Olivia tossed and turned all night thinking about the trial and everything with Johnny D. She couldn't stand the thought of losing her son and to a criminal like him no less. She knew he didn't want to be a father but he would take Noah just to spite her and have some leverage to get out of his charges. When she finally got tired of tossing and turning she decided to go and peek in on Noah in his nursery. When Elliot woke up around 5am and discovered she wasn't in the bed he decided to go and check on her. He felt her moving throughout the night and figured she didn't get much sleep.
"Hey," he said in a groggy voice. He walked over to her at the window and put his arms around her waist and rested his chin on her shoulder. She immediately exhaled and leaned into his body.
"Hey, I'm sorry did I wake you?"
"Yeah. You've been tossing and turning all night. I know you are worried but it's going to be ok baby. That bastard isn't going to get anywhere near you or Noah. I promise you that."
He didn't know much about John Drake but he sent an email the night before to his contact at the Feds to send over all of the information they had. He wasn't going to do anything to him. He had no intentions to upset Olivia again and trusted her to handle the situation but he needed to have all the information he could on the man that was a threat to his family.
"Barba is meeting me at the precinct later this morning to talk about the trial and how it affects Noah's adoption. I need to get all the information I can."
Elliot let the silence hang between them. He wanted to be in on the conversation as well but didn't want to push.
"That's a good idea," he said simply. He went to fix some coffee and she sat at the breakfast bar watching him closely.
"Listen, I don't know what you have planned for the day with Eli but I was wondering if maybe he could stay here with Lucy and Noah and you come meet Barba with me."
He stopped suddenly and turned to face her. "Are you sure?"
"Of course. I want you there."
"Then I'm there."
A few hours later everyone was huddled in Olivia's office going over everything with John Drake's case and Noah's adoption. Nick and Fin were there to discuss what they found out about the investigation and Olivia called Trevor since he was Noah's attorney. Elliot stood behind her near her desk and was careful not to say much. He sat back and watched as the people who had become so important to her in the past few years worked to make sure she didn't lose her child.
"So where are we with Selena and Timmer? Did she kill him intentionally?" Barba asked.
"Rollins and I went to talk to the ME. He said that Timmer was attacked before he even knew what hit him but without video proof we really can't prove if she did it out of self defense," Fin said.
"But what do we think?" Olivia asked.
"It was a blitz attack Liv. Somehow Drake got to her. She killed that dude in cold blood," he responded.
Barba then turned to Olivia. "Ok and the other witnesses. Ariel, her mother what's the deal with them?"
"They are in but all the rest of the girls are super shaky and backing out. They are scared to death."
"Ok Nick, you and Fin grab Carisi and Rollins and go make arrangements to talk to all the girls again. Get them on board, talk to them, hug them, cry with them, do whatever you have to do to get them on that stand tomorrow and telling the truth," Barba ordered.
"You got it," Nick responded. He and Fin got ready to walk out before Olivia spoke up.
"Let me talk to them."
Elliot suddenly moved closer to her and put his hand on the small of her back. He wanted to speak up but decided not to.
"That's the last thing we need right now. We don't want his attorney claiming any kind of misconduct or coercion on the part of the police," Barba countered.
"He's right Olivia. You have to stay as far away from this as possible because of the pending adoption," Trevor added.
"But I can get through to them I know I can. You know I can," she said to Barba. "He can't get off because those girls are scared and because he took out one of our star witnesses."
As Elliot was about to say something to her, Nick moved close to her put his hands on her arms. "Liv, we got this. We are going to get these girls to talk. Between Fin's charm and my good looks, we will persuade them to talk," he joked and she couldn't help but smile a little. "Trust us."
"I do trust both of you. Ok. Ok. I'll stand down," she reluctantly agreed.
Elliot breathed a sigh of relief and immediately gained more respect for Nick. They hadn't had the opportunity to talk since he came back in Olivia's life but he appreciated how he had her back and was able to get through to her even when she was being stubborn.
"Ok, so if all of this happens and Johnny D gets convicted then where does that leave Noah and his visitation rights?" she asked after Nick and Fin left the room.
"Well the best thing we can hope for is that he is convicted. Due to the nature of the charges against him and the time he will have to serve it should be relatively easy to terminate his parental rights. But we need the guilty verdicts," Trevor added looking directly at Barba.
"His lawyer is already trying to move for visitation rights," Barba said. "And he's doing that just to rattle you and use Noah as a bargaining chip. Don't let him. Stay strong and focus on the adoption proceedings."
"Easier said than done," she said leaning over to regain her composure. She was suddenly reminded of Elliot's presence again when he started rubbing her arm in an effort to sooth her. She put her hand over his in acknowledgment.
"If the trial takes longer or the jury takes awhile to come back with the verdict, will the final adoption hearing need to be pushed back?" Elliot asked.
"I would strongly recommend it," Trevor answered. "I'd rather the judge have all the facts and everything finalized with him in front of her before she signs off but it's up to you Olivia."
"No I agree. I don't want that son of a bitch and his attorney coming back trying to contest anything. I want it over and done with so we can move on with our lives."
