DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and its characters are the property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: 3.08 Inheritance, and 6.19 Intoxicated.

The Sum of Contradictions: 43 Fifth
By beurre blanc


Gravel crunched and squeaked beneath the women's feet as they made their way across the drive in the pre-dawn chill. Alex stopped by the trunk of her car, and set her bag down beside the vehicle as she searched her shoulder bag for the keys. Puffs of breath condensed before their lips. She wondered whether there'd be ice on the roads, and was about to voice her concerns when she heard her mother calling from the brightly lit entry.


"Wait a moment," murmured Olivia. "I'll be right back."

Alex watched as Olivia trotted back towards the house and up the steps to the doorway where Mrs Cabot waited. She observed their exchange with a mix of curiosity and mild apprehension, wondering exactly which family joke, which embarrassing and cringe-worthy moment from her childhood might presently be being divulged to her lover, to be filed away for later use. As she watched, Alex saw Olivia stiffen, pushing her hands deeper into the pockets of her black leather coat and lifting onto the balls of her feet. Her mother's expression was earnest, and her eyes flicked towards Alexandra, confirmation that she was indeed the topic of their conversation. Then, as suddenly as she'd tensed, Olivia relaxed again. A brief hesitation, and – to Alex's astonishment - it was Olivia who initiated a parting hug. Alex watched her mother kiss Olivia's cheek, tighten her embrace again, and then release the detective, who wrapped her scarf around her neck, and almost leapt down the four steps to the drive, smiling broadly.

Olivia sauntered back to the car.


"Well what?"

"Well what was that all about?"

Their lovemaking the night before was by turns passionate, tender, playful, and deeply fulfilling. Having taken their leave of Mrs Cabot a little before midnight, they had walked back to the guest suite shrouded in a silence so charged it had seemed that a mere sigh could have signaled the end of self-control and brought them crashing together in the hallway in a fiery tangle of lips and tongues and unbridled desire. By unspoken assent, however, they negotiated the return to the rooms with delicious restraint, pausing deliberately to close the hallway door, before crossing the sitting area towards the bedroom. Olivia walked through the doors which Alex held open for her, waiting until they had been closed again, before turning to face the blonde. She slipped the unbuttoned shirt from her shoulders, and let it droop slowly to the floor at her feet.

Alex stood leaning against the doors, both hands upon the brass handles behind her back. Her gaze locked onto Olivia's.

Something in Olivia's eyes flashed amber. "Come here," she said. A whisper, a request… an irresistible demand. In the few short, measured steps it took for Alex to reach Olivia, she had shed her shoes, loosened her jeans, and lifted the sweater from her waist, drawing it up and over her head, each movement unconsciously feline. Stopping in front of Olivia, Alex let the taupe cashmere slide from her grasp and fall symbolically atop the detective's shirt, then she hooked her thumbs into her waistband and smoothly rolled her hips until the denim loosened and the jeans sank softly, pooling around her feet. Clad only in ruby satin and lace, she took a final step forwards, out of the jeans, and into Olivia's personal space.

Olivia watched, transfixed.

Alex took Olivia's left hand, guiding it to her waist, firmly holding the brunette in her unwavering gaze while she took the right hand and brought it to her lips. She delivered a smoldering kiss to Olivia's palm.

I love you.

That was all it took.

The next few moments were a blur of falling clothing, deep kisses and long naked limbs. Olivia's desire flushed all the way to her trembling fingertips, and Alex's knees almost buckled as they drove one other toward the bed.

They fell onto soft sheets, and Olivia rolled them both, her thigh sliding between Alex's. Hands clasped together, palm to palm, Olivia slid upwards along Alex's body, her nipples tracing a fiery trail. She stared into Alex's eyes, reading the longing in them, sensing her thoughts, then lowered herself to offer the kiss Alex so clearly craved. A touch of tongues, then lips closed around them, deep and sensual, loosed only for the chance to share a breath. Olivia's lips ventured to Alex's chin, and her throat, and she heard a moan of deep desire which might have come from either – or both. She pushed forwards, sliding the lips of her overflowing sex slickly along the front of Alex's thigh, and shuddered deliciously as she felt her juices mingle with those flooding from Alex.

"Oh baby, baby…" she whispered, losing herself in the haze of arousal.

"Mmmm," murmured Alex against the soft skin of Olivia's chest. "Come here." She released her grasp, reaching up to rest her hands on Olivia's breasts, holding the globes suspended above her lips before cupping them closer together and reaching first for one nipple and then the other with a hot caressing tongue.

"Ahhh." Olivia's soft moan filled the air between them.

