I've never done an A/O fic, but I've wanted to for ages...

This is a long-ish short fic (if that makes sense). It's in two parts and will be cross posted at my website

My Beta is the fabulous Dev

Disclaimer: We definitely don't own these characters; they are the property of Dick Wolf and NBC-Universal-Vivendi. If we owned them, these two would already be a-smoochin.

Sorry for deleting and reposting this, for some reason my account when HACHOOEY. I will be continuing this.

Fights, Part 1

Fights: she hated fights. She fought enough at work and had seen enough fights throughout her childhood to feel that she warranted a life without them now. Why she'd chosen a profession that meant she got into arguments professionally was way beyond her understanding but, at the time, it hadn't seemed so stupid.

She could actually handle the professional fights. She could handle standing in the courtroom and slowly pulling a defence attorney's argument apart piece-by-piece until the scumbag he - or she - was trying to free was tied up like the proverbial Christmas turkey. She could do that with the calm, carefree assurance that had become almost notorious. Like her icy-blue stare, her perfect blonde hair, her immaculate suits, her quick wit (the quickest in the New York legal system), it was all part of the persona.

And that's what it was: a persona.

She wondered what They would think if they saw her as she was at that moment; if they knew that, when she got home, the first thing she did was shuck her business attire and throw on a pair of jeans and a battered Yankees sweatshirt; or if they found out that, at the gym she attended, the one she paid a lot of money to attend privately, she mostly punched the life out of a stuffed red bag.

Alex would bet almost anything they thought she was a treadmill girl.

What would they think if they found out she didn't like caviar or champagne and that her favourite meal was actually pizza and cervezas?

What would they think then?

Alex didn't care what They thought. She'd learned long ago not to care what anyone thought, but she'd also learned that carefully cultivated appearances did help smooth one's way through the career path. So she'd cultivated like some blonde, Barbie-like bonsai.

But it wasn't entirely true that she didn't care what anyone thought: she cared what She thought. Oh yes, what She thought was the most important thing in the world: not what Alex thought about herself - that was fairly set in steel - but what She thought.

And so the fight mattered. Because the fight was with Her.

Oh, they'd had discussions. After all, she was their ADA and occasionally Benson and Stabler had been known to skirt the boundaries just a little to get an arrest. They'd probably even lost the boundaries from time-to-time to get a conviction. Maybe even once they'd all hurtled themselves over the boundaries and sprinted way off in the other direction together, but some cases were like that. So, yeah, they'd had discussions, but what they'd never done before was have a real fight.

Not like this.

Alex Cabot did not cry (at least, as far as the rest of the world was concerned). Those steel-rimmed glasses were a barrier between her and the world and the penetrating blue gaze that sprung from behind them left no-one in any doubt that she was also as cold and hard as the steel rims.

Except when she was in her apartment, sitting in her window seat, with a bottle of Dos Equis in one hand and a slice of pepperoni in the other. Then, she might - only occasionally and only when the feeling overtook her - shed a tear or two.

"Idiot," she chided herself, wiping away the stray tear from her face with the back of her wrist. She didn't want to cry too much: it was hard to eat pizza with a nose full of snot.

She was crying over Her. Olivia-Fucking-Benson. Correction: Detective Olivia-Fucking-Benson. Who was probably the only person in the whole of New York who had the power to make Alex Cabot, ADA extraordinaire, break down and tear.

All because of that fight.

Their fight.

Their fight in which Detective Olivia-Fucking-Benson had yelled at her. The brunette - so very strong and powerful, so very proud and full of justice - had yelled at Alex Cabot.

And she'd called her cold. And she'd called her icy. And she'd called her all those things that told Alex that Olivia-Fucking-Benson had bought every falsely constructed part of her persona hook, line and sinker.

That's why she was crying.

Elliot Stabler could have yelled at her. Captain Don Cragen definitely could have yelled at her. Alex would have held her ground, no problems. She may have even gotten snippy with her reply. She would definitely have had a reply for either of them.

