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


I watched you, watched your expressions during your entire conversation with Warner. I should be ashamed, I even strained my ears trying to make sense of her voice coming through the phone.

Maybe this is not about protecting me from you, but the other way around. Maybe she knows something about Abbie I don't.

Maybe she's just being a good doctor, urging her patients to be careful.


I kept trying to come up with excuses, with reasons why she might tell me what she did. I really would like to believe in even one of them, just one. However, knowing what I know about you isn't making it easy for me.

So I'm supposed to do what I've been doing for the last six months? Abstinence? I don't think that's an option.

You're talking non-stop as we head to the restaurant I picked. I'm not sure I'm hearing anything you say, at least anything I might remember. During this whole time I'm wondering what to do next.

Which would I regret more? Losing you? Catching some incurable disease? Well, that, at least for now, is still an easy answer. Thank god.

Finally, I break my silence and ask you, "When's the last time you got tested?"

I guess you were expecting some sort of confrontation from me. "A few weeks ago. Why? What's on your mind, Alex?" You ask with a thin, obviously rehearsed smile.

Weeks? Suppose that could have been your scheduled routine, since some of the stuff sometimes takes months to show up… But then why didn't you just tell me? Afraid I might not believe you? Although, were you being reactive or proactive? I decide I don't want to know.

"Just curious." I smile back, and change the subject, "When does your shift start?"

"This evening."

"That means after we part today, I won't see you until tomorrow." Unlike the smile, I don't have to fake my disappointment. Too bad I can't keep you in my presence all day and night. Hm…

"Unless I need a warrant or something from you." You remind me.

"True." I make a face, and conjure another smile. "Hey, you want to go shopping after brunch?"

"For what?" You ask me with a teasing grin. "I was hoping to go back to your place and have dessert."

"I'm thinking we can pick up ingredients for dessert, from Babes in Toyland."

"Sex toys already, Cabot? And I've always thought you were so damn vanilla."

Heat sweeps up my cheeks. Still, I smile and tell you, "Don't ever judge a book by its cover, Liv. Besides, I used the last of the supplies last night."

"Are we talking about latex again?" You're gripping the steering wheel, your knuckles are quickly turning white. "Why, Alex? I thought that's why we got tested."

"Yes, but Warner…" I sigh, thinking of a way to mislead you that would make me feel less guilty. Fat chance. "I didn't want to tell you this, but the last person I… Look, I really would feel better, for you, if we keep being safe until Warner tells me otherwise."

"For how long?"

"I don't know. Few weeks? Months? Maybe another six months?" Time for another test? Maybe by then you'll at least be in therapy? If you haven't stopped drinking altogether?

"Six months!"

"Well, look at it this way, I'm perceiving a long range plan for us." I shrug and tease you with a playful smile. "Or are you just sticking around until I let you inside my pants?"

When we stop behind a red light, you look at me for a long moment…

82. resolutions

You ask me if all I want is to get into your pants.

Well, no, that's not all I want.

Sometimes, I want other stuff.

Really, I want a lot more from you. I want you to love me. I want you to support me. Most importantly, I want you to trust me.

I know you're not sure. Not sure what my problem is. In two days, you've seen me at less than my best, but I know that I have to prove to you that I'm not just an irresponsible drunk. That I can stop drinking. That I can make you happy.

Instead of telling you all that, I tell you that I'm not only interested in getting into your pants.

I can't really explain to you how I feel about you. I've watched you and wondered about you for so long. I wanted you from a distance, hungered for your touch alone in my apartment. Dreamed of holding you in my arms. The last few days have been a whirlwind. Being with you, sleeping with you in my arms, you're addictive, and I want you to be with me all the time.

I know that I have to work, but I don't want to. I want to take you with me. I want you to be part of my every waking moment.

I sigh. I know what it is that I have to do to make this better.

"Look, Alex. I love you, and well, it's okay," I tell you. I look away from the road only for a second, to smile at you, and I reach for your hand. "Look, if you want to use protection, that's okay with me. Really. And when you're ready, then, we'll stop." I smile at you, squeezing your hand. I hope that it doesn't sound insincere. Part of me means it. Somewhere deep inside. I'm starting to realize that this just isn't a fight I can win. If I want you, and I most certainly want you, I have to play by your rules.

We stop the car and slide into the restaurant. At least now you're talking back to my happy chatter.

I keep catching the beer menu out of the corner of my eye, and then you with the other. I remember my promise to you, and even though I think you're catching my wandering eye, I smile at you reassuringly as I order water.

That makes you smile even more.

Right now, it's an easy choice.

I'm determined to make you trust me. That means that I have to be on my best behavior. I know how to do that. I'm ready to do that. For you.


I waited, with my smile frozen. Trying not too stare too hard, but staring and holding my breath nevertheless, I waited for your answer. Hell, I even waited for the light to change. What was going through your head, I wondered. It should have been an easy "yes" or "no" answer, one that should not require an intense soul-burning look on your part.

Then you tell me what I wanted to hear, exactly, and more. You even sounded sincere. I wanted to believe you, and I think on most levels I do.

For the first time today, I felt hope. Hope that I am important to you. That maybe, one day, you'll even decide I'm more important than alcohol.

As soon as I realized that, I returned your happy chatter. I didn't trust myself not to turn the steering wheel and jump right to dessert.

