|What Can I Say
Author: TStabler PM
When 'thank you' isn't strong enough, and what you really want to say will change everything, what do you say? That is what Elliot Stabler is trying to find out, as he finally realizes his partner has been more than just a partner for years. Future E/ORated: Fiction M - English - Friendship/Romance - E. Stabler & O. Benson - Chapters: 20 - Words: 40,328 - Reviews: 278 - Favs: 75 - Follows: 80 - Updated: 09-04-11 - Published: 03-22-11 - Status: Complete - id: 6842349
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: A new story, with a new angle.
DISCLAIMER: SVU and characters belong to Dick Wolf. Tstabler © own this story.
"How old is he?" a doctor asked, rushing with the gurney through the doors of the emergency room.
"Fourteen," a young girl said, worried and biting her lip. "Is he gonna be okay?"
"How did this happen?" the doctor asked.
The girl wrung her hands together. "He was on the roof. He and his friends were just goofing off, and he fell...and..."
"All right," the doctor said. "I have to leave you here, but I can't do anything for him without parental consent, so I need to call..."
"I did that!" the girl yelled. "Neither one of them has picked up, and I...I can call someone else. I can get someone who has the right to sign for him down here, just...give me five minutes. I promise, help him. She'll be here."
The doctor sighed, then heard the boy on the gurney groan. "All right," he said, assuming the kid's life was more important than arguing with a teenager. "Someone needs to be down here to sign forms before he goes under any kind of..."
"She will be," the girl said, nodding. She immediately pulled her cell phone out of her pocket and ran for the hallway. She dialed and waited, shaking. "Liv? Liv! You gotta get down to Mercy General. No! No, don't...he didn't answer. He went out with Mom. He wouldn't...yes! No, I'm fine. It's...it's Dickie." She took a deep breath and said, "I'm so sorry. You...tell Mike I'm sorry."
She hung up the phone, feeling worse for making the woman she called ditch her date, but she knew that it was because she cared.
"Is she coming?" another girl, her sister, asked with hope in her voice.
"Yeah, Lizzie," the girl said, nodding. "She actually cares enough about us to answer the phone."
Less than five minutes later, the woman rushed through the doors, out of breath, a badge in one hand and a broken heel in the other. "Dickie Stabler," she panted at the desk, holding up her gold badge.
The nurse looked confused. "I don't...uh, Detective Benson, I don't think he..."
"Liv!" someone yelled. "Olivia!"
The woman, Olivia, turned, sighing in relief as she ran toward the three panic-stricken girls. She checked them over and eyed them carefully. "Are you guys okay, Maureen?"
The oldest girl nodded. "We're fine, it was just Dickie being stupid. They think he's got a broken leg, and they couldn't..."
"Find his doctor," Olivia said. "I'll sign whatever they need me to sign."
Maureen nodded, then ran off to find Dickie's doctor. Olivia, then, looked at the next in line. "Kathleen, where the hell are your parents?"
"Same place they were when you had to pick me up from soccer practice last Friday," Kathleen said with a pout. "Out somewhere, fighting or something, and not paying attention to their phones."
Olivia scoffed. "Yeah? Well, let's see him ignore this one, huh?" She whipped out her cell phone, dialed her partner's number, and waited as it rang. "Stabler, you son of a bitch, pick up your damned phone! Your kids have been trying to reach you for over an hour. I'm at the hospital because your son...hold on." She looked at the doctor that Maureen had brought over to her.
She swiped the pen over the page, signing her name. "I'm their emergency medi...yeah. Benson. That's right." She turned her attention back to the phone, watching the doctor fly back toward the doors. "Your son fell off of the roof! This is the fourth time this month that I'm here when you and your wife should be, Elliot. I love them, but frankly, if I didn't have a hand in making them, they should not be my responsi..." The beep of the voicemail cut her off.
She shook her head and ended the call, then looked at the three girls who were staring at her. She smirked and held up her shoe. "Broke a shoe and a heart for you guys tonight."
Maureen laughed as she watched Olivia take off her other shoe and break off the heel. "Oh, nice."