The worst of it was that none of it was her fault.

The evidence had been nowhere near enough to convict, no matter how hard the blonde attorney had tried to spin it. Even her boss, District Attorney Jack McCoy, had agreed with her. There just needed to be more. She had wanted the son of a bitch off the street as much as the detectives down at the precinct had, but she couldn't manufacture a conviction out of nothing. She'd done it out of nearly nothing a few times, but never out of actual nothing.

And Olivia had called her cold.

That stung on so many levels.

Alex knew that she was good at her job. She was proud of her reputation and proud of how she did her job. She took a lot of time and care to make sure that the worst of the worst were kept off the streets, in a way that meant they'd be off them for a long time without appeal.

She cared.

More to the point, she cared that Olivia-Fucking-Benson thought she was cold.

Oh God, what would Olivia say if she knew? She'd probably be horrified and run a million miles.

What if she knew exactly how not-cold Alex Cabot had been about Olivia Benson, from the first moment the brunette had sauntered - yes, sauntered - through the precinct, straight past the blonde. She'd been frozen, which she accepted was ironic for the proverbial Ice Queen (she knew that many of the detectives called her that - or worse - behind her back). At the time, Alex could have sworn that her heart was beating so loud that everyone in the building could hear it.

That hadn't been normal. Sudden, instant, undeniable attraction and lust for someone wasn't something that happened to Alex Cabot, and certainly not for a woman. Normally it was all predictably the same: smart-looking man with a smart-looking job took her to a smart-looking restaurant where they had some smart conversation and, if he was lucky, or smart enough, he got invited back for sex. Women had never entered into it. Certainly, they hadn't reduced her to a quivering pile of uselessness that couldn't remember her own name.

Until Olivia-Fucking-Benson.

Of course the attorney had pulled herself together before anyone could notice. You didn't end up being a shark in the court room by letting little things like sheer unadulterated lust let you get distracted. Not that it had been a problem before but she just filed it under 'things I will not let get to me' and that had worked for a while.

Until working with Olivia became the problem. She couldn't just have been like any other detective; no, the brunette had to have turned out to be smart. Oh yeah, she was really smart, like Alex-level smart. And the first time Alex had seen tears in the brunette's eyes over a case, she'd very nearly broken her rule about 'no sweats, no cry', right then and there. Olivia had a heart of gold and it didn't just extend to her work. It umbrella'd out over her friends, co-workers and associates. On occasion, it even extended out over Alex Cabot, but only in the greater umbrella sense.

Occasionally, the blonde would let it out, that kernel inside her that longed for contact, and she'd allow herself something unrelated to work. Very occasionally, she'd accept those offers of a drink and join them after nailing a case.

It had been too long. It had been over a year. She couldn't get out of it, she couldn't get over it, there was no way around it and there was definitely no way into it. Alex Cabot was head-over-heels, tail-in-the-air, completely and utterly in love with Olivia Benson.


So when the brunette had stormed - not sauntered this time, but stormed - into her office that afternoon and accused her of not caring, it had really stung. And it was why, when she'd gone on to call her cold, it had made the blonde's heart quake with pain.

It was why, when Olivia's little rant was over, all of Alex's normal collectedness, her persona, her simple ability to form an argument had left in one big rush. She'd just stood there, shaking slightly, and felt a little bit of herself crumble inside. And then she did the only thing she thought she could do: she walked out the door.

She'd walked out the door of her own office without saying a single word to the detective. Her brilliant and scything vocabulary had deserted her. She couldn't even look at Olivia and the overwhelming feeling that she was definitely about to break her 'no sweats' rule was too much. So she'd left.

And then she had hidden in the bathroom like a little girl until she was certain the coast was clear. Then, she'd hightailed it back to her office, grabbed her belongings and had run home early. Well, if five-thirty could be called early, although it almost certainly could be for Alex who rarely left the office before six-thirty on the best of days.

It had definitely called for beer and pizza.

