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if we're sinners (then it feels like heaven to me)

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Their eyes met across the squad room. She felt the entire world shift underneath her knees. Sister Peg’s life-force was in a puddle, and all over her fingers and underneath her nails. She’d tried to stop the bleeding but Peg had succumbed to the fatal wounds. The light had left her eyes as Olivia pled for her to stay, to fight, to hang on. It was all in vain, and Olivia just knew it was a lost cause, but she had to try.

It could’ve been me. Jenna could’ve killed me. The bullet was so close to where I was standing.

Elliot hadn’t thought twice after Jenna turned toward them and fired. He’d reached into his desk and removed his weapon, attempting to aim for her arm but she’d moved at the last second and it went between her third and fourth ribs…a direct shot to the lungs and heart. Fatal. He’d ran to her, kicking the gun away as he held her. The one thing he’d never wanted to do was shoot a child.

They sat there, staring at one another, blood on both of their hands.

Had they chosen one another over other people? No. Jenna had killed four people and injured two. She could’ve done worse, she had to be stopped, the minute she pulled the trigger, she became just as guilty as Eddie Skinner. No better than Eddie Skinner.

She killed Luke Ronson, her mother’s rapist. She killed Special Agent Greer. She killed Sister Peg, perhaps the most innocent of them all. She killed James Reynolds, who had been arrested for flashing children at a playground in Midtown. Detective Bradley Janowicz had his arm grazed by a stray bullet, and Eddie Skinner, her mother’s murderer, was shot but his injuries weren’t fatal.

She could’ve injured any number of additional Detectives, Officers, Legal Aides, or District Attorneys…

She was staring into Elliot’s eyes. It wasn’t your fault; you did what you had to do.

He was staring back at her, and she felt it. She felt his thoughts seep underneath her skin almost as easily as Peg’s blood had seeped into her pants. Looking down at her hands she felt her vision cloud for a moment as tears threatened to fall.

[ • TUESDAY, MAY 17TH • 7:30 PM • ]

Olivia sat on the edge of her couch, her fingers threaded in her hair. She’d taken three showers since returning home an hour ago. IAB had questioned her for an hour and a half, before she’d just zoned out and Lieutenant Tucker had decided that she wasn’t capable of answering any more questions for the evening. He made a point to tell her she would be expected down at IAB at 11:30 the following day for additional questions and statement collection. Her concern wasn’t them; she wasn’t worried about answering their ridiculous questions.

Cragen had told her to go home, to take a shower, to eat something. But all she could do, prior to running her fingers through her hair, she’d stared at her fingers. They were red, because of the heat of the shower and the amount of scrubbing she’d done. They felt raw. When she stepped out of her shower, she’d decided not to worry about doing anything fancy with her hair. It was damp, but curled slightly because she wasn’t going to be bothered with drying it and straightening it.

She’d thrown on the grey zip-up hoodie that had been in her possession for a month with a pair of short cotton athletic shorts. They had always passed the grey hoodie back and forth, but she’d stolen it out of his locker a month ago. He’d been in the showers and she’d seen it hanging on the hook, brought the sleeve to her nose and the comfort and familiarity of it had overwhelmed her. They’d been working a particularly grueling case, and she didn’t think he’d miss it, so she slung it over her shoulders and headed out. He’d not asked about it because he’d seen her wearing it a week and a half after she’d pilfered it.    

Her fingertips began rubbing small circles on her scalp and she kept staring at her cell phone, on the table in front of her.

She had a foreboding feeling thinking about everything that had happened that afternoon. She felt the feeling of a ton of bricks landing with a loud thud in her stomach. That feeling she would get on the mornings where she had a very bad feeling that something would happen that would shift her universe.

Tears began burning her eyes so she closed them, letting her head fall back onto the cushion. That’s when she heard it.

Knock. Knock.

It wasn’t as hard as it normally was. Her eyes opened as she stared up at the ceiling. She felt her heart begin to race, but there was a tugging feeling in the pit of her stomach that she just had a feeling she knew who was on the other side of the soft knocks.

Knock. Knock. Knock.

She pushed herself up off the couch, glancing down and making sure the hoodie was zipped up enough to be decent, even though one of the sleeves allowed her bare shoulder to be seen, she wanted to make sure that nothing else was hanging out. Putting her face to the peep hole, she looked through. She knew the way he was standing the minute she saw him. His head was bowed down, his hands on either side of the door frame, and his feet were shoulder width apart.

He looked like a perp leaning against a wall ready to be pat down.

She placed her forehead against the door before she unlocked the chain, moved the lever to the side, unlatched the deadbolt and opened the door. She’d leave the bottom lock locked, it wasn’t necessary to open the door. The minute the door swung open, she leaned against the door.

His head tilted up and that’s when she saw his face. His red-rimmed blue eyes were wide, he was wearing a pair of NYPD issued sweats, and she could smell his body wash that he kept in his locker on him. He walked into the apartment, quietly, without speaking at all, as they maintained eye contact. She felt her breath hitch slightly.

He was standing next to the fridge, as she just stared at him, locking the door, not even bothering to look. The muscle memory was more than enough.

As soon as she pushed the bar across the door, he’d taken a step closer to her. Her eyes widened as they still maintained that connection with his. Her lips parted as she realized that her breaths were deep, coming from her stomach. With his step closer to her, she took another step back, her back almost to the wall. What was he doing?

Elliot?” her voice came out in a quiet whisper. He took another step, his eyes searching hers, falling to her lips, as they’d always done, the magnetic pull she’d always felt was almost too much. It was too much. The trauma they’d both just experienced was overwhelming. This was her partner. Her married partner. This was Elliot. He took another step, she had nowhere to go.

Liv.” His mouth opened, as though he were trying to find the right words to say. Their eyes were doing all the talking though; his eyes had always done all the talking. Anytime the words failed to come out of his mouth, all she had to do was look in his eyes and she knew exactly what he was saying to her. They could always anticipate one another’s moves, what one another was thinking. You jump, I jump. But at the moment, she was confused by the things his eyes were saying to her.

I’m done, Liv.

