A/N: Who calls? For what? How does it affect them? Does Munch get the pilot? Where did Jo go? And the first night in the new house, brings the story full circle.
DISCLAIMER: SVU and related characters belong to Dick Wolf. Story, dialogue, narrative and plot belong to TStabler©
Elliot and Olivia were sitting in the conference room, hands entwined. The phone had woken them up in the middle of the night, and the caller sounded panicked, distraught. They flew down to the station after calling Kathy back to stay with Maureen, and were anxiously waiting for Munch and Cragen to joint them. Elliot, who had answered his cell phone, refused to tell Olivia what was wrong. He said she had to hear it from Cragen.
Finally, the door opened, and Cragen and Munch stepped through. They both looked sadly at Olivia, and Cragen slid a file over to her. "Munch got our pilot," he said.
"Okay," Elliot siad, furrowing his brow. "Why is this something that merited waking up a pregnant woman in the middle of the night?"
"I, uh, ran him through the system, to see if he was a match to the DNA left on the girl," Munch said. "Something else came up, Benson."
"Stabler," Elliot corrected with a bit of an attitude. "If she's not working, it's Stabler." His possessiveness was starting to shine through, echoing off the walls as he gritted out that declaration.
Olivia sighed and shot him a subtle, loving look, then picked up the file. "One of our open cases?" she asked. She opened it, wondering what this had to do with her.
"Sort of," Cragen said, nodding.
"Holy shit," Olivia gasped. "This...this can't be right," she spat, closing the file.
Cragen cleared his throat. "Olivia, we didn't have the same technology back then that we do now, and the case has been cold for years. His DNA hit on yours, not your mother's, and when the computer..."
"I know how the computer works, Captain," Olivia said more harshly than necessary. "I just...he's been out there, all this time, still raping..."
"Yeah," Munch interrupted. "And I should have had his ass twelve years ago." He looked Olivia in the eyes and said, "I'm so sorry."
Olivia stopped breathing, her worst fear had been realized, and she ran a hand over her stomach. "It's not your fault, Munch," she whispered. "He's...really a..." she paused, swallowed hard and closed her eyes, then got out of her seat. "Excuse me," she said. She walked out of the room, out of the squadroom, and up to the roof. She walked over to the ledge, trying to catch her breath. She knew he was behind her before he said anything. "Don't, El," she panted, her hand over her chest. "Really, it's better if you just stay away from me right now."
"Well, that's not gonna happen," Elliot said, stepping toward her. "Calm down, honey," he whispered, reaching for her shoulders.
As soon as his hands were on her body, she flinched and pulled away. "Stop," she choked out, tears threatening to fall. "El, please," she said, holding up a hand. "How can you...God, I had thought that maybe he wasn't really a monster, maybe my mother was just too drunk to remember going home with him. But now I know, and you know, and we know what I am, what this..."
"You," Elliot interrupted, "Are amazing. Your upbringing, shitty as it was, made you who you are, and your background doesn't mean shit, Liv."
"You know I have a temper. Dammit, you know I'm capable of killing someone, Elliot," Olivia said, with a disheartened chuckle. "How can you want someone like me raising your children?"
Elliot tilted his head. "You mean someone who is so selfless it's a sin? Someone who never thinks of herself, at all, and who is so loving and giving and passionate...Liv, how can you honestly stand there and think you're like him? Or like your mother?" He grabbed her shoulders again, ignoring her silent protests, and he began to rub hard. "How can you, who's life's work it is to put the people like him behind bars, ever think that you are anything like him? And you don't drink often. Baby, when you do you get girly, and giggly, and horny as shit, but never violent."
Olivia dropped her head, both in sorrow and because his massage felt so damned good. "You're nothing like your father, either," she said. "But you wake up in the middle of the night panicking, because you think you might be one day. This is the same thing."
"No, baby, this is you being pregnant and stressed out," Elliot said, rubbing even harder. "They told you he was your father to give you closer, so you could stop looking and stop worrying," he said. "They didn't want to give you a reason to doubt yourself. You are so strong, Liv, and so confident. And you are going to love this baby unconditionally, just like I am, because we are both better than our fucking parents."
Olivia laughed, and moaned, then said, "So you're saying I'm panicking for nothing."
"That is exactly what I'm saying," Elliot said. "You tell me the same thing when I freak out about how my parents could effect me, so take your own advice."
Olivia turned around, sighing, and wrapped her arms around him. "You meant it when you said you weren't gonna let me run away from any of this, didn't you?"
"With all my heart," Elliot said, kissing her sweetly. He did mean it. No matter how hard she tried to run, he would always catch her before she got too far.
Elliot finally got Olivia back down into the squadroom, and they walked toward the conference room just in time to hear the voice of Jo Marlowe. "You couldn't just leave well enough alone, could you?" she was heard asking.
"She had a right to know!" Munch yelled. "She's like family, Jo! I wasn't gonna let..."
