Disclaimer: Dick Wolf and NBC own the rights to these SVU characters….cries
Author's Notes: Now, I was supposed to post this some time over the weekend. But then I thought; why not do it now and let the people read it just before the weekend? See? I am nice!
I think I got back to all your reviews, and I wanted to thank you guys for all the amazing responses! I know I promised a sneak peek at my next fic, but I decided against it because I couldn't pick out the best bit without giving away the storyline. So you'll have to wait until the middle of next week for chapter 1!!! Wooooo!! This is the end for Fairytale, the last chapter….dum dum dum, so read and review and let me know what you thought overall! Thanks for sticking with it, and watch out for my next fic, entitled 'Serial'!
The rain abated, and the clouds had begun to dissipate. The sun was yet to make an appearance from behind the remaining clouds, but the light was beginning to give out anyway. They had the school surrounded, a flurry of activity occurring outside the main and surrounding buildings. The back-ups were being briefed by Cragen and their Commanding Officers; before being split into teams of two.
Half the group followed Munch and Fin in one direction, and the other group made their way over to Olivia and Elliot.
Elliot waited until the entire group had settled and were listening, before clearing his throat, "we want the whole school evacuated and closed off. We have a four-block radius cut off by squad cars - both Manhattan and Queens Units, so if Kelp's here, he's not getting away. The building plans indicate that there is a basement at the rear of the this main building; we think that's where our guys are"
The team in front nodded in understanding, making sure that their equipment was fastened securely, "Stabler and I will take you guys through the main building; Munch and Fin," Olivia gestured at the other group of officers across the way, "will take a team through the school grounds. You know the drill; eyes open, you see him, you call out, OK?"
"Yes M'am," the squad replied back in unison.
Olivia ignored the smirk Elliot gave her at the team's use of the word M'am. Instead, she chose to check the clip of her gun; snapping it shut suggestively at Elliot. The smirk left his face, and he made his way quickly to the equipment van. Olivia joined him, and helped him in attaching the wire to his ear. Elliot reciprocated, before pulling on a Kevlar vest. He tightened it as he watched Olivia pull hers on top of her thick coat, strapping it on securely.
"You set?" Elliot asked.
Olivia nodded, "ready"
Elliot pressed the wire in his ear, setting it comfortably, "can you hear us?"
"Affirmative," the voice of their captain crackled loudly in their ears, "Huang's here if you need him"
Olivia smiled, "hey doc. Couldn't keep you away?"
"The psyche of these two is fascinating to say the least. I'm here in case they try and do something stupid," Huang replied in his usual steady voice.
"Elliot, Olivia; wait until the SWAT team have completely evacuated the building, then go in. I've got uniforms here in case they try and get past. We want them out alive, and to pay for what they've done. Don't give them to easy way out"
"Sure thing cap," Elliot replied, watching with Olivia as the SWAT team evacuated the remaining teachers from the surrounding buildings.
"You think he's in there?" Olivia asked quietly.
Elliot nodded, his focus now on where the news reporters and a sizeable crowd had gathered at the barricades, "Cap? How did they get past?"
Their Captain's voice sounded in their ears again, "there was a story at the diner up the road, and they were within the radius before we could close the road off. They've got strict orders to keep out of the way"
Olivia sighed, "What's the signal Captain?"
"Cruz'll wave at you from the doorway after the last come out," Cragen replied.
They waited another five minutes in silence until Cruz appeared, waving his hands from the top of the main stairs, signalling the building as clear.
"When you're ready," Cragen instructed through their earpieces.
Olivia turned to their team, "OK, when we get inside, Detective Stabler and I will be ahead, keeping our eyes out for the entrance to the basement. When we get inside, we want you to split in two's and search any room we come across along the way to make sure we don't miss anything. If you get something, call out, OK? Let's go"
Olivia and Elliot took a deep breath before turning towards the entrance to the main hall. They could see Munch and Fin's team making their way across the grass in the background as they scaled the stairs and pulled open the door cautiously.
As the door closed behind the team, the eerie silence of the empty hallway enveloped them. Guns trained in front of them, Elliot and Olivia headed down the corridor, stopping periodically to signal two officers into doors that they came across. Each came back with a shake of their head to indicate the room devoid of any presence. They reached the rear of the building without incident, the door to the basement a deep royal blue, with the word 'basement' scripted in gold paint.
