A/N: Since this is the final chapter, I just thought I would say thanks! It's been a great ride and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have! The reviews have been wonderful, and I hope (pretty please!) that everyone will review the story as a whole and let me know how you liked the ending!!!!!! And yes, there will be a sequel, so don't despair! It will be titled Redemption, and you should expect to see the beginning up in the next week, as soon as I go on winter break! Thanks so much for all of your support and feedback on this story, and please please review! This is a long chapter, a little over 11 pages, so just be forewarned!!!
Olivia and Elliot used that month to their full advantage. Cragen scrutinized them very closely, along with officials from the head of the department. But he noticed that Olivia and Elliot indeed worked exactly the same way as they before, and if anything, were doing even better. Their interrogation tactics improved, which was amazing, because Cragen had thought that they were as great as they ever would be before. However, there was a dramatic shift, particularly on Olivia's part. They had grown quite a lot less bitter about everything and were, in general, much happier people. Olivia wasn't just happy though, she positively glowed with radiance unequalled at any other time she had worked in SVU. This of course, garnered her up even more attention from males in the precinct than she had had before, though they all seemed to know she was not available. Cragen watched as Olivia and Elliot walked out of the interrogation room, smiling broadly as they had just gotten a confession from a tight lipped suspect. Casey gave her usual professional nod of approval at them and smiled.
Cragen sat in his office late one night, pondering various cases and his two detectives. He heard a knock and invited them in, and he looked up and saw Dr. Huang entering. "What brings you here this late doc?" he questioned, seeing the file in his hand.
"I wanted to talk to you about Elliot. I think I can help you make your decision on whether or not to keep him and Olivia partnered." Huang replied, and he set the file in front of Cragen.
Cragen glanced at it and saw the label 'Elliot Stabler' stamped on the inside cover. As he began to glance through it Huang continued, "For the past few months, Elliot has shown significant improvement, even with the trauma of Kathy leaving him. He has stopped having dreams about killing pedophiles and rapists, and has managed his anger much better. He is far happier and much less resistant to his psychiatrist in his sessions. And I believe it is all because of Olivia."
"What do you mean? They have been partners for years."
"Yes, but because he was married, he felt that calling her all the time to talk was inappropriate. And so he just let everything build up because he wouldn't talk about it at home. Now, he not only talks with Olivia at work, but also after and is now far better able to cope. She has given him the ability to talk, and be understood. It is my professional opinion that they should remain partners. Each is keeping the other mentally healthy and happy. However, it is your decision. I need to know, though, because I think Elliot can stop his ongoing treatment if she remains his partner. If she doesn't, I think he needs to continue."
"You mean, Elliot won't need any more therapy?"
"At this moment, he doesn't. But I feel that taking Olivia from him would probably aggravate the problem again. It's your decision, Captain."
The next morning Elliot walked in alone, and everyone of course instantly noticed this irregularity. "Elliot, where's Olivia?" questioned Munch, looking up from his desk.
"She's been really sick this week. I just dropped her off at the doctors." Elliot responded, sitting down in his chair.
"Really? That's awful. Tell her I hope she feels better soon." Munch said in a rare moment of sincerity.
"I will. She of course wanted to come to work today, but I told her no way." Elliot said, then turned and saw Cragen looking over at him, seeming to be mulling something over.
"You take good care of her." Cragen said after a moment.
"Of course. She's my partner."
Olivia returned the following day, looking a bit healthier, but not much. Elliot was looking at her in serious concern as she worked through some papers.
"Olivia! What was wrong?" questioned Fin as he walked by.
"The doctor says I have the flu. I told Elliot that's what it was and I could handle it." Olivia said dismissively, glaring at Elliot affectionately. He flashed her a dazzling smile. She rolled her eyes and went back to her work. "I am going to get coffee." Olivia said a couple hours later, getting up from her desk. As she walked back and set a cup on Elliot's desk she noticed two men standing in the doorway, looking right at her. "Could I help you?" she called, sitting down on her desk and sipping her coffee. They looked at one another and grinned.
