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 storm into the bedroom half expecting you to follow, but you don't. I wonder what you're doing, where you are, until I hear you slam the coffee table. With a body part I'm sure. There you go again with that self-destructiveness.

Can we ever have a discussion without it escalating into a war?

Why are we always so adversarial? Where one of us has to win, and the other feels like a victim. In this case, both of us are feeling that way.

Can we blame it on our professional training? Force of habit?


How come we managed to talk through stuff when we were on the island? What makes being here different?

And you wonder why I didn't want to come back…

Maybe you're right, we're not ready to have children. We're too dysfunctional to have children. Too selfish. Too immature.

Sighing, I peel my back from the door, turn around, and open it quietly. I see you sitting in front of the coffee table, holding and rubbing your hand.

"Liv?" I begin.

You ignore me.

"Can we talk?"

"What's there to talk about? You're just going to expect me to cave."

"I'm not; I don't."

"Yeah, right."

"I'm sorry you feel that way. I'm sorry you think I make all the decisions for us."

"Well you do."

I take a deep breath to calm myself. One of us has to back down, one of us has to be mature. I guess it'll have to be me.

"Can I tell you something?"

"Why do you even ask, Alex? You're going to tell me anyway."

So much for explaining to you why I want, wanted children. Why do you have to be so cruel? How come you're so different here? I couldn't see the difference until the island, where I discovered you could be gentle and sweet 24/7. "I don't have to. But can I ask you a question?"

"Go ahead."

"Why are we snapping at each other, the minute we're back in NY? When we just spent two weeks getting along?"

902 Explain

"It's different here." I say.

"Yeah, but why is it different? Twenty four hours ago we couldn't get enough of each other and here we are, acting like kids. You hurt your hand." You say, staring at my hand, which is admittedly pounding from hitting the table.

You reach out and take my hand, gently rubbing your fingers over the glowing redness.

"Alex, I, it bothers me when I feel like you're making decisions. Life decisions, for me. I mean, the way you presented this. You already had it planned. And in my body."

"But I didn't mean…"

"I just…it scares me. Because I don't feel like I have any control over those things. Most of the time, I love you enough to acquiesce. But a kid? That'd change everything. It's different when I can just keep my mouth shut and let you decide, and that's most of the time okay, but now. This is something I haven't even thought about, and you're mad that I can't just make a decision."

"I'm not mad Liv."

"But I think you are. You look mad. And you won't talk to me. And.."

"I'm not mad Liv. I'm…I guess I'm disappointed."

"Same thing."

"I'm disappointed because when I think of spending my life with you, I think of it the same way I've always thought of spending my life. I mean, I've always wanted kids, and I just assumed you did too."

"It's not that I don't, I just…I have a lot to deal with."

"I guess we both do. Do you really…" you ask, letting your voice slip out.

"Do I really what?"

"Do you really think I make all your choices for you? Like…did I force you to marry me?"

"No, sweetie, no, but, sometimes…sometimes you're…forceful with your opinion."

"So I'm bossy."

"Sometimes. And I don't tell you not to be. I love you Alex. I mean, in spite of the fact that you tell me what candy bar to buy. I just… I can't have a baby because you want it. I have to want it too. And I'm sorry, but I'm just not ready."


"I'm not ready to have kids right now either." I stop rubbing your hand, and lace our fingers together. "I never said I was."

"But you want them."

"I want you to think about having them, or at least one of them, or the only kid we have."

"You haven't answered my question."

It wasn't a question; it was a statement, my instincts argue, but it would get us nowhere. "Yes, I want them. Someday. Not today, not tomorrow. Just… someday."


"I don't know? When you're ready?"

"I might never be ready, Alex."

"Then I guess we'll never have kids." I sigh, and mold my body against yours. "I'll just have to be content with just the two of us, and a scholarship in our name."

"Will you really be content? If you've always wanted them?"

Why did I tell you I've always wanted kids? I don't always want kids. I never wanted kids, at least not until tonight.

I look at you, and I wonder why I still don't feel secure enough to tell you what's really in my heart. It makes no sense.

Or is it just self-preservation instincts that I shouldn't even question or bother fighting…

"Liv," I sigh. "I just want them… with you."

"What do you mean?"

"Can you honestly see me pregnant?"


"Well, I can't. I'd be mandating the fetus' growth from day one, or drive myself crazy trying."

That makes you laugh. "I think you're exaggerating."

"You just called me bossy."

"But you are."

Maybe this is a good time for a change of subject? "Does that makes you Schroeder?"

"Nope." You grin, and wrap your arm around my shoulders, pulling me close. "You're much prettier than Beethoven."

"I promise to let you pick your own candy from now on." I circle my arms around your waist, and hug you tight. "I hate fighting with you…"

904 Make Up

"We're not fighting, we're discussing." I say, repeating your earlier comment. God. I can't stop myself. "Sorry," I say, before you have a chance to respond.

"I guess I deserve that." You say slowly.

"No. You just… I'm frustrated. I don't feel like…like I'm doing the right thing."

"I can understand that." You say, diplomatically.

"I just…I feel like I'm letting you down."

"Sweetie, you're not…I mean, I…well, I hadn't thought about it, really. Not in a real way, until Trevor said it tonight."

"So he suggests it to you and then we have to…?"

"We don't have to, I just, I want a baby with you. I want to see a piece of us live on."

I take a deep breath. "I'm just…I'm not ready yet, okay?"

"Okay," you say , with a reassuring smile, giving me a hug.

"I'm sorry, Alex. I think I overreacted. I just. If we did that, it'd be something I'd have to have some control over."

"Well. Yeah." You say simply, snuggling closer to me.

"So you're not mad?" I ask again.

"Nope." You say, sighing into me, content.

I sigh and pull you into me, listening to your breathing as you hug me tight.

"Does this mean we can make up?"

"I thought we just did."

"I was thinking of in a different way."

You swat my arm. "And you say I'm always horny."

"You always are." I say with a smile. "I depend on it," I say pulling your lips into a kiss.

905 BODY

I feel myself quickly melting in your embrace, in our deepening kiss. I suppose for an argument, this was an improvement from before. Maybe we're getting better, or at least learning...

"Let's go to bed," I suggest breathlessly, with my eyes still closed, fighting the urge to pull you down into the couch with me.

"Look at me," you say, your voice smiling. Then I see that your eyes are smiling, too. "I do love you, Alex."

"I know." I cup your cheeks in my palms. "And I love you. I'm sorry for being so bossy."

You chuckle. "Can I make a confession?"

"Is it going to get you in trouble?"

"I don't think so."

"Too bad," I tease in between kisses, "I was hoping you'd feel necessary to suck up."

This time you laugh, your laughter regaining its light an mischievous tone. "Don't I always anyway?" You tease back, sliding your hands up my sides.

I shudder to your thumbs brushing over my nipples. "Your confession?"

"Most of the time," you murmur softly, your lips drifting down my throat. "I love it when you tell me what to do."

"Get out."

"Outside of the job, you're only bossy with two people, me and Trevor, and I think it's because you care."

"Well, I do care. Why do you think," I pause, closing my eyes to the sensation of your fingers trailing down and back up my abdomen. I gasp, "Why do you think I pick the least bad candy bar for you?"

"That's why I didn't complain before," you admit, and kiss up to my lips.

I sigh, and shift under your weight. "I'm glad you like it when I'm in control. Because, for your information, this," I slide my hands along your lithe body, "is mine."


"Certain biological functions, and the decision to carry our baby, you can keep," I say, with all seriousness. "But I'm the only person who gets to touch you like this."

This time, you're the one shivering as I pull at your nipples gently, as I push my thighs up between your legs. You gasp, "Yeah? Of course. Why are you?"

"Just making sure," I smile, and give your breasts another squeeze. Just ridding myself of irrational jealousies. "Now, shall we?"

Sucking in a ragged breath, you push yourself off of me. "You know you're going to get it, for teasing."

"I'm counting on it. Whoa!" Suddenly, I find myself scooped up in your arms. "What are you doing?"

"Carrying you over the thresh-hold of our bedroom? And no, I'm not going to drop you. I didn't before."

"I know," I admit, burying my cheeks against your shoulder, my body melting into your strength. "It's kind of sexy…"

906 Eleven

I roll over sleepily, barely awake. My eyes flutter open. Slowly, gently.

I open my eyes and stare at the clock. There's no way. There's just no way.


It can't possibly be eleven. It's a mistake. I shake the clock and look over at the one that sits next to your bed. It says eleven too.

I don't think I've slept this late since I was…fifteen. Then again, I haven't spent nearly the whole night…

I open my eyes wider and stare at the number blinking on the clock.

It really does say eleven. Wow.

"Alex," I say, poking you in the side, and you protest.

"Shhhh…." You whisper under your breath. "Sleeping."

"Alex." I poke you again.

"Livvvv…" you whine.

"We've gotta. It's after eleven."


"So I thought we were…I thought we had stuff we had to do today." I say gently.

"Mmmm…" You say again.


"Liv." You say, still asleep. "Shhh…"

"But…I thought," I say, kissing you gently on the forehead. "I thought we were getting rings today."

Your eyes flutter open. "That's right." You say, with a huge smile.

In a second you're out of bed, pulling on my arm. "Whatcha waiting for?" You ask, laughing, pulling me out of bed.


"Just pick something, Olivia," I lean against the counter. "Please."

"We can't just pick something."

"What about this one," I point to a very elegant design, one I would gladly wear, which would also look good on you. "It's nice."

"That looks like an old woman's ring."

"I'm going to be eighty by the time you find the perfect ring."

"Alex," you whine, and look at me with your puppy dog eyes. "We're going to be wearing them for the rest of our lives. I want them to be perfect."

"Then why don't we go to a jewelry designer? I know of several good ones." You look at me funny, so I add. "They're friends of my mom's."

"But then we have to wait."

"What's wrong with that?"

"I want you, I mean us to have our rings when we go back to work tomorrow."

"What was that? Before the 'us'? You want me to have a ring for tomorrow?"

"Well. Yeah."

"Why? Besides, I think we've hit every shop in Manhattan. I can wait a couple of weeks, or however long it'll take them to make one."

"But," you fret.

"But what, Liv?"

"We're married."


"I want people to know."

"What?" Did I hear right? You want people to know? "But people do know. All our friends and colleagues were at the party last night, remember?"

"All our friends and MY colleagues, Alex."

"I work with them, too." I try to reason, not sure what you're getting at. "I'm closer to the detectives than people at my own office."

"Yes, but people at your office don't know."

"They know about us, trust me, they do."

Now you're agitated. "But they don't know we're married."


908 Perfect

I'm irritated that you aren't getting this. For me, it's so important. I have a vague concept of what I want. Something that I'll know when I see it.

"Come on Alex, it's important to me."

You roll your eyes at me and push yourself into the counter. "Fine."

"This is what we were doing today anyway," I complain, irritated that you're no where near as interested in this as I think you should be.

"I know."

"I'm just surprised that you don't care about this."

"I do care. I guess, I'm just not as picky." You say. "I'll happily wear whatever makes you happy."

I smile at you in spite of myself. "It's not here," I say, looking over the rings one last time.

"Fine." You say, with a deep breath. "Where to now?" You ask, as you start towards the door.

"Wait a minute," I say, as something catches my eye.


"That." I say, pointing in the front of the case.

"Which one?"

I point to a set of rings in the last row. Both consist of two bands—one of silver and one of gold, welded together. "Can I see that?" I ask the jeweler who happily pulls it out of the case.

"They're very original." He says with a smile.

I pick one of the rings up, and smile as it slips into two attached bands.

"Look Alex. One for you and one for me. Separate people who meld together and can't be separated."

"Aww, Liv, that's so sweet."

I smile. "I want these." I say definitively.

"Thank God," you say, slipping your arm around my waist. "Love you," you whisper.


"So," I look at you, then at the rings sitting in their box, and back at you. "Should we?"

You follow the my eyes, then smile at me. "Yeah."

"Or do you want to wait? Do we want witnesses?"

Taking my hand, you smile again. "Are you nervous?"

"I shouldn't be… But I guess I am. A little."


"I don't know. Maybe it's not really nervousness." Maybe the butterflies fluttering in my stomach are from happy excitement. "Maybe I'm just excited."

"And impatient," you tease, amusement sparkling in your eyes.

"Yeah, now that you mention it." I smile back, widely.

"I love you, Alex."

"I love you, too, Liv."


"So," I echo, and watch you take my ring from the box.

Then it's my turn. I take a deep breath, and reach for the box. My fingers tremble as they close around the cold metal. Following your lead, I hold the band in my hands, warming it with my palms, with my love.

"Ready?" You ask.

I swallow, and take your hand. "I love you," I tell you again, and slip the ring on your finger, until it touches the other one I gave you.

Then I wait, for you to take my hand. I wait for you to slide the ring onto my finger. I can feel the heat of your love surrounding me, holding my heart.

"I love you, Alex," you breathe, cupping my face, your lips moving towards mine.

And I close my eyes. "And I love you," I promise, before sealing it with a kiss.


"And ever."

910 Need

We chase each other up the stairs to our apartment, kissing each other madly in the hallway. Your hands seem to be all over me, loving me, touching me.

"I love you," I whisper hoarsely, as you take my tongue into yours.

"Mmm..no you," You moan into my mouth as you kiss me. Your fingers lace with mine. Your body pressing into me against the hallways wall.

Over dinner, we sat together, smiling into each other eyes. Our conversation was minimal as we gave each other deep longing looks over our meals. Our rings shining on our fingers, we smiled at each other like idiots, until I started to feel your foot sliding up my leg.

"Alex?" I asked you with a questioning look.

You grinned at me, and before I knew what was happening, you were pulling me out of my chair, out of the restaurant and in a mad pace back to our apartment.

Now here we are, our hands all over each other, as you pull me along with you. You hold me against the door, pushing your body into mine.

"I want you,"

"Let's go in." I sigh, shuffling for my key.

"Got it," you say, pushing it into the lock.

The door swings open and you growl as you push me back, across the room and onto the couch.

You get on top of me, pushing at my clothes.

"I want you," you say again.

"I can see that," I say, with a smirk as you kiss me hard.

"Shh," you whisper, as you slide your fingers up and down my body.

"Can we at least go to the bedroom?" I ask, pushing hair out of your eye.

"Nope," you say with a devilish grin, your hands pushing down into my pants. My breath catches, and I give myself very willingly over to you.


"Alex," you gasp as I dot sucking kisses along your throat and chest. "Baby, you're gonna…"

I push a finger over your lips to hush you, and slide my tongue down your chest and back up again, pressing my thigh harder against you.

Yes, I'm marking you with my kisses, my teeth, and you wanted to protest. But you body loves what I'm doing, I can tell by the way you're writhing, pushing up against me, and pulling me down towards you. Your fingers grasping my hips, biting into my flesh.

"God, I want you."

"You have me," you moan your reply.

"I love you," I tell you, then slide my fingers inside you, burying myself in your heat. Somehow I can't get enough of you. I almost wish I could climb inside you.

I can't explain this intensity of my need for you, to be with you. To join with you, to mark you mine.

Your desirous whimpers urge me on as I slide in and out of you, as you drive your body towards me, pushing my fingers deeper and deeper into you.

"God I love you," I rasp against your throat. I love you. I want you. I need you.

"Alex," you respond with my name; you respond with your body.

I love the sound of my name from your lips. I love how you call out for me in the throes of passion. I love how your body clenches around me, and pulls me to you. With such abandonment.

I love how you try to catch my lips with yours, how you moan your passion into my mouth. I love how you push your knees up, to open yourself more for me. I love how you push against my shoulders, to convey your desire.

"I love you," I tell you again, and watch you force your eyes open. And as always, I find myself falling into the deep pools. And I find my breath hitching when you smile and tell me you love me.

"God, I want you," I whisper, before kissing a trail down your body.

Then there's the way your body tenses. The way your stomach muscles tremble against my breasts in anticipation. How you jerk at the first touch of my tongue, and sigh when I rub against you.

The way you taste, I love. I crave.

I crave for your fire. Your happiness. Your love.

You inhale a sharp breath when I withdraw my fingers. When I cup your ass with my hands, you lift yourself towards my mouth.

And, with ardent tenderness, I brush and stroke and swirl around you. Tasting you, drinking you in, before darting into you…

And I love how you lace your fingers in my hair, how you rock to the rhythm I set for you. I love the needful way you moan my name, over and over.

I love you…

912 Even

"Alex," I call to you.

"What?" You call back.

"Come here."

"Liv." You whine.

"Come here." I repeat again.

"What?" you say, gently padding into the bathroom.


You stare at me for a second. "What?" You ask again.

"Look," I say again pointing to the trail of black and blue marks that line my neck.

"Oh." You say, barely suppressing a smile.

"Yeah, oh. What am I supposed to do?" I ask, urgently.

"Wear a turtle neck?" You ask with a smirk.

"It's the middle of July, Alex."

"Wear them proudly?"

"You're not helping.

"I could go back in time…"


"They're not so bad," you say, gently pressing on my skin, trying not to laugh at me.

"They're going to pick on me all day," I whine, trying to cover the marks with cover up.

"Now it looks like you put make up on your neck." You say, wiping at the thick glob of cover-up on my neck.

"Alex," I whine.

"What do you want me to do?"

"Come here," I say, grabbing you around the waist, delighting at your scream as I suck on your neck.


"Olivia Benson!" I shriek, pushing against you. "Get off of me."

"No," you mumble, and pick another spot on my neck.

I can feel your teeth scraping my skin. I think I can feel my blood vessels popping; it's got to be my imagination. I hope to god it's just my imagination.

Somehow during the struggling, you manage to turn us around so I'm trapped between you and the sink. "Liv, stop. Please?" I try a different tactic. "What if I run into Petrovski?"

"Nope." You slide your tongue down my throat, and attack yet another spot.

Fine, if you can't beat them, join them.

I close my eyes, and focus on the sensation of your lips on my skin, your strong arms clasping around my waist, your body pressing against mine. And I let a sigh escape my chest.

"Mmm?" You ease away.

"Don't stop," I pull you back, and guide you to the sensitive spot under my ear. It's going to be covered by hair; I can make a sacrifice…

"Alex," you whimper, while I trap your nipples between my fingers. Soon, you're distracted by the friction, by my hip pressing against you, grinding into you.

