Okay guys...I've been thinking about this story for awhile now and I'm really excited about it. I really hope you like it :) Let me know what you think and I'll update as soon as possible!


Olivia Benson was lying on one of the beds in the Cribs. She had just worked a 36 hour shift trying to solve one of the worst cases she and the rest of the Manhattan SVU had ever seen. They had captured a man who had kidnapped, raped, brain washed over 25 girls under the age of 15. She couldn't get the images of the young girls faces out of her mind, the fear and the pain. They were underfed, beaten and a few were even pregnant. Olivia felt sick thinking about all those girls who had no one to go home too and how their lives would never be normal.

She was exhausted, but every time she closed her eyes she saw the mans face. She had seen a lot of disgusting men who hurt women but he was one of a kind. He was most definitely a monster.

Sighing she sat up knowing she wasn't going to get any sleep, and she didn't want to go home because the thought of being alone scared her. At least here there were people downstairs…she felt safer here.

She put her head in her hands and tried to will away the tears that began spilling out of her eyes when the door opened. "Liv?"

She lifted her head quickly and wiped her tears away. "Hi…yeah…I'm here."

Elliot stood in the doorway looking in the dimly lit room at his partner. He saw the sag in her shoulders, the bags under her eyes and the desperate look on her face. In the last few months he had seen her slowly but surely falling apart and he wasn't sure what to do about it. He had talked to George, who tried to talk to her but Olivia just brushed him off pretending she had no problems.

He had been divorced for a year now, but his relationship had been over for much longer than that. Everyone knew that…in the past few weeks he had tried to think of something to do to help Olivia. He saw her slipping from the real world and he wanted nothing more than to save her…he just didn't know how too.

He stepped into the room slowly, he knew if he pushed her she would run and right now she needed comfort more than anything right now.

"Liv why don't you go home and get some sleep?" Elliot asked. "I'll drive you if you want."

Olivia licked her lips and looked down at her hands, she realized they were shaking. "I can't sleep…"

Elliot walked all the way over to her and sat on the bed across from her. "Yeah…me either. I can't get those girls faces out of my head…"

Olivia stared at him for a moment. "Elliot…I don't know how much more of this I can take." She whispered. "I love this job…I love helping people. But it hurts to damn much. I'm not sleeping anymore…I can't eat anything. The only thing I do is work…the only people I see are my co-workers, the victims and the perps." She shook her head. "That's not a life…it's hell."

Elliot tried to lighten the mood. "Seeing me is hell?"

She smiled at him. "You know what I mean Elliot…"

Elliot nodded. "Yeah I do. Every since Kathy and I got divorced…I've been feeling the same way. I know it wasn't right for us to be together but it was still nice to have someone to go home too. Now I go home to a empty apartment…no kids, no wife."

"At least you have kids." Olivia said pulling her legs up onto the bed and tucking them underneath her. "I'm literally alone…I have no one."

"You have me." Elliot said softly. "You know you can tell me anything…"

Olivia licked her lips. "I never thought I'd feel burnt out by the job…but I really do."

Elliot stared at her for a moment. "Do you think you want to leave?"

Olivia sighed for a moment and tucked her hair behind her ear. "I don't know…I can't imagine doing anything else. But…at the same time…I can't see myself continuing to live like this. It's not normal…it's not healthy."

Elliot shrugged. "What's a normal life anyway? Healthy…no probably not. You have lost a lot of weight recently…"

"Do you think…those girls will ever be okay?" Olivia asked. "I mean…will they be able to move on with their lives? Or will they always be traumatized by what that animal did to them?"

Elliot sighed. "You know I can't really answer that…every victim is different. They have to want help. I'd say it's about 50/50 ya know? Some of them could live a happy life…"

"But most of them…they'll continue down that vicious circle. Drugs…prostitution…they'll end up dead. So what's the point?" Olivia asked. "What's the point of saving them?"

Elliot stared at her, she never talked liked this. "Because no one deserves to be treated the way that man treated them…they needed to be taken out of the situation. For all we know all of them could move on and be happy."