"Yes, you are Detective Benson, correct?" one said, a tall blonde haired man in his late thirties.
"That's right." She answered, setting down her coffee and standing. "What do you need?"
"Oh, I am Detective Thompson, Bronx Homicide. And this is Detective Welsh." The blonde one answered, and they both showed their badges. "We just came to have a look at you, we hear you are on probation."
"That's right. Though not for the reasons you are thinking, that's for sure." Olivia responded, taking an instant disliking to them.
"Oh no, I talked to one of my buddies high up. He says you have been having sex with your partner." Thompson began, and Olivia turned bright red. "Oh, do not worry Detective. We aren't the least bit concerned about that in our precinct." He gave her a disgusting wink and took her arm. "Come, I know you will like our precinct if you hear more about it."
"Touch me again and I will have you arrested for sexual harassment." Olivia snapped, jerking out of his grasp, shaking with anger.
"Sorry, gorgeous." said Welsh, watching her from the side.
"Leave me alone. I am staying in SVU." Olivia hissed, stepping back.
"Oh I am sure. But somehow I don't think that the sex police will want two of their own screwing each other, it sets a bad example. And where is your partner in crime? Probably off screwing someone else, you guys are after all experienced in those matters." Thompson told her, glancing around.
"Actually, Thompson, I am right here." Elliot said, standing up and striding over to them. He was taller than both of them and they paled slightly at his furious demeanor. "She doesn't want you bothering my partner anymore, so I suggest you get out, or would you like me to help you?"
Thompson shook his head and started to walk away. "Oh, detective, I was just wondering, do you sex police do anything but work with people who are asking for what they get? Like drunk women who get raped, do you seriously think they are victims?"
Elliot was in the process of raising his hand to punch the guy's lights out, but Olivia beat him to it. She gave Thompson a solid punch to the jaw and he fell over backwards. "Did you read that about my mother or did you just make it up?" Olivia questioned, walking over to him as he scrambled up.
"Look, I didn't mean it that way. And all we wanted to do was come down and tell you a little bit about our precinct. You SVU detectives are insane."
"Oh, so you did read up about me. And let me tell you, you haven't done a very good job enticing me by the wonders of your precinct. Now tell me, one of our detectives left a couple months ago and you didn't bother one bit with him. Do you harass only female cops?" asked Olivia, raising her eyebrow at him.
Thompson glared furiously at her and then smirked, "Pretty much, yes." With that he and Welsh hurried out.
Elliot turned Olivia to face him and asked, "Are you okay?"
"Yes. God, what a bastard. Did he honestly think I would join after he said those things? He must really think I sleep around." She said bitterly, running her hand through her hair. Elliot gently touched her hand and then they headed out to talk to a witness.
On Christmas Eve morning Elliot and Olivia walked into Cragens office to find out the results of their probation. Cragen sat looking very solemn in his chair as he glanced at a letter. "Have a seat." He told them, gesturing towards the chairs. They sat down looking very nervous and were both tapping their hands anxiously on their knees. "You two have put me in a terrible spot." He said harshly, glaring at them.
Elliot visibly paled and Olivia nervously shifted.
"And why's that?" questioned Elliot.
"I have to write three homicide departments and tell them that Detective Benson is no longer available, as she and her partner are both staying on SVU." Cragen said, a smile coming across his face as he stood.
Olivia leapt out of her chair and threw her arms around him. "Thanks so much!" she exclaimed, finally letting go.
Cragen had turned red and Elliot laughed and shook his hand. As they trotted out, Huang stopped them. "Hey, Elliot. I have something for you." Elliot reached out and took the paper, quickly reading it over.
"Liv! I am done seeing the shrink!" he exclaimed, hugging her fiercely. After he let go he smiled at Huang, "Thanks, Doc."
