By: Liv-x-Lex4Ever & E. Scribbles
Chapter 2: Saving Grace
Casey wasn't at work the next day and no one had heard from her.
Olivia knocked on the captain's door. "I'm taking Elliot with me for a bit."
"Checking on Novak?"
She nodded. "We were out last night. I left early. She came by and brought me food. ...She had a bruise on her cheek. I'm worried about her."
He gave a nod. "We can't spare both of you though. You'll have to go by yourself."
She nodded. "All right. If I need someone I'll call." Fifteen minute later, she was knocking on her door, "Casey?"
There was no answer until she knocked a second time, then a croaky voice asked, "Who is it?"
"Casey? It's Olivia. Are you all right? You weren't in for work."
Casey closed her eyes. "I'm fine. I'll be in tomorrow."
She sighed. "I'm worried about you. Please let me in."
"What do you mean 'you can't'? Casey please?!"
Casey knew she wouldn't go until she'd seen her, so she reluctantly opened the door, looking out with one eye the rest of her face hidden. "I'm fine."
Olivia shook her head, stroking the hair that was visible. "Come on, Case. You don't sound fine. If you need help, please let me." She knew her eyes were boring into her and she was afraid of what she'd see, but... "Casey, I... Casey, please let me help you."
Tears sprang to Casey's eyes, and she reluctantly pushed open her door. As well as the bruised cheek, her neck showed signs of attempted strangulation and she had scratches down one cheek.
Olivia walked in, pulling her into her arms gently, stroking her hair. "Casey..."
"I'm fine. I gave as good as I got."
Olivia shook her head. "You're alive is what you're saying. Will you please come back with me? Let me help you."
"I'm not going to the station."
"Then come with me to get looked at. Honey, this isn't just going to go away with a little make-up. If you're...worried your personal life will get out, we'll just say she's a friend. I won't out you. I promise."
"No. I'm staying here. I'm fine."
"Casey, what are you going to do about work? People will ask questions."
"I don't know. Make it up. Tell them it was a softball accident. A high neck jumper."
"But I can see hand marks," she sighed, "all right. Will you, at least, tell me what happened, please? I didn't come here as a cop, Case. I was really worried about you."
Casey folded her arms defensively. "Don't you have somewhere else to be?"
Olivia sighed. "Not at the moment. Why are you so defensive?"
"I don't like people coming to my house trying to force me into doing things."
"I'm not forcing you to do anything. If I go back now, I'll say you have a hangover. Is that what you want? To just be left alone in agony and fear?"
"I'm not scared." Her voice broke a little.
"...So the break in your voice is...confidence?"
"What do you want? Do you want me to cry? Would that make you leave? Fine!" Tears began to fall.
Olivia wiped the streams away. "If you need to cry to feel better, yes, but if I'm the real reason I'll walk out that door right now."
Tears continued to fall. "Good. I've asked you to go a hundred times already."
Olivia sighed, hugging her tight, though she tried to get away."Fine, but I hate to leave the most beautiful woman in my world crying. But if that's really what you want..."
There was a knock on the door and Casey stiffened, her hands tightening on Olivia's arms instead of fighting her.
"Ask who it is," she whispered in her ear, "and tell me where I can go. To the bathroom, the bedroom? I don't care if you don't want help. I'm giving it anyway."
Casey asked in a shaky voice, "Who is it?"
"It's me, Hailey."
Casey held tighter to Olivia.
Olivia looked at her. "You have to let go of me and open the door."
Casey shook her head, one hand going to her throat as Hailey knocked again.
"Let me in, Case."
Olivia wrapped one arm tightly around her. "Do you want me to open it?"
Casey's eyes widened with fear, shaking her head. "Go. Into the bathroom."
She nodded, kissing her forehead and doing so.
Casey took a deep breath before walking to the door and pulling it open. "What do you want?"
"What do you think I want? How about an apology for going behind my back to see that cheap excuse for a friend of yours?" she said, pushing her way into the room.
"We already discussed this last night."
"Oh, did we? See, all I remember was you asking me to leave her out of it. You claimed you only went there to take her dinner, but you were there much longer than that. What were you doing?"
"Nothing. I took her dinner because she had to leave, then I left." Casey's hand remained on her throat, covering the bruises that still ached.
"Really? Interesting, because when I came over you smelled like her," she pulled Casey's wrist away. "Any reason for that?"
"I don't know, maybe she'd just sprayed perfume before I'd walked in. What is your problem? I already told you nothing is going on between us!"
"Why were you covering your neck?"
"Because it's covered in bruises made by your hands and I don't want any more of them."
