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A Very Safe Place

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still frames in your mind
Story || 
a very safe place
chapter nine ||
i’ve never held my breath for quite this long


[ 4:22 pm ]

Olivia walks into the waiting room, a cup of coffee in one hand and a hot tea in the other. She taps Elliot’s shoulder, getting his attention, as he reaches up for the cup. Taking her own cup, wrapping her hands around it, she leans back on the ugly couch, lifting her leg and resting her foot on the table in front of her. Her brown eyes glance up as she catches Antonio’s gaze, from the doorway. He’d been following her around since she’d walked out of the bathroom from washing Gwen’s blood off of her hands. Antonio had a pair of scrubs in his hands and smiled kindly, glancing down at her pants. Understanding the suggestion, she had taken them from his hands and gone back into the bathroom, discarding her stained pants in the garbage.

“Any news?” Olivia asks, bringing the cup to her lips. “Sorry that it’s not that fancy-ass coffee you prefer now.”

“It’s alright. I think I could drink John’s battery acid at this point.” Elliot brought the cup to his lips, wincing as he took a sip. “Antonio commandeer someone’s pants for you?”

“Didn’t ask. Just was grateful to change.” She shrugs, placing her hand over the back of Elliot’s hand. “Heard anything from the crew?”

“Actually, Joe called while you were getting these. He said Chad is singing like a nightingale. Said they were tracing his records and searching for who paid him off, if all goes well, they can get him to give the name. We could be back in the city in a couple of days.” Elliot looked down at his feet, eyes downcast. “Then you can get back to running your Unit, and I can…focus on whatever Organized Crime wants me to focus on.”

“You know, El…” Olivia leaned her head against Elliot’s shoulder. “I kind of like your cabin.”

“Well, it is my cabin.”

“Have they said anything about Gwen? You never answered.” Olivia pointed out, running her thumb over the top of Elliot’s knuckles.

“Well, a nurse came out about five minutes ago, had me sign some paperwork. Said that they were working on her. I asked if she knew anything else, and she said as soon as they hear anything from the OR, they would let us know.”

“Okay. So, now we wait.” Olivia nodded, face still pressed against Elliot’s shoulder as she tilted her head up to look at him.

“Now we wait.” He agreed.

[ 6:49 pm ]

“Family of Gwen McGinley?” The Doctor stood by the doorway, next to Antonio, who was decidedly not staring at Elliot and Olivia, but pretending to read one of the magazines. Olivia was ninety-seven percent positive that Antonio wasn’t actually interested in Good Housekeeping. Unless he was searching for recipes to try, in which case, she’d invite him over to cook…so she didn’t poison anyone.

“That’s us.” Olivia stood, slapping Elliot on the leg. Not that there was anyone else in the waiting room, she looked around at the empty seats, rolling her eyes.

“Well, I have to say that whoever stopped the bleeding did a half-way decent job.” He shrugged. “We’ve got her all patched up, the bullet somehow managed to avoid the major arteries and she’ll have to go through physical therapy for the shoulder, but…other than that, she’s extremely lucky. We’d like to keep her overnight for observation, but she’s come out of anesthesia and is insisting that she’d be alright to go home that there are more than enough people to watch over her there.” Olivia bit her lip, looking down at her shoes, Elliot ran his hand over his face. “Obviously, we’d like you to try to dissuade her from leaving tonight, - “

“Doctor, with all due respect, we are the last people on earth who would ever try to convince someone to stay in a hospital.” Elliot mumbled, glancing over at Olivia, as she squeezed his hand in her own.

“Well. Be that as it may, we’d like to monitor to make sure that no infections occur or additional bleeding.” The Doctor finished, looking at the two individuals in front of him.

“Look, just give her some antibiotics, we’ll strap her to her bed, and she’ll be alright. She’s a tough cookie.” Elliot huffed out. Olivia bit the corner of her lip. “Doctor, is she lucid?”

“Yes. She’s already flirted with three nurses. One of them being my wife.”

