Disclaimer: See Part 1
"Hello, detective," said Alicia St. Michael, staring at Olivia with clear eyes over the barrel of the DA semi-automatic pistol. "We've been expecting you."
Olivia, who had been expecting to find Alicia's bloody, mangled corpse instead of a woman pointing a gun at her, was completely taken aback for a few seconds. Her cop instincts, however, immediately told her to try and talk her way out of the situation. Her fingers itched to grasp the handle of her own weapon, but Alicia's hand was steady on the semi-automatic, and she was afraid that the woman would shoot if she moved an inch.
"You don't have to do this, Alicia," she said, keeping her back pressed against the wall so that James could not attack her from behind while she tried to reason with his sister. "Whatever James has told you or tried to make you do, we can fix... If you put down the gun and help me turn him in, I'm sure I can put in a good word for you with the DA when this goes to trial..."
Alicia let out a humorless laugh. "Oh no. If this thing goes to trial, it's going to be on my terms. And James... James has done everything I asked him to do." The large man came through the door and stood beside his sister, putting his gigantic hands on her slim shoulders and glowering at Olivia with a protective, menacing look. "I've been working on him," she continued. "I've been teaching him since we were children. He's always been the perfect brother."
Instantly, Olivia felt an unexplainable stab of pity for James. She realized what had been so off-putting about him when they first met. He obviously had some kind of mental instability. Whether it had been present since childhood or whether Alicia had somehow caused it, she would probably never know.
"James, do you understand what Alicia has been making you do?" James' expression remained still as stone. "Killing those people will get you life in prison, James. Alicia doesn't care about you. She was setting you up the entire time."
Olivia had a little bit of hostage negotiation experience, but she had never tried negotiating for her own life before. Considering she had a pistol pointed directly between her eyes, she was amazed that she was able to put together a sentence at all.
"Alicia is my sister," he said confidently, with the naïve sincerity of someone who had been completely brainwashed. "She would never do anything wrong. Those men had to die."
"They touched her. They weren't supposed to touch her."
The curl of Alicia's smile told Olivia that the explanation was just as much of a lie as everything else about this case had been. "You could have told someone," she said, pretending to believe. "You didn't have to kill them. Why?"
Alicia shrugged, making the nose of the pistol bob, but not enough for Olivia to make a move. After a moment, her hand returned to its rock-steady position. "Because I could."
"You're making a big mistake," Olivia said, keeping the desperation out of her voice. "Killing a police officer is bound to get you the death penalty. I know the DA, the Police Chief, almost every cop at One Hogan Place... several Assistant District Attorneys. I can testify and get them to put you in a cushy mental institution. We can say you're too psychologically disturbed to stand trial." That isn't too far from the truth, she added bitterly inside her head.
"I'm not getting locked up anywhere. This gun isn't registered to me. All I need to do is say that my 'stalker' shot you while you were questioning me, wipe the prints off the gun, and say he was wearing gloves. Even if they suspect me, there will be enough reasonable doubt at trial to get me and James acquitted. Then, double jeopardy comes in to play..."
"That's an awfully long chance. You could try tying me up and run for it. You'd get a decent head start. No one's looking for you."
"This way is easier. Any last words or requests, Detective Benson? You're going to die here one way or another."
I love you, Alex. If I don't make it out of here, I want to say the words just once... even if it's only in my head...
"Will you take not shooting me?"
Alicia's smile twitched. "Nice try. Oh well, at least I was kind enough to offer. It's really too bad that you have to die at the beginning of a new romance."
The detective's blood froze. Alicia knew about Alex? How? When? What was she planning to do?
"Oh, don't worry. I have no reason to go after her... unless you give me one and remain uncooperative. Then, I might have to let James take care of her." The brunette remembered the gouged flesh, chunks of it torn off with bare hands, the violent rapes, the coppery smell of death. Nothing was going to happen to Alex. "Now, take your weapon out of your belt and drop it on the floor. Then, kick it over here to me."
Olivia saw one golden chance to get out of this disaster alive, and she decided to grab hold and hang on for dear life. Slowly, she reached for her gun. Moving so quickly that both Alicia and James did not have time to react, she flipped her weapon out of her holster and pointed it directly at Alicia's head. Now, at least, she had a fighting chance. "Drop your weapon," Olivia said, her voice changing from coaxing to harsh in an instant. The hand holding the semi-automatic did not budge. "Drop your weapon!"
Alicia did not seem too concerned. "Don't fire, detective. If you shoot me, James will make it to you in time to snap your neck... if my finger doesn't reflexively pull the trigger first."
