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Her apartment was warm and cozy and smelled like vanilla and lavender.

Like her.

He watched as she removed her coat and shoes, motioning for him to do the same, and as he followed suit, she paid the baby sitter, showed her out, and locked the door.

He was entranced by her. He always was, but watching her in her natural habitat, one that she created without him during the span of 10 years, felt different.

“You’re being creepy,” she mused, with her back towards him as she uncorked a bottle of red wine.

“Sorry,” he said with a small smile.

The circumstances that led them to this moment were… weird.

Their tiff outside the courthouse.

Their partnering when it mattered most to rile Wheatley up.

Searching the city and surrounding areas as super dad and super… family friend... for Eli.

Calling it a friendship… for now.

Inviting her over for a Christmas get together, but her being unable to make it because Noah caught a flu.

Telling him she wanted to make it up to him. 

That she wanted him to meet her son.

Texting every day. All day. All night. About nothing.

Flirting. Flirting!

Wheatley’s exoneration hearing that ended with him being in her apartment at 9pm on a Friday. 

 

“Elliot. You need to relax.” Olivia said, putting her hand on his arm.

They had just left the final hearing, dismissing all charges against Richard Wheatley, done under the cover of night to avoid negative press for now. 

“I can’t relax, how can I relax? What am I gonna tell my kids, Liv?”

He was about to start pacing when she tightened her grip on his arm and he stopped, looking down at her.

“El… relax. Please?”

He nodded slowly, taking a deep breath.

“Where is Eli tonight?” She asked, a little more gently.

“He’s, he’s with Dickie… I… Liv I don’t wanna be alone right now… please.”

She sighed and checked her phone. “Noah is probably sleeping by now, why don’t you come over and have a drink? We can talk and just... watch a movie, okay?”

 

“Hellloooo,” her sarcastic tone and the smirk on her face pulled him from his thoughts.

He smiled at the glass of wine she had held out before him and chuckled. “Thanks Liv.”

“To… friendship and eventually getting the bastard,” she said, clinking their glasses.

“To never being alone again,” he replied and she smiled small.

“Italy made you romantic.”

“Time made you romantic,” he countered with a smile as he followed her to the couch and sat.

“Let me check on Noh, and then get changed and take off my make up.”

“Whatever you need,” he nodded, loosening his tie and unbuttoning his vest.

He was half way done with his wine when she came back.

Dressed in her silky, button up pajamas, barefoot and makeup free, and with her hair pulled up in loose clip, she sat back beside him.

He took note of the new lines and freckles on her face, as well as the fact that she clearly was braless.

“You’re not inconspicuous, you know,” she said and he looked down, a shy smile appearing on his face.

“Sorry... you're just beautiful."

She blushed and chuckled, sipping her wine nervously.

“Noah okay?” He asked and she nodded.

“He’s dead to the world. What do you wanna do?” She asked and he shrugged. “Whatever you wanna do. I just wanna be close to you,” he admitted.

They’d already gotten through all of their secrets and big moments of the past 10 years- including Ed and Lewis- over late night FaceTimes that lasted for hours.

Elliot was so gentle and understanding- the complete opposite of what she was expecting from him, and she was thankful beyond words for a break in his emotional state and hotheadedness. 

He smiled small. “Movie?” He asked, removing his tie completely, and then his vest and dress shirt.

His muscles rippled under his thin, white T-shirt as he moved, and her teeth covered her bottom lip. Looking to her for an answer, she nodded.

“Movie sounds good,” she said, watching him move the ottoman closer to the couch to sit between their legs. He swung his own up and sunk back into his spot.

Mimicking his movements, she relaxed back into her seat, with her legs stretched beside his, and just inches between them.

He moved slightly and unbuckled his belt and the top button of his dress pants in effort to get more comfortable.

“El, I’ve seen you in your underwear…” she trailed off and he gave her a sly smile in return. “You literally got undressed on FaceTime with me two nights ago.”

“I didn’t want to be presumptuous, Benson,” he teased.

She waved him off and grabbed a blanket from behind her. “Get comfortable. Just put your clothes in my room and at least cover your legs in case my kid walks out.”

Shooting her a confirming look, she nodded. “Both adults here, El.”

“Fair,” he smiled small, and stood, collecting his items and retreating to her bedroom.

Taking a moment to steady both his breathing and the tingling coursing through his body, he glanced around her room.