That's when I kiss you. I take your lips and kiss you long and deep, and passionate and hard. I feel your hands in my hair, feel you pushing hard against me. I know you're close, so close, and I kiss you harder, deeper still, my teeth biting into your skin…

"God," you finally breathe. "I love you."

"I love you, too." I smile, and rub my lipstick from your face. "Oops," I say, fighting hard to suppress my smile.

Your eyes fly open in alarm. "What?"

"Nothing." I try to slip away from your arms.

Alas, you pull me back. Then you check your reflection. "Alex!" You whine. "You marked me again!"

"Yeah?" I point to the red spots on my throat. "What do you call these?"

You rub the corner of your lips. "Yeah, but this is on my face!"


"How am I going to show my face to people?"

"We can always call in."


"Mmmm" I moan into your neck. "We should call in."

"You first," you whisper.

"Captain? Yeah, I can't come in, Alex is horny today. She requires my service."

"Liv!" You giggle, as you lean in and kiss me.

"Or how about Liz? I could call her for you. Or Petroski, Alex can't come in today, she's gay, it's a social disease. Actually, she's not going to be able to make it this whole week."

You shriek, laughing, wrapping you arms around my neck.

"No more hickey's. I'm in enough trouble," I say pulling back.

Your smile quickly changes, "I don't want to go back." You say, quietly, hanging your arms around my neck, staring into my eyes.

"Me either," I say, your seriousness wiping over me.

"I'm going to miss you."

"Me too."

We look at each other longingly.

"We're pathetic." You laugh.

"Yes, we are."

"At least we agree." You say, wrapping your arms around my neck.

"Stay away from my neck," I warn you.

"I think you're well marked. I'm not afraid that anyone will miss it."

"Thanks." I say, staring into the mirror.

You laugh. "It's not so bad."

"Yeah, when you're 14."


"I'll miss you," you whisper.

"I'll miss you, too." I whisper back.

You toss your head towards the curb, where the car is parked. "I should go on to the station."

"Yeah, and I should get in there," I point to the revolving door.

Both of us remain rooted to the steps of the court house.

"Maybe I can walk you to your office."

"If you think you can spare the time."

"I'll just drive a little faster."

"But not too fast. I want you back in one piece."

"Don't worry. I'm going to be careful."

"Shall we?" I point again to the door.

"I'm gonna miss you."

"I'll miss you, too, Liv."

"Maybe it's not too late, we can still call in sick."

"We've been standing here for the last 15 minutes. I'm sure someone saw us already."

"Okay," you take a deep breath and release it slowly. "Let's do it."

"You first," I say, and wait for you to get inside.

"No, after you."


"I always push the door for you."

"Maybe I can push for you, just this time?"

"Here." You grab me by the waist, and push me intp the door. Then you squeeze in right behind me.

At least for a few seconds, I can enjoy your proximity. "We're truly pathetic." I squeeze your hand quickly and let go. Hopefully, no one saw that.

"I know," you say, flashing your badge, and smiling at the security guard.

For once, I'm hoping the elevator gets stuck or something, so we have more time together. Even better, maybe we would be stuck inside, just the two of us, and we'll have the perfect excuse.

Finally, the door slides open, and we walk in…

916 Pathetic

We walk down the hallway like we're going to our execution. Slowly, one step at a time. We don't even look at each other, just knowing that the other is only a step away.

"This is sad," you whisper.

"I can go," I whisper back.

"No," you say quickly.

"Okay," I say, with a sigh of relief.

I watch as you open your office door, and it swings open.

I follow you in.

"It looks the same," I say, trying to smile.

'Yeah." You say, back.



"I guess…" I say, thumbing my finger towards the door.


"I don't…" I start.

"Me either." You finish.

"I'm going to miss you."

"Me too."


"Should go."


You kiss me gently, and I slip out the door. I fight with my emotions refusing to let tears flow.

God, we're hopeless.


I watch you walk out of my office, slowly sliding the door behind you. I wish I could call you back.

I know I'm being ridiculous, that we're acting like teenagers. We were acting like horny teenagers before, but this is definitely much worse.

Already I'm staring at the phone, wishing for it to ring, and to see your phone number on the caller ID. In another 10 minutes, I might actually have to call you.

What am I going to do with myself?

Work, I suppose, since that's what I'm paid to do. I'll have to work more days to build up vacations again so we can go away together…

Okay, Alexandra Cabot, you're pathetic. Truly. Absolutely.

I take a deep breath, and open my calendar. The next few days are practically empty. Why did I arrange my schedule that way? Oh, right, to give myself time to ease back into the routine. What was I thinking?

Maybe I could see if other ADA's have overflows I can pick up.

Or maybe I can start preparing for next week's trials.

There's always something to do in this office. Including straightening up my desk, and the folders piled on top. Maybe you can help motivate me. Yeah.

I'm about to pick up the phone when I hear knocking on my door.

"Come in."

The blonde head of my supervisor pops in.

"Hi Liz."

"So how was your vacation?"

"Fine. It was great."

"How was the weather there?"

"Oh, it was very nice."

She waits expectantly, no doubt for me to expand on my wonderful tropical island vacation. Why didn't we make up something before hand, to tell people? Damn.

Luckily, the phone rings. It's you. I try not to break into a wide grin. "Yes, Detective," I answer, proud of myself for keeping the business tone.

"The morgue? She wants me to go down there with you guys?" I repeat what you told me in the form of a question. That's highly unusual, but it would mean getting out of the office. "Sure, I'll see you there. Oh, you are? That's great, that'll save me a subway trip. See you."

"I guess you have work to do," Liz says and moves towards the door. "I'll talk to you later then."

You're coming over to pick me up! Okay, it's unreasonable for me to be so happy, considering where we're going.

But I get to see you again!

918 Back

It takes all my resolve to shut the door between us. The first step feels like it will take my breath away, and the second is more painful. I reach back, feeling the phantom of your presence behind me.

I stumble down the hallway, feeling my heart beat a little faster. Without you, the world seems different. It's duller. Not as bright and promising. I want you back. I look back at your door, and longingly wish to return.

I realize that we're being silly. Being co-dependent. Being needy, but what's wrong with loving each other so much that we want to be with each other? A lot when it means we can't be apart.

I sigh as I pull myself into the car and give one more appraising look at the court house. I reach for my cell phone to make sure it's on, and as I drive away, I check the battery level, making sure that if you call, I can talk until have to go.

I stop at the station and park in the nearby garage.

Shoving my hands into my pockets, I start the walk to the precinct. I try not to see your beautiful blue eyes in mine.

I walk into the precinct almost shyly.

"Look who it is," Elliot says with a huge smile.

"Sleepy?" Munch asks, and I shoot him an evil glare.

"Party didn't break up til late," Elliot says, smiling.


"Looks like you had some fun," Munch says, staring at my neck.

Oh Jesus. I had almost forgotten those. Without thinking, my hand nervously covers my neck, and that causes a snicker from Elliot.

"Want to tell us about it?" Elliot asks.

"It'll have to wait," the Captain says, as he crosses the office. "You two have work to do." He says, slapping a file into your hand. "And welcome back." He says, nodding at me.

I smile. "What is it?" I ask, leaning over Elliot's shoulder.

919 WAIT

I'm determined not to pace around like a nervous wreck for the next fifteen minutes, or however long it actually takes you to get here.

Instead, I pull out my compact, and check the spots you left on my neck. They're much better now, not as red as before. Actually, now it looks more like a rash than anything else. Maybe a little foundation will cover the rest of it up.

Or maybe I should just wear them proudly, like I told you…

But do I really want to deal with the other detectives teasing, especially Elliot's.

"What are you doing?"

"Oh, hey." I smile at the intruder, and put away the mirror.

Serena plops down in the chair. "Assessing the damage, I see."

"What do you want?" I ask, with mock annoyance. "I'm heading out soon."

"Oh? Kind of early for lunch, don't you think? Meeting someone special?"

"Actually, we're going down to the morgue." I set back, and start playing with the new ring on my finger. "I imagine lunch's out for me."

"So, did you like the places I told you about? I didn't get to ask you last night."

"Well, we went to a couple of the restaurants…"

"That's it?"

"Well, Liv got food poisoning, so we were stuck in the hotel for a couple of days."

"Poor, poor Olivia." She grins wickedly. "But then you got married."


"The joys of young love, eh?"

"What are you talking about? You're younger than us."

"Only chronologically. I'm not walking around with hickies on my neck."

Horrified, I cover my throat self-consciously. "Do they really look that bad?"

"Not that bad, people who don't know you probably wouldn't assume."

In another words, everyone else will know we screwed like animals. "Just great," I grimace.

"I just hope, for your sake, that they were worth it!"

"Serena…" I begin, warning. Then I hear a knock on my door. Then I see you pushing the door open, and walking in…


I open the door quickly, and I smile. "Hi," I say gently, while I stare at you, standing just in front of me.

You smile a beautiful smile, "Hey," you say shyly.

"Oh god you match." I hear moaning from the corner. I turn my head and see Serena leaning into your desk.

"Huh?" I ask, you look at me and blush. Gently you reach up and touch the little red marks on your neck, which make me remember mine.

Oh god.

Serena's almost falling over laughing. "You two are priceless."

"Are you done?" You ask, annoyed.

"Not yet," she gasps, laughing some more. She takes a few deep breaths, and composes herself, only to laugh again. "Okay, okay," she gasps, calming her laughter, "now I'm done."

"It's not that bad, huh?" I ask, smirking at you.

"Did she use that line with you?" Serena asks.


"At least you got her back," Serena says with a smile.

"Of course," I say.

"Did she like that spot I told you about?"

"The grotto?"

"Of course," Serena laughs.

"Yeah," I say with a shy smile.

"She told you about that?" you ask me impatiently.

"I knew that she would. She's so sappy," Serena says smiling at me with a wink.

"I'm actually here." You say, to her, "You know, in the room. You two could pretend to notice."

Serena laughs again. "You don't need me to notice you. You have all the attention you can handle."


"Out!" I push Southerlyn towards the door.

"Awww. What happened to your sense of humor? Lost it with your bathing suit?"

"I didn't lose…" I start to argue. "OUT!"

"Why, yes, I am!" She guffaws. "Now, are you?"

"Serena." I grab her by the arm. "Are you drunk or something?"

"No. Just happy."

"Well, you can fill me in on your latest schmuckette later. We've got work to do," I tell her, and close the door. Then I turn to you. "I don't believe you."


"You two acted like I didn't exist."

"That's not true. I never stopped looking at you." You walk towards me, and try to wrap me in your arms. "And I thought you wanted us to be friends."

I side step to put my desk between us. "Friends, yes. But you were comparing notes."


"What are you going to share next? Which one of you make me scream louder?"

"No." You smirk, and wag your brows. "I already know the answer to that."

"I don't believe you. What happened to your green eyed monster?"

You walk around my desk, and pull me into a loose embrace. "We're married now. You're wearing my ring. I know I have you."

"Yeah, well. That doesn't mean…"

"Do you really want me to be jealous?"

"No. But I don't want you comparing notes either. What happens between us should stay between us."

"It's kinda late for that, considering," you run your fingers along my throat. "But I won't from now on. Okay?"

I press my cheek to your palm. "I guess."

"Well, shall we?" You motion towards the door. "If we don't get out to the car soon, Elliot's gonna assume all kinds of things, and we'll never hear the end of it.

"Okay, but first, this," I say, and lean towards you, touching your lips with mine.

922 Reunion

I walk you down the hallway, and smile as the elevator closes and you take my hand.

"I missed you," I whisper.

"I missed you too," You say with a smile. "I'm glad you're here."

"Me too."

We're staring at each others eyes, and I feel a warm feeling in my chest, like I'm melting form the inside.

"Ah, the newlyweds. I was starting to worry that you two weren't going to come out." Elliot says with a smug smile. I turn to you and I can see your face turning red.

"Shut up Stabler," I say, quickly.

"Detective," You say curtly as you slide into the back seat, trying not to look embarrassed. I watch you, your fingers dancing on your neck.

"You have them too," Elliot says again. "You two really ought to be more professional." He says, breaking into laughter.

"Jealous?" I ask him, and his smile fades.

"Nope, it's about time you get some on a regular basis. Maybe it'll make you more personable."

I honestly could kill him. But then I know, know that it's his way of letting me know that he's okay. That we're okay.

I watch you crawl into the car, and for just a second, I think about sliding in next to you, and then I think better of it. Elliot would kill me.

"So, you wanted to come with us?" He says, and I try not to turn red.

I shoot you a look over my shoulder, begging you not give me away.

"Yeah," You say, with the confusion barely in your voice. Maybe I only hear it because I know you so well.

"I guess I owe you five bucks." He says, with a smug smile.

"Guess so," I say, trying not to stare over my shoulder at you.

"What's the bet?" You ask, quietly.

"That she just wanted you to come along."

I see the slow smile on your face as we pull out into the street…


So it wasn't Warner who wanted to see me. It was you. That's kind of sweet. I try not to think about the smell of formaldehyde, or the mangled victim that awaits us upstairs.

I try to think only about you, and how near you are right now, that I can almost touch you.

It's not difficult. And it's not even surprising.

More difficult is to try to stop myself from leaning into you, or even standing too close to you, as we ride the elevator up to the ME's office.

Self-consciously, I cross my arms. Then, before I can stop myself, my fingers are at the base of my jaw, rubbing the last mark you left this morning…

"It's okay, you two can hold hands, I won't laugh," Elliot offers, snickering.

"Shut up, El," you say with bravado.

I just stare on ahead, and focus on keeping my blood from rushing to my face. This is going to be a long day…

Finally, we're pushing through the double door. Something about the eerie green interior always unnerves me more than even the sight of the body.

"Hey Melinda," you say. "We're here."

"Ah, the newly weds." Warner looks up from her work and smiles. "To what I owe this honor, Counselor?"

"Just thought I'd get a jump start on the case," I begin, wanting to explain my empty schedule, and why I'm free to examine the carnage first hand.

"You know, Mel, ten bucks says you'll be seeing her much more often now."

She laughs. "That's just too easy, Detective."

"So what do we have so far?" You interrupt, pointing to the body on the table.

"Female, Caucasian, early thirties. Her injuries are consistent with the other two from last week."

"We have a serial?" Why didn't Liz tell me when she was in my office earlier?

"Yeah, after we leave here, I should fill you in on what we've been working on while you were on your honeymoon." For once, there wasn't mirth in Elliot's tone. "Maybe over lunch?"

"Maybe back at my office?" I fail to keep the cringe from my voice. "Or the station?"

"Yeah." You scrunch your brows together. "I don't know how you can think about food right now."

"Detectives, can we continue?" Warner asks. "I've got more clients to take care of…"


You look slightly green as we stand over the bloody body of a woman the same age as us. Warner, with her usual seriousness, goes over the finer parts of the injuries on her body, showing us the highlights.

Elliot asks a series of questions that I vaguely hear, I'm watching you, watching you fidget and look uncomfortable standing over the body. You run your hands down your neck, and catch my eye.

Within a few minutes, we're heading back out. "I'm going to," you say, gesturing towards the bathroom. Your eyes plead with me, and I mutter to Elliot that I'm going with you.

You slide through the door and hold it for me, and in an instant you're in my arms, your hands wrapped around my neck.

"What's wrong?" I whisper.

"Nothing," you sigh. "I just want you to hold me for a second."

I slide my hands around your waist and kiss your forehead.

"How's your day?" You ask.

"Okay?" I answer.

"I missed you."

"We were only apart for an hour. Not even," I say, with a smile.

"I know."

"I missed you too, if that makes you feel better."

"It does." You say, quietly.

"Are you all right?" I ask, pushing the hair behind your ears.

"Yeah, I'm okay. I just don't like…"

"Coming here."


"Me either. I guess I'm just more used to it than you."

"I guess," you say, with a sigh, pulling me into you tighter.


"Are you sure you're okay?"

I'm sure Elliot's dreaming up smart-assed comments directed at me, or us. But I'm not ready to let go yet. "Yeah," I whisper, leaning against you, soaking in the familiar warmth. Then I sigh.

"Talk to me, Sweetie," you ask, gently, holding me in your arms, protectively.

"It's just… I never understood how people could do that…"

"To other people?" You finish for me. "Me neither."

"I keep telling myself that, one day, I'll get used to seeing it."

"But you don't."


"It's not a bad thing, Alex."

"I suppose not." I sigh against your neck. "Well, at least I'm not barfing like I was before."

You chuckle. "True."

"I love you."

"I love you, too, Sweetie." You press another kiss to my head. "So."


"Are you going to tell me what else is bothering you?"

Despite myself, I smile. "How'd you know?"

You brush my hair away from my face, and kiss me on the nose. "We've been together for how long now?"

"Not that long, in the grand scheme of things." I rest my head against your shoulder and clasp you tighter to me.

"True." You kiss me again gently. "But you're avoiding the subject."

I sigh. "She was our age."


"Nobody even noticed she was missing, until her coworkers started to wonder."

"I know. That's so sad."

"That could've been either one of us, less than a year ago…"

926 Believe

"It could have been us," you say, and I can see tears in the corners of your eyes, threatening to roll at a moment's notice. I've spent a lot of time distancing myself from the victims, not seeing myself in their situations or in their lives. It's important that I not think of myself, think of anyone I love as a victim.

"It wouldn't have been," I say, trying to reassure you. Try to tell you, try to explain.

"But…we…we were…we're so lucky," you hug me tighter. "We could have, could be alone, like she was."

"Sweetie, we both have lots of friends. People who care about us. You're…you're safe with me." I say, promising you something that I know I can never promise

"How can you say that?" You ask, smarter than my empty promise.

"I just…I'll keep you safe." I say, again, smoothing your hair and holding you close to me.

"I worry…worry about you." You say, choking on your words.

"That's silly," I say, trying to comfort you. "I'm perfectly safe."

"You're not. What if something…what if someone?"


"I spent the time from when you walked out my door this morning til you called me again missing you, thinking about you, wondering what you were doing. I can't go an hour without missing you. What if something happens to you?"

