A/N: Thanks, a few of you, for this word. Strange things happen in the dark.

DISCLAIMER: SVU and characters are both owned by Dick Wolf. TStabler© owns this story.

It had started out like any other day for the gang at the sixteenth precinct. Chasing perps, aiding vics, yelling at each other, throwing things, drinking cup after cup of swill, and heaving a sigh of relief when it was all over.

Two detectives, partners, though, had a major fight before the end of their shift, and one of them was not about to let the other one go to bed angry. He followed her, walking always just a few feet too far behind her, for the entire six blocks. She knew he was back there. She smirked, knowing it. She ran up the front steps to her building, unlocking her door, and he had made it to the bottom step when he called her name.

She ignored it, and she let the door slam in his face, knowing he would have to wait until someone either buzzed him in or walked out before the door opened again. She could be so cruel when she was pissed off.

She walked into her apartment, took of her jacket and shoes, and had just sat on her couch when the intercom buzzed. She ignored it, only feeling slightly guilty for leaving him out in the cold. He wounded her, and she was only getting even. She pulled her knees to her chest and wrapped the blanket from the back of the couch around her, since the heat her building had been out for days and, clearly, still wasn't fixed.

The buzz filtered through her apartment again. She ignored it again. She turned on the television and just as she was getting engrossed in a sappy movie, her door flew open. She looked at him, shocked, wide-eyed, as she mentally chided herself for giving him a key.

"Damn it," he yelled, "I'm trying to apologize!"

"I don't want you to apologize," she yelled back, not unwrapping from her self-made- ball on the sofa. "I just want you to go the hell home, leave me alone, and let me…"

"It is fucking freezing in here!" he yelled, turning around to look at the thermostat. He played with it, not understanding why it wasn't moving.

She shrugged. "Heat broke," she said. "Go home where it's warm."

He looked at her again, shaking his head. He closed the door and slipped off his shoes, making his intentions of staying a while known. He hung his coat on the hook next to hers and then walked over to the couch. He sighed. "What I said to you…I didn't say it…to you," he said, hesitating.

"So you were calling Munch a heartless, frigid bitch?" she asked, accusingly.

He shook his head. "I was talking to Kathy," he said, dropping his head back to the couch. He shook his head again, feeling the weight of it as it moved, and he laughed. "That vile woman we interrogated…the way you yelled at her…the things she was saying, it all got to me, and I was thinking about Kathy, and I yelled at you. I am so sorry."

She pulled the blanket around her tighter. "Why are you calling your wife names, Stabler?" she asked, still snippy. "Surefire way to get divorced," she grumbled.

"Yeah," he said. "That's what I'm hoping." He lifted his head to see the shock on her face. "I'm fucking cold," he said, scooting closer to her. He pulled the blanket roughly, wrapped his arms around her, and covered them both with the blanket. "How do you expect to sleep in here tonight?" he asked, peering down at her.

The unwilling cuddler looked up at him. "See the electric heater on my coffee table? I'm gonna sleep on the couch," she said, narrowing her eyes. "Why the hell are you holding me?" she asked harshly.

"I'm apologizing," he said, the smirk on his face matched only by the one in his voice. "And you're cold. Does it really bother…"

He stopped speaking when the lights went out. The heater turned off. The television was off, the refrigerator stopped running, and as he turned to look out the window, he noticed all of the streetlights and other houses were completely dark.

"Well, this is just fucking terrific," Olivia said.

"You afraid of the dark, Benson?" he asked, teasing her. He caressed her shoulder lightly, moving her a bit, situating her more on his lap than necessary.

She scoffed. "I'm worried about the food in my fridge, jackass," she griped.

"You don't have any food in your fridge," he retorted.

She hit him in the chest and said, "Go to hell, son of a bitch."

"Well, I can't see to get out," he said, humor in his words, "And it looks like the whole block has gone dark. You're stuck with me for a while. I promise, I will go straight to hell when the lights come on." He pulled her closer and scooted further to his right, making her sit in the very middle of his lap. He pulled her legs up, and wrapped her in both his arms and the blanket. "Still cold?" he asked.

She shook her head. If she opened her mouth, she was afraid she would yell "Yippie!" or something equally immature and embarrassing. She loved being in his arms. "So," she finally said, clearing her throat. "Why are you calling your wife a frigid bitch?"

"A heartless, frigid bitch," he corrected. "Because she is. She's the most manipulative…no, ya know what, we aren't talking about her tonight. We're lying here in the dark, and you know what they say, 'the truth is easier seen in the dark', so why don't we just drop the shit and be us until the power comes back on?"

