A/N: I own nothing but this story – all characters belong to dick wolf & co

This is set after Angela has been found guilty of ordering the hit on Kathy Stabler. Elliot has reconciled with his kids and has begun therapy for his PTSD

The hour is late, however Elliot & Sargeant Bell are sitting in her office, both silently sipping away at a half full glass of whiskey, celebrating the capture of Angela and being one step closer to taking down Wheatly's organization.

The last few weeks have been hard for both, between Elliot coming to realization that he had feelings for very person that quite literally blew up his life and his family, and for Aynna for the lawsuit pending and the feeling that they are now so very close to achieving the goal of the unit and taking down a major crime family and organization.

'So' Aynna broke to the silence of the room "how have things been between you and Captain Benson the last few weeks?'

Elliot let out a deep sigh at the question, and ran his hand down his face, he knew deep down that he had hurt Liv when it came out that he has not only kissed Angela, but had feelings for her and was considering a less than professional relationship with her.

Aynna stared at him, one eyebrow raised 'Has she spoken to you since the case for Kathy's murder was closed?' since she found out you made out with the woman who killed you wife she thought sardonically to herself, Elliot took a deep breath and stared down at the almost empty glass in his hand 'I called and spoke to her, let her know the case had been closed' his voice was soft almost, as if all the emotion had been drained from him 'she told me she was happy for me, that I had closure and could continue to move forward' his voice cracked on the final few words

'I think...' Elliot closed his eyes, feeling the pain of what he was about to say 'i think I really hurt her, she did everything she could to help me, save me and I turned her away and ….' Elliot broke off and couldn't finish the sentence, the heaviness of it hung in the air as both knew the pain he had cause Liv. Aynna had seen it for herself having been standing right next to Captain Benson when Angela was being interrogating and her apologies to Elliot for the ordering the hit on his wife and confessing that she never meant to fall for him but that she had never felt guilty until the night he kissed her. She had witnessed the shock of it hit Olivia and how quickly she covered it up, the mask of professionalism slipping easily back into place

'Captain Benson is strong woman, and you have a lot of history, I'm sure she will forgive you in time ' Aynna stated, trying to give the man a small glimmer of hope 'She's a strong woman, all she's been through over her career ' Aynna shook her head 'I think she can forgive you for a momentary lapse of sanity, PTSD can mess with your head and your emotions, she knows that better than anyone'

Elliot turned his head and stared at her after he last few word 'what do you mean she knows that better than anyone?' his questioning gaze directed at her, unblinking, demanding an answer to her last statement 'Uuggh, well I mean' Aynna tried to desperately backtrack, feeling like she had just let slip a secret that wasn't hers to tell, that she thought the man sitting beside her already knew, hell pretty much the whole country knew that story and they didn't a quick google search would reveal all 'I thought you knew...' 'Knew what' Elliot demanded loudly, standing up and staring down at his Sargent, his superior officer 'Look' Aynna said, lifting her hands to try and diffuse the situation 'this is not my story to tell, not my conversation to have with you, if you want to know, you need to speak to Captain Benson'

Elliot just stood there staring at her, a million thoughts running through his head of off the things that could have possibly happened to Liv, his precious Olivia to suffer from PTSD

The worst possible ideas scenarios were flashing though his mind and he had become overwhelmed with the urgent need to see Liv, to make sure she was safe, whole and happy.

Elliot runed abruptly and walked out of the office, only stopping briefly to grab his jacket as he walked to toward the exit, Ayanna stared after him know exactly where he was going and also kicking herself internally for her slip of the tongue

Captain Benson sat her desk, the evening late as she made her way through a week's worth of paperwork that had piled up on her desk, the most recent case had been rough and had taken a lot out of the squad.

