Author's Note: Alas, the end. I apologize for leaving you guys hanging for so long. Hopefully what I've come up with will be worth the wait. It's a more than a little dramatic and I hope I didn't take it too far. We'll see. I would like to thank you all for reading, reviewing, alerting, and just enjoying my little scribble on the SVU wall and once I finish a few more of my WIPs, I will happily return to this fandom. Again, thank you all for the support. With love, ~*CMW2*~
Disclaimer: "Honestly, it's not mine!"
"You don't have to do this, Kathy!"
"Just shut up! I…I don't want to hurt her but I will, Elliot. I swear to God I will!"
Olivia kept her breathing deep and soft as Kathy dug the barrel of her gun into the center of her back. The twins, Kathleen and Maureen were crying silently in the corner and she could see more tears well up in Elliot's eyes. His hand was shaking as he held the gun on his ex-wife and she looked up into his eyes beseechingly.
Put it down, El.
"I can't let her take you out of here, Liv."
She blinked owlishly and raised her brows.
You don't have a choice in the matter. She's already pointed this gun at her own children. Do you really think that she won't hesitate to shoot you to get out of here?
It really wasn't fair, when Olivia thought about it. She and Elliot had only had a little bit of time to be together fully and now, Kathy was coming out of the woodwork to ruin it. The blonde woman reeked of booze and there was a dark dullness in her gaze that hadn't been there before.
Her final breakdown most likely corresponded with Kathleen being released from the rehab facility and then choosing to move in with them immediately. Kathy's new lawyer hadn't even had the opportunity to pitch the idea before she gave a resounding "no"...
"Listening to her paint a picture of lies and infidelity helped cause my addictions in the first place. I know that it's my choice to stay clean at the end of the day but staying with my mom makes me way more likely to fall off the wagon…"
Looking at Kathy that day, Olivia realized that she was now completely over the edge so as horrified as she was at the current situation she was in, she wasn't really surprised about it.
"I just got you, Liv. I…I don't want to lose you." he rasped in a cracking voice even as he slowly lowered his piece.
"I'll be okay." she assured them all as Kathy backed out the door and urged her to get in the driver's seat of her car. After taking a deep swig from a bottle in a paper bag, she told her to head towards the City…towards the place where her husband let himself be stolen.
Why does she want to go to the 1-6?
Kathy knew that Elliot had called all his friends and coworkers, sending out the Bat Signal against her. Olivia was very calm, not even angry and it irked her. She had just kidnapped her, for chrissakes! She could at least pretend to be intimidated!
She had waited overnight, watching as her family thrived without her. She watched as Kathleen crocheted on the living room couch, still wrapped in her oversized sweater from the rehab. She watched as Richard drew in his sketchbook, his hands steadily darkening with pencil marks and charcoal. She watched as Elizabeth went to get pizza with her Bob Marley lookalike boyfriend, stealing chaste kisses when Elliot looked away.
She had watched Maureen be welcomed home for the weekend, seeing the tackle hugs and the huge bags of laundry. Most of all, she had watched Olivia. She had helped Richard with his algebra and had helped Elliot drag the trash to the curb. She had massaged the back of Elliot's neck (where a persistent knot of tension was) and had let him pick her up and kiss her like they were teenagers.
It had been like being repeatedly stabbed in the chest. Kathy knew that it was her own fault, that if she had just stopped being so insecure then the life she watched could've been, should've been hers. She hadn't lied when she said that she didn't want to hurt her. She just wanted answers. She just wanted to know what made Olivia so special and just how Elliot had attached himself to her so quickly?
"Pull in the back. Is there a fire escape to the roof?"
"Yeah. Kathy, why are we here?"
"This is where it all began. This is where you waltzed into Elliot's life and made him fall in love with you. This is where he always ran to when we argued. This is where he slept and ate because he was too damn busy for his own family, for me. I want to know how you did it. I want to know how you just wrecked my life without even trying. Why are you so damn special to him?"
