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Finally!

I am not a morning person, not even a little bit. I reluctantly get up in the morning and sometimes, my brain just will not wake up. I may have a headache and my mind feels foggy. I have grabbed a soda in the past to try to wake up, to very little effect and I am trying to give them up after I read they basically suck minerals from you system, like magnesium.

So, this morning, I tried a cup of green tea. I know sometimes tea gives me a buzz, but I wanted to know if it would work on my fuzzy brain and it did! Thank God! I hate going through most of the day unable to think or feeling like I want to sleep all day. So, green tea in the mornings!

Ch-ch-changes

I haven't used my LiveJournal in forever. I wanted to find a private journal app and remembered I have this one, so decided to use it again.

I'm not happy, for many, many reasons. My health isn't great, but it is much btter than others peoples, but I don't feel like I am in the body I am supposed to be in. I'm too fat, I'm in a wheelchair right now due to a conditiona called spinal stenotis and I wanted my god damn freedom back. I've basically isolated myself from everyone because I am ashamed of myself.

My relationship with food is the first thing I have to change. My friend Myra went on the Genotype Diet about 3 years ago and has lost 300 lbs. She is bedbound and she just ate good, healthy food. If she can do that, I know I can. I just have to think of food as fuel for my body instead of the luxury I've always considered it to be.

My genotype is basically a vegetarian, almost vegan, which is going to be a very hard change for me. However, I want to be healthy. I want a damn life and I have to give myself a chance to live it.

I'm also a bit worried because I found a small lump in my breast. I don't think it is seriousm but I'm getting it checked out on Wednesday. *crosses fingers*

Set You Free (3/?)

Title: Set You Free
Author: celticshocker
Rating: MA
Pairing: Arizona/Callie

Disclaimers: Still not my toys, but they sure are fun to play with.
Summary:  This my take on why Arizona cheated on Callie. 

Hey y'all thanks for the positive feedback on this story.  Here is another chapter.  I hope you enjoy it and please leave your thoughts in the comments section.
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An early morning rain scrubbed the streets clean and left a sweet smell in the Seattle air.  The sun peeked through the clouds, making the colors of the city more vivid.  However, Arizona wasn't in a mood for vivid colors.  Her hangover had receded to a dull roar, until she stepped outside.  Wincing, she dug through her oversized bag for her sunglasses and quickly used them to shield her eyes from the offending orb in the sky.

Even though it was only across the street, she drove her car into the hospital parking lot and parked in her usual space.  It was another concession that she had had to make because of the amputation and she hated it.  While she could easily walk to work in the mornings, walking back home after a grueling shift was out of the question.  Her residual limb simply hurt too much to make the trip most of the time.

Arizona didn't bother removing her sunglasses as she went to the first coffee cart in the courtyard in front of the hospital.  She was hoping that drinking coffee would appease her hangover and it would retreat without any need to take an analgesic to wipe away the last vestiges of pain.  She hated that slight fog she sometimes got with painkillers, even the mild ones affected her sometimes if she had a headache for they certainly didn't work when her leg was giving her problems.

She walked into the hospital, sunglasses still in place and clutching her coffee like it was a lifeline.  She gave those who greeted her a slight nod as she headed for the elevators and the refuge of her office.  Pressing the up button, she waited for the elevator car to come whisk her away.  She was suddenly jostled from behind and looked over her shoulder in annoyance at the offender.

"Oh, hey, sorry Boss," Alex gave her a weak smile.  He glanced at her briefly and lifted a brow.  "Too much party last night?"

Her lips formed a tight line as she turned back to the elevator and had a sip of coffee.

"Something like that."

Alex grinned behind her back and leaned over her shoulder.

"Ya know, I don't think I've ever seen you come in with a hangover.  It's so unprofessional Dr. Robbins," he playfully teased her, secretly enjoying seeing his boss in this state.  He didn't see her at the gala and thought she might have been enjoying herself for once.

Arizona rolled her eyes behind her sunglasses and took another sip of coffee as she tried to will away her headache.

"Keep it up Karev and I will put you on pre and post-ops all week."

"Eh, even if you do I know how to delegate now."

Alex stepped up beside her and started to say something else but was interrupted when the elevator door opened for them.  Cristina Yang started to step through the door and stopped dead at the site of Arizona.  A slight smile curved her lips as she exchanged a glance with Alex.

"Wow...I don't think I've ever..."

"Shut it Yang," Arizona snapped out quickly and moved to the back of the elevator car.

Alex smirked at Cristina.

"I should take a picture, don'tcha think?"

"I do.  It needs to be documented.  No one would believe us if you didn't."

Cristina retrieved her iPhone from her pocket and snapped a quick picture of Arizona.

"Cristina Yang!"

"Oh chill Blondie, besides it's evidence.  After last night, half the hospital thinks you keeled over."  She assumed that Arizona had heard about Callie's sob story that she had made up to garner donations at the gala.

Arizona pulled off her sunglasses and looked at the cardiothoracic surgeon.

"Why would they think that?" she scoffed as she slipped the shades into her purse and sipped from her coffee.

Cristina answered without thinking, chuckling as she looked at the picture she had just taken and text it to Alex's phone.

"Callie used some sob story about how her wife died in the plane crash to get money out of the donors."

Alex stopped looking at his phone and looked at Arizona, then Cristina.  He had noticed the blonde's face pale even more than it was and nudged his housemate with his elbow.

"Dude...," he rolled his eyes back towards the blonde doctor as he caught Cristina's gaze.

Cristina blinked and looked at him, then glanced to Arizona.  The blonde's face, which had been pale, was now flushed red as anger and embarrassment coursed through her.  She didn't say anything else and, when the door finally opened, she scurried out of the elevator.  She moved quickly, as if on autopilot toward her office.

"Nice going Yang."  Alex shifted his messenger bag on his shoulder and shook his head as he too headed out of the elevator.

"I didn't know...I just thought everyone had overhead it.  Shit."

_______________________________________________________________

Overnight the anger had brewed and Callie was ready to murder someone as she stormed through the doors of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.  She managed to be pleasant with her daughter and the staff at the hospital daycare as she dropped the tiny Latina off for the day.  She headed for the pediatrics floor to speak with her wife.

She really didn't want to see her or speak with her, but after last night she decided to confront Arizona about what she had overhead.  She was livid and wanted to finally get to the bottom of what had happened.  Callie began mumbling to herself in Spanish as she waited impatiently for the elevator to take her to the peds floor.

"¿Ella me estaba dando una salida? ¿Realmente? ¿Quién hace eso? ¿Quién diablos se acuesta con otra mujer y entonces intenta justificarlo diciendo que me estaba dando una salida?" *

The other people in her elevator car sidestepped out of her way as her mumbling grew a bit louder and a bit angrier.  Finally the elevator dinged and the doors opened onto the pediatrics floor.  Callie stalked out of the elevator, having worked herself up even more and headed for the nurse's desk.  She spotted Alex filling out a chart and barked at him.

"Karev!  Where is she?"

Alex continued charting, not bothering to look up at Callie.

"Torres.  Who?"

This inattention seemed to further perturb her and she huffed a little.

"Who do you think?"

He finally signed his name and looked at her as he pocketed his pen.

"If I knew, I wouldn't have asked?"

Callie glared at him, gestured and began to speak rapidly in Spanish.

"Mi esposa cachonda infiel! ¿Sabes dónde está o no?" **

Alex held up his hand to cut off her rant.  There could only be one person who could make her this mad.

"Robbins is in surgery."

Without acknowledging him further, Callie spun and headed back toward the elevators so she could get to the surgical floor.  Alex exchanged glances with one of the nurses at the desk.

"Should I warn her?" the nurse asked, reaching for the phone.

Alex shook his head.

"I think it is best if we stay out of it...and duck for cover," he told her as he scooped up a chart and headed to see his patient.
__________________________________________________________________________

Translations (I used an online translation, so if this isn't accurate, I apologize)

* She was giving me an out?  Really?  Who does that?  Who in the hell sleeps with another woman and then tries to justify it by saying she was giving me an out?

** My cheating slutty wife! Do you know where she is or not?

Set You Free (2/?)

Title: Set You Free
Author: celticshocker
Disclaimers: Still not my toys, but they sure are fun to play with.

Hi readers!  Thanks for your great reception and reviews.  I went ahead and extended it, the story wanted to be told and y'all wanted to read it.  I hope you enjoy it and please leave me your reviews.
________________________________________________________________________________

Oh oh oh, there's a place that I know
It's not pretty there and few have ever gone
If I show it to you now
Will it make you run away?

Dark Side by Kelli Clarkson


"What do I say to her, I mean...wha-what was she thinking?"  Callie felt numb, her hands gripped the push bar on the glass door leading outside.  She could no longer see the red lights coming from Alex's car as it left the parking lot and drove down the street.

