A/N: Whoa, thanks for all the feedback! I don't think my in box has ever been so full of reviews! Well, I spent a great deal of time pondering the ending (that's why it was soooooo slow in being posted!), and decided that I would just write and see what happened. So here it is, the entirely revamped ending to 'Redemption'.
Anyways, please please please please please review the story as a whole (okay, I admit it, I am begging!!!!) There could potentially be a sequel, but I haven't thought that far ahead yet… we will see… but for now, I feel this is a good conclusion…
It's been quite a pleasure writing this and I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have!
Olivia had fallen asleep on Elliot's shoulder, staying that way for most of the flight to New York. He fell asleep too, as they were both quite exhausted from their ordeal. The quiet dinging of the seatbelt sign roused Olivia from her slumber, and she got up and stretched out. Elliot woke slowly, opening his eyes hesitantly. They both glanced out the window, seeing the bright lights of New York twinkling far below. They were home at last.
The plane's wheels touched down to the runway and they were soon taxiing into the terminal. As they docked up Olivia undid her seatbelt, jumping to her feet and hauling out her and Elliot's bags so quickly she nearly dropped them on the people in front of them. Elliot snatched up his from her before she could do any real damage and smiled. They were the first people off the plane, Olivia practically running down the ramp- though Olivia was not quite sure just why she was in such a rush. Elliot had grabbed their jackets and was lagging behind, so when he reached the end of the ramp it was quite a surprise.
"Mommy!" Riley shrieked, wriggling herself out of William's grasp. She raced over to Olivia, her arms widespread. Olivia grinned broadly and scooped her up.
"Hey sweetheart! How are you doing?" Olivia questioned her, and Riley looked back at her with Elliot's brilliant blue eyes.
"Good. I missed you though. Are you okay?" Riley questioned, running her hand gently across the fading bruise on Olivia's jaw.
"Yes. I am much better now." Olivia answered, hugging Riley tightly. Riley hugged her back and then looked up.
"Daddy!" She exclaimed, though she didn't let go her mother. Elliot laid one hand on Olivia's back, and with the other ruffled his daughter's hair.
"Well, are you just not going to say hi to us?" questioned the voice of John Munch. Olivia looked up and for the first time noticed that they had quite the welcoming committee for it being well after midnight.
"Hi." said Olivia, wiping her eyes slightly. ADA Casey Novak smiled over at her, looking the healthiest she had in months. Doctor William had his hand on her shoulder, being extra protective of her. ADA Alex Cabot and her husband were standing right next to them, both seeming quite relieved to see her back. Detectives Munch and Tutuola were sitting on the airport chairs, both failing miserably to conceal their happiness. And Captain Cragen walked over, patting Olivia's shoulder gently.
"Good to have you back, Olivia."
Elliot's arm tightened on her waist and she leaned her head up against him. "It's good to be back." Olivia replied.
Suddenly Elliot backed away and said, "Reagan! Where do you think you are going?"
Reagan turned back around, having made her way a good distance from the group. "Oh. I didn't want to interrupt." She said, flushing slightly.
"Nonsense." Elliot said, taking her arm and leading her back over. "Everyone, this is Captain Reagan Masters."
Everyone greeted her warmly and soon she was deep in conversation with Captain Cragen. Just as Elliot began to feel a little sad that a certain four people were missing, a familiar voice made him turn.
"Hey dad! Good to see you again!" Elliot looked up and saw Kathleen and Maureen hurrying over with the twins in tow. "Hey Olivia! Are you doing okay? I saw that tape of you on the news, God, hitting that table looked like it hurt!" Kathleen said as she hugged her dad and then stepmom.
"They played that tape here?!" exclaimed Olivia, turning bright red.
Kathleen and the other children nodded. "Don't worry about it Olivia, you are a good dancer." Maureen said, smiling at her, "Not too mention the fact that the majority of New York was very concerned about you. Virtually every day you were gone they would mention something on the news about you."
Olivia was now quite embarrassed at the excess amount of attention being paid to her, and Elliot gave her a gentle squeeze on the shoulder. She slowly lowered Riley to the ground, who immediately trotted over to Elizabeth.
"I don't think we could have asked for a better return." Olivia said quietly to Elliot.
"That's for sure."
After a good half hour of socializing at the gate, they finally made their way over to baggage claim. Reagan seized her suitcase and smiled at them. "Well it was nice to meet you all. I had better head to my hotel."
Reagan's eyes widened in surprise as everyone in unison replied, "You can stay with me!"
Olivia was the first to recover from laughing and said, "No really, when does your flight leave tomorrow?"
"Eleven tomorrow night. I get an extra long layover because I am flying to London. It's my first international trip since I had the twins." Reagan answered.
"Well then it's settled, stay with us over night." Elliot said, "We would love to return the hospitality you gave us."
Reagan smiled broadly, "It was no problem. I was glad we could be of help."
