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Once More with Feeling

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Olivia hears the youngest Stablers before she sees them, and judging by the way Elliot begins rubbing his temples, they have been singing the same song since they left Mass yesterday.

 

“They only know the first two lines.” He whispers across the desk.

 

“AND HE WILL RAISE YOU UP ON EAGLES WINGS! BEAR YOU ON THE BREATH OF DAWN!” There is a period of loud mumbling here, “AND HOLD YOU IN THE PALM… OF HIS HAND!” After only a moment of blessed silence, they take up the song again. A uni shuffling files nearby snickers, and Elliot shoots him a glare. Chagrinned, he scurries off. 

 

By this point, Olivia had learned enough about Catholicism via cultural osmosis that she could hum along. Long-suffering Elliot only scratches his nose in response. Kathy sweeps in with her herd of children.

 

Mo looks like she would rather be anywhere else, but Kathleen is all too happy to encourage her siblings. Swinging Dickie’s arm with one hand and Lizzie’s in the other, Kathleen grins at her older sister.

 

Again! Olivia can see her tell the twins who cheer and resume their singing. Mo buries her face in her hands, and Kathy rubs her shoulders comfortingly. Kathleen drops the twins’ hands, and they go barreling at Elliot.

 

Despite his exhaustion, Elliot embraces his children with plenty of enthusiasm. He sweeps Dickie into the air, and Lizzie whines until Elliot gives her a spin too. Once on the ground, Lizzie continues spinning around until she collides with Olivia.

 

She flops her head onto Liv’s chest. Eyes sparkling and cheeks flushed, she grins up at Liv.

 

“Hi.” She says, breathlessly. Olivia’s heart swells in her chest — so large she feels like it will burst.

 

“Hi.” Olivia replies, and not giving Lizzie a moment to pull away, she grabs her sides and wiggles her fingers. Lizzie shrieks and tries to squirm away, but Olivia isn’t giving up.

 

Olivia feels Elliot’s gaze on her; when she looks up, there is an emotion she can’t quite identify in his eyes. When he looks at her like that, it is like the whole world fades away. Her heart thrums in her ears.

 

Kathy drops a kiss on Elliot’s cheek, and just like that, the spell is broken. Lizzie throws her arms around Olivia’s neck.

 

“Livvie, don’t stop!” She says.

 

Kathy greets her with a quiet ‘Hi, Liv,’ and Kathleen waves cheerfully. Mo recovers from her embarrassment long enough to give Liv a small smile.

 

Olivia resumes tickling Lizzie, and she promptly begins begging Olivia to stop. Eventually, Lizzie calms to the point that Olivia can pull her into her lap. She hands Lizzie the Rubik's cube she started eying.

 

Lizzie starts humming On Eagles Wings again, and Olivia can’t help but join in. She may be Jewish, but hey, it’s catchy. Lizzie wiggles in excitement.

 

“You know the songs? Can you come with us next week?” Olivia’s lips twitched.

 

“Are you trying to convert mer Elizabeth Stabler?” She pokes Lizzie in the side, and Lizzie shrieks and drops the Rubik’s cube in shock. “I’m not Catholic, but maybe you can teach me more songs.”

 

Taking an enormous breath of air, Lizzie begins singing On Eagles Wings . She makes it approximately one bar into the song before Elliot interrupts.

 

“Please,” Elliot begs, “anything but that.”

 

“Hey,” Munch interrupts, a wicked gleam in his eye that Olivia doesn’t entirely trust. Judging by Elliot’s expression he doesn’t either. “How about Liv and I teach Liz and Dickie some Jewish songs.”

 

“Yeah!” Lizzie cheers. She leaps off Liv’s lap to rouse her brother into a frenzied chant.

 

“What do you think, Liv? Dayenu ?” Munch says. Liv does her level best to suppress a smile.

 

“That’s a good song.” She agrees, “But I only really know the chorus.”

 

Munch nods.

 

“Yeah, too much Hebrew would be too confusing.”

 

Elliot looks backwards at his chanting twins.

 

“Sure. Whatever,” he says finally. “It can’t be worse than On Eagles Wings .”

  

(The next day, a very harried looking Elliot Stabler shuffles into the bullpen, intent on ignoring his partner – and her partner in crime – which is difficult to do when they are both keeled over laughing.)