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

Special Thanks: I want to say a massive thank you to Cecilia for goading me on with this tale (you guys owe her BIG time), Leslie for sharing her vision of Alex Cabot with me, Amanda for making my friend happy, Gia for her endless devotion to MH and me, Sandy for her words of wisdom, Kim for always being a friend, Jessica for her random emails, CT for being #1, Kimber for listening to my rants and The Lady B, for putting up with this madness for so long.

Thanks: To everyone who reads my tales of misadventure and tweets/emails/PM's - you guys rock and none of this would happen without you!

Author's Note: This final chapter is rated 'R' for racy…you have been duly warned!


Chapter 15: Thorn in my side

Olivia savored the last lazy moments of blissful sleep, reluctantly opening her eyes as she stretched out her aching muscles. She squinted in the darkness, taking in the unfamiliar surroundings, catching sight of the green digital display announcing the early evening hour. She lifted her right hand to cover a long, jaw-cracking yawn and listened for any sounds of movement from inside the apartment. Hearing none, she snuggled back into the soft mattress, thankful for the six hours of uninterrupted slumber.

She closed her eyes once more, her thoughts instantly drifting to the woman next door and the conversation interrupted by the phone call from Cragen. She smiled, recalling Alex's heated gaze as she strolled back into the room, relaying his orders to, 'listen to her body and stay in bed for as long as it takes," while deliberately raking her eyes over Olivia's taut frame.

Olivia sighed remembering the long, slender fingers that had helped remove her boots and the lingering caress to each calf that followed. She rotated her injured arm tentatively; relieved to feel only a dull ache pulling at her shoulder and stifled another yawn.

She stopped suddenly, instincts kicking in as muffled sounds reached her ears. She carefully eased out of bed and retrieved her Glock from the nightstand, sliding it smoothly from the leather holster as she quickly made her way towards the door.

-v-

She slipped along the darkened hallway, her bare feet silent on the hardwood flooring and stopped at Alex's bedroom, peering cautiously into the room. She stepped inside, eyes instantly drawn to the pile of discarded clothing sitting on top of the empty bed, illuminated by a shaft of light radiating from a partially open door.

The sound of running water floated into the room and she muttered softly as realization dawned, taking a few steps backwards before turning to leave. She was unable to catch the curse that fell from her lips as her shoulder connected awkwardly with the edge of the door.

"Liv?"

Her head spun round as light filled the room and gasped.

The tantalizing silhouette of Alex Cabot bathed in back light holding a towel loosely against her body robbed her of all coherent thought. Her mouth worked, but no words would come as her eyes drank in the beauty before her. She swallowed and licked her dry lips, desperately willing her eyes to stop exploring the expanse of creamy flesh on display.

"Liv?" Alex repeated, fully aware of the dark orbs trailing over her body, throwing a little extra sway into her hips as she sashayed across the room.

Olivia blinked slowly, reluctantly lifting her gaze from the long, inviting legs that stopped in front of her, trying not to stare at the enticing outline of firm breasts as her eyes travelled up the statuesque frame. She smiled guiltily as their eyes finally met, unable to mask the effect the blonde was having on her, "Sorry…I…" she started, swallowing at the knowing glint in sparkling blue eyes, "…I…heard a noise…and…" she trailed off as a hand landed gently on her injured arm, causing the towel to reveal even more pale skin.

"Are you okay?" Alex asked, sliding her fingers underneath the t-shirt and stroking her shoulder softly.

Olivia closed her eyes and shook her head as cool fingers soothed her heated flesh, "No…" she mumbled, wishing she wasn't holding her gun so she could free up her good hand.

Alex's fingers stilled their gentle ministrations.

Brown eyes opened and gazed directly into blue, "…You're wearing nothing but a towel…of course I'm not okay."

Alex's lips curled upwards as her fingers started moving again, "Technically, I'm not actually wearing the towel," she replied smiling, snaking her hand slowly down Olivia's arm, leaving a trail of goosebumps in her wake before shifting it to the edge of the towel and stretching it out in front of her. She waggled her eyebrows mischievously.

Olivia's cheeks burned as she looked at the cotton wall shielding Alex's modesty, the sheet not actually touching her skin. She shook her head and held the challenging gaze, knowing her resolve would crumble if her eyes dipped any lower.

