Title: Sins of the Father
Author: ANNE (the insane one)
Summary: When a four-year-old boy is found in a home that contains a dead and mutilated body, the SVU are called in. The investigation takes them into a sordid and gruesome past, including the case of a missing model, child abuse and a real-life 'Sleeping Beauty'. Kathy and Elliot have been divorced for a year.
Disclaimer: Characters et al belong to the people that make SVU. Joshua and Eddie Emerson and Andrea Masters belong to me.
Thanks to Kris for betaaing.
"In here," the beat officer said, leading Detectives Benson and Stabler into a bedroom.
Lying spread-eagled on the bed was a white male, roughly forty. His body was mutilated and the word "Pervert" was written across his chest…in what the detective's assumed to be blood.
"We passed a kid's bedroom," Elliot stated. "Where's the kid?"
The officer beckoned them to follow him and he pointed to a cupboard under a bench that was slightly edged open.
"You left him in a cupboard?" Olivia asked incredulously.
"He wouldn't come out," the officer tried to explain, as Olivia bent down.
She opened the cupboard and, from the dark, two big brown eyes stared out at her.
"Hi, there. My name's Olivia. What's yours?"
The boy stared silently at her.
"Joshua Emerson," the officer said.
Olivia turned back to the boy. "Hi, Josh. You like being called Josh?"
The boy nodded.
"Okay, Josh, you want to come out here?"
Josh violently shook his head and curled up closer in the dark.
"Okay, that's okay." She sat down fully on the floor next to the cupboard. "The bad person isn't here anymore, sweetheart." Olivia looked around at all the people in the room and realized they must be frightening him. "How about I ask all these people to go, and it can be just you and me? Would you like that?"
Josh hesitated for a moment. Finally, he slowly nodded his head.
"Okay." Olivia turned to Elliot. "Let's get everyone out of here. And can we dim the lights a little? I don't know how long he's been in there and the lights might hurt his eyes or scare him."
"No problem," Elliot said, and started barking order to clear everyone out.
Olivia turned to Josh when everyone had left and the lights had dimmed. She smiled at him. "Okay buddy, how about it? It's just you and me?"
For a few moments there was no movement. Olivia just sat there, willing to give the scared little boy all the time he needed.
Finally, there came the telltale clatter of some pots and pans. Joshua crawled out and into Olivia's lap; a stuffed dog with a ribbon for a collar trailed behind him.
Josh curled up in Olivia's lap, resting his head on her chest. When he was comfortable, he let out a contented sigh.
"Well, hi there," Olivia said, her hand gently stroking the mop of brown hair. "It's nice to finally see you." She patted the toy dog's head. "And what's this guy's name?" When no answer came, she inspected the dog and found a tag. "Ruggles. Well hi, Ruggles." Her attention turned back to Josh. "Want to tell me how old you are?"
Four fingers appeared and were then tucked back underneath him.
"Four, okay." She thought for a moment. "Josh, will you come with me somewhere warm where we can get something to eat?"
There was a barely perceptible nod.
"Okay. Let's go sweetheart." Resting the little boy's head on her shoulder, she stood up, careful to ensure that neither Ruggles nor Josh slipped from her grasp.
"Hey," Elliot said, appearing in the doorway.
Upon hearing a male's voice, Joshua's head buried further into Olivia's shoulder and his arms unconsciously tightened around her neck.
"It's okay, Josh," Olivia reassured him. "This is my friend, Elliot. He won't hurt you."
Josh's eyes peeked out over her shoulder. He made eye contact with Elliot for barely a second, then snuggled closer to Olivia.
SVU SQUAD ROOM
Olivia glanced into the playroom, watching Josh draw with some crayons. "What have we got?"
"Vic's name is Eddie Emerson. Joshua is his four-year old son," Fin explained. "And you'll never guess what Eddie was accused of."
"Molesting Josh," Olivia said, her voice laced with disgust.
"But wait, there's more," Munch chimed in.
"How could there possibly be more?" Elliot wondered.
"You remember that model Andrea Masters who went missing two years ago?"
Olivia nodded. "Yeah. People assumed she'd suffered post-natal depression and just took off. Her friend said Andrea adored the kid and would never have left."
Fin held up a news clipping with a picture of the model and her baby. Then he pointed to Josh. "Meet the kid."
Olivia sat next to Josh. "Hey. Remember me?"
Josh nodded and fingered her badge.
Olivia smiled and pointed to the name. "That's right. Olivia."
Josh snatched his hand away. Olivia realized he must have thought he'd done something wrong. She unclipped it and placed it in the palm of his hand, wrapping his little fingers over it.
"Want to hold onto it for me?"
He opened his hand, staring at the badge. He closed his fingers over it again. Josh looked back up at her and nodded.
She smiled at him and looked up as Elliot came in with a Happy Meal.
"Staple of kids worldwide," he grinned.
When Josh realized a man was in the room, he dove for cover in Olivia's arms. Her eyes widened when she noticed he was trembling and his heart was beating wildly.
"Josh. Josh," she soothed, looking into his eyes. "I know you're scared, but I promise Elliot isn't going to hurt you." Olivia pointed to the box. "See? He brought you something to eat. He's one of the good guys."
Josh looked at the food that Elliot was taking out. He looked back at Olivia, who gave him an encouraging smile, then back to the food and Elliot. Hunger finally won out and a hand shot out, grabbed a fry and shoved it into a greedy mouth.
From then, hunger reigned supreme as he wolfed down the chips and burger. Once he was settled in a corner happily sipping on a juice box, Elliot and Olivia went out to where Munch, Fin and Cragen were waiting.
"He mustn't have eaten in a while," Elliot said, glancing at the boy.
"Makes sense. Warner says Dad's been dead for two days," Munch explained.
Olivia's eyes widened. "Josh has been in that cupboard for two days?"
"We need to get him to a hospital," Cragen said. "Then we need Huang to talk to him."
"If he'll talk to Huang," Elliot said. "Since we found him, the only person he'll communicate with is Olivia."
"Then you can take him to the hospital," Cragen told Olivia.
Joshua sat on the bed, his legs dangling over the edge. His tear-stained eyes were fixed on Olivia, who smiled reassuringly at him.
It had taken two nurses, a doctor, and a lot of tears to realize that the only person Joshua was going to allow changing him into a hospital gown was Olivia.
The nurse came in with the camera. Both she and Josh eyed each other warily. His screams still echoed in her ears from earlier.
The nurse turned to Olivia. "You want to talk to him first?"
Olivia nodded and took the camera. "Hey sweetheart, the nurse wants to take some pictures of you. But you know what? How about we take a picture of me first, so you know it doesn't hurt?" She turned to the nurse, who nodded.
Olivia kept her eye on the boy as she made a funny face for the picture. She quickly turned as she heard a little giggle. "Was that a giggle?"
Josh stared back at her.
She smiled at him. "Oh, I get it. Wasn't you, right?" She made the face again and this time caught the little boy's smile. "I saw that. Did you think my face was funny?"
Josh nodded slowly.
Olivia grinned. "Good." She pointed to Ruggles. "Is Ruggles camera-shy? Want me to hold him? I'll sit right here."Josh looked at Ruggles, then at Olivia. He finally handed the toy dog over. Olivia took him reverently and sat down in the chair.