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This is the Beginning 1/1

by ozfanfreak or lalioz

They say that in every family there is a role for a child to play- that of a clown, a confidant (usually a small boy watching his mother choke back the tears downing her fifth martini in the middle of the afternoon ) or that of a pet. I was definitely not a pet....or a clown. I was the oldest, the smart one, and the sensitive one; always so polite, always so quiet. Yes, you could and you probably would say- a momma's boy. Regular Mr. Nice Guy. Somehow I got everybody fooled. Well, not anymore. His stellar reputation gone down the drain, Tobias Beecher sat in his kitchen watching the ink on his divorce papers dry. Genevieve filed for divorce, he just went along. He took a sip of his coffee, his gaze traveling over the kitchen cabinets, a blender, his brand new sugar and coffee containers, a window and the sky beyond.

She asks-`What's wrong Toby? What went wrong with us?' Her voice is trembling. `Don't shut me out like that. Please talk to me.' She's pleading, and he starts to get annoyed. Angry. `You remember how it used to be....remember, honey?' Her voice is thick with desperation now, her eyes welling up with tears. `We used to talk for hours', she goes on, `and then we would make love. Remember? Honey?' She presses her cold hand against his cheek, and all of a sudden he is cold, so cold deep inside.' What happened to us?'

What happened? My guess-whatever the fuck happened to Dick and Jane, that's what happened. Nothing. Everything. Finally I say-`I don't know.' So we split up. My kids got a new role to play. I have them every other day. That's if I'm not on the case. I'm a good father, though.

I think I am. With a heavy sigh he got up from the table and poured the rest of his coffee into the sink. He had to get going. This morning being late was not an option. Grabbing the divorce papers and his car keys of the table, and his coat from the rack by the door of his apartment he cast a weary look at his reflection in the mirror. Fuck you too, he frowned at the poor schmuck looking back at him, and rushed outside to his car. The city hurried past him as he drove northwest on Waverly Pl toward 6th Ave. Stopping for the red light he turned the radio on letting the rest of the world in.

Some half an hour later he eased his car into a parking lot, and pausing for a squad car to pass headed for the entrance of the 16th Precinct. The transfer was his idea. He needed a change. He hoped Eames would understand eventually. SVU was not his first choice, though, but hell, beggars can't be choosers.


`Up the stairs and to the left.' A desk sergeant said. With a nod and a weary smile Detective Tobias Beecher was climbing the said stairs taking two at the time. Not that he was eager much, but he was always a conscientious kind of guy. Nervous energy thrummed through his body propelling him up the second flight of stairs. As he entered the squad room he found it virtually empty; a tall surly looking guy hurrying past him.

`Excuse me...' he started catching the guy's dark blue eyes.

`You Beecher?' the guy mumbled around a plastic coffee straw.

`Yes...umm' Tobias nodded `Tobias Beecher.' Shifting his coat from one hand to another he offered the guy a smile and his free hand in greeting.

`Elliot Stabler.' the guy said shaking the proffered hand. 'This way...' he jerked his head in a general direction of what seemed like a row of generic interrogation rooms. Tossing his empty cup in a trashcan, Stabler sashayed through the maze of desks, Beecher following hot on his tail. Stopping with his hand on a doorknob Stabler turned to throw him a knowing look. `Out of a frying pan, and into the fire.'

His breath leaving him in a surprised gasp Beecher stopped short almost running into the man. `What..' he started.

`Don't worry, Captain will keep you up the speed.' Stabler nodded leaving him in a dark. Literaly.

As his eyes got used to a near darkness of the small room he noticed Captain Cragen and the ADA Casy Novak staring back at him. `Ummm...' he started again, mentally cursing the stupid mick, and his own firkin luck in the same breath. 'Detective Stabler said I should...'

`Beecher is it?' Cragen asked his eyes firm on Tobias's face.

When Tobias nodded his affirmation the older man simply said- 'You are with Stabler for now.' then turned back to the two-way mirror and the quickstep taking place in the interrogation room.

After that it all went into an overdrive.


