Chapter 33:  Stasis

Alex opened her door to find Olivia standing there expectantly.  Groaning inwardly, she said, “Liv, what the hell are you doing here?”


“I had to see you.  I wanted to apologize for the things I said.”


Alex rolled her eyes.  “I thought you wanted to be alone.  Well, you can be alone the rest of your life for all I fucking care.”


Olivia shook her head.  “No, baby.  I just needed to be alone at the moment.  Just so I could sort some things out in my head.  Any other time all you tried to do to comfort me would’ve been welcome.  Alex, please let me in.  It’s freezing out here.”


“Then get in your car and go back home to your nice warm house.”


Olivia felt tears well up in her eyes.  “But I brought you a baby Tweety,” she said helplessly, holding out the smaller stuffed animal and bouquet of a dozen long-stemmed red roses.


Go home,” Alex said, slamming the door in her face and going back upstairs to her room.


By this time, Olivia was desperate.  Wiping away her tears, she ran around to the back of the Cabot mansion, tucked the roses and Tweety in her jeans, and began climbing up the trellis to Alex’s bedroom window.


Alex was just about to pick up her iPod again when she heard banging on her window.  She jumped out of bed and rushed over to find Olivia.  Her anger was temporarily forgotten for the sake of Olivia’s safety.  She quickly unlocked her window and opened it.  “Olivia Benson, what the hell are you doing?  Are you insane?”


“Please, Alex.  Let me in.  We need to talk.”


“I’m only letting you in because I don’t want you to fall and get hurt.  It’s not because of your Tweety and roses bribe,” Alex said, taking Tweety and the roses from her nonetheless.


She then quickly helped Olivia inside and closed her window again.  When both Olivia’s feet were safely on the floor again, she yelled, “Don’t you ever do something that reckless and scare me half to death again!”


“I needed to talk to you.  This was the only way.  I didn’t mean to scare you,” Olivia said, looking into Alex’s eyes.


Alex sat down on her bed and moved her stuff so Olivia could sit beside her.  “Thanks for the Tweety and roses,” she said quietly.


“You’re welcome.  Listen.  I don’t know what came over me earlier.  I’m really sorry I was so mean.”


Alex sighed and told her, “Olivia, you promised you’d never hurt me again after that Nick disaster.  And that’s just what you did!  Again!”  She shook her head and looked down.  “I don’t know if I can continue to be with you after what you said.”


“So Alex, I slip up once and it’s over, just like that?” Olivia asked painfully.


Alex rolled her eyes.  “Actually, it’s twice.  I seem to recall how you blew up at me a couple weeks ago when I found out about your mom.”


Olivia sighed.  “Ok, then.  Twice.  But all I wanted to do was have a little alone time.  When we fought about my mom’s rape, you told me that the next time I wanted to blow off some steam to let you know so you don’t get caught up in it.  So that’s what I wanted—just a little time to cool off so I wouldn’t risk saying anything that would hurt you.  I didn’t wanna blow up at you like that.”


“Oh, so it’s my fault now?” Alex said accusingly.


“Alex, no.  I didn’t mean it like that.  Can’t you just give me another chance?”


Alex threw her hands up.  “How many more chances do you need before you finally get it right?  Liv, you insulted me!  You said I was smothering you.  And you insulted the things I love!  When you said that you played real sports, you really hurt me!  It’s like the things I do don’t even matter.  It’s always about you and how tough you are.”


Olivia tried to choke back tears.  “Alex, I’m sorry!  You know I didn’t mean it!  Come on, Alex, you told me you hated me that night you saw me with Nick!  And you didn’t mean it, did you?”


“When I said it, I thought I did,” Alex responded truthfully.


Olivia felt a pang of hurt shoot through her heart.  Tears welled up in her eyes and began to spill forth down her cheeks.  “You don’t hate me now, do you?”


Alex felt horrible for causing Olivia to cry.  She wrapped her in a hug and assured her, “No, Liv.  I love you.  Come on, don’t cry.”


