Hey, everyone! Well, I was planning on putting this up tomorrow night because of all the Wednesdays we are stomping through without any SVU, but I don't really know if I will be here tomorrow night. Soooo...Ta-Da! This is the 3rd and final chapter of It's a Gamble. Thank you to everyone who has read this and reviewed on it, and just to name a few who don't have an account - livnel4eva, famwb, jake - and I'm sure there are more. This was a quick story, but I hope y'all have enjoyed it all the same. Read and enjoy!

Disclaimer: No material that is already owned by Dick Wolf or NBC is mine. But how I wish that I did...

It's a Gamble

"How long am I going to be in this position?" Olivia asked, sounding annoyed. Even if it had only been about thirty seconds, it felt like forever to the ones without the weapon: Olivia and Elliot. Their eyes connected, Elliot silently pleading forgiveness, him no longer being in his drunken trance. Olivia smiled understandingly.

"Stop whining or you're gonna get something worse than a cut neck."

Olivia sighed, annoyed, but kept quiet.

"Jon," Elliot said, trying to negotiate. "Come on, man. I know you. You're drunk. Otherwise you wouldn't be anywhere near this position. Now you can just let her go…"

"Now, why would I do that?"

"Because you have kids. You have your wife. I don't. I had my chance and I blew it. But you don't, Jon. You still have a family. Don't destroy that chance by going to prison."

Olivia realized that Jon was starting to loosen his hold on her and the broken bottle. But she also noticed that he was starting to cry.

"If you do this," Elliot continued, motioning towards the hostage situation in front of him, "you will be too old when you get out of prison to get that chance again. Don't blow it, man."

Jon may be tough, but he had a soft bone in his body. He was softly sobbing, his shoulders shaking, his hand with the bottle almost seen inches away from Olivia's neck, his head down, not wanting anyone he knew to see tears slowly streaking down his face. His pride was important, but what was more important to him was his family.

"Jon, think of your kids, your wife, the life you had before turning to gambling. You don't want to do this."

As soon as Jon's arm sagged around Olivia's waist, she took action, twisting his arm around and making him lie on the ground. But she didn't do this hard enough to hurt him. Even if he had just held a broken bottle to her neck, she had much sympathy for what this man had gone through. However he got into this gambling situation, she was determined that she was going to help him get his life and family back.

SVU SVU SVU

Olivia breathed, in-out, in-out. It was confession time. She faced Cragen, Munch, and Fin. "Elliot…Elliot had been gambling."

Cragen and Munch were silent, and Fin sighed disappointedly.

Olivia suspected something. "Captain? John?" she asked. "Did you know about this? Did you know that Elliot was gambling?

"Yes, Olivia," Cragen answered.

"And you didn't do anything to help him?" Olivia asked, bewildered.

"We couldn't," Munch said. "Why do you think he lost his job?"

"That's why? You could have told me. I was his partner, for God's sake! You didn't think that I would want to know what was happening?"

"Exactly. You were his partner. You've known him for eleven years. We thought you knew about him."

"Well, I didn't. I just realized that something was off. But…I thought it had something to do with Kathy and his kids, still getting over his divorce. I didn't' expect gambling." Olivia became silent, then said, "Wasn't there some way you could help him?"

Cragen shook his head. "Elliot was a detective of the Special Victims Unit. We focus on sex crimes and crimes against children. These cases involve a lot of stress and a lot of advice from us and professionals. Elliot would know everything that you and I know. We wouldn't be able to help him much."

Munch spoke, "We knew that Elliot would eventually find his way out of this gambling problem. He didn't need our help; he needed freedom. He needed to know that what he was doing was never going to help him. Books were never going to help. You learn by experience. And Elliot told us not to tell you. He didn't want to worry you because it was 'his problem, not yours'. His words."

"Wow, John," Olivia joked. "Now I see why you were the one to be the temporary replacement for Captain when he was gone." She looked at Fin. "Did you know about this?"

