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Please Love Me

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September 2022

Amanda and Sonny’s Apartment - Saturday Morning

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“Amanda—“

“I want you to go.” She said cutting him off. “Jesse and Billie have been looking forward to this for over a month.”

Sonny sighed as he scooted closer to her on their bed. “I know, but I can take them to LEGO Land anytime. I—I don’t want to leave you here alone.”

“I wanna be alone for a while.” Amanda told him honestly.

“But it’s not a good idea for you to be.” He said to her. “I—“

“I’m sad Sonny, but I’ll be alright.” Amanda interrupted him. “You and the girls are only going to be gone for a few hours.”

Sonny stared at Amanda for a long while as he contemplated whether he should leave her alone like she wanted. It had only been two weeks since she had delivered their baby stillborn. It had been a devastating experience for them both, but especially Amanda who had carried their son for 7 months, and he worried about her mental state.

Though he was hesitant about the idea, he knew he couldn’t stay with her for every hour of everyday forever and that eventually they would need to start getting back to some sort of new normal. Therefore, he finally relented.

“Ok. I’m gonna finish gettin’ dressed, wake them up and once they’re ready we’ll go.”

Sonny placed his hand on her back and rubbed up and down gently. “We’ll be home by 3, 4 at the latest.”

Amanda nodded, but remained quiet.

He caressed her cheek and kissed her forehead. “If you need me for anythin, just call. I’ll come right back.”

She gave him a small, sad smile and then watched as Sonny got up from off the bed and exited their bedroom.

Amanda slowly laid back down on the bed and rested her head on her pillow. As she did her mind started drifting.

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12 Days Earlier

Amanda and Sonny’s Apartment - Monday Afternoon

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“Honey, are you sure you don’t wanna lie down in the room?” A concerned looking Sonny asked as he sat down beside her on the living room couch.

Amanda nodded, but stayed silent.

He ran a hand through his hair. “Do you want me to fix you somethin’ to eat?”

She slowly shook her head as she blinked back her tears.

“Is there anything I can do?” Sonny asked, feeling pretty useless.

“Can you bring our baby back to life?” She asked through tears. “Because that’s all I want.”

He pulled her into his arms and hugged her tightly.

“I still don’t u—understand…what I did.” She said as she cried into his shoulder.

“You did nothin’ wrong.” A teary eyed Sonny said as he gently stroked her hair. “It’s no one’s fault. Sometimes stillbirths happen and…t—there isn’t a clear reason as to why.”

She remained quiet and still in his arms for a while until she found her eyes wander toward the nursery.

Amanda released herself from his grip, got up from off the couch and headed toward the room.

Sonny immediately jumped off the sofa and tried to stop her. “Manda, don’t…”

She didn’t listen and instead opened up the door and looked around at what was supposed to be their baby boy’s room. Amanda picked up a stuffed elephant from one of the shelves, sat down in the rocking chair nearby, rocked gently and stared aimlessly at the wall.

Sonny entered into the room and squatted down beside her. He knew he wasn’t going to be able to talk her out of leaving the room so he just set his hand on her thigh, caressed it, and stayed with her.

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Present Day

Amanda and Sonny’s Apartment - Saturday Morning

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After Sonny and the girls said their goodbyes and headed out, Amanda stayed in bed for a little while longer before eventually getting up.

She decided to try and keep herself busy and clean up around the apartment.

Noticing Frannie’s hair all over the living room carpet, Amanda pulled out the vacuum. Just as she was about to turn it on she heard a knock at her door.

Amanda sighed as she set the vacuum down and went to go see who it was. When she opened the door she was surprised to her Captain standing before.

“Liv.” Amanda said as she motioned for her to come in. “Hey.”

Liv gave her a small smile. “I was nearby dropping Noah off at a birthday party so I thought I’d stop by. See how you’re doing.”

Amanda eyed her skeptically. Liv had come by to see her in the days following the stillbirth but other than that she rarely ever showed up to her place unannounced and the blonde felt there may be more to her visit than she was letting on.

“Did Sonny ask you to stop by and check up on me?” The blonde finally asked.

Liv ran a hand through her hair as she considered what to say before eventually nodding slowly. “He did.”

She rolled her eyes as she made her way into the kitchen. “He’s been gone all of 90 minutes.”

Liv followed her. “Carisi’s just worried about you.”

Amanda grabbed a bottle of water from the refrigerator and as she did Liv found her eyes drifting to the prescription bottle of antidepressants that sat on the counter.

“I need them sometimes, OK?” Amanda said as she grabbed the pill bottle with her free hand and put it into the pocket of the hoodie she had on. “They help me sleep.”

Liv shook her head. “I’m not judging you.”

Amanda took in a deep breath and slowly exhaled. “I’m…not fine.” She finally admitted out loud, for the first time to anyone. “But I’m trying my best to keep going in the hopes that I will be.”

