DISCLAIMER: I do not own Law and Order: Special Victims or any of the characters affiliated with it. This wasn't made to make some type of profit—like anyone would pay for this…I'm not that good—because, if it could be done for a profit, I would be selling it. But, like I said…it isn't made for profit—and it isn't intended for that purpose, either—so just bugger off.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This story is Post-Loss/Ghost. It's either during Conviction's timeline or after, I s'pose Quite possibly right before it. It's up to you. However, this story is slightly AU, because…well…this never happens in SVU. Not yet, anyways. :wink: But nothing really changes with SVU's storyline. Besides the fact that…well…read and find out. Anyways. I wrote this story after an idea occurred to me. I was watching Mat Kearney's music video for Breathe In Breathe Out, and I just…well…I thought of this. And I couldn't help but write it! I advise you all to go watch the music video and listen to the song. It's excellently written and beautiful…and the music video is extremely artistic and creative. But, yes, this idea came from that.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Home Is Where The Heart Is
By TriXter21


Olivia's eyes opened slowly. Hazy brown gazing up at the sky. She took in a deep breath, not feeling the air fill her lungs. It was funny that she didn't hear it anymore. The sirens. The screaming. The crying. The rather abrupt and disrupting bang was long gone, by now, faded into the mist of the cold night air. She stretched on the ground, testing her muscles. She didn't feel sore, anymore. She sat up, placing her hands on the black pavement. Easing her body up, she eased forward into a standing position.

She started walking, knowing where her feet were leading her.

The people passed her, running, almost dancing, it would seem, around the scene, but she didn't notice. Her eyes were straightforward. A destination.

She had to see her.

All she saw was the path before her as her feet moved. All she heard was a faraway laughter, and she felt a small smile grace her lips. She loved that laugh. Her breath hit the cold night air as she shoved her hands into her pockets, walking down the now-sparse New York streets. All of the people were crowded somewhere else. A place forgotten.

She had to see her.

"So what do we have?" She questioned, sitting at her desk, her eyebrows narrowed in concentration, black glasses arched over the bridge of her nose, blonde hair curling around her face. Her voice was deep, commanding, but there was a subtle softness there—one Olivia was sure that the woman had desperately tried to hide from her colleagues--and Olivia felt a sharp pang of adoration. Alex was trying to play the big bad boss, cold-hearted and calculating. She played it well…but Olivia knew better than that. Alex cared. She always had. It was her greatest trait, even if the blonde had always thought it was her greatest downfall. People were crowded around her desk, trying to please. The door was open. Olivia barely noticed the sign—Bureau Chief Alexandra Cabot—in gold plating as she walked through and stood there, not paying any attention to the people gathered around Alex's desk.

Normally, Olivia would have thought she was crazy, standing here. Normally, Olivia never would have even thought to come here. Or, rather, she would have thought about it…but never would have thought of carrying through with it. Alex was engaged, she knew. Alex had found someone else, she knew. Alex had been back, had returned, for so long and never even bothered to tell her, Olivia had painfully known. Olivia wasn't wanted…she knew. Olivia was forgotten…she knew. Normally, Olivia never would have tried to come here…to come to a place where she felt like she had no place, anymore. That…that was…normally…but now, now, she knew she was wrong. She was wrong all along. As she looked into those piercing blue eyes, gazing over other people's faces, she knew she was right, now. She was right, standing here, smiling, softly, surely, her heart leading her to a place her mind would have fought. She belonged here. She wanted to be here, now. Forever, if possible. She had always felt so betrayed by it all but…but…now…now? It all felt like it never really mattered. It all felt so…very…trivial. She could see it all, now. She could see every reason…every thought behind every action…and it was all alright. It was all strangely understood. Accepted.

Standing here, smiling softly, watching Alex so very intensely, Olivia felt like none of it really mattered. Like none of it ever hindered anything, in the end…like it never changed her heart.