"Now everyone is gonna know that the man on the stand is the man who raped Detective Benson's mother," Jo yelled, interrupting. "They're all going to look at him, already thinking he's guilty, already wanting his ass in a cage!"
Cragen scoffed. "That's a good thing!" he barked.
"No," Jo said, bitterly. "The entire courtroom wanting revenge for Princess Benson is not a good thing, because it means your detectives will slack off, thinking their case is already won, and..."
"Jo!" Elliot's voice boomed. "What the fuck?"
"Elliot!" Jo said, turning toward him. "What are you doing here?"
Elliot smirked. "My wife is involved with this case," he said. "Her colleagues, her real family, love her enough to want the son of a bitch put behind bars," he said, "And you have the nerve to think we're all just gonna sit on our asses on this one?" He stepped forward, glaring at her. "We're all gonna work harder on this, to make sure he gets thorwn in jail, and that he satys there! She's a police officer, Jo. A damn good one. There is a reason they're called 'brothers in blue,' because they're fucking there for each other. You remember what that's like?"
"Yeah," Jo spat. "I remember exactly what it was like, having a partner and a captain, and three fellow detectives who would help me if I needed it." She scoffed and smirked back at him. "But I don't remember anyone being willing to kill for me, die for me, or keep me safe the way you people all seem to do for her!"
Elliot clenched and unclenched his fist, trying hard to not hit the woman in front of him. "Maybe it's because we all knew you weren't one of us," he said. "We all knew you'd leave, that this job wasn't your life. Liv...she is nothing like you," he declared.
"Is that why you fucked her and not me?" Jo asked bitterly, her arms folding over her chest.
The room went silent.
Elliot raised an eyebrow.
Olivia's hand shot to her mouth and she mumbled a quick, "I'm gonna be sick," as she ran from the room.
Elliot turned to her, almost running after her, but shot his head back to Jo. "You really wanna know why I always rejected you? Because of this, right here. You are so damned selfish, and bitter, and you don't think before you speak. I didn't fall in love with you the minute I saw you the way I did with Liv, and I thank God every day for that, because what I've got...with my wife...means everything to me, and you...you've always been nothing but a partner. A really bad partner." He didn't even wait for a response before he ran after Olivia, preparing to hold her hair back as she threw up, a combination of nerves and morning sickness.
It was almost four in the morning when Elliot drove them home, to the new house. "You know, it seems so silly to move again," Olivia said. But then she saw the house, and she gasped. "Elliot!" she choked.
"Liv, I couldn't pass this up," Elliot said. "This is the house of your dreams. I know I have a habit of buying houses without telling you, but baby, this is the house we were meant to have." He parked in the driveway, got out, and ran around to her door. "The townhouse, thank God, was sold back to the original owner. We just couldn't afford it." He pulled her up to the front door and unlocked it, pushing it open. "This is where we need to raise our children, where Maureen should finish growing up, where we will live, happily ever after. This house."
Olivia looked around, walking toward the stairs, and she smiled, letting out a small laugh. "This is the last one, right? No more buying houses without me?"
"Baby," Elliot said, "Come with me." He took her up the stairs, opened a door on the left, and turned on the light. "We're here to stay," he said.
Olivia gasped, looking into the nursery that seemed so perfect. Pastel yellow walls with pale green trim, pastel blues, purples, and pinks in various places, all with white, wooden furniture. "Oh, El," she whispered, clutching his arm. "It's amazing."
"I couldn't do this in the old place," Elliot said. "It wasn't right. Honey, it was too big, too urban. This...this is a home."
"El," Olivia said, tears in her eyes, one hand over her bump, "Anywhere you are, with me, that's home."
"Ditto, Livvy," Elliot whispered, using his special name for her, one he hadn't uttered in a while. "Kathy's gonna get everything into a truck today, and Maureen's gonna pack all of the last minute things. We're moving in, baby."
Olivia turned to him, smiling brightly. "This is it, then," she said. "Married, with children and a real house. I have had the only question I needed an answer to finally answered, and Kathy's being so great about this. Are we really, finally moving forward? Not backward?"
"Baby," Elliot said, holding up his left hand, "We started moving forward the day I took the first band of gold off of my finger." He kissed her, slowly and sweetly. "We just had a really backwards way of moving forward." He laughed as he pulled her in for another kiss. He tugged her backward down the hall, struggled to open another door, and brought her toward a new canopy bed. He laid her down gently and pulled off his tie. "Welcome home," he said with a smirk.
"Thanks, baby," Olivia laughed, helping him take off his shirt. As they kissed and undressed each other, they knew that things had fallen into place, and this was the first day of the rest of their lives. Everything had finally come full circle, they in a perfect house, in a perfect place in their lives. And to think, the only thing they had to thank was a tiny band of gold.
A/N: Thank you so much for reading, and sticking with it! Alas, this story needs to end so another can begin! Hope you've all enjoyed the ride.