What a shitty day. Being held up at gunpoint was never the hallmark of a great day at the office, but when your partner or her cyranoid, whatever the hell that was is the one holding the gun... well, it was definitely a shitty day.

Thankfully it was over and there is a bottle of whiskey in the kitchen that will swiftly help him forget it all. All of it except those three little words, I miss you. do you Liz? was that even really you?

Ressler opens his apartment door and immediately senses that someone is inside. His training and instinct kick in, and his gun is drawn instantly.

"Ressler, it's me," Liz says quickly, hands up surrendering. ready to surrender everything to him.

She slowly steps closer, out of the shadows a bit, heart bursting at the sight of Ressler, knowing that she will have to walk away from him. again.

"Liz?" he asks, quickly lowering his gun. "What the hell are you doing here?" he asks, not so kindly. He closes the door and even in the dim light she can see his eyes flashing with anger (and maybe, hopefully a glimmer of relief at seeing her there?)

"I just... I just needed to see you... after today..." she trails off.

"You needed to see me?" he asks incredulously. "What the hell was that today? Who was that woman?" he asks, raising his voice.

"I can explain everything, and I will. When this is all over," she answers, knowing full well that will not satisfy him.

She hopes for a response, something, anything, but is met only with a glare and silence.

She continues, "I'm sorry. I just... seeing you today, on that screen..." She takes two steps forward. carefully carefully, praying he doesn't back away. When he doesn't (thank god) she continues, "...being in that room with you, but not really with you. Not being able to... touch you... it was awful."

She stares up at him sadly, begging for forgiveness? understanding?

He looks back at her, eyes softening, but absolutely not yet ready to forgive.

"Awful for you? Keen, that woman... you... whatever that was... she had a gun to my head. She could've killed me," he says accusingly, trying to cling to the anger he felt all day long— but feeling it drain out of him every moment he stays in the room with Liz. she's here. she's here. she's alive and she's here.

"Ressler, go back and look at the security footage. She never had her finger on the trigger. She was bluffing, *I* was bluffing. I would never hurt you," she says reaching out, and grabbing his hand.

He lets her take his hand, but says nothing in return. Liz accepts defeat and drops his hand.

"Look, I also came here because I wanted you to have a way to reach me. If something happens, something serious, if you are in trouble, I want you to call me." She pulls out a small piece of paper from her pocket and offers it to him.

Ressler takes it from her, but barely glances at her face. this is when she leaves. again. you know she has to leave. stop. her.

"I gotta go," she says and starts to walk to the door, mentally berating herself for coming at all. god, what did you expect after today? a warm welcome? a hug? a kiss? a declaration of love?

As she reaches for the door, he softly calls out, "Wait." so softly. In a voice he seems to reserve only for her. And she is frozen.

Her back is to him and she hears his footsteps approaching. She is on the verge of tears and just hopes to make it out of there before turning into a sobbing mess. She slowly lifts her eyes to him, fully expecting the same wrath they held when he first walked in, but instead she sees softness, sadness, longing. love?

"I miss you too," he offers simply.

This feels like an open invitation and Liz decides to take full advantage of the opportunity. She reaches up, grabs the lapels of his jacket (fuck. how many times have I stared at him in the office and fantasized about doing just this) and kisses him. He responds immediately pulling her head towards him with both hands, one weaving through her hair.

What starts as a tender kiss I miss you. I miss you. I miss you quickly turns into something else I want you. I want you.

As his lips leave hers and begin to trail down her neck, Liz forces herself to mutter a half-hearted, "I should go." please tell me you want me as much as I want you. please ask me to stay.

Happily, she is met with a request. "Just a few minutes," she feels him whisper against her ear.

With a broad smile she answers, "If I remember correctly, what you have in mind will take more than just a few minutes."

Ressler pulls back and looks at her, eyes full of humor, "You'd be surprised Keen. I can work very quickly under pressure."

That earns him a full-throated laugh, as he scoops her up and carries her into his bedroom.