DISCLAIMER: I don't own these women. NBC and Dick Wolf hold that honor. I am suffering from mild memory loss as for exactly what happened during "Night" SVU and "Day" Trial by Jury so please forgive me if I have taken some liberties, changed some lines, and adjusted the time frame.
SPOILERS: "Night" 'SVU' and "Day" 'Trial by Jury'.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
CHALLENGE RESPONSE: to SFC#7
By Foolish Heart
"You feel like coffee?" That was the last thing Olivia had said to Casey Novak before that bastard had beaten her senseless. Now the normally calm detective was sitting in the back of a speeding ambulance, cradling Casey's hand, watching through tears as her chest slowly rose and fell in time to the rhythmic pulse of the oxygen bag the EMT had placed over her bruised mouth.
"How much longer?" Olivia quietly asked the EMT that wasn't responsible for Casey's breathing.
"It shouldn't be much longer detective. I assure you that we're doing all we can for your friend," the middle-aged Latino man answered softly.
Olivia couldn't bring herself to respond. She wanted to know who had done this to Casey and she wanted to feel that person's face crumble beneath her fist. She knew in her heart that Eleanor Duvall's son was responsible for this and she hoped to God that Elliott found him before she did.
Stop thinking like that Olivia. Casey needs you here. All of you. Not just the part of you that isn't lusting after some type of revenge, Olivia thought sadly to herself.
"It's okay Case. I'm here honey. I'm here," she whispered into the battered woman's ear, wondering if she could even hear her.
When they arrived at the hospital, everything became a flurry of movement. Casey was rushed into surgery and Olivia was left in the waiting room with a black and white television, a few magazines from 1985 and her increasingly violent thoughts.
"How is she?" Captain Donald Cragen asked as he pushed through the swinging doors of the waiting room.
"She's out of surgery, but we'll know more in a few hours. Duvall must have been holding onto some kind of rage to have done this," Olivia said sadly.
"It wasn't Duvall Olivia."
"What do you mean it wasn't Duvall?" the detective asked, obviously irritated. "It had to be Duvall Captain. Who else would want to hurt her this badly?"
"It was Nina Zergin's brother," Cragen said as he rested a hand on Olivia's shoulder.
"He did this? After Casey made it so that his sister could stay here?" Olivia said angrily, shrugging off Cragen's hand. "How in the hell could he do this? Why would he do this? Did he want his sister shipped back to that Hell they escaped?"
"I don't know the answer to that Olivia. But Elliott is interrogating him now. Hopefully we'll have answers soon."
"Ms. Benson. Your friend is awake. You can see her now," a doctor called from the set of doors that lead into the atrium of the hospital.
Olivia briefly met Cragen's eyes before turning and hurrying down the hall to catch up with the retreating form of the doctor.
"Hi honey. How are you feeling?" Olivia whispered quietly as she gently leaned against the side of Casey's hospital bed.
"Olivia. What happened? Why am I here?" Casey mumbled through bruised and swollen lips, her voice cracking softly.
"Don't you remember Case? We were in your office. I went to get coffee. When I came back, well, it looked like all Hell had broken loose. Do you know who did this to you?"
"No. Olivia, was I Oh God, he didn't ." Casey sputtered, not able to put into words what she feared the most.
"No honey. He didn't," Olivia answered softly, taking Casey's hand between her own and hoping the frightened ADA couldn't feel her shaking.
"Why can't I remember Olivia? What's wrong with me," Casey asked, now sobbing uncontrollably.
"It's okay Casey. It'll come back," Olivia murmured as she gently brushed her fingertips across the myriad of bruises that colored the normally pale attorney's face. Her heart broke at Casey's obvious fear and confusion. Never had she wanted so much to simply take the woman in her arms and make the hurt go away.
About a week after A.D.A Casey Novak had been beaten and Elliott had captured the man responsible, SVU was finally ready to prosecute Gabriel Duvall for the many rapes and one murder he had committed. The detectives were none too happy that Casey had been removed from the case, especially since it had been handed over to a homicide attorney who was quite unaccustomed to working with live victims.
"This isn't going to go well, you know that right?" Detective John Munch said quietly as the members of SVU sat in the squad room, attempting to keep their minds off the fact that Tracy Kibre was placed in charge of such a critical case.
"We don't know that John. We have to give her a chance," Olivia responded with practiced casualness, hoping she was successful in covering up how much she missed working with Casey.
