DISCLAIMER: All of the characters are owned by their respective production companies, networks, and creators. I just borrow them for a little while.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: Ghost and Loss.

A Missing Scene From Ghost
By Michelle

Olivia softly knocked on the hotel room door. "Hey it's Liv, open up," she requested.

The door swung open swiftly. Elliot filled the doorway and Olivia briefly took notice of he weapon in his hand as she crossed the threshold.

"Go home," she said with a smile as she passed by. "Hey," she said by way of greeting to Alex as she continued into the room.

Behind her Elliot called out "Get your beauty sleep, I'll be back at eight o'clock sharp in the morning to take you to court." he promised. A moment later he had snatched his coat off the chair and was gone. Olivia's goodbye echoed in his wake as she shut the door.

"Beat you again?" Olivia asked Alex with a smile as she locked the door.

"Like a rug," Alex answered with a small laugh.

Olivia tossed her bag on the couch before stripping off her jacket. "You wanna keep playing?" she asked glancing at Alex.

"Nah," Alex responded as she turned her attention to the window. "I wish these windows would open. I want to smell the city," she said wistfully.

Olivia stopped rifling through her bag as she caught the hint of melancholy in Alex's voice. "You mean the rotting garbage and the diesel exhaust," Olivia jested in an effort to lighten the mood. She was rewarded with a small smile from the ADA as Alex continued to look down on the street distantly.

"Wisconsin is so quiet at night that sometimes when I feel myself getting homesick I hum the Mr. Softy song," Alex revealed a hint of sadness now joining the melancholy.

Olivia smiled in understanding wishing she could do something to lift Alex's spirits. "You making any friends?" Olivia asked a little surprised at the huskiness in her voice. Alex's distress was almost palpable and Olivia found herself empathizing involuntarily. If she wasn't careful they would both end up in tears at any minute. Olivia watched as a flicker of pain crossed Alex's face. Combined with a tight smile it signaled that the topic of choice on her part had probably not been the right one.

Alex turned giving her an uncertain look before speaking, "There's this claims adjuster at the insurance agency where I have been working that I've been seeing," she admitted as she leaned back against the window.

Olivia was surprised by the unexpected sharp stab of pain she felt as Alex spoke. She offered Alex a smile trying to hide her own reaction. Alex looked away offering Olivia a brief reprieve as she tried to get her emotions back under control. With a quick swallow she managed to hold back the unexpected tears that had briefly sprung up. She listened as Alex continued.

"He's a good man, he thinks I'm from Tulsa, and when were in bed together at night he whispers my name, Emily," Alex managed. She was struggling not to shed the tears that were on the verge of falling. She looked out the window unwilling to face Olivia knowing that her friend would be on the verge of tears herself.

Olivia watched Alex struggle as she discussed the life she was currently living. Olivia knew there was nothing she could say to alleviate Alex's pain but felt the need to say something, "It's hard to be someone you're not," she offered feeling like the words were woefully inadequate.

Alex half shook her head, "I can't stop thinking like a prosecutor," she said in frustration. "Connors is going to sit in that courtroom tomorrow looking like a choirboy. He's going to charm the jury with his Irish brogue and I have to make them see who he really is but I don't even know what makes him tick," she finished the frustration now tinged with quiet desperation.

Olivia had nearly gotten whiplash trying to follow Alex's train of thought and it was a moment before she realized Alex had abandoned the conversation concerning her new life plowing into her thoughts on the court proceedings in the morning. Olivia moved back over to the couch as Alex spoke, pulling the materials she had been looking for earlier from her bag. Olivia turned with the folder in her hand.

"Alex," Olivia hesitated before crossing the room and handing the folder to Alex. "You didn't see this file," she directed her own voice beginning to give away her bottled emotions.

Alex took the folder sure the shock she was feeling showed clearly on her face. If this was what she thought it was Olivia had just broken at least three different statutes. She was torn between admonishing the detective and accepting the gift. Alex's need to reassert some control in her own life beat out the tattered remains of her prosecutor's conscience. The woman holding the folder was not ADA Alexandra Cabot but shooting victim Alex Cabot and she had every intention of exacting justice from her would be killer by any means at her disposal.