Bailey suddenly felt uncomfortable and shifted from foot to foot.  She had known Callie longer, but she knew both of them pretty well and cared about both of them and not just as a couple.

"I - I don't know.  You need to talk to her."

Callie felt anger form a small ball in her stomach, making her sick and frustrated.  She smacked the door handle and turned to her friend.

"What the hell am I supposed to do with this?  She gave me an out?  I mean really!? I'm not the bad guy here!"  Tears overflowed as she tried not to scream at her friend, but she felt so angry and confused.

Bailey regarded her for a moment and sighed.  She never liked getting in the middle of people's personal problems, but Callie and Arizona held a special place in her heart.

"Neither is she, Callie.  She did something bad, horrible, but she's....lost.  She's changed and maybe you don't want to accept that," she took a couple of steps toward Callie and looked her in the eyes.  "She thinks you wanted out, so you need to figure out of if you do."

Callie wiped the tears from her cheeks and looked down at the carpeted floor, her mind swirling.  Her voice was barely above a whisper when she spoke.

"What if she's right?  What if I wanted out, to walk away and pretend this never happened?  God, who hasn't thought that when things are horrible and tough and just...overwhelming?"

Bailey swallowed hard as she stamped down her own heartache for both of her friends.

"Then, if you want out, you walk away now.  If you still love her... You need to decide if you want to fight for your marriage or end it now."

"Why is it up to me!?  I'm just so freakin' tired and I just want my wife back!"

Callie covered her face, her shoulders shaking as her emotions overwhelmed her and she broke down.

The shorter woman walked up to Callie and rubbed a hand up and down her back.  She didn't know what to say.  Arizona wasn't the same bubbly blonde she used to be.  When Bailey first met her, she was zipping through the hospital's halls on her heelies.  She had changed, hardened.  Her super-magic smile, as Callie had called it, was rare now.  The plane crash and amputation changed her.

"You have to decide, Callie.  Do you love her enough to fight or is it time to walk away?"

Bailey gave her one last gentle pat on the back and walked back to the party, leaving Callie to contemplate her words.  This was something that no one could help the Latina decide, she had to look deep within herself to figure out if she wanted to fight for her relationship or move on with her life.  They had a child together, so they would always have a connection and they would need to learn how to get along for Sofia's sake.

Callie cried for a few moments, glad to be away from everyone while she was having her breakdown.  She finally took several deep breaths to calm down and found a tissue in her clutch.  She gently wiped her tears away and look another deep breath to center herself.  Her mind was still swirling with this new information.

Her thoughts were nebulous at best as they would try to form and evaporate before she could truly contemplate them.  She needed to take the time and think about everything, but not tonight.  Tonight she wanted to spend some time forgetting about everything and concentrate on the fundraiser.  She could concentrate on her future tomorrow and begin to try and figure out whether it would be with or without Arizona.

______________________________________________________________________

The alarm blared at 6:00 a.m., just like it did every morning during the work week.  Arizona gradually woke up to the annoying sound and reached over to shut it off.  She slowly opened one eye and looked at the alarm clock when it failed to be silenced as she pushed the snooze button.  She stabbed the button again and it still blared loudly.  In a burst of red hot anger, she got picked up the clock and flung it off the nightstand, toward one of the dressers.  She heard the clock slam into the piece of furniture and the alarm was finally silenced.

She maneuvered her way from the bed and into the bathroom by using her crutches.  After making use of the toilet, she turned on the water in the shower and carefully transferred herself onto her shower chair.  She let the hot water cascade over her head and body as she tried to fight the hangover.  She hadn't had a hangover in years, but now one was making her regret the scotch she choose to drink at the fundraiser.  She tried to remember her morning schedule, but her headache was pounding and she had trouble concentrating on the mental task.  Sighing, she lowered her head and let the water beat down on her shoulders and back.

Arizona finished with her shower and made her way back to the bedroom and sat on the edge of the bed.  She contemplated the alarm clock laying on the floor with only slight regret.  It had felt good to lash out in that one moment, something she hadn't allowed herself to do very often during the past year.  She felt as if she was always walking on eggshells and suppressing her desire to be angry or be sad because she didn't want it to be "all about the leg."

She blinked and tried to refocus on getting ready for work, but that's when she noticed it.  That's when she felt it.  The silence in the apartment felt so heavy, surrounding her like a smothering blanket.  It permeated every corner of the apartment and she felt her soul sink at the nothingness in the rooms around her.

An apartment in which a child lived was never silent.  Even when Sofia was sleeping, the quietness in the apartment was warm and comforting.  The apartment was alive with Sofia and Callie living there.  Now it was just...silent.

Set You Free

Title: Set You Free

Author: celticshocker
Pairing: Callie/Arizona
Rating: T
Summary:  This is my take on why Arizona cheated on Callie.  It may just be a one-shot, but I haven't decided yet.
Disclaimer: I don't own Grey's, I'm just borrowing Shonda's toys for a few moments.  If I did own Grey's, there would be much more Calzona, no new interns, and definitely NO cheating storyline.  Alas, I don't.  Takes place at the party they are supposed to attend in the near future, episode 4, 5?

I usually write Law & Order: SVU fic and this is my first try with these gals, I hope you like it.  Leave me your thoughts.

---------------------------------------------------------Collapse )

A/O Fic: Needed You. ( 8/? )

Title: Needed You; another fic based on the song by Lady Antebellum, Need You Now.
Disclaimer:Same as always. I am just having fun with Dick's toys. He wouldn't treat them right, so I took over.
Rating: PG-13; no sex, some bad language, just some angst.
Spoiler(s): A little for Lead and a little for Conviction


The list of employees and visitors from Park Avenue Manor was faxed over two days after Olivia and Elliot had paid a visit to the Residential Coordinator. The squad quickly ran the names through their computer and, other than a citation for public intoxication for one of the nurse aides, there was nothing outstanding about anyone on the list. Olivia leaned back in her chair, her fingers laced together atop her head and looked over at her partner.

“That’s the last one and we’ve got nothing. Everyone checks out, no priors other than a public intoxication.”

Elliot leaned forward, running a hand over his tired face.

“That doesn’t mean that someone on that list didn’t assault her, but then again, we don’t know for sure that Mrs. Harrison has been assaulted.”

Captain Don Cragen, who had switched off the light in his office and came out to go home, overheard Elliot and looked at his detectives.

“It sounds like you’ve hit a dead end with the Harrison case,” he glanced between Olivia and Elliot. “Put it on the back burner, you both have plenty of other open cases of confirmed crimes to concentrate on. Go home, tomorrow is another day.” The captain bid them both a good night and headed for the exit.

Not needing to be told twice, Elliot straighten the files on his desk, turned off his computer, and stood up to slip on his coat.

“You need a lift home, Liv?”

Olivia, who was stacking up her own files, smiled at Elliot and shook her head.

“No thanks, I’m going to walk. I might stop for dinner some place on my way home.”

Elliot nodded, knowing from experience that it would do no good to argue with his partner once she made up her mind.

“Be careful, Liv. See you tomorrow.”

“Good night, El. Tell Kathy and the kids I said Hi.”

“I will.” He gave her a small wave and smile, then left the squad room.

After shutting down her computer and retrieving her own coat in preparation to leave, Olivia’s cell phone rang and, thinking that her free time had just evaporated, looked down at the caller id. Relief flooded over her at the name on display and she smiled as she answered on the next ring.
“Benson.”

“Hey Ben, what’s up?” Abbie Carmichael’s voice came over the connection as she pulled her car to the curb out in front of the precinct in order to surprise her old friend.

“I am heading home. What’s up with you, Tex?” She made her way to the stairs, opting to skip the elevators and just walk down to the lobby of the building. Olivia shrugged into her coat as she went down the three flights.

“Do you have any plans for the evening?”

“Ooo are you asking me out on a date?” the brunette teased her southern friend. “I was planning on getting a bite to eat on the way home and then going to bed at a decent hour.”

“Boring!” Abbie sing songed into the phone. “Let’s go to a movie or catch a play or do something else. You could stand to have a little bit of fun.”

“Fun? Hmmm…what is this fun you speak of?” Olivia teased again as she walked out of the building and paused, spotting the lanky attorney leaning against the side of her Cadillac CTS. She raised a brow and pressed the end call button on her phone as she walked toward the slender woman.

“What brings you here? Is there another case you need to steal?” Olivia truly wasn’t upset about the Samuelsen case, but she just had to razz her friend about it.

Abbie, who had put away her own phone, pressed a hand against her chest.

“I’m wounded, Ben. Can’t I just come to see an old friend?”

“Mmhmm. You know and I know that you’re full of shit.” Olivia smirked and opened the passenger door of the sedan and sat down in the leather seat. Abbie went around the car and got in behind the wheel and looked over at her friend as Olivia clicked the seatbelt into place. “Home, James.”

“Presumptuous aren’t you?”

Olivia gave her a cheeky smile and ran her hand along the dashboard.

