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WARNING: Contains spoilers for the season 11 episode, 'Savior'
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Saving the Savior
The hospital was quiet, intensive care always was and the sounds of the various life saving machines hummed gently in the background. The figure beside the incubator stared intently through the protective casing as she stroked her finger lightly over the small, premature baby inside.
Gladys Dalton's baby had been born four months premature. She had left town to get her life sorted and trusted her baby's care into the hands of hospital staff and the woman beside the incubator.
Olivia Benson had received a visit earlier that night from her Captain, who had handed her legal documents informing her she had power of attorney over the baby girl's welfare in Gladys' absence.
Olivia and Elliot had clashed over the best options for the damaged newborn who had multiple debilitating diseases and only a 17% - 40% chance of survival. Elliot had argued that no-one should play God while Olivia had countered as to what was best for the baby in the long term
Olivia moved her finger along the tiny tummy and swallowed hard at the emotions welling inside her.
She had received an urgent call from the hospital and when she arrived had been informed that the baby 's brain was bleeding and they needed her approval to operate. If she survived, she could have permanent brain damage in addition to her current respiratory problems.
In the end, the decision was taken out of her hands.
Olivia closed her eyes and moved her finger rhythmically along the tiny baby who weighed less than a pound and breached out slowly.
Olivia opened her eyes and looked into the concerned face of Alex Cabot. She smiled weakly at her.
Alex swallowed at the sight before her, Olivia looked exhausted and her eyes were rimmed red. She moved soundlessly around the incubator and looked inside, the baby looked so fragile and poorly with a breathing tube inserted in her tiny mouth.
She knelt in front of Olivia, "Why didn't you call me?" she asked quietly.
Olivia shook her head and shrugged, unable to give her an answer.
Alex sighed, "Don called me, told me about Gladys how's the baby?" she asked tentatively.
Olivia looked down into her eyes, "She was too weak to go through surgery," her breathing hitched, "I got here too late I couldn't make a decision," she said, choking back a sob.
Alex reached for her free hand and held it gently, "You knew how sick she was before tonight, this isn't your fault Liv," she said softly.
Olivia closed her eyes and took a deep breath, "I couldn't make a decision, Elliot was right, nobody should have to play God," she whispered.
Alex rose from her kneeling position and without releasing her hold of Olivia's hand, sat down in the chair beside her. She watched as Olivia fought for control and repositioned herself, placing a comforting arm around her.
Olivia leaned against her, her eyes never leaving the tiny form. "They said she wouldn't make it past 1am but it's almost 2, she's fighting Alex, she doesn't want to go," she breathed out, blinking back tears.
Alex took a deep breath in an effort to remain in control, "She's not going to make it sweetie you know that," she said quietly.
"I don't want her to be alone she never stood a chance, did she?" Olivia said distantly.
Alex didn't know what to say, she looked into the incubator and imagined she was her own. She knew Olivia was thinking the same thing.
"No she didn't," she paused, "But you're giving her love when she needs it most, she can feel that now," she said and swallowed the lump rising in her throat, "Look at her Liv, she'll never know a life of pain, she'll never have to suffer she'll only know what's happening right now, you giving her love," she finished her voice catching.
Olivia took another deep breath and let the tears fall. Alex felt her heart ache for the sadness overwhelming her friend. She knew how desperate Olivia was to be a mother and she could only imagine how this was hurting her. She leaned in and pressed her lips to her forehead.
Olivia felt the body underneath he fingertips change and she turned to Alex, "Get a doctor," she whispered, just as the monitor on the other side began to whine.
Even as the medical team came in and removed the casing, Olivia placed her finger comfortingly back on the little girl. Alex watched the flatline on the monitor and held Olivia's other hand tightly. The doctor looked into Olivia's eyes and shook her head sadly.
Olivia nodded but kept her finger protectively over the tiny baby.
As the doctor removed the small breathing tube, Olivia stroked the dark hair lovingly. She bent down and placed a gentle kiss on her head, "Goodnight little one," she whispered as fresh tears began to fall.
"Would you like to hold her for a little while?" the doctor asked.
Olivia nodded and carefully picked the limp little body up, cradling her in her hands.
Alex wiped the tears from her eyes as Olivia sat back down holding the little girl. She sat beside her and touched the baby's face delicately with her fingers, "Stay with me tonight, " she said softly.
Olivia turned to her and nodded.
The doctor came back in and smiled sadly at them both, she picked up the medical charts and turned to leave.
"Did Gladys give her a name?" Olivia asked quietly.
The doctor looked at her and nodded.
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