Adorned with modern art he didn’t even know she liked, a fresh bouquet of flowers, and pictures of her, Noah, and her squad, he recognized the place as her own sanctuary, and suddenly felt guilty for invading it.

“Stop,” she said from the door, and he turned with a small grin.

“Can you read everyone’s mind? Or just mine?”

“Just yours… and Noah’s,” she said, sitting on the bed and beginning to fold the clothes he’d tossed there.

“Didn’t know you liked art,” he said and she laughed. “Didn’t know you liked three-piece suits.”

“You don’t?”

“Didn’t say that… just never pegged you as a three-piece kinda guy. Do you want me to hang these up?”

He shook his head. “No, it’s okay. Thank you though,” he said as he stepped out of his dress pants.

Cocking her head slightly to the side, she made an effort to hide her smile with a long sip of her wine.

Elliot Stabler, undressing in her bedroom.

What a year it had been.

“Not very inconspicuous,” he said, mimicking her earlier remark.

Waving him off again, she stood. “Gonna refill our drinks and pick a movie,” she said, making her way out of the room without a second glance.

When he returned to the main part of her home, he found her with her legs tucked under her, slightly closer to his side of the couch.

The outline of his semi hard member was visible underneath the black of his boxer briefs, and she could just make out the impression of his clearly impressive head through the fabric.

Sitting beside her, he covered them both over with a blanket, and she handed him his wine.

“Thank you,” he said with a smile as her knees touched his bare thighs and she sat back.

The pair chose a movie, and eventually set their wine glasses down and began to dose in an unintentionally and exhaustion-driven, precarious position.

His arm had gone around her.

Her head lay on his shoulder while her hand dropped to his lower belly, just above his lap.

His other hand moved to hold hers, mostly to keep her from noticing the now fully erect cock that was visibly straining against the blanket.

She'd stretched her legs out and tangled them with his, and for all intents purposes, they were cuddling.

As dozing crept into deep slumber, the position they were in suddenly became that much worse, and when Noah came out around 11pm to get a glass of water and noticed the man on the couch with his mom that he was pretty sure he knew, he did what his Uncle Fin had instructed of him a few months prior.

 

“Remember Noah, if there’s ever someone in your house you don’t know, take a picture and send it to me,” he’d told the little boy.

“Wait what? Why?” He’d asked.

“Safety,” Fin nodded.

Unsatisfied with the answer, Noah crossed his arms. “My mom is tougher than you. And she can take care of herself.”

Fin groaned and got down to his level. “She is,” he conceded and Noah raised a brow. “So….” He asked.

“So I’ll pay you 20 bucks per picture?” Fin tried and Noah nodded slowly. “25 and it’s a deal. But mom never has people over. Like ever. So.” He shrugged.

The pair shook on it and Noah walked to the break-room in the 1-6 for some snacks.

“Spying on our Captain?” Amanda asked with a quirked brow once the little one was out of ear shot.

He shook his head. “Catching her and Stabler in the act.”

 

Running back to his room, he snagged his phone, snapped the photo, and sent it to Fin.

N: 25 bucks. Who is this guy?

Coffee spewed from the Sergeant’s mouth, who’d stayed late so his Captain could leave early on that Friday. 

F: That’s Elliot Stabler. He’s a good man. Leave them be- thanks for letting me know.

N: Thought so but wanted to make sure. And also get my money. Don’t tell mom, she’ll be mad at both of us.

F: Don’t worry I won’t, your mom is terrifying. Why are you awake?

N: Thirsty

F: Go back to sleep. Love you little dude.

N: Love you uncle

Getting his water, Noah returned to the living room, shut off the TV, and covered his mom and familiarly unfamiliar man with the blanket better, before heading back to bed.

Fin was in stitches as he analyzed and sent the photo to Amanda, Carisi, and Phoebe.

F: Best 25 dollars I ever spent.

A: Fin… she’s gonna kill you.

C: Is he in his underwear??

Zooming in on the picture, Fin noticed the blanket that he’d kicked off, exposing his bare leg up to his thighs, and laughed harder as Phoebe replied.

P: He sure is. And her hand is….

A: She’s gonna kill us all.

The pair had sunk down further on the couch, and Liv’s head now rested lower on his chest, which in turn moved her hand lower to cup the strong and evident bulge that was obvious from the angle of the photo.

