Disclaimer: They aren't ours, please don't sue!

A/N: Hi, um this is a story by two people. Me, sour-skittle13,one of myreally good friends, LandofShadows. Shehad the title idea and we came up with a plot while at Church! BTW, She, and plastic recorders don't mix! If you like this story, review but also send an email to that way, Lex will know that you like it too! Thank You!


Take These Broken Wings

Chapter 1

"Olivia, Could you step into my office please?" From the tone of Cragen's voice I know I'm not in trouble. Nothing has happened to my partner Elliot, or to Munch, or Fin. But I can tell I'm not gonna like what he has to say. I'm not going to like it one bit.

There is something about walking into Cragen's office and having to close the wooden door with the words CAPTAIN DONALD CRAGEN behind you. I assume it would feel like going to the principle's office when you have no idea what's going on, you're just praying that they haven't figured out that you were the culprit who threw the first handful of mashed potatoes in the cafeteria food fight the week before.

Trying to draw the moment out as long as I can, I stand slowly, ignoring the young man who is sitting across the partner's desk from me. He's not Elliot so he isn't worth my time unless we're on a case. Which we are not. I despise taking on replacement partners, but that could partly be because I always get stuck with the amateurs. At least, I can pretend that that is why, and it's not because I'm too close to my real partner. But then again I really do loathe all these fresh-from-the-academy smart asses who think they are they heroes of the NYPD. Either that, or that they are the greatest thing since those electric garage openers were made, I have to admit hauling a garage door up after a long day of work is hardly on the top of my to-do list. A warm bath might be, or a relaxing movie with Mr. Elliot Stabler, but not opening a garage.

Cragen gives me an annoyed glare which hurries me up from my inching-ladybug pace to something closer to snail-stuck-in-molasses speed. Yep, I'm feeling bitchy today because Elliot's gone. Partly because I miss him and partly because I'm PMS'ing right now and there is no one to bring me buckets of fudge to make me feel better. Actually, it's closer to refrigerators of fudge, but I'm a girl, and i don't really care to think about the calorie difference between those two amounts. Chocolate is chocolate and I ain't complaining.

I plaster a half smile across my face to please my Captain and ignore my urge to slam the door closed behind me, no use in upsetting the commanding officer. I sink heavily into a chair in front of Cragen's desk and wait for him to talk.

"What's up Cap?" I ask casually, picking a piece of cat hair off of my sweater. The guys pooled and got me a kitten for Christmas. I named her Poesa, Poe for short, and she follows me around my apartment, shedding her long black and white hair over everything.

Cragen's smile looks thin and pained, "How are things going with Detective Lancaster?"

I bite back my grimace, "Tommy-the-dunce is fine." I reply, noticing the brief eyebrow raise that my nickname for my replacement partner receives. But I'm not kidding; the man doesn't know his left from his right!

"That bad huh?" I nod slowly, where's he going with all of this? "Look, I know I promised to keep you off of cases until Elliot gets back next week," he trails off and I'm hit with understanding.

"You got a case that I need to take!" I finish for him.

It's Cragen's turn to nod.

"Munch and Fin are in court!" he looks sincerely sorry. I don't doubt that he wishes that my colleagues could take this. When Elliot finds out that I had to work a case with someone other than him, Munch, or Fin, he's going to explode. Poor Cragen, he should start building an Elliot/bomb shelter now and maybe it'll be done in time.

I glance through the glass window in the door; Detective Tommy Lancaster is flicking paper footballs into a coffee mug. I smirk when he makes one in and the cooling coffee splashes out onto his pants. Yep, his IQ has got to be about two.

"Where do we gotta go?" I ask, simply because the sooner we start this damn case, the sooner we can close it.

Cragen hands me a piece of paper with an address. "Abandoned warehouse near central park, some kids found her."

"Jesus," I moan softly, "why kids," it's not really a question so I don't need an answer. Instead I grab my idiot replacement partner and drive us to the crime scene.


OOO


ME Warner is already there, crouching over the body with her clipboard, taking fast notes while holding the blue tarp up over the lifeless woman. I'll take a quick peek and notice that it doesn't look like she was attacked. I'm not really paying attention to Warner because my damn partner is being distracting. He's shuffling around in small circles and pulling out his gun to point it at random boxes. I clear my throat to get his attention and he freezes, like a child caught torturing a cat.

