Disclaimer: Dick Wolf owns it bitches.
AN – Sorry, I know I'm a terrible person. I'm THE worlds worst updater (note to self: buy a mug) and this is why this is a one-shot.
I'd like to thank my FABULOUS beta, Laura, who watches fault WAY too much and has 'bumchickawawa' with Elliot…in her head…ALL the time.
Hope you like it ladies.
Remember to R&R.
Words are amazing, she thinks. There's power in words. She knows. They're able to deliver blows harder than a fist. They slice and cut and dig. Words twist your gut and make you feel like you're going to fall into a deep hole and never crawl out.
She thinks it would have hurt less if he had just hit her.
We can't be partners…
Words can strip you bare. They strip you right down to your bones and because her heart is a muscle, it's been stripped from her too.
Only, he already has her heart.
I couldn't take it…
She's been washing the shampoo out of her hair for far too long now. She's standing under the hot spray and she can hear small droplets hitting the shower curtain as it moves a little. She stands and she soaks and she tries to clean the day from her skin.
She's numb and she likes it that way. So when his apology isn't made, she doesn't feel it.
I know you would have taken the shot, Olivia…
Words are special, she thinks.
They're harsh and pounding and angry and defensive but they're there. They're not something you can usually see unless they're written down.
But they still feel like they're touching you, pulling and tugging. Hitting and bruising; and they hurt. They fucking hurt. Words eat at her as they whisper across her skin.
But, despite it all she still wants to hear them slip from his lips because one day they might just tell her what she's been waiting to hear.
What about me?
Truth and lies hurt differently, she thinks.
He lied and she corrected and she's not sure he believed. She asked and he didn't answer because both the truth and the lies would hurt.
They'd hurt differently, but she doesn't know how because they're too intertwined and everything's too complicated. Then, she thinks, maybe it would hurt the same because it's her and because and it's him.
I can't believe you're saying that…
That was a lie. She could believe he was saying it because it's the way they are. He thought and she felt.
She couldn't believe the hurt she was feeling. That's what was unbelievable. Not his words. Her feelings. Feelings weren't amazing. They just sucked.
Having feelings sucked.
You and this job are about the only things I've got anymore…I don't wanna wreck that…
She wants to lie down. She's tired and she wants to lie down in her tub because she feels almost safe here. Almost. The demons don't haunt her in the shower.
But, she remembers, she's cleaning the day from her skin. Cleaning her life from her soul.
Instead she sits. She wants to cry but she doesn't because she can't do that here. She closes her eyes and she wants to scream because it's all too much, but she doesn't, because she can't do that anywhere without hating herself for breaking.
I couldn't take it…
She thinks he wants to break too, maybe. She hopes he doesn't, because if she does she'll need someone to pull her back from wherever it is broken people go.
Her mother was broken. She thinks that maybe its genetics and she was just able to hold out longer. She's not sure.
She has this story in her head. It's about them but it's never told with words because they've never been kind to them. It's a story of pictures yet to be taken, memories which should be forgotten and feelings she has no right to.
When she allows to be told this story of her and him, she has a sense of nostalgia which shouldn't belong yet fits anyway.
She's sitting under the water, but she doesn't realise she's crying until she feels the salt slip past her lips. When it hits her tongue she wants to cry harder because she feels pathetic. Her fingernails have turned an odd shade of not-quite-purple, and she wonders briefly how long it will be before she's classified as hypothermic.
But she doesn't shut off the water because the air around her is colder.
In her story he rescues her and she wishes he would come and save her now because she's shivering and she feels like she's on the edge of drowning. She wants him to save her because she's never been saved and she thinks if she gives up that'll be it.
She needs faith; faith in him, faith in her.
Slowly, she stands and steps out into the frigid air. She reaches for her towel and dries quickly as her frozen fingers fumble from the cold. She glances up and catches a glimpse of the almost-blue tinge of her lips in the fogged mirror. She ducks her head almost as quickly because she doesn't need to be reminded of the sorrow in her eyes.
She reaches over and pulls on her tank and pants before she discards her towel and steps out of the bathroom. She stumbles into her bedroom because her feet don't quite work. She makes it into bed, slipping between the cold sheets and she feels the goose bumps rise on her skin as the material brushes against her. She wants to cry again and she can feel the tears seeping into her lashes as she tries to hold them back.
She swears she's still freezing because she's shivering, but she's not sure if it's from the cold or the fact he'd held her when she had fallen. She wants to get up; grab another blanket and turn on the heating but she doesn't, because the thought only serves to make her colder.
