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: This follows FALLACY, the diptych set around the SVU episode of the same title. Also contains spoilers for episode 88, "Futility". Any and all variation from canon is intentional. This is also a prequel to our on-going Lemon Seed and Orange Tree series.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By Adrienne Lee

It seems like I've been sleeping forever. The first night of dreamless sleep I've had for days, maybe even weeks. As I surface further into consciousness, I feel soft puffs of warm air blowing a gentle rhythm against my shoulder. And I remember you're here. With me. Instinctively, I snuggle in, and feel your arms tighten around me, pulling me deeper into your embrace.

I open my eyes slowly, registering the brightness of late spring early summer sun filtering through the drapes. How long have I been asleep?

Closing my eyes again, and rolling over, stretching against you, I'm careful to keep my breathing steady, to not wake you. You shift with me in your slumber, pillowing my head with your chest. A low sigh escapes your lips, and for a moment, I think you're awake. You press a kiss to my head; your right hand drifts down to just above the small of my back, then you mumble something. When your deep stable breathing resumes, I know you've returned to your dreams. And I let myself focus on the steady sound of your heartbeat.

And I find peace. Maybe even contentment.

How do you always do this? You show up when I least expect it, when I need you. When I'm wondering if my job's worth it, if I'm even valuable to my department, you always seem to know. Always seem to know just what to do to stop the nightmares, the insomnia, my doubts.

My doubts about my place in the world, in your life. In your heart.

I don't know why I was surprised to find you here, in my apartment, waiting for me. If I had thought about it, I would have expected it. You knew what a truly lousy week I've had. You probably also know I haven't gotten over the stunt I pulled at your apartment, where I practically raped you.

Yes, yes, you consented, so it wasn't rape, but I certainly abused your body. I try not to stare at or touch the yellowing blotches on your breast, bruises I left on you, there and elsewhere. Knowing that you enjoyed it still doesn't save me from feeling less like a perp.

I hope you don't go through the same kind of guilt after your ravished me… although I must say, you're always much more gentle with me. I wonder why that's the case…

Anyway, you should have been mad at me, for canceling dinner on you two nights in a row, and letting you down. You were understanding, especially since I told you why. Right now though, I wish you weren't, so I'd feel obligated to not break our dates…

So I wouldn't have gone to talk to my friend Douglas, to let him tell me Cheryl Avery had bad representation. That he, in Morty Berger's place, would have filed all sorts of motions to force the courts to rule on the constitutionality of the legislation, of the state's position on physical versus psychological gender. But that, as wonderful a poster girl as Cheryl would make for her cause, all the legal maneuverings he could and would come up with would most likely ultimately fail before our current courts, and our societal values. So it's just as well that there isn't yet another slew of precedents against possible future change.

To top it off, he confirmed what I had already known. That she'll have no legal, not even civil recourse against her attackers or the system that allowed the atrocity to happen. Oh joy.

On days like these, I wonder if I shouldn't just quit and go teach or something. At least maybe I could make some positive differences that way…

Do you ever wonder if all your efforts, everything you put in, are worthwhile? How much of your soul you'll have to sell and still not be enough? Do you ever have self-doubts like I do?

I suppose I was also surprised because I know you've had a rough week yourself. I'm surprised that you'd put that aside, and be here.

Or does helping me feel better help you? I do hope that's the case.

Every case I can't try, each one I lose, you take the outcome personally, whether or not they're your cases. Guess you feel like as a member of the squad, you're somehow responsible. Both SVU's closure rate and my win-loss ratio certainly took a nose dive with that string of unprosecutable, unwinnable he said she said cases… Just what's wrong with the system? With people? I wish I knew.

If only I cared just about the numbers, it would have been a whole lot easier on me. On both of us.

I knew from Elliot that you talked to him, that you were distressed. He called me after you left his doorsteps the other night. It's funny, the way he's been trying to let you know that he knows about us. Have you noticed? Although I'm not sure how you haven't, he's only been as subtle as a bull in a china shop. Sometimes, I think for a detective, you can be oblivious. Maybe one of these days, we'll actually be friends, he and I. For now, we'll just continue to get along for your sake…

I wonder what you two talked about.

I knew you were beating yourself up over what you had to do to Carrie Huitt. I hope your talk with Stabler helped you. Wish it were me you turned to instead; I'm sorry I couldn't be there for you. But at least you talked to somebody. I know from now on, you'll wonder every time you see Bethany Taylor if she lost clients because of you, that more rape cases will go unreported because of what you did.

Last week was definitely a worse week for you. At least if I allow myself, I could take solace in the fact that Michael Gardner will not rape another woman, that he's no longer my problem, that it's now up to Homicide to deal with Erin Russ… his killer.

Oh no, I'm sounding like a vigilante, a zealot. A zealous vigilante? That's not good.

I file that for later introspection, and try to clear my head, try to stop myself from dwelling on the negatives. After all, it's Saturday, I've had a good night's rest, and you're still sleeping peacefully, in my bed.

