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Unexpected Judgement

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To say that you were bored out of your mind was an understatement. It was Saturday night, and it had been highly suggested that you drag your ass out of the comfy confines of your apartment all the way to Seagate for another one of the stuffy gala’s that New York City just loved to host. Filling the invite list with only the finest, many of the attendee’s being slimy defence attorneys, higher up’s in the NYPD, a smattering of judges and people from the DA’s office, and of course, the people with the deep pockets to fund it all. The city was in the middle of a heatwave, temperatures leaving people begging for any amount of a/c, you were thankful for opting for a shorter, though still respectable cocktail dress.

Leaning against the bar you politely asked for another drink, rolling your eyes at the white haired beer belly of a man who was attempting to chat your ear off about how the republican party was clearly doing all of the right things. You silently thanked God when a business partner of his dragged him off, outwardly thanking the bartender as she passed you your drink. A small laugh came from beside you, and did it ever sound like magic to your ears, you glanced up, taking in the woman before you, a sly smirk on her lips.

“Not running after Prince Charming there?” She joked, you gave a burst of a laugh at that, smiling across at her.

“I think I’d rather run in the opposite direction. Thank God these things have open bars…”

“You’re right about that.” She clinked her glass against yours before you both took a sip, “Casey.” She extended her hand,

“Y/N.” Neither of you could deny the feeling of a glimmer when your hands met in a gentle handshake.

It was more than easy enough to fall into a conversation together, there was something that simply just clicked instantly between the two of you. You started picking out groups of snooty people and captioning their conversations, making up the most ridiculous dialogue’s you could think up. Laughing over each other’s jokes as your bodies started to move closer together, lingering touches, flirty smiles, sparkling eyes shining through the room. After a couple of more rounds of drinks, you glanced around the room, the crowd had barely thinned out, and despite your joking you’d still been approached by more than enough unwanted visitors. Casey let out a bit of a groan as she polished off her drink,

“You know, I would rather be anywhere but here right now…”

“You’ve got my attention…” You smirked, cocking a brow at her, “Hey, I know a place a few blocks away, what’d’ya say to escaping?”

“Sounds perfect. I’ll have to make my rounds, I’ll meet you out front?”

“‘Course.” You gave her a soft smile and a squeeze on the elbow as you parted ways for a bit. You had to make at least a couple of good byes before you’d be able to leave anyways.

It was roughly 10 minutes when you’d managed to make your break, and 15 when Casey exited the building, she found you leaning against a stone wall near the sidewalk, a bag over your shoulder, your heels removed, dangling from your hand.

“C’mon…” When you nodded your head the opposite direction of the city she was perplexed, and definitely intrigued. She fell into pace beside you as you made your way down the street. The sun may have already set, hell it was past 10pm by this point, but the air was still thick with the summer heat, sticky humidity breaking through the night. When you reached the end of the street, you ducked through a small alleyway, quickly placing your heels back on before you gracefully jumped over the hip height fence into the tree line, turning back to Casey you extending your hand.

“I feel like this is the part where you’re leading me to my death…” She half joked, you laughed,

“Don’t be a pussy. It’s worth it, I promise..” She wasn’t about to deny her curiosity, nor the spark that had formed between the two of you. Hopping over the fence, your hands stayed gripped while you led her through the brief woodland, she wasn’t sure what she expected, most of the beach front in this area was privately owned, right behind people’s houses, or part of Coney Island. You kicked off your shoes again, feet sinking into the sand and she was quick to follow. The area of sand and sea was nearly completely secluded from everything around it, if you didn’t know to creep through the trees the easiest way would be to approach by boat. She watched in amazement as you moved a couple of feet down the tree line, digging through the foliage for a second before you pulled out a battery operated lantern flicking it on to produce a warm glow, adding into the light from the night sky.

“You come here often?” She quipped, you let out another glorious laugh.

“I grew up in Seagate, used to come here all the time as a kid.” You were quick to grasp her hand again, leading her over to a piece of driftwood, dropping in the sand in front of it, “It was a nice place to escape to.” You sighed, your head leaning against her shoulder, “Somethin’ about the ocean…pretty sure I was a mermaid in a past life…I just find it calming…soothing…when you’re on a quiet beach, everything just seems so at peace, it’s so easy to forget about the world when I’m here.”

“I get it..” Casey looked out at the body of water, relishing in the relaxation of the sounds of the waves, the smell of the salt water, the feeling of the warm sand beneath her, more importantly the warmth of your body next to hers.

“You want another drink?” Your head raised, looking up at her, she furrowed her brows, nodding towards your bag.

“What, you brought a flask to an open bar?” You laughed at that, turning to your bag.

“No, I swiped a bottle when the bartender wasn’t looking.” You turned back with an unopened bottle of champagne in your hand, a smirk on your face.

“Y/N! There were at least 50 cops in that room.”

“You gonna arrest me?” You shot back, “The booze was free, technically, I stole nothing…” Casey laughed at the truth behind your statement as you popped the bottle open, tacking a swig before passing it to her. She took one, digging the bottle into the sand between you as for it to not fall over.

“Your parents okay with you always running off to a secluded beach when you were a kid?” You shrugged,

“They divorced when I was pretty young, I usually say I don’t know my Dad, I certainly don’t have many memories of him, and my Mom doesn’t exactly speak well of him.” You took another swig of champagne, moving to lean against her shoulder again, “She was usually pretty busy at work, I had a family friend, the Aunt type family friend that helped out a lot. She was always much more willing to let me do shit I probably shouldn’t have been doing, definitely helped keep secrets from my Mom when I needed. I came out to her before I told my Mom…” And there it was, both the trivia you’d waited to drop, and the confirmation that Casey had been waiting for.

“They react okay?” Her voice was quiet, a murmur against your hair as the quiet crashing of the waves engulfed you.

“Oh, 100%. My Aunt was quick to tell me she’d figured it out years ago, Mom was a little hesitant, but it’s not like she was disgraced by it or anything, just…was surprised I guess?”

“Makes sense…” She trailed off, and the two of you fell into a comfortable silence.

Watching the waves thud against the sand, occasionally taking swigs from the champagne bottle you simply enjoyed each others company, you hummed in appreciation as her elbow came to rest upon your shoulder, hand coming to play with your hair gently. You exchanged some more gentle conversation, talking about your upbringings, the things you enjoyed in life, the things you didn’t enjoy so much and found you had so many things in common you simply wanted to continue to get to know each other even more. It was when Casey ended up draining the last of the champagne that she groaned.

“What? Should I have swiped two bottles?”

“No,” She laughed, “It was just the easiest way to beat this fucking heat..” The air was still sweltering, clinging around you in the most unpleasant way. You moved away from her shoulder, tucking your knees under you,

“There is one thing I can think of…” You trailed off as you stood, moving towards the water you unzipped the back of your dress, letting it drop into the sand, leaving you in your bra and underwear.

“Oh…come one Y/N, is skinny dipping really the right idea?” A laugh barked out of your lips,

“No one said anything about skinny dipping Casey…” You practically moaned in relief as the water hit your feet, relishing in the cooling affect it had on your body, “Trust me…” The smile on your lips was more than enough for her to laugh, shaking her head as she stripped herself of her dress, meeting you at the crest of the waves. You were quick to smirk, grabbing her hand as you tugged her into the cooling ocean, she shrieked at the instant cold of the water. When it came just over waist deep, you dropped her hand, diving against the upcoming wave, completely submerging yourself into the water, flicking back your hair, wiping your face of droplets when you remerged. “Feels one hell of a lot better…” She laughed at your actions, the heat in the air still clinging to her upper body, she was quick to mimic them, coming up closer to you than she’d expected.

“You’re not wrong…” You giggled at her, nudging at her hips with your hands,

“See? I told you it’d be worth it…” Your voice was quiet over the sounds of the ocean, waves crashing against your hips as Casey tugged you into her arms, a hand settling against your damp cheek right before her lips met yours. You felt the tingle you’d been feeling all night spark its way ignited as her lips danced against yours so fucking perfectly, practically melting against her. Your tongue dared its way to gently sneak its way into her mouth, tasting the tartness of the champagne against her tongue. The hand on your cheek moved, burying itself into your hair, the other arm wound around you, pulling you impossibly close to her, forgetting the heat of the night flowing through the air, replaced with the carnal desire to be totally enthralled with only each other. It was only when a particularly large wave hit, nearly toppling both of you over that you broke apart in a fit of laughter, limbs still entangled as your cooled bodies made your way back to shore.

Roughly another hour passed, your bodies staying entwined, lips meeting each other in mini sets of passion while you laughed against each others skin, exchanging stories and simply enjoying the company and the calmness of the beach. When you heard a distant boat horn, you checked your phone, removing yourself from Casey’s arms.

“We should probably get going…”

“You on a curfew or something?” She joked back, you chuckled, giving her a chaste kiss.

“No, this place is secluded enough the street dwellers usually spend the night here in the summers…don’t really need to interrupt our night with that.” You gave your body a small stretch as you stood, brushing as much of the sand off your body as you could, thankful you’d at least been wise enough to use your dress as a beach blanket. Extending your hand to Casey so she could stand and do the same before you pulled on your dress, your hand not leaving hers as you tucked away the lantern in its hiding spot. You easily found your way back through the trees and over the fence, walking a few blocks in silence before Casey turned to you,

“Hey…uhm…hate to be forward or anything, but..I don’t suppose you’d like to come back to my place?” A grin broke out on your face, tugging her to you for another kiss, murmuring your reply against her lips.

“I’d love to…”

**

It didn’t take very long after getting into Casey’s apartments for your hands to be racing against each others bodies again, this time pulling off clothes with intensity, underwear following that until you were bare against each other. Casey groaned as your lips made their way down her neck, kissing and nibbling at the sensitive skin, her hands cupping at the cheeks of your ass, tugging your body to hers. Your hands daintily traced up her sides, leaving goosebumps in their path before you cupped her chest, thumbs rolling against her nipples, slowly bringing them to peaks, grinning at the gasps leaving her lips when you pinched them between your fingers. Your lips found each other again, tongues gliding against each other with tranquility.

One of Casey’s hand remained on your ass, squeezing against the plump skin while the other tickled its way around your hip, ducking to swipe against you, feeling the wetness pooling throughout you. Gasping into her mouth when her fingers hit your clit, your knees buckled, dropping to sitting on her bed behind you, pulling you into her lap. You shifted slightly, readjusting your positions so you could get your hands on her in the same way. Casey’s fingers deftly sunk into you causing you to whimper as your thumb rolled her clit, she moaned at the warm wetness of your pussy, her lips nipping into the sweet spot of your neck. You were a mess of whimpering moans, gasps of breaths, rutting hips against each other as you continued to finger fuck each other, lips meeting each other again, breaths coming in heavy pants. Casey yelped as your fingers dragged across her g-spot as your flicked at her clit, her free arm clenching you against her body, juices gushing from her cunt, body shaking against yours. You chuckled lightly, pulling her into a chaste kiss,

“You okay?” You murmured,

“Fuck…” Was all she managed to choke out, taking a few breaths before gently pushing you back into the mattress. Her mouth traced a searing path down your body, she could taste the saltwater from the ocean still clinging to your skin, groaning in appreciation. Her name left your lips in a gasp when her tongue swiped through your sensitive folds. She hummed, taking each lip into her mouth, sucking deftly at them before her tongue invaded your heat, you felt a hand grip the sheets beside you while the other tugged against her still damp hair. Your hips uncontrollably rolled against her mouth, a string of whimpers and curses leaving your mouth, she felt so fucking incredible against your skin and you hand’t been prepared.

Casey moved her mouth up to your clit, lapping against it while her fingers sunk into again, twisting and curling, chuckling against your as your noises became louder, less controlled. Her teeth ever so gently hit your clit right as her fingers tapped, pressing into the spongey wall inside you and you fucking lost it, the hand in her hair clenching tightly, tugging against her as your back arched off the bed in a shriek of her name as you came. Panting for breath, the grip you had on her hair lessened, stroking her head softly before she moved back up in the bed, tugging your body to hers, curling around your back as the blankets were pulled up over you. Her fingers traced patterns against your bare skin, lips meeting the back of your neck, causing you to shiver before she snuggled against the crook of your neck.

“It’s late..you should stay..” She murmured out the excuse.

“Mmmm…” Was about all you manage, snuggling yourself back against her, interlocking your fingers in the hand she had wrapped around you, tugging it closer to you before you fell into an easy sleep.

Chapter Text

Casey’s eyes began to flutter open at the heat flowing against her body, sun peaking through the blinds, pouring more warmth into the room. You had shifted in your sleep, curled against her body facing her, a small smile present on your lips. She couldn’t help but smile herself, smoothing a few strands of loose hair behind your ear, you looked incredibly peaceful. At the feeling of her soft fingers on your cheek your hand twitched, almost as if it searched for hers, she lay a kiss against your hair, causing your eyelids to flitter open. The small smile broke into a happy grin, your eyes finding hers,

“Morning.” She greeted,

“Morning..” You replied, tugging her down to you for a soft kiss. Lips moving idly against each other, no urge to detach your limbs from each other quite yet. When you resurfaced for air, Casey gave you a gentle kiss on the forehead before you rolled over to double check notifications on your phone. “More like afternoon…” You laughed, it was nearly 1:30pm, clearly the night prior had tired out both of you. You quickly checked a few texts and emails, making sure nothing was urgent.

“Do you have to go?” You felt Casey’s lips on your bare shoulder, you turned, tossing your phone back on the bedside table.

“I’ve got nowhere I need to be.” She laughed when your stomach grumbled, “Except maybe breakfast…clearly champagne and so called fancy hors d’oeuvres was not a substantial dinner. Mind if I raid your kitchen?” She grinned, leaving another kiss against your supple skin.

“Have at ‘er.” Casey moved through the bedroom, tossing you a set of shorts and a tank, you tugged on your underwear, the borrowed clothes on top before following her out into the open apartment.

Casey took joy in watching you move through her kitchen, pulling open the fridge, humming in thought at what you found inside, checking the pantry before you started pulling out ingredients. She was quick to answer questions on where she kept various things that you needed, from her seat at the island. She admired the absolute grace behind your movements, the way your body danced through the room as you prepared your breakfast of choice. The mood flowed easily between little quips or comments and a very calming, comfortable silence, though it wasn’t long before you were pulling plates and cutlery out, plating the food with artistic skill. You slid one of the plates in front of Casey, she was surprised that you’d managed to throw together such a gorgeous looking plate of french toast with what little she had in her apartment. You joined her at the island after you’d poured coffee into two mugs, taking a generous sip as Casey took her first bite, moaning over the food.

“How is it possible that this tastes this good, you put like, 3 things in it.” You laughed gently,

“Secret ingredient…made with love.” You took the opportunity to kiss her cheek before you dug into your own food.

“Y/N, I’m serious, are you this good of a cook with everything?” You shrugged,

“Busy Mom, remember, had to survive somehow.”

“Didn’t you have an Aunt helping out?”

“Oh..terrible cook…she nearly burnt the house down trying to make me dino nuggets.” You shared a laugh at that.

“Well if you’re ever bored, you are more than welcome to come cook for me.”

“I’ll have to carve time out of my busy life finding sketchy pathways to the ocean.” You joked back, earning a smirk from Casey.

Casey was insistent on you leaving the dishes in the sink, saying she’d deal with them later, and was already thankful you’d cooked for her. You moved to the couch, entangling limbs as you picked up a lazy Sunday TV marathon. While the show was the main entertainment of the day, your conversation still flowed freely, and you took a few breaks distracting each other, exploring each and every curve of your bodies, desire filling the room. It was when you noticed the sun sinking against the sky that you sat up, stretching your body out, turning to Casey.

“I should really get going…” Admittedly, you definitely didn’t want to leave, but Monday was coming up, and it was bound to be another busy week of work, and at the very least you had to look over your schedule tonight to prepare. “Uggh…” You groaned, your eyes hitting the pair of stilettos you’d worn over the previous night.

“What?” Casey questioned,

“I do not want to deal with those fucking shoes right now.” She laughed, moving to kiss you gently.

“Then don’t. I’ll get the clothes back from you next time I see you, I’m sure I’ve got an extra pair of flip flops somewhere.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah. I’m not about to let you walk out of my life after that french toast.” You barked out a laugh,

“You sure it was the french toast?” Smirking, her lips met yours again.

“Among other things…” Shoving your dress and heels into your bag, you retrieved a pen from it, scribbling your number onto the bottom of Casey’s grocery list stuck to the fridge.

“Don’t forget to call…”

“Oh I definitely won’t.” She walked you to the door, kissing you, cupping your cheek in her hand, “You sure you don’t wanna stay for one more episode.” You sighed happily,

“I would love to, but I’ve got an 8 a.m. client tomorrow.”

“Okay…” Casey gave you one last kiss before she started to turn away, a few steps and she realized that was the first time work had come up in conversation with you. “Client?” She stopped, turning back to you, you stopped in the doorway, “What do you do?”

“Oh…” The same realization hit you, “I’m a therapist.” You gave her another one of your stunning grins before disappearing down the hall, leaving Casey in a sense of pondering. It made sense now how easily you were able to analyze the guest of the gala the night before, why you were so trusting to take a complete stranger to a secluded area, how comfortable she found herself around you so quickly. You had a talent, that was for sure.

Chapter Text

Casey was quick to call you a few days later, and it wasn’t just about french toast. Over the next few weeks you spent as much of your free time together as possible. There wasn’t much, but you both seemed to have relatively free weekends, just enough time to squeeze in a late dinner date or adult themed sleepover at one of your apartments. She simply adored spending time with you, obviously you felt the same, and it wasn’t long before you asked her to be your girlfriend, which she very happily agreed to.

The first time you brought her to your apartment she was surprised that not only you lived in such a nice area, but that the apartment itself was as gorgeous as it was, New York wasn’t exactly cheap. When she commented on it you simply mentioned that you’d been lucky enough to have parents that were well off, the alimony and child support bumping that up even more. She’d meant to ask what your parents did for a living but you’d very easily distracted her with your lips and fingers.

Today you’d had just enough time to schedule a quick coffee date, not quite enough for lunch, but enough to actually get to see each other during the week for once. You got there first, ordering for both of you before you grabbed a small table in the corner. You weren’t sure how long Casey was going to be so you pulled out your notebook and phone, digging into details on how you’d be able to help your last client the best. You were so engrossed you didn’t notice your girlfriend until she was dropping into the seat across from you.

“Hey!” She greeted you breathlessly, humming in satisfaction at the caffeine boost, “Sorry I’m late, arraignment was super backed up today, ran way over.”

“Arraignment?” You quirked a brow as you took in her appearance, this was the first time you’d met up during the middle of the work day, she was dressed in a particularly gorgeous pantsuit, crisp white blouse underneath the blazer.

“Yeah,” She started, waving her hand, “It’s a pre trial—“ You were quick to cut her off, laughter evident in your voice.

“I know what arraignment is, I just…somehow didn’t know you were a lawyer.” Your brows scrunched as you thought to yourself, how on earth had you not realized your girlfriend was a lawyer?! You knew her work hours had been a bit sporadic over the last month, but somehow the topic of work barely ever came up. It was starting to make sense as you both probably dealt with over stimulating things all week, by the time the weekend rolled around you just wanted to enjoy each others company (not to mention a certain level of confidentiality when it came to your career).

“Oh..” Casey began, now too realizing she’d never mentioned work with you, “You watch a lot of lawyer shows or something?” She asked, pertaining to the fact that most people didn’t know what arraignment was. You shrugged, tearing off a chunk of the muffin in front of you.

“I’ve had to take the stand a few times in Brooklyn, provide my psycho analysis” You finger quoted that bit, “Of a victim or a perp.”

“You work with the NYPD?” She questioned, it was nearly bizarre how you’d been together this long and knew so little about each other’s career fields.

“Occasionally.” You replied, taking another generous sip of your coffee, “Technically I work at a private practice here in Manhattan but Brooklyn likes to call me in if they’ve got a client of mine, or if they think my expertise could be helpful.” You chewed on a piece of muffin, thinking the thought over, “I’d never thought about it when I got into the field, then one of my clients got arrested and I got called in. The shrink in Brooklyn said it seemed like I was a good fit, said if he wasn’t available to call me instead.”

“Hmm…” Casey took in the information over another gulp of coffee, she was about to speak when your phone pinged, you glanced toward it, brows furrowed before you opened the text.

