Disclaimer: See Part 1
“H-hello? Ohhh, Alex...” Abbie Carmichael moaned in to her cell phone's mouthpiece, easing her head back onto the arm of her couch and draping her forearm across her closed eyes. “Now's not a good time...”
There was complete silence on the other end of the connection. Then, finally, an accusatory voice asked, “Abbie Carmichael, if you answered my call while getting head or getting yourself off, I swear on all that's holy I'll...” she left the threat unfinished, unable to think of a suitable punishment. “I know you get a kick out of embarrassing me, but that's taking things way too far.”
Abbie started to respond, but the words caught in her dry throat as she gasped for breath and tried to calm her fluttering stomach. Alex heard the strangled sob and continued her tirade. “Abbie! You are unbelievable! I mean, we've all been interrupted by a phone call, but for God's sake, you're supposed to stop or not answer it!” Later, Alex would recover from her selective amnesia and remember two occasions when she had undressed and teased Olivia while the gorgeous detective was on the phone with her partner, but they were far from her mind in the heat of the moment. “You have ten seconds to convince me not to hang up on you.”
Despite her friend's clipped, accusatory tone, the dark-haired attorney laughed, instantly regretting that decision when her head started to swim. “Good to know you think so well of me, Cabot. No... sick as a dog... wish I was – getting head instead... Ohhh God. I want to die. Did you... call Serena?”
“We're having dinner tomorrow,” Alex said, sounding much less annoyed. In fact, Abbie thought as the blonde's words penetrated the fuzzy layer of pain that surrounded her consciousness, she sounded almost apologetic. “Abbie, you're sick. Don't worry about Serena.”
“Alex,” Abbie slurred, squinting up at her apartment's ceiling lights and wishing she had the strength to get up off the couch and turn them off. “Thanks... I'm really – really... not having sex. Double promise cross-my-heart.”
“Double promise cross-your-heart?” Alex repeated skeptically. If Abbie was spouting out strange phrases like that, perhaps she really was sick.
“While you were getting some courtesy of the looovely detective Benson this week, I've been abstaining.” Although the words were clearer, Alex detected a certain scratchiness to Abbie's voice, and finally started to believe that her friend was telling the truth... until her last word registered.
“Abstaining?” Then again, “abstaining? Abbie, what are you talking about?”
“You think I can't go without it for a week? I've been busy.”
“You've gone crazy is more likely,” Alex muttered, but she was not in the mood to ferret information out of her very sick friend. “ If you are better, I'll call you tomorrow night and tell you about dinner with Serena. And if you stay better, you can sleep at my apartment when you take the train up here to visit.”
Abbie pouted. “You wouldn't let me sleep there if I was sick? Some friend you are.”
“If you were still sick after that long, I would insist you stay in DC, charter a jet or car service and come down there to knock some sense into you and get you to a hospital.”
“Too good for the train, huh?”
“I'm hanging up now. For God's sake, get some rest, Carmichael, and try not to die from the flu, your cold, or lack of sex... whatever ailment you're suffering from.”
“Yeah, I love you, too,” Abbie mumbled, throwing the phone over the back of the couch and trying once again to block the distracting ceiling lights with her hand. Oh well, she thought before drifting into a feverish sleep, maybe I'll look so haggard during my trip that Serena will feel sorry for me instead of kicking my fine ass two ways from next Sunday.
“So, how do you wanna play this?” Elliot whispered discreetly to his partner as they waited outside the office of one Stephen Johnson. He was ‘out' at the moment, they were told, but expected back any minute, and so they had decided to stay put. “Good cop, bad cop? Basic Reid?”
Olivia shrugged. “Dunno. I say we let him run his mouth until he trips over himself. You know how these reporter types are.”
It went against the basic rules of interrogation, but since this was technically only a friendly round of questioning, Elliot shrugged his agreement. “So,” he said, changing the subject abruptly, “how's Alex?”
“Things haven't changed since yesterday evening, El,” Olivia said brusquely. “I feel like I've entered the Twilight Zone, the part before all the bad shit happens. She's still amazing and perfect. I'm still terrified that everything's going to fall apart somehow.”
“Even Cabot has to have a human side,” Elliot insisted, purposefully ignoring the negative parts of Olivia's little monologue.
“Well, she has a facebook, and she implied that she is friends with Petrovsky.”
Elliot shuddered. “Now that woman isn't human... I didn't know they were letting alien pod people or animatronic judges make facebooks.”
Olivia groaned. “You're starting to sound like Munch.”
“Aw, c'mon. You aren't going to give me any more details about what our long-lost ADA is like in private?”
The brunette gave her partner a withering look. “Elliot, if you ever ask me about what Alex is like in bed again, I will hit you.”