"And if I tell you that I don't know why?"
"Then we're gonna have a problem. Out."
"We've got a visual on both of them. Benson looks unharmed but her friend there looks highly unstable. Request to neutralize."
"Not yet. Let's see where this is going first. We got audio?" Cragen asked quietly.
"Yeah. Here it comes." Fin replied grimly while giving headphones to him and Munch.
"…all these years! All these years, I knew that there was something between the two of you! Oh, I know that you two didn't start fucking until after we were divorced but you had everything! He would talk to you, laugh with you, and even the kids liked you over me…why, Olivia? Why couldn't you just let him be?"
"I didn't encourage his feelings, Kathy. Hell, I fought tooth and nail against them because I was afraid something like this would happen. Every relationship I get into leads to pain, if not for me, then for someone else."
"Olivia Benson, the martyr…well, a fat lot of good it did! Elliot wanted you from Day 1 and by the end of the first year, he was in love with you! He showed more passion towards you than he ever did to me and we had been married for damn near 20 years! What did you say to him, do to him?"
"All I did was not take his crap and slug him a couple of times."
"That can't be all you did! Why would he throw me aside for so little?"
"It must've meant a lot to him! Look, I'm not an oracle. I don't have all the answers! All I know is that Elliot fell in love with me and despite my better judgment, I fell just as hard! Even if you blow my head off right now, that's not gonna change and he'll probably wring your neck for pulling this stunt and scaring the living hell out of the kids! Think about them for a second…how are they gonna feel if you get yourself 25 to Life?"
A loud sob sounded over the audio and the wind started howling.
"They won't care! No one cares about me, anymore and it's my own goddamned fault! If I hadn't been so stupid, so selfish…"
"…I had a good life and I let it slip through my fingers…"
"Kathy, give me the gun."
Elliot had gotten to the top of the fire escape towards the end of the twisted interrogation and had watched as Olivia tried to reason with her. Both women were shivering from the cold wind but Kathy's trembling was more pronounced. He could see the look of desperation in her eyes fade into defeat and he knew that he only had one shot at this.
As Kathy raised the gun to her own head, he charged, tackling her roughly to the gravel. Olivia kicked the gun far out of reach and joined him, eventually getting Kathy in a sitting position. She was sobbing brokenly, her knees drawn up, and he knew that it was over. She wasn't a threat to anyone but herself anymore. Leaving her to the rest of the cops, Elliot led Olivia away from the melee and wrapped his arms around her tightly.
"Shaken up but they're not injured. She didn't…they're okay. Are you…did she…?"
"I'm fine, El.", she cut off before looking back to a now cuffed and catatonic Kathy.
Munch and Fin were ushering her downstairs to lockup and Cragen came over, hugging Liv tightly and kissing her on the brow.
"Are you okay?"
"Yeah. What's gonna happen to her?"
"She'll probably do her time in an institution if she does any at all. There's a good argument for the insanity plea here."
A heavy feeling of guilt settled over Elliot at that and he sighed quietly as she melted back into his arms. He had joked about Kathy losing her marbles before but seeing it play out was sobering. Was it his fault? Was it Liv's fault? Of course, it wasn't Liv's fault. He had brought love into the mix of their partnership first, not her! But, the questions wouldn't stop coming.
If he hadn't gone to Olivia and made love to her that night, would it have still happened?
What if she had pulled the trigger before he got up here? Or at the house? What would've happened if he lost one or all of his children to that gun? What if…
"Stop. You'll make yourself crazy. Take me home. I'm here. Your kids are here and Kathy will get the help she needs. It's a lot to be thankful for."
On the subject of thankfulness, there was no confusion. He was thankful for Olivia Amelia Benson. She had saved his sanity, his life, and his family on more than one occasion and he didn't know what he would do without her.
Hopefully, he wouldn't have to find out.