Disclaimer:The characters from SVU belong to Dick Wolf and the powers that be at NBC, the rest belong to me!

Thanks: To everyone on my Yahoo Group, thanks for this nice little challenge (based on a 3 sec blooper clip).

Chain Reaction

By vivalaB


Part 1: Sparks

Alex Cabot looked up at the gentle knocking and smiled as a familiar brunette entered her office. Olivia Benson waved in greeting, noticing the phone pressed to the blonde ADA's ear. Alex returned the gesture, motioning for Olivia to sit down and held up two fingers, indicating she wouldn't be long.

"It's not you Bobby…it's me, my life is hectic and it wouldn't be fair to keep you hanging on," Alex said softly into the phone, rolling her eyes at Olivia.

Olivia arched an eyebrow in response as she settled into the visitor's chair at the other side of the desk.

Alex held the phone away from her ear, making a face and mouthing, 'Loser', to Olivia.

Olivia chuckled, removing her cellphone and checking for messages as she waited for Alex to finish her call.

Alex sighed, "Bobby, my schedule is unpredictable…I have a new trial starting in a few days, I really need to focus my attention on tha-"

Olivia looked up as the blonde shook her head and waved the phone in the air, she could just make out a man's voice echoing through the phone in the moving hand. She looked at Alex and smiled conspiratorially.

"Alex!"Olivia shouted, startling the younger woman, "Hurry up Judge Donnelly is waiting for you," Olivia lied smoothly, waggling her eyebrows at the grinning ADA.

"Bobby, I need to go…no, I'll call you, bye," she said flatly, snapping the phone shut and exhaling loudly. She placed the cellphone on her desk and smiled at Olivia, "Thanks, he just would not take the hint," she said, sighing.

Olivia nodded her head, "Boyfriend trouble?" she asked lightly.

Alex screwed her face up, "God no, a blind date that just won't end," she answered honestly.

"Ouch, I've had a few of them," Olivia said, shaking her head. She looked at the paperwork piled high on Alex's desk, "If you're too busy for dinner, we can do it another time," Olivia said, hoping the woman across from her couldn't hear the disappointment lurking behind her statement.

Alex frowned, "No chance, detective…it's your turn to pay, I won't be swayed that easily," she teased, "Let me tidy this up," she said, indicating the organized chaos on her desk, "And I'm all yours," she said innocently.

Olivia felt her heart skip a beat at the comment and smiled in response.

Alex had returned to the DA's office and been reassigned to the SVU squad for almost a year. The two women had started going out for dinner together as a way to catch up on each others lives during Alex's time away. It had rapidly gone from an occasional dinner, to a standing weekly invitation, with each taking turns to pay. They had always chosen restaurants to reflect their current moods, taking into account current case loads and the trial that Alex was prosecuting. Sometimes it was an upbeat, loud location but more often than not, it was a quiet little bistro with a nice corner booth and a relaxed ambience.

"You ready?" Alex asked, breaking Olivia's reverie.

Olivia stood, smiling, "I'm a cop…I'm always ready," she deadpanned.

"Shut up," Alex retorted, snickering. She lifted her gray blazer and shrugged it over her shoulders, "Where are you taking me tonight?" she asked brightly.

Olivia beamed at her, "I was thinking Italian, I don't know if I want pasta or pizza…what d'you think?"

Alex moved towards the door, "You're paying, as long as they serve liquor, I'm easy," she answered, waggling her eyebrows.

Olivia sighed and shook her head, "No wonder you make a lousy date," she said dryly as she stepped through the open door.

"I heard that," Alex muttered.

Olivia turned, surprised to find a wounded look gracing her friend's features. She placed a hand on Alex's arm , "Hey, I was just teasing," she said worriedly.

Alex smiled, "I know, I'm sorry…c'mon, let's eat. We taking a cab?" she asked, heading for the elevator.

Olivia groaned, "Why do we always take a cab when it's my turn to pay?"

Alex failed to suppress her grin as she pressed the call button for the elevator.


