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property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Alex jumped in her seat as one of the client chairs across from her desk was suddenly filled. The paperwork was just starting to pour in regarding the Michael Gardner case. She envisioned another weekend sacrificed. Olivia looked up at her, slumped in the chair and offered a lame smile before playing with the edge of her jacket.
"So." she started, studying the zipper.
Alex crossed her arms. "So," she repeated.
Olivia sighed. "Shitty few days."
The counselor snorted at the understatement. "I know I love being shown up by a guy who's probably never set foot in a courtroom before, let alone in front of a judge."
A studious eyebrow lifted. "Thanks for the vote of confidence."
Olivia looked up as if being awoken from a dream. "Sorry," she said, her mind spacing out again. Her knee shifted back and forth as she sat there, transfixed by the drawstring on her jacket jumping back and forth.
"Olivia," Alex said. The detective lifted her head and Alex felt a twinge of sympathy. She didn't think Olivia had slept a full night's sleep since the case broke and she looked it. "You know you did what you had to to stop Gardner."
Olivia's lips puckered and she nodded, staring at the dark oak of the counselor's desk. "It wasn't necessary," she said, her dark eyes flicking up to meet Alex's. "He got what was coming to him and I ruined not only one rape counselor's career, but who knows how many rape victims."
Alex smiled sadly. "No one can predict the future."
Sighing heavily, the detective grabbed the arms of the chair, pulling herself upright. "I think I'm gonna go."
Alex watched the woman stand and pause a moment before walking to the door. "Hey," she said. The detective turned. "You want to get a drink or something?"
Olivia smiled and retraced a few steps. "No thanks," she replied, placing her hands on the edge of Alex's desk. She leaned over the blotter covered with scattered papers and files and the discarded plastic-rimmed glasses. Alex remained in her chair, tilting her chin upwards slightly. The women watched each other carefully, each pair of eyes searching the other's face. Olivia braced herself on the desk, leaning closer. Her lips touched Alex's tentatively, but not uncomfortably. The counselor's eyes fluttered shut briefly, opening to see the detective pull herself straight again.
"I'll see you at home," she said, disappearing into the dimly lit hallway outside the office.
Alex watched her go for a moment, before turning back to the reams of white paper in front of her. She slipped the glasses onto her face again and grabbed a pen. Maybe she could get this done a little faster. A free weekend was suddenly looking promising.
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