DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and its characters are the property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is a sequel to last year's Halloween holiday short. That one sets the stage for this one. Happy Halloween!
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To sunsetwriter[at]mindspring.com
SERIES: Part of the Holiday Shorts series.

Holiday Short – Halloween: The Sequel
By sunsetwriter


The precinct costume party was in full swing. Alex had just gotten a refill of her witch's brew, which tasted amazingly close to a mixture of ginger ale and lime sherbet with the unfortunate absence of any ingredient making it worthy of being called 'brew'. She was just about to lean against the refreshment table when Olivia grabbed her arm to stop her.

"Careful. You may get Elliot on you," the detective said as she gestured to the swath of green paint on the edge of the table.

Alex smiled. "Thanks." She moved a step closer to Olivia and rested one hip against the table. Never in her wildest dreams did she ever expect to see Olivia wearing a Xena costume. She was still trying to convince herself that she wasn't hallucinating, but she couldn't help but be distracted by the grim reaper sneaking up behind Olivia.

The tip of the plastic scythe eased its way into Olivia's peripheral vision and the detective turned her head slowly to see Munch standing behind her peering out from under the hood of his costume.

"I still can't believe I let you talk me into wearing this," Olivia said as Munch pushed the hood back and smiled.

"It's actually very flattering on you, Olivia. And appropriate - I just noticed you being rather protective of our resident bard here." He gestured to Alex. "Very Xena-like."

Olivia rolled her eyes and pointed to the green paint on the table. "And that's another thing. Stay away from Elliot unless you want to turn into the Green Reaper. He's leaving a trail of green paint everywhere."

Fin approached and shook his head once again on seeing Olivia in her costume. "Damn, Liv, you're the talk of the party. Who knew you had such great legs? Half of vice wants your phone number."

Olivia rolled her eyes again. "That's it. I'm outta here."

"That's what I was comin' over to say," Fin continued. "Since we can't spike the punch, we're blowin' this joint to go get a real brew. Cragen says we've done our time. Who's in?" He asked as he looked from Olivia to Alex to Munch.

Olivia nodded. "I'm in, just let me change."

Fin shook his head and glanced at Alex. "Uh-uh, we're goin' in costume."

Olivia looked appalled. "Oh no. I am not wearing this out in public."

Fin shrugged. "We're just going across the street to Maloney's." Olivia adamantly shook her head.

Alex spoke up. "Oh, come on, Liv. My costume won't make sense if you're not wearing yours too."

Munch bit his lip to keep from smiling as he saw Olivia's face and realized that, once again, she was unable to deny the request from the ADA. Very Xena-like, indeed.

Olivia's shoulders slumped slightly and she huffed. "OK, but I'm really not sure how much longer I can keep wearing the wig." She reached up and shifted the hair. "It itches."

The group drew quite a few stares as they exited the precinct and made their way to the bar across the street. This was New York City, but it wasn't often that you saw Xena, Gabrielle, the Incredible Hulk, a rapper, the Grim Reaper, and the Lone Ranger all on the same stretch of sidewalk.

Someone whistled and a male voice called out, "Looking good!" when Olivia and Alex exited the building. Olivia offered a one-finger salute and Munch snickered.

"Did you feel the added power of the gauntlets when you flipped him off?"

Olivia glared. "Shut it, Reaper."

The group made its way into the bar and found a large booth in the back. Alex slid in first, then Olivia, and then Elliot on one side, while Fin and Munch took the other side. The captain pulled up a chair at the end of the table.

Olivia grumbled as her partner sat beside her. "Move over, El, you're greening me."

"I'm on the edge of the seat now. You move over."

This, of course, meant she had to slide a little closer to Alex. At least she had a good excuse she thought, as she scooted a little closer to the ADA. Alex couldn't help but look down and suppress a smile as Olivia's bare thigh pressed against her own.

They ordered a pitcher of beer for the group and a soda water for the captain. Elliot reached for a peanut and Olivia leaned even closer to Alex to avoid being greened again. Elliot smiled and acted like he was going to intentionally elbow her just to see her reaction. She reached over with one finger and pushed his arm away. Her fingertip came away green and she wiped it on the tattered sleeve of Elliot's costume. "Do that again, Hulk-boy, and I'll hit you with my Frisbee."

Elliot snickered and Munch rolled his eyes. "For the tenth time, it's a chakram, not a Frisbee." He shook his head. "I can't believe you never watched Xena."

Elliot looked at his partner. "Why are you so afraid of getting green paint on you? Are you planning on wearing that again?" All eyes focused on Olivia.

"No! But it's grease paint. I don't mind the green, but I don't want grease all over me. Then I'll get green grease on everything I touch."

"And just what are you planning on touching?"

She ignored her partner's question as she picked up a drink napkin and swiped it down his arm that was closest to her, wiping away as much paint as she could.

"Hey! Cut it out, Kathy wants to see my costume."

