Disclaimer: There not mine, so don't remind me!
A/N: this is an Alternate Universe (AU) fic,
Olivia Benson - age 14
Elliot Stabler - age 16
Fin Tutuola - age 16
Alex Cabot - age 15
George Huang - age 16
Brian Cassidy - age 14
Monique Jefferies - age 15
Casey Novak - age 15
Kathy - age 16
Melinda Warner - age 16
John Munch- age 24, counselor
Donald Cragen - late 30s, in charge of camp
In the Back of My Mind
Into the Wild
Olivia Benson lugged her hunter green duffel to the edge of the park and set it among the others in a large pile. She pushed her long, dark, raven hair behind her shoulder and wiped the small trickle of sweat from her upper lip. It was hot for a New York, July day and it was humid, everything seemed to stick to everything else.
"Watcha doing baby?" a raspy, male voice spoke in her ear, causing Olivia to jump at first.
Fin Tutuola placed his hands on his friend's shoulders and pulled her lithe body into a strong hug. His black, muscle shirt clung to his chest and shoulders, radiating the heat it absorbed from the sun.
"I was going to get on the bus," she retorted, turning to hug him too, "I thought you weren't coming!"
Fin chuckled and released the girl who lived next door to him. "Couldn't leave my gal hanging with dorks in upstate," he answered, shoving his bag into the pile with his foot.
Olivia playfully slapped his arm and brushed her bangs out of her eyes.
"It's a police run camp Fin, I doubt it's full of dorks! It's probably full of hard-asses like you!" he looked at her with an expression of mock hurt and cupped her face in his hands.
"But that's why you love me!" she nodded,
"Unfortunately, that is why I love you!" their friendly banter was interrupted by a tall, blonde girl clearing her throat loudly.
She wore a white oxford shirt with a pink sweater over top and a short denim skirt. A pair of black rimmed glasses accented her sleek, blonde hair that fell partially past her shoulders and made her dark blue eyes even brighter.
She grinned when Olivia looked at her, "Alex," the blonde girl squealed then, pulling Olivia into a bear hug and twisting a lock of hair around her finger. "You look…pink," Olivia added.
She quickly compared her own outfit to her best friend's. Olivia wore a white camisole and a pair of dark khaki, cargo shorts that fell past her knees and were slung low on her hips. Her black and white skater sneakers were the polar opposite of Alex Cabot's pink pumas.
Alex smiled, "Thank you, you're looking very sexy yourself Ms. Benson!" Fin growled,
"You got your eyes on my girl?" he joked, wrapping his arms around Olivia's waist. She kicked him in the shin.
"I'm not your girl Fin! I'm not you homie, and I'm not your baby!" she smirked, "I'm your friend!"
Alex giggled and rested her arm around Olivia's shoulder, "are you sitting with me or the Gorilla?"
Olivia stared at Alex's twinkling, blue eyes, and then at Fin's almost black ones. "Well," she slipped her hands under Fin's shirt and played her fingers across his small six-pack, "You sit with the gorilla and I'll sit across the aisle from you."
She let her hands fall from him and slung her backpack over her right shoulder while the bus pulled up. They were the last three to board the coach bus and Alex got on first, followed closely by Fin. Olivia faltered outside the bus for a moment, glancing back at the entrance to the park before stepping onto the bus. She looked down to make sure she didn't miss a step and her hair fell in front of her face.
She brushed it out of her eyes and looked up, staring straight into the pair of bluest eyes she had ever seen. The boy was standing a few rows ahead of her, chatting with another boy. His hair was closely cropped, and he was wearing a white wife-beater shirt which showed his pronounced muscles and tanned skin. Olivia felt her stomach flip flop and squinch pleasantly.
She stared at him for a moment, before walking down the bus aisle, feeling his eyes follow her movements. Olivia stopped in front of Fin and Alex and glanced up at the rack where she was supposed to place her bag. Standing on her tiptoes, she still couldn't reach it. Olivia decided to compensate. She placed her foot on the seat and started to boost herself upwards, Fin chuckled.
"Liv, you're gonna kill yourself doing that!" he stood from his seat to help her but the mystery boy was there first, catching Olivia when her foot slipped from the armrest.
He took her bag and pushed it into the rack, smiling and narrowing his eyes at her.
"Your boyfriend's right," he stated, "you're going to kill yourself doing something like that." He turned to head back to his seat and Olivia glared at Fin for not denying the statement.
