I don't own Law & Order: SVU or Elliot and Olivia or any other affliated characters, oh how I wish I did. Cause Dick Wolf is a tease, lol.

The elevator doors closed on Detective Elliot Stabler's vacant stare.

Elliot was numb…

All he could think was, 'I just crossed the line.' He didn't know if there'd be any going back.

When he reached the bottom floor and the doors opened again, he walked out briskly … just wanting to get out of there and head towards his car. He almost made it too…

A familiar voice calling after him from behind made him stop in his tracks, "Elliot…" the voice rasped out his name.

"What happened?" Olivia Benson questioned.

"I don't think I want to talk about that…" Elliot stated.

Olivia replied, "You don't think you want to talk… but you will. I just flew down those flight of stairs to catch up with you partner, you'll talk."

"Will I now? What if I plea the Fifth…"

"Won't work. Well, I have been told I'm good at making people talk… I have a knack for interrogations." Olivia teased as she walked closer towards him.

"I see." Elliot stated with a slight shake of his head.

Olivia near to him now, commanded as she placed a hand on his shoulder,

"So… spill."

Elliot closed his eyes and said, "I almost ripped his head off, Liv."

"Malcolm Royce?" Olivia softly questioned.

"Yeah." Elliot affirmed.

"Why'd you do it?"

"Cragen was gonna pull me out. Royce was just so… arrogant. He wasn't going to break… And all I could see were those kids' faces." Elliot explained.

"Oh, El…" Olivia responded as she rubbed his shoulder.

He took comfort in the feel of her hand, of the warmth of her touch. In a way, he guessed he always had because he knew it meant she understood.

He turned towards her and just let himself put his head on her chest.

He felt her wrap one arm around his back, and she also moved her other hand from his shoulder to his neck. Her chin rested atop of the crest of his head. She just held him.

He felt the moisture gather in his eyes as he told her, "How could he do that to those kids? He was so selfish. He tried to have it all. He didn't think his family would know. They always know. And now, they're dead because he was torn between two women. His obligation to one and his love for another."

She could only reply, "It'll be all right El. You'll come out fine. I know…"

Elliot thought to himself, 'it's funny… she's telling me it'll be okay. Kind of a switch here."

Elliot thinking more about what happened with Royce, "You know what I think I hated about him the most?"

"What's that El?" She asked tenderly, still trying to soothe him.

"He's reminds me of myself. I looked at him, I saw pieces of me. I'm just like him." He breathed out; barely able to give words to what he was feeling,
this disgust at being able to recognize these things in him.

Olivia abruptly said, 'El, look at me and listen... You're nothing like him."

Elliot interrupted, "But…"

She continued, "No Buts. He could never be like you. How could you even think that?"

"I went to check on my kids, 'that' night. They were sleeping. I couldn't stop thinking about them. I just wanted to see them."

"I understand… of course you did."

"Kathleen she saw me, and basically she told me to either come back home or don't.
I couldn't have it both ways. I had to make up my mind. She told me to stop using them, using 'my' family… that it hurt too much…"

"You love your family. They're everything. That's not using them."

"Liv, I don't know… what kind of father hurts his kids?" He asked exasperated burying his face further into her chest.

Olivia simply, honestly replied, "I don't know where all this doubt is coming from…You're a good man, Elliot Stabler. If only you could see yourself like I do."

Elliot looked up slowly at her praise, at her comforting words…

He looked up into her beautiful eyes; he'd always known he could lose himself in them, right now he felt like a drowning man.

As he leveled his face with hers, blue eyes meeting brown… he'd thought he'd lose his breath in that moment … anticipating what'd come next.

Olivia moved her hand yet again to side of his face, as she looked him straight into the eyes, hoping somehow by some miracle, he'd see who he really was,
how much he meant in the depths of her gaze, maybe he'd know there how core deep he ran into her heart, her soul.

All he could think was, 'I just crossed the line.' He didn't know if there'd be any going back. He didn't know if he ever even wanted to.

"Liv…" he murmured.

Olivia closed her eyes at her name, knowing only he could say it 'that' way…

"El…" she replied as she touched her forehead to his.

They stood still there, just like that.

Olivia softly said, "Thank you for letting me do this…"

"Do what?" Elliot asked.

"Thanks for letting me be here for you, for letting me in… it's kind of nice." She said with a smile.

"Oh yeah?" Elliot smirked.

She replied, "Yeah. It's a nice change… don't ya think?"

Elliot nodded his head slightly against hers in response as he said, "Maybe. That depends; will you always be there for me, like this? If I need you…"

She almost laughed in return, as she said, "Always. You should know that by now."

"I think I do Liv… I think I do. Can we stay here like this for a little while longer?"

"For as long as you need, El." She replied.

They just continued to take comfort in each other. They'd make it through together.
It would work out somehow, between the two of them, it'd all be okay.