Fandom: Law and Order: SVU
Pairing: Olivia/Alex Cabot
Rating: PG or G
Archiving: This will be at http://www.realmoftheshadow/harper.htm. In the odd event that anyone else should want it, please drop me a note and ask and I'll probably say yes.
Spoilers: The January 25, 2002 episode. Do those things have titles? If so, sorry, but I don't know what it is. Anyway, this was written as an exploration of the "Nice dress"/"It was a nice date" verbal exchange between Olivia and Fin.
Disclaimers: I don't own these characters. Dick Wolf does, along with a whole host of others that people various shows that I might just possibly watch religiously. No infringement is intended.
A/N: This is incredibly short. In fact, if I don't stop writing the disclaimer, it may end up longer than the fic. It's also un-beta'd, so any mistakes that you see belong solely to me. Sorry about those. If you'd like to send feedback, I'd like to receive it. I'll be at Xfjnky2@yahoo.com.
As Olivia Benson picked her way through the crime scene, the sound of gravel crunching underneath the heels of one of her more expensive pairs of shoes, she tried not to think about several things. Firstly, she tried not to think about the potential damage being done to the Pradas she was wearing, entrusting their well-being to the imaginary deities that watched over fashionable footwear. Secondly, she tried not to think about the fact that she was wandering around in a decidedly seedy, and quite drafty, part of town in a dress that had had much more lofty intentions in mind. Lastly, and most importantly, she tried not to think about the hint of disappointment tingeing the expressive blue eyes of the gorgeous blonde that she'd left sitting alone at a dinner table in favor of a dead girl and a mystery hidden inside what appeared to be a dark blue BMW.
"Nice dress." It was Fin, who she hadn't ever worked with before. Great, she'd pulled somebody else's shift. Fate had conspired against her, and in one of the most devious ways that it could imagine.
"Thanks. It was a nice date," she shot back sarcastically, snapping on a pair of latex gloves and making her way over to the heart of the crime scene.
An hour before
"I'll have to admit that I didn't actually think you'd agree," came the low, cultured tones of the icy blonde sitting across from one of the Special Victim's Unit's finest detectives.
Olivia took in the sight before her. Alex Cabot was old money, and it showed in every single thing that she did and every aspect of who she was. It was in the way she held herself, with straight, stiff shoulders and that little added altitude elevating her jaw. Not that she ever purported to be better than the people she worked with, or ever even actually gave off that impression knowingly. No, it'd probably been installed in her psyche at birth, and Olivia imagined that the ADA wouldn't be able to shirk it even if she was aware of it.
The smooth lines of her face, the gloss of her light blonde hair, the elegant yet understated wardrobe… all of it bespoke the collective consciousness of the well-bred. Alex appeared to innately know how to speak to servers, how to handle her wine glass, how to order effortlessly from the menu with little to no need to even look at what was being served. Of course, she'd probably been to here, to this undoubtedly five star dining establishment, numerous times in the past, whether by herself or in the company of her impeccably groomed parents and their country club set.
"If you didn't think I'd agree, then why did you ask?" One raven brow arched in question, the look quintessential Olivia, and Alex felt a small smile curl up the ends of her lips.
"Because it was worth a shot. Never let it be said that I stood back and let life pass me by," came the reply, and this time there was a hint of amusement underscoring those cultured tones. Unable to stop them, Olivia felt her eyes trace the other woman's movements as a slim hand reached out, long fingers wrapping around the broad base of a wine glass.
She had watched in bemusement as the downy-cheeked server had fawned over her dinner companion, as the bottle of wine that Alex had ordered was brought out, one with which the detective herself was unfamiliar with though she had a hunch it cost more than her outfit. It had been draped over the white linen of a napkin arranged carefully over the young man's arm, its label turned toward the cool blonde for her approval. A slight nod, really no more than the minute inclination of her chin, and he'd placed the bottle on the table, drawing his wine tool seemingly from out of thin air. A few quick moves and the corkscrew was in place, seconds later and it was free of its container. Olivia had forced herself to stifle a laugh as the little chunk of wood was presented to her date as if it were a priceless jewel, and after another barely perceptible nod, a splash of wine found itself into Alex's glass. The other woman had swirled it lazily, bringing it to her nose to absorb the aroma before tasting it, letting the wine roll over her tongue.
