Alas, we have come to the end. I apologize to those who wished for a "happy" ending for Olivia and Elliot, but I hope you can understand that it could never fit in with this story. Thanks to everyone for the reviews and comments, they were much appreciated.
CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO - Epilogue
"…Casey, you gotta make this stick. Esterman killed his wife and his daughter."
"Elliot, you gotta give me more to win this! This isn't enough to compel Esterman's DNA."
Elliot blew out air in frustration. This lawyer was going to walk if they couldn't find a way to hold him.
"What if we pulled his DNA from United Blood Services," Detective Ed Green suggested. "He gave that up voluntarily."
Elliot and Casey nodded in approval. His new partner was up from the 27th precinct, and he was proving to be a talented detective.
"Elliot," Cragen called out, "in my office please."
He nodded to Casey and Green and headed into the captain's office. He saw Huang sitting on the edge of the desk. He immediately fought the urge to escape.
"What's up Cap?" he asked neutrally.
"Huang wanted to speak with you," Cragen explained, "and since you have been avoiding him, he asked me to assist."
Elliot rolled his eyes, but he didn't counter. It was true. Ever since Olivia's proceedings he had been avoiding the psychiatrist like the plague.
Olivia. He really should be thanking the doctor. Because of him and his session tapes with her, Casey and the state were forced to offer Olivia a plea, 25 years to Life with possibility of parole, to be served in a mental health facility where she could get the treatment she so desperately needed.
"I'll leave you two alone," Cragen said, exiting the room.
"What do you want Huang?" Elliot asked irritably.
Huang smiled. He could really be annoying sometimes, Elliot thought. "When was the last time you went to visit Olivia, Elliot?"
"My point exactly."
Elliot smirked, he hoped convincingly. "I don't make a habit of visiting perps in prison."
Huang stood up and crossed his arms and approached Elliot. He cocked his head. "I can see how she would be a perp to any other detective. But to you? I find that somewhat surprising."
He was losing his patience. "Look Doc, this is none of your business. My thought process is none of your business. If you have anything to say to me about one of my cases then fine. If not, let me get back to my job," Elliot spun around angrily and reached for the door.
"She asks about you. She asks about you all the time."
The psychiatrist's soft voice stopped him cold. He had spent the last year erasing every memory, every thought he had of Olivia. Or at least tried to.
Huang walked up and stood behind Elliot. "You see it everyday Detective," he began, "people who are so damaged by their childhood, by their past, that they are affected in the mind as well as the body. You see it everyday. Because she is Olivia, she doesn't deserve your compassion and understanding?"
"She murdered eleven people Huang," Elliot responded, teeth clenched. He rested his head against the cool, smooth wood of the door. "One of which was my aunt. What about that? Can you tell me about that? How could I have not known? How can two people be as close as Olivia and I and I not know something like that?"
"As crazy as it sounds, it was a total coincidence that Sasha picked your aunt…not that it makes it any better. The Olivia you knew was Olivia, Elliot. Her alter, or personality, was Sasha, a totally different entity than her. She doesn't even know Sasha personally, just from the notes I've given her from our sessions." Huang was thoughtful. "Let me ask you something Elliot. How much of this do you blame on yourself?"
Elliot finally looked at the doctor, his eyes bright with tears. "She did this because of me…I was the reason she killed all those people, to be with me, to have me. Maybe if I would have…made a move before…"
Huang shook his head. "It's not your fault Elliot. You weren't the cause, you were more of a factor, an object for Sasha's obsession. Olivia was kept from the affection of others by her mother. So the source of Olivia's abuse became Sasha's focus. You have to know it was the abuse she suffered as a child that caused this disorder, not you."
Elliot rubbed his chin. "I fell in love with her Huang," he whispered. "She was my best friend in the world and I lost her."
"You haven't lost her," Huang said quickly. "Yes, you will never have the relationship that you pictured for the two of you, but you can still have a relationship. You were a very important part of her life Elliot. Don't turn your back on her now."
Elliot nodded, but wouldn't budge. "Are we done here?"