Olivia knew that, even if on a normal day she would never come here, on this day…in this moment…there was no place that she would rather be. There was no person she would rather be near.

She belonged here.

She belonged here…with Alex.

They always did say that home was where the heart was.

Olivia's smile twitched ever so slightly as Alex raised an eyebrow at one of her ADA's.

Olivia loved Alex's laugh. She wished the blonde would laugh again, so she could see her. She had heard her laugh earlier…but she wanted to see it. She wanted to see that brilliant smile that was so shyly seen, nowadays, she knew. She knew all too well. Alex's face was still twisted into that same position. Stern. Ever the boss. She loved that face. She loved those stern, straight, thin-lined lips that accompanied the expression….

But, God, she loved that laugh. She missed that laugh.

The ADA's all answered their boss immediately…but Olivia didn't hear a single word of it. It was all a murmur in the background as she stared at the sight in front of her.


A whisper. A breath. Olivia tasted the name as it left her lips, watching the word meet the air surrounding the office. It tasted like life. It tasted like home. She smiled. The brunette walked slowly, surely, into the room, her hands still in her pockets, watching Alex intently. Olivia could see her shoulders tense as she looked down at the folder spread out in front of her, on top of her desk. Alex heard her.

She stepped closer still, walking completely into the office.

The chair adjacent Alex's desk was unoccupied and her feet guided her there. She sat, her hands folding over themselves. Olivia's smile grew wider as Alex's eyes scanned the room. She leaned forward, the smile still on her face, watching as Alex's blue eyes sparkled. Did she feel it? She must have. She had to.

Olivia knew Alex could feel it. Could feel her.

Alex leaned forward, in her own chair, hands on the desk. Olivia stood up, then, still smiling, and moved over to the blonde. She sat on the wooden desk, as Alex had sat on her desk so many times before, and hesitantly brought her hand out in front of her. Her hand barely grazed Alex's cheek, a motion of love, tenderness. Soft. She felt her heart break. She felt it stop and then break as her hand brushed across Alex's tender cheek. Complete. Broken. She wasn't sure what she was feeling, anymore. She continued to smile softly as Alex closed her eyes. She brought her other hand up and cupped that beautiful face in her hands, fully. It felt right. Like it used to. Like she used to. Like she felt, right now. Right. Whole. Complete.



She breathed again, a sigh, a gentle caress with her words. Did she know how much she loved her? Did she know? Olivia pulled herself forward, further, closer, holding Alex against her, enveloping herself in the blonde's beautiful presence, in her amazing touch. Closeness. It was difficult, when she was so far away. But she was right here. That's where she would always be. Right here. It was where she belonged. Her home. Her heart.

She pressed her forehead against Alex's, her hands still delicately cupping her face in her hands. Did she know? Did she know? She wanted her to know.

Her hand brushed across her skin, over her cheeks, brushing the pale, golden blonde hair out of her face, behind her ear. Alex took in a deep breath. In. Out. Was she breathing her in? Was Alex breathing Olivia in like Olivia was breathing Alex in?

Did she know?


She breathed the name again, softly, a promise, a reassurance, a prayer, a breath in the quiet dead of the night. She could feel the tears, warm yet oddly cold against her skin, as they fell down Alex's cheeks, from her closed eyes. Olivia continued to smile softly, sadly. Broken. Complete. She could feel the feelings swell up inside of her, throughout her. Holding Alex's face in her hands, the whole world a blur around her, their foreheads pressed tightly together, breathing each other in.


She breathed the name one last time before she felt it. It was a deep feeling, starting, pulling, at her gut and working its way painfully throughout her whole entire body. She could feel it focus, painfully slow, painfully quick, in her abdomen. Olivia closed her eyes for a brief moment. One more moment. Please, one more moment. The tug became stronger in her gut and, silently, she relented. She conceded. Softly, lovingly, Olivia ran her hand over Alex's cheek one more time before letting go of the face in her hands. She had to go. She pulled away and stood, backing out towards the still-open door.

