DISCLAIMER: I don't own any of these characters, but oh, if I did...
SPOILERS: A few spoilers for "Wrath", "Care", and "Ridicule".
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By Cabenson

Part 1

'One more to go,' Olivia thought as she added the file she had just reviewed to a towering pile stacked on the chair next to her desk. Her partner had already left for the day and she had promised him that she wouldn't spend her evening in the stationhouse again. She opened up the folder and began reading the rap sheet a potential suspect in a string of rapes that had occupied the Special Victims Unit for the past three weeks. She had almost completed her task when her cell phone rang.


"Hello, Detective."

The husky voice in her ear made Olivia smile as she closed the file and sat back in her chair. "Good afternoon, ADA Cabot. What can I do for you?"

"Oh, I'm sure I could think of a few things," the blonde replied in a suggestive tone. "You could wash my car, or maybe paint my kitchen."

"Always the romantic, aren't you Cabot? And here I was wondering why you were still single," Olivia laughed.

Alex smiled as she listened to Olivia teasing her. "Actually, I was wondering if you could help me out with something for the Rudd case after work tonight."

Olivia, not ready to end the repartee, considered telling Alex that she already had a date that evening, but that the attorney was more than welcome to try again. The truth was that Olivia enjoyed spending time with the younger woman. She agreed with little hesitation.

"Sure Alex, what do you need?"

"I've spent the last two days prepping Glenn Rudd to testify against his foster mother. Huang said that I needed to place Glenn in an environment where he felt safe, so I thought I'd do a run through with him in an empty courtroom. Petrovsky is letting me use hers and I was hoping you could tag along in case there is a problem."

Olivia grinned as she said, "You mean 'problem' as in Glenn throwing Petrovsky's chair across the room, right?"

Alex stifled a small chuckle. "Yeah, well that too. Come on, Olivia. I'll even throw in dinner afterward.

"Well, I guess I can clear my calendar to help you out. But about this dinner thing. You're not gonna try to cook again, are you?" Olivia knew this would get a rise out of her friend.

They had spent an evening on the phone a few weeks back that had ended with Alex calmly asking if heating up soup on the stove usually resulted in flames. Olivia found the otherwise competent attorney's issues with domesticity to be a constant source of entertainment and she refused to let the incident fade away.

"Damn it, Olivia! Let it go already!" Alex retorted, her tone holding the slightest hint of frustration. "I had considered taking you to that new pizza place you've been talking about all week. Now you'll be lucky if I buy you a pretzel from the cart outside the courthouse."

"Okay, okay. I'll quit. For now," Olivia said as she thought, 'God the things I do for food'. She looked at her watch and said. "All right. When and where?"

"Meet us outside of Petrovsky's courtroom at 6:00.Thanks, Olivia. I really appreciate this."

Olivia smiled as she said, "You're welcome. See you soon."

The detective closed her cell phone and shook her head in mock disbelief. The things she did to spend time with Alex Cabot.

She ran her fingers through her short, brunette hair and walked over to the coffee table to get a fresh cup. As she returned to her desk, Olivia thought about the strong friendship she and Alex had forged in the past year.

None of the squad members had been overly impressed when the ADA was first assigned to their unit, especially Olivia's partner, Elliot Stabler. Elliot had referred to Alex as an "ambitious, arrogant bitch" and in turn, Alex considered him a " patronizing ass".

Olivia had spent the better part of those first months bridging a peace between her partner and the prosecutor. The working relationship between Elliot and Alex had progressed with time, as had her personal friendship with the blonde. The nature of Olivia's relationship with Alex had taken an unexpected turn recently, and Olivia hoped that the topic could be approached tonight.

The detective checked the time and flipped the last folder onto the stack. She called for a clerk to retrieve the files and grabbed her coat as she left the squad room to meet Alex and Glenn.

An hour later, Olivia was sitting in the back row of the galley watching Alex guide Glenn around the courtroom. She smiled as Alex replaced her smug, brash "I'm here to kick your ass so don't get comfortable" persona with one that was soft-spoken, protective and reassuring to her star witness. This was the Alex Cabot who had been occupying her thoughts for the past few weeks.

