The Funny Thing about Closure
"I know you weren't at the prison visiting Harris. Where were you?"
"It's not what you think. I was at Kathleen's gravesite," Elliot whispered so Lizzie couldn't hear. "I don't want to discuss it right now because Liz is here. Let's talk later."
They sat and ate lunch together and Olivia couldn't help but smile at how carefree Lizzie was. Their conversation had obviously eased her fears. She played with Noah and teased her dad like normal. Olivia watched Elliot throughout the day while her mind wandered. She had no idea he went to see Kathleen or why he didn't mention it but then again she wasn't that surprised. He had made strides towards communicating more but Elliot was still Elliot and there was something strangely comforting in that for her. He wasn't going to always offer up more than he needed to and instead of once again pressuring him for information she decided to be patient. To wait until he was ready to talk.
She stepped out to the porch and called Nick and Fin, told them the story and sent them a copy of the list to see what they could find out. When she finished her phone call, Elliot excused himself to make a call of his own to Eric. He filled him in on everything that was going on and he promised he would get back to him as soon as possible when they ran the names through the Federal databases.
They tag teamed taking calls while the other stayed with the kids. As the evening wore on, they observed each other trying to fill out the other's mood. She would steal a glance at him and every time he would meet her gaze she would give him a small smile of encouragement.
Later that night she waited patiently for him in their room while he put Noah to sleep. She had already put Charlotte down. Her mind was racing thinking about whether or not she should bring up the subject of his visit to Kathleen's grave visit or wait for him to talk. He wasn't always the most willing to communicate especially about topics that were hard for him. Kathleen's death was one of those. Between Harris' death, worrying if Elliot would be charged, taking care of the kids and worrying about if she should talk to him, she was drained and soon fell asleep.
Elliot was exhausted. After Noah finally went down he sat for a few minutes just watching the little boy sleep. He then tiptoed into Charlotte's nursery to check in on her and the baby girl was sleeping soundly with Kathleen's blanket draped across her little body. He sat in the rocking chair in her room and his eyes fell upon the stuffed elephant that was sitting on the small chest next to his chair. He picked up the toy and held it close to him while rocking in the chair. All he could think of was how he didn't want to miss these moments and his life had changed so much in a short amount of time but he found himself back in a familiar spot…on the verge of losing it all.
Elliot tiptoed into their bedroom an hour after Olivia dozed off. He closed the door, toed off his slippers and rested his head against the headboard. As he did with their children, he watched Olivia sleep as well. Her soft breaths were soothing to him and her chestnut brown hair was fanned out over the pillow.
Olivia was absolutely stunning.
He counted his blessings and thought he was a lucky son of a bitch, but the universe was cold and heartless sometimes. He wanted to think positively but he couldn't help but think how he had it all and it could easily be taken away from him.
"You're staring Stabler," she mumbled.
He snickered and rubbed his fingers through her hair. "You're awake."
"Yes I am. I was waiting on you to come to bed," she answered rolling over relaxing into his chest.
He kissed her forehead and his hand traveled the length of her side settling at her hip. "Well go to sleep I know you're tired. Good night."
"El..," she said tentatively and immediately felt him tense up.
She wrestled with what to say and how to start the conversation. When the words didn't come to her, she relented. "Good night."
They laid against one another for a few more minutes, neither one of them falling asleep. Elliot struggled with where to start but knew she was waiting for something.
"I needed resolution," she heard him say so softly that she wasn't sure she heard him at all. "I wanted to make sure everything was ok before the baby was born. That's why I went to see her. I'm sorry I didn't tell you."
Olivia shuffled back in the bed off his chest, settling on her side with a pillow underneath her head. He mimicked her body language so they were facing one another.
"Talk to me," she urged in a low whisper.
He studied her face for a moment and rested his hand on her arm. "I don't know how to explain it really," he began taking a deep steadying breath. "The closer we got to the baby being born I felt like there were some things that I needed to put to rest. I wanted there to be a clean slate when she got here. Does that make sense?"