Elliot held up his hands in self-defense. “Woah woah woah, I don't need to know those details! I meant proof that she isn't a very attractive robot like Petrovsky.”
Her brief flare of anger subsiding, Olivia reassured Stabler with a grin. “You think Petrovsky's attractive?” she teased.
“Noooo... a robot! I meant a robot!”
“Sure you did, Elliot. Sure you did. You owe me big, or I'm telling Kathy you said that. Anyway, Alex can make a mean chicken Parmesan, and her taste in music is a little,” she paused, searching for the right word, “unexpected.”
Before Olivia could reveal that Alex knew all of Eminem's discography (“I don't care if some people say he's a poser, his lyrics are insightful!”) and could sing along pretty convincingly with almost every Beyoncé hit (her current favorite was ‘Video Phone', which Olivia had caught her listening to on repeat), a rather thin, pimple-faced man walked purposefully towards the two detectives.
“Hello, detectives,” he said, and Olivia had to suppress a surprised reaction to the low, silky timbre of his voice. Despite his awkward, almost juvenile appearance, he sounded like some kind of old-time actor or radio star. The words coming out of his mouth certainly did not match the rest of the package. “I understand that you have been waiting for me?”
“Detectives Benson and Stabler,” Elliot said, standing up and giving the guy a flash of his badge. “We have a few questions about an article you published in today's paper.” Olivia caught the gleam of interest in the reporter's eyes and tried not to smile. Once again, her intuition had proved correct. Yep, this guy is gonna be more than willing to talk to us in hopes of a new story.
Instantly picking up on the fact that Johnson's attention was mostly focused on Elliot, Olivia made a split-second decision. Pretending to feel her phone vibrating in her pocket, she flipped it open and stared at the empty screen. After a moment, she closed it and turned towards her partner. “I've got to make a call,” she said, giving Elliot a pointed look.
Instantly, Elliot realized what Olivia was asking. They had used this trick before during interrogations. Send in whichever detective the suspect seemed to relate to more alone first, allowing the other to charge in and play bad cop a few minutes later. As a variation on Reid and an intimidation tactic, it worked surprisingly well. “That's fine. Why don't Mr. Johnson and I step inside his office and chat for a minute. You don't mind, right?”
“Of course not. Come in, Detective Stabler.”
That guy looks positively hungry, Olivia thought to herself, a little disgusted. Either he's seriously crushing on Elliot (she shuddered at that thought) he has a hard-on for a new story, or he's guilty and likes sizing up buff guys for his next kill.
Watching the retreating form of her partner, she wondered if her instincts were leading her wrong this time. Even if pimple-face was about half Elliot's size, he might have some kind of weapon tucked away in his office... And Elliot has a gun and police training, she reminded herself. He can handle himself for two minutes. Quashing down her protective feelings for him, Olivia flipped open her cell phone again and used her history to dial an increasingly familiar number.
After a three rings, the person on the other end picked up. “Hello?”
“Ms. St. Michael? This is Detective Benson from the 1-6.”
“Thank goodness you called, they're ruining my garden,” the younger woman complained, her voice shaking. “Of course, that doesn't really matter, but... I mean, with the feelings I've been having – someone following me... having all of those reporters outside is just-”
“Calm down, Alicia,” Olivia said, instantly adding a soothing quality to her voice. “Are they actually trespassing on your property? Have any of them tried to get in to the house?”
Alicia paused, and Olivia heard the distinctive sound of someone raising the shades. “No,” she said, “they're staying on the street...”
Damn it, the brunette cursed inwardly. “Listen, do you have someone with you?”
“My brother. Thank God, I don't know what I'd do if he wasn't here...”
“Good. Stay inside the house with him. Meanwhile, I'll see if I can do anything about the reporters. Give me an hour or two and I'll call you back.”
“Thank you,” Alicia said, sounding pathetically grateful. Olivia said goodbye and hung up, not looking forward to the rest of the day. She knew that as long as the reporters stayed a legal distance away from Alicia's house, there was very little she could do, but that didn't mean she wasn't going to try. Taking a deep breath, she slipped her cell back into her pocket and squared her shoulders, preparing to make her dramatic entrance.
The room was surprisingly cluttered, and although Olivia's outward expression remained intimidating, her heart softened as she was reminded of Alex's old office at the courthouse. Her desk veered between obsessively neat and messy every few hours. Alex preferred to keep everything tidy, but the sheer volume of work she was required to do as their ADA prevented order from reigning for too long. And I've had quite a few fantasies about having her in that office...
Redirecting the sudden burst of sexual energy into aggression, she gave the wannabe radio jockey her most terrifying glare. Alex's chilling blue eyes could be dangerous weapons when she turned them on an opponent, but Olivia knew a thing or two about facial expressions herself. “So, did you get anything useful out of him?” she asked Elliot, ignoring Johnson apart from another look of disgust.