C: Aside from the soft-core porn, they look pretty cute and relaxed.

El had one arm wrapped tightly around her back, and the other was wrapped across his body and resting gently on her cheek.

A: I’m gonna call and wake her up.

C: You’re not even on duty

P: Let them be. They’re grown.

F: Oh someone is grown alright.

A: Fin!

C: Lmao good one

P: He really is packing.

F: Hey!

A: She’s right

C: What Fin said.

A: Guys this isn’t right, I’m calling.

P: Boooo

F: Way to ruin the fun Rollins

 


 

Liv roused lightly as her phone rang from the side table closest to Elliot.

He released his hold on her cheek to reach for it, and as she came to, she inadvertently squeezed his manhood, causing a guttural groan to escape his throat.

“Shit,” she mumbled, pulling away like she was on fire and awkwardly taking her phone from him.

“B-Benson,” she stuttered as a rush of arousal hit her core and her eyes adjusted to the dark room and he came into full view.

“Shit, Captain… sorry I meant to call Fin,” Amanda said as Carisi shook his head at her from his side of the bed.

“I-it’s okay, ‘Manda, what’s going on?”

“Oh nothing, all good sorry to disturb you, bye!” She rushed, hanging up the phone.

Liv kept a brow raised and set her phone down, looking over to couch mate.

The pair stared at one another awkwardly for a moment, before he finally spoke up.

“Please don’t make me go,” he whispered and a smile pulled at her lips as she stood.

“No funny business, mind reader,” she said, holding a hand out to him.

“If I remember correctly to 2 minutes ago the only one being funny was you,” he cracked and she giggled softly, eyes landing down to his member that twitched when he stood and stretched.

Her mouth watered, and she wondered what it’d be like to have him down her throat as he… fuck. 

She shook her head.

“And you have to be gone, or at least dressed like you came for breakfast, by the time Noah gets up,” she said sternly and he nodded.

“Yes, Captain,” he responded and she gave him a look that ended in a smile.

He followed her to her bedroom, keeping his eyes on the hypnotic way her hips and ass swayed in her silky pajamas.

She shut her door, and they climbed into bed together like it was a nightly routine, rolling to face each other.

Scooting a little closer, he intertwined their fingers and held their hands to his chest.

“Haven’t felt this…” she trailed off, pausing a moment, “…safe? Since before Lewis.”

His grip on her tightened as he moved closer, making an effort to keep his lower body from touching her’s.

“I hate myself every day for not being there to save you,” he said, with a raw honesty that surprised her.

“That’s not going to help anything,” she said through a sigh as she snuggled closer to him, intentionally pressing her entire front flush with his. 

“I know…” he trailed off, going completely quiet as his leg pushed it’s way between her’s, knee stopping inches from her aching core and cock hitting her hip just right.

Through the darkness, her brown eyes searched his for an answer to his thoughts, and he nodded.

“I’ll never forgive myself… but I also thank God every day that I get another with you,” he said softly, inching his head closer to her’s on the pillow they were sharing.

“That’s not all,” she said, her voice huskier than usual and he nodded.

Inhaling each of her exhales, his eyes sparkled and his body tingled at the mixture of peppermint and red wine that he was breathing in and the thought of what that would taste like if he slipped his tongue through her lips. 

If her skin would taste as overwhelmingly sweet as it smelled.

If her hair would be as soft as it looked, sprawled out on the pillow around her.

If she was as wet as he was hard.

“No it’s not,” he said simply, moving his knee to finally nudge her center.

The intensity of the heat radiating from her almost burned him and made him jump against her belly.

“What else,” she goaded.

“Kissing you. Tasting you. Every inch of you. Feeling every inch of you,” he said in a gravely tone that ended with a short hiss as her hips ground into his knee.

“So do it,” was her simple response.

“You’re sure;” he asked and she nodded.

“Never been more sure or anything,” she said against his lips as they descended on her own.

 


 

The next several hours were only what could be considered a marathon of sprints.

The first time he entered her was fast and frantic. Clothes flew, and so did his hand to her mouth when he bottomed out in her on the first thrust, bringing her to the edge with his hand, and then again with the most intense stimulation to her g-spot that she’d ever experienced.

The second time, was slow and sensual. “Are you making love to me,” she asked as tears brimmed in both of their eyes, the weight of his muscled body enveloped her and his lips never left her own. 

