Title: One of Their Own
Disclaimer: SVU and its associated characters are not mine.
Olivia Benson's POV
"Fin!" I cried as I raced to the door of the house, skipping over the ambulances and other police cars. "Where is she?" I asked hurriedly, approaching him.
"She was in a room, but I moved her onto the couch in the living room."
"What happened to him?" asked Munch as a man on a stretcher was brought out through the front door.
I was in no mood to sit and chat about the hole in the guy's chest, so I changed the subject.
"Is Kathleen still in the house?"
"Why hasn't she been put in a bus yet?"
"I tried. She wouldn't go unless she had someone she knew in there with her. I couldn't go. I have to stay here. I kept an eye on her, but I figured that maybe you'd ride with her," he said, staring at me.
I nodded and then he asked Munch to help him with something. Munch gave me a questioning look and I allowed him to go with a wave of my hand. Kathleen didn't need to be bombarded. One person was enough.
I walked inside and my heart sunk. I was so glad to see her in the flesh, alive and breathing, but the condition in which I found her didn't make it easy for me to be relieved. I found her in the corner of the couch, wrapped in a thin blanket, her hair a wreck, her drooping eyes filled with tears, and her cheeks stained by the ones that had fallen.
She didn't flinch at the sound of her name and never made eye contact with me.
"Kathleen? It's Olivia," I tried again, sitting down next to her. The only moving she was doing was shivering and she barely blinked. I placed a hand on her shoulder, but she gave me no response. Shock was my first guess.
"Kathleen, it's Olivia. I just want to help you."
She turned her head slightly and her bright blue eyes finally met mine. "Hey," I said, easing her into talking.
"Wh…where's my d…dad? F…Fin said he w…would c…call my d…dad," she said, shivering.
"An officer got shot and Fin was taking care of him. I called your dad on the way here and he's going to meet us at the hospital, okay? I promise."
She gave a weak nod and stared back into space. "Fin, get the EMTs in here. Let's get her to the hospital," I told him as he entered the house again.
I turned to watch her and she suddenly fell into my arms, quietly sobbing. I openly invited her and stroked her hair. "It's going to be okay, Kathleen. It's going to be okay. Shh…" I said, cooing her gently, trying to calm her down. She was freezing and I took off my jacket and wrapped it around her. I rubbed her back, and she cried out in pain as loud as she could, which wasn't at all ear-shattering. I cupped her shoulders. "Kathleen, what's wrong?"
She gently took off the jacket and let the blanket fall off of her shoulders. She was only in her bra and underwear and she leaned her head on my shoulder once again, letting her back to be in my complete view. Three long lashes were spread over her back and a small tingle went through my own as I gave them the once-over. They were fresh and they were deep enough to cut through the surface of the skin. Blood was beginning to clot, but it looked like she had lost a lot when they were first made.
"Kathleen? What happened?"
"Whip marks?" She nodded.
I looked back over at her and realized her eyes were closed. I didn't know if it was because of the cold, the exhaustion, or the blood loss, but I could tell Kathleen was slipping into a dark oblivion that I knew she probably wouldn't or couldn't be able to get out of.
"Kathleen? Kathleen, honey, you gotta stay with me. You gotta stay with me, sweetie," I pleaded. Her eyes jerked open and she looked up and me.
"Weather's always a good topic," I replied. Anything to keep her eyes half-open and her mouth muttering whatever was fine with me. But, where the hell were those EMTs? "It sure is cold out there." It sounded so stupid, but whatever worked.
"W…Wow, Livia. No w…won…wonder w…why you be…be…came a de…tec…tive. You…are sss…soo ob…observant," she replied, just as sarcastic as her father would've been.
I laughed a little and she let out a tiny, barely-there smile.
"Do you like it better when it's cold or do you like warmer weather?"
"C…cold wh…weather. I l…like it when i…it snows."
I could tell she was getting warmer; her speech wasn't as torn apart, but her voice was getting softer.
"Really? I hate snow."
"Yeah, well, I think I like snowflakes more than snow."
She didn't respond and I looked around for the EMTs. Nowhere to be seen. Crap.
