DISCLAIMER: They are not mine, I'm just rubbing them together to see what happens. The story however, is mine...
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Why L&A and not L&A: SVU? Because I've never actually seen SVU... It is not shown in my country, yet... - R.I.P. Jerry Orbach -
FANDOMS/PAIRING: Third Watch/Law & Order - Faith Yokas/Serena Southerlyn.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Guys And Gals
By The Raven

Serena Southerlyn hid her nausea and discomfort carefully, not wanting to prove the various sometimes very macho opinions that circulated at crime scenes and through the rumor mill. It would not do for an Assistant District Attorney to be seen throwing up or passing out at a crime scene, hell any scene for that matter. Normally, the DA's office was not called upon to visit a crime scene, but the circumstances surrounding this particular homicide were delicate and needed to be handled from the onset. Serena swallowed her bile and continued to make notes based on her own observations and those she was collecting from the various detectives uniformed police officers present. However, deep inside of herself, Serena knew that she would lose this battle, as the bile continued to rise and her skin broke out in a sheen of sweat. Feeling dizzy now, Serena tried to make it seem like she was simply casually turning to look at the physical features of the crime scene. In fact she desperately wanted to look at anything, even dead rats and dumpsters, anything other than the mutilated and mangled body that was laying sprawled in the alley behind her. Gingerly brushing her blond hair from her face, Serena discreetly leaned against the patrol car that was conveniently in front of her and closed her eyes. She would only have a few moments before someone's suspicions would be raised, so in the short time she had, she did her best to collect herself.

"Hey, you ok?" The loud whisper came from right beside her and it was only years of schooling her reactions that allowed Serena to not jump right out of her skin. Opening her eyes, she turned to look at the speaker and found herself looking into the face of a woman, a uniformed cop. The woman had her game face on, a necessary thing for a cop in New York, but Serena could detect genuine concern in her eyes.

Nodding slightly, Serena replied, "Yes, I am ok. Just not used to this kind of thing."

The woman nodded impressively, her eyes conveying a degree of sympathy that comforted the ADA in this stressful situation. Serena took the time to examine the woman a little more, pleased to have anything to look at and knowing that the cop standing next to her gave her an excellent excuse not to turn around just yet. Almost red hair was pilled back into a severe bun under the uniform hat and the paraphernalia of a police officer was arranged about the woman's person. Suddenly the woman seemed to come to a conclusion and spoke again, her accent shining through and labeling her as a true native daughter of the city.

"This one is very bad, even as this kind of thing goes. Listen, you want to take a walk to the sidewalk with me, I'll go with you so the macho morons don't start wagging their tongues about it."

Faith Yokas was unsure what had possessed her to even address the elegant blonde ADA, but now she found herself wanting to somehow ease the woman's obvious discomfort. As much as Faith liked and even loved her colleagues, she knew first hand just how hard it was to be a woman in this world. Testosterone poisoning was a common thing all women who worked in this kind of environment eventually got no matter who they were or what they did.

The look of gratitude that the ADA was giving her, though guarded, spoke volumes about just how badly the blonde woman was feeling. Inclining her head slightly, Faith proceeded to walk to the head of the alleyway, away from the carnage it contained. Both women walked like the professionals they were and Faith was sure to speak loudly when she walked past the gaggle of cops surrounding the corpse.

"There's something you should see at the head of this alley, so if you'd come with me..."

Faith let her words trail off as soon as she had determined that they were out of earshot and the two women walked in silence to the sidewalk. When they reached the sidewalk, Faith found a spot that seemed to have less foot traffic and motioned the woman walking beside her into it. The blonde ADA looked much better already, seeming to have regained some of her colour and her composure.

"Thank you Officer Yokas, that was very kind of you."

Serena was pleased to note that her voice had returned to normal as she spoke to the woman who had just rescued her. The police officer favored the ADA with a slight smile and then spoke in a surprisingly soft voice.

"Call me Faith, at least here when we're not really 'on the job'." Faith was unsure why she was telling this high powered high rolling lawyer that it was ok for the woman to use her first name, but Faith had also decided not to actively examine her motives too much.

Serena looked slightly flummoxed at Faith's statement before the blonde woman smiled a full smile and responded in kind. "Then I insist that you call me Serena, at least while we are not 'on the job."

Faith was charmed by the beautiful woman and allowed herself to revel in the sensation for a few moments before she said, "Are you feeling ready to go back?"

Serena nodded slightly and then found herself pulling out her business card holder from one of the inner pockets of her elegant long coat. Handing over the expensive embossed card without any preamble, Serena said, "Let me buy you a drink sometime, or something. To say thank you and like you said, we women need to stick together."