When we first sat down at the restaurant, I noticed you were eyeing the beer menu. I also caught myself glancing at the vodka smoothies, and I realized my habits will have to change according to yours.

Maybe I should give up my addiction of choice, I told myself, so you'll know we're in this together, one way or another. Did you make the connection when I skipped coffee, and ordered orange juice instead?

I'm so proud of you when you decide to stick with water. I know how difficult it must have been.

The rest of brunch goes by in a blur. I'm so glad I won't be testifying in court about this, or I'll be the least credible or the most forgetful witness in history.

It's almost like I'm a teenager again, alone with my first crush, just the two of us. I'm smiling at you, and you're smiling at me. We could be talking about world peace, or we could be talking about the latest Nicole Kidman movie, all I can hear is the soft sound of your voice...

I'm not sure how this is happening. All I know is, this, this is much more than a crush.

When the waitress comes around with our bill, you insist on paying, since I bought the last time, and I let you.

On our way back to Trevor's car, I accidentally brush your hand. Before I can mumble my apology, you take my hand in yours. I don't protest; I'm too busy tucking my hair behind my ear and smiling at the pavement.

Then, you turn the car away from my apartment, and head towards the general direction of the toy store. I don't even have to remind you. Wow.

Wow. This is LOVE, this IS love, THIS is LOVE, I keep telling myself.

And I don't ever want this feeling to end.

I don't want us to end.

Whatever it takes.

84. Toy Store

You're so cute.

No, you really are.

I pull in front of the store you suggested for our 'supplies'. I keep catching your eyes, and I know I'm giving you the most devious smile. I wonder if you embarrass easily, at first, but then I notice that every time you look at me you turn a slightly darker shade of crimson.

I want to remind you that this is your idea because you look like this is one of your most embarrassing moments. I'm going to make this memorable. I've gotten to the point now where I have a thick skin when it comes to all things sexual. I suppose it's one of the perks. It's practically impossible to suggest something that's going to make me blush. When we get out of the car, I slide my fingers against yours, and I'm surprised when you grab them back, squeezing them as we walk inside.

"Hi Alex," the woman behind the counter, says, looking up at you smiling.

"You're here a lot, huh?" I whisper in your ear. Well the impossible can happen, you're turning an even brighter red. Then I feel your elbow in my gut. I can't help but laugh.

"Shut up," you whisper, "or I won't let you see my collection." You squeeze my hand and smile.

You pull to towards the back of the store and start grabbing latex by the handful.

"Got a hot date?" I whisper in your ear again. This time I'm smart enough to move out of the range of your elbow.

"Keep it up and you won't find out."

"Hey, look," I say, pointing at the wall. "That's got to be the biggest dildo I've ever seen." I love that you're turning red, letting me tease you. I think you like it. I point at the wall, "Look Alex, I think that's the biggest dildo I've ever seen."

The woman behind the counter looks up at me. You see her too. You walk right by me with a smile on your face. "I can't take her anywhere," you say.

The woman behind the counter nods and smiles, wrapping up our latex.

Now it's time for dessert.


"For your information," I tell you after we get into the car, "Glenda and I went to school together."

"Glenda? The woman at the store?" You raise an eyebrow at me.

Can you sound any more skeptical? "Yes. We lived in the same dorm. Okay?" I explain with perhaps a little too much exasperation. Why am I so self-conscious? And why am I blushing all over the place? You'd think it's prom night, and I'm about to get laid by the prom queen or something.

"Oh, so you're telling me it's the first time you step foot in the store?"

I try to ignore your hand on my thigh, and watch the streets, counting each block as we pass. "I did not say that."

"What about that collection?" You press on, obviously delighting in my embarrassment. "Do you really have one?"

Failing mature behavior, I cross my arms and stick my tongue out at you. "Well, that's for me to know, and you never to find out."

"Oh, that's okay, we can build one together." You smile at me with a teasing glance. "And I think we should start with that big dildo on that wall."

"I don't think it's going to fit anybody."

"Probably not," you nod your agreement, your hand inching up further. "But it'll be a good conversational piece."

Sighing, I close my eyes briefly to your touch. Then gathering all my resolve, I pick up your hand, and lace my fingers with yours. "Has anyone told you you're a goof ball?"

"Nope, you're the first." You tell me, stroking my hand with your thumb.

Just how do you make such a casual gesture sexual? I wonder, and let out another deep breath, really wishing we were in my apartment now. Yep, prom night, with the prom queen, and dying to give it away, to lose your good girl image. Alex Cabot, a good girl? Right now, she definitely isn't, not with all the scenarios going through her head.

As if reading my thoughts, you continue, "I'm one about to get very lucky goof ball, I hope? Considering the amount of latex in that bag? It'll last what? Two days?"

"You know there's probably enough in here to tie you up."

"Ooh, kinky." Grinning wickedly, you pull into an open spot, and put the car in park. Leaning over, you whisper against my ear, "Is that a promise?"

"Shut up." I tell you, and touch your lips with mine. Softly at first; slowly exploring. Then gradually deepening, until your mouth crushes mine, hard and demanding.

Just as your breathing catches, and a whimper escapes your throat, I pull away, and quickly get out of the car. I wait and watch you recover from yourself, from us. Then, before you can lock the car door, I take off running the rest of the way, yelling back at you, "Catch me, if you can!"

