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Mariska Hargitay's Olivia Benson & Christopher Meloni's Elliot Stabler Hold Hands In 'Law & Order' Crossover Promo

Nov. 18 2021, Published 9:49 a.m. ET

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After years of Law & Order fans begging for Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni's beloved characters to be more than partners, it seems they may finally be getting their wish.

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Hargitay's Olivia Benson and Meloni's Elliot Stabler have had a little more than just a friendly relationship for decades — and the new promo hinted that they may take their relationship to the next level in the upcoming season.

law and order olivia benson elliiot stabler hold hands crossover promo
Source: Eric Liebowitz/NBC
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The preview for the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Law & Order: Organized Crime crossover episodeset to premiere Thursday, December 9 — kicks off with the return of attorney Rafael Barba (Raúl Esparza), who agrees to defend Stabler's nemesis Richard Wheatley (Dylan McDermott).

“Whatever happens, we’re gonna take it one step at a time," Benson assures Stabler in the teaser, as the dynamic duo ride in a car together holding hands.

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Hargitay has starred on the series about the NYPD's Special Victims Unit investigating crimes of sexual nature since its September 1999 premiere. As for her partner, Meloni starred alongside the 57-year-old for 12 seasons before his exit in 2011. The actor, 60 — who wed wife Sherman Williams in 1995 — later returned to introduce the Organized Crime spinoff, which debuted in April.

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law and order olivia benson elliiot stabler hold hands crossover promo
Source: Virginia Sherwood/NBC

While there's a chance fans are getting the romance between Hargitay and Meloni that they've been craving, the actress previously insisted the idea was a long shot.

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“I think it’s going to be a collaborative effort between both showrunners and Mariska and I to figure it all out,” Hargitay — who has been married to husband Peter Hermann since 2004 — told Entertainment Tonight in September. “It’s a complicated relationship, so we’ll see."

Series creator Dick Wolf also seemed to hint a romance wasn't off the table, telling the outlet: “I don’t anticipate them running off and living together as much as the audience would like that."

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“Anticipation is the most exciting part of most relationships," Wolf added. "The chase is always better."

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law and order olivia benson elliiot stabler hold hands crossover promo
Source: Will Hart/NBC

The 74-year-old also insinuated their on-screen connection is enough to make the show a success, reportedly pointing out: “The shows are good and having them on screen together I think is enough. I don’t think you have to push it to the next level."

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"At least not this year. I mean, as I said, you never know what the future holds," Wolf teased.

Law & Order: SVU airs on NBC Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET. Law & Order: Organized Crime airs on NBC Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET.

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