Categories > TV > Law & Order: SVU > What Families Are For

I'm here.

by Ew11581 0 reviews

Liv and Amanda talk and Amanda helps Liv through a nightmare.

Category: Law & Order: SVU - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama - Characters: Olivia Benson - Published: 2020-10-31 - 2551 words - Complete


 A couple of hours later, the work was complete and the shift was over. As the three detectives were shutting things down for the day, Fin questioned, "Anybody up for hanging out for awhile?"

"I'm in," Caris agreed Immediately.

"Sorry, guys, but I'll have to pass this time. I really need to get home to Jesse,"

"How 'bout you, Liv?" Carisi asked their boss as she exited her office.

Olivia gave a tight smile. "I'm not really in the mood tonight. Raincheck?" 

"You got it,Liv. Get some rest," Fin told her,squeezing her shoulder as he passed her on the way out. Carisi and Fin said their goodbyes and left the building.

Once they were gone, Amanda turned to her lieutenant. "You ready to get our stuff and head out?"

Olivia nodded. So, the two women headed to the locker room and then left for Amanda's apartment.

As soon as Amanda had the key in the door, she and Olivia heard barking and little footsteps running towards the door. A moment later, a tiny voice called out,"Mama's home!!" 

This brought smiles to both women's faces.

When the door was opened, they were greeted by an overly energetic pitbull and a bouncy two year old. 

"Hang on, you guys. Let us set the food down first," Amanda chuckled. Olivia couldn't help a chuckle of her own from escaping.

"Aunt Livia! I missed you!" squealed Jesse as she noticed the other woman in the room

"Hey, Lovey! I've missed you, too!" Olivia replied scooping the little girl up into her arms.

After she set her down again, Jesse wanted to know. "Where Noey?"

"He's at a sleepover tonight," her Aunt explained.

"He not coming here? I wanna play with him," the little one pouted.

"Aww. Sorry, Baby. It's just me this time. I promise we'll set up a time for you and Noah to play together really soon. Ok?"

"Ok," Jesse accepted. Then she ran to her mama.

"Mama, huggy!" Amanda swung her daughter up and held her tightly.

"Mama missed you today, sweetheart!"

"Missed you, " was Jesse's response.

With Jesse still in her arms, Amanda paid her sitter and let her go home. Then she turned to her little girl and inquired, "You hungry, Sweet Pea?"

"Uh huh," Jesse confirmed.

"Ok, then. Let's dig into this food," Olivia suggested. Amanda set the two year old down and fed Frannie before helping her boss open up the cartons of Chinese food they had picked up on the way back. After dinner, Jesse was given a bath and put into her pajamas. Then her mom helped her brush her teeth

"Can Aunt Livia wead me a stowy?" the little girl begged her mama after they were finished.

"I don't know. Why don't you go ask her." was Amanda's suggestion.

The little one dashed into the living room, calling out, "Aunt Livia! Aunt Livia!"

"What's up,Kiddo?" Olivia asked. 

"Wead me a stowy, please?" came the plea.

Olivia smiled and ruffled her honorary niece's hair. "Absolutely, Angel-cake. I'd love to read you a story. Why don't you go pick one out and I'll be there in a minute." 

The little girl ran back to her room.

Amanda grinned affectionately at her friend. "Thanks,Liv."

"It's my pleasure. This was exactly what I needed tonight, after the day I've had. Thank you for realizing that,'Manda," Olivia answered softly.

Before Amanda could respond, she was interrupted by a little voice yelling, "Aunt Livia! I'm ready!"

"Coming, Sweetie," Olivia called back.

"I'll go with you. I want yo tell her goodnight. She usually falls asleep before the book is finished.

The two women entered Jesse's room and Amanda kissed her child good night.

"I love you,Baby-girl."

Jesse hugged her mama. "Love you,Mama. Night-night."

"Nighty-night," Amanda replied. As she left, she whispered to Olivia,"turn on her sound machine and her night light when you leave her room." Olivia nodded and squeezed her detective's arm before making her way to the bed. As Amanda was leaving the room, she heard her boss say, "So what are we going to read tonight? Oh. Llama Llama mad at Mama. Noah used to love this book, too."

Amanda headed out to straighten up a bit while Olivia was reading to her daughter.

Once Olivia finished the book, she thought Jesse had fallen asleep. She quietly turned on the night-light and turned out the main light. After turning on the sound machine she headed out of the room. She had made it as far as the door, when Jesse softly called out, "I love you, Aunt Livia."

