A/N: A new one.

Disclaimer: SVU is owned and operated by Dick Wolf. TStabler (c) just took the characters out to play for a bit.

He walked through the bar, waving the stench of booze and despair out of his face. He found her at a high table in the back. She was halfway to shitfaced.

"Since when do you drink?" he asked, sitting.

"Since when do you care?" she spat back, throwing back her shot.

"I care," he scoffed.

She shook her head. "Bullshit."

"Liv..." He stopped and watched her down another drink.

"You left me there...alone...with all the death and the pain...and the abuse." There were tears in her eyes as she spoke.

He bit his lip. "I thought you..."

But she cut him off. "Did it ever occur to you that I could only handle it with you? That I could only stomach it with you next to me?" she tossed a twenty on the table and rose from her seat. "Some fucking partner you turned out to be!"

She moved but he grabbed her hand and stood up. "What the fuck are you doing, Elliot?"

"You're drunk," he hissed.

"You're an asshole," she hissed in return.

He pulled her closer to him "You know why I left," he whispered.

She leaned in even closer. She ripped her hand out of his and dragged it down his body. She cupped his dick through his pants, moaning at feeling the true girth of it for the first time, and kissed him slowly. Hard. Punishing. She squeezed her hand around him and just when he began to reciprocate she pulled back. "Take that back to your wife tonight. When you fuck her tonight, like I know you will, think of me. This was a kiss goodbye, Elliot." She walked away, leaving him shocked and more turned on than he's ever been in his life.

"Shit!" he barked, tossing down her unfinished shot. He thought for a moment as the liquid heat ran down his throat. His eyes traveled over the crowded bar, and he let out a hard breath. And then he did the only thing he could do. He ran after her.

By the time he made it to the door and out into the night, she was gone. He ran a hand down his face before turning and heading in the direction of her apartment. It was farther than he remembered, and he . He was out of breath, panting, holding the left side of his body, feeling the lack of training hit him as he climbed the front steps of her building.

He punched the elevator button, and he hunched over, taking hard breaths as he waited. Finally he hear the ding, and he used the seconds of rest to get his thoughts together. What did she mean, goodbye? Why did she kiss him like that? Why did she touch him like that? Why did he want her to do it again?

"Fuck me," he mumbled, rubbing his eyes and inhaling hard. The elevator stopped, the doors opened, and he took two steps before coming face-to-face with Olivia's landlord. He was in front of her door, a set of keys and a rusty doorknob in his hand. "What…um…are you fixing that?"

"Changing the locks," the gruff man garbled. "Tenant moved out. Why? You interested in the place?"

Elliot's eyes bulged. "Moved out? What? When?"

"Well," the man, who smelled a little like moldy bacon, thought for a moment. "She, uh, she started packin' a week ago, and she was all gone this mornin'. Came back to pick up a few things and hand in her keys. What's it to ya?"

"Where did she go?" Elliot asked, gripping the man's shoulders, and instantly regretting it.

"Woah, fella!" The landlord backed up. "Said somethin' about a bus. She was in an awful hurry, and she smelled like a frat party gone wrong."

"Bus," Elliot repeated. He backed up and turned, and he ran for the stairs. "Thanks!" he yelled over his shoulder.

"New York," the man said, putting a screwdriver in his pocket. "Full o'nuts."


Elliot walked through the bus terminal, shocked and on the verge of tears. He had checked Greyhound, NJ Transit, Peter Pan…he couldn't find Olivia anywhere. He stopped in front of the Capitol Lines waiting area and pulled out his cell phone, and he dialed her number. He had been doing it all night. "Answer," he hissed. "Pick up your fucking phone!"

He heard a shrill ringing, and he turned around quickly. "Liv?" He ran toward the bench and snapped his phone shut, dropping it into his pocket. "Liv! Jesus Christ!" He pulled her up into his arms and rocked a bit.

"Please," she said, closing her eyes. "Stop rocking. You're making me sick."

He chuckled and backed away from her. "Leaving," he said, shaking his head. "You're leaving? When were you gonna tell me?"

"I wasn't," she shrugged, flopping back into her seat. "I don't even know how you found me. Up until ten minutes ago, I thought I was on the bus."

He sat beside her and shook his head. "Man, I have never seen you this trashed before." He ran a hand through her hair and asked, almost pitifully, "Why would you kiss me like that? Liv, why the hell would you leave me like this?"

"You left me first," she said, ignoring his question about the kiss that lingered on her lips, making them burn. She took a breath and then she hiccupped. "I was just…getting even."

"Liv," he sighed, throwing his hands up. "I didn't leave you! I left the unit! I left a job I couldn't do anymore. I left a world that was taking me away from my family. I didn't leave you, I thought we'd still…"

"You thought, what, we'd get together for mani-pedis every Wednesday and go shopping together?" She scoffed. "You're not some friend from high-school, Elliot! You're my fucking partner! Do you have any idea what it's like going from seeing you all day, every day, to only having a weekly phone call?" She shook her head and hiccupped again. "It fucking sucks."

"You think it's been easy for me?" he asked, his eyes narrow. "You don't think I miss you?"

