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Coda to 'Into the Woods'. Oz/Law & Order: SVU crossover. Title snagged from a Bob Dylan song. Thank you to my ever-wonderful anonymous beta who encouraged and cracked her whip and demanded pr0n and did all the things that a superbeta does, including excellent title brainstorming. All remaining mistakes are my own. Thank you to colleendetroit who made a beautiful manip for this story.

Simple Twist of Fate

by trillingstar

And when a man sat down on the barstool next to him, their knees touching, he hadn't moved away.


Normally after a bust like this, Elliot would be headed back to the station house, ready to type up his fives and move on to his next assignment. But there had been a problem with the perp in transit, and Cragen had called just as he was about to wrap up the scene. Stabler wasn't needed at the house, and the captain wanted him to stick around the hotel and keep an eye out for stragglers who might have had a connection to the underage prostitution ring they'd uncovered. Although technically off-duty, he was to stay in character as the flashy businessman for a while longer and wasn't expected to show up at work until the next day.

Honestly, he didn't mind being undercover at this particular bar. The freedom of pretending to be someone else for a while was no hardship, and the people in the lounge were interesting to watch, unlike his usual hangout where everyone was a cop. After walking around the lounge for a few moments, he spotted an empty barstool and headed over to it. As it was a Friday night, the place was packed, and though he tried to maintain a semblance of personal space, he was so close to the other patrons that their knees touched beneath the counter. The woman to his left jerked her leg away from the contact and glared at him like he'd just tried to molest her, but the guy to his right didn't move at all. Curiosity piqued, Elliot turned his head and subtly checked him out.

Shaggy blond hair that brushed his collar, dark gray business suit with the jacket draped over the chair behind him, no wedding ring, eyes half-closed as the man studied his martini glass.

"Do I pass inspection?"

Spooked at having been caught, Elliot fumbled for words for a moment before pulling the cloak of his `alternate identity' around over him. "Hey, buddy; just thought you looked familiar, s'all." Elliot kept his voice low and smooth, letting the end of the sentence slur out a little as if he too had been drinking steadily all night.

The other man turned towards him, eyes piercing Stabler's own, a beautiful pale blue color that did nothing to hide his hostility.

"Oh yeah? Where do you think you know me from?"

"Okay, yea, sorry then. I dunno. Didn't mean to bug ya," Stabler replied, wary of a confrontation with the stranger. Still, he couldn't seem to leave it alone, even though the blond man had already swiveled his stool back to its original position and was stroking the stem of his glass suggestively.

The bartender approached, and Elliot ordered a pint of Guinness. The drink arrived seconds later, and Elliot found himself staring at his pint-glass the same way that the man next to him was gazing at his own drink.

Stabler regarded him for another moment, then reached out and touched his arm near the elbow. "But you're- y'know, okay?"

The man turned back around and scowled at him. "What are you, the drinking police?"

Stabler nearly chuckled out loud. He shifted his features into a look of cocky nonchalance, picked up his beer and touched his glass to the other man's. "Sláinte," he said.

Light blue eyes found his again and the man stared at him with an exasperated look on his face.

"What?" Stabler asked.

"You just don't give up, do you?" The blond looked as though he was wavering between anger and utter disbelief.

"Well... you look just about the same way I feel. So- I just- well, things work out sometimes. They do," he said gently.

The look changed from indecision to misery. "The way you look? Your fiancée definitely did not just dump you."

There was a slight pause before the man spoke again. "I mean- you just don't look like someone that women walk away from. Or men. Whichever."

Stabler took a long swallow from his glass, and then said carefully, "My wife left me." Where did that come from?

The man looked Stabler up and down and then laughed loudly. Elliot quickly averted his eyes and pushed down the anger that rose up inside him. This is an insane conversation. He put his palms on the bar and began to stand up. He would find somewhere else to sit.

There was a tug on his jacket. He looked over and the blond was staring at him, a wide, friendly smile on his face. "Don't go," he said. "I'm sorry. I was just thinking that if it could happen to you, it could happen to anyone. Which wasn't something I was going to say aloud, but- really, sit back down. I can leave if you want. I'm the one who's out of line."

Stabler looked at the guy again. He sat back down.

"Let me buy you another drink. I'm really sorry. It's been... well, it's been a shitty day." The man signaled the bartender, who returned shortly with two more drinks. "Put all of his drinks on my tab," the man said, gesturing to Elliot.

"No, it's fine," Stabler said.

"I insist," the blond replied. "Let's start again. I'm Toby." He reached out with his right hand.

"Toby," Stabler said. "I'm Elliot."

Toby leaned closer to shake hands; Stabler could smell his cologne and was impressed by the firmness of his grip. Toby's hand was warm, and if their hands lingered in the greeting, Elliot didn't feel the need to point it out.


After the introductions, there was a lull in conversation, during which each man finished his drink and the attentive bartender brought more. Elliot was just about to break the silence when Toby beat him to it: "So, why'd she leave? Another guy?"

Elliot's body stiffened, then relaxed as he reminded himself that this guy truly had no idea; he could say whatever he wanted. But when he opened his mouth, the truth came out. "I work too much."