"I know it's not going to go well. How long did it take us to break Casey in? Now they're just handing something like this over to someone who has probably never tried a rape case in her life. This has disaster written all over it in nice, big, capital letters," Munch replied sarcastically as he leaned forward in his chair, hoping for a verbal battle with anyone in the room.
Just as Olivia was about to respond with a less than polite phrase, her cell phone vibrated on her hip, signaling that the Duvall trial was to start in an hour. She sighed to herself and stood from her chair, pulling her leather jacket over slim shoulders, preparing herself for the disaster she was afraid she was about to be witness to.
"Where are you going Olivia?" Munch asked, obviously disappointed that Olivia wasn't going to stay to spar.
"To the courthouse. The Duvall trial is going to start soon and I want to be there to see what tricks that bastard's lawyer has come up with," Olivia responded over her shoulder as she pushed through the doors from the squad room and into the nearly empty hallway.
As Olivia rounded the corner to the courtroom she was greeted by a slightly unstable and much less colorful Casey Novak. Olivia couldn't contain the gentle smile that crossed her lips as brown eyes met green.
"Casey. What are you doing here?" Olivia asked quietly as she moved to stand closer to the attorney.
"I didn't want to miss this," Casey replied, her voice still more scratchy than usual. "How about you?"
"I wanted to see that he got what he deserved," Olivia answered smiling. "How are you holding up?"
"Some days are better than others," Casey replied, shifting more of her weight onto the cane by her side. "I'd really rather be back here so I had something to keep my mind off it."
"I can understand not wanting to think about it, but do you really want to think about this?" Olivia asked, motioning around them.
"This," Casey said, mimicking Olivia's action, "is all I know Liv."
"It'll be good to have you back," Olivia said quietly, almost without meaning to.
Casey smiled at the thinly veiled complement from the older detective. It had been so hard for her to gain a place of respect within the department, but somehow, knowing that she was missed reassured her that she was where she needed to be.
"Come on, let's get in there. We don't want to walk in after it's started," Olivia said, gently sliding her arm under the one Casey wasn't using to support herself on the cane.
The trial went much the way Olivia had imagined, with the defense lawyer attempting to convince the jury that Gabriel Duvall suffered from Asperger's Syndrome and was not responsible for his actions as in his mind what he had done was perfectly normal. In fact, the women had invited it upon themselves simply by smiling at him.
What wasn't usual was the fact that Eleanor Duvall refused to say that her son had anything wrong with him. She refused to agree that Gabriel was any different than any other person. Because of this, the defense was defeated before they had even begun.
Casey and Olivia sat together in the first row behind the prosecuting attorney's desk. Olivia could tell that it was extremely difficult for Casey to watch someone else do her job. More than once she caught herself studying the profile of the woman who had been sent to take Alex Cabot's place.
She's really grown into herself, Olivia thought. I never would have expected her to stick it out this long. But it looks like she really enjoys being here, working with us. She really is quite beautiful too.
That last thought caught Olivia completely off guard. She had become so accustomed to working beside Casey that she had never taken the time to recognize the woman's classic beauty. Even with the bruises in various shades of purple, green, and yellow, there was something about the attorney that had finally grasped her attention.
Casey felt Olivia's eyes on her and fought to keep from smiling or worse yet, meeting the detectives gaze and breaking the moment. She had long ago acknowledged her attraction to the powerful woman, but had resigned herself to the fact that nothing would ever come of her feelings. She had figured it nearly impossible for Olivia to even give her the time of day in that way, and had contented herself with their growing friendship. Now, feeling Olivia's eyes on her, she began to wonder if things couldn't be different than they were.
When the jury returned with a guilty verdict, Casey felt like she could have jumped for joy. Instead, she chose to take Olivia's hand briefly in her own and squeezing it happily, smiled as well as she could through the remaining bruises along her jaw.
Tracy wanted to share in the excitement with the two women from SVU, but when she turned and saw the smaller attorney holding the detective's hand, she thought better of it and gave herself a mental pat on the back. I wonder how long they've been together, she wondered to herself. I never would have seen that one coming. Not after Alex anyway.
Olivia's pulse raced from just that brief moment of contact with the attorney and she felt herself blushing slightly as she raised her eyes to Casey's. "So, I think a celebration is in order," she said softly, smiling.
"I think that would be wonderful Olivia. Do you think the rest of the squad would want to go out for drinks this evening?" Casey asked, unsure of the type of celebration Olivia had had in mind.