After she had stopped crying, Olivia said, “Baby, you really have to believe how sorry I am.  I never meant it when I said it wasn’t the same cuz I play real sports.  I know you do, too.”


“Liv, you really hurt my feelings.”


“I’m so sorry, sweetie.”  She reached out to stroke Alex’s cheek.


“I know you are.”  Alex took a deep breath and continued, “But Liv, I just think we need a break.”


Olivia felt a tear fall down her cheek again.  “Did you want a break from us before all this happened?”


“No,” Alex answered softly.


“Then why now?”


“Because I wanna be able to kiss you, to hold you, to make love to you without the hurtful things you said running through my mind or making me insecure in my affection for you.”


“But Alex!”


Alex held up her hand for silence.  “Listen, Liv.  Sometimes the things we say in anger were in our subconscious mind all along.”


“Alex, stop trying to tell me how I feel!  I know what’s inside me, what’s in my heart!  I don’t think you’re smothering me!  It just felt like it at that time because all I wanted was a little time to myself to cool down.  And that’s all the time I needed.”


Alex sighed.  “I understand that, Liv.  But what you need to understand is that even though you regret the things you say right now, the damage is already done.  You really hurt me and all I need is a little time to heal.”


“Well how long?” Olivia asked, searching Alex’s eyes.


Alex looked away.  “I don’t know, Liv.  Not that long.  Maybe a few days.  Or a week or two.”


“A week or two?” Olivia exclaimed in astonishment.  “Alex, what about our promise to each other?  Our rings?  Our necklaces?  We promised we’d be with each other through tears of pain and joy.  And we promised that nothing would ever keep us apart.”


Alex sighed again.  “I know, Liv.  This isn’t permanent.  And I’m not doing this to hurt you.  Just think of it as tough love.”


Olivia swallowed hard.  “Tough love?  Alex, don’t try to disguise this as something other than what it is.  You’re throwing our promises we made to each other out the window.”


Alex glared at her.  “I am not, Liv!  You can’t use those promises as an excuse to hurt me!  You seem to think that you can do or say whatever the fuck you want and because we made those promises, I’ll just forgive you and move on like it never happened!”


“That’s not fucking true!  I don’t think I can intentionally hurt you, and I never tried to!  But what I do expect is forgiveness.  Alex, I’m not perfect.  No one is.  We’re both human and we’re gonna make mistakes.  But we have to forgive each other.  We do have to move on if we plan on staying together forever.  We’re each other’s soul mates.”


Alex knew Olivia was right but she wasn’t ready to forgive her yet.  “I know, Liv.  But there are some things that just take a little longer to forgive.”


“Alex, please.  Please don’t do this!” Olivia begged, grabbing Alex’s hands.


Alex pulled her hands away.  “Liv, you broke a promise!  How do I know that you won’t break your promise to never abandon me when the going gets tough?”


“Because I know what life is like without you.  And I don’t ever wanna put myself through such agony again.  So please don’t make me go through that.”


“Well, Liv, you may not have physically abandoned me, but when you shut yourself off from me and won’t let me be there for you, you abandon me emotionally.”


“I’m sorry, sweetie.  I’ll really work on that.  I promise.”


Alex sighed.  “Ok, Liv.  But I still think we need to take a little break from each other.  It’ll help put things in perspective and it’ll give me time to heal.”


“Alex, you promised me that I’d never have to be without you.”


Alex dragged her hands down her face.  Olivia could be more stubborn than she was.  “And you won’t, Liv.  This is a short break, not a breakup.  I’m still yours.”


Olivia felt her stomach flip-flopping back and forth.  “What are we gonna do about school?  We have lunch and three fucking classes together for crying out loud!”


“And nothing is gonna change, Liv.  We don’t even have to tell our friends anything.  Just because I want a break doesn’t mean I’m gonna avoid you like the plague!  We just won’t kiss, hold hands, and spend 99.9% of our free time together.  And if you need me emotionally, I’ll be there.”


