Whenever you're ready
The drive to the hospital was pretty quiet. Nick sneaked a few glances in Olivia's direction to try and get an idea of her demeanor. She was quiet and spent the entire ride staring out the window. She didn't know what kind of shape the young girl was in and although she knew she had to focus on getting as many details out of her as possible to help her catch Harrington, she was determined to not victimize her more. She remembers how Cassidy and members of the squad tried to indirectly ask her everything that happened with Lewis. Cragen and Barba were the only two who knew everything because they were present for her statement. There were too many Lewis' and Harrington's out there and she wanted to rid the world of as many of them as possible but she wanted to do it without making things worse for their victims.
"You ok?" Nick asked tentatively.
They pulled up into the parking garage and Olivia took a deep breath to steady herself.
"You know I can take the lead on the interview if you want?" he offered.
"Nick, this girl was just held captive, raped and tortured. I'm sure she is going to feel more comfortable talking to a female detective," she said pointedly. "I'm fine. Trust me."
Elliot pulled up to the brownstone on the outskirts of Manhattan and Dickie was waiting for him. He took Noah out of the backseat and they went into the house together. It was 3 bedrooms and 3 baths with the option to knock down a wall on the second floor and make another bedroom. The home had a lot of potential but Elliot was concerned about getting it all done before the baby came. He and Dickie walked through the house talking over ideas for renovations, painting and prices.
"So what do you think dad?"
"It's a good find. You did pretty good to say that this is the first one that we looked at. I feel like it has a lot of potential."
"Good. I could really see you guys here."
"Yeah…I'm a little concerned about the price though," Elliot said trying to work the figures in his head while keeping a close eye on Noah who was walking around the empty space.
"We can work on that. That's what you have me for. I told you I think I could get it down some," Dickie explained.
"Alright well let's see what you can do with the price. In the meantime, let's go and look at the next one."
They went and saw three more houses. One he wouldn't even walk in because of how it looked on the outside, one was too far away and he knew Olivia would not be ok with the commute and the last one was a pretty good contender. There was just something about the first house that stuck with him. After looking at houses for a few hours, they decided to grab a bite to eat and talk over all of the options. Elliot was surprised when Dickie suggested it. Even though they were on better terms, he still walked on eggshells a bit with him because Dickie inherited his moodiness and temper. He knew that at any given moment the atmosphere could change between them and he was hoping that everything would stay positive.
"So it seems like the first house is the one you really like," Dickie said after they both gave the waitress their order.
"I do like that one. Like you said I could see all of us there. I want Olivia to take a look at it of course. I have a few pictures I'm going to show her and then we can set up another appointment to look at it."
"Good. I have some more to show you just in case. Later in the week if you are up to it."
"Of course I'm up to it. Thanks for helping us out like this," he said sincerely.
"No dad the pleasure is all mine especially because of the commission," he joked.
Noah started to whine when his crayons hit the floor and before Elliot could bend down to retrieve them, Dickie was already on top of it.
"Here you go little Squirt," he said handing him the crayons and Noah immediately perked up.
Elliot took notice and smiled adoringly at his eldest son. He really was adjusting well to the change in their family dynamic.
"So how are things with you and Lucy? Seems like it's getting pretty serious between you two."
Dickie gave him an embarrassed look.
"Don't worry, I'm not just making that assumption based on the fact that I had to deep clean our couch," he smirked.
"Dad!" he exclaimed.
"Ok ok I'm sorry I couldn't resist. Don't be embarrassed. You're an adult and you told me you were being careful. I'm not going to give you any shit about it."
"Really?" he asked surprised. "That's new. I expected a lecture."
"You have your own place, your own money and you are ready to deal with any consequences that come along with having sex. You are a lot more prepared than I was when your mom and I first got together," he explained and Dickie nodded his understanding. "But if it were your sister I probably would've reacted differently and I will deny it to the day I die if you ever tell her I said that."
They laughed together and he could see his son's wall coming down.
"I really do care about her," he confessed. "I didn't expect it to be like that. I just thought she was cute when I saw her at the adoption party but the more time I spend with her I just feel like maybe you know…" he struggled to put the words together.
