DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and all characters are
property of NBC and Dick Wolf. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Written in honor of Eclecticfan's birthday. Special thanks to Cabenson for the read through and vote of confidence. Betaed by the very lovely Maxi. All errors are mine and mine alone.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
The Resurrection of Butchy McFabulous
A well-manicured, freshly polished fingernail eased under the edge of a dilapidated wooden slat and slowly lifted the worn piece of wood just high enough for the watcher to peer out into a mostly empty room. Blue eyes scanned the familiar area briefly before settling on a vacant desk near the room's entrance. She'd heard the rumors of how the once sexy, not to mention seriously hot, butch detective had been transformed into someone far less desirable to well, anyone. But try as she may, she just couldn't imagine it. Olivia Benson was the epitome of a walking, talking wet dream.
"It's true, Alex; Olivia has become soft," said Donald Cragen, shaking his head in disheartenment at the downward spiral his lead detective had taken ever since SVU's favorite ADA had been shot and then whisked away into the Witness Protection Program, only to return just long enough to drive the final nail into Liv's heart and dooming them all to life with an extremely delicate, highly emotional Benson.
"C'mon, Don, it can't be that baaa Oh my God!" proclaimed Alex, jabbing the blind's slat higher and risking someone discovering her unexpected return to the city before she could make her proper debut. "She's got curves everywhere!!! Woman curves!!!" She angled her head and practically pressed her nose to the glass. "Where are the firm abs? The muscled arms and legs? And dear God, what has she done with her hair???"
Cragen continued to shake his head sadly, completely at a loss for a proper answer. He'd at least been able to witness Olivia's many, many changes gradually, but poor Alex was being thrown into the lion's den without so much as a whip or a chair, although he was fairly certain she wouldn't need either to subdue the shell of a woman Olivia had become. Despite the radical chances his detective had gone through, he still stubbornly clung onto the hope that Olivia hadn't fallen so far into Namby-Pamby Land that the return of the squad's former ADA had come too late. Alex just had to provide the spark that would pull Benson free from the depths of despair so that she could once again stroll down the streets of New York City with her classic, cocky swagger. Cabot was truly their last chance.
"She's not working out anymore." Cragen shifted on the edge of the desk he was perched on and crossed his arms over his chest as he watched Alex's reactions carefully. He'd allow her some time to absorb the horrible shock of seeing the results of Olivia's reverse metamorphosis, but only a few minutes - the Benson crisis had already gone on for far too long as it was. It was time to speed things along. "And as for her hairstyles, we never know what to expect. She's cut it short a few times trying to regain her tough-as-nails image, but she never came close."
Alex stared at the chair that held the weak-looking detective and had to force her eyes from the woman who barely resembled her lover. In fact, had she arrived at the squad room after Olivia, Alex would've walked right by her, not even recognizing the person who used to make her heart race and her skin tingle just by being in the same room with her. And when Liv turned those dark eyes on her, practically devouring her whole
"How could you have let her sink so low?" asked Alex, swallowing hard and pushing away the very images that had brought her to many a release on countless numbers of nights when she had lain alone in her bed in nameless towns across the country she'd been imprisoned in. This new Liv wouldn't so much as cause a slight blip in her pulse.
"Let her?" Cragen's voice raised an octave and his eyebrows lifted to the general vicinity where his hairline used to reside. "You think I didn't try to stop this?" He was hurt that Alex would even hint at such a thing. "I left Weight Watchers and Nutri-System pamphlets on her desk every day when she gained all that weight. They worked, too kind of." He paused in memory of his other attempts and frowned. "The Gold Gym and Cut-N-More coupons didn't seem to have any effect though."
Alex released her tenuous hold on the paper-thin slat and let it freefall, much like her heart had when she'd first spied the woman formerly known as Olivia. She walked to a chair that stood in front of the captain's desk and plopped down, a dejected expression marring her features. "What about Elliott? Why didn't he do something?"