"He's not my boyfriend!" She called after blue-eyes, he turned his head slightly and she saw a small smile play his lips. "He just thinks that he is!" she added, taking the seat across the aisle from Alex as the blonde girl tried to suppress her giggles.
About two hours later, the bus pulled onto a long dirt road surrounded by pine trees. It bumped along, waking Olivia from her fitful slumber only to have her staring into Fin's face. He reached out a hand to help her up when the bus stopped and she tumbled into the Pocono Mountain air. Alex had grabbed her pack and she took it, sending her friend a thankful look before staring around her.
A tall, balding man stood before her. He was wearing jeans and an NYPD t-shirt. A police badge was clipped to his belt and he smiled at the array of teenagers standing in a huddled clump. Another man, probably in his early twenties stood with an arm around a girl with gorgeous eyes to match the boy's on the bus.
"I'm Detective Donald Cragen," the first man said, holding up his badge, "I work with Manhattan Homicide and I was put in charge of you Neanderthals for the duration of your stay and Wild Thorne Creek." Olivia watched in fascination as he reattached his badge to his belt and continued with his lecture. "Your cabins are labeled by signs and you should have been informed of your assignments by mail. Most of you are grouped by area. New Yorkers, kids from New Jersey, Philadelphia and so on, your counselors are mostly young adults interested in the law and joining the force where you live. The bell will ring for dinner at 7."
A few more adults had congregated around Detective Cragen, mostly men with a couple women, they were all young, just out of college. Olivia briefly wondered what it would be like to see from their side. To be trained as officers of the law yet are stuck watching teenagers all summer. The campers were starting to disperse, grabbing duffels and bags from the large pile that had been on the bus and heading in clumps towards the cabins.
Fin slung her duffel from the bottom of the pile for her and she shouldered it along with her backpack. Alex grabbed her pink suitcase and started to walk down the path towards their cabins. Olivia turned back for a moment and Fin waved, heading down the opposite path towards the boy's cabins. Blue-eyes was talking to the female counselor she had noticed earlier. The man next to the counselor turned to look at Olivia and she blushed, ashamed at having been caught staring.
"We're in cabin 2" Alex told Olivia when she caught up to her friend. "Along with everyone else from New York City,"
Olivia smiled, "Top or bottom bunk?" she asked her friend.
Alex walked up the few steps and opened the door, holding it till Olivia had walked through then let it slam behind her. "Can I have top?" she asked,
"Surly Girly!" Olivia said, plunking her stuff on the bottom of a wooden bunk bed.
She made up her bed while Alex climbed to the top to make hers. Olivia hugged the teddy bear that Fin had given her earlier that year when she was sick. Smiling, she sat back to survey the other girls. Two African-American teenagers stood together chatting quietly. The first had curly, highlighted hair, she was very tall and very thin, and she was harboring a pair of mesh shorts and a slightly large Jets Jersey. Her friend was shorter but not any chubbier, her hair was braided tightly to her head and she wore a pair of jeans and a hooded sweatshirt in spite of the heat. The second girl gave Alex a wave before turning back to her friend.
The door opened again to admit a short girl with flaming red hair. "Hi," she bubbled, "I'm Casey Novak, who are you?" she was wearing a Queens softball t-shirt and a pair of white cut-offs. Olivia smiled at her.
"Olivia Benson, you from Queens?" Casey nodded and slung her bag onto the bottom bunk of the last bed.
"Where are you from?" she grinned,
"Manhattan, the heart of the city!" Alex poked her head over the top bunk she was sitting on.
"I'm Alex Cabot, from Manhattan too." She reached out a hand to shake Casey's before the girl wearing her sweatshirt cut in.
"Melinda Warner, Bronx." She jabbed a finger at her friend, "This is Monique Jeffries, she's…" Casey cut her off,
"From Queens, I know. We go to the same school!" she turned to smile at Monique, "Going into junior year right?"
Monique nodded, "Yeah, you were a freshman this year."
Before Casey could answer with more than a nod, another girl walked in.
"Monique," she squealed, rushing into the cabin to give Monique a hug.
"Kathy," she hugged the blonde girl back. "I didn't know you were coming here." She turned to face the rest of the cabin, "This is Kathy Donovan, and she's from Queens too!"
A murmur of 'hi Kathy' permeated the room before a knock sounded on the door. Fin poked his head around the door to be greeted by five squeals. Olivia simply rolled her eyes. Fin started to close the door to leave but Olivia chuckled.
"Fin, get in here," he shuffled his feet through the door, regaining his manly strut with each step.
"I just wanted to show you and Alex something!" his smile was slightly dangerous and Olivia picked up on it immediately.