His eyes are a sparkling blue which would be tantalizing and tempting if they didn't remind me so strongly of Elliot. A lot of him reminds me of Elliot which is part of the reason I so strongly detest him. Tommy Lancaster is fresh out of the academy, maybe around twenty-seven or eight but he has absolutely no brain capacity. I asked him the other day what characteristic he admired the most about himself and he answered that he was ambidextrous, according to his mental dictionary, he thinks that's how he can tell me that he can talk without moving his mouth. I wish he could move his mouth without talking.

He straightens upright and gives me a shy smile, probably hoping to high heaven that I didn't

"I'll tell you what we got once I've done the autopsy." Is all I hear before our ME has people take the body into a large police van. I nod without paying attention and follow her out of the building, not caring wether Detective Lancaster has figured out that we left yet.

"What's up with him?" Melinda asks softly, I already know that she is talking about the oaf who is still attacking shadows.

I grimace, "Elliot took the kids to the Florida Keys for their spring vacation." She gives me an apologetic glance.

"Two weeks?" I nod. "I'm sorry," we both know that she's apologizing for the Detective that they sent in his place.

"Yeah," I dismiss her statement, "Isn't this warehouse abandoned?"

Melinda Warner nods, and I'm suddenly uneasy. Why were people there in the first place if the warehouse is abandoned? Haven't these people ever heard of trespassing. I cool breeze has picked up and is toying with the leaves on the trees. It's gotten dark but I still notice the silhouettes of the small crowd that's gathered. It's not actually a crowd, just the kids who found the vic and a couple of beat cops who took their statements for me. My "partner" wouldn't have understood how to do that.

I make my way towards the kids and offer them all smiles. Imagine of finding a dead body while just trying to explore an abandoned building. There are four of them, all dressed in jeans and t-shirts one is wearing a Yankee baseball cap but a red sox shirt. I turn my attention to him first, surprised that he's still alive with that outfit, especially living in New York.

"I'm Detective Benson; can I have your names?" Baseball Boy gives me a scared look and nods.

"I'm Daniel Taylor," he scratches his face with his right hand. "This is James Borden, and Greg Frendle." I notice that the smallest boy has yet to say his name or be introduced by Daniel.

"What about you?" I ask, this one smiles at me.

"Richard Straimer" I nearly choke in surprise. This kid's name is almost exactly the same as Elliot's son's name. I can't see too clearly in the night sky, but the kid looks about the same height as Dickie too.

"What did you see?" I ask Richard, he seems the most calm, and the most cooperative.

"She was just lying there, on the ground. No blood or nothing. Just her."

I nod encouragingly. "Who called 9-11?" None of the boys step forwards.

"None of us did," Daniel interjects. Richard nods in agreement.

I motion a beat cop over and tell him to take the phone numbers of these kids then get them rides home. Their statements will be on file. I need to find out who telephoned in. That's got to be important.

I start back towards the car but the hair on the back of my neck prickles. I place my thumb and forefinger around the gun at my waist. A lone figure stands hunched over, a few yards away. He wasn't there before, but he's under the crime scene tape. I make my way towards him and give him an aggravated smile.

"Excuse me sir, you can't be here!" I motion towards the emergency vehicles clustered behind me, "This is a crime scene."

He smiles politely and steps back, "I'm sorry," he adds, ducking back under the tape, "It's just, there was a man here earlier. He went inside then came back out. I called police."

I give him a demeaning look.

"You called police because someone went inside?" this is a weird coincidence.

"He went in with a large bag, and left it there. Some boys went inside and two ran out screaming. Then I called police."

"Can I have your name?" I ask, pulling out a pad and pen.

"Timothy, Timothy Newman." I write it down and get some more information from him.

"Did you see the man's face?" I ask, ready to get out of here, I don't feel comfortable without Elliot to have my back.

Mr. Newman shrugs, "I can't think off hand." He apologizes. "Let me tell you what, I'm a professional artist. If I think of something I'll draw it for you and drop it by." I'm too tired to argue so I nod, I have his information if he tries anything, and he's standing in the light of a street lamp so I have a good view of his face. He's old enough to be my father, with cold, brown eyes that look somewhat like mine.

I walk to the car and open the driver door. Tommy is already inside, playing with a pair of dice Munch left in my car about a month ago. I lean down to brush a stick out from the floor of the car and a gun shot rings out. Ignoring my impulse to jerk my head upwards, I duck and grab my glock, cautiously peering around.

The bullet is lodged into my car, in the spot my head was just moments before. Tommy looks about ready to faint. The shot came from Mr. Newman's direction, he's not there anymore and neither is the bicycle that had been leaned up against the brick wall. At least he isn't hurt. Beat cops rush towards the street lamp and I revv the engine. They'll call if something goes wrong. I'm ready for bed.

