Title: Alex Cabot Was Drunk
Disclaimer: I do not own SVU or these characters (darn it!) nor am I making any money off them (darn it!). No infringement intended.
Fandom: Law and Order: SVU
Summary: The title sort of says it all. Alex/Olivia
Notes: I would love to be able to promise a continuation of this story, it was originally written with the intention of it being the first of at least several parts but I'm so easily distracted by shiny things and a couple ideas for, um, plotless stories have gone and popped into my head. So I may have to write those first. Time will tell.
Alex Cabot Was Drunk
Alex Cabot was drunk.
Not completely shit-faced drunk, but on the other hand, yeah, pretty drunk.
And that was quite unusual, at least as far as anyone in the squad was aware. For this was the sixth time she'd come out with them for an after-work drink but the first time she'd actually had a real drink.
And not just one.
Sure, those previous times she'd sipped at a glass of wine as everyone else downed a beer or two or three. But tonight? Tonight was different. She'd surprised everyone with her, "No, actually, I think I'll have a pint, thanks, Elliot," and surprised and delighted everyone even more (well, almost everyone) with her, "How about I get the next pitcher?"
Now, yet another pitcher or two later, the guys looked on amusedly, completely engrossed by and taken with this new side of their ADA as she recounted just-this-side-of scandalous stories and shared just-this-side-of off-color jokes, and as she tossed her head back to release full-throated laughs at the various detectives' own stories (stories that often came at the expense of one of their fellow detective's egos).
And she looked ready to go on all night.
But while the gang wanted to be game, the week had been long and hard and they were all on the cusp of exhaustion. Their spirits may have been willing but their bodies just weren't quite up for it. Elliot was the first to call it quits, downing the last swig in his glass and rising from the table. That was all the trigger required for everyone else to toss in the towel, as well.
As the rest of the group began to make their excuses and don their coats, Elliot managed to communicate with Olivia enough to know that she would see to it that the blonde got home safely that night. It was, after all, something she'd be more than capable of doing.
Because Olivia Benson was sober.
Stone cold sober at that. Which wasn't entirely usual. For Olivia was known to partake in a drink (or two) after work now and again. But not tonight. Tonight when everyone else was ordering a second round, she was pushing aside her mostly untouched first round and ordering a water.
And as Alex had all the guys doubled over with laughter throughout the evening, Olivia sat mostly silent, smiling on occasion and sipping that water. As the attorney seemingly innocently leaned into the detective every now and then in the booth, pressing their shoulders and thighs tightly together as the blonde's body was gripped with laughter, Olivia tried not to melt into the unexpected body contact, both loving and hating it at the same time. And as Alex's hand seemingly innocuously landed on Olivia's thigh as she slapped her palm in amusement Olivia gritted her teeth against the delicious torture.
On the one hand, the contact seemed to Olivia too frequent for it to be completely innocent and accidental. But on the other hand, given Alex's... diminished mental capacity ...Olivia knew she dare not read too much into it. For though she'd longed for such contact and more, though she had hoped, in fact planned, that she would get such contact and more and get it tonight even... This? ...Well this was not how she had planned to get it.
No, this was not at all how she had planned for this night to go.
- - - - - -
When they got outside into the crisp night air, Olivia was content to hail a cab but Alex insisted on walking. Hooking her arm around one of Olivia's, Alex headed off in the direction of her apartment, once again the close contact, the press of Alex's body against hers a delicious torture for Olivia.
And Olivia battled with herself because of it; for it seemed more and more that this contact was not just happy tipsiness; but rather it was concerted and deliberate. And Olivia would be lying if she said she didn't love it. But she'd also be lying if she said she didn't hate it, too. Or at least fear it. For though she wanted it to be deliberate, just wanted it, period, she couldn't be certain of it. She couldn't be certain Alex would behave this way without the alcohol helping her along. Couldn't be certain Alex was certain. Or serious.
And she wanted--she needed--Alex to be both.
Through it all, however, Alex was oblivious to Olivia's internal battle, making her way down the sidewalk with a smile on her face and a lightness in her step. She chattered about how much fun that was and how they should do it more often, wavering only slightly every now and again, pressing tightly against Olivia who silently and valiantly helped prop her up and keep her walking a mostly straight line.
Fortunately, it wasn't long before they got to Alex's apartment building, Alex tossing a cheery "Hello, Brian!" to the night doorman.
"Ms. Cabot," Brian nodded his head. "Ma'am," he nodded his head again, this time at Olivia, and this time with a slight frown on his face.