“El? she swallowed, no. No. No. This couldn’t possibly be it. "Say something. Out loud."

"Liv." He reached his hand out and placed it on her cheek, taking the half-step closer to her, his chest now pressed against hers. "I need you."

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Chapter Two || there’s a great unknown from you to me


I’m done, Liv.

“El? she swallowed, noNoNo. This couldn’t possibly be it. "Say something. Out loud."

"Liv." He reached his hand out and placed it on her cheek, taking the half-step closer to her, his chest now pressed against hers. "I need you."

[ • TUESDAY, MAY 17TH, 8:00 PM • ]
[ • 203 WEST 89TH STREET • ]

His one hand was resting still on her cheek, his other gripping her waist just above the folded band of her shorts, but underneath the hoodie. She could feel the warmth of his fingertips against her hip bone and a flutter cut through her chest. Stay Calm, Olivia. Her brain was spinning. She felt dizzy by the closeness of his body against her own.

They’d always invaded one another’s personal space, but thisthis felt different. She swallowed and turned her head, finally breaking eye contact as her lips parted and she took a deep breath. Finally, she turned her face back to his, taking in his expression.

This was a broken man. Her partner was broken. But at the same time, as she looked into his eyes she realized what he was saying to her.

He needed her.

Not just to listen to him, not just to sit next to him, not to hold him. He needed her on a carnal level. This realization was overwhelming and she felt herself begin to shake. She wasn’t sure if it was due to his closeness or the realization that he was asking for her.

For her. For all of her.

“Elliot…” she swallowed again, shaking her head slightly, “Are you…do you - …” she moved her hand and cupped it over his against her face, doing her best not to lean into his palm. Wrapping her hand around his hand, their fingers intertwined as she brought it down between them, removing it from her face. Finally, she could breathe again. “El, you need to think about what you’re doing here.

The last time they’d held hands was a few months ago when they were undercover at The Swing Set.

It had felt normal, natural, and not the least bit awkward.

This is my wife Olivia. I’m Elliot.

In another lifetime, perhaps.

She closed her eyes, holding back the tears that were threatening to spill. Stop, Olivia. Her hand moved up and rested against his chest, trying to push him back to make distance between them. He still hadn’t spoken, just stared at her, lips parted. She squeezed his hand that was in hers, trying to bring him back to this moment. Trying to center him, ground him.

“I – Liv…I can’t go back to Queens tonight. I have an IAB interview tomorrow, they gave me a hotel room for the night. But…I can’t be – you know I can’t…I can’t be alone. I just I tried to lay down but I closed my eyes and blood..I just saw – “ She dropped his hand and brought her fingers up to his lips.

“Shh. El.” She finally cut him off, speaking softly, moving her fingers away from his lips and resting her palm against his cheek. “Did you call Kathy? Let her know you’re okay at least, Elliot, I’m sure she’s seen the news or heard from someone –“

“Yes. I did. I told her...I told her that I was okay.” He moved away from Olivia and she felt a little bit of a loss as he moved into her living room and sat down on the couch, rubbing his hands over his face. She made her way into the living room and sat down next to him, their knees touching. “Told her that they put me up in the Holiday Inn…she asked if I wanted her to come in, and I told her no. Told her I…needed to be alone for a while.”

When he turned his face to look at her she swallowed, gripping the sides of the hoodie and pulling them together. His hand extended and landed on her bare knee, causing her to inhale a little at the contact. She could feel her heart beating in her throat. His thumb rubbed back and forth on her knee, resulting in goosebumps breaking out on her bare skin.

“Elliot. You should talk to someone.” She whispered, “Huang or someone…”

“I’m here. Olivia.” He whispered, his hand still resting on her knee.

She leaned back on the couch, fist still gripping the material between her fingers, her thumb on the inside, rubbing against the soft cotton. He leaned back onto the cushions next to her, turning his face to look at her.

“Tell me what I saw in your eyes isn’t true.” She whispered, surprised when he gripped her legs and put them over his lap. They’d never sat like this in all the years they’d been partners. He’d never touched her skin this much. It was almost overwhelming. But she understood the need for contact after experiencing something traumatic like they’d just been through. She understood that he didn’t want to see his family.

She understood why he wound up at her door.

There was nothing but shared trauma between the two of them at the moment. She’d never told him about Sealview, but she knew he was probably going to need to see a therapist about PTSD.

“Liv…” He whispered, his hand lazily tracing a path from her ankle up to her knee.Control yourself, Benson. This is your married partner. Maybe she should have gone to put on leggings while he situated himself on the couch...She watched him, her head leaning against her fist. “I’m done.”

There it was.

The sucker-punch to the gut. His eyes hadn’t been lying. She jumped up from the couch, walking around the white column, running her hand around it and leaning against the desk that sat against the wall between her bedroom and bathroom. Bringing her hands up and running her fingers through her damp hair, she pressed her fingers against her scalp. He turned around, his arm over the back of the couch as he watched her. She was doubled over, and had moved her hands to cover her face.

The pain was a dull ache that started in her toes and she could feel it creeping up.

She pulled the chair out that sat underneath her desk and sat, her elbows resting on her knees, still covering her face. Don’t cry. Don’t cry, Olivia. Whatever you do…don’t cry. She swallowed the bile that had risen in her throat as she looked up, her eyes stinging with the unshed tears.

What…Elliot. What do you…what do you mean by you’re done?” She managed to croak out. “Done with…with what, exactly?” He made a move to stand up and she held her hand up, shaking her head, “No. I need you to stay right there for a minute, Elliot.” She closed her eyes, as though that action would keep the tears within them. “Please.

“I…uh, Olivia, I’m done with…SVU.” He swallowed. She had opened her eyes again and they had managed to lock with Elliot’s. Leaning back in the chair, she felt like pulling the hood up on the grey sweatshirt and disappearing.

‘That’s not how it works, Olivia.’ The small voice in her head whispered.

“So…what? You’re done being my partner?” The sound of her own voice felt foreign, as though she’d just uttered words in a language that she didn’t speak nor understand.

