A/N: Sorry it took so long to get this up! I wanted to make sure it was a good conclusion for all three stories! PLEASE R&R!
That evening when they arrived back from skiing Elliot flopped onto the couch and shut his eyes. "What Elliot, you tired from showing your talent on the slopes?" Olivia questioned, her dark brown eyes glinting in the light from the fire. Elliot halfway opened his eyes and did his best to glare at her. Olivia quickly took off her jacket and crawled over to lie on top of him. Elliot opened his eyes and placed his hands on her hips gently rubbing his thumbs across her skin. Olivia sighed and laid her head against his chest. "This whole thing has been amazing." she mumbled, her fingers idly tracing across his palm. Elliot closed his hand over hers and drew it to his lips, kissing it tenderly before laying it back down on his chest.
"Tell me about it. When the Doctors told me you died on the table, I thought my life was over. I have to admit, as much as I disapprove of the age difference between Riley and Winter O'Connor, he's the probably the only reason I made it home some nights. I remember this one time he got really angry with me because I was so drunk that I couldn't stand and he pried the beer bottle from my hands, yanked me out of my chair, and dragged me out of the bar. And I mean drag- he had me by the arms and I was flopped on my side. He then proceeded to give me an hour long lecture while I sat in his car and sobered up before he took me home." Elliot replied, half smiling at the memory.
Olivia shook her head and said, "And what was this lecture about?"
"Oh just how I had to set an example for my daughter and that I did no good for her going out drinking all the time. Those types of things. And he was right."
Olivia eased herself up and looked down at him. "I'm so sorry, El. I never wanted to hurt you."
Elliot looked back up at her and smiled, "It's not your fault Liv." He reached up and put his hand on the back of her neck, pulling her down closer to him. "We're going to be alright now." Olivia smiled back and pressed her lips to his, the fire warm on her back. Elliot seemed reluctant to let her go as she slowly pulled away.
"You know, I was so worried that the Governor's daughter was your wife. I was so afraid that I'd lose you again." Olivia said quietly, rubbing her hand across his abdomen.
"I promised you the night that you got shot that you'd never lose me. And you never did, and never will." Elliot told her, his blue eyes sincere and passionate.
Olivia smiled and kissed his neck before lying back down and shutting her eyes. He wrapped his arms around her and lightly traced the soft skin of her back with one hand. His other hand ran through her long hair and gently rubbed the back of her neck.
The days at the resort went by quickly, and by the time they were on a plane back home, both Olivia and Elliot were refreshed in body and spirit. The flight was quite uneventful and pleasant, and when they touched down in New York, Elliot felt his heart jump happily. He was home at last.
Olivia got off the plane first, as she wanted to give Riley at least some indication as to the nature of the surprise. As she stepped out into the terminal, she immediately saw her daughter standing with Winter. And just behind them were Devon and his whole family. Riley jumped forward and flung her arms around her mother. "How was it?"
"It was a great trip." Olivia replied, smiling at her as she pulled away.
Winter gave her an especially heart melting smile and said, "Welcome back, Mrs. Stabler."
"And how is my dear old state doing?" questioned Devon, stepping forward and hugging Olivia tightly.
"Great." replied Olivia with a wide grin, and Devon seemed to do a slight double take.
"You're smiling. And it's actually lighting up your eyes. Is it possible that you are happy?" He said curiously, his FBI trained observation skills kicking in.
Olivia laughed and told him, "I am."
Then she looked back and saw Reagan smiling broadly at her, holding a small child in her arms. "Hey Olivia. This is Olivia." Olivia stepped forward and looked down at the cute little girl, who flung her arms up and down happily as she saw Olivia.
"She is adorable." Olivia said, and then looked over at the twins. Jonathan and Maria both waved at her, though they abruptly stopped and stared. Olivia glanced over her shoulder and saw Elliot emerging from the gate. "Oh, by the way. I brought someone home. I think you know him."
Riley froze and whipped around. "Dad?" she whispered, her eyes wide.
Elliot smiled back at her and said, "Your mother wasn't the only one thrown in witness protection."
Riley let out a scream of delight and jumped up into his arms, giving him a tight hug. When she finally released him, Elliot caught sight of Devon, who looked absolutely dumbfounded. Winter stood with a surprised expression, though he succeeded in controlling it by grinning.
"I'm glad your back, Elliot. Though I am a little distressed at how I was in the FBI and never got the slightest wind that either of you were alive." Devon said, stepping forward and shaking Elliot's hand.
Elliot laughed and then asked, "What do you mean, that you were in the FBI? Aren't you still?"
"I didn't pass the health test. They said traveling around constantly was just too hard on me, so gave me mandatory retirement. Again." Devon said, his voice sounding tired and beaten.
"I'm sorry." Elliot replied, knowing that Devon had truly loved his job.
Devon smiled and said, "Don't even worry about it. My best friends have come back. Plus, I have a job application in somewhere else, and I think they'll hire me."
Devon just smiled wider and said, "Come on, let's get out of this airport."
One Month Later
The annual NYPD Christmas party was a rather special occasion for Elliot and Olivia, as it would be the first they had attended in a couple years, and as they were going to meet several of their old friends again. Alex was among the first to greet them, as she had seen Elliot only once since his return. Her husband greeted Elliot enthusiastically, welcoming him back home. Alex hugged Olivia tightly and told her for the thousandth time how happy she was that Elliot was back. As Alex and Henry started to make their way over to say hi to Riley and Winter, Olivia turned and smiled at a familiar voice. "Well Benson and Stabler, it looks like the dynamic duo can overcome just about anything." Munch told them, looking rather amused.
