The lines in Bold are Dimitri's lines through the phone.
The days turned to weeks, and the weeks became a month. Five weeks total, since that fateful morning, and a month since Savina left the hospital. The sessions with Lindstrom have gone from once a week, to three times, all of them pre-scheduled. The Squad took turns driving Savina, if Olivia or Barba weren't able to for any reason, same for Lucia and even Lucy. Savina's wounds were healing properly, and after the second week, she was finally able to sleep through the night without her ribs waking her. Of course, that left the nightmares to do the waking, but Olivia had bought a very sensitive baby monitor that picked up even the slightest of noises, so they were always able to wake her before the nightmares got too bad. She had only woken up screaming three times in those five weeks, but quickly calmed down when she saw them both in her room.
Both Olivia and Barba kept track of her progress with Lindstrom, in so far as he could tell them without breaking confidentiality, and he gave them advice on how to handle certain situations with her. Namely, introducing her to new people, especially in Rafael's case. They were still using "Matthews" as her last name, so it confused some people.
It was a Friday night, and the Benson-Barba residence was buzzing with noise. Simon and his family were spending the day there, meeting Savina for the first time, and little Olivia and Ty were both having a blast with her and Noah. Lucia was also present, along with the squad, and Barba had invited Eddie. So, they were very sure they were going to get noise complaints from the neighbors pretty soon.
Carrisi and Fin were both sitting on the floor with Savina and kids, as they all participated in a board game, while the rest sat on the couches and chairs around the living room. Savina had her back resting on the couch Olivia and Barba occupied, with little Olivia in her lap, while Noah hogged Fin.
The evening was in full swing, with jokes and laughs filling Barba's once empty and desolate apartment, and despite Savina's occasional hiss of pain when she aggravated her ribs, or if little Olivia rubbed against an injury. He was content. For the first time in a very long time, he was content. He felt full, he had everything he fantasized about but never dared to dream of having or wanting.
The shrill of a phone as it rang, mixed in with Fin's laugh as Carrisi serenaded them with tales from his childhood. They all checked their phones, not sure which one was ringing, since with the amount of iPhone in the room, many shared similar ringtones.
Savina – who had gotten the phone only recently, after Olivia and Barba bought her one to replace the old school flip phone she had – fished hers out from under one of the boxes and declared that it was hers.
"Hey," she said into the phone, listened for a few seconds, then turned towards Olivia. "Can Diana come over to pick up a few homework assignments?" She wondered, and Olivia nodded smiling.
Less than a minute after Savina hung up the phone, the doorbell rang.
"I'll get it," Ty announced, as he jogged towards the door.
Diana, on her part, froze when she saw Ty, not familiar with who he is. "Does Lieutenant Benson live here?" She wondered, as she once more glanced at the number on the door.
"Yeah, I'm Ty, her nephew. Come on in," he invited, and Diana furrowed her brows in confusion. They both walked into the living room, and she hesitated for a second at the swarm on unfamiliar faces.
Savina chuckled and proceeded to make introductions as Diana made her way around the coffee table to where Savina was sitting. "And this is..." Savina was interrupted by Diana. "Your clone!" She deadpanned, and they all chuckled.
"Olivia," Savina finished with a grin, and Diana stared gob smacked at them.
"A fitting name, this is like a time continuum. We can see what she'll look like when she's a teenager – since she looks exactly like you at that age – and at the age of...," she paused, and Savina smiled devilishly at her, clearly enjoying the corner she backed herself into. "And as a grown woman," Diana was finally able to say, and Savina chuckled.
"Nice save," she complimented, and Diana smiled. "No, but seriously, she looks EXACTLY like you did at that age," she added confidently, and Olivia frowned.
"How do you know what she looked like?" She wondered, and Diana looked gob smacked at her, before she looked over at Savina, who suddenly looked very, very guilty.
"Sav!" She admonished gently, seemingly aware of the thoughts going through her friend's head.
"Finn's the one who got me my stuff from their apartment, and I totally forgot!" Savina declared, and Diana rolled her eyes.
"Did I forget something?" Finn now asked, from his place across the coffee table.
"Well, no, I never really told you about them. I have these pictures from my childhood, up until my grandmother passed away, and I always keep them away from prying eyes at foster homes," she explained. "One of them is a picture of me at a carousel at Olivia's age," she continued, swiftly moving on from the subject of forgetting them.