"Like that, do we?" whispered the blonde. Dispensing with the wait for affirmation, she drew her tongue slowly, wetly around first one nipple, then the other, pausing with delight to feel the skin of each areola tighten and furrow against her tongue. She sucked each nipple into her mouth, holding gently with teeth and lips as she flicked her tongue against the tip. Her reward was another moan from the brunette, and a renewed rush of wetness from them both as Olivia's body began a slow sliding rhythm against her own. As she licked her way back up Olivia's throat she felt the detective take her hand again, this time drawing it down between their bodies. Lifting slightly, Olivia pulled Alex's hand downwards until the fingers slipped across her lips, sliding between them and sinking into her centre. She lowered her own hand to Alex, sliding deeply inside her, and resumed her former rhythm, thrusting slowly and sensuously into the blonde, fingers curling, tips seeking, and stroking, and pleasuring. She felt Alex respond, her walls tightening, and knew by the building heat and tension in her own sex as she rode Alex's fingers that her own climax was not far off – and would not be held back. She leaned forwards, holding herself above Alex, their lips separated by inches only, and stared into her eyes. Watch me. Let me watch you. Olivia stared into the azure depths, determined that they should share this most intimate moment. She strengthened the reaching thrusts of her fingers, and added the feather light flicker of her thumb to Alex's sensitive and swollen clit – and not once did her gaze waver, until, unable to resist the pull any longer, Olivia plunged into the abyss of orgasm, taking Alex with her.

"Come with me."

Their lips met softly, yet behind the embrace was a firmness, an unspoken acknowledgement of equality, a partnership that was more now than a shared pillow, or a common set of values. More than just mutual desire. As her eyes opened to acknowledge what had just passed between them, Alex felt herself fall just a little more in love with the woman in her arms, the woman whose body knew her own so intimately, who could recognize and anticipate her needs with such piercing accuracy, and she wondered again, How can this be?

"You are so, so beautiful…" Long fingers combed their way through Olivia's soft dark hair, and a thumb traced her jawline. "I love you, Olivia."

"I love you too." The detective took a deep breath, and let it out slowly. "I can't believe I – we – almost let this go. I'm sorry, Alex. I've never… I just - I think I learned a long time ago to look out for myself by keeping to myself. I have to 'unlearn' that now…"

"Liv, hush." Alex used the hand still resting on Olivia's cheek to draw her into a gentle kiss.

Olivia broke away, though, with a shake of her head. "No," she said, "No. I need to talk to you about this – I need to tell you. Not talking is what got us to this point in the first place."

Alex closed her eyes briefly, and nodded her acquiescence. "You're right," she said simply.

"I'm sorry I didn't tell you about this before, about my father. It's just that, well, it never seemed like there was a right time. I mean, it's not something you just blurt out to a co-worker, is it? And then, when you prosecuted Guan…" Olivia faltered.

Alex waited.

"See, by then, Alex, I was already falling for you – not that I realized it at the time. All I know is that hearing you say what you did about genetics and behavior, well that just went right in here." She pointed at the centre of her chest. "And then… then I really did fall in love - completely, utterly in love - with you."

"And of course you couldn't possibly mention it then." For the first time since her revelation Olivia sensed resentment from Alex, but it was brief, and – she thought – probably justifiable.

"No. No, I couldn't. God, that sounds so lame now, but…" She let out a frustrated groan. "Christ, it wasn't as if this was some huge state secret. My background wasn't even all that closely-guarded an issue with the squad. Cragen has known all along, ever since I joined SVU, and so has Elliott. And Munch even managed to get the old case files delivered, so we could look at the case with fresh eyes. But then…"


"Well, then you came along, and suddenly we're involved, and I look at you, and at all this, and I know where you come from, and what your life is like, and I start to wonder 'how can I possibly measure up?', and 'what do you see in me?'"

"I see you, Liv – and I love what I see." Alex kissed her, briefly, and then urged, "Go on."

"My Mom was… she was difficult. Even now, I'm not all that sure what was her own personality, and what was due to the rape. You see, she was estranged from her family. There weren't any brothers and sisters, and we had no contact with her parents. Apparently they were ultra-conservative, and religious. Or so she said."

"So what happened?"

"I don't know. Thing is, I don't even know who walked away first. Maybe she was a free spirit – which is sort of how I remember her from when I was little, a Woodstock kind of girl – and maybe they, I dunno, disowned her over something. Or perhaps she just drifted away from them. Or maybe…" Olivia's expression darkened.

"You think she was abused? Neglected?"

"No, not that. At least, I don't think so. I was thinking maybe they blamed her, somehow – for the rape." Olivia's lip trembled with empathy for the imagined injustice. "Fact is, I just. Don't. Know. Every time I tried to ask, I got stonewalled. Eventually I just gave up trying."

