DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and all characters are property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Thank you – To my friends, Kiley, Seamus, Nurse Whore, Will and Anna for putting up with me running ideas by them and being a general pain. Special thanks to Seamus and Nurse Whore for proof reading many many versions.
SEQUEL: Follow up to Living - Written in Abbie’s point of view.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
WARNING: Briefly touches on Abbie’s rape.

By DarkBard0

''Some say a first kiss is like no other. Well, they'd be right. But those who say the first kiss is the best, I'd have to disagree.

Sure, it's different, but it doesn't go to say the others aren't just as good. 'Cos then you just wouldn't bother kissing people twice would you? You'd be running round kissing all sorts of folk trying to get that first kiss feeling. But you don't. Or at least, most people don't. You find someone with a lure in their kiss, that you can't seem to get enough of.

Our first kiss is one I'll never forget. It was cautious at first. Tender. Just the very corners of our mouths touching the other. It was almost as if it were the first kiss of our lives it was that shy! It wasn't though. It just meant something.

And to say our mouths were barely touching, it certainly wasn't short on spark.

Previously, I had always felt a spark every time she touched me. Each time

she placed a soft hand over mine. When we were pushed against one another in the packed elevator. It even extended to her looks. She'd look at me in a certain way, with those fantastic, mystical blue orbs of hers, and I was a goner. I knew there was no hope for me then, as reluctant as I was to admit it to myself.

It seemed to me then, that on those times, the spark I felt within couldn't have gotten any stronger. However, I was proved wrong. It was nothing compared to the spark I felt when her lips touched mine. I think perhaps it was the last of my shock bursting when she kissed me. I had absolutely no reason to expect it, but I sure as hell wasn't going to argue or turn it down. And it's a damn good job I didn't either.

It wasn't fast, but as our mouths began to get braver, I felt more of her against me. It was slow and explorative. I could tell she was a little anxious, probably as to what my reaction would be. I remember because she was quite timid. Her touches were fleeting. It was adorable. Underneath all of that though, she was caring. She wasn't demanding. She had no expectation of me, other than a kiss. I'd never had that before. Everyone else I'd been with wanted something. Mainly a one night stand, to dominate me, have me as their prize. Not her. She gave me immediate respect, and I began to love her right then because of it.

I know how corny this all sounds. Like one kiss could cause world peace right? Well, maybe it couldn't cause world peace. Maybe it couldn't make any difference to anybody. But I didn't care. Because it made a difference to me, and it made a difference to her. At the end of the day, we were all that mattered. It did occur to me however, that this one simple kiss could change our entire worlds. It was the tiniest of acts that meant so much in our lives.

I have to admit, there was a small trace of doubt in my mind. It tugged on me to be listened to, reminding me of my life's events so far. Told me that this magnificent blonde beauty before me would take my heart and break it. It reminded me of every painful situation I had been placed in, from start to finish. Although the doubt was small, it was well within its right to be there.

Growing up was no picnic for me. In fact, growing up was simply horrific for me. I hated just about every second of it. That's something she doesn't know yet. Maybe she doesn't want all this damage inside of me, I don't know yet. But something is pushing me to take that chance. Even with everything I've been through, I'm compelled to take a chance on her and hope for the best. Because something, and I don't know what yet, feels very different.

For once, the feeling of difference, doesn't scare me. I've felt different for most of my life. But it never felt like this. It always felt wrong. Shamed. Although I have learnt to be self-sufficient and I tend not to seek approval from others, there were times when I came close to giving up in one way or another. I feel as though I'm a contrast. And what's more ironic than that, is the situations I grew up with. If it weren't for the pain, would I still be the person I am now? Did it build my personality? Teach me how to be strong and hide at the same time? The pain that I hate, that I suffered, did it teach me the greatest lessons in life? Did it make me who I am, despite my resentment?

I grew up in a completely different world to her. Down South is almost like another world. It's a stark contrast to what it's like up here. Especially at the time I was growing up. Especially the place I grew up. In a small town where everybody knew everybody's business. Rather claustrophobic when you come to think of it. And what the town didn't lack on, was redneck thugs who had no qualms in showing people they were in charge. And if you were different, like me, like my parents, you were done for.

