Thunder strikes in a scary drum-roll right after midnight.
From beside the window inside the steel headquarters, Elliot could see bits of lightning activate the stygian sky above. The air outside was still humid even at night, the season manic and unpleasantly warm. It was enough to know that this was simply temporary. Temporary.
He wondered if she was okay out there. If she had eaten. If the food had managed to stay down. Most days she could eat just fine, he reminded himself. Most days she swiped at Noah’s leftovers and rarely ever got into bed on an empty stomach.
Most days, however, weren’t every day.
“Go home.” Bell says.
He wants to, he does. But he likes it here. Likes working himself into the ground while knowing that he gets to go home to a woman he’s been in love with for twenty years. Absolved of a certain amount of guilt thanks to sitting on someone else’s couch. And it makes Elliot feel good just thinking about Olivia in his bed, like this is more than what it actually is.
A text message chimes his phone.
Liv: The bed is cold.
It isn’t. It can’t be. Summer is charging ahead like a bad smell and his aircon unit is down. But he loves her for trying, and he can’t resist the smile.
3.16. El: Be home in a couple. You ok?
3.16. Liv: I miss you.
3.17. Want you.
3.17. Can’t stop thinking about you.
His arms ache and his glutes still sting from the labor of pumping into her all night long. It’s been less than 24 hours since they started… stopped… and started again.
Still, he takes one swing in Bell’s direction, decides she can do just fine without him, and jumps out the window.
3.18. El: Be home soon.
He finds her glowing under that dim golden lamp in his kitchen. The stool she sits on is tall, and her bare legs swing back and forth like a weightless child on a cliff ledge. He can hear somber like music coming from one of Eli’s abandoned earpods, she likes to listen to music alone these days. He calls out her name and feels a tank of relief when she doesn’t jump at the bullet of it. She is safe here, knows it too.
He doesn’t think much about the way she slams the notebook closed. How she ties a ribbon there with a lock and key and then tucks it into her bag. He doesn’t even notice the bag.
All he sees is her in pink cotton shorts and an old nypd shirt belonging to his drawer. He takes it as a message that she is here to stay, that she has finally found refuge in their falling, no longer feeling an abrasive need to wear a body suit of armor.
Long golden legs stretch out as her feet touch the ground, breasts bouncing a little at the change in movement.
Olivia isn’t wearing a bra underneath.
But her stance is strung tight tonight, hands clenched into fists at her sides, face completely bare of makeup and hair still damp from the shower. She looks about twenty something with the weight of the world on her shoulders. She looks like Olivia Benson.
Instantly, he scoops her up and into his arms so hard that her toes barely graze the floor. Her arms snake around his broad shoulders and little puffs of breath kiss the back of his neck. She completely dissolves into him - making them one in the same.
“Whas wrong?” he whispers, palms skimming all along her back, up and down they go.
“Nothing.” She lies, “Just had a bad dream s’all.”
When she parts, he takes one look into her eyes and knows that the dream was horrible. It’s there choking the life out of her, still.
“You wanna talk about it?”
She shakes her head a little, and her eyes move around in a circle like she is memorizing him, scribbling down little notes in her head, finding a bible to lay down with, hold onto the lines and words that bound them together and forever.
His thumbs find her cheekbones, carrying her face and swaying there a little. Together they rock alone to the swell of an invisible ocean underneath. Her gaze digs deeper and deeper into his soul, pulling him out from whatever hesitancy he had just a moment ago. Her eyes are still cloudy, yes, but there is passion there too, longing.
And then she says something, something that makes him crumble inside.
“I love you, Elliot.”
It’s the first time she’s said it out loud.
He see’s something akin to colour for the first time tonight, it is beautiful here.
Things move pretty quickly from there.
Of course he would love to sit down and drink tea and talk about just how much she loves him. Elliot has so many fucking questions. At what year of their partnership did she realize it? Did she love-love him the day Eli was born, or before that? More importantly, what made her want to say it right now? So many questions.
But then she is pulling him toward the bedroom. Taking her clothes off as she goes. All wet and burning and so damn horny he rubs his dick over his pants. Olivia rips his garments apart like the night before, her eyes moving over his body in a frantic motion, as if he might just disappear if she blinks. He lays her down upon the bedsheets, legs caging either side of her hips and pinning her down. His arm comes to cradle around the crown of her head, making sure he doesn’t crush any bits of her pretty hair. His fingers stroke her jaw, softly. Adoringly.
“We have nothing but time, Liv.”
