Author's Note: I do not own these characters. The Law & Order: SVU characters belong to Dick Wolf. I am not making any money off of this story. Also, this story contains cursing and adult sexual situations that might not be appropriate for children.

Allegiance: A Law & Order Special Victim's Unit Story

By Sean Farrell

Chapter One: Intrusion

Throwing her hands up in infuriation, Detective Olivia Benson stormed out of the office, slamming the door behind her.

"I'm sorry," Casey whispered.

Detective Elliot Stabler was just about to run after Olivia, his partner, when the Assistant District Attorney's comment stopped him cold. It wasn't so much the words themselves that stopped him, but the soul-weary, regretful manner in which they were spoken.

He gazed at Casey Novak, who leaned up against the side of the conference table. They were in the small conference room that adjoined her office. She wore a demoralized expression, with her arms folded tightly in front of her chest. She was an attractive young woman in her late twenties, with shoulder-length blond hair that framed her despondent face. She just had a major row with Olivia over Charles Beauchamp, a college professor who was also a rapist that preyed on the female students at his campus. He was being cut loose because of the lack of evidence needed to indict him. Although Elliot was disappointed, he understood that Casey's hands were tied legally; she had no choice but to let Beauchamp go. Olivia, on the other hand, flew off the handle and got into a heated argument with the district attorney before she stormed out the door.

Casey glanced up at Elliot as he slowly approached her. "I really am sorry, Elliot. Believe me, if there were any other way…."

"You had no choice," he assured her. "None of us do. This Beauchamp bastard really knows how to cover his tracks. Just when we thought we had him cornered, he slips out of our hands…again. But we'll get him. It's just a matter of time, now."

She shook her head. "You know it's not so much the case, Elliot, as it's…."

Casey abruptly glanced down at the floor. It appeared as if she debated within herself whether she should say what she wanted to say next.

He gently placed a hand on her shoulder and said, "Hey. It's me you're talking to, remember? C'mon, what is it?"

"That's just it," Casey told him. "I could always talk to you. You've always made yourself available to me for talks and to give me advice and whatnot. I've never felt that way with Olivia. I known that when I first joined the SVU, I've had to earn all your trust, and I feel that I've done that with you."

"You have," Elliot confirmed.

"Not with Olivia," Casey added. "I mean, she's always been polite and courteous with me, but I've never felt as comfortable around her like I do with you, or Munch, or Fin. I never feel like Olivia ever really lets me in all the way. And now, thanks to this case, it looks like she really hates me."

"Olivia doesn't hate you."

"Really?" Casey said sarcastically. "If that's how she shows affection, then I'd really hate to get on her bad side."

Elliot chuckled slightly. Still, it wasn't hard for him to see her point. Although she had always been polite in their professional relationship, Olivia wasn't as close to Casey as she had been with Alex Cabot, their old ADA. While she and Cabot had been the best of friends, almost like sisters, Olivia's relationship with Casey had always been frosty, at best. It was a tense situation that had been brought to a head by this blow up. Taking a deep breath, he said, "I'll tell you what, I'll talk to her."

Casey waved her hands at him. "Oh no, never mind! You know what, Elliot? It's getting late; it's been a long, aggravating day for all of us. So why don't we just forget what I've said, ok? It was just my fatigue talking."

Elliot started shaking his head. "Casey…"

"No, really. Maybe I should just accept the situation for what it is and move on."

"Then it will never be resolved," Elliot said, as he stared out the window. He frowned when he saw a man on the roof of the office building across the street. The man appeared to be slumped over the edge of the building, as if he were unconscious.

"What is it?" Casey asked.

"I don't know," Elliot said, still staring out the window. "It's this guy…."

Elliot's eyes grew wide with alarm when he saw that the man wasn't slumped over the edge of the building, he was hunched down, and he held a rifle in his hands.

And the rifle was aimed right at this window.

"GET DOWN!" Elliot shouted, as he grabbed Casey.

Just as they hit the floor, the entire conference room appeared to explode all around them.

