Title: Such Strangeness As Was Mine

Author: Shannon/Raindrops on Roses

Rating: K
Category: Romance, Alex/Olivia

Spoilers: Loss, Ghost

Disclaimer: These characters belong to Dick Wolf. So, not me. "it is at moments after i have dreamed" belongs to e.e. cummings.

There's a moment just before the sun breaks the horizon where the colors of the city are muted grays and browns. The grime and filth seem more apparent, and the streets are almost still, as the night owls have returned to their nests, and the early birds have not yet taken flight.

Olivia has seen this moment far too often since Alex left again.

She knows that it's for the best. That she had to leave; that nothing would change, except that everything would. She knows that as long as Alex--or Emily, or whatever her name is now--is safe, then she'll be able to handle it.

But she doesn't want to handle it anymore. She wants Alex here, with her, scolding her for running on too little sleep and too much caffeine. She wants blonde hair on her pillowcase, a green toothbrush next to her red one, tailored skirts and pantyhose mixed in with fitted jeans and sports bras.

She's tired of being strong and alone.

The dreams help, sometimes. Not the nightmares--the ones where Alex really does die in her arms, where she looks up at her, blue eyes accusing and pleading--but the dreams of soft skin and scent and laughter.

Sometimes they're fragmented and surreal. Those, she usually forgets upon awakening.

Sometimes, though...

Sometimes they're so clear, so vivid, she is absolutely certain that this is real. That Alex is here with her.

And then she wakes up, and she can't fall asleep again.

When Alex came back--for that one amazing, terrifying, glorious day--she thought she would fly apart from the emotions that tumbled through her. That night, she slept without dreaming.

When she awoke, her gaze fell upon a blonde head so familiar yet not familiar it made her heart clench.

After Alex left--to be given a new identity, a new home, a new life that didn't include her--she wondered if that single stolen night had been a good idea.

The dreams suggest otherwise. She doesn't really care. If it was a mistake, it's one she'd make again.

As the rays of the sun begin to reflect off of the glass and metal structures in the distance, their rosy-golden hues creeping into the shadows of the city, Olivia smiles and curls her hands around her coffee mug.

it is at moments after i have dreamed
of the rare entertainment of your eyes,
when(being fool to fancy)i have deemed

with your peculiar mouth my heart made wise;
at moments when the glassy darkness holds

the genuine apparition of your smile
(it was through tears always)and silence moulds
such strangeness as was mine a little while;

moments when my once more illustrious arms
are filled with fascination,when my breast
wears the intolerant brightness of your charms:

one pierced moment whiter than the rest

-turning from the tremendous lie of sleep
i watch the roses of the day grow deep.