Olivia smiled back tightly, knowing exactly what this must look like and figuring by 'Brian's' expression, it hadn't occurred that often, if ever, before. Olivia was a little ashamed at how happy that made her feel but didn't want to dwell on it, just thankful that there was an elevator waiting, and also thankful that there was another occupant in the elevator.
For the glances and smiles Alex sent her way on the ride up were enough to get Olivia's heart beating harder and were even further evidence that Alex's actions tonight were, in fact, on purpose, her intentions becoming more obvious with each fleeting look. And that's why Olivia was grateful for the elevator's other occupant; for it bought her just a little more time; time to girded herself against what was becoming more and more inevitable: Alex trying something, making an advance, offering something Olivia desperately wanted...
...and Olivia having to find the strength and the reserves to turn it down.
- - - - - -
And, as it turned out, Olivia was right; it wasn't long before the inevitable came to pass.
The elevator dinged their arrival at Alex's floor and the two women walked out, traversing the several feet down the hall to Alex's apartment door where Alex stopped and then turned toward Olivia. "I thought I'd make it inside but, God, I've been dying all night to do this and I just can't wait any longer." The blonde took a step towards the detective then and leaned in, finally and utterly and completely removing all doubt about her behavior throughout the evening.
And even though she knew it was coming, had been preparing, it was just as Olivia had expected: it put all her strength and reserves to the test. But though it was hard, so very hard to turn away, turn away she did. "Alex, no. No," Olivia said quietly, gathering her restraint and managing to avoid the kiss Alex had attempted by turning her head down and to the side and using her two hands to gently grip Alex's shoulders and put a little distance between herself and the blonde.
Alex, far from being hurt by the gesture and far from being deterred, closed that distance again, tilting her head to the side slightly and giving Olivia a small smile as she gazed at her with glazed eyes, "I've seen the way you look at me, Detective. I've seen it at work, in my office, in the squad room, at the bar after work... I've seen it. And I know what that look means," Alex took another slightly unsteady step forward still looking Olivia in the eye, "And now you're honestly going to tell me you don't want to kiss me?"
Alex assessment was all too accurate and her proximity and obvious willingness had Olivia's head spinning and her body aching. But the whiff of alcohol cleared Olivia's head and she again gently eased the blonde away and exhaled, "I'm honestly going to tell you that I don't want to kiss you like this."
"Like what? Like one door away from an apartment and a bed where we can do a whole lot more than kissing?" Alex inched in again, smiling suggestively, biting her bottom lip.
Olivia nearly groaned through clenched teeth and didn't bother trying to push the attorney away. And though her voice was quiet, it was nevertheless firm, as were her words, "Like you drunk, Alex," she looked into Alex's eyes, almost pleadingly, "Not like this."
Alex finally relented and stepped away, jutting out her bottom lip slightly in a pout and looking at Olivia with the most adorable forlorn expression. "But that was the whole point of me being drunk," she complained and then went back to pouting.
Olivia frowned, "What was the whole point?"
"I purposely got drunk," Alex said, not looking at Olivia but rather looking at her hand as she ran her fingers along the triangle of Olivia's shirt collar, "So I'd finally have the courage to make a move on you," she finished quietly.
At that Olivia took a full step backwards and started honestly laughing, running a hand through her hair and over her face, the tension and frustration that had been building in her all night finally breaking as the ironic humor of it all hit her.
But Alex didn't see what was so funny, "Why are you laughing at me?" she demanded.
Olivia looked at the blonde and could see that she was genuinely hurt this time and quickly spoke to reassure her. "I'm sorry, Alex. I'm not laughing at you, I promise," Olivia explained, "I'm laughing at the situation."
"What's so funny about the situation?" Alex managed, only a slight slur in her words.
"You purposefully getting drunk tonight so you could make a move on me and me purposefully staying sober tonight so that I could make a move on you."
Alex blinked several times, trying, trying to piece together and make sense of all the information contained in that statement. Finally, she realized the salient point. Her eyes widened, "You were going to make a move on me tonight?"
Olivia nodded, sadly, ruefully, regretfully.
Alex was silent again, processing. Then, "Why did you need to be sober to do that?"
"Because," Olivia inhaled deeply and then exhaled in a rush, "I didn't want you to think I was doing what I was doing and saying what I was saying because I was drunk. I wanted you to know it was me and not the alcohol talking."
"Oh." Alex's alcohol clouded mind mulled over this newest information. Suddenly her face lit up as she seemed to make a connection, "Well, then, go ahead. You're sober, so I'll know it's not the alcohol!" Alex gave her a lopsided hopeful grin. "So, come on, give me your best move, Detective."