Elliot smiled at him and asked, "How's life being the Captain of homicide?"
Munch shrugged and replied, "It's alright. I do miss the old days though- you, Olivia, Fin and I all working on cases to all hours of the night."
"I do too." Answered Elliot softly.
After a few moments Munch glanced over where he saw Winter standing with a protective arm around Riley's waist. He laughed lightly and asked, "So how do you feel about your baby dating a guy eleven years older?"
Elliot winced slightly and said, "Well if she's happy, I guess I can handle it."
"I am sure he's happy at least. He's liked her for years. You know, I can always tell when he comes into the precinct, because all the women go flocking over to him. He's a first class chick magnet that guy- but he never showed the slightest interest in any of them. Except Riley. Speaking of her, I hear she's going back to school?"
Elliot smiled and nodded, "She reapplied to Yale, and they accepted her again."
Munch nodded happily, and then heard someone step up behind him. HE turned and grinned broadly, "Winter, we were just talking about you!"
Winter smiled and said, "I hope it was good."
"Oh very. We were discussing your chick magnetism."
Winter rolled his eyes and flushed slightly, "I really don't know why. Seriously, back in school in Ireland I was the biggest dork of my class."
"You?" questioned Olivia with a smile.
Winter laughed and nodded.
"Hey how come I wasn't invited to join your little group?" exclaimed Devon, trotting over.
Olivia and Elliot looked at him in surprise, and Devon just grinned. "Didn't I tell you? That other job I applied for was with you guys. I am now a member of the NYPD. They figured I had enough FBI experience to just get some brief training in police procedure. Plus I took the police exam a couple months ago, just in case, and did quite well on it."
They both stared at him in stunned silence for a moment, before Olivia gave him a tight hug. "You'll like it, Devon. I am so happy for you."
Devon smiled and replied, "I am happy for you guys. I never thought we'd all be together again, and here we are."
"Here we are." repeated Elliot quietly as he glanced around at the large crowd around them. The ever cynical Munch who was chatting idly with another cop about some conspiracy; Fin had wandered over and was excitedly greeting them all; the two ADA's Casey and Alex; Devon and Reagan happily telling Winter about Devon's new job; and Riley, looking the happiest that she had in years. Elliot leaned over and tightened his arm around Olivia's waist.
Olivia laid her head against his shoulder, taking in a deep breath. Elliot looked down at her and asked, "You doing okay?"
"Never better." replied Olivia with a bright smile.
Munch suddenly got a funny look on his face and turned back to Winter. "So, Mr. O'Connor, are we going to be treated to your wonderful karaoke this year?"
Winter grinned and nodded. "Of course."
Elliot and Olivia glanced at each other in confusion, and Munch quickly informed them, "Winter here has been singing karaoke for the past couple years at this party. Tonight you are lucky enough to see it." When this did little to change Elliot and Olivia's expressions Munch just smiled wider and asked Winter, "What are you singing this year?"
"Time of Your Life." Winter said, "I thought that it would be quite appropriate."
And sure enough, in less than an hour, Winter was persuaded to sing. Astonishingly, he was an excellent singer- and the song was indeed extremely fitting for the occasion. Olivia put her arms around Elliot's neck and he placed his on her hips.
turning point; a fork stuck in the road, time grabs you by the wrist;
directs you where to go.
So make the best of this test and don't ask why.
It's not a question but a lesson learned in time.
It's something unpredictable but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.
So take the photographs and still frames in your mind.
Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time.
Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial.
For what it's worth, it was worth all the while.
It's something unpredictable but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.
Olivia sighed as Elliot pressed his forehead against hers, listening to the lyrics of the song. In the very last lines of the song, Olivia looked up at Elliot and said, "You know, it was truly the time of my life. Nothing compares to what I have experienced with you, Elliot."
Elliot raised her chin to look at him and told her, "I don't know where I would be if there hadn't been you. I love you so much."
"I love you too." Olivia replied, pulling him down to her in a deep kiss. As she felt him pull her closer she heard the last quiet strains of the song die out. When they parted, they saw Winter take a bow and grin over at them. He quickly trotted off the stage and walked over. "You have a very nice voice, Winter. Is there anything you can't do?" Olivia asked with a grin.
"Oh I can't do loads of stuff. But I just wanted you to know, I think that everyone has had an amazing experience with this case. Truly, I can't remember a time when the resolution of a case actually gave me a good amount of closure. But this one… it was so personal and now the chips are falling where they should. It's been a pleasure to work with you."
Elliot smiled at him and said, "You're a good guy, Mr. O'Connor." Winter looked surprised and gratefully grinned back.
Soon after was the trial of Doctor Regal. He was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, and his assistant, Winston Perry, got 25 to life. Elliot and Olivia left court quite satisfied, and went back to the precinct. Olivia picked up her old notebooks and legal pads, along with the file containing photos of her being taken out of the warehouse and then presumed dead. She gave one last look at them before Elliot placed the lid on the box and sealed it up.
A/N #2: Well, that's the end of the trilogy! I considered writing another, but decided that I dragged poor El and Liv through enough mud in these three that I couldn't handle doing it in a fourth! However, I am starting another new story about them….
PLEASE let me know what you think of this ending!