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One day at a time

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Through it all, through the whole 12 years she had worked with Elliot, she never once thought she would be in this predicament that she was in right now. Never once in the 10 years he was gone did the thought cross her mind he would be back especially as the years rolled on by, and not only is he back, he's back and a widow.
She needed to get her head straight, get her feelings in check, but instead she does what she does best and throws herself into there current case. The case itself was harrowing, it always was but more so when children are involved, but as much as this case was getting to her, dealing with her feelings seemed way more difficult.

She was sat in her office reading through the latest crime scene report when there was a knock on the door, not looking up but beckoning whoever to come in, she continued to blankly look at the report,not actually taking anything in. When the door opened and closed she expected it to be Fin coming to update her but she was suprised to see Elliot stood in front of her.

'Elliot, why are you here? I haven't got time for anything other than this case right now so please just walk back out that door.' She just didn't have it in her to say no to lunch or dinner, and she definitely didn't have it in her to listen to feelings, she was exhausted.

Elliot shifted on his feet 'good job I'm here about the case then, so no need to throw me out' he grumbled, oh so that's the mood he's in she thinks. She knows he's fed up of her avoiding the elephant that's in every room when there together, but still she doesn't know what to say.

'Why what's my case got to do with your department? And again why are you here and not Bell?' She already knew the answer to the last question but wanted to know what he would actually say, and she really was curious as to what her case had to do with organised crime.

'Well you know why I am here and not Bell, but just to be clear, I am here because you keep avoiding me, and this,.. this is the one place you can not run from me, Bell sent me because she is sick of seeing me miserable and thought maybe me seeing you would change that. As for what this case has to do with us, it's sex trafficking though a group if individuals we are keeping an eye on, well we are now investigating'

She really wasn't liking his tone, but she gritted her teeth stood up and walked to her door, looking back over her shoulder she nodded, opening the door she walked into her squad room, where Amanda was nose deep in a file, and Fin was watching her, she turned to her squad and gestured to Elliot, who had followed her out, 'fill him in guys, make sure he is upto date on all we have' and with that she turned on her heels strolled back into her office and shut the door.

Leaning against the door, she sighed, she knew she had just made Elliot even more annoyed, but she really didn't care at that point, she needed out of the office, she needed to go home, she needed to see the one male who had never let her down, needed to get some clarity of the mess that was in her head and heart, and now was the time, she decided. She walks to her desk, grabs her bag and waltz back out of the office, walking straight across the squad room floor towards the elevator without looking up. Whilst she stood waiting for the elevator to open, she hears footsteps approaching her, expecting it to be Elliot again, she spins around and snaps 'just don't' but she is infact met with Amanda.

'Liv, you OK? You want me to get rid of him?' She can hear the concern in Amanda voice, which actually warms her heart alittle.
'No its OK, just allow him in on the case, don't hold anything back, because what he could bring to it, may actually mean we catch a break and can arrest these bastards.' 'But I am gonna be gone for the rest of the afternoon, just let fin know that if you need me you can get me on my phone.'
Amanda still looking at her with those concerned blue eyes, just nods but quickly follows with 'if you need to talk, you know where I am' and with that walks back to the squad room. The elevator doors open and she steps inside pressing the button to her escape.

She makes her way home, phoning Lucy on the way to inform her of her early finish, and dismissing her for the rest of the day as she wanted to collect Noah from school, Lucy worried that something was the matter, asked if everything was alright, to which she quickly agreed it was and hangs up. She wasn't ready to open up to anyone just yet.

Collecting Noah and taking him home, was another beautiful distraction, helping with his homework was something she missed doing so was happy that she got time to do this, but still in her mind was Elliot. She knew she would have to face him again in the very near future and at that thought her belly fluttered.

That near future was actually closer than she originally thought, because not even half an hour later there was banging on her door. She was sat on the floor next to Noahs bed chatting away about his school day when she heard it, so slowly she stood, let out a deep breath and made her way to the door. Opening it she knew it would be him, he has always knocked on her front door the same.

