A/N: Bored, LSM, this is all your fault. You've got me stuck on a J/O kick...and SVU's not mine.
The nightmares come without warning. It'd help if there was a sign, something to let you know when they'll hit. Something to let you know before you close your eyes and try to sink into oblivion. But there never is. And every time it happens, you wake up, gasping for air and fighting back tears, wishing that you weren't alone. More often than not, you are.
But this time, it's different. When they hit and you wake up, you're a split second from crying out when you notice her. She's lying there beside you, fast asleep, oblivious to everything that's going on. But she hasn't seen as much as you have. And she hasn't been a cop as long. You don't want to wake her, so you push the covers away and get out of bed, careful not to disturb her.
Rain drips down the outside window in varying patterns. So you watch, and lights flash off the glass and off of the ceiling, lights from different cars passing by. You close your eyes again, but the minute you do, the images from the nightmare that woke you up come back. So you go back to looking out the window, trying to forget. But you can't, and you know it. No one can.
Before you know it, you're wiping at your eyes, trying to curb the flow of tears that has started without you noticing. Your glasses are across the room, on the bedside table beside the clock, and you wish you had them on. You don't want her to see you like this if you wake up. But she already knows what's behind the façade you put on for everyone else. So it wouldn't really matter to her. But it does to you. And you debate for a few seconds as you sit there staring out the window whether or not you should go and get them, put them on before she notices you're not there beside her anymore.
You decide not to. But that's really only because you turned just in time to see her stirring, and you don't want to risk waking her for something as petty as this. So you wait for a little while, to see what she'll do. When she doesn't move again, you turn back to the window, relieved. What you don't notice is that her eyes are actually slightly open. She's watching you. And before you realize it, she's standing there behind you, sliding her arms around your waist and pressing a kiss to your shoulder without saying anything. And as you stand there, you realize something. The outside world is a frightening place…especially the side of it that the two of you see, day in and day out. But as the two of you watch the rain, you can't help but think that nothing else matters as long as she's there. The reason for this is simple, and as you bring her hand to your lips and kiss her fingers, it hits you.
You feel safe with her. And in a world like this, it means more than anyone could ever know.