She bit her lip and then asked, “I will be, eventually, right?”

Liv reached for her hand and grabbed it. “You will Amanda. This isn’t something you’ll ever get over, but in time it will be easier to live with. I promise you.”

Amanda nodded.

Liv let go of her hand. “I’ll let you get back to what you were doing. But if there’s anything you need, don’t hesitate to call.”

Amanda set her water bottle beside her. “Thanks, Liv.”

The Captain gave her arm a light squeeze and then made her way to the front door with Amanda following close behind.

Once Liv left, Amanda locked the door behind her and then redirected her focus back to vacuuming the living room.

She was able to finish fairly quickly and after she did she noticed Frannie sitting close to the door with her leash in her mouth.

“OK Frannie.” Amanda said as she ran a hand through her messy blonde locks. “I’ll take you out for a walk, but you gotta give me five minutes.”

Frannie responded with a quiet bark back, as if she were saying OK, and went back to her dog bed.

Just as Amanda was about to head down the hall toward her bedroom to do her hair and change into something more presentable, she heard another knock on her door.

Amanda sighed. Liv had only left fifteen minutes. She was hoping Sonny hadn’t asked someone else, like one of his sisters, to check on her. All she wanted was just a little time to herself.

She turned around and made her way to the front door. When she opened it she was shocked to see a toddler standing on the other side.

Amanda’s eyes widened as she stared at the little dirty blonde haired, blue eyed boy in front of her. She figured he must’ve been around two years old.

She looked up and down the hallway outside of her apartment door, but there wasn’t a soul in sight. Amanda then focused her attention back on the little boy and when she did noticed a note pinned to his shirt.

She kneeled down to his eye level, removed the note and read it aloud to herself. “Please love me. Lucas.”

Amanda folded up the piece of paper and set it down beside her. She then spotted a little tiny backpack behind him, grabbed it and unzipped it.

She began rummaging through it and pulled out some underwear, a couple of disposable nighttime training underwear, three outfits, the book ‘Goodnight Moon,’ and a plush dog. When Lucas spotted the stuffed animal he instantly reached for it.

Amanda gave him the dog, set the backpack down and stood up. She then extended her arms out to Lucas, who stared at her cautiously before eventually raising his arms up and letting her pick him up.

Amanda shifted Lucas to her right hip as she closed and locked her front door with her free hand. She then brought him into the kitchen and sat him down in Billie’s booster seat at the table.

Thinking he might be hungry and thirsty, Amanda headed toward the cabinet, and pulled out one of Billie’s old sippy cups. She then headed toward the refrigerator, grabbed some apple juice and poured some of it into the cup. Amanda set the cup down and then grabbed some goldfish from the lazy Susan. She poured some into a small bowl she pulled out from the dish rack and then brought both the goldfish and juice to Lucas and set them down in front of him.

He sat very still for a long while before finally reaching for the goldfish and eating some. Lucas then grabbed the cup and began drinking the apple juice.

As he did Frannie entered into the kitchen and sat down near his chair. Amanda worried Lucas might be afraid of a dog Frannie’s size, but when he spotted her his eyes lit up and he shouted, “Doggy!”

Amanda smiled softly and watched as he tossed a couple of goldfish to Frannie, who happily gulped them up. As she looked on she couldn’t help but note the fact that his appearance reminded her of what she had envisioned her and Sonny’s baby boy might’ve looked like at that age and it made her a little sad.

But Amanda tried her best to shake it off as she then pondered why and who might have left little Lucas outside her door.

She thought it was odd that for an abandoned toddler, Lucas appeared to be well taken care of. His hair looked freshly cut, he was clean, his clothes were clean, he wasn’t underweight and the person who left him even took the time to put together a little backpack of things for him. But then why leave the little boy and why with her? Amanda assumed whoever it was must’ve known she’s an SVU detective.

She reached for her cell, which was charging near her on the counter, picked it up and called Liv but her Captain didn’t answer. So Amanda shot her a text asking if she would meet her at the precinct in 30.

Needing to put Lucas somewhere while she quickly got herself together before heading to her job, she picked him up and brought him to the girls’ room. Amanda took his shoes off and tried to set him down on Billie’s toddler bed, but he rebuffed. She immediately got the sense that whoever had been raising him hadn’t yet transitioned him into a bed and that he was probably more used to a crib.

Amanda scooped him back up into her arms and headed toward the nursery. She stood by the door for a few moments before finally opening it and walking in.

The blonde slowly and hesitantly set him down in the crib, where Lucas seemed much more at ease. He happily settled in with his plush dog, laid his head down and closed his eyes. She stood quietly watching him for a few minutes before leaving the room and closing the door.

In an attempt to keep herself composed, Amanda took in a deep breath, exhaled slowly and then made her way into the bedroom to get dressed to bring Lucas over to the station.