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Subtle Glances

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They’ve been dating quietly for a few months now, and everything between them has felt exceedingly easy. Usually, in relationships, she would be waiting on the other shoe to drop, waiting on the person to throw their hands in the air and walk away. She’s been purposely pushing all his buttons the last two weeks just to see if he means everything he says to her now… if he’s actually going to stick around. So far, she’s been – pleasantly surprised by his reactions. True, she’d watched the vein in his neck pulse the other day when she’d pressed a button she knew would’ve caused him to blow up eleven years ago. She was amazed, and a little bit in awe as he’d taken a deep breath, tossed his head back and nodded, running his hand down his face in the silence that had fallen her bold accusation – and then… he agreed with her.

Someone could’ve come along and knocked her over with a feather.

They’ve been dating for a few months, but they’ve been able to keep it out of their jobs… away from prying eyes, and much to his absolute annoyance… she hasn’t allowed him to take her out anywhere that they’d been seen by anyone currently in the room with them right now.

She doesn’t allow herself to observe him openly like she does in the moments when they’re sitting on his back patio with a bottle of wine and two glasses in front of them. She’ll now allow her eyes to drink in every bit of muscle he displays so proudly now in his tailored suits (thank goodness for European refinement). She allows herself to appreciate the way those ridiculously tight Henley shirts he loves to wear stretch across his chest, muscles sculpted to perfection beneath the soft material, (they are ridiculously soft, those shirts; she’s stolen two of them for herself). She’ll appreciate openly those khaki cargo shorts he had been wearing last Friday night when she’d brought Noah over with her and they’d turned on the grill, his back to her while he spoke and lifted the beer bottle between his fingers while she kicked her feet up on the edge of the table, a smile on her face (she’d always appreciated his backside).

However, it’s been a couple of days since they’ve been able to find time for one another, - and when this case crossed her desk, and then OCCB had reached out to her for consultation and then the Feds had gotten pulled into the case again – she was more than glad to grab Fin and head across the bridge to the non-descript, run-down looking building in Queens to ‘consult’ – but also to lay her eyes on the man she’d been looking at through a phone screen, unable to touch.

Maybe if she played her cards right, she’d be able to brush against him, feel his warmth, inhale the scent that was… wholly Elliot. The entire ride there (she’d insisted on driving, afraid that she’d give herself away to her Sergeant who just knew her) she’d held onto the steering wheel with a death grip, thinking about him and what he’d be wearing, the cologne he preferred now mixing with him and driving her mad – hypnotizing her almost. Fin, trying not to pay too much attention to the strange behavior coming from the woman next to him, was looking out the passenger window, the folder she’d handed him situated on his lap.

“Hopefully these Feds don’t steal our case again.” Fin mumbles, trying to start a conversation with her. She’s chewing on her bottom lip, eyes narrowed from behind her sunglasses.

“Yeah, luckily, it’s not like it’s our case to begin with – but we got contacted to ‘consult’.” She shrugs it off, her heart racing.

She can’t wait to see that big, dumb, lovable idiot that she’s been in love with for… a ridiculous amount of time. They pull into the parking area, and as she gets out, she looks up at the windows, catching sight of said idiot standing there, looking down, a smile on his face.

They had rules. His staring out the window like a dog waiting on its master to get home was violating one of them.

‘When I show up on scenes or for consultations, don’t act so fucking excited to see me, Elliot.’ She’d insisted.

‘Hm. Well, then you should learn to try not to stare at me objectively, Captain Benson.’ He’d raised his brow, taking a drink of his wine. She’d slapped his arm after that rule, feigning offense but really, what her eyes had done – drink him in wholly - was a completely different story.

They’d decided together that she and Noah would stay the night, and after getting him situated and asleep for the evening, they ended up in his bed. It had felt so natural. Everything with them had come so easily and in the morning they’d made pancakes and laughed over a table with orange juice and coffee cups all around, Bernie telling the story of the time Elliot and his brother had broken Mr. Johansson’s third-story window at the tenement they’d been living in before they’d moved into the house in Queens – Olivia’s laughter filling the open space with a warmth that Eli had confessed to Elliot had been missing.

As she leaned against the elevator wall, watching the number change from G to 3 in under two minutes, she chanced a glance over at her Sergeant, who, despite wearing the sunglasses she was pretty sure Munch had sent him for his birthday, she could tell had his brows raised while he pretended to scroll through his messages from Phoebe.

The minute she walked into the room, everyone had immediately surrendered to her authority. She was the Captain. Even Lieutenant Brewster seemed to duck down in his chair as she pulled out the rolling chair near the head of the conference table. As she looked around, she noticed everyone had a cup of coffee or tea or whatever the hell Detective Cho was drinking. She wasn’t even asked, but all of a sudden, she felt his presence there, hovering like he’d been told not to do – and a blue ceramic mug was slid in front of her, the tea made exactly how she liked it.

He doesn’t say anything, just smiles as he looks down at her, his head bobbing slightly as he backs away, “Captain.”

