Hi, everyone! Sorry it's taken me so long to update anything. I've been so busy: graduation, volleyball camp, and this upcoming week is another volleyball. I have to get ready for that. Anyway, this is a new story that I did. It's only going to be a 3-shot, but I hope you readers like it anwyay.

So, has anyone heard of the new show Law and Order: Los Angeles? Here's a quote. I don't what it's from though: "Detective Rex Winters: A handsome, rugged ex-Marine in his early 40s, Winters has the intuition of a natural cop. He's currently married to his ex-partner." For all those EO-shippers (me included), I think this is totally unfair. And this "Rex Winters" seems a lot like someone we know.. Boo, Dick Wolf. Fail.

Disclaimer: This is not mine. You'll find that out later in the story.

It's a Gamble

"Elliot," Olivia gasped. She was sitting at her desk in Manhattan's Special Victims unit when she saw Elliot Stabler walk slowly and unsurely through the doors. "I haven't heard from you in more than five months. What are you doing here? Is everything okay? Did something happen to your family? Are you okay?"

Elliot continued to walk up to Olivia's desk. His mindset seemed just out of reach. "You already know that Kathy left me. But she gained full custody. I'm only allowed to visit them three times a month."

"Why?" Olivia asked, not fully understanding Elliot's predicament. "What allowed her to have full custody?"

Elliot temporarily left eye contact with Olivia, looking around him as if he were brand new to the place and someone after him knew it better than he did; he looked alert like he was going to be killed. Then he looked up at Olivia, eyes pleading. "I've started…betting people…for money."

"Gambling?" Olivia asked.

Elliot looked down at the floor.

"Elliot?" Olivia urged him. She wanted answers. "Elliot." She did not want or expect the answer she got.

"Yeah, Liv. I'm…gambling. But I don't like to use that term."

"Well, that's what it is, Elliot." Olivia stopped, at least for now, calling Elliot his name that she'd used for so long: El. She felt that she did not even know who this man, if she could call him one, was anymore. He was a stranger. She did not want Elliot to get into this horrible, horrible habit. It wasn't worth his time. He could do better. A lot better than what he was doing right now.

Elliot's eyes wavered a little, but then returned to look at Olivia still standing in front of him. He hesitated, then said, "I came down here for your help. No one else's help. Yours."

"What kind of help do you mean?" Olivia asked, a little afraid of what the answer could be.

"I…I need money."

"You need what?" Olivia exclaimed, staring at Elliot.

"Please don't make me say it again. I feel like I shouldn't even be here. I'm embarrassed just needing to ask you for money." Elliot looked shameful. It broke Olivia's heart to see him like this. But she couldn't do much.

"You need money," Olivia said disbelievingly. She paused, then said, "I'm sorry, Elliot. But truthfully, I don't think you deserve that money. From me or anybody else."

"But Olivia, I'm in debt. And I need to pay it off." He was begging. "I really need it. My family's left me, I can't support myself anymore, and gambling gives me a chance at making a better life."

"But, Elliot. Gambling does nothing to help you. You are just getting cheated away and losing all of your money. You cannot expect me to give you all the money that you've lost, because I don't have it. Gambling is not making a better life for you. It's making it worse."

"No, Liv. I don't think it is. I can get all my money back, pay off my debt, pay you back, make a better life, and maybe even get part-time custody of my kids."

"But, Elliot. Have you ever thought if your kids even want you to have custody of them? They probably feel like they don't even know you anymore. I know I don't. That's why you're not getting any money from me. I don't feel that you deserve it. It's for your own good." Olivia sat back down as Elliot left, shaking her head, disappointed. Disappointed that Elliot would go this low for money; disappointed that he would practically come crawling back to her just for money. She felt grateful that Captain, Munch, and Fin were all out working another case. She didn't think she was going to mention this to them, either. They didn't need to know.

SVU

Elliot slumped out of the room. He needed the money. He was in trouble, and he needed to pay it off. He knew he wouldn't get anything now, so he went to the closest bar and started drinking. Drinking like his life depended on it.

He didn't know what else he would do to get money to pay off his debt. He had to find a way, he just didn't know what.

SVU

Two hours passed by, all the while Elliot was drinking like he couldn't stop. Finally, he held up his hand to the bartender, signaling that the amount he had already consumed was enough and that the bartender should stop giving him more. He tried to stand up, but instead stumbled, grabbing onto the bar top for support.

The bartender looked over the top and asked, "Sir, would you like me to call a taxi?"

Elliot waved away the offer, but the bartender kept insisting, "Sir, are you sure? It won't be no trouble."

"No, I'm fine. I can walk." Elliot's speech was largely slurred.

"No, man. I insist. And besides, it's dark outside. Don't wanna walk into a bad part of town." The bartender was now standing at the phone, hands ready to dial.