Diana – however – not getting the hint, continued on the subject. "I can't believe you forgot about them," she stated in disbelief, as she swatted Savina on the side of her thigh, causing the latter to jump and hiss in pain. "What did you get a tattoo too?" She joked.
While Diana knew that Savina was tortured, she didn't know the extent of it, nor did she know where the injuries were. 'Only the fractured ribs.
Savina – despite the grim situation – who knew she had to lighten the blow a little, especially with Ty and little Olivia around, smiled despite it all. "Unwillingly, but yeah, sorta," she hinted, and Diana's face drained of all color. She opened her mouth to fire off what Savina was sure was a mirage of apologies, so she held up her hand. "Don't, stop babying me, or walking on eggshells. It drives me crazy," she warned.
Diana, grateful for the save, couldn't help the cheeky response. "Aww, honey. You can't blame your crazy on that," she teased, and Savina glared at her. "What did Dr. Thompson say? Is he letting you come back to school?" She asked, and Savina shook her head.
"Nope, one more week. And he gave me this new ointment that feels magnificent on your skin." She quipped.
"What? Why? Is he worried about your ribs? We'll write him a sworn statement that we know how to handle it," she pleaded, and Savina chuckled.
"No, that's the least of his worries. He says he's worried that I'll crump suddenly if I push myself too much," she elaborated.
"Crump?" Simon wondered.
"All the vitals go south at the same time," Savina replied. "He wants to ease me into things. Despite the fact that I haven't had a setback in five weeks, but clearly he's paranoid!" She added, and Diana nearly barked out a curse word.
"Savina, you..." Savina interrupted her. "Read the room," she advised, and Diana swallowed her rant. "He is NOT paranoid, I for one wouldn't mind him keeping you here until the end of the semester, but that unfortunately means that I have to deal with my brother, and Demitri alone!" She grumbled, and Savina laughed. "Speaking of which, this might actually give you something to do for the week," she said coyly, wiggling her eyebrows, and Savina groaned.
"This does not sound good," she whined.
"We had our new literature book assigned today," she started, and Savina cringed. She had a feeling that she was really not going to like it.
"Whose pick was it?" She asked, already dreading the answer, especially at the devilish grin Diana gave her in response, before she announced wickedly. "Demitri."
"No!" Savina objected almost immediately, and Diana started laughing. "No!" She repeated, only for Diana to nod. "Nope. Nah-ha. Not happening!" Diana was in hysterics by then, but she managed to say one sentence between laughs.
"The school already put the order in, they'll arrive on Monday!"
"I will kill him! He knows that right! I have a week to plan it, and I actually can get away with it now," Savina continued her horrified rant, as she gestured to Rafael and Olivia.
"Care to share with the class, Cariño?" Eddie interjected.
"Our advanced literature class, our teacher took the number of weeks throughout the entire course, and divided it by how many students he had, and that's the time we had for each book. So, each of us picks a book, that way we get a more diverse experience," Savina explained, while Diana was still laughing.
"The names are in a bowl, and he picks the names at random," Diana added. "Kinda like Russian Roulette," she continued, not realizing her slip. Which apparently went unnoticed by Savina as well. "Yeah, except this time, the gun went off!" Savina grumbled, and Olivia tensed slightly behind her, as her mind flashed to the game of Russian Roulette Lewis played with her, before finally killing himself.
"Why do you say that?" Carrisi asked.
"Because I know what Dimitri chose for us to read! And I am going to kill him for it!" Savina vowed. And at the questioning looks she got from every one, she added. "Voyna i mir!" she grumbled.
"Come again!" Amanda said.
"War and Peace," Mike jumped in, seemingly familiar with the book.
"He figured it might rattle you up enough to come to school," Diana provided cheekily.
"Ooooooh, he's gonna regret that. I have a week to plot my revenge!" she deadpanned, and Diana shook her head.
"And you wonder why he calls you 'Voyna'!" she wondered incredulously.
"He calls her Voyna?!" Rafael almost squeaked.
"Yeah and come to think of it, I don't remember what made him start," Diana stated thoughtfully, as she looked at Savina for help.
"Yeah, I remember when he started, but I don't remember a why. He just started doing it out of nowhere, said it was a more fitting name," Savina said.
