Original idea from my beautiful friend LovesBiggerThatLove.

Redemption.

Olivia and Elliot were inside the car, on guard, like in the old days, attentive to every movement. In a moment of complete synchronicity they looked at each other... what they had missed.

Felix, who worked for Wheatley, was trying to get information from someone above him who might be of use to him. He had made a deal and if he got nothing it would be the end of him, as they not only had him for being involved in Wheatley's drug trade, but also in Simon's death.

-I don't know if he can do this- Olivia said listening to Felix's conversation. On very rare occasions the infiltrator manages not to be discovered, and so far he had achieved nothing.

-I will call you later. You have to get out of here- they heard the second man say.

-They have it- Elliot mentioned, it was clear that they had discovered him.

They saw Felix leave the place and get away from the vehicle but, when he noticed that some men on bicycles were coming in front of him, he changed his direction.

-Why is he turning around?- Elliot asked.

-We have to get him out of there.

They both continued to watch. Fin and Kat were in the adjoining car watching as well. Something strange was happening.

-Elliot, something is happening- she assured and immediately he tried to get out of the car.- Wait, wait.

A different man cycled past Felix and shot him.

-SVU portable for control.

-Liv, down!- He yelled, covering her with his body at the same time. Another man, also on a bicycle, appeared on the other side of the car and fired directly at them.

-Shot fire!- She managed to shout over the radio. She could hear gunshots and glass breaking.

After a few seconds the sounds had died away, but Elliot continued to protect Olivia. She could feel how he kept his body pressed to her, as if it were a shield. Ten years had passed, but that remained intact. He wouldn't allow a single glass to cut into her skin.

Slowly, Elliot raised his head to assure that no one was there and that they were no longer targeted by the bullets. They had all indeed fled but, it was honestly, not what he was concerned about. He started to let go of Olivia and walk away from her, giving her room to straighten up as well.

-Liv, are you okay?- He asked scared, inspecting her with his gaze.

-Yes, you?- She said, repeating her inspection of him, looking at him concerned, after all, he covered her.

-Yes.

-I... I didn't see him- she said a little agitated.

-Okay- he replied, passing one of his hands from her head to her cheek. Kept his hand on her until he heard footsteps approaching.

-Are you okay?- Fin asked from the driver's window.

-Yes... go with the victim- she replied.

Following orders, Fin and Kat headed towards Felix.

Olivia turned her eyes to Elliot, and her gazes connected for an instant as they tried to regulate their breathing. They wanted to make sure they were really okay. From one moment to the next, Elliot pulled Olivia in and hugged her tightly. She did the same. Indeed, they were well and safe in each other's arms. They could feel their hearts find the right rhythm. The aggressors might be miles apart right now, but they cared little in view of the idea of losing each other, once again... and definitely.

They separated and got out of the car when the sound of the sirens began to be present. Amanda and Carisi arrived at the scene followed by more officers and an ambulance.

-Felix is dead- Fin announced approaching them, but he received no response.- Are you really okay?- He had noticed a different climate in the air.

-Yeah, he just hit the glass of the car- Elliot replied.

Amanda and Carisi approached them just then and looked at them in disbelief, despite knowing they had a great story. But for Fin it was different, he knew it, he always knew it. It didn't matter if ten years had separated them, and if they were different people, he would still be the only person with she could open up to, and she would still be the only person that he would let in. He noticed how Olivia ran a hand over her face and her head.

-We'll take care of this. Go to rest.

-Thank you ... I want to see Noah.

-I'll accompany you- Elliot said. Now, he didn't want and couldn't get away from her.

-Okay- she replied, looking back at him. On other occasions she would have said no, but the shooting had unleashed an ever-growing sea of emotions. Certainly, with everything that had happened, the shooting had been the last straw. And there he was, being as protective as ever. She had missed that gesture, she had needed it, and now she couldn't refuse.

Minutes later they arrived at Olivia's apartment.

-Do you want to come in?

-At this time? Are you sure?- He asked. It wasn't that he didn't want to keep her company, or get to know her son more, but he knew she still had barriers for him, and Noah was one of them.

-Yes, we can drink something.

-Well.

-Noah!- She called entering the apartment.

-Mom!- He yelled running to hug her.

-Hi- she replied, bending down to hug him. Something that, if that bullet went through the glass, she might not be able to do- Noah, this is my friend Elliot.

-Hello.

-Hi, how are you?- Elliot greeted.

-Fine, I'm doing my homework.

-Very difficult?

-Math.

-It's not that complicated.

-Can you help me finish it?

-Noah- Olivia questioned.

-It's okay- Elliot mentioned.

-We can't solve the last exercise- Lucy announced approaching.

-Lucy, he's Elliot- Olivia introduced.

-Hi- they both said. Noah led Elliot to the table where he was solving his homework.

-He already had dinner, he only has to finish his homework.

-Well, thanks Lucy, go rest, see you tomorrow.

-Okay, goodbye.

-Let's see what it's about ... Oh, fractions. Well ... it says here that you divide your birthday cake into twelve equal portions, you eat two, three me and seven... your mother.

-Seven? Well, I'll make a tea for my poor stomach.- Olivia said going to the kitchen.- Do you want a coffee?

-I would love it.- he answered- Well, you must write in the form of fractions the amounts of cake that each one ate, you ate two, out of a total of twelve servings, that is, 2/12, I ate three, so it would be 3/12 and your mom seven, so it would be...

-7/12- Noah answered.

-Exactly, you got it- he said raising his hand and high-fiving with the child.

-You were the man who was with mom the other day in the park, right?

-Yes.

-How long have you been friends?

-Uff, a long time ago. I worked with her when she was a detective- he explained as he watched Olivia come back with two cups in her hands.

-I never saw you around here- Noah said.

