Fall to Pieces

Chapter Twenty Four

Disclaimer: Nope, still don't belong to me. Darn... and I thought they would this time.

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6 weeks later:

"Happy birthday to you," Olivia, Elliot, Munch, Fin, and a chorus of girls ranging from the ages of eight to ten (not to mention a certain blonde three year old) sang. "Happy birthday to you... Happy birthday, dear Cassie. Happy birthday to you!" Almost immediately after they were finished with their song the girls began clapping loudly and shouting out what Cassie should wish for when she blew out her candles. The nine year old took it all in with a huge grin, and then without warning took a deep breath and blew the nine candles on her cake out.

"What did you wish for?" Lilianna (Lily) Greg, one of Cassie's classmates and best friend, asked her. Cassie opened her mouth to answer before Fin cut her off.

"She can't tell you," he told Lily, "if she did then she wouldn't get whatever it was."

Cassie's mouth instantly closed, there was no way her wish wasn't going to come true! Lily could just wait until it did to find out what it was. She was patient.

Lily frowned, but nodded all the same. She wanted her friends wish to come true, so she didn't mind waiting. Plus, if she asked Cassie later on she was sure that the girl wouldn't be able to keep it secret for long. Best friends tell each other everything, anyway.

"Alright, who wants cake?" Olivia asked, glancing around the room. Eight hands were thrown into the air, not to mention her own two daughter's hands, and a chorus of 'Ooh, ooh! I do, I do!' filled the air. Olivia couldn't help but smile, it had only been half an hour since the girls had pigged out on pizza and they were still hungry, it was amazing how much one could eat at that age. If she tried that she would surely gain five pounds, maybe even more.

"Ok, ok... birthday girl first, though." she informed them, taking the knife that was sitting next to the sheet cake and looking over at her daughter. "What piece do you want, hon?"

"One with a rose!" she exclaimed. Of course she would want a piece with a rose, there was more icing- ergo, more sugar. Olivia cut one of the end pieces, making sure to keep an entirely intact red rose (Cassie's favorite color) on it, and put it onto a plate which she then handed to Elliot- who was designated the ice-cream man for the time being. "Tell Elliot what kind of ice-cream you want, Cassie."

"Chocolate and Vanilla," she informed him. None of that nasty strawberry ice-cream. She hated strawberry ice-cream. Yuck.

The next person in line for cake was Brooke, the youngest girl (besides Becca) there. She was the only one who was still eight years old, now, since Cassie had been nine for approximately two hours. Olivia cut her a piece, handed the plate to Elliot, who put strawberry and chocolate ice-cream next to the cake on Brooke's request, then handed it to the small girl.

"Enjoy," he told her with a smile. Which only caused Olivia's smile to widen. He was enjoying this. He had been apprehensive about having so many girls over, but he was enjoying it. She was so going to tease him for this. The big softy.

He caught her watching him, "What?"

She shook her head, "Nothing..." Turning back to the line of girls she continued with her job as "cake cutter". Ten minutes later all the girls were gathered in the living room around the TV, watching some nameless cartoon and eating tons and tons of sugar. Olivia was suddenly thankful that Cassie's hadn't requested a sleep-over. Those girls parents would hate her for letting them have so much sugar.

In the kitchen Elliot, Munch, Fin, and Olivia sat around the table, Becca having plopped herself down on her mother's lap and declared it her seat. As if somebody would try and steal it from her.

It was almost six o'clock in the afternoon, the parents of all the girls would be coming soon. Except for Lily's parents. Cassie's one condition on not having a sleep over was that Lily could stay. Olivia didn't mind, Lily was a well-behaved girl- she had stayed over many times.

Like clockwork, at six the parents started lining up at her door. Ten minutes after six only two girls remained in her apartment, Lily and Mya. Heather had already called to inform Olivia that she would be a little late picking Mya up, but she wouldn't be any later than half after. So, while she waited she enjoyed yet another piece of cake.

As promised, Heather arrived ten minutes later, at 6:20. After chatting with Olivia for a few minutes she and Mya took off for their home. Leaving the apartment refreshingly quiet. Becca was passed out on the couch in the living room from too much excitement in one day, Fin and Munch had been gone for a little while, and Cassie and Lily were watching a movie in the bedroom that Cassie and Becca shared. Olivia could finally think without hearing shouts from various girls.