The captain rolled his eyes, "Do I need to separate you two?" He shook his head. "My costume only came with one silver bullet, but I won't hesitate to use it if I have to."

Olivia turned her head to look at the captain, but her head moved, and her wig didn't. This brought a round of laughter from the table.

"That does it. This thing has got to go," Olivia said as she pulled the wig from her head and ran her hands through her short hair.

Munch watched her curiously. "You know, Liv, I never pictured Xena with short hair, but I think you make it work." He looked at Alex. "What does our favorite bard think?"

Alex gave Munch a smirk and then took the opportunity to openly appraise Olivia in her costume. At least as much as she could while sitting next to her in a cramped booth. "I think I have to agree with the reaper, Liv, you do make a great Xena – even with short hair."

Fin rolled his eyes. "Like Gabrielle would ever dis Xena," he said under his breath.

"Thanks, Alex," Olivia replied with a shy smile. "So what exactly did a 'bard' do with Xena anyway?" she asked as she took a sip of her beer.

"She had incredibly inventive oral skills," Munch said, almost causing Olivia to choke on her beer.

Alex rolled her eyes. Turning to Olivia, she answered, "She traveled with Xena and documented their travels and adventures along the way. She could get herself in big trouble with her mouth, but she was also known for her ability to talk herself out of difficult situations."

Munch gestured toward Alex with one hand as he spoke to Olivia. "Now do you see why that costume was so appropriate?"

Elliot smirked. "So it had nothing to do with the fact that she was in love with-"

"Elliot!" Alex interrupted. "Don't you have to go fly into a rage somewhere?"

Stabler shook his head. "Nah. I did that before I put the costume on."

Olivia frowned. "Wait, who was she in love with?"

All eyes turned to Alex. Was that a blush on her face? The ADA took a deep breath. "It became apparent through the course of the show that she was in love with Xena."

Olivia quirked an eyebrow. "And how did Xena feel about her?"

Another deep breath. "Well, Xena always put up a front and acted like she was annoyed with Gabrielle, but it was pretty obvious that she was enamored with her too – in her own way."

Munch smiled and said quietly to Fin, "Sound familiar?"

Olivia cut her eyes to Munch before turning back to Alex. "How obvious?" The detective was beginning to realize that outfitting them in these costumes was no coincidence.

"Well, she was very protective of Gabrielle and always tried to keep her safe," Alex answered.

"And, Gabrielle could pretty much talk Xena into doing anything she wanted," Munch added.

Fin smirked. "That definitely sounds familiar."

"Why do I get the feeling that you guys are trying to draw some sort of parallel between Gabrielle and Xena and Alex and me?" Olivia asked.

Elliot shrugged. "If the breastplate fits…"

She looked again at Alex and was shocked to see the ADA eye's fixated on that very breastplate. "I'd say it fits pretty well," Alex said under her breath.

All the men laughed, but Olivia was speechless as she realized that they hadn't just figured out that she had a thing for Alex, but apparently that Alex had a thing for her too – and she was doing nothing to hide that fact right now. If the detective had known about Xena yell, she probably would have given it a try right then. As it was, Olivia must have been lost in thought for a little too long because suddenly Elliot was waving his hand in front of her face.

"Liv, you OK?"

She grabbed his arm and pushed his hand away. When she pulled her own hand back, her palm was green.

Seizing the opportunity to escape the prying eyes, Olivia said, "Great. Now I've got to go wash you off of me." She poked at him until he slid out of the booth, allowing her to slide out behind him.

Munch spoke up again. "Hey, you can't leave now, the conversation was just getting good."

Olivia smirked and said, "Sorry to disappoint, but some things are better left between a warrior and her bard, or in this case, a detective and her ADA." She quirked an eyebrow at Alex and then turned to go to the restroom. Realizing that Alex wasn't moving, Olivia turned back to her and said, "Aren't you coming?"

"Me?" Alex looked a bit surprised by the invitation.

Olivia nodded. "You're my sidekick, aren't you?" Then she grinned and added, "And I'm feeling a little… adventurous."

Suddenly spurred into action, Alex smiled and slid out of the booth to follow Olivia.

Munch looked at Elliot, "Does that mean what I think it means?"

Elliot shrugged. "I guess we'll have to wait and see."

A few minutes later the waitress appeared with a fresh pitcher of beer and another club soda. When she saw the confused looks on the men's faces, she said, "Your friends sent you this and said to say goodnight." She gestured toward the door, where they saw Alex and Olivia exiting the bar.

"Well, I'll be damned," Fin muttered. "Would ya look at that…"

"What?" Elliot said as he craned his neck to see. "You mean they're ditching us?"

"Liv finally made a move," he answered with a smirk.

"How do you know that?" Munch asked.

"They're probably just screwing with us," Elliot added as he shook his head.

"Looks to me like we got pretty clear evidence," Fin said with a smile as he pointed to Alex. "Check that out."

The last thing the detectives saw before the door closed, was a bright green handprint on the back of Alex's short skirt.

The End

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