A Case of Mistaken Identity
An SVU Halloween Story
A/N: Just a light and fluffy, slighty smutty story to celebrate one of my favorite holidays.
"How many more do we have on our list?" Elliot asked, checking his watch. It was late afternoon on October 31st. He and Olivia, along with the rest of the SVU squad, had spent the afternoon dropping in on registered sex offenders to remind them to stay inside and not answer their doors to trick-or-treaters that night. Halloween offered an endless buffet of temptations to pedophiles and 1PP had decided that the department should be proactive this year and warn them up front that there would be extra eyes on them. Or, as Munch put it, "Put the fear of God in them so they keep their sorry asses out of sight and let us have a night of peace and quiet for a change."
Olivia consulted the clipboard in front of her. "Three more, what's your hurry? It's only 4:30."
"I promised Eli I'd be home to take him out trick-or-treating. He'll be driving Kathy crazy if I'm not there on time."
"And then you two are coming to the costume party, right?" Olivia asked, although she knew the answer. Elliot had been complaining about having to attend the annual NYPD Halloween fundraiser for the past week.
"You know damn well we are."Elliot groaned. "I can't believe they're making us wear costumes this year. If I didn't know Cragen would catch grief if we don't all show, I'd just send a check and make up an excuse."
"It will be fun," Olivia laughed, enjoying his misery. "What are you dressing up as?"
"It's a surprise." Elliot groaned again. "She made me promise not to tell anyone. What about you and Dean?"
"Oh, I think I'll keep that a secret too." Olivia teased. "See if you can pick us out when you get there."
"Benson, we've been partners for twelve years." Elliot told her with a wry smile. "I'd recognize you in a dark alley with a blindfold on."
Elliot watched from the sidewalk as his son, accompanied by a Harry Potter, a ladybug, a ninja and a kid dressed as in a bizarre combination of Captain America and Darth Vader, walked down the sidewalk from the last house on the block, comparing the loot in their bags.
"I think I got's more peanut butter cups than you." Said Eli peering into his bag and then into Captain Vader's. "I'll trade you for your Skittles." Eli had insisted on dressing, as he had the year before, as a police officer so he could be "like Daddy." Kathy had turned an old boy scout uniform of Dick's into a set of uniform blues that were amazingly authentic. Eli looked like the Police's Academy's youngest graduate.
"Hey, remember guys, no eating OR trading until an adult looks over all of the candy." Elliot reminded them as he herded them back down the street toward home. They all groaned, but they were too tired to put up much of a fuss. They'd insisted on doing the whole neighborhood and now Elliot delivered each of them to their own homes before heading to the Stabler residence with Eli. The neighborhood parents loved having a police detective around to escort their children on the annual door-to-door trek; what could be safer?
Kathy was waiting inside the door when they returned, already dressed in her costume. Elliot gave a low whistle of appreciation when he saw her in the black, form fitting catsuit. "Holy Catwoman," he said, pulling her close for a kiss. When he noticed his costume spread out on the couch, he groaned. "Do I really have to put that on?"
"You'll make a great Batman, Dad." Dick snickered from an armchair, and then called to his little brother. "Come here, munchkin, let's see what kind of a haul you got."
"Spread it out on the coffee table and look it over closely before he eats any," Elliot instructed, picking up the costume with a grimace and heading to the bathroom to put it on. When he returned a few minutes later, Kathy and the kids started clapping enthusiastically at the sight of him in the tight black outfit.
"Put the head on, Daddy!" Eli urged, running to stand in front of his father and looking up at him with admiration. "You look awesome!"
"If this wasn't for a good cause…," Elliot grumbled, pulling on the black hooded mask that covered the upper half of his face. Kathy did the same with her matching mask and they posed so Elizabeth could take a few pictures. With the masks on, they would be completely unrecognizable at the party, which was one of the requirements for attending the event. Like a Victorian Masquerade Ball, everyone was supposed to wait to reveal their identity at midnight. Kathy had even covered her long blonde hair with a dark wig to further the deception.
"Do NOT post those on Facebook," Elliot ordered firmly. Elizabeth rolled her eyes, but agreed. She wasn't about to jeopardize her online access by disobeying her internet savvy father, who routinely checked up on their accounts.
Kathy turned Elliot around to fasten his form fitting costume in the back. "You're looking pretty good, Mr. Superhero," she teased. The costume fit him perfectly and especially enhanced his muscled torso. The guy at the costume store had first tried to give her the costume with padding to simulate muscles and had looked skeptical when she told him her husband didn't need those. She picked his cape up and fastened it around his shoulders, then leaned in for a kiss.
"Get a room," Dick groaned from his spot on the floor where he was helping Eli sort through his loot.