Elliot shrugged. “I think we're wasting our time here,” he said. “Stephen here was just telling me that he got most of his information by listening to the police scanner...”
“Bullshit,” Olivia snarled, still ignoring Johnson. “That sounds like a bad crime drama on Lifetime.” The corners of her lips twitched. She usually played Good Cop to Elliot's Bad Cop, unless their perp had a problem with female authority figures. Switching roles for a change was refreshing. Being the go-to girl for victims and grieving family members was often emotionally exhausting, but tearing in to a possible suspect could be fun.
Finally, she acknowledged the reporter, who was listening to their conversation with unconcealed interest. “Listen, I don't like you,” she said, pointing a threatening finger at the center of his thin chest. “You've already managed to start fucking up our investigation, and to be perfectly honest, I'm suspicious about your motives.”
“Hey, like I was just telling your partner, I'm just a reporter. This is my job, Detective... Benson, right?”
Olivia fervently hoped that her name would not end up in print because of this, but she had a bad feeling that her luck was not going to hold. Dad is going to kill me if they start doing more articles on our squad... we've had enough media fuck-ups over the past decade.
“A reporter with an unhealthy interest in something that is honestly none of your damn business.”
“Having a serial killer on the loose is most certainly the public's business.”
“You mean it's your stockholders' business. Maybe if your superiors stopped sucking their shareholders' dicks and whoring their paper out with gruesome stories, we might actually solve some cases-”
Elliot put a large, solid hand on Olivia's shoulder, pretending to calm her down. “Hey, don't get your panties in a twist,” he whispered, watching as the reporter read his lips. He had suspected that a disciple of the media would have some experience with that particular skill set. “I don't think this is our guy.”
“Listen, Mr. Johnson, I apologize for interrupting your workday. We've just got some complaints that a man matching your description has been seen around the crime scenes... following some of the people involved in our case...” Elliot lied smoothly, watching for a reaction on the reporter's face. “Someone here,” he gave Olivia a nudge that looked more painful than it was, “obviously needs a donut or some coffee.”
“It's past noon,” Olivia muttered darkly, using a wider stance and positioning herself closer to the reporter, who looked so excited that he might have passed for a three month old puppy. Just don't pee on the floor, Fido, Olivia thought. This guy might have the deep, smooth voice, but a Clark Gable look-alike he isn't.
“If you could just tell us-”
“Where I was the night of the crime?” he asked eagerly.
“If you think I'll believe anything you say,” Olivia growled.
“I keep very meticulous records. I was actually at work before the second scene, and my editor, my boss, and one of my photographers can verify it.”
Olivia pretended to look disappointed. “We'll be checking on that,” she said, and made a rather dramatic exit after throwing him one last suspicious glance over her shoulder. “Hurry up, Stabler. Move your ass.”
Less than a minute later, Elliot followed her back into the hall. “Sucking their shareholders' dicks?” he asked, amused.
Olivia grinned. “I can't let you have all the fun.”
“Well, aside from taking unnatural delight in printing stories about other people's misfortune and looking like he lives in his mother's basement playing video games, I think he's clean. How about if you go flirt with these so-called alibi witnesses? Ronald Jenkins is the photographer that was with Johnson most of the night.”
“I think I'll pass,” Olivia said, suddenly a lot less good-humored. “I'm pulling the dyke card.”
“But you're not a dyke,” Elliot argued. He was not sure if Olivia had seen it, but he distinctly remembered passing a picture of a fat, balding man with sweat stains near the entrance to the building labeled ‘Ronald Jenkins – Photographer of the Month'.
His partner gave him a look. “Um, hello? You've been teasing me about my “thing” with Alex non-stop for the past several days. Now you say I'm not gay? Make up your mind.”
“That proves nothing. Have you seen Alex? She's attractive enough that you could be straight and still want to do h- date her... Besides, you said you were a switch-hitter.”
“Right now, the only guy I want to talk to is Cragen. I called Alicia while you were in there with your new boyfriend and she's got newshounds camped outside her house. Sounds like they're staying the legal distance, but I thought I'd have a word with Dad about it anyway, see if there's something I can do...”
Elliot sighed. It looked like he had a date with the balding, middle-aged Ronald Jenkins. He hoped the sweat-stains in the picture were distortions from the glass covering. “Fine, fine, you're a regular Ellen. Get out of here.”
Feeling very pleased with herself, Olivia headed for the nearest exit. Deciding that another dramatic exit was in order, she tossed one last, casual comment over her shoulder. “Keep the car. I'll walk and pick up lunch. And by the way... yes, I have seen Alex. Every. Glorious. Inch. Of her.” Still smirking, she left her partner to pick his jaw up off the floor.
