Chapter 3:  Retrospect

Alex took the bag of groceries out of Olivia’s arms and carried it into the kitchen.  Olivia helped her take items out and set them on the table.  “So did you miss me while I was gone?” she teased.


“Of course,” Alex said with a smile.  “We’ve had some really great times here, you know.”


Olivia smiled.  “I know.”  She pulled out a strawberry cheesecake.  “I know how much you love cheesecake, so I picked one up from the bakery.”


“Thank you,” Alex replied, taking the cheesecake from her and placing it on the table.  Next, she pulled out a baguette and held it to her nose.  “Mmm…I love the smell of fresh bread.”


“Yeah, Paolo had just taken them out the oven.  He told me it was his last batch for the night.”


“Paolo?  Oh gosh, I haven’t seen him in ages.  I’ll have to stop by and say hello,” Alex responded. 


Olivia put the things they wouldn’t be using right away in the refrigerator.  “So do you have a busy weekend ahead?”


Alex shrugged a shoulder.  “Oh…nothing too big.”  She grinned at her.  “Well, unless a certain NYPD detective can take a little time off from crushing skulls.”


“Cabot, you’re really lucky I have the weekend off,” Olivia said, opening the package of chicken and rinsing it in the sink.


Alex’s face lit up.  She tried to quell her excitement because she didn’t know if Olivia already had plans.  “That’s great, Liv.  Anything special planned?”


“Well, I actually was looking forward to a hot date with my laundry and the gym.  However, I can reschedule if I have a better offer,” Olivia teased.


Alex grinned wider.  “I think I can give you a better offer.”


“Is that so now?” Olivia asked.


“Well, there’s this little Tibetan antique shop I’ve been meaning to go to.  Then I thought that maybe we could go to Hello Dalai.  It’s—”


“—a little Tibetan restaurant in the Village,” Olivia finished for her.  Alex raised an eyebrow.  Olivia laughed and explained, “I’ve been there.”


Alex suddenly flushed red.  “Oh…well, if you’ve already been, we can go someplace else.”


Olivia shook her head.  “No, it’s all right,” she reassured her.  “I love it.  Some of the best food I’ve ever had.  I had planned to take you there one evening but never got around to it.”


Alex smiled and began to slice open and season the chicken breasts on the cutting board.  “Good to know.  So I guess we’re set?”


“I guess so,” Olivia replied.  She picked up the package of baby Portabella mushrooms.  “Is there anything I can help with?”


“Um…you can slice those mushrooms for me.  I’ll cut up the fontina.”


Olivia picked up a knife and began slicing the mushrooms.  “Is this small enough?”


Alex looked over to examine her work.  “Yeah, that’s perfect.”  She began stuffing pieces of mushroom and cheese into the chicken.


“That easy, huh?” Olivia asked.


“Pretty much, yeah,” Alex responded.  She went to the microwave and melted some butter.  “Do you have a pastry brush?”


Olivia hurriedly opened drawers to search.  “Uh…somewhere around here.  I bought one a couple years ago.”


Alex laughed.  “Figures.”


A couple minutes later Olivia finally located the brush.  “Ah.  Here ya go.”


“Thanks,” Alex said, dipping it into the butter and brushing it on top of the chicken.  She finely chopped some of the parsley and sprinkled it on top.  “Ok, time to put them in the oven.”


Olivia opened the oven door for her.  “That looks wonderful.”  Walking over to her cabinets, she took out a bottle of Schlossgut Diel Scheurebe Spätlese and put it on some ice to chill.  “Hey, Alex?”


“Yes, Liv?”


“Welcome back,” Olivia said, smiling and patting her on the shoulder.


Alex smiled in return.  “It’s good to be home.”


They went back into the living room and sat down on the sofa.  “So how is everything over at the station?” Alex asked.


“Hectic as usual.  I’m so glad to have a break from the madness.  There are 10 open rapes and 3 child abuse cases.  Minimal leads on half the rapes.  Don’t these perps ever take a vacation?”


Alex chuckled.  “I suppose not.  Some of those will probably be transferred to my bureau once you guys get more evidence.  I know Casey won’t be able to prosecute them all.  I guess it’s time to see just how resourceful and competent my ADAs are.”


“Probably not nearly as much as you,” Olivia said, stroking Alex’s arm.  “And Casey’s good, but she’s not you.”


“Thanks,” Alex said humbly.