Elliot and Olivia couldn't have been in better spirits when they headed to the NYPD Christmas ball that evening. Elliot had just finished adjusting his tux when Olivia walked out. His jaw dropped. He had always thought she was beautiful, but tonight she was so beyond that it was incredible. She wore a black dress that fell just below her knees with a halter top and it had several crossed straps in the back. It hugged all her curves just right and flared out just above her knees so the fabric flowed beautifully with her movement. "Like it?' she questioned, smiling broadly.
"Oh my God, you look amazing!" Elliot exclaimed, running over to her.
"Thanks! You look very studly yourself!" she said with a grin, kissing him on the cheek.
"Liv…" Elliot began, taking her hands gently.
"What is it, Elliot?" she questioned as he dropped down on one knee.
When they arrived at the ball there were already a great number of people there. Olivia was beaming as she walked along, her knee holding her weight steadily for the first time in months. She held Elliot's arm lightly as he waved at a fellow SVU officer. Munch and Fin immediately found them and hurried over to greet them.
"Merry Christmas!" Fin said, grinning at them.
"You too… what is that look for?" questioned Elliot, as Munch and Fin looked at one another smugly.
"Well, we have sort of spread the word about your little dance at the Fourth of July Party, and they are calling for a repeat performance." Munch said with a deeply pleased smirk.
"Oh my God, are you serious?" exclaimed Elliot, "Liv hasn't danced in months!"
Olivia lay a hand on his chest and said, "I think I should be fine. However, if you are chickening out, I can always dance with Munch."
Elliot's eyes widened and he said, "Oh no, I am totally ready!" Olivia laughed and took his hand. Munch looked severely disappointed.
"Hey Olivia, what did you get for Christmas from Mr. Stabler here?" Fin asked suddenly, staring down at her hand. Olivia smiled and held it out. A beautiful white gold ring with a large diamond surrounded by smaller diamonds and sapphires.
"They are engaged! Finally!" exclaimed Fin so loudly that several people turned to look.
Munch just flat stared at them. Then he finally regained composure and threw his arms around them both, something quite surprising. They hugged him back and he pulled away, looking almost teary eyed. "I have to go get something to drink."
When Elliot and Olivia walked onto the dance floor it became obvious that Munch and Fin hadn't been kidding. Everyone backed away and made room, standing around looking very eager to watch. Elliot sighed nervously as he held out his hands. Olivia took them and said, "Don't worry about it. You'll do fine. Just like fourth of July."
Cragen was standing fairly close to the dance floor as he chatted with the captain of another precinct. Suddenly the other man lost focus in what he was saying and was staring wide eyed at the dance floor. "Dear lord! Who are those two?" he exclaimed.
Cragen looked over and said, "Oh, that's Detectives Benson and Stabler, two of mine. They are evidently showing off their Latin ballroom skills." His friend didn't answer and merely stared.
Munch and Fin were meanwhile also watching Elliot and Olivia. The dance was incredible, they looked absolutely perfect for one another. The speed of the dance continued to increase until it reached an almost blindingly fast rate, leading to the final steps. Olivia finished by jumping up onto Elliot's waist and as he held her lower back she leaned back, stretching her arms out behind her. When the music stopped a grin came to her face and she put her arms around his neck. "You did amazing!" she told him, and he just smiled. She slowly jumped down as she loud cheering. Elliot still looked a little shell shocked and so she took his hand and led him off the floor amidst the din. They headed over to Munch and Fin, Munch now looking very bitter that he hadn't danced with her.
"Congratulations Olivia you have managed to make every man here fall in love with you again. I swear to God they were drooling all over themselves." Fin said, looking at Olivia who was flushed but quite happy. Her hair was now rather tousled, tripling her already drop dead sexy look.
"You know Elliot… did you ever consider that your little dance at the Fourth of July party could very well have been what made Kathy leave you?" questioned Munch, and Elliot laughed.
"She wasn't exactly very happy with me. But come on, its just a dance. Olivia has dragged me to more than one place in the past so that I can learn Latin ballroom." Elliot said, wrapping his arm around Olivia's waist.