"Yes,” he replied as he watched a tear roll down her cheek. Catching it with his thumb, he brought them over the edge together, swallowing on another’s names as they fell.

Both times, when he released himself deep inside of her and her walls constricted in a way he’d never felt before, she whimpered his name.

“Elliot….”

Olivia Benson whimpered his name while he made her orgasm below him.

It was the ending of every wet dream he’d ever had.

After laying together and recovering in a blissful and euphoric hour and a half, they made their way to her bathroom, where he took her against the wall of the shower from behind.

He tried to not be filthy- really. Tried to not bend her over and smack her ass as the sound of the water muffled her screams, and for the most part he succeeded. But it was his turn to whimper next, when after she came, she dropped to her knees and stroked him until he was spurting all over her face and perfect golden tits.

When they’d rinsed off and some how made it back to her bed, he tore off her towel and dropped to her knees to devour her. That time was filled with a desire to make her feel like she’d never felt before.

And he succeeded, because with a scream that was muffled by the pillow she’s pressed over her face, she squirted all over him and the towel that lay under her for the first time in her 53 years.

He stroked himself as he stood and watched her pussy quiver and her body shake from the aftershocks of his intense stimulation. When he watched her body go completely limp, muscles exhausted from the unfamiliar work out, he breathed out a proud chuckle. 

“I can’t walk,” she mumbled and he smirked, obnoxiously proud of himself as he helped her sit up, only to have her collapse against his bare abs with his cock bumping her chin.

The sudden and devilish look in her eyes told him what she was going to do before her mouth got to work, and he gasped as she sucked and bobbed and cupped his somehow still full and heavy balls. Chocking and gasping and eyes watering as she allowed him to invade all of her, she eased his hands to the back of her head and moaned when he gripped her soft, caramel waves. 

And those eyes- those good damn beautiful brown eyes that he’d become an expert in staring into - never left his that he forced to stay open until he could no longer hold in his orgasm and came with a groan down the back of her throat.

Satiated. Euphoric. Exhausted.

They lay together with a silent promise to wake up the alarm he’d set on his phone, and tangled their naked and sweating bodies as they drifted off to sleep.

 


 

Noah woke to a silent house the following morning around 9am. Noting the unusualness of his and his mom's Saturday routine, he raised a brow and a quickly texted his uncle.

N: Mom isn’t awake yet. I think Elliot slept over?

F: See if his shoes are still there.

Padding out to the kitchen, he sent a photo of the neatly placed dressed shoes next to his mother’s boots.

N: You owe me another 25.

F: Deal. Do you hear them at all?

N: No, should I go in there?

F: Do it.

At the 1-6, Amanda crowded over Fin’s shoulder as he responded.

“Fin stopping egging him on,” she scolded with a shake of her head, but he waved her off.

“Talk to me when you’ve watched this obnoxious and obvious dance for 23 years,” he said and Carisi laughed as he walked into the squad.

“He sleep over?” He asked, handing Amanda and Fin their coffees.

“Yeah he did,” Fin grinned as another picture came through.

The photo came from the end of the bed, and despite the covers being pulled up enough to not reveal anything, it was clear that their shoulders were bare and there was no room left between them for Jesus.

N: I think they had sex.

Fin and Carisi were in stitches as Amanda groaned and snatched Fin’s phone from him.

“You’re done!” She exclaimed, slipping it into her pocket and FaceTiming their nephew from her own device.

Moving from the bedroom when his aunt’s face popped up on his phone, he shut the door a bit more forcefully than he intended, winced, and then answered.

“Hi Aunt Amanda,” he whispered.

“Noah, listen to me? Please don’t listen to your uncles. Mom is gonna be super embarrassed when she wakes up. Can you try to be understanding?”

“I’m still gonna give her a hard time,” he giggled, “but she actually looks… happy?” He asked with a shrug. “She usually doesn’t look happy or relaxed when she sleeps but right now she just looks happy.”

Amanda sighed as Fin and Carisi let out simultaneous “awes” behind her.

“Mama got laid,” Fin mused, thankfully not loud enough for Noah to hear.

The shut of the door and commotion of the young boy talking had woken the unsurprisingly still horny pair, who lay silent and frozen as they listened to the little boy.

“Don’t give her a hard time… seriously Noh,” Amanda warned. “This isn’t how she wanted you two to meet. I need to you be mature about this with your mom? Can you promise me that?” She pleaded.