Alex's tongue slipped out, wetting her bottom lip in a predatory act of seduction, she glanced down her own body and smiled, "I am so wet," she rasped.

Olivia choked and almost swallowed her tongue.

"I never got a chance to dry off before you came in," Alex added innocently, wrapping the towel securely around her body. She looked at Olivia for a few seconds before tilting her head and grinning, "Hungry?" she asked, enjoying the reaction from her normally stoic friend.

Olivia laughed nervously, "Is there a safe way to answer that?"

"Probably not," Alex snorted, leaning forward and placing a hand on Olivia's hip. She gently tugged at the soft cotton shorts, drawing her closer, "Menus are in the kitchen, I'll just be a minute," she said, placing a teasing kiss at the corner of Olivia's mouth.

Olivia eased in, wanting more and captured the parted lips. She sank into the warmth and shuddered as their breasts brushed together, sending a shot of arousal straight to her groin.

Alex blindly reached for the gun and placed it on the nearby dresser before slipping her arms around the shorter woman and holding her in place. She gasped as bold fingers slid into the towel and teased her damp skin.

Soft moans filled the room as the kiss deepened, growing in urgency as tongues danced together with fervent desire. After several heated moments, the need for oxygen forced them apart.

Olivia drew air into her starving lungs, "You were right," she panted before stealing another kiss.

"About what?" Alex breathed out, her clit throbbing as knowing fingers slid low across her belly.

Olivia moved in again and stopped, their lips almost touching, "You are wet," she husked before crushing their mouths together for a final, heart-stopping kiss.

They parted, smiling openly at one another and Olivia grinned, basking in the glow of their growing intimacy, "Go. I'll order the food," she urged, nudging the younger woman playfully with her hip.

Alex pouted, "Or we could just stay like this," she suggested, sliding her hand underneath the tight white t-shirt and stroking Olivia's side, her palm brushing against the generous swell of a firm breast.

Olivia swallowed, "You play dirty."

"I play to win."

Dark eyes gazed into hypnotizing blue, "Winning isn't everything…" she countered, laughing at the look of mock outrage on Alex's face, "…it's the taking part that counts," she added, kissing her gently.

Alex shook her head as she slid her hand slowly down Olivia's front and stepped away, "In your world perhaps, but in mine…" she paused as she turned and began striding purposefully towards the bathroom, "…winning is everything," she stated triumphantly, glancing over her shoulder and meeting Olivia's gaze as she dropped the towel and disappeared from view.

Olivia's jaw dropped as her eyes widened, refusing to blink, searing the gloriously naked image of Alexandra Cabot to memory for eternity.

-v-

Alex stared at her reflection in the mirror, her hands braced on the edge of the vanity as she blew out a steadying breath. She closed her eyes and smiled, impressed with her own boldness, her naked body tingling in the cool air of the bathroom as she remembered Olivia's teasing touch. She inhaled slowly and froze as warm hands slid around her waist to caress her flat stomach. Her eyes flew open, meeting the heated gaze in the mirror.

"I like to win too," Olivia whispered, leaning forward and placing a tender kiss on her bare shoulder.

Alex gasped as Olivia's naked body pressed lightly against her own, her hard nipples grazing across her back. Their reflected gaze never waivered as Olivia kissed her creamy skin again, her tongue tasting the surface, "If this is too fast, you need to tell me now because I've loved you for so long that I don't think I can wait any longer," she confessed, her voice thick with desire.

Alex's heart skipped a beat, her hundred watt smile all the answer Olivia needed. She placed her hands over those around her waist as she leaned back into the loving embrace and tilted her head, "Bold move Benson," she teased.

Olivia laughed softly, "I could say the same about you Cabot," she volleyed back, placing a lingering kiss on a flushed cheek.

Alex shifted her head, trying to meet her lips and growled with frustration.

"What?" Olivia asked.

Alex turned in her arms, pressing their naked fronts together, smiling as they both gasped at the intimate contact before dipping her head, "You're so short," she snorted, her tongue already snaking out as she parted her lips.

Olivia snapped her head back, preventing the kiss, "I am not!" she gasped.

Alex laughed, nodding her head as she pulled the dark haired woman back in, "Yes, you are," she replied, leaning forward and capturing the open mouth in a savage display of unbridled passion.

