Serena ran her fingers through her long blonde hair and sighed heavily. Another long day; and it’s only 10:00 am. Alex knocked on the door, “Can I come in, or are you going to hurt me?”
Serena smiled, “Why would I hurt you? So long as this is a personal visit and you aren’t bringing me another case, you should survive.”
“The victim is 7 years-old, she was sexually assaulted by her teacher. Her father found out and shot the bastard. The father’s in lock-up and the teacher’s dead,” Alex’s face was grim as she handed Serena the case file.
Serena sighed and rubbed her temples, “I have been at work for one hour, and I now have four cases on the docket. Do you have to make it five?”
“Sorry sweetheart, if I could prevent it then I would. I think you should make a deal with this one though; his daughter’s been through enough. His attorney wants to meet with you now.”
“Well, let’s see if we can make this one go away. Lead on lover.” Serena followed Alex out of the office adding, “Could you maybe give me a massage tonight? I’ll be in court all day, and since it is just me, I’m already plenty stressed.”
“Absolutely baby, you’ve been worked to the bone lately. You want me to stay or go?”
“Since I don’t have any idea what happened other than the case file you gave me, I think you should probably stay. What should I give him?”
“That is up to you, my love,” Alex winked at Serena, “I’m not picky, and the case is open and shut.” Alex held the door open for Serena as she entered the room, Alex right behind her.
“I’m Serena Southerlyn, the ADA for the Special Victims Unit,” Serena went into professional mode right away.
“Thomas Matthews, counsel for Mr. Bartholomae. We were wondering what you could do for us.”
“Well, your client killed a man. He’s going to jail.”
“He killed a pedophile; he should be given a medal.” Matthews knew the deck was stacked against him, but thought he’d aim high.
“If that is how you think, then let’s just go to trial.” Serena began to stand back up, “your client, Mr. Matthews, is a murderer. He had plenty of other options; instead he chose to kill the victim. This office does not let murderers off.”
“At least come down from Murder One. How about, say, Man Two?”
“Are you kidding me? You’re client is going to get at the very least Man One at trial, why would I give him a lesser sentence?”
“Because we can put his daughter on the stand and get him a walk.” Matthews smiled; he knew no ADA would let that happen.
Serena, much to her credit, didn’t buy that story for a minute, “Mr. Bartholomae, your daughter is going through enough right now. Would you actually put her on the stand to relive her trauma to a court room of strangers?”
Bartholomae, who all of this time had been silent, finally realized the implications of what his lawyer had just said, “No! I’ll plead to whatever you want Ms. Southerlyn, Marie doesn’t deserve to go through that again.” Matthews stared at his client in disbelief.
“Plead to Murder two and allocute; Or else we are going to trial,” Serena looked at Bartholomae, knowing that he would agree to save his daughter.
“Fine; I’ll take it.”
“I’ll send your lawyer the paperwork. Good day, gentlemen.” With that Serena got up and walked out of the conference room, Alex right behind her.
Back in Serena’s office, Serena kissed Alex and then sat back down at her desk, writing up the plea agreement to be sent to Matthews’ office. “So should I leave, or should I stay?”
“I’m sorry Alex, but I have to head over to the courthouse in an hour; Casey being gone has given me a huge workload, on top of the cases we were ready to go to trial over. I’ll see you at home tonight, OK?”
Alex looked at Serena and could see the stress in Serena’s eyes. “That’s fine baby; I’ll pick up dinner for us alright?”
“Sounds great,” Serena got up from the desk and kissed Alex lightly, “I’ll see you at 6:00 then. I love you.”
“Love you too.”
Alex sighed. It was 10:30 at night, and still Serena wasn’t home. Alex knew she was sleeping in the office again, and picked up her cell to call her girlfriend. On the third ring Alex sighed again, heavier this time, and waited for two more rings and Serena’s voicemail. “Serena, baby, it’s me. It’s 10:30 right now and you aren’t home so I’m assuming you’re sleeping there again. You really should come home, I miss you and sleeping alone is a bitch. I don’t know how I ever did it before we met and after we broke up. Hope you get some sleep, I love you; bye.” When Alex hung up she dragged herself into their bedroom where she changed and laid down, placing her head on Serena’s pillow she realized that sleep wasn’t going to come tonight anymore than it had the past week or so.