“Shit…” You muttered, “I’ve gotta go!” You quickly shoved your things back in your bag, glad you coffee was in a to go cup.

“Everything okay?” Casey’s face filled with concern.

“No…client just attempted suicide, they’re at Mercy.” You gently stroked her face, giving her an unbelievably soft kiss that left both of you wishing you had more time, “I’m sorry…”

“Duty calls.” She replied with a small smile.

“We’re still on for dinner Friday?”

“Wouldn’t miss it.” Her smile warmed not only your heart but your entire goddamn body, your own silly grin breaking out on your face before you gave her another kiss, not wanting to leave, but knowing you had to.

Chapter Text

The weather had finally started to change in New York, the heat of the summer was finally dissipated, but everyone seemed to be welcoming the coolness of Autumn. Though the seasons weren’t the only thing that was changing, you were working with less clients at the private practice, and getting more work through the NYPD, enough that they’d created an official position and salary for you. It didn’t take long after that for your mentor to mention that he was going to be taking a job in Oklahoma and was recommending you transfer over to Manhattan to help them out. Especially considering he was working with sex crimes, they almost always needed a therapist on hand, if not one consulting on cases. You noticed that it not only came with a bit of a pay raise, but was also a much less of a commute, whether from your or Casey’s apartment, and closer to the practice. All things said, the upcoming lateral move was simply a good idea, and you accepted the offer.

Spending more time working with the NYPD did mean you hours got a little more hectic, you were there to talk to victims when they made their original statements, there to give an analysis to detectives, lawyers and defence attorneys, you’d usually stay with the victim through their trial prep, and occasionally would take the stand yourself. You were still in Brooklyn, but the hours got long, you ended up having to rain check a couple of dates with Casey. In turn, you’d exchanged apartment keys so you could at least collapse into a warm bed against each other for the few hours you had between days. She was happy with the NYPD giving you an actual position, and happy to see that the work didn’t seem to be coming down too hard on you. You’d been so busy with the new work, and distracted by the insanely gorgeous woman you were lucky enough to call your girlfriend, the entire transfer slipped your mind.

It was nearing the beginning of November when you got the call. You’d been bored out of your goddamn mind in your office at the practice, just waiting as the days went by before Huang was actually going to call you into Manhattan’s SVU. He hadn’t left for Oklahoma yet, wanting to shadow your first couple of cases just to make sure it was the right fit. You were quick to make your way over the precinct, meeting Huang in the bull pen, he introduced you to the squad, knowing you preferred simply the use of your first name, explaining that you would be the main person taking over his position. (Since you didn’t have the psychiatrist degree you wouldn’t be able to prescribe anything, you’d have an actual doctor to help you out if you needed to. You were mainly here to help the victims in the way the detectives couldn’t).

A woman you’d been introduced to as Captain Olivia Benson had been going over the details of the case with you, when she mentioned that the victim was only eight years old, the offender being her step father, you turned to Huang.

“Eight?! Jesus Huang, you making me take the hard one so I can prove myself right off the bat?”

“I would’ve called you in simply to observe but she refuses to talk to any men. I know you’ve got a knack with things like this, I thought you could at least take a stab at it.”

“If she won’t talk you’re how do you know the abuse took place?” Olivia was quick to jump on that,

“Her mother took her into the hospital for a broken ankle, the nurse suspected physical abuse due to the bruising on her thighs, got them to do an internal exam.” She passed you a folder, your heart clenching as you skimmed through the medical records.

“You really are throwing me off the deep end…” You muttered to the man next to you, your eye line intending to meet his, but instead catching to the movement behind him as non other than Casey walked into the precinct, an annoyed expression on her face that quickly turned to confusion as she saw you gathered with the squad. “Please for the love of God tell me you’re not defending this prick.”

“What? No…I’m their A.D.A.” You nearly felt your heart drop into the absolute pit of your stomach. Shit. Casey’s brow furrowed, “What’re you doing here?”

“Huang transferred me in from Brooklyn, said Manhattan needed someone…”

“You two know each other?” Olivia’s voice broke through your brain fog, you nearly jumped as both of you realized you were in a room full of other people, and both had important jobs to do.

“Yeah…” You managed out, “Where’s Lucy?” You questioned Benson, she gestured for you to follow her but not before you missed the look on Huang’s face, “I know that look, stop analyzing me!” You hucked the file folder in your hand to him, a glare in your eyes, knowing exactly what he was thinking.

It took a lot more warming up than usual, but all things considered, you’d expected that. Casey moved back and fourth between the glass of the interview room with you and Lucy, and the interrogation room with her step father. The step father didn’t seem to want to give up anything, mainly arguing with Amanda and Fin. Meanwhile she was completely entranced, not only watching you work for the first time, but watching the way you worked with someone as young and fragile as Lucy.

When you entered the room, you’d been quiet and friendly, almost silently shutting the door behind you, which was nearly impossible in an NYPD precinct. In your arm was a collection of juice boxes and a sleeve of cookies, rather than take a spot on the couch or adult sized chair, you gently asked Lucy if you could colour with her. The 8 year old gave you a quizzical look, taking in your appearance. You were thankful you’d opted for comfort today, lulu leggings, a respectful tank that had a little embroidered Mickey Mouse head near the strap, fuzzy cardigan wrapping you up. When she nodded you simply plopped down onto the floor in front of the table (you’d kicked off your boots before entering the room), you placed the items in your hand on the table, making sure they were close enough that she knew she was more than welcome to enjoy.

You spent at least 20 minutes colouring, the first five being nearly silent unless one of you asked for a specific colour of crayon. Then you gently breached talking with the girl, you’d noticed she was colouring in a Disney colouring book, leading the conversation with that, asking which princess was her favourite. Olivia was practically rolling her eyes at the slowness of your work, Huang reminding her that you were the professional, and did this kind of thing frequently. Olivia kept the thought to herself but figured you’d pull shit like this at your practice to drag out sessions, getting more money out of clients (she couldn’t have been more from wrong). She was proved wrong when in the next 10 minutes Lucy showed no shyness as she practically climbed into your lap, continuing her colouring as she started to tell you everything that had happened to her, Casey wasn’t shocked but still felt her heart fucking swell seeing you working so gently with her.

You’d been soft and quiet, having Lucy draw out stick figures, using the red crayon to show where her step father had touched her, when she finished she looked up at you, tears beginning to stream down her face. You hugged her small body against yours, her arms wrapping tightly around you as you glanced back to the one way glass. It wasn’t long until a knock against it called you out, you went to stand and Lucy stayed tightly wrapped around you, giving a knowing glance to the glass you moved to the other room with the girl tightly clung to you. As it turned out, her mother had finally shown up, she’d been questioned but knew nothing about any kind of abuse, gently taking her daughter from you. You were sure to hand her one of your cards, making sure they knew to call, this wasn’t going to be easy to move past that was for sure. Huang had already gone, Olivia went with the mother to walk her out and you were left alone with Casey outside the interview and interrogation rooms.

“That was…really good work…” She couldn’t really figure out how to put the words together.

“Thanks…”You sighed, “I mean I’m not fond of having to work cases like this but, if it’ll help put the creep behind bars, I’ll do whatever I can.” She smiled, squeezing your elbow,

“I might need you to take the stand on this one. Lucy’s young, I’d rather her not have to deal with a courtroom if possible.”

“Course..”

“Counsellor!” Rollins’ voice broke through the room, “Looks like Adler might be ready to talk. Lawyer’s not here, now or never.” You gave Casey the ‘go kick his ass’ nod, before she left the room, an affectionate look in her eyes meant only for you. You took a heavy sigh of relief, hopefully there was something good to come out of cases like this, at least you knew Casey was prosecuting. if there was one thing about her you knew, it was that she was passionate and determined, and not afraid to be aggressive. You moved back into the bull pen, collecting the papers you had on Lucy and the photocopies from Benson about the case into a file, shoving them into your bag. You quickly checked that you had the good to go before tugging on your coat, moving to the hallway by the elevators. The machine pinged, doors opening to reveal Rita Calhoun, who took you in with surprise.

“Y/N, why are you here?”

“Transferred in from Brooklyn. You defending Alder?”

“How’d you know?” You rolled your eyes,

“Jesus Rita, his victim’s his eight year old step daughter, I just spent over an hour talking to her.” Rita gave you a once over,

“You know…” She began, her eyes narrowing, “For someone who just finished talking to a rape victim you have this..happy..glow about you..”

“Thank..you?” You didn’t realize what she was getting at until she spoke again.

“You’ve been dating someone new haven’t you?” You covered your truth with an outward laugh, moving into the elevator, pressing the G button.

“Please…” Thankfully she didn’t have time to respond before the doors shut and you were whisked away from the precinct.

Chapter Text

The better part of your morning was spent in Casey’s office with her and Lucy (you’d asked her Mom to wait outside to make sure Lucy wasn’t being coached or anything). Despite her wanting to keep Lucy from having to take the stand, the defence was pulling out all the stops possible, which meant she had to fight just as hard to get the proper justice. She was glad Lucy had taken such a liking to you, and that you were there to keep her calm and focussed. Not to mention you were quick to give Casey a warning look if her line of questioning was getting too harsh.

When Lucy asked how that many people were going to fit in Casey’s office you realized you’d need to make a little trip across the street. You let her play around a little bit, making sure she was comfortable before you let Casey put her up on the stand. For an eight year old, she did surprisingly well at Casey’s questioning in the big room, you only hoped she’d be able to do the same for the cross examination.

“This really is the room we’ll be in?” Lucy asked quietly as she hopped down from the box, reaching out to grasp at your hand. You turned to Casey for the response, knowing that she might have just found an empty courtroom to practice in.

“Yes.” She nodded, “The judge will be right up there, beside where you’ll be sitting.”

“Are they gonna be mean to me?” Casey let out a small laugh,

“No, Judge Donnelly’s not going to mean to you.” Thankfully Casey was quick to turn her back, packing up her bag missing the shot of panic that flew across your face, quickly pulling yourself together, you said you were going to walk Lucy and her Mom out. Casey nodded, saying she’d meet you back at her office in an hour to go through your own testimony.

Saying good bye to Lucy you took a few minutes to unscramble the wires in your brain. You popped into a coffee shop across the street, grabbing an extra one before you made your way back into the courthouse. You were quick to track down Donnelly’s chambers,

“Hey, I’ve got to testify for the Alder case, you won’t need to recuse—“ You froze when you noticed another body in her office, of fucking course Casey had to be sitting in a chair across from her desk. Her brows furrowed, perplexed at your comment, turning to Liz.

“Why would you need to recuse?” She asked, hesitancy in her voice.

“I don’t. It’s not a conflict of interest.” Liz spoke first to Casey then to you. Your heart was pounding in your chest as you made small movements towards her desk, placing the extra coffee down. “Thanks. You’re just a witness, it would only be a conflict of interest if you were the victim or the defendant.”

“I…still don’t understand..”

“Haven’t you two been working together all morning? Y/N’s my daughter.” Fuck. Casey felt her heart jump into her throat, absolutely racing as she did her best to keep a neutral face. How in the hell had she managed to not only sleep with but end up in a relationship with her bosses daughter.

“I…didn’t realize you even had a daughter…” The shock factor slightly waring off, she started to connect some of the dots in her head, realizing why you’d been at that gala after all. How you were so connected within the NYPD, and had no problem understanding the legal jargon she thew at you. There was a flurry of emotions in her head, she was partially furious that you’d never mentioned it, and part of her was suddenly very concerned for her job.

“I’ve always preferred keeping work and home separate, you know that.” You could practically feel your relationship imploding in that matter of seconds, and that certainly terrified you. The moment you’d found out Casey was an A.D.A. you knew your Mom was her boss, but you’d been in so goddamn deep you didn’t want to mention it. Of course it would end up like this. You jumped when your phone blared through the small room, you quickly answered it, feeling Casey’s eyes burning into your skin as you took the call.

“That was Benson, they need me down at SVU, can we push my trail prep ’til later?”

“Sure.” You practically winced at the coldness in Casey’s voice. You made it halfway out the door before Liz called out to you,

“Sweetheart, speaking of pushing things back, are you able to move dinner to next week?”

“Yeah, ‘course.” At this point you’d agree to practically anything to get yourself out of her chambers. You still had regular monthly family dinners to keep updated on everything and actually get time to spend together. “Wouldn’t miss it!”

“You missed the one after the summer gala…” Liz half smirked, “I only hope it wasn’t because you went home with some disgrace of a defence attorney.” God you felt like you were about to fucking puke. You gave a shaky laugh in response, gesturing that you really did have to go, finally able to escape. Your heart was still racing by the time you got to the precinct, barely able to comprehend the case at hand that Benson was going over. You took a minute to excuse yourself and get your brain back onto professional track before you were finally able to talk to the victim. This was going to be one hell of a headache.

Chapter Text

Benson had cleared you to leave after spending most of the afternoon with SVU, you’d barely gotten back to your car when you got a message from Casey telling you to meet her at her apartment. Figuring it was about your testimony you headed over, butterflies in your stomach, still hesitant about seeing her so soon. When you let yourself into her apartment you found her at the island, legal pad in front of her.

“What’d you wanna start with?” She placed her pen to the side, folding her hands in front of her.

“I’m not sure..maybe at the part where you failed to mention that Judge Donnelly is your Mother?!” Her voice was even colder than it was in Liz’s office, while you’d been down at SVU she’d clearly had time to think over an argument.

“Case..”

“No.” Your chest tightened at the stare she was giving you. “She’s my BOSS! I honestly feel like I could lose my job over this! Do you understand how severe that is?”

“I do! She can’t fire you because of this! She won’t!” You pleaded back, you could feel tears wanting to blur your eyes, doing your best to fight them off.

“You sound pretty sure about that.”

“I am!”

“What, you’ve already fucked your way through the DA’s office.” Ouch. Playing dirty wasn’t her usual tactic, she hadn’t even really meant for it to slip out, but part of her had that concern.

“No! Oh my GOD Casey! You’re the only lawyer I’ve ever dated.”

“Yeah, because your Mother is the goddamn Bureau Chief!”

“I didn’t even know you were a lawyer that first night! It would’ve been too late to take it back anyways!”

“And that makes it any better for not telling me?”

“If I had known you were an A.D.A. I would’ve at least tried to stay away.”

“So why not tell me when you did find out I worked for her?”

“Cause I’m so goddamn in love with you and I didn’t want you to get freaked out and walk away because of it!” She faltered slightly, in the months you’d been together, you’d both been much more about showing how much you loved each other, despite never actually saying it.

“Jesus Y/N, I fucking love you too but that doesn’t excuse—“ She stopped as she approached you, brows furrowed, “Why are you shivering? The heat’s blasting.”

“Because…you are…really fucking hot when you’re mad…” A cock of her brow and smirk of her lips was all it took to completely flip the vibe in the room, her voice low and husky when she spoke.

“Well…I can think of a way you can make this up to me now….And, I’m thinking that you need to be punished baby girl…” Her fingers trailed along your jaw, tilting your chin up to her, your breath hitched, nearly whimpering as she laid her lips against you. The kiss was torturously slow, teasing against your mouth as she backed you into the bedroom. “Strip.” You were quick to comply, shedding your clothes to the floor, drinking in Casey’s body as she left herself in just the lacy bra and underwear she had on.

Casey sat on the foot of the bed, scooting back until the back of her knees hit the mattress. She crooked her fingers at you, pulling you into a searing kiss full of heat and carnal desire before gave you the gentle shove to position yourself draped across her lap. She stroked through your hair, moving it out of your face, humming in satisfaction at your will to submit. Her fingers trailed along your naked skin, leaving a quake of goosebumps in their paths, causing your to shiver again. She gave your ass cheek a tight squeeze before tracing her hand between your legs, chuckling at how wet you already were, teasing your folds.

“So, what’d you think? Two spanks for every month you’ve kept that little secret from me? You okay with 10?” She’d left one hand teasing your folds while the other soothed the tight skin of your ass. You let out a whimper as her fingers hit your clit,

“Yes…please…” You moaned when her fingers dipped into you, hips jolting at the contact as she began to edge you. Your eyes clenched shut you let out a gasp when the first spank hit you, groaning at the light sting. “Harder…please..” Casey chuckled at that, rubbing where she’d hit before coming down with more force on the other side.

“I don’t hear you counting baby girl…” You whimpered out a one, knowing that since you missed the first one, she was starting over. By the time you’d reached 6 you were a quivering mess against her lap, juices leaking down your thighs, dripping onto Casey, she’d continued to edge you, pumping her fingers, circling your clit while the pressure of her spanking increased. You let out a loud moan of an 8, feeling the coil about to burst inside you. Casey could feel your walls fluttering around her fingers and instantly removed them, you let out a sob as the last two spanks came down hard and one right after another. “Did you really think I was gonna let you cum?” Her hands gently soothed at the reddened cheeks as she leant down to lay a gentle series of kisses across your shoulder. You shot her a half glare at the comment, if you were being punished, you certainly didn’t think so but you’d been so goddamn close. “You okay?” She murmured, pulling you up to sitting in her lap, you nodded.

“Yeah…And I believe I have something to make up for.” It was your turn to smirk, lips plunging against hers, moving with grace, tongue swiping across her bottom lip, begging for entrance. Your hands wrapped around her, unclipping her bra and tossing it aside while your tongue rolled against hers, eagerly exploring her mouth like it was the first time all over again.

Pushing her back on the bed, your mouth moved down her jaw, eagerly nipping at her earlobe before sucking a path down her neck, biting into the sweet spot. Your hands trailed around her body, pinching at her nipples before one snuck under the band of her panties. Casey’s hips flew off the bed at the contact, a moan echoing out into the room as your lips traced across her collarbone, pausing briefly to suck a nipple into your mouth before you grasped her panties, pushing them off and settling between her thighs. You knew she’d kill you if you teased her any longer, quickly lapping at her cunt, tongue flicking her clit at the end of a broad strip.

Her back arched off the bed, hands gripping against the sheets in pleasure. She could feel every tiny movement, the way your tongue moved against her electrifying her senses, alerting every nerve, her body tingling. Once your fingers dove in, her walls began fluttering, her breaths coming out in hot pants when your mouth wrapped tightly around her clit. Body on fire, a sheen of glistening sweat covering it, she moaned out your name, the pressure building, hips thrusting up against you, pushing you even closer to her. A sob escaped her lips as you felt her walls clench down on your fingers like a vice, juices escaping around them, dampening the sheets. You gently laid a kiss on her quivering inner thigh, crawling back up her body, tugging her to curl against your side.

“I think it’s safe to say apology accepted.” She murmured, causing you to let out a breath of a lap, kissing her forehead. You lay in silence for a while, snuggled against each other in a happy afterglow before you broke the silence, your voice barely above a whisper.

“I am really sorry for not telling you. It was a completely irresponsible mistake, I just really, really didn’t want to lose you…” Casey laid a gentle kiss to your collarbone. “I meant what I said, I do really love you.”

“I love you too.” Your hand came to gently play with her hair, heart swelling at actually hearing the words. “And I accept that apology too…” You could see her lips spread into a small smile.

“We don’t have to tell anyone right away…definitely not drop it like a bomb on her. I can casually mention on Sunday that we’re starting to hang out as friends, the case’ll probably come up anyways. Give her some time to warm up to friendship and us hanging out outside work before I mention dating.”

“I don’t need to go asking for her permission for your hand do I?” Casey half joked, causing you to snort.

“No…”

You laid snuggled up for a while longer, beginning to map out a bit of a game plan in case things went haywire. You’d made the agreement to not tell anyone from the DA’s office or SVU, or really anyone that had a link to Liz. Promising to keep your hands to yourselves in the vicinity of Hogan Place, and purposely picking places for dates that there was less likely to be an interruption. In the meantime you’d turned on Netflix for background noise and ordered take out, both of you now too lazy to bother cooking. When you heard a knock at the door, you hopped out of bed, tugging on one of Casey’s oversized Harvard shirts,

“You sure you’ve got this one?” She asked,

“Pretty sure I owe you Case…” Smiling to yourself you grabbed your wallet, unlatching and opening the door. It wasn’t the delivery guy, Rita Calhoun stood in front of you. Her face scrunched in confusion, thinking she must’ve gotten the address wrong, you dropped your head in a groan, “Jesus fucking Christ…”

“You need more cash?” Casey called, she was two steps ahead of you though,

“NO!” You tried to stop her but the way the apartment was set up the instant she stepped out of the bedroom (wrapped in a silky robe nonetheless) Rita could see her.

