DISCLAIMER: The original characters are ours; the rest we're borrowing from Dick Wolf. This is a love story between two consenting female adults, and may contain adult material. Caveat emptor.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: "Unknown Waters" is the last of four stories in "The Name of the Game", prequel to our Lemon Seed and Orange Tree series. This story is set around the episodes "Inheritance" (November 2001), and contains spoilers. We've decided to go with aired dates rather than the dates provided on the episodes; any other inconsistency with canon is intentional.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
The Name of the Game -
By Adrienne Lee & Miranda Rafferty
Part 1. Alex
Should I? Or should I not? It's a big step for all of us. It's always been just my mother and me at the Foundation. If I asked you, would you go?
It could be potentially awkward, and I'd be putting you on the spot.
What if you have other plans? What if you simply don't want to go? Maybe you'd think it's too soon. Considering we've only been intimate for six months, and I'm not really sure what we are to each other yet. Six month's not a long time, is it? Leon's been dating the same girl for what? Four years now? And she had just started attending family functions, and not even all of them.
And Thanksgiving at Destin was never a function for the entire family.
Maybe it doesn't have to be a big deal. Maybe I can tell you it's just for the children. They really would love a visit from a real life cop, especially after 9-11. You would do it for the kids, and not think too much into the whole thing, right?
Meanwhile, my Mother would get to meet you.
I don't know why she's been asking so many questions; it's almost like she wants to know everything there is to know about you. She never cared before, about any of the people I brought home, friends, classmates or otherwise. I wonder why she's starting now?
Maybe you answering my phone two weekend mornings in a row had something to do with it. I still can't believe you did that. It's embarrassing then; and it's still embarrassing.
I'm really not sure if I want Mother to know who's been sharing my bed, or who's been making me blush like I'm blushing now.
Just how did I get myself into this? Maybe there's a way I can get myself out without involving you Though I'm not sure if that's at all what I want.
Part of me really wants you and my Mother to meet. Yeah, sure, six month's not a very long time, and really, I don't know how you feel about me. But I know how I feel about you. I don't think another six months would make any difference. I'm sure I love you as much as I'm capable of loving another person.
In my heart, I'm pretty sure you're "the one". I just hope you feel the same way about me. If you do, will you tell me? When?
On the other hand, maybe right now it's not a very good time for us to talk about this. It almost seems frivolous, definitely trivial, considering what you're going through at the moment.
What are you doing right now, anyway? Where are you? For the second day, I'm watching the clock on my office wall tick through lunch. Are you held up at the lab or something? Or maybe another interrogation? I wish you'd call and let me know.
Maybe I should go grab something for me. But what if you decide to show up while I'm gone? If you decide you want to talk, I want to be here for you.
I can only sigh, and reach into my desk drawer. I don't even look as I pull out a random foil package; they're all the same anyway. Hello health bar, guess you're it for lunch.
I do hope you'll come around soon. Or at least talk to someone else.
Elliot actually called me yesterday. I could tell he was concerned, but he didn't know how to explain to me why he thought I'd care enough to well, care.
You and I never talk about this, but I think Elliot knows about us, and I know he didn't hear it from you.
Anyway, I know how difficult this latest case must be for you.
Knowing you, you're probably wondering if you inherited a violent gene, too. Knowing you, you're probably also questioning if your mother had ever felt about you like Martha Shelby felt about her son. You might even be asking yourself if your mother hated you like Susan Guan did towards Darrell when he was growing up
Yes, Elliot told me everything. Your meeting with Starnes. The look on your face when you realized he could have a son out there committing the rape - murder. Your partner even told me how you shut him out after Bronxville. How you grabbed Darrell and pushed him into a brick wall before throwing him onto the ground, and the way you acted afterwards.
Yeah, if I were you, I'd be having issues, too.
Maybe if you don't want to talk to me, you'd at least go talk to George. He's a psychiatrist, he can help. It's got to be a difficult case for him as well; he might actually understand more than you think. Would you do it if I asked you to?
Would you talk to me, if I come to you?
Part 2 Olivia
I'm here sitting on my bench in the Park again today, just like yesterday. I hope you'll forgive me for not showing up for our usual lunch date. I've got a lot on my mind with the Guan case, and I just need to be by myself.
Right. Who am I kidding?
