into you, and you wrap your arms around me.

"Alex…" I moan.

"Come on Liv, you can do it,"

"But I can't…"

"Come on Liv, you've got to," You say, pulling me towards the door. The lady in the store holds the door and wishes you luck. You smile and thank her, and I feel so confused….and so warm, and cold.

My body aches, but I try to stay steady. You slide me into the back seat of a cab, before sliding in next to me.

"Is she drunk?" The cabbie asks you.

"No," you nearly scream at him.

"Just asking lady, I don't want her to puke in my cab."

"She's not drunk," you say again.

"Alex…" I whine…

"Shh," you say, pressing my head against your shoulder. "We'll be back in a second."


"Alex..." You moan. "I'm so cold..."

"I'm sorry, Sweetie." I pull you into my arms, and cradle you against my chest, hoping my body heat would help keep you warm. "Better?"

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

"I know, Liv." I hug you gently. "Just hang in there."

"What's wrong with her?" The cabbie asks from the rearview mirror.

"Fish," I respond, not really in any mood to explain. "According to the woman at the store."

"Oh, yes, Mother's Revenge."


"Mother's Revenge. Mother, Mother Nature?"


He laughs. "Only happens to tourists, you know."

I'm too worried about you to feel insulted. "So the woman told me," I mumble, then look down at you, your head now pillowed against my chest. "How are you feeling?" I ask you softly, hoping in part he will leave me alone.

"Same..." You whimper. "I think I'm gonna..."

The cab comes to a sudden halt. "Open the door!" The driver yells.

Then I realize what's about to happen. God, I hope you don't... I pray, while pushing you towards the opened door. Just in time.

I hold onto you while you hurl your guts out into the gutter... I didn't realize you ate that much. Or maybe you're saying goodbye to dinner, too. Ugh. I can't look...

"Alex?" You gasp, trying to push up onto your elbows.

"Are you through?"

"Uh-huh..." You say, then flop backwards onto me.

I think I could've screamed. Instead, I hold myself together, pull a wet wipe out of my bag, and clean your face. "There. Just relax," I smooth your hair from your eyes, and reach to close the vehicle door.

"Ready?" The cab driver asks. Before I can answer, he pulls the car away from the curb. "Let's get you back to your hotel before the worst part hits." He says, and steps on the gas.

Worst part?

714 Back

"I'm sorry," I cry, I can feel the warm tears on my face. "I'm so sorry," I keep mumbling. I don't know what else to say, I am not even really sure why I'm sorry, but it seems like the only thing I know how to say.

"What are you sorry for?" You ask, rubbing my face, wiping away the warm wet tears. You look at me with love in your eyes, with warm caring. I don't know what I've done to make you love me, to make you care like this.

"I'm ruining your vacation." I sigh with fresh tears running down my face.

"It's our vacation, silly, and you're not ruining it, you can't help being sick." You reason, but I'm far behind that.

"I shouldn't have…" I want to explain that I should have been more careful. I should have paid attention to what I was eating. I shouldn't have been so stupid. That I should have known…known that this could happen.

"Liv, shhh…" You say, gently rubbing my face. "It's okay, baby," You whisper.

I don't remember the last time I felt this way, maybe when I was a kid. Everything hurts, and I feel so weak. And hot, and dizzy. And freezing. I'm a contradiction. You rub my face, you slide your hands over my clammy arms, trying to stop me from shivering.

"How do you feel?" You ask, gently, lovingly.

I stop and think. A warm horrible feeling rushes through my body, and I can feel bile rising in my throat. I am going…oh god. I can't. Not now, not here…I barely get the sentence out of my mouth, "Alex, I think I'm going to…"

The cab swerves, and the cabbie yells. I feel you push me, just in time for me to spew my stomach contents onto the sidewalk. "I'm so sorry," I mumble, as I flop back against you.

"It's okay," You say again.

You're so nice…you're so good to me…I don't deserve you. I don't deserve any of this. I feel so guilty…we were going to have such a great day…and now….

I can hear you talking to the cabbie. Hear him telling you that this is just the beginning…that I'll be living on the bathroom floor for the next 24 hours, losing everything I've eaten for the last month, while I shiver and shake and beg you to kill me.

I close my eyes, and listen to your heart beating, vaguely aware that the cab stops. I feel you pull on my arm, "Come on sweetheart," you whisper into my ear.


Before we get out of the cab, the driver tells me about the old woman's remedy, that I should make you take it…

I still don't know about that. What if it doesn't work? What if it's not a cure at all, but some trick they play on tourists? Maybe I'm just paranoid. Or too cynical. What if you're allergic to it, too? That's a perfectly legitimate concern.

I thank him anyway, and turn to you. "Come on, Sweetie, we're back at the hotel," I prod.

You moan, and slump against me, making it impossible for me to move.

"Liv, Baby, you need to get up, you need to do this."

"I can't."

"You have to, or we'll have to go to the hospital."

That must be the magic word. Immediately, you start to scramble off of me, or as close to scrambling as you can manage.

Poor baby. I sigh silently, and get out of the cab. Several quick steps, and I'm at your side of the vehicle. I raise your arm over my shoulders, and brace myself. "Come on, Liv. Let's do this," I encourage.

"I'm so sorry…" You mumble, apologizing again. "So sorry."

"It's not your fault, Sweetie. Let's just focus on getting you upstairs," I tell you, as we approach the door. Immediately, the guard opens the door.

"Can I help you?" He looks at us suspiciously.

I reach into my pocket, pull out our room key, and shoves it in his face. "We're staying here."

"Of course, of course. I remember you." The manager chimes in. "Is she okay? Can I help you?"

Oh. "She ate fish," I say simply.

"I'm sorry to hear that. Do you need help getting her upstairs?"

"NO!" You wail and try to stand on your own.

"Liv! Jesus." I wrap my arm around your waist to steady you. Then I turn back to the man. "I think we're okay. Thanks anyway."

"We have a local remedy. I'll have someone send some up right away."

Great. Probably more nasty looking brown liquid. I'm sure you'll love that. "Thank you." I smile. "Come on, Liv, we're almost there…"

716 Hot

You hold me up, supporting me while we walk through the lobby. People are probably staring at us, the lesbians who are wandering through the lobby.

I don't care right now, I'm too hot to think about it, but I can feel you pulling at me faster and I know you must notice their looks. "Alex," I whine, "I can't."

"Come on sweetie, we're almost there," You say as you pull me into the elevator and slump me against the wall. This is miserable, miserable for both of us. I can see you pushing the elevator button repeatedly…I wonder if you know that the elevator can't sense your impatience. I lean against the cool metal interior and sigh. It feels good. It feels very good. Maybe I'll just stay here, forever. I let my eyes drift closed while I wait for the sound of the elevator door hissing shut.

"Are you okay?" You ask me, suddenly, your hands on my face.

"Uh huh." I mumble.

"No, no, Liv, keep your eyes open." You demand.

I open them slowly, "What's wrong?" I whine.

"I don't want you to faint."

"I'm okay," I say trying to make both of us believe it. "What'd that lady give you?" I ask you.

"It's nothing Liv, don't worry about it."

"But Alex…"

"I don't know what it is, I'm not giving you something some strange woman brewed in her kitchen."

Sure, but you'd let me eat mystery meat in some god forsaken island. I see how this goes. I hear the door slide open, and you pull me forward. I try to be as careful as possible. "Alex?"

"What sweetie?"

"Are we there yet?"

"No," you say slowly.

"We've got to hurry," I mumble.

"No, no, no, not here, Liv, come on." You say, pulling me quicker…

717 OUT

Through the hotel lobby, and along the corridor towards the elevator, people stare. They whisper amongst themselves. One even makes a drinking gesture. Thank god you don't see it.

If one person makes another comment or suggest that you're drunk, I swear, I'm going to punch their lights out.

Why can't people mind their own business?

I don't mean to, but I try to push you along faster. Just so we can get away from prying eyes.

Why am I so overly sensitive?


Maybe because this reminds me of the time I actually took you home from the bar, when you were actually drunk.

But you're not now. You can't help being sick. I push the elevator button, hard, again. Why is it moving so damn slow?

Then I hear your sigh, and I turn to you and ask, "Are you all right, Sweetie?"

You nod, and beginning to close your eyes.

"Liv, baby!" I put my hands on your shoulders, to keep you up just in case you faint. "Open your eyes!"

"Why?" You whine, blinking with effort.

"I don't want you to faint." I'm not sure what I'd do if you fainted. I don't think I can carry you, like you did me when I was sick...

Well, I guess now we're even. I sincerely hope you're not as whiny as I am when I'm sick.

Then you ask me what the woman gave me. What? You actually want me to give you the mystery sludge? Right. We don't want you to get more poisoned on top of this. Why did you eat what you ate anyway. I shouldn't have let you... I wish you hadn't...

Oh, God. I hope you didn't suddenly become an adventurous eater just for me...

I ignore the gnawing guilt, and watch the red letters track our ascent. Finally, we're almost to our floor. I pull your arm around my shoulder again, and get ready to step out the elevator.

"Are we there yet?" You whimper.

"Almost, Sweetie," I reply, and look over at you.

You look green. "We have to hurry."

Oh god. Not again. Come on, come on. I guide you quickly out of the elevator. "Please, Liv, please try to hold it," I plead, while sliding the key through the lock.

You stumble into the bathroom, barely making it to the toilet before hurling your guts out again...

718 Wait

I let my knees hit the floor hard, and I regret it. I can feel you hovering over me, feel you next to me. You wet a wash cloth, and when I lean back, you wipe my face.

"I'm okay," I gasp, as I lean against the wall.

"Liv, you're not okay," you say, gently.

"Yeah, I am. Really." I try to smile, but I'm not sure you're convinced.

I stare into your blue eyes and feel guilty. Guilty for messing up again, guilty for making you worry. I'm determined to not be needy, even if right now I desperately want to cling to you and not let go.

I close my eyes, swallowing hard to keep control of my stomach. "I'm okay. You should go out, get some sun." I tell you.

"I'm not leaving you." You say resolutely.

"Yeah, Alex, go to the beach or something. I'm just going to sit here. There's no need for both of us…" I start before my body heaves again.

God this is miserable.

I'm never eating fish again.

Ever again. No matter what.

I moan involuntarily.

"Sweetheart, it's okay," You say, on your knees next to me. You hold the cold cloth to my forehead. "You're all sweaty, let me get you something more comfy," you say. "I'll be right back."

A second later you're back with boxer shorts and a t-shirt. "Here, sweetie," You say, quietly, as you pull my shirt over my head and replace it.

"You don't have to take care of me," I moan, "really. You should go out."

"No," Is all you say, while you rewet the cloth and hold it to my forehead. "I'm not leaving you here alone."

"But Alex."

"Would you leave me?" You ask pointedly.

"That's different." I answer feebly.

"That's why I'm not leaving you."

"You…you're…" I moan before my body heaves again….


How long have we been at this? How many more hours until the end of twenty-four hours? It's feeling almost like centuries. I'm sure it's worse for you…

I look down at your head in my lap. Finally you're sleeping. Finally, you've stopped arguing with me about leaving you here.

How do you expect me to leave you here, while you're sick?

I really don't get you sometimes. If our positions were reversed, we'd be in a similar place. I'd be laying on you, and you'd be taking care of me. Except, it'd never cross my mind to tell you to go play without me. I'd be clinging to you. At least I think that's what I'd do.

How is it different? Why is it different?

Because you're not a girl like I'm a girl? That's just so silly.

I slide my fingers through your hair. You still feel clammy to touch, but I think your fever finally broke. I glance over at the half emptied glass bottle, the local cure sent up by the hotel. I can't believe you actually took it, quite willingly, quite courageously.

I'm sure I would've put up a fight had you tried to feed me that foul smelling concoction.

"Alex?" You mumble, shaking your head.

"Yes, Liv?"

"Where are you going?"

Huh? You must be dreaming, or delirious.

I stroke your face, and squeeze your hand. "I'm right here, Sweetie. Not going anywhere."

"Promise?" You ask, sounding like a young child.

"Promise, Liv." I whisper, wondering what's going through your head. Will you remember when you wake up? Will you tell me if I ask?

I wait until you return to sleep, and I shift, careful not to disturb your rest. I stretch my neck, shake out the stiffness in my shoulders, and readjust my spine against the cold tiles.

If someone told me a year ago that I'd be doing this, that I'd care so much about someone, anyone, and be so slavishly devoted to them, I'd tell them to go to hell. I'd tell them they've lost their mind.

Alex Cabot, self-centered, ruthless, calculating, manipulative, ambitious, ice princess, control freak, sitting on the cold floor, caring for someone.

Caring about her… Watching over her… Feeling like a giant mush ball…

I brush my fingers through your hair again, and wipe your brows with the moist towel.

The power of love, eh, Cabot?

720 Nightmare

We're on the beach. It's warm and sunny, and the heat is permeating through my skin and I can feel myself sweating. You're there too, next to me, holding my hand.

"I know what you did," You say turning to me.

"What are you talking about?"

I look around and see them, down the beach, empty bottles in the sand.

"I know what you did," you say again.

I stare at the bottles and try to remember. "I didn't."

"I know what you did," you keep saying and I see you turning, changing into something else. Someone else.

I try to explain, I try to make the parts of you that I recognize understand. I want to make you listen.

It's hot. It's so hot. And you're angry, I can tell by your face. Angry at me, but I didn't do it, I want to explain to you but you won't listen. You just keep parroting the same thing over and over again as your body changes and moves. And then we're in the hotel, and you're packing your bags, and telling me that you can't be with someone so weak, so fragile. And I want to explain that I'm not like that, I'm strong and I can take care of myself…I promise not to need you, promise to not be a burden to you, and you turn into my mother, her cruel laugh, fills my head as I watch you walking away on the beach again, the sand grows between us and I chase you screaming after you to come back.

You don't turn around while I take a deep breath screaming your name...

My eyes open suddenly.

I'm not on the beach. Everything is white, and your hands are in my hair. "Where am I?" I ask slowly.

"We're in the hotel sweetie," I hear your gentle voice.

"Where are you going?" I ask desperately.

"I'm right here, I'm not leaving," You say, and I can hear confusion in your voice.

"Don't leave," I whine again.

"Shh..Liv, it was just a dream…"

Before I remember that I was awake, I fall back asleep in your lap.


"Come on, Sweetie," I try to shake you awake. "Baby... Liv..."

You moan, and make some whiny little noise, turn and wrap your arm around my leg. I put down the bottle of sludge, and let out a long sigh. Maybe I should just let you sleep.

At least for a few more minutes. I look at my watch. Yeah. Then we can try this again.

God. I'm so tired...

What a vacation it's turned into huh?

Cheer up, Alex Cabot, you still have over ten days ahead of you. By tomorrow this time, you'd have forgotten all about today.

Yeah. Always look on the bright side.

It really isn't so bad. Yes, it could have been better. Sure, I wish you weren't sick right now. I could wish for many other things.

Most importantly, we're here, together, just the two of us. Alive and happy in love. On a tropical island. Lacking and wanting nothing consequential…

Meanwhile, things also could be much worse.

Before my imagination could take a darker turn, I stop. I stop and pick up the bottle, and I try again to awaken you.

This time, you open your eyes, and I smile, apologetically. "Hey. It's time for you to finish this."

"I don't think there's anything left to hurl," you whisper weakly.

I think you're right about that. "It's up to you then."

"No. Just in case, I should." You reach for the bottle.

"Are you sure?"

You nod.

I watch you chug the rest of the sludge, and I hand you water I had poured into a glass for you earlier. You drink that without complaint, and resettle yourself against my body.

"Thank you." You squeeze my fingers.

I squeeze yours back, and bend down to kiss your forehead. "Try to go back to sleep," I suggest softly.

"Love you, Alex."

I smile back as your close your eyes. "Love you, too, Liv."

Now we wait for another purge session…

722 Sludge

The brown sludge you feed me tastes mysteriously like mud. Mud with salt in it. A lot of salt. The taste of it on my tongue triggers my gag reflex, but you're watching me, and I choke it down so that you don't think I'm weak.

