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FIC: The Phone Rang (Alex/Olivia) [Feb. 17th, 2006|08:01 am]
Law & Order Fanfiction

lawandorderfic

[joran]
Title: The Phone Rang
Author: Rysler
Date: 02/17/06
Fandom: Law and Order: SVU
Pairing: Alex/Olivia
Rating: PG-13
Notes: No spoilers, but set post-Guilt, pre-Loss, for cabenson for the Guns & Microscopes Ficathon. Thanks to geonncannon for beta reading.

* * *

Alex pulled her glasses off and rubbed her forehead. Eight o'clock at night, and she really shouldn't be at work anymore. The custodians were nervous about other people in the building, and the security guards were anxious. But the building was a quarter full, anyway. Only the prosecutors with sufficient burn-out, seniority, or lack of compassion left on time. The other half went to business dinners or to see prisoners and witnesses. Alex had gotten good at fending off advances with, "No, I have to work late tonight."

After three years, people had stopped asking. Alex no longer had anywhere to go. Home was an empty apartment and too much wine and television that kept her awake. So she worked, so she could become a judge, or a state senator, and make everything different than it was right now. For someone.

The phone rang. She reached for it, her breath caught in her throat, hoping it was the squad wanting her to come by, and hoping it wasn't a new case.

"Alexandra Cabot?"

"Yes?" She put her glasses back on and reached for a pen.

"This is Dr. Foer at New York Presbyterian. Ms. Cabot, we've admitted your mother. You might want to come on down."

"Okay." The word sounded small and far off in Alex's ears. She set the receiver on the cradle, and put her head in her hands. Her heart was pounding in her ears and she felt cold. She looked at the phone, but there was no one else to call, to tell, to share, that her mother was sick.

* * *

Morphine...she's sleeping peacefully...We can release her on...

Alex settled into a chair at the end of the waiting room. Others were waiting, too, in chairs discrete distances from hers, despite visitors hours being over. She wondered if their loved ones were dying, too. She wondered if they were lonely, or scared. Most of them seem collected, sipping coffee and reading fashion magazines. No one was crying.

The waiting room door opened. Iin her peripheral vision Alex saw Olivia poke her head through the door. Olivia's eyes widened. "It is you. I was passing by, and saw..."

Alex thought of standing up, but her legs felt like lead, and her feet were numb. She just nodded.

Olivia came in, shutting the door quietly behind her. She moved to Alex's side, settling in the next chair, keeping her voice low. "Are you all right? Are you hurt?" Olivia's shoulder pressed against Alex's, and Alex wanted to curl into it, and bury herself in Olivia's warmth. The gun, peeking out from Olivia's hip, and the badge, shiny and hooked to her belt, stopped her. Guns in hospitals... Alex didn't want to think about it.

"I'm fine. It's my--" Alex frowned and studied Olivia's profile. "...What are you doing here?"

"New case." Olivia looked away, at a muted pastel painting hanging on the far wall.

"What case? Nevermind... I'll see it soon enough."

"Too soon."

Alex looked at the painting, too, letting herself lean into Olivia's shoulder. She sensed Olivia didn't want to go back to her case, and she didn't want to be alone. "My mother is ill."

She felt Olivia's arm go rigid, and Olivia looked at her. "How ill?"

"She's dying."

"I'm sorry." The response was so rote that Alex told herself that Olivia's hand reaching into her lap to cover hers was instinct, too. Olivia's fingers were cool. Alex curled her own fingers around them and tried to think of something to say to sound calmer than she felt. Calmer than a woman that would cling to someone's hand.

Olivia spoke first. "What's she like?"

Alex thought of her childhood. The zoo. Her first tea party. Her mother yelling at her. Being grounded. Graduating. With Olivia's solidness against her, Alex could distill it down into some sort of truth. "She's... distant."

Olivia's cellphone went off, vibrating insistently between them. Alex felt the tremors against her ribs subside as Olivia stood up. She pulled the phone from her pocket and looked down at Alex. "And so are you."

Alex watched Olivia walk toward the door, and then said, quietly, "When did I become that?"

* * *

Olivia's mouth was hard, bruising her lips, and her shoulder hurt where it was wedged awkwardly against the wall, holding her up. She clung to Olivia's shoulders, and when Olivia's mouth moved down to her neck, sucking on her, Alex could gasp, "I didn't...expect..."

She felt a hint of Olivia's teeth before Olivia straightened up to look at her. "Didn't expect what?" Alex found her footing. She cleared her throat and took off her glasses. Olivia's visage became hazier, but she didn't want to break the lenses.

"This. That you--That I." Her eyes traveled to the gun at Olivia's hip, that she'd felt pressing into her thigh. "Have you fired that? At people?"

