Make you Feel my Love
After taking pictures on the beach with the family, Elliot and Olivia made their way to the reception, which was in full swing. The band was some of Lizzie's college friends and Elliot was a little weary at first but backed down once she assured him that they would only play for about an hour. The lead singer of the band, who Dickie revealed Lizzie had a crush on, would DJ the rest of the reception with songs they all chose.
"Olivia the ceremony was absolutely beautiful. Congratulations," Chelsea said hugging her. Olivia rubbed her baby bump that was quite substantial as she was entering the last leg of her pregnancy. "Thank you for taking the time to come out here. I know you've been pretty tired lately."
"We wouldn't miss it for the world," she said putting her arm around Eric's waist.
"You did great up there man. I wasn't sure about that whole vows off the top of your head thing but it was pretty smooth," Eric commented giving him a fist bump.
"What can I say? I am a natural romantic," Elliot joked.
Olivia's hand went to her stomach when she started to feel the baby kick again.
"Oh my god, is the baby kicking?" Chelsea squealed reaching out to try and feel.
"Yeah she just started today, right after the ceremony actually."
"We just found out we are having a girl," Elliot explained. "Lizzie spilled the beans."
"Congrats man. I look forward to seeing you try to fight off teenage boys while you are in your 60's," Eric teased.
"I know I know, I'll have to keep my workout routine going as long as I can."
"Or your daughter could always marry our son," Chelsea offered.
"If that little boy is anything like his dad, Ill definitely have to keep my workout routine up."
They all laughed and Olivia and Chelsea engaged in some pregnancy small talk before they moved around the reception mingling with the rest of their guests. The band was playing some upbeat songs that they didn't recognize but everyone was getting on the dance floor and were having a great time. Olivia took notice that Amanda and Nick seemed to come to the wedding together and were dancing together.
"Are you worried about that?" Elliot asked when he noticed her watching them.
"Yes and no. Nick's a good guy. I know he would take care of Amanda and would be good for her. Professionally yeah I'm a little worried but it is what it is and I'm definitely going to be worried about it today," she said turning around and wrapping her arms around his neck.
She leaned in for a kiss but was quickly interrupted.
"Alright alright break it up Stabler," Alex called from behind them.
"Hey she started it this time, not me," Elliot explained.
"I wasn't talking about you. I was talking about the newest Stabler here," she said pointing to Olivia and hugging her. "Congrats to both of you. I just don't even know what to say. It's been both an honor and a headache watching you two over the years but I'm glad you figured it out. Gives us all a little hope."
Olivia left to go to the bathroom and was surprised by a familiar voice as she got ready to head back outside.
"Well if it isn't the blushing bride."
"Simon!?" Olivia said in disbelief.
"I'm so sorry I'm late. I got caught in traffic and…well anyway. I brought a guest with me," he said stepping back to reveal his five-year-old daughter who was also named Olivia. "Honey this is your Aunt Olivia. You haven't seen her in a few years since you were a baby."
The little girl beamed at her when she realized they shared a name.
"Hi Auntie Olivia," she said shyly.
"Hello sweetie. You've gotten so big," she said through tears. "Can I have a hug?"
They hugged briefly and she felt Olivia's pregnant belly with a little apprehension. "It's ok sweetie you can feel. See?" She took her hand and put it on her stomach and she smiled. "I'm going to have a little girl that you can play with in a few months. She's going to be your cousin."
"A girl?" Simon asked. "That's great news Olivia. I'm going to have a niece."
"Yes you are."
"Speaking of," he said looking around to see if anyone was close. "The medical history we talked about on our father.."
"Wait, hold on a second." She ushered her niece out to the back steps where Lucy quickly saw her and brought her over with the other children. She didn't want to have such a serious conversation in front of her. Olivia had reached out to Simon shortly after her initial series of tests and after playing phone tag they finally touched base. He said he had to do some research and would get back to her.
"She will be ok out there. There are plenty of other kids here for her to play with," she said assuring him. "So what did you find out?"
Simon paused for a moment and she immediately got nervous.
"Just tell me. Do I need to go and get Elliot? He should be here for this."
"Liv, Liv it's fine. It turns out being an asshole was our dad biggest issue. There was the alcoholism and his grandfather had heart problems and that was mostly because he didn't take care of himself. Nothing else."
She sighed in relief and gave him a hug. "Oh thank god."
"You can't be stressing yourself out sis. You gotta keep it together for my niece in there."
"Listen to your brother Olivia," Elliot said walking in. He and Simon shook hands and he stood behind her.
"I was just telling her the news. Nothing in the bloodlines except the obvious alcoholism and some heart issues with my great grandfather."