His mouth opened and closed a few times and the only sound that could be heard was the sound of the fridge and a slamming door down the hallway mixed with the sound of their steady breaths. But the sound of her heart racing in her ears was drowning even those noises out.

She was trying not to freak out. She was trying to stay calm.

She was so damn tired of trying.

Blink your lights.

You stubborn son-of-a-bitch.

This is my wife, Olivia. I’m Elliot.

That’s when the dam broke. She’d always done her absolute best to not break down in front of her partner, but at the moment, he was telling her he was done with SVU. He still hadn’t answered whether he was done being her partner. But she knew that if he said he was done with SVU, unless he was asking her to transfer somewhere with him, that’s what he was telling her.

He said he needed her.

“Elliot? Goddamnit, answer the fucking question.” She managed to hiss at him.

He sat back startled, mumbled something that sounded to her like ‘Fuck it all’ and was now gripping her arms in his hands, pulling her to her feet. Standing in front of one another, the distance between them the same as it had been moments earlier at her front door, she struggled to breathe.

The tears were slowly leaking down her face as he released her arms and brought his hands up to cup her face, his thumbs swiping the tears away. Standing this close to her, he could see her freckles, the light brown ring around her iris, and the flush of her skin underneath the zipper.

“I don’t know.” He answered, his face mere inches away from her own, yet again. Her heart was beating out of her chest as she swallowed. Trying to comprehend what it was he was saying.

As her eyes flicked from his blue eyes to his lips and back up again, he pulled her face in and thirteen years of wondering were suddenly answered as his tongue slid past her lips and she let out a squeak of surprise against his lips, her arms wrapping around his neck, her eyes closing. 

Chapter Text

CHAPTER THREE: this is the place where we mend or we break

- previously -

“I don’t know.” He answered, his face mere inches away from her own, yet again. Her heart was beating out of her chest as she swallowed. Trying to comprehend what it was he was saying. As her eyes flicked from his blue eyes to his lips and back up again, he pulled her face in and thirteen years of wondering were suddenly answered as his tongue slid past her lips and she let out a squeak of surprise against his lips, her arms wrapping around his neck.

They stood there, lips locked for a few minutes, tongues sliding over one another, bodies pressed against each other. When his mouth left hers, and began to travel along her jaw, she suddenly opened her eyes, and exhaled a sigh. Quickly, she moved her arms from around his neck and placed her hands on his shoulders, trying to push him back a little. To create space.


She just made out with Elliot. With her partner. With her married partner. Her head bowed and her forehead hit his chest as his arms wrapped around her. She was trying to regulate her breathing, but her body was doing everything in its power to betray her.

“Elliot.” she whispered, hands sliding from his shoulders to his chest, her forehead in between them. His fingers were stroking the bare skin of her back, underneath the hoodie. She knows he’s fully aware now that she’s not wearing a tank top or a bra underneath the zip-up gray hoodie that they’ve passed back and forth over the years.

“Olivia.” His voice is soothing, comes out in a dulcet tone that she feels like she could just listen to all the time.

She hummed, pulling back her head from the solid wall of his chest and tilting her head up to look at him, she ran her tongue along her bottom lip, swollen from the kissing they’d just done. She’d just kissed him back. What the hell did that say for her?

“El? What was that?

“I’ve, - Olivia, I’ve wanted to do that for…years.” Elliot answered, his fingers dancing up the middle of her spine.

“Why didn’t you?” She asked, pulling her swollen bottom lip between her teeth. “Why didn’t you do it years ago?” She took a step back, away from his touch, away from his body, away from the temptation that she felt was standing right in front of her. “You’re married, Elliot.”

Elliot interlaced his fingers together and brought his hands behind his head, arms out to the side as he exhaled heavily, his cheeks puffed out. “Yes, I know…I know I’m married, I’m sorry…Liv, I’m sorry. When are you talking about, Olivia?”

 His blue eyes watched her pacing back and forth in front of the couch, her long legs were distracting him, and he watched her cross her arms in front of her chest, afraid that she was too exposed in the gray hoodie…and he knew she was only wearing the gray hoodie and the cotton shorts. He felt a twitch in his pants at this thought. She brought her fingers up by her mouth and chewed on the middle nail, when she stopped in front of the middle cushion of the couch. He leaned forward, hands on the cushion, the couch between them.

“El.” She gave a warning glance in his direction.

“What’s wrong, Liv?”

“You’re my partner, Elliot. My married partner. My best friend. I don’t want to lose that. El, I can’t lose you.”

“Didn’t you hear me?” He reached his hand out, in the process leaning forward over the couch and making contact with the sleeve of the hoodie. “Liv, I said that I’m done. I’m not coming back to work at the end of this investigation. You’re going to get a new partner.”

There it was again. That bile in her throat. She swallowed it down again, shook her head, and took a deep breath in.

“Do you think that’s what I want? Elliot? That I want a new partner?” she rested her hand against her chest, fingers sliding underneath the material, palm resting over her heart. The zipper wasn’t all the way up and he could see the slight swell of her breast underneath her pinky finger. “I don’t want you to leave me.”

“This isn’t about you.” He shook his head, retracting his hand, placing it back on the cushion. Her mouth opened as she listened to him speak. “Olivia.” He swallowed, visibly, she watched his neck move. “I shot a teenage girl. They said that they want me to go through counseling sessions. They want me to take anger management classes. That I’m incapable of being objective when my partner is in danger. I don’t want to leave you either, Liv, but they’ll try to take you down with me.”

“Who said that, Elliot?”

“Internal Affairs. Huang. Hendricks. The Cap.” Elliot began listing off people, “Kath.”

What?” Olivia gasped. “You shot Jenna because she was literally killing people…Elliot.” She shook her head, closing her eyes. “You’re a protector, Elliot. It’s what you do.”

“Olivia. I’m done.” He moved around the couch, reaching out for her again, taking her arm in his hand, his eyes searching for hers, imploring her to understand the words he was saying. “I’m done. I’m leaving. Olivia, I’m leaving.” He shook his head, “I’m sorry if I startled you by kissing you just now, but I needed to. Liv, I just needed to know. Haven’t you ever wondered?”