Eventually, Olivia knew, one of them would have to take the shot, but the odds were against her. "Think about what you're doing," she said, double-checking to make sure the safety was off with her thumb instead of looking down and giving Alicia an opening to fire. "You think my squad really fell for that stalker bullshit? I might have been wrong about which one of you planned this, but we've been collecting evidence against you and your brother all along." It was a total bluff, but Olivia had been lying through her teeth ever since she crossed the threshold. She figured one more wouldn't hurt her chances. "If you do go to trial, you're looking at an intravenous cocktail. McCoy won't care that you're a woman. You might just be the one to break New York's execution-free streak."
She forced her lips into a confident smirk, one that she could not really feel. In fact, most of her face felt numb. All of her blood was rushing to her heart. "I'll take my chances. Last opportunity to do this the easy way: drop your gun. I'll make it quick. It's a pity James won't get to have fun this time."
Olivia tightened her lips to suppress her gag reflex. Even though she was still holding her gun, she was beginning to panic. She tried to quell the creeping tide of fear that stiffened her muscles. Her finger twitched against the trigger's curve.
... and that was when a chair exploded through the door.
The chair's wooden frame crashed through the doorway, sailing directly at James St. Michael's chest and forcing him to take several steps back. Alicia's hand dropped several inches and her head turned instinctively to follow the source of the sudden noise. That momentary distraction was all Olivia needed. Aiming her weapon at Alicia's shoulder, she fired without hesitation. Crying out in surprise and pain, the gun fell from her hand, dropping harmlessly onto the carpet.
Blood poured from the wounded woman's shoulder, blossoming underneath the fabric of her shirt, but Olivia did not spare her more than a fleeting glance. James was charging toward her like a giant bull, and Olivia barely sidestepped in time to avoid most of his bulk. Still, his shoulder caught her arm and sent her spinning.
Trying to orient herself and re-adjusting her grip on the gun, Olivia watched several more objects fly through the air. A picture frame bounced harmlessly off the front of James' chest, but a vase striking him in the gut did slightly more damage. A few more steps and Olivia could see exactly who was catapulting random objects into the room. More accurately, she could see half of an arm, a leg, and part of a shoe. She would have recognized those Pradas anywhere. Alex? Oh no...
If she had needed any more incentive to shoot James St. Michael, seeing him hurling towards her lover with death in his eyes was the last straw. She aimed the nozzle of her gun at the back of his head and fired. He crumpled to the floor, dropping in a huddle like a discarded sheet. Blood pooled around his face.
The two women did not collapse in to each other's arms. In fact, they did not say anything at all. They just stared at each other. Finally, with a shaking hand, Alex took out her cell phone. It was so quiet that Olivia could hear the ringing on the other end even though the phone was not on speaker. "Hello? Yeah. Hi, Monica. Alex Cabot. We're going to need an ambulance and – what do the detectives call it, a meat wagon?"
Olivia rolled her eyes. "Give me the damn phone..." she muttered. "Benson. We've got an officer-involved shooting at 21 Rathbone Place, two gunshot victims..."
After rattling off all pertinent information with the correct terminology, Olivia hung up the phone with a tap to its screen and handed it back to Alex. There were so many things she wanted to ask, so many things she needed to say, but the only question she could force out was, "how do you know an NYPD switchboard operator?"
"Long story. Should I go downstairs and wait at the front door for the unis to show up?" the blonde asked.
"No," Olivia said, too quickly. "They can find their own way up."
Deciding to humor the detective, she sat down on the bed to wait.
Somehow, Alex and Olivia managed to keep it together for the long, quiet five-minute period that they spent waiting for backup to arrive. Olivia explained what had happened in a calm, patient voice while the uniformed officers secured the scene. A call was made to Captain Cragen, a text message was sent to Elliot (no one wanted to risk speaking to him in person), and further calls were made to assorted attorneys, relevant police squads, and IAB. Soon, the place was crawling with various members of law enforcement. It took twenty minutes before the tension that surrounded the two women like a thick, choking fog finally snapped.
Olivia was the first to break. "What the hell did you think you were doing?" she asked hotly. Alex turned to look at her, pausing mid-sentence in the middle of her interview with a young officer sporting a slightly uneven haircut. She knew that she was the one being addressed even though Olivia had neglected to say her name.
"I thought I was saving your life," she snapped back. "You're welcome."
"By throwing a chair at someone holding a gun? You're a lawyer, not Chuck Norris!" Olivia's voice was strained, and a good octave higher than normal. "Do you have a death wish?"
"You're the one who thought it was a good idea to go interrogate a suspect without back-up..."
"You voluntarily put yourself in danger without any regard for your own safety! Why couldn't you be more careful?"