She understood all too well. It was part of the reason she came clean to him about Lewis and Harris. She wanted to put it all behind her before they started the next phase of their lives together.
"It makes perfect sense El."
He scooted closer to her and she wrapped her arm around his waist. "I always felt like I made peace with the fact that Kathleen was gone but I realized I hadn't. I was still having all this guilt about being a bad parent and how I failed her. I just couldn't have Charlotte here with….," he stopped for a second choking up and she kissed his forehead. "I didn't want that on my heart or in my head when she got here. So I went there when I finished the mission. Just for an hour. I left the phone in the car. I always make sure to have no distractions or anything when I'm out there. I figured what are the odds that you would go into labor for the one hour that I would be out of pocket?" he chuckled.
She giggled softly in response. "Well you know I'm all about defeating the odds."
"Yes you are," he said seriously. "I'm sorry I didn't come straight home. I should have."
"Shhhh," she said putting two fingers over his lips. "It's fine. You made it in time for her birth. That's all that matters."
He kissed her fingers and leaned in to place a soft kiss on her lips. He breathed in her scent and lay his forehead against hers. "Thank you for understanding."
"If anyone understands the need for closure it's me," she clarified. "I'm sorry that I didn't understand that just because I made peace with my issues that it wouldn't mean peace for yours."
"Well Stabler, that's the funny thing about closure. It tends to have to work both ways," he joked.
"When you told me about what happened to you I felt that was my unfinished business. Harris and my guilty feelings about Kathleen. I felt like if I could just confront both of those head on then everything would be ok when the baby was born. It would be a fresh start for all of us. I think we all deserve that," he said leaning back against his pillow so he could look her in the eyes again.
"Yes we do," she responded. "We definitely do."
They listened to the low hum of the baby monitor and settled into the semi darkness. The silence between them was comfortable, each thinking about their own journey with resolution and new beginnings.
"So did it help?" she asked.
He thought hard about her question. The last visit to Kathleen's grave was different than the previous ones. He saw the sunflowers there, remnants of Kathy's visit a few days a before. He talked to her like he normally did and he reflected over the state of his relationship with all his children. He hadn't been the perfect father but he did the best he could and they were all thriving. Even when he failed sometimes in parenting, he was fortunate enough to surround himself with people that cared about him and his children and they helped when he faltered. One of those people was Olivia. He had thought about the circumstances surrounding Kathleen's death from all angles and even though there were specific instances he could've handled differently, the overall outcome would've been the same. The truth was if the past year had taught him anything is that all things happen for a reason. He may never know the exact reason for Kathleen's death, but he learned not to question it.
"Yeah it did."
She smiled and ran her hand across his chest. "I'm glad."
He returned her smile and kissed her again on the lips. "Me too."
"El you don't have to keep things like that from me. I want you to feel comfortable sharing that with me."
He took a deep breath and rubbed his forehead. "I know. I just—I just didn't want to burden you with it."
"Hey what happens to you, happens to me right? We are in this together. I promise I will help you any way I can."
"I know you will baby. I don't doubt that for a minute," he said turning over on his back. "I guess I have to start practicing what I preach hunh?"
"Imagine that," she retorted sarcastically and she could see the tension in him begin to fade replaced by relief.
"Jeez, why did I get married again?"
She playfully slapped his chest. "Oh really?"
"Just joking Stabler."
She snuggled into his side and placed small kisses on his chest. These were the times with him that she cherished the most. Those rare times when he was vulnerable and exposed in the most beautiful way. Peeling back the layers of Elliot Stabler had been a job that she resented sometimes during their partnership but because of her feelings for him it was a necessary chore that didn't always pay off back then. Now with him in her arms she felt like it was all worth it. They both had their share of issues stemming from their childhood that allowed them to close off in both the same and different ways. However, when they decided to share those struggles with one another is when they were their strongest. This was why they were each other's home.