The lieutenant felt tears come to her eyes at the little girl's sweet words.

She quickly walked back over to the bed and kissed Jesse's forehead.

"I love you, too. Goodnight,Sweet Girl."

"Night," Jesse mumbled, already drifting off. After making sure the little girl was really asleep, the lieutenant tiptoed out of the room to rejoin her subordinate in the living room.

When the older woman reached the living room, she still had the remnants of tears in her eyes, and Amanda was immediately concerned.

"Liv, what's wrong?"

Olivia smiled at her friend. "I'm fine."

Upon seeing the younger woman's skeptical look, she added, "Really. These are happy tears. You just have the sweetest little girl in the world."

"Don't I know it. Just being with her after a horrible case can make the whole world seem right again. Hey, do you want some wine or tea or anything?" Amanda responded.

"Wine would be great," Olivia replied.

Amanda poured them each a glass and led her friend to the couch. Frannie jumped up between them and made herself comfortable. 

"So what did my little angel say in there?" Inquired the detective.

Olivia smiled reminiscently as she told Amanda what had happened after she had finished the story.

"It's moments like those that make me realize that there's still good in the world," Amanda stated with a soft smile.

Olivia nodded as she absently scratched Frannie behind the ears. When she looked back up at her friend, she had tears in her eyes.

Shakily, she admitted,"Sometimes I just want to take Noah and go somewhere no one would ever find us. I want to hide him away from all the evil in the world."

Amanda took her friend's hand and replied, "I know what you mean. But then who would be here to protect the innocents. Kids or older people who don't have anyone else? I mean,where would Noah be now if you hadn't found him and taken him in? Liv, you make a difference in so many people's lives. Without you, Laurel would never have gotten the closure she needed."

By the time Amanda finished,Olivia had tears streaming down her face.

"I thought I had gotten closure for that part of my life. My mother's hatred of me. My father's role in my conception. His suicide. It felt like Laurel could see into my soul at times today."

The younger woman began rubbing her friend's back as tears began to form in her own eyes. "Liv, that woman had know right to act like she could read your mind or could define your feelings. Only you can do that. Only you know how you feel about the things you've dealt with. Just don't let your past dictate your future. Don't let it control you.

"I try not to, but I feel like every horrible thing I've gone through is somehow connected to that moment. It feels like I was cursed from the moment I was conceived," the older woman rasped out.

Amanda couldn't take it anymore. She pulled her boss into her arms and held her tight.

Olivia clung to her friend just as tightly as she struggled to get her tears under control. After several minutes, the lieutenant pulled back and uttered, I'm sorry."

"No, Liv. Don't you dare apologize. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Nothing that happens here will ever leave this room. You'd do the same for me,and you know it. Family is a two-way street," Amanda insisted.

Olivia still looked uncomfortable as she observed, "it's late and I'm exhausted. I'm going to shower real quick and get some sleep."

Amanda nodded."I'll get you a blanket and pillow. There's a towel and washcloth in the bathroom for you."

"Thanks," the other woman said gratefully. 

While Olivia was in the shower, Amanda got herself ready for bed. 

 Once Olivia was out, Amanda brushed her teeth before going out to the living room to ask if her friend needed anything.

"I'm good. Thanks 'Manda," was Olivia's answer.

"Are you ok with Frannie being out here? Cause I can shut her in the bedroom with me," Amanda offered.

Olivia shook her head. "She's fine."

The younger woman nodded."Ok. Night, Liv. Sleep well."

"You, too. Goodnight,Amanda," the lieutenant responded. Amanda gave Frannie a goodnight pat. Then she went to check on Jesse before heading to bed herself.

Sometime later, the detective was awakened by her dog urgently nudging her and whining.

"Hey,what is it,Girl? You need to go out? What's wrong?"

The dog was insistent, so Amanda got up and followed the animal to the living room. There she found her friend writhing and moaning on the couch. She was obviously in the throes of a horrible nightmare.

"Good girl," Amanda whispered to Frannie.

The younger woman wasn't quite sure what to do. She knew she had to wake her friend before she screamed and woke Jesse, but it had to be done gently to avoid the older woman causing injury to herself or Amanda.

She first decided to gently grab her boss's wrists. When the detective felt it was safe, she softly called out, "Liv. Liv, wake up."

When she received no response, she got a bit louder. "Liv! You're having a nightmare. Wake up."

This time the older woman jolted up sharply.