“But Alex!” Olivia begged.


“Liv, please.  Just go.  This is hard enough as it is,” Alex replied.


Olivia got up off the bed.  “I can’t believe you’re doing this to us!”  She stormed out the room in tears.


Alex lay back against her pillows as the tears streamed down her cheeks.  For the longest time, she didn’t even try to stop them.




Mrs. Cabot was coming into the living room when she noticed Olivia running through the foyer in tears toward the front door.  She immediately started walking toward her.  “Darling, what’s the matter?”


Olivia turned to Mrs. Cabot, her hand still on the doorknob.  “Alex…Alex…she…” she stammered.


Mrs. Cabot put her arm around Olivia and led her into the den.  She wasn’t thrilled about Alex’s fondness for Olivia and the rumors that surrounded it, but she couldn’t bear to ignore a girl who was so obviously in distress.  She shut the door and gently sat Olivia down on the sofa.  Taking a seat beside her and handing her some tissues, she said, “There, there, dear.  Take some deep breaths.  That’s right.  Tell me what happened.”


“Alex and I…we had a fight.  I said some really mean things to her in the locker room today after practice and I really hurt her feelings.  Then I came over here to apologize but—”


“Take your time, sweetie,” Madeline instructed, stroking her hair.


“Alex won’t forgive me.  She told me we needed time apart, but I don’t wanna be away from her!  This hurts so much.  God, I love her so much!  I do!  She’s everything to me!” Olivia exclaimed, clinging to Madeline.


Madeline stiffened.  She lifted Olivia’s chin and forced her to look her in the eye.  “What exactly do you mean by all this?”


Olivia stared at her, her eyes big and scared.  She didn’t know what to say but felt she had already said too much in her vulnerable state, so there was no turning back now.  “I mean I love her more than anything or anyone in this world and I can’t live without her.” 


Madeline realized exactly what Olivia was telling her but she still felt compelled to ask the question she had been wondering for the past couple months.  “Are you saying that you and my daughter are in love?”


Olivia took a deep breath.  She paused for several seconds.  “Yes…” she finally answered.


Madeline immediately tensed up again.  The thing she had feared the most had come upon her.  “Oh my god,” she gasped, covering her mouth with one hand and moving away from her on the sofa.


“I’m sorry if it hurts.  We couldn’t tell you we were dating.  Please…please don’t take her from me.  I need her,” Olivia begged, hoping—praying—that she didn’t just make the biggest mistake of her life.


Madeline sighed.  She was caught between a rock and a hard place, her moral values and her daughter’s feelings.  When she had first suspected that there was something more than friendship between the two girls, she decided that as soon as she had definitive proof of their relationship that she would make them stop seeing each other.  However, after seeing the love and pain etched into Olivia’s face in regards to her daughter, all her previous plans and prejudices unexpectedly flew out the window.  In fact, she was angrier with Alex for letting someone who obviously loved her as dearly as Olivia go than at finding out the two of them were dating.


Taking a deep breath, she started to say words she never thought would escape her mouth.  “Well, I’m not going to tell you that I’m ecstatic about hearing my daughter is in a lesbian relationship because I’m not.  But all I know is that over these past few months, Alexandra has been happier than I’ve ever seen her.  And if you are the cause of that, then I’m not going to take her happiness away.”


Olivia could not believe her ears.  If this is a dream, I don’t ever want to wake up! she thought.  She hadn’t been this excited since Alex accepted her promise ring.  “Thank you so much, Mrs. Cabot.  You don’t know how much this means to me!  I’m really sorry about all the lying and sneaking around.  But we were just so scared that you’d make us break up.  I really do love your daughter—with all my heart.  I know I may not be the preferred person to date your daughter, but I’ll always be good to her and give her everything I can to keep her happy.”


Madeline smiled in spite of herself.  “So you were Mike all along?” she asked.


Olivia smiled and shrugged a shoulder.  “Yeah.  I was about to confess everything to you right then and there because I thought you knew about us.  Well, until you asked who he was.”


