DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and all characters
are property of NBC and Dick Wolf. I make no money, and I make no
claims. This is Mr. Wolf's sandbox. I just knock over his castle
for grins when he's not looking.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: My deepest thanks to Naelewai and Weehawken for slogging through the drafts.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Having rested soundly since Detective Benson's house call, the ADA was up and running again on Wednesday. She was swamped with make up work, and could find no time to get down to SVU. As the day wore on, she found that with every ring of the phone, or knock at her door, her heart skipped a beat in anticipation. Slowly her lack of concentration began to wear on her, and it fermented into frustration. It peaked when Kessler called to notify her that Burns was changing his plea to guilty. That turned the finely crafted summation Alex had just struggled with for two and a half solid hours, into a complete and utter waste of her time. It was then that her Mont Blanc went flying across the desk followed by the light thud of her glasses on to her legal pad. She leaned forward, closed her eyes and rubbed both temples with her hands. Her decision was made. If she was going to get any credible work done, she would have to see Olivia and the sooner, the better.
Detective Benson was relieved that the ADA hadn't been around this morning. She wasn't quite sure where things stood with Alex now, and the very thought of the sensual blonde made her nerves jumble like a schoolgirl. While it was an exhilarating feeling, it was exactly the thing she had been trying to avoid. She'd spent at least a year now fighting her feelings for Alex, and Olivia knew her heart normally didn't switch emotional gears that fast. She smiled to herself. But, Alex. Alex is so Her thoughts started racing.
They crept up on their collar.
"Take that aisle," Elliot directed with a nod as he flipped up the small leather strap that held his service weapon in place. Olivia did likewise and moved around to cut off Ramsey's escape. She knew she'd be the go to on this one. Why do they run? They always run. Sure enough as Elliot announced their presence as police officers, Ramsey took off right toward Olivia. She grabbed him by the collar and flung him into the Frito display of the Quickie Mart, then wrenched his arms behind him taking a moment of guilty pleasure in his pain. When Elliot started to Mirandize him, Ramsey twitched. Olivia gave him an elbow to the back of the head and he offered no more resistance. Her levelheaded partner eyed her a little suspiciously. "Wound a little tight today aren't we?" Olivia gave him a "Don't start with me" look and dragged Ramsey out to the car.
In the interview room, Olivia held back. Elliot played good cop this time. Ramsey was strung out, and couldn't really give them the answers they wanted which frustrated both officers. While he rambled, Elliot observed that Olivia kept stealing glances at the two- way mirror. She was definitely off her game. He slid the yellow legal pad in front of Clyde Ramsey and tossed the pen casually in his direction. "Write." He commanded as he tapped the pad and scooted his chair out. With a nod he motioned for Olivia to step outside with him.
"Okay," he said running both his hands over his head in an act of frustration, "You got any thoughts on this?" He was trying to get his partner to talk.
"I think he's guilty as shit, and I'm sick of dealing with the son-of- a-bitch," she responded curtly. She was relieved to find that Alex hadn't shown up to observe the questioning.
Elliot nodded his head and poked his cheek out with his tongue. "And "
"You're not here, Liv. I need you here," he tapped the small ledge of the mirror emphatically with his finger.
Olivia took a deep breath and let it out. It was moments like this when she loved Elliot and thought that Kathy was a lucky woman. She nodded her confession.
"Look, I don't care what it is. You know that when and if you want to talk, I'm here, but if you don't get your game face on, we could be in a world of hurt."
Olivia's posture straightened. She was determined not to let down her partner. "I'm with you, Elliot." Together they returned to the interview room and finished their interrogation.
The afternoon was spent wading through paperwork. It was certainly no outlet for Olivia's pent up frustrations, and she found herself looking forward to her weekly work out. She grabbed her black gear bag and headed down to the basement. The detective switched to her gray NYPD sweats and skillfully taped up her hands. The heavy bag was going to earn its keep tonight. A couple of young pups were sparring on the mats when she came out of the locker room, but otherwise the gym was hers. She warmed up with the jump rope, and stretched out the kinks. Her tense muscles resisted and she could feel the pull with each extension. The beat cops took off as she finished. One of them gave her an admiring glance as he headed to the showers. That's when she hit the bag. A good thirty minutes should help. She focused and tempted her demons out with jabs and taps, then the real slugfest soon ensued. It wasn't long before Olivia thought she might just be winning. Twenty minutes in, and after a particularly hard right hook that landed with a grunt, the bag swung wide, revealing a glimpse of someone leaning against the gray, dingy cinderblock watching her. Olivia stilled the bag with her red hands.