I chug the water after it, knowing at least I'll have that when my body starts heaving. I let my body lean back into the wall, against your shoulder.

You hold me close to you, warm and safe. Your arms instinctively wrap around me, holding me tight.

"How do you feel?" You ask, brushing hair slowly out of my face.

"I'm okay," I whine. I try to smile. You shake your head at me gently.

"You're so brave."

I almost laugh. "I'm not brave." I pull my knees into my chest.

"Yes you are, I wouldn't have drank that." You say, pointing to the bottle.

"I had to."

"No you didn't."

"I don't want to ruin your vacation anymore."

"Sweetie, you're not ruining it. You can't help being…"

"I really think you should go out." I interrupt you.

"Liv, I thought that we settled that." You sigh.

"It's not fair to you to be stuck here," I whine right back at you.

"Liv, I'm here. I'm not leaving you while you're lying here sick. It's not happening, not in this lifetime, okay? So, you're stuck with me."

I smile. "I guess I'll have to live with that," I say slowly.

"Guess you will," you say with a smile, as you cradle my head.

Just at that moment, I feel my stomach lurch. Another round has begun.


Go out? I guess you don't realize what time it is now. In a way, it's good that you don't realize you've spent the last twelve hours between puking your guts out and fitful sleep. That means you're not feeling that miserable, right?

I lean over you, and hold your hair out of your eyes while you heave. I wonder how long this is going to last. Just what exactly do you have left in your stomach besides the water and the sludge that you just took. I'm doubtful you even have that now…

I try to focus on the designs on the tile. Try to blank my mind.

I don't want to think about anything. Don't want to remember anything.

When will I stop associating the two? You're sick, not drunk, and you can't help being sick…

Finally, you lift your head, and sit back on your heels. "God." You whine softly, "Can't you just kill me?"

I reach forward, and flush the toilet, then wipe your face with a wet towel. "How are you feeling?"

"Been much better."

"I'll bet," I say, laughing lightly. "Think you're done?"

"Not sure. Maybe. Can't taste the salt anymore."


"Makes you purge, and cleans out your system."


"My mom used to mix something like that… When she needed to get sober in a hurry."


You turn and smile at me. "It's okay, Alex, I've gotten over it."

Can you really get over having an alcoholic parent? I look into your eyes, and I'm not entirely convinced. Still, I smile, and pull you gently into my arms. "If you don't mind, I'd like to…"

"No, not at all," you interrupt and provide quickly. "Go, go have fun."

"You know, Liv, I was just going to suggest that we get in bed, and try to get some sleep." I'm not sure how much longer my body can handle the cold hard tiles.

"But you should enjoy…"

"If you keep saying that, I'm going to start to think you don't want me with you."

"Of course I do."

"Well, then." I stand, and reach down, to help you slowly to your feet. I hold onto your hand dangling off my shoulder, and wrap an arm around your waist. "Think you can make it?"

724 Sleepy

You pull me to my feet. "Come on," You say, gently, as you pull me off the cold tile.

"I don't want to go too far," I moan, already feeling the dizzy weakness over take me. You're insistent though, wanting me to get up, pulling me carefully upwards.

"I'll bring you a garbage can," you insist, "You should be in bed."

I acquiesce, gently letting you pull me to my feet. A few steps feels like a few miles, but we make it to the bed. You let me sit gently, and immediately go back into the bathroom for the trash can, which you sit next to my feet. "It's hot in here," I mumble, letting myself lean back on the bed.

"You have a fever." Is your simple reply.

"I'm really sorry.." I start.

"Liv, stop apologizing."

"I can't…" I say lying on my back.

"Yes you can, just stop. It's not your fault, okay?" You say with frustration in your voice.

"Okay," I say as I stare at the ceiling. I know it's not my fault, but I can feel warm tears forming in my eyes.

"Sit up," you nudge me.


"Sit up." You say again.


"You can't lie on your back, you could aspirate." You say like it's obvious.

I move over onto my side, and I feel you crawl up next to me. You must be tired. I wonder what time it is. I remember the cab ride home, vaguely, and it was definitely light out, but I can see through the window that it's dark outside, very dark. I wonder how many hours we sat on the floor.

You crawl into the bed next to me and gently rub circles on my back. My eyes flicker closed, but I can't fall asleep. My stomach is flipping and I can feel myself heaving, but this time you don't move. Instead, I can hear your gentle snore.

You must have been exhausted…


My eyes fly open to the sounds and motions of you moving, banging the trash can against the bed, and heaving.

I can't believe I fell asleep, just like that.

"I'm so sorry," I mumble, and lean over you, pushing your hair away from your face, while you try to empty your already emptied stomach.

Finally, your heaving stops, and you flop back onto the bed. "Go back to sleep, Alex," you say, almost scolding.

"I can't. I can't believe I did just now."

"You should be. What time is it?"

Why are you so cranky? "I'm sorry I fell asleep on you… I should be taking better care of you…"

"No. You shouldn't, you shouldn't have to."

"What do you mean?"

"I'm sorry for getting sick, for everything."

"Olivia Benson, stop acting like a child!" I snap, not really meaning to. But I've had it.

Then I feel the slight shaking, then I hear the light sniffling. Great, now you're crying.

I pull you close to me, and whisper gently against your neck. "I'm so sorry, I shouldn't have yelled at you. I'm just tired."

"I know. Why'd you do it?"

"Do what?"

"You should've gone out. Have fun. You should've gone to bed and not let me lay on you in the bathroom for so long," you sob.

"Olivia Benson, you're driving me crazy, you know that?"

You must not have heard the laughter in my voice, for you're sobbing harder still.

"Come on, stop crying." I rub circles on your stomach. "I did it because I love you, and it's part of my job to take care of you."

"I don't want to be a chore, an obligation."

"You're not. I don't mean job-job," I soothe. "I love you, and I want to take care of you."

"You shouldn't have to," you sniff.

"Sweetie, you can't help getting sick. You took care of me when I got sick, and when I got hurt," I remind you. "I didn't question it, at least not too much."

"That's different."

Great. Why is everything different? "Sure it's different, we're a together now, we have almost matching rings. In sickness and in health, Liv. We take care of each other…"

726 Tired

I'm so tired, and I'm sure that's what making this as bad as it is. The sobbing won't stop, and you're hovering over me, trying to soothe my incessant sniffling which makes me feel even worse.

I'm tired, and my body hurts, and I'm entirely miserable. Muscles that I didn't even know I had are throbbing in painful symphony. My stomach, even though it's far beyond empty, still flips. I wonder what exactly was in that brown sludge, but even as I question it, I'm pretty sure I don't want to know. I don't think I've felt this bad since…I can't even remember.

Since I was drinking. Since I would wake up on the floor with a horrible hangover, begging God to kill me.


This is probably harder for you than…


The thought makes my crying worse, and you keep talking, trying to convince me that you were happy to lie on the bathroom floor hours holding my head. It's such a lie. I wonder if you really did it for any reason beyond mere obligation. You keep telling me that I'd do it for you, but it's different.

You deserve to be taken care of. I'm supposed to be able to take care of myself.

I want to apologize, but I can't.

I want to be better, but I can't.

I feel so futile, I feel so helpless, so out of control, but not in the same way I long for.

I hate this feeling, I hate being needy, and wanting or needing someone to take care of me. I was so independent, but now I'm here, lying in this bed, needing you, wanting you to take care of me.

It scares me.

I'm not used to wanting someone like this. I guess it's part of commitment, part of relationships.

I take a deep breath, and try to stop crying.

You're looking into my eyes, beautiful blue sparkles while you try to make me feel better.

"I love you," I whisper, hoping you'll understand. Hoping that it will say everything I think, knowing that it still falls short…


"I love you, too." I smile back at you, hoping to let you know I really don't mind taking care of you, hoping you'd stop crying, and beating yourself up over something you can't control.

You bury your head against my shoulder, and heave, "I'm so sorry… so sorry…"

"For what?" I stroke your cheek, and pull you back with me, so we're both leaning against the head board. "You don't have anything to apologize for."


"Shhh… It's okay, don't cry." I wrap my arms around you. "I love you."

"You should've just let me…"

"Just let you what? Sit in the bathroom and suffer all by yourself?"

You just sob louder.

"God, do you think I'm such a horrible person?"

"No." You shake your head, and wipe your eyes. "But I don't want you to, I don't want to… I'm sorry."

Don't want me to what? Don't want to what? How many more times must we go through this? Why can't you stop apologizing?

Why can't you take a compliment? Why do you always insist on taking care of me? Why do you have to be so strong all the time? Why…


Unless you have the same fears I do.


"You know, Liv." I press a kiss to your forehead. "It's okay to need me, to want to be taken care of."

"But, Alex…"

"It's okay to be scared, too."

You look up at me, unshed tears welling up in your eyes. "How'd you know?"

"Because I get scared, too."

"About needing me?"

I nod. "You know why I fight you so hard sometimes? I'm afraid I'd get used to you taking care of me, watching out for me. I'm afraid I'd lose my independence…"

"You, too?"

"Yeah. And it scares me that I'm sitting here, with you, taking care of you, perfectly willingly. Scares me that I care so much about you. What if one day, I wake up from this, all of this… and I find out Alex Cabot can't function on her own…"

728 Confession

"It's just that…it's that, that's not exactly what scares me." I stammer, not sure how to continue. "I know that I could go back to taking care of myself. Of being alone. I wouldn't like it, but I could do it. I know how to survive that way. But see, what's really hard for me is, well, I'm not sure I want to be independent again. I want to be with you."

You look deep in thought. "I know what you mean."

"It's just, well, I'm used to you being there. And I like it. I like that when I have a bad day, I can call you and tell you about it, and you tell me what happened to you. I like that every night I come home, to our home, and that when I go to bed, you're going to be there with me. I like cooking for you, and hearing you laugh, and spending time with you. I never ever let anyone take care of me, my mom never offered really, and I kind of just learned to be my own comfort. But with you, it's…I want you there. And that makes me want you here now. But I keep hearing my head telling me that you can't want, that you must hate me for having to be here. It's why I keep begging you to go, to go out and have fun. I kind of guess that you'll start resenting me…and hating me. It's hard for me to have you here."

"Why Liv?" You ask, holding me tight in your arms.

"Because, I'm weak right now."

"Liv, you're not weak."

"Yes, I am ."

"You're not, but you don't always have to be strong for me."

"You don't understand," I say with a sigh, knowing that you don't feel the same way.

"No, I guess I don't." You say with a sigh. "Did I ever tell you I hate being told that I don't understand?"

I sigh. "I'm not sure…I can't explain it Alex," I say, trying desperately to stop you from being mad at me.

"I love you Liv, I want to be able to take care of you." You say, squeezing me tighter.

"I just, I have a hard time believing that you'd want to spend time taking care of me."

"I know you do," you say, gently rubbing my forehead. "But it's true."

"You're too nice to me…I don't…"

"Don't even say you don't deserve it."

"You know me too well."

"I know." You say with a smile


So you know for a fact you can go back to being independent, that you can go back to being alone, without me.

I wish I were so sure, so sure that I can function properly, without you.


That's bad. That's really, really bad.

Maybe I should step back, a least a little.

And then what?

Turn my emotions on and off like a faucet? I wish I could. I really wish I could.

Maybe I'm just being a drama queen. Maybe I can live without you. I just don't want to.

That would put us at the same place, right?

You can be alone, you just don't want to. You just want me around, to be there for you, to love you, to be loved by you.

Is that really so bad?

It could be, especially if…

I look at you, listen to your monologue, trying to catch every word. Wanting to analyze every word choice you make, every nuance…

I hear the fear in your voice, hear your uncertainty. Somehow you don't think you're good enough. Somehow you don't think you're worthy of my devotion, my love…

I guess we each have our own demons.

"I don't understand," I tell you. I don't know why you feel the way you do, don't understand why you have your insecurities. "Why do you always have to be strong?"

"I just, I just should be. To take care of you." You're looking at me like you're afraid to make me mad, scared that you'd push me away.

God. We're a pair, aren't we?

I hold you tighter to me. "I'm not sure how to convince you, that I don't mind taking care of you. I want us to take care of each other."

"But I don't…"

"Deserve it, Liv? Do you really think I'm so stupid?"

"No. What do you mean?"

"I must be really stupid to commit my life to someone so undeserving…"

730 Too Tired

It's not something I can change. The way that I feel is the way I feel. What do you want me to do about it? I want to explain, but I feel miserable, and I don't know what else to do. I can't argue with you now, I can't explain anything. I'm too tired.

"It's not that I think you're stupid…I just…I can't." I try, desperate to make you understand, but knowing that I'm falling so desperately short.

"Believe I'd want to love you? That I want to take care of you?" You continue.


"How do you feel when you take care of me?" You ask.

"Good. I like it." I say, wishing for something more eloquent.

"Well I feel the same way." You say plainly.


"But nothing Liv. I love you."

"I love you too, but"

"But nothing, Liv. I love you."

I sigh. I love you too. And I guess you're right. I lie on my back and stare up at the ceiling.

"How do you feel?" You ask me gently.

"Better." I say softly. "I'm so tired."

"I know sweetie." You say, rubbing your arms up mine. "I think your fever's going down."

"Yeah," I say, my eyes starting to flutter closed.

"You need to drink something."

"Alex please…"

"You'll get dehydrated."


"Liv. Let me take care of you."

"Fine." I say, with a sigh, watching you grab a glass from the table and opening the mini-fridge.


Finally, you're asleep. I wish you wouldn't fight me so hard. I wish you would just accept that I love you, and be content that I care about you as much as I do. I wish you wouldn't question your worth the way you do. I wish… I wish for so many things.

Most of all, I wish I weren't so scared.

So what do I do now?

I glance at the digital clock, then stare up the ceiling. Ten, eleven more hours until you're supposed to be well. I guess that's when the fish and the toxin completely leaves your system. Maybe you'll still be weak for a couple of days.

Maybe you'll want to take it easy for the rest of our vacation.

Maybe we can go through your list of place to do and things to see. We'll have a nice, enjoyable vacation like tourists do. Like grownups, and not horny teenagers.

It'll be easier when we get home. We'll go back to our routine.

I can go back to having regular dinners with mom and Trevor. Really, when's the last time I spend any time with either one of them?

Which reminds me, I need to call Trevor about the fish. Our fish.

Wish we were like our fish. Our lives would be much simpler. I doubt Alex fish wonders whether she's being too codependent. And I doubt Olivia molly asks about her self-worth…

So, even if you were to go to dinner with me, we'd be with company, we wouldn't be alone.

I could go back to spending more time at the office. After all, there's always more to do.

Then, instead of you cooking, we can just order out. Then I wouldn't get more spoiled about home-cooked meals.

What else can I do to regain my independence?

Oh, I could pick up my own dry leaning, I suppose. Or maybe this is one area I could give in. If I stepped back from all fronts, all at once, you might be suspicious.


Sounds like a plan, Cabot.

Now let's see how true I'm going to stick to this… It shouldn't, it can't be that difficult, right? I've lived alone for so long until now. I'm sure the transition will be okay. Maybe there won't be any transition period at all…

I can at least hope.

Finally, I feel my tired mind let go of the issue, and I slip into exhausted sleep…

732 Waking

I wake up slowly, in layers. My body hurts, my stomach muscles sore from the constant emptying. My body is achy, and tired. I want to slip back into sleep, but I can't. My body's awake and it's going to stay that way.

I can feel my stomach growl, a good sign. I'm hungry.

I wonder what time it is, as I look for a clock. I can't find one and remember that you insisted our little portable alarm clock be on your side of the bed, insisting that if you weren't awake, it was a good sign that I should go back to bed.

You're wrapped comfortably around me, holding me into your body, and I don't want to move to find the time. I don't honestly care that much.

Your breathing is even, and I wonder how long we've been like this. Holding each other close while we sleep.

I hear you starting to stir. "Liv," you mumble in your sleep.