Alex opened the folder to confirm her suspicions. She gave Olivia a brief look before turning away softly padding over to the overstuffed chair.

Olivia watched her go familiar with the rapt concentration that Alex was giving the folder's contents. Olivia retreated to her bag pulling out a tooth brush and toothpaste. Alex never noticed as Olivia left the room. Olivia closed the bathroom door behind her with a sigh of relief. In the back of her mind Olivia had entertained various scenarios in which Alex would finally return to New York. The one she was currently living had never even come close to anything she had imagined. Olivia had never thought she would find herself in a situation with the ADA that was even more gut wrenching than their previous goodbye. Taking a deep breath Olivia pushed off the door moving until she was in front of the sink.

Olivia made short work with her toothbrush before rinsing. Dropping her toothbrush to the side she cupped her hands bringing the cool water up to her face. Olivia leaned against the counter trying to hold back the stray tears that were falling. Finally she gave up continuing to rinse her face hoping the cool water would erase the evidence. After a few minutes she groped for the hand towel on the rack vigorously drying her face.

Olivia paused as she caught a glimpse of her reflection in the mirror. The cool water had managed to hide the evidence of her tears but Olivia could see the haggard weariness etched in her face. The last eighteen months had been catching up to her before this case and now she felt like she had aged years in the last forty-eight hours. Taking a deep breath Olivia composed herself as she returned the towel to its resting place. When she was ready Olivia pulled open the door returning to the living room. Alex was still engrossed in the file and never looked up as Olivia pulled her bag onto the floor before lying down on the couch. She pulled down a thin blanket that was folded neatly along the back. Shifting she pulled her gun and holster off her hip letting it rest under her hand.

Olivia closed her eyes knowing the marshals were watching the exterior and she should get plenty of forewarning if anyone tried to break in. Sleep overtook her immediately and Olivia surrendered to it grateful for the escape from the emotional turmoil that had plagued her since Alex's return.

Olivia woke with a start her grip tightening on her gun. She felt a light weight resting near her temple. Sleep receded quickly and Olivia took in Alex's form perched on the couch cushions and realized the presence she felt had been Alex's fingers buried in her hair. Olivia looked up into Alex's concerned gaze.

"What's wrong?" Olivia asked refusing to move and break the tenuous contact.

"I finished the file and I was going to go to bed when I noticed you on the couch," Alex started. Her fingers absently resumed a steady rhythm gently pushing Olivia's hair back from her face.

"What?" Olivia asked again as she watched a fleeting look of pain cross Alex's face.

"I've never seen you look so beaten," Alex finally answered her fingers pausing. 'Olivia, what happened while I was gone?"

Olivia shifted onto her back and she felt Alex pull her hand back until it rested on Olivia's hip. Olivia debated on brushing Alex off with an easy lie. Blaming the rigors of her job combined with to many hours but after the courage Alex had shown earlier with her honesty regarding her new life Olivia felt she owed her the same.

Olivia reached down lightly resting her hand on Alex's as she spoke, "To start with, you died, and it pretty much went downhill from there," she began. Olivia recounted a number of the cases that had left the squad raw, Fin's shooting, the con man cult leader who had orchestrated the murder of the children in his care, Elliot's separation, and the learning curve and break in for their new ADA Casey Novak.

Alex's eyes shown brightly as Olivia paused. "I'm sorry I wasn't here," she offered sincerely.

"So am I," Olivia responded somberly as she gave Alex's hand a slight squeeze.

"Alex," Olivia paused uncertainly, "Your Mom used to call me once or twice a month to check up on your case. We started having lunch every other week. I think she felt like I was a way of having a connection to you, your life, even though you were gone." Olivia pushed herself into a sitting position as Alex went completely still the tears she had been fighting falling silently.

"Alex," Olivia said gently forcing the ADA to look at her. "When she became ill I visited her weekly. As she got sicker I realized I couldn't let her die without knowing you were still alive. I told her you were in witness protection and that they wouldn't let you come home until Velez was dead or incarcerated," Olivia revealed.

