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Realizations and Experimentations

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Three rapid knocks startle Kathy from her nap. Her mind is hazy with sleep and for a moment, she wonders if she dreamt the sound. She looks at the time; 8:03. Who would be knocking at this hour?

Kathy let's herself stretch nice and long before she stands up. Another three knocks sound at the door and she huffs, annoyed. She was supposed to relax today.

She begrudgingly gets up to answer the door. The knob is cold, and she winces at the temperature. Steadily, the haziness clears.

When she opens the door, she sees Olivia, fist raised like she was about to knock again, wine bottle in hand.

"Oh! Kathy-" She startles, "D-did I wake you? I'm sorry—"

Kathy smiles, chuckling at the way Olivia stumbles over herself when it comes to her. It's like she's been walking on eggshells ever since the three of them started this arrangement. Like she's worried Kathy's jealously will take over and she'll hate her forever.

Kathy could never hate her. After all, she's the one who suggested this whole thing in the first place.

"No its fine, I was just taking a nap." Olivia looks like she's about to apologize again, So Kathy eyes the bottle in Olivia's hands and changes the subject, "Is that for El?" She asks with a smirk.

Olivia startles, like she wasn't expecting the question, even though it's clear she's here for him. Blushes like she's done something wrong, even though she hasn't.

It's cute really.

"Oh! Yeah." She says, "Is he here? We were supposed to have dinner tonight."

Realization dawns on Kathy, her sleep addled mind completely forgetting that Elliot said he was going back to the office tonight. She sighs, letting her head drop in disappointment, "He forgot to tell you didn't he?"

Olivia tilts her head, "Tell me what?"

Kathy gives a fond chuckle, at both Olivia's expression, and her husband's forgetfulness, "That he had to cancel. Hes working overtime tonight. Some case he's working on alone."

"Oh." Olivia's shoulders droop. She looks embarrassed, and Kathy is quick to remedy the situation.

"Don't worry about it, he does that sometimes. You know how he is." She opens the door wide, "Come in. We don't need him to have a good time."

Olivia looks surprised. So Kathy turns and makes her way to the kitchen, leaving the door open for her to follow behind. She acts like it's no big deal.

Except for Olivia, it is. This is the first time she's been alone with Kathy since the arrangement. Even when Elliot's there, she only greets her in passing.

Anxiety is written all over her face. All over her body as she walks in and closes the door. She's been inside this house a million times, and yet she feels like a stranger.

"Where are the kids?" She asks, trying desperately to make conversation.

"At my parents house for the weekend. Elliot thought I needed a break. That's rich coming from him." She laughs fishing through the cabinets for some wine glasses, "That man's a—"

"Workaholic? I would have never guessed."

When Kathy looks up, glasses in hand, she notices Olivia has a smile, tension eased out if her shoulders a little. Kathy gives her own little smile.

"Guess you would know huh?" She says, putting down the glasses on the dinner table, "You are his work wife after all."

Her tone is taunting, playful even. In that fond sort of way they've always had when she talks about their relationship. But when she reaches out to grab the wine, Olivia looks guilty. It's the same look she got before they agreed to all if this. When she felt like she was somehow keeping Elliot away from his family.

It's the look she got when she'd seen flecks jealously on Kathy's face. Because Kathy wasn't always ok with this. She hated the thought of her husband kissing another women, once upon a time.

But then Olivia had wormed her way into her heart. Into their family as well.

She sighs, "It's ok Olivia."

Olivia catches herself, "Huh?"

"Its ok." She repeats, "It was my idea remember? I wouldn't have told Elliot to go for it with you if I wasn't ok with it."

Olivia bites her lip, blushes, her fingers fidget together around the neck of the wine bottle.

"Sorry." She says, finally handing it over to Kathy, "This is all just so...new. And strange."

Kathy pops open the cork, "Good strange or bad strange?"

Olivia bites her lip again, watching Kathy hesitantly look away from her to pour the wine. Watches a stray lock of hair fall in fron of her face.

"Good strange. Definitely good."

Kathy pauses and looks up at her. They smile at each other. Real, comfortable smiles. So she keeps pouring.

---

"I really should head out." Says Olivia, her words a little sloppy from the wine.

"Olivia..." Kathy scolds, pulling at her hand as she tries to get up. They giggle when she plops right back down onto the couch.

"Kathy."

"Olivia." She repeats.

"I have work tomorrow!"

"No you don't. Tomorrow's your day off. You just want to overwork yourself like El does every night." She gives a loose grin, leaning in close, and whispers, "I know how you detectives work."

Olivia stares a Kathy, who's only inches from her face. Shes holding her breath, likes she's waiting for something. Her heart pounds in her chest, flicking her gaze to Kathy's wine stained lips.

Kathy just smirks, "You're drunk Liv." And that breaks Olivia out of her trance.

"Am not!" She whines, laughing, and pulls back.

Kathy giggles again, "Stay here tonight. I'm sure El would love that."

"And what about you?" Olivia catches herself saying, mumbling really, staring at Kathy like she's searching for something.

Kathy leans in again, looks from Olivia's mouth to her eyes to her mouth again.

"Well I certainly wouldn't be opposed to that." Her voice is husky when she speaks, a smirk making its way onto her face, and she let's herself close the distance.

Olivia gasps when they kiss, freezes. She's not used to Kathy being so forward. So Kathy leans back, "You ok with this?"

Looking at her lips again, Olivia nods.

Kathy leans back in with giggle and a grin, and they fall back on the seat of the couch.

Olivia pulls back first, panting. "Bedroom?" She says.

Kathy just giggles and pulls Olivia to she and Elliot's bedroom.

---

The first thing Elliot notices when he drives up to his house, is Olivia's car in the driveway. And immediately, he's struck with this overwhelming sense of guilt, knowing he forgot to tell her he had to figure out this case tonight. Really, they see each other at work every day, how could he forget.

He parks his car and heads inside, already working on a hundred ways to apologize.

The second thing he notices, are the two wine glasses on the living room table. He hesitates, wondering for an irrational moment if Kathy is cheating on him.

And then it dawns on him, their date was set for last night, what on earth is Olivia still doing here.

"Kathy?" He calls, taking off his coat, and gets no reply. He starts untying his tie, and makes his way to the bedroom.

The third thing he notices is a shirt thrown on the floor right outside his bedroom. He picks it up. Definitely Olivia's.

A jolt runs up his spine at the prospect of what he might find behind the door. Something he didn't know he wanted to see until now.

When he opens the door, he sees his wife, cuddled up and asleep underneath the blanket of their bed, with Olivia. Clothes are strewn all over the bedroom and he can't help the disbelieving laugh that comes out of his throat.

He watches them for a moment, his two girls with each other, loving each other, and decides he should let them sleep in. It's the least he can do for leaving them both hanging last night.

But just as he turns to leave, Kathy's raspy voice sounds, "Elliot?" She says. "You're home."

He turns to look at her. She looks tired. Tired and content.

"Yeah." He says, "Go back to sleep, I'll make breakfast."

Kathy rolls her eyes, "Don't be stupid. Come over here. Cuddle with us." She pats the spot of the bed behind her. She's got a playful smile on her face, and Elliot just laughs

"Kathy, if my two favorite women are naked in a bed together, I don't think I'll want to just cuddle."

"Then don't." Says Olivia, jolting him. She lifts her head, wears a tired sort of smirk. "We're all adults here. We can do much more then cuddle."

Her bedhead is awful, he thinks. Cute.

"Come on El."

Hes not entirely sure which one of them said it, already wrestling his way out of his work clothes.

The girls giggle when he finally joins them on the bed. It feels right.

This, he thinks, this is right.