I don't own any characters but my own, who you will easily recognize.

He walked into the bar and looked through the crowded room to the pool area. He smiled to himself when he saw her already there, lining up the balls and pulling the cue sticks from the wall. She was wearing her typical jeans and button down shirt tonight and he wasn't surprised to see her shoulder length hair pulled back away from her face. When she turned and saw him she frowned and looked at her watch.

"You're late Stabler."

Elliot hung his coat up and moved towards the pool table, a frown creasing his forehead. "I had to stay late," Elliot took the cue stick from her waiting hands and moved to chalk up, "We solved our case today but we had to finish up the paper work in order for it to be finalized for court."

He heard her chuckle behind him and turned to see her leaning against the pool table, her cue stick perched behind her head on her shoulders. He raised his eyebrows at her and she shrugged before pulling her cue stick off her shoulder and spinning it on the ground.

"You know we don't talk about work here Stabler," she caught the chalk he tossed to her and chalked up, "Its pool and only pool here. We leave our work and worries at the door. If you want to talk about work," she jerked her thumb towards the bar tender, "He's sure to be able to lend you an ear. As for me, I'm here to chill out with a game of pool."

Elliot nodded and shifted his weight, a smile touching his lips again, "So you going to go first or is it my turn?"

She waved her hand over the table, "Ladies first."

Stabler chuckled and bent down to start the game. They spoke about easy things, hobbies, amusing and random memories, sometimes hopes, but they usually stayed away from that just like they stayed away from family and work. They goaded each other, teased each other, relaxed with each other. It was like any other Friday night for them.

Stabler watched her focus on the table and her shot, remembering their first game. It had been a slow night that night and he saw her shooting by herself she he'd asked her if she wanted a game. Since then, it'd become a habit to meet here to unwind and so they still did. They never prodded for more information about the other's life, they just accepted each other as they were, no questions asked. They knew each other's names, they knew each other's numbers in case either of them didn't show up, and that was it. Stabler knew she liked it that way and he had to admit it was nice knowing that he didn't have to worry about her showing up in his life unexpectedly.

They were a few balls away from the finish when Elliot's beeper went off. He apologetically looked at her but she shrugged and leaned against the table while he went to his coat to get his phone. She watched in silence as he spoke then grew tense when he suddenly looked at her, his expression strained, then quickly looked away, speaking quickly and in hushed tones. Once he hung up she sighed and began to clear away their game, knowing that the night for relaxation was over.

"I just got a call," she nodded but didn't look up, "a report came in with a case related to the one we just closed." She shrugged, "So I'm afraid I've got to go." She shrugged again and he came up beside her and lightly touched her shoulder, "Hey, I'm sorry. I know we both need this," she looked at him funny and he chuckled, "Okay so that sounds really funny but you know what I mean."

She nodded and smiled, "Its okay Stabler, I'll just see you next Friday."

She turned and put the cue sticks up on the wall and when she turned around he had a piece a paper held out to her. She took it with a question on her lips and in her eyes.

"That's my address," she looked ready to panic and almost gave it back, "There's a pool hall around the corner. Tomorrow night meet me there and we can finish our game okay?"

She laughed and put the paper in her pocket, "You've must've had one hell of a week to be giving me your address wanting a continuation of our game."

He nodded as he pulled on his coat, "You have no idea. So will you be there?" He looked at her pocket to indicate his address.

She shifted her weight and pulled her fingers through her red hair. She looked on the verge of saying no when she finally nodded her head with a lopsided smile.

"Why the hell not eh?" She nodded again, "I'll see you there at...?"

Elliot shrugged, "Is nine okay with you?" She nodded and smiled, "Well I'll see you then."

She watched him walk out the door then waved back when he waved to her through the window. Well, well, well, she was going to know something about him beyond his name and random snippets of information now. She didn't know if she liked that or not. Either way, tomorrow night, she had a date with Elliot Stabler, and she was looking forward to it.

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