CHOICES

 
REVIEWS:

“You know Benson,” Elliot Stabler stated, sitting at his desk and yawning, “Are you sure you’re a girl? You act more like one of the guys!”

 

Olivia Benson glared at her partner from over her hot mug of coffee and smiled sadistically. She nodded and looked back down at the paper work she had on her desk, grabbing a pen to fill in some criteria.

 

Munch tossed a piece of an eraser at her, “Hey Martini-Olive,” He joked, “A strip tease could prove something to us!”  He chuckled at the deadly look she gave him.

 

Standing slowly, Olivia proceeded to walk the couple of step between her and Munch, her fingers flitting to her holstered gun. John Munch leaned his head back in his hands and propped his feet up in front of Olivia. She brushed a lock of coppery hair out of her eyes and smiled down at the annoying prat.

 

Licking her full, red lips, Olivia smiled sweetly at Elliot; “Would it be considered against policy for me to turn my gun on this smart-ass?” her partner snorted through a mug of coffee, but never got the time to answer.

 

Fin Totuola stepped through the door of the bullpen. He shook his head sadly at the sight before him and grinned like the Cheshire cat.

 

“Is Benson already kicking Munch’s ass?” he chuckled, walking over to his locker, to retrieve his gun and holster.

 

“Yup,” Elliot grinned, “Hey Fin, is it against policy for Liv to shoot Munch?” Olivia rolled her eyes at their friendly banter. Every day, she did something for the guys to laugh about, by now she was used to being the cause of their humor.

 

Fin raised his eyebrows, “Well,” he said, in a perfect imitation of their captain, “It would be against policy to shoot, unless,” he paused for effect, “unless, being a smart-ass is a life threatening, criminal offense.” He smiled dangerously at Olivia, “But since when do you ever stick to policy? A certain officer comes to mind; maybe by the name of Brian Cassidy?”

 

Olivia turned pink and pulled her hand away from her gun, trying to laugh along with the rest of the gang. She placed her hands on her hips, at the waist of her jeans, and shook her head at her coworkers.

 

“You know,” she nearly shouted to get the guys’ attention, “Today was supposed to by kind of like a day off, but now I have three asses to kick! Who’s first?” The laughter immediately subsided.

 

Munch and Fin both shot looks at Elliot. Neither of them could beat Olivia Benson when it came to fist fights, and nor could Detective Stabler, but he could subdue his partner during one and they were almost evenly matched. Olivia saw the glances and knew she would be fighting El first. She watched him stand up and walk around his desk until he was only a foot away from her.

 

Olivia gave him a challenging look and took her gun out of her holster, handing it to Fin and waiting for Elliot to do the same. They had these tussles about one a week and had already come up with a few unwritten rules on conduct. Moves could cause no lasting damage and no weapons were allowed on the body incase one was accidentally fired.

 

Olivia circled her partner trying to determine his weak spots before she moved like lightning. Elliot caught both of her fists inches away from his face and released them quickly, causing her to stumble backwards. She whirled around him again, this time her foot connecting somewhat harshly against his shin. Elliot winced and dodged another attack.

 

“Looks like she’s winning today!” Fin whispered to her partner Munch, as Olivia attacked again.

 

Not wanting to actually hurt her, Elliot placed both his hands on her shoulders and spun her around to face him. Both Olivia’s fists were raised, ready to strike out at him and he smiled. Not this time babe, he thought and again swung her around so that his body cradled hers from behind. Elliot wrapped his arms across her front, forcing her arms to stay by her side and he felt her body stiffen in shock.

 

Leaning forwards, he let his lips stop tantalizingly close to her ear. “Check mate!” he whispered, causing a shudder to run up her spine before he released his hold on her.

 

  Olivia snapped her gun back into her holster and tugged on the bottom of her sleeveless blouse. Elliot had never before used physical force to turn her, and part of their unspoken rules was no body to body contact. Not that she was complaining or anything, her partner really did have well muscled arms and large, gentle hands.

 

None of the detectives saw Elliot’s wife Kathy, standing in the shadowy doorway, watching the exchange between her husband and his partner.

 

 

When breathing returned to normal, their captain, Donald Cragen, stepped out of his office and into the squad room. “Elliot, Olivia, we have an armed suspect down in Central Park, weapon’s a gun!” he paused and looked at the pair. “Be careful, don’t stick to each other’s backs but keep in contact, earpieces work perfectly. We want this guy alive if possible.” He shot a glance at Elliot after the last part of the briefing; he knew that if someone threatened Olivia, Elliot would take them down. “Munch and Fin, will come with me for backup, we’re going to try to secure the park from civilians first.”