I feel the rush of a deep smile as memories of last night filled my mind…

Now I'm almost embarrassed, for letting out the string of expletives when none of the lights worked, and I thought all the bulbs had somehow burnt out. Thank goodness I kept my voice low. Wonder how you'd react if you had heard me swearing like a sailor. Would that aspect of me shock you?

If I dropped all my façades, and show you the real me, would you run the other way?

Actually, given what had happened the other night, I'm surprised you're still here, in my life outside of work, in my bed.

When I first saw the flickering lights last night, I didn't think candles. I thought it was burglars and their flash lights for a moment, before I smelled the fragrance in the air. Then you came out of the bedroom. And you explained that you've taken out all the light-bulbs for the surprise, but that you'd put them back before the weekend's over. You have no idea how close you were to getting a briefcase thrown at you!

Crankiness must have been oozing from my pores. At the very least, it was written all over my face.

"Come on, Alex." Smiling, you walked towards me, released my bag from my grip, and wrapped me in warm embrace. "Don't be such a cranky girl," you said, kissing me softly in between words.

For some reason, I really, really wanted to stay mad at you. Instead of kissing you back, I remained silent, and passively allowed you to undress me. When you started to lay my jacket down onto the couch, I inhaled sharply, and lowered my eyes. You just chuckled, draped the blazer on your arm, and placed another kiss on my lips. "I'll go hang this up, and come right back with hangers. Try not to let your cranky bunnies breed, okay?"

In response, I lifted a brow and glared at you. Yet, I found myself smiling as you padded into the bedroom.

A minute later, you came back with hangers, one for my skirt, the other for my blouse. Even the right kinds. You didn't say a word, didn't gloat that you've learned my particular habits, or complain. You just laid the hangers on the sofa, and eased the zipper down.

While I stepped out of my skirt, you held out your free hand for me to lean on. I debated whether or not to take you up on the offer. Even then, I knew I was being disagreeable, but I simply couldn't help myself. Why was I being so difficult? So I can have proof that you care? Care enough to deal with my foul moods?

Your gentle, steady smile convinced me. The amount of attention you showed not to graze my skin as you unbuttoned my shirt, as you slid the broadcloth off my shoulders… somehow it touched my heart.

And I grabbed for you. Moaning, I wrapped my arms around your back. Your fingers were in my hair; they were unclasping my bra; they were pushing my underwear aside, and thrusting up deep inside me. I panted and fought to keep my breath, to keep my screams from disturbing the serenity of the night.

Somewhere deep down, I was also fighting to keep my ill temper. Why? I'm still not sure.

The way you stayed with me, the way you braced me against the wall, and held me up when I felt myself sliding down… And the way you kissed me, so sweetly, and hugged me with your gentle fingers as I trembled my final spasms…

It was impossible for me to stay testy, and I smiled.

"That's the girl," you praised, and kissed me again. "You look so beautiful when you smile. Not that you don't when you don't, um, uh, you're just more, you know…"

It's amusing how you get so flustered so easily, when you think you've put your foot in your mouth. "It's all right, Liv," I laughed, and kissed you, and tugged at your shirt tail.

I just love the way you whimper into my mouth, and arch into my palms. Love the way you whisper my name. Love that light throaty laugh of yours. The one you had last night, when you told me to stop.

"I have surprises planned for you, remember?" You said, and took my hands in yours, interrupting my exploration of your body.

"But I want…"

"But I want tonight to be about you. Please, Alex?"

"Oh, all right." I sighed, and let you lead me further into my apartment.

Sure. Like you really had to twist my arm, or plead for the permission to pamper me. Thinking about it now, it seemed so absurd.

If I thought the candles and flowers in the bedroom were a bit much, the tealights in the bathroom were completely overboard. "What are you trying to do? Burn down my apartment?" I teased, my moods elevating.

You just winked, and handed me my hair clip. "Well, in the unfortunate event that happens, you can always come live with me."

I didn't let myself react to that statement. I still don't. "Do I smell chocolate?" I asked instead.

"Just get in the water, and close your eyes. I'll join you shortly."

"All right…"

"No peeking." I heard you say, then your soft gait leaving the room. I almost opened my eyes and called for you when the hushed shuffling returned. "Okay, you can look now."


You sat the tray down onto the bench. "Not just any fondue. I stopped by Vosges…"

"You got my favorite chocolates?" I think I squealed like a little kid. It's embarrassing, now that I think about it.

Your smile was indulgent, as if my pleasure was your pleasure. "Well, that weird flavor you like. Hope it goes with strawberries. And I got you a small box of truffles for later."

Scooting up in the bath, I hugged my knees, and watched you peel off each layer of your clothing. I swear I could see your muscles ripple under your smooth skin. "What have I done to deserve this?" I asked with a soft sigh.

