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Broken Glass

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“I'm mad at him,” Bell said.

“At who?” Denise asked, confused as hell as it came out of the blue.

“Stabler.”

They were lying in bed enjoying the peaceful silence of the night.

“Stabler? For coming over here and getting our son to sleep?” Denise said, turning over in the bed so she could get a good look at her wife who was sounding crazy.

Ayanna smiled and kissed Denise, “No, it just occurred to me. I’m mad. I couldn’t figure out what it was, but I’m pissed at him, for her. Does that make sense?” She continued, not even waiting for a response, “her apartment D, I just can’t stop seeing it. And to think that Stabler doesn’t know...that he never knew? He didn’t even help look for her? He had to of known, right? It just breaks my heart for her. Now that I actually know her. I mean fuck, they were partners, supposedly best friends for 13 years, and then nothing?” She was breaking, “I just can’t believe he wasn’t there for her. And when she needed him most, no less.”
She couldn’t help it, her eyes grew watery, “If I could just stop seeing that damn apartment and that fucking chair. The smell...it was just...awful, almost painful.” And she broke, collapsing in Denise’s arms. The tears began to spill over. Tears that Bell hadn't even realized she was holding.

 

“Does Olivia know, you know?” Denise questioned a little bit later when Ayanna’s breathing had returned to normal and the tears had stopped.

Ayanna shook her head, “I’m sure she knows, I know. But not that I was there and part of the ‘clean up task force’.” She looked up at the ceiling, “Not that I personally saw the things that I saw. Like, her fucking bloodied underwear used as restraints, or the metal hangers he bent to burn her with, which were also used as restraints. I’m pretty sure she don’t know I know that.” She released a deep breath, “I’m going to have to tell her, aren’t I?”

 

Eoeoeoeoeoeoeoeoeeoeoeo

“Who is Lewis, Olivia?” He demanded as he barged in the door, not allowing her the chance to deny him access. He was fired up and he knew that she would be able to tell in about 2 seconds flat. They may have been apart for a decade, but by God she could still read him like a book.

Olivia’s eyes shot out of her head. Her body reacted like she just took a bullet to the gut. She could feel the blood drain from her face, so she held up her hand, telling him to stay put, as she quickly went to the kitchen to grab her drink. She knew the beginning signs of having a panic attack, but more importantly, because of her therapy; not only could she identify the feeling/s, she knew what to do in case she felt herself having one. She took a deep breath in and out.

While she chugged some water she debated on what she should tell Elliot. She knew this conversation was going to happen and it was just a matter of time…but was now the time? She leaned her back against the fridge and took another deep breath.

“Mom! Mommy?”

saved by the bell

“Yes, sweetheart?” she replied, thankful for the interruption. Noah always was the perfect distraction.

“Do I need to dress kinda warm, or super warm?” The boy asked as he smiled up at his mother. He was extra excited for his day today. Uncle Rafa and his mother (who Noah calls Abu, short for Abuelita) were taking Noah to the Zoo.

“Super warm,” Olivia giggled out as she patted his head and watched him go back towards his room. She was supposed to go with them to the zoo, but ever since she learned that Rafa was defending Wheatly she just couldn’t be near him. Not at the moment anyway. But she wasn’t going to punish her son and deny him a fun time at the zoo with his Abu, who he loved and missed very much.

She was so caught up in her thoughts, she totally forgot Elliot was even there. So, when he came into her kitchen, he scared the living shit out of her!

“Jesus Christ, Elliot!” She yelled.

She screamed so loud that Noah came running back down the hallway.

“You ok, Mom?” he asked with much confusion. He then saw Elliot standing there.

 

“I’m fine. Go, get ready. Hurry up, you’re going to be late!” Liv hollered at him, hoping to avoid the whole introduction of Elliot Stabler and her son at this time. For reasons she didn’t know (or wasn’t willing to admit) when it came to Noah meeting Elliot, she just couldn’t do it. She has had a few opportunities to do so, but she bailed out on them every time.

Noah gave the man a disapproving look, “Who are you?”

“Noah! Go, now.” Olivia said, in her sternerest Mom voice.

Elliot gave the kid a sympathetic smile and a little wave. Noah just ran back to his room, without a word.

It hurt Elliot. The fact that he didn’t know her kid. He swallowed hard, he knew it was his fault, and he was the only one to blame. He couldn’t get mad at Olivia for not introducing them either. As a parent he understood. And as a partner, he was ashamed of himself.