“Calhoun?” Rita pulled out the folded blue paper from her purse.

“Motion to suppress.”

“Suppress what?” Casey moved towards the door despite the awkward situation, her work brain flew back on.

“Y/N’s testimony. We have Lucy’s testimony that’s all we need.”

“Do you always go after 8 year olds on the stand?” You questioned,

“Do you always answer the door without pants on?” Rolling your eyes you gave her a playful shove, grabbing the warrant to pass to Casey. “How long has this..” She gestured between the two of you, “Been going on?”

“Five months…” You admitted, Casey let out a shriek (understandably, you’d JUST agreed to not tell anyone from work), Rita let out a laugh,

“Aha-oh…sweetheart your Mom is going to fucking kill both of you.” Casey turned back, confusion written across her face, you seemed strangely comfortable around Rita, and she’d never heard the woman swear before.

“You tell her about this and I will snitch about when you and your friends got wine drunk off Mom’s booze and I got blamed for it when I was seventeen!”

“Wait..what?” You turned back to your girlfriend, realizing how bizarre everything must seem.

“Rita’s my Aunt..well..not by blood but you know what I mean…”

“Your secret's safe with me, don’t worry.” She gave a soft smile to the pair of you, “I knew you had new girlfriend…go put on some pants.” She gave you a playful swat, “I’ll see you at trial.” And with that she was gone.

Chapter Text

The shrill of Casey’s alarm broke through the room, jolting both of you awake, she was quick to shut it off, laughing lightly as you grumbled, pulling her back against you, snuggling into the crook of her neck. She laid her lips against your forehead, accepting your warm embrace, hand running up and down your back gently. The second time her alarm went off she sighed, pulling out of your arms to turn it off, your hand scrambled blindly to try to tug her back to you.

“…Stay…” You mumbled, buried in the pillows.

“Believe me I’d love to..” She shivered as she tossed the duvet back, “Be happy you don’t have to get out of the warmth of bed.” She leaned over to kiss your cheek, tucking the blankets back around you, even with the heat on in the apartment, the December air was frozen.

“Bed’s more fun with you here though.”

“Go back to sleep baby.” Another small kiss, “I’ll pick some toys out for you to use while you think of me later, mkay?” You peeked open an eye at that, smirking up at her, She met your lips this time, “I’ve got an arraignment to get to. I love you.”

“I love you too.”

It wasn’t long until you were lulled back to sleep by the soft rhythmic sounds of the shower, you felt the whisper of Casey’s lips against your hair before she left, bracing for the winter weather on her way into court. You were lucky enough to be off today (or at least until SVU called), thankful for the opportunity to sleep in.

When you woke up again at the sun softly poking through the blinds, you were quick to take up Casey’s sultry idea, knowing that she would appreciate a few little saucy pictures or quick videos later in the day when she’d be able to actually check her phone, buried in boring paperwork in her office. You’d lazily lounged around a bit, warming up with a cup of coffee while you skimmed through the paper before you phone beeped, reminding you that you were meeting Rita for lunch. After a quick shower you bundled up, thankful for Casey’s collection of fuzzy warm cardigans as you snuck one from her closet to put under your coat.

**

“Hey! Sorry I’m late, there’s fucking last minute Christmas shoppers everywhere, it’s a mess out there!” You slid into the booth across from the older woman, tossing your coat beside you.

“Don’t worry about it…” Rita’s attention was still half on her phone, typing furiously for a moment before she locked it, placing it down on the table. “Gave me a chance to catch up on some emails.”

“Were you in trial today?”

“Arraignment…” She smirked over the rim of her wine glass, “That girlfriend of yours is going for blood with this one.” You rolled your eyes,

“Aren’t you always going for blood?”

You were briefly interrupted by the waitress, you asked for a bailey’s and coffee, and ordered a couple of appetizers to split.

“How’s that going?” Rita asked,

“Casey?”

“What else would I be asking about?” You gave a soft laugh at that,

“True…It’s good.” You couldn’t help but smile when you thought about Casey, “Really good. She’s just so fucking incredible, she’s sweet, funny, super passionate, I mean she cares so much about everything. And don’t even get me started on how good she is in the bed—“

“Oookay. I’m gonna stop you there.” Rita laughed, “I was fine with juicy details when I didn’t have to see your girlfriends in court on a regular basis.”

“Sorry.”

“It’s fine.” She gave you a warm smile, “Sounds like you really love her…” It didn’t matter that you wanted to hold back the the goofy grin on your face, you were practically beaming.

“I really do…”

“I’m happy for ya kid, you deserve a great love.”

“Thanks…” Your eyes found their way downcast, focussing on stirring your coffee. “We’re trying to figure out logistics of moving in together…” You spared a shy glance up at Rita for that, face half scrunched, knowing that it seemed pretty ridiculous.

“Oh yes, that seems like something that would work wonderfully when you Mom would show up at your apartment unannounced to find Casey with no pants…” You laughed.

“I know, I know. That’s why I said we’re trying to figure it out. Mom knows that we’re friends, I brought up that we were hanging out outside of work, trying to brace into it slowly, then maybe bring up dating later on when she’s more accustomed to it.”

“And when she thinks you’re moving in together after a week of dating she’s still going to kill you.” You let out a groan, forehead hitting the table, your reply coming out muffled.

“I know….” Pushing back up to sitting you took a hefty swig of the boozy coffee, “Honestly I’m not worried about how mad she’ll be at me, I’m sure I can handle it. It’s Casey I’m worried about.” Rita didn’t miss the quick frown that took over your normally cheery face, “Mom’s her friend, her mentor, she’s her fucking boss. Could she lose her job over this?” There was the slightest hint of a glimmer of tears hidden behind your eyes, Rita sighed.

“I highly doubt it. Liz can’t fire her just because you’re dating. But you do technically work NYPD, a disclosure might not be a bad idea.”

“Oh so Casey just waltzes into Mom’s office with the paperwork, ‘Surprise, I’ve been banging your daughter for the last six months!’ As if that’s going to go over well.”

“The two of you clearly love each other a lot, you’ll figure it out…”

The conversation continued to flow as you picked over the appetizers, happily discussing work, the upcoming Holiday and any other shenanigans that had been happening. Rita asked if you were enjoying working with NYPD over the private practice, there were ups and downs to both. With NYPD you had to be on call at all hours, but you were able to spend more time with the victims through the entire thing, rather than just trying to help them heal months afterwards when they finally had the courage to call. You were halfway through entrees when you glanced up to see Liz walking down the aisle next to the booths, take out bag in hand. It was a shocker considering you were at Forlini’s, it was less than 3 blocks to the courthouse, you exchanged warm smilies as she stopped at your booth.

“Fancy meeting you here.” She slid onto the bench beside you, “Way to not invite me out to lunch.” Rita laughed as you rolled your eyes, knowing she wasn’t actually offended.

“You said you were in court all day…” She gave you a playful nudge with her shoulder,

“I’m just ragging on you.” She pinched the sleeve of your borrowed cardigan, giving you a slightly quizzical look, “This new? I haven’t seen you in it before?”

“Yeah…picked it up a few weeks ago.”

“Pretty sure you’re supposed to be shopping for other people this time of year not yourself.” She joked in response, you scoffed jokingly.

“Don’t worry, I’ll buy you something extra pretty for Christmas.”

“Speaking of, are you coming over Christmas Eve to spend the night or Christmas Day?” You were glad your face was half hidden by the coffee cup. You and Casey had been trying to figure out how the holidays were going to work, you obviously couldn’t show up with her in tow at your Mom’s, and you obviously couldn’t blow off Liz without a very valid excuse considering the only family you had was currently sitting at the table in Forlini’s. When you finally came to a decision of celebrating with Casey on Christmas Eve, then you heading to your family on the 25th, promising to bring her home extra leftovers.

“Mmm…”You choked back the coffee, even more thankful for the bailey’s, “Christmas Day. I’ve got a mountain of backlog paper work I need to get through before the new year.” Only a partial lie. Thankfully only Rita saw through it.

“Are you planning on bringing anyone?”

“Nope.” You popped the p for extra effect, not expecting Rita to cut in from across the table.

“Oh c’mon what about that new girlfriend?” If looks could fucking kill she would have dropped dead in that instead.

“What new girlfriend?” Liz was suddenly very interested.

“I went on ONE date, it turned out horrible. Rollins suggested I try one of those dating apps, 10/10 would not recommend.” A sense of relief washed over you when your phone pinged in a series of text messages, you took the escape, swiping it open without a glance to check who they were from. Thankfully your phone tumbled out of your hand before Liz had a chance to see what was on the screen, (and even more thankfully when it landed screen side down on the table).

“You ever think about cutting back on caffeine?” Rita quipped from the other side of the table, you shot her another glare. Liz sighed, glancing to her watch.

“I should get back. I’ll see you next week.” She gave you cheek a chaste kiss, a small wave to Rita before exiting the restaurant. You were sure to hear the door fully shut before you hucked a bun across at Rita.

“I’m going to fucking kill you, you know that, right?”

“She sent you a nude didn’t she?” You felt your face flush in response, Rita laughing at the obvious answer to her question.

****

At the end of the day, Casey had plans to meet up with Alex for a couple of drinks, she’d shot you a text if you wanted to join, but you weren’t kidding about having paperwork you needed to catch up on.

“Girlfriend not coming?” Alex asked, taking a swig of her wine.

“No…” Casey let out a bit of a sigh, she wasn’t disappointed, she knew you had work to do, but was kind of hoping that you and Alex would start to get to know each other. “She’s buried in leftover paperwork.”

“What does she do?”

“She’s the therapist over at SVU, took over at Huang.” Alex’s wine glass hit the table with a little more force than she meant to, her eyes widened.

“Case…”

“What?”

“You do know that’s Donnelly’s daughter, right?” Casey took a hefty swig of her scotch.

“Yeah. I know.”

“And you thought this was a good idea because??”

“Neither of us knew who we were or what we did when we met. By the time it came out, we were both way too far gone.” Casey couldn’t help the small smile on her lips as she thought about the night you’d met.

“Does Liz know?”

“No! Y/N’s…breaking it in slowly. She know’s we’re friends and have been hanging out but nothing else.” She could see the concern in the other woman’s eyes even through the dim bar. “Alex, I promise you I wouldn’t be doing something this if I didn’t love her more than anyone I ever have. She makes me see the world in colour again, my life is incredibly uplifted because she’s in it.”

“Wow…you really do love her.” Alex gave her a soft smile.

“This isn’t just some kind of fling, we’ve spent practically the entire last six months together, she practically lives at my apartment already.”

“You meet her at that gala in Seagate?”

“Yeah…” Alex watched the slightly dreamy look drift across Casey’s face, letting out a light sigh.

“Casey, as much as I think it’s a risky idea I know I’m definitely not going to be able to talk you out of it. I haven’t seen you this happy in a long time, and assuming I’m the only person you’ve told, I’m going to have to be your right hand man in all of this.”

“Thanks Alex…”

Chapter Text

Nearly two months had passed and thankfully your secret was still a secret, with only Alex & Rita having privy to it. You were thankful to have a couple of other people that you could hang out with that you were able to show your true colours around, it was also a nice chance for you and Alex to get to know each other better.

Since Christmas (and New Years) had been eaten up at the Donnelly household, you and Casey had decided to make Valentine’s Day special. Neither of you particularly cared for the holiday, all it really was was a marketing strategy, but to have something special just for the two of you was something that you deserved. Casey had simply said you’d meet up at her apartment after work and go from there, leaving you pretty in the dark about it, but you weren’t complaining.

You’d expected to find her when you let yourself into the apartment, your brows scrunching when you saw a note on the kitchen island. A grin split across you face when you read it: ‘Dress comfy and warm. Meet me at Seagate.’ You practically bounded into the bedroom, shucking your business casual for a pair of old sweats, a cozy tee and one of Casey’s old Harvard hoodies that you simply adored.

***

Pushing through the final line of trees, your feet hit the sand, and a gasp left your mouth. The sound caused Casey to look up, a bright smile on her face when she saw you, moving to greet you halfway.

“Hey baby.” She laid the most gentle and loving kiss against your lips, cupping your face with the most utter of ease.

“You did all this?” You could feel the happy tears rimming your eyes, daring to spill, Casey gave a light laugh, kissing the tip of your nose.

“Just for you…” She took your hand in hers, leading you over to the same piece of driftwood you’d spent your first night tucked up against. Except this time she had a pile of cozy blankets and pillows set up on the sand, small branches connected in a headboard like frame above it, battery powered fairy lights wrapped around them, and a small campfire dug into the sand off to the side. You did your best to choke back a cry, practically launching yourself at her, burying your arms around her neck.

“I love you so much…”

“I love you too Y/N…like you wouldn’t believe.” Casey felt a sense of relief wash over her, she knew it had been a risk taking a spot that had been so sacred to you since you were a kid for a gesture like this. Though you’d trusted her enough to take her to it on the first night you’d met, and she was right on the nose with how much you loved it. When you pulled your head out of the crook of her neck, she wiped away a few loose tears, her heart swelling at just how much she really cared about you, laying a sensual kiss on your soft lips. “C’mon…”

Taking your hand she guided you over to the blanket, sitting down beside you, leaning against the driftwood. She pulled cups from behind you, handing one to you.

“It’s not crystal, but it works.” You laughed at that, cheers’ing her before taking a sip. And just like that first night you curled up against her, taking in the crystal waters and the sparkling skies. It stayed quiet for the first almost hour as you simply sunk back enjoying the peace and tranquility of the open air and the love you could feel weaving its way around you. Champagne glasses were refilled as Casey pulled out a lunchbox full of treats and snacks, naturally including all of your favourite little things you kept around the house and office, munching on throughout the day. It was something Fin had poked fun at originally, you’d simply rolled your eyes saying that victims, especially kids were more comfortable if you had snacks they had regularly. Casey found that completely endearing and adorable, you were so utterly empathetic towards your patients.

The conversation started to quietly flow between you, reminiscing on the first night you’d spent here, how you were honestly surprised that Casey had come with you, much less stripped down to swim. She was quick to mention that no matter how much she loved you she was not going anywhere near the water tonight, causing you to laugh and pull her into a gentle kiss. She said she was thankful that you felt she was special enough to share this place with her, you simply reminded her that she really was the light of your life. You thanked her for not running in the opposite direction the moment she found out you were a Donnelly, she simply said she was so fucking head over heels by then the thought of leaving you was more terrifying than having to face Liz.

In the end of it, you were just so at peace, and so in love with each other that nothing else really mattered. You’d found solace in each other, a sense of protection, care, moments of laughter, of smiles, lingering touches, burning kisses, nights spent tangled in each others arms where the air was hot, full of breathy moans and gasps. You’d let Casey into your sacred spot that first night and she’d not only dove right in but wasn’t about to come up for air. There was nothing but unconditional love between you, and that wasn’t forgotten while you snuggled into each other under the stars, waiting until the absolute last minute before the campfire simmered to finally untangle limbs, heading back to reality after the brief escape.

Chapter Text

The next case that SVU picked up came directly through you, a 10 year old girl who you’d treated a few times throughout her journey through foster care had called you in a panic, immediately making you the outcry witness to her sexual assault. You’d immediately collected her from down the block from the foster family’s house, calling Benson to meet you at Mercy. She was so shaken up and distraught by the entire thing Casey wasn’t sure that she’d be able to withhold going on the stand, especially once she found out Buchanan had taken up the defence. He wasn’t one to be kind during cross, even to young traumatized victims, they’d at least been able to use her recorded confession in the Grand Jury to get the indictment. In turn though, it meant that you were taking the stand, both as her therapist and the outcry witness. Casey had made sure to take you through everything, not that she was worried, she knew you were always calm and collected, she simply hoped the length of history you had with the girl wouldn’t affect your emotional grounding.You assured her that with your mother residing as judge, you weren’t about to step a toe out of line. Casey finished with her questioning, turning you over to Buchanan, got you hated how much of a disgrace he was, at least Rita had some sense to her tactics.

“Hannah had been coming to me intermittently over the past 3 years whenever she moved foster homes, she always had trouble adjusting to the new environment and it helped to keep a sense of stability in her life.”

“Did she have trouble adjusting into the Macmillan household?”

“At first, yes. It was always a bit of a struggle, she’d just come from a home with no other children and the Macmillan’s had three other boys in their care at the time. I had a few sessions with her until she felt comfortable in the house.”

“So why a year later are we hearing about abuse going on there? And why have none of the other children come forward?”

“Hannah called me the night of the assault. If anything had happened before that night it wasn’t deemed as much of a threat by her. My assessment as to the other children being treated normally is that they’re all boys. The Macmillan’s foster care files show that Hannah is the first girl they’ve cared for, Mr Macmillan seems to only have a soft spot for little girls.”

“Did you actually talk to the other children?”

“No, but the detectives did.”

“Were you there to witness the conversations?”

“No. I read the reports.”

“So you have no idea what the boys said.”

“I read the reports.” You repeated. You knew Buchanan was trying to get you fired up, your voice may have hardened but it didn’t raise, growing up with two lawyers had taught you the proper way to bargain, and when the right time was to really fight back.

“And in the detectives reports is states that Hannah only complained of my client forcibly touching her, where as you’ve been saying that he raped her.”

“That’s what she told me at the original outcry and the rape kit found hair and DNA.”

“DNA that could have been from his skin cells on his hands.”

“Yes, but the chances that the outcry statement was not true are slim to none.”

“So your statement is the truth.”

“Yes.” You felt your jaw tighten slightly.

“You’re not just telling us what Ms Novak wants you to?”

“Objection!” She called.

“Sustained. Get to the point Mr Buchanan.”

“So you’re saying you wouldn’t lie for Ms Novak?”

“No…” You were cut off by her calling another objection, the frustration clear in her voice, though she remained sitting. Buchanan simply looked to you waiting for you to continue. “I’m telling the truth. I have no reason to say anything other than that.”

“The defence has reason to doubt that, and reason to believe that you’re alternating Hannah’s statement in order for my client to take the fall and thus Ms Novak to get another win.” Your brows were furrowed, completely confused as to what he was getting at. “Your Honour, I present defence five.” He pulled out a piece of poster board, once it was flipped around you could see the front, a series of blown of photos of you and Casey all taken from a distance, but very clearly the two of you. The last one was a very intimate kiss. Fuck.

“OBJECTION!” Casey was on her feet now, she was more worried about you right now than anything else, Buchanan was scum for dragging you like this while you were on the stand just at a feeble attempt for a mistrial. Before she could even get the word fully out there was a bang of a gavel, Liz’s voice steely as ice ringing through the courtroom.

“I’m calling a continuance for Monday,” Turning to the defence, “Put that away. Counsellors!” She shot you a glare, “And you, my chambers NOW!”

Somehow you seemed to be the least affected by the entire thing so far, following Liz into her chambers like you were going for a coffee date, internally you were absolutely seething at Buchanan. Casey felt like she was 15 again being called to the principal’s office, hell even Buchanan was more than a little worried, Donnelly could be more than intimidating. Once the door was shut behind John, Liz tossed her robe over the back of her chair, turning to the three of you with absolute rage written across her face.

“What in the HELL do any of you think you’re doing parading like this through my courtroom?”

“Mom, please that’s not what’s happen—“

“WATCH yourself young lady!” Out of pure instinct you rolled your eyes, replying in a mocking voice

“Oh…my bad, sorry your honour.” You missed the terrified glances at you from both of the lawyers in the room, even Buchanan wouldn’t dare sass Elizabeth Donnelly back.

“May I remind you that until you leave this office you are still under oath!” You smartened up at that. You were so used to being in her chambers to drop of lunch, coffee or forgotten files. Hell you’d spent hours doing homework in either her or Rita’s offices over the years.

“Buchanan that was a low blow, even for you.” She rounded on him next, “I thought you would have some amount of respect for the LGBT community and think before outing two people in my courtroom at a feeble attempt at a mistrial.” You could nearly see the man shrinking at her words, “That being said, Novak you’re off the case, pass it to Cabot. Along with anything else you have open, you’re out for the next two weeks.” She swung back over to Buchanan, “Out, now.”

“Your Honour…” Casey weakly began, wanting to save you from any amount of yelling that she could.

“Save it. Right now she’s the one I want to hear from, remember you can’t lie to me.” She crossed her arms across her chest, lips in a tight line.

“That is completely unfair and an abuse of power.”

“I will throw you in contempt.” You groaned, rolling your eyes, knowing she wasn’t kidding.