From an early age, I remember crime. I remember our Sheriff being too scared to stop the local thugs. They were bigger and he was out numbered. It was a case of, if your cat got stuck up a tree, he would be there like lightening. If your black daughter had been beaten up, he had more pressing matters to tend to. It was a great lesson for me. I almost can't believe I didn't lose faith in the power of justice altogether. Especially when they came after my Father. I was only six then, but they didn't care. All they knew was that my Father was different. Because he was of Cherokee decent. I suppose, with intelligent hindsight, they were threatened. Feared what they didn't understand. But it still doesn't matter. Because they still beat him until he was unconscious. It doesn't matter why they did it, because the outcome still remained the same.

Maybe it was because I saw that, and the other crimes around me, that caused a small fire to burn inside of me. A stubborn, rebellious fire that would help propel me to what I've become. I didn't want to be kept quiet, and I didn't want to be afraid. What I wanted was to stop some of the brutalities from happening. I wanted to help people. And as I grew older, as I heard, saw and read about more of the crime that existed in the world, I began to apply myself to learning everything I could. My intelligence grew faster than I did, and I held an inquisitive and almost fearless nature. If I didn't understand something, I'd ask a thousand questions until I did. If I didn't see the logic in something, I would point it out. I must have driven my parents crazy, but all they did was encourage me. They supported me and wanted me to learn. It was nice to have that support.

Having the support of my parents though, it had its negative sides. Like when I finally understood why I'd felt so different to everyone else. Of course I was different, I was smarter than anyone in my class. Actually, I was smarter than a good proportion of my school. But it wasn't that. It was something unidentifiable. Until the day I realised I didn't like boys. It was the girls that would catch my attention. It was girls that I would find myself thinking about. And it devastated me. It scared me. Everyone else was normal, but me. My friends would hate me, and my parents would hate me. So I kept it to myself. Not my usual style. Not then anyway. I was so impulsive as a child. Part of that still remains in me. Sometimes I can make rash decisions. Back then though, I didn't hold much back. I was open with my feelings. I could talk about them. I often wonder if that was a good or bad trait, I haven't decided yet. Either way, I kept the fact that I was gay, therefore even more different, under wraps.

My curiosity however, that grew strong. The secret I carried never stopped me from experimenting. I'd even go out on dates with guys sometimes, just to test the waters. Difference began to intrigue me. Variety intrigued me. And although I knew I had no romantic interest in them, I still went out every now and again with men. It was all a learning curve to me. Everything is a learning curve to me, even now. I never stop absorbing. As I grew older, my learning curve taught me to stand up to bullies. It taught me that knowledge was the ultimate power. It taught me to roll with the punches and work hard. In many ways, it made me a rather simple girl. I was the daughter of loving, supportive parents. I loved my homeland and treasured everything about it. I stuck up for myself, stood up on my own two feet and worked hard for the things I achieved. I had no delusions of grandeur; I just wanted to do my very best. But all the while, deep inside, I was a very complex girl. With raging feelings rushing through me with no signs of stopping.

I suppose I can define the moment I changed. If it was for the better or worse is still to be decided on too. In most people's eyes, I was still a baby. Although, at eighteen I would have rejected that opinion flat out. I was not a baby. I knew myself. I was intelligent. I was attending the University of Texas which meant a huge move to Austin. I enjoyed my studies, and the athletics I participated in. And I was dating. It was fun. But also my downfall. My fun turned into the biggest demon I've ever had. The annoying habit I had of testing the water, with being so friendly and easygoing? It got me into trouble. I didn't think anything of it at the time. When he asked me to dinner. He was a third year law student, of course I accepted. I could pick his brain, talk about what he was going into. I could hold a real conversation with him. And that's what happened. He was the perfect gentleman and we put the law to right before he walked me back to my dorm. Of course there was my downfall too. But then, who would ever think the third year law student would rape a college freshman? I know I didn't. But he did.

