Olivia circled her clit with her vibrator. It made her breath hitch and she quietly moaned.
As she began to put it inside of her, she imagined Elliot on top of her. Pushing himself further into her, his blue eyes staring into her brown, kissing her neck, whispering naughty things in her ear.
Just as she was close to climaxing, her brain suddenly popped the image of Kathy lying on the stretcher after the explosion.
The moment was ruined. Olivia couldn't finish, and she suddenly felt very guilty. This wasn't anything new, ever since the explosion that took Kathy's life, Olivia was having trouble thinking about Elliot without feeling guilty. She had tried thinking about past lovers who made her feel good, sexy men from TV, anyone else, but since his return, she could only focus on Elliot. As a result, she hadn't had any relief in months and was getting very irritated. She considered calling a fling to come by, but she knew what would happen. She would think of Elliot, then Kathy, and she still wouldn't be able to finish.
Frustrated, she threw the covers off of her and walked into the kitchen for a bite to eat. She wondered if this was important enough to make an appointment with Lindstrom for, or if she just needed to figure something else out. Things were weird between her and Elliot, although not necessarily in a bad way. He was getting better and she was happy for him. She wasn't sure where their relationship was heading though. She was afraid to lose him and at the same time wanted nothing more than to devour him... if she could just get Kathy out of her head.
She tried talking out loud.
"Kathy, are you deliberately trying to keep me away from your husband?" She wondered. That didn't feel right though. This was clearly a mental block of some kind.
She found some cheese and crackers and plopped onto the couch with them, brooding. Suddenly, her phone rang and when she looked at the screen, she lit up. Elliot was calling.
"Hey" she answered.
"Hey Liv" He said. "Um, listen. I'm having trouble. Sleeping. And stuff. I'm a wreck. Can I come over? To talk?"
She could hear the anxiety in his voice. Noah was sleeping, so she said
"Sure. I'll text you the address. Noah's sleeping though, so text me when you're outside the door."
When they hung up, Olivia briefly wondered if she should change, then chided herself. She was going to comfort her friend and that was it. She did decide she needed some pants, a long t-shirt might give Elliot the wrong idea.
Within an hour, Olivia had pants on, wine out, and her hair brushed and Elliot texted her to let her know he was at her door.
To be continued
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
The next day, Olivia called Lindstrom up to make an appointment. She was going to get to the bottom of this once and for all.
As she sat in front of Lindstrom, she began to tell him everything. Being called to the scene, seeing Kathy. Feeling utterly helpless as they loaded her into the ambulance. Kathy dying. And how every single time she thought of Elliot in any way that wasn't purely platonic, she felt guilty and flashed back to Kathy on that stretcher.
"What thoughts do you have associated with that guilt?" Lindstrom asked.
"Mostly how I can't do this, can't do this to Kathy." Olivia replied.
"But Kathy is gone. You're not doing anything to her." Lindstrom replied.
"I know that logically. But emotionally... emotionally I feel like I'm betraying her."
"So maybe you and Elliot need to take things slowly. Get used to being in each other's presence. It sounds like you have some of your own grief to work through too." He said.
And with that, the session ended. Olivia climbed back into her car and turned her phone back on. She started the car and hit shuffle on the music app on her phone.
"Close your eyes, give me your hand darling. Do you feel my heart beating?"
Olivia smiled. She loved this song.
"I believe, it's meant to be darling. I watch you when you are sleeping. You belong with me."
Olivia smiled and briefly remembered kissing Elliot last night while the song played. Then, the image of Kathy broke through her reverie again and she cursed. She pushed the button to skip to the next song.
"We're only getting older baby, and I've been thinking about it lately"
Olivia frowned and skipped that song too. The next song was All Coming Back To Me by Celine Dion. Skip. Skip. Skip.
Every single song that popped up was another song that reminded her of Elliot Stabler. She finally turned the radio off and finished the drive in silence.
She walked up the steps feeling slightly annoyed when she got a text from Elliot.
"Hope ur having a gd day." With a photo of a beautiful bouquet of flowers. She smiled and replied "it's good, hope yours is too"
"Want me 2 bring dinner?" He asked.
