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there won't be an end can't forget the start

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[ S E P T E M B E R . 2 3 • C A P T A I N x D E T E C T I V E ] ||

Love is an intangible feeling that even in its simplest form is difficult to understand and damn near impossible to pinpoint. Throughout the centuries, philosophers have tried to describe it. Throughout the centuries in art, sculptors and painters have tried to capture the very essence of it with their paints and colors. Throughout the centuries in literature, authors have tried to explain it.

No one seems to be able to capture the all encapsulating emotion that drives people to do things they wouldn’t normally do in the name of it. No one seems to be able to capture what love is or how to know it exists within our hearts. It’s just one of those things that is.

Love, it seems, is complex. But, is it really? Maybe people are complicated and love…isn’t.

When she was younger, Olivia Benson found herself falling in love with the words written by Leo Tolstoy in Anna Karenina. It wasn’t until she began working as a Detective with the 16th precinct and was assigned to one Detective Elliot Stabler that she suddenly found the words on the pages reflecting more or less her own feelings.

“All the diversity,
all the charm,
and all the beauty of life
are made up of light and shade.”

She remembers the first time she looked at him and realized that there was more to this man that met the eye. It was after a particularly trying case and he had been all rage and injustice at the crime that was committed. Though she rarely flinched, she had jumped when he had slammed the man’s head against the window in the box and when they walked out of the room after he confessed to his crime against the little girl, he had also admitted to several additional crimes. When she’d gone to the locker room to catch a breath, he had followed.

He followed and made sure that he apologized for making her jump. She’d tried to wave it off, but then he told this story about his second oldest daughter, Katie, and she melted inside – looking at this man who was suddenly so soft and easy to smile at. She looked at him differently that day – because even though he was rough with the suspects, he was truly a giant teddy bear when it came to dealing with women and children, and especially her.

 “He looked at her as a man might look at a faded flower he had plucked,
in which it was difficult for him to trace all the beauty that had made him pick
and so destroy it.”

She knew he never meant for it to happen. She never meant for it to happen, but it had. The moment he looked at her with his crystal blue eyes and told her “I’m sorry.” And told her “It’s okay.” she had closed her eyes and shook her head for a split second. She could never pull the trigger against him. She would never be able to. She’d rather turn the barrel on her own heart and pull the trigger before she ever would pull it facing him.

I can’t. I’m sorry.

He always ran away before he could admit what it was he really wanted to say to her. Because he knew if he said it out loud, it would make it true. It would destroy every last delicate thing that they'd built. 

The more he did nothing, the less time he had to do anything.”

"Any way you want to have children, I'll support you."

He'd already gone back home at that point. He was ridiculous and ran out of time to do anything for her. Anything at all. 

Then, the shooting.

She didn’t hear from him for ten years.

In those ten years, she realized that it didn’t matter she hadn’t heard his voice. If she closed her eyes and took a deep breath, she could feel him. She felt his presence all the time. Before she’d walk into a room she would take an even deeper breath and look up to the sky, they weren’t getting any younger.

It didn’t matter that she hadn’t seen him at all during those ten years. The minute he was in front of her again, she realized it never mattered. Nothing mattered to them except for the present, and if that’s all she was given, she would make damn sure that neither of them would live to regret anything ever again.


“It will pass, it will all pass, we’re going to be so happy!
If our love could grow any stronger,
it would grow stronger because there is something horrifying in it.”

When she realized she was still in love with him, it was during the middle of a case just months after he’d gotten back. She’d excused herself to the ladies’ room and had been surprised when her Sergeant, appeared leaning against the door and locking the lock while she collapsed to the floor in wracking sobs while he crouched down and pulled her into his arms.

“Liv, it’ll be alright.”

“It’s too much.” She had admitted to her sergeant, her hand held over her chest. “I thought I – I thought I was …”

“It’s never been over between the two of you.” He’d whispered against her head and she just gripped his arm tighter, shaking her head and repeating the multiple no’s that were escaping her sobbing body. “Doesn’t matter the amount of years, Liv. What you two have? Most people only dream of.”

Being in love with Detective Elliot Stabler was horrifying, because she realized it never mattered that he had left. It just made her heart ache more deeply for the man. The Captain was at a total loss.

“Anna had been preparing herself for this meeting,
had thought what she would say to him,
but she did not succeed in saying anything of it;
his passion mastered her.
She tried to calm him, to calm herself,
but it was too late. His feeling infected her.
Her lips trembled so that for a long while she could say nothing.”

When he returned into her life, they sat in the hospital and had a discussion. 

"You were the single most - important person in my life and you disappeared."

"If I heard your voice, I wouldn't have been able to leave."

The admissions took the air right out of their lungs. 

A few months later, they had found a new rhythm. A new cadence. A new position with one another. 

“Tell me what you want from this.” He’d said to her standing on the roof of the 1-6 at New Year’s Eve. She’d taken a deep breath, the crisp and cool air cutting through her lungs and leaving her body as quickly as it had invaded. “I have to know, where do you see this going?”

She’d stared up at him with tears in her eyes and bit down on her bottom lip. “Honestly, El?” She asked, her brown eyes digging into his blue ones with an intensity that he’d come to love and appreciate in the last few months. The lights that they’d strung up on the roof were lit and as the snowflakes began to fall down on top of them, she sighed heavily.

“I just…I can’t believe it’s true. I get to love you. I want to love you. I want to just…be with you. All the time. Every minute of every single day, Elliot. I’ve spent too much time running from this, and I’ve already told you that you’re it for me. But that’s my promise to you, I’ll always choose your heart. I’ll always choose your arms, and I’ll always choose you. No matter how many people tell me to stay away from you, I won’t listen to them. You’re my everything. Love is a journey and I promise I’m not leaving. Just…remember this moment, and every moment since October with me. Because goddamnit, we aren’t promised tomorrow at all, Elliot. But right now? I get to love you. And you get to love me. So do it, fucking love me, Detective.”

“Always, Captain.”

“You must understand,” said he, “it’s not love. I’ve been in love, but it’s not that.
It’s not my feeling, but a sort of force outside of me has taken possession of me.
I went away, you see, because I made up my mind that it could never be you,
you understand, as a happiness that does not come on earth;
but I’ve struggled with myself, I see there’s no living
without it.
And it must be settled.”

As he wrote on the pink post-it note telling her not to be late, he smiled. This was forever. It was settled. Love was a journey. It hadn’t been easy, but this is where they were. Where they were always supposed to be.


- finis