Title: Fallin' In Love Again
Notes: Last chapter!!! A thank you dinner…
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters or the show or the story lines on the show. I do; however, own the characters that I make up so please don't steal them. Any resemblance to anyone or anyplace is a coincidence.
Chapter Ten: Dinner
"Hey," Olivia greeted Elliot when she found him in the locker room.
"Uh hey. I thought you were going home?" he replied.
"I was. I mean I am. I just wanted to ask you if you'd like to come out for dinner with Casey, the kids and I? My shout, sort of a thank you for all your help and support," she explained.
"Sounds great. When and where?" he asked her.
"Uhhhh not sure on that yet. Probably Friday night but I don't know time or place. I'll let you know," she told him.
"Great," he grinned at her.
"Great," she echoed, grinning back. "I'll see you tomorrow then."
"See ya," Elliot replied.
The dinner had eventually been scheduled for 6.30pm on Friday. So at 5pm on Friday the Benson house was a madhouse.
"MOM!! Is Auntie Casey here yet?!" Mollie yelled from her bedroom.
"No, she's like two minutes away!" Olivia yelled back from the bathroom where she was trying to do her hair and make up. Mollie was getting antsy because Casey had agreed to french braid her hair. Olivia still couldn't figure out how to do it. Mollie came into the bathroom to watch Olivia do her makeup.
"Mom can I wear mascara?" she asked.
"No," Olivia replied trying to focus on what she was doing so that she didn't poke herself in the eye with the mascara brush.
"Why not?" Mollie whined.
"Because you're eight," Olivia replied.
"I'm nearly nine," Mollie said sulkily. "Can I wear lipstick?" she asked brightly.
"No. You can wear that tinted lip-gloss that Casey gave you though," Olivia told her.
"Oooh Ok!" as Mollie skipped off Olivia heard a car come up the driveway. She finished putting on her mascara and went to let Casey in.
"Hey," she grinned as she let Casey in. "You look great," she commented as she took in Casey's dark green top and dark blue jeans.
"So do you," Casey replied. "Right now where is that girl of yours?"
"In her room," Olivia told her. Casey grinned and headed to find Mollie.
It was somewhat of a miracle that they arrived at the restaurant on time but they did. Elliot was waiting by the door for them.
"Hello ladies and Henry," he greeted. He received a chorus of hellos back and Olivia handed Henry to him.
"Have a kid El," she grinned.
"Thanks," he replied sarcastically. "How ya doin' Henry?" he asked.
"Elliot," Henry replied, patting Elliot's arm.
"That's me. How about we open the door for these ladies?" Elliot asked.
"Open door," Henry nodded. Elliot moved and opened the door for the women. Inside they took off their coats and hung them over the backs of their chairs.
"Like my outfit Elliot?" Mollie twirled so that Elliot could see all of her outfit – a purple top with pink polka dots and bows at the side and jeans.
"You look beautiful Mollie," Elliot told her. "All you ladies look great," he said, looking directly at Olivia as he said it. This didn't escape Mollie and Casey's attention. Casey winked at Mollie and she giggled. The last time Mollie had stayed at Casey's she had told Casey about how Elliot and Olivia always made 'googly eyes' at each other.
As they waited for the food they had ordered Mollie was entertaining them all by chattering non-stop about kids at school.
"There's this new boy and his name is Travis and he's kind of cool and his Mom's a lesbian!" she told them. Olivia choked on her drink and Casey tried not to laugh, she had known that was coming.
"What?!" Olivia managed to splutter.
"A lesbian mom. You know, she likes girls instead of boys," Mollie told her.
"I know what a lesbian is Mollie. I'm just surprised that you do," Olivia said, recovering.
"Mom I'm eight," Mollie told her. Casey tried not to laugh at Mollies 'well duh' tone. "Travis' mom is a vet," Mollie went on with her story. "He has three cats, two dogs and a bird that talks. He brought his bird to show and tell. It says funny things. Travis is trying to teach it to say 'butt crack'-,"
"Ok that's not really table talk Mollie," Olivia interrupted.
"Sorry," Mollie apologised. "Mom can Bella and Travis come and have a sleep over for my birthday?" she asked.
"Maybe. We'll see when it gets closer to your birthday ok?" Olivia told her.
"Ok," Mollie said. A waiter appeared and put plates in front of Henry and Mollie. "Oooh food. Thank you!" she said brightly to the waiter.
"You're most welcome," the waiter replied.
Once they had finished their dinner they headed back to Olivia's for a few drinks. Henry had been cranky and more than ready for bed by the time they got home and had been asleep within minutes of Olivia tucking him in. Mollie was not so keen on going to bed.
"What does vodka taste like mom?" she asked.
"You'll find out when you're 21," Olivia said dryly. "Would you like to take my laptop into your room and watch a movie?" she asked.
"Yeah!" Mollie said excitedly. "I want to watch Madagascar!"
Olivia rooted around in their video cupboard until she found the DVD Mollie wanted. Then she handed Mollie her laptop which had been sitting up on a shelf. "You know how to set it up right?" Olivia asked.
"Yep," Mollie told her.
"Ok you come and see me when the movie is finished and I'll come tuck you in all right?" Olivia told her.