When she finally worked up the nerve to look around the equipment, the vision that greeted the detective seemed somehow surreal. The woman standing there was completely out of place. Her arms were crossed over her cream colored Tahari suit, and her golden hair, which reflected the glow of the overhead light, lit up the room. Her black wool coat was draped over one arm in front of her. Her ankles were crossed to match her arms, and her Coach leather briefcase was on the floor beside her. The last thing Olivia noticed was the counselor's bespeckled gaze fixed appreciatively in her direction. Well, there goes another hour. The detective sighed.
Alexandra Cabot shook her head, "Remind me never to piss you off."
Olivia grabbed the top of the bag with both hands and leaned her full weight against it while she caught her breath. Her pulse was pumping in her ears, and sweat was dripping from her brow. She blamed both on her interrupted work out, but knew there was more to it than that. The officer wiped her brow on her short sleeve. She said nothing. She didn't know what to say, and at that moment didn't trust her brain to get it right.
"I understand Clyde Ramsey was arrested today." Alex pushed off the wall with her hips, stepped out of the half shadows into the full light, and closed the distance between them. Her conservatively high heels echoed in slow staccatos off the cement until she came to stand within inches of the detective. "I'll get him on the two counts of felony rape. Should be a slam dunk." She noticed Olivia's uneasy silence. "Unless, of course, he was assaulted in custody by his arresting officer." She commented with a grin as she tried to lighten the mood, and began to wonder whether this was such a good idea.
Olivia gave her a "nice try" smile and dropped her right arm to hug the side of the equipment. Alex looked at the floor. Finally, the ADA rested a hand lightly on the bag inches from Olivia's and slowly raised her penetrating blue eyes to the detective. Her voice was low and breathy, "Look, I just wanted to say thank you. It's been a long time since anyone has done something like that for me. And " she sighed, and absentmindedly fiddled with the frayed duct tape on the bag, "I needed it." Alex shrugged as she bit her bottom lip, and found herself at a loss for words. She almost rolled her eyes at how silly she suddenly felt. She caught sight of Olivia's hand, the same one that had held her so gently just two nights ago, swollen and red from pummeling the canvas. She ran a manicured finger tenderly down the taped knuckles, and then her gaze returned to Olivia's. The detective's expression told the blonde that there was so much she wanted to say, but couldn't bring herself to voice it. The younger woman smiled reassuringly, let out a deep sigh, and patted the bag lightly as she turned to go.
The lump that had been lodged in the brunette's throat finally abated, and she managed a raspy, "Alex."
Her name, whispered as it was from Olivia Benson, stopped her mid stride and sent shivers up her spine. Yes, Olivia. She closed her eyes to steady herself, swallowed hard and turned on the balls of her feet to face the source of her raging emotions and pounding heart.
Olivia went brain dead again from the look of longing Alex was giving her, so the ADA took control, relieving the tension she had created. She smiled warmly at her detective, "I know," she whispered with a slight dip of her blonde head. Alex fought down the urge to stay, not wanting to make Olivia any more uncomfortable than she obviously already had. The statuesque blonde turned and picked up her brief case. As she went up the stairwell, she winced slightly when she heard the heavy bag get the shit knocked out of it in a single gut-wrenching blow.
There was ice at every turn. The wind howled through her cropped brown hair and her fingers were numb. Everywhere she looked there was nothing to grab onto. She was stranded. Suspended hundreds of feet in the air. She made a lunge to a precarious handhold and advanced up the side of the cliff a few more inches. Snow began to blur her vision as the wind howled wilder. She made a move for the next handhold and missed. Dangling she knew her death was eminent. She felt her fingers slipping on the icy stone. No, no her body went limp. She was falling. Then came the sudden lurch. The quick grasp that pulled her back, and she was suddenly lying flat and starring safely into blue eyes as clear as a Kansas summer sky. With her free hand she reached up behind Alex's neck and pulled her down to her, tenderly kissing the full red lips of the only person who could save her.
Olivia's eyes shot open wide and her breath caught in her chest. Another one. Jesus. This was the third dream in almost as many nights it seemed. She tossed the blanket off of her glistening skin and went to the kitchen. Standing in the glow of the fridge she shuddered in the chill and finally shut the door. This was going to take more than soda to deal with. She reached in the cabinet over the stove and drew out the half full bottle of scotch. She sleepily grabbed a shot glass from the shelf and filled it. Tossing the burning liquid down her throat, she prayed it would free her from her subconscious. Her psych background shuffled to the front of her hazy mind and managed to proclaim, "Alcohol bad. Alex good," but then it was drowned out by the single malt. She filled one more glass and sloshed it down. Gotta stop thinkin' 'bout her. Olivia replaced the cap and put the bottle away. She padded back to her bed and fell into her rack. In a matter of minutes her head grew heavy and her eyelids started to flutter. She was surrendering control to the alcohol, but even as she did so, her mind settled on one word. Her lips parted and she sighed reverently as she slipped away into sleep, "Alex "
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