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Elliot's Return

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Now, I think we all know that a certain Mr Elliot Stabler is coming back to his Livvy Love... Sorry, I mean, to lead his own unit, next year.

Obviously because of COVID, we may be waiting a bit before we get anymore information on what he's been doing the last nine years. So, here's my interpretation!

Enjoy!


 

He was so close.

So close to busting the ring wide open.

The same drug ring that had forced his son to smuggle drugs for them, before leading him down a path he never would've foreseen for his children. He just had to get the leader of the entire ring to confess what he had done, then he could bring his team crashing through the doors and go home.

Finally.

It was almost too good to true.

And it was.

You know that part in the movie, and the two main characters are about to confess their feelings, only for someone else to suddenly sweep in and put a spanner in the works?

He was living it.

Just as he knew the sentence he needed was about to slip past the drug leader lips, a loud bang echoed round the room.

"NYPD! HANDS UP WHERE WE CAN SEE THEM!"

He knew that voice anywhere. And this was not how it was going to go down. Knowing his chance was blown, he legged it through a door and down the stairs. He knew one of them would run after him and he hoped it would be Fin.

Fin. He could handle.

But, her... he wasn't ready to handle her yet. He knew he broke her heart, leaving the way he did. And he would be damned if this was going to be their reunion.

Sprinting as fast as he could, he banged the back door open and sprinted round the building to his car. "Abort! I repeat, Abort! Stand down. Stand down and clear the area!" He shouted into his receiver to his team. Skidding to the drivers door, he slammed it shout as he scrambled in and jammed the key into his ignition. His car roaring to life, he and his team quickly got away, leaving a trail of dust and a panting Fin behind him.

 


 

He knew it would be sooner rather than later when he would have to face his old team mates and his old partner again. He just wished it wasn't under this circumstance. His case had gotten a match for an unsolved sex crime a few years ago.

He had sighed when he realised he was going to have to cross paths with his old gang. Although he was Captain now, he still wanted to be out on the field and he always would be. He loved the thrill of chasing perps, the adrenaline when he caught them by Olivia's side. That hadn't changed.

Now, he sat in his car outside his old precinct. It hadn't changed much in the nine years and the half hour that he had spent trying to gather his courage to see his old partner again.

Nine years.

Nine years since he had kissed her and walked out of her life. Nine years since he sent her his medal. He wondered briefly was she had done with it, when he spotted Fin exiting the building with a small blonde woman, a small black haired woman and a tall guy with a grey quiff.

The new team, he mused. He watched them go out sight, leaving a few extra minutes just in case they came back. When none of them did, he exited his car and walked to the building. He faltered slightly as he remembered the last time he was here.

He shot a teenager dead.

Taking a deep breath, he walked inside and signed himself in before slipping into the elevator. Thankfully, at this time of night, the precinct was quiet. He just hoped their... her... squad-room would be too.

He watched the numbers ticking upwards, his hands becoming flaky and sweaty. Taking a deep breath as it reached the floor, he let it out as the doors slid open.

Straight into the line of vision of Olivia, who had just exited the squad-room for the night.

 


 

Olivia smiled as she waved off Fin and the rest of her squad. She had declined to go out with them, wanting to spend a bit of time on her own with a glass of wine and nice hot bubbly bath.

Finishing off her latest report, she put it in her pile before checking Fin's and Rollin's, making sure their facts were correct and that they backed up each other's statements. Satisfied, she added them to the pile to be put in boxes tomorrow.

Shutting down her computer, she tidied up her desk a little bit before packing her bag. Slipping her coat on, she hooked her bag over her shoulder and turned off the lights to her office.

Slipping her phone out of her pocket, she fired off a text to Lucy saying she was just about to leave to work. Heading out into the hallway, she smiled when Lucy sent her picture, with a message underneath presumably from Noah.

She was about to ask why Noah was still awake when the elevator dinged and the doors slid open.

Her phone hit the floor as the world disappeared around her. The only thing she could focus on was her old partner, who had stepped out into the hallway, staring at her.

The blood had rushed to her ears and she could feel herself taking shuddering breaths. One of them took a step forward and the bubble burst. The world came into focus again and she led out a visible shaky breath.

"Elliot..."

