Detective Olivia Benson strode into the carpeted hallway of the building, passing a uniformed officer on his way out, who nodded to her. She knew she had to face the scene, soon, and so she planned on stopping for a moment to relax.
She did it whenever she could, to prepare herself for the worst. Blood would be the worst - blood everywhere, the most visceral sign of human life. After years on the job, she was almost used to it. Almost. She had to make sure she was ready for blood. She closed her eyes and paused in her stride. Only a second or two, to center herself after all the stress of the last hour.
Elliot was following behind her so closely and so quickly that he almost ran into her. He stopped on his toes, a hand on her back. “What, are you meditating?” It unsettled both of them, because they were so used to each other's body language that they walked together, in sync, with plenty of space.
She didn't answer him, and took a deep breath. “Go on ahead, I'll be right behind you.”
He walked around her in two big strides, turned back to face her. “No, it's okay. I can wait.”