Chapter Eleven: Do-Over

"GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY!"

Alex looked up quickly as Elliot's voice cut through the sound of the driving rain as well as the low din of the cops and cars that filled the street. Her heart jumped up into her throat as she watched him rush down the steps holding Olivia in his arms. The front of the detective's dark blue shirt was stained a much darker color, his normally stoic eyes wild as he cradled his partner's limp body in his arms.

The ADA's hand came up, covering her mouth and cutting off the strangled sob that tried to break free. The image of Olivia's legs swinging lifelessly as Elliot ran towards her made her want to scream, but she knew if she fell apart then, she might never pull herself back together. She swallowed once, counting each of his steps until he stood before her. The world seemed to slow to a stop as she took in her lover's ashen complexion and the dark blood that soaked one side of her body.

"ALEX!"

Her eyes snapped up, connecting with Elliot's.

"WHERE'S THE DAMN BUS?!"

Her mouth opened and closed silently. She couldn't get the words to come out, so she pointed up the street as the sound of multiple sirens drew closer.

Elliot was behind the first ambulance before it had even rolled to a stop with Alex right beside him. He kicked the back door violently, growling at the EMT when it finally swung open. "Hurry! She's lost a lot of blood!"

The paramedic jumped down, pulling the gurney out behind him and extending the legs as Elliot carefully lowered his partner onto it. He tried to hang on to her hand, but the second EMT pushed him out of the way as she cut open Olivia's shirt and pressed a sterile gauze pack firmly against the hole in her side.

"How long ago was she shot?" The male med tech barked at him.

"Not sure." Elliot stared down at his hands, watching as the rain cut through Olivia's blood to fall to the asphalt in large red drops. "Ten, maybe fifteen minutes ago?"

"Do you know the caliber?" He covered Olivia's face with an oxygen mask.

".45."

They strapped Olivia in carefully and lifted her onto the bus. Alex climbed in right behind them, raising her hand to forestall anything that they might say. "Don't even try it. I'm going with her!" She glanced at both of their nametags as her voice rose. "Lucy? David? I'm an Assistant District Attorney for the city of New York. Trust me; you do not want to fuck with me!"

The two EMTs glanced at each other. "We don't have time for this!" Lucy pointed to a corner the ambulance. "Keep out of our way and we won't have any problems."

Alex looked out the back doors to see Elliot still standing there, obviously torn between what he wanted to do and what he was supposed to do. She watched as the EMTs from the second ambulance ran up to him and began to ask questions.

"He isn't a victim, he's the fucking perp!" She heard him shout over the rain as he pointed to the warehouse. "Gunshot wound to the chest. Don't feel like you have to rush." He met her eyes as David pulled the doors shut. "I'll be right behind you!"

"Move out!" Lucy shouted to the driver.

The bus lurched into motion as the two EMTs started an IV and covered Olivia's upper chest with sensor pads. David flipped a switch and the machines lit up, filling the small space with the sound of rapid beeping.

"O2 stats are low and falling." Lucy glanced at the cuff around the detective's arm. "Heart rate is erratic."

Alex's head shot up as the beeping became a solid whine.

"She's flat-lining!" David shouted, jumping up to grab a box from the locker above him.

"Olivia!" Alex grabbed the brunette by the shoulders, shaking her harshly. She watched the detective's head loll back and forth lifelessly as tears rolled down her cheeks. "Liv! Goddamn it, wake up!"

"I need you to stand back, Ma'am!" David grabbed her and pushed her towards the front of the ambulance.

Alex braced herself at the head of the gurney, both of her hands on Olivia's face as the paramedic quickly applied gel to a small set of defibrillator paddles. He positioned them against the detective's chest before motioning at Alex to move back.

"CLEAR!" He thumbed the button and Alex held her breath as Olivia's back arched briefly before thumping back down onto the gurney. The EMT checked her pulse, shook his head and repositioned the paddles. "CLEAR!" He hit her again. "I've got a pulse! It's weak, but it's there." He tossed the paddles aside. "Shit, it's thready! Bag her now!"

Lucy yanked off the oxygen mask and placed a ventilator over Olivia's mouth and nose, squeezing the bag rhythmically to keep the air moving through her lungs while the other EMT readied a syringe of epi.

Alex stared at Olivia through tear-filled eyes, her heart breaking in her chest. All she could think of was their last conversation…

She bent down close, letting her tears fall onto Olivia's forehead. "I lied." She whispered; her voice breaking as she lost control of her emotions. "I lied about everything. It wasn't our jobs, or my obligations. It was you. God, you scare the hell out of me. What I feel for you scares the hell out of me. Olivia, listen to me! You can't leave me here like this! You can't show me that all of this love crap is real and then go and die on me! Do you hear me? YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO DIE!"