She felt her mouth go dry listening to him speak, inhaling, she could smell his body wash again. His presence was always intoxicating to her, comfortable, his faith in her was a beautiful thing. He always looked out for her, made sure she was safe, alive, protected. No. He can’t possibly be telling her goodbye. No. Absolutely not.

“Haven’t I ever –“ she began, before she let out a harsh sounding laugh. “Are you fucking kidding me, right now?

“What?” He looked down at her, trying to figure out what he’d said that had pissed her off so much, made her release the harsh sound she’d made. “Liv, I’m not kidding. You know, I’m sorry if I made all of this too complicated for you.”

“El…don’t.” She paused, “Don’t apologize. I’m a big girl, and I could’ve stopped you from kissing me. I don’t want to be the reason you mess up your marriage or your kids’ lives. I’d never ask you to – “

“Liv, c’mon.” Elliot grasped her other arm in his other hand, pulling her in closer to his body, taking note that she hadn’t moved her arms any, but wasn’t clenching her fists, so he took that as a good sign. “You have to know that you aren’t, -“

“Elliot.” She shook her head, “Don’t.”

“Just answer the question, Liv. Haven’t you ever wondered?”

“Are you being fucking serious? Of course I have. God, I thought that you knew that, El.” She wrenched herself away from his grasp and walked toward her kitchen, opening the cabinet and pulling down a glass, filling it with water. “I was never on your radar though, Elliot. Even when you and Kathy were separated. But yeah, I’ve fucking wondered.”

“You kept telling me to go home, Olivia. How the fuck was I supposed to know?” He moved to stand on the other side of the bar, his hands on the countertop.

“Because I was telling you to go home to spend time with your kids, Elliot. Not to fuck your –“

“Why didn’t you tell me that?!” He threw his hands up in the air, shaking his head. “All those years, Olivia, I’d sit across the desk from you, staring at you talking on the phone, speaking one of the millions of fucking languages it seems you can speak, and I’d feel my heart flutter and I’d feel guilty because you’re so fucking beautiful…and you expected me to know that you had what? Feelings for me too?”

“I thought you knew. Elliot.” She shook her head, finishing the glass of water and placing it in the sink, turning around to put her hands back on the countertop, trying to keep space between the two of them. She didn’t know how much restraint she actually had where he was concerned. “I thought you understood what I was fucking saying that night we sat on your stoop after the Valerie Stennett case.”

“Yeah, you were asking if our partnership was alright and I told you I needed to be able to disagree with you without it ruining our stable fucking partnership. You said I was the longest relationship with a man you’d had.”

“And no one else could put up with me, Elliot. What the hell do you think that means?!” Olivia threw her hands in the air, her eyes wide, brows raised, her half-damp hair falling in front of her eyes.

“That I was someone you could depend on, Olivia.”

“No.” She whispered, exasperated, walking from behind the counter, back over to her couch. “You signed the paperwork…Elliot, you made a point of telling me you signed the divorce papers. I was flirting with you. You took me to breakfast.”

“What?” Elliot turned around, walking over in front of the coffee table, leaving the surface between them. She ran her fingers through her curly damp hair. “What are you saying?”

“You’re an idiot.”

“Liv, what are you saying?”

“I don’t know if I can accept that you’re done. Maybe I just need time, Elliot.” She tried to change the topic, go back to the beginning, but Elliot seemed hell-bent on hearing her out. “Maybe you – “


“I get it, El. I know why you came here tonight. I understand what you see when you closed your eyes alone in the Hotel room, but I don’t want to – “

“I get it.” Elliot nodded, crossing his arms in front of  his chest, shaking his head. “You think I came over here for a quick fuck or something, Olivia? That I’m just trying to get into your pants, after all these years, because I don’t want to be alone tonight – because the things I’m seeing in my head? Is that what it is? You think I just want to take advantage of your empathy and then show up at work in a week?”

“I didn’t say – “

“You don’t have to say it, Olivia. Goddamnit, I don’t need you to say it. I can tell by your body language. I can read you…Olivia. I came here because I didn’t want to be alone, yes. But I also came here because when IAB is done with me, I’m done. I’ve told you this a million times, it feels like, and it hurts more and more the more I have to say it.” She opened her mouth to say something, but he continued, not allowing her to get a word in edge-wise. “I came here because I wanted to tell you goodbye properly. I didn’t want someone breaking the news to you by proxy. I felt like I owed you that much, Liv.”

She sat there, speechless. “So you did come here expecting – “

“To spend some damn time with you away from the job. To find out – “ he took a deep breath in, turning away from her, looking at the wall instead of her face, “To find out whether or not I was just fucking crazy all these years or if we actually did mean something to one another. If we could mean more to one another. I wanted to spend time with my best friend…” He turned back around, noting the slight wetness in her eyes, the way her mouth was open, the way the light in the living room illuminated her freckles, showed the copper colored ring around her iris. “And if something else happened to happen, then it happens. And damn the consequences of that, because at least we’d both know the truth.”


“Damn the consequences, Olivia Margaret Benson. Do you hear me? No regrets. No guilt.” He paused, “Damn the consequences, I’ve been in love with you for years, Olivia.”

Blink your lights.

Look how you turned out.

Anyway you want to have kids, I’ll support you.

It was always temporary.

Shut up.” A tear ran down her cheek, as she shook her head, looking up at him, her arms wrapped even tighter around herself. “You can’t just fucking say – “

“I’m not just saying…Everybody knows, Olivia.” She sat there, numb, dumbfounded, slightly dizzy on his words, staring up at him. “Liv? Say something.”

How the tables have turned.

“Are you kidding?” She whispered, feeling sick to her stomach. This was Elliot. Her partner of thirteen years. The man who had never once let her down. The man she had fallen in love with.  The man she trusted more than anyone else she’d ever met.

“No.” he shook his head, seeing the devastation on her face. “Fuck. You know what, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said – “ he walked over towards the apartment door, his hand on the handle, his head bowed as he took a deep breath before turning his head to look over his shoulder, “I’m sorry, Olivia.” He turned the handle, and as he made a motion to move through the door she stood from the couch, staring at him, trying to find the right words. He stepped over the threshold and as the door was closing she ran to catch it in her hand.