"Olivia." He slowly took a step towards her, stopping when she took one back. He thought about making a joke but quickly decided against it. He watched as she swiped her phone back up from the floor and shoved it back into her pocket.

She opened her mouth to say something, but nothing came out. She headed back into the squadroom, not really knowing what to do. What do you say to someone who broke your heart nine years ago and had blanked you ever since?

"Nothing changed much here then?"

She turned her head to find him at their old desks, which was now Fin and Rollins. With him looking round, she took him in. He looked older, laughter lines round his eyes, few days stubble round his face. He looked as though he kept himself in shape. She could see the faint outline of his abs if she stared hard enough. He was definitely grey now, which made him look even hotter... Nope, don't even go down that road.

"Well, nine years would change some things."

Oops.

Elliot tensed. "I'm sorry."

Olivia smiled disbelievingly and shook her head. Opening the door to her office, she set her bag back down before sighing, knowing her night plans had changed. Slipping the phone from her pocket again, she messaged Lucy, saying she was going to be late.

The door shut behind her and the blinds were drawn. Blocking them in a room.

For the first time in nine years.

"So... What do you want?" Olivia asked, sitting down on the sofa she had in the office.

"One of our cases has overlapped. A drug-"

"Cases?" She frowned, before seeing the badge clipped to his jeans as he turned to face her. "You're back in the force?" She asked, her voice breaking. "Since when?" She added.

"Officially, a few months."

Olivia blanched. "A few months?!" She frowned and shook her head. "The last time I saw you, you couldn't even pick up a gun-"

"I'm aware of what happened!" Elliot growled out, he had already had a flashback when he walked back in of that day. He sighed, relaxing his stance. "I couldn't pick up a gun for years. I've only managed to pick it up again in the last year."

"Last year?"

"I went to the shooting range after my therapy session one day."

Olivia's eyebrows shot up. "Therapy?!" She exclaimed, shock covering her tone before she quickly apologised. "Sorry, it's just..." she trailed off when she saw his amused expression.

"Yeah, trust me. Took me a long time to admit that I needed it."

"I told Cragen once that you'd tell anyone to go hell before you'd admit for a psych evaluation." The tension was slowly melting between them, but they had a long way to go. Glancing around the room, she was struggling to keep up the conversation.

"I heard you got your wish." Elliot said, picking up the photo of Noah and Olivia, smiling at the happiness on her face in photo. "He's cute."

"Damn right he's cute." Olivia said, plucking the photo frame out of Elliot's hands. She stroked Noah's face for a second before placing it back down. "How are your kids?"

Elliot tensed. "You don't... you don't know?"

Olivia's heart dropped. "Know what?"

Elliot took his coat off before sitting down on the sofa. "Dickie... Dickie got involved with some drugs dealers about three months ago. That drug scene that was busted today-"

"What? Wait, he wasn't at the scene today... I know it's been nearly ten years but I'm sure I'd recognise one of your kids!"

"He wasn't there because I'd already got him a few days ago. I'd gone back undercover to get the drug lead-"

"Back undercover?" Olivia frowned. "You've been undercover before then?"

Elliot closed his mouth and rubbed his head. "I was undercover for four years till last year. One day, I had a few months of getting used to been back in the force then I was suddenly thrust undercover. Trying to stop these other drug dealers from importing little kids across state and selling them off as... sex workers. Every time I managed to take down one drug ring, another would pop up... I only got out when I found out about Dickie."

"Is he okay?"

"Yeah, thank god. He's out in LA now with Lizzie..."

Olivia nodded, glad to have a happy ending to a story for a nice change. "How about Kathy?"

"Remarried. She's happy. Happier than I've ever seen."

Olivia fell silent at that little piece of information. He was single, by the sounds of it. "Oh." Was all she could come up with. An awkward tension started to settle in the room.

"I... I heard." He said, trying to move the topic away from his ex and kids.

"Heard what?"

"The William Lewis ordeal." Elliot scratched his chin as he saw Olivia tense out of the corner of his eye. "It was on the news one night and I... I was so scared for you, Liv-"

"Sure you were." She really didn't want to have an argument but she couldn't help with her defensive nature on that topic. "Look Elliot, I really don't want to talk about it-"

"Liv, I tried. I tried but I couldn't. One, I didn't know what to say and I know that sounds cowardly but I truly didn't and two, I wasn't if you wanted to see me."

