Elliot and Olivia spent the last couple of days of their honeymoon talking and relaxing. Elliot kept trying to find things to do to annoy her and get her to pay him back again but she didn't fall for it. They told stories about their childhood and discussed potential baby names. She enjoyed sitting back and watching him get animated telling stories about the children and recite more stories to the baby. They eventually decided because Olivia was missing Noah so much that they would leave a day early and surprise the kids. They wanted to get in some time with them before she had to return to work on Monday. He also had to go back to DC soon for another round of training sessions.
"Liv baby wake up," he whispered shaking her lightly. She had fallen asleep in the cab on the way back to the apartment. "We're home."
"Mmmm," she groaned sleepily and stretched. "We're here already?"
"Already? You've been knocked out since we got in the cab. Welcome home Mrs. Stabler," he said kissing her cheek and helping her out of the cab. He grabbed most of the bags while she carried their smaller one.
When they were finally inside of the elevator he pinned her against the wall and kissed her passionately.
"Mmmm, what was that for?" she asked.
"Just trying to enjoy the last moments of our honeymoon," he murmured in between kisses on her neck. "You know…."
"Know what?" She was smiling at the mischievous look on his face.
He looked over at the stop button on the elevator and then back at her wiggling his eyebrows.
"Why not?" he asked as if he was really confused as to why they couldn't have sex in the elevator.
"What has gotten into you Stabler I swear?" She twisted out of his hold and to the other side of the elevator in mock disgust.
"You. You got into me," he said seriously and pulled her close joining their foreheads. "I love you so much."
The elevator ding announcing they made it to their floor interrupted them.
"I love you too," she said giving him a quick peck and heading towards the apartment.
He fumbled around for the keys and stuck it in the door before turning around and giving her a lighthearted look.
"Well we are home so you know I have to carry you over the threshold," he said moving the bags to the side to make enough room.
"Don't you dare!"
She put her hands up to keep him at arms length.
"Or what? You will pay me back again?" he asked smiling.
"Oh god what kind of monster have I created?" she asked rolling her eyes. "Ok but be careful."
He swooped her up into his arms and pushed the door open. They heard noises coming from the living room and Elliot quickly turned on the lights. Olivia froze.
"What the -? Dad what are you doing here?" a shirtless Dickie yelled rolling off the couch. Lucy, who was topless and looked mortified, hurried to cover herself with the blanket on the couch.
"Oh my god Elliot and Olivia I'm so sorry," she apologized.
"Really son? On our couch?" he asked carefully putting Olivia down.
"We didn't think you guys were coming back so soon," he explained.
"And that's an excuse?" he asked. "Lucy please go in the back and get yourself dressed." She grabbed her bra and shirt off the floor and jetted to Noah's room to put her clothes back on.
"And you and I need to have a talk young man," he said getting closer to Dickie who was buttoning up his shirt.
"Dad I don't need the birds and the bees talk."
"Clearly." He moved near him and talked low, "Just promise me you are being careful."
"Yes Dad we are. Geez," he said embarrassed.
"Ok well help us with these bags."
They both turned towards the door and saw that Olivia was frozen in place. She was trying to steady her breathing and her eyes were focused on the floor.
"Liv you ok?" Elliot asked concerned.
She jerked her head up and took a few shallow breaths before she responded. "Yeah, yeah I'm ok."
"Is it the baby? Are you sure?" he asked frantically.
"No no I swear I'm fine. I was just surprised that's all when we walked in…and someone was here that's all."
She looked at Elliot for a few long moments before he realized what was going on.
"Liv I'm really sorry," Dickie apologized.
"It's fine. Can you take these back to the back and go check on Lucy?" Elliot suggested.
When Dickie left Elliot turned his attention back to Olivia. "I'm so sorry about that. Are you sure you are ok?"
"Yeah Elliot it's no big deal I promise. Everything's fine," she said walking into the living room and noticing all of the presents. "I guess we have some work to do to clear all of these out."
"Babe you're tired. Why don't you go in the back and lay down and I'll call Maureen and have her bring Noah over?"
"No need," Dickie said emerging from the room with a fully dressed and uncomfortable Lucy close behind. "Mo is already on her way with him. That's why we are here. We were going to watch him until tomorrow when you guys got here and let Mo and Jason go on a date night. She should be here in about an hour."
"Ok sounds good. Come on, let's go lay down," he said taking Olivia's hand before turning to Dickie and Lucy. "And you two. Can you keep your clothes on while we go rest a bit?"
Lucy turned beet red.
"Dad stop joking around."
Olivia took a nap with Elliot by her side for an hour until Maureen arrived with Noah.
"Mama mama," he squealed running into her arms.
"Hi my love. I missed you soooo much," she cooed holding him close and kissing his hair.
"How was he?" Elliot asked Maureen.
"He was just fine. He's a good boy. He missed you both for sure."
"Daddy too too," he said pointing to the fake tattoo on his arm.
"Wow buddy that's pretty cool," he said inspecting the youngster's arm.
"He saw a kid with one at the park and wouldn't stop whining about it. I think he wants a tattoo on his arm like his dad."
