DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: SVU and its characters are the property of Dick Wolf and NBC. No infringement intended.
CHALLENGE: Written for the first International Day of Femslash.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Thanks to Ann for beta'ing this for me.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author

Waiting for the Verdict
By ralst


Alex shifted restlessly in her chair and tried not to look, yet again, at her watch. It had been over two hours since her personal jury of one had departed to consider its verdict, and in doing so left her on unaccustomed tenterhooks. She supposed, after years of judicial service, she should be used to the nail biting wait for a jury's pronouncement, but this was different; with no victim to be avenged and reassured, Alex was left to feel the brunt of the wait alone.

That morning, she had given the most eloquent and heartfelt closing statement of her life, and even as the tears had welled in her eyes, she had looked across at the impassivity of her one woman jury and felt the contempt and disbelief at her words. If she had been anyone other than Alexandra Cabot, she would have admitted defeat and crawled away to lick her wounds in private, but there was a rod of steel embedded in her spine that simply would not allow her to admit to such a loss. So, she waited.

With each passing moment, she reviewed her argument. Had she put enough emphasis on the trauma of her 'death'? Did she give full weight and gravity to the mitigating circumstances? Should she have called forth character witnesses and expert psychological testimony? Around and around in her head the questions danced, each one taunting her with the possibility of grievous error. Did she do enough? Say enough? Cry enough?

Would anything ever be enough to make up for the year of hell she'd inflicted on them both?

A curt knock on her door invaded Alex's self recriminations, and before she had time to answer, the door opened and Olivia tentatively entered her office. Alex held her breath as she awaited the verdict; pleas for leniency and the right to appeal sitting on the starter blocks waiting to be unleashed.

Olivia's watery gaze finally settled on Alex, and she delivered her verdict, "It's too late, Alex, there's no going back."

Alex stood to argue, but when she opened her mouth it was to release a sob. Her whole life was being snatched away from her yet again, and this time, it was all her own doing. There were no excuses for how she'd behaved, no mitigating circumstances to obliterate the pain and anguish she had inflicted. She had been tried and found guilty. And rightly so.

The End

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