She looked up at him catching the slightest glow of his blue eyes. "No matter what happens. I know that everything will be ok and I'm really glad that I married you."
He released a breath he didn't realize he had been holding. This was why he loved her more than life itself. She always knew exactly what to say to calm his fears. "Thank you for marrying me."
Before she could respond to his words his lips were on hers. He wasn't frantic or desperate but slow and cherishing the feel of her full lips against his. He nipped at her top lip and their tongues danced. His hand was in her hair and he slowly rolled her onto her back, his growing erection was against her hip.
Olivia moaned softly feeling his body on top of her and his mouth hard against hers. Her body started to react, her nipples hardened against the thin satin of her nightgown rubbing against the small patch of stray hairs on his chest. He separated his mouth from hers for a second allowing her an opportunity to breathe and he sat back slowly pulling the covers away from her. He took off his T-shirt and pajama pants and she watched him with low hooded eyes. Her brown orbs were fixated on every inch of his skin as it became exposed when his clothing hit the floor. She reached up to pull off her nightgown and he stopped her.
"Let me," he rasped and once again settled himself on top of her. His hands bunched around the edges of her nightgown and he pulled it over her head. She gasped at the cool air hitting her skin but was immediately warmed by the feel of his rock hard body. They locked eyes briefly before his lips descended to her neck and shoulders depositing hot open mouth kisses along the way. She began to writhe at the feeling of his mouth and big hands all over her body. His fingers curled into the waistband of her silk panties and she gasped in anticipation. He pulled them torturously slow down her long legs, kissing her breasts, down her abdomen and inside her thighs. A low moan escaped her lips and he could feel the heat radiating between her legs.
Her body's immediate reaction to him always turned him on. His erection felt like steel and he was dying to drive into her but he held back. He wanted to feel, taste and touch every part of her luscious body. Sex with his Olivia would always be an internal battle for him. His desire that pooled for so long was unleashed and he fought to maintain a semblance of control. Her body deserved to be cherished.
He kissed her mound and could taste the slickness on his lips.
"Uhhh," she cried out and quickly silenced herself not wanting to wake the children. He flicked his tongue against her and she bucked against him, grasping on to the sheets.
"El please," she whispered. "I need you inside please."
The sound of her voice was low and breathy and he thought he would come from feeling the sheer desire that emanated from her skin.
She needed him.
She wanted him.
And he was more than happy to oblige.
He kissed his way back up her body and when he felt her spread her legs even more offering herself up to him, he groaned. Without a word and staring into her dark eyes he slid in to her wet heat and her teeth suddenly plowing into the flesh of his solid muscular shoulder. She was trying not to cry out but the way Elliot filled her was mind blowing. Her back arched off the mattress giving him a better angle when he pushed into her again.
"Shit you feel so good," he whispered harshly into her ear. She clawed his back while he stretched and filled her. He looked down at her and her breasts were bouncing, her head thrown back against the pillow with her teeth sinking into her bottom lip. It was the most erotic thing he had ever seen.
His pace went from languid to frantic, his control slipping.
Her eyes jerked open and she tried to grab on to his sweat filled back to brace herself against his relentless thrusts.
Olivia wanted to scream and the more he pounded into her she was starting to lose the battle. She was trying to hold on, but the feel of Elliot's chest against her, his dick inside her, his breath on her, it was too much. In one split second, she made the mistake of opening her eyes and looking down over his shoulder. She saw her legs spread for him, his body positioned between her legs, his bare ass moving ruthlessly inside of her. She saw his hips roll, sending a surge of pleasure up her legs landing right in the pit of her belly. Elliot's hands fell onto her right inner thigh, opening her up more to him and causing his dick to graze directly against her clit and she shattered. Her eyes slammed shut and she screamed into his neck. She could see nothing but black behind her eyelids as her body shuddered and came undone for him like it always did. He slowed down his pace and she was so caught up in her orgasm that she didn't notice that he didn't come.