"Alex. Calm…"

"Don't tell me to calm down."

"Okay," I say, realizing how truly upset you are.

"I…I just…I never thought about losing you. Not like that. Seeing you, one day, on one of those slabs with your throat cut, or shot, or anything like that."

"It's not going to happen." I say resolutely.

"How do you know that?"

"I don't, I just have to believe."


I didn't know how upset I am about this until you started reacting to me -- holding me, stroking my hair, hushing and kissing and telling me to be calm. Why am I so upset?

And what was I saying? It's not me I'm worried about. This wouldn't have happened to me, even a year ago, before having you in my life. My mom was calling every other day, and the days she wasn't Trevor was.

Meanwhile, with you…

But Elliot would keep track of you, like he did when you were stalked.

And I would've called you and wondered where you were.

You're right, we have people who care about us.

Then why am I suddenly so upset? I know the danger of your job before I fell in love with you. Your willingness to put yourself on the line is one of the reasons why I love you.

Then why? Because we're married, things change? That's ridiculous.

Still, I can't help myself, "How can you be so sure?"

"I have faith."

"How can you…"

"Sweetie…" You try to reassure me. "You just have to trust me."

"I don't know that I can…" I hiccup.

"Do you want me to quit my job?"

I stop to think about it, and I look at you, and I wonder what you're thinking. Would you really quit your job for me? You were willing to quit over a moment of frustration, but that's different. You love what you do. I love what you do. "No," I decide.

If you were relieved with my answer, you're hiding it well. "Then you have to believe, like I do. I'll never leave you; I see myself growing old with you, and taking you back to the grotto on the island, and molesting you, even if we have to bring our walkers along…"

That image makes me smile. "What? Horn dogs forever?"


"I'll do nasty things to your corpse if I ever have to…"

"You won't. Our hearts will probably just give out on us in the middle of sex."

"Okay." For now, I make myself believe…


At lunch we sit next to each other, while Elliot rattles off the latest details of the series of rape / murders that he's been following with Munch at his side. He's telling us about a stakeout that yielded nothing, but instead the next day, a few streets down another body was found of another girl.

He's pushing fries into his mouth, while he describes the way the victims have been found in dumpster, all of them with fingers missing.

"How can you eat like that?" You ask him, disgusted.

"Are you referring to my manners?" He asks.

"He was born without manners." I answer before he says a word.

"Hey, I have manners. Look, I'm even using my napkin," he says with a cocky smile.

"Wow, I'm surprised you know what that is." I say with a smirk.

"I wasn't talking about your manners. I mean, while you're talking about…"

"Oh, her missing fingers?" He asks, shoving another fry into his mouth.

"Yeah, that." You say.

"Eh, I'm starving." He says.

"He's charming, isn't he?" I ask you.

"Definitely," you say, pushing your fork through the salad you've ordered but not touched.

"Not hungry?" Elliot asks you.

"Not after that account. I don't know how you…"

"Comes with the territory," I say, munching on the sandwich in front of me.

"You're just as bad as he is," you scold me, and smile.

"We're just used to it," he says with a shrug while you shake your head at both of us.


On our way back to my office, I try not to think about the discolored face of the dead woman with the missing fingers. How many more innocent victims will there be before we catch the perp? None, if the police can help it. Then it'll be up to me to convince the jury and judge to take him permanently off the streets, one way or the other…

I shake my head, and look down at my notebook, while Elliot fills us in on the other cases the detectives have been working on, that you and I missed.

Finally, we're back at my office. I give you a squeeze on the shoulder and say goodbye to Elliot. Already I'm feeling the pang of separation, even though I haven't even stepped out the car yet.

We give each other a brief look of longing. Then you promise to call me later, and come pick me up this evening. And I try to give you a casual smile before stepping onto the curb and closing the door.

I feel like I'm shutting out part of my heart; and I realize this is completely, absolutely ridiculous.

What happened to not wanting to be codependent? I think we've given codependency a whole new definition…

I'm determined to at least not look back, not watch you drive away. Slowly, I walk up the dirty grey steps of the massive building.

Then I hear the familiar sounds of your footsteps hurrying towards me. I wait for you to approach; I wait until I can see you, just in case it's all a figment of my imagination.

"Hey," you say softly, falling into my pace.

"I thought you were…"

"El thought I should walk you back, seeing that you're still kinda green from earlier."

"I'm not."

"I know; so does he."

"You mean he…" I begin, surprised by your revelation.

"Yeah. I must've looked like he killed my dog or something."

"Whatever works." I laugh lightly. "I'm glad we have a few more minutes together."

"Me too," you say, and push the elevator button to my floor.

"I love you," I whisper, touching your hand surreptitiously, mindful of the security camera.

"I love you." You smile, and give my fingers a small squeeze in return.

Soon enough, we're back to my office. "Think you can, you know."

"Sure, I can stay for a few minutes. He gave us ten to do whatever we're gonna do."

"Are you sure I can't kill your partner?"

"Alex," you chuckle. Then a knock on the door interrupted our smile.

"Come in," I call out, but not before giving you a small peck on the lips.

This time, Liz walks right in without sticking her head in first. "Good, Detective, you're here, too. I need to talk to both of you…"

930 Liz

"What have you heard on this new serial?" Liz asks you, quickly, curtly, and without looking my way at all.

"I was just with the Detectives assigned to the case," you say, also not looking at me.

"Do you have anything new" Liz asks you quickly.

"Aside from a new body, no." I say, and she looks at me for a second, perplexed that I spoke.

"I need something on this guy," she instructs, "The mayor's breathing down my neck on this."

"We're working on it," I say, trying to smile at her, even though I'm not quite sure where she stands.

"And you two."

"Yes?" You say looking up.

"Congratulations." She says, with a smile.

"Thanks Liz." You say, smiling gently.

"Can I see the rings?" She asks, looking at your finger, which you show her. Then she looks expectantly at me and I shove my hand in front of her. She admires them, and I let my hand drop to my side, uncomfortably.

"I'm happy for you." She says, smiling.

"Thanks Liz, we appreciate that," you say happily. I can see the smile that's been missing from your face all morning finally lighting back up.

"But don't let it get out of hand." She throws in quickly.


"I don't want to hear about this outside this office."


"We need to keep this out of the papers. For the reputation of the office."

931 WHAT?

"Excuse me?" I ask my boss, not quite believing my ears.

"We need to keep your nuptials out of the papers, what's so difficult to understand?"

"Waitaminute. I thought you support…"

"I support your decisions with regards to your personal lives, sure. But if it gets into the papers, the reputations of the office is at stake."

"But." I refuse to look at you. "What happened to Arthur and the Police Commissioner wanting us to be poster girls for gay recruitment? That was only a few months ago."

"Wind changes, Alexandra. You know how it goes."

Sure, politics. Of course I know. "But."

"Besides, it's different when you were just living together. We are just embracing a particular segment of society. That you actually went to a foreign country and got married, that brings in an entirely different set of issues."

"I'm sorry our choice to make a commitment to each other has inconvenienced this office," I say, my temper barely under control.

"Now, now, Alexandra. It's not my personal view, I'm merely the messenger," Liz smiles at you then me. "I really am happy for you."

I sigh. "Thanks."

"You're welcome." She walks towards the door, before she closes it behind her, she turns around. "I want to know every new development on the case, all the details, no matter now minute. And make sure nothing leaks out. I don't want the mayor hearing about it on the morning news."

"Yes, Liz," I promise, and watch her walk out. Then I turn back to you, and I sigh.

"You okay?" You ask me gently, pulling me into your arms.

I rest my forehead against yours. "You sure we don't want run away together?"

"Sweetie…" You chuckle and kiss me on the nose. You think I'm joking, don't you?

"There's enough money in the bank, we don't even have to work if we don't want to."

"You're not serious, are you?"

I release another long breath. "No, not really. But it's nice to dream. I just…"


"I just wish the world were different…"

932 Smile

"Eh, screw them." I say, smiling, betraying how I feel on the inside. I'm disappointed, angry, but I can see those emotions playing on your face and even though this feels rotten, I smile and tease you, wanting for you not to be upset.

I can see the war going on in your head as you break in and kiss me gently.

"I guess it doesn't matter." You say, with a sigh.

"It doesn't. I love you, Alexandra Cabot. It doesn't matter if the New York State District Attorney's office approves or disapproves."

"Yeah." You say, your smile starting to grow.

"So I guess we're not going to be having a party with Arthur Branch."

"Guess not." You say, with a grin.

"I can't say that's a really something I'm upset about missing." I say, and you laugh.

"I doubt he really knows how to kick up his heels and party."

"No, and if he does, I'm pretty sure I don't want to see it."

"Liv, that's mean," you say, with a laugh.

"You're laughing."

"That doesn't mean it's not mean."

"No, it does mean that you're just as guilty as me though."

I feel my phone ringing in my pocket, and I pull it out looking at the ID.


I guess the honeymoon's over.

"Sweetie…I have to…"

"I know," you say, with a smile. "Thanks."

"For what?"

"For making me smile. I love you so much," you say, kissing me gently.

"I love you too," I say, as I slip out the door and back to the car…


"You what?"

"Alex, sweetie, calm…"

"Don't tell me to calm down, Olivia," I order, not even looking at you. "I can't believe you're asking her to do this."

"Alex," Don responds, with his usual emotionless tone. "I understand your concerns. I don't like putting my people…"

His control irks me even more. "I understand, Captain, you don't like putting your people in danger, but making her go undercover, in a bar?"

"She won't be drinking. The bartender will be one of us."

I can feel you flinch from his comment, even without looking at you. That upsets me even more. "That's not what I'm talking about. I know she won't drink. We're not talking about your random perp, he's a sick, brutal serial killer!"

"That's why we need to do this, Counselor."

Then I feel your arm tentatively going around my shoulders. "Alex, you know the Captain's right."

I turn to you for the first time since I stormed into Don's office. "Have you already decided?"

"Why don't I leave you two to talk about this," Don retreats and closes the door behind him.

"Have you? Decided?"

You look down at your feet. "Well…"

"I don't believe you…" I back away from you, and stare out at the window into the grey haze. "You would make this kind of decisions without me."

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

"But you're going to do this."

"But I am the best person for the job."

"And you fit his type." Finally, I let myself admit it. Finally I acknowledge why there was something so familiar about the victim, and why I got so upset seeing her on the slab.

"Alex. If you really really want me to…"

"Why do you offer, when you don't mean it?"

"I do. You're more important than."

"No, I'm not, Liv. I'm not." I sigh. "Innocent people out there are counting on us. Besides, what are you going to tell them? Your wife the sex crime prosecutor won't let you?" I try to smile, and fail miserably.

"I can tell them I throw my back out pleasuring you."

I just shake my head. "Will you promise me to be careful?"

"I'm going to be wired. There'll be all sorts of cops outside," you start, then see the look on my face. "Yeah, I promise."

"Be safe?"

"I'll tr… I will."

"I'm going with you; I'll sit in the van."

934 Safe

"What good is that going to do?" I ask you, carefully. "You sitting in the van, I mean. Don't you

think that might just be more stressful…without much positive?"

"I'll feel better if I'm there." You say, crossing your arms.

"Alex, I don't want anything to happen to you. I'm going to be fine."

"I don't want anything to happen to you, either. Which is why I want to be there." You say quickly.


"There are no buts Liv. You want to be there, then I want to be there."

"Alex, that's not going to work."

"Look Liv, I'm the prosecutor. It's not out of the realm…"

"Exactly, Alex, you're the prosecutor. We're supposed to collect the evidence and you're supposed to try the cases. If you're there…and…"


"And something happens to me. Not that anything is going to happen, but if something did, what would

you do?"

"I'd be there. I'd know."

"But are you going to be able…to just sit back and watch?" I ask you.

You frown at me, and hold yourself tighter. "I.."

"Alex, I know this is hard. This isn't an easy decision. An easy thing to watch. I just, I want you to understand that this is something…it could be hard. Especially if we actually net the guy."

"I understand that."

"It's for the greater good." I say, trying to be diplomatic.

"I honestly don't care about that right now. All I care about is whether you're going to be okay."

935 FINE

"I'm gonna be fine. I promise, sweetie, nothing will happen to me."

"Then what's the big deal about me being there?" I hug myself tighter, pulling further from you. "Explain to me."

"I… I'll worry about something's bad happening to you."

"That makes no sense whatsoever. I'm going to be in the van, with all the equipment. I'm not going into a random bar and hope to get picked up by a sadistic sick perverted individual," I argue.

"I just, it'll be stressful for you."

"That's for me to deal with, Liv."

"But what if something bad, maybe not bad per se, had to happen before we net the guy?"

"What do you mean?"

"Well, he'll have to do something, before I can say no, before you can get him for attempt…"

Oh. I raise my hand to stop you from going further, and I take a deep breath, feeling my anger shrouding and settling around me like a block of ice. Not anger directed at you, not at all. Not even at Cragen for asking you to do this. But the sick bastard who's making it necessary for you to put yourself in danger. All the sick bastards that we try to put away every fucking day.

"I guess I'll have to deal with that too," I tell you without even flinching.

"Can you really?"

"How I deal with that will be the same whether I'm there or not."

"You won't if someone else tries the case."

"Are you suggesting that I go and ask to get taken off the case?" Now I'm livid at you, too. "And are you implying that you'd try to hide the truth from me?"


"Fuck you, Olivia."


"There's no way in hell I'm going to agree to this. I'm going, and that's that."

"Fine," you spit, closing yourself off.

"Fine." At that, I storm out of the office, then the squad room…

936 Afraid

"Well, that went well," I say with a sigh as I walk into the squad room just in time to see you storming out the door.

"Trouble in paradise?" Elliot asks, and I shoot him an evil look.

"Is there a problem?" Cragen asks, intentionally not looking at the squad room door that's still swinging from where you knocked it open.

"No Captain. I'm still going to be there."

"Good," he says quickly, turning and heading back into his office, leaving me alone with Elliot standing next to me.

"Liv are you?" Elliot asks.

"I have to. There's no other way to make sure this goes right, and we need this in order to stop this bastard." I explain without really looking at him.

"What about Alex?"

"She'll get over herself." I say with a sigh.

"What's the problem? She knows what you do."

"She's upset that I don't want her there. I mean, I don't, I know how she is El. If something went wrong, she'd, it'd hit her hard."

"And sometimes you do stuff undercover you wouldn't do if it were you in control," he says, filling in the blanks for me.

"Exactly," I mumble.

"What are you afraid she'll see?"


"You're afraid she'll see something. See you do something that's going to upset her, what is it?"

"I don't know."

"Sure you do."

Of course I do. I'm afraid she'll see the old me. The me that she thought she left behind, because only a year ago, the woman we found with her fingers missing…that woman could have been me.

937 I'S

I can't believe you wanted me off the case.

I can't believe you'd keep the truth from me.

I grab the next available cab, "Hogan Place, Criminal Court" I bark at the driver. At least this one doesn't launch into the 'are you a lawyer', 'defense or prosecutor' questions. I'm liable to tell him to shove'em where the sun doesn't shine.

I throw money at the man, and storm up the steps, the sounds of my leather soles slamming against the granite somehow give me satisfaction.


I look over at the figure I brushed past, and I stop. "Sorry Liz."

"Trouble in Paradise already?"

"How'd you?"

"I heard about Det. Benson going undercover."

What? You had your boss call my boss to pull me off? How dare you! "I'm not giving up the case."

"Who says I want you to?"

"You don't?"

"And you're going to be in the van."

Is that confirmation of what she was told? Or is that an order? That makes me pause. "Yes."

"Just make absolutely sure all the I's are dotted and the T's are crossed. I don't want anything thrown out because of some technically, or something the detectives did or didn't do."


"I'll try the case with you."

"Sure. I'll keep you posted on everything."

"Good. Keep that ice princess look, maybe it'll deter someone else from committing a crime," she says, and continues down the steps.

I look back at my supervisor, and I wonder if she's actually serious. When have I known Liz to joke though? Maybe that's why she looks so sour all the time…

And I feel my anger lifting.

Then I feel my fear gnawing at the pit of my stomach. What if somehow I fuck up? But do I trust someone else not to? No, and I don't expect Donnelly to go out to the field…

And what if something goes horribly wrong?

What would I do?

How would I go on?

938 Going Home

I take a deep breath as I face the courthouse. I look at my watch and know, this was the time I told you I'd pick you up. Of course, that was before we fought, before this morning when you stormed out of the squad room.

Slowly, I walk up the steps and down the halls to your office. I can feel myself holding my breath, waiting and wondering what will happen once I get there….if you'll have heard that I had the Captain approve you being in the van. That you aren't being asked to get off the case.

This is complicated, us working together. Complicated in ways I hadn't considered all that much until now. You don't want to see me get hurt, and I don't want to see you get hurt. Neither of us knows how best to save each other from being hurt, and so we fight.

I've never considered this before, that someone would care about me enough to want to make sure that I was safe. And now there's you.

And I like this feeling.

Gently, I knock on your door and slide it open.

You look up at me, and I try to figure out if you're angry or not, but I can't read your face.

"What are you doing here?" You ask, quietly.

"It's time to go home?" I say with a shrug.

"But, I didn't think you'd…"


"Because of earlier."

"That was work, sweetie. And we agree with you, we got you clearance to be in the van, and you'll be on the case, like you wanted."

"But that's not what you want…." You say, baiting me.

"No, I mean, it makes sense. I just, I mean, I worry about you, and I guess if I worry about you, it means you probably worry about me just as much. If we're going to do this, we should do it as a team. Right?"

You look at me quizzically, "But earlier you…"

"And then I thought about it. I don't want you to be upset, and if you think that being there's going to make it easier, I guess it's not really a lot to ask. And you'll be in the van with El…and I know it'll be okay."

939 OKAY

I tried not to look at the time when I knew it was close to when you were coming to pick me up. I didn't know if you'd be here. Now that you're here, all I want to do is to fly into your arms, and hold onto you, and never ever let go.

Instead, I sit behind my desk, and keep on my façade, and try to figure out what you're thinking, and if you're sincere in your concession.

"You got me clearance?"

"I told the Captain what you wanted, and he made some calls."


"Suppose I can't blame you for being surprised."

