Disclaimer: I don't own the characters you read before you. All rights belong to Wolf Films and all that.

Author's Note: It was about time I got off my butt to write this. Since I'm so infamous for crack pairings in other fandoms, why not spread the love here? I got the idea from a Murmurs song.

Beta: Still Looking.

Timeline: Season 17 is the only clue you're getting.

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Detective Mike Logan stared at his wristwatch, muttering irately. Brandishing his cell phone, he pressed one of the speed dial buttons. A ripened male voice answered.

"Cragen."

"Don, it's me. Seems like your little plan is falling apart — your blind date is standing me up. You know I don't have time for this."

"Well, do you have an important case you're working on tonight?"

The younger man sighed. "No."

"Mike, you know the A.D.A. game: always open business hours. Give her another half hour."

He slumped in his restaurant chair, wiping the lapels of his suit jacket. "That's easy for you to say. And just so I can beat myself up for agreeing to this, tell me why again."

"Because you need a quality woman, and my A.D.A. thinks her co-worker could use a date," Don said impassively.

"'A quality woman'? Come on, Donny. Aren't all my ladies 'quality women'?"

"Mikey, do I have to go down that road? You can't be on the market forever."

"I'll have you know that I'm in the prime of my life."

"Just give her a chance. From Casey's description, she sounds like she's full of surprises — perfect for a guy like you."

"Isn't that what you told me about your A.D.A. crush from your first days at SVU?"

"Carmichael? I might have said something like that."

"And did that go anywhere?"

"Logan, just focus on your date and not my love life."

Mike grinned at his former captain's terse voice. "Isn't that my line? Alright, for you, I'll give her twenty more minutes. I'll call you tomorrow, Donny." He then pocketed the device and again peered at the menu.

A half hour came and went. "The hell with this; maybe I'll find someone at the bar."

Suddenly, a young, attractive Latina woman, dressed in black business attire, gaited toward his table.

"Mike Logan, right? I believe you're my blind date? My friend showed me a picture, even though, you're a pretty famous guy with all the media coverage."

He reached over to catch her plummeting attaché case. "Yeah, I am. And you must be Connie Rubirosa."

"Please, Connie is fine. And you don't have to do that; a woman doesn't need that kind of chivalry to get by."

He returned the briefcase. "I'm just making sure chivalry itself isn't dead yet."

She plunked onto her seat. "Isn't that the lost age's line?"

"It could be, but I'm not that old."

She smiled insincerely. "Well, I'm sure we'll find something else to talk about."

"They say the night is young."

Connie skimmed the carte du jour. "I'll just have something simple, whatever you're having."

"Don't order any seafood — you don't want to know where they've been."

After ordering two straightforward hamburger/French fry combo plates, the two scanned one another.

"So, who wants to start the small-talk portion of the evening?" she solicited.

"I could say ladies first, but that might make me sound like a male chauvinist pig," Mike smirked.

She played with the rim of her glass of water. "You definitely know how to roll with the punches, don't you? Or, to throw one for that matter."

"I can play twenty questions, too — like how much do you know about me?"

"Only that you punched a councilman in 95, got exiled to Staten Island, and then got cozy with the Major Case Squad within the past year. My friend was specific up to a point, as not to scare me off."

The officer had an innocent expression. "Of all the things people have called me: scary isn't one of them."

"I could think of a few right now, but I want to give you the benefit of the doubt."

"How kind of you."

"I'm sure your friend was in the same bind."

"Not really. He didn't say much, other than you're an A.D.A. working for Jack McCoy." He rolled his eyes.

"You know Jack?"

"From a long, long time ago, and let's just say we don't see eye-to-eye. But…"

"In that case, can I buy you a drink, then?" Connie interrupted with liveliness.

His eyes nearly bugged out of their sockets. "I take it that you don't like him, either?"

"Oh, not really. I've been working for him for a few months, and he's driving me up the wall. He's conservative on this, liberal on that, and I wish he would make up his mind. Branch is straightforward, so why can't his top man be?"

"Let me guess: he also wants all his cases to be tied up neatly in a bow."

"Oh, yes! It's that and those 'in the good old day' war stories of his. I've always been a person living in the present, not the past. Whereas, he…" The A.D.A.'s face reddened unexpectedly.

"You were about to make an age crack, weren't you?"

She gazed southward. "Yeah, I was."

"Look…, Connie, I know I'm not a spring chicken anymore, but I'm also not ready to be put out to pasture. Besides, I could say the same thing about you, so let's skip it. And I can feel your pain: I have a new young partner. She looks young enough to get carded in bars."

"You win, then. At least mine isn't fit for the retirement home…yet."

"Yeah, I could tell you some stories about me and Jack, but the last thing I'd want is to pull any of his moves."

"I appreciate that…. Got any good ones?"

