Disclaimer: They're Dick's. I'm just playing.

Author's Note: Written for challenges using the prompts "son", "pride & joy", and "kiss". Reviews are greatly appreciated :).


She smiles, watching intently as he pretends to wrestle the basketball from his twelve-year-old son. She knows that if he tried, Elliot could easily take the ball, but Dickie puts his full strength against his father's arm and breaks away from his grip, a grin spreading across his face.

"Hey Liv!" he yells, seeing that his twin sister isn't blocking Olivia, and throws the ball to her.

She catches it with ease and dribbles for a moment, tempting Elliot as she runs past him. "Hey!" she yells when he body checks her, stealing the ball and passing it to Elizabeth. She punches him in the bicep as he laughs, unable to keep the smile off of her face. "That was cheating!"

"There are no fouls in Stabler Style Basketball," he informs her, a mischievous smirk on his face, and he cheers as Lizzie makes a basket, ending the game. "Nice one, Liz," he tells her, giving his youngest daughter a high five. She can tell from the tone of his voice that even if his daughter had missed the shot, she'd still be his pride and joy.

Dickie rolls his eyes. "Liz and Dad always win," he informs Olivia and she laughs. "But at least without Kathleen, we didn't lose by too much."

Olivia watches as the twins run off with the basketball to play HORSE while she and Elliot sit on the bench, both ready for a time out. "Thanks for asking me to hang out with you guys today," Olivia tells him when he hands her a bottle of water.

"Well thanks for playing with us," Elliot replies. "Dickie would have been pissed if he'd had to take us on by himself," he winks. "And Liz and I can't split up...we're like the Dream Team."

"You wish," Olivia laughs. "We would have won if you hadn't fouled me!"

Elliot shrugs. "If you can't take it, stay off the court."

Olivia rolls her eyes at him, but can't help the laugh that escapes. She hadn't known what to expect when Elliot had called earlier, explaining that Kathleen had ditched them at the last minute to study for her English test with a few friends and that the twins had their hearts set on playing basketball; that Dickie and Lizzie had insisted that he call Olivia and ask her to hang out with them for the day. She'd been ready for a day of catching up on sleep and laundry, but hadn't wanted to say no to his kids, who she rarely saw anymore.

"Hey Dad! Can we go get dinner?" Lizzie yells from just under the basket. "I'm starving!"

"What time is it?" Elliot asks Olivia and she checks her watch.

"Five-thirty."

"You want to grab some pizza with us?" He asks, looking her right in the eye, hoping that she'll notice that he is asking because he wants her to, not because he knows she'll be alone for dinner otherwise.

She hesitates for a moment, but then hears Dickie and Lizzie laughing a few yards away and smiles almost against her will. She loves spending time with these kids. And, although she's not as quick to admit it, she loves spending time with her partner. "Yeah. That sounds good to me."

"Hey, Double Trouble!" Elliot yells over to them, standing up. "Let's go get pizza."

The twins both come running and lead the way to Gino's, in between Elliot's apartment and the park. "Can we take the pizza home and watch a movie while we eat?" Dickie asks. "Kathleen rented The Village last night and Liz and I want to watch it before she takes it back!"

"Fine with me," Elliot tells him, and he runs to catch up with his sister and tell her the good news. "You okay with that?"

"Sure. I love hanging out with your kids," Olivia admits, looking at the sidewalk, ahead of them, anywhere but at him. "Hey El?"

"Yeah?"

"I'm...I'm sorry about-"

"Liv, don't worry about it," Elliot says softly, running his hand along the back of his neck. "I know you needed some time and I..." he shrugs. "I was really pissed at first, as you know. But you did what you had to and I'm just glad you're back."

She nods, relaxing in the comfortable silence that follows. Just before they reach the door to the pizzeria, where Dickie and Lizzie wait impatiently, she shifts slightly, hitting her shoulder against his and looking right at him. "I missed you."

"Me too," he confesses.

By ten, Olivia is exhausted and ready to call it a night. She stands up from the couch in Elliot's living room, where she, Dickie, and Elliot all sit watching the last half of The Village, and looks at her partner. "I'm gonna head home. Thanks for dinner."

"No problem," he says. "See you Monday."

"Hey Liv?" Dickie asks, sitting up on the floor and turning slightly to face her. "I have a baseball game on Thursday...do you maybe want to come?" He looks nervous, his face turning at least eight different shades of red, and she grins.

"Absolutely. As long as nothing comes up with work, I'll be there," she promises. She reaches over, tousling his hair. "Night, kiddo."

"Night, Liv," he calls after her, as she walks into the kitchen and gives Lizzie a hug at the table, where she sits playing War with Kathleen.

"You heading home?" Kathleen asks, taking Lizzie's 10 of Clubs with her King of Hearts.

Olivia nods. "I'm planning on going to your brother's baseball game on Thursday, so I'll probably see you later this week."

"I'll be there."

"Me, too," Lizzie tells her, not taking her eyes off the cards on the table as they tie with two aces. "Night, Liv."

"Night. Good luck on your test, Kathleen."

"Thanks," she says, then groans when her sister eventually wins the ace.

Olivia's heart warms at the sound of their laughter, of their good natured teasing, and she's still smiling as she ties her sneakers when Elliot sneaks up behind her.

"You didn't want to see the end of the movie?" he asks.

"Seen it. I love the first half, but the second is too political and philosophical for me," she tells him with a smile. "Besides, I'm exhausted. Basketball killed me."

"You run three miles a day and one pick-up game in the park killed you?" he asks, clearly amused. "Jeez, Liv. You're gettin' old."

"Oh shut up, Stabler," she laughs. "Thanks for today," she tells him again, hitting his forearm gently with hers. "I'll see you Monday."

"See you," he says, and stares at the door for a few seconds after it closes. It only takes him a moment before he opens the door and rushes after her down the hallway, yelling her name when he sees the metal doors for the elevator start to close. He can't help but laugh at the look on her face as she stares at him, holding the button to keep the elevator open.

"What?" she asks, looking confused when he doesn't say anything.

"I, uh..." he reddens slightly and looks down at the floor. She doesn't think he's ever looked this nervous. "There's something I need to tell you."

"Okay..."

"It was my idea to ask you today. Not the Lizzie and Dickie's," he confesses, looking slightly embarrassed. She's not sure if the red in his face is a result of wanting her to spend time with them, or of using his kids as an excuse to call her.

She grins, blood rushing to her cheeks as well. "All right. Anything else?"

He nods, suddenly looking right at her. He takes a step forward, his hand on the door, holding it open. His heart leaps when she takes a step toward him, rather than back, and closes her eyes as he leans in, his lips brushing across hers so softly that she's not entirely sure it even happened. "I've wanted to do that all day," he confesses, softly pressing his forehead against hers.

She nods, her lips finding his again, this time parting his slightly with her tongue. "And I've wanted to do that all day," she tells him when she breaks away, her eyes still closed as she pushes him out of the elevator, a grin refusing to leave her face.

"Do you want to ride over with me on Thursday? To Dickie's game? Maybe we can grab a drink afterward," he suggests, unable to ignore that she's still holding open the door.

She nods, tucking her hair behind her ear, a nervous habit he's never noticed before. "Thursday." She lets go of the door and raises an eyebrow at him suggestively just as the doors close.

"Thursday," he repeats to himself, suddenly feeling as though it's his favorite day of the week.


yeah...that's it ;).