"Why don't you check your Goddamn cell phone?" Alex yelled, shouting loud enough for everyone in the house to hear. By now, a crowd of curious onlookers had amassed. Almost no one was focused on going through the crime scene anymore.
"Cell phones? I could tell you a story about cell phones, Counselor. Why don't you stop telling Abbie Carmichael our private business?"
"Yeah? Well, why don't you grow a pair and talk to me if something's bothering you instead of slinking away like a coward! I know you're the type to fuck and run, but I thought we had moved past that."
"Can you blame me? You've spent the past ten years leaving me! Leaving me for WITSEC, leaving me without saying goodbye after Connors' trial, leaving me for Robert... not talking to me for three Goddamn years... And now you say you want to marry me? After your jaunt in the Sahara, of course..."
"It's the Congo, take a geography class. Use Wikipedia for all I care. While you're doing that, why don't you refresh yourself on police procedure? You're too smart to go around risking your life and doing stupid things like – I don't know – ending up in a Mexican Standoff with two serial killers! Maybe it will keep you from getting your head blown off so I won't have to suffer through your funeral like you had to sit through mine."
"Do you have any idea what they're talking about?" asked the rookie with the bad haircut, whispering to the medical examiner's assistant beside him.
"No," she said, "but it's better than the soaps."
"You are the most insufferable, stuck-up..."
"I love you."
Alex's pale complexion turned bright red. "... Oh," she said, her voice dropping to a whisper. "Oh..."
"Break it up, people! Don't you have jobs to do? Move it!" A familiar voice bellowed. Elliot Stabler shoved his way through the crowd, grabbing his partner's arm and Alex's wrist. He dragged both of them into a corner of the room, using his body as a small shield. The large, commanding presence of the ex-Marine was enough to send most people scattering, and a few not-very-gentle shoves and angry glares got rid of the most stubborn observers.
"Heard all that, did you?" Alex asked, and he noticed that she was shaking. Elliot gripped her elbow to steady her.
"I came in a little before you told Olivia to grow a pair. God knows I've seen you two fight before, but I think this one takes first prize."
Olivia was staring into space with a shocked expression on her face. Perhaps it was nearly dying, seeing Alex in danger, finally confessing her love, or a combination of the three, but it was all too much for the detective.
Alex sighed. "Come here." Tenderly, she took Olivia's face in her hands. "I love you, too. Maybe you could have picked a more romantic setting instead of blurting it out during an argument in the middle of a crime scene, but I'm glad you told me."
"Huh?" Olivia said, still dazed now that the edge of adrenaline was finally wearing off. The lines in her vision seemed fuzzy and indistinct, and Alex's eyes were so very, very blue... "Alex, you almost died... I can't–"
"Shut up and kiss me."
For one clear moment, nothing mattered. The past ten years didn't matter. All the times that they had run away from each other didn't matter. The fact that Elliot was still watching them didn't matter. Even the fact that Olivia had just killed someone didn't matter (she had seen the standard black body-bag). All that mattered was that Alex was kissing her and she was solid and warm and alive and all hers, and that knowledge was overwhelming. So overwhelming that both of them started crying tears of relief and confusion and joy, hugging each other when the kiss ended.
Steadfast, dependable Elliot, who had only seen his partner cry a handful of times, made sure that any prying eyes were respectfully averted and everyone kept their distance. Keeping his back to Olivia and Alex, he allowed the two women what little privacy he could. He would never admit to it in open court, but part of him felt like crying, too. He was relieved that Olivia was all right, happy that she was happy, angry that she had gone charging off to question Alicia without him, and furious with himself for arriving too late to protect her.
But I guess that's Alex's job now... he thought, a little glumly. It was going to be Alex who comforted Olivia after a hard case. Alex who planned birthdays and holidays around her. Alex who listened to her secret fears and dreams. Not that he and Olivia were chatty about personal things, but they were there for each other. They were partners.
You're an ass, Stabler. Be glad she's alive, no thanks to you... and you're still her partner.
As if in answer to his silent thoughts, a hand tapped on his shoulder from behind. He turned to face Olivia, who was looking a little more composed. "Yeah?" he said, a little more gruffly than he intended.
"Do you want a hug, too?" Olivia teased, the break in her voice revealing the maelstrom of emotions still raging beneath the surface.
"Go to hell," he said, bumping her shoulder. "I'll give you an 'I'm-glad-you're-not-dead' hug next time, when the mess isn't your own damn fault." He had a feeling things were going to be all right between them. Maybe even better.