"And why did I give them to you? Do you remember or do you need another reminder?"
Casey stepped away from her, towards the bathroom. "Get out."
She took a step toward her. "Why? What's wrong?"
"What's wrong? What's wrong is that last night you choked me until I blacked out because I visited a friend!"
"You never asked! You're mine! And," she grabbed her wrist, "I will do as I please!"
"I shouldn't have to ask! Let go of me and get out!" Casey's back hit the wall and her eyes widened a little, praying Olivia could hear.
Silently, the detective stepped from the bathroom, laying a hand on Hailey's shoulder and throwing her to the ground. "Get. Out." she said, menacingly.
Hailey rolled onto her back, laughing. "So you can't fight your own fights anymore? Is that it? You've become we-ak..." the word was split as Olivia's gun connected with her skull.
She stared at Olivia for a moment before her eyes moved to Casey. "Are you going to let her do this?"
Casey just moved to stand behind Olivia.
Olivia grabbed her arm, pulled her to her feet, opened the door and shoved her out. She holstered her gun, walking back over to Casey. "Casey..."
Casey threw her arms around her.
Olivia hugged her tightly. "It's okay now, Casey. It's okay," she stroked her hair.
Casey apologized over and over again, the story falling from her mouth of her returning home, Hailey seeing her dressed up, asking where she'd been, hitting her, then holding her against the wall until she blacked out while she grilled her about where she'd been.
Olivia held her tightly. "It's okay," she repeated again and again. "What do you want to do now? I won't force you to do anything."
"Nothing. I can't lay charges. It would...I just...can't. Could...maybe I could stay with you? Just for a few days?"
"Why can't you press charges? She choked you out..."
Casey shook her head, unwilling to say. "I'll just go to a hotel if you can't."
Olivia shook her head. "You'll stay with me. I'll make it better, okay?"
Casey nodded, relaxing a little. "You won't tell anyone?"
She sucked in a breath. "Well...about your cheek, I did tell Cragen, but I can make something up."
Casey nodded, drying her tears. "Can we go now? I'll pack a bag?"
She nodded. "Hey, Casey?"
She turned to look at her.
Olivia pulled her close, kissing the corner of her mouth. "I'll make it okay, I promise."
Casey sat silently in the car on the way to Olivia's and, when they got there, sat on the couch, her bag still clasped in her hand.
Olivia wrapped a blanket around her legs, sitting beside her a moment, before taking her bag from her and setting it beside the couch. "So...now what?"
"…Do you need to go back to work?"
"Oh, yeah, kinda forgot. Suppose I should, huh? There's still the food in the fridge that you got me so..."
"You didn't like it?"
"I did. I just couldn't eat all of it. I was saving it for whenever I got home tonight actually..."
Casey nodded, drawing her knees up. "…Thanks, Olivia."
"Do you...would you rather I stayed?"
"It's ok. I'll be alright."
Olivia wrapped her arms around her, kissing her head. "Okay, if you're sure."
Casey raised her head and kissed Olivia's lips.
Olivia's hand cupped her chin, kissing her deeply, moaning into her lips, relishing the feel of Casey's soft, plump lips on hers. "Mmmm...C-Casey..."
Casey's tears wet her cheeks.
Olivia wiped them away, pulling back a bit. "What's wrong, baby?" she whispered, not even realizing she'd used the affectionate nickname.
This only made Casey's tears fall harder. "I shouldn't have got you involved, she's...I'm sorry."
Olivia wiped her eyes. "She's what?"
"You better get back to work." Casey lowered her eyes.
Olivia shook her head. "No, what is it?"
"She's...an angry person, Liv. Jealous. I thought I could handle it. I guess not."
She nodded. "Yeah, could've guessed that. You'll be okay here, right?"
Casey nodded, giving her a smile.
Olivia kissed her again. "I always thought you'd be a good kisser."
Casey blushed, lowering her head. "Sorry. I just...I've thought about it so much that…what? You...what?"
She stroked her cheek. "I've always thought you'd be a good kisser."
"You've thought about kissing me?"
She nodded. "Yeah, well, I should probably get going."
Casey nodded, continuing to stare at her in amazement.
Olivia stood up. "What?"
"I...I've thought that about you."
She smiled again, lightly caressing the scratches on her face. "Don't open the door, okay?"
Casey nodded, taking her hand to kiss it before she left.
She walked back into the station where Elliot was at his desk. "Too much coffee's bad for you," she said, sitting at her desk.
He looked up. "Well, you're in the same boat as me. How's Casey?"
She shrugged. "Okay, clumsier than ever as always."
He nodded. "But she's okay?"
