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.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Special thanks to TJ, Mam, and Michelle...and everyone else who made my first Beta experience fun
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Janice sat in the hospital room alone. She was waiting patiently for the return of the nurse confirming it would be okay for her to go home. She sighed and looked at the clock for the twentieth time that minute.
"Detective," Janice nodded and smiled. "Come in."
"Thanks," Olivia returned the smile and stepped in. "About ready to leave?"
"All I want to do is go home and sleep in my own bed next to Mel. I miss my dog and cats. I miss my bathroom." Olivia nodded in understanding. She quickly wondered what it must be like to come home to someone at the end of the day. Someone to sit and share a glass of wine with or a cup of coffee. Someone who could understand what her job was like, someone who could understand her.
Olivia knew she was fairly complex as women go. She had a past. No. She didn't have a past..her life had a past. Olivia never gave it much thought...till times like this. She would see a survivor of rape or someone who had managed to get away. She wondered how her mother's life would have been different, could have changed so drastically if that horrible night had never happened. The hardest part of that thought though was knowing that if that night never happened...her coming to existence would never have happened.
"You okay?" Janice asked noticing the far away look in Olivia's eyes.
"Sorry," Olivia said. "Just thinking. Occupational hazard."
"So you had some more questions you wanted to ask me?"
"Yeah. This will only take a few minutes," Olivia pulled up a chair next to Janice. "Was there anything...anything at all that might have been said to you by anyone that night that you thought was a bit off?"
"No. Like I said, I just went there for a bit to relax. I left cause Mel called me. I wanted to get home."
"Why wasn't Mel with you?"
"I went straight to the bar after work. She's not really the bar type."
"Why's that?" Olivia asked but knowing full well the answer already. She herself disliked the bar environment. She preferred a much calmer social setting with gathering with people. Besides that...she hated cigarette smoke.
"Oddly enough...the smell of smoke bothers her a lot."
"I don't go out often. I'm a happy woman with Mel. Just felt like getting out that night. Work had been horrible."
"I was working on a new ad for my account with the Pico corporation. Out of nowhere they pulled out of the deal. They said we would have creative differences down the road. Didn't want to associate themselves with me. My boss pulled it and gave it to another guy in the firm."
"Just out of the blue like that?" Olivia asked shocked.
"Yeah. So...I called Mel and told her I was going out for a few drinks after work but I'd be home by 10 or so." Just then the nurse came in carrying release papers. Mel stood behind her with a big smile and flowers.
"Ready to go home honey?"
"Am I ever," Janice returned the big smile.
"Lets get out of here."
Alex turned sideway in the mirror and smiled. "Looking good Cabot," she said softly. "Looking good." She walked to her dresser. She wondered whether she should wear her contacts or not. She decided her glasses were worn all too often in front of the Detective and she wanted something new. She took them off and placed her contacts in.
"Here we go," she said nervously. "Wish me luck Sammy."
The cat looked at Alex and tilter his head while giving a meow.
"Thanks. You too," Alex waved and closed the door behind her.
She stood before Olivia's door and tried to calm her nerves. "I can't believe I'm so nervous. It's just Liv for goodness sakes." She lifted her hand and knocked softly on the door.
"Who is it!" she heard shouted from inside.
"Come in!" Alex reached down and opened the door walking casually into Olivia entrance way. Olivia ran through the hallway half dressed with one stocking on her leg, the other clinging to her ankle. "Screw this...can I go without nylons you think?"
Alex left out a soft giggle. "Why hide those legs?"
Olivia raised her eyebrow in shock and amusement. "Counselor we're awfully bold tonight."
"Part of my new years resolution," Alex replied.
"New Years was 7 months ago, honey," Olivia laughed taking off the remaining nylons.
"Yes but I'm slow when it comes to my 'get to it' list."
"I see," Olivia laughed. "Zip me would you please. I'm sorry I'm running late. I had to go meet with Janice again. We got to talking and I freaked out when I realized what time it was. I barely got back here with enough time for a shower."
Alex casually walked over to where Olivia stood. She looked the woman up and down. "You look great Olivia."
"As do you," Olivia nodded. "This is okay right?" Olivia gestured toward her black sparkling dress. "Last time I wore it was almost a year ago and it was on a date that was broken up by a call from Fin. Here's to that not happening again."