Olivia thought about it carefully. On the one hand. She didn't want to have the same issue as last night. On the other, Lindstrom did say they should get used to each other before going any further. She replied "Food is fine, bring enough for Noah too"
She walked in the door, and decided to relax before picking Noah up from school.
To be continued
Noah climbed into the back of the SUV.
"HI Mom!" He said
"Hey baby, how was school?" Olivia replied.
"It was great! Except for recess when Cheyenne Henson tried to kiss me. I didn't like that. I told her no, and when she tried again I said IT'S MY BODY AND I SAID NO! The teacher came to see what happened and now she's mad at me. Did I do the right thing mom?"
"You absolutely did the right thing, Noah." Olivia replied. "Nobody is allowed to touch you in a way you don't want. In a couple of years, you might like someone kissing you. But until then, you don't have to let anyone."
"My teacher said she did it because she likes me." Noah replied.
Olivia felt her blood boil. "I'll have a talk with your teacher" she replied. "Hey sweet boy, Mom's gonna have a friend over for dinner, is that okay?"
“Who is it?” Noah asked.
“My friend Elliot. You’ve seen him before, but you haven’t met yet.”
“Is he your boyfriend? Is that why I haven’t met him?”
Olivia blushed “No, Noah. He was Mommy’s friend and work partner for a very long time before you were born. He’s been away and he just came back.”
"Oh, okay!" Noah said. As they drove back he told her all about the rest of his day.
When they got back to the apartment, Olivia situated Noah with his homework and went to draw a bath. She added fragrant bubbles and climbed in. She lay soaking in the tub for a while, listening to the sounds of the bubbles popping and her heart beating. Then, she heard Noah's footsteps outside the bathroom door.
"Mom, someone's at the door!" He said.
She looked at her watch lying on the side of the tub. Elliot was early.
"Okay, leave the chain on and open the door. Ask them who they are. If it's someone you know or if it's Elliot you can let them in."
"Okay mom!" Noah said. She heard his feet run off towards the door, and she pulled herself out of the tub. She dried herself off with a towel, and wrapped herself in her fluffiest robe. She then went to the bedroom door and poked her head out. Elliot was talking to Noah, and looked up at Olivia.
"I wasn't expecting you so early." She said "Will you be okay out here while I get dressed?"
"Go, Liv. It's fine." He said waving her off before turning his attention back to Noah.
Olivia walked back into her bedroom and threw open her closet. She thought she had at LEAST an hour before Elliot showed up. Now she was overwhelmed. What do you wear when the love of your life shows up out of the blue with a dead wife and kisses you and stays the night on your couch and is bringing you and your son dinner? She went through her closet and nothing seemed right. It was all too casual or too dressy. Finally, she gave up and grabbed a white t-shirt and a pair of jeans. This was her house and she was going to be comfortable, but she also wasn't going to let him see her looking like a bum either.
When she emerged from the bedroom, Elliot looked up and looked her up and down with a small smile on his face. She felt self conscious for a minute, until she remembered he had seen her in pajamas last night. That was different though.
"Hey, I thought I'd take you and Noah out for pizza, if thats okay with you." Elliot said. "There's a place across town that has an arcade in it too."
Olivia was surprised. "Uhh, sure" she said. "Noah, go get your shoes on and we can go."
"Okay mom!" He said. And ran off to his room leaving Olivia and Elliot alone.
Olivia's heart began to beat faster as Elliot looked at her.
"You look nice" He said.
"All I did was throw on some jeans, Elliot." Olivia answered
"Yeah, but they look nice on you" He replied.
They sat in silence for another minute.
"Are you okay with what happened yesterday?" Elliot asked quietly.
"You know Elliot, I'm struggling right now. I don't regret it, but I don't know what's happening or how to cope or anything really right now. I also don't want you to do something you'll regret later."
"I don't regret anything either. And when it comes to you... I'm scared. I can't lose you."
"Well let's just take this one day at a time." Olivia said. "We can just take things step by step and see what's it goes."
Just then, Noah came out of his room.
"I'm ready!" He exclaimed, bouncing on his toes.
Olivia laughed and said "Well let's go mister"
To be continued
Elliot, Noah, and Olivia had a blast at the pizza arcade. Noah won a lot of tickets and got some toys. Elliot played with Noah and Olivia enjoyed watching Noah and Elliot get to know each other.