Could you call a one-sided rant a fight? Alex wasn't sure. Normally, she could have reasoned it all out and fought it off with logic. She could have come up with some cogent arguments and made everything okay within herself. Lately, she'd been fighting a losing battle with that when it came to Olivia, though. It was hard to have a sensible, reasoned conversation with someone when you just wanted to kiss them until you whimpered.

And Alex Cabot had never whimpered for anyone.

The beer tasted good, but it was getting warm. It no longer had that frosty goodness of being just out of the fridge (the coldest part, naturally) and the pizza was starting to cool off.

Taking a bite of the remaining half of her third piece, she decided she didn't want any more, walked into the kitchen and spit it into the trash. The slice followed and the beer made its way towards the sink.

She was about to pour it out, to watch the light amber fluid whirl away down the hole, when she thought better of it. Maybe the semi-cold beer wasn't the problem. Maybe the problem was not enough semi-cold beer. Alex was not a drinker, but she could hold her own. She certainly didn't get drunk or hadn't been for many years. Of course, there were those times in college - everyone had those - and yet she'd maintained her poise perfectly.

Maybe tonight was a night for getting drunk.

It was Friday. Friday was a good night for getting drunk. All she had planned for Saturday was a lot of paperwork and pre-reading, and that could still be accomplished with a hangover.

And maybe beer would make her forget a few things. Maybe it would help her figure out how to make Olivia forget that Alex had run away from her own office. That had to have looked suspicious, hadn't it?

Hadn't it?

A loud jarring rumble, like metal plates colliding with thunder, reverberated through her apartment walls. Slamming her beer down on the kitchen counter, she gritted her teeth. The tenants in her building had been telling the super to fix the damn heating for a month now. It was all very well for the boiler to be making these noises at eight in the evening, but when it made them at four in the morning, repeatedly, it wasn't quite as okay. Of course, nothing had happened. She made a mental note to write a scathing email to him in the morning.

Turning back to the kitchen, she considered opening another beer, one that was colder, and just discarding her leftovers versus draining the one she already had first and then taking another. Like everything else in her life, it became a mental argument, an excuse for reasoning. And she was just about to make a decision when the jarring, horrible noise echoed through the walls again.

"Oh, for crying out loud!"

Now, she felt like hurling her beer bottle at the wall and charging the repairs to her building. That would be a spectacularly un-Alex Cabot thing to do but, then again, she was feeling particularly un-Alex today.

Instead, she just drained the contents with no further thought and threw the bottle in the recycling box. She was halfway back from the fridge with another bottle when there was a knock at the door. She surmised that it would be the super, coming to apologise. Sometimes Alex wondered if she was the only person in the building who complained or if she was just the most effective of the complainers.

Dumping her bottle on the table next to the couch, she marched over to the door and, despite her sweatshirt and jeans, put on her best courtroom face. Flinging the door open, well-determined to give the superintendent a piece of her mind, she was brought up completely short by the appearance of the woman who had been driving her crazy for a full year.


Her mouth went dry. Oh Christ, what the hell was she doing here? And of course the detective looked so good, so very edible and good and sexy and smart, and that was just in jeans, with a shirt and a leather jacket that hung just so off her shoulders. Alex was certain her brain was about to dribble out of her ears.

"Alex." Her voice. Damn but her voice was so… sultry. It was molasses and cream and it flowed like a river in a Southern summer.

"Olivia…" Dammit, that was too familiar! "Detective Benson," Alex tried again, stuttering. Too familiar. Too, too familiar. She'd give the game away even worse than she already had if she wasn't careful. There was a longish silence before Olivia shifted her weight. The detective's hands were in her pockets and she looked a little uncomfortable, or was that uncertainty Alex saw there?

Eventually the brunette spoke again. "Hi." It was soft and it was definitely uncertain.

"How did you get up here?" Mentally, Alex cursed herself with every swear word she'd ever learned and a few she was certain she'd just made up. Way to go, Cabot! Greet the woman of your dreams with rudeness just after walking out on an argument with her, that's really the way to win her friendship back.