"Kathleen, listen, I'm going to carry you to the ambulance, okay? We've gotta get you to the hospital." She let out a soft moan as her agreement. I picked her up, gently holding her as if I was cradling her, and walked outside; finding all of them huddled around the back of one ambulance.
"What happened to you guys? I asked for you almost ten minutes ago!" I berated them.
"Sorry, Detective," one said sheepishly.
"The gunshot victim died as we were putting him the ambulance. We were trying to revive him. I'm sorry, Detective. I guess we got sidetracked," he said again, with genuine concern.
I stared in shock until Kathleen's moan snapped me back to reality. "Just get her to the hospital," I said, handing her over to him. He gently laid her on a stretcher, blanket, jacket and all, when she called out to me.
"Livia! You g…gotta come w…with me!" she yelped, as they put the stretcher into the back of the ambulance.
"I'm coming. I'm right behind you," I replied, holding onto my emotions. I got in, taking a seat next to her, and her hand waved in the air, searching for mine to hold it. I took her hand in mine, holding it with two hands, trying to keep her warm. The EMTs went straight to work.
"She, uh, she has whip marks on her back and they look fresh," I stammered, taking my eyes off of Kathleen, to inform them.
"Alright, we'll take care of them," he replied as he shut the door and the vehicle was started.
She was scared, but she didn't say so. I looked into her frantic eyes and they said it all. They said she was scared; they said she was shocked; they said they wanted it to end; they begged for her dad.
It was the one thing I couldn't offer her right then, right there.
Sure, I could offer her comfort, solace, a hand to hold, someone to talk to, but I couldn't offer her mom, her siblings, and most of all, her father.
Complete silence, except for the soft groans of pain coming from Kathleen, filled every available space of the back of the ambulance. After about twenty minutes, one EMT finally spoke to me.
"Detective, we took care of the whip marks, but we're going to need you to keep her talking. It's always a good thing."
"L…Livia," she started modestly, knowing that she needed to keep her eyes open and her mouth moving. She was lying on her side, looking at me. "L…let's talk about y…your love of snowflakes."
I gave her a small smile and briefly felt relieved that she wasn't shivering as much as before. "What do you want to say about them?"
"Why d…do you love th…them?"
I shrugged. She was being such a trooper, putting up with everything. I never heard one complaint from her. She reminded me so much of Elliot, it actually scared me. "I don't know. I guess because they're like people. No two are the same."
"Wh…what a deep, poetic reason. I would've said be…because they were pr…pretty."
I laughed louder. Through it all, she was cracking jokes. I couldn't believe it. But, I didn't know if it was her personality or if she was refusing to acknowledge what had happened to her and laugh it off.
"Well, that's not a bad reason, either," I said, smiling. I let my detective exterior melt away gently and slipped into a softer demeanor that allowed me to show some emotion. Kathleen knew me as that – not a hard-ass detective.
She let out a soft smile. "Well, O…Olivia, weather's getting pr…pretty boring. Let's m…move on."
"Alright, well, we could talk about…"
"We're here. Let's get her inside, Ken," the EMT said.
They stopped the car, brought out the stretcher, and led us inside. We had just passed the automatic-sliding doors when Kathleen spoke up.
"Olivia, what's going to happen now?" she said, surprisingly clear and unbroken.
I checked to see if the nurse was near me. "Well, Danielle and I are going to take you into an exam room and she's going to perform a rape kit."
"What, sweetheart, what is it?"
"I really don't wanna…"
We wheeled around a corner and stopped in front of a room.
"Kathleen, are you comfortable walking?" I asked gently as she got off the stretcher, pulling the blanket around her.
"I was kidnapped, Olivia. I'm not an invalid."
I let out a single laugh. "You sound exactly like your father," I said, as she grabbed onto my arm, waiting to be guided.
"Really? Because when I talk to him like that, he says I sound like you." I must've made a face or something, because she came back with, "Don't worry, I take it as a compliment."
"I would hope so," I said sarcastically.
"So, what do I do now?" she asked.
Danielle answered for me. "Well, do you know the process of a rape kit?" I was so glad she was taking it easy with her and talking her through it. Kathleen needed that.
She looked at me with wide eyes. "I really don't want to do this, Olivia."