"Woah! Liv, it's ok. You're ok," Amanda soothed. 

But Olivia was still partially caught up in her nightmare. She fought against Amanda mumbling,"No! Please stop! Mama, make them stop. Daddy no! Mama Help me. Back off,Lewis!"

Amanda couldn't just let her friend stay in this terrifying state of mind, so she tried one last thing. She squeezed next to the other woman on the couch and spooned her, hold her tightly while calmly talking to her.

"Liv, you're safe. I promise. It's me, Amanda. I've got you. Wake up. It's ok, Hon. You're ok."

Finally, the struggling stopped. Olivia's breathing evened out. Amanda continued to soothe her friend and began stroking her hair.

Eventually, Olivia pulled away and sat up.


"Yeah. It's me. You're staying at my apartment tonight. You had a nightmare. Frannie knew something was wrong, so she came and got me," the detective explained.

Her boss smiled a little as Frannie nudged her in concern. 

"Sorry if I woke everyone up," the older woman apologized as she stroked the pitbulls soft fur.

"Technically you didn't wake me. Frannie did," quipped Amanda.

"What about Jesse?" was the next question. Embarrassment colored Olivia's tone.

"She's fine. Never even stirred. Are you ok?" Amanda responded.

Olivia sighed and rubbed her forehead tiredly. "Honestly, no. But you've already figured that out." 

Amanda put a hand on her friend's shoulder. "Do you want to talk about it?

When Olivia hesitated, the detective pressed, "Was it Lewis,again?"

Olivia nodded. "And my father. In my dream they were working together."

She took a shaky breath as a few tears rolled down her cheeks.

"M-my mother… just… watched. She just sat there as my father and William Lewis both rape me and beat me!"

Amanda didn't know what to say, so she just stroked Olivia's hair with one hand as she held Olivia's hand in her other.

"Amanda, my mother told me I deserved it. She said that I was a no-good piece of trash and at least my father had moved on from her. The child of a monster was w-worth nothing. This may have been a dream, but my mother basically implied that my entire l-life." With that, the lieutenant broke into sobs as she buried her face in her hands. 

"Oh, Honey!"Amanda gathered the older woman in her arms as she, too, began to cry. The two rocked back and cried together for a long time.

Once Amanda could speak again, she choked out, "Liv, listen to me. None of that is true! You are worthy of love. You are a great mom, a great boss, a great cop, and a great friend. Jesse loves you. You saw that tonight. You have a son who loves you so much. What your father did is not your fault. Your mom didn't appreciate you because she couldn't get past her own terror. You are not responsible for her choices or your father's or anyone else's. You have a family, Liv. Fin, Carisi, me, Barba, even Munch and Cragen. We all love you very much. It doesn't matter who you were in the past. What matters are the choices you make now. You control your life. Nobody else. And your true family are those who love you and stand by you no matter what. Ok?"

Her only response was a small nod. The two clung together for a few moments longer before Olivia finally pulled away.

She looked a bit embarrassed and started to apologize for her epic meltdown, but Amanda stopped her.

"No apologies. Remember what I said earlier, Liv? We're family. We care for each other. We support each other."

"Thanks, 'Manda. And I love you,too. All of you,"Olivia told her friend.

 The two women hugged once more before sitting back on the couch in silence.

After a few minutes, Olivia quietly admits,

Amanda, I'm a little nervous about going back to sleep. Do you mind if I just watch tv for a bit?"

"Not at all. In fact, I don't think I can fall asleep again either. Mind if I join you?" Olivia lifted the blanket as an invitation for Amanda to share it with her. Amanda accepted and the two of them were soon cuddled up watching Back to the Future. About halfway through the movie, Amanda realized the older woman had fallen asleep. Gently, so as not to wake her, the younger woman got up and laid her friend back on the couch, covering her with the blanket. Not wanting her friend to be alone in case of more nightmares, the detective went to the hall closet and pulled out an egg-crate matress and put it on the floor of the living room, then she grabbed a couple of blankets and her pillow. Checking on Jesse and finding her still sleeping peacefully, Amanda went back to the living room and quietly walked over to the couch. She gently pressed a kiss to Olivia's forehead and whispered, "G'night,Liv."

Then she settled down on the egg-crate and made room for Frannie to join her. Stroking her dog's fur, Amanda soon drifted off to sleep, contend in the knowledge that those she loved were safe and sound and that when surrounded with people who loved her, she would never be alone.
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