Author's note: Well, I'll get to publishing the next chapter of Stay With Me someday. I am hoping to have it up by this weekend. Lately, I have been busy, depressed, and angry, and lacking the mojo to publish on that story. This story is an anger story, in essence. After watching last week's SVU, I was infuriated by Olivia's new bedtime buddy. Angered by the major change from the old Olivia, I decided to write this story. I will give a fair warning though: I am working on multiple stories. I have a handful with another author, plus Stay With Me, my two-shot Christmas fic, and now this. As usual thanks for reading my tirade, and please review.

It had been a dreary week for the city of New York. The snow came down in torrents. The wind blew everything from boxes to snow globes down sidewalks, streets, and alleys. The bitter February chill was murderous, and people sought comfort in the confines of their cushy apartments. Everyone except the members of the Manhattan Special Victims Unit. The detectives were working overtime to solve a rash of unsolved Christmas rapes. Seventeen women had been raped in one night, and all but two had been brutally murdered. It was clear to all that this was a gang on a killing spree, but the squad had, thus far, only captured one of the members.

It was that member who was currently on trial. It was Valentine's Day, the time of candy, flowers, and cheesy love songs. As much as they annoyed her, Senior Assistant District Attorney Casey Novak would gladly trade her current predicament for those nuisances. She crossed her legs, writing every word that the defendant was currently spewing. He adamantly denied that he had accomplices. The squad, thanks to the help of Dr. George Huang, had long since decided that he was the weak link of the gang. After all, he was the only one who had been caught.

When it was her turn to speak, the redhead stood, walking until she stood in front of the witness stand. "Mr. Angeli, you claim that you worked alone. Is that correct?"

"Yes, Madam. That is fully correct. I had a great time with fourteen women. They loved me."

Casey seized her outlet without even thinking about it. "Fourteen women?" she repeated. "Mr. Angeli, I would advise you to reconsider your numbers. Are you absolutely positive that it was fourteen women?"

"Uh." He looked over at his attorney, a fresh out of law school novice with little experience. Casey had every intention of wiping the floor with the prick. "Thirteen," Angeli corrected.

"Seventeen," Casey replied. "Seventeen women were raped, Mr. Angeli. I would like to present the People's fourteen," she added, holding a police report up. She read a highlighted portion of it to the court. "Arlos Angeli was at his mother's home at the time of Miss Marissa Lauren's assault. He claims to have been her assailant, despite sworn affidavits from a dozen of his mother's neighbors."
"They forged that," Angeli choked out, glancing nervously at the jurors, who watched Casey eagerly.

Casey looked at him. "Really?" she prodded. "The police forged a legal document to make you appear innocent?"

Again, he choked. This time, he fell silent. Casey shot a sidelong glance at his attorney, who was too busy scribbling on a notepad to pay much attention, much less object. The redhead sighed inaudibly. "I now present the People's seventeen, a copy of the DNA reports." She handed them to Angeli, who removed his spectacles from his pocket and began to read. She passed twelve copies of the same documents to the jurors, and another to the defense attorney, who muttered a thanks. "Within this report, one will find the information regarding the rapes of Miss Lauren, Miss Smith, and Mrs. Walters. Their assaults occurred on the same night as those committed by Mr. Angeli. They shared the same motive and the same post-rape pattern. However, the DNA in their kits was extracted from semen that, as this report reveals, is not from Mr. Angeli. Every piece of evidence is open to interpretation, but I urge you to consider the logical alternative: the defendant must have had a partner. Since he refuses to disclose who he works with, find him guilty of the fourteen rapes he already confessed to; periury; and obstruction. "

After the trial, Casey sighed and exited the courtroom. She nearly bumped into somene. She started to apologize, before realizing that it was the annoying defense attorney. "How was your first case?" the redhead asked. She was there once; she knew how nerve wracking it could be. At the same time, however, he seemed completely clueless.

"Huh? Oh. Hi. It was nice. Erm, is nice the right word? It went well."

"Your client was sentenced to four hundred years in prison," Casey pointed out. "If and when he is given the possibility of parole, he will be on his death bed."

The attorney shrugged. "I can file an appeal of Judge Trenton's ruling. I'm Jack, by the way." He extended his hand. "Jack Matthews."

Casey shook his hand tentatively. "ADA Casey Novak. Take it from someone who knows: it gets better. We've all been there once. We've all been the newbie at some point. You'll survive."

"I'm sure. By the way, would you like to go for a drink tonight? I know this excellent restaurant on the Hudson. Traveling to it requires a boat."

Casey bit her lip, trying to decide how to respond. She did not want to be rude or hurt the poor guy's feelings. At the same time, however, she found herself repulsed by the other attorney. "Thank you for the offer, Jack," she finally replied. "But I have a lot of work to do tonight. Maybe some other time?"

His face fell. "Oh. Uh, okay. You're quite beautiful, by the way."

