Chapter 16

"Olivia, welcome back. You two, in my office," Cragen said, looking at Elliot and Olivia.

"Captain, I just came to say hi, I'm not staying." But Cragen had already disappeared into his office.

Olivia sighed and she and Elliot followed Cragen into his office. Olivia's side was still painful where she had been shot. The cuts on her arms and cheek were healing nicely, probably wouldn't even leave scars, but the bruise on her jaw was large and still extremely dark; it would probably take quite a while to go away.

"I need a full account of what happened. Start with the kidnapping and go from there," He said, leaning against his desk and crossing his arms.

"Some guy stopped me, asked for directions. I told him where to go, turned my back and he knocked me out. I'm pretty sure it was Jeremy, Elliot told me about everyone. I woke up in the basement and I heard them tell Elliot that he'd be stuck in the clubhouse for two weeks." She really didn't want to tell him what had almost happened at the end of those two weeks.

"They gave me the knife, not quite a week later. Told me to cut her," Elliot said, knowing Cragen would want an explanation for the cuts.

"So you did?" Cragen asked.

"I did, but Elliot took the credit," Olivia explained.

"And the bruise, that came from Elliot?"

"He had no choice, captain, we had to make it look real," Olivia said, not wanting Elliot to get in trouble; he felt guilty enough and she knew it.

"I understand, Olivia, I just need to know what happened," Cragen said calmly. "So they didn't see Olivia at all during those two weeks?"

"No, they said she was mine," Elliot said with disgust.

"Why were they downstairs when we raided the place?"

Elliot felt like his tongue had stopped working. Olivia noticed the look on his face and replied for him, "They were watching us. It's the final part of their initiation. They want to make sure their new member isn't shy."

"So you were…" Cragen closed his eyes and shook his head. "Forget it, I don't need to know. You were both doing what you needed to do to survive."

"Nothing happened, you came in just in time," Elliot said, finding his voice again.

"Just go, I'll deal with whatever crap IAB decides to come up with. Get some rest, Olivia." Elliot and Olivia both left the office.

"You're coming back, right?" Elliot asked.

"Of course. I'm surprised you'd even ask," she said.

"And we're still…" he felt so awkward around her. They hadn't actually done anything, but he still felt horrible about it all.

"We're cool, Elliot." She smiled and put a reassuring hand on his arm.

"I'll give you a ride home," he offered. She didn't argue.

"Would you have gone through with it, if the others hadn't shown up?" Olivia asked.

"I honestly don't know. But I think I would have. That's the part I hate to think about."

"You know we didn't do it, right?"

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"It means I don't want you feeling guilty about something you didn't even do. Especially when you were only doing it to save me."

"I'll never feel right about what happened there. I gave in, I just did what they expected. I should have…" He pounded his fists against the steering wheel.

"Using your fists would have been stupid, and it would have gotten us both killed. You did what you had to do, the only thing you could. I know you feel like you let me down or something, but you're not my knight in shining armour, El. I don't expect you to save the day all the time, I expect to be able to trust you to do what needs to be done. Your job is to help me, have my back, so I can save myself. I need to know you're not going to do something stupid to try to make up for what happened down there. Because El…just because something bad happened doesn't mean I can't kick ass anymore." She smiled.

Elliot sighed and managed a weak smile. "I know. I've always got your back; you can count on me."

"As a friend or a partner?"

"Both."