Alex closed her eyes, and kissed Olivia's forehead. "I'm sorry," she whispered.

Olivia shrugged. "I know little about my mother's family, and nothing at all about my father." A tear escaped, and slid down her cheek. "So much of who I am I've had to construct for myself."

Alex's heart lurched. She sat up a little, propping herself on one elbow. Electing to lighten the mood, she chose her next statement carefully. "Well, Olivia Benson, if it's any consolation, I'm very much in love with the woman you created. And I think I need to show you that… Again."

"Oh, God, Alex!" Olivia's climax crashed upon her, and Alex fought to maintain her suction on Olivia's clit as the detective's hips bucked beneath her mouth. When finally they stilled, Alex released her hold, gently licking her way around Olivia's sex, tasting her inner thighs, kissing her way up to her navel. The brunette's chest heaved, and her legs were limp, despite the tremors and aftershocks coursing through them.

"Mmmm." Alex nuzzled her way towards Olivia's chest, before lifting up to ask dreamily, "Feel better?"

"Like you need to ask." Olivia watched Alex leopard crawl the rest of the way up the bed, until she was resting on her belly beside her, propped up on both elbows. "And there's no need to look so smug about it!" Olivia grinned, mind and heart welling with countless emotions as she and Alex stared at one another. Breaths, heartbeats, time itself – everything slowed to an imperceptible pace.


Nothing. Everything. She shook her head, slowly, unable to give voice to the myriad thoughts. Then she canted her head. You know exactly what I mean.

Yes, I do. A smiling Alex traced the curves of Olivia's brows and lips with her gaze, using the time to regain some reasonable purchase on her own emotions. She felt giddy. Yes.

"Why don't you tell me more about this thing you so obviously have for blondes."

"What thing?"

"What do you mean 'what thing'?"

"Oh," said Olivia, feigning innocence, "you mean besides you?"

Alex swatted Olivia's shoulder with the backs of her fingertips, and offered a pursed-lipped smirk. She wriggled a little closer, crossing her ankles behind the detective's back as they sat, face to face, in each others' arms, in the centre of a well-mussed bed. "How many more were there?"

Olivia smiled enigmatically.


"I'm the…?" Alex was not entirely sure how to react to that.

"What? Oh, no! No…" Olivia tipped her head back, laughing. "No, sweetie, I'm pleading the fifth."

"Oh…" replied the lawyer, with an uncharacteristically foolish smile. "See, this is what happens when somebody keeps me up until three in the morning!"

"Oh, really? And what happens when somebody does this to you at three in the morning?" Olivia slid her hands forward to cup Alex's breasts, bending to kiss them as her right hand trailed down between their bodies, seeking the swollen warmth of the blonde's labia.


Alex's orgasm was swift, the force of it pulling Olivia forwards and down as Alex's and hips extended with waves of fulfillment. Unable to sit up any longer, she collapsed backwards onto the pillows. Olivia extricated herself from the tangle of legs, and moved to lie beside Alex.

"Roll over."

"What?" To be honest, Olivia hadn't expected Alex to regain her voice quite so quickly.

"Roll on your side so I can snuggle in."

The detective chuckled, and moved to acquiesce.

"What is it now?"


Alex curled in behind Olivia, draping one arm proprietorially over her waist, and trailed her fingers down towards the detective's mons. "Tell me," she whispered, cupping her lover's sex, as if the promise of yet another orgasm might somehow be perceived as a threat. As. If…

"You just said 'snuggle'. ADA Alexandra Cabot just used 'snuggle' in a sentence. With reference to herself."

"Uh huh," said Alex, lips against the detective's nape, her breath raising goosebumps, "which is not nearly so alarming as listening to Detective Olivia Benson – and my mother – squealing like schoolgirls over Grace Kelly!"

Olivia shrugged. "Everyone's gotta have a hobby."

"Really. So when did you take up yours?"

Olivia tensed a little in Alex's arms.


The brunette sighed. "It's a long story, Alex."

"So? We've got at least another three hours until we have to leave."

"And sleep will be happening when?"

"After your long story. I promise."

Olivia took a deep breath. "Okay," she breathed, gathering her thoughts. "I guess it would be a bit of a stretch asking if you know about 'the lost Hitchcocks'?"

"If you mean Rear Window, and Rope, and Vertigo…"

"…The Man Who Knew too Much, and The Trouble with Harry. Very good, Counselor."

"Go on."

