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"Oh um just let voice mail get it. I need to finish getting dressed." Olivia averted her partner's eyes and hurriedly closed the door.
Elliot was silent for a moment then turned to Alex. "That's strange. Why would Langan be calling Olivia on her cell phone?"
"I don't know." Alex shrugged her shoulders. "Maybe it's about a case?"
"Maybe." Elliot replied, deep in thought.
"Have you talked to Casey this morning?" Alex decided to change the subject.
Elliot nodded. "She said she would call as soon as she heard anything."
"I wasn't sure about her at first," Alex added, "but she did a good job with the case."
"Hmm yeah, she did." Elliot agreed. "Has Olivia talked to you about Langan?"
Alex remained silent, torn between her loyalty to Olivia and being honest with Elliot. "Remember when I asked you to be supportive of whomever Olivia decided to date?"
Before Elliot could answer, Olivia exited the bathroom. "That shower felt good." She sat next to Alex on the sofa. "So what's on the agenda for today?" She glanced at Alex and Elliot, both remained quite. "What?"
Elliot sat with his arms folded, staring at Olivia. "So you gonna tell me what's up with you and Langan?"
Olivia glanced quickly at Alex, then back to Elliot. "There's nothing to tell."
"Hmm." Elliot continued to observe his partner. "You sleeping with him?"
"Elliot," Olivia replied abruptly. "No I'm not sleeping with Trevor." She took a deep breath and continued. "We're friends I guess."
"Friends?" Elliot laughed. "Since when? You can't stand the guy, Liv. How can you be friends with that bottom feeder?"
Olivia rolled her eyes at the nickname Fin had given to Trevor. "He's not that bad Elliot."
"Oh come on Olivia, he's always pulling something to get his clients off." Elliot stood up and started to pace.
"He's a defense attorney Elliot that's his job." Alex added.
"Why are the two of you defending him?" Elliot asked incredulously.
"Elliot, I'm not one of your kids you can't tell me who I can be friends with." Olivia responded angrily.
Elliot started to reply, then stopped. They all looked at each other, an uncomfortable silence in the room.
"Alright you two, I have no intention of spending the rest of the afternoon watching the two of you stare at each other." Alex nodded to the empty chair. "Elliot, please sit down."
Elliot sighed and sat down. "Okay."
"Olivia, you might as well answer his questions." Alex said softly.
"I really don't want to talk "
Before Olivia could finish, Alex held up her hand and interrupted her. She looked at both Elliot and Olivia. "So which one of you wants to go first?"
Elliot shrugged his shoulders.
Olivia started. "Fin and I were working a rape case. Rachael Jordan. She was raped in her apartment. I get called out and I see Trevor talking to one of the officers, so I ask him if he's hard up and making house calls for his sleazy clients. Turns out he lives a few doors down from the vic. After the rape, she called Trevor to come help her. He went over to her apartment, called the police, and asked for SVU requested me."
"Damn." Elliot cringed. "Your comment must not have gone over very well."
"I felt like a jerk after saying it," Olivia replied, "but Langan surprised me, he let it slide didn't say anything. He sat with Rachael while I questioned her then went with her to the hospital."
"Was she an old girlfriend?" Alex asked.
"No." Olivia shook her head. "Just friends, been neighbors for about 3 years."
Elliot interrupted. "So he had a moment of decency that doesn't explain why you're friends with him."
"He wasn't acting like a lawyer defending a perp. He was different patient, helpful concerned about Rachael."
"Did you get a conviction?"
"Yes." Olivia turned to Alex and nodded. "We had the perp's DNA, finger prints and Rachael's testimony, plus we got him on two other rapes. Anyway, I ran into Langan at the courthouse after that and he asked me if I wanted to meet for a drink. So I went."
"Liv," Elliot hesitated. "Why didn't you tell me you and Langan were friends?
"There's not much to tell. We've met for drinks a couple of times a couple of lunches." Olivia looked at her partner. "You don't like Trevor and you haven't been the easiest person to talk to lately. It's hard to explain Alex was gone, you were going through your stuff Trevor was a good distraction and I found that I actually enjoyed his company."