Elliot moved his hand to the doorknob, as Olivia stood in front of it, her gun aiming at the centre of the door, "ready?" Elliot asked quietly.
Olivia nodded, steadying herself. He swung the door open, and moved to stand next to Olivia. The room beyond was dark and dank smelling. Elliot pulled his flashlight from his belt, illuminating the immediate area.
Olivia craned her neck around the doorway to the right, "stairs," she said, turning back to Elliot.
Elliot, nodding, pivoted to face the group, "OK. Detective Benson and I will head down. We want two of you to man this door in case something happens and they slip past. The rest will follow us. It's dark, so watch your step, flashlights out"
Elliot entered the room first, Olivia a step behind, the remaining officers behind her. They took the stairs one at a time, all the while observing their surroundings for any other presence. As they reached the bottom of the stairs, an acrid aroma filled their nostrils. Elliot turned to Olivia slightly, asking her silently.
She nodded, "bleach," she whispered.
The landing at the bottom of the stairs was worn, the wood rotting in places. The sound of a leaky pipe dripping was echoing from down the long corridor that they were facing. There was little light, two halogen bulbs hung from the low ceiling, but they seemed unreliable; blinking on and off every few seconds. The floor was incredibly uneven; cobblestones that seemed to have been placed in the darkness for all the symmetry it offered.
As they reached the first of the buzzing fluorescent light, Elliot and Olivia both stopped at the sight of movement in front of them. They turned to look at each other quickly, gauging whether or not it was the flickering lights reeking havoc with what they were really seeing.
"Captain," Elliot said steadily, "we've got movement"
There was silence, then their Captain's voice crackled in their ear, "Elliot, the signal is weak. You guys are too deep underground to for the connection to remain steady. Munch and Fin are having the same problem"
Olivia raised an eyebrow, "where are they?" she asked the air in front of her.
They listened intently, but their earpieces were now just relaying static into their ears. Elliot gave a frustrated sigh, yanking the piece from his ear. It was just them and the darkness now, and as they moved even more cautiously through the pitch black labyrinth; they realised that may not be entirely true. This time there was a definite flicker of light up ahead; and it wasn't the remaining light hanging above them. The group behind them had paused, waiting patiently for instruction, as Elliot and Olivia tried their hardest to see who it was in front of them.
"Elliot? Olivia?" Munch's voice cut through the gloom. Elliot relaxed his shoulders, bringing his gun to his side.
Olivia let out a breath she didn't know she was holding, "Munch, Fin; it's us," she called back.
They followed the direction of their voices, meeting somewhere in the middle.
"You guys didn't find anything?" Fin asked, placing his torch back onto the latch of his belt.
Elliot and Olivia shook their heads, "no, the building was clear. Maybe they left the city?"
"I don't think so," Munch's voice came from somewhere to their left.
Olivia moved the beam of her flashlight to where he was standing near the wall. He was pointing at a metal door that lay inconspicuously along the wall, hidden due to the dirt that caked its surface.
Fin turned to the group of officers that remained behind them, "We want two of you guys out here, the rest will come through with us, let's go"
Munch rested his hand on the doorknob, Fin stood at his left shoulder, Elliot and Olivia to the right. Munch twisted the doorknob, slightly surprised to find that it was unlocked. Their grips tightened further on their weapons, which were pointed at the closed door.
Munch threw the door open, stepping lightly into the room; the other detectives and uniforms right on his tail.
"It's like a torture chamber," Fin said quietly, taking in the surroundings.
The room was empty, lit by a single light bulb hanging from the low ceiling. The coppery scent of blood hit their noses before anything else registered. Once they adjusted to the limited light in the room, the sight of a single cot sitting in the corner came into view, the white sheets stained yellow in various places. A metal bucket sat at its side, rusting in places. Olivia's stomach lurched at the metal shackles that hung from the wall; at an ankle and wrist level consistent with their victim's sizes. Elliot was currently standing near the bed where a bookcase, holding one book was sitting.
He turned his head in her direction, "three guess," he said, showing her the book's cover.
It was the tattered and yellowing version of The Grimm's Fairytales that Elliot had first come across in West's office. Now, it was stained with blood along its pages; pages that were bookmarked at the stories that corresponded with their victim's given identities. Elliot passed it to an officer who placed it in an evidence bag.
