DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and all characters are
property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: "Ghost" and "Pure"
Alex Cabbot was alive.
All this time Casey worried and wondered for weeks and months on end if Olivia would ever get over her death. If Olivia could ever accept Casey as more then just their ADA. Their work and otherwise relationship was strained to say the least.
But then their work relationship got a little strained. It happened only a few months ago, Olivia surprised Casey by asking her if they could go get a drink after Casey had had a particularly hard day in court. Casey had said yes without having to even think about it.
They talked, lightly at first, the usual normal conversational things. But the later it got and the more they drank the deeper and more meaningful their words got. Olivia, it turned out was a loner in high school. She was ashamed of her mother and didn't know how to handle being the child of a rape so she shied away from her peers, afraid of what they would think. Casey couldn't believe her words but before she knew it she was telling Olivia about how when she was sixteen she and a fellow softball player went behind the bleachers after practice and started kissing. Some senior boys caught them in the act and needless to say Casey and her friend's lives were ruined for the rest of high school.
To Casey's surprise Olivia began sobbing quietly. Through her drunken haze Casey tried to understand what she had done wrong, what she had said to hurt Olivia so badly. Olivia was finally able to choke out that it wasn't her, that she had been in love with Alex, their former ADA, and they had been committed to each other, that was before she had been murdered.
Casey was shocked, she had known that Alex and Olivia were close, mostly because Olivia's first reaction to her was hostile and she had viewed her almost as threat, like Casey had been sent there strictly to try and get Olivia to forget her friend. But to see Olivia so broken, to finally, after all this time, let herself to be shown weak to Casey, Casey felt that something had changed that maybe, maybe even though Casey could never tell Olivia how she had felt for her, maybe they could find a friendship.
Then the night took another incredible unexpected turn when Olivia reached out and grabbed Casey, bringing their lips together. Casey kissed away Olivia's tears that had fallen onto her lips and when Olivia asked her if they could go to her place she had said yes without thinking twice.
The dark, lonely night had finally brought them together and they made love in Casey's bed. It was a moment that was wonderful and breathtaking to Casey and afterwards, as they lay there, sobered up and quiet Casey couldn't help but whisper to Olivia that she was in love with her. Olivia had turned her head to look at her and said quietly, "I want to try to be with you."
After that things were a little better between them in the office. They didn't fight as much and when Casey argued with Olivia and Elliot about something they didn't agree on Olivia seemed to understand better than before. Not just looking at her side of the law, her job but trying to understand Casey's point of view as well. And most nights they ended up together, sometimes at Casey's and sometimes at Olivia's. The job wasn't quite so hard and the nights weren't so lonely when they were together.
But then Casey's illusion that she and Olivia could be happy together all came crashing down when she found out Alex was alive.
They all stood in her office, Casey as cold and distant as she had been when she first started.
"We work together you should have trusted me." I love you; I thought that meant something to you. You should have told me. Casey's words had been said to both of them but they had been aimed at Olivia.
Before much more could be said the door opened and in walked Alex. She was just as beautiful as she looked in her picture.
"Alex!" Olivia said in a little more then a wondrous whisper.
Alex smiled warmly at her and Casey saw a shine in Olivia's eyes she had never shown her before.
Casey forced her face to remain emotionless as she watched Olivia's facial features. Casey could tell that Olivia wanted nothing more than to throw her arms around Alex and hold her. Casey's mind and heart burned with jealously as she watched them exchange words.
"Before everyone gets reacquainted, they're waiting for us in court." Casey cut in colder and briskly walked out.
Casey and Alex sat side by side as they listened to how the little eight year old boy was scared of "the ghost". Even though Casey was listening to him and doing her best to make him feel comfortable she couldn't help but know how incredibly tense she was, sitting next to Alex. Even though Casey knew it was stupid she felt like they were going head to head in a battle of who could be nicest to this young victim, who could make him feel most comfortable first. The prize, Olivia's love.
Alex won out in the end and the little boy left feeling a little better and Casey knew that would help them, help Alex's to be killer to be put away, to help Olivia get what she wanted, to help Casey win this case, her case.
