Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni Get up Close and Personal at 2022 Emmys

Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni brought the "will they, won't they" of their Law & Order characters Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler to the 74th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. The Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Law & Order: Organized Crime co-stars had fans freaking out as they took to the stage during Monday's ceremony after being announced as "two cops no one wants to see defunded."

"Well, Mariska, we did it," Meloni said on-stage, to which Hargitay responded steamily, "Again." The two then leaned into each other, teasing the audience with the kiss fans have been dying to see for years before they veered away at the last second to announce the nominees. Benson and Stabler definitely have one of the most anticipatory relationships in recent television history, but Hargitay told PEOPLE in February the show is "taking it one step at a time" now that they're reunited following Stabler's abrupt exit from the franchise after Season 12.

74th Primetime Emmys – Show
(Photo: Chris Haston/NBC)

"It's such a complicated relationship that I think we just want to respect the complexity and the nuance of it," the actress explained. "These two people love each other, they have been family to each other but he just lost his wife and no matter how she feels about him, the most important thing for him is to grieve his wife, heal from that. And he's in a new job and he's sort of unbalanced ... But what we do know is that Olivia loves him, will always love him, will always be there and they have a bond like no other."

Hargitay joked that when it comes to a hypothetical future first date for the former partners, it would have to be "really easygoing," because they "couldn't handle a lot of pressure." She explained, "It's a lot of pressure. I don't even know the answer to that. It makes me nervous just thinking about it. ...Let's just go out to dinner, let's start there."

Meloni agreed there's something big in the future for Benson and Stabler. "In the future, I don't not see it," he told the magazine. "That might be very satisfying for a lot of people, I'll leave it at that. ...I just think that it really has to be a natural aspect of Elliot's back and in town and especially how he left and their radio silence over all these years, you have to answer these questions and figure out how they inhabit the same space."