DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and all characters are property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Tabula Rasa
By lysachan


"We're not expected to sing, right?" Fin asked dubiously, handing his present to Olivia. Behind him the rest of the squad seemed to hold their breaths, looking at Olivia like their lives depended on her answer.

"God, no! Last time was enough, thank you," Olivia snorted, remembering the catastrophe that had been their Christmas party the previous year. Granted, alcohol had played a big part in it, but why exactly they'd started singing obscene versions of Christmas carols, she didn't know. What she did know, was that they'd been banned from entering the restaurant the next six months. So no, no more singing. Ever.

In general, Olivia hated birthdays. Her own especially. Every year she'd look at her life, and realize that absolutely nothing had changed since the last time she'd been forced to buy a round for the squad at the local bar. It was most depressing.

This year there was even a cake present. It was rather hideous though, with its turquoise-mixed-with-yellow dressing, but Olivia appreciated the gesture anyway. One candle had been lit and stuck in the middle.

"Remember to wish something!" someone with a not-so-sober voice shouted from the crowd and she rolled her eyes. Deep down, however, she was desperate. She was ready to try anything if there was even the slightest chance the following year would be better than the previous one.

Before blowing out the candle, Olivia looked up at the people gathered around her. Her eyes landed on a certain ADA standing among the others and watching her intently. She smiled warmly as their eyes met, and Olivia smiled back, feeling slightly flustered. Finally she inhaled and made a wish:

I wish I had asked her out years ago.

Some random clapping and cheering ensued as the flame went out. No one dared to touch the cake, but Olivia still thought the gesture had been sweet.

Fortunately for Olivia, her co-workers finally let her get out of the spotlight as the evening turned into a usual squad get-together. She let out a relieved sigh and ordered herself a beer – something she desperately needed, in order to take her mind off of the fact that she wasn't actually getting any younger.

Once again she looked around at her colleagues and closest friends. During the past year some of them had got married and had babies, others were in serious relationships – well, except for Munch, but Olivia didn't think he was that upset about it. All in all, it was Commitment Fest 2005, and Olivia wasn't invited.

As the evening proceeded, empty beer glasses had started to pile up on her table, forcing her to build a high tower of them to make room for more – that's what she told herself anyway. She sniggered at herself as the tower got higher and higher.

"Well, someone's definitely enjoying herself," an amused voice came from behind the pile. It took Olivia a few moments to focus her eyes on the blonde woman who was leaning slightly against the table.

"It'sh an enjoyable day counshellor," Olivia answered cheerily, but the sarcastic tone didn't go unnoticed.

"I can tell," Alex shook her head and walked to the brunette who was now busy using an empty glass as a magnifying glass. "C'mon, I think you've had enough for today. I'll take you home."

"My hand looksh big Alexsh!" the brunette exclaimed and kept on moving her hand away from the bottom of the glass and then back again. "Where're we going?" she asked as Alex snatched the glass and pulled her up.

"Home," the blonde answered simply, and quickly wrapped her arm around Olivia's waist as the quite drunk detective staggered on her feet.

"You gonna be alright?" Elliot Stabler asked Alex as he walked up to them. He glanced at Olivia, frowning. It wasn't often that he'd seen her partner so wasted. Usually she knew her limit.

"Elliot! It's sho good to shee you," Olivia grinned, trying to pat him on the shoulder but missed the intended target. Instead, she hit her hand to the side of the table, causing the glasses to clink. Alex rolled her eyes while Elliot just blinked, not sure what to make of the situation.

"Yeah, I think I'll manage. Thanks though." Alex gave him a brief smile, leading Olivia carefully towards the door. Elliot shook his head, making a mental note to not call Olivia the following morning.

Olivia knew she was drunk. Very drunk. The fact that she'd achieved this stage by only drinking beer, told her how seriously out of her mind she was. Not that she really cared, it felt too damn good. She turned her head to take a better look at Alex who was so close to her, she could feel the other woman's heartbeat under her hand. She swallowed hard, resisting the urge to throw Alex on the table they'd just passed and take her there and then.