“Fine.” You stood your ground, hands on hips, you’d been battling it out with her for years and you weren’t about to stop now. “What’s the question?” Liz contemplated for a moment, looking between you and Casey, who in turn felt incredibly awkward and felt like she could hear her heart pounding in her chest.

“What exactly is going on with you and Casey?”

“She’s my girlfriend.” Casey was beyond impressed with how strong you were holding up, there wasn’t even a hint of a quiver in your voice.

“Excuse me? Since when?!”

“The Seagate gala that you dragged me to.” You challenged back, cocking a brow at your mother.

“That was nearly nine months ago!!” She half changed her focus to Casey, keeping on both of you, “Did you seriously think this was a good idea?! She is fourteen years younger than you Casey!”

“What?!” That, was news to the both of you, you’d discussed birthdays but somehow actual age hadn’t come up.

“What do you mean what?! Did you even speak before you jumped into bed together? I expected far better from both of you, and choosing not to disclose? COMPLETELY irresponsible, it could have cost both of you your jobs and you’re damn lucky it didn’t today!”

“Mom! Please!” She shot you a glare, “Oh for fucks sake can we be done with the legalities? Casey had no idea who I was when we met, she didn’t know until the first Manhattan trial I testified for.”

“Is that true?”

“Yes. Elizabeth, believe me, this isn’t something that means nothing. I’ll admit it was completely idiotic to not disclose, especially once Y/N was full time with the NYPD.”

“I’ll say.” She turned back to you, “I’m calling Benson about this I hope you know.”

“She’s not even technically my boss! I’ll do the paperwork myself!” Liz was about to rebottle when the door to her office opened, she was ready to yell Buchanan out of there again, but arguing their way through the door jam were Alex and Rita. They stopped when they realized all the attention was on them, feeling the tension in the air and taking in the office’s 3 occupants, Rita quickly grabbed Alex’s wrist.

“Ohoho…we’ll come back later.”

“Like hell you will Calhoun get in here!” These two were even worse at hiding their expressions. “You two KNEW about this didn’t you?” Alex simply sputtered, having no idea how to deal with the situation. Rita rolled her eyes,

“What’d’you think? I’ve been keeping her goddamn secrets for nearly twenty years.” That earned her a glare.

“You didn’t think to say anything? Maybe tell her it wasn’t ideal?”

“Liz when have I ever told her something like that?”

“You know, it’s no wonder she ended up so chaotic…” Liz turned back to you and Casey, “Get the hell out of my sight.” You were quick to scurry from the office, Liz didn’t miss the way you grabbed at Casey’s hand, tugging her close to you as you left. Pinching the bridge of her nose, completely pent up she turned to the counsellors, “What do you need?”

***

Both Casey and you stayed completely silent the entire way out of the courthouse, she’d briefly stopped to collect her things from the courtroom (thankfully now empty) you’d made it nearly three blocks (your hands not dropping the entire time) before you gently spoke.

“I’m sorry…” She could hear the shake in your voice, when she looked over at you you refused to look up from the sidewalk and she knew you were attempting to hide your teary eyes. Casey stopped, tugging your hand so you’d follow her off the street into the corner of a pathway in Columbus Park. Her thumb raised your chin to meet her eyes, watery ones meeting her glassy ones.

“You have nothing to be sorry for. You’re the one that got a strip torn off you, Jesus..”

“She’s my Mom, that’s not the first time I’ve gotten it that bad from her. Besides, you got suspended!”

“I should’ve disclosed…that’s my own fault.”

“But in part weren’t you stalling to protect me?” Her thumb swiped at a runaway tear on your cheek.

“I guess I was.” Letting out a shaky sigh she continued, “Well I’ve got two weeks to figure it out anyways.” You accepted the embrace, sinking into her arms, feeling the anxiety calming to an ease as your heartbeat regulated, pumping in perfect time with hers. Casey’s lips gently brushed against your head before she pulled away. “You okay?”

“I will be.” You gave her a weak smile, “That was just..a lot..really fast.”

“I know.” She kissed your cheek, linking your fingers again before you continued walking. A few blocks of quiet before she spoke again, “Was she serious about that age range?” You gave her a half smile,

“Depends on her math I guess.. I’m 28…” Casey’s head shook in surprise,

“I definitely thought you were early to mid 30’s” You laughed lightly,

“It’s the whole therapist thing, people say I come off more mature than I am. I graduated early, and…have connections.”

“Well her math was right…” Her voice was quiet, which made you panic slightly, voice wavering slightly as you spoke again,

“Is..that a deal breaker for you?” She laughed,

“Baby if anything was a deal breaker it would’ve been you being a Donnelly.” Gently, she tugged you to the side of the sidewalk, giving you a gentle kiss, “I’ll never stop loving you.”

“If you think I’m going anywhere you’re crazy…” Your lips met again, interrupted by your phone, you groaned, answering it. “What?” You’d expected your Mom, ready to chew your ear off again.

“So, you bringing her to dinner Sunday or what?” Fucking Rita, you could hear Alex laughing in the background.

“I swear to God Rita, I will kill you one of these days. You better have gotten an earful too.”

“Oh we did. Cabot here nearly cried, and I’m not kidding.” That at least gave you a little bit of a chuckle. Things certainly hadn’t come out how any of you had wanted, but at least it was out in the open. You were long past asking or permission, now it was time to get any amount of forgiveness.

Chapter Text

Figuring that your secret was officially out, you’d grabbed disclosure forms from the precinct when you’d stopped by to pick up a few things Friday evening, thankful that it was basically deserted. Over the weekend, you and Casey had simply avoided the blow out in Liz’s office, deciding rather to look forward, starting to search for new apartments online for both of you to move into. You ended up visiting a couple, one where the agent mentioned there was one with a little more space a few floors up. Unsurprisingly you both instantly fell completely in love with it, the open design, the full windows, the beautiful granite countertops, hardwood flooring, also unsurprisingly, it was definitely out of your budget. You put a pin in your dream condo and continued the hunt for something that you could afford while working for the city.

Sunday evening rolled around before you knew it, and Casey could feel your anxiety vibrating through the apartment. She was quick to wrap you in her arms, reminding you that you didn’t have to go to dinner. You were quick to reply that Liz would be even more mad at you if you ditched, you’d just have to deal with whatever she had coming for you. You were careful to make sure you changed into all clothes that were actually yours, pulling your hair into a loose bun, giving Casey a soft loving kiss before you grabbed your bag to leave.

You weren’t quite sure how long you stood on the sidewalk in front of the Brownstone, occasionally pacing to try and wrangle your thoughts. It was when your phone pinged with a text from Rita telling you to get it over with and just come in that you sighed, letting yourself into the house. When you rounded into the joint living/dining room area you were met with Rita and Liz sitting at the table, drinks poured, a couple plates of finger foods on the table.

“Can’t say I expected to see you today.” You Mother greeted. You replied with a cold look, pouring yourself a hefty scotch at the liquor cart before dropping your bag in the spare chair beside yours.

“I figured I’d be in more trouble if I didn’t show.”

“You’d be in more trouble if you’d brought her with you.” She shot back.

“Ugh, MOM! Why can’t you just accept that I met someone who I actually really love for once?”

“Because you can’t possibly be in love with her!”

“And you happen to know everything about my love life?!”

“I would if you hadn’t hid it from me for nine months!”

“Oh gee, I wonder why we did that?”

“She’s got a point there…” Rita commented. She knew how to read the room and wasn’t about to cause any chaos tonight, hell she was more there as a referee to make sure you didn’t end up killing each other. Liz shot her a glare.

“It’s only a matter of time until it implodes on itself, you are breaking up with her aren’t you?” You took a hefty swig of scotch,

No. In fact, we started looking at apartments together this weekend.”

“You can’t be serious.” Rolling your eyes you reached into your bag, tossing a folded piece of paper across the table. Liz cocked a brow, unfolding the sheet, eyes quickly scanning over Casey’s disclosure papers. “No.” She stated blunted, “Absolutely not.” She looked you dead in the eye while she ripped it into quarters.

“What the fuck?!” You barely noticed Rita quickly moving through the room, dumping at least a double of fresh scotch into your glass.

“I’m not permitting you to be with her.”

“You think ripping up a piece of paper is going to break us up?”

“It certainly means that if you continue on there’s a high chance you’ll both lose your jobs.” She was playing mean that was for sure, it was toeing the line past the point she ever had with you.

“It’s starting to sound like you’re threatening me…”

“Your little stunt almost blew the entire Macmillan trial! Do you not want to get justice for that little girl?”

My little stunt?! How about Buchanan outing us in the middle of a court room?!”

“He’s already been dealt with and you know it.” You rolled your eyes, leaning back in your chair, arms crossed over your chest.

“I’m not a child, I know what I’m doing, I know how much I love Casey and I know that I’m going to spend my life with her.” Liz scoffed,

“You’re too young to have any idea what you’re talking about!”

“I’m twenty eight! I think—“ She cut you off, voice harsher than before.

“And at twenty eight I was stupid enough to make the mistake of marrying your father thinking I was going to be with him forever. Then made the mistake of trying to save a dying marriage with a baby!”

“Did you just call me a mistake?!” You were fucking pissed now, just daring her to jump the line. Liz locked eyes with you, cold and hard across the table.

“Yes. I did.”

“Elizabeth!!” The shriek came from Rita, outwardly offended at how low she had just steeped.

“Go fuck yourself.” You spat the words, rage burning through your veins you were quick to grab your bag, storming out of the room, hearing Rita shout out after you.

“Y/N!”

“Don’t bother Rita, she’s a disgrace to the Donnelly name.”

You slammed the door as hard as you possibly could, racing down the steps and out into the streets. Tears blurring your eyes, you were thankful there weren’t many people around. The cold wind whipping around you didn’t bother you, it helped calm the inner sense of a brewing panic attack, helped the anger boiling in your veins come down to a simmer before you were able to hail a cab. You could feel your body vibrating the entire ride, holding back about every emotion possible, you silently handed the driver cash before racing up the stairs to Casey’s apartment. Your keys shook in your hand as you tried to get the lock undone, finally pushing the door open and accidentally slamming it shut. Casey’s head shot up from the island, her eyes shooting to the clock before back to you.

“Baby you were gone less than an hour…” When you didn’t give her a reply she stood from the island, cautiously making her way over to you. You tried to speak but a sob wrenched out of your lips, gasping for air between heavy sobs wracking through you body. “Baby!”

Casey was there in less than a second, she quickly removed your coat as everything in your hands were dropped to the floor. She pulled you tightly into her arms, tucking your head under her chin, hand cupping the back of your head, keeping you impossibly close as you shook with sobs, tears pouring down your face. You were nearly dead weight against her, she gently dropped to the floor, making sure you were fully in her lap as she let you cry it out. Casey’s arm stayed tight around your body while her other hand started to soothingly brush against your hair, lips laying the ghost of a kiss against your locks, simply waiting for your body to stop convulsing. Neither of you had any concept of how much time you silently sat there, when your sobs finally came to a slow, your body let out a large shudder before calming slightly against Casey, body still tense, tears still slipping down your cheeks.

“What happened?” Her voice was barely above a whisper, concern laced through her words. Your voice shook when you replied, hoarse from sobbing.

“She tore up the disclosure forms…” Casey kissed your hair softly, lips muttering against your skin when she spoke again,

“Baby, that’s fine…I’ll just go straight to McCoy when I get back.” She paused briefly, “How bad was this fight?” She felt your head shake against her,

“I really don’t wanna talk about it.”

“Okay…” She lay another gentle kiss against you, hugging you tighter in her arms, whatever went down was clearly worse than you’d dealt with before, even if you didn’t want to talk, she was still here for you, no matter what. You hiccoughed suddenly, feeling a spike of anxiety rattle through your body, you groaned, pushing away from Casey.

“I think I’m gonna puke…” You muttered, half stumbling your way into the en suite, she heard the door shut behind you. Sighing heavily she pushed herself up from the floor, back in the kitchen she pulled out the kettle, hoping maybe the calming effects of a cup of tea might help. The sound of the shower starting up made her flick the machine back off, knowing you’d likely want to wash away the day and it might be a while. A few moments passed before there was a knock at the door, her blood boiled thinking it was potentially Liz coming to finish off whatever argument you’d likely stormed out of. She braced herself pulling the door open.

“Rita?” Her brows scrunched, the woman looked slightly defeated, a hint of anger present on her face.

“I’m assuming she’s here? Or did she disappear down to Seagate?”

“She’s in the shower.” Casey replied, Rita let out a breath she didn’t realize she’d even been holding. “What the hell happened?”

“I’ve never seen them get into it like that…I don’t know why Liz has such a stick up her ass about this whole thing. She crossed the line pretty hard tonight.” She sighed, “We didn’t exactly get around to eating..” She held up a take out bag that Casey took with a gentle thanks.

“Did you want to wait, talk to her?”

“No…” Rita gave a small smile, “Just make sure you tell her I love her…”

“I will…” There was a brief moment of pause, before both women were taken by a soft surprise as they moved together into a small hug, the words left unspoken shared through the small gesture. Rita gave Casey a tight smile before leaving, knowing that you were safe and in good hands.

Chapter Text

Over the following week Casey thought she would be bored out of her mind doing nothing at home without you, but you’d told Olivia you needed to take a few personal days, so she had some company for a little bit. You never once discussed the fight at your Mother’s, Casey knew better than to ask, that you would bring it up when you were ready to share. You spent some time simply doing nothing, enjoying having the time off together, snuggled up marathoning Netflix. When you went back to work the following week, Casey began her digging through Manhattan real estate, still struggling to find something that suited all of your needs and aesthetics.

When her suspension passed, SVU was quick to throw her straight into a case (Alex was practically drowning after having to take over Casey’s older cases plus her own) involving a big sex trafficking ring. You however were mainly spending time over at the private practice, you’d been working with previous SVU victims over there rather than at the precinct as it was more comfortable for them. Meanwhile you were doing absolutely everything to avoid your Mother, and honestly so was Casey, if it wasn’t work related, she wasn’t going to be caught anywhere near Liz. Even Rita was a bit on edge about the whole situation still. You’d gotten a few phone calls that you’d ignored, and texts/voicemails that you promptly deleted without bothering to even open.

Naturally it could only last so long and a case came across that the four of you all ended up working on that you would have to testify for. At least it was a pretty simple case, a domestic violence case where after years the wife finally came forward, you’d been working with the kids, and in order to keep them off the stand, you were testifying instead. It was rather late Wednesday afternoon when Casey called you as her next witness, when the door opened, Fin popped through, simply shaking his head towards the front of the room, a concerned look on his face. Casey quickly glanced down at her phone, finding no new notifications.

“Counsellors, approach.” Donnelly was quick to try to fix the situation, even with the tenseness of the situation, she knew you weren’t about to skip out on a court appearance. “Where the hell is she?”

“I’ve been texting her all morning, she hasn’t replied at all.” Casey replied, Liz glanced to Rita.

“You were with her last, what time did you split last night?”

“She bailed on drinks, I figured she was with you.” Rita said to Casey. The younger woman felt her heart jump into her throat,

“The last time I saw her was outside the precinct yesterday…around..3pm? She said she was going to her apartment for a bit before meeting you.”

“Shit..” Liz muttered, “Casey have you gotten any threats recently?” Her face hardened,

“You do not get to blame this on me just because you’re still mad about us dating.”

“I’m not blaming counsellor,” She was quick to call for a continuance for Thursday, giving them an extra day in between just in case, calling out to Captain Benson, collecting the three women in her chambers.

“What’s going on?” Benson asked, breaking the silence.

“Y/N appears to be missing.” Donnelly replied, digging through a drawer in her desk, “I got these early last week.” She dumped the unmarked envelope onto her desk, revealing photos of you, and a note with the words ‘Such a pretty daughter…’ printed from a computer across it.

“You’re telling me you got threats that targeted her and you didn’t tell her?!” Casey was not about to hold back her anger this time, especially if something had happened to you.

“You don’t think I tried!?” Liz fought back with, “She won’t return any of my calls or messages.”

“With good reason!” Rita cut in, Liz couldn’t even be bothered to give her a glare this time, immediately worried about your safety. Olivia thumbed through the sheets, inspecting them closer, all of the pictures appeared to be from the last couple of weeks.

“Casey have you gotten anything like this?” She asked,

“I…don’t know…my inbox’s been piled up with mail since I got back, I haven’t exactly had time to look through it.” She ran a hand through her hair, she felt terrible if she missed something.

“Okay. Liz, Casey, start pulling case files that the two of you worked together where the perp or an associate has gotten out in the past month. I’ll send Fin to check her apartment, I’ll start calling hospitals.”

“What if there is something in my inbox?” Casey could feel her voice starting to shake.

“I’ll go.” Rita gave her shoulder a reassuring squeeze, moving out of the office swiftly.

Within half an hour, Rollins and Amaro had joined the team in the office quickly sorting through file folders, Rita had rejoined them, having found nothing in Casey’s office. Olivia had no such luck with the hospitals, no one with your name or any Jane Doe’s matching your appearance had been admitted. The panic in the office spiked when Fin called, saying that your apartment was trashed, there had been no sign of forced entry, but he had CSU on the way to comb through everything. Casey felt her hands shaking, doing her best to keep the paperwork steady as the anxiety coursed through her body. She could feel that everyone was on edge, and despite whatever was going on between you and Liz, she was definitely sympathetic towards the older woman. She could see the brim of tears in her eyes, feel the tension in her body as her eyes skimmed through file after file, sorting them into different piles.

Even after another hour of searching, they weren’t having much luck, the pile of folders containing potentials was small. Amaro was comparing them to records, where their parole was taking place, calling parole officers, and most of them were either accounted for in halfway houses in the time frame, or residing out of state. The pile was limited to three perps who had multiple collars for violent crimes ranging from sexual assault to murder, one who Fin remembered had made a number of derogatory comments towards Casey during interrogation. Amaro was quick to attempt to get a hold of his parole officer while the hunt through the filing cabinets continued, Liz’s office was a disaster zone by now, not that she cared one bit. There was a sudden knock at the door that caused nearly everyone to jump, eyes shooting towards it when a clerk from the front desk poked his head in.

“Your Honour?” He seemed hesitant, not surprising considering the state of the office and number of people inside, “This just came for you.” He handed her another unmarked manilla envelope, then noticed Casey, “Oh, Miss Novak, here.” He handed her an identical envelope and went to leave the office.

“Hold on!” Rollins called out, “Who dropped these off?” The young man shrugged,

“Guy looked homeless…just gave me the names.”

“I’m gonna need to see the security footage..” Rollins was quick to follow him out, already asking a slew of other questions. The room remained slightly frozen, Donnelly hesitantly ripped open the envelope, dumping a flash drive into her hand, she looked up at Casey, who quickly followed suit finding the contents seemed to be the same.

“May I?” Olivia asked gently, Liz was quick to hand her the device, moving behind her as Olivia plugged it into the computer, it had a single video file on it. She paused slightly, glancing beside her to Liz and Casey, “You might not want to see this…”

“If some bastard out there has my daughter I need to know exactly what he’s done to her so I can kill him myself.” She was seething at this point, “You obviously didn’t hear any of that.” Olivia took a breath, clicking on the file, opening the video across the computer screen. An involuntary sob mixed in with a yelp left Casey’s mouth, Liz gasped, tears immediately springing to her eyes, they both nearly jumped back from the desk, and Rita didn’t miss the immediate reaction to grasp out at each other.

You hands were bound, rope knotted around a loop in a chain that was bolted to a cement wall, collapsed against a dirty mattress dressed in your usual pyjama shorts and one of Casey’s tank tops. Your body was littered with marks and bruises, a particularly blood soaked bandage on your outer thigh, and nasty looking bruise forming on your temple. A masked person, covered by black baggy clothes stepped into the frame, voice distorted when they spoke.

“See, this is what happens when you take my beloved, I take one of yours. And you’re not getting her back anytime soon.” A tortured scream came from behind the perp, a sobbing pleading of your voice. Casey let out a cry, nearly collapsing against the bookshelf behind her, not even noticing the warmth of Liz’s hand on her shoulder, unable to tear her eyes away from the screen. When the perp stepped out of the way, they could see tears streaming down your face, what looked like lashes from a whip splitting open the tank top, bubbles of blood staining the fabric.

“Wait!” Liz noticed something she hadn’t seen before, “What’s on her arm, she doesn’t have any tattoos…” She briefly glanced over to Casey, as if double checking you hadn’t gotten one recently, she shook her head. Olivia paused the video, zooming in on the mark while Amaro spoke.