"Ok. Barba if the trial hits a snag let me know and Ill reach out to Judge Linden and move the adoption back. Hang in there Olivia," Trevor said before leaving.
"I need to get back to the office too. We're going to get him Liv. Johnny D is not going to hurt any more women and he's definitely not getting his hands on Noah," Barba said and packed up his briefcase.
"Look I know you didn't agree with me revealing that Johnny was the father."
"No I didn't but you made a good point and so did Trevor. It's best for the judge to have everything so it can be a good clean adoption and everyone can move on. You deserve that," he said patting her on the arm and getting ready to leave.
"Thank you for everything," Elliot said extending his hand.
"So what do we now?" she asked turning around to Elliot.
"We wait. You've got a great group of people around you. They are going to make sure that Johnny D goes down and hopefully by this time next week, you will be adopting Noah."
"You sound pretty confident," she said reaching out to hug him.
"I am hopeful that everything is going to work out.""How do you know that?"
"Because in so many ways it already has."
Olivia tried to keep herself busy at work throughout that day and the next as witnesses began to testify in the trial. Selena was a bust but after some persuasion from Rollins the other girls all got on the stand and told everything that happened to them. There were still a few more witnesses to go but Olivia was getting reassurance from Barba whenever he had a break in court that everything was going smoothly. It didn't look like she needed to move the adoption proceedings back so she remained cautiously optimistic.
Meanwhile, Elliot had received the file back from the feds and looked over everything. What he found out about Johnny D was terrifying. He saw the pictures of what happened to Ellie Porter and some of the other girls in his trafficking ring and his heart broke. It was these types of cases and ones involving children that used to take the biggest toll on him while he was in SVU and why he didn't regret leaving. When he thought about Noah he couldn't believe that he came from such a horrible person. Envisioning what the little boy's life would've been like if he and Olivia hadn't found each other was almost too much to bear.
He talked through the contents of the file with Eric who worked to retrieve it for him. Eric reassured him that everything would be fine and how lucky Noah was to have both him and Olivia as his parents now. Olivia beeped in on his other line while they were talking.
"El! There's…. been a shooting…..at the courthouse. Nick..got..hit…I don't' know how bad it is," she choked out.
"Ok where are you? I'm coming to you right now," he said standing immediately to put his shoes on and grab his keys.
"I'm on my way to Mercy General."
"Ok I'll be there."
When Olivia arrived to the hospital she ran right in to Fin and Amanda outside of the emergency room.
"How is he?" she asked frantically.
"He's alive. We don't know how bad it is yet," Fin answered.
"What the hell happened?" she asked.
"Johnny D saw the trial wasn't going his way and grabbed people and just started shooting. He took out two court officers, shot the judge and some other bystanders. They are all critical and Nick went after him," Amanda responded. She was trying to keep it together but she was emotional for other reasons. Olivia had long suspected that her and Nick were involved but never approached either one of them about it.
"Yeah Liv. Johnny D is no longer a problem for you. He's dead," Fin answered.
While processing the news, Olivia cringed when Tucker came through the doors.
"Well it didn't take you long to show up. Can you at least wait for him to get out of surgery before you get ready to nail him? It was a good shoot," Amanda spit at him.
"Amanda calm down. Fin go take her for a walk," Olivia said.
"I know it was a good shoot. I had plenty of people who witnessed it but you know I have to be here and take his statement eventually anyway. I'm not here to cause problems," he responded with his hands up in a defensive gesture.
"Well that's a first," Fin said pulling Amanda away.
"Liv! Liv!" Elliot shouted running up to her.
"Elliot! I'm so glad you are here."
"I'm here baby," he said hugging her close. "How is Nick? Have you heard anything?"
"Not yet," she explained.
When they broke apart, Elliot finally noticed Tucker and the atmosphere changed immediately.
"Tucker." That was the extent of their acknowledgment.
Olivia went on to explain to Elliot everything that happened at the courthouse while they waited for word on Nick. While he was sorry that other people were hurt, he breathed a sigh of relief that Johnny D was out of the picture and no longer a hurdle for Olivia.
The waiting room was crawling with law enforcement personnel and family members all awaiting word on people who got shot. Olivia called Maria to give her the news and Elliot stayed by her side as she struggled to keep it together.
"Family of Nick Amaro," a middle aged male doctor said as he came through the double doors.
"Here. I'm his Commanding Officer. His mom is on her way. How is he?" Olivia asked as everyone gathered around.
"Surgery went well. He's fine. He took a bullet to the leg and in the shoulder but we were able to get both bullets out and he will make a full recovery," he said.
Everyone collectively let out sighs of relief.
"Can I see him?" Olivia asked.
"You can see him for a few minutes while he's in recovery," he said showing her to the room.
Nick's mom arrived to the hospital and after Nick had to basically put her out, Olivia finally agreed to go home after being at the hospital all day and in to the night. In all the madness of talking to people and doctors about Nick, it wasn't until she walked back into the waiting room to get ready to leave that she remembered Elliot was still there.
