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Falling from Grace

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Elliot rubbed his eyes as he walked down the street. It had been a long week and he was looking forward to blowing off some steam. Emily, a new member to the SVU unit, was already at her apartment waiting for him. The relationship between the two of them started out as nothing more than two people, lonely people, spending time together. And even though neither of them expected things to turn into what they had, they were both over joyed that they had.

Elliot had been divorced for a year. His kids knew he'd been seeing Emily, but didn't ask to many questions, which he was thankful for. Their parents dating other people was a new thing for them and no one was really sure how to approach it. As for Emily, she had only been at SVU for ten months. She didn't need the looks and whispers that comes with a newcomer sleeping with a well established detective. She knew all to well where that led.

The truth was that Elliot and Emily were more than dating. A lot more. He had asked her to marry him just a few days prior. And he was more than thrilled when she said yes. And the week following they were going to disclose to the captain because she was moving in with him. After his divorce Elliot thought he'd never get serious about any one ever again, let alone living with them or marriage. But for the first time in a few years he could see his future as more than being that award odd man out at functions for the kids. Kathy was moving on, the kids were happy, and he had his Emily. Life was good.

Elliot stood at the front door to Emily's building and buzzed her apartment. It was late fall, the days were shorter and the night air was cold. As he sighed deeply he could watch his breath leave his body. Turning back to the buzzer he tried again. He knew she was looking forward to him coming over, she'd made that very clear earlier in the day with a suggestive text. But it had been a long week and she was trying to get all her packing done so he figured she must have fallen asleep.

After the fourth time Elliot tried calling her cell. Just like with the door there was no answer. Being a cop for so many years his first instinct was to think the worst. When someone opened the door to walk out, Elliot let himself in. By the time he reached her floor he had regained his composure. Emily was a cop, she could take care of herself. There was nothing for him to worry about. He knew her, she went home took a shower and fell asleep on the couch after turning the ringer down on her phone.

Reaching her door he knocked. He had a key but if she was asleep he didn't want to just walk in and scare her. Scaring a cop usually led to a bad ending. Again no answer at the door. He checked his phone to be sure that he hadn't missed a message from her or read something wrong. There it was in black in white, she would be waiting for him at her place when he got off work.

With no choice he pulled his key from his pocket, but when he put the key in the lock he was surprised to find the door was already unlocked. He tired to push the door open with his hand but there was something behind it, he had to use his whole body, and that took some force. When he finally got it open enough to slide through the small opening he stepped inside. He could see that her little table by the door was knocked over and was now laying behind the door. The hair on the back of his neck stood straight up. Turning from the door he looked around the living room. “Emily!” He shouted out through the small apartment.

With no answer Elliot moved slowly from the living room to the kitchen, to the bedroom. He stepped over everything on the floor being sure not to disturb anything. He knew what this was, he wasn't ready to admit it to himself yet though. But he knew. It was a crime scene. Things were knocked over and scattered around the floor. When he got to the bedroom he stopped when he saw blood on the floor.
Pulling out his phone Elliot quickly called Olivia. “Liv I need you at Emily's apartment. Send a bus.” He was quick to get off the phone. Not even giving Liv a chance to ask him what was going on. Stepping over the blood he walked to the bathroom. In the tiny room his heart began to pound so hard it was literally painful.

In the bathroom the mirror was broke. When he got closer he could see her long dark brown hair stuck between the broken pieces. Elliot reached for it but just an inch away he stopped. He couldn't disturb anything. Everything was a piece of the puzzle. Clues to what had happen. Looking at the long strands in the broken glass of the mirror he couldn't wrap his mind around what he was looking at. He'd seen this stuff so many times before, but this was different. This was some one he loved.

Olivia got to the apartment with Cragen and Finn in tow. The shock and surprise on their faces said it all. This truly was a crime scene. But it was more than that. This was the apartment of a coworker, a friend. Walking through the apartment Cragen began his questions.
“What were you doing here?” Cragen turned to Elliot.

“What?” Elliot knew right where this line of questioning went. He'd asked the same questions many time before.
“Did she call you? Did you just stop by?”