Cautiously, Olivia stepped in to Alex's apartment, a little disconcerted to find the door open. There had been no answer to her knocking, but the text message on her phone was very clear: If you're free, come over tonight. I have plans for you. Olivia felt her throat go dry as she wondered for the hundredth time what those plans might be. She knew better than to disobey a command from the formidable Alex Cabot, though, and so here she was.
“Alex?” she called out, looking around in case the blonde came in from one of the adjoining rooms. Her stomach rumbled and Olivia glanced toward the kitchen, remembering the way Alex had pampered her with food and affection over the past few days. “What happened to charming, seductive Olivia?” she said to herself, wrinkling her nose with distaste. “I'm going to do something really, really nice.” As she closed the door behind her and stepped further into the apartment, she heard the sound of the shower running, along with something much more interesting...
“ Dies irae, dies illa... solvet saeclum in favilla, teste David cum Sibylla...”
Olivia bit her lower lip to stifle a laugh. Alex? Singing in the shower? No one from the squad room or the DA's office would ever believe her if she told them. It was just such a... normal... thing to do, even if the fact that it was in Latin was a little out of the ordinary. Driven by thoughts of a wet, nubile, naked Alex in the shower, Olivia hurried into the master bedroom.
“Soulja Boy off in this hoe, watch me crank it watch me roll-“
The brunette detective nearly fell over in surprise. “She is not ...” Determined to observe from a closer vantage point, she crept up to the bathroom door and pressed her ear against it, listening.
“Watch me crank dat Soulja Boy and Superman that hoe...”
Abruptly, the attorney changed songs. “I got class like a '57 cadillac, ‘cuz my ride's got a whole lotta boom in the back... “
“It certainly does,” Olivia muttered, thinking of the many times she had caught herself observing Alex's retreating form. For a moment, arousal threatened to overwhelm amusement, until the lawyer continued singing.
“You look like you can handle what's under my hood...”
Knocking on the door before pulling it open, she stumbled into the brightly lit room with tears of laughter streaming down her face. The shadow behind the shower curtain jumped in surprise, but Olivia was relieved when Alex appeared to steady herself. Looking thoroughly annoyed, her lover peeked around the edge of the curtain, allowing extra steam to escape. “You're in trouble, Detective Benson,” she said. “You've managed to embarrass me and almost give me a heart attack in less than two seconds. Get out of those clothes and come in here before I have to strip you and read you your rights.”
“You embarrassed yourself,” Olivia grinned, reaching for the hem of her sweater and pulling it over her head, “and maybe I should be reading you your rights. I am an officer of the law.”
“If you ever tell anyone, I'll kill you, and you know I'll never go to trial for it. I know all the tricks and several lawyers and judges in Manhattan owe me a favor.”
Soon, Olivia's bra and socks joined her shirt. “What on earth were you singing?”
“The soprano line of Dies Irae, Mozart's Requiem ,” Alex said in her snottiest voice. “Day of wrath, day of judgment...”
“Superman that hoe? Who knew Mozart was such a poet?”
Alex rolled her eyes. “Oh shut up. It's traditional Latin text. You just don't appreciate good music.”
“Trashy music,” Olivia corrected, undoing her belt and letting her pants drop to the bathroom floor.
“Says Ice-T*. He looks a lot like Fin, now that I think about it, but Elliot says he doesn't see the resemblance.”
“Don't be a hater, Olivia. Now shut up and get in here before I have to hurt you.”
Olivia held up her hands in mock surrender. “Yes ma'am.”
As soon as she stepped into the shower, Olivia found herself pressed against the wall, pinned by a warm, lean body as a soft nose and lips nuzzled her cheek. “Well, hello to you, too, Counselor,” she panted, surprised by Alex's enthusiastic greeting but more than willing to accept it. The lawyer had always been adept at changing gears quickly, and with Alex in the driver's seat, she had a fairly good idea of their intended destination. As the warm droplets of water scattered over her skin, smooth hands began wandering around her hips, exploring the flat planes of her lower stomach, pressing her harder against the wall.
Finally, oh, finally, Alex kissed her, and Olivia saw stars.
When both of them drew apart to breathe, Alex's fingers wrapped firmly around Olivia's slender wrist. “You're taking me out tonight, lover,” she murmured, gracing Olivia with another, shorter kiss. “Then, when we come back, I'm going to ravish you.”
Olivia swallowed, working moisture into a mouth that had suddenly gone dry in nervous anticipation. “Um... okay?” she said, blinking water out of her eyes. Olivia was reminded of Courtroom Alex, the determined, forceful woman that always knew exactly what she wanted and went after it, no holds barred. I could never say no to her anyway...
“Where are we going?” she asked.
