Title: The Art of Breaking and Healing (Chapter 8: Old Habits)

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: Fat, Web

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: See the first chapter for full Author's Notes.

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

Special thanks to LegaspiWeaver (docwarnerfan) for all her help!


The next week Olivia threw herself into her work so as not to think about the events of that night. Not for the first time, she was eternally grateful she didn't work with SVU because she wasn't sure she could sit across from Elliot every day and not say something about his eldest daughter's relationship with Jasmine.

"Hey, Liv. I'm going for lunch. You want anything?" Morales asked suddenly.

Olivia looked at the bottom right hand corner of her screen, noting it was far past the time she usually had lunch. Where had the day gone? "Just a salad," she answered him.

"What kind?"

Olivia rotated in her chair. "Surprise me."

"Hey Benson even down here in the basement we take a break to eat."

"Don't worry, Craig. I have a very healthy appetite," she said with a wink. "I'm just not going to leave when I'm so close to cracking this case." She turned her chair slightly. "Aiden, have you gotten any closer to finding out Coolguy22's real identity?"

Aiden looked up. "Almost…got it." He pressed three buttons and sent Olivia the information he gathered.

A rakish grin crossed Olivia's face as she sent an alert to Captain Cragen and continued talking to the perp as if nothing was out of the ordinary. She leaned back in her chair imagining the look on her 'friend's' face when the police burst through the door.

All of a sudden Craig began to giggle with delight like a little schoolgirl. "You guys have got to hear about this," he said, showing Kylie his phone.

She read over the text message he received, not getting exactly why he'd found the situation so humorous. Craig glanced at Olivia and his grin got even wider, if it was even possible.

He'd barely taken two steps in her direction when Kylie grabbed him back by his collar. She shook her head with a frown. She saw how Olivia's eyes clouded over when they asked about her old job. There was still a lot of hurt there. She wasn't going to allow Craig to just use it for his own amusement.

"Just sit down dude."

"But-" Craig protested.

"Sit," Kylie said with her signature glare.

Craig swallowed thickly before walking back to his computer with hunched shoulders.

When Reuben finally made it back he looked like he was bout to burst with excitement. He hurried to his seat and unpacked their lunches. The computer tech handed Olivia her salad with a wide smile.

"Thanks," Olivia said with her eyes still glued to the computer screen in front of her.

"Go ahead and enjoy your lunch, Liv."

Olivia nodded distractedly and opened the container and inhaled the grilled chicken scent. Her mouth watered. She applied a light drizzle of salad dressing and took a large bite. She finally caught sight of Reuben's expression and swallowed. "What's wrong with you?"

"You mean you haven't heard yet?" He asked with a raised eyebrow.

"Heard what?" Olivia asked. She glanced behind her, noting everyone's guilty expressions.

Reuben leaned forward like he had a particularly juicy piece of gossip to give. "It's about Elliot."


Elliot buttoned his shirt and closed his locker. He felt the presence of another in the room. He turned around, surprised to see Olivia.

"I liked that shirt," Olivia said, breaking the ice.

Elliot smoothed down his shirt. "What are you doing here?"

Olivia stepped into the locker room. "I heard about what happened between you and Blaine."

Elliot nodded his head. He expected her to say something like that. Sometimes cops were worse gossips than teenage girls. "Why didn't you tell me?" He came closer to Olivia.

She sighed before answering, "We've been partners for seven years, longer than anyone here-"

"Did you tell the Captain to partner me with Blaine?" he asked, interrupting her.

"No, I didn't but he asked my opinion and I told him it was a good idea."

"Why would you…? How could you do that? You said we've been partners for seven years. I deserved a bit of a heads up."

"You're right. I should have told you about Blaine. I should have told you about transferring but this whole thing has gotten so complicated."

"Yeah what's so complicated about it?"

"I don't have time to talk about it. This is my lunch break." Olivia turned to leave.

"No, wait." Elliot grabbed her wrist "This is may be the only time I'll get to talk to you without your bulldog," he said playfully.

"My what?" Olivia's voice dropped to a dangerous level and Elliot knew he made a mistake.

A horribly, stupid mistake.

Elliot's face fell. "I didn't mean-"

"My bulldog," Olivia sneered. "Has a name and it's Melinda Warner, soon to be Benson. If you ever, ever insult her like that again. I'll have your balls," she finished and stormed from the locker room before she followed through on her impulse to hit Elliot.

