"Double Time" Sequel to "Stepping Time" (Highly recommend you read Stepping Time before starting this sequel but including a brief synopsis of where Stepping Time ended below this chapter)

The main characters of Law and Order SVU belong to Dick Wolf and NBC Universal. This is meant for entertainment, not profit.* There are several characters I have created. I hope you enjoy, and I welcome feedback.

Author's Note #1 I will be finishing up "Talk, Ask, Listen" and started trying to write Chapter 25, but with today's long-awaited and historic DADT repeal, my muse is happily guiding me to Chapter 1 of the Stepping Time sequel "Double Time"

Author's Note #2 (Especially for laurelhardy) Characters guide-Primary SVU Characters Olivia Benson, Alex Cabot Primary Original Female Characters Army Lt. Col. Erin Mathison, Attorney Angie Secondary SVU and L&O Characters Elliot Stabler, Casey Novak, Abbie Carmichael, Serena Southerlyn Secondary Original Characters Jeff Stockton, Amelia Stockton, Dylan Mathison, Petraeus (Erin's Chihuahua), Senator Rushing, TJ McCoy

#-#

"Double Time" Chapter 1

"Christ Carmichael," Alex yelled quickly pulling the phone away from her ear.

"Was it that loud? Sorry Alex," Abbie laughed.

"Was that a vuvuzela?" Alex asked.

"Yeah…Serena got it for me during World Cup to try and get me interested in the matches…I think she regrets it though. We've got some friends over here toasting and celebrating the repeal. Tried calling Olivia…"

"She's on her way over here," Alex interrupted. "She got called out on a case this morning."

"Has she heard anything from Erin? I've sent Erin a few e-mails the past few days, but haven't gotten anything back," Abbie questioned.

"No, she hasn't heard or received any e-mails from Erin in five days," Alex said. "I hate this Abbie. Angie and I have been trying to reassure her…I mean Erin did say wherever the hell they were sending her she wouldn't be able to call almost for sure…"

"And e-mail would be sporadic if at all," Abbie added. "I mean with technology I think in so many ways it has to be better than like back in the World Wars, Korea or even Vietnam…shit all you had then was basically letters that you could receive a month after your loved one was killed."

"Well it is the not knowing that is driving her insane and the not knowing not only if she is okay but where she is…Of course we're guessing she is in some of the worst parts…those remote villages, outposts in the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan," Alex sighed.

"No I agree," Abbie said. "I'm sure if she was at a base in Kandahar she'd be able to call or at least e-mail. I talked to Liv briefly twice this week, but both times she was working cases."

"It has been good that her clavicle has healed so well and she's off desk duty and staying busy," Alex said. "And she has been good when not working or sleeping with doing stuff with me and Angie, Casey and Jeff, and of course the guys have been great."

"Serena and I are spending the 23rd and Christmas Eve at Serena's parents, but we were talking about spending Christmas day and Sunday and Monday in the city," Abbie said. "Hopefully, Erin will be back at Camp Phoenix by Christmas anyway."

"I know," Alex sighed. "She's been out nine days today now and said should be two weeks max. I think you two ought to come here next week…Serena's parents live by Albany right?"

"Yes, Saratoga Springs now," Abbie replied.

"Angie says yes too," Alex smiled as the brunette handed her a glass of wine and plopped on the couch next to her. "You can stay with us."

"Or they can have my apartment," Angie smiled as Alex pressed the speaker icon and held the phone out so Abbie could hear.. "All the furniture from California will be in there by then."

"Are you sure? I mean we'd be getting there mid-evening on Christmas Eve?" Abbie queried.

"Absolutely," Alex said. "It would be great to have you two here. We should have asked you two before, but just assumed you would be with family."

"Serena's parents fly to Greece Christmas morning for a three-week Mediterranean cruise and we did up Thanksgiving with my family in Texas," Abbie said.

"Well Christmas Day we're just doing a white elephant exchange and lunch and drinks here. Olivia and Jeff and Casey will be here and the guys from the precinct are all coming by and ADA Hardwicke."

"Babe we can break in Angie's new apartment," Abbie yelled to Serena.

"Lord, Angie hasn't known you as long as I have Carmichael," Alex laughed. "Probably best you two stay in my apartment and we'll break in the new one."

"We're in," Serena said grabbing the phone from Abbie. "Thanks so much you two."

"No problem. Can't wait to see you two again…I know it will be great for Olivia to have you both here for the holidays too," Angie laughed. "I'm just scared of Abbie's white elephant gift."

"Speaking of Olivia," Alex said getting up from the couch at the sound of knocking at her door.

"Hey thanks again Ang," Abbie said. "It was so much fun hanging out with you and getting to know you the last time we were up."

"Same to you both…and I appreciate being so readily accepted into this crazy group," Angie chuckled.

#-#

"So are you done for the day?" Alex asked as Olivia hung up her coat.

"Yes," Olivia sighed. "The victim died in surgery, but she wasn't sexually assaulted so they turned the case over to homicide."

"You want a beer?" Alex stated more than asked, walking to the refrigerator. "Abbie is on the phone."

"Hey Carmichael," Olivia yelled, accepting the beer from Alex. "Everything okay with them?" Olivia asked Alex softly. "She tried calling me too, but no voicemail."

"So you haven't heard?" Alex smiled.

"They aren't having a baby now too?" Olivia joked as they walked to the couch.

"Oh fuck no Benson," Abbie laughed. "We're celebrating the DADT repeal down here."

