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It’s always been the undercovers that have fucked things up for them. 

 

They’ve found a rhythm, day to day, painful but tolerable. Her hands don’t seek out his warm skin; his eyes don’t linger noticeably anywhere on her body. She keeps a cool and professional tone when they speak, he maintains a safe distance in the elevator. It’s how they ensure they can work together, and it works, most of the time. Since she’s been back from Oregon, since he finally signed his divorce papers and then went and knocked up his wife again anyway, since he took any possible chance to bring this thing between them out into the open and crushed it beneath his heel, this has worked. 

 

Every morning she puts on her armor - her professional button-down shirts, her slacks, her boots. She hooks her badge over her belt and straps her gun to her hip. She is Detective Benson, and he is her partner, and that is the end of the story. 

 

But the undercovers strip all that away. 

 

He sees her tarted up like a hooker to catch an activist targeting gay men, and his breath sharpens, catches, and she hears it. She puts more sway into her hips when she walks, and he notices. By the end of the night he is visibly hard inside his pants, and she gives him a long look and a lascivious grin before disappearing into the elevator to take herself home. 

 

That’s just the beginning. 

 

It’s years before it happens again, before he’s under as Mike the customs agent and she makes the monumentally stupid decision to go to the safe house. His expression when she steps out of the bathroom in her underwear and embraces him will live rent free in her mind for the rest of her life, and for months she trots it out, along with the feel of his warm chest and hard pecs pressed against her breasts, whenever she needs to get herself off. 

 

That one is hard to come back from. 

 

His injuries heal, and his wife forgives him his sins and allows him back home, but Olivia feels a shift whenever he looks at her, as if he can’t quite help but remember her in her underwear every single time. It invokes a strange heat in her, to know that he finds her desirable, and her shirts start to become lower, her pants a little tighter. She saunters around the squad room, feels his eyes on her every move. It’s intoxicating. 

 

She dresses as a madam to buy girls from a trafficker, and he looks at her like he wants to rip that fur stole off her shoulders and tug her satin skirt up around her waist. She holds his gaze, tongue sneaking out to lick her lower lip, as he swallows and looks away. 

 

He avoids her for a couple days after that. 

 

She’s in his earpiece when he’s on a date with his sugar baby, sweet talking a girl young enough to be his daughter. She feeds him lines, helps him through the discomfort of the situation, and afterwards he squeezes her upper arm in thanks as she blatantly stares at the way his muscular chest is straining against the buttons of his fancy shirt, at the telltale bulge of his zipper. 

 

The professional facades begin to blur, and she catches him staring at her again. He starts to stand too close, her fingers linger on his when she hands him a file. She stops asking after his wife, and he never mentions her name. 

 

They go under together, inserting themselves and their history and their photographs into another couple’s home, and he introduces them so smoothly as husband and wife. Their baby boy will be named after her father, but she is the only one who knows, secretly, that Oliver is after  her , and she can’t help but allow herself to dream of a parallel universe in which this child is real, this marriage is real. Her clothes for this op are classy, not slutty like before, but his eyes are on her nonetheless. There’s a moment after Petrov leaves when they are alone in this beautiful house, and they are different people, not Detective Stabler and Detective Benson but rather husband and wife. Their eyes meet across the opulent white living room and the air crackles with tension, and neither is sure who moves first but suddenly they are coming together, her hands gripping his collar, his clenching her hips and their lips crashing together in an age-old storm of desire. His tongue is in her mouth, and she is pressing the entire length of her body against him with a strangled moan. 

 

But their earpieces crackle to life, some tech outside giving a status report about Petrov’s departure, and they spring guiltily apart before the set-up team returns to dismantle the fake life they’ve set up here. They leave and they don’t talk about it because by now they barely talk about anything. 

 

It’s another year before they go under together again at a swingers club, and it’s a late start so he offers to pick her up at her apartment, and of course she’s running late so she buzzes him up to wait on her couch. She has a few beers in the fridge, calls out for him to help himself, and he’s partway through a swallow when she steps out of her bedroom in her leopard print dress so of course he chokes.

 

By the time he’s recovered and stopped spluttering, she’s picked up her purse and jacket and is waiting by the door. He follows her out, and she leans against the wall of the elevator and lets her eyes drop to the front of his suit pants. He slides a hand into view, adjusts himself with no subtlety at all, and raises a cocky eyebrow at her. 

 

They spend the night at the club, and he speaks to Cassandra to learn as much as he can about Jerry, but his eyes keep finding her, perched on her stool and bracketed by a couple who are extremely eager to fuck her. His eyes narrow whenever Scott strokes her arm, whenever he leans a little closer to whisper in her ear. There’s a glint in his eye, something she doesn’t think she’s ever seen before yet recognizes immediately. She shifts on her stool, pressing her thighs a little tighter, a shiver of want caressing her spine. 

 

He drives her home, and halfway there his right hand slides off the steering wheel and lands on her thigh, and she covers it with her own and guides it under the hem of her dress. Her breath hitches as he skirts the sensitive skin of her inner thigh and moves lower, finding the heat of her center. He presses the edge of his hand against her damp panties and her head falls back against the headrest. 

 

By the time he stops the car in front of her building, her panties have been shoved to the side and he has two fingers inside her wet heat and she’s making sounds she barely recognizes. He cuts the engine and she fists her hands in his white shirt, pulling him to her and gasping into his mouth as he speeds up the rhythm of his fingers and adds his thumb to her clit. Her heels dig into the floor mat and every breath threatens to spill her breasts from the top of her strapless dress and it’s so much - too much - and every muscle is taut and trembling. He breaks the kiss, uses his free hand to tug the dress down and seals his mouth around a nipple as she keens her pleasure to the ceiling and comes, hard and juddering, around his fingers. 

 

He keeps her in his mouth, tongue lightly teasing her nipple as she comes back to earth and takes a steadying breath. His suit pants are at risk, she can see the obvious shape of him trapped along the zipper, and she reaches for it as he releases her breast with a loud suck. Her fingers deftly flick his button and lower his zipper, and she shoves his boxers out of the way and takes him in her hand, and it’s his turn to groan and drop his head back. He’s still bound by his seatbelt and it stops him when he tries to thrust his hips up into her grip, a frustrated grunt escaping his lips. 

 

She unclips her own belt and bends down, taking him into her mouth and his shout echoes above her. He is hot and hard under her tongue, and she lowers down until her nose is buried in the musk of wiry curls at his crotch before raising up again and sucking at the head. His hand comes to clench in her hair and she lets him guide her, up and down in the way he must like. He’s close, has probably been semi-hard since she appeared in her dress, and she can feel his powerful thighs clenching beneath her. She adds a hand, stroking his base with firm pressure as her wet lips drive up and down his shaft, and he manages to choke out a warning which she ignores, using her tongue to coax his orgasm from him. He cries out and comes, ropey strands of cum shooting into her waiting mouth, and she holds his close and swallows everything he has. 

 

When she lets him slip from her mouth, she sees her lipstick is smeared all over his cock. 

 

She tugs her dress back into place, he tucks himself away and they sit, the silence broken only by their panting breaths as they recover. When she reaches into the footwell for her jacket and purse, he puts a hand on her arm, stilling her. He looks at her, mouth twitching, like he wants to speak but has no idea where to find the words. 

 

She just squeezes his hand, removes it from her arm, and goes inside. Alone.

 

The next day, she dresses in a button-down shirt, sensible pants, boots. She clips her badge to her belt and straps her gun to her hip. 

 

Armored. 

 

Safe.