Title: The Valentine's Day Bandit

Fandom: L&O: SVU

Pairing: Alex/Olivia

Spoilers: None

Disclaimer: They belong to Dick Wolf, not us. T_T

Rating: K (Yes, you read that right. K. Really.)

AN: Yes, we know this is a day (and a few hours) late. We tried to write smut... and FAILED. This is what we ended up with. Brush your teeth afterwards so you don't get cavities.


...

The Valentine's Day Bandit

...

"Hey, Liv, what are you doing here so late?" Elliot Stabler asked, checking his watch before glancing up at his partner. "Don't you have some hot Valentine's day date to get ready for like the rest of us?"

Olivia rolled her eyes at the suggestion. "It's still the 13th, Elliot. Just don't forget to bring me my chocolate tomorrow." Every Valentine's day, Elliot always bought Olivia her favorite kind of dark chocolate and a card with something funny inside, a habit that Kathy knew about and supported. Since he usually remembered to buy her an entire bouquet of flowers along with something shiny, she didn't mind. In exchange, Olivia bought him two hotdogs with everything on them - at his request. The traditional Valentine's Day gifts weren't manly enough for Elliot Stabler. Over the course of their partnership, it had become an inside joke.

"Well, date or not, you should get home. Maybe you could try sleeping for a change..."

"Nuh uh," Olivia said, leaning back in her chair and folding her hands behind her head as Elliot began gathering up his things. "I'm spending the night here."

Elliot gave her a confused look. "What? Why?"

"I'm gonna catch the Valentines Day Bandit."

Relationships had come and gone, along with a few cards and even some gaudy items of jewelry, but no gift had truly caught Olivia's attention until four years ago. Every February 14th since then, she had received a bouquet of white gardenias on her desk at the squad room. They appeared magically, and no matter how early she arrived, she hadn't managed to catch her secret admirer. There was always a card, but it was never signed, and the note was typed instead of handwritten.

"By sleeping here all night?" Elliot asked skeptically.

"Yup."

"So, you're sitting on stakeout duty because of a bunch of flowers? And what kind of name is 'The Valentines Day Bandit', anyway? Bandits steal things, they don't leave presents like Santa Claus."

Olivia crossed her arms over her chest and stared pointedly at her partner. "It's a damn fine name for whoever is doing this."

Elliot laughed. "You don't think you're going a little overboard with the whole thing? I mean, somebody gives you flowers and you decide to stake out your own desk?"

"Every year, for the last four years," Olivia growled. "My favorite flowers, sweet little notes. No signature on the cards. Nothing. That's like… stalking."

"Stalking," Elliot chuckled. "Sure. I'd love it if somebody 'stalked' me by leaving my favorite whatever on my desk every year."

Olivia frowned. "Shut up. Go home, hug your kids, kiss your wife, and leave me alone. I'm going to catch whoever is doing this."

Elliot shook his head. "Whatever you say, partner. Here," he shoved a stack of file folders from his desk to hers. "Might as well be productive if you're going to be sitting here all night."

"You want me to complete your fives?"

"Have fun." Elliot winked. "Good luck catching that sicko-perv who has the audacity to leave you flowers and little notes."

Olivia wadded up a piece of paper and threw it at her partner's retreating back. "Shut up!"

...

Three hours later, Olivia was staring at the open file on her desk, her eyes unseeing as she fought to stay awake. Her head dipped, her nose speeding towards the table when she suddenly caught herself, blinking rapidly to clear her head. It wasn't her first close call of the night. Her paperwork (and most of Elliot's) was complete for the next month at the very least, but there was still no sign of her secret admirer. She had been so sure that the guy leaving the flowers would drop them off the night before, since she hadn't had any luck catching him in the morning.

"Ugh," Olivia groaned, pushing back her chair and standing up to stretch her arms. "I've had just about enough of this. Why did I think this was a good idea again? I could be at home, taking a nice hot shower or curled up in bed..." The sound of an outer door opening interrupted her monologue, and her head whirled around in the direction of the noise. Quickly, she switched off the lights to make it look like everyone had gone home for the evening. She didn't want to scare the intruder before he had a chance to drop off the flowers.

