Inspiration: So Close by Jon McLaughlin

I know, long time no write. I have been incredibly busy, but I felt I could start back with this. Hope you enjoy. Listen to this song, it rocks!

They were at the policemen's annual christmas ball. It would be the first year in a long while that Elliot and Olivia didn't go together for companionship. The floor belonged to them as they circled the laminate, marking destiny and moving with the musical aide of destiny. In each other's eyes, these partners set each other on fire. Yet, here they were now, separated and longing from afar.

This christmas, Elliot brought his estranged wife who recently birthed their fifth child, Lucas Elliot Stabler. He was his clone in many ways, from his eyes to his smirk. Their union could have been said to be a miraculous reunion if it didn't break Elliot's heart every second of every day.

Kathy did look beautiful. With her classic American woman qualities, her blonde hair was in waves past her shoulders, the rich wine color of her dress accented her crystal blue eyes. However, her gaze toward him was filled with routine and familiarity. No longer an anxious sense of longing or anticipation. No, it was common and comfortable.

Kathy swayed in his arms as they danced slightly on the floor, until his gaze met his previous dance mate... his partner.

She came down the hall in a rich navy blue halter dress that hugged each curve in a demonstrative manner. Her short hair was professionally waved, which made way for easy access to her swan-like neck. Unfortunately for Elliot, her date for the evening, Trevor Langan, whispered in her ear and made her laugh, her head falling back and her neck longing for his lips and teeth.

And then it happened, she looked up. Their gazes met and they both found a common sadness and regret. Without thought, Elliot stepped away from his wife and moved to Olivia's presence, taking in her beauty and aura.

She watched as her heart's captor strode toward her. In his navy blue suit, he reeked of dominance and masculinity. She could feel his tension and hurt, very common traits within her own heart. He came to her feet and stared into her eyes, sending a message of want and need that was without words or outside comprehension.

Olivia managed to find her voice and grasped her wine glass tightly. "El..."

"Dance with me," he demanded.

Her eyes widened as she consumed the alcoholic escape. By this point, Trevor turned his attention to his date and the unwelcomed visitor. He stiffened and began saying in a mock dominant manner, "Detective Stabler, this is not the time--"

"Dance with me, Liv. Its our song."

His plea was melting her heart. "Please..."

"Just once. Then I will let you go." They both knew that statement meant so much more than that one dance.

Closing her eyes in silent surrender, she placed the white zinfindel down and grasped his warm hand, blocking out Trevor's halting remarks and moving in time with her knight.

Elliot guided her to the middle of the dance floor and their bodies instinctively pressed against one another. They swayed to the piano and soft cantor behind them. Olivia's body warmed with memory and want as his large hand moved along her lower back. His warm mouth moved to her ear as he whispered, "Do you remember last year when we danced to this song? You and I seemed to be the only ones in the room."

"We were by three in the morning. I didn't see them clean up," Olivia whispered as she clung to him.

"You look amazing tonight, Liv," Elliot whispered against her cheek before spinning her softly.

As he pulled her back in, she replied, "You can't call me that anymore. Not with your wife across the room."

"Not now," he pleaded. "Just this dance."

They moved in their own time, creating an unknown audience surrounding them. Olivia felt his heart beat against her chest and she felt the unwanted tears enter her eyes. "Nine years ago we met, became partners, became best friends. We were so close to having the world together. Loving, living, searching together. Do you remember our night together last christmas? The way we held each other through the blackout. I would have been the happiest most content individual known to man if I had died that night. I would have been complete."

Elliot's heart broke as he felt her tears moisten his shirt. He pulled her tighter against him and whispered in her ear, "Lets run away. You and me. We can make love under the mountains or even an old hotel. Our children could run around and dirty us with cooking flower or dirt. Liv, we can have our happy ending."

"No Elliot," she said sadly.

"Why?"

"Your children, your wife, our jobs. We were close, but..."

"Now we can't go back."

"I would have married you if you had asked. I would have been yours." Olivia whispered against him.

For a single moment, no one else mattered in that room. Elliot took her face in his hands and lowered his lips to meet her in a slow and warm kiss. It was one filled with dreams, wants and the wrapping of closure. It was goodbye.

"Elliot."

His head moved away from hers as his wife's presence was one again made known. He saw the sadness in his partner's eyes and squeezed her hand gently. "California will love you, Benson."

Swallowing her wants for what was right, Olivia flashed a broken smile to her partner and his wife. "Take care of yourself, Stabler."

Trevor guided Olivia away as Elliot's and her hands were tragically separated. He watched her leave, knowing that once, they were so close, but now they would forever be too far.