Maureen and Jason went on their dinner date and Lizzie brought Eli over to the apartment. They ordered dinner and spent the rest of the evening with the kids. Lizzie showed them some of the photos from the wedding and the adoption they caught with their own cameras. Lizzie helped Olivia open and organize the wedding gifts before calling it a night. Eli insisted on staying the night and after putting him and Noah to bed, Olivia and Elliot retreated to their room.
Her reaction to Dickie and Lucy being in the house unexpectedly was still on Elliot's mind. He didn't want to ruin the rest of the evening by bringing it up but he wanted to talk about it. He was walking on eggshells but once he saw she was in a pretty good mood after having the kids over he figured now would be as good a time as any to try and approach the subject.
She got into bed and snuggled against Elliot's bare chest tracing lazy circles over his torso.
"Tonight was great. I really did miss them when we were gone," she said.
"Yeah those knuckleheads are pretty loveable," he agreed and she laughed.
"You uhh…seemed pretty startled when we first walked in."
"It's fine El. I'm not shocked that Dickie and Lucy are having sex just didn't expect for it to be on our couch. I hope they have at least cleaned it if they have done that before," she teased.
"That's not what I meant."
The seriousness of his tone made her look up at him to meet his eyes.
"You thought about Lewis didn't you?"
She wanted to recoil and turn away from him. She really didn't want to talk about anything dealing with Lewis because she felt like it was a negative cloud over the happiness she found. She hated that after all this time he still had the ability to crawl into her head and affect her.
"Yeah I did," she responded breaking eye contact. "And no I don't want to talk about it."
"Liv, I know I wasn't here when it happened before so I don't know everything..."
"It's not about that."
"Then why don't you want to talk about it?"
"Because I don't want to keep giving him that power by talking about him. I am happy," she said pulling him in for a kiss. "I am so happy and he doesn't deserve to take any of that away from me."
"Talking about it doesn't make him take away from your happiness," he argued.
"No but reliving it does. Every time I talk about it I relive everything and I just don't want to look back. I only want to look forward," she said balancing herself on her forearms. "To our baby," she kissed his neck, "to our life," she kissed his check and "to each other." She kissed him deeply silencing the protest to talk about it some more that were ready to form on his lips.
"Liv," he moaned as she began to position her legs to straddle him.
"I'm ok El and I can prove it to you," she said nibbling his ear and kissing slowly from his ear to his neck and down his muscular frame. He was getting harder and harder as she worked her way down his body.
"Mmmm," he moaned.
"Let me prove it to you," she whispered. Before he could say anything else she was positioning herself over his hard length and sliding down.
The conversation was over.
"Welcome Back Lieutenant Stabler," Amanda greeted her as she stepped off the elevator.
"It's Lieutenant Benson. I'm not changing my name here," she answered walking to her office with Amanda following behind.
She put her bag down and when she got ready to sit down she noticed the new pictures on her desk.
"What did you guys do?" she asked surprised picking up the frames. One was of her and Elliot at the altar and the other was of both of them and all of the kids at the wedding reception.
"Just a little welcome back present from all of us," she explained while Nick walked in.
"And we got one more for you," he added. It was a picture of the team old and new at the wedding.
"Yeah you may want to hide it though. Carisi is still a little mad he wasn't able to go and wasn't in the picture. He's a little sensitive about it," he joked.
"Well someone had to stay and watch the place. He's the newbie so he got stuck," Amanda said.
"Well thank you guys. This is really fantastic. It's good to be back. So why don't you guys catch me up? I've been out of the loop since I haven't had my phone."
"Oh yeah speaking of here you go. Melinda dropped this off first thing this morning," Nick said handing her the phone.
They both stood there exchanging weird glances that Olivia picked up on.
"What's going on?"
"Nothing why don't we wait for Fin to get in?" Amanda offered.
Fin walked in right on cue.
"Hey Liv, you're back. Welcome back to the madness," he said hugging her.
"Thanks. I was just waiting to get briefed on what was new around here and was told I needed to wait for you. Have I been demoted?" she joked uncomfortably trying to ease the tension that now filled the room.
"No it's not that," he explained. "We had a pretty tough case come through here and we've all been here around the clock."
"What's the case and why didn't you guys call Elliot to get in touch with me? I told you to call me in case of emergencies."
"We didn't want to bother you Liv plus we have it under control."
"Ok so grab Carisi and you guys walk me through it."
By lunch, Olivia had finished going through her emails and was pretty much caught up on everything. Her mind started to wander thinking about the new case. It was a child trafficking case where the leader of the operation, Jonathan Harrington was killing the girls that he did not feel was good enough to be pimped out. There had been four victims so far between the ages of 9 and 15, all raped and tortured for days before being put out of their misery. They were burned, bound, starved, drugged and killed by strangulation. The bodies were found at different landfills throughout the area. So far, they had no idea how many girls Harrington even had in his custody so they didn't know how many potential victims they were dealing with.