“I gueeeeess,” he groaned.

“You have our full permission to interrogate Elliot, though,” Fin said and Noah cracked up.

“Really??!” He asked, grinning huge and Fin and Carisi nodded.

“Sure buddy,” Sonny piped up, “just like we taught you. Rapid fire questions with no time to think or adjust his answer.”

“Okay!” He said bouncing a little bit as Amanda sighed. “When will I know if he passes?” He asked.

“You’ll know,” Fin nodded. “I meant what I said, Elliot’s a good man, and I know you two will be best friends. But you still gotta get there on your own.”

“Should I wake them up?” He asked and Amanda took a deep breath, stuttering and trying to gracefully answer the 8 year old.

“I think they had sex,” Noah cut in bluntly.

Behind the closed door to the bedroom, Elliot lost himself in silent laughter into Olivia’s hair as she smacked him.

“So you said,” she muttered with a groan. “You’re being pretty loud, I’m sure they’re awake,” Amanda said and nodded, “just… give them some time and be nice to your mom!”

“But give Stabler hell!” Fin called.

“So much hell!” Carisi echoed.

“Will do!!! Bye guys!”

He hung up before his aunt could yell at him anymore, and moved to the kitchen, taking out coffee and several breakfast items.

He and Liv cooked breakfast every morning that they could, and he loved to surprise her with breakfast and coffee on the weekends.

“I’m sorry,” El whispered into her ear as she lay, still in his arms, contemplating her next move.

“Don’t be,” she said, turning to face him and burying her head in his chest. “I wanted to get up early for one more round before I sent you out for breakfast but you wore me out last night…” she trailed off and he moaned softly.

“Livia….”

“You know my kids gonna drill you right? Like embarrass you and ask you a million questions and probably be a snark and over protective.”

“Should I expect less from a Benson?”

“And Fin, Carisi, and Amanda too, cause clearly they know.”

“With a squad as loyal as yours, should I expect any less?” He echoed his previous sentiment.

She looked up at him with a crinkle of her nose and he kissed it.

“You gonna run from me?” he asked softly and she shook her head.

“Elliot I wouldn’t run from you simply cause I’ve never orgasmed that many times during sex before,” she teased and he shook his head.

“Gotta stop talking like that or I’m gonna traumatize your son.”

She giggled.

Giggled.

And his heart leapt.

“No, I’m not gonna run from you, El,” she whispered, kissing his chest.

“I do want to take you on a proper date though. Noah, too. What does he like?”

“Dance, baseball, football, soccer… movies,” she smiled and he nodded. “We’ll do it all.”

“He’d like that… if you pass his test this morning.”

“He’s really gonna be that tough?” He chuckled nervously and she smiled.

“Scared of a Benson?”

“For 23 years," he nodded.

“Good… I’ve done my job right.”

 


 

They emerged 15 or so minutes later to find Noah with his arms crossed, standing at the head of their kitchen table.

There were three plates of eggs with toast and sausage, and two cups of coffee.

“Good morning mom,” he said pointedly.

“Hi baby…” she said cautiously as she watched him turn his attention to the man in a pair of his own 20 year old sweats and T-shirt she’d “remembered” about when they got up.

“You intentionally tried to get in my pants last night,” he scolded as he slipped on the clothes.

Winking, she bit her lip and turned on her heel as the sound of his laughter echoed in her bathroom.

“Hi. You must be Elliot. I’m Noah Porter Benson,” he said, reaching his hand out to greet the man with a firm handshake.

“Hi Noah, it’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m Elliot Stabler, Sr.,” he said, hoping to coax out some interest or a talking point from the boy.

It almost worked, but he held his resolve, squinted at him, and looked at his mother.

“Mom, would you mind eating breakfast in bed? I’d like to speak to Elliot alone.”

“Uh huh… uh sure baby,” she nodded, after making eye contact with El who gave an encouraging smile. 

She didn’t want to leave them alone. She wanted to talk through whatever this was with her son. But she knew him, and knew that he needed to be her protector in this moment and get to know this man for himself. With a soft grumble, she kissed his head, thanked him for the food, and made her way to her room, shutting the door.

Noah looked towards Elliot and nodded. “Sit.”

He did as he was instructed, suddenly feeling incredibly nervous.

