A/N: After a bout of insecurity and lack of inspiration, this chapter will conclude "Young and Beautiful" to make room for its sequel, "La Vita Bella" premiering with ch. 1 tomorrow! Enjoy. Kathy and Olivia spar over dinner. Kathy yells at Elliot, Elliot yells at Joey, Fin has a secret, and Alex has a surprise! Review here, or on Twitter: TMG212
DISCLAIMER: SVU and its characters belong to Dick Wolf. TStabler© just borrows them and gets them into compromising positions. ^..^
"This is so awkward," Olivia whispered, brushing her shorter hair out of her eyes.
Elliot laughed. "Dinner with my brother, Kathy, Alex, Dean, and Brian? Or us hiding in the bathroom so we don't have to deal with it?"
"Both," she laughed. "God, this is…how did this happen?"
He sighed and shook his head. "I invited Joey, he brought his entire family, and Alex showed up with…"
"I didn't mean literally," she spat, shaking her head.
"Your hair bounces now," he said, running a hand through it. "I love it, baby, really."
She sighed and dropped her head to his shoulder. "I was afraid you'd hate it," she said.
"I'd love you, all of you, no matter what," he said, kissing her. "Are we…we should go back out there."
She nodded, taking a breath. "After you," she said, hopping off the counter. Elliot walked out and she followed close behind him. He pulled out her chair, then sat beside her. He cleared his throat and lifted the beer bottle by his plate to his lips.
"This chicken is amazing," Dean said, smiling. "You're a great cook, Olivia."
Olivia shook her head. "Thanks, but all I did was make the salad and heat up the pan. He's the chef." She took a sip of the water in her glass and said, "I'm not a very domestic woman."
Kathy scoffed. "I'm not surprised."
Elliot and Joey glared at her. "Not now, Kathy," Joey hissed at her. He jabbed his chicken with his fork for emphasis.
Kathy rolled her eyes. "Where are the kids?"
"In the living room," Olivia said. "I've got the twins in their playpen, and your girls are on the couch watching Fraggle Rock." She swallowed a bit of chicken and said, "I can see them, Kathy, they're fine."
"Yeah, that makes me feel better. The girl who learned all of her mothering skills from an alcoholic psychopath thinks my daughters are fine," Kathy griped, poking at her potato.
Elliot narrowed his eyes. "She's an amazing mother," he snapped. "She didn't learn anything from her mother!"
Kathy chuckled. "Good. I wouldn't want those two innocent kids in there to have to put up with that. Is that why she's not drinking? She afraid she's got the drunk genes from Mommy Dearest?"
"You really…" Olivia stopped, shaking her head. "I'm not like you, Kathy. I'm not going to fight with you, you can think what you want, and you can say what you want…"
"You can't argue because you know I'm right," Kathy interrupted. She pushed her wine glass toward Olivia. "Prove me wrong."
"She can't," Elliot said, gritting his teeth.
"Why not?" Kathy asked. "I always thought you'd end up with a girl who could drink you under the table, Elliot. Not some little princess who can't even have…"
"I'm pregnant," Olivia said, her eyes narrowing as she shoved the glass back to Kathy. "Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, ever hear of it?"
Kathy's face fell, and she looked at Elliot, fire in her eyes. "Are you kidding me?" she asked, shaking her head. "You knocked her up already? Christ, Elliot, don't you believe in contraception?"
"I'm Catholic!" he said, shocked. "And she's my wife! Why the hell would I…"
"Are you sure it's yours?" Kathy asked.
Elliot slammed his hand down, shaking the table. "She isn't you, Kathy! She loves me, that's it. Fully committed to just me! Unlike you, she's capable of only being with one guy at a time."
Kathy gasped. "How dare you…"
"How dare I?" Elliot questioned. "You're the one insulting my family in my own house." He looked at Joey. "Did she tell you where she was last night?"
"Oh, God," Kathy mumbled. "Elliot, don't. I'm sorry."
Elliot narrowed his eyes and gritted his teeth. "She was with Fin, or…trying to be." He smirked. "Imagine my surprise when he called me from the academy telling me he ran into Kathy, and she wanted him to take her home with him."
Joey looked at Kathy, fuming. "Is he…"
"He's lying," Kathy interrupted. "I swear, he's lying! He's mad at me and he's…"
"You wanna call Fin?" Elliot said, shoving his hand into his pocket and pulling out his phone.
Joey shook his head, looked down at his plate, and said, "I know why she did it." He stuck his fork in his chicken again.
The silence was almost deafening, the clinging of metal against china, scraping and plopping of cups and dishes were the only sounds. Until Alex looked up. "Well, Olivia, maybe you and I could sign up for one of those aerobics classes, ya know? Expectant mothers doing power yoga, or low-impact kickboxing or something."
Olivia looked at Alex, questioning. "You would really take one of those with me?"
Alex nodded. "We can keep fit together, and maybe…our babies could form some kind of innate connection."
"Babies?" Brian asked, looking up. "You…wait, you're…"
Alex nodded. "I am," she said.
"Does Chester know?" Elliot asked, folding his arms and leaning back in his chair.
Alex shook her head. "He stayed out in California, I was gonna tell him when we got settled here, but…he didn't come with me."
Brian looked from her to Olivia. "Don't expect me to hang around when you're both hormonal and nuts."
That seemed to ease the tension, the group laughed, and Olivia sighed. A part of her wanted to go back to high school, when it wasn't so awkward being around these people. But a larger part of her wanted to fast forward, to a point in her life where these people wouldn't matter anymore.
She grabbed Elliot's hand, sipped her water, and prayed that they would eat fast and go home. She wanted to be alone with her husband and kids.
"Casey?" Trevor whispered, in the dark of his bedroom. "Are you…"
"I'm staying," she said. "I'm transferring, I'm moving, I'm staying."
Trevor sighed, rolled over to look at her, and said, "Good. I, uh, I may be able to get you a job at the firm I'm interning with."
"Really?" she asked, sitting up a bit.
He nodded. "Right now, they, uh, they have a lot going on. Defending a lot of guys, most of them accused sex offenders and thieves, but every once in a while we get something pretty big. Like today."
"What happened today?" she asked, curious, as she kissed him.
"A woman came in," he said, "Some Marine chick. She wants to sue the NYPD."
Casey narrowed her eyes. "What? The whole police department?"
"Just one unit," Trevor said. "She claims they purposely withheld evidence and let the statute of limitations run out on her case to protect one of their own. The guy she claims raped her is a cop, and she thinks…"
"Oh, God," Casey gasped, getting out of the bed. "I have to go," she told him. "I'll be back, I just…"
"Where are you going?" he asked, worried.
Casey looked at him as she threw on a pair of his pants, a tee shirt, her heels, and her trench coat. "I have to talk to Olivia."
A/N: Tomorrow, the sequel. We catch up with our cast of characters, and we find out what happened after dinner. Who stayed together? Who moved out of the city? And who actually had their baby? Review here, or on Twitter: TMG212