He wasn't finished with her.
He wasn't finished with her at all.
Elliot gave her a few moments to come down from the wave then he rose to his knees eventually landing into a seating position.
Olivia regarded him with hazy eyes as she tried to see what he was doing. She managed to sit up, her weight resting on her elbows and her gaze fell upon his raging erection.
"Come here," he ordered tenderly reaching out his left hand. Her limbs felt like jelly but with his help she straddled his wide legs hovering above him. His finger rubbed gently against her sensitive clit and partially into her folds. She threw her head back in ecstasy. She was still so wet for him.
"I've got you Liv," he coaxed her while guiding himself back inside of her warmth and they both let out long moans. "I've got you," he said again when she was now sitting squarely in his lap, his length buried deep inside her and they were face to face. They sat not moving, not talking just breathing and feeling.
"I love you," he whispered and her eyes fluttered open. She wrapped her arms around his neck and placed a sweet kiss on the corner of his mouth. "I love you too."
With those words he began to move. He pulled his legs around so he was sitting Indian style and grabbed her hips pushing himself into her. He was already on the edge and by some miracle managed to hold off his orgasm when she came against him moments before. He knew he wouldn't last long but he wanted to be as close to her as possible.
The feeling was mutual.
She draped her arms around his chest until there was no space between the two of them and he continued to guide her up and down the long length of him. He could hear her soft whimpers in his ear and feel her short fingernails digging into his back as the tingling in his length became more intense.
He couldn't hold back anymore.
He raised her body up higher, slammed into her and started to feel the beginning of his orgasm.
"Fuck Liv….I gotta come," he grumbled desperately. He wanted her to come again but he couldn't hang on.
"Come baby," she breathed.
"Ahhhhh," he cried out, his hands digging into her hip and he spilled deep into her. His orgasm triggered hers and she held on tight as they rode the crest together, resting her head against his. She absorbed everything he gave her and her insides involuntarily clenched against him causing him to spasm. Their breaths and scent filled the room, the same hum of the baby monitor echoing and she quietly hoped she wouldn't hear a cry coming from one of the children.
When she heard nothing she relaxed into him and kissed his cheek, seeking warmth in his neck.
"Shit, I'm sorry Liv. Are you cold?" he asked looking around for the blanket at the end of the bed to put around her.
She chuckled softly, the sound vibrating against his chest. "I'm anything but cold," she responded kissing his lips.
"That was..wow that was.."
She was at a loss for words.
"Hmm, not able to form a sentence. I say that's a good sign," he teased wiggling his eyebrows. She clenched against him in response and he jumped.
"Oh," he called out trying to hold her in place. "You aren't playing fair Mrs. Stabler."
"I never play fair when it comes to you. You should know that by now," she said trying to stifle a yawn but was unsuccessful.
He kissed her shoulder. "Let's get you under the covers and lay down."
"Wait," she said stilling him. "Let's just stay like this for a few more minutes. Please."
He saw the pleading in her eyes and knew why she wanted to stay. For those fleeting moments that they were together like this, him buried deep inside her, nothing else mattered. Not the possibility that he could be arrested and separated from his family, Harris, Lewis, losing his child. These moments were about him and her. Nothing else mattered.
Olivia was woken up a little after midnight by the sound of her phone vibrating against the nightstand. She had only been sleep an hour but felt like she was sleeping much longer. She tried to reach for it but was momentarily held back by Elliot's arm possessively draped across her. When she picked up the phone to see who was calling she immediately tensed. It was Barba.
"Hello," she answered all signs of sleep immediately leaving her voice.
"Hey Liv I got some news I figured you wouldn't want to wait until morning to hear," he said and Elliot turned over hearing Barba's voice on the other end.
"Ok," she replied cautiously. "What's going on?"
"They made the arrests in the death of Lowell Harris. Does the name Rick Tyler ring a bell?"