That's when I changed. It's when I had all the power taken away from me. When I realised my knowledge wouldn't help me, because he was stronger. When I realised the thugs didn't always look the same. They could be the person you'd least suspect. And suddenly, with one act of violence, I was different. I had seen a lot of things, and lived through a lot of things. But this? This was something I was never expecting to deal with. My knee-jerk reaction was that it was my fault. I accepted the invitation didn't I? That knee-jerk reaction lasted for a good chunk of my adult life. I told myself that I would never go through that again. So I built walls. I became tougher. I became competitive and defiant. One part of me did it so I would never be the victim. Ironic that it came about because I was made the victim. Overnight I changed bits and pieces of my personality. I was even more stubborn, I studied harder, I aimed higher. I became a legal sharp shooter. And those who stood in my way didn't have a chance. But inside, some of the old me was left. The one who had grown up in front of violence. The one that could share her feelings. Of course, I didn't. I didn't even tell my parents I was raped. I came out to them eventually, and that went better than I expected. But I already felt enough shame for what happened to me, I couldn't stand for them to feel it too. I couldn't stand for them to look at me like that. My skin was already crawling. So that secret remained silent. Until I met Jack McCoy of course. And to this day I still don't know what came over me. Why did I tell him? It wasn't as if we had this insightful and nurturing relationship with one another. In fact, more often than not, we were bickering over cases. I guess it was just time. I needed that pocket of air out of me. I needed someone to know, someone to look at me and not define me with it. Jack gave me that. He still held respect for me; never saw me as the victim. And I told him I wouldn't blame myself anymore. And I don't.

So becoming a lawyer was an easy decision. It was never about the money, or the power, or the title. It was about being in control. It was my therapy. To be in control of a power that could give justice to people like me. I knew full well I could never stop crime. But I could at least slow it down. Could at least do something about it. I wanted to prosecute to give something back to people. To do what I never did. I never spoke out. I never told anyone of the things that I saw. Never told anyone what I had done to me. I've felt that loss of power. I know what it's like to be violated and degraded. I was stripped of my decency, my honour and my rights. My attacker never received punishment for what he did to me. Instead I suffered the punishment. Years of telling myself it was my fault. I threw myself into a mental prison when I was the victim. How was that fair? So I decided to give those rights back to the other victims out there. I decided to take it all back. My decency, my honour and my rights. I took them back and built the strongest wall around myself as to assure it would never happen to me again. And I was hell bent on prosecuting all those who endeavoured to make anyone out there a victim. I swore if they crossed my path, I would do everything my position allowed to make them receive punishment for their crimes. Because that's how it should be.

I remained that way for a long time. In the DA's office, I worked myself a reputation. I was known as the hardass that could think on her feet and push the law to its edge. I worked hard, and I enjoyed my job. I enjoyed prosecuting for special narcotics. It was interesting and it was gritty. I loved the battle. I loved picking up my sword and charging into the battlefield. Getting bloody was good for me. Sending some drug dealer who sold to kids, that was good for everybody. What was better though, was homicide. It was even more challenging and demanding. It was even bloodier. The facts were more complicated, the cases more twisted and the criminals more harrowing. But I loved it. And I went about it with obvious passion. I still kept my walls up though. Until I met her.

She was something I never expected to happen. She was someone I could have sworn I could never see myself loving. In fact, I greatly disliked her to start with. But she got to me. She has a way. There's so much in her, she's so complex and I love getting into that. I love her idiosyncrasies. I loved knowing things about her that no one else knew. My walls didn't stand a chance against her force. My skin didn't crawl when she was with me. I realised, when that first kiss came about, how much I had changed. How much I'd been cutting myself off. I'd had girlfriends, but I'd never spared myself the chance to love anyone. It's funny; I barely put up a fight with her. I found myself longing, because she could revive parts of me I'd forgotten were there. I felt new around her. Life feels knew with her. And now, in present day, when I'm so comfortable and warm in her bed, I feel different again. That special feeling you get, when you know you're different. I'm different because she loves me. I cannot describe how that makes me feel, other than alive and new. The look in her eyes when she tells me so loves me, wildly crazily loves me, I will remember to my dying day. And so I answer.''

''I love you too. I mean wildly, crazily love you.''

''And I do. What isn't there to love about Alex Cabot?''

The End

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