The juxtaposition in his emotions and his hulking, muscular image was both humorous and humiliating, and certainly not lost on the young boy.

“How do you take your coffee?” He asked in a tone of voice that mirrored his mother’s in every argument they’d ever had.

“Just… uh just cream,” he nodded and Noah made eye contact with him as he slowly pushed the black coffee towards him.

“Black works, too,” El nodded and Noah shot him a fake smile before sitting back in his chair and looking at him.

The rapid fire questions began before Elliot even knew what was happening.

“What do you do for work?”

“I’m a cop. I work in organized crime.”

“Much crime to organize?” The boy scoffed and Elliot laughed a bit.

“Yes, a fair amount.”

“How do you know my mom?”

“We worked at SVU together. We were partners for 12 years.”

“Why have I never met you?”

“I moved to Italy… a lot happened.”

“You never visited?”

He shook his head. “A lot happened,” he repeated.

“Like?” Noah asked with a brow raised.

“Like…” he paused. “Like I messed up at work and with your mom and my wife and kids. And I needed to focus on them instead of my job and all that came with it.”

“Wife?!” Noah exclaimed with a raised brow and Elliot held up a hand to calm him. “She died. Almost a year ago.”

Visibly relaxed, and then sad, the little boy frowned as realization hit him. “I’m sorry… Kathy right?”

He nodded. “Kathy.”

“How long we’re you married?”

“37 years.”

“That’s a long time.”

“We got married at 18.”

“Why?”

“She got pregnant with our first daughter Maureen. We were young and Catholic. So it was expected.”

“Then you had more kids?”

“4 more.”

“Woah…” Noah said, softening a tad. “What are their names? How old are they?”

“Well, Maureen, Mo, is 36. Kathleen is 31, my twins, Richard and Elizabeth… well, Dickie and Lizzie, are 27, and Eli is 15.”

“Eli as in Elliot Jr.,” he said, asking the question that peaked his interest earlier in the conversation.

“That’s right,” El nodded.

“Woah… that’s pretty cool,” he said casually. “So how long have you known my mom?”

“23 years total." 

“What’s your favorite thing about her?”

He smiled and leaned forward on the table. “Her personality. She’s always been tough.”

“The toughest,” Noah nodded in agreement. “Uncle Fin calls her Badass Benson. But I’m not supposed to say that.”

El chuckled. “Where do you think he got that from?” He asked, eliciting the first real smile from the boy all morning.

“What else?” He pushed.

“What isn’t there?” He asked. “She’s kind, smart, loving, hilarious. She can hold her own. She’s got the best heart and helps everyone. Plus, she’s absolutely the most beautiful woman I know.”

“What about Kathy,” he asked, suspicious again and El smiled small.

“They’re different… very different. Can I show you a picture?”

Noah nodded and moved to sit beside him as El put on his readers and pulled out his phone.

“This is Kathy… and these are the kids,” he said pointing them out one by one, “and this is my son in law and my grandkids.”

“Kathy was pretty but… I think my mom is prettier. But I think I’m supposed to think that.”

“You are, you’re a good son,” he said, sitting back and looking at him.

“So why do you think mom’s prettier,” he questioned.

“Well,” Elliot said with no hesitation, “like I said I got married young. Very young. And if we didn’t have Mo, we wouldn’t have gotten married. But we did, and I loved Kathy and still do. She gave me five unbelievable kids and almost 40 wonderful years. But the truth is Noah, she wasn’t my soulmate. My person,” he trailed off, suddenly worried he’d gone too far.

“But mom is?” Noah asked softly and El nodded.

“Mom is.”

Noah sat back, a million thoughts running through his brain.

“She never talked about you but… sometimes when she gets sad or has a hard case, she says your name in her sleep. I asked a few times but…she wouldn’t talk about. I had to get info from Uncle Fin.”

“So Uncle Fin gave you the 411 on me, huh?” He asked, sitting back with a smile.

“Yeah he did. You didn’t tell me anything different from what he told me, so at least I know you aren't a liar, which is good.”

“And Uncle Fin put you up to this line of questioning?”

A smile cracked on the 8 year old’s face. “Yep. How’d I do?”

“Scared the crap out of me.”

“Make sure you tell him,” Noah nodded. “But I do have one more question- well, maybe 2”

“Shoot. I’m an open book.”

“What are your intentions with my mom,” he asked seriously.

