DISCLAIMER: I don't own the show, the characters or anything at all really. NBC, Wolf Films and a few others own it all. I'm just playing with the characters and this is not for monetary gain. The lyrics are for "Gorecki" by Lamb. I don't own them either.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is my first SVU fic, so please don't hate me for writing yet another "Loss" inspired piece. Had to start somewhere. Oh yeah, for Little Bits, who kept kicking me in the ass until I wrote something. And a big thank you to heathers and JJ, and for the betas. You ladies rock!
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

False Promises
By Amy Jo

I held my hand over her chest, trying to stop the blood from escaping her body. I watched as the deep red colored my hands and stained the ring she gave me. I told her she was going to be okay. I told her she'd be just fine. I lied to her.

For two days I didn't sleep. Every time I closed my eyes I saw my hands on her chest, blood seeping through my fingers. In the quiet I could hear my whispers to her.

I had no one to turn to; no one I could talk to. Alex and I had not told anyone about our relationship, not even Elliot. We had talked about it, even discussed it at length. In the end, we just never got around to it.

For two days I choked back tears all day until I was back at home. There, I would break down. I wouldn't eat, I wouldn't sleep. The first night I turned on the radio to drown out the whispers I had said to her. One of Alex's favorite songs filled the apartment and my heart broke a little more with each word.

If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Still in my heart this moment
Or it might burst
Could we stay right here

My chest tightened in time with the music and in less than a minute I scrambled to turn the stereo off again. Even the screaming of my conscience and the false promises were better than listening to that song. Alex used to hold me close and we'd dance to that song after a particularly bad day.

My kitchen still smells like the last meal we shared. My bathroom still smells of her favorite shower gel. The scent of her perfume and sweat lingers between the sheets on my bed. There isn't a single inch of space in my apartment where I'm not reminded of her.

This is the one place where I had always felt the safest. The pain outside in the real world never penetrated the walls of my apartment. This was my sanctuary, the place where I could at least pretend that I had a normal life and a normal job that I could leave behind at the end of the day. Not anymore. With all the memories of her still in the air this place, my home, is no longer my safety net.

That first night was filled with silent tears. I wanted to scream in pain, but my voice wasn't working anymore. The following day I returned to work and no one noticed that I didn't speak. Everyone in the squad room was silent. We had all lost someone close. I had lost my other half.

I never understood how silence could be deafening until Alex's death. I miss the sound of her voice and the sound of her laughter. All I hear are my panicked last words to her as I tried in vain to keep the blood from gushing out.

"It's okay sweetheart, stay with me. Stay with me. Stay with me, they're coming right now. You're going to be okay, you're going to be okay. Look at me. You're going to be just fine. Just fine. You're going to be just fine. Stay with me. It's okay, look at me."

When I said the words I believed them. Alex was always a fighter. I believed she would fight for this. I wanted her to fight for this; for me. As the words echo in my head all I hear in them is my own fear. My fear of losing her, of not being able to tell her exactly how much I loved her. My fear of not being able to protect her.

My second day at work was harder than the first. Every paper in town ran the story of Alex's shooting. The squad room was once again eerily silent. No one talked unless it was necessary. The usual chatter at the station house was abandoned in favor of the silence of mourning.

Captain Cragen gave me a note with an address on it and told Elliot and I that we were to meet with DEA agents at that site to close the case. I expected to get reamed once again for the loss of not only Donovan, but Alex as well. What I didn't expect was the number of agents and cars waiting for us.

Whatever we were here for, it definitely wasn't good. The DEA doesn't need this many people to prove their point. It would have been just as effective, if not more so, to have settled this at the station house.

"A pain in the ass, this one," Jack Hammond said as he led Elliot and I over to an SUV. There wasn't even enough time for me to process the words he said before I see her.

All the air in my lungs was sucked away and my heart stopped beating when Alex got out of the SUV. I think I went into a mild state of shock. I couldn't form words and my emotions were out of control.

I felt extreme happiness that she was really alive, that she did make it. She fought and she survived. I also felt rage that I had been mourning for her when she wasn't even dead. The rage was irrational but I felt it anyway.

She told us she was sorry about all of 'this'. I'm sure what Elliot heard was an apology for not having done this somewhere more private, with less people. I heard an apology for her not being able to tell me she is alive.

"Your funeral is tomorrow," I couldn't think of anything to say. I wanted to tell her that I love her, tell her how unbearable life without her is. But the words didn't come out. She saw what I was feeling and with one look from her I knew she understood. I saw the same pain in her eyes that I'm sure will always be in mine.

Agent Hammond was standing right behind us. I heard his voice but I wasn't listening. Elliot told me later that he explained that we still needed to go to the funeral. That it would be better for Alex if everyone still thought she was dead.

Elliot stated more than asked if Alex was going into witness protection.

"Until Velez is extradited or otherwise dealt with."

"How long?" I couldn't hold back the tears anymore. She's here, alive; and yet she is being taken away from me again, from us. I knew that she would be safer in witness protection, especially since I couldn't protect her just two days ago. But that doesn't mean I had to be okay with it.

Alex just shrugged in response to my question. There was so much to be said between us. After one last meaningful look between us she turned to go as one of the agents told her it was time to roll.

I stood in the same spot and silently let the tears fall as Alex pulled away from us. I wanted to rush after her, to go with her. If Elliot hadn't been standing there, I would have. I knew that Alex wanted him here to prevent me from doing just that. So that I would have someone I could confide in and a shoulder to cry on.

I should have told her that I loved her. I should have told her that I'd wait for her. It would have been one promise I could keep. She was gone again before I could find the words.

Later as I sat in the dark of my apartment I drank a glass of her favorite wine. The stereo played her favorite song again earlier, but it didn't hurt as much.

I know she is out there and that someday I will see her again. It is this thought that allows me to close my eyes and sleep at night.

The End

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