"I'm okay, Alex." I say, and you smile.

"Do you feel better?"


"Good." You mutter, your eyes still closed.

"What time is it?" I ask you gently.

You turn your head and look at the clock, "It's almost eight."

"Oh." I say, closing my eyes again.

We lie together in silence.

"Are you hungry?" You ask me.

"A little. You?"

"Yeah. How about I go get us something to eat?" You ask.

"I don't really think I want anything." I mumble.

"We should get you something to drink at least." You say, rubbing my back and pulling away from me.

"Where are you going?" I whine.

"To get you something to eat?"

"I don't want you to go," I say reaching out for you, feeling helplessly whiny.

"Liv, come on." You say, pulling away from me anyway, leaving the bed empty and me pouting. "I'll be right back," you say, disappearing from the room.


I look down at myself, and realize I'm still dressed from yesterday. Still dressed enough to leave the room. I grab a clip, and twist my hair into a knot, and I'm out the door, leaving you all by yourself.

Slowly, I walk down the corridor, to the small lounge area with the ice and vending machines. I remember seeing orange juice and some sort of yogurt drink in there. Maybe they'll be a nice change from all the water you've been drinking.

That you're hungry, that's a good sign, too. Maybe it won't take you the entire twenty-four hours to get better. I'm sure it's an estimate after all.

I go through my coins slowly, making sure I'm putting in the correct change.

Somewhere in the back of my head, I hear a voice telling me I'm stalling.

Why? Because you're pouting and whiny?

Because you might feel good enough that I'm afraid one thing will lead to another, and we'd end up being intimate again. This is not just great sex anymore, is it? When did we cross that line? Were we ever at that line even. Somehow I don't remember…

I think it's different with you, even from the get go.

Why am I thinking so much? I think I think too much. Maybe I'm just making things overly complicated by over-analyzing everything.

I slide my fingers over my ring. We did promise each other forever. So, my worries are moot.

Really. Most certainly. Moot. I try to convince myself.

Taking a deep breath, I drop the money in the machine, and punch the requisite numbers. I wait for the cans to fall, then I gather them up, and return to the room.

You're sitting up against the headboard with your head on your knees looking dejected.

"Hey. You okay?" I smile. "You didn't throw up again, did you?"

"No. I'm fine," you mutter, and let out a high-pitched sigh.

"Then what's wrong?" I ask, while sitting down next to you in bed. "I brought us liquid breakfast, sort of."

"Thank you, but I'm not…"

"You have to drink something." I wipe the can with a tissue, and pop it open. "Here how about an orange juice."

You sigh, grab the can, and drain it. "There. Happy?"

"What's wrong, Liv?"

"You went away," you whine.

"To get us something to drink, I thought you'd appreciate it." I smile at you, hopelessly at a loss. "At least your body would..."

734 Misery

"But you…," I hear the dangerous whine in my voice. I'm being too needy, I'm wanting you too much.

I can see in your face that you don't want to deal with me, that you can't handle this right now, for whatever reason. Something must have happened, in the hallway, last night. You have that dangerous on the edge look in your eye, and I know that I've done something to make you angry. Well, maybe not done something, but something in your head is bothering you.

I hear the snap in your tone, the danger in your voice. "You've been begging me to leave the room for the last 12 hours and now I go out to get you something and you're going to look at me like that?"


"I'm sorry," I say, turning over onto my side and dejectedly throw the empty orange juice container into the garbage can.

"Liv," you say, before I can even get onto my side. "I'm so sorry, I'm…"

"It's okay, you're right." I sigh.

"Liv, come on," you say, pushing next to me on the bed. "I'm sorry," you say, pressing against me, kissing me on the cheek.

"It's fine." I say, again, pulling away.

"Liv. Please?"

"It's fine, Alex."

"Fine." You say pulling back away from me.

I stare at the wall, and feel sorry for myself.

"You know, if you want me to feel bad, you win."

"I don't want you to feel bad," I mumble.


I sigh. It's not enough for me to feel miserable.

I have to truly be miserable.


I tear my eyes from the ceiling and turn to you. "Can we start over? I don't want to spend the day sulking."

"Can you tell me what's going on?"

"What do you mean what's going on?"

"What's happened?"

"What happened? What do you mean? Nothing happened, Liv."


"Seriously, nothing happened."

"What have I done? Am I being too needy?"

"You've done nothing, Liv." I try to wrap my arms around you, and pull you close to me. It feels like I'm hugging a block of ice, and I sigh. "No, you're not being too needy; not at all."

"Then what's going on in your head?"

Why do you know me so well? Or am I just so bad at hiding my emotions around you? "Nothing." I say, and roll over onto my back.

"Come on Alex," you turn onto your side to face me. "Something's bothering you, I can tell. And I'm too tired to pull it out of you."

"There's really nothing to pull, Liv." I'll be damned if I tell you. I'm sure you'll just tell me it's all in my head, and tell me how foolish I am. I'm already doing that to myself, I don't need you to do it, too. Thank you very much.

"Fine." You roll away from me again, curl into yourself.


Then you sigh loudly.

Now what? "What?"

"I just wish I knew what I've done to make you mad."

"I'm not mad, Sweetie, I really am not."

"Upset, miffed, unhappy, whatever word you want to use."

Now it's my turn to sigh, my turn to build walls. "You know, sometimes I think we don't know how to get along if we're not screwing…"

736 Maybe

"Maybe we don't." I sigh.


"Maybe you're right. Maybe we're only good at fucking."

You're silent for a minute, before muttering a "Maybe" that cuts through my heart like a knife.

"So maybe we're not really good for each other."

"Are you serious?" You whisper.

"So what are we going to do?"

"What do you mean?"

"Well, if you don't think we're good for each other, so what do you want to do?"

You're silent again. And then you stop, "You're not serious are you?"

"You are." I say. "So what is it? I'm sure we've managed to live together, love each other for more than a year because we're only good at screwing each other."

"I didn't mean it like that."

"That's what you said." I point out.

"But it's not…"

"Look Alex, I feel like crap. I don't know what I did now, or what you think I did, or what is pissing you off, but I can't handle it right now."

"I'm not upset, Liv."

"Sure Alex."


I look at you expectantly.

"I'm just afraid that…"


"I'm afraid that I love you more, love you more than you love me. That you are…that you could leave me right now, and be fine…and I don't think I could be. And that scares me. Okay?"

737 FEAR

You always hurt the one you love most. Isn't that what they say?

I can tell by the look on your face that I shouldn't have said what I said. That 'screwing' is not exactly the word I should have used.

And the 'maybe'. You don't like that word either…

Why is that when it comes to you, my will is so often not my own?

Why do I have so many doubts? So many fears?

You're upset.

You're upset because you think I'm upset with you. "I'm not upset with you, Liv."

"Yeah, right." You're not convinced at all.

"I really am not. I'm just…"


"I'm just afraid that I love you more. That I love you more than you love me…" There. I said it. Happy now?

"Why would you think that?"

"You said you'd be fine without me. I'm not so sure that I'd be fine without you."

"But Alex…"

"You see, actually, I'm much more upset with myself."

"Sweetie," you reach for me, trying to reach out to me.

"I'm sorry, I just… can't." I shrink into myself. I can't let you do this right now. I can't let myself fall for it, can't let myself fall for you more. "You can't help what you feel. Or what you don't feel in this case. I don't blame you…"

I just blame myself… I blame myself for loving you more. For not making you love me more. Why are we even talking about this? Where is it going to get us?

"Alex…" You sigh. "I'm never going to leave you."

"How can you be so sure? What if…"

"I'm sure. Just as I'm sure you'll bounce back. Maybe not right away. But you will."

"I wish I were as sure." I hug the pillow tighter, as if it would cushion the hurt.

"I'm not worth…"

"Maybe not to you…" You are everything to me. The sudden realization of that horrifies me…

738 Softly

"You know Alex, before I met you, my life was…bad. I mean, not a lot of good things happened to me. I was a drunk, I was lonely. I had my work, and that was it. And now I have that, but I have something else. Now there's you."

"Yeah, for what good that does."

"You don't see how much I love you? How much I need you?"

"Not really."

I sigh. "You've made me want to be better, to change my life."

"That's great, but…"

"I could go back to being alone, I know, listen, it's not personal."

"I know," you say quickly, defensively.

"Alex, I've lived my whole life alone."

"I know," you say again.

"But I don't want to live like that. You've got to believe that."

"It's hard for me."

"I know Alex, but that's in your head. You're the same woman, the same strong independent woman that you've always been. You love me, but you're not totally helpless."

"I know." You say, pouting at me. "You just don't…"

"Alex, I can't."


"I can't do this right now."


"I can't fight with you. I can't handle this."

"I think…I think I'm going to go for a walk." You mumble, as you stand slowly from the bed.

"Fine." I breathe…as you shut the door softly behind you.

739 WALK

Why do we always end up fighting? I wonder as I ride the elevator down to the first floor.

The man at the front desk asks me how you are, and I provide the obligatory answers. Quickly, it becomes obvious to him that I'm not in a chit-chat mood. So he lets me go, and I wander out the front door.

I look up towards the window after I cross the street. I'm not sure why I thought I'd see you standing there. That's something I'd do. Not you.

I sigh and lower my head, and move towards the beach.

We're supposed to be on a vacation. We're supposed to be happy.

Do we just not know how to be happy?

Or is this solely my problem?

It's so much simpler when I was involved with people who loved me more. At least they thought they did, and I believed them. It was easy. I knew exactly where I stand. Knew exactly how much control I have over them, over the relationship. Most of all, over myself.

Is that it? Another control issue I have to resolve?

Is it really just in my head, like you said?

Sure, you don't want to go back to living alone. I can see that.

But you could be involved with anybody, and you still wouldn't be living alone.

Do you really need me? You've been trying so hard to not need me. You always want to be the strong one, the one who does the care-taking. Even for the last twelve or so hours, you fought with me every step of the way. And I'm supposed to see that you need me?

Honestly, am I still the strong independent woman I've always been? At work I definitely am.

But at home? With you?

You take care of me, and I let you.

I suppose I could go back to picking up my own dry cleaning. It won't be that difficult. It certainly won't kill me.

But that's so different from the idea of living without you.

So different from actually living without you…

I still remember how I was when we broke up, when you broke up with me. I remember how I had to shut out part of my emotions, in order to stay in control, to not fall to pieces.

Maybe I can do it. I just don't want to believe that I can.

Maybe I just somehow got hung up on the romantic notion of an all consuming, selfless love, of some sort of bodice-ripper fantasy.

Yeah. I shake my head, and laugh lightly at myself. Maybe I really just need to work on my control issues…

740 Pretend

I listen to the door closed, and I slam my eyes shut. I refuse to look, refuse to acknowledge that you're gone.

I feel miserable, both in my head and in my body. I wish that this would go away, all the pain would just disappear. But it doesn't go that way, it never just melts when I will it to. Instead I'm left here, trying to deal.

I'm too weak to get up, too scared to go to the window to watch you walk away from me. I can see it in my head, and that's bad enough.

I feel bad, bad for myself, sorry for not being able to help you, to make you feel better. And worst of all, I'm angry, angry that you wear your emotions on your sleeve. Angry that right now, you walked away. In a sick way, it's what I wanted. Wanted you to go out and enjoy the weather, to not stay in here, stuck with me. And now that you're out there, why do I feel so bad?

At least I know, know now, now what bothers you so much. That I don't need you, that I don't seem to need you the way you need me.

I need you just as much, just differently.

I need your smile. I need your approval in a way that you don't seek mine. I rely on your approval, I rely on your thank you's and the happiness in your eyes when I give you my attention. It's a reliance on hearing how your day was, and needing to feel your quiet heartbeat while I snuggle against you in the night.

I refuse to let myself cry that you're gone.

I refuse to believe even that you're not just in the next room.

I close my eyes.

I concentrate on finding nothingness.

I pretend you're still here and I reach out, finding the teddy bear I bought you sitting on the bed.

Mr. Bear.

He keeps me warm, your surrogate until you return.

My eyes flutter closed one last time before I'm asleep…whispering your name and wishing you'd come back to me…


I try to let go of my thoughts, to swallow the knot in my throat. Really, it's all in my head, this romantic notion. Romeo and Juliet. Bah!

It's all your fault anyway. I never used to look for romance and sentimentality in anything. Rational, practical. That's how Alex Cabot used to be. That's how she should be again.

If not right now, if not today, tomorrow… maybe. I hope.

I wander further down the beach, not ready to go back and face you this very moment.

Or face myself for that matter.

I feel so stupid.

Even right now, I'm missing you, wishing I were back in the hotel room. Laying in bed with you, cuddling with you, even watching you sleep should you be sleeping, whatever. I just want to be with you.

But I can't.

Why do things have to be so complicated?

Am I just too complicated for my own good?

Or maybe too prideful… I sigh.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see a store, just across the street. It looks like a grocery store. Suddenly my stomach remembers that it hasn't been fed for almost a day…

I really don't feel like eating. But I probably should. Maybe I'll find something there you might like. After all, you should eat, too.

Whether I want to accept it or not, I do care about you, and you do mean everything, or at least a lot, to me.

I sigh again, and cross the street. In the store, I take my time, looking at anything and everything. I make small talk with the cashier while she rings up the food. I even ask for recommendation on things to do, trying my best to tarry. Still, I've only been gone for two hours at the most.

What are you doing right now? I wonder. Are you missing me?

Selfishly, I hope you are. I hope you're miserable without me.

Too soon, I'm back at the hotel. This time, I chat with the manager, asking him what you should and shouldn't eat, and answering his questions about New York.

By the time I'm standing in front of our door, I'm ready. Quietly, I slide the key into the lock, wait for the click, and slowly turn the handle.

Everything's quiet, too quiet. For a brief moment, I wonder if you hadn't left the room, out of spite or something. Then I see you lying in bed, curled up onto your side, and around my stuffed bear.

I feel my heart soften. Just how do you do it? Disarm me even in your sleep?

Gently, I slip onto the bed, careful not to wake you.

Then I see your knotted brows, here the soft whimper of your voice, calling my name, calling out for me.

Is it despair I hear in your voice?

I stop my hand from touching your shoulder, and debate whether or not to wake you. I wonder what you're dreaming…

742 Nightmares

You just keep saying it, again and again, "I'm leaving." Angry flashes of red shine in my eyes, as you slam the door behind you, stalking out. I feel panic overtake me, as I cry out for you, but I can't move. I'm paralyzed to the bed, unable to follow you.

The door slams again, the repeat continues as you walk out again, and again. Storming by me, screaming you're leaving.

I can't get up. I can't chase you.

Something invisible holds me down and I'm forced to watch you leave me again and again while I call out for you.

And then you touch me, a break in the repetition, and I fly quickly through the layers of consciousness.

"Liv?" You ask. But I can't respond to you. There's something wrong. You're not really there, you're far away, or my eyes, are they just not focusing…? Are you here, or…

You're here. When did you get here?

I moan. Or I hear my moan. Or I hear what I think might be my moan.

I see you but I can't quite talk. I can't quite see you. I'm not quite sure…


I see your eyes. I see panic in them. Or I don't remember…

"Liv wake up."

I feel you shaking me, but I can't move. I can't talk.

But I can see you. Or is it my…

See you talking, as I hear you barely

"Liv, come on, say something" you scream at me, but I can't…

There's something wrong.

There's something very wrong.

I try to moan your name…try…so…hard…but my eyes close and I'm out…


I watch you dream, and I wonder if I should wake you.

The way you're twitching, and whimpering, I can tell you're having a bad dream, and I'm in it.

I really should wake you. Selfishly though, I want to know what you're dreaming, what demons are haunting you.

So I wait.

Soon, you're struggling, pushing off your blankets in the process. Still, you cling onto Mr. Bear. I wait until you calm down again, and gently pull the covers back over you.

"Alex… Alex…" You call my name.

I can feel my heart breaking to the desperate timbre of your voice. The only thing more overwhelming is perhaps my guilt.

