Title: The Ties That Bind

Author: Sara and Lizzie

Rating: T for mild language, violence and sex

Disclaimer: We own nothing related to L&O. We can merely write fictious stories and curse Dick Wolf for teasing us.

Author's Note: This is our second SVU fic. It's set before Elliot and Kathy's separation, but they are having problems. The italics are a flashback, and the song is by Jack's Mannequin. This might just be a oneshot. But we have ideas to continue, so if you like it, REVIEW. Please, we're slaves to your opinions.

Skin new, hands true,
My hands all over you,
So what's another night,
The seat's rolled back,
We can't see through.
The rain's the rain.
And some air'd be good.

It was raining on Manhattan. It wasn't a cold or bitter rain. It was a hotter, steamy rain. The kind that makes the romantics think that something is just bound to happen. It was one of those sultry June rains that tugs at you, makes you a little crazy. The cynics say it's nothing. But sometimes, even the most cynical of people, those who think they are always in total control can be surprised. Maybe your life really can be turned completely upside down. And maybe you are powerless to stop it. Outside, it was raining on Manhattan. Inside, Olivia Benson rested her head on the wall of her apartment, recalling the events of that day.


The 1-6, 9: 15 am.

It was a random occurrence. Hostage situations usually happen under the cover of night. They were like affairs. Low key, until they blew up in everyone's face. The only thing that made this situation any different was that it was happening in Harlem at 9:15 in the morning.

"Lennox and West 145th. A block or so from the river. We've got two teenage girls, in a warehouse with a nut job. It looks like he's only got a gun, but we're sending you up with swat teams, just in case."

Lenox Ave & W.145th Street, Harlem, 9:44 pm

It was strange, but while their squad car raced up 2nd avenue, it felt just like a normal case. Strange, but not that strange. Olivia felt the nervous energy working in her system as Elliot manuervered the car through the traffic, and with sirens blasting, that was still difficult.

As Malcom X boulevard became Lennox Avenue, Elliot slowed down. He followed the SWAT team to the warehouse, and parked the car a distance away. An NYPD unit trained especially for hostage situations was already there.

They sat in the car, preparing to go in. "Liv, be careful." Elliot commanded.

"I have done this before."

"Of course you have. It's just…" his voice trailed off and everything he couldn't say hung in the air. Olivia opened the door, and strapped herself into her bullet proof vest. With surprising synchroncy, the two detectives moved together towards the forces that were already there.

"What's going on?" Olivia asked one of the officers. He sighed.

"You guys from Special Victims?"

They nodded, together.

"This is bad. Worse than when we called Cragen. He raped one of those girls."

They nodded, together, taking it in stride, together.

"Is there a back entrance?" Elliot asked.


Elliot jerked his head at Olivia and she followed him, trusting him.

"What are you thinking?" she asked, wondering if he would even tell her that. She knew he was having a hard time. He and Kathy were having problems, Maureen wanted to study abroad, and he didn't like it, and the cases were getting to him. But she hadnt heard a word of it from him. It had all come to her through someone else, and she hated that.

He used to tell her things. He used to trust her. Now he cut her off. Made her feel like a complete stranger. But she still trusted him. She trusted him because she had to. He was married, and therefore unattainable, and since she had long since learned the hard way she was incapable of loving anyone else, a blind sense of trust in the man who unintentionally ruined her was the only thing she had to cling to.

"I'll go in a back door, and try to get the girls out."


"And, nothing. That was the idea."

"The idea was that you go in a back door, try to get the girls out, with nothing to distract the guy who's holding them in there while I what, exactly? Shoot the breeze with the SWAT team?"

"Fine, Liv." He said, wondering why he even proposed things like that. He always knew it would earn him nothing but sarcasm. "What do you propose?"

"You go in the back door and try to get the girls out. While I go in the front door, and distract the guy who's holding them hostage?"

"Destract him? With what?"

"Maybe I'll go in naked." He looked away. She sighed, sad that four months ago he would have chuckled at that despite the gravity of the situation. He would have least smiled. Now he rarely smiled at her at all.

"I'm sure I can think of something." She said, adapting his business like, formal tone.

They set off. Olivia relayed their plan to the hostage unit, who agreed, at this point, that anything was worth a shot. Olivia knocked on the door. "My name is Olivia Benson. I'd like to come in and talk to you guys."

The door opened slightly. "Why should you?" came a male voice.

"We can work this out, can't we?" Olivia asked. "If I leave my gun out here." She said, dropping her gun on the ground. The door opened a little further, and Olivia took that to mean yes.

She stepped inside gingerly, and started playing the talking game.

Meanwhile, Elliot crept around the back of the building, angry at himself. He was shutting her out, and it hurt her. He didn't want to cut her off, he just needed to. He forced himself to focus, and pushed open a backdoor, slowly.