“Nice car.”

Abbie chuckled and pulled away from the curb. They drove in silence for a few moments and Olivia rested her head against the supple leather seat. As Abbie stopped at a red light, the detective looked over at her old friend. She was comfortable in the other woman’s presence and felt relaxed for the first time in days. However, it had been a long week and she still had another workday left.

“I’m really tired, Abs. Why don’t we plan to do something another night?”

“You’re getting old, Ben,” Abbie’s voice was soft and affectionate. “Tell ya what, why don’t we pick up some steaks at the store and I’ll take you back to my place and we can just hang out and talk.”

Olivia watched the other brunette and scowled just a bit.

“Why do I feel like the other shoe is about to drop?”

“Because you’re paranoid?”

“What are you up to Carmichael? We haven’t talked in months and suddenly you show up on business and then you want to be my best buddy.”

Abbie signaled and eased her car into the left turn lane and glanced over to Olivia.

“I’m spending some time with a friend of mine that I haven‘t seen in a long time, is that a crime?”

“You’re up to something and I’m going to discover what it is, so you may as well tell me now.”

Abbie said nothing and made her way to a small butcher’s shop and parked out front. Before getting out of the car, she looked at Olivia. While she did have an ulterior motive for talking with the cop, she wasn’t about to put all her cards on the table yet.

“Look, I just want to catch up with my friend, okay?”

Olivia, she head still resting on the car seat, huffed a little, playfully glared at Abbie, then smiled.

“Okay, okay. I give. I want a ribeye,” she winked and closed her eyes to rest while Abbie ran in into the shop for the meat.

________________________________________________________________________

A quick rap on her door had Alex looking up from her desk curiously as her door opened to reveal a familiar blonde.

“Hey, I’m glad I caught you before you left.” Serena Southerlyn slipped into the opened doorway and greeted her former colleague.

“Wow, there must be something in the air this week,” Alex said jokingly as she got up from behind her desk and went over to hug her friend.

“Why do you say that?” Serena released Alex from the hug and sat down in one of her guest chairs.

“You’re the second friend whom I haven’t seen for awhile that has made a sudden appearance.”

Serena nodded knowingly and smirked a bit.

“Well, if that other friend is Abbie Carmichael, she’s invited both of us to dinner at her place. She called me earlier and said she is grilling some steaks and has one for each of us.”

Alex took the other guest chair and looked at the pile of work on her desk and then to the other blonde, the hint of a grin on her lips.

“So, you and Abbie are talking again?”

Serena sighed slightly and resisted rolling her eyes.

“Yes, we are talking again, but it’s not what you’re thinking.”

“What am I thinking?”

“That me and Carmichael are going to hook up again. I like her, she’s sexy, but…,” Serena gave a slight shrug and looked away for a moment.

“She broke your heart,” Alex softly finished for her as she reached over and lay her hand atop her friend’s.

“She bruised it pretty badly, that and my ego,” her friend gave Alex a half-smile. “We’re working on being friends again.”

“Just be careful, Rena. Abbie’s a playgirl and I don’t think she will settle down any time soon.”

“So, not to change the subject,” the blonde managed a smiled, “but I am. Are you going to come to dinner or not?”

“Hmmm…I’m probably just a chaperone, but I am not going to turn down a free steak dinner,” Alex chuckled softly.

Serena wrinkled her nose at her friend for her teasing and took out her phone to text Abbie and let her know that Alex would be joining them for dinner. Putting the phone away, she glanced at Alex and motioned her out of the chair and toward her untidy desk.

“Well, let’s go blondie, finish up so we can get out of here.”

________________________________________________________________________

Abbie was humming to herself as she tore some romaine lettuce and baby spinach into bite size pieces for a salad. She had the steaks marinating and the grill getting hot on the patio and corn on the cob in a pot of hot water on the stove. Finishing with the greens, she wiped her hands and took two beers out of the refrigerator as she went into the living room to check on her guest.

Olivia was surfing through the channels on the large flat screen television that Abbie had hanging on the living room wall. She took the last sip from her first bottle of beer and placed the empty on the coffee table and glanced up at Abbie.

“Are you sure I can’t give you a hand?” she lifted her chin toward the kitchen as she took the bottle the other brunette offered her.

“Nope, I have it all under control.”

Abbie twisted the cap off her beer bottle and took a sip as she eased back on the sofa. Reaching for the remote, she changed the channel to CNN, ignoring Olivia’s scowl when she did. Lowering the volume, she let her head rest back on the sofa and glanced to her friend.

“How do you like working with Alex again?”

Olivia’s scowl deepened and she took a long drink from her beer before answering.

“It’s good for the squad. She’s the best ADA we’ve had, present company excluded of course.”

“Mmhmm, flattery will get you nowhere,” the smoky voiced attorney teased. “But, that’s really not the question I asked. How do you, Olivia Benson, like working with Alex again?”

Olivia took another long sip and sighed as she put the beer on a coaster on the coffee table.

“If we are going to talk about Alex Cabot, I am going to need something stronger to drink.” She got up and headed for the kitchen and Abbie’s stash of alcohol. Abbie followed her into the kitchen and retrieved the marinating steaks from the refrigerator as Olivia found a bottle of tequila and set it, along with two shot glasses, down on the kitchen counter.

“None for me, Liv. I’ve got to cook and I don’t want to burn these steaks.”

“More for me then,” Olivia teased as she poured herself a shot and downed it, then poured another. She carried the second shot with her as she followed the Texan onto the patio and watched her place the steaks on the grill.

“You must be hungry tonight, Carmichael. There are two of us and four steaks,” she downed the second shot and grimaced slightly at the burn in the back of her throat.

“No wonder you’re a detective,” Abbie smirked as she let the steaks sizzle on the grill and went to retrieve her beer. “I invited a couple of mutual friends over while I was in the butcher shop, I hope you don’t mind.”

Olivia picked up her bottle and took another sip from it, eying the attorney as she reclaimed her spot on the sofa. On her second beer and having had two shots of tequila on an empty stomach, Liv felt the beginnings of a pleasant buzz, but she was suspicious of Abbie’s motives.

“You are up to something. Fess up, Carmichael.”

“Are you always this paranoid, Liv? I just thought it might be fun to have a small get together and spend some time with friends.” Abbie busied herself in the kitchen finishing up the salad before going back out to check on the steaks. It was cold outside, but she had a gas heater on the small balcony and, with the grill going, it was comfortable.

Liv watched Abbie move from kitchen to balcony as she was finishing up dinner and couldn’t help but feel she was being set-up. Deciding to not dwell on her suspicions, she went back to the kitchen and knocked back another shot of tequila and got herself another beer.

“You should slow down on that stuff,” Abbie advised as she watched her friend from the kitchen doorway.

“I have a feeling I am going to need it,” but she did put the bottle of tequila back in its proper place.

“I’m hurt that you don’t trust me, Ben.”

Olivia chuckled and went back to the living room and sprawled on the sofa again. She rested her head on a throw pillow and looked over to the beautiful brunette.

“It’s not that I don’t trust you, I just know you too well. Who are your other dinner guests?”

Before Abbie could answer, the door buzzer sounded and she offered Olivia a smirk as she buzzed up her guests.

“I guess you’re about to find out. Do me a favor and go check the steaks? Please?”

The detective eyed her for a moment before she got up, knowing that Abbie was just trying to get her out of the room, and went to the balcony.

“Thank you!” Abbie called after her. She went back to the kitchen to check the pot on the stovetop. Removing the ears of corn and placing them on a platter, she set the platter on the stove as her front doorbell rang. With long strides she went to the door and opened it, smiling at her guests.

“Serena, Alex, I’m glad you both could make it,” Abbie gave each blonde woman a hug and kiss on the cheek as they stepped into her apartment.

“Thank you for the invitation. You’re saving me from another night of take out,” quipped Alex as she slipped her arms out of her coat.

“Let me take your coats.” Abbie helped Serena with hers and then took Alex’s as well and headed for her spare bedroom. “I’ll hang them in here.”

Olivia checked the steaks as requested, using a pair of tongs to flip them over and gently poking them to test their firmness. If too firm, they would be overdone, if they were too soft, they needed more time on the grill. These were just a bit soft, but it wouldn’t be long before they would be perfect. Wiping her hands on a towel, she made her way back inside.

“Abs, another ten minutes,” she called out behind her as she slid the glass door to the balcony shut to keep out the cold wind.

Turning, she paused at the sight of the two blondes before her.

“Serena, Alex,” she said hesitantly.

“Olivia, it’s good to see you again,” Serena gave the detective a pleasant smile.

“Yeah, Serena. It’s been awhile.”

Olivia wasn’t sure whether to be mad at Abbie for inviting Alex or gloat to the brunette lawyer that she had been right about Abbie’s little set-up. She also didn’t know how to react to Alex’s presence. While she was still mortified by the events at the courthouse, she would be lying to herself to say the mere sight of the blonde didn’t make her heart beat faster and her palms sweat.