The firebrand snorted. "Yeah, I forget the specific case at the moment, but there he was: foaming that we couldn't nail the suspect. So, I had my fill of his crap and mouthed off in my own special way, and he wigged out. He said, 'are you giving me attitude? My father was a cop for thirty-two years.'

"I said, 'oh, come on. You can indict a ham sandwich if you wanted to.' He came back with, 'I can do that because there's meat in a ham sandwich.' God, what a Mick he was being there."

Connie fidgeted a bit. "Yeah."

"Don't worry; I only save my racial epithets for special occasions."

"Sorry. I'm a little sensitive about that, because we all know what rhymes with 'Mick.'"

Mike swallowed apprehensively. "Yeah, I'm sorry. I just said it to prove a…"

"No, I understand." The silence lingered torturously. "And, either way, I definitely want to use your ham sandwich line and see how the old man reacts."

"Free of charge. And, look, I think we're both getting off on the wrong foot here, so do you want to stop and cut your losses? I mean, we're both busy people here, so…."

"Do you want to quit?"

"Do you?"

His companion softened her harsh features. "No, I want to see this through. Besides, I don't want to prove my friend right. What about you?"

"You're turning into a psychic on me, Rubirosa. Yeah, I'll stay. Besides, I could have had much worse company."

Her lips compressed. "Do you enjoy being crude or is this natural to you?"

"You should have seen me during the 80's — I was more caveman-like, then."

"Point taken, Detective."

"Hey, I'm sure we can talk about something besides our age gap and Jack McCoy."

"Fine, let's skip war stories, and talk about why did your friend wanted to fix you up. Remember, I'm a prosecutor, so I'll know if you're lying."

"Gee, I thought detectives were the better human lie detectors. Okay, my friend is…kinda worried about me, I guess. He thinks I should date a different type of woman. And I'm not playing the race card."

"Good, because we would stop right here otherwise. So, what kind of woman is Mike Logan into?"

His eyes lit up. "That's a long list."

"Then go at top of the list."

"Uh, what would you like me to tell you?"

She grimaced slightly. "I think I have a good idea on that now."

"Yeah. So, what about you — why did your friend wanted to fix you up? Remember, I'm a police officer, 'so I'll know if you're lying.'" Mike had a Cheshire grin.

"Well, first off, I'm into men, or I wouldn't be here at all, but to answer your question: my social life has more or less died since my promotion. My co-worker, who works in SVU, talked things over with her police liaison and thought I could use a date to…'flex my dating muscles.' Please note that I'm being totally honest here."

"I'm a placeholder?" he uttered flatly.

Connie's eyes were everywhere. "That would be about right."

"You know, that normally would be enough for me to turn this restaurant around and go home, but…"

"Am I going to like the end of that sentence?"

"Ask me that on our second date, if we get that far."

"So far, so good; I would have walked out already."

He arched his eyebrows. "Apparently, we're both bluntly honest to the point of being rude — that isn't a bad quality these days."

"I think you're right — people are so timid of being honest anymore. Like the truth will crush them that much. Sometimes, sensitivity isn't the best course of action." The youth gestured emphatically.

"You're not into the politically correct crowd, are you?"

"Not if I can help it."

He leaned forward. "I think I like you now, lady. Let me buy you a drink."

She chuckled mirthlessly as the waiter delivered their repasts. Mike chomped into his meal while Connie nibbled on her French Fries.

"You know, sometimes, there's nothing like a good burger and fries," he declared.

"I have to agree; nothing like it."

"I'm not into ethnic food much, although, I do like a good pierogie every now and then."

"Polish food? You don't look like the type."

"I'm just full of surprises." He unleashed his patented cackle.

"I don't doubt that."

"So, you do want to stay here, or go somewhere more comfortable?"

His libidinous leer had her squirm. "Here is good, if you're up for talking, that is. For what I'm sure you're thinking about, I'm sorry, but I don't do such things on a first date."

He chortled ruefully, eyeballing her every bite. "Hey, I'm always up for a challenge. So, what do you want to talk about now?"

"Now that I know more about your character, let's mix it up in a bag and see what falls out. What was it like punching that councilman?"

"Is that a trick question?"

"No, I really want to know."

Bitter memories roiled within the middle-aged policeman. "Looking back, yeah, it was stupid, but he had it coming. The bastard was so busy gay bashing the deceased, something in me just finally snapped. I didn't do it because of the slurs; I did it out of respect for the dead.

"Now, the question everyone always asks me: if I could go back and redo it, would I? Not if I would get caught, no. But, as far as I'm concerned, he earned that punch. And I'm pretty certain what the next words out of your mouth will be. It's usually the same thing."

The woman glared. "Don't presume for me — I make my own judgments, thank you. While it may have been foolish, I won't deny the indignation behind it. It takes a good set of balls to do something like that."

Mike froze temporarily. "Now, that's a reaction I never expected, especially from an A.D.A."

"Why?"