"Just a dance? Are you kidding me? You two were all over each other!" Munch exclaimed, shaking his head.
Fin had walked away but returned soon after, handing Munch a beer and throwing Elliot and Olivia theirs. Olivia caught hers but quickly held it out to him. "I don't want any. I am just going to get a Pepsi."
"Come on, Olivia! It's just one beer!" exclaimed Munch.
"No! I don't want it!" yelled Olivia.
Fin's eyes widened. "You're pregnant, aren't you?"
Olivia didn't say anything and Elliot seized her arm, turning her to face him. He looked at her in shock and she tried to avoid his gaze.
"Oh my Lord, we are going to have a baby Benson!" exclaimed Fin, practically jumping up and down.
Olivia turned red and Elliot looked over at the two. "No, Baby Stabler."
It was a little after two in the morning when Elliot and Olivia got back to her apartment. "Liv, why didn't you tell me?" questioned Elliot, taking her hands.
"I didn't want you to feel like you had to marry me. After all, that's why you had to marry Kathy. I didn't want to have you go through that again." murmured Olivia, still not meeting his eyes.
"Liv… I married Kathy because it was the right thing to do. I want to marry you because I love you and have for a long time. Just remember that." He told her, raising her chin so that she could meet his eyes. He found her eyes to be full of tears.
"I love you so much, El." She told him, wrapping her arms tightly around him. He held her too him, rubbing her back gently. As she stepped back he reached out and placed his hand on her still quite flat belly.
"How many weeks?"
"Six." She answered. Elliot smiled as he ran his hand up and down her stomach.
The next morning Elliot woke up first, finding Olivia still curled up against him, her arm wrapped around his waist. He kissed the top of her head and stroked her arm, shutting his eyes again. Suddenly he heard a loud knock on the door. Olivia woke up immediately, glancing around. "I will be right there!" Olivia yelled, and the knocking stopped. After quickly yanking on some clothes she hurried to the door, Elliot trailing close behind. She glanced through the peephole and gasped. "Elliot… you aren't going to believe this! Open the door." she said, stepping back. Elliot looked at her curiously and turned the knob.
"Merry Christmas Daddy!" shrieked Kathleen, jumping into his arms. Lizzie and Dickie were jumping up and down with delight and joined in on the group hug. Maureen walked in, looking quite smug.
She walked over to Olivia and said, "Merry Christmas, Olivia!" Olivia smiled and Maureen gave her a hug. Olivia was surprised but hugged her back happily.
After they had broken apart Olivia asked, "I thought you were with your mom for Christmas. How in the world did you convince her to let you come here?"
Maureen laughed and answered, "Well I can visit dad pretty much whenever I want since I just turned eighteen, and so I told her that since we spent a very long and boring Christmas Eve with her family, I was taking the kids to see dad. She was a little mad, but I told her to shove it and left."
"Maureen! That wasn't very nice!" exclaimed Elliot, walking over with a trail of kids tagging at his heels.
She gazed at him appraisingly and said, "I really didn't want to watch her make out with what's his face all morning, like she did last night. It was disgusting. Besides I would rather be with you."
Elliot smiled and gave his oldest daughter a hug.
"Livia!" exclaimed Lizzie, running over to her. Olivia picked her up and Lizzie gave her a fierce hug. Dickie watched jealously and Olivia laughed and knelt down. He happily threw his arms around her neck.
Kathleen was last to greet Olivia, and she stood back a moment. "Do you love my dad?" she asked suddenly.
"Very much." replied Olivia, and Kathleen broke into a broad smile.
"Good. I can't wait to have you as a stepmom!" she said, and at Olivia's surprised look she pointed to her hand, "Nice ring. Maureen helped my dad pick it out."
Elliot couldn't think of a time when he had had a better Christmas. As he sat and watched Olivia talking and laughing with Lizzie on her lap, he felt a surge of happiness race through him. He was with his kids and the woman he loved on a snowy Christmas morning and had a baby on the way. What could be better? Olivia looked over at him and smiled.