I looked into her eyes. "I know you don't, and I don't want to have to put you through this, but you want to get the guy that did this, don't you?"
She gave me a weak nod.
"This will help us get him. This will give us some evidence to nail him with. Plus, it lets us know you're okay."
"What do you mean?"
"It lets us know if you contracted any diseases and prevents any pregnancies."
She looked so scared that I mentioned diseases and pregnancies, but she turned back to the nurse.
"My dad mentions them a lot, but I don't exactly know what they entail," she answered truthfully.
"Okay, in a rape kit, we basically collect all the evidence he left on you. We use the UV light to detect any body fluids and perform a vaginal exam. We collect DNA and do blood work and we send all of it to the lab so they can analyze it."
Kathleen gave a frightened look at me and Danielle, but Danielle spoke up again. "I know, it's a lot at once, but I promise we'll take it slow and I'll talk you through everything. And these are on a volunteer basis, so if you want to stop at any time, it's okay."
Kathleen looked back at me. "Can Olivia stay?" she asked.
Danielle looked up at me and smiled. "Absolutely. Olivia can actually help me. Now, why don't you go change into this," she said, handing her a hospital gown, "and I'll get set up."
Kathleen's hand peeked out from the blanket draping her, took the gown in her hand, and walked behind the thin partition to undress.
"Olivia, good to see you again," she said, in a breathy tone as she grabbed cotton swabs and other miscellaneous items.
"Well, it's always a pleasure, disregarding the circumstances."
"Olivia, is that Elliot's daughter that's been all over the news?" she asked in a whisper.
"Yeah, it is."
"I'll take it slow, I promise," she said, but I didn't get a chance to respond.
"Where can I put the stuff I took off?" Kathleen asked, coming out in the gown.
"Those two bags right there." She did as she was told and Danielle went on. "Okay, first we're going to…"
I let her voice drone out. I actually don't remember it all word for word, action for action. But, I remember turning off the lights so Danielle could check for fluids; bagging the things she handed to me; holding Kathleen's hand when Danielle performed the vaginal exam; and most of all, I remember the fear. I remember the fear in Kathleen's eyes as Danielle talked her through the exam, explaining everything in painstaking detail. I remember the look of fear and uncertainty in her eyes when she had to take the morning after pill and the STD exams.
I remember being fearful for her.
"Okay, Kathleen, we're done. Your results will be done in a few days and the hospital will contact you with them. You've been so great during this," Danielle said as she smiled and headed for the door. "I wish you the best, Kathleen," she said as she exited.
Kathleen rose in the bed and propped herself up against the pillows. "Olivia, is my dad here?"
I hadn't checked if Elliot had arrived, but maybe it was a good thing that he never had to sit through his daughter's rape kit.
"I don't know, sweetie, but I can check."
"Do have to give you a statement before I can see him?"
I looked at her and smiled. "Absolutely not. I wouldn't let you."
She smiled in return and I went outside to find Elliot, Kathy, Maureen, and the twins sitting and waiting.
"Guys," I began and they all stood at my presence. "We just did a rape kit on her and she's asking for all of you."
I lied a little. She, in fact, had only asked for Elliot, but I didn't want to upset anyone by admitting that. Kathy looked up to me.
"She…she was raped?"
I looked down. "Kathy, just go see her. We'll talk about all that later."
She nodded. "That room, right there?"
"Yeah, she's waiting."
She started to walk toward the room when Maureen caught up with her, Dickie right behind her, and Liz racing to the door, ahead of them all. Elliot stayed behind.
"Elliot, she's waiting," I said, hoping he'd move ahead without the third degree.
"What happened to her, Liv?" he asked. His voice meant business.
I looked him in the eye. "Elliot, we'll talk about that later."
"No, Olivia, I want to know right now."
I stared into his blue eyes that had haunted me for the past three days and got serious. "Elliot Stabler, your daughter has just been found after being missing for three days. You want to know what the first thing out of her mouth was? She wanted to know if anyone had called her dad. She was only asking for you. Elliot, I'm not going to lie, she's been through a lot, but how do think she's going to feel when the one person she's been calling for is the one person not in that room? Don't make her through that," I said, never breaking eye contact.