With the tension of the evening broken and the truth finally out there between them, Olivia couldn't help but laugh further at their situation and also at Alex's expression and at the fact that Alex's mind still seemed to be plotting and scheming as it always did, albeit at a slightly slower rate than normal. And she regretted greatly having to turn the blonde down yet again, "I know I'm sober, but you're not, remember?"
"But this isn't about me," Alex reasoned, trying her best cross-examination voice, but not quite succeeding given it's slow cadence and slight slur.
Olivia knew better than to get into a debate with the blonde. Even when drunk Alex could probably still argue circles around her. So she settled on changing the topic, looking around at their surroundings as they still stood in the hall, then back at Alex, "Why don't we go inside?"
Alex cocked an eyebrow at her, "Ooo, I thought you'd never ask." Alex was trying to be smooth as she reached into her purse in search of her keys while still holding Olivia's gaze, only to start fumbling through it. And fumbling some more. And more. Finally Olivia reached over and took the purse from her. One look inside and she located the keys. Flipping through them she took a guess as to which one was Alex's apartment key and slipped it into the lock.
When it slid smoothly in, Alex, who had inched closer once again and started trying to nuzzle her nose against Olivia's cheek, and rub her body along Olivia's side, hummed, the double entendre not lost on Olivia who shivered at the hum in her ear and the once again not unwelcome body contact.
Though Olivia knew she couldn't and wouldn't let anything happen tonight, it was apparent that Alex hadn't yet reach that same conclusion, and the blonde certainly wasn't going to make it easy on the detective. So Olivia turned the door handle and opened the door quickly, stepping in and once again away from the determined and so very tempting attorney.
- - - - - -
It was not surprising to Olivia but it was much to both her dismay and amusement that once they had entered the apartment and the door was shut behind them, Alex picked up exactly where they had left off in the hall, "Alright, we're inside now, Detective. So give me your best move, show me what you got," Alex gave her smile which was probably supposed to be sly or sexy but ended up just sort of goofy. "I promise to be impressed and wooed and agree to whatever you suggest."
Olivia took a deep breath and shook her head a little amusedly and a little regretfully before answering Alex's challenge with a question and another rueful half-smile, "That's exactly the problem, now, isn't it?"
"What's exactly the problem?"
"You. Agreeing to anything. How can I know it's you and not the alcohol?"
Alex paused for a moment, thinking, before taking another step towards the detective and answering, "What if I cross-my-heart promise it's not the alcohol?" Alex said this with utter seriousness as if this were an truly fantastic idea and a completely satisfactory solution.
Olivia once again couldn't help but chuckle at the utter cuteness of the suggestion and of Alex stating the suggestion in the way she had, "'Cross your heart promise'? Really? That's your answer?" the detective laughed as she avoided the wandering hands of the attorney once more.
"Mhm," Alex's smile broadened as she actually crossed her heart with her hand then moved in, or tried to, on Olivia once more.
Olivia once again couldn't keep from chuckling even more at the playful antics of an intoxicated and rather determined Alex, warding the attorney off one more time, this time with an alternate suggestion. "Why don't instead we just sit and talk for a bit?" Olivia backed up that suggestion by taking Alex gently by the elbow and leading her further into the apartment.
- - - - - -
Olivia guided Alex to her couch and though she tried to just ease Alex down onto it, Alex's unsteadyness--or perhaps grabbiness would be a better term--also brought her down onto the couch as well, right next to, side by side, and body to body with the attorney.
There was just a moment of surprised awkwardness as they looked at each other, so close, Olivia almost getting lost in Alex's eyes, before Alex smiled again, "Mmmmm, I like your idea of talking."
Her voice managed to shake Olivia from her dangerous reverie. She cleared her throat and began extricating herself from the attorney, "I think I'm going to make some coffee."
"Coffee," Alex repeated, "Coffee is good." Olivia started to get up, thankful that Alex appeared distracted by the idea of coffee enough that she didn't try to keep Olivia from rising. But just as she got to her feet Alex asked abruptly and seemingly out of no where, "Do you have any beer?"
Olivia blinked several times down at the blonde then frowned, her head cocked slightly to the side. "We're at your apartment, Alex, not mine."
Alex also blinked several times then responded, "Ohh, yeah. I don't have any beer. ... But I have wine!" Her face lit up as she remembered this.
Olivia chuckled again and knelt to help Alex out of her shoes so she could lift her feet onto the sofa, getting the attorney comfortable and settled in, "I think you've had enough for tonight, Alex."
"The wine isn't for me, silly!" Alex gave Olivia a playful swat, "It's for you."
Olivia smiled patronizingly at the inebriated attorney, "Thank you but I'm fine."