"You get to stay home with your perfect family," she said, jutting a finger at him. "You're earning your goddamned father of the year award, and I had a seven year old girl die in my arms tonight. Ya know who was with me? Nobody." She hiccupped and heard her bus's number being called. She stood, on wobbly legs, and grabbed her duffle bag. "That's me."

"Wait, you're really going?" he asked, his heart stopping. "Liv!"

She chuckled. "I don't have a reason to stay, Elliot! Do I?"

"Your job," he said fast.

"I'm calling Cragen in the morning, tell him I quit," she said. "One dead kid too many. Try again," she dropped her bag and folded her arms.

He stood, he moved in, and he put one hand on each shoulder. "You love this city. You've got your favorite deli, your gym, your dry cleaner…"

"They have all of those things in.." she paused to hiccup. "California."

"California!" he yelled. "No way! No way in Hell!" He grabbed her duffle bag, then he grabbed her. He lifted her into his arms and moved fast, heading for the main gate.

"Put me down!" she yelled. "Elliot, I'm…" She kicked and punched, and jumped. Once on her feet, she slapped him in the arms, hard and fast. "What the hell is wrong with you?"

"You're drunk! I am not letting you…"

"Letting me?" she shouted, her eyes wide. "You don't have to let me do anything! I am not your wife! I'm not your partner, I'm not your girlfriend, I'm not even your friend anymore, Elliot! And the only way…"

"Stay!" he shouted over her. "Goddamn it, Olivia, you can't fucking drop your entire life and skip across the fucking country! That's insane!" He tilted his head. "What do you mean, we're not friends anymore?"

"There's nothing for me here," she yelled, waving both hands in the air. "God, Elliot, don't you get that? Now that things are…the way they are…the only thing this city holds for me is a lifetime of bad memories." She wiped the tear falling down her cheek with her thumb. "Shit, Elliot, I have to get out of here."

He shook his head, he took her hand. "You come home with me, you sober up, you sleep it off. If you wake up and you still wanna go…I won't stop you."

"I am not going home with you." She shook her head and pulled her hand out of his. "Your kids don't need to see me like this. And your wife…that's a headache I don't need. Not on top of the one I already have."

Elliot pulled her hand back into his, and he looked into her eyes. "Liv, please," he whispered. "Just…give me tonight. We'll talk. We'll work something out. If you still wanna leave…"

"Don't look at me like that," she whispered, blinking. "Don't patronize me, Elliot. You aren't gonna talk to me, tonight, so just stop. Give me a reason to stay. You don't want me to leave. Why not?"

His hands shook, his bottom lip trembled. "Liv, I…I can't."

"You tell me why," she said, tossing her hair back. "Or I'm getting on that bus."

His heart hammering, he gripped her hand tighter. "Tonight," he said with a nod. "Just, please, come back to my place tonight. If you're serious about leaving, you'll do it when you're sober."

She shook her head and grabbed her back, letting her hand fall from his. "If I sober up, I won't leave," she told him. "That's why I have to go now. El, I…"

"Please?" he quietly begged. He let her see the tears in his eyes, the panic and the pain. "Liv?"

Stunned at watching him near tears, she closed her eyes. "You are so lucky I can't feel my legs. I'd be running for that bus so fast right now." She fell into him, and felt his arms wrap tightly around her. "Just…don't rock," she reminded him, letting the hug last far longer than it should, and feeling a little bit more of heart break when she finally let go.


When they got back to his place, the living room was empty. He turned on the light, led Olivia to the couch, and sat with her. "Thank you," he whispered. "For…for not…"

"Yeah," she said, leaning back. "Whatever."

"Where's all your stuff?" he asked, scooting closer to her. "Your landlord said you moved out this morning, so…all of your furniture…"

"Is on its way to San Francisco," she finished. She sighed. "It's done, El, all you've done is prolong the inevitable."

He looked at her, seeing the paleness of her face, the strain she seemed to be under. "I didn't leave to hurt you. You know why I left, Liv. You told me you understood, you gave me your blessing."

"Yeah, that's when I thought you were full of shit," she said. "When I thought you'd be out for a week and come back because you missed it. I didn't think…six fucking months, Elliot." She bit her lip. "Six months, and your desk is being occupied by a guy who….I have bras that are older than this asshole."

He chuckled. "That great, huh?"

"I'm not joking!" She rested her head against her hand. "He calls me Olive, he drinks pomegranate juice, he wears Tommy Hilfiger suits, and he answers his cell phone with a very clear 'yellow.' He's juvenile and he doesn't know what he's doing."

"How many times has he hit on you?" Elliot asked, folding his arms.

"None," she told him. "Thank God, because I don't wanna go down for murder." She yawned and her head lolled to the other side, landing on Elliot's shoulder. Her eyes were still shut and she nuzzled into the crook of his neck. "Tell me again," she mumbled, half asleep. "Why don't you want me to leave?"

He was quiet. He waited. And when he was certain she was asleep, he turned his head and whispered, "I love you." He kissed her forehead, then slowly rose, letting her fall gently down. He covered her with the couch's throw, turned off the light, and watched her sleeping form as he climbed the stairs toward his bedroom.

He didn't see her eyes open.

He didn't see her smile.

And he didn't hear her whisper, "I love you, too."

She sighed, closing her eyes again as her smile faded. She wanted to go, but now, more than ever, she needed to stay.

A/N: Continue? Yes? No?