Don Cragen collapsed on his bed in complete exhaustion. He, Elliot, and Olivia had spent most of the day in the hospital….again. While getting ten stitches in his left hand, Dr. Vickery had asked to speak with him and Olivia privately. Dr. Vickery led the two police inside his office and asked questions about how Elliot was handling being away from the hospital. When Don told him about the nightmares, the doctor reassured him that they were normal, but that Elliot's breakdown during breakfast was not. Dr. Vickery left them with careful instructions to keep a guarded eye out for Elliot, and to bring Elliot back to see him if his behavior continued. When Elliot had joined them in Dr. Vickery's office, he would not meet anyone's gaze, and refused to talk to any of them. When Olivia asked if he just wanted to go home, he nodded his head and kept his gaze focused on the carpet at his feet. The entire ride home was filled with silence. When they had gotten there, Elliot informed them that he just wanted to go to bed. Elliot's silence worried Don, and had kept him up most of the night. Olivia had gone home several hours earlier with the promise to come back tomorrow after work. These thoughts soon left him as sleep claimed his body.
Captain Cragen awoke the next day to hear pounding on his door. He glanced over at his alarm clock, and the bright numbers told him that it was 6:30am. He sat slowly up in bed, rubbing the sleep out of his tired eyes. He quickly made his way to the insistent knocking and was surprised to see Alex Cabot standing there.
"Alex." he said surprised. "What's wrong?" Cragen opened up the door further to let Alex in. Alex stepped into the house, shedding her black pea coat.
"Nothings wrong, Captain. I just wanted to tell you that the trial date has been set." Cragen look at her in shock.
"Yes. Apparently the D.A. wants to do it as soon as possible since it is such a high profile case." Don paused a moment before answering.
"Ok. When?" Alex's eyes went downcast as she started to fidget nervously. "Alex!" Cragen yelled, raising his voice. "When!?!" he asked sternly." Alex took a deep breath before answering.
"In two weeks." Don's eyes went wide in shock.
"Two WEEKS? What the hell? Elliot won't be nearly ready by then! Especially not after yesterday!" Alex looked up at Don confused.
"Yesterday? What happened yesterday?" Cragen motioned for Alex to sit on the couch as he told Alex the story of what happened. After a few moments of silence, Alex spoke up with tears in her eyes.
"Wow. He just can't get a break, can he? Well, I don't think that I am going to be able to get the D.A. to change it. He's already given us a lot of grace on this. Just talk to Elliot. I'll start working on him, and he'll be more than ready by then."
"Ok." Don conceded. "Let's go see if Elliot's awake. I'm surprised we haven't heard him by now."
As Don and Alex made there way towards Elliot's room, he laid a comforting hand on her shoulder and gave it a gentle squeeze as she wiped away all remaining tears. When he opened the door, they were startled to find that Elliot was not in his bed. Don pushed the door open quickly a frantically looked around the room until his eyes fell on his detective. Casey stood back as she witnessed Elliot, a man she once thought could never be intimidated or frightened, huddled in the corner of the room sobbing uncontrollably. His body was shaking from the tears and faint whimpers could be heard over the tears. Don rushed over to Elliot and was not surprised when he flinched under his touch. Elliot's sobs only rose louder, and Cragen looked up desperately to Alex who stood there shocked. Alex heart melted when she held her breath and heard Elliot repeating the same phrase quietly.
"I'll be good. I'll be good. I'll be good." Alex's tears began to fall once more as she rushed over to comfort her friend. She threw her arms around him and held him close, letting his tears run down her neck.
"Shhh." Alex said soothingly. "It's alright, Elliot. I'm right here. Don't be afraid." Casey sat on the floor with her arms around him for several minutes before Elliot finally began to calm down. As his tears subsided, he pulled away from Alex and wiped his blood-shot eyes with the back of his hand. Both looked to the bedroom door when Cragen came in with is wheelchair.
"Ready for some breakfast, Detective?" Cragen asked. As Elliot confirmed it with a nod, Alex and Elliot carefully helped their friend. Cragen proceeded to push Elliot out to the kitchen as Alex began gathering her things. She walked back over to Elliot and bent down to give him a hug.
"Thanks, Alex." Elliot said as he gave her a small smile. Alex smiled back with a wide grin.
"Anytime, Elliot. I'm coming by again tonight. I have to talk to you." Elliot's face turned serious as he realized that this was probably about the trial. He turned his face away from her gaze as Don gave her a sympathetic look. As she opened to door to step outside, bright flashes from cameras and overzealous reporters began to call out to her. Alex took a quick, surprised step back, and looked at Don's shocked expression. Alex left quickly expecting a call from the D.A. as soon as she appeared on the news. Don Cragen watched Alex go, and felt another headache coming along.
"Damn! Not again!"
Ok. That's all for right now. This was basically just a transition chapter to set you up for the next one. The next chapter will be almost two weeks later right before the trial begins. Believe me, this story is so far from over. But, I could use some help….anyone have any ideas about what should happen next. As always review. I should update next week….it's SPRING BREAK!!!!