“Thank you, Detective.” She figures cordial behavior is okay. But she also knows that this tea isn’t one that the NYPD is known to keep in their breakrooms. He’s brought this blend in from his apartment. It’s the special blend he picked up four weeks ago at Chelsea Market.

Fin made a small noise next to her and she’d shot him a look, watching as he removed his sunglasses and hung them from the collar of his shirt, leaning back in the rolling chair, reaching for the water bottle that had been placed in front of him.

The FBI person at the front of the room, he’d begun talking about the case and… she probably should’ve been listening, but the movement from the position adjacent to where she was seated kept stealing her attention, as she blew on the hot tea, bringing the mug up to her lips while she took a sip, her eyes met his from across the table.

Jesus, Elliot.

He had his own coffee cup to his lips, blue eyes watching her intently. Only flicking to the front of the room for a split second before looking back at her. A small smirk played on her lips as she watched him, her right brow rising slightly. She places her mug back down on the table and pays attention as he mirrors the exact same action.

So it’s like that. She places her elbow on the table, resting her chin in her hand while she tries to pay attention to the front of the room. Immediately, she glances over to look at him for three seconds, to find him mirroring the same position.

This is a little obvious.

She leans back in the chair, crossing her arms beneath her chest, accentuating the way her bra is holding her up today, the slight wrinkle between her breasts and the gentle swell of them apparent from behind the neckline. Fin almost chokes on his water bottle, his eyes flicking from Elliot back to Olivia.

She has to at least pretend to pay attention here, because now she’s got his attention and that is… has never been good. They’re trying to keep their relationship quiet at the moment, not as loud as this is being. So, she blinks a few times at him and then turns her face away, back to the screens and reaches for the folder that the Agent passes out.

As she stretches her legs out beneath the table, leaning back in the chair while she pulls her glasses down onto the bridge of her nose, she feels his foot bump into hers. Her eyes immediately trail up – looking at his mouth, then down to his chest where she can see he’s wearing that navy blue dress shirt that drives her mad – he notices the small shift in her eyes and then, when she looks back up at him, she feels herself flush slightly. Damn this connection.

With a sigh, she flips through the pages, feeling his foot bump into her own a few times. The next person is explaining the background of the third individual in the folder, and Olivia pinches the bridge of her nose as she tries to fill in the blanks on the redacted file. If they’re being read in to something, she’d like to have all the details.

She reaches for her tea again, taking a sip and as she places it back on the conference table, she notices the way he’s staring at her chest.

Seriously? It’s not that he’s just staring, no, that wouldn’t be so bad – she’s used to that… it’s the way his tongue licks his bottom lip before he realizes he should make it look somewhat believable by taking a sip of his own coffee.

Her brows rise at the same time as his.

They’re really going to do this here? Fine.

She takes a deep breath, folding her arms again, pushing her breasts towards the V in her shirt, and she knows that a small bit of her navy blue bra is definitely peeking around the material of the shirt. She places the folder on the table, leaning forward and flipping through the pages, reaching for her highlighter that they’d passed her. He can see directly down her shirt.

She smiles to herself, highlighting a portion of the file. When she looks up at him through her lashes she notes the way the tip of his ears have turned red, and he’s covering his mouth with his hand, her eyes trail over his fingers. She loves his fingers.

Her lips part as she suddenly feels warm. She grabs her shirt, fanning herself slightly, shifting in the chair because of the added heat she feels between her legs.

He notices, of course he does, as he removes his hand from in front of his face, he leans back in the chair, a small smile suddenly lighting up his face as he rubs his fingers together as though he’s thinking, hand rubbing the back of his red neck.

Her eyes dart to the front of the room and then back to him. She tilts her head up slightly, showing him her neck and when he sees what she’s doing, the small stretch, he reaches for another sip of his coffee, smiling as he drinks. Her eyes move in a triangle, from his right eye, to his lips, and then up to his left eye.

He almost drops his coffee and curses when a little bit spills over onto the conference table.

She smiles, placing her own hand in front of her mouth, masking the smile.

She wins.

As soon as the meeting is dismissed, she’s standing by Bell’s office, saying her goodbyes when she feels her phone vibrate in her pocket. She pulls it out, apologizing for doing so because it’s rude – but it’s a simple message.

Elliot: You have to use the bathroom.

She shakes her head, glancing over to the doorway where she sees he’s leaning against the brick, his brow raised and a smirk on his face. She texts him back.

Olivia: See you later, Detective. By the way, I win.

Smiling across the room, she runs her tongue over her bottom lip, tucking the phone back in her pocket, just as Fin tells her that they’ve got to go that Rollins and Velasco need their assistance. She finishes her goodbyes and as she turns to leave, she sees him, leaning back against the post next to his desk, eyes drinking her in.

As soon as they climb into the SUV, Fin turns to her.

“Can I be blunt with you?” She furrows her brows, confused and still riding a little high on the exhilaration of seeing Elliot after a week.

“Of course.” She scrolls through her e-mails, allowing Fin to drive them away.

“Next time do you think you can make everyone a little less uncomfortable with the eye fucking?”

Busted.

"Fin."

"How long?" He asks, laughing. "I'm not tellin' anyone, but - that was a blast from the past, Benson."