"That's another story entirely. Suffice it to say that Elliott dove off into a completely different deep end when you left." Just the thought of the drastic changes that had occurred to both his detectives sent Cragen's mind into overdrive, and he began to put two-and-two together as to the potential harm that could result at the end of Alex's stay this time around. It would be nothing less than catastrophic. "You can't leave again, Alex. I'll just have to make sure Greylek's assignment is permanent." He looked away in thought, wondering if any of Velez's men would be willing to take a shot at the ADA who'd replaced Novak. Witness Protection could only improve her personality.
"Elliott, too?" asked Alex, sinking further into her chair. She was almost afraid to see Elliott now, her mind already forming an image of the former Marine with a beer belly, scruffy beard, and shaved head.
Cragen returned his attention from car bombs and drive-by shootings back to the woman in which he placed all his hope. "Forget Elliott. We need to concentrate on getting Olivia back on track. Elliott will follow; he always does." The captain felt a bit of sympathy for the other man. It was obvious he was in love with his partner and always had been, but first there'd been Alex and then Alex's ghost for Elliott to contend with. The poor man had never stood a chance, until now that is. With Benson's current state of being, no telling what would happen. It was entirely possible she'd finally turn to her partner, but Cragen simply couldn't allow that to happen. Olivia and Alex were meant to be together, and he would do everything in his power to correct a right gone terribly wrong.
"So, what do you think we should do first?" Alex straightened in her chair and crossed a long, stocking-clad leg over an equally elegant one, the graceful move causing her skirt to hike up to reveal a fair expanse of nylon wrapped snugly around a smooth, sexy thigh. The silky material rose up and up and finally disappeared underneath a tailored skirt. Cragen smiled. Shock therapy was a very good place to start.
"I think I should go out and send Olivia in here under some false pretense."
Dull, lifeless eyes stared at a silent phone as if willing it to ring. It wasn't that she wanted something terrible to happen to someone; she just needed a distraction and any kind of distraction would do, even another stint working with the computer department. Her life pretty much consisted of waking, working, and sleeping with an occasional cry now and again, mostly again and again. In other words, her life sucked in a very big way.
The detective started in her chair, almost losing her balance and falling to the floor, but thankfully her reflexes hadn't abandoned her like everything else had as she'd been able to grip the edge of her desk and right herself. If only it had been so simple to correct her off-course life as easily as it had been to regain her balance, but even Rand-McNally couldn't create a map to lead Olivia back from where she'd driven herself. Her current locale was miles and miles off the beaten path of every map known to man. She'd need the proper guide to help her find her way back to Butchville.
"Captain?" asked Olivia, pushing to her feet to greet the very welcomed diversion from her ever-present jumbled, confusing thoughts thoughts she seemed to never have answers to, especially as she was seldom able to form a single question from them, so disjointed as they always were. "Got something for us?" She spared a glance at Elliott's desk and mentally cursed his tardiness. Surely the captain wouldn't give the case to Fin just because her partner was late.
"Actually, I do," lied Cragen smoothly, schooling his expression to convey a more serious tone, although had he thought about it nothing was more serious than his efforts to resurrect the old Olivia from the ashes of her former flame the detective had literally glowed hot, way past the point of smokin', in the early years. "I'll brief you when I get back from my meeting with the mayor, but I'm already late as it is." He gestured toward his office, the blinds effectively hiding the woman within. "The case files are on my desk. You can acquaint yourself with them and fill in Elliott when he arrives. I should be back shortly." With a curt nod, he continued on his way through the squad room doors, forcing himself not to look back over his shoulder. Olivia was still quite observant about things that didn't actually involve her.
Frowning, Olivia watched Cragen walk away briskly. It wasn't like her captain to toss a case to any of his detectives in such an informal manner, and she wondered if perhaps something was going on with him. She hadn't exactly been keyed in to any of her colleagues lately and hadn't a clue what was going on in their lives. Pausing for a few moments after Cragen had disappeared from view, she turned on her heel and started for his office, the prospect of a new case overshadowing everything else. Her work was the one area she could still focus all her energies on.
