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.

Proximity Control
By Cymberlea

Part 9

Alex watched Olivia turn and go. She shook her head and let out the heavy sigh that had been weighing her body down into the ground. Her thoughts came fast and furious. For a brief moment, before the drifting crowd engulfed Olivia, Alex wanted to follow after her. She wanted to let it all go and just be with the detective. To hell with the verdict. To hell with her public life. To hell with the responsibility of being Alexandra Cabot. But reason took hold of her once more. She knew that was folly. It would only bring their worlds crashing down around them before they ever had a chance at exploring one together. No, Alex took heart in the future. A future she wanted desperately to find a way to share with Olivia. Alex had never considered herself a particularly religious person, but she knew she would have to go on faith. Faith that this was not a dream, or passing moment that would never come again. In fact, her rational attorney's mind knew that it was only the beginning, and a sneaky smile began to tug at the corner of her mouth. Alex was forming a plan, and it gave her the strength and energy to do as her partner had told her; to go and "kick some ass."

By the time Alex reached the steps of the courthouse, her confidence had returned a hundred fold. She was buoyed by the knowledge that the intelligent, strong, passionate, and casually sensual detective she had been admiring for months, okay, years, felt the same way about her. Still, she was running late. In her zeal, she burst into Petrovsky's courtroom with both doors swinging wide and a huge cat-ate-the-canary grin on her face.

Lena Petrovsky's head jerked up at Alex's flair filled entrance, and for one moment a quizzical smile almost broke curfew on her face, but then her contemptuous gaze settled on the ADA. Alex could hear Lena's thoughts as if they were telepathic. "Tone it down Alexandra, or I'll bounce you right out of here." Cabot took a deep breath, nodded respectfully and got down to business.

"Five more minutes Counselor and the People would have been in contempt." Lena said looking at her docket.

"Sorry your honor, we were…"Alex searched for the word that would explain everything without saying anything, "uncharacteristically delayed."

Despite her tough exterior, Judge Petrovsky found the brash, young ADA refreshing at times. Though her experience and wisdom kept her from showing any favoritism in her courtroom, she secretly championed "the People" and their feisty prosecutor. "See that it doesn't happen again, Miss Cabot." Lena turned her attention to the jury box. "In the case of the People vs. William Pellinham, has the jury reached a verdict?"

A tall, elderly black man stood up and spoke in a deep, calm baritone. "We have your honor." He handed his folded paper to the bailiff who gave it to Lena. She unfolded it and read over its contents. Once again, Alex found herself thinking she would never want to be asked, as Liz had been from time to time, to sit in on the judge's monthly poker game. There simply was no way in hell to read their expressions when verdicts came in. She could only imagine how difficult it would be when there was money on the table. Lena handed back the paper, and the Jury Foreman solemnly took it from the officer of the court.

"How does the jury find?"

"On the count of rape in the first degree, your honor, we find the defendant, guilty. On the count of aggravated assault, we find the defendant, guilty. On the count of murder in the first degree, we the jury, find the defendant William Pellinham, guilty."

Trevor shook his head as Pellinham gave him a "How the fuck did that just happen?" look.

"The court recognizes the findings of this jury, and we are grateful for your time and commitment in the name of justice. You are dismissed with the gratitude of this court and the State of New York. I hereby declare the proceedings in this case recessed until 10 am tomorrow at which time I shall deliver my sentencing. Until then, this court is adjourned." Lena punctuated with her gavel.

Alex immediately turned around to scan the gallery, and sighed when she didn't see the one face she had hoped would be among the clearing crowd. Next thing she knew, Trevor was at her side.

"What's it going to take for me to win with you?"

Alex chuckled, "Divine intervention?" She continued to collect her files.

"C'mon Alex. Just say the word." He maneuvered closer into her personal space. "Honestly, Counselor, I'd do anything."

That tone snapped her head around, and angry eyes bored into him. He took a step back just from the sheer force of her gaze. "Counselor Langen," her voice was dark and treacherous, "If I even begin to think that you've misrepresented yourself, or shown any form of impropriety to get into my good graces, I will have you censured, and then disbarred from practicing, whatever it is you call law, faster than you can say 'guilty.' Is that understood?"

Trevor stammered a "Yes" as he realized he'd just lost another battle to the powerful prosecutor.

Alex grabbed her brief case and coat. "Don't ever insult me again." She started to leave, but paused as she passed within inches of him. She cut her eyes in his direction and growled, "Ever." She gave the defense attorney a despicable glare and then stormed out of the courtroom.