Some 10 hours later he was sitting on a bed in a seedy motel room with Elliot Stabler waiting for their snitch to arrive and trying desperately not to drool as he surreptitiously scanned the certain parts of Stabler's anatomy. Closing his eyes he groaned to himself. Everybody needs a hobby. Apparently his was Stabler particularism. So he was looking. Just looking....he would have to find his balls first to do anything else, not with that blue eyed glower leveling anything that moved to the ground on him now. He was so out of his league it wasn't even funny.

`What time is it?' He heard him ask turning away from a window.

`Quarter to nine.' Beecher checked his watch.

`Oh...' Stabler frowned, turning his back to Beecher again.

Letting his eyes wander down that strong back and stone perfect ass in silent appreciation Beecher sighed in a low voice. 'Man I hate this.'

`Yeah.' Stabler groaned stretching his back. `This is the highlight of my day, too.'

His eyes riveted on the subtle play of Stabler's muscles beneath the thin material of his grey dress shirt Beecher almost groaned out loud. He wasn't even trying to kid himself anymore. That ass was a bonafide eye candy and damn he was gorging from the minute he laid his eyes on it. No harm in looking, right? Besides, the guy was straight, and married, no, recently divorced, Toby amended hastily, amazed how that little piece of information made him almost obscenely happy. What as if that made him somehow more attainable? Yeah, dream on loser. He swallowed shifting uncomfortably in his place. `Damn it Stabler sit the fuck down already.' He mumbled carding his hand through his blond hair.

With just a twitch of a smile Stabler turned, and with a huff plopped down in the chair facing him.

`You are a strange man, Tobias.'

`Call me Toby. Everybody does.' Toby said with almost a shy smile, not able to look the man in the eye, not just yet.

`Key.' Stabler shrugged his shoulders. Leaning forward to rest his forearms against his thighs, his hands hanging between his knees he huffed looking towards the door. `How much longer?'

`She said she'll be here at nine.' Toby shrugged his shoulders,' but then again, she's a crackhead.' he grinned feebly his head bowed, his fingers still, tangled in the blond strands at the back of his head.

`You deal with that kind of people a lot, Toby?' Stabler shot him a quick smile.

`Perks of the job, I guess.' Toby smiled glancing at Stabler his heart jumping to his throat.

A knock at the door was loud in a sudden silence. Getting his gun out of the holster and getting behind the door Stabler motioned at Toby to be quiet. `C'mon man it ain't like I got all day.' They heard a laggard voice call out, and as Stabler opened the door a girl's drooping eyes scattered tiredly across the room coming to rest at Toby.

`There you are.' She smiled nervously combing her tousled hair back from her face. `Man am I glad to see ya, Tooooby.' She purred leaning against the doorframe, her smile suddenly sultry. `It's nice to see you too, Baby.' Toby smiled aware of Stabler's dark look on him now. He knew what he was thinking. She could not be older than fifteen.

`That's my name.' She giggled stepping inside and leaning in to plant a slow kiss on Toby's cheek, her tiny hand stroking down his silk tie and lower, stopping mere inch above Toby's zipper.

Catching her hand Toby smiled gently at her. `Uh-huh-huh...remember our deal.'

`I thought maybe this time ...' She let her voice trail off suggestively.

`Baby...' Toby drawled the look in his eyes chastising her efficiently.

Casting an exasperated look at Stabler, her mouth curved in a pout she plopped down on the bed. `OK. But I'm only doing this for you.' She pointed an angry finger at Toby. 'The man's batshit crazy. He would break both of my arms and legs if he knew I talked to ya.'

`Baby...cut the theatrics and spill. I have your money.' Toby grinned, the smile never reaching his eyes. He glanced back at Stabler noting his stiff posture, his arms down by his sides, a strong hand squeezing the gun.

`Beecher.' He heard him whisper his eyes darting to the door.

He heard it too. There was somebody in the hallway.

Grabbing his gun Toby reached for Baby dragging her from the bed. With a hand over her mouth he hissed into her ear. `You've been followed, sugar. Or were you two timing me?'

Terrified look in her eyes told him the truth. Opening the bathroom door he shoved her inside. Turning to look at Stabler he pointed to the window. Stabler nodded taking his position against the wall.

