Author: ANNE (the insane one)
Summary: Elliot returns to the New York SVU after living in Miami with his family for three and a half years. Maureen stayed in New York, becoming close friends with Olivia. When Elliot returns to New York, divorced and going back to his old job, he discovers many things have changed.
Disclaimer: Characters et al belong to the people that make Law and Order SVU. I own Caroline and Andrew.
Thanks to Kris for betaing, and to Lori for reading it over :)
"UNCA MUNCH!!!!" came the cry, as two tiny brunettes flung themselves against Detective John Munch.Detective Fin Tutuola grumbled. "I don't get it. Why are they always coming to you? You scare the hell out of all kids, why not these two?" Munch groped in his pockets and held out two lollipops. "Candy." "Tank you Uncle Munch," the little girl smiled. "Tank you Uncle Munch," the boy echoed. "You're giving my kids candy? No wonder they get hyper after coming here!" Detective Olivia Benson strode in, a Bob the Builder backpack over one shoulder, and a Barbie backpack over the other. "Going to preschool, Olivia?" Munch asked, a teasing look in his eye. She glared at him. "No, the sitter cancelled. Maureen is coming to pick them up." "UNCA DON!!" the kids cried again, jumping off Munch and flinging themselves against Captain Donald Cragen, sticky fingers and all. "Sitter cancelled?" Cragen asked. Olivia nodded. "Maureen's on her way. I promise it won't be too long." "I'm not worried. I haven't seen these two in a while." He looked up. "Your new partner is coming today." "Know who it is yet?" Cragen shook his head. "Only that he's very experienced." Munch rolled his eyes. "Great, another know-it-all newbie." "Caroline, Andrew, how about I set up your coloring books at my desk, okay?" Olivia suggested. The twins nodded eagerly and Olivia put down the backpacks, giving them some crayons and coloring books. "Munch, Fin, job for you downtown," Cragen said, handing them a slip of paper. "Remember, little pitchers have big ears." Olivia smiled gratefully at him. "No problem Cap," Fin said. He turned to Munch. "I'm driving, candyman. Candy my ass…" "You should try it sometime," Munch grinned, following him out. Olivia rolled her eyes. "Mommy?" Caroline said. "Mhm?"
The little girl held her arms out. "Huggle?"Olivia smiled and lifted the girl up. "Sure, we can cuddle."
"Me too!" Andrew cried, abandoning his crayons.
######################################Detective Elliot Stabler stood just outside the door to the SVU Squad Room. It had only been two years, but it felt longer. He had left two years ago to save his marriage, but he and Kathy had both known it was to say goodbye. The kids were still in Miami with her. She had found herself a new boyfriend, who was a dick. It had been his decision to come back to New York. He wanted to see Olivia…to see if they could salvage what he had cruelly ripped away when he had left. They had made love the night before he had left. They hadn't been drunk and there had been no particularly hard case that day. He had gone to her to say goodbye - the formal goodbye at the precinct hadn't felt right. They had shared one drink, and talked about all the time they had spent together. Then they had made love over and over again. He hadn't been able to get that night out of his mind for two years. The way it felt to finally kiss her, and touch her. The way it felt to be inside her, to watch her shudder beneath him as her orgasm washed over her.
He mentally slapped himself around the head. He was here to be her partner. And perhaps to salvage their friendship. If they moved onto something else, he would be ecstatic. If not, at least he would have those memories forever.