“Just somewhere. Anywhere with you. Let's go on an adventure.” Olivia frowned for a moment, but not in displeasure. Alex was usually meticulous. A planner. Such spontaneity in her personal life almost seemed out of character, until she remembered that Alex was always testing limits – her own, Olivia's, and everyone else's.
“You're crazy,” Olivia said, her frown becoming a grin as she squeezed the firm flesh under her hands, making Alex groan and place a kiss beneath her ear.
“You make me crazy. Maybe I should move up the ravishing on this evening's schedule...” Before the detective knew what was happening, Alex had neatly flipped her face forward against the slick wall, kisses and shower spray raining down on her neck and back. A slender arm reached past her for a bottle of blue shower gel, but the attorney's mouth never left contact with Olivia's skin as she poured it into her hands and worked up a thick lather.
Slowly, torturously, the blonde began a thorough exploration of Olivia's skin, massaging the lines of muscle along either side of her spine and rolling over the wings of her shoulder blades, rubbing the back of her neck beneath wet strands of hair, loosening the tightness in her arms, teasing her inner wrists and even the palms of both hands. Olivia's legs were shaking, and she was unsure if she would be able to remain standing. Alex's fingers sank into her tired flesh like warm butter, removing every last bit of rigidity and creating a different kind of tension entirely low in her belly.
“That feels a-ma-zing,” Olivia groaned, resting her forehead against the wall to keep her face out of the shower spray. Alex smiled against her shoulder, reaching underneath Olivia's arms to palm two excited breasts.
“I see that,” she purred, and Olivia could hear the smug pleasure in her voice. She found that it annoyed her much less than it had during their time as colleagues – perhaps because that smugness and pleasure was now directed entirely at her. And maybe, just maybe, because it had aroused her even back then, pushing her out of her comfort zone. Thoughts of Alex over the past ten years were quickly replaced with thoughts of the wet, naked, hungry Alex of the present as insistent fingers pinched her nipples, making her toes curl. One of Alex's feet rubbed along the back of Olivia's slick calf muscles, and she let her head fall back onto the blonde's shoulder.
For her part, Alex was having a difficult time pacing herself. Even in the stark whiteness and the harsh, artificial lighting of the shower, Olivia was magnificent. Even, naturally tanned skin over toned sheets of muscle, all curves, but somehow intrinsically captivating and powerful. She had an aura all her own, even when she was wet and whimpering for Alex's touch, and the attorney had no doubt that she was wet in more ways than one.
“Mine,” Alex hummed as her hand crept down the line of Olivia's stomach, leaving behind a trail of soft white bubbles that was quickly swept away by the thumb of her other hand. The trail halted just above a neat strip of dark curls, drawing a maddening horizontal line across her abdomen, connecting the points of her hipbones, dipping down...
“So, Detective, is there anything you want to ask me?”
“Don't stop?” Olivia tried hopefully.
Alex laughed softly. “Mmhmm. Not quite.” Sharp teeth closed around the lobe of Olivia's right ear, making her hips surge forward.
It took several moments for the brunette to catch her breath. “Fuck me?”
Alex tsked, removing one of her hands to give Olivia's backside a firm pinch. “Language...”
Olivia was tempted to call Alex a hypocrite, but she had other, more important needs to satisfy. “I-I think...” I think I love you. “I think I'm gonna die...”
The blonde laughed again, placing a long, wet kiss against Olivia's soft throat. “Well, we wouldn't want that,” she purred, burying two fingers into her willing partner all the way to the knuckle and curling them forward sharply. Olivia cried out, and her very vocal reaction was rewarded with another thrust of her lover's hand.
Trapped against the shower wall with Alex's breasts pressed into her back, Olivia was helpless against the attorney's assault. Everything seemed to be happening in slow motion, but it wasn't nearly enough, and she never wanted the moment to end.
It only took one practiced roll of the blonde's thumb to send Olivia flying.
With her lover's hand still cupping her protectively, the detective collapsed bonelessly into Alex's arms. Sinking a little under the pressure of the extra weight, Alex managed to keep both of them standing while stroking out the last, pulsing aftershocks of Olivia's release, stretching it out until the brunette's breathing finally calmed down and her eyes opened. She tried to speak, but failed to find any words.
Out of nowhere, Alex began laughing, the sound echoing in the lavish master bathroom. Olivia looked at her strangely, her eyes still glazed over with residual lust and confusion. “I'm sorry, sweetie,” she said, not sounding the least bit repentant, “I just realized that I finally found a way to make you shut up... I should have done that years ago instead of fighting with you all the time!”
“Well,” Olivia said hoarsely, her voice breaking, “I guess it would have made coming to you with a shaky warrant a lot more interesting...”