'Elliot, really, you have to stop, I can't do this anymore.' He just stares at her lips as she is talking, this by anyone else would have made her extremely uncomfortable, but with him it was different. With him she wish he would just kiss her already, this thought enters her head just as as he steps closer, she quickly diminishes the thought and steps back quickly, I don't want him to do that she thinks, it will make this worse.
She steps back to let him over the threshold, because he is yet to say anything, and she really don't want one of those awkward silence moments because well her mind would wonder again. As he steps past her, his arm brushes her side innocently, but she can't help the way her body reacts, a shiver runs down her spine, she tries to play it off but she knows he saw as the smirk on his face grows.

'So what now Elliot?' She regretted asking immediately as she could tell it was going to be one of those moments, a moment that will more than likely leave her breathless again.

Elliot took a deep breath, his intense blue eyes focused just on her, his body tense like this was the first time asking someone on a date,
'Liv, listen to me before you dismiss me again please, I know you are having a hard time processing those feelings inside of you, I know this is the unknown, and I know you don't trust me'
'I do trust you' She whispers
'Let me rephrase that then, I know you don't trust me not to run again, but I've already explained why I did, I understand I let you down, I wasn't there when you needed me, and I'll never ever forgive myself for that, but my promise to you now is that I am not going anywhere ever again unless I go with you,because I love you Liv, always have and it may have taken me a lifetime to realise it but I do and i will tell you every day until you believe me and then every day after that because i can'
And one of those moments it was, she gulped down air to try fill her chest before it was completely empty, before her brain malfunctioned.
She was at a loss at what to say, she knew she needed to reply but words were failing her at this precise moment, she knew she had to give into her heart, the clarity she seeked had arrived.

She tentively stepped forward, at the same time Elliot did, placing her left hand gently on his right shoulder, her right hand snaking his neck, she slowly pulled his face closer to hers, she couldn't believe she was actually going to do this, but Elliot was looking at her like she was a goddess and she was getting lost in his eyes, she brought her mouth to his and as there lips touched she closed her eyes, and in her minds eye she could see the sparks that flew between them. Elliot learned into the kiss, it was slow and steady, both wanting to remember this moment forever, they didn't rush, they took their time, none of them willing to be the first to pull away.

Suddenly they hear a bang coming from down the corridor, she broke away first, remembering Noah was still in his room.
'Sorry, let me just go and check he is OK' She really didn't want to fully pull away from his arms, which had wrapped around her at some point. But she had to be strong, had to remember to be mom. So she turns and makes her way to Noahs room, he was still sat on his bed, headphones in, watching a dance recital on YouTube, he looks up as she walks in his room, 'sorry mom dropped my phone' after making sure he was actually OK, she returned to the front room, Elliot had sat himself on the couch, staring into space.
'Hey you alright?' She was worried maybe it wasn't what he expected, that maybe he had hadn't felt that spark, so she sat on the arm of the couch putting both hand between her legs, waiting for him to reply.
'Alright? I'm more than alright, I feel like I'm on cloud nine, that was more than I ever expected, I only came here to tell you again I was sorry, and that I would back away to give you time, what changed?'
A shy smile appears on her face, her mind had finally caught up with her heart. She now knew what she wanted. She wanted him, she wanted forever with him.
' I came to my senses' She replied.
She knew they would need work, but she loved him and now admitting it to herself she always had, not that she was ready to tell him that, and doesn't think she would tell him for a long while yet.
She pulls her phone out her back pocket, sending a quick text to Lucy, apologising for messing her around but if she was free could she please come sit with Noah for a while. She would have text Amanda but she knew she was still deep diving into this case they had yet to close. Lucy replied almost immediately and again asked if everything was OK, but of course she didn't mind and told her she would be 20 minutes.

15 minutes later and just sitting next to Elliot on the couch, she turns her face to look at him, he's already breathing her in, face turned towards her but his eyes were closed.
'Hey El, so about that date? Still wanna take me?' She whispers,
'Of course, I want to do this properly' he says as he's smiling.
'OK, so take me now, let's go'
'Hold up Liv, what about the other man in your life, can't just leave him',
'Don't worry Lucy will be here in a second' She laughs, he laughs and shakes his head, 'OK I see you already planned to ask me to take you on this impromptu date, but its to late to book anywhere'
'El I don't need fancy, I just need you and me, we can drive, we can walk, I don't mind what we do.'
So that was that, Lucy arrived and they both left, but not before she noticed Lucy's questioning eyes, but an explanation could wait for another day.