"Honey. You're still here," she said but it was more like a surprised question.
"Of course I am," he yawned and stretched as he stood up.
"I'm so sorry with everything going on I figured you had left." She started to gather all of her belongings as they walked to the exit.
"Everything's good with Nick?"
"Yeah he will be riding the desk for a few weeks but the doctors said he will be good as new in about a month or so."
"How about the shooting? Is he in trouble?" Elliot asked concerned. He saw Tucker and knew exactly how IAB was especially considering Nick's connection to Johnny D through Olivia.
"Well Tucker claims that he knows it was a good shooting and there were more than enough witnesses around to corroborate Nick's story. He should be ok but you never know with IAB."
"I'm sure he will be fine," he assured her kissing the top of her head. "Let's go home."
"Lucy thank you so much for staying," Olivia said while walking in to her apartment with Elliot close behind.
"Oh no problem. Hi Elliot. How's Nick?" she asked as she got up from the couch with Noah on her hip.
"He's out of surgery and resting. His mom is up there with him now. He's going to be just fine it could've been worse," she responded.
"Hi my love, you're still awake," she said reaching for Noah.
"Yeah he didn't want to go to sleep without his mommy," she said handing Noah over to her.
"Aww Mommy's home. Mommy's home," she said cradling him in her arms.
"Good night," Lucy said heading for the door. "See you tomorrow."
Olivia continued to hold Noah and paced with him around the room repeatedly kissing his head softly.
"See I told you Liv. Everything's fine. You are not losing this little guy," he said reassuring her.
"Yeah. I hate that people lost their lives in that shooting but I'm glad that Johnny D's not in the picture anymore."
Noah started to drift off on Olivia's shoulder.
"Let me go and put him down," she said.
In the nursery, she laid a sleeping Noah down in his crib and rubbed his back gently. "It's all over now Noah. We are going to be just fine. Sleep tight my Angel."
A week later, Olivia, Noah, Elliot and Trevor were gathered outside of Judge Linden's chambers awaiting the adoption hearing.
She held Noah tight to her and was pacing back and forth in the hall patting his back.
"Nervous?" Elliot asked with a smirk.
"Just a little," she responded.
"It's just a formality now. He's already your son. Now you will have the piece of paper to formalize it."
"I know. I guess until the ink is dry I'm not going to fully be able to relax."
"I get it." He pulled her close and put his arms around her and Noah when the Judge's door suddenly opened.
"Oli—well hello Olivia," the judge said noticing the display of affection between her and Elliot.
"Sorry I'm a few minutes late. Well don't you look handsome," she said shaking Noah's little hand.
"No worries at all," Olivia assured her. "This is Elliot Stabler," she said introducing him. She consciously didn't reveal his relationship to her when she made the introduction and the judge noticed.
"It's nice to meet you Mr. Stabler and you look handsome as well."
She gave Olivia an approving look with a sparkle in her eyes and it made her immediately relax.
"Please call me Elliot," he said extending his hand to hers.
"Well let's get this show on the road. After you Mr. Langan," she said as they all headed into her chambers.
She took a few moments going through all of the paperwork as Olivia sat in the chair with Noah and Elliot stood further back against the wall giving her some space.
"Father's recently deceased?" the judge asked.
"Yes and the agency was unable to locate any living blood relatives," Trevor responded.
"Ok. Sergeant Benson are you willing to raise this child as your lawful child?"
"This child will inherit from you. He will be treated no differently than a biological child. Do you agree?"
"Yes," she responded firmly.
"I know it's been a long year and a hard process but everything seems to be in order. Congratulations Olivia and to you Noah Porter Benson," the judge said emphasizing his new last name to Olivia's delight. Elliot's eyes began to water. He was so happy for her. "I'm signing off on the adoption."
"Thank you," Olivia said standing up.
"All the best to you and your family," the judge said shaking Olivia's hand and looking over to Elliot who was now walking up to hug the two of them.
"We did it. We did it. Noah Porter Benson," Olivia said with tears in her eyes and Elliot's arm draped around both of them. He kissed her on the forehead.
"Congratulations," Trevor said. "I'm so glad it all worked out."
"Thank you for everything. Will we see you at the house for the party later?"
"Wouldn't miss it for the world," he responded.
"Thanks again Judge," Olivia said.
As they prepared to walk out Judge Linden stopped her.
"Olivia, can I talk to you for a moment?"
"Sure," she responded confused. Noah reached out for Elliot and she let them know she would just be a minute.
When he closed the door the judge moved closer to her.
"Just so you know, just because your adoption is finalized doesn't mean that there can't be changes made."
Olivia immediately began to panic and the judge laughed.
"No not that type of change," she corrected to calm her down. "You are his mother Olivia. That's not going to change but when you are ready to add another name to his adoption paperwork. You give me a call," she said winking.
Olivia blushed and sighed loudly. "It's that obvious hunh?"
"Yes it is. He loves you very much and he loves Noah. I've had a hunch before with you and I was right. I'm right this time too. I have a feeling that I will be seeing you back here sooner rather than later."