"That's good news. Thanks Simon for looking into that," Elliot said while placing a kiss on Olivia's forehead.
"I was glad to do it. Thank you guys for inviting me. I know that…I know you haven't always liked me much..," he started.
"Water under the bridge," Elliot interrupted holding his hand up to stop him. "I was just looking out for Liv. I was worried and I know I probably didn't show it in the right way.."
"Yeah and I surely made it easy for you to worry," Simon added.
"Well we all make mistakes. We're here now. Come on outside, they are getting ready to do the speeches."
"Simon you go ahead, give us a minute," Olivia said turning around and wrapping her arms around his waist. "Thank you for that."
"Don't mention it. We are all family now. I haven't always agreed with what the guy but we've all done our damage. He seems like he's in a better place."
They kissed for a few moments before they were interrupted.
"Dad, Lizzie is on the prowl. You and Liv better get outside," Maureen announced.
"We are on the way."
Elliot and Olivia sat down at their designated tables where he kept piling food on her plate and winking at her when she would pass him a questioning look. He wanted to make sure she was well fed and full of energy for their honeymoon night. She smirked back at him when she realized what he was doing. They sat through a few speeches including Casey's tipsy speech about all the women at the DA's office who had a crush on Elliot and were scared of Olivia. They were both legitimately squirming when Fin and Munch made a speech because it was Fin and Munch. Munch gave them advice saying he was the expert because he had gone through four marriages while Fin quickly pointed out that all of them ended in divorce so he shouldn't be giving anyone any advice on staying married. Fin threatened Elliot yet again and told him to make sure he continues to make Olivia happy or he would kick his ass. He even flashed his gun for good measure. The last speech of the night was saved for the kids who all took the stage together much to Elliot and Olivia's surprise.
"Is everyone having a good time tonight?" Lizzie yelled out to the audience in her best MC voice and everyone started clapping except for Maureen who grabbed the microphone away from her annoyed. This was supposed to be a sentimental speech and she didn't want Lizzie's antics to overshadow that.
"We didn't really have anything prepared to say we just wanted to welcome Olivia to the family and say that we love you both so much and couldn't be more happy for you," she said wiping at stray tears. "Damn hormones I'm sorry," she added to everyone's amusement and passed the mic back to Lizzie. "Dad and Liv I just wanted to say sorry for acting like a drill sergeant for the past month, I just wanted today to be as perfect as possible for both of you because you deserve it. Liv, we are so excited to have you officially a part of the Stabler clan and we love you very much," she said getting surprisingly emotional. Olivia mouthed 'I love you' back to her.
"I want to say something," Eli exclaimed reaching for the mic. "Daddy and Olivia I love you very much," he said simply and covered his mouth bashfully when the crowd started to clap. Olivia was in full on tears at this point and Elliot put his arm around her to try and comfort her. "Noah would you like to say something?" Maureen asked him to light chuckles from the crowd. "Night," he said rubbing his eyes and pushing the mic away from him. He was starting to get sleepy so Maureen picked him up.
"I want to say something," Dickie said reaching for the mic and Maureen and Lizzie exchanged glances. He wasn't normally the type to speak in front of a crowd or get gushy so they didn't expect him to say anything.
"I just want to ummm.. repeat what my brothers and sisters said that we want to welcome Liv to the family and ummm…we love you both." He was looking down at the ground with his left hand in his pocket and cleared his throat. Olivia recognized the body language because it reminded her a lot of Elliot when he was trying to reel in his emotions. "Dad doesn't know this but about five years ago after dad and I got into it pretty bad I was in my room and I was packing to leave. I didn't know where I was going I just knew I had to get out of that house and I wanted to get away from him. My sister Kathleen came in and saw what I was doing and she umm stopped me," he said clearing his throat again. "She had me tell her what happened, I told her and thought she would be on my side and she told me one day I would get it. That everything dad did would all make sense to me..and it finally does. My dad is the best man I know," he said looking directly at Elliot who let two tears fall down his cheek. "He's a man that puts his own needs and happiness aside for the sake of his family and to do the responsible thing. Liv, my dad loves you more than life itself. Thank you for helping him find his happiness." He handed the mic back to Lizzie who pulled him into a hug. The crowd erupted in cheers and there wasn't a dry eye in the house including Elliot who made his way to the small platform to hug his son.
"Thank you son. That was..that was."
"All true. Every word of it. I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner dad."
He and Olivia exchanged hugs as well.
"This one looks like he is completely worn out," Olivia said rubbing Noah's hair as she held him.
"How about I go lay him down dear? I lwill ay with him for a little while too. I'm kind of tired myself," Bernie offered.
"Are you sure? You don't have to."