“Hold on, they said ‘my beloved’. I think we’re looking at the wrong perp lists…we should be looking for a woman…”

“Yeah.” Fin cut in, “Only a Shakespeare wanna be would use phrasing like that.”

“Guys…” Olivia waved them over to the screen where she’d blown up the mark on your arm. It was one that was all too familiar to them.

***

SVU had just wrapped up a heavy case involving a sex trafficking ring. Jason Connors was collared for kidnapping teen girls and young women around the city, before molding them into what he deemed was the perfect sex workers. Either selling them off to other pimps, or pimping them out himself. You originally hadn’t been involved in the case, but Jason’s wife Michelle was pretty shaken up over the whole thing and Olivia set up a meeting. You’d spent a little over an hour talking to her before she seemed to be pretty calmed down, once outside the precinct you were quick to pull out a business card, scribbling on it before handing it to her.

“My cell’s on the back, feel free to call anytime.” You gave her a soft smile,

“Thank you so much Miss Donnelly.”

“Please, call me Y/N, we don’t need to be all professional.” She smiled at you, giving you a slight wave of a goodbye as you turned to head to your car, surprised to find Casey walking up to the 16th.

“Hey.” She greeted brightly, meeting you in a gentle but loving kiss, “Didn’t realize you were here today.”

“Liv called me in to help on something. You catch a new case?”

“Yeah.” She sighed, “It’s probably gonna be a late night.”

“S’okay. I’ve got plans with Rita tonight anyway. I’m headed back to my apartment for a bit, get some stuff sorted before tomorrow. Did you need to go over my testimony again?” She smiled, kissing your cheek,

“No baby, I know you’re solid. Just be there by 3.”

“Course.” You gave her a loving kiss, “I love you.”

“I love you more.” She pecked your lips one last time, giving your hand a squeeze, heart growing at the grin you gave her as you got into your car.

Once you got back to your apartment you were quick to shuck out of your business attire, opting for a pair of pyjama shorts and a tank top Casey had left at your place. You tossed your hair up into a messy bun, moseying through the apartment, you’d been spending most of your time at Casey’s recently, and had left any amount of tidying up to the end of the to-do list. After throwing in a load of laundry you turned a playlist on and poured a glass of wine to make things a little bit more entertaining. You’d just finished transferring the laundry over when you heard a knock at your door, checking your watch you were confused. Rita was meeting you at the lounge, and Casey said she’d be working all night, plus she had her own key. When you pulled open the door surprise took over your face.

“Mrs Connors?” She looked across at you, eyes glassy with tears.

“I’m sorry to bother you at home, it’s just…it’s too much…” Your confusion as to how she’d gotten your address was immediately squashed by the trail of blood trickling down her hand, dripping onto the floor.

“Oh my God!” You pulled her into your apartment, racing to the kitchen for the first aid kit, retrieving it from the cupboard, grabbing your phone off the island. “We’ve got to get you to a hospital…” You were distracted in the attempt to call a bus when she spoke again, the wavering in her voice gone.

“Put the phone down.” Your face scrunched, looking up at her, breath hitching when you saw the gun in her hand. Slowly, you put your phone back down, hands raised slightly in surrender.

“Michelle…we really don’t need the gun..I think you can put it down…” You weren’t sure whether you were about to witness a suicide, or if your own life was in danger, but either way, you didn’t want to have to deal with the gun being fired.

“Oh, I really think we do. Because you’re going to be coming with me.” Okay, well, that was the worse of the two options…

“You can put the gun down…I’ll come with you, I promise, okay?”

“I don’t think you understand, that bitch Judge sentenced my Jason to life in prison, she deserves to pay, and you, you’re the best way down that road.” She let out a dark laugh, “And imagine my surprise when you also happen to be that stupid lawyer’s girlfriend? How much better does it get! Two birds with one stone.” Oh fuck…you’d practically walked right into this without even realizing the severity of the situation. “You belong to us now.”

“Michelle, c’mon, we can talk this through. Jason could easily get out early on good behaviour, it happens all the time. He could get transferred, be allowed more visits, more freedom, after a few years they might be able to make a deal, plea down to house arrest.”

“Stop with the therapist bullshit.” The gun raised and you barely flinched before there was a searing pain on your outer thigh, you let out a shout, hand flying down, thankful at least that it appeared to just be a scrape. The gun had a goddamn silencer on it, she could kill you right here and none of your neighbours would even know.

“Please…” You started, your voice shaky, trying to think of anything but the pain in your leg and the fear fogging your brain. Michelle chuckled,

“There we go…you know it’s always more fun when they beg.” She lunged toward you and the last thing you remembered was a sharp pain on the side of your head before you blacked out.

***

“Shit…” Amaro was the first to speak, recognizing the mark.

“WHAT?!” Both Liz and Casey wanted to waste a single second before they were able to get to you.

“Fin, get Cabot and get to Green Haven NOW! Lights and sirens the entire way.” Olivia’s Captain voice was engaged fully, “If you have an ADA with you Connors might think he’s getting a deal, he’ll be more likely to talk.” He was gone in an instant.

“Connors?” Casey choked out, realizing just how serious this really was, if they didn’t get to you soon there was a pretty high chance you’d be shipped off never to be seen again.

“What is on her arm!?” Olivia let out a heavy sigh, turning to the judge.

“Connors likes to brand all of his girls…it can’t be covered or removed like a tattoo…” Liz’s chest clenched, a fresh set of tears threatening to break free from her eyes, rage burning heavily through her veins.

“They branded my little girl?!” Benson gave her shoulder a tight squeeze, unable to even imagine what was going through her head.

“Wait…”Casey started as the pieces started to string together in her head, “You think we’re looking for a woman?” Olivia nodded, “Mrs Connors was outside the precinct with Y/N yesterday when I got there, she’d added her cell number to the card she gave her. It’s the only time I’ve ever heard someone call her Miss Donnelly…”

“Did she see the two of you together?”

“I..I’m not sure. I wasn’t paying that much attention but we…we did kiss..” She looked Liz in the eyes for the first time in weeks, voice watery, “I’m sorry…” Liz’s face softened,

“She was at risk the moment they knew she was a Donnelly…”

“Amaro, go grab Rollins. Tell the front desk if anything else comes for these two to bring it straight to the 16th. You two go canvas out the Connors house, I’ll get a bolo out on her car, see if we can track any cell phones.” Olivia turned to the remaining three women in the office, knowing that they were your family, she couldn’t exactly send them out into the field, “I’m taking you down to the precinct, we’ll set up fort there.

*

Olivia left the three of them in her office, once the door shut, Casey collapsed back onto the couch, elbows on her knees, head buried in her hands. The images of your battered body burned into her eyelids, the sound of your screaming sobs echoing through her brain, she couldn’t get rid of it no matter how hard she tried. She tried to think of the glint in your eye that first night, the soft dreamy smile you got on your face anytime you were down at the ocean, the smirk you’d flash her before pulling her into a burning kiss. None of it worked, a sob escaping her lips, body shaking, trying to hold it back, embarrassed to be in this condition in front of her boss (who she was sure still currently hated her). Liz turned to Rita, voice quiet,

“Give us a minute?”

“You really think now is the best time to tear another strip off her?” Liz simply replied with a stern look, “Fine. If I hear any yelling I’m coming back in.” At the sound of the door Casey looked up, hoping it was Olivia with some news, she felt her chest tighten with even more anxiety when she noticed she was alone with Liz.

“If you’re about to yell at me, I’d really prefer we wait until this whole thing is over…” The older woman simply sat down beside her, finally letting her resolve crack, tears slowly streaking down her face, not really even sure how to begin.

“Please tell me the last thing you told her was that you loved her.” Casey’s face scrunched,

“Yeah…it was…” Liz let out a shaky breath, pulling a tissue out of the box to wipe at her face in a feeble attempt to keep up with the tears. “Liz what the hell happened that night at dinner?”

“She didn’t tell you?”

“No. She came home sobbing, said something about ripped up disclosure papers..” Casey’s voice was hoarse, hiccoughing over cries. The older woman sniffled, a quiet sob escaping her lips, utterly ashamed at her behaviour that night, worried that she’d never see you again.

“I…I said she was a mistake…said…said she was a …disgrace t..to the Donnelly name…” She buried her face in her hands, regretting the entire thing vehemently.

“What…?”

“I didn’t mean it like it came out. I was her age when I got married, I thought a baby would save my marriage. I ended up completely and utterly heartbroken five years later, it destroyed me. I didn’t want her to end up the same way.” The words came out in shakes, stuttering over broken breaths, trying to keep control. “I can’t have that be the last thing I ever said to her…” When she looked up, Casey took in the ultimate despair written across her face.

“It won’t be..they’ll find her, they’re good at their jobs.”

“You sure?” Liz snorted,

“If they have to face your wrath, yeah, I’m sure..” Casey did her best to give a warm smile through her pain.

“Casey… I’m sorry about all of this, I was wrong. No one would react like you did today if they weren’t completely in love.” She was shocked, Liz Donnelly admitting defeat? She thought she’d never see the day. “Not that that means I’m in support of this whole thing, I still think it’s a messy decision….” When Casey went to reply, the door rattled open, Rita returning into the room.

“I know, you’re not yelling, but I really think you should see this…they’re holding back information on Connor’s procedures..” She dropped a file down onto the table in front of them.

“If they’re holding back, where’d you get this?” Casey asked,

“I’m a defence attorney, it’s in my blood to snoop around.” Casey opened the file, flipping through the pages as Rita continued, “Connors methods are far from tame, he kidnaps his victims, and is quick to brand them so if they escape, he’ll nearly always be able to find them. The girls are then beaten and drugged, he injects them with some concoction to the point where they’re barely conscious, which is when he…tests them out…and lets his friends do basically whatever they want until the girls are compliant and too scared to try and escape. Then they’re sold, rarely to be seen again… Thing is, the girls they talked to said they didn’t see Mr Connors until they were in the bunker, and couldn’t remember much about the kidnapping portion but they did remember talking to a woman.”

“His wife was a part of it the entire time?” Casey asked, Rita nodded.

“You’re saying the wife was part of it, and these fuck head so called detectives didn’t manage to put that together?! And you did in a matter of minutes?!” Elizabeth was clearly furious, this entire ordeal could have been avoided.

“That’s what happens when they’re more focussed on the victims than anything else…” Rita had a point, it was obviously important to help the vics and get them closure, but if all your energy is going to one spot, you’re bound to miss something else. Olivia heard the commotion, returning to her office.

“Everything okay in here?” She noticed the file, “Where did you get that?”

“You’ve been keeping us in the dark on some very important things Benson, and you should’ve arrested the wife at the start! This whole thing would never have happened if you had DONE YOUR DAMN JOB!” There was nothing left in Liz but anger and distain at this point.

“You shouldn’t have been digging through my teams desk without permission!” The argument continued for another few quips before Casey’s voice rang out loud and clear.

“QUIET!” She was on her feet, phone extended in front of her, an incoming call from your number flashed on the screen. She felt her heart squeeze at the photo of the two of you she had as your contact. The room instantly silenced, she cautiously answered on speaker. “Hello?” Trying to hold the wavering of her voice back, her hand shaking.

“Miss Novak…” It was the same distorted voice, “Nice try sending a different lawyer to see Jason, but he was hoping for you. Knock down the sentence to 25 years and add in conjugal visits, or your little girlfriend gets the full breaking in experience, just like the rest of our girls.” The line went dead, Casey felt herself convulse into another sob, Liz wrapped an arm around her, pulling out her own phone as Olivia grabbed Casey’s to try and get a ping on where the call came from.

“What’re you doing?” Benson asked the judge,

“What do you think I’m doing? Lowering the sentence.”

“From life to 25? Are you insane? You’re rewarding a sex trafficker!”

“And I wouldn’t HAVE TO if you had done your job properly! It’s not like it matters, you’ll be arresting the wife anyways and we can bump the charges back up for assisting a kidnapping and bribing a judge.” The door clattered open again, Amaro popping his head in,

“Liv, Connors neighbour says he saw Mrs Connors earlier, had a girl in the passenger seat, said the wife went into the house, came out with a bright orange key tag, says they have a storage locker down at CubeSmart in Queens.” He gave a slightly awkward look around the room, “We need a warrant?”

“JUST GO!!!” Four frustrated voices shouted back at him, there was no telling how long they would wait until you were assaulted worse than you already were.

**

You blinked a handful of times, vision blurry, you couldn’t really tell where you were, it was dark, and absolutely freezing, when your body shivered you let out a muffled cry at the pain wrenching its way through your body. Your brain was cloudy, you remembered being in your apartment, and you remembered being in searing pain. You felt dizzy, weak, slightly nauseas your body felt heavy against the cold mattress, the inside of your arm ached, you could smell a hint of burnt flesh. You could barely make out a blurry form of someone standing over you, you could have sworn they were talking, but your ears were buzzing, completely unable to comprehend what they were saying. A muffled shriek left your lips at a sudden stinging pain in your side, you attempted to roll away from its source, arms jolting where you were chained to the wall, the stinging pain hit you again across your back. Tears clouded your eyes, worsening your vision even more. The sting hit you again and your body couldn’t handle it anymore, dropping lifelessly as your vision went completely black.

Chapter Text

There was a flurry of movement in the squad room that gained the attention of the three women in Olivia’s office before the Captain came clattering through the door.

“They’ve got her! She’s en route to Mercy!” Emotions were strung high, there wasn’t any information on your condition or how far they’d gotten in their methods before the squad had managed to track you down.

As timing would have it, Olivia was barely managing to wrangle them into the waiting room of the ER when the paramedics were rolling you into a trauma room. Casey heard a cry leave her lips at the sight of you, your lips were blue, the skin of your face unbelievably pale, they had you wrapped in a foil blanket as they sped away. She heard shouting about barely finding a pulse, that you weren’t dead until you were warm and dead. She felt a hand between her shoulder blades, finding herself in one of the ridiculously uncomfortable chairs of the waiting room. She didn’t even realize her leg was shaking until Liz’s hand reached over, giving her knee a gentle squeeze. Liz gave her the best smile she could muster up, her eyes shining with tears, grief stricken across her face, Casey linked her hand into the older woman’s, squeezing in what she hoped was a reassuring manner.

It felt like hours later when a nurse came out with an update (it was well past midnight). Things were extremely touch and go, you were still being treated in a trauma room for extreme dehydration and a nearly severe case of hypothermia. Your tox screen had come back positive for some concoction of drugs, but since they had been injected into your blood stream they couldn’t just pump your stomach to get rid of them, it was a ‘wait it out’ type of situation. The nurse said there was a chance you’d be dealing with a mild concussion, they found gun shot residue near the wound on your leg, and there were multiple lacerations across your torso that they couldn’t exactly figure out what caused them. (Melinda would later confirm that they did indeed, come from a whip). Olivia pulled the nurse aside on the way back, asking if they could check for trauma or bruising that would’ve been caused by sexual assault, and if there was to run a rape kit, since you were nowhere near conscious there was no way you’d be able to outcry yet.

The minutes dragged on unbelievably slow, but seemed to speed by at the same time. Casey found herself utterly physically and mentally exhausted, she’d already been in court for 7 hours before they’d realized you’d been missing, she’d cried herself out completely, nearly asleep against Liz’s shoulder. It was only when Rita’s back up alarm went off that anyone realized it was already 7:00am Thursday, and it was only with Liz’s encouragement that she’d keep the other woman updated that Rita left with only an hour until she was needed in arraignment. It was shortly after that the nurse came back for another update, looking almost as exhausted as Casey and Liz felt, she said you had been moved to the ICU, things were still touch and go, and they were at the stage where it was time to just wait and hope for the best. The doctors had specifically requested no visitors, they were still flushing the drugs out of your system, monitoring for various side effects, if the hypothermia was bad enough your heart could stop, you were still under, and they didn’t want family witnessing if something started to go south. There was a chance of infection from the drugs and the open wounds that could lead to sepsis but they’d managed to get everything cleaned up, and much to everyone’s relief there were no signs of sexual trauma.

Olivia took a quick break down to the cafeteria once it was open, picking up a few different options, including a couple of smoothies along with the coffees, knowing that Liz and Casey might deny the actual food but they’d need some kind of nutrients if they were to keep going. She was sure to try and keep the optimism up in the room, conversation was limited, there were tiny little cat naps that everyone seemed to jerk out of suddenly, remembering where they were. Finally, nearly 12 hours later, the same nurse from earlier came out, a hint of a smile on her face.

“Ms Donnelly?” Liz’s head shot up, “Your daughter’s out of the ICU. She’s still pretty groggy, but she’s awake if you’d like to see her.” There was an overwhelming sense of relief shooting through the three of them, tears bursting into eyes but from a sense of joy this time. Liz looked over at Casey,

“You go. She’s probably still mad at me and the last thing I want is to rile her up right now.”

“Are you sure?” Liz gave her hand a squeeze, nodding in response.

Casey wasn’t sure what to expect, finding her hands shaking slightly as she followed the nurse down a couple of hallways. She knew you were obviously in bad shape, not surprised when she felt her eyes watering at the sight of your bruised face. Chest down you were tightly tucked into an extra blanket, she could see the stickers used for EKG’s poking out from under the top of your gown, IV hooked into your left elbow, right one bandaged over the brand mark. You scrunched your face, blinking a few times, clearing your vision,

“Casey?” Your voice was hoarse, she wasn’t sure if it was from being put under, the dehydration or the screaming, but she could feel the pain down to her bones.

“Yeah baby…” She was quick to move through the room, perching on the side of your bed, hands enclosing around yours.

“Wh…what happened?”

“The detectives actually did their jobs for once…” You let out the tiniest huff of a laugh,

“I dunno why you guys are always so mean to them…they’re nice people…” There was still a hint of a slur in your voice, clearly you were still a little high (though on the good stuff this time). Casey couldn’t help the soft laugh, a smile breaking on her cheeks.

“I’m just glad you’re safe baby…” Her lips gently met your forehead, holding there for a moment, as if reassuring herself that you were really there, that this wasn’t some dream and she was about to jolt awake in the waiting room to be told you’d gone into cardiac arrest. She stroked your cheek gingerly, eyes pouring into yours with affection and love, “Do you remember anything?”

“My apartment…Michelle showed up, it looked like she’d cut herself. I turned around to grab the first aid kit and she pulled a gun.” You squeezed your eyes tight, pulling the memories back into your brain, “I tried to talk her out of it, she…sent off a warning shot I guess, it hit my leg, the last thing I remember was something hitting my head.” You looked up at Casey, thankful to find encouragement in her eyes, “After that…it’s all foggy…I remember being really cold, and in a lot of pain…Wh..why?” Casey stroked the side of your cheek again, laying the most gentle of kisses against your lips.

“Mrs Connors was part of the sex ring the entire time…the detectives just didn’t figure it out. She wanted revenge against Liz and I for putting her husband away, she said if his sentence didn’t get shortened…they’d…keep you…” Taking in the slight look of terror on your face, she tugged you into her arms a cry of relief breaking through your lips as you snuggled into her embrace. “How bad’s the pain?” She murmured against your hair, you sniffled, pulling away slightly, leaving your hands linked with hers.

“It’s not…that bad? I think they’ve got me on the good stuff…Can you hand me my chart?” You may have not been a doctor, but you’d spent enough time around hospitals, and knew enough about medicine to be able to decipher most of it. “They don’t know what I was drugged with?” Casey gave you a soft smile, the ghost of a laugh on her lips,

“Your Mom was more than insistent that everything get sent down to Melinda, she didn’t want some two-bit lab with a first year intern fucking up the results…her words, not mine.”

“My Mom’s here?” Casey’s heart almost broke at the look of shock on your face.

“Of course she is! She’s been a wreck the entire time…” You felt a tear slip its way out of the corner of your eye, you tried to quickly wipe it away before Casey could notice.

“I…I thought she hated me…” You felt a soft sob shake your body.

“Baby…trust me…she doesn’t.” Her hands moved reassuringly up and down your arms, careful of your injuries.

“Oh God, does she blame you for this?”

“No. She said you were screwed once they knew you were a Donnelly, being able to get to me too was just an added bonus.”

“Is..is she still here?”

“She wouldn’t leave even if they tried to kick her out and you know it. She’s pretty worried that you don’t want to see her..did you want me to go get her?” You nodded silently, trying to keep the tears from threatening to spill. Casey gave you a gentle kiss on the cheek, squeezing your hand before leaving your room. Liz hesitated slightly at the door frame, not entirely sure how to feel, or how you were about to react, you glanced up at the movement, a fresh set of tears springing into your eyes.

