Title: The Art of Breaking and Healing (Chapter 1: New Beginnings)

Fandom: Law and Order: Special Victims Unit

Pairing: established Olivia/Melinda

Author: Mirandyscrow

Rating: Pg-13 to R

Summary: Life with our favorite detective and Medical Examiner is full of obstacles as they juggle crime, family, and love. Olivia/Melinda. Melivia. Yes, femslash! Don't like it? Don't read it, por favor.

Spoilers: none for this chapter

Archive: Sure if you really want it. Lol, it would be a surprise to me, just ask my permission first. (It's nice when people ask)

Disclaimer: Law and Order: SVU belongs to Dick Wolf, NBC and anyone else that would possibly have any claim to the show or its franchise. Any and all other brand names, songs, schools, etc. belong to their respective owners. I'm only writing this story for entertainment purposes. Please don't sue; I only own a considerable amount of debt in student loans to offer you. :P

Author's Note: I've been tossing around the idea of a Melivia fic for awhile but I was having a little trouble trying to get it all planned out so I decided to put my media player on shuffle until I had some pretty good ideas for a some scenes here and there for the progression of a relationship. My first few attempts didn't really have me go very far so they were abandoned until there was a marathon of SVU. In the marathon I saw the episode "Infected" again and remembered a half-baked prompt I kept on my hard drive and before I knew it I was writing everyday.

Second Author's Note: As you may very well notice quite a few scenes will be taken directly from the show with a few tweaks here and there. Consider it my own 'Ripped From the Headlines' move, lol. A large part of the events in seasons eight and possibly nine will be pushed forward to fit my story but shouldn't be too confusing to follow my timeline. The story itself begins mid way through season seven.

Big thanks to emploding LJ for being an awesome beta and deciding to take on my ignorance. :P Any and all careless mistakes I claim as my own.

Special thanks to LegaspiWeaver for all her help!

Ten minutes to midnight on New Year's Eve, Melinda Warner and Olivia Benson found themselves parked in front of the television. They opted not to spend New Year's Eve at any of their friend's or neighbors parties. Both women were content to ring in the New Year snuggled together underneath a fleece blanket in their living room. They were currently watching Dick Clark give his final remarks about the months past with the lights of Times Square serving as his brilliant background.

Melinda briefly deserted the warmth of the embrace to place her empty wine glass on the coffee table next to the half full bottle of Merlot before settling back underneath the soft blanket with a sigh. She glanced toward the bay window, noting the light flurry of snow that had just begun to fall. "Do you think we made a good decision in letting Jasmine go to that party?"

Olivia smiled tolerantly, holding the older woman tighter in her arms. "Since the last four times you asked me?" she teased, chuckling slightly when Melinda looked back annoyed. She leaned forward, placing an upside down kiss on the end of the frowning woman's nose. "Yes, we made the right decision. Jasmine made all A's on her midterms as we requested and made sure we were aware of who she was leaving with and all of their numbers."

"That's kind of what bothers me. She was too willing to give up all that information-"

"If she'd fought more for her independence I'm sure you would have found that suspicious as well," Olivia tenderly cut in.

"Why aren't you more suspicious?" Melinda inquired.

Olivia was keeping her outward appearance as calm as possible. There was no need in both of them freaking out over their daughter's whereabouts. Jasmine was a one of the most responsible and level-headed teenagers she'd ever met. It also helped that she had some rather loaded thoughts floating through her head but she decided to try and derail Melinda's worries if only for a few seconds. "I put a tracking device in her cell phone," she replied in a serious tone.

"You didn't?" Melinda asked her quickly, turning to look at her girlfriend's face.

Olivia nearly laughed at the relieved excitement on the caramel colored woman's face. "No, I didn't, but now I'm thinking that's what I should have gotten you for Christmas instead of that new Macbook you've wanted for months," she said with a raised eyebrow.

Melinda only looked a little contrite. "Okay, I'm worrying too much. I get your hint."

