AN: So I know I have been off the radar! I got a request to do a quick one shot. I have had literally no time or brain power to write but this story had to be done. BASED on the recent episode where Liv takes a vacation to the Bahamas with a mystery person. I OWN NOTHING!
Olivia Benson rolled her eyes as her partner Elliot Stabler set his hand on her hot forehead, feeling for a fever. Having taken her temperature an hour ago, she felt that he had no need to do so. It was just what people did who cared for another person.
"I'm fine," Olivia insisted to him, as he forced a blanket over her. Elliot snorted when he did not want to come back at Olivia with a comment that would start an argument. Olivia was used to taking care of herself, which meant dying with a fever but still able to crawl blindly to the bathroom if needed. Elliot was jabbering on about making her some tea as he headed to her kitchen. Juggling being sick, looking over a perp file and dealing with her partner who insisted on invading her living space, Olivia just wanted to sleep.
"You have nothing in your fridge," Elliot's observation was the only thing that Olivia was able to register. She looked over at the man holding her refrigerator open. Olivia already knew that her kitchen was bone dry, she lived alone and was married to her job. What did Elliot expect? Perhaps he expected a kitchen filled with expired food that was growing fuzz. Olivia rolled her eyes at the idea of Elliot getting on her case about having rotting food as well, she would never win with him.
"There is this amazing thing called Take Out," Olivia told him, her throat so scratchy that she felt like she had swallowed sand paper whole. Thinking her ordeal with Elliot was over, that he had finally found her tea pot that was collecting dust somewhere. Olivia stared at the file, trying to focus her eyes on the print. Her nose betrayed her and she sniffled as she set a Kleenex over her mouth.
"Planning a trip somewhere?" Elliot's next question caused Olivia to finally get up from her spot on the couch, cover entangled around her but she was determined to remove her brochures to the Bahamas from Elliot's sticky fingers. He was a great cop but that did not mean he had the right to investigate Olivia's home.
"A girl can dream can't she? Now stop snooping," Olivia watched as Elliot backed away. Finally getting him to converse about the case, Olivia was led by Elliot to her couch again. Elliot had to put effort in helping her, Olivia's entire body was dead weight and even though Elliot's gesture was well appreciated it was painful
"You just need to rest," Elliot told her as she wished she had the power to kick the cover off that Elliot was untangling for her. Didn't he care about catching the Swine flu from her? Did he want to be quarantined like she should have been? The man was insane but everyone one who had ever met Elliot knew this. Olivia could be in paradise at the moment and still feel like dying. Olivia shut her eyes and imagined herself lying on the beach in the warm sunlight… Nope, she would still feel like Hell invaded twice.
"I need to work on this case," Olivia argued with him but Elliot stole the file out of her hand, "Hey! I was attempting to read that,"
"I don't want you putting the job before your health," Elliot sounded like an overly concerned father or boyfriend. Olivia's feverish mind was not in a place where she even wanted to go there.
"Elliot… it's not your place to-" Olivia's eyes were closed but she could already see Elliot's glare. Yup, there it was when she opened her eyes, "El…"
"Liv, don't make me go into how and why it is completely my place to care about you." Elliot's face was red but he did not act as if he was angry. Olivia knew that her defense mechanism was low at the moment and she had no choice but to agree with Elliot. He was the only person in her life that she could truly count on, even when she did not want it. Elliot was always there to take care of her; he even put her before his family at times. It made Olivia feel guilty sometimes but special in a sense, it meant more to her then Elliot would ever know. Olivia's only family she had was her half brother and it had been years since she had seen or spoken to him.
"If you insist darling," Olivia muttered, seeing Elliot smile slightly, "If it will make you feel better you can get me some new tissues, Orange Juice and cold medicine after work," As if it were top priority Elliot took out his pen and paper and made a list.
"How about some ice cream? Your voice sounds-" Elliot's phone went off and he took it out of his pocket, "This is Stabler," For a second Olivia figured it was Kathy, Elliot's wife, "I'm at Liv's Fin, I told you I was coming over here to give her the file… yeah I know. Well tell Cragen that I will be there ASAP." Elliot listened to Fin, "I gotta stop at the store first for Liv and then I will be back to the precinct," Elliot sounded like he was arguing with Fin, "I told her to get rest but you know our Liv," Elliot looked at her and she groaned.