"Olivia! Olivia I'm sorry!" She heard Elliot call after her but she didn't stop or turn around.


Olivia stalked through the doors of Computer Crimes. Where did Elliot get off? Some days she wondered if he cared about her happiness at all.

"Olivia, good you're back." Rob rushed out to meet her, interrupting the woman's thoughts.

"What's going on?"

"Morales was called away to decode a few computers and a notice was posted in one of the teen chat rooms from the scree name sAd&WoRtHlEsS15. I think he's an abuse victim."

"Where is he now?"

"Craig was able to keep him talking for a bit, but even he is running out of small talk for this kid." Rob said, walking into the room.

Olivia followed. She didn't even bother to take off her jacket before sitting. She logged on and quickly took up Craig's spot in the chat room. It took all of twenty minutes until Olivia had the kid opening up. 'sad&worthless' was actually a traumatized twelve year old boy by the name of Milton Eckerman that had been sexually abused by his maternal aunt.

Olivia decided to call in a favor from Fin as she was not looking to talk to Elliot anytime soon. Fin promised that he would personally see to the case and would call her when arrangements were made for Milton.

"Okay, thanks again Fin," Olivia said, hanging up the phone.

"Milton going to be okay?" Kylie asked.

"He's going to be fine," Olivia said.

"Great job, Olivia," Rob congratulated the detective.

Olivia reveled in the warmth in her chest at the praise. She stifled the little voice in her head that harshly reminded her that she didn't quite fit at Computer Crimes. "All in a day's work," she said with a smile. She liked her job and if she needed to, she would fake it until she made it.


The contentment for working with Computer Crimes never showed up and Olivia realized that just barely three weeks later. She sort of enjoyed catching criminals over the internet but compared to seven years in the Special Victims Unit, Computer Crimes was like a walk in the park. Olivia was beginning to find that the walk was becoming just a little boring. She hated the simplicity of it all and the routine. Waking up, having breakfast with her family, leaving for work, staring at a computer screen for no less than ten hours a day, coming home, having dinner, having sex with Melinda, and goes to sleep to wake up and do it all over again. Of course, she definitely wasn't complaining about having an abundant amount of time to enjoy sex with Melinda but the rest was boring. When she woke up now she half expected to hear the jaunty 'Leave it to Beaver' theme song as she got ready for the day. She felt like she was in a rut with no hope of ever breaking free. That is, until the very next week.


Olivia came downstairs and was greeted with the faint lingering smell of bacon.

"Morning baby," Melinda said, grabbing her bagel from the toaster.

Olivia moved forward, capturing Melinda's lips in a kiss. "Morning," she breathed back.

"Would you like some breakfast?"

"What are you having?" Olivia asked, taking the orange juice out of the refrigerator.

"Bacon, scrambled eggs, cheesy hashbrowns and my bagel here," Melinda said, spreading a liberal amount of strawberry flavored cream cheese over each half.

Olivia stared at her fiancé for a few seconds before she finally said. "You stink."

Melinda looked up confused. "Why?"

Olivia took a fruit cup and a container of yogurt from the refrigerator before closing the door. "Because you'll eat all of that fat and carbs and not only finish out the day like a hummingbird but also never gain an ounce."

"Oh." Melinda laughed. "I can't help my DNA, Liv."

"I know," Olivia said, sitting at kitchen counter beside her future wife. "It doesn't mean I have to be happy about it."

Jasmine bounded downstairs, hanging up her phone.

"Morning, Jazz. Would you like some breakfast?" Olivia asked, gesturing to Melinda's plate. If she wasn't going to indulge, the food certainly shouldn't go to waste.

"No, I'm going to grab a bite with my friends today." She walked around the counter and held out her hand. "I would like fifty dollars though."

Olivia blinked slowly. "Didn't I just give you twenty dollars yesterday?"


"And thirty dollars the day before?"

"Yeah," Jasmine said again.

Olivia glanced at Melinda who just looked back with a shrug as if to say 'this one is all on you.' Olivia sighed and pulled a few bills from her wallet, handing them to Jasmine. "What on earth are you spending all this money on?"

"Teenage stuff," she said just as the horn sounded form outside. "There's Andrea." She quickly snatched a piece of bacon from Melinda's plate, kissed both of her mother's goodbye and rushed out of the door.

