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SPOILERS: Loss and Ghost

If She Ever Thought about It
By Choatemonkey


If she ever thought about it — which she didn't — she realized that she remembered a lot.

She remembered leaving the bar with Olivia and Elliot, not taking Liv's hand because Elliot would see. She remembered hearing the car squeal and feeling something ripping, feeling Liv press hard on her shoulder — it hurt, and she wondered why she was on the ground and couldn't really see — and hearing Liv call her sweetheart. She remembered that Liv never called her sweetheart.

She remembered the black SUV — it smelled like new car, and she read somewhere that new-car smell was carcinogenic. She remembered trying to hold her breath against the smell. She remembered the way Liv's lip quivered as she asked how long, and she remembered cursing herself for not having an answer. She remembered when she finally started to cry, as the SUV started to drive. She couldn't see past the dark windows, but she knew that Liv was crying too.

She remembered waking up in Altoona (and Denver, and Atlanta, and Winooski), and looking in the mirror—pressing her scars until they hurt — to remind herself that she wasn't Emily (or Julia, or Kathleen, or Rebecca). She remembered the day she saw her mother's obituary in the New York Times, which she still bought every day. She remembered the touches of home that she insisted on bringing with her wherever they sent her — the Mr. Softee song, only shopping for a few days at a time, stopping at a Starbucks every morning instead of making her own coffee at home.

She certainly remembered going back to New York for the Conners' trial. She remembered wondering if Casey and Olivia were seeing each other — she spent the whole trip wondering if she wanted Liv to be happy without her or miserable waiting for her. She remembered the conversation at the window, where she'd made up a claims adjuster to gauge Liv's reaction, and once she had it it was too late.

She remembered finding the first gray hair, the day that Julia turned 33. She also remembered Kathleen's 33rd birthday, because that was the first time she'd died her hair to erase the gray, rather than just to keep it the pale blond she preferred. She remembered turning 33 three separate times—once as Alex Cabot, then again as Julia Washington and again as Kathleen Jones. She remembered wondering why they wouldn't let her get any older. She remembered feeling stuck.

She remembered the day that Liv showed up on her doorstop in Glendale, Arizona, to tell her that Velez had been "dispatched," and she could come home. She remembered kissing Liv, and feeling Liv kiss her scars — the first time anyone had touched them without causing her pain. She remembered going home and insisting that Liv take her to see the Statue of Liberty and buy her a pretzel before she went to see Branch.

She remembered being offered her old job and saying no, that she liked Casey —and besides, it would be a conflict of interest for her to date Olivia as SVU's ADA — and she remembered Branch giving one of his infrequent smiles and offering her the bureau chief position. She remembered saying yes, and telling Liv, and that it was at their celebratory dinner when Olivia suggested that they live together.

If she ever thought about it — which she didn't — she realized that she remembered a lot. But this was not the time to think about it, she remembered, as she turned over and hugged Liv a little tighter.

The End

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