"She could be the one?"
"Yeah," he said blushing slightly. "How do you know when a girl is the one? I mean I guess I can't ask about you and mom because she isn't the one so how about with you and Olivia?"
This was definitely a step in the right direction. Not only was he talking to Elliot about his relationship with Olivia but he was also opening up about his personal life. He wasn't always the best with talking about things but for his oldest son, he was going to make sure he didn't get this wrong. He wanted him to feel comfortable enough to talk to him like this all the time.
"That's a tough one. I was in love with Olivia a lot longer than I was ready to admit for obvious reasons," he said giving him a knowing look at the obvious pink elephant in the room. "I finally admitted it to myself when I thought I almost lost her when she was hurt on one of our cases. Then she left for a little while and I was a wreck."
Dickie nodded taking it all in while he continued to eat his food.
"I don't want you to end up like me in that regard. I don't want you to have to almost lose her to know she's the one. I was stubborn and I lied to myself for a long time. When I saw Olivia again I knew I would do whatever it took to be in her life again and to be with her forever. You will know if she's the one. And I'm thinking if we are having this conversation then you already know."
"Yeah, maybe so," he agreed with a small smile on his face.
"If it makes you feel any better, I know she's the one."
"Really? How so?"
"Well if she's got you talking to your old man about relationships and not willing to dime your sister out about this new boy she's seeing to divert the attention away from you then she's definitely a special young lady," he teased.
Dickie took a moment before he answered. "I like talking to you now. Its easier." He kept eating his food and was shifting uncomfortably.
"Thank you," Elliot said simply. "And thank you for what you said at the wedding reception."
He nodded his head and continued to eat his food.
"Oh and Dick. I've been told I'm pretty good at picking out engagement rings so…whenever you're ready," he joked.
"Geez dad!" he exclaimed and rolled his eyes.
"Don't lie to me. You've thought about it haven't you?"
"I'm your son, of course I did," he shot back referencing Elliot's non-fear of commitment and marriage.
"Ouch. I don't know if that's a compliment or not."
"Well thanks it won't be for awhile since we've only been dating a few months but I may actually take you up on that offer….you know when I'm ready," he said looking down at his plate not making eye contact. "Plus it's better than taking Mo or Lizard. They would probably just tease me the whole time or pick out something way over budget."
Elliot's mind thought of another suggestion. He didn't want to offer it but felt like it was the right thing to do. "You know you could always take your mom. I'm sure she would appreciate that."
"Yeah maybe but she would probably just cry or something," he said trying to be nonchalant and shaking off the idea. "Me and you can just go. I mean…..if you still want to."
Olivia got briefed by the doctor before walking into the hospital room. The victim's name was unknown and they thought she was around nine years old. She had been raped, sodomized, her right leg was fractured, her left eye swollen shut and she had not spoken to anyone since she came to the hospital. She would just shake her head yes or no when asked questions. They had no way of identifying who she was because she didn't give them a name. Olivia called Amanda back at the squad room and had her check records of all missing persons in New York and nearby areas to see if there was someone who fit her description.
Olivia watched her silently through the small view in the hospital door for a few minutes before walking in. The girl was staring ahead of her, completely oblivious to the television that was playing cartoons above her. She was staring off in the distance and if Olivia had to guess she was probably replaying everything she went through.
Her leg was hanging in a cast elevated and her arm was in a cast as well resting on a pillow. There was a patch over her eye and her hospital gown looked too big for her. She didn't know what the young girl looked like before but Olivia could tell she was a shell of her former self. Her cheeks sunk in slightly, evidence that she had lost weight in a short amount of time. She was hoping that Amanda would be able to find something that would give them an idea of how long she had been missing.
"Are you going to go in?" Nick asked.
"Yeah," Olivia answered slightly startled. "I was just trying to see if she was awake. I'm going in now."
She pushed the door open quietly careful not to startle her. She could tell the little girl registered that someone was in the room but did not turn her head.
"Hello there, I'm Olivia," she said in her soft tone that she reserved for talking to victims to make them feel comfortable. "I'm a police officer."