"What are you doing today?" Melinda asked, standing to replace the strip of bacon.

"Same old, same old," Olivia said.

Melinda sat back down but didn't continue eating. She watched as Olivia seemed to eat her breakfast automatically. It wasn't long until Olivia felt Melinda's gaze.

"Something wrong?"

"I don't know. Is there?"

"Not that I'm aware of," Olivia replied. "Where'd this question come from?"

"You look like there's a lot on your mind."

Olivia let a small smile emerge. "I've got 'the face' again don't I?"

"Just a little bit," Melinda said with her own smile. She took a bite of her bagel.

"There's nothing I want to talk about right now." The detective admitted. "I'm just in another world."

Melinda nodded and finished chewing.

A distant high-pitched chiming sounded throughout the house.

Melinda groaned softly and stood. "That's the signal that its time for me to go."

"I bet it's just the results for something," Olivia offered.

"Would you bet lunch on it detective?" Melinda raised an eyebrow in challenge. She knew whenever her PDA rang it was so she could rush out to a crime scene.

"I would indeed."

"It's a bet," the curly haired woman said, walking upstairs.


Olivia's eyes were glued to the computer screen. All her online tips had led her to this website. She was just about to make the first contact with one of the active members when some chattering around her caught her attention.

"Do mine eyes deceive me or is that an angel walking through our little den?" Craig declared as soon as the sound of deliberate footsteps reached everyone else in the room.

Olivia caught the faint scent of raspberries and smiled. "No, your eyes aren't deceiving you," she said to Craig with a smirk. She turned in her chair just as Melinda stopped at her desk.

"Working hard?" Melinda said by way of greeting.

"Hardly working," Olivia returned. She glanced at her watch. "It's it time for lunch already?"

"Yes, it is," Melinda said with a smile. "Are you that focused on your game of Solitaire?" she teased.

"I'll have you know Solitaire uses a lot of skill." Olivia stood, grabbing her jacket from the back of her chair.

"Bye guys. I'll catch you after my lunch break."

"Bye, Benson. Don't do anything I wouldn't do," Craig said with a leer. Ever since Morales hinted that the two may be involved, he became for a lack of a better analogy like dog with a bone. Almost every other sentence out of his mouth concerning the two women sounded like a not so subtle innuendo.

"I think I surpassed that one when I got a smoking hot lunch date," Olivia said, strutting out with Melinda. She smiled at the ribbing she heard coming from the room as she and Melinda walked to the elevators.

"Who's this 'smoking hot' lunch date you've got?" Melinda asked after they stepped into the empty elevator.

Olivia pulled Melinda into her arms with a sappy grin. "Well, she's about 5'9, smooth milk chocolate skin, lustrous curls and sexy brown eyes," she said, kissing Melinda lovingly.

"She sounds like a keeper," Melinda remarked after they parted.

"I'm going to keep her with me for the rest of my life," Olivia answered.

They got out at the garage and looked around.

"Should we take your car or mine?" Olivia asked.

"I should have you drive me since you lost the bet but my car is closer," Melinda said. She hit the button on her remote, making the lights to her car flash. The 2006 black Chevy Impala was barely six spaces away from where they were standing.

"So, where are we going?" Melinda asked when they reached the car.

"I thought you had a place in mind," Olivia said.

Melinda shrugged. "I really didn't," she said, starting the car.

"Do you want to grab some sandwiches and eat in the park?"

"That's fine with me so long as we can stop by Veniero's and get a couple of Strawberry Millefoligies. I've been craving those lately."

"Only if you promise to share."

Olivia feigned a shocked gasp. "Why would I not share?"

"Liv, you tried to stab my hand when I reached for a small bite."

"It was a plastic fork," Olivia argued weakly. "And I did apologize thoroughly that night." She glanced at Melinda's face and smirked inwardly when she saw the slightly glazed look cross the other woman's face. "As I'm sure you remember," she added unnecessarily.

"Yes, I remember," Melinda said, referring to the creative way Olivia utilized the whipped cream and chocolate sauce.


An hour later, a content and full-bellied Olivia walked back to her desk with a lukewarm vitamin water and a smile.

"Lunch go that good?" Robert asked.

"Better," Olivia purred and settled in her chair. She ignored their wolf-whistles and frantic questions for some details. They didn't need to know her happiness was from just spending stress-free hour with Melinda. Having them assume it was form lunch and a quickie amused her to no end.

