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His words resonated with her, sticking to her soul like as if they had always been there. She didn't want to understand them since she understood nothing else of the moment, but those words... those words would be the death of her.

"You're gonna cry his name out at some point. They always do."

Would he grab the remote, flip through any channel and see her face plastered across the screen? Was he looking for her? Did he even know? Did he even care? Or was he going to kick the door down at any moment and save her? 


 

"The jury sees how close partners get, some are tighter than married couples."

"What about you, Detective? Ever sleep with your partner?"

"Stabler has the hots for you, y'know."

"Do you have feelings for your partner, Detective?"

Those were the kinds of questions that hung over their heads, nearly drawing the breath from their lungs when they heard them. It wasn't unheard of to be asked those questions of course. The truth was, they both felt the eyes of bystanders prying at their backs whenever they were in a near vicinity of each other. It was almost as if their peers were waiting for them to finally step up and make the first move. Countless hours in their shared cop car, twelve years with their hips attached, more bullets than they could count on both hands, two hugs, and an infinite amount of secrets shared. But always more denial than they needed; denial that everybody could see.

It wasn't lost on them though, they both knew exactly just how knee deep they were in this muddled mess of feelings. Neither of them would ever admit it though, that much was true. It isn't like they didn't want to, it would've been a load bearing weight lifted off of each other's chests... but you can't cure stubborn.

The smartest ones, they kept their mouths shut. That doesn't mean they didn't inspect from afar though. Others watched in awe as Elliot and Olivia had silent conversations with only eye contact, reading their partner's minds with just a simple glance. Some who believed that they might as well just have the cojones to admit their mutual feelings, they didn't realize just how much the two had to lose.

What would happen to their friendship if that thin blue line was crossed? What would happen to their wordless conversations? What would happen to Thai takeout nights while they watched Grey's Anatomy? What would happen to the secrets they shared on the stoop at midnight? Why would they risk all of that going up into smoke, just to admit that they were in love with each other? Especially when they both already knew. 

But it wasn't fair, not even a little. Why did others get the happy ending? Hell, why did Kathy and Elliot get the happy ending? Those thoughts had lingered in Olivia's mind for as long as she had known him. She did her best to push them away... but everybody knows that doesn't work. She loved him enough to let him go, she knew that much. It was such a grey area in her thought process, one that she didn't even like to admit existed. 

She didn't have the thoughts of 'I could give him the world' or even 'He's missing out.' It wasn't like that, not even a little. Olivia didn't even give those thoughts the time of day because she knew it would make everything all the more real. There was no romance between them, it wasn't real, at least the stubborn denial in her said so. She told herself that just to get a decent night sleep, to keep her mind focused somewhere else. Maybe it was real at some point, but it wasn't real anymore. It was all in the past. 

But nearly knocking on Death's door, chained to a rusty bed in the middle of nowhere, she realized that her heart had never stopped arguing with her head. Her mind could say that she didn't love him until she was blue in the face, but her heart screamed it louder and louder. 


 

"You're gonna cry his name out at some point. They always do." William Lewis spat with an evil grin. He hovered over her body, moments away from changing her life forever; only if he wasn't going to end it first. 

Olivia begged herself to hold it in, to keep her mind from arguing with her heart. She wanted to cry his name out; kick, scream, yell, beg, and plead with his name strung in. But the one thing Lewis was wrong about was that she didn't want to yell for Elliot to save her from him, she just wanted him. If her last words were coming soon, she wanted them to be heard by Elliot's ears. She wanted the devil off her back and the weight off her chest. She wanted to admit the truth, let her mind and heart at ease. She wanted to say the three words she had been aching to say for so many years. 

and finally, her heart won the longest argument of her life against her mind,

"ELLIOT"