Time seemed to take forever. He crept into the room where he could hear Olivia's voice coming from. He saw a wire running across the floor near his feet. He frowned, and followed it with his eyes. Olivia saw him, hovering at the back of the room, and she could see he was on to something.

Elliot stepped towards the wall where the wire ran up, and he tried very hard not to gasp when he saw what the wire was cconnecting. Explosives, and it looked like a lot of them. He stepped backwards, wanting to go outside and alert the SWAT team, and get Olivia pulled out immediately. But he made his first- and fatal- mistake. He made noise. Just a tiny one, but the perp heard it. Ever so slightly, the man turned his head around. Olivia, talking to the tied up teenagers, missed the actions.

Elliot followed the man with eyes as he walked. And then he saw it. It was discreet, but you would recognize it if you had to. It was a detenator. Still across the room, but not far from the man. Elliot didn't have time to think about his next move. So he didn't think, he just made it.

He sprinted across the room, and tackled Olivia out the door. The warehouse exploded before they hit the pavement.

Now, in her apartment, it seemed so long ago. She blinked twice and tried to go over it all in her head. She and Elliot had landed hard on the concrete outside. He had been harsh and snappy with her, then shutting down and refusing to say anything at all.

And those girls had died in that building. For what? For her? She knew that realisitically, Elliot hadnt had time to react the way he might have wanted to. She knew, that realisitcally, even if he had left her, he wouldnt gotten out with those girls. But she still felt guilty. And discouaraged.

And hurt. It was entirely frustrating, having no control over your emotions. So Olivia strapped on her running shoes, and set out into the New York evening, depsite the rain.

She didn't know how long or how far she ran. It felt like forever, yet she knew she couldn't have been gone all that long.

She turned the corner to her apartment, and ran, slowing in front of her apartment. Elliot was standing in front of her building, waiting. She wished that she was surprised, but she wasn't. Despite his silence, his distance, she had been expecting this. His blue eyes locked into her brown ones, and held her gaze. She fished the key out of her pocket and opened the door.

"You should have called." She said. "I would have come back." He shrugged.

Neither of them said anything on the way through her building to her walk up. She fumbled with the key a little bit this time, but he still didn't say anything.

She let them both inside. They stood awkwardly in her living room, both of them dripping all over her floor, but still, neither of them could seem to find the words to say. His eyes pierced through hers, and Olivia felt a little bit like she might be drowning.

She was seconds away from throwing several years of perfectly mastered restraint down the tubes, so she turned away, putting her back to him, pretending to be straightening something out on her coffee table.

She didn't know what to do. She couldn't think of a single thing to say. Then he spoke for both of them.

"Liv…" he choked out. His voice sounded like he was. Broken. Or like he was just too full of everything not to be wrecked.

She wished she knew why. She knew know what had and what was going to happen. She wished she knew the reason that he put some much space between them. And why he had chosen now to break down, and take every inch away.

Maybe it was that explosion. But she knew that wasn't the only reason. It was only the tip of the iceberg. Yes, it was because two innocent girls had exploded today. It was also because two more would die tomorrow, and another the day after that. It was because innocent people had been dying forever, and no matter how hard they tried to fight it, it wasn't going to end.

It was because he tortured himself by obbsessing over when one of his daughters was going to be the next victim. It was because his marriage, his control and his stability were crumbling.

Olivia closed the gap between them in three steps. He drew her close to him, and held her tightly, like she was sustaining him. Olivia pulled away and looked in his eyes again.

The fact that he was married topped the list of the million reasons why they shouldn't. There was only one reason ringing in her mind as to why they should. She loved him.

No, that wasn't the only reason. She loved him, and she always had, and he needed her now, because he was lost and broken and lying in front of her in pieces. And she wanted to put him back together again.

"Liv," He whispered again, "I need you."

And suddenly she was all out of reasons not to. Her heart had shattered at his last words, so she didn't even need to protect that anymore. If he was broken, she was annihilated. If his heart and his resolve were in pieces, every last inch of her was smashed.

They were both broken. So she kissed him. She was shaking and scared, but she kissed him. She couldn't remember that he was married, or that they were partners. She broke the kiss, and stared at him brown into blue. This time, he kissed her.

It was so real, it was frightening. Olivia had never allowed herself to imagine this happening. And now it was. They kissed their way into the bedroom, where Olivia, for the first time in a long time, let go of her perfectly attained sense of control.

And Elliot gave into the feelings that had been eating away at him for months.

Before long, Detectives Benson and Stabler had given up their facts, the raitonale and their supressed feelings. The two detectives, who were professional, if unconventional, become bare skin and tangled bed sheets.

And it was raining on Manhattan.

So, should we keep going? Review. Tell us what you think. Pleeeeease.