Toby climbed out the window then run around the building veiled in shadows.

Running he didn't even notice the car. Lying in his blood he heard shots fired. He let him down. First day and he got his partner shot. Nice one Beecher. And then the darkness came.


`Code 3. Officer down! Officer down!' He heard a man yell in his radio.' Hang on Beecher.' He felt a firm hand on his shoulder, squeezing tight to let him know he was not alone. ' I need a bus. Units Henry and Nora! `

`What's your 10-20?'

`974 Morris Ave.'

`Wait...' Beecher whimpered fighting the darkness...That's in Bronx. What was he doing in Bronx?


`Yeah buddy, hand on, hang on.' He heard him say, his voice tight.


`Don't try to talk, bud.' He kneeled down by his side, and Toby caught a glimpse of his blue uniform.

What? Stabler wasn't wearing a uniform....

`What's your ETA?' He heard that gravely voice again. It sounded so familiar, yet so wrong. Everything was wrong. He heard himself whimper, the weak sound cut short by a terrible choking noise. His mouth filled with blood, and he felt his heart stutter in panic, his eyes opened, big, pleading for life.


He opened his eyes. Morning sun streamed in through the window just above his hospital bed scattering a wayward pattern over the pristine white sheets. He tried to move, but his whole body winced in protest his eyes closing on their own accord. He was tired, bone tired. But he needed to pee. One tentative move made him discover a catheter shoved up his penis. Nice. Really nice. He groaned.

`You are awake Mr.Beecher?' An ethereal voice slithered into his consciousness. As he opened his eyes a young nurse standing at the foot of his bed smiled at him.

`I..' his voice was hoarse. He stopped, coughed. `I need to go to the bathroom.'

Filling his chart she glanced up at him, her pretty mouth curving in an apologetic smile. `You can't get up just yet.'

`I don't believe this!' He huffed closing his eyes. `How badly was I hurt?' Well he needed to be told at least that!

`I better call your doctor.'

`My kids. Have anyone informed my kids?' His voice raised in panic, his eyes searching her face frantically. The thought of his children made Beecher's mouth twist helplessly.

`Your family has been informed.' She smiled at him, her hand on his shoulder now, trying her best to calm him down. 'Your parents are downstairs in the cafeteria I believe.'

`My parents?' Toby frowned. `How do you mean my parents?'

Stopping in a doorway she threw him a puzzled look. `Mr.Beecher are you all right?'

`I'm perfectly fine thank you very much.' Toby drawled sarcastically. `But how do you mean *my parents*?' He emphasized the last words his breath hitching in his throat.

`I'm sorry...' she shook her head in confusion 'but...they are listed as your emergency contacts.'

`No.' Toby sighed, his temper flaring at this point. `My wife is.' Closing his eyes he paused to take a calming breath.' My *ex* wife that is.'

Clearly at a loss the nurse mumbled. `I better fetch Dr. Fry.'


My parents? Toby frowned raising his hand to his forehead rubbing it pensively. Mom was dead for five years now, and he certainly couldn't imagine people thinking Diane was his mother. He was what ten years older than him. And where was Gen? He knew things were complicated between them at the moment, but surely, she would want to be here by his side. Would she? He almost squeaked pitifully. With a moan he tried to squirm into a more comfortable position. He still needed to piss badly, but could not force himself to do it there in bed lying flat on his back.

`Mr. Beecher.' A tall brawny man in his mid forties was standing by his side. `I'm Dr.Fry. I'm here to answer any questions you might have.'

`What happened to me?'

`You've been shot. The bullet caused a substantial damage to your internal organs. Your spleen was badly damaged and we had to remove it....'

Tobias listened to Dr.Fry his mind reeling. Shot? He's been shot?! That's not what he remembered. He distinctly remembered a car and the pain as his bones shattered under the impact. He could call to mind shots being fired, but it was Stabler who.....Oh, God, what happened to Stabler!?

`What happened to Stabler...' Toby sighed heavily covering his face with his hands `Detective Elliot Stabler, my partner?'

`Officer Stabler is doing fine. Just a flesh wound.'