As they all walked back to the car, Elliot said "I left my phone inside. I'll be right back."
Olivia and Noah waited for Elliot.
"So did you have fun sweet boy?" Olivia asked.
"Yeah, mom! Elliots great! He taught me how to skeeball and win the most tickets! He's really good!"
Olivia laughed "I'm glad you had fun with Elliot."
Just then, Elliot came out of the arcade holding a large stuffed pink giraffe. It was nearly as big as he was.
"What is THAT" Olivia asked, amused.
"For you," Elliot said.
Olivia laughed. "How? When?"
"I won my fair share of tickets too and thought I'd get you something to remember this day" Elliot said.
"I love it, El" She said shyly.
When they arrived back at the apartment, it was time for Noah to get ready for bed. Olivia tucked him in after his shower and his teeth were brushed, and kissed his forehead goodnight. She walked back into the living room to see Elliot sitting on the couch. Olivia sat down next to him.
"Thank you, Elliot. I had fun tonight and I know Noah did too."
Elliot smiled and Olivia couldn't help but capture his lips. He groaned slightly and kissed her back. They sat there like that for a while just kissing. Elliot then moved his hands up to Olivia's rib cage. Olivia let herself feel the warmth of his hands, when suddenly the image of Kathy on the stretcher came back. Olivia broke the kiss.
"Damn!" She said
"What happened? Did I do something wrong?" Elliot asked, concern lining his face.
"No, it's not you." Olivia said. "It's just I can't get the image of Kathy on that stretcher out of my head."
Elliot leaned in and hugged Olivia.
"I'm so sorry." He said. "I wish I could take it away."
He continued to hold Olivia against him, rubbing her back and shoulders until she fell asleep on him. Then he adjusted himself onto the couch and fell asleep with Olivia in his arms
The next morning she woke up feeling extremely comfortable. Her mind flashed back to last night. Kissing Elliot. Crying in his arms. Falling asleep. She realized she was still in his arms, so she allowed herself to enjoy it for a moment. And then the image came unbidden again. She frantically shot up out of Elliot's arms, causing him to wake up.
"Liv. Are you ok?" He asked.
"I'm fine." She replied.
"Did I scare you?" He asked.
"No, no. It's just... I need to get Noah to school. Will you wait for me?"
"Of course," He replied.
Olivia quickly got Noah up and ready for school. Before she left, she said to Elliot "I'll be back in an hour, make yourself comfortable."
After dropping Noah off at school, she stopped by the bakery for two breakfast muffins and two coffees. As she slowly made her way back to her apartment, she tried to figure out what to say to Elliot. She certainly couldn't drop her issues on him. She knew she wanted him, but was unable to get past the pain and guilt of Kathy.
She walked back into the apartment, set her keys and purse on the counter, and then made her way to the couch where Elliot was watching tv. She sat down, and he put his arm around her. She leaned in to kiss him, and dipped her tongue into his mouth, pulling him closer. After a minute, she grabbed one of his hands and put it on her breast. Elliot stopped, and looked at Olivia.
"Are you sure?" He said, remembering last night's events.
"Yes." Olivia replied "Just do it."
Softly, he squeezed her breast and she moaned. He kissed her again and massaged her. The unbidden image of Kathy came back, but Olivia forced herself to continue. Tears began to stream down her face, causing Elliot to break apart and remove his hand.
"Olivia," He said. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing." She replied. "Let's just get this over with."
Elliot was stunned.
"Olivia. This isn't something I want to get over with. You... you mean a lot to me. I'm not just going to fuck you knowing you're not ready for this."
"Just do it Elliot. I can't move forward until you do."
Elliot looked into Olivia's eyes.
"You're not ready. You're still grieving. I won't take advantage of you."
"Well, I'm tired of being cock blocked by your dead wife so if we can just make this happen maybe she'll go away."
"Or maybe" Elliot replied slowly. "You need to grieve. I know she was your friend too. You saw her on that stretcher after the explosion. You're hurting too."
Olivia began to cry
"It's not fair. I just..."
Elliot pulled her close.
"I'm here. I'm not leaving you again."
He held her and rubbed her back and let her cry on his shirt.
"When it's time, we will both know" He said.