my city of rain
by not jenny

i. takin' bullets for the team of bad boys, how is it up there?

(She keeps doing this. She keeps punishing herself for doing this.)


It's raining again.

"Fuck this," Olivia grumbles. She stubs her toe on Casey's nightstand, hobbles over to the window, and says, "fuck this weather. I mean, I've lived here all my life, I should be used to all this goddamned rain, but it still comes as a shock every fucking year."

"Come back to bed." Casey's voice sounds different in the morning, all sex and confidence and smoke.

"I should really head home," Olivia responds, automatically. She doesn't want to face her empty apartment, not really, but she's not good at the morning after. She's uncomfortable under the glare of sunlight, afraid of all that naked honesty. Things are safer at night, safe and hidden from view.

"C'mon, Olivia, you hurt your toe," and now she sounds like the Casey Olivia recognizes from work, chin up and slightly awkward. "Let me kiss it and make it better."

It's a ridiculous line, bordering on pathetic, and Olivia laughs. She doesn't want to face her apartment, her apartment with its dead bamboo plants and empty fishbowl and spotless kitchen, so she crawls back into bed.

It's April in New York, and it's raining, and Casey has a down comforter. Olivia doesn't go home.


Falling into bed with Casey was easy, far too easy, and Olivia doesn't like to analyze things like that. Falling into bed together was simple, six whiskies and a string of bad cases, and Olivia really doesn't want to ask why. Instead, she slips her hand under Casey's panties. She closes her eyes and reads Casey's skin like braille.

She keeps doing this. She punishes herself by doing this.

She closes her eyes. Casey tastes like morning.

Casey tastes like cheap whisky and burnt toast. Or strawberries. She tastes like loss. Like tears. Like the strawberry jam she spread on her toast, and Olivia locks herself in the bathroom halfway through their breakfast in bed. Sits on the toilet, swirling the Listerine in her mouth until it's impossible to hold it in any longer.

She splashes cold water on her face, scrubs until the skin is pink.

The window in Casey's bathroom is small, almost grimy, and Olivia sits on the floor watching the sun fight the dust motes. The tile is cool beneath her knees, comforting. She can hear Casey moving around the apartment, pacing from bedroom to kitchen and back again; the bed squeaks when she sits down. The television filters in, and she is not surprised that Casey watches The Style Network.

She sits with her back against the door and listens. She listens.


ii. drowning, slowly, lonely, my city of rain

Casey watches The Style Network, and Finola Hughes is saying something about acid wash jeans and big hair. Olivia tries not to question what that means. What it means that she recognizes a single voice off a television station she never watches.

A television station Casey watches every Sunday.

Olivia always locks the bathroom door, and she brushes her teeth until her gums bleed. Casey uses that new cinnamon toothpaste, and it tastes like chewing gum. The bottle of mouthwash in her medicine cabinet is empty. Olivia brushes her teeth again (lather, rinse, repeat), trying to feel clean.

Her mouth is full of foam, and she shouts over the water, over the television, over the city, "we can't keep doing this. You do know that, right? This can't keep happening."

She spits into the sink, and the sound echoes. She rinses her mouth, spits. Wipes her chin with the back of her hand.

The bathroom tiles are cool beneath her feet, and she slides to the floor. The water in the sink is still running, and she feels a momentary pang of guilt, of ecological consciousness, but it passes before she gathers up the strength to stand. "Casey? You do know that, right?" (She never says, "I don't do this." She does; she knows she does. Her rule about not sleeping with coworkers fell to the floor, shattered, years ago. She tries not to look back.) "Casey?"

Nothing. She wipes her hands on the bathmat. Stands and unlocks the door.

Casey is standing there. Casey is standing right there.

It's still raining. April in New York and it's always raining.


She turns, leans across the counter and shuts off the faucet.

And Casey almost smiles, almost moves. They both do. Almost speaking, almost acting, almost.

Falling into bed together was easy, is always easy, but waking up together is more complicated. Talking to one another. A few drinks and too much stress, and Olivia will drag Casey into the women's restroom every time. A few too many whiskies, and she'll follow Casey home. But she's still no good at mornings, and she's still afraid of the sobriety of sunlight.

But she is a cop, and brave, and she takes the first step forward. Says, "I'm just no good at this."

Casey smiles, smiles and asks, "who is?"

She tastes like strawberry jam and self-doubt, and Olivia licks the last crumbs from the corner of her mouth.

And they laugh, together, and answer, "Munch." ("I never giggle," Olivia will say, one night over beers with the squad. "Never." Casey will only smile.) They laugh, and Casey's fingers are sudden and pounding. And they are fucking against the doorjamb.

Olivia's hands, clutching at the air.


"I didn't want to like you, you know," Casey slurs, trying to look as serious as possible with three scotch and sodas under her belt. "I really didn't. I mean, there were all these," and here she whispers, like it's a high school secret, like she's sixteen and afraid of the popular girls, "rumors about you and ADA Cabot, and I... I..." She fumbles with the bed sheets before adding, "but here you are. Ironic, huh?"

Olivia tries not to laugh at her drunken earnestness. "Yeah," she says, not a little sarcastically, "ironic."

Because it is. Just not in the way Casey thinks.


("I didn't want to like you, either," she doesn't say.)


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