Her eyes slam closed, and she bites her bottom lip like she doesn’t believe him.
“We don’t have to make love to prove anything. I’m staying. I’m here. Never leaving you.”
“I know,” she sniffs, fingers drawing lazy circles on the nape of his neck. Her eyes open and she isn’t crying, isn’t sad, she looks overwhelmingly happy to be here, but there is still something dark over there. So dark it pulls him in, and swimming to the bottom of the ocean, he tries his best to take it all away from her, to replace the foliage of fear with the little light that he has left.
“Talk to me baby.” He breathes, smoothing out her hair.
Her breath parts.
Her eyes glisten under the half-light, so open they take his breath away.
And then those long arms lock him in so tight that his chest heaves against her hard nipples, his mouth losing control as she forces it down and upon her own. She kisses him forcefully. Lovingly. Tongues sloppy and hormones greedy. Her palms travel to cup his ribs, heavy in her hands.
“I don’t wanna talk” she croaks, “I just wanna feel you moving inside me.”
He breathes, in and out.
“Please, El.” She begs.
And then her hand moves lower and lower, right there, underneath his boxer briefs it goes, wrapping him fully as he starts to grow inside of her fist. He groans and his forehead crushes with hers.
“I wanna forget.”
Forget what though? He thinks.
But Olivia distracts by setting him free, hips thrusting forward to his erection, she whines a little into his mouth as she feels the tip of him brush her clit. The noise makes him savage inside. Makes him want to pick her up and hang her amongst the stars and tell the world that it was him. It was him who made her whine and him who made her come. Only him.
So he does what he knows best. Yanks himself away from her, head in between her big breasts, kissing and sucking there. Immediately, he slips two fingers into her folds, groaning at the heat that melts and the little gasps she makes. He gets to work while his mouth follows a trail down her stomach. Breasts spilling in one hand that will never leave, he holds them down and her down with him.
His lips float above where she craved him, keeping his gaze upon her own, letting his eyes say what he couldn’t quite match with words. Sometimes he felt boyish just looking up at her, all wide eyed and all for her approval. She had her head tipped back into the pillow and her eyes rolling away, waiting, and he couldn’t make her beg –
Not this time. She’d already given over her heart, her love, and that was all he ever wanted, really.
So, he put his face back where it properly belonged, inhaled like a starved man for air and wrapped his mouth around her clit, tongue taking long deliberate strokes. His hands massaged possessive circles around her breasts. She groaned and cried and writhed against him, placed a daring hand to the back of his head and rocked her hips right into his face, her ass almost off the sheets.
He felt so empowered in that moment. So impressive and more worthy than anyone had ever made him feel. He cradled her thighs against his face, holding them hostage with his long arms. Everything was rhythmic and persistent in the way he kept thrusting his head and his tongue back and forth, so hungry and so so empty he treated her core like a delicious meal.
The sounds she made could’ve made him come right there. He was suddenly grateful that nobody was home, for when she clenched around him minutes later, not only did he feel more impressive, more smug, he had to throw a hand over her mouth to cower the cry that shook the walls and the floors and everything beneath. There’s so much pride he feels right there.
As Liv slowed down and past her climax, a trace of herself inside of him now, he crawled back up and wiped his mouth all over her heaving breasts, licking and sucking the mountains he loved most. He heard her laugh, a breathy and dumbfounded kind of laugh.
“Jesus… that was… I.. oh..”
He chuckled, smugly.
Her hand fisted for his shirt where she pulled him to her mouth, kissed him with all the fire and passion that he put into her just a moment ago. Olivia nudged his chest away and flipped onto her knees, ass in the air. She looked up at him from behind her shoulder, bottom lip trapped in between her white teeth. He felt like a god just staring at her down there. And it was the fastest reaction he’d ever gotten after giving her his tongue.
“We don’t have to, y’know. I just wanna make you feel good.” He breathed unevenly, body towering over hers, he planted undemanding kisses along her shoulder blades.
Olivia’s expression softens, pulling him in like a tide at sea, his nose crashes into hers, pecking those pink lips once and twice and over again. And then –
“Inside me, now.”
Then wrapped a hand around his throbbing cock, watched carefully as her eyes travelled there with it, and she licked her lips very slowly. He was desert. He was a feast. She makes him wild inside when she gets like this. Wild.
“No lube.” She commanded again.
“So damn bossy.”