Alex kept her eyes glued to the office's closed door and re-crossed her legs for the fifth time since Cragen had left her alone with her thoughts. Olivia would be coming through that door any minute, and the speech Alex had committed to memory had flown from her head seconds after the captain had walked out to coax Olivia into his office. What could she possibly say to explain why she hadn't contacted anyone from her old life, especially her lover, when she'd first been released from the program? How could she make them understand that she'd just needed some time to settle back into being Alex Cabot again?
She'd honestly believed that she'd run into Olivia during her short stint as bureau chief to a bunch of whippersnapper ADAs, but after seeing the drastic changes that had taken place since the last time she'd seen Olivia, it was entirely possible that she had and not even realized it. Was she too late to save their relationship? Was she too late to save Olivia? The office door flew open before she could put any thought toward her answers.
"Alex?" asked Olivia, turning the simple name into multiple syllables as she stood stock still in the doorway, her hand gripping the tarnished knob so tightly she risked transferring what little luster it still held onto her palm, while her eyes drank in the beauty before her: golden hair that shone even brighter than she remembered, blue eyes that never lied, the infamous glasses of justice that had always made her blood boil, creamy, almost milky skin that surrounded classic features she'd never, ever forget and that peeked out from behind the loosened buttons of a silky blouse, and legs that seemingly went on forever. But Olivia knew better; she'd seen exactly where those long limbs ended. She swallowed hard.
"Liv," said Alex in a low voice, one she used only when the two of them were alone. "Close the door." It wasn't lost on her that she'd sounded eerily like Leslie Ann Warren in Victor/Victoria. The huge difference in this case, however, was that Julie Andrews had looked much more butch than the woman standing in front of her. She couldn't stop the sigh that escaped her lips. Oh, how the mighty butch had fallen.
Still shocked to the core, Olivia somehow managed to step inside the room and pull the door closed, never once taking her eyes off the apparition in front of her. She'd been fooled by the ghost before, thinking Alex was back for good; she'd not be fooled again. Leaning against the door for support, she spoke the first words that came to mind, unconsciously quoting yet another Julie Andrews movie.
"You left without saying goodbye." Captain von Trapp couldn't have said it better or with any more emotion as ever-present tears began to pool in Olivia's eyes. More like a crying nun than a singing one, the woman could conjure up a well of tears at the drop of a hat these days.
Alex pushed to her feet and slowly approached her unsettled lover. She'd always known how to diffuse Olivia's upset and anger before of course, there hadn't been any tears then and it usually hadn't involved much in the way of talking, unless Alex's shouted 'yes, yes!' could be considered conversation - but this was new ground for the former bureau chief, and if she didn't do or say something quickly, the uncharted territory would be sporting a river or at the very least a narrow stream, judging from the line of steady tears that had begun to flow down Olivia's cheeks.
"Liv, I wasn't sure if I'd be able to return to my old life. I couldn't afford to toss false hope out there for either of us if it turned out that things had changed so much I wouldn't be comfortable staying around. I needed to find myself first," confessed Alex, staying in perfect control and not batting an eyelash at how the change she'd most dreaded hadn't been that her lover had lost her self-image, but that Liv had found someone else. Alex would have never in a million years thought to fear that Olivia had turned into her polar opposite so opposite in fact, she wondered if the distance between the poles had miraculously increased by leaps and bounds during her forced exile in Podunkville, USA.
"But things had to change; surely you realized that?" asked Liv, taking a tentative step forward as she reached up to swipe at the tears that threatened to stain her cheeks. She'd just recently managed to finally rid any evidence of her last crying jag with the use of expensive facial products, and if things didn't change soon, she'd be broke and have to borrow against her retirement to fund the products necessary to hide her crying habit.
"Yes, I did," confessed Alex, pleased that her lover had voluntarily left the safety of the door she'd practically molded herself against, but more so that Olivia had at least made an attempt to staunch the flow of her tears. Perhaps all wasn't lost if Liv was aware of the tracks of her tears. "I was hoping our feelings for one another were just as strong as ever." Alex paused in contemplation. "I just wanted to hold on to the memory of us awhile longer, just in case you'd moved on."