Elliot thought back to the conversation he and Alex had the previous day. 'Be supportive of whomever Olivia dates don't give her a hard time about it'.
"I'm sorry Liv." Elliot said sincerely. "I guess I haven't been there for you lately."
"We've both had our demons to fight Elliot," Olivia smiled at her partner, "but we're back on track."
Elliot nodded. "So ," He rubbed his palms together, "anyone up for a game of poker?"
Olivia knew they would need to talk more later, but she was grateful that Elliot changed the subject. "Are we playing for pride or are the stakes higher?"
"I don't know maybe a friendly game of strip poker." Elliot grinned.
"You wish every man's fantasy two naked women in a hotel room." Alex laughed and grabbed the deck of cards off the side table. "How about a friendly game of Hearts." The tension in the room now gone, the three of them spent the afternoon talking, laughing, and playing cards.
"I think you're cheating." Elliot jokingly complained as he threw his cards on the coffee table.
Alex laughed. "No I'm just better at Hearts than you are." She answered smugly.
"Nah I think you and Olivia have a system going I think she's feeding you good cards."
"Sore loser." Olivia laughed. She leaned back against the sofa arm and placed her feet in Alex's lap.
"Do you have any proof of that Detective? Slander is a pretty serious offense." Alex grinned at Elliot. She repositioned Olivia's feet on her lap and started to massage them.
"Face it Elliot, Alex is a better card player than you." Olivia smiled at Alex. "Hmm that feels good sweetie."
"Uh huh I can't prove it, but I think you were cheating. No one 'Shoots the Moon' three times. And look at the two of you." Elliot gestured between Alex and Olivia. "Alex wins again and now you are getting a foot massage. Looks suspicious if you ask me."
Elliot felt his cell phone vibrate and answered it. "Stabler uh huh okay." He looked over at Alex and hung up his phone.
"What?" Alex asked curiously.
"That was Casey the verdict's in."
"They're ready for us." Casey hung up the phone and turned to Alex, Olivia, and Elliot, who were sitting in her office. "Time to go to the courtroom."
"I guess this is it." Alex was surprised at how nervous she felt. She was sure the jury would come back with a guilty verdict, but the anticipation of hearing the verdict made her nervous.
As they got up to leave the room, Alex took hold of Olivia's arm. Olivia covered Alex's hand with her own and squeezed it lightly.
"You okay?' Olivia asked softly.
Alex took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. "I think so."
As they walked through the door, Alex kept her hand on Olivia's arm. The detective stopped and looked at her, Olivia could see the worry in her eyes.
"Screw it" Olivia thought to herself. She lightly draped her arm around Alex's shoulder as they walked to the courtroom.
"Celebration in my office." Casey was excited. The jury came back with a guilty verdict on all counts.
"Sounds good to me." Cragen answered.
Elliot smiled and rubbed his hands together. "Let's get this party started."
"Ms. Cabot a word with you." Agent Hammond was waiting outside the courtroom.
Alex turned to Agent Hammond and hesitated. "Okay." She looked over to her group of friends. "I'll meet you there. Save me some champagne."
Elliot met Alex's eyes. He smiled and nodded. "We won't start without you Counselor."
Alex grasped Olivia's hand and held it as she watched the group walk down the hall. "I shouldn't be long Olivia. I'll meet you in Casey's office."
Olivia did not want to let go. She squeezed Alex's hand, leaned over, and hugged her. "See ya soon." Olivia whispered.
She returned the hug and kissed Olivia lightly by her ear. "See ya soon." Alex whispered back.
Olivia let go of Alex's hand and reluctantly followed the rest of the group down the hall.
Alex watched Olivia walk away, waiting until she was out of sight before turning to Agent Hammond. "So when do I leave?"
"What?" Alex replied curtly.
"There's been another threat against your life and against Antonio. We need to go now." Hammond explained.
Alex covered her face with her hands and sighed. "I hate this they're waiting for me they're expecting me."