She walked slowly towards the bed taking in the machines around her and carefully cataloging each of her injuries.
"Can you tell me your name?" she asked when she finally made it to the side of the bed. The girl didn't answer but made eye contact with her. She had long light brown hair and green eyes that were welling up with tears. Her lip quivered slightly and she was trying to hold back from crying.
"It's ok sweetie, it's ok," Olivia said moving closer to the bed and pausing just before placing a hand over hers. She gently lowered her hand to try and touch her but the girl flinched and retracted her hand placing it over her stomach. Her other hand in the cast also flinched.
"I'm sorry," Olivia apologized. The girl looked up at her again, an apology in her eyes but still hadn't managed to say a word.
"If you can't tell me your name how about writing it out for me?" she asked. "I could have one of the nurse's bring in a little wipe board and you can use the markers and spell your name for me. How does that sound?
She gave no response and continued to look down. The image broke Olivia's heart. She had seen kids traumatized before but very rarely was she not able to get one to at least talk to her.
"Ok how about this? I'll just sit here for a little while and watch television with you. You can tell me your name or anything whenever you're ready."
Olivia didn't expect an answer from her and instead sat down on the small couch next to the bed. She sent a text to Nick telling him she was going to sit with her for a while and he could swing by and pick her up later. She also texted Elliot to tell him she would be out of pocket for a few hours at the hospital on a case and to text and not call if he needed anything. She wanted to make the environment as peaceful as possible for her.
She didn't know what made her stay but she felt that she needed to be there and nowhere else at the moment.
Elliot was concerned when he received Olivia's text message.
Going to stay with the vic a little while at the hospital. May be home a little late. I love you.
He knew from the way she talked about the case that this one was going to be hard for her. She clearly identified with the victim and the fact that she was a child would only pull at Olivia's heartstrings more. She always had a way with the victims. That's what made her good at her job and one of the things he respected most about her but he couldn't help but be a little anxious. He worried that all of this would be too much for her especially with being pregnant.
Elliot was soon pacing back and forth in the house. Olivia's ordeal was something that hadn't been discussed much between them except for when he first came back in her life. Even then she kept the details vague and glossed over what she went through and focused more on how much she wished he had been there for her. He remembers watching for the signs when they first got together to see how much of the trauma she still carried with her. There weren't any nightmares and she didn't even seem to be as fazed as he was about Brian's comment. He figured the whirlwind of their relationship and Noah's adoption had probably been a welcome distraction and all he could hope was that their continued happiness would be enough to keep the ghost of William Lewis from haunting their lives.
Olivia had been on the small sofa in the hospital room for a couple of hours when she started to get hungry and her back was starting to hurt. She shifted a little trying to find a little more comfort but nothing was working. Over the last few hours, nurses had come in and out checking the girl's vital signs and the whole time she said nothing and barely
moved. She had the nurse bring in a mini wipe board to see if she would write anything on it but she just let it sit at the end of the bed.
Olivia's movements captured the girl's attention and she watched her attempting to find a comfortable position on the couch. When their eyes met, Olivia watched the emotions play out over her face. She wanted to talk. She wanted to say something but the words just wouldn't form.
"I know," Olivia said. "I'm still here whenever you want to talk."
She stood up and began to rub her stomach when she felt the baby start to move a little bit.
"You're hungry I get it, we will eat soon," she whispered to her belly. She turned back to the girl in the hospital bed and noticed she was staring at her baby bump and tears were rolling down her face.
"It's ok honey," she said soothing her. For once when Olivia approached the hospital bed she didn't recoil like she did the other times. "What is it? Here," she said handing her the wipeboard. "Do you want to write it down?"
She pushed the board away in frustration and carefully reached towards Olivia instead. Olivia remained super still waiting to see what her next movement would be. To her surprise, the girl's hand landed on her stomach.
She watched quietly while the girl's hand lightly brushed her back and forth. She mumbled something that Olivia struggled to here.
"Hey. Are you ready to tell me your name?" she tried again thinking that they were finally making progress.