"You guys are terrible," Olivia shut her eyes, pulling the blanket up to her chin. She felt Elliot lean down and kiss her forehead quickly in caring manner, "You're going to catch it!" Olivia muttered to him.
"I have a gaggle of kids Olivia, I am immune," And Elliot was gone, leaving Olivia to fall asleep into a slight dream state where she was back on the beach.
"Liv, you alright?" Nick Amaro, Olivia's present partner, asked her as they drank coffee after their shift at Special Victims. It had been a normal night full of chaos at the Unit. Stirring her coffee as she added more sugar, Olivia pondered his question. Elliot Stabler's face came to her mind and she held back a slight sob. Elliot had left over a year ago, devastating Olivia, but she forced herself to understand why Elliot had stayed away entirely. If Olivia had killed a victim like Elliot did, she probably could never face the people she loved and cared for immediately. Nick threw a sugar packet at her hand, bringing her back.
"Give me a moment, I am half sleep," Olivia rubbed her eyes, "Let's see…well, the Holidays are around the corner, I still have yet to decorate my tree. I have piles of paperwork to do and I am drinking coffee at 2 AM, when what I really need to do is go home and sleep," Nick rose on eyebrow after Olivia's admission, "Hey you asked," She reminded her partner. Nick was not Elliot but was a good partner; no one would ever be able to replace Elliot. The idea made Olivia want to cry again.
"Is that it? That's all?" Nick teased her and she tossed the sugar packet back in his direction.
"Oh and my prince charming is MIA again this year," Olivia said before she realized what she had just said, "Nick, I'm sorry that was insensitive of me," Olivia watched as Nick deflated a tad. His wife had left him a few months back and it was still a sensitive subject to him.
"No it wasn't Liv, you deserve a prince charming." Nick paused, "And don't worry about me, I am doing just fine," His eyes said otherwise but Olivia decided to not force him to talk about it. Nick Amaro was not the type to talk about it unless he really wanted to.
"I dunno, I think he might have gotten run over by a taxi or something." Olivia chuckled, causing Nick to laugh as well, "I think I am meant to be alone, Nick." Olivia watched him as his eyes touched hers. The sad thing was that Olivia truly believed this.
"It's the job Liv," Nick said to her, "It is not you, I promise. Not to be weird or anything, I am just saying that if you met a man who was madly in love with you, enough to do anything for you. Support you and not have strings attached… I think you could be happy. This is New York," Olivia was thankful that he did not give her the typical speech of how she would settle down one day… blah blah blah. Olivia had been searching for cats on Craigslist and then realized that the poor thing would never see her.
"The last man who was THE MAN of my life was not even… legitimate." Olivia regretted even saying anything. Once the words left her mouth she wished for a rewind option, "I just need… a cat."
"Ok… let's clear this up first, Liv I refuse to let you be a cat lady. And two… that man of your life… it was Elliot right?"
"God you are so not good with subtext are you?" Olivia scoffed, it was true. Nick never beat around the bush but that was one of the things she liked about him. When they did talk it was always straight forward, there was nothing cryptic on either end. They even fought at times for being too blunt with one another.
"Look Liv… I am not going to try to dissect the entire Elliot thing with you again, I am always here for you, ya know that. But remember the night we stayed up after I asked you about him?" Nick's question caused a visual for Olivia and she sighed. It was a night she wanted to forget, she had cried and she had laughed… well most of it was crying. Damn Nick for bringing it up.
"It was not that long of a night, Nick." Olivia took a long sip of her coffee that was now warm.
"Six hours Liv… six… hours," Nick held up his fingers as if feeling the need to emphasize it.
"Six hours was the short version," Olivia defended her argument, "Also you asked." She reminded him.
"Stop dodging the subject," Nick gave her a smirk and she sighed. Nick knew her too well and she looked down at her coffee that needed to be freshened up.
"Ok… so what do you want to say about him?" Olivia knew that Nick was about to give her advice that she already knew. That is was just a work relationship, nothing more. Elliot was too catholic to ever leave his miserable marriage, but Olivia understood that as well. It was an open book that was never closed. Olivia braced herself for the same thing she had told herself over and over again.