"You are sho beautiful Alesh," she blurted out, giggling at the shocked look Alex gave her. "Shomeone'sh blushing!" she teased even more when the ADA's cheeks turned red.

"I think this conversation can wait 'till you're sober," Alex muttered, steadying Olivia again as the detective nearly tripped over her own feet. They'd managed to get out of the bar and were now walking along the sidewalk.

"I feel like I could fly!" Olivia announced happily. A few seconds later she hopped on a nearby bench, trying hard to maintain her balance.

"Olivia, get down!" Alex begged, regretting for not asking Elliot to come along after all. She'd never thought the detective could be this hard to keep in check. "Yes, I believe you can fly. You don't actually have to demonstrate! You sure that was just beer you were drinking?"

"Lighten up counshellor, we're not in a courtroom. Though you're exshtremely cute when you get all bosshy," Olivia grimaced, still balancing herself on the narrow slats.

"Olivia, if you don't get down at once, I'm going to get a court order and ban you from drinking alcohol ever again." Alex's voice was calm and she stared at the brunette with her lawyer eyes. Olivia blinked. Even in her drunken state she realized she didn't want to risk it. Grumbling, she obeyed.

Olivia stirred slightly as the rays of the early morning sun came through the curtains and landed on her face. Weird, since the window of her bedroom faced west. She took a deep breath, trying to get rid of the sleep in her body. She expected a killer headache and nausea hit her any second, but nothing happened.

Actually, she felt unusually comfortable in the clean sheets. A soft hand made lazy circles on her abdomen and she smiled at the sensation. Then her brain woke up as well. A hand?! In a millisecond her eyes were wide open. She could clearly feel her own arms on her sides, so unless some unexpected – and very gross - mutation had happened during the night, the hand on her stomach definitely belonged to someone else. She glanced sideways, almost afraid of what she might see. Two bright and blue eyes met hers.

"Morning sweetheart," Alex smiled lovingly, laying on her side only inches from Olivia.

"Alex?" Olivia squeaked and felt all color vanishing from her cheeks.

"Well, who else?" Alex chuckled, her hand still resting on the detective's stomach. Olivia found it almost impossible to breathe and her ability to speak had mysteriously disappeared. She couldn't do anything but blink, her brain desperately trying to process the new information.

"I need to go down to the office and prepare a few cases for trial next week, but I hope to be back home before five, okay?" Alex said, oblivious to Olivia's utter dismay. "I hate to be forced to work on your day-off," she pouted.

"Huh," was all Olivia was able to utter. She was still trying to get her racing heartbeat under control.

"But I promise to make it up to you when I get back," Alex wiggled her eyebrows suggestively and leaned in to kiss Olivia softly on the lips. Olivia was certain her brain exploded. She could only stare, eyes wide, as Alex grinned at her one last time before reluctantly getting out of bed.

Olivia was about to ask Alex what the hell was going on, but couldn't say a word because her eyes had just landed on the soft curves of the blonde's body. Olivia's breath caught in her throat as the subject of her fantasies stood in front of her, stark naked. She felt flustered and extremely hot, but couldn't turn her eyes away from the sexiest and most beautiful figure she'd ever laid her eyes on.

"See something you like?" Alex grinned, clearly amused by the brunette's overt admiration. She picked up her clothes from the floor and disappeared into the bathroom, leaving a gaping Olivia after her.

The detective lay back on the bed, her breathing shallow and irregular. She buried her head in her hands, desperately trying to make sense of the situation. She'd been extremely drunk, she remembered that, and she remembered Alex wanting to take her home. But it still didn't explain what she was doing in Alex's-. A very nerve-wracking thought crossed her mind. Taking a deep breath, she slowly raised the satin sheet.

Yep, she was naked too.

"Oh. My. God." Olivia groaned, burying her head under the pillow. A few minutes later she heard the bathroom door open again. She peeked at the now fully clothed ADA standing next to the bed.

"Are you alright Olivia? You're acting a bit strange," Alex narrowed her eyes slightly.

This had to be some sort of a hallucination. She was clearly dreaming, there was no other explanation. Olivia had to admit, it was damn realistic.