"No, you can't. Anyway, Liz wants me there too. Elliot's going to hate me."

"No, he isn't."

"Everything has to be done by the book this time. We can't let the perv get away." I tell you, looking down at the papers on my desk. "And the Mayor's watching."


"I just," I sink my head into my hands, "I wish it didn't have to be you. On one level, I know you have to do it. But a big part of me is saying 'screw greater good', and…" I sigh, never finishing my confession.

I hear the shuffling of your steps, then I feel your presence behind me, and your strong hands on my shoulders, kneading out the tension. In a both therapeutic and reassuring way. And I relax under your touch, despite myself.

"Why don't we go home?" You suggest. "You could use a soak."

"When do we start?" I ask instead.

"Start what? Oh, that? Friday. Let's hope he doesn't decide to change his routine in the meantime."

"Do you know where?"

"We don't think he goes back to the same place twice, at least he hadn't. So that leaves us about seven other yuppie bars in the area."

"What? Just start with the first, and work down the list?"

"We'll have people around, checking them out that night, to see if anyone fits his descriptions."

"Great. I wonder how many 5'10 to 6'2 brown hair blue eyed average build men you'll find."

You turn my chair around to face you. "We'll find him, Alex, and catch him. And you'll put him away for good. Come on," you pull me to my feet. "Let's go home. I'm hungry."

"You want to just pick up something on our way?"

"I didn't say anything about food," you say, running your tongue along my lips before kissing me gently.

"Horn dog," I accuse, smiling slightly and rubbing the fading spots on your neck.

"Guilty as charged." You wag your eyebrows. "We're okay?"

"Yeah," I sigh, and let you lead me away from this hell…

940 Making Up

You slowly sit back in your chair, giving up your defenses and smile up at me while I rub your shoulders.

"I'm glad you came to get me," you say, gently.

"Of course," I say with a shrug. "You knew I was going to."

"It's…it's nice…nice of you to, since I was…"

"I love you, Alex. I'm not going to make you walk home." I say, trying to make you smile, and I succeed easily.

"I know, but…I said things."

"That you didn't mean."

"I thought I meant them."

"I know."

"So...you're, still here."



"Because I love you."

"I'm sorry, Liv."

"I know."

"You keep saying that, you're turning into a psychic?" You ask, teasing me.

"Yep." I say, smiling back at you, leaning over you and kissing you gently.

You kiss me back and smile. "So you ready to go home?"

"Yep." I say again, with a smile, while you put things into your briefcase, quickly, shutting it with a quick snap.

"Me too." You smile, as you follow me to the door. "And Liv?"


"I love you."

"I love you too."

941 HOME

"Here we are," I say, pushing through the door, and throwing the briefcase and myself into the couch.

"Yep. Home sweet home," you agree, flopping down onto the other end of the sofa.

"It feels so different. From Saturday."

"Back to reality," you say, and pat your thigh.

I move my bags onto the floor, lean back against the arm of the sofa, and lay my feet in your lap.

Gently, you slip off my heels, and wrinkle your brows at the knots in my soles. "I don't know how you spend the whole day in these things."

"Part of the uniform. Besides, you like me in them."

"I do?"

"Don't even deny it. I've seen you watch me."

"You did?"

Your 'who? Me?' face makes me laugh. Combined with what you're doing, and the massage you gave me earlier, I feel the day's tension melting away.

"So." I swing my foot from your lap onto the floor, and crook my finger at you. And I hold my breath while you slowly ease up my body, and lower your weight on me, until we're smile to smile.

"Yes? You rang?"

"Didn't you say you were hungry?" I ask, while pushing your jacket off your shoulders, and let it fall onto the floor. Next I proceed to untug and unbutton your shirt.

Before I can unclasp your bra, you grab my hands, and hold them in yours. "That depends. What are you cooking?"

"What do you want?"

"I don't know yet. I think I want a little of this," you tease, lowering your head, and nuzzling my breasts, nipping lightly on the points.


"Or." You let go of my hands, and slide your palms down my buttocks, pushing me towards you while you lean in harder against me, rocking slowly. Then you stop. "I might want a little of that."

"Great." I kiss you deeply, pushing my tongue into your mouth, sliding and caressing until we're both almost out of air. "You wanna play the let's drive Alex crazy game," I breathe hoarsely against your neck.

"Sorry." Your Cheshire cat grin tells me you're anything but. "Just feeling indecisive."

"I see." I shudder, and close my eyes to your lips and teeth on my neck…

942 Attack

You writhe under me, and I try to concentrate on you, but my mind is slipping away, slipping into the fact that you and I, well, I am in the matter of a few hours going to be sitting in a bar trying to pick up a murderer. I spend so much time keeping this out of my head, blocking out my job when I'm here with you.

And being in a bar. Being alone, without you, in a bar. Even if you're watching. I hear my demons moaning as loud as you, pulling my mind into a world of self doubt. Can I stay in control. Knowing you're watching, knowing that everything I do or say, everything that I'm supposed to do or say are things I've done before, when my only solace was sitting alone in a bar and not like it is now, here, safe in your arms.

I hear you moan, and it drives me back to paying attention to you, your body still moving, arching under me. You pull me back to you, pull me back to your hands on my body, your fingers running over me.

I moan, and smile at you.

You reach up and capture my mouth in a kiss.

"What's wrong?" You whisper, as you pull away, lying back into the couch, pushing strands of hair out of my eyes.

"Nothing," I say kissing you, pushing you back into the couch. Trying not to let my mind drift away.

"You're not here." You say, pushing me off of you again.

"Of course I am."

"No, you're head's not here." You say, letting me kiss you again.

"I…" I try to protect my head from you. "I'm sorry." I say, collapsing next to you.

"What's wrong sweetie?" You ask, again.

"I…I don't know."

"Wanna talk?"

"I just, I can't, I'm sorry, I can't do this now." I say, feeling tears starting to threaten the corners of my eyes. Tears that I never expected, tears that needed to come.

"Sweetie, it's okay." You say, holding me tightly, rocking me gently, keeping me safe from the monsters in my mind.

943 SAFE

I hold you in my arm, rocking you, rubbing my palms across your shoulders and down your back, wishing there were something I could do. Something I could do to protect you from whatever demons in your head.

To protect you from the bad guy we're trying to catch.

"I'm sorry…" You sob.

"It's okay," I say again, kissing you gently on your head.

"I just, I'm sorry."

"Don't be," I sooth, wondering what might be upsetting you. Wondering if I should even speculate. "There's nothing for you to be afraid of."

"How'd you."

I set aside my own fear, my biggest fear, or at least I try to face it. "You've gone undercover before, and you've had guns pointed at you."

"It's not," you deny, and clutch onto me, sobbing fiercely.

That leaves your biggest fear, at least what I perceive to be your biggest fear. "You'll be okay. It's just a place, where you're going to do a job."


"The cop behind the bar isn't going to give you alcohol."

"I know that."

"Then what's wrong?"

"What if, what if after we catch the perp, I don't stop?"

"Don't stop?"

"Going back? What if I lose control?"

Oh. Well. Hm. "We went to a bar on the island, remember?"

"It wasn't a bar."

"It was a club, and they serve alcohol. You didn't drink." I try to reason with you. "The champagne we bought back, it's still sitting in the closet, in the luggage, right?"


"You didn't drink it."


"You'll be okay, Liv. I have faith in you, and I'll be on the other end of the wire, if you need me..."

944 Giving Up

I feel warm in your embrace, your arms soothing me while I cry. I feel stupid, stupid for being so upset, stupid for crying.

"Alex, they want me to act this out. Act it out like nothing changed."

"I know Liv."

"It's like going back."

"But it's not going back. You're acting, Liv. It's not who you are. It's who you were." You say, with a small kiss.

"It's who I could be," I say, letting my voice drift off.

"You've changed." You say, kissing me gently on my cheek.

"But Alex, you forget, I wasn't always unhappy. I had booze, and it was my best friend, and you're better," I add quickly, "But I wasn't unhappy. Not until I realized that I couldn't have you and booze. And then picking, picking was the hardest thing I had to do."

"Do you regret your choice?"

"How can you ask me that?" I demand.

"Well, it's just a…" You start to explain.

"I gave up me to be with you."

"Wow." You say, pushing me off of you.

"What?" I ask reaching out as you scurry off the couch and across the room, quickly crossing your arms around your chest and shutting yourself off to me.

"You gave up you?" You ask, indignantly.


"So…who are you now."

"Who you want me to be, Alex. What I have to be to keep you."

"So you…"

"It's for you," I say, urgently, not sure where I've gone wrong but sensing that I desperately have.


"You gave up you," I state, again. The wall building is almost complete.

"To be with you!" You emphasize. Clearly, you think it's the right, justifiable thing to say.

Okay, okay. They tell me you'll do this. You'll forget how bad it was when you were an alcoholic. How miserable you were waking up the next morning. How you almost lost your job. After all, it's only human nature. Time heals all wounds wouldn't be such a cliché if it weren't true.

They tell me you might start thinking about drinking again, when you forget the hold booze had on you. We dealt with that, and I'm sure we'll dealt with it again.

But to tell me you gave up you for me?

"But I wasn't even in your life when you gave up drinking. I was with Serena."

"I thought if I gave up booze though, that maybe I could have you again."

"I see."

You look at me, smiling, so very hopefully.

I don't know how you fail to recognize the problem. "There are things I change about me, that I'm trying to change about me, to make you happy."

"I'm not saying you didn't give up part of you to be with me."

"Maybe you're not saying that, but I am," I tell you. "I made changes, and I think for the better. I did not give up any part of me. I'm still me, hopefully a more mature, more considerate, better me. But I'm still me. Meanwhile, you're telling me you have to give up being who you are to be with me."

"Well, it's not necessarily a bad…"

"It is a bad thing, Olivia. You're making concession you shouldn't be making, and I'm in love with a lie!" I inhale, fighting back tears.

"But Alex…" Still you try, completely clueless.

"You know what? We don't have time for this." Work is always a good fall back. "We need to get ready for the tonight."


"I'll let you know when I'm done with the shower. Then you can have it." With that, I turn on my heels, and leave you to yourself.

Whoever the fuck that might be.

946 Angry

I'm sitting on the couch, trying to figure out where I went wrong. I know, definitely, that I did go wrong. At least that's something, I'm one step closer to knowing what the hell I did wrong.

I don't get you sometimes. You get mad at me, storm away and it's up to me to come and find you and beg you to forgive me.

I slide into the bathroom and stick my head into the shower.

"Are you really mad at me?"

You glare at me. "What do you think?" You ask, as you turn your back to me and cover yourself from my glance.

"But I don't understand…"

"That's the fucking problem." You say, snapping.

I pull my head back out of the shower. So that's not going to work.

I turn around and go back to our bedroom, pulling a blanket out of the closet and pulling a pillow off of my side of the bed.

I know I'm not going to be allowed in there.

I slide back out and throw the pillow on the couch. Then I settle against it, grabbing the remote off the table, turning on the game and letting the sounds of the squeaking sneakers take me away.

I hear the shower stop distantly, and I think about going back into the bedroom, but I know that you don't want to talk to me, and I really just want to sit here and feel sorry for myself.

I sigh.

I don't even know what I did.

I changed for you.

Is that so bad?

Obviously it is.

I feel righteous indignation bubbling inside my chest. I take the remote and shut the tv off, slamming it into the table. Why does everything have to be so hard? Why can't it ever be enough that I love you? Why am I always the one sleeping on the couch?


From the bathroom, I hear you turn on the television. Then I hear it going off, followed by a loud noise. What is it this time? The remote? Your fist? A magazine you might have picked up and slammed down?

Why do you have to be so damn destructive?

How can you not understand why I think it's bad that you gave you up for me? How that's not the same as changing just because a person should evolve anyway?

Or are we having semantics issues again?

Maybe we should talk, as much as I want to avoid this right now.

In less than three hours, you'll be going undercover. Right now, we should be making love, not war. I certainly don't want to send you out there like this, thinking I'm mad at you, which I still am, a little bit. Maybe more hurt and confused than mad…

I finish drying myself, and pull on my robe. As I pass by our bed, I notice you've taken your pillow. I guess you're expecting to stay out in the living room when we come home later tonight.

I feel my heart sinking, and I want nothing more than to curl into myself and just cry my eyes out…

Whatever happened to our promise to each other?

It's been less than a week since our vacation, less than two since we're officially married. Already we're not getting along. Already we're fighting, not sleeping together.

And you're telling me you gave yourself up for me.

If you think it's some commendable sacrifice, you're wrong. You'll just hate me at some point or another. I thought we were clear in the beginning; I thought you gave booze up for your own sake, because you realized you had a problem.

Not just because of an edict from my mother or me.

What do I do now?

What can I do?

I wipe my eyes and tighten my belt. Slowly I pull open the bedroom door, and I see you laying on your back, your head on your pillow and the extra blanket you took from the closet.

You're staring at the ceiling, as if you can find the answers there. Or maybe you're looking up, so you don't have to look at me…

And I inhale again, fighting the urge to retreat. Fighting the urge to shut you out again.

"What ever happened to our promise to each other?"

"What promise?" You ask, reluctantly.

I can sense your righteous anger simmering just below the surface. "I thought we were going to resolve our issues and make up before we go to bed."

"I'm not going to bed. I'm waiting for you to get out of the shower, so I can get ready. We have work to do."

"Fine. I'm out," I hear my voice saying. And I find myself walking into the kitchen, leaning over the counter and letting my tears of frustration fall into the sink…

948 Knock Out

I run past you and slam the bedroom door which closes with a satisfying bang. I pull my clothes out of the closet and slam the bathroom door behind me.

I hope you hear me, hope you know that I'm angry, and for no reason other than you're mad at me.

I guess that's stupid.

I turn on the shower, so it's nearly scalding and step in, letting the burning water run down my shoulders, and over my body. I let it pound out the knots in my neck, the pain in my back, and the burning helps quell my anger.

I stare at the shower wall and see red in front of my eyes.

Because I changed for you, you're angry.

Because I gave up who I was. And you're angry?

But maybe who I was wasn't so great.

Maybe who I was wasn't what I wanted.

But it was for you.

And for me.

But for you too.

But for me, so you would want me. So you would love me like I wanted to be wanted.

So what?

I punch the back of the wall. Not hard enough to hurt, but enough to let go.

"Can you fucking knock that off?" I hear your voice coming from the bedroom.


"I get it Liv, you're pissed. Stop hitting things."

"Fuck you Alex." I scream back.

"Fuck you too!" You scream back into the shower.

I slam my fist again for good measure.


For the last two hours, I sit, listening to you turn down all sorts of proposition, from both men and women. You're an attractive woman, a desirable woman, anyone can see that. Why am I not prepared for this?

As much as I try, I can't stop myself from imagining how quickly you would have gone home with someone, just a year ago.

Would you have gone home with someone tonight? If you weren't working? Just because we're fighting?

I don't know what to trust and how to feel right now.

Right now, three beat cops and one other detective are doing exactly the same thing you are, staking out the other four bars in the area. And I find myself hoping it's one of the other volunteers and her team who net the guy. For no other reasons except that you'll be out of harm's way.

Is it wrong of me to wish that?

This other team will get all the glory, and the defense can't bring up the fact that the arresting officer and the assistant prosecutor are lovers…

Maybe I should've asked to be taken off the case…

One way or the other, there's just too much at stake…

"Are you okay?"

"Fine." I dismiss Elliot's repeated attempts to pry. Considering the way we drove up, and the icy awkward way we parted, it wouldn't take a detective to know you and I are not getting along.

"I didn't realize you're such a masochist," he jokes.


"Kathy'd be sharpening her claws right now. Probably would've already used'em too."

"Detective," I warn, giving him an evil glare.

"I'm just sayin'."

I look away from him, towards the panel of equipment.

"It's gotta be hard for you, to sit here."

"Elliot, please, I know you care." I wish he'd back off.

He rubs his chin and sighs.

And I go back to listening to you, ordering drinks and acting intoxicated… and pretend that none of it bothers me…

950 Dull

I'm staring at the wall, trying my best be interested in what this guy's saying to me, but my eyes are instinctively scanning the bar. I'm pretty sure the guy who's latched onto me isn't the guy, he's too drunk already and our guy is all about control.

So I laugh and let him buy me drinks, hoping that if everyone thinks I'm drunk, then everyone else here, including our possible perp will think I am too.

The guy behind the bar, another cop, is keeping me in a steady supply of non-alcoholic beer, and it's an addictive taste.

I laugh a little too loud and let the guy I'm flirting with touch my arm. I know you're watching, and I hate it.

It makes me feel dirty, makes me feel bad that he's touching me. His touch is nothing like yours, and I know that no one, no one is supposed to touch me like he is now, his arm sliding around my shoulder.

Even though we're not talking, even though we left the house, slamming doors behind us and pouting in our own little corners. Even though I'm pretending to not let it bother me, it does, more than I want to admit.

I stop laughing and push his hand off me.

"Whatcha doing?" I let my words stumble together.

I'm better at pretending than I want to admit to be.

"I'm showing you a little love," he says, moaning.

"Why don't you leave the lady alone?" I hear a voice from behind me.

I turn around and see his face and somehow I know. I know this is him.

I smile at him, "My hero," I gush.

"Do you mind?" the guy who was grabbing my arm only a few seconds ago asks the new guy standing behind me.

"No, but the lady does. Why don't you get lost?"

The guy grumbles for a minute and then pushes back from the bar.

I smile as the new guy smoothes his way into the now empty seat.

"So, whatcha having?" He asks, with a suave smile.

951 RED

I listen to you flirt with yet another bozo. And I wonder how much of that is pure acting, or if you're drawing from experience.

I know it's not right, not rational, since it was before we got together when you acted this way, if you did at all; but I still feel this massive wave of jealousy drowning me. Making me see red.

Elliot's right, I should be sharpening my claws. I so want to.

So what if we're supposed to be arguing? And fine if you did change only so you can have me. I'm just about ready to run in there and pull that man off you and punch his lights out.

Regardless, you're still rightfully, legally mine.

Okay, so not legal in this country. But legal where we got married.

First thing tomorrow, we're filing your name change petition.