His head throbbing with excruciating headache Toby tried to rise in his bed. `*Officer* Stabler?' He muttered his whole body shaking.

Anxious Dr. Fry watched as his patient's eyes fluttered. Toby lost his consciousness.



It was all a horrible nightmare. Toby reasoned with himself lying in bed with his eyes closed. It's simple as that. Whole spectrum of various injuries he could catalogue on his body without even looking made him want to cry in anguish. You are loosing your mind, Beecher. Silent tears streamed down his pale face. He heard people going in and out of his room. He heard hushed voices and worried queries. Someone even turned the TV on; someone watching The Dukes of Hazard re-runs.

`Gussie, turn that off.' He heard his mother say in a hushed voice.

`Toby.' He heard her coming to sit by his bedside. 'It's all right. My dear boy, everything is going to be all right. You are safe now.' A touch of her hand on his face as she wiped off his tears brought a desperate wail to his mouth. `Mom.' He whimpered not daring to open his eyes. `Oh, God.... Momma.'

`Shhhh....' Her voice was so soft; her hand on his face so warm.


`Sleep, my boy. Sleep. We'll talk tomorrow.'


`And where's he taking you tonight?' Waking in the middle of the night Toby heard some girls talking in front of his room, probably nurses. `We are going to see `10', and then he's taking me to diner.' '10? You know he's only going because of Bo Derek?' `Yes. But it was either that or `Apocalypse Now', so what did you think I'd choose?'

Fumbling blindly for the TV remote on the nightstand Toby flipped the TV on.


So it was 1979. His mother was alive, and he was never married. He was engaged though- to a certain young lady going by the name of Katherine. As in Katherine McClain. Toby shivered at the thought. Still, he actually was one of the New York finest, and his partner was a decorated police officer, one sergeant Joseph Stabler. And the man himself was now standing by his bedside, his jaw clenched, and his eyes downcast. `I'm sorry, man. I've let you down.'

`No, it is all right.' Toby sighed, not really knowing what to say. He didn't remember the shooting, he couldn't honestly say he knew anything about anything, so he conveniently fell back on that Dissociative Fugue theory Dr.Fry was so passionately advocating.

`Don't worry, Joe.' Did he go by Joe, or Joey? Noting the man's stiff shoulders, and deep set worry lines on his forehead, his eyes glinting cold blue steel, Toby thought he got it right. 'I'll be all right.'

`I...' Joe Stabler paused contemplating the polished floor, then raised his head to aim a narrow eyed glower at the world at large rather than to be looking at his partner. He cleared his throat casting a furtive glance at Toby then looked back at the window. `I had to take care of you, lad. It was your last day on the beat.'

`My last day?' Toby raised in his bed, leaning cautiously against the pillows.

Thinking back of what Toby doctor has told them Joe tried for a smile offering a firm hand in handshake. ``You passed your exam, Toby.'

Accepting the proffered hand, a stranger in his own life, Toby smiled his face scrunched in dismay, a look he wore for days now.

`I have something for you. Actually Elliot thought it'll cheer you up.' Joe grabbed a parcel wrapped up in a plain white paper and handed it to him. `It's supposed to be `blazin'; at least that's what he said.' He shook his head. `That boy...'

Much to his surprise, Toby realized he couldn't help but smile at the sound of that name. He tore the paper impatiently to reveal the familiar stamp and brown cover of Led Zeppelin's In Through the Out Door album. How come *familiar*t? It's supposed to be new. Here...the relese date...it says August 1979. He sunk back against the pillows.

'How's Elliot?' He asked swallowing hard, his eyes downcast.

`He spends hours in his damn room. You know how he gets. Talks about joining the marines when he turns eighteen.' With a long-drawn sigh Joe shrugged his shoulders. 'Anyway, he sat for his senior portrait last week. `A faint smile curved his lips.' You should've seen Bernadette fussing and cooing over him. She drove him crazy.' Frowning he put his cap on. `I told him to have his hair cut. Looks like that fucking Cookie monster......Ahem......listen, I havta go.'

`Yeah.' Toby smiled.