She knows if she lies perfectly still she can feel her blood begin to pump. She'll eventually begin to thaw, she thinks. She can feel sleep ebbing at the corners of her mind and for once she wants to give in because, for tonight, her fight has given up.
She lies in bed, staring at the ceiling instead of sleeping. All she thinks is she wants him to rescue her. Even after all the things he said, because he's still the only one who can save her.
I need to know you can do your job and not wait for me to come to the rescue...
She wants him to rescue her and when she hears the pounding on her door she can't help but hope.
She stays for a moment, suddenly unsure of what this means. She doesn't know what she wants it to mean.
The only thing she knows is it's him because it always is.
She finally slips from under her sheets because she can't stand to do nothing. She steps from the room and pads to the front door, goose bumps sweeping across her skin as she gets closer. She stops at the door and she wants to turn back. She can feel the tears forming again, and she doesn't know why but she can't find the energy to fight them anymore.
She wants to let them overwhelm her, but all of a sudden she's too tired, too worn and she wants to give in. Give up.
But she doesn't.
She twists the locks and pushes away the chain, resting her fingers on the handle. She closes her eyes and rests her head against the door because she knows he's doing the same.
She can feel him.
Slowly, she steps back and pulls the door open. Elliot stands there looking at her with red rimmed eyes and they remind her of her own. He doesn't move or say anything and neither does she. She can't open her mouth and ruin the silence right now even though her soul is screaming.
She wants to yell and scream and throw things at him; but all she can do is stare because the sight of him looking so broken breaks her a little bit more.
She takes in his shattered appearance and the way he's just the slightest bit out of breath. She notes the way his dress shirt is sticking to his chest from the rain she hadn't heard. She feels a slight smirk tugging at the corner of her lips when she sees how wrinkled his sleeves are from where they had been pushed and crumpled past his elbows when the stress got too much today.
The muscle in his cheek jumps every few seconds because he feels guilty and he's taking out on his jaw. She knows this because she's seen it so many times before. He stands with his hands in his pockets and he shrugs when her eyes meet his again. His lip twitches a little and she can feel her own tremble.
Forever in sync.
Her head drops back as she grips the door handle tighter, fighting for some sort of belief that she can stand here and look at the man who crushed her just a little bit more today. She inhales deeply because it's the only thing she can do on automatic when he's around.
You and this job are about the only things I've got anymore…
She sniffs and her chest contracts a little more with the effort to hold back a sob. She can feel a tear trickle into her hair and she makes sure xx there's no more before she drops her head forward again and looks him in the eyes.
She's cried enough today.
You and this job…
She wants to yell at him again, call him a sonovabitch like she did in that corridor. She wants to scream it. But her voice no longer holds any volume. She proved it today when she didn't yell her selfishness out to the world. Out to him.
What about me?
Instead, she stands in front of him with a slight breeze flowing up the stairs from down the hall, and tears pool because she no longer has the fight to hold them back.
To hold him back.
She lets him see what she can't say, and she watches when he doesn't close his eyes because she knows he won't. She watches as he lets them fill like hers because they've always been like that.
She wants to let them fall, for both their sakes but they wouldn't be Benson and Stabler if she did.
She wants to see them fall but they wouldn't be Ass-kicking and Stubborn-as-hell if he did.
She sighs deeply, shuddering as she lets the tears spill, trickling down her cheeks and dripping off her chin because they wouldn't be Elliot and Olivia if they didn't.
His tears stain the collar of his shirt and make the pale-blue darker where the rain hadn't already reached. They make his eyes darker too and she's never seen something so raw. He stands in front of her and she sees what he's saying underneath it all.
She wants him to speak though, because the silence is deafening and scary as hell because she can still hear him.
His lips part just a little and his tongue darts out to wet them. She mimics him because she can't help it and is met with saltiness once again. She almost laughs because he would taste like her.
She holds her breath as he pauses and it's when he turns from her that she wants to cry the most. She almost lets the sob slip because it's the third time in twenty-four hours he's left her when she feels like she's floundering, when she knows she's not going to make it.
It's the third time in twenty-four hours she's tried to feel like she's okay and she knows it's not working.
I couldn't take it…
She was lying when she thought she wanted to cry the most because it's now when he turns back to her when the sob tears through her. It's when he pulls her into his arms that she fully gives herself to feeling not so broken. He holds her tighter as she cries harder, and it's when she stops that his head lifts from her hair and his lips land gently on hers.
He kisses her softly, and she thinks it ironic that everything else has been so damn hard lately
"I'm sorry, Liv," he mumbles and she nods, falling into him once again because it's when she feels his arms circle around her tighter, she knows.