"That's it? You work too much?"

Elliot leveled a cold stare at Toby. "Yea. That's it."

Toby shrugged. "Okay." His eyes were clear, and he appeared content to drop his line of questioning.

Illogically, Elliot felt the need to elaborate. "I- I get called away all the time, from her, from my family. I can't... I don't talk about what I do at work with her, and it's- it wasn't- I wasn't enough. For her."

"Oh." Toby dipped his finger into his drink and lightly touched the rim of the glass.

Elliot watched as Toby wiped his hand on his napkin. "So-" he prompted.

"Oh. Well, I work a lot too, but in the end, she dumped me because she thinks I'm gay," Toby said with a wry smile, looking over to meet Elliot's startled gaze.

"She wasn't ever really my fiancée," Toby admitted. "Actually, I asked her to marry me earlier tonight. She said no."

He looked so downtrodden that Elliot was struck by the irrational urge to pull the guy into a hug. Shaking his head, he said, "Yea, Toby, you win. That's much shittier. At least I know my wife loved me back. Well, she used to." Nice, Stabler, way to commiserate. "I mean..." he trailed off uncertainly.

"No, I know what you mean," Toby reassured him. "I've been sitting here thinking about whether or not I ever loved her to begin with. I'm not sure I did. Maybe she's right, anyway."

"About-" Elliot wasn't sure how to put it.

"Yeah, about that." Toby grinned at him, blue eyes sparkling with a hint of mischief. He ran his hands up over his face and tucked his hair behind his ears; he stretched his arms up above his head and rested his head on his hands. His elbows were angled, and Elliot saw how his arm muscles stood out, even through the fabric of his shirt.

Toby smiled again, the skin around his eyes crinkled and he looked sideways at Elliot. "'Nother round?"

Although he'd reached his normal three-beer limit, Elliot agreed.


Their conversation flew along after that: they discussed sports and where they grew up and what their first cars were. The drinks kept coming, too, and when Toby asked him what sort of work he did, Elliot had to think for a minute. He was about to answer when his cell phone vibrated, and he had to pick up.

"Excuse me for a minute," he said to Toby, who nodded understandingly and turned away as if to give a semblance of privacy, although Elliot knew he could hear every word.

"Sta- Stacy, hi," he answered awkwardly. Oops. No more beer for me.

"Um, yea. I'm here. No, not-," he paused. "I'm just having a beer, shooting the shit and... stuff," he ended lamely. "No, I'm fine. Really. I'll see you tomorrow. Yes. Okay, keep me posted."

Elliot snapped the phone closed and slid it back into the pocket of his leather coat. "Sorry," he said to Toby. "Where were we?"

Toby raised an eyebrow at him and said, "You were about to tell me about your job, but then you got a mysterious phone call." He laughed.

Elliot laughed too. "Oh- That was about work, actually. I- I work for the city... government... and that was my- assistant, making sure I made it to the hotel. There's a conference coming up," he invented.

"Huh," Toby mused, "that's not at all what I would have guessed."

Elliot's laugh was nervous this time. "Why, what would you have guessed?" he blustered.

"Mmm... salesman or bodyguard. You've got the smile to sell anything and the body to back it up. Plus, those glasses? They make you more approachable, even though I think you wear them more as a screen... you know, to try and keep people back."

Elliot stared at Toby. "And you're a... guidance counselor?"

"No, even worse. I'm a lawyer." Toby chuckled. "I attended this seminar once about picking juries. You know, how people dress relating to how they think, what their jewelry says about them, all that. It's pretty interesting, actually."

Elliot relaxed marginally. He could handle lawyers. He didn't think Toby was the soulless kind, either, the way he'd been mooning over that dumb girl who dumped him. And he'd seemed truly interested in everything Elliot had to say.

"Last call!"

His thoughts fuzzy, Elliot looked around. The bar was mostly empty, and the woman who'd glared at him earlier was gone. One of the bar backs was putting chairs up on tables.

Toby leaned into him, nudging Elliot with his shoulder. "One more, Mr. City Official?"

"Umm... yea, I shouldn't. I still have to get home..." Elliot was startled at how much time had passed in conversation with the attractive, blue-eyed Toby.

"Home, schmome!" Toby sang out. "Hey- you said you were staying here for a conference." His eyes drilled into Elliot, but they weren't accusatory, just confused.

"Well, shit!" Elliot covered. "I forgot to book a room. That's okay, I'll just get a cab and-"

"Nooo, don't be silly. You can stay in my room. It's. Large." Toby giggled. "I reserved it when I got here," he whispered confidentially.

"No, really. I mean, that's great of you to offer, but-" Elliot tried desperately to think of a reason why he couldn't stay.

Toby reached out and lightly traced his index finger in circles over Elliot's bare wrist. "Elliot. Please, stay with me."

The combination of a plea and an invitation were clear in Toby's voice, and shivers ran down Elliot's spine when Toby touched him. Hell, just get the guy to his room safely, wait until he passes out, and then take off.

