DISCLAIMER: I don’t own them, but if I did this is probably the universe in which they’d live. That said, they may be better off with Dick Wolf, NBC and its affiliates!
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Originally written for the "Rare Pairs" challenge on the LiveJournal tbj_ladies community.
FANDOMS/PAIRING: Law & Order: SVU/Law & Order: TBJ &NBSP; Casey/Kelly
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Three months had passed. Three months and the scars had faded to mere texture, bruised skin returning to a balanced peach. Passing in the ceaseless, slick halls of the courthouse, Kelly found herself wanting to tell her that her healing was miraculous, her bravery inspirational.
But instead the words slipped from her tongue before she had time to catch them, and her admiration came out sounding like, "You look good today, Casey," which wasn't what she meant, or at least not what she had meant to say.
Casey smirked, looking up from her files as she passed, meeting Kelly's eyes and holding them for all of a heartbeat, and Kelly had the grace to blush.
One day, Casey imagined, the artist that had drawn her life had decided he should sketch people to populate his world. He had sketched and sketched, erasing, rubbing out, restarting, drawing over, but he wasn't satisfied with her and so he'd eventually given up and moved on to the others. She'd lay on his drawing table, forgotten, unfinished, rough around the edges, not even black and white, but the drabbest dashes of pencil-grey, until he'd finally picked her up and put her in someone else's painting. No portrait of her own, just the maid whose cap you could see disappearing through the doorway, the dog at the foot of the cross, one of the crowd.
That's how she'd always felt. Not an accident, but someone who had never quite been completely rendered. Never more than dots, lines and squiggles. Not a mistake, but a rough draft.
Kelly had asked her out to coffee on the courthouse steps, grabbing Casey's wrist to secure her attentionmind wandering, head in the clouds, like her mother always saidand Casey had whirled around, bemused for a moment by the tangible shock of the cool, smooth skin of Kelly's palm. It might have been a romantic beginning if the wind hadn't been blowing so hard it made Casey's eyes water and she hadn't had to ask Kelly to repeat herself three times before she heard the request.
They were both eager, both interested, but dinner was awkward anyway. Kelly watched the hazel eyes of her companion shifting over the dim sum, picking, choosing, and couldn't help wonder what Casey thought of her. Piquant or honey-laced? Shrouded in mystery or laid bare?
Dinner wasn't really supposed to be a date. Except that they found themselves still at the restaurant as it closed around them, wait staff becoming anxious, chairs upside down and signaling their inanimate, but evident, disapproval. Except that they found themselves kissing as Kelly tried to maneuver out of their shared cab, eventually pulling Casey with her onto the darkened steps of her building with little protest.
Kelly had always excelled at self-persuasion, and she almost had herself convinced that she took Casey home merely to confirm the rumors. The obvious one, of course, was already verifiedtestimony to its veracity quivering in Casey's ever-shortening breaths, her fingers fumbling with delicate buttons, her eyelids fluttering shut. But Kelly knew Casey was gay, or at least attracted, long before she felt the red head's body arch up to meet her every stroke, smooth and fluid and wet.
Instead, Kelly was genuinely pleased with herself for authenticating Casey as an avid cyclist. She wasn't so pampered to think that no one biked around the city, but she thought ardent environmentalism or even sportiness was something her kind had no time for, let alone energy. Thighs taut from daily commutes, calves toned from dodging kamikaze cab drivers, Casey was something a little out of the ordinary, something slightly unexpected. Her hands gliding up muscled skin slick with sweat, Kelly decided she liked the unexpected.
Every time they made love, Casey thought she lost a tiny piece of herself. Sometimes she wondered if she should get out before she lost everything. Sometimes she realizedfingers tangling in Kelly's hair, body possessed, voice betraying her needthat losing everything might just not be so bad.
Dragged to the Metropolitan Museum on one of Kelly's Saturday afternoon whims, Casey found herself standing in front of a huge Seurat, just on loan from Chicago. Kelly was a few feet away, but she was nose to the painting's edge, inspecting the dots.