"Who says that?" she questioned. "What the hell does that even mean?" she asked, sounding mildly offended. Was he insinuating that she was lying to him? Keeping something from him? How the hell did he know?

He sighed. "I mean," he began, "Tell me something you were always afraid to tell me because you didn't wanna see the look on my face." He shrugged. "Can't see it," he said, "No need to be afraid."

The list was so long, she thought. "I'm terrified of elephants," she said.

"That's it?" he asked her. "Really, you could tell me anything, anything at all, and you pick that?" he scoffed.

"I was always afraid you'd laugh," she shrugged.

He moved his arms lower, holding her waist. One hand trailed over her stomach, drawing small circles, and she let out a light gasp when he inched up her shirt, baring her skin, and continued his ministrations on her toned flesh. "Something else," he whispered. It sounded like he gulped. His hand slid further down, between her legs, his knuckles brushing up and down her clothes-covered slit, teasing, seeing how far she would let him go.

She squeezed her eyes shut. He knew what she was keeping from him. He knew, and he was playing with her. "My middle name is Rhonda," she said, determined not to let him win.

"Why were you afraid to tell me that?" he asked. He felt her weight shift and his first instinct was to hold her down, but his goal tonight was not to scare her, but tell her she didn't have to be afraid anymore.

She sat up straight, deciding to make him lose at his own game, and said, "The look on your face, the number of looks you could give me…come on, Olivia Rhonda Benson?"

"Orb," he chuckled. "Ow," he yelped. "Don't hit me when I can't see it coming." He felt her hand moving again, but not to hit him. She was sliding her fingertips down his leg. "Liv," he whispered, "If you're looking for something…"

"I'm not," she interrupted. "Okay, wiseass, tell me something I don't know about you," she said with a wicked smirk, though he couldn't see it. She grew bold in the dark, and moved her hand higher again, and to the left, two fingers closing around the button of his fly. "Anything," she said.

He swallowed again. If this is how nervous he was making her, then he suddenly felt incredibly sorry for it. "In the third grade, I used to fall asleep in history class," he started. "Whenever the teacher woke me up, I called her 'mommy'."

She chuckled as she flicked the button, opening it. The same two fingers gripped the zipper pull of his pants, and she shifted her weight again. "What else ya got?" she asked, sliding the metal down.

His head dropped. She was not being nice to him. This was not fair. "Uh, well, that stuffed giraffe you got on Valentine's Day last year? That was from me."

Now they were getting somewhere. But, she thought, they'd gone too far to turn back, and she started something she had every intention of finishing.

"Aren't you gonna say anything?" he asked, trying to stay calm as he felt her pulling down the top and front of his boxers, feeling her way.

"Stop talking," she said. Her heart was beating quickly and every hair in her body was standing on end, but she wanted this. She knew he wanted this. It was coming to them so much easier in the dark. She couldn't see him, but she felt around, dragging her hands up his thighs again, finding his freed manhood.

"Oh, my God," he moaned, his own hands moving to her wrists. "You don't…"

She swatted his hands away and wrapped her legs around him, straddling him, and said, "Stop talking." She took hold of his length, surprised at how hard he already was, and ran her hand up and down the full length. She bit her lip, suppressing the gasp that grew in her mouth as she realized how long and thick he was. She let her eyes close as she felt his hands slide up her back, and one of his large, calloused, paws gripped her neck and her eyes shot open. He was going to kiss her.

He pulled her closer to him, the only part of her body he could see were her eyes, and he looked right into them.

She was looking back as her hand stroked him, and she both heard his moan and felt it against her skin. They were that close. She dropped her forehead to his and he tilted his head. They'd waited a lifetime, it seemed, for this moment, and it was going to happen when they couldn't see each other's faces. When they wouldn't have to face the fear, the rejection, the wrongness of it all. It was perfect.

He pressed his lips to hers first, moaning as he felt her tighten her grip. The hand not on her back slid down to her pants and gave the waistband a shove. "Off," he demanded, still kissing her.

Not one to take orders, she shook her head as she stoked him harder.

"Off," he barked, pulling his lips away from hers, "Now." He gave her a shove, breaking their bodies apart and forcing her to her feet. His hands roamed; he felt his way to her waist and unzipped the material, then shimmied the pants over her hips. He ran his hand back up her legs, slowly, and gripped the sides of her panties. "I would give anything to see you right now," he whispered, sliding the fabric down.

"I'm glad you can't," she whispered. She really was. The pink in her cheeks, him seeing she was blushing, would be bad enough. She was also relieved he couldn't see her scars, her imperfections, her flaws.