Still, I don't wake you.

I need to know.

For a brief instant, your eyes flick open. There are no signs of recognition in them whatsoever. As quickly as they opened, they slam shut once more.

You're moaning my name again. Mumbling about something wrong.

I wonder what's wrong in your dream.

What makes your whimpers more desperate…

Should I wake you? Maybe you'll forget your dreams when you wake. Or maybe it'll just keep haunting you.

Knowing you, it'll probably be the latter. It'll probably haunt you for the next two weeks…

"Liv," I call you softly, touching your shoulder.


"Liv, Sweetie, wake up."

"No…" You sob.

"Come on, Sweetie," I kiss you gently on your forehead, your nose, your cheeks, your lips. Finally they respond. Finally, the change in your breathing tells me you're awake.

I pull back slightly, and watch you open your eyes. Watch the myriad of emotions flit through your features, ending with relief.

"You came back?" You ask, almost unbelieving, strangling the stuffed bear, as if to anchor yourself. "I'm awake? Say something? Please?"

"Yes, sweetie, I came back." I touch your face. "And you're awake…"

744 Waking

When you wake me, I still feel paralyzed by the dream. Still afraid that when I try to talk, I won't be able to. I want you to be real, I want to know you're there.

"Are you awake?" You ask me, and my voice is slow to respond.

"Alex?" I mutter as my eyes flitter open.

"I'm right here," you say, your fingers still on my shoulder. It's so real, I want to believe it. But I'm still not sure, still confused, still ready for you to insist you're leaving…

"Are you…?"

"I'm right here, Liv, you just had a bad dream." You say, your hand tracing down my arm. You feel so real, but I'm still not sure.

"It was…bad." I mumble, still only half awake.

"Do you want to talk about it?" You ask.


"Fine," you say.

"I thought you were leaving."

"I came back though."

"No, in the dream, you were leaving."


"You just kept…"

"I'm here now," you offer gently.

"I know." I say, reaching for you. "I'm so sorry," I mumble.

"What are you sorry for?" You ask.

"I don't know, just don't…don't leave…" I nearly cry.

"I'm not going anywhere…" You say slowly.

"Good," I sniff, crawling over and onto you, holding you tight, never wanting to let you go…

745 FEAR

"Hey," I reach up to stroke your back. "You okay?"

You nod against my neck, and hold on tighter.

You know you're getting kind of heavy; but I don't say anything. Instead, gently, I ask, "Are you..." Crying?

"I'm fine, Alex," you sniff. "I'm just...."


"I'm just scared," you whisper in your little girl voice.

"About what?" I think I know the answer, but I'd like to hear it from your lips.

"That you're going to... leave," you heave. "Please don't leave?"

"I'm not. The thought never crossed my mind, I promise." I hold you, trying to calm your sobs. "Besides, I came back. With food," I tell you with a smile in my voice, hoping to cheer you up. "You've got to be hungry by now."

Ignoring my offer of sustenance, you ask, "Ever? Please don't leave, ever?"

"I'm not planning on it." I tell you truthfully.


That'd be entirely up to you, I think to myself. Again, I touch you soothingly, as if you were a child. "It was just a dream, Liv. It wasn't real."


"Shhh…" I raise your head, and wipe the tears from your eyes. "It's okay…"

"It's not. It was…" You mumble and squeeze me to you.

I hug you back. "Yeah, Liv?"

"I just, I'm not sure I've been more afraid in my life…"

What? I almost ask. You said that so softly, so quickly, I almost think I heard wrong. But I think, I'm pretty sure I heard what you said. "Come on, Liv, that's…"

You shake your head. "No, it just, it felt so real, and I was so afraid, I felt paralyzed."

So maybe you don't need me. But you do feel so strongly about me, about us, that a mere nightmare causes you to react so negatively. So desperately.

Maybe that should be enough, for me. Maybe I should be content with what I have...

746 Scared

I don't know what's wrong with me. A mixture of being sick and overtired, but the dream, it's so real, and I feel so desperate. So afraid that one day, you'll wake up and decide…

This isn't me.

I feel like a lost child, and I find myself clinging to you, desperate to hold you close. I hold you tightly, begging you without words to never let me go.

"Liv," you say, rubbing my back. Your soothing voice promises me that everything's okay.

I take deep breaths, trying to calm my sobs. My body shakes with the effort.

"It's okay," you say, over and over again.

"I'm sorry," I mutter as my sobs start to calm.

"It's okay," you say, rubbing my back gently.

"I don't know what's wrong…" I say, the tears refreshing themselves.

"It's okay, Liv, you're scared. But it's over now, it was just a dream."

I hold you, tightly. I'm desperate to not let you go, but you hold me in return and it makes me feel better. I'm not sure that I've ever felt like this, needing you like this. Needing anyone like this.

It's so strange, strange that you're the only thing right now, keeping me from feeling sheer lost panic, amazing that you have the power to make me feel like this.

And that is…okay with me.

Okay for me to find comfort in your arms. Okay for me to love you so completely and not be afraid.

"I love you Alex." I mumble.

"I love you too Liv."

"No, I just. I really love you."

You smile and give me a hug. "I love you too…"


"No, I mean, I really love you," you tell me, raising your head so our eyes meet. "I really do."

Okay… "I really love you, too," I say, and smile at you gently. I guess words are not your strongest suit. Well, at least words in relation to your feelings, for I've seen you work in the interrogation room. I've seen you charm candies from little children, well, not literally…

Wait. Why am I going off on a tangent?

Something about the way you're looking at me is making me nervous. "What?"

"I'm not sure you're really getting it."


"I really do love you."

"Okay," I say, trying to sound cheerful. Still smiling, I raise up, and kiss you on the nose.

You're still gazing at me when my head hits the pillow again.

I ask you silently this time, with a lift of my brow. I'm not sure I trust my voice.

Then, as if in slow motion, you lower your head, and close your mouth over mine, sliding your tongue over my lips and teeth.

I feel the surge of arousal in my body. I feel the delicious warm flush.

Suddenly, I no longer find your weight on me uncomfortable…

Suddenly, I want to press you to me. To arch up against you. To feel your naked flesh gliding against my body. Feel you slipping inside me. Taking me and making me yours.

Over and over.

Never letting go…

I lace my fingers in your hair, and pull away from you, gasping. "Liv…"

"Yes, Sweetheart?"

"I don't, well, maybe we shouldn't." I shouldn't. Not right now. "Considering, you must still be tired."

"I'm fine," you say gently. "I want you."

"And I want you, too, but…"

"Shh…" You press a finger to my lips, and brush your other hand down my body. "I really need this, Alex."

I take in a shallow breath, realizing I can no sooner stop my body or my heart than I can stop the sun from rising and setting. At least not right now. Maybe tomorrow… "All right." I smile, and sink deeper into the bed.

"I need you, Alex," you whisper, and slip your fingers under my shirt.

"What?" Now I think I'm dreaming. What changed your mind? Your nightmare?

"I really do," you say, and mold our mouths together, and tease my body with your hands.

With a shudder, I surrender myself to your touch.

Tomorrow will take care of itself, I'm sure…

748 Glowing

Your head rests comfortably on my shoulder, while I hear the last remnants of your heavy breathing ring through my ear.

"God, Liv." You mumble, and I lean over and kiss you gently on the forehead.

"I love you," I whisper.

"I love you too." You say, "And that was…"

"Amazing." I finish the sentence for you.

"Yeah." You breathe. "I could…"

"Fall asleep?" I ask.

You laugh, a light and gentle laugh. "You know me too well." You say, snuggling your hands around me, letting them run small trails up and down my torso.

I barely want to admit it, but I'm tired too. And hungry. Wait, didn't you…?

"Allie?" I ask, quietly.

"Hmmm.." You whimper.

"Did you get food?"

"Mmm… yeah."

"Where?" I ask, and you smile.

"Next to the bed…didn't get much further than that."

You move letting me lean over to find the brown bag you were carrying. Your eyes open, a smile on your face, you watch me reaching for the bag.

"What'd you get?" I ask.

"Nothing heavy," you mutter, as you begrudgingly pull yourself up to watch me pull things from the bag.

I open a wrapped box of fruit and take a bite. "It's good," I mumble.

"Be careful," you say, as you watch me shoving fruit into my mouth.

"Why?" I ask.

"You just got over food poisoning and you're asking me why you should be careful?"

I smile at your frustration, I smile at your love, I smile at you…

749 BAIT

I watch you shove food in your mouth, my initial warning going unheeded. Granted, I picked up only light and absolutely boring food with your recovery in mind. Still. "You really should be careful, you know," I try again.

In response, you push the fruit towards me. "You should try this. It's good."

I roll my eyes at you, and take a bite. "Yeah, you're right." I smile, and take another bite.



"I didn't say you can have the whole thing."

"Oh, well, too bad." I stick my tongue out at you, refusing to give the fruit back.

You look at me for a long moment, then smirk. "Well, I'll get it back from you some other way," you say, and pick out another container of food.

"No you won't."

"Yes, I will."

"I'd like to see you try," I respond, and finish the last bite.

"Don't worry."


You smirk again, and rake your eyes over my naked body. "You are what you eat."

"Olivia Benson!" I grab for the pillow, and throw it at you.

You just set it aside, and chuckle. "Unless you're gonna hold out on me," you say, looking straight into my eyes. "Heh. Didn't think so."

"Shut up." I take the food from your hand. "Yech. How can you eat that?"

"You're the one who bought it. Besides, it's really not that bad."

"If you say so."

"Here, Sweetie. Try this."

I do. "Now, that's good."

"I thought so, too."

When I try to give it back, you shake your head. "Keep it, like I said…"

"Can you stop that?" I blush.

"Hm… I'm not sure I've ever seen a full body blush."

"Shut up, and stop leering!"

"Why? Is it making you warm and gooey?"

"Just hush…"

750 Blush

You're so easy to tease.

You flush a deep purple even at the slightest sentiment that you might like sex, but you never complain when you're actually getting it.

I love watching your pale skin turn from its normal beautiful creamy color into a flushed red. It means I know you're embarrassed, a sure sign that I'm hitting on the right vein. I can't help but look at you, can't help to stare at your beautiful body.

"You have fruit juice dripping down your chin."

I wipe it away like a child with the back of my hand.

"Haven't you ever heard of a napkin?" You ask, shaking your head at me while I smile at you sheepishly.

"Come on, we're eating fruit naked. We should be allowed to use our hands for napkins."

You pick up a piece of paper napkin and wipe your mouth.

"You have no whimsy." I proclaim.

"I do so," you say, smiling. "I'm just not a slob."


"What's that mean?"

"You're not a slob, huh?"

"Of course not," you say full of righteous indignation.

"Who's underwear is on the floor of the bathroom?" I ask you.

"Mine. But it's lying on top of yours."

"Good point," I say, trying to hide my smile.

You roll your eyes at me and laugh. "You're hopeless.

"I know, but…"

"Yeah yeah, I love you," you say, finishing it for me.

"Yep." I say, with a goofy grin.


"You're supposed to be recuperating."


'Then stop it."

"Why? You're not still mad?"

"I wasn't mad."

"Come on Allie…"

"Stop calling me that! Alex is already a nickname."

"You call me Livvy."

"Only when I'm being playful. You're being whiny annoying."


"Great. Now you're sulking."

"You hurt my feelings." You drop your head onto your knees, and hug yourself around the shins. "And I'm sick."

"You got that right!"

"I meant I don't feel good, and you're supposed to help me feel better."

"I am, huh?"

"I love you."

"You know, that's so unfair."

"What is?"

"You know what those three little words and your puppy dog eyes do to me, and you milk it."

"But it's not working right now."

Oh, much more than you know. "It's for your own good."

"Hmpf. You don't love me anymore."

"Fine, fine. Here, you can have your stupid toy back." I finally give in, and shove it in your hands.

"Thank you!" You smile, and press a kiss to my cheek.

"Yeah. It'll cost you more than a kiss."

"Don't worry. We'll celebrate when I win your game for you." You smirk and look down at your portable video game player. "Wait, all that cursing and growling, you were playing chess?"

"Yeah? I kept seeing better moves I could've made after the fact."

"But you were playing chess."

"Your point?"

"You're such a nerd sometimes."

Olivia Benson, you're gonna die. "I'm a what?"

"An n-e-r-d? Especially with your glasses."

"The same glasses that make you act like a horn dog?"

752 Mate

"Yep, those glasses," I say, smiling at the little plastic monitor. "I didn't even know they made chess for these things."

"Liv," you warn. "I thought you loved those glasses."

"You look hot in them, but you're still a nerd. I think you wear them to look smart." I say, with a grin. "Don't want people thinking you're a dumb blonde."

"I'm not a dumb blonde. And you know perfectly well why I wear them."

"Because you're blind?"

"I'm not blind."

"Relax, Alexandra," I say, for emphasis. "I'm just picking on you."

I stick my tongue out at you and concentrate on the game. In a few seconds, I smile. "Checkmate," I say, proudly showing you the screen.

"How'd you do that?"

"I used to play." I shrug. "And notice how I did it with no swearing."

"I can't believe you just did that," you say, taking the game from my hand and staring at the screen.


"You only used seven moves." You say, pressing buttons and restarting the game.

"You already had a good start." I shrug again.

"Liv, that's amazing."

"It's not a big deal. Do you have any real games?" I ask, reaching for your bag.

"Chess is a real game."

"Yeah, Alex, sorry, let me rephrase. Do you have any fun games?"

"I can't believe you…" You mutter as you slide your hand back into the bag and throw me the cartridges you have. I smile and lean back into the pillows…


"Are you going to do that all afternoon?"

"Do what?" You mumble at the screen.

"Play your stupid games."

"It's not a stupid game, Alex. It's challenging and sweet. You should try it; it'll give you the warm and fuzzies."

"It's a brawler, that's what it is."

"Yeah? Your point?"

"Beating up Disney characters doesn't give me warm and fuzzies." I cross my arms, flop back against my pillows and stare up the ceiling.

"You don't…" You start, then you sigh, and set the game console on the dresser.

I suppress my smile. "You don't have to stop."

You snuggle up to me, and kiss me on the nose. "Yeah, right."

"I'm just bored."

"I know. So what would you like to do?"

"I don't know. What do you want to do for dinner?"


"I mean for food, and you're supposed to be recuperating."

"You know, Alex, you keep saying that."

"It's true, you are."

"Then why can't I play a game in peace? When you're sick, you get your way. Actually, you get your way all the time."

"Fine." I push you off of me, and curl onto my side. "Sorry to have disturbed your R and R."

"Come on, Sweetie, I was just making an observation," you say, leaning over me.

"Stop tickling me." I push your fingers away from my ribs. "Just go back to your game."

You let your hand drift up my body to cup my breast. "I'd much rather do something else, with you."

My body wakes up with a jolt. "We really shouldn't…"

"Is it really because you think I need the rest? Or is it because I teased you earlier?"

"You do need to rest!" I defend my reason, trying not to squirm against you. Trying not to reach up and bury my hands in your hair and pull you to me.

"Uh-huh…" Your fingers skip down the front of my shirt.

I should stop you, should make you redo the buttons…

754 Tease

I can feel your body responding to me, and I know I have you. Your moan is almost inaudible, but I recognize it. I can feel the way it hitches in your chest, the way you let it out slowly to try to make it so I can't hear it.

I know the way you respond to me, and I love it.

You press into me, slightly, and I smile as I take a deep breath inhaling the scent of your hair. I love you, I love you so much.

"You're supposed to be…resting," You gasp, as I pinch your nipple. I laugh at your response, and I slowly slide my fingers down your stomach to the waistband of the tight jeans, but then I pull my hand away.

"You're right." I say quickly, "I'm not in the mood anyway."

I move away from you quickly and grab the console off the table and flick it back on.

"What are you doing?" You say, flipping over.

"You don't want to."


"You told me to rest. I'm resting."

You look me in the eye, and I wonder if you can see the slight smile on my face.

"Bitch." You mumble, turning over onto your side.