Madeline chuckled.  “Alex looked completely mortified when I told her I was going to put her on birth control.”


Olivia laughed.  “Yeah, she told me about it.”  Her mood slightly dampened again when she realized that she and Alex were still on the rocks.  “But…could you please talk to her?  I’m so scared of losing her.  I just want her to forgive me.”


Madeline sighed.  “I’ll try.  Why don’t we go upstairs together?”


Olivia nodded.  “Ok, thank you so much!”  She could not believe her certain turn of good luck.


Madeline nodded in return and replied, “You’re welcome, dear.”  She patted Olivia on the back and they went upstairs together.


Madeline tapped lightly on Alex’s door.  Alex groaned and thought, You just don’t give up, do you, Liv?  Sighing deeply, she shouted, “I said a few days, Liv, not a few minutes!”


“This is your mother, Alexandra,” her mother said sternly.  “I need to speak with you this instant!”


Shit!  I am not in the mood to deal with my mom either.  Groaning again, she replied, “It’s unlocked, Mom.  Come in.”  Her stomach dropped when she saw her mother and Olivia enter her room.  She looked from one to the other.


“Alexandra, you should be ashamed of yourself!” her mother accused.


Alex put her tissue down and gave her mother a puzzled look.  “What are you talking about, Mom?” she asked, sniffling.


“Your little spat with Olivia.”


Alex looked accusingly at Olivia.  “Liv, how could you—”


“Alex, you’ve always been so stubborn,” her mother interrupted.  “I guess you get that from your father.  Don’t do this to try to punish Olivia for hurting you.  You don’t match pain with pain.”


“I can’t believe you, Liv!  You’re using my mom to do your dirty work for you?” Alex asked in disdain.


“Silence, child.  Olivia told me everything.  I know the extent of the relationship between you two.”


Alex started bawling again.  She didn’t expect her life to fall apart this way.  She looked at Olivia, utter betrayal reflected on her face.  “Olivia, how could you do this?  How could you destroy us?!” she screamed.  “This was just supposed to be temporary but now we’ll be forced to be apart forever!”


Olivia rushed to Alex’s side and held her in her arms.  “Baby, I didn’t destroy us.  Alex, every moment, every kiss we share, every breath we take together is so special to me.  I wouldn’t take any of it for granted.”


Madeline sat on the other side of Alex.  “Stop crying, dear.  I’m not going to make you two stop seeing each other.”


Alex froze.  She gaped at her mother in shock.  “Wh-what?  You’re not?”  She turned to Olivia for confirmation.


“She isn’t, sweetie,” Olivia said, stroking her hair.


Alex turned to her mother again.  “But…but I thought that you—”


Madeline held up her hand for silence.  “That was before I had the conversation with Olivia.  When I saw how much she loved you, how distraught she was, I decided that it would be unfair for me to judge the two of you without giving you a chance.  I may not understand your attraction to each other, but I do understand love.  And I saw true love in this young lady’s eyes tonight.  I’m sorry that Olivia hurt you and I can tell she is sorry as well.  But why add to your pain?”


“Mom, this was only gonna be a week or so,” Alex said softly, feeling incredibly guilty.


“Yes, a week or so for you to be miserable.  As long as you and Olivia are not together, you’re going to be depressed and moping around this house.  Just look at yourself now.  You have a mile-high pile of tissues cluttering up your bed.  Tomorrow is not even promised to any of us.  What you do know is that you have Olivia here now—safe and sound.”


Alex was overwhelmed by all that had just unfolded.  She took a few seconds to process it all.  “God…I-I don’t know what to say.  Liv—”


“Please stay with me, Alex!  You’re my whole life!” Olivia cried, sobbing into her shoulder.


“Ok, Liv.  Ok,” Alex said soothingly, stroking her hair and her back.


Olivia looked up into Alex’s deep blue eyes and asked, “So you’re not making us take a break?”


