A/N: This one shot came to me as I watched the end of this weeks episode. Hope everyone enjoys and as always reviews are welcomed.


Olivia and Eames sat at the table nursing their drinks discussing the case they just closed. One that combined the Joint Terrorist Task Force and SVU. A terrorist group was funding their missions by enslaving women into prostutuion or as the law referred to it as the commercial sex act.

"It's a rough story about the father.' Olivia said

"They all have a reason something." Eames said staring off.

"And that's how you break them? Get them to tell their story."

"Isn't that how you do it?"

"Well I don't normally do it leaning over sideways." Olivia said as she laughed slighty.

"Yeah" Eames said clearing her throat "I learned that from my partner over at Major Case. It was his way of keeping eye contact."

"It's a little eccentric"

"You have no idea."

"O kay" Olivia said with a slight nod

"All that time together the two of us. It was like we were married."

"But you weren't" Olivia said as she sat her glass down a little harder than she intended and began to stare into her glass.

She knew all too well excately what Eames was referring too. There were times that Elliot had joked about spending more time with her than he did with his own wife and family. A statement that had dubbed her the nickname of his work wife from Kathy. Something they laughed about a lot but in actuality it was true. Something that they were warned about at the academy.

Olivia let her mind wander to her graduation day of the academy. How the instructors told them as time moved on the job would become a big portion of their life. That they would become hesitant of people as they approached them. They would begin carrying an off duty weapon at all times along with several others. That eventuality the only ones they would hang out with and associate with would be other cops because no one else would understand their need to sit at the back of the restaurant with their back against the wall facing the door. Or the fact that they could be in the middle of a family bar-b-que or at a game that they spent hundreds of dollars on the ticket to go and be called away minutes before. Never once the thought of saying no I can't I have plans cross their minds.

She also remembered how as she listened to them she swore that she wouldn't let the job change her. No matter what she said that day the job did change her as it had changed everyone. Now days she wouldn't dream of walking out of the house without the gun strapped to her inner left ankle and the one at the small of her back. There was a handcuff key discretely hidden inside her bra along with a knife too. As people approach her she would slowly and ever so subtlely move her hand to the small of her back and wrap her fingers around the cold steel that offered safety.

As for the restaurants more times than not she ordered in. It was easier and safer that way. But if for what ever reason she actually ate out her back was against the wall facing the door in the back where she had full view of everything. The only time she wouldn't press the issue was if she was out with other cops. She trusted them to keep an eye out and keep her safe. That was no different from being on the clock. They had to have each other's back to survive the shift and make it home at the end of the night.

At the end of the night or on an off night it wasn't call up an old college buddy to get together with. No, not at all, she had slowly lost contact with each of them as her years in the department progressed. None of them ever understanding how or why she did what she did or the changes it caused to occur within herself. Slowly but surely she began to hang out more and more with the guys from the department. Eventually and she couldn't tell you at what point she only associated with officers and no one else.

As for missing family events she didn't have to worry about that. Three times she lost her loves to the job. The first being Alex when she was whisked away to wit sec. It was three years after coming back from the dead before she sat foot the 16 again. Even then she was only there for about two months when she took off the Africa to fight for women's rights. They tried briefly to rekindle what they had but it was lost for good, to the job.

Then there was Casey. It took a while for her to open up to her but finally the red bombshell was able to penetrate the walls she had built up. They had built what she thought was a great relationship and balance. Then she was censured and couldn't stand to remain in New York any longer. Once again another relationship lost to the job.

Then there was Elliot. One could say he was her first love but not in the same manner as Alex or Casey. He was her family and not just in blue. When she joined SVU she was partnered with him and he took her under his wing. In time that built a friendship and devotion to each other that was like no other. He was there when she lost her mom, Alex and Casey. She was there during his separation, renewing of his vows, and the birth of Eli. In truth she helped deliver Eli and save Kathy's life. He was the one person she was sure would be there till she handed in her papers. Both of them handing their papers in together as if they would retire, NYPD ran through their veins.

Then Elliot had to take the life a girl not much younger than his daughter which was more than he could handle. After over twenty years on the force he signed his papers and took a well deserved retirement. Another relationship she lost to the job.

Olivia had lost a lot to the job probably more than she wanted to or would ever admit she did. Because of her job and countless hours she put in she was denied the chance to adopt. When she did attempt to date she canceled more dates than she kept. Eventually she just found it easier not to bother with trying for a relationship. What was the use when she would lose it to the job.

Olivia paid her tab and parted ways with Eames both agreeing to get together again. Her thoughts racing as she walked up the stairs to her apartment over everything she had lost to the job. Why should she keep doing it when she's lost so much? She had more than enough years in to retire as Elliot did. Then she saw the picture of her mother on her mantle and was reminded why she did the job. To bring the victims the justice they deserve that her mother never got. Knowing that she could make a difference in one persons life was well worth everything she had lost to the job.