A/N: Well, this is the final chapter, sorry it's sort of short. I want to thank everyone for reading, I hope you enjoyed it! It was a rather unconventional approach as far as chronology, but it made it quite challenging and enjoyable to write! Please review! I have replied to a few individual reviews below…
Seth Cohen's girlfriend: I thought I would handle Kathy a little bit differently in this story, not make her so much of a bitch… a little change of pace for me! I must say I originally thought she was going to blow a gasket, but for some reason it turned out the way it did! Glad you liked it though!
Tany: I am so happy you liked it! Also thanks for being so supportive of my writing, you have reviewed virtually every chapter of all my stories!
Lu78 LadyV77: Yes, being woken up from anesthesia is very unpleasant! Not a fun experience…
Jmewebber: I hope you like the ending! It was an interesting task to pull everything all together!
Justawritier: You may just get your wish…
Littlesweetcupcake: I know, I know… I hate Kathy, I really do… but for variety's sake I made her remotely nice in this story…
Olivia was able to leave the hospital the following morning, something she was quite happy about. Her knee had fortunately only been sprained, though she needed to wear a brace on it to walk for a couple weeks. When she arrived back at her apartment she immediately flopped back on her bed, rubbing her knee gently as she slipped the brace off. Elliot walked into the bedroom after locking the front door and removing his jacket. He sat down next to her, placing a gentle hand on stomach. Olivia glanced up at him, light flickering in her dark brown eyes. Slowly she drew her knee up and wrapped one leg on either side of his waist.
Elliot stroked her sides gently, pressing his forehead to her shoulder. "I am getting a divorce." He said after a while, fixing his gaze on her.
"I am sorry Elliot. For everything." Olivia replied, cupping his chin in her hand.
"You don't have to apologize for anything, Liv. We both made choices. And I don't regret any of it." Elliot answered, pressing his lips to her collarbone.
Olivia smiled and brought his face back up, kissing him passionately on the lips. When she finally pulled away, she reached down and unclipped his belt. He looked at her in concern. "Olivia… we shouldn't until you are well."
"I feel fine Elliot. Please… just this once." She said, and Elliot felt his heart jump at her words. The very same he had said on their first night together. His eyes fell on the bandage around her stomach. He very hesitantly pushed her down onto her back, slowly easing himself on top of her. She did her very best not to wince, but Elliot could tell that it already hurt her. He quickly backed off and stood, taking her hands to help her up.
"This is different, Liv. I don't want to hurt you. Come on, let's go watch a movie or something." He said with a grin, kissing her gently on the cheek. Olivia smiled back and nodded.
"Sounds good. I just need to change really quick." She replied, grabbing some clothes out her drawers.
"Hey, I think you look cute in hospital scrubs." Elliot said with a shrug, and Olivia rolled her eyes. He walked out to let her get dressed and lay down on her couch, leaning his head back and shutting his eyes. After a while he heard Olivia come walking back out, and felt her kiss his forehead gently. She wriggled right up against his chest and he slipped his leg over hers. Elliot looked at his beautiful partner and smiled. He wrapped his arms protectively around her and then shut his eyes again.
Elliot opened his eyes, the memory of Olivia's accident still fresh in his mind. It had been a little over a year, but it was still as painful as ever. He shifted slightly on the couch and glanced up at Olivia, who was laying half over him with her head on his shoulder, sound asleep. As he ran a hand through her silky brown hair a smile came to his lips thinking of the role reversal that had taken place since his memory. Now Olivia was taking care of him, not the other way around.
Kathy had stopped by once, far to busy with her fiancé to visit often- not that he expected her to. But his kids had come by every week, usually staying Friday to Saturday. Elliot had thanked Kathy for that at least, as the custody agreement had only given him the kids every other weekend and Friday nights. And to his great surprise, the kids seemed to like Olivia, Lizzie especially. It meant a lot to him, and he could tell it meant even more to Olivia.
He put his hand over hers, squeezing it gently. She immediately opened her eyes and looked at him in deep concern. "Are you okay, El?"
"Fine." He replied, smiling at her. She smiled back, and Elliot felt a surge of joy. He doubted anyone had a prettier smile than she did- and he was pretty sure it was the first thing that he had loved about her. She kissed his cheek gently while playing her fingers across his hand. It seemed so strange without his wedding band. Even during their several months long affair he had always worn it, perhaps as a reminder that what they were doing was wrong or maybe just because of habit.
Olivia eased up the edge of his shirt, running her hand over the just healed wound on his side. When she started to pull away Elliot caught her hand and pressed it over the scar. She smiled at him and leaned up against his chest. Suddenly he flipped them over so that he was on top. Olivia looked up at him in surprise. He grinned at her and pressed his lips to hers. She draped her arms around his neck, kissing him back vehemently. Elliot slowly pulled her up into a sitting position. "I love you, Liv."
"I love you too, El." She answered, allowing him to take her hands. He smiled broadly back at her, and slipped a diamond ring over her finger.
"Will you marry me then?" Elliot questioned, looking at her with pleading blue eyes.
Olivia stared down at the brilliant white gold ring with diamonds and sapphires decorating it. She threw her arms around his neck and exclaimed, "Yes!" Elliot wrapped his arms around her and held her close to him, running his hands up and down her back. There were those times in life when it seemed you had lost everything, and then there were the times that gave it all back again- and Elliot was certain that he had encountered both in the past two days. He was also quite sure however, that this was one of those times that gave it all back plus more.
The next day was Elliot's first day back at work in three months- though he was to be on desk duty of course. Olivia walked next to him into the precinct, her step considerably lighter than it had been in weeks. Elliot strode confidently beside her, immensely happy to be back. Upon their entrance into the SVU Elliot was greeted by quite a lot of applause. Olivia smiled at him as various officers and detectives came up to chat with the now quite famous Detective Stabler. "It's good to see our favorite couple back to work." said Munch, smirking at the two. He was quite surprised, however, when neither one of them disputed that fact.
"It's good to be back." Elliot replied with an even broader grin.
"I trust you haven't been bothering Olivia to badly the past few months?" Fin questioned, ambling over to them.
Olivia glanced at Elliot and he looked back at her. "Not too badly." Olivia said, slapping Elliot gently on the back.
Fin and Munch both became very wide eyed when they saw her hand. "Are you getting married, Olivia?" Fin questioned.
"Yes, we are." She responded, putting on a beautiful smile for Elliot. Munch and Fin both stared at the two, quite speechless.
"Well, well. Benson, I am surprised you like this guy so much." Olivia and Elliot turned to see Jason White, Elliot's former partner, standing by the doorway. He looked more than a little pleased with himself.
"Me too. I guess there is just something slightly appealing about him." Olivia said with a grin, and Jason laughed.
"Don't forget who introduced you two…" Jason answered, his face bright.
"We owe you." Elliot admitted as he reached out to shake his hand.
"Everything happens for a reason, kids. Take good care of yourselves." Jason told them, hugging Olivia before walking out. He glanced back briefly and said, "And the sand in the hourglass keeps on falling."
Olivia and Elliot looked at him curiously, but he just waved and then disappeared into the elevator. He never did get a chance to further explain what he meant, as he died a couple months later, but he didn't need to. After their horrific ordeal in the warehouse and the resulting memories that it forced them to revisit, Elliot and Olivia finally understood that even if they could turn back the clock they wouldn't want to. Their past was a mixture of pain and pleasure, each intertwined and each defining them as the people they were today. And that was why life was an hourglass glued to the table…
A/N#2: Please please please please please review the story as a whole! Thanks so much for reading everyone, and I will see you around! I have another story in the works…