"Well, the year they were re-released, I'd just turned sixteen. I went with my boyfriend, Scott. He was one of my Mom's students, and I just adored him. And that kiss - it was so romantic. For days I kept imagining it. I, uh… I lost my virginity on the strength of that kiss. Problem is, when I got home, Mom was drunk. Really, really drunk. Someone had told her I was seeing Scott, and we got in a fight over it. It was a big fight – one of our worst. Even so, I was pretty resilient by then – lots of the stuff just bounced right off. But then she said the one thing she knew would crush me – she threatened to fail him if I didn't stop seeing him." At last, Olivia's voice faded as the remembered emotions caught up.

"Shhh, sweetie," murmured Alex.

But Olivia was determined to finish. "Next day, she turned up to work so hung over she got fired. And I moved out. That was the best thing I could have done. It took years for us to reconcile – not until after I graduated from the Academy."

"And yet, despite the way she treated you, you got through the Academy – and applied for SVU."

Olivia nodded. "I needed to do something. If it wasn't for the rape, I think her whole life would have been different. And I wanted to do something so maybe that wouldn't happen to some other poor girl – I get the perp behind bars, and one fewer girls ends up with her life turning to shit forever afterwards. And maybe, just maybe I get to find out who he is, why he did it…"

"You know, that's what amazes me about you, Liv."


"Even after all that, you could see the reason behind your Mom's behavior. You got neglected, and abused, and treated like crap-,"

"Wait a minute, Alex – this wasn't about me. I joined SVU to help prevent the sort of thing that happened to her happening to anyone else."

"Liv…" Something in Alex advised caution. "Liv, it was – it is – about you. You realize that, don't you?"


"Yes. Your Mom treated you like shit sometimes, she hurt you so deeply, and yet, out of that toxic home comes this incredible, insightful, determined woman who will fight like a demon for the rights of others, defend the defenseless, and push me right to my limits so you can secure justice for people who have suffered like your mother did. Like you did. Oh, sweetie, it's no wonder you're so good with kids. You know what it's like to be them. I'm not taking anything away from you going after rapists…" Alex faltered, as her own words swung around and struck them both. Oh, shit.

Olivia rolled over until she was facing the attorney, and said soberly, "Another one of the reasons why we're here…"

"If I could take that back, Liv, you know I would."

"I know. It's my fault, really."

"No, Liv. I should have been more sensitive. I could have asked, maybe. Or asked around. But I wouldn't have wanted it to seem like I was snooping, I guess. It would have seemed – odd…"

Olivia watched Alex's expression, something prickling at her, a fleeting idea… which just as rapidly disappeared with Alex's next words.

"I'm really sorry, Liv. But, more importantly, I'm really grateful to you."

"Grateful? Why?"

"For everything. For being you, for coming up here – for coming after me. For loving me."

"You know what, Alex? Something I realized – along with all the other revelations – is that the one thing I fear above all else is a future without you in it."

"Not much chance of that, is there?" asked Alex, smiling through sudden tears. "I think you're pretty much stuck with me now…"


Mrs Cabot's tone held… something. A warning, perhaps? She pushed her hands into her coat pockets to hide the apprehension that was firming her frame.

"Olivia, I wanted to say something to you… No-," she saw the stiffening and moved to reassure the younger woman, " - no, this isn't the 'you'd better treat my daughter right' speech – I think we've both moved well beyond that. Actually, I wanted to tell you something – something which I think is important."


"Don't let Alex blame you entirely for what happened before you got here. Because she will, you know. She is, how shall we say, somewhat goal-focused, and if an opportunity to achieve her aim presents itself, Alexandra will take it. If you offer to take the blame, she'll let you."

Olivia nodded slowly, turning the idea over in her mind.

"I love her dearly, and she is – for want of a better cliché – head-over-heels in love with you. But she's scared, Olivia. At first, before I met you, I wondered whether she was frightened of you, or of loving you, or just plain scared of being in love. I wondered if maybe she was afraid of the dangerous work you do, of the risks you take every day. But," she said with a reassuring smile, "it's quite clearly none of that. She loves you Olivia, but until she works this out, there's a chance she'll let this happen again.

"And, one more thing, Olivia-,"


"I wanted to say thank you: thank you for being you – and thank you," she glanced at Alex and then back at Olivia, "for being 'the one'."

Olivia, her heart suddenly full to bursting, almost threw herself into Mrs Cabot's arms.

"Thank you," she whispered. Nothing else needed to be said.


"Well what?"

"Well what was that all about?"

Olivia looked thoughtful for a moment. "What? Oh, that?" She turned to smile at Mrs Cabot, and received a smile and a sage nod in return. She turned back to Alex and shrugged, grinning suddenly.

"She likes me."

The End

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