“Wait.” She pushed out. “You can’t just say those things and expect me to be able to answer you right away, Elliot.” She shook her head, reaching her hand down and squeezing his tightly, pulling his arm back into the apartment. “You can’t just fuck me and then show up at work in two weeks. You can’t pretend like this doesn’t change anything between us, Elliot. If we cross this line, it means – “

“I already told you, Olivia. I’m done. If we cross this line, it means everything to me. And if you give me this gift, this allowance, - “

“Okay.” She whispered, as she closed the door, locking all the locks.

“What?” Elliot was now the speechless one.

“Take me to bed, El.”

“Liv, I don’t want to just – “

“I know.”

“Then how could you just – “

She sighed. “Fine. Whatever happens, happens. Can you just –“ she shifted on her feet, grasping his other hand.

“Liv, if it does happen, I plan on taking my time.” He looks into her eyes and she feels him stripping her soul down to the barest existence. His hand lets go of her left one and he brings his fingers up to push the errant strand of hair behind her ear, cupping her cheek. “And worshipping you. Every single inch of you. Exploring…”

“So, let’s go.” She pulls him over to the couch. “Kiss me again, Elliot. I want to know. I want to…” She bit the corner of her bottom lip. “I want to know for sure.” She sat down, and he sat next to her, his hand finding its way back to her cheek again as their lips met once more. In order to deepen the kiss, he tilted her back, against the cushion, his other hand trailing up her side, underneath their hoodie as she let out a tiny moan.

He knew then, that whatever happened between them this night would always be paramount to whatever came next.


Chapter Text

Chapter Four || I don’t care if we fall from grace


Previously: “So, let’s go.” She pulls him over to the couch. “Kiss me again, Elliot. I want to know. I want to…” She bit the corner of her bottom lip. “I want to know for sure.” She sat down, and he sat next to her, his hand finding its way back to her cheek again as their lips met once more. In order to deepen the kiss, he tilted her back, against the cushion, his other hand trailing up her side, underneath their hoodie as she let out a tiny moan.

He knew then, that whatever happened between them this night would always be paramount to whatever came next.

They lay like that, on the couch, making out for what seemed like hours, hands, lips, tongues exploring one another in a completely innocent and unrushed manner, almost like they were lovers that had done this very dance a million times over. Her heart was beating out of her chest and she could barely catch her breath as Elliot kissed his way from her mouth, along her jaw, down the length of her neck. She placed her hand on the back of his head, pressing his face further into her skin.

He looked over the freckles on her chest, his fingers softly moving against the soft skin of her stomach, and he smiled against her breastbone when he felt her muscles clench as his hand gripped her side. Her long legs were wrapped around his thighs as she trailed her hand up his arm, appreciating the muscles that flinched underneath her touch. She loved this man. She loved him with such intensity that nothing else mattered in this moment.

Grabbing the zipper between his teeth, with the finesse of someone that had done it a million times (she wasn’t going to ask if he had or hadn’t…didn’t even care at the moment), he pulled it down until he was met with the outline of her more generous cleavage. His eyes hadn’t been immune to stealing glances every now and then through the years, when she would wear a low-cut top, or if they were working undercover and she had worn dresses that put her best assets on display.

They’d changed sometime during the eight year of their partnership. He wasn’t sure what the change had been, but being the father of three girls, he suspected it had something to do with Olivia’s change in birth control method. He might have been Catholic, but sometimes, like this moment, he wasn’t a very good Catholic.

He was a lucky son-of-a-bitch to have been partnered with such an exquisite woman. His hands moved further up her sides as his thumbs brushed the underside of her breasts eliciting a moan from her and he felt it, when she inhaled sharply.

His mouth traveled back up between her breasts as his lips continued planting soft kisses along her freckled skin. She tilted her head back once more and that’s when he nipped at her neck, teeth raking against the smooth, sensitive skin his mouth traveling back along her jaw to her lips. As their mouths met once more, they both let out a moan at the same time, her fingers trailing up his spine underneath his shirt.

Separating their lips was a challenge, because now that he’d tasted her mouth, he didn’t want to stop. She tightened her legs around him as her arms held him in place, their eyes connecting as she was searching his blue eyes for answers.

What the hell were they doing here?

“El.” She moaned out, lip tucked between her teeth, eyes searching his face wildly, looking for an out.

“No, stop thinking, Olivia.” His hand had moved from underneath the sweatshirt and brushed her hair back from her face, wrapping one of the strands around his finger as he twirled it. “You’re beautiful, and fucking amazing.”

“You don’t have to try to woo me, Stabler.” She whispered, her thumb tracing his jawline. “We’re way beyond that at this point.”

“Liv, as much as I’m enjoying this making out on the couch – I meant it when I said I wanted to worship every single inch of you. Can we – move this elsewhere?”

Her large brown eyes were studying him, and he could see her arousal in the fact that her iris had all but disappeared, the normally warm chocolate color suddenly onyx. Her chest was getting flushed, as she nodded. “Yeah. Let’s…take this elsewhere.”

[ • MAY 17th • 10:23 PM • ]

Her heart was pounding out of her chest, and if this were any other circumstance, she would’ve put the brakes on. She would stop this all, before it exploded. But she knew. She knew. This was goodbye, and she wasn’t quite ready to face the darkness that was staring both of them in the face. This was something that had to be resolved. Needed to be resolved. So they could both move on with their lives. One last thing to remember.

With the sweatshirt unzipped, he slid off of her, reaching down and pulling her up. As her feet hit the floor, he reached around, pulling her back into him for another kiss. His hands trailed down her back, up underneath the gray material and back down again. Bracing his hands underneath the curve of her ass, right at the top of her thighs, he lifts her easily into his arms, as she wraps her arm around his neck. Their kisses are slow, passion-filled kisses, as he walks around the large white column in her living room at the edge of her couch, and toward her room.

