Title: Shadows In The Dark

Author: Ebony-Jayne

Notes: The Special Victims Unit's newest member, Detective Ella Stevens, has a lot of secrets. And when her life comes crashing down around her the squad not only learns her secrets but also the secrets of one of their own.

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters or the show or the storylines on the show. I do, however, own the characters that I make up so please don't steal them. Any resemblance to anyone or anyplace is a coincidence.

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Chapter One: New Kid

There had been no new cases for the day and the Detectives were going stir-crazy. Olivia and Munch were arguing loudly, Elliot was watching with amusement and tossing a mini football with Fin who was trying to stay out of it. None of them heard Captain Cragen enter the squad room over the bickering.

"Shove off John! You don't believe that any more than I do!" Olivia retorted loudly to Munch's latest comeback.

"Children!" Cragen yelled over the noise. Munch and Olivia shut up abruptly. Elliot sniggered. "Can it Elliot," Cragen snapped. "You remember when I told you we were getting a new Detective?" he asked. The others nodded, noticing the woman behind Cragen for the first time. "Well this would be her. Detective Ella Stevens, transferred from San Francisco. Stevens this is Olivia Benson, Elliot Stabler, John Munch and Fin Tutuola," Cragen introduced.

"New York's finest so I hear," Ella smiled as she shook hands with the other Detectives. "Nice to meet you," she smiled politely.

"Yeah you too," Elliot said, stiffly returning Ella's easy going smile.

"Munch show her her desk will you. I gotta make a phone call," Cragen told her.

"Sure. This way," Munch led Ella toward an empty desk. "So, what do you reckon about President Kennedy's death?" they heard him ask as they walked away.

"Oh there was definitely more than one guy," Ella told him. Olivia and Elliot rolled their eyes at each other.

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"Y'know we had a guy just like him in our unit," Ella stated as Munch rattled on to no-one in particular about John F. Kennedy.

"Really?" Fin asked.

"Yeah. He was a nightmare. Especially when it came to medical forms," Ella smiled.

"Yeah. He gets all paranoid about them too," Fin told her.

"Let's never put them in a room together OK?" Ella suggested.

"Yeah," Fin laughed.

"What did you work in San Francisco?" Elliot asked from behind Ella.

"Well for the first few years I worked homicide. Then when I got a little rough with this vigilante moron who killed my case I got forcibly moved to Special Victims," Ella told him.

"O-kay," Elliot looked mildly amused. "What did you do to him?"

"I shoved him into a wall and then proceeded to concuss him with the butt of my service weapon," Ella told them. "My oldest kid had just turned two and I was working this case of a guy who killed a pregnant woman and her two-year-old. Then this prick assaulted my suspect and consequently ran him out of town and we lost him. It was a bad case. We were all on the edge," she said by way of explanation.

"Been there, done that," Elliot told her. "Having kids makes it a lot harder I think, not that it isn't already."

"Yeah. How many kids do you have?" Ella asked.

"Four," Elliot told her.

"I have three," Ella smiled proudly.

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"So she has kids too huh?" Olivia asked when Elliot came over to her desk.

"Yeah. Why don't you go over and talk to her Liv? I reckon you'd really like her," Elliot told her.

"I doubt it," Olivia replied glaring at the redheaded Detective, who was talking animatedly with Munch and Fin.

"Give her a chance Liv," Elliot told her. He was about to say something else when Casey strode into the room.

"Jury's out. Probably wont come back until tomorrow at the earliest- Ellie!" she had spotted the Detective.

"Huh. Obviously you have met our new Detective," Elliot stated.

"Met? Ellie's my twin sister," Casey told him. Four pairs of eyes widened.

"Hey Case," Ella said quietly. Casey threw her arms around her twin.

"God I've missed you. Why didn't you tell me you were coming home?" she asked, cupping Ella's face.

"We'll talk about it later. Ok?" Ella said quietly.

"Where are the kids?" Casey asked.

"At Kendra's," Ella replied. "She said she'd take care of them until I can arrange something else."

"Ok," Casey turned to the others. "You guys watch out for her wont you? She's trouble," she joked.

"So we've been hearin'," Fin replied. Casey caught sight of Olivia scowling in the background and wondered what that was about. She didn't get a chance to comment on it though as her cell phone started ringing.

"Novak?" she answered. She listened for a few moments. "Ok. Ok I'll be right there ok?" she said, seemingly in an attempt to calm the person on the other end of the line. She hung up. "I gotta go and calm down my witness," she told them. "Ellie. If I don't see you before you go home I'll meet you at Kendra's Ok?" she asked her sister.

"Yeah ok," Ella smiled. "Gracie will be thrilled to see you."

"Yeah," Casey kissed Ella on the cheek before leaving the squad room.

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"So, how many other siblings do you and Casey have that we don't know about?" Elliot asked.

"Three," Ella laughed. "And we are all married with kids or kids on the way in Bowden's case," she told him.

"So Novak's letting the team down on that one?" Elliot laughed.

"Intentionally," Ella told him. "If mom wants Casey to do one thing, Casey does the exact opposite. Mom wants Casey to settle down and give her more grandbabies. So Casey works harder and scares off every guy we set her up with. Mom wants Casey to be a big corporate lawyer so Casey studies to be a prosecutor for the DA's office. Y'know. She's one of those," Ella grinned.

"Oh yeah. Every family's gotta have one though don't they?" Elliot grinned back.

"Yeah. You can say that again," Ella grinned. Elliot could now easily see the similarities between Ella and their ADA. The dimple in her left cheek for example which featured prominently in her grin.

"Well people. We have a case!" Cragen called out across the room. All of the Detectives looked up quickly. "Benson. Stabler. Stevens. Can I see you three for a minute?" he asked. The three went over and he let them into his office, closing the door behind them. "Ok. No offence Stevens but I'm pairing you up with Benson and Stabler for a while. Not that I don't trust you but I want to see how you work before I let you loose on the city," he said to Ella.

"No offence taken. Guess I'm a probie once again then," she added ruefully.

"Captain that's not fair. We don't need her tagging along and getting in the way," Olivia protested.

"With all due respect Detective Benson I am a completely competent Detective. Letting me run with you two is as much for my benefit as it is the Captains. Letting me go alone would be tossing me in the deep end and telling me to swim," Ella responded before Cragen got a chance.

"Whatever," Olivia replied sullenly. They headed back out into the squad room to get the details on their case.

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