Semper Fi

Waiting


This was the first week in a long time that Elliot's days didn't start off the exact same way. Since he was back in town, he decided to head up to campus and be there for Lizzie as much as he could. He knew she would be pissed if she knew exactly how much he was hanging around but he didn't care. She thought he was only around at night but he was actually shadowing her to each class. He also had a talk with her and her friends at their apartment about being safe and always checking in with each other. Lizzie seemed annoyed at the gesture but she knew why her dad was so protective of her. He wasn't going to lose another child.

"Hey dad"

"Hey Lizzie, what are you up to?"

"Nothing on my way home from class. It's been a horrible midterm week. I'm so tired. I'm going to go home and take a nap."

"Ok, well I was going to come over but I guess I wont."

"No dad, you don't have to. I'm fine. Ill call you later."

"Ok."

He watched his daughter as she walked up to her apartment complex and climbed the stairs to the third floor. She had no idea that he was following her the block from her last class to her apartment. With Lizzie safely inside he drove off to Kathy's to pick up Eli for the night.

It had only been a year since he and Kathy's divorce was final and the family was trying to get back to whatever version of their normal was. They managed to remain amiable and they both knew that the divorce was the right thing to do. Kathy had her assumptions about why the marriage didn't work and he was tired of hearing it so they settled into a cordial truce.

"Elliot, your heart isn't in this marriage. We both know where it is."

"How long are you going to keep denying it?"

"It's clear to all of us that you don't want to be here."

Elliot shook himself out of the memories of Kathy's words to him just as he was walking up to the door. It was still weird for him to knock on the door of a house he lived in for such a long time but they had clear boundaries and he was going to make sure that he respected them.

"Hey. He will be ready in just a second. He has to get all of his action figures ready. You know he can't be without them."

"No he cant," he lightly chuckled.

"Have you talked to Dickie lately?" Kathy asked with a look of concern on her face. It bothered her that the two were once again on strained terms.

"I called him. We talked…briefly."

"Elliot—"

"It's going to take time Kath. We will get there don't worry. At least he is answering my calls now. He didn't do that a few months ago so it's progress."

"Ok. I hope so."

Kathy was still concerned and he didn't to break her heart anymore over their family situation than he already had. She had put up with so much over the years and he may not have been able to be a good husband to her but he was determined to be a good father.

"Daddyyyyyy!" Eli screamed as he made his way in the kitchen.

"Hey there buddy. You ready to go?"

"Yep. All set."

"Ok, give mommy a kiss and a hug."

"Bye mommy"

"Ill have him tomorrow around noon."

"Ok"

Elliot and Eli went to get ice cream and rode around for a bit before heading back to his apartment. While they were riding around Elliot found himself on a block that had become very familiar to him over the past year and a half…the block where Olivia lived. When he left the unit he checked in with her just here and there in the beginning but since his divorce and getting word of her being attacked by that psychopath William Lewis his visits became more frequent. Sometimes he wouldn't see anything but other times he would see her from a distance walking down the street with her son. He knew more about her life than she would probably ever be comfortable with. On this particular day, there was nothing to see and he figured she was at the squad room.

"Daddy, why are we just sitting here? Can we go home now?" Eli complained from the back.

"Sure son. I was just checking on an old friend."

"Who?"

"My friend Olivia."

"Oh the one who helped me get born when I was a baby?"

Elliot chuckled at his son's choice of words. "Yes son. Her."

"Well why don't we just go in? Why are we sitting out here?"

"We will son. One day."


Back at the apartment, Eli settled in to watch some of his favorite cartoons while Elliot checked in to work. He was now working part time with the Feds. He worked with them briefly before leaving SVU and when they heard of his retirement they offered him a job. At first he was resistant and refused to move to Virginia and leave his children but they agreed to let him stay in New York as long as he came down once a quarter to check in. He was doing undercover assignments here and there. He would go off the grid for a few weeks for an assignment and not have to work again for another few months. Kathy wasn't happy about it at first but she knew how important it was for Elliot to be doing something. He tried retirement and just staying at home but it did nothing but tear their family apart. Now that the kids were older they were able to help out with Eli when Elliot was gone.

He was going through some case files for another assignment when the news came on and he saw Olivia giving a statement on the rape case at NYU. He had seen her more times than she knew over the past 4 years and was still taken aback by how beautiful she was. She had become more strong and confident over the years. While talking to the media she carried herself as the epitome of leadership and he was in awe of her.

He broke his reverie to call Lizzie back and check on her. It was getting late and there was no way she was still sleeping.

She answered on the second ring.

"Hey Dad"

"Hey honey just checking in."

"I know dad. I'm still fine. I'm going to go with Kat to the music building later and do a little studying there while she handles her business."

"Ok. What time?"

