A/N: Your lies reveal the truth.
DISCLAIMER: Dick Wolf own SVU and the characters; TStabler© owns the story you're about to read.
A single gunshot stopped Olivia in her tracks. "No," she gasped, fearing the worst. She ran hard, then, following the echo of the bang. She turned the corner, and stopped in the doorway, looking in at the still, standing people.
Cragen turned to her, shaking his head. "There was nothing we could do," he whispered.
Munch, his gun aimed, shook slightly as he said, "We couldn't…we couldn't stop him."
A tear rolled down her cheek and she ran into the room, focusing on just him, only him. She leaped onto him, holding on for dear life, and regardless of who was watching, she kissed him.
He dropped his gun and wrapped her up in his arms, his fingers gripping the flesh of her back as he held her around his waist. He kissed her back with everything he had, and even some things he wasn't sure were his to give, and let tears fall down his cheeks.
Munch lowered his gun. "Um, Cap?"
"Yeah," Cragen said, looking away from the emotional couple. "Yeah, John. I know."
"But…since when…is that why…" Munch was interrupted by Fin, walking into the room and lowering his own gun.
Fin met Cragen's eyes, then Munch's, then looked at Olivia and Elliot. "You just gonna let them…"
"They've been through a lot today, Fin," Cragen said, nodding. "We all have," he whispered.
Olivia peeled her lips away from Elliot's, dropped her forehead to his, and said, "You can say that again."
"Guess they all know, now," he said to her, kissing the end of her nose.
Olivia nodded. "I don't care," she said, catching her breath before kissing him again.
Fin rolled his eyes as he holstered his gun. "Come on, man," he griped. "There's a dead guy in the room!"
Elliot chuckled as he slowly lowered Olivia to the ground and looked at her, as if he was seeing her for the first time. He ran his hands down her head, through her hair, and swept one palm slowly over her face. "I almost lost you."
"I thought he…" she paused to swallow. "When I heard the gunshot, I thought…" she couldn't say it. She couldn't form the words. She shook her head and reached for his hand as her head turned to look down at Dean, broken and bleeding on the concrete ground.
"I didn't shoot him," Elliot whispered to her. "I wanted to, but I…I never pulled the trigger."
Cragen, hearing that, furrowed his brow. "Wait, Elliot," he said, walking toward them. "If you didn't shoot him, then…"
"I did," Fin said, folding his arms. He bit his lip and rocked on his heels. "I told you," he mumbled. "I'd never let anyone hurt you." He pointed to Elliot, then. "If he ever does, I swear to God, I'll…"
"Fin," Olivia interrupted, something new in her eyes as she looked at him. "Thank you, but you know he'd never…"
"Never say never," Fin said, cutting her off. He looked at Cragen. "Dean killed Dani. Told me before he made me drag Liv down here. He had one of Tucker's old badges because…"
"Tucker gave it to me," Olivia said, her eyes widening. "Before I left for Oregon, to remind me that he was…watching me."
Elliot squeezed her hand. "You gave it to Dean?"
She shook her head. "No, he…he must have taken it out of…when I got to the house out there, I threw it out." She looked back at Dean. "He planned this. All of it."
"Not alone," Munch said. "Someone had to have been helping him."
Elliot's eyebrows shot up. "Dana! She's…"
"Shit," Olivia hissed, turning on her heels and running out the way she'd come with Elliot by her side.
Cragen, Munch, and Fin all shrugged at once and two of the men followed after Olivia and Elliot, unsure of what they'd be running into. Cragen, however, knelt down beside the body of Dean Porter. He took the cell phone out of his pocket and flipped it open, then fished through the sent messages. He scoffed and said, "You son of a bitch," as he got to his feet and used his own cell phone to call for Doctor Warner.
"I am unbelievably glad this whole thing is over," Elliot said, running a hand down his face.
Olivia, wrapped in his arms, nodded and yawned. "Me, too."
"Tucker was relieved to be off the suspect list, finally," he said, kissing her forehead. "Not too relieved to be faced with us, though. I mean…together. After we had to tell him…"
"I saw his face, El, and I heard him," she interrupted, nuzzling deeper into his chest. "He's pissed. He…he has a right to be. This…honestly, this shouldn't have happened."
He cupped her chin with one hand and lifted her head, meeting her eyes. "Don't say that," he whispered harshly. "Liv, you can't…"
"I don't regret this," she said, narrowing her eyes. "That's not what I meant. I just meant, policy and regulations…standards and bylaws…this really shouldn't be happening."
He sighed and nodded. "That's why we're here," he said, shifting in his chair and moving his arm further around her shoulders. He ran his other hand down her side and rested it on her knee. "Whatever he decides…"
"Stabler," Tucker's voice interrupted. "You first."
Elliot looked at him with disdain, then nodded at him. He gave Olivia a kiss, stood, and walked into the office, letting Tucker close the door behind him.
Olivia bit her lip, knowing he would take the blame for everything, that he would take the fall, make the sacrifice. Exactly what Tucker wanted him to do, he would do.
She sighed and dropped her head against the plaster wall, her thoughts drifted back to the night she came home, the night her world changed for the umpteenth time. She remembered how the taxi drove right passed her apartment, through heavy traffic, out of Manhattan and into Queens. She recalled how she felt completely numb as she got out of the cab and ran to his doorstep, knocked as hard as she could, and didn't even wait for him to say hello before throwing her arms around him and kissing him.