Convinced of the strength of his plan, Elliot looked up from Toby's fingers into his pretty eyes. "Okay. Okay, Toby, c'mon, let's go."

"Where's your stuff?" Toby slurred out, trying to stand and having to sit back down.

"Um- it was a last-minute thing. Li- Lily. My, my other assistant. She'll have stuff sent over in the morning."

"So many assistants," Toby grinned. "And here I am, the one needing assistance." He looked pointedly at Elliot, who shakily rose to his feet and put his arm out for Toby to hang on to as he pushed himself up again. This time he was able to stay upright, and when the bartender rushed over with the bill, he signed with a flourish and tucked the pen into his pocket, wheeling around to look at Elliot. "Sixteenth floor. Let's find the elevator." He beamed at Elliot, and Elliot had to grin back.


The ride to the sixteenth floor was made in silence. Toby leaned against the wall of the elevator, his eyes closed and his breaths even. Elliot took the opportunity to study Toby: the baby curls at the nape of his neck, the way his fingers drummed the rail, the fit of his gray slacks on his hips. When the elevator door slid open, Toby said quietly, "Finally," and Elliot's breath caught in his throat. Toby was looking straight at him, and Elliot knew that Toby knew that he'd been staring.

"You stole their pen," he whispered to Toby as they stumbled their way out of the elevator, one strong arm around Toby's waist.

Toby sniggered under his breath. "With what I paid for the room, I'm sure they don't care." He patted his pocket for the keycard and Elliot noticed that there was only one door in the hallway.

"P is for penthouse," Toby poked him in the shoulder. "You coming in?"

Elliot followed him into the hallway and took a good look at the room. Penthouse. It was, in fact, very large, and Elliot was relieved that the couch looked comfortable. Toby shrugged off his suit jacket and began unbuttoning the collar of his shirt. "There must be a bed around here somewhere," he said, opening a door that led to a linen closet.

Elliot felt himself turning red. He stammered out something about needing to use the bathroom and started opening doors too. On his second try, he found the bedroom and stared into the room: a king-size bed with an elaborately carved headboard dominated the space, while a comfy-looking easy chair, dresser and yet another door took up the adjacent wall.

"Oh good, you found it." Toby breezed by him, turning on the light, then turned to clasp Elliot's hand and tugged. "Come on, I'm sure that's the bathroom through there," he said, pointing to the other door. Elliot stepped forward as though in a daze and heard the click of the door behind him when Toby pushed it closed.

Great plan, Stabler. "Uh- I need- I'll be right back," Elliot managed as he fled to the relative safety of the bathroom.

Elliot flipped on the light switch, then closed and locked the door. He flipped the toilet lid open, unzipped his pants and took a much-needed piss. Running cold water in the sink, he washed his hands and then splashed more water onto his face. He let the water run while he looked up at himself in the mirror. The rivulets of water looked like tears. Okay. I'll just go back out, say thanks for the room, goodnight and go out to the couch. No big deal. Okay. Here I go.

Toby knocked on the bathroom door. "You almost done? I wanna brush my teeth."

Worst line ever. Elliot brightened at the thought. Maybe he was serious. Maybe he just didn't want to be alone tonight, but wasn't...

He called out, "Two seconds!" and shut the water off. When he opened the door, Toby stood in front of him in his trousers and undershirt, bare-footed, brandishing a toothbrush.

"I found this one on the dresser. I'll bet there are spares in the medicine chest," he said.

Elliot backed up and went to check. It was fully stocked: razors, shaving cream, hand lotion, band-aids and aspirin. He pulled out a pre-wrapped toothbrush, a tube of paste and the bottle of aspirin.

"Good call," he replied, and Toby came over to stand at the sink next to him. Elliot watched as Toby started to brush his teeth. He shrugged and followed suit.


Elliot stood alone in the bedroom, teeth brushed and hangover pre-empted by the aspirin he'd swallowed. The toilet flushed and he heard the water running again, and then Toby appeared in the doorway.

"Well," Elliot said stupidly, "good-night."

Toby raised an eyebrow. "Are you planning on sleeping standing up?"

Elliot's attempted laugh came out as a cough, and he flushed again as Toby drew closer. "No, I'll- I'll take the couch."

"The couch?" Toby sounded confused.

"Yea, long plush thing I saw back there, by the television." Elliot tried to make it into a joke and smiled feebly.

"Elliot," Toby whispered, leaning closer. "You said you'd stay with me." He reached out and brushed his hand down Elliot's chest. Elliot looked at Toby's face. God, those eyes.

"Um... I am. I mean, I'll be right there. Here. In the other room." Elliot stammered.

Toby's lips pursed, and his brow furrowed. "But- wouldn't you be more comfy in here? I mean, the bed's big enough for the both of us."

Elliot nearly groaned; Toby's fingers kneaded into his chest and outlined the buttons on his shirt.

"I- I can't. I have-" Two guns, a badge and four kids.

Toby merely looked at him. Unassuming, unquestioning, seemingly unperturbed by the situation, and... very available. No strings. No need to even see him again. Ever.