He swatted her ass, the sound of slapped skin hitting the walls. She gasped lightly, a smug smile in her expression. She was bossy in bed. She was allowed to be anything with him. Olivia’s head dips lower into the pillow as he positions himself. From this angle behind he can see her inner thighs glistening like diamonds, and he swallowed back a satisfied growl. Olivia was always wet and warm and ready for him. Olivia was unreal most times anyway, but this jarring fact made him feel equivalent to being a king, a great crown on his head.
Elliot enters in slowly. Doesn’t have to press down to know that her jaw is whole for him tonight. He gives her time to adjust, to gasp, to cry, as he squeezes his eyes to embrace the dark net of pleasure destroying his vision.
Wait, he thinks. Just wait.. please.
But she pants, impatiently. “I want you to fuck me… so hard… that I can’t think anymore, ok?”
Elliot swallows thickly, something unruly snapping inside. “Yeah.. ok.”
He knew she trusted him enough to do this. That he would never hurt her. Never try to hurt her for as long as he lived. So he gave every piece of himself into the pressure of his glutes, taking one hard thrust that made her gasp out loud.
She felt so hot, so wet, and stretching for him all the way until he was so deep inside he didn’t know his own name. Elliot let out a long throaty groan, pushed her spine further down so he could have all of her. He pulled her by the hips like she was made of thin air, and proceeded to drive in and out, again and again, her loud moans echoing the thunderous crash of his headboard.
It was animalistic, the way they fucked. An animal within them. An animal set free. An animal gone crazy. All the weeks of pent-up rage and bloody romance coming to the fore.
It was Olivia wanting him to fuck her so hard that he almost forgot it wasn’t a new thing. Back then it was about avoiding the pain of what he had done to her. Back when she pressed the control buttons and he just followed, desperate to have any part of her that wasn’t about being friends.
But now it was this. Whatever this was.
They don’t talk about it here. They don’t talk at all. He keeps his tongue still and his thighs wide open. Giving her what she wanted. The cries of the storm ricocheted Olivia’s moans and Elliot’s occasional shouts. Loud slaps of sweaty skin rattle along the pitter patter of heavy rainfall. She finds his hand amid the volatility, lies flat on her belly and slides his fingers so low they slip into the place he calls home. Her panting turns into low groans from the thrill of his fingerprint soothing her clit.
As he rolled his hips over her, one arm supporting his weight, he looked at the back of her head. Followed it down the long line of her spine, back to those arms splayed out like a starfish on its face. He searched for a sign that maybe this was too much, too loud, too heavy, but then she slipped a hand underneath and guided him deeper, fuller, so that he swallowed her front and back, so that his finger deliberately felt the drive of his dick from behind.
And she just kept moaning into her pillow, vicious throaty moans that made him question his mere existence.
He was so aroused he lost a little piece of himself, right there. He could never have sex again if it wasn’t with her. Not even if he tried. All the tools to please would not be functional. Olivia Benson was it for him, this was his dying hymn.
Her body tensed and convulsed as he pumped into her, and he felt her walls clamming down onto his hand, felt the call of her dreams match the things that lured them here. And he was right with her, eyes squeezed tight as he tried to concentrate. Tried not to come before she.
But white hot stars was all Elliot could see, the type he’d never known before, the type to make him blink very sharply, he couldn’t see anything real, really. Only stars.
The moment her climax drew onto his fingers he quickly withdrew so that both of his hands palmed either side of her body. He pumped into her with such an urgency that would make him blush afterward, just thinking about it.
“Kiss me.” She panted; the right of her face bobbing up and down against the pillow.
He found her lips again, or at least tried to, but he couldn’t do it properly. Couldn’t fashion the skill to multitask. There was only enough energy for his hips. Suddenly she was calling him baby – come baby – she said. Inside me baby.
And that did it for him. That fucking did it for him.
His forehead burrowed into her shoulder as he drilled into her once, twice and then, and then… Everything went dark.
Such different stars now.
“Fucking hell.” He cursed, panting rapidly into her hair. He rubbed his nose there a little, trying to savor the scent of her sweet shampoo, finding himself again. Olivia moaned in response, tilting her head back to kiss some semblance of his skin.
He was crushing her back, he realized, and cursed again. Pulling himself out of her, Elliot shivered at the emptiness that crippled his bones, he was sweaty and hot, yet cold from the abandon.
He collapsed beside her, and before he could even fucking think, Olivia was on top of him again, legs lining with his, her joints making alarming noises, her hair curtained their faces as she leaned down to smack her lips with his.