Olivia held her breath, letting her eyes adjust to the darkness and listening to the sound of heels clicking down the hallway, growing steadily louder... Wait, heels? What was going on? Trying not to breathe too loudly, she waited for the unknown person to turn the corner. When she saw who it was, she forgot the need to be quiet and let out a startled gasp. She knew that profile.

"Alex?"

"Shit!" the normally composed ADA squeaked, the expensive cut crystal vase bobbing threatening in her hands for a moment before she regained control of the vase, and her composure. "Detective Benson," she drawled as she strolled nonchalantly into the squadroom to set the flowers down on Olivia's desk. "What are you doing here so early?"

Olivia grinned. "You're my Valentine's Day Bandit?"

Alex frowned as she studied the smiling detective. "Don't bandits usually steal stuff?"

"God, not you too!" Olivia groaned as she hid her face in her hands.

"Sorry?"

"You're the person who's left me flowers and notes these last four years?"

Alex's eyes flicked around the empty squadroom. "No?"

"Riiiiight," Olivia drawled.

"They weren't… I didn't…. I mean, a gentleman on the street handed them to me when he saw me coming into the precinct and asked me to deliver them to you."

"You're a terrible liar, Counselor," Olivia laughed.

Alex's brow furrowed. "Am not," she retorted childishly.

"Are too."

"Are not."

"Are too."

"Are not times infinity, so there," Alex retorted, punctuating her juvenile response by sticking out her tongue.

"Wow," Olivia laughed. "Mature. Seriously Alex, it's been you this whole time?"

Alex sighed, her shoulders slumping in defeat. She'd been caught red handed and knew that there was really nowhere for her to run. "What do you want me to say, Liv? That I've snuck in here at…" her voice trailed off as she looked at her watch, "…one twenty three in the morning for the last four years to leave you a bouquet of your favorite flowers on your desk?"

"No," Olivia said, keeping her voice soft so that she wouldn't upset Alex, "I already figured that part out. What I really want you to tell me is why."

"That's not an easy question to answer," Alex said evasively, taking a few hesitant steps closer and setting the bouquet on the detective's desk. "Are gardenias really your favorite flowers?"

The detective gave Alex a gentle smile. "They have been for a few years now," she said. "I'll admit something, Counselor, you certainly know how to get a girl's attention." She noticed the blush creeping across Alex's pale cheeks, but decided not to tease her. The poor attorney seemed embarrassed enough already, and Olivia didn't want to make it worse.

"Do you know what they symbolize?"

"What, Gardenias?"

"Yes."

Olivia knew. They were a strange choice for a bouquet, and she had looked it up after receiving her second bouquet, wondering why the anonymous giver had selected them. "They mean..." her voice caught, and she lowered her eyes to stare at the floor. That was a mistake, because her gaze shifted from her shoes to Alex's, and eventually started trailing up her long, sleek runner's legs, which were so beautifully highlighted by the short skirt she wore. Olivia was so confused - and distracted by the sight - that she didn't even question why Alex was wearing a short skirt in the middle of February. She cleared her throat and tried again. "They mean 'secret love'."

Hundreds of questions swirled through Olivia's mind as she tore her eyes away from Alex's legs and focused on her nervous expression. What was Alex trying to accomplish with this little ritual? Was this some kind of joke, or did Alex have secret feelings for her? She had always found the prosecutor attractive - not just attractive, drop-dead gorgeous - but had never considered her as a romantic possibility. Olivia was open to dating another woman, but if her thoughts of Alex ever drifted beyond the realm of "coworker" or "acquaintance", she gave herself a sharp reminder that Alex was straight and definitely not interested in someone like her.

But now... now, she was questioning everything she had ever assumed about the secretive Alex Cabot.

"You're right," Alex confirmed quietly, nodding slowly – almost to herself. "Secret love," she murmured, fighting to force her eyes to meet the detective's warm, questioning gaze. "It was supposed to stay a secret," she whispered.

Olivia felt her heart clench in her chest at the obvious pain and sadness in the normally self-assured attorney's voice. "Why?"