There, she'd said it the one fear she'd carried with her on her flight back to New York City. She'd agonized over how she should go about telling Olivia that she was finally free to return. In every scenario she'd imagined, Liv was kind and caring and loving to a fault - right up until the moment she broke the news that she'd found another. Alex would then watch, completely and utterly devastated, as Liv would offer an apologetic smile and walk away to meet her new lover, the two strolling away hand in hand, Olivia and her worn, brown leather jacket walking out of her life forever. The image had always chosen to freeze on that moment to cast the final doubt in Alex's mind, and she'd taken it as a sign that a chance meeting would probably be best.
Frowning at the images or rather one in particular - that had replayed in her mind on an hourly basis, Alex thoughts centered their focus on her favorite apparel that was now noticeably absent. "Olivia? Where's your jacket?"
"Huh?" Olivia paused both her speech and her steps. "Um, I left it on the back of my chair." Her mind quickly ran through the potential reasons why Alex would want to know where she'd left her plain black London Fog coat and came up with only one. "Are you cold?" A glimmer of the old Liv surfaced briefly as she hurried to Alex's side and ran her hands up and down her lover's arms, both women starting at their first touch in what seemed like forever. It was positively electric, shooting a current through Liv's hands and Alex's arms and trapping the tingling sensation between the two. They each reveled in the feeling, even the minor pain experienced at the initial point of contact; neither willing to chalk up the phenomenon to the more obvious cause of static electricity.
"A little," lied Alex, stepping close enough to brush their bodies together. "Care to warm me up?" She slid her hands to Olivia's hips and bit down on her lip to keep from making a face at the new curves she encountered along the way. "It'll be just like old times," she said aloud, mentally adding, 'except for you wearing nothing but that brown leather.' Olivia always exuded total confidence, not to mention pure sex, whenever she wore that jacket. Alex's eyes widened at the thought could it be that simple?
"Um, Liv, where is your leather jacket?"
Olivia shrugged at the emphasis Alex had placed on her old coat. "I don't know; I haven't been wearing it."
"But where is it?"
"Um, I guess it's in my closet at home," replied Olivia, not able to fully enjoy the feel of Alex's hands gripping her hips possessively as she was distracted by her lover's sudden obsession with a leather jacket that had long been forgotten by the detective.
"You guess? You're not sure?" Alex voice took on a decidedly worried tone. If her suspicions were correct, they had to find that jacket and fast before there weren't any traces left of the old Liv. She just hoped that they weren't already too late.
Olivia tried to recall the last time she'd seen her coat and was fairly certain she'd spied its sleeve just the other day when she'd bypassed her once favorite low riding pants to choose a more unflattering pair. "I'm sure it's there."
Alex moved her hands from Olivia's hips and slipped them into her lover's, intertwining their fingers together and gripping tightly. "Let's go find it." Releasing Olivia's right hand, she grabbed for the doorknob, quickly opening the door and tugging Liv behind her as she started into the squad room. They didn't have a second to waste.
"Alex, why the hurry?" Despite her confusion, Olivia still followed along obediently, the feel of her hand in Alex's grounding her with its familiarity. She unconsciously pulled her shoulders back and walked more erect, a slight swagger in her stride one that had been absent for far too many years.
"Trust me, Liv," replied Alex, increasing her stride to just under a jogging pace as she continued to pull her lover toward the building's exit. She licked her lips several times in preparation for the sharp whistle she'd need to flag down the closest cab.
Olivia caught sight of Alex's pink tongue flicking over soft, velvety lips and shot out ahead of her lover, taking the lead as the pair exited the building and started down the steps. A shrill whistle filled the air, followed by an authoritative-sounding voice.
Alex grinned widely at the sudden change in Olivia's mousy demeanor. If her theory held water, once the detective slipped into her old leather jacket and had her way with Alex again and again, she'd be back on her path to Butchville. Just like Superman and his cape
Return to Law & Order: SVU Fiction
Return to Main Page