Olivia Benson sat at her desk, trying to get through just one more lot of paperwork before calling it a day. If there was one thing she wasn't looking forward to about this job transfer, it was the thought of spending so much more time at a desk. But she hoped there would be more to it than that; a chance to improve the treatment of victims and investigation of crimes by hers and other Special Victims Units, to make it more consistent and maybe that little more bearable for those unfortunate enough to have to get involved with them at some time or another.
Plus, to be honest with herself, she couldn't work in the field so much any more. The past few years had been wearing on her more and more, seeing the same terrible things every day... it had just gotten too much. The previous month - seeing Elliot shoot that poor girl right in front of her - that was almost more than she could bear. She knew he had had to do it, had done it to protect her and everyone else there, but somehow that had been a turning point for her. The next day she had gone to Cragen and asked for a transfer. And, to her surprise, he had told her about a new opportunity coming up at One PP. While she was looking forward to the change, a part of her was still heartbroken at losing the day-to-day life she had in the job alongside Elliot. She missed him. She knew that at the moment he had shot that girl, when he had looked to her for some sign that maybe he wasn't the ogre in this, he had seen the look of horror in her face before she had the chance to hide it. Now she could barely look him in the eye.
Her head snapped up as she heard the door close. Elliot was standing there, looking about as uncomfortable as she felt. 'I'm sorry... I thought if I came in on a Saturday evening there'd be no one else here. I'm sorry, Liv, I'll come back another time.' He turned to leave.
Olivia jumped up and walked around the desk. 'If you think you're going all the way back to the ass-end of Queens again on my account, El, you must be insane.' She smiled. 'Cragen left your stuff in a box by the printer.'
Elliot smiled at her. 'Thanks, Liv.'
'That's OK, El.'
There was an odd silence as they both stood there ten feet apart, not sure what to say next. Olivia perched uncomfortably on the edge of the desk. She was planning to go out with Alex after this, and wearing the heels here first seemed to be a pretty serious miscalculation. She looked up at Elliot. 'I'm sorry, El.'
'I don't blame you,' he said. He sounded tired. 'I don't live in Queens any more, Liv, Kathy finally left. I'm staying with my sister and her family in Washington Heights.'
Olivia suddenly felt ill. 'Was it-'
'It wasn't anything to do with you, Liv, it had been coming a long time, the thing with Jen- with that girl, well, that just pushed me too far, and Kathy decided she'd had enough of the job and what it did to me.'
'Oh,' said Olivia softly. 'I'm so sorry, El, I really am. Not just about Kathy, but... for everything. Really.' She smiled weakly. 'It's too quiet here without you, you know.'
'Well, I heard you've got a big promotion, so that won't be a problem too much longer,' he said, sounding bitter. 'You get a big promotion, I get quietly shipped off to teach some crappy Academy course...'
'That's not fair, Elliot,' said Olivia, hurt. 'You don't think... you don't think...'
'Don't think what, Olivia?' Elliot snapped. 'Don't think that the reason you haven't called in a month is because you're disgusted about what happened? I know you don't want to leave Special Victims, you're just making yourself out to be a martyr. You always seem to find a way to make yourself a victim in everything, Olivia, and what's worse, you spend the whole time patting yourself on the back that you never would!'
'That... I never would what?' whispered Olivia.
'LET YOURSELF BE A GODDAMN VICTIM!' Elliot yelled. 'Liv, you could do so much, you're meant to be here helping people, don't chuck it away out of stubbornness, in some fit of pique-'
'Hey, fuck you, Elliot, that's not fair!' shouted Olivia, swiping the tears out of her eyes.
'Nothing's fair, Liv! Twelve years I've sat here, twelve years I've watched you working and laughing and cracking jokes and... it's not fair that that has to be over, and over something like this. Liv... you're better than this.'
Olivia fixed him in an icy stare. 'You're an ass.'
Elliot raised his eyebrows. 'Excuse me?'
'I said,' hissed Olivia, raising her voice to a shout, 'You're an ASS! I'm still working for SVU El, just not here, and you know I would never walk away from this. The field just got too much, and when I got offered this new job... it was the right time! You're just bitter because you've chucked your own life down the toilet over your, your TEMPER TANTRUMS-' Olivia broke off. She looked down, ran her hand over her hair, and sighed heavily. There were a few moments of silence.
Elliot cleared his throat awkwardly. 'Liv...'
Olivia looked up and met his eyes. 'Yes, El?'
He stood there for a moment. 'To hell with this.' Before Olivia could ask, he was on her, wrapping his arms around her back, running his hands through her hair and kissing her hard. Olivia froze for a moment in shock, then wrapped both arms around him and pulled him closer to her as she kissed him back, feeling his weight pressing her legs into the rough edge of the desk. She parted her knees, pulling his body even closer to hers, as they finally broke apart and looked at each other.
'Oh my God, El...' Olivia mumbled. 'I...' She stopped. Elliot reached up and stroked the side of her face, then tilted her chin up to kiss her again.
'I've always loved you, Liv,' he whispered, sliding his hand up under her shirt. 'You have no idea...'
Olivia murmured something unintelligible and squeezed her arms around him more tightly. She wrapped her legs around his as she kissed him again, the uncomfortable shoes long since kicked off. Elliot gasped and pushed her further back against the desk. He kissed her neck, lingering at the curve where it met her shoulder, until she grabbed the back of his neck and pulled him down onto the surface of their old desks. She paused, and they just looked at each other, savouring the moment.
Olivia reached up and stroked the side of his face. He smiled at her, then leaned in and kissed her again, softly and insistently, first her mouth and then her neck again, moving slowly down her shoulder. Olivia buried her face in his shoulder and breathed in deeply. She had refused to admit it, but all the times he had lent her a T-shirt, she had loved that it smelled of him. She ran her hands over his back as he pulled her closer to him and slid one hand down her stomach, flicked open the button of her trousers and slipped his hand inside...
Behind them, someone coughed.
Elliot and Olivia sprang apart as John Munch doffed his hat to them. 'It's been fun, kids, but I have to be going now,' he said, with a knowing smile. 'Be safe!' He headed for the door, and then paused. 'And that means you, Elliot.' He winked and walked away with a trademark Munch cackle. Suddenly they heard his voice again from the hallway. 'Oh, hey, Alex, how are you doing?'
'Crap,' hissed Olivia.
Alex Cabot's voice floated in. 'Hey John, I'm great, what's up?'
'Not much,' replied Munch. 'What brings you here?'
'I'm here to meet Liv actually, why?'
'Oh. Well, you should know Elliot just rounded second base and is making a dash for third in there, so she could be a while.'
Olivia felt her face and neck blush bright crimson.
'Well, it's about damn time,' said Alex. 'Fancy a drink, John?'
'Don't mind if I do,' replied Munch.
Elliot and Olivia listened to their voices fade down the hallway, then looked at each other.
'Uh... how long was he standing there?' asked Olivia, trying not to blush any more than she already was.
'I really don't want to know,' said Elliot with a shudder. 'But I think it's safe to say the entire NYPD has heard about this by now.' They looked at each other and dissolved into laughter. Elliot smiled at Olivia, brushing her hair back and kissing her again.
She looked at him, leaned in and kissed his ear. 'Your place or mine?'
He raised an eyebrow. 'My place is a two-seater leatherette couch.'
Olivia smiled. 'Mine then.'
'You live, what, 25 minutes away?' he asked casually.
She looked him straight in the eye. 'Less than 20 if you floor it.'
'I can do it in 15,' said Elliot, grabbing her hand and leading her out of the precinct, the uncomfortable shoes forgotten behind them.