86. En Route

I get out of the car and happily chase you up the front stairs. You giggle as I press my body into yours as you struggle with the key. I kiss your neck and your head tilts back. I love the sound of your beautiful giggle. You push back against me long enough to open the door and dive for the stairs.

I'm a cop baby, I can chase down the bad guys and the good girls. And besides, you're wearing heels for Christ's sake. I wish you knew that you could die in those things.

I run up behind you, sliding on the stairs, grabbing at your waist, which makes you turn around and kiss me. You giggle again, pulling me with you, keeping my lips on yours. I love the way you laugh. Like a school girl, light and carefree, so different from the woman who appears before the court in New York.

You're still scampering up the stairs, and my lips are still locked with yours. You pull out your key again, but I grab them from your hand and push you against the door.

I slide my hands up your body, pinning you under my touch. Your breath catches as I push myself against you, kissing you.

"Inside," you mumble, and I fumble with the key, trying to kiss you and unlock the door at the same time. Suddenly, I hear the lock click, and the door comes open.

You stumble backwards as the door that was supporting you suddenly lets you fall. I catch you before you lose your balance and keep moving you, pushing you until you hit the couch.

Slow gentle kisses; long hard ones.

Your fingers are sliding up my body.

My fingers are sliding up yours.

Oh god.

I look at the clock. Quick math tells me that I have three hours until I have to be out the door and in my chair. Two hours if I have to take the subway. Maybe you'll give me Trevor's car.

I think this might just be the best three hours of my life.


Oh god, your hands are on my body, your lips are on my mouth, your body's pressing mine into the couch. Oh god. I can't believe this is happening. Again.

Unlike last time though, I'm certain of our feelings for each other, certain about what we're doing, and about to do. You don't know how liberating this is.

"Do you… want to take," I ask in between hot desperate kisses, "Trev's car?" As I push your jacket off your shoulders and pull your tee-shirt over your head, while we take brief gasps of air, I explain, "So, we'll have… more time?"

Is that a mumbled "yes"? Or is it just a moan? I can't tell with your face buried between my breasts, your hands under my jacket, all over my clothes, your touch burning my exposed skin, your strength pressing me into you. Oh god.

Reaching around, I unclasp your bra. You raise up to rip it off of you. That gives me just enough room to slide down, and take your breasts, your nipples into my mouth, my hands. God, I don't know what I want more. You? Or getting done by you?

Your hands brushing mine away, your palms on my waist guiding me back up the surface, your mouth covering mine once more decide for me…

Oh, god, oh Liv… Yes! I whimper my encouragement as I feel fingers fumbling down the front of my shirt. "Oh god, Liv." I almost scream, when you tear your lips away and blaze kisses along my throat, when you nibble and lick and suck down my chest.

I feel your knee urging my legs to open, I feel your hands pushing my skirt up to help the process. Then the texture of rough denim scraping against the insides of my naked thighs, the gentle caresses and fierce kisses across my body… God, I'm so ready for you, for this.

And I hold my breath as your mouth moves down my front, as your fingers knead and squeeze my hips, your face hovering over the space between my navel and my panty-line. Protection, I want to remind you as you nuzzle against my skirt.

My skirt. That's when I realize I'm still practically, completely dressed.

Jesus. Are you sure you're new at this? Or am I just that desperate? Or maybe it's just "us"… yeah, it has to be; it is… I smile to myself, and begin to undo the rest of my buttons.

Inhaling deeply, without looking up, you tell me, softly, "Stop."

"Why?" I manage, my voice sounding hoarse and needy to my ears. "And what are you doing?" Where you are, so close, but not close enough?

You shift until our eyes meet. "Enjoying the moment," you explain, without any sense of urgency.

"Liv? Please?" Don't you know what you're doing to me? Don't you know how much I want this? Want you? Want to be yours?

"I waited at least six hours for this, longer, if you count last night, and the months before," you grin, your touch teasing, "You can wait a little bit. It'll be worth it."

Sighing, I close my eyes and lock my fingers in your hair. Leaning further into the couch, shivering in pleasure, in anticipation, I wait.

88. gentle

I refuse to rush. You're mine and we're on my schedule. Slowly, surely, I can see your body reacting to me, wanting me.


This is for me.

Your fingers are twined in my hair as I place gentle kisses around your waist. You stare at me with panic, I haven't forgotten your protection, but I'm not ready. Not ready to give up the feeling of your gentle skin against my face. Of your scent filling my nose. Of how wonderful this feels right now, just being here with you. I don't want this to be screaming urgent orgasm sex.

I want to make love to you. Slowly, surely, I want to show you.

I can hear your moans echoing in my ears, loud and heavy, filling my mind with arousal.

I have to slow down.

I have to think.

What do I want for you? Gentle.

Frantic fucking is all well and good, but I want to show you how much I care. How long the idea of simply kissing you forced my heart skip a beat.

Just laying with my face against your soft stomach forces my pulse to beat, forces my heart to race, forces my mind to explode.

You're ripping off your own clothes, desperate and needy. I want to do this for you, I want to show you. I want.

Slowly, I slide down, kissing slowly up the insides of your thighs.

With every kiss, a slow ascent begins. An epic battle begins to quell your persistence. You're pushing me closer, pushing me into you. Your fingers tangle in my hair, your body arching to my touch. I stop your hands, taking them into mine. I slide back up your body, slow kisses on your stomach, and then I slide up to the buttons you've already exposed. With each small kiss, another inch of skin revealed.