“Going to the HOWL! Festival was not the most brilliant idea in your repertoire of brilliant ideas, Detective,” Alex muttered, crossing her arms over her breasts and wishing (again) that she had chosen to wear something different for her evening out. “We're a little too old for this, don't you think?” Even though it was only September, it felt like November, and she regretted the short-sleeved top that she had chosen.
“I didn't want to go to the festival,” Olivia said, trying not to look embarrassed as she and Alex navigated through the crowd. “I forgot the Lower East Side was going to be packed this weekend...” Both women had a strong presence that made people stop and take notice, but together, they were even more striking. It was not too difficult for them to walk by the stage where two women were shrieking something that they probably classified as “poetry” into the microphones.
“What were your plans?” Alex asked, straining to be heard over the constant noise. Fortunately, she was used to projecting her voice and annunciating clearly.
“I wanted to take you to a nice, private Ukranian restaurant I know...”
Alex rolled her eyes, but Olivia was not discouraged. The attorney was also smiling. “Murphy's law,” Alex said, pausing to watch a drag queen pass on her left. Feeling daring, she reached for Olivia's hand. The brunette accepted the contact. “We can't have a normal date.”
The noise grew louder, and they did not attempt to speak again until they had escaped, taking refuge in a less crowded side street. “I never liked the poem, you know. Howl,” Olivia clarified, scowling into the empty air as though she was being forced to try a food she did not like. “I had to study it in college. Hated it. Not surprised there's an entire bohemian festival named after it, though.”
Alex grinned, her disappointment at the way the night had turned out fading away. She could be anywhere in the world, and she would be happy as long as Olivia was there with her. She considered saying this aloud, but decided that it was too much, too soon. Instead, she replied with, “who bit detectives in the neck and shrieked with delight in policecars...” The quotation was followed by a searing glance that left Olivia with no doubt in her mind that Alex wanted to continue exploring their physical relationship later.
“Your taste in literature is just as profane as your taste in music,” the detective mumbled. “Which is funny, because you rarely use profanity at all. I've only heard you say ‘damn' and ‘hell' a few times while we were arguing, and I think I remember you saying ‘fuck' a grand total of once... and it was while you were half asleep.”
“That's why I started listening to rap music,” Alex shrugged.
Olivia stopped walking, almost causing Alex to lose her balance because of their linked arms. “To learn how to swear?”
“To learn not to stutter over myself while reading back indelicate transcripts in court. Remember that explicit story I had to read out loud? The one our perp was distributing to sex offenders in prison?”
The detective's stomach tossed unpleasantly, and Alex helped her regain her equilibrium with a reassuring hip bump. “Yeah... thank goodness the jurors asked you to stop after one page.”
“I glanced over it the night before, and after losing the remainder of my dinner, I realized I needed practice. I decided to ease myself in to it by singing along with the most misogynist, profane rap music I could find. I forgot to delete the songs and the rest is history.”
That made Olivia grin. “If I hadn't seen and heard for myself, I would never believe it. Alexandra Cabot, a shy, delicate flower... I guess your mother never washed your mouth out with soap.”
The blonde stuck out her tongue in disgust. “Ew. No, that would taste terrible, and a shy, delicate flower, I most certainly am not. Unable to use swear words or sexual terms, perhaps. My first few SVU cases cured me of that pretty quickly.”
“Easier to just shut up and do it?”
Alex wrinkled her nose in distaste. “Shut up and get it over with, more like. Sex with men was just a chore, and the women I tried hurt me pretty badly.”
“You had rotten taste in partners, then,” Olivia said. “I really hope that doesn't extend to me.”
For just a moment, the attorney's eyes glazed over. “No, detective. It most certainly does not.” After a brief pause, she added, “hey, do you know where we're going?”
Olivia shook her head. “We passed the line to the restaurant I wanted to take you to a block back, and it was out the door. I figured we'd wander around until we found somewhere less crowded. You did say that you wanted to go on an adventure...”
Alex considered complaining about the cold, but knew that Olivia would offer her jacket, and she did not want to deprive herself of the delicious picture that her lover made while wearing it. The image alone would probably be enough to keep her warm. “The people have no objection,” she said instead. “By the way, jumping back about thirty seconds, we should probably talk about that.”
“About what?” Olivia asked.
“Previous sexual partners.”
“Men,” Alex emphasized. “Does the thought of being exclusively with a woman bother you?”
That question surprised the detective a little, and she returned the question instead of answering it. “Does it bother you?”
“No, but I'm not attracted to men like you are.”
“Christ, Alex, you were engaged.” Alex was almost pleased at the note of jealousy in Olivia's voice, but tried not to be.
