I'm sorry, I'm a really sucky updater.
It falls apart from the very start,
It falls apart,
Seems like everything I touch,
Everything around me falls apart,
When I walk away from you.
-Thousand Foot Krutch's 'Falls Apart'
Elliot Stabler stood in the doorway to his youngest daughter's room feeling like an intruder. Despite having shared a room for most of her life, Lizzie was the most secretive of the Stabler children. When Kathleen had left for college Lizzie had taken control of the room and turned it into her safe haven. His eyes glanced over the stack of homework on her desk, the Bible on the nightstand, and books covering every flat surface. He traced his fingers over their last family picture that rested in a frame on Lizzie's desk surrounded by pictures of her and her friends.
A sliding door connected Elizabeth's room to Dickie's after the twins had grown old enough to be placed in separate rooms. They had protested being separated and Elliot had compromised by installing a door to adjoin their rooms while Kathleen had thrown a fit about her little brother's invasion on her privacy. The door slid open and Dickie stood in his pajamas looking at his father, "Need help?"
"I'm trying to get some things of your sister's together to take to Liv's." Elliot explained, "I haven't been here in awhile so I have no idea what Lizzie needs and doesn't need."
"Open the bag," Dickie gestured to the duffel as he opened his sister's closet. He grabbed her jeans, t-shirts, and pajamas and stuffed them into the bag haphazardly, "I'll get the book that she's currently reading and her homework, but I refuse to touch my twin's underwear drawer."
"I'll get your mother to get that." Elliot nodded in agreement having no desire to touch his daughter's unmentionables.
As Kathy gathered the rest of the clothing Lizzie would need for her stay at Olivia's and repacked the bag, Elliot took a seat on Lizzie's bed. The nightstand was littered with books, folded up notes, and framed pictures surrounding the lamp. Her cross necklace she had received for confirmation hung over the lamp shade and his finger traced over the silver chain as a picture caught his eyes. He picked up the dark wood frame that held a picture of Elizabeth and himself at the beach.
The picture had been taken three years ago on a family vacation to South Carolina. He had been standing on the boardwalk with his arms around Lizzie as he tried to teach her how to cast a line. The fourteen year old had her head tossed back in laughter as he blew a raspberry on her cheek. That was the last picture the two of them had taken together and it broke his heart to realize that was the last time he had heard her laugh.
The bed creaked as Kathy sat down beside him and took the picture from his hands, "Don't do that, Elliot. You've done the best you could when it comes to the kids and they're lucky to have a father who cares so much. We'll get Lizzie back on track and all will be right with the world."
"Thanks." He patted her knee appreciatively before looking at the duffel and bookbag that rested on the beige carpet next to the door, "I should get that stuff over to Liv's so Lizzie can take a shower and get some sleep."
"Yeah," Kathy stood and gave him a hug, "tell Olivia thank you for me and don't hurt your back too much when you end up crashing on her couch." He raised his eyebrows, "Like you're gonna leave Lizzie and Liv alone? Face facts, Elliot, I know you."
"That you do. Thanks, Kath." He kissed her cheek before ducking into Dickie's room to say goodbye.
"This is the guest room," Olivia flicked on the light as she opened the door. Lizzie stood behind her in a pair of borrowed sweats and her patient's belonging bag hanging from her wrist, "I'll change the sheets and your dad should be here soon with your clothes so you can take a shower."
"Thanks, Livia." She sighed and placed her bag on the edge of the bed, "For everything."
"Hey," Olivia tipped her chin to look her in the eyes, "you kids are welcome here anytime you want. Emergency or not."
The seventeen year old offered a small smile and nod, "Okay."
"You hungry?" Olivia asked as she leaned against the door frame, "I was thinking we'd order some Chinese or pizza. Up to you."
"Chinese would be good." She admitted as she flopped back on the bed. The last few days catching up with her and every imaginable place on her body ached and her stomach growled from hunger, "Liv, I really, really, really want to shower. Do you have something I could put on until my Dad gets here with my stuff?"
"I think I can find something." She smiled and disappeared into her room before coming back with a NYPD shirt and a pair of basketball shorts, "They're small on me but should be baggy enough on you that they don't make anything hurt worse. Do you need another pain pill yet?"
