The Assassin

Chapter 6: Paranoia

A/N: Okay, here it is, the last chapter of "The Assassin". I hope you guys have enjoyed the ride and even though it is the last chapter, please don't be shy when it comes to leaving me a review. I'm trying to get over a hundred for this story.

Luckily, Carrie didn't stick around to see if her bullet had struck true. Only a millisecond after she fired, she was running towards the staircase. She did not stay to see that her bullet had done much less than the amount of damage she'd been hoping for.

Elliot set Eli on the couch as he ran to where Olivia was sitting on the floor, clutching her arm. He examined the wound. The bullet had seemingly grazed her but it had taken a big chunk of flesh and she was bleeding pretty badly. "It's okay," he assured her as he grabbed the phone and dialed 911. She looked awfully pale. She was losing a lot of blood in spite of the pressure she was applying to the wound.

She gave Elliot a wan smile, meant to reassure him that she knew she was going to be fine but it didn't exactly have that effect. "It's not that bad," she told him even as the blood continued to seep through her fingers.

The paramedics arrived soon after that. They tended to Olivia's wound as best they could and loaded her into the back of the ambulance. Elliot, holding Eli in his arms, climbed into the back alongside her. Samson, who had wined and whimpered when the paramedics had taken Olivia out of the apartment, was forced to stay behind and wait.

The ride to the hospital seemed, in Elliot's opinion, to take far too long. He grasped Olivia's hand with his and bent low so his lips hovered next to her ear, even as Eli complained about the change in position. "Hold on," he whispered "Please, hold on."

She smiled faintly at him, her eyelids closed "I'm gonna make it you know," she said in a weak voice that held an undertone of pure determination.

He smiled "I know," a tear rolled down his cheek. If he had known that the person at the door would shoot, he would have been the one to answer. He would do anything to keep Olivia from being hurt. He sighed heavily, thinking about what he had been about to say before she had gotten up to answer the door.

He shifted Eli up against his shoulder with the hand that wasn't holding Olivia's firmly pressed against the baby's back to hold him securely in place. His lips brush against her cheek "I don't think I could have survived these last couple days without you. I'm not sure I'll survive the next few weeks without you. You've kept me sane."

She laughed softly as they pulled into the hospital's ambulance bay and the doors opened "I'll be there for you however long you need me," she told him as they wheeled her away "I love you," she smiled kindly as she lost sight of him. She wasn't really aware that she had said it but something in her felt like it had been liberated by letting those three little words slip past her lips, whether he had heard it or not.

He had and he wasn't shocked by the admission. He had been trying to tell her the same thing in a more round about way. He knew deep down that she was going to make it but still, the fear gnawed at him. He sank into a waiting room chair and bounced his cranky son in his lap. The only thing to do now was wait.

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"Thanks for coming," Elliot smiled up at Casey. Though she was no longer the SVU prosecutor, he and Olivia had kept up a close friendship with her. Elliot had called her to ask if she could take Eli and watch him for the night. Casey of course had jumped at the chance.

"How is she?" Casey asked as she took Eli from his father. She sat next to Elliot and studied him carefully. She had heard about what had happened to his family on the evening news. It wasn't easy to be so out of the loop. She wondered if the new prosecutor even cared. She missed her job and she missed the squad.

"She's lost a lot of blood," Elliot explained "They're transfusing her now and then the doctor wants her to get some rest before they'll let me see her," he wanted to see her as soon as possible. He needed to tell her that he had felt the same way about her for a long time now, that he loved her.

Casey smiled softly "She's a fighter," she told him "You know she'll be screaming at the doctors to see you. I'm sure she'd rather see you than rest," she chuckled, knowingly.

Elliot smiled gratefully at her "Thanks again," he said, giving Eli a parting kiss on the forehead "I'll pick him up tomorrow."

"Take your time," Casey laughed, standing up "I never get any bonding time like this," she turned to leave, adjusting Eli in her arms "Wave bye-bye to Daddy," she cooed.

Elliot smiled and waved at his departing son then settled back down to wait. It turned out that he didn't have to wait long. A doctor appeared and approached him "She's asking to see you," the man informed him.

Elliot rose and followed the doctor into Olivia's room. She was sitting up in bed. The color had returned to her cheeks though she looked tired. He pulled up a chair beside her bed and opened his mouth to speak but she beat him to the punch "When can I get out of here?" she groaned.

"Soon," Elliot assured her with a smile "You're lucky. The doctor's said that the bullet came within a millimeter of severing the nerve." Elliot's eyes were drawn to the heavily bandaged wound on Olivia's upper left arm.

Olivia reached out with her right hand and grasped Elliot's hand tight "Did I really tell you I loved you?" she asked, having just the barest memory of the trip to the hospital.