Olivia licked her lips and whispered softly. "Even the ones that were pregnant?"

Elliot knew that this was what was bothering her the most. "Look at you…you turned out great."

Olivia stared at him. "You have to say that. And I'm not talking about me…but if we were…they'd be in my Mom's shoes. And she…" Olivia trailed off. "Drank herself into a drunken stupor until she fell down a flight of stairs and finally put herself out of her misery. That's not a life either…"

"Why did you become a cop?" Elliot asked.

She stared at him for a moment. "What?"

"Why did you become a cop?" He asked again. "I mean it's not something you just wake up one morning and decide you want to do. I grew up wanting to be a cop just like my Dad…so what was your reason?"

Olivia swallowed hard. "I wanted to get justice for all the victims out there. I wanted to show the perps that they weren't in control…"

Elliot nodded. "Exactly. And that's what you do everyday. I know that sometimes it seems like it isn't worth it…when we don't get to a victim in time…when a perp gets away with it…" He shook his head. "Sometimes it's easier to just walk away…but we can't. You can't. This is what you were born to do Olivia…yes you were brought into this world as a product of rape. But you were put on this Earth to save and protect people…I know that is true. If you decide you want to leave…I'll support you. I want you to be happy because you're my best friend…but I think you'll regret it." Elliot said. "This is who you are…"

Olivia stared at him, her heart began racing and she couldn't hide her feelings anymore. It had been twelve years that she was in love with this man and in this moment she needed to feel something real. Without second guessing it she leaned forward and captured his lips with hers for the first time ever.

Elliot was shocked at first when she kissed him, he thought about pushing her away but he couldn't. He had been dreaming about this moment since the day that Cragen introduced him. But he was Catholic and he could never betray his wife even if he didn't love her anymore. But now he was single…he could let this happen. Especially now that he knew she felt the same way.

Olivia pulled back quickly finally realizing what she had just done. "Oh God…Elliot I'm so sorry. I didn't mean too…I'm just-"

"It's okay." Elliot whispered staring at her lips in the dark room. "It's okay…I…liked it."

Olivia felt the heat rise in her body as his eyes transfixed themselves on her lips. "I was just…this whole case…I shouldn't have done that."

"I wanted it just as much as you did." He said moving closer to her. "You can do it again if you want…"

"Elliot I-" She started to say again when the door opened again.

"Stabler." Munch said interrupting them. "Cragen is looking for you."

Olivia looked at John but Elliot didn't move his eyes away from her. "I'll be there in a minute…" Elliot said.

"He said you had to come right now." Munch said oblivious to what he had just walked into. "He seemed upset."

Elliot sighed and looked at Munch. "I'm coming now."

Munch nodded and walked out of the room. "You should go…" Olivia whispered.

"We're not done talking about this." Elliot said staring at her. "Okay?"

"Elliot there's nothing to talk about." Olivia said. "I was just feeling really vulnerable and…"

"It's more than that." Elliot said leaning forward to kiss her forehead. "Just…try and rest okay? You look exhausted…I'll talk to Cragen and then I'll come back up."

Olivia stared directly into his eyes and saw hope there and she couldn't help but smile, maybe she could be happy afterall. "Okay…"

He smiled. "Okay. Close you're eyes."

When Elliot left the room, Olivia lay back in bed thinking about the feleing of Elliot's lips against hers. For the first time in days, she was able to see something other than the perps face when she closed her eyes. She saw Elliot's face…smiling at her and it was the perfect image to help her fall asleep.


Two hours later, Olivia rolled over on the bed feeling rested but still tired. She hadn't expected to sleep so long when she looked at her watch, she sighed. Where was Elliot? She had expected him to come back sooner. She yawned as she stood up and walked down the hallway to go downstairs.

"Hello sleeping beauty." Munch said as he sat at his desk. "Thank you for joining us."

Olivia rubbed her eyes. "Sorry…I didn't realize I was so tired."

Munch shrugged. "No big deal. The paper work is all finished…Casey is working over time at the office right now."

Olivia nodded. "Good. Good." She looked around the office. "Hey…where's Elliot?"