Fin popped his head through her open-door way 'Hey Liv, we're all headed to go get a drink, you wanna join?' Liv looked up at him and shook her head 'I wish I could Fin, but I need to get this paperwork signed to 1PP tomorrow, then I'm headed home for a quiet night in'

Fin gave her a small smile 'A quiet night huh, Noah at another sleep over?' he asked with grin on his face, knowing that Noah was her favorite subject but she always fretted when he was away from home for the night 'Yep' Olivia grinned, but this time is a weekend long birthday party, he's going to be there until Sunday afternoon as the parent have planned a big celebration, Noah's been talking about it for weeks'

'Well, enjoying you weekend to yourself Liv, see you Monday morning' "Night Fin, say hi to Pheobe for me'

A quietness settled over the squad room as they all filed out together shouting their goodbyes and goodnights to Olivia. An hour latter Olivia looked up and breathed a sigh of relief as he signed off on the last form and out in in her out tray to be collected in the morning, as she stood up and begun to pack up her desk for the night and gather her things, she was surprised to hear the sound of the elevator, thinking it was just the night janitor coming in she called out 'Hey Sam, I'll be out in just a moment then the office is all yours to clean'

'Liv...' startled to hear Elliot's voice, Olivia looked up and just stared at him, he had a look on his face that she had not seen in long a long time, it was a look of fear, pain and uncertainty 'Elliot...what are you doing here?' she started back him, a mix of emotions running through her as the last time she had stared at his face was when she heard Angela's confession and she was still stinging from hearing that, especially after his abrupt declaration during the failed intervention with his children

'I' he started but stopped, taking a another deep breathe he tried again 'I needed to see you, I heard something today and I had to..' 'see me' Olivia finished for him 'yeah' he breathed out.

'I need to ask you a question, and please please' he begged 'be honest with me' Olivia stared at him, wondering what could be so important the he needed to rush over so late on a Friday to ask her, especially since they hadn't seen each other for weeks 'ok, what do you want to ask me Elliot' she said softly

'When you told me I had PSTD from the explosion, you were just talking as a Captain looking after an officer were you?You were talking from experience' he stared in to eyes as if daring her to lie to him, Olvia took a deep breath, caught off guard from the statement, she kept eye contact with him know she couldn't look away if she tried

Elliot continued to look into her eyes, seeing the storm of emotions pass through them 'Liv' his voice cracked 'what happened... please tell me' 'you really don't know' she asked, her voice quiet as she tried desperately to hold on to her composure, keep her emotions in check.

Liv took a deep breath and continued 'I really thought you knew Elliot, you've been back for months and not said a word 'KNEW WHAT LIV?' Elliot suddenly shouted his voice breaking through the empty squad room, Olivia jumped at the harshness of his voice 'I'm sorry Elliot, I can't speak about it anymore, not even to you it's just...I've moved on and I just can't go back there again' 'Liv please' he begged 'but' Olvia interrupted 'if you really need to know, then' she paused to lean down and grab a pen and post it note, as she scribbled down on it, she continued to speak 'this is the case file numbers, I know you have access to the system and the original file is kept where they always are' She handed him the post it note, his eyes never leaving her face.

Olvia walked away towards the elevators leaving him alone in the squad room, the silence only broken by the ding of the elevator 'goodnight Elliot 'Olvia called out as the doors closed

Elliot stood still for a few minutes, taking in all that had just happened, he was both curious and afraid of the numbers in his hand would reveal, Olivia was the strongest person he knew and that fact the she refused to even speak of what cause her PTSD left him feeling shaken, turning on his heel he headed toward the desk he knew to be Fin's and opened up the program that contained all the case file data digitally.

He typed in the first set of numbers Liv had written down and a file appeared with a name who the hell is William Lewis he thought to himself, the file opened and as he read, he was shocked to at what was there, that this psycho had put so many women through, this nothing compared to shock he felt when he read the conclusion MISTRAIL.

What the hell kind of incompetent idiot laywer let that happen he thought to himself, then he saw that there was a linked file, one that matched the next set of number in his hand, as he clicked on the file and it opened, his blood ran cold when he saw 2 names listed William Lewis & Olvia Benson oh god please no, please not Liv!

As he began to scroll and read, he felt waves of anger and nausea roll through his body, reading what that sick psychopath had put his Liv through all that he had done over the course of 4 days and the notes from others in the squad of the search, none of them even know for 2 days that she was even missing, that she was being tortured, drugged and all she was forced to witness and endure.