Since the trial, I've been afraid to be alone with you. I could be just like him, a time bomb waiting to go off. What's going to be my trigger? Will it be a dream while you're sleeping in my arms? I can't bear to think what I might do to you in a moment of madness.
This is why I have to stay away from you. I can't risk hurting you, the person I love most in this world. It's a real possibility that I could just become unhinged one day and be just like my father. You've got to know that Alex, you're never going to be truly safe with me.
Why did I ever think I could have a normal life? How could I be so damned naïve? What difference is there between Guan and I? Or any other perverted bastard who rapes? I'm a product of rape. My grandparents disowned my mother for keeping me. I ruined her life and all their hopes and dreams for her. They couldn't even bear to look at me, that's why we stopped seeing them. Mother never said it, but I know it's true.
Did Mother drink her life away because she never got over being raped? Because every time she looked at me, she remembered her ordeal? Remembered him?
I wonder if somewhere deep inside she carried the same hatred for me that my grandparents did? I know she said she loved me, but part of her had to hate me too. Look at Darrell's mother, she admitted it to me. She hated Darrell as much as she loved him, maybe more.
I've always looked down on my mother, resented her and pitied her too. Couldn't understand how she could be so weak, so pathetic, drowning herself in a bottle. Well, no wonder she did. And no wonder she was a workaholic, she buried herself in work then would drink herself into oblivion just so she didn't have to face me. All this time I blamed and hated her
It turned out to be my own damn fault. My own damn existence.
No, I didn't ask to be brought here, but I'm here and I've always tried to make the best of it. But now I wonder, is there some genetic time bomb inside me just waiting to go off? I'll never know and I'll never be able to risk being around you when it does. I know it will, one day. When? I don't think anyone's going to be able to tell me.
Everyone from the Captain to Munch is worried about me. They don't say it, but now I wonder, are they worried about how the case upsetting me? Or are they worried when I'm going to crack and start acting the same way? My own team having to hunt me down in dark alleys, to pick up the pieces after me? You throwing the book at me?
Okay, I know I'm sounding like a paranoid lunatic. But can you blame me?
I know Elliott told you everything. My meeting with Starnes, the look on my face when I realized that I could be my father's child, more than I ever was my mother's. Then I tried to pound Darrell into the building. If Elliott hadn't pulled me off I might have killed him. He was just running away, he wasn't trying to hurt either of us. If it were me in Guan's place, fleeing, I doubt even you would have charged me with resisting arrest, and you're one of the most zealous prosecutors I've ever known. Maybe that's where I belong, locked up somewhere before I can really hurt anyone.
You're probably wondering where I am now, and maybe I should call to at least tell you. But I'm afraid you'd want to talk. I'm not sure if I'm ready to face you. Not when I'm like this.
I know you Alex, you'll be conciliatory and sympathetic. You won't believe someone you could love might be capable of that sort of horror.
You know they say every monster has one or two good qualities. Ted Bundy was charming, and a good son. Gacy loved being a clown for the neighborhood children. Well, I'm sympathetic to the victims and I have the good sense to love you. Still, I'm probably no better than they are. Someday I'll crack and do something just as bad, or worse.
Maybe I should go talk to Huang, maybe he can tell me if I'm cracking up, or if I there's any chance of me turning uncontrollably violent. Hopefully, he'll convince me I'm just paranoid, that all human beings have choices. After all, haven't I been making mostly right choices?
I'm not sure if I'm a monster, I hope not, I certainly don't want to be. Do I really have any choice?
Part 3. Alex
Now at least I know you've been avoiding me on purpose. Why? Do you think I might look at you or think about you differently because of this case? If you do, you really don't know me at all.
You definitely don't know yourself.
You came to the trial everyday, like I knew you would. And everyday you flew out of the court room before I could speak to you. I'm not going to let you do that today.
I hope you're listening right now. I hope you know the questions I asked, the arguments I'm making, all of which are for your benefit as much as they're for the jury's.
It is perfectly understandable that you wouldn't grow up to be a well adjusted individual. Come on, look at me, my dad supposedly loved my mom, even drank himself to death for that love. I'm sure I'm fucked up somehow simply because I have knowledge of that fact. So, for what you've gone through, growing up knowing you were a product of rape and living with an alcoholic, I think you're a remarkable human being. I'm sure many people without my bias would agree with me.
You're the proof, Olivia, that we're not just the result of our genetic programming, or the product of our upbringing. You're proof that we have choices. We all do.