"He left." Munch said. "About an hour ago…he told me to tell you he was sorry and that he would call you soon."

Olivia looked at him quickly. "Wait…he left?" Olivia asked. "What do you mean he left? He said he was coming back upstairs…we were talking and-"

"Elliot won't be back for awhile." Cragen said walking into the office.

Olivia looked at her boss, tears threatening to spill over. "Why? Where is he?"

"The FBI saw the work you guys did on this case. They are calling him up to help them crack another case." Cragen said. "It could take a few weeks…maybe longer. He didn't have time to say goodbye to anyone…you know how it is."

Olivia felt her heart sink to her stomach. "He's gone?"

"He'll be back." Munch said walking over to him. "Are you okay Liv?" He asked as he took in her facial expression.

Olivia blinked hard. "Yeah…sorry…still a little tired I think."

Cragen nodded. "Why don't you take a few days off? This case was tough…and you and Elliot were here the most. Go home…sleep and take care of yourself. Call me when you're ready to come back."

Olivia felt herself nodding as she walked towards her desk and gathered her jacket and keys. Everything was spinning but somehow she managed to hail a cab and make it to her apartment building. When she walked into her apartment, she walked straight to the bedroom and lay down on the bed. She closed her eyes and hoped that she could drift away in a peaceful sleep once more…but she couldn't.


Three days later, Olivia had barely gotten out of bed unless she was eating or going to the bathroom. She had not heard from Elliot, but quite frankly she didn't really expect too. If he was with the FBI, she knew that he wouldn't be able to contact her. She was lying in bed staring at the ceiling when she heard her bedroom door open, she didn't even react but she was relieved when she saw that it was only Casey.

"I used the emergency key you gave me." Casey said walking to the edge of the bed. "We've been calling for days and you haven't responded…I came to see that you were still alive."

Olivia sat up and ran a hand through her tangled hair. "Yes I'm alive…"

"But barely…" Casey said sitting down beside her. "God Liv…what happened to you?"

Olivia sighed. "I don't know…I've just been feeling off lately. I think this case really just pushed me over the edge."

"I know it was tough…but you seemed kind of okay when I left the precinct the other day when I left." Casey said. "Is this about Elliot leaving?"

Olivia felt her heart jump at the sound of his name. "No…"

Casey reached into her bag and pulled out a large envelope. "This came from Elliot…it was at the precinct. It was addressed to you."

"What is it?" Olivia asked taking it from Casey's hands, she rubbed her hands over the front where he had written her name.

"I don't know…" Casey said. "Why don't you open it?"

Olivia looked back down at the envelope and sighed. "I kissed Elliot…" She blurted out.

Casey sat in shock for a minute before she put a hand on Olivia's hand. "Wow…what happened? What did he do?"

Olivia laughed. "I don't know…one minute we were talking about the case…and how I was feeling overwhelmed. And then he was saying all these things…"

"What things?" Casey asked.

"About me…about how he thought that I was brought to this world to save people and that I couldn't walk away. He was just breaking down all my walls and I needed to feel something real…so I kissed him." She whispered the last part.

"Did he freak out?" Casey asked.

Olivia shook her head. "No. He let me kiss him…I mean he kind of kissed me back. And then I pulled away when I realized what I had done…but he said it was okay. He said he wanted to kiss me as much as I wanted to kiss him…he told me I could do it again. And then…Munch walked in saying that Cragen was looking for him."

"That's when he got called up by the FBI…" Casey said.

"Yeah…he told me he was coming back to talk to me about it." Olivia said. "He told me to wait up in the Cribs…but he never came up. So I went downstairs to look for him…I was afraid he regretted it at that point. And then Cragen said he was gone…"

"Oh Liv…" Casey said squeezing her hand. "I'm sorry."

Olivia shook her head. "This is so stupid. I never should have kissed him…I probably just lost the only person I care about the most."

"You didn't lose him." Casey said. "He's just…away for a little while. I'm sure that when he gets back you two will talk about it and everything will be fine."