Olivia pressed against the tall frame, her hands roaming freely over the soft skin, moaning as the insistent tongue explored her thoroughly, her chest heaved as they slid together, finally unleashing their desire. Her legs parted as a slender thigh nudged between them, adjusting her stance to accommodate the welcome intrusion as she insinuated one of her own against Alex's overheated center. Strong hands kneaded her rear, guiding her as their lips parted at the stimulating touch.

Their eyes held firm as they began a slow, grinding motion, the action intimate and erotic as the room filled with the sounds of their labored breathing. Alex pushed her hands urgently against the taut backside, eliciting a guttural moan from the woman she held. Olivia's eyes closed at the sensations coursing through her, shamelessly slicking a hot, wet trail along the smooth thigh. Alex gasped as a surge of wetness gushed from her own center in response, "Liv," she panted, her hips rocking urgently.

Olivia's eyes opened and she almost drowned in the beauty before her, "We should…slow down," she choked out, unable to slow their frantic rhythm.

Alex nodded reluctantly, shifting her head until her mouth was pressed against a shapely ear, "I love you," she rasped, her lips resting against the tender flesh.

Olivia nearly came at the admission, the ragged breath sending a jolt of arousal straight to her pulsing core. She moaned wantonly as she nudged Alex backwards until she bumped against the vanity. Their eyes met, wild with lust, bright with passion, "Here..." Olivia said, kissing her way down the slender neck, "…or in there," she breathed out, indicating the bedroom before capturing a rapidly beating pulse point between her hot lips.

Alex grasped her head with one hand, her fingers tangling in the long strands as she encouraged Olivia's mouth to travel lower. Her inner muscles coiled with anticipation as lips kissed a wet path down a firm breast. Her breathing hitched as teeth scraped playfully over an engorged nipple before latching on to it and sucking greedily. Her clit jumped as a talented tongue flicked back and forth across the stiff peak, her hand encouraging the head at her breast to suckle harder as she ground her sex desperately against the slippery thigh. She tilted her head back and shuddered as her hair tickled across her sensitized skin.

Olivia struggled for control as wetness painted her skin, her fingers pointedly teasing the other hardened nipple as she tried to ignore the insistent ache between her own legs. She released the rosy bud with an audible pop, brushing her cheek across the swollen flesh before pressing both breasts together and placing an open mouthed kiss reverently between them. Her eyes locked on Alex as she slid her tongue upwards in one slow, agonizing lick.

Alex growled as she pushed off the vanity, her need overwhelming, "Bed. Now," she ordered, guiding Olivia urgently towards the door.

-v-

Brown eyes blinked slowly open, the vision clearing and instantly focusing on the satisfied smirk beaming down at her.

Alex lay beside her, a slender leg coiled possessively around her, her head propped up on one hand while the fingers of the other trailed lightly over her stomach. Even in the low light of the bedroom, Olivia could see her flushed features clearly. She lifted a hand and tucked a damp blonde lock behind a delicate ear.

Alex leaned down and pressed their mouths together, kissing her deeply, enjoying the flash of recognition in Olivia's eyes as she tasted herself on her lips, "Welcome back," she whispered.

"How long was I out?"

Alex grinned as she eased away, "Long enough to make me proud."

Olivia groaned as she stretched, enjoying the satisfied ache that enveloped her body, "At least I didn't chock off a scream that scared half of Manhattan," she drolled, sliding her hand along a smooth hip.

Alex gasped as her jaw dropped in horror, "I did not!"

"Yeah. You did," Olivia snorted, her fingers moving towards her heated core.

Alex shifted, encouraging the questing fingers as she leaned down, "I did not, chock off a scream," she insisted, her warm breath caressing Olivia's lips.

"What would you call it then?" Olivia asked, rising to meet her.

The defense died on Alex's lips as a hot tongue invaded her mouth and skillful fingers parted her folds, dipping into her wetness. Two fingers pressed lightly against her entrance, ignoring the bucking hips begging for more. She groaned, parting her legs in silent invitation, eager to welcome the long digits back inside. She captured Olivia's tongue, sucking it deeply as her hand cupped a firm breast, letting her palm graze over the large, swollen bud before rolling and twisting it between her fingers and thumb. Her pulse raced, remembering how those nipples felt in her mouth, on her skin and on her clit. She covered Olivia's hand with her own, steering the fingers inside as she tore her mouth away gasping for air.