"Um, I don't know. But I'll ask," Olivia answered, trying to hide her disappointment that it wouldn't just be the two of them. "Were you going to come back to the squad room?"
"I don't think so. I'm pretty tired actually. The medicine they gave me for the pain makes me a sleepy girl," Casey said, smiling childishly. "Just give me a call later. We'll figure out where we're going then."
"Ok, sure. Wait. How are you going to get home? I doubt you're riding your bike," Olivia said, turning back to the attorney.
"No. I'll just take a cab. I'll be fine. Go. Spread the good news," she said to Olivia, still barely able to contain the excitement she felt, both because they had won the case and because she felt something different in the way Olivia was looking at her.
Olivia stood a moment longer, wondering if she felt right making Casey take a cab home before she realized that it must have been the way she had gotten here in the first place. "Ok. I'll call you tonight. Get some rest. You're going to need it," Olivia said as she turned and walked away.
Casey felt herself blush as the many interpretations of that statement danced through her already racing brain. Christ Novak. Get it together. She obviously didn't mean anything like that. You really do need to get some rest.
Later that evening, the entire SVU squad was crowded around a table in O'Malley's, ordering pitchers of beer and sharing stories about the various cases they had seen over the years. There was an unmistakable excitement in the air that made Olivia hyper aware of the closeness of Casey's body in the crowded bar.
The entire gang seemed happy to have Casey back; Munch had even gone so far as to give her a hug when she hobbled into the bar. It made Casey even happier to see that they all had gotten to where they trusted her and wanted to spend time with her outside of trying cases and busting bad guys.
Casey jumped nearly out of her seat when she felt Olivia's breath brush her ear as the dark haired detective asked her if she needed more water. Damn. I sure as hell wasn't expecting that. But I certainly could get used to it.
"No, I'm good," Casey replied, leaning into the detective so she could hear her over the wailing stereo system and laughing patrons.
"Are you having a good time?" Olivia asked as she took a long sip from her beer.
"I am. I'm glad that we came out tonight Liv. It was good to get out of the house for awhile," Casey said, smiling softly.
"I'm glad we did too," Olivia responded, resting her hand on Casey's knee, just under the table, but not out of sight of her ever watchful partner.
When did that happen, Elliott wondered silently. I didn't think she'd make that mistake twice. He tried to meet his partner's eyes, but she was too enveloped within that tiny space that was Casey Novak.
Casey felt her pulse start to pound and hoped Olivia couldn't feel her heart beating erratically beneath her flesh. Needing to do something with her hands, she reached unsteadily for her water, allowing her eyes to meet and hold Olivia's as she smiled gently.
"Okay guys, I'm out," Captain Cragen said as he stood from the seat at the head of the table. "It's been a long day and tomorrow won't be any better."
"Yeah cap'n. I think I'm leaving too," Fin said as he threw back the last of his beer and stood from the table. "Casey, I'm glad you're feelin' better. It'll be great to have you back."
"Thanks Fin," Casey replied, still acutely aware of Olivia's hand, which was now resting squarely on her thigh. "It will be good to be back."
"And then there were four," Munch deadpanned as Cragen and Fin left the bar. "Can I interest anyone in sharing another pitcher?"
"I don't think so John," Elliott said as he stood and stretched loudly. "I have the early shift tomorrow, so I need to get some sleep tonight. Liv, Casey, you guys okay to get home?"
"I'm fine El. This is only my second beer, and I'm probably not going to finish it. I'll make sure Casey gets home in one piece," Olivia said as she stared up at her partner, still not moving her hand from Casey's leg.
Elliott could only smile in response as he pulled his suit jacket over his broad shoulders and headed towards the doors at the other side of the bar.
"So, no more for you either then, huh Liv?" Munch said as he drained the last of his beer. "That's okay. I can find something to keep myself busy."
"Sorry John. I guess I just can't hang with you," Olivia said laughing as she began gently stroking the inside of Casey's knee.
Okay. Second beer. She's not drunk. I haven't even had one, so I'm not drunk. But if I'm not drunk, then why is my head spinning, Casey thought wildly to herself as goose bumps spread to cover her entire body. Christ. I'm going to implode soon if she doesn't stop that.
And as if Olivia could hear Casey's thoughts, she suddenly stopped rubbing Casey's knee and completely removed her hand from even the vicinity of Casey's leg. Casey took the chance and looked directly into Olivia's eyes, unwilling to believe that she had imagined it all or worse yet that the detective had been playing with her.