Friendship? Alex didn't want friendship with Olivia; she wanted something much, much more. On the other hand, she knew all too well that such a thing was never going to happen, so friendship was probably the only viable option. Not that they really had a friendship, they more had a friendly acquaintance-ship.

Alex realised that Olivia was still standing in her doorway and that she was, in fact, babbling in her own head.

"Sorry," she said, straightening up.

"I said your doorman let me up. I might have flashed my badge at him." At least Olivia contrived to look a little sheepish at that admission. It looked cute on her.

"Oh, uh, that's okay, um, come on in." Stepping back, she let Olivia into her apartment and praised the fact that it was always as neat as a pin. On the other hand, she was wearing jeans and an oversized Yankee sweatshirt. Looking down, she also realised that a small spot of tomato sauce from the pizza had landed on said sweatshirt and, now, at least to Alex, stood out like a glaring neon sign.

Oh great.

And her hair was up in a rough, makeshift bun and her make-up was gone and, generally, she looked just how she imagined she'd look least attractive to Olivia. While she still held no illusions about the other woman's feelings, at least she wanted to look good while around the brunette.

Today was not working out for her.

She closed the door.

"Uh, can I get you something?" Alex swallowed, tried not to stutter and tried to gain a little of her treasured composure.

Olivia turned around. "Oh God, Alex, I didn't mean to intrude on your evening. I… Uh, I just wanted to sort out… then I'll go…"

Don't go! Alex's head screamed for her.

"It's okay. I was just doing some reading for work, eating some… pizza," she admitted with a small smile. She was rewarded with one back and tried to ignore the warm happy feeling she got every time Olivia smiled. This was pathetic. She was a grown woman with an excellent career in the District Attorney's office and she was practically gushing all over a crush. That didn't stop her feeling the happy warmth, though.

She watched Olivia's eyes drift around the apartment and finally settle on the beer bottle, replete with its icy beads of water from the fridge.

"Would you like a beer?" Alex pushed up the sleeves of her sweatshirt and wished to God that she'd put something else on. "I was just… I have a few in the fridge."

"That… that would be nice."

Returning from the kitchen, the blonde found Olivia seated, almost perched really, on the side of the couch, looking a bit uncomfortable. She handed her the beer, top already popped, and smiled, curling up in her favourite armchair.


"It's fine."

The concept of having a beer with Olivia Benson - in jeans and a sweatshirt, in her own apartment - had never really occurred to her. If it had, she probably wouldn't have fantasised it as this awkward.

After a moment and another swig of beer, the detective put her bottle on the coffee table and rested her elbows on her knees. As she looked down, all Alex could see was the top of a shaggy, yet somehow elegant pixie-like head of hair and the slender curve of a neck. If she followed the line, it ended at a pair of slender hands, ones that Alex had spent just a little too much time thinking about. She averted her gaze before the detective looked up.

"I came to apologise." The phrase was firm, clear and oh-so-very Olivia. She was always straight to the point, but not without some finesse.

"You don't have to do that." She'd already forgiven Olivia; now, all she had to do was forgive herself.

"Yes, I really do." The brunette looked up. "What I said to you was completely uncalled for. And it upset you."

Obviously, Olivia had noticed that her cool, calm persona had slipped a little but Alex had kind of expected that, given that she'd run away like a little girl.

"It's okay." She put her beer down on the coffee table, almost mirroring the detective's actions. "Really, I understood."

There was a short silence. "I didn't mean to hurt you," Olivia almost whispered.

Alex swallowed. She could keep denying, but she knew the brunette wouldn't buy it. Olivia Benson was anything but stupid.

"I know." She reached for her beer, took a swig, and put it back down again. "I didn't mean to … run out like that. I just knew why you were there and I really didn't want to wail on you."

That coaxed a smile out of the brunette. "Didn't want to wail on me?"

"I've been told I can be a bit… scathing."

