Title: Then Again, No
Spoilers: Through the end of season 8.
Notes: Damn. Looks like I busted my SVU cherry there. It wasn't gentle, the fucker.
She finds out about the baby the same way she found out about Kathy leaving him. His body curved and angry, he'd hissed it at her before fleeing.
It's the same feelings of weightlessness and fear that crash through her, settling hard in her ribcage.
She remembers getting home and staring at her wall and thinking that she can't do this anymore.
She's been doing that a lot lately.
This time, he's the one that shows up at her doorstep at 4am. She'd been awake when the text had come through. Slipped on a t-shirt and shorts without bothering to pull her hair back.
"Why?" Watches him flinch at all the meanings and permutations attached to that single word. Her skin feels sticky and tight and standing here on her stoop watching him try to answer, it occurs that this is what she'd wanted. He is safe again.
"Because... Because I am."
His back is straight and she thinks this is the first time in years it's been that way. She nods once, and the door clicks behind her as she goes upstairs.
She doesn't look back, but when she gets upstairs she stands in the shower. Two hours later, she's shivering while dressing for work, the impressions of her shower rack still indented on her palm.
After the announcements are made, backs are slapped, and most (not all) of the lewd remarks have been made, Don waves her aside.
"Is there going to be a problem?" His eyes are sincere and everything in Olivia aches just a little at it.
"Why would there be?" She smiles at him, face relaxed and certain.
He nods once before waving her off. He doesn't say anything about how her smile didn't reach her eyes. It hasn't in months.
She buys Kathy a congratulations card. It's got flowers on it.
The bullet to the side is a surprise. It's also completely stupid. A nervous kid who freaks out and doesn't have the safety on, and bang. There she is staring at the sky and panting.
It hurts. It hurts a lot.
And there in the alley, bleeding out and staring at the sky, she's laughing. Laughing and crying because it's funny. Because it hurts.
Elliot's hands are on her, she knows they're red. She stops laughing. Just watches him as he yells at her and tells her to hold on.
She doesn't stop crying, but then no one notices.
She goes on a date three weeks after she gets out of the hospital. Side sore and still healing, she listens to her date talk about non-profit work and how he wants to change the world. She smiles at him because it's sweet.
The next morning, Elliot can't quite look at her. She just bites her lip and finishes a report.
She fucks the non-profit guy five dates later. Breathing hard and sweating afterwards, she closes her eyes and breathes him deep. Her side aches, but she ignores it. It doesn't matter.
It never used to feel like cheating.
She closes her eyes, hating herself that she wonders if Elliot thinks that way too.
She never mails the card.