A/N: Pulse: Unable to keep steady when one is lying, evens out when one knows the truth
DISCLAIMER: All SVU characters and rights belong to Dick Wolf. All original story, narrative and dialogue rights belong to TStabler©
Two hours into her day and Olivia was finding it incredibly difficult to act like she was pissed off at Elliot. She'd been doing it for three days. they would find moments to hide away and steal a kiss or a quick romp, then at home they'd make-love as if it would be the last time they'd ever see each other. Passion, pain, immense pleasure and pure emotion. It was exhilerating and exhausting and it was wearing her out. It was easy to look at Fin with contempt in her eyes, she was really mad at him, but every time she looked at Elliot, her heart thudded and her knees almost buckled. She felt like a thirteen year old with a crush; thank God she knew how to hide it all. She almost brought him coffee several times, and she had the persistent, pesky, desire to pick the fuzz from his wool coat off of his shirt, or straighten out his tie. She needed to touch him, show some sign that she loved him, because even pretending to be mad at him was killing her.
Elliot wasn't having an easy time of it, either. Every time he met Olivia's narrowed eyes, he'd think, only for a split second, that he'd really done something wrong that had hurt her and he'd panic. Then he'd remember why she was looking at him that way. His own anger would fester and he'd shoot Fin a look that would kill him if it could.
Fin had been feeling guilty about the way he'd treated the both of them all week, and he refused to take back his transfer request. He had spoken to Casey Novak, who had spoken to a prominent child-advocacy attorney, on behalf of Elliot. The least Fin could do for Elliot, not that it would change a damn thing, was make sure he got his kids. He was also going to have to try to find a way to talk to Olivia, let her know that he was going to back off, that he could see how much this was hurting her. He was about to try to call her name, softly of course, but she huffed and got out of her chair.
"Where are you going?" Elliot asked, sounding concerned.
Olivia sneered at him. "To the bathroom, Dad," she snapped, instantly regretting it.
"Liv, come on," he said, dropping his eyelids. He had no problem giving the impression he was in a great deal of pain. He was. It wasn't fake anymore. "Can we just…"
"No," she said, quietly, as she walked passed him and out of the bullpen.
Cragen folded his arms and stared down at Elliot. "If you want to keep your job, you'll go after her. You two have a shitload of work to do and it won't get done if you're at each other's throats. We went through this shit weeks ago and I almost split you two up, don't make me follow through on that threat."
Elliot glanced at Fin, who bowed his head apologetically, then got out of his seat and sheepishly walked out of the bullpen. He walked down the hall, quickly, his heart pounding, and he knocked on the ladies room door. "Liv," he said, quietly.
"El," she said, knowing full well it was him.
He smirked. "You alone in there?" he asked in a husky whisper.
"Think about that for a second," she said, sarcastically. She was the only female detective in the squad, and all the other women on the floor used the bathroom on the far end. Elliot chuckled as he pushed the door open. "I'm really getting tired of this shit, baby," he complained as he wrapped his arms around her. "Cragen's threatening to split us up, again, if we don't start getting along, so we should try to act, ya know, mildly civil toward each other."
Olivia kissed him, the sweet and chaste peck on the lips quickly growing heated and passionate, she pulled a way, panting. "Okay," she said when she finally backed up. "We can be civil."
"Good," Elliot said. "Now, come here and kiss me." He smirked, waiting for her to take the step forward and give him the satisfaction. When she didn't he pouted. "Liv," he said in a teasing manner, "Don't make me come over there."
Olivia raised her eyebrow and smirked. "What are you gonna do to me, tough guy?" She narrowed her eyes. "You know you look real macho trying to seduce me in the very pink women's' bathroom."
"Please," he said with a scoff. "Like it hasn't worked every day this week."
"Oh, it worked," Olivia said, laughing. "It doesn't mean you looked macho doing it." She crooked her finger at him, he smiled and rolled his eyes as he backed her up into the corner and he kissed her, laughing all the while. "God, Liv, I don't know how much more of this I can take."
"What, El? The sneaking around? The lying?" she asked, between ragged breaths as he unbuttoned her top and peppered her collarbone and chest with kisses.
Elliot chuckled as he slid the material off of her shoulders. "No, baby. Sex in here. Every afternoon, Munch sniffs me and tells me how absolutely powder-fresh I smell," he said as he fumbled with the complicated clasp on Olivia's pants. She helped him with it and said, "That's nothing. He smells me and tells me that I smell like you." They shared a laugh as Elliot playfully bit and tickled Olivia. Being together, no matter where, no matter when, was the happiest they had ever been, and they were determined to stay that way.
After they made themselves presentable and put on their somber faces, they strolled back into the bullpen, sullen, but "getting along." They were surprised to see Casey standing in the middle of the squadroom.