"There's no such thing as worrying too much. She's your baby girl and you just want her to be safe. I'm worried too but I'm going to enjoy rest of this year stress free. We can go back to the stress at 12:01," Olivia said with a small grin.

Melinda rolled her eyes without malice and they both turned their gazes to the television. According to the countdown in the corner of the screen were less than five minutes until midnight. Olivia sighed pleasantly, her eyes wandering around the living room before falling on the beautiful Christmas they put up as a family. They'd taken all the rest of the decorations down but neither one of them had been able to take down the tree. The silver glitter covered snowflake ornaments and cobalt baubles and garland gleamed prettily against the clear lights surrounding the tree until all of a sudden they went out. Now the soft glow of the television was the only source of light for the two women.

"What happened?" Melinda asked with a bit of surprise.

"I don't know. Maybe there's a short in the wiring or something." Olivia shifted, preparing to inspect the tree.

Melinda held onto her, halting her movement. "Liv, just leave it." she was quite comfortable in the detective's arms and wasn't ready to give that up for a bit of faulty wiring on a string of department store lights.

"I don't want to a chance of a spark happening and starting a fire," Olivia said. She stood and making her way over to the tree. She unplugged the tree and plugged it in again and nothing happened. She tried it a few more times then the television went out, throwing the entire room into darkness. "Oops."

"Oh, Liv," Melinda said from the couch she reached underneath the coffee table for the emergency battery operated touch lights. She quickly grabbed one and with a low click pressed it on. The small circle of light allowed her to see Olivia's unmoving form, waiting patiently by the tree. When she got closer she saw that Olivia was kneeling and holding something small and metallic in her hands. It was a ring. Her heart sped up as realization dawned on her. "Liv…" she breathed softly.

Olivia took the plastic light from Melinda's hands, placing it on the floor next to her. She took a moment to look at the love of her life. Her heart was thundering in her chest her as if seeing her for the first time, as if she was falling in love with her all over again at just that moment. She took a deep breath and chuckled nervously before she spoke, "You know I've been working on a speech for weeks and now my mind's gone blank. You always seem to do that to me."

Fighting back tears, Melinda just laughed softly at the accusation.

The kneeling woman took another deep breath trying to will the carefully picked words she'd rehearsed thousands of times to the front of her mind. She failed and decided to just speak from her heart. "We've known each other for six years and dated for only two of those years due mostly to my stubbornness. When you know someone that long you're in their life for a lot of events, some big, some small and I want to continue to be here with you for you for the rest of our lives. I love you with all that I am. Melinda Tamara Warner, will you do me the precious honor of becoming my wife?"

The curly haired woman smiled through her now freely flowing tears, nodding emphatically. Her breath hitched and she cleared her throat. "Yea…yes!" she finally choked out.

Olivia beamed and shot up from the floor, wrapping her arms tightly around her fiancé and capturing the other woman's lips in a passionate kiss. She pulled back and gently placed the ring on Melinda's finger. The antique grandfather clock upstairs started to chime, signaling the end of 2005 and the start of a new chapter of their lives as the tree and television sprang back to life.

The newly engaged couple was barely aware of the rest of the world as they held each other, swaying to the voices gathered in Times Square singing Auld Lang Syne. They locked eyes and the heated look that passed between them needed no words. Olivia grabbed the remote from the couch, shut off the television, and pulled her fiancé upstairs. If the two women weren't so preoccupied with starting their celebration they would have noticed a very familiar seventeen year old kissing a tall blond on national television just before the screen had gone black.


Strong yet gentle fingers massaging her scalp coaxed Melinda from her peaceful slumber. She opened her eyes, instantly fixing them to dark coffee orbs.

"Good morning," Olivia whispered with a smile. She reached out pushing a few curled strands of hair away the caramel colored forehead.

Melinda grabbed the hand, placing a loving kiss on the palm. "Morning," she whispered back with a smile of her own. Her eyes fell immediately to the ring on her finger. In the morning light, she was able to see it fully. She studied it with a curious gaze.

Olivia watched intrigued as the realization dawned in Melinda's eyes.


"Hmm?" she said lightly.