Alex lay in bed, thinking about the past month. After she had proposed, she and Serena had begun to see each other less and less, which was putting a strain on not only their relationship but also on Alex. She didn’t do well sleeping alone anymore, and she knew Serena must be going through the same problems. Serena would always promise that she’d come home but then she would, for whatever reason, end up staying at the office, needing to get an ‘early start’ as she put it. Even Branch couldn’t get her to go home, though Alex had called him to ask him to convince Serena she needed 8 hours of sleep or so to get through the day healthily. Though the strain on Alex and their relationship was getting tough, Alex saw in Serena’s eyes everyday the stress she was experiencing. She had made five deals in the past month which, though giving her a break by not going to trial, only ended up being five less cases to deal with. She still had to do search warrants for the squad as well as go to trial over all the other cases SVU had solved. Alex, as little sleep as she was getting, knew Serena was getting even less, which worried her even more.
Casey Novak was tired. Not because of the baby, but because of the restrictions Liv had put on her. She wanted to go to work, but knew that Liv didn’t want her to. She didn’t want to endanger the baby, or worry Liv; but sitting around the apartment was dull. She knew from Liv and Alex that Serena busy, perhaps overly so. Every time Casey tried to call Serena at work, the phone was either busy or she wasn’t there. When Casey called Serena and Alex’s apartment, Alex would answer, but Serena either wasn’t at home, or was asleep.
Casey was worried about Serena. She felt bad for Alex too; because according to Alex, Serena hadn’t been home in five days. Every time Alex went to see Serena, she looked exhausted but pressed on anyway. Alex attempted to get Serena to come home, but Serena stayed to keep working.
When Liv came home, she saw Casey deep in thought. “Are you OK baby? There’s nothing wrong with the baby is there?”
“Hmm? No, not at all; the baby’s fine. My concern is the fact that Serena has been working nonstop and hasn’t gone back home in awhile. I think we need to do something for her and Alex.”
“Oh really? Like what?” Liv raised her eyebrows with curiosity.
“I think we should set up a vacation for them. They need some time to reconnect and relax.”
“And when does your brilliant idea begin?”
“I think next week. The trial docket should be lax enough, and I can fill in for Serena.”
“No, you’re not. The doctor said…”
“The doctor said that I can go back to work, provided I keep my stress levels under control. I’ll take care of myself Liv, I promise. But Serena has been working so hard and Alex looks exhausted from lack of sleep each time I see her. They need this.”
“Well, we do owe them for getting us together….Fine, I’ll help. What can I do?”
“I think they should go to anyplace far away from NYC; but financially speaking, maybe we should pay for them to go up to the cabin and get away for a week.”
“So stock it with food and what not? I can do that. I’ll head up tomorrow and set everything up, then come back and tell Alex that she’s taking Serena on vacation for a week. Cragen will give Alex time off, but what about Branch?”
“Branch will give Serena time off. He’s been fairly understanding about this whole thing; and he knows that Serena has been working nonstop.”
The next day, Olivia went to the store and bought plenty of food, wine and drink. She took it up to the cabin where she set everything up, before calling Cragen and explaining the situation. Casey called Branch and told him what she had in mind, Branch agreeing to give Serena some time off. Olivia made it back into the city, and then headed to work to tell Alex about Casey’s plan while Casey headed into the office to tell Serena.
“You are not coming back to work just because I have been busy the past few weeks.” Serena was livid that Casey was returning to work and had told Branch to give Serena a week off.
“Serena, when was the last time you slept at home? I’m guessing it was the same time Alex last got a good night’s sleep. You’ve been working way too much, and it’s not healthy; and you haven’t been busy, you’ve been overworked. Six trials at once are enough to wear anyone out, and don’t forget about the cases SVU still is working on. You need this break, and Alex needs it too. I’ll be fine; the doctor told me working might actually be good for me, if I watch myself. So enjoy your week with your girlfriend, and then come back ready to take on the cases again.” With that, Casey pushed Serena out of the office and shut the door. Knowing that Casey would not relent, Serena sighed and picked up her laptop, briefcase and coat before heading back to the apartment.
