Title: The Course of True Love
Fandom: Conviction/Law and Order SVU
Disclaimer: All characters are the property of Dick Wolf and NBC (except for the few I created).
Notes: This story is meant to fill in the gaps for what wasn't shown on
Conviction but very well could have happened; however, it begins before
Conviction premiered in 2006 and will end after the finale.
Alex has returned to New York City and been promoted to Bureau Chief.
Will she keep her promises to Olivia or will she decide that her career
is more important?
Meanwhile Olivia was lying down in the crib. Elliot walked in and teased, “Gettin’ your beauty sleep?”
Olivia smirked and sat up. “I was trying to.”
He sat down beside her. “How are things with Zoe?”
“They’re good,” she replied.
“You guys still doing the casual thing?”
“Yep,” Olivia confirmed. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
“When was the last time you heard from Alex?”
“Week before last,” she answered. “We ran into each other at dinner.”
Elliot’s eyes widened. “Really?”
“Yes, really. She was with Prince Charming and I was with Zoe.”
“Wow,” Elliot replied. “That had to be awkward.”
“Yeah. She and Robert actually came over to our table to say hi.”
Elliot laughed. “Are you kidding?”
“I wish I was. Oh, you should’ve seen this guy, El. Bragging about his money and how he and Alex were gonna buy property in Hong Kong or Tokyo. Robert is one of the most pretentious jerks I’ve ever met.”
“How does she stand it?”
Olivia scoffed. “You tell me. So a little later, I went out to the balcony and Alex followed me. She wanted to apologize for how things ended between us. She said we were bound to run into each other from time to time and she didn’t want it to be awkward. I told her it always would be.”
“Well, it doesn’t have to be,” Elliot said thoughtfully.
Olivia rolled her eyes. “No more of the hopeless romantic stuff, El.”
Elliot shrugged. “Call me a sap if you want, but I still think you two crazy kids will find your way back to each other—for good.”
Olivia grabbed the other half of Elliot’s sub and bit into it. “Don’t count on it. Alex made her bed.”
“Yeah, but you both have to lie in it.”
Olivia turned back to stare at him for a few seconds in silence as she pondered what he’d said, despite not wanting to do so. Then looking down, she bit into her sandwich again and slowly chewed it.
Jim walked into the conference room late the next evening. “Homicide numbers,” he said, dropping the file on the table.
“Charges or defendants?” Alex asked, turning toward him.
“Defendants. That’s how I play it, Al. I’m sorry,” he said in a strained voice.
He started to walk back out but Alex turned around more and asked, “Where are we on the shaken baby case?”
“Two days away from indicting the father,” Jim said, propping his arm on the door.
“What about the mother?”
“Looks like she’s gonna cooperate,” Jim replied.
“She watched her boyfriend shake the life out of her baby. She has to answer for that,” Alex protested.
Jim narrowed his eyes. “We need her as a witness. She’s the only one who saw what really happened.”
“Indict her. Keep the pressure on,” Alex insisted.
“I disagree,” Jim stated firmly.
“With all due respect, I don’t really care,” Alex replied nastily.
Jim walked up to her. “‘With all due respect?’” he repeated incredulously.
Alex cocked her head to the side. “Yeah. Is there a problem here?” she challenged, daring him to object.
“I don’t appreciate being told how to run a case!”
Alex crossed her arms and with a cocky smile retorted, “It’s my bureau, Jim.”
Jim furiously spouted, “You know what? I know that you and Robert are having problems right now—”
Alex was livid that he would even dare bring that up. It was a definite low blow to use that as ammunition in an argument, especially since he had acted as if he was concerned when he’d asked the previous day. Her beautiful features contorted into a scowl. Shaking her finger at him, she interrupted, “This has nothing to do with that, do you understand?”
Jim threw up a hand and turned around to walk away. But Alex grabbed his arm and shouted, “Don’t you walk away from me!” She was not going to let him achieve control of the situation or dictate when the conversation was over. After all, she was the boss.
Jim looked down at his arm in her hand as if she’d lost her mind. He yanked his arm out of her grasp and the force of it caused Alex to fall back a step. There was a split second where she looked at him in fear, wondering what he was going to do next. He charged her and pushed his mouth against hers in a bruising kiss as he held her head in a rigid, iron grip.
Immediately feeling herself dissociating, Alex moaned into the kiss and started to undo his tie. Despite the fact that she knew she shouldn’t be doing this, she needed the release. So in a moment of reckless abandon, all rationale flew out the window, overridden by her desperate desire to escape everything that plagued her and to keep her world from crashing down on her. In that short span of time, it was as if everything had culminated at once—the aftermath of her shooting and time in Witness Protection, the situation with Olivia, the feelings she’d tried suppressing about Mike’s murder, the high stress of the bureau, and the problems with Robert.
