“Noah? Don’t forget to grab your toothbrush,” Olivia calls from her bedroom as she puts on her earrings and takes a quick glance in her mirror.
“I got it!” Noah presses himself against the doorjamb of her room and gives her an assessing look. “Are you going out with Uncle Elliot again?”
Olivia turns, mimicking his expression, “I am…”
Noah ponders this then smiles suddenly, “You look nice, Mom.”
“Thanks, sweet boy,” she ruffles his hair as she walks past him. “Noah? What do you think of Uncle Elliot?” She turns back to her son, who is furrowing his brow in concentration. Before he can reply, there’s a knock at the door.
“Who is it?” Noah yells in excitement as he bounds forward.
“It’s Elliot,” Liv can hear his muffled voice and watches as Noah swings the door open.
“Hey Noah,” Elliot smiles down at him and the boy flaps his arm wide in a gesture to enter. “Hey Liv.” Elliot turns to her and it still surprises her how fast her grin splits her face in response, how such a simple and familiar greeting still makes her feel euphoric.
She watches him turn back to her son. “Eli asked me to bring these to you,” Elliot holds a bag out to Noah who grabs it with a quick thank you and starts rifling through the stash of comic books. Elliot takes the moment of distraction to walk over and plant a kiss on Liv’s cheek.
“More comic books? We’re going to be drowning in them if you keep this up. It’s only been a few months and I had to buy him another bookshelf,” She quietly scolds.
“I am not above bribery,” Elliot grins and she laughs helplessly in response.
There’s another knock and Noah is again bounding to the door and calling out. This time it’s his company for the evening, one of his newer friends coming to pick him up for a sleepover.
Olivia shares a few words with the father and helps Noah with his jacket. As she leans down to hug him, Noah grabs her shoulders and leans towards her ear, whispering, “I think I like him.”
Olivia pulls back slightly, “Uncle Elliot?” she whispers.
Noah nods and Olivia cocks an eyebrow. “I think you like him because he keeps bringing you comics.” Her voice is still hushed as she teases her son.
His expression suddenly turns serious. He tilts his head for a moment in thought and then shakes it. “He makes you happy. That’s why I like him.” Noah smiles again.
Her eyes fill with tears and Olivia laughs softly. His assessment is so precise, so correct. It’s a relief that her son has accepted Elliot. But it’s more - the realization that she really is happy. The fear that he’ll disappear, that he doesn’t really love her, is gone. Months together now and she understands that he’s managed against all odds to earn her trust. She wonders now how she ever doubted he would. “He does make me happy. And you make me happy.” She kisses her son’s cheek then watches him wave goodbye to El and follow his friend out the door.
Olivia’s quiet for a long moment and Elliot asks, “You ok, Liv?”
She pauses and looks up at him and there’s a shine in her eyes and he steps towards her, tucking her hair behind her ear.
“I love you, El” it’s soft and sweet and the best thing he’s ever heard.
He grins and hauls her towards him, his lips finding hers and their bodies entwining. He pulls back when they’re breathless, pressing kisses to her cheek, her forehead. Finally he pulls back to look into her eyes, “Just remember, I said it first, Benson.”
She laughs giddily, “Yeah, you wouldn’t shut up about it, Stabler.” She smacks his arm lightly.
“I love you, Liv” and then he’s kissing her again.
She reaches for his belt, the first time they’ve toed a boundary they set when they started to date 7 months prior. They had both wanted to take the time, to ensure there were no misgivings, no regrets. He stops kissing her, pulls back and looks at her questioningly. “What about dinner?”
The smile she gives him is sure and filled with love. “We can order in later.”
He grins down at her, his eyes so full of love that she feels her chest constrict. Olivia takes a shaky breath, trying to memorize the moment, this feeling. And then she knows so suddenly that there will be so many more of these moments. A lifetime left of moments and she feels dizzy with happiness.
He reads her expression with understanding and smiles softly in return. Elliot takes her hands, drops a kiss to each palm and then turns her gently around. His hands wrap around her ribcage, his thumbs drawing small circles as he holds her. He noses underneath the fall of her hair, skims his mouth up her neck, under her ear, nuzzling. He’s learned it as a favorite spot and returns to it so she’ll gasp and sigh and lean back against him.
His hands slide up and over to the top of her zipper and he slowly opens her dress, his knuckles skimming her flesh as he goes. He allows his lips to travel the exposed skin as he peels the dress away from her body.
He turns her back to him, takes her face in his hands and kisses her lips, her forehead. She reaches again for his belt but he steadies her hands, “Not yet.” Elliot unclasps her bra allowing it to fall away, his eyes greedily roving her breasts as her chest rises and falls with each shuddering breath. Not satisfied just to look, he skitters his fingers up her arms across her collarbone and down her breasts, teasing her tightened nipples. “El,” she gasps and he responds by pressing kisses along her collarbone, across the valley of her breasts, down her stomach, kneeling in front of her. His tongue traces the edge of her lace underwear before gently pulling it off, his mouth moving along her thighs.
Olivia reaches for his shoulder, steadying herself against him and he looks up, “You’re so beautiful,” he breathes and for once it feels good to hear a compliment and she doesn’t shy away from it, just moans her acceptance. He stands, wraps his arms around her, allows his hands to press over her shoulder blades, holding their bodies together. His hands slide down her back as he kisses her shoulders, her neck, breathes in the scent of her shampoo, her perfume, her.