“So, what you’re saying is she’s able to go home?” Olivia pipes in, chuckling to herself about the fact that Gwen was relentless when it came to flirting with anyone. She made a mental note to give her grief for that one when they allow them to see her.

The Doctor took a minute to really think about it, and tilted his head from side to side for a minute before shrugging. “Yeah, I guess it would be safe enough for her to go home. But if there are any issues, can I rely upon you to get her back here?”

“Sir,” Antonio spoke up, finally placing his magazine down, “We’re all trained professionals, we will get her back here, she’s important to all of us.”

“I’ll have the nurse come get you in a few minutes to take you to her. I’ll get started on the discharge paperwork. She’ll probably be better off at home than flirting with my staff…and wife.”

[ 7:25 pm ]

“Gwen.” Elliot walked into the room, hand clasped tightly in Olivia’s hand. “I hear you’ve been flirting with all the nurses.”

Gwen looked up from her spot on the bed, squinting at her older brother, her eyes traveling down to his and Olivia’s joined hands. “Well, what am I supposed to do, you’ve taken this total babe off the market…or that’s what it looks like. She’s a tease, by the way.” Gwen shakes her head, turning her face to look at her bandaged shoulder. “This hurts like a bitch. Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I told you when I got shot years ago that it hurt like a bitch when you called.” Elliot walked next to the bed, lifting his free hand and placing it on his sister’s forehead, tracing his thumb along her brow, smiling down at her fondly. “I’m glad you’re alright, kid.”

“It may have escaped your notice, bro, but I’m not quite a kid anymore.”

“Those must be some good meds.” He replied, his blue eyes studying his sister, one brow raised.

“I hope you’re not jealous I’ve been flirting with all the nurses, Liv.” Gwen finally glanced at the woman who had thought quicker than she could’ve comprehended.

“Actually, that’s a bone I have to pick with you.” Olivia smiled, placing her hand over the top of Gwen’s on the bed, her head tilted. “I offered to flash you and this is the thanks I get.”

“See, told you she’s a tease. She’ll never follow through. I’m disappointed, I have to keep my options open.” Gwen turned her head back to her brother. “You’re a lucky son-of-a-bitch.”

“I’m gonna tell Mama you called her a bitch.” Elliot whispers, letting his smile widen at his sister.

“So are you two gonna break me out of here, or do I have to offer to sleep with someone to get out of here?”

“No,” Olivia shook her head, “You succeeded in your own mission, Gwen. You flirted with the Doctor’s wife.”

“No shit?” Gwen started laughing. “Wonder which one she was. Hopefully the cute red head.” Elliot took a deep breath, sitting down in the chair against the wall. “So, did they figure out who – “

“Don’t worry about that.” Elliot shook his head, crossing his arms as he leaned back. “Just focus on getting better, yeah?”

“Elliot, I got shot – not fatally wounded.” Gwen rolled her eyes and turned her attention to the brunette standing near her bed. “Olivia, I took the bullet for you, so tell me, what have they found out?”

“Not much.” Olivia answered, taking a seat on the end of the bed. “They’re checking into the financials and cell phone records trying to find out the mastermind behind the threats – obviously, they know they were credible, or else they wouldn’t have whisked us away. You know that.” She gave her a pointed look. Gwen nodded quietly, her blue eyes narrowed as she watched Olivia. “But…they’re trying to get him to just – hand over the name.” Her brown eyes flickered over to Elliot sitting against the wall, “They’re hoping we can get back home by the end of the week or beginning of next week.”

Gwen nodded, eyes narrowing as she looked between the two individuals. As she began to open her mouth to say something, Olivia surprised both Gwen and Elliot by continuing on. “But I don’t know if I’m ready to go back so soon.”

“Liv?” Elliot looked between Gwen and Olivia, his expression trying to read what it was she was saying exactly. Getting no clear answers, he just sat back, rubbing his hand over his face. Thankfully, it was at this moment when the Nurse came back into the room, and Gwen proceeded to flirt relentlessly, resulting in the woman turning beet red.

[ 8:58 pm ]

Arriving back to the cabin, Olivia immediately walked through the front door and was met with Noah crashing into her arms. Picking up her son, (after joking that he was getting bigger than she was), she took a seat on the couch, planting a soft kiss in his curls.

