DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and its characters are the property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: A new short for a new season. Enjoy!
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To sunsetwriter[at]mindspring.com
SERIES: Part of the Holiday Shorts series.
Holiday Short First Day of Spring
From across her desk, Alex Cabot watched the two detectives discussing their latest case and their plans to search the suspect's apartment. More specifically, Alex watched Detective Olivia Benson.
Benson and Stabler had come to Alex's office this morning to request a search warrant. They had methodically presented the case to Alex, along with their reasons for believing that their leading suspect, a congressman's son, was involved in the case. Alex was impressed with the amount of effort they had put into building their case and agreed that they did, indeed, have sufficient evidence for a judge to grant a search warrant.
She had placed a call to Judge Preston's office and was waiting for a call back to know when the judge would be available to meet with her and sign the warrant. It was this delay in action that gave her time to sit at her desk and enjoy the view.
Detective Benson was wearing her classic work attire, but Alex found today's ensemble especially appealing for some reason. Olivia was wearing a deep red turtleneck, form-fitting black trousers, and comfortable, but stylish, heeled boots. Her gold detective's shield was clipped to her belt, and the grip of her service weapon was peeking out from behind her open jacket, giving her an official air and just a hint of danger. The ever-present black leather jacket finished off the outfit and was the one piece of clothing that Alex never tired of seeing the detective wear.
In fact, if Alex were being completely honest, she looked forward to cool days just to see Olivia wearing that particular piece of her wardrobe. She was almost sorry to see spring arriving because that meant fewer opportunities to catch a glimpse of the swaggering detective, clad in that leather jacket, going about her detective duties, completely unaware of the effect she was having on her ADA. Alex sometimes wondered if others watched Olivia the way she did.
Lately, Alex found herself almost mesmerized while in the presence of the squad's lone female detective. She found it utterly intriguing that one woman could be such a contradiction of terms. One minute, she was all swagger and bravado and could manhandle even the largest of suspects as well as any of her male counterparts. Then, in an instant, she could be soft and tender and full of compassion when dealing with a victim, especially if the victim was a child. At times, Olivia could be the epitome of dark and broody, but other times, she could be downright witty and charming. The one constant seemed to be, that no matter what Olivia did, Alex found her fascinating.
Olivia's looks were a little too androgynous to be considered a beauty queen in the classic sense, but she was certainly beautiful in her own way. Her olive complexion required a minimal amount of make-up and always gave her a healthy glow. She wore her dark hair cropped short and manageable for a carefree look. However, on the few times that Alex had seen Olivia dressed for an occasion other than work, she looked nothing short of stunning.
So, here Alex sat, quietly observing the striking woman sitting in her office, and coming to the sudden realization that her fascination with the detective had somehow gone beyond curiosity or the innocent girl-crush she assumed it to be. Alex felt her heart skip a beat as she realized, with startling clarity, that she was actually falling for Olivia Benson. Correction: she had fallen for Olivia Benson. And she had fallen hard.
As Alex sat there, lost in thought, trying not to panic at her newly found awareness, Olivia glanced her way and then did a double take. A look of concern crossed the detective's face as she looked at the ADA.
The attorney blinked as the sound of Olivia's voice brought her out of her reverie. "Hmm?" she answered, hoping the heat she felt in her cheeks was not visible to the detectives.
"Are you OK?"
Alex nodded. "Fine. Why?"
"You just look " Olivia shook her head and glanced at her partner. "You look a little off-kilter or something."
"And you're all flushed," Elliot added. "Maybe you're coming down with something."
"No. No, I'm fine," Alex answered, trying to keep her voice calm and not sound as panicked as she suddenly felt.
The phone on her desk rang, and Alex snatched it up, happy to have a diversion from the current conversation. "Alex Cabot," she said into the receiver. She listened for a moment, said a few positive responses and hung up the phone. Looking once again at the detectives sitting across from her, she said, "I have a 10:30 appointment with the judge. Assemble your search team, and I'll meet you there with the warrant."
Alex placed the folded, blue legal document into Elliot's outstretched hand as she met the two detectives standing in front of the posh Upper West Side apartment building. Elliot unfolded the search warrant and gave it a brief scan.
"Whatever you can find," Alex said when he looked up at her and smiled. Elliot gave a nod and moved off to speak to the crime scene unit waiting to start their search.
"No limitations?" Olivia asked, a little surprised.
Alex smiled. "None. The judge was in a good mood."
Olivia grinned and Alex could almost see the adrenalin coursing through her veins. "Nice work, Alex."
"It always helps to have sufficient evidence," Alex responded with a tiny hint of sarcasm. "But given his connections," she continued, a little more seriously, "this is probably our only shot at him, so let's hope you turn up something in there that we can use in court."
