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A/N: I have some of these “established EO with canon timeline” fics written with really no explanations lol. For this one let’s say Elliot came back for her after Lewis in S15, divorced, and they got together then.

This is post SVU 19x07, "Something Happened"



When he lets himself into their apartment that night, it’s quiet.


He knows from texting with her squad that Noah’s having a sleepover with Amanda and Jessie, so the quiet doesn’t surprise him. But he doesn’t see her anywhere.

“In here.”


He smiles to himself when she calls out to him, reassuring him that she’s not catatonic somewhere. Slipping his shoes off, he drops his keys on the coffee table and makes his way over to the bedroom. He finds her spread-eagled on the bed, still in her work clothes, including her badge; she hasn’t even taken her shoes off. The only thing she seems to have done is lock up her weapon.


Leaning against the door frame, he waits a beat before he comes fully into the room, circling her slowly.


“Hey,” he says cautiously, hands in his pockets, “So—“


“—I know you talked to Fin,” she sighs, not moving or even opening her eyes.


“I did, he texted,” he confirms, slowly kneeling next to the bed, wincing when his knee pops, “He didn’t tell me much. Just that you had a long day, some kind of marathon interrogation.”


She hums, breathing slowly.


He waits her out, still not completely sure what’s going on. She doesn’t exactly seem triggered, but he doesn’t touch her, just in case. She hasn’t tried to send him away, which is always a good sign—


“I can’t even move,” she says quietly, sounding like just talking is taking energy she doesn’t have, “So tired.”




“—but I’m hungry—“




“—and I really want a shower—“


“Okay,” he soothes, because she sounds distressed at the prospect of having to do anything, and it’s not a side of her he sees very often, “One thing at a time. Can I help you?”


“If you stop using your victim voice on me.”


It takes everything in him not to laugh, because in half a second her voice is stronger and she’s annoyed with him.


“Okay. Wasn’t doing it on purpose,” he says, smirking to himself, “How about we start with your shoes? You still have shoes on.”


“Shoes are good.”


Satisfied that he has a good read on her state of mind, he gently touches her arm and slides his hand up to her shoulder, giving her plenty of warning before he cradles her cheek. He rubs her cheekbone with his thumb, using gentle pressure to encourage her to turn her head toward him.


“Hey,” he murmurs, gently stroking her eyebrow, “Can you look at me?”


It takes her a few seconds, but she opens her eyes and looks at him. He tips his chin to see her better, brushing away a piece of hair that falls over her forehead. She looks a little haunted, somewhere behind her eyes, but only a little. For the most part, she just looks exhausted.


“Hey,” he says quietly, giving her a soft smile.


“Hey,” she breathes, softening a little.


He stares at her for a few more seconds, and then he gets up and goes to the foot of the bed, unzipping her boots. She’s motionless while he peels her shoes off, staring at the ceiling, breathing slowly.


“Why don’t you go have that shower, and I’ll order some dinner,” he suggests, using the bed for leverage to stand up.


“Okay,” she sighs, still staring at the ceiling.


But she doesn’t move, and he doesn’t either, waiting to make sure she gets up.


“The—the shower’s in there,” he points, nonchalantly.


“I know.”


“I’d help you, if you let me.”


Slowly, she silently raises her hands.


Grinning a little, he takes her hands and drags her into a sitting position. “El.”


“I know, I know,” he soothes, pulling her forward until she’s standing up in front of him, rubbing his hands over her shoulders, “There we go.”


“I’m up,” she adds, stifling a yawn.


He’s surprised when she steps forward into his body, wrapping her arms under his shoulders, settling her cheek against him. Without her shoes, she’s the perfect height to nose in against his collarbone, breathing him in. He hugs her back, resting his cheek against her forehead, taking her weight when she leans into him.


“People don’t take care of me,” she says softly, pressing the words into his skin, “I’m trying.”


He closes his eyes, rubbing a circle over her back. “You push me around all you want, I’m not going anywhere. I can take it.”


She slowly pulls away, keeping her hands on him. Finally, she looks into his eyes and lets him see her, dropping the veil so he can see all of the exhaustion, all of the pain. He holds her gaze without blinking, showing her that he’s not afraid, that he wants all of her.


He leans in and presses his mouth against her forehead. “I got you. You know that.”


She nods, grasping his hands.


“Go ahead,” he encourages after a moment, “Go wash the box off of you. I’ll order—“


He thinks for a moment, eyeing her.


“—ramen?” he guesses, eyes narrowing.


She can’t help but smirk, and then smile when he nails down exactly what sounds good right now.


“Get the pork buns too,” she says, lifting her hands to his face.


She lightly strokes his cheeks, and then traces the creases around his eyes with her thumbs, soft touches that make his eyes close. He keeps them closed when she guides him down into a warm kiss, humming softly into it, inhaling her soft, familiar scent. He falls into her so easily these days; into the comfort of what they are, what they have.


“Go,” he murmurs, patting her butt, “Ya stink.”


“Fuck you.”


They laugh.



A/N: Thank you for reading!