Elliot nodded slowly, leaning back in his chair. “Whatever you and my son Eli are comfortable with, Noah.”

“Don’t lie,” he warned and El smiled.

“I’m not. My kids just lost their mom, and Eli is struggling. You guys are both at home, and anything we do affects you both.”

He nodded slowly. “But if we’re okay with it… what are you intentions.”

“Well, I already told you she’s my person, and I want to be with her and I think… I hope she feels the same,” he answered honestly, “but she and I both will sacrifice that for you and my kids, if you’re not comfortable.”

“Why?” He asked, in slight disbelief.

“Cause, your happiness is our number one priority. You and your mom were here and a team long before me. So if you don’t like me, I would never ask your mom to choose me over you.”

“Do you love her?”

“For 23 years,” he nodded.

“Then why would you give that up?”

He turned to face the young boy, and met his eyes with an innocent blue that reminded him of his own children’s.

“Cause we both love you and Eli more than each other. Your happiness is more important than ours.”

“But you just met me?”

“Does matter. You’re an extension of your mom. I loved you the minute I found out about you.”

He nodded thoughtfully and tried to hide his smile. “What about your older kids?”

“Same goes for them, but… they’re all obsessed with her. She’s known them since they were small, and she’s helped them out of some serious trouble.”

“Everyone’s obsessed with her,” Noah said, with a tinge of pride in his voice.

“How could you not be.”

“Don’t they miss Kathy though?” He asked and El nodded.

“They do. But… your moms always been a second mom. Even when I was gone.”

“Promise me you won’t hurt her?”

Elliot held up his pinky. “I’ll do whatever I can to make sure I never hurt her.”

He gripped the older man’s pinky with his own and nodded. “You want that cream in your coffee now?”

Elliot laughed. “Did I pass?”

“For now,” he said, getting up and moving to the fridge for the creamer.

“Thanks bud,” he said taking the creamer, “Can I asked you some questions?” El asked him and Noah nodded, sitting back across from him and digging into his food.

“How do you feel about me? Waking up to me here and stuff?”

Noah shrugged. “I don’t mind it. You seem pretty cool I guess. But, you still hurt my mom and I think you gotta make it up to her more. I don’t know if I trust you fully yet,” he answered seriously.

“That’s fair. You just met me, and you shouldn’t trust me yet. But I’ll do what I can to earn your trust. What will help with that?”

“I mean… my mom seemed pretty happy this morning and really relaxed in her sleep. I came out for water last night and she didn’t even flinch. She wakes up to everything. So I guess… just keep doing what you’re doing.”

Elliot couldn’t hide his smile. “Okay… but what about you? What can I do for or with you?”

“What do you mean?”

“I wanna get to know you and I want to have a friendship with you. I care about you, and I want you to be able to trust me. So I wanna take an interest in what you like to do,” he smiled.

Noah grinned. “I dance. But I also like to watch baseball. And football. I wanna play football but mom says it’s dangerous and I could hurt myself and then I couldn’t dance so,” he shrugged. “But I also like soccer.”

“Eli and I love soccer, maybe the three of us could kick the ball around some time?”

“That’d be cool,” he said with a grin. “Oh, and I like to build legos.”

“Dude, I’m a professional Lego builder!" El said enthusiastically and Noah grinned jumping up.

“Really??? Mom is soooo bad at it,” he laughed.

“Yeah, Dickie was super into legos and so was Eli. We used to build them together all the time.”

“Maybe you guys can help me? I got this like… bazillion piece set for Christmas,” he said, cracking himself up. “It’ll take me forever on my own.”

“I’m down,” El grinned.

 


 

Inside her bedroom, Liv was pacing and texting Fin.

O: Odafin I swear if you don’t text me back.

F: Yes cap?

O: Spill, Tutuola.

F: You spill

O: How much did your insider information cost?

F: 75.

O: Who knows?

F: The gang

F: You two have fun last night?

She smiled small at the text from Amanda that popped in next.

A: I was against this from the start.

O: I know. It’s okay.

Fin sent her the photos and she went red.

O: He’s grounded. You’re on weekends.

F: I’ll take weekends for two months if you don’t ground him.

O: We’ll see.

F: Liv I’m happy for you. We all are.

O: Thank you. Now take my kid off your payroll.

Her heart rate increased significantly when a text from Kathleen came through.

K: Hiiiii. I heard there was a sleepover last night.