 

Breaking from the station house at a run, Elliot and Olivia dove into the large brown sedan that was waiting along the street.

 

“No sirens!” Olivia whispered, “We don’t want him to know we’re coming!” she put an earpiece in and waited for Elliot to pull the car up in front of central park. Busy trying to find things to say to their suspect, neither detective saw the silver civic park behind Elliot’s car, and neither of them saw Kathy Stabler follow them into the park.

 

The followed the path along for about thirty minutes before Olivia noticed footprints in the mud. Their were two pairs and Olivia felt her heart beat quicken, one was a pair of hiking boots, she could tell by the treads, and the other was a pair of high heels. From the way the second pair’s tracks were smudged, Olivia guessed that maybe their suspect had a female hostage.

 

“Elliot,” she whispered, afraid to be overheard by anyone. “Take my gun, hide is somewhere on your body. I’m going to try negotiating with this perp.”

 

She handed her gun to her partner and watched him unbutton his shirt. Tucking the nose of the gun into the waist of his jeans, he re-buttoned his shirt and loosely tucked it in. The gun wasn’t visible. Checking their earpieces, Olivia followed the foot prints down a muddy stream bank. Elliot followed her on a different course, never letting her out of his sight.

 

. . .

 

Coming around a bend in the bank, Olivia Benson felt her stomach fall straight out of her body. She had found the perp alright, and his hostage. The only problem was the hostage. She wasn’t someone who should be involved in this case with El working on it. The hostage was Kathy Stabler.

 

“Hello!” Olivia called out, two sets of eyes fixed on hers, both filled with anger and loathing. Only the stare that she received from her partner’s spouse seemed more dangerous.

 

“What’s your name?” she called, taking a tentative step forwards, noticing that his gun was trained on the ground and not on Kathy.  Under her breath, she whispered into the earpiece. “El, this is an important hostage, get help now!” she gave a false smile to the perp and asked her question again.

 

“Andrew,” he grunted at her, turning the gun on Kathy.

 

Olivia stopped moving forwards as she heard a faint whisper come in her end of the small radio behind her ear. “Not as important as you! Don’t let the bastard touch you!”

 

Swallowing hard, she took another step towards Andrew. “That’s a nice name!” she told the perp, “What’s your last name?” she took another tentative step.

 

Jackson,” He grunted, tightening his grip on Kathy Stabler. “Drop your weapon!” he yelled out, pulling his hostage even closer.

 

“I don’t have one!” Olivia yelled back, showing him her empty holster and both hands.

 

“Come here!” Andrew called to her, pressing the barrel of his gun against Kathy’s temple. “Come here or I shoot her brains out!”

 

Olivia walked the last few feet forwards and felt his hand grab her upper arm roughly.

 

“What’s your name beauty?” he slurred, and Olivia smelt the alcohol on his breath. If she could get Kathy out of there, chances are he could miss a shot of her if he was far enough away.

 

“My name’s Olivia,” she answered shortly, hissing as she felt his nails dig into her soft skin.

 

Andrew chuckled and looked his new prize up and down, before his eyes rested on something. “Damn you Bitch!” he yelled, “You’re a cop!”

 

. . .

 

Elliot heard the perp’s realization and cursed to himself, FUCK! He thought Liv is not going to get mercy now that he knows she’s a cop! It’s my entire fault, why did I let her go?  He heard more voices getting louder and one sounder strangely familiar.

 

. . .

 

“You’re right! She is a damn bitch!” Kathy sneered, throwing Olivia a look of disdain.

 

“Yeah,” Andrew agreed, pulling Olivia against his chest and grinning stupidly, “But she’s a damn hot bitch!” if anything, this statement made Kathy angrier.

 

Her husband had said Olivia was gorgeous, her two oldest girls said Olivia was beautiful, and her twins and said that Olivia Benson was pretty. No one ever told Kathy that she was gorgeous, beautiful, or pretty and now even this damn psychopath was calling her arch rival hot.

 

“You bitch!” Kathy yelled at Olivia, “You don’t think it’s enough that work ruins my husband’s family life, but you have to seduce him on top of all that! If he was here right now, you wouldn’t even let him help me!” her voice was increasing in volume, and Elliot could now successfully hear it without the earpiece.