She broke the kiss and Jim ripped open her suit jacket to reveal her bra underneath. With one arm, he lifted her and dropped her down on the table with a quick kiss while Alex put her hands on the back of his head to steady herself. With his other hand, he impatiently pushed off as many materials on the table as he could and Alex’s back hit the wood with a hard thud. Jim pulled his tie over his head as Alex reached up to frantically try to rip his shirt open. Knowing that he was stronger, he helped her out by ripping his own shirt and undershirt. He quickly pulled off what was left of his shirt while she removed her jacket completely. He struggled to unbuckle his pants on top of Alex as their mouths joined in a series of fleeting, passive kisses once more. With her eyes closed, Alex ran her hand through his hair and then with a flick of her fingers against his head, she pulled away from the kiss. She threw her head back in pleasure and moaned as he kissed her neck. The stiffness with which the table edge pushed into her neck was uncomfortable, but it was something she was willing to bear.
The act was animalistic and emotionless save for anger that needed to be purged. She didn’t care that there was no chemistry or romance as she was never concerned with that anyway when she slept with Jim. Just for a little while, she needed something to replace the emptiness. If that meant going through the motions of sex while being otherwise disinterested, then sobeit. She sought some flicker of light, no matter how illusive, to cut into the dark, cold forest. Each thrust of him inside her thrust down the ache and loneliness she felt so deeply.
When it was all over, Jim rolled off her onto his back. “Wow, that was intense.”
Her chest still heaving, Alex agreed, “Yeah.” As the realization of what she’d done started to set in, she thought, Shit. After another moment of resting, she slowly pushed herself up and pulled her bra strap back on her shoulder. She looked at everything scattered everywhere and said, “Boy, is this place a complete mess.”
“I’ll help,” Jim said, trying to catch his breath. “Just give me a minute.”
As she finished getting dressed, she tried to think of what she would do. She then began cleaning up and reorganizing files. Jim got up and helped her. Suddenly, the air became different, awkward. The heat of their tryst had faded. He tried to read Alex’s face, but it was emotionless. “You ok, Al?”
Alex forced a smile. “Yeah. I’m fine.”
“You…want me to walk you out?” Jim offered.
Alex shook her head. “No. But thank you,” she said, heading for her office.
“See you tomorrow,” Jim said.
“Night,” Alex told him. She grabbed her coat and bag and then turned out the lights to her office.
Alex was actually glad that she had driven to work that day. She had told Robert in the morning that she’d probably be working late and didn’t know when she’d be home, but she’d had no clue how handy that would come in until now. She hoped that the drive home alone would allow her to clear her head.
Even though everyone had cleared out for the night, she shuddered to think what would’ve happened if someone had come back and caught them in the act. They were in a public area, not her office. Then again, she also knew how much clout her family had and that she’d committed much greater offenses with only a suspension or being found in contempt as her punishment. At least with a late night conference room tryst, she wasn’t violating anyone’s civil liberties by an illegal search or threatening a judge with a grievance in open court. She also knew that it wouldn’t cause nearly as much scandal as a same-sex relationship.
Regardless, had she really sunk so low that she was having sex at work? Just how far off the path had she fallen? The shame hit her like a ton of bricks. In her desperate attempt to control her sexual orientation, she was losing control in other ways. But ultimately, she had chosen the lesser of two evils. Although she lost control of her impulses, the irony was that the impersonal nature of the sex with Jim had stopped the personal issues she faced from overtaking her and thus, she could re-establish control of them.
But for how long? she wondered. The blaring of a horn behind her jarred her out of her thoughts.
After she showered and got into bed, she lay awake for the next hour and a half. The relief from the sex had once again proven ephemeral and the cerebral fog she’d tried to escape was closing in on her. She felt incredibly guilty and selfish. She knew she had cheated on Robert before with Olivia, but she hadn’t felt as guilty because she was in love with Olivia. However, Jim was another man and even worse, someone she harbored no romantic feelings for whatsoever. Thus, it somehow cheapened her relationship with Robert even more. Despite Robert’s faults, she felt that he didn’t deserve it. As far as she could tell, he did love her and was trying to make things better between them.
She sighed deeply. She just wanted to be stable again. She decided that perhaps it would be best to marry Robert to avoid losing further control. Furthermore, if she accepted his proposal, it would give them a clean slate to start fresh and put their problems behind them. New meaning could be injected into a relationship that was devoid of it.
The next morning at breakfast, she surprised Robert when she said, “Yes. I’ll marry you.”