A/N: Holiday goodness for Christmas Eve! Be on the lookout for the New Year's fic series starting the 26th!
DISCLAIMER: SVU and characters belong to Dick Wolf. Storyline, plot and dialogue belong to TStabler©.
Elliot Stabler usually loved Christmas Eve, but for the fast few years, things were different. Christmases started going sour toward the end of his marriage. The last four years of it, especially. He found himself choosing presents for the kids, and picking out expensive, elegant jewelry for his best friend and partner, Olivia, and then realizing on Christmas Eve that he'd forgotten all about Kathy, his wife. Four years of gift-cards later and Elliot hated the holiday. Two years ago, his first Christmas as a single man, he thought, to cheer himself up, and maybe brighten another Grinch's mood, he'd invite Olivia over to spend Christmas with him and the kids.
Well, she tried to get into the spirit of things, for their sake. She helped them bake and decorated burnt cookies, which Elliot lovingly called "Cajun" and then read to Eli before helping Elliot tuck him in. They spent the better part of the evening talking by the fire, with cocoa and a warm blanket, but fell asleep at some point and woke up cuddled together in a compromising but comfortable position. Elliot kissed her on Christmas morning, changing their relationship forever. They faced problems at work, as a result, but things worked out in the end.
Last year, his first Christmas with Olivia, from the beginning, was a joy to watch. Olivia helped choose and wrap the gifts, she baked cookies that did not have any black or brown edges, she not only helped the family pick and cut down the tree, but she helped decorate it and hoisted Eli up to put the star on. Elliot finally had Christmas back, and it was all because she had given it to him.
This year, however, he was back to hating it. Elliot was a nervous wreck. See, Elliot and Olivia, though only a real couple for two years, had been partners, friends, best friends for nine. In those nine years, it was painfully obvious to everyone, including themselves, that they were deeply, madly and irrevocably in love and they had a bond, a connection that was stronger and more powerful than any magnet in the world.
So, being who he is, impulsive, egotistical, King-of-the-world, Elliot decided that he was going to propose. On Christmas. With the help of his kids. He had to tell them. Ask them really. And they were overjoyed! They all loved Olivia very much and they told their father that they would do anything to help him ask her to be his wife, to be their mother. They just never said they'd keep it a secret.
Olivia was sitting on the floor with Dickie and Lizzie, wrapping last minute gifts, when Elliot came home. He had a dozen roses, a bottle of wine and a black box in his pocket, begging to be opened, but' he knew he'd have to wait. "Hey, honey," Olivia said looking up at him as she strolled into the living room. He leaned down to kiss her and handed her the flowers. "For me? What for?"
"I love you. It was a good enough reason for me," he said, winking. He couldn't wait anymore. He was getting itchy and nervous. He walked over to the bottom of the stairs and yelled up, "Hey, Maureen! Kathleen! Get down here, it's family game time!" Elliot took off his coat and jacket, hanging them on the coat rack, and rolled up his sleeves. "Where's Eli?"
"Playing in his room. I'll get him," Dickie said.
Family games were a Christmas Eve tradition in the Stabler house. It gave them a chance to spend some time together, laughing and joking, and feeling like their problems, if they didn't have any, didn't exist. Dickie came back holding Eli's hand and a bag of toy alphabet blocks. Maureen and Kathleen came bounding down the stairs. When they were all settled on the couch and chairs around the fireplace, Kathleen asked, "What are we playing first?"
"Oh! Charades!" Dickie yelled. "I got a good one!" He leaped up and before he even did anything Lizzie yelled "A League of Their Own."
"How did you know?" Dickie asked as he sat back down.
"Because you always do 'A League of Their own'." She stood up and took her place in the center and held up her hands like she was reading.
Maureen yelled, "A book! It's a book!" Lizzie nodded. She then held up seven fingers. "Seven words!" Kathleen cried. Lizzie nodded again. She then swooshed her around like she was waving a baton.
"'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets'!" Olivia yelled, throwing a hand in the air. "Good one, Liv! But how did you know it wasn't 'Prisoner of Azkaban' or the 'Half-Blood Prince'?"
"'Half-Blood' is one word, it's just hyphenated, and 'Chamber of Secrets' is your favorite," Olivia said, starting to get up.
Elliot stopped her. "Liv, I got a really good one. Can I uh, go before you?"
All of the kids looked at each other, knowingly, with matching Stabler-grins. "Uh, sure, El. Go ahead."