You slid into the tub behind me, and pulled me into your warm embrace. "You don't have to do anything, besides being you," you whispered against my neck.

That was so sloppy. But I think I melted. I'm sure I did…

"Open up."

I obliged, and took a bite from the proffered fruit.

"Good? Bad? Weird?" You furrowed your brows, and waited anxiously for the verdict.

Instead of responding, I kissed you. Moving in closer, you held me while we feasted on each other's lips. I laced my fingers in your hair, and drew your hot body towards me. I so wanted to pull over me, to feel your delicious weight pressing down, trapping me against the hard porcelain. But the confinement of the tub prevented that, and I could only settle for deep, feverish kisses.

Finally, we broke apart for air. "Hm. Wasabi chocolate flavored strawberry. Interesting." You smacked your lips and made suggestive slurpy noises that made my groin tingle. "Not too bad though," you decided, and reached for another strawberry.

For the next bite, I held the fruit between my teeth, and leaned back, bending my head towards you. The way you licked the chocolate off my lips after your nibble… I wanted, I tried to take your hands, and put them where I wanted, needed you.

You chuckled lightly, your breath a little ragged. "Just relax, Alex," you said, and handed me the fork.

I wasn't sure how you expected me to relax.

But relax I did, when I took over the feeding, and your hands and fingers began to dance the stiffness out of my muscles, all the knots and kinks I didn't even know I had. I could feel the tension I had been carrying around all week flow from my shoulders into the water.

When the strawberries were gone, I closed my eyes, and focused on the soft sloshing of the water. Listening to the soft humming of gentle tunes from your chest. Shifting my body obediently, lazily as you skimmed the sponge across my skin…

Between your tender ministrations and the sugar endorphin, I'm not sure how I even made it from the bathroom to this bed.

Did I fall asleep? Did you carry me?

I remember you bending over me, covering me with your warm body, bestowing sweet, long kisses. Kisses that made me, that make me breathless, just thinking about them.

I remember shivering as your hot tongue glided down my throat to my breasts. I remember the fire of your breath as you closed your mouth around my flesh.

You murmured something I couldn't quite make out. Something about me being beautiful, I think. My eyes caught yours. They were deep, and swirling with emotions. Emotions I could almost touch, if not understand.

Maybe one day I will. Maybe one day you'll let me.

When your hands traced down my body, I bit down on my lower lip with anticipation. You watched me watch you with half-lidded haze as you opened and explored my sex. Wriggling your finger at my entrance, before drawing imaginary circles, then dipping, sliding in. Then you move your fingers, rubbing them together, while I could do nothing but tremble and squeeze shut my eyes, and fight to still my hips against your touch.

Sometimes I think you're looking for something when you do that, when you touch me like that. What exactly are you looking for?

It was almost like a dream, although I'm pretty sure I wasn't asleep…

When I whimpered at the sudden emptiness, when I was about this close, so close. How do you come to know my body so well? When did you learn to play me like that?

"Please, Liv?" I remembered begging. It's almost automatic now, my entreaty for your caress, for you take me over the edge. "Please, please, please, please," I pleaded, my mind, my body lost in not so silent desperation.

Then I felt your body pressing downwards. I tensed with expectations when I felt the moist heat of your mouth against my skin. The soft flick of your tongue at my swollen flesh. And I arched my back, pushing you to where your fingers had been.

I love, love the way you stroke in and out of me, the way you hold my ass cheeks in your large hands and fuck me with your tongue.

Love the way you lap up my pleasure. How you moan and sigh when strangled howls of joy, of ecstasy explode from my chest. As if my pleasure is truly your pleasure…

I love how you hold me, how you clasp me to you when my body relaxes and tenses to your thorough, tender manipulations. It's difficult for me to not blush at the memory, to not become aroused.

Possessed by a need I have no control over, I press my body to yours, awakening you in the process. Quickly, so quickly, fantasy becomes reality. You're rolling over and me onto my back. Your fingers wasting no time, they slide along my slippery flesh.

"My," you grin your Cheshire cat grin, that never fails to make my heart skip. "A girl can get used to this kind of wake up call," you tease.

"Just shut up." I close my eyes, and arch up against you, my body yearning for your touch. "And kiss me." And love me, I add silently.

"Like this?" You whisper, and cover my mouth with yours, and catch me in the whirlwind of your tongue and fingers.

I'm gasping, breathless, when you pull back and look at me questioningly, waiting for my answer. I nod, desperately trying not to crush you to me.

You hold my gaze for a moment, then smile again. Then dip your head towards mine again.

And the way you kiss me, the way you touch me, make my soul ache with a hunger, a want. That you were mine.

For now. For eternity.

"My pleasure," you mumble your reply, when I tear my lips away from yours.

Which question are you answering? My voiced demand? Or my silent one? I wonder for only an instant, before capturing and welcoming your mouth again.

On days like this, at times like this, I know how you feel about me. Even though you never said a word.

I know you love me.

I know you're mine.

The End

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