I don't own Law & Order: SVU or any affiliated characters, cause if I did… next week's preview would not have happened, at least not without some 'useful' purpose behind it.


Olivia Benson made her way over to where she knew Elliot would be; it was her first day back and she wanted desperately to see him again…. She hadn't expected what she would see next:

Dani Beck reached out to Elliot Stabler to draw him into a kiss, tensions were high; this was a tough case and Dani was trying to relieve some of that tension.

She kissed him with everything she had in her, surprising herself since she wondered if she had anything left at all after her husband was murdered.

Olivia watched from a distance and had decided quickly to hide herself away in a dark corner; she couldn't face him now, not after this, not just yet. Not when her blood was boiling with the toxin of jealousy, poisoning her and making her seethe at every instant she had to endure this sight.

Elliot broke away from the kiss

"Dani…" Elliot stated as he started to back steadily away, "I don't think you understand."

Olivia didn't understand…this was just so unfair, life was unfair: She'd been his partner for seven years, and they'd been through so much together. They had plenty of close calls during that time, too many to number. Losing him would kill her, she remembered Victor Gitano, him being the sadist he was probably picked up on that, he tried to use that against them, and it didn't work, almost but didn't. After all that, was she losing him now? He could not protect her from the pain that would cause her; it was hers to bear for life and she knew it. If that was not a form of death and dying, she wasn't sure what was. She'd been gone, undercover for only five weeks. Had she been so easily replaced, could he have forgotten her that quickly? She never forgot him, not for one moment she was away. Not even when she was knocked out lying in a hospital bed, Elliot had almost betrayed her cover. Pretending he was 'nobody' to her was the hardest lie of all. Undercover she had been able to hide a lot about herself and blend in, but Elliot he'd become one part of herself she just could not let go of. Those ghost words on her lips haunted her, his name haunts her still, "Elliot, Elliot, Elliot…" her subconscious betrayed her, it's a shame that was what finally brought all those feelings she'd fought so hard to hide and bury inside, out into the open. They say denying something so strong only gives it more power over you, and Elliot had her under his spell from day one. His deep blue eyes when they met her gaze, their connection was just undeniable. Considering all this… Olivia felt beyond the anger of jealousy, anguish and pain break through … as stray tears escaped and rolled down her cheek. She cried in silence.

"What don't I understand, Elliot?" Dani asked.

"We shouldn't be doing this." Elliot stated.

"And why not?"

"Because… it just isn't right." Elliot responded.

Dani looked at him puzzled, questioningly "What makes it so wrong Elliot?"

Olivia was curious herself, so she listened on…

"Dani, it's just… unprofessional… you're just wound up so tight from this case is all this is… and this isn't the way to deal with that." Elliot tried to explain, and hoped that she would agree.

Dani smirked, almost knowingly and said, "It's none of that really … is it? Those aren't the reasons it feels so wrong to you."

"What do you mean, Dani? What else could it be?" Elliot questioned. Hoping she wouldn't see through his flimsy excuses, that she would just accept them. He hoped that she wouldn't ask the one question he was dreading…

"It's her isn't it?" Dani stated with simplicity.

All Elliot could ask back was, "Her who?"

"The her you've been wishing I was, ever since I got here. The her you compare me to, probably compare any woman to. The her you talk about so much, so often, you're old partner, Olivia Benson."

"Dani, Olivia has nothing to do with this… we're partners now and the department would frown upon…"

"Elliot. Stop. Just tell me the truth please… I think I deserve it. Just admit it, even when I was kissing you, it wasn't me you were seeing. You were wishing I was someone else, you were wishing she was kissing you instead of me."

Olivia's heart was racing faster now; she didn't think that could happen… she'd been listening to this entire conversation in anticipation, now she didn't know what to make of any of this. Could he possibly…

Elliot let lose a sigh, and responded, "Yeah, that would be her. Olivia's face is the one that stays with me. I haven't forgotten her; I worry myself to death when she's away from me and I can't protect her. Every moment she's gone, it's an agony. I don't know how I function without her. Somewhere along the years she became more than my partner, she became a part of me. "

Dani could only respond with an, "I see."

Elliot took a deep breath as he was about to explain, he turned away slightly from Dani as he continued, "So, you see then that my heart is not mine to give away freely, it already belongs to someone else. It's funny; it took you kissing me like that, for me to really openly admit it. I admitted it to you, and finally to myself. I'm glad I did. That's how I knew in my heart; it just wasn't a right fit. You're a wonderful woman really though… and I'm sure you're husband would want you to find happiness again."

Dani laughed a little, and responded, "Elliot, it's okay… I understand. I'm a wonderful woman but…"

Elliot smirked back, "Yeah, but you're just not Olivia."

"Thanks for being honest with me; I know that couldn't have been easy for you." Dani smiled at him supportively.

Elliot said back, "Not as hard as I thought it would be, and now that I think of it, it kind of makes sense. A lot of things make sense now; it kind of clears it all up. It was there all along, somehow. It was good I did that, thank you for understanding."

Dani said, "I guess I didn't really have a choice huh?"

Elliot laughed back, "I guess not. I love her you know?"

Dani laughed with him, "I gathered that. Does she know Elliot? One thing, the most important thing I learned from my husband, was that love is precious when it's found. There's a saying I heard that goes… Love unspoken makes the loudest sound."

"Getting philosophical on me Beck?" Elliot teased.

"Maybe, just don't wait forever to tell her." Dani told him.

All Elliot could say was, "I won't. I won't want to."

Dani said, "Good for you Elliot. Good for her."

Olivia hearing all of this, letting it sink in, smiled in the darkness there. Sometimes life is wonderful. After all the horrible, vile acts she's witnessed; it's nice to know life can still hold beauty. Time was on her side, on their side. There was a time for him and her. It really was meant to be, all she would have to do is wait. She would wait forever for him, but it would seem she wouldn't have to. It's amazing really, the things you can learn undercover. Perhaps, this wasn't such an unwelcome homecoming after all.