Olivia needed no further encouragement, driving her fingers deep into the hot cavern, her own sex squeezing in response, desperate for release. Her hips bucked and stilled as slender fingers entered her in one swift, unexpected motion. Her back arched off the bed as she tried to impale herself on the thrusting digits, ignoring the persistent ache in her shoulder as she adjusted her angle.

Breathing turned ragged as their rhythm became frenzied. Alex shifted her leg, pushing her thigh against the fingers buried inside Olivia, forcing them in deeper.

Olivia ignored the pain as her hand became trapped between their bodies, the flowing wetness spurring her on as Alex's inner walls squeezed her fingers, coating them in hot juices. She forced her eyes to stay open as she watched the beautiful blonde bite her lower lip, trying to hold on. She pressed her thumb against the twitching clit and hissed as long fingers hit the sensitive spot deep inside her canal.

For several glorious moments, their movements became jerky and ungraceful as they crested together, their loud groans and gasps filling the air as they milked every last ounce of pleasure from their shared orgasm. They kissed slowly, reveling in the gentle aftershocks that rippled through their quivering bodies. Alex blew out a shaky breath as they parted, her fingers reluctantly slipping out of the wet warmth as she rolled on to her back. She lay her hand weakly against her heaving bosom, trying to calm her racing heart, "Told you I didn't chock off a scream," she panted.

Olivia rubbed her retreating fingers lightly against the sensitive clit, drawing a sharp cry from the blonde as her hips bucked and another convulsion shook her body.

Alex grabbed her hand, pressing it firmly against her throbbing nub as she rode out the small orgasm. Her breathing was labored as she turned her head, meeting the smirking gaze, "Ok…" she husked, "…maybe I did," she admitted, smiling lovingly at the dark haired woman.

Olivia grinned as she leaned in for a gentle kiss, her heart melting at the look on Alex's face, "Do you have any idea how much I love you?" she asked quietly.

Alex reached over and caressed her cheek tenderly, "Almost as much as I love you," she answered honestly.

They stared at each other for a long moment before Alex tilted her head at the bedside clock, "Tired?"

Olivia shook her head.

"Hungry?"

The dark head nodded, "Starved."

"Okay, shower then food," Alex suggested, patting her stomach affectionately as she eased out of the bed.

Olivia watched her glide towards the bathroom, openly admiring her beautiful body, trying to ignore the familiar ache between her legs.

Alex stopped at the door and turned, raking her eyes lasciviously over Olivia's nakedness, "Aren't you coming?" she asked, laughing as Olivia scrambled off the bed and bounded towards her, her dark eyes burning with desire.

-v-

Olivia sat on the table as she watched Alex move efficiently around the kitchen, "What are we having?" she asked, the bout of love making in the shower draining the last of her energy reserves.

Alex turned and shook a box of cereal at her, "It's this or coffee," she said smiling.

Olivia laughed and shook her head, "Now I know how Simon felt."

"Hmm?"

Olivia snorted, "Let's just say my brother was not impressed at the delights I had to offer," she replied.

Alex stepped closer, fitting her body between Olivia's parted legs and pressed their bodies together, "I am very impressed by the delights you have to offer," she teased, capturing her lips in a soul searing kiss.

Olivia wrapped her arms around her, holding her close, feeling hardened nipples brush against her own through the thin layers of clothing. After a few moments of unhurried exploration they eased apart.

"I can't believe I lived so long without this," Alex said wistfully, smoothing her fingers through Olivia's dark hair.

Olivia cradled her face between her hands, "I know, but we've got the next fifty years to make up for it…" she paused, dropping her hands and glancing away nervously, "…if you want to, that is…"

Alex lowered her hands, resting them on top of the parted legs, "I want to, but…"

Olivia's eyes snapped up, "But?"

Alex leaned forward and beamed at her, "If we're going to keep making love like that, one of us is going to have to learn how to cook," she explained, her blue eyes twinkling.

Olivia grinned, "Or we could just live off take out," she suggested, waggling her eyebrows as she met her halfway.

Their kiss fanned the flames of arousal once more, igniting the glowing embers of desire burning between them. Alex slid her hands along bare thighs until they disappeared underneath the cotton shorts. Olivia shifted backwards as the tips of talented fingers teased her heated sex, her hands capturing slender wrists, stilling their movement, "Don't you wanna get something to eat?" she choked out.

