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The Other Half (Of Her)

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Liv’s office door opening with a loud crash has Fin lifting his head out of his paperwork, leaning to peer over and see what’s got his Captain tearing out of her office like she’s being chased. She’d better not be being damn well chased, he thinks. Or I’m not doing my job properly.

Amanda and Velasco raise their heads too; all three of them desperate for anything to break up the monotony of paperwork on this quiet afternoon.

“When did you last see him?” Liv is barking into her cell, striding out of her office, straight past Fin’s desk and down the hallway. “Don’t tell me that it’s need to know Ayanna,” she snaps, coming to a halt by the conference room as Fin gets to his feet, Amanda and Velasco following suit, their Captain’s anger and distress alarming the younger two.

But Fin knows. Fin knows that there’s only one person who could evoke this reaction from Liv.

“I’ve been in this from the start,” she’s saying to the unfortunate Sergeant on the other end of the line, to Fin’s curiosity. In what from the start? He wonders. He’s heard things about Stabler, lots of conflicting things about Stabler and Velasco mentioned him having been at OC a few weeks back when that cops kid went missing but he didn’t know much, and Liv being Liv, wouldn’t tell him a damn thing but… is he UC? Fin wonders. Has Liv been keeping secrets? Was I right thinking that a few weeks ago? 

And, I outrank you,” Liv snaps, and Fin winces. Probably shoulda briefed Bell on the ins and outs of the Benson/Stabler dynamic, he thinks. For her own sanity if nothing else.

There’s a short pause, Liv turning slowly on her heel as she listens to whatever the OC Sergeant is saying to her, letting Fin see her face, her angry, incredibly pissed off expression in full force. “Oh did he now?” She says, tone dripping with sarcasm. “Well you can tell Lieutenant Brewster that I outrank him too,” she replies, sickly sweet. “And if he’s got a problem with that, then I’ll have him brought up on insubordination.”

Fin swallows hard, glancing back at Amanda and Velasco, who are eyeing him with two different levels of concern. What the hell did you do Elliot? He asks silently.

“Good,” Liv says into her phone. “I’ll be right down,” she says, turning on her heel, starting to walk out of the squadroom and Fin makes the decision.

“Come on,” he jerks his head at the other two and within a second they’re jogging after him as he quickens his pace to catch up with Liv. “Liv!” He calls out, catching his Captain’s attention as she steps into the elevator. “Wait up!” He calls out, and she sighs, putting her hand out to stop the doors closing. “What’s happened?” Fin asks as he gets into the elevator with her, Amanda and Velasco following suit.

“Elliot’s missing,” she says tersely, slamming her finger down on the button for the lobby much much harder than she needs to. “Sergeant Bell thinks he’s been made,” she says as the elevator starts to move. “He’s been UC for a few months,” she explains, more for Amanda’s benefit than anyone else, since Velasco doesn’t look surprised at the information in the slightest and Fin himself… well, it seems like he was right with his suspicions a few weeks ago. “Investigating corrupt cops out of the Three-Seven,” she adds and Fin resists the urge to groan. UC is bad enough, but UC with cops? Corrupt cops? This is not good. “IAB’s idea of penance after the Wheatley mess.” She sighs heavily. “I didn’t like it,” she shakes her head. “But it was the only way they’d let him back in so…” She purses her lips.

“But you’ve been involved from the start, right?” Amanda asks, having heard (along with half of the precinct) Liv’s side of the conversation on the phone.

She nods, the elevator doors opening, admitting the four of them into the lobby of the precinct. “Less involved, more… kept in the loop,” she says, quieter now that they’re in public. “Staged a fight in the lobby of One PP to sell his cover,” she tells them, and that makes a whole lot more sense to Fin now. He’d heard about the fight; half of the NYPD was talking about the damn fight but he’d been reluctant to believe it, moreso after she’d been cagey when he’d confronted her about it. Guess I was right, he thinks. “Then made him check in with me,” she adds. “He was supposed to call me this morning,” she tells them as they walk down the front steps, heading to her SUV. “But he didn’t, and I called Ayanna and apparently they haven’t seen or heard from him since last night, but no-one bothered to tell me.”