When the door shut it was the first time Alex and Olivia had been alone together.
Casey came back down, sitting across from Alex, the coffee table in between them, she wanted to put as much psychical distance between them as she could without making it too obvious.
"We should keep preparing my testimony."
"No, I think you're ready." Casey argued back. Feeling stupid because she knew she was arguing with her only because she wanted to ague with her.
"Are you?" Alex shot back, feeling like Casey was attacking her.
Casey didn't say anything for a long moment, fully taking in how Alex didn't trust her to know what she was doing, didn't think she was a good enough lawyer to handle her attempted murder case. Casey felt like her insides were on fire.
Finally Alex shut her eyes, looked down and shook her head. "Casey I'm sorry, that was out of line."
Casey's throat clenched up when she spoke her name. Still playing the role she had become so comfortable in, the role of the cold hearted bitch who was detached from human emotions, the cold hearted bitch who only cared about the law and her job, not the bystanders and the victims that got hurt. Casey reached out as best as she could, trying to play fair. "It's gotta be hard being on that side of the desk."
Alex nodded in agreement.
Casey looked away, forcing herself to stop thinking about Olivia and this whole mess with Alex back in the picture. Stopped herself from worrying about Olivia, worrying that this meant Alex was back for good and the little to nothing relationship she and Olivia had was gone for good.
"You know if Antonio doesn't testify, we're screwed." It was true, in every sense of the word.
Casey didn't know why but she had enough courage to say, "You know it was hell after you left. You left some pretty big shoes that were hard to fill."
Alex looked up at her, right in Casey's eyes in surprise.
She didn't say anything so Casey kept talking, her fingers tapping nervously, her palms sweating, unable to control the words that were coming out. "Olivia only saw me as a replacement, like I was there solely to make her forget about you, and she hated me for it. She hated me for a real long time, everyone did but I only cared what she thought."
"You're in love with her." Alex whispered out, realizing the truth Casey couldn't hide from her.
"She doesn't love me back." Casey said, her words harsh, harsh so she herself would know them as truth. "But she finally stopped seeing me as your replacement." Several of her words strained with emphasize, her eyes boring into Alex's. She wanted her to know her words, hear them, feel them. "And now you're back." Casey felt her body lean back into the couch.
"I'm not here for Olivia." Alex finally said after a long minute of silence.
"I know." Casey admitted, looking up at the ceiling, feeling like a stupid jealous teenager.
"I'm not here to break you two apart; I'm here because I have to be." Alex's voice was growing stronger, madder at Casey for acting the way she was.
"I know!" Casey said again, harder this time, sitting up and looking at her. "But you are back!" Casey could feel her eyes watering. "And Olivia has missed you," She swallowed hard. "And she still loves you just as much as the day you left." Casey was emotionally exhausted, she didn't want to think anymore, she didn't want to feel, she wanted to be cold. "Get some rest; you'll need it for tomorrow."
That was her cue to leave and so Alex did.
"He beat you again?" Olivia ask, taking her jacket off.
"Like a rug." Alex said with a little laugh. The hotel room was dark; the only light was the moon coming from the huge windows. She wandered over to them. "I wish these opened, I want to smell the city." She admitted wistfully.
"Oh you mean the rotting garbage and diesel exhaust?" Olivia asked jokingly, walking over to her side.
"Wisconsin is so quiet at night. Sometimes when I get homesick I hum the Mr. Softy song."
Olivia smiled, there in front of her was standing the woman she had loved for so long and missed so terribly. Olivia didn't want to recognize what she was feeling, they needed to stay professional, deal with what was really important. "Are you making any friends?"
Alex smiled, she had missed Olivia so much and now she was there and she couldn't touch her. "Yes Mom."
Both of them laughed.
The laughter easing up Alex a little bit. "There's this guy where I work, he's sweet, we've been seeing each other."
"Lucky bastard." Olivia whispered.
