When she opened the door, Elliot looked like a mess. He had clearly been crying, he looked exhausted, and it hurt Olivia's heart. She let him in and he sat on a chair at the table. Olivia waited a beat before walking over and sitting next to him. He looked at her with such sadness, and Olivia couldn't help herself. She reached over and pulled his head to her chest and cradled it. Elliot began crying again.
After a few minutes, he lifted his head.
"Its... uh... I'm having these nightmares. They... won't go away. I can't make them stop. Sometimes it's Kathy. Sometimes it's Eli. Sometimes... it's you. God Liv, I can't lose anyone else."
Olivia leaned in.
"Look at me. You aren't going to lose me. Or Eli. Or anyone else. That's the panic and anxiety and stress talking. Here, take some deep breaths with me."
Olivia walked him through a breathing exercise, noticing his body becoming more relaxed. When they were finished, she gave him a hug.
"Feel better?" She asked.
"Yeah." He said slowly. He looked into her eyes and Olivia felt her heart beat faster. "Olivia... I meant what I said. You know, when I told you... told you I loved you."
Olivia's heart felt like it was going to explode out of her chest.
"I know you do, we've been friends for a long time." She replied.
Elliot scoffed. "That's not what I mean Olivia." He leaned closer to her, his nose almost touching hers. "I mean I'm IN love with you. I always have been"
Olivia tried fighting the smile coming on, but it was difficult. Elliot appeared to relax a little more watching her try and fail to contain her emotions. He tilted his head and brushed his lips against hers, softly.
Olivia returned the kiss with passion. This was what she wanted. This was what she needed. Elliots hands reached to hold her waist, caressing her with his thumbs. As Olivia placed her hands on his chest, the guilt came back again, and so did Kathy on the stretcher.
Olivia broke away.
"I can't do this Elliot. Not now." She said. Elliot looked confused and slightly hurt. "Its not that I don't want this, God I want this so bad. But I need to work through some stuff before we go there."
Elliot still looked confused, but he accepted her words. He got up to leave, but Olivia pulled him back down.
"Don't leave. Stay. You can stay here tonight. We just can't... do anything. Can't go any further. We can take this slow?"
Elliot nodded in agreement. He leaned over and hugged Olivia tightly and Olivia melted in his arms. If only her brain would let her go further. When they broke apart, she kissed him gently.
"I'll bring some blankets out." She told Elliot.
To be continued