As they stood at the edge of her bed, she slid her legs down, landing her feet on the floor, as they separated their kisses, he watched as she unzipped the hoodie the rest of the way, watching as the gray material fell into a puddle onto the floor. As his eyes trailed back up, he was met with the sight of her bare chest staring back at him. The culmination of every daydream he’d ever had then yelled at himself for.

She stared up at him, her lips swollen, face flushed, eyes dilated and he stared down at her, she was perfect. Breathtaking. Stunning. Beautiful.

His body seemed to react all by itself, because the next thing he knew his arms were wrapped around her back, and he was lowering her down onto the edge of her mattress. Kissing his way down her neck, down over her chest, relishing in the feeling of her hands on the back of his head and neck. As he moved back up to kiss just below her ear, trying to get that sound she had just made a few minutes ago to come out again, she gripped the edge of his t-shirt and pulled it up, they separated long enough for her to ball it up and toss it to the floor. Their lips crashed back together as her legs wrapped more firmly around him.

His hands trailed down her sides, fingertips ghosting over her skin, leaving in their wake a trail of goosebumps.

Her fingers moved over his skin, trailing over his ribs, down his side, until her hands slid under the waistband of his sweatpants as she squeezed his ass. Without even considering what she was really doing, and appreciating the feeling of his hands on her skin, she pushed the sweatpants down off of his body with her feet. It was easy.

Suddenly she broke out of her lust-induced reverie as she realized that he wasn’t wearing any briefs or boxers beneath the sweatpants. She felt him…all of him pressed against her bare thigh. The air in her chest halted as she suddenly met his eyes. His hands had traveled down, hooking on the waistband of her shorts as they maintained the eye contact, both breathless in that moment.


She lifted her hips up slightly so he could pull the shorts down. “Yes.” She nodded, quietly. Barely audible. “Just…yes.” Her hand rested against his face as he pushed the shorts down, pulling back enough to discard them onto the floor with the rest of their clothes. With her legs cradling him, he looked down into her face.

She was everything he’d ever dreamed of. Everything. And she was naked, and he was naked and they were laying in a position they’d never found themselves in before. Everything was changing. Everything. But he was leaving. God, he was leaving. But he didn’t want to leave her. He never wanted to leave her.

She would never ask him to stay. She knew this in her heart. She couldn’t do that. She’d made him promise that this wouldn’t happen and then he would just stay. She was letting him go. But she wanted this one selfish thing for herself. For him. For them. He could do this and then walk away. It would hurt less in the long-run.

That’s the lie she was telling herself as she felt his hand travel between the two of them, fingers testing to see if she was ready.

Shit, Liv.” He whispered, fingers trailing through her generous arousal that was evident, his fingers slid up, touching her sensitive labia as he wrapped his hand around his shaft, lining himself up. With one final glance into her face, and a nod from her, he pushed forward slowly.

Feeling him push into her, she let out a sound of surprise at how she was stretching to fit him, at how he moved so gently into her, as though each painstaking inch was another layer to the barriers they’d built between the two of them throughout their partnership. Once he was fully situated she gripped his shoulders tightly, bringing her face up to rest between his neck and shoulder, hot breath traveling across his skin. Breasts pressed against his chest.

With a movement, he pulled out slightly then pushed back into her and she bit down on her lip, dropping back down onto the pillow, as she looked up at him. This man she trusted with her life for the last thirteen years. She’d always trust him with her life. As he began to move, after checking in to see if she was okay, she wrapped her legs around his body, fingers traveling up and down warm skin.

She kept repeating to herself. Damn the consequences.

She was going to remember this. She wanted to remember this. She wanted to remember the heartache that comes with what they were doing, what he was going to do when all this was over. She wanted to remember the moment, maybe not tonight, maybe not tomorrow, but the next day after when he would tell her he had to go. She wanted to remember how it was going to feel when she breaks down into tears because he’s not there next to her. She wanted to remember how it felt to be loved, even if it’s just for a night or two, by the man she’s already given her heart to.

Damn the consequences. She thinks, as he thrusts more forcefully into her, whispering how he loves her. She closes her eyes as she allows her body to feel everything. She wants to remember this.

She wants to remember what it feels like to be whole…even for a little while.

Damn the consequences.

He’s hitting all the right places, in her heart, soul, body. She pulls him down closer to her, their lips meeting again, mouths searching for one another as her mouth opens slightly, the sounds of their bodies joining penetrating the silence of the room. It begins to rain outside and she hears the drops hitting against the window as her mattress’ springs squeak slightly and she begins to chuckle lightly, but then he hits the one spot and his fingers trail down between them, rubbing small circles and she can feel her orgasm approaching.

As the walls begin to flutter around him, he looks into her eyes. “Liv – I’m -…”

“Don’t pull out. Elliot. Don’t.” She whispers, her lips meeting with the sweaty skin on his shoulder. That’s when he gives one final thrust and she feels it. She feels all of him, and they both fall. He’s laying half over her, still connected to her, but on his elbows so that she’s not crushed beneath him, but what a way to go.

“Liv.” He whispers, planting soft kisses on the side of her face, and she allows herself to cry beneath him. “Hey.” He’s whispering so softly to her, his hand on the side of her face, pushing her hair out of the way. “It’s okay.”

“I love you, Elliot.” She whispers, her heart breaking in her chest. How she ever thought they could do this and she could let go, she’ll never figure out. She’ll never know. She’ll never understand.

“I love you, Liv. I do. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”

“Don’t go. Don’t go.” She whispers, tears falling freely, as he wipes them away with his thumb.

“I’m not going anywhere, not tonight. I can’t leave you. I have to know you’re alive. I have to – Liv, I can’t go yet.”

“I’m not going to survive this, Elliot.”

“You will.” He whispers, his blue eyes watering as he studies her face in the dim light of the room, the rain falling against the window leaving trails. “You will because you’re a total badass, and you’ll have a beautiful life, Olivia. You’re going to do amazing things. You’re going to survive this.”

She shakes her head, turning away slightly, pushing against his body as he slides out of her, laying on his side, watching as she makes her way out of the room, only returning a minute later with a towel for him. She doesn’t say anything, she just slides into her bed next to him, pulling the sheets up over their naked bodies.