Alex gave her a feral smile, "What do you think I'm doing?" she purred, removing her hands and tugging the shorts down the toned thighs.

-v-

The familiar hypnotic hum of the air conditioning woke Alex from her exhausted slumber. She squinted over at the clock and sighed before burrowing backwards into the body that held her, relishing the feeling of the arm slung possessively around her waist. She covered the hand with her own as she slowly rolled her hips.

"Don't you ever stop?" Olivia mumbled sleepily into the mane of blonde hair.

Alex laughed softly, "Just making myself more comfortable," she answered, seductively thrusting her hips slowly against Olivia's heat.

Olivia shifted out of reach, "That might be comfortable for you, but it's not for me," she groaned.

Alex turned in her arms, "It's your own fault," she admonished, gazing into sleepy, dark eyes.

"I blame the table," Olivia replied, blushing at the erotic memories.

Alex smiled, "It's not my fault you're irresistible."

Olivia blushed even harder, "You think?"

"I know," Alex whispered, brushing their lips lightly together.

The older woman sighed contentedly, "I love you," she said, pouring all her feelings into another kiss. This one was different, a confirmation of their loving declarations over the past few hours and a promise of a future together.

"I love you too," Alex replied.

Twin grumbles interrupted the moment and both women laughed. Alex patted Olivia's belly affectionately, "Come on, I'm starving," she urged, easing out of the embrace.

-v-

The early morning sun felt warm against her skin as they sat at the small table. This deli was one of Alex's favorite haunts and although she usually sat inside, she realized just how much better it was to sit outside and admire the view.

"What are you smiling at?" Olivia asked.

Alex gazed lovingly at her, " Nothing, just admiring the view," she replied, reaching for the large cup of coffee.

Olivia's heart skipped a beat and she smiled, "My view is pretty spectacular too," she said, covering Alex's free hand with her own.

They had been at the deli for almost an hour, having finally made it out of the apartment. The officers outside had rotated shifts a few hours ago and the two new patrolmen were parked in a cruiser twenty yards away.

"You ready to go?" Olivia reluctantly asked.

Alex turned her hand over and twined their fingers together, "Do we have to?"

"No, we can do anything you want," she replied.

"A-n-y-t-h-i-n-g?" Alex drawled slowly, her tone dropping to that sensual tone that drove Olivia wild.

Olivia felt the heat rise in her cheeks at the lustful look on the younger woman's face, "Alex Cabot…" she started, pausing as she swallowed away the sudden dryness in her throat, "…you are a vixen."

Alex burst out laughing, "A malicious, argumentative woman?"

Olivia shook her head, releasing her hand as she stood up and leaned across the small table, "An incredibly hot fox," she whispered, her gaze never waivering as she gently cupped her cheek and brought their mouths together for a brief, but heartfelt kiss. She eased back smiling, "I'll go settle up," she said, heading into the busy deli.

Alex watched her retreating form, her eyes shamelessly glued to the trademark swagger as she lost herself in lascivious thoughts of the dark haired detective.

"Excuse me, do you have the correct time?"

Alex blinked a few times and looked up, her brow furrowing in confusion, "I'm sorry?"

"The time, do you have the correct time?" a dark skinned man wearing a tan colored suit and matching Panama repeated.

Alex felt a flash of fear as she stared up at the tall man before glancing at her right wrist, "Eleven twenty-five," she answered, hoping the patrolmen were watching.

"Thank you," he replied, courteously tipping his hat.

Alex smiled, berating herself for her own paranoia, "No problem," she said, turning away and rising to her feet, her eyes connecting with Olivia's advancing form.

-v-

Olivia pocketed her change and turned, her eyes instantly locking on the blonde outside and the man beside her. She lengthened her stride, trying not to draw attention to herself as she hurried towards the door. She frowned as the man appeared to stumble.

-v-

Alex gasped as the man fell against her, wincing at a sudden sharpness in her side.

"I'm so sorry…" he said quietly, quickly righting himself and offering her his hand, "…so sorry it took this long to find you…Miss Cabot," he sneered, his fingers wrapping tightly around the cold steel in his hand.

"Hey!"

He turned, seeing the dark haired woman racing towards him and shoved Alex roughly to the ground before taking off down the street.

