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Un-beta-ed. Eek. Not my characters, no money beign made. Just fun. This crosses over with Law and Order SVU.

Family Reunion 5/?

by Rosybug


On the twenty third of December when he'd phoned Cragen to ask for extra time off for Elliot Chris had resorted to a particularly daring strategy, one he did not often use, especially with cops. He had told the truth, told Cragen that Elliot was hot on the trail of their birth parents after decades of searching and had found a definite lead. He had however pretended to be Elliot when speaking to Cragen.

"That's fine, Elliot," said Cragen. "I understand how important this is to you and I support you in it. In fact I'm really glad you're taking time off for this. Your psych file has been worrying me for some time. Stay on stand by and we'll call you into the office if we need you. Please spend some time with your wife and kids too - it's Christmas."

"Yes, Captain," said Chris.

Christ, the guy was like a father to Elliot. Chris had seen it before. Elliot didn't seem aware of it though. Now all he had to do was tell Elliot what Cragen had said and (eventually) that Cragen thought he was speaking to him. He guessed Elliot wouldn't be thrilled, but what the hell. He had after all agreed to leave it to Chris.

Then followed the day from hell. For starters it was freezing and wet. They were on the stake out from eight in the morning until late in the evening, when it was freezing, wet and dark. The car seemed damp inside and no coffee they could lay their hands on was warm enough. By ten in the morning Chris was freezing his ass off and so bored he could scream. He was longing to call Toby, but couldn't. He compensated by checking his phone for messages every ten minutes. Elliot watched him.

"Beecher not calling you?" he observed.

"He will," said Chris with conviction.

"You guys fight again?" Elliot asked.

He said it as if Chris and Toby did that a lot.

"It's not like that," said Chris.

Elliot's expression said otherwise.

By eleven Chris had run out of coffee, patience and any remains of a sense of humor.

"C'mon, Elliot, the guy's probably on vacation. It's Christmas," he said.

"No, he's here," said Elliot never taking his eyes of the front door of the brownstone.

The door remained firmly shut. No lights were on.

By midday Chris was sounding plaintive. A thin drizzle had started and he could no longer feel his extremities.

"How do you know he's still alive? Danner could have found records that were out of date. Can't we go home? I want to catch a holiday special on TV."

It was a Miss Sally extravaganza, "Miss Sally on Ice". Nooter and Pecky were going to be the continuity announcers. Miss Sally was going to wear a red velvet leotard with a plunging neckline and perform difficult figure-skating moves. Chris had seen the trailers. The leotard had white fluffy trim and was particularly small.

However they ate tacos for lunch in the car. Chris raised the subject of Christmas shopping, but Elliot had already done his. How had he found the time?

"I still need to finish my shopping," said Chris.

He'd only bought Elliot's and Toby's gifts and hadn't been planning on buying any more, but now he was having second thoughts. Going shopping two days before Christmas was starting to look like fun by comparison with the alternatives.

By two o'clock Chris realized Elliot was going to sit there all day until the guy he was staking out either left or entered his building. He'd been listening to his iPod. He pulled the earphones out of his ears.

"Elliot, what do you think is gonna change if we actually do find out who our parents are?" he asked.

"I wanna know where I came from," said Elliot staring at the door and sipping cold coffee from a paper cup.

"We came from where we grew up," said Chris. "That's what made us who we are. That and genetics. We didn't spend enough time with anyone else in between to make a difference."

He stared at the door too, but he was thinking of other things. He knew who he was. You were the sum of your acts and his had been pretty fucked up. Nothing could change that. Finding their parents (and finding them alive now seemed very unlikely to Chris) was not going to change that. Probably they had been like him. As far as he could imagine it their parents had most likely not been married. They had probably been young, poor, uneducated. They would be lucky to find their mother who must have put them up for adoption and they were unlikely ever to know who their father was. Substance abuse had probably played part in it all. It would explain a lot in Chris' opinion.

The guy never showed. Chris had long since fallen asleep when Elliot started the car and slowly pulled out into the street. The sound of the engine woke Chris up. He struggled into a sitting position and rubbed his face. Elliot kept his eyes on the road, but Chris could see they were dark with disappointment. They didn't talk on the way home. Toby hadn't left him any messages either and he came very close to texting him in the dark. Once back at Elliot's place, Chris showered while his brother checked messages on the land line. Kathy had called twice and the kids had left an early Christmas message that involved a lot of giggling. It was too late to call them back.

Chris felt bad for Elliot. His quixotic quest was sure to end in worse disappointment if it ended at all. By the time Chris was out of the shower, thawed and feeling more human, Elliot had put himself to bed. Chris lay awake a long time.

By the time Chris came downstairs on Christmas Eve Elliot was pouring coffee in a thermos and preparing to go back to his stake out. Chris took the thermos out of his hand and put it down on the kitchen counter.

"I got a better idea," he said.

Elliot looked at him skeptically.

"We get into his place and find out more about him."

"We can't break in," said Elliot.

"You want me to help or not?" demanded Chris. "All I did yesterday was sit on my ass."

"It's against the law," said Elliot. His expression softened: "I need this guy on my side, Chris. He's my only solid lead in twenty five years of searching, other than finding you."

"Let me take care of it," said Chris. "You go and spend some time with your kids."

"You're gonna need back up," said Elliot.

So off they went to the brownstone again. The lights were still off. Chris pulled out a set of keys and went up to the front door.

"Shouldn't we try a back window?" asked Elliot.

"Alarm," said Chris. "They're usually set so that you can disarm them manually and this place looks low tech."

"If there's an alarm..." began Elliot.

"I can handle it," said Chris.

He climbed the steps to the front door and pounded on it with his fist.

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