FANDOM: JAG & SVU - Mac/Olivia Benson (can we have a first season Benson (no Cabot yet) but with third season hair and wardrobe? We can? Marvellous...*g*)
DISCLAIMER: not mine, no profit, just fun
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Mac's off travelling again...and she isn't the only one on the road....
Getting out of her rental car, Olivia surveyed the roadside rest stop - as rest stops went, it wasn't too bad, with a brightly light diner that was obviously a local favourite and a motel which, if the planters full of flowers were anything to go by, would be clean and well kept. The only downside was the bar, which looked like it might attract the sort of customers later that made Olivia very glad she was driving a rental and not a police sedan. There was, in her experience, only one thing worse than staying at one of these places as a single woman, and that was staying at one of these places as an obviously single, female police officer. Reminded of that thought, she quickly slipped her gold shield from her belt to her pocket, before making sure, as she always did, that her hip holster would only be revealed deliberately, and not by her leather jacket flapping. Satisfied that she was no longer advertising her profession too blatantly (there was little she could do about the way she walked or talked, both mannerisms she'd been told repeatedly 'screamed' cop, although personally she didn't see it), she locked the rental and headed for the motel, hoping they had a room.
"What can I get you?" asked the woman of indeterminate age from behind the counter.
"A room, please...double if you've got it..." requested Olivia, discretely assessing the motel entrance - as the flowers outside had suggested, this was a well scrubbed establishment, with the floorboards positively gleaming.
"You expecting company?" asked the woman slightly sarcastically, noticing Olivia had got out of her car alone.
"No...I'm expecting to be able to stretch out in bed..." countered Olivia sharply, knowing from past experience that the single rooms in motels were often little more than broom closets with single beds filling the entire space. She'd learnt the hard way that, if she couldn't sleep in her own bed, given the choice of a single motel room and the car, she'd take the car.
"Room 21, you paying cash?" asked the woman hopefully. Taking the hint, having first glanced at the hand written receipt which had been carefully written out, Olivia decided she could risk paying cash - the receipt looked detailed enough to pass Cragen's scrutiny of her expenses.
"The diner any good?" asked Olivia conversationally as she handed over the approximate amount of bills and waited for her change.
"You eat cheesesteak?"
"Sure...they have a reputation?" ‘No, but she was a New Yorker…her stomach prided itself on eating anything…’
"Best on the highway..." declared the woman, before leaning in confidentially and stage whispering, "...just make sure you ask for American White - Ol' George don't stand for that muck Cheez Whiz..."
"American White, got it..." agreed Olivia, attempting to conceal her smirk - was this for real or some surreal bubble of yokel-dom she'd stumbled on?
"Knew you'd be a fast learner...leave your car out front, your room's three doors down from where you're parked..." declared the woman, before turning her attention away from Olivia to the shelves behind the counter, calling out as she did, "...have a nice day...". Picking up her key, Olivia dutifully turned on her heel and headed back out into the parking lot - as dismissals went, it was fairly clear cut.
"You on your own hon?" asked the server, a grandmotherly sort with just enough grey hair and wrinkles to get away with calling Olivia 'hon', approaching Olivia who had stopped just before the sign saying 'Please wait to be seated'.
"Just one, thank you..." she confirmed, casting her gaze around the diner, noting the interior which seemed little changed from the pictures of the 1950s originals she'd seen on walls of New York diners who had finally given in to the need to refurbish.
"I'll sit you in a booth..." decided the server, bustling over to the corner and setting a menu down with a flourish, "...I'm Margie by the way, and George will be cooking your cheesesteak...you will be having a cheesesteak, right?"
"I'm sure I will..." agreed Olivia, deciding that, as the good New Yorker she was, her stomach could probably cope with a Philly Cheesesteak, even if she'd have possibly preferred a straight steak, or even a burger. Still, her first rule of motel stops when 'on duty' had always been blend in, and, if eating a Philly Cheesesteak for dinner was the way forward...she'd suffered worse for the sake of her shield.....