"Nah," Lizzie shook her head, "I'm still flying high from whatever they gave me at the hospital. I'll probably take one with dinner so I don't get sick." She stood slowly to not jar any of her injuries more than she had to.
"Alright," Olivia lead her away from the guest bath and down the hall to the master suite, "I figure it's gonna be painful to shower so I'm allowing you into my inner sanctum and letting you use my bath tub."
"I think Dad should get the church to canonize you," Lizzie chuckled and then cringed as her a pain shot through her ribs, "Olivia, you've got to be eligible for sainthood by now."
"I just appreciate the healing powers of a bath," Liv chuckled as she pulled a big towel out of the cupboard and placed it on the counter before opening the drawer under the sink, "There's a bunch of bath salts and soaps in here. You're welcome to use whatever. I'll order the food and then hopefully your dad will be here. Holler if you need anything."
"Thanks." Lizzie called as Olivia slipped from the bathroom, shutting the door behind her.
"Add an extra order of egg rolls." Olivia spoke into the phone as she sat on the kitchen counter looking over the menu for the local Chinese delivery, "Thirty minutes? That's perfect. Thank you." She hung up and tossed the phone on the counter before stretching and popping her back.
It had been a hectic thirty-six hours and she knew that she wouldn't be getting sleep anytime in the near future. Hopping off the counter, she grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge and went to change the bed sheets on Lizzie's bed. Her guest room hadn't received much use since her job presented her with too many hours and too few friends. The last time the room had been used had been when the eldest Stabler child had ended up in a fight with her boneheaded partner and refused to go home.
A knock came on the door a short while later and Olivia grabbed her wallet before heading to the door. The door swung open to reveal Elliot carrying the luggage and three bags full of Chinese food, "I caught the delivery man on the way up. I figure it's the least I can do."
"Will you and Lizzie please quit thanking me. I'm not doing anything you wouldn't do." She took the bags of food from him and placed them on the table, "Put the bags in the guest room, I gotta go lure your kid outta my bathtub."
"Yes Ma'am." Elliot smiled and did as she said as Olivia disappeared down the hallway.
Like the cop she was, she pounded on the bathroom door with the side of her arm, "Liz? Your Dad's here and so's the food. Plan on joining the land of the living any time soon?"
"I'll be right out." The reply was muffled by the door but sufficed Olivia as she went to join her partner at the dinner table.
"She'll be right out." She explained as she collapsed into the chair across from her partner and began to dip up her own plate.
Lizzie joined them several minutes later clad in Olivia's clothes with her long blond hair dripping wet. She took her seat silently, tucking her legs underneath her and picking at her food. Elliot watched his daughter for several moments before accepting the mood she was in and returning to his dinner.
"Your Mom packed your clothes and I brought your bookbag in case you're bored and want to work on anything." Elliot explained around a bite of white rice, "I think Dickie tossed a couple of your books in there too."
"Okay," Lizzie whispered as she took a small bite of her chicken, "My head's really starting to hurt. Can I have another pill yet?"
Olivia glanced at her watch before nodding and getting up. The pharmacy bag sat on the counter and Olivia dumped the contents onto the flat surface before searching through the antibiotics, anti-inflammatory and pain killers. Finally finding the one she was looking for, she twisted off the cap and handed Lizzie the prescribed dose. She swallowed the pill dry before chasing it with a sip of water and slumping against the chair.
"Why don't you call your mom and then go to bed." Elliot suggested.
"You're not leaving are you?" Her voice sounded panicked and she drew further into herself. Elliot scooted over and pulled her into his arms which settled her down quite a bit.
"I won't leave, Lizzie, you're safe."
Brent Jacobs was furious as he stormed into the 16th precinct of the New York Police Department. His fist clinch and fury raging in his dark green eyes as he swung open the door to the squad room. The work boots on his feet stomped against the tile as he crossed the floor slowly and surely. He paused at the desk where two officers sat, "I'm looking for a Captain Cragen."
"And you are?" John Munch asked though he already knew the answer to that question. Noah had his father's dirty blond hair and tall stature.
