A/N: When the little white plot bunny starts hopping, I hop right after it. *sigh* I should stop, really. Listening to a song, and this scenario popped into my head. One-shot.
DISCLAIMER: SVU and characters belong to Dick Wolf. This story belongs to Tstabler©
"And the princess kissed her prince, the crowd below them roared with joyful applause, and the kingdom of Fayette was safe and calm once again." Olivia shut the book and looked at the small girl beside her. "And they all lived happily ever after."
The blonde child blinked. "Just like that? Everything's all better, because of a kiss?"
Olivia laughed. "That, sweetie, is why it's called a fairy tale. It's pure happiness, it's…it's a fantasy."
"Is it yours?" the girl asked.
"Mine?" Olivia furrowed her brow. "What do you mean?"
The girl sighed. "Do you believe in fairy tales?" she asked, scooting closer to Olivia. "You know, the knight in shining armor, the white horse, riding off into the sunset to live happily ever after?" She looked up dreamily and smiled. "Prince Charming and a kiss that makes all of your troubles just melt away?"
Olivia smiled. She kissed the girl on the forehead and said, "It sounds like it might be your fantasy," she laughed. "But I, sadly, don't believe in fairy tales, Lizzie. I never have. I'm not going to kiss any knights in shining armor any time soon, but you, my dear, are going to find your Prince Charming one day. Believe me."
The girl laughed and smiled. "Goodnight, Liv. Thanks for the story."
"Same time tomorrow night?" Olivia questioned with a smirk and questioning look.
"You bet," the girl said, snuggling into her pillow.
Olivia nodded, then got off of the small bed and turned out the light. She walked out of the room, shutting the door softly.
"Every little girl believes in fairy tales," a voice behind her declared.
She jumped and turned, sighing. "Jesus, Elliot. I need to put a bell around your neck or something."
He chuckled. "Seriously, what's with the pessimism? Are you the missing Grimm sister?"
She rolled her eyes and walked down the stairs, knowing he was following her. "El, at a very young age, I realized that I was different. I wasn't like other girls. I wasn't anything like them."
"I know that," he said, a soft tone in his voice. "That doesn't mean you have to be…"
"There's no happy ending for me, Elliot," she interrupted, reaching for her coat on the back of the couch. "There's no white knight on a steed or handsome prince in a carriage. There's no heroic rescue from an ivory tower, there's no glass slipper. There's just…me, an empty apartment, some leftover takeout, warm beer, and a job that's slowly making me crazy for reasons you couldn't possibly understand."
Elliot tilted his head. "Hold on, put the coat down, talk to me." He stepped closer to her, taking her coat out of her hands and he watched her roll her eyes. "What do you mean, I wouldn't understand? Where is all this coming from?"
She turned, leaned against the sofa, and folded her arms. "It's the truth." She sighed and said, "I've gotta live out my story, the way it's written, and it doesn't have a fairy tale ending. I have to accept that there are some things I'm just never gonna have. Some things…some things I have to stop hoping for."
Elliot lifted a hand a brushed a stray hair off of her face. "Liv, you know better than anyone that you should never give up. You tell victims that all the…"
"Did you ever think that maybe some of the things I say are really just to make other people feel better?" she interjected. "I don't believe in luck, or miracles, or second chances, no matter how much I tell other people they have to." She looked away from him. "I believe that people are who they are meant to be from the moment they're born, and they don't change. I was never the pretty princess, El." She shrugged. "I'm never going to be."
"You're right," he said. He saw her sad eyes turn to him. He smiled and said, "You're not just pretty, you're beautiful. So beautiful. And from the moment you were born, you were not a princess, but a fighter. A warrior, Liv. Princesses are weak, superficial, and selfish. You…you're strong, brave. You see the truth in everything, and you have the biggest heart and most selfless attitude in the world."
She looked at him for a moment, taken aback by his words. She rolled her eyes, then, and chuckled. "Yeah, you're my best friend, you have to say that." She nudged his shoulder with hers and said, "It was a nice try, though."
"I meant all of it." He looked at her with seriousness in his eyes. "You've been amazing through all of this, through everything with Kathy…" he shook his head and turned, an inch away from her, in front of her. "When she died…I knew I had to be strong for the kids, act like I was okay at work, but when it was just us…" he paused, shook his head again as if trying to find the words, and he said, "When we were alone, I cried in front of you. In your arms, actually. You were the strong one for me, and you have been an absolute angel. I know what you gave up to be here with me and the kids every night, what you sacrificed for the last year."
She rolled her eyes, trying not to blush or cry. "I don't see what that has to do with…"
"You spend so much time and so much energy rescuing other people," he said, stopping her words, "That you haven't noticed the man trying to save you." He ran his fingers through her hair and let his eyes move over her face, studying every feature. "You've been so busy convincing yourself you're never gonna find your prince, you didn't notice him standing right in front of you."