Faith automatically accepted the card from the well manicured hand of the ADA and slipped it into her pocket without a glance. Curious eyes might get too curious, so here was not the time or the place to examine it too closely or at all.

"Shall we?" Faith said as she started to move back into the alleyway and its miasma of death and destruction.

The blonde ADA nodded again and soon the two women were back at the scene, Serena feeling much stronger, fortified even, so that she felt that she would be able to complete her task without further ill effects. Officer Yokas... Faith, had moved back into the fold of the other uniforms on the scene and soon Serena found herself completely embroiled once more in the technicalities and legalities of the case at hand. However, a small part of her mind was busily processing her encounter with Faith and she hoped that the police woman would indeed call her at some time. It was not exactly Serena's style, to go out for drinks, but this was New York City and she was a free woman, so she would indeed go out for drinks or whatever if she so chose.

Two days later and ADA Southerlyn was doing busy work in her office, oblivious to the world and focused solely on the task before her. Though Faith had crossed her mind briefly a few times since the two had met, Serena had simply been too busy to do much except for work on the case at hand. Her superiors had determined that her contribution and work performance at the crime scene had been instrumental in the building of the case against the suspect, who had actually been in custody before the body was even found. The whole circumstance surrounding the case was somewhat sensitive and the DA's office was striving to make an airtight case with as little fuss as possible and hopefully leaving no room for any kind of realistic appeal. Serena had worked closely with detectives Briscoe and Green in her efforts to perform her duties as efficiently as possible. Now it was quite late at night, on a weekend no less and she had decided to get some much needed paperwork done, before it simply took over her desk and made her life even more hectic.

The ringing of her cell phone gradually bore its way into Serena's completely focused mind and the blonde woman looked up from her work distractedly. Eventually, the source of the noise was identified and Serena quickly found her phone and answered it, her voice a little hoarse from disuse.

"ADA Southerlyn."

Faith heard the blonde ADA answer the phone in what sounded to be a rather distracted, but still, an unhurried fashion. Quickly finding her voice, Faith spoke into the phone.

"Hi, this is Faith Yokas, you asked me to call you sometime..."

Mentally slapping herself at her lame choice of words Faith waited for the ADA's response, still a little unsure of weather actually calling the number on the expensive business card was a good idea. The blonde woman had been on Faith's mind since their meeting and interaction in the grisly alley. Faith had finally found time and opportunity between her work and her children to call the other woman and now was sincerely hoping that it was indeed a good time.

"Faith! How wonderful that you called." Serena immediately dropped her pen and leaned back in her chair, delighted that the police woman had decided to call her. Serena surmised that it was probably a difficult decision for Faith, but was very happy that the woman had seemed to overcome her trepidations.

Faith could not help but smile when she heard the obvious warmth and genuine happiness in the ADA's voice. Gathering her wits quickly, Faith spoke again, "Yeah, work you know. Anyway, I have the night off and don't have to be in until late tomorrow. I was wondering if now was a good time for that coffee or drink or something that you mentioned a few days ago."

"Oh, yes. It's perfect! I am simply doing busy work, you know how that gets." Serena rose from her seat as she spoke and started to pack up to leave, anticipating that Faith was going to suggest something or somewhere.

Faith warmed even further at the blonde's tone and quickly searched her mind for a place that would be suitable for conversation and hopefully be open all night, yet still be out of the way of any regular law enforcement types. Faith did not want anyone butting in on her evening with the ADA and she had a strong feeling that Serena would feel the same way. Cops, ADA's, Firemen, EMTs, lived to work... It was a universal trait and just for this night, Faith was hoping to make an exception with this woman who had struck a chord in her.

Serena quickly made a note of where Faith suggested that they go, a lounge where anything from speciality coffees to imported beer to a myriad of appetizers and sandwich type foods were available. Quickly finishing the phone call, Serena grabbed her coat and bag and did a final check to see that her office was as it should be and left, locking the door behind her. She estimated that it would take her about half an hour to get to the lounge as she started to hail a cab. Serena could not help but smile as felt her anticipation at what was hopefully going to be a relaxing evening with a woman who could and who would understand her life and its pressures perfectly. It was not just with anyone that conversations about bullets and bodies could be engaged in, not that Serena wanted to talk about work, but it inevitably came up in conversation and she would be happy to not have to steer away from it sharply. It would be a refreshing change indeed...