The anger is back in her voice, her face as she gets her keys from her pocket, unlocking the SUV. “They tracked Donnelly down to the bar where he and the Brotherhood like to meet,” she says as the four of them pile in, Amanda and Velasco in the back, Fin briefly considering offering to drive but deciding against it, taking the passenger side instead. “But he’s not talking,” she says as she starts the engine.

“So what, you’re hoping that you’ll be able to persuade him to talk?” Velasco, poor, naive Velasco, asks from the back. “Tell you where Stabler is?”

The smirk, the fierce, determined smirk that Fin hasn’t seen on Olivia Benson’s face for a decade tells him all he needs to know.

“Oh, he’ll tell me,” she says cryptic, gunning the engine and pulling out, flipping the lights and sirens as she does. “I’ll make sure of that.”


Frank Donnelly’s back hits the wall of the bar so hard the picture frames shake, and Fin winces. That’s gonna leave a dent.

Velasco and Amanda watch on with wide-eyes, and Ayanna, standing next to him looks like she’s about to intervene, looking to Fin helplessly. He shakes his head, mouthing don’t at her.

“This is-” Donnelly’s words are cut off as he’s slammed harder against the wall.

“What?” Liv asks sweetly, her arm across the man’s throat. She’s not pressing; not depriving him of air but the threat is there, there and all too real. “Police brutality?” She asks, tilting her head. “Things I’ve heard about you, you’ve done a lot worse than a little bit of wall slamming,” she says, smiling at the man. “So what?” She asks. “You can dish it out but you can’t take it, is that it?”

Frank smirks. “Oh, it’s not that sweetheart.

Liv spares Fin a glance, looking over her shoulder at him, and Fin shrugs. “He called me sweetheart,” she says, shaking her head, turning back to Donnelly. “I’m not your sweetheart,” she tells him. “Now tell me where Elliot is.”

“The traitor?” Donnelly asks, nonchalant. He pretends to think about that for a minute. “Nah,” he drawls. “I don’t know where he is,” he says, lying through his teeth. “Called him out last night, told him he’d better start running, so he did.”

Liv scoffs. “And I’m supposed to believe that, am I?” She asks. “That he just… ran off? Huh?”

“Wouldn’t be the first time,” Donnelly shrugs as best he can in the position she’s got him pinned in. “Maybe you’ll see him in another ten years, huh?”

Fin is wincing before the words finish leaving Donnelly’s lips. Bad move, he thinks. You’re gonna regret that one.

The scream of pain that comes from Donnelly a moment later, when Liv’s knee drives directly into his groin proves Fin’s prediction. She lets go of the man’s neck and he sinks to the floor, his cuffed hands grasping between his legs.

Fin takes the moment to glance at the other officers in the room. Amanda looks quietly impressed, Velasco impressed and slightly daunted, Ayanna, for all she’d wanted to stop Liv a few minutes ago, now seems to be trying not to smirk at Donnelly’s plight.

“Tell me where he is,” Liv demands, voice low and scary. “Now.

She drags Donnelly back to his feet, pushes him back against the wall even as he shakes his head. “Nope,” he tells her, smirking in her face. “Gonna take a lot more than a knee to the balls to get that out of me.”

Fin grits his teeth, sees the wild spark in Liv’s eyes. “Oh?” She says, her head tilting like a bird. Like an eagle, about to dive onto it’s prey, Fin thinks. “You know Frank,” she says, friendly, conspiratorial. “All those rumours you hear about me?” She pauses for effect as Donnelly’s eyes narrow. “They’re all true.” The last part is a whisper, the smirk on her lips as she takes a single step back.

Come on Donnelly, give it up, Fin asks silently. Don’t let this get any further than it needs to.

He should’ve known better; the man is an idiot after all. “Oh,” a smirk on his face now. “So you were banging Stabler back when you were partners?”

Fin expects Liv to explode. For another knee to Donnelly’s groin, a slap or a punch across the face for daring to voice that, for daring to say that to her face but she doesn’t. She surprises even him.

