DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and all characters are property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By Huntress

Part Nine

An hour later

Olivia hadn't moved since she found out the truth about Eva. So many things were running through her mind, so many questions.

What should she do? What should tell Eva…Elliot and the guys? What would she tell Alex? How would they, or even could they, understand? And then there was Eva. She didn't have a clue how she should approach her.

10:30 am

She had now been pacing in the interview room for 45minutes.

Thinking and thinking and thinking.

There was so much to say, so much to ask, so many questions that wouldn't be answered and so many that would be answered. At this point Olivia wasn't sure what to believe or what to expect. She took deep breath and let it go. She did this a few more times in hopes something would come to her, but it didn't. She felt completely numb and out of control. She was so completely lost in thought that she hadn't even noticed that she wasn't alone. She didn't notice that for the last 15 minutes Cragen was in the room watching her.

"Olivia," Cragen said softly. She still didn't hear him, so he spoke again. "Olivia!" he said, with a little more force in his voice.

Olivia didn't jump at the sound of his voice, didn't even twitch. But, she stopped pacing and looked straight at him. Her face said everything and so did her eyes. Cragen could see that she had been crying; her eyes were red and puffy. He knew that she was beating herself up and running herself emotionally and psychologically ragged. "Olivia, you should head home. Take the rest of the day off," he said, moving toward her.

Shaking her head she said, "So, I take it you know, huh?" Shaking her head again, she started pacing again. I'm fine Cap. Really, I'm okay. I don't need to take the day off."

"Olivia, I really think you should take some time off. You got some pretty big news today and I think it's best." Olivia was about to argue, but Cragen spoke again. "It's not an order but I can make it one. Olivia, go home, take some time to clear your head, get a handle on your emotions, figure what you next move is. We can handle being without you for a couple of days. Go, do what you gotta do," he said, turning around back to the door. He opened the door and looked back Olivia stopped pacing and was looking at him. "If you need to talk, you know I'm here for you right?"

Olivia didn't trust her voice, so she nodded instead. He gave her a sympathetic smile and left, closing the door behind him. What was her next move? Where should she go? She thought she should call Alex. As soon as she opened her phone to dial her number, she closed it. What was she going to tell her? She shook her head, turned her phone off and put it her pocket. She looked at the door, knowing she had to leave. She walked the few feet to the door slowly. She paused, her hand on the knob, still uneasy, she took a step back. She didn't want to face any of her co-workers, and see their faces staring at her, wondering the same things she was wondering. But she had to leave the room; she just needed to go somewhere, anywhere, to think. She wiped her face with her hands, took a deep breath, and opened the door. She didn't look at anybody; she darted right to her desk, picked up her jacket and headed out of the station house.

12:15 pm

Alex walked into the squad room in hopes of finding Olivia there, but no such luck. She frowned at the sight of her desk empty. She looked at the rest of the squad who didn't seem to want to look at her. "Where's Olivia?" she asked the entire squad. Getting no answer and getting a feeling that they were obviously hiding something, she asked again, "Where is Olivia?!" a hint of anger in her voice.

Munch and Fin took that as their cue to leave, and head for the door with out saying a word to the ADA. So, she stared at Elliot, who was trying avoid her eyes.

"Elliot, what the hell is going on, and where the hell is Olivia? I can't reach her on her cell and she's obviously not here. So, where is she?" she said, moving to the side of his desk.

Elliot sat silent for a few seconds before looking up at her. "Listen, Alex, I...umm...I'm not sure I should tell you. I mean, Liv's not hurt or anything, it's just…"He was trying to find the right words to use when the door to Cragen's office opened.

"It's okay, Elliot. I'll talk to her," he said, looking at Alex. Elliot nodded and went back to re-viewing a file.

"Alex, you wanna step into my office for a minute?" he asked, turning back into his office, not waiting for her answer.

Alex looked down at Elliot was who trying his best to pretend she wasn't there. She looked back at Cragen's office then back down at Elliot.

"It doesn't look I have much of a choice," she said under her breath, walking to Cragen's office. Alex walked into his office to find him standing behind his desk waiting for her.

"Shut the door and have a seat Alex," he said taking his. Alex closed the door and sat down in the nearest chair. She had a puzzled but irritated look on her face. She was staring at Cragen waiting for him to speak.