“I think Casey’s jealous of you at times.  It has to be hard living in your shadow.”


“What makes you think she’s jealous of me?” Alex asked curiously.


“Well, for one, all the praise you get.  Someone’s always talking about how high your conviction rate was or how brave you were.  I was pretty tough on Casey when she first came to SVU because she hindered our every move.  She would interrupt interrogations, try to take over our jobs at crime scenes, and was all in all overbearing.  She didn’t know how to handle victims either, but she redeemed herself later.  And it’s pretty much common knowledge that you won the Connors trial for us.”


Alex smiled.  “Well, I wouldn’t have had the ammunition to bait him with if you hadn’t put your neck out on the line by giving me his file.”


“Sweetie, I will gladly put my neck out anytime for you.  You know…Cragen questioned me later about that.”




“We were whipping out the champagne and getting ready to celebrate the big win because we thought you were going to walk in at any minute.  And Cragen said, ‘Alex knew just how to push Connors’ buttons.’  I told him you were a great prosecutor and he responded, ‘And you gave her the ammunition.’  Then Hammond came in to tell us you and Antonio had been moved to new identities and that you asked him to say goodbye.”


Alex heard Olivia’s voice crack on the last words and reached out to gently stroke her face.  “I wanted to tell you goodbye in person but the marshals wouldn’t go for it a second time.  Besides, maybe it was good that they wouldn’t because I don’t even know if I could have dealt with telling you goodbye again.  The first time was almost unbearable; it ripped my heart out to see you in such harrowing pain and to know I couldn’t be with you.  My body had survived but I didn’t know if my heart could.  This last time I probably would have just grabbed onto you and never let go.”


Olivia felt tears pricking the back of her eyes.  “I understand.  It took everything in me not to break down after you were shot and beg the marshals to let you stay—or to take me with you.”


Alex noticed Olivia’s eyes tearing up and tried hard to fight back her own tears.  “But enough talk of past heartache.  It’s all over now.”


Olivia smiled.  “You’re right.  You’re here to stay.”  She leaned back against the pillows and Alex lay back against her chest. 


“You know something, Liv?” Alex asked, getting comfortable.




“From the first moment I saw you, I was completely enamored with you,” Alex told her softly.


Olivia smiled warmly.  “I felt the same way about you—despite how stubborn you were at times.”


Alex turned around and looked up at her.  “Me?  I seem to recall a certain detective who couldn’t be stopped by even a restraining order against her and the entire unit!  Remember little Ashley Black?  You convinced me to go through with an Article 10 proceeding and remove her from her parents’ home.  That went over really well with the press,” she said sarcastically.


Olivia sighed.  “Yeah, but if we hadn’t helped her, no one would have.”


“You’re right.  That was one of the first things that drew me to you—your passion and how you took cases so personally.  Before I met you, I had only been interested in winning from a political standpoint and I’d been determined not to let anything compromise reaching a broader constituency.  But after seeing your dedication and experiencing some of the toughest cases of my life, I could no longer just easily detach myself.  I wanted to get justice for the victims at all costs—no matter how much I had to push the envelope.  I became an advocate, not just a prosecutor.  I have you to thank for that.”


Olivia beamed with pride.  “Thank you, sweetie.  I don’t know if I’ve ever received such a nice compliment before.  I do remember how hard you pushed.  Like that one time when Petrovsky threw you behind bars because you refused to charge Claire Rinato as a co-conspirator to her sister’s murder.  I cannot believe you called Petrovsky a hypocrite in open court and threatened to file a grievance.  I almost fell out of my seat when I got the news.”


Alex laughed.  “I was so livid when Petrovsky charged me with contempt.  The whole time I was sitting in lockup I was thinking about how I could get her censured or thrown off the bench.”


Olivia laughed, too.  “And let’s not forget about Sam Cavanaugh!  You didn’t sleep for days and then tricked Linda into believing you had a search warrant.  Donnelly suspended you for a whole month without pay.”


“You didn’t seem to have any objections about all that time off I had,” Alex quipped.


“No.  We certainly put it to good use,” Olivia replied with a wicked grin.  She let her fingers sift through Alex’s blonde locks.


“We sure did,” Alex agreed.  She turned around again and softly began kissing her lips.


After a few minutes, Olivia teased, “Alex, are you gonna kiss me all night or am I actually gonna get to eat something, too?”