The kiss was soft and sensual. A sweet golden warmth filling his veins at the intimacy of it. The last 24 hours wasn’t just some crazy fuck fest for Elliot to catastrophize come the break of day, he thought. It was a set of soft kisses amid the dawn of light. It was Olivia telling him she loves him the moment he returns. It was going wild in bed and then smiling down at him, like right now, with all the love in the world he wanted to bottle and store away in his cupboard.
Olivia kissed him.
“That was.” kiss. “Amazing.” kiss. “You’re very” kiss. “Good” kiss. “at that.”
He pushed her hair away, and smiled outrageously, yet her eyes were still off in a faraway world, he thought.
“I wasn’t too rough?”
“No.” One more kiss, then she soothed the lines in his forehead with her thumb.
“I’d tell you if you were.”
“Good.” he knew that already, but it was nice to hear this Liv say so.
She dropped her face into the crook of his shoulder, laying sprawled on top of him with her legs down straight. His own hands travelled down the length of her back, stopping at her ass, he squeezed the swell there for good measure, making sure that she was real, and that she was his. She shuddered a little, smiling into his neck. It was easy and peaceful here, he thought. Nothing rocking them back and forth despite the raging storm outside.
He thinks its intimate, and it is. But she is still hiding her face in his neck.
He yawns out loud and his fingers dance across her sweaty back, dreaming. “Hmm?”
“If something ever happened to me. You and Noah would be the last people on my mind.”
The words are odd to him, killing something inside.
“Whas this all about hmm? Tell me.” he kisses her hair, softly.
She shakes her head under his jaw, and then her whole body jolts as a bout of lighting scratches the sky above, its scream loud enough to startle even her. Olivia isn’t scared of much. Except lightning, she’s a little scared of lightning, tonight. Elliot squeezes her tight in his embrace, wishing the storm away. Fuck off. He wants to tell the bitter old sky, fuck off and leave her alone.
“Was it the nightmare?”
“Yeah.” She mumbles, “Yeah.”
“Was it… was it him?”
Olivia is quiet for a moment, doesn’t have to ask – but then she sighs and shakes her head.
“No.. no. I just… don’t wanna talk about it, alright? Another day maybe. I just wanna lie here with you.”
Always, he thinks.
“I got you.” He whispers, a moment later.
She lifts her head, and, and.. god she looks happy, not quite present, but happy enough for him to settle.
“I love you.” Elliot says. “You are everything to me.”
Olivia inhales a shaky breath, “I love you too. I mean it.”
She shifts from his arms, wiping something under her eye.
“Just don’t forget it, okay?”
Again, another odd statement.
“Why on earth would I forget that?”
She shrugs her shoulders and rolls off his body, sweaty limbs relishing the cool change of air. Her feet swing onto the floor and then she is across the room, his shirt diving over her body and shimmering past her bare ass. She still won’t look at him.
“Olivia..” he started.
“Toilet,” she explains, sensing his gaze as she gambles her way out of the room, disappearing. She is always disappearing, but she is trying too, he thinks.
She is trying.
Olivia waits for him to fall asleep before she leaves.
He was so tired he could barely keep his eyes open the moment she crawled back inside, shushing his attempts to learn more of her secrets.
“I’m just tired, baby.” She told him, deliberate with the pet name. Soothing the fears away.
She doesn’t want to tell him at this very moment. He looked so happy over there in her arms. She wasn’t ready for the look of horror that would surface as she sent his life into yet another tailspin. Elliot had lost so much already; he couldn’t lose her too.
But she’d been trying her best to keep herself together. Don’t cry, she told herself, as he declared lyrics of love in bed.
Forever. He had shared, aloud.
Don’t tell him. Don’t fucking tell him. The voices said.
His head is on her lap when he falls for her lullaby. She put it there, told him she wanted to massage his neck and watch him float away. Another lie uttered to savor the moment before it would all be gone again. He fell into her palms almost as quickly as he fell into her spell for that night. Resting his ear against her thigh, he dozed off to the patterns of 4 0 1 5 drawn across his cheek and the faint inscription of forever.
Already, she missed the sound of his gentle voice and the way he seemed to have mastered it in the presence of peace, even if they were so bold to assume it was everlasting. Already she missed the growing friendship her ghost had garnered with Eli. Missed the taste of Bernie’s blueberry pancakes and the heavy scent of that wet herb garden in the mornings.
Most of all she missed the fears of the past few weeks, rendered small by the fears of now.
Olivia kissed his forehead goodnight, untangled herself under the net of his strong arms, and closed the door behind.