Suddenly, you're no longer laughing. You're asking the jackass what he's doing. Yeah, just what is he doing? If he knows what's good for him, he'd better… What? Giving you a little love?

I'm the only person who's supposed to do that. Nobody else should… Now what? Another dick wad trying to get in your pants?

Your hero? I can scream.

God, and the way you're gushing and flirting with him. Aren't you laying it on a little thick? I'm not sure you even do that with me.

You are just acting aren't you?

God, what am I thinking? Why am I suddenly so damn paranoid?

I'm sure you're just acting…

Wait, did you just agree to go home with him? I look over at Elliot. The look on his face tells me I heard correctly.

"We have our guy," he calls and tells Fin.

Soon, I see you coming out the bar with a man who matches the description of the perp.

"Are we walkin'?" You slur and giggle. "Oh goodie, 'tis such a nice night," you gush and then giggle some more.

"Okay, they're walking," Stabler relay to Fin. From the tinted window of the van, I see him signaling the homicide detective working with us, and together they follow you.

I wish I were going with them, too. Instead I'm stuck here, in this damn van.

Please, please, please be safe, I pray…

952 Sicko

I let this guy wrap his arms around me. I laugh, a light happy laugh. I push myself against him, leaning into his tall frame, feeling him support me as I pretend to be more than a little unsteady on my feet.

"Where's your boyfriend?" He asks me, and I stop and look at him quizzically.

"I don't…" I stammer, suddenly feeling flustered. I stare at him, he's actually good looking. Dark brown hair, brown eyes that feel like they're piercing my skin. His smile looks sincere, but below it, I get the sense, just the beginnings of knowing that he's not right. There's something dark and deep flowing under the surface, something that's dangerous and that could easily kill me.

"You have a tan line," he says, and looking at my hand, I see the clear outline of the ring you gave me—the trust ring that I pulled off to go on this stakeout.

"We…we broke up." I say, quickly.

"You're lying." He says, calmly. Like he can see into my soul and knows what's in my heart.

"I'm…I'm not." I say, hearing the hesitation in my own voice, praying it's not as bad when it hits his ears.

"Yeah, you are. I can tell by your face."

"I…we had a fight." I say quietly. Remembering the fight that we had before this stakeout. What was it about, even?

"So you went to a bar?" He asks, his eyebrows raising.

"I'm just, I'm just looking for a good time."

"Hey, that's okay, I just wouldn't want a nice girl like you to do something you'd regret." He says, with a sick smile.

"I don't have regrets," I mumble, letting the stakes raise themselves.

"That's good." He says. "It's this way," he says, pointing down the street.

"Thanks." I say pressing against him.

It happens fast. Before I know it's coming, I feel the slam in the back of my head. As I fall, I see the police lights, hear the screeching tires before I feel the warm dark light that envelops my brain…


I listen to you giggle and gush, and I wonder what's really going on in your head. Are you thinking about me? About our fight?

Strangely, I find myself hoping that you're really paying attention to your surroundings and everything that's going on. I hope you're calculating and mindful of taking unnecessary risks. You're a great detective, I'm sure that's what you're doing…

My job is what I should be focused on too, to make sure we bag this guy, I decide. My concentration, however, is quickly interrupted by his question about your boyfriend.

Then he mentions your tan line. Immediately, the green-eyed monster rears its head. Then I realize he's talking about your ring. I didn't even notice when you took it off. I wonder if you did it to be convincing, and not because we had a fight.

And I listen to you explain why you're out tonight, I hear the hesitation in your voice. Somehow that reassures me. Now I just hope he doesn't see through your cover.

Then I hear you tell him you don't have regrets.

Regrets. I guess that's the problem. I'm afraid one day, some day, you'll regret that you change for me, and resent me. I don't ever want that. I want to know that you fell in love with me with your eyes wide opened, that if you do change, you're doing it out of your own free will. So you won't blame me.

Is it so unreasonable for me to want that?

A sudden muffled noise jars me from my self-assessment.


"What's going on?" I turn to Elliot, frantic.

Then I hear sirens. I hear tires screeching. Then the sounds of guns going off.

"Liv!" I hear myself scream, and see my hand reaching for the handle of the door. Then I feel strong arms holding onto me. "Elliot, let go!"

"Alex, calm down."

"Let go!" I yell, pulling away from him. Then I hear Tutuola's voice coming through the radio.

"Officer down, repeat, officer down."

I don't hear what else he has to say. I don't even know where I'm going; I just run towards the direction of the noise and commotion.

"Whoa, Alex!" Fin tries to grab me when I breeze passed him. "We shot him," he says.

"I don't care! Not right now."

Then I see you, lying on the ground, your eyes wide opened. "Move over!" I bark at the uniformed cop hovering over you, and see that you're bleeding from your head.

"Ms. Cabot..."

"Shut up!" I get down on my knees, and cup your cheek gently, vaguely aware that my hand is now covered with your blood. "Liv, come on, can you hear me? Liv? Please, baby, look at me. Stay with me."

954 Confused

My mouth is dry.

Very dry.

And my head.

It hurts.


My head.

God, it is pounding.

What happened?


Something happened.

I was…somewhere.




Beep. Beep.

What's that noise?

My eyes try to flicker open.

The light hurts.


"Waking up…"



Where's Alex.

Everything's okay.

"It's okay."

A voice.

A male voice?

"Where Alex?" I croak.

"Bleh bleh bleh."

I don't…


What happened?

Where am I?

My eyes slit open.

Bright lights.



955 IAB

"How many times do I have to repeat myself?" I growl at the man. He's the last person I want to be talking to, and this is the last place I want to be right now.

"Ms. Cabot, shots were fired, a police officer is injured, and unarmed suspect is dead…"

"Tell me something I don't already know!"

"Then you understand we have to ask you these questions."

"I didn't see what happened. I couldn't have, not from inside the van. And there was nothing irregular during the stake out," I repeat, impatiently. Then I hear a knock on the door, and I turn my head. "Is she?"

"Yeah, Alex," Elliot twists his lips into a smile. "She's awake, and asking for you."

"Thank god." I turn back to the man. "If you don't have any new questions for me, our meeting is over."

"You understand we may have to interview you at a later date."

"Fine," I say, and move towards the door.

"Come on, I'll take you to her," Elliot guides me out the door.

"Thanks," I say, forcing a slight smile.

"Detective, you're next."

"Can't it wait?" Stabler grumbles.

The man looks at me, and nods. "Uh, Ms. Cabot?"

"Now what?" I bark. I think this is the first time I've ever seen someone from the IAB flinch.

"We'll have to get Det. Benson's statement at some point."

I'm so glad we filed those papers. "Not right now."

"But the sooner we…"

"I said, not right now. When the doctors say she's ready to talk to you people, then we'll see." I don't wait for his answer before I slam the door to the small makeshift interview room behind me.

I hate the IAB. They're like locusts, worse than locusts.

"Is she… Did the doctor say anything?" I ask your partner.

He shakes his head. "He's waiting to talk to you. I'm sure it's just routine. You know, gotta keep her here to observe to make sure her brain doesn't swell up, and all that stuff?"

I remain silent, too scared to think about anything.

"Here you go," he says, pushing open a door, then pulling it close behind me.

God. You look so pale…

956 Sorry

My eyes flicker open more gently than before, and I can see bright lights shining in my eyes.

"Olivia, can you open your eyes for me?" a strange voice asks.

I hear my own moan. The light's too bright. Why are they shining it right in my eyes? I feel fingers on my forehead.


"We're looking for him now." Someone says, carefully, quietly, trying to reassure me.

"No…Girl." I mumble, and I hear confusion radiating from my brain.

I hear the door open, "Liv?"

It's you.

"Alex.." I say gently.

I see you getting closer, you're blurry, but it's definitely you.

"Alex?" I ask again.

"It's me sweetie," you say gently.

"Alex my head hurts." I tell you, frowning.

"I know sweetie," you say, sitting next to me on the bed.

"What happened?"

"He hit you," you say, your fingers gently tracing my forehead.

"Did we get him?" I ask, instinctively, even though the pieces of the case are missing in my mind.

"Yeah, we got him." You say, with a frown.

"What's wrong?"

"Nothing," you say, quietly.

"I'm sorry," I say, feeling tears rush into my eyes.

"What are you sorry for," You ask.

"Everything," I mumble.


I take your hand, and try to smile. "There's nothing to be sorry about, Liv."

"We fought."

"Don't we always?"

"I broke… promise."

"What promise?"

"I got hurt." You look like you're about to cry.

"I'm not going to hold you to that. We both know sometimes things just happen."


"Shhh… you're okay. That's all that matters." I give your hand a slight squeeze. I'm afraid I might hurt you somehow. "And I'm sorry I got so mad at you."

"What's gonna happen?" You whimper.

"What's gonna happen to what?"


I suppose it won't hurt for me to tell you the truth. "He's dead, Liv. One of the officers on the scene shot him."

"Oh. Good. He… bad."

"Yeah, he was. They found all the fingers sitting in formaldehyde."

"Good." You whisper, your eyes closing.

I panic, "Liv?"


Even though I don't want you to; even though I want you conscious and awake to assuage my fears, I tell you, "You should rest then."


"I am. I'm not going anywhere; I'm not leaving your side."

"Love you Alex," you whisper and relax your features.

I'm mindful of the doctors and nurses milling about, still, "I love you too, Liv," I tell you softly...

958 Confused

I wake up slowly, my head is pounding, but I feel slightly better. I can feel your weight still on the bed next to me, my fingers laced in yours. I can hear more than I think I understand. Your voice, asking questions.

"We don't know yet how extensive the damage is, or how long term it will be." They're saying.

"We want to watch her overnight." Someone else says.

I want to go home, I want to argue, but I can't quite speak.

"I want to go home." I mumble, hearing my voice that sounds too far away.

"Ms Cabot, it's really better for…" Someone says, responding to me, by talking to you.

"She's not going anywhere," You say, taking my hand.


"Liv, shh." You scold me.


You give my hand a quick squeeze and keep asking questions. You lean over and smile as I open my eyes.

"Hey," You say gently, pushing hair out of my eyes.

"Hi," I say gently.

"What happened?" I ask.

"You got hit in the head, sweetie."

"Oh." I ask, scowling.

"I…did I get in an accident?"

"No, sweetie, you were undercover, remember?"

"Undercover?" I ask, the words sounding strange on my tongue.

Your face changes.

"What's wrong?" I ask quickly.

I see you and the doctors exchanging worried looks. "Some memory loss is normal, Ms. Cabot." They say, shrugging.

Hey, I remember. I think to myself…

"Alex, why does my head hurt?"

I watch tears form in your eyes and I'm so confused…what'd I do now?


I don't know who's taking it worst. You, me, or selected people who know you. Maybe not you, since you seem to forget what happened when you wake up. Whereas, I don't think I'll ever forget the look on Stabler's face when you asked me who he is.

It's not surprising that you don't recognize Trevor either, or any of your doctors.

I glance at the stack of pamphlets they gave me, about brain injuries and trauma, and how to cope. I think I read the first. I'm not sure. Now I can't remember.

Words like 'temporary', 'close observation', 'CT scans', 'rehabilitation', 'rest', are jumbled up in my head with 'cognitive disabilities', 'permanent damage', 'hematoma', 'surgery'. Even after I've stopped listening to the physician's double talk.

Guess that's another curse of my job, to know too much about various types of injuries that people can sustain, and their possible effects. Ignorance would have been bliss.

Your fingers are gently rubbing mine. I'm aware that you're looking me, and I fight to keep my tears in check. I'm supposed to be consoling you, not the other way around.


"Yeah, sweetie?"

"When can we go home?"

Your speech is much more coherent now; you can actually make complete sentences. I try to take comfort in that fact.

"When the doctors say you're ready. They want to make sure your brain's okay."

"Why? Did I get hurt?"

"Yeah, you got hit in the head."

"Oh." You sigh, in relief, unfurrowing your brows. "Guess that explains the headache."

God. Just how many times do we have to go through this? Memory loss is normal, I know that. But it's one thing when it's just an abstract concept. It's entirely another matter when it's happening to someone you love…

There's another knock on the door. Elliot pokes his head in, "Alex, the IAB people wants to talk to Liv."

"Who are you? And why does the IAB want to talk to me? What did I do?"

I turn away from your partner. It's infinitely easier to look at you. "Nothing, sweetie."

"Then why do they want to talk to me? Who are they?"

God. "Internal Affairs Bureau. They investigate when police officers are injured on the job, and when suspects are killed," I tell you, and brace myself for your response…

960 Forgetting

"Oh." I say carefully. Not sure what you're really talking about, not sure what's really happening, what's really going on. "Alex?" I ask and watch as you turn your head slowly to look at me.

"Hmmm…" You ask, staring at my hand.

"Did I kill someone?" I ask.

"No sweetie," you say, gently.


You sigh, and start to explain. "You were hit in the head, sweetie, that's why you don't remember what happened. The guy who hit you, he was shot."


"Elliot, they can't," you say, turning to the guy in the door way. I know his name is familiar, and obviously you know him. It's foggy, but somehow I know it's not wrong for him to be here… I'm still not sure…

"Alex, they're going to have to.." He says, sounding angry.

"She doesn't remember," You say, and he shrugs.

"Let them see for themselves. Like you said, she doesn't remember."


"I'll talk to them," I say, and you look at me like you don't expect me to be sitting here.

"Sweetie, you don't…"

"You just told me. I was hit in the head."

"I know sweetie, but they don't want to know what I told you. They want to know what you remember."

"Oh," I say slowly. "I don't think I do."

You smile at me, gently. "I don't think you do either sweetie."


"I just want to ask her a few questions," the man insists.

I notice this time, he's here by himself. "But she doesn't remember a thing about what happened. She probably won't remember your name."

"That's fine, Ms. Cabot. At this point, it's routine, considering…"

Considering the person shot really was the serial who's been terrorizing the city, sure. But what about your welfare?

"Alex?" You call from the bed.

"Yeah, Liv."

"I'll answer his questions."

"But Liv, you don't remember," I try to convince you otherwise.

"Hey." You wave him into the room. "If I don't remember, can I just say so?"

"Yes, Det. Benson, I insist."

"Detective?" You repeat, looking confused for a moment. Then you smile, "Right. Guess I am."

I release a breath I didn't realize I was holding.

"Who are you again?"

"Mike O'Connor. IAB."


"Internal Affairs Bureau," he responds patiently.

Guess letting him see for himself isn't a bad idea. I listen to him ask for your recollection of that night's events. True to his word, he's only asking the most basic, routine questions; and he seems content with your responses…

Less than half an hour later, I'm sitting on your bed again, holding your hand. "Are you okay?"

"Fine. Why?"

"Not feeling tired?"

"No. Just a little dull headache. Can we go home yet?"

"Not yet, the doctors want to keep you overnight for observation," I tell you, like I told you every day for the last week.


"Because you got hit on the head."

"Oh," you pause, furrowing your brows and searching your memory. Finally, you twist your lips. "That's right, you said that earlier."

God. Finally. You remember something. Is it a sign that your short term memory is coming back?

Dare I hope?

962 Remember

"Alex, can I ask you something?" I smile, turning to you. You're sitting near the window ledge, staring absently out the window.

"You were hit in the head," you say, almost impatiently, without looking over your shoulder.

"I know," I say, looking at you perplexed.

You turn and look at me. "What?"

"I remember. You told me that already." I say, slightly confused.

"Oh," you say, your smile growing. "It's the first time.."

"I've remembered?"

"Yeah." You say, quietly.

"But that's not what I wanted to ask you."

"Oh." You look away, again.

For a minute, I wonder if this is something I've asked you before, something I've made you explain every day. Slowly, bits and pieces are coming back to me. Flashes of memory, that the doctors seem to think means that it will eventually come back. "So…" Asking your permission without words to go ahead.

"Sure," You say, with a smile.

"I remember, before, we were fighting."


"But I…I don't remember why."

"It's not important," you say with a forced smile.

"It's bothering me Alex. I want to know."

"It was a million years ago, now." You say, taking my hand and giving it a quick squeeze.

"It's important to me to know," I say and wait, holding my breath for you to explain.


I look at you looking at me, so trusting, so sweetly. Do I really want to tell you? Do I even remember clearly why we fought? Everything seems like a haze now. Definitely pointless…

"I don't, I'm not sure," I start.

"Alex, please?" Again you give me that devoted puppy look.

"We," I take a deep breath, and release it slowly. "I was afraid something like this would happen."

"That I would get hurt?"



"You'd hate me."

"Why? You didn't bean me on the head."

"I know. I just, I'm afraid you'll have regrets."

"That we're together? That we got married?"

It's first time we bring that up since your injury, and I'm surprised. "You remember?"

"We're wearing matching rings," you say, then continue with a smile, "But of course I do. It was in the middle of the night, and in a garish church with blinking neon signs. All we needed was an Elvis impersonator."

I can't help but smile. "One of the witnesses could've been one."

"So that's why we fought?" You ask, almost meekly.

"Well, yeah."

"Are you sure?" You look at me, your big brown eyes penetrating my soul.

God, I'm hopeless. I look down at our joined hands, and I reply, in a whisper, "No."

"Then tell me."

"You told me you changed for me." I expel another deep breath. "You said you gave you up for me."

"We fought because of that?" You sounded incredulous.

"Well. Yeah."

"Why were you upset that I changed for you?"

Why? "It wasn't that you changed for me," I try to sort out my feelings, to find adequate words.

"Then what was it?"

"You said you gave you up for me…"

964 Explain

"I did?" I ask.

"Yeah." You say, breathlessly.

"But I did." I explain.

"Liv, let's not start this again." You say, quickly standing up and stepping away from the bed.

"Alex, who I was wasn't that great. It's not like it's a huge loss," I say, trying to get you to smile.

"It's not funny." You say, turning away. "It's…this is not funny." You say again.

"Alex, I gave up the things, the things that were making me who I was. I gave up booze. I gave up hanging out in bars, and gave up going home with…" I let my voice drift off. "The point, is, that I gave up who I was…but who I was, well, I was, flawed."

"Everyone's flawed."

"Fine, but I was really flawed."

"But, you didn't do that for me." You insist.

"Yeah I did."