"Listen, Alex, this isn't exactly easy for me to tell you: one, because it's none of my business, and two, because it deals with Olivia's personal life. But, seeing as the two of you have gotten rather close, I think it's best you know what's going, so you're not in the dark." Alex just nodded and let Cragen continue. "Well, first of all, Olivia is fine. She is not physically hurt or anything like that," he said, seeing the ADA sigh in relief. "We got a call this morning about a girl who'd been a abused. We're not exactly sure by whom yet, but we are investigating."

Before he could finish Alex interrupted. "Okay, but that doesn't explain why I can't find Olivia and why she's not answering her phone," Alex said snapping at him. Cragen held up his hand stopping her from continuing.

"I'm getting to that, Alex; just calm down. This girl was beaten pretty bad, no signs of sexual assault, but abused none-the-less. When the hospital did the exams, they took blood from her to compare to the blood they found on her. The blood didn't match each other, so they ran both samples of blood and DNA through the database and they got a hit." Alex nodded again keeping her eyes glued on him. "Well, we found out who the girl is, her name is Eva Carnelli. She's about 11 or 12 yrs old. Her DNA came up as a match…to Olivia." He stopped there, waiting to see her reaction.

Alex wasn't sure if she heard him right. A match to Olivia, how could that be? She knew she didn't have any other family besides her mom. How could this girl be related to her?

"How…isn't there…could the Lab have made a mistake. I mean, Olivia doesn't have any family that we know of," she said trying to make sense of what she was hearing.

"Well, that's not entirely true, Alex. Now, I really think that she should be telling you the rest. But, knowing Olivia, I don't think she will, at least right away. So, that's why I'm telling you. I want you to stay calm, okay? What I'm about to tell you is rather personal and significant concerning Olivia and her life."

"Okay" was all she could say, as she moved a little in her seat and nodded to Don to tell her more.

Seeing the ADA keeping her usual composure he went on. "Alex, the little girl, Eva, she's Olivia's...

Children's Ward at St. Catherine's Hospital

She had been sitting outside Eva's room now for a little over 30 minutes. She couldn't get herself to go in, not yet. When she first got there, she had no idea what to expect. The minute she saw Eva in the hospital bed asleep, she nearly broke down. Seeing her bruised and bandaged up was enough to make her sick to her stomach. So, she sat outside Eva's room staring up at the ceiling, just thinking. She took a deep breath, and forced herself to look back in Eva's room. Tears began to fill her eyes; she tried her best to fight them back, but there was no use.

"Here, take this. It's much better than using your hands," Andy said, sitting down next to Olivia, handing her some tissues./

She gladly took the tissues from Andy, and gave a short smile. "What are you doing here, Andy?" she asked, wiping her face.

"Well, hello to you too, Olivia. I heard about Eva, and figured you'd be here. I wanted to make sure you're alright, and to see if there was anything I could do," Andy said softly.

"How'd you know about Eva? I haven't heard from you in years. How'd you know I'd be here?" she said, looking down at her hands, not making eye contact with Andy.

"It's me, Olivia. I know everything, remember?" Andy said, matter-of-


Andy's voice made her chuckle and in-turn made Andy smile.

"See, I'm not so bad. I made you laugh," Andy said, nudging her shoulder.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah," she said, nudging Andy back.

"So, what did you hear about Eva?" Olivia said, twisting the tissues in her hands.

"Well, pretty much everything," Andy said, reaching for Olivia's hands.

Olivia didn't fight Andy; she let Andy hold her hand. Before she could reply, she was interrupted by the sound of two women yelling. Olivia turned her head in the direction of the yelling to see what was going on. Andy knew right away that Alex was one of the women yelling, and took that as a cue to leave before Alex saw them together.

"Olivia, I'm here if you need me. Okay? You can call me whenever you want to," Andy said, getting up, and handing Olivia his card. Andy gave Olivia a short smile and headed down the opposite hall from the arguing women. She didn't have much time to react to what Andy had said before he got up and walked away. She looked down at the card then back at the now empty hallway. Shaking her head, she stuffed the card in her pocket and was about to get up when she felt something tap her shoulder. She turned her head to see Alex standing there, looking down at her with concern in her eyes.

"Hey," Olivia said, getting up out of her chair.

"Hi." Alex said, stepping forward, wrapping her arms around, Olivia trying to show her concern and support. Alex felt Olivia's body tense up, but then relax as Olivia wrapped her arms around Alex.

Olivia sighed and tightened her grasp. "I'm so glad you're here," she whispered, fighting back more tears.

