DISCLAIMER: Dick Wolf and NBC own the rights to Law and Order: SVU. I'm just burrowing the characters for entrainment. No money is being made, and no harm is intended.

Putting it Out There
By Berg

Alex sat on her bed. She kept going over the conversation she had with Olivia a few hours ago. She looked at the clock. It was now 1:45 a.m. "I'm never going to get to sleep," she sighed. "God, what did I do?" she asked no one.

"I mean what did she think I would say if there was anything to say at all? I just stood there, and looked at her." Olivia's words replaying over and over again. "I should have told you," Alex sighed.

Hours before:

"I love you."

I laughed at the seriousness in her voice.

"I mean...I...I'm," she faltered. I knew she was upset. I pushed her into saying it. I never should have done that.

"It's okay? You're what?" I said asked placing a hand on her shoulder, encouraging her to go on. Whatever it was she needed to say, it was eating her up inside.

"I'm in love with you," she said removing my hand.

I asked in the softest of whispers, "You're what?"

"I'm in love with you. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have ever told you. I just needed you to know. I couldn't keep it inside any longer." Silence surrounded us in the tiny restaurant.

"When? Why?" the words where coming out, but they hadn't been able to formulate the questions that ran around in my mind.

"I don't know. I've tried so hard to fight it, to tell myself it's wrong. God...it's so wrong." She ran her hands through her short brown hair. She paused for a moment, looking me in the eyes before she continued, "I'm so sorry you know. I never even planned on telling you. I just...I just," she paused closing her eyes.

"You just what? You just needed me to know? I mean how could you let this happen? How could...how could you...love me?" I asked, suddenly allowing the words to sink in, hitting me hard. I wasn't angry just confused, but the words came out angry. I didn't mean it to sound that way, but I couldn't help myself.

"I'm...I don't know what I'm trying to say here," she said moving around me and sitting on my bench. "God, I am so sorry I said anything. I was just going to leave and." I heard the words 'leave' and cut her off instantly.

"Leave? You're leaving?"

"I just thought it was for the best. If I left, maybe I'd get over this. I wouldn't be in your way. I'd be out of your life. And...and I could stop these feelings. You know, for the best."

"That's what's the best? Great solution to the problem...leave." I said beginning to pace. So much for a normal dinner with a friend.

"It's not like this is what I wanted. It just seemed like the logical thing. It's killing me being here with you. I just can't do it anymore. I can't keep pretending to not feel. It hurts too much Alex. I look at you and every time I see you I feel this ache inside. I feel like I'm hiding away the best parts of me."

"How long have you felt this way?"

"I don't know," She said reaching across the table and playing with a straw. She laughed, almost sadly. I saw a tear creep out from the corner of her right eye. Crying. She was crying. She never cried.

"Olivia don't," I said softly. I placed my arm around her shoulder. I was so confused. Part of me wanted to run from her, but another part of me, that part that loved her unconditionally, wanted to comfort her in any way I could.

"Please, Alex, don't do that," she said removing herself from the table.

"What?" I said defensively. She was the one who just dropped the bombshell, and now I was being made to feel bad for something as innocent as a hug?

"I just need you to understand Alex. Please, say something?"

What did she think I would say if there was anything to say at all? I just stood there, looking at her. "You know, I don't think I know what to say really. I mean. Should I say thank you? I just can't deal with this right now Olivia, not with everything else happening in my life. Maybe you should go."

It wasn't exactly what I wanted, but for the moment, it was all I had.

"Go?" she said, almost sadly. "Okay. Yeah...okay..." she looked around the restaurant, like she might be leaving something behind.

"Okay...I'll go." She opened the door to my room, and looked back at me. Her eyes were pleading for some form of acceptance. I didn't give her any. She just told me that she not only loved me, but that she was in love with me.

My mind was attempting to process way too much. Our eyes locked. "Okay." she said one last time, leaving me alone.


Somehow Alex had made her way to Olivia's apartment. Knock. Knock. "Alex?" Olivia asked sleepy. "Come on in," she welcomed the woman into her home. It was as if nothing had happened.

"I couldn't sleep," Alex said sitting down.

"Oh. Yeah. My fault huh?"

"No. It's not your fault Olivia. I just needed some time to think about this. About us. I...you sort have dropped it on me you know?" Alex said slightly hesitant.

"I know. I'm sorry for that," Olivia apologized. She broke eye contact from Alex.

"No, don't be. I'm glad you said something. I mean I always want us to be able to share our feelings with each other Olivia. That's important. Never be sorry for that." Alex walked over to where Olivia stood. "Can I ask you a favor?"

"Sure. Anything."

"Close your eyes. I need to conduct a test."

"A test?"

"Yeah. Just close your eyes." Olivia did as she was asked. She felt Alex's lips on her own. She wanted desperately to respond but she knew Alex needed to be in control of this. She knew Alex needed to take her time.

"Done." She heard a voice say quietly and shyly.

"Results?" Olivia asked, eyes still closed.

"Results are." And Alex kissed her again, this time with more passion and emotion. Olivia ignored that rational part of her telling her to take it slow.

She needed this kiss as much as Alex did. Olivia brought her hands up behind Alex's head and pulled her in even closer. They fall back into the wall.

Alex's right hand slightly caressed Olivia's backside. She could feel Olivia's reaction and she liked how she'd responded. She pulled back. Both women smiled and blushed slightly.

"Okay. Well, I think I will be able to sleep now," Alex said softly. Olivia chuckled and picked up Alex's hand.

"I love you Alex. I hope I didn't push you into anything you weren't ready for?"

"Are you kidding me? I'm ready. I just need to sort and process my stuff you know? Thanks for letting me do that."

"Always," Olivia said kissing her again.

"Goodnight Olivia. I'll be seeing you tomorrow," Alex said smiling as she walked away.

"Goodnight Alex."

As the door closed, both women fell against the walls closest to them. Each closed their eyes, smiled.


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