Olivia was breathing hard. Her nostrils expanded and contracted, and her tone was impatient when she answered, "You know I have."

Alex closed her eyes. She let herself sag against the wall. She didn't want to think about whether she was confusing Olivia's protection, in the line of duty, with affection, or whether her feelings were due to being Olivia being different, being other, and knowing her mother wouldn't approve. Her mother... "What does it feel like?"

She felt Olivia step closer, close enough so that hot breath touched her cheek. "It feels like... Failure. Like I'm ripping apart society, instead of trying to put it back together."

"A violation."

"Sure. Alex..."

Alex opened her eyes. She reached for Olivia's hand and drew it to her breast. "Just making sure we're on the same page."

Olivia squeezed, and leaned in closer, so that her lips moved against Alex's skin when she asked, "Are we?"

"We are tonight."
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: indigofan
2006-02-17 02:55 pm (UTC)
That was... perfect. I've read so many A/O fics, I've started to gloss over them. This one was fantastic.
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[User Picture]From: joran
2006-02-17 05:38 pm (UTC)
::blushes:: Thank you. Perfect? Wow.

I'm glad you took a try on yet another A/O fic. :) It's only the second one I've written.
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[User Picture]From: mobius_varient
2006-02-17 03:41 pm (UTC)
That's a really great story. I like how you portray the emotion and their subsequent action(s).
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[User Picture]From: joran
2006-02-17 05:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm really glad you liked it. And welcome to the LJing world.
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[User Picture]From: wizened_cynic
2006-02-17 06:53 pm (UTC)
This is, like, seven kinds of awesome. And I don't even SHIP Alex/Olivia.

Alex-flavored angst is yummy. You don't know me (hey, dude, we have 3 friends in common, that practically makes us incestuous cousins), but go write me Alex/Lorelai.
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[User Picture]From: zuzubailey76
2006-02-17 09:44 pm (UTC)
You are shameless!
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[User Picture]From: zuzubailey76
2006-02-17 09:49 pm (UTC)
I really, really enjoyed this. I think Alex and Olivia are both emotionally distant people who aren't good with relationships, so I'm always annoyed when writers have them declare their undying love for one another after one kiss.
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[User Picture]From: joran
2006-02-17 11:13 pm (UTC)
Ooooh, thank you. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. And I agree. Alex and Olivia have so many complications, self-inflicted and worldly, that would get in the way. That makes them interesting. It can't just be erased!

For me, it all comes down to your icon. The instinctive cop protecting the weaker intellectual (not that either of them aren't smart or tough, it's just a function of the moment). Which I tried to capture. Yay!
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(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: joran
2006-02-18 05:07 am (UTC)
Thank you! Your feedback always makes me happy. :) I only have one other Alex/Olivia story, Amicus Curiae. I really don't spend as much time over here as I should.
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[User Picture]From: earthangie
2006-02-18 04:38 am (UTC)
i liked that alot. good work!
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[User Picture]From: joran
2006-02-18 05:09 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it.
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[User Picture]From: omiceti
2006-02-18 05:58 am (UTC)
Alex thought of her childhood. The zoo. Her first tea party. Her mother yelling at her. Being grounded. Graduating. With Olivia's solidness against her, Alex could distill it down into some sort of truth. "She's... distant."

Damn. This is incredible. You don't know me, but I followed this here from Guns & Microscopes. A/O is my SVU pairing of choice, and man, do you do them proud. You do such a good job of capturing the ways they're trying to connect, but not really able to, and just, wow.
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[User Picture]From: joran
2006-02-18 02:45 pm (UTC)
I don't know you, but I've certainly heard your name since guns & microscopes opened. ;;blushes:: Quite the compliment, coming from you. I mean to read every story when I get the chance.

Thank you. So much. I was worried when I was writing this, that it was just too...stoic. You've analyzed my grasping into something meaningful, and wow. I'm very grateful.
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[User Picture]From: greenovalfruit
2006-02-18 08:22 am (UTC)
w00t, Chris! You rock my socks with your craziness and brilliant writing! You do simple complexity and complicated simplicity so friggin' well ( oh am I a paradox? *grins* )
I heart.
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[User Picture]From: joran
2006-02-18 02:47 pm (UTC)
You are my favorite paradox. :)
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[User Picture]From: tremblingmoon
2006-02-19 10:44 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure what I can say to articulate the profound, brilliant edginess of this story. Particularly considering I agree with so much of the feedback that you've received so far. But let me say this, I love how you manage to take series of darkly passionate and moving moments and filter them through such a stark lens of normalcy; simply extraordinary. Alex's alienation--from herself, from others, from Olivia--is so potent and beautiful and, well, so Alex.