"C'mon Olivia. I'll have coffee. You have wine. I'll sober up. You'll get tipsy. And we'll meet somewhere in the middle. Then you'll let us..." she waggled her eyebrows, or at least tried, finer motor skills were not her strong suit right now, "...Youuuu knoooow," she tried to waggle her eyebrows again.
The statement, the logic behind it despite Alex's intoxicated state, Alex's facial expressions, just sent Olivia into laughter one more time, she couldn't help it. "You are incorrigible tonight, you know that? But, I think it's best that we meet fully on my side of the sobriety line and not in the middle...though that was a good try."
"Take the deal, Detective. If you don't, someone else here will." Alex put on her best take-it-or-leave-it expression.
Olivia looked around the empty apartment. "Like who?"
Alex gave her a petulant look, annoyed Olivia had recognized her last statement as a bluff and not an actual threat, annoyed that Olivia had called her bluff, and too drunk to realize just how obvious a bluff it was.
Olivia laughed again at the expression. "I'm going to go make some coffee."
- - - - - -
After yelling back and forth from kitchen to living room, asking for where this and that were stored, Olivia finally managed to brew a couple cups of coffee. But when she returned to the living room 15 minutes later, two steaming mugs in hand, she really wasn't surprised to find the blonde mostly laying down with her head on the arm of the couch and her eyes closed, for all intents and purposes asleep, the alcohol, the long week, and her efforts with Olivia having finally caught up to her.
Olivia's heart clenched at the sight and she set the mugs down, the amusement from earlier now also having faded in the presence of Alex's sleeping form. She allowed herself to study the attorney's face, something she wasn't afforded the opportunity to do in their normal lives. It was beautiful, so very beautiful and even more so at peace, like it was now. Lax in sleep, hair falling partially over it, she looked younger. Or perhaps it was just that she looked more innocent.
God how easy it would have been...would still be...to just give in to her.
But before Olivia's thoughts got away from her, she placed a hand on Alex's shoulder and shook her gently. When clouded eyes opened, Olivia whispered, "Come on, you don't want to sleep here." She helped the blonde up and was relieved when Alex didn't make any further verbal of physical advances, seemingly finally spent and content on going to bed. Olivia got her to the bedroom and pointed her to the bathroom. Before Alex closed the door, Olivia grabbed what she assumed were Alex's night clothes off her bed and handed them to the attorney, hoping beyond hope that she would put them on so Olivia didn't have to help with that.
Her hopes were answered when the bathroom door opened and Alex came wandering out in her pajamas, blindly headed towards the bed. Olivia turned down the sheets and helped Alex in without a word. She was about to leave when Alex reached out a hand and grabbed Olivia's arm. "Don't go."
Olivia sat down on the edge of the mattress, indulging herself a little by moving a piece of hair from Alex's eyes, "What do you need, sweetie?"
"I need you to stay. Please?"
Olivia exhaled, almost pained, "Alex, I... I really don't think that's a good idea."
"No, no that's not what I mean," Alex shook her head on the pillow. "I just... I wasn't expecting to go to sleep alone tonight. All by myself. I don't want to," she looked up at Olivia with longing, pleading eyes, eyes that seemed clearer and surer and more sober than they had all night, "Please don't make me," she finished on a whisper.
Such a simple request. The simple human desire to not fall asleep alone.
That's all Alex was asking of her. Pure. Vulnerable. Innocent.
Olivia was sure there wasn't a person in the world who could have resisted such a request, such a plea. And she certainly wasn't someone who could.
So she swallowed hard, and nodded. She went to the door to turn the light out, then climbed in to bed behind Alex, making sure to stay in her clothes and above the blankets. Her resistance too frayed to push any further than that. Fortunately, Alex didn't seem to mind.
In fact, Olivia was pretty sure the attorney was asleep only seconds after Olivia spooned up behind her and draped an arm over her. The blonde had let out a sigh that can only be described as contented, and all the tension left her body as she pressed and fit perfectly into the curves and form of Olivia.
The detective knew she probably shouldn't but she remained for long minutes after the attorney had fallen asleep. Listening to Alex breathe, letting herself dream about this being real. Being afraid that it could be real. Being more afraid that it wasn't. That when sobriety and the light of day hit, Alex would change her mind and it would vanish.
But that was for tomorrow.
For tonight, Olivia indulged for just a few minutes longer, then finally roused herself and rose from the bed, careful not to disturb the sleeping attorney. She returned to the living room, having found a pillow and extra blanket in Alex's closet. Then laying herself down on the same couch she'd moved Alex from 30 minutes earlier, she fell asleep herself, her last thoughts lingering on what might have been, and on what might be.