LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME -- "Takeover" Episode 215 -- Pictured: (l-r) Mariska Hargitay as Captain Olivia Benson, Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler -- (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank)
Credit: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Will Stabler and Benson ever get together?

DUN DUN! You can almost hear the sound when we mention Law & Order, can’t you? But do you hear wedding bells? Some viewers could swear they’ve heard them chiming whenever longtime franchise stars Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay share scenes.

The white-hot chemistry the two have shared for over twenty years as detectives Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson makes viewers wish—and sometimes believe—the actors were partners in real life. Many a fan fiction and YouTube video have been dedicated to their undying love. But while Stabler and Benson, AKA “Bensler”, may eventually be endgame now that his wife Kathy has passed on, Elliot and his beloved “Liv” are only sharing smoldering looks on television (with the occasional teasing exception on Twitter, as seen below!)

As it turns out, Hargitay is actually married to a former co-star (and one who, it turns out, is more than a little familiar to soap fans): She and Peter Hermann — who played attorney Trevor Langan on Special Victims Unit — have been together since 2001 and man and wife since 2004. Soapsters will recall that on Guiding Light, Hermann played Dr. Michael Burke… aka the guy who cloned Reva in one of daytime’s most controversial stories!

Meanwhile, Meloni has been married to production designer Sherman Williams since 1995, and they share two children—one of whom Hargitay is godmother to!

Sherman Williams, Christopher Meloni, Noelle Lippman, Dick Wolf, Mariska Hargitay and husband Peter Hermann

Show creator Dick Wolf and ex-wife Noelle Lippman are surrounded by Meloni and his wife on one side, Hargitay and her spouse on the other!

Credit: FilmMagic

In other words, the chemistry you see on screen between Hargitay and Meloni is a testament to both their longtime friendship and their acting abilities. And because the various Law & Order franchises focus largely on the professional lives of the characters, they haven’t produced many truly strong couples over the years. Perhaps the best exception to that rule? Detective Amanda Rollins (as played by All My Children alum Kelly Giddish) and detective-turned-lawyer Dominick Carisi (played by Peter Scanavino). In that case, the pair finally go their happy ending, tying the knot during Giddish’s farewell episode earlier this season.

Law order svu Giddish Amanda Carisi

As far as we know, Carisi and Rollins are happily snuggling even as we speak.

Credit: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

While the residents of the Law & Order universe haven’t been particularly lucky in love, the same can’t be said for their real-life counterparts. Take a look at the gallery below in which we offer details on the real-life partners of the stars from Special Victims Unit, Criminal Intent, Organized Crime and, of course, the mothership, Law & Order.