And your Olivia is so perfect, too. Jaded, straightforward, caring but with an emotional wall I think she shares with Alex--a wall built from having to care so much that she's learned to feel less to protect herself.

"She's dying."

"I'm sorry." The response was so rote that Alex told herself that Olivia's hand reaching into her lap to cover hers was instinct, too.


And this moment was one of many that made my breath catch. Because it's so hard but so true at the same time. It's one of the things that I adore about all your stories; you never take the easy way out and let your characters become facsimiles of themselves. They're always real and stark and that makes them (and your writing) all the more incredible.
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[User Picture]From: joran
2006-02-20 05:43 pm (UTC)
Speaking of speechless, I've had a day to formulate words to respond to this, and haven't come up with more than, "Guh." Thank you wouldn't be nearly enough.

It's one of the things that I adore about all your stories; you never take the easy way out and let your characters become facsimiles of themselves.

It IS the easy way out. It would be harder to make them do things they would never do, and they don't listen to me begging. There's a great deal of (unintentional, instinctual) Mary Sueism in all my stories, and not nearly enough catharsis, and I only wish I could live up to a series of darkly passionate and moving moments and filter them through such a stark lens of normalcy; simply extraordinary, because god, that's beautiful.
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From: cheyenne_maria
2006-02-20 05:56 am (UTC)
I Love it! :)
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[User Picture]From: joran
2006-02-20 05:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
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[User Picture]From: cabenson
2006-02-21 11:46 pm (UTC)

My apologies for the delay in responding...

but I have been sick.


"She's... distant."

Olivia's cellphone went off, vibrating insistently between them. Alex felt the tremors against her ribs subside as Olivia stood up. She pulled the phone from her pocket and looked down at Alex. "And so are you."

Alex watched Olivia walk toward the door, and then said, quietly, "When did I become that?"


Wow! This is fantastic. Such a beautiful look at the way Alex has unintentionally inherited her mother's personality trait.

Such a wonderful foreshadowing to the loss of Alex's mother in "Ghost" as well.

I am honored to be the recipient of this treat! Thank you!
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[User Picture]From: joran
2006-02-21 11:52 pm (UTC)

Re: My apologies for the delay in responding...

I'm so glad you liked it! I was a little worried. I am sorry you've been sick. Are you feeling better?

Thank you so much for the kind feedback. :)
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[User Picture]From: shonn
2006-07-17 04:00 pm (UTC)
Of course I like this story, and yes, I would like more Alex/Olivia from you. However, I know when not to push, especially since you can tolerate (I can't say like - I just can't) the new SVU ADA (yeah, no to her name as well).

Only the prosecutors with sufficient burn-out, seniority, or lack of compassion left on time.

Isn't that exactly who Alex is? That mixture of wisdom and heart and coldness?

The waiting room door opened. In her peripheral vision Alex saw Olivia...

She's always seeing Olivia just like that, in her peripheral vision. Sometimes there, sometimes not but never looking at her as if she were real.

The gun, peeking out from Olivia's hip, and the badge, shiny and hooked to her belt, stopped her.

It's an interesting sense of foreshadowing that Alex would be stopped by the very thing she would later come to question and rely on from Olivia.

Calmer than a woman that would cling to someone's hand.

I like the honesty in that statement.

She didn't want to think about whether she was confusing Olivia's protection, in the line of duty, with affection, or whether her feelings were due to Olivia being different, being other, and knowing her mother wouldn't approve. Her mother... "What does it feel like?"

It almost seems like punishment - this moment with Olivia - because Alex is uncertain why it is happening or what she should feel. It is similar to revenge for her against her mother, yet as she and Olivia talk about violations, her act with Olivia also becomes her salvation. She wants Olivia to be good, to be sorry when the cop has to use a gun, to feel a sense of castigation when the brunette takes a life. Maybe she wants that from Olivia so she can later justify her time with Olivia as based on something other than a quick make-out session in order to feel. Maybe she can claim she was happy to be with someone who understood what it meant to change lives with a simple act of emotion – Olivia’s emotions toward the taking of lives – instead of her own misguided emotions toward her mother’s dying.
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[User Picture]From: sammysam
2006-12-25 04:15 pm (UTC)
hey, i don't know if i ever commented on this story elsewhere, but I reread it today and it was very good :) i loved the way you wrote the characters
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[User Picture]From: joran
2006-12-25 05:16 pm (UTC)
Hey, thanks!
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From: changingmywayz
2009-07-08 11:06 pm (UTC)
this is pretty damn good! I wish you went furtherrr ;[
I like Alex/Liv
but i also like Liv/Casey <3 ;]
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[User Picture]From: rysler
2009-07-09 11:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I like Alex/Liv and Liv/Casey too. :)
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