In her apartment, the darkness will bring small comfort, the coldness a sense of punishment that's oddly satisfying. She'll shed coat and shoes and shirt and shield until she's only dressed in her bra and pants and standing at the foot of her bed. She'll lie on her back and pick up the gun that she forgot to discard. Her breath will float in clouds, reminding her how cold she is and how cold it must be for Elliot, under the ground in that box, only covered by his starched uniform. Tears will begin to streak her cheeks, but she will hardly be aware. She'll aim the gun at her ceiling, flexing the trigger with practiced restraint. Her mouth will open with each in-curl of her finger and she'll whisper 'pow' into the streaming cold air. Olivia will lay there until the tears have stopped falling and her arm has grown tired, and eventually she'll slip into an exhausted unconsciousness. In the morning, she'll wake, her arms clutched tightly underneath her stomach, her fingers gripping her gun and pressing it painfully into her abdomen. It'll still be dark outside, but the voices from the apartment beside hers will already be screaming at each other. She'll stand, drop the gun on the floor and shuffle to her closet. Cramped fingers will pull a sweater from a hanger and pull it over her head, then reach down to put on the running shoes that she had bought when Elliot commented on her lack of reliable Reeboks. She'll run a hand through her hair and then stoop to retrieve her gun on the floor. Having the gun will make her feel safe, protected, and she'll tuck it into the pants that still smelled slightly of the burgers they'd eaten together two nights before. Olivia will begin to run and she' won't stop. Her feet will pound the sidewalk into oblivion; her downcast eyes will keep the friendly neighbors away. Her natural instinct will take her by the cemetery. She'll slow, unsure of which path to take. Left for her mother and Alex. Right for Elliot. Unwilling to choose, she'll grit her teeth and pass the lure of the cemetery. She'll end up in front of the stationhouse, heart beating, lungs burning and rage stewing on the tip of her tongue. Olivia will pull the hood of her sweater over her hair and with her head down, enter her only remaining safe habitat. It will not be buzzing with intensity yet, it'll still be early, but there will be a few people scattered about. No one will give her a second glance; bedraggled women come in there every day. She'll walk past the holding cells, drumming her fingers over the bars rhythmically. It'll be peaceful, soothing, and the anger will have slightly diffused by the time she reaches her desk. She'll will herself to not look, but she won't be able to help it. Her eyes will stray over the picture of Elliot and Cragen on her desk, and then heavily fall on the clean wooden surface where his daughter's pictures used to be. Tears will tickle her throat mockingly. Kathy and Maureen would have come by to clean out Elliot's desk and take the pictures and other personal belongings. But Olivia will have been there first, touching the files and pens and sitting in his chair that will still smell like a mixture of perspiration and his aftershave. She'll have taken the small things she's sure that Kathy wouldn't want: the worn down notebook, scrawled with his tiny, hurried handwriting; the bruised picture of a nameless victim, given to him by a grieving parent; his gun that failed to protect him at his most vulnerable moment. Olivia will take a deep breath and mash her teeth together in order to stop the incessant wobbling of her chin. A door will open and footsteps will sound, but she won't notice. Her hand will linger over the spot where her gun lays tucked, and she'll feel a sharp, urgent need to use it. A voice will say her name, and she'll jump from her torturous reverie and pull the gun out. Munch will be staring calmly at her, his glasses sliding a little too lowly down his nose, but his posture suggesting him unwilling to move to put them in their proper position. Olivia will slowly place her gun back in its resting place, and her lungs will once again begin to take in air. Munch will attempt to say something, but Olivia will already have turned away. She'll close her eyes as she walks back down the hallways and out onto the street. Sunlight will have already peaked out from behind tall buildings and the endorphins will make her sick with remembrance. There will be footsteps behind her, than Elliot will trot up to her side and offer a steaming cup of coffee. Sunlight will burn her closed eyelids.
Elliot will say, "Munch thought you were trying to kill someone in there." And she'll swallow the hysterical laughter that bubbles in her throat. He'll give her a sidelong glance. "Olivia, what's going on with you?"
Olivia Benson will convince herself that she ate some bad food the night before, and therefore the lump in her throat is not tears, but sickness. Her mind will consider his question and deduct all unreasonable answers: I miss you; bad food; I can't remember how to live; flu...Her answer will finally tumble from her tongue, jumbled and without meaning. "Your family misses you," she'll say and the tears will fall without her recognition. Olivia will look up - to see the shining, caring, blue ocean of understanding that once brought her a deep sense of security - and instead she will find herself staring at the window, lying on her bed, stiff with cold and from lying that way all night.
Don't read that unless you want a rambling of emotion. *rubs temples*