Title: Momentary Fits of Insanity (or Eddie Drake Never Blushes)
Fandom: Law & Order: SVU / Wanted
Pairing: Elliot Stabler/Eddie Drake
Rating: PG-13 for language
Disclaimer: completely not mine.
Summary: In the end it's what frustrates Eddie the most; there are never any surprises.
He was not, to say the least, expecting any of this.
Stabler's shoulder is pressed into his and he smells like leather, Irish whiskey, and smoke. He's spinning the shot glass on the bar, staring it down with an intensity that's more than likely habit by now.
"You gonna drink it, or wait for it to make the first move?" Eddie asks, although he knows better. Elliot doesn't need the provocation, and it irritates the shit of him that he's gleaned this about him in a week.
Besides, he was plenty drunk an hour ago, before he'd started to lean so goddamn heavy on him.
"My dad drank this. I remember where he kept the bottle." Elliot rubs his thumb along the lip of the glass.
"All New York cops drink this shit. It's in the bylaws."
"What, like cops in California drink gin and tonic?"
"If we feel like it." Elliot's smiling at him—really smiling, all open and honest—for the first time. Eddie's seen it once before, yesterday in the squad room when Olivia made some good-natured joke at Elliot's expense. He shook his head, never quite meeting her eyes, but the smile was there, in plain sight. And Eddie had wondered how many years it took to have that, a sense of true comfort with someone you know always has your back. Or better yet, to want that comfort instead of feeling it by default.
The bar has grown packed in the last few hours, and their barstools have gradually been shoved so close together he's now aware of the subtle heat of Elliot's leg knocking idly against his. Yeah, it had been his idea to go out and get the two of them hammered in celebration of burying #77 of America's Most Wanted before nightfall that day. But Christ, he should've known better than to let Stabler pick the place; dark, smoke-filtered light and a handful of tables with one waitress, who knows Elliot's first name, as does the bartender.
There's no reason for that last part to bother Eddie, none. The whole point of him dragging his ass out to the east coast was to take down a murdering pedophile who'd skipped parole, and he'd done so in less than seven days. He can still hear Connie's incredulous, "No shit," when Eddie'd called with the good news, standing not five feet away from the body, Elliot's bullet lodged somewhere in the bastard's temple.
It had been Connie's suggestion to look up the closest SVU once Eddie got into New York, because evidently throwing Eddie into an unsuspecting group was a favorite pastime of his. And he'd hated every moment as he faked an air of nonchalance, waltzing into the squad room of the Manhattan SVU like he didn't give a rat's ass and announcing he was there for the Keaveney case.
He wasn't lucky enough to be saved by that unthreatening look of doubt from Olivia, who had started to speak first, only to be interrupted by Mr. Shirt and Tie, Mr. Blue Steel. Fuck, it was like being faced with the anti-Eddie.
"And you would be?" Elliot had asked through vague contempt.
Eddie had grinned at him just to see what he'd do. "Your new best friend."
He hadn't expected the smirk in return.
Back home, he reads everyone on the squad like a book. Connie is the exception, but even he's fairly transparent most of the time. In the end it's what frustrates Eddie the most; there are never any surprises.
"You still haven't let me buy you a drink." The shot glass is still full, but it's been forgotten for the moment and Elliot's smile has gotten a little wider.
"I told you, I don't drink foreign product. Domestic only."
Elliot shakes his head and nudges the glass toward Eddie's hand. "Bullshit. Drink it."
"At least get me drunk before you start harassing me." But he swallows the whole thing, ignoring the way both the whiskey and the glass still hold the warmth of Elliot's hand. He's only mildly tipsy and he'll stay that way the rest of the night, much to his chagrin, because Stabler's pretty well gone and someone has to get his ass home safe and sound…
He wonders if Olivia's ever sat at a bar with Elliot, watched the gentle unraveling of tension as he slides carefully into inebriation and the way he sighs and just lets himself be fucking open for a moment.
If not…well, then her goddamn loss.
There have been so many countless times in the past three days when he's found himself forming questions in his mind about Elliot; personal, unimportant shit that didn't matter, and yet it did. Sitting in a car with Stabler at four in the morning, hours into a stakeout going nowhere, and Eddie would be thinking whether Elliot was a Mets or a Yankees fan. Then the next day Munch let it slip about the divorce, and suddenly instead of baseball teams it was what bedtime stories were read at night. It was insane, he was fucking delirious, that's all; eighteen hour days were never kind on his brain.
The weight against Eddie's shoulder gets a little heavier, and he sighs.
"Think you're done for the night," he says, but doesn't push Elliot away.
"And you're just all about telling me what to do, arentcha?" But he's still smiling at Eddie, not a note of hostility in that rough-soft voice Eddie likes a little too much.
"I don't tell, I make suggestions."
"Uh-huh." He leans in too close—there's no room for Eddie to back up—and adds, "Is there ever a moment when you're not totally full of shit, Drake?"
"That's the Jameson talking. I know deep down you love me." Okay, yeah. I'm utterly certifiable. He can't even remember the last time he's blushed.
Like he can read his thoughts, Elliot says, "You're fucking crazy, you know that?" The words are hot against Eddie's cheek.
"So I've been told." He shoves his stool back and manages to sling Elliot's arm across his shoulders, his other arm automatically sliding beneath the leather jacket and around his waist, holding onto that solid weight. Elliot never protests, even as they half-stumble out into the thick summer night air and Eddie props him up against the side of the building.
"Where to, big guy?"
Elliot's eyes drift shut and he laughs, head falling back into the brick wall. "Thought you were gonna say, ‘Your place or mine.'"
"Aw, I'm touched." Meanwhile, Eddie's heart sort of has a seizure. "But my place isn't guest-worthy. I don't even get HBO."
"FBI must be cutting back these days."
"It's a glamorous life I lead, I admit." His hands are still curled around Elliot's shoulders; the tip of his left index finger starts drawing lazy patterns in the leather, just below Elliot's collar. One sweep up and he'd be touching the skin of his neck. "So? Want me to leave you out here to pass out?"
Elliot sighs and it sounds a lot like fucker. But he finally tells him the address, and Eddie's not surprised that it's less than two blocks away. His hands have never left Elliot's body, but it's okay. It's just support…which is harder to repeat in his brain when he trusts me he trusts me blocks everything else out as Elliot more or less melts into Eddie's side.
"Thanks," he whispers, and his tone—contentment and exhaustion all at once—is like everything else uniquely Stabler: a surprise.
He could kiss that spot on his neck and Elliot would probably never be the wiser; just a quick brush of lips, just enough for Eddie to give in and let the crazy win this time around. Instead, he slides his hand under Elliot's coat and tugs at his tie, once.
"Any time, bro."