Alex looked at Olivia’s heartbroken face.  She couldn’t bear to see her in so much pain.  She knew that spending time apart from Olivia would cause them both to suffer much more than forgiving her and moving on at the present time.  Besides, she had to be perfectly honest with herself.  She tried to create the façade that she was strong enough to take not being with her since she was the one who made the decision in the first place, but she knew she could stand to be officially apart from Olivia (even if only for a short while) no more than Olivia could.  I’d probably give in a couple days later anyway, she told herself.  She gently stroked her face and confirmed, “No, Liv.  No break.”


Olivia felt her heart bursting with happiness.  “Thank you so much, sweetie,” she said, wrapping her in a warm hug.  Alex returned her embrace.  When they pulled back from each other, Olivia asked, “Do you forgive me, Alex?”


Alex picked up Olivia’s hands and held them tightly in her own.  “Liv, if you were willing to go to my mom for help and confess your love in order to keep me, then I’m willing to forgive you for what happened today.  What you did took a lot of courage, and I know you were more afraid of what my mom’s reaction would be than your own mom’s.  Thank you for being so brave, Liv.”


Olivia grinned widely and hugged Alex again.  “I love you so much, sweetie.”


“I love you too, Liv,” Alex said, squeezing her and rubbing her back.  They pulled back and looked at Mrs. Cabot expectantly.


Madeline smiled.  “True love is so rare to find girls.  Hold onto it, guard it with your lives.  I want the two of you to know that you have my support.”


Olivia and Alex both wrapped their arms around Madeline, squeezing tightly.  “Thank you so much, Mom,” Alex said gratefully.


“You’re welcome, girls,” she said, standing up and starting to walk towards the door.  “Well, I’ll let the two of you get um..reacquainted.  Behave yourselves.  I don’t want anymore tears to fall tonight.”


Olivia stared in Alex’s eyes and softly kissed her lips.  They tasted salty, a reminder of the tears that had fallen on them.  Alex returned the kiss as Olivia tangled one hand in her hair and slowly brought the other one up her side.


Madeline cleared her throat.  “Olivia, just because I’ve given you permission to continue dating my daughter doesn’t mean I will tolerate you fondling her right in front of my face,” she said austerely.


Olivia quickly pulled back and offered Madeline a sheepish smile.  “Sorry, Mrs. Cabot.”


“You may call me Madeline, dear,” she informed her.


“Hey, Mom?”


“What, dear?”


“Thanks again,” Alex said with a smile.


Madeline smiled back.  “You’re welcome, dear,” she said, turning around and making her exit.


“So are we ok again?” Olivia asked hopefully when they were alone again.


“Yeah.  But Liv, what you don’t understand is that you made me feel this small,” Alex said, demonstrating with her thumb and forefinger.  “When you’re good for me, you’re really good, but when you’re bad, you’re really bad.  I just feel so crushed.  No one else has the power to hurt me the way you do.”


Olivia felt absolutely terrible.  “Baby, I’m so sorry.  I had no idea it hurt you this much.”


Alex scoffed and held back tears.  “Well Liv, I’m not as resilient as you think.”


Olivia took Alex’s hands into hers and looked deeply into her eyes.  “How can I fix this?”


Alex sighed.  “By never doing this again.  Listen Liv, I know there will be things that’ll make you angry, but what you have to realize is that this is me.  I’m not out to hurt you or upset you even more.”


“I know, baby.”  She kissed Alex’s forehead.  “I should never have taken my anger out on you.  I’m so sorry.”


“Yeah, well, I took mine out on you, too.  I never should’ve reacted the way I did.  So I’m sorry, too.”


Olivia smiled slightly.  “Well, I must admit I was pretty shocked.  You’ve never called me a cunt or flipped me off before.  And you shoved me so hard.  It was a side of you I’d never seen.  It hurt.  And it scared me.”


Alex pulled Olivia to her and placed her head on her chest.  Patting her cheek, she said, “I’m sorry, baby.  I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean it.”  She picked Olivia’s chin up and pressed her lips against hers.  “Do you forgive me?”


