There's a Story
Olivia stayed in bed the rest of the day and spent the entire next day with Noah. She took him to the park, to the zoo and played with him all day. She missed her little boy and prayed that her phone didn't ring with a case while they were together and thankfully it didn't. By the time early evening came, Noah was knocked out and she was left on her couch to think over everything.
Her mind immediately went to her talk with Elliot. She had so many questions that she needed answers to. She picked up her phone to actually make a list of the questions she wanted to ask him when she noticed she had a missed call.
Please don't be work, she mumbled to herself. It was actually Don, or Captain Cragen as she called him for years. Now he was just Don, her surrogate father and friend. She immediately called him back and he picked up on the second ring.
"Don, hi. I'm sorry I missed your call I was out with Noah all day."
"I'm glad you got to spend some time with him. I haven't seen my grandson in awhile, would you mind if I paid you guys a visit?"
"I would love it, what day works for you?"
"How about now? I'm right around the corner."
"Oh," Olivia responded a bit taken off guard. "Well he's actually sleeping right now."
"Can I come over and talk to you anyway? It's kind of important," Don said in a way that concerned Olivia.
"Sure. You know you are welcome to come over anytime. I'll see you soon."
He made it to the house within five minutes and was knocking on the door.
"Hey Don come on in," she said as she reached out to hug him.
"Hey Olivia. Little guy is still sleeping?" Don asked looking over all of the toys on the floor.
"Oh yeah we had quite the day. The zoo, the park, played here a bit as you can see from the mess everywhere," Olivia said looking around at the floor as well.
"Well I'll catch him soon."
They just stood for a bit and she could tell Don had something on his mind so she decided to help him relax to get it out. She had worked with him long enough to know when something was going on.
"Well have a seat, would you like something to drink?"
"Just water will be fine."
"Ok water coming right up," she said as she headed to the kitchen.
"Congratulations on the Jesse Minor case. That's a big catch Olivia. I'm proud of you."
"Thank you that means a lot. I'm so glad to have that out of the way," she said as she handed him a glass and sat down on the couch with him.
"I hear your former partner was involved too," Don said cautiously watching her reaction.
And there it is, she thought to herself. That's why he wanted to come over. Whether he wanted to or not, Don always ended up in the middle of her and Elliot drama. She could never tell who he thought was more in the wrong or right because he played it like a typical dad. Scolding when he needed to and getting frustrated when it was evident they were covering for each other.
"Yes he was. Lizzie was the star witness so he got involved that way," she said.
"Yeah I know," he said nervously rubbing his hands together.
"So I guess word still travels around cop circles as fast as it ever did."
She was slightly annoyed that her and Elliot were the topic of so many conversations.
"I didn't get it from cop circles. He told me."
"You talked to him?"
"We have kept in touch over the past year or so."
Olivia was completely taken off guard. Don never mentioned that he and Elliot talked when he was at the precinct. He hadn't been gone that long which meant that he was talking to Elliot when he was still her boss and saw her everyday. She didn't know how to feel. Seeing her wheels turn he began to explain himself.
"He reached out to me when some things happened in his life and I was there for him. I didn't tell you because you had your own stuff going on with Lewis and I would not let Elliot's issues be a distraction for you. I knew you would've wanted to get involved and reach out and it wasn't the right time…for either of you."
She wanted to be angry at him but the truth is he was right. She would've wanted to talk to him and would've somehow got herself entangled in it all.
"So you knew he worked for the feds and that he and Kathy got divorced?" she asked as she got up to walk around. She was finding it hard to stay still.
"Yes I know all about that. I know everything."
"Yes, there's a lot more."
She stood there staring at him willing him to talk more but he didn't.
"Olivia that's why I came over here. I know that you guys haven't talked yet and I know mentally you have probably already thought over your approach and what questions you are going to ask and what order you are going to ask them," he said. She avoided his eyes because he was right. He knew her so well. "Yeah I figured. I wanted to just tell you before you talked to him to just let him talk. There's a story Olivia. A long story. But if you bombard him with questions or come at him defensive in any way you may not get the full story and you deserve that. You deserve to hear it…from him," he added to let her know that he was not willing to divulge any of the information.
"So clearly you aren't going to tell me anything. Can you at least tell me if you understand why he stayed away? Why he didn't call me when I was going through one of the most horrific things in my life?"
"Yes. I understand and I think his staying away was warranted. But again it's his story to tell. Elliot has never been the best with his emotions or expressing himself which you already know but he has actually gotten better. He's changed Liv, for the better."
