DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and all characters are
property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Thanks to Banana for the beta/edits/suggestions.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: Baby Killer
I should have told her she didn't stand a chance. Not many do. One look into those intense eyes and captivating smile and they were all lost. She was no exception. She tried to be cool, collected and detached. It was amusing watching her fight it. Some of them fight, but eventually, they all succumbed to the charms of my partner, Olivia Benson.
It annoyed me to no end at first that she got all the attention. Although I'm a married man, I'm still a man. I like to have a woman flirt with me or give me the once over every so often, despite the fact that I'd never cheat on my wife. But whenever my partner is around, I don't exist.
I don't think she even knows the power she holds over them. In fact, I know she doesn't, and it's that obliviousness that draws them to her. Just ask my eldest daughter. I was always afraid that if I ever got some young hotshot male partner, there was a chance Maureen would develop some kind of crush on him. So, when Olivia became my partner, I had no worries. I still didn't have any worries when I found out Olivia was gay, although Kathy did reveal that she was more than a little relieved. Then Maureen came out to us, and shortly after, started to become starry eyed every time Olivia was around. I didn't have a problem with Maureen's sexual preferences, but I did have a problem with her crush on Olivia. As much as I love Olivia, I didn't want to see my daughter get her heart broken, which was inevitable, even discounting the age gap between them.
One night after dinner at our place, I had to have the talk with Olivia as a concerned father.
"Hey Liv?" I began, as I walked her out to her car.
"Yeah, El?" she replied with that grin of hers that drives them all crazy.
"Have you noticed Maureen's behavior lately?"
"What do you mean?" she asked in reply and I could tell that she was hiding something.
"What aren't you telling me, Liv?" I replied with a question of my own.
"Look, Elliot, I promised her," she answered cryptically. "If you're curious about Maureen, maybe you should talk to her." I finally got it. It shouldn't have surprised me that Maureen had gone to Olivia first about her sexuality. "Liv, she's already talked to us. We know."
"Good," she replied. "From the looks of it, you guys are handling it pretty well."
"Well, there is something that I'm not sure I can handle," I said.
"Have you seen the way she looks at you?"
"What about the way she looks at me?"
"She adores you."
"I think she sees me as some kind of lesbian hero, someone who made it easier for her to come to terms with her sexuality."
"No, it's more than that. She REALLY adores you."
"Oh," she said, and then it sunk in. "Oh. Elliot, I swear to God, I never..."
"It's okay," I said, realizing how clueless she was about her sex appeal. "Just tell me you'll let her down easy, and soon. I don't want her to get her heart broken."
"You think I'd hurt Maureen?" she asked, a mixed expression of hurt, anger and disbelief.
"Not knowingly, no," I said. "But in case you didn't know, you've left a very long trail of broken hearts in your wake and I just don't want my daughter caught up in it."
"What are you talking about, 'trail of broken hearts'?" she asked, confused.
"Forget it," I said. "Just talk to Maureen, okay?"
"Okay," she said as she got into her car and started the engine. "You're just jealous of my harem, Stabler."
"Yeah, I am and so are all the other guys on the squad," I said with a smile.
"See ya tomorrow," she said with that lopsided smile of hers and drove off. I waved and walked back to the house, hoping that I wasn't too late to save my daughter's heart.
I don't know what Olivia did or how she did it, but Maureen quickly moved on from her first crush on a woman and found a girlfriend. The woman was smooth. The guys often learned a thing or two from her on why they didn't get the girls and she did. I just enjoyed living vicariously through her.
I remember one day when a bouquet of exotic flowers was delivered to the stationhouse for her. She was reading the card when Munch walked up behind her and read over her shoulder.
"'We had a great time, love, Kimmy and Kelly'? Sisters?" Munch asked, raising his eyebrows suggestively.
She looked at him and I thought he was going to burst into flames on the spot, but then she broke out into a huge shit-eating grin and simply said, "Twins." She sat down at her desk as if nothing happened, while Munch and Fin tried to pick up their jaws from off the floor. I sat and laughed.
I had seen the twins leaving her apartment that morning when I came to pick her up. Like usual, I didn't ask, because gentlemen never ask, and she didn't tell, because she wasn't the telling kind. Our only exchange was the usual "Lucky sonofabitch" from me, and "You know it" from her.
Even ADA Alexandra Cabot, whom everyone thought was straight, fell under the spell of my partner. Many times the guys and I invited her out for drinks with us, and many times she declined. Then it dawned on me that all our invitations were extended when Olivia wasn't around or was out of view. One evening, we were all sitting around getting ready to head out for a drink. Cabot had called to say that she was coming over to give us the news on our last case. We heard through the grapevine that the DA's office had dropped the case against Elias Barrera. Chances are, Cabot was in the hot seat and was probably looking to see some friendly faces. I suggested we invite her out with us. Munch held up a twenty-dollar bill and said, "Twenty bucks says she turns us down."
"She's a pretty girl, it wouldn't surprise me if she's got something better to do on a Friday night than to go for drinks with a buncha cops," Fin said, declining the bet.
I knew easy money when I saw it. I pulled out a twenty and said, "You're on."