“Hello, Olivia,” Alex gave her a tender smile.

Abbie walked in on the exchange of greetings and gave a conspiratorial wink to Serena as she passed by her.

“What would you ladies like to drink? How are those steaks doing Liv?” Abbie tried not to smirk, but couldn’t help it as the other brunette glared at her. It was going to be an interesting evening, a very interesting evening.

A/O Fic: Needed You. ( 7/? )

Title: Needed You; another fic based on the song by Lady Antebellum, Need You Now.
Disclaimer:Same as always. I am just having fun with Dick's toys. He wouldn't treat them right, so I took over.
Rating: PG-13; no sex, some bad language, just some angst.
Spoiler(s): A little for Lead and a little for Conviction


Elliot pulled the Crown Victoria sedan into the parking lot of the Park Avenue Manor nursing home and found a spot open near the street entrance. Turning off the car, he grabbed for his cup of coffee held by his partner and nodded toward the open file on her lap.

“What do we know about the vic?” he asked before taking a sip of the steaming brew.

“Madeline Harrison is 76, she’s a writer and originally from North Carolina. She was married to David Harrison, a rather successful real estate developer from here in Manhattan,” she paused to take a sip from her own coffee cup and continued reading from her notes.

“Her granddaughter, Jocelyn, who is 20 and a student at Columbia, came in three days ago and told me she thought someone might be hurting her. Jocelyn stated she has seen bruising on Mrs. Harrison’s thighs and she has acted as if she were terrorized when Jocelyn approached her after she woke from a nap. She’s been here at the nursing home for about nine months because of a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.”

Olivia closed the file and tucked it in a spot between the two partners and looked at the building.

“If she is being victimized, this is going to be a tough case to prove without testimony from the victim.”

Elliot nodded in agreement and took a final sip from his cup before rolling down his window and tossing the remaining liquid out onto the pavement. He crushed the paper cup and placed it in a bag before he opened his car door and stepped out into the cold air.

“Let’s go see what we can find out.”

Following behind the taller man, the brunette detective let her eyes roam the parking lot, the small surrounding landscaped lawn and the interior of the building as they entered for anything that seemed out of place or suspicious. Noting the security cameras near the entrance and within the building, she made a mental note about getting access to any tapes that might be available and help them find out who was harming Mrs. Harrison.

As they approached the receptionist, they both unclipped their badges and offered polite, professional smiles. Since she had been the one to take the initial statement from Jocelyn Harrison, Olivia was the lead detective on the case and spoke for the both of them.

“I’m Detective Benson and this is Detective Stabler,” she indicated her partner to the older woman at the desk. “We would like to talk to someone about one of your residents here, Madeline Harrison. We have some questions we’d like to ask.”

The receptionist took down their names and indicated the nearby lobby.
“Please have a seat over there, I’ll call the Residential Coordinator for you.”

Olivia nodded and offered a smile.

“Thank you.”

She exchanged looks with her partner before they bother went over to the lobby and sat down to wait. Taking out a notepad and pen, Olivia made note of the security cameras she had seen entering the building and looked around the lobby for others.

“Ten bucks says we get stonewalled,” Elliot muttered as he too took in their surroundings.

The lobby was well appointed with sturdy, comfortable furniture designed to appear warm and inviting as well as professional. The walls were papered with a tasteful floral design and live plants dotted the room on dark furniture. A large wood clock hung on the wall and Olivia watched the second hand sweep around once before turning back to her partner with a slight smile.

“That’s a suckers bet. We will probably have to get a warrant to find out any useful information.”

They waited for a few more minutes before a middle aged woman dressed smartly in a dark brown pantsuit approached with a friendly, albeit curious, smile.

“Detectives, I am Amanda Mathison the Residential Coordinator here. I was told you have some questions about one of our residents?”

The two detectives stood and Olivia offered her business card.

“I’m Detective Benson,” she introduced herself and then motioned to Elliot. “This is my partner, Detective Stabler. We’re here about Madeline Harrison.”

Olivia observed the sandy haired woman as she studied the card for a moment and looked at each of them, her brow furrowed slightly.

“What about Mrs. Harrison?” she inquired politely.

The brunette glanced at the receptionist who appeared busy, but was trying her best to eavesdrop on the conversation.

“Perhaps there is some place more private we can have this conversation?”

Mathison glanced at the receptionist as well and motioned to the detectives to follow her. She lead them to her office and motioned to the guest chairs in front of her desk.
“Can I get you any coffee or tea?” she asked before closing the door.

“Thank you, but no,” Elliot answered for them as the partners sat down.

She closed the door and went around her desk and sat in the padded desk chair and regarded the two police officers.

“What is this regarding?”

Olivia, who had been glancing around the sparsely decorated office, answered her question in a smooth, professional tone that made the disturbing topic more palatable.

“We’re here to investigate a possible sexual assault on Mrs. Harrison.”

Mathison inhaled sharply and frowned, she brown eyes glancing back and forth between Elliot and his partner.

“You can’t be serious?”

“I’m afraid so, Ms. Mathison.”

“We take every precaution in protecting our residents, Detective,” Mathison bristled at the suggestion that Harrison had been attacked within the confines of the nursing home. “We do a through background check on each of our employees and all visitors are checked in and out. For our more fragile residents, there is an approved visitors list that is strictly adhered to.”

Elliot took notes as Olivia questioned the coordinator and looked up briefly.

“Would it be possible to get a list of employees that have access to Mrs. Harrison’s room and a copy of her approved visitors.”

The other woman frowned and she folded her hands on top of the desk, clenching them tightly.

“That is confidential information, Detectives. I want to help you in any way I can, but I can’t have the privacy of my employees and residents violated based on an unfounded accusation.”

Olivia crossed her right leg over her left and laced her fingers around her knee.

“What makes you so such the allegation is unfounded?”

“Our Alzheimer’s patients, like Mrs. Harrison, are in a locked down ward. No one goes in or out without being identified and approved. The residents can freely roam the ward, but they cannot leave it without triggering alarms to keep them from getting hurt or lost within the building. We take our residents safety very seriously.”

“We understand your position, Ms. Mathison, but we have to take such allegations seriously and we have to look at those that have access to the victim. Your cooperation would be greatly appreciated.”

Mathison gave the detectives a cool smile and sat back in her chair.

“I’m sure it would be, but I can’t just hand over a list of employees and visitors to everyone who comes in here and asks for one. I will have to run your request past our legal department and if they approve, I will fax a list to your office.”

Olivia sighed and started to argue the matter, but Elliot reached over and briefly lay his hand on her arm. He offered the sandy haired woman a smile of understanding.

“Thank you for your cooperation, Ms. Mathison. I hope we here from you soon.”

He stood and looked pointedly at Olivia as he put away his notepad and pen. She nodded at him with frowned and got up from her chair and left the room without even a backwards glance. She knew the other woman was just doing her job and following the nursing home’s protocols, but she didn’t have to like it. Elliot nodded his head in thanks and left behind his irritated partner.

________________________________________________________________________

Glancing at her watch, Alex pushed open the door to the deli restaurant, walked in and looked around for a place to sit. She had a couple of hours before she needed to be in court again and needed a break from the paperwork on her desk. She had spent so much time eating at her desk this week, she had almost forgotten what it looked like outside of her office during daylight hours. Finding an empty, clean table for two toward the back of the restaurant, she made her way to it and sat down with a sigh. It felt good to get out of the office and have a relaxing meal in a restaurant rather than eating takeout yet again.

She thanked the waiter for the glass of water and a menu before glancing at her watch again. Just as she was starting to read her menu, her lunch date slid into the seat opposite her’s at the table and smiled.

“I’m glad you unchained yourself from your desk long enough to have lunch with me today,” the smoky voice teased as Abbie Carmichael settled at the table.

Alex looked over the menu at her friend and smirked just a bit.

“Well, I’m glad you called and offered to buy lunch, I needed a change of scenery.”

Abbie laughed lightly and opened the menu that had been delivered to her.

“It’s the least Uncle Sam could do,” Abbie winked and took a sip from her water.

Her blonde companion sighed, closed her menu and wrinkled her nose as if she smelled something unpleasant.

“So, this isn’t just a lunch between friends?”

“For the most part it is, but we do have a bit of business to discuss.”

Alex peered over at Abbie when she didn’t elaborate.

“Well?”

Abbie gave her a smile as she closed her own menu after deciding on what she was having for lunch.

“After we eat, my impatient friend. I don’t want business to ruin our appetites.”

“That bad huh?” Alex sipped from her own water as she regarded the striking brunette sitting across from her. She had known Abbie since she started at the District Attorney’s office out of law school. She had been assigned to the same office as the brunette to learn the ins and outs of the DA’s office before she was assigned to her first division and Abbie had taken the blonde under her wing. Despite being moved to different divisions, seldom seeing each other, and Abbie’s leaving the DA’s office for a position at the United States Attorney’s office in New York, they had remained good friends.