Alex shot her a fleeting look before looking out the window, it was safer to look at the city than her past lover. "And at night he whispers my name, Emily." What she wasn't saying was what she was thinking and what Alex was thinking was Olivia use to whisper her real name to her when they were alone, naked and safe, wrapped in each other's arms.
"It's hard to be someone you're not." What Olivia really wanted to say was that it was hard to be so close to someone and not be able to touch them the way you want to. So Olivia did what she could do to show that she cared for her, she gave Alex what she needed.
After Alex had shifted and read through the entire folder she shut it and put it down on the table. "Thank you." She said sincerely. "Tomorrow scares me." She said truthfully.
"Casey's good at what she does." Olivia said without thinking, and once her name was out of her mouth everything came pouring back into her. She hadn't thought about her once since Alex had come back, Alex was all she had seen. "Sometimes she's a little too good." Olivia said, forcing a laugh. Olivia wanted to think about what it was in Casey that had kept them apart for so long, she wanted to know the facts that had made her not like the current ADA for so long. Because maybe if she surrounded herself with all of those negative thoughts maybe some of those guilty feelings would go away.
"Casey and I had an interesting conversation today." Alex got up and walked over to where Olivia was sitting on the edge of the bed and sat down next to her.
"Yeah?" Olivia swallowed roughly.
"She said you missed me."
"Well I do." Olivia's voice was over flowing with emotion.
"And that you still love me." Alex was trying so hard to not let herself feel her words.
Olivia couldn't hide the emotions anymore, a single tear slid down her cheek as she choked out, "I'll love you for the rest of my life."
"Oh Liv, don't cry." Alex moved close and wiped away the tear.
The first touch between them was more then both of them could handle. It set off a chain reaction that neither could stop and neither wanted to.
The next morning in court when Alex was able to get to Conners, get under his skin and Casey watched, she knew. She didn't know how she knew but she knew.
Alex stepped down from the stand, tall and confident because she had fought and won this battle.
And Casey just sat there; barely aware of what was going on around her because her heart was breaking.
Outside in the dimly lighted hallway Olivia and Alex stood side by side watching as the little boy bravely walked into the courtroom.
Olivia slipped her fingers into Alex's and Alex looked down at their interlocked hands and then back up and smiled.
Olivia smiled back, hoping so desperately that last night hadn't been their last time together.
"Guilty on all accounts." Casey said matter of factly.
Elliot slipped his arm over her shoulders, "I never doubted it would be anything else."
Casey wanted so badly to take comfort in his friendship but she couldn't push away the feelings of a broken heart.
"Let's get this party started." Olivia greeted them happily.
Casey didn't look at her, couldn't look at her, wanted to leave, wanted to run away, but she was an adult and couldn't do that. She had to put on a brave face and pretend that everything was okay. She joked harmlessly with Elliot and then all eyes turned to the door.
"Is that her?"
The door opened and it wasn't Alex.
No one in the room could say that they didn't hear the sadness and disappointment in Olivia's voice.
"Marshals are relocating her and Antonio. She wanted me to come and say goodbye."
After he left the room got quiet.
"Liv?" Elliot asked.
She stood there, her mouth open slightly, the pain written all over her face.
Casey needed to be the first to leave. "Doesn't seem like there's much cause for celebration." Before anyone could ague with her she put down her glass and left.
Olivia's mind raced wildly as she stumbled out, "I don't feel too much in the mood for celebration either." She put down her glass and hurried out after Casey.
She caught up with her just outside the building. "Casey wait!"
It was too close to a plea for Casey so she stopped, her heart tugging her towards Olivia even though she wanted to be as far away from her as she could be. She turned to face her, her voice professional, her manor detached. "I'm sorry Olivia; I knew how much she meant to you."
"Casey I'm sorry." Olivia searched her face, looking for some kind of sign, some clue that Casey hadn't completely shut her out.
"For what? Sleeping with her?"
Olivia was taken aback, she had no idea that Casey knew. "Yes." She wanted to cover up the mistake she knew because she honestly didn't think it was a mistake. "But we were never really together so..."