"Alex? Alex?" Olivia shouted frantically, dropping to her knees and carefully turning the young woman over.

Alex groaned as she looked up at Olivia, blinking rapidly to clear her swimming vision, "I'm okay," she said, moving to sit up. She stopped suddenly as pain shot through her left ide.

"What is it?" Olivia asked, worried eyes roaming over her body.

Alex removed the hand clutching her side and gasped, holding the blood stained palm aloft. Olivia physically paled at the sight, "Somebody call 911. Tell them a member of the service is down!" she yelled as she lifted the dark sweater and saw the deep gash. Brown eyes lifted to meet blue and smiled weakly, "You'll be okay," she said quietly.

"Promise?"

Olivia nodded, willing it to be true as an image of Melinda Warner lying on a cold morgue floor flashed through her mind.

"Liv?"

Olivia swallowed, blinking away the memory, "Yes sweetheart?"

"Go get that bastard."

Olivia shook her head, "I'm not leaving you," she said, hearing the distant wail of sirens.

Alex winced as another wave of pain washed over her, "Please Liv…I don't want us looking over our shoulders…for the rest of our lives," she ground out.

Olivia's inner turmoil raged, torn between staying with the woman she loved and trying to catch the man who tried to take her away from her.

"Please Liv." Alex repeated, stroking her face gently.

Olivia nodded, "I'll be right back," she promised, looking at the small crowd gathered around them, "You," she said pointing to a smartly dressed young man nearest the table, "Grab a pile of napkins and press them against her side," she ordered.

He instantly obeyed and knelt down beside her, a thick wad of white in his hand, "Keep pressure on the wound, right?" he asked nervously.

Olivia nodded, "Right," she said before turning and kissing Alex tenderly on the cheek, "I love you," she whispered, gazing into hazy blue eyes.

"So prove it…catch me a bad guy," Alex stammered, her breathing hitching through the pain.

Olivia got to her knees and scanned the busy street, whipping her cellphone from her pocket as she cast one last look at Alex. She raced towards the patrol car as she waited for the call to connect and blanched as she spotted the slain officers slumped across the front seats, "Shit," she spat.

"Marlowe."

Olivia turned and started running, "Natoomby stabbed Alex, I need any surveillance NSA has over The Bistro deli at 1128 Lexington, he's wearing a tan suit and a hat," she barked, her feet pounding noisily on the concrete.

"Is she okay?" Jo asked with genuine concern.

Olivia swallowed, "I hope so," she replied, her eyes scanning the throng of pedestrians.

"I'll let you know as soon as I have something," Jo promised, ending the call.

Olivia glanced briefly at the phone before blindly hitting her speed dial again, her partner answering immediately.

"I'm on my way," Elliot announced without waiting for her to speak, the squeal of tires echoing in her ears.

Her lungs ached as she pushed on harder, "I'm heading south on Lexington," she said, hanging up and thrusting the phone into her pocket. Her chest heaved as she focused on finding Natoomby, weaving in and out of the crowd, straining ahead, desperate to find him. The vibration at her hip startled her, "Anything?" she shouted into her phone.

"He's about one hundred yards ahead, other side of the street, looks like he's heading towards the subway," Jo informed her.

Olivia raced between two parked cars and quickly checked the oncoming traffic, skillfully dodging a fleet of yellow cabs as she sprinted across the road.

"He's directly ahead of you, keeping close to the buildings."

Olivia pressed on, willing her legs to go faster, cursing under her breath as people refused to move out the way, "NYPD! Move!" she roared, waving her phone at startled bystanders. She growled in frustration as a large group of students appeared from a doorway, blocking her path. She glanced to her left, looking along the parked cars and made a decision.

-v-

Donald Cragen fought his way through the small crowd, making his way urgently towards the injured ADA. He turned, glaring at the man behind him, indicating for him to do something.

"C'mon people, let's break it up," Fin yelled, flashing his shield.

Cragen broke through the final circle of curious onlookers and rubbed his hand against his jaw. He approached one of the EMT's, watching as the other packed Alex's wound, "How's she doing?" he asked.

The EMT turned and saw the badge at his waist, "She's unconscious due to heavy blood loss from a deep impact laceration, we're stabilizing her then we need to get her moving," he replied.

"Any internal damage?"