"It's because of the game you lawyers play: always have to appear so civilized, never allowed to get the hands dirty. Oh, no, they might break a nail if that were to happen. Most of them are a bunch of punks — present company excluded of course." He craned his head downward, sipping his cocktail.

"I can appreciate that. I'm not one for the big city action, but I can understand why a cop may feel that way. The law can be dirty, yet not the lawyers. Or, they put on one hell of a show trying not to be."

"Someone sounds cynical," he ribbed.

"No, just giving you my dose of reality, and having been on white-collar crimes beforehand. They think they can talk themselves out of anything."

"You hate them, too, huh?"

Connie scowled. "In so many ways. You wouldn't believe some of the things they've tried to pull on me: Insanity defense this, Insanity defense that."

"Slippery bastards."

They shared a minor snicker. "You know…, Mike, I'm actually enjoying myself here. I didn't think I would."

"I'm having fun, too. It beats my current plans: work, work, and more work."

"You're not a workaholic, are you?"

"No, I believe in the Constitutional separation of work and play — no more, no less."

She ingested the final remains of her burger. "Suddenly, this place is getting to be a little too cramped for my tastes. You up for a walk?"

He extended his palms. "I thought you'd never ask — my legs are killing me. I'll get the check."

The prosecutor wagged her index finger. "Don't do that. There is a reason why there are 'Dutch' rules."

"You're definitely a piece of work, lady."

"Thank you," Connie beamed as she signaled the server.

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With the bill paid, the pair idled into an empty avenue. The streetlights and the skyscrapers obscured the view of the stars above.

"It's your turn to share something about yourself." Connie verbalized, clutching the collar of her indigo trench coat.

Mike shrugged his shoulders. "It is? I'm not sure what's left in me besides 'war stories.'"

"You could tell me what it's like to be in Major Case. I hear it's a different animal than most precincts."

"I thought you didn't care for such things."

"Stories are one thing, experiences are another. So, are you going to share or was this all an exercise in futility?" she ragged.

The cop had a boyish twinkle in his eye. "It's definitely a different beat than what I'm used to. It may be more sophisticated and technological, but at the end of the day, it still comes down to good old-fashioned detective work — that will never change."

"You're sounding deep here."

"Yeah, it happens once a day, so I try to get the most use out of it."

"Oh, stop. You know what I mean."

He bared his teeth in his simper. "No, I just find it funny that you're singing a different tune for someone who doesn't care for old men."

"One: I never said I don't care for old men. And two: you're not old."

"Then what am I?"

"Do I have to say it?"

"Make my night, Rubirosa."

"Fine, you're a distinguished older gentleman. Better?" she deadpanned.

"No, because I'm not distinguished, and I'm not a gentleman."

"You said it, not me."

His lips curled. "Nice to know you can roll with the punches, too."

"Your turn to ask something."

"Since we're on age, what the hell kind of name is Connie, anyway? That sounds like a name of a young cheerleader than a prosecutor."

"I get that a lot. In the current political times, I don't think Consuela carries as much weight. I'm a minority within a minority, Mike, so I got to play their game."

"Yeah."

"And I don't do white guilt, so spare me, okay?"

He smiled a tad. "Does that mean I can ask if you know Spanish?"

Connie glowered. "You can try, but, yes, I know it. Maybe the next date will be done in Spanish."

He lifted his hands up in surrender. "Alright, your turn."

"Since you have the more dating experience, what's a successful date with you like? Excluding the wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am ones, as I'm sure you've had your share."

"First off, no one says that anymore. Second, it's been a while since that happened, so let me think for a minute."

As Mike mulled himself over, the lady eyed his moonlit gray temples. "I guess the more romantic version would be staying up at late hours, eyeballing the ceiling in bed and thinking about the other person."

"How often does that happen?"

"Happens all the time."

"Really?" Her timber was somewhat husky.

"No, I'm kidding; it's been a long while."

"Ever been married?"

"Nope. You?"

"Nope."

"So, we're pretty much on the same page."

"Pretty much."

He furrowed his brow. "I usually know what to do here, but not this time."

Connie had a self-assured look. "Don't tell me you've met your match in me."

"That I won't confirm or deny, Counselor."

"You're not getting off that easy, either, Officer."

"You know, this would be the part of the date where I'd ask for yet another change of scenery, but I think we're better off with a 'to be continued', aren't we?" He inclined toward her, lips in perfect alignment.

She shivered from his breath. "I think you're right — work is only a few hours away. Call me on my cell after 5:00 P.M. Sorry you couldn't get lucky tonight, Detective."

"I like a challenge."

Her eyes brightened for a second. "So do I. I'll see you later, Mike." She waved for a taxicab, leaving the Irishman to his thoughts. Both she and the transport soon faded from his vision.

"Yeah, see ya."

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The alarm clock flashed a ruby 4:00 A.M in the darkness. Mike alternated between gaping at the object and the ceiling, his mind refusing slumber.

"Damn."

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