"No we weren't." Casey felt her anger melting away as she looked at Olivia and she hated herself for it. "But that doesn't change the fact that I loved you."
Olivia didn't say anything. "But she's gone." She was finally able to get out.
"And that's killing you because you still love her and now we're right back to where we were when I first started that job." Casey breathed in hard, she needed strength for what she was going to say next, "And I can't go back to that place, I can't start over with you again."
There it was done, it was finished.
Two weeks later
They were fighting again, just like they use to before Casey fell in love with her. Before they fell into bed and before Alex came back only to leave again and in the wake of her departure a shattered relationship between the once lovers.
"Has he lost his mind?! You tell him to get out of there, now!" Casey was boiling with anger; she couldn't believe what Olivia was telling her.
"But you can get us a search warrant right?" Olivia demanded, equally mad.
"No!" Casey shot out, she couldn't believe Olivia was asking her to push the lines again. No, that was a lie, she could believe it.
Olivia turned back to the phone pressed against her ear, "Let me call you back." She ended the call and turned to Casey, pleading with her. "Casey please! This is Sister Peg we're talking about; he could be assaulting her right now!"
Casey wanted to stay strong, she had to stay strong and keep fighting. It wasn't about them, it was about Casey having to obey the law, not bend it just because Olivia asked her. But down below, underneath it all, it was about them.
"Do not make me the bad guy on this!" Casey shouted out, stronger then ever, "I'm not the one who violated someone's constitutional rights."
"Sister Peg testified for you in the Hamirror's case." Olivia argued right back, her voice matching Casey's in volume.
Casey broke a little, "And if I could help her I would but no judge in his right mind is going to sign off on a search warrant with no probable cause!"
Olivia wasn't going to give up. Casey didn't expect her to. "I was there when he met her, fireworks went off when he found out she was a nun."
Casey turned and took a few steps away, "Liv!" She cried out, both of them still for a moment before Casey plowed ahead. "He was in the precinct the entire time!"
"Which means he was working with a partner, they killed Kylie, the same thing is going to happen to Sister Peg!"
"So you're physic now too?" Casey asked, bring sarcasm to the front.
Olivia's phone rang before she could shoot her a dirty look and she turned away, answering it with a harsh, "What?" A second later she hung up and turned to face Casey, "Patrol just picked up Valentine at an all night car wash cleaning out their van." She stormed towards the door before not having to have the last word, "Is it okay with you if we bring him in for questioning?"
Casey hated it that Olivia was right and Casey hated it that once again she was being forced to twist the law to do what was right. She hated going against what she believed in, her job, the law, it had been such a strong and sturdy thing to lean against in the past. But all that changed now and she couldn't help but know that she had to do the right thing which meant doing something wrong.
Casey walked up as Fin and the Captain were speaking. "None, lucky I know a judge with a drinking problem."
Don glanced at Fin before asking, "Come again?"
"I stopped by his favorite watering hole. And I assured him my search warrant had efficient cause. He signed it without reading it. Now this gets you into the van and the residence." She explained handing it over to Fin who took off in a run even before Don had the chance to tell him,
"I fixed this now you fix the door!" Casey called after Fin.
Fin grimaced and made some kind of hand movement like he wanted to shut her up.
Casey was just thinking to herself that it seemed that everyone was going to square one with her until Don asked,
Over hearing the entire thing Olivia got up and went to Casey. "You pulled through for us again. For me?" She asked hopefully.
"You wish." Casey sneered out. "I did it because it was the right thing to do." What she didn't say was that it was because Olivia, Olivia had the power to make Casey see the right thing, to make her a better person. But she was still too mad to say any of that so she turned and walked away.
Olivia couldn't take it anymore so she went to Casey's apartment the next day. She got up without having to be buzzed out and took a deep breathe before knocking on Casey's apartment door.
The door opened and there stood Casey. "Detective." She said coldly.
She was here about business and nothing else.
"Counselor." Olivia replied back. Olivia's eyes wondered down Casey's body, unable to ignore the fact that Casey was so much sexier when she was wearing regular clothes.