"I'm fine, just fine, extremely fine!" Olivia could hear the slight panic in her own voice. Alex looked at her for a moment and then shook her head. Finally she turned to pick up a pile of files from the floor, and stuffed them into her briefcase.

"Okay, if you say so. I'm gonna call you when I leave the office. See you later sweetie," the blonde said and leaned forward to give Olivia a quick kiss. This time Olivia was prepared. She figured that she might as well enjoy the illusion as long as it lasted, and tucked Alex closer for a long and thorough kiss. A few minutes later a very distracted Assistant District Attorney walked out of the bedroom.

"This is the best hangover ever," Olivia muttered and closed her eyes.

It wasn't the sun that woke her up this time; it was the annoying beeping of an alarm clock. Olivia groaned, not willing to wake up and leave the divine dream about Alex behind. After a few minutes she gave up and opened her sleepy eyes. She had to blink several times before the reality finally hit her. She was still in the same, unfamiliar bedroom, and the faint scent of Alex was flowing in the air.

"Nonononononono!" Olivia literally jumped out of the bed, panic filling every cell of her body. Although she already knew what she'd see, she glanced downwards anyway.

Yep, still naked.

She started picking up her own clothes where they lay randomly on the bedroom floor and quickly dressed up. There had to be a very simple explanation to all this. Maybe it was some sort of a prank the squad had played on her. Olivia clung to that hope, although the possibility of it being just some sick joke seemed rather slim. The way Alex had kissed her was real. Alex had kissed her.

Slowly Olivia exited the bedroom and made her way to the living room. This was definitely Alex's apartment; she'd been there on various occasions with her. Often it was because of a certain case they had had to work on, but a few times the two women had just sat in the kitchen, drinking wine and talking about, well, everything really.

But, the apartment was different than the last time Olivia had seen it. Among Alex's things, there were a number of things she recognized as her own. Familiar photos, books, DVDs, clothes and other items were scattered all around the apartment. Olivia swallowed, trying hard not to pass out. She couldn't breathe, her hands were shaking and the room seemed to be spinning around her. With a thud she sat the couch, bending forward and trying to ease the nausea that had overtook her.

How on earth was this possible?! There was no way anyone could've got a hold on of all her personal items and brought them there overnight. Feeling a bit better, Olivia stood up and walked to the bookshelves which were covering the entire wall next to the fireplace. There were several photographs, each of them placed neatly on the shelves. With trembling fingers Olivia picked up one that had immediately caught her eye.

It felt surreal. She was staring at herself - yes, it was definitely Olivia Benson - but couldn't for the life of her remember the picture being taken. She was standing in some park, wind tousling her short hair and the sun making her locks shine. But those were hardly the details Olivia noticed. What she did notice, was that her arms were tightly wrapped around Alex from behind, her chin resting on the blonde's shoulder. Alex's hands covered hers and they were both grinning like it'd been a toothpaste add. They both looked happy. And in love, Olivia thought, flabbergasted.

She placed the photo back on the shelf, unable to tear her eyes away from it. Why couldn't she remember?! And what the hell had happened during the night? It was like she had swapped places with an alternative universe Olivia. She blinked, considering what she just thought.

"I need to stop watching Stargate," she muttered, contemplating what she should do next. She couldn't just walk to a doctor and say that she'd lost her memory, sort of, and was now living a life that wasn't really hers at all. No. There had to be a better solution. Finally she did what she often did when help was needed: she got her cellphone from the bedroom and called Elliot.

Ten minutes later Olivia was walking towards a nearby park where Elliot had promised to meet her. Everything looked the same as before: the bakery across the street which she used to visit every time she was in the neighborhood, Starbucks where she and Alex quite often had a coffee date, the newsstand guy who, for some reason, always tried to sell Olivia the latest issue of Cosmopolitan. Not this time. Instead of checking her out from head to toe, the aging owner smiled sweetly at her.

"Morning detective, how's it going?" Olivia frowned. The wrinkly old man knew she was a detective?

"Eh, the usual," she smiled politely. On a whim she picked up a newspaper, feverishly eying the headlines. What if something else had changed as well? At least the date seemed to be accurate; it was the day after her birthday.

