A/N-A lot of readers have been asking me to do something a little longer with my SVU fanfics so...complaining pays off. :) I'm not really sure where I want to go with this fanfic yet but I'll let my creativity and the characters take me where they want to go. Have fun reading.

P.S.-I'm trying to edit every chapter as I write so updating may take a little of time...or a small amount of time. This chapter may have some errors in it but I did a pretty good job, I hope.

Disclaimer: Don't own. 'nough said.

There were a total of 150 police officers in attendance to this annual get together of police improvement. I'm sure that in the "official" pamphlet that only the "official" police officers of her present company would understand, there was an official title of some sort that summarized the reason for the finest of NYPD's finest to be together in the same room for an extended weekend. All of the cops, excluding myself, were here for one thing, partying. Every year involved the same actions of excitement, euphoria, and the inevitable crash of drinking one's ass off. Besides appearing pompous, cops were excellent party starters.

Currently, however, the cops are in pompous mode with the honor, pride, and arrogance bubbling throughout the room like a tipsy newborn learning their first words. I wish I could be like them; idiotic and simple-mindedly focused on the impossible task of being extraordinary with no thought to how truly average and normal they really were.

Six of the idiots are watching the television around me amusedly while the other 100 plus officers in attendance were milling around the hotel lobby with an, oddly enough, dejected attitude. I knew all of their names; Detective Bradley from Queens who always found himself invited to any of the NYPD soirees in the same way a fifteen year old girl is invited to a college party, Sergeant Mitchell from my old beat in Manhattan was trying to keep his hands to himself and failing miserably, and the list goes on. Detective Bradley used to flirt with me in a semi-sexual way whenever I would come into his squad room looking for a lead in a case. The lead always ended up being nonexistent unless running around after a tip that ended up spreading all over the boroughs like smoke in the wind consisted of a good lead. When a case is hot the last thing I need is to run around like a chicken with my head cut off but I always returned back to him with case after case, even after his nonsense.

I slept with him once. It was a Wednesday. I was bored with feeling like I was trudging through the shitty refuse of pedophiles and rapists raised from the underworld while he was looking for something different from the usual companionship of paid escorts. Even now as I feel him resting his hand on my knee while talking about my caseload, my body is subconsciously moving away from his toxic touch.

I overheard one of his ex-girlfriends tell the Comforting Friend over the phone about how clingy Bradley was in a relationship and I thought nothing of it. A friendly frenzied fuck in a dark hallway hardly makes up a relationship but I should have about it. Clingy men and women don't have an off-switch; even a chaste kiss on a dirty dank subway train would be enough for the clingy drive to kick in for Bradley. I look up at him with disgust and he finally takes the hint and gets up from the seat beside me. I won't settle for anything less than perfection.

I can't help but wonder what these mindless soldiers employed by that melancholic two-faced mistress known quaintly as "law and order" could be so dejected about? Who wouldn't give their right arm for a fully paid weekend to sleep in 200 thread count sheets "cleaned" (if you consider cleaning to be dousing in scalding hot water every other day) by semi-legal immigrants. (Their semi-legal status granted because even though they were as illegal as chain-smoking a blunt in public, they were still improving the lives of the WASPs that owned this mega chain of hotels. If there is one venture law and order has not graced her presence with its business.) And don't get me started on the opportunity to eat from restaurants that habitually try to swindle occupants out of their hard-earned money by charging $15.67 cents for a salad. Only in New York City could increasing your probability of getting any number of STIs and being swindled by "the man" feel so like the American dream.

It doesn't help that every time I turn around every male officer in a five mile radius keeps trying to give me their phone number. Knowing Bradley he probably started rumors about "The Brunette with the Stick up Her Ass" in revenge against not wanting to start a relationship with him. Their pick-up lines ranged from cheesy to just plain fucked up: "Hey baby, do you want to come to my room later? I'll let you look at my Taser and if you're lucky I might even let you ride it. Room 3422, be there," and the ever infamous, "Hey. Hey are you a cop? You are? Well…want to fuck later? And if this does happen could you wear pantyhose? I have a slight foot fetish that I don't really want to talk about." Nothing makes her feel more special than being addressed like she was a human sex machine, her only purpose in life to fuck and be fucked.

After much effort I have mentally repressed these men into small nuggets of blurry tones of flesh blending into even more vague characteristics of the opposite sex. Why couldn't it be labeled somewhere that all men were disgusting, slimy, and sexually frustrated microcosms of the even more disgusting, slimy, and sexually frustrated society that I reside in? That would make a great birthday card for some unsuspecting 17 year old girl: "Happy Birthday! Men will now start to hound you because you can legally consent! Hope you like your cake!"

I can feel myself starting to hate everything about this necessary weekend into the depths of depravity. I always used to think that cops were the moral I-beams supporting the house of sanity and all that's right in the world. But then I joined NYPD and soon realized how utterly naïve I must have been to believe such bullshit. She learned the hard way that there are more snakes in the force than puppies and most of the time those puppies ended up turning into wolves. And they made sure to force this ideal down my throat all throughout the whole process of becoming a cop; while joining the police academy I'm forced to read pamphlets that use friendly propaganda to relax me into signing my civilian life away along with my sanity, while struggling to make it through the academy some drill sergeant is constantly berating me about "not being good/tough/emotionally unavailable enough" to handle being a cop, while hoping not to get shot on my first beat I cockily walk around with my new badge glowing in the neon lights of the night shift all in an effort to appear like an "ideal cop" not knowing that this is practically a bull's-eye for anyone with a grudge and a gun.

