DISCLAIMER: I do not own Law & Order SVU (Lord I wish I did!) All rights and characters belong to Dick Wolf and NBC Studios. I make no profit- monetary or otherwise- from this production. Hate Me is a song belonging to Blue October people. * marks the line I used from the song.

A/N: The SVU bug has been biting people lately- I've seen some fics appearing out of nowhere. For me- it's the SVU marathon I watched; just got me thinking. This, in my opinion, is brotherly, close friends even- though I guess it could be slash. I don't know. I like brotherly and it's just a hug. And John seems the type to be supportive in a very...assholish(?) way. He's John, he can get away with it.

Warning: Two guys hugging. Non-slash. Mentions of dead guys, adult themes, murder. Usual.

Song: Hate Me -Blue October

Elliot slammed the door behind him, dropping his coat and bag on the floor. He stumbled over to the couch, on automatic; every part of his being numb. His hand finds the crystal, half-filled with bourbon, as he passes the desk before flopping down on the couch, not even bothering with a glass.

It's now that Elliot's brain clicks on and he starts to think. Think about the past week's events, this serial child molester case they've been working on; think about how they had the prick nailed, evidence enough to convince a jury thirty times over- and then...it all went down the drain. All the work, all the sleepless nights, all the suffering- gone, in an instant. 'Cause the bastard got himself shot.

It wasn't fair; any of it. All those victims- hurt, traumatized, or dead. And this freak gets off, because he commits suicide by cop. And there's a sick innuendo to all that; one that makes Elliot light-headed and want to hurl.

It's not justice, the bastard getting to die like that; not going to court, getting his sentence, be it lifetime jail or death. Elliot would be happy with either. One way you die and the other- well prisoners don't like those who fancy kids, not one bit.

All that though, as much as he despises it- Elliot's been there before. Different perp, different victims, same damn pain. This time though, he almost lost. Lost way too much, things that are too close to his heart. And it's his fault.

Elliot takes a swig of the bourbon- letting it burn his throat. He wants it to stop, to stop thinking, stop feeling. There's a prickling around his eyes and it sting and burns and itches all at the same time and he hates it. 'What is crying gonna do?' He silently curses himself; wishing that his alcohol tolerance wasn't so high cause he wants to be drunk and he just can't seem to get there.

'And what's being drunk gonna do?' Another good question. Why can he only come up with questions when he's drunk? Why do such pivotal inquiries escape him at important times? Like today, today he could have saved at least one life, and kept someone out the hospital.

Elliot still hasn't managed to drink himself under the table an hour later when the door opens and shuts quietly. He should've locked it; he should've done a lot of things.

Whomever has entered lingers in the hallway, a foot hanging in the air as they survey the area before taking a step. Then they're lurking behind the sofa, still, silent, and stiff. There's tension in the air, Elliot can feel it. And the quiet mannerism of his guest tells exactly who's dropped by at such an inconvenient time.

"Are you just gonna stand there Munch?" John is amazed at how clear Elliot's voice is, un-slurred and untainted by the alcohol.

"You didn't offer me a seat. Common courtesy to offer a houseguest a seat."

Elliot snorted, "Take a seat then." And his hand waved out over the room, really indicating anywhere and he really hoped John would take the hint and sit opposite of him; course why would the Detective? Instead he sits right next to Elliot- and maybe just a little too close.

"You enjoying self pity?"

"Munch really-"

"No, I'm serious. This is how you handle a long day? Wallowing in your misery and drinking yourself to sleep?"

"Munch I-"

"Crying yourself to sleep too?"

"John! If you came just to bust my balls, please, just leave."

"All this over something that just happened?" John continued on like he had never been interrupted. "It's the job Stabler- shit happens. People get hurt, people get shot, and people die. And there's always someone who's gonna be sick and disgusting and make you hate everything in the world. But things happen- just like today. Things that are out of your control, things you couldn't have changed even if you wanted."

"Out of my control?" Elliot shot up from the sofa the bourbon falling to the floor. "Couldn't change? John you were there, I made the wrong decision. I hesitated, I-"

"Did something human."

"No, I messed up. Liv's in the hospital because of me."

"Are you forgetting Elliot? Liv's alive. Benson isn't dead. She's alive, and she's healing, and she'll make a full recovery. And more so, she doesn't blame you. You didn't do anything wrong. You're a cop, you did your job. Things didn't work out the way you wanted, but you know what? Tell me when they do huh? 'Cause they never do!" John was behind him now, hands thrown out in exasperation.