The EMT shrugged, "It's unclear, that's why we need to get her moving," he said, turning as his partner caught his attention.

Fin appeared beside Cragen, "How is she?" he asked, looking at the limp form lying motionless on the gurney.

"They need to get her to the hospital, any word on Liv?"

Fin shook his head, "No. Stabler's on her tail though," he answered, taking a step closer to Alex. He spoke with one of the EMT's who nodded and he bent down, "Hang in there Cabot," he said quietly, squeezing her unresponsive hand.

Cragen lifted his portable radio and clicked the talk button, issuing a torrent of orders before approaching the EMT's, "Patrol is holding traffic at every cross street between here and Mercy, you'll be at the hospital in ten minutes," he informed them before turning to Fin, "I'll ride with Alex, make sure they get that son of a bitch!"

-v-

Elliot peered through the windshield at a familiar figure in the distance, watching her in disbelief as he pressed his foot to the pedal and gunned the engine.

-v-

Olivia vaulted from the hood of one car on to the trunk of the next, leaping on to the roof and bouncing on to the hood before repeating the move over and over again. It was like a surreal workout, her body ebbing and flowing as she dipped and leaped across the parked cars, ignoring the shouts from the sidewalk. She scanned the crowd; spotting a brown Panama hat only a few cars away and felt her powerful legs eat up the distance between them.

"NYPD!" she roared at him, shifting her gaze between the metal under her feet and the man on the street.

Natoomby turned, startled and froze as Olivia flew through the air towards him.

-v-

Elliot cursed as he watched his partner launching herself into the air. He abandoned the car and raced through the crowd, weapon drawn, "Liv!" he cried, seeing the crumpled bodies tangled together on the sidewalk. He ran towards her, pulling her off Natoomby, instantly spotting the spreading patch of red on the tan suit, "Liv!" he repeated, anguish lacing his tone.

Olivia groaned, clutching her shoulder while Elliot kicked the long, steel blade out of Natoomby's reach. She watched as he checked for a pulse, knowing that he wouldn't find one. She took a few, cleansing breaths, willing her racing heart to slow down, "Alex?" she panted.

Elliot gave her a one armed hug, swallowing his relief as he unclipped the radio from his belt, "Fin, you copy?"

"Go ahead Stabler," Fin responded immediately.

Elliot smiled into watching dark eyes, "How's Alex?"

"En route to Mercy, she's lost a lot of blood."

Olivia felt the hand of fear touch her shoulder as her world started to tilt, "El?"

Elliot reached into his pocket and retrieved the car keys, "Go, I'll secure the scene," he said, thrusting them into her hand.

-v-

Soft beeping noises interrupted her dreamy thoughts, pulling her awake. She swallowed a few times as she blinked, trying to bring her surroundings into focus. The first thing she noticed was the dark head resting on the bed beside her hand. She smiled reflexively at the sight of her lover and stroked her fingers through the soft hair, in a now familiar gesture. She stilled her hand as the dark head shifted and bolted upright.

"Alex!" Olivia gasped, instantly rising to her feet and dislodging the hand in her hair, "How d'you feel?" she asked, bending down and searching blue eyes intently.

Alex licked her dry lips, "Like I got stabbed by a madman from the Congo," she drolled.

Olivia rolled her eyes as she reached for the water pitcher and filled a small cup, placing the straw between Alex's parted lips. She smiled as Alex sucked thirstily on the cold liquid, "He stabbed you with an ice pick," she finally said.

Alex's eyes widened, "An ice pick?"

"Yeah…underneath your ribs, lucky for you your all sinewy muscle," she said, waggling her brows knowingly before adding, "It missed your internal organs by less than a quarter of an inch."

Alex shifted her hand to her side and touched the protective dressing, "What damage did it do?" she asked, watching as Olivia perched on the side of the bed.

"It punctured your side and when he withdrew it, he yanked it down…" she paused, lacing their fingers together, "…you have a two inch laceration just beneath your ribcage," she finished.

Alex nodded, "Two inches?"

Olivia smiled, "It could've been a lot worse," she replied, chasing away another image of Melinda Warner gasping for breath as blood filled her lung.

"Hey," Alex called, squeezing her hand to get her attention, smiling as the dark eyes focused on her, "It could have been a lot worse," she repeated.

Olivia blew out a shaky breath, "Natoomby's dead," she informed her.