“Mom??” It was nearly a sob, one that she wasn’t going to let escape from you, moving quickly to your side, gently pulling you into a tight embrace, tears streaming down both your faces.

“Oh God sweetheart…I’m so glad you’re alive…” You cried against her shoulder, burying yourself deeper into her embrace. Your words came out so muffled she barely heard them over your cries.

“I’m sorry…Mom I’m sorry I didn’t live up to your expectations…” Liz felt her heart absolutely crumble at your admission, truthfully, she’d always been a little hard on you, and it couldn’t have been that easy growing up around multiple esteemed lawyers. But more importantly she wanted you to be healthy and happy. Rubbing the back of your head gently, she pulled out of the embrace, the heartbreak written across her face.

“Oh pumpkin… You leapt so far past my expectations I can’t even believe it. I’m so incredibly proud of you, I need you to know that…”

“But..”

“I never should have said those horrible things. I was way out of line, and I am so incredibly sorry. I’ll never be able to apologize enough for it. You are, without a doubt the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. I love you so much, and I will never not love you. Okay?” She wiped at the tears dripping down your cheeks,

“I love you too.” You gave her a weak smile.

“I just want you to be happy.”

“What….about Casey?” You felt your brows scrunch, Liz gave a quiet sigh, her thumb rubbing the back of your hand gently.

“Casey loves you more than anything else in this world, and that’s become very apparent to me now. I don’t know how I couldn’t see it before. I’m sorry for the way I handled everything…”

“Two apologies in less than five minutes? What happened to the Elizabeth Donnelly I know?” She gave a hint of a grin, pulling you into a tight embrace.

“She had to watch her daughter nearly die…Kind of makes one reevaluate life’s priorities.” A soft kiss laid against your hair before she came to look down at you again, “If being with Casey is what you want, and what makes you happy, I’ll just have to learn to deal with it. You’re my daughter, she’s my friend, and my coworker, I can’t just ignore it anymore.”

“Thank you. I’m sorry for keeping you in the dark for so long. I do really, really love her.”

“Course you do, you took her to Seagate the first night you met her.” Liz gave you a soft smile, knowing just how special that place was to you, it wasn’t often you shared it with anyone, your little escape from real life. “I should really call Rita, she’s probably worried sick. Benson’s out there, she’ll probably have a few questions for you.” You nodded, giving her another tight hug before she left the room.

***
It was another day and a half until doctors deemed you well enough to be discharged. They had left you with specific instructions on how to care for, clean and re-bandage your various wounds. Liz had been incredibly adamant about the brand mark on your arm being treated as to disappear as completely as possible. It was in a relatively visible location, and the last thing she wanted was for someone from Connors ring to track you down again. The doctor’s had their finest plastic surgeon on it, carefully going over how to use the silicone gel sheeting, and booking some follow up appointments to make sure it was healing properly.

“You’re going to need a lot of help with this sweetheart, I’d really like it if you’d come stay at the house, at least for a couple of weeks,” Liz started, then shifted her look over to Casey, “The both of you.” You gave her a soft smile,

“Are we allowed to sleep in the same room, or am I 16 again?” She gave a careful swat against your uninjured arm, shaking her head at your words.

“Rita’s going to be in the other guest room, we want to make sure you’ve always got someone to count on. I don’t want you to be alone during this.”

“Okay.” You agreed, more than happy to have the proper support at a time like this. Since you already had a bag packed to head to Casey’s before the whole ordeal began, you had Olivia drop it off at Liz’s later that day while Casey picked up a handful of things for the both of you at her place. It was a slow start to recovery, you were still pretty weak and exhausted from everything. Not to mention being put under for as long as you were put even more stress on your body, you spent most of the first few days sleeping, more than happy to curl up against Casey, who had taken a few weeks off of work.

Rita and Liz were usually around in the mornings and evenings, if they weren’t at trial, they were home to do paperwork, making sure that everything wasn’t getting dumped on Casey. Huang was more than willing to come over for a few sessions, making sure that your mental state wasn’t too damaged, he talked you through as much as you could remember. You knew it helped one hell of a lot that you couldn’t remember much, you had no nightmares, there may have been jolts when you’d remember the sudden searing pain, but mentally otherwise you were cleared back to work as soon as you were physically cleared.

Roughly a week after you were discharged, you were home with Casey when she started to run the two of you a bath, careful to not add anything into the water to not irritate your wounds. You’d managed to unwrap the bandages, wrapping yourself in a small robe, dumping the dirty bandages into the garbage in the ensuite, Casey looked up at you expectantly when you froze your movements, a questioning look on her face.

“Baby?” She questioned softly, her voice laced with concern.

“Can…can you get in..and..then..n..not look?” Your voice wavered, not willing to meet her eyes as your arms wrapped tightly around yourself. She felt your emotions hit her in a gentle wave.

“Yeah, ‘course.” She slipped into the warm water, turning her head away from you, hearing a sniffle escape you as the sound of the robe dropping on the floor before she could feel you moving into the water in front her, settling between her legs. She gently wrapped her arms around you, careful of where her hands laid, settling a strong kiss against the back of your head.

“You okay?” You nodded, “Does it sting?”

“A little…”You admitted, a moment of silence passed and she felt you give off a light tremor in her arms, knowing you were trying to hold back cries.

“Baby..talk to me..please?” It was as if she could feel the pain radiating off you into her soul, she wanted nothing more than for you to recover, for you to be happy, you were so connected by now there was no hiding it. You shuffled slightly, curling against her body, tucking your head under her chin.

“W..will you still love me?” Her hand came to tread through your damp hair, laying a kiss against your forehead.

“Of course baby…I told you.. I’ll never stop loving you and believe me, I fuckin’ meant it.” You gave a sniffle at that,

“B..but..I’ll..I’ll never look the same..I’m gonna be..covered in sc..scars forever…” She felt your hand tighten around her forearm, she tugged you impossibly close to her, taking a moment to gather her emotions, trying to keep herself together as she spoke.

“Those scars show how fucking strong you are, and that you survived. And I’m going to love all of them as much as I love every other inch of your body, because I love you more than anything else on the entire planet, okay?” It was a solid minute before you replied, a meek ‘okay’ spoken against her skin, while you snuggled against her under the warm water.

You were incredibly hesitant, but with some gentle coaxing from Casey, you eventually let her very gently clean your wounds before draining the tub. Her touch was featherlight as she patted you dry, applying certain ointments to certain locations before wrapping fresh bandages in the proper areas. You did you best not to wince as her fingers traced over the injuries, though your heart swelled as she laid a very gentle kiss to the burn mark on your arm, handing you the comfiest of clothes to pull on.

Your favourite comfort show played on the T.V. while Casey placed an order for your favourite take out, which you enjoyed curled up one of the many couches in the living room. She packed up the leftovers, returning to the armrest of the couch, leaning against it while you snuggled up against her chest between her legs. It wasn’t very long before the exhaustion took over you, falling into a gentle slumber against your girlfriend. About an hour later she heard keys in the lock, Liz came around the corner, not able to help smiling at the scene in front of her, you curled up peacefully while Casey’s hand trailed through your hair. She gave the woman a warm smile,

“How is she?”

“Getting better…she’s still pretty wiped, but she’s definitely on the mend. Any word on the trial?”

“Cabot’s out for blood, that’s for sure.”

“Will she need to testify?”

“No. Alex has the photos and labs from the hospital, besides, she can barely remember anything, it wouldn’t be worth it to put her through a trial.”

“Good.” Casey laid a gentle kiss to your sleeping head, “There’s some leftover take out in the fridge if you want.” Liz gave a genuine smile, moving to give you a kiss on the head, she reached for Casey’s hand, giving it a squeeze.

“Casey…thank you…” Her eyes beamed with appreciation and love, full of all the unspoken words she couldn’t form into sentences. Things may have started off on one hell of a rocky road when it came to your relationship, but every day Liz saw the two of you together, the rocky facade was slowly knocked down. She knew there was no stopping it, and she was able to finally see just how much you truly loved each other.

Chapter Text

Over the next couple of weeks you recovery seemed to be speeding by, thanks to the extra time of work to rest, and the gentle help from Casey, Rita and Liz, your wounds were healing up nicely. The brand was still burnt into your skin, but you were very careful to keep it covered when you left the house. While you didn’t quite have the stamina to return to SVU yet, you did start to see one or two clients a day in your private office, you were getting cabin fever cooped up in the house and needed something to do. You and Casey were still struggling to find a place together, which was starting to lay on the pressure. It was on the way home from your office early Monday you’d stopped by your crime scene of an apartment to pick up a couple of things, and start chucking things into give-away boxes. You weren’t surprised when your anxiety spiked entering the apartment, you may not have many memories of your assault, but it all started here, you felt the hairs on the back of your neck prickle.

When you got back to your Mom’s, you came in through the back, dropping a small box of your things onto the shelf by the back door. The door opened right into the kitchen, where you found Casey finishing up some dishes. she greeted you with a bright smile, wiping her hands on the dish towel.

“Hey.” Her lips met yours in a gentle ‘welcome home’ greeting, she couldn’t help but notice the downtrodden vibes coming off of you, “What’s going on?”

“We’re fucked..” She scrunched her brows at your reply,

“What’re you talking about?” You dug through your bag, handing her a slightly crumpled piece of paper.

“I found an eviction notice on my apartment door…” The housing situation wasn’t exactly going uphill, your original plan had been to ride out the end of your lease in your apartment and simply pray that you’d find something you were willing to settle for in the meantime. Casey was quick to look over the sheet,

“This is bullshit, it won’t stand up in court, we’ll just fight it.” You looked up at her with begging eyes,

“Casey..I can’t..”

“Baby, you’ve always done great in court, hell this probably wouldn’t even need to go to trial.”

“It’s not that…” You took a heavy sigh, “I know the plan was to stay at my apartment in the meantime but I…I just can’t. I..thought I’d be okay, but just being there for half an hour today nearly gave me an anxiety attack. Every bump or crash I heard freaked me out…every time someone walked past the door I thought I was done for again…” Casey wrapped her arms around you, gently running a hand across your back, lips meeting your hair lightly. “Already feel like we’ve been here too long…” You muttered, giving her a squeeze before removing yourself from her embrace.

“The plan was to get back on Monday, so we’ll have ’til the end of the month at my place to figure things out. We’ll make it work.” You let out a hefty sigh, stuffing the eviction notice back into your bag.

“It’s not just that, I was off work for so long, and surprise, the hospital bill came in and wow….if I ever nearly die again either air lift me to Canada or just refuse care because…fuck….”

“Have you not been getting paid on medical leave this entire time?”

“Nope.” You shouldered your bag, “Something about me being a ‘contracted employee’ since I still work at the practice and at NYPD, I guess that got left out of my contract…” You moved from the kitchen, stopping briefly at the dining table to give your Mom a squeeze on the shoulder.

“Everything alright sweetheart?”

“Peachy…”You called as you made your way through to the front of the house, “Just casually drowning here, if you need me I’ll be at the bottom of the East river…” They heard your feet jog their way up the stairs. Casey quirked a brow from the door to the kitchen,

“Blame her dramatics on that one..” Liz gestured toward Rita, “You guys okay?”

“Yeah.” Casey smiled, “We’ll be fine. We’ll be outta your hair this weekend.”

“You know you’re more than welcome to stay as long as you need.”

“I know. But I think someone’s starting to feel like she’s 16 again…” It was perfectly on cue as you let out a frustrated groan of a yell, traipsing back down the stairs.

“Fucking SVU!”

“I think we can all agree on that.” Rita smirked.

“I’m not even supposed to be on call today.”

“Hey.” Liz stopped her paperwork, reaching out to grab your hand, “Sweetheart, take a breath…going in all riled up isn’t going to help you. These guys know you’re the best at what you do, there’s some poor victim down there that needs someone special to help them through this. Whatever you’re drowning in, it’ll work itself out, I promise.” She gave you a squeeze,

“Thanks Mom.” Casey’s phone was quick to ping, breaking the short silence, “Suppose I’m taking you with me?” She nodded, you gave Liz a soft kiss on the cheek, “We’ll see you later.

*

The rest of the week passed quickly, you’d spent most of it talking with the victim from the case SVU had called you in for while Casey started her work to prosecute. You’d both packed up the small amount of stuff you had at Liz’s Brownstone, ready to head out to Casey’s apartment after the regular Sunday night dinner. You were still pretty downtrodden come dinner time, not to mention exhausted, working a full week with SVU and a couple of other clients for the first time since your hospital stay had been rough on you.

You were however, more than pleased with how the dynamic between everyone in the house had changed. If Liz had started to warm up to the idea of you and Casey after seeing how much she cared while you were missing, her views had done a 180 after having both of you in her house. She noticed the little ways you wordlessly did things for one another, the way she’d catch one of you gazing at the other when you were supposed to be doing paperwork and she certainly didn’t miss the little laugh you had that was reserved only for Casey.

Dinner progressed with the four of you as if it had always been that way, conversation flowing easily from one subject to the next, doing its best to stay away from work related topics. Laughs and jokes were shared over glasses of wine as the dishes were cleared into the dishwasher, Rita topped up the wine glasses before sitting back down, a container of cookies in the middle of the table.

“You know, I will say, I’m going to miss having some life in this house for once.” Liz began, smiling across at you, “It was nice to come home to a friendly face again.”

“We can’t thank you enough.” Casey replied,

“Well, it may be a little unorthodox, but I did happen to get you two a little…going away…I guess…present.” She slid two small cardboard boxes across the table to you and Casey. Your brows furrowed when you lifted the lid, a pair of keys underneath it.

“Mom…I already have keys…”

“They’re not for here.” She slid a familiar clipping of paper across to you, “They’re for your own little piece of Seagate in Manhattan.” She was quoting the scrawl in your writing across the top of the listing.

“Where did you get this?” Rita was next to speak,

“I found it in Casey’s desk when I was going through her inbox.”

“But…” Casey started, “The condo’s out of our budget.” Liz smirked at that,

“It’s not out of mine…”

“Mom!” You felt tears swell up in your eyes, looking over to Casey with shock on your face. “You didn’t!”

“I did. And I’m not taking no for an answer. After everything…I don’t want you living alone, and we overheard you in the kitchen on Monday, I figured if you were drowning the least I could do was find you a lifeboat.” You couldn’t help but launch yourself around the table, wrapping Liz in a tight hug, holding back the happy tears the best you could.

“Thank you…” She kissed your head gently before you pulled away.

“Well you’ve got to thank Rita too.”

“You pitched in?”

“To the house? No. But you don’t have to worry about those hospital bills.”

“Rita!!” You shrieked, “No!!!”

“You said it yourself, working for the defence is where you make the good money. I only wanted to help.” You pulled her into the tightest hug you could imagine, tears breaking their way down your face, you didn’t know the last time you’d felt this unconditionally loved and supported by your family. You turned back to your Mom,

“So…does this mean that you’re..in support of us?” You gestured to Casey, Liz gave a soft sigh through a smile.

“You have my love and support.” You practically squealed, planting another kiss on her cheek, she turned to Casey, “But don’t forget that if you hurt her I will find some off the books way to fire you.” You yelped out in protest, giving her arm a swift smack, Casey laughed, saying that she would never do such a thing. “Good.” She smiled up at the two of you, “Well? What’re you waiting for? Go explore your new condo.”

There was a smattering more of happy tears, thank you’s and hugs flying throughout the room, both of you so incredibly thankful for the way that everything had worked out. You truly couldn’t believe that Liz had come around as much as she did, and thanked Casey for being such an incredible partner and support system during your recovery. You pulled to the condo right as the sun began to set, amazed when the keys actually unlocked the door. The place may have been empty still, but you and Casey could picture where everything would go, how perfectly things fit into every nook and cranny of the apartment. You felt tears springing into your eyes again as you approached the floor to ceiling windows, the glorious sunset setting a glimmer of gold in its wake. Casey wrapped her arms around you from behind, tucking her head against your shoulder, laying a gentle kiss on your neck.

“It’s beautiful.” She murmured, you turned in her arms, wrapping around her neck.

“It’s ours…” You met her in a soft kiss, lips dancing perfectly against hers, you felt your body melting against her in complete passion and contentment. There may have been some horrible struggles and battles you had to face over the last near year, but you had been more than incredibly lucky to face them with Casey at your side. You knew that she would stand by you no matter what, that you fit together like two puzzle pieces that had been lost from the box for years until they were finally discovered, placed exactly where they belonged.

Chapter Text

There was a flurry of movement in the squad room that gained the attention of the three women in Olivia’s office before the Captain came clattering through the door.

“They’ve got her! She’s en route to Mercy!” Emotions were strung high, there wasn’t any information on your condition or how far they’d gotten in their methods before the squad had managed to track you down.

As timing would have it, Olivia was barely managing to wrangle them into the waiting room of the ER when the paramedics were rolling you into a trauma room. Casey heard a cry leave her lips at the sight of you, your lips were blue, the skin of your face unbelievably pale, they had you wrapped in a foil blanket as they sped away. She heard shouting about barely finding a pulse, that you weren’t dead until you were warm and dead. She felt a hand between her shoulder blades, finding herself in one of the ridiculously uncomfortable chairs of the waiting room. She didn’t even realize her leg was shaking until Liz’s hand reached over, giving her knee a gentle squeeze. Liz gave her the best smile she could muster up, her eyes shining with tears, grief stricken across her face, Casey linked her hand into the older woman’s, squeezing in what she hoped was a reassuring manner.

It felt like hours later when a nurse came out with an update (it was well past midnight). Things were extremely touch and go, you were still being treated in a trauma room for extreme dehydration and a nearly severe case of hypothermia. Your tox screen had come back positive for some concoction of drugs, but since they had been injected into your blood stream they couldn’t just pump your stomach to get rid of them, it was a ‘wait it out’ type of situation. The nurse said there was a chance you’d be dealing with a mild concussion, they found gun shot residue near the wound on your leg, and there were multiple lacerations across your torso that they couldn’t exactly figure out what caused them. (Melinda would later confirm that they did indeed, come from a whip). Olivia pulled the nurse aside on the way back, asking if they could check for trauma or bruising that would’ve been caused by sexual assault, and if there was to run a rape kit, since you were nowhere near conscious there was no way you’d be able to outcry yet.

The minutes dragged on unbelievably slow, but seemed to speed by at the same time. Casey found herself utterly physically and mentally exhausted, she’d already been in court for 7 hours before they’d realized you’d been missing, she’d cried herself out completely, nearly asleep against Liz’s shoulder. It was only when Rita’s back up alarm went off that anyone realized it was already 7:00am Thursday, and it was only with Liz’s encouragement that she’d keep the other woman updated that Rita left with only an hour until she was needed in arraignment. It was shortly after that the nurse came back for another update, looking almost as exhausted as Casey and Liz felt, she said you had been moved to the ICU, things were still touch and go, and they were at the stage where it was time to just wait and hope for the best. The doctors had specifically requested no visitors, they were still flushing the drugs out of your system, monitoring for various side effects, if the hypothermia was bad enough your heart could stop, you were still under, and they didn’t want family witnessing if something started to go south. There was a chance of infection from the drugs and the open wounds that could lead to sepsis but they’d managed to get everything cleaned up, and much to everyone’s relief there were no signs of sexual trauma.

Olivia took a quick break down to the cafeteria once it was open, picking up a few different options, including a couple of smoothies along with the coffees, knowing that Liz and Casey might deny the actual food but they’d need some kind of nutrients if they were to keep going. She was sure to try and keep the optimism up in the room, conversation was limited, there were tiny little cat naps that everyone seemed to jerk out of suddenly, remembering where they were. Finally, nearly 12 hours later, the same nurse from earlier came out, a hint of a smile on her face.

++++++++

“Ms Donnelly?” Liz’s head shot up, “Your daughter’s out of the ICU. She’s still pretty groggy, but she’s awake if you’d like to see her.” There was an overwhelming sense of relief shooting through the room, the sorrow and fear that previous occupied the air began to melt away. Casey felt the tension dissipate within her body, her jaw unclenching, limbs finally relaxing at the thought of you being okay, more importantly, being alive.

“I…uh..” Liz started before turning to Casey, “I..think you should go.”

“But..”