Olivia immediately recognized the name and Elliot shot up in the bed next to her. His head resting near her shoulder so he could hear the conversation. "Yeah Ashley Tyler's uncle. Harris raped Ashley that's why I went undercover. He did this?" she asked in disbelief.
"Not him. Two friends of his and apparently friends of Risa Tyler, Rick's sister."
She blew out a breath rubbing her hands across her face. "This was revenge."
"Looks like it," Barba confirmed. "These guys were already doing life. They had nothing to lose. There's record of a few calls and visits going back and forth between Rick and the two guys but with them being friends there's nothing substantial there. Don't know if they will be able to tie Rick to it."
Olivia didn't realize she was crying until she felt the tear hit her bare chest and slide on to the sheet.
"Elliot won't be charged. It's over Liv," he insisted and she nodded her head forgetting that he couldn't see her.
"Thank you," she said simply. "Thank you."
She hung up the phone.
Elliot relaxed against her shoulder and placed a soft kiss there.
"It's over," she declared the relief evident in her voice.
"I know. I heard."
She wrapped her arms around him tightly like she did moments earlier when they made love. He felt her tears hit his back and kissed her face tasting the salt on his lips. His hands caressed her long hair and he tried to soothe her even though he knew her tears were not of sadness but of gratitude.
"It's ok baby. I told you. I'm not going anywhere. You can't get rid of me that easy," he smirked and she couldn't help but grin back at him.
"Can you do me a favor?"
"Stay away from the prisons from now on," she joked and he laughed softly.
"You got it."
He kissed her lips delicately and she drew him in to deepen the kiss when she soon heard Charlotte's soft cries through the monitor. She sighed, looking up at the ceiling and he laughed at her.
"Hmm, timing is everything," he whispered into her ear.
"Yes it is," she replied moving away from him to get up. "She's hungry. Ill go feed her."
She threw on a robe and walked out of the room.
Elliot gathered his pajama pants from the floor sliding them back on and got back into the bed. He sent a text to Eric to let him know that everything was ok and he wouldn't be arrested. He took a deep breath and laid against the pillows, the exhaustion seeping back into him. He came close to almost losing it all and thanked God for once again looking out for him. He didn't know what he had done to deserve such grace but he was definitely thankful.
Shortly after he closed his eyes he heard Olivia making her way into the room with the baby in her arms.
"Well it seems that your daughter was not really that hungry and just wants to be awake," she announced making her way back to the bed.
"Is that so? And now she's just my daughter?" he asked turning over and facing them.
"Yep. Whenever she is not cooperating she is your daughter," she teased.
Elliot took Charlotte from her arms and settled her against his knees like he did the night she was born and sure enough those sparkling blue eyes were alert and staring back at him wide eyed.
"Well well little Miss Stabler. Looks like you want to be entertained," he said putting his index finger in both of her little hands and she squeezed them tight. "What story should daddy tell you tonight?"
Charlotte kicked her feet in delight and continued to hold onto his hands. "Well I do have a sequel to Beauty and the Detective."
"Oh God please no," Olivia groaned and rolled her eyes. "I can't even with that story."
"Shhh, the story isn't for you anyway. It's for this little beauty," he playfully scolded her. "Now where were we before Mommy so rudely interrupted. Oh yeah..so Princess Olivia continued to give the Detective a hard time," he began and she laid her head against his shoulder watching him tell his ridiculous fairy tale to their daughter. As he went on, Olivia watched in wonder as the little girl hung on Elliot's every word as if she understood everything he was saying. The baby's eyes eventually got heavier and he picked her up and placed her on his shoulder. His voice lulled Charlotte into a deep sleep and he rubbed her back as he ended his story.
"They came close to losing each other and although they both knew it would never be perfect, it was just what they both needed and they lived happily ever after," he finished.
Olivia kissed them both and sighed contently. "Yes they did."