"Elliot was about to divorce his wife, he had started to move on," Nick began as if reading Olivia's mind, "Then there was the work aspect but something grew between you two. All my money is on you two fell in love with one another, which is entirely plausible." Nick held a hand up to let Olivia know he was trying to be gentle, "Elliot made the mistake of hitting his soon to be ex-wife up for a late night session," Nick paused to give Olivia time to breathe, "By that time, you began to see him as your one and only. Elliot got back with his wife under obligation and you were just…"
"Left hanging," Olivia could feel the tears trying to fill her eyes but she shook her head, "It was just always so complicated." Olivia spoke the words she knew all too well.
"It's really not, Liv." Nick told her as he pulled his wallet out, "You just say it is complicated so you do not have to admit the truth." Nick pulled out ten dollar bill as he picked up the check.
"It's my turn to pay," Olivia reminded him, relieved for the distraction but also felt like she was left on a string above water.
"Then you'll owe me," Nick handed it to their waitress, "Keep the change as a tip," Nick began to slide his coat on as Olivia just sat there staring him down, "What?" He asked her after a few moments.
"So am I supposed to tune in next week for your next sentence?" Olivia questioned Nick and he chuckled at Olivia's reaction.
"Oh… I just figured that you would finally admit the truth," Nick gave her a sly grin and Olivia flushed at his attempted trap.
"I'd rather keep that a cold case," Olivia grabbed her purse, feel a tad bit unsatisfied.
"Liv, come on you cannot keep living in denial. Once you admit it, you can move on." Nick now refused to let it go and Olivia felt exhausted from the subject. If there was a way to delete a person from another's heart, Olivia would have already been there and done that.
"Move on from what? From something that was not even real?" Olivia rubbed the bridge of her nose in stress, as if relieving the wrinkles that were etching onto her eyes.
"To admit that you fell in love with your partner, from the sounds of it, a part of him fell in love with you as well. However… the harsh matter is that he had to choose and he chose the other woman." Nick words were harsh but he said them in the kindest manner, "Liv… I have seen you attempt relationships with other men… they don't work out. You keep them at a distance,"
"Do you have any idea how painful what you just said to me was? It was like you saw a wound and threw a knife completely into it. You saw something healing and just ripped the bandage right off," Olivia could actually feel her chest tighten, "Do you think it did not kill me when he went back to her?" Olivia could feel the pain rise in her and she did not want to bring down the party but her evident tears had stormed down the door, "I should get home," Her voice turned cold as her heart did the same. How was she able to go from feeling alright to completely depressed?
"Liv-" The remorse dripped in Nick's voice and she just shook her head, telling herself to not have a panic attack. For some reason whenever she was reminded of the pain it made her want to scream or possibly throw up.
"Let's never speak about this ever again ok?" Olivia said to him, her voice sounded as cold as she felt.
"God, I am such an ass-hole," Nick reached out to cup her hand but she retreated, "Liv… I am so sorry, I was… projecting and it was wrong of me. A broken heart is never easy to mend, in fact I don't think it ever completely heals," The air between them had become so thick that Olivia started to get hot.
"It never gets easier," Olivia stood up from her seat and Nick mimicked her, "It just gets worse,"
"Maybe you need to get away," Nick said to her softly, "Finally take a vacation," Olivia finally let him touch her arm and she just felt like a walking zombie.
"You mean run away?" Olivia was trying to pick herself up out of the hole she had been thrown into.
"No, not run away. Just take a step outside of the box… get a new perspective on shit, you know?" Nick's voice was calming Olivia down a bit but she still felt empty. The idea of going home and sleeping alone made her feel entirely worse, Damn Elliot all to Hell, wherever he was.
"You want some company tonight?" Nick's offer would have sounded like a romantic gesture to anyone else but to Olivia she knew exactly what he meant. Ever since Nick's family problems, he and Olivia had started to keep one another company during the night. In a non-sexual way of course but it seemed to help both of them. Neither one of them wanted an empty relationship with someone, so they decided one night, after falling asleep together while watching a movie, that it was an option.