I hope you can see that. I hope you know I'm not just arguing to win a case. I mean every single word I'm saying.
And I know you're nothing like Darrell Guan.
Finally, I've done all I can for the victims and their families, and we're waiting for the verdict. Finally, I have my chance with you. Maybe I have more power vested in me in this department. Maybe. Anyway, if Mohammed runs away from the mountain, the mountain will find him and sit on him.
"Come to my office while we wait?" I ask you, although I let you know by the tone of my voice that it isn't a request. Just to make sure we're clear, I add, "I want to talk to you."
You sigh, in defeat, and follow me reluctantly.
I lean against at the edge of my desk, making a point not to shield or hug myself, and I tell you, "I've missed you. For lunch. And everything else."
"I'm sorry, Alex, I've been busy."
"Too busy to even call and cancel lunch?"
Well, we can keep at this and we won't get anywhere. Fine. Let's just cut to the chase. "You're not like Darrell Guan, Olivia. You haven't raped and murdered anyone."
You look down at your shoes, and kick your heel. "Not yet, Alex. Not yet."
"I can't believe I'm hearing this!"
"What about all the times I come in and shove you up against the wall, Alex It's only logical to " You look and sound so guilty.
Something tells me you want me to convince you how wrong you are. Guess that's what I'll have to do. "It's not, Liv, you haven't done anything against my will. If I had told you to stop at any point, you would."
"How can you be so sure?"
"Because I know you, Olivia, you're not a product of your genetics, Darrell Guan is not a product of his genetics. He had choices, just like you have choices." I repeat myself, just in case you didn't hear me in court just now. I open my arms to you. "And I know you'll always make the right decisions."
You inch a little closer. "Well, maybe I just haven't "
If I reach out to you, I can touch you. So I do, and pull you close, resting my arms on your shoulders, and softly caressing the back of your head and neck. "Come on, Liv, I'm sure you and Darrell Guan aren't the only products of rapes. There are many like you out there. And I'm sure, just like you, they are perfectly non-violent, law-abiding citizens."
"But you and I both know " You start to place your hand on my thigh, but you pull back, and you're still refusing to look at me. "I can be aggressive, and I have a temper."
"Look at me, Liv," I demand, with an edge to my voice.
You raise your head, looking like you're waiting for judgment day.
"I too have a temper, and you're making me cranky."
You cringe. I'm so sorry.
Still, you're not done wallowing in your guilt, your self-doubts. "What about my mother? She drank "
"Many people had terrible things happened to them." I pull you into my embrace, and try to be gentle in my directness. "Not all of them attempt to find solace in the bottle," I tell you, and kiss you softly on the lips. "You can't blame yourself for everything."
"I guess " you sigh. "I'm sorry for not calling."
"I'm sorry for being cranky with you just now," I too offer my apology, while soothing out the line between your brows with my touch.
"I'm just I was afraid, I'm still afraid, I'm going to hurt you."
"I know you're not like your father. Just trust me on this, all right?"
Part 4 Olivia
I wish I could say I was surprised when you pull me to you. I can't. Part of me was hoping you would, as much as I wanted to run away to keep you safe from me. I wanted you to show me I'm all right, that I'm worth loving.
You do, Alex. You do so well. And I so want to believe you.
In your arms, I feel safe. I feel sane. Your touches feel so good, so right. How can I doubt we belong together? When you do things like this every thought rational or not flies out of my head. All I know is the warmth of your hands on my body, and the heat of yours against my skin.
How can I let you seduce me so easily? I have no backbone, no will of my own. You only need to smile at me, and I surrender.
And all I want is you
I want to believe you, I really do, that I'm not the sum of my genetics. But maybe I'm just lucky, for now.
I didn't turn into an alcoholic just because my mother was one. I admit I've tied one on a time or two, but I rarely do that anymore. I've certainly done my share of stupid things while under the influence, like sleeping with Cassidy. I made a conscious choice not to drink to that extent again, and I haven't. Score one for my side. Maybe you are right.
Maybe I'm lucky, I do have a choice.
I'm lucky, but who knows for how long. I feel the rage seething just below the radar. There are times I want to let go and lash out at all the things that make me angry. I want to cause the same kind of pain and suffering other people have caused. I know you would try to tell me that it's a normal reaction, but it isn't. You and I both know that.