"And how's the missus?" the old man's grin grew even wider.

"Excuse me?" Olivia glanced at the man suspiciously. "Ah! Alex! She's fine, yeah." God, she had to get away. She threw a few coins onto the counter and fled as fast as possible.

Five minutes later she sat down on a bench with a heavy sigh. She was early, Elliot wouldn't be there for another fifteen minutes. The paper hadn't offered any new insight to her "problem" and she threw it impatiently into a litter basket next to her.

"What a waste of money," she snorted, glancing down at her watch again. As she did so, she noticed something that nearly made her heart jump out of her chest. There, in her ring finger was a simple diamond ring, glinting beautifully in the sun.

"What a... Oh, you've got to be kidding me!" She stared at the ring in disbelief, her mouth hanging wide open. This was just too much. Yesterday she'd been Olivia Benson, living a life of a hermit in her little flat, and now she was Olivia Benson, living under the same room with the woman she'd fantasized about the past five years. She was, and rightfully so, freaked.

"Still fascinated by the ring, I see," came an amused voice from behind her, and a few seconds later Elliot sat down next to her. "You alright? You look a little pale," he added, slightly tilting his head to the side.

"I have to tell you something Elliot, something happened. I-, I think I'm losing my mind. Everything's just... Promise me you'll let me finish before calling the men in white coats."

"Olivia, what's wrong?" Elliot said, worry evident in his voice.

"Just promise me," Olivia sighed.

"Sure, I promise."

"So, let me get this straight. You woke up this morning with amnesia, you can't recall what's happened during the past few years and the guy at the newsstand said hello. Olivia, this is really the lousiest prank you've ever tried to play," Elliot laughed out loud. He glanced at his partner. "You're not serious, are you?" The look on Olivia's face answered his question.

"Did Alex give you something a little stronger for your birthday yesterday?" He tried hard not to laugh.

"Elliot, I'm dead serious here. I don't know what's happened! I just know that yesterday things were different!" Olivia groaned and closed her eyes. "You've got to help me."

"You do realize you sound like a crazy person, right?" Elliot frowned.

"Yes, I know. But you've got to believe me," Olivia pleaded, desperation seeping through her voice.

"I really don't know what to say. Maybe you should go to see someone. You know, a shrink or something." He scratched the back of his head, baffled by the events of the last ten minutes.

"No! No, there has to be a better way." Suddenly Olivia's head snapped up and she looked straight at Elliot. "You have to tell me everything."


"I'll ask you questions, all you have to do is tell me everything you know." Elliot could almost hear her brain work. "Okay, how long have I been with Alex?"

"Olivia, this is ridiculous," he chuckled, shaking his head.

"Humor me," Olivia's voice was so serious that for a moment, Elliot believed her story.

"Fine. I can't believe I'm wasting my day-off by telling you self-evident truths," he sighed, submitting to his faith. "Four years. You've been together for four years."

"How did it start?"

"You asked her out." Elliot was still eying her suspiciously.

"And she said yes?" she exclaimed incredulously.

"Obviously. Don't ask me why, I'm still trying to figure that out." Elliot grinned. Olivia just glared at him.

"And how long have we been living together?" she went on, dismissing the previous remark.

"Two years. Your apartment was too small for two people, and since Alex had more than enough room in hers...," Elliot shrugged, leaning back on the bench.

"And... And this?" Olivia raised her left hand, still afraid to think what the ring actually symbolized.

"Well, the guys at the precinct noticed it six months ago I think," he pursed his lips. "About six or seven months I suppose."

"Oh, God. I can't believe all this," Olivia whispered more to herself than Elliot.

"Maybe you should talk to Huang, Liv." Elliot frowned, finally realizing that his partner was genuinely confused and desperate.

"Elliot, I know I'm not crazy. Something weird happened and everything changed. I'm not insane. Really." She exhaled slowly, gathering her thoughts.