On the last day of January, Elliot Stabler married Olivia Benson in a wonderful ceremony at a gorgeous Catholic Church in Queens. Virtually everyone they knew came, including nearly the whole SVU precinct. Olivia had never looked more beautiful and you still couldn't tell she was pregnant. She wore a beautiful strapless dress with an extraordinarily long train and a thin veil covered her face. When he had pulled it back she had had tears in her eyes and he kissed her with a great deal of passion. Then they turned and faced the crowd as Mr. and Mrs. Elliot Stabler.
Olivia and Elliot were all smiles as they greeted the guests after the ceremony and before the party. A familiar red headed woman walked up to them, her long blue dress making her look very elegant. "Casey!" exclaimed Olivia, giving her a quick hug. Casey smiled and Elliot gave her a hug as well. The ADA then gave them a smirk, something they knew from experience preceded a major event.
"What is it?" questioned Elliot.
"Well, I have this friend, and I know she wasn't on your guest list, but I brought her along anyway. She said she wanted to see you guys again." Casey began, and Olivia and Elliot looked at each other, quite puzzled. Casey grinned broadly and turned around calling, "Alexandra, I want to introduce you to my friends." A woman with long curly blonde hair looked up. A smile came to her lips and she hurried over, dragging a man along behind her.
"It's been a while, you two. I am glad you finally discovered how perfect you were for each other." She said, the light dancing in her eyes, and Olivia and Elliot's jaws dropped.
"Alex!" Olivia exclaimed, though still frozen in place.
"Caesar Valez was killed three weeks ago. His network has consequently fallen apart. And I am now a graduate of the witness protection program!" Alex said, a smile lighting up her features. Olivia jumped forward and hugged the friend whom she never thought she would see again. Elliot joined in and after a while the group hug dispersed. "And this is Henry Samsry." Alex said, indicating to the man beside her. He rested his hand on her shoulder, clearly in love with their old ADA. Elliot gave him an appraising glance and Alex laughed. "You will like him, El. He's a cop, from the Denver Police Department. I was placed in a small town outside of Denver for Witness Protection as Sandra Thayet." Henry held out his hand and Elliot shook it, smiling at the cop.
"Take good care of her, or I will have to come after you." warned Elliot, and Henry grinned.
"And you will never believe this…" Alex began, and Elliot and Olivia looked at her. "So I tell them I have skills in law enforcement, thinking they will put me in a desk type job. Oh no. I get to Colorado and off I go to the Police Academy."
"You were a cop!" exclaimed Olivia, and Alex nodded with a grin.
"Yes, they partnered me with Henry because he is experienced and so I wasn't as likely to get injured, but oh man. Those were a wild few years!" Alex said, shaking her head. Olivia stared at her, completely stunned. Then her eyes welled up with tears and she hugged Alex again.
"I never thought I would see you again!" she exclaimed, wiping her eyes.
"I didn't either. But I got your wedding announcement in the mail, and I was shocked. I haven't had any contact with anyone from New York in years! So I called my agent and he told me I was free and had sent me it! But what did I tell you, Olivia? I told you Elliot would come round, didn't I? And I promised that I would be at your wedding." Alex said, smiling at Elliot.
"You did." said Olivia, leaning up against her husbands shoulder.
"So, have you moved back to New York?" questioned Elliot, and she nodded.
"Henry and I bought an apartment in the city. I am going to go back to being an ADA for SVU! Casey and I are going to both be handling your cases from now on." Alex said with a grin. "You have no idea how much it means to me to see you guys again. I have never had friends as great as you two."
"Thanks Alex. You are the greatest." laughed Elliot, patting her shoulder.
"Oh, I know." smirked Alex, and then she looked up and saw Cragen. "Captain!"
Cragen turned and saw her, his jaw dropping. "Alexandra!"
"That's right! I am a graduate of witness protection. And I have something for you." She said, stepping forward and reaching into her purse. His eyes widened as Alex dropped the pistol had had lent her all those years ago into his hands. "Thanks. It saved my life once."
