Author's Note: July is apparently going to be my breakthrough month.

I've already expanded into the CSI:NY fandom and now I'm currently immersed in the Iron Man one, too. Why not get into SVU? Besides, my muse has been clamoring to write something for it since I saw "Zebras", which was epic. Definitely one of the best episodes I've seen hands down and I've seen a lot of them.

So, here I am ready to pop my EO cherry…that sounded wrong.

This story is going to be an AU of the season 8 shipper nightmare that was called "Annihilated" and it will address a core EO "what if?"

"What if Elliot had gone to Olivia after it all went down?" It's going to be chock full of angst and hurt/comfort but it will work out in the end.

Special thanks to Mariposa for giving me a refresher on the episode and let me know if you guys want more.

Disclaimer: "Honestly, it's not mine!"

After checking on the kids, he hesitated outside the master bedroom door, considering whether or not to turn the knob. Beyond it laid Kathy and familiarity. There wasn't any love left between them or even hostility. It was more like a stagnant pool, not moving but lingering in limbo. Their marriage was absolutely dead. The separation proved that. But, after the hellish case he had just been through, he needed something. He needed something solid to cling to, something that would remind him that he was not like Malcolm Royce. Kathy would let him in; welcome him into bed, into her body. He could lose himself in her and forget about the whole fucked up situation for just a little while.

But, at what cost?

Moving away from the door, he headed downstairs to the living room couch, trying to think things through.

All Elliot could dwell on, however, were the startling similarities between him and Royce.

Catholic, large family, workaholic, torn between two women…

Selfish, callous, manipulating, desperate…

Elliot was trying to have "it all" and it was hurting all of those around him. Royce did the same thing but took it to another level, another horrifying level. As he closed his eyes, he could see all the faces of his family, killed by his own hand. It was all too easy for Elliot to replace the faces with those of his kids. He could easily get to that level and that scared the living hell out of him. The more he thought about Royce, the sicker he became, especially after the bastard shot himself and was brought in, cocky and cool as a cucumber until Elliot had forced him to face what he did. It had been hard as hell to stop himself from killing the bastard like he had his girlfriend. It would've been like purging the world from something impure and like destroying the twisted part of Elliot's own makeup. He could remember hearing that same arrogance in his own tone, that same cool civility he had showed to the interrogators Elliot remembered using with his partner…god, his partner.

Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out his wallet and fished out the laminated picture of Detective Olivia Benson within. It had been taken at the last Christmas party at the 1-6. She was laughing at something (he could tell by the flush in her cheeks) and trying to grab the camera from Munch. With tender fingers, he traced the outline of her face. Other than his children, Liv kept him from losing it. She pulled him back from the edge time and time, let him lash out at her, and she wasn't afraid to call him a prick and tell him to grow up.

She was his rock and his god given solace.

She was also the "other woman" in his Malcolm situation. Not literally, of course. He wouldn't dare make Olivia his mistress. She was a kind, compassionate, and vulnerable soul under that bitter badass detective facade she hid under and a physical affair would've broken her spirit, something that Elliot would've never been able to forgive himself for, even without his Catholic guilt aiding him.

However, that hadn't stopped him from pursuing an emotional affair with her. One of Kathy's biggest complaints was that he never talked to her, never opened up about all the shit he saw out there. Why would he open up to her if had Olivia? Olivia understood him completely (because she was just as fucked up as he was) and didn't judge him. She could handle all the horrors of SVU because she had survived many of them. Hell, she was a product of one of them.

He completely depended on her for support and not his wife, leading to his current state of affairs.

"Are you staying or leaving?"

Startled, Elliot turned to see Kathleen looking at him from the doorway, a half empty glass of milk in her hand.

"What are you doing up?"

"I'm a light sleeper. Look, dad, you can't keep doing this. Leaving and coming back. You need to make a choice and stick with it because yeah, you and mom have screwed up your marriage but we shouldn't have to suffer for it. You know that Maureen barely comes home, anymore? She says that it hurts too much. And Lizzie cries herself to sleep every night, wondering what she did to make you hate us and Dickie barely says a word anymore. He spends all his time doing god knows what in his room. Fix it or don't. Just stop hurting us. Now, I'm going back to sleep because I'm mad as hell at you and mom and right now, it's all I can do not to take the butcher's knife to you.", she snapped tearfully.


His phone rang and a cold mirthless smile curved his daughter's lips.

"Bye, dad. Can't keep Olivia waiting. God knows that she's the only person you truly give a damn about anymore." she sneered before stalking upstairs.

The sad part was that he couldn't even deny it without sounding like a weak, lying tool.

Just. Like. Malcolm.

Standing, he exited the house and got back in his car, at a loss as to what to do next.

His phone rang again and he answered heavily.


"El, where are you? Are you okay?"

He briefly considered lying but he quickly scrapped the idea.

If his biological family hated him, then he would go to the only family he had left and to the only person that would take him in with no question.

"Liv…can I come see you? I need…I need to see you."

"Yeah. Of course, you can come see me. What's wrong?"

He sighed deeply and simply replied, "Everything." before hanging up and driving towards her place.