"Are you ready to go?" Olivia asked gently as she leaned towards the attorney.
Oh my God. She's going to kiss me. Right here. In this cop bar. I'm going to kiss Olivia Benson.
"Casey?" Olivia asked again, still unbearably close, but not close enough for Casey to steal the one thing she wanted more than life itself in that moment. "Are you ready to go?"
"What? Oh, yeah. Sure," Casey responded, blushing at the thoughts that had so quickly sprung into her mind and so easily distracted her. "I can just take a cab."
"No. You won't just take a cab," Olivia responded as she stood and threw her leather jacket over her shoulders then offered her hand to Casey. "I'll drive you home."
Casey took the offered hand, hoping that she wasn't still shaking from the feeling of Olivia's hand on her knee or the thoughts that she had so quickly clung too. "Really Liv, it's okay. It's not that far."
"Well good. Then I don't have to drive that far," Olivia responded, now smiling broadly. "Come on. My car's out front."
Casey allowed the detective to help her out of the bar, enjoying the feeling of Olivia's body that close. As she helped Casey lower herself into the passenger's seat of the sedan, Casey had no choice but to lock her arms around Olivia's neck, pulling her even closer, allowing the attorney to drown in the unmistakable scent of leather and spice. Olivia smiled to herself as she felt Casey inhale deeply as if something had taken her breath away.
Olivia drove in relative silence, both hands on the wheel. Casey couldn't help but feel a bit disappointed that Olivia's hand hadn't somehow made it back into contact with her body.
"This is the turn. I live in those apartments there," Casey said, motioning out her window.
"Okay. Where can I park?" Olivia asked.
"Park? You can just let me off at the curb. I'm sure you want to get home," Casey replied, confused but hopeful.
"No. I'll make sure you get to your apartment. It's not a big deal. All I have waiting at home is a TV and some sweats."
Casey smiled at the thought of Olivia just relaxing at home, letting her stoic façade from work fall away. What I wouldn't give to be part of that. "Well, you can park right in front too actually. There are spaces across from the doors."
Olivia helped Casey out of the low seat, again giving the attorney an excuse to wrap her arms tightly around Olivia's neck and immerse herself in her scent. Olivia, do you have any idea what you're doing to me right now?
"So what floor are you on?" Olivia asked as she closed the door and slipped her arm into Casey's.
"Fifteenth. I wanted a view of the city," Casey replied sheepishly.
"Well, I guess you got it," Olivia countered, laughing freely.
As the two women made their way to the elevator and rode it to Casey's floor in silence, Casey couldn't help but wonder what was going to happen once they were at her door.
"This is it," Casey said when they stood in front of her apartment and she turned the key in the lock. "Um, did you want to come in?"
Olivia smiled softly at Casey, as if they had known each other forever and Casey felt her entire body heat from that simple look. "No. I think you need some sleep," Olivia finally replied softly.
"Oh. Right. Yeah, I guess I could use some sleep. Well, um, thanks for tonight," Casey said, stumbling over her words and blushing furiously.
"Case," Olivia interrupted the attorney's nervous rambling, waiting for the younger woman to look up from the floor.
"Yes?" Casey said, almost inaudibly as she finally raised her eyes to Olivia's face.
Olivia smiled crookedly as her heart skittered in her chest. "I had a good time tonight. And I'd like to do it again," she finished softly as she stepped closer to the redhead.
Barely breathing, Casey found herself closing the rest of the gap between them, reaching her arm around Olivia's neck, pulling the older woman closer against her, and finally placing a gentle kiss on the lips she had dreamt about since joining SVU.
"I'd like that too," Casey whispered as she stepped back from Olivia's body, not wanting anything to happen too quickly.
"Good," Olivia answered softly as she again closed the distance, effectively pinning Casey between herself and the apartment door. "I'll call you tomorrow Casey," she murmured as she kissed the attorney again, letting one hand rest on Casey's hip, the other just brushing her jaw.
When she pulled away, Casey was slow to open her eyes, not wanting to wake up if this all turned out to be some kind of wonderful dream. When she finally allowed herself to look at the detective, her stomach flipped as they both smiled freely.
"Good night Casey," Olivia said softly as she stepped back from the smaller woman so she could open her door.
"Good night Olivia," Casey murmured as she watched Olivia retreat slowly down the hallway.
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