2 weeks later...

She walks into the squad room, like it's any other day, the case both her team and organised crime were working on together had ended up with 4 bastards awaiting trial with very long sentences ahead of them, and 11 children's lives now on the road to hopefully finding some way to heal.
Although this was like any other day, one of her squad had some exciting news, she already knew as Amanda had text her the minute it had happened, but today was going to be a good day. As she walked to her office, no one else had arrived yet, she had got there earlier as she had left at the same time as Elliott had that morning, he had a huge case on that required earlier mornings, so instead of lounging around at home, she offered to take him in then she made her own way to her department.
The last 2 weeks had been a whirlwind for her, the first time they had shared a bed, the first time they had officially become one would forever be ingrained into her memory, she often wondered if she was doing the right thing, still doubted everything her heart was telling her, but she was exhausted from the fighting, so she had told herself to take one day at a time, and that she had.
Amanda arrived next in the office, walking straight to the office, without even knocking she barges in, to excited to show off her new engagement ring, 'He actually did it Liv, he actually asked me.'Amanda gushed.
'Well it was about time Carisi did the honorable thing Rollins, you know he's been plucking the courage up for weeks now' She laughs.
Amanda nodded, grinning from ear to ear 'yeah he did mention that"
'Well im so happy for you both, but please no babies just yet, I can't afford to loose more of my team just yet' She teases.
Amanda laughs, 'oh don't worry about that, that's gonna be a long time yet' 'Anyway so you and Stabler, you finally banged your heads together, hope that's not all that's banged" Amanda smirks with those knowing eyes.
'AMANDA, really?' She shouldnt have been surprised, 'But between you and me yeah we banged our heads together, but no one knows yet, so how did you know? She had her suspicions, but needed it confirmed,
'As for no one knows, this whole precinct does, infact I think the whole world does, as for how I know, well a small human told me, who happened to hear it of another small human.'
She puts her head in her hands shaking it slightly, trying to peice together what Amanda had just told her, small humans? Not who she suspected then, and that's when it clicks, Noah, she was wondering why he was questioning some of the things she was doing, now she understands he was just trying to peice all the gossip together. He had spent a few nights at Amanda's over the last few weeks, including last night, and everytime he came back, he was asking suspicious questions, and looking back now she can see they weren't just his questions, but questions of those adults around him.
'So Noah is your spy?' She laughs 'that all makes sense now' she makes it a priority to talk to Noah about this, to give him some clarity of what's been going on, but first she actually felt relieved that she could now talk to someone about it at least. 'So what do you wanna know about me and El? And no I will not be talking about our bedroom activities' She rolls her eyes.
Amanda just laughs again ' well I'll take whatever you wanna give? You happy? You certainly look it, the bounce in your step over the last few weeks has been contagious.' 'so what's next?'
She smiles, 'Next? I don't know, I'm taking it one day at a time, I've been so conflicted over my emotions for this man for many years, it's going to take some time to unpack all those, am I scared? Yes, am I questioning if I've done the right thing by letting him in? Yes' She sighed and looked down at her desk, she starts fiddling with the papers that's in front of her, 'but am I happy? Yeah, yeah I am, he makes my heart do all this weird stuff"
'That will be called love Liv, I totally get that it's terrifying, but give it time you soon get to like that feeling' Amanda stands then, from the chair she had placed herself on 'who would have thought it all those years ago that we would both find love, funny world we live in' Amanda laughs and makes her way to the door.
'Well still early days for me and El, but you and Carisi are perfect together, congrats again Amanda' She smiles as she watched the blonde open the door, she catches Fin entering the squad room, she knew he would be in next, he was bound to have alot to say. 'Hey Amanda' Amanda turns to look at her 'yeah?'
'Do me a favour and keep fin busy for a while, I don't know if can deal with his teasing and questions just yet' Amanda laughs 'Well the winnings from his bet should keep him occupied for abit, you made a few people some really good money' and with that she steps out and shuts the office door.

She pulls her phone out and opens her texts, she doesn't need to scroll because he's first on her list.

Her: what do you know of a bet?

Few minutes later a reply comes through,

Elliot: not you to? Bell just said something along them lines, she said few people cashed in on us?

She puts her phone down, maybe it was time to speak to Fin about all this.