"I can think of a few incidents," Eddie provided cheekily, and Savina glared at him, as she moved to get up.
As she headed for her room, Diana's phone rang, and she immediately fished it out of her pocket, grinning at the caller ID. "Speak of the devil," she quipped, as soon as the phone was pressed to her ear. She listened for a few seconds, before she responded. "I'm at Sav's place picking up a few assignments, and told her the news. You might wanna hide before she makes it to school, or you will be shish-kebabbed," she teased into the phone. Before she chuckled, "yeah, that did come up actually. Neither of us remember why you started calling her that, we can't pin point a single incident." She listened for a few more seconds before her tone became a bit more serious. "There are children in the room, and about a dozen adults, so watch that mouth of yours," she hissed, before she pulled the phone away from her ear, and hit the speaker button. "You're on speaker," she announced.
"Voyna!" Dimitri's voice sounded from the phone, as the sound of Savina's footsteps approached them.
"Dimitri, what are you going in my living room?" she laughed, as she came back into view.
"Did you get my present?" he asked cheekily, and she growled, loud enough for him to hear. "I do miss ya!"
"You better run," she hissed playfully. Before changing her voice and adding. "Run away, and never return!"
"HA! You don't scare me!" he teased her.
"You nicknamed me Voyna, and now I have an NYPD Lieutenant, and an ADA for parents. I can actually get away with murder, so your call, my dear," she bantered, and Dimitri's laugh overshadowed Olivia's breath hitching in her throat, and Rafael nearly choking on his drink. This had been the first time Savina had referenced either of them as her parents.
"And you wonder why I call you Voyna," came his cheeky retort.
"No, I was wondering about the particular incident that made you call me that. I'm raking my brain, but I keep coming up empty," she countered.
"Mother Gothel!" he sing-songed, and both her and Diana frowned.
"Mo…oooooooh, seriously!" she had been confused at first, but then her mind slid the pieces into place, and she squeaked the last syllable incredulously. "She's why you call me Voyna!"
"You rendered her speechless in under thirty seconds! A woman who was a veteran in dealing with the press, especially after her husband's scandal, and you managed to shut her up in record time!" he argued enthusiastically.
"Who is this 'Mother Gothel'?" Lucia asked the question that was on all their minds.
"Yelena Munoz," Diana replied dismissively, and that made three pairs of eyes look briefly over at Rafael; Eddie, Lucia and Olivia. Finn and Amanda had already figured there was history there during the whole Munoz fiasco, but didn't really know any details.
"Why were you talking to Yelena Munoz?" Carrisi wondered, and when Savina looked up, she bit on her lips as she looked at Eddie.
"Don't freak out, okay?" she asked of him, and he frowned. "Why would I freak out?"
"After Alex was indicted, she came over to the community center and spoke to Danny," she started, and he gaped at her.
"She WHAT?!" he exclaimed, jumping to his feet.
"Eddie, is that you not freaking out?" Dimitri quipped, and Eddie – despite his anger and worry – chuckled. "Where is the little guy?" Dimitri now wondered.
"At a camp with the center," Eddie replied, as he looked at Savina to continue. "Well…." He urged her.
"I only heard the last part of her rant, but I think the gest of it was if you don't recant, and Alex gets out, Danny will end up in foster care," Savina continued, and Eddie gaped at her. "So, I simply set the record straight," she finished.
"Simply!" Diana repeated incredulously. "Setting aside your egotistically inflated, slightly delusional sense of worth; trust me, darling, if he's smart enough to make it high enough into the judicial system to do as you claim, then he's got enough wits about him to thank his lucky stars that you walked away from him; and I'm pretty damn sure he's counting his blessings right about now!" Diana recounted, her face mimicking Savina's facial expressions when she's disgusted by someone.
Dimitri was bellowing with laughter by the end of Diana's speech, and Savina was looking at her stunned. "You recalled that from memory! It was two years ago!" she squeaked.
Rafael, who had gone eerily quiet since the mention of Yelena, puffed his chest out in pride at Diana's recount of Savina's words, because they were absolutely true. He was counting his blessings, thanking God with every fiber of his being that Yelena chose Alex over him, because it gave him a chance to become the man Olivia deserved. The man Noah and Savina deserved.
