A/N: Okay, so there will be a few "Holiday" fics of mine poppin' up from now till Christmas. This is the first. Enjoy!
DISCLAIMER: Characters belong to Dick Wolf, Wolf Films and Universal/NBC. Everything else belongs to me, thanks for understanding TStabler©
"Jesus Christ, I know it's your birthday and all, but could you possibly ease up on the freezing cold weather? Some of us down here on Earth want to live beyond tomorrow." She rubbed her gloved hands together, pulled her scarf tighter around her neck, pulled her hat down over her ears and tried to sink into her coat.
From the moment she walked out of the sqaudroom, she instantly regretted working through Thanksgiving, when it was, at least, warmer. Cragen practically forced her out of the building at half-passed-nine. She was getting the rest of Christmas Eve and all of Christmas Day off, whether she liked it or not. And she did not.
She grumbled as she walked passed the blinking lights and fake candy canes that were hanging on the windows of all of the local businesses. She rolled her eyes as she breezed by the animatronics, the snowmen and the Santas, that were displayed in storefront windows. Some were waving, some were dancing, one agile snowwoman was even spinning in circles on ice-skate-covered feet.
A group of carolers at the corner wished her good tidings of comfort and joy in twelve part harmony. She wished they would fuck off in a single melody. Loudly. "Sorry, I'm not that Catholic," she shouted over her shoulder when an irritated woman told her God didn't condone foul language. As she turned down her street, she grew nauseous.
Every building had a lavishly decorated tree, with flashing lights, in every single window. When she saw her building, though, she just about lost it. Her apartment building had been decorated like a gingerbread house for a month, but her landlord, in honor of Christmas Eve, had placed a behemoth Santa and his eight gigantic, flying reindeer on the roof in such a manner that the front row of seer were leaning over the side of the building, ready for take-off. Rudolph's red nose was blinking, obnoxiously, right outside her bedroom window.
"Oh, I can not wait to see if reindeer really know how to fly," she muttered under her breath, plotting the many ways she could get up there and toss the cheerful fuckers off the roof and down Mr. Bartolucci's throat.
More irritated than ever, she practically busted in her door. She threw her keys on the table tossed her jacket on the couch and looked around, taking comfort in the bland, not-decorated-for-Christmas-at-all-in-any-way-not-one-bit apartment. She smiled, finally free of all the hoopla and nonsense surrounding the holiday that depressed the shit out of her. She was about to sit down when there was a loud knock on her door.
She rested her hand on her gun and opened the door, smiling slightly at her neighbor, Mrs. Henderson. "Merry Christmas, Olivia, I've baked you some cookies." Olivia smiled, warmly and a bit bigger, at the old woman. "Thank you, Mrs. Henderson, but I'm not really a Christmas person. I have nothing to give you in return. I appreciate the thought, though."
"Okay, dear, you tell your husband I said hello, too, and I'll be back with more cookies." The elderly lady walked away, clutching the dish of burnt, extra-crispy cookies in her hands.
"What? Husband? Oh, that woman needs a hearing aid." Olivia closed the door and just made it to the couch, sat down and turned on her television when there was another knock on the door. "Mother fucker," she muttered, rising to answer the door.
"Here you go, Olivia. These do not have nuts, I don't know why you don't like nuts."
"No, Mrs. Henderson, I didn't say anything about nuts. I said I didn't want any cookies. I don't have anything for you, and I don't really like Christmas, so give the cookies to someone else." Olivia said this all a bit louder, hoping the old woman would get the idea.
"Oh," she said with a big nod. "I understand. Okay, Olivia, I'll go make you caramels." The woman gave Olivia a big smile and shuffled back to her apartment.
"What the fuck is...forget it," she said slamming the door. She took a deep breath, walked over to her couch, paused, making sure the crazy old woman wasn't scuttling back down the hall, and sat back down on the couch. It took her a whole two minutes to find a station that didn't have an image of Santa on the screen as she flipped rapidly through the channels, and now she was stuck watching the Discovery Channel's exposé on mating habits of the wild boar. A knock on the door interrupted a particularly interesting moment. Olivia blew her cool.
"Mrs. Henderson," she yelled very loudly. "I hate Christmas, I hate Santa, and I don't want any fucking cookies," she said swinging the door open.