Alex grinned slyly.  “Well…”


Olivia’s mouth dropped open.  “Alex Cabot!  What has gotten into you?” she wondered.


“I never said anything, Detective.”


“Just shut up and kiss me,” Olivia demanded, letting her lips brush across Alex’s.  Alex brought a hand forward to caress her side and pressed her chest against Olivia’s. Olivia wrapped her arms around Alex and let her hands glide up and down her back.


They were still deeply entrenched in their kiss when the oven timer started going off.  “Shit!” Alex exclaimed, scrambling to untangle herself from Olivia’s arms and get off the couch.  “I need to make the fettucine!”


“How long does it take to cook?” Olivia asked, following her into the kitchen.


“Oh, only about 8 minutes.  And the sauce is really quick to make.”  After taking the chicken out, she filled a pot with water and set it on the stove to boil.  “Will you hand me a saucepan?”


“Sure,” Olivia responded. 


Alex cut up the cream cheese and then placed it, the Parmesan, milk, and butter into the saucepan while Olivia poured the fettucine into the pot of water.  Once the fettucine was tender, Alex drained it and transferred it to the saucepan to combine with the alfredo sauce.  She then cut off a sprig of parsley to garnish the pasta with.


“That looks beautiful,” Olivia said appreciatively, her mouth watering.


“I hope it tastes just as beautiful,” Alex murmured.


Olivia got two wine glasses out of the cabinet.  She then took the bottle of wine off the ice, uncorked it, and filled the glasses.


Alex began piling food on the plates and then brought them over to the table.  They sat down across from each other and Olivia lifted her glass to Alex.  “I’d like to make a toast to your safe return—back to New York and back in my arms.”


Alex smiled gratefully and clinked her glass against Olivia’s.  “To many glorious days ahead.”  She took a sip of her wine.  “This is an excellent white wine, Liv.”


“I aim to please,” Olivia replied with a twinkle in her eye.


Alex raised an eyebrow.  “I’m holding you to that.”


Olivia cut into her chicken fontina and took a bite.  “Oh my god, Alex,” she said, wiping her mouth with her napkin.  “This is really good.”


Alex smiled.  “Glad you like it.”


Olivia took a bite of the fettucine and closed her eyes.  “And I’ve never had such delicious fettucine in my life!”


Alex blushed lightly and pulled off a piece of her bread.  “Oh, Liv.  You don’t have to flatter me.”


Olivia smiled.  “But I mean every word of it.  Trust me, I won’t be making anymore jokes about your stove catching on fire after this delectable meal.”


“So I’ve earned my keep, huh?” Alex asked, twirling some fettucine around a piece of chicken on her fork.


“You certainly have,” Olivia replied.


Once they were finished with their meal, Olivia collected the dishes, rinsed them, and put them in the dishwasher.  Alex walked over beside her and teased, “So I see you did keep your end of the bargain, after all.”


Olivia turned to her and smiled.  “After all your hard work tonight, I wouldn’t have dreamed of copping out.  Witness Protection must have really domesticated you.”


Alex chuckled.  “In some ways, it did.  You know…this sounds so weird coming from me now, but there were times when I really did enjoy the small town charm.  It was peaceful and quiet.  I still missed the city, but it was nice to have a change of venue for a little while.  Sometimes I imagined that all I was on was just a really long vacation.”


Olivia placed a hand gently on her back.  “Was it easier that way?”


Alex paused for a few seconds before answering.  “Sometimes it was—especially when I would get really homesick and my heart would ache for you.”


Olivia softly kissed her cheek.  “Not a day went by that I didn’t long for you.”  She took her hand and led her back into the living room.  It would have been completely dark if it wasn’t for the dim glow provided by two lamps.  Olivia stood in front of the window and looked down at the street.  “Do you remember when we would just stand here and look out for what seemed like hours?”


Alex stood behind Olivia and wrapped her arms around her waist.  “You mean like we’re doing now?”


“Exactly,” Olivia responded.


Alex deeply inhaled the scent of Olivia’s hair.  “Gosh, how I’ve missed the way you smell.”  She played with a few locks.  “Your hair has really started to grow out.”


“Do you like it?” Olivia asked, turning around to face her.


“Well, it’s different.  But it’s a nice change.  Besides, there will now be more hair to grab onto when we’re in bed,” she joked.


Olivia grinned.  “I can see that your libido is still just as high as I remembered.”