"But what if he just wants to be friends again? I mean…I don't even know what that kiss meant! I know what I wanted when I kissed him…I wanted us to be together. But…what if he doesn't want that? What if he comes back and says that it was all a mistake…am I just supposed to pretend that I don't care about him?" Olivia asked.

"No." Casey said shaking her head. "You need to be honest with him about your feelings. But…truth be told…I really think that he loves you. I think he wants to be with you."

"You think…but you don't know." Olivia said shaking her head. "Only Elliot knows how he feels…what he wants. But now he's gone and I can't talk to him…"

"Well maybe he wrote the letter to tell you how he felt?" Casey asked. "Why don't you open it?"

"I'm afraid…" Olivia whispered. "I'm afraid that it's going to say that he regrets it and that when he gets back we can never talk about it again."

"But what if it says everything you want it to say? What if it says that he loves you…that he wants to be with you and only you? If you don't open it…you'll never know." Casey said smiling.

Olivia took a deep breath. "You're right…"

"Great. Now open it and read it out loud." Casey said. "I'm dying to know what he says…"

Olivia opened the envelope and pulled out a very thick letter, a photo fell onto her lap. She picked it up and smiled, it was one of her favorite pictures of her and Elliot. It was from a Christmas party a few years back, Elliot's arm was wrapped around her shoulders, he wasn't looking at the camera but directly at her, a smile on his face. Olivia was laughing, she couldn't remember being as happy as she was that night.

"Look at the smile on your face…" Casey said taking the picture from her hands. "Only one person can make you smile like that…"

Olivia felt the blush grow on her cheeks. "Shut up."

Casey laughed. "What does the letter say?"

Olivia unfolded the thick packet and began to read the first page out loud:
Olivia,
This isn't exactly how I wanted to have this conversation but it seems that I don't really have any other choice. I'm sorry that I couldn't say goodbye to you…but you know how the FBI is. I'm on a plane as I write this off to an undisclosed location…it seems like it's taking forever to get there. But mostly I think it's taking so long because it's taking me farther and farther away from you.
For the past few months I've watched you slowly start to fall apart and it's been killing me. I've wanted to say something for a long time…but I never know quiet what to say when you're sad. If I had it my way…you'd never be sad. It breaks my heart when I know you're hurt…the truth of the matter is you aren't just my best friend or my partner at work Olivia. I'm in love with you.

Casey nudged Olivia who seemed to have lost her voice after she read the last sentence. "Well at least we know now that he feels the same way…"

"He loves me?" Olivia whispered softly. "Elliot loves me?"

Casey rolled her eyes and took the letter from Olivia. "I could have told you that sweet heart…now I want to hear the rest of that letter. So where were we? Oh that's right:

"…the truth of the matter is you aren't just my best friend or my partner at work Olivia. I'm in love with you.
I don't know if I can pick an exact date as to when I fell in love with you…but I can't really remember a time when I wasn't in love with you. We both know that my relationship with Kathy was over way before we actually got divorced. I love Kathy…because she gave me my children. But I'm not in love with her…not like I'm in love with you. But because of my pride I couldn't end it…and even now it hurts to know that I'm divorced. But when you kissed me…I thought maybe I didn't have to be alone forever. I would have kissed you sooner…I just didn't think you felt the same way.

Casey laughed. "God for Detectives…you too are really oblivious when it comes to your own lives."

"Shut up." Olivia said taking the letter back from her.

But now that I know how you feel…I want to be with you. I need you to know that…I really do want to be with you. I know you pretty well…so I'm worried that since I had to leave you were going to think I didn't care or that I regretted the kiss. But I don't. I hate that I had to leave and I'm going to do everything I can to get back as soon as possible.
As much as I want to be with you…I'm afraid that you aren't ready for a relationship.

"Great…he thinks I'm a fragile and incapable of being loved." Olivia said.

"Well…you are kind of a mess right now. And I'm trying to be supportive here but when was the last time that you showered?" Casey asked.

"Shut up!" Olivia yelled again before looking down at the letter again.

