A/N: Zoetic: essential; vital; living; of or pertaining to life. Life begins now. (Thank you to all of the readers and reviewers who've brought me this far! 26 chapters and we've gone from A-Z. Sad to see it end, but everything must, right?)
DISCLAIMER: SVU and its Characters belong to Dick Wolf. Storyline and dialogue, and original characters, belong to TStabler©
"Hey, Benson," Much said as Olivia strolled into the squadroom. "How's the arm?"
Olivia chuckled, remembering this scene from her dream. This time, though, there was no Hello Kitty band-aid, and there was no care-package. Instead, there were seven stitches and a dull ache. "It's fine, Munch. I got shot, ya know? It doesn't tickle, but it doesn't hurt either."
Fin looked up at her and smiled. "You should be able to stay awake for days, now, right? All that sleep you got, I don't wanna hear you complainin' about needin' a nap anytime soon, Baby-Girl."
Munch furrowed his brow. "Hey, I've been wondering, are you and Stabler really serious? How serious?"
"I don't, uh, I don't know, actually. It's complicated," Olivia said, grabbing a cup of coffee and sitting at her desk.
"Affairs always are," Fin said. "What possessed you to..."
"It wasn't an affair," Elliot said, walking into the bullpen. "And love possessed us. To answer your second question. You think I wanted to treat her like that? You think I wanted to fall in love with her, but keep her at arm's length for six months while I tried to get out of my marriage? You think I wanted my wife to run off with the dentist and then..."
Olivia stopped him. "Elliot! Stop, he didn't mean anything by it."
"The hell he didn't, Liv. He's been bugging me about it since I told him. He's pissed off at me," Elliot said with a sigh. "Everyone is. Everyone except Kathy, because that would be the pot calling the kettle black, and the kids, because they knew months ago."
"Well, they're all gonna have to be pissed off at me, too, El. It takes two to tango, and I was dancing like Valentino. You didn't do this alone," she said, smirking. "And like you said, it wasn't an affair. So, there's no reason to be angry."
Cragen stepped out of his office and handed out pink slips. "Benson, I don't know what to do with you," he said. "I shouldn't send you out there with Stabler but if you go out there with Munch you'll get shot again, and Fin would piss you off."
Olivia took the slip and asked, "Should I even be going..."
"Yeah, this is important, you need to be there," Cragen said. "Go with Elliot, but do your job. The job comes first!"
"Yeah," Olivia said with a nod. "I know. We both do."
Cragen nodded and walked away, sending a warning, yet approving, look at Elliot.
"Let's go," Elliot said, leading her out of the bullpen.
They pulled up to the location at the same moment Fin and Munch did and Olivia furrowed her brow. "Cragen sent all four of us to the same place?"
"Apparently," Elliot muttered, getting out of the car.
They walked into the building and flashed their badges, and the receptionist told them to head into the ballroom.
"Our crime scene is a ballroom? Who sexually assaults someone in broad daylight in the middle of a crowded hotel ballroom?" Munch asked, smirking.
Olivia rolled her eyes. "We've seen weirder, Munch."
"Not this weird," Elliot said, pushing the door open. "We've never seen anything like this."
Olivia gasped. All of their friends, and the kids, were standing under a large banner that said, "Will You Marry Me?"
"I know it's not Vegas, and it's not a surprise wedding," Elliot said. "But it took a hell of a lot of planning."
Olivia turned to look at him and he held out a black box to her. He lifted the lid and she almost died. The ring was more beautiful than anything she could have ever dreamed of, and the look on his face sent shivers up and down her spine. She looked back at the crowd of people who were there.
Alex, who was concerned and afraid that Elliot would crush her, was now smiling with tears in her eyes. Cragen, who had to grapple with whether or not trust them enough to separate their personal life from their professional one, looked so proud. Casey, who had suspected this for so long and didn't bat an eyelash when Olivia lied to her face, was clutched onto Fin. Fin and Munch, who were like her brothers, who were confused, yet somehow relieved that she and Elliot had finally come clean, nodded at her.
And then her heart dropped into her stomach.
Trevor, sad but smiling, tilted his head in awe. He had wanted her for so long and he was now a part of the moment that would mean he lost her forever. Kathy and Craig, holding hands, were standing off to the side. Kathy looked conflicted. There was a deep regret in her eyes, as if she had finally realized what she threw away, how much she hurt him, and how she had driven him straight into Olivia's arms. There was also a small smile on her face. A solemn one, telling Olivia to say "yes" and be with Elliot the way she wanted to be with him. Olivia looked at the four beaming faces of the kids. Their eyes were wide and they were all smiling, except Kathleen who was only moderately grinning. She was so lost in reading the other people that she didn't realize her own face was expressing a multitude of emotions, and tears were silently running down her cheeks.