“I stopped by.” He was quick to respond. Elliot looked around as the CSI team began to swarm the small apartment. This was the first time since his first year on the job that he felt like he didn't know what to do.

“Ell what happen?” Liv placed her hand on his shoulder. It was clear to see that he was confused and pensive.

“I just stopped by.” He answered.

“But how did you get in?”

“The door was open.”

“Why did you come here in the first place?”

“What?”

“Elliot what did you come here for in the first place?” Liv stared him down. Elliot just looked at her bewildered.

“We need to leave the scene.” Cragen stepped between the two of them.

Standing outside Elliot watched the people go in and out of the apartment. No one telling him anything. It seemed every two seconds he was checking his phone. Hoping, praying, begging for her to call him. Just tell him that she'd trashed her own apartment and went for a walk.

“How did you get in the apartment?” Cragen asked Elliot.

Elliot stood there looking at his captain. What could he tell him. I had a key cause were sleeping together. Oh and by the way this has been going on for six months, we're getting married, your invited to the wedding, and we're moving into together next week, at which point we were gonna disclose this whole thing to you. Yeah, everyone would believe that story. All though it wasn't a story, it was the truth he didn't want to explain what was going on. He knew lying would bite him in the ass. At that moment he didn't know what to think.
He tired to think. Was there any sign of forced entry when he got to her door? No there wasn't, the door was unlocked. So what the hell could he say. “The door was unlocked.”

“But why did you come by in the first place?” Cragen needed to know why Elliot went to Emily's, and how he got inside if she wasn't there. At that moment he had a crime scene and Elliot was found right in the middle of it.

“What? Why? I...I had a question about a case.” Elliot stopped talking as he watched two men take Emily's bed cloths from her apartment. He knew those sheets intimately. He spent many nights tangled in those sheets with nothing between the two of them but the silk fabric. “I have to go.” He tried to walk away.

Liv hurried to his side and grabbed him by the arm turning him back to her. “Elliot we have a crime scene, a missing cop and you right in the middle of it. Where do you think your going?”

“Back to the station.” He snapped and left with out giving her or anyone else a chance to say another word. Liv just watched him walk away. He'd never been one to walk away from a crime scene. But she had her suspicion as to why he was finding it so hard to stay.

 

Emily walked into the squad room. Nervous, she was the new person in the unit, knowing all to well how that felt. Clenching her fist, opening her hand, then clenching it closed again. She worked hard for this and she wasn't going to let anyone see that she felt so out of place. As far as other people were concerned, she was gonna show them no fear. Standing unsure of new surroundings she was greeted by a friendly face. “Can I help you?” A woman spoke sympathetically.

“I'm looking for captain Cragen?” Emily was told to report to the captain first thing that morning.

“I'm detective Benson, captain Cragen isn't in just yet, is there something I can help you with?” Olivia was soft spoken with a gentile kindness in her eyes.

Before Emily could answer a voice came before the two women. “Detective Benson, I see you've met detective Sullivan” Cragen steps beside the women.

“Olivia Benson.” Liv reaches her hand out.

“Emily Sullivan.” She shook hands and began to look around. She saw a few other people around, mostly men. She didn't say it but she wondered if she would be partnered with Olivia. Keeping the women together cause it's to hard to for men and women to work together.

At least that was how it worked at her last station.

“And this is detective Stabler.” Cragen moved allowing her to lock eyes with a tall well built man. His dark hair made his blue eyes seem so bright. Emily didn't say anything. Just shook his hand and nodded. But she was curious about him. Felt there might be something about him that she would either love or hate. She didn't know it but the odd look on his face was because he felt the same way about her.
Elliot watched as she walked away following Cragen. She was wearing jeans with a gray shirt and a thin jacket over it. Her long dark hair was pulled up neatly in a pony tail. Every hair in it's place. Her bangs not quite long enough to stay up, tucked behind her ears. She had an innocent look about her that made her seem out of place.

Cragen walked Emily around introducing her to the rest of the staff and stopped at a desk across from Fin. Her new partner. The two talked for a few moments before a call came in and they were off. Her first call, her first case with the unit. She was eager to dig in and figure out how things were done.