Alex laughed.  “As if you’re one to talk!  There were times when I never thought you’d let me go to sleep at night.”


“Or in the morning,” Olivia said slyly.


“Don’t remind me.  Sometimes I’d just barely make it to arraignments.”


“All for a good cause, though, Counselor.”


“It certainly was.”  Alex tilted Olivia’s chin and met her lips.  She pressed her body into Olivia’s and gently pushed her up against the window.  She teased Olivia’s bottom lip with her teeth and flicked her tongue out to trace it over her top lip.  


Olivia loved it when Alex took control.  Her strength coupled with femininity always enticed her.  She stuck her tongue out to meet Alex’s and relaxed against the window as Alex placed a hand on her stomach.  The simple gesture sent a shiver of arousal through her body.  “God, Alex…”


Alex chuckled softly.  “You know, Olivia, I’ve been called many things in my life but if you wanna add a supreme being to that list, I can’t say I’d be opposed.”


Olivia moaned as Alex moved her lips to the special spot on her neck.  “Confident in your abilities, huh?”


“You’ve never had any complaints before,” Alex murmured.  She let her breath tickle her neck.  The spot against the glass where she had breathed fogged up instantly.  Slipping a hand underneath her shirt, she walked her fingers up to the curve of Olivia’s breast.  Her nipples tightened immediately.  Alex was pleased that she was not wearing a bra.  Tracing under her breast with a finger, she teased, “I hope you don’t think this attire is acceptable for chasing down perps.”


Olivia laughed.  “No, I only use it to chase down horny lawyers.”  Alex nipped an earlobe in response, trailed her lips down her jaw, and then recaptured her mouth.


When the kiss ended, Alex smiled and rested her forehead against Olivia’s.  “You know…we forgot about dessert,” she said. 


Olivia grinned.  “I’ll go cut some slices for us.”  She went into the kitchen.  A couple minutes later, she returned to the living room and handed Alex a plate.


“Thank you,” Alex responded softly. 


“You’re very welcome,” Olivia said.  They took their plates over to the sofa.  Olivia cut off a piece of her cheesecake and held it out to Alex.  Smiling, Alex opened her mouth and took it off the fork.


“Feeding me now?” Alex joked.


“It may be a special treat every now and then,” Olivia replied. 


Alex reciprocated by feeding Olivia some of her own cheesecake.  She then put her plate down and stood up.  “I’ll go pour us some more wine.”


“Thanks,” Olivia responded.


Alex returned and handed Olivia her glass.  She picked up her plate and continued eating.  “How is Elliot?”


Olivia took a sip of her wine and sighed.  She really didn’t like sharing details about her partner’s life with others, but Alex was different.  “He’s doing ok, but he and Kathy are still separated.  He really misses his kids.”


“That’s unfortunate,” Alex empathized.  “I know how much he loves his family.”


“Yeah,” Olivia agreed.  “I’m a little worried about him.  There have been times as of late when his rage really has gotten out of control.”


Alex became a little worried at that statement.  She didn’t want Elliot snapping and taking his anger out on her.  “He doesn’t take it out on you, does he?”


Olivia shook her head.  “No, only perps.  There was this one bastard, Gordon Rickett, who got off 14 years ago for the abduction, rape, and murder of an 11-year-old girl.  Luckily, we got another shot at him when the idiot came back to New York and we found the body of another girl.  Elliot tried to use pretty much every interrogation trick in the book to crack this guy and stayed there the entire 24 hours, but he wouldn’t budge.  He kept taunting him about his rage the whole time he was in interrogation.  We ended up having to let him go but got a new lead when we found his aunt’s house and discovered he’d kidnapped another girl.  Elliot would’ve killed him if I hadn’t fired first.”


“He really needs to be careful.  If he can’t control his rage, it could land him in serious trouble,” Alex replied.  “But enough about Elliot, rapists, and murderers.  Let’s just focus on ourselves and enjoy good wine and dessert.”


“I agree,” Olivia responded, toasting Alex’s glass again.


Once they had finished, they placed their empty plates and glasses on the coffee table.  Olivia pulled Alex into her arms and kissed the top of her head.  “I’m so glad you’re with me now.”


Alex sighed happily.  “I am, too.  I couldn’t ask for more.”


Olivia grinned.  “Well, there is one more thing I could ask for…”


Alex smiled.  “You read my mind.”