He peered through the door, seeing who was there. He could see Cragen wandering over to Olivia. Olivia. There she was, sitting on a chair as beautiful as ever…with two children in her lap. His eyes widened."Elliot?" Cragen said, looking at him through the door. Olivia froze, her arms unconsciously tightening around her children. "Hey, Don," Elliot smiled, shaking hands with him. "Hi, Olivia." She finally finds her voice, and puts the kids down. "Hi, Elliot." "And who are these two guys?" he asked, his eyes traveling down to the twins, who looked up at him. "I'm Andrew," Andrew said boldly, sticking his hand out. "This is Cawoline." "Guys, this is Detective Stabler," Olivia introduced, somewhat hesitantly. "Pleased to meet you," Elliot said, shaking Andrew's hand. He turned to Caroline, who hid behind her mother. "She's a little shy," Olivia explained. "So, what brings you to New York?" Cragen asked. "I'm Liv's new partner," Elliot smiled broadly. Before anyone could react, Maureen Stabler wandered through the door. "MAUWEEN!" the twins cried, racing over to her. "Hey guys," she smiled, picking up Caroline and ruffling Andrew's hair. When she saw her father there, she paled slightly. "Dad." "That's Defective Staler," Andrew introduced. "This is Mauween. She's our sitter!" In a fit of panic, Olivia grabbed the twin's backpacks and handed them to Maureen. "Be good for Maureen guys," Olivia said, kissing them both. "I'll be at your place studying," Maureen said. She smiled at her father. "Good to see you, dad." "Bye Mommy!" Caroline said, waving her hand. "Bye Mommy!" Andrew echoed, as Maureen took them out of the station. "Bye Unca Donald! Bye Defective Staler!" Cragen chuckled. "Defective. Those kids have got to learn how to say detective." Olivia smiled. "Give them time, they're only almost three years old." "Take some time while you can to catch up. I'm sure we'll get cases coming out of our ears soon," Cragen said. "It's good to see you back, Elliot." Elliot nodded. "Good to be back." When Cragen had gone, he turned to Olivia. "Are they mine?" "Nice to see you too, Elliot," Olivia murmured, going to her desk. "What did you expect me to say? They're almost three years old, pretty much the right age…" He frowned. "Why didn't you tell me?" "First of all, I didn't know before you left. And second of all, I didn't want to screw things up with you and Kathy for a one night stand." Elliot's eyes widened. "You think all that was was a one night stand?" "What did you expect me to think? You left in the morning," Olivia fired back. She sighed. "This isn't the place, Elliot." "Do they know?" Olivia shook her head. "No. And I don't want them to. Not yet. They're too little to understand. I don't want to hurt them." "Haven't you done that already? Both to them and to me?" Olivia bit her lip. She wasn't going to fight with him. Not here. "How did Maureen get involved in all this?" "You can discuss that with her," Olivia replied firmly. "It's up to her to tell you." She sighed. "If you want, maybe you could come over tonight. For dinner or something."
Elliot nodded. "Okay."
##########################################"Draw wif me?" Caroline asked, handing Maureen a red crayon. "Sure," Maureen smiled, feeling she needed to take a break from studying anyway. "I miss mommy," Caroline said, coloring in a picture of Barbie at the beach. "I know, sweetie," Maureen soothed, noting how Barbie's skin was now green. "She'll be home soon." "I love Mommy," Caroline murmured. "I know you do. Hey, I have an idea. Would you and Andrew like to make her a card?" Caroline nodded eagerly. "YEAH!" Maureen smiled and picked her up. "Okay. Let me get some more things, and you find Andrew, okay?" Caroline nodded and slid off the chair. "ANDY!!!" After a few minutes, Maureen had set the twins up at the kitchen table and they were coloring a big piece of paper to make their mom a card. When the doorbell rang, she told them to stay put and she went to answer it. "Dad!" "Hey," Elliot smiled, and the two hugged warmly. "You look great." Maureen smiled back. "Thanks, you too." She stepped aside. "Come on in. Olivia just called. She's at the market getting some food, but she'll be home soon. She said you were coming over." Elliot nodded. "I'm a little early." "Hi Defective Staler," Andrew grinned. "Cawoline and I are making Mommy a card." "That sounds great," Elliot smiled, waving at Caroline. The little girl's eyes widened and she went back to her card, pretending that she wasn't there. "She's shy," Maureen explained. Elliot nodded. "So Olivia told me." "I bet you're wondering how I got involved in all of this." "It crossed my mind."
