A/N: Just trying to get some words on the page lol. This is a couple hours post-elliot getting shot in the finale.
Ayanna and Elliot look up simultaneously when Jet curses. He’s standing shirtless in the middle of OCCB, and they’re in the middle of wrapping a large ace bandage around his ribcage.
“What?” Ayanna asks sharply, quickly walking in another circle around him.
Elliot grunts when she pulls the bandage tight, taking the end and slotting metal clips to hold it in place.
“Captain Benson’s here.”
“What?” he breathes, eyes widening.
“She’s right there, trying to—“ Jet slides away from watching the cameras, pressing a button to unlock the mechanical door barring the OCCB task force. “—I have to let her in, she’s a captain.”
“Did you call her from the car?” Ayanna asks, crossing her arms as she leans against a nearby desk.
Elliot shifts uncomfortably. “No, I was—“
Olivia’s all fire, right away, striding into the open space and making a beeline for him, coat whipping out behind her.
She punctuates the insult with a shove to his chest, smacking her palms against him once, and then again. Out of the corner of his eye, he sees Ayanna take half a wary step forward and he shoots her a glance, subtly holding his palm up to stop her from intervening.
“—you fucking, asshole—“
A blow to his shoulder, and he winces because, shit, she can still kick his ass.
“—I should kill you myself—“
He grits his teeth when she shoves him harder, taking a step back as his eyes slam shut. She stops at that, eyes blazing, breathing hard. Ayanna and Jet quickly make themselves scarce, scurrying out of the line of fire.
“I’m sorry,” he rasps, beseeching, “We had to do it this way, we had to use it—“
Her eyes widen, and she shakes her head in disbelief. “I’m not mad because I thought you were dead.”
His brows furrow, confused. “You’re not?”
She’s pinching the bridge of her nose, shaking her head. “Do you think for one second, if you actually died, Ayanna would have put it over the radio without telling me first? No. You’re the idiot who would let that happen.”
“I, well—“ he stammers a little, swallowing as he tries to take in the amount of anger coming off of her.
It’s been a while since she’s thrown this type of energy his way, and he’s out of practice.
“Do you think about me at all?”
“Of course I do—“
“—because you keep disappearing. Undercover, faking your own death—and you don’t seem to think that might be problematic. For me.“
Finally, he stops trying to respond.
He takes a breath, wincing as his chest burns, and gives her a little space, watching her trace a path back and forth between the desks.
“Do you think about me? Because I think about you,” she says, chuckling darkly, “I think every goddamn day this past year, I’ve thought about you. I’ve thought about what you need, how I can help, whether I’m being a friend to you—and for what?”
She turns to him, exasperated, arms falling loosely at her sides. The fight’s gone out of her, he notices, sees it in her posture, in the glint of her pretty brown eyes. Now, she just looks sad—defeated, and it crushes him. This is about more than today, he realizes, as he takes a tentative step toward her. It’s about every interaction they’ve had since he’s been back in New York, and even more about the ones they haven’t.
Slowly, he comes to stand in front of her, lets his expression fall open and bare; he doesn’t have anything to hide from her, anymore. She stares at him for a minute, searching, grasping for the threads of connection that are still there, despite their frayed edges.
“Do you think about me?” she murmurs, swallowing hard.
He knows exactly what she’s asking him, and he’s not sure what else has brought her to a boiling point today, but if this is their moment he’s sure as hell not going to lie to her.
Elliot nods, and for just a moment—just a few seconds—he lets himself look at her. He’d spent so many years making sure she never saw, that she wasn’t uncomfortable…but, god, he needs to look at her now. She needs to see it, to know it, and he hears her breath catch as the longing shines through his eyes. His gaze drops to her full lips, slips over her neck, the curve of her breasts; when his eyes meet hers again they’re warm. He lets her see how badly he wants her, how much he needs to be the one allowed to hold her, protect her.
“I think about you,” he rasps quietly, nodding a little, “I’ve always thought about you.”
Something like relief crosses her face, and she deflates even more, slowly softening towards him.
“So,” she sighs, looking upset, gesturing, “You really did take one to the vest?”
“Ah, three,” he corrects, rubbing his palm over the back of his neck, “But I’m alright.”
The edges of the ace bandage have pulled apart with his movement, some of the clips detaching, and she steps into his space to fix them. Her fingertips are gentle as she methodically works the tiny teeth into the material more securely, and after a moment, he hesitantly rests his hands at her waist. They don’t make eye contact, but she doesn’t pull away, focused on fixing the last clip.
Slowly, he applies a little pressure, and she comes to him, settling against his chest. With a deep exhale, she lays her head there and lets him wrap her up, sliding her palms over his back.
“I’m sorry,” he murmurs, mouth against her forehead, “I should’ve called you.”
“Texted. Something,” she whispers, sounding drowsy.
He nods, holding her a little tighter. “Something.”
They’re quiet for a few seconds, long enough for him to realize how much holding her has relaxed him. He feels heavy now, like he could nap for hours.
“You only get to make this mistake one time. Not again.”
“No,” he soothes, breathing in a lungful of her, “After this—I’m out of the UC rotation. At least for a while.”
“I’ll believe that when I see it.”
He can’t see her, but he hears the smile in her voice and it makes his heart skip.
“Y’know,” he tries, deciding to press his luck, “Maybe we can finally grab that lunch. Or dinner. Talk some things out.”
She sighs, and he feels her nod slowly. “Yeah. I think we should.”
He thinks maybe being shot isn’t so bad, this time.
A/N: Thank you for reading!