The laugh had nearly made its way free when the look of approval on the attorney's face had nearly sent the server into paroxysms of joy, and she'd been sure that their evening was going to be interrupted by a visit from the paramedics when the young man's heart stopped beating entirely. Her limits had been tested even further when, after filling both of their glasses, he wrapped his presenting linen around the neck of the bottle like a bib and settled the wine into an earthen stone canister as if it were a newborn, easing it down until it was comfortably settled.
Alex, of course, had seemed oblivious to it all, performing the elaborate dance of approving her drink with unconscious ease. Olivia was no fool… she knew all of the steps. Somehow, though, she imagined that she wouldn't look quite as natural performing them as had her date.
"Maybe you should let me handle him the next time he comes around or we'll have to call the coroner to rule on his sudden death from lack of oxygen intake," she murmured in amusement, smirking as her companion sent her a glare.
Letting the gesture work to its fullest extent, Alex merely reached for her glass once more, taking another languid sip before responding.
"I can't imagine that he'd fare any better with you, Olivia," she noted, the statement more than underscored by the definite look of appreciation being sent the detective's way from hooded blue eyes.
The dark-haired beauty merely rolled her eyes, dismissing the claim with an amused snort. "I sincerely doubt that. But, enough about your new admirer. Tell me more about yourself."
She leaned forward slightly, her body tone conveying abject interest, and Alex couldn't help but flash back to ever single "How To Make Your Man Feel Important" article that had managed to grace the covers of any number of the magazines at grocery store check-outs that purported to offer the keys for successful relationships.
"This isn't one of those 'make your date feel important and interesting by listening to her talk about herself' things, is it?" she couldn't help teasing, and the slight crinkles that appeared around impossibly dark eyes let her know that her jest had been noted.
"Actually, it was more like one of those 'first date getting to know you better' things," Olivia tossed back, watching with a tinge of amazement as the words drew out a hint of blush in her companion's cheeks. So, Alex Cabot wasn't as completely calm and collected as she liked to appear.
"Well, there's not really that much to tell. My parents are from New York, and I grew up a few hours north of here. I'm an only child who liked to read more than she liked to play. I did my undergraduate work at Columbia and my graduate work at Yale Law. After graduation I clerked for a year with a New York State Court of Appeals Justice, after which I moved back up here and got started with the DA's office. A few years in Narcotics prosecutions, a short stint with juvenile offenders, and now I'm a special prosecutor for the SVU. Not that you didn't already know that," she added with a small, slightly crooked, grin.
"Come on, Alex. I could have read your resume and gotten all of that," Olivia teased, leaning back slightly against the soft leather of her seat. "I want to know about more than what I see on the surface."
The normally confident ADA floundered at this. Part of it was a life-time of being taught that no one was really interested in hearing about the minutia of her life and part of it was having spent so long making it a distinct practice to avoid divulging just such details, but either way, she was at a loss for what to say.
"What don't you swap resumes with me first," she said instead, taking another nervous sip of wine.
When she'd said that she hadn't expected Olivia to take her up on her offer, she'd meant it. After weeks of agonizing over whether or not to approach the attractive detective, she finally decided that at the very least she had to try. Alex wasn't one to sit back and let things come to her. Instead, she'd always made it a point to go after what she wanted because she'd seen far too often that it wasn't always the best person who won the race. Sometimes it was the quickest, and so she'd resolved to not only make sure that she got where she wanted to be before anyone else could, but she also made it a point to make sure that she had the requisite skills to stay there. That zest for supremacy, that ambition, had managed to work its way into every aspect of her life and so when she'd come to the realization that she'd like to get to know the intriguing SVU detective on a more personal basis, that part of her that had put her in the special prosecutor's slot hadn't been content to stand on the sidelines and wait for the perfect opening. Accordingly, she'd created her own opening, or at the very least created the best possible imitation of one that she could find.
