AN: Eek! I'm pretty sure this was my first LNOSVU smutfic ever. I probably should have started off with an easier pairing, like EO, for my training wheels, eh? Please cut me some slack, though: and if it's really bad, blame Thoreau: he's the one, after all, that wrote the quote that inspired this whole thing…

Dawn

All memorable events, I should say, transpire in a morning atmosphere.

-Thoreau

Aurora was on her way through the city, scattering light and warmth wherever her rays touched. In the city, vendors began setting up their stands. Younger children were awake already, pestering their parents into waking up to make breakfast. Older children were snuggling deeper under the warmth of the covers, trying to ignore the light that was peeking through their windows. Bartenders and bouncers were making their way home on the subways, tired and wanting nothing more than to fall into their beds and sleep until it was time to start over again. Restaurants were unlocking their doors and turning the signs to welcome the customers, while the cooks prepared for the morning rush. The city was coming to life, taking advantage of a fresh start and readying itself to 'seize the day.'

The sun peeked through windows, spilling onto a bed upon which tangled sheets mirrored tangled limbs. Two pairs of feet, half-hidden in the sheets and blankets that had been forgotten in the night, were wrapped around each other, as in sync in their sleep as they were in their waking hours. The rays continued up their legs, caught here and there by more of the sheets as they wrapped around the occupants of the bed, tying them together, though not unpleasantly. A hand rested on a smooth, pale stomach, rising and falling with each steady breath, and his fingers would stroke her softly from time to time, even in sleep. A small half-moan, half-murmur escaped her lips, and her hand sought his, lacing their fingers as though holding on to him would allow the both of them to hold onto the final shreds of sleep that the light was finally luring away.

He was the first to acknowledge wakefulness, though he refused to open his eyes. He moved his head slightly, to the soft, warm crook between her shoulder and her neck, inhaling the scent of her soap and their sweat as he trailed kisses along her shoulder, allowing his teeth to graze her gently every now and then. This finally coaxed her out of sleep, though she, like him, refused to accept that fact. Her hand groped blindly for the covers, as she shivered and tried halfheartedly to shrug him away. A small chuckle escaped his own lips, part arrogance and part affection, as he moved his hand aimlessly, merely stroking skin that had finally been exposed to him the night before. Goosebumps arose in their wake, and he still couldn't get over the fact that anyone could have such a reaction to anything so simple as his touch. He blew softly on her shoulder blade as unwilling to wake her as she was to awaken. He heard the sigh that ripped from her throat: knew what she was thinking, but he refused to allow the morning after to become one of regret and wishful thinking.

He rolled her over and balanced himself above her, pressing kisses to her collarbone until he knew she was going to stay awake. He raised his head to give her a careful smile, pulling her wrists gently above her head. The night before, she hadn't let him touch her like that: and after so many years with Special Victims, he could understand. He knew it meant something, therefore, that she was allowing him to do so now, but didn't want to waste the morning on thinking. With his free hand, he caressed her cheek before leaning down to press his lips to hers. The mere contact reminded the two of them of the night before, and their lips curled into a smile against the other's while his fingers absently traced patterns on her skin. She broke the kiss by turning away slightly, then raised her chin in an almost-challenging gesture.

"Think you're still up for it, old man?" she asked teasingly, hand slipping between the two of them to touch him—then to discover that he didn't need to respond to her with words—his body was answering for him. She laughed, and he noticed that her cheeks had tinted again, the way they had the night before. That was why he was finding this so easy. She made him feel like a younger man again: almost worthy to touch her. The thought had come to him the night before, as well, and he'd tried to pull away, to stop things, but she hadn't allowed him to run. He'd been grateful later, when that same pride from his past, flooded through him from hearing her moan while he followed her into release. He reached between them as she had, nudging her hand away from him as he explored her warmth, her arousal. He had to swallow hard as it hit him again that this was because of him—that he made a woman like her want him so badly.

She reached up, placing a gentle hand on either side of his face, pulling him in for a kiss. "Whatever you're thinking right now," she said, sounding forceful despite the fact that he knew how close she was to climax. "Stop." She'd read it in his eyes, he knew: saw what he was thinking. How long had she'd been able to do that? He let his touch slip away just as he felt her teetering, ready to fall, and a deep frustrated sigh dragged from her lips.

"Patience, patience," he whispered, catching her mouth and halting any reply as he entered her. He felt her quick exhalation on his cheek, and, though it made him want to speed up, to please her, he remained in control of himself, maintaining his near-tortuous speed.

"John, please…" she finally whispered raggedly into his ear, nipping impatiently at his earlobe. As much as he'd have loved to hear her say the words, to hear her tell him what she wanted, he already knew. He knew and agreed, and couldn't wait another few seconds. He complied with her unspoken plea, sending the both of them spiraling downward once more, into that place where nothing matters except feeling. He withdrew slowly, grinning as she arched into him.

"Good morning," he said, breath heated on her ear, as he ran his fingers through her hair and pushed it away from her already-damp face.

"Indeed," she agreed with a wicked smile.

Outside, the sun had risen. Parent were awake, and eggs were frying on kitchen stoves. Children were beginning to accept that just because they ignored time's passage did not mean that it would stop for them. A waitress just this side of being described as 'harried' had just received her first big tip of the morning, while one on the other side had just received her first small one. The night owls had finally fallen into their beds with sighs of exhausted relief. The vendor on the corner had just sold his first cup of steaming coffee. And two lovers were rising from their bed, to share one last kiss before they had to go out into the world of jobs and of victims and of rules.