"Company would be nice," Olivia was grateful to have him and they flagged down a Taxi together. Since Nick's home was like a murder scene to him, they always chose Olivia's apartment to curl up in. They stayed quiet during the ride but Nick did find her hand and she let him squeeze it. Olivia's apartment smelled like vanilla and she was comforted by the scent as they walked in.
"I'll go get the pillows," Nick threw his coat on a chair and Olivia nodded. They never slept in her bed since that was just too inappropriate, so what they did was set up a comfortable couch and floor arrangement. Nick showed back up with blankets and some pillows, "You want the couch again?" Nick asked her and she nodded. Olivia removed her shoes and jacket before plopping down on the couch. Nick laid down next to her on a few cushions, "Good night Liv… sweet dreams." Nick shut off the light and she could hear him getting comfortable.
"Night," She rested her head down and was grateful to have Nick as her company. Shutting her eyes, she willed herself to not cry. There was a sense of feeling like was about fall but when she felt Nick's hand take hers, she was able to breathe. Letting her left arm lean off of the couch, she kept holding onto his hand and they fell asleep that way.
Nick awoke without his alarm going off, he saw Olivia sleeping soundly as if she was in a peaceful and deep sleep. Getting up softly so he did not wake her up, he went over to Olivia's fridge. He wrote a note, telling her that he was getting coffee and would be back soon. Shutting the door softly, Nick pondered how interesting their situation was. They spent the nights with each other but never did anything; it was surprisingly comforting because he did not see Olivia as a romantic interest. Olivia did not see him that way either and that is what made it nicer. Healing a heart was not as hard when you had someone to help you through it. Just as he entered the lobby, he saw a man over at the mailboxes. Staying on caution, Nick cleared his throat as if to make sure the man knew he was in danger in case he was trespassing.
"Are you Nick Amaro?" The man asked him, causing Nick to stop in his tracks.
"Yeah, I'm detective Amaro, can I help you?" Nick kept his guard up as the man looked in emotional pain.
"You don't recognize me?" Who was this guy kidding? Was he supposed to know who this guy was? Nick's brain was not working as well as usual that morning, "Wow," The man looked hurt.
"You'll have to excuse me, it was short night and too early of a morning," Nick squinted at the man and then something clicked, he did look familiar and then it hit Nick, "Holy shit… Stabler?" Nick was aghast as the man nodded, "You have one minute to give me a good reason as to why you are here," Nick let Elliot know, his chest tightened, hoping he would not get into a fight with this man.
"Only one minute? Ok… well… I need your help with a Christmas present slash apology for Liv…" Elliot sounded like he was in emotional turmoil.
"Are you… fucking serious?" Nick wanted to laugh just to relieve the tension, "You want my help?"
"Look, I fucked up with everything. I honestly think she will chop my head off if I just walk up to her, so I need to… somehow make it so she doesn't kill me ya know?" Elliot gave a good argument and Nick battled within himself.
"You swear to God that you are not going to hurt her again?"
"Because if I help you and you fuck it up I will personally kill you… well help Olivia kill you. Got it?" Nick swallowed hard as he saw Elliot stand up straight, "Look, I know that it must have taken a lot of balls to come here… so alright… I will help out. ONLY if it is going to make her happy, because if this makes her-"
"I get it; you'll get a restraining order… I respect your protective vibe and am happy to see that she's got someone who has her back." Elliot did look truly grateful before narrowing his eyes, "So did you spend the night? You and Liv-"
"Oh boy…" Nick groaned, "Look if you are as tough as everyone says you are, don't put a front up with me, you got it?"
"Look, my anger management courses have been working really well but you are pushing it," Elliot now had an edge to his voice, "Why don't I join you to go get coffee? That is where you are going right? To go get coffee for you and Liv?" Elliot looked like someone had just hit him with a cactus.
"Yeah and hey… it's not what you think. Liv and I… she's like a sister to me alright?" Nick let Elliot know and he looked like someone had just given him the good news that he was going to live, "So… what's this plan that you need my help with?"
"You can't let her know what I am planning," Elliot told Nick and the two men headed for the coffee shop, on a mission… a mission to get coffee and hopefully rebuild Olivia Benson's heart.
…LOL. I beg you guys to review… this story is too much fun.