Olivia was awakened by a soft clicking sound and quiet footsteps scraping over the carpet. She blinked sleepily to clear the last of the blurriness from her eyes, staring at the light trailing out from beneath the crack in the bathroom door. Obviously, Alex had found it difficult to fall asleep. She was surprised that the blonde had not woken her earlier while untangling herself from Olivia's arms.
Her jaw cracking as a yawn stretched the back of her throat, she sat up and leaned back against her pillows, waiting for Alex to finish in the bathroom. A few minutes later, the attorney crept back into the bedroom, smiling at Olivia when she saw that the detective was awake.
“Hey you,” she said, running a hand through her hair to straighten it as she perched on the side of Olivia's bed. She was naked, her clothes resting in Olivia's hamper, but the brunette was wearing a sleep shirt. “I tried not to wake you up. I'm sorry.”
“Don't worry about it, beautiful.” Now that she was awake again, Olivia knew that she would not be able to fall asleep for another few hours. “Dad told me to take tomorrow off anyway... I'd just be pushing papers until IAB finishes their investigation.”
“It was a clean shoot,” Alex reassured her. “By the way, I used your toothbrush. I hope you don't mind.”
Olivia arched her eyebrows. “Really? I don't mind, but I'm surprised you did... You strike me as the germaphobe type.”
“Was the hand sanitizer in my office your first clue?” Alex grinned sheepishly. “I didn't want to... but I figure my mouth has already explored most of your mouth, so borrowing your toothbrush wouldn't do any lasting damage. Besides, I hate going to bed without brushing my teeth, it makes me feel gross.”
The attorney climbed over to the other side of Olivia's bed, which was smaller than hers but comfortably sized for two if they didn't mind snuggling. She remembered Abbie's comment from a while back – that Benson never let her bedmates stayed the night – and was pleased that Olivia had broken the rules for her.
"Are you sleepy?" the detective asked as Alex found a comfortable place against her side, draping an arm over her abdomen.
Alex decided to answer honestly. “No. Too many thoughts going through my head. Why do you think they did it?”
“God, I stopped asking why years ago. There's never a good answer. Even when the vic is more like a perp and someone kills them out of a misguided sense of justice, I still don't completely understand it.” A sudden thought struck her. “How did you know where I was?”
Alex smiled against Olivia's shoulder. “I played detective,” she said. “Elliot called me and said James St. Michael was our perp. He thought you were with me since you weren't answering your phone. When we realized we had no idea where you were, I went to the station house to look for you and saw the open case file on your desk with the address on top...”
“And you came running to save the day,” Olivia finished for her. “I still haven't forgiven you for that, but I guess I can't complain since you probably saved my life and all.”
There was a pause while the tension between them continued to mount. “Hey, I got a love confession out of it,” Alex teased, trying to lighten the mood. She really did not want to be reminded of how close Olivia had come to being shot. She knew first hand how frightening and painful it was, and the thought of losing Olivia...
“So, do you want to try and fall back asleep?” she asked, looking up at the brunette with blue eyes.
“I don't think so. My really sexy girlfriend is naked in bed next to me. Even after the night I've had, I'm surprised I fell asleep the first time.”
Alex's eyes widened, and for a moment Olivia thought she was upset. “Does – does she know about us?”
Olivia rolled her eyes and snorted, dropping a kiss on Alex's head. “You're not as funny as you think you are, Counselor.”
“Oh well. Maybe you keep me around because of my other talents...”
Olivia could barely suppress a groan as Alex rolled on top of her, two inquisitive hands closed over her breasts and squeezed through the fabric of her nightshirt, shocked at how quickly she responded to Alex's touch. “Think you're going to get lucky, blondie?” she teased, trying to downplay her own need, which was rising fast enough to make her uncomfortable.
"I know I'm going to get lucky.” Olivia began to protest when Alex's hands abandoned her breast, but stopped when she realized that the attorney was only trying to lift her shirt. “Let me see you?”
Olivia let Alex draw the shirt over her head, lifting her arms to help. For a moment, Alex just stared at her, overwhelmed by the sight of her naked lover, her tan skin illuminated by the muted glow of the digital alarm clock. “I almost lost you today,” she whispered, her finger tracing a heart over Olivia's stomach as she swallowed back tears.
“I know. But you didn't. I'm right here, Lex, and I love you...” Olivia said. Slipping beneath the sheets, she held them up, inviting Alex to join her. Eager for the feel of skin against skin, the attorney quickly obliged, lowering her face for a kiss. Although Alex's weight was resting on top of her, the blonde's touches were slow and deliberate, as though she was reassuring herself that Olivia was really there and in one piece.