Alex was much easier to talk to about all of this. She agreed with Olivia, thanked her repeatedly, then packed up and left the precinct to head home. When Alex got home, Serena was already inside packing for the week. “Hey there stranger,” Alex smiled seeing Serena for the first time in a long time, “I missed you, ya know.”
Serena turned and smiled when she saw Alex. She kissed Alex, slowly at first, but the kiss lit a fuse that the two of them hadn’t lit in a long time. Their passionate make out session, led by Serena, quickly turned into three hours of love making. When they had finished (for the time being), Serena and Alex fell asleep; both getting their first real sleep in months. When Serena woke up and felt Alex’s tight grip around her, she smiled and then laughed softly, God I’ve missed this. I need to thank Casey next time I see her. But sweetheart, could you hold me any tighter? Serena chuckled at her last thought, and then turned to look at Alex, who was sleeping peacefully. “Sweetheart? We have to pack and then head up to the cabin. Let’s get going before Casey and Liv come check up on us and see we’re still here; they put alot of effort into this week for us.”
“Mmmm, that was amazing,” Alex smiled at Serena, kissing her lightly.
“The sex or sleep?” Serena asked, returning the kiss.
“Can both be an answer? Do you want to shower first while I pack and then you finish packing while I shower?”
“Sure, that gives me some time to recover from you,” Serena laughed, kissing Alex once more before heading into the bathroom nude.
When Alex came out of the shower, the first thing she saw was Serena’s perfect ass in blue jeans and a t-shirt which had risen up a little as she bent over, revealing a tattoo of a small upside down black triangle on her lower back. “So, sexy, are you teasing me now, or would you like some help over there?”
Serena smiled as she slowly straightened up, having zipped the suitcase shut, “Unless you want to carry it down to the Jeep; then no, I don’t need any help.”
“Say no more, my love, say no more. I’ll haul it all down for you.” Alex picked up the suitcase and duffle bag, as well as the little carry-on Serena had put towels and blankets in. While Alex was busy putting everything into the Jeep; Serena ran through her mental checklist of everything, then locked up and headed downstairs to their Jeep. “So we have everything then?” Alex looked up as Serena approached.
“Yep, that’s everything. Ready to go, babe?”
Alex smiled at Serena, “Always.”
Returning to the cabin always put Alex in a good mood. She enjoyed her time away from the city, having been raised there her entire life. She and Serena both wanted to live there one day, but they had some strong anchors keeping them in the city first; Alex’s mom and Liv & Casey being two major reasons. Serena enjoyed working in the city as an ADA, but they both knew that sex crimes life spans were short. The only thing keeping them back from living in the little town the cabin was in was Serena’s job. She would need one if they were to move here, and Alex knew that.
When they reached the cabin, Serena got out and stretched; sore from the four hour ride. “Home sweet home,” Serena went around to the back of the Jeep and wrapped her arms around Alex’s neck. “Wouldn’t it be great to never go back to the city? Just disappear up here away from the hustle, bustle and crime of NYC.”
Alex smiled at Serena’s comments, “Yeah it would be, but we would need jobs up here, wouldn’t we.” Serena kissed Alex and then proceeded to go unlock the cabin, taking some things in with her.
“We could start a family up here, baby.” Alex stopped cold in her tracks.
“A family? You mean kids?” Alex looked at Serena with surprise in her eyes.
“There is no way that we could have a family in New York. I’d be too concerned about our children if we had them there. Up here though, it would be so much better. The air, the property we own; maybe we should think about actually moving up here.”
“You must have had a bad time at work these last few weeks, wanting to escape it all and move up here,” Alex smiled at Serena, “but I think we should talk about that.”
“Really?” Serena looked in surprise at Alex, “do you really mean that baby?”
“Yeah, I do. There’s no one else I’d rather have a family with. Now can you help me finish taking everything inside?”
Once they had everything inside, Serena and Alex went into the bedroom and collapsed on the bed, falling asleep almost instantaneously.
By the time Serena awoke, it was dark outside. She turned on a lamp next to the bed and turned to look at Alex, who was still sleeping soundly. She smiled at her lover, thinking back on their conversation about possibly starting a family. She knew that Alex, like Liv, loved kids and got along wonderfully with them. But she also knew that Alex, like Liv, was afraid of passing on her genetic makeup. To quote Liv, “half of mine are violent rapists and the other half are drunk,” Serena knew what Alex’s fears were, but she was surprised to hear Alex agree to (at the very least) talk about having a family. She continued to stare at her fiancé, lost in a dream consisting of the two of them moving up here and having a family.