"Good," Alex replied coldly.

Olivia dipped her head, "I caught up with him…there was a struggle…he died," she said, remembering how she landed on him and grabbed the length of steel.

"Did he hurt you?" Alex asked softly.

Olivia lifted her head, "No, but now my shoulder really hurts," she groaned, thankful that Alex didn't probe any further.

Alex laughed, "I think we're both going to need a lot of bed rest," she teased, smiling into the lips that covered her own.

-v-

"Are you decent?" a voice called from the hallway, tapping gently on the door.

Both heads turned towards the sound and smiled as Jo entered the room. Olivia slipped off the bed and greeted her with a fierce hug, "Thank you," she whispered.

Jo smiled over her shoulder at Alex and playfully patted the firm rear, grinning as Alex narrowed her gaze at her, "Relax honey, she's not my type…" she said playfully, easing out of the embrace and moving towards the bed, "…she's too short," she drolled, leaning down and kissing her cheek. Both laughing at the disgruntled groan from the foot of the bed.

Jo titled her head, studying her closely, "How you feeling?"

"Like someone stabbed me with an ice pick," she quipped.

Olivia snorted as she resumed her position on the edge of the bed, reaching for the slender hand. She listened as the two ADA's talked, smiling occasionally at their witty barbs. Her thoughts drifting to the past few days, mulling over everything they'd been through and everything they'd shared. She sighed, finally allowing the tension to leave her body.

"She's definitely whipped," Jo commented.

Alex smiled, "Lucky for me," she replied honestly.

"It's only ever been you Alex, you must see that," the older blonde added.

Alex sighed happily, stroking a nearby thigh, "I do now," she said quietly.

"I am in the room you know," Olivia chided, giving them both a mock glare.

Jo shook her head, "Like anyone could forget you were in the room," she teased, laughing at the blushing detective as she eased off the bed. She reached into her pocket, retrieving a DVD disc and handed it to Alex.

"What's this?"

Jo indicated Olivia and smiled, "If you thought Stabler was impressive jumping from a helicopter, wait until you see Wonder Woman here leaping over parked cars like stepping stones," she replied.

Alex's eyebrows disappeared into her hairline as her mouth fell open, "What?" she asked in disbelief, turning to her lover for an explanation.

Olivia shrugged her shoulders and shook her head, "It was nothing, really," she lied, shooting daggers over at Jo.

Jo ignored her as she leaned down and kissed Alex goodbye before rounding the bed and pressing her lips softly against a flushed cheek, "Bye hero," she teased.

Olivia looked up at her as she pulled away, "You're not leaving are you?"

Jo shook her head, knowing what Olivia was really asking, "No, I don't think I'm done with this city just yet," she answered, squeezing her arm before heading towards the door.

Olivia watched her leave, the sharp poke at her side drawing her attention, "What was that for?"

"You have to ask?"

Olivia frowned in confusion, "Jo's just a friend," she replied.

"I know that, I'm talking about the leaping over parked cars thing, care to elaborate?"

The dark haired woman leaned down and kissed her, taking her time as she explored the warm recess of her mouth. She tapped her nose lightly as she pulled away, "No," she finally replied.

Alex stared into the dark depths, "I love you," she said quietly, threading her fingers through the soft hair.

"And I love you," Olivia replied, leaning in again for another long kiss, "But I'm still not telling you," she added as she eased away.

Alex sighed in frustration, "How much longer do I have to stay in here?"

Olivia glanced at her watch, "Just another hour, why?"

Alex slipped her hand around her neck, guiding her down, her tongue swiping hotly against the parted lips, "Because the sooner I get you home, the sooner I'll get it out of you," she husked, feeling the body she held tremble with anticipation as she crushed their mouths together.

The End.


Thanks for reading Splinters; I hope you enjoyed this tale of misadventure. This looks like it will be my last SVU story; it's just not the same without Alex.

I just want to thank everyone who has ever read, reviewed or recommended any of my stories – that will always make me smile and beam with pride.

I need to say a special thank you to everyone who ever joined my Yahoo Group or the Aimoo Village, I made some terrific friends on there and I'm so thankful our friendships have blossomed outside the realm of fanfic. You guys will always be my source of inspiration.

Thanks for the PM's, great to see some familiar 'faces' still enjoying these tales of mine.

You guys rock!