The Italian restaurant was quite busy, as a result they had been unable to sit in their usual corner booth and were seated in the middle of the dining area at a small table for two. Olivia had grumbled and flashed her badge, accidentally, but Alex had looked a her pleadingly and she had acquiesced. The table, despite the open location, was not in any direct human traffic flow and Olivia had soon gotten over her earlier displeasure. Music played lightly in the background, blending in with the gentle hum of chatter from the dining patrons.

"That was great, I'd forgotten how much I missed good lasagna," Alex said, smiling as she lifted her drink.

Olivia beamed back at her, "Yeah, I think I overdid it with the white chocolate and pistachio panacotta," she said grinning.

"Only because you finished mine too!" Alex responded quickly, unable to contain her laughter.

Olivia shrugged innocently, "Hey, If I'm paying, I want to make sure I'm getting my money's worth," she answered, before taking a sip from her glass.

Alex took a long swallow and placed her glass back on the table, she studied the woman across from her, "Any dates planned for this weekend?" she asked casually.

Olivia sighed and shook her head, "Nope, I'm getting too old for all that…some people are just destined to be married to their job," she said, shrugging her shoulders.

"I disagree, you just don't want to be with anyone."

Olivia frowned, "What makes you say that?"

Alex pursed her lips, "You get invitations to dinner…a lot…you accept occasionally, but you never follow them up. You choose to be alone Liv, there are plenty of men out there…good men, who would kill for a chance with you," she paused, "And I would defend them too, if it made you happy," she said, laughing at her own joke.

"How much have you had to drink?" Olivia asked.

Alex snorted, "The same as you, so don't try and blame the alcohol…you always do that when I start talking about your love life…or lack there of," she said, chuckling again.

Olivia groaned, "I just don't see any point talking about something that doesn't exist," she said softly, wishing Alex would change the subject. She began to absently pick at a loose thread in the tablecloth.

Alex nodded apologetically, sensing her friends discomfort. She followed Olivia's hand as it moved to the centre of the table then shifted her gaze upwards, Alex swallowed as she saw the sadness on the unguarded face before her. She watched as dark, brown eyes blinked slowly and moved to meet her own, "Are you okay?" she asked quietly.

Olivia gave her a smile but Alex noticed it didn't quite reach her eyes. She looked again at the hand on the table and moved her own tentatively towards it, she hesitantly brushed Olivia's fingertips with her own, "Liv…talk to me," she whispered.

A jolt of awareness shot through Olivia, igniting the feelings she was desperately trying to ignore. She could feel the pulse point at the base of her throat hammering against her pendant, her mouth suddenly felt dry, causing her to swallow reflexively. The blush rising on her cheeks wasn't helping the situation either.

Alex stared at her fingers as they moved lightly over Olivia's, she felt her heart pump rapidly, thumping against her chest and could hear the blood roaring in her ears. She swallowed, moving her fingers between Olivia's, marveling at the feelings the touch invoked. She moved her hand hesitantly over Olivia's again and parted her lips, breathing out slowly through her mouth. She watched her fingers shake nervously before Olivia raised her fingers slowly and laced their fingers together. She wanted to look at Olivia but couldn't tear her eyes away from the fingers intertwined with her own. She swallowed again, savoring the feeling of their fingers stroking against each other. She began to breathe slowly through her mouth, trying to calm herself. She moved her fingers, resting them on top of Olivia's long slender hand, stroking the smooth skin gently with the lightest of touches, their thumbs caressing lightly.

Neither woman spoke, both afraid to break the hypnotic spell the sensual movements had cast over them. The sounds of the restaurant faded away as they lost themselves in the gentle exploration. Fingers caressed and hands turned over, brushing delicately over sensitive palms.

"Alex!"

Alex reflexively pulled her hand away instantly, reality crashing over her in unwelcome waves. She glanced briefly at Olivia, who was staring intently at the tablecloth before spotting the approaching figure. She groaned inwardly, blowing out a steadying breath.

