A/N: Yes, that's right, an update! This is it for this story, but if you want more in this universe, you know what to do.

Elliot paused at the door to the roof. He knew she was up here; it was her favorite place to think. What the hell was he going to say? "Liv, hey, I just wanted you to know I love you." Elliot shook his head. This wasn't him; he was never good at expressing his emotions. He needed to go home, to think…and then, before his brain fully registered the action, his hand reached out and opened the door and he stepped out on the roof.

And she was there.

She turned at the sound of the door and froze, staring at him. He wasn't sure if it was shock that kept her rooted in place or anticipation. Part of him wanted to turn around and run, as fast and as far as he could. The other part wanted to run forward and take her in his arms.

Before he could resolve his internal debate, she spoke. "Cragen told you, didn't he?"


Olivia turned back around, facing towards the city again. "I can't keep doing this, Elliot. I can't sit across from you every day, joke with you, tease you…flirt with you….and pretend it doesn't mean anything. I don't know when I started to care so much, but I did. I do. And I can't pretend I don't anymore."

She cared about him? Did this mean what he thought it meant?!


"No, El. Don't try and tell me we can go back to how we were. We can't. That's why I couldn't shoot that bastard. I couldn't be the cause of your death. It would destroy me."

He was walking forward now. "Liv…"

"El, stop. Just stop. We can't play this game anymore."

Damn it, would she just shut up for one second? He didn't know how much longer his control was going to be on the vacation it had left for as soon as he had reached the door to the roof.


"We have to stop working together. It's the only way. We can't--"


Shocked, Benson turned around and stared at her partner. He had never shouted before.

"Liv…" said Elliot, voice low and hoarse, "I know we can't be like we were before. But maybe…maybe we can be something else. We both know that I'm not the best at displaying my positive emotions. Sometimes I can barely keep my rage under control. But you…you help me do that. You help me keep it together. Hell, sometimes you keep it together even when I want to lose it. I can't lose that. I can't lose you. You're the best thing in my life other than my kids, and there are days when you're the only good thing in my life period. So maybe we can't be what we were before—but we can be something else. Something better. Something—"

"Shut up and kiss me, Stabler."

Elliot only paused for a second before wrapping his arms around her and losing himself in her lips. His last conscious thought was "I need to send the captain a thank-you card…"