Chapter 1:

Disclaimer: One day, I'll win the lottery and on that day, I may actually convince Dick Wolf to sell them to me but until then, I don't own them.

A/N: Okay, here's my next project. In "Fooling Ourselves" I explored the possibility of an Olivia and Dean relationship but I never had Elliot and Dean butt heads over the woman that they adore. I figured it was about time to write something like that. A little conflict makes for a lot of drama. I hope you like it.

"You're an ass," Dean Porter glared at Elliot "Why did you even tag along on this op? We didn't need you!"

"I don't trust you Porter," Elliot growled at the other man "I'm here to make sure that my partner is safe."

"She's safer with me than she ever was with you," Dean retorted, his voice filled with hatred.

"What the hell are you talking about?" Elliot snarled. Even though Olivia had long since gone down to the party, the two men remained in the hotel room, arguing.

"I'd never hurt her the way you have," Dean answered fiercely.

"I never hurt her," Elliot ground out, gritting his teeth and clenching his fists. He was about to hurt Dean, that was for sure.

"Pay attention to yourself once in a while," Dean suggested as he turned and grabbed his suit jacket "You're killing her and you don't even know it." His voice was more sad now than angry.

Elliot grabbed his own jacket "I don't trust you to protect her. I care about her and I won't let anything happen to her," he said firmly.

"And your wife?" Dean shot at him. When he was answered only with silence he continued "You can't have both of them. I'm not sure what it's doing to your wife or if she even knows but I can tell you that it's too much for Olivia."

"Ex-wife," Elliot corrected softly as he fixed his tie, anger now gone from his voice. What Dean was saying rang true.

Dean turned and looked Elliot straight in the eye "I'm telling you right now that I love Olivia and I will never hurt her. I'm also not going to stand by and watch her destroy herself over you."

"What are you talking about?" Elliot asked, bewildered as he and Dean left the hotel room and headed downstairs to the party.

"She loves you, you idiot," Dean had to bite back a scream of frustration "Just wanted to let you know before I make my move."

"Don't be stupid," Elliot reminded him "Don't make your 'move' until this operation is done."

"I'm not you Stabler," Dean hissed as he stepped past the other man and pushed the doors to the ballroom open.

The room was full of ladies in long flowing dresses and men in suits and ties. Olivia was in the corner, chatting merrily with a group. Both Elliot's and Dean's gazes were drawn to her instantly. She was wearing a floor length, white gown that she had protested to profusely. Only after being convinced that it was the kind of thing that her undercover personality would choose (it wasn't so much that as the fact that the gown was extremely low cut and both men couldn't take their eyes off her) she had relented.

The two men crossed the room towards where she stood, each intending to be the first to ask her to dance with the intention of covertly gathering intelligence by perhaps passing close enough to one of their suspects to overhear a conversation. They had only made it half way across the room when Elliot noticed three men sneaking up behind Olivia. He stopped short and grabbed Dean's arm, childish competition the farthest thing from his mind now "Those are Ortega's bodyguards," he whispered worriedly.

Dean nodded "We should take it easy," he said cautiously "We can't be sure they've made us."

"Like hell we can't," Elliot hissed as he quickened his pace. He could see the looks on the three men's faces. He had a bad feeling about this. The only comfort he could take was that these men wouldn't risk grabbing her in such a public place, or so he thought.

"Don't do something foolish," Dean muttered just behind Elliot "You're gonna blow are cover."

Just then, one of the bodyguards drew his gun and fired wildly into the air. One of the bullets shattered part of one of the beautiful chandeliers that illuminated the dance floor.

It was utter chaos as people screamed and dove for cover. Elliot and Dean crouched down and darted around the bodies of guests who had fallen to the floor in a misguided attempt to protect themselves.

The other two bodyguards took advantage of the chaos and grabbed Olivia. They dragged her out the back way as the third man continued firing wildly into the air. Elliot charged after them and narrowly missed getting shot.

The last he saw of Olivia was her wide and frightened eyes as he dove to the floor. The third man ceased his barrage and retreated after his companions, leaving a confused tangle of humanity in his wake.

Elliot rolled to his side and spotted Dean a few feet away. His arm was bleeding and Elliot surmised that Dean had not been so lucky as to have dodged the bullet that Elliot had so skillfully managed to avoid.

