I don't own these characters. This takes place directly after the episode Loss. I haven't read that many a/o fics so I really have no idea if this has been done before. Sorry if it's not as original as I think. Hopefully it's still pretty good though. Please Review!

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The look in the detective's intense dark eyes had cut Alex straight to the heart. She hadn't expected that reaction at all. And now it was too late. She was being carried swiftly away from any chance she would ever have to telling Liv that the feelings she so poorly hid just now were returned with double the intensity. How many nights had she laid awake with her cell phone open to the detective's number, too chicken to press the call button? How many cases had she passed off to other lawyers because of her inability to see the importance of any matter that Liv hadn't worked on? And there were a hundred more stolen glances and questionable encounters in the precinct that had her cursing herself, saying, "She's not even gay, you idiot. You've got a snowball's chance in hell."

She didn't make it very far before she shut her eyes and allowed the tears to fall. Alex Cabot was not the crying type. Emotions were a weakness in women that the male lawyers she worked around would have shredded her with. But the unexpected pain in Olivia's eyes had hurt her deeply. If Elliot hadn't been there, she knew Liv would have thrown her arms around her. And maybe it was better that she hadn't, because it would have made it impossible for Alex to get into this god-damned vehicle.

"Ms. Cabot, calm down," Hammond was saying. She'd grown violent in her grief and the driver had to pull over so that Hammond could attempt to get her to quit beating on the interior of the car.

She accepted his unspoken offer to walk around in the open air, trying to get a hold of herself. The cold, quiet air cleared her mind and brought in an answer to her grief - red and blaring and impossible to ignore. The problem would be convincing Hammond. Or tricking him, if that was what she had to do.

--

The detective fumbled with her keys at the door to her apartment. Her hands were shaking. She attempted to calm herself by taking a deep breath, but when it came to her ears ragged, it just made everything worse.

Elliot was at her side. He leaned in, putting a hand to her middle back, and asked gently, "Are you sure you don't want me to stay for a while?"

Olivia allowed his touch to calm her, and she turned to him and shook her head. "No," she said. "Thank you, but I'll be alright."

He wasn't convinced. "Are you sure? Kathy would understand, I'd just have to call her..."

Olivia loved them both like family. Seeing the unimaginable amount of trust they had in each other, and how incredibly ordinary they seemed to think it was gave her a deep hope. She smiled at her partner. "I'll be okay, El. Promise. Go home to your family."

He checked her face again, and although he still wasn't convinced, he respected her wishes. "Okay," he said, stepping away. "I'll see you tomorrow."

"Bye."

"Liv, you'll call me if you need --"

"Don't I always?" She smiled, and then insisted. "Go home."

He laughed and nodded, continuing his way down the hall. Olivia pushed the key into the lock and walked into her apartment. As soon as she closed the door behind her, she regretted sending her partner away. There was a soft shuffle that confirmed her fears. Someone was in her apartment. He was a crouched figure in the corner where his shadow was invisible, and then he stood up when she closed the door. Benson turned from the door, pulled her gun and pointed it straight at his heart.

"Liv?" The figure said in a half-whisper.

The barrel of her gun raised slightly when she disengaged her supporting hand to turn on the light. What she saw before her shocked her almost as bad as watching her dead friend stand up out of the back of a car. There was an obvious reason for that.

"Alex?" Her gun was put back into its holster at her hip as she stared at the trembling woman before her. She took a few steps toward her. "What the hell are you doing here?"

The attorney's heart sank at her accusatory tone. This wasn't how she had imagined Liv would react. Then again she obviously wasn't very good at predicting the detective's reactions to anything. I had to see you. She thought pointedly, but couldn't say it as she'd completely lost her nerve. "I, um," her voice shook, "I don't know..." She breathed out a nervous laugh and turned her attention to the floor as she flicked away a tear. How many more ways could she possibly feel like a giant idiot in front of the woman she loved? Why was she torturing herself like this?

But it didn't take very long for Olivia to understand exactly why she'd come to her like this. She startled her when she came across the room and caught her up in a tight embrace. "I could have killed you," she said, crying again.

"I'm sorry," Alex tightened her one good arm around Olivia's waist. Sharp pains were shooting through her bad shoulder, but she didn't care. "I didn't have time to warn you." She closed her eyes and began to memorize every sensation, right down to the way Liv smelled. She could have stayed there forever, but she knew that wasn't an option. "Liv," She said, leaning away to look in her eyes. "I had no idea..." she shook her head. "Why didn't you tell me?"

Liv shrugged painfully. That's the exact question she'd been torturing herself with ever since they told her Alex was dead. "I don't know." Alex let go of her waist and brushed a piece of hair out of Liv's eyes. The detective was cut to the core by the intensity of the baby blues before her. Tears had made them glow. She continued her confession, "I wasn't sure..."

Alex laughed sadly, studying her face, then kissed her with all the tenderness and desperation in her body. Coming in to this idea, she'd told herself that kissing Olivia Benson was the last thing in the world she should do if she wanted to survive. It would make leaving a hundred times more difficult than it already was. Her shoulder was aching wildly, her heart was breaking, and she was mentally telling herself she knew this was a bad idea. But in her soul, she didn't give a damn. The kiss was about a thousand times better than either had ever imagined.

There was a soft knock on the door and Alex broke away. "I have to go," she said, turning to the door. She knew she had to leave quick or she wouldn't leave at all.

"No," Liv begged, and grabbed her wrist and pulled her back for another desperate kiss. Both women were crying, savoring every sensation, trying desperately to have just one more second together. When the knock came again, Alex pulled Olivia's hands away from her face and broke away from her lips a final time with a whimper. She had to hurry to the door before she lost her will again.

The moment her hand touched the cruel cold metal of the door handle, she turned around. "I love you," she whispered, and then quickly disappeared.