"Hey Alex, thought you were too busy for dinner?"

Alex forced a smile on her face, "No Bobby, I just didn't want to go to dinner with you," she said bluntly, her mind was reeling and she could see the familiar, 'fight or flight', look settle across Olivia's features.

The red haired man shook his head, "You're such a tease Alex," he replied, unfazed by her comment. He looked at Olivia and reached out his hand, "Hi, I'm Bobby, can you convince your friend here to go out with me…I can cook, that must count for something in this day and age," he quipped, shaking Olivia's outstretched hand.

Olivia smiled up at him, "Nice to meet you Bobby, I'm Olivia and if you'll excuse me, I'm just going to go to the ladies room," she said in a forced light tone, avoiding Alex's eyes.

Alex watched her walk away and sighed as Bobby took Olivia's seat.


Olivia stared at her reflection in the mirror, not knowing what she was hoping to see. She looked at her hand, she hadn't imagined that, had she? She blew out a frustrated breath and looked at her hand again. "Why are things never simple?" she asked her reflection.

The sound of a toilet flushing startled her, she looked expectantly at the closed stall door reflected in the mirror.

An elderly woman appeared, smiling and moved to the wash basin beside her. She looked into Olivia's face in the mirror, "Love never is," she said, running her hands under the water.

Olivia frowned at her before shifting her stance to face the petite woman, "Excuse me?"

The elderly woman turned to look at her, rinsing off soap as she spoke, "Whenever something isn't simple, it usually involves a man…or a woman," she replied, moving to the paper towel dispenser.

Olivia followed her, slack jawed at the stranger's insight, "What makes you say that?" she asked curiously.

The woman stepped towards her, "Honey, I've been in and out of love more times than I care to remember and whenever life gets…complicated, it usually comes down to love," she said smiling. She looked at Olivia's confused face, "Have you had an argument?" she asked gently.

Olivia's eyes widened as her frown deepened, "Excuse me?" she said again.

"You and your, what's the proper term these days…partner, is it?" she asked, throwing the towel in the waste basket.

Olivia swallowed, moving her eyes to meet the curious gaze, "No…um…we're just friends," she clarified quietly.

The woman smiled apologetically, "Oh, I'm sorry…I assumed you were together, you look so comfortable with each other, I'm sorry dear," she repeated, patting Olivia's arm gently.

Olivia shook her head, "No..um, that's okay," she stammered awkwardly.

"Enjoy the rest of your night," the woman said, turning and heading for the door.

Olivia watched her leave, feeling even more confused than when she first entered.


Alex sat at the table, impatiently tapping a fingernail against the glass in her hand. She returned the smile of the approaching elderly woman and noticed Olivia not far behind her.

Olivia smiled at her as she sat down, "What happened to Bobby?" she asked offhandedly.

Alex looked at her, "He left," she answered, studying Olivia's face.

"You want another drink?" Olivia asked.

"No"

Olivia looked over at her, "Are you okay?"

"I could ask you the same thing," she replied, confusion marking her features.

Olivia shook her head, "I'm fine, too much food though," she said, smiling.

Alex looked at her, shaking her head, "Are we just going to ignore what happened?"


Part 2: Glowing Embers

"Benson"

"Liv?"

Olivia lowered her head slightly as she glanced across at her partner, "What can I do for you Counselor?" she asked, forcing a smile on her face as she spoke.

There was as slight pause, "For starters you can tell me why you've been avoiding me for the last three days," Alex said coolly.

Olivia closed her eyes, "It's been kinda hectic, this new case is tough," she answered, rubbing a hand over her temple.

"Aren't they all?"

Olivia sighed into the receiver, "We're actually just about to go interview someone, can we finish this later?" she asked, looking up and meeting the confused expression on her partner's face.

"Fine, dinner tonight?" she asked hopefully.

"I don't know when we'll get finished, I'll call you later," Olivia said quietly, avoiding Elliot's' questioning gaze.