`I'll drop by in a day or two. Bernadette wants you to come by, you know, to dinner as soon as you are out.'

`Give her my thanks. I don't think they are letting me out soon, though.' Toby's face fell at the thought.

`Well, consider yourself invited.' Joe grinned. `See you, pal.'

`Joe!' Toby called out.


`Tell Elliot I said thanks.' Toby smiled holding up the record.

`Right.' Joe nodded.

`See you, Joe.'

`See ya, Toby.' .............//.............

Two months later he was back on the job. They got him transferred to the 12th, and teamed him with Detective Philip K. Fish. He worked Homicide. Life went on. He still had trouble adjusting, but he was seeing a psychologist, and she said he was doing just fine. He decided to believe her.


Stepping into a cold November afternoon, and heading to his car, his blue eyes red-rimmed and shadow-lined, his hands shoved deep into his coat pockets Toby didn't even notice Joe Stabler calling his name across the street.

`Toby, hey, how ya doing?' Joe walked to him, pausing for a black '72 Chevy Nova to pass him by.

`Joe! Nice to see you.' Toby smiled.' What brings you to this neck of the woods?'

`Nothing much. Had some things to take care of.' Joe sniffed digging his hands into his coat pockets. `Hey, Bernadette's been nagging me for weeks now...What are you doing this Sunday?'

`Nothing much.' Toby shrugged his shoulders slightly taken aback by the sudden shift in conversation.

`Then it's settled...Ya coming to dinner. Seven o'clock. Be on time, lad. I got six children, remember.' With a friendly pat on Toby's back Joe sealed the deal.

`Key. See you all on Sunday.' Toby nodded his assent.

Unsettled by the image of the forty-something Elliot Stabler in a dark grey shirt that flashed through his mind Toby let out a self-abhorring growl. Elliot Stabler is an innocent boy, not some figment of your sick imagination. He groaned feeling his tentative grasp on sanity loosen even further. You could call Joe and cancel. That's what you should do.

............//............ Standing in front of Stabler residence in Queens with a bottle of Tyrconnell Single Malt whiskey for Joe and a bouquet of white peonnies for the lady of the house, and feeling rather reluctant to reach for a doorbell Toby startled as the said door suddenly opened and Bernadette Stabler greeted him inside with a dazzling smile and a kiss on a cheek. `Tobias weren't they feeding you at all? You are nothing but bones!' She frowned.' Don't worry; I've made my specialty- red wine pot roast with mushrooms, remember...And of course-mashed potatoes, with extra cream! And for desert we have blueberry pie and ice-cream. Joe tells me it's your favorite!' Pulling at his hand she dragged him inside.' Joe, Toby's here! ` A shy smile tugging at his lips Toby went in as she stepped aside then closed the door behind him. `Come on darling, don't you just stand there.' She tugged at his arm as he paused almost glued to the door. 'Oh, what beautiful flowers; are those for me? Joe! I don't know where ....' Oh, there you are. `She smiled at Joe who was coming down the stairs to great Toby with a firm handshake. `Here...I guess this is for you.' She took the bottle of whiskey from Toby. Handing it to Joe she motioned to Toby to take his coat off. `And tell Madeline to put these in some water.' She said turning to her husband again with Toby's bouquet this time. `These are really beautiful. Madeline!!' Smiling to Toby she called for one of her four daughters, then took Toby's hand and led him into the living room. `Peonnies are my favorite.' Patting him on a forearm she called for Madeline again. 'I better go and check things in the kitchen.' Grabbing the bouquet from Joe's hands she stepped into the hallway frowning as she called out.' Madeline! Theresa! You better drag yer behinds down here! Don't let me send your father up. And tell your brother dinner's in ten minutes.' Toby sat down in the nearest armchair his eyes scattering over the walls of the cozy room and the family photos displayed as Joe went to the drinks cabinet. With an embarrassed start he realized what he was doing and dropped his eyes to the floor. `Mary and Claire are at St.Peter's , and Frank has a date. I think he's seeing Mike's daughter.' Handing a glass of whiskey to Toby, 'Straight, right?' and making him almost choke Joe switched the TV on and sat down on a sofa. `You know Mike...Mike Curran, from the 10th.' `Yeah.' Toby leaned back against the plush deep orange cushions of the overstuffed armchair. He didn't know how, but he really did know the guy. Taking a big hearty gulp of his drink Toby closed his eyes. `Ummm...Dad.' A voice is pitched low just barely above the whisper.'Mom says dinner is served.'

