Disclaimer: No still not mine.

Notes: Very lamely and since Halloween is approaching I've decided to hitch everyone up at a halloween party. Slash is just on the harizon.

Spooked

Prologue

Unwilling

Now you just stay in this cellar until your no longer insane…

Marge Simpson

Stabler huffed and pulled at the very fake, very plastic, very comical devil horns attached to the Alice band that Olivia had clipped to his head.

"Leave it alone." She scolded.

"I look idiotic." Elliot whined, like one of his kids.

"Nothing new then." John added, unhelpful, as he joined the other two. Elliot snorted at his appearance. The Halloween party wasn't something out of the blue, it had been an annual thing since Elliot had been a cop, unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you looked at it the SVU squad was usually to busy to attend. His year though Olivia had insisted they work it in. Everyone's spirits so low that it was depressing just being in the general proximity of any of them… Let alone being them.

Elliot was digging his heels in on the whole thing, wanting to spend Halloween the way e usually did any other holiday… mooning over his divorce. He had to admit though that was wearing a little thin… Cathy had been the first woman he'd ever loved though… Wasn't that supposed to be one of those forever type things… He wasn't quite sure anymore, but he certainly didn't want to reck it for the rest of them. He'd planned on being all for the idea and then slinking away at the last minute, unfortunately Olivia was latched onto the idea of getting him to socialise, producing a pair of horns and a pitchfork when he'd whined about having forgotten a costume.

It wasn't really so pathetic considering most of them wear dressed similarly. Dressy-casual clothes and small costume pieces, it was all time allowed for really. Olivia and everyone having to resort to showering and changing at work, instead of heading home first.

Olivia herself was wearing a pale blue satin dress and glittering fairy wings, fake veins creeping their way up her arms on coils of wire. Casey was dressed even plainer in a black slip of a skirt and a long spider-webby top, a pointed witch's hat adorning her head. Finn had changed into black pants and a loose white top, a plastic sword hung loosely by his side and Cragen perhaps the strangest of all was wearing varying shades of black and carrying an axe. It seemed to be a compromise between him and Olivia. Cragen not too thrilled at the prospect of playing dress-up, Elliot was right there with him.

If it really did display ones age though then John as he always feared was five… and maybe a half. Finn had started to snicker behind him along with Elliot.

"What… tis the season." John defended himself.

"That's Christmas." Elliot pointed out as Olivia fussed over how he'd tilted the horns.

"Works on Easter and Halloween as well." John grumped.

"Besides don't bag on me because you too as sorry sacks." John snipped.

"What are you supposed to be?" Elliott chuckled, Olivia's fussing almost being made worth it to see the scandalised expression on the older man's face.

John had nicked Casey's papery foundation earlier and had just come back. He was wearing a somewhat dressier suite and massive cape which Elliot had to wonder if he had gone out and found it, had had it on hand for just such occasions or even scarier if it was part of his regular wardrobe. On top of that his face was chalked white and his lips were shaded red.

"Hello Dracula, prince of darkness ringing any bells." John scowled.

"Sure it ain't queen…" Finn teased.

"Don't make me bit you to prove a point… Odafin." John warned and both he and Elliot laughed harder, Olivia and Casey's smile breaking wider. Cragen though poor gun was still stuck in his office making last minute phone calls, preview to none of this. Which was a shame sine it was certainly lifting his heavy mood.

"What?" John cried throwing up hands.

"Sorry John I'm just not sure in that get up that people aren't gonna think its necks you suck…" Fin reply, skirting the very edge of crudeness, luckily John was a sport. The older man flicking the tip of his nose.

"Hey don't make me sword you." Finn threatened lifting the piece of plastic. John chuckled rolled his eyes and went to wash off some of the colour.

"Liv their not suddenly gonna look any different." Elliot said struggling out of her hands as she once again straightened his horns minutely for the hundredth time.

"Sorry." Liv said holding up hands and handing over the pitchfork. Elliot poked her with it.

"Hey you two no getting fresh in the office." Finn grumbled, as Liv glared at him.

"Hey I'm just try'en to live up to the name." Elliot grinned.

"Speaking of which," Finn frowned.

"Isn't Luc sup'ed to be all red and hoofy." Finn ambled. Elliot straightened one of his more expensive suites, having just been in court only an hour ago.

"Nagh," Munch tutted as he wiped his face dry, it still had a whitened tinge, which somehow looked eerier than the original white, powdered grainy look.

"Devil dresses for after five" He said rumpling his nose.

"Exactly." Casey said, having largely sat back and watched until now. It was habit, being so use to these people listing of the evidence of a case to her, a conversation that was largely one-sided.

"Alright children lets get going before we're any later." Cragen said bustling out of the office, before the phone ran once more. He straightened some unperceivable wrinkle in his shirt and hurried them out of he room with huge sweeps of his arms.