Slowly, I slide the shirt off your shoulders. I kiss your neck, gently and slowly. I hear you moan.

God, I want this to be good for you. I'm may be new at this, but I know what love feels like. I know what I would want. I somehow know what to give you.

I deftly unhook your bra, allowing my tongue to tease you, each pass making you moan in the most delightful way. I wish you knew what I felt.

I think I can show you.

I stop suddenly and I hear your overwhelming gasp of protest. I smile, I guess this is working. I kiss you gently on the lips and whisper "Let's go to bed." You jump off the couch, grabbing my hand and pulling me with you.

89. WANT

Now, now, please Liv, now, I plead in my head, I beg with my whimpers as you kiss up my stomach, as you unbutton my blouse, teasing each bit of newly exposed skin.

God, I want, I want now.

Kisses, slow sucking gentle kisses back up my throat, my neck. Your full soft hot naked flesh gliding across my body. The warmth of your perfume, the heat of your skin invading, filling my senses.

God, maybe if I kiss you back, I could communicate my need, my want. Maybe you'll then stop teasing me like this.

Before I can reach for your lips, your hands are on me, sliding my shirt off my shoulders. Vaguely, my ears register the soft whisper of silk hitting hard wood. Vaguely I feel my flesh tightens from exposure, from proximity to your moist breath.

I want… Show me… I want to tell you, when I feel your tongue brush across my skin, when I feel your mouth holding back as I push for contact. Why this mad agony? I've craved for your touch for so long.

Then suddenly it hits me. Suddenly, I realize you are giving me what I need, showing me exactly what I want.

Slow, gentle, unhurried, deliberate, love.


I focus on your touch. Each flick, each tender caress draws an involuntary moan from my lips, a reflexive skip of my heart.

God, I love you so much. It's frightening. It's exhilarating.


I let my body drift onto this wonderful, soothing plane. This exquisite euphoria. Your tongue on me, your lips surrounding me, kissing me; your arms keeping me, holding me… Loving me.

If the sky falls down on us now, it'll be all right. I'll die blissfully content, in your embrace.

Then, gasp, you stop! How could you?

Then I hear you say something, bed.

Bed! Let's!

I think I jump off the couch and grab your hand, pulling you with me. Oh wait! I look back, and see that you've already picked up the little paper bag. Good girl! I smile at you, and rush us into the bedroom, while trying to relearn how to breathe.

Tumbling giggling into bed.

Falling into you.

Into Love.

Into ecstasy.

90. Happy

Making love to you is like breathing. I don't know how I lived before this, and I know that I'll never be able to live again without your touch. I glance at the clock and sigh, only an hour until I have to leave you here. An hour until I'll be slugging it out with the boys, fighting the bad guys.

Instead of letting my mind drift off onto that tangent, I pull it back to you. You're here with me, you love me. I catch you slowly closing your eyes and then pulling them open again. I think you're almost asleep. Your head is heavy on my shoulder, a happy smile rests on your sleepy face.

"That was…wow." You say, snuggling into me.

Yep. Stroke my ego a little more. Like it's necessary. Like hearing you say my name as your body clamped around mine wasn't enough to make me grin like an idiot for the rest of the afternoon.

Elliot's going to know. He always knows. For some ungodly reason that man has the unspeakable ability to look into my eyes and see into my soul. Good chance I'm going to get ribbed for the entire afternoon. It's been a long time since I've walked in with a smile.

I feel you slide your arm over me, pulling me closer to you, as if that's possible. Being with you, latex barrier or not, is intoxicating. The way your body responds to my touch is miraculous.

The way you moved. The way you feel. The sound your body makes writhing against the sheets. All of it is magic to me. A symphony.

Basking with you now, sweaty and exhausted, both of us still and fully satisfied; I want nothing more than to live like this for the rest of my life.

I kiss you gently, a slow loving kiss.

You happily return it.

I don't think I remember ever feeling like this before.

So happy. So wonderful. So in love.

91. GLOW

"Wow." I smile, pulling you closer to me, sinking my head deeper into your chest. Oh, wow. "Wow." I can only say. Wow.

Chuckling softly, you press a kiss to my head. Then, I feel your lips curve into a wide smile. "Yeah. Wow."

I guess you've been reduced to a grinning, monosyllabic fool, too. Wow.

I wish we could lay like this forever, I really do.

I want to go to sleep like this, and wake up in your arms, every day, for the rest of my life. I want to tell you. If I tell you right now though, I'm afraid it'll scare you away. So instead, I reach up, and kiss you on your jaw, and hug my body tighter around yours.

With one hand on my back, the other resting on my thigh, you clasp me gently to you, stroking lightly, tenderly. You tell me, your voice soft, "Don't want to let you go either."

"Don't suppose you can call in sick," I mumble against your flesh, stifling a yawn.

"Wish I could, Sweetheart," you say, with regret. "But I can come back afterwards, if you want."

"Promise?" I sigh, letting out another soft yawn.

"Promise." You smile, and deepen your gentle caress. "Sleep. I'll wake you up before I go."

I don't want to. I don't want to sleep the rest of our evening together away. I fight my body, my mind. But I must have lost the battle, as I slowly awake to your thumb tracing my cheek, my mouth. My lips part, and I touch your finger with my tongue.

And you bend forward to kiss me. Then, smiling at me with your eyes, you ask, "Good nap?"

