A week had passed since that terrible radio call, which made Olivia Benson's heart stop for a few minutes.
20 minutes, 20 minutes of agony in which his lungs seemed to have forgotten how to breathe, 20 minutes in which his heart stopped pumping blood to his chest, 20 minutes in which his eyes seemed to not remember how to stop crying.
20 minutes in which he thought that his happiness, that happiness that his therapist told him so much that he deserved, was completely gone.
20 minutes until his heart found calm again when he heard the ringing of his cell phone and received a phone call from that idiot Al whom he loved unconditionally even though he denied it.
"Liv, I'm fine, it was all a trick to trap the brotherhood," he said and after a brief chat he cut the call.
Days later he called to invite her to his award ceremony and she had promised to be there; however, today work did not allow it.
She was immersed in paperwork in her office when her cell phone received an incoming call that made her smile.
– Hi, Detective Stabler, congratulations on your award, sorry I wasn't there, but you know the job.
-I know, I understand, don't worry everything is fine.
–Very good to tell the truth I think that both my family and I need a moment of happiness after everything that has happened in recent times. Even Captain Cragen came.
–I'm very happy for you, Elliot, you're a good policeman, but above all you're a good man and a great human being, don't forget that.
–Much of what I am is because of you, Liv I've never really thanked you, but you helped me to be a better person. You were there for me supporting my game and saving me from doing stupid things, those 13 years we worked together were what helped me become a better cop and a better man.
When Olivia hears those words, her eyes begin to fill with involuntary tears.
–That's what colleagues do, isn't it? –she said barely with a small voice– Ah, I have to go, I'm so immersed in the paperwork tonight, it seems that I'll spend the whole night here– she said barely catching her breath .
"Mm Liv... Before you go... The sorority operation is over... I'm no longer undercover, so I was wondering if after all... You'd like to finally go have lunch with me."
Wow, that definitely took her by surprise and for a few seconds she didn't know what to say.
"Wow... Mm I..." She was interrupted by Elliot.
–You don't have to decide now, think about it during the week and let me know before Friday, what do you think? –the man said almost in a plea.
-If that's what I'll do, I'll let you know. Take care my friend Elliot.
-Take care my friend Olivia.
For the rest of the week, Olivia couldn't stop reflecting on the proposal of her former partner and the love of her life.
He hadn't answered yet, for he was facing his own fears; however, the conversation he had recently had with his therapist was in his head over and over again.
I think you and Stabler should see if there's more in there or move on...
I want you to start reflecting on what you deserve...
You deserve happiness Olivia Benson...
Hell, maybe her therapist was right and she should explore the opportunities.
On Thursday night it was decided to write him a text message.
Elliot: Liv, how are you? Everything's fine?
Olivia: Yeah, all right, I was wondering if the lunch invitation is still up?
Elliot: But of course it's still standing, how about we meet tomorrow at 10:30 am at that Italian place.
Olivia: If I can get it to work I'll see you tomorrow at 10:30 am my friend Elliot.
Elliot: See you tomorrow my friend Olivia.
Yes, it was time to free herself from her fears, open up new horizons and find the path to the happiness that Olivia Benson deserved...