Chapter One

So far So Good

To die is poignantly bitter, but the idea of having to die without having lived is unbearable.

Erich Fromm, Man For Himself, 1947

It wasn't very much what Elliot thought it would be. The party was set in an older two building. The rooms large with high ceilings. It was owned by a friend of Cragen's and from Elliot understood she offered up the house for most police functions. Courtney Belets maybe, Elliot couldn't remember. It was nice though, but not what he'd expected.

The walls were draped black and fake webs were hung about. The kitchen of cut off with a beat curtain and Elliot could see various staff behind bustling about. The lounge was massive consisting of huge tables filled with various bits, sofas, one-seaters and a whole lot of space. Space that was now crowded by chattering coupling of people. Whether or not these people had come or were leaving together wasn't something Elliot could discern and quick frankly its wasn't his business.

Some he knew most he didn't. A few judges scattered about the place… ADA's… Alexander Cabbot, complete with white velvet dress and Alice band cat ears was standing by the drinks having an animated discussion with a suite crowned Jack Maloy.

Alex had been back in town even since a certain gangster had carked in prison. The threat on her was still mild, but as she so often pointed out that was the life they all lived.

Ed Green and Lenny Briscoe were piled into one corner arguing, or at least doing a good imitation of it. Elliot wasn't surprised when Lenny blushed as the dark man brushed errant strands of hair behind his ear. Elliot usually would have brushed it off onto the lighting if the entire force wasn't buzzing with an are they aren't they discussion. Another thing that wasn't in the relm of Elliot's business.

"Hey there's Deakins I'm gonna go say hi." Cragen explained and disappeared into a crowd of people. Elliot peered over to where he'd been looking. Alexander Eames in Dorothy outfit sat legs crossed on one of the couches, knees toward her lanky partner Robert Goren who had actually donned what looked like real 16th century black armour, he was swordless though possibly at Eames insistence. Elliot had never actually met the man. He and Alex meeting at a anti-terrorist seminar last year. A member from each department was required to go. The department PTB's twitchy ever since Jack Malone's screw up.

From what Alex had told him they'd probably clash so it was just as well. According to Casey he and ADA Carver did often enough. Since the man was standing by the couch chatting quietly to Deakins though perhaps its wasn't such a bitter rift. Elliot's eyes slipped else where as Cragen stepped into view, he and Deakins hugging briefly.

"Hey look it's our friends at Narcotic's." Finn informed the group at large. Monic Jeffreys and Brian Cassidy, both John's old partners were picking at frosted cakes in the corner. To Elliot it looked blatantly obvious that they'd come together, especially when Jeffreys leaned forward to wipe frosting of the other's cheek.

"You know I heard they have a haunted house set up out back I'm gonna take a look." Liv lilted quickly, eyes fixed on the two.

"I'll come with." John coughed.

"What's with them?" Casey queried as Liv and John left at top speed. Elliot shook his head. He'd always assumed the thing between Liv and Brian had been buried…

"I'm going to Cabbot." Casey said.

"Behave." She said to the two remaining. Finn mumbled something about checking out chicken or chicks, Elliot never fully decided which and left too. Leaving the last detective alone in the middle of the room. It took him less than a second to decide to go find a corner to sulk in… it was working well too until Elliot bumped into another familiar figure.

Chapter Two

Mismatched

As my dear mother said, a woman who has got a tiny streak of harlot in her is nothing but a dry stick.

May West

"Don since when they start letting you out in public." Captain John Deakins cried wrapping arms around the first guy he'd ever worked a beat with.

"Same time they decided to imposed you on the unsuspecting public." Cragen laughed, patting the man's back. Craver cleared his throat behind the two. Deakins laughed at the obvious attempt at an introduction.

"Don his is ADA Ronald Carver, and my two very best detectives. Robert Goren and the slightly more attractive Alexander Eames." Deakins smiled as Don shook hands with each.

"So what drags you to our part of the woods?" He asked as Bobby wriggled back in the couch.

"Saw you had to say hi." Don breathed, smiling faintly.

Bobby looked at the two quizzically.

"You two are old friends?" He asked quietly.

"See how sharp this guy is." Deakins laughed.

"So you've told me." Don smirked, but Bobby was undeterred.

"We joined the force together." Deakins explained.

"Partners for fifteen years." Don added.

"You're one of those couples…" Bobby poked watching for the reaction he'd get.

"Couples?" Deakins lack of response was normal, expected, though Don cooled question was someth9ng of a disappointment.

"Yeah, guys who get put together as rookies and spent there entire careers in touch…" Bobby twisted slowly.

"Just reinforces the theory about the whole marriage thing." Bobby prodded further.

"All right Bobby you're off the clock." Deakins cut in.

"I'm not sure I get you?" Don said sizing the other detective up.