Olivia studied Alex as the attorney leaned against the witness box and asked Glenn some practice questions. 'When did things between us change?' she asked herself, even though she knew the answer. She closed her eyes as she thought about that night at the bar.

Olivia had taken Alex out for drinks after the attorney had ended a short relationship with a fellow ADA. Rumors of Alex's sexual preferences had followed her to SVU, so Olivia hadn't been surprised to hear the relationship had been with another woman. She had been shocked, however, to hear that the other woman was Abbie Carmichael. Abbie had handled a few SVU cases between the departure of Liz Donnelly and Alex's arrival in the unit.

Commiserating with Alex about dating in general, Olivia admitted that she had dated a few women before, but found that just as with men, her job usually dampened any prospects of a long-term relationship.

Alex, having finished her third bourbon, wryly told Olivia that the two of them should just shack up and save society from any future emotional scarring.

Olivia had responded that if she thought for a moment that Alex was serious, she might consider doing just that. They had looked at each other, their eyes almost daring the other to speak, until they both burst out laughing.

They began adding flirtatious innuendo to their personal conversations and joked about "retirement plans". Then Elliot and Olivia caught the Eric Plummer case.

Alex and Olivia argued when Olivia claimed that Plummer was stalking her. When Olivia had refused to speak to Elliot after killing Plummer in a hostage situation, Alex cleared her schedule and camped out at Olivia's door until the brunette had finally let her in.

They talked for hours and eventually fell asleep, the blonde's arms wrapped around Olivia, on the sofa. A slight moment of awkwardness when they awoke was replaced with a relaxed comfort when Alex placed a gentle kiss on Olivia's forehead.

Olivia had replayed that moment in her mind for several weeks and realized that her feelings for Alex had changed.

It was time to do something about it.

"Olivia," Alex said as she walked behind the bench where the detective was seated. When there was no response, Alex snuck up behind her and murmured sensually in her ear, "Olivia, I'm hungry." She stepped back with a laugh as the startled woman jumped.

"Damn you, Cabot! You scared the hell out of me', Olivia said as a slow blush began rising up her neck.

"Uh huh. So who makes you smile in your sleep, Detective?" Alex teased as she pulled on her coat.

Recovering from her embarrassment, Olivia half-jokingly answered, "Well you, of course." She looked around and saw that only the two of then remained in the courtroom. "I take it Glenn did okay and nothing was thrown around?"

"Like you would have been any help if he had, Dreamweaver", Alex answered sarcastically. "He'll do fine. Can we go now, Olivia? I really am hungry."

Olivia grabbed her coat and followed Alex into the hall. She wondered if she would ever find the courage to tell her how she felt.

Part 2

"I can't believe we ate the whole pizza," Alex groaned as she handed the signed credit slip to the waiter and stood up to leave.

Olivia finished the last of her beer and set the bottle on the table. "Wait just a minute, Counselor. I believe I only had three pieces. You ate almost twice as much as me. Keep that in mind when your heartburn kicks in." Olivia had long since gotten over her shock at the amount of food the slender attorney could put away.

Alex gave Olivia her best courtroom glare until she could no longer hold back a grin. She enjoyed the time she spent with Olivia and although they both had an early morning, Alex wasn't ready for the evening to end. "Care to escort a defenseless civil servant home, Detective?" she asked as they walked out into the late autumn night.

"Is this why you spend time with me, Cabot?" Olivia teased. "You get a cop to be your friend so you can turn them into your personal protective detail?"

"Everyone needs to feel protected at one time or another. Besides, it's a beautiful evening."

Olivia slipped her arm around Alex's shoulder and pulled her closer. She lowered her voice in her best imitation of gallantry and whispered, "ADA Cabot, I'd be honored to walk you home."

Alex put her arm around Olivia's waist, and looked deeply into her brown eyes. With a smirk planted on the edge of her mouth, she muttered, "My hero."

As they walked toward her apartment, Alex thought about how comfortable she felt with her. When she realized that Olivia's hand had slipped to her waist, Alex leaned deeper into the embrace and rested her head on Olivia's shoulder.

