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Retreat II
By Del

"Alex." Elizabeth Donnelly flagged down the ADA as she closed the door to her office. "What about the NYCDAOATripleR?"

"The what?"

"The New York County District Attorney's Office Annual Rest and Recreation Retreat."

"Oh, yeah," Alex said. "That."

"Are you going to get up there this year?"

"Gosh, Liz, I really thought I could this time, but this trial's running long," she said. "It probably won't go to the jury until late afternoon." She shook her head regretfully. "By the time I got up there, it'd be midnight."

"Midnight?" Donnelly exclaimed. "Who's driving, your grandmother?"

"I'm very cautious," Alex said. "I have a perfect driving record."

"It's only 110 miles," Donnelly pointed out. "You know they're bringing in Learned Hands tonight to mime a selection of Court of Appeals cases."

"What the fu-- I mean what fun."

"Branch and his wife will be there."

Alex shuddered slightly. "I know."

"I could probably get you into our table," Donnelly said.

That would probably score brownie points with the boss, Alex had to acknowledge, but there was a bigger picture here. "Are, uh, any of the other ADAs bringing a significant other?" she asked.

"Several are," Donnelly replied. "Heidi'd better not."

"Why not?"

"Branch found out yesterday that she was having an affair with one of her detectives," Donnelly said. "She's been reassigned to Revenue Enhancement."

"Parking tickets?" Uh oh.

Liz turned toward her office. "Last chance, Alex; you sure you want to miss out?"

"Of course I don't want to, Liz." She tossed up her hands. "It's just terrible timing."

"Well, I'll tell Branch you had no choice," Donnelly said. "What are you going to do tonight while we're having a good time?"

"Actually, I believe that Detective Benson gets back this afternoon," Alex said. "She might want to do something." Over and over.

"Benson?" Donnelly seemed surprised. "My God, that extradition has taken forever."

"Tell me about it."

"Well, don't say the DA's office never did anything for you."

"I won't." Compared to what Olivia did for her, though, it wasn't a close call.

As Alex continued her journey to 60 Centre Street, she allowed her mind to anticipate the long-awaited romantic reunion with her lover. "Hi, Liv, I've missed you. In the bedroom. Now." "Hi, Liv. I'm sure Guatemala was very interesting. Get those off. Now."

In court, things went exactly as planned. A little disorganization here ("Where is that darned exhibit?"), a few lengthy objections there ("The Supreme Court elaborated further on this concept in 1904, as seen in this two-page passage..."), some technical difficulties ("Your Honor, our technician suggests that I try plugging it in"), and they were nearly through the morning. At this rate, the trial would take right up until, oh, approximately the moment of Olivia Benson's return.

Time to skewer the defendant for a few hours. What a great day.

"Mr. Dubois, you claim you were at a Bush `04 rally on the day in question," she began.

"OK, OK, I lied."


"You've been toying with me all morning," Dubois broke down. "I can't take it any more! I did it! I'm totally guilty!"


Judge Lawson turned to defense counsel. "Does your client change his plea, Mr. Klinger?"


"But--" Alex exclaimed.

"The jury is dismissed," Lawson said.


The judge banged her gavel. "Court is in recess."

Stomping down the hall toward her fate worse than death, the frustrated ADA narrowly avoided a collision with a harried colleague.

"Sorry," Wanda said. "Running late."

"Aren't you going to the retreat?" Alex asked.

"I was." Wanda shook her head. "But I've still got to drop the kids off at mom's and pick Ted up. If Seligman's running late, I'm screwed."

"If Seligman's running late?"

"Yeah, I know." The other attorney rolled her eyes. "Well, it shouldn't take long once we get called. It's just a motion to exclude for a Payton violation."

"How are they getting around People v. Harris?"

"They're not. They just don't like Harris."

"Sounds like a pile of--wait a minute, is it Roger Blake?"

Wanda nodded.

"I can take it off your hands," Alex offered eagerly. "I argued that against Blake last month."

"Are you sure?" Temptation merged with guilt in the question. "Won't that screw you up on the retreat?"

That's the plan. "Well, maybe, but since I owe you one-"

"You do?"

"-I don't mind."

"Thanks, Alex!" Wanda said. "You're saving my life."