Alex inhaled sharply her hand going to her mouth as she stood nearly falling as dizziness swept through her. She stumbled back trying to catch her breath finally bending over still struggling to breath as a barely audible "Oh my God," distantly emanated from her lips in a steady mantra.

"Alex," Olivia followed the blonde across the room reaching out to steady Alex. "Alex?" Olivia tried again hoping to break through to the ADA.

Alex finally straightened up giving Olivia a brief look before throwing her arms around the startled brunette nearly crushing Olivia with the fierce hug. "Thank you," she whispered intensely.

Olivia could feel Alex shake as another round of tears fell. Olivia pulled her tighter trying to ignore her own discomfort. Finally Alex's grip relaxed slightly and she spoke again.

"Liv, you have no idea how badly I have felt since they told me that she had died. All I could think about was that she died believing I was gone. It was tearing me apart," Alex admitted huskily.

"That's what friends are for Alex," Olivia replied grateful that she had been able to do at least that much for Alex.

"It's more than that isn't it Liv?" Alex asked still holding Olivia lightly.

Olivia felt herself freeze at Alex's words. "What do you mean?" she asked trying to pull back but Alex refused to let her break contact.

"I know how you feel." Alex said quietly. "About me," she clarified stifling any comment that had been on the verge of Olivia's lips.

"How, when?" Olivia managed glad Alex had refused to relinquish her hold before, allowing Olivia to Hide for few minutes longer.

Alex brought her hand up burying it in Olivia's hair as she took a step back so she could look Olivia in the eye. "I suspected a couple of months before the Sandoval case. I was relatively certain you cared for me more than as a friend but the night we said goodbye I knew without a doubt how deeply your feelings ran," Alex answered.

Olivia couldn't hold Alex's gaze. "I'm sorry," she said not sure why she was apologizing.

"Why," Alex responded swiftly obviously sharing Olivia's own confusion. "Olivia, I'm the one who should have regrets. I knew and I said nothing. I was on the fence. I didn't know how to handle your feelings along with my own confusion. I decided to stay quiet and selfishly take everything you were offering me silently, your time, your compassion, your unconditional acceptance and most of all yourself," Alex faltered and this time she was the one to look away.

"Alex, why did you come back?" Olivia questioned somberly.

Alex gave her a closed look. "I came back to make sure that the bastard who tried to kill me was put away," she replied refusing to meet Olivia's eyes while she paced a short distance from the detective.

Olivia knew Alex was being less than honest with her. "Come on counselor. We both know Casey could have amended the indictment or dropped it without repercussions. Of course I didn't know that until after you had reappeared. Casey had to explain the various options she could pursue that would cover me and Elliot. This was all after Hammond had made an appearance and fed Cragen the same line of bull that we all bought hook line and sinker without bothering to consult our own ADA. You wouldn't have had something to do with that?" Olivia pressed. The sheepish smile combined with the rebellious tilt of Alex's head was all the confirmation that Olivia needed.

"You should have seen Hammond's face once the bureau's legal team got back to him with their advisement. Of course we were already here. I'm not sure that Velez is actually my number one concern at this time," Alex said with humor.

Olivia shook her head involuntarily smiling at Alex's joke. "I still don't understand why Alex. There was really nothing you could add and now you're going to end up having to relocate again. Completely changing the life you do have," Olivia pointed out.

"You," Alex answered simply.

"What?" Olivia couldn't help herself. The comment was on her lips before she even realized she was speaking.

"You," Alex repeated seriously. "I had always felt like there was so much left unsaid. After they told me about my mother," Alex drew up short, her voice caught in a hitch. She cleared her throat before starting again, "I didn't want to risk leaving anything left unsaid. We both know the risks of your job and the risks of my life. The chance that something could happen to either of us and that I had not made the effort to talk to you was more than I could deal with. When I read about Connors I figured I had found my ticket back to New York," Alex informed her.

Olivia was stunned. She stood there; no thought worth verbalizing coming to mind. She watched Alex pace back and forth for a moment before stopping and facing Olivia her resolve clear.

"I wanted you to know that I cared. That I felt as much for you as I think you felt for me," Alex amended stopping to choose her words carefully. "I didn't know how to handle my feelings, I had never," Alex didn't finish the thought as she watched Olivia nod her understanding.