"A cursed dress. How cute," Alex smiled as she zipped Olivia up. "Yes. It's perfect for you."
"I just want to look nice you know?" Olivia laughed. "Like I told you at the restaurant the other day. It's been awhile since my last date."
"Me too," Alex nodded.
Olivia and Alex exited Alex's Lexus and gave the valet parking man a tip. They walked up the front walk way side by side..almost touching. Alex noticed all the photographers.
"ADA Cabot," one of them yelled out. "Who is escorting you tonight?"
Alex froze for just a second. How should she answer this question. She looked at Olivia quickly and then averted her eyes to the group process her thoughts as quickly as she could.
"I'm Detective Olivia Benson with SVU," Olivia spoke up. "I'm a friend of ADA Cabot. You are?" Olivia smiled charmingly and waved.
"The same Detective Benson who nailed the South Park killers three months ago?"
"Don't forget my partner Elliot Stabler."
"Have a nice night gentleman," Alex said pulling Olivia inside. She handed her tickets to the doorman. "Sorry I froze on the question," Alex said biting the inside of her cheek.
"Its' okay," Olivia smiled. "I would have too. Hell I did panic a bit. Private life is private. They don't get that...friend," Olivia winked as Alex let out a sigh of relief.
They made their way inside looking around the large room. "Wow," Olivia said.
"Yes she is very talented I've heard," Alex smiled. "Is this the first time you've been to one of these?"
"Yeah," Olivia looked around as they made their way down the large corridor.
"Liv?" came the shout from behind. Olivia and Alex turned around and saw the woman approaching them.
"What are you doing here?" Kelly asked making note of the beautiful blond in the killer red dress next to Olivia. She filed all her questions away till she could get Olivia alone.
"I'm here with my friend Alex Cabot," Olivia gestured to Alex standing next to her. "What are you doing here?"
"I'm here cause this is my exhibit."
"You're kidding me," Olivia gasped. "This is all your stuff?"
"Yup," Kelly smiled. Alex suddenly got a very funny feeling in the pit of her stomach.
'Thousand miles of lonesome highway drinking gallons of coffee in a little café'. It brought me here and it's so good to find that there is someone who has the same story as mine. Just look as us, we're a couple of hard cases so how'd we end up where we are? Somewhere in the vicinity of the heart I feel something hitting me awful hard. Don't know where it's going to lead. I just know it starts somewhere in the vicinity of the heart.'
"So you two know each other?" Alex smiled.
"Oh excuse me," Olivia shook her head. "Alex this is Kelly. Kelly, Alex."
"Nice to meet you," Kelly extended her hand, "formally at least."
"The pleasures mine," Alex smiled warmly. She was sizing Kelly up. She seemed nice enough and if she was a friend of Olivia's and had earned Olivia's trust and respect...that spoke volumes for Alex.
"So this is your stuff. You did say you had a show, but I had no idea this was what you meant," Olivia laughed.
"Well the question is what are you doing here? Shouldn't you be home sleeping with your work?" Kelly asked raising an eyebrow and glancing at Alex. "Or have you found something better...to...spend your time with?"
"Ahh," Olivia laughed. "You certainly haven't lost your flare for truth have you?"
"Never," Kelly winked. "I have to mingle. I'll see you two later."
Alex waved her on as Kelly walked away. "So how do you know her?" Alex asked trying to keep the odd hint of jealousy out of her voice.
"We go back a ways," Olivia nodded. "She used to date an old friend of mine."
"Didn't work out?"
"No...Vivian wanted more then Kelly could give. Hell up till lunch this afternoon I didn't even know they'd broken up."
"You met her for lunch?" Alex smiled sipping her wine.
"She was actually at a bar I was investigating," Olivia said. "Go figure. She said something about there being someone else. It was weird."
"I don't know," Olivia shook her head. "I swear if I didn't know I got the feeling it was her. But Kelly...cheating isn't her style."
"I see," Alex nodded. "Well her work is amazing."
"She's amazing," Olivia smiled watching Kelly in the distance. Alex followed her gaze and noticed Kelly wave in Olivia's direction. Olivia broke eye contact and glanced back at Alex. She moved in closer. "We're just friends Alex."