"I haven't been totally straight with you," Elliot said as Toby burst into laughter. Chuckling at his unintentional double entendre, he waited until Toby calmed down before taking a few steps backward.

"Uh, okay. This sounds serious," Toby said.

"No, it's just- look, about my job. Okay, I don't want to freak you out." Elliot's forehead wrinkled and he looked down at the carpet. "Look, I'll just say it. I do work for the city; I'm a detective. I was on-duty here, earlier, before we met. And I'm armed. So if I take off my coat, you'll see one of my guns. And guns generally freak people out." He ended in a rush and glanced guiltily up at Toby.

Toby's expression hadn't changed. "So, you need to use the safe or something?"

Elliot barked out a laugh. "You knew, didn't you?"

Toby smiled at him. "Elliot. I've been a lawyer for twelve years. I made you the second you introduced yourself. But I figured you had your reasons for not telling, so-" He shrugged eloquently. "Besides, it was fun, listening to you invent stuff. C'mon, take this off."

Elliot let Toby help strip off his leather coat, exposing his shoulder holster. Toby pushed buttons on the side of the dresser and a panel slid out, opening the safe. There was a small black box already tucked inside. Elliot added his guns, holster and badge to the drawer, tensing slightly as Toby moved behind him, running his hands down Elliot's back.

"Look, I-" Elliot started to say.

"Hey, let's lie down. I- I don't even know. I just want to lie down. My head's all spinny." Toby touched Elliot's wrist again, and Elliot held his breath and let himself be led over to the side of the bed.

He looked at Toby, who sat on the edge of the bed, pulling his undershirt out from his pants; gingerly, Elliot sat down on the bed next to Toby. The lamp on the night table cast a warm glow around the bed, and he was amazed at how calm and safe he felt. They looked at each other and Elliot let himself fall backwards, his head landing on a pillow. He kicked off his shoes and unbuttoned his shirt collar. Immediately, Toby snuggled up close to his side, throwing a leg over Elliot's legs and wrapping an arm over his chest. Toby put his head on Elliot's shoulder and inhaled loudly. "Mmm, you smell good."

Elliot's body tensed up so quickly he felt his knee joint pop. But Toby just lay there, not moving, and Elliot began to relax incrementally, breathing in the scent of Toby's hair. He felt himself responding to the feeling of having a warm, pliant body draped across his. His eyelids drifted shut, and for the first time in months, he allowed himself to think of nothing at all.


Elliot jerked awake to the sound of an odd clicking noise. The guy - Toby - had just turned off the light, and he let himself enjoy the sensation of Toby's chest sliding against his as Toby returned to his side. The room was almost completely dark, although Elliot could see Toby's form lying next to him. He brought his hand up and slowly petted Toby's hair from his scalp to the curls at his nape, the strands sliding silkily against his fingers.

Toby made a noise somewhere between a moan and a purr. He snuggled his head in closer on Elliot's shoulder and tentatively began running his hand up and down Elliot's chest. His fingers lightly plucked at the buttons of Elliot's shirt, not opening them, just touching them, again and again.

Elliot couldn't stand it any longer. He reared up, knocking Toby onto his back in the middle of the bed. Elliot panted out a harsh breath before turning and crushing his body to Toby's, flattening him into the mattress. Toby gasped sharply. Their foreheads bumped together and Elliot pushed his dry lips onto Toby's mouth in a parody of a kiss. No, no, no. Jesus, Stabler, you can do better than that.

Elliot softened the kiss, nibbled on Toby's bottom lip and heard Toby moan brokenly. The sound went straight to Elliot's dick. He shivered, opened his mouth and kissed Toby full on the lips. Toby whimpered softly and brought his arms up and around Elliot's back, hugging him closer. Their slow, gentle kissing excited Elliot more than he thought possible. He couldn't remember the last time that he had been able to take his time kissing someone. His shirt collar was suddenly too tight, and Elliot eased up and off Toby, rocking back on his heels, fingers busy with his buttons.

Toby sat up then, and caught Elliot's hands with his own. "I- Can I?" he whispered, kneeling up; Elliot dropped his arms to his sides and closed his eyes, listening intently as Toby untucked his shirt, then started at the bottom, alternately unbuttoning and then touching Elliot's abdomen through his t-shirt as he went along. Elliot wanted to memorize each touch. His dick twitched as Toby reached the final button, pushing the sides of the shirt off his shoulders and down each arm.

"I wish I could see you," Toby whispered. "But- it's- it's easier in the dark."

Privately, Elliot agreed: he wanted to see Toby's eyes staring at him, but with light came bright realization, and he preferred to linger in the dream-like trance that had settled over the room.


Toby works on taking off Elliot's t-shirt next, and Elliot reaches out to take hold of the soft cotton of Toby's undershirt. He rubs the fabric between his thumb and index finger, and then slides his palm underneath onto Toby's warm skin. Toby hisses, working Elliot's t-shirt over his head faster. Elliot uses both hands to push the shirt up, his thumbs finding Toby's nipples, touching them lightly before curving his hands up over Toby's shoulders, and running down his arms.

