Similar Features

Go on and close your eyes
Go on imagine me there
She's got similar features
With longer hair
But if that's what it takes
To get you through
Go on and close your eyes
It shouldn't bother you
---Similar Features by Melissa Etheridge

"So what does your boyfriend think about what you do?" Casey asked Olivia.

"Don't have a boyfriend," Olivia answered.

"You're single?"

Olivia thought of Alex for a moment before answering, "Yes." Forget Alex, she told herself. Alex is gone. It's not like you had a commitment or anything.


Casey walked into the precinct and spotted Olivia at her desk. Detective Stabler must have gone home to his family, she thought. Good. "Detective?"

Olivia looked up. "You can call me Olivia," she said warily. She wasn't certain what to make of ADA Casey Novak yet. At least with Alex she knew where she stood, she thought. Then she told herself again not to think about Alex.

"Good," Casey said, sitting down. "That was quite a case for my introduction to Special Victims," she commented.

"You did well," Olivia told her, somewhat reluctantly. It wasn't the way Alex would have handled the case, she said silently. Then, once again, she told herself not to think about Alex. "It was great that you found the little girl. I don't know why I didn't think to look in the cooler. I was fixated on searching the boat, and didn't even see the cooler right away."

"It was a lucky guess," Casey admitted. "I have to say, I'm glad I don't have your job. Mine's tough enough."

"You sure acted like you wanted to do my job, the way you barged into the crime scenes like that."

"And you made it pretty clear you didn't want me there," Casey responded.

"ADAs don't belong at crime scenes. You could have contaminated the evidence. You could have really messed things up." Olivia welcomed the opportunity to tell this new upstart exactly what she thought.

Casey held up her hands. "I'm guilty on all charges," she said. "Lock me up and throw away the key."

Olivia smiled at the remark in spite of herself.

"Now that's better," Casey said.

"What's better?"

"You're smiling. Every time I've seen you up till now you've been so serious -- of course, I understand why. It's good to see you smile. You have a very nice smile. Very attractive. I'm surprised you don't have men falling all over you."

Olivia hoped like hell she wasn't blushing. Detectives don't blush. Especially not SVU detectives. "Once they find out what I do, most men aren't exactly eager to start a relationship with me." Which is just as well, since I'm not interested in men, she thought but didn't say.

"Their loss," replied Casey. "Want to get out of here? I'll buy you a drink."

"What's the occasion?"

"The successful conclusion of our first case together." She emphasised the word 'together.'

Olivia looked at the papers on her desk. What the hell. The paperwork would still be there in the morning. "All right. I accept."

"The Lotus?" Casey suggested. The Lotus was well known as a lesbian club.

"Why the Lotus?" Olivia wanted to know.

"After everything that's happened in the last couple of days, I really don't feel like having men hit on me," Casey explained. "Lots of the women on my softball team hang out there. It's a cool place, and it's in walking distance."

"You're not worried about being seen at a lesbian bar? What if you run into someone from work?"

"If someone from work is at the Lotus, then they're not going to say anything, are they? If they told anyone they'd seen me there, they'd be effectively outing themselves as well as me. It's extremely bad form to out people without their permission. You must know that."

Olivia didn't know what would make Casey think she "must know" anything about the etiquette of outing, but she agreed to go to the Lotus.


As Olivia and Casey sipped their drinks at the Lotus club, Casey said, "Before I came to see you I was at my boss' office. I was ready to hand in my resignation."

"Your resignation? Why?" Olivia asked in surprise.

"After the case we just worked on, you have to ask me that?"

"I assumed that when you signed on to Special Victims, you knew what you were getting into."

Casey shook her head. "It wasn't my choice to join SVU. I was assigned."

"So does this mean you're not part of the team anymore?" Olivia asked. She was surprised to discover she would be sorry to see Casey go.

"No, he wouldn't accept my resignation. You're stuck with me."

"Good," Olivia said, relieved.

"Good? Why good? I thought you hated having me interfere."

"I'd just hate to have to break in another new ADA. It took me long enough with Al.... Never mind."

"What about Alex?" Casey asked.

"I said, never mind. Forget it."

"I know I have some pretty big shoes to fill," Casey said. "Alex Cabot was very well respected. And the way she died...."

Olivia wanted to scream 'She's not dead!' "What does how she died have to do with anything?"

"It made her into a hero. The crusading district attorney cut down in her prime by evil drug lords. Kind of a hard image to live up to."