“Let’s just say that you and our detective friends at the 1-6 will not be happy.”

Alex’s sharp mind quickly ran through cases the squad at SVU had worked on that might pique the interest of the U.S. Attorney’s office. Her eyes widen just a bit as she looked at her friend and a flash of anger left a tinge of pink staining her cheeks. Abbie noticed her reaction and knew her blonde friend had put two and two together.

“Samuelsen,” they both repeated the name at the same time.

“No. No way,” Alex shook her head at the other attorney.

“Alex…” Abbie trailed off for a moment, watching the other woman, then she laid out her cards, the main reason for the US Attorney’s interest in the case. “Samuelsen is just a tiny tip of a huge iceberg. His...films were sent to buyers in Canada and Europe and he’s agreed to name names for a sentence reduction.”

“Abbie,” Alex leaned forward, her voice softening so as to not be overheard, their conversation wasn’t exactly traditional meal time talk. “Samuelsen was directly responsible for trafficking children for the production of child pornography. We were able to shut down at least three film companies who produced those films in studios in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The squad worked on that case for over a year. You can’t just yank it out from under them now.”

The brunette’s gaze was intense as she watched and listened to Alex. She knew this would upset the other attorney and the detectives at SVU, but this case was so much bigger than the Manhattan DA’s office and she had no choice.

“Alex, I know you are angry and I know Stabler, Benson and the others worked their asses off on this case, but this is so much bigger than you know. We’re not talking about distribution via the Internet to perverts getting their jollies off at home in Toronto or Montreal, but we are talking about these films being sold to distribution companies who send them overseas as well as right back into the United States. We have the opportunity to shut those companies down permanently and Samuelsen is our key.”

The blonde ADA took a deep breath and released it in a slowly, getting control of her temper. Looking at her friend, she narrowed her eyes at her slightly as the waiter approached the table to take their orders.

“Fine, but I’m not telling them, you are.”

Carmichael grinned, her dark eyes twinkling, and placed an order for a Cobb salad and an iced tea. Alex had the shrimp salad and water, though, at the moment, she yearned for a scotch on the rocks. The dark haired attorney decided to change the subject before the ADA could ask about the reduction in the child trafficker’s sentence.

“So, I hear you had some excitement at the courthouse the other day.”

Alex frowned and traced the edge of the water glass with her index finger.

“How did you hear about that?”

“I have my sources.”

Alex gave her a sly smile.

“Yeah, Theresa in the law library.”

Abbie chuckled softly, her eyes dancing with merriment and a hint of mischief.

“Theresa was so last month,” she scoffed. “Actually, I was in the courthouse talking to McCoy and Liz cornered him and scolded him about needing to rein in his problem children. Then I heard Benson cleaned Steele’s clock. I don’t think there is anyone in the DA’s office that hasn’t heard about that.”

Alex made a face and sat back as their salads arrived. Picking up her fork, she speared one of the chilled shrimp and ate it before speaking.

“Jim made an ass of himself and said some things he shouldn’t have. He ended up hitting Olivia and she defended herself,” she casually shrugged.

“By kicking his ass and I bet she looked damn sexy doing it,” Abbie smirked, baiting her friend.

Alex shot her a look of irritation.

“He really hurt her, Abbie. She refused to talk to me afterwards and I think she’s been avoiding me the past couple of days.”

“I still don’t know what you ever saw in him or Robert.”

Alex took another bite of her salad and wrinkled her a nose a bit.

“I plead temporary insanity.”

“You need to work things out with her, Alex.”

The blonde sighed and lay down her fork. She folded her arms on the table and meet the other woman’s gaze.

“I don’t know Abbie, maybe I just need to work on me for awhile. Get my head on straight. I feel like I am just now regaining my equilibrium after coming out of WitSec.”

Abbie snorted softly and frowned at her friend.

“How much longer do you need? It’s been nearly three years. You wait any longer and Olivia’s going to finally give up and find someone else.”

Alex retrieved her fork and poked at her salad, more than a little annoyed at having Abbie Carmichael giving her relationship advice.

“You know, it’s more than a little disturbing discussing my relationship, or lack thereof, with Olivia Benson with you.”

“Oh please,” Abbie rolled her eyes and spoke softly in her smoky southern drawl.

“What Liv and I had is ancient history. Hell, we only went on three dates and fucked twice. You don’t need to get your panties in a wad about me and Olivia. We realized we were too much alike to be anything more than friends.” Abbie reached over and lay her hand over Alex’s. “She’s crazy about you, Al. You’re it for her and I think she’s it for you.”

Alex sighed softly. “I know she is, but things have changed so much and I wonder…I wonder if it isn’t better to leave the past in the past.”

The brunette across from her lay down her own fork and leaned in, her voice hard and eyes slightly narrowed.

“You’re a damn fool if you believe that, Cabot. If you don’t work this out between you, you’ll end up breaking your heart and hers. I’ve never known you to be a chickenshit Alex, so don’t start now.”

A/O Fic: Needed You. ( 6/? )

Title: Needed You; another fic based on the song by Lady Antebellum, Need You Now.
Disclaimer:Same as always. I am just having fun with Dick's toys. He wouldn't treat them right, so I took over.
Rating: PG-13; no sex, some bad language, just some angst.
Spoiler(s): A little for Lead and a little for Conviction



Shifting her mail, attaché and a bag of Chinese takeout in her hands, Alex managed to get her key in the lock and turn the knob. She bumped the apartment door open with her hip, then sat the mail and takeout bag on the foyer table and dropped the briefcase next to it. She pulled out her key and shut the door behind her, locking it and slipping out of her heels as she did. It had been a long, eventful day and she was exhausted.

She padded on stocking feet to her bedroom and shucked out of her suit, folding and draping both the jacket and skirt over the back of an overstuffed chair. She quickly donned a robe, opting for eatting her food while it was hot and taking a leisurely bath afterwards, before tackling some of the work she brought home with her. Picking up her food on the way to the kitchen, she sat the containers on the counter and opened each one before retrieving a plate from a cabinet by the sink. Steam from the broccoli and beef slowly rose into the air and it’s tangy scent tantalized Alex’s senses, making her mouth water and her stomach gurgle.

She had just finished plating her food when a knock sounded at her front door. Alex uttered a soft curse, scooped some of the food on her fork and took a quick bite before padding into the hallway and looking out the peephole. She finished chewing her bite of food and swallowed as she tightened the robe around her and unlocked the door. Settling her face into a cool mask of indifference, she opened the door to her visitor.

“You really do not know how to use a phone, do you?” She leaned against the door, her arms folded across her chest, blocking the entrance to her apartment.

Steele sighed softly and barely kept from rolling his eyes.

“I knocked at least.”

“What are you doing here, Jim?”

He motioned inside, but didn’t move any closer to the door.

“I just came to pick up my things and return your key.”

Alex gazed at him for a few seconds and finally moved away from the door. The sooner he gathered his things and gave her back the extra key, the sooner he would be out of her life.

“I’ll be in the kitchen.”

As she started to leave, he reached out and stopped her with a touch to her shoulder.

“I wish we could talk about this and maybe work things out.”

She allowed her features to soften just a bit and she gave him a gentle smile.
“Can you honestly say we had anything worth salvaging, Jim? I’m not in love with you and I know you’re not in love with me. It was what it was, now it’s time to end it.”

Jim’s smile matched her own and his gaze met hers. In truth, he was not in love with her, but he enjoyed her company. He stepped closer and ran a hand down the length of her arm.

“We’re a good team, Alex. We could have a good life together,” he spoke softly, his tone seductive.

The blonde shook her head, her blue eyes looking at him for several moments before she replied. He could be a charming man, but he could also be an arrogant prick, as he proved earlier that day. Arrogance was a trait she shared, as did most attorneys, however, she never had seen him become violent nor so easily provoked. She could overlook a lot of things, but she could not overlook violence such as he had displayed that afternoon.

“I’m not a trophy wife, Jim. I want more than that. I deserve more than that. Maybe I’m being unrealistic, but I want to get married because I’m in love, not to look good for the campaign trail or to please my family.”

Steele leaned forward and placed a soft kiss on Alex’s forehead.

“I hope you find what you are looking for, Alex. You deserve the best.”

She met his gaze again, her piercing blue eyes examining his eyes and his features for any signs of deception.

“I hope you mean that,” she spoke softly before turning away and going back to her dinner in the kitchen.

Steele began gathering the few things he had kept in Alex’s apartment: clothes, a couple of books, and a few toiletries. Packing them in a leather overnight bag that he kept in her closet for one of their rare weekend getaways, he did a once over in the bedroom and bathroom before heading for the door. Remembering a raincoat that was in her hall closet, he quickly rifled through the coats and jackets looking for his own. Noticing it toward the back of the closet, he stepped further inside, accidently kicking a box that was laying unnoticed on the floor. Grabbing his raincoat, he then reached down to put the box back on a shelf out of the way. Before putting the box away, he glanced quickly at its contents and the jumble of photographs catching his eye.