Pretty soon everyone was quiet and she was well on her way to working through a cyberstalker's various email addresses. All of a sudden, Olivia began to smell Gillette aftershave, Elliot's aftershave. She blinked her eyes tiredly and glanced up. There stood Elliot and Fin.

Elliot looked at her like he hadn't seen her in months. "I need your help," he said softly.

Fin and Olivia looked surprised by his statement. Olivia more so because she could not believe he had the audacity to ask for her help after the way he disrespected her fiancé. She glanced at her computer screen, scowling when she realized her 'friend' was bidding everyone goodbye. Something in her gut told him she needed to find a way to keep him online.

"Craig," she called out.


"You're monitoring Jeff Edwards right?"

"You know it," he said lightly.

"Distract him while I do a favor," she said. In no time at all she heard rapid typing behind her for a couple of seconds.

"You're free to go Benson."

"Thanks," Olivia said. "Okay," she addressed her former coworkers, "What do you need my help with?"

"A teenage boy's been abducted and we need the account of one of his kidnappers."

"Do you have a screen name and website?" Olivia asked.

"Right here." Elliot gave her his notebook with the information written on it.

"Okay." Olivia typed in a few keys. "Done and done," she said, handing the notebook back to her ex-partner.

Elliot came to the other side of her desk. He scribbled down the name and address from the screen. "Okay, thanks Liv."

"I'll get a team to search his house," Fin said, dialing numbers on his cell phone.

"Liv…" Elliot paused. "About the other day, I'm...that was really out of line. I shouldn't have said

"You're right. You really shouldn't have. I'm not the only one you should be apologizing to though."

Elliot seemed to pale a little at the thought of apologizing to Melinda and explaining said apology. He looked at Olivia's face and realized she was trying to hold back a smile. "That's not cool, Benson."

"I know. Consider us even," she said and watched him leave with a not so friendly gesture in his wake.


The next time Elliot entered the door Olivia noticed him easily. "Two visits in one day?" she asked a little surprised. "You missed me just that much?" she said with a small grin.

"Yeah, you're not bad looking so people tend to stick around."

Olivia smiled at his response. "Okay seriously. What brings you back up here?"

"Your information helped us bust a pediatrician but he isn't talking," Elliot began.

"It sounds like you're losing your touch, Stabler."

This time is was Elliot who smiled. "Yeah, says the woman that busts perps by sitting behind a desk all day."

"Is that a challenge, Stabler?"

"It might be. What do you say? You want to take a crack at him?"

Olivia paused in her typing. This was the change she'd been looking for. She was surprised when 'yes' didn't immediately fly out of her mouth in response to Elliot's question. Going back to SVU, even if only to interrogate this pediatrician was slippery slope Olivia wasn't sure she was ready to go down.

Elliot read the apprehension on his former partner's eyes and his own softened. "Liv, please, Teddy is out there somewhere. We need to get his location."

That was it. Olivia realized. A child's welfare would be the only reason she would go back to the 16th precinct. She stood, grabbing her coat with a stern expression. "Let's go."


They walk into the bullpen and she notices her empty desk. "You haven't replaced me yet?" she asked lightly though she was secretly pleased her place in the squad wasn't easy to fill.

"No one's been good enough," Elliot replied.

"I wasn't going to come back," she revealed.

Elliot glanced at her. "It's in your blood," he told her.

"That's what I'm afraid of," she said.

Hearing a crash from the interrogation room, Olivia and Elliot hurried their steps. Morales was seen clearly beating Dr. Lucas. Olivia stepped forward and Elliot held up a hand to stop her.

"No, just wait," he said.

"Until what?" Olivia asked. "Morales is about to beat him unconscious. I'm going in there," she insisted, walking around him and slamming the door open. "Hey, hey! Get off him." She grabbed Morales around the middle, restraining him.

Elliot none to gently lifted Dr. Lucas from the floor and sat him back down while Olivia pulled Morales into the observation room.

"Hey, that's enough!" Olivia shouted, throwing him toward the door.

Morales finally calmed slightly. "Olivia, he knows where Teddy is." He pointed through the one-way glass.

"Yeah, I know but beating him within an inch of his life isn't the way to get the information. You're putting your job on the line," she said.