"Hey, that's not nice."

"You're not nice." You say.

I throw the console down, "I love you," I say slowly.

"You could act like it." You mumble.

"Come on, you know I was teasing you."

"You're always teasing me."

"That's my job. I'm your girlfriend."

"Your job is to be nice to me."

"Come on Alex, you know I always want you."


"And you know I love you more than anything."


"So, you forgive me?" I ask. You turn your head and look into my eyes.

"I guess," you sigh…


"You guess?" You search my eyes. When I look away, you reach out and lift my chin, until our gazes meet once more. "What?"

"What, what?"

"You're upset again."

"Who says I'm…"

"Alex," you interrupt. "Can we please stop playing semantics games? I know you too well for that. Tell me, what have I done this time? I'm sorry if I teased too hard."

I sigh, and try not to yield to instinct to withdraw. "It's not about that. It's not something you've done."

"Something I said then?"

I remain silent.

"What did I say?" You ask, then pause to search your memory. "I can't think of anything I might have said that would upset you. Enlighten me? Please?"

"We're girlfriends?"


"Girlfriends. That's it?"

"You know what I meant, Alex."

"No I don't." Part of me knows this is probably just semantics. It's just a noun. A word. I shouldn't get so bent out of shape over a simple word. Shouldn't over-analyze everything. We're wearing each other's rings, and you allegedly want to spend the rest of your life with me...

But it's such an important word.

"Alex, sweetie…"

"We're not even listed as each other's emergency contacts. If something happened to me, they're going to call my mom, and…"

"Nothing's going to happen to you."

"That's not the point. If you get hurt, the first person they're going call is the Captain, and not just because he's your boss."

"Well…" You don't even take a moment to think; you break into a smile. "We can just fill out new papers and make the changes. That's easy enough."

"Yeah." As if that resolves everything. I guess it does for you.

"Now what?" You ask, clearly confused, maybe even impatient.

"Nothing, Olivia. Let's forget about it."

"But you're still upset. Come on, talk to me."

"I thought we were girlfriends a year ago, when we first got together. Are we going steady now, to you? Just how many steps are we from being buddies who fuck?"

756 Games

"Alex, this is just a word game."

"No, it's not." You demand. "This is incredibly important."

"It's semantics. You're pissed that I called you my girlfriend? What do you want me to call you?"

"It's not important."

"But it is, it's just a word. You know how I feel."

"Sometimes, I don't think I do."


"I don't think I know how you feel. I think sometimes that you could give me up, or set me aside, and that everything would be the same for you."

"You know…"

"No, I don't. Liv, I worry that you're going to wake up some day and realize that this is convenient for you, or that you've learned to rely on me, but I could just be replaced. That you'd be as happy with just another warm body."

"Sweetie," I say, reaching for you. I can hear the tears in your voice, even if I can't see them. I know this must have been bothering you for a long time. "I could never replace you."


"You're just not replaceable."

"Yeah, you say that, but it's…"

"Alex, you're my world. You knew me before."

"Yeah," you say, staring straight ahead, not looking at me.

"I wasn't…I was so lonely, so sad, so…drunk."

"But you survived."

"But there's surviving and there's living. You've given me a life. You've made me want to be better, and not just anyone could do that. Not just anyone would even care about me that way."


I've seen the way people look at you. Even when you were a drunk. Given half a chance, they'll try for you. Not that I'd bring it up, especially if you haven't noticed it. Wouldn't want to give you ideas… "How can you be so sure?"

"Sweetie, I just am. Trust me."

"I'd like to…"

"You are my world, Alex," you say again, with emphasis.

"But you just said earlier that you thought you'd be okay without me."

"I wouldn't kill myself, but I wouldn't be living."

"Okay." I sigh. "Let's just drop it."

"Alex, I do need you. I thought we settled that earlier, too, when I freaked out about you leaving."

"I suppose."

"What would you like me to do, Alex. Tell me, and I'll do it."

Yeah, right. Remember that fit you had about us being poster girls? "I don't know…"

"Help me out here. What can I do to make you trust me. Obviously this is not enough." You lay your fingers on your ring on my hand.

What can you do? What do I want? "I, Liv, I honestly don't know."

"If you want me to go out to the balcony and shout it to the world…"

"That's okay. I'm sure they think we're weird enough."

"I can go get one of those 'I'm with her' tee-shirt."

"No. That's silly. Really, Liv, let's just forget it, okay? It was just a stupid thing."

"It's not stupid. Whatever's important to you is important to me."

"I'm sure I'll get over it. You're right, it makes no sense."

"I didn't say that, Sweetie."

"You don't have to. I just, I don't know why I… Never mind."

You look at me for a long moment, then state, "Everyone already knows we're together."

"I know."

"Do you, um, do you maybe want flowers and dresses, and you know…"

Huh? "Flowers and dresses? What are you talking about?"

758 Flowers And Dresses

"Flowers and dresses? What are you talking about?" You ask with a questioning look on your face.

That's not exactly what I meant, or how I wanted it to sound. I've now officially stuck my foot so far in my mouth that I'm choking on it. It's not like I haven't thought about you, and me, being committed, in front of people. I have. It's just that, I'm not sure I see the point.

I'm not sure I really want to do this. It's like being a poster child, it's proving a point. It's not even legal, it's not even recognized, so other than appeasing you… I'm not sure what it would prove, other than give you another layer of commitment. And you already don't trust what I've given you.

"I don't know," I pretend to feign ignorance knowing exactly what I meant and I look into the bed spread which suddenly becomes interesting.

"Do you want to…?"

I stare at you, waiting for you to finish, hoping you're not going to say what I think you're going to say. Not that I don't want to, but…

"Want to?"

"Get…" You let your voice trail off as you stare into the same spots in the comforter that I do.

"Get?" I ask, pushing you to say it.

"Get married?"

"Do you?"

"I don't know," you answer quietly.

"Would it prove to you that I love you?" I ask too quickly, and by the hurt look on your face I immediately regret it.

"It's not about proving anything." You sigh.

"I didn't mean it like that," I say.

"It's okay, I'm not asking you to do it anyway."

"It's not that I don't…"

"It's okay Liv, you don't have to feel bad."

And why does that sound like my immediate cue to feel bad?


Flowers and dresses.

Why does that idea scare me so much?

Isn't it every little girl's dream? To have a storybook wedding, complete with flowers and dresses and more? Certainly, it was mine.

When did it stop being important?

When I started falling in love with girls and women and realize it wouldn't hold the significance that it should, at least in the eyes of our current legal system?

Or was I just being pragmatic? Did I just tell myself I don't want it?

I steal a glance at you, and I see the expression on your face. I know you didn't mean to ask that. That if you were to go through with it, it would just be to please me.

That, I definitely don't want. It's different if you…

But I know you don't want it.

So I shouldn't want it either.

I don't. I shouldn't. I can't.

"Alex… If you want to, we can…" You hesitate, fearing I'd say 'yes'.

"Really, it's okay, Liv. I don't want to." If we did, it'd be for the wrong reasons. "You don't need to prove to me that you love me."

"But I think I do."

"No, you don't. I know you love me."

"But you don't believe that I want to spend the rest of my life with you."

"And getting married would convince me that?" I laugh, and note sarcastically, "Considering the current rate of divorce in this country? How many people actually take 'til death do us part' seriously?"


"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to be, I mean, the comment wasn't directed at us." I sigh, and lean back against the head board. "I'm really sorry for bringing it up."

"You didn't. I did."

"Well, had I not let my insecurities get out of hand, you wouldn't have…"

760 Commit

"That's true." It slips out of my mouth before my brain catches up to it.

"I knew it." You say softly.

"Alex, that's not really what I…"

"Yeah it is. It's okay, you don't have to defend it…."

"Alex." I moan in complaint.

"Liv, don't worry about it. Okay, just drop it." I feel the tension in the air growing…I feel the horrible sinking feeling in my stomach.

I stare at you watching your focus on the comforter in the bed. I still feel miserable, knowing that I've managed to hurt you. I flop back carefully into the bed and sigh, determined to stare at the ceiling.

You don't talk either, but I can feel the bed moving and I can see out of the corner of my eye that you're staring out of the window on the other side of the room.

"You k now…it's not such a crazy idea." I say slowly.

"I know you don't want to do it Liv, it's not…"

"But we could. Maybe not get married. But get…sort of…committed."

"It's the same thing."

"No, it's not." I say, pausing to think for a second. "Marriage, well, that's sort of…moot for us."

"It's legal in Massachusetts," you say to the window.

"But you have to live there."

"Good point." You say, still staring.

"But what if we had a party. A commitment party. We could do the vows without all the girly stuff."

"Wait a minute," you whip around. "You don't want to marry me because of 'girly stuff."

"Well no, but flowers and dresses aren't my forte."

"So if marriage involved busting perps you'd be all for it?" You ask with a smile.

"Yeah." I say, smiling back, knowing you're teasing me.


"So no girlie stuff?" I ask, to clarify, cautiously hesitant in believing your suggestion.

"Well, at least not for me."

I try to control the excitement I feel bubbling up my chest. "Who would we invite?"

You shrug. "Everyone we know? Anyone you want? I don't care. You know everyone I know."

"Well, you know everyone I know, too. I was referring to the number of people. Would it be an intimate, my immediate family plus the squad thing?"

"We can invite other people."


"Everyone we know already knows about us, so yeah, sure, Alex."


You grin widely. "Yeah, we can even invite Abbie!"

"Liv!" I swat you on the arm. "That's mean."

"Why? I worked with her."

"Yeah, right. You just want to gloat."

"So? There's nothing wrong with that." You lean in, and kiss me softly on the lips. "After all, I did get the girl."

"I can't believe you…" I sigh, and kiss you back, and rest my hand on your shoulder to keep our distance. "So you're not doing this just for me?"

You smile gently, taking my hand and lacing your fingers with mine. "No."

Somehow I manage to not hyperventilate. "Okay."

"So what do you say?" You ask, your deep brown eyes locking onto mine as you touch your lips to my palm.

"What do I say about what?"

"Will you marry me?"

I try not to break into hysterics, or get all sloppy and blubbery. "Yes."

You grin, and press our foreheads together. "Come on, Sweetie, don't cry," you say softly, brushing away moisture from my eyes.

"Why?" I laugh through my tears. "You're crying, too…"

762 White

"I am not," I say, wiping the tears out of my eyes with the back of my hand. Your forehead pressed against mine lets your eyes sparkle brightly from the light streaming in from the window.

You look so happy, you look like I feel.

I can feel, like it's real, like it's palpable, my love for you swelling in my chest. I love you, I love you this much. I love you enough to scare myself, to be willing to give up my independence to keep you close.

"You are too," you say, kissing my cheek gently. "I love you," you mumble.

"So.. we're going to have a party?"

"I guess so," You say slowly.

"No dresses, right?" I ask, wrinkling my nose.

Your giggle fills my ears, and makes me smile. "You look good in a skirt."

"I didn't say skirt. I said dress. I don't want anything poofy and pink."

You laugh. "I can't see you wearing anything poofy and pink."


"But you know, now that you mention it…" you trial off into laughter.

I kiss you gently, and you kiss me back. "You can be in control of poofy and pink."

"You could wear white." You suggest, leaning into my arms. I laugh. "What?"

"No one's going to believe we're virgin's sweetie."

"Liv," you say, hitting me. "It…maybe we'll stick with an off white."

"Why do we have to do it like that at all?" I ask quietly.

"What do you mean?"

"Why can't we just wear what we always wear, and tell each other, in front of every one we know and love that we promise, that we will always love each other."

I see the slow smile creep over your face. "That's so romantic Liv," you sigh as you lean in and kiss me again.


"I love you," I exhale gleefully, kissing you again on your lips.

You kiss me back tenderly. "I love you, too, Alex. Very much."

"Mmm…" I close my eyes, luxuriating in the taste of your lips, the touch of your skin.

"So…" You breathe in between deepening kisses.


"Do you still think I need to rest?"

In response, I grab onto the tail of your shirt, and pull it over your head. Raising up slightly, I let you ease my shirt off my shoulders.

"Guess that's a 'no'?" You chuckle, slipping your leg between mine.

"God." I moan, as your teeth graze my skin, as my body melts to your caress. "I love you so much…"

"And I love you."

Oh. My. God. I freeze, my hands on your shoulders stopping your progress.

You look up at me, confused.

"I've got to call my mom!"

"Right now?"

"No, I suppose not." I smile, and kiss you softly. "Oh, wait."


"Trevor, I have to call Trevor."

"Alex!" You almost whine.

"Oh, I'm sorry. Guess he can wait, too." I grin, and slide my hands over your torso.

"Good," you sigh, throaty moans escaping your throat.

I focus on the feel of your flesh, the way your body response to my touch, the weight of your body on mine. "I love you."

"You, too, Alex," you gasp, arching up, offering me your breasts…

"Are you going to call Elliot?"


"Sorry." I giggle, and tease you with my tongue…

764 Trauma

I concentrate on your kisses when I feel you pull back the first time. "I've got to call my mom."

Suddenly, I see images in my mind of your mom watching us, shock written on her face. "That's my daughter," her face teases me, mocks me.

I force my attention back to you, back to your kisses on my body. "Trevor," I hear, and his face fills my mind. "That's my sister," he says, making me drop my hands from around your waist.

"Alex," I scold you, trying again to push the image of them both out of my mind. I try to focus, try to…

"You gonna call Elliot," You ask.

That's the last straw. His look isn't shock, but pure arousal. I can see him, staring at us, staring at me in my mind.

I try to close my eyes, try to concentrate on your kisses but it's gone.

"Alex," I moan gently…"I can't."

You look at me puzzled. "Hmmm…" You ask, taking my nipple in your mouth

"Elliot's looking at me. And so's your mom. And Trevor." I moan.

You start to laugh.

"It's not funny." I demand.

That serves no purpose other than making you laugh harder.

"It's not funny," I pout again.

"You're right.." you say, hiccuping, "it's not funny." And then you break out into peals of laughter.

I push you off of me, and pull my legs up into my chest.

"Ahh, I traumatized you," you laugh even harder.

"Shut up," I say, trying to hide my smile behind my knees.

"Aw, you don't mean that." You say.

"Yes I do," I say, laughing in spite of myself…


"Shut up!" You scold. "Leave me alone!"

"Awww…" I lean forward and kiss you on the nose. "Come on, it's funny!"

"It's not!"

I can see you're about to bust into laughter, even though you're trying hard not to. "Should we ask Don to…"

"Stop it!"

"Why? Is your captain staring at you now?"

"Alex…" You press your lips together and glare at me dangerously.

"And Munch, and Fin, and Petrovsky…"

Suddenly, you unroll yourself and pounce onto me.

"Aaack!" Your hands are everywhere, tickling me. "Stop it!"

"No, you stop it." You laugh, and tickle me harder.

"Liv!" I wheeze.

"Say you're sorry."

I bat my lashes at you. "You're sorry."

"Now you're gonna get it."

"Olivia Benson!" I try to push you off, and stop your attacking fingers. "Stop it!"

You keep on, laughing wickedly, with tears streaming from your eyes. "Only if you'll apologize."

"Stop." I gasp. "You win."

You still your hands, and smirk down at me. "Yeah?"

I grab your shirt, and wipe the tears from my face. Then I smile up to your amused gaze. "We're getting married!" I'm getting married! YEAH! "We're gonna get married!" I scream, and wrap myself around you. YEAH!

"Yes, we are."

I SO happy! "I have to call Serena, too!"

"Alex…" You close your eyes, and drop your head down to the pillow next to my neck. "Stop, please."

"We're getting married!" I squeal into your ear, and giggle at your loud sigh. "I love you so much!"

"Love you, too!" You laugh with me, until we're both out of breath...

"Hey, Liv!"

"Yeah, Sweetie?"

"Let's get real matching rings!"

766 Kisses

"Let's get real matching rings," you say, with childlike excitement.

"Okay," I smile back, still trying to catch my breath. Gently, I move my thumb to feel the reassuring band on my finger.