"I'm sorry Ms. Cabot Alex it's not safe. There are two agents waiting for us. They have already gone by the room to pick up your belongings."
"I can't leave again without saying good-bye." Alex's eyes misted over.
"Sometimes it's easier."
Alex looked down the empty hall. She wanted run and catch up with her friends her family Olivia. After everything she and Olivia had shared, Alex knew she would not be able to tell Olivia good-bye again if she saw her face to face.
"Ms. Cabot " Alex reluctantly turned and followed Agent Hammond.
"Is that her is that her." Elliot looked toward the door. Everyone was in Casey's office waiting for Alex.
Agent Hammond entered the room by himself and looked at the group. "She asked me to say goodbye for her. She's being relocated." He hated delivering bad news, but his first priority was keeping Alex safe. The agent could see the disappointed looks on the faces of Alex's friends and colleagues. He turned and left the room.
Olivia felt her chest tightening. She had to get out of the room. She briefly glanced at Elliot, who could see the pain in her eyes. He nodded in understanding.
Casey saw Olivia leave the room and looked over to Elliot. When she realized Elliot was not going to follow his partner, she left the room to find her. Casey spotted Olivia walking down the hall. "Olivia wait." The detective kept on walking. "Olivia." Casey ran and caught up to her. She grabbed the detective's arm. "Please Olivia."
Olivia turned to face her. "Not now Casey," she said quietly.
Casey could tell Olivia was on the verge of tears. "Olivia if you need anything at all "
Olivia closed her eyes and took a deep breath, fighting down the tears. She opened her eyes and looked at Casey. "I know you want to help but right now I need to go." Olivia turned and walked away.
Olivia wasn't sure how long she had been sitting on her sofa in the dark, but she had already finished her second beer. Her cell phone rang and she looked at the display. Elliot. Again. She did not want to talk him or anyone else, so she let it ring. She got up and walked to the kitchen, grabbing another beer from the refrigerator. She heard her home phone ring. "Elliot", she thought to herself. Olivia knew her partner would be worried about her. She debated with herself, then decided to answer the phone.
That one word made Olivia's heart beat faster. It wasn't Elliot. "You missed your party."
"I'm so sorry, Liv I didn't realize I had to leave right away. Hammond said we couldn't wait."
"Remind me to shoot Hammond next time I see him." Olivia thought for a moment. "Where are you calling from?"
"We're in the car. I borrowed a cell phone from Hammond. I told him it was going to be a very long ride if he didn't let me call you."
Olivia smiled. She knew how headstrong Alex could be. "Maybe I won't have to shoot him." Olivia could hear Alex laugh on the other end of the line.
They both fell silent, listening to each other breath. Both struggling to find the right words.
"I miss you already." Olivia said softly.
They both fell silent again.
Olivia could hear someone talking in the background. "Who's that?"
"Hammond. He says I need to hang up." Olivia could hear the sadness in Alex's voice.
"I guess we better hang up then." Olivia waited for a response.
"Alex?" Olivia whispered.
"I'm still here."
"Do me a favor, Alex."
"Hang up first I don't think I can." Olivia's voice cracked.
Alex wanted to answer the detective, but she was speechless, overcome with emotion.
Olivia wiped the unshed tears from her eyes as she held onto the phone. She could hear Alex breathing. "I love you, Alex." She whispered softly.
Alex took a deep breath and looked over at Hammond who was motioning for her to end the call.
"I love you too Olivia." Alex clicked off the phone and handed it back to the agent.
Olivia could hear the faint sounds of a buzzer. She opened her eyes and adjusted her vision to the darkness. The only light in the room was the digital display on her DVD player .10:23. She sat up on the sofa and heard the buzzer again; she was not dreaming. She wiped her eyes and walked over to the intercom.
"Yes." She cleared her throat.
"Liv, it's Elliot. Let me in." From the tone in Elliot's voice, Olivia knew there would be no arguing with him.
"Door's unlocked let yourself in when you get up here."