Olivia nodded.  “Yes, sweetie.”


Alex noticed Olivia’s eyes tearing up again.  “I’m so sorry, Liv,” she repeated, squeezing her tightly.  “Don’t cry.  Remember?  No more tears.”


Olivia returned Alex’s embrace.  “Ok.  But this time I was going to cry in happiness.”


Alex sighed happily.  “You know this is the best thing to ever happen to us, right?”


Olivia smiled.  “You’re tellin’ me.  Never in a million years would I have thought your mom would be so receptive.  I thought she hated my guts.”


“I guess she’s not so bad after all, is she?” Alex said with a grin.  “But I don’t wanna count my chickens before they hatch.  We still have Dad and your mom to tackle.”


“We’ll be ok,” Olivia said confidently.  She pulled Alex to her and they held each other in quiet bliss, listening to the sounds of the night.


Several minutes later, they heard another knock at the door.  “Come in!” Alex and Olivia said together.


Madeline peeked in.  “Olivia, in case you wish to spend the night, I had Janice prepare the room across the hall.”


Alex stared at her mother in confusion.  “But Mom, Liv always sleeps in my bed,” she protested.


“I am well aware of that.  But in light of the new circumstances, some changes will go into effect.  If you are allowed to continue dating, there are going to have to be some ground rules.  First of all, you two are not allowed to spend all your time in this room.  Second of all, you will maintain a sense of decorum around the adults in this house; I do not want to see public displays of affection at the dinner table or elsewhere.  Third, there will be no more skipping school to spend time together.  Oh, and the most important rule of all: no conjugal visits.  Ever.”


Alex’s mouth dropped open in shock.  “Mom, you don’t think we’re gonna—”


“I wasn’t born yesterday, dear.  Goodnight, sweetie.”  She looked at Olivia.  “And goodnight to you, too, Mike.”  And with that, she closed the door.


Alex and Olivia burst into giggles.  “Oh my god!” Alex exclaimed.  “She knows that was all a setup?”


Olivia nodded.  “Yep.  Downstairs I told her we just made it up so she wouldn’t find out about us.”


Alex lay back against her pillows excitedly.  “Man, I can’t wait to tell the gang tomorrow.”


“Me, too!  And that bitch Abbie can no longer threaten to rat us out to our parents.”


“Oh, that’s the best part!” Alex agreed.  “Our Abbie problems are finally over for good!”


Olivia began playing with the jewels at the base of Alex’s throat.  “You know…I’m really gonna miss sleeping in your bed, but this will be worth the sacrifice.  Just promise you’ll come kiss me goodnight and tuck me in,” she joked.


Alex placed a grateful kiss on Olivia’s lips.  “Promise.”  All of a sudden, she started laughing again.


Olivia furrowed her brow.  “What’s so funny?”


“I still can’t get over you climbing up to my window.  The look on your face—it was priceless.  You looked like I’d killed your puppy!  And then you had little Tweety in your arms.  It was so cute.  You were like Spiderwoman or something!”  She picked up the smaller Tweety and rubbed it in Olivia’s face teasingly.


Olivia pouted.  “I was so scared I’d lost you.  I couldn’t just let you go without making you understand.”


Alex kissed her forehead and said, “I’m serious.  Don’t ever do that again.  I was scared shitless for you.”


Olivia shrugged and gave her a lopsided grin.  “What can I say?  You know it’s love if your girl is willing to climb up two stories just to win you back.”


Alex laughed.  “This is true.  Hey, we should do something to celebrate!” she exclaimed, plucking a petal off one of her roses.


“Like what?” Olivia asked.


“I dunno.  We can go to Chili’s.  And for dessert we can share the molten chocolate cake,” Alex replied with a grin.


“Mmm,” Olivia said, licking her lips.  She jumped out of bed and held her hand out to Alex.  “Come on.  Let’s embark on our journey to good eats.”


“You said it,” Alex said, taking Olivia’s hand and walking out her bedroom.