DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and all characters are property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Ok, I came up with the idea ages ago, and when I eventually had time to write it I had forgotten what I had originally intended for the fic. So, here it is. It's not quite what I thought it would be, but it's still good none the less. Thank you to my SVU beta Helena Kyle. All feedback, bar flames, is welcome.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.



Olivia saw the gun raise and aim. She didn't have time to think, only to react. Her ears ached as a shot rang out over the plaza. She reached out to her companion and pushed her down, covering her body with her own. Pain registered in her mind but she dismissed it as protecting her friend was her first priority.

Out of the corner of her eye Olivia saw the perpetrator run off into the crowd. Her years of training noticing the fine details about him and cataloging them away for when she made her statement; dark brown shaggy hair, darkish eyes, thin, scrawny frame, navy blue cargo pants, maroon sleeveless shirt.

Once he was out of sight Olivia moved to get off Alex. She looked a bit ruffled up and in shock, but otherwise ok. She knelt beside the ADA and held out a hand to help her up. Alex took Olivia's hand and both women stood.

"You ok?" Olivia asked. She just had to make sure.

"I'm fine." Alex replied, brushing the dirt off her suit. She looked up at Olivia and her eyes went wide. "Liv! Oh my god! You're hurt." Alex grabbed Olivia's forearm and examined her bleeding bicep.

"What?" Olivia looked down at her arm. "Oh…" She looked puzzled for a moment. "It's only a graze. It's no big deal." Olivia tried to shrug off her injury.

"No big deal??? Are you kidding? You got shot!" Alex was mortified at Olivia's dismissal of her so-called 'graze'. "I'm taking you to the hospital."

Olivia looked at Alex. She saw concern in those blue eyes, concern and… something else. Olivia wasn't sure whether it was fear, or love. Maybe both? Olivia couldn't be sure, but she had no more time to argue because the object of her study grabbed her other hand and pulled her towards the road, hailing a cab.

Once they were seated inside the taxi and Alex had given the destination, she reached into her purse and withdrew a bright white handkerchief. Olivia was intrigued but didn't say anything as Alex tied it around her arm, covering the wound and trying to stop the steady bleeding. Alex pulled it tight and Olivia grinded her teeth together.

"I'm sorry…" Alex felt bad for hurting Olivia, but she knew she had to do it.

"It's ok." Olivia was too busy concentrating on the movements of Alex's hands.

Alex watched Olivia's eyes. She wondered whether Olivia was focusing on her hands to take her mind off the pain, because she liked her more than a friend, or both. Alex hoped it was one of the last two.

They soon arrived at the hospital and Alex paid the driver, after helping Olivia out of the taxi. As the taxi drove away Olivia stopped and looked at the looming building with hesitation. Alex shook her head and took hold of Olivia's hand. Olivia looked up at Alex and appeared to be in no pain at all. That would not stop Alex, as she dragged Olivia gently through the automatic doors and up to the desk.

They were ordered to wait until the doctor was free to see them. There were more pressing injuries to be seen to. Olivia sat there watching the other patients with their family and partners. She felt a tinge of jealousy because they could sit there and be comforted by their loved one, and as much as she felt grateful for Alex being there with her, she wanted Alex to comfort her in a way beyond friendship. It wasn't about the pain, the pain was nothing. She had felt worse and knew she would feel worse in the future. It came with her job.

Alex sat silently watching Olivia. She wasn't sure whether she was in pain or not, but Olivia looked sad, depressed even. She was very worried about her friend. It wasn't like Olivia to be like this. All Alex wanted to do was gather Olivia up in her arms and hold her forever. She knew she couldn't protect Olivia from the evils of the world, especially in their line of work, but that didn't stop her from wanting to.

When the doctor eventually came to see them Alex's handkerchief was soaked red. Doctor Mallard escorted them into a small room to the side and prepared a local anesthetic so he could stitch up Olivia's 'graze'. Alex watched, mortified at Olivia's non-reaction to the doctor cleaning her would, injecting the anesthetic and stitching. She didn't realize that Olivia was focusing all her concentration on her eyes.

Olivia didn't move, didn't blink, she just gazed into Alex's ice blue eyes. Alex was watching the doctor, but Olivia would not be tempted to look with Alex near her. Alex was her focus, her only focus, her own personal painkiller. She wondered if Alex would ever know how much she means to her.

"Alex, you really didn't have to. I'm fine…" Olivia would have sounded more convincing if she wasn't about to pass out. The doctor had said she lost a fair bit of blood and might feel dizzy for a few days. Alex had already called Cragen and apprised him of the situation - that Olivia was not to work for at least 3 days, a full week in her mind but she had to compromise.

"Fine? Ha! Like I've never heard that before." Alex guided Olivia to her couch and sat her down as gently as possible. Olivia could just imagine herself as one of those expensive Chinese Dolls being cherished by some rich 'Daddy's' princess. However, in the case at hand she was being pampered by the soul that made her heart flutter, this she was going to concentrate on, and keep a clear mental image.

"Olivia?" Alex held Olivia's head as it attempted to drop forward.

