|Coming In From The Cold
Author: EnforcerAndAccuserFan PM
Post Undercover. After revealing her very close call during her prison assignment, will Olivia allow herself to recover? Former oneshot now expanded. Minor correction in Chapter 2. Disclaimer: I don't own any Law & Order characters.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Hurt/Comfort - Chapters: 5 - Words: 4,868 - Reviews: 29 - Favs: 11 - Follows: 13 - Updated: 06-01-08 - Published: 04-17-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4203631
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Special thanks to flapjacks for inspiring the main theme of this chapter.
Apartment of Olivia Benson, 9:30PM
"Hey, El, come in," Olivia said amiably, opening the door for the invited guest.
"Thanks, Liv," he said cheerfully. "It's been a while."
"I know. But come three days from now, I'll be back in the office." She went to the kitchen to pour decaf coffee.
After 15 minutes of catching up (Eli's baby antics, Sergeant Munch as a temporary partner, Elizabeth's piano recital, ring-shopping with her brother), they moved onto the main topic of conversation. She was sitting on the couch while he sat in the chair. This wasn't going to be easy, but thanks to time and therapy, it was possible.
"I know you still want to know why I took the two weeks off," she said seriously. "And I know it's necessary to tell you now, because I'm returning to work Monday, and I want you to have enough time to hear it, deal with it, and put it behind you. Otherwise, we won't be able to continue our partnership."
Elliot started to say something but stopped himself and waited for her to continue.
"First, Harris did make a futile attempt to rape me," she said, watching him frown darkly in response. Olivia waited for him to respond.
"I figured it was something like that," he said quietly, rage in his voice. "I mean, the way you were acting, and Fin being more tight-lipped than usual--how else could Ashley remember the mole on his penis?! You reminded her, didn't you?!"
"No, I didn't 'remind' her," Olivia clarified. "I told her to think about his penis, and she remembered the mole."
He sighed, leaning back in his seat. "Liv, if I had known--"
"You would have begged for a chance to interrogate him in the name of 'protecting me'--which I didn't need--and you would have probably done something everyone would have regretted," she finished for him.
Elliot, opening his eyes, smirked. "You know me all too well."
"Plus, facing him afterwards--back at the station, when we arrested him, at the M.E.'s--did help me somewhat," Olivia continued. "But, I needed more help. I didn't want to admit it initially, but Captain Cragen convinced me to seek counseling."
"From who?" he wanted to know.
He put his hands up in contrition. "You're right; it's none of my business," her partner said quickly. "I'm sorry."
Nodding her acceptance, she then continued more quietly. "My--the attempted rape wasn't the only reason I took leave. As much as I wanted to go undercover in Sealview, as satisfied as I am with what was accomplished, my overall experience affected me more than I had figured it would. I mean the constant scrutiny, the confinement, the rigid schedules, limited contact…" She paused with a faraway look for several moments and then shook her head slowly.
"When I was a kid, I did have it rough," she went on. "But I had reprieves--like when my mother was too busy to become drunk and abusive. And I had escapes--I went to school, to the library, to day camps, to the movies. But here, the hardships were everywhere 24/7. The only thing that kept me going was the fact that it was all just a temporary assignment, and one of my colleagues was there with me."
"I wish I had Fin's position," Stabler said.
Olivia couldn't resist a chuckle. "You wouldn't have lasted," she said. "All you needed to see was just one inmate who reminded you of Kathy or one of your girls, and you would have gone off on the first fellow prisoner or guard who looked at her wrong."
He didn't deny it. "I think your shrink is starting to rub off on you," he said mirthfully.
"No, I'm just a good detective!" she replied grinning. They both laughed at her joke, and then she went to refresh their mugs.
"You were right, Liv," he said as he accepted his coffee.
"Right about what?" She stood before him.
"You were right not to tell me until now," he replied seriously. "I would have taken things too personally and got myself in a lot of trouble, all without helping the case. Thanks."
"You're welcome. And thank you for understanding." She clicked her mug against his.
He grinned while she took her seat on the couch. "May I ask a favor?"
"Maybe," she answered lightly. "What do you want?"
Soberly, he responded: "The next time Kathleen1 complains about her community service, may I tell her about...some of the things you mentioned?"
The following Monday Detective Olivia Benson returned to work, where she was welcomed back without any questions. She went about her job without any feelings of guilt or fear for her professional reputation. And when she returned home later that evening, she found a grateful message from Kathleen Stabler.
She eventually pressed attempted rape charges against Harris, who was awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to rape, murder, and drug charges. (Several of his colleagues, fearful of an impending state investigation, had approached D.A.'s office with incriminating statements attributed to the former guard.) Just as Dr. Hendrix had said, the courtroom was packed with supportive and angry cops, male and female. Also present was her half-brother Simon, who glared ferociously at Harris. When the shaken ex-enforcer stammered a guilty plea, the room erupted in applause. Afterward, many of the officers shook her hand or clapped her on the arm, admiring her courage (or "guts" or "heart") for her actions. Olivia was more than appreciative of the outpouring.
But when Ashley2, who was there with her foster parents, embraced her, the detective was moved to tears.
1 At the beginning of Season Nine, it was revealed that Kathleen had received community service for a DUI offense. She complained that college classmates had seen serving her sentence.
2 A 14-year-old girl whose inmate mother had been killed by Harris, she had been raped by the guard.