“After what I said to her I’m not entirely sure she’ll even want to see me. She at least knows you love her, and that’s what she’ll need right now.” The older woman gave a reassuring squeeze to Casey’s hand, nodding at her to follow the nurse back to your room.

Casey wasn’t sure what to expect, finding her hands shaking slightly as she followed the nurse down a couple of hallways. She paused slightly in the doorway, giving herself a moment to take in the scene in front of her before you would notice her. You were hooked up to a couple of different machines, IV linked to your arm, the other one bandaged, covering the burnt skin of the brand, you were still pretty pale, and had an extra blanket wrapped around you to combat the hypothermia.

She couldn’t help but notice just how small and fragile you looked in the bed, the way you’d curled around yourself in an attempt to make yourself even smaller, an attempt to disappear. Quietly she shut the door behind her, beginning to move to your bedside. The noise alerted you to someone in the room, cracking an eye open before your eyelids fluttered clearing your vision, focussing on the woman in front of you, it was then that she noticed how utterly broken you were, the light and sparkle in your eyes completely diminished.

“Casey?” Your voice shook when you spoke, unsure about what exactly was going on, your brain was still pretty foggy, all you could really notice was that you were in pain literally all over.

“Hi Baby…” She spoke softly, a concerned smile on her face. When she reached for your hand you instinctively flinched away, a whimper nearly escaping your lips. “Baby…it’s me..it’s Casey..I’m not gonna hurt you..” She could feel tears brimming into her eyes at your reaction, it was clear you were still scared, whatever the hell those bastards had done to you etched into your brain that contact meant pain.

“M’sorry.” You shifted slightly, wincing as you sat up, pulling your legs under you, still resting against the tilted up bed.

“You’ve got nothing to be sorry about my love.” She pulled a chair closer to your bedside, sitting to not be towering over your crumpled frame. You gave her a timid look, flipping your hand palm up, stretched out on the bed towards her. She was cautious, gingerly resting her hand on yours, fingers tracing the lines of your palm in a feather light touch, she was shocked at how cold your skin still was, wondering if that was okay. “I’m just incredibly thankful you’re safe, I love you so much baby, I don’t know what I’d do without you.” You gave her a warm smile, interlocking your fingers with hers,

“I love you too.”

“Do..do you remember anything?” You shook your head, eyes glassing with tears.

“N..not really? Mrs Connors was at my apartment, next thing I know everything’s black, blurry. The room felt like it was spinning, I couldn’t really hear anything. I..I just remember it hurting..a lot…”

“I’m so sorry you had to go through that.” Casey laid a gentle kiss to the back of your hand, thumb soothingly rubbing across it. You barely made eye contact with her, she could see the worry in your face when you spoke next, voice shaking heavier than when you’d first greeted her.

“Is..is my Mom here?”

“Of course she is!” You shied away from her gaze, “Why wouldn’t she be?”

“Because she thinks I’m worthless.” You mumbled into the pillow, not wanting to speak the truth into words.

“Baby…believe me…she doesn’t. She’s been terrified this entire time that she’d never see you again.” A strangled cry broke free from your throat, you may have been head over heels in love with Casey and didn’t want her to leave your side, but there were just times in your life that all you needed was your Mom, and this, this was one of those times. You felt scared, victimized, afraid of what was going to come after all of this, how were you supposed to move on from it without a mother’s love?

“Can…can you go get her?” Your eyes finally met hers, silently begging her, “P..please..” Another cry shot from your lips, Casey thought it was the overwhelming emotion that was causing your heart rate to spike, she squeezed your hand, just as she opened her mouth to reply one of the machines you were hooked up to started to go haywire.

Your body seized up, before falling limp, your grasp dropping her hand just as a team of nurses burst into the rooms, everything was happening so quickly, a flurry of movement throughout the room. She could barely hear the nurse telling her she needed to leave the room, her head spun while she was shuttled outside, utter and complete fear shaking through her body as she watched them start chest compressions, placing an oxygen mask over your face. She could hear the rushed shouting through the glass of the window, your body jolted when they shocked you, concerned faces waited, watching the monitor for a moment before repeating the process, once, twice, there was the tiniest of blips on the third try. Hope seemed to glimmer through the room, though it was quickly overcome by defeat as the fourth and fifth times brought nothing but a dull drone of a dying beep as your heartbeat ceased.

No…there was no way this was happening, you’d been fine, you’d been talking to her only a moment ago, slowly breathing life back into your wounded body. Casey knew it, she knew she was about to jolt awake, find herself back in the uncomfortable waiting room chair next to Liz. Oh God…Liz…what on Earth was she supposed to tell her now? She felt her body shaking, briefly registering a nurse giving her arm a gentle squeeze, relaying her apologies, something about cardiac arrest, that they’d done everything they could. The tears brimmed her eyes, daring to make their escape as her brain was lost in a world of denial, barely able to tear her eyes away from your lifeless form. Not even realizing it was happening her feet drug her back to the waiting room, Liz glanced up at the movement, her face quickly changing to confusion at the blank expression on the other woman’s features. Casey’s face tightened, daring to look up, her eyes caught Liz’s and she could only choke out a sob,

“Sh…she..coded…” The words were barely above a whisper, Liz’s chest constricted, tears immediately trailing down her face, it couldn’t be possible. You’d been fine less than 15 minutes ago, both women felt as if their entire world was absolutely crashing down around them, the one thing that they loved more than anything else gone, cruelly snatched away before they could even attempt to process it. Olivia felt her own heart breaking at the sight of the two of them burying into each others arms, silent sobs wracking through their bodies. Two people who, 24 hours ago, held distain for each other, only brought back together by their shared love, and now their immensely shared grief. Casey managed to pull away from the hug, her face stained with tears, knowing how important it was for Liz to know, “She was asking for you…she wanted to see you, she knew you were here, that you cared.” Liz let out a shaky breath, trying to hold her emotions back for at least a moment, gathering the strength to speak.

“Did you tell her you loved her?”

“Of course.”

“Good.” It was all she could shakily manage, but Casey knew where she was going with the sentiment, that you may have suddenly and tragically vanished from their lives, but you knew that you were loved, that there was someone out there who cared about you more than anything else in the world.

****

It was roughly a month later when Casey found herself curled up against that all too familiar piece of driftwood, her face stained with tears as she let the sound of the ocean crashing against the sand invade her senses. She could practically feel your spirit enveloping the beach, as if your soft giggles echoed in the light breeze, the warmth of your body encased in the sand against her legs, the rhythm of your heart beating in time with the waves while she laid against your chest. She’d lost track of time, simply staring out to sea, wishing more than ever that you’d appear at her side, that wicked grin on your lips, telling her just how much you had missed her. She jumped at the sound of the trees rustling, glancing over her shoulder, the glow of the evening sky illuminating her visitor.

“Liz?” Her voice broke through the air roughly, throat hoarse from the tears she’d shed. The older woman gave her a tight smile, moving through the sand, seating herself beside Casey.

“You really think I’d be anywhere else but here today?” She questioned, a pained look on her face. “She loved this beach more than anywhere else in the world…” She began, “Her little escape from the real world. That’s how I figured out how much she loves you Casey, she brought you here the very first night you met, she never brought anyone here.” She pulled three Uncrustable’s from her bag, handing one to Casey who smiled at the choice of one of your favourite snacks, “Figured this was the least I could do.” Liz continued, unwrapping the third one, placing it in the sand in front of them before she revealed a birthday candle and a lighter. The Uncrustable serving as a cake on what should have been your 29th birthday, silence overtaking the pair watching the flicker of the candle before Casey let out a sniffle, almost surprised when Liz wrapped an arm around her shoulders.

“I..fuck..I just miss her so much..”

“I know…” Liz’s hand stroked through her hair gently, tears brimming her own eyes, “So do I.” They stayed in silence for a moment, their pining sorrow only breaking by the sound of the ocean. Casey was actually surprised at the gentle feeling of Liz giving the top of her hair a maternal kiss. Since you’d gone they’d grown even closer, any amount of animosity vanishing, everyone needed someone to lean on during times like these, and they found solace and friendship in each other. “You know…”Liz began, “You would’ve made the best daughter in law a Mom could ask for.” Casey straightened up, looking at Liz, perplexity consuming her face.

“You mean that?”

“Yes.” She gave the younger woman’s hand a squeeze, “You meant the world to her Casey, that’s all a Mother wants. I know I reacted horribly at first, but you were nothing but good for her, you would have made an excellent addition to our little mish mash of a family.”

“Thank you…” Casey felt a whelm of gratification flowing through her, sure, it was months later, but knowing that Elizabeth approved, and was in support of whatever happened between you still meant something. Another rustle broke though their thoughts, both glancing back towards the tree line, expecting something like a stray cat, surprised at the form emerging from the bushes.

“Rita?” Liz started, “Are…are you wearing leggings?”

“Yeah, well the beach and Prada don’t exactly go together.” She shot back, moving across the sand, “Figured at least one of you would be here tonight.” She dropped down on the other side of Liz, a fast food bag lingering in front of her.

“McDonalds?” Casey questioned, you’d never brought up loving the chain, though maybe there was something she’d missed.

“Closest thing I could get to Dino Nuggets on short notice.” Rita replied, causing Casey to let out a snort,

“You mean closest thing you could get to Dino Nuggets without burning down the house.” Rita was quick to shoot her a playful glare, prepping for Liz’s practical wrath.

“Burning down the house? For the love of God Rita!”

“It was ONE time!” For the first time that evening, laughter broke through the beach front, interrupting the evening of sorrow, making it seem like everything would actually be okay, and eventually, it would.

The three women spent more than a few hours on that beach, reminiscing about various moments of your life, their favourite memories, there were tears, there were laughs, small smiles, stories revealed that the other two had no idea had happened. But most importantly there was camaraderie, a sense that things would finally start to look up. You may have been gone, but there was no way you were about to leave any of their hearts. It became tradition, not mattering how busy they were, every year the three of them gathered on that beach in Seagate, lighting a flame in memory of someone they loved more than anyone else. Some nights they were silent, some nights there were tears, some nights were filled with laughter, but every night was full of love, the stars above them shining down, reminding them that no matter what, you were still watching over, keeping a safe eye on the people you loved the most.

Chapter Text

“Hey, you uh…got a minute?” Casey asked as she braced a quick knock on the door frame of Liz’s office.

“Thought I got you your warrants already?” The older woman smirked, gesturing to the chair in front of her desk. “What’s up?”

“I uh… wanted to ask you about something.” Liz’s brow furrowed, folding her arms in front of her on the desk.

“Why are you so nervous right now? What did you do this time?”

“Nothing! I..uh…I just…” Casey sputtered, suddenly wickedly nervous, Liz’s eyes boring into her. “It’s about Y/N.”

“Is she okay?” The older woman felt her heart pick up, worrying that you’d potentially regressed after seeming to be fully recovered.

“Yes! She’s fine, she’s..great.” She took a deep breath, gathering her wild running thoughts together, “I just feel like we did this whole thing so backwards the first time, the whole secret keeping thing? And I wanted to ask for your…” Her brows scrunched, searching for the right word despite having gone through this conversation in her head about a million times already, “Uhm…permission I guess?” A smirk grew on Liz’s face, finding enjoyment in the usually eloquently spoken lawyer stumbling over her words.

“You want to ask her to marry you?” Casey stopped, mouth slightly agape as she took in the grin on her boss’s face.

“Uh, yeah. Yeah I really, really do.” Liz gave her a soft smile, pulling open one of the drawers of her desk, digging around a minute before she handed a business card across to Casey.

“Tell ya what, I’ve got an account at Tiffany’s on Greene street. And she’s got a soft spot for rose gold.”

“Are you sure?” She hesitantly took the card, quickly looking it over before placing it into her pocket, “I mean, the house? You’ve already—“

“Nonsense.” She waved it off, “Besides, it’s her bastard of a father’s money, I’ve been wracking up a tab for years.” Casey let out a small laugh at that, “She’s a Donnelly, she deserves something nice. Not that it matters, you could propose with a ring pop and she’d say yes.”

“Really?”

“You kidding? Casey, she’s so utterly in love with you, she never shuts up about it. You make her happier than anything else in this world, so yes, you have my blessing.”

“Thank you. Really, I mean it.” She gave the woman a warm smile, standing from the chair in a motion to leave at Liz’s small nod. It was then that you practically bounded into the office, not bothering to knock.

“They were outta shrimp so I had them put chicken in your scampi I hope that’s okay.” You glanced up, greeting Casey softly, “Hey baby.” Not being modest about the fact that your Mother was right there you pulled her into a tight kiss, “Left a coffee on your desk.”

“Thank you.” She smiled, giving you a quick kiss and squeezing your hand, “I’ve got a motion to file, I’ll see you at home.”

“‘Course.” You pecked her cheek quickly before dropping into the chair she’d just vacated.

“What is this bullshit about chicken? You couldn’t have ran to Pasteur to get shrimp?” You rolled your eyes at your mother’s comment,

“Don’t you have like, a clerk to run your errands for you? You’re lucky I even made it here, Rita wanted to drag me to Saks.”

“Shame, you could use a shopping spree. You look like a broke college student.” She teased, taking in your appearance. Truthfully, you were in leggings and a tank top covered in Frozen characters, white cardigan thrown over top, and you’d tugged your hair up into a slightly unkempt top knot.

“Wow. Thanks. For your information I spent the morning sitting under a table at the 1-6 talking to a 5 year old who was assaulted by her step dad. And from what I hear, you spent your morning making a 11 year old cry on the stand. You proud of that?” You half chuckled, knowing that honestly the kid had it coming to him, and was technically a perp. “Besides, can’t afford a shopping spree, had to replace the bed frame last week.”

“I don’t want to know.” You stood as your phone pinged, medical results back, leaning over the desk to give Liz a quick kiss on the cheek.

“Let’s just say Rollins won’t be getting her cuffs back anytime soon.”

“Oh Jesus Christ.” She gave an exasperated sigh, shoving the take out container away from her. “Why are you like this?” You gave a playful shrug of your shoulders,

“You usually blame Rita.”

“Get out of my office.” She hucked a pen at you, causing you to yelp, jumping towards the door.

“I love youuu.” You called back sing songily over your shoulder.

“You’re chaotic!” She shouted after you, rolling her eyes.

*

It took Casey nearly two weeks to finally decide on a ring that she deemed perfect and good enough for you, dragging Alex down to Tiffany’s with her to get her approval before she finally bought it.

It took another two weeks before she was able to figure out how to propose. Naturally, she wanted to do it at Seagate, but the fear of losing the ring in the sand or waves before it got on your finger was too high. There were far too many accidental blooper engagement videos out there of the exact thing happening.

As it turned out, it didn’t need to be anything fancy or special. It was a Saturday morning, she’d spent far too many hours working through the week, and ended up at the office much later than she’d hoped the night before, missing the dinner date you had scheduled. That morning you kissed her head gently, telling her to keep sleeping because she deserved it while you snuck out of the bed. The quiet clatter from the kitchen and the smell of cinnamon wafting through the apartment eventually roused her. You were clad in pyjama shorts and one of her old Harvard tees that you loved so much, you claimed they smelt like her and it made you feel at home wearing them, your hair tied back in a fuzzy side braid. You turned from the stove at the sound of her in the room, plating up the french toast.

“Perfect timing.” You gave her a bright grin, pushing the plate towards her as you moved around the breakfast bar, kissing her cheek softly, “Made with love, just like you like it.”

“You’re perfect, you know that?” Her comment caused you to flush, feeling overwhelmed from the affection.

“Oh I dunno about that.” You softly laughed.

“Baby I mean it.” The words tumbled out without her even realizing it, just so overcome with emotion she couldn’t hold it back anymore, “I love you more than anything, I wanna spend the rest of my life with you.” Your eyes widened slightly, a small gasp escaping your lips.

“Really?”

“Of course!” She let out a groan, “Shit.” Moving quickly to the desk you shared she tugged through one of her drawers of work files, searching for the small box.

“What?” There was a sense of curiosity and a worry hidden in your voice.

“There’s a process to this and I just fucked it all up.”

“What’re you—Oh…OH!” Your hands flew to your face at the sight of the ring, “Casey…?” The tears welled in your eyes, “Are you—“

“Will you marr—“

“YES!” You launched at her with such ferocity the box nearly tumbled out of her hand, the suspicion of not wanting to do it at the beach confirmed.

The rest of the morning was spent with happy tears and a very eager you wanting to show Casey just how much you loved her. That French toast very much forgotten, cold and very soggy by the time you managed to tear yourselves away from each other.

+++++

You weren’t quite sure when the tradition of McDonald’s breakfast for Mother’s Day had originated, probably when you were old enough to have an allowance but not old enough for it to be enough to afford much more than a McMuffin. Though Elizabeth Donnelly would never be caught dead inside a McDonald’s, so you usually picked up the food on the way to her Brownstone, celebrating at the house in place of that week’s Sunday dinner.

You and Casey were greeted with warm hugs before you spread a smattering of items across the dining room table, enjoying a variety of the foods. The morning passed quickly, the three of you laughing over old stories Liz shared of the terrors of your childhood. Much to your embarrassment she brought up the story of how you came out to her, coming home slightly drunk from a high school party, much earlier than she’d expected you. When she questioned you to why (ignoring the fact that her underage daughter was clearly intoxicated) you mentioned something about being stuck in 7 minutes in heaven when a boy whipped it out and you gagged over the thought of it anywhere near you, commenting something about how it looked like a naked mole rat. She’d laughed at your brashness, sending you up to bed with water and Advil, you’d been hesitant the next morning, remembering the conversation, nervous to face her, but she’d obviously openly accepted that little fact of who you were.

You were clearing the table, tossing the wrappers and last little bites of food you couldn’t finish into the take away bag, getting ready to leave a few hours later.

“Oh! I almost forgot your present!” You moved to grab the gift bag from inside your bag.

“Sweetheart you know you don’t have to.”

“Well, I wanted to.” You shot back, handing it over to her. Liz ruffled through the tissue paper, “Hey! Card first!” She nearly rolled her eyes at your insistence, placing the bag on the table while she slid open the envelope. Her eyes scanned the front of the card,

“Did you even read this before you bought it? It say—“ She suddenly stopped, the card flipped open in her hand, the glossy paper slipping into her hand. “Is this…are you..?” Her eyes shot up to you, feeling the tears filling them.

“So? What’d’you prefer? Gramma or Grammy?” You watched her eyes fly between you and Casey, the shock slowly taking over her face, “You can’t be mad at her! It’s not like she can accidentally knock me up!” You defended quickly, “I know it’s not exactly traditional, probably should’ve waited until we were actually married but the doctors said it could take a long time. We didn’t expect it to take so fast.”

“Well when have you have done anything traditional in your life.” You laughed at that, “You’re really pregnant?”

“Yeah Mom. You’re gonna be a Gramma.”

“Oh sweetheart….” She quickly pulled you into a tight hug, kissing your head softly, “I love you,” Her gaze landed on Casey, tugging her into the hug too, “Both of you. Congratulations.” She could barely imagine it, she’d never really thought about being a Mother, much less being a Grandmother, but she loved you both so much she knew any child of yours would be incredible. Liz pulled away gently, grasping you by the shoulders as she locked eyes with you, “But for your own sanity, please don’t ever let Rita babysit.” Both you and Casey absolutely howled at that, “I’m serious! I paid for that condo, I don’t want it burnt down over some dino nuggets!!”

+++++

A few months later you found yourself back at that infamous A.D.A. Gala over in Seagate, at least this time you had Casey by your side, able to be open and loving with each other. You were up at the bar, sipping back on your soda water, watching her make small talk with some work friends, smiling as she bid them a goodbye, making her way over to you. Casey cupped your cheek softly, kissing you with unbelievable intimacy, an arm wrapping around you as she spoke.

“You thinking about how much you hate the fact that you can’t drink right now?” She questioned, kissing your cheek, free hand, rubbing gently at the small bump of your stomach.

“No.” You replied, kissing her lightly, “Thinking about how I don’t wanna wait any longer to marry you…and how the beach is only five minutes away…” She didn’t miss the gleam in your eye, the smirk on your lips, a smile breaking through her own.

“Tonight? You sure?”

“Baby I would’ve married you ages ago. Tonight just feels perfect.” You hummed in satisfaction as her lips met your head.

“Why do you look like you’re scheming something up right now?” Liz’s voice broke through your thoughts, your gaze meeting hers, smirk evident on your lips.

“Perfect timing.” You replied, “Get Rita, we’re going down to the beach.”

“What are you planning now?”