Knowing that words would not be enough, Olivia used her lips and hands to remind her lover that she was all right, that she understood. Part of her wanted to say ‘I love you' again, but she was worried that the attorney was not ready to hear it again, not while she was still processing what could have happened to either of them. To her surprise, Alex kissed the point of her chin and said, “I know.” Lips searching and finding the blonde's, she wrapped her arms around Alex's waist and pulled her closer for a proper kiss.
The next hour was wonderful beyond her wildest dreams. Somehow, simply letting Alex know that she loved her allowed Olivia to open herself to a new level of intimacy. Her first release came quickly, coaxed from her by Alex's talented fingers, and when her lover began to kiss her way down the line of her stomach, pausing to nip the skin beside her right hip, Olivia's eyes closed even though she desperately wanted to watch.
Her fingers curled through Alex's hair, not forcing or guiding, but clinging for dear life as Alex's tongue covered her in one long, broad stroke...
“I love you.”
And once she said those three words again the words that had released all of the feelings that she had tried to keep locked away for so long, she could not stop saying them. Usually, Alex was the talkative one, the one that urged Olivia to kiss her, touch her, take her harder, the one that said ‘I love you', but the blonde's hot mouth had Olivia whispering, whimpering, and sighing it over and over again.
“I love you, I love you, I love you...”
And even when her lover's second orgasm crested and stole her breath away, Alex could hear the words echoing in her head. With a satisfied hum, the attorney placed one last, lingering kiss between her lover's legs, pleased that Olivia was pleased and incredibly touched by the amount of trust that she knew the detective had placed in her by confessing her feelings.
“I really do,” Olivia said when she caught her breath, still panting as a contented Alex tenderly cleaned her inner thighs, stroking the sensitive skin behind her knee with a free hand.
“I know,” she murmured into slick, salty skin. “I love you, too.” But guiding her lover through two peaks of her own had Alex excited, and although she loved touching Olivia, her body was demanding some kind of stimulation.
While Olivia was still recovering from her pleasure, Alex kissed her way back up her stomach, pausing to kiss the detective's breasts and shoulders, urging Olivia's leg to press between her own. Getting the hint, Olivia pushed upwards, watching in fascination as Alex tipped her head back. The brunette hissed with pleasure as she felt the warm trail of wetness painting her upper thigh. Still too winded to do much more than offer the blonde a few drowsy kisses, she let Alex set their rhythm. Olivia was shocked when the lithe body stiffened above hers, watching the play of emotions flicker across Alex's face when her orgasm stalled, crested, and finally crashed over her in a shuddering wave of pleasure.
This time, it was Alex's turn to melt in Olivia's arms, collapsing bonelessly on top of the detective and burying her face against the warm crook of Olivia's neck. “I didn't know you were... that close...” she said, one hand crawling down to cup between the blonde's legs, finding her still swollen and wanting.
“Pleasing you pleases me. I can't have enough of you. In fact...” Copying Olivia, Alex let her own hand roam lower for a second time. “Together this time?”
Olivia nodded, having regained some of her strength, and gently flipped Alex over. “Together,” she agreed, taking Alex's lips in another kiss.
A rhythmic thud from somewhere outside of Olivia's bedroom awakened Alex from her light slumber. “Olivia Benson! Open this door right now!” The muffled thumping continued, causing Olivia to groan and roll over beside her, pulling the sheets and comforter over top of her head.
“Make it go away...”
“Mm,” Alex groaned, popping the vertebrae in her neck and stretching her arms above her head to loosen the muscles in her back. “Fine.”
“Coming!” Alex shouted, reaching for her glasses and pulling Olivia's discarded sleep shirt from the previous night over her head.
“That's what you said last night,” Olivia added from under the covers.
“Be nice to me,” Alex warned her. “I'm getting out of this warm, comfortable bed to answer your door.” The blonde swung her legs over the side of the bed and curled her toes as they brushed the carpet. Making sure the essentials were covered, she padded out of the room, running her fingers through mussed hair. She had a pretty good idea who was making the ruckus that had disturbed them.
“I know you're hiding her in there, Benson! Let me in or I'll open a can of whoopass on this door, followed shortly by your fine behind.”
“I'm coming!” Alex called out again as she dragged her tired body towards Olivia's front door.
“That's what she said!”
Alex opened Olivia's front door to reveal a very irritated looking and slightly pale Abbie Carmichael. “You weren't supposed to show up until tomorrow,” she sighed, standing aside so that the dark-haired Texan could come in to the apartment. “How did you even get up here?”
Abbie's face brightened a bit and she grinned. “Told Olivia's landlord I was with the FBI.”
Alex glared at her disapprovingly. “And why are you here at...” she trailed off, realizing that she had no idea what time it was, “this inconveniently early hour?”