Then reading of the trial, the court transcripts, the statement from all involved and the oh sweet Jesus, he escaped he got her a second time, he read of the kidnapping, the torment he forced on Liv, Russian roulette and when he thought he could read no more, the last note in the case that stated Willaim Lewis – Deceased

Elliot stood up and begun to pace the room, he mind racing and his body drenched In a cold sweat as he tried to desperately to process all that he had just read, his emotions out of control and he was filled with the overwhelming urge to punch something, turning abruptly he raced up stairs to the cribs, and headed for the gym section, hoping that punching bag was still in place, breathing a sigh of relief when he saw it, he stalked over, rolling up his sleeves as he did and begun to let loose a flurry of punches, not stopping until his arms feel filled with lead and he could lift them no longer.

Several minutes later Elliot made he was back to desk and prepared to close out the file when he saw one more thing, an attachment, he stared at it and his mouse hovered over photos, case photos, did he dare, and more importantly did he want to.

Clicking on the file a million images opened before he eyes, crime scene photos from locations, oh shit, Liv's apartment just seeing that damage done made him feel ill, then the worst sight of all, the photos of all of Liv's injuries – the burns, cuts, bruises, the x-rays and reports detailing it all down to very last cigarette burn. Overwhelmed with all he had just seen the nausea filled Elliot and he could contain it no more he leaned over and was violently sick into Fin's trash can, everything he has consumed that day leaving his body.

He sat back and stared at the ceiling, waiting for the feeling to pass and his anger to subside. Hearing the sound of the elevator ding he saw the night janitor enter the room, taking that as his que to leave he closed down the computer and heading the elevator, he knew he needed to go see Liv, and part of him hoped she was waiting up for him.

Olvia sat quietly on her couch, curled up with a blanket on her lap and glass of wine in her hand, the events of the last few hours playing through her mind. She knew Elliot would read the file and she knew word what was in it, she wondered to herself if he could handle the knowledge that the files contained.

The silence of her the apartment was broken then by a knock at the door, knowing it would be Elliot at her door she took a deep breath and stood up slowly, she was scared of what she would happen when she opened the door.

Would he have million questions and demand the answers, would he want to discuss every detail, would he apologise for not being there, for not knowing.

Olvia opened the door slowly and saw Elliot standing there, his head down and his body slumped, she could see the weight of what he had read in his body language and the heaviness of it all.

As Elliot lifted is head to look her in the eyes, she could see the pain his eyes, the regret he felt and the guilt, it took her breathe away 'Elliot' she whispered barely breaking the silence of the moment.

Hearing her voice seem to break him out of the trance he was in from seeing her, he stood up straight then and stepped toward her, Olivia stepped back to let him pass but he stepped into her space again, slowly backing her towards the wall, closing the door behind him he moved into her space once more 'Elliot' she whispered again, trying to figure out what he wanted.

Finally, she could step back no further as her back hit the wall and he closed the final small gap between them, staring in to each other's eyes they both finally understood what Elliot needed in this moment. He slowly reached up with bother hands and begun to undo each button of her shirt, staring in to her eyes the whole time, hoping she understood why and seeing from her no resistance, no fear.

Finally, after freeing the last button his hands lifted again as he pulled her shirt open, if Olivia felt self-conscious in this moment she didn't show it, her eyes communicated nothing but love for the man in front of her and understanding.

Elliot's eyes left hers and drifted downward, his eyes looking over every scar, every burn & every mark he had read about, his breathe hitched in his throat as he see the images of the file flash in his mind and how badly she had been hurt and how healed she was today, not just her body but her mind.

A loud sob broke the silence between, Elliot couldn't contain his emotion no more and tears began to fall from his eyes 'Liv' he sobbed as his head dropped to her chest 'El' she sighed quietly, wrapping her arms around as he cried silently in her arms. Hearing his nickname fall from her lips seemed to sooth him.

He lifted his gaze to her, a million words were shared between them without a single sound – forgiveness, acceptance and love.

Calmly Olvia reach down and grabbed his hand, 'come on El' she said and started to lead him down the hallways to her room 'its late and we both need sleep' he followed her silently, knowing in this moment that he could not and would not refuse herm that she needs him just as much as he needed her.

Quietly they both shed layers and climbed in her bed, their bodies naturally gravitating towards each other, Elliot holding her in his arms and Olivia laying her head on his chest, the strong steady sounds of his heart beat lulling her to sleep.

As they both drifted off to sleep in each other's arms, both feeling safe and more content that they had in a long time the quietness of the room was only broken for three words 'I love you'

The End