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Silly Fuzzy-Memory Thing
Where was she, and what was she doing here?
That was too hard a question, so she tried an easier one. What was that noise?
Women. Two women talking, not loudly, but not quietly, either. Actually, not just two women. Olivia and Liz.
"They figure out who did it?" Olivia was asking.
"Andrea Porter, maybe."
"Crazy Andy? I thought you fired her."
"We did," Donnelly replied. "She was reinstated by the civil service board pending her frivolous appeal."
Alex managed to get one eye open. Gray cloth. Soft. That answered part of the first question: She was lying on the couch in Donnelly's office. Why?
Olivia spoke up again. "What did the lab results show?"
"Home recipe, apparently," Liz said. "Andy's husband is a chemist."
Chemist? What did that have to do with--screw it; she was too wiped to finish the thought. Instead, Alex tried to focus her one functioning eye on her boss and her detective, who were standing side by side next to the Chief Deputy DA's desk.
"Anything else we need to do?" Olivia asked.
"What have you got?"
The brunette reached into a cardboard box and drew out a VHS tape. "Security video from the second-floor break room."
Break room . . .
"We're gathered here this morning to say goodbye to Rosie Elzinga after 20 years..."
Break room . . .
"Damn, this punch is really good today. Want another glass, Alex?"
"She's a brick . . . house! Mighty, mighty, just lettin' it all hang out!"
"Sing it, Alex!"
"Shake that booty, girl!"
Olivia's hand dipped into the box again, this time for a familiar piece of cloth. "One designer scarf retrieved from the overhead lighting fixture-"
"Go, Alex, go Alex!"
"--and one designer jacket pried out of Peter Culley's hooks." Olivia lay a neatly folded gray suit jacket on the corner of Liz's desk.
"Take it off! Take it allllll off!"
Tossing her jacket onto Pete's head . . . reaching for the top button on her blouse . . . .
"You get her shoeprints off the table?"
Olivia nodded. "Yeah. You're now out of Lemon Pledge." She gestured toward a stack of pink squares in Donnelly's hand. "Judges?"
"I got the first call from Judge Lawson at 9:14," Donnelly said.
Lawson . . .
Beeping . . . an alarm . . . . peering hazily at the PDA . . . `Weaver hearing-Lawson 9:00'.
"Uh, oh - gotta go!" to a chorus of groans. Pointing a righteous finger toward the doorway. "The halls of justice await!"
And then . . . .
"You're out of order! You're out of order! This whole trial is out of order! OK, this isn't a trial, but you're still out of order!"
"Seligman at 9:19."
"Blah, blah, blah! Objection overruled, Your Honor!"
"Petrovsky at 9:24."
"Hey, Lena! Put this in jail!"
Donnelly's secretary entered the office and handed her another couple of messages.
"Judge Durham," Donnelly read from the first sheet.
"Maybe it's about something else," Olivia offered hopefully.
Donnelly handed her the message, and the detective quickly scanned it. "Oh."
"Great," Liz groaned, reading the second one. "If Judge Haws doesn't get his toupee back by 5 o'clock, the D.A.'s office owes him twelve hundred dollars."
"What the hell was security doing, letting her go from courtroom to courtroom?" Olivia said.
Donnelly shook her head. "They weren't quite expecting this kind of behavior, even from her." She looked into the cardboard box. "What about these?"
"Oh, yeah." Olivia reached in for a small tape. "Security tape from the courthouse entrance. I, uh, guess she showed an unusual form of i.d. to get in."
"And this?" Donnelly drew out another tape.
"That?" Olivia retrieved it from her. "East hallway."
Donnelly sighed. "Do I even want to know?"
Alex was asking herself the same question, but she had no choice, apparently. The events were becoming horrifyingly clear . . . .
Olivia flashing her badge to clear a path through the crowd . . . calling to her . . . . "Alex!"
"Olivia!" Hurrying toward her . . . grabbing the detective's face in both hands, kissing her . . . and kissing her . . . and kissing her . . . . Exclaiming happily, "I've always wanted to do that! You are one hot woman, Olivia Benson!"
Her eyes popped open.
Oh, my God . . . .
"Nah," Olivia said. "She passed out right around then. I tossed her over my shoulder and hauled her over here, so other than Alex's ass, there's nothing to see." She slipped the tape into her pocket.
"Well, well, if it isn't our multi-talented Miss Cabot." Donnelly's sarcasm meter was on high. "Finally awake, are we?"
The attorney kept silent. Olivia was standing there, looking at her. She knew . . . .
"How are you feeling, Alex?"
Mortified. Humiliated. Praying for imminent death.
Damn; now Olivia was kneeling beside the couch. "We were a little worried there."
With good reason, apparently.
"No one's mad at you for anything, Alex," Olivia said. "For anything," she repeated slowly.
Alex risked a glance at her.
"We all love you--"
"Speak for yourself," Liz interrupted, reaching to answer the phone on her desk.
"--and we just want to be sure you're OK." Olivia brushed stray locks from the blonde's forehead. "You OK?"
"Are you?" Alex asked quietly.
Olivia smiled at her. "I'm great." Her hand gently stroked Alex's hair. "I had a dream come true this morning."
"Yes, Your Honor, I understand completely, but--" The Chief Deputy DA's strained voice reached them. "Miss Cabot was--no, Your Honor, she was--she--yes, Your Honor, I'll be right over." Shooting daggers at the woman on the couch, Liz grabbed her purse. "You cannot imagine the horrors that await you when I get back," she said, and then she was gone, office door slammed emphatically behind her.
Alex winced. "Thought you said no one blames me," she said.
"She doesn't," Olivia said. "But maybe we should get out of here, just in case. I'll drive you home."
"You don't have to do that."
"I don't mind." Olivia rose to her feet and reached into her pocket for the tape. "Maybe we can reenact some great moments in film . . . ."
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