“Mom! Joe made us chili for dinner. It was really good. I asked him if we could wait up until you all got home and he told us that Aunt Gwen – “ Olivia zoned out as she listened to her son talking. Did he really just call Gwen his Aunt? “Was injured and she saved you, is that true?”

Olivia just took a moment, pulling back from her son for a moment before she licked her bottom lip, smiling lightly. “Yes, that’s true. She…she did.” It was at this exact moment that Elliot walked through the door, helping Gwen in and taking off the jacket he’d slung over her shoulders. “It’s bedtime, you can ask her all about it tomorrow, okay?”

“Okay mom. Love you.” He gave her a hug as she smiled watching him run up the stairs. Turning around as she watched Elliot helping Gwen to the stairs she made eye contact with Joe, who was standing in the kitchen, washing the bowls from the kids’ dinner.

“Joe?” Olivia stood up, straightening the scrubs as she walked toward the kitchen island. “Thank you.”

“For what?”

“Taking care of the boys.” She shrugged, her fists resting on the surface of the counter. “For following us this afternoon.”

“Listen,” Joe swallowed glancing over to the door to the basement. “Elliot wouldn’t ever forgive me if anything happened to either you or Gwen. And the boys? They’re good kids, it wasn’t a problem. Your kid, he’s smart as a whip.”

“Thanks.” Olivia smiled brightly, the pride evident on her face.

“I left the leftovers in the fridge – there’s also some cheese and diced onions in small containers…and there’s some pasta in the blue bowl on the second shelf. If you guys get hungry later. I’m going to go next door this evening. Just, call over if you all need anything.”

“Thank you, Joe.”

“Thank you.” He replied, leaving Olivia standing by the island, slightly confused.

Shrugging, she walked down the hall to her room. She wanted to get comfortable rather than spend all evening in the borrowed scrubs. She glanced over at the clock, noting that it was now 9:12 pm. Peeling off the layers of clothes, she left a trail to the bathroom, stepping in the shower and turning on the water as warm as she thought she could stand. Resting her hands against the wall she lowered her head as the warm water cascaded over her skin.

[ 9:30 pm ]

Stepping out of the shower, she wrapped the towel around herself and made her way back into the bedroom. Almost backing into the door of the bathroom when she saw Elliot sitting on the bed, his back against the headboard, his legs stretched out in front of him, arms crossed, blue eyes shining mischievously as they examined her from her feet up.

“Jesus Christ, El. Give a woman a heart attack.” She stood, with her hand over her heart, hair in the twisted towel on top of her head. The bastard was smirking at her.

He threw his legs over the side of the bed, she glanced over to the door. It was wide open. Probably a mistake on her behalf, but as she walked toward it and reached for the handle his hand landed on her wrist as she closed it, locking it in the process. His hand felt warm, heavy, and safe against her wrist. Turning around, she backed up against the solid surface, as his body boxed her in, eyes roaming her face, hands reaching out and mussing the towel on the top of her head until he pulled it out and her damp hair fell down over her shoulders, the waves and natural curl evident.

“I like when your hair is wet.” He moved his face next to her own, his lips brushing her ear ever-so-slightly as he whispered. “It reminds me of our first two years as partners. Your hair was so dark, it made you look even more mysterious…sexy.” She felt her breath hitch as she swallowed thickly eyes watching in the peripheral as he pulled back, glancing down at her over the end of his nose.

That’s when she felt his hand cup her jaw as he tilted her head up, their lips meeting in a quiet, calming, and sensual manner. As her mouth opened in a gasp he took this opportunity to slide his tongue into hers and she moved against his mouth, her hand resting against the back of his neck as she pulled him closer in. As he bit down on her bottom lip she pulled back slightly, allowing him to kiss from her mouth down her neck, to the deep V in the robe, planting soft pecks along her skin. Sliding his hand in the neckline of the robe, he pushed one shoulder off.

“El, take me to bed.”

“Yes, Captain.” He answered.