"Alex, why does it bother you? Why does it bug you that I wanted to be a better person for you. So that you would love me and take me back, and that we could be together. You, being with you, that was the first time I wanted to be different, and, even if I didn't know it at first, it started me on a path."

"Because you're saying you gave up who you were. Gave up your life for me. What if one day, you regret that choice."

"I won't."

"That's easy for you to say. But we don't always get along. I mean, what if we fight one day, and that's it. What if something happens."

"Nothing's going to happen," I say, smiling…


"How can you be so sure?" I would like to believe you, I really would.

"I just know, Alex. Trust me."

"You know, for a jaded cop, you're such an idealist."

"And for someone who believes in something as abstract as justice," you smile, and reach out for me. "You're such a cynic."

With hesitance, I return to my place on your bed. Not sure what you're getting at, I reply, "Okay."

Your smile grows, and you take my hands in yours. "In other words, we'll just do what we've done before, what we always do."

"Which is?"

"We yell, we scream, we slam doors, we cry, and then we'll work it out."

"That's it?"

"No, then we have great make up sex, and live happily ever after," you announce, then grin. "Until we disagree, then we start all over again. And live happily ever after."

I smile back. Gently, I hold your face in my hands, and look deeply into your eyes.

"What?" You ask, your smile suddenly shy.

"Is that really you? Or did that knock on your head do something to you?"

"What do you mean is it really me?" Now you sound indignant. "Of course I'm me, who else would it be? And why?"

I kiss you and shrug my shoulders. "You made sense. It just didn't sound like you."

"Oh really," you lift your brow. Then a slow smile spread across your face as you lean into me, and take my lips in yours, and slide your tongue into my mouth…

I'm breathless when you finally pull away.

"Well?" You smirk.

I follow your gaze down my shirt. "How do you do that?"

"See?" You brush your thumb across the lace of my bra. "I'm still me."

I shudder to your familiar touch. Taking a deep breath, I stop your hand and close my shirt. "Yes, you're still you." Boy, are you still you. I smile. "Liv, we should stop…"

966 Encouraged

"Why?" I ask, with a sly grin.

"Because you're in the hospital."

"So are you," I say with a grin. "When has being in an inopportune place killed your sex drive?"

"Yeah, but you're a patient."

"Impatient," I say, reaching for your shirt again.

"Behave." You warn again, and sigh, pushing my hands away, and holding them at my sides. Even though I could easily push you off, I let you hold me, and smile at the view I have down your shirt.

"You're no fun." I pout at you, a fake pout that makes you smile. You kiss me on the nose, gently, and sit up.

"You're looking down my shirt." You say, with a half smile.


"What will the staff think?"

"You can lock the door?" I suggest.

"Liv, you're in the hospital with a head injury."

"But I'm better." I say, reaching again for the buttons on your shirt.

"Yeah, but," You say, pushing my hands back to my sides. "Guess you are back."

"Yep," I say, with a smile.

You run you fingers on my face, "I've missed you." You say gently.

"I'm right here."

"But you weren't….you weren't all there."

"I'm sorry."

"Why?" You ask.

"Because…I don't want…"

"Silly. It's not your fault that you got hit. He just came out of no where with it. You were down and out in a matter of minutes. It was…it was scary. I thought, well…I was…I've just, I've just missed you."


"I've just missed you, a lot," I tell you again, still refusing to go any further, refusing to think all the things that could've happened to you had they somehow lose sight of you that night. Or the extent of your injuries. At the rate things go, it'll still take you months to recover, and hopefully you will recover completely.

You slip your hands from under mine, and touch my face. "I'm sorry, I really am."

"It's, it's not okay, but it wasn't your fault."

"I know, but I worried you, and I promised you I'd be…"

"Shhh…" I hush, taking your fingers and pressing my lips to their tips. "I love you."

"And I love you." You kiss me gently, a gentle open mouthed kiss that makes me breathless again. That makes me yearn for your intimate touch.

"So," you whisper, then closing our distance.


"You gonna make me get up?" You ask in between kisses, your hands finding their way down my shirt, creating an ache.

I whimper. "Hmm?"

"Lock the door?"

"Liv, we really shouldn't."

"But I want you," you breathe, your lips working their way down my throat, your fingers trapping my nipples.

I tremble, and sigh. "Last time we did this, my mom walked in."

"Imagine," you slide your tongue across the hollow of my throat, drawing another moan from me.

I should stop, I really should stop. Instead, I arch towards your caresses, and I ask, "What?"

"Imagine," you dance your fingers lightly up the inside of my thighs, and press down gently against me. "How good it'll feel."

"Not fair."

You grin against the center of my breasts. "All's fair in love and sex?"

"But," I try, sucking in a ragged breath when you push the lace aside and expose my skin to the air, to your hot mouth.


I gather all my will power, and pull away from you. You look at me questioningly while I readjust my clothes and close my shirt. Then I push you back into your bed, and I climb in next to you. "Just hold me…"

968 Sleepy

You slide into bed next to me, warm next to me, reminding me of all the mornings I've woken up with you in my arms. Your eyes close as you settle into my arms, your head resting on my neck. I can feel your warm steady breath on my neck.

"I love you," I whisper.

"I've missed this," You say, sliding you leg over mine and pulling tighter against me.

"Me too."

"When do we get to go home?" I ask you.

"When they say you're okay." You whisper.

"I'm okay." I say, with a smile, and you squeeze me.

"They need to be sure."

"But Alex."

"But Liv," you whine back in the same tone. "Just be quiet."

"But…" I say, gently kissing the top of your head.

"Shhh," you whisper, and snuggle tighter.

I sigh and stare at the ceiling. Your breath is slowing, warm and gently teasing my neck.

"Are you falling asleep?" I ask, quietly.

"No," is your only faint response.

"Uh huh." I say, with a smile.

"I'm not," is your weak answer.

I love that about you, how a moment of snuggling against me seems to be enough to put you into a coma. I know it means that you feel safe with me, feel safe in my arms, so that no matter where you are, you can let your defenses down.

I keep telling myself that I'm not sleepy, that I'm not going to close my eyes like you have.

I'm not sleepy.

I'm not.

You're so warm, and so comfortable that I keep telling myself that I'm not sleepy right up until the moment my eyes close and I'm out like you…


I miss lying next to you, feeling your warmth enveloping me. I miss sleeping in a bed too, but despite your protest, I prefer spending my nights here, with you, dozing on the couch when my body can't hold up any longer. I'd hate to go home to an empty bed.

And I lay here, with my head pillowed against your shoulder, and I wonder when we can do this, in our own bed. Without the beeping monitors. Without people coming in and out of the room to check on you, and give you Tylenol for your headache.

We must be of the same mind. "When can we go home?" You ask me.

"When your doctors think you're okay," I tell you. I wish I knew the answer to that question. I'm not sure why they're so vague when I ask them the same thing. It's frustrating, and unnerving.

"But I'm okay," you whine.

I'm not sure that's true. Sure, physically, you seem to be all right. All the test results have come back normal. Your memory loss though… It may be just like they say – normal. But it doesn't stop me from worrying.

"They just want to be sure," I tell you, like I tell myself.

I just want to lay here, in your arms.

I don't want to think about anything else right now.

"But Alex," you complain.

"But Liv," I whine. "Please? Let's just be quiet, for a little while?" I plead. Is it too much to ask?

You place a kiss on my head, and I snuggle tighter against you.

Soon, silence and warmth envelop me like a blanket, and I feel my eyelids getting heavy. Vaguely, I hear you ask me if I were falling asleep, and I think I'm telling you 'no' while I ease further into unconsciousness…

When I awake again, your arms are still around me, holding onto me. I'm doing the same thing, clutching you like you're my security blanket. Yeah, we're pathetic, part of me want to scold. Another part, a deeper part, is actually glad we are the way we are. That we trust and need and love each other so much.

I think I'd be crushed, more than crushed, had you forgotten me like you did Elliot.

I hear a soft rustle in the room, and I open my eyes. For the first time, I notice a light blanket covering both of us. I could've sworn we left it by the foot of the bed.

From the rhythm of your breathing, I know you're asleep. As carefully as possible, I disentangle my body from yours.

"Alex," you whine softly as I turn towards the noise.

"Shh… go back to sleep."

"No," you moan, pulling me back and trapping me under your body.

"Liv," I whisper, responding to your soft sleepy kisses, the same ones you give me every morning. Quickly forgetting the noise I heard, until I hear the sound of throat clearing in the room…

970 Interrupted

I feel you press against my kidney, and I moan. You're moving, which means you're awake. I fall through sleepy layers into awareness. "Alex…" I moan, and you quietly whisper to go back to sleep.

"No," I moan, and I reach for you, pulling you back into my arms. Warm and safe, I snuggle into you and close my eyes tight, taking a deep breath of the smell of you next to me.

"Liv," you say, pushing on my shoulder.


"Excuse me ladies," I hear a male voice. Huh?

I feel your body tense next to me, and feel you pulling quickly away. My eyes open, and I stare into the face of someone I don't recognize.

"What are you doing here?"

"Well, Ms. Cabot," he says, as you scurry off the bed, straightening your clothes. "There are some more questions I have to ask Detective Benson here after our first inquiries."

"I thought you were done." You say to him.

"Alex? Who?"

"IAB," He says, extending his hand to me.

I look to you for clarification. "He's here about the night you got hurt."

"I don't…"

"It's okay," you say, your face softening. "It's hard for her when she first wakes up." You explain to him.

"We need to talk about what happened the night you were hit." He says to you, not listening to me.

"Okay," I say, trying to remember. His frown scares me, in some primal way, I'm sure he doesn't mean to be friendly.

"It's come to the attention of the IAB that you might have been distracted that evening."

"I don't…"

"A domestic dispute," he says, "that may have caused you to lose focus, and may have caused the use of unnecessary force…"


"Domestic dispute?" You repeat, furrowing your brows. "I don't remember responding to any…"

"I mean the dispute between you and Ms. Cabot," the IAB scum interrupts you immediately.


"According to the transcripts, you told the suspect you had a fight with your boyfriend."

"I did?" You look to me for confirmation.

"Yes, Liv, that's what you said," I tell you, waiting to see where he's heading, and if he's not just fishing. Were you distracted because we fought?

"Oh. So I did. Whatever I said, you can get from the tape, I'm sure."

"Why did you tell him that?" O'Connor asks.

"Why? I don't remember."

"Do you remember anything leading up to that point of the conversation?"

Again, you turn to me for help. So I decide to jump in, "Isn't that a broad question?"

"Ms. Cabot, I'm the one doing the questioning here."

"Fine," I stare back at him, letting him know he has no power whatsoever over me. "But I thought Det. Tutuola said the perp hit Det. Benson so quickly that she wouldn't have had time to respond."

Begrudgingly, he agrees, "Yes, that's what he said."

"Corroborated by the homicide detective?"

"Who shot and killed the suspect, yes."

"Last time I checked, police officers are permitted to use deadly force when it's reasonable and necessary to protect another from an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury. Both apply here." I argue calmly, trying not to think about what could've happened to you. I look at you to make sure you're fine with my taking over the interrogation, and that you understand why I'm doing it.

"Yes, but, the deceased was robbed of his due process…"

"Who do you work for? The ACLU?" I ask, incredulous. "In this case, the defendant, had he lived, would've been charged and found guilty for the rape and murder of three women, and the attempted murder of a police officer. My office would've pursued the death penalty."

"Yes, but…"

"See those flowers?" I point to one of the many bouquets filling this room. "Those are from the Mayor's office, thanking Detective Benson for putting her life on the line, to help stop that man from terrorizing our city."

"But Ms. Cabot, that's not the point."

"Then would you please tell me, just what is your point? What are you trying to achieve with this investigation?"

972 Investigate

"Part of this investigation," the man says, facing you and pointing to the folder in front of him, "relates to the potential liability that is opened up by Detective Benson's past and activities leading up to the night in question. We have to make sure that we're covering our asses so this department doesn't get sued. If the tip of this it true, we're looking at some serious infractions of code, not to mention that right now, the entire city is up in arms about the perceived brutality imposed by NYPD detectives."

"What are you talking about?" You ask, and by your body language alone I can see the anger. Your hands are shaking, and you've tightened them into fists, and your voice, though cold and even, shakes with the tinges of anger that I hear only from knowing you well enough to sense the differences.

"Detective Benson, do you have an alcohol problem?"

I look at him, and then at you, and I can feel my mouth opening.

"What does that have to do with that night."

"Detective Benson was drinking that night." He says.

"Non-alcoholic beers."

"It's open to interpretation."

"So you think she was on a stake out drinking?" You ask angrily.

"She has a history of being drunk at work previously."

"She's been sober for almost a year." You say quickly.

"Fine," he says making a note in his binder. "And how long has this been going on."


"The interpersonal relationship between you and the detective."

"That's really none of your damn business." You nearly scream at him.

"You have to understand. There are reports that you two had a domestic disturbance prior to the stake out, and that compromised the judgment of the detective here. If she…"

"It wasn't compromised." I say. "I wasn't."

He looks at me, and gives me a sickly smile. "We'll be looking into that." He says.

"Get out of here," You yell at him.

"You can't make me leave." He says, looking to me.

"Yes I can," You yell, "get the hell out of here."


"Ms. Cabot," he says again, not moving.

"Mr. O'Connor," I move towards the door, keeping my anger in check again. "Please don't make me call security."

"You can't do that." Suddenly, he looked alarmed.

"Yes I can. May I remind you that this is a private room in private hospital, not paid for by the tax payers." Now I'm glad my mom insisted that we transfer you here.

"But." He stammers.

"May I also remind you that neither the DA's Office nor the NYPD's has any existing policy against relationships between police officers and ADA's."

He opens his mouth, before he can say anything, I continue, "You're so concerned about law suits against the NYPD. Perhaps you should keep in mind that it's illegal to discriminate anyone in New York City based on his or her sexual orientation."

"Are you threatening me, Ms. Cabot?"

"No, but you're questioning Det. Benson's relationship with me. That line of questioning is quite open to interpretation."

We stare at each other, at an impasse. Finally, I motion towards the door again. "Good day, Mr. O'Connor."

"We're not done with this investigation."

Without saying another word, I close the door behind him, and turn to you.

"What do we do now?" You ask, concern written all over your face. "Do you think he'd…"

"Liv," I sigh, sitting down next to you. "Let's not worry about the IAB right now."

"But, what if…"

I lay my hand over yours, and sigh again. "Do you think he's right?"

"About what, Alex?"

"That you wouldn't have gotten hurt if we weren't fighting?"

"Alex, that was the perv's MO, knocking his victims out by hitting them on the head, then dragging them back to his apartment so he could rape and torture and mutilate them."

I wince, and you stroke my hand with your thumb. "We knew, to catch him, one of the volunteers would have to get hurt, somehow."

"You knew," I repeat. "And you didn't tell me. Why wasn't I told?"

"I knew I'd be covered, I didn't think, I just didn't want to worry you."

"Waitaminute," I finally finish processing what you just told me. "You remember?"

974 Remembered

"I remember, I remember pieces. And what Elliot's told me kind of fills in the blanks." I explain quickly. "It's more like shadows, I remember parts of it. It's just, the parts I remember come and go."

"When did he," You ask.

"You didn't want to tell me Alex. I had to know."

"I would have told you what…" You start to explain, but I quickly interrupt you.

"Alex, I could tell from your face that you didn't want to tell me. So, I made him swear. I made him tell me everything. Probably a few times, but I'm not quite sure about that part. But Alex, we knew that there was danger."

"And you did it…"

"I had to."

"Why didn't you tell me?"

"Because when we told you, that I wanted to do it, even without knowing the risks, you stormed out of the room, remember? Someone had to do this, Alex. It's part of my job to…"

"Risk your life?"

"For the common good," I finish.

"And then we fought."

"And yeah that was on my mind. Of course. But it didn't effect my judgment. I, I just."

Your face pales, and you sit gently on the very foot of the bed. "You…"

"We didn't do anything wrong." I say, with more certainty in my voice than I actually feel.

"You don't even…"

"Alex," I say, softly, crawling down the bed towards you.

"You risked everything Liv. Do you know what it means that he's turned up our…that all of this came out now? It goes into your record, the alcohol, us."

"There's nothing wrong with us."

"No, but professionally? Every case we try together is not subject to whether you and I are conspiring to create evidence? Our relationship is now officially on the books."

"Isn't that what we wanted?" I ask. You look at me like I'm insane, and I put my hand in the air, pointing to the wedding band around my finger.

"I guess," You say softly, as you stare at the wall in front of you.


"So this just seems, this is all happening really fast."

"Let him investigate. We didn't do anything improper."

"But Liv…we…we let our personal lives…"


"We didn't let our personal lives impair our judgment. We're both capable of being impartial when it comes to our jobs."

"I know that," I say, welcoming your confidence in us. "But if we let our lives… Nevermind what Liz said about keeping our relationship quiet, what about you?" I ask, returning to my original train of thoughts.

"What about me?"

"I thought you didn't want people to know."

You smile your crooked smile. "That's true, I didn't."

"With the investigation, depending on how it goes…"

"The whole city might know about us, I know. That's okay."

"It is?" I look at you and try to read your face. "Are you sure you are you?"

"Yes, Alex," you smile, and wag your brows. "I'm me. Do I have to prove it to you again?" You ask, leaning towards me.

I keep our distance with my hand on your shoulder. "Be serious, Liv."

"I am serious. Besides, you made me stop when I didn't want to."

"I mean about our personal lives in the public eye."

"Remember when we were on the island? How we didn't care who saw us, or what people thought of us?"


"I liked it, Alex. I liked it a lot," you confess earnestly. "Then we came back, and we have to be so careful about who sees us doing what, everything, and I realize how much I missed the freedom we had."

"Yeah, that was kind of nice," I admit. "I like being able to walk down the street holding your hand."

"Me, too." You smile. "So I don't care, actually, I'd prefer that our personal live comes out into the open."

"But what about our jobs? The perceived bias?"

"If the powers that be were so worried about it, there would've been a rule against cops and their ADA's dating."

"I suppose that's true."

"They have rules against everything else," you say, rubbing my arm reassuringly. "We'll be okay."

