DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and its characters are the property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: It's not really a crossover in the truest sense of the word, but… I wanted to write a holiday short for World Turtle Day, but how do I work that into SVU? Rizzoli & Isles makes a lot more sense for that one. But, I really have no intention of starting another holiday series, so let's call this a short within a short. I'd love to hear your feedback…
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To sunsetwriter[at]mindspring.com
SERIES: Part of the Holiday Shorts series.

Holiday Short – World Turtle Day
By sunsetwriter


Alex walked into the squad room and handed a folded, blue document to Fin. After going over the restrictions on the search warrant with the detective and his partner, she wandered over to Elliot's desk where he was poring over a stack of files. Olivia's desk chair was conspicuously empty.

"Find anything?" Alex asked, in lieu of a standard greeting, since Elliot didn't even seem to notice her approach.

He looked up, rubbed his eyes with the thumb and index finger of his right hand, and then blinked hard as he seemed to re-focus his eyes on Alex. He shook his head and said, "I don't have a damned thing but crossed eyes."

"Where's Olivia?" the ADA asked.

Elliot motioned to the stairs with a sideways nod of his head. "Upstairs in the crib. Told me she needed a break," he said sarcastically.

"Do you think she's sleeping?" Alex asked, curious as to what was going on.

The detective shook his head. "I doubt it. She was pretty keyed up when she stormed outta here."

Alex wanted to ask Elliot what he had done to piss off his partner this time, but she bit her tongue and remained silent as she started toward the stairs.

"I'd be careful if I were you, she's in a mood," Elliot called to her as she began the climb.

The ADA rolled her eyes and continued up the stairs. "Thanks for the warning, but I think I can manage," she called back over her shoulder. She sometimes wondered how Olivia and Elliot got along as well as they usually did.

Alex stopped in front of the door at the top of the stairs and knocked softly.

"Go away, Elliot," came the muffled reply from inside.

Alex cracked open the door and stuck her head inside. "It's not Elliot, it's me," she said when she saw Olivia reclined on the old, worn couch, watching the small television in the corner of the room.

The detective sat up when she saw Alex. "Oh, hey. C'mon in."

"I don't want to disturb you…" Alex said tentatively as she opened the door fully, but did not enter the room.

"No, it's OK. Did you need me for something?" the detective asked.

It was then that Alex realized that she really didn't have a good reason for disturbing the tired detective's break. "No. I was just… checking in. Thought I'd say hello."

Olivia smiled and said, "Come in. Please."

Alex stepped inside the room and closed the door behind her. "Elliot told me you were up here…" she said, and Olivia rolled her eyes in response. "Everything OK?"

The detective ran her hand through her short hair, ruffling it on top, and sighed. "Yeah. I just had to get away from the testosterone downstairs for a little while." She motioned to the other seat on the couch beside her. "Have a seat," she said as she pressed the mute button on the TV remote, silencing the commercial that was currently on the screen.

Alex sat and crossed her legs. "So," she said cautiously. "What's going on?"

Olivia shook her head. "Nothing major, just fed up with Elliot being an ass about our latest victim's lifestyle and clothing choices. You would think living with three females might make him a little more understanding at times." She shrugged. "Maybe that makes him worse, who knows? It doesn't help that we've been working this case for seventy-two hours straight either. He's probably as tired of seeing my face as I am of seeing his." She shrugged again and leaned back with a deep sigh. "So, like I told him, I just needed a break. And something to take my mind off of this case for a minute or two."

Alex smiled in sympathy and nodded. "That's understandable. So, anything good on TV?"

Olivia chuckled. "Cop show."

Alex shook her head. "Great distraction for you," she said sarcastically.

Olivia smiled and said, "It is. It's Rizzoli and Isles. Ever watched it?" she asked, cutting her eyes to Alex. It wasn't a show she really imagined Alex would care for.

A look of surprise crossed Alex's face when she discovered that Olivia had seemingly stumbled onto her favorite guilty-pleasure TV show. "As a matter of fact, I have."

Olivia's expression now matched Alex's. "Really?" she asked as the coffee pot next to the TV sputtered, signaling that the pot she had just set to brew was ready. The detective stood up, went to the coffeemaker and filled two Styrofoam cups with hot coffee, adding creamer to one and leaving the other black. She looked back at Alex for an answer as she stirred the creamer into the coffee.

"Yes, really. I'm kind of surprised you like it though." Alex said a little hesitantly.

"I could say the same about you. Why don't you think I would like it?" Olivia asked, genuinely curious, as she walked back to the couch with the two coffee cups.

"Well, it's not exactly stellar when it comes to tightly woven plots and realistic police work," Alex conceded as Olivia handed her the cup with the creamer added. "Thank you," she said as she accepted the cup, impressed that Olivia had remembered exactly how she liked her coffee. "Why did you think I wouldn't like it?" she asked in return.

Olivia shrugged. "Same reason, I guess." She hesitated for an instant as she sat back down. "But, I don't really watch it for the plots and police work."

Alex was intrigued. "Why do you watch it then?"

Olivia was almost embarrassed and she hesitated again as Alex waited for an answer. "To escape from reality… and I like the two leads," she finally admitted with another shrug. "They're good together." Thankful that Alex didn't laugh at her answer, she returned the question. "Why do you watch it?"

