DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: CI and its characters are the property of Dick Wolf and NBC. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: 6x01 'Blind Spot'

Night For Now
By OnlyJustWhisper


You're on stakeout with Johnson. You're listening to the radio and drinking endless mugs of coffee and it's only a few more hours. The street is quiet, and you think that maybe you need some new leads, since this is so clearly a dead end. It's 9AM and you've been here since the early hours of the morning. Only three or so more hours, you think, and attempt to stretch your cramped legs out.

The radio fizzles for a second, and it's an alert, and then, and then. The words missing and badge number 3798 and oh, God, Alex.

Johnson looks at you. You can't stop staring at the radio.

'You know her?' he asks, and you only just manage to nod.

'We used to work together,' you answer quietly, but that's not all, is it, and you last saw her yesterday morning, and she was shrugging into her jacket and flicking her hair back and kissing you goodbye. Saying, see you later, like she always does, and smiling.

But you can't tell him, can you, and so you sit and you wait, and you wait. Nothing happens, and there are no more radio alerts.

You wait, and you chew your nails, and drink coffee, and Johnson keeps looking at you suspiciously.

'You OK?' he says at one point, and you want to say no.

But you can't, can you, so you just say, 'Just tired, is all,' and he nods like your answer's good enough for him.

Stakeout is a bust, and it's been three more hours, and you think you might be shaking. Stupid fucking stakeout, when you could be looking for Alex.

And Johnson says, 'Go home and get some rest,' and you say, 'Yeah,' like you mean it, but as soon as you can get away from him you call Goren and he says, 'No news yet,' and hangs up.

You head over to One PP, and it's crowded and Ross is barking orders and he tosses you a case and says, 'Profile this, would you?' and leaves you to it.

There are photographs inside that spill out like gloss on the desk. The girls in them are beautiful and dead.

You go to the bathroom, twice.

Another few hours, and you've said to Ross, 'Can't I go out in the field?' but he says no, because they need you here.

And then your cell phone rings and it's Goren and he says, they've got her, she's safe, and you're running as fast as you can back to your car.

The receptionist smiles bright and says, 'Hi, how are you?' and looks up Alex's room on her computer and points you in the right direction.

You hurry down the corridor, counting the numbers on the endless, endless doors, waiting to get to her. And then you see him, Goren, coming out of what has to be her room, it must be (and what would he be doing here anyway, except to see her?) and, God, he looks so tired. Older, even, since the last time you saw him. He spots you, rubs at his eyes for a moment, and comes to meet you.

You don't know what to say, really, but a 'How is she?' somehow makes it out of your mouth.

He opens his mouth, closes it. 'Sleeping,' he says, eventually. 'She will be for a few hours. She's OK.'

You nod. You want to know (but you're a little afraid to know, as well) what she looks like. Whether she looks like those girls in the photographs, cut and bruised and broken, and all that blood.

'I need to see her,' you say carefully.

He nods, looks at you like he's been waiting for you to say this. 'She doesn't know anything,' he says. 'About who did it.'

As if that even matters, you think. As if that matters when Alex is there, warm and breathing and alive. She's alive, you think. That's all that matters, and you will go to her and you will wait for her to wake up and you will be the first thing she sees.

He's still watching you, trying to gauge your thoughts, and he's only doing his job, you think. He will have to go and look at all those photographs, he will have to look at the photographs of Alex. And he won't stop until he finds the perp. It's how he is, and this is his partner. You feel very sorry for him, then.

You don't say anything, though. You press your lips together and you walk past him and you open Alex's door and she's there.

She is asleep, like he said, and God, she looks so small, lying there. So pale, skin washed out till it's the odd off-grey of the hospital pillows. She looks so vulnerable. You think, if you were her partner, you wouldn't leave her. You would sit with her all night, all day, for as long as it took, so that when she woke up she wouldn't be alone.

Her hand is lying on top of the sheets, palm upwards. There's a swollen gash on it, livid red and raised against her white skin and there's bruised bracelets round her wrists, yellow, purple, black.

You take her hand, gently. It's cold. You watch her face, hoping that she'll wake up now you're here, hoping she'll open her eyes and breathe, Barek, and maybe smile. But she doesn't, and you lean forward over her, study her face in the harsh light of hospital fluorescents. She looks tired, and there are circles under her eyes, shadowed by her lashes. You trace the lines of her face carefully, with the tips of your fingers.

'You'll be fine,' you murmur, half to yourself. You watch her eyes move in rapid REM under her translucent eyelids.

You sit down. It's very, very quiet here, with only the beep of the machines and the sound of Alex's breathing. There's a pigeon outside the window, on the ledge. You squint at it. It stays for a moment, head cocked, and then it flies away.

You take Alex's hand in both of yours, brush your fingers across her palm. You sit back, and you look at her, and you wait.

You'll be here when she wakes up.

The End

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