“You wanna go sit in the living room?” She offers, already walking and sitting down on the couch.

He follows and takes a seat in a chair across from her. They look at each other for a minute or two, just taking each other in. Neither one of them is exactly sure where to begin. Finally Elliot starts, “Listen Liv, I ahh—I’m sor—-” But he gets interrupted by the abrupt swinging open of the front door.

And then the loud yelling of an older woman, “Noah-jito! Noah! Mi amor! Tu Abuela está aquí!”

And once again, Noah comes running down the hallway from his room. His eyes are wide and he has a grin from ear to ear as he jumps into the lady’s arms, “Abu! I’ve missed you!” He says as he hugs her tightly.

 

Elliot can’t help but stare as Noah hugs his apparent Grandma, it pulls at his heartstrings a little. It’s getting harder and harder to deny that Olivia had a life after him. But also, it’s hurting more and more that he really has no idea what that life is like. Was he really that thick headed to think that she would be exactly the same as he left her?

“Are you ready to go, No-jito?” The older woman asks him after she sets him down from her arms.

“Yup, just give me 2 seconds,” the boy says and is gone in a flash.

That is when Elliot turns to look at Olivia.

And that is when Elliot sees Rafael Barba… standing next to Olivia.

Standing too close for his liking. His blood is starting to boil. All those old feelings of jealousy, enviousness, desire, lust… they have been coming back and he’ll be damned if they don’t fit him just like a glove. He has about one-hundred questions for what is happening in front of him right now. His brain can’t catch up with the scene, can’t process. He can feel the sweat start to gather on the back of his neck.

“What the hell are you doing here?” He stands up and takes a step towards Barba. His body language, classic Elliot Stabler. He wants to hit something, very hard.

Barba smiles and looks at Olivia, which only pisses Elliot off more. “Just here to pick up my little No-jito, and we’ll be out of your way.” He turns towards Olivia, “Are you sure you don’t want to come with us?”

She just nods.

When Noah came back into the living room and saw Rafa standing there, he jumped right into his arms, holding on to him for what seemed like dear life. It made Elliot’s head spin and his heart sad.

‘Please God, no’ he thought as he watched Noah and Rafa gather Noah’s stuff to get ready to go.

It was all happening so fast. Rafa couldn’t be Noah’s father? Could he be? He needed a drink. His head was still spinning, he had to sit back down. He was thankful he chose to sit down, because he’s sure he would have fallen the fuck over when he saw Barba kiss Olivia on the forehead before they left. And it wasn’t just a 1 second touch of the lip kiss either. It was deep and meaningful for just a kiss on the forehead. He had whispered something to her before as well. Something that made her smile, a smile that she normally reserved for Elliot, or so he thought.

Eoeoeoeoeoeoeoeoeoeoeoeoeoeoeoeoeoeoeo

 

Olivia closed the door slowly and softly. She took a deep breath before she turned to go into the living room. Her world felt like it was falling apart in front of her. She looked at Elliot. She didn’t know if she could do this right now. She was starting to get a headache.

“Why do you care, Elliot?” She asked after she finally sat down across from him.

Elliot got pulled out of a deep trance that included Olivia and Barba in the throes of baby making, “huh?”

“Why are you here, Elliot?” She asked, getting annoyed.

“I uh—” He had no idea. He rubbed his temples, good God he was getting old. “I want to know, Liv. Please, you have it wrong. You think I wasn’t asking you because I didn’t care?” He doesn’t give her time to respond, “It’s the complete opposite, Liv. I didn’t ask because I was scared.” And he says it so soft and low she is almost not sure she heard him correctly.

“Of what?” She probes.

“Isn’t it obvious? Scared of what I did to you. What my leaving caused. Scared that you moved on without me. And not only did you move on, you fucking thrived, Liv.” He took a breath, tried to collect himself, “Look, you don’t need me anymore, and when I realized that…well let’s just say it’s a hard pill to swallow.”

“That is the stupidest thing you have ever said. And I never wanted to slap you more.” She takes a minute before she speaks again because she is feeling angry, “You think I fucking thrived after you? I have a whole squad that will beg to differ from you, ” She pulls at her hair, tucking a piece behind her head while she gets herself together, “Why, couldn’t you just say goodbye? Or just fucking tell me you were leaving? And fuck you for coming back and bringing this all to the surface! I put that time behind me! I thought you were finally out of my life.” She admits ashamed of her own words.