"Well, I suppose things could be worse," she continued after a while. "I mean, it's not like being with Alex is such a nuisance when you think about it. Just thank God we don't have a kid," she grinned at Elliot who suddenly looked down at his hands. "Oh, God. Oh, please Elliot, tell me there's no kid!" She could've sworn her heart stopped beating for a second.

"Well, actually you've got four." He watched as her partner got paler and paler. "Oh, for crying out loud, I'm kidding."

Steaming hot coffee made Olivia feel a little bit better. She was standing in the living room, sipping from her coffee and watching people outside living their daily lives. Elliot had told her to go home, and she'd been half way to her old apartment before she remembered that it apparently wasn't hers anymore.

It felt so weird to be inside of the apartment that in her memories was so clearly Alex's. She felt like she was doing something criminal by studying the books in bookshelves or rummaging through kitchen cabinets. The idea that everything was theirs now, rather than Alex's, was extremely hard to grasp.

But the fact that she still couldn't remember anything scared her the most.

After the little chat with Elliot, she'd figured that maybe seeing Alex and talking with her properly would shed some light to her current state of mind. But the little voice in her head didn't leave her alone. What if this is permanent? What if I'll never remember the last four years of my life? Even the thought of not remembering made Olivia shiver.

It was half past four when Alex called.

"Hi Liv. I'm heading home now. You haven't made dinner or anything, have you? I thought I'd get us a pizza or something."

"That sounds lovely," Olivia said. Talking on the phone with Alex-the-lover instead of Alex-the -friend felt downright odd. She didn't really know how she was supposed to talk with her. Did she usually use endearments? Was her pitch higher or lower? Every little detail of her new life was confusing.

"Great. See you soon." Olivia could almost hear Alex smile on the other end.

"Okay. Bye." Her voice trembled slightly. Fortunately Alex didn't seem to hear it and the line went dead.

"What the hell am I gonna do?" Olivia asked, watching herself in the mirror on the other side of the room. She didn't look any different than yesterday. Her hair was as short and brown as it'd been the day before, she was even wearing the same clothes.

She paced around the apartment, waiting for Alex to arrive. Now that the moment drew closer by the minute, she was suddenly nervous to meet the blonde. Alex would immediately see that something wasn't right, and then she'd have to explain the whole damn mess to her.

She was screwed.

The sound of a key in the lock made Olivia freeze. There was nowhere to run anymore. She took a deep breath and turned towards the door.

Alex emerged a few seconds later, carrying a pizza box in one hand and her briefcase in the other. She smiled when she saw the brunette waiting for her. The smile took Olivia's breath away. It was so rare to see Alex like that. Most of the time Alex' job as an ADA required her to keep all the emotions in check.

"What are you staring at?" Alex frowned and looked curiously at Olivia. She put her briefcase on the chair beside the door and took the pizza to the kitchen. The she turned to Olivia again. "So?"

"Do it again," Olivia said quietly.

"Do what?" Alex walked slowly towards the brunette and stopped in front of her.

"Smile." Olivia studied Alex's face in awe, amazed by the beauty she saw. Slowly that involuntary smile appeared again.

"God, you're so beautiful," Olivia whispered, surprised by her own honesty. She'd wanted to say so many things to Alex for such a long time. Alex blushed.

"So are you," Alex said and took the one, final step towards Olivia, leaving mere inches between them. The kiss that followed was long and sweet, nothing like Olivia had experienced before.

"We should eat the pizza before it gets too cold," Alex whispered near her ear. She pecked Olivia one final time and then disappeared into the kitchen, grinning wickedly. Olivia was sure she'd gone to heaven.

"Do you want to watch a movie?" Olivia asked. She was sitting on the couch with a beer bottle in hand and Alex's head on her lap.

"Yeah, why not." Alex stood up and walked over to the shelf full of DVDs. She flipped through the cases and finally turned around a pondering look on her face. "You up to watching 'Legally Blonde'?" Olivia nearly choked on her beer. Alex rolled her eyes. "Do you have to do that everytime?"

"Do what?" Olivia was still trying to get her coughing under control. She couldn't believe what Alex had just said.

"Well, that!" She gestured generally at Olivia's direction. "I know it's silly, but I happen to like that movie. You don't have to make a scene everytime I mention it."