"Some words get burned in memory," he commented, as he took another sip of his drink, his signature one-sided smirk letting those who knew about the story,know that he was more than alright.
"Exactly!" Diana agreed excitedly.
"You should hear Danny tell it; I believe he equated you to Natasha!" Dimitri added, and Eddie laughed.
"Natasha?" Mike wondered.
"Romanov, the Black Widow. Danny loves comic books." Eddie responded. "Why didn't he tell me?" he asked.
"I kinda told him not to," Savina confessed sheepishly, and he arched one eyebrow at her. "You were already worried about fallout from what happened to Alex, telling you about Yelena trying to bully your son seemed counter-productive. And he was fine, and she never showed her face again."
Eddie went silent for a few seconds thinking about it, and despite knowing that Savina had a point, he still felt bad about Savina and his son hiding it from him, and slightly irritated. "You still should'a told me."
Savina only smiled apologetically at him.
"And that is why I call you Voyna! The woman had her husband accused of all sorts of God-awful things, had our lovely tabloids hounding her every waking second, so she was pretty well verse in how to handle biting remarks; and yet, you managed to put her in her rightful place, while defending the honor of a man you don't even know, all under a minute!" Dimitri moved them back on topic, and Savina rolled her eyes.
"Dad nearly had a heart attack when the charges were made public," Diana commented.
"Yeah, he seemed to like him. I felt sorry for him," Savina said back.
"No, that's not it. You don't remember what you said about him at the fund raising?" Diana wondered, and Savina frowned in confusion at her.
"I didn't like him, and I think I told your Dad that, but I can't remember saying anything in particular." Savina replied, as she racked her brain trying to remember what Diana may be referencing.
"You said he made your skin crawl," Diana started, and Savina nodded at her to continue, completely oblivious to the now-horrified expressions on the faces of almost everyone in the room – except for Simon, Tracey and the kids – while Diana continued. "Savina, your comment plus the charges had his imagination running wild!" Diana said in frustration, frowning at her usually-pretty-sharp friend.
"His charges were part political, and part scandals. What does that have to do with what I said?" Savina inquired, genuinely confused now.
"One of the charges was having some …uuuuhhhh…..burlesque pictures of teenagers," Dimitri's voice came through the speakers, just as Savina's eyebrows shot up in surprise, as she finally connected the dots.
"Oooooooooh. So, he thought that….." she made general hand gestures, and Diana nodded. "Oh, come on. I would've dislocated his neck from his shoulders if he even hinted at something like this!" she said incredulously.
"Ironically, Mom was the more logical of the two during that lovely conversation, and those were actually her words when she argued that it was probably more a gut feeling that made you say that, rather than anything else," Diana recalled, and Savina nodded. "Just be grateful you didn't have to sit in on the super uncomfortable speech about internet and privacy!" she grumbled, at which Savina burst out laughing.
"I think he got Mrs. Parker to do it for him!" she deadpanned, and Diana groaned. "I am so sorry!" she whined.
Savina chuckled. "Don't be. It's sweet that he cares this much," she soothed.
"Oh!" Dimitri suddenly exclaimed excitedly. "This just in; Emily Capshaw got expelled!" he announced, causing both Diana and Savina to gape at the phone. "WHAT!" they both shrieked.
"I still don't know any details, but it's final. The wicked witch is gone!" he all but squealed happily.
"What could she have possibly done that was worse than the Rainbow parties?" Savina asked incredulously, before her eyes became the size of Jupiter, her hand flying to her mouth, just as Dimitri's admonishing voice sounded. "SAV!"
"Excuse me!" Diana hissed.
"Nicely done. You're on your own, kiddo. Dasvidaniya," and with that he hung up.
"What rainbow parties?" Diana enunciated every syllable, and Savina sighed loudly.
"Okay. She went to them when she dated one of the boys at that school, but the last party she went to was a month before the outbreak. The school still took precautions, but we kept it from you, because even now, a year later, you're acting like she's the outbreak monkey!" Savina was quick to explain.
"But…." Diana tried to object.
"No buts. We were all vaccinated – even my slightly hippy parents had me vaccinated – the school tested us all, and even disinfected the place. We were safe. Heck, even your Mom, whose slightly more paranoid than you, wasn't concerned," Savina continued. Diana opened her mouth to interject, but Savina shot her down. "And yes, she did know about Emily!"