"Yeah." I stretch against you, testing my muscles, stealing a glance at the clock. I can feel my heart sink. And I hold onto you tight. "I'll miss you."

"You, too, very much." You tell me, hugging me back. "I'll be back before you know it. Sleep some more, get some rest, you'll need it for later."

Reluctantly, I let you ease out from under me. Immediately, I'm missing your warmth. I really wish you didn't have to go…

Come on, Cabot, get a grip, stop acting like a teenager. I scold myself, while pulling the blankets tightly around my body, trying to recapture your embrace. While watching you put on the layers that separate you farther and farther from me.

"I'll see you in nine hours?" I ask you. Really wish I didn't sound like a needy little girl.

"Tops." You smile, and lean down to touch my lips with yours. "I'll let myself out."

"Oh," I remember the spare keys I found yesterday, or was it the day before, everything's still a blur. I pick them up from the night-stand and hand them to you. "Here, you can let yourself in, too."

You smile this brilliant smile, and whisper a thank you. Soon, I hear the front door close. Too soon, you're gone.

I think about getting up, and going through the files I have, but I really don't want to. Sleep? I'd like to, but I'm missing you so terribly, I need something to distract me.

Then a black shape on the floor catches my eye. Your bag, I realize. Your bag!

Should I? Shouldn't I? Would you mind?

Considering what we've shared, I doubt you would…

Grinning, blushing, and with Christmas morning eagerness, I scramble out of bed and tear into your overnighter. Oh yes! You brought spares!

I brush each shirt against my face, remembering your softness. Finally, picking out the one that smells most like you, I slip it over my head, and slide back under the covers, letting your scent, your warmth take me to dreams of you…

92. numbing

I've been watching the clock now for hours. Every second feels like a lifetime. On top of that this has to be the worst shift I've had in a long time. It's just one of those nights where everything goes wrong. Catching a case, a little girl raped by her father. They're right about the kids, no one can handle them. We all look like we've been socked in the stomach, desperate to cling to the legal aspects and not the deeply emotional play going on below the surface.

Even faced with the stress, I'm sitting at my desk, staring at paperwork. My mind, however, is a million miles away. Dreaming of you, thinking about holding you tight in my arms. I see you clearly. I'm safe with you, warm and cozy. Your hands are around my waist, you're kissing me gently. I can feel your tongue pressing into my mouth, insistent. I kiss you back, feeling your fingers sliding up my body, over me, around me.

"Liv, you coming with us?" My dream is broken dramatically as I look up and see Fin, Munch, and Elliot staring at me like I've lost my mind.

"Huh?" I ask, not even trying to pretend that I was paying attention to them.

"What's with you?" Elliot asks me, with a smug smile. He knows exactly what's with me, bastard. He knows by looking at me, much like I have a good idea of what's going on in his mind while just looking at him.

"Long day," I mumble.

"So it begs the question, will we be honored with the pleasure of your company?" Munch asks.

"Where?" I ask.

"Next door," Fin says.

Ahh. The bar. Right. That's what we do when we have a bad day. We unwind.

I could use a drink.

For a second, your face flickers through my mind. You don't want me to drink to excess, I get that, but one drink? With the guys? I'm sure you're not going to mind that. I tell the boys I'll meet them, as I slip my cell phone out of my pocket.

I hear your voice, beautiful and sleepy. I feel guilty as I tell you that we've been tied up and I'll be a couple hours later than I thought at first. You sound disappointed; ask if there's anything you can do to bring me home to you earlier. It's all administration, I complain. Cragen's on our asses, wants us caught up on things. You sigh and mumble that you understand. I promise I'll be there. I'll be there as soon as I can.

The first beer slides down my throat easily, and the second is so much better. I can drink these guys under the table, and still be okay. High tolerance, I guess. Together, we talk cryptically about things that don't matter, letting all the things that we've seen slip off our chests. We all want the same thing. To go home and be able to sleep tonight. This is the easiest way.


The hot water pounding on my skin feels good. So good.

Almost as good as your kisses, your caresses. Almost as good as your presence.

Almost as good as the touch of your shirt clinging to my skin, binding me. Tying me up.

Tied up. That's what you tell me. The Captain on your asses. You need to get caught up.


You forget. You forget you people work for me. You forget I know exactly what paper work you're to get caught up or not.

You forget I arraign the pervs you catch. That I know who you caught and didn't catch on any given day. You forget that the damn system requires that the perv who raped his own daughter be brought before a judge within twenty-four hour of his arrest. You don't realize I found out the minute you had him in Central Booking.

You forget I know what it's like. That the kids are always the hardest. That after a rough day, we all go numb our senses at the bar next to the precinct. So we can go home, sleep, go to work and repeat the same damn thing every single damn day.

It's the same damn cycle. Don't you remember?

To be fair, I didn't exactly tell you to stop drinking. I just raised concerns about your excessive alcohol consumption.

But it hasn't even been a week yet, we just spent the most glorious two days together, and already you're lying to me.

What's next?

What's the next thing that's going to push you over the edge? Will it be something big? Or will it be something stupid, like you ran out of fingerprinting cartridges? And who next are you going to take to bed to exorcise your drunken lust?

Do you just think I'm stupid or something?

I can't believe I trusted in your promise to come back after work.

I can't believe I even offered you my comfort. I can't believe I'm sitting on the shower floor crying for you and pretending to myself that it's only hot water I feel running down my face.