Toby gives up his struggle with the t-shirt and moves closer to Elliot, who pulls his own shirt up over his head first, then does the same with Toby's. He nudges at Toby, pushing him onto his back again, then settles down on top of him again. Toby groans low in his throat, and Elliot is struck dumb by the expanse of warm, muscled flesh that awaits his touch. He inclines his head toward Toby's mouth, which opens invitingly under the gentlest pressure.

Toby caresses the sides of Elliot's face; his fingernails scratch lightly at his hair and as Elliot trembles, he slides his tongue into Elliot's mouth. Timidly, Toby flicks his tongue inside, and when Elliot responds in kind, the kiss shifts, hardens and deepens. Both men groan aloud, the noises muffled by their kisses.

Pushing Elliot onto his side, Toby winds an arm underneath their heads and puts his hand on Elliot's hip, wiggling closer until they are crowded together, chests and groins aligned and touching. Elliot has to break the kiss when Toby's hard dick pokes at his - he's lost for a minute in a wave of sensation: his pants are too tight and he's not even sure when he became so aroused. Elliot opens his eyes and Toby is right there, leaning forward to lick at his top lip, rubbing his cheek against Elliot's jaw line.

Toby's hot breath flits down his neck to his ear, and when Toby sucks Elliot's earlobe into his mouth, Elliot grunts. He lets Toby suckle at his ear and neck, and rolls his hips experimentally.

"Oh my god," Toby murmurs, his skin flushing. Elliot likes the sound of Toby's voice in his ear, so he does it again and then again, until Toby is writhing against him.

"Do me a favor?" Elliot whispers. He touches his fingertips to Toby's shoulder, his bicep, his torso and finally presses firmly onto his hip, encouraging him to lay back. Reluctantly, Toby releases Elliot's earlobe and obeys, his arm muscles flexing. Elliot grasps one of Toby's closed hands and strokes his fingers over the back of his hand until Toby unclenches his fist, then trails his fingers down onto the palm. Toby shudders and tries to push himself back up, but Elliot lets go of his hand altogether and Toby sighs deeply, understanding the rules.

Putting his head on the pillow and settling back, Toby waits for Elliot's next touch. Elliot delays movement until Toby shifts impatiently, then takes both of Toby's hands and brings them up above his head, pressing down solidly until Toby succumbs.

"Yea?" Elliot rumbles out.

Toby's breathing hitches and he shivers.

"Yea?" Elliot asks again.

"Yeah," Toby affirms. He tucks his hands underneath his head and is quiet.

Elliot trails his fingers down Toby's hard chest and circles around one of his nipples. Toby tenses, and Elliot stops. Toby relaxes, and Elliot brushes his thumb over the tip of Toby's hardening nipple.

Elliot stretches out and exhales a hot breath onto Toby's other nipple. Propped up by his elbow with his head resting on his hand, he touches Toby: soft, almost ticklish slides across Toby's chest, occasionally brushing by a nipple. Elliot's hand passes over his arms and shoulders, squeezing the muscles he'd admired earlier. He leans forward and licks his way from Toby's jaw line to his mouth, resuming their kissing. Toby sighs deeply as their mouths reconnect. Elliot's fingers drag up from Toby's navel to his face, running over his cheek. One finger presses at the corner of Toby's mouth, and Toby diverts his attention from the kiss to the finger, drawing it into the wet heat of his mouth and sucking. Elliot's speechless. He can't make a sound as Toby tongues his finger and his hips thrust forward as he imagines that mouth on his dick. The spell is broken; Elliot hears a thin whine coming from his throat. Toby responds to the noise by increasing the suction on his finger.

"Mmmmm," Toby hums.

Regretting the move even as he's making it, Elliot slides his finger out of Toby's warm mouth, then trails it down to his stomach and then further with teasing dips under the waistline of Toby's pants. Toby's moan is one of anticipatory excitement and Elliot feels his body respond to Toby's noises. Sexy noises.

Elliot doesn't understand it, this compulsion he feels to make Toby feel good, to make him tremble with pleasure and groan aloud. Unsure of where this nearly instant, encompassing attraction has come from - although he's never thought of himself as completely straight, because he can appreciate an attractive man just the same as a beautiful woman, it just doesn't happen as often - he's certainly not narrow-minded enough to believe that two men can't share the same kinds of relationships as a man and a woman.

Elliot shakes his head at himself. He can analyze his thoughts later, much later, when he doesn't have a bed full of warm, willing Toby to kiss, hold onto and... grope. Elliot's lips curl into a satisfied smile. He plants an arm on the other side of Toby and pushes himself over Toby's chest, lips seeking skin.

He touches the tip of his tongue to the skin around Toby's nipple again, licking at the goose bumped flesh and breathing in Toby's scent. Elliot swirls his tongue in a circle onto Toby's skin, sucking the nipple into his mouth, mouthing it much the same way Toby was suckling his finger. He releases it, huffing out a breath and Toby hisses, "Yesss..." as Elliot lowers himself so their chests touch. Licking up one pectoral muscle slowly with wide swaths of tongue and pressure, Elliot moves to the other nipple, attacking it with his teeth, nibbling and then chewing on it as Toby's body shudders, his hips bucking up.

