He looked out over the city, wondering. Wondering what was happening right now, as he watched New York light up. He hated to think that something happening right now would end up being something in a report on his desk tomorrow morning. His thoughts were interrupted though, by the slam of the rooftop door and approaching footsteps. He knew it was her.
"There you are. We've been looking for you."
"Um, yeah. I just needed some time alone. You know, to clear my head."
"I understand. This week has been hard on all of us. Do you want to talk about it?"
"No, I'll be fine."
She knew that she could not push this any further. She longed to ease his pain, but he wouldn't let her in. She knew they weren't as close as partners were, but still, why were his emotions so hard for him to show?
He turned back to the city as she retreated to the squad room. Why can't I open up? Just once? I don't know…it's just so hard for me…
After about twenty minutes of fighting with himself about what to say if she was still worried about him, he returned to the squad room, and sat down at his desk. He was going over witness statements to a recent case when he heard overheard people talking in the locker room. He got up from his desk, peered around the corner, and saw Olivia talking to someone. It was Elliot. John stayed where they couldn't see him, and listened as closely as he could.
"No Elliot, I can't. We can't. What happens if someone finds out about us? It would ruin our relationship, and maybe cost us our jobs."
"No one will know, just us." He replied.
"Don't you remember what happened with Cassidy? I don't know if I can go through that again."
"Olivia…this is different. This can work."
She didn't know what to say. She wasn't sure if she was ready for a relationship. She cared about him, more than she should, and she did not want to ruin anything they had left between them.
John closed his eyes and sighed. Olivia and Elliot? It was bound to happen I guess…
He swallowed hard, trying to digest the thought, because somewhere in his heart, he held feelings for her. He loved her.
He turned and walked back to his desk, not able to listen to any more of their conversation. Elliot and Olivia were coming out of the locker room, so he went back to read witness statements.
"John, you're still here?" Elliot asked.
"Our job is never done." He replied.
"How true." He said with a smile. "Alright, I have to get home, see you guys tomorrow." Elliot said as he put on his jacket and walked away.
Olivia was sitting at her desk and looking through files now, while John was contemplating what to do. He didn't want to confront her about what he had heard, but he couldn't let it go. He decided to go home and try to sleep it off, hoping this would be forgotten by morning.
"It's getting late; I'm going home to try to get some sleep. Do you need a ride or anything?"
"I was just going to catch a cab, but if it's not too much trouble…"
"No trouble at all." He said, smiling.
They made their way out to his car in silence, neither of them sure just how to strike up a conversation between them. John opened up the passenger door for her, commenting on his chivalry, and then walked over to the driver's seat.
"Thanks John, I appreciate it."
"You're welcome." He replied.
They rode together in silence. It seemed as though Olivia was trying to choose her words, but didn't know quite what to say.
"Can I ask you a question?" She asked.
"You mean besides that one?" He said jokingly.
"Very funny." She replied.
"Sure, go ahead."
"Well, I was wondering what you were doing up there today. On the roof I mean."
They came up to a stoplight, and he turned to look at her. "I told you, I was just up there thinking."
"It's nothing. Really."
He looked away from her and willed the stoplight they were at to turn green. He wasn't so sure that he could keep this a secret anymore. But how could he tell her?
"If you don't want to talk about it, then it's alright."
He slowed to a stop outside of Olivia's apartment building. He realized he had a choice now: Go home and pretend that he can forget about this, or, tell her the truth. The latter was much easier said than done, but that is what he chose.
"Well, it's kind of hard to explain." He said taking a drink.
"I'm sure it is, but you can tell me."
"Well, when I came down from the roof today, I heard you talking…with Elliot."
"I'm usually not one to eavesdrop, but I heard what you said. I would never try to interfere, but I'm afraid you two are going to get caught."
"Wait, you think that I have a relationship…with Elliot? You didn't hear everything did you?"
"John, we were talking about you."
"What are you saying?" He asked carefully, furrowing his brows as he spoke.
She looked away from him and, in barely over a whisper, said, "I think I love you..."
John could only look at her, with no idea of what to say.
"Look, john, I really didn't even expect you to find out; especially like this."
John sighed hoping that something to say would come to mind. He opened his mouth, as if to speak, but quickly shut it, realizing that nothing was coming out.
Olivia stood up and got his coat.
"This…this was a mistake. I think you should go John. I'm sorry." She handed him his coat and sat back down on the couch with her head in her hands.
He set his coat down and turned to her.
"No, this wasn't a mistake. You really want to know what I was doing on the roof today? I really was thinking. About you. I…I care about you, okay?"
She removed her head from her hands and looked up at him.
He continued, "When you asked me if I was okay this morning, I wanted to tell you everything, but I just couldn't. And now, with you saying that you love me, I'm overwhelmed, and-"
"John, slow down." She said.
"Look, what I'm trying to say, is…I love you too."
He reached out his hand to lift her chin, so that he was looking straight into her eyes as he kissed her. It was delicate, but passionate enough to do the talking for the both of them. That night, he finally did tell her everything. It was all in the kiss.