Alex's eyes shot open, blue swimming with tears. Olivia still smiled softly, fondly.


She breathed the name one last time before she reached the door, still staring into the office, still staring into Alex's shocked eyes. She watched those lips, those perfect lips, form her name. A breath. A murmur. A plea. A prayer. 'Liv.' The tears continued to fall from Alex's eyes as she stood abruptly from the desk, her files cascading all around her. Olivia turned around from the office and walked back the way she came, that same, soft, sad, smile on her face as she shoved her hands in her pockets. She could barely register the noises slowly starting to barrage her senses. She walked down the hall, her hands still in her pockets, her eyes closed, as she heard Alex's frantic yell. She heard the commotion. They were asking her if she was ok. It was really just a way of asking if she was insane. Olivia kept walking, her eyes closed, hands in her pockets, as she stepped out into the cold--the cold which, honestly, she couldn't distinguish between the overbearing numbing cold that was overruling all of her other senses--her feet meeting the black pavement of the street next to the building, the DA's offices, she walked out of. She walked steadily, surely, the clenching of her gut pulling her…calling her…it was so strong….

Olivia opened her eyes when she heard the familiar sound from the door of the building open swiftly and slam shut, followed by a familiar voice cursing.

Olivia pondered it as she continued to walk, steadily, hands in her pockets. Was she cold? Was she scared? Was she frightened that she wasn't running fast enough?

That she was losing her?

Alex was running behind her. Chasing ghosts.

Olivia didn't turn around.

Olivia continued walking, noticing the crowd gathered around her destination, but not really paying any attention to it. There was a pathway, clear as day, between the people huddled around the scene. Olivia stopped, then, and turned around, that small smile on her face. Alex was running, faster than Olivia had ever seen her run before, towards where the brunette stood, hands in her pockets. Waiting.

Alex ran, faster, breath heaving, a constant mantra leaving her lips. "No. No. No. Please, God, No."

It was then that all of the sounds slowly drained back into Olivia's consciousness. Sirens. Gasps. Murmurs. She could hear the blood in her own ears. Taste the blood on her own lips…but ever faintly. The pull in her gut was growing stronger by the second.

Alex kept running and when she reached the point where Olivia had stopped, time seemed to freeze. Sadly, reverently, Olivia reached out one last time, her hand gently, lovingly, tenderly, running along Alex's cheek.


Olivia nodded.

It was time to go.

Olivia walked past where time stood still, past the crowded people, ducking under and between various bodies, blurred faces, frozen in time, towards the black street. Slowly, time started to whir together, fazing together with reality and her consciousness. She didn't look at them, but she could feel it all. The tears, the gasps, the looks of horror. She ducked down onto the ground, near familiar faces, an EMT she had met years ago and had worked with too many times to count and Elliot. They were kneeling. Kneeling right by an eerily empty space that she rightfully had to fill. She looked over. Elliot. Elliot…her partner…her dearest friend…his face streaked with tears, his glassy blue eyes pleading.

The tug pulled at her stomach violently.

This would hurt.

She lay down on the street between them, closing her eyes and feeling it all hit her like a ton of bricks, the tug at her gut enveloping her. She could feel Elliot's hands on her face, his tears on her cheeks. She could feel Sally's—the EMT's—hands on her stomach, working frantically. She could feel the cool air hit her as she sucked in a deep, strangled breath, coughing up blood when she tried to release it. She tried once more and failed miserably. The taste of copper. She heard the familiar clanking of heels, that mantra that had followed her here repeated over and over and over again.

"No. No. No. God, no. Liv. Liv. Liv." Her eyes were still closed, but she didn't have to see her to feel Alex fall down to the ground next to her, tears streaking down that beautiful face. Elliot's hands were replaced, his voice dimming out as she focused on the new one. Deep. Trembling. Alex. "No. No. No. Liv. Please, Liv, no. Liv." Alex choked, her breath warm against Olivia's cold cheeks. Liv. Maybe it was her name. Maybe it was a plea. Begging her, praying for her to stay with her.