Alex moved closer reaching out again to brush the hair back from Olivia's face. "I had no idea how much I was going to miss you. It's like an ache that never goes away," Alex admitted her voice colored with grief. She let her fingers rest against Olivia's cheek as she drew closer. She leaned in, her lips briefly brushing against Olivia's.

"I have wanted to do that for what seems like forever," Alex confessed breathlessly.

Olivia opened her eyes looking at Alex as she tried to wrap her mind around Alex's words. "What about the claims adjuster?" Olivia had no idea where that question had come from. She wasn't even sure if she was the one who had uttered it. But considering it was only the two of them odds were that was her voice she had just heard.

Alex heard the pain behind the question and took it in stride. "I had nothing there Olivia and no desire to really attach myself to a life I intended to be temporary. But I hadn't expected the crushing loneliness that overtook me. He was a convenience, a distraction to the emptiness. He was such a good man, it really wasn't fair to him but I had decided I deserved that little bit of comfort no matter how self serving it was," Alex explained.

Olivia felt a pang at the depth of regret in Alex's voice. She found herself wanting to wipe away all of Alex's pain but she knew she was helpless to ease those demons.

Alex pulled Olivia closer. "I just want to enjoy the time I have with you before I have to leave again," Alex implored.

Olivia nodded her agreement understanding that there was no point in wasting time on regrets and explanations. No one knew better than they did that sometimes you just had to hold onto what you had today.

Alex stepped back lacing her fingers through Olivia's before hading toward the bedroom. Olivia put on the brakes before Alex was able to get two steps.

"What?" Alex asked giving her a concerned look.

"Where are we going?" Olivia asked once again wondering where these questions were coming from. Her head was spinning and she was still trying to catch up. He could feel the slightest twinge of panic hovering on the edge of her consciousness. Things had moved so quickly in the last twenty minutes she wasn't sure what she was feeling.

Alex's look softened. "I'm sorry, I've had eighteen months to think about the things I wanted to say to you. I didn't stop to think how it would be for you to see me after all this time only to have all of these revelations dropped on you. I'm tired and I want to lie down. I thought maybe you would come with me and we could continue talking," Alex offered

Olivia felt herself relax slightly finally starting to feel like she was coming to grips with the conversation. She nodded following Alex after making a brief detour to pick up her weapon.

They settled into the bed and talked into the night covering the past eighteen months of their lives. It was nearly day break when they drifted off in exhaustion.

Olivia and Elliot were passing out glasses and bantering with Casey when Elliot turned calling out for their expected guest. When Hammond stepped into view Olivia looked around him for Alex.

"The marshals are moving her and Antonio to a new location," Hammond informed them tersely. He stepped into the room making eye contact with Olivia.

"She wanted me to make her good byes," he revealed.

Olivia felt her stomach drop in disappointment. She watched Hammond reach into his coat pulling out an envelope. "She asked me to give this to you," Hammond said as he offered the envelope to Olivia.

Olivia sat the plastic champagne glass down on the desk before taking the envelope. She thanked Hammond, her voice barely a whisper. She retreated from Cragen's office opting for the bunk room hoping for a little privacy.

Olivia slipped into the room closing the door firmly behind her. She sat down on a chair before tearing open the envelope and pulling out the paper within. Her hands shook slightly as she unfolded the note.

Dear Olivia,

I'm sorry I did not say good bye in person. I am having a difficult time leaving and I am afraid that if I see you I am going to find it impossible to let the marshals drag me away to another life that I am sure holds only the promise of boring tedium. There is one small glimmer of happiness to my story this time however. I talked to the marshals and they have allowed Antonio to be relocated with me. I will be his aunt caring for him after my sister and her husband were killed in an auto accident. At least as I fade back into oblivion I do not have to fear the crushing loneliness that greeted me on my first trip.

I think I am going to miss you more now than ever. I wish I could be there for you. Maybe fate will be kind enough to deal me another lucky hand and I will be home soon. I do not regret my choice in returning and I am glad I finally found the courage to talk to you. Antonio just finished say goodbye to Mike and is asking me to tell you and Elliot goodbye. I love you and I hope I'll be home soon.


The End

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