"Okay," he said. He cleared his throat, rubbed his hands together and started. He held up four fingers. "Four words," Dickie said. Elliot nodded. Elliot, then, held up one finger. "First word," Maureen said, grinning. Again, Elliot nodded. He started to make a writing motion, like he was signing something. Olivia and the kids were shouting, "writing", "novel", "author", "DD5", "paperwork". Elliot then pretended to choke himself and stuck his tongue out of his mouth. There were laughs and then more shouting. "Death", "dying", "strangled", "hanging", "What Olivia's going to do to you if you ever cheat on her", Elliot stopped and made a face at Kathleen. "What? It's the truth!" Kathleen said, defending her guess. Then, Elliot went back to writing, but as if he were dead while doing it. "Oh! Will!" Olivia yelled. Elliot touched his nose and pointed at her.
"Okay, so the first word is 'will'," Dickie reminded everyone.
Elliot nodded. Then he held up three fingers. "Third word," Lizzie said. Elliot pointed to his left ring finger. "Finger, hand, touch, ring, wedding ring, marry," Maureen rattled off, trying to get to the point, helping her father. Elliot touched his noise and pointed at her and winked. "Okay," Kathleen said. "So we have 'will' and 'marry'."
Olivia gasped. She squealed. She got it! "Will got married! That's fantastic!" Then she blinked. "Who the heck is Will?"
"Let him finish, Liv," Dickie said laughing. "It's four words, remember?" He smirked at Olivia who smirked right back.
Elliot held up four fingers. "Fourth word," Olivia said. Elliot nodded and then pointed to himself. Olivia scoffed. "Oh, easy, hot! Cop! Sexy! Hunky!" Elliot blushed, and shook his head. "You, uh...me?" Lizzie said. Elliot jumped and clapped. "Okay, so we've got 'will', 'marry' and 'me'. Hmmm," Dickie said. "Gee , Dad, this is hard." Elliot thwacked his son in the head. Then held up two fingers. "Second word," Maureen shouted, getting terribly excited.
Elliot, reached into his pocket and clutched the black box. He took a deep breath, looked right at her, and pointed to Olivia. With tears in her eyes, she sucked in a breath and said, "Me."
"Yeah," Elliot said, bending down on one knee in front of her. "You. All four words." He pulled the box out of his pocket and flipped it open, and watched as the tears rolled down her cheeks. "Will you marry me?"
She looked up into his incredible blue eyes, and kissed him with all of the love and devotion she felt. She pulled away, but instead of giving him an answer, she turned around to Eli, who was playing with his blocks.
"Eli, sweetie, could you bring a couple of those blocks over here, please?" she asked, much to Elliot's confusion. "Block?" Eli asked holding up a wooden cube. "Yes, honey. Yes," Olivia said to the child.
"Liv, I just asked..."
"I know you did," she said interrupting him. Eli ran over to Olivia, his tiny legs carrying him awkwardly and he handed her one, single block. Then he ran back to the bag. She handed Elliot the block, turning it to face him so he could see the letter Y. "Liv, baby, I don't want to play with Eli's blocks...I..."
Olivia kissed him again. "Shut up, you're ruining the moment." Eli came padding back with a giggle and handed Olivia another block, which she in turn, gave to Elliot. He flipped it over and revealed the letter E. Eli ran back to the bag of blocks and picked up another block. "I swear, Liv, I'm dying here."
"El, I'm answering you," she said, taking the block from Eli's hand and kissing him on the cheek. "Thank you, baby." The little boy giggled and said, "Welcome, Mama," before running away to finish his block tower. Olivia looked up at Elliot, and handed him the last block. He turned it over and a tear rolled down his cheek when he saw the letter S staring back at him.
"You taught him how to spell, he called you 'Mama,' and you said yes." He pulled Olivia into his arms and kissed her with everything he had. As he pulled away, looking deeply into her eyes, he rubbed his nose against hers gently and said, "Christmas just can't get any better."
Olivia peered down at the sparkling gem on her hand, then back up at him. "Never say never, El."
"Wait," he said. "You knew, didn't you? You had to teach Eli how to spell 'yes' so you could answer..." She cut him off with a searing kiss.
They pulled apart and she nuzzled him. "You should know better than to trust your kids with a secret, Elliot. You know they just run and tell me. Why do you think I didn't tell them I'm pregnant? I knew they'd run and tell you."
"Oh, well, yeah. You have a point...wait...what?" Elliot's face lit up brighter than the star on their tree. He ran one of the hands that was cupping her face down her body and rested it on her belly. "So, I was wrong before."
Olivia laughed. "Yeah, you told me I was eating too many..."
"No," he said with a chuckle. "When I said Christmas couldn't get any better. Oh, baby, it just did," he said as he picked her up and spun her around. When she landed on her feet, and he wrapped his arms around her, they looked at their family, happily playing Scrabble, and knew exactly how to tell them. "Hey, guys," Elliot said. "Olivia never got to do her charade."
A/N: We have family game night, but it was never that much fun! Reviews?