"Hey, Case," Olivia said, slightly panicky. Casey was Olivia's best friend. She knew everything. What the hell was she doing here? Did they have a new case?
"Afternoon, Benson," Casey said cheerfully, "And Stabler. Just the man I wanted to see. I have something for you." She pulled out a think manila envelope and handed it to him. "Kathy and her lawyer agreed to the terms, and if you do, then all you need to do is sign the papers. No hearing, no trial. The kids would rather be with you anyway."
Elliot's heart started to pound. "What are you talking about?" He opened the envelope and gasped. "How the hell did you…Casey did you…" he paused then he looked up at Olivia. "Liv?"
"Don't look at me!" Olivia cried.
Casey grinned. "The kids called and left a heartfelt message on my boss's machine. Then they showed up in my office with their Uncle Fin, begging for me to take them away from their deranged lunatic of a mother. So I did," the redheaded attorney said. "Well, for the most part. Kathy gets them on weekends unless there's something special you need them for, and that has to be arranged two weeks in advance. It's all right…"
"Did you say Fin brought them to see you?" Elliot asked, interrupting and sending a sidelong glance at Fin, who smiled guiltily.
"Yeah. I did. Fin made a great case for you. His character witness statement was what made the judge's decision for him. You've got a good friend in him," Casey said, sending a soft glance toward Fin. She noticed that he was staring at Olivia. Fin observed that Olivia was staring at Elliot, who was staring down at his papers. No eyes had met, but thousands of emotions had been read and felt. Two hearts broke and two were repaired.
"Fin, you did this?" Elliot asked, holding up the stack that he'd just signed.
Fin nodded. "Yeah, man. My way of sayin' I'm sorry."
Elliot handed the papers back to Casey, who took another look at Fin and then left, promising to call Olivia later. Elliot walked over to Fin's desk and cleared his throat. "Thank you, Fin. You…you don't know what…"
"Yeah, I do, Elliot." Fin stood up and slapped him on the shoulder. "I gave you back your kids, just like Olivia gave me back mine. I know what that meant to me, but I had a shitty way of showin' my gratitude. I know it's gonna take a while, but, I'd like to put this whole mess behind us and try to…" he stopped and jerked his head a bit, telling Elliot he couldn't quite get the words out.
"Yeah," Elliot said. "Me, too."
"Oh," Fin added, "Go get the pie, man, I promise I will not stand in front of the fridge anymore." With that, Fin looked at Olivia, a sort of happy sadness in his eyes, and he went back to his desk, relieved.
Elliot looked at her, then. She was smiling, her eyes shining. Olivia wanted to leap into Elliot's arms, it was written on her face. He wanted nothing more than to kiss her at that moment, celebrate the fact that he had the one thing that he was afraid he had truly lost, his kids. "So, uh, I'm supposed to pick up my kids tomorrow night," he said to her.
"That soon, huh?" she said, trying to sound less excited than she was, owing to the fact that Munch and Cragen were still in the room.
Elliot nodded. "You wouldn't…um, do you wanna come with me?"
Olivia's heart thumped rapidly. "Seriously?" she asked. She knew this would mean telling the kids, and she was sure they would freak out. "Why do you want me to?"
"They're teenagers. They come with a lot of baggage, figuratively and literally. I'm gonna need your help and support. And," he paused, took a deep breath, and tried to slow his racing heart. "I want to take them out. I told them all about that amazing pie. I think they're gonna love the pie. You need to be there, Liv."
Munch walked over, handing them each a cup of coffee. "Stabler, we all know your kids adore Olivia, and if you don't stop referring to her as 'the pie' she is going to kick your ass from here to Chinatown."
Elliot and Olivia looked like two deer caught in headlights as they looked at Munch, who smirked, then at Cragen, who was chuckling to himself. "At least the two of you aren't fighting anymore," the captain said. He pointed a finger at them and warned, "I don't wanna hear about it, I don't wanna know about it, I don't wanna see it. When I get invited to the wedding, then I'll stick Benson with Fin. Until then, you two keep it out of the dame precinct. And out of the fucking bathroom! You have a trial you should be prepping for, don't you?"
Olivia smirked as her commanding officer practically parroted the same thing she had said to Elliot after they kissed for the first time. It seemed, for now at least, that they're hearts could finally find a slow, steady rhythm. They'd found a normalcy, an average pulse, that had, for the moment, freed them from the lying, hiding and hurting they'd been doing for weeks. Olivia took another look at Elliot as she sat down at her desk to open her files. She knew, from experience and instinct, that his heart was beating to the same, steady, powerful beat as hers and there was absolutely nothing that would ever change that. But, there were a few things were certainly going to try.
A/N: This could be the end! But it won't be if you'd like to read more. I'm happy with this ending though. It's up to you and your reviews!