Work Header

Come Back to Bed

Chapter Text

14. Weighing the Options

My lips slide into a wry smile, and I suppress a chuckle. “Given that you were responsible for both those things, I’m failing to see the conflict of interest.”

I’m greeted by his silence and take another sip of my coffee. Next to me, I hear him huff out a frustrated breath. I’d put money on him chewing his lower lip right now. It’s odd, the degree to which I am entirely unbothered by my situation. Slouched into the back of Elliot’s kitchen stool, wearing his Rangers jersey and not a whole lot else, reveling in the warm mug of caffeinated goodness in my hands, my mind swirling in the ecstatic haze of sex and really good food.

“Alright, Liv,” he starts.

There’s a pause, presumably giving me time to look at him. Eh, it can wait.

“Phenomenal sex,” another pause, “or breakfast food?”

My eyebrows furrow as I consider my choices, a frown forming. I eye Elliot sideways, turning my head just enough to allow him to see my facial expression. “I thought we were talking about orgasms here. Sex and orgasms are two different things…both can be had without the other.”

Blue eyes glint at me. “Not with me, they can’t,” he growls.

I can’t help it, I recoil my head in surprise, blinking at him with wide eyes. I know he hasn’t forgotten. “Excuse me, El. The shower?”

Goddamn, this man is a purebred Cheshire Cat. The grin that spreads across his lips is positively devilish, flashing white teeth my way.

“I stand corrected. One of those can be had without the other.”

I nip at my lower lip to keep from smiling.

“So, phenomenal orgasm,” he stresses the word this time, holding out his right hand, palm-up. “Or, the most delicious breakfast food you’ve ever had?” His left hand is now also outstretched, palm-up. He alternates raising and lowering each hand, mimicking a scale.

I allow my eyes to drift down to his hands, watching them metaphorically weigh my options. I consider saying something about a Grand Slam working for both categories; but, what I just ate is far superior to a [breakfast] slam and I’ve already told Elliot as much, so there goes that argument.

I haven’t said anything for several long seconds. Elliot’s hands come to rest level with each other. I turn my eyes back to his and Elliot’s eyebrows raise expectantly.


I snake my tongue out just enough to wet my lower lip before drawing the same lip into my mouth with my teeth. I purse my lips, trying to contain a full-blown smile, managing to give up just a slowly widening, closed-lip smile. I raise my own eyebrows, just a bit. “Put your hands together, Stabler.”

I wink.

Fuck me sideways, I just winked.

Oh well, it’s done now. I watch as Elliot looks down as his hands, deciphering what I just said. I watch just long enough to see his eyes widen and his jaw slacken. By the time he looks back up at me, I’ve settled back into my seat, taken another sip of coffee, and allowed my eyes to slip closed, the mask of contentment washing back over my face.

“Olivia.” I can’t tell if it’s a statement or a question. Either way, it was meant to get my attention.

I ignore him.

It’s not long before I hear the few big swallows it takes for him to presumably finish off his coffee, followed closely by the clink of the ceramic mug being set on the countertop.

“Olivia,” he tries again.

I relent this time, opening my eyes, setting my own mug on the countertop after a final quick sip. I lift my arms above my head, hands linked together, and stretch my back and shoulders. My peripheral vision catches his gaze as it lands on my thighs, the jersey riding up the slightest bit as I stretch. I turn up the corners of my lips and look over at him, his eyes snapping reflexively up to mine.

“What?” I sound as innocent as I can manage. Just as I’m lowering my hands to my lap and he’s opening his mouth to say something, I’m saved by the ringtone.

My phone rings just once before I’m able to swipe it from the bar top and flip it open as I raise it to my ear, my thumb instinctively finding the call button. Elliot’s eyes widen imperceptibly more and his mouth opens, caught trying to say something before I answer the phone. “Benson.”

“Hey…Liv…” The man on the other end sounds confused. Caught off-guard.

And this isn’t my fucking phone.

I suddenly wish I’d had about 3 more mugs of coffee, because I am not mentally coherent enough for this.

“Murphy?” I pray my voice didn’t crack with a squeak when I said that.

The laugh that rushes from deep in Elliot’s chest threatens to burst out, but his lips are so tightly pursed together, it escapes as more of a snort as he claps a hand firmly over his mouth. If looks could kill, the one I’m shooting him now would have sent him to the morgue in an instant. But, they can’t, so…

I flip him off. One good, strong bird, flying high.

He holds his hands up beside his head, a gesture of innocence.

Aidan Murphy is quick to answer. “That’s me. So, Liv,” my name is tinted with a hint of sarcasm and amusement and I hate the man on the line just a bit right now. “What’s new?”

I feign a sigh of exasperation. “Nothing much. Is that why you’re calling me, Murphy? To ask me what’s new?”

“Well,” he draws the words out for a couple extra beats. “No, I didn’t call you at all. I was calling Elliot. So, I ask again, what’s new, Sin?”

There’s really no point in telling him to stop calling me that. He won’t. I know it. So does he. “Oh, shit!” I exclaim. “I must’ve grabbed El’s phone instead of mine when I left the precinct last night.” Elliot raises an eyebrow at my excuse and I can’t do this with him watching me.