Elliot throws a leg over Toby's legs, holding him down. He fists one hand in Toby's hair at the back of his neck and goes back to the other nipple, licking it again and again until Toby rasps out, "I want to touch you, Elliot, please let me touch you."

"No," Elliot's tone is firm. He kisses Toby's other nipple again, nipping at the skin, running his hand up the side of Toby's body and across his neck. He feels the pulse jumping against his palm. Elliot's hand floats across Toby's Adam's apple, the rough scrape of stubble on Toby's throat prickling his skin. He caresses Toby's biceps, feeling the tense muscles as Toby restrains himself from touching Elliot, even though he's made it clear that is what he wants to do.

Moving to the side, Elliot strokes his palm down to the front of Toby's slacks, letting his fingers dawdle along the seam of the fly. Toby's body jerks up again and Elliot takes his hand away. He nuzzles the skin underneath Toby's nipple, catching it with his teeth and nipping. When Toby's back is no longer arched, Elliot fumbles for the zipper head and slowly pulls it down. The noise of the metal teeth opening seems absurdly loud, and Elliot realizes that they are both holding their breath.

"Unnhh..." Toby whimpers. Elliot presses his fingers inside and lightly brushes against Toby's cock through the small hole. It's firm and hot to the touch and the skin is silky smooth. Toby shudders and mewls. "Pl- please, Elliot, please."

"No," Elliot says again, licking every bit of skin his mouth can find, working his way down Toby's chest, pressing his lips to each of his ribs, going back and forth from one side to the other. Toby groans loudly, the sound jolting through Elliot's body, heat pooling at the base of his dick. He uses his knee to nudge Toby's legs apart, settling on his stomach between Toby's thighs, his cock pressing against the mattress.

He plants another kiss on Toby's hipbone. Toby giggles breathlessly. "Tickles," he explains when Elliot raises his head to look up at him. Elliot lifts himself up, letting their bodies rub together as he arches against Toby. Through their pants, their cocks touch and Elliot rocks slowly, using both hands to roll and squeeze both of Toby's nipples at the same time. He leans forward to kiss Toby again, the groans he's been swallowing bursting forth when Toby whispers plaintively, "Please? Please?", and Elliot answers, "Yes."


The atmosphere of the room changes instantly from sultry and languid to aggressively frantic and burning hot: Toby pushes himself up on his elbows and then launches himself at Elliot, hands grabbing everywhere he can reach. Roughly, Toby swipes at Elliot's shoulders and mauls his back, feeling the strong muscles tightening and releasing under his hands. He wraps his legs around Elliot's thighs, pulling him closer as Elliot continues to bite down on his nipple. Toby touches Elliot's hair, the crown of his head, his ears and cheeks, and down his sides. He runs the pads of his fingers up over Elliot's nipples, his hungry smile a flash of white in the semi-darkness when Elliot sharply sucks in his breath. He tilts his hips up, latching onto Elliot's biceps to drag him up for another kiss.

Elliot goes willingly - the change of tempo and pace arouses him even more, and the knowledge that he is the one who's turned Toby into a wild man is a powerful aphrodisiac. Toby kisses Elliot as if he's been waiting for weeks, biting at his lips and working his tongue in and out of Elliot's mouth, panting harshly the whole time. He's worked his hands around to Elliot's ass and he growls a little as he palms, clutches and squeezes it. Toby's arms and legs hold Elliot in a crushing grip as Toby grinds his hips up into Elliot's groin. Elliot brings both hands up to cup behind Toby's head, holding his neck and cradling the base of his skull. Toby holds onto Elliot tighter and he breaks the kiss to gasp little breaths, words tumbling from his mouth: "Need you, need, want, want you, yes, please, yes."

His body is rigid with desire and his skin feels too tight; Elliot's dick is rock-hard and he suspects he might come embarrassingly soon. He rests his forehead against Toby's, willing himself to calm down and finding that he can't. Toby is wriggling beneath him, trying to reach the top button on Elliot's pants.

"Let go," Elliot mumbles into Toby's hair. "Toby, let go."

Another groan, and then Toby reluctantly pulls back, loosening his legs from around Elliot. Elliot pushes himself up on his hands and knees and Toby goes for his fly again, unbuttoning and unzipping. Elliot kneels up and reaches down to do the same for Toby's trousers. He wants nothing more than to fall back onto Toby again, revel in the heat they've created, but instead he rolls over to the edge of the bed, kicking off his pants and briefs. He comes back to find Toby wiggling around, pushing his own pants down his hips and Elliot reaches out to help, tugging them off of each leg and feels his face grow hot as he realizes Toby's going commando.

