Alex took off her glasses, and threw them onto her desk. She leaned forward and rubbed her neck muscles. She heaved a heavy sigh, and looked at the clock: it was 2:30am. She groaned, and glared at the stack of paperwork she had yet to go through on the current child abuse case: an Italian couple convicted of kidnapping young children, and then using them as drug mules. The husband liked to rape the little girls who were feisty to get them to behave and follow orders. She ran her fingers through her hair and grabbed the folder on top. There came a knock on the door; Thats funny. No one should be here anymore... she thought.

"Cabot, you're still here?" Capt. Cragen stuck his head into her office.

"No shit, Cap'n. Just going over the Delangelo case again; I feel like I keep missing something! Cap'n, we see stuff like this every day; but there's just something about this case that gets to me!" Alex let out with an exasperated sigh as she rubbed her soar neck once more. She leaned over her desk, head in her hands; her blonde locks fell into her eyes, shielding her tears from her boss. Cragen felt the urge to go over to her, and pull her hair away. Take her pain away. He had always thought of Alex as a daughter. Just like he thought of Monique, Olivia, and Melinda as daughters. But tonight something was different; maybe it was the early June air wafting through the open window, or maybe the fact that they were the last two people in the precinct. Cragen squeezed through the door, and walked around the still crying Alex. He put his hands on her shoulders, and started to massage them gently. Alex sprung up, knocking her chair out of the way. "Don, what are you doing?" she wiped her tears streaks from her doll-like face with the back of her hand.

"I-I'm sorry. You just...looked like you needed a..."

"A what? A good pat on the back? Don, touch me again and I will sue your for sexual harassment." Alex fought more tears back angrily. "Now please," she bent over to retrieve her chair. "Get out, and let me do my job." she said in a stern voice. Cragen bowed his head in defeat, and traipsed out of his D.A.'s office with a heavy heart. After he closed the door behind him, Alex fell back into her chair. She glanced at the paperwork again, but instead of picking up another file; she grabbed her purse and stormed out the door.

She got into a taxi right outside the station, and without thinking; told the driver to get her to the pub closest to her house; 6436 NE Lateme Blvd. Once there, she paid (leaving a nice tip); and went inside. She walked over to the bar, sat down, and ordered.

"I'll have a..." she remembered the touch of the Captain's hands so close to her bullet scar; her neck. Her lips. His hands were so soft, and warm: Like a father's, but containing a different kind of love. She hadn't had that kind of love since before she became an A.D.A.

"Ma'am? Your drink?" the scruffy bartender looked impatient.

"I'm sorry, did I doze off?" Alex shook the thoughts of...him, from her head.

"Yeah. Might'n you be wantin' a drink? Otherwise I'lla be seein' ta other customers." he cocked an eyebrow.

"Um, I'll have a California Iced Tea." she brushed the hair away from her face again, and smiled to herself.

Several drinks later, Alex staggered out of the bar, and almost into traffic. She saw blinding lights heading right at her. She couldn't move; she was paralyzed. When strong hands pulled her out of the road and onto the sidewalk. The arms belonging to those hands wrapped around her like a blanket, embracing her body, heart, and soul. Alex managed to look up at her hero before blacking out.


Alex opened her eyes, and regretted it almost immediately. She was laying on a couch in a room that had huge windows that emphasized the already dazzling sunlight. She looked down at her clothes; she was wearing a white bathrobe over her underwear. She stifled screams, and looked around for her purse: she saw it on the coffee table a few feet away. She reached inside it for her taser, and pulled it out. She heard footsteps behind her, and whipped around with her finger on the trigger.

"Hey, hey, hey. Alex. Relax." Cragen was dressed in his usual dress pants, dress shirt and tie. "Alex, put the taser down." he smiled slightly. After a moment of being pissed at herself for not recognizing the Cragen apartment, she threw her taser back into her purse, and flopped down onto the couch. She rubbed the migraine from her temples as Cragen sat next to her, and handed her a cup of something that smelled foul.

"What the hell happened last night, Cap'n?" she took a sip from the cup, and almost vomited. She choked it down; the liquid scalding her throat, but already starting to help with the migraine and the nausea. "And where are my clothes?"

"Do you want the children's story, or what really happened?" He asked her jokingly. She glared at him, and took another sip.

"What really happened, I guess." she croaked. Cragen heaved a sigh, and relaxed into his couch.

"Well, after I saw you leave in such a hurry; I got a bit worried. But I didn't think too much about it until got a call from Bruce McGill's. I was a regular there until I got sober. The owner called me, told me one of my squad was down there nearly drinking themselves to death. I figured it was you, since Liv doesn't drink more then the occasional wine with dinner." Alex stared at him in horror.

"What about my clothes?" she whimpered. Cragen blushed, looked at his hands and smiled.

"Well after I got there in the nick of time to save you from being a hit-and-run, you threw up your entire week's meals onto the both of us. I was able to get most of it cleaned off, but Ravioli chunks don't come out of those beautiful silk blouses you so lovingly own. My neighbor, Mrs. Humbleton, owes me one. So she got you out of those clothes, and sent them over to dry cleaning." There were a few moments of silence before it was broken by Alex's pleads.

"Cap'n, please don't fire me! It won't ever happen again. I just-" before she could say anything else, Cragen had grabbed her and pulled her into a tight hug.

"Just don't do anything like that again, ok? You almost died, Alex. Again. Now, I asked Liv to bring over some clean clothes for you this morning. Go get dressed; you have court today."