A/N: I was reading Harry Potter, and this idea hit me. One has NOTHING to do with the other, just letting you into my mind, and how random ideas are born from nothing. =)

DISCLAIMER: Dick Wolf owns SVU and its characters. TStabler© owns the narrative, dialogue and plot of this story.

The alarm went off at five, the way it did every morning. Olivia slapped it to shut it up, and rolled over, splaying her hand out over the pillow next to hers. She opened her eyes and heaved a depressed sigh. It wasn't as if she expected him to be there, but it was becoming increasingly harder to tell where the dream ended and the reality began. Her dreams were so much better than her reality. She knew the life she wanted, the life she once had, and she needed to get it back, or it would kill her.

It was killing her.

Climbing out of bed to every ounce of her strength. She plodded to the bathroom, stripped, and turned the shower on, terribly hot, trying to get her body to feel the heat, the pain, something, anything besides what it felt nowadays. Nothing. She'd gone numb. A year without him made her numb.

She robotically shampooed her hair, trying not to see his face, hear his voice, smell him as she closed her eyes. She rinsed the suds down the drain, and with it went the hope that she would get to work and find him returned, find him there, find him at all.

She dressed in silence, clipped her gun and badge to her hip, and walked out the door, not locking it behind her. Not caring if anyone broke in. She had nothing worth taking. Hell, without him, she had nothing at all.

She walked the eight blocks to the precinct, barely noticing that she'd stopped for the cars and the lights. She was running on auto-pilot. She'd even bought her usual coffee without realizing it. Had she really been like this for a year?

She walked into the squadroom, not acknowledging anyone, just glaring longingly at his empty desk as she stood beside it, waiting for a case. She stared at the empty chair and the desk. The phone that never rang, the computer that hadn't been turned on for a whole year, and the dent in the drawer from the last time he was in the room, when he punched it.

Cragen, knowing better than to try to talk to her, simply caught her eye and handed her a pink piece of paper. She took it with a nod and left. No one went with her. No one ever went with her. They knew better.

She arrived at the crime scene and crawled under the tape, barely noticing the young cop that held it up for her. She walked, slowly, toward the body and peered at it through her weary eyes. She imagined the vic taller, with darker hair, and she imagined that if his eyes were opened they would be blue. She imagined the vic was him.

They were all him, to her. Since he'd left, every male vic was him, and every female vic her, because that's how she felt. Raped. Beaten. Dead. Every witness was a bad date and every solved case another notch in her bedpost. The only notches she would get, she was saving herself for him.

Melinda Warner watched as Olivia examined the body, running a gloved finger over his face, and then it happened, as it always did. She held her breath as she lifted his right eyelid.


Thank God, because no one wanted to be around her when the vic had blue eyes.

It wasn't that she was off her game, she wasn't. She was just off. Without him, she was just off. She worked each case alone, by herself, partnerless. She demanded that his desk remain as it was, because he promised he'd come back. She solved cases alone. Interrogated her perps alone. She'd been held at gunpoint alone. She'd been attacked in a dark alley by a serial rapist alone, and she successfully fought him off alone. She woke up every morning alone and she went to bed every night alone.

Wherever he was, he knew what was going on. Someone had kept him in the loop. Someone kept him involved with her life. He knew. What he didn't know was that when he came back, it would be to an empty house. He'd been gone too long. He missed Maureen's graduation. He missed Kathy being granted a divorce due to spousal abandonment. He missed her packing up the kids and moving them to Florida.

He missed Olivia shutting out the world, shutting down, shuttin up, and becoming a shell of what she used to be. What she was, what she only was, when she was with him.

Olivia sighed, finding those not-blue eyes beneath the pale white skin if her vic, and she rose to her feet. She mumbled something about it being just another dead body, proving that when he went undercover and took off, he took her soul with him. She held out a hand and someone, she didn't bother looking, handed her an evidence bag.

Melinda watched her work, noticing she'd lost even more weight. The bags under her eyes were darker. The weight on her shoulders was clearly heavier. Melinda and the Crime Scene Unit, uniformed officers, the EMTs, they all knew Olivia's routine. They all knew what she was going to do before she did it.

They all knew that it would all come to a screeching halt in a matter of moments, and she would potentially, hopefully, return to at least a shadow of her former self.

She dug into the bloody pocket, pulled out the man's wallet, looked at the idea and committed the name and address to memory, then dropped the bloody leather into the bag. Without looking up, knowing someone would be there, she held the sealed bag out to her left. As expected, someone took it.

She let out another sigh, ran her fingers through her hair, and shook her head. She closed her eyes, seeing his face behind her lids, and she squinted him away as she opened them again. She heard voices behind her. One voice in particular, sounding an awful lot like his, and she turned, with a vile, evil, loathing expression on her face.

She expected to see people with a tape recorder laughing, thinking it was funny how the great Detective Benson was nothing without him.

She expected to see someone else, she expected to be wrong, chalking it up to missing him terribly.

She didn't expect him to be standing by a taxi, shaking hands with every cop in New York. She didn't expect to see Cragen getting out of a squad car and running toward him, pulling him into a fatherly hug. She didn't expect him to have a cigarette in his mouth, and she didn't expect him to turn his head, as if cued by an angel, to look her in the eyes. She didn't expect to cry when she saw him.

She didn't expect any of those things, but they all happened.

She swallowed the tears and blinked once. He was still there, still looking at her with as much pain in his eyes as there was in hers. She felt her heart stop, and the world moved beneath her feet. Before she hit the ground, she whispered his name for the first time in a year. "Elliot."

A/N: My goodness, that was heavy. Want to see what happens? Review, please?