Steele balanced the box in one hand and reached up to pull the string hanging down from the closet’s light to illuminate the interior of the closet. In the dim light, the truth about the nature of Alex Cabot’s and Olivia Benson’s relationship was revealed. Scooping up the photographs in his free hand, he placed the box back on the closet floor, the other mementos it held of no significance to him. Quickly shuffling the pictures, his jaw set and he began feeling like a jackass. He had been played for a fool, at least that was how he felt. Alex had kept the truth from him from the beginning. She was a dyke, a lying fucking dyke who had probably laughed behind his back to everyone they knew.

“Jim?” Alex hadn’t heard any movement for several moments nor had she heard the front door open or close and she wondered if he were still in the apartment. She had placed her plate and glass in the sink and entered the living room to see if he were still there.

Startled into action, he quickly stuffed the photos in his inner jacket pocket, shut off the closet light and stepped out of it, closing the door behind him. He turned toward her, offering a forced smile and motioned to the tan coat draped over his arm.

“I was just getting my raincoat from the hall closet.”

She gave him a slight nod. Though she knew she was better off without the other attorney in her life, a relationship, such as it was, was ending and she felt a wave of melancholy sweep over her. Alex hated him for what he had done to Olivia, but she still had had an intimate relationship with him and that was due some sort of respect.

“I guess I’ll see you around the office,” she offered softly as she watched him finishing gathering his things.

He took the spare apartment key off his key ring and lay it down on the foyer table before he looked back at her ready to blast her for her deception, but then he thought better of it. She had been correct in the assumption that he didn’t love her, but he knew being attached to Alexandra Cabot had come with its own rewards and helped open doors in New York. Her family was wealthy and powerful and his ‘in’ with them was rapidly diminishing.

Steele knew how to use his charm to sway a jury and most everyone else he came into contact with. Those charms had been used effectively with Alex when they first met and now he drudged them up once again to keep his humilition and anger at bay. He offered her a gentle smile as he picked up the leather bag duffle and glanced over to her.

“Well, I have everything,” he set his things down by the door and stepped to her, pulling her into his arms for a hug. His lips brushed against her cheek as he held her close for a brief moment.

“Take care of yourself Alex. I’ll see you at work.”

She returned his hug and stepped back as soon as she felt his arms release her. She silently watched him pick up his bag and raincoat and finally make his way out of her home. She was alone again, but this time she was determined that the loneliness wouldn’t consume her as it had when she had been in witness protection. This time, she would take the time to rebuild her life as Alexandra Cabot, the life she wanted, not the life her family and society thought she should live.

________________________________________________________________________

It was around 6:30 when Elliot Stabler signed the last of his paperwork, tucked it into its file and stacked it neatly with the others in his desk drawer. As he was finishing up for the night, he noticed his partner bouncing her pen against the desk and blowing out a breath of frustration as she slammed the file closed she had been attempting to read. He didn’t say anything, just observed her for a few silent moments.

Olivia was keyed up. She had managed to avoid Alex after giving her grand jury testimony and returned to the precinct hoping to get back to work without drawing attention to herself. Unfortunately, that was not to be. As soon as she stepped foot between the bullpen’s double doors, Cragen had ordered her to his office and read her the riot act after hearing about her scuffle at the courthouse. The dressing down put both of them in a foul mood and the rest of the squad opted to work quietly so not to garner the Captain’s, nor Olivia’s, residual wrath. Now, with the others already gone, Elliot decided to risk his partner’s bad mood and try to find out what was going on.

“Want to talk it over?”

Olivia looked up at him for a brief moment, opting to play dumb.

“Talk about what?”

Elliot chuckled and leaned forward in his chair, leaning against his arms on the desk.

“The national debt,” he said sarcastically. “Alex, of course.”

She frowned slightly and shook her head, suddenly finding the file in front of her fascinating.

“There’s nothing to talk about.”

He let her evade the subject for now and just watched her silently for a few more moments. Soon, aware of his scrutiny and unable to keep still, she fidgeted and began tapping the pen against her desk again. Standing up, he went over to her desk and snatched the pen from her hand and tossed it onto his desk top.

“Hey!” she tried her best glare at him, but he only gave her a smile.

“C’mon slugger. Let’s go work off some of that excess energy.”

She sighed and started to brush him off, but he interrupted her.

“C’mon, you can let off some steam and me and the guys can stop walking on eggshells.”

“Fine.”

She pushed herself out of her seat and went to get her workout clothes and change in the ladies restroom while Elliot changed in the locker room. Soon she emerged dressed in a pair of shorts, a tank top and cross training shoes. Carrying a pair of kickboxing gloves under one arm, she was slipping weightlifting gloves on her hands as she went to meet her partner in the precinct’s gym. Elliot was already warming up when she walked in and she joined him quietly after setting her kickboxing gloves down on a bench. Soon, after their warm-up, they were spotting each other as they lifted weights and encouraging the other to push through the exercises.

Olivia did three sets of bicep curls, triceps pushdowns, lunges and squats with a fifty pound dumbbell on her shoulders. More than ready to work off some steam, she got a long drink of water and walked over to get her kickboxing gloves. Exchanging her gloves, she swung her arms to loosen them up and took a stance in front of the heavy bag as Elliot got behind it to brace it.

“So?”

Olivia glanced at him and began throwing jabs and hooks into the bag, lightly at first, then with more ferocity as she got into a rhythm.

“I have nothing to say.”

“I heard you kicked Steele’s ass.”

At the name, Liv’s punches into the bag got harder and faster. Elliot saw the determined set of her jaw and kept pushing.

“He must’ve said or did something to piss you off.”

Olivia remained stoic as she started bouncing on the balls of her feet and placing well aimed roundhouse and front kicks into the bag.

“Was it about Alex? Was that why you went off on him? Did he do something to her?”

One of her kicks landed near his head and he knew she was close to breaking.

“What was it Liv? Does he know about you and Alex? Does he know you two had a history, does he know you still love her?”

That last question made her falter and when she threw the next punch into the bag, her aim was slightly off and she bent back her thumb.

“God dammit!”

She tugged off her glove and shook her hand out, examining the sore appendage. She glared at her partner, her rage renewed.

“Why can’t you leave it alone Elliot? It’s none of your damn business!”

He quietly walked over to the small office in the corner of the gym where medical supplies were kept and took a gel ice pack from the small refrigerator. Making his way back to her, he took her sore hand in his larger one and applied the cold pack to the swelling thumb. He looked at her gently, his voice soft and understanding.

“It’s my business when my partner, my friend, is hurting.”

He looked pointedly at her split lip and the hickey along her jaw line.

“It’s my business when my friend gets beaten up or goes out and ends up sleeping with some stranger because she hurts so much she will do anything to take away the pain.”

Olivia tried to tug her hand away from him, tears pricking her eyes and sweat glistening on her olive toned skin.

Elliot hung onto her, knowing she was at her breaking point, and relentlessly kept on.

“It’s my business when my partner almost get suspended because of a fight over a woman she loves so much that it hurts just to hear her name.”

“El…don’t,” her voice was soft as tears mingled with the sweat on her face. “Just stop.”

“Liv, you can’t keep living like this. Ever since Alex has been back…”

“She should have stayed away!” She shouted, her voice harsh as she used her gloved hand to angrily wipe at the tears. “We didn’t need her here…I don’t need her!”

“Yeah, honey, you do. You love her.”

Olivia laughed harshly and finally pulled free of Elliot’s grip. She tugged off her other glove and wiped her hand across her nose and face.

“He was right. She didn’t come back to me. She came to New York and ignored my calls, all of our calls. She came back for her career and the power, but she didn’t come back to us….to me.”

She found a towel and wiped off her face and got a drink of water from the fountain. Gathering up her gloves, she looked at Elliot.

“I once thought I meant something to her. Today, for a moment, I thought I still did, but Steele was right. Alex came back to New York, but she didn’t come back for me. If she had….if she had…” Olivia stopped and shook her head. “That was the past. It’s time to move on.”

Elliot walked toward her, his blue eyes gazing at her with concern. She was one of his best friends and he hated seeing her in pain.

“Maybe it is time to move on, but can you? I know you still love her…”

“Yeah and that makes me a damn fool.”

“Liv…” her hand on his lips stopped his words.

“Go home to your family, El. Don’t worry about me. I’m tough remember?” She smiled wryly and dropped her hand as she turned away and began walking toward the gym’s exit. “Go home Elliot.”