"Dad it's fine. We are going to walk together. I have the mace you gave us. The music building is open 24/7; there are people there. It's fine. Plus, you have Eli tonight, you don't need to be dragging him out of the house."

"I know but.."

"But nothing Dad. It's fine. If something is off you will be my first call. I promise."

"I'm just worried about you honey that's all. You know you could still do an online college and come stay here with your old man."

They both laughed at his joke. He was happy that he was able to lighten the mood a bit. Of all his children, Lizzie was handling his overprotectiveness the best. She sympathized with him especially since he and her twin Dickie were barely on speaking terms.

"I'm about to finish looking over these last notes and lay down a bit more before we head back out."

"Well I'm glad you are getting your rest. It's important. Most kids would be out partying on a Friday night so I'm proud of you."

"I knowww Dad."

"Ok I guess that's my cue. Call me when you leave and when you get home."

"Ok."

"I love you."

"I love you too."


After an Xbox marathon of games, Eli was finally worn down and got into bed. It was a little after 9 and Elliot was surprised at how tired he was. Normally he was wired and stayed up late thinking over things, probably more than he should. He settled in his bed and checked his phone to see if Lizzie called. She hadn't so he called her. He figured she was probably still sleeping and left a message.

It wasn't long before his thoughts went again to Olivia. This was normal for him and he wanted to introduce himself back into her life but didn't know how. He knew that her life was different now and she seemed to have some sense of happiness now especially with her son. He didn't want to disrupt that for her. She had been through enough but the selfish side of him wanted to be there for her and tell her how he really felt.

"Elliot, your heart isn't in this marriage. We both know where it is."

"How long are you going to keep denying it?"

"It's clear to all of us that you don't want to be here."

He tossed and turned at Kathy's words. He didn't know what he was waiting for. He wanted to be with her but there were so many things that stood in the way…mainly him. He didn't want to bring any unnecessary drama or baggage in her life. His mind was working overdrive and eventually he drifted off.


His phone rang and he thought he was dreaming. By the time he got to the phone the person had already hung up. Through somewhat blurred vision he saw the missed call was from Lizzie. It was almost midnight and he immediately jumped up and started getting dressed while the phone kept going to voicemail. He was on his way out of the door before he remembered he wasn't at home alone.

"Shit! Eli!"

After a frantic call to Kathy, he grabbed his sleeping son and drove him back home and headed to campus. He didn't know where the music building was and with all the Friday night events it was taking him harder to maneuver around because there were students everywhere. He saw some sirens and feared the worst but followed them. When he pulled up the music building was roped off and they weren't letting anyone in.

It took some manipulation but he was able to get through thanks to one of the officers on the scene that didn't know he no longer worked for SVU but recognized him from past cases. He asked another officer to give him an update as to what was going on and confessed that his daughter was in the building. The officer confirmed to him that there was a victim of a rape homicide and that Lizzie was the witness. He went on to say that Lizzie tried to follow behind the perp but eventually stopped and called them. After getting a few more details, Elliot ran inside to try and find his daughter.

Walking into the building he saw cops and distraught students everywhere but no signs of Lizzie. He finally made her out of the crowd and ran up to her.

"Lizzie are you ok? Baby what you did was crazy! You could've been killed! I called you a dozen times why didn't you answer?" he said as he hugged her close.

I'm sorry dad. I had to go check on her. I called you though just like you told me to and I called the police. I just couldn't wait," she responded as he held her.

"I would die if something happened to you."

"I'm sorry."

He didn't mean to make her cry but when he missed her call and she wouldn't answer the feelings he had the night a similar situation unfolded a few years ago came flooding back to him and it was almost too much to bear.

As he was holding his daughter a somewhat familiar face walked up. He recognized Nick from seeing him near Olivia's apartment and on the news a couple of times.

"Mr. Stabler. I'm Detective Nick Amaro with the Special Victims Unit. I was just interviewing your daughter."

"Yeah hi."

He flinched knowing that Nick was one degree of separation from Olivia and wondered if she was there.

"Your daughter has been extremely helpful with getting us a description of the perp. We want to get her with a sketch artist as soon as possible so we can get the description out to the public."

"Yeah I know the routine it's just that she's been through so much. Lizzie you sure you want to right now? Maybe I should take you back to my apartment and you get some rest." He wanted her to be helpful but at the same time he knew she needed some time after just losing her roommate.

"No dad. I want to do this. For Kat."

He thought it over a little and then agreed.

"Ok. Amaro was it? No offense but I'm going to want to tag along and make sure everything is handled ok."

"No problem. My boss is here so we can all get going to the station."

Elliot held his breath as she walked up. He recognized that walk from anywhere as she emerged from the shadows.

"This is Sergeant Olivia Benson. I believe you two already know each other."

He froze. He finally exhaled as she spoke

"We do. Hello Elliott. Been a long time."



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