“Oh,” she replies, her mouth exaggerating the letter. “Sorry,” she says, apologetic. “Not that one. But…” She grins. “All the rest? Every. Single. One…” She emphasises each word. “All true.” Another pause as she lets that sink in, lets Donnelly think about that for a minute. “So, one last chance,” she offers. “Tell me where Elliot is, and I won’t have to get… creative.

There’s a fire in her eyes, a burning rage that Fin has only seen a few times over the years; more recently when Noah has been hurt (it had lived there for over a day when the crazy grandmother decided to kidnap him), but back then, back in the older times, when the One-Six resided in an old, blue, crumbling building and the Benson/Stabler show was something he witnessed on an almost daily basis…

The burning rage, the protective anger was a familiar one. It appeared whenever Elliot got hurt (which wasn’t uncommon, the man has only gotten worse at finding himself in these situations over the years). She would tear the world down to protect him, and he would do the same for her in return. He learned, and learned fast, to just stay the hell out of the way.

Watching on now, he sees the realisation in Donnelly’s eyes. “Okay,” he mutters. “There’s a warehouse out in Queens,” he tells them. “He’s there.”

“Address.” Liv barks, and Frank tells her. “Thank you,” she says, smiling brightly before sinking her knee into Donnelly’s groin a second time. “That’s for the insult,” she adds sweetly as the man falls to the floor, gasping for breath.

She leaves him there writhing, turning on her heel and striding out of the bar, Fin, Amanda and Velasco at her heels, Ayanna shouting orders as she runs after the four of them.


They find him right where Donnelly told them he’d be; cuffed to a pipe in a darkened corner of the warehouse he’d sent them to in Queens.

Jesus, Fin thinks as he takes in the state of the man; Liv running over, crouching down in front of him, patting his cheek gently as she tries to rouse him. They did a number on you man, he shakes his head, taking in the cuts, the bruises, the blood.

He’d been beaten to hell and back, then left here, presumably to die cold and alone. Fin grits his teeth, wishing not for the first time that he’d given Donnelly more than a few kicks himself. That said, the way Liv kneed him, the second time especially, he might not be fully functional anymore.

Amanda is radioing for a bus as Liv holds Elliot’s head up, his face between her palms, thumbs stroking his cheeks gently as his eyes (eye, really, the other one is swollen shut) open. “Liv?” He murmurs, frowning before wincing in pain.

“I’m here,” she murmurs, feeling around behind him, undoing the cuffs, freeing him from the pipe. “I’m right here,” she tells him.

“Mmm,” he agrees, slumping forward now the pipe is no longer holding him up. She catches him in her arms, shifting her crouched position smoothly so he’s resting against her, her chin on top of his head. “Missed you,” he mumbles. “Hoped you’d come looking.”

“Coming to rescue your dumb ass, huh?” She plays it off as a joke, but Fin can see her face, see the pain in her eyes, the unshed tears. “Always El,” she mutters. “Always.”

A small smile appears on the man’s lips then, blood appearing at the corner of his mouth as a cut cracks open. “Love you,” he mutters, and Fin’s eyes widen. Jesus, he must be out of it, he thinks. Admitting that in front of an audience.

To Fin’s surprise, Liv’s only reaction is an eye-roll. “What is it with you and saying that at the most inappropriate times, huh?” She teases him lightly, pulling him a little closer. “Love you too,” she whispers into his ear, loud enough for Elliot to hear it, quiet enough that only Fin, standing only a few feet away, bears witness.

“Oh, so I’ve just gotta get myself beaten up to get you to say it back huh?” Elliot murmurs, and Fin’s eyes widen. “Noted.”

“Don’t even…” She sighs, exasperated. “We’re gonna talk about this later,” she vows as sirens sound from outside, growing louder, growing closer. “Now shut up, save your strength.”

“Copy that.” Fin hears Elliot reply as he steps away, grinning to himself as he heads outside to meet the ambulance. Idiots, the both of them, he thinks.

Made for each other though.