"She wouldn't be in the hospital if I had just shot the bastard!" Elliot shouted whirling on John, closing in on personal space. Elliot's face was a tinge of red, veins straining themselves against the skin of his temple and his teeth were gritted in restraint. Restraint, John thought, he shouldn't be using.

"Oh and shooting everyone is the answer?"

"Just leave John!"

"No. I came here; you need to be nicer to your guests."

"Ha, really John? You're gonna go for jokes?" Elliot let out a wry chuckle despite himself. 'The audacity of John.'

"Anything to see you smile babe." Elliot wasn't sure why but John, smiling like that, immediately weakened some of his defenses; tore down the walls, shattered the glass. He silently cursed John for it.

Elliot shook his head, the world swimming with the motion. He braced himself against the wall, trying to bury the emotions that had swelled in his chest. He felt John take a step back giving him some space; he was disappointed by it really.

"Don't bury it El, it doesn't help." John remarked quietly, matter-of-fact like, the way he talk about everything. It's so distant and cold, and Elliot wonders why- more like how- he's able to be so detached, so cynical. Yet at the same time, he does know. It's a coping mechanism- they all have one. John's cynicism, Fin's holding on to his roots, Liv's empathy with the victims, and his own bottling it up.

John watches quietly as Elliot's body slightly shakes, the man's crying and John feels like it's a crime upon all of humanity. Elliot crying- it's just not normal; the man's always been too tough for it, strong. And because of that John sometimes forgets Elliot is human, he's got a breaking point, and he's met it. And now John feels the need to build him back up, remind him also, that he's only human- he can't fix everything, he can't do everything.

"Why are you still here?"

"Where else would I be? I'm missing my hot date with the TV set- but let's face it, Farrah Fawcett's on every night."

"Yeah well I don't want you here John. I want to be alone."

"And when have I ever done what I was told?"

"Right now would be an ideal time."

"Or what?" Elliot turned slowly, his eyes were red but dry- tears dried. John knew he was pushing buttons but this was the best plan of attack he thought.

"John, don't."

"No seriously, or what? Elliot you wouldn't do anything to me. To anyone, you're too nice to hurt people."

"That's a lie. I've hurt plenty of people."

"Like who?"

"My family for one, and Liv. I'm rarely home and I do stupid things John."

"Yeah so maybe Liv finds it a bit hard to rein you in a bit. But that's not hurt El-"

"Yes it is!" Elliot's hands flailed out but he wasn't sure what to do with them. There was the urge to hit something but at the same time to just give up. And John just stared at him quietly, stoic, and it annoyed Elliot. "Why do you all insist this isn't my fault? Why aren't you mad? Why don't you hate me? You should. Hate me today!" *

A silence engulfed them. it was suffocating, and John was really too shocked to say anything. Why would anyone blame Elliot? For any of this? But even more so how could Elliot expect anyone to hate him? John didn't understand- and it wasn't right that Elliot loathed himself that much. He shouldn't being feeling any of that at all.

Elliot felt breathless and lightweight. Free now, that his misgivings were finally in the open. He's not sure what he expected to come of them though, what he wants John to do, cause what can John do? He's not God (as much as he fancies himself that way,) he's not a miracle worker. But it was okay, Elliot just wanted it all to stop and John was there. Talking was easier then he imagined, even if it wasn't helping.

"You're an idiot." Elliot's eyes widened a bit in surprise at the comment, but maybe this makes more sense- this is what he wanted John to feel- some kind of anger. But it's even more surprising the way John's eyes shine, the flecks of green that catch the dim light and flash in his brown eyes, despite the shades, and that for once, hold warmth.

The whole look, complete with a thin smile and calm mien, takes Elliot down a peg or two; throws him off guard. But nowhere near as much as the feeling of arms wrapping around his waist and then the immediate warmth found as John pulls him close. It's a heat that melts away the ice, his resolve, and Elliot feels everything just crumble. Before he knows it he's breaking down in John's arms, clinging to him for dear life.

The older detective is a little out of his element; he awkwardly pats Elliot's back as the man sobs it out on his Corneliani suit.

"Do me a favor, El?"

"Y-yeah." Elliot pulls away, regaining his composure.

"Quite blaming yourself. I mean, where do you get off taking the credit for everything?" Elliot smiles and John is pleased to know it's not false; it's not wry or even hesitant.

"Right, yeah. Uh sorry about-"

"Don't worry about." John holds up a hand to stop him because this has already been too touchy feely, and he's definitely met his quota of mushy sappy moments for the month. "Just uh, let's keep this between us?"

A/N: So my first SVU fic, I hope that wasn't too painful.

Reviews are appreciated.

Stay Frosty.