It was a basic case of English, really. Of grammar. Of logistics. Her mother had taught her as much. In fact, if there was a single thing her mother had taught her, it was English and grammar. Mom. Was it right to remember her mother at a time like this? Olivia thought it was. So she remembered her.


To live. It was a verb.


Liv. A noun, and a verb.

A name.

An action.

Live, Liv.

"Live." Her subconscious mangled it all into one category, blurred together, but the word…the name…the action…it sounded so beautiful coming from Alex's mouth. Vaguely, Olivia wondered what Alex would think if Olivia told her that, honestly, in these very crucial moments, Olivia had no idea what Alex was telling her to do…or if Alex was addressing her. Olivia thought it was slightly humorous—given the situation—that a lawyer, a very organized and specific woman, gave her very specific directions…very important, crucial directions…and Olivia had no idea what to do with them. Alex hated to be sidestepped, ignored, Olivia knew. Alex hated to be disobeyed, as well, by her detectives, that Olivia also, definitely, knew. But, ultimately, Alex hated to be misunderstood, Olivia knew most of all.

She thought it was slightly ironic.

"Live, Liv, Liv, Live…" Alex mumbled into her, moaned into her, continuously, Olivia's subconscious mixing and jarring the words together, fumbling, not interpreting completely, properly, as she knew the blonde would have liked. But, still, that voice was gorgeous. Olivia drank it in, letting the warmth that voice brought her fill her to the brink. God, she loved that voice.

Internally, the brunette smiled.

The tug at her gut grew stronger. Alex's tears were on her face, her hands cupping her face, her lips against her ear, her prayers against her heart.

Fighting for one last moment—please, one last moment--Olivia struggled to open her eyes, the weight of her eyelids surprisingly heavy. A dull brown met Alex's vibrant shade of blue. Don't cry for me, Alex. Don't cry. Olivia's hand shook as she forced her body to raise itself from the near dead, pleading for one last moment. Her hand shook as she brushed her fingers across Alex's skin, holding her cheek in her hand. Home. She was broken. She was complete. She was whole. She was home. For a moment, a mere instant, Olivia held Alex's face in her hand.

Olivia had struggled her whole entire life to find a home. She ran away, once. She had ran because there was no where to go, anymore. And here, now, she had found it…she had found her home again.


That word meant so much to her. That place meant so much to her. Her family…her house…her safe haven…her…everything.




Did she know? Did she know how much she loved her?

She had to know.

She would always know…because Olivia would always be right here. She would be right home. In this moment, in this second. Her hand holding Alex's cheek, Alex's tears on her face, Alex's hands clutching onto her blue, blood-stained shirt tightly, pleading with her to stay.

So she would. Olivia would stay right here, rightfully, home. For all eternity.

Olivia felt that same, soft, sad smile shakily move onto her features.

"I'm so sorry. I'm so, so, so sorry." She apologized repeatedly, her voice so broken.

I know.

"I love you, Liv." Alex sobbed, hands clasping, heart breaking. "I love you so much."

"Alex." She breathed the name softly, lovingly, tenderly. Her breath met with the cold night air, turning into wisps of mist. The name tasted like life, to Olivia. It tasted like home.

Her eyes closed, a now-vibrant brown turning dull, once more.

Her hand fell limp.

And Alex lay there, on the cold pavement of a crowded New York street, clinging to Olivia's bloodstained blue shirt, tears streaming down her face.

"Olivia." She breathed. "No."

The sound, the sights, the feelings, all of them drowned out into darkness as Olivia Benson lay, limp, on a cold, black street of New York, Alexandra Cabot clinging to her for dear life.


She was home.

The End

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