"We got another door," Elliot said suddenly, pushing the book case away from the wall.
Fin came to his side and helped him move it the rest of the way, revealing a wooden door. Unlike everything else they had encountered since they entered the basement, this door seemed relatively new. They made the same formation behind this door as they did the others, this time Elliot with his hand on the doorknob. He threw it open, and they entered the room one at a time.
Olivia heard the shriek before she saw the person it belonged to, having entered the room behind Elliot.
"Put the gun down!" Elliot yelled, holding his gun straighter in front of him. The vein in his neck stood out in sharp relief, blood and adrenaline pumping furiously.
Katherine Bordeau was tall and slim; her hair a fiery red, a contrast to her pale skin. Not ugly, but not particularly attractive, her green eyes were wide with fear and anger. She was standing in the centre of the room, holding a gun to the head of Sam Kelp; who was blubbering like a child, tears streaming down his face.
"You think putting him in front of you is going to make a difference?" Fin asked calmly, gun steady, "seven victims as opposed to six puts the same lethal injection in your arm"
Katherine's eyes shifted from each detective and the barrel of their guns, and then a quick sweep of the room around her.
"There's no way out Katherine," Olivia said quietly, realising her eyes seeking some way out of the mess she was in.
Katherine's eyes stopped moving, settling instead on Olivia.
"Shut up!" she cried, Kelp jumping as the barrel of the gun grazed his head, "I'll kill him!"
Kelp's eyes squeezed shut at the threat, mumbling to himself in some kind of silent prayer to whatever God was still listening. Olivia flexed her finger on the gun's grip, steadying her stance. She pressed the gun closer to his temple, her knuckles turning white at the strength at which she was holding the gun.
"Katherine," Munch started in an appeasing manner, "we can all leave now, and no-one needs to get hurt"
"Please don't do it," Kelp burst out randomly, sniffling loudly, "please Katherine! Please listen to them!"
Katherine shook him in her grasp; "shut up!" tears now began to spill down her cheeks too.
"You don't want to do this," Elliot repeated, "put the gun down, we can talk this through"
Olivia shifted the gun in her hand again, her arms stiff in front of her.
Katherine began to sob like Kelp, except she was wailing, the sound echoing in the small room.
"Katherine," Olivia said softly, "it doesn't have to end this way"
Katherine laid her now shiny eyes on Olivia, "I'm sorry," she whispered, her brows creasing slightly.
Elliot and Olivia exchanged a very quick and a very confused look; unsure as to what Katherine was apologising about.
All of a sudden, Kelp released a strangle cry as Katherine shoved him forward towards them, putting the gun against her own temple. Kelp fell over awkwardly, landing face first onto the ground. The detectives took an unconscious step forward as Kelp was detained quickly by the other officers in the room.
"No Katherine," Elliot said, holding his gun even tighter, "we can talk about this"
Katherine shook her head furiously, "No! We can't talk about this! There's nothing to talk about! The pain won't go away; and you certainly can't make it stop!" Katherine sniffed loudly, wiping her nose on the arm not holding the gun, "I just want the pain to stop," she whispered sadly.
The others in the room looked on, unmoving. The mood in the room was electrifying, tension palpable. Olivia saw an opportunity to circle slightly behind Katherine; hoping both the tears were blurring her vision, and that the gun held to her temple was in her peripheral vision, rather than Olivia. Katherine didn't seem to notice her movements; Elliot had, and was keeping a wary eye on her as she steadily made her way around further.
"Come on Katherine," Elliot said encouragingly, "come back outside," it was obvious he was trying to keep her talking.
Katherine didn't respond, and her shoulders continued to shake as she cried. Her head, however, did drop forward slightly.
Olivia, seizing her opportunity, moved forward with complete agility and silence, knocking the gun from Katherine's weak grip. The gun, spun along the floor to Fin, who kicked it back to the remaining officers. Rather than fight back, Katherine seemed resigned to her fate and merely continued to cry as Olivia re-holstered her gun and begun to cuff her.
"Katherine Bordeau, you are under arrest for the murders of Fiona and Matthew Wilcox, Madeleine Hughes…" Olivia continued to mirandise Katherine as she led her back out from where they came.
Elliot, Munch and Fin let out weary sighs as the CSU team