Alex offered her a self-deprecating smile and a shrug. "Because I'm me… and you're… you're… god, you're gorgeous. Smart. Passionate. Why would you ever be interested in me? This," she waved at the flowers that were now sitting on the detective's blotter, "if this was all I could ever do for you, I would have been happy. I'm sorry."

"Why are you sorry, Sweetheart?"

"This must be awkward for you," she muttered. "I'll… just be going. I'm sorry, Liv. Really. I had no intention of you ever discovering that it was me leaving you these bouquets. I hope this doesn't make you uncomfortable. I promise I'll behave more professionally from here on out, and I won't make another appearance as your Valentine's Day Bandit again next year." Alex turned and head for the door, her head hanging slightly with bitter disappointment.

The synapses in Olivia's brain suddenly started firing again. If Alex made it out the door, any chance she had was gone. And she wanted a chance. Badly. If Alex did have feelings for her, Olivia knew she would be a fool to let her go now. The perfect woman she had thought to be out of reach suddenly seemed attainable.

"Alex, wait." Slowly, the blonde turned back around. Olivia's expression wasn't disgusted, embarrassed, or even amused. She waited, unwilling to compromise herself even more by speaking. Olivia paused for a moment, unsure what else to say, but she finally murmured, "I don't want you to go..." To make sure that the attorney didn't try to leave again, Olivia gently gripped her wrist. Alex's hand felt cold, and so she wrapped her fingers around it, trying to transfer some of her warmth. "This doesn't make me uncomfortable."

Alex's eyes grew slightly rounder. "It doesn't?"

"Nope," Olivia reassured her, leaning even closer. "In fact, it makes me feel..." Excited? Grateful? Insanely lucky? Olivia finally settled on, "loved."

Alex offered Olivia a soft smile. "I'm glad," she replied quietly as her gaze flicked down to settle on her hand that was encased in the detective's. The heat from the older woman's body spread through their joined hands to warm her heart. "I'm glad," she repeated, suddenly at a loss for words. She'd expected Olivia to be mortified. Angry, even. But this… she'd never expected this.

"Four years," Olivia murmured as she, too, took in the sight of their joined hands. "Five years, now."

"Yes," Alex agreed quietly.

Olivia sucked her lower lip between her teeth as she lifted her eyes to find Alex's beautiful baby blues looking back at her. "Secret love."

Alex blushed. "I believe we have already gone over the meaning behind the flowers, Detective."

"Do you?" Olivia asked, her voice barely louder than a breath.

"Yes," Alex answered, her voice just as soft, just as quiet.

Olivia offered the blonde a lopsided grin as she lifted her free hand to cradle the attorney's face tenderly against her palm. She felt her heart swell in her chest as she reverently stroked the pad of her thumb over Alex's cheek. "You are so beautiful, Alexandra Cabot," she murmured, using her hold on the blonde to hold the woman still as she stepped in closer so that there were mere centimeters separating them.

"Liv," Alex whispered, her gaze steady even as her voice cracked under the weight of the moment. She'd dreamed of this moment for so long. Spent countless lonely nights imagining the moment when she would finally tell Olivia how she felt. And now that the moment was here, within her grasp, she couldn't form the words.

"Shh," she soothed as she closed that final distance separating them to finally, finally capture Alex's lips with her own.

Both of them froze at first, their mouths meeting in a soft, sweet kiss, hardly able to believe that what they were experiencing was real. Finally, Olivia felt Alex go limp against her body, releasing all of the tension and worry she had been carrying and giving herself over to pure sensation. When Alex's lips parted slightly in a soft sigh, Olivia took it as an invitation and gently stroked the attorney's bottom lip with her tongue. She didn't press for more, backing off and ending the kiss with a few short pecks.

The silence that stretched between them afterwards was peaceful instead of strained. Alex seemed content to be held, so Olivia didn't let go. "So, does this mean I'm your Valentine?" she whispered, pressing her lips to Alex's hair.

The attorney blushed. "Yes... I mean, if you want to be..."

"Good. So, what should I get you for Valentines day? I already got the lovely flowers."

Alex's smile lit up her entire face even in the darkness of the deserted squadroom. "I've always been partial to kisses... and not the Hershey kind." Olivia returned the smile and leaned in. She had an endless supply of those.