"I wouldn't want to be anywhere else," Alex said, kissing Olivia's neck. They stood like that, holding each other, for a few minutes. Alex let Olivia cry on her shoulder, while she whispered loving words in her ear. When they finally broke apart, Alex could see just how upset Olivia was on the outside, and could only imagine how she was doing on the inside. Alex frowned and softly cupped Olivia's cheek, wiping away some stray tears. "How are you," she whispered.

Olivia's eyes met Alex's and saw how much Alex was concerned for her. She didn't see judgment in Alex's eyes; she saw love and genuine concern. "I'm as best as can be expected, I guess," Olivia said, sitting back down.

"So, I take it Elliot told you what happened, and about me and Eva, huh? He told you everything and where you could find me didn't he?" she said, looking away from Alex.

Alex knelt down in front of Olivia and took Olivia's hands and held the gently in hers. "No, Elliot didn't tell me anything, Cragen did. He's very worried about you, all of us are."

Before she could finish Olivia spoke. "Yeah, well if they are so worried about me, then why couldn't they look at me? Shit, you weren't there, Alex. They wouldn't even talk to me when I came in. I... it's just...I know what they are thinking and what they are saying and I hate it. I hate being talked about. I hate having my personal life spread all over the precinct like water-cooler gossip," Olivia said, shaking her head.

"Sweetie, no one is saying anything, trust me. And, as for the cold shoulder routine, I'm sure it's just because they don't know what to say. They don't want to say anything that could upset you. At least, that's the vibe I got," Alex said softly. "Olivia, no one is judging you in any way, if that's what you think. They are just worried about you, that's all, Sweetie."

"How can you be so sure? How can you still look at me knowing about what happened, with Eva?" she said, choking back more tears.

"Olivia Benson, look at me," Alex said sternly. Olivia reluctantly did so, her eyes still misty. She looked at Alex and waited for her to continue. "Olivia, I know the guys a lot better than you think. I know how much they care about you and how much you care about them. They love you and I love you. Just because they know what happened with Eva doesn't mean that will change. When I said `I love you', I meant it, Olivia. You didn't think you could scare me off that easily, did you?" she said playfully, hoping to lighten the mood.

Olivia chuckled and shook her head. She smiled at Alex, relieved to know that she wasn't ashamed or thought badly about her. Before she could reply, Alex was on her feet, holding out her hand. Olivia stared at her blankly.

"Why don't we go meet Eva?" she said with a smile.

Olivia just smiled, took Alex's hand and got up from her seat. She took a deep breath and looked at Alex, who gave her reassuring smile. They both walked the few feet to Eva's door and Olivia paused. Alex squeezed her hand and pushed open the door. Olivia took a deep breath and followed Alex into the room.

Once inside the room, Olivia approached Eva's bed slowly. She didn't want to wake her. She turned to Alex, who was right next to her. "I'm not going anywhere," Alex whispered and motioned for Olivia to go closer.

With Alex by her side, she moved closer to Eva's bed. Olivia looked down at Eva. She was asleep, looking very peaceful. Alex stepped closer to Olivia, unlocking their hands. She placed her arm around Olivia and held her close. "She looks like an angel, doesn't she?" she said, leaning into Olivia while looking at Eva.

Olivia smiled. "Yes, yes she does." She opened her mouth to speak again, but stopped when she saw Eva stir in her sleep. Just as she was about to take Eva's hand, the door opened. Both women turned, facing the door, and where met by a nurse who was glaring at them.

"Who are you, and what are you doing in here? Only family members are allowed in this room," the nurse said, eyeing Alex and Olivia.

Olivia straightened her back, looked back at Eva and smiled. She glanced at Alex, who was smiling back at her, then looked back at the nurse. "I' am family. She's my...

Outside Eva's room, Andy stood by the corner of the window watching the entire scene. Andy's eyes never left Alex and Olivia. Andy couldn't believe it. Alex's new lover was Olivia. Andy just could not believe it. Olivia was with Alex. Alex was with Olivia. Confused, hurt and deeply upset, Andy took one last look at Alex, with her arm around Olivia, and set off down the hall, planning on what to do about this new development.

Back in Eva's Room

The nurse was somewhat shocked and relieved by what Olivia had said and left the room, leaving them alone with Eva. Both women smiled at each other, and back down at Eva, who was beginning to wake up. Eva's eyes fluttered open and searched the room. She wasn't frightened at all; she was very calm. When she looked at the two figures by her bed, she smiled.


To Be Continued

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