A/N: Yes I know I have been bad! I am sorry I went AWOL for a bit. Life demanded I take a couple months off and then my computer exploded. I still haven't gotten it back, but I am going to ninja a laptop and get back to work. This is just something short and fluffy but more will be coming soon!

A/N #2: OKay, so I swore I would never write anything post Loss...but the glorious return of Alex Cabot to SVU got me thinking....what if they did mention conviction...what if they did own up to the fact that the crappy writers actually had Alex turn her back on Olivia and all her guys at the one-six. How would I fix it? This is the scene I came up with.

This takes place in the first quiet moment the dynamic duo have alone together after Alex appears in the upcoming episode "Lead". (Synopsis of the episode's plot is posted on TWoP if you wanna read it.)

(Bear in mind, this means nothing if they pull a 'Dallas' and it was all just an ugly dream...)

"What are you doing here Alex?" Olivia's voice was hard and cold, the exact opposite of how she felt inside but she couldn't bring herself to sound any different.

The blonde reached out to touch her arm, only to drop her hand when Olivia stepped back. "I don't understand…"

"Don't understand?" There was a bitter edge to the detective's voice, one that made Alex cringe. "You came out of witness protection two years ago, Alex!" She tunneled her fingers through her hair. "Every day, when I came in to work, I checked the status on Velez. Every day I looked for some sign that you were ok. Every fucking day I tried to find some way to bring you home." She went completely still. "Can you even imagine how stupid I felt, the day I opened up the paper and saw your picture? Do you know how long I waited, wondering when you were going to call?" She tried to steady her breathing, nearly choking on the lump in her throat as she whispered, "Do you have any idea how it felt to read about your engagement in the society section?"

Alex swallowed hard, using all her force of will to keep from looking away, from severing contact with brown eyes that seemed to convey so much heartbreak that for a moment, she couldn't breathe.

"Olivia…" She began slowly. "When I came out of WITSEC…" She shrugged slightly. "It was like the DA's office was falling all over itself to make what I went through worthwhile; to try and offset the three years I had to spend being someone else because they couldn't make a case against Velez for extradition."

Alex's thin frame shook slightly. She wrapped her hands around her own arms and squeeze tightly, as though she could somehow generate the kind of warmth that would chase away the coldness she felt inside. Olivia watched her shrink into herself and felt her heart break a little bit more in her chest.

"They offered me Bureau Chief… And it was everything I had been working for; the big office, my own team, the start of a political career. They even assigned me a publicist who spun it like I was some kind of hero…" Alex's voice trailed off as she finally looked away; angling her head up to try and keep the tears in her eyes from falling. "I wanted to…" Her voice broke raggedly. "I wanted to see you, more than you'll ever know." She shrugged and smiled sadly. "But he knew. I guess he could tell just how much I wanted to see you because he told me that the path I'd be walking was very narrow and so were the minds of the people who would be following my progress…"

Olivia snorted bitterly. "Oh, I get it now. This publicist guy… he told you that maintaining a friendship with a cop… a middle aged, unmarried female cop… would look bad for your political aspirations." She bit her lip violently, using anger to hold back the anguish she felt inside. "You walked away from me because of what people would insinuate?"

Alex shook her head. "Not because of what they would insinuate." She whispered. "Because of what they would know." She locked her gaze with Olivia's. "Because I finally figured out, sometime during those three years, that if I gave myself a choice between having the career of my dreams and having… you… that everything I ever planned for my future would be gone."

The tears finally came and the detective dashed them away angrily with her hand. "So you've made your choice then." She watched in shock as the lost, weak look vanished from bright blue eyes. Alex seemed to reconstruct herself in the span of seconds. Her shoulders straightening as her eyes took on a look of steely determination that took Olivia's breath away. Alex moved forward until she was standing so close that their chests nearly touched with each ragged breath she took.

"Yes I have." The blonde held her hand out with a small, hopeful smile. "Hello. I'm Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Cabot."

The realization struck Olivia sharply, causing her to sway as she was filled with a sudden warmth that traveled the length of her body. "That's…"

"Why I'm here." Alex finished for her, raising the hand Olivia had ignored to lay it gently against her face. "I finally figured out that having the career I always wanted means nothing… without you…"