She looked away, ignoring the question. "How's the case coming along?"
She sighed. "No, but...I promised I wouldn't say."
"And how many people have you known to have gotten better by keeping it a secret?"
She shook her head. "Drop it."
"If she's hurt while you're away and you know about it..."
"She's...the damage is already done. I can't afford to stay."
She sighed again, explaining the situation. "And she can't press charges because..."
"..People would know, but you could just say it was a friend, like you said."
"Hailey won't say that. And Casey refuses to come in. I can't take anyone with me or she wouldn't trust me ever again."
"Would you rather have a live friend or a dead one?" he asked with a raised brow.
"We could keep it quiet. Melinda owes me a favor."
"I don't know. She...doesn't really want anyone else involved."
"Then we'll tell Melinda and get her to pretend she doesn't know. She wouldn't buy any excuses, but I bet Casey is upset enough to believe she would."
"What do I tell Casey? Should we just show up?"
"If we call ahead, she might leave."
She nodded. "True. If...Hailey hasn't figured out... El, she...I've never seen Casey like this. It's just...horrible."
"I'll call Melinda. You get home and we'll come over."
She nodded again. "I'm gone." And she left.
Olivia knocked on the door.
Casey was curled up on the couch, blocking her ears. Hailey had come, banging on the door a few minutes earlier, somehow finding Olivia's address.
Olivia, listening and hearing whimpers, stopped. "Case, it's Olivia. I forgot my heavy jacket. I need to come in, okay?"
Casey stood, rushing to the door and clumsily unlocking it before falling into her arms
Olivia pushed her back a bit as she walked inside and closed the door before going to the couch. "Hey, wh-what is it?"
"D-Did you lock it?"
Olivia stood and walked over to lock it before going back. "Why?"
"She got your address. She said she's coming back!"
"It'll be okay, I promise. I'll stay. I'm here now, just try to relax a bit, ok?" she said, wrapping her arms around her gently.
Casey held tightly to her, beginning to calm down, but jumped again when there was a knock on the door.
"Shh. I'll get it." She untangled herself from Casey and walked to the door. "Who is it?"
"It's me. And Melinda." Elliot's voice spoke quietly.
"What is it? I thought I told you I was going home because I didn't feel well. Can't you handle it without me?" she said, hoping he'd play along.
He was silent for a moment before offering, "I asked Melinda to come and see you. I know what you're like about going to doctors."
She pondered it for a few minutes. "Well, I guess...since you're already here," she opened the door for them.
Casey wrapped the hoodie she'd taken from Olivia's bed tighter around herself, hiding her bruises.
Once they were in, Olivia promptly closed and locked the door. "Casey said she was here," she whispered to him, "and is coming back." She walked over, managing a fake coughing fit as she collapsed beside Casey, breathing shallow.
"You didn't tell me you were sick!" Casey turned her head and her bruised cheek became visible, making Melinda gasp.
"..That was why I needed a heavier jacket."
At Melinda's gasp, Casey turned her head again and stood. "I'll get you some water."
She nodded. "Thank you. I don't know what to say," she mouthed as Casey walked back out with a glass of water.
Everyone was silent for a moment before Melinda offered, "Softball injury?"
Casey hesitated, then nodded.
"I can take a look at it if you like?"
Casey glanced at Olivia for reassurance.
"She might know a way to get the swelling to go down and get your neck to stop hurting too."
She paused for a moment before speaking hoarsely. "After she's checked you over."
Olivia nodded removing her thin jacket with a harsh cough. "All right."
Melinda had just finished checking Casey over when there was another loud bang on the front door.
Olivia stood, again walking over to the front door while gesturing for Melinda to leave the room as Elliot stood behind the door hinge. "Who is it?"
"You know who it is. I want to speak to Casey." Hailey's words were slurred. Casey stood behind Olivia, one hand gently gripping the back of her shirt, the other slipping into her hand.
Olivia held her hand tightly. "She's not here."
"Then where is she?"
"How would I know?"
A second later, Casey's phone rang. "...Oh, she left her phone there, did she? CASEY!"
Olivia looked back at Elliot, who nodded, as she opened the door with Casey behind her. "Stay," she whispered to Casey.
Hailey tried to push her way past
Olivia positioned Casey behind her. "Why are you here?"
"I want to talk to you, Casey. I want to apologize. Baby, please forgive me. You know I didn't mean it." She reached past Olivia to Casey.
Olivia turned pulling Casey to her. "You're not sorry. A scratch, a bruise, then strangulation... Lucky you didn't kill her."
"Casey?" She kept her eye on her, and Casey seemed to soften a little.
"Casey? What do you want to do?"