Toby starts to move and Elliot lunges forward, pinning his body to the mattress. Toby's breath leaves his lungs and Elliot hears grunting sounds, catching on a few seconds later that he's the one making noise. He settles onto Toby more firmly, his face buried in his neck. Toby's hands roam across his shoulders and his fingernails scratch through Elliot's hair. Gasping, Elliot's mind whirls - he's overwhelmed at how insanely right the sensation feels, hot skin everywhere; every slight shift causes their dicks to rub against each other and neither of them can control the groans that spill from their lips each time. The frenzied pitch has cooled to a smoldering simmer and Elliot is quickly losing all traces of coherent thought. The darkness covers them, the air is thick in his lungs and Elliot can hear Toby's heartbeat pounding under his ear. He rocks his hips again, and thinks how it is far preferable to rub against Toby without clothes.

Toby pokes Elliot's shoulder and tacitly, Elliot slides sideways to lie close to Toby's flank. Elliot initiates a kiss: almost lazily pushing his tongue into Toby's mouth while he uses one hand to stroke down Toby's abdomen, grasping at his cock. He gives it a light pull, bending his wrist and flicking his thumb across the crown. He own dick presses into smooth skin below Toby's hipbone, leaking precum on Toby's hip and upper thigh.

Sucking on Toby's neck, Elliot jacks him slowly, basking in the needy sounds issuing from Toby's throat. He rakes his fingers through the wiry hairs at the base of Toby's dick, then moves lower, lightly pressing the tips of his fingers against Toby's balls, cupping them gently. Toby cries out harshly. Elliot grits his teeth; the easy, slick glide of his cock on warm skin and the feel of Toby's hardness on his fingers and palm make him shudder involuntarily. This is easily the hottest thing he's ever done, and he feels a sudden burst of affection for the man who is currently groaning his name.

Elliot moves one hand up to the nape of Toby's neck, gripping at the curls there. He leans up as far as he can and Toby meets him halfway, their kiss sending another jolt through Elliot's body. He ravages Toby's mouth, licking at the corners of his open lips, plunging his tongue inside in time with his strokes of Toby's cock.

Toby quivers. He bends one of his knees up, his foot planted on the bed for traction and jerks his hips up, his cock pushing harder into Elliot's fist. "Mmmmm, yea, feels so good," he mumbles.

Elliot lets go of Toby's dick for a split second and licks his whole palm, returning with a tighter grip and faster strokes, his thumb swiping at the head. "Like that?" he asks.

He can feel Toby twitching underneath him and his own cock throbs when Toby answers, "Yeaaa..."

He's so caught up in Toby's unrestrained responses to his rough caress that he startles when he feels Toby's fingers fluttering on his dick, trying to take hold without interrupting their rhythm. Elliot grunts in appreciation, pushing back slightly and then moaning when Toby's hand closes around him. They arch against one another, hands hot and cocks seeking more friction, more touches, more. Unwinding his fingers from Toby's hair, Elliot props himself on his elbow for more leverage. Toby's arm is flung back behind his head, his hand gripping a slat in the headboard. Elliot thrusts into Toby's hand a couple of times, the tip of his dick pushing against the wet skin at Toby's hip. His body shakes. "Oh, god, oh Toby."

Elliot reaches his hand up to the headboard and grabs hold of a slat too, his fingers brushing across the back of Toby's hand. He bites at Toby's shoulder, moving both his hand and hips faster. He pulls at the slat, using it as an anchor as he pushes harder against Toby, who responds in kind, and within a few minutes Elliot is ready to explode.

He's holding his breath, limbs tensed. A rushing noise fills his ears, and he can make out a dull, repetitive thud in the background as the headboard slams against the wall. Toby comes first, his body shaking and mouth open on a loud gasp. "Elliot..." he pants forcefully. "Yea, unggh, yea..."

Hot cum splatters onto his skin. Elliot follows Toby through a series of shudders and finally lets go when Toby bats weakly at his hand. He splays his fingers out on Toby's hip and presses down, gulping in air and shivering when Toby begins to stroke him again. Elliot's on the brink of orgasm and he falls over the edge when Toby whispers, "Yea, do it. Come for me. Please, wanna feel you come."

Elliot's pretty sure he actually roars when he comes because afterwards his throat hurts. Afterwards, when they've exchanged soft kisses and are curled up together, Toby's head resting on Elliot's arm and their feet tangled together at the end of the bed. Elliot breathes in Toby's scent as he falls asleep.


The faint sound of a siren worked its way into Elliot's dreams and within seconds, he was awake. He was on his stomach, sprawled across the bed, enveloped in warmth and soft covers. His head pounded faintly, and he groaned as he scrubbed the heel of his hand over his eyelids.

An answering groan from the other side of the bed made Elliot freeze in place. Stabler, shut UP. But the echoed groan was followed by a snore, and he relaxed again. Slowly, Elliot pushed himself up and edged to the bedside. He didn't see his clothing nearby but he couldn't pull the sheets off of Toby, either. He hoped for the best as he eased himself out from under the covers and went in search of his pants.

He found his underwear and trousers on the floor on Toby's side of the bed. Just as Elliot zipped himself up, Toby rolled over, his mouth open on a breath, his body relaxed. Elliot stared. Toby's hair looked curlier than before and he wanted to slide his fingers through it one last time. He could wake him up; they could grab a shower together and get room service for breakfast. And you could have turned into a woman overnight. Jesus. He'd actually leaned out to touch Toby's cheek before he caught himself, mentally slapping his own wrist. One-night stand, Stabler. They're called that for a reason.