She smiled to herself as she remembered how shocked he was, but how hard he kissed her back, and how he pulled her into his house and slammed the door, leaving the cabbie waiting in his driveway with a running meter and Olivia's luggage.
She moaned slightly when she vividly recollected the way his hands peeled off her clothes, and the way hers fumbled nervously at his buttons. The way his fingertips grazed her bare skin, glided through her longer hair, slipped into places she'd only ever dreamed he would touch.
The memory became a vision, his touch and his voice feeling real and solid.
"Liv," she heard, opening one eye. He was kneeling before her, grinning. "You okay?"
She nodded and sat up, straightening out. "Guess he wants to see me, now, huh?"
He kissed her and said, "Yeah." He looked into her eyes. "Don't do anything stupid, baby, okay?"
She narrowed her eyes.
"You need this job," he told her, brushing her hair behind her ear. "I can work homicide if I have to, if it comes down to that, but you…you've got your heart and soul invested into this unit. In case you were thinking of going in there and playing the heroine, don't."
She rolled her eyes. "Yes, Sir," she teased. "What did you tell him?"
"Just answered his questions," he said with a shrug.
She raised an eyebrow. "Elliot?"
He chuckled. "I may or may not have told him that if he ever threatened you again, I'd break both his legs."
"Elliot!" she gasped, slapping him.
"Not in those exact words," he laughed, rubbing his arm. "Go. I wanna go home," he kissed her again and slapped her ass as she walked into the office. He got up and sat in her vacated seat, and he smiled as he remembered the night she walked back into his life and turned his world upside down.
He bit his lip, remembering the first kiss, the first time he touched her, the first time he felt what it was like to be inside of her, and he suppressed a groan when he remembered what it felt like to make her come for the first time.
He folded his hands and tried to stop the shaking of his knees, feeling his pants tighten as the memory became too clear for his liking. He cleared his throat and stared at Tucker's closed door, waiting for her to come back out, waiting for his life to change yet again.
"Elliot?" a voice called, annoyed and exhausted.
Elliot looked up, seeing Fin, and he watched his former friend sit. "Hey," he said, narrowing his eyes.
"I, uh, I know I've been a pain in the ass, and I'm sorry," Fin said, pulling something out of his pocket. "This was in Dean's bag," he said. "I grabbed it when…when he was tying Liv to that table. I was tryin' to find his phone but...well, I thought…I thought you might want it." He handed the folded document to Elliot.
Elliot looked at it, curious, and unfolded it. He scanned it quickly, then looked at Fin. "Did you read this?"
"No," Fin answered. "I wanted to, but…I didn't make it past the first line before I felt like I was invading some kind of…I dunno…sacred circle."
Elliot nodded. "You would have been," he said. "Thank you. I'm guessing…this means Liv never got it? She never read it."
"He still had it, so I don't think he ever gave it to her," Fin said. "He read it, so he knew. I guess your secret dies with him, unless you tell Liv yourself."
Elliot furrowed his brow. "I thought you said you didn't read…"
"I'm a detective," Fin interrupted. "I can guess what the letter said, and it obviously doesn't matter 'cause she's with ya now, ain't she?"
Elliot nodded, smiling. "She is."
Tucker's door opened, Olivia walked out with the sergeant right behind her. She gave Elliot an annoyed look and folded her arms. Tucker stepped up behind her with a smarmy smile on his face.
"Stabler," Tucker said, "I've been waiting years to tell you to go downstairs and pack up your desk."
Elliot pressed his lips together. "Okay," he said, standing.
Tucker stopped him. "But it looks like I'm gonna have to wait a little longer."
Confused, Elliot looked at him. "Sorry, what?"
"What the two of you did…what you went through…and you still only had your minds on the case," Tucker said, shaking his head in disbelief, "That's dedication. Not just to the job, but to each other. In this game, you have to trust your partner, and nothing tells me you trust each other more than knowing you've given all of yourselves to…"
"Yeah," Elliot nodded, interjecting. "So, I'm still in the unit, with Liv, that what you're saying?"
Tucker nodded, licking his lips. "Don't get too comfortable, though. One wrong move, Stabler, and you're in Homicide with O'Harrah and his hairy wart."
Elliot laughed, holding out his hand, being the bigger person. "Thank you, Tucker."
Tucker sighed and shook his hand. "You cleared my name, Stabler. You and Benson. I owe you this." He looked at Fin, then, and said, "You, in my office, now. Your gun is still with Ballistics, so…"
"Yeah," Fin grumbled, standing. He huffed as he walked into the office.
Tucker rolled his eyes, gave one last warning glance at Elliot and Olivia, and moved, slamming his door.
Olivia smirked and looked at Elliot, her arms folded. "He asked some pretty personal questions."
Elliot nodded. "And none of it mattered. He just…" he waved an arm. "He was…fucking Tucker."
"What's that?" she asked, pointing to the letter in his hand.
He smiled, folded it, and put it in his pocket. "Nothing you don't already know," he said. He kissed her, took her hand, and walked with her down the hall.
Her phone rang as they moved, she answered it with a grunt of her last name. "Yeah," she said, looking over at Elliot. "We're on the way."
He watched her hang up the phone and raised an eyebrow. "We got a rape?" he guessed.
"And murder," she said, sighing.
And they walked, a new stiffness in their synchronized steps, toward the elevator and headed to a new line of crime scene tape, a new puzzle to be solved, and a new hurdle to leap.
Until someone told them not to, they would walk under that tape, solve that puzzle, and leap over that hurdle together.
A/N: The End!