"I'm sorry Alex, really. It's just so...unlike you?" Olivia smiled awkwardly.

"Well, you just have to live with it," Alex put her tongue out at Olivia and reached behind the neat pile of DVDs. Olivia raised her eyebrow questioningly as Alex pulled out the DVD she was looking for.

"Old habits die hard, I suppose." Alex blushed slightly under Olivia's amused gaze. "I'm just not ready to show other people I like the movie, alright?" The detective couldn't help chuckling.

"Alex, I don't care if you liked 'American Pie'. I just think it's cute," she said tenderly. Alex chuckled and popped the DVD into the player. She walked back to the couch and rested her head on Olivia's lap again.

"I might like 'Legally Blonde' but seriously, you and 'Flashdance'? That's embarrassing." Olivia slapped Alex playfully on the arm; she was way too shocked to express herself verbally. Getting used to the idea that Alex knew pretty much everything about her, would take some time.

Faint noises of traffic could be heard through the window, as Olivia lay awake in bed. She didn't feel like sleeping; the events of the past day occupied her mind too much. It'd been the best day Olivia remembered having for a long time.

She enjoyed being with Alex so much. It was so strange how relaxed she felt with the other woman, even after becoming lovers literally overnight. There was something about Alex that made her feel at ease, like she could truly be herself without wondering what other people think. It felt incredibly good.

Olivia glanced at the woman sleeping peacefully next to her. She had always thought Alex was beautiful, even when she had appeared in the precinct at two a.m. with a warrant they needed in order to catch the latest perp. But if it was possible, Alex was even more beautiful in her sleep. Olivia smiled, being comfortable just by watching her.

For the first time all day, Olivia wasn't sure if she actually wanted to go back to her old life. She didn't want to be in a situation where work was the only thing connecting her to Alex. The thought of seeing Alex everyday for the rest of her life made butterflies fly in the pit of her stomach. Knowing that the other woman loved her back, was a dream come true. It was just what she wanted, what she'd wished for.


The word echoed in her mind. This was exactly what she'd wished when she blew out the candle in her party. Olivia felt ridiculous even contemplating the possibility. But the more she turned it around in her head, the more it started to seem like the only possible explanation. She sighed. Maybe she should go to see Huang after all.

Strangely enough, it all seemed to make sense. If one believed in such things, it'd be a perfect explanation to the sudden change in her and Alex's relationship. And no matter now how hard she tried to deny it, she was beginning to believe it herself.

But did this mean she would never be able to go back to her old life? And more importantly, did she even want to? She turned to Alex again, making the sheets move slightly in the process. The blonde stirred momentarily, pulling Olivia closer. She sighed contentedly and was asleep again within seconds. Olivia wrapped her arms around Alex and kissed the top of her head. Being with Alex felt so incredibly right.

"Why does it have to be so hard to choose?" she whispered and closed her eyes.

It was raining the next morning. Elliot had called and promised to pick Olivia up on his way to the precinct. At six o'clock sharp a black SUV stopped in front of the building and Olivia hopped in.

"Morning," she said, fastening her seat belt.

"Feeling better today?" Elliot asked as he steered the car back to the street. He glanced quickly at his partner, then concentrated on the road again.

"Yeah. It's still a bit over-whelming, but I'll be okay," Olivia smiled, grateful for having such a good friend like Elliot.

"That's good." His smile was genuine. "Did you talk to Alex about it?"

"Eh, no, actually." Olivia looked down, embarrassed. "I meant to, but...I chickened out," she finally confessed.

"She deserves to know." Elliot's voice was full of sympathy.

"I know." Olivia sighed, looking out of the window. "It's just... She'll probably think I've finally lost it, you know. And telling you felt ridiculous enough."

"Oh, believe me, it sounded ridiculous too," Elliot chuckled.

"Funny." Olivia couldn't help smiling herself. Then her face grew serious again. "Anyway, I don't even know if this is really what I want."

"What do you mean?" Elliot frowned. He glanced over his shoulder and changed lanes.

