DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and its characters are the property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This story has a companion piece that goes a little further into an aspect of this story, but I am not going to post it, as it made me hate myself as a writer. That should tell you a little something about how full of fail it was. Also, I am not sure how mature a child's speech would be at about 4 or 5 years old, so be patient with me on that one.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
The Bedtime Story
By Erin Griffin
Olivia Benson turned on the dryer after switching the clothes over from the washing machine. Then she went back into the kitchen to finish the dishes and wiping down the counters. She heard a loud laugh from the bathroom and went down the hallway. She could hear through the door large splashes and loud giggles. "No splashing Mommy." Olivia grinned when she heard that, then, "One... Two..." Casey never got to three as the splashes turned to trickling water.
Olivia knocked on the door. "You need an extra towel in there?" she asked.
"Yeah, CJ's got water everywhere. She'll need another pair of pajamas as well." Casey called back. Olivia walked to the blue bedroom filled with stickers. She opened the drawers to the dresser and got out a matching set of pajamas with images from Snow White on them. She then went to the hall closet and got out two towels. She brought them to the bathroom door, knocked, then opened the door.
"Hi Daddy," a small redhead greeted her happily.
"Hey Trouble," Olivia replied with a smile as she handed Casey one of the towels and the pajamas before opening up the other towel. Casey leaned in and unplugged the bathtub and the little girl stood up. "Come on, Little One," she said, wrapping the towel around her and lifting her out of the tub. Both redheads dried off, the younger one making sound effects as Olivia helped her. Then Casey held open the pajama bottoms for her daughter, watching as she stepped into them. As CJ pulled on her shirt, Olivia opened up the bathroom door and put the used towels and clothes in the clothes hamper, along with a couple of other outfits that Olivia had meant to put in the first load. She made a mental note to start these clothes in the morning first thing after showers and baths, that way they could be in the dryer before they all left the house and shipped CJ to the Stablers'.
Walking down the hall again to CJ's room, Olivia saw her daughter just slip under the blankets, while Casey tucked her in. "We all ready for a bedtime story?" Olivia asked. CJ nodded.
"I'mmuna tell you a story," CJ said, which caused Casey and Olivia to exchange a look. Olivia then slowly sat down on the floor next to CJ's bed. Casey followed her movement. She placed a hand on Olivia's and without missing a beat, the detective let their fingers link.
"I love bedtime stories," Casey said, and Olivia nodded. She could see Casey was about to start the role reversal, and she was quick to play along.
"Me too. What's the story about?" Casey asked at the same time Olivia asked,
"Am I in it?"
"You both are," CJ replied. She looked at her parents and asked, "Okay, comfy?" which was what Casey always asked her when she was about to read a story to her at night.
"Yes," Olivia said, and Casey nodded.
"Okay. Once upon a time, there was a girl named... Princess Mommy. She was very pretty."
"I like this story already," Casey said, and Olivia loudly but playfully shushed her as CJ went on.
"She lived far away in a castle in the sky with King Grandpa, who like to pretend he's grumpy, but we love him anyway-" Olivia raised her hand at this. "What?" the girl asked.
"I thought you said I was in the story, too."
"You are. I'm not there yet," CJ clarified.
"Oh. Okay." Olivia got quiet and the girl stared at her for a second as if to wait for further interruptions.
"Okay. One day, King Grandpa said, 'I want you to get married to Jafarr and have babies,' but Princess Mommy said, 'No! He's ugly and I don't love him!' 'Then you're grounded,' King Grandpa said, 'No TV and you don't get any icecream for dessert.' Princess Mommy cried and cried because she really likes icecream." As CJ stopped speaking, Olivia and Casey stared at her.
Finally, Casey asked, "That's all?" CJ shook her head.
"No, I'm thinking."
"The story is getting good, even though I'm not in it," Olivia said.
"You are, but not yet," CJ stated again. "Okay, so Princess Mommy ran away. She went... to the store and tried to buy some icecream, but they were sold out, so she had to leave the sky and go to the jungle where she saw a wolf! The wolf said, 'I know where you can get icecream. Follow me,' But it was a trick, and the wolf really wanted to eat her!"
"Oh no!" Casey gasped.
"Yes," CJ replied, "and it jumped, but there was a yell. 'Ahhh!' Just like Tarzan, and a person flew down from the trees. It was Daddy, and she kicked the wolf's ass-"
"Casey Jane Benson!" Olivia admonished, "Where did you hear that?"
CJ looked surprised at the use of her full name, wondering what she'd done this time. "Eli Stabler," she told them.
"I knew it," Casey murmured, but then said, "You don't use that word, sweetie. You say that Daddy kicked the wolf's butt, okay?"
CJ nodded and thought for a second, not completely understanding why it was a bad word, but she didn't want to get in trouble over it. "Okay, Daddy flew in from the trees and kicked the wolf's butt. The wolf howled and ran away forever. Princess Mommy was so scared, and happy that Daddy saved her that she took her back to the castle in the sky and said, 'Papa, I want to marry her.' But King Grandpa said, 'No, you can't marry her. She's not from the sky and she's not a Prince.' But Princess Mommy didn't give up. She said... 'Papa, I love her and she saved me and she's my soul mate. Jafarr isn't a Prince either, but she will be if she marries me. Please Papa.' And she got on her knees and begged. Daddy did, too because she wanted to move away from the jungle and marry Princess Mommy. King Grandpa thought about it and said, 'Okay Okay, you can get married.' And they got married and they had a daughter named CJ and they all lived happily ever after- But not Jafarr because he's a bad guy. The End." CJ looked at her parents to see their reaction to her story.