"Is this my family's ring?"

"Yes," Olivia replied with a wide smile.

"Why does it look so different?" Melinda asked. She wanted to take the ring off so she could see it at all angles, but decided not to until it was absolutely necessary. She'd already become used to its presence on her hand.

"Your grandmother gave it to me with her blessing and called in a few favors to have a friend of hers to restore it with a few specifications that I thought of," Olivia answered nonchalantly. In truth, she had agonized for nearly three months looking for the perfect ring to give Melinda before she finally gave up and decided to ask Angela Richards, Melinda's grandmother.

The elderly woman had sat completely amused at Olivia's stricken demeanor when she expressed she wouldn't be able to find the ring that expressed the full extent of her love for Melinda. Angela finally took pity on Olivia after an hour, disappearing into a secret room and reappearing with an antique jewelry box. The only thing in the box was a delicate and beautiful antique diamond ring. It had an intricately detailed wheat pattern on the platinum band and a brilliant ¾ carats round cut diamond. The center was in a royal crown style with four tiny diamonds on either side of the small crown.

Olivia had immediately turned the woman down, expressing her reluctance to take the ring away from the rightful members of the family. Angela only chuckled softly, pushing the ring firmly into Olivia's hands despite her protests and with a kiss to her forehead she said:

"My dear girl you are a rightful member of this family."

Olivia smiled softly at the memory while Melinda nodded, ecstatic with the knowledge that their love was special enough to gain one of the most coveted heirlooms in her family. "I can't believe you woke up before me," she teased Olivia and scooted closer into her arms, basking in the delightful sensation of the full length of their bodies pressed together.

"Yeah, I could hardly believe it either but I guess that's just because someone was tired out last night."

Melinda raised an eyebrow. "Excuse me?"

"I guess I'm just that good," Olivia boasted playfully. She rolled onto her back staring at the ceiling with a cocky grin adorning her face.

Melinda straddled Olivia without preamble. She bent down; her lips just a hair's breath away from brushing against Olivia's as she spoke. "I think someone's forgetting something." she watched as her lover's eyes darkened and pulled back just as Olivia tried to kiss her fully. She slid languidly against her fiancé's body, placing a thigh tight against Olivia's center she rolled her hips to a low, sensual song only she could hear.

"What's that?" Olivia gasped out her hands automatically falling to Melinda's hips. She couldn't stand watching another sight of the tantalizing breasts above her without a taste. She sat up, licking a path from Melinda's belly button to the valley of her chest. She felt triumphant at the slight erratic thrust the action caused. Olivia's mouth had just closed over a taut peak when Melinda placed a hand against her chest, pushing her back flat against the bed with a shake of her head and shifted above her. Nimble fingers teased the detective's opening, barely dipping inside before retreating again.

Melinda smirked at the abundance of wetness she felt but didn't once answer the question her lover asked; instead she kissed a quick path down Olivia's body, disappearing under the blanket.


Jasmine Warner lay under a thick fuchsia comforter. Her computer chirped softly, letting her know she had received a new email. She just snuggled deeper under her covers, trying to shut out the sounds of the real world when a stifled scream tore through her subconscious and shattered the remnants of her pleasant dream.

She shot up in bed glaring at the obviously thin walls of her bedroom. She was more than happy that her mothers loved each other and wanted to express it but she hated when she was so blatantly reminded of it. The teen got up from her bed not even bothering to put on her slippers as she stormed to her parent's door.


Olivia all but collapsed against the bed, finding it difficult to get enough air into her lungs. She didn't know when Melinda had made it back to her side, smoothing her hair away from a sweat drenched forehead. Melinda pressed a chaste kiss against her lips and hopped from the bed.

"I'm not the one who often has to take breather between rounds," she purred, answering Olivia's question from earlier. She sauntered toward the bathroom and paused, looking over her shoulder with a smug grin. "You're welcome to join me in the shower that is if you're not too tired."

Olivia abandoned the bed quickly, stumbling as she shook off the slight dizziness she felt from the rapid change of position and ran into the bathroom after her fiancé.