"Keep it." Cragen said, placing it back into her hands. Alex smiled and hugged him. "Welcome back, Miss Alex."
Four Months Later
Olivia made her way to the interrogation room for her last interview with a suspect until she had her baby. She now had a slight belly, though it was still nothing very noticeable. Elliot met her outside it, looking slightly apprehensive. "Liv… I don't know about this one…"
"What is it Elliot?" Olivia questioned, glancing in through the window.
"Well, he keeps asking for the 'pretty lady cop' and won't talk to me." said Elliot, and Huang looked over at Olivia.
"He's a schizophrenic. But he is actually fairly lucid all things considered. I think he is only going to talk to you. He obviously knows something about you from what he keeps saying." Huang said.
Olivia looked in at the man they had collared for the kidnap of a six year old girl. The rape kit hadn't come back yet, but it didn't appear that he had done anything of that nature to her, which seemed odd to her.
"Alright. I will be back." Olivia said, kissing Elliot's cheek gently before walking in. The man lay curled up on the floor shaking and covering his eyes. "Larry? I am Detective Benson."
The man stopped twitching and looked at her. He immediately burst into tears and crawled over to her, throwing his arms around her knees. "Pretty cop. Pretty lady cop. Beautiful. Don't get hurt. Don't get hurt." He bawled, and Olivia looked down at him.
"Larry, what makes you think I will get hurt?" questioned Olivia.
"He said. He told me to take girl so I could talk to you. Talk to pretty lady cop, he said."
"Who said, Larry, who?" Olivia asked, and Larry let go of her knees. He looked right down at her stomach and screamed.
"He will kill you both! I don't want you to die! I don't want the baby to die!"
"Larry, you need to tell me who it is!" Olivia told him, kneeling down next to him. He looked up at her, his eyes boring into her hers. After a while he covered his face again.
"I don't know his name." muttered Larry, and then he looked back up at her. "Eyes."
"What about my eyes, Larry?"
"They are dark like his. So dark. But he is not pretty like you." Larry told her, and then dug into his pocket. "Here. He gave me your picture."
Olivia took the paper from him. It was from the same article a few years back when Elliot was shot, only it was the picture of her in her cop uniform that was featured inside the paper. Someone had circled it, highlighting the words Detective Olivia Benson.
"You don't like your picture! Here is the only other one I have, I hope you like this picture." Larry said, shoving another picture into her hand. Olivia gasped. It was a picture of her when she was about six years old, and was obviously taken using a zoom lens. She had a bruise across her face and had tears streaming down cheeks. Her mother had her hands on her shoulders, also crying and obviously trying to get Olivia to look at her. That had been the one time her mother had hit her when she was drunk. The fact Larry had a photo of it sent chills up her spine. Someone had been watching her.
Larry looked at the picture and said, "He told me he saw her hit you across the face because she got scared of you. Scared of your eyes, he said." Olivia looked up at him. That had been in fact what had happened. Her mother had been completely smashed, and had for some reason panicked when she looked at Olivia's eyes.
As she walked out of interrogation Elliot stopped her. "Olivia, are you okay?"
"Yes, I am just fine. Though I am really confused. Where did he get these?" Olivia answered, handing him the photos.
Elliot looked very concerned. "I don't know. We are going to have to find out."
The next morning Olivia awoke to her cell ringing. "Stabler."
"Hey, Olivia. It's Fin. So we just had a call from Bellevue Psyche. Larry killed himself in the middle of the night."
Olivia hung up the phone. Elliot sat up and looked over at her. "Larry killed himself. There goes are only link to whoever hired him to kidnap that girl." she told him.
"Great." sighed Elliot, flopping down on his back. Olivia crawled over on top of him and smiled. He put his hand on her hips and said, "I love you, Liv."
"I love you too." She answered, kissing him very affectionately. "Now and forever."
Elliot and Olivia's story continues in 'Redemption!'
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