A few minutes later, Cabot came into the bullpen and looked relieved to see us. We congratulated her and I offered the invite. "We're on our way to McMullen's. How 'bout we buy you a congratulatory drink?"
She did what I thought she'd do. She turned to Olivia, who gave her a nod and a smile, and she accepted the invitation with a smile of her own. As we left, Munch disappointedly held up my money.
"How'd you know, Stabler?" he whispered.
"Intuition, John, intuition," I replied with a grin and took my money.
I liked Alex. She was a tough ADA and made life miserable for us at times, but she only did it to ensure that the bad guys wouldn't slip through a loophole or get off on some technicality. I felt bad for her when I realized that she had fallen for Olivia. But once again, my partner proved my worries to be unnecessary. Just like Maureen, Alex got over Olivia, and they became good friends.
Whether it was borne out of the ultimate male fantasy or an altruistic attitude towards Olivia, the guys thought that Alex was a good match for Olivia, and not just for a one-night stand. What the guys didn't know was that Olivia didn't do relationships. She loved the chase. She lived for the adrenaline rush of flirting and pursuing new blood. The ones that pursued her never got a second glance.
When ADA Casey Novak showed up during a house search on her first SVU case, I had to chuckle at her attempt to be authoritative, especially where Olivia was concerned. I had to give her credit for standing her ground and trying. I thought perhaps Casey would give Olivia a run for her money because after we left Brianna Morris' apartment, Olivia launched into a tirade the entire car ride to the station house about how clueless and arrogant the new ADA was. All I could do was smile, which only irritated her more.
"What the hell are you smiling about?" she asked, her question smothered with irritation.
"You like her."
"The hell I do. Have you been listening to a word I've said?"
"Yes I have and I know you. You like her."
"Shut up, Elliot," she said. "Besides, she's straight as a nail."
"Yeah, we all thought Cabot was as well, but she only lasted four weeks," I reminded her. I heard no response and looked over at my partner. I was sure I saw tears building up before she quickly blinked and turned to look out her window. I let the subject drop, but I still gave Casey Novak a generous two weeks until she fell for Olivia.
It didn't take two weeks. The very next day, I knew Casey was doomed. Olivia was one fiery anger ball who hauled off like a hurricane to give the new ADA a piece of her mind. Nothing gets the women more than a pissed off Olivia Benson.
Whatever it was that happened between the two of them, Olivia became nicer to Casey and they even became friends. Although she didn't see it, I saw the change in Casey. She started to display the symptoms that all of Olivia Benson's casualties of infatuation did. She began to visit us at the station more often. She called a little more frequently. She wasn't as brash as she was when she first started, at least not to Olivia or me. And there was always "the look". I knew this look. It was the "I'd love to explore every curve of your body" look that was so often directed at my partner. Sometimes "the look" was so blatant that I wondered if my partner was blind because she never reacted to it. It was either that or she had one hell of a poker face.
It was a slow day, so we headed out for lunch at a diner close by. It was just the two of us, so I brought up the topic of Casey. "So, how are things going with Novak?" I asked after our food was brought out to us.
"Why are you asking me? You see her as much as I do," she said, nibbling on a fry.
"Is this your poker face, or are you that clueless?" I asked, unable to believe that she could be so unaware of the affect she had on women.
"Elliot, what the hell are you talking about?" she said, putting down her fry and looking at me.
"Casey has a crush on you," I stated plainly.
"No, she doesn't," she answered, screwing up her face.
"Yes, she does. She's exhibiting all the same signs and symptoms that Cabot did," I reassured her. "Look, she's a good kid, give her a chance. I can see the chemistry between you two."
"Forget it, Elliot," she said with a slight warning in her tone.
"Why not?" I said, ignoring her tone. "When was the last time you had a relationship? I mean one that lasted more than one night."
If looks could kill, I'd have been a dead man right then and there.
"I said drop it," she said quietly and looked down at her plate as she pushed some fries around with her fork.
I didn't say another word and just watched her. I thought back on the words that I just spoke to her and let my memory begin to unwind. It started to dawn on me that she hadn't had any overnight guests in awhile. I kept thinking farther and farther back and realized that she hadn't had any "visitors" in over three years. What had happened? Why hadn't I noticed it before? Was it possible? I thought they were just friends. Come to think of it, she always got a little tense whenever I mentioned Alex.
"It's Alex isn't it?" I asked softly. She lifted her gaze to look at me.
"What about Alex?" she asked in return, her anger from before completely dissipated.
"You're in love with her," I stated. She gave no answer, just a resigned look that told me I was right. "I thought you guys were just friends. I knew she was in love with you, but I thought you didn't feel the same way."
"I didn't...at first," she said wistfully. "But she was there for me after my mother died." She looked down again and started to poke at her food.
I couldn't help but smile. Olivia Benson was always surprising me. She always did that, just when I think I had her figured out, she'd hit me with something new. When I thought she was straight, she told me she was gay. When I thought she had a girlfriend, she told me she didn't do girlfriends. And when I think she's still playing the field, she tells me she's been in love with the same woman for years.
I shook my head. Poor Novak, she doesn't stand a chance in hell.
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