Alex moved Olivia into what looked like a comfortable position, including her softest pillow beneath her head. Once satisfied that Olivia was ok, unconscious, but ok, she made her way to her room. She stripped and found some more comfortable clothes to change into. When she returned she stood at the end of her hallway gazing at Olivia, sleeping, peaceful, at rest. It was such a rare and moving moment her breathe caught in her chest.

Her eyes trailed down Olivia's figure, wanting to savour everything, but her eyes were drawn to her blood soaked sleeve. A tear threatened to escape as she remembered the events of the day. She had always known, and had even seen, how dangerous Olivia's job was, and in the beginning she had been able to deal with that, but ever since certain feelings came to light, her heart broke every time she thought of something like this happening – Olivia getting shot.

Alex's heart pounded, her heartbeat was irregular. She hated when she thought about this, she always got so worked up. It wasn't like she could prevent it or anything, nor fully enjoy the regular time she got the pleasure of spending with Olivia, which just happened to be lunch most days and dinner usually at least once a week.

Alex sat calmly sipping a cup of decaf as she watched Olivia sleep. She wasn't staring exactly, just watching intently, non stop, barely blinking, definitely not staring. When she had taken the last sip, it was time to get another cup, her 4th since getting over the initial reaction of seeing Olivia sleep. When she returned Olivia was right where she was before, floating on the clouds of slumber, or so Alex thought…

"That's called staring, you know." Olivia quipped.

Alex jumped and spilt some rather hot coffee in her lap. "Shit!"

Olivia chuckled softly as she sat up. "I didn't mean to scare you. Are you ok?"

"Yeah, I'm fine. How are you feeling?" Alex cleaned up herself and put the mug on the table between her and the couch.

"A little light headed, but apart from that I feel fine."

"Good. Well, not good about you being light headed, but good that you're feeling better."

Olivia frowned. "Alex, are you sure you're ok? You sound a little… flustered."

"I'm fine, seriously."

Olivia stood and started to walk towards Alex, swaying slightly. "Fine, my ass. If you're 'fine', then I'm Brendan Fraser in The Mummy."

"Ooo, good movie." Alex jumped up and grabbed Olivia before she fell. "I thought I was the only one who went weak at the knees when thinking of him fighting it off with Imhotep."

Olivia put her arms around Alex's shoulders as her head continued to spin. She held on for dear life as her knees gave way again, and not because of Brendan. Alex held her tightly, very aware of their close proximity. In all her concentration on not falling, it was amazing, yet not surprising, that Olivia noticed the finer details of Alex.

"You heart is beating fast…" Olivia whispered.

"You can hear it?"

Olivia nodded against Alex's shoulder. "It's loud too."

"Is that a bad thing?" Alex gulped.

Olivia lifted her head and looked into Alex's eyes. "That depends on what you're feeling."

Locked in the moment, Alex couldn't answer, she couldn't even think clearly as she gazed into deep brown eyes. Olivia was having a hard time concentrating too, partly because of her injured physical state, but mostly because she was scared shitless. Today she had got a real fright. Alex nearly got shot. At this moment, right now, in this intimate position, Olivia realized she wanted Alex to know how she felt, and considering Alex's reaction at present, Olivia thought that maybe Alex might feel the same. She certainly wasn't backing away; this is what Olivia held on to.

"Alex? What are you feeling, right now, with me, what do you feel?"

"I… I…" Alex stammered. "I, um, I don't know the words to describe how I feel…"

"The 'woman of words' not knowing what to say? God, I'm in shock!" Olivia chuckled softly.

Alex smiled. "What can I say? You make me speechless."

Olivia just looked at her. She didn't know what to say. Normally she'd make some smartass comment about her being speechless now, but she truly was. Alex had clearly meant what she said, something the usual stoic façade wouldn't admit. Then again, Olivia was one of the few to see the real Alexandra Cabot.

Alex watched the emotions on Olivia's face intently. She wanted to see the reaction of her unexpected admission. To her surprise Olivia seemed shocked, but touched by the statement. Although she was immensely pleased by this, Alex had absolutely no idea what to do now.

Eyes locked in a battle to read each other, Olivia leant forward, but not because she was dizzy. She softly pressed her lips to Alex's. Alex, although thoroughly elated and shocked at the same time, was quick to respond. She held Olivia tighter and slowly directed the kiss to deepen, to which Olivia readily accepted.

"I can feel you heartbeat…" Olivia whispered in the dark early hours.

They had spent the night carefully making love, if that was even possible given the heated passion that arose during their extended first kiss. They went relatively slow compared to other sexual experiences both of them had had in the past, whether it was due to Olivia's injury or their genuine care for one another, neither could tell. They had slowly explored each other, making note of various likes and dislikes.

They had talked, and agreed that they wanted to try to establish a real relationship, starting with small steps, which had sent them both into a fit of giggles considering what they had just done, twice. For now, they just wanted to lay in each other arms, reveling in the sensation of finally being with each other.

Alex turned her head to look into Olivia's eyes, straining to see in the darkness. She gave her a gentle kiss then replied, "Olivia, you are my heartbeat."

The End

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