Elliot watched her for the next several weeks. He saw her slowly but surely fill out with his child until he was sure she couldn’t keep the pregnancy a secret any longer. At 17 weeks it was summer and still she tried to hide in baggy sweaters and loose shirts despite the stifling August heat. But Elliot could see the roundness of her stomach when she leaned a certain way and how the hem of her sweater was strained by the bulge.
She still hadn’t said anything to him apart from a distant and friendly ‘hello’ if they passed in the hallway. Finn was a good guy, one of the best, but Elliot still didn’t trust him to look out for Olivia the way he could.
She was still getting sick in the mornings. Despite having moved desks to face her new partner Elliot could still see the contents of her drawers when she opened them to take out a saltine or a piece of gum after she returned grey faced from the bathroom.
For a room full of detectives Elliot was amazed no one had noticed anything yet, or if they had they hadn’t said anything.
Just then Olivia bent over the file cabinet she was searching and steadied herself with one hand on the desk – one hand cupping her rounded belly with a puzzled expression on her face.
Immediately Elliot thought the worst and he leapt to his feet, moving towards her without a second thought. “Liv what is it - is it the baby?” he whispered hoarsely. As he reached out to her, her concentration broke and she looked up in surprise. But for the first time in nearly a month, he saw a smile break across her face.
“I think I felt the baby move” she whispered, a smile still playing across her face. Now Elliot grinned, his hands still around her waist. But that magical moment only lasted for another few seconds until they realized they were still in the middle of the squad room.
Elliot cleared his throat but Olivia was the first to move back out of his grasp, looking around to see if anyone had noticed the brief interaction between them.
He spoke softly, entreatingly, like – Olivia thought – the way he talked to a suspect when he wanted something, “Olivia”. He managed to shut the door to one of the interrogation rooms so that they were alone and out of earshot. “No Elliot, this doesn’t change anything” “
Well at least you have to put yourself on desk work now” “I have at the very least another week to go before Internal Affairs deems me ‘inactive’. And I plan to work up until they do”. “Olivia, think of the baby – you’re putting yourself in too much danger”.
Olivia bristled, “I’m not Kathy, Elliot, I am not your wife, and you have no right and no part in my personal life. My body, my baby” she hissed underneath her breath, “I may not have 5 children, but I’ve known myself long enough to listen to my instincts, and right now they’re telling me that the best thing to do for the baby is to live independently. My mom raised me alone and I can and will do the same”.
“Your father was a rapist Olivia, it’s not like your mother had the choice of involving the father in her child’s life. You say you want what’s best for the baby, but you’re denying him a father who will love him. Is that in the baby’s best interests Olivia? Or yours? Just ask yourself that the next time you tell yourself you’re doing this ‘for the baby’”.
He walked out of the interrogation room leaving Olivia standing there alone. And God she felt so alone in that moment. She let her head fall back against the cool clammy cement wall to try and get a grip on her whirling emotions. She looked down at her stomach, wanting so much for her baby to move again – but she felt nothing but a ball of nerves and guilt sitting heavily in her belly and again, her thoughts fell to alone, how isolated she’d made herself.
She didn’t have long to dwell on that thought, John pushed open the door and tossed her coat to her “incident at the 2-7. Commissioner wants all of SVU down there – the four kids from the Wilson-Underwood case are being held hostage by a man. Shots fired but we don’t have any more information”.