DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and all characters are the property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This was inspired by an animated discussion on one of the lists - not offence meant to any Elliot/Olivia shippers out there.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By ralst

Elliot stood, his arms folded, and a scowl marring his ruggedly handsome face. He'd been up all night, pacing the length and breadth of his lonely house and cursing the mercurial nature of his fate. A loving wife, four beautiful children, and a life just this side of bearable - all gone. Destroyed for no other reason than to satisfy the twisted whim of some omnipotent madman.

He delivered a swift kick to the nearest file cabinet. "Son of a bitch!"

"Amen," said Olivia, taking her place opposite him at the desk, her hair dishevelled and dark circles accentuating the depths of her eyes.

The partners shared a weary glance. "Morning," Elliot mumbled, "nice night?"

"What do you mean?" She glared.

"Nothing." He searched the squad room for any sign of eavesdroppers. "Sorry, 'Liv, I forgot."

"Well don't." Exhausted, she allowed her shoulders to slump and tears to gather in the corners of her eyes. "We've got to remain vigil, El, or we're lost."

He swallowed his response, afraid that the slightest show of concern would be warped into something unspeakable by those around them. Picking up a file, he pretended to immerse himself in work, before daring to speak. "I phoned Kathy last night."

Olivia retrieved her own file, its pages obliterating her face and muffling her words. "And?"

"She's got a date with an accountant next week." His body trembled as he suppressed a sob. "She...she tried turning him down but they...they wouldn't let her."

It took every ounce of restraint Olivia possessed to keep from comforting her distraught friend, but she knew that one false move could spell disaster for them both. "I'm so sorry Elliot."

The two remained silent for some time, the true magnitude of their situation weighing on both their minds.

"Have you thought any more about my suggestion?" Elliot asked.

Olivia could detect the apology in his voice but it didn't quash the momentary spurt of anger at his words. "I can't."

He nodded in understanding, but found it difficult to let go of the momentary hope. "She's really quite nice, once you get to know her."

Olivia sighed. "It has nothing to do with Casey." She lowered her file, waiting until their eyes met, before ending the discussion. "I'm in love with Alex."

"I know," he mumbled.

"How about you?" At Elliot's confused look Olivia allowed herself a momentary smirk. "Dating Casey?"


Several heads turned in their direction.

"Yes!" Olivia scowled at the room in general. "Can I help you?"

"'Liv," Elliot hissed, "don't."

It was the final straw as far as Olivia was concerned. Not only had she lost her lover, been forced to wear pink and suffer the reappearance of her old academy sweetheart, but the powers that be were now trying to make her date her partner. She couldn't, no wouldn't, do it!

"I'm leaving!"


Olivia threw her file onto the desktop. "Give Kathy a kiss for me," she said, "I'm going to find Alex."

"'Liv?" Hope and disbelief warred for control of Elliot's voice. "You can't. If she comes back Valez'll kill her."

"It doesn't matter." At Elliot's astounded look Olivia crossed the distance between them and enclosed her partner in a hug. "I'm not bringing her back," she whispered, "I'm joining her."

At the first sight of the embrace thirteen extras rushed to the back of the squad room and began unfurling the 'OliviaElliotForever' banner. Their muted cheers of jubilation forced into retreat as Olivia rushed from the room, a cell phone clasped in her hand, and Alex's name rolling off her tongue.

Elliot watched his partner leave, a slow smile transforming his face, before he too reached for a cell phone. "Kathy, it's me, pack your bags, you're coming home."

The End

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