Title: Rescuing Lavinia.
Author: Clover Point
Disclaimer: doesn't do any good.
The phone was ringing. Olivia Benson woke, and tentatively opened one eye to glance at the glowing green numbers of her clock. 4:33. Damn. She'd been asleep two hours, but it felt like two seconds.
One arm scouted out from underneath her tangle of blankets to grope on the bedside table for the telephone. She managed to knock it to the floor before grabbing on to it. Sitting up in bed, she lifted the phone into position. This better be good she thought.
A hesitant young voice, distant through the static asked Olivia? Are you there?
Olivia confirmed this, less patiently than she might have.
It's Maureen, the voice continued, can you come get me?
From where, Maureen, where are you? Are you all right? What happened? Do your parents know where you are? Olivia inquired, anxious now. She and Maureen had always been tolerably close, but Elliot's teenage daughter had never called her before. Several years ago, Elliot had asked for permission to give his daughters Olivia's number, to call in an emergency. Olivia had been quick to agree, and pleased that her partner trusted her so much at that relatively early point in their association. Elliot cared about nothing more than he cared about his children and their safety.
I can't tell my parents, Maureen choked back a sob, sniffed loudly, I can't! Just please come get me.
Of course I'll come get you. Take some deep breaths. Try to calm down. Are you somewhere safe, somewhere you can stay until I get there? Or do you want me to send a patrol car?
No! No patrol car! My Dad would find out. I'm safe, now. Just please come get me.
Where are you, Maureen? Can you tell me where you are? Olivia spoke, slowly, carefully, the way she always did to the many frightened, fragile people she encountered.
Maureen gave a downtown intersection. I'm in the phone booth, she added.
A computerized voice interrupted her, asked briskly for more quarters.
I don't have any more! yelped Maureen, panic teasing at the edges of her voice.
That's okay, it's okay. I'll be there in ten minutes. Wait right where you are until I come for you. If you think you're in danger, call 911. Do you understand?
Yes, I..... Don't tell my Dad, okay? Olivia...
They were disconnected. Olivia swung her legs out of bed, and turned on the light. She blinked hard at the quick, painful contraction of her pupils, and reached to the floor for yesterday's jeans. It took her two minutes to get out her door, hair on end, her gun in her holster.
The late night inhabitants of the street scattered like so much startled wildlife as Olivia pulled her car to an authoritative stop at the curb, next to the public telephone. A streetlight shone bleakly onto the dirty and grafittied structure. From the driver's seat, the booth seemed abandoned, empty save for a much abused telephone and a directory missing most of its pages. Acid washed over Olivia's stomach, and made a bid for her throat. She jumped out of the car and snapped her head from side to side, but saw nothing. No Maureen. No one running she could chase through the night, slam against a wall, demand to know what had happened to her partner's daughter, who had called her for help.
Once she rounded her car she realized that the phone booth wasn't empty. She let out a whistling stream of air in relief, before drawing it sharply in again. Maureen was huddled in the corner of the booth, her knees up to her chest. Her head was down, and her golden blond hair glinted dully in the streetlight's vapid glow. Her clothes were dirty and wrinkled. Olivia could tell that the flouncy, sleeveless black blouse and the short white skirt would a short time ago have been worn with confidence and excitement. Now, though, Maureen pulled anxiously against the hem of her skirt, as if cold and embarrassed.
She smiled weakly, apologetically up at Olivia. It seemed to hurt the bruises on her face, and she stopped smiling, looked away.
Olivia slowly settled herself on her heels, to make eye-contact with Maureen. She closed her eyes, opened them again before speaking.
Come on, honey, let's get you warm.
She settled Maureen in the front seat of her car, a blanket around her shoulders. A few minutes later she was headed for the hospital.
Olivia took a sip of warmish, oily coffee and barely succeeded surpressing her gag reflex. She got up from the violently orange and maliciously uncomfortable chair in the waiting room, and walked over to the wastebasket to dispose of her cup.
Maureen hadn't wanted Olivia to come in with her. Olivia had gently laid a hand on her shoulder, offered to call her mother, a counselor, anyone. Maureen had refused, and shuffled off, head down, into room 43A. So, instead, Olivia waited in the room with gray- yellow walls, flickering fluorescent lights and stereotypically out of date magazines.
Upon their arrival, she had managed to rush Maureen right through the line, and had found a doctor she respected. Dr. Sorenson was a extremely competent, yet gentle and reassuring woman in her fifties, and would make it as easy as possible for Maureen, though it could never be anything approaching easy. She and Olivia had worked together in the past, and Olivia had always been impressed by her. Still, she didn't like Maureen being alone.
Her cellphone rang, interrupting her bleak train of thought.
she said, all business.
Hey, Elliot. She tried to keep her voice natural.
She had to swallow hard before she could speak again.
Maureen? I havn't seen her. Why, Elliot, is she missing?