Alex remained quiet for a few seconds before answering, "No you won't," she whispered sadly, ending the call before Olivia could respond.

Olivia placed the phone back in the cradle and sighed again, she looked at Elliot, "Please, don't ask," she pleaded, holding up a hand in a halting motion.

"Trouble?" Elliot asked casually. He'd had run ins with their ADA before and knew how icy she could be, especially over the phone.

Olivia shook her head, "No…no, nothing like that," she replied.

Elliot nodded, "You two okay? She looked a little frazzled yesterday," he commented.

"What d'you mean?" she asked, instantly curious.

Elliot frowned, shrugging his shoulders, "She just seemed, I dunno, off…she asked after you though," he said, watching his partner closely.

Olivia looked at her desk, avoiding his eyes.

"Something happen? You've been quiet for the last coupla days, don't tell me you had a fight, Munch will be pissed he missed it, you know how he likes your…what does he call it…" he trailed of, trying to find the phrase.

"Girlish banter," Olivia supplied, smiling.

Elliot snapped his fingers, "Yeah..girlish banter!" he said chuckling, deliberately trying to lift his partner's mood.

She shook her head, "No, we didn't have a fight…just a misunderstanding," she said absently.

"Well, if I were you…I'd fix it, fast, you know what a pain in the ass she can be when we need a shaky warrant," he advised, nodding his head.

Olivia sighed, "Ill fix it," she said.

Elliot motioned to the phone with his head, "We don't have an interview and it's almost 6pm, call her," he prompted.

"Later, I need to finish these 'fives'," she answered, pointing at her desk.

Elliot stood, reaching for his jacket, "Well, don't stay here all night…maybe you could call a friend, a blonde lawyer friend, and go for a drink…" he urged, shrugging his shoulders.

Olivia snorted, "Go home El, see you tomorrow."


Olivia sat on her sofa, reading over a case file, scribbling notes on the pad balanced on her bare knee. She was comfortably dressed for the late hour in cotton shorts and well worn tee shirt. She reached across for her cup, without lifting her eyes from the paper and groaned as she realized it was empty. She placed the paperwork beside her, uncrossed her legs and headed to the kitchen area. She had just filled the kettle when she heard a light tap at her front door, she placed the kettle on the counter and moved to the door. She peeked through the spy hole and bowed her head before shuffling on sock clad feet back to the sink, hoping her visitor would leave.

"Liv?" Alex asked loudly, tapping repeatedly on the door.

Olivia cursed under her breath, she closed her eyes and inhaled deeply, blowing out noisily through her mouth. She moved back to the door and unlocked it.

"Hey Alex," she greeted brightly, stepping aside to allow the tall blonde to enter.

Alex frowned at her as she passed, nodding her head in response. She noticed the paperwork sprawled across the sofa and opted to sit in the chair beside it.

Olivia placed the kettle on the cooker, "Do you want something to drink? I'm having hot chocolate," she shouted casually over her shoulder.

"What I want, is for you to stop avoiding me," she said quietly, her voice tinged with sadness.

Olivia blinked slowly before turning and heading towards the sofa. She gathered the paperwork , placing it in a messy bundle on the table and deliberately covered the magazine she had discarded earlier. She wondered briefly if Alex had noticed it and glanced over at her, but Alex was studying the hands sitting nervously in her lap. She sat down and leaned forward, resting her forearms on her knees.

Alex looked over at her expectantly, moving her hands to the pockets of her fleece jacket.

Olivia studied her for a moment, taking in her casual appearance of light colored denims, sneakers and hooded jacket. She smiled nervously, "I'm sorry for the other night," she said sincerely.

"Which part?" Alex paused, shaking her head, "Leaving me with Bobby, refusing to talk to me or bundling me into a cab without even a goodbye?" she asked sarcastically.

Olivia flinched, knowing she deserved that, "All of that…I'm really sorry," she swallowed, looking into hooded blue eyes.