Gathering the rest of his clothes, Elliot made his way to the bathroom and finished dressing, then quietly washed his face and brushed his teeth, keeping the faucet turned low. He thought about Toby, golden and peaceful in the next room. Again Elliot was tempted to wake him up, but at the same time he had no idea what he'd say, so it was better to leave before Toby woke up. He'd catch a shower at the crib, and he always had clean clothes there too.

Moving quietly back into the bedroom, Elliot pressed in the combination for the safe and shrugged on his shoulder holster, slipping the other gun into the ankle strap. He started to close the safe, but the ring box caught his attention. Elliot felt sneaky and awkward, but he opened it anyway. It was an elegant diamond ring, gold on the band, and the rock wasn't flashy. Inexplicably, seeing the simple ring made Elliot like Toby more. Pushing the drawer closed, he tucked his badge into his pocket and checked for his wallet. Opening it, Elliot took out one of his business cards and stared at it thoughtfully, then glanced at Toby, who snuffled in his sleep, hand clutching at the pillow. Elliot slid the card back into his wallet and pulled on his coat. He allowed himself one final gaze at the man on the bed, then eased the door open and let himself out.


Toby woke up when the door clicked shut; for a few seconds he had no idea where he was, and then it registered. Hotel room. No Genevieve. Her rejection of his marriage proposal came rushing back, along with fuzzy thoughts of too many martinis and - he drew a blank as to how he made it up to his room. He remembered drinking in the hotel lounge, the busy night and the crush of people all around him. He knew he met someone at the bar - a broad-shouldered, dark-haired man - and they talked until closing time.

Stretching, Toby felt his muscles protest weakly. His arms and back felt sore and achy, like he'd slept with his neck at a bad angle. Instead of the killer hangover that he'd been expecting, though, he felt refreshed and, well, happy. His body was relaxed and his mind felt cleansed, like he'd been able to let the Genevieve situation go without his usual additional analysis. Toby threw the covers off and realized that he was naked. He looked at the rumpled sheets beside him and put his hand out - they were still faintly warm, and he studied them thoughtfully.

Rolling over, he put his face on the other pillow and inhaled. The scent of shampoo, sweat and sex pervaded his nostrils and he sat up so quickly his head throbbed. Toby rubbed his hands over his face. Tall And Handsome must have just left. He strained to remember more details, but could only conjure up a vague outline of a hard body and close-cropped dark hair... strong arms that held him fast, made him feel safe... Safe! The man had put something in the safe. Guns. A badge. He'd hooked up with a cop. Toby smiled. A hot cop. Swinging his legs around to the side of the bed, Toby heaved himself up and padded to the bathroom. He needed a shower before making his way back home.

Toby flipped the light switch and glanced at the sink where two toothbrushes lay side by side, one with a tiny puddle of water underneath it. Suddenly he remembered how they stood in front of the sink, the cop next to him and their upper arms touching as they brushed their teeth in a scene of utter domesticity. Toby chuckled, but the laugh stopped the second he raised his eyes to the mirror. His chest and abdomen were nearly covered in hickeys and bruises, from his upper neck all the way to his hips. His nipples were puffy and there was a particularly large mark underneath his right nipple. Jesus, what did we do? followed immediately by, Send Gen flowers, because he was pretty sure she was right - or at the least, half-right.

Toby grinned at his reflection. He brushed his teeth, then turned on the shower and stepped in. He soaped himself up, fingers lingering over the tender parts of his body, and he closed his eyes as a memory resurfaced: the man pressing his body against Toby's, nibbling his jaw, grunting in his ear. Toby's hands were tucked behind his head and he was begging, shamelessly, to touch, to taste and feel. Another memory: their hands on the headboard, the bed rocking with the force of the cop's movements, hands on each other's dicks.

Toby opened his eyes. He was jacking his hard cock, the hot water pounding on his back. He could remember the feel of the man's hand on him, and he concentrated, trying to recall the cop's name, but had to give up as he started to come. His body jerked and he stared blankly at the tiled wall while the water washed him clean.

Back in the bedroom, Toby pulled on yesterday's suit and stuffed his feet into his shoes. He unlocked the safe and put the ring box in his pocket; he could return the ring on his way home. His eyes lingered on the dresser, but the pad of embossed stationery was blank. He walked into the main room and checked the table there, too. Toby felt silly that he hoped there was a note or a card from the other man; he couldn't even remember his name. Still, the impression the man made on him - literally - was hard for Toby to ignore.

Toby smiled wryly; even without a full recollection of the night's activities, he was proud of himself. He'd fooled around with a hot guy and it was easily the best time he'd had in bed for years. He used the telephone to call down to the front desk for a cab, and as he closed the door to the suite behind him, he felt so good he started whistling, some old Bob Dylan tune.


Note: Although the title was chosen after the story was written, the song lyrics are quite fitting. Find them at: http://www.bobdylan.com/songs/twist.html

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