Her jeans hugged her hips just so. Oh God, Olivia was kidding herself. "I'm here about the McKenny file. I know it's your day off but I'm in a rush."
Casey paused, standing in the doorway, leaning against it just so her cotton blue shirt rose above the waist of her jeans, showing a sliver of her creamy pale skin and a hint of her belly button. She was hesitating, her face readable to how mad she was. Finally after what seemed forever she said, "Sure come on in." Her face changed to emotionless as she moved aside to let her in.
Olivia followed her in and almost tripped over a large box that seemed to appear under her feet. She looked around to see the place was littered with boxes and piles of papers and books. "You're moving?" Olivia asked, surprised, deep down, fearing the worse.
"Yeah." Casey bent down, her word straining at the end as she shoved a large box out of her way. "I've been here long enough." Casey's eyes wandered around the room, not at Olivia, she looked almost lost in the sea of never ending cardboard. Finally she spotted a small box marked "work" on her coffee table. She reached in and then pulled out a folder and handed it to her.
Olivia reached out to take it, wanting to keep the mood light, wanted to pretend that everything was just fine between them. "Too bad, this is a really nice place."
Their eyes locked as Casey said, staring directly at Olivia, "Yeah well why come home to a big empty apartment when I can come home to a small empty apartment."
The words hit Olivia harder than she expected and she just gave a weak smile and said "Thanks." Olivia held it to her stomach, pausing, wondering how long she could drag out her excuse for coming over there. Finally she had enough courage to say, keeping her eyes low. "Casey I know you don't believe me but I am very sorry for what happened."
"Really?" Casey asked doubtfully, crossing her arms across her chest in a subconscious act of defending herself.
"Yes." Olivia managed to get out.
"You're sorry for sleeping with her?"
"No." Olivia took a deep breathe, "I'm not sorry for the act itself but I'm sorry that it happened when it happened. I should have never done that to you, it was horrible and there's no excuse for it."
"You're in love with her and you didn't know how much time you had together, that's excuse enough." Casey went to go sit down but couldn't because of the boxes all over the couch so she remained standing.
"I hurt you and these last two weeks...I've missed you."
Casey couldn't take it she walked out of the room into an adjoining room, her bedroom and started to stuff a pile of sheets into an awaiting box in quick jerky motions.
Olivia followed her, still holding the stupid folder she had no use for. "I want you back."
Casey felt like her legs were going to go out from under her so she sat down on the bed and didn't say anything.
Olivia walked in and sat down next to her and Casey didn't fight it when Olivia pulled her to her and kissed her, soft and gently.
"Olivia I don't think I can trust you again." Casey said quietly, trying to force away her feelings even as Olivia started to plant tiny kisses on her neck.
"You can." Olivia insisted.
Casey had to ask the hard question before Olivia overtook her body and she wouldn't be able to think clearly. "But what if she comes back?"
Olivia stopped what she was doing and stared hard at Casey.
"If you got a call from her right now and she said you two could be together, what then?"
Olivia sat back, "Alex and I never got to say good bye." Olivia admitted her voice low, so quiet Casey could barely hear her. "She was dead, she just died right there in front of me and then she was alive and before I could even hug her she was gone again."
"So what are you saying?"
Olivia looked up into her eyes and gently touched Casey's luscious red hair. "I'm saying that night we got to say the good bye we never got to have before and I know she's okay and she's safe and a part of me does miss her but..." Olivia paused, not sure of the words.
Casey pulled away, she couldn't stand it, it was all too much.
"But I would miss you more." Olivia said, drawing Casey back to her. "A part of me will always love Alex, you have to understand that but I want you in my life right now, I want to love you and be with you. You have to trust that."
Casey didn't know if she was being weak when she kissed Olivia, she didn't know if she was doing the wrong thing when they started to undress each other. She didn't know if she was making a mistake, if she was allowing to herself to fall for Olivia all over again because it was so easy to do.
But afterwards when Olivia whispered to Casey that she was in love with her and Casey whispered back, "I think I want to try to be with you again." She knew she was being strong.
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