Alex studied the sad brown eyes watching her, she removed her hands and moved forward, clasping her hands together. She sighed, " I'm the one who started it," she said quietly.

Olivia froze, unprepared for this conversation, she looked over to the kitchen, praying for the kettle to boil. She felt a tentative hand cover her clasped hands and pulled back instantly.

"Oh for God's sake Liv, if we don't talk about it how do you expect us to move on from it?" Alex said desperately.

Olivia met her eyes, "That's the problem," she said, shaking her head, "I can't move on from it," she admitted quietly.

Alex frowned and lifted her chin, "Well, we can't move anywhere, if we don't talk about it," she said, softening her tone.

Olivia stared at her, wondering how to articulate what she wanted to say. She glanced down at her socks, bobbing her head gently, "I thought I was imagining it when you touched my hand, I'd never felt anything so soft, so tender…I got scared," she admitted quietly.

Alex smiled at the normally stoic detective's shyness, "Scared of me?" she asked gingerly.

"Scared of myself," Olivia replied instantly.

"What do you mean?"

Olivia lifted her eyes, dark meeting blue, "I like you…I like you a lot," she said, surprising herself at how calm she sounded.

Alex felt her heart stop at the look she was receiving and the words she was hearing, "Okay…so why couldn't we have talked about this the other night?" she asked, feeling her pulse race.

"When Bobby came over," she paused and shook her head, "What a dork, by the way…" she said lightly, smiling as Alex rolled her eyes. "I felt awkward, I went into the ladies room and this elderly woman, she was with her husband, just a little across the way from our table, spoke to me…anyway, she had seen us…um…" she trailed off.

"Holding hands," Alex supplied, shaking her heed.

"Yeah, holding…um..hands and she thought we were, um…together," she confessed quietly.

Alex shook her head again, "That's it?" she frowned, "That's why you haven't spoken to me for three days?" she asked incredulously, staring in disbelief at the strong woman seated beside her.

Olivia snorted, "Isn't it enough? I'm no more a lesbian than you!" she retorted, her voice rising as her frustration grew.

Alex reached under the paperwork and pulled out the magazine Olivia had tried to conceal, she waved it in front of her, "Really? Because I'm not the one with the subscription to 'Curve'," she said, eyes gleaming in triumph.

Olivia felt her cheeks burning as a wave of nausea passed over her. She wanted to to talk to Alex, but she also wanted her to leave so that she could crawl into bed and pretend this wasn't happening. She blew out a frustrated breath.

Alex looked at her friend, she regretted her words and needed to make amends, "Liv, we only held hands, friends do that," she said quietly, not sure who she was trying to convince more. She reached again for Olivia's clasped hands, this time she didn't pull back and Alex prised them open, holding one gently, "See? We're close, we always have been and this is just a natural thing for us to do," she said softly, giving Olivia's hand a comforting squeeze.

"Then why have we never done it before and why when we did it, did it feel like something else?" Olivia said in a hushed tone.

Alex blew out a shaky breath, "I…can't answer that," she said cryptically, she released Olivia's hand and stood abruptly, "I need to go…let's just forget it or accept it as part of our…friendship," she said awkwardly, moving around the table and heading for the door.

Olivia sat stunned, wondering what had just happened. The kettle started whistling and she watched Alex move into the kitchen, remove it from the heat and walk back towards the door.

"G'night Liv, talk to you tomorrow," she said, turning and giving her a weak smile.

Olivia scrambled to her feet and crossed quickly to the door, "Don't go, not like this…please…I'm sorry" she choked out, fighting the overwhelming urge to reach out to her friend.

Alex stood in front of the closed door and dipped her head, "Liv…" she breathed out quietly and closed her eyes. She turned slowly and felt her heart break at the expression on Olivia's face, she lifted a hand and cupped her cheek, "I like you too," she whispered, gently stroking her thumb across the hot surface.

Olivia took a step closer, covering the hand on her face with one of her own.

Alex felt her stomach flip. She closed her eyes and shook her head sadly as she swallowed the rising emotion. She reluctantly removed her hand before turning quickly and opening the door.