Diana opened her mouth to object once more, but Savina held her hand up. "Nope. I am not having this conversation. You have two choices; you either walk out of here on your own two feet, or I'm testing Newton's laws of gravity," she deadpanned.
Diana feigned offence. "Oh no, you're kicking me out!"
"Yes, it feels magnificent," Savina shot back without missing a beat, as she shoved her towards the door. The two teenagers kept up their banter, all the way to the elevator, after Diana said a hasty goodbye to the others sitting around the living room.
A couple of hours later, Rafael was putting Noah to bed, while Olivia and Savina cleaned up the paper plates and cups. Olivia was at the sink washing the few glasses and plates that weren't paper, while Savina packed the paper ones into a garbage bag, before she walked out to the recycle shoot. When she came back, Olivia was drying her hand on the kitchen towel as she finished the last of the dishes and found Savina leaning against the doorframe looking thoughtfully at her hands.
"Are you hungry? There are a couple of slices left if you want," Olivia offered, but Savina shook her head softly. "I'm not hungry. I just have a bit of a favor to ask," she almost whispered, and Olivia frowned at her tone of voice. "Sweetheart, I already told you, you can ask me for anything," Olivia urged gently.
"Can we go to the Salerno's apartment so I can get the pictures Diana was talking about? They're the only thing I have left of my childhood," Savina blurted it all out, in one breathe.
"You don't need to justify anything, they're pictures of you. I'll call Finn and see if he's free to do it tomorrow." Olivia said softly, and Savina looked at her, confused. "They're on house arrest until their trial, so we need an officer with us, just in case they claim I attacked them or something," she justified, and Savina nodded.
The next afternoon, found two cars pulling up at a sidewalk in the Bronx. Savina was shaking slightly when she looked at the doorway she hadn't seen since that fateful night, her eyes transfixed on the spot where she was taken. Olivia unbuckled her seatbelt, and saw Finn heading their way.
"Vina, you don't have to go up. You can tell me where they are and I'll get them for you," he offered, but she shook her head.
"I wanna sort through the things I have, that way I can get rid of anything I don't want, and just be done with it," she mumbled, her voice shaking a bit, but they both chose to ignore it.
When she finally made it out of the car, they both flanked her, and Finn made a point of obstructing her view of where she was taken when they walked inside. They all walked up the two stories at her pace, and Finn knocked on the door.
Audrina Salerno opened the door, her face paling at the sight of Savina flanked by two cops, one of which would skin her alive if she got the chance. She immediately stepped aside to let them in, and Savina made a beeline for the room that she once occupied, with Olivia hot on her heels, while Finn stayed in his place by the door, watching the Salerno couple as they tried hard not to get into any more trouble than they already were.
Less than twenty minutes later, Savina emerged with a bag, while Olivia carried a slightly bigger one. "Let's go." Came Olivia's no-nonsense tone, and Finn ushered Savina out the door and closed it behind them without a word.
A little over an hour later, Olivia was leaning against the hood of her car, watching Savina lay down roses on two graves next to each other. She had asked her to go visit her adoptive parents, and Olivia agreed without hesitation. She saw her standing there, her shoulders slightly slumped, as the burden of everything she had been forced to carry since a young age finally weighed her down. Olivia knew that they both had a very long way to heal, but she was glad that they were at least moving at a steady pace towards it.
After a few minutes, Savina finally turned around and even from the distance, Olivia still saw the tear tracks. She stood up straight once Savina was close enough, and instinctively opened her arms. Before she had the chance to reconsider her actions though, to her surprise, Savina walked straight into them, burying her face in the crook of her neck as she sniffled softly.
"Being a lieutenant means you don't have to go into the field too much right?" Savina murmured softly, and the question caught Olivia off-guard. It took her a few seconds to realize the hidden message behind it. Savina was scared she'll lose her too, and was asking – in her own way – if Olivia was in danger too much.
"Yeah, baby. I won't go anywhere any time soon," she assured her softly, knowing that she now had to keep that promise more than ever. She had more than just Noah to think about, she couldn't abandon Savina a second time. Her little girl had gone through enough and she would be very much damned if she endured any more pain. Especially at her hands.
So a long chapter to hopefully make up for my disappearance. So terribly sorry.
Let me know what you all think of this.