"Mmm," Olivia chuckled, before taking a drink from her own beer. "I might have seen you be that once or twice. You probably wouldn't have been remiss being a bit scathing on me, though. What I said was unforgivable."

Pausing again, Alex chose her words carefully. "No, not unforgivable." Never unforgivable: she was almost certain she could forgive Olivia anything.

"Uncalled for, then."

"Perhaps." Sighing, Alex curled up a little tighter in her chair and pulled her hands up into her sleeves. It was a reflexive action from long ago, one of protection, of sanctuary, and she did it without fail in her Yankees sweatshirt. "I do care, Olivia." The brunette looked up. "I know you do."

"No, I mean I really care. I care about the women, the children, the people you fight for. I fight for them, too. And when my hands are tied, I hate it, maybe more than you do."

"I'm not sure that can be true."

"Maybe not, but then we're just flipsides of the same coin, aren't we?"

The detective smiled, the left half of her mouth curling up and her eyes crinkling ever so slightly. Alex felt a twinge deep inside.

"That we are, Counsellor."

"Then, occasionally, when it gets hard, I think we can probably forgive each other the occasional," she put the stress on the last word, "free pass for a bit of…"


"I was thinking more… expressiveness." She grinned at the brunette, utterly grateful that her speaking abilities had returned.

Olivia had the grace to chuckle. "I was just plain rude, Counsellor."

"Alex, please."

"Sorry. Alex."

Oh God, Olivia was looking straight into her eyes and the blonde couldn't tear her own away. Did the detective have any idea how mesmerising she was? Probably not.

"Would you like some pizza?"


"I have pizza. In the kitchen. Pepperoni. There's a few slices left. I can heat them up for you, if you like." Almost as if on cue, the brunette's stomach gave an almighty growl and Alex couldn't help but laugh. "I'll get the pizza."

"So, then, he ran and you should have seen Elliot go after him. I thought his shoes were going to catch fire. Before you know it, the perp is running for this fence. So, he grabs the fence and just leaps over, looking behind at Elliot, who's storming after him. Didn't look where he was going, lands face first in a pile of manure the farmer had left there." Olivia laughed, her eyes shining in the dim lamplight. "Elliot, of course, completely focused on catching him, follows him straight over the fence and face first into a pile of cow shit. We laughed at him for weeks. God, the car stank for weeks, too…"

Alex couldn't help keep the laughter that she'd let bubble up through the story continue. She finished off the last of her beer and put the bottle down on the coffee table amidst the small amount of clutter that had gathered.

Olivia had been there for two hours. They were on their third and fourth beers, respectively, and Alex could feel a slight buzz in the back of her head. She wasn't sure if it was the alcohol or the fact that Detective Benson was still there, still on her couch, and, to all appearances, was having a good time.

Alex certainly was.

The pizza was gone. As far as Alex knew, there was one more beer in the fridge and it definitely had Olivia's name on it if the brunette wanted it. As soon as the lawyer had thought of it, her companion for the evening had stretched her arms over her head languidly and the blonde was a goner.

Olivia's shirt rode up just enough for some firm, tight abs to be oh-so-teasingly visible. The line of the shirt outlined two small but perfectly formed breasts and, even in relaxation, eyes closed and head tilted back, Detective Olivia Benson was the picture of perfection.

Alex felt her whole body jump and certain parts of her body become more acutely aware than they'd been in awhile.


What would it be like to move across there, surprise the other woman? To feel those lips on her own, searching? To feel what it would be like to run her tongue across Olivia's bottom lip, her teeth, tangle it with the detective's own? What would it feel like to straddle the brunette on the couch, feel that body, lean and strong, against her own?

Heaven. It would feel like heaven.

Alex Cabot, the coward, stayed on her armchair.

"Geez, it's been a long week. I'm beat."

No, don't go! Alex's head screamed out. "I know what you mean," her voice betrayed.

Olivia stood up and Alex followed suit and, if the alcohol had gotten to her at all, she at least had the grace not to let it show.