"Instant flats," Olivia said as she sat in a chair. "You have no idea how much you guys mean to me. I ditched a hot lawyer and took a subway, then ran two blocks in these shoes."
Lizzie, the youngest of the girls, sat beside her. "Was it Mike again?"
Olivia sighed and nodded. "Yeah, Pip." She tapped Lizzie's nose and used a nickname she'd given the girl years ago. "I think this was my third strike."
Kathleen sat in the chair on the other side of Olivia. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have called..."
"No, honey," Olivia interrupted, tugging on the teenager's chin. "You did the right thing. You know the rules. You call your father, then your mother, then me."
Kathleen bit her bottom lip. "That's...that's why I'm sorry."
Olivia tilted her head, then she realized. "You didn't call them."
"I called Mom," Maureen said, shrugging. "She didn't answer. I figured Dad wouldn't either, so Katie just skipped to you."
"We should really just do that from now on," Lizzie said, dropping her head to Olivia's shoulder. "Skip right to you."
Olivia sighed and closed her eyes, wondering how this had all happened, and hoping she could, somehow, make it right.
An hour later, the three girls were sound asleep and Olivia, in her broken shoes, was pacing back and forth, waiting for the doctor to come back with another form. She heard a familiar voice and ran to the front desk, stopping him before he got too angry at the poor nurse. "Elliot!"
He turned, his face white and his breathe short. "Where is he? Is he okay? Shit, my phone was in the car, and then I got this message from you...you yelled at me for..."
"They told me they never called you," she interrupted, feeling guilty for yelling at him. "Where's your wife?"
"She's on the phone with her mother," he snapped, thrusting a hand to the door. "Blaming me for this, as if she didn't want to go to the fucking show. I was the one who told her I wanted to stay..."
"Look, leave me out of your marital crisis," Olivia said. "You're here now, your son is in a recovery room, you're welcome."
He grimaced. "Shit, I'm sorry, Liv...thank you. I don't know what I would have done if..." he paused, as if just noticing something about her. "You look beautiful."
"Yeah, well, Mike thought so, too," she said, folding her arms. "Until I left him in the restaurant, alone, for the third time."
He squinted. "Third...we haven't had any late cases in...wait. In your message you said...are you saying my kids called you for..."
"Listen to me," she said, holding up her hand. "I don't know why they keep coming to me, or why they stopped going to you with their problems, but you have to get a handle on your kids or you're gonna lose them." She looked up as Kathy came through the doors, fuming. "He's fine. It was a clean break. I'm leaving."
She moved to go, but he grabbed her hand. "Liv," he said, straining to look into her eyes without showing too much emotion. "Thank you."
She nodded, pulled her hand away from his, and said, "You're welcome." She walked out of the hospital, unaware that his eyes never left her as she faded from his view.
He looked over at his sleeping daughters, thinking about all they had to talk about when they woke up.
He held the door open for his son, walking into the living room on crutches. He'd had a long talk with him about the stupid stunt he pulled, and he talked to all four of his kids about how often they'd asked Olivia for help.
He closed the door after all of his children and his wife were in the house, and he thought about all the kids had told him. Shopping trips, rides to games and school dances, emergencies like the one they faced tonight. He had been trying so hard to keep his marriage together that he let the rest of his family fall apart.
He nodded at Kathy, who was helping Dickie get settled on the couch, and he walked up the stairs, into his bedroom. He took the phone out of his pocket and sat on the bed, staring at it before finally dialing, knowing he'd be waking her up.
She moaned, her hand blindly finding her cell phone on her nightstand. "Benson," she mumbled, not opening her eyes. "El? We catch something?" she asked, sitting up. "Then why are you...oh. Uh, right now? No, you know I didn't eat, I...yeah, yeah. I'll meet you at...you don't have to come pick me up." She rolled her eyes as she got out of the bed.
She sighed into the phone and said, "Five minutes." She ended the call, then ran her hands through her hair. He wanted to know the truth, and she was going to tell it to him. All of it.
A/N: Continue? Review and tell me yay or nay.