A/N: A new one. Possibly. Starts sort of angsty. Takes place a few days after Olivia's return from Oregon.
DISCLAIMER: Dick Wolf own SVU and the characters; TStabler© owns the story you're about to read.
He looked around, shaking his head at the scene surrounding him. He ran a hand down his face, clearing his throat. "I don't get it."
Olivia, beside him, snapped on a latex glove. "Neither do I." She sniffled a bit and cleared her throat, too. "We have a job to do, El. We can't make this personal, so just..."
"You just got back. You shouldn't be working this case," he interrupted.
She turned to him, a fierce look in her eyes. "Neither should you." She lowered her voice and narrowed her eyes. "You, of all people, shouldn't be working this case."
"None of us should," a voice from in front of them snapped. "But it's our district, clearly it's a special victims case. We have no choice, so just stop staring at each other like you wanna eat each other and...investigate."
Elliot looked at Fin, narrowing his eyes. "Ya know, I'm getting really sick of your attitude."
"I'm gettin' really sick of you, period, Stabler," Fin yelled back.
"Guys!" Olivia shouted, breaking up their growls and stepping between them. "We have one of our own lying on the floor in a pool of her own blood, and you two are standing over her trying to see who can look more threatening. Ya know what? I'm sick of both of you, so if you don't mind getting out of my way, I have work to do."
Elliot, stunned, stepped aside as she pushed between him and Fin and into the other room. He looked at the other man, scoffed, and followed after Olivia, suddenly eager to get back on her good side, knowing what it would cost him if he didn't.
Fin, though, shook his head and turned, bowing his head sadly at the stiff, cold body of Dani Beck. He exhaled harshly and walked over to the medical examiner, hoping the case would close fast.
Elliot, leaving Fin alone, turned the corner and saw Olivia, busy rummaging through Dani's things. "Hey," he called to her as he entered the bedroom. "What was that?"
She ignored him, opening and closing drawers, trying to do her job. She slammed one shut so hard the dresser shook, and her gaze shifted to its shining surface. She stretched out a hand and lifted up a picture of Dani, surrounded by three friends, laughing. She stared for a moment before shaking her head, and she put it back down. "She was pretty, huh?" she asked, a sad, hopeless look in her eyes.
His eyebrows knitted together. He licked his lips. "Are you really doing this now? Right now?"
"I'm not doing anything," she said, shaking her head again. "Just going over the reasons why anyone would want to rape and kill a cop. Over the years, we must have heard...shit, thousands. Makes me wonder what would happen to me if..."
"I would never let anything happen to you," he said, his voice low. He walked over to her and, as he helped her rifle through the desk for some sort of clue, he said, "You know that I would never..."
"I know," she interrupted. "I know all about her, too, El."
"Yeah?" he asked, stiffening. "Do you?"
She nodded and pawed through file folders. "Yeah, I do."
He clicked his tongue, a sign he was trying to control his temper. "So then you know that it was one kiss, and I was drunk, and you weren't there so I..."
"If I didn't come back, what would you have done?" she asked, looking up at him and tilting her head.
"What?" he asked, irritated. "Liv, come on, I was confused, and hurt, she was just...there. God, she caught me at a vulnerable moment, and it was never gonna be more than just that one kiss, no matter how much she may have wanted it to be. I thought about you the whole time, which made me feel guilty, for so many fucking reasons."
She looked at him more intensely, now holding a torn letter in one hand. "Just answer me," she said as she waved it, signaling him to look for the other half. "If I stayed away..."
"That's another thing," he said, flipping through papers in a drawer for the other half of that letter. "You never told me why you left. Why you really left. I know it was a job, and it was only for a few weeks, but I just..."
"I left because I loved you, El," she said, simply and clearly. "I realized that I couldn't be around you and not be...with you. It hurt too much. So I took off the first chance I got. I thought not being anywhere near you would..."
"So?" he asked. cutting her off, shutting a book with a thud as he smiled and held up the other half of the torn page. "Did it?" He handed it to her with a victorious look on his face. "Did it make everything easier?"
She smiled at him. "Made it all worse. It's part of the reason we are where we are, right now. Why we're..." she trailed off, just raising an eyebrow at him. "It hurt to be with you, but even more to be away from you, El."
He moved closer to her, and he whispered, "You'll never be away from me again. I promise you that." He blinked once. "And to answer your question, even if you didn't come back...which I'm thankful you did, by the way, I wouldn't have done anything more with Dani. She was a distraction. You used leaving and I...I used her. And like you, all I got out of it was how much I really wanted you."
Her breath hitched as he moved closer. She gasped a bit. "What about..."
"Benson," Fin's voice beckoned, breaking into the moment, "You and your partner should see this."
Olivia raised an eyebrow, took the two pieces of the torn letter in one hand, and walked toward Fin, with Elliot right beside her. "And what the hell happened with you and Fin while I was gone?"
Elliot growled again, the mention of that name causing anger to build. "I'll tell you later."
She raised both eyebrows, surprised at his answer, and shook her head, heading out into the hallway. "What, Fin?"
Fin turned and held up a plastic evidence bag. "This was in her hand."
Elliot reached for it, taking it so that he and Olivia could get a good look at it. "This isn't hers," he said.
"You would know," Olivia said, snippy. She looked up at him and shrugged. "Sorry."
He smirked at her, knowing that she never could control her jealousy when it came to him. He couldn't control his, either, so he let it slide. "Silver shield, Internal Affairs. I'll run the number as soon as we..."
"Don't bother," Olivia said, closing her eyes. "It's Tucker's."
Elliot and Fin looked at her, both curious, both slightly angry. "And you know that off the top of your head because..."
She interrupted him immediately, a scoff escaping before her first word. "Because he's gotten us into so much shit, mostly because of you, that I thought it was necessary to remember it, in case I needed to file a report," she said. Then she smirked at Elliot. "I know your badge number, too."
His eyes darkened. "Yeah, why do you think I jumped to conclusions?"
She slapped him in the arm and held up the bag. "We gotta get this to O'Halloran in the lab. Find out whose prints are on it. This letter, too. Oh, and one of you should talk to Tucker."
Fin folded his arms. "Why does it need to be one of us?"
"He's scared to death of Elliot and he thinks you'd shoot him if he looked at you the wrong way," Olivia said. "You'll get more out of him. Besides, I think under the circumstances, I should be the one that goes with Warner." She sighed and looked down. "I only knew her for a few days, you both...have more of a connection to her than I do. Did."
Elliot hummed and said, "Fine. I'll talk to Tucker. Fin, get these things back to the..."
"I'm going to the lab, anyway," Olivia said, snapping her head up. "I'll take it all to O'Halloran."
Elliot narrowed his eyes. "Okay," he said. "Then I'll go with you, and Fin can talk to..."
"Jesus," Fin said, ripping the badge and letter away from Olivia. "I'll go with Melinda, the two of you go see Tucker. Go all good-cop-bad-cop on his ass."
Before anyone could protest, Fin was following Melinda and her crew out of the front doors of the apartment.
"Is there a reason you didn't wanna be the one to talk to Tucker?" Elliot asked, raising an eyebrow.
She looked at him, bit her lip, and simply said, "I'll tell you later." She walked away, heading out, closing her eyes and taking a deep breath. She knew he was following her, and she prayed he would keep his mind off of her and on the case.
At least, until they got home.
A/N: They? What is going on with them? What's up with Fin? And what, if anything, does Tucker have to do with Dani, and why is Liv afraid of talking to him? Answers...if you want them. Review here, or TracieOneSeven on Twitter