Faith had managed to arrive first at the lounge and made it her business to procure a table in a more secluded and quiet corner. Her cop brain also made sure that the two comfortable looking chairs had their backs to a wall. Satisfied, Faith hung her leather jacket on one of the hooks provided and started to browse through the drinks list and menu, hoping that the blonde ADA would not be delayed on her way there. Faith was mentally deciding that she would have coffee and finger foods as she spotted Serena coming into the establishment and saw her look around intently. Rising instantly, Faith waved her hand at the other woman and was spotted almost instantly.

Pleased at the time she had made in getting to the lounge, Serena quickly spotted Faith and moved to the table the police woman had reserved. As she got closer she noticed two things, Faith looked very different in civilian clothing and that the woman's uniform, with its accessories and no doubt bulletproof vest, completely hid her body. Serena mentally shook herself at that last thought, though she was unable to take her eyes of Faith's perfect figure as she finally came to a stop at the table.

"Nice spot, hell, nice place!" Serena enthusiastically said by way of greeting, offering the other woman a quick smile. She was rewarded with a smile in return and then Faith said, "Well, let's sit and get to it then."

After they sat down, there was some silence as the women made their decisions as to what to order and then some more silence as a server came buy to take their orders. However, as soon as the man had left, Serena started to talk.

"You know, you could not have called me at a better time. We're having a a lull in the proceeding with the new case and I was only catching up on some paperwork." Serena leaned back against the chair and willed her tense shoulder muscles to relax as she took in the ambiance of the establishment and the rather calm presence of the police woman sitting beside her.

"Yeah, tonight was the first time I had a break and I thought, well, it's Saturday night, odds are you might be having a break too." Faith could not help herself as the blonde ADA leaned back and a small part of her protested as she openly admired the other woman's form. Faith knew from long experience that she was not above admiring women in a less than platonic way and before she had her children, she had actually acted upon some of those impulses.

Serena opened her eyes at that moment and did not miss the speculative look being sent her way and was pleased by it. It confirmed a suspicion she had already back in the alleyway and it would mean that the two of them would be able to relax in eachothers company and probably get along very well. Serena herself, was unable to curb her interest in women, though she had learned, due to her extremely high profile job and her background, to be very, very discreet about it. Already back in the alleyway, she had felt a connection with Faith, though the two of them had come from and still existed in two separate worlds. The lack of overlap, yet having law enforcement in common, not to mention being women in law enforcement, might mean that they would be able to create a separate world, for themselves. Serena was under no illusions about the fact that they would probably never be more than friends, but she was still determined not to look a gift horse in the mouth. Fate had landed the two of them together and who was she to argue with that.

As their coffee arrived along with some of the foods they had ordered, the two women settled into the night and into conversation. Alternately entertaining eachother with tales of life and family, work and friends. Current events, even sports entered their little niche and it was not long before Faith found herself relaxing completely in the presence of other woman. It was a pleasant, if unlikely experience, as in truth, the two did come from what essentially boiled down to separate planets. Deciding not to care, Faith motioned to the server during a lull in conversation and the women made another order for coffee and for some desert, having consumed finger food, sandwiches and salad until they were quite sated.

During the evening and into the night, Faith had discovered that her interest in the beautiful ADA ran much deeper than simply infatuation. Faith also discovered that as the night crept towards morning, that she was finding it harder and harder to hide her attraction. Silently hoping that the blonde woman would not mind if she noticed that what had been slight lingering looks, were now lust laden gazes, Faith continued to sip her coffee and enjoyed the comfortable silence that had developed between then.

Serena for her part, had found that she had not thought about the case she was working on once and had in fact even managed to forget that she was a lawyer. However, her head told her that it was getting to be very late indeed and that soon this little fairy tale had to end. For tonight at least... With that in mind, the blonde sipped the past of her coffee and set it down on the table with a degree of finality. Looking up at Faith, Serena felt the mutual attraction pull at her and though she was not surprised about it, she was unsure what to do about it. The two of them lived complicated lives, each had tremendous demands placed on them and Serena knew now from Faith's stories, that she also had two children. Sighing minutely, the ADA spoke.

"Well... I can safely tell you that I do not remember when I last had such a great evening. Coffee and conversation, in good company."

Faith smiled at Serena's words and nodded her head. "I agree... I don't get a lot of time to socialize and really I could not think of better company. This has been great, thank you for coming out." A slight yawn finished off her words and slowly the two women started to prepare to leave. A brief struggle with the bill ended when Serena reminded Faith that she had offered to take her out for a drink or something back in the alleyway. Faith had finally given in, but had made a point of saying that next time it was her treat. Serena in turn had been delighted by the idea that there would be a next time...

The End

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