"It would be my honor. I need to get more acquainted with my grandson anyway," she countered giving her a wink.
"Ok it's time for the first dance for the happy couple," Lizzie announced. "DJ do you have the song ready?"
"Oh god, there's no telling what song it is," Elliot said rolling his eyes. "I can't believe we left them in charge of the music selection. It could be Sexual Healing or something if Dickie had anything to do with it."
"Well not all of the music selection. This one I picked out myself," she said winking and pulling him to the middle of the dance area.
Within seconds, the opening notes of Adele's "Make you feel my love" filled the air and Elliot's face glowed with recognition.
"You chose this?" he asked as he put his hand on the small of her back and they started to sway back and forth.
"Lizzie gave me some songs to choose from but I didn't go with any of them. I already had an idea of what song I wanted. This song reminded me of us the very first time I heard it years ago. It's..perfect. I love you Elliot," she said with more tears filling her eyes.
"I love you too," he choked out. They danced with their foreheads touching gazing in each other's eyes as they let the lyrics of the song wash over them.
When the evening shadows and the stars appear,
And there is no one there to dry your tears,
I could hold you for a million years
To make you feel my love.
As they swayed around the dance floor, everyone looked on taking pictures of them and murmuring about happy they looked. There was another onlooker from in the distance that no one noticed who watched with their own tears falling at the scene but for a different reason.
When Adele's song ended, Rascal Flatts "Bless the Broken Road" immediately followed. A song that Maureen announced was her pick for them to dance to. While the song played they both couldn't help but think about everything that brought them to this moment of dancing as husband and wife. All the years of denying how they felt about one another, their family drama, work drama and being apart for four of the hardest years of their lives to end up back in each other's arms. It was all a dream come true.
Once everyone hit the dance floor a few minutes later, Olivia tapped Elliot's shoulder to look over at the edge of the dance floor to Lucy and Dickie who were dancing together and looking very much in love. "Do you think we will be attending another wedding soon?" Olivia joked.
"Either that or another birth," he joked and she playfully slapped him on the back.
"He's grown up to be such a good man. You've done a good job with him El," she said seriously.
"That speech…I didn't even know what to say. The words he said…"
"He meant every word. I talked to him too you know? Before the wedding. One day I want you to finally get in that thick head of yours that you are a good father. Your kids love you. I think all the trouble they went through to put this wedding together should show you that."
"I thought you liked my thick head," he teased.
"El, I'm serious."
"I know I know. I'm getting there baby. The guilt doesn't just go away overnight but today went a long way in helping it dissolve a little more."
"Soooo, do you need something else to eat?"
"No!" she yelled. "You've fed me enough."
"I'm just saying Mrs. Stabler you have a very long night ahead of you. Just want to make sure you are up for it," he said giving her a long languid kiss.
She pulled back from him a little breathless, "I'm up for anything you are ready to give me old man."
Bernie had every intention of just laying with Noah for a few minutes until he fell asleep but she ended up dozing off as well. She woke up about thirty minutes later to go and rejoin the reception. She stopped in the kitchen to get a glass of water before heading back outside and looked out over the scenery. It was dark now and the party was still in full swing with lights around the area keeping the area fully lit along the dark beach. She glanced over near the cars for a split second when headlights caught her attention. She immediately recognized the car and the person inside and decided to go pay them a visit.
"Well I was wondering if you were going to show up honey," Bernie said startling Kathy who didn't see her walk up. "I was a little surprised when they mentioned they invited you but I figured you would come for the children's sake and here you are."
"Yeah parked in a car," she said sniffling. Bernie handed her a tissue. She came outside with some figuring they would be put to good use. "How do I do this Bernie? I tell myself everyday that I'm ok with this and I accept this. I don't want Elliot back. I'm not in love with him anymore but I…..it's hard to see him move on and be so happy when I'm still…"
"Unhappy?" Bernie asked.
"I'm not unhappy I'm just kind of…stagnant I guess. I'm figuring it out but Elliot's always had it figured out. He knew he wanted to be with her and build a family with her. I don't quite know what I want to do or if I want to even get married again," she rambled while Bernie stayed perfectly quiet. "I feel like my marriage to Elliot took so much out of me I don't know if I could do it again."
"You will know when the time is right. Don't feel like you have to get married just because Elliot did. You pace yourself, give yourself some time. It will all work out the way it's supposed it."
They sat in silence a little longer.
"It looked like a beautiful ceremony. The kids did a great job."
"Yes they did. They are really happy for them."
"Good," Kathy said genuinely. "I never want to begrudge them being close with their father or Olivia for that matter. I wanted to come today to show them that it's really ok and we can all be in the same room and be happy for each other."