The drive to the precinct takes a lot longer than I remembered and I drop Tommy off before heading home. I'll call Cragen to debrief him. It's almost eleven. I park my car carefully and buzz myself into my apartment, stopping to see if I have any messages. Only one. Please be from Elliot!

"Hey, Olivia," It's Melinda Warner, "Your vic is a weird case. She was definitely raped, but she wasn't killed from an attack or even from the rape itself. She overdosed on heroin and the place where she shot is at a weird angle. She had to have done it herself. I'll call you again tomorrow, so far there's no trace evidence! Have a good night!" the answering machine beeps off and I groan.

There's about a snowballs chance in hell that I'll get a good sleep tonight. I'll be trying to decipher why this whole case seems weird to me. And I'll be hoping Elliot will call.


OOO


It's been a week since we found the body of Vanessa Matthews. The strangely overdosed body, that is. I still haven't heard from Elliot or his kids, but Cragen hasn't told me about any freak accident's yet either so I shouldn't have to worry…yet.

Tommy Lancaster took a sick leave today and I'm alone, waiting for something to do. We've come up cold. Nothing on our vic, seems like no one knew her. She was simply in the database because she participated in a government test thing. Cragen knows more about that than I do. ME Warner is tired of this too she finally found a hair and ran it through the database. Nothing matched.

Mr. Newman brought in a sketch. I wasn't here at the time. I was having my day off but he left it in an envelope on my desk. The face is strangely familiar and I recognize the eyes from somewhere but I can't place it. Nothing from the database hit a match with the picture either. Every time I try to call Mr. Newman in for some more questioning I get an automated response about a family emergency and being out of town for a short while. I can't find any family listed in New York City but nothing says they're dead either. So far, his alibi doesn't disprove itself.

My phone rings and I blindly reach for it. "Benson," please be El.

"Olivia?" it's Melinda Warner again. "I ran the DNA again, but widened the search,"

"Okay," I reply, I'm starting to hate how she doesn't just say what she's found.

"We got a match." This is the first good news all day! "Can I have a name?" I ask when she doesn't immediately tell me who the match is to.

"It's a partial match to you, or more specifically to your father!"

I swallow hard, trying to ignore the choking hold that my emotions have taken on my heart. I can't do this, all the stress of the job is eating away at me and I'm not going to make it. If I take this case instead of handing it to Munch or Fin, my life will be over. I won't be able to keep coming back to the station house everyday. I won't be able to help the victims because I'll be a victim and all the support groups in the world won't be able to put me back together.

Instead of doing the right thing by telling Melinda that Munch will be over later, I grab the drawing Mr. Newhouse dropped off and take off for the morgue.

Warner seems to have been expecting me; she's standing before a computer with the DNA samples next to each other. They are pretty close and I'm feeling like I need more air . . . again.

She talks for a couple of minutes, telling me that her information is definite unless my son-of-a-bitch rapist father had an identical twin or triplet. She says that she can testify to its match and yada-yada-yada. I don't give a rat's ass. Instead I pull out the drawing.

"Have you ever seen him before?" I ask, this could be coincidental and the man Mr. Newman drew could be entirely separate from this case.

Melinda studies the drawing, holding it close than far away and than she looks at me. She stares at my eyes for a while and then points to the drawn man.

"He has your eyes," she whispers,

I pretend I didn't hear that sentence, "Have you seen him?" I repeat.

She nods, "In the last week or so. I'm not sure where,"

"That makes two of us!" I whisper quietly, the ME gives me a startled look.

"Are you okay?" she asks, "Because if you need to talk-?" she trails off.

"I'm fine Melinda; you're starting to sound like George Huang!" I answer, but then I offer her a weak smile. "But I just need some superglue for my heart and I'll be fine.

She nods and I walk to my car in a trance, almost tripping over the curb. I lied; nothing can pull me back together now. On the sidewalk, a small robin hops frantically, forgetting my lessons about wild animals; I reach and pick it up. The left wing is bent in half and even I can tell it's broken. I touch the feather soft head and hear him give a small whistle as if to let the world know that he'll pull through. Taking a toothpick from my pocket and a piece of medical tape from my car, I splint the wing and put the bird back down.

"Heal buddy," I mumble to him, watching him hop away down the cement walkway. "You can, but nothing will fix my broken wings!"


TBC. . .