"I could tell something was different about him," she said softly.
He got up to stand in front of her and put his hands on her shoulder.
"Talk TO him, not AT him. You guys can be very difficult when you are not on the same page and lose all communication in the process. I know it's important to both of you to be in each other's lives but in order for that to happen the right way you both have to listen. Just listen and take it all in," he said and pulled her into a hug when he noticed the tears forming in her eyes.
"I hate the thought of him going through anything terrible. I love him," she said as she hugged him back.
"I know you do. And not just as a partner or a friend," he said with a small knowing smile. "But that's a conversation for a different day."
She just smiled in acknowledgment and wiped the tears from her face. As if on cue Noah started to cry.
"Oh let me go get him," Olivia said while trying to regain her composure.
"No please let me."
She overheard him cooing at Noah and eventually brought him to the kitchen where she met him to give him a bottle.
"Ill sit with him. I think you have a call to make," he said as he took the bottle and went back with Noah into his nursery.
She sat for a few moments before picking up her phone to call Elliot. She was worried that he wouldn't answer but he picked up right before it went to voicemail.
"Hey, hey Olivia," he answered nervously.
"Hey," she said. She was caught off guard by his nervousness so it kicked hers up a notch.
"Are you available to talk?" she asked.
"Yeah but not on the phone remember?"
"I know. I meant I was going to come over…if that's ok."
"No, that's fine. Lizzie is actually gathering up the rest of her things and getting ready to head to Kathy's. She's going to stay there for a few days until her new apartment is ready so I'm free."
"Ok, how does an hour sound?"
"It sounds good. I'll see you then Liv."
When she hung up the phone she stared off into space for a few minutes trying to steady herself and her thoughts.
"He's already back to sleep," Don said as he interrupted her reverie.
"Yeah I figured he would go back down. I need to call Lucy to come over," she said.
"You go ahead and get ready and then head out. Ill stay here and wait for her," he offered.
"Thank you Don. For everything."
"Anytime Liv. "
"That was Olivia?" Lizzie asked while she was coming out of the guest bedroom with all of her bags.
"Yeah. She's on her way. "
"Are you guys finally going to talk?" she asked excited and putting her bags down so she can face him.
"Yeah it looks like it," he replied somberly.
"Dad. Please be honest with her about everything. I know you don't like talking about everything but she needs to know..everything. The divorce, you being in therapy and about Kathleen."
"I know. It's just hard to keep reliving."
"I know it is. You don't talk about it much and I get it. But you need to talk about it with her. If anyone can help you with healing from losing Kathleen its Olivia."
"Yeah maybe. Can I ask you something?"
"Did you feel like I never wanted to be home with you kids because of Olivia?"
"I did at one point but it finally started to make sense to me as I got older. I don't think it was us specifically I think you just felt unhappy at home. I know that you wanted to be with her but you had a sense of commitment to your family and that's honorable. But…," she said looking down feeling a little uncomfortable.
"But what? Honey you can tell me," he said urging her on.
"I think you didn't realize that maybe it would've been better sometimes if you just didn't come home. Not because we didn't want you there but because you being unhappy left so much tension in the house and made us all unhappy. "
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to put you guys through that."
"I know you didn't. It was just hard for all of us. And when Kathleen died it just all hit its peak. We were glad that you and mom actually went through with the divorce because it was the first time in a long time that no one was pretending."
"Wow that bad hunh?"
"Yeah. That bad. But we are all better now. I think this is the best we've all been in awhile. You just have to make it right with Olivia. You have to. You love her. It's time for you to tell her that," Lizzie said pleading with her dad.
"I love you Dad," Lizzie said hugging Elliot. "I want you to be happy. She makes you happy,"
"I love you too honey, more than you will ever know."
With that she headed out and Elliot paced back and forth waiting for Olivia to arrive. He stared at the fire in the fireplace and thought through everything. The last four years had been a painful whirlwind. He could only thank God that he managed to come out on the other side but reliving all of it at once was hard. He had to talk about it in therapy and that was hard enough. He knew it was time to put all his cards on the table and if there was anyone worth it she was.
He loved her but he didn't know if she was open to being more than friends. However, he knew he would take anything she was willing to offer him. He was good with friendship, anything as long as he could continue to be in her life. Having a piece of her was better than having none of her.
A few minutes later there was a knock on the door. He took a deep breath and walked to the door. He opened it and there she was, looking as beautiful as ever.
"Hey," she said with her deep brown eyes penetrating his.