Younger Than Ever

Disclaimers: I do not own SVU characters, nor do I own Conviction characters. I wish I owned Conviction, so I can rewrite the storyline that'll explain Alex's return...

Rating: T! No longer only for mature audiences!

A/N: Well... you guys were probably wondering why the heck it was taking so long for me to update, but its a long story. But anyways, here it is! Chapter 5!

Chapter 5: Missing

Donald Cragen sat alone at Linda's Diner and watched the usual New York traffic slow to a crawl. The late afternoon sun reflected off the cars' windows, causing him to squint as each vehicle passed by at a certain angle. He had been sitting there since lunch because he didn't feel like leaving until he needed to. Being a stressed out and overworked captain, Cragen figure that he'd might as well take a break from all that chaos.

Suddenly, a trill musical sound came from one of the captain's pockets. Damn it, just my luck! He sighed as he pulled out his cell phone and answered it.

"Cragen."

As Don listened to the worried rant of an officer from the 1-6, a wide range of emotions flashed through his mind. First anger, then relief, then shock, and then apprehension. "What? Okay, okay, I'll be there in a bit."

He ended the call and dashed out of the diner. What the hell is going on in his mind!

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SVU SQUADROOM OF THE 1-6

A strong sense of frustration and determination was evident in Cragen's eyes as he strode through the squadroom. Munch had gone missing, which was probably due to the spiked coffee that he'd been drinking.

"Detectives! My office," Cragen said severely.

"Crap," Fin grumbled, getting up from his desk, "He found out."

Elliot and Olivia sighed grimly in response as they followed Fin into the Captain's office. The detectives stood uncomfortably in front of Cragen.

The captain sat down behind his desk and rubbed his face. "Shut the door."

Olivia closed the door softly and looked at him. "Look, Captain, we tried to--"

"Don't start, Olivia, I don't want to hear about your efforts in controlling him," he snapped, cutting Olivia off mid-sentence. Cragen then glared at Fin. "Why didn't you and Warner make sure that... substance was disposed of?"

"We assumed that Blaine only left one cup of coffee that was intended for Elliot. We did not know she left a 'back-up cup'," Munch's partner replied in an unusual formal manner.

"And that's why we do not make assumptions like that!" Cragen worried about Munch not only because of his health but because of the harm he may cause from being high.

"We can start by listing all the possible places that Munch might go to," Elliot suggested.

"No," Cragen said, "You guys take care of looking for Nikki Blaine first and I'll take care of Munch. Agreed?"

The detectives nodded.

"We'll call if we have anything," Elliot said as they walked out of the office.

Cragen waited until they shut the door before he picked up the phone and dialed a number. "Hello? Yes, uh, this is Captain Donald Cragen from the Manhattan Special Victims Unit. Can you connect me to Dr. George Huang?"

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The OFFICE OF A.D.A. CASEY NOVAK

Elliot knocked on Novak's door while Olivia and Fin waited patiently behind him.

"Come in," Casey hollered from the inside.

The detectives walked inside and found Casey rummaging through various piles of paperwork that were scattered across the office. She looked up and noticed that her colleagues stopped by. "Hey guys, sorry about this mess."

"Looks like you have a lot of work to do," Olivia remarked. She approached Casey as Elliot and Fin stood quietly by the door.

The A.D.A. brushed off some dust from her skirt and smiled at Olivia. "Don't worry about it. I seem to have misplaced a document, but the clerk might've thrown it away by accident." She went to her desk and logged off the computer. "How's Munch? Did the water keep him sober?"

"Unfortunately, no," Olivia said.

"He disappeared," Elliot added, "So now we have two people to look for. The Cap wants us to start looking for Nikki. You wanna help?"

"Sure," Casey replied, closing her suitcase, "Let's get going".

The smell of the fresh evening air refreshened the detectives and ADA as they headed out of the D.A's Office.

"So where are we going to find Nikki Blaine?" Elliot asked, glancing at Casey.

Casey raised an eyebrow when she looked at Elliot. "I thought you'd know, since you've been dating her for the past 3 months."

"She always said her apartment was messy, so she'd hang out at my house." His voice hinted at uncertainty, and Olivia caught it.

"And that didn't ring suspicious for you, Elliot?" She inquired.

Elliot smiled at Olivia because he can sense that his partner was jealous. Let's see how she'll react if I say this...

"All I cared about were those wonderful massages that she gave me."

I thought he was over with her! Olivia rolled her eyes and turned to Casey, struggling to ignore Elliot's comment. "So... Casey, do you know where we might find Nikki?" God, I hate that name!

"We can start by asking around in the General Bureau." Casey then smirked at Olivia. "Nikki's always over there hitting on the newbie ADAs." Gosh, the two of them! Can they be any more obvious that they're meant for each other!

