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