Dum-dum! That's the sound of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" fans' hearts aflutter after seeing one of the latest photos of Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay goofing around off camera as they film the upcoming season of the show.
The fan-favorite TV duo comprised of Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson have been making audiences swoon with their chemistry since they first started acting in the NBC procedural together in the '90s. But this past season, the show's writers spent a lot of time drawing out the possible romance thanks to a few guest appearances by Meloni, who left as a full-time cast member in 2011. The first season of his own spinoff, "Law & Order: Organized Crime," finished airing in June, and it also contained some intense Bensler moments.
Playing up this energy, over the weekend the "L&O" co-stars each shared the same picture of themselves seemingly about to kiss, clearly in an effort to tease fans about whether they'll finally get together in the next season. After all, the reason for the post resulted from a tweet from a fan that Meloni shared alongside the photo. It read: "Can y'all imagine if one day @Chris_Meloni and @Mariska posts a picture like this pretending they are kissing with the caption #Rehearsing It would be the end of us and the end of the internet."
"#rehearsing what @Mariska ?" Meloni tweeted with his pic, which shows him wearing a partially unbuttoned shirt and looking deeply at Hargitay, who smiles back at him as their noses appear to touch. Hargitay retweeted the pic, writing, "Are you blushing? It's getting hot in here @Chris_Meloni." She also added the fire emoji.
"SVU" fans were quick to reply to his tweet, declaring the photo exactly what they wanted. One celebrity viewer, actor Elizabeth Banks, even took the bait, announcing her excitement and confusion on Twitter. "What’s happening!?!?!? Ah!!" she wrote. Banks guest-starred in a 2001 episode of the show.
As Meloni and Hargitay film the upcoming seasons of their "L&O" shows, they continue to give their social media followers glimpses into their silly antics, from rolling around on chairs with wheels to odd but still compelling selfie videos where they share updates with each other.
"Marsha, I've been told I broke the internet, do you have any Scotch tape or glue?" Meloni whispers in one.
The pair opened up back in April about what it was like to film the Benson and Stabler reunion and fans' reaction to it.
"After 10 years, people still had such a yearning for this character, Stabler, to come back," Hargitay said in "The Law & Order: SVU Podcast."
"I felt the reunion was honest and true and painful," Meloni chimed in.
"Somebody emailed me, who's close to the show, and she wrote that 'the episode is so good but my favorite moments are when you two look at each other without saying anything,'" Hargitay continued.
"Twelve years to work the craft with one person — you're riding the same wave," Meloni added.