DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and all characters are property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Dedicated to Damage whose writing never fails to inspire. With much gratitude to Ki Finn for her fabulous beta and cheerleading. Thanks girls!
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Weight of the World
By Heathers

The last time I saw you sitting quietly atop the steps to the house where judgment is passed so freely, you had just fled the courtroom. You'd never done that before. You stuffed your folders and papers haphazardly into your already too full briefcase and shouldered your way through the gallery. I tried to follow you but I was surrounded by sticky sweaty nosey people. Some were happy, others angry and I thought what a power it is that you wield on a daily basis.

When I caught up with you on the courthouse steps you were staring at your hands, wringing them slowly. Guilt. I could read you like a book and you knew it. You smiled a sad smile and turned your face to the sun and said, "Take me home."

I marveled at the way the sunlight accentuated your beauty, casting shadows in all the right places and highlighting others. Your hair shimmered. I had never seen anything like it before. I held the moment for as long as I could, memorizing every detail.

You took the hand I hadn't even realized I offered and clambered to your feet. Remembering the way you looked at me then still breaks my heart. I could tell you wanted to wrap your arms around my waist and bury your face in my neck and forget everything around you. For a moment I thought you just might but then you turned away, released my hand and started your descent.

You never could do it, could you? Holding me in public, letting your weakness show through that carefully constructed facade that had already started to crumble. You were stronger than me. If you were in the room my eyes were on you. Always waiting for you to give me that signal, the one that said, 'it's okay, you can touch me, I want you to.' Thinking about it now, I don't even know if I'd recognize it if I saw it.

I was hopping after you, two steps at a time until I was by your side again. I never wanted to be too far away. The possibility that you might forget me when I wasn't by your side always threatened my sanity. .

You handed me your car keys – a silent request that I agreed to when I covered your hand with my own. When your cool, silky smooth palm withdrew, I fumbled the keys. I had only accepted them because I wanted to touch you and you knew that.

You waited in the passenger seat of your own car. Sometimes I wondered how it felt to hold the weight of the world so squarely on your shoulders the way you seemed to. I smiled at you as I put the key in the ignition, just happy to be near you, to be going home with you.

That was why you always made me drive, wasn't it? You couldn't stand the way I'd gaze at your profile, like a spectator at an art exhibit. I was always too much and you were never enough but when we were together nothing else compared.

In the elevator you snaked your arm around my waist and rested your head on my shoulder. I kissed the top of your head, as my heart pounded at your proximity. I'm sure you could hear the dull thud become brighter at your touch.

I fell back, comfortable that you wouldn't leave me behind, and watched your hips sway as you closed the distance to your apartment door. You saved that for me, didn't you?

I eagerly kissed your shoulder as you keyed open the door, your lip curled in response as I met your sideways glance. The seduction was always my favorite part. Your hips danced again as you crossed the threshold of your apartment.

I twisted to bolt the door shut behind us and when turned back you were laying your blazer over the back of the couch, your hips still enticing me, calling for me to follow. The afternoon sun trickled in through the large windows, the unmistakable creak of your bedroom door opening and the hallway was set ablaze, too.

Your curves decorated the floor in the hall as I crept closer. By the time I set eyes on you again your shirt hung open exposing your lacey bra, as you folded the skirt that had moments before covered the matching panties.

Elegant was the first thing I thought when I saw your matching panties and bra for the first time, now it was just you. When I lifted my eyes from the gap between your creamy thighs I was greeted with a satisfied smirk.

You loved how I doted on you, praised your perfect body with my eyes, even adored the things that you were uncharacteristically shy about. You said your breasts were too small, I said they were just right. You would try to cover your freckles with makeup and I would uncover and kiss each one with a reverence that I reserve for holy things.

My fingertips itched, as they did every time you were bared in front of me. I stumbled forward, unable to resist the urge to touch you. There were no rules in your bedroom, I could do as I pleased and it pleased me to please you. You gasped when my chilled hands touched the feverish flesh at your waist. I squeezed you because still, after all of the times before, I couldn't believe it was real.

You lifted my chin with a finger and smiled at me with your eyes. The glint was not lost on me. I pushed the shirt off your shoulders and let it fall to the floor. My hand trailed down the knots of your spine to the delicate clasp of the expensive bra I was so fond of. I kissed your neck and you sighed, your fingers tangling in my hair as I squeezed the clasp until it popped open. You always loved that. On a better day it might have drawn a giggle from your throat, but on that day I was only rewarded with another sigh: a mix of relief and anticipation.

Your hands tugged my shirt loose and slipped underneath. You dragged your fingernails up and down my sides as my hands settled on the fabric at your waist. I slid my fingers between the elastic and your skin, following it over the curve of your hip. The lace was absurdly hooked on the bone protruding there, as if it was the only thing holding them up.

I dropped to one knee and untangled the lace from it's bony captor. You smiled down at me as I kissed the spot where your skipped breakfasts and working lunches were so obvious. I wished you'd take better care of yourself or had let me do it for you. I would have, you know.

I would have woken an hour earlier just to make you breakfast in bed. I would have cut out early so I could draw you a hot bath after a long day at the office. I would have wrapped you in a blanket and fed you chicken noodle soup when you were sick if you would have let me. You were more precious to me than anything in this cold and unyielding world. But you never understood the lengths I would have gone to to keep you safe.