...........//......... When Toby opens his eyes the image of Elliot Stabler from his subconsciousness is dizzyingly superimposed over the present-that of a tall teenager decked in baseball sleeves with flame decal, light blue jeans and obligatory sneakers, with long dark brown hair and blue eyes most girls from his school had to be noticing; the hunched shoulders and the hands shoved deep into his jean pockets, though, made it painfully obvious just how unaware of the fact the boy actually was. `Hi, Mr. Beecher.' Toby hears his voice and sees his hand lifted in greeting. `Hi, Elliot.' he hears himself speaking. He knows he's smiling at the boy, for his face lights up with a barely there smile of his own for an instant just before he drops his head down, and mumbles something to himself. `What?' Toby asks tilting his head, affection flooding his features, his eyes dancing with gentle teasing. `Hope you are all right now. I mean...' Elliot's voice trails off, as his eyes snap in a direction of his father with something too close to guilt and dire expectation dancing in that dark blue gaze for Toby's liking. `Yeah, thanks. I'm doing fine. Your present helped. There's nothing like hearing Plant whine to make you forget your own pain.' Mentally wincing at the inanity that escaped his mouth Toby reaches for his glass. The smile that flew over Elliot's face went a long ways in soothing his bruised ego, though. God damn Beecher, you are pathetic. Toby sighs finishing his drink and gets up to join the Stablers in the dining room. ..........//................ He thanked Bernadette for the lovely evening and promising Joe to join him and the guys on a poker night next Thursday, Toby stepped into a cold night air, and hurried to his car, his mind reeling, his breath hitching in his throat as he recognized the tall figure hunched in the deep shadows under a maple tree. `Can I bum a fag off you?' Toby spoke uncomfortable all of a sudden. This is wrong. So wrong. The name of Humbert Humbert rings any bells, Tobias? Fumbling through the pockets of his jacket Elliot fished a crumpled pack of Camels out. `I'd walk a mile for a Camel!' Toby chuckled taking the pack from Elliot's hand. He pulled one out and held it up, his eyes piercing the darkness... `These could kill you, you know.' Leaning against the tree he lit it up. `And you are some kind of Superman?' The snarky remark came as a surprise, and Toby turned to look at him, a full, bellowing laugh escaping his mouth. `No.' he huffed. Turning to look at Elliot he flicked his cigarette to the ground and snuffing it beneath the heel of his boot made his way to his car. 'Don't let your father catch you smoking, Elliot. You are not Superman either.' He chuckled, fishing out his car keys from his coat pocket. `That's yours?' Emerging from the shadow with look of pure rapture fixed on Toby's 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, Elliot stepped close.

`Yeah.' Toby smiled leaning against it. `That's my baby.' He didn't remember how come he owned that little piece of history, but damn if he was willing to rehash that bit of info right then and there.' Black with Black, and 100% original Red Stinger Hood, 427ci/435hp L71 Engine, M21 4-Speed Transmission and Kelsey Aluminum Wheels.'

`That's to the max.' Elliot whistled.

`If that means what I think it means,' Toby leaned in winking at him. `Thank you, I think so, too.'

`Yeah.'Elliot smiled carding a hand through his dark hair a little damp from the light drizzle. 'Yeah.'

Climbing into the car Toby returned the smile. `Take care, Elliot.'

`Yeah.' Elliot shrugged it off with a frown, his blue eyes suddenly dark.

Looking at the boy's tall figure in the review mirror Toby drove off. Take care of yourself, Elliot.


His eyes riveted on the car skidding through the intersection and heading for a full frontal collision with it Toby had time to think. He thought of his family, his ex wife and his kids- figments of his imagination, as his doctors kindly dubbed them. He thought of all that time he lost, all the chances he missed...


