Author: Aquabreeze93 PM
Kathy Stabler is found brutally murdered, and the SVU team must catch the killer. But out of the ashes of this tragedy, Elliot realizes that he's in love with the woman comforting him.Rated: Fiction T - English - Hurt/Comfort/Crime - E. Stabler & O. Benson - Chapters: 5 - Words: 7,538 - Reviews: 24 - Favs: 9 - Follows: 24 - Updated: 01-02-13 - Published: 09-25-11 - id: 7413524
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: I'm very sorry for the lateness! I had computer issues and a bit of writer's block. But here it is! You can still look for the next update on Monday.
Chapter 1: Rubble
Manhattan SVU Headquarters, 16th Precinct
One Police Plaza, Midtown Manhattan
Tuesday, July 26th, 2011, 1:10 PM
Olivia Benson sat at her desk, going through paperwork on a recently closed case. She raised her head to look at John Munch, another detective in her division, as he sat at his desk a few feet away. She narrowed her eyes.
"A crossword puzzle?" She asked, mockingly.
Munch looked up. "C'mon, Liv! There's no open cases right now."
"So catch up on paperwork or somethin'." quipped Fin Tutuola, the other detective, as he walked by, a case file in hand. "Way I see it, no cases is good news."
Olivia glanced over at her partner's empty desk. "Shouldn't Elliot be back from lunch by now?" she wondered aloud.
"Don't sweat it, he's fine." Fin reassured her. "Said he was goin' home for lunch today."
Olivia nodded silently. Nevertheless, she couldn't shake the feeling that something was wrong. Her gut feeling proved right before she could dwell on it, as Captain Cragen came briskly walking out of his office, his face wrinkled with more worry than usual.
"Elliot just made a distress call from his apartment," he said.
Olivia didn't stick around for the details. She grabbed her badge and gun, and ran out the door. Fin, Munch and Cragen watched her go. It was useless to stop her.
Her partner was in trouble.
256 Central Park West, Apt #2A
Tuesday, July 26th, 2011, 1:15 PM
Elliot only put down Kathy when he heard the paramedics at the front door. He had to let them in, didn't he? "She's in the bedroom, around the corner to the left." He said, detached. He couldn't look them in the eye. He just hoped that it wasn't too late. He knew that it was, but he'd be damned if he was going to admit it, even to himself.
He followed the EMTs into the bedroom, where he sat in the chair near the window, facing towards the bed. He silently watched them work. He couldn't say anything, couldn't do anything.
They performed CPR on her for a few minutes, but it wasn't long before one of them looked up at a watching medic and shook their head. The lead physician, an African-American man in his mid-30s, somberly walked over to where Elliot sat.
Elliot clasped his hands in front of him and looked up. "Yeah?"
"I'm sorry, there's nothing more we can do. Looks like she's been dead for a while."
Dead. Hearing that word describing his wife shot through his stomach like a sword.
Elliot nodded silently, and stared at the floor. Images of Kathy kept running through his mind, until someone tapped him on the shoulder.
He looked up with a start to see Doctor Warner standing over him, clipboard in hand. He'd been so far gone into his thoughts, he hadn't even noticed when the CSU team had arrived. Here they were, spreading police tape all over his house, taking evidence photos. Everything he was used to, everything he'd seen at every crime scene he'd ever investigated. But this was so different, so foreign… because his home was the crime scene. And Kathy was the victim.
"Sorry, should I leave the scene now?" he said, his voice emotionless from shock.
"Actually, I'm going to need you to take off your shirt. Your wife's blood is on it."
Elliot sighed, and unbuttoned his shirt, and half-threw it into Doctor Warner's hand. "Can I get another shirt, or do you have to swab the drawers for prints?" he quipped.
"You can if you put these on," she said, handing him a pair of latex gloves.
He took the gloves and put them on, glaring at Warner as he did. He strode across the floor to the closet in the opposite corner.
"I'll need your boots too. You did track a bit of blood."
"Yeah, I know." He said as he opened a drawer and picked out the first shirt he saw. He bent down and undid his boots, which had a messy film of drying blood on the bottom, and put them at Warner's feet. He then grabbed a pair of black boots that were sitting neatly on the closet floor. "So, what do we know so far?" he said.
Warner sighed. "Elliot, you know how this looks, right?" She said as they walked out of the bedroom, down the hall and into the living room.