Olivia nodded. "This guy's as cocky as they come, and he thinks he's above the law because his Daddy's a congressman. I can almost promise you we'll find enough up there for you to nail his ass to the wall."
"I appreciate your confidence, but I'll wait until you actually have the evidence in hand before I celebrate," Alex said, trying to be the voice of reason.
Olivia grinned again. "He's toast. Trust me, Alex, you're gonna love me after this search."
Alex tried to ignore the feeling in the pit of her stomach as Olivia turned on her heel and all but strutted over to where her partner was waiting. Alex said, in a voice only she could hear, "Oh, Olivia, if you only knew "
Alex dropped into the chair beside Olivia's desk with a smug look on her face. "He's discussing his options with his lawyer." She put her briefcase down and then slyly cut her eyes to the detective. "He's toast," she said with a smirk as she repeated Olivia's earlier words back to the detective.
Olivia gave Alex her best 'I told you so' look. "I can't believe you ever doubted me," she said with mock indignation.
Alex loved verbally sparring with the detective. "It wasn't that I doubted you, I just like to have solid evidence in my hand before I do my victory dance."
"I never realized there would be dancing involved," Olivia said with a genuine smile and Alex's stomach did a little flip. She loved to see that smile. In fact, she could sit here and stare at it all day. She was so mesmerized by it that she almost missed Olivia's question. "So, do you love me?"
Thinking that the detective had suddenly become a mind reader, the question seemed to startle Alex. "What?"
Olivia smirked. "I told you that you were gonna love me for bringing you such great evidence. Video tapes of the actual crimes? Evidence doesn't get much better than that," Olivia said with a cocky attitude. "So, before you start dancing, just admit it. You love me."
Alex knew the detective was joking, but she was having a hard time saying anything in response. She was staring at Olivia with an expression she was sure must have looked like a fish out of water. She opened her mouth to speak, but nothing came out as a jumble of thoughts were all doing battle with each other in her brain: What a great smile. Wait, did she just ask me if I love her? Well, I can't lie. But I can't just blurt out the truth. Why did she pick today to wear that outfit? God, I hope she wears it again soon. But she won't, because spring is here. Warmer days will mean no leather jacket. No jacket no distraction. That will be good, right? No! No leather jacket will be sad. But spring is a time for new beginnings. Ask her out. What? What on earth are you thinking?!? I'm thinking that this is a perfect opportunity. It's now or never, Cabot. Just breathe
Olivia quickly became concerned when Alex almost looked like she was having trouble breathing. The detective reached over and put her hand on Alex's arm. "Alex? It was a joke. Are you OK? You're getting that strange look again "
Alex looked down and felt the warmth of the hand on her arm, and the words finally came out. "Have dinner with me tonight."
Now it was Olivia's turn to be startled. "What?" she asked with a confused frown as she removed her hand. She had always loved flirting with the ADA, but she had never really expected that flirtation or interest to be reciprocated.
"I'm asking you out to dinner," Alex said, proud that she had finally found the nerve to ask.
"Uh, OK "
Alex smiled. "OK, you understand the question, or OK, you'll go?"
Alex gave a quick nod. "Good." She felt like a weight had been lifted.
"Uh, Alex?" The detective, on the other hand, was now the one a little off-kilter. "This dinner date Are we discussing the case, or is it more personal?" Seeing the uncertainty start to creep back into Alex's eyes, she quickly added, "Either way the answer is yes, but I just need to know whether to go home and change clothes or not."
"No! No need to change clothes," Alex said quickly.
Now Olivia looked a little uncertain and almost disappointed. "Oh, OK."
Alex quickly realized her mistake. "My invitation has nothing to do with this case, Olivia. I just happen to think that outfit is very flattering on you," she said with a widening grin. "So, I see no reason for you to change," she added emphatically.
Olivia looked at her curiously for a moment and then couldn't help grinning in return. "Well, I guess it's a date then."
Alex nodded. "Good guess. I can see why you're such a good detective," she teased.
"If I was that good, I should have realized why you were giving me those strange looks all day."
"Sorry about that," Alex said, trying not to blush again.
"Don't be. I'm flattered," Olivia said with a shrug. "It's not every day I get to make a beautiful woman, who's normally so very composed, lose her composure " she pretended to ponder, "three times in one day."
Alex's chin dropped. "You counted?" Then she frowned. "Wait, three times?" She only remembered Olivia catching her twice.
Olivia grinned. "It will be When I invite you home for a 'nightcap' after dinner."
Alex's eyes widened and she got that fish-out-of-water look again for a moment. Then, her eyes sparkled and she began to smile as she started to imagine the many ways she could share a 'nightcap' with the detective.
Olivia laughed. "Make that four times And counting, apparently."
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