“Because you and Olivia were on the Goddamn news for busting some serial killers. My phone was ringing off the hook with all kinds of stories from mutual acquaintances. According to some, both of you were shot and laid up at Mt. Sinai... A few told me Olivia was dead, and one said that you and Olivia had sex in front of the Crime Scene techs...”
The blonde raised an eyebrow. “Oh?”
“Okay, that one was Munch, so I didn't believe him. You didn't, did you?”
“Of course not! Olivia did confess her undying love, though.”
“I heard that, too. I got the real version of events from Stabler before all the crazy calls came in.”
“That man is almost as much of a gossip as you. So, you're here because...?”
“I was going to visit anyway, and since both of you had a near-death experience, I figured some comic relief was needed.”
Alex was touched. “You wanted to make sure we were fine.”
“Well, sugar, you're standing in front of me half-naked, and I can say that you are most definitely fine .” Abbie's lips curled mischievously and she leaned forward to tweak one of Alex's nipples through her nightshirt.
“Hands off, Carmichael,” a voice growled from the hallway leading to the bedroom. Olivia wandered out, wearing sweatpants and a tank top, her hair in a similar state of disarray. “Stop yakking in the doorway where all of my neighbors can hear you. The walls aren't that thick here.”
Alex's eyes widened. “They – they aren't?” A rosy flush blossomed across her cheeks and Abbie howled with laughter. Olivia was the only one with enough presence of mind to pull the door closed, pausing to drop a kiss on Alex's bare shoulder.
“Was there any pounding on the walls or ceilings from the neighbors last night, Benson?”
Olivia shrugged. “Not last night... Either everyone was asleep, we weren't that loud, or they enjoyed the show too much to complain.”
Alex clapped an embarrassed hand over her eyes. “Oh no...”
“How did you get up here, anyway?” Olivia asked Abbie, changing the subject.
“Lied and told your landlord I was the FBI,” she said proudly.
The detective snorted. “Why does that not surprise me? Come in to the kitchen. I'll make some coffee. I guess we have to keep you now that we've taken you in.”
“Thanks, Olivia. You sure know how to make a person feel welcome.”
Alex was just pouring out a third and final mug of coffee for herself when a loud, buzzing sound startled her. Fortunately, she did not shake the pot enough to spill any coffee. “You have a buzzer?” she asked Olivia before narrowing her eyes at Carmichael. “Why couldn't you have used that instead of pounding on the door?”
“I did. You two slept through it. That was when I told Olivia's landlord I was-”
“I'll see who it is and buzz them up,” Olivia interrupted, setting her own mug of coffee back down on the kitchen table and standing up to answer the door.
“I have no idea who else would bother Olivia this early,” Alex said. “Elliot, Finn, Munch, and Cragen saw her last night, so they know she's fine.”
“Could be someone else for you,” Abbie pointed out.
“No one knows I'm here.”
Abbie took a long sip of her coffee and considered this. “I figured it out.”
“You pestered me into giving you details about my relationship with Olivia. By the way, be careful what you leave on people's voicemail. We're okay now, but your joking around spooked Olivia last night.”
“What are you talking about?”
“You know, the message you left me saying that I had Olivia roped and branded, and asking to be a bridesmaid at our wedding?”
The federal prosecutor shrugged. “It's true.” Alex sighed and gave up. There was just no explaining things to Abbie sometimes.
“Hey, Alex, why do all of your lawyer friends keep showing up at –my– apartment?” Olivia asked, reentering the kitchen with a familiar figure behind her.
“Because they're smart. Good morning, Serena. I see you've found my hiding place.”
Serena stepped forward to give Alex a hug. “I use my brain occasionally. Olivia was nice enough to buzz me up.” Straightening her shoulders and steeling herself, the shorter blonde turned to face Abbie, who was still seated at the kitchen table and staring at Serena with wide, dark eyes. “Hello, Abbie.”
Swallowing, the brunette gave Serena a small, nervous smile. “Howdy, stranger.”
Glossing over the hellos quickly so that they would not be left with an awkward silence, Alex hurried to prepare a fourth mug of coffee for Serena. “Thanks for dropping by. I was wondering who else had enough chutzpah to bother a gun-carrying police officer and a former ADA this early in the morning.”
“I'm here for selfish reasons,” Serena said. “I wanted to see for myself that both of you were okay. I know both of you probably want to be alone after–”
“Too late for that,” Alex said cheerfully, giving Abbie a meaningful glance. “Stay as long as you'd like, Serena.”
“Hey, whose apartment is this?” Olivia teased.