One day, Alex, I'm afraid I'm going to take it out on you. I don't know what it will be, but I live in fear of that every time I'm with you. Am I going to let that stop me from seeing you? Of course not, I'm too damn selfish for that, and I'm going to keep endangering you until one day my luck is going to run out and you'll be my victim.
God, I hope I never see that day.
I'm too easily seduced by you to stay away. I'm also far too selfish to give you up willingly. I know I love you, but I can't even bring myself to say it. I wrap it up in so much fluff and nonsense, that if I say it, our love will die.
If I do let you hang around me I know at some point I'll hurt you one way or another.
Am I going to say anything to warn you? Share my greatest fears with you? Probably not, because I'm terrified you'll finally realize that the wonderful person you think you see is nothing but a horrible fraud. I don't ever want to hurt you, Alex, but I'm so afraid I will. I think sometimes I should just get in my car and drive as far and as fast away from you as I can, then you'd be safe, at least from me.
Alcoholism and perverted violence are two different things. The substance abuse develops over time, but the violence is a sleeping beast. At least with the drinking there are some physical clues that you've got a problem. With the other thing, I can't even name it, it just happens, no warning, no hints. Should I cause you that kind of harm, I think I'd kill myself.
I hope you can understand that I'm going through a lot right now, having a few strange thoughts, lots of rage. You aren't safe around me. Maybe you think you are, but trust me, Alex, I know myself well enough. Someday, when you're least expecting and certainly not prepared for it, I'll go off on you. Like some violent explosion.
My advice to you, Alex my love, Is head for the point furthest away from me and stay there. It's the only way you'll ever be truly safe.
At least from me.
Now, if only I could bring myself to warn you. If only I could stop myself from coming back to you, time and again, for your reassurances, your comfort
I guess I should go talk to Huang.
Part 5. Alex
Elliot is a funny guy, and underneath all the anger and gruff exterior, he's a nice guy. At least he cares about you enough to call me. Call me to tell me you had just talked to Huang, even though I know it still kills him to be nice to me. And he's stopped trying to explain why he thinks I should be concerned. I'm sure if you and he switched shoes, you wouldn't have called me, and he wouldn't have expected you to. Like I said, Elliot is a funny guy; I'm glad he has your back.
So you've talked to Huang. I wonder what he said to you. Something helpful, I hope. Sometimes I don't know how you can lug around so much guilt. I don't know how any sane person can
"Hey!" you say as you pop your head in.
"Sorry if I startled you. Guess I should've knocked." You grin sheepishly as you flop down in the chair across from me.
I just shrug and smile. Somehow your presence always make me smile. "Lunch time already?"
"We can wait a little if you're not hungry." You offer. I can tell by the tone of your voice you're here early to talk.
"Yeah, if you don't mind." I come around the desk and hop up on top, letting my feet dangle in front of you. So what do you want to talk about? I wonder silently.
"I had a little chat with Huang today. Right before I came here, actually."
"He told me pretty much the same thing you did the other day."
"Aha! And you wouldn't believe me!" With the toe of my shoe, I nudge you playfully on your leg.
"I still don't know." You sigh softly to yourself. "Can I be really be that lucky?"
Well, you have me. I want to quip, but I don't. That's too egotistical sounding, among other things. "I don't think it has anything to do with luck." I tell you instead.
"Anyway," you smile, grab my foot, and slip my shoe off. "What would you like to do for lunch?"
I close my eyes to the gentle massage. "You could keep doing that."
"I'm sure I'd get hungry later. Elliot's gonna wonder what I did for lunch."
Winking, I tease, "You can tell him you did me."
"I'm serious. I want food-food, in addition to you-food."
"Aren't we greedy." I take my left foot back and give you the other one. "Hey, I have something I've been meaning to ask you."
"What are you doing for Thanksgiving?" I decide to take the plunge. "My mom and I usually spend ours at the Foundation, maybe you'd like to go with me this year, and visit the kids?"
"Oh, Alex, I'm so sorry," you tell me, seemingly regretful. "I told Elliot I'd spend Thanksgiving with them. I suppose I can cancel "
"Don't." I hide my disappointment and my relief, and smile. "I'm sure his kids are looking forward to seeing their Auntie Olivia. Considering you've stopped going around as often these days." Ever since we started spending time together actually.
"Maybe next year? If the invitation's still open?" you ask and press your lips gently to my calf.