"I didn't say anything," Alex shook her head.
"I know...I just want you to know. It's nothing more then that...it's never been."
"Okay," Alex nodded. She felt relief flood her.
"To be honest," Olivia spoke softly as she moved in even closer to Alex's side. She leaned up and whispered in her ear. "There's only one person I've been interested in for a long time...and tonight, she's got all my attention."
Alex felt a blush creep up her neck. She slowly turned her head to look into Olivia's eyes. She leaned in. It was perfect. They were alone in a secluded corner and all Alex wanted was to let Olivia know her feelings were returned.
"You've got to be kidding me," Olivia mumbled pulling back.
"You aren't kidding about the curse are you?" Alex smiled as Olivia shook her head.
"I'm sorry Alex," she said pulling her phone out. "I've got to take this."
"Don't worry about it," Alex smiled. Inside she felt a small ache with the loss of not feeling Olivia's lips against her own.
"That was Elliot," Olivia said softly. "Melanie Conners, Janice's partner was attacked tonight on her way home from work."
"My god," Alex gasped. "Is she okay?"
"They took her to the ER. Some cuts and a few bruises. She'll be okay. We have her ex boyfriend down at the station."
"So much for clean huh?" Alex said sarcastically.
"No kidding. I've...I'm sorry to do this, but I've got to go."
"I'll go with you," Alex said.
"No...please. Stay. Don't let this ruin your night. I'll get back when I can...if I can."
"Well no matter what time it is...call me okay?" Alex said as Olivia turned to leave. Olivia paused and gave Alex a flashing smile.
'Been so long I can't believe I feel something so sweet where pain used to be. Don't fall or love anymore, but I've never met anyone like you before. Stay here with me for a couple more minutes, I think there's something going on somewhere in the vicinity of the heart. I feel something hitting me awful hard. I don't know where it's going to lead. I just know it starts somewhere in the vicinity of the heart.'
"She's pretty amazing isn't she?" came the voice from behind Alex. Alex looked to find Kelly smiling.
"So how long have you two."
"Oh we're not...well...not technically I guess. It's still new."
"I see," Kelly nodded. "I missed my chance again." She handed Alex another glass of wine.
"Thank you," Alex smiled and took the offered gift. "What do you mean missed your chance again?"
"Olivia," Kelly sighed.
"You and Olivia."
"Oh no," Kelly shook her head. "Just friends. But I've always wanted more."
"Did she know?"
"No. She was too wrapped up in her work to notice things like that," Kelly sipped her wine. "But it looks like some things have changed."
"I'm not. If it was meant to be it would have been. Besides, I was with Vivian at the time."
"Yeah," Kelly nodded. "She knew. That's why she left me." Alex just watched as Kelly looked around the room. "See that one?"
Alex followed Kelly's line of vision. "The piece of art work?"
"Yeah...inspired by her."
"No kidding." It was a tall dark clay work that was shaped like a woman with her hands reaching up to the skies. "It's beautiful."
"That's Olivia...always reaching for the sky," Kelly smiled. "I should go. Enjoy your night Alex."
"Thanks," Alex smiled. "You too."
'Well it sure took awhile to find it. It's been waiting there all this time. Somewhere in the vicinity of the heart. I feel something hitting me awful hard. I don't know where it's going to lead. I just know it starts somewhere in the vicinity of the heart.'
"Okay so lets run through this again," Olivia said gripping the side of the chair. "You're happy for Mel. You love Mel. You want the best for Mel.so why the hell did you feel the need to beat her to the point she needed medical attention. Elliot, is that how you care enough to send the best?"
"Not me Liv," Elliot shook his head. "Beating women...that's a pathetic guy thing right there."
"It's not like that," Rob, Melanie's ex said. "You don't understand."
"No I don't," Olivia said raising her voice. "But I'm fair Rob. Why don't you tell me what I'm missing here?"
"Mel came to me. I didn't come see her. She asked to meet me after work. So I did. She starts screaming at me, accusing me of attacking that bitch."
"Watch your mouth," Elliot warned.
"Sorry," Rob shook his head. "Janice. She accused me of attacking Janice. I told her I had nothing to do with it. She started throwing her fists, hitting me."
"Really?" Elliot asked.