"Ok Mom. Night Auntie Casey, night Elliot!" Mollie raced around to give them kisses and cuddles then headed to her bedroom singing 'I like to move it, move it! I like to move it, move it!', causing them all to laugh.
"Sorry about the restaurant conversation," Casey told Olivia. "I knew that was coming and I should have stopped it but I wanted to see the look on your face when she said it," she explained.
"Thanks for that," Olivia said sarcastically. "It was funny though. Eight year olds just aren't as innocent as they used to be are they? I can remember finding out what a lesbian was when I was 13!" she told them. Casey laughed.
"Me too," she agreed.
"Next comes the sex talk," Elliot teased.
"Oh god," Olivia buried her face in her hands.
"I think you'll find she's quite informed about that too," Casey giggled.
"Casey!" Olivia yelped.
"It wasn't me!" Casey defended herself. "When she was at my house one night she told me that someone at school told her what sex was and asked me if they were lying. I just told her they weren't lying," she told Olivia.
"Then what?" Olivia asked.
"Then she told me that grown ups are even more gross than she thought and changed the subject," Casey laughed and Olivia and Elliot followed.
"I just wish she could stay innocent forever," Olivia sighed. "She's got such a pure view of the world and human nature. I wish she didn't have to learn the truth about it. I wish I could spare her finding out that some people are just plain evil and that there's no rhyme or reason to the awful things they do."
"Welcome to the world of parenting Liv," Elliot replied. "Almost every parent wishes that for their child. And the ones that don't, should," he told her.
"Amen to that," Casey agreed, she downed the rest of her vodka and orange juice in one gulp.
It was 1am when Elliot finally decided to call it a night. Casey had fallen asleep (or passed out – Olivia wasn't sure which - ) on the couch at about 12.30am. Olivia stood and walked to the door with Elliot.
"Thanks for all of you support with the kids Elliot. I couldn't have done this without you and Case," Olivia told him.
"No problem Liv," he told her. "You look really nice tonight," he said awkwardly.
"Thank you…um…will you come and pick up you car in the morning?" she asked to break the tension.
"Yeah," Elliot replied. "Thanks for dinner," he added.
"You're welcome," she replied.
"Night Liv," Elliot smiled and turned away. A hand landed on his elbow and turned him back around. He was shocked when a pair of soft, warm lips landed on his. The kiss wasn't long but it was definitely longer than a friendly kiss would have been. Olivia pulled away and smiled shyly.
"Goodnight Elliot," she said softly.
"Night Liv," he repeated his earlier statement and turned to walk home.
Mollie waited until she heard her mom get into bed before she headed back out to the living room. She approached the couch. Casey was snoring quietly which told Mollie that she wasn't really drunk. Mollie reached out and touched her cheek.
"Auntie Casey," she said softly. Casey stirred. "Auntie Casey," Mollie repeated.
"Mmmm?" Casey said sleepily.
"Guess what?" Mollie asked.
"What?" Casey sat up and rubbed at her eyes.
"Mom and Elliot were saying goodnight out by the front door and mom gave Elliot a kiss!" Mollie said excitedly.
"Oh Mollie that's awesome," Casey grinned.
"I know," Mollie replied smiling. "Will you come and sleep in my bed Auntie Casey?" she asked shyly.
"If you want," Casey replied. Mollie nodded and so Casey followed her up the stairs and the two of them climbed into Mollie's bed. Mollie snuggled up and they both fell asleep quickly.
Olivia woke up at 7.30am the next day when Henry called out to her. As she walked him down the hall to her room for their morning snuggle, she saw Casey and Mollie snuggled up together in Mollies bed. She smiled and quietly walked in to tuck the blankets around them, before carrying on down the hall to her bedroom.
As Olivia lay in bed Henry falling back to sleep in her arms she thought about how much her life had changed. Not so long ago she had been totally alone in the world. She had an empty apartment, a job that was slowly destroying her and a partner and friend that she kept pushing further and further away from her. She refused to let anyone close, afraid that if she did she would get hurt, or worse, hurt them. She didn't want to drag anyone else into the cesspool of darkness that was her life. Now five and a half years later she was living in the light again. She wasn't constantly at work anymore .She had a daughter and a son at home that she loved more than the world itself. She had a best friend who knew the ins and outs of her job, who laughed with her, cried with her and got drunk with her after particularly disturbing cases. And she had Elliot. Elliot, her other best friend, and her partner who over the last few years she had strengthened her friendship with. Elliot, who she now found herself falling deeper and deeper in love with. Now her life was full. And it was all thanks to one cute little 3 year old on a child abuse case that would otherwise have been the last straw for her. Her last thought as she drifted back to sleep was that now she had a family, the best family in the world in her opinion. Now she was happy.
The restaurant conversation was almost an exact transcript of a conversation I recently had with an eight year old child I was babysitting. It was a very awkward and, in hindsight, a pretty funny situation. The bit about the bird was inspired by a parrot I saw in a pet shop. It actually squawked 'Butt crack' whenever someone walked past it! Being me (me having the maturity level of an eight year old) I found it absolutely hilarious and had a weird desire to include it…
Well, after nearly two years I have finally finished this story. To those who are still with it: thanks for staying with it, thanks for bearing with me and my terrible updating patterns and I hope you enjoyed the ending. Thanks to everyone who has read and reviewed you are all awesome.
Now to finish my other stories and begin new ones…