The detectives chuckled. They all turned around the corner and arrived at the General Bureau Office.

Casey sighed as she held the door for the detectives. "This surely brings back memories."

Elliot and Olivia were the first to go in, followed by Fin and Casey. They scanned the unfamiliar place, which was dim and half empty.

"May I help you?" A voice called.

The detectives directed their attention to a slender woman with brown hair who was standing at the doorway of one of the offices. She smiled warmfully at the detectives and ADA.

Casey introduced herself and shook her hand. "Hi, I'm Casey Novak, ADA for the Special Victims Unit."

"ADA Christina Finn. You guys looking for someone?" She looked at the detectives, then back at Casey.

"Yea, do you know a Nikki Blaine?" Elliot asked, stepping forward.

Christina's warm smile faded a little when she heard that name. "That ditzy defense lawyer? You might want to ask our Deputy DA, Jim Steele." She pointed towards an office door down the hallway to their left.

"Thanks," Casey said. The detectives also smiled thankfully at Christina.

"No problem. Nice meeting you guys," Christina waved goodbye before leaving the office.

When they started walking down the hallway, they heard faint moaning sounds coming from one of the offices.

"Sounds like someone couldn't wait to get a room," Fin muttered, looking at each closed door that he passed.

"Maybe this Jim guy's getting laid tonight," Casey said in a low voice. The moaning became louder and louder as they approached the Deputy DA's Office.

Everyone was silent. Fin stood right next to Elliot, and Casey and Olivia stood at each side of the office door. Olivia glanced at Casey and mouthed "knock", but Casey shook her head and motioned Elliot to open the door. However, Elliot raised his hands, not wanting to be the one to barge in on an intimate moment.

After wasting more valuable time by playing hot potato with the door, Olivia sighed impatiently and banged on it. It's just a damn door, for Chrissakes!

"Jim? Jim Steele?" She called. The moaning stopped abruptly and there were a few rustling sounds.

"Just a minute," Jim hollered.

Olivia opened the door just enough so they can all peek inside without being caught.

"He's screwing a blonde," Elliot sneered.

"A blonde who looks remarkably like who we're looking for," Casey whispered and pried the door open all the way. "Nikki Blaine!"

Jim Steele was still zipping up his pants and froze when he saw the unfamiliar group standing at the doorway.

"Who is it?" the blonde said grimly, as she slipped on her blouse. When she turned around to see who was there, her heart skipped 2, maybe 3 beats in deep surprise and embarrassment. Oh my god...

Elliot, Olivia, Fin, and Casey gasped dramatically. The lady was not Nikki Blaine, but someone even more shocking to see...

"ALEX CABOT!"

The former SVU ADA quickly covered her half-covered chest and smiled uncomfortably. "He-heh, uh, hey guys..."

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OFFICE OF CAPTAIN DONALD CRAGEN

The overly stressed Captain Cragen was pacing back and forth in his office when someone lightly knocked the door.

Cragen paused and said, "Come in." He then went back to his seat.

The office door opened and closed. Cragen looked up and his face relaxed a little. "Dr. Huang, thank god you're here."

The forensic psychiatrist walked over to a chair and sat down. "Have you contacted Missing Persons?"

"No. No no no," the Captain said abruptly, "If word gets out that we have a stoned detective on duty, it won't look good for John or our Unit."

Huang nodded. "I see. But are you sure he's high on crack?"

"Warner came here earlier today to tell us that the tainted coffee he drank the other day tested positive for cocaine. However, my detectives didn't make sure that all that coffee was disposed of."

"What kind of things did John do when he was high?" Huang rubbed his chin in curiosity.

Cragen sighed. "Well, the other day, Detective Munch was allegedly dancing like a young Spanish music artist. Today, one of the officers called and told me that Munch overreacted when Fin poured the leftover tainted coffee down the drain. He then planted a wet sloppy kiss on our ADA, and half an hour later he split."

"I see." Huang smirked at the Captain. "I don't think the coffee he drank today contained crack. In fact, I don't even think he's high at all."

Cragen arched an eyebrow. "What makes you think that?"

"It seems too overzealous for someone drugged with cocaine to act that way. Something in his mind has increased his spontaneity and triggered him to lash out like that... To attract attention from the attractive."

"So what are you trying to say?" Cragen asked, not understanding what Huang was getting at.

"John's going through a phase in his life, Don. He's hungry for love."

What do you think Munch is doing right now? How do you think Alex will explain herself in front of her former colleagues? Will the detectives ever find Nikki Blaine? Find out in the next chapter of Younger Than Ever! Don't forget to drop me a review!