Casey willed herself not to blush. "Thank you." Matthews was the replacement for Angeli's original attorney, who had retired mid-trial. Once she escaped, she drove out of the underground parking lot, heading for the restaurant. She had told a half lie. She did have to work, but it would not be at home. First, she had traditional Friday night plans with Detective Olivia Benson. Every Friday after work, they met at a restaurant around the corner from Casey's apartment. They drank, discussed their days and the occasional case. Occasionally, the topic of their love lives reared in the conversation, but as neither woman was currently seeing anyone, it had not been broached for months.

Arriving at the restaurant, Casey smiled when she saw Olivia sitting at the back. It was their usual table. Casey walked over, sitting down across from her. "Hi."

Olivia smiled. She gestured to a small scotch in Casey's place. "I ordered your favorite."

"Thank you," Casey replied, noting the detective's usual choice: a tall beer. The white foam burbled at the top of the glass, as if Olivia had not had any yet. "How was your day?"

"Between trying to rain Rollins and find Angeli's accomplices, it was busy," Olivia answered, sipping her beer thoughtfully. "How was yours?" she asked as she set it down. "Did things go well at the sentencing?"

"He got four hundred years," Casey replied. "In a way, I feel bad for the guy."

Olivia fixed her with a puzzled look. Her chocolate brown eyes crinkled with confusion. "The man raped fourteen women and you feel sorry for him?" she repeated. "Casey, that's insane."

"I know," Casey admitted, shaking her head. "But at the same time, I pity the idiot. His attorney was a loser. He barely listened during the trial or the sentencing, and he did not object a single time. With Kressler, I rebutted objections every three minutes."
"Case, you do make some good points," Olivia answered. "Maybe he realized that is all."

Casey sighed. "I would buy that, except I have not finished the story yet. I was walking out of court, and almost walked into him. I tried to be nice, but he seemed so out of it. You know how law school novices are. Anyway, I was about to leave, when he asked me on a date." She reached for her scotch and took a small sip. When she set the glass down again, Olivia was staring at her, shocked.

"He what?" Olivia repeated. "Didn't he read the 'I don't date sleazebags' bumper sticker on your car."

"I don't have a..." Casey trailed off as the impact of the joke hit her. She cracked a smile. "Very funny. And, since I know you're dying to hear the answer, I said no. I've been single for six months. You know how my last relationship turned out." As Olivia nodded, Casey went on. "I am not going to throw everything away for someone I do not know. Not to mention, he's a defense attorney. He's a defense attorney on one of my cases!" She scoffed, sipping her scotch again. "Men only think with one head," she murmured, shaking her head once more.

Olivia chuckled. "I do agree with you there," she replied, downing half of her beer. "I am relieved that you said no. I would have disowned you if you had said you agreed to a date with him."

Casey shook her head. "God, no," she groaned. "I'm desperate, but damn. I'm not that desperate. If and when I do start sleeping with strangers, do me a favor and lock me in a cardboard box."

"Well, if that's what you want..." Olivia answered, finishing her beer. Her eyes twinkled with a mischevious sparkle.

The remainder of the conversation was miscellaneous. Topics from everywhere flew into each woman's mind, and by the end, when it was time to leave, nether could stop laughing. "We should call a cab," Casey laughed as she thought about Olivia's anti-man comment.

"Already taken care of." Olivia led her outside and into a waiting car. As she slid in beside the young redhead, she gave the driver both addresses and sighed, laying her head against the headrest. Closing her eyes, the detective smiled. "I do love our Friday night drinks."

Casey nodded. "Me too. We have so much fun without the guys making sex jokes all of the time. Amaro and Fin especially."

"Men think with the wrong head," Olivia echoed, slurring slightly. Casey would laugh, though she doubted she sounded much better. It was a matter of moments before they pulled up in front of Casey's apartment. She removed her wallet from her purse. Olivia opened her eyes and stopped her. "Don't worry about it," the brunette ordered. Casey tried to protest, but Olivia shoved her wallet back in her purse. "I already paid," the detective replied.

Casey sighed. "Fine. I'll pay next time. Thank you, Liv. Tonight was really nice. I'll call you tomorrow."

"Okay. Wait," Olivia said as Casey started to get out. She grabbed the young attorney's pale, slender wrist. "That suit looks great on you. I can just imagine what you look like underneath."

Casey, too stunned to reply, mustered a quiet murmur of gratitude before turning and hurrying to her apartment. Whether it was because she was drunk or cold, or simply worried, she did not know. All she could do as she unlocked her front door and stepped inside was that she had no idea how to feel about Olivia's comment. She was torn between wanting to brush it off as the detective being drunk, and wanting her to be serious. What did it mean if she was serious? What did it mean that she wanted her to be serious? Her head spinning from a combination of alcohol and confusion, Casey groaned and stumbled into her bedroom. She laid down, falling asleep within moments. Olivia's comment swirled in her mind like a broken record, but it was tomorrow's problem.

Author's note: Well, what did you think? Please read and review. I'd love to know what everyone thinks. I have big things planned for this story. I hope you enjoyed the first chapter of this story. Thank you for reading.