"Well, good, Liv, because I didn't bring cookies." Elliot Stabler stood in front of her with a smug grin on his face. "I brought moo-shoo pork, though. They might have given us fortune cookies, but you never eat those," he said as he peered into the plastic covered paper bag. He looked back up at her, grinning like a baboon.
"El," she said. "What?"
He chuckled. "Well, I said hi to Doorman Pete and he buzzed me in as usual, but on my way up, some little old woman told me to tell my wife that she had to run to the store to get the milk to make the caramels, but not to worry, they'll be here before Santa."
Olivia's eyes widened. "Mrs. Henderson thinks you're my husband! She's old, El. She thinks that if you come and go at all hours of the night..."
"Liv, it's cool." He pushed her aside and plopped the food down unceremoniously on the coffee table. "Wow, uh, no tree this year, either? No last minute change of heart?"
"Why would this year be any different? Nothing's happened between last December and now to make me hate this craptastic day any less, I still don't have a good enough reason to celebrate and I still don't think a tree is necessary." She flung herself on the couch and dove into the bag searching for egg rolls. "The only thing I look forward to is this, and since you come over with Chinese, like, three times a week, it's hardly a Christmas tradition." Chewing on her Chinese burrito, she clarified, "Don't get me wrong, El, I'm gonna be happy tomorrow, I'm gonna enjoy spending time with you and the kids, I've got a present for everyone. It doesn't mean I like the damn holiday."
"Why exactly do you hate Christmas?" he asked, picking up a carton of lo mien and some chopsticks, and sliding onto the couch next to her.
"Everyone gets all happy, and pleasant, and cheerful. Everyone's celebrating 'peace' and 'joy' and the good of mankind, and it's a bunch of shit, El. December 26th everyone goes right back to hating each other and being pissed off at the world. Not to mention, the bizarre display of materialistic affection. Everyone exchanging gifts for no real reason? It's Christ's birthday, shouldn't He be getting the gifts? I mean, we should all go to Church, or donate money to some charities. The whole holiday has been grossly over commercial..." she stopped when she noticed that he had a chopstick and a noodle sticking out of his mouth and he'd been staring at her. "What?"
He slurped the noodle into his mouth, chewed and swallowed. "Well, uh, I love Christmas, Liv. Maybe, we can put one tiny decoration up? For me? Since I'm going to be here tonight?"
"Ugh, okay. Nothing huge, nothing with any dancing elves or flying reindeer. It's bad enough we're gonna have Rudolph's fucking honker blinking in the bedroom window."
"Well, there are no elves, no reindeer, it doesn't fly, unless you throw it, which I hope to God you don't do, and I think it's pretty damn huge, but only if you look at it from a certain perspective." He put his food down and got up off the couch. He walked over to her front door, took something out of his pocket and hung it carefully on a nail over her peephole. "Okay, Liv. There ya go. Merry Christmas."
"I don't see anything, Stabler."
"Well, you have to come here," he said, waving her over with his hands.
She rolled her eyes, pushing herself off the couch. She walked over to him and looked intently at the door. "Is it a wreath?"
"Um, yeah, go with that," he said, his voice starting to crack.
"El, that is the smallest wreath I have ever seen. I hate Christmas, and even I can safely say, that right there is one sucky wreath. It isn't even green. What is it, silver?"
"Platinum," he whispered. He pushed her closer to the door, looping a shaky hand around her waist. "Look closer, Liv."
"El, if I get any closer my nose is going to be up against the," she gasped and tried to move back, but his stiff, muscular body was behind her, stopping her.
"Liv, I know it hasn't been very long, and I know that some people might think this is fast, but I'm not just counting the six months of romance and, well, incredible sex," he laughed, "I'm counting the nine years we've had each other's backs, the nine years we've spent as partners, best friends. My kids love you, I'm in love with you." He reached for the ring and tugged it off of the door nail, slipping it gently onto Olivia's left ring finger. "Olivia Benson, will you marry me?"
Before she could answer him, there was a knock on her door, and it gently opened on its own. "Oh, I'm sorry, Olivia, I didn't mean to open the door. Here are your caramels. I see I have interrupted a romantic moment, so I will just set them here on the floor and you can pick them up later. By the way, your husband is incredibly handsome."
With tears in her eyes, she answered, "Yes, he is, Mrs. Henderson."
"Merry Christmas, Olivia." The old woman shuffled off back down the hall, Olivia turned around a bit to face Elliot. "It is now."
A/N: Holiday fluff. Gotta love it. Reviews? Anyone? Beuller?