"I hope you're right."

"Whatcha talkin' about? I'm always right."

I have no choice but smile. "Obviously that bean on the head didn't do anything to deflate your ego…"

976 OUT

I feel like a child, sitting on the edge of the hospital bed that has been my prison, waiting for you to arrive. I'm finally getting out of here. I catch you, every once in awhile rolling your eyes at me, when I forget something, and my attention span isn't quite what it used to be, but the doctors assure both of us that it's normal and that if I continue to work at it, that I'll make a full recovery.

My bag has been packed for what seems like hours, but realistically has only been the few minutes since the doctor pronounced that I could go home today. I called you immediately and you promised to come and get me, and now it's a waiting game.

I stare at the wall, the same wall I've stared at all week. Waiting for you seems so much harder today.

So much harder because I'm so much closer to freedom. I can taste it.

I haven't been in the hospital since…since a time I don't want to remember. And being here, being here and feeling better makes me feel stir crazy, just like I did then, by the end of my treatment.

"You ready?" You ask, sticking your head in the door and it takes all my restraint not to throw myself into your arms.

"Yep," I say, picking up the bag and jumping off the bed.

"You sure you're all set?" You ask, your eyebrows raised.

"Yep. Let's go."


"I signed the papers, let's go."

"You're a horrible patient." You say, smiling at me.

"You should talk."

"We're not talking about me. Do you have instructions or anything?"

"Uh huh," I mumble, shoveling the folder full of information, discharge forms, and follow up appointments into your arms.

"You've got…oh forget it," you sigh, and you take me happily by the hand. "Let's get out of here, okay?"

I smile, and agree, following you out of the room and down the hall into the warm sunny air.


I watch you take two steps at a time up the stairs to our apartment. I watch you like I did on our drive back, when you were staring out the window, soaking in the sights. You're so like a child, so full of excitement. In a way, it's very charming.

It also worries me. Are you just excited because you were bored and going stir crazy in the hospital, and you're just happy to be going home? Or are you looking at everything with a new eye, and not just because your perspectives have changed?

"Hey, wait up!" I call out. "You need keys to get in."

"Then hurry!" You yell back.

"God, you're worse than a puppy." Smiling, I roll my eyes at you.

"Oooh, puppies, can we get one?" You yelp in delight.

"But you hate…" Oh, no.

"Gotcha!" You grin. "I'm okay, I really am."

"Olivia Benson, I'm gonna…"

"You're gonna what? Huh?" You challenge, your grin even wider than before. "And it's Benson Cabot," you correct, while I slide the key into the lock.

I laugh, and ruffle your shaggy bangs, and watch you run into the apartment.

"Hey fish," you cheer at the tank, and throw your bag and yourself onto the couch. Before I can join you, you're already up, and moving towards the window, pulling open the curtains and peeking out.

"What are you…"

Before I can finish my question, you breeze by, and press a smacking kiss to my lips. Then you're in the kitchen, opening the fridge and the cabinets.


"Yeah, Alex?"

"What are you doing?"

"Just happy to be home," you announce, on your way to the bedroom.

"God, you're making me dizzy," I complain, smiling to myself.



"Come here."

"What?" Now what? I wonder as I move towards our room…


"What?" I hear you yell after me.

"Come here," I repeat, and surely, I hear you coming closer. I smile, and try not to make it so big that you'll notice.

"What?" You ask again, and you step into the room behind me to see what I see.

"What's that?" I ask, pointing to the bed.

"I didn't make it this morning." You say, with a shrug.

"Yeah, besides that." I say, pointing.

You stare at the heap of covers on the unmade bed, and look at me with a questioning look.

"Look harder." I say, with a grin.

"I don't…" You shrug.

With a grin, I walk over to the bed, and pick up the small vibrator that's peeking out from under the covers.

"Oh God, I thought I put that away…" You say. grabbing the offending toy from my hand and throwing it into the drawer next to your nightstand, which you slam shut.

I watch your face turn a beautiful red. "Miss me?"

You smile at me. "We went from three times a day to nothing."

"So you improvised?"

"Something like that." You say.

"But now I'm here."

"Yeah, you are." You say with a smile.


"So." You parrot, and lean in and kiss me gently on the lips.


"So," you say again, after our kiss.

Distracted by your lips, and the touch and feel of them against mine, I respond slowly, "Yeah?"

You spread your hands over my buttocks. "Shall we?"

"Um." I swallow, and take a shaky breath. "Should we? I mean you're still…"

"I'm fine."

"But your head."

"It's fine." You squeeze, drawing a whimper from me. "Well?"

"I don't…"

"I thought you missed me," you breathe against my lips, your soft breath brushing across my skin. "Did you miss me?"

"Yeah, of course," I reply, my eyes closing involuntarily while you push me into you. "Missed you, a lot. But…"

"Shh… I missed you too. And." You flick your tongue out to slide along the shell of my ear. "You made me wait."


"While you improvised."

I feel blood rushing to my cheeks again, and I remain silent, burying my face against your neck.

"Were you thinking about me? When you touched yourself?"

"Yeah." I whisper, while your hands drift up my torso.

"What about me?"

I feel your finger pressing at my waist; I hear the sound of my zipper purring open. "Liv?"

"Tell me."

"Just, wishing you were here, with me."

"And?" You ask, your question, your lips, your tongue sliding across my throat, while you ease my skirt down my hips.

"The way you kiss me," I confess.


"The way you touch me."

Your hands glide up to cup my breasts. "Like this?"

"Sure." I nod, my control slipping away...

980 Show Me

I smile at you, as you take a deep breath. My kiss takes your breath, and I lean into you.

"So when did you?" I whisper.

"This morning," You whisper back, kissing me hungrily. I can feel your hands on my back, pulling me into you. You kiss me deeply, pulling me tight to you.

"And you thought about?"

"I said, you," You say, the blush returning to your face.


"Liv," you say, begging me with your kisses. "Don't make me…"

"Somehow," I say, between kisses, "If our positions were reversed, you'd be making me act it out for you." I say, stealing another kiss.


"I think I like that idea," I say, pulling back. I watch as you desperately reach for me, and laugh when the disappointment lights your eyes.

"No…" You whine, reaching for me.

"You've watched me." I say, gently.

"That was different."


"Yeah." You say, blushing a deepening red.

"You're beautiful when you're embarrassed."

"Shut up," you say, leaning in to me, trying to make contact with my lips. Instead I lean back and sit on the bed.

"I'm waiting."


"My show," I say, with a devilish grin.

"I hate you."

"You do not."

"I know." You say, while you stare at me.


"You really are serious, aren't you?"

"Mmmhmmm," I say leaning back against the headboard.


You sit back against the headboard, with a big smile plastered on your face. Your eyes rake over my body, and I feel another rush of blood to my face. Why am I embarrassed? "But you've watched me, before," I say, my voice a strangled whisper.

"That was different," you use my earlier words.


You smirk, but your words are gentle, "You tell me."

Is it because I was in control, when I was trying to seduce you? But now you're in control, and I'm truly on display, performing for you? "I, I don't know. I'm not sure I can…" I balk, trying to close the distance between us. Trying to ignore the effects your undisguised lust has on my body.

You kiss me hard, then ease away again, and again you ask, "Show me, and tell me."

"About what?" I panic.

"What you were fantasizing."

"I just did," I whine.



"I'd tell you. In fact, I did," you remind me of the time I made you tell me your fantasy. "Don't you think it's only fair?"

"But…" I protest.

"You know you want to," you whisper, slipping your fingers between my legs, pressing into me through my underwear.

Involuntarily, I arch against your hand, pushing you deeper into me, groaning when you pull away.

You lick your fingers slowly, grinning gently. "Your body doesn't lie."

Somewhere along the line, the flush of embarrassment has turned into arousal. Vaguely, I'm aware of my fingers on my buttons. The air on my skin as the soft cotton rustles off my shoulders. I focus only on the smile on your face and the gentleness in your eyes, when the bra unframed my breasts. As elegantly as possible, I push my underwear off my hips, letting gravity and momentum do the rest while I lean bodily forward for your kiss, your touch…

When I finally open my eyes, I see you smiling, waiting.

"Why don't I show you, what I was thinking, when I…" I hear myself say.

Your smile widens.

"We need a prop."


Without another word, I reach into the drawer, and pull out the harness.

Your brows rising, and you laugh, "I'm not…"

"You don't have to." Slowly, I unzip your jeans and pull them off along with your underwear. "But you do have to help," I motion for you to raise your hips while I tighten the straps around you.

Then, carefully, conscious of your eyes on me, I place my knees on either sides of your body, and I ease steadily down the toy until we're skin to skin…


"This was," I ask as you straddle me, not bothering to finish the question.

"Mmhmm" You moan, as you slide into me, your body pressing into mine.

"So, you?" I ask.

"Mmhmm," you say again. I smile, as you lean in and kiss me. You carefully lean against me, moaning as you slide your own body up and down, each shift of your hips pressing the toy between us into me.

You lean into me, against me, pressing your naked body against me. I smile as you pull on my shoulders, pulling the t-shirt I'm still wearing off over my head. Your fingers find my bra strap and throw it aside, as you gently run your fingers over my sensitive skin.

I watch as you gently slide your fingers off my body, sliding them between us, see your head throw back as you close your eyes and concentrate on the sensations that must be moving through your body.

I slide my fingers up your body, pulling into you. Letting my hips gently slide up to meet you, as we slowly meld together.

I frown as you slide off of me, and kiss me deeply. "Will you…" You ask as I watch with attention to find what you want from me.

You lay on your back and pull me on top of you, wrapping your legs around me.

"I love you," I whisper.

"I love you," you moan.

I see your face change, your kisses become less focused.

Your breath is catching in your throat, the way it does when you're close. My fingers slide between us, pushing against you. Teasing you, touching you the way you like to be touched. The way that makes you scream my name.

Your arms are wrapped tight around my shoulders. I feel powerful, strong.

I slide into you, harder, faster. Watch as your eyes start to close.

Listen as you breath catches in your chest.

Listen to you start to moan my name…

Listen as you let your body release…


"Alex," you whisper, kissing me gently on my collar bone.

I keep my eyes closed, my body still humming. "Mmm?"

"I should…"

I can feel your body shifting above me. With speed and strength I didn't know I have, I cling on to you, keeping you to me. "Stay."

You move slightly, testing my hold. "But…" You chuckle, temporarily giving up.

You're not too heavy, I want to tell you. Only "Don't. Feel good" falls through my lips before I grab your face, and bend my head forward to kiss you. Kiss you long and deep and hard.

Until you start responding again.

Until you start to slowly rock and move against me. This time I let you.

"I've missed you," I tell you, looking into your eyes.

"You too."

"I was so scared," I confess, without intending to. Tears flooding my eyes unexpectedly.

Your eyes now filled with concern, you still your movements, and try to raise your body off of mine.

"Don't stop," I sniff, arching up against you, pulling you back. "Need you."

"But are you…"

"I'm fine, Liv." I close my eyes, forcing the moisture down my cheeks.

You kiss a trail up my face. "You sure?"

"Yeah," I sigh, smoothing my hands across your powerful shoulders, feeling your strength, your warmth, your heart beating against my heart. "I'm now."


I smile, letting go momentarily to rub my thumb along your furrowed brows. "Honest. Just," I rock towards you, rotate my hips against you. "Just love me."

"I do," you grin, slowly stroking in and out of me, filling me, touching me. Gradually building the tempo, while your hands push at my knees, guiding my legs towards your shoulder. Opening me. Moving in. Deeper. Closer.


Until I heave and gasp.

Until I scream your name…

984 After Glow

We lay together, tied in each others arms for what seems like hours. Our kisses slow and careful, our bodies sweaty and warm pressed tightly into each other.

I smile at you, kissing the perspiration off your forehead.

"That was…" You mumble, and it makes me smile more.

"I know," I say, careful not to move, not wanting this feeling to end.

"I missed…"

"Me too," I say carefully, slowly.

I hold you tight, feeling you heart pounding in your chest, listening to your breath starting to slow back to normal.

"I don't want you to move ever again," You say, wrapping your legs around my thighs, and holding me tight.

"I don't think that's practical," I say smirking.

"I don't care."

"But eventually we'll have to eat."

"Nope," you say wrapping around me again.

"I'll remember that."

"Okay. You do that," You say smiling.

"I love you so much," I whisper.

"I love you too."

"I missed… this."



"Me too," you smile.

"Me too…"

985 SAFE

Here we are, in our own bed, together, our arms wrapped around each other. "I've missed you, so much," I tell you in between soft kisses.

You slide your arms around my body, pressing me closer to you, our body still connected by a length of silicone. At the sharp breath I take, you smile. "I missed you, too."

"Sometimes I wish…" I sigh, and hug you tight.

"What?" You mumble, your breath teasing my neck.

"That we could stay like this forever."

"Like I said…"

"It's not practical, I know, Liv. I really don't care."

"Have you heard the story about a couple who wished they'd be together forever?"


"They just finished having sex, sorta like us now."


"Well, they actually got their wish." You laugh and wag your brows. "Can you imagine?"

"Shut up!" I swat you on your ass. "What happened to your romantic bone?"

"Hmm…" You smirk, shifting your hips, drawing another shiver from me.

"Liv," I gasp, wrapping my body around you to make you stop. "I don't… Not right now."

"Then should I?"

"No." I smile up at you, then kiss you again. "Stay," I say, looking into your eyes.

After moments of silence, you ask, "Whatcha thinking?"

"Just how safe I feel, always feel, when I'm in your arms."


"I feel like nothing can hurt me, nothing will faze me."


I nod, tracing my finger tips along your features, your shy smile. "Sometimes it's like a dream, a beautiful dream. Just you and me, in our happy little world. And I never want to wake up..."

986 Forgetting

I look at you with a blank stare.

"You forgot, didn't you?" You ask, with a sigh.

"I'm sorry?" I ask permission.

"It's okay," you say, turning on your heel and storming out.

I forgot to pick up the dry cleaning. Again.

I'm forgetting lots of things. It's not supposed to be like this forever, but we both sat through the warnings, or at least you tell me that we did that memory loss can be tricky. That things can get better or get worse. You insist that it's getting better, but I don't remember if it is or not.

I can see the frustration on your face when you find something else I've forgotten to do. You try not to show it, but it's obvious that you're frustrated with me. I can't help but notice like you can't help but show it. We both know that you can't rely on me to do the little things. And that when you do, I'm letting you down. I can't blame you for being frustrated with me.

Hell, I'm frustrated with me.

I can't remember. I didn't think it was so bad in the hospital, what was there to remember? Green Jello from one meal to the next? Maybe it was better to not remember.

But now, now there a million things to remember. A million things that I'm supposed to know.

The big things, they're all there.

You and me. Our wedding. The moments we've shared. That I remember fine.

Where the dry cleaner is?

That I can't keep in my head.

"Alex, I'm sorry," I say, following you.

"Don't worry about it," you shout back, already in the next room.

I sigh.

I don't know how to make this better, but I'd give anything to be able to.

I rub my head, and wonder where my mind's gone.

987 Remembering

This is so weird, what you still remember and the things you forget. Somehow, you can remember minute details about us, details which I would consider insignificant. Yet, you forget where the dry cleaner is, or where you put your badge, routine things.

And everyday you ask me if you're getting any better. And everyday I tell you you are, even though I'm not entirely sure.

Somehow though, you don't seem to be having problems at work. You remember details of crime scenes and items in any given files just fine.

Why is that?

Do you even remember that today marks your first year of staying sober?

I wish I could control my emotions better.

What comes across as frustration, is actually fear, plain and simple. It takes me slamming the door on you, then coming out to find you in tears, for me to acknowledge it to myself. I'm not sure if I should be sharing that realization with you.

Do I really mind giving you directions to the dry cleaner in the car, after you pick me up from work? No. But that's just another example of the things you keep forgetting.

What if you don't get any better? I'm not sure I can be certain that you're not getting worse…

I hear a knock on my door, and I look up.

"Hey," you say, poking your head in.

"Hi." I smile, standing up and walking around my desk.

"Ready to go home?"

"Actually, I made dinner reservations for us, at Bella Notte, your favorite."

"It is?" You looked puzzle for a second. "Italian right? Of course it is. What's the occasion?"

"You really don't remember?"

Instead of scratching your head, you run your fingers through your hair. "Remind me?"

I stifle my sigh and pull a small box out of my desk drawer. "Happy anniversary."

"Anniversary? I'm so sorry, Sweetie, I don't know how I can forget something so important, I," you fret.

"Shhh…" I kiss you softly, gently. "Look inside."

You untie the ribbon, and open the box. "Oh," you gasp, picking up the charm. "So I made it. A whole year!" You cheer.

"Yep," I circle my arms around your waist and pull you near. "I'm so proud of you." I smile, and pick up your other gift. "Here, I also got you this."

"A notebook?"

"Maybe you can start writing things down to help you remember? Like the doctor said?"

988 Rebel

I look at the book you hand me, the blank pages. I take a deep breath and try not to be angry. Writing things down, writing down things like that admits that there's a problem. And I want to be better. I want to believe.

"Thanks," I say slowly, as slide it onto the desk.

"Aren't you going to?"

"Not right now," I say absently as I walk into the living room.

"What's wrong?" you ask, chasing after me.

"Nothing," I mumble.

"Something's wrong Liv, I can tell."


"Liv," You nearly beg with your voice. You reach for me, your hands pulling me against you. "Talk to me."

"I don't want…"

"Please?" You ask, leaning in and giving me a slight kiss. "I want to know what's wrong."

"I don't want to keep a book."

"But sweetie, it could help you."

"It's stupid Alex. I don't know why I can't remember. I don't even know what I don't remember. I'm tired of not knowing if I'm supposed to know something."

"Liv, it takes time."

"Yeah, time and patience. I've heard the lecture. I just want, I want to be normal."

"You are normal."

"Except I don't remember things like where I parked the car, or what the alarm codes are. This isn't normal anymore."

"That's why you write the stuff…"

"Why, so I can forget where I put the book and have something else to not remember?" I yell, pushing you away and sinking into the couch so I can feel good and sorry for myself.

989 PUSH

I sigh, loudly. "Liv, sweetie."