"Where do you think we should have it?" You ask, pressing against me, snuggling your head onto my shoulder, letting your arm rest on my stomach.

"I don't know, do you have ideas?" I ask, gently kissing the top of your head knowing full well that plans are forming in quick succession for you.

"I was thinking that maybe we could do it at Mom's," you state.

"But our friends are all in the city."

"We can get a bus." You say.

"Yeah, and you can drive it." I laugh.

"Hey, are you saying I'm a bad driver?"

"Nope. Not at all," I say, smirking at you.

"You are saying that," you insist.


"It doesn't matter…we could have it in the garden. It'll be so romantic."

I smile, feeling your happiness. "Sounds good to me," I say again.

"Liv," you say, tilting your head to look into my eyes.

"Yeah?" I ask quietly.

"I really love you," you say with a gentle kiss.

"I love you too silly." I smile at you.

You lean in and kiss me, gently, slowly.

"I'm happy we're going to do this," you say, squeezing my hand.

"Me too," I smile, kissing you again.


Turning around in your arms, I stare up to the ceiling, the elation I felt just a moment ago suddenly dulling to a soft pang. "Liv?"

"Yeah, Sweetie?" Apparently, you sense my mood change, too. "Something wrong?"

"Nothing." I sigh. Then picking up your hand, I play with the ring on your finger. "We're keeping these, too. Right?"

"Yeah? I thought we were. They'd be like our engagement rings?"

I look up at you and smile. "Are you sure?"

"About what?"

"That you want to do this? Get married?"

"Why wouldn't I be?"

"I don't know... It'll be different, I mean, things will be different then... At least they might be."

"Why? We're still the same."

"And the love we have?"

You furrow your brows at me. "The same?"

"You don't think we'll start taking each other for granted?"

You expel a chuckle that trails into a sigh. "There's no pleasing you, is there, Cabot?"

"I think maybe I worry too much..."

"You think?"

"Shut up." I back-hand you on your stomach. "At least it shows that I care, about us."

"Guess if you put it that way…" You smile your lop-sided smile, and kiss me gently.


"Now what?"

"Where were we?" I ask, and slide my body over yours.

You laugh, your laugh quickly changing to a moan…

768 Electric

"And this time," I whisper, "let's leave mom out of it."

"You've got it," you giggle, but show no mercy, your kisses long and passionate, stealing my breath away.

You slide down my body in graceful style, planting small kisses down my body while I watch your careful ministrations, feeling my heart start to beat a little faster.

You smile at the sound of my moan, and I can see it encouraging your exploration.

My head is light, my breathing quick, as you slide your fingers inside my waistband, just teasing me enough to make me beg for more.

You don't give in though, your smile growing as your name falls from my lips.

"I love you," I moan, as you slide my pants down.

"I love you, too," you say, before you flick your tongue over me.

My body responds.



Without hesitation.

I feel like I'm floating, floating in my head.

Your rhythm increases, my breathing increases, my heart rate increases.


I moan, I mumble.

I feel your warm tongue rubbing against me, pushing into me.

Oh God.

I feel the tingling warmth that signals the start of the end, and I wrap my fingers in your hair, pressing you into me.

If you stop now…

You can't stop now…

Oh God…


I slide my tongue over you, closing my eyes at the first touch, the first taste of your arousal. I think about the first time I made love to you like this, without anything between us. Suddenly, unexpectedly, in a flash, those memories are gone.

Or maybe I just can't focus on them right now. Instead, I'm hearing the keening whimpers, your soft sighs. I'm completely focused on you.

Right here. Right now.

My mouth on you, my fingers grazing the edges of your sex, keeping you open and teasing you at the same time. Every slip of my tongue inside you, against you, bringing out a new sound…

I try to remember if I've heard them all before, if I've felt the same flutter in your thighs against my head. Somehow I can't.

Somehow my thoughts and feelings are focused on your fingers in my hair. Right now. Pushing me deeper against you. Your hips arching, thrusting towards me. I slide in, tasting you. Your moans getting louder and louder as I suck and lick the sweet saltiness of you.

God. I love you.

And you love me. Love me enough to stand before my family, our friends, everyone we know, and promise to love me. So we can promise to love each other, for the rest of our lives… Promise to build a future together.

We'll have witnesses.

We'll be making the same promises we've already made to each other. But somehow, suddenly, they seem more real. More tangible.

Somehow, even your love seems more palpable.

With my eyes closed, I can almost see you. See you with your head thrown back, your lips parted, your chest heaving with each ragged breath you take.

Without looking at you, I can see the love in your eyes. The love that's always present, all the times I insisted on meeting your gaze when you come, I can almost feel it now.

"Alex…" You breathe my name.

I can tell by the tension in your muscles that you're close. I don't slow down. I sense my own body teetering on the edge of bliss as yours marches towards orgasm. As your fingers weave tenderly into my hair, as my name rolls off your tongue like a mantra...

"God, yes!" You almost scream when I wrap my lips around you, when I draw my fingers together and push, pushing deep inside you.

Slowly, I pull out, and even slower I push in again. All the while, I can feel the growing tension in your body. Building, overlapping as I stroke and thrust, slowly, taking my time. Over and over.

"Alex…" You breathe again, more needful now. "Love you. Please…" You beg, clenching around me, drawing me deeper into you, holding me close. So close…

770 GASP

You hold me tightly while I crash down around you, gasping for air, gasping your name.

I want you, to hold you close to me, to taste me on your lips, to feel your body fill the spaces next to mine.

You kiss me, slowly, gently, not in the hurry I feel.

You're not moving, not sliding up my body.

I can feel you still teasing me, still kissing me, still touching me.

You move slowly, and I know you're waiting just long enough to press me to the edge again.

It makes me nervous when you do this, makes me feel like you're spending too much time, paying too much attention to me.

Just once, just enough, just let me love you, my mind scolds me.

But it's getting better…getting quieter since we first started this dance…

I can let you lavish attention on me sometimes…can let you love me the way I love you.

And now, it's a promise. A promise we'll share with our friends, your family.

This will be something that I can't take back…and I don't want to take it back.

I want to love you forever, and I don't care who knows about it…

Not really…

I'll stand up in front of whoever you want, I'll do whatever you say to show you…

You keep teasing me, pushing me…

Making my body respond in a way that only you can do…

Make me feel your love for me…

Slow circles that leave me gasping…

Deep panting breaths that leave me dizzy…

I love you…

I hope you know how much…

771 TIME

Slowly, gently, I slide in and out and along your swollen flesh. I hear your soft breathy gasps, I hear the low moans of my name filling the warm air. Filling my senses.

I can see in my mind's eye like I've seen many times before, your chest heaving with passion. Your hands momentarily letting go of my hair to fist the sheets. Almost immediately, you come back, as if you miss the connection between us.

As if you need me to ground you, to hold onto, when I push you over the edge. Over and over again.

You do this all the time. How come I'm just noticing it today, right now?

Carefully, rhythmically, I stroke my tongue over you, rasping over your clitoris, while your body still shakes from your last climax.

I can feel your indecision. Are you going to pull me up along your body? Or are you going to leave it up to me this time?

I feel your fingers tensing against my scalp, then my shoulders. Instead of grasping for me, you forcibly relax your hold.

Good girl.

Smiling, I slide my tongue over you again, drawing a sharp intake of breath from you.

"Alex…" You moan. Yet it isn't a protest, nor a demand for me to stop. Far from it, I realize as you bend your knees, drawing your legs to your body, allowing me better access as you push yourself against me. As you push me deeper inside you.

I don't think you've ever done this; I don't think you've ever reached this level of abandonment with me before…

I tense against you, my breath catches in my throat as an orgasm rips through me, quite unexpectedly. "Jesus," I gasp, clinging onto you.

"Sweetie?" You mumble. "Are you…"

"Fine," I pant, resting my cheek against your flesh, my fingers moving slowly against you in their own accord. Soon, your concern is overpowered by your need.

Soon, you're moving with me, rocking against me, whispering my name, as if I'm your only thought.

Is this how you feel? All the times you come while pleasuring me? While I abandon myself to you? It's not just the power, but the warmth, the deep almost glowing warmth that starts from my heart that spreads to my sex that fills my core.


This is all so new, yet so familiar…

For the first time, I feel like I can focus on the present, because I know there's a future. Does that even make sense?

I inhale deeply, filling my lungs with the heady scent of you, before delving in once more…

772 Harmony

I hear your moan, which harmonizes with mine. Your hair, warm blonde silk that tangles in my fingers as I hold you close.

Your gentle teasing, testing me, pressing me.

Pushing me.

Loving me.

I resolve to give myself to you, to give myself over to you.

I am going to be yours, able to do whatever you want.

You control me right now.

Something I would normally never let you do, something I would never let myself surrender, that last part of my consciousness that tells me to make you stop. That part that makes me pull you up my body. The part that makes me feel ashamed for so happily, so lovingly letting you make love to me.

For a second, you pause, and insecurity fills me, but then I see it, hear it, know…

You're body tightens and I know without seeing you that you're orgasming too, just like I have sometimes, when I lie in front of you, watching your body react to mine.

Giving me pleasure is giving you pleasure.

Suddenly, if it's even possible, I'm even more aroused by you.

I love you, I hear the sound of my voice, echoing what my heart is saying.

I love you.

I will give you my life, if you want it.

Who am I kidding?

You already have it.

I relax as you tease me, letting my body slide into sheer indulgence.

I love you.

I love you.


I awake to the sensation of soft skin sliding against my chin. For a moment, I have to reorient myself. Then I remember… I remember where I am, what we were doing before we drifted off to sleep. I remember the commitment we made to each other…

And I open my eyes.

And I look up to see you smiling at me. And I smile back, stretching lazily along the length of you.

"You know what that does to me," you whisper, sliding your large hands across my back, and pulling me close.

"Uh-uh, not right now."

You smile indulgently, knowingly. "Later then. Hungry?"

"You bet." I nod against your breast, but make no effort to move. I could lie here like this. Forever. "I love you."

"I love you, too, Sweetie."

"Not as much as I love you," I say, with a smile in my voice.

"That's so not true. I love you more."

"How much more?"

"A lot?"

"Why? Because I put away bad guys for you?"

"You know you were supposed to tell me how much more you love me instead."

"Let's see…" I chew on my lower lip and pretend to think. "My love for you is as vast and infinite as the universe?"

You laugh, the gentle laugh that touches and soothes my soul, especially when we lay together like this. When it's just you and me, without the worries of the world.

"What's so funny?"

"That's nothing when compared to my love for you."

"You know we're being silly, Liv."

"Yeah? It's good to be silly sometimes." You look at me thoughtfully, with an almost inscrutable expression.


"Nothing. I just love you."

"What do you love about me?" I ask while my fingers trace lazy circles around your navel. Every once in a while, they drift down to your hips. Before they follow a more brazen path, you stop my movement, and lace your fingers with mine.

With an indulgent smile, you warn, "Behave."

"Yeah, yeah, Line-Stealer. So what do you love about me?"

774 Love

"Well, you're a nice piece of ass." I say, trying to get a reaction. Of course, you don't disappoint me.

"Olivia Benson!" You yell, hitting me on the shoulder. You pout, and I lean in and kiss you, which makes you smile again.

I smile. "Well you asked." I whisper into your ear.

"That's not what I meant." You say, your smile not fading, so I know you're not actually mad at me.

"Oh, you wanted romance?" I ask.

"Yeah," you say, stretching your naked body against mine. "I always want romance," you breathe kissing my neck.

"Ohhh.." I say, pretending I didn't know that all along. I giggle as you tickle my side for an instant. I turn over and face you, kissing you, lacing my fingers in yours to make them stop.

"I love your eyes." You say, nearly out of the blue.

I can feel myself blushing, which is silly, since I've heard you say that before. "Really?" I ask.

"Mmmhmm, they sparkle when you look at me. I think I love that most."

"That's because I love you." I say, smiling.

You giggle softly.

"So what do you love about me?" You ask again.

"Besides that ass thing?"

"Yes, besides that."

I take a deep breath. "It's a hard question, Alex, I love lots about you."


"I love your laugh." I say. "And the way your nose scrunches up when you look at yourself first thing in the morning. And I love your glasses, and the way you say my name. I love you when I wake up, and you've got all the covers, and when you smile, or when you say my name. I love you all the time, for everything."


"Everything?" I smile at you. I can't help but smile at you. "Even when I'm stubborn and we disagree?"

You tap me on the nose with your finger, then your lips. "Even then."

"And you really think I'm a nice piece of ass?"

That draws a laugh from you.

I love your laugh. "Well?"

"What do you think I am? Stupid? You'll just hit me again."

"No I won't."

"What? Enough romance?"

I know it's a light question, that it started out as a tease. "I think it's romantic that we can't keep our hands off of each other," I tell you thoughtfully.

Your expression turns serious in response to mine. "I think so, too."

I curl my arms around your shoulders, and stretch against you. "I love it when we're like this," I whisper against your neck. "With nothing between us. I feel so close to you."

In reply, you slide your arms tighter around my body, and press tender languid kisses to my head. We stay, silent, in the soft warm haze. It's almost like a dream…

"Hey." My voice reassures me I'm wide awake.

"Mmmm?" Yours soften the edges once more.

"Aren't you going to ask me?"


"What I love about you?"

"Oh," you chuckle. "I already know."


"Everything. You love everything about me."

I smack you lightly on your arm. "Olivia Benson, one of these days, your head won't fit in the Empire State building."

"Well?" You demand. It's funny how you can be so egotistical and insecure at the same time.

"You're right though." I lean up, stretching and dragging my body along yours, smiling when I hear the small catch of your breath. "I do love everything about you," I say, and kiss you, sliding my tongue into your mouth, and retreating, inviting you in. Letting you shift us, letting my body part to your weight. Clasping you to me, closing my eyes to your touch, I whisper, "I love you."

With everything I've got…

776 Out

You kiss me deeply and then cuddle into my shoulder. I am laced with you, our bodies together, our fingers intertwined. We stay stuck together, quiet, basking in each others warmth for what seems like forever.

"Alex?" I ask quietly.

"Hmmm?" You answer right away. I could have sworn that you fell asleep.

"You're awake."

"Yep." You say, quietly.

Again we sink into silence. I feel your light kisses on my neck, and I smile.

"Alex?" I ask again.


"I'm hungry."

You laugh. "I think there's still from fruit in the bag." You say, vaguely gesturing at the bag we left on the floor.

"I don't want fruit." I say, crunching up my nose.

"You have to be careful, still sweetie, you shouldn't be eating anything wild."

"I don't want something wild, I just want something not in this room."

"Why?" You whine.

"Well, we are on a tropical island. We should get out and see it."

"Let's just stay here." You say, stretching again, pulling yourself closer to me.

"But Alex…"

You lean over and kiss me deeply. "Please?"

"That's not fair," I say, feeling myself reacting to your kiss.

You sigh. "Fine. Let's go."

I give you a quick kiss and then sit up, pulling on clothes. In a few seconds, I'm ready to go. I turn around and see you still naked on the bed…"Come on Alex." I say like an excited child.

You smile at me, and slowly sit up. "You're nuts." You say, as you slowly pull on clothes.

777 LAZY

I watch the childlike excitement in your movements as you pull on your clothes. I wonder what got into you. We just spent the last god knows how many hours in bed, how can you even move?

Still, you're right, we're on a tropical island, we should see it.

With your clothes on, you turn to me, clearly surprised that I'm still under the covers and naked.

"Come on, I'm hungry," you whine.

I shake my head, and literally crawl to pick my clothes off the floor. I can't believe I left clothes on the floor. "Are you sure you want to go out? There's always room service."


Oh god. You're going to use this against me forever, or until you find something else better. "Okay, already," I groan, and pull on my shirt and pants. "You know, we should probably take a shower."

"Why? We took one earlier."

"Yes, but we've, you know, since then."

"Made love?"

"Yes! We probably smell like each other or something." I mumble at my shoes, finishing tying the laces.

