A/N: Thank you to Gabby for this word : Hero. I hope you like it. Uploaded from my new phone : ) Forgive the typos, as there's no spell check in my program. Ha.
DISCLAIMER: Dick Wolf owns characters. TStabler© owns story, plot, narrative, and intellectual property.
"Okay, Madison." The pretty blonde teacher said. "Thank you. Superman is a wonderful hero," she said with a laugh and a smile. "But I want to know who your real heroes are. Real people that we see everyday."
A girl on the left side of the room raised her hand.
"Jennifer!" the teacher called.
"teachers are heroes," Jennifer said. "Without them, we would all be stupid and lazy. And they give up their lives to make our lives better."
The teacher laughed. "Well, Jen, a good teacher would tell you that teaching is their life! But, yes, I agree. Teachers are certainly heroes. Anyone else?"
A boy in the back raised his hand.
"Yes, Paul?" the teacher asked, pointing to him.
"Firefighters," Paul said proudly. "They risk their lives rushing into burning buildings to save people!" he exclaimed.
The teacher nodded. "Yes. Firefighters are definitely heroes. Who else has one?"
A young girl in the middle of the room raised her hand. "Cops," she said.
"Yes, Valerie," the teacher said. "Exactly. Cops are heroes. Can anyone tell me why?" she asked.
The room was silent, until a boy in the front cleared his throat. "Well," he said, "They protect us. They get the bad guys off the streets and put them away. In jail, ya know? People who can hurt us. And if we're ever in trouble, and we tell a cop, they'll help us."
"That's their job," a girl to his left scoffed.
The boy rolled his eyes. "Yeah, but I know a lot of cops, and they all think of it as more than a job. My dad…he's a cop. He has to deal with some pretty crazy and scary things! He has been shot, and stabbed, and beaten up, and chased by people, but he comes home every night and he takes care of me and my sisters, and he loves us more than anything. With all of that, he will still help any of you if you asked him to. Even on his day off."
"So, you think your dad is a hero, Richard?" the teacher asked.
The boy laughed and nodded. "He's the best," he said. "He taught me how to throw a fastball on the same day he saved four kids from a crazy man who was gonna hurt them, probably kill them. The fact that he manages to make time for us…well, when he can…I mean…he tries," he said. "My dad is my hero."
"Dickie! Don't forget Liv," a girl in the middle of the room yelled.
"Right, Lizzie!" Dickie yelled back.
"Elizabeth," the teacher said, "Don't call out and interrupt."
"Sorry, Misses Watson," the girl said. "But my brother just forgot to mention someone else. Our dad's partner. She's a cop, too."
A boy in the back laughed. "A chick cop? Get out!"
"She is! And she's amazing! She's fast, and strong, and she has helped so many people," the girl explained. "You should read some of the letters she gets from the victims she's saved. It takes a very special kind of girl to be able to make it as a cop, and she has certainly done it. Dad might be your hero, Dickie, but Liv is mine."
The teacher smirked. "I'm glad you feel that way, Lizzie, because I have a surprise for you guys," she said. "In honor of Heroes Week, I've invited a couple of people to our class. Kids, please welcome Detective Elliot Stabler and his partner Detective Olivia Benson."
Dickie and Lizzie stared with wide eyes as their father and Olivia walked in. They had tears in their eyes. Clearly, they had heard everything.
After speaking at the school, and then closing a case at the station, Olivia and Elliot walked down to a diner for a late dinner. They ordered, making sure to include beer with their burgers, and there was a moment of uncomfortable silence before Olivia spoke.
"So Dickie thinks you're a pretty cool dad," Olivia said, sipping her beer. "You were worried for nothing. Your kids know that you're trying. They know it's hard now that you…uh, now that you don't…live there."
"Yeah," Elliot sighed, putting his own glass to his lips. "And they think you're pretty damn cool, too." He chuckled and swallowed back his beer.
"Yeah, your kids," Olivia said. "Your ex-wife…not so much."
Elliot shrugged. "She's not my biggest fan either. Liv, you're Lizzie's hero. That's gotta make you feel better about everything. Knowing my kids don't blame you."
"Okay," Olivia said. "First, they can't blame me, since there's nothing going on between us. Second, yeah, it makes me feel pretty damn good knowing your kids think that way, especially Lizzie."