I might be a sucker for your love, but stupid I am not.

I'm not my mother; I'm not my grandmother. I won't put myself through what they put themselves through. I can't. I won't. That's a cycle I refuse to perpetuate.

I really don't have it in me.

94. crash

I'm feeling pretty good by the time we're well into our third pitcher. Smiling and laughing, the day is forgotten as we slowly numb ourselves into oblivion. It's amazing that the four of us can consume so much. Okay, so maybe I've consumed a tad bit more than the rest of them, but I'm not even drunk. Really. Besides, I have a high tolerance.

Elliot's always the first to leave, always nursing the same beer all night. "Want a ride, Liv?" he asks me, looking too hopeful.

I almost go with him. Almost. But I remember that you're waiting for me, and I remember that I have a car. Trevor's car. Trevor's amazing black BMW.

"I'm good," I tell him. Smiling at him, I pour more into my glass, which he eyes suspiciously. "How are you getting home?" he asks.

"Subway," I say; I can feel the challenge written on my face.

"Do you think that's a good idea?" he asks, again, pointing to my glass. We have this fight all the time. I can handle myself.


"Okay," he says, sighing at me. He means well, he really does. I watch as he stalks out the door, looking over his shoulder once to look at me. He shakes his head and I wave as he let's the door slam behind him.

Finally, we finish our pitcher. I push back from the table and get up.

"You gonna be okay, Liv?" Fin asks me, while I concentrate on my feet.

"I'm fine," I mumble. I throw money on the table and smile at them. "Night boys," I smile. I can feel their eyes on me as I walk out the door. Successfully, I manage to make it across the room without tripping over my own feet.

I stick my hands in my pocket and feel your keys. Two sets, your house keys and the key's to Trevor's car. I'm a cop. I know I'm not supposed to drink and drive, but I really didn't drink that much. Only a few. I've done worse.

I slide behind the wheel of the car and flick it on. I test my concentration. I'm really fine.

I pull out onto the street, wanting to see you, wanting to feel you next to me. I can feel my foot heavy on the gas, as I speed up the street towards your apartment.

Then I feel it. The worst part by far is the sound, crunching metal, cracking glass, a mechanical squeal, a cacophony of destruction. Out the window, I see the horizon flip over, and I can feel my body hanging. Then I feel the warm stickiness of blood, dripping over my face. I feel the shooting pain in my leg, through my stomach. I can hear the radio playing, robbing me of the eerie silence that follows the crash. The last thing I remember is your face, dancing in my imagination, before everything goes black.


You're a lying pathetic drunk. The only difference between you and the bum on the street is you still have a job, and a home. And who knows how long that's going to last. I don't know why I waste my time with you. You're obviously not the honorable, caring person I fell in love with. You can't even acknowledge you have a problem. If you're not willing to help yourself, nobody can help you. If you don't love yourself or care about yourself enough, why should I? I hate to break it to you, Olivia, but we're through. I don't want a relationship with a hopeless, selfish, irresponsible drunk.

For two hours I paced around my apartment, rehearsing my summation, my closing argument for Cabot vs. Benson and Alcohol et al. By the time morning came, and you still hadn't shown up, or had the decency to call, I was pretty convinced.

Then the phone rang.

And I was ready to lay into you.

I was not expecting to hear my mother's frantic voice asking me if I was okay, if it was really me talking to her on the telephone. I thought she had gone off the deep end just because I didn't show up for dinner Sunday night. Then call waiting.

And Trevor going off on me about his car, about the cops waking him up in the middle of the night, something about a light pole, his baby totaled, and his insurance company. He made absolutely no sense for a second. Then I remembered you had his car.

And I realized you were in an accident.

How badly were you hurt? I asked him, the first sentence out of my mouth. He didn't know.

He wanted to keep talking about his car, but I cut him off. That would have to wait. I needed to find out where you are, if you're okay.

Then I stopped myself. Why do I care? You're a grown woman. You made your decision; you made your own bed.

So, as if nothing had happened, I got ready for work. Made it through the morning, even made it back to my office by one o'clock. For all intents and purposes, it was a very good, productive work day.

I can't say I was surprised when Elliot showed up, distressed and obviously uncomfortable. We stared at each other for a very long time, until he sighed, and told me where you are. Then he offered me a ride. I could tell he was waiting for me to ask, dying to tell me how you are. But I wouldn't give him or myself that satisfaction. You don't deserve my sympathy.

Cragen met me outside your room. Fractured ribs and a punctured lung from the air bag, ruptured spleen, several deep scratches from the shattered windshield, and a badly twisted ankle. They had to pump your stomach, you're on morphine, and your doctor expects full recovery for you. All this he told me in his usual, straight to business way.

Oh, and you're going to be suspended for six weeks. Like I said, you made your own bed, now you're literally lying in it.

If Don saw the apathy in my eyes, he didn't show any regard for it.

"Alex," he tells me. "I've been trying for months to get her to listen. You know how she is. Maybe you can get through to her. She'll listen to you."

"I won't bet on it," I answer flatly.

He sighs. "She's been in and out of consciousness from the painkiller since she came out of surgery… she said things. Things she probably wouldn't remember later."

"Like what, Don?" I ask, not really caring to know.

"She keeps asking for you, Alex," he says, camouflaging his concern with discomfort, "she keeps saying how sorry she was, how she was just trying to get back to you quickly, and… how much she loves you."