Not wanting to wake Becca up Elliot carried her into his and Olivia's bedroom and let her finish her nap there. Then he and Olivia sat down on the couch in the living room and turned on the TV. After a few minutes Olivia looked over at him and grinned.

"What?" he inquired, wondering what had caused her to smile.

"You had fun today." she accused. "I know you did. I could see it."

"Maybe..." he confessed, "just a little bit."

"I knew you would," she informed him. She scooted closer to him and rested her head on his shoulder, watching as he changed the station from the news to a game. Stifling a groan she pretended to be interested, but they both knew that she wasn't fooling anyone. After checking the score he flipped it back to the news, causing her to grin. Oh yeah, she had him totally wrapped.

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It was nearly eight o'clock when the two nine year olds came out of Cassie's room and wormed their way onto the couch in-between Olivia and Elliot. Becca, who had woken up just after seven was sitting possessively in her mother's lap and would not budge. Of course, that could have been because nobody expected her to, nor wanted her to.

Surprisingly enough Cassie decided that she too wanted to be held, so she climbed into Elliot's lap. He was surprised at first, but then wrapped his arms around her to accommodate her needs. All Olivia could do was smile, they looked so cute. Cassie sat still in his lap for three minutes tops before turning around and whispering something into his ear. Causing not only Olivia, but Becca as well, to look at her with curiosity.

Elliot smiled at whatever she was saying and then in turn whispered something into her ear. Her eyes lit up and she giggled, looking over at Lily, who took Cassie's giggle as something good and cause for her to giggle as well. She whispered back to him and then slid out of his lap, running off towards her bedroom, Lily following close behind her. Olivia threw a questioning look over at Elliot who only shrugged in response.

She huffed, what was so secretive that her daughter couldn't tell her? And, why would Elliot tell her- she was Cassie's mother after all, she did deserve to know what it was.

Looking down at Becca she shrugged, Becca, not knowing what was going on either, shrugged back. If mommy didn't need know what it was then she didn't need to know either.

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Four months later:

Olivia couldn't help but laugh as she was twirled around the dance floor. Who ever knew he was such a good dancer?

She had been completely caught off-guard when he suggested they go dancing- it had been ages since she had done so. In fact, the last time had been when she was dating Chris... that was a long time prior. But, as she recalled, this was nothing like when Chris had taken her dancing. Elliot was amazing, she felt like the center of attention, even though everybody else was too busy dancing to pay her any attention.

The song ended and something a bit more reserved came on. Good. It had been awhile since they played a slow song, she was starting to get tired. He pulled her closer to him and she rested her head against his, since she was too tall to lay it on his shoulder without causing her to have a cramp. Not that she minded, her current position was perfectly fine with her. As long as she was close to him it didn't matter.

They had gone out to eat before dancing. Italian, her favorite. There wasn't really a special occasion, it had been over a month since their six month anniversary, Elliot just all of a sudden wanted to go out and do something. So, she had called up Heather and asked if she could babysit. Heather said that yes, she could, bring them on over. Olivia wasn't sure what she would do without her.

The song that was playing was one that she had never heard, but beautiful, even if she wasn't one who normally enjoyed sappy love songs. She couldn't help thinking that it described how she felt most of the time when she thought about her relationship with Elliot. It certainly wasn't anything like her marriage to Chris had been.

I wonder what God was thinking

When He created you

I wonder if He knew everything I would need

Because He made all my dreams come true

When God made you

He must have been thinking about me

Elliot's hold around her waist tightened and she looked at him with a smile. He was thinking the same thing she was.

I promise that wherever you may go

Wherever life may lead you

With all my heart I'll be there too

From this moment I want you to know

I'll let nothing come between us

And I will love the ones you love

Now gone are all my question about why

And I've never been so sure of anything in my life

When the song ended she pulled out of his embrace and kissed him briefly. "Let's go find somewhere to sit," she suggested. They had been dancing for awhile, her legs were getting tired and her feet were screaming at her for dancing in high-heels. He nodded in agreement and they went off to find a table.

