A/N: One of my favourite Connie/Mike episodes. First time writing L&O so let me know how I do okay?

Spoilers: Tag to 20x09 For The Defence...

"You two will have to work together day and night. That won't be a problem will it?" Jack looked around the room to Mike Cutter and Connie Rubirosa, knowing what had transpired between them over the past forty-eight hours and that this would probably be the best way to get them to work it out.

Plus the appeals were already coming in and it was guaranteed that they would have one hundred plus by the next day and all hands on deck were needed.

Jack McCoy left the office after hearing no complaints from either person, not that he gave them much of a chance, and Mike turned to face his partner, who instantly looked away form him, unable to look him in the eye. It was going to be a problem – them working together on these appeals.

"Connie I -"

"Just… don't," she hesitated a split-second, unsure as to what it was she wanted. What did she want from him? What did she want him to say, to make it better, to make it all okay once more, and to get her partner back? She couldn't do this with him right now, it just hurt too much, and with that thought in mind she turned on her heels and quickly left the office.

Mike sighed deeply. He needed to make this right. Following the younger woman down the empty hall, he paused, when he saw her looking out the window, leaning against the window ceil. She must have sensed him approaching because she spoke, before he could say anything.

"I was never in love with him."

That took him by surprise. "I know," came his honest response, as he hesitated a few feet from her. It was deathly silent in the hall, not a single sound, as the two stood a foot apart, deep in thoughts, trying to find the words to say what needed to be said.

"There was no other way Mike. But when I…" Connie trailed off. She turned from the window, anger evident in her eyes. "You were supposed to protect me Mike, not get me accused of murder."

"I'm sorry Connie," he stepped closer to her, invading her space, but still close enough away that he was not physically touching her, "I know that it won't make much of a difference but I am sorry."

"Mike look I… it just… it surprised me that's all. I mean, I know I expected that my relationship with him would come up I just didn't expect it to be made out that I was in love with him, in open court and well, honestly," she shrugged, "it's not everyday that you get accused of being a murderer."

Mike gave her a shy smile, "so am I forgiven?"

Stepping forward, Conning embraced him in a hug, wrapping her arms tightly around him, giving him the answer that he needed without words. Tightening the embrace, his arms coming around the younger woman, holding her close, he needed to know that it wasn't a dream, that she really had forgiven him.

He could not think of anything worse than losing the woman as a partner, a co-worker and as a friend, even though, he realised that he did in fact want more, as he'd as much as admitted to Jack earlier in the day, he was willing to squash those hopes and dreams if it meant he could continue to share a friendship with her.

Pulling back he gave her a small smile, relieved when she smiled back signalling that all was okay. Of course he realised that he'd have to do more to make it up to her, perhaps some flowers, and any favours she may need in the future should continue to make sure that all was okay between them.

As for right now, walking back to the office with Connie to grab the first of the appeals, he was just happy that she'd forgiven him. And he hoped that it would never have to come to that again, but he knew that with them two of them… it would.

Shaking these thoughts from his mind he grabbed the files to start on, before deciding that he wasn't in the mood for work. "Hey, Connie," he spoke hesitantly. She looked towards him, curious.

"What do you say we begin these tomorrow? Why don't we go grab some dinner? My shout!"