DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and all characters are
property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Set in a universe where Loss never happened. Let's also pretend that Alex never had those horrible bangs. And thanks to JB for the beta.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Never Enough Time.....
"Say you'll stay....don't come and go....like you do....."
"Sway" by Bic Runga
I can feel her eyes on me. I swear I feel a small hole start to burn itself into my cheek as she continues her gaze. No, she's not gazing. It's a full on stare, and she's just daring me to glance over. Just once. That's all it would take and she'd know. She'd know that I was scared to death...that for the last twenty minutes I'd been playing conversations between us back in my head, and coming up with the perfect words to say what I need to say and be done with it.
I'm not going to look over at her, tempting as it is. I check the mirror, then over my shoulder as I prepare to change lanes. She looks over her shoulder as well, maybe out of habit, maybe because she's tired of this stand off between us. She sighs and turns to look out the window. She rests her chin in her palm as she turns away from me completely. With Liv it always seems as if it's one extreme or the other lately.
I flick the windshield wipers. She still doesn't turn away from whatever has caught her interest out the window. I clear my throat and she still doesn't acknowledge me. I keep trying to think of something to say, something to facilitate some kind of communication between us without opening up another argument. Sometimes I think that all of this is in vein...that maybe it's not worth it. Maybe in the end, all it comes down to is the fact that we're too different.
"Can't we just talk about this?" she said at dinner.
"Olivia, please. I'm not going to get into an argument with you right now. I said this conversation is over and I meant it."
"Well I'm glad that's convenient for you right now Alex. Never mind the fact that this has been bothering me for weeks. You go ahead and push it to the back of your mind...tell yourself that everything's okay just like always."
"Look, I'm not saying that there aren't some things we need to talk about. But I'm tired of you constantly finding things that are wrong with this relationship, Olivia. If it's so problematic for you, maybe what we should be talking about is ending it. I'm going to the car."
I know now that walking out of the restaurant probably wasn't the best choice to make at the time. I don't understand why with Liv everything has to be dealt with right away. Give me ten minutes, I told her. But she just kept pressing me, kept coming at me with the same question until I couldn't even stand to be in the same room with her anymore.
I'm a little disgusted with myself now though. She's only been trying to get me to open up, to talk to her. This has been going on for weeks, and I finally realize how patient she's been with me up until tonight. How she's right about the denial, how she's right that something between us is desperately wrong and I'm too scared to admit it to myself.
I pull the car over in front of the house. I click off the wipers, take the car out of gear, and pull the key from the ignition. It's done before I really even have to think about it. It's a routine, much like the life I've been living for the past few months. I'm thinking of what to say to her as she gets out of the car and slowly mounts the steps. I know this is it. I have to talk to her, tell her what's been going through my head all this time. Tell her I didn't mean what I said at the restaurant. Tell her that most of all I'm scared...scared that this, all I've ever wanted, is turning into something I swore I'd never let myself be part of.
I walk up the steps, slowly, like she did. Inside, she's left it dark, and I know that she's probably already in our bed. But she's probably not waiting for me. I think she's given up on that by now. I know that no matter what, she'll reach over and hold me when I roll on my side and pull up the blankets. That's really what's kept me going all this time, when everything felt so wrong. Because as her arm glides over the curve of my hip and she settles in behind me, that's when everything feels like it's going to be all right. And as her breathing slows and her grip on me tightens, I finally give myself over to her. If only our entire lives could be spent like this, me letting go as she pulls me into her protective grasp. But it seems like there's never enough time. I realize I probably don't have much time left with her, before she gets tired of being disappointed with all this rejection. I promise myself I'll tell her everything in the morning, as long as she keeps holding me, as long as she doesn't let go. I push myself a little closer into her and entwine her fingers with mine. I won't let her let me go.
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