"Ma'am?"

Alex looked up, the raw emotion in her eyes causing the paramedic who had spoken to blink repeatedly to keep her own tears at bay. "We got her." She reached out and squeezed the ADA's hand. "We'll be at the hospital in two minutes."

Alex nodded, managing to hold it together for a moment longer before her shoulders began to shake uncontrollably and her slim body was wracked by wrenching sobs. The EMT took her by the arms and gently pushed her down onto a small bench.

When they arrived at the hospital, the paramedics pulled Olivia out quickly, leaving Alex to be helped down from the ambulance by Elliot, who had followed behind them, sirens blaring the whole way. He felt his stomach drop when the ADA's slim body shook like a leaf beside him as he led her through the doors and into emergency. "What's going on? How's Liv?!"

"They…" She took a deep breath to steady herself. "They lost her… but they got her back."

He nodded, not trusting himself to speak. He lead Alex to a chair outside of the emergency ward but when he tried to press her down into it she turned, burying her face in his chest as she began to cry.

Elliot froze for a moment, unsure of how to deal with the emotionally wrecked woman who was slumped against him. Finally, he put his arms around her, holding her as she trembled.

Well… He thought to himself. Maybe not such an ice maiden after all.


Four and a half hours later, Elliot looked up as the Olivia's doctor stepped into the waiting room. He coughed lightly, waking Alex, who had cried herself to sleep on his shoulder.

The detectives of the 1-6 crowded around the doctor en masse, all of them asking questions until he finally held up his hand to silence them. "I'll speak to whoever's in charge."

Cragen nodded. "That would be me. How is she?"

"Detective Benson is unconscious. It's really the best thing for her right now. It was touch and go for a while; she lost over three pints of blood. But you've got one hell of stubborn cop on your hands there. The bullet missed all of her major organs. Barring any complications, I'd say her chances are good."

Alex felt like she was going to faint. "Can we see her?"

"She's in ICU. Family only."

Before Alex could respond, Elliot stepped forward, crowding into the doctor's personal space as he gestured towards the blonde with his thumb. "She is family. We're all her family."

The doctor's glance passed over him to settle on Munch and Fin. For a moment it looked like he was going to say something, then he just shrugged. "You've got guns and badges so…whatever. But only one at a time for now."

Elliot took the ADA by the arm and pulled her aside. "Go ahead." He said gently. "I know I'd want Kathy to be the first person to see me."

Alex looked at him in surprise. Swallowing her initial response, she simply nodded and followed the doctor back through the swinging doors. He pointed towards a recovery suite and she nodded her thanks before quietly entering the room.

It was dark, the only light coming from the various machines and a series of call buttons situated on one wall. Moving to her side, she looked down at Olivia, her heart aching as she took in the pallor of her normally olive-toned skin and the seemingly never-ending series of wires and tubes that connected her to the machinery surrounding the bed. She reached out and touched her lower lip, tracing over the newly re-opened cut before ghosting across the bruise Kinkaid's hand had left on her cheek.

"I almost lost you," Alex whispered. She linked her fingers tightly with Olivia's, lowering her head until it was resting lightly against the detectives shoulder, the tears she could no longer hold in check coursing down her face. "I'm sorry." Her voice broke as her chest hitched painfully. "God, baby, I am so, so sorry."


Alex groaned, pain shooting through her neck and back as the hand gently shaking her shoulder dragged her from sleep. Blinking, she raised her head and tried to focus bleary eyes on the tall form standing next to her. "Elliot?"

There was a soft laugh. "Yeah." He stopped shaking her but kept his hand on her shoulder for a few moments longer. "You were in this same position when I came by five hours ago. Have you been sleeping in this chair all night?"

The ADA tried to sit up, only to realize that her hand was still wrapped tightly around Olivia's and her fingers had fallen asleep. With a small grin, she pried them free and stood, stretching her arms over her head and wincing as her bones popped back into place. "What time is it?"

"It's almost noon." He shrugged. "Me and the rest of the guys snuck in for a quick peek and then headed home for a couple of hours. The doc says she getting stronger." He reached out and took her hand, squeezing it gently. "She's gonna be okay."

"Then why hasn't she woken up?" Alex could hear the fear in her own voice and for the first time in her life, she wasn't ashamed of it.

Elliot smiled. "The blood loss left her really weak. Her body just needs to heal. The doc says it's easier for it to do that if she's out."

She nodded, remaining silent for several long minutes as they both contemplated the larger than life woman who at that moment looked so small and fragile in her hospital bed. "Elliot," she said quietly. "I know you and I… well, I know we never really got along. I know that you don't think I'm good enough for her and honestly, considering the way I've acted, I can't blame you for that." She took Olivia's hand, gently stroking her fingers as she spoke. "She deserves so much better than I've given her, but I promise you that will change. I'll change; if she'll give me the chance."