Alex smiled. "Same reasons." They both chuckled and then Alex continued. "I've been trying to figure out who Rizzoli reminds me of…"

"Abbie Carmichael," Olivia said without hesitation.

Alex thought for a second and then said, "Oh my God, you're right."

Olivia nodded and gestured to the screen. "Jane's a little more…"

"Rough around the edges?" Alex offered.

Olivia smirked, "I was gonna say 'butch', but that works too." She pressed the mute button again to restore the sound. "Have you seen this one? This is a great scene…"

Olivia smiled as she pressed the mute button again as the scene faded to a commercial. "That's why I watch this show."

"To see Jane feed Maura's turtle?"

Olivia scoffed. "No! To see Jane sweep Maura off her feet without even realizing it."

Alex arched an eyebrow. "How could she not realize it? She's a detective."

Olivia shrugged slightly. "Well, you said it yourself, their police work is not exactly stellar. And besides, this is a matter of the heart, not the job," Olivia said matter-of-factly. "Except for the fact that they work together. That could muddy the waters a little bit," she added.

"Maybe," Alex admitted. "But, I find it hard to believe that they are completely unaware of each other – in that way. I think they're both well aware, they're just not sure what to do about it."

Olivia was amused and somewhat surprised by Alex's analysis of the fictional characters. "You do realize you just over-analyzed two TV characters, right?" the detective asked with a chuckle.

"Yes, but their actions and behavior could translate to real-life situations…" Alex replied.

Olivia let that sink in for a moment, wondering if Alex was really talking about what she thought she might be talking about. Should she ask her to elaborate or just let sleeping dogs lie? Curiosity got the best of her. "Like what?"

Alex hesitated for a moment as if she were fighting the same internal battle Olivia just had. She finally looked directly at Olivia and said, "Like coworkers who flirt and dance around each other while each one is waiting for the other one to acknowledge it for what it is."

"And what is it?" Olivia asked boldly.

Her gaze unwavering, Alex answered, "Attraction, desire, animal magnetism, call it whatever you'd like. They are obviously drawn to each other, but each is hesitant to be the one to initiate anything more than just friendship."

Olivia gave Alex a long look as the air around them seemed to shift a little bit. "So all the banter and eye-sex is just bait to lure the other one in? Is that what you're saying?" After a beat, she added. "In your analysis of Rizzoli and Isles, of course."

"Of course," Alex responded, as she continued to look directly at Olivia as if gauging her reaction. "I wouldn't call the banter and eye-sex bait, exactly. More like just testing the waters to see how the other one feels."

Olivia nodded. "And if the other one reciprocates or reacts positively, they just push the envelope a little more."

"Yes, haven't you noticed the invasion of personal space and how they always seem to touch each other?" she asked as she placed her hand briefly on Olivia's knee as if to illustrate her point.

"Oh, I've noticed," Olivia answered, her eyes darting briefly down to Alex's hand.

The ADA continued. "And they always seem to find excuses to talk to the other one in-person when a phone call would suffice."

"They bring each other coffee or candy that they know is the other one's favorite," Olivia added, trying not to smile as she realized that she had just prepared coffee for Alex and didn't even have to ask whether or not she used cream or sugar.

Alex nodded. "And they check in with each other for no real reason, or do one of the many other little things you do when you're attracted in someone." She suppressed her own smile when she remembered that she had announced to Olivia that she was 'just checking-in' when she arrived unexpectedly in the crib a short while ago.

"And they always cancel dates just so they can spend time together and talk about all the qualities they're looking for that the guy didn't have," Olivia continued.

Alex continued to nod in agreement. "Isn't it funny how all the qualities they list are always ones that other one seems to have? They're both pretty smart women. You'd think they'd eventually figure out that they really should just date each other."

"You'd think."

"But they're both too stubborn to act on the notion, so we're left with Jane buying strawberries for Maura's turtle to cover up the fact that she just wants to spend time with Maura," Alex said with a sigh.

"I can kind of relate to Jane, though," Olivia admitted. "I mean, what if she's just not sure that Maura feels the same way?"

"She could just ask her."

Olivia hesitated. "She could… But using the turtle as a cover is safer for someone who's admittedly not very good at relationships."

Alex nodded as she thought about what Olivia had just said. Then the corners of her mouth began to turn up in a smile. "Did I ever tell you that I had a turtle for a pet when I was a child?"

Olivia stared at Alex for a moment. "Really?"

Alex nodded again. "I did."

Olivia smiled. "So… I could bring you a bottle of wine to celebrate Turtle Day."

Alex smiled in return. "You could. And then we could talk about all the qualities we're each looking for in a… person we'd like to date."

Olivia's almost tentative smile turned into a grin. "We could. Or, we could just cut to the chase, and I could ask you if you'd like to have dinner with me and actually call it a date."

"Well, smart women that we are, I'd say we just moved past 'testing the waters'," Alex said smugly.

Olivia continued to grin and arched a brow. "So, does that mean we're done pushing the envelope?"

"On the contrary," Alex said as she reached over a put her hand on Olivia's knee again. This time she left it there as the detective flicked her eyes down and then back up to meet Alex's again. "We still have personal space to be invaded."

Olivia laughed and covered the hand on her knee with her own. "Good, 'cause that's the part I'm really looking forward to…"

The End

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