"But what about the icecream?" Casey asked.
"There was lots of cake and lots of icecream at the wedding," the little girl explained.
"Yay!" Casey said as she let go of Olivia's hand so she could clap. "What a great story." She stood up and re-tucked CJ in, then said, "Alright Kiddo, its time to go to sleep." She leaned in and kissed her daughter's forehead with a loud, 'mmmm-uah!' before stepping away so that Olivia could hug her.
"Nigh-night Mommy. Nigh-Night Daddy."
"Goodnight, Little One," Olivia said as she hugged CJ and left a kiss on her cheek. As soon as she stepped out of the room, Casey flipped the switch, and right away CJ's Eeyor nightlight came on. Slowly, Casey closed the door.
"I don't know about you, but I think I prefer that story to any I've ever read," Casey said with a grin.
"I'm torn between CJ's story and Where the Wild Things Are." Olivia replied as the two women made their way to the bedroom they shared.
"You would be," Casey laughed as the bedroom door closed, "No wonder she had you falling from the trees in her story." Olivia put her hand on Casey's rear before pulling her in to her.
"But I kicked that wolf's ass for you."
"I don't think she learned that from Eli. I think she got her potty mouth from you," Casey accused.
"Oh yeah, Miss 'Screams-At-The-TV-During-Hockey-Night'?"
"Yeah," Casey challenged. "And that's Princess Mommy to you."
"Mmm," Olivia hummed instead of the retort she originally planned to say. She placed a few kisses on Casey's neck, and the redhead let out her own hum of pleasure. "I may not be as wicked as you with words, but I could still get out of an argument unscathed."
"Yes, you can." Casey agreed. "So what are you going to do now, Detective?" Casey almost purred.
"Well, Counselor, I'm going to secure the condo," Olivia said, placing a kiss on her wife's lips, "then I'm going to start the dishwasher," kiss, "turn out the lights," two kisses this time, "then come back and perform my marital duties by pleasuring my wife while saying all sorts of mushy stuff that'll never leave this room."
"I love it when you get domestic."
"I thought that might get you hot."
With another kiss, one that lingered just a little longer than the rest, Olivia pulled away. Casey stared at her wife for a second before her hands moved to the hem of her shirt and lifted it up over her head, letting it fall carelessly to the floor. "Hurry back," she said.
"Tease," Olivia said, backing out of the room. She walked softly down the hallway and leaned into the door to CJ's bedroom. Surprised to hear nothing inside, knowing that CJ actually fell asleep within ten minutes that night, Olivia moved on into the living room, where she picked up stray toys and put them in the tub next to the TV before turning off the lights. If she or Casey were to step on any of them the next morning before a cup of coffee, it wouldn't have been pretty. The detective closed the blinds above the sink in the kitchen after looking outside first, and then made sure it was locked. Satisfied that it was, she turned to flip the latch on the dishwasher to securely close it, and then turned it on. The soft sounds of the machine started up.
Olivia stood in the middle of the kitchen, smiling at the baby pictures of CJ on the refrigerator. Five years ago, she'd been living alone in her apartment, going to work and barely doing anything else. She was okay with that. She had Elliot and her small family at the 16th Precinct, which sometimes included Casey. Over time, she and Casey had become friends and, out of the blue, something more. They'd been in the middle of exploring that something more when Casey had been attacked in her office. The guilt to that day still ate at Olivia sometimes. She should've been there to help her so that it didn't get that bad, so that he didn't...
Olivia's eyes welled up with tears as she stared harder at the baby pictures, her hands going white around their grip on the countertop. Though Olivia wouldn't wish what happened on anyone, so much good had come out of that violent act. CJ Benson was the one thing that kept her life as good as it was. Before she was even born, she brought Casey and Olivia together and strengthened their relationship faster than anything the detective had ever experienced. Being 'daddy' to a little girl who was conceived the same way she herself had been made it easier to think on her past and come to terms with it. She could be the dad she never had, and know that CJ was loved and cared for in a way that she wasn't. She had the life she's subconsciously wanted, yet always thought she'd never have because of her job. But things were just fine right now.
As Olivia thought more about this, she turned out that last light, leaving the Benson home completely dark. She felt her way back into the bedroom, closing the door behind her with a soft click. She slid into bed after stripping to nothing, and felt skin touch skin. "I was about to start without you," Casey teased, but she got no response. "Don't tell me you-"
"I couldn't help it, Case," Olivia whispered, knowing what the ADA was about to say.
Fingers curled into Olivia's hair before they lowered to the nape of the brunette's neck. "Don't think about that, Liv," Casey murmured, "Don't think about any of that. Just feel me." Casey's fingers traveled down to create circles on Olivia's most sensitive spot. "Do you feel me?" Casey whispered.
"Always," Olivia whispered back, and she did. She always did, and she always will. This life she lived was more than she ever felt she deserved to have, and it was hers. She wanted nothing more.
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