"Nothing about you specifically… Just a lot of psychologists think that being partnered with someone I already 7/8 of a relationship, sans sex… in most cases." Bobby smiled digging around gently.

"Okay time to check out the dance floor." Alex said pulling herself up.

"They theorise that your first partners like your first love… Sometimes… That that's why some partners stay in touch years after they've been reassigned…" Bobby was a child poking at people like ants. Alex had always thought.

"I can see that." Don admitted.

"You two are…"

"Well if it ain't Don Cragen as I live and breath." Monic Jeffreys interrupted loudly, Brian sidling up behind her. Whatever bad feelings between them seemed to have evaporated.

She threw her arms around him in a bear hug, still muscle and bone as she'd always been. Brian was cooler with a simple handshake. Though the small smile was no less warm. Narcotics seemed to be going well for the both of them. The costume's were certainly cheery… or game at least…

"Brian how's the shoulder going?" Don asked. Having heard on the grapevine about the other being shot early last year.

"Just a nick." Brian frowned.

"Yeah and he's getting cards and flowers from all the girls for weeks." Monic teased.

"Carver are you gonna keep lurking back there or are you going to give me a hug?" She demanded after a pause. Cragen stepped back a little as the two met briefly.

"Hey Brian." He said nodding to the other.

"We worked a case together 'bout midway threw last year…" Brian explained, at Don's questioning look.

"Hey Bri how's that thing going for you?" Bobby questioned and Eames glared at him.

"Actually still working on it." Brian said blushing lightly. Bobby jumped lightly as Alex kicked him.

"Dance floor." She said, as though it were a scolding.

"She's so demanding." Bobby laughed as Eames hauled him out of the chair and off through the crowd.

"Bye Lex." Monic called, Alex waving over her shoulder.

"Speaking of that thing, have you seen Liv and our conspirital ex-partner." Monic asked quickly.

"They were just over with…" Cragen pointed towards an empty bit of floor. He spotted Finn loitering near the drinks and called him over.

"S'up cap?" he question as he waded through the crowd, which thickened and thinned indiscriminately.

"Have you seen Munch and Benson?" He queried.

"Went off together to check out the haunted house." Finn said slipping at a drink that looked a little stronger than what they were serving at large…

"Thanks…" Brian nodded and both he and Jeffreys left, swallowed by the crowd.

Chapter Three

Not So Sorry

Life is so full of things that it's hard to believe people would ever stop to complain for fear of being let behind.

Huang was looking about for his date who'd sworn on her mother grave that she wouldn't leave him alone and then had evaporated as soon as the front door had closed behind them. So while looking for his date he clearly wasn't looking where he was going… His champagne flute tipped as he bumped someone else and the contents poured out of the glass and down their shirt.

""Oh, god I'm sorry…" He blurted flicking liquid off of his hand.

"I… oh it's just you…" He said looking up at Elliot.

"I'm not as sorry then." George smirked as the other detective glared at him. It was basic knowledge that he and Elliot didn't hold each other in the best regard and George was in no hurry to try'en fix that. There was something distinctly off-putting about the other detective. Something that sat and inched at the base of his spine whenever the other was in the same room as him.

"And if I were to hang you out one of the second story windows they say it was my fault." Elliot joked not really caring much about his wardrobe. All of it was stuff his wife had picked anyway…

"Reverting back to your high school days…" George drawled back, as Elliot mange to flick most of the alcohol off before it even started soaking in.

"Only when you're around doc." Elliot frowned and then smirked.

"What?" George questioned, afraid it was as bad as he thought.

"Private joke." Elliot said shaking his head. Silence fell a little.

"Nice costume." Huang finally tried because sometimes even he couldn't take staring in stride.

"Liv's idea, though the pitchforks kind of useful." Elliot smirked remembering poking the other earlier. He demonstrated on George.

"Great annoying too." The doctor said inching away slightly, thanking his lucky stars that the corner they were occupying was dark and not drawing attention to what Libby had done to him.

"Yet not as noticeable as other… attributes." George smirked and then questions himself on the intelligence behind teasing the other considering what he'd been dragged out in.

Elliot touch the horns gingerly, almost having forgotten them, trust the doc to bring up a swore subject… On the upside maybe he could trash them now that Liv was off with Munch. Probably not, knowing his luck she'd catch him in the act.

"Yeah." He breathed.

"I'm really horny." Elliot shrugged and wanted to kick himself. George bit his lip stifling a laugh.

"So I've heard." Huang added around his light blush.

"I mean…" He back-pedalled slightly realising that it sounded no less questionable then Elliot's.

"You lets just scratch that part of the talk." Elliot offered.

"Excellent." George agreed, feeling heat creeping down his chest.

"Go get you a refill…" He mumbled helplessly… Why the hell did he always have to be so hopeless idiotic in front of the other.