Fin shook his head. "No, baby girl. This is the first I've heard anything of it. Brand new information for me."

Olivia walked out of the station and drove to her apartment. She sat on the couch, thinking over all the information she just got. One thing she couldn't get out of her head was, Why did Elliot not want her to know about this? He surely knew that if anyone could help him, it was Olivia. She knew him better than his own ex-wife; they were partners for eleven years. At least she had a couple nights to think these questions through; Cragen had let Olivia take some short break time, paid. She silently thanked him.

SVU SVU SVU

"Elliot?" Olivia asked, surprised to see him at her door. "What are you doing here?" She paused, then remembered something called hospitality. "Please, come in."

Elliot walked in, hands in coat pockets. "I wanted to explain about the other night with Jon. By the way, how is he?"

"He's getting better. I got him and h is family to go to some therapy sessions, separately and together. He went hesitantly at first, but his wife helped him into it."

"Thank you, Liv," said Elliot, grateful for the friend he had.

She nodded. "Um, what is there to explain, exactly?" Olivia asked. "You stopped him from cutting my throat."

"Okay. Another word for 'explain' is 'apologize'. I'm sorry you had to see me at my worst. I came over here just to explain. I didn't mean to push you up against the wall. You know it's not me. I was drunk. … But I'll stop making excuses. I will take responsibility for what I did, and I'm sorry."

"El, it's okay. You were drunk. And panicking. I understand why you did what you did. It doesn't mean I agree, but I understand."

Elliot wasn't quite done with what he came here to do. "And I want to say I'm sorry about what happened in the abandoned house. I'm sorry I didn't stop them earlier than I did. I knew that somehow you could ward them off and get away, or else keep them away until I could help." He paused, thinking. "And Liv…I was drunk that visit I came here. But I wasn't drunk in the abandoned house."

Olivia was confused. "But I saw you taking gulps of that stuff. How were you not drunk?"

"I had two bottles by me. I took a swig from one bottle, then, acting like I was taking another drink from the other bottle, I spit the stuff into that one. I didn't swallow enough to make me drunk. I had to keep up the act, though, or they would throw me out." When Olivia gave him a look, he added, "This was when I was still dependent on gambling. I'm not anymore."

Olivia gave him a blank look.

"I learned it from a movie. Ever heard of Coyote Ugly?"

Olivia laughed. "You watched a Chick Flick? I don't know, El. Maybe all that depression got to ya."

Elliot smiled warmly. "Kathleen wanted to watch it. I know it's kind of old, but it was on TV. She'd never seen the movie before, believe it or not." He breathed, once, twice. Now it was time for him to be serious. "Olivia. Since you know I wasn't drunk at the gambling table that means that I heard what you said."

Suddenly, Olivia's heart was in her throat. She couldn't speak.

"Olivia, you said that you loved me. Is that true?" he asked.

"Y-yes." Quick. Quiet. She couldn't speak anymore. She willed herself hard for that one syllable. She wanted to hear what he had to say.

She was about to speak up and ask Elliot the same thing when he finally spoke. "Liv, I love you, too."

Both Elliot and Olivia thought that it had taken way too long for these feelings to be out in the open. After eleven years of ups and downs, sideways and diagonals, the confession was confessed. They loved each other and one couldn't live without the other.

The journey to this night was a mighty hell of a gamble, but tonight's love was going to be certain.

THE {WONDERFUL E/O} END.

It's a Gamble

I hope everyone liked the conclusion to the story! It was my very first attempt as EO-love, and I hope it satisfied you. I would greatly appreciate it if you could just take 5 minutes (or even less) to leave a quick comment or review and tell me what ya think!

Oh! And news update from Neal: The first five episodes of Season 12 of L&O: SVU are Locum, Bullseye, Violated, Auction, and Wet. Can't wait!

Bye y'all! Enjoy your summers! D

-Chinagirl18