"Ah, shit. Never mind." Elliot wobbled out of the bar, grabbing at chairs, tables, and doorways to keep him standing right-side up. Thinking of his past job experience, he says under his breath, not loud enough for anyone to hear, "The whole state is a 'bad part of town'."

The bartender helplessly watched him leave.

Elliot went around the corner, but instead of going back to his house, he turned around and started drunkenly walking towards Olivia's apartment. He told himself that he would give it one more shot for her to lend him some money. But after that, he was on his own.

He found his way easily to Olivia's apartment. Even while he was drunk, he could navigate almost perfectly. He had been to her apartment many times, but most of those visits were concerned with work. Nothing personal, everything professional. But this time he was going there for his own personal business. He needed that money. He went up to the buttons to buzz Olivia. He pressed and held.

"Liv. I need to talk to you. Let me in." He still sounded drunk, and there was a definite smell to him that indicated his previous activities.

"Elliot," Olivia's voice responded. "You're drunk."

Elliot didn't answer.

Olivia asked, "Elliot, what are you doing here?"

"Liv. Just…please let me. I need to explain." He was begging again, just this time, through drunkenness.

Olivia didn't answer him for a few seconds, which made Elliot a little uneasy and more impatient.

Olivia wanted to welcome him in, like the old times, but it was hard. Because this moment was not like the old times. In the old times, Elliot wasn't drunk. He wasn't broke. He wasn't in debt. He wasn't gambling for a living. He had a family he could go to. He didn't beg when he was short on cash. She missed those days and desperately wished for them to come back. But they wouldn't She had to make the best of what was happening now. And the best was to get Elliot out off the street, worried that he would get into deep trouble since his alcohol level was so high. She wanted to help him. So she let him in.

SVU

Olivia heard a knock on her door. It had no rhythm. Like slurred knocking.

She went to the door, looked through the peephole into the hallway, and saw Elliot leaning on the wall with one arm, trying to keep his balance. Olivia opened the door and helped Elliot inside, him leaning on her for support. She made him sit down on her couch. She sat down, too, but on the other end.

There was a silence for a moment.

"Elliot."

"Liv."

"You wanted to explain?" Olivia asked.

Elliot straightened up slightly, but not much. "Yeah, Liv. About the gambling and the money that I need."

Olivia stood up abruptly. "Elliot! No! No money from me."

"Olivia," Elliot said quietly. "You said I could explain."

She sighed, arms crossed, and sat back down. "Alright. Explain, then."

"When Kathy and the kids left me, didn't know what to do. They had been keeping me level, or as level as I could be doing my job. But when they left, my control left with them. I didn't know what to do. I had gambled once before, but that was in college. I was younger, more inexperienced in life. But I remembered how to do it, all the rules and everything. I lost my job. I was away from everyone who kept me in line, including you, Liv. I would say that I panicked. I went to my last option: gambling. I knew how to do it and I needed the money."

Olivia thought this little speech was touching, but she could only understand a little more than half of it. Elliot was slurring the words together.

"But I guess that I hadn't gambled enough. I didn't think that losing that much money would be a big problem for me. But it ended up it did." Elliot leaned in a little closer towards Olivia. "That's why I need the money. To turn my life around. I now know what I did wrong, and I need to right it. Butut I need the money to do that. Please, Liv. Help me. I need the money." His words were becoming more slurred as he became more anxious.

Olivia was shaking her head, her eyes closed. She squeaked out, "Elliot. I can't let you take money. You got yourself into this mess, and you need to get yourself out of it. Alone; without anyone's help." Her voice got stronger; more accusing. "And you should be ashamed of yourself for trying to get me into this, too. I should not be involved in your large-consequential activities."

"I promise I'll pay you back once I get the money," he pleaded. "And I am ashamed. But I won't be if I find my way out of this gambling mess."

Olivia kept shaking her head firmly. "Elliot, no. I've already decided that you're getting no money from me. None."

Elliot was drunk. That was a problem.

He suddenly stood up and ran over to Olivia. Her back was to him, so he had to grab her by her arm and twist her around before slamming her back against the wall. He was becoming desperate. Really desperate. And he was showing it to the extreme.

Olivia wanted to scream for help, but she didn't want Elliot to get into more trouble than he already was. So her mouth opened in surprise, but made no attempt to yell. Then, in shock, rather breathlessly, "Elliot! What the hell are you doing?"

She looked into Elliot's eyes, where a person shows most of their emotions. She saw that he was desperate, pleading, helpless. That quick flash of anger disappeared as fast as it came. Elliot realized what he was doing and quickly stepped away from Olivia, who was still in shock, and hurriedly ran out the door.

It's a Gamble

I hope everyone liked this! Please please take your time and review this. You only have 3 chances. I really appreciate those who take a few seconds/minutes to even just say "Good". It makes my day, and I love reviews. Critique me; I love critiques.

I hope everyone's having an awesome summer/winter break!

-Chinagirl18