"Liv," Elliot said. "Will you marry me?"
His voice pulled her face toward his. She met his adoring gaze and she let out a small laugh. "Right now?"
Elliot laughed. "Well Judge Donnelly's here, but my divorce isn't finalized yet, so it wouldn't exactly be legal."
"Can't blame me for trying," she said. She cupped his face and placed a gentle kiss to his lips. "Yes, El. I would love to marry you."
Elliot let out a sigh of relief and closed his eyes as he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close, into a searing kiss. The people watching clapped and his kids ran over and joined the hug.
Kathleen stayed behind.
Elliot looked at her, sadly, but Olivia kissed him and said, "She isn't upset, El. She just isn't ready."
"And you are?" he asked, nuzzling her nose.
Olivia nodded. "Definitely."
"Stabler," Cragen yelled.
Two heads popped up and the captain chuckled. "The one who is most likely in trouble."
Olivia smirked and went back to her paperwork as Elliot got up and walked toward the captain's office. "What?" he asked, with a sigh, as he folded his arms.
"How long have you two been married?" Cragen asked.
Elliot furrowed his brow and tilted his head. "Three months, Cap. You were in the wedding!"
"And, how long did you honestly think I would keep you two together after you got married?" Cragen asked.
Elliot's eyes widened. "What? Cap, don't do this! Please, just tell me what I did, and I will never do it again!"
"You'll do it again, Stabler, I know you! You've got five months, Elliot. Then she's out. You did this. It's all your fault." Cragen handed him a brown envelope and shook his head. "I hope you're very proud of yourself."
"But, I...wh-what..." Elliot stuttered. Olivia got out of her seat and stood behind him. He opened the envelope and pulled out the contents, his eyes filling with tears. "She has to leave in five months, all because of this?" He ran his finger over the sonogram and smiled.
"Yeah," Cragen said with a smile. "There's no way she's going to be able to chase perps and protect your ass when she's eight months pregnant."
Elliot turned around and Olivia, tears in her own eyes, stood before him waiting for his reaction. He stepped forward and as a tear rolled down his cheek he rubbed a hand over her belly. "We're...you and I...baby?"
Olivia nodded, smiling and crying. "We're having a baby."
"We're having a baby!" he yelled, picking her up and spinning her around. "When did you find out? Why didn't you tell me?"
"I found out yesterday, and I just told you. I couldn't tell you yesterday, El. At work, we we're busy, and it was Maureen's birthday, and I wanted to make it special. Tell you..."
He had kissed her, shutting her up.
Alex walked in, her hand over her own baby-bump and smirked. "Are they allowed to do that at work?"
"They're takin' a break," Fin said.
"Olivia just told Elliot he's gonna be a daddy. Well, again," Munch said, kissing his pregnant girlfriend. "So, they got married and then made a baby. What do you say we work backwards?"
Alex's eyes widened. "Are you...did you just..."
Munch pulled out a ring, and nodded. "I am. I did."
"John, I don't...yes," Alex whispered. She nodded and threw her arms around him.
Fin smiled and looked back at Cragen. "You don't see anything wrong with having two couples kissin' in the middle of the Special Victim's Unit?"
Cragen shook his head and smiled. "I don't know what you're talking about Fin. I don't see anything." He walked back into his office and closed the door.
Elliot pulled away from Olivia and nuzzled her nose, then settled his head in the crook of her neck lightly sobbing.
Olivia scratched lightly at the nape of his neck. "El, baby, are you...is everything okay?"
Elliot lifted his head and looked into her eyes. He saw a full nine years of love and devotion, and one year of passion and fire. He saw every hope, fear, dream and thought he had ever had dance across her eyes. He saw every memory that ever mattered to him, and he saw the brief scare, three days, six months ago, when he thought it was all being ripped away. He brushed his hand along her knuckles and felt the two rings on her left ring-finger that proved that what they had was so much more than a normal relationship. She was his entire life. And they had created a new life, a new life made from love and loyalty, honor and devotion and the deepest friendship in existence. "Yeah, Liv," he said, finally answering her. "Now it is."
A/N: Thank you for reading! It's been one hell of a ride!