"It doesn't look like anything from here."
Kelly laughed, "Which one's your favorite?"
"Of the dots?"
"No, of the people."
Casey didn't see the point, but played along to appease her lover. Standing only a few inches away, lost in a sea of blotches and speckles, she could only clearly see the figures to her left, coalescing into defined shapes and swimming into focus in her peripheral vision.
"The man with the pipe and overalls. Over there," she pointed.
"He seems so out of place next to the woman with the dress and the man with the top hat. I admire his tenacity."
Kelly smiled, "I like the little red-headed girl with the red dress and white cap playing in the background."
Casey looked back at Kelly and followed the line of Kelly's sight to a spot just above her head. She didn't back up, but squinted, tilted her chin and peered at the painting doubtfully.
"To me," Casey said, examining the swirl of colors and trying to discern a figure, "she's just a blur of white and gold and red and orange. Just a bunch of dots, nothing special."
"Well, you're too close to her. You can't really see her with your nose pressed to the paint," Kelly sighed, exasperated.
Casey looked back, shrugged, but didn't move away. "Well," she said, voice even, "That's my point."
Every nightthat is, every night since they had begun accidentally cohabitating, following each other home after work (for a drink, for dinner, for a kiss goodnight) and then simply not leavingKelly had trouble sleeping. Casey didn't toss or turn or hog the covers, but instead slept gingerly, which was almost worse. Once she fell asleep but before she entered a deeper dream-state, one twitch from the other side of the bed might cause a jerked awakening and an irritated sigh, and an actual shifting of position might cause Casey to roll out of bed entirely and head to the couch in mild frustration.
Tonight, Kelly was lying on her side, back aching because she was trying hard not to roll over, not to breath too heavily, not to cough. Casey was snoring lightly, a delicate sound, and her hair had fallen across her face, red strands blowing softly up and down in time to her breathing. Kelly's hand twitched with the urge to reach out and touch her, brush the hair out of her eyes and slide her fingers along the other woman's jaw. And this time, Kelly's fingers won the battle, reaching out, pulling Casey forward, and her sigh, cut short by Kelly's tongue gently tracing across her lower lip, changed seamlessly into a moan.
It wasn't about perfection, Casey relented, but compatibility. Kelly was clearly perfectdiaphanous, soft, uncomplicated, and that was just her hair. Casey was all blunted edges and sharp curves, contradictions and utter, boring normalcy. She could only offer cynicism in exchange for Kelly's understated intellect, only caution for her easy passion. This would never work. But Kelly's eyes shone with the bright blue surprise of a newly-laid robin's egg at dawn every time Casey touched her, pupils clouding with desire when they kissed. And Casey had never turned down a blessing before.
Three months had passed. Wrapped in slim, strong arms heavy with sleep, Kelly wanted to tell Casey that she was too warm to be under the covers, too restless to be held, too unsure of what they were doing. She turned, Casey's eyes blinking open at her shifting, an eyebrow lifting warily when she saw her lover's guarded expression.
Kelly wanted to say that this wouldn't work, that they should stop while they were ahead, that she needed to be in court in two hours and she should really go home to change.
Instead, it came out sounding like "I love you," and Kelly didn't dare take it back because she couldn't be sure it wasn't true.
Casey leaned in, lips brushing against lips, and then untangled her arms and pulled away.
"You have to be in court in two hours. You should go home and change," she said, half-heartedly, toying with the ring-finger of Kelly's right hand.
Suddenly unsure if her slip had been out loud or not, Kelly extracted herself from the bed sheets, and began the search for her underwear.
"Will I see you later?" Kelly asked, cautiously.
"I hope so," Casey rolled over onto her back and stared at the ceiling.
"When When might you be available?" Stuttering now, thrown off-guard by Casey's nonchalance in the wake of her admission, Kelly reverted to formal phrasing, backing slowly towards the bedroom door.
Casey glanced at her lover's retreat, met and held Kelly's gaze, "For you?"
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