"Mmm. Sure." I can feel myself responding to your touch. "You locked the door?"
You nod, your lips drifting higher and higher.
Yeah, there's always next year; and there's right now
Part 6 Olivia
I talked to George like you suggested. You were right, he's good and he helped me a lot. He said the things I needed to hear. He agreed with me that sometimes situations require me to be aggressive, even violent. He even told me how perfectly justifiable it is for me to apprehend a perp with force, if he or she is fighting to escape. When I face a criminal committing a crime, sometimes I will have no choice.
He assured me that when faced with choices, he thinks I will make the right ones. I chose to protect people from those who would hurt them.
Well, basically, he told me everything you did. It's not that I didn't believe you. I wanted to. I do. But I also wanted an opinion from someone without your bias. Maybe I'm fooling myself, but I don't think you can be objective when it comes to me.
Oh, but neither am I suggesting that you're incapable of stepping back, and seeing things as they are I'm sure if I start acting strangely you'll sit me down and have a not so friendly chat.
Why do I feel like I'm digging a hole for myself?
Anyway! I feel better about trusting myself to be here with you now. I can't second guess the unknown, I certainly let something that may never happen impede my future. Maybe if I continue to be lucky, a future with you?
I'm lucky in so many ways that Darrell Guan wasn't. I have a support system, I have people who care about me, and accept me as I am. People who give me more credit than I'm willing to give myself.
And most importantly, I have you.
I know I startled you when I walked in like that. You were so deep in thought, you looked a million miles away. I hope I caught you daydreaming about a quiet island somewhere on a beach towel for two. With me, of course.
You give me one of your sweet, radiant smile, and ask me what I want to talk about. I tell you that George told me pretty much the same things you did. Fortunately you took it really well that he got through my morass of self doubt and loathing faster than you did. Can you be any more fantastic?
Suddenly, I don't want to talk anymore. I'm watching your beautiful legs dangle in front of me. And what lovely temptations you offer for the eyes and the soul.
I slip off your shoe and begin with a foot massage. After just the briefest of moments, I feel your tension melting away. It may have been my imagination, but I think I'm hearing soft little moans from you as I progress from your toes to your heel, then from your left foot to your right.
I tell you I not only want real food for lunch, but you as well. You seem to think I'm teasing you, but I can assure you I'm not. I want you in all the best ways, but not in a heated rush.
I need to prove to you and to me that I can be gentle, that I can be trusted.
Pulling me from my reverie, you ask me a serious question. Would I like to spend Thanksgiving with you and your Mother at the Destin Foundation. For a moment I'm stunned speechless. This is the family holiday right behind Christmas, in the big top five of special family times together, and you're inviting me!
Wait. It would mean meeting your Mother!
I'm suddenly scared half to death. Am I ready for that?
Is your Mother ready for that.? Does she really want to know who's been sharing her daughter's bed. Hm. I guess she probably does.
I've been told I clean up nicely, maybe I wouldn't embarrass you too much While I'm debating in my head, you explain that it's for the kids at the Foundation. Maybe it isn't such a big deal after all.
Then it hits me. I promised Elliot I would spend the holiday with him, Kathy and the kids. How could I be so stupid? I may never get another invitation from you!
I tell you about my promise to Elliot, and you sound genuinely disappointed. Maybe I still stand a chance. "Maybe next year? If the invitation is still open?" I ask you, and kiss you gently on your calf.
"Mmm." Comes your soft sigh. "Sure," you reply and I feel you respond to my touch.
I smile when you ask if I had locked the door. And I concentrate on an especially sensitive spot by your knee. Slowly, I inch higher along your leg, sliding your skirt up as I go. Much to my pleasant surprise you have on garters, your underwear worn over them.
I slip my fingers beneath the pink lace and ease the soft material down your fair skin. Raising your hips, you let me slide them off. Moving closer to the edge of your desk in the process, closer to my waiting lips.
"So. Were you expecting or hoping?" I breathe against you as I tease up the insides of your thigh. I'm so close to you now, so close to your center. I can feel the heat from your body, and scent your desire, as you try to push against me, to welcome me.
I stop and look up. "Well?" I wait.
Blushing, you deny, "Neither."
When I lightly trace and circle your flesh with my tongue, you confess, with a moan, "Both."
"Good girl." I say, and take you into my mouth.
Food-food can wait.
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