"Never a phone call? A message just to check up?"

Elliot looked at the floor. "I was a coward. I thought you'd didn't need me anymore and that it would be weird if I just turned up out of the blue and just picked up where we left off two years ago."

Olivia blinked away the tears. She had cried too much over her ex partner over the years. But she had wanted to do just that. "I wanted you to." She wiped her eyes before taking another breath. "Do you know what he did to me? He forced pills down my throat, alcohol down my throat. Forced me to watch someone be raped... while been handcuffed to the bed." She let out a shaky breath before getting herself under control. "I managed to break free and knocked him out. Chained him to the bed instead and then he started taunting me. About you."

Elliot hadn't meant for her to start a spiel about that time of her life, but hearing it through her own mouth made him angry at himself.

"He asked me about my old partner. I told to shut up because no one spoke about you if they didn't know you like I did. I taunted him by saying maybe I should phone you, get you over there to break his legs, his arms, his neck and his face..." Tears were blurring her vision, as she remembered how he taunted her with Elliot. "He didn't even know us when we were partners and even he asked if we had slept together! I couldn't even answer him because all I was imagining is what I just said, you just bursting through that door and saving me, even though I would've told you I didn't need saving and to not do it again!"

"Liv-"

"Where were you? During that? That happened two years after you left, so you weren't undercover then..."

Elliot sighed. "That night, when I left your apartment. I told you I was going for walk and I'd come back and pick the car up. Well, I did. And I just left. Didn't even go home, I just left. I couldn't even go home and see my kids before I walked out on them." He glances up at Olivia, preparing himself for an on-slaughter of emotions from her with his next statement. "I moved to Long Beach Island, near my Mom. I stayed there for two and a half years like a recluse. I had just killed a teenager and that traumatised me, Liv... So, I wrecked everything. My marriage, my relationship with my kids, you and my job..."

Olivia stared him, shocked that he was so close to her, yet still so far. "Long Beach?" Her face became stony and anger simmered under her veins. "You were an hour and forty five minutes away from me that whole time?! You couldn't drive 75 miles just to check if I was okay?!" She shouted, before she lunged for him, managing to slap him before he grabbed her wrists in his hands, her torrent of verbal abuse quickly fading out to tears, as she finally she cried.

Wrapping his arms around her tightly, he clutched her to his body. Inhaling the familiar scent of her shampoo and perfume, Elliot allowed a tear escape his eye. He never thought he would have this again. Even when he had officially rejoined the force a few months ago, he had settled for his own team, not thinking about the possibility of their cases overlapping or them bumping into each other outside a bar.

He felt her shaking subside and the cries become sniffles. Releasing her slowly, Elliot let go of her wrists and wiped her tears away. "Feel a bit better?" He asked, softly.

Olivia glowered at him from under her lashes but nodded. Checking the time on her watch, she winced. "I need to get home." She said, wiping her face dry with the sleeves of her shirt.

Elliot watched as she picked up her bag and slipped it up her shoulder. "Do you... Do you want to meet for a drink, one night?"

Olivia froze and turned to face him, an eyebrow raised. "Excuse me?"

Elliot stuttered before continuing. "No! Not... Not like a date. Just catching up... as frie... accquaintances." It hurt him to say that word, but after nine years radio silence, he knew he had to build up her trust again.

It made him feel slightly better that Olivia flinched at the word acquaintances.

Olivia thought about it. Would it be the same? Nine years had passed and they had clearly become different people. But, maybe... Just maybe, things could be different this time round. In time. "Okay..." she nodded her approval.

Elliot's eyebrows rose, clearly not expecting her to accept. "Really? Great!" He stepped forward, not really knowing why, before remembering. Grabbing a piece of paper and pen, he scribbled down his number. "Message me. Whenever you feel ready. The balls in your court, so I'll wait. As long as you need to." He told her, before impulsively kissing the top of her head and heading for door of her office.

"Stabler!"

He smirked and turned round to face her. "Yes, Benson?"

She failed to keep the smile forming on her face as their eyes met. "Welcome home." she said, softly.

Elliot nodded and left her office, a smile on his face. Using the steps rather than the elevator, he signed out and stepped out into the still cold, bitter air. Just as he climbed into his car and shut the door, his phone pinged.

Friday. 8.00pm. Pete's Tavern. X

Liv