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Title: The Next Step
Author: Númenora
Rating: R (brief language)
Fandom: Oz/SVU
Characters: Beecher/Stabler
Word-Count: 500
Warnings: Slash, Angst.
Disclaimers: Toby and Elliot are not mine.

A/N: Written for
slashthedrabble Prompt #212 : 100 Greatest Classic Rock Songs. Song #002--Sweet Emotion by Aerosmith. I chose this song for the title, not the lyrics. A sequel to ‘Unexpected’--Follows directly afterward.

Toby watched his friend walk over to the picture window. “You sure you’re okay?”

“I really am, Toby. I’m terrific.” Elliot smiled, holding out his hand.

Tobias couldn’t help smiling back, joining their hands.

“Thanks for inviting me to dinner,” El said, pulling Toby into a fierce hug.

Toby hugged back, but was caught off guard when Elliot buried his face, kissing his neck. Pulling slightly away, he stared hard in surprise. Elliot stared back, then leaned in to kiss Toby’s lips, but stopped at the other man’s question.

“What are you doing?”

“I…I was trying to thank you for being so kind to me.” Elliot was flustered, believing he’d insulted Toby.

“By kissing me? Why are you doing this, Elliot? This isn’t you.”

“I care for you, Toby. I know you’ve had encounters with men before. I thought you’d want it.”

“I don’t want that from you,” Toby told him.

Elliot’s face fell and he felt his heart break. Trying to smile through his pain, he quipped, “And why would you? I’m a dud when it comes to seduction. I’ve only been with one person and, technique-wise, I’m still eighteen.”

“I didn’t mean it like that.” Toby rushed to say.

“It’s okay, Tobe. According to Kathy, I’m a lousy father and a crappy husband; so, it’s not a stretch that I’d suck at kissing. And not in a good way!”

“Forgive me saying this, but Kathy is a stupid cunt! Anyone stupid enough to divorce you shouldn’t be criticizing.” Toby fumed.

Calming, he continued, “I’ve dated both women and men, but those ‘encounters’ meant nothing to me. But, you’re special, El. While I am very attracted to you, I know you can’t feel that way about me. You’re not like that.”

“You think I’m special?” Elliot beamed. “That makes me very happy; but, there’s something that you should know, Mr. Beecher. You’re pretty damn special, too. And, you’re wrong. I may not be attracted to men in general, but I am attracted to you.”

“What if we start something and you find that it’s a mistake afterward?” Toby asked worried. “I don’t want to lose your friendship. I need you in my life.”

“You’ll never lose me, Toby. I love you and I love your kids. I need you in my life, too.” Elliot’s beautiful smile made Toby’s heart skip a beat.

“I’m holding you to that!” Laughing nervously, Toby asked, “So, where’s that kiss you wanted to give me?”

Elliot cupped Toby’s face between his hands and kissed him. It was tentative at first, but Elliot grew bolder. Kiss deepening, his tongue explored his best friend’s mouth thoroughly.

Then, Elliot placed his forehead to Toby’s. “How’d I do?”

“I’d give you a C.”

Elliot jerked back concerned, but smiled when he saw Toby’s playful, happy grin. “You could help me improve. I’m a very quick study.”

“I’m willing even if it takes all night. Now, let’s see if we can bring that grade up to an A.”



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