"But you are sitting in the car," Bernie noted.
"Yeah. I've been trying to get out for the past 15 minutes. I never planned to come to the ceremony but I at least wanted to come to the reception. I've stayed out here long enough to see that my son and Lucy are getting pretty serious," she chuckled.
"Oh yeah. She's a lovely girl though. Olivia speaks very highly of her and she takes great care of Noah."
"Do you really think it's ok for me to go in?" Kathy asked timidly.
"Come on honey. It's more than ok."
Olivia was happy to see that Elliot didn't try to shove cake in her face when they cut the cake. She made it clear to him that if he tried that, they wouldn't be having a long night after all.
"Ok, we've taken pictures, danced, done speeches, cut cake and all the token traditional stuff that I never thought we would do. Is it time to go now?" Elliot asked pulling her in for a kiss.
"Are you going to finally tell me where we are going?"
"Nope. Still a surprise."
"Well in that case, I think Lizzie wanted to start a Conga line. Let me go and get her," she joked and Elliot quickly pulled her back.
"You are quite the comedienne Mrs. Stabler."
"Thanks. Ladies and gentlemen I'm here all night and I charge 10 bucks admission," she said holding her hand in the air.
"Baby if that's all you are charging for admission then we have a bigger problem."
"Haha," she said kissing him. "Come on let's say goodbye to a few people and get ready to head out."
When they turned around to head for the guests they both simultaneously spotted Kathy and Bernie walking towards them. Elliot instinctively wrapped his arm around Olivia.
"Oh wow. Olivia you look absolutely beautiful," Kathy said genuinely. "The dress is stunning. You can barely tell you are pregnant."
"Thanks. The girls helped me pick it out. Thank you…for coming tonight."
Elliot watched the exchange between the two women preparing himself for any sign of tension.
"It's no problem. The kids really wanted me to be here so…" she didn't finish the statement and looked over to Elliot.
"They really did and we appreciate you coming," he said hugging her. "Do you want some food or anything? There's plenty," he said politely.
"I'll probably get something in a bit but I wanted to give you this. It's a wedding and baby present."
"Oh wow thank you," Olivia said beginning to open the box.
"You don't have to open it now," Kathy countered.
"No I want to." Olivia pulled off the paper and opened the box to reveal a pink patchwork quilt and a stuffed elephant that Elliot recognized immediately but Olivia was still in the dark.
"My daughter has a bit of a big mouth and told me about the baby being a girl and that it would be revealed at the wedding tonight so I thought it would be ok to bring these by. They were Kathleen's favorite blanket and toy when she was a baby," she said. Olivia was stunned and speechless holding her hand over her mouth.
"I'm sorry if it's creepy or…"
"Absolutely not, no, I just don't know what to say. I'm so grateful. This baby will have a part of her sister with her all the time so thank you thank you so much," she said hugging her.
"I sewed that blanket myself for Katie," Bernie added. "I didn't realize you all kept it."
"She wouldn't go to sleep without that thing," Elliot recalled meeting eyes with Kathy. "Thank you."
"Mom you're here?" Dickie asked walking over holding Lucy's hand.
"I most certainly am and it looks like you have someone for me to meet," Kathy said looking at Lucy.
"Mom this is Lucy."
"It's nice to meet you Ms. Stabler."
"Call me Kathy please and from the looks of it you may be calling me mom soon," she said winking at Elliot and Olivia.
"Aww mom, don't embarrass me," Dickie said putting his hand over his face while everyone laughed at his expense.
After saying goodbye to their guests and Noah who would be spending the week with Maureen, Elliot and Olivia left in a limo headed to a nearby hotel. She tried to pry out of him where they would be spending their honeymoon but he didn't tell her. The only thing she knew was that they would be spending the night in a hotel and flying out the next morning to their destination for the week. Once they arrived at their room at the hotel, Elliot insisted on carrying her over the threshold.
"El, I really don't think this is necessary," she argued.
"Sure it is. We've been traditional all night, why stop now? Besides I think my back can take it," he joked.
"And just for that you can forget it!"
She tried to turn on her heels to hurry and open the door but he scooped her up and grabbed the keycard from her hand. She squealed in surprise but eventually relented and let him carry her in the room.
The suite was decorated to perfection and was very romantic. There was non alcoholic champagne on ice, rose petals spread over the bed and someone who was alerted to their impending arrival lit candles. The room also had a fantastic view of the water.
Elliot kissed Olivia while he walked with her in his arms to the bed. He knelt down in front of her and they locked eyes while he began to slowly remove her shoes.
"Do you want a drink or anything?" he offered.
"No," she responded breathlessly. "I just want you."