“Oh, I forgot... we should probably head back to my place. Abbie's staying through the weekend and we need to drop off her luggage. Let's finish our coffee, get dressed, and then we can get some breakfast before driving over there.”
“You're so bossy, Cabot. Where did you have in mind for breakfast?”
“You can pick, Abbie.” Alex handed Serena a steaming mug of her own and offered her a seat at the table. “You're more than welcome to join us, Serena.” If you feel comfortable, Alex added silently, not wanting to force her friend to interact with Abbie if she didn't feel ready.
Serena gave her a reassuring smile. “Thanks, Alex. I'd like that. Maybe the four of us can even make a day of it.”
Alex groaned, pulling her pillow over her ears and burying her face in the mattress. The rhythmic creaking from the guest room made her teeth clench, and she released another frustrated sigh into the warm sheets. “Shut up, shut up, shut up...” she muttered, her voice muffled by the pillow covering the back of her head.
“Yes, yes... don't stop...”
Alex began banging her forehead on the bed, making the pillow over her head jump up and down. “There goes the paint job behind the headboard...”
“What did you say, honey?” Olivia yawned, coming out of the bathroom. For a moment, Alex peeked out from underneath her pillow and stared at the gorgeous curves of her naked lover, a smile twitching at the corners of her lips. The mood was rudely interrupted by more noises from the guest room.
“Oh God, Oh God, Oh God...”
Thud. Thud. Crrrreak.
Olivia grinned, enjoying Alex's obvious irritation. “Well, Tex is working fast over there,” she said, sitting on the bed and rubbing soothing circles on Alex's bare back.
“Don't remind me.” Screwing up her face in mock pain, Alex threw the pillow towards the foot of the bed, laying her head on Olivia's thigh. The detective took the hint and stroked the attorney's mane of blonde hair, massaging her scalp and scratching the back of her neck.
“I know we cooked them dinner, but I wasn't expecting a show as well.”
“Watch it, Benson, or I'll kill you once I'm through with them.”
Olivia leaned down to kiss the crown of Alex's head. “Yes, dear.”
“I've already got you trained,” Alex mused, squinting up at Olivia with blue eyes made sharper by her irritation with Abbie. “It would be a shame to get rid of you now.”
Boom. Scrrrape. Boom.
“Oh, Abigail!” Alex mocked, rolling her eyes. “Must they move the entire bed? It's sturdy enough, not some rusty old frame...”
The brunette considered this. “We could always make it a competition.”
“Hey, if we have to listen to them, there's no reason we can't do the same. I know you can be a pretty vocal lover.” It was true. Depending on her mood, Alex kept up a running commentary while they made love (except while Olivia was kissing her senseless). The detective didn't mind. Far from it. Alex's word choices were often very... stimulating.
Speaking of stimulating, sexy things... Olivia reached for the blonde's glasses, which were waiting for her on the bedside table. She blushed as she handed them to Alex and helped her slide them over her nose and ears. “Put these on for me?”
Alex's lips spread in a thin smirk. “You like my glasses that much?”
“Sweetie, you have no idea...” Olivia groaned, her hands stroking Alex's inner thighs as she leaned in for a hungry kiss.
In the next room, Serena and Abbie fell backwards onto their bed, laughing hysterically. Tears streamed down both of their cheeks, which were sore from smiling so hard. It took several minutes for them to finally catch their breath. They tried valiantly to muffle their giggles with their hands and, in Abbie's case, a nearby pillow.
“Can't you just picture Alex's face?” Serena crowed triumphantly, somehow managing to relegate her volume to a half-whisper.
Abbie peeked over the top of the pillowcase, dark eyes twinkling. “I'm sure it's a Kodak moment,” she drawled. “So, little lady, you wanna jump on the bed some more and make them both even more uncomfortable?”
Serena tried to answer, but her words were lost in another round of giggles. “Oh God... hahah- mmmf...” She stuffed her fist in her mouth and bit down lightly to try and keep quiet. “Oooh my stomach hurts.”
With an evil gleam in her eye and a big smile that showed both of her dimples, Abbie pulled her face away from the pillow. Bouncing up and down on the bed until it started to groan, she yelled, “That's it, baby... Harder!” Falling backwards against the headboard and using the pillow to protect herself, she made the bed scrape against the wall, holding her sides and bursting into another fit of laughter. “This is the most fun I've had in years,” she said, sotto voce this time. Her expression was painted with a new layer of sincerity that touched Serena's heart... and frightened her.
“Years,” Serena said, tasting the word in her mouth. It had been years since she and Abbie spent any time together without ignoring each other, trying to kill each other, or, in two cases, kissing frantically in a coat closet before Serena realized what she was doing and ran screaming for the hills. Maybe things – people – could change in the span of a few years.