"Oh thank God," Olivia smiled. "I was a little busy and I didn't see any text messages."

"Should have sent you one, but the final vote just went through like 30 minutes ago," Alex said.

"Think I am going to have to get you a t-shirt made like the one I sent to Erin," Abbie laughed. "Hmmm Do Ask Do Tell I am the colonel's official girlfriend."

"Lord Carmichael," Olivia smiled. "I can do without, but Erin loves hers. So Alex said when I came in that you two will be here for Christmas…that's awesome."

"We're looking forward to it and then will be back up about a month after that for Erin's welcome home party," Abbie said excitedly.

"I'm getting to my e-mail now to see if I got anything from her," Olivia said hopefully, her eyes focused on the laptop screen. "I wonder if she knows about the repeal."

Alex and Angie both tried to subtly eye the computer screen from where they were sitting, hoping that there would finally be a message from Erin.

"Nope," Olivia finally sighed. "Fuckin' war," she mumbled softly getting up to grab another beer.

#-#

"Olivia, you want some cake?" Angie asked.

"Naw, thank you though Angie. I'm stuffed from dinner. It was really good. Thank you," Olivia said as she finished loading the dishwasher.

"Well if you want some later just come get some," Angie said, walking into the kitchen from the dining room.

"I appreciate that, but I better get going anyway," Olivia said.

"Liv just stay for a while okay. We were just going to watch a movie," Angie said sincerely.

"Well you just got back in to town a few days ago. I'm sure you two could use some alone time," Olivia stammered a bit. "I mean you have been absolutely wonderful with me, but I'm sure…"

"Liv," Angie smiled widely. "This is most functional and loving dysfunctional group of friends and exes and because of that I feel like I fit in perfectly. I feel about you the same way Alex feels about Erin."

"Which is?" Olivia smirked, arching a curious eyebrow.

"I know why Alex fell in love with you and she knows why you are in love with Erin," Angie said as a matter of fact. "Hell, I've only met Erin once and I know why you are in love with her," Angie smiled.

"Thanks Angie," Olivia smiled wrapping her arms around the petite woman and into a friendly embrace.

"Hey," Alex called walking towards the kitchen from the bathroom. "Can I have a hug too… even though I didn't help much cleaning up," she smiled.

"You can have a hug if you can pick out a movie that will keep Olivia entertained for a couple of hours," Angie smiled, kissing Alex on the cheek.

"Comedy Liv," Alex queried.

"Sure, preferably a funny one," Olivia quipped and Angie laughed.

"You won't like her as much once you two get to know each other better and she's a smartass with you too," Alex smiled, slapping Angie on the ass.

"You guys want some more wine or something else to drink?" Olivia asked as she felt her iPhone vibrate. She glanced at the screen recognizing the 202 area code as D.C., but not the numbers behind it. "Benson," she answered.

"Detective Benson, it's TJ McCoy, Senator Rushing's press secretary. The senator would like to speak with you if you have a moment."

"Yes…is every…"

"Olivia, Senator Rushing," the senator said pleasantly.

"Hello senator," Olivia said, immediately drawing the attention of Alex and Angie. "Please don't…" Olivia started, her fingers wrapped tightly around her beer bottle and her heart pounding.

"Oh no dear," the senator said quickly. "Part of the reason I am calling is because when I spoke to Erin a few minutes ago I asked her if there was anything I could do for her. She said to call you since she couldn't and to let you know she is doing fine and she loves you."

"Oh thank God, thank you senator," Olivia exclaimed, pounding her fist on the counter in both release and celebration.

"Well I was going to call you anyway," Rushing laughed, "but that girlfriend of yours can be rather insistent."

"I suppose you can't patch back thru to her now," Olivia only half-jokingly questioned.

"No, I can't," the senator laughed. "But she should be at Camp Phoenix again on Wednesday and her orders for coming home have been cut. She'll be on her way back to you on January 27th. Report date to the Pentagon, Monday, February 7th," Rushing added.

"This is such good news. Thank you so much for calling me and thank you for everything with the DADT repeal and picking Erin…and I'll try to compose myself again now," Olivia stammered.

"Olivia it is fine. My granddaughter is only a sophomore at West Point and I'm already worried about her," Rushing replied.

"But I'm a cop so I shouldn't…"

"And I'm a senator," Rushing countered. "When it's family it's emotional no matter what title goes in front of your name. The other reason I'm calling is I am hoping you can join Erin for dinner with me and several of my colleagues at my residence on Saturday, February 5th. TJ or one of my staffers will be providing all the details."

"Yes, I'd be honored senator," Olivia gasped.

"I have to get back to the floor now Olivia. We'll be in touch again soon…oh and Erin said to tell you, I wrote it down here…oh…fearlessness."

"Fearlessness," Olivia repeated.

"I assume that is special," Rushing said.

"It is," Olivia smiled. "Thank you again so much Senator Rushing."

"Take care Olivia and happy holidays."

"You too senator."

"Stepping Time" The story ended on 12/5 with Lt. Col. Erin Mathison, Olivia's girlfriend finding out that she would only be in Afghanistan for six more weeks before redeploying to the US and an assignment in DC. Alex has been dating an attorney, Angie, who took a position with the International Criminal Court prosecuting crimes of violence. Alex now just has an advisory role on the task force she helped to create and has returned as the SVU ADA. Casey is now engaged to Jeff Stockton (daughter Amelia) a war veteran and prosecutor in Connecticut. Jeff is Erin's best friend. Abbie and Serena are engaged and planning a summer 2011 wedding in DC where they live.