Title: Brunch with Blondes
Feedback address: email@example.com
Date in Calendar: 10 December 2007
Fandom: "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" & "Law and Order"
Pairing: That would be telling....
Word Count: 1445
Summary: Good food, good company...good gossip?
Series/Sequel: A festive standalone.
Warnings: None, once you've cleared the hurdle of lesbianism....
Status: Completed special commission for the Winter Calendar 2007
Feedback: Never say no...
Advertisement: Part of the FSAC:DW07
Disclaimer: As per all my work – not mine, no money whatsoever, just some writing fun and hopefully reading pleasure....they are the property of Dick Wolf et al.
"Sorry I'm late..." apologised Serena Southerlyn, sitting down at the table across from Alex Cabot.
"Not to worry..." dismissed Alex casually, far too casually - where was the interrogation? "...shall we order some coffee?" asked Alex, gesturing discretely for a waiter.
"You mean you haven't yet?" asked Serena, amazed and suspicious: she was twenty two minutes late for their regular brunch date and Alex was neither grouchy or caffeinated.
"I was waiting for you..." replied Alex, attempting to sound carefree, although inwardly she was kicking herself for making such an obvious mistake this early on in her plan to 'act normal', before spotting an opportunity to distract and divert, "...anyway, being late's not like you..."
"Blue Mountain as usual Alex?" suggested Serena sharply, grateful for the appearance of the waiter at their table, enabling her to avoid that particular line of conversation...at least until she'd had coffee.
"Yes, thank you. I refuse to try festive blends..." agreed Alex, equally glad of the opportunity to re-divert their conversation.
"Oh, I know - have you tried the Starbucks concoction yet?"
"No, I've only had to suffer the brew being offered by the diner across from the Squad...why?"
"It isn't worth it - far too much hazelnut...are we doing our usual?" asked Serena, turning her attention to the menu.
"I don't know, it depends if you still have time..."
"I wasn't that late..."
"For someone who's generally twenty minutes early, yes, you were...." countered Alex, taking off her glasses and resting them on the table next to the flower vase.
"For someone who claims to need coffee in order to function properly, you're rather sparky this morning..." shot back Serena, not wanting to be the only one suffering the verbal barbs this morning.
"I had a cup before I left..." confessed Alex, only to see the glint of victory in Serena's eyes.
"Left where sleepy-head? You never get up early enough to be on time on a Sunday, never mind have coffee first..." Sensing that she was too far into this conversation to try and divert Serena onto a different subject, Alex prepared herself for a full confession...but not without getting Serena's at the same time...
"Probably the same broad concept of place that caused you to be late...nice hickey..."
"Nice try Counsellor...shame your girlfriend's foundation isn't your shade..."
"Thank you, no, we don't need cream or sugar..." said Alex, ignoring Serena's dig owing to the return of the waiter with a large silver coffee pot containing the rich brew of their preferred bean.
"Yes thanks, I'll have the Eggs Benedict..." added Serena, taking a snap decision when he asked if they were ready to order – she'd resigned herself to having to make a full confession to her friend so it was a shame to not have a good meal whilst doing so, not to mention she interrogated better on a full stomach!
"...and I'll have the same, with bacon, thank you."
"Bacon?" asked Serena, surprised. Alex wasn't normally all that fond of the food, regarding it as too greasy and heavy.
"I feel like it..." Actually, she'd been feeling like it ever since she'd been offered freshly cooked bacon sandwiches in bed this morning...
"What about you? Eggs Benedict is rather light for you...heavy night?" asked Alex, archly.
"I fancy a change..." said Serena, even as she remembered the second, third, fourth and even fifth helpings of desert she'd enjoyed last night...who'd have thought cream would have been so hard to resist when served on a trim stomach?
"Are you going to Branch's Christmas do this year?" asked Alex, deciding she was best changing the subject for a few minutes, at least until Serena was once again more easily distracted whilst she was eating.
"No option – he's made it compulsory for all ADAs...how did you fail to find an excuse? You're not Jack's date are you?"
"No...do you know who that 'lucky' lawyer is this year?" The advantage of being in private practice was that she didn't have to suffer the politics of the DA's Office any more – the disadvantage was that she was languishing in the slow lane of the gossip highway...