A/O Fic: Needed You. ( 5/? )


Title: Needed You; another fic based on the song by Lady Antebellum, Need You Now.
Disclaimer: Same as always. I am just having fun with Dick's toys. He wouldn't treat them right, so I took over.
Rating: PG-13; no sex, some bad language, just some angst.
Spoiler(s): A little for Lead and a little for Conviction


Olivia moved swiftly down the hall and through the lobby towards the ladies room with her head down and a hand to her split lip to keep the blood from falling onto her blouse. Her hair fell like a curtain around the sides of her face, shielding her from onlookers as she moved through the lobby and finally reached the sanctuary of the restroom. Pushing the door open, she made her way to a sink after grabbing a few paper towels and wet them to press to her lip.

Her mind was a swirl of emotion and adrenaline pumped quickly through her body making her heart race. The look of fear that had crossed Alex's face, if only for a split second, played over and over in her mind's eye, taunting her. Tears stung her eyes and she bounced her fist off the counter a couple of times as she struggled to keep from breaking down in the public restroom.

She could have easily hurt Alex by striking out when she had been grabbed and had swung around on the blonde attorney. All the fears she ever had about being as violent as her father came to fruition in that one moment and the look of fear that flashed across Alex's face mercilessly stabbed at her conscious. Olivia felt the control over her emotions waning and set about cleaning her bloodied lip so she could escape the courthouse and put some distance between herself and the other woman.

________________________________________________________________________

“You can't be serious?” Alex shouted, livid as she heard Steele's demand for Olivia to be arrested. “She didn't attack him, he punched her first!”

Both of the security officers looked at Steele who frowned at Alex.

“I can't believe you are defending that bitch over your own boyfriend.”

“I told you, you're not my boyfriend and she's not a bitch.”

“Unbelievable,” he huffed, throwing up his hands.

The security guards shared a glance and then the older one near Alex stepped in front of her to stop the arguing back and forth between Steele and the attorney. He motioned her down the hall, away from his colleague and Steele. As he did so, the paramedics who had been called to the scene, arrived and went to check on their patient.

“Ma'am, I need you to tell me what happened,” the guard spoke quietly as he removed a pen and pad from one of his shirt pockets.

Alex sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose, feeling a headache starting to build. Glancing at her watch, she saw there was still 45 minutes before the grand jury would convene in her case and nodded slightly. Alex began to quickly give her side of the story to the security guard.

“Mr. Steele showed up at my office, unexpectedly, and wanted to take me to lunch. I was in my office,” she gestured toward it, “having lunch with my colleague, Detective Benson. We have a grand jury hearing at 1:30.”

She paused and looked over her shoulder for Olivia and frowned slightly when she was no where to be seen.

“Go on,” the guard urged as he jotted down her version of what happened.

Alex turned back to him and continued.

“He barged into my office and suggested Detective Benson leave so he and I could have lunch. I escorted him out of my office and told him if he couldn't respect me in front of my colleagues, then he should leave. He refused and Detective Benson, who had overheard me, came to suggest he leave or she would escort him out,” she sighed softly and nodded toward Steele slightly. “Jim told her if she touched him, he would have her badge. We started arguing again and he shouted something at me, took a step toward me and Olivia...Detective Benson stepped between us and pushed him back slightly. That's when he hit her. She defended herself and, well,” she shrugged slightly as she folded her arms back across her chest again, “here we are.”

She watched him finish his notes and rubbed a hand under his jaw, a five o'clock shadow emerging on the dark headed man's cheeks.

“You're not really going to arrest her are you?” Alex bit her bottom lip slightly and chewed on it thoughtfully.

The guard smiled at her slightly as he tucked his pen and notepad back into his uniform shirt pocket.

“We don't arrest people ma'am, but I don't think anything will come of it.” He nodded toward Steele. “I think once he cools down some more, he will realize he was as much at fault as the detective was. I do need to speak to Detective Benson however. Do you know where she went?”

The blonde lawyer nodded slightly.

“She went to see about her lip, it was bleeding. I'll go see if I can find her.”

Alex spared Steele a glance before turning to find Olivia. The paramedics had examined the man and left, confident that the blow to the head had only stunned him and not caused a concussion. She glanced at her watch again and sighed, there was only a half hour left before the grand jury hearing and, unless she found the detective right away, there wasn't enough time for Olivia to give her statement before she would have to testify. She nibbled at her bottom lip as she thought about what she could do. Asking for a continuance at this late date would be frowned upon, so, as far as she was concerned, that was out of the question. She would just have to stall until Olivia could arrive to give her testimony. Lengthening her stride, Alex headed for the most logical spot to find the detective, the ladies restroom.

_____________________________________________________________________

Olivia surveyed her lip in the mirror and touched it gingerly with a wet paper towel as she dabbed the blood from around the cut. Wincing slightly, she was relieved that none of the blood had dripped onto her white silk blouse and she took note of the rapidly swelling and bruising lip. Elliot and the others would have a field day when she got back to the precinct and she wasn’t looking forward to their razzing. As she finished up and tossed the paper towel into the trash bin, the door of the restroom creaked open and a blonde head peered around it.

“Good, there you are,” Alex smiled softly, then grimaced in sympathy as she saw Liv’s swollen lip. Allowing the door to close behind her, the attorney automatically reached out toward the other woman’s chin to have a closer look at the damage marring the other woman’s beautiful face. Olivia deftly avoided the touch by stepping back and turning her head away slightly. As the blonde furrowed her brow at the avoidance, Olivia lied to keep from hurting Alex’s feelings any further.

“Sorry, it’s just really tender,” she ran fingers through her hair as she glanced back into the mirror. “How long do we have before the grand jury convenes?”

“We have about 25 minutes.”

Alex looked at Olivia for a moment, wanting to take the other woman into her arms and hold her, to try explain why she had stayed away from the brunette when she returned from witness protection even though they were on a tight schedule.

“Look, Liv. Jim…what he said…you know it’s not true. I…”

Olivia met her companion’s azure eyes and shook her head, interrupting the blonde.

“Don’t…I can’t talk about this right now,” she started to brush past the attorney, but was stopped by a light touch on her arm.

“Olivia, we need to talk about this. Maybe now isn’t the time, but we do need to discuss it.”

The detective pulled away from Alex’s touch again, trying to stamp down the feelings of anger that were threatening to surface. Her dark eyes pierced the blue ones before her.

“Do we? Why Alex? Why are you so interested in talking now? I think you made it quite clear before by not returning my phone calls or letting me know you were back. I had to read about your return in the damn social section of the Ledger. So, no, we don’t need to talk because there is nothing to discuss.”

“Liv…”

“No, Alex. I can’t.”

Olivia blew out a breath and opened the door to leave the ladies room.

“Security would like your version of what happened, Detective,” Alex managed coolly, hiding her hurt and shame behind her well practiced professional façade. Olivia’s words stung and she wanted to hide from the brunette’s hurt and anger, but she squared her shoulders and mentally prepared herself for battle. She had hidden herself and her desires for far too long and it was now time to face the past and move on toward the future.

________________________________________________________________________

Olivia headed back to the hallway near Alex’s office and spotted the two security guards with Jim Steele. Clearing her mind of the turbulence left in Alex’s wake, she gave the older guard a wry smile.

“I’m Detective Olivia Benson. I understand I need to give you my statement.”

She barely gave Steele a glance and focused her attention on the older guard. Steele, who had regained his equilibrium and had calmed down as he gave his own statement, seethed at the brunette’s presence and cool demeanor.

“I’m going to have your badge, Benson. You’re done!”

Olivia ignored Steele’s ranting and quietly detailed her version of events to the guard. The guard then put his notepad away and flicked his head toward the male attorney. In his mind it was quite clear, the detective had instinctively stepped forward to protect the blonde attorney and had been hit by Steele with little provocation.

“Will you be pressing charges?”

Only then did Olivia smirk and focus her gaze on the other man, then shook her head.

“I don’t think that will be necessary.”

“What!? I can’t believe you are just going to let her go! She came at me!” Steele looked at the older guard as he bellowed his displeasure.

“Mr. Steele, it is clear the detective did not attack you, as you claimed, and was acting to protect Miss Cabot when you struck her.”
“This is bullshit! I want to speak to your supervisor, now!” Steele bellowed, his body taut with fury.

“That will be enough!”

An authoritative voice cut through the din, instantly drawing the attention of the small group. Judge Elizabeth Donnelly, wearing her black judge’s robe, came striding down the hallway, her face a stern mask.

“I can hear you down the hall and in my chambers,” she glared at the group. “If you cannot conduct yourselves as professionals, I suggest you take your squabble outside.”

Steele started to speak, but the judge’s cold gaze made him quickly shut his mouth.

“I think I was quite clear, Mr. Steele.”

He nodded meekly and shifted his gaze to the floor, embarrassed at being called on the carpet in front of the others, but not daring voice his objections in front of Liz Donnelly.

The judge’s cool gaze took in the rest of the small crowd gathered in the hall and spotted Alex, who had just made her way back to the group, and Olivia.

