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The Sum of Contradictions: 19. Conspiracy
By beurre blanc


"Hey guys, maybe another night." Olivia closed her locker door, and twisted the combination lock.

Elliot pushed one arm into his jacket sleeve, and fought to find the other before shrugging it up over his shoulders. He grinned encouragingly at her. "Aw c'mon, Liv. You know you want to."

"No, Elliot!" She grinned at his persistence.

"Cold beer, hot ribs…" His eyebrows flicked up suggestively.

"… Loud music, cigarette smoke," she countered.

"Pool, and pretzels…" Fin seemed to have appeared from nowhere, adding his figurative weight.

As had Munch. "Not to mention scintillating conversation…"

Full-court press, thought Olivia. "Since when did your theories earn the term 'scintillating'?" she demanded. This is the real conspiracy, damn them!

"Jeez, man," asked Fin, grinning, "when you gonna jus' accept Oswald shot Kennedy, Ruby shot Oswald, and there wasn't no CIA, no Cubans, no Mafia…"

"Detective Tutuola, you, of all people, should be aware-,"

"Aww, don't get him started, please…"

"This is really not convincing me, guys!" Olivia smiled and slung her bag over her shoulder. Despite the banter, she had no intention of spending the evening at some cop bar with 'the boys'.

"Cabot said the same thing," added Munch unexpectedly.

Elliot's curiosity was piqued. "You spoke with her? I thought she was still on suspension."

Munch shrugged. "She was standing outside Liz Donnelly's office when we went to pick up the warrant for Jacobsen."

"I heard Donnelly already tore her a new one after she authorized that search of the Cavanaugh residence. Considering what Cragen handed out to Olivia and me, I wish I'd been a fly on the wall for that one."

"I can't believe she got off so light. Any other ADA woulda bin lookin' for a new job right about now," added Fin.

John Munch shook his head, pulled his dark lenses halfway down his nose, and peered over them for emphasis. "I've said it before – Teflon! Still, for someone as deep in the proverbial as Ms Cabot is right now, she was looking pretty damn relaxed about the whole thing – happy even. Must've got some sleep at last."

"Yeah, well she needed it."

"Whatever." Elliot had tired of this line of conversation. "We goin'?"

"Yeah. Where's Olivia?"

All three looked around. "Liv?"


Olivia leaned over the pot and lifted the lid, inhaling deeply and closing her eyes in appreciation. Roast pumpkin soup, with a hint of… garlic? Paprika, perhaps? "God this smells good." Her stomach rumbled, and she blushed.

"When exactly did you last eat, Detective?" Alex materialized behind her, wrapping her arms around Olivia and nuzzling her neck in greeting.

"Umm, could you be more specific, Counselor?" asked Olivia, turning in her arms, smiling with undisguised affection.

A dozen retorts spun through Alex's mind, but in the end she abandoned the quest for a witty rejoinder in favor of what she really wanted. "Nope – can't be bothered," she murmured, and leaned in to meet Olivia's kiss.

The kiss began lightly, slowly, and Alex's hands caressed the back of Olivia's neck, before manicured nails ventured upward to scratch lightly at Olivia's scalp. The effect was exactly as Alex had come to expect – Olivia's mouth opened to her, and her tongue's caresses became hungrier, deeper, more insistent as Alex's fingertips grazed this unexpected erogenous zone. Olivia's embrace tightened, and her hips thrust gently towards the lawyer, jeans suddenly too tight for the fullness Alex had elicited.

Olivia moaned, and pushed Alex back towards the island counter, the kiss still unbroken. Alex's tongue met hers again, at once chafing and velvety smooth, and Olivia felt a second surge of wetness between her legs. Her hunger now displaced by more elemental needs, Olivia lifted Alex effortlessly onto the countertop, pulling open the satin robe of sapphire-blue. She ran her hands up Alex's torso, cupping her breasts, and licking, sucking, nipping at already taut pink nipples. Alex moaned, rendered inarticulate by the gentle teasing, intoxicated with arousal. Olivia felt Alex scratch lightly again at her scalp, and she responded by tipping her lover backwards, and peeling the robe slowly away, exposing Alex's abdomen to the gentle onslaught of kisses and licks as she descended toward dark golden curls. Olivia's hands pushed her lover's thighs even wider apart, as the shower-fresh scent of Alex's skin, now mingling with that of unrestrained arousal, assailed her senses. She gazed for a moment at Alex's sex, her inner lips deep pink and swollen, and throbbing and ripe. Olivia hesitated, looking up at Alex, waiting until the blonde's eyes opened and met hers. Then Olivia leaned in, slowly, deliberately holding Alex's gaze until her open mouth met hot ready flesh, and both closed their eyes in pleasure.