When I don't say anything, he continues, "Maybe you're asking yourself why you should care, but she really needs you right now. Don't give up on her yet. At least give her one more chance."

Why should I? You gave up on you. Tell me why I shouldn't do the same? You deserve to rot in your self-destruction.

I just give Cragen a non-committal nod. And I can tell he wants to say something, anything to change my mind. I guess, in the end, he decides better.

I walk into your room, and I close the door behind me.

I really don't want to look at you; but then I see you, all pale and battered. I watch your eyes open, see the signs of recognition, hear you try to tell me the things you wanted me to hear before.

Despite my well rehearsed apathy, I sit down in the chair, and take your hand reaching out for mine.

"No, Liv, I won't leave you. I love you," I promise you. God help us both.

96. confusion.

I see lights.

Bright bright light.

Shines in my eye.

I hear someone talking.

"NYPD detective"


Never again.

"She's lucky she didn't kill someone."

"Blood alcohol three times the legal limit…"




I'm supposed to…go to.

I've got to get up.

"Whoa there."

Arms holding me down.



Fight. Struggle. A needle.




So hard to breathe.

"We need to put this tube in your mouth to help you breathe."


Poking at my side. Pins. Ow.



Why is he?

Where's Alex.

"Alex," I hear my own voice.

A million miles away.

"No," is all I hear.

He's holding my hand?


"Alex? I love you."

"You've got to wake up."


"Liv, wake up."

"Open your eyes."





My stomach.


My leg.

What happened?

Where am I?

White light.



Where am I?

Where's Alex?



My head.

Your face.

In my head?

I feel you hold my hand.

"I love you"

"I'm sorry."


So hard to concentrate.




I don't…



Where'd you?



All right. Maybe it's the morphine. Maybe you're too out of it to understand the concept of rehabilitation. That's fine. We'll talk about it when you're more conscious. That's perfectly fine. It's not like you're going anywhere any time soon.

As quietly as I came into the room, I walk out. Just as I expected, Cragen is still waiting for me. He searches my face, perhaps for some reassurances that I won't leave you.

"Have you talked to the DA? Or do you want me to?" I ask him, in a loud whisper, barely controlling my temper. DWI is a serious offense; you'd be lucky if they just fine you and revoke your driver's license for six months, and not throw you in jail. Just how stupid can you be? If you're not already laying in a hospital bed, I swear I'd put you in one myself!

"It's okay, Alex."

"Maybe I can find out who the prosecutor will be; maybe I can call in a favor or two…"

"Really, it's okay." Don gives my arm a brief reassuring pat. "It was late, the officers on the scene had to make another call… to me… They didn't get a chance to talk to the paramedics…"

I ask in a hushed voice, "So, her blood alcohol level …"

"It's not in the report," he whispers back.

"Thank god," I sigh a sigh of relief. As I take another breath, I smell a familiar cologne coming from down the hall. Now what?

"Alex! I'm so glad I found you."

"Trevor, I don't have time to talk about your car right now."

"Oh, forget my car, it's time for me to get a new one anyway," he gives me his smarmy smile. "We'll challenge everything, defects, breathalyzer machine maintenance records, the operator's competency, everything. I'll even represent her pro bono."

"Why, Trevor? She doesn't need you." I stare at him with narrowed eyes. What's he up to?

"Really, Alex, it's all my fault, I shouldn't have loaned you the car, I should have known she'll get into an accident," he rambles on.

Oh, no. "What have you done, Trevor? You son of a…" The moment the question leaves my mouth, I have my answer.

"Listen, Alex, we'll talk again soon, okay?" Don decides wisely to make his retreat. "Hang in there," he tells me, and disappears down the other end of the corridor.

Lucky him.


"Mom!" I give my brother a withering smile, and rush forward to meet my mother. "What are you doing here?" I ask. The last thing I want is for her to see you.

"Damage control," she says, as a matter of fact.

"Huh?" For a minute, I'm totally confused.

"Your brother tells me your new girlfriend is a lush," she enlightens me.

Trevor is so going to die; and he knows it. "Here, Mom," he shoves some papers in her hand, "Here's the release and consent form you wanted me to put together for Olivia. I have to get back to the office. Bye."

"Release and consent? Mom?"

She looks at me as if I've asked the most idiotic question. "To dry out. Something I've always wanted to do for your grandfather. I'll put together a team, it'll start right after she gets out of the hospital. You can take some time off if you want to be with her. In fact, I'd recommend it, just so you know what it's like, in case you decide to fall in love with another drunk in the future." She sighs and rolls her eyes.

I'm too shocked to say anything. Besides, mom isn't quite finished.

"I hope this new girlfriend of yours at least cleans up nice. I don't know why you didn't stick with Abbie, that girl has class, and she wasn't a lush."

What? I can't. Wait. What? How? What?

"What happened to don't ask, don't tell?" I finally settle on this question. Seems most benign at the moment.

"Oh, you mean, you don't ask me what I know, and I don't tell you what I find out from your brother?"

Yep. He's so dead.

"Now, if you don't have any more silly little questions," she pats me on the cheek like I'm four, "I'd like to meet this Olivia."

98. Meeting Mom.

I must be dreaming.

I hear voices, talking over me. Talking about me. I think. I hear your voice, whispering quietly.

Is it really you? Are you really here or are you just a figment of my imagination?