Olivia released the buzzer not waiting for a reply. She unlocked the door and made her way to the kitchen to get a glass of water. Olivia sighed softly, walked back to the sofa, and turned on the lamp before sitting down.
Elliot entered the apartment and saw his partner. He sat down beside her on the sofa and leaned back, making himself comfortable. Neither one spoke. Olivia stared at the glass in her hand, running her index finger around the rim. Elliot glanced at her; he could see a tear forming in the corner of her eye. He knew there was nothing he could say, so he took the empty glass from her hands and put his arm around her. Olivia laid her head on her partner's shoulder. Elliot put his other arm around Olivia and pulled her closer.
"I don't know if I can go through this again." Olivia said softly, her words muffled by the fabric of Elliot's shirt.
Elliot stroked Olivia's hair and softly kissed the crown of her head. "It feels that way now, Liv but it will get better."
Olivia shook her head and began to cry. Elliot held her tighter. "Everything will be okay," he whispered, "you don't have to go through this alone, Liv."
Olivia did not answer him; she continued to cry on his shoulder.
"Who did it!" Munch looked around the squad room.
Elliot, Olivia, and Fin all looked up from their desks.
"Which one of you did it? Huh ," Munch looked at his partner. "Fin was it you," he asked accusingly.
"Did what?" Fin answered confused.
"My chair someone messed with my chair."
"Whatcha talkin about fool your chair looks fine to me." Fin replied annoyed.
"It's lower." Munch sat down in his chair and pointed to the floor with his pen. "Someone's been messing with my chair." He looked over at Olivia and stared.
Olivia rolled her eyes and looked at the folder on her desk. "I have more important things to do," she said flatly.
"Don't look at me." Elliot held up his hands.
Munch slowly glanced around the room eyeing Elliot, Fin, and Olivia. He stood up, put his pen on his desk, and grabbed his coffee cup. As he walked away, he yelled over his shoulder, "Just remember what they say about payback "
Elliot and Fin looked at each other then grinned. Olivia looked at the two of them, certain her partner was the culprit. Elliot got up from his desk and grabbed his coffee cup. As he passed by Munch's desk, he discreetly took Munch's pen and put it on Fin's desk. "Leave me some coffee." Elliot shouted to Munch and followed him into the break room.
Olivia shook her head and smiled. She looked down at her desk and tried to focus on the folder in front of her. She could not concentrate lately, her mind always wandered back to Alex. It had been almost 3 weeks since Alex left. Elliot had stayed at her apartment that night. He insisted on sleeping on the sofa and had a cup of coffee waiting for her when she woke up. She could not ask for a better partner or friend.
"Yo Earth to Olivia."
"Huh?" Olivia turned to Fin.
"I was talking to you you kinda zoned out for a bit. You okay." Fin asked concerned.
"Yeah." She answered softly. "Did you need something?"
Fin hesitated before continuing. "It's tough Alex having to leave and all. I know the two of you were tight. If you ever wanna grab a beer or something, just let me know."
Olivia was not sure how much Fin knew, but she decided she did not care. "Thanks, Fin."
"Anytime." He walked by and placed Munch's pen on her desk.
Olivia could not help but smile. She opened her drawer and dropped the pen inside.
"Having a good day Detective?"
"What?" Olivia looked up; Casey was standing by her desk. "Oh hi it's going okay."
"Good." Casey replied with a smile
"Hi Counselor." Munch called out to Casey as he sat down at his desk.
"Casey." Elliot acknowledged the ADA's presence as he walked up to Olivia's desk.
"Hi Elliot." Casey replied. "The two of you ready to go over your testimony on Jacobs?"
"Sure. Why don't we go in one of the interview rooms?" Elliot walked over to his desk and picked up a note pad.
"You ready Olivia?" Casey smiled at the detective.
"Yeah." Olivia stood up, grabbed the folder on her desk, and followed Elliot and Casey.
Before they shut the door to the interview room, they could hear Munch shouting.
"Very funny which one of you juveniles took my pen?"
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