"What?" Elliot glared at her, mouth wide open as he sat down in a chair to put his boots on.
"The paramedics saw you at the door with blood on your shirt, and you tracked blood on the floor. There's a red boot print on the bedroom door that will probably match yours, and I'm almost sure we're going to find your fingerprints on her."
His boots on, Elliot stood up, his hands clenched into fists. "You think I killed her?"
"I know you didn't, but the evidence suggests-"
"-Don't tell me what the evidence suggests, Doc! I did not kill my wife, and how dare you think that I could possibly-"
"-the evidence only suggests you were tampering with the crime scene, Elliot!" Warner snapped.
Elliot paused. He was lashing out at Warner, not only out of grief, but also anger. Kathy wasn't just dead- his cop instincts told him it was obvious that someone had killed her. He was taking his anger at the murderer out on Warner. Elliot exhaled. "I'm sorry."
"It's alright. I understand." Warner nodded with a half-smile. She started to walk back towards the crime scene. He was about to follow, when-
He turned around, and saw Olivia standing in the doorway. She ran to where he stood and hugged him tightly. He found his arms reaching around her shoulders to return the hug. She rested her head on his neck as he put his face in her hair, closing his eyes. He was relieved to see her. A friend was what he needed the most right now.
"We heard over at the precinct that you'd called for a bus…" she said. "I thought you… I thought you were…"
"I'm fine, Liv," he insisted, resting his chin on her shoulder. "It's Kathy. Someone… someone killed her…" his voice began to croak, holding back tears.
Olivia pulled back enough to look at him, her eyes wide with concern, sympathy and shock. "Oh my god, El, I'm so sorry."
Elliot wanted to say it was fine, but… well, it wasn't. His wife was dead. There was nothing 'fine' about it. He smiled a little bit, just enough to reassure her. Seeing her was a welcome distraction from his grief. She wiped a tear from his eye, and as he exhaled, he felt himself calming down. He didn't need to cry anymore, at least for now. They'd fought that off together, like they'd fought everything else for the past twelve years.
"Would you two get a room?"
They turned their heads to see that Munch had been the source of the remark. Olivia pulled away and pushed her auburn hair behind her ears before putting her hands on her hips to glare at the gray-haired detective. "Munch, this really isn't the time for jokes. Someone murdered Kathy."
"I know, Liv. Cragen told us after you ran off. Glad to hear that you're okay, Elliot." Munch said, businesslike. Elliot nodded. He hadn't really been that offended, anyway. Munch was always making comments like that, no matter the circumstances. It probably kept him sane.
"You ran off?" Elliot asked, teasing.
Olivia chuckled. "Don't say you wouldn't do the same for me, El." She retorted. She turned her head to stare at him, the usual grin spreading across her face. He gazed at her out of the corner of his eye, and smirked, silently telling her that yes, he would do the same for her.
Someone grunted, and Elliot became aware of Captain Cragen walking in through the door. The sight of his superior sent him crashing back to reality. It hit him again, this time like a ton of bricks- Kathy. Dead. In those few moments with Olivia, he'd almost forgotten- almost. She almost muted his awareness of the situation- he knew, but he was comforted enough to act like his normal self. But that moment of comfort was gone- he slipped back into a state of shock.
Cragen approached them. "Elliot... I'm sorry." He said, placing a hand on his shoulder for a brief moment. Elliot could only look at the floor. Cragen turned to face all three of the detectives. "Warner said it looks like a rape-murder."
Olivia flinched, her face twisted in the pain of Cragen's words. Elliot looked up.
"That makes it our case." he pointed out.
"Don't you think for one second that you're getting this case, Elliot."
"Captain-" Olivia began to interject.
"Save it, Liv. You know I can't let him."
He sighed. "Officially, this will be Fin and Munch's case. Liv, you're going to help them. Elliot… look, just try to stay away, alright? I can't protect you if Internal Affairs pays you a visit. I've already had to fight off Major Case for this one, and I will not hesitate to turn it over to them if I hear you're involved."
Elliot nodded. The words barely sunk in.
"Now, I'm going to head back to the precinct and send Fin out here." He looked over the three of them once more. He knew they all needed words of encouragement. He said one more thing to them before he left.
"Let's catch this bastard."
And there you have it! Reviews are greatly appreciated. Chapter 2 arrives on Monday, October 10th! Have a great weekend and a great Yom Kippur, everyone!