“You two scheduled to be in my courtroom now, are you not?”

“Yes, your Honor,” Alex quickly answered and she glanced to Olivia, who wisely kept her mouth shut and buttoned her suit blazer in preparation to go to the courtroom.

“I just need to grab my attaché,” the blonde informed the judge as she headed back towards her office.

Donnelly nodded curtly and glanced to her watch.

“I will see you both in five minutes,” her tone leaving no room for argument. After a duet of ‘Yes, your Honor’, she gave the rest of the group a meaningful glance and turned on her heels and marched confidently back to her chambers.

A/O Fic: Needed You. ( 4 / ? )

Title:  Needed You; another fic based on the song by Lady Antebellum, Need You Now.
Disclaimer:  Same as always.  I am just having fun with Dick's toys.  He wouldn't treat them right, so I took over. I'm not sure if I am leaving this as a one-shot or not yet.
Rating:  PG-13; no sex, some bad language, just some angst, at least G for now.
Spoiler(s):   A little for Lead and a little for Conviction


Jim Steele entered the room and saw the women staring at their hands, which were still touching.  He pushed the door closed, allowing it to slam shut behind him as he took a step  toward them.  They both startled at the slam and Olivia pulled her hand back as if burnt.  Steele leveled his gaze on his girlfriend.

“I thought we were having lunch today, Alex?”

Alex picked up a napkin and wiped her hands with it, then took a deep breath to calm her rapidly beating heart.  Glancing to Olivia, who had found new interest in the sandwich in front of her, she regarded Jim for a long moment before answering.

“I don't recall making lunch plans for today and as you can see, I'm already having lunch.”  She tried to keep her tone amicable, but there was an edge of coolness in it.  “You should have called before barging into my office.”

Jim felt his own face flush in embarrassment and anger at having been called on the carpet in front of Olivia.  He looked between the two women and forced a smile to his lips.

“I'm sure Detective Benson would understand you wanting to have lunch with your boyfriend,” the slight emphasis on the last word was missed by neither woman.  His words prompted Olivia into action and she began wrapping her sandwich and reached for the water bottle.

“Oh...yeah. I should go.  I didn't mean to disrupt your plans.”  Her face grew red once again as she sought a graceful exit, but one was not to be found.  She fumbled the bag she had placed her sandwich in as Alex lay a gentle hand on hers.  Liv's head lifted and her brown eyes met the blue eyes across from her.

“Stay.  Please?” Alex's voice was soft as she gently implored the brunette not to leave. 

Olivia looked to Jim, then to the door and, finally, back to Alex.  She relented when the hand upon hers tightened ever so slightly.  Resettling onto her seat, she uncapped the water bottle and took a quick drink from it.  She silently watched as Alex's bright blue eyes narrowed and turned to ice chips as they turned to land on Steele as the blonde rose from her chair.

“Can I see you outside for a moment, Jim?”  she gestured toward the closed door as she walked toward it, her spine straight and her glare daunting.

He scowled at Olivia briefly and followed Alex out into the hallway.  Alex closed the door and moved Steele away from any lurking co-workers.  She folded her arms across her slender body and pinned him with her blue gaze.  She took a quick breath and in a lowered, but authoritative voice, lit into Steele.

“The next time you come to my office, knock.  I am not at your beck and call and you need to stop assuming I will drop whatever I am doing or change my plans just because you want attention.  If you cannot respect me, in my office, in front of my colleagues, then you need to not bother coming here.”

Steele's gaze hardened and the flush on his face deepened as he felt his anger spike.

“I am not one of your lackeys Alexandra, I am your boyfriend.  You barely acknowledge my place in your life anymore and every time I see you or pick up a telephone, that...woman is with you or calling you.” 

In the heat of their argument, Steele didn't notice the slip, but the blonde did and she narrowed her eyes at him again.

“How would you know when Olivia is calling me on the phone?”

The abrupt question stopped him and he stared at her for a moment trying to figure out what she was talking about.  Then he remembered answering her phone the previous evening and admitted the truth to her.

“You were busy in the kitchen last night and your phone rang.  I thought it might be important so I answered it,” he explained as if it were the most natural thing in the world to do, not even considering the idea that perhaps he had no right to answer Alex's phone.

“Why didn't you hand me the phone when she called or at least give me the message?”

“She was drunk, so I knew it wasn't anything important.”

Alex sucked in her lower lip and her hands tightened their grip on her arms as she heard his confession. She grit her teeth in a monumental effort to control her temper and took a deep breath.  When she spoke, her voice was remarkably calm, too calm.

“You have no right to decide whether or not a personal telephone call to me is important.  You have no right to answer my phone in the first place.  Do not ever take a call for me again.”

“Alex,”  his own voice was low and the sound was almost threatening.

“You should leave.”

“Not until we talk this out.”  Steele folded his own arms across his chest, copying her stance, and looked as if it would take a herculean effort to get him to move.

Olivia, who had grown impatient while waiting, quietly opened the door and heard Alex's order and saw Jim's defiance of it.  Stepping quickly and quietly over to them, she gave Steele her best glare, one usually reserved for the lowest of the low, and directed her question to Alex.

“Is there a problem here?”

Jim, who was now fuming, practically growled at the brunette detective, the volume of his voice no longer controlled as he snapped at her.

“It's none of your fucking concern.  This is between me and my girlfriend.”

Olivia, her own temper quickly rising, blanched at the term and quickly glanced to Alex, before addressing the man before her.

“I heard her ask you to leave, so I suggest you go or I will be more than glad to escort you out.”

Alex, who was briefly stunned into speechlessness, started to say something but was cut off by Steele.

“You touch me and I will have your badge, Detective.”  He threatened as he leaned just a bit closer to Olivia.  He laughed bitterly and continued.  “You're pathetic.  I've heard the rumors about you, Detective.  I've heard the rumors about the both of you, together, and I find them laughable.  What would Alexandra see in someone like you?  If she really wanted to be with you, why is she with me? Why didn't she go to you when she came out of witness protection instead of becoming engaged to  Robert and dating me? Face it, Detective, if you two had been together, which I doubt, you were a minor dalliance, an itch she needed to scratch and nothing more...”

“Stop it!  Stop it, Jim, please!”  Alex was shocked by his words and when she glanced at Olivia, her heart broke.

The brunette had paled and looked as if she wanted to flee the scene, but had been stunned into silence and was frozen in place.  Gone was the cocky, confident Detective that the world was usually presented with.  Instead, Alex saw the hurt and anguish caused by her absence in the dark haired woman's life. Her resolve steeled and she once again glared at the man in front of her.

“I am not your girlfriend.  You are nothing more than a warm body to occupy my time with to keep  loneliness at bay.  I want you to leave this office.  I want my key back and I never want to hear from you again.”

“Now wait a fucking minute,” he spat, taking a step towards her.

That brought Olivia out of her stupor and she stepped between them and pushed him back slightly.  He reacted before thinking and snapped Olivia's head to the side with a harsh backhanded blow.  She  stumbled to the side before catching herself and balled her fist and hit him in the temple.  Immediately, he went to his knees and she clipped him in the chin with a knee to the face.  She was about to aim another blow when she felt a tug on her arm and swung her body around ready to defend herself.

Alex startled at the instinctive reaction and stepped back.  A flash of fear crossed her features before morphing into a look of shocked surprise.  In that oh so brief moment, all of Olivia's fears were realized and she looked physically ill.  Tears sprang to her eyes and blood oozed from her cut lip, ignored for now. Her gaze lingered on Alex for several long moments before she hurriedly brushed past her, heading for the ladies room.

“Olivia!  Olivia, wait!” Alex started after her but was brought up short when two security guards came running from the direction of the elevators.  The receptionist, who had quietly observed the tense conversation, had called for them as the argument had escalated.

The guards stopped in front of Alex preventing her from following the other woman, though their attention was quickly drawn to the man who was sitting on his butt, clutching his head and issuing a low moan of pain.  The shorter of the two made his way to Steele to check on his condition as the other one began questioning Alex.

“What happened here, ma'am?”

Alex glanced at the older security officer, then glanced past him toward where Olivia had fled.  Sighing in frustration, she indicated Steele.

“He was asked to leave...”

Her explanation was cut short but Steele's demanding voice.

“I was attacked by that bitch.”

The officer with Steele glanced to his colleague, then to Alex in disbelief.

“This woman attacked you?”

Steele glared at the man as he stood up on unsteady legs.

“No, you idiot.  That one.”  He pointed, but looked around and realized Olivia was gone and gritted his teeth as he felt a wave of dizziness overcome him and he swayed slightly.  A hand cupping his elbow steadied him and guided him to a nearby chair.  The officer next to Alex called for medical assistance as his partner addressed Steele.

“Who attacked you, sir?”

“Detective Olivia Benson,” he ground out.  “I want her arrested!”