"...She's had a really tough time at work, Olivia…" Casey said.
Elliot rolled his eyes. "How many times have you heard that before Casey?!"
"…And it'll never happen again? How many times has it gotten better?" Olivia asked.
Casey looked at Olivia. Unsure, wanting her to tell her what to do, but Hailey continued. "You KNOW I won't do it again. I'll see someone."
"Casey? Based on your expertise, what do you believe? She's hurt you once, nearly killed you, just because you brought me dinner..."
Casey stared at Olivia, her had still loosely in hers, and something in her eyes seemed to convince her, because she gave a slow nod.
"What?" Olivia asked. "Say it." Her grip tightened. "What do you want to do, want us to do?"
She shook her head, jumping when Hailey sneered. "Going to hide behind your new girlfriend again?"
Olivia glared. "Get out of my house before I have you arrested."
She glared, but Elliot's subtle movement to his gun made her step back, and he slammed the door.
Olivia pulled Casey to the side, moving away from Elliot.
"You shouldn't be here," he said.
"You want me to go?" Casey began to shake.
He shook his head. "Not you Casey, her."
She continued to bang on the door as Olivia tried to calm Casey down, but Elliot's words seemed to have shocked her and she went about gathering her things, trying to think of somewhere else she could stay.
"Elliot, get rid of her," Olivia said, taking Casey's hand. "Casey, he didn't mean you. You can stay here as long as you want."
"I can't find my phone. I can't find it. I can't stay here. I can't. I can't."
Olivia grabbed her arms gently. "Yes you can. Why don't you want to? I...I want you to."
Casey stilled, looking into her eyes, seeing that calmness in them, the sureness that had made her change her mind about Hailey. "…Because I'll want to stay forever."
She smiled. "And...what's wrong with that?"
Casey continued to stare at her until Melinda interrupted them, putting a hand on Casey's shoulder. "I don't think it's a good idea, you going anywhere. You should be resting. Something warm for your neck and shoulders…there's not much that can be done for your cheek, but it will heal. I think…maybe you have some broken ribs as well. And I think you could do with a few good meals."
Olivia nodded. "Take off the hoodie, Casey, let her see your neck."
An hour later, Elliot and Melinda finally left the apartment. Hailey had gone, at least for now, and Casey had finally let Melinda check her over properly. She was now curled up on the couch once more with Olivia's hoodie zipped up as high as it would go.
Olivia sat next to her after starting the water for dinner. "Casey, please take that off. It can't help anything heal faster."
"It smells like you."
"Wouldn't you rather have me to sniff?" she asked with a cocked brow.
Casey gave as small smile. "You've done enough for me already..."
She shook her head. "Really? I don't think so," she said, opening her arms.
Casey looked at her, then shook her head, lowering her head to her knees again. "I can't. It hurts."
Olivia's instant concern brought another small smile to her face. "Just my ribs."
"Well, I promise I'll be careful..."
Casey looked at her again for what felt like hours before standing up, shuffling slowly into her arms.
Olivia wrapped her arms around her as gently as possible. "It's going to be okay." She kissed her temple.
Casey turned her head, breathing in the scent that always, even when she was angry with her, seemed to calm her down.
"Ssshh, Casey. I...I really...well, I..." She sighed. "Casey...you're wonderful, beautiful, smart, sexy, irresistible...and..."
Casey barely heard her words, just enjoying the comfort and relaxing the first time in what felt like weeks.
She smiled. "If I say this, you have to promise not to laugh..."
Casey just nuzzled her neck a little.
"I...think I'm falling, hard, for the redhead in my arms."
Casey stilled, the words finally reaching her. "…What?"
Olivia sighed. "Never mind. It's...I..."
Casey pulled away a little, looking into her eyes. "What did you say?"
"I...think...I'm...falling for you. I don't know...what to do..."
Casey continued to gaze at her silently, before returning her head to Olivia's shoulder.
She sighed. "Like I said...don't worry about it. What would you like for dinner?"
"I've already fallen for you."
Olivia sat her back on the couch, wrapping the quilt from the back around her, kissing her wounded cheek. "Shouldn't take long," she said, walking into the kitchen.
"Damn it!" she cursed, running out to open the windows after turning off the water. "Left the water on too long. Nothing to worry about," she said as the alarm quit.
Casey had, apparently, slept through it all, a look of peace finally on her face as lay on the couch.
Olivia looked at her, covering her feet before sitting beside her on the couch, watching her sleep.
Author's Note: What do you think?
Review thanks to: Bkwrmchar, Tracer0403 & Kikilia14
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Liv-x-Lex4Ever & E. Scribbles