Her head lifted to meet Olivia's eyes and she finally mumbled one word. "Baby."
Nick dropped Olivia off at home around 7pm. She walked slowly to the apartment trying to drag out time so she could think over her last few hours at the hospital. She wasn't able to make much progress with the victim other than the word "baby." She was trying to calm herself and put on as much of a brave face as possible for when she entered the apartment. She knew Elliot would be watching her like a hawk and concerned about her and she didn't want to give him any reason to worry. He seemed ok when she talked to him on the way home so she was hoping things would stay that way.
Nick briefed her on the way home on what they had found so far which wasn't much. Crime scene techs were wrapping up at the scene where they discovered her and was hoping to find as many clues as possible. Without her statement they didn't have much to go on and everyone was frustrated.
Olivia sighed before she turned the key and walked into the apartment.
"Hey Noah look who's home," Elliot said pointing to her.
"Mama mama," he squealed. She picked him up kissing him on the cheek while walking to the kitchen to give Elliot a kiss too.
"Something smells good. What is all this?" she asked noticing all the ingredients laid out on the counter.
"Kathy is dropping off Eli and he demanded tacos so here they are," he explained.
"Oh Eli is coming over tonight?" She had totally forgotten.
"Yeah remember we are going to have him for the new few days," he reminded her.
"I totally forgot."
She saw his eyes on her and quickly tried to fix it. "I thought it was next week. Well either way I can't wait to see him especially if it gets you fixing tacos. Me and this one can't wait," she said pointing to her stomach.
"I'm sure you are hungry. Did you eat anything at the hospital?" he probed.
"I had something out of the vending machine but I'm starving so please hurry," she said yawning and slapping him on the ass.
"Yes ma'am. Why don't you go take a shower and it will be done by the time you get out?" he suggested.
"Good idea. I'm probably going to crash right after, I need to be at the hospital really early in the morning to see if I can get through to the victim. This girl is really shaken up but I think I'm making a little progress," she explained.
He watched her closely for a few moments to see if she would recall on her own.
"You don't remember do you?" he asked with a hint of disappointment in his voice.
"We have a doctor's appointment in the morning. It's your routine checkup and then they are going to schedule the amnio," he said flatly.
"Oh my god," she said stunned. She truly had forgotten. Everything with the case had completely occupied her mind and she hadn't seen the reminder in her phone. "You are right I did forgot. It's no problem I'll just…I'll go over after the appointment," she explained.
"Do you want to reschedule?" He was really hoping she would say no but offered her an out anyway.
She saw the change in his demeanor and wrapped her arm around his waist laying her head on his chest. "Absolutely not. Work is second, I told you that. We are going to get this little peanut checked out and then I'll go to work after. Ok?" Olivia rubbed the back of his neck and kissed him softly for added reassurance.
He returned her kiss and his mood softened. "Ok. Go take your shower."
Her phone rang as she was walking to the back but she decided to ignore it. She was too tired to deal with anything else.
Elliot glanced at the screen, saw it was Fin and decided to pick up.
"Hey Elliot. I know it's late but I have something on the case and I think Liv is going to want to know. Can she talk?"
He wanted to say no but he knew the agreement he had with Fin about Liv being overworked while pregnant. For him to call it must be a big deal.
"Yeah she was about to get in the shower, hold on one second." He walked to the bathroom and gave her the phone. "It's Fin, he said it's urgent," he explained noticing the bemused look on her face.
"Hey Fin what's up?"
"Your victim, we identified her."
"That's great who is she?"
"She came up in missing persons. Sydney Greenwood, she's actually 12 years old. She's been missing for over a year. Case went cold when they couldn't find any leads," he explained.
"He's had her all that time," Olivia said sitting on the side of the tub trying to steady herself. She couldn't imagine what this girl would have gone through being held for that long.
"Yeah and there's something else Liv."
"CSU found a decomposed body near the landfill where we found Sydney."
"Jesus Christ. How many girls is he going to kill? We've got to catch this guy," she sighed.
"That's the thing. This one wasn't a girl. It was the body of a baby boy."