Huang reached into his jacket and pulled out a slim white envelope. Passing Elliot on his way out of the office, he held the envelope out to him.
"What's…" he stopped. His name was scrawled on the front, in Olivia's handwriting.
"She wanted me to give you this, Detective."
Elliot watched him leave, absently fingering the letter.
Olivia was busy annihilating her fellow cellmate at chess when the guard came for her, announcing that she had a visitor.
"Lucky Cara," Olivia taunted.
"Yeah, yeah," her cellmate said, rolling her eyes. "Just hurry back will ya?"
Olivia quickly got up and followed the guard. She didn't bother to ask who her unexpected visitor was. She knew it had to be Huang, Fin, Munch or Cragen. She had even gotten a visit from Casey once, but that proved to be way too awkward for both of them to promise any future meetings. She appreciated the detectives dearly for standing by her side, even though she knew it was very difficult for them to work it out morally within themselves. Munch and Huang found it the easiest to accept her, Huang always bringing her gifts, Munch always finding some way to make her laugh.
Olivia walked into the visiting room and stopped cold. Elliot looked up from his chair, a nervous set to his features.
"Hel…hi Olivia," he said, stammering.
Olivia was slack jawed. She never in her wildest dreams expected him to visit her. Did he really read the letter?
Despite the bizarre circumstances, he couldn't help noticing how beautiful she was. She had gained a bit of weight, but it fit her frame very well. Her hair was longer than he had ever seen it, at least an inch past her shoulder.
Elliot coughed uncomfortably. Olivia shook herself out of her reverie and gingerly took a seat across the table from him. "Hi Elliot," she said softly.
He stared everywhere but at her. This was ridiculous, he thought. What were they supposed to talk about? Hey Olivia, for the past year I've been busy putting away the scum of the earth…oh? That's right. Some of my more esteemed clients you may have met here. What a coincidence, small world. But he was here for a reason, no turning back now.
He opened his jacket and pulled out the letter. He tossed it on the table. Olivia was shocked and puzzled to see that it was unopened.
"What is this? Return delivery?" she joked weakly.
"No," he said, his eyes on the envelope. "I don't know what it says in that letter. But something tells me it's something that you would rather tell me in person. So, I'm giving you the opportunity."
Olivia smiled sadly, her eyes starting to water. "You know, Elliot…I'm sorry. I'm so sorry for so many things. And I can understand why you stayed away. But don't do this. Don't mock me to make yourself feel better."
Elliot chuckled softly. He looked at her finally. "I have been trying for a year to get you out of my mind Olivia. Everything we had. Everything that should have been…I need to hear this from you."
Olivia stared deep into his eyes. Okay. This was okay. The tears were falling more freely now. "Do you remember that case we worked on…Plummer? The man who killed those people to get back at me? And you were worried about me and had those cops detail me? Don't get me wrong, I was so angry with you, I wanted to smack you. But I fell in love with you that night. And I was afraid to let you in when you came to my apartment that night because I was afraid of this newfound vulnerability and wasn't exactly sure what it was at the time. I'm not good at this, I never have been. I didn't want to fall in love. Especially, not with you. You… you with the beautiful family and so much to lose.
"But this letter..." she said, picking it up, "it's a thank you. Thank you for being my best friend. Thank you for being my partner. Thank you for teaching me so much about the world. Thank you for giving me one night of indescribable passion. And thank you for showing me what I had never known before – what it's like to be loved and cared for."
She took a shaky breath, setting the letter down. "And the letter was an apology. I'm sorry. I'm sorry for being responsible for your Aunt's death. I'm sorry for bringing you so much pain. I'm sorry for putting your life in danger. I'm sorry for not being the person you thought I was. I'm sorry that I can never be the person you so deserve. And most of all, I'm sorry that I made it impossible for you to love me."
Elliot reached over and took her hands in his. He looked deep into her eyes and for the first time in a year he felt at home. "No Olivia," he said, smiling through his own tears. "You made it impossible for me not to love you."