Elliot's smile was dazzling "Yeah," he told her, stroking the palm of her hand with his thumb "Yeah, you did."

Olivia dipped her head, the blush never coming to her cheeks though the embarrassment was evident just the same. "I guess the cat's out of the bag," she murmured. How inappropriate to admit to her partner and best friend that she had such deep feelings for him not to mention it was only a day after he had lost his wife and four of his children.

"Yeah," Elliot murmured in agreement, the smile never leaving his face "How did either of us keep that cat in the bag for so long?" he asked.

Olivia looked up suddenly "Either of us?" she asked, hopefully. She smiled softly as the words washed over her. "You mean…?"

He smiled, leaning in and kissing her "For the last few years," he pulled back and looked at her "I wish I'd told you sooner."

"You told me," Olivia said softly "That's what matters." She looked around, having suddenly remembered something "Where's Eli?" she asked.

"I called Casey to pick him up," Elliot told her. Talk about love and what to do now could wait.

"What about Carrie?" Olivia said suddenly, remembering who it was that had shot her.

"Munch and Fin picked her up twenty minutes ago," Elliot assured her "The department leak admitted that she was in on Bushido's plan too."

Olivia groaned, letting her head fall back and her eyes drift closed "How many people does this guy have working for him?" she asked.

Elliot shook his head sadly "I don't know," he said in a worn out tone "Let's just hope we've got them all."

Olivia nodded in agreement, squeezing Elliot's hand tight. She watched Elliot's face carefully and saw the worry "Nothing's gonna happen," she assured him "We've plugged every leak in the precinct."

"We think," Elliot corrected.

"We can take whatever they try to throw at us," Olivia smiled, trying to erase the worry from Elliot's features. The ploy was unsuccessful.

Though the worry did not disappear from Elliot's face or from his mind, he decided to drop the subject. He managed to chuckle at Olivia's statement and kissed her again before the two of them lapsed into a comfortable silence.

"You should go home," Olivia told him half an hour later.

"Hmm…?" he asked, his eyelids starting to droop.

"Think of poor Samson," Olivia pouted "He's been home alone all this time. Someone needs to go walk him and keep him company."

Olivia's doctor entered the room at that moment. He smiled at the two detectives "You're free to go Detective Benson," he said, handing her the discharge instructions. He handed a copy of the instructions to Elliot "I'm leaving it up to you to make sure she listens to these."

Olivia laughed. The doctor had obviously figured out the kind of person she was. "Thank you," she said as the doctor retreated, laughing.

"I guess we can both go see Samson," Elliot said as he took Olivia's hand "But you'll have to get to bed at a decent hour," he joked.

Olivia poked him in the ribs with the elbow of her uninjured arm. "You'd better call Casey and tell her we're gonna be picking up Eli early."

Elliot nodded and pulled out his cell phone. He dialed Casey's apartment. There was no answer. He looked nervously in Olivia's direction "She's not answering."

"Try her cell," Olivia suggested "She's probably driving around, trying to get him to fall asleep."

Elliot nodded. Olivia was probably right. Aside from the night before, Eli was usually a fussy child and impossible to get to sleep. Elliot dialed Casey's cell phone. It rang and rang and rang. There was no answer. He called it again and again. He tried calling her apartment again.

He turned to Olivia "She's not answering," he said worriedly. The two hailed a cab and rushed over to Casey's place. There was no response to Elliot's frantic pushing of the buzzer. When one of Casey's neighbors finally let them in, they rushed up to Casey's apartment to find the door unlocked. They entered and searched the rooms.

Casey was in the bedroom, pacing with Eli in her arms. She almost dropped him when she saw Olivia, dressed in hospital scrubs, standing in the doorway. "What are you doing here?" she gasped.

"We came to pick up Eli," Olivia was surprised herself.

Elliot was quick to join her at the door to Casey's bedroom "Why didn't you answer your phone?" he asked, accusingly.

"I turned off the ringer," Casey shot back "You should have left a message."

"What about your cell phone?" Olivia asked.

"I left it in my car," Casey replied "I don't get many late night calls these days."

Elliot stepped forward and took his son from Casey's arms "You know your door's unlocked."

"Oh, thanks," Casey said as she handed the baby over "I'm a bit scatter brained these days."

"Well, thanks for watching him," Olivia said as they turned to leave.

"Anytime," Casey called after them.

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"I love you, very much," Olivia whispered in Eli's ear as she laid him in his crib and kissed his forehead. She turned to see Elliot sitting on her bed "Are you sure you're okay with sleeping in here with me?"

"Of course I am," Elliot smiled at her as she sat down beside him.

Olivia wrapped her arms around him and kissed him "I love you, you know."

Elliot smiled kissing her again "I know," he whispered "And I love you."

THE END