`Code 3. Officer down! Officer down!'

A veil of sirens pierced the silence. ' Hang on Beecher.' He felt a firm hand on his shoulder.

`Elliot! What's your 20?' He heard a disembodied voice hiss through the bubble wrap of pain his whole body was immersed. `Stabler, what's your 20?'


The whole thing still made his head reel. Even three months later. His bones healed, though.


`Detectives.' An uniformed officer nodded his head in a salute to the two SVU detectives joining him in his lonely vigil over the body of a man; at least he thought it was a man, it was hard to tell. Swallowing hard, he could not force himself to look closer, not as closely as he probably should have. He had seen enough.

`Emerson', Detective Stabler squeezed through thin lips, shoving his hands deeper into his coat pockets. The night was cold. It was early in December, and it was raining heavily, and a back alley littered with empty cardboard boxes and the trash from the nearby restaurant smelled like piss and vinegar.

`ME's stuck in traffic. Some accident on Houston.' Emerson informed them.

Stabler nodded his eyes narrowed.' Who called it in?' He asked going down on one knee, his eyes narrowing in concentration as he catalogued the crucial and the obvious, and the details in between. Flipping his notebook open Emerson recited. 'Mrs. Adele Nolan, apartment 4B. She said she heard a noise...saw a white delivery van drove off.' Closing his notebook he looked at Stabler.' If ya ask me that's all we'll get from her.'

`Did she get the license number?' Stabler asked, not even glancing up at him.

`Nope.' He shifted from one leg to another bidding his blood to run. He was cold and miserable and wanted to get away from there. It was nights like these that really made him hate his job. He sighed impatiently noticing strangely enough how Stabler's short dark hair was already dripping wet, cold trickles of rain slipping down his nape and into his collar.

`They are pink this time.' He heard him mumble to himself.

Noticing the M.E.'s team over at the edge of the perimeter Stabler stood up.

`It's about time. The guy's make up is turning into shit in this rain.' A low husky voice made Emerson almost visibly wince. He almost forgot the other man that was standing there in the shadows with them-Detective Tobias Beecher, a quiet unassuming man whose angelic face and a boyish smile did nothing to warn you of his sharp intellect and killer instincts.

Stabler huffed glancing at his partner-amused or annoyed, Emerson could not tell.

Toby sighed impatiently noticing how Stabler's short dark hair was already dripping wet, cold trickles of rain slipping down his nape and into his collar.

Nodding at M.E. Warner and her technician, a new guy, young, wide eyed and looking absolutely petrified, Toby leaned heavily on his cane. He felt drained. This case was gnawing at them all.

`It looks like our guy.' Stabler informed her.

`That makes this one No.4.' she sighed heavily.


`C'mon Stabler.' Toby sighed heavily leaning back in his chair and rubbing the knuckles of his hands over his eyes. `This is going nowhere. We won't get to the bottom of this tonight.'

Crossing his arms over his chest, his attempt at, by now official,*fuck off Beecher* stare falling flat on its face, Elliot growled. 'You're spoiling for a fight, Beecher?'

`Nah, man. I'm begging for a break, a decent meal, a shower. Some sleep would be nice, too.'

`You are a pussy, Beech.' Elliot bared his perfect white teeth in a wicked smile.

`Buy me a dinner, and I'll prove it for ya.' Toby winked, his own words taking him by surprise.

Shaking his head at him Elliot rose from his chair. Grabbing his coat, he turned to Toby. 'Whatcha waiting , Tobe? A formal invitation?

`Some flowers would be nice.' Toby chuckled putting his coat on his eyes roaming hungrily over the scrumptious ass much too soon hidden beneath the heavy fabric of Elliot's coat. Stop it. He groaned inwardly. Elliot Stabler was a good man, a kind man. He reasoned with his dick. So drop it. Just drop it.

As they stepped outside, a 2005 Ford Mustang GT-R went past them.

`Now that's my dream car.' Toby jerked his chin at the black beauty.

`Mine's 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.' Elliot said crossing the street, leaving Toby to try and close his gaping mouth his breath leaving him on a huff.

The end

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