“You’re gonna marry us. Tonight. Please.” She sighed lightly with a smile,

“When have I ever been able to say no to you?”

“Oho I can think of a few.” She swatted at your arm, glare evident in her eye before she waved Rita over.

You gave no explanation as you lead them down to your little piece of heaven, the sun having barely set, dusk slowly taking over the warm evening.

“Rita what the hell are you doing with that bottle of champagne?!” Liz’s voice broke the silence,

“You dragged me out of a free food and drink gala to come to the beach! I’m wearing Dolce & Gabbana, what did you expect?! Why are we here?”

“I need a witness. My chaotic daughter decided she needed to get married tonight.”

“Oh!” You couldn’t help but laugh at the older women’s bantering, curling yourself around Casey, gently kissing her cheek.

“Sorry Rita…” You laughed, tugging Casey closer to the water.

And it was just like that, just the four of you and the gentle sound of the waves washing around your feet that you were officially wed. It wasn’t what any of you had expected, it wasn’t what any of you had planned, but it was all you needed, something small, intimate, and most importantly surrounded by the people you loved most, in your favourite place in the world. Though you would’ve married Casey anywhere, she made every place you went your most favourite place. She was the light of your life, and you were hers, you found such solace and peace in each other, fitting perfectly into each others lives. She was your saving grace, the perfect addition to your little mish mashed family, the missing puzzle pieces from each others lives you’d spent so long searching for. You’d fallen for each other those years ago on that very beach, your first kiss, your first Valentine’s, your favourite memories flooding alongside the waves, it simply made perfect sense that there was where you made up vows on the spot. Trying to get the words out about just how much you loved each other, how you wanted nothing more than to spend your lives together, and just how incredibly excited you were about the little bean growing inside of you. There wasn’t a dry eye among any of you as you shared your first official kiss as a married couple.

There certainly was no doubting your love, you were truly meant for each other.

Chapter Text

It was a late Friday night in May, you’d had the afternoon off, picking up your seven year old from school while Casey finished up in court. Usually Sofia walked home with a fellow classmate and their nanny, but after hearing about the case your wife was struggling through at the moment you wanted your daughter under the most watchful eye you could. Sofia was bouncing with excitement when you mentioned pizza for dinner, asking if you could eat in the living room while watching Phineas and Ferb, her most recent obsession.

You happily agreed, munching on slices of pepperoni while your daughter snuggled up to you on the couch. When you moved to clean up the pizza, tossing the leftovers in the fridge, you poured a glass of wine for yourself and a scotch for Casey. You checked your phone, it was later than you expected Casey to be home from court, you hadn’t heard from her since the brief recess when the jury left to deliberate. She’d mentioned that she thought the trial was going down the toilet, you figured she’d simply gone out with the squad to try and drown away what you were sure must be a not guilty verdict.

When it hit nine p.m. you told Sofia she had been up late enough, beginning to help her get ready for bed. Once she was settled you returned to the main area of the house, tidying up, finishing up a few dishes, things that had gotten forgotten over the busy week. It was nearly 10:30 when you heard keys in the front door, not surprised at Casey’s expression, though you were concerned at the look of utter despair written across her face. She gave a heavy sigh as she dropped her bag, kicking off her shoes, her coat dropping into a chair, immediately moving to your standing form, burying herself in your arms. You remained silent, giving her a tight squeeze, a hand softly stroking through her hair, you felt her body tremble against you, squeezing her tighter. After a few moments later you softly pulled away, a hand gently stroking Casey’s cheek.

“That bad?” You asked quietly, “I know it was a tough case, but baby…I’ve never seen you like this.” She sniffled hard, barely able to meet your eyes.

“It’s not the case.” Your brows furrowed, one hand giving hers a squeeze while the other reached to the coffee table for the glass of scotch you’d poured earlier. Silently handing it to her, watching her take a hefty chug, eyes widening at the amount of liquor she took in.

“What happened?” Your hands gently rubbed up her arms, reassuring her that you were there for her, there to support her no matter what. Casey gave a weary sigh, running a hand over her face, pushing back her hair, you could see tears brimming in her already reddened eyes.

“Lake went after Crane… he killed him, he’s going to jail.” Her voice was unbelievably quiet, barely echoing through the room.

“Crane got off? Bastard.”

“It’s ..not just that…” Casey trailed off, unable to meet your eye again. You cupped her cheek, attempting to direct her eyeline back to you.

“Baby..what the fuck happened today?” Your voice was soft, knowing there was something wrong with your wife, and the last thing you wanted was to push her, but you needed to know. Casey let out something you could only describe as a choked sob, doing her best to hold her emotions back. You could see the tears in her eyes, the little tremor in her lip as she tried to keep things at bay.

“I’ve been called before the bar…”

“For what?!” You knew your wife, you knew she was one that fought for justice, fought for what was right. Casey took another hefty swig of scotch, emptying the glass before gaining eye contact with you again.

“I’m being charged with a brady violation, I’m going to be suspended, I might lose my licence entirely.” She managed to control herself, emotions held back as her eyes barely met yours, hating that she had to admit something like this.

“Baby.” You squeezed her hand, pulling it to your mouth to give her palm a soft kiss, “It’ll be fine, we’ll get through this. I’ll call my Mom in the morning, she’s on the peer review board, we can cover our bases, get you back into the courtroom before you know it.” You kissed her hand softly again, surprised when Casey wouldn’t meet your eye. “Baby?...” You stroked her cheek softly, trying to gain her attention.

“Your Mom’s not going to be a help on this one.”

“What’d’you mean?”

“She’s the one that called me before the bar…” Casey trailed off, taking in the shock on your face.

“Are you fucking kidding me?” Casey grabbed your wrist as you turned away, knowing that you were about to go off on one of your instant anger rants against your mother, tugging you back to her.

“I’m not.” She replied softly, tears brimming in her eyes, “But please, wait. I need you right now.” It only took one glance up at your wife, the emotion splayed across her face that made you tug her into your arms again. You held her tight, hands stroking her head softly again, murmuring how much you love her and how much she deserved the world. Eventually you made your way to bed, giving each other a soft kiss and curling against each other, telling you how much you loved each other before you fell into a relaxed sleep.

**

There was no nervous pacing outside Liz’s brownstone this time, you powered up the steps, using your key to blow into the house, barely closing the door before you shouted through the house.

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” You found your Mother at the dining room table, paperwork and a bowl of oatmeal in front of her.

“I suppose you’re here about Casey?” She blatantly asked, eyes staring straight into yours.

‘Why the hell else would I be here? I can’t fucking believe you! Suspending her?!”

“She deserves it!” Liz shot back, her voice as steely as you’d ever heard it.

“For a brady violation?! As if you haven’t committed a few of those in your life time!”

“I am on the peer review board Y/N! I couldn’t let it slide!”

“So!?” You angrily sighed, running a hand over your face, “You really had to go after your own goddamn daughter in law?! How does that look?”

“It LOOKS like I’m playing favourites if I don’t go against her.”

“Oh my God.” You gave a frustrated groan, “Why did it have to be you? You couldn’t have tossed it upstairs, let McCoy deal with it, let Petrovsky be the one to charge her? You could’ve at least pretended that you had nothing to do with it, that your ‘hands were clean’ or whatever. You had so many options to go through, but instead you chose to personally come after my fucking wife, the love of my life, the mother of my child?! What is wrong with you?! Casey’s one of the best A.D.A’s that you’ve ever had and you know it!”

“And she lied! Both in court and to me! She needs to be punished for her actions and if you would think logically you would realize that!”

“She did what she had to do to try and get that bastard committed! Which is exactly what he deserves!”

“You’re telling me you’d break the law and do what she did?”

“I would do what was right!” You shot back, your anger screaming through the brownstone, barely able to keep your emotions together.

“Y/N this isn’t black and white.”

“Nothing is!” You nearly yelled, turning to face your mother, “But you know what is?! We won’t be coming for dinner this Sunday, or any Sunday until Casey’s come to terms with this, and there is no way in hell you’ll be seeing your granddaughter until I deem it okay! You’ve destroyed our lives, you understand that right?! God, all you ever do is fuck up other people! I can’t stand you!” You gave her a quick once over before you stormed out of the Brownstone, making your way back into the streets of the city.

**

When Sunday rolled around Liz found herself up at the bar in Forlini’s, second glass of scotch in front of her when Rita slid into the stool beside her.

“I don’t think they let seven year old’s sit at the bar.” Rita commented, the smirk on her lips vanishing at the emptiness on the other woman’s face.

“It’s just us.” She took a swig of her drink, “My daughter’s no longer speaking to me.”

“That umbrella’s over to Casey and Sofia?”

“I’m not exactly Casey’s favourite person at the moment either.”

“What’d’you do this time?” Rita cocked a brow. Liz let out a heavy sigh, shifting to face the other woman.

“Casey committed a brady violation during the Cane case. I had her called before the bar.”

“Is she losing her license?” Rita felt her heart rate pick up, she knew how horribly you and your Mother could fight, and something like taking down Casey’s career was grounds for a big blowout.

“She might. Censured, a minimum two year suspension at the least.”

“And you couldn’t kick it to someone else because it would look like you were giving her slack because she’s your daughter in law.”

“At least you get it.” Liz grumbled, motioning for another drink as Rita quickly ordered.

“I may get it, but I also think it was a bit of a terrible idea.” Liz quirked a brow, a challenging look on her face, causing Rita to sigh. “You know how fiesty Y/N gets, choosing to be the one to censure Casey drives a pretty big wedge in your relationship.”

“Don’t you think I know that already?”

“She really chewed you out didn’t she?” Rita couldn’t help the smirk. You’d always had a good relationship with your mother, sure things had been rocky through the teenaged years, Elizabeth being a lawyer while you were trying to rebel never helping. But when you fought, it was an absolute hurricane. It was a wonder you didn’t end up following in your Mom’s footsteps to become a lawyer with how stubborn and fierce you were, your arguing skills far superior to the average civilian.

“I guess I deserved it.” Liz mumbled over the rim of her glass, “She probably thinks I still have an issue with her being with Casey.”

“Do you?” Rita raised a brow, genuinely curious.

“No!” Liz shot back, “Of course not! I accepted Casey into our family years ago. Not that I would have had the choice, Y/N’s so stubborn it wouldn’t have mattered how strongly I disapproved she’d stay with them just to spite me.” Rita couldn’t help but chuckle at that.

“You want me to talk to her?” Liz gave a weary sigh, glancing at the other woman, her head shaking gently.

“Just…keep an eye on her? Make sure they’re okay for me? You don’t have to bring it up, but don’t let this impact your relationship with them too. Y/N needs some kind of maternal support, especially right now.”

“Of course.” Rita gave her a tight smile, reassuringly giving her shoulder a gentle squeeze.

**
It was nearly a month later, you were called in to work on another a case with SVU, there had been some tensions, the squad knowing you were married to Casey and all but things seemed to be moving pretty smoothly through your previous cases. You couldn’t say you liked the new A.D.A., she was stubborn, annoying and wasn’t great at her job. You were currently in the squad room, having interviewed a victim earlier, listening to the team going over the case, occasionally interjecting your thoughts as they came up. One of the detectives mentioned something you weren’t really paying attention to when Greylek replied,

“Yeah well we wouldn’t have this road block if Casey Novak hadn’t gotten herself disbarred!”

“Excuse me?!” You immediately shot back from your chair. Kim turned to face you, disbelief on her face.

“You’re a Donnelly, aren’t you on my side for this?” You scoffed, standing from your chair, your anger taking over, wishing you could throw a hand at Kim.

“I may legally be a Donnelly, but right now, she is not my family. Casey wasn’t disbarred and if you paid any attention you would know that! She did what she had to do to try and get the charges to stick! That prick deserved what he got!” Before you could continue to berate the lawyer, Olivia stepped between you, a hand extended towards you,

“Hey! Y/N, calm down…maybe you should get out of here.” You rolled your eyes, “Go home. We’ll call you when we need you.”

“Fine.” You shot one last glare at Greylek before practically stomping out of the squad room.

“What’s her problem?” Kim asked. Olivia gave a heavy sigh, turning to the lawyer,

“Casey’s her wife…”

**

You very quickly returned to your condo, slamming the door shut behind you, kicking off your shoes as you tossed your things to a spare chair, a groan of frustration leaving your lips as you dropped to the couch. Casey heard you from the kitchen, moving into the living room, taking in your frustrated form.

“You okay baby?” She asked softly, moving through the room. Your head turned in your hands to face her, letting out an exaggareted sigh, “I thought you were with a client til 6?”

“I got sent home…” You muttered, not meeting your wife’s eye.

“Because?” You didn’t miss the small grin on her face, knowing that you’d done something to break the rules. You sighed again,

“I may have gotten into it with the new DA…” You shot a glance up at her, “She brought you up…said that you were disbarred, I couldn’t stand her talking shit.” Casey let out a soft giggle as she dropped down beside you, wrapping an arm around you.

“You didn’t need to do that. But thank you.” Her lips met your cheek softly, hand stroking through your hair. “You see your mom recently?”

“No.” You sighed, “Thankfully I’ve managed to stay out of her courtroom so far.”

“You know you don’t have to hate her over this, right?” Casey caught your eye, “It’s not her fault. Someone would have called me on my mistake, whether it was her or not, I deserve my punishment.” You let out a weary sigh,

“You deserved better treatment, especially from her.” You leaned in, kissing her softly. “I don’t hate her. But you are my world, my entire universe Case, you mean everything to me and if she’s going to cross that, I will to.” Casey gave a soft smile, tucking a stray strand of hair behind your ear,

“You’re too good to me.” She cupped your cheek, giving you a soft kiss, “I love you.”

“I love you too.” It was with that happy smile that the two of you retreated upstairs to your bedroom, knowing that no matter what came at you, you would make it through it.

**

Months later, you’d had your regular Sunday night dinners at your place with Rita, you knew you had to keep some regularity in your daughter’s life, and that was one of them. You kept working, attempting to work alongside Greylek the best you could, hating every minute of it. You were absolutely elated when Alex came back to SVU when Kim was transferred back to D.C.

You were at home, cuddled up against Casey and Sofia watching whatever it was Sofia wanted on Disney+, all of your laughter echoing through the condo. Casey was quick to give you a gentle kiss over your daughter’s head, her hand lingering on your cheek, the look in her eyes full of absolute love.

It was about halfway through the movie that your phone went off. You let out a heavy groan, hand reaching out towards the device.

“Donnelly.” You reluctantly answered, “What?” The concern in your voice caused Casey’s head to shoot up to you, “Oh God…I’ll be right there…” You quickly hung up the phone, your panicked face giving Casey a soft kiss as you scrambled to get things together.

“What’s wrong?” Casey asked quietly, trying to keep Sofia’s attention on the tv instead of your trauma.

“Mom’s in the hospital…” You did your best to control the shake in your voice, “Something to do with the Harrison case.”

“Oh God..did you want me—“

“No.” You cut her off, gesturing towards your daughter, wanting to keep her shielded as long as you could, “I’ll call you as soon as I know something.”

With that you were out the door faster than Casey could even say goodbye. You found Olivia in the emergency room at Mercy, looking more than stressed out. She stood to greet you, attempting to keep your fears at bay. She was quick to update you that Liz had been stuck with a syringe of potassium chloride hidden in her Brownstone, that she’d stopped breathing right before they got to the E.R and was in a trauma room now.

You very reluctantly dropped down into the hard plastic chair, hands shaking in your lap as you stared down at the floor. You couldn’t help but wonder if the thoughts flying through your brain were the same as the ones that flew through Elizabeth’s brain that cold night all those years ago. Olivia noticed the way your hand curled around your inner right arm, as if you could still feel the brand mark on your skin. She gave your shoulder a reassuring squeeze, muttering that things would be okay.

It was only a few hours later but it felt like days when a nurse came out, mentioning that Liz was going to be fine and had been transferred to a private care room. You let out a large shaky breath you didn’t even realize you’d been holding in, glancing over to Olivia. She gave you a gentle nod, mentioning that she’d text Casey an update.

You found yourself lingering in the doorway, tears still brimming in your eyes as you took in Liz’s frame. The normally astute powerful woman looked entirely too small and frail in the hospital bed. Quietly you moved into the room, pulling a chair up to the bedside as you let out a heavy sigh, gently taking her hand in yours. Her head slowly rolled toward you, eyes scrunching as she came to, voice gruffer than normal,

“Thought you couldn’t stand me…” You gave a watery small laugh, rolling your eyes at the hint of sarcasm woven into her voice.

“How many times in my life have I said something like that to you?” She gave a small chuckle, “How’re you feeling?”

“Exhausted.” She shifted slightly in the bed, pushing herself up into more of a seated position, “And pissed. That son of a bitch…”

“You’ve gotta recuse…”

“Exactly.” Liz sighed. There was a moment of semi awkward silence before you both started to talk at the same time, “You go.”

“I’m sorry.” You glanced up at her, tears still evident in your eyes, “I never should have cut you out like that, and it definitely shouldn’t have taken a near death experience for me to realize it.”

“Wouldn’t be the first time.” You scoffed at the smirk on her lips,

“We’ve really gotta learn some better tactics for these situations.”

“You’re a Donnelly, you know as well as I do that holding grudges is what we do best.” She gave your hand a squeeze.

“Yeah…but it’s not just my life anymore.” You gave her a weak smile, “I can’t just cut you out of Sofia’s life because you were doing your job.”

“That mean you forgive me?”

“I guess?” You shrugged, “I mean I’m still kinda pissed about it, but you know I love you, always will. Casey’s gotta make her own decision.”

“Make her own decision about what?” Casey’s voice softly called from the door, gentle smile on her face as the two of you took her in, “You up for some company?” It wasn’t like Liz had much of a choice as Sofia bounded in the room, clambering onto the bed, taking note of your comment to be gentle.

“Mommy said we couldn’t bring scotch to the hospital so I snuck you a cookie instead.” Her comment caused an outburst of laughter as she pulled out a ziplock, arm extended to Liz.

“Thank you sweetheart.” The older woman replied, placing a light kiss onto her granddaughter’s head. Sofia promptly curled up against her, managing to swipe your phone to immediately distract herself with games.

“You okay?” Casey quietly asked, perching herself on the arm of your chair.

“I will be.” She gave her a light smile, “Casey…I’m sorry.”

“I’ll get over it.” The redhead shrugged, “The important thing is that you’re okay, that’s what family’s all about right?” She glanced to you, a warm smile on her face as she interlocked your hands, looking back to Liz.

“Don’t ever forget that.” Liz said to her, “I made the mistake of letting my family fall through the cracks, I don’t want to see you do the same thing once you’re back to work.” Casey felt her heart flutter a bit at the confirmation that she would actually get to go back to work after this whole fiasco was over, though, as Liz said, her family was her number one priority.

“I won’t.” Casey gave a soft smile, a reassuring squeeze to your hand, quickly kissing your head right as the four of you were interrupted by an outcry from the door.

“What the fuck happened?”

“Rita!” Three voices called out in surprise at the woman’s profanity, Liz’s hands quickly coming to cover Sofia’s ears.

“Shit…sorry…” The woman winced again at her second slip up, moving into the room to the other side of the bed.

Over the next couple of hours things in the hospital room shifted back to normal, a full family, though a mish mash of one, finally back together. There was laughter and joking between the five of you, a sense of camaraderie from those Sunday nights all those months ago. You knew that the original ease was brought on by Sofia, not wanting to bring up the drama in front of a seven year old, but as time progressed it was made clear that everyone was back on the same, friendly page.

Eventually Sofia passed out curled against Elizabeth, her quiet snores echoing through the room. You made Rita promise you to stay as long as she was allowed, giving your Mom a tight hug and kiss on the cheek before you picked up your sleeping daughter, smiling happily when Casey hugged her too, knowing the two were finally okay with each other.

As things progressed, you found out the details of the case, discovering who the actual perp was that nearly killed Liz, and how they managed it. You were livid, but knew the detectives were doing their jobs and it was best not to interfere. As soon as your Mom as discharged you were sure to make extra visits over to her Brownstone, making sure she had any extra care that she might need. She was always quick to brush you off, returning back to work quicker than you’d thought she should, but there was no fighting Elizabeth Donnelly.

Sunday dinners came back to your normal schedule, the five of you being the best family to each other that you possibly could. You all had been through so much already, too much trauma for one life time that you focussed on love, on supporting each other, on making sure that Sofia had the best upbrining that she possibly could. After all, family was your number one priority now.