"It's not just my kids," Elliot said softly. He moved so the waiter could put his burger down in front of him.
Olivia, stealing his pickle, raised an eyebrow at him. "What does that mean?" she asked.
Elliot took a breath and bit into a French fry as he said, "You're not just a hero to my kids."
"Oh, you aren't gonna give me that whole 'cops are people, too' speech, are you?" Olivia asked with a laugh.
"No, no," Elliot said, shaking his head. "I meant…you're mine. My hero. Heroine."
Olivia looked at him blankly as the fry dangled in between her fingers. "What?" she asked dumbly.
"Liv, when I lost everything, you were right there, helping me get it all back," Elliot told her. "When Kathy kicked me out, you gave me a place to stay, despite the fact that you had your own life. You helped me through the rough nights, you are the only person in the world besides a few therapists that's ever seen me cry like that, and you just…"
"That's not a hero," Olivia said. "That's a friend, El."
Elliot shook his head. "Liv, a hero is someone who saves a life, or makes a life better, or shows someone else that they are worth something and makes them realize it. You did all of that. You saved my life, because if you hadn't gone to the bar with me that night, I can't guarantee I would have come out alive. I was lost, Liv, and you found me. You make my life better. You always have, from the moment we met. You are constantly trying to tell me that I'm a good man, and a good father, and a good cop, and in the last couple of weeks, being with you everyday, I'm starting to believe you. And I have realized something because of it all."
"That you're batshit crazy?" Olivia asked, trying not to cry at his words as she chewed on her food.
Elliot laughed. "No," he said. "I realized that I'm in love with you. I've fallen in love you. I guess it happened a long time ago, it just took being close to you, and able to really feel it, to realize it."
Olivia took a long gulp of her beer, shook her head, and said, "I'm sorry. I, uh, I misheard you. It sounded like you just said you were in love with me."
"I did," Elliot said flatly. He reached across the table and took her hand, brushing his thumb over her knuckles. "I know it's probably not what you wanna hear. You have your policy on dating men you work with, and I know you probably don't even feel anything for…"
"Are you blind or just stupid?" Olivia interrupted. "I said that out loud. Shit. Uh…yeah, El, how could you not know that I'm…I do. Fell things. For you."
Elliot smirked and leaned forward, pulling on her hand. "What kinds of things?" he asked with a raised of an eyebrow.
"I could tell you," Olivia said as she smirked back at him, "But then you'd have to arrest me, because I promise you, even talking about half of them is considered sexual assault."
Elliot chuckled and shook his head at her. "So, are we, uh, does that mean we're on the same page here?" he asked. "Are we gonna give this, us, a chance?"
Olivia sighed and leaned back. "There's a lot at stake here, El," she said.
"What kid of heroes would we be if we didn't take chances?" Elliot asked, almost pleading as he gave her hand a squeeze. "I love you, Liv. That should be all the reason you need to take a chance."
Olivia took another breath and looked at him. "You know everything about me, even things I'd rather forget, and you're still here. You've kept secrets for me, and lied for me, and you've killed for me, just like I've done for you. You are the only person in the world I can let my guard down with and really be myself around, and that means everything to me," she told him.
Elliot smiled at her. "What are you saying?" he asked, hopeful.
"I'm saying," Olivia said, "That I am a lucky woman. Not many people have a partner like that, or a best friend that amazing." She squeezed his hand. "Not many people are in love with their hero."
Elliot slid out of his side of the booth and into hers, scooting next to her. He wrapped his arm around her and asked, "Are we really gonna do this?"
"I think so," Olivia said, looking into his eyes.
Elliot brushed her back and nodded. "Okay then," he said, smiling. He leaned in, closer and closer, until their lips touched. Olivia cupped his face gently and Elliot ran his fingers through her hair as they kissed. Olivia pulled away and chuckled.
"What's so funny?" Elliot asked, smirking. "That was amazing," he told her.
"It was an amazing kiss, El," Olivia said, "I was just thinking…I've always considered you my own, personal Superman. Now, more powerful than a locomotive I can handle, but if you're faster than a speeding bullet…"
"Oh, baby," Elliot said, narrowing his eyes, "I can move pretty fast, but it's gonna last al night."
Olivia smirked, moved in, brushed her lips against his, and whispered, "My hero."
A/N: This one was hard. Sorry. : )