She'd been so excited when the other woman had nodded yes that she'd forgotten for a moment to make it clear that while her invitation was a friendly one, it wasn't necessarily extended with the intention of deepening a working relationship with a comrade in arms. Some part of her almost hadn't made that second call, hadn't given hesitant voice to the fact that she hadn't asked Olivia out to dinner because she wanted to be her buddy, but now she was glad that she had. Otherwise she might not have known that the other woman didn't appear to be skittish in the face of her romantic interest, and she wouldn't have gotten to see the detective in that lovely confection of a dress that she was wearing.
The silky dark black material was shot through with veins of silver, not enough to be overpowering but just enough to make her seem to shimmer, and thin straps bared the elegant line of her collarbone, the sculpted round of her shoulders.
"Well," with a jolt she realized that her companion was speaking, and shaking her head gently to clear away the cobwebs she'd gathered while taking a trip down memory lane, Alex focused on the other woman's words, "I never really knew my father. My mother was a victim of rape, but luckily she decided that the child the attack had left her with deserved a chance or otherwise we wouldn't be here tonight."
Alex had to wonder at the almost light-hearted way the other woman divulged what had to be a painful truth, almost as if by glossing over the ugly facts behind her conception she could paint it into something a bit more benign.
"She did a wonderful job, if I do say so myself. Anyway, four years at CUNY got me a degree in Criminal Justice and I tried out for the force. After a few years as a patrol cop, I got a chance to take the detective's test and pulled SVU immediately. I've been there ever since," Olivia finished up, throwing her hands up in a small gesture of completeness.
Alex opened her mouth to inquire further, not quite sure what words were going to come out of her mouth but having moved too far to stop them, whatever they were, when the shrill trilling of a cell phone interrupted her. Looking around in confusion for a moment before becoming aware of the fact that the irritating noise was coming from their table, she reached immediately for her purse.
"Its me," Olivia said, breaking into her search. The detective had popped open her slim charcoal gray phone, a look of resignation spreading across her features as the party on the other end explained the reason behind their interrupted dinner.
"I've got to go," she said seconds later, shutting the little device with a decisive snap. "There's a dead vic downtown and even though I'm not officially on call tonight, somehow my name came up on the rotation."
Alex felt a sense of keening disappointment shoot through her, though if anyone should be aware of the capricious dictates of the job, it would be her. She'd been pulled away from countless functions during her prosecutorial past and knew that these things managed to find the absolute worst time to pop up.
"I understand," she said simply, not wanting to clog up their parting with unnecessary sentiments.
"Can I have a rain check?" Olivia asked, and Alex wasn't sure if she read hopefulness into the words or if the sentiment was actually there. Some part of her told her that it was the latter, and that little part did a dance of joy.
"I'm going to hold you to that," Alex replied, throwing a hint of her best deal-driving tone of voice into the words. Olivia merely laughed in response, already moving to slide out of the booth.
"I'd put it in writing for you, Counselor, but I'm afraid that I'm a little pressed for time. Give me a call at home tomorrow afternoon, and we'll set up something else, okay?"
Alex had to look up to see Olivia's eyes, but even in the dim light from the flickering candle at the far end of the table, she could see that the other woman really meant it. So, with another small smile and a gentle nod, she released her date to the clutches of the job.
"You've got yourself a deal, Detective."
Dark blue eyes followed the slim line of the retreating woman's back until the figure in shimmering black was out of her range of sight. Her server reappeared, a look of concern plaguing his impossibly young features, but she waved him away. She would dine alone tonight, the unexpected outcome far more palatable than she ever would have imagined. After all, though it appeared that it was only dinner for one tonight, for some reason, she had the suspicion that it would be her last meal alone for a long time to come.
Or, at the very least, she certainly hoped so.
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