I slide off the stool and wander into the hallway. “I was so exhausted, I didn’t even notice.” I hear Murphy rustling around with something on the other end. There are a few touch-tones audible. “He must have mine.”

No sooner had those words left my mouth, my phone trills loudly from Elliot’s bedroom. I’m mere feet from his open doorway and hastily walk to the opposite end of the hallway, back into view of Elliot, whose face reveals he could hear my phone ring even from where he sat. Murphy, not one to hold back a chuckle, laughs full-on into the phone. “You gonna get that, Liv?”

I can feel the flush creeping up into my cheeks. “I hate you,” I grumble into the phone and proceed to stomp over to Elliot.

Murphy makes a kissy sound into the mic. “Aw, love ya, girl. I’m proud of you. You’re one sin my Catholic friend over there won’t be atoning for.” He laughs again.

I roll my eyes and shove the phone into Elliot’s chest forcibly enough to almost knock both him and the stool over. “Here. Talk to your friend.”

I don’t even wait for him to take the phone from my hands before hurrying into the kitchen and heading for the coffee. He fumbles for a couple seconds before finally getting a secure hold on the phone and bringing it up to his ear.

“Murph?...yeah, hey…I know…yeah, she’s here. We had a really rough case this week.” He stands, running his free hand through his cropped hair.

I refill my mug, scanning around for the sugar, keeping an ear trained on Elliot’s side of the conversation and trying not to keep both eyes trained on the way his track pants hang lazily off his hips.

“…she died early this morning. Turns out the whole thing was a lie.” He’s pacing now and, when his circular path brings him to face my direction, he crinkles his brow, then brings up a hand, gesturing toward a cabinet near the refrigerator.

I follow his direction, finding a small canister of sugar in the cabinet. The spoon he’d used to stir the coffee earlier is still on the counter. I run it under some water in the sink, drying it with a paper towel before dipping it into the sugar and dropping my yield into the Rangers mug. He’s back to pacing.

“Yeah, I know…shit’s crazy, Murph. Divorce blows.”

My hand immediately stills the stirring process, my breath catches, and my stomach feels about a foot lower than it should be. I look up in time to see his back straighten rigidly. I’m trying in vain to comprehend his words, but now trying harder to stir a literal whirlpool into my coffee, hoping it will suck me down into it so I can just disappear.

“No, I know it’s not the same, man. They hated each other.” He’s talking to Murphy, but his eyes are now intently focused on me as I see him take the first stride in my direction.

New goal. Grab coffee and go…somewhere.

My locker room. The bathroom. I can make it.

As it is, Elliot is dangerously close now to rounding the corner of the bar to enter the kitchen. Jesus, that took him, what, maybe 3 steps? I tap the spoon a couple times on the rim of the mug.

“It was for the best, Murph. Pretty sure you knew that before I did.”

I drop the spoon unceremoniously onto the countertop with a clatter. I take the mug in my hands, turn around, and have nowhere to go.

Elliot had swiftly closed the distance between us and was closing the last precious foot of space just as I turned to walk, effectively stopping me in my tracks. I start to yelp with the surprise, and it’s Elliot’s single index finger being pressed to his lips that silences my exclamation. “Yeah, you know how it is,” he says from behind his finger.

Had I managed any forward momentum at all, Sir Issac Newton would have ensured that my partner would have very hot coffee all over his very bare chest right now. Instead, I turned into a wall of Elliot, not able to take a step in any direction.

Except backward. I slide a foot backward on the tile, stepping with it. Elliot follows. His eyes have stayed locked on me and I feel like I’m caught in some fucked up tractor beam designed to keep me from running. They soften now, his lips pursing slightly in a “shhh” formation.

I take another step back. He follows. One more. My lower back bumps the countertop.

Still, he follows.

“Yeah, the kids are alright.” He takes his free hand, the right still holding the phone to his ear, and gently tries to release the coffee mug from the grip of both of mine. He manages to wrench it free of my left hand, but my right refuses to let go. “She’s good, too.”

I know he means Kathy.

I’m definitely not good.

Elliot’s left hand is encircling my right wrist now, pulling it off to the side until he is setting the mug down on the counter. He’s actually prying my fingers from the mug’s handle now, the strain evident in his voice when he mumbles “Mmmhmm” into the phone. When the last of my fingers falls from the mug, the curve of the handle is immediately replaced in my hand by his own fingers intertwining with mine. They curl over the back of his hand entirely of their own volition and I find that I can do little but stare at our tangled hands as he holds them up between us.

Elliot, for his part, is not watching our hands. His eyes are boring into the top of my head. “Yeah, Murph. I’m good.” He squeezes my hand. “You and I both know it was for the best.” He releases his hold on my hand then, drawing it toward him until my palm rests on his chest. He covers it with his own and presses it into place, silently asking me to keep it where he’s placed it.

Which is, incidentally, right over his heart.

He gives it a gentle squeeze and I flinch when his hand touches my face, his forefinger supporting my chin, his thumb resting below my lower lip. Undeterred, he lifts with his fingers until slowly, reluctantly, I’m pulled back into the traction of his eyes.