TwoMinutes Earlier

'God damn it!' Olivia heatedly thought, as she stalked down the hallway towards the elevators. It was bad enough watching a case go down in flames in court, but it was always worse when it was a case that involved a young child like this one. And then there was Casey, who practically threw her hands up in surrender. Olivia had wanted to go a few rounds with Linda Beauchamp, the raping bastard's lying wife. Linda was obviously covering for her scumbag husband, and Olivia knew she could prove it if she could just get a chance to wear Linda down after a few hours in the interrogation room at the One-Six. But Casey had steadfastly nixed that idea, saying that they had nothing to bring Linda in on.

"Besides," Casey had added, "I'm not convinced Linda Beauchamp was involved, anyway."

Olivia shook her head in disgust as she waited for the elevator. How could Charles Beauchamp have stalked and raped those poor girls without his wife not knowing about it? 'This is just what we need, Casey acting like a frigging armchair detective!'

She couldn't get the face of young Lilly Beauchamp out of her mind. If there was truly an innocent victim in all of this, it was she. It took days for Olivia to earn the nine-year-old girl's trust, and now—after Olivia had assured Lilly that no harm would ever come to her—Lilly would have to go back and live in the same house with that monster of a stepfather. 'We spent weeks to build a case against Beauchamp, and all of our hard work and effort is now for naught,' Olivia thought, 'and this sick bastard walks away completely free and in the clear.'

"What's the frigging point?" she whispered at the closed elevator doors.

"Uh, you mean the elevator?" a man's voice asked.

Olivia glanced to her right and saw a man in his forties standing with a woman by the elevator doors. The man, clad in a suit with dark curly hair that was graying slightly on the sides, gestured at the elevator. "I couldn't help but overhear you asking what was the point," he said, speaking in a slightly hesitant, stuttering manner. "I was just wondering if you were referring to the elevator. Because, if that's the case, you could always take the steps."

"Oh," Olivia muttered. "No, I was just thinking aloud."

"Having a rough day?" the woman sympathetically asked. She was smartly clad in dark dress jeans with a blazer. Her sandy brown hair was shoulder-length.

"Yeah, you could say—" Before Olivia could finish, she was interrupted by a series of deafening shattering noises. Olivia had been a cop long enough to know the sound of gunfire when she heard it, and she automatically pulled her nine from its holster on her hip. She did a double take when she saw the man and woman also pull guns from their respective hip holsters, as well. "I'm Benson, SVU."

"I'm Goren," the man said, "and this is my partner, Eames. Major Case Squad."

"A pleasure," Olivia quickly said, as they all ran down the corridor. They checked each of the offices—most of the doors were open, so it was a simple matter of glancing inside—until they came to the office at the end.

It was Casey's office. The door was closed.

'Please don't let this be the one,' Olivia thought, as she gripped the handle.

When she threw the door open, Olivia was stunned at the blast of cold air that struck her in the face. It came from the gaping hole in the wall where the window used to be in the conference room. Shattered glass lay all over the table, which looked as if it had been ripped up by a large, angry animal. She could not see Elliot or Casey anywhere.

"EL! CASEY!" Olivia cried.

"We're here, Liv," Elliot said. He sounded like he was behind the filing cabinet on the other side of the room. "We're all right."

Olivia went to run to him when a hand grabbed her shoulder. It was Goren. He pointed at the window and said, "You go to them, and you'll be putting yourself in the line of fire of the shooter."

"He's right, Liv, stay away from the window!" Elliot said.

"Stay down, El," Olivia said, as she started towards them. When Goren grabbed her a second time, Olivia wrangled herself out of his grasp and then angrily glared at him. "Do that again," she warned, "and you'll draw back a stump."

"Just be careful," he told her.

Olivia curtly nodded at him as she moved over to the window by sliding alongside the wall. Goren followed behind her while Eames remained in the doorway and called in the shooting on her police dispatch radio.

Once she stood right next to the blasted-out window, Olivia pulled out a palm-sized mirror from a pocket of her leather jacket. She cautiously held out her hand, looking outside through the reflection in the mirror.

"El, did you see the shooter?" Olivia called out.

"Yeah," Elliot replied. "He was on the building directly across the street, on the roof by the corner. We just barely had time to duck before he started shooting."

Olivia adjusted the mirror to scan the roof. "Don't see anybody now," she said. "But that doesn't mean he's not still there."

"Ambulance is on the way," Eames called out, as she put away her dispatch radio. "And we've already got uniforms storming the building over there. They should be hitting the roof any second now."