He bent down beside Dean and applied pressure to the wound "You okay?" he asked.

"I'm fine," Dean groaned "It's just a flesh wound. The first aid kit back in the room should be enough to patch me up," he pulled himself into a sitting position "Olivia," he breathed "Oh God," he nearly collapsed again "You were right, they made us."

"I knew this was a bad idea," Elliot told him. The guests around them took no notice of them or their conversation "There was no reason for you to drag Olivia into this and you know it," he said angrily as he hauled Dean to his feet "Let's fix you up."

"No," Dean groaned "You have to go after them."

"Uh-uh," Elliot corrected even though his heart was telling him to do just that "Never leave a man behind, no matter how much you can't stand him. Besides, if I went after them now, I'd get Liv and me both shot to hell. They need her alive for now," he fought the urge to throw up as thoughts of what they might do to force her to talk invaded his mind. "Ortega's gonna wanna know what we know about him and he's gonna want us. He can't get to us without her."

Dean collapsed on the bed and Elliot opened the first aid kit. Elliot opened the bottle of iodine and poured the entire contents on the oozing flesh wound. "Owww!" Dean hissed "Why did you have to do that?"

Elliot smiled vindictively "Don't want it to get infected," he said with a hint of amusement in his voice.

Dean gritted his teeth "Sure," he said, not really buying Elliot's excuse. He brought his free hand to his forehead "This gives Ortega the upper hand. I need to get in touch with the main office."

"Great idea," Elliot said sarcastically "Agents descend on Ortega's compound and Olivia's as good as dead. Whether he's taking her there or not," he put unnecessary pressure on Dean's wound "You said you wouldn't hurt her and yet at the first sign of a problem your already willing to write her off as a lost cause."

"You think I want to do this!" Dean yelled "Ortega is responsible for too many deaths already. If we can't take him down soon, that body count is just going to grow exponentially. I don't want to throw her to the wolves but if it means preventing more unregistered weapons from making it onto the streets then I'll do it."

"All that stuff you said earlier was a load of crap," Elliot told him simply.

"It wasn't," Dean said firmly.

"Prove it," Elliot challenged "Help me get her back."


"Detective Olivia Benson," Rudolph Ortega himself stood in front of her. Olivia was tied to a chair in a dirty room. Her eyes followed Ortega's every move carefully.

She tried to feign innocence "Who?" she asked in a tiny voice. She had to try and maintain her cover even if it was a last ditch attempt. She was Jody Starling, the wife of Victor Starling (Elliot) and sister to Edward Willis (Dean).

Ortega slapped her "Drop the act sweetheart," he snarled venomously "Don't you think I know everything about your so called husband and brother already? And that's not all I know," he told her "I know that you in real life are unmarried."

"Lucky guess," Olivia countered, obviously not impressed.

"And," Ortega continued "That your real life half brother, Simon Marsden, resides in New Jersey with his fiancé and her son. Do you want me to go into your whole tragic family history or do you believe me that I do indeed know all there is to know about you?"

Olivia fell silent and nodded.

Ortega smiled "I am sorry to have pulled you away from the party so early in the evening but, I require your assistance."

"You're not getting it," she replied evenly.

"Now that seems a little harsh," Ortega feigned hurt as he turned to an alcove beside the door of the room. The space was dark and Olivia couldn't see what he had taken hold of until he had pulled it out and held it in front of her "You should really reconsider your decision."

Olivia looked unflinchingly at the tazer. She wasn't afraid of it. She wasn't afraid of him. The FBI would take this guy down before he got anywhere near Simon or anyone else for that matter. She looked Ortega straight in the eye "I won't help you," she replied.

"Have it your way," Ortega said as he pulled the trigger and sent the volts coursing through her body. As she began to pass out he smiled above her "There are other ways of getting the information I need," he reached up and caressed her cheek as she slumped forward "Did I mention how lovely you look this evening Detective?"

A/N: The next chapter is going to take place before Elliot and Olivia joined Dean undercover. It will hopefully explain some of what's going on now. Please review.A/N: The next chapter is going to take place before Elliot and Olivia joined Dean undercover. It will hopefully explain some of what's going on now. Please review.