The smell of leather, mixed with the warmth emanating from Olivia, left Alex with a feeling of exhilaration. That was nothing compared to the shiver of excitement that ran up her spine as Olivia pulled her closer. There was no need for conversation. The charged silence spoke volumes.

Twenty minutes later, they arrived in front of Alex's building. Alex pulled her arm from Olivia's waist and twisted in her grasp so that their foreheads were touching, their lips mere inches apart.

"Thanks for being there tonight, Olivia. I really do appreciate it," she said softly.

Olivia smiled. "Thanks for buying me pizza instead of a pretzel." She raised her head slightly and looked into Alex's crystal blue eyes, completely captivated by their beauty.

Alex met Olivia's gaze and smiled knowingly. This was no longer a casual moment filled with flirtatious banter and there would be no reprieve in the form of laughter. Alex pulled Olivia closer, her hand settling on the back of the brunette's neck. Running her fingers lightly through her companion's hair, she tilted her head and brushed her lips lightly against Olivia's. She pulled away from the embrace and looked at the pleasantly surprised woman standing in front of her.

Olivia, not sure of what to say, opened her mouth to speak only to be silenced by the touch of Alex's fingers on her lips.

Alex leaned in closer to Olivia and whispered into her ear, "By the way, Detective, I ask you to do things with me because I enjoy being with you." Her fingers moved to trace the path of Olivia's jaw as she added, "Of course, the fact that you carry a weapon is a plus." She gently kissed the brunette's cheek and stepped back. "Come here for dinner tomorrow. We'll talk then."

Olivia nodded her head in agreement and stood there smiling as she watched Alex enter the building.

'What the hell just happened?' she thought as she walked to the corner and hailed a cab.

The following day proved to be fairly non-productive for one distracted detective and her slightly irritated partner.

"Elliot, what is your problem with admitting that a man could be raped by a woman?"

Pushing away from his desk, Elliot stood up and headed toward the coffee maker. He wasn't in the mood for a fight. "It's just hard for me to believe that a man of his size couldn't fight off three petite women long enough to escape the situation. Now a man like Munch here, well yeah, that I could believe."

Fin looked at his partner and turned back to Elliot. "Man, don't be putting those images in his head. Now I'm gonna have to listen to his "three-on-one" fantasy shit for the rest of the night." Just as he was about to add another comment, Cragen walked out of his office.

"You're not going to believe this," the captain said as he looked over his squad. "I just got a call from Riker's. Dorothy Rudd had a massive heart attack thirty minutes ago. She didn't make it."

The detectives looked at each other in disbelief. Justice would never be fully served in the murder of Cassie Adams. The brisk sound of high-heels brought their attention to the squad room entrance.

"Who died?" Alex joked when she saw the solemn looks on the detectives' faces. The squad members took turns informing their ADA of the recent events.

When the discussion turned towards the need to reunite Cassie's sisters with their mother, Alex said she would look into it and turned to leave .As she walked by Olivia's desk, she tapped the detective on the shoulder and silently motioned for her to follow.

Telling her partner that she would be right back, Olivia met Alex outside the door. "What's up?" she asked, hoping that Alex wasn't going to cancel their plans for the evening.

Alex looked at Olivia and smiled shyly as she said, "I just wanted a quick moment with you, alone. Are you still coming over tonight? I thought we could order from the Red Brick. I've been thinking about their cheeseburgers all day."

Olivia laughed and tried to put a disappointed look on her face. "Is that all you've been thinking about today, Cabot? Food?" Olivia herself had been preoccupied with thought of the beautiful attorney's lips all day. She had alternated between feelings of anxiety and anticipation at what the evening might yield.

"Yep, just the food," Alex teased. Leaning in closer so that only Olivia could hear, she added, " I can't seem to stop thinking about last night and I am really looking forward to this evening." She stepped back and walked toward the elevator. "So, tonight?"

"I'll be there at eight," Olivia answered with a smile. She watched the ADA disappear behind closing doors and walked back into the squad room. Ignoring the inquiring look Elliot gave her, she sat at her desk.

It was going to be an interesting evening.

To Be Continued

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