"It's obvious that you have some stuff to work through and that's okay. You're a strong woman Olivia…but you've been holding a lot in for too long. If you don't start talking…you're going to fall apart. And I'll do everything I can to help you through whatever it is you are going through…but I need you to work with me. So this is why I'm writing this letter…there's more to it than what I'm saying now.
I don't know when I'm going to be back…but before I do I want you to find yourself."

"Find myself?" Olivia asked. "What does that mean? I'm pretty sure I know where I am…who I am."

"We're never going to finish this letter if you don't stop asking questions." Casey said taking the letter again.

"I know you probably are really confused right now…but that's okay. What I mean is that before you and I can be together you need to live your life for yourself and not the victims. The only way a relationship can work is if the two people involved knows what makes them happy…so inside this packet you will find a list of things to do everyday while I'm gone. But before you read them…there are a few rules.
First…only do one thing each day on the list. Second, don't read ahead…and don't skip any just because you don't feel like doing them or are afraid. I'm hoping by the end of the list…I'll finally be home and you can tell me all about your experiences. I wish I could be there with you…but maybe it's better that I'm not. This is something you need to do alone…something you need to do for yourself.
Third, take a picture each day so I know that you actually complete each item on the list.
The fourth rule is, don't just do the activities…really put yourself in the middle of it. Take the time to think about what you're doing and how it makes you feel. Think about why I'm asking you to do it.
The fifth and final rule is…allow yourself to cry if you need too. I know as cops we often think that tears show weakness but they don't. I'm starting to realize they show strength, because if you can admit that you're hurting you're much stronger than you think.
I talked to my superior…and he said that I might be able to call you every now and then. So I will check up on you…don't think just because I'm not there that you can pretend to do this. If we want to be together…I think this is really important for you to do. If not for yourself…than do it for me. Okay?
Now…turn to the first item on the list…read it…then put this away until tomorrow. Good luck, have fun…and don't forget about me.

Love,
Elliot

Casey looked up at Olivia who had tears in her eyes. "Wow…who knew that Elliot Stabler was such a romantic?"

"He left me a list of things to do?" Olivia asked. "This is weird…"

"Weird to you…romantic to me." Casey said smiling. "He wants you to find yourself Olivia…its gotta be that whatever is on this list will make you realize things about yourself."

"But I know who I am." Olivia said shaking her head.

"Do you really though? I mean…don't get me wrong Liv you're an amazing Detective. But what else is there to Olivia Benson? You hide yourself away from everyone so we can't get to know what's really in that heart of yours…" Casey said shrugging. "Maybe this will help you open up a little. And maybe…just maybe it will be exactly what you need to let yourself be loved by Elliot."

Olivia sighed and took the letter from Casey and flipped to the next page where the number 1 was written with the words: "Tonight's easy…take a night off. Take a bubble bath…drink a glass of wine and watch a movie that makes you cry. Don't just cry because of the movie…cry because of how it makes you feel. Think about everything you've been holding in for years and let it all out…Then get some sleep and be ready to start fresh tomorrow for number 2."

"Well that request isn't that hard…" Casey said. "And you do need to bathe…"

"I hate you." Olivia said glaring at her friend. "I still don't know about this…"

Casey sighed. "Fine…do number one tonight…and then I'll come by tomorrow and we can look at number two. If you don't want to do it…then we'll deal with it then."

"You really wouldn't make me do the rest of the things he's going to ask me to do?" Olivia asked.

Casey shook her head. "God no! You're doing it…all of it. Even if I have to do it all with you. Now go…take a bath. I'll bring you some wine and then we can find a movie to watch okay? And trust me…you will cry tonight."

Olivia watched Casey go before she lay back on the bed again. She let herself have a moment before she looked at the letter again and found herself stuck on the words "Love, Elliot". She was devastated that he wasn't there…but if he had taken the time to do this for her she could take the time to do what he asked.

So she picked herself up off the bed and walked to the bathroom and prepared for her bubble bath. As she submerged herself in the water she thought…let the games begin.


So what did you think? I realize it might be a little out of character for Elliot...but hey fanfiction is about writing our own stories right? If you like it let me knowwwww! :)