“Yes, and we were mostly abstinent during said engagement. Robert found me cold in bed, to be honest, and made some rather cutting comments about it.” Alex decided not to describe the heated argument that had finally ended their engagement. Some of the things her fiancée had said still stung. “I even slept with a co-worker to try and convince myself that I wasn't gay. It obviously didn't work. Abbie and several years of therapy helped me get my head on... well... not straight. But you've enjoyed your sexual experiences with men. Is that something you can give up?” Please say yes...
For the second time that night, Olivia stopped walking. Putting both hands on Alex's shoulders, she looked directly into her eyes. Noticing the deadly serious expression on Olivia's face, the blonde's breath caught. Slowly, a gentle hand reached up to caress the line of Alex's cheek.
“I can have sex with a man or a woman and get some very basic satisfaction from it, Alex, but they're all the same to me. You? You make me feel so much more... I...” she took a deep breath, but the words she wanted to say formed a tight ball in her throat. I love you. I don't want to be with anyone else now that I've experienced what it's like to make love with you... “You don't have anything to worry about,” she said meekly.
And it was enough, until Olivia's phone rang. “Benson,” she said, shooting Alex a silent apology with her eyes as she took the call.
“Liv, I need you five minutes ago.”
“That's lovely, Elliot, but I'm kind of busy right now, and I think Kathy and Alex would object.”
“We've got another one,” Elliot said without preamble, ignoring Olivia's joke. “The goddamn press is probably going to beat us there if we don't haul ass...”
Olivia winced, her good mood instantly vanishing. “Okay. It might take a while, I have to arrange transportation...”
Alex's mood also plummeted when she realized that Olivia was going to have to leave. “Since we drove it here, take my car, I'll catch a cab. Besides,” she said with a faint smile as she handed Olivia the keys, “that means you have to stop back at my place to return my baby.”
“Text me the address,” she said into the phone, “I have to run a few blocks... See you in a few.” Hanging up, she gave Alex an apologetic look. “I'm sorry. Not only am I ruining our non-date, I'm leaving you stranded in the Lower East Side in the middle of a huge festival...”
“Go,” Alex insisted, throwing up her hand to hail a cab. It took less than twenty seconds, and Olivia stared at her in astonishment. The lawyer winked. “Cabs stop faster for uptown girls.”
Alex pressed a quick, hard kiss to her detective's lips. “Go,” she said again, giving Olivia a helpful push and grabbing a handful of her very firm behind. Instead of taking the hint and leaving, Olivia remained for a few more seconds to give Alex a longer, deeper goodbye kiss before jogging back the way she had come, heading in the direction of Alex's car. Oh well, Alex thought as she stepped into the cab and rattled off her address to a surprised but pleased looking cab driver, maybe that quick little show can count as part of his tip.
Detective Odafin Tutuola was an experienced and professional officer of the law. He had done it all, seen it all, and bought the t-shirt. There were very few things in this world that were able to surprise him, and even fewer that were worthy of commentary, but the sight of Olivia pulling up in a sleek black Lamborghini that was probably priced at several times his yearly salary earned a low whistle and a loud, “Damn, girl! Nice ride!”
Olivia rolled down the window, motioning Fin away from the mob and over to the curb, trying to ignore the eyes of the reporters, crime scene techs, EMTs, and rookies in uniform. Loud rap music drifted out of the window, and Olivia gave Fin a pleading look. “Help me figure out how to turn it off,” she begged, unlocking the passenger's side door so that Fin could slide into the car. He bounced on the leather seats, looking very pleased. “Why isn't Elliot here?”
“Warner needed him. Said it was an emergency. He sent me to meet you here and help out. Now, what's the problem?”
“The music! I can't get it to turn off!” Olivia gestured desperately at the large display of dials and buttons. “I hate technology,” she grumbled, slamming her head onto the steering wheel and causing the car to honk. “I got the radio to work at one point, but it was tuned to Rush Limbaugh, and I'd honestly rather have the rap music.”
“Sorry, what?” Fin, who had been bobbing his head to the beat and enjoying the plush seats of the car, returned his attention to Olivia. “Okay, gimme a sec, baby.” After pressing three buttons, the rap music stopped playing and the car was mercifully silent.
“Odafin, I could kiss you! That was starting to drive me nuts.”
The former narcotics detective grinned. “Why don't you save that kiss for Alex, Benson? This her car?”
“Damn. Girl's got good taste for a white chick.”
Olivia rolled her eyes, not bothering to hide the sarcasm in her voice. “Yeah, great taste. I don't see any sub-woofers, but I wouldn't put it past her to have them installed...”
“How do you know I wasn't talking about her taste in women, Liv?”
The brunette detective blushed. “Okay,” she said, shoving Fin out of the car and turning off the engine, “show me what we've got.”