When Alex awoke and saw Serena looking off into space in a daydreamy-sort-of-way, she smiled, and sat up in the bed. Neither one had bothered to remove any clothing, leaving them fully dressed. She wrapped her arms around Serena, causing the sexy blonde to wake up out of her fantasy, “Hey there you,” Serena smiled at Alex, “I wondered when you would get up.”
“Well you know that I like to keep you guessing,” Alex teased, watching Serena laugh, if I could just make you not have to suffer through that job… “Hungry?”
Going into the kitchen, the couple was surprised at the amount of food and drinks that were all there, leaving the fridge and cabinets fully stocked. Serena grinned, “Well, they certainly went all out for us…You think this is because we got them together or because they were genuinely worried about us?”
“I think they did this because they were worried about us, though Liv is convinced she owes us for interfering with her love life.” Alex sidled up behind Serena, wrapping her arms around the blonde attorney, “Do you want anything in particular?”
Serena turned in Alex’s arms, “Yes, I want you to go sit in the living room or anywhere away from the kitchen.” She kissed Alex before continuing, “I’m cooking, it’s been awhile since I’ve cooked and you are just going to relax.”
“Ok ok…I’ll go down to the lake for a bit and throw some rocks or something. I’ll be back in 20 minutes, ok baby?”
“Sounds good to me, try not to fall in, ok?” Serena grinned at Alex as Alex stuck her tongue out at Serena before heading outside.
Though Serena didn’t cook often, since she and Alex usually worked such long hours and ate in the squad room or in the DA’s office, she was quite accomplished at it. Twenty minutes later Alex returned to the cabin, inhaling the smell as she came up to the house, “Wow, something smells good.”
“Well thank you for the compliment. Grab some plates, baby, please?”
Alex pulled two plates out of the cabinet before walking over to Serena. Handing the plates to her, Alex asked, “So do you want to talk about earlier?”
“You mean about starting a family or moving up here?”
“Both, if you want.” Alex smiled at Serena as she opened a wine bottle, “In whichever order you prefer.”
Serena took the plates to the table as Alex grabbed two wine glasses and headed over to the table. The two sat down to eat and began to talk, “I do want kids, Alex. You’ve known that since the beginning; I just need to know if that’s what you want.”
Alex took a deep breath, “I did some thinking outside and I do want kids it’s just…”
“Alex, you are not your father. You’ve dedicated your life to protecting children and women from abusive homes and people. You capture rapists and risk your life for children who’ve been through horrors no one should ever experience; you do all that and still come home and hold me, make love to me, show me your passion and fears. Listen to my own fears and assuage them; make me feel like the only woman in the world and still maintain a good relationship with your mother and your friends.” Serena stopped, pleased with herself at the moment, before continuing, “You protect, you serve, you do your due diligence on every case and never once complain about it. All those horrors you yourself have experienced you experience again every day when you see those victims and you pull them out of whatever hell they are in; you give them a new chance at life.”
She carefully watched Alex’s thought process contemplating everything she had just said. “Serena, I know that; but I could still…”
“Alex, do you honestly believe you could ever hurt a child?” Alex shook her head, “No you wouldn’t. You are an SVU detective because of your father, but you aren’t him. He was a coward who beat and hurt his daughters in ways most people deem unimaginable. You are not him baby, you are brave and strong.”
Alex smiled, “It’s nice to know you have such faith in me.”
“Sometimes you don’t; that’s why I have to. Besides, I really truly believe all those things I said.”
“All right, I’m not my father; but there’s still that genetics thing to worry about.”
“We will raise our child with love and devotion and compassion; they won’t be your father either.”
“Ok, I fold. I’m not, nor will our children be, my father. Who would supply the egg and who would carry the baby though? I mean, my job is kind of high-risk hon. There’s lots of stress involved which would not be conducive to having a child.”
“I would love to be pregnant with your child, to have you be apart of me would be so incredible.”
Serena smiled at her lover, who looked very confused and curious at the same time, “Positive. I would feel so connected to you carrying your child.”
“Our child, Serena.”