"And that's a bad thing?" You wag your brows, and extend your hand. "I think you just want an excuse to keep me here."

I let you pull me from the bed. I use the momentum to press against you, wrapping my arms around your neck. "What's wrong with wanting to be lazy for a little while?"

"I've been lazing around for over a day."

"You were hurling your guts out, I wouldn't call that being lazy."

"Come on, Alex." You cock your head, and look up at me with your deep eyes, batting your long lashes. "Even puppies need their walks."

That makes me laugh and melt. I give up. "All right. Let's go."

You grab onto my hand, stopping my movement towards the door. "You forgot something."

"What? Your leash?"

"No. This." You lean forward, and cup my face in your hands.

"Are you sure you want to go out?" I whisper, not trusting my voice, after we pull away from the kiss.

"Something to look forward to when we come back."

Sighing, I shake my head and take your hand. "Then let's go before I change my mind, and keep you here."

778 Out

I'm pulling on your hand, trying desperately to coax you out the door. You've thrown everything at me, showers, sex, relaxing, but I'm anxious to get out. I'm ready to see the island, to get out of our little room and stretch out on the beach.

"What got into you?" You ask as I drag you down the hall.

"I just want to get out. If we go back to New York without tans I'll never hear the end of it." I shrug.

"So you're worried that the guys'll think you got lucky."

"They know I get lucky," I say with a smirk.

"Shut up!" You say, a blush creeping into your cheeks.

"Come on!" I say pulling you along.

"You're nuts." You say, shaking your head at me, as you let me pull you into the elevator.

"What are you in the mood for?"

"You." You say, without a pause.

I laugh. "You're always in the mood for me. I meant for food though. What do you want for lunch?"

"I don't really know, I guess it's up to you. You were the sick one."

"I'm starving."

"You keep saying that."

"I can't help it. My stomach has taken over my brain."

"I guess that's an improvement considering your libido is usually in control of your brain."

"And that's a bad thing?"

"I didn't say that." You say, with a smile.

The doors to the elevator open, and we're in the lobby. I pull you through the lobby quickly.

"It's so beautiful," I say, the warm sun hitting my face.

"It is nice," You say softly, letting your fingers lace in mine....


"So what do you want to eat?" I turn to ask you.

"I don't know. We'll see what we come across. What?"


"Why are you smiling like that?"

"Like what?" I try to press my lips back to a straight line. Somehow it's not working. "I can't be happy? You're smiling like an idiot yourself."

"I'm not!

"Uh-huh." I don't know which is brighter, your smile, or the midday sun that's shining down on us. "I never realize brown eyes can sparkle like that."

"I'm just happy," you declare, swinging our arms as we walk.

"And I'm just glad people don't know us here."

"Why? You don't want people to know how happy in love we are?"

"No, Liv, I just don't want to give people glucose poisoning."

"So." You let go of my hand, and slip your arm around my waist. "What do you want to eat? For food."

"How about there." I point to the restaurant on the other side of the block. "Or at least see what they have."

You smile your acquiescent and we walk across the street. My focus returns again and again to your hand against my side. That's such an open display of affection for you. I mean, sisters, cousins, friends hold hands, or walk together arm in arm. But arms around each other's waists?

Meanwhile, I'm not sure what to do with my hand. Should I really mimic you and wrap my arms around you? That's kind of awkward for walking, besides, the public display thing. In the end, I shove my hands in my pockets.

At the entrance to the restaurant, we stand, looking at the menu. "What do you think?"

"It's fine. I'm hungry," you say, nudging me towards the door.

"I know, Liv."

"Then let's go."

"I just want to make sure the food's not too exotic. Jesus." I turn to you, and scowl. "Again, what's gotten into you."

"I don't know. I'm happy."

"What's with the hand in my back pocket?" I question as we wait to be seated.

"Why, Sweetie? Do you object?"

"No, it's just… so blatant?"

780 Famished

"So?" I say, squeezing your butt before I pull my hand out of your pocket. I smile at you and the look of blatant shock on your face.

I don't know why, but I feel safer here. More comfortable.

The waitress walks over to us and shows us to a table, and I grab the menu trying desperately to pick something out that I recognize. I'm starving more than anything else. You smile at me and look at your menu.

"You need to get something…"

"I know how to pick food, Alex," I mutter.

"I'm just saying, you need to get something light, even if you are hungry. And you can't eat anything too…"

"Mom?" I say, and you kick me gently under the table.

"I am not your mom."

"Trust me, I know." I say with a smile.

"So what's with the hand in my back pocket?" You ask.

"Nothing, it was just…"

"You just never, did anything…"

I look up at you, and it takes awhile for me to even realize what you're talking about. That in New York, I don't hold your hand on the street, and I definitely don't slip my hand in your back pocket.


"You would never do that if we were in New York."

Silently I know you're right but I don't want to admit it. I don't want to tell you that it really is different here, because we don't know anyone.

I know that it's wrong for me to feel that way. Wrong for me to admit it. Instead I blatantly deny it.

"Liv, it's not..." you sigh, searching for the wrong word. "Bad."

"Of course it is. It's…"

"How our society is." You breathe.


"But I love you."

"I love you too, sweetie, that has nothing to do with it.''

781 LOVE

Okay, we're beating a dead horse to a pulp. Haven't we already discussed this public display thing ad nauseam? "I know, it's all right, Liv."

"But you just…"

"It was an observation, that's all."


"Look, Liv, we talked about this before, about keeping our private lives private." Waitaminute. Hold on there. I furrow my brows at my water glass.

"What?" You twitch.

"We used to hold hands when we were far enough away from the office..." Suddenly, we don't, and I didn't even notice it until now.

"That was before…"

"Before what?"

"Before the Commissioner and the DA…"

"Decide to make us poster children," I finish the sentence for you. "So it's about people here not knowing us?"

"No, it's not," you deny, a little too quickly, a little too forcefully.

"I can't believe you. I can't believe me for not noticing."

"Sweetie." Now you're whining, the way you do when you know you're in trouble, and you don't know how to extricate yourself from the situation.

"It's all right." I close my eyes, and take a deep breath. It's a happy day. I'm not going to let this ruin it. On the grand scheme of things, it's really not a big deal that we don't hold hands in New York. We're going to get married, sort of. We know we're together, our friends, the people who count, know we're together…

"Now you're upset."

"No, I'm not." I open my eyes, and smile at you. "Honest, I'm not," I repeat, reaching over to squeeze your hand. "So, have you decided what you want?"

"Are you sure you're not upset?"

"Positive, Liv." I give you another smile, a deeper smile.

"I love you."

"I love you, too, Liv." I respond, and look down at my menu. "Number 17 looks good, don't you think?"

782 Tease

"What is that?" You ask as I drool over pictures in the menu.

Everything looks so good.

God, I'm so hungry, the kind of hungry that feels alive. I want to eat anything. I don't care if I can't identify it. My stomach is growling, and I wonder if you can hear it from across the room.

"I'm not sure. It looks like…"

"Chicken." You finish for me.

"Yep." I say with a smile.

"Everything on this island looks like chicken," you complain.

"I really don't care what it is…" I mumble.

"How can you say that?" You ask, staring at me incredulously.

"Eh. It was just a bad fish." I say, shrugging.

"I thought you were going to die."

"Well thanks for not telling me that while I was sick." I mutter.

"Liv, didn't you learn anything from that whole thing?"

"Of course. I learned that I shouldn't eat the fish. But that doesn't look like fish, it looks like chicken."

You shake your head at me. "You're nuts."

"You know you keep saying that."

"Only because it's true dear." You smile.

"That's not nice," you say, sticking your tongue out at me.

"Don't stick it out unless you intend to use it."

"I promise, I do," You say with a beautiful smile.

783 FOOD

"Don't you think maybe you should slow down a little?"

"I'm hungry," you mumble around a mouthful of food.

"You're going to get indigestion, Liv."

"There has to be something in my stomach first," you answer, then stuff your face some more.

I sigh, and go back to my meal. You're right, I'm not your mom. It's not like you're picking up the plate and shoving food into your mouth or anything, so I can't even complain because I'm embarrassed by your table manners. "I just care about you, and I worry, you know."

"I know."

"You were miserable. It was hard for me to see you like that," I admit, dropping my head into my palm and picking at my plate.

Finally, you look up, at least I assume you're looking up. "Come on, Alex. I'm fine."

Now. "I suppose." I sigh again. Do we really just not know how to be happy or something? Or are we just two big drama queens?


"You're right, I'm not your mom."

"I didn't mean it like that," you say, putting down your fork. "All right, I'll slow down. Come on, let's see that smile."

I shrug, and give you a weak grin.

"You can do better than that. I think I deserve better than that."

Suppose you do. I try another version.

"Oh, no," you gasp, your eye wide.


"It's broken."

"What is?" I ask, knowing exactly what you're referring to.

"Your smile," you provide, leaning forward, towards me.

I blink. Your movements seem so familiar… but, you can't possibly. "What are you doing?"

"I know of a way to fix it."

"You're not going to kiss me in public!" I whisper loudly in panic; I can feel the heat growing on my cheeks. "Here, it's fine. It's not broken. See?" I smile widely.

784 Fixed

"Nope," I say, "It's definitely broken," I laugh, leaning over the table.

"Liv, no," you say pulling your head back.

For a second I think you're kidding, laughing, but then I realize you're serious. You're dead serious.

"Come on Alex, it's not that big…" I say, still half perched over the table.

"It is a big deal. And no." You say, pressed against your seat.

I let myself slide down into mine. "You know, not forty hours ago I had my hand down your shirt in the club."

"We shouldn't have been doing that either."

"You're such a prude." I say, with a half smile.

"You can call me whatever you want."

I take a deep breath and look into my plate again, this time shoving things into my mouth just to make you angry.

And then I stop.

This is childish.

This whole thing is childish.

"What's wrong?" I ask you, chewing on the mouthful of food.

"Nothing, I just don't think we should…"

"No, something's bothering you Alex. What's wrong?"

You take a deep breath and look across the room. "It bothers me that you feel okay here, with all this, but when we're home, well, it's going to be different."

"Yeah," I say slowly. "But does that mean we can't enjoy the freedom that being here gives us?"

You look at me for a second, and a slight smile shows on your lips. "I guess not."

"So how about that kiss?" I ask you.

This time you lean into me, and we meet in the middle for a chaste kiss.

And suddenly, your smile is fixed.


"Why did you let me eat so much?" You whine, holding your stomach.

"Olivia Benson, I didn't shove food in your mouth."

"Still." You protest, covering your mouth and let out a belch. "Oh. Excuse me!"

"And let me tell you right now, if you get sick again, you're on your own."

"You wouldn't do that."

"Oh, you bet your pennies."

"Would you really?"

I sigh, and let you take my hand. "No. You know I'm a big sucker for you."

You smile, and press a kiss to my palm. "Hey, at least we're even."

The waitress approaches with our bill, and I fight the instinct to withdraw my hand from your grasp. It's true, we should just enjoy the freedom this place allows us.

"So, what do you want to do next?"

"I don't know, Sweetie, maybe we can work on our tan?"

"I don't tan."

"Sure you do. Doesn't everyone, to some degree?"

"No, I get red, and burn, and break out in freckles."

"Okay," you grin mischievously.

"Whatever you're thinking, I want no part of."

"All right." You press your lips together, in the beginning of a pout. Almost immediately, you're smiling again. "Then you can sit in the shade and watch me tan."

"We have to go back and get our suits."

"Or we don't…"

"You're not laying about the beach naked!" I don't care if the beaches are deserted here, or that the ones that aren't look like beaches in Nice.

"I was just going to suggest going back to the store. That lady sells them."


"Why? You thought I was going to walk around in the nude?"

"Well… You were talking about enjoying the freedom."

"Yes, but I don't have a death wish."


"You'd kill me if I…"

"Don't even say it, and yes, I will. No one gets to see you like that but me…"

786 Jealous?

"I'm pretty sure if you decided to walk around naked that you wouldn't die. You might get hit on by everyone in a thirty mile radius." I hear your voice trailing off into silence.

"Oh look who's talking."

"I'm not the one who's talking about running around naked." You say, too loudly, and I can sense people looking at us.

"I'm not walking around naked. Or thinking about it." I say, just as loudly, and see people starting to look away.

"Besides, I don't tan." You say, crossing your arms.

"Come on Allie," I say, watching your annoyance flicker in your eyes. I love that with just one word, I can make you react that way.

"That's not my name." You say, smiling at me, but pretending to pout.

"Besides, what'd be so bad about lying around in the sun naked?" I ask you.

"You're just not doing it."

"But Allie." I protest.

"Stop calling me that." You demand.

"Wait a minute, I know what's wrong."

"I don't know what you're talking about," you say quietly.


"Of course not," you say, your face blushing again.

"You are so. Look at you," I say laughing.

"Olivia Benson. I think I liked you better puking."

"Aww, you don't mean that." I say, with puppy dog eyes.

You smile at me and slap money on the table. "Are you sure?" You ask, teasing me.

"Come on, we've got tanning to do." I say, pulling you from the table.


"God, how difficult is it to pick out a suit?" I mumble impatiently. Why did I agree to this?

"If you hadn't kept vetoing my choices, we'd be lying on the beach right now."

"Yes, naked."

"No, we'd have our suits on."

"With the one you picked for me? I might as well walk around naked."

"I'm not going to complain."

"So it wouldn't bother you if somebody leers at me?"

"No, I'll just poke their eyes out."

"You're insane."

"Nuts about you."

"If you want to see me naked so badly, we can go back to the hotel."

"But that's not the same. We can't tan."

"I don't tan, and no!" I rip your latest selection out of your hand, and hang it back. "We should go to the other place."

"Why? I like the suits here."

"Yeah, right." I'm not sure who really shops here. Hookers? "Why don't we see what the other woman has? We should thank her for the medicine anyway."

"I thought I took the one from the hotel."

"It came from her, too. Apparently, she's the local herbalist. Come on."

"You know, Alex, you're a prude."

"I'm not."

"Then how about this?"

I stare at the skimpy strips of fabric in disbelief. "A thong bikini?" In pink?

"You'll look hot in it."

Whatever happened to leaving something for the imagination? "No. N.O. No."

"You know, it was your idea that we pick each other's suits."

"Yes, only because I wanted to make sure you don't decide to pick something like this for yourself. I didn't think you'd want me practically naked!"

"Admit it, Allie, you're jealous, and a prude, you're a jealous prude."

"Am not!"

"Are, too."

Fine. "Fine. You win," I say, grabbing the suit from your hand and tossing it into the shopping bag…

788 Pink

"You look so hot." I mumble. "Do you k now what I'd do to you if we were alone?"

"Shut up." You say, as you adjust the small top that I picked out for you. I smile as the blush quickly creeps up your chest and onto your beautiful face.

"Pink is definitely your color." I say quietly in your ear. "And if you get freckles, we can play connect the dots all the way to your…"

"Shut up" You say again.


"If you say one more thing I'm going home."

"To the hotel?"

"No, to New York."

"But I'm just complimenting my future…wife." I say, hearing in my own voice how weird that sounds. But I'm pretty sure it's a good weird.

Pretty sure.

"What was that?" you ask quickly.

"I'm just complimenting you," I say again.

"No, the other part."

"The future wife?"

"Yeah. That part." You say, as you look in the ground trying to hide the huge smile that is spreading across your face.

"What?" I ask you.

"You've just never called…never said that before, that's all."

"What, that you looked hot?" I ask, teasing you.

"You know, Liv, sometimes you can take all the romance out things."

"I do not," I say indignantly.

You sigh and lace your fingers in mine. "You're lucky I love you." You mumble, as you lead me out onto the beach.

789 SHOW

"People are leering," I whisper self-consciously.

"No they're not. There are people walking around topless. Look at her."

"Jesus, Liv." I grab your pointing hand and push it to your side. "Do you have to be so obvious?"

"I just wanna make sure you saw."

"Yes, Liv, I saw. A blind man could see, I'm sure."