Reuben seemed to finally remember where he was. "Olivia…"

"Save it. Just get out of here," Olivia said firmly. She watched him leave before going back into the interrogation room. "Where's Teddy?" she asked, closing the door behind her.

"You're going to beat me too?" Dr. Lucas asked, trying to stop the flow of blood from his nose with the sleeve of his shirt.

"No, I'm not. I'm just going to charge you with kidnapping," Olivia stated nonchalantly.


Elliot followed her lead easily. "Yeah and unless you want to go down alone, you'll tell us who others who helped you are."

"There was no kidnapping. Teddy went willingly."

"Really?" Olivia asked and looked to Elliot with a nod.

It barely took a few moments to find a laptop and set up a private screening for Dr. Lucas with the last footage broadcast from Teddy's Treehouse. Dr. Lucas was in tears by the time the video ended with Teddy's unconscious body being taken out of the room.

"Does that look like he went willingly to you?" Elliot asked the other man. He closed the laptop and moved it to the corner of the table.

Dr. Lucas let out a particularly loud sob but didn't answer.

Olivia scooted her chair closer to him. "Time is running out for Teddy. I know you love him. That pale, perfect, nubile body," she said softly. "Now picture it broken, bloody, and bruised. You know who has him, now help us find him so he can be safe."

"He wasn't supposed to get hurt," Dr. Lucas wailed. "I'll help you. I don't care what happens to me, just find Teddy."

Elliot and Olivia smiled at each other over the 'good' doctor's head. They had him hook, line and sinker. It was one of the oldest tricks in the book: play on their sensibilities and they'll tell you everything you want to know. Elliot and Olivia walked out of the interrogation room, leaving Dr. Lucas crying silently at the table.

"How good did that feel just now?" Elliot asked Olivia.

Olivia sighed with a smile. "Too good to be legal," she joked.

They proceeded to the bullpen and told Fin what they'd just found out. Dr. Lucas was released with an electronic monitoring device. Olivia watched his online activity while Elliot and Fin followed him in the undercover car. The first night Dr. Lucas' co-conspirator didn't log on so the three detectives decided to try again tomorrow.


Later on that evening, Melinda walked through the kitchen, talking on her cell phone. "No. Absolutely not. You do not have enough experience to finish that autopsy solo. If there are no senior Medical Examiners there you may not and will not proceed or I will have your career before you even get started." She passed a silent Olivia perched on the middle stool at the counter.

She paused, looking at her girlfriend curiously. "I'll call you back," she told the still chattering intern and ended the call. "Liv?" she said quietly so as not to startle the other woman.

Olivia barely shifted and Melinda knew Olivia must have some pretty heavy thoughts to not have noticed her presence in the room. She looked at the stove, noting that Olivia had taken down a skillet but hadn't really attempted to start dinner. Melinda nodded inwardly and began looking through the cabinets.

"What are you thinking for dinner?" Melinda asked loudly.

Olivia jumped in her seat. She blinked rapidly seeing Melinda for the first time. "Isn't in my turn to cook?"

"So you did remember," Melinda said teasingly. She took down a box of rigatoni pasta and jar of marinara sauce.

"I'm sorry, Mel. I'm just-"

"In another world, I know." Melinda grabbed a package of Italian sausage out of the freezer. She placed it in the sink and ran hot water over it. "Are you going to tell me why you're so distracted?" She started opening the jar of sauce but didn't turn around. It always seemed that Olivia could talk about herself there wasn't much attention on her.

"I'm thinking of transferring back to SVU."

Melinda paused and turned around so fast she almost dropped the jar. "You're kidding."

"I'm really not."

"What brought this on?" Melinda asked, still trying to wrap her mind around Olivia's declaration. "You were so happy that you were coming home and leaving at a reasonable hour so you could spend more afternoons with Jasmine and Nathan. What happened?"

"This case."

"Teddy Winnock?"

Olivia nodded. "I missed it. I missed working with victims and interrogating perps. It's just in my blood," she said, echoing the same words Elliot said just hours before.

"And what about Elliot?"

Olivia's brow furrowed. "What does Elliot even have to do with me?"

"I wonder that very same thing during several instances. I'm just asking if you're going to be partnered with him again?"


"Then it's probably a bad idea, Liv."


"Liv, let's not return to this argument again. Just ask for a new partner," Melinda said, turning back around.

"Why should I? We've taken our break from each other and I'm sure we can move past this."

