I don't own Law & Order: SVU or any of the show's affiliated characters.

ADA Casey Novack had recognized the flash that went through Det. Olivia Benson's eyes during their blown-up arguments over the past few days;
she didn't blame her for it: the passion, the pain, and most of all love.

The things she had felt for Charlie,when they had been living a normal life together, before that cursed psychopathology schizophrenia took that all away from them. That's the worst thing about the disease, that it had onset age in early adulthood, hit in the early twenties or thirties… when the future's ahead, and life is supposed to be waiting, there's supposed to be time to figure it all out. She'd done enough research about the disease to know more than she ever wanted to, hoping it would help him, help her cope. She came to understand that the Charlie she had fallen in love with wasn't the same man anymore. It ripped her apart and changed her world forever, schizophrenia changes everything…

The case was hard on both them, ironically enough for the same reasons…

Casey had decided to invite Olivia out for drinks, to relieve some of the built-up tension…

After all, working with pissed SVU detectives wasn't her idea of a good time.

Maybe it was because of everything that had happened, maybe it was because of the alcohol,
but they were becoming more open with each other through out the conversation.

After a few laughs and another sip, Casey decided to ask Olivia a sensitive question,

"Hey, do you think we can talk woman to woman?"

Olivia responded with an, "I guess so… it depends."

"You do realize you're busted don't you? I'm not stupid." Casey stated.

"Busted? About what?"

Casey replied, "Come on Olivia you know what I'm talking about, you're busted about Elliot."

"How so?" Olivia questioned hoping this conversation wouldn't take the turn she was anticipating.

"I understand you know… How you feel about him." Casey stated.

"Oh? And why do you think, you know what I'm feeling?"

"It was crystal clear; it was in your eyes. You couldn't hide it. You still can't."

Olivia shook her head and looked down, "That obvious huh?"

"Well, hate to be the one to tell ya, cause I don't think I'm the only who's noticed… but yeah. It's understood, it's more than just about the job, or being partners between the two of you."
Casey replied.

When Olivia didn't say anything in reply…

Casey asked, "Have you told him?"

Olivia looked back up and said, "I fight myself…There are so many reasons why I can't…"

"No there aren't, not if you really love him."

"But he's living back with his family… Kathy and their kids, they have a baby on the way… we work together… " Olivia rambled out her reasons.

She continued, "I don't want to lose him. Casey, he's everything to me."

"Then, tell him that. Make sure he knows. Just so he'll know."

"Why should I? What good would it do?" Olivia asked.

"If there's one thing schizophrenia teaches you, it's that you've got to cherish the time you have. The people you have, the people you love. Schizophrenia it turns your world upside down.
I regret every day; I didn't tell Charlie that I loved him, while he could understand it, while it mattered to him." Casey explained with tears in her eyes.

"Oh Casey," Olivia tried to comfort her, with a hand on her shoulder.

"So please, do it … someday, somehow… for the rest of us who can't." Casey pleaded.

Olivia sighed, "I wish… I want to tell him, and maybe I will be able to one day."

Casey asked, "Could you really live with yourself if he didn't know?"

Olivia replied, "I try the best I can to show him, even if I can't say the words."

"I know you do, I know you try. Just think about what I said okay?"

Olivia got up, threw her money on the table, "I will. I do think about it every day."

"Alright." Casey replied.

Olivia gave a smile, before leaving, "Thanks for the 'girl' talk Casey."

"Anytime Olivia." Casey smiled back.