"Rumour has it he's called in a favour from Abbie..."
"Abbie? As in Carmichael?" It was only Serena's consummate skill as a cross-examiner and wielder of coffee cups that enabled her to conceal most of her surprise at that piece of news.
"Yes – seems she never actually left New York when she went to work for the DEA, just wanted most of us to think that..." mused Alex, trying to work out what was causing Serena's reaction to the news – she'd always thought the two Homicide ADAs had been on quite good terms.
"Wonder why he decided to ask her..."
"Because he knew I'd say 'no'..." quipped Alex, sipping her coffee before continuing slightly more seriously, "...there's a shortage of Jack's type at present..."
"You mean Branch has been too involved in the hiring lately?" translated Serena, relaxing again.
"Yes – the lower the SAT the higher the hem..." replied Alex sarcastically.
"Your interns still giving you migraines?" asked Serena, recalling a brunch a few weeks ago when Alex had been savaging her supposed 'stars of the future' that she'd been given by Branch.
"Not so much..."
"...which means you've either entered into a scary relationship with a very expensive health club..." mused Serena, inwardly rejoicing at how easily she'd been able to set Alex up for the confession since at that same brunch, Alex had explained how only one thing would clear her migraines – neck massages, "...or you've got a girlfriend..."
"Thank you..." Once again, their conversation stalled as the waiter returned with their food.
"No thank you..." Unlike Serena, Alex enjoyed black pepper with her eggs.
"Well...who is she?"
"Who is who?" stalled Alex, cutting into her softly poached egg, enjoying how the yolk ran across the plate.
"The woman who woke you up this morning with breakfast and coffee..."
"Oh, her..." Unfortunately, nonchalance wasn't an attitude Cabots were particularly good at.
"If you won't tell me, I'll have to guess..." carried on Serena, far too smugly, prompting Alex to go for a self-defensive counter-attack based solely on intuition...and desperation.
"You mean like I've guessed you couldn't get out of Abbie Carmichael's bed this morning?" Maybe Cabots could do nonchalance after all, given how much coffee Serena had nearly sprayed across the table.
"What!" Misdirection successful, Alex continued the leisurely consumption of her brunch as she presented her case.
"Why else would you be attending Branch's party unless you had someone forcing you to attend...like a girlfriend..." began Alex, rather pleased her hunch had paid off.
"So it is true then, Olivia Benson will be at the party!" Alex wasn't the only one who could play a hunch.
"She's the SVU representative..." bluffed Alex weakly...
"...and an early riser, evidently..." taunted Serena, glad that honours were now even.
"So, Carmichael...is she as great in bed as the rumours suggested?" asked Alex, deciding that they may as well enjoy themselves at each others expense now.
"Absolutely...just like Benson I'm guessing...how long have you been keeping that a secret?"
"Three months, four days..." replied Alex automatically, before blushing at how accurate she was, "...you?"
"Three months, two days..."
"That's...a coincidence..." observed Alex, before getting suspicious again, "...did Abbie ride in with you?"
"Yes, she's at the diner down the block...why?"
"That's where Liv is..."
"So, think they've confessed to each other yet?" asked Liv, finishing her fried bread by dragging it around her plate, capturing the final eggy mess.
"More likely they've finally extracted a confession from each other...you want more coffee?" asked Abbie, her plate already spotless.
"Sure...this is really good coffee, why'd they only serve it at Christmas?"
"Who knows... but I wouldn't let Alex hear you say that..."
"They are coffee snobs..." agreed Liv, smiling as she remembered Alex's reaction to the brew they'd given her in the Squad Room yesterday.
"...but we love them anyway...you done your Christmas shopping yet?" asked Abbie, gesturing to the server for a top up.
Before either could continue, both felt their cell phones signal the arrival of a text message.
"It's from Alex..." admitted Olivia, blushing slightly.
"And probably says the same as mine does from Serena..." agreed Abbie, holding out her cell so Olivia could read the small screen.
"Shall we skip the refill?" asked Olivia.
"Yeah..." agreed Abbie, glad they'd already paid their checks.
"Why'd you think it took them so long to tell each other?" asked Olivia as they headed to the sidewalk.
"Easy..." teased Abbie, knowing that they both already knew the real answer, "...they're blonde..."