And you're saving mine. "Any time," she replied. Alex grabbed the folder and strode triumphantly to Seligman's courtroom. Pulling open the door - aha! - yes, Seligman appeared to be his typical hour or two behind schedule.

Seated on an open bench at the back of the courtroom, Alex flipped open the file. She wouldn't really need to know the facts to argue Harris, but the names would help. Defendant Michael Strawn.

Officer Dawn Gillesp-

Someone plopped heavily onto the bench beside her, and she nodded to acknowledge him. "Roger."


"Looks like we're having more fun with Harris," Alex said.

"You here for Wanda Bassett?"

She nodded, gesturing toward the file.

"Then don't worry about it," he said. "I'm withdrawing the motion."


"I've been sanctioned twice now for making it," Blake said. "I'm giving it up." He drew a copy of the signed withdrawal from his file and handed it to Alex. "You can head out."

"Have some backbone, Roger," Alex whispered angrily. "So what if you've been sanctioned? Who hasn't? Hell, I've been jailed!"

"Nah, it's a lousy argument, Alex," he replied, shaking his head.

"Seligman might like it." No, he wouldn't, but Alex was willing to wait a couple of hours to hear him say so.

"He's one of the judges who sanctioned me."

"Oh." Alex sagged against the back of the bench. Damn it.

"People v. Thompson?"

People v. FuckMeIWishIWereDead? Alex kept the guess to herself.

"People v. Wang!"

Her chin sank further into her palm as ADA Dawson gleefully claimed her prize. While her tablemates' attention was on applauding, Alex discreetly checked her cell phone again. The ringer was turned off as instructed, but maybe she hadn't felt the vibration in all the excitement.

No messages, it taunted her. No missed calls.

Why hadn't Liv called? Alex had left a quite clear (not to mention explicit) message on the detective's voice mail at work, home, and cell, ending with a direct order to call as soon as her plane landed. Alex smirked; she knew how much Olivia liked those direct orders . . . .

She drifted down memory lane to the night before Olivia left. Mmm, yeah . . . Caught up in her fantasy, she envisioned her lover standing in the entrance way of the ballroom, beckoning sexily to her. Come and get it, Cabot . . . .

"Isn't that Benson?"

"Wha-?" Alex snapped out of her revery.

"Isn't that Benson trying to get your attention?" Liz asked.

OhThankGodYouBeautifulCreatureILoveYou "Is it?"

In the distance, Olivia waved a manilla folder at her.

"Good grief, can't SVU function without me for one night?" ILoveYouILoveYou

"It could be worse," Liz observed. "They could ignore you."

"True." Alex excused herself and wound her way through the tables. Knowing that Liz and Branch and just about everyone else could see them, she greeted the new arrival casually. "Detective Benson, how are you?"

"Horny," Olivia said quietly. She handed Alex the folder.

Inside was a note. "When I get you alone, I'm going to-"

Alex's face grew warm as she read.

"-the back of your neck, before I-"

"Hmm," she said.

"-between your legs, and then-"

"Yes, I see." Alex nodded.

"-my tongue, until you- "

Alex turned the note over, blue eyes widening as she read the back side. From the doorway, she caught Liz's attention and shrugged an apologetic message that she needed to attend to this. Still clutching the note, she walked the other woman away from the dining area.

"Where's your room?" Olivia asked.

"In the building next door."

"Too far." Olivia grabbed the attorney and pulled her into one of the nearby tropical phone booths, shoving her up against the shuttered door.

Thank God for hokey jungle themes was Alex's last coherent thought before- "Ohhh, God . . . ."

Long strands of ivy fluttered as the door moved steadily against the frame.

Patting down loose strands of blonde hair, Alex slipped carefully into her seat.

"Finally!" Liz muttered. "You get Benson taken care of?"

"For now."

"Why didn't she just call?"

"She had something to show me."

Liz nodded sympathetically; she'd been an ADA once. "Does she want to stay?"

Alex paused midway through rebuttoning her suit jacket. "What?"

"Since she had to drive all that way, why don't you see if she wants to stay?" Liz suggested. "We've got some outdoor stuff tomorrow that she might like. She'd have to bunk with you, though."

A wide smile crossed the ADA's face. "She probably won't mind."

"Then go see if the detective wants to rest and recreate," Liz said.

"Oh, I think she will," Alex said, rising quickly from her seat. Well, maybe not rest . . . .

The End

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