I didn't even know what a cop really was back then. They don't teach that in the academy, the real plight of a detective in the NYPD. The sleepless nights spent watching a suspect proclaim his innocence for the 50th time despite evidence to the contrary, feeling emotions on a daily basis that I had only read about in those cheesy one dollar novels with Fabio on the cover when I was in my teens, and the constant feeling of trust that I had to have for someone who I didn't know and usually reminded me of Disney movie villains.

It's so odd how my life resembles a Disney movie. Here I am sitting in a reasonably nice hotel with my pick of somewhat reasonable guys and girls who want to get to know me better and I'm just pushing them aside, waiting for…hell, I don't even know anymore. Was it companionship, sex, or that infamous and overly romanticized four-letter word called love? I hope it's not love.

Another thing that is infamous in the NYPD is detectives finding themselves in love with anything that has a pulse. My old patrol partner claimed that this was a response to the work that officers and detectives do on a daily basis but that's an oversimplification to say the least. If it was just a natural response to my daily responsibilities than how come the idea of sleeping around with anyone and everyone with a pulse makes my mind reel like I'm in Las Vegas riding the Manhattan Express coaster? I find myself wondering if it's not the idea of having mindless sex again with someone like Bradley that makes me want to physically retch but what if it's something deeper than that.

Staring at the endless droves of suited men and overly masculine women I can't help but feel my eyes drifting shut. As the men chatter around me about how awesome the Yankees are this year I feel my mind slowly start to shutter its conscious thought and open the blinds to her subconscious desires. He was always there, waiting for me like a warm blanket welcomes a child after a long plane ride from some exotic location like Miami or Key West. Sometimes he would have his back turned, other times he would be facing me with that goofy smile of his. He'd walk over to me the same way every time. His stride was always exaggerated like he was racing to tell me some stupid joke that little Eli made up on his own with that trademark goofy grin turning even more goofier like he was cracking up in his own head before he could even tell the punch line. I would always back up from him and end up falling backwards from a convenient ledge that my mind had created for this one moment of potential bliss. Falling from the abyss of my safe subconscious paradise and back into the bleak reality of the conscious, I would always try, in vain, to cry out to him to save me, grab me, or fall with me. He never did. He would just stand there at the ledge with that infuriating smile and with a shrug he would walk away like I didn't even matter. But who am I kidding, I don't matter to him. He has a wife and kids. His life doesn't include me anywhere in it except as his good cop to his bad cop at work.

I am just "the partner" in his grand scheme of things but that was hardly a problem until a couple of years ago. After the car accident with Kathy, the whole life flashing before your eyes moment, and Eli's birth all I can remember is that damn hug. That one action started all of this endless turmoil because I just can't see it for what it was, a simple outpouring of powerful emotions onto the first person he knew. I wanted that, no, needed that hug to mean more because it gave me a connection; a connection to Elliot, a connection to a new life born onto this world, and a connection to the hope that I needed to feel. The psychoanalyst side of myself keeps telling me that I was so starved for a connection to anything not related to the scum that I deal with on a daily basis that it latched onto that one moment between me and Elliot instinctually but that just doesn't answer everything for me. The why is clearly defined but what about the "what now?" I can sit in my room till the fat lady sings and still not have an answer to that question which happens to be the one question I want answered more than anything else in the world.

But my introspection will have to wait for another time. I feel a man blowing air in my face and probably expecting some kind of pre-pick up line dialogue that every man waits for so he can throw out another rendition of the lines mentioned previously. Am I the only woman on this planet who hates it when men sit in front of their face and expect? Expect what, you ask? I don't know but usually it revolves around their sexual organs or their mouths.

Upon opening my eyes, I see that my expectation of a guy visibly personifying the word "sketchy" is wrong in this case and it is him. The source of all of my late night heartaches is standing in front of me with that stupid goofy grin like he just figured out the cure to Parkinson's disease and all I can think about is how much I would love it if he would just hug me again. My hands are practically leaking sweat, my eyes are cringing like lemon juice just got squirted in them, and my calf muscles are starting to clench rhythmically (the last part would have actually been sort of pleasurable in different circumstances). I'm so pathetic, waiting on him to give me a hug but I still find myself wanting, craving, and moaning every minute of the day all for just one more second of alone time between me and him. I feel so much for this one man that it's starting to override all of the carefully arranged webs of logic and common sense I have built up around myself over the years. I want him to want me but I can't help but hate myself for wanting that. It wasn't because of his family (even though that was a substantial part of the equation) it was because I couldn't let myself fall like that. Going after Elliot would be the equivalent of choosing to jump out of a burning car going 120 mph or stay and hopefully keep the car under control enough to make a safe exit later down the road. Either way I'm going to get burned; either go after Elliot now and risk losing my career, the one connection I have to a family, and, most importantly, my best friend or try to keep my need under control until I found someone else who could substitute as a vehicle for my pent-up emotions. It was an impossible decision. Any lesser female would have crushed under the pressure but I'm hardly some waif. I need to see this through, for better or worse.