Damn the consequences.

[ • MAY 18th, 12:07 AM • ]




Chapter Text

chapter five || a love like this won’t last forever

Previously: She shakes her head, turning away slightly, pushing against his body as he slides out of her, laying on his side, watching as she makes her way out of the room, only returning a minute later with a towel for him. She doesn’t say anything, she just slides into her bed next to him, pulling the sheets up over their naked bodies.

Damn the consequences

[ • MAY 18th, 12:07 AM • ]

[ • MAY 18th, 12:47 AM • ]

She’d been laying there, curled up in the sheets, naked, laying against his body with his arm thrown over her stomach, his breath hot against the back of her neck for forty minutes. Her brain was spinning. Spiraling. She was choking on the weight of what they had done. What she’d asked for. What they’d both decided to do. There wasn’t an innocent party in their previous activities.

She’d stopped silently crying twenty-five minutes ago, and that’s when his arm had snaked around her middle, pulling her body into his firmly. That’s also when her brain had started over-thinking this entire situation. When his arm acted as a seatbelt to his warm body, as though he didn’t want to let her go. Didn’t want to lose her.

“You’re being too loud.” He mumbled, his lips brushing against her skin. She inhaled sharply, resting her hand over his, biting down on her bottom lip. She knew they should probably discuss what had just happened. “Not that I’m complainin’, Liv.”

“You’re married.” She whispered, swallowing the lump in her throat. “Fuck. Elliot. You’re married. And…and we just…shit.”

“Olivia. Stop.” He spoke a little louder, startling her slightly, but he pulled her closer, (as though that were possible, perhaps more firmly would’ve been a better explanation), as though he didn’t want her to escape. Didn’t want her to run. Not that she had anywhere to run, this was her apartment, after all. “Stop overthinking this. Please. I’m begging you. You did nothing wrong, I’m the wrong one. I’m wrong because honestly, I feel like…”

She turned her head, glancing at him from the corner of her eye as he pulled back slightly, allowing her to turn in his arms, her leg resting between his own, her arm in between the two of them, as he rest his arm over her side still, his hand planted on her back. She would feel him there for as long as she lived, she felt. “You feel what? How could I not be wrong, I know you’re married, and I still…I still agreed. I don’t hate your wife, Elliot. Why the hell would I think…”

“Stop.” He moved his arm, his hand resting against her cheek, eyes locked with hers. “I have to be honest with you, Olivia. Every single time I’ve gone home to that house in Queens over the past few years, I felt like I was cheating on you.” He swallows, “How is that even possible?”

She feels her mouth has gone dry, as she allows a strangled sound to escape, eyes tearing up again. She never cries. What the fuck is wrong with her?

“I don’t…I don’t know.” She shakes her head, her face burrowing further into the pillow. “El, you’re my best friend. You know everything about me.” She whispers. “You said you’re done with SVU, which I understand. I do. But…are you done being a Detective?” She asks, hopeful. She’s hopeful that maybe he’ll take a job out in Queens, or Brooklyn, and maybe she’ll run across him sometimes. Maybe he’ll work Homicide. Maybe he’ll take a position that puts him in a different Unit. Maybe he’ll still be around. They just won’t be partners but they can still be friends. “But…are you going to be able to talk to me still?”

“I don’t know. Liv, I don’t know what tomorrow brings. For the first time in my life, I’m scared to death. I shot a teenaged girl. One the same age as Liz.”

“She wasn’t innocent.” Olivia whispers, her hand on his cheek now, “I’m not going to say it again. You didn’t do anything wrong.”

“I picked you.” He whispers back. “I’ll always pick you over everyone else.”

“You’re full of shit.” Olivia lets out a small laugh. “Because I know, as well as you do, that when you’re done with your interviews with IAB, you’re going to go home, and you’re going to turn into just another man that walks out of my life.”

“I never wanted that, Olivia. That’s why I’m here.”

Why?” She asks, “Why did you come here tonight? I mean, I understand needing company because you don’t want to be alone with the sounds, with the thoughts. But, why come here and – and admit things – when you could’ve just walked the fuck away without a word. It would’ve hurt, but maybe a little less.”

“It wouldn’t hurt less. It would leave you with a million questions, Liv. I’m here because you deserved a goodbye. A proper one. One that lets you know how much you mean, one that tells you that you’re worthy, that everything you felt through the years isn’t in your head.”

“A proper goodbye?” She wants to scream. “This is going to mess me up.” She turns, his hand slides across her face and down to her shoulder as she lays flat on her back. “This is going to mess me up so fucking bad. You’re not going to pick me, you’re going to go back to your family and your kids – and I want to be pissed about it all – I do, but…that’s part of the reason; “ shaking her head, she turns her face to him. “It’s what makes you…you.

“I think…I think we needed this. For us.” He laces his fingers with hers as he moves his face in capturing her lips in a soft kiss. A whimper escapes as she moves her body closer to his, moving her leg from in between his legs to throw it over, thigh resting against his own, opening her up for – additional activities. “We’ve waited long enough to have this, and since our partnership is…”

“Don’t.” she whispers against his lips, trying to stop him from reminding her that he’s not coming back. She’s going to live in denial, she knows this, because it’s easier than facing the facts that he’s leaving. She wants him to choose her. God, she wants that more than she’s ever wanted anything…but she can’t be that woman. She can’t be the one that asks him to choose. She would never. She’d rather have this. Just once. She reaches down between them, stroking him a few times, as they kiss in the quiet of the room.

The rain still pelting against the window. As they stop kissing, she continues hanging onto him, small motions with her wrist, and he’s started moving his hips with her hand’s movements. That’s when he feels her pull him closer, and then she’s connected the two of them again, a small exhale as she adjusts to the position and feel of him. Placing her hand on his face, she just looks at him as he begins moving once more.

It’s a torturously slow pace he’s set, but she doesn’t mind. Not really.

“I was thinking.” her thumb strokes his cheek, eyes still focused on his. “Do you remember the case the second year in our partnership when it was pouring rain and we both looked like drowned rats?”