 

He rounded another clump of trees and felt his heart shatter into a thousand pieces. There was the perp alright, but this time he had two hostages. One was Olivia and the other was his wife. Pulling his gun from his holster, Elliot listened to his wife yell at his partner while her clawing hands were being held away from Olivia by the suspect in the middle.

 

“I bet you’ve been sleeping with him since you first met him! That’s when all this trouble started, his shifts went later and later, he’d sleep at the station and not be home for breakfast! You’re a good-for-nothing slut who enjoys ripping families apart at the seams when you find someone caring!” 

 

Elliot waited for Olivia to make a snappy retort, he was sure it would come. Olivia always let people know exactly what she thought of them. From his distance he could see her holding back tears, refusing to do anything to upset the perp.

 

Finally he heard her whisper, it was such a soft sound he wouldn’t have heard it unless he was wearing his earpiece. “Your wrong!” she said, her voice was soft and laced with tears left unshed.

 

Elliot heard the perp laugh, “So I’ve got a hot cop and that cop’s partner’s jealous wife!” Detective Stabler watched his Olivia shiver as the perp breathed down her neck. “This aught to be good!” he heard their suspect call out.

 

Unaware of what he was doing, Elliot took several steps into the clearing, his gun held in his right hand, limply hanging by his side. Andrew glanced up and saw the Detective advancing on him.

 

“You must be the husband and partner!” he chuckled, switching the gun from Kathy to Olivia, causing Elliot to stop moving. He nodded slightly and Andrew chuckled again.

“I’ve got an idea!” he called to Elliot, “You chose one to live and then I get my way with the other one!”

 

Elliot froze. On the one hand, he couldn’t give Kathy up. He wasn’t at home enough to care for the kids, and if he let the perp have Kathy she could die and there would be no one for his kids. On the other hand, he couldn’t let Olivia go. She was he reason for staying with the squad, a light in the dark of the world. Lately he had fallen in love with her and he didn’t know what to do about it.

 

“I’m getting impatient!” Andrew called out, switching his gun back to Kathy. “And put the god-damn weapon down before I shoot both of them!” Elliot dropped his gun and stepped back finding himself even with a metal garbage can.

 

Olivia took a deep breath and turned a sexy look on Andrew Jackson. “Can I tell my partner something?” she asked in a soft, arousing voice. “Just turn your gun on me and I’ll step a few feet away. He won’t shoot!” the look she was giving him, was turning Andrew on. That mixed with the alcohol in his system allowed him to nod quickly before releasing Olivia to step a few feet away from him.

 

“El,” she whispered, watching him watching her. “El, you got to chose Kathy!” he saw a single tear drip down her perfect cheek and Elliot tried to hold back his own sob.

 

“I can’t!” he whispered back.

Olivia shook her head, “El, you have to! She’s your wife and has no training in personal defense!” she sighed for a second, “Do you remember what I told you when we first met?” she waited for his affirmative nod, “If I’m gonna be a cop, I want to die behind my badge El. I want to go doing the right thing! Give me that privilege Elliot. If you really care for me you’ll do this!”

 

She sighed and walked back to Andrew and into his outstretched arm. “Close your eyes Liv,” Elliot whispered to her, “I don’t want you to see this!”

 

Olivia’s partner took a shaky step forward and looked at the ground. “Send me,” he faltered, catching Liv looking at him, “close your eyes Livia!” he softly instructed. Turning back to the perp, he started again, “S-send me K-Kathy, she’s the b-blonde!”

 

Olivia heard his words falter and she felt the gun press against her temple. She peeled her eyes open and watched Kathy totter over to her husband, smiling smugly before she latched onto Elliot’s arm.

 

“I was hoping you’d choose the blonde!” Andrew called out, “I wanted this babe!” Grabbing Olivia Benson’s shoulders, the perp steered her away from her heartbroken partner and his wife.

 

. . .

 

Andrew spun her around and pressed his wet lips to hers, Olivia stood stiff, fighting back the urge to gag and letting her mocha eyes meet the sky blue orbs of her partner.

“Look at me you bitch!” Andrew roughly shook her shoulder, forcing her defiant eyes meet his.  “You asked for this didn’t you!” he demanded, slapping her with the back of his hand when she didn’t respond.

 

“Yes!” she choked over the pain. Olivia could feel the blood rushing to her cheek as it stung in the open air.