"DON'T let him eat too much candy, put him to bed by 8:30 and DON"T open the door for any more trick-or-treaters after we're gone," instructed Elliot, putting his hand on Kathy's back to steer her toward the door. "And call if you have any problems." He'd managed to clip his cell phone to the wide yellow belt at his waist.
"We KNOW, Dad," Elizabeth groaned, walking them to the front door so she could lock it behind them. "Just go have fun and don't worry about us. We'll be fine."
"I feel like an idiot." Elliot grumbled as they got out of the car at One Police Plaza where the fundraiser was being held. Kathy reached over to adjust his cape and straighten out his belt.
"Well, I think you look make a pretty hot superhero." She said, a smile lighting up her blue eyes behind the mask. She gave one last tug to his outift. "Be a sport, it's a good cause."
"I know, but I don't see why we have to be in costume." He complained as they walked up to the building. "It was optional other years."
"And none of you tough-cop-types would ever dress up." Kathy reminded him. "It's no fun when only a few people are in costume."
The large auditorium had been transformed into a room festive enough for the most enthusiastic celebrator of the holiday. The room was dim, the overhead lights off and black bulbs in the sconces on the outside walls. Twinkly orange fairy lights decorated the cobweb draped pillars. The center of the room had been cleared for dancing and a band dressed in ghoulish costumes performed on a stage at the far end of the room. Many couples were already out on the dance floor and Elliot could see at least two other Batman/Catwoman combinations.
"I guess we weren't so original." He told his wife with a smirk. If they had to dress up, he had wanted to resurrect their "Priest and Pregnant Nun" duo that they'd worn to a party when Kathy was expecting Maureen, earning scathing glances from their parish priest who happened to be in attendance. Kathy had squashed that idea immediately, pointing out that it would be easier to be anonymous with the masks that came along with the costumes she'd chosen.
"Do you see Olivia and Dean anywhere?" she asked, ignoring his jibe.
"I'm sure we'll run into them eventually." Elliot told her, steering her toward the bar set up on the side of the room. "Come on, I need a drink."
An hour and two drinks later, they still hadn't found his partner and her date. Elliot had spotted Munch almost immediately. Even enveloped in mummy wrappings, his tall thin frame was hard to disguise. He was accompanied by a female counterpart that Elliot was fairly certain was one of his ex-wives, but with all of the gauze it was hard to tell which one. Fin was easy to spot, even though his gangsta rapper doo-rag and sunglasses successfully hid his features, the curvy figure of his current girlfriend, Ramona, was impossible to disguise. He hadn't yet sighted Cragen, Warner, Huang-or Olivia. If she and Dean had ditched the event after giving him grief about going for weeks, she was never going to hear the end of it.
"Where are the bathrooms?" Kathy asked as they came off the dance floor after a slow number. In spite of his reservations and complaining, Elliot was having a good time. It was nice to be spending some adult time with his wife, and after a few drinks and slow dancing, he was already looking forward to what would happen when they got home and were alone.
"Down that hall," he pointed, and started to steer her in that direction. ""I'll go with you."
The long hallway was disconcertingly dim, lit only by strobe lights at 6 foot intervals. The cop in Elliot didn't like the conditions, especially near restrooms, but he told himself to let it go; they were in a building full of cops. He escorted his wife to the door of the Ladies' room and pointed to a spot where he'd wait for her after. He knew from experience that he would be finished long before his wife. As he entered the Men's restroom, he tried to remember how the flap in the front of his costume worked. Rather than have to remove the entire, form fitting one pieced outfit, there was a Velcro piece that attached under the yellow belt for times such as these. As he fumbled with the material and relieved himself at a urinal, he wondered who had thought of such a clever addition to the costume. It was certainly convenient and as he fastened it back up, he realized with a sudden grin that there could be other potential benefits to the easy access it offered.
The hall was empty when he returned, and as he waited for Kathy to return, he idly tried the door knobs along the far side. To his surprise, the third handle turned easily in his hand and he found himself in a storage room, lit only by a small window near the ceiling that allowed a minimal amount of light from a street light outside to filter through. He glanced around the room and saw that it held floor to ceiling shelves stacked with what appeared to be office supplies. The room probably should have been locked and no doubt someone's head would roll if the lapse was discovered, but for now, it would suit his purposes just fine.
