But I Love Her

Summery: The sound of the now destroyed vase smashing into the ground rang in her ears, the memory replaying over and over. – C/Other then C/O

Warnings: Femslash; Abuse; Casey/Other (with Casey/Olivia later)

Author's Note: This chapter, and probably a few more, may throw you for a bit of a loop, but I promise there is C/O around here somewhere lol Please stick with me and if you read, please review and let me know what you think. I'm still working on "It's All About Timing," but this was begging to be written.

Shout Outs: As always – my new favorite place on the web, Softball and Sex Crimes Forum. Stop by if you love Casey. Special note goes out to ADANovakFan who has been instrumental to the development of this fanfic - She encouraged me to write it and a lot of the details were decided with her help – Thanks:)

Chapter 1

Careful not to cut herself, Casey knelt in her knee-length skirt to pick up the shards of glass littering her apartment's carpet. The bouquet had scattered the moment the vase left the small table, an explosion of brightly colored flowers landing in the entrance to the hallway. The vase didn't get quite as far, landing less than a foot away from the leg of the table, pieces of glass fanning out in all directions. Standing up with a hand full of the largest pieces, she walked over to the kitchen trashcan to throw the glass away. She walked back over to the hallway to collect the fallen roses. Inhaling their sweet scent, she remembered the evening Bailey had brought them home. A disappointing day in court had turned into an evening of flowers and dinner in Time Square. The memory clinging to her mind, she placed the flowers in the sink with plans to find a make-shift vase for their protection. The sound of the now destroyed vase smashing into the ground rang in her ears, the memory replaying over and over. Getting out the vacuum cleaner to sweep up the smallest slivers of glass, she pushed the fight to the back of her mind and turned on the loud machine.

Ten minutes later, the vacuum cleaner was returned to the closet and Casey released her feet from the confines of her black pumps. Grabbing her briefcase, she walked over to the table and sat down, pulling out a file and legal pad. Attempting to shake the sound of glass breaking from her mind, she began reading through the file, going over testimonies and background information on their latest suspects. Down the hall, she heard the bedroom door open and then the bathroom door shut. Trying not to think about the woman in the bathroom, Casey continued with her work, writing down things to cross-reference and specific people to call while at the office the next day. It would be a long day at the SVU squad room, so she didn't have much time in the morning at her office.

When the bathroom door opened again, Casey could hear bare feet padding down the hall toward the open area where she was currently sitting. The footsteps stopped a few feet from the table and after a few seconds Casey put down her pen and looked up at her girlfriend. The woman was beautiful in a simple skin-tight tank top and pajama pants. Hair not quite long enough to touch her shoulders remained damp from the shower she had taken less than an hour ago. It was part of her routine post-fighting, as was her reclusive time in their bedroom. Her tall, thin frame held all the poise and confidence of a boarding school brat-turned-lawyer and her eyes spoke volumes.

"Casey," she said softly, her French accent delicate in the silence. "Mi amour, I'm sorry." The Assistant District Attorney stood up from her chair and walked over to Bailey, the taller woman embracing her. Casey attempted to hold back tears stemmed from exhaustion and fear and just clung to her girlfriend. "Perhaps we should go to bed," she suggested, rubbing Casey's back lovingly. Feeling her nod, Bailey pulled back and wrapped an arm around Casey's waist, leading her to their bedroom, turning off the kitchen light as they entered the hallway.

The next morning, Casey woke up to the obnoxious buzzing of their alarm clock. She struggled to open her eyes, the previous night's exhaustion pouring over into the new day. With only one eye open, she slid her arm out from under the comforter to hit the snooze button, sending the room back into silence. Pressed firmly against her side, a leg draped across her own, Bailey shifted and tightened the arm holding Casey to her. Placing a soft kiss to the corner of Bailey's mouth, Casey gracefully untangled herself and slid out of their bed to take a shower.

Once under the hot spray of water, Casey closed her eyes, grateful for the water pressure against her tense back. The current case weighed heavily on her mind, pictures of the domestic violence victim imprinted on her brain, at least until the next one replaced it. The fruity scent of her shampoo provided a stark contrast to the smell of the coffee Bailey had begun brewing. Once she had finished washing her hair, she grabbed the body wash and applied a generous amount to the blue loofa hanging from the shower head. While covering her body with the soapy suds, she noticed a bruise, the width of two fingers and just as long, on her hip. She made a confused noise and convinced herself she must have run into her desk at work and forgotten about it.

Finishing her shower, she stepped out from behind the curtain and ran the soft towel over her body and through her hair. Wrapping it modestly around her body, she exited the bathroom to allow her girlfriend to take a shower. Bailey greeted her in their bedroom with her favorite lime green mug held out to her, filled to the brim with hot coffee. "Thank you," Casey said, her voice filled with relief.

"Good morning," Bailey said, placing a hand on Casey's bare arm. Before Casey took a sip of the black liquid, Bailey leaned forward and captured her lips in a soft, yet passionate kiss. Casey returned in kind, her mind hardly registering enough to remember not to drop the cup of coffee. They pulled apart and Casey was entranced by Bailey's smile, a feature which got Bailey everything everywhere from everyone. Casey felt herself the luckiest woman in the world to have Bailey in love with her, eyes only for her. "I'll be ready to leave in thirty minutes," she said over her shoulder, walking into the bathroom.

Placing the mug on her dresser, Casey went to their closet to find something to wear. Laundry had to be done this weekend or next week's wardrobe will be reduced to sweat pants or an old bride's maid dress from two years ago. Pulling out a pressed pair of black slacks, she tried to find a nice shirt to wear with it. Spending an entire day at SVU allowed her to get away with not wearing a suit jacket.

Dressing between sips of coffee, she stood in front of the full-length mirror, priding herself in being able to pull off a decent outfit with the "leftovers" from her usually full wardrobe. She was busy running her fingers through her hair, trying to get it to air dry so they could leave on time, when Bailey emerged from the bathroom wearing a similar towel to the one Casey had been wearing.

Her clothing was already laid out on the bed and she walked over, beginning to dress. Just as Casey had given up on her hair and turned away from the mirror, Bailey hooked her bra into place and dropped her shoulders, a disappointed look crossing her face. "Your shirt looks a little tight," Bailey said, disappointment turning into concern. "Maybe we should stay in tonight and make a salad."

Casey's eyes widened slightly and looked down at her body. Turning back to the mirror, she examined the shirt, idly wondering if she had bought a size too small. But it didn't look too small. Bailey picked up her shirt and buttoned it, covering her flawless body, the shirt obviously cost a pretty penny and the jacket she covered it with could easily be twice or three times as much. "You think it's the wrong size? I never wear this shirt," Casey said, unable to tear her eyes from the mirror.

"No, I think it's the right size, I just think your recent stress is settling at your stomach. No one will notice." She turned from the bed and walked over to the dresser to chose a set of earrings to wear. "Are you ready to go?"

Casey sighed and with one last painful glance in the mirror turned to her girlfriend. "Yeah, let's get going."

Extended Author's Note: If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, please call The National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) – it's not your fault, there is help, and it happens to everyone, regardless of sex, race, disability, religion, or sexual orientation. For further information, please visit The National Domestic Violence Hotline website. /PSA