Once they sat down a waitress came up to them and asked them if they wanted anything to drink. Olivia was parched and therefore ordered water, Elliot declined the woman's offer and she went off to get Olivia's water. Not even a minute later she returned with a bottled water and after making sure they didn't need anything else she took off again. She had other people to wait on, of course.

"So," Olivia asked, taking a sip of her water. "Why dancing?"

He shrugged, "I tried to remember when the last time that I went dancing was... and I couldn't. It's been that long. So, I figured why not?"

"I know how you feel, it's been over ten years since I last went dancing..."

"Didn't seem to slow you down any." he observed with a grin.

"Look who's talking," she replied. "Where did you learn to dance like that?"

"You're forgetting I have two older sisters," he supplied. "I learned at an early age how to dance."

"Remind me to thank them some time, then." she grinned. "What's the occasion?"

"No occasion," he assured her. "I just wanted to do something... it's been awhile since we went out."

"We did just last month!"

"Exactly, that's too big a time gap."

She shook her head with a chuckle, "Hey... I'm not complaining. Whenever you feel the need to go to an Italian restaurant and then dancing afterwards just let me know."

Since they were at a booth she was sitting next to him, her hand on his thigh, his arm around her shoulders. She leaned her head against his own shoulder, sighing gently.

"What is it?" he asked, causing her to look up at him.

"Nothing," she shook her head. "This is just a really refreshing surprise, that's all."

"I'm glad you think so," he told her. "Because that's not all."

"We went out to a four star restaurant and then you took me dancing, and you're telling me that's not all?"

"Not hardly," he informed her. "Close your eyes."

"Alright," she moved out of his embrace and faced him, then shut her eyes tightly. "Just tell me when I can open them."

She told him to, but he didn't. Instead when he was ready for her to open her eyes he leaned forward and captured her lips with his own, pulling her closer to him. When he broke the embrace her eyes fluttered open and she looked at him confused.

"Elliot...?" whatever the surprise was, she couldn't see it.

"Do you want to know what Cassie's birthday wish was?" he asked, locking eyes with her.

"Sure..."

"She wished that you and I would get married," he informed her. She was about to reply when he held a hand up to silence her, "Wait a second... let me finish. She told me that when she crawled into my lap that night. She said that she wished I was her daddy, and would her wish ever come true now that she told me? I told her that I had wished for the same thing on my birthday, and hopefully not. Then she told me she loved me before running off to her room. And I gotta tell you, that was probably one of the most important moments of my life. I've always been worried about how the girls would see me since I basically took over their father's place. To know that Cassie approved of our relationship... it really meant a lot to me."

"Elliot–"

"Ah... I'm still not done." He took a deep breath, "I've been waiting for the perfect moment for a while now, and well... this is as good a time as any, I guess." He reached into his pocked, pulled out a small black box, and looked at her with a nervous smile. "Olivia Benson, will you make mine and a very special nine year olds birthday wish come true and marry me?"

She could feel the tears forming behind her eyes, "Can I talk now?" she asked.

He laughed nervously, "Yeah... go ahead."

"Of course I'll marry you!" she exclaimed happily.

He let out a gush of air that he had been holding in due to his anticipation. Taking the ring out of the box he slid it on his finger. It was beautiful. Three square stones, a larger one in the middle, to smaller one's on either side of it. It was perfect. Just like him.

With a grin that she couldn't have suppressed even if she had wanted to, she wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him closer to her, crushing his lips against hers. He smiled into the kiss and his hands found their way around her waist. They fit together perfectly. She couldn't have possibly been happier.

It had started when her life had shattered and fallen to pieces- somewhere in the months that had followed they had mixed with the broken parts of his own life, and amazingly enough, just as she had begun to pick up the pieces of her life, so did he. And, in the effort they had found that the broken pieces of her life fit perfectly with his. And she wouldn't have had it any other way.

THE END

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A/N: I'm sorry if the ending sucks. I thought it was ok, I'm just not sure what you guys are gonna think. But anyway, that's the last chapter. I guess there is room for an epilogue, but I don't think I'm gonna write one.

Anyway, let me know what you think about it. If you loved it, God bless you. If you hated it, I'm sorry.

Oh, if anybody was wondering about the song it's by Natalie Grant and Newsong, and it's called 'When God made you'