"I'll be right back..." declared Margie, before disappearing, presumably to confirm that the couple in the next booth were having cheesesteaks...with White American if they knew what was best for them.
"...I'll just go get you a menu..." Olivia's thoughtful musings about side orders and drinks (were there really that many flavours of malt shake?) were interrupted by Margie's abrupt return, this time with a tall brunette who looked just as out of place in the diner as Olivia felt.
"Ma'am, I'm sorry, but we're not together..." reasoned the newcomer, looking apologetically at Olivia when it became aparent that Margie was going to seat them at the same table, in a booth no less!
"I know that dear, but there's no harm you both sitting in the same place, 'specially when those young 'uns from next door come in. Two ladies like you sitting separately? You'll be slobbered on 'til Christmas..."
"I don't mind..." interrupted Olivia gamely, spotting the apprehension in the brunette's face, her conscience obviously battling with natural curiosity about Olivia and a long engrained desire and need for distance and privacy.
"That's settled then...you don't need me to introduce you..." decided Margie, before once again, hustling off in the direction of the kitchen.
"She's a bit..." Olivia trailed off with her description as she found herself politely trying to stand up, only for the booth's table to stop her part way up.
"Forceful?" speculated the brunette, holding her purse in front of her as she eyed the booth like it was a map of a military campaign, with the ketchup assuming strategic importance...
"Friendly...would you like to join me?" asked Olivia politely, now she'd managed to untangle her legs from the booth and actually stand up, enabling her to gesture to the vacant side of the table.
"Don't take this the wrong way..." began the brunette, eying Olivia with a gaze that was an interesting combination of blatant ogling and suspicious scrutiny.
"But how do you know I'm not an axe-murder?" joked Olivia, shoving her hands in her jeans pockets, trying not to smirk too much.
"Would this help?" asked Olivia helpfully, pulling her badge from her pocket and holding it out for the brunette to study.
"How do you know I'm not an axe-murder Detective?" asked the brunette smoothly, smiling warmly nevertheless and sliding into the booth. Margie was right, slobbering youths were not in her evening's plan.
"Because Colonel..." Olivia enjoyed the look of surprise that crossed her companion's face, "...I saw you drive up and I doubt, somehow, that if you were an axe-murder, the Navy would let you drive around one of its cars..."
"Touché..." conceded Mac humorously, holding out her hand in greeting, "...Lieutenant Colonel Sarah Mackenzie, JAG Corps..."
"Detective Olivia Benson, NYPD SVU..." replied Olivia, shaking the offered hand and once again finding herself unable to conceal her grin.
"You seem to find life very amusing Detective Benson..." observed Mac, wondering how her impromtu dinner companion would react.
"I'm just guessing that, under that leather jacket you're wearing your service weapon?" asked Olivia, taking a sip of her soda. wondering if her new friend would spot what was amusing her so. She did.
"You've got yours on your right hip, haven't you?" queried Mac, recalling seeing the subtle shifting of weight when the Detective stood, revealing to another woman well versed at wearing concealed weapons how carefully the Detective was trying to ensure the tell-tale bulge of a hip holster didn't show.
"Guilty as charged...think Margie will be upset to learn we're not exactly damsels in distress?"
"I won't tell..."
"Good...so, do I call you Colonel all night?" asked Olivia boldly, deciding that maybe, this evening might not be as dull as she'd originally feared.
"Depends...do I get to call you something other than Detective?" If Mac's question bordered on the flirtation, Olivia decided not to comment, other than saying,
"Olivia...but I'm guessing you have some sort of nickname?"
"How did you know?"
"Sarah doesn't seem to fit with the Colonel I saw earlier..."
"Mac...everyone calls me Mac..."
"Everyone?" teased Olivia, raising her eyebrow slightly.
"Everyone in a diner..." amended Mac, blushing ever so slightly, all too aware where the one place she liked people to call her 'Sarah' was...a place she was entirely certain Olivia was also aware of.
"You eat cheesesteak?" asked Olivia suddenly, spotting Margie begin to weave her way through the tables towards them.