"Yeah, well, I'm sure if people were leering, they would be leering at her."

"Are you saying I'm flat-chested?"

"No, I'm saying I'm flat-chested compared to her. You're just perfect for me."

Good save. I fight my smile. "I feel so under-dressed."

"I can take off my top…"

"Don't you dare!"

"Why can't you just admit it?"

"Fine, fine, I'm jealous. Happy now?"

You smile warmly, then your smile turns into a smirk.

"What?" I ask, following your eyes to see a man averting his gaze. "I…"

"See? I don't even have to poke out his eyes."

"If I didn't know better, I swear…" I try to read the expression on your face. "I don't believe you."

"What?" You feign innocence.

"Remember the boy at the pet shop?"

After a moment, you recall, "The one who leered down your shirt? Sure."

"You gave me a hard time for giving him a show."

"Yeah, your point?"

"Now you're showing me off?"

"This is different."

"How, Liv? How?"

"I don't know, Alex. It just is."

"Not good enough."

790 Mine

"It's different because I dressed you in that." I say with a half smile.

"So you can show me off?" You ask.


"And then it's okay for people to leer at me?"

"Well, it depends."


"Who's looking?" I add slowly. Somehow, I know that doesn't sound good, but it flies out of my mouth anyway.

"That makes me sound like a piece of meat." You protest.

"It's not like that, Alex, it's just…well, you're hot."

"And that is supposed to make me less like a steak?"

"Yep." I say, shrugging my shoulder. "I like that other people want you."


"Because you're mine."

I can tell you don't want to smile, I can tell you want to yell at me, and accuse me of being backwards.

"And you're mine."

"I didn't say it made sense." I shrug.

"It doesn't." You say, turning your back to me.

"Come on Alex." I whine, "Don't be mad at me."

"I'm not mad at you," you say, with a smile. "I just... I think you're nuts. And if we're claiming ownership, I think you should be wearing more clothes."

"But my tan lines…"

"Will be just fine."

"You're such a prude." I smile at you, and laugh.


"I'm not a prude!" I argue. "A prude wouldn't be wearing this… this supposed swimming suit." I pull at the straps. God, I feel so, so naked. "And stop looking at me like that!"

"Like what?"

"You know what!" Like you're going to jump me in broad day light, in public. Why didn't we go to a more private part of the beach? Oh, right, so you couldn't jump me in broad day light in public. "Stop it!"

"Your mouth protests, but your body says otherwise," you smirk at my chest.

"Olivia Benson, one more word from you, I swear I'm going home."

"Come on, it's not my fault you're hot."

"You put me in this, this thing!"

"You could be in a down parka with just your eyes sticking out, and I'd still think you're hot."

You look and sound so sincere… "I hate you," I say, staring into the ocean, trying hard not to smile.

"Come on, you don't mean that."


"I love you."

I sigh. What's the use? I turn and smile at you. "I just don't get it. When you thought the men at the club were propositioning us, you were ready to kill them."


"But you don't care if someone looks."

"That depends on how they're looking. But there's a difference between looking and actively trying."

"I suppose you're right…"

"Of course I'm right," you grin triumphantly.

God, you're insufferable when you're smug. But your arrogant smile is also so incredibly sexy. I suppose between insanely possessively jealous, and this, I'd rather have this. "So you think I'm hot?"

"Uh-huh." You lean towards me. "If you'll let me, I'll show you how."

Suddenly, the sun is too bright, and the heat is stifling. I'd suggest a swim, but if this thing gets wet, I might as well be naked. "Here," I pick up the sun screen lotion, and drop it into to your lap. "I have better use for your excessive energies."

You lift your brow, and smile your lopsided-smile. "I didn't hear you complaining this morning."

"Shut up." I order, turning onto my stomach to hide my blush. With sudden daring, I wiggle my bare ass at you. "And get to work."

792 Rub Down

I swallow. Hard. "Here on the beach?" I ask you.

"If I don't get a nice even coat I'll burn." You state clearly.

"Umm…and you want me… to… on you?"

"Unless you want him to do it," you say, gesturing towards the previously staring guy on the beach.

"No, I'll do it." I answer quickly, picking up the bottle next to you.

You smile up at me, "It's innocent, right?" You ask.

"Umm… Yeah." I say, a slow smile spreading over my face.

I swallow hard again, and I swear I hear you laugh. You love this, love knowing that this is far more arousing to me than it should be. You love knowing you do this to me, and playing it for all it's worth.

Slowly, and gently, I pour the coconut scented lotion out onto my hands and rub them together, and carefully, slowly, I spread the white cream down your back.

In tiny circles, starting at your shoulders, I rub it into you skin.

"That feels so good…" you moan, tilting your head and smiling at me.

"Yeah?" I ask.

Knowing you like this makes it even better.

I slide my hands slowly down your back, slipping my fingers under the ties of your bikini tops.

That's when I hear it.

Just barely, quietly...

The sound of your moan, and not a moan that this feels good, it's arousal… thick in your voice.

And I know I have you.

My hands slide lower, down your back, slowly teasing around the sides of your waist. You moan again.

The backs of your thighs, letting my fingers slide innocently to your inner thighs, feeling the heat there, knowing that I put it there…

793 HEAT

This is crazy. I shouldn't be responding like this. It's just an innocent rub down, I try to tell myself.

Is it really though?

I saw the look on your face when I handed you the lotion. I know you want me. I know what touching my body does to you.

I feel the hesitant caress of your hands, gentle tender touches that grow more firm, more bold. I can hear your controlled breathing, feel the tension in your fingers as they slide across my skin.

You're straddling me now, smoothing lotion down my back, my sides, going in slow teasing circles. I imagine your butterfly kisses from the nape of my neck, down along my spine. I conjure memories of you pressing down, your heavy breasts on my back, your arms your legs trapping me underneath you…

And I moan.

And I hear your responding sharp intake of air.

I know you're getting at least as turned on as I am. Your fingers graze innocently against the inside of my thighs. I ease them apart, just slightly, just enough to let you see, let you feel, if you want.

This is crazy. We're in public, with people all around us.

Oh, but I'm sure they don't know what's going on in our heads. It's just a friend putting sunscreen on another; nothing out of the ordinary.

Little do they know…

"Liv," I moan, with my eyes closed.


I hear the arousal in your voice. I sense it in your touch, too.

God, how I wish I could turn around and pull you to me. Or have you lean over me like I imagined earlier. Instead, I remain silent; I try to remain still. While your fingers slip under the thin straps of my bikini, While you trace slow, smooth circles around and around the cheeks of my ass. The brief rhythmic touch of cool sea breeze on my heated skin, your proximity, they drive me wild.

"Liv…" I moan again, desire apparent in my voice.

"I love you," you whisper hoarsely.

Suddenly, the small thin pieces of fabric seem confining, suffocating almost. "Will you?" I breathe, reaching back, motioning blindly towards the restrictive ties.

You swallow, hard. Then I feel your fingers slowly, gingerly, tugging on the strings until the knot becomes undone. Then I hear the sucking noises of lotion coming out of the bottle. Then your hands sliding down my sides, and around to my front…

It's crazy, what we're doing. Still, subtly, sensually, I push my breasts into your palms…

794 On

I'm aware of the throbbing that's coming from my heart pounding in my chest. I try to hold my breath, try to ignore how much touching you like this gives me pleasure.

I close my eyes, while I touch you, my fingers sliding against your skin in slow circles.

Your moan sets my body off, makes me want you, makes me want to touch you, to love you.

I want to take you back to the hotel, want to rip the tiny bikini off of you and make love to you.

But we're here.

On the beach.

The very public beach.

I watch your head turn, "Would you?" You ask, pulling at the strings.

It takes me a second to realize what you mean.

And then I swallow.



My fingers slip under the knot and pull it, gently, letting the strings fall off to the sides.

You arch your back, and let my fingers slide under your chest. Your breasts are alert, ready for my touch.

Carefully, I straddle your leg, and I smile as you involuntarily try to grind against my thigh.

"Alex," I ask quietly.

"Hmmm…" you moan.

I slide my hands away from your aching breasts, and jump off of you. "Its your turn to do me."

795 WHAT?

God, I can't believe we're actually doing this. In public.

It's so wrong. But do I really care? All I can focus on is your hands on me, your thighs straddling my legs, pressing against my center.

I'm getting sand in places I almost forgot I have, again, but I really don't care…

I feel your weight shift, and I wonder what you're doing. You're not going to lay on me, are you? That's a too much for public display.

But I'm not sure I have the will to stop you.

"Alex…" You whisper softly, your breath warm against my ear.

"Mmmm?" I moan, my body ready for more.

Your hands slip away from my breasts. Before I could protest, you slide away completely. "Liv?" I almost sob.

"It's your turn! Do me!" You announce gleefully.



"You're done. It's my turn."

You're fucking kidding me. "Liv."

"Yeah?" You flop down next to me and grin. Apparently, you didn't hear the warning in my voice, or if you did, you chose to ignore it.

"I thought…"


You want to frustrate me. Fine. I'll get you back for that. But. "What about?" I tug at the bikini strings in panic. "Help me with this?"


"What do you mean?"

"Look around, we're the only people with tops on. Don't be such a prude."

"I'm not a prude."

"Then why do you insist on wearing that? It's not like there's much to it."

"Don't remind me. Come on, Liv, I'm serious."

"But you're so hot."

"Liv… Don't do this…"

796 Tease

"Do what?" I ask, as I smirk watching you shifting uncomfortably on the sand.

I know how turned on you are, I can hear it in your voice. I lie down next to you and smile my biggest smile. It's so easy to do this, to pretend that I have no idea.

"Can you at least help me?" You ask, trying to put one hand behind your back.


"Liv," you whine at me.

"Come on, don't be such a prude," I tease you. I see the warning in your eyes and sigh. "Fine," I give in, and reach over carefully, not touching your skin.

You lie on your stomach and look into the sand.

"Come on Alex."

"I can't, right this second, okay?"

"Why not?"

"Because if I turn over everyone on this beach is going to see that…well, it's not cold out here Liv."

I try not to laugh at you. "I can make mine hard too, sweetie, if you think that'd help. You could even watch."

"No, that doesn't help." You moan.

"Aww, come on Allie."

"I swear to God, if you call me that one more time." You mumble, pushing yourself up off the sandy beach.

"I see London I see…" If looks could kill I would be dead. I stop quickly and hand you the lotion with my most innocent smile.

My eyes smile at you, and you adjust your top self consciously, brushing sand off your stomach.

"I really hope you're happy," you say, pulling the cap off the bottle and pouring the lotion directly onto my back.

Trust me, I am.

797 WHY

I dump lotion onto your back, and I smear it all over your skin. "There. You're done."

"Hey, is it even, even?"

"It is. As far as I'm concerned."

"But I gave you a nice rub."

"I wouldn't bring it up if I were you."

"Come on, I was just playing."

"By frustrating me?"

"I'll make it up to you when we get back to the hotel."


"Al…" You whine, and I glare at you. "Alex, come on. You're not going to cut off your nose to spite your face."

"You wanna bet?"

"Come on, sweetie. I'm sorry, and I love you."

That's just so unfair. Why don't I have any resistance whatsoever? "Why do you like to tease me?"

"I don't know. Because you're fun to tease?"

"It's not fun to me. I don't tease you like that."

"But you're always so in controlled, I…"

"What? You just want to get under my skin?"

"Well… I've got you under my skin!"

"Cole Porter isn't going to save you, Olivia." I cross my arms tighter around my chest. "Why? Can you just tell me why?"

You shrug. "Because I can?"

"Because you can."

"Because I feel so much better, I'm not sick as a dog, and I wanna have fun and be happy?"

"At my expense?"

"Why do you have to think at it like that?" You complain. "It's always better when I tease you and make you wait. You get so hot, and so wet, and so insatiable, and…"

"Enough! I'm not just talking about sex."


"Why are you insisting that I show my body to the world? That's just, it's not, it doesn't make any sense."

798 Cover Up

"Why are you insisting I show off my body?" You demand.

"I'm not." I mumble. I feel bad, guilty suddenly.

"Yes you are. It just…it doesn't make sense." You murmur, staring into the sky.

"You don't have to." I mumble.

"But you're…"

"Alex, if you don't want to, you don't have to."

"I don't want to." You say.

"Fine." I mumble throwing the bag of clothes at you.

You ruffle through it, pulling out your shirt, but you don't put it on. You stop and stare at me, and I can feel your eyes on me.

"What's wrong?" You ask.

"Nothing." I say quietly.

"Something's wrong."

"I just feel bad now."

"Don't. I just don't get how…"

"You have no idea how beautiful you are, do you?"


"You're beautiful."

"Thanks," you say shyly.

"And this…I like…you're…I like you dressed like that. I mean, it's kind of…well, I think of it as being for me."

"But you're sharing me with the beachfront. I don't get that."

"But I'm not sharing you. See, they can look, but tonight, when we go to bed, you'll be with me. You want me. And they can't have you, and I like knowing that."

799 OFF

"That's..." I think about what you said. "Huh. But the boy at the store..."

"He works in our neighborhood. Meanwhile, most of the people here don't even come from North America. I don't have to worry about them stalking you when we get back to New York, and I'm not around you 24/7."

Suppose you have a point. "But you insist that I dress conservatively when we go out with Elliot and Kathy."

"No I don't."

"Not in so many words, but you do, you drop hints, and sometimes you're not as subtle as you think."

"I don't want my partner ogling you. Again, we don't know these people; they don't know us."

"What? Because we're in a foreign country, we don't know people, we can do things we don't normally do?"

"Yeah." You look almost relieved, that I finally understand.

I glance around us, and shake my head. "You know your ego really doesn't need to get any bigger."

"My ego disagrees." You shrug, but you're smiling. "So we're okay?"

"It doesn't work that way for me."

"What doesn't."

"Showing you off in public, and have people stare at you. I don't care that they're strangers, that we'll never see them again. I'm just not..."

"It's okay, Alex. I know, I was just playing about me going topless."

"You were?"

"Yeah. I know how you feel about sharing me, and that's okay."

"You don't think I'm being overly possessive?"

"I think we're both possessive, just in different ways. And I don't think it's bad possessive. After all, there's a certain degree of ownership in matrimony…"

Matrimony. I think I'm liking that idea more and more. "I guess," I say, and look down at the clothes in my lap. "I really am not a prude, you know," I tell you, while spreading the shirt out on the beach mat.

You watch with question in your eyes.

"Wanna help me?" I turn my back towards you.

"Alex?" You swallow, hard. "Do you, are you, I mean, you don't have to."

"I know, but it'll make you happy?"

"Yes, but you…"

"I'm not a prude," I smile, as I feel the tug on the strings, and the untying of the knot. Then I let the fabric slide off my chest before turning around again. The flush on your face, and the sheen of perspiration dotting your upper lip tell me how incredibly aroused you are. I smirk, and push my sunglasses on. "But people will think you are when they see your tan line."

800 Topless

You lean back and close your eyes, with a smile on your face that lets me know that you know that I'm more than subtly staring at you.

I lean back, and feel the warm heat on my skin, the sun pounding down on us. I lie down and close my eyes. I force myself to keep my eyes closed, and not stare over at you.

Slowly and carefully, I let my hand reach out...sliding it slowly inch by inch next to you, feeling for your fingers. When I find them, I let my hand lace into yours, our fingers locking together.

Right now, I love you more than I can explain in words.

My heart is pounding in my chest and my smile is huge.

I slit my eyes open and look over at you.

You're looking at me too.

"I love you," I mouth, and you smile even bigger, rewarding my hand with a squeeze.

"I love you too," I hear you mumble under your breath.

I bask in the warm sun for a moment, and then I turn and look at you again.


"Mmm…" is your only response.

"I'm bored."

I hear your laugh. "You really are like a puppy, you know that."

"Play with me?" I smile.

"Want me to throw you a stick?"

"Very cute."

"But I'm tanning…" You protest.

"You don't even tan. You freckle."

"Don't remind me."

"Let's go swimming?" I beg.

Part 801

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