Elliot stared at her, trying to gauge her honesty by what he found in her eyes. Dropping his head, he nodding slowly. "She will. You know Olivia, the more screwed up you are, the more chances you get." He grinned. "I'd say you're pretty safe."

"Thanks!" She laughed lightly, only to be blinded by unexpected tears. "And I mean that. Thank you."

"You don't have to thank me for saving Olivia, Alex. She means a lot to me too. I'm just lucky I didn't let anything happen to you. Otherwise I'm pretty sure she'd be kicking my ass as soon as she woke up, even if she had to do it with a crutch!"

Alex wrapped her free arm around his neck, standing on her toes to kiss him lightly on the cheek.

Elliot flushed and coughed to cover his embarrassment. "Yeah, well… I need to get back. Lot of paperwork to do and your fill-in has the attention span of a grape. Some chick from white collar named Casey?"

Alex shrugged. "I don't know her."

"Lucky you. Anyway, Donnelly was here this morning. She saw you in here with Liv," He rubbed the side of his neck and glanced at her pointedly. "I let her know you'd probably be resistant to leaving so she told us to run the preliminaries through the temp and for you to call her as soon as you can."

The blonde smiled. "Thanks."

He squeezed her shoulder one last time and left.

Alex looked down at Olivia. "And you," she sighed. "You make me crazy, do you know that? You always have." She brushed a strand of hair off the detective's forehead. "I started falling in love with you the first day we met." She laughed. "And it was all downhill from there."

Alex covered her eyes for a moment as she tried to hold back her tears. "I fell in love once before, Olivia and when she left… it nearly destroyed me. It took me years to put myself back together and when I finally did, when I finally got my life and career back on track, there you were; with your cocky walk and your attitude, your dedication… and your heart." She swallowed hard. "How I felt about her was nothing, nothing, compared to what I feel for you. And that scares the hell out of me. She was a med student! You're a cop! Every day I scan the dockets and I see how many cop killers there are. It terrified me to think that I could love you as much as I do and lose you to one moment of bad timing… one wrong step." She took a long, deep breath as she tried to steady her shaking hands. "But last night I did lose you, in that ambulance. And the only thing I could think of was that I wasted the time we had; that I had been given something precious and squandered it in fear of losing it." She dashed her tears away violently. "Well, I'm done with all that. When you wake up, I'm going to do whatever I have to do to get you to give me another chance, Olivia." She laughed quietly. "I'm going to make you believe in all of this love crap, too."

The sound of someone clearing their throat made Alex glance over her shoulder, her cheeks flushing when she saw Olivia's doctor standing in the doorway.

"Sorry for the intrusion, but I need to take her vitals."

The ADA nodded, turning her head slightly to finish wiping away her tears as the doctor went to the far side of the bed and flipped through Olivia's chart before lifting her gown to check her bandage. When he was done, he smiled at her and Alex felt her heart flip over in her chest.

"All her vitals are strong. She'll be fine." He fussed over her oxygen tube and IV for a few minutes, then nodded his farewell and left the room.

She watched him leave, her shoulders slumping in relief.

"Is he gone?"

Alex spun around, her face splitting into a huge grin as Olivia blinked up at her. Tears quickly filled her eyes as the fingers she held finally squeezed back. "What?"

"Is he gone?" The detective raised her free hand slowly and touched her jaw, wincing at the tenderness that met her fingers. "I hate doctors."

"He's gone." She frowned when a slight shift caused Olivia to groan. "But maybe I should call him back; get you something for pain?"

The brunette shook her head, her voice thick when she answered. "S'just a scratch."

"So tough," Alex teased, sliding her fingers through the detective's short unruly hair. "My tough little cop."

"Who you calling little?" Olivia seemed on the verge of passing out again, but she shook her head slightly and her eyes cleared. "Alex?"

"Yeah, baby?" The blonde leaned in closer.

"I'm not little."

"I know you're not…" Alex frowned. "Exactly how long have you been awake?"

The detective's lips twitched. "Dunno."

Alex blinked rapidly as she felt herself falling into Olivia' deep auburn gaze. "I was wrong," she whispered. "Those eyes will get you anything you want."

"So then..." Olivia smiled tiredly. "About that 'love crap'…"

The ADA bit her bottom lip. "Heard all that did you?"

Olivia raised her hand, trailing an index finger tenderly across a pale cheek. "I think that would qualify as an excited utterance. Wouldn't you agree, Counselor?"

"Are you going to hold it against me?"

"That depends. What kind of deal are you offering?

A ragged sob tore from the blonde's throat as she buried her face in the Olivia's neck. "How about twenty to life… with no possibility of parole?"