Grinning, he returned to the hall and waited until Kathy exited the restroom, thankfully alone, which fit in perfectly with his plan. Grabbing her by the hand, he quickly pulled her into the room and shut the door behind them, ignoring her gasp of surprise. Leaning back against the door, he pulled her close, bending his head to kiss her roughly on the lips. The nature of this whole operation already had him incredibly aroused—costumes, dark hallways, forbidden rooms, the danger of being discovered—all combined to override his usually sensible nature. He could taste the wine that Kathy had been drinking on as he thrust his tongue into her mouth. He reached down for her hand and without saying a word, brought it to his groin and pushed her hand into the opening so that she could feel the bulge of his erection. His ears were filled with the sound of his beating heart and he barely registered her breathless giggle as she cooperated, running her hand along the length of his erection through his briefs. He felt like a teenager again, and as he ran his hands down the familiar contours of his wife's back to grasp her buttocks and pull her even closer, he….
He paused, his hands cupping buttocks that were fuller and firmer than he remembered. As sensibility slowly returned to his alcohol and lust-hazed brain, he realized that the breasts pressed tightly against his chest were also larger than those of his wife, who'd maintained the same slim, lithe figure throughout twenty-six years of marriage and four pregnancies. His head snapped back and he looked down the front of a catsuit that was unzipped considerably more than his conservative-in-public wife had been wearing hers and realized with horror that this wasn't his wife he was groping in a storage room in the basement of the headquarters of the NYPD. He put his hands on the shoulders of this Catwoman-but-not-Kathy and pushed her away. What the hell do I do now? Thoughts of sexual harassment charges ran though his head and he mentally groaned at his stupidity. His erection disappeared as quickly as it had developed.
"Don't stop now, Dean." Said a low, very familiar voice, reaching her hand out to continue stroking which he blocked by grabbing her wrist. "I would never have expected this of you, but I have to admit, I'm pretty turned on."
"Olivia? " He gasped, reaching for her mask and tugging it off her face. Her long dark hair tumbled down loose and she gaped back at him, as shocked as he was.
"ELLIOT?" She looked at him in horror. He didn't know whether to laugh or cry. On the one hand, he doubted that Olivia would press charges against him, but on the other-he'd just groped his partner. His face flooded red with heat as he thought about the intimacies he had just shared with the wrong woman. How was he going to face her across his desk on Monday?
"I thought you were Kathy," he explained weakly, and began to laugh. "She's wearing the same costume and I was waiting for her outside the bathroom and found this closet open…"
Olivia put her hands on her hips and glared at him, then began laughing herself. "I was so surprised that Dean would do something like that," she told him "But Elliot—I wouldn't have thought YOU…" she bent over with laughter. "Oh my God, El, what just happened?"
"Nothing happened. We're going to forget all about it." He told her firmly, handing back her mask. "Put this on, and whatever you do, don't tell Porter about this."
"I won't," Olivia said, wiping the tears of laughter from her eyes before pulling the mask back on and tucking her hair up under it. "But Elliot, oh my God, we almost…"
"I knew this costume thing was a bad idea," he muttered as he opened the door and scanned the hallway. Empty. Kathy had probably given up on him and gone back to the auditorium. As he and Olivia walked down the hall to rejoin the party, he thought of his comment earlier in the day and wondered if he'd jinxed himself. "Benson, we've been partners for twelve years .I'd recognize you in a dark alley with a blindfold on."
Evidently his powers of detection weren't as astute as he'd thought.
On the ride home, Elliot ended up telling the whole story to Kathy. He hadn't intended to, thought it was the kind of thing that was best kept to himself, but she noticed him shaking his head in denial as he thought about it for the hundredth time since it had happened, and well, it just all spilled out. Back in the auditorium, they'd found Kathy standing near the bar, talking to Dean in his Batman apparel. The four of them laughed about the coincidence of both couples choosing the same costumes, Olivia and Elliot studiously avoiding looking at each other the entire time.
Now, as he told her, he watched her face carefully to gauge her reaction, hoping he wasn't making a mistake. Sometimes she could be touchy when it came to things with Olivia, and this, well, this was as touchy as it got.
To his surprise and relief, she threw her head back and laughed, stopped, looked at him in astonishment and then laughed some more.
"Oh, lord, Elliot—how awkward is that going to make Monday morning?" she teased when she was finally able to control herself.
"Pretty damn awkward." He admitted as he pulled into their driveway and into their garage. He turned off the car and reached to open his door, but Kathy was sliding across the front seat toward him. He stopped and turned toward her, surprised.
"Tell me again how it happened," she murmured, seeking out his lips for a lingering kiss. They'd both abandoned the masks and she her wig as soon as the midnight deadline arrived. Elliot, for one, was glad to have everyone easily recognizable again. The hell with mystery and intrigue—he wanted transparency tonight and for the rest of his life! He wound his fingers through her long hair and spoke against her warm lips. "Well, I had this great idea when I was in the bathroom trying out the flap thingy…" As they re-enacted the scene in the privacy of their garage, confident in the knowledge that they were each with the right partner, he decided that maybe dressing up for Halloween wasn't such a bad tradition after all.