"Yeah. I had to defend myself. I mean she went crazy."
"Where are your bruises?" Olivia asked from the other side of the room. "She hit you...went off on you...show me your bruises."
"Well I mean, she wasn't hitting that hard."
"You sure as hell were," Olivia bit at her words. She was going to make him cry if she had too. She'd go that far.
"I had too...she went nuts. I'm telling you she's gone all butch or something. That just isn't natural."
"Natural to what huh?" Elliot spoke up his protective nature kicking in. "Natural to guys like you who beat up a woman when you're three times their size? Natural to the rape, murder, and violence I see out on that street every day. You're pathetic. At least come up with a decent cover story." Elliot paused and looked at Olivia. She left the room and stood outside the window.
"Now it's just us two in here," Elliot sighed. "Look I want to believe you I really do but she's got a point," he said pointing to where Olivia had been standing. "You don't have any bruises. It's kind of tough to swallow you know?"
The storm outside was picking up. Elliot heard the thunder boom as the rain beat against the window. The flicker of light from the lightening startled Olivia from behind the two way. She focused back in on Elliot's plan.
"Listen man...Mel she never used to be like she is now."
"She was soft, and sweet. She used to wear make-up...she was beautiful. She dressed like a lady for me."
"Are we talking about the same Mel I saw at the hospital? What do you mean used to...she is a fox." Elliot searched his daughter vocabulary to come up with the next part. "A hottie for sure."
"Yeah but she was dressed like that for her," he spit out.
"That dyke stole my girlfriend."
Olivia leaned forward. "Come on Elliot," she whispered. "Nail him."
"Dyke." Elliot laughed. "Lost your girlfriend to a dyke..ouch. That had to hurt. But I mean surly you two weren't dating at the time right? I mean you're a man...if you had been giving her what she needed...what she wanted why would she leave?"
Olivia saw the look in the perps eyes.
Elliot was going to get him.
"That bitch had it coming you hear me? She deserved what she got. Coming in and taking Mel from me twisting her thoughts, making her the way she was!"
"What's that? Someone in love? It was clear to me from seeing them together they love one another. They seemed perfect together."
"Shut up!" he yelled. "Shut your mouth! You don't know what you're talking about! Janice will pay and now Mel will too...you don't make a fool of me and walk away!"
"Pay huh? How would you make them pay!"
"Show them...what a real man feels like," he sneered.
"Like you tried to show Janice?"
"That stupid dyke got lucky...that's all."
"Lucky for her...not so lucky for you." Elliot stood up as Liv walked back in the room and made her way behind him.
"You're under arrest for the attack and attempted rape of Janice Walker and the assault of Melanie Conners."
"Let me go!" he yelled as he pushed off the desk and swung around connecting with Olivia's clearly surprised face. Olivia went back against the wall. For a smaller guy he sure carried a big hit. Olivia had never been knocked down on one square punch, but this one did. She felt her back slide down as he rear end connected with the ground.
"Liv you okay?" Elliot shouted out as he cuffed the angry man.
"Yeah," she said shaking her head. The side of her face ached as she felt a familiar throbbing begin.
"You just added assaulting an officer too you ass," Elliot grunted as he pushed the man into the wall headfirst. "Opps, sorry. Thought that was the door," he said pushing him out.
Alex sat in her living room looking out at the storm. All the lights in her room were off with the exception of two glowing candles. She heard the knock at her door. She looked through the peep hole to see a very soaked detective.
"Olivia," Alex said surprised as she opened her door. "You're soaked."
"Yeah...cats and dogs out there let me tell you."
Olivia stepped in to the dark room. "You okay?"
"Yeah," Alex nodded. "Just watching the storm and waiting for a call from someone."
"Oh...I can go," Olivia said turning around. Alex laughed.
"The call was from you...but in person is much better."
"Yeah, but I'm all wet." Alex felt a smile come to her face. She had a thousand and one funny and sexual lines she could say but it didn't feel right.
"Stay here," she whispered close to Olivia's ears. "I'll be right back." Alex returned with some clothes for Olivia to put on. "Just an old pair of boxers and a t-shirts from Harvard." Alex took Olivia's wet clothes and threw them in her dryer. "Those shouldn't take long."
"Thanks," Olivia said softly.
To Be Continued
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