“I don’t regret anything.”

How the fuck is his heart beating so calmly beneath my fingers? I can practically feel my own pulse in my ears, my heart throbbing insistently against my ribs far quicker than I deem necessary.


Oh Christ, tell me that’s not a tear. Not a tear, not a tear. I’m not going to cry. I’m not crying.

Trusting me enough to keep my own head turned up to his, the knuckle of his forefinger dabs the corner of my eye. Dammit.

His fingers don’t return to my chin. Instead, a jolt of energy shoots across my scalp as he takes a wayward wave of hair and gently tucks it behind my ear.

“I know, Murph. I won’t…I mean, I’ll try…I know, you’d kill me…yeah, I will. I’ll see ya next weekend. Bye.”

I hear a beep signaling the end of the call before Elliot reaches his right hand between our bodies to place his phone back on the bar, where I wish I’d left it to begin with, then planting his hand next to me on the countertop behind me, effectively pinning me in.

“Murphy says he’s sorry.”

I raise an eyebrow. “Bullshit.”

He shrugs. “Yeah, yeah it is.”

The totality of my embarrassment strikes me all at once. My right hand slides from his chest and joins my left in covering my face. “Oh my God…” I mutter into my palms. A semi-hysterical laugh follows.

He must take pity on me. A low chuckle leaving his own lips, he brings his left hand to the back of my head, his long fingers weaving their way into my hair. He’s stepping mindbendingly closer now, not even pulling me toward him, just using his own proximity and the barrier behind me to draw me against him. His right arm snakes around my waist.

My face is now buried in my hands against Elliot’s chest.

No point in a double burial. I feel his chin perch on the top of my head just as I shimmy my hands from between my face and Elliot’s sternum and wrap my arms around him, linking my hands at the center of his back.

“I tried to warn you.” I feel the vibrations of his voice against my skull. “But, damn, you were on that phone like white on rice.” He laughs.

“Shut up,” I grumble. My hands have dropped apart.

“At least it wasn’t Cragen,” he reasons.

“Oh God, don’t even say that.” I tip my head forward until the crown of my head is pressing into the wall of his chest, his hand still resting in my hair, my own hands sliding across his back until they rest on his hips, my pinkies playing along that impossibly low-slung waistband of his track pants. “You think he would have believed that I took your phone by accident?”

“Guess we’ll never know,” he murmurs.

“I hope we’ll never have to know,” I add, knowing full-well that the day will come that we’ll have to find out something along those lines, but I’m doing my very best to push those thoughts aside for the time being.

I do this, it seems, by slipping my fingers underneath his waistband until they are curved around the lowest reaches of his hips.

I feel his skin twitch at the contact, but his hands make no motion to stop me. No motion to urge me on, either. They stay the course, one in my hair, one wrapped around me.

“Why were you so eager to grab the phone, anyway? What were we talking about?”

I can’t see his barest of smirks. I can’t even feel it against my head. But, I know it’s there. Fucker knows exactly what we were talking about. And, for reasons I can’t explain, I don’t feel the need to be saved by a ringtone or bell or anything else for saying what I did.

My hands are sneaking forward, and I feel the curves of his body sloping away from them. My fingers follow, and Jesus, if I move them just a few more inches, my hands will be undeniably in my partner’s pants and on his naked ass.

I retreat as best I can, which isn’t much, as I’m still pinned between Elliot and his kitchen counter. “I believe you were asking me to make a choice, El.” This causes him to take just a small step back so he can look down at me without craning his neck too hard.

I use my left hand to pull his right arm from my waist. “Something about,” I maneuver his hand to a palm-up position in what little space exists between us, the back of his hand resting in the open palm of mine, “a phenomenal orgasm or,” I loosen the fingers of his left hand from my hair, causing the rogue waves to curtain my face, and I turn that hand palm-up and hold it in my open right hand, “the most delicious breakfast food I’ve ever had, I believe it was.”

I curl my fingers around his hands from below and mimic his movements from before, raising and lowering his hands in the style of a balancing scale.

My thumbs trace faint patterns along the skin of his hands they are able to reach. I raise my head slowly, my hair partially obscuring the right side of my face. Elliot’s jaw is clenching, the muscles at the back of his cheeks jumping visibly. But, he’s looking right at me, his eyes simply waiting for mine.

“Do you remember what I chose?” Was that my voice? That’s my voice when I’m drunk, only not slurring. Just low, slow, and unabashedly sexy.

His Adam’s apple bobs as he swallows. “You, uh,”

Holy cat’s got your tongue, Batman. He’s goddamned nervous. And I love it.

“You didn’t choose, Liv.”

“Sure, I did.”

He bites his lip.

“Secret option three: put,” I bring his hand scales level, and his eyes cast downward, darting between his hands. “Your,” I turn his left hand so his palm is facing inward, and his eyes jump toward the motion. “Hands,” I follow suit with his right hand, immediately drawing the attention of his gaze. He now looks primed to start up a round of applause. “Together.” With that, I press my hands toward one another until his palms collide, his hands now trapped between mine, his darkening blue eyes staring silently at them.