He stared at me, surprised by my words. He didn't say anything, but he walked past me and entered the room.
I decided to leave them alone for awhile when Munch came in. "Hey, Olivia. Sorry I bailed on you earlier."
"No, don't worry about it. I think one person was enough," I said, exhaling as we both sat down.
"Is she okay?"
"Yeah, she was shook up, but I think she's better now that her family's with her. She's not as bad as she looks. She's mostly covered in defensive wounds."
"She's a fighter."
"Of course she is. She's a Stabler." I wanted to change the subject. "So, how was the gunshot victim?"
"Dead. We were putting him in the ambulance, and he just died."
We both nodded, not sure how to respond to each other's situation. "Guess we've both had crappy days."
"Well, you at least got Kathleen safe and back with her family."
"No, I didn't find her. Fin did."
"Yes, Fin technically found her. But, you sat there with her. You held her hand. You stroked her hair. You stayed with her the entire time, Olivia. That's what's important. That's what she's going to remember."
I didn't want to argue. She was actually going to remember a lot more than I wanted her to. She was going to remember every horrible detail about those three days. I wished I could have washed away every bad memory.
The awkward silence didn't last long because Maureen came out, tears threatening to fall. She came walking over to me, and Munch and I stood at her arrival.
"You know, Olivia, I'm going to go get coffee. Want some?" Munch asked.
It was going to be a long night. "Coffee's great. Thanks, John."
"Maureen? Could I interest you?"
"No thanks, John."
He left and she turned toward me. "Listen, Olivia, I know you hadn't seen me that much when she was missing, but I know how much you did, and I just wanted to say thank you."
"Maureen, you don't have to thank me."
"Yes, I do. You went above and beyond, Olivia. You know it…just, thank you."
She suddenly took me into a hug and held onto me tight. I returned it and savored it. She pulled away and stared at me, eyes fresh with tears. She seemed speechless.
"Go on, get in there," I said, motioning her to the door. She smiled and obeyed.
I stood in front of the window, peering in on Elliot and his family. I could see Elliot taking Kathleen into a huge hug and he didn't let go for awhile. If he only knew how much that meant to her.
I looked at Kathleen and she looked so happy. But, I knew she was hurting deep down and I didn't know how long she'd take to heal…if she ever would. She looked so bruised, broken, unsure, lost.
But, don't bruised things eventually turn back to their natural color? Can't broken things be pieced back together? Don't unsure people ultimately find their answers? And, don't lost people someday find their way?
I had thought those things for the past few years, but my job just seemed to disprove all of them. Some women never healed. Some women never accepted what happened to them. Some never lived again. Those had become the laws I had come to known.
But, wasn't there always at least one exception to every rule? I had hoped to God Kathleen was the exception to the rule. I had hoped Kathleen would find her way and healing would begin.
But, I could do more than hope. I could find her kidnapper. I could put this man to justice. I could work my ass off. She was certainly worth it.
But, I couldn't think anymore. I saw Munch come down the hall with my coffee. It was going to be a long night.
Elliot Stabler's POV
She was home. She was finally home. I walked through the doors and she was sitting on the bed. If she wasn't my daughter, I would have thought she was just another victim.
"Daddy?" she asked timidly. In all sixteen years of her life, she had never been timid.
"It's me, in the flesh," I said. I walked over to her and pulled her into a hug. She had never hugged me tighter. I don't think we let go for about ten minutes. The entire time, I was crying, as was she. It was such a blur. I just remember that my baby was home…and that was all that mattered.
"I love you so much, Daddy. I missed you," she said, in between the flow of tears.
"I love you, too, sweetheart. I missed you more than you'll ever know."
a/n – hope that wasn't a sucky ending. Okay, here's the deal. I want to take this story further, but I don't want to have any more chapters with this story, because it's a little much. So, I'm going to create a sequel that deals with the aftermath and how it affects everyone. This is the end of this story, but a beginning is coming. Don't worry, I'm working on the "soccer sequel" to Setting My Sights. Hope that's okay with everyone.
Anyway, hope you liked it and I gave you the father/daughter reunion. Hope it wasn't sucky! ) Until next post, adios! –Jessica