 

“Either we have some fun here and you enjoy every minute of it, or my friend will take care of you!” Andrew waved his gun in front of her face and smiled. “Come on Barbie, Ken already has a girlfriend, why would he want you?”

 

Olivia felt an angry blush seep into her cheeks. “Just shoot me!” she said, through clenched teeth, “You’re not worth it!” she knew it was a low blow, one that would get her a slow, painful death, but she knew Elliot, Andrew would go down with her.

 

Andrew glared angrily at her and shoved her away from his body. He held the gun in front of him, ready to shoot her straight threw the heart.

 

. . .

 

Elliot wasn’t listening to anything that his soon-to-be-ex-partner was saying to the perp; instead he was fighting with Kathy.

 

At first, when he had asked for Kathy to be released, he thought he saw her shoot a smug look at his partner. He brushed it away, assuming Kathy wasn’t that mean but now he was having second thoughts.

 

“What took you so long?” Kathy jabbed his chest with her finger. “For a moment I thought you were going to pick her not me.” She was glaring at her husband vaguely wondering why he did pick her.

 

Elliot turned to stare at his bitch of a wife, “Shut it Kath!” he snarled, following the perp and Olivia’s movements. That was when Andrew kissed her.

 

“That whore!” Kathy complained, “She’ll even make out with a bad guy! Boy is she desperate!” she sneered at Olivia, only to realize that her husband and his partner had locked eyes.

 

Elliot angrily rounded on his wife, “Listen here you bitch!” Elliot shouted at her, “That woman saved your life! That perfect, wonderful, gorgeous, smart, and sweet woman sacrificed herself so that you could live!” Kathy had never seen her husband this mad before. In fact she doubted if he had ever been this angry before in his entire life. “I only chose you for the kids; I was words away from bringing my partner back safe so don’t mess with her or me!”

 

He turned around to find Andrew pointing a gun straight at Olivia. Thinking fast, he located her gun that was tucked into his pants and fired. The gunshot startled Andrew into looking away, his bullet missing Olivia by a few inches. Elliot looked towards where his shot went and noticed a small hole in the metal garbage can.

 

In horror, he watched Andrew advance on Olivia again.

 

. . .

 

Andrew took a few steps towards the beautiful cop before pushing the barrel of his gun up against her stomach.

 

He grinned evilly; “I’m giving you one more chance doll-face!” he snickered and pulled a hand down to unzip his pants.

 

Elliot aimed Olivia’s gun again, this time for Andrew’s head, ready to shoot. He placed his finger on the trigger and started to pull back when a soft and desperate voice broke through his thoughts.

 

It was as soft as the wind and it hit Elliot’s ear and turned his mind to mush, but only for a second.

 

“I love you El,” Olivia whispered, right before Andrew fired his gun.

 

. . .

 

It was in those few seconds after Andrew fired the gun and before Olivia slumped to the ground that froze in Elliot’s mind. Her last words to him played over and over like a broken record only he never got tired of hearing this part. Andrew zipped up his pants and was turning to walk away when Elliot un-paused time.

 

He leveled his gun at Andrew’s back, “Freeze you bastard!” he fired a shot, forcing Andrew to drop his gun and turn around, blood beginning to trickle down his stomach. He leaned over to re-grab the gun and aimed for Elliot’s head. Detective Stabler fired again, hitting Andrew straight through the center of his chest. The perp only chuckled and pointed the gun down at Olivia’s head, it was then that Elliot noticed the unsteady rise and fall of her chest, proving her existence. Taking several quick steps forwards, Elliot fired again, this time the bullet lodged in the perp’s forehead, letting out a gurgled gasp, Andrew fell forward, dead.

 

Dropping the gun he was holding, Elliot raced the last few feet to crouch by his wounded partner. Her eyes were flickering open and shut and Elliot knew he had to keep her awake. Pulling his shirt off, he bunched it into a pillow for Liv’s head and grabbed her hand.

 

He forced a smile when she opened her eyes. “Liv, you’re going to be alright!”

 

She gently shook her head. “Cap wanted him alive, why didn’t you let him go?” her voice was edged with pain and her eyes looked somewhat glassy.

 

Elliot glanced over his shoulder, “Katherine, call an ambulance,” he looked back down at his partner. “Liv, I’m going to take your shirt to make a compress, don’t leave me Benson!” he deliberately avoided her question, gently unbuttoning her shirt and pulling it off her arms. The bullet had entered her body right above her belly button, judging by where the blood was still gushing from.

