Olivia groaned as the buzzer roused her from a deep sleep. She threw back the covers and glanced at the clock; only one person would come over at 3:20 in the morning. She stood up and walked through the apartment to the door.

"Hi El." she said when she opened the door.

"Hey Liv...isn't that mine?" he asked, noticing the gray sweatshirt she was wearing.

Olivia looked down and gave him a small smile. She loved wearing it, especially right after he did. She'd taken it from the back of his chair when they left the precinct earlier that night. It smelled like him, and it felt like being wrapped up in his warm embrace.

"Um...yeah. It is. I like it, it's comfortable..."

Elliot chuckled and gestured to her sofa. "Can I come in?"

"Yeah, of course." Olivia stepped aside to let him pass. "You want anything to drink?"

"Nah, I'm fine." Elliot replied, sitting down on the cushions.

Olivia closed the door and sat down beside Elliot. "So whatcha doing here?" she asked.

"I couldn't sleep...I thought you might be up, but were you sleeping?" he asked, unsure.

"Yeah I was, but it's okay. You know I'm always here." she replied with a smile.

"Thanks Liv..." His voice trailed off. He looked at the sweatshirt again, thinking back over the times he remembered wearing it, and seeing her in it. It was slightly snug on him, but it was loose on her small, yet strong frame. He loved it when she wore his sweatshirt; it made him feel closer to her in a way. Like there was a part of her that needed to be with him, too. It always smelled like her after she wore it; floral, yet not overpowering. It was just her.

"Liv..." he began, sounding a bit nervous. "Kathy kicked me out...I don't...I don't have any place to stay." Kathy had told him to pack a bag and get the hell out. But the divorce had already been finalized, and to tell the truth, he was glad that she'd told him to leave. If she didn't want him there, he no longer felt obligated to be with her.

"Why?" Olivia asked before she could stop herself. It was none of her business.

"I was never there anyway...even when I was, my thoughts were with someone else." He looked up into her eyes. "They were with you Liv."

Her breath caught in her throat. That last statement took her by surprise. "Wh– what?" she asked, tripping over the one word.

"I couldn't get you out of my head." He emphasized each word, turning away from Olivia.

She put her hand on his shoulder; the small touch burning his skin through his shirt. She wanted to say a million things at once. How she was always trying to protect him, constantly watching out for him, even when he didn't know it. She wanted to tell him how important he was to her; that he was the closest thing to a real family she would ever have. He was her rock, her stability when she felt like letting go and losing all control on her emotions. Just looking at his face could calm her down.

Elliot continued. "I wanted to tell you this...that night at the precinct...then Kathy came in and dropped that bombshell on me...Not that I don't love Eli, but I just wanted to be with you."

Olivia put her hand to her face, feeling the tears that were silently falling. Why was he the only person she could break in front of? More importantly, why was he able to make it okay for her to do so? It just wasn't her way to show weakness.

Elliot moved his hand to her face and wiped her tears away with his thumb.

"Do you still?" she managed to choke out.

Elliot's face brightened. "Of course I do..."

Olivia smiled at him; a full smile that crinkled the corners of her eyes.

Three small words were stuck in his throat. Three small words that could make or break this newfound area of their relationship. Should he tell her? Tell her that she was the most amazing woman he'd ever met? She could say that she loved him back, but on the other hand, she could react in the completely opposite way.

He decided to go for it, but not with words. He put his other hand on her cheek, and leaned in closer to her, slowly. He was giving her time to realize what he wanted to do, and say no if she wanted him to stop.

No way in hell did he want him to stop. She closed the small space between them, and brushed her lips against his. The sparks that she felt were nothing short of incredible. She wondered if he felt them too.

Of course he felt them. He had waited too long for this to happen, and now that it was, he was thankful of the wait. It made this moment even more special.

When they reluctantly pulled away from each other, there were smiles on both of their faces.

Olivia took a breath, and placing a feather-light kiss on Elliot's cheek, she whispered the words, "I love you too."


The next day at the precinct was surprisingly a pleasurable one. There were no new cases; the scumbags of New York City seemed to be taking a break, leaving the peace for a while.

"Let's get out of here Liv...We can go get something to eat."

"Sure, just let me get my purse. Hey, can I borrow your hoodie?"