"Thanks for the pizza and beer. It was just what I needed."

"You're more than welcome, Detective," Alex smiled.

The smile she got back from Olivia was almost cryptic, soft but unreadable. "Olivia, please."

Alex dipped her head, praying to God that the blush threatening to climb its way onto her cheeks would stay down. Her alabaster complexion had made her a sitting duck for the worst kind of blush, and it had taken all of her high-school years to get it under control. Olivia Benson threatened to undo all that in a single evening.

"Thanks for a really nice evening, Alex."

The blonde couldn't help but notice that now the detective was back in her leather jacket, her hands were back in her pockets and the distinct look of uncertainty was about her.

"You're more than welcome. I'm really glad you dropped by." The blonde smiled. "Olivia."

It was clear that the detective was leaving and, short of throwing herself at the woman in some kind of crazed fashion, there wasn't much Alex could do about it. At the very least, she felt like she'd taken some kind of steps towards a friendship and that those steps probably couldn't be undone.

"You all right to drive home?" It was only at the last minute that the lawyer thought of a solution. Typically, she would have reasoned it out hours before, but she'd been so lost in Olivia's company that she hadn't bothered. But, then, it came to her: she really should have gotten the brunette that last beer.

"Oh, I'll cab it." Olivia smiled. "Thanks, though."

"Just looking out for you, Detective."

"As always, Counsellor."

Whatever the moment held, it was fleeting, but Alex could have sworn she saw it: something in Olivia's eyes and the subtle move of a hand out of a pocket. It rose, as if it was to touch the blonde, in a way that wasn't quite new and wasn't quite old. Instead, it found its way to Olivia's own hair, almost faltering, and tucked a loose strand behind the brunette's ear.

Alex let out a breath.

"Yeah, anyway, thanks…" Olivia said, visibly swallowing and taking a step backwards. "I'll see you at work next week?" It was posed as a question, but it wasn't really a question.

"Of course." It was too long. She didn't want to wait till Monday to see Olivia. She knew, even if there was no reason, that she'd find a way to see the detective on Monday anyway. She always did.

The brunette was already halfway down the hall when Alex called out, words coming out of her mouth without any filtering.


The brunette turned around. "Yeah?"

"Are you doing anything tomorrow night?"

"No… No, I'm free…"

"You… you think perhaps we could catch dinner?" Oh Jesus, that made it sound like they were going fishing for it first.

The hesitation made it feel like Alex's head was on fire, burning with the potential of humiliation, rejection and, worst of all, exposure.

"Sounds nice. I'll meet you here around seven-thirty?"

Had… had Olivia just said yes? It sure sounded like she'd said yes.

"Seven-thirty sounds perfect."

Alex closed the door behind her, leaning against it, trying to breathe. She honestly had no idea what she'd just gotten herself into, or how she'd gotten herself into it. She wanted to think she had a date, but that was absurd. No, it was just a dinner between two friends, two people interested in becoming better friends, that's all it was.

Just because it was a casual dinner between friends didn't mean that Alex didn't spend the better part of the afternoon with her wardrobe laid out on her bed. She wanted to look nice. Actually, she wanted to look better than nice. She wanted to look irresistible. On the other hand, looking irresistible might be a bit too much if, in fact, she was very resistible and Olivia just thought she was crazy.

There had to be a fine balance of looking nice, good - sexy, even - but at the same time trying to look like she hadn't made too much of an effort.

God, she didn't even know where they were going. She'd considered all the options. After all, she was the one who'd invited Olivia out to dinner, so she was probably going to decide where they were going.

There was La Riviere, but that was probably a little too swish for a date that wasn't a date. Then there was La Traviatta; incredibly clichéd though the name was, it had good food and a relatively laid-back atmosphere. You could turn up in relatively nice clothing, or possibly even jeans and a shirt, and still fit in.

Then there was the steakhouse down the road, but that was peanuts-on-the-floor territory, and Alex wasn't sure but she thought there might be line dancing on a Saturday. The steakhouse certainly wasn't Cabot territory - she had to admit that she felt much more at home in La Riviere - but what if Olivia was a steakhouse person?

