Olivia Benson's Apartment

April 26th, 2004

9:52 AM

The phone rang, startling Olivia awake. She looked around groggily as she sat up, seeing that she missed the end of a cooking segment on Today. 'Damn, I really wanted that recipe,' she thought wryly as the show faded away with a shot of a delicious looking chocolate cake. Realizing that the phone was still ringing, she shook her head, pressing the talk button. Since she was officially on 'vacation,' or so it was called (more like forced rest time), she answered the phone, "Hello?"

"Hey, Sleepyhead." She smiled instantly, the voice of her partner filling her ear.

"Hey, Elliot," she replied, the enthusiasm in her voice apparent to Elliot. The two had been talking everyday for the past nine days for several hours on the phone, ever since they were both were released from the hospital and forced to take some time off. The turmoil of the hostage situation and their kiss, which neither mentioned since, had seemed to strengthen their friendship even more so than either thought was possible.

"How are you?"

"Tired. My arm hurts a little. You?"

"My shoulder feels pretty good. I lifted a gallon of milk today."

"Are you supposed to be doing that?"

"The doctor said I could do light lifting."

"How is everything else?"

"Oh, John keeps going on about conspiracies in D.C. It's driving me crazy."

Olivia couldn't help but snicker at his frustrated tone. "Well, I said you could stay with me for awhile," she teased him.

"Eh, you know I didn't want to start any rumors," Elliot told her. "Hey, speaking of staying somewhere, do you want to go apartment hunting with me today?"

"Sure. I'm not doing anything."

"I'll call a cab. I just have to stop by the house to get a few things, then I'll swing by your place to pick you up, okay? It's a nice day so we can walk from complex to complex."

"Great. I can't wait to see you."

"Same here." Elliot hesitated, wanting to tell her that he loved her, but knowing that it wasn't the right time. "See you in a few."


Stabler Residence

10:45 A.M.

Elliot pushed open the door, not surprised at the silence that greeted him. The kids were all at school and he wasn't sure where Kathy was. The car wasn't in the driveway, so he assumed she was out doing errands.

Not that it mattered. The less he saw of Kathy the better. Ever since he came home from the hospital to find his clothes on the lawn he wanted nothing to do with her.

He went up the stairs to their bedroom... well, their former bedroom. It was a room that held so many great memories... yet so many awful ones as well. Moving quickly, he threw some jeans, shirts, boxers, socks, toiletries, and a pair of shoes in a bag. He went to the closet, pulling out a few suits. Elliot and Olivia were both going back to work on Monday, something for which they were both relieved. Both were going stir-crazy.

Elliot walked out of the room, resisting the urge to peek into the kids' rooms. Instead, he walked down the steps, juggling his duffel bag and suits with his injured shoulder. He reached into his pocket to grab his keys to lock up the house. 'Shit,' he cursed, wincing as he moved his shoulder.

The door opened, and Elliot froze. He groaned inwardly as he saw Kathy walk in. He started to open his mouth in a civil greeting, only to have it drop open when a handsome man followed his wife in the door.

Neither noticed Elliot standing in the hallway, and Kathy smiled as she closed the door. Elliot's blood boiled as he watched her wrap her arms around his neck and pull him into a deep kiss.

Elliot dropped his bag, startling the two out of their kiss. Kathy's eyes darkened and she said coolly, "Elliot."

"Kathy." His tone was equally cool, and he glared first at his wife, then at the man she had been kissing. "Find yourself a new man already?"

Kathy frowned, then replied, "Obviously. You weren't satisfying my needs, but Jacob can." Elliot turned his angry gaze toward the man, who squirmed slightly under Elliot's harsh gaze. "Besides, you've had you little fuck buddy for awhile."

"Olivia and I have never slept together," Elliot said vehemently. "How long have you two been a couple?" Kathy didn't answer, and he all but shouted, "How long?"

"Three months."

Elliot took a deep breath, shaking his head angrily. "Three months," he repeated disbelievingly.

Jacob cleared his throat and said nervously, "Look, Kath, I'm going to get going."

"No need, Jacob," Elliot spat. "I'm leaving."

With that, he turned around and left, storming to the cab. "Wow, buddy, you look pissed," the cabbie said nonchalantly. He flinched slightly under Elliot's glare, and asked, "Where to now?"


Olivia Benson's Apartment

11:15 A.M.

Olivia heard a knock at her door and she stood up, placing her glass in the sink before making her way to the door, grabbing a light jacket on the way.