Jasmine knocked on the door, watching as it creaked open. She quickly covered her eyes and walked into the room. "Okay, you have got two have got to-" she tentatively lowered her hand, taking in the ruffled sheets and errant pieces of clothing. She saw the steam billowing from the cracked bathroom door and moved forward. She knocked on the varnished wood before speaking, "Mom? Mama? Whenever you two are done wasting water I need a favor!" her annoyed voice broke through their bubble of contentment.

"Is it time to ship her off to college yet?" Melinda asked Olivia playfully.

"I heard that!" Jasmine called through the door in mock annoyance, she pivoted heading back up the hallway only stopping long enough to grab her cell phone from its charger.

The two women's laughter followed her into the kitchen. She was still feeling tired from last night's New Year's Eve party and decided to be a bit lazy about her breakfast. She grabbed the last strawberry toaster strudel out of the freezer and popped in the toaster, waiting for her mothers to come downstairs. She sent a quick good morning and Happy New Year text to all of her contacts and forced herself to place the phone down.

She nervously nibbled on the pastry once it was done, glancing at her phone every few seconds. Only one reply in particular would satisfy her nervousness. She agreed to meet her midnight kissing partner today if she could get a ride. It seemed like ages had passed before Mandy Moore's voice filled the room as her phone danced across the smooth surface of the counter.

"I got a crush on you…"

The teen snatched up her phone and read over her text message with a bashful smile before her attention was directed at her mothers coming into the kitchen. She quickly typed out a reply, silenced her phone and quickly put it back in her pocket. She noticed the diamond ring glinting against the bright lights in the kitchen on her mother's hand. "Finally!" she exclaimed with a grin and went to hug them both.

"You knew she was going to do this?" Melinda asked her daughter when she pulled back.

Jasmine nodded. "She just about drove herself crazy trying to think up a way to propose to you." she revealed with a shake of her head.

Melinda glanced at lightly blushing Olivia who walked away from them, busying herself with making a cup of coffee. She heard the other woman mutter something that could have been 'I wanted it to be perfect.'

Olivia cleared her throat. "Okay, Jasmine what's the favor that you need?"

"Can one of you drop me off at Rockefeller center?" she asked.

A look passed between the older women. Melinda hated the cold weather and avoided being in it whenever she could. She even went so far as sending her assistants out to crime scenes in the winter unless she was specifically asked for.

Olivia shrugged slightly, realizing that it was up to her to drop their daughter to her outing. "We should see how the weather is before we do anything," she said.

Jasmine smiled widely, rushing to the abandoned remote on the coffee table the switched the television on and flipped to the local news where they were conveniently just reporting the weather.

"I hope everyone is having a good morning on the first day of 2006. I'm sure you want to get a jump start on your first plans of the year but the weather may put a damper on those plans. Due to a particularly heavy snowfall just after ringing in the New Year, New York is blanketed in a wintery landscape. Citizens are urged not leave their homes unless absolutely necessary…" Jasmine pressed the power button forcefully cutting off whatever the weather man was saying next.

"Sorry, Jazz. It looks like you are spending New Years Day here with us," Olivia said with an apologetic expression. She handed Melinda a steaming mug of coffee.

"Hooray," the teen deadpanned, flipping her phone open with a frown to send another text. Her mother's exchanged a confused look at her instant sour mood.

Olivia rinsed out her mug before going to the small hall closet. "Cheer up, Jazz. We can play…Scrabble." she took down the game, producing it with a flourish. Wide smiles blossomed on Melinda's and Jasmine's faces.


It was Olivia's turn to cook for the day, so she exited the game after about the fifth round. She was astonished to they were able to make it so far without an incident. It would probably surprise their coworkers to know how fiercely competitive Melinda was outside of work and it was obvious that her daughter took after her in the worst way. Olivia knew this all too well but sometimes, just like an Alzheimer's patient she would suggest a game to relieve tension in the house. The only saving grace was that this time it was only Scrabble. When they played Monopoly the game usually ended with an overturned game board and silent treatment for a few days. She glanced over the kitchen counter into the living room with a smile.