"Philly Cheesesteak? Sure..." agreed Mac, fleetingly catching a mental image of Harm wincing at her tucking into a vegetable free meal, complete with artificial cheese and several ounces of red, dead, meat.
"It's the House Special..." muttered Olivia quickly, before looking up to see Margie looking expectantly at them.
"What'll it be gals?"
"Two Philly Cheesesteaks..." began Mac, only to be interrupted by Olivia, who added,
"...with White American..."
"No, one..." Mac got no further as Olivia cut off her correction with a deftly placed heel to Mac's toe, startling the Marine into silence.
"...One malt for me and..." Trusting Mac not to go back and correct her again, Olivia smiled sweetly at Mac, prompting her to add,
"...I'll have a diet cola...oh, and two portions of fries...." she concluded, surprised at the beaming smile Margie was now sporting.
"A great order gals, George will really enjoy whipping that up for you..." she enthused, before bustling off to the kitchen, shouting their order as she went.
"You stamped on my foot!" protested Mac, attempting to shoot a dirty look at Olivia, but struggling to given how infectious Margie's good natured exuberance was.
"I did, and I'm sorry...." confessed Olivia, looking like she was attempting to look sheepish.
"You're lucky I don't mind White American..."
"I hate the stuff..."
"So why'd you order two?"
"The woman at the motel didn't tell you?"
"Tell me what?"
"George, in the kitchen...apparently he doesn't do Cheez Whizz...."
"So you ordered a cheesesteak with a cheese you hate?" asked Mac, impressed.
"I was given the impression that not ordering a cheesesteak was about the biggest crime around here....and I'm hungry..." whined Olivia playfully, before continuing, "...and anyway, if my stomach can handle streetdogs..."
"I'm just impressed you avoided the onions..." teased Mac, enjoying their teasing, despite the surrealness of their situation - miles from anywhere really, on a highway in the middle of Pennsylvania.
"I'm saving myself for the mustard..."
"You'd better hope I leave you some..."
"Hey, you said you didn't mind White American...I get mustard priority!" protested Olivia, wondering if Mac knew how flirtatious this conversation was feeling for Olivia.
"No, you lose your priority for mustard due to that foot stomping..." groused Mac teasingly, before continuing, "...I don't know how you do it in New York, but where I come from, we're a little more delicate in our footsie..."
"And where do you come from?" asked Olivia curiously, deciding for the moment to leave aside the footsie comment.
"D.C., at least, that's where I've been posted for the last few years..."
"No, Judge Advocate General's Office, I'm a Marine Lawyer..." confessed Mac, wondering how this NYPD detective would react to her profession. To her surprise, she got an amused grin. "You find attorneys amusing?"
"Nope..." Olivia was trying for a straight face, really she was.
"You're a military ADA right?"
"Of sorts..." confirmed Mac, wondering what was amusing her companion.
"I, uh, well, my partner would say..." suddenly, Olivia found herself tongue tied in a way that Mac found rather adorable.
"You have a thing for ADAs?" guessed Mac, rather enjoying the confessional blush that was spreading across her companion's face.
"Will it end our dinner conversation if I confess?"
"Depends, I'm a little partial to dark blue uniforms..."
"I occasionally wear my dress uniform..."
"Good to know..." muttered Mac, any further teasing or flirtation halted by the return of Margie, with a tray laden down with cheesesteaks, fries and iced glasses full of malts and soda.
"Here you go gals..." she pronounced, unloading the tray and leaving them once again to sort out their food as two more new arrivals were waiting at her 'stop sign'.
"So that's a cheesesteak..." concluded Olivia, inspecting her dinner for the first time.
"Yeah..." agreed Mac, picking her sandwich up and taking a large bite....
"Oh!" she exclaimed suddenly, dropping her cheesesteak and surveying her top which, miraculously, had managed to avoid getting splattered with grease, before directing a very dirty look at Olivia.
"What?" asked the detective, full of innocence, carefully taking a much smaller bite of her own cheesesteak, carefully slathered in mustard, before adding,
"Anyone would think you'd never played footsie before...Sarah"