After hearing the details of what the girls went through before they were killed, it made sense why the team was tense discussing it with her. Harrington's profile was similar to Lewis and the way he handled his victims was similar to what she and Lewis' other victims went through. However, she was in the Special Victims Unit so this wouldn't be the first or last time that she ran across cases that were eerily similar to her ordeal. She tried to put it out of her mind but she could only think about how hard it was for her dealing with Lewis' torture for days on end, she couldn't imagine a child having to deal with that. The emotions were rising up in her as she thought about the autopsy photos the team showed her. The burn marks looked similar to hers when she was first rescued and she started to have flashbacks, Lewis' voice echoing in her head.
Come on don't be shy. We're past that. You were so sweet when you were knocked out.
That's endgame sweetheart. We got a lot of shock and awe to go before then.
Let it rain.
One move. Lights out. Ill do you cold.
Want me to burn your clothes off or cut em off?
She was jolted from her thoughts by her cell phone ringing and picked it up without looking at the caller id.
"Oh I'm sorry I must have the wrong number," Elliot joked and hung up the phone. She took the few moments after he hung up to gather herself before he called back. A few seconds later, he did.
"Hey," she answered. "Why did you hang up?"
"I don't know a Benson so I figured I had the wrong number."
"Very funny. I told you I was using my old last name at work," she said smiling at the obvious playful mood he was in.
"I know I know just joking with you. How's the first day back?"
"It's ummm…it's fine," she said trying to keep him from worrying.
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah just came back to a rough case that's all. You know how it goes."
"Yeah well I think I know something that will make things a little bit better," he said.
"And what's that?"
There was a knock on her door and she looked over to find Elliot at the door holding Noah in one hand and his phone with some bags of food in the other.
"Oh my god, what are you two doing here?" She bolted from her desk and ran into his arms.
"We figured we would bring you some lunch and hopefully brighten up your day a little."
She took Noah from him while he walked over to the couch and took out the food making a little picnic. She closed the door and drew the blinds behind them to give them some privacy.
"This looks fantastic what did you get?"
"A sandwich from that deli you love so much, a salad, some fruit and if you are good you even get dessert."
"Wow you really went all out," she said placing a chaste kiss on his lips. "You must be trying to fatten me up."
"No just trying to keep my girls well fed that's all."
They sat through lunch eating and playing with Noah. She always kept a few toys in her office for him in case she had to bring him over. Elliot smiled to himself watching her with Noah. He really did bring so much joy into her life. She finished her lunch and he cleaned up while she prepared to change Noah.
"Can you believe we are going to have two kids in diapers?"
"Well I've been there before."
"Yeah with twins El. That's not the same thing," she chuckled.
"Don't worry about it. Me and this little man are going to start working on potty training pretty soon," he said tickling his belly earning some giggles from Noah.
"He's too young to be potty trained."
"Not at all, look at him. He's got tattoos, he dresses better than most grown men I know, he's ready," he joked.
She threw away his diaper and they prepared to leave.
"Thank you for coming by, I really needed it," she sighed.
"What's going on?" he asked putting Noah back down and motioning for her to sit down on the couch.
"It's nothing just..this case. It's just bringing back some memories that's all," she said fidgeting with her hands.
He put his hands over hers to stop her. "About Lewis?"
"Yeah. The perp is similar to Lewis, the MO of the killings and I saw the autopsy and crime scene photos. Their injuries…," she explained shaking her heard trying to will the images out of her mind.
"The injuries were similar to yours?" he asked tentatively.
He wanted to ask more but with everything that the two of them shared she was still careful to keep the details of what happened to her to herself. He didn't want to push but a part of him really wanted to know everything.
"Come here," he said pulling her into a hug because he didn't know what else to do. He knew how the job worked and the images of dead children was hard to get out of your mind even when it wasn't something that you experienced yourself. He thought about asking her if she wanted off the case but he didn't want to overstep and make her upset. He had to trust her to make the right decision for herself.
"I'm really ok. It's just hard but ill be.."
"Fine?" he said cutting her off. "I need you to find another word Liv."
"I'll be ok. Is that better?"
"Yeah but can you promise me that when you are not fine or ok you will let me know?"
"Ellll," she whined and he put his hand under her chin so she would look up at him.
"Ok. I promise."
"And not like how you promise to be good and not take advantage of me in the bedroom and do it anyway," he teased to lighten the moment.
"Oh you are one to talk Mister I will just take a shower with you and not make you late for work," she said slapping his arm playfully.
"Touche. Come on Noah let's let mom get back to work." He picked up Noah and they got ready to head out.
"What are you two up to the rest of the day?"
"We are actually on our way to go look at a few of the houses Dickie has lined up."
"I'm just going to see how much work they need done to them. I'm going to take plenty of pictures that we can go through tonight. If they need too much work done I wasn't even going to waste your time," he explained.
"Ok fine. You're forgiven then."
She kissed him again and was putting her arm around his neck before Nick burst in.
"Hey Li-oh I'm sorry to interrupt. Harrington just struck again. Nine-year-old female. We just got the call."
She tensed and rolled her eyes. "Where did he dump the body this time?"
"At the hospital. She's alive."