"It was hard on all of us," Olivia said quietly.

"I'm sorry!" Casey blurted. "I forgot. You were there, weren't you, when she got shot."

Olivia nodded silently.

Casey took one of Olivia's hands in hers. "I can't even imagine what it would be like to see someone I work with shot down right in front of me."

"She wasn't just someone I worked with," Olivia said, trying not to get angry. This woman had no idea what she and Alex had been to each other. "She was...." She hesitated. "She was my friend."

"I'm sorry." Casey squeezed the hand she held. She leaned forward so that her face and Olivia's were almost touching. "What about me? Can I be your friend?"

Olivia swallowed hard. It was suddenly very warm in the Lotus club. "I.... I guess. I mean, we've just met."

Casey smiled. "I know you quite well already, Detective Benson. For example, I know that you don't have a boyfriend."

"I told you that I'm single."

"I know, but 'I don't have a boyfriend' doesn't necessarily mean the same thing as 'I'm single,' does it?"

"I don't know what you're talking about," Olivia protested.

Casey ran her hand through the other woman's hair. "Do you have a girlfriend?"


"Do you want one?"

"Is that a come-on?" Olivia asked.

"You'd better believe it," Casey answered. She moved in even closer that she had already, and kissed Olivia as hard as she could.

Olivia was feeling good. She'd had a few drinks, and they had effectively destroyed any inhibitions she might have about being seen kissing another woman in a semi-public place. She returned the kiss, and the women continued kissing for several minutes. When they separated, both were gasping for breath.

Casey smiled seductively. "Your place or mine, detective?"

Olivia hesitated before answering, remembering who she had last shared her bed with. "Yours."

Casey took her hand and led her out to the street, where she hailed a cab to take them to her apartment.

The next morning....

Olivia stared bleary-eyed over her cup of coffee at Casey. She could tell that Casey was not happy.

"Who were you with last night?" the ADA asked.


"Who were you with in bed?"

"You, of course. You should remember that," Olivia answered, confused.

"No, you weren't with me. Your body was with me, but your mind was obviously with someone else. Who is she?"

"Nobody." Olivia looked into her cup, avoiding Casey's gaze.

"She's obviously not 'nobody' if she can take my place in bed. Now tell me who she is."

"Why does it matter? It's over. She's gone."

"Because, strangely enough, you matter. I like you. I'm attracted to you. I'd like to get to know you better -- out of bed. But not if you're just using me to replace somebody else." Then she thought about what Olivia had just said -- 'she's gone.' "It's Alex Cabot, isn't it?"

"How did you know?"

"There have been some rumours, some gossip. I don't pay much attention to rumours, but I had kind of hoped it was true that you were a lesbian, because then it meant that I had a chance with you. But my god, Alex just died. Frankly, I don't know if I want to be involved with someone who hopped into my bed a week after her lover died."

"It's not like that," Olivia protested.

"Then what is it like?"

"Yes, I was involved with Alex. But we'd broken up long before she.... before she died. There was a case.... A young transgendered woman killed someone who was going to out her. Alex prosecuted her, and the woman ended up in a men's prison because she was pre-op. She was beaten and raped. Alex didn't have a choice, really, but I had a hard time dealing with it. We started to argue.

"The subject of 'outing' came up, I guess because that's what the case was about. Alex started talking about coming out at work. I got paranoid. I was afraid that if she came out, she would reveal our relationship at the same time. I wasn't ready to come out. I stopped going out for drinks with her after work. I mean, you saw how I was after a few drinks. No qualms about making out with another woman in a bar. I might have said or done something that would give us away as being more than just friends.

"I started finding reasons why I couldn't see her on weekends. We didn't exactly break up. We just stopped seeing each other. Not entirely. I mean, I still saw her in the office, and sometimes we'd all go out together -- me, Elliot, Munch and Finn, the Captain sometimes. We'd all gone out together the night she got shot." She looked at the time. "Shit. I have to be at work in less than half an hour. That doesn't even give me time to go home and change." She grabbed her purse and headed for the door. Before she left, she said, "I'm sorry. I guess I'm not ready to be involved with anyone else."

"Thank you for being honest, at least," Casey sighed. "If you ever want to be with someone who isn't Alex, you know where to find me."

Go on and close your eyes
Imagine me there
She's got similar features
With longer hair
If that's what it takes
To get you through
Go on and close your eyes
It shouldn't bother you.