"Brent Jacobs." He explained, his aggravation growing immensely, "My son, Noah, was arrested."
"Ah," Captain Cragen stood in the doorway of his office, "Mr. Jacobs, I'm Captain Cragen, if you come with me we can talk about this in private."
Brent let out a frustrated grunt, "Look, just tell me what I have to do to take my kid home."
"Noah is being held on a domestic battery charge," Cragen explained as he lead the man into an interview room, "He'll be held overnight again tonight and will have to appear before a judge tomorrow morning to be arraigned. If you could make a statement then it might help expedite the process tomorrow."
"Domestic battery?" He asked before taking a seat across from Cragen at the table, "What's goin' on?"
"I'm sure that you know your son has been seeing Elizabeth Stabler?" Cragen asked and Brent nodded the affirmative, "Elizabeth was admitted to the hospital on Friday evening with a severe concussion, bruised ribs, and multiple abrasions. When the police found your son, Elizabeth's bag was found with the contents smashed to bits and her blood was found on his class ring."
"Dammit, Noah." He growled as his fist collided with the table top.
"Sir," Cragen regained his attention, "I need to ask you a few questions and then you'll be free to go. Have you ever seen your son act inappropriately with Miss Stabler? Has he ever yelled at her or touched her inappropriately?"
"Absolutely not," He spat, "I taught Noah how to treat a woman. He'd never do such a thing."
"Right," Cragen nodded, jotting notes down, "So, your own domestic battery charge in two thousand and five was what? Just a big mistake?"
Elliot sat with his ankles crossed on Olivia's coffee table and Liv dosing on the couch next to him. They had settled into the couch not long after Lizzie had caved into sleep for the night. Half-way through a rerun of Friends, Olivia had dozed off while Elliot sat staring at the TV without following the show.
He cursed himself for being unable to see this coming. So much had changed since he and Kathy had gotten divorced and unfortunately the kids had to deal with the brunt of it. He hadn't been around enough to see that his little girl was on a one way path to destruction and had brushed off Lizzie's bruises as accidents and arguments with kids at school though Lizzie had never before gotten in a fight. He wished there was a way to turn back the clock; let Elizabeth know that she was worth more, tell her no when she had asked to go out with Noah Jacobs.
Elliot was drawn from his thoughts as a piercing scream was emitted from the spare bedroom. Olivia sat up with a start before following Elliot in his sprint to the bedroom. Lizzie sat straight up, knees drawn to her chest as she gasped for air. He knelt beside the bed, taking her hand, "It's okay, Lizzie, it's just me and Olivia. You're fine. You're safe."
"I..." Lizzie leaned against Olivia who crawled onto the other side of the bed and wrapped her arms around the girl, "He was strangling me. I couldn't get free. He kept saying how I had messed up and I was going to pay for what I had done."
"Lizzie," Olivia ran her fingers through Elizabeth's long blond locks, "no one is going to hurt you. Your Dad and I won't let him get near you ever again. I promise."
"Will you stay?" Lizzie asked, clinging to her.
"Yeah," She looked at Elliot and then his daughter, "We'll stay."
The courtroom was filled to the brim with families and police officers waiting for criminals to be arraigned. Alexandra Cabot stood at the prosecution table across from Trevor Langan as a uniformed officer lead Noah in by the chain between his cuffs. Names were read into the record and the judge reviewed the file before him, "How does the defendant plead?"
"Not guilty, Your Honor." Noah spoke with the roll of his eyes and a sigh.
"What's the prosecution asking for, Miss Cabot?"
"Remand, Your Honor." Alex looked at the judge over the top of her glasses, "We consider Noah Jacobs to be a flight risk. He has family up and down the east coast and the means to flee the country."
"This is his first offense!" Trevor retorted, "He's eighteen years old and enrolled in a Queens high school where he has ties to several sports teams."
"We'll meet halfway." The judge spoke, "Bail is set at fifty thousand dollars and the defendant is ordered to surrender his passport and wear a tracking anklet for the duration."
The gavel banged as a sense of anxiousness filled the heart of Lizzie Stabler. The Monster was being unleashed and the Damsel was afraid that all the threats in the world couldn't keep him away.