-It happens that I left long before you were born.

-And if you were friends, why did you leave?

The question took him by surprise and made him a bit uncomfortable, something Olivia quickly noticed.

-Well, the interrogation is over, did you finish your homework?

-Yes.

-Then it's time to go to sleep.

-Thanks for helping me Elliot- Noah said retiring.

-No problem.

-She's captain now, did you know?- He asked, stopping.

-To bed- she ordered and Noah continued his course.

-He liked you- she said handing over the steaming cup of coffee.

She dropped into the armchair next to him. She looked exhausted.

-Are you sure you don't prefer that I ...?

-No, I'm fine.

-Ten years will have passed but you are still transparent to me, I recognize when you are lying. Look, you're tired, you're not sleeping well and you've been through a lot, Simon's death, the shooting...

-I've been through worse.

The tone in which she had said that alerted Elliot. It seemed to refer to something personal... and a lot.

-What do you mean?- He asked, getting a little closer.

-There's no use talking about it now- she said taking a sip of her tea.

-Please tell me.

-Seriously, I don't think this is the moment- inadvertently she had opened a door that she was not sure to cross, and her reticence was showing.

-Liv...- It seemed as if part of her trust in him was no longer there, and it's hurt him immensely.

-...Eight years ago I was kidnapped by William Lewis, a serial killer and rapist.- she said, as the tension began to invade Elliot's body- He had me with him for four days. We were going to take him to trial but he raped the witness, and then he was saved on a technicality. In the interrogation he threatened me, but I ignored him, we all did, and when I returned to the apartment... he was waiting for me.

Olivia's voice was tinged with sadness and pain the more he delved into the memories of her.

-He attacked me... he tied me to a chair... he burned me and marked me repeatedly with cigarettes... he gave me pills and vodka. He made me see a rape, took me to a beach house and had me there... tied hand and foot to the bed.

The horrible images hit Elliot's mind. The pain and guilt for not having been there to save her from this hell were consuming him.

-Did he...?- He didn't even dare to say it.

-Not. He believed that the house was uninhabited, but it was not. When he was about to rape me, a woman and her daughter arrived, I managed to break one of the bars of the bed and freed myself. I knocked him out...- she said, looking back at him. At this point her eyes were glassy and a little red- I remember that before trying to rape me he asked me if there was someone I wanted to see... someone for whom I would give everything to see again... one last time.

-Liv, I'm so sorry, if I had known it, there is no way I wouldn't have arrived- he said taking her hands. He knew she was referring to him.

-I know... I know what you would have done... I know what you would have said. In fact, you would have realized that something was wrong with me before the others... But you were not. Neither in that moment nor in so many others when I needed you... because I needed you, and a lot. It was you and only you who I wanted by my side- she said, almost breaking.

Elliot's heart fell to pieces with each one of her words, he hated himself so much for having let her down, for not keeping his promises, for having damaged her in that way. His absence broke Olivia in a thousand different ways and he would never forgive himself.

-What's more... once I had him handcuffed to the bed, I allowed myself to talk about you. I told him what you would have done to him, but when he wanted to answer I interrupted him, he couldn't talk about you, he didn't have the right.

Elliot continued to listen intently, suffering her pain internally.

-You know that I wouldn't have left your side.

-I know, that's why I don't allow them to speak ill of you, nobody took care of me like you did... and like you keep doing it. But one day you disappeared and I never heard from you again- she said disappointed. Tears gathered in her eyes, they struggled to get out of her.

Elliot was completely devastated. He felt a lump form in his throat, he didn't know what to say that could somehow repair the pain and suffering that he had caused to one of the people he loved the most in his life. He was the longest relationship that she ever had with a man, the most important person in her life, and he had let her down and abandoned her in the moments when she needed him most. His eyes were beginning to collect tears as well and began to turn reddish.

-...After shooting Jenna that day, I realized that, again, I had chosen you over my work, and that I would always choose you over my work- he assured, pressing his hands a little more- I had killed a sixteen-year-old girl, she was a child, like my daughters. My record, added to what IAB required of me, left a precedent about me with which I did not agree. Anger control, psychologist, suspension, they would have taken my badge and dragged you with me. I was fed up with IAB, and the example they wanted to set with me.

-And I would have understood.

-But you would have tried to prevent it, and to convince me. That is why I did not say goodbye. I swear I wanted to do it, but really... if I heard your voice I wouldn't have been able to leave- he replied looking into her disappointed eyes once more, like that day in the hospital- Thank you for opening up with me, you don't know how sorry I am.

-El, we can't do anything with the past. I survived, I am here... we are here- she mentioned in a climate of redemption. Now that he was back, and that she could tell him what she had been silent for so long, she didn't want to lose him again.

-We're here, and I'm not going anywhere- he finished, hugging her tightly again. He laid him head on her shoulder as he had so many times. She did the same, letting her head rest on his shoulder, the one that used to be and continued to be a home for her. In the silence, she concentrated on their heartbeats... it sounded like a nostalgic melody of memories. She continued with her life, she continued to smile, even when she was broken inside, she fulfilled part of her dreams, but she never stopped loving him. There was a space in her life that he and only he could fill. Had returned the only constant in her life and it was time to heal the wounds.

Days ago, he had told her that she meant the world to him, and it was, but he wanted her to get away from him, even if it's hurts him, because he wanted to protect her, he wanted her safe. Now, he knew that it was going to be impossible to be away from her, and that he should find another way to accomplish his mission.

What happened was part of the past. It might not be the best way to solve things, but it was the only one he had found at the time, and he regretted taking it. It had been a long time, but their feelings remained intact, they were their weak point, one of the other, their support, their home, their protection, partners for life. And being in each other's arms, all felt like ten years ago, just as welcoming and comforting.