It was so hard to tell with the gorgeous brunette. On one hand, she was completely at home with the boys and pretty much as tough-as-nails; on the other hand, she was sweet and lovely and every woman liked to be taken to a nice restaurant from time to time.

Sweating and swearing through her outfits, Alex felt that she had at least reasoned her way down to the Italian. Now if she could only decide what to wear.

What if Olivia showed up in jeans? Surely that would mean a casual friends thing?

What if Olivia showed up in an evening dress? Then she wouldn't have reservations at La Riviere and, while she thought she could probably wrangle something from contacts in the afternoon, by the time evening hit, she'd have no chance.

What if?

Alex stood in the middle of her bedroom, hands on her hips, her wardrobe selections surveyed before her, and worried her bottom lip. She was not being Alex Cabot about this. She was cool, calm, collected and she could tear a witness or a defence attorney to shreds. Now was not the time to go forgetting that.

By the time six-thirty came around, the blonde was ready. Taking stock of herself, she decided she'd done pretty well. Her pinstripe trousers were neatly cut and she had to admit that they did show off her ass nicely. The top she'd chosen was sleeveless, arching up around her neck, and also showed off her shoulders, which she hoped was a good thing. Last but not least were the boots she wore with just a slight hint more of a heel than she'd normally wear, knowing they'd at least show off her legs. Her make-up was subtle but there and her hair was loose, natural.

If questioned, she could say she just felt like dressing up a little for a nice night out, but she wasn't over-dressed. She also wasn't under-dressed, and could eat at almost any reasonable restaurant in town.

Logic had once again won.

She was ready to meet her foe.

When the doorbell went at seven-thirty, Alex nearly jumped out of her skin. Trying to walk casually to the door instead of with major haste was hard, but she just managed it.

Opening the door didn't help her ability to remain cool and aloof in the slightest.

Olivia looked amazing.

Olivia always looked amazing.

She was dressed not dissimilarly to Alex, actually, in a nice dress pair of pants with a matching shirt. Her make-up was light and her hair was perfect. She was not too dressed up, not too dressed down and yet just as breathtaking as Alex had ever seen.

She tried to talk and ended up choking on her own saliva. Even while she was bent over, coughing her lungs up, she could feel the humiliation rising inside. Unprepared as Alex was, the sudden sensation of Olivia's hand on her back made neither the coughing nor the humiliation better. In fact, it just made her cough all that much harder until she finally felt like her lungs were clear.

By that point, the blonde was kneeling on the floor, down on one knee, clutching her stomach. She wasn't entirely sure she wanted to look up, even though she'd stopped spluttering and coughing. Olivia was crouched down next to her and making small warm circles on her lower back. Partly, the sensation was almost so overwhelming that she didn't want it to stop. She couldn't help imagining what it would feel like to have Olivia's hands on her skin, stroking, touching.

Eventually, she had to get up though, because continuing to crouch down looked ridiculous. Slightly red-faced, both from the coughing and the embarrassment, she looked up at the brunette.

"You okay?" Olivia said, looking adorably concerned.

Alex flushed further. "Yeah, thank you. Just swallowed the wrong way."

The brunette smiled, causing another frisson of excitement to pass through the lawyer. She took the offered hand and let Olivia pull her to her feet.

Suddenly, they were standing close, almost too close. All that was between them was a pair of joined hands, almost like a fist, with practically no space otherwise.

The frisson of sensation turned into a near torrent.

Before she could say anything, Olivia took a step backwards, turning through the open door as if to leave. Before she did so, Alex could have sworn that she saw a crimson flush, not dissimilar to her own, on the detective's cheeks.

Olivia turned back around, "Ready to go?" She seemed nervous, definitely suddenly ill-at-ease with the situation. She wasn't the only one.

The attorney nodded, swallowing again and making sure she didn't choke this time. "I'll just grab my purse."