Two Months Later
Olivia impatiently sat on the examination table, tapping her hands along her knees. Doctor Swanson finally reappeared, looking slightly less unhappy than at her past few appointments. He had been absolutely livid that she had gone on an undercover mission so soon after her accident, and had gotten the reports faxed over from Doctor Ryder of her injuries in Colorado. Olivia had done her best to please him, following his strict orders to be on desk duty since her return. "So, how I am doing?" she questioned him eagerly.
He smiled and replied, "Well, your rib fractures have healed and your heart's doing great. So you can go back to limited field work for a couple weeks, then at the end of this month, you are good to go." Olivia jumped off the table in delight and gave him a hug. As she was grabbing her jacket to walk out, a surprised looking Doctor Swanson stopped her. "Oh, and Olivia…"
Elliot was waiting for Olivia in the waiting room, having just gotten out of his own appointment. He noticed that Olivia was grinning slyly and asked, "So how did it go?"
Olivia laughed and as they walked out to the door said, "Well I can go back to the field… and Doctor Swanson informed me that I am now healthy enough to resume sexual activity."
Elliot nearly choked laughing. When he finally regained some amount of control he said, "Oops… I guess I kind of got a little ahead of myself with you then? Maybe, to make up for it I will be good for a whole month." Her glare silenced him and he smirked. "Just kidding, dearest."
"Shut up, Elliot. Like your Doctor wanted you to do anything right after you got shot."
"Actually, he told me I would be fine… in two weeks." Elliot said.
"Oh well, I will follow a strict hands off policy until then! Don't want to mess up your treatment." Olivia said, and Elliot's eyes widened in panic. "Just kidding."
Elliot looked visibly relieved, and threw her the keys to their new Suburban. Olivia caught them deftly and opened the doors of the big SUV. She climbed up into the seat and put the keys into the ignition. Suddenly Elliot caught her hand. He didn't say anything, only smiled at her. Olivia ran her hand down his cheek and then pulled away, shifting the SUV into drive.
Cragen glanced over as his two best Detectives walked in. "Hey you two. How did the Doc's go?"
"Great. We can both get back in the field." Elliot responded, sitting down at his desk and propping his feet up on it. Olivia stood just behind him, her hands resting lightly on the back of his chair.
Cragen smiled and said, "Welcome back." With that he tossed a file onto the desk. Elliot picked it up, glanced over it, and then handed it to Olivia. As she read it over Cragen continued, "Seventeen year old girl was raped when walking home from work. She is still in the hospital and is completely terrified of men. So I thought maybe you could take her statement." He looked meaningfully at Olivia. "You up for it?"
"Of course. Let's go El." Olivia said, slapping him gently on his good shoulder. Elliot jumped to his feet, handing Olivia her jacket.
"Take care." Cragen said as they walked out.
The partners turned and smiled back at the Captain. "Will do."
When they walked back out to the car Elliot took Olivia by surprise, pressing her up against the door in a sudden rush of emotion. He pressed her lips to his, running one hand through her hair. She wrapped her arms around his waist and felt him part her lips gently. Olivia slid her hand up his chest, pulling away reluctantly.
"We can pick this up as soon as we get home." She said, tracing her hand down his jaw. He smiled at her, taking her face in his hands.
"I love you, Liv."
"I love you too, El."
He responded by kissing her forehead.
Elliot waited outside Samantha's room while Olivia went inside. She walked over and saw the young girl lying wide awake in her bed, severely bruised and scraped. "Hello Samantha. My name's Olivia, I am going to be the Detective on your case. My partner is outside, but he won't come in unless you want him too, okay?" Olivia said, sitting down beside the girl's bed.
Samantha nodded and sat up. "Is he nice?"
"Very. But he doesn't have to come in; I can take your statement alone." Olivia answered.
"No, he can come in." Samantha said, swallowing the lump in her throat.
"Are you sure?" Olivia asked, and she nodded firmly. Olivia got up and walked over to the door. "Elliot, she says you can come in."
Elliot walked in and smiled tenderly at the girl. "Hey Samantha." She gave him a wavering smile in return, but looked a little more at ease.
By the end of the interview, Samantha was a complete wreck. When she started to go into detail on how he had used a wrench on her, she stopped talking completely and just cried. Olivia got up and hugged the girl gently. Samantha tightened her arms around her, sobbing onto her shoulder. Elliot placed his hand onto the girl's back, gently rubbing it. After a while Samantha regained her composure enough to finish.
"Alright honey, we are done. Thank you so much. Get some rest, okay?" Olivia said as she stood to leave.
Samantha nodded and then said, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to lose it like that."
Elliot put a hand on her shoulder. "Don't worry about it, sweetheart. You did great." Samantha smiled at him, the first real smile she had had all night. Then she looked at Olivia.
"You were right. He is nice."
As they walked out of the hospital Olivia looked over at Elliot. He glanced back at her with the quite clear look that they were going to have to pull another late night. But there was no regret in their gazes. It was, after all, what they dedicated their lives to- helping the victims. Instead, their eyes held a distinct sense of joy that they were not alone in that dedication. They had each other, and when it came down to it, that was all that really mattered. As Kathy's father had so eloquently put it, they truly were partners in every sense on the word.