Holstering her gun, Olivia handed the mirror to Goren. She then got down on her hands and knees and crawled underneath the window. Although she was never a big fan of war movies, Olivia felt like she was in one as she crawled through the broken glass and assorted debris. She kept going until she reached Elliot and Casey. Pressed up against the side of the filing cabinet, they were tightly huddled together.

Elliot nodded at her, while Casey looked as if she were on the verge of a full-blown panic. Her eyes were as wide as saucers as she clung to Elliot as though he were a life preserver. Normally very fair skinned, Casey now appeared as white as a ghost—with the exception of the bits of blood on the side of her face.

"Either of you hit?" Olivia asked.

"Nah," Elliot said.

When Casey instinctively brushed away a strand of hair, she felt the blood on the side of her face. "Oh God, oh my God," she cried, as she stared in horror at the blood on her hand. "I'm hit! I've been shot! Elliot, I've been shot! I'm shot!"

Elliot grabbed the hysterical young woman by her shoulders and stared right into her face. "Casey! Casey, look at me. Look at me! You haven't been shot. You were hit with the flying debris, that's all. You're gonna have to go to the hospital and get patched up, but you'll be just fine, I swear. Ok? Ok?"

"All right," she said, nodding. Then she began shaking violently. "Oh, my God, Elliot! Oh my God!"

"Easy, easy," he soothed, as she buried her face into his shoulder and began to sob uncontrollably.

Olivia's cell phone picked this time to start ringing. When she pulled it out and answered, Captain Cragen, her commanding officer, said, "Liv, I'm just calling to see what's happening with the Beauchamp case. How's it going?"

"Cap, listen to me: a sniper fired on Casey's office."

After she filled him in on all the details so far, Cragen tersely said, "I'm on my way."

"Cragen's coming over here," Olivia said, after she ended the call.

Just then Olivia's dispatch radio squawked. "The roof is secure," a male voice announced. "I say again: the roof is secure."

Olivia warily stood up and gazed out the blasted-out window, just as Goren and Eames also cautiously peered out from around the side. Olivia saw several uniformed officers waving 'all clear' to them from the rooftop of the adjacent building.

"It's ok," she confirmed to Elliot and Casey. "It's clear."

A dazed Casey allowed Elliot to help her to her feet, but she would not let go of him. Olivia gazed at Casey with sadness. She inwardly cringed when she recalled their argument just a few minutes ago. 'Oh Christ, I said so many horrible things to her!'

"Benson," Eames called to her from the doorway. "We're heading over there now. You coming?"

"You go ahead, Liv," Elliot told her. "I'm staying with Casey."

Olivia nodded. She wanted nothing more than to apologize to Casey for her behavior earlier. But with everyone watching, it felt awkward to do so right now. All Olivia could manage was to gently pat Casey's shoulder. Casey, still rattled, glanced up and gave her a dazed nod.

"I'll see you both later," Olivia told them as she left with Goren and Eames.

As they rode down in the elevator, Eames turned to her partner and said, "Hey, aren't you forgetting something?"

Goren frowned at her. "What? No, I…oh." He realized that he still held Olivia's mirror in the palm of his hand. He gave it back to her. "Sorry. And thanks."

"You'd forget your head if it wasn't attached to your shoulders," Eames jokingly said.

"That's true," Goren agreed sheepishly.

Placing the mirror back in her jacket pocket, Olivia ignored their banter as she wearily leaned up against the wall of the elevator. She took out her detective's badge and clipped it onto the lapel of her jacket. She then checked a pocket of her jacket and made sure she had a fresh pair of latex gloves for the crime scene. Although these may appear to be simple tasks, for Olivia, at this moment, they were akin to strapping on armor.

In her mind's eye, she relived the horrifying moment, over a year ago, when her lover Alex Cabot had been shot down right before her eyes. And then, no less than a few months ago, she witnessed Fin, her friend and fellow SVU detective, get gunned down in a bodega. And when Alex emerged from the Witness Protection Program a few weeks ago, Olivia had been on the receiving end of gunfire while escorting a witness—a young boy—to court. And now Elliot and Casey had just been shot at. 'I'm tired of watching the people whom I care about being treated like targets at a shooting gallery,' she thought with a seething rage. 'I'll get this bastard. And when I do, I'm gonna shove the goddamn bullets he shot at El and Casey right down his frigging throat!'

To be continued...