 

Wadding her shirt up into a tight ball, Elliot pressed it to the wound, trying to appease the flow of blood. He heard voices from a few feet away, and pressed the shirt tighter into his partner’s body.

 

Her eyes started to close, “Oh no you don’t,” he murmured, “You are a fighter, and you aren’t going to fucking die on me now! Come on baby, open those lovely eyes and show me your smile.”

 

Olivia glanced at his, sitting shirtless above her, holding her shirt to her stomach and her lying on the ground with his wife right there. She stared into her eyes for a moment as she heard a familiar voice.

 

“What the fuck happened Benson?” Olivia glanced up at Fin and his partner, both wearing identical looks of shock. Fin knelt beside Elliot and pulled his shirt off also.

“That one’s soaked, use this!” Elliot took Fin’s shirt and pushed it up against the bleeding hole in Liv’s stomach.

 

Olivia stared up at her partner. “Damn this stings, I’m going to let go El,” she hissed, closing her eyes to the pain.

 

“Damn it Liv, you aren’t going to let go detective! You aren’t fucking giving up on me now.” Elliot growled.

 

He continued to apply pressure to his home made compress, watching as the blood flow slowed. Olivia fluttered her eye lids open again and weakly smiled at Elliot, hovering a foot above her sweaty body.

 

“Thanks El, I’ll be okay, it just hurts like hell!” she winced again as Elliot applied a little more pressure.

 

Taking a deep breath, Elliot slowly leaned his head down, avoiding her wound and gently placed his lips on hers. Olivia’s blood-soaked hands wrapped around his strong neck and he felt her mouth respond to his. Olivia softly sighed and met Elliot’s tear-filled eyes with her warm mocha orbs.

 

Elliot smiled and let a slow tear slid down his cheek, “I love you El,” she whispered, buckling into the pain and loss of blood.

 

Fuck Liv, Elliot thought, gently slapping her sweaty cheek, Come back baby! She was still breathing, her chest rising and falling slowly.

 

Fin put a hand on Elliot’s shoulder, “Time to go Stabler,” he watched the distraught man carefully, “The paramedics are here, they need access to the patient!” he said by way of explanation.

 

Elliot gradually stood up; his hands were covered in warm red blood that, up until a few minutes ago, was inside his partner’s body. Feeling a slight wind on his chest, he remembered his shirtless state some civilians began crowding around watching the paramedics lift the unconscious detective onto a stretcher and take her to the ambulance, Fin, Elliot, Munch and Kathy followed slowly behind them, Fin and Elliot carrying their bloody shirts and not speaking.

 

The group reached the road and one of the paramedics turned towards the group, “We need someone to come on the bus with us,” he stated, looking pointedly at Elliot.

 

Taking a few shaky steps forwards, Elliot started to step into the emergency vehicle when an arm grabbed his,

Kathy kept her grip firm, “You’re not going with her!” she cried, a little more shrilly than usual. “I won’t let you!”

 

The paramedic frowned, “We have to leave now! This woman is in critical condition!”

 

Elliot knew that his wife would never agree. Munch stepped forwards, “I’ll take care of her, and you need to get cleaned up!” Elliot nodded, wrenching his arm from Kathy and watching the ambulance drive away, sirens blaring.

 

Captain Cragen jogged over to Fin and Elliot seconds after the emergency vehicle rounded a turn. His face was almost purple with anger, and he was fuming.

 

He advanced on Elliot Stabler, “What the hell is going on? Half of my best team is rushed to Mercy Hospital and our suspect is dead? What do you have to say Stabler?” Cragen was livid, his body practically shaking.

 

Elliot matched his glare and shrugged, “Here,” he handed Olivia’s gun to Cragen and turned in his badge, “You’ll need these,”

 

“This is Benson’s gun!” Cragen gawked, “Are you telling me that she killed the perp?”

 

Elliot shook his head, “No I did, but I shot with her gun and very nearly killed her too!”

 

Cragen stopped shaking and pulled his detective away from Fin and Kathy, “What do you mean you nearly killed her too! You know not to shoot without a clear shot! Are you telling me that your bullet hit your own partner?” he hissed

 

Elliot shook his head again, “The perp had Kathy and Olivia, then he made me choose which one would live. Olivia told me that if I really cared for her and respected her wishes, I would pick Kathy. So I did!” tears splashed down his face,

 

“Oh Lord,” Cragen murmured, “Start from the beginning, I want to know everything!”

 

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THE END