A/N: HAPPY NEW YEAR'S EVE! At least...for these two, it is...

DISCLAIMER: SVU and its Characters belong to Dick Wolf. Storyline and dialogue, and narrative belong to TStabler©

The bullpen was teeming with people. Detectives and their families, regular cops, lawyers, victims and their families, anyone and everyone that an SVU lead detective could want to ring in the new year with. But, as he sat staring at her empty desk, he knew the only one he really wanted to be with tonight wouldn't make it.

He blamed himself for the way he was feeling tonight. He blamed that night. He blamed his damn impatience. He couldn't wait till she got back, no, he had to do it all before she left. He blamed the way he just spat out the words and then threw her on the bed, the way they made love five times and didn't get any sleep, the way he drove her to the airport, the way he held on and wouldn't let go until her flight boarded, the way they both cried hysterically as she ran down the gate, the way he stared out the window watching the plane take off and the way he had to be told, seven times, by the guard that he needed to leave. He blamed all of it for the way he felt tonight. Empty.

He looked around the room and spotted his kids, laughing with their Uncle Munch and holding up pictures of Olivia. God, it hurt to even think about her. He smiled, at the knowledge that his kids loved her, almost as much as he did. He walked over to the chipper group. "What are you guys talking about?"

"Uncle Munch was telling us about the time Liv shot a guy and out of reflex he shot Uncle Munch in the butt," Maureen said. "He really had to sit on a special pillow?"

"Oh, yeah," Elliot said with a sad smile. "Liv actually, uh, bought it for him. She felt bad about the whole thing. She blamed herself for me getting shot, too, but she..." he stopped, blinking away the tears that stung at his eyes. "It wasn't her fault."

Fin came over, laughing, and handed them all champagne, and sparkling cider for the kids. "Are we talking about Liv gettin' Munch popped in the ass again?"

"Yeah," Kathleen said. "Tell us something else cool that she did. We miss her."

Fin hummed. "Okay, I got a good one. Your dad and I were tailin' a guy, on foot, goin' for about ten minutes, and your dad radios for backup with the location and direction he's heading. So, we're chasin' him down Sixth Ave, big-ass guy, just stops in the middle of the road. And we can't figure out why. Then your dad hits me and I look to where he's lookin' and there's Liv, in the middle of the street, in this little black dress, high-heels. She looked..."

"Gorgeous," Elliot said.

"Yeah," Fin agreed. "And she's got this dangerous smirk on her face, aiming her gun right at the perp, and he's droolin' at her, eye's wide. And Liv says, 'You're really lucky I wasn't having a good time,' and kicks him with her heel, knocking him to the ground. She collared the guy while she was on a date. A bad one, apparently."

They all laughed, and Elliot sighed, remembering the dress, the heels, the look on her face, and the way the dress looked crumpled on the floor of her bedroom. God, he was an idiot. They'd been dancing around their emotions for years and the night before she leaves she was on a date with someone else. He almost lost her because he couldn't commit, he couldn't say the words she needed to hear. He took her home that night, and when he finally says them, she runs off to play G. I Jane with the F.B.I. She'd been gone for months and he might as well have died, because he was useless with her gone.

"Hey, everybody," Cragen yelled. "The ball's gonna drop. You can see it from the hall window!" Everyone filed out of the bullpen and into the corridor, beginning their countdown to the next year.

Elliot, however, stood and walked slowly over to Olivia's empty desk. He ran a hand along the slick, metal edge. "I love you," he whispered.

"I love you, too," someone whispered in his ear.

He turned and a tear rolled down his cheek when he laid his eyes on Olivia. She was standing there in a pair of jeans and a v-neck sweater, but she'd never looked more stunning. They heard the cheering, the chanting of three...two...and as the crowd in the hall yelled "one," Olivia crashed into Elliot with such fervor, they almost landed on top of her desk.

It was the kiss of a lifetime. He could feel every nerve in his body screaming and her senses were heightened to such extremes she could hear the dripping sink in the bathroom upstairs. They were wrapped around each other, holding on for dear life, when the crowd from the hallway filed back into the squadroom. They all remained in shocked silence and stared at the emotional display before them. Olivia and Elliot, while kissing intensely, had hot tears streaming down their faces.

Elliot's kids, and Cragen, upon realizing who he was kissing, started crying, too.

The couple pulled apart and Elliot ran his hands over every inch of her, his eyes still wide, and red from crying. "You're really here, baby."

She nodded. "I'm home." She wrapped her arms around him and squeezed. "I just got off the plane. All my luggage is in the lobby. I ran up here to get to you. I needed to..."

He kissed her again. "I know." It was then they realized they were being watched. They slowly turned their heads and faced the thirty people in the room. Olivia waved, her longer hair flowing in the slight breeze. The kids attacked her, clambering to be the first to get a hug. She hugged and kissed each one and wiped away theirs.

"Liv," Dickie cried. "Can you promise us you'll never leave again?"

Kathleen nodded. "Dad was a mess without you."

"We all were, really," Cragen said with a shrug, wiping away his own tears.

"My New Year's resolution, this year and every year after, is that I'm never leaving New York," Olivia said, glancing at Elliot. "The rest of the world pretty much sucks."

Everyone laughed and cheered as Olivia hugged Fin, Munch and the rest of her friends and colleagues. She walked over to Elliot when she was satisfied she'd seen everyone and wrapped her arms around him. "I missed you so much," she said.

"Oh, baby, you have no idea what I went through without you," he said, pulling her into him. "The kids were right. You have to promise you'll never leave me again."

"I promise," she said, her brilliant brown eyes sparkling. "As long as you want me, I promise not to leave you."

Elliot kissed her. "Then you'd better be prepared to spend the rest of your life with me, because that's how long I want you." He ran his hand down her body again, kissing her with great feeling.

She pulled away from him, slowly and smiled up at him. "Elliot, did you just..." he stopped her with another kiss, and she felt him smile against her lips. He pulled away, smirking. "Yeah, I did. Happy New Year, Liv."

A/N: I hope you all have a safe and happy New Year's Eve!!!