"Oh, God!" It was the first coherent utterance Alex had managed since their kiss began, and she was vaguely aware it would be her last for a while yet.

Olivia swallowed another spoonful of soup, then set her bowl aside, before turning back to face Alex. Both were seated on large cushions between coffee table and hearth, the detective now showered and attired in a robe similar to Alex's, only the color of aged ivory. The contrast with the olive of her skin was every bit as stunning as Alex had hoped when she'd purchased it. Olivia broke off a small piece of fresh bread, dipped it into the soup, and offered it to her lover. Alex took the morsel from her slowly, closing her lips over the brunette's fingertips, and licking the spilling soup from them. It was too much for Olivia – she leaned forwards to demand another kiss, tasting the exotic combination of roast pumpkin, dry sherry, and Alex.

"Where did you learn to cook like that?"

Alex shrugged. "It's not that difficult, really," she demurred.

Olivia declared her skepticism. "This from the woman who once claimed to have so little culinary skill that set her own stove on fire?"

"Well, perhaps I… exaggerated… a little?"

"Hmm." Olivia nodded once, lips pressed together, offering only half a smile. "Perhaps." If I'm generous, I could say it was your own version of the truth – or a convenient half-truth, if I'm not. But half a truth is half a lie… She looked away.

"What?" Alex frowned, reaching forward to comb her fingers back through the detective's hair. "Tell me, Liv. What's wrong? What did I say?"

"It's just…" Olivia debated with herself, unsure just what to say – which issue to battle with first. She stared at the wall before her. How much honesty do you think you can deal with tonight? Finally she went with work.

"If I am to believe you, the only real issue you have about seeing me is that our work could be affected by malicious accusations on the part of defense lawyers. Yes?"

"Ye-es," said Alex slowly, a little unsure where this was going.

"Therefore, despite your background, your connections, and your reputation, you personally have no problem suddenly being defined as a lesbian?"

Alex shook her head slowly. Olivia sensed, rather than saw, the wariness behind Alex's reassurance. She plunged in. "Of course, if nobody knows about it, nobody could call you that, so I guess that takes public attitudes out of the equation." Conveniently. Olivia retreated abruptly, picking up the bowl and taking refuge behind another spoonful of soup, while the unspoken accusation hung in the air between them.

Alex thought for a moment. "Liv, is Elliot your best friend?"

"Yes." Of course – theoretically - he's just been superseded.

"Have you told him about us?"


"Why not?"

"Well, we agreed there wasn't to be a hint of this at work. Your stipulation, if I recall." Olivia felt a little embarrassed by the taint of bitterness in her tone.

"And have you told anyone else?"

There is no-one else. "No"

"But the guys all knew about Cassidy – Hell, even I heard about him, and that was before my time with SVU – yet he was just a one-night-stand?"

Olivia nodded, and bowed her head. Unlike you…

"So you told them?"

"No, he did. But Elliot guessed first."

"But you didn't feel the need to broadcast your private life then?"

Olivia was more than a little uncomfortable now. "You sound like a shrink."

Alex pressed on. "Are they aware you've had relationships with other women?"

It's none of their business. "No. Actually, that's an assumption on your part, too."

"Am I wrong?"

Olivia canted her head, offering an enigmatic look, neither confirmation nor denial.

"But you don't naturally discuss your private life, do you?" Olivia just stared at her, and Alex went on. "So let's rephrase the question. With your background, your profession and your reputation, do you have a problem being defined as a lesbian? Or is it really just none of their business?" Alex turned towards the fire, watched the curling flames as she considered her own admission.

"My mother knows."

The End

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