“You mean the one that Cap made us look like idiots when he cut away at the driver’s license?”

“Yeah, that one.” She moves closer, their lips brushing against one another softly, as she pulls back, she studies him for a moment, biting her bottom lip as he moves down to try to find a better angle in the sheets.

“What about it?”

“I remember glancing over at you, and when I was getting ready to make a wise crack, you made it first, and it made me grin. ‘Police Work’ you said. And…I remember looking at you and thinking how unlucky I was that you and I met in the circumstances we met. If this were any other life- shit, right there. It would’ve been…”

“More like this?” He asks, his fingers lacing through her naturally wavy hair, eyes looking down at the freckles he’s taking inventory of since he’s being allowed the privilege of being this close to her face. He feels like his heart could burst at the proximity of her. Feeling her wrapped around him, feeling what it’s like inside of her. He’s never felt as at home as he does in this moment.

“Yeah.” She agrees, pulling his chest closer to hers, as his hips continue to move languidly. She kisses his shoulder, turning her head so that she’s looking up at the ceiling.

“I can tell you a million times, Liv.”

“I know. I don’t want to hear it, El.” She wraps her arm around his shoulders, holding on tightly. “Just tell me you won’t forget me.”

“I won’t. Couldn’t.”

“I wish –“

“You wish what?” He stops moving for a minute, turning her head to look at him. “What?”

She feels almost hopeful that she could just spit it out, ask him to stay with her. Ask him to move in. Ask him to be hers. But as soon as the words rest on the tip of her tongue she thinks of the curly haired child she helped his wife bring into the world, about the hug they shared in the hospital and she realizes, she could never ask him to leave. But then, she thinks about the day in the courthouse when he told her that Kathy was pregnant. She’d been devastated.

“Just keep going, El. I don’t know what I was going to say.” She swallows the words. She swallows the request.

“You’re a shitty liar, Olivia.” He whispers into her ear, before he pulls her lobe between his teeth, running his tongue along the edge of it, when he lets go, he rests his face against hers, his mouth next to her ear, “I wish I would’ve come to you instead…that night. After the Royce case. I wish I would’ve gone and seen the kids, but then come back to you. It affected you just as much.”

She chokes on the implications. “I don’t know how you do that.”

“Do what, Liv?”

“Know what I’m thinking about.” She whispers against his ear. “I’m never gonna have that again, am I?”

“You’ll always have it, Liv.” He kisses her cheek, his hands traveling down her side and gripping her ass as he begins to move in a more rapid pace, glancing down at her face as she looks up at him, her leg pulling his thigh as he moves next to her. She meets him thrust for thrust.

She thinks of the position they’re currently in. Of the decisions they’ve made tonight, and part of her wants to laugh at the absurdity of the entire damn situation. Their whole partnership had been as though they were standing on the edge of a cliff, watching the waves crash into the rocks below, and only three options had been available. The first, to stand there and allow whatever is chasing after them to capture them and devour them. The second, to fake out the thing chasing after them, by maneuvering down the side of the cliff, while hanging onto a branch and then climbing back up when they felt the thing had disappeared. The third, to jump and hope that they didn’t crash and burn. Their entire partnership, they’ve elected for the second option. Faking out the thing chasing them, - their feelings.  They never took option three, or else she wouldn’t have been able to go to Oregon. But, at the moment, while their bodies moved together in the early hours of the morning beneath the white sheets on her bed, they had selected option one. And even though they were being devoured by the emotions they’d been running from, she felt like she had also taken a leap off the side of the cliff and crashed into the rocks.

As her fingers dug into his skin, she felt herself nearing another orgasm at his pace. Biting down on her bottom lip, she let her body just react to his. There was nothing she could do to prevent it from happening, he seemed to be perfectly in tune with her.

After she felt her walls relax slightly, she felt his thrusts become slightly more erratic as he was nearing his own orgasm. Her leg held him firmly in place as he pushed forward one final time, emptying himself inside. Her eyes felt suddenly heavy from exhaustion as she brought her hand up and rest it against his face, her fingers resting just behind his ear as they moved their faces together, kissing once more, in a quiet, relaxed way. She pushed herself forward a little more firmly, still with him inside of her as she drifted off to sleep.

[ • MAY 18TH, 7:42 AM • ]

Her phone buzzed on the table next to her bed. Rolling her body over, she reached out to find it laying there, squinting in the light of the morning, she groaned as she read the name. “Benson.” She answered, eyes flickering over to Elliot, who had his leg thrown over her body. They’d adjusted sometime in the middle of the night, disconnecting their bodies from one another. “Yeah. I have.” 

His blue eyes opened as he glanced over at her, with her hand in her hair, eyes closed as she listened to the individual on the other end of the line. “I’ll tell him. No, Cap, he stayed on my couch last night.” She lied to Don. Elliot took a deep breath, the only time she’d been good at lying was when it was related to their actions. “Didn’t want to be alone.” She turned her face to him, resting her free hand on his shoulder, tracing his tattoo lazily. “Yes, he’ll be there at ten. I’ll make sure of it. Thanks, Captain. I will. I promise.” She clicked the end call button on the phone and glanced at the time. Biting her lip, she placed the phone back on the nightstand.

“You’re due at IAB at 10.” She informed him, her hand still tracing patterns on his arm, “We’ve got time.”

She didn’t have to say anything else, because that was all the permission he needed, as he moved over her, her legs opening for him as he situated himself over her once more as he kissed his way up to her mouth.

[ • MAY 18TH, 12:49 PM • ]

Sitting outside of One PP, she had her face tilted up toward the sky, taking in the warm sunlight. They’d somehow managed to arrive on time for his additional interviews after having sex once more in bed and then again on the bathroom floor, before their quick shower. She was sipping on her cup of coffee, when she felt him sit down next to her, glancing over at him, she saw the way he was sitting.

“El, it’s going to be okay.” She reassured him, wanting to reach out and interlace their hands, but resisting it – because they were in public, and she knew that Kathy’s cousin worked in Central Booking, a mile up the street.

“Let’s just…go back to your place, Liv.” he shakes his head. “Please.”