Maureen gestured to the couch and they sat down. "After you left, Olivia and I became friends. Basically because you told her to keep an eye on me and because I needed an adult around."Elliot nodded. "I'll never be able to thank her enough for that." "When I finally found out she was pregnant, I offered to be her pregnancy buddy." Maureen shrugged. "We had become pretty good friends by that time." "Why didn't you tell me she was pregnant?" "It wasn't my place to tell you. And Olivia made me promise not to talk to her about you, and not to talk to you about her. So I didn't." Elliot nodded. "Thanks for explaining it to me." They heard the lock being turned in the door. "MOMMY!!!" Caroline cried, sliding off her chair and racing to the front door. Andrew followed her, echoing his sister's calls. "Hey guys," Olivia smiled, letting the bags sit on the floor. She knelt down and pulled them to her. "I've missed you so much." Elliot watched his partner hug their children. He didn't think he'd ever seen her look more beautiful as she hugged the twins, kissing them and chatting with them. Or perhaps he had. His memory flashed back and she was beneath him, moving with him, begging him to move faster, harder and deeper within her… "We made you a card Mommy!" Caroline said, as Andrew brought it over. "Really?" Olivia's face lit up and accepted the card. Maureen had written 'We Love You Mommy!' across the top, and the twins had decorated to their hearts content. "Guys, this is so great!" "Defective Staler is here," Andrew said importantly. Olivia looked up at him, and their eyes locked for a moment. "Yeah, he came for dinner." She smiled. "Does Mommy get a kiss?" The two giggled and pressed wet, sloppy kisses onto their mother. "How about you guys get washed up for dinner, okay?" Olivia asked, kissing their foreheads. "I'll help," Maureen offered, shepherding the twins out of the room. Elliot grabbed a bag and followed Olivia into the kitchen. "Thanks," she smiled gratefully, putting the groceries away. "You're a great mother, Liv." Her eyes widened and she looked at him. "Thanks," she finally said. "Hey, Defective Staler!" Andrew said, racing out. "Wanna see my room?" Elliot glanced at Olivia who nodded. "Sure, Andrew. Hey, how about you call me Elliot instead, okay?" "'Kay, Elliot. Come on! You can come see my room." Caroline toddled out, Maureen behind her. "Up," Caroline demanded of her mother. Olivia raised an eyebrow, looking down at her. "Pardon?" Caroline blushed slightly. "Up, pwease." Olivia grinned and picked her up, hugging her close. "That's my girl." She kissed her forehead and sat her on the counter. "Want to help Mommy cook?"
"'Kay," Caroline said, sticking her thumb in her mouth.
##############################################"This is Cawoline's room," Andrew said, pointing into a room off to their left. Elliot peered in. The room was yellow, with a butterfly frieze around the ceiling. A dollshouse sat in the corner, and stuffed toys were piled into an overflowing toy basket. There were shelves with books piling them, and a toddler bed, complete with a Disney Princess sheet set and quilt. "Come on!" Andrew said, tugging at his hand impatiently. "This one is my room!" He opened the door across from Caroline's, into a blue colored room. It was like Caroline's except instead of a dolls house there was a racecar track and instead of the Disney Princess sheet set and quilt, it was the Bob the Builder set. "Hey, come see what I gots Mommy for Christmas!" Andrew cried, tugging Elliot's hand again. Elliot then found himself in Olivia's bedroom. On one hand, he knew Olivia would kill him if she found him in here, but on the other hand, he wanted to see more of Olivia, find out what she was like. The room was beautiful, and the rumpled quilt and sheets on the king sized bed indicated how much of her time was taken up with work and the twins. There was a walk-in wardrobe and a bathroom off to one side and pictures of their children, and drawings their children had done littered the walls. "See!?" Andrew smiled, holding out a Bob the Builder alarm clock. Elliot grinned and took it in his hand. "That's a great present, Andrew." He placed it back on the bedside table, grinning at the photo of Olivia horsing around with the twins. Then he saw the photo beside it, and his heart skipped a beat. It was a photo of him with Olivia, before he had left for Miami. Before that night. It had been taken at the SVU vs. Homicide baseball game and she looked beautiful. Sure, she had streaks of dirt down her clothes, and some dust on her face, and she wore a baseball cap on her head, but her eyes were bright and laughing as he tickled her in the photo. His clothes were just as dust streaked as hers, and his baseball cap was on backwards, but he couldn't remember ever being as happy as when that photo was taken. "Olivia wanted me to come find you guys," Maureen said, standing in the doorway. "Dinner's ready." "Andrew was just showing me the Bob the Builder alarm clock he got Olivia for Christmas," Elliot explained. "Yeah! It's cool!" Andrew exclaimed, racing out of the room. Maureen smirked at her father and followed Andrew out.