Maloney’s wasn’t the liveliest bar in the world. Mark glanced around at the groups of cops, old and young, telling stories. They’d been here a few times.
It wasn’t a bad bar.
Not his favourite.
But they’d come for Olivia. Not for the bar. She was sitting between him and Elliot. Mark thought she seemed more tired than usual; her squad had been dealing with a particularly bad case.
She’d just received her promotion to Sergeant and they’d wanted to celebrate.
Mark had suggested taking her somewhere quieter for a private celebration. But Olivia had wanted to go to Maloney’s with the squad. And they were both suckers for her pretty brown eyes.
Mark lifted his head up, glancing around to find the source of the slurred shout aimed at Olivia. He frowned at the scruffy cop heading toward their table. He was inebriated and whiny based on how he kept calling her name. “You know him?”
“Shit,” Olivia muttered quietly enough that Mark was the only one to hear her. “What the hell is he doing here? I thought he was still undercover.”
“Liv. I was looking for you.” Brian stumbled into the tumble, sending their drinks sloshing around. He wavered for a second then shoved at Fin’s shoulder. “Make room for me.”
“Hey man, why don’t you head home? I think you’ve had enough.” Carisi commented from the other side of the table.
“I wanna talk to Liv,” Brian insisted. “Congrashalations.”
“Think he said congratulations,” Mark smirked at her.
“There you are.” Brian tried to reach across Mark to Olivia and immediately found himself stumbling backwards when Mark stood up. “Easy dude.”
“Not your dude.” Mark towered over him. He caught him by the shirt and held him away from the table, making a show of brushing him off. “Think Sonny’s right. Why don’t you go home and sleep this off?”
“’m fine.” Brian somehow managed to get into the seat Mark had vacated. He twisted toward Olivia who just stared at him. “Missed you.”
“I’m sorry what?” Olivia frowned at him. “Brian….what are you talking about?”
Mark considered his options then shifted around the table, lifted Olivia up out of her chair, then sat down with her in his lap. “My seat has suddenly improved.”
Elliot placed a hand on Olivia’s shoulder, leaning forward to smirk at Cassidy. “She doesn’t miss you.”
“El.” Olivia rubbed her forehead.
“You all right, darling?” Mark adjusted her in his lap, pressing his lips against her neck.
“Beginning to regret agreeing to come out with the squad.” Olivia winced when Brian banged the table. “Fin? Get him out of here.”
Olivia tapped the new rank on her uniform. “Sergeant.”
“Fuck.” Fin groaned. He glared over at Cassidy who was waxing poetic about how he was better than Elliot. “I do not get paid enough for this shit.”
“Liv? But Liv. C’mon. Liv.” Cassidy reached across the table, knocking over several drinks.
Mark got both of them up and out of the way of the flood of beer. “How about you sit with El for a second?”
“What? You’d rather let Elliot handle it?” Mark nodded towards Elliot who was quite obviously a few seconds away from just completely losing his temper. He had just moved away from Olivia when Cassidy stepped right up to him. One fist raised. “Little boy? What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
“You’re going to take your ass outside before I hand it to you. I do not have the time or patience to deal with you.” Mark grabbed him by the shoulder and easily spun him around, shoving him toward Fin. “Good luck with that.”
“Liv. Liv.” Cassidy continued shouting while Fin and Carisi dragged him out of the bar.
“I swear if he says your name one more time,” Elliot grumbled. “How you ever—”
“Should we talk about your unfortunate dating mistakes, Elliot Stabler?” Olivia cut him off with a glare. “I didn’t think so.”