He picks her up, carries her into the bedroom and lays her down. His mouth wanders, sucking at the inside of her knee, nipping at her hip, his tongue swiping into her belly button. He tastes all the spots he’s wanted to know over the years, his fingers seeking out pleasure points between her thighs and he catalogues all of it as he goes, every moan and sigh, so he can do it all again and again.
He’s waited so long for this moment and though he feels impatient for the moment he’ll be inside her, he wants more to treasure every second, make up for all the time lost, savor this momentous shift. And he wants her to feel worshiped, loved and adored. To show her all the things he had to hide and bury for so long. She deserves that and more, so much more.
She reaches for him once more and this time he allows her to help with his tie, his shirt buttons, his belt. They work together, sharing kisses, sharing air.
It’s her turn to explore his bared skin as the clothing falls away and he takes pleasure in her touch, a touch he’s craved for so long. His fingers glide through her dark hair as her mouth traces along muscle and flesh, surveying his ribs and his hips.
She takes him in her hand and guides him into her and they sink together, eyes locked, blissful. He stills inside her and she sighs. After all the years of longing, this is so much more, more beautiful, more real than she had ever dreamed. It’s overwhelming and impossible to fathom, but when he kisses her she knows they’re finally here, they’re finally home. He presses his forehead against hers, “Liv….Liv…” he whispers, fervent, adoring. His eyes are welling and she reaches up, cups his cheek in her palm. He closes his eyes, pushing his face against her palm and a tear slips onto her thumb. Olivia kisses his cheek tenderly, then his jaw, his neck just below his ear. Each kiss shifting the mood slightly until finally he moves and she gasps beneath him.
They begin to move together, a slow, emotional pace giving way to a more heated passion. He changes his angle and she moans as he increases the speed. The moment builds between them and he reaches between their bodies, playing his fingers against her clit. As she careens towards her climax she looks into his eyes, “I love you, El. So much.”
“Olivia,” he responds, the rest of it unspoken but there in his eyes, his hands. And then she’s falling and she can feel him there with her, calling her name.
They cuddle together, they’re breathing evening out, and she looks up to find him watching her and he doesn’t need to say it for her to know he’s thinking it too. Finally.
The squad is standing outside the courtroom congratulating Carisi on a win when Fin glances over at Olivia, “Hey, don’t you have a dinner that you need to get to?” Olivia tosses a glance his way that Kat recognizes as annoyance. The same look the captain always gives Fin when he brings up things that are too personal. But Amanda had been right over a year ago now; Olivia‘s been too happy for a long time to get too irritated with Fin and all his knowing looks.
“Oooh tonight’s the big family dinner. How ya doing, Liv? Nervous?” Amanda chimes in and when Olivia laughs, brushes a fingertip against her temple, it’s only confirmation.
“Look, want my advice?” Fin asks, genuine care instead of teasing.
“Think you’re going to give it to me anyways,” Olivia ribs him.
“El’s kids have known you forever and they already love you. You don’t have to do anything special.”
She gives Fin a watery sort of smile, “Well, I’m sure you all have this under control, so I’ll see you Monday. Enjoy your weekends.” As she walks away she can hear Carisi ask, “Her and Stabler? That’s happening?” and Amanda guffawing, “Where have you been?!”
Liv stands by the dining table, rapping her fingers nervously on the surface. She surveys the table, the living room, sure she’s forgotten something important.
Elliot approaches softly from behind, gently slides his hands to her hips, pulling her back into his chest. “It’s going to be great. You don’t have to worry.”
She sighs, turns, “I just don’t want it to go wrong.”
“And it won’t. They all know, they’ve known for months. Most of them have seen you since. Noah and Eli get along already. And there hasn’t been a single word against it. What are you so nervous about?” He tucks a strand of hair behind her ear, his fingertips lingering in the sensitive spot there.
“It’s your family.”
He smiles at her concern, her care, at the fact that soon enough it’ll be her family too. But he thinks maybe she needs this evening to go well first, before anything else.
“They love you and I love you.” She leans into him, as he cradles her head against his chest, then startles when the bell rings.
Olivia pulls back, “Oh god…”
He grins easily, “Come on,” and takes her hand, walking them over to the front door. He pauses, let’s go of her hand so he can scooch her towards the door.
She stills her hands and opens the door and there’s bright greetings and happy faces and she breathes slightly easier as she hugs the Stabler kids and accepts plates of cookies and ushers them inside.
It’s so much easier than she expected, so much more welcoming. And everyone had been right, there had been nothing to worry about. There is an awkward pause when Elizabeth mentions Kathy’s famous pot roast and no one knows where to look until Olivia agrees it’s the best and asks if Liz needs the recipe. And then there’s several relieved faces and Elliot reaches under the table and squeezes her knee.
The evening is filled with laughter and Olivia holds back a swell of emotion when she thinks about how she’s longed for more family over the years, how this is something she’s been waiting for. Noah is asleep on the couch by the time the Stabler kids leave and she watches Elliot pick up her sleeping boy and follows as he tucks him into bed. They collapse onto the couch together, her leaning into his chest, his arm around her shoulders.
“See, nothing to worry about,” Elliot says as his fingers brush through her hair.
She tilts her head up and smiles at him and he’s sure he’s been blessed. He kisses her. “Are you happy?” He asks her softly. And she hums, “So happy. You make me so happy.” And he thinks he might cry, because that’s all he’s ever needed to do. Make her happy.