"Baby," he whispered into the dark, a name he had never called her before, "Any man as in love with you as I am would kill to make love to you," he said, sliding her shirt off, "Every chance he got, with the lights on." He found her eyes in the pitch black, looking into them, and he said, "And his eyes wide open."

Her breath hitched as he tugged off her bra. He spilled his true secret, and she could no longer breathe. Looking into his eyes, she knew it was true, but she couldn't let herself believe it. This was only happening because he had left his wife, and they were in the dark, there were no real consequences. That's what she forced herself to believe

He pulled her toward him, finding her hips with his hands, and he situated her directly in front of him. He said nothing as, guided by his nose and the scent of her arousal, he found her slit and licked.

"Oh, my God," she moaned in a soft whisper. Her head flew back as his tongue lapped at her, and her hands toyed with his hair, brushing it back, holding him to her, as if he would really go anywhere. "Elliot," she moaned, her head lolling forward this time.

He licked her, sucked her clit into his mouth, then dropped sweet kisses to the insides of her thighs. "You taste so sweet," he whispered to her, licking his lips. He dove for more, his hands now cupping her ass. He explored her depths, her flavors hitting him in waves. Sweet, spicy, intoxicating.

"El," she breathed, her legs starting to buckle, "El, don't…"

He sucked on her clit again, biting hard before releasing her. "Don't what?" he asked, pulling her down in one, quick, move. He rose, never taking his eyes off of hers, as it was the only way he could still tell where she was. He undressed quickly and moved on top of her, feeling them both sinking into the couch.

She watched his eyes as he tried to make room for them, suddenly hating herself for not spending a little extra money on the wider couch in the set. "Elliot," she whispered.

"Olivia," he whispered back at her, a soft smile that couldn't be seen on his face. He nudged her legs further open with his knee, running his hands down her arms to find her hands. He linked their fingers tightly as he bent his head, assuming he was going to kiss her neck. He was lower on her than he thought, and was pleasantly surprised when he was awarded with a beaded nipple in his mouth. He sucked for a few glorious moments, earning delicious sounds from his lover, and he let her go.

She squeezed his hands, telling him she was ready, and she said, "You're in love with me." It wasn't a question.

He nodded, forgetting she couldn't see him, and he looked into her eyes, lowering his head again, finding his chosen target: her lips. He kissed her deeply as he pushed into her, their moans mixing and blending, like a loud, low, symphony.

She moved her hips, meeting him thrust for magnificent thrust. She moaned, not in protest, but excitement, when he brought their linked hands over her head. He let one go, slipping it into his other hand, holding them both with one. "El," she groaned against his masterful kiss, "El, baby."

"I know, Liv," he agreed, knowing what she was feeling because he was feeling it to. "Shit, baby, you are so fucking tight," he hissed, pushing deep, hard, at a speed he thought would be enjoyable for them both, having to work to figure it out. He moved fast, then slow, not sure how she needed or wanted it. Ten minutes of give and take, fast and slow, and he never stopped kissing her.

"Faster," she whispered, when he was going to slow, even for himself. "Yes, baby, yes," she cried, her back arching as he sped up.

Not sure how much longer he could hold out, he let go of her wrists, and he gripped the arm of the couch near her head for support. He slid one hand between them and pressed his fingers to her clit, stroking it in time with his thrusts. He felt her tighten and contract and he said, "Holy shit, baby."

"God damn, El," she moaned, her hands flying to his body, squeezing and gripping whatever flesh they landed on. It was hard to tell in the dark.

"Liv, baby, I can't…I'm gonna…" he pressed his lips together, tightening ever muscle he had as he thrust hard into her and moved his finger faster over her nub.

She shot up, clamping around him as he found his eyes. "I love you," she said, and as she crashed her lips into his, the world seemed to end for both of them.

They cried into their kiss, their bodies shook with the most divine orgasms of their lives, and he shot off into her hotly, and a great deal, making sure to mark his territory.

When his vision came back, he blinked, and he looked at her. He brushed her hair back and kissed her again. "There you are," he said with a smile. "Nice to see you, baby," he chuckled.

"The lights came back on?" she asked, rolling her head. "Oh, yeah, look at that," she said with a small chuckle.

He nudged her chin with his nose, a heartwarming move, and he whispered, "You, um, you said you love me." He took a breath and asked, "Was that just because we were making love in the dark?"

She smiled at him and shook her head. "Any woman, as in love with you as I am, would make love to you every chance she got, with the lights on," she said. "And her eyes wide open."

He kissed her and, against her lips he mumbled, "Sure. You pick now to start listening to me." He wrapped her around him, turning them over, and whispered, "Thank God."

A/N: I have a MUCH different version of this word. Heh, heh. I liked this one though. Thoughts?