"Leave me alone!" You yell childishly.

For a moment, I'm tempted to do exactly what you ask. Since when has Alex Cabot backed down from a fight though?

I approach the couch. Before you can move away, I rest my hands against your shoulders, pinning you to your seat. Using you as leverage, I climb into your lap, facing you. Then I take your hands and pull your arms across my waist. "There."

You lower your eyes, looking completely sullen.

With a small chuckle, I push the first button on my blouse through the button hole.

"What are you?" You ask, your eyes snapping up to stare at me.

"Just checking."


"To see if are still talking to me?"

You sigh, and lower your head.

I cradle your face in my hands. "Look at me."

"What do you want?"

"I want to know why you're acting like this."

"Like what?"

A petulant child? "The doctor said…"

"Doctors don't know everything."

"Okay." I kiss you gently on your nose. "So how do you want to deal with this situation?"

"Can't we just forget it?"

"I'm sure you will, soon enough," I tease, with a smile.

If I weren't sitting on you, you'd bolt. "That's not funny, Alex."

"I know," I say, kissing the frown from your lips, until the beginning of a smile appears. "So let's figure out some ways to help you remember."

"I don't, I don't need help."

"I'm not talking about professional help," I reach up and brush the hair out of your eyes. "Maybe you and I can figure out something, together. Maybe we can even make it into a game. Whatever it takes…"

990 Pout

"I don't want to play a stupid game." I mumble.

"It's not a stupid game. Come on, we can fix this." You say, sounding more like a cheerleader than you mean to.

"There's no fucking solution, Alex."


"Get off." I say, pushing at you.

You don't move and instead you look at me, hurt. You're not moving though, still pinning me to the couch, sitting on my lap. I want to push you, want to retreat into myself. I want to be alone and miserable.

I guess this is why they call you my better half. Forcing me to talk about it, to think about the problem and come up with a solution. I guess that's good for me too.

"Sweetie," you say again, being patient.

Your patience makes me even angrier. Like you're patronizing me. And you are patronizing me, because I'm being a child, whining and complaining about something that neither one of us can control. What bothers me is more complex than the not remembering. I feel like I'm missing part of myself. That something of me is missing. Things that I took for granted, I don't remember.

What I don't tell you are things you take for granted. That this is affecting more than just whether or not you have clean clothes in the morning, but that the Captain has called me into his office to talk about my "organization." Or lack there of. Forgetting where you put your gun is only cute the first couple of times.

These are things that I can't explain and I don't want to tell you because I don't want you to worry. Don't want you to be upset with me.

Things I don't want to think about. Things I don't want to admit out loud.

I'm afraid, and I look up into your eyes and see that you are too.

But you're still into pretending that you're not. Telling me with false happiness in your voice that you think things are getting better, when I'm nearly positive they're not.

I want to go to bed, and hide there. Not coming out to see the light of day.

I wonder if anyone would notice if I just slipped away.

991 HELP

I look at you and I'm torn between wanting to scream and to cry. I don't understand why you're so stubborn. How are you supposed to get better if you don't want to get help? When you refuse to help you?

On the other hand, I suppose if I were going through the same thing, I'd be exactly where you are. Pretending nothing's wrong.

Pretending I'm not scared out of my mind.

Hell, I am pretending that nothing's wrong, that I'm not scared out of my mind.

But what good would it do to let you know how worried, how afraid I am? How would letting you know my vulnerability help you?

And you won't talk to me. You won't talk to anyone.

I hold your face and lift your head. "Sweetie."

"Leave me alone!" You close yourself off.

I insist on drawing you out of your shell. "Why don't you want to get help?"

"I don't need help!"

"Sweetie, we shouldn't run away from…"

"Yeah, right, when's the last time you talked to your aunt?" You remind me, hatefully.

"That's not the same."

"Whatever you say, Alex."

I take a deep breath. "Okay, if I talk to my aunt, will you go get…"

"I don't need help, Alex!" You push at me again. "Get off of me!"

Still, I refuse to budge.

"Leave me alone!" You yell.

"No!" I yell back.

"Leave me alone, dammit Why won't you just let me…" You sob, your voice trailing off.

I gather my calm, and kiss you on your head. "Just let you what, Liv?"

"Just, just leave me alone."

"Do you really want me to?"

You pause.

I don't wait for your answer. "I'm not going to do that, Liv. I love you," I tell you gently, brushing your tears from your eyes. "We'll work through this, like we do everything else..."

992 Frustrated

"There's nothing to work through," I say, trying to control the tears that are streaming down my face. I take a deep breath and wipe the tears on the back of my hand.

"There obviously is, sweetie. Look at how upset you are."

"I'm upset because you won't back off."

"Olivia," You say, with your voice full of warning.

"You're the one who's making this an issue. Just because I don't want to make lists." I continue.

"There's more to it than that, Liv."

"No, I don't know why I can't remember and it's not your problem. So you don't have to worry about it.""

"You can't remember because you got smacked in the back of the head, sweetie." You say, pushing my hair back from my eyes. "It's not your fault, and it's hard, but you have to work to make it better."

"It doesn't work Alex. Making lists is only going to make…"

"Then don't make lists," You sigh. "It doesn't matter what you do. I'm only trying to help you. I'm trying to make it so it's less frustrating. If you don't want to do it then don't."

"I won't."

"Liv?" You ask.

"Please, just go."

"I don't get this. Why are you acting like?"

"I'm not acting like anything. I just want to be left alone."

"Fine." You say, sliding off me. "When you want to act like an adult, you can come to me."

"Fine." I say, pouting. In a second, I jump off the couch and retreat.

I throw myself onto our bed and stare at the wall. I hear you, in the other room, and I know you're debating whether or not to just let me be. I hope you choose to leave me the hell alone.

993 HELL

I watch you storm into our room, slamming the door shut behind you.

For better or for worse, I remind myself.

This is hell. I sniff. Next thing I know, tears stream uncontrollably down my face. I sniff again, and hold my breath, trying to fight my emotions.

It only gets worse.

Suddenly, I hear the door being yanked open, and I push my tears back into my eyes, wiping the residual moisture quickly with my fingers.

"What are you crying about now?" You demand.

I look up. The annoyance on your face catches me off guard. "I, I just don't know what to do anymore."

"What's there to do?"

"You won't admit that you have a problem, you won't let me help you or go get help," I finally tell you. "And I worry about you."

"There's really nothing for you to worry," you say, your voice cold.


"What are you worried about anyway?" You demand. "That I might forget you?"

"Liv," I start.

"That's it. Isn't it?"

"NO!" I deny. "You know it isn't true. So far you remember everything about us."

"How can you be so sure? We haven't talked about everything. I can't even remember to pick up your drying cleaning."

"It's just drying cleaning, and I thought we resolved that," I try desperately to salvage the situation. "I thought we worked it out pretty well."

"You know what, Alex?" You stuff your hands in your pockets and sneer. "It might actually be better for you if I did forget you."

"You don't, you can't possibly mean that," I heave, crossing my arms and squeezing myself for control. It's just your fear, your frustration, your anger talking. You can't possibly mean that, I tell myself.

"Why not? Then you won't have to worry about me."


"And I won't have to change, for you, again."

"How? Why? I didn't, I never asked you to," I start; I stop and I try to read your face. The ice in your voice, the contempt on your words, they stop me. I close my eyes and take a deep breath. "Fine."

"Fine what, Alex?"

"Fine, if you want me to leave you alone, I'll leave you alone."

"Finally. It's about time."

"Fine," I say again, grabbing my keys and slipping on my shoes. "If you're ready to act like a reasonable, civilized human being, give me a call on my cell," I say, with false bravado. Without giving myself time to change my mind, I walk out the door…

994 One

I plop down on the couch and stare at the ceiling, the sound of the door slamming behind you still ringing in my ears. Good thing I won't remember this in a few hours. Or I will, and it can be something that I torment myself with later.

Either way.

I close my eyes, and try to fall asleep, but that's not going to happen. Not with the adrenaline that's pumping through my veins. Not after watching you walk out.

I wonder where you went. Probably to Serena's.

I should go somewhere.

Somewhere so that if you come back, you know that I wasn't here waiting for you.

I'm not waiting for you, I correct myself.

I wanted this. I wanted you to leave me alone, and now I got my wish.


I slowly pull myself up, and wander into the kitchen. I open the cabinets and stare blankly at the food that lines the shelves.

Nothing looks good, and I shut them

I open the fridge with the same result. I poke the milk to the left and look for something enticing. I slide down the cabinets and open them, one at a time, trying to find something to eat.

I know what I want.

I know we don't have what I want.

You said I could try it.

Just one for relaxation.

Just one.

I can do just one.

I can.

I just have to find it.


After all the fights we have, I should know by now. I should expect that you won't come chasing after me. Why am I so surprised when it happens? Why do I feel so hurt?

I'm sure you're probably sprawled on the couch right now, and sulking. And maybe banging your fist against the coffee table for good measure.

You will do what you always do, self-destruct. Maybe I should go back. Then what? So we start throwing things at each other?

So I get into the car, and pull it out of the garage. For the first few minutes, I drive aimlessly, wondering if I shouldn't just go back.

But you want to be left alone.

And I don't really know what to do or say. I don't know how to deal with you.

It's our first real door slamming, walking out on each other fight after our wedding, and I don't know how to cope. Why did I think a piece of paper would change things?

Sometimes I think we take each other for granted more.

Although I'm not being fair. You sustained mind altering injuries, literally. Maybe I should be more understanding.

But haven't I been understanding? And patient? All I want to do is help.

So where should I go? Trevor's? Serena's? If either one of them had anything bad to say about you, I don't want to hear it. Mom's? I don't think so. Definitely don't want her to know we're fighting. I'm sure she'll just lecture me. I can hear it in my head now. I shouldn't have done this, I should've been doing that. No thank you.

Maybe I could just drive around until we both calm down.

Or maybe I can find some other ways to fix this. Whatever this is.

Why can't I be like you, just lock yourself in and shut the door and wish the problem would just go away? Why do I have to bulldoze mountains with my bare hands trying to find the answers buried underneath?

I sigh, and turn the car around. Half an hour later, I'm pulling into the parking lot on Lafayette. I try not to waver when I pull my badge out of my wallet to get through security. Soon the elevator slides closed, then opens. I take a deep breath and walk down the corridor, and into a bright office.

"Got a few minutes?" I poke my head in.

"Sure, Alex."

"Can we talk?" I ask, leaning against the door to close it behind me.

"Have a seat, or do you prefer the couch?" He jests, like he always do.

I stare at my alternatives. "You know what? I think I'll take the couch this time," I decide.

George furrows his brows just briefly, before getting up from his seat behind the desk, and moving to the chair next to me. "So what can I help you with?"

996 Forgetting

I won't remember anyway, I tell myself as I slip the bottles under my arm. My keys, I throw onto the table inside the door, where you have nagged me to put them so I don't forget where they are.

I slide one of the bottles of the six pack out and hold it in my hands. I sit back in the couch, and put the bottle to my lips, ready to inhale. I feel the cold liquid hitting my lips, the familiar taste. Close my eyes and smell the smells.

Happy anniversary.

I sigh, as I swallow hard.

I did it.

I broke down.

And now.


Now I feel.

Now I feel.


Nothing but the familiar feeling.

The flood that tells me just one more and if you do it you'll forget.

But I won't forget.

Not this.

I close my eyes and concentrate on the taste while I empty the bottle.

I wonder what you'll say and I feel a cruel smile.

"I forgot I'm not supposed to," I say, with a laugh.

I just want to forget.

Just want to forget.


From George's office, I call the precinct. Luckily, Don has a few minutes, and we have a short conference call. This is when I find out that you're having more problems than not picking up my dry cleaning. That you're actually forgetting where you put your gun. That you still have to think before you can call Elliot by his name.

And we wonder if part of it isn't psychological. That you're forgetting everything work related. Your badge, your gun, your colleagues' names. Where you park the car at night, and where you put your keys the night before, because you have to find them in the morning to go to work. Even my dry cleaning, those are clothes I wear to work.

That maybe somewhere in your subconscious, you're having a difficult time facing getting hurt. That maybe this time is different because the perv targeted the same type of women you once were. That he picked you.

So Don agrees to be the bad guy. He'll order you to counseling and therapy, and keep you on desk duty until you're yourself again. Or at least more so than you are now.

Suppose I should have let him do it before, when he first suggested it to you. But you looked so miserable at the prospect of sitting behind a desk. And I so desperately wanted, still want, everything to be back to normal. And I genuinely thought being out on the streets would be good for you, would help you recover.

Maybe getting back on the horse right after falling off isn't for everyone.

Maybe you're pushing yourself too hard.

Maybe I'm coddling you too much.

So tough love is George's advice. We all know you well enough to know that you won't admit that you have a problem until you hit rock bottom. That's just how you are.

So I promise myself to do what's good for you, and not what you want. I promise myself to follow our friends' suggestions.

Soon, I'm parking the car. As I walk up the stairs, I wonder if you're still sulking, or if you're ready to talk. Then, as soon as I open the door, I smell it.


Somehow, I'm not surprised. I think I've been waiting for it to happen, for you to fall off the wagon. Maybe you didn't drink it, maybe you just poured it down the drain or shatter the bottles, immediately, I scold myself for doubting you.

But then I see you, sprawled on the couch. So obviously drunk out of your mind.

I've always wondered how I'd feel, how I'd react, if and when I find you drunk again. Well, now I know.

And I think I'm actually surprising myself.

Very calmly, almost emotionlessly, I pick up the crime novel I've been reading, and I sit down on the love-seat across from you.

And I'm almost annoyed when you decide to wake up, just when I'm about to find out who the perp is. And I put down the book, and wait for you to stop groaning and open your eyes…

998 Gone...

The buzz feels good, and then it gets better. The first one is the second is the third. It goes together, and I tell myself, that as long as I count it as one big drink, that it'll be okay. You told me, told me that I could do one. Deeper, until I lie back on the couch and close my eyes. Just for a second…

When they flutter open, my head is pounding. I can feel the hangover already starting, and it can't be that much longer than I started to drink. I absently reach for another beer, hoping that there's still one on the table, but I think I can hear you. Or I think I can hear you. You said that you wouldn't come back, that you would wait. You're supposed to be gone.

My eyes close again, while I try to piece together what happened. The pieces of last night, or tonight, or today.

My one year anniversary.


This is miserable.

I moan.

"Are you awake?" Your voice.

"Uhhh." My moan echoes through my head, causing the pounding to worsen. I can feel my body aching, my stomach turning.

"Come on, Liv, time to get up," you say, pulling at my arms.


"Come on," you say pulling me again.

"But…I…leave me alone." I slur hopelessly.

"Nope. Come on." You pull me to my feet.

"Where are we?"

"You're going to take a shower. Then you're packing."

"Packing what?"

"Packing to go back to rehab."

"Whoa. I don't…"

"Well, let's put it this way. You're either going there, or you're going to a hotel."


"No buts. Go." You say pushing me.

"But Allie…" I whine.

"Come on Olivia," You say, pushing me again.

" But…I'm gonna…"

You shove a trash can into my hand. "Keep going," You say, not letting me skip a beat…

999 OUT

"It was just one," you whine, while I turn on the shower. "You said I could have one."

"One drink. Not one six pack," I tell you, while pulling your shirt over your head.

"But I didn't mean to," you slur, leaning against the shower door to balance yourself while I pull off your pants and underwear.

"Of course not."

"Then why are you?"

"Obviously, you're not one of those rare individuals who can stop at one," I state, while checking the water temperature. "There you go," I shove you into the shower, and slide the door close.

"Allie? You're not gonna join me?"

"No, Olivia." I tell you resolutely. Just imagining your alcohol breath and your clumsy hands on me makes my stomach churn. "I'll wait for you out here.


"No buts, Olivia. I can also go out there and start packing for you. Take your pick."

"But Allie… I don't think I can stand up much longer."

"That's why I offered to stay out here, just in case you fall." I sit on the toilet lid, and wait.

"Why are you doing this to me?" You pout.

"Because I care about you, Olivia, and I want you to be well."


"I'm also sick and tired of your self-destructive crap."

"I'm not…" You start, then you stop. Then you sigh. "I'm sorry," you say. "I didn't remember I wasn't supposed to drink?"

Obviously, your rehearsed answer doesn't sound so good to you anymore. It's also apparent that you've regained much if not all of your sobriety. "Just shove it," I tell you, and slide open the door.

"Hey! I'm not…"

"I don't see any soap on you." I throw you your towel, and turn off the shower-head. Without waiting for further protests from you, I walk out the bathroom, and into the closet. "Here," I drag the suitcase from the island into the bedroom. "It's a good thing we still haven't unpacked."

"Allie? Are you really kicking me out?"

"I'm not kicking you out, I'm taking you to rehab."

"Can't we talk about this?"

"What's there to talk about? You want me to leave you alone. I'm giving you your wish."

1000 Beg

The water's harsh, and it sobers me up quickly. My legs are wobbly, and you're not listening. This is getting to be far less fun.


You stick your head into the shower and turn the water off, shoving a towel into my hand. "Get out."

"Come on," I say pulling at your hand. "Help me."

"Dry off." You say, not stepping into the shower.

"But…" I whine.

"Let's go." You say, turning away from me.

"But…Allie. I don't feel so good." I feel myself start to gag, and I lean into the toilet, spilling the alcohol still in my stomach.

"I'll start packing, come out when you're finished." You say, as you slam the door.

I wipe my mouth off on the back of my hand, still soaking from the shower I pad after you into the bedroom.

"Why are you being so mean…" I moan.

"Excuse me?" You ask, looking at me. You're eyes are flashing, but not with anger. Are you scared? Scared of me?


"Here," you say, looking away from me again, throwing clothes at me. "Put those on."

"Help me." I slur at you.

"You can do it." You say, as you throw your stuff out of the suitcase, the clothes we wore to our wedding, on a pile on the floor, while you throw in sweat shirts and sweat pants.

"They won't take me if I'm drunk," I moan.

"You'll sober up." You say, resolutely, as you stare into the suitcase.

"Allie, please don't do this….please?"

Part 1001

Return to Law & Order: SVU Fiction

Return to Main Page