I felt like writing this. When I feel like writing, I do so. This will be a slightly longer fic, though I can't decide whether or not it'll be 10 or 30 chapters. I guess I'll see how it goes.

A/O

Disclaimer: I don't own Alex Cabot or Olivia Benson, Dick Wolf does. Nor do I make any money from taking them and smushing them together like two plasticine figurines.

Rating: A.

* 8* 8*8 *8 *

Chapter 1

There are so many words that come to mind when I think of her. The fact that I think of her so often is probably cause enough for alarm. Ever since she so casually strode into the precinct that day, I've been thinking about her. I don't know when my thoughts no longer followed the same path but took on a life of their own, but now I can't make them stop.

She was our very first dedicated ADA. When she started, we all thought the same thing: stuck-up bitch, thinks she can tell us how to do our jobs. She does, of course, tell us how to do our jobs, that is. Most irritatingly, she's usually right, not always, but usually.

Hard. Alex Cabot is hard. I'm not the softest egg in the dozen. I've been working Sex Crimes for a few years now and that will harden up nearly anyone. I pride myself that with the vics, at least, I'm still Olivia-with-a-heart.

I've seen her. She's got a heart. I've seen her with the most damaged of people and seen how carefully she handles them. But I've also seen how she deals with the perps and there's no other word for her then but hard.

How she makes me feel? Fire.

She makes me feel like I'm on fire all of the time. 24/7, I'm just burning up. Sometimes, it's rage, usually it's confusion that burns my brain to a cinder as I try to make it function properly. Never once, not in the entire time we've worked together, has she ever deliberately caused these emotions in me, but that doesn't mean they're not there.

She makes me burn.

This is a new feeling for me and I don't know how to deal with it, so I don't. I haven't thus far and, since nothing will ever change, I don't see any reason to figure it out now. Instead, I just try to get on with my life. And I try to do that without bursting into flame. I manage most of the time.

She encourages nothing. She encourages no overtures of friendship, no frustrating hints that I might not be off-base. I'm off-base. Alex is about as aloof as it gets and I wonder if, deep down inside, that's the problem.

Am I simply chasing - craving, really - that which I can't have?

I watch her now, as she puts the final touches to her closing arguments to the jury. As per usual, they're mesmerized by her, utterly entranced by the story she's weaving. If anyone can be persuasive, it's Alex Cabot. I can see the look of worry that's creased across the defense attorney's face. He knows the jury took her words seriously and he's not sure he can win.

I know he can't.

When she walks back to her seat, I lean forward, my elbows on my knees. I worked hard on this case and I made sure whatever I gave her was air-tight. These days, though, that seems to mean little in a court of law and I've seen plenty of scum bags walk away from air-tight evidence. Very few of them have been prosecuted by Alex Cabot, however.

I hope, without any reason, that, as she walks back to her table, she'll look up at me. I feel my face flush at the very concept, a heat rising inside me. It subsides as she takes her seat without a single glance in my direction.

Focus. She's full of focus.

Damn, but she looks good in that skirt.

I lean back in my chair and feel Munch shift beside me. He worked hard on this case, too, one of the few we've done together. I can't remember what Elliot was doing, but he was somewhere. He didn't have as much invested as I did, though, so maybe that's why he's been more relaxed.

Or maybe he just doesn't get this way every time Alex is in the room like I do.

I'm an embarrassing teenage boy. If I had a penis, there'd be a permanent boner, I'd be reduced to carrying a folder everywhere and my blushing would be far more prominent. Instead, I'm an adult woman with a ridiculous crush and what's turning into a bit of a complex.

I haven't decided what type of complex yet.

I almost smile as I listen to the defense attorney stuff up his closing arguments neatly. Simply, the looks on the faces of the jury tell me that we've won, but I hold back my breath until they all shuffle out of the room and the judge tells us to take a break.

I look to Alex, hoping she'll turn around, come and talk to us, but she doesn't. She's got her head down in paperwork and I don't even know that she's going to move. I have to, when Munch grabs my elbow and demands coffee. If I don't, it'll look very strange.

We hover outside the courtroom, drinking crappy coffee out of crappy Styrofoam cups, and I'm grateful for Munch's relatively taciturn nature. Elliot would want to talk and, right now, I don't feel like talking.

The break is short. The jury is back within half an hour and that bodes well for us. In a case like this, where the evidence is pretty overwhelming, it's likely to mean a conviction. When we shuffle back in and take our seats, my eyes immediately head to Alex's desk. Now she's standing, leaning with her knuckles on the desk, and I admire her pert ass.

I just can't help myself.

If the appreciation causes her any consternation, or if my psychic crush rays make it over to her in any way, she gives no indication.

We stand for the judge. We sit for the judge. Sometimes, I feel like court is one big game of Simon Says and no-one quite understands the rules.

They approach the foreman. Yes, the jury has reached a verdict.

He's guilty. They find him guilty. I let out a sigh of relief as various emotions rattle through the court. The judge sends him off for a later sentencing. Victims' families are crying, hugging; the perp's brother has a thundercloud expression; and the perp himself just looks resigned. Munch looks like Munch.

Alex hasn't turned around.

I want - no, I need - to talk to her before we head back to the precinct. We worked hard on this case; we worked together. Surely a word of victory, a small sense of congratulations, is in order?

"Olivia." Munch is trying to get me to leave.

"Just a sec, I wanna talk to Alex." I shrug him off, walk down the court against the prevailing tide of leavers.

I get to the barrier, where she's just a few feet away, packing her papers into her neat little briefcase.

"Alex." I can't help the softness that creeps into my voice.

She turns to me. Sometimes, I wish she'd actually effect a facial expression when I talk to her. I probably wouldn't even care if it was just disgust, at least that would mean I registered on her radar. She always looks faintly confused when Fin talks and faintly amused when Munch does, but with me, it's like stone.

No, not stone, ice.

Glacial ice.

"Olivia."

And I wish she wouldn't address me so formally.

"Good job counselor, you got him." I smile at her, ignoring the formality as a matter of principle.

"It was a team effort." I think that's the closest she's ever come to acknowledging me, but I take it anyway. Tidbits are everything in this non-relationship.

"I think we'll probably hit up Finnigan's after this, celebratory drink. You in?"

It's not the first time we've asked her to come out for a post-case drink. The invites were slow to start, because as a team we're a cagey bunch and she didn't win us over straight away. When it became clear that her heart was at the very least where ours was, we started inviting her.

She never said yes.

The invites became more common the more often we worked with her. She still never said yes, so they've become more infrequent with time. I'm probably the only person who never gives up, though. Even Elliot has stopped asking, and I think he quite likes Alex.

"Thank you," she murmurs, "but I have plans."

Lies. I know it's a lie. Sometimes, she says 'no' straight out, sometimes she makes excuses, but it all means the same thing.

I nod, hoping my appearance is one of understanding, rather than bitter disappointment

To my surprise, she moves her mouth, an actual expression, though I don't know what the hell it means. "Maybe another time," she murmurs.

That's by far the most she's ever given me. I won't let myself believe she may mean it, but it's still the most I've ever had.

And I feel the heat flush and flow within me. As Munch and I head back to the precinct, I desperately hope for a case, preferably one with a perp I can chase and then throw against a wall, because I feel the desperate need.

She makes me burn.

And I hate it.