Her breath halted. Her heart began to pound. Her knees began to tremble. "Are you feeling okay? Maybe you have food poisoning. I told you not to let me cook, so…"
"I'm feeling absolutely fine," he said, running his hand down her arm, then linking his fingers with hers. "This might be our happy ending, Liv. You could be my beautiful maiden. I could be your white knight, if you'll let me."
She blinked, unable to speak, shocked into silence. She opened her mouth, closed it again, then finally said, "Huh?"
"I don't know exactly when, but I know that it took time," he continued. "Little things…the way you curl Lizzie's hair in the morning, the way you coach Dickie with his pitching, the way you help the kids with their homework," he listed. He smiled wider, looked deeper into her eyes. "And the way you cuff the assholes at work, the way you chew your bottom lip when you're nervous, the way you laugh, Liv. It's the most infectious laugh I have ever heard. You know what really got me, though? The way you look up at the stars in the middle of the night when you think no one's watching you and you let yourself relax and smile, and whatever you're thinking about must be making you happy."
She swallowed hard, gave his hand a small squeeze, and took another breath. "You," she whispered.
"Every day, every night, I fell in love with a little piece of you. You became so much more to me than my best friend this year." He ran his teeth over his lip and said, "You're the only thing I think about. I think about what it feels like to kiss you, I wanna know what it's like to hold you in my arms at night instead of watching you walk out that door at two in the morning. I wanna be the one that cares for you, loves you, and saves you, like you saved me." He lifted his hand and brushed a tear away from her eye. "It's not too late for me and my white horse to catch you jumping from that tower, is it?"
She smiled at him and shook her head. "No," she whispered. "You're saying you're in love with me?"
"I have been," he said, moving his other hand up to her face, cupping it. "For a very long time, Liv. I just…I wasn't sure if you…"
"If I didn't love you," she interrupted, "Would I have stayed with you every night for the last year, expecting nothing in return?" She let a few more tears fall, and then she said, "You know damn well I could make you pay me back, though. With interest."
He grinned, leaned close to her, and whispered, "And you think you're not a princess."
She laughed, sniffling and crying at the same time. "Tell me," she said. "Just say it. Once."
"I love you," he whispered to her. "I love you so much."
She sniffled again, her voice scratchy as she said, "That was twice."
He nodded and moved slowly, nearing her lips. He brushed his lightly over hers, his breath shaky, and he finally let them touch. He moaned softly when her hands wrapped around his body, her arms holding him tight as he deepened the kiss. He ran his tongue lightly over her slightly parted lips, and they opened a bit more, letting him in.
It was better than any fairy tale kiss she'd read about to Lizzie, better than any kiss she'd really had in her life. Behind her closed eyes, she saw a glimpse of her future, and it was better than a fairy tale. She was with him, happy, and she could almost feel him loving her through their gracefully wrestling mouths.
Her fantasy came to an abrupt end, reality hit her, and she pushed him away and moved out from between him and the couch. "We can't…"
"Why not?" he asked, breathless, stunned.
"The kids," she said. "They lost their mother. God, you lost your wife, and we work together, El, this…"
"Yeah, and you have been here ever since, making them feel loved and safe, making me feel…" he blinked. "Making me feel everything when I thought I'd gone numb." He walked toward her and said, "If you can't take this chance for yourself, take it for me. You don't want to be the damsel in distress, then be the hero again. Liv, you gotta…"
"Why?" she asked, turning around. "Why, El? Why now? Why me?" She let her bottom lip quiver as he walked closer to her. "Why?"
He cupped her face again and said, "Because I finally feel ready to do this, because I feel whole again, because I am more in love with you than I should be and I'm not sorry about it. Because you are more beautiful, inside and out, than any woman I have ever met, and I want to spend the rest of my life making you believe it. Because I want to make you believe in fairy tales, Liv."
She knew what he was going to do, and though her conscious told her to move, she didn't. She let him kiss her, she let herself fall into the kiss, and she let herself love every moment of it. She took hold of his wrists, keeping his hands on her face, and she matched his every move and every moan.
He kissed her thoroughly, giving into his need for her, giving into his love for her. He held onto her for dear life, kissed her with everything he had, determined to make her feel it, and when he finally pulled away from her lips, he let his forehead rest against hers.
They're labored breathing was synchronized, they were still in the moment.
Olivia let out a small, breathy laugh as she looked up into his eyes. She gave him a small peck on the lips and whispered, "And they lived happily ever after."
"Yeah," he laughed, pulling her closer. "Yeah, they did."
She laughed, her tears finally gone, and she let her prince kiss her once more, accepting her fate, and believing her fairy tale had finally come true.
A/N: Thanks for reading. This was a spontaneous thought, hope you enjoyed it at least a bit. ;) Twitter: TMG212