Title: Branded

Author: Katie

E-mail: pugnturtle@comcast.net

Rating: R for adult situations, language

Pairings: Olivia/Elliot (later chapters)

Category: Case File, Romance

Disclaimer: Law and Order: Special Victim's Unit and the characters belong to Dick Wolf and NBC. No harm is intended.

Summary: A rough case, disintegrating marriage, and other factors prove to be trials for Olivia and Elliot.

Notes: This is my first SVU fanfic. I hope you enjoy. Let me apologize in advance if it takes awhile to complete. I work full time and go to college full time. I will try to update at least once a week. Feedback is appreciated but not begged for. It's not in my character.

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Going...

Going...

Not gone.

Olivia Benson groaned as she forced her eyes open, the shrill sound of her cell phone disturbing her intended sleep. It had been a long day, and the detective had been looking forward to sleeping. Her head had just hit the pillow when the mechanical device nixed her plans.

"Benson," she answered, somewhat grumpily, reminding herself that this was part of her job, to be on call all of the time. Still, she couldn't help but wish this was a wrong number or even a prank call.

"Olivia, I need you and Elliot to go to a scene. 5th and Broadway. I'll let him know." The voice of her Captain was sympathetic. He knew how tired she was after a particularly hard day, and his tone was somewhat reassuring.

"I'm on my way," Olivia said, standing up.

"Thank you," Cragen replied.

"Yeah," Olivia sighed, closing her phone and dropping it into her pocket. She looked wistfully at her bed before exiting her bedroom.

She quickly microwaved some instant coffee, catching the numbers on the digital clock. 2:25.

Stifling a yawn, she grabbed her keys and left the apartment.

Sleep would have to come later.

~/~

"Hey, Kathy," Elliot whispered, nuzzling her cheek against hers. It was very late and he felt bad about coming home at this time, especially after promising to help Dickie with his homework.

"You're late again," Kathy said, her sleep-filled voice remarkably filled with accusations even when she was half asleep.

"I'm sorry, we had to close a case before-" Elliot started, only to be cut off by Kathy.

"Save it, Elliot," Kathy said, rolling over so that her back was to him. "I've heard it before."

Elliot opened his mouth to respond, only for his cell phone to ring. 'Son of a bitch,' Elliot thought. 'Talk about bad timing.'

"Stabler," he answered sharply, listening for a moment before sighing, "I'm on my way."

He hung up, glancing at his wife's back. "Duty calls again, right?" she asked snidely.

"I'm sorry, honey," Elliot tried.

"Go, Elliot. It's your life," Kathy said angrily. Elliot sighed, wanting to finish the conversation or at least try to apologize again, but instead, he turned away.

Sometimes he hated this job.

His partner was waiting for him, though. He'd have to deal with his wife later.

~/~

5th and Broadway

April 12th, 2004

3:33 AM

"What do we have?" Olivia asked sleepily, the coffee having done nothing for her tired state.

"Rape and homicide," the officer said as he led them to the scene. Elliot lifted up the crime scene tape for Olivia, allowing her to walk under before doing so himself.

"Do we have any idea what happened?" Elliot asked, lifting up the sheet to see their victim. Olivia looked as well, nausea filling her stomach, only subsiding slightly when he covered her back up.

"It looks like he had her tied up, did a number on her, and dumped her here," the officer replied. "Her hands have rope marks on them, she has bruises and cuts all over, and her body is cold. My guess is that she's been here for a couple hours."

"Any identification on the vic?" Olivia asked, somewhat perplexed about the fact that a large group had formed despite it being early in the morning. That was something she never understood: why people found it necessary to stand around, gawking at a crime scene.

"Surprisingly her wallet is still with her. Her name is Larissa Jones, age 19. Her parents filled a missing person's report two days ago after she didn't show up to work," the officer replied.

"God, she's just a baby," Olivia breathed. Elliot glanced at her, suddenly worried about his partner's emotions. He hesitated slightly, then squeezed her arm gently. Olivia smiled slightly at him, letting Elliot know she appreciated the gesture but she was all right.

"Has anyone notified the parents?" Elliot asked grimly.

"Not yet. SVU was the first we contacted," the officer replied. "You want to tell them?"

"Yeah," Olivia said. That was one of the worst parts of her job. She turned to leave, feeling Elliot moving to do so as well.

"There's one other thing you should see," the officer said, slowly reaching over to expose the woman's chest.

"What the hell is that?" Olivia asked, leaning down closer.

Elliot matched her movement, squinting at the large mark on the women's left breast, the letters J.C. standing out against her pale skin. "My God," he whispered. "The son of a bitch branded her."

~/~

End Part 1.