Part 3: Flash Point

Olivia reached past her, forcing the door closed, her heart thundering in her chest, "We're not done here," she husked out, the move bringing her body flush against Alex's back. Her hand was pressed against the door above Alex's head, holding it firmly closed. Olivia felt her breathing increase as her body reacted to their close proximity.

Alex didn't turn round, she couldn't. She could feel the heat and tension rolling off Olivia's body and felt the brunette's ribcage expand as she tried to control her ragged breathing. Alex breathed out slowly, trying to steady herself but the presence behind her was overwhelming.

"We can't do anything about this," she whispered.

"Why not?"

Alex lifted her head and looked at the straining muscles on Olivia's forearm and realized how much her friend was fighting for control. She turned, her body brushing with agonizing slowness against the one behind her. She looked into Olivia's dark eyes and felt her resolve crumbling. She watched as dilated eyes shifted back and forth from her own, down to her parted lips. She sucked in a shaky breath and watched as Olivia wet her lips.

She closed her eyes, "We can't Liv…it's career suicide," she rasped out, desperate to touch the flushed skin in front of her once more.

Olivia closed her own eyes, blocking out the words and the reality they brought. She lowered her arm, releasing her hold on the door.

Alex's eyes flew open as she felt fingers caress her face lightly, she swallowed, "Liv…" she warned quietly.

Olivia shook her head, "Don't…" she said softly, maintaining eye contact until everything blurred out of focus. She brought her mouth to within a whisper of Alex's parted lips and stopped.

They breathed into one another's mouth, the gentle exhalation of air fanning the flames of repressed desire.

Alex shut her eyes, moaning into Olivia's soft mouth as she closed the final, minuscule distance between them.

The kiss was not gentle.

Lips and teeth clashed with tongues tangling sensuously as if at any moment it would suddenly end. Hands clutched and stroked as bodies pressed eagerly together. As the minutes ticked by, the kiss changed and became a tender exploration with a powerful current of passion and want.

Several long minutes later, they parted. Arms clung to each other fiercely as they refused to surrender the moment.

Olivia tilted her head and nuzzled the slender neck, "I've wanted to do that for such a long time…" she said, her voice barely above a whisper.

Alex closed her eyes and swallowed before choking out, "Me too…but we can't ever do this again…"

Olivia snapped her head back, "What?"

Alex shook her head sadly before leaning forward and placing a last, lingering kiss on the detective's open mouth.

Olivia stood motionless as Alex turned and opened the door. She watched helplessly as the blonde raced down the hallway and out of sight. She closed the door in a heady mixture of confusion and anger. It took her less than a minute to run to her bedroom, throw on her sneakers, grab her keys and tear out of her apartment. She ignored the elevator, yanking open the door leading to the stairs and leaped down them, two at a time.


Alex stood inside the foyer of Olivia's apartment building and watched the rain sweep across the street. She tucked long strands of blonde hair into the hood on her fleece and prepared herself for the inevitable soaking. She was parked two blocks from Olivia's and as she exited the building she began jogging in the direction of her vehicle.


Olivia leapt off the last step and barreled through the door into the foyer, startling Andy, the building concierge. She raced for the doorway and winced as she saw the falling rain.

"You okay Ms Benson?" Andy asked.

Olivia looked through the large glass entrance, trying to catch a glimpse of Alex. Without turning she asked urgently, "Andy, did you notice which way Miss Cabot went?"

Andy shuffled out from behind his desk and stood beside her, "I offered her an umbrella…but she shook her head and left...I think she went that way," he said, pointing with the umbrella in his hand.

Olivia turned and smiled before pushing open the door.

"Take the umbrella!" Andy shouted to the departing figure.


Alex cursed the weather under her breath, weaving her way between a few pedestrians on the fairly empty sidewalk. The streets were quiet, given the late hour and she was secretly grateful for the rain as it mingled with the tears coursing down her cheeks. She couldn't believe she had kissed Olivia, she didn't regret it, but it didn't make things any easier either.

