Author: UODaisy PM
Sequal to THE RETURN Alex returns to her new life in Oregon, and Olivia is getting tired of waiting.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Chapters: 30 - Words: 80,467 - Reviews: 16 - Favs: 42 - Follows: 13 - Published: 08-06-05 - id: 2522067
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter One: Six Months
When I wake up to the sound of rain I smile. Only in Oregon can I wake up in August to rain. Or at least to rain that doesn't sizzle when it hits the ground. After my trip to the coast this weekend, it feels so perfect. Everything about this state is beautiful. In two years I hadn't made the effort to see what was around me because all I wanted to do was go back to New York. I've seen more in six months than I did in two years, and even though I'll never admit it to you, I am getting attached.
New York is beautiful in it's own way. And I love walking through the city with you, taking it all in. But there's something intensely natural here that sweeps me away. At first, I thought I'd never get used to sleeping in the silence. And then when I got back I thought I'd never get used to sleeping without you, and it's hard… but sometimes I open a window and just let the sound of the woods lull me asleep. I've gotten attached to those sounds. I've gotten attached to my little house. I've gotten attached to everything but my job, and the only thing that would make this better is if you were here.
But I don't tell you these things. I can hear in your voice how much you miss me. And the truth is that I miss you too. And I'm still coming back, it's just… I guess I want to soak this all in first. Maybe I'd feel more of a push to go back if I could find a job in the city. Branch's contacts seem to be falling through in an extremely disappointing fashion, and I won't move back until I can stand on my own. On the other hand, my job here has led to some interesting prospects. After I got back and the papers got wind of my situation I ended up with an interview not only in the New York Times, but also in the Oregonian. I was encouraged to take the Oregon Bar, which I passed, no surprise to you. And suddenly I have my choice of positions. I haven't told you about all of them yet, especially not about the one I'm considering taking. Temporary position as an ADA for Multnomah County. Their ADA left suddenly after some sort of scandal, and until they find a permanent replacement they've offered me a spot.
In all honesty, I could probably have the job permanently, but I do want to go back to New York, go back to you. I miss you. I miss the weight of you in the bed next to me, the sound of your breathing lulling me to sleep. I miss that scent of cinnamon and vanilla that infects me whenever you're nearby. The phone rings while I'm thinking of you and I don't have to read the caller-ID to know it's you.
"Why do you do that?"
"Answer the phone like you know it's me."
"You never look at the caller ID."
"How do you know?"
"Same way you know it's me before you answer the phone."
"So, what's new at home?"
"Aha, calling it home again are we?" You sound smug, hopeful. I cringe.
"Liv. I told you."
"I know, I know… six more months right?"
I know this is the moment. I should tell you now. But I just can't do it.
"I miss you." I'm hoping you won't hear that for what it is.
"That's a cop out Alex." Shit.
"I do miss you."
"What aren't you telling me?"
"How do you know I'm not telling you something?"
"Because you said it in the same tone of voice you use when you're trying to talk your way out of a perfectly legit defensive motion in Petrovsky's chambers. It's that tone that says you know the defense has a case and you don't want to admit it. So fess up."
I take a deep breath, cursing how well you know me. "I got a job offer."
"That's GREAT! When are you coming back?"
"It's with the Multnomah County DA's office."
"Where the fuck is Multnomah County? Is that in Jersey?"
"oh." Your voice is small, quiet… hurt.
"It's not permanent Livvy. Just until they find someone to take over. The last ADA left in something of a scandal and they're desperate for someone to take on the caseload. When I passed the bar here, which you encouraged me to do by the way, the DA's office came knocking on my door. What was I supposed to do?"
"Say no. Say that you're not going to be there much longer. Say that you have to go back to New York."
"Look at it this way Olivia, when I do get back to New York I can jump right back in somewhere, I won't be rusty."
"So this is a warm-up? That's bull Alex, and you know it."
"I miss the courtroom Liv. I miss prosecuting. I miss my job."
"So come back."
"It's not that easy. There aren't any positions there right now."
You fall quiet, and I know how much you hate that I'm right about this.
"So how long do I have to wait now?"
"Until they find a new ADA."
"Alex just come back. You can live here while you find a job."
"We already talked about this Olivia. Over and over and over again. I want to do this slowly. It's not like we're married, why can't we just take our time?"
"I miss you." You're quiet again, whispering. I can almost feel your breath on my ear, the way you talk to me when we're almost asleep in you bed.
"I love you Liv. I just need you to be a little more patient with me. I'm coming back. I swear."
"Ok." I can tell you don't believe me.
"I love you."
We talk about work for a while, my work, not yours. I don't want to talk about your work right now. We try to end tenderly, gently, but we both feel the tension on the line between us and I'd bet you won't sleep any better than I do tonight. I think part of what frustrates me so much is that I feel like I should be supportive. You went through so much, you got shot, you lost your whole life, you built a new life, you came back to the old life, and then you testified against the man that tried to kill you. I know that I should be sensitive to that.
But six months ago, you told me you'd be back within a year, and I agreed to that. I agreed that I could wait that long. But you have no idea how long this process could take, and I don't want to wait forever. Before you went back to Oregon, after the trial, Cragen mentioned the possibility that I could go with you, that I could move out there to be with you. But I just can't leave New York. I don't want you to get to a point where you feel like you can't leave Oregon. Your home is here with me. I wish I could make you understand that. No. Not even that. I want you to understand without me having to tell you.
In all honesty, I'm glad about this job offer for you. I know how much you miss prosecuting. I know how much you love standing in a courtroom, staring down a witness, watching a jury. I know how much you love that moment when you win the case-- not when the jury hands back the verdict… no. The exact moment that you've won. You know it before they even deliberate most times. I love the way your glasses slide down your nose, "the waggle of justice." Usually, when you can tell you've won, so can I.
Even in my anger I smile at that thought. God I miss you. I just wish I could fly out and bring you back myself. Wait.
I wish I could fly out and bring you back myself.
Why couldn't I?
Somewhere in the back of my head I ignore the voice that says, "Because it's not that simple." I get out of bed and go to the computer I bought secondhand from Elliot when Maureen got a laptop for school. Powering it up the way Munch showed me (32 times), I sign onto the Internet and do a little research. By the time dawn breaks through my windows I have a plan. All I have to do is a little shopping, and some serious begging. I grab two hours of sleep before heading into work to get started.