Jasmine gazed over the Scrabble board, seemingly deep in thought. Suddenly her eyes lit up and the placed her last three tiles on the board. "Fifty-two points," she announced with a victorious smile.

Olivia glanced at Melinda's stoic features and knew that a storm was brewing.

Melinda switched her gaze between Jasmine's beaming face and the Scrabble board. "Jasmine Michelle Warner you are cheating!"

"How is that cheating? I scored those points fair and square." Jasmine leaned back, crossing her arms over her chest with a raised eyebrow.

"How do you figure that?" Melinda scrutinized the board. "Zoboomafoo is not even a word."

"It's the name of a kids' show I used to watch," Jasmine argued.

"It's not accepted by the official Scrabble dictionary as a word of the English language so it's out."

"That's not fair!" Jasmine threw up her hands in frustration. "You're just mad because you know you can't win now."

"It is fair because that ridiculous title is not a word."

"Mom!" Jasmine whined, looking for Olivia.

The aforementioned woman froze, now caught in her silent getaway. With a deep breath, she turned seeing twin brown orbs staring at her intently.

"What do you think?" they asked her at the same time.

She opened her mouth to response when the oven timer went off. She sighed inwardly in relief at literally being saved by the bell. "I think its time for lunch," she replied, ignoring the two outraged voices demanding her to pick a side.

The family spent the rest of their day left to their own devices. Jasmine had her cell phone glued to her hand obsessively texting back and forth. While her mother's found it odd they decided not to comment for the time being. Olivia decided that the downtime was a good chance to workout in the makeshift gym she constructed in the basement and Melinda familiarized herself with her new computer. All too soon it the sun had set on the first day of the New Year.


Melinda reached over and turned off the alarm clock just as it begun to ring. She honestly didn't know why she set it anymore seeing as she had always been such an early riser. Olivia and Jasmine however were another story. She suspected a bomb could go off right beside them and they probably wouldn't move an inch. They each contained an odd quirk to wake up instantly when their phones rang though. She looked at her lover; Olivia was buried deep in the blankets sleeping soundly. With each exhale an almost imperceptible whistling noise escape her nose.

The M.E. smiled fondly and moved to leave the bed and start her day. She was immediately pulled back against a toned body.

"Don't go. Warm," Olivia grumbled in her sleep, holding onto the older woman tightly.

"Liv, school's started again," Melinda told her softly.

Olivia groaned and rolled over, allowing Melinda to extricate herself from her lover's arms. She slipped on one of the robes hanging by the door and walked down the hall until she reached her daughter's room.

"Jasmine, get up!" Melinda called through the door, knocking loudly. "You are not starting the off the new year by being late for school again!" she raised her hand to knock again her eyes widening in surprise when a frowning seventeen year old peered at her through bleary eyes. Usually it was much more difficult to get her daughter up for school. Melinda chocked it up to a belated Christmas miracle and stepped out the teen's way, heading back to her bedroom.

"I'm up already," Jasmine grumbled, shuffling past her mother to the bathroom. She hit her head on the door frame with a solid thud, brushed away the errant curls that fell in her face and continued into the bathroom like nothing ever happened.

Back in the master bedroom, a cell phone rang on the bedside table. A slightly tan hand shot from under the covers, grabbing the phone and disappearing again. "Benson," Olivia answered with a small yawn. She listened to the voice on the other end and sighed. "I'll be there in thirty," she said and closed her phone. Olivia sat up with a larger yawn, combing down the hair sticking up at odd angles across her head with her hand. She dropped her feet to the floor and stood, trying to shake off the lingering lethargic feeling. "Got called to a case," Olivia addressed her lover without turning around.

"So I heard." Melinda walked over to her fiancé, kissing her good morning. "I'll start breakfast." she said, leaving Olivia to get started for her day.

-End of Chapter One-

Hello dear reader! You've made it this far, so maybe you're willing to go just a bit further with a review. Whether you loved it or hated it I want to know.

Thanks for reading!