“So, do you think that maybe, tomorrow...” Abbie's voice trailed off, looking at the restless hands sitting in her lap. “Damn, I'm jumpy as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs. Sorry...”
Serena smiled. “It's okay,” she said, resting a hand on Abbie's shoulder. She had a pretty good idea what Abbie was trying to ask her, but she also wanted to hear the dark-haired prosecutor say it out loud.
“I know I was a bit of a Maverick back when we... well, I was hopin' we could go to dinner. You know, catch up some more.”
“Catch up as friends?”
“Yes,” Abbie said in a rush, “or...”
Serena leaned closer, her hand moving from Abbie's shoulder to her thigh. Even though the denim of her jeans, the other woman's skin felt extremely warm. “Or...?”
“Or maybe something more, if you're comfortable.”
“I'm afraid you'll hurt me again.”
Abbie flinched. Serena was nothing if not brutally honest. “I won't, but I don't suppose that means much to you, considerin'.”
“You're dropping your G's on the floor, Cowgirl.”
“I'm nervous.” Abbie could not help blushing at the term of endearment, one that Serena had not used in far too long. It felt good hearing it from her lips again. Right. “So, will you do me the honor of accompanying me to dinner if I annunciate properly and promise not to flirt with the waitress?”
“Or anybody else?”
“Or anybody else.” Abbie paused. “I made a mistake when I let you walk out of my life, even though I deserved it.”
The blonde gave Abbie's thigh a reassuring squeeze. “Yes. I'll go to dinner with you.”
“As friends? Or-”
“We'll see. If we decide we want it to be a date if the night goes well, then...”
The Texan could not hide her blush. Carefully, just in case Serena began looking uncomfortable, Abbie covered the blonde's hand with her own. “I would like that a lot.” The two women stared at each other for a long, poignant moment...
Thud. Thud. Crrrreak.
“Mm, Olivia... Keep going...”
Silence. Then, Thump-a-thump-a CRACK.
“Ah, Lex... you feel so good-”
Abbie and Serena's stare suddenly became less intimate and more embarrassed. Both of them avoided each other's eyes, staring at the wall separating their rooms. “You don't suppose they're faking like we did?” Serena asked hopefully.
Abbie just shook her head, staring into space with wide brown eyes.
Two Hours Later...
Abbie groaned, pulling her pillow over her ears and burying her face in the mattress. “Fucking hell!” she hissed, glaring at the wall. “Shut up, shut up, shut up!”
“I suppose we asked for it,” Serena said beside her. Unlike Abbie, she had her eyes closed and was trying to sleep, although she had not been successful in ignoring the noise so far.
“Yeah, but two hours? Really...”
“Lechez-moi... S'il-vous-plait... mm.. oh, yes... Just – like –”
“Like that, baby?”
“Again with the French? I'm sick and tired of Miss I'm-Embarrased-About-Sex-So-I-Use-Euphemisms-Or-Another-Language over there getting more action than me.” Abbie reached over the other side of the bed, leaning half on top of Serena's prone form and grabbing one of her shoes from the floor. “Shut up, you perverts! Or at least say ‘fuck me' in English for a Goddamn change!” Unceremoniously, she heaved her shoe at the wall. It connected with a satisfying thud, but the noises from the next room did not stop.
“Oh God, Oh God, Olivia... je jouis! I'm com-”
Twin cries of ecstasy made Abbie tug on her hair. “And do you always have to come at the same Goddamn time? One of you is loud enough!” she shouted. “Why, why, why did I agree to stay here during my visit?”
When her bed companion did not answer, Abbie glanced over to see that Serena had finally succumbed to exhaustion. After smiling at the serene expression on her ex-girlfriend's face, Abbie cracked open one eye and stared at the wall. She was alone in bed with the woman she had been harboring feelings for while listening to her best friend having sex with her hot girlfriend. Karma is a bitch.
With a long sigh, she stole the pillow from under Serena's blonde head, pulling both of them over to her side of the bed and sandwiching her head in between. “C'est la vie,” she said, praying that one or both of her hostesses would run out of energy soon... but, knowing them, it wasn't likely. She was going to be dog tired in the morning.
That's it, folks. It's been a long, wild ride, but we're at the end of this fic. Never fear, there will be a sequel, more Alex/Olivia stories in this universe and others... if you want to see more of my fanfiction and original fiction, please go to http://raedmagdon.wordpress.com or check out my blog at http://perilouspublishing.blogspot.com
I wanted to thank all of you for sending me such lovely comments, especially the regulars who commented multiple times and watched this story grow from its infancy. You guys know who you are, and you all rock.
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