You pulled on the collar of my jacket but I resisted you, wanting to stay close to your scent. You tugged again and I relented, planting a tender kiss against your blonde curls as I stood. Patience was never your thing.

You never had much regard for my clothes, always stretching them as you'd peel them off my body. You were always in such a rush. But I didn't mind wearing misshapen shirts. It was a small price to pay for your affection.

You kissed my breastbone, I never could figure out why you always did that before you latched onto my belt. You yanked my hips forward as the belt relented to your force and your eyes darkened with the victory.

You pushed your hands into my jeans, making the impossibly tight tighter. I felt suddenly shy when I realized I had worn modest cotton briefs. It felt silly to regret my choice of underwear but I so often felt silly in your presence. You didn't laugh, I don't even think you noticed. You were intent on the skin beneath the cotton.

You kissed the swell of my belly as your hands took their places at either side of my waist. I curled my fingers around your delicate wrists and guided them behind your back. Your hands flexed against mine as I nipped at your throat. A little gasp escaped your lips as I sunk my teeth into your neck. I could feel your heart pounding against my tongue as it swept out to taste your skin.

I felt your knees start to buckle so I tightened my arms around you. You swayed in my embrace in time with each swipe of my tongue.

"Liv," you whispered, choking on your own voice.

I hushed you with a tender kiss as I lifted you from the high-piled carpet. I still remember how light you were. I was expecting something more substantial. After all you held my heart in the palm of your hand and someone with that much power surely should have weighed more than you did in that moment.

You locked your ankles around the back of my thighs and I didn't think I'd ever felt better. I pressed you against the mattress. Looking down at you it occurred to me just how rare these occasions were: when your need for me outweighed your social obligations. You touched my cheek with the back of your hand and smiled at me. It wasn't a smile of satisfaction or even anticipation, rather one of gratitude. How was it that you could be grateful for my company?

Surely you realized, as I did, that I was the lucky one. My hips were nestled between your legs, your hand in my hair, my name on your lips, your eyes sparking with desire. I felt the same emotion that was painted on your face exploding in my chest.

You sucked in a breath when my belt buckle scraped against your thigh as I slipped away. I inhaled the scent of your perfume at your breast and the expensive soap you special ordered at your bellybutton. Simple things. Surely there were other women who wore the same perfume and showered with the same soap but I knew there was no way they could smell as good as you did.

I nipped at the skin between your thigh and hip. It tickled. You made a noise like you were going to laugh and then sucked in a steadying breath. I looked up at you as I settled between your legs. You leaned up on one elbow and licked your lips in anticipation. It still twists me in knots to think about it. I don't even think you realized what that did to me. Your hand smoothed the hair away from my face as I dipped my head for the scent that no other woman wore.

I always liked to let my breath wash over you, inhaling and exhaling as if I could take a part of you away with me. That if I held my breath just long enough it might be absorbed into me. Your hips shifted restlessly, your eyes bore into me silently pleading. I never wanted you to beg for anything. I took one last hit of your scent and sunk my tongue into the source.

Your hips jumped a little at the contact but I steadied them with a hand on your stomach. Slow revolutions as my tongue traveled the circuit around your clit. Your scent paled in comparison to your taste and to attempt to describe it would be an exercise in futility.

Your sighs turned to moans, your hands flexed against the duvet, your head lulled back and forth as I took my time between your legs. When I finally coaxed my name from your lips you were grinding against my mouth and pulling at my hair. There never was a sweeter sight than the great Alex Cabot lost in the moment of orgasm. The uncharacteristic abandon that was unearthed with each pull of my lips and sweep of my tongue.

"Liv, Liv, Liv, Liv," you gasped. "Ooooh, Liiiiiv..." That was all I ever wanted. To hear my name cross your lips when the only thing you felt was the perfection of pleasure.

You lifted your head to look at me, your eyes full of sleepy satisfaction. My tongue still moved languidly as your quaking subsided. I slowed but couldn't bring myself to stop its exploration, not quite ready to let you get back to your day. You touched my cheek again and smiled at me. Your eyes shot back as I sucked you back into my mouth.

The look of surprise and glee when you opened your eyes again was the reaction I remember most. I smiled back at you with my eyes as my hand crept up your thigh.

"I love you," you sighed. Happy.

I knew you meant it, I just never understood why the only time you could say it was in the shadow of your afterglow.

I'm just a pawn and you are the Queen in this game we play. You have all the moves and I just limp after you one step at a time. You scoot away and then come back for more and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Even now, as I find you on the courthouse steps again I am ready for another round. I can't even remember what it was I was going to ask you but I'm sure Elliot will start obsessively paging me when I don't return by the prescribed time to remind me.

I hike up the mountain of steps to your side. You're off in your own world, decompressing. You don't even see me coming.

"Hey," I say in that voice that lets you know that I'm at your mercy.


You look at me with sad eyes as if I should have been there with you, as if I should have known you would need me, as if I should have understood sooner that you need me more than you've been willing to admit.

The wind blows through your hair and you shiver. I shake my head. You didn't wear your coat. I offer you my hand and you take it. I can see indecision flash across your face and for a moment you are unreadable. Even to me.

It startles me when your arms wrap around my waist and press your cold nose into my neck. You expel a shaky breath and I understand just how hard it's been for you.

"Take me home," you murmur into my skin.

The End

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