"Alex…Alex…"

Alex turned instinctively at the sound of her name being called and stared in disbelief at the sight running towards her.

Olivia was soaking. The cotton shorts were sticking to her upper thighs and her faded gray t-shirt with, Siena, in peeling green letters left little to the imagination. Her hair was a sticky mess, plastered to her forehead and long, lean legs and toned bare arms shimmered under the street lights with wetness.

Olivia came to a stop in front of the stunned blonde, only mildly out of breath and scraped the hair away form her face. "Please don't walk away like this…come back to the apartment…please, " she panted out desperately..

Alex shook her head, "There's nothing to talk about…we both have jobs to do and this," she used a hand and motioned between them, "Can't happen," she whispered sadly.

Olivia stepped closer and placed a hand on her arm, "Look…whatever this is," she said, copying Alex's previous action, "We can at least talk abut it, can't we?" she asked, smiling hopefully. She noticed the reddened eyes and realized she had been crying.

Alex raised a hand to the one on her arm, she gave it a gentle squeeze before carefully removing it.

Olivia felt her heart break as she watched Alex shake her head.

Olivia noticed a group of people coming towards them and pulled Alex into a nearby doorway. She waited until they had passed and looked at Alex in the dimly lit entryway, "I know you're scared…I'm scared too, but that doesn't mean we have to ignore this," she pleaded.

Alex dipped her head, feeling a fresh sting of tears threaten to spill, she lifted her head, "It's impossible," she breathed out.

"Nothing's impossible," Olivia stated confidently.

Alex smiled reflexively at her friend's conviction and looked up meeting the desperate look on Olivia's face.

Olivia stared at her, "I've liked you for a long time…at first I thought it was just a deep, close friendship but since you've been back…I've accepted that it's more than that… a lot more," she paused, swallowing and blew out a steadying breath, "too much has happened in both our lives to just ignore this…." she said, trailing off.

Alex stood speechless at the confession and searched the face before her, she thought about all the time they had spent together and everything they'd been through. She thought about her job, her boss and her future. She shrugged her shoulders and took a deep breath.

Olivia felt her heart leaping in her throat as she waited for Alex to speak.

"I have feelings for you that are much deeper than friendship…" she admitted, smiling shyly, "I missed you so much and when I came back…it just felt, I don't know…different between us. I've tried so hard to ignore it Liv…but, every time I'm with you…I feel it," she confessed quietly.

Olivia smiled instantly and reached out a tentative hand, which Alex took gently. They looked at each other for a long moment before moving at the same time. The embrace was comforting, both women sighing with relief at long hidden feelings, now expressed and shyly reciprocated.

Alex pulled her head back to look into Olivia's face and smiled before pressing their mouths together. The kiss was different this time and both women felt it ignite something deep within.

As the kiss broke Olivia searched Alex's eyes, "What are we going to do?" she asked, holding her breath.

Alex smiled, "We're going to stop running for a start."

Olivia shook her head, "Nobody needs to know, we'll be careful," she said confidently.

Alex shrugged, "Let's take it one step at a time, okay?" she answered, smoothing the droplets of water away from Olivia's temples and kissing the skin tenderly.

Olivia felt a ball of happiness threaten to explode inside her chest, she smiled at Alex, "Will you come back to the apartment?" she asked tentatively.

Alex nodded, allowing herself to smile freely for he first time in a long time. She took a step back and raked her eyes over Olivia's body and shook her head, "You could've put on a coat Liv," she admonished.

Olivia shrugged, "I'm impervious to the rain when I'm chasing a beautiful woman," she replied happily and puffed her chest out.

Alex felt her stomach tighten as her eyes were instantly drawn to the rock hard nipples desperately trying to escape the confines of the soaking t-shirt.

Olivia noticed her reaction and glanced down before laughing out loud. She grabbed Alex's hand and dragged her from the doorway, "C'mon, before I get arrested."

The end