Because

Disclaimer: Not mine.

A/N: My other stories are taking too long so I thought I'd write a bit of an EO oneshot. It isn't fluff, it might be a bit dark but I think it turned out pretty good. Please R&R

"Why Olivia?" his voice is low and harsh. He's losing everything, its all crumbling around him, he's losing control and she stands in his way, not letting him sink.

"Elliot leave," she tells him forcefully, taking a step back from him. He's angry, she can feel it radiating from him. He's starting to scare her as he takes another step towards her.

"I don't need to see Huang or any other shrink for that matter!" he screams "There is nothing wrong with me!"

She backs away again. She wonders why it is she let him in tonight in the first place. He says there's nothing wrong with him but it is more than obvious from his behavior that something is "Please? Just leave Elliot," her voice is meek, small, timid, her voice is not her own at this moment.

He advances towards her again "Why?" he asks in a low tone that sends fear coursing through her blood.

She steps back once more, her back hits the wall. She has been cornered, cornered by her partner, cornered in her apartment. Even if she was anywhere near her gun at this time, she could never bring herself to pull it on him. She's never felt more vulnerable as he advances towards her once more.

"Why?" he asks again. He places both his feet onto hers so that she cannot kick and with his hands he pins her wrists to the wall. She is stuck, she is at his mercy, she is trying her hardest not to cry, more than anything she wants to run but she is backed into a corner.

"I was worried," she says meekly. She tries to find anywhere else to stare but finds her gaze always being pulled back to his. He glares cold and hard at her with blue eyes that have seen the hell of the world. She tries to wriggle her right wrist free but to no avail. He only clamps his hand tighter around it.

"I don't need your pity," he snarls at her, leaning forward, pressing her hard against the wall.

"Elliot!" she commands, attempting to regain control of the situation "Let me go!" He leans more heavily on her. Almost impossibly, pressing her even further into the wall. His hands clamp tighter around her wrists and he stomps his left foot down on her right one.

He isn't responding to her attempt at authority and she has no other choice but to beg "Please Elliot," she whimpers because that is the most she can manage "Your hurting me. Please let go," she tries to keep the tears from her eyes but they spring forth anyway. Without a free hand to wipe them away, she begrudgingly allows them to fall down her face.

He sees her tears and it is only then that he realizes what he is doing. Quickly he pulls away.

Olivia crumples to the floor, not so much from physical pain as from the emotional agony that he has inflicted on her. The only man who she has ever really trusted has shattered that trust in all of five minutes.

"I'm sorry," is all he can say for himself. He knows that this is not enough, that somehow more words are needed to describe how what he has just done will never leave him. How the sight of her tears on her face and the knowledge that he is the one responsible for putting them there will haunt his every waking and sleeping moment for the rest of his life.

She remains sitting on the floor, her legs curled up to her chest, her arms wrapped around them, her head buried deep in the little ball of self loathing and shame that is her. She doesn't speak, doesn't look at him, all that can be heard is her soft, almost silent sobbing.

He doesn't know what to do, what to say. He wants to know if she is alright but he knows that he has lost the right to touch her, he knows that he shouldn't even be standing in her apartment at this moment but he can't leave her.

"Liv," he says, his voice full of the old concern and protectiveness that she has come to depend on.

She dares to glance in his direction. The utterance of the nick name, the one word that he had been the first to use, a small sign of affection between them has caught her attention. It always makes her heart skip a beat when he says those three little letters. She stares at him and through her tears she can see that he is hurting too. This was exactly the reason that she had talked to Huang about him, exactly the reason she had been worried. Because in the last year and a half, there have been moments where he becomes someone completely different, moments where Elliot Stabler is lost and she doesn't know where he is and it seems these days that Elliot is not with her at all, even when he is standing right next to her.

He takes in her silence. He wonders if the nick name is yet another thing that he has lost privilege to. He takes a step towards her again but recoils when he sees her flinch. Instead he drops to a sitting position on the floor in the exact spot where he had previously been standing.

The two of them sit, legs crossed, on the floor of Olivia's apartment, with a good five feet between them, simply staring at each other. Silence reins but neither makes a move to leave. The situation is uncomfortable for both of them but somehow they stay in spite of the discomfort because even though what has just occurred is painful for both, their friendship means enough to them that they are not willing to abandone it just yet.