Melinda crossed her arms. "He still hasn't apologized for what he said with Gitano, right?"

"No, he didn't but I know he was sorry."

"What exactly does that mean?" Melinda asked.

"I could see it in his eyes."

"His eyes?" Melinda asked. She shook her head and sighed. She removed the package of sausage from the sink. "Liv, I love you. I'll support any decision you make but I'm really uncomfortable with the idea of you partnering with Elliot again," she said, looking for a knife.

Olivia came around the counter to embrace Melinda from behind. She took the sausage out of fiancé's hands and pulled her tight against her. "What do you want me to do?" she asked quietly.

"Just…" Melinda sighed. "Be careful."

"I will."

Melinda turned in Olivia's arms and gave her a chaste kiss. "That's all I ask."

"Thank you," Olivia said softly. She started to walk away.

"And where are you going?"

Olivia turned around, looking confused.

Melinda gestured to the boiling water. "It's your turn to cook," she said, coming to give Olivia the sausage and container of sauce. She walked around her and headed for the stairs.

"I don't even get any company?" Olivia asked with a small pout.

"I've got reports to finalize, detective," Melinda said, walking up the stairs with a smirk.


Olivia showed up early to her shift the next day. She stopped off at her favorite coffee shop beforehand, seeing as she didn't actually sleep very well the night before. Passing the departing cleaning crew, she greeted them with a nod. She rode the elevator to the fifth floor and quickly made her way to her desk. The detective paused just inside of the doorway when she noticed she wasn't alone.

Kylie sat at her desk, typing away. She hadn't seemed to notice Olivia's presence. Olivia turned to leave when the other woman's voice stopped her.

"What's got you here so early, Benson?" Kylie asked by way of greeting.

"I could ask you the same question," Olivia answered, coming back into the room.

"I caught up with a girl that was the ringleader of a huge email internet scam," Kylie replied. "I've finally found a way to crash the site," she finished with a yawn.

"Here," Olivia said, walking forward. "You look like you could use this more than me." She handed the other woman her coffee.

Kylie smiled, accepting the cup with a smile. "I'm not sure if I should be insulted or grateful," she said with a teasing grin. "So why are you here at stupid o'clock in the morning?"

"I couldn't get to sleep and I didn't want to worry Melinda."

"Bad dreams?" Kylie guessed.

"Heavy thoughts," Olivia revealed.

Kylie took another sip of coffee and just waited for Olivia to gather her thoughts. Four minutes later she decided to speak. "Can I ask you something?"

"Ask away," Olivia said.

"Why are you here?" she asked.

Olivia felt herself grow defensive until she realized Kylie's tone wasn't mocking or accusatory. "I'm making a difference here. I'm catching dangerous and potentially dangerous online perps with computer skills that have just falling to the wayside before."

"That's a nice answer," Kylie said after a beat. "But it's not a satisfying one. You didn't once mention how you wanted to be here." She finished off the coffee. "So again I ask why are you here?"

Olivia faltered, confused as to where this line of questioning was going. "I don't know…Yes, I do," she said. "I came here to get away from SVU. I needed a break and I needed time to think without so much expectations hanging over my head."

"And did you get your break?"

Olivia nodded. "I think so," she said with a small grin.

"Then I think it's time for you to head back to SVU," Kylie said simply.

"How did-?"

Kylie smiled. "I saw how happy you were when you came back form your impromptu interrogation. You belong there."

"I don't belong here?"

"Not really. If you haven't noticed." She lowered her voice as if she had a secret. "We're kind of a bunch of geeks."

Olivia chuckled and Kylie's smile grew even larger. "Well, Craig most definitely is," she remarked and both women dissolved into giggles.

Craig walked in whistling along with the song playing on his iPod. They paused and looked at him with mirth dancing in their eyes.

He stopped short and removed the ear buds from his ear. "What?" he asked.

Kylie and Olivia laughed yet again and returned to their respective desks.

"What?" Craig asked in confusion. It was his experience that when you walked into a room with women laughing at you, it was never a good thing. "What!" he asked them again in frustration after still receiving no response.

-End of Chapter Eight-

*ducks projectiles* Okay, yes I know I'm late with this update. I'm working quickly to finish the next chapters. I'm not going to bore you with details of my rl developments. Thank you for being patient with me and I hope you enjoyed this chapter.