My body is heavy, my limbs full of lead. Except for a dull awareness that my body has pain, I feel nothing but the heaviness. I try to open my eyes, but they fight against me. Through slits I can see you with someone I can't place.

"I can see why you fell for her, she's very attractive." I hear. Snatches of a conversation.

"Mom," your voice, whining.


Whose mom?

My mom is dead. She fell down those stairs.

Who's there? I force my eyes open a little more.

I reach out for you. My voice weak, "Alex?"

You reach for my hand and slide next to my bed.

"I'm here Liv," I hear back from you. Your hand in my hand. Your hand strokes the side of my face.

"What happened?" I ask.

"You were in a car accident, sweetie."

But I don't have a car. Huh?

"You were driving my son's car. You're lucky you weren't killed."

"Mom," I hear you say.

Oh. Your mom.

Your mom?

Why's she?

I don't even know your mom?

Shit, your mom.

I should make a good impression.

I can't even open my eyes.


I think I'll just go back to sleep.


Part of me is glad she's here. My mom. At least she's been through this before, loving an alcoholic, and she knows what it's like. Maybe more, since she had to love her father, I don't have to love you. I don't, right?

Oh hell, who am I kidding? Obviously, she sees it, Don sees it, Warner, even Liz.

I can't believe mom made me call my boss in front of her, just to make sure I do.

I can't believe Liz agreed to my time off so readily. I didn't even have to explain, and she told me exactly how much vacation time I have left. I'd swear she was expecting my call. Maybe she was. Rumors travel fast in that office…

I wonder what else people know about me. Especially mom.

Mom. My mom, sitting here, with an agreement in her hand for you to sign. Vowing that she won't leave before you do.

A sizable part of me is angry. I'm not a child anymore. All right, when I'm sick, I want my mommy to take care of me. But I'm a grown woman. I don't need my mom to fight my battles. I certainly don't need my mommy to tell my girlfriend she can't date me if she doesn't go into rehab, and stop drinking altogether.

I certainly don't want my mom to see me like this, to see you like this. It's embarrassing.

Yet another part though, is surprised my mom's even here.

She's sitting here. Like a civilized person. Asking me about you, telling me how pretty you are, that you have potential. Saying to me things she never said about Trevor's girl toys. Complimentary, supportive things.

All my life, I dreaded this day. Thought she'd disown me or something when she finds out. Instead, she's sitting here, relating to me what she went through with my grandfather, telling me what to expect from you. Explaining all the hazards of loving an alcoholic, and the potential joy of loving a recovering one.

Mom had always shielded us from her hell. And all the months with Lawyers Assistance, I never heard from the families, the other victims of the disease. Now I have a new respect for my mom. I have to admit I'm glad she's on my side.

You're waking, and you're reaching for me. Without thinking, I slide next to your bed, and I touch you, and feel you squeeze my hand, albeit weakly, and I touch you on your face. It feels good on so many levels to be able to do that.

Soon, I see your eyelids dropping. I hope you stay awake long enough for my mom to talk to you. Unfortunately, I do agree with her. I can't go through life loving an alcoholic. I just can't. The sooner you agree with me, the sooner we can start building a future for us. I do hope you'll agree.

"Liv, can you stay awake? Just for a little while?" I stroke your cheek gently. "Mom wants to talk to you."

100. Anything

I can feel your fingers on my face. I wince as they brush over something painful. I must have a cut there. Slowly I access what hurts. My chest hurts, and my ankle throbs. It feels like my chin is stitched, because it's tight when I try to move it. Even through my drug haze I can pick out the places where my body is broken. I feel so good, though, I can barely care. It's like floating on air.

"What happened?" I ask, my mouth dry so I sound like I'm mumbling.

"Liv," you say, with a sad smile. "You already asked that sweetie."

I did? When? I wish I remembered.

"You crashed my son's car," says a voice that I can't quite see.

I'm vaguely aware that there's pain, but I'm more acutely aware of you holding my hand. My fingers are freezing, but where they are tangled in yours, they're warming quickly. I try to focus, focus on the feel of your fingers in mine. Try to focus on your voice.

My eyes are heavy, it feels like weights are pulling my eyelids down, but if I shut my eyes, you might not be here when I wake up.

I fight against them slipping closed.

"My mother wants to talk to you, Liv." Your voice. I hear your voice in disjointed fragments.

I try to talk but my mouth feels full, and I mumble. "Uh huh."

I see your face, but I hear a voice from beyond. "Trevor is willing to release you from liability if you agree to complete an alcohol rehab program. We've got something set up for you, you and my daughter, outpatient."

I'm so confused.

What's she talking about. I try to concentrate.

Why are we talking about Trevor?

I am so sleepy. I feel your hand on mine.

"Mom, I don't think she understands," you say.

"She needs to sign."

I try to sit up, to wake up, but I feel the jolt of pain in my side, as the air escapes from my lungs. For just a moment, I can't breathe and I feel myself slide back into the bed.

"I'll sign," I mumble, anxious to get the woman to go away, whoever she is. I don't even know what it is, but if it makes you smile like that, I'll do it.

I see the strange woman, and I feel your hand replaced with the cold metal of a pen. I move it in what I suppose to be the shape of my name. Your hand replaces the pen, and finally I feel safe. My eyes close gently, and I can feel the smile on my face as I drift away.

Part 101

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