O: What do you mean?

K: Well dad makes us share locations and we know he’s still at your house.

FaceTiming her immediately, she stuttered as the younger woman said hello with a cheesy grin.

“Kathleen, I’m so sorry- it’s not what you think I…” she trailed off as she heard laughter from Bernie and Maureen in the background and the camera panned to them.

“Liv… we’re not dumb and we don’t care. Plus we know you’re lying. Fin is on our payroll.”

“Oh god,” Liv groaned, going red.

Hearing the knock on her front door, she put a hand to her forehead. “I gotta… there’s someone here I..” she was flustered and Kathleen smiled. “Probably Fin to raz you in real life. We’ll be over soon with Eli. I hear there’s a Lego building marathon happening at your kitchen table.”

Olivia Benson was speechless as she hung up with the Stablers, wiped her eyes, and emerged from her bedroom to find a massive Lego set strewn across the kitchen table and her squad and ADA having just walked in with coffee and donuts.

El was leaned over Noah’s shoulder, pointing out something in the directions to get him started.

Suddenly, she was no longer 53 and in her kitchen with her son and… whatever Elliot was, but rather 30 and back in the old 1-6, watching her parter help his young son with a small Lego set in between cases.

“Liv,” El said gently and she shook her thoughts free. “Time traveled there a minute,” she whispered before looking to her son.

“Hi….” She said slowly and Noah looked up at her with a grin.

“Mom did you know Elliot is a Lego master? He’s gonna help me build this and Eli is coming over later too!”

“I… I did know that,” she said with a small smile.

“And you’ve been holding out on me??? Mom he’s been home for like a year!!!” He groaned, looking at his new friend with a "can you even believe this" look on his face. 

“Sorry?” She laughed, sitting next to him and looking up to her smiling squad.

“You should be,” he scoffed playfully, “did you think I wasn’t gonna like him? He’s so cool,” he said motioning to Elliot who proudly puffed out his chest. “I mean if he hurts you I’ll be super mad, but he knows that and, we had a really good talk this morning, so I don’t think he’s gonna hurt you,” he said as he continued separating his pieces.

“Sweet boy…” she trailed off, in both shock and awe at how quickly her life had been turned upside down... or maybe it was right side up?

“Also,” he said, finally looking up at her, “you didn’t tell me Kathleen was Katie!" He said incredulously and she breathed out a soft laugh.

“I guess I didn’t…” she trailed off.

“Anyways,” he continued, “she and Eli are gonna come over and we’re gonna build legos today and eat pizza. It’s sleeting today so definitely a stay at home kinda day,” he said, and continued talking to the group, but his voice became muffled at Liv’s eyes met El’s.

He placed a hand discreetly on her back and gave her a sweet nod, before Noah’s voice pulled her from her thoughts again.

“Moooom. Is that cool?”

“Huh? Yeah baby that’s cool,” she smiled, standing and making her way to Fin, Carisi, and Amanda in the kitchen.

“Match makers,” Fin grinned and she shot him a look, trying to hide her smile.

“Pay my kid and get to work,” she said and he pulled her in for a hug and a laugh.

“Yes Captain,” he nodded, completing her request before she showed them to the door and waved goodbye.

Returning to the kitchen, out of sight from the table, she sucked in a deep breath, releasing it when she felt Elliot’s presence behind her.

She sunk into his hands that rested gently on her hips, against his strong front that was pressed into her back, and laid her head back into the crook of her neck.

“You know the rumors are swirling now,” she whispered, trying to hide the excitement in her tone and her body as he slipped the tips of his fingers under the waistband of her pants.

“Rumors have been swirling about us for 23 years,” he said into her ear, kissing the spot he’d found just behind it in the early hours of the morning, eliciting a soft moan. 

“Whatcha say we make it true,” he crooned, mimicking some country song and making her laugh.

“I think…” she hesitated before turning in his arms, “that I would be okay with that.”

“Elliot come back,” Noah called from the other room.

“Coming!” He responded and she smiled up at him.

“I love you,” she whispered and he kissed her gently.

“I love you,” he replied, like they’d been saying it all their lives, kissing her back and getting lost in it as he pressed against her and felt his arousal begin to grow.

“Ellllll,” Noah called again, and he pulled back with a smile and wink.

“Damn good rumor,” he pointed at her before disappearing round the corner.