"How dangerous is this to our health Fin?" she asked sweetly, watching his eyes twinkle in a hidden laugh.
"You'll be fine Liv. However I'm not making any promises for Alex." He ducked the playful slap sent his way and started for the door.
"I'll talk to you later guys," Olivia said, grabbing Alex and following Fin out the door.
He walked them back down the path towards the main entrance and then down the second path towards the boy's cabins. A slight breeze played through Olivia's hair as she and Alex curiously followed their friend up the few steps and into the third cabin. Fin knocked on the door and waited for an answer before pushing it open and allowing Olivia and Alex to look inside.
Three boys sat around on single beds, chatting among themselves. Olivia knew one of them as Brian Cassidy, another fourteen-year-old who lived in Brooklyn. A tall Asian boy was dishing out cards to Brian and the Blue-eyes, the boy on the bus. She turned back to Fin.
"Um, why are we here?" she asked Fin, ready to deck him if he gave a smart-ass answer.
"Just watch!" Fin whispered into her ear.
Alex had turned a weird shade of pink that matched her sweater and she smiled shyly at the Asian boy. He handed the cards to Brian and stood, taking a step towards Alex. Olivia leaned back into Fin watching with slight amusement as Alex I-don't-need-a-boyfriend Cabot blushed even darker.
"Alexandra, it's good to see you again!" his hair was slightly spiked up and his voice was soft and gentle. Something about him made Olivia want to spill every secret she had ever had.
"G-George, George Huang?" Olivia tried not to giggle, instead she bit her lip. Calm, cool, collected Alex was stuttering?
Fin chuckled, "That's George Huang, he and Alex had a fling last year and a camp they went to."
"That explains the blushing, stuttering and sweating," Olivia whispered back,
"Weird huh!" Fin agreed, "Oh intros, sorry baby!" Olivia nudged him with her elbow.
He motioned to Alex, "that's George Huang, he should be a psychiatrist! Guy with the cards is Brian Cassidy, he said he knew you"
Olivia snorted softly causing Brain and Blue-Eyes to stare at her. "That's an understatement," she muttered to Fin behind her hand, "We dated for five months."
Fin gave her an incredulous look. Olivia shrugged noncommittally.
"Hey Brian," she said cheerfully, "Long time no see."
A small blush crept into Brian's ears and he cleared his throat muttering 'hi' back.
Fin nodded at the last boy in the room, "That's Elliot Stabler."
Elliot locked eyes with Olivia and stared at her. She felt her cheeks tinge pink and looked at the floor.
"It's nice to finally meet you!" Elliot said, trying to get her eyes to meet his again.
Olivia opened her mouth to say something in response but the dinner bell stopped her. Fin put an arm around her waist and ushered her out of the cabin, Alex was talking sparsely to Huang and Elliot and Brain followed them all down the few steps.
The group of them chatted aimlessly while walking to the flag pole where they had met Detective Cragen. The cop who had stared at her before waltzed towards her when he saw Fin with an arm around her waist. Alex and George had vanished into the crowd of campers and Olivia could feel Elliot's eyes warming her skin.
"Aren't you a little young to have a boyfriend? How old are you?" Olivia matched his stare; her answer would affect the rest of her summer.
"John Munch," she read from his name tag, "first of all, Fin isn't my boyfriend; he's my friend who just happens to be a boy. Second of all, I'm fourteen almost fifteen."
John Munch just gaped down at the small teen in front of him, a group of boys that looked ready to defend her under any circumstance.
"You're only fourteen? That's young!" he sounded incredulous.
Olivia felt her anger bubbling up from the depths of her body, just like it always did when someone commented on the fact that she was small. Someday, she promised herself, I'll be really tall. She glared back up and John Munch and crossed her arms over her chest.
"Oh yeah?" she asked, "Well how old are you?"
Munch seemed taken aback by the forwardness of this girl nearly ten years younger than him. "I'm twenty-four," his voice had a proud edge.
"You're twenty-four? Well, you're old!"
She brushed past Munch her body almost shaking with suppressed anger. She was always treated as though she were inferior, as if it were her fault that she was the product of a vicious rape and her mother was an alcoholic. Olivia sat down on a moss-eaten stump and kicked a rock with her toe.
"I'm better than this." She told herself, "My history doesn't choose who I am, I do!"
"Are you okay?" A male voice asked her, Olivia hadn't heard the footsteps come up behind her.
She stood quickly to find herself staring into the clear blue eyes of Elliot.
"No," she said truthfully, it would be worse to lie.