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Date in Calendar: 10 December 2004
Fandom: Law & Order: SVU
Summary: It was the longest night of the year, when our ancestors would worship the coming of distant spring, so the seasons would turn again. And two souls were ready to begin anew.
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Disclaimer: "The Division", "CSI: Crime Scene Investigators," "Birds of Prey," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," the characters, and situations depicted are respectively the property of Lifetime Television, Kedzie Productions, Viacom Productions, and Paramount [The Division]; Jerry Bruckheimer Television, Alliance Atlantis, and CBS Productions [CSI: Crime Scene Investigators]; Tollin/Robbins, DC Comics, and Time/Warner via the WB [Birds of Prey]; and Wolf Films, Universal Network Television, and NBC [Law & Order: SVU]. This piece of fan fiction was created for entertainment not monetary purposes and no infringement on copyrights or trademarks was intended. Previously unrecognised characters and places, and this story, are copyrighted to the author. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author. This site is in no way affiliated with "The Division", "CSI: Crime Scene Investigators," "Birds of Prey," "Law & Order: SVU," Lifetime Television, CBS, the WB, NBC, or any representatives of the actors.
[Please do not fold, spindle, or mutilate. Thank you. Shatterpath]
It had happened so fast.
She waited impatiently in the falling snow, the city seemed hushed and respectful of the magnitude of the event. Then there was gold amidst the falling silver of snow.
Her heart stopped, the world slowing to a snapshot in time. No longer a lost soul, she stood at the threshold of where her life had been put on hold.
Startled blue eyes searched, fell on the familiar. There were tears in the cold.
Olivia didn't remember moving, only knew that the snapshot had altered, Alex warm and solid in her arms. Strong, desperate, loving; the embrace was an anchor for two lonely souls. Alex couldn't care less that her feet were barely touching the ground, that her ribs creaked under the loving assault. Burying her face into the shaggy brown hair, she sobbed, the years of pain breaking free.
She was no longer that person.
She was free.
Crying with relief, Alex clung to Olivia's neck like a drowning woman, breathing deep of the dark woman's scent.
“Oh sweetheart, I'm so glad to see you,” Olivia whispered, loosening her grip only a fraction, to let the hug become a caress. “You have been so missed.”
Time was an absent thing, only them and the falling snow while the city and one man stood apart and watched from the sidelines. There was a completeness between them, like lost souls coming together into a strange whole.
Alex felt the sharp pieces, that had not ground down with time, finally begin to settle. In this woman's arms was the only home she had now. To all others but this woman and the silent sentinel, she was dead. Only they had kept vigil for her. Only they had left on a light so that she could find a way home.
Peace, such a foreign feeling, began to tentatively settle over Alex.
Returning her to life had seemed like a surrealistic dream. The visit from the FBI agents with news of Velez's death. Packing the few things she would save from her false life. Taking a train from the desolate shores of Lake Michigan.
It was a surreal landscape of hazy shapes and shadows as Alex tunneled through the winter storm towards the Atlantic Ocean. It was as if there was no city here, no population of millions frantically trying to race the approaching holidays.
Until she had stepped from the station with her two bags, and seen the familiar figure amidst the falling snow.
She was bawling brokenly into Olivia's neck now, endless lonely months pouring out of her like a lanced infection. Choking and hiccupping, she was helpless in the face of the flood.
Olivia, her rock, did not fail her. She held tight against the flood, adding her own tears to the deluge.
“Oh Alex,” she crooned comfortingly. “Alex, Alex, I'm here, Alex.”
The name she had missed so much was a solace, a healing balm like the strong arms, solid body and loving heart surrounding her.
“Alex,” she whispered wonderingly, rolling around the half-forgotten taste of the two syllables.
“Alex,” Olivia whispered back, her voice confident and kind. A great, shuddering sob left Alex then, letting her name settle into the empty places.
“Olivia,” Alex tasted that name too, liking it all over again. “You came.”
“Nothing could have kept me away.”
More tears, this time of gratitude, Alex soundlessly trying to make words.
“Shhh. It's okay, Alex. We'll have lots of time to talk when we get to my place. How about a good cup of coffee and some dinner? Hmm?”
The cajoling words brought something abruptly into focus. When had she eaten last? The empty ache in her belly was raw and sharp. Olivia pulled her head back only enough to meet the glassy blue eyes. She wiped at wet cheeks with gloved fingers.
“You'll have me to lean on as long as you need me. Elliot too. There's plenty of room for you in my life. Come in and get out of the cold.”
Come in and get out of the cold.
Come in and get out of the cold.
Spring broke over Alex's heart like sunrise. Resting her forehead against Olivia's, she let it wash over her like warm rain, collecting in her eyes.
“Thank you, Olivia. Thank you so much. You'll never know what this means to me.”
Olivia's smile was easy to see, even through hot tears.
There was a hug for Elliot too, a choking, one-armed squeeze that he liked. Alex wouldn't let go of Olivia's hand, desperate for the anchor. Elliot's full-bodied 'dad' hug made her cry all over again, before he grabbed the forgotten bags and herded the women to the car.
It was no surprise that they both climbed into the back. Alex obediently curled onto Olivia's side, pillowing her head on a strong thigh. Food had not been the only basic need forgotten in the recent chaos. The hand stroking over her gold hair kept her grounded while she slept dreamlessly, her own hands wrapped tightly around Olivia's knee.
The partners talked quietly as the car moved through the winter-muffled city. Olivia would stay home with Alex for a few days while Elliot began spreading the good news. There were stressful times ahead. Shocked and rattled family, friends, and coworkers, not to mention the voracious maw of the media.
Alexandra Cabot, slain by the drug-dealing scum she was trying to lock away, miraculously back from the dead.
Stress and chaos.
But Olivia would be there for her, every step of the way.
In her sleep, Alex shifted, pressing closer to the woman who was her rock. She clung to the strong body, felt the gentle stroking of her hair turn into an affectionate massage.
“Shh. I'm here.”
It was the longest night of the year, when our ancestors would worship the coming of distant spring, so the seasons would turn again. And two souls were ready to begin anew.