Trevor looked like a wounded dog as he left to go face the media that would beat him up even further once he stepped outside the courthouse. While back in the doorway that lead to her chambers, Judge Lena Petrovsky smiled and commented to no one in particular about the scene that had played out before her, "Well done, Alexandra."

This time when Alex stepped out of the courthouse, it was dark and the lights of the city were twinkling in the chill. The air hinted that by morning the city would have a few more inches of slush to push around. Alex pulled out her cell. With everything that had happened, she was starving and had hopes of dinner and something more with her favorite SVU detective.


"Where are you?"

Olivia smiled despite her situation, "Somewhere you don't want to be." Her tone was serious.

"That bad, huh?" There was concern in her voice. Even though she dealt with the same crimes that Olivia did every day, she knew that the detective saw the worst of it in ways she could barely imagine.

Olivia rubbed her tired eyes and expanded the distance between she and Elliot by another dozen feet. "Yeah." She decided to spare Alex the particulars of the scene she was facing. She knew the ADA would be involved more than she wanted her to be soon enough. Their latest call had taken them to the Upper East Side. A young black mother had been mutilated. Her oldest child, a daughter, had been raped and strangled, and her youngest child an infant boy, severely beaten. The black woman was in shock as the EMTs tried to save her life from blood loss. Olivia held the baby to her as it began to cry for its mother.

Alex heard the infant in the background and her heart broke a little. "Oh god, Liv. Is there anything I can do?" She knew how Olivia got when there were children involved. It was one more thing they shared. When it came to protecting kids, both women would risk everything to see justice done. Alex knew in that moment that this was going to be a tough one for the driven detective.

"Not yet, Alex, but thanks. You okay? How did it go with Pellinham?"

The blonde couldn't believe that Olivia was worried about her. Her job was simple in comparison. "I'm fine. Guilty on all counts." She stepped to the curb and started to waive down a cab. "Well, I know you and Elliot are busy. I'll let you get back to work." Her voice got low and buttery, but her nerves made her words shaky, "I just… I wanted to…"

"I know, Alex. I'm sorry, but this is going to take most of the night. I'll probably just crash at the station for a few hours." She tried to convince the ADA not to worry. "I'll be fine. Look, go have a nice meal or something and get some rest. One of us should."

Alex was reluctant, but she knew she didn't want to be a distraction. "Alright, Liv. Take care of yourself." She said as she reached for the cab door.

Olivia smiled and even in the slushy cold, felt warm all over. "You got it. Good night, Counselor."

Alex smiled at the familiar closing, "G'night, Detective." She didn't want to hang up, but she pressed the end button as the cab did its best to negotiate the theatre traffic on Broadway.

Alex checked her watch. 6:30 pm. She smiled and started dialing. From what she remembered about Robert, he should still be at the bank. He had always told her to "call anytime", and now she was about to take him up on it. It was one of the few privileges of the family trust that she actually liked. Alex prided herself on the fact that she rarely tapped into the influence and wealth that had descended with her from Boston. She had hoped to leave it behind like tea dumped in the Harbor. Independence. That was why she had left for New York. She had always irritated her father in that respect. After his death, her mother finally told her that while he never would have confessed it to Alex, one of the things he loved most about "his ACE" was her determination to be a self made woman. "Doggedly independent," he had called her. A sad smile crossed her face at his memory. There were times when she truly missed him, and no matter how much money sat in Robert's bank, it was simply no consolation for the loss of her dad.

The banker's gruff announcement of "Robert Journigan," interrupted her thoughts.

"Robert. Alexandra Cabot. Sorry to bother you this late, but I'm in need of a favor." A mischievous twinkle began to return to her eyes. "So, I'll be stopping by your offices sometime tomorrow morning."

"Of course, Alexandra. I'd be happy to help you in any way that I can. When shall I expect you?"

She could hear him flipping pages and imagine him erasing appointments. Alex chuckled at his efforts to please, "I should be there around half past eight."

"Excellent. I'll see you then."

"Absolutely, Good night."

"Good night, Ms. Cabot."

Alex flipped her phone closed and paid the cabby, before heading up to her apartment. A little pasta bolognaise, some Beaujolais and bubbles would serve to help her sift through the day's events, keeping the good, and mellowing the bad. She needed to unwind, and sleep well. Tomorrow, after all, was a busy day.

Part 10

Return to Law & Order Fiction

Return to Main Page