"Damn, El, I was starting to wonder if you'd ever get here," Olivia said, pulling out her keys. "You ready?"

"There's been a change of plans," Elliot growled, stalking into the apartment, throwing his bag and suit to the side and slamming the door shut.

"Elliot, what's wrong?" Olivia asked, alarmed, her posture defensive when she saw the wild look in Elliot's eyes.

Elliot ran a hand through his hair, breathing deeply to calm himself when he saw Olivia's startled face. "I... uh... I went to the house to get some stuff and Kathy came in... with her new boyfriend," he mumbled, walking to her couch and flopping down listlessly.

Olivia sighed, leaning her head back before walking over. She sat down carefully, not wanting to startle him.

"I'm so sorry," she finally said softly, reaching over to take his hand and pull him toward her. Elliot followed her motion, laying his head in her lap, wrapping his arm around Olivia's waist. Olivia stroked his hair, comforting him. "I'm so sorry," she repeated, unsure of what to say.

"I never cheated on her," Elliot sobbed, his tears finally starting to fall. "For three months, she's been cheating on me with her little pretty boy boyfriend."

"It's going to be okay," Olivia soothed. "I know right now it's hurting, but I promise you everything will be okay." She bent her head down, kissing his temple. "It's going to be okay."

"I gave her twenty good years," Elliot said miserably, unconsciously tightening his grip on her waist. "What did I do wrong?"

Olivia thought for a long moment, then whispered, "People change, Elliot. People grow apart and fall out of love. It's hard to accept but it's true."

"Did I do something wrong?" Elliot asked softly, his tone somewhat pitiful.

She thought for awhile then replied truthfully, "It was probably the long hours at work and short time at home."

"I only wanted to support them," Elliot pointed out. "That's why I worked so much... so hard. I only wanted to support them. I wanted them to have a good life. All of them... Maureen... Kathleen... Dickie... Lizzie... Kathy... all I wanted was for them to be happy. And now they all hate me. My family hates me. My kids hate me, Olivia."

"Come on now," Olivia chastised gently. "Your kids do not hate you."

"How do you know they don't hate me?"

"How do you know they do?"

Elliot was silent for a several minutes, pondering her question and points, occasionally sniffling. Olivia simply sat there, comforting him and kissing his head periodically.

He finally spoke, though his voice was so soft she barely heard his mumbled question.

"Do you know any good divorce attorneys?"

Olivia was taken aback for a moment, but quickly replied, "No, but I'm sure you can find someone you trust."

"There are only a few people I trust," Elliot murmured, sitting up slowly so he could be face to face with Olivia.

"Who are they?" Olivia breathed, the closeness causing her heart rate to quicken.

"The Cap... John... Fin... my children... and the most important of them all..."

"Who, Casey?" Olivia teased when he hesitated.

"No, silly. You." With that, he leaned in and kissed her gently, his lips pressed against hers.

Olivia enjoyed the feeling for a few moments, then pulled away slowly. "Is this what you want?" she asked softly.

"I want it. Do you?"

"I do, El. More than anything," Olivia sighed. "But I don't want to move too fast."

"I can understand that," Elliot said slowly.

"You realize that we're going to have to hide this from the Cap, John, and Fin, right?"

"Yeah. But that's a good thing."


"Because I get you all to myself."

Olivia giggled, kissing him on the cheek. "Are you okay now?" she asked seriously.

"I am now," Elliot replied. Looking out the window, he saw the sun shining brightly. "It's beautiful out. You still want to go apartment hunting with me?"

"As long as you buy me lunch."

"That's my girl," Elliot chuckled, standing up and extending his hand to help her up as well. "Always thinking about food." Olivia accepted his gesture, following his lead as he guided her into a hug. "Thank you," Elliot whispered into her hair. "For everything."

"You're welcome," Olivia replied, kissing his cheek. Elliot wrapped his good arm around her waist, pulling her close to him. "You ready to search for the first part of your new life?" she asked, leaning her head against his.



Wow... I'm sad for this to end. So sad that I'm making this into a series. Ha! Look for Care, Part 2 of the Getting to Know You All Over series, coming to a theater... er, computer screen near you.

Seriously, thank you all so much for your continued support. I enjoyed the fabulous reviews, appreciated the constructive ones, and... well, ignored the pathetic one. I really appreciate everything. Thank you.

Thanks especially to my wonderful, fabulous beta, who put up with my frustrations, grumpiness, crying, crappy writing, and so much more. Even though you still missed a few things I still love you.