"I love Alex, and I love being with her. But I can't remember anything that's happened during the past four years when it comes to her." She shook her head slightly. "I mean, I want to remember our first date, or our anniversaries, anything. I want to live through those things with her, not jump right into...this."

"Mmmh." Elliot seemed to understand.

"So yeah, I suppose I'd rather go back to the life I can remember," she said faintly, resting her forehead against the window glass. "If I could go back, I'd finally ask her out."

"Are you saying you haven't asked her out yet? Liv, you're such a chicken!" Elliot grinned at the brunette.

"Easy for you to say." Olivia rolled her eyes.

They arrived at the precinct some ten minutes later. The floors were wet and slippery because of the water people brought in from outside. Watching where they stepped, the pair made their way inside the squad room. Munch greeted them from his desk.

"Morning. About time for you two to show up. And Olivia, watch out for the-." Olivia didn't hear the end of the sentence as she slipped on the wet floor and fell backwards, hitting her head to the floor. After that, everything went black.

Muffled voices could be heard somewhere, but all she could see what darkness. The voices became stronger and clearer all the time, and finally she could see a little spot of light somewhere in the distance. Wow. She remembered people who claim to have experienced the light-in-the-end-of-the-tunnel thing.

"Her pupils are responsive." Okay, not the thing she'd imagined to hear at the gate of heaven.

"Olivia?" a familiar voice said. She opened her eyes slowly, trying to adjust to the light.

"Alex?" Her voice sounded hoarse.

"Oh, thank God." Alex's face appeared above her. She sat up, despite the objections of a man in a blue uniform. It took Olivia a while to realize he was a paramedic.

"What the hell happened?" She turned her head carefully from side to side, trying to ease the gnawing pain. "And where's the ring?" she asked, staring at her left hand.

"You fell from that damn bench and hit your head. This is definitely the last time I'll volunteer to take you home when you're drunk," Alex said, concern evident in her voice. It wasn't until now that Olivia realized she was sitting on a sidewalk.

"And what ring?" Alex was looking at her, confused.

"Nothing, nevermind," she muttered, shaking her head.

"Are you able to stand up ma'am? We need to take you to a hospital, just in case." It was the paramedic.

"I don't need to go to a hospital, I'm fine. I'm better than fine." To prove it, Olivia stood up with a little help from Alex. She didn't even feel drunk anymore.

"Ma'am, I can't let you go home alone," the paramedic protested.

"She can crash at my place," Alex said, looking at Olivia. "If that's alright with you." Alex's eyes were so incredibly blue.

"Yeah, that sounds good," she said, her eyes still locked with Alex's.

"Okay. If you start feeling dizziness or nausea, get yourself to a hospital straight away, alright?" Olivia nodded and soon the ambulance drove away, leaving the two women alone again.

"You sure you're okay?" Alex asked, her hand around Olivia's waist.

"I'm fine Alex, don't worry." Olivia's smile was encouraging. Alex smiled back.

"Alright, let's go." They started to walk towards Alex's car.

It was intriguing for Olivia to watch Alex, as the blonde ran around the apartment, trying to make Olivia feel comfortable. Now that she knew what she was looking for, Olivia could easily spot small signs of Alex's feelings for her. How could she have been so blind? She swore she wouldn't blew it this time.

"Would you like some tea?" Alex asked, nervously watching the brunette sitting on the couch.

"That'd be great Alex. I don't really feel like sleeping anyway," Olivia said, openly admiring the woman in front of her. Alex noticed and blushed.

"I'll-I'll just-," the blonde stuttered and gestured towards the kitchen. God, she was cute.

"Would you like to watch a movie?" Olivia asked, curiously eying the blonde's DVD collection.

"Sure!" Alex smiled and disappeared to the kitchen. Olivia heard her put the kettle on.

"How does 'Legally Blonde' sound?" She had to bite her lip to keep from laughing.

"What?!" Alex squeaked.

"Oh, c'mon counsellor. Don't tell me you don't have it hidden somewhere behind those presentable DVDs." She heard a loud crash, as whatever Alex had been holding, fell on the sink.

Olivia Benson grinned.

The End

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