"I was worried," she says again, wiping the tears from her eyes only to have them replaced with fresh ones.

"I know," he responds, looking down to play with his shoe lace "I'm sorry I… I have no right… to ever… I'm so sorry." He can't get out a full thought. He can't find the exact words to express the guilt, the shame, how he could have easily taken it further, how he is so afraid that he could have lost it and in an instant taken what no man should ever take from his partner, how he feels dirty now, how he is so lucky that she stopped him with her tears.

"Its alright," she attempts to reassure him, always more than ready to forgive the trespasses of those that she loves.

He can't believe what she has just said. He knows dam well that it isn't alright. If she only knew the things he could have done if he hadn't stopped, she wouldn't be so willing to forgive.

But she does know. She knows all to well what can happen when a man can't stop himself. She credits him with the self control to pull away because he is the first who has.

"Please don't worry about me," he tells her. He knows now that she was right to worry, that something is indeed wrong with him but that she shouldn't concern herself with it. Because what has just happened tonight in this room is affirmation of the fact that she is too good for him and so he makes a silent vow right there as he sits on her floor, as he plays with his shoe laces, he vows to talk to Huang in the morning, to seek out real help because he knows as he looks up at Olivia, that she is worth it.

"I do worry," she tells him, not backing down from the conversation, in spite of everything that has occurred tonight, not willing to abandon him. He may have shattered her trust but he hasn't vaporized it. Trust in Elliot is something that she is willing to spend the time rebuilding.

"Why do you worry?" he asks. He can't think of a possible reason that she could still care enough about him after what he has almost done.

"Why do you always argue nature verses nurture?" she responds with her own question. She knows that when he finds the answer to this question he will find the answer to his own.

He pauses to remember. It has been a while since he has gone to argumentative lengths to convince her that she is nothing like her father. He thinks why he argues that point so vehemently with her. It was because he wanted to protect her, because he cares about her, because…

"Because I love you," he says aloud "Because I can't bare to think of you hurting, because I can't think of a day without your smile," the words come out and he realizes what antithesis they are in contrast to his actions earlier "Do you?" he asks, needing to know if she truly loves him, if she possibly still can after the humungous ass that he has shown himself to be tonight.

"Always," is the one word that drops from her lips. Forgiveness is something that she will allow him, forgiveness is something that she will let herself spare to him, with all the broken trust, still she knows the good man that he is, that he will get through this, that he will come back to her.

His heart jumps with the realization. She loves him, she loves him! He will definitely go to see Huang. In that instant he wonders if Huang is still awake. Then he decides to hell with it if he isn't. Elliot will drag Huang out of bed himself to get the help that he knows that he so desperately needs to never hurt Olivia again like this. He springs to his feet and rushes to the door.

"Goodnight Liv!" he calls back joyously as he approaches the door "I'll see you tomorrow."

His hand is on the door knob when he feels her hand on his shoulder. He turns to face her to notice eyes that no longer hold tears. A soft smile graces her lips as she speaks "Tomorrow is Saturday."

He smiles and nods "I meant what I said. See you tomorrow," with that he is out the door and on his way to see Huang.

Olivia shuts the door behind him and leans against it, the soft smile still on her face. She doesn't know about his plans for a late night shrink session but she does know that he changed for the better during the time he was in her apartment.

She knows that things have changed between them but she can feel deep down a warm feeling that things will be alright. No matter what she knows that it was Elliot Stabler and not his alter ego that promised to see her tomorrow. She knows that it was Elliot Stabler that told her "I love you"

It will take a long time for the wounds of tonight, the wounds of the past year and a half, to heel but as she gets ready to go to bed she thinks that "I love you" is a good start.

THE END

A/N: Well that's it. I dedicate this story to everyone who has ever read or reviewed a fan fiction ever and to all the writers of fan fictions and also to anyone who has ever watched an episode of SVU. In the immortal words of Kermit the Frog "Someday we'll find it… The rainbow connection… The lovers, the dreamers and me." You are all wonderful.