The first thing that Olivia noticed once she left the car was all of the reporters gathered around the crime scene. She sighed, taking out her wallet and showing her badge to the rookie that had secured the scene. She held up a hand, ignoring the flash bulbs that were going off in her face and protecting her eyes. Oh well, she thought, at least I look nice for the cameras this time since I had to leave my date.
Inside the doorway, one of Melinda Warner's assistants was helping to process the evidence left on the body. “Your vic actually made it part way inside this time. 38 year old Caucasian male, Leo Rosetti, Mortgage broker. Hasn't fared to well during the dip in the economy, but he makes enough to afford these digs in the suburbs.”
“Think it's the same guy?” Olivia asked, addressing the question to both Fin and the assistant.
“Take a look,” said Jerry, carefully parting the deceased man's legs to reveal a missing part of his anatomy. “On the bright side – relatively speaking – we found it in the garbage a few feet away.”
“Ugh, Huang's going to have a field day with this... Hey, Jerry, not that I mind working with you, but I thought Melinda would be here tonight?”
Fin bumped his temporary partner's shoulder playfully. “I already told you, the Doc is meeting with Elliot about something important. She was real secretive about it, said she needed to run some more tests earlier today. When we got the call, Warner came bursting out of the morgue like a bat outta hell and dragged Elliot back in with her. He barely had time to ask me to cover the scene for him.”
Olivia's phone vibrated with an incoming text message, and she pulled it out of her pocket to check the screen. ‘ Going out with Serena since my first date was interrupted. Leaving my phone at home to charge, call hers if you need me. Love you.' Olivia smiled, shaking her head at the former ADA's perfect spelling. Typical anal-retentive Alex. They would have to work on that. The attorney's frequent declarations of love were still frightening to hear, but Olivia was beginning to enjoy them.
“Okay,” she said, saving the text and returning her attention to the scene before them. As she shifted into work mode, thoughts of Alex sank to the back of her mind and the smile faded from her face. It felt strange to experience happiness, however fleeting, at the scene of a homicide. Strange, but not bad. She decided to appreciate the small distraction instead of feeling guilty about it. She knew better than most how quickly lives could be destroyed. When her time came, she wanted a few happy memories to take with her.
Abbie Carmichael pulled herself out of bed with a low groan, shuddering as her bare feet touched the cold floor. For the hundredth time, she told herself to suck it up and hire someone to carpet her bedroom instead of relying on rugs to cover the wooden floor.
Stumbling into the adjoining bathroom, she stared at her pale reflection in the mirror with a dissatisfied frown. “I look like shit,” she pronounced, reaching for a toothbrush and squeezing out a dollop of toothpaste. After a jaw-cracking yawn and a quick wash of her face with some cold water from the sink, the federal prosecutor started to feel almost human again.
Running a brush through the bird's nest that her hair had become, she wandered around the living room in search of her cell phone before remembering that she had thrown it over the back of the couch. With a heavy sigh, she got down on her knees to retrieve the missing object and noticed several missed calls. Work, Alex, Work, Work, One night stand – how did she get my number?... Work, some other girl, Work, Alex, Claire... no, I can't call Claire back. I'm abstaining! Work... Jesus Christ on a crutch, can't they go without me for one damn day? They know I'm out sick.
After checking her voicemail, Abbie decided that the office would survive without her for a few more hours. Deliberately choosing not to call back right away, she dialed Alex's number instead. After several rings, the answering machine picked up. “You've reached the cell phone of Alexandra Cabot. I am unavailable to take your call at this time, so please leave a message or a call back number and I will contact you as soon as possible. If this is a work-related emergency, my pager number is...” Abbie rolled her eyes and mouthed along with the recording, having memorized it years ago.
“Cabot, you need to change your damn answering machine to something more interesting. You're probably off screwing your new stud, but I refuse to be jealous. I'm feeling much better, even though I look like I was in the outhouse when lightning struck.” She paused. “Yes, I know I annoy you, you don't have to remind me. You will also be delighted to know that I have not had sex in... um...” she did some quick mental calculations in her head. “Twelve days! So, call me back and tell me how dinner with Serena went. Oh, and tell Olivia that I get to be maid of honor when you get married. She doesn't know it yet, but you've got her ass branded, cowgirl.”
Hanging up, Abbie flopped onto the couch and stared at the phone in her hand, wondering what on earth had possessed her to leave such a long, rambling message. Deciding to blame her illness and forget about it, she turned her mind to more important problems, like whether it was worth it to get up again and go to the kitchen for a glass of water and some toast.
* Ice-T metahumor, lol. Songs were: Dies Irae (Mozart's Requiem), Shut Up and Drive (Rihanna), and Crank Dat (Soulja Boy)
* The HOWL! Festival is a real festival that takes place in NYC's lower east side during september. It is based on the poem by Alan Ginsberg and celebrates bohemian art and culture.
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