Chapter 2: Worry, Fear, and Confusion

Olivia was shaking by the time she and Elliot arrived at ST. Catherine's.

"It's OK, Livia," he soothed as he lifted her out of the car gently.

"We'll get to the bottom of this."

Olivia stirred s little. "I'm sorry you had to catch me like that, El," she said with an embarrassed smile,

Elliot chuckled. "Don't worry about it, Livia," he assured her as they entered the hospital. "That's what partners are for."

Olivia was about to thank him when her phone rang again. "Benson," she answered as she shifted in Elliot's arms.

"Livia, Cap told us you were feelin' a little rough," Fin said gently. "Anything we can do?"

"It's sweet of you to offer, Fin, but no. Elliot and I just got to the hospital, We'll keep you posted."

"Call us if you need us, Livia. Anything, anytime. I mean it."

"Thanks, Fin," she said, smiling as she hung up.

"What did Fin want?" Elliot inquired.

"He wanted to see if he could help us."

Elliot nodded. "Doctor?" he called.

Suddenly, Doctor Reynolds came toward them. "Detectives, how can I help you?"

"I'm nauseous, lightheaded, and I can barely walk because my knees are so weak," Olivia explained. "That's why Elliot had to carry me in."

"How long has this been going on?"

"Only since this morning."

"Have you been under stress lately?"

"I'm always under stress, Doctor. In our line of work, there's no such thing as a day without stress."

"I understand. Elliot, you can put Detective Benson down on the table now."

Olivia laughed. "You can call me Olivia, Doc," she told her with a smile.

"OK," Doctor Reynolds agreed as Elliot put her down. "Did these symptoms come on suddenly, Olivia?"

"Yeah. I was fine last night, and then this morning, bam, I'm flat on my back."

"I'd like to draw some blood. Hopefully, that'll give us a better view of what's going on."

"OK, whatever it takes," Olivia agreed as she extended her arm to Doctor Reynolds, who put a band around it to expose a vein before drawing the blood. Olivia looked away. She'd always been a little jumpy when it came to needles. Elliot noticed this and squeezed her free hand.

"I'll put a rush on this and have it back in about an hour," Doctor Reynolds told them as she bandaged Olivia's arm before leaving the room.

"It'll be OK, Livia," Elliot soothed, squeezing her hand again.

Suddenly, Olivia's fear set in, and she began sobbing openly, so Elliot wrapped her in a comforting embrace. It hurt him to see her like this. "Don't be scared, Livia. You'll be fine. I'm right here."

Olivia continued to let her emotions take control for another half-hour. The tears only stopped when Doctor Reynolds was heard knocking on the door.

"Come in," she and Elliot said together.

"I got your blood work back, and I have an answer to your symptoms," Doctor Reynolds told them as she entered. "It turns out it's not as serious as we first thought. You're a little anemic, but some iron supplements should take care of that. The anemia explains the weakness and the lightheaded feeling you've been having. The nausea is just a physical manifestation of your worry. It's really nothing to be alarmed about. I happen to have the iron supplements with me. I picked them up on my way in." She handed Olivia the bottle and said, "Take one a day for about two weeks. After that, your iron levels should be back to normal. Just take an OTC pill for the nausea."

"Thanks, Doc," Olivia said with a grateful smile.

"That's why I'm here."

Elliot shook her hand and helped Olivia off the table. "Can you walk?"

"I'll give it a try," Olivia answered bravely.

With that, they walked to the car, and, oddly enough, Olivia could feel some of her strength returning.