*Apologies everyone- I'm a terrible human being for leaving people hanging. Between personal stuff and the world catching fire- I haven't had much time. But as always this is my refuge when I need to step away. Here's an update- with more to come soon. Working on some new stuff as well.*
By the time the detectives have retrieved the bear from evidence it's nearly midnight. O'Dwyer waltzes in soon after more than a little annoyed. Olivia standing in the bullpen does nothing to improve his mood.
He looks pointedly at Fin, "She can't be here." Fin just stares back so O'Dwyer turns his attention to Olivia. "Defense will call any evidence you help find into question. Are you purposely-"
Liv hold up a hand, "I'd like to see them question this." She gestures to Carisi, who presses play on the video they've recovered from the Bear.
The view is of the living room but even the partially obscured view into the kitchen tells the story. Barba stands close to Yelina- helping her- presumably with the cut on her hand. When Alex enters the room- Barba rounds the corner into the living room with Yelina trailing behind him. A shouting match ensues which ends in Alex decking Barba. Barba recovers quickly and it looks as if the fight might escalate but Barba thinks better of it. He rocks back and forth for a moment as if making a decision- collects his coat and makes his way out.
Within seconds of Barba's exit- Alex rounds on Yelina. The following moments are excruciating as the detectives watch what the evidence had already told them play out before them.
As Yelina begins to bleed out on the living room floor, O'Dwyer has finally had enough. "OK I got it!" He drops his head and takes a deep breath before looking to Fin. "Go drag his ass out of bed." As the detectives spring into action- O'Dwyer turns warily to Olivia. "Lieutenant, I'm sorry."
Olivia forces a smile. "You were just doing your job" she considers him a moment before adding, "But in the future, don't try and stop my detectives from doing theirs."
O'Dwyer finally meets her eyes, returning a respectful nod.
It's late morning before Olivia has Barba safe in her car just outside Riker's. In jeans and an oversized sweatshirt- his arm in a sling and his face black and blue- he still looks defeated sitting in the passenger seat beside her.
She makes an attempt at a cheery demeanor. "Your mother has been cooking Lechon all morning and Noah already has a stack of books he's determined to 'read to you to help you feel better'". She gives Barba a warm smile as she puts the car into drive.
He returns a forced smile but looks out towards the gates. "I- Liv, maybe I should go to my place for a couple days."
Liv feels the air go out of her lungs. She knows as well as anyone that traumatic experiences have a tendency to show a relationship's strengths and weaknesses- people tend to grow closer or unravel shortly after- but it catches her off guard that it may be the case here. She knows pushing him will only make it more likely that he'll pull away from her though.
She does her best to reign in the flurry of emotion that his words cause. "Of course, I'm sorry, I didn't think. You probably want to be home."
Barba watches the uncertainty wash over her and immediately recognizes his mistake. Anyone else would have missed it- but he knows her too well. He reaches out for her free hand with his good one, "Liv." She glances over to him just long enough to prove she's listening. "My apartment isn't my home. You and Noah are." They come to a stop and her eyes meet his once more. "I just- I don't wanna risk scaring him- looking like this."
Olivia's eyes nearly glow with her love for him before tears come to them. She squeezes his hand and leans in. "Rafi, Noah wouldn't care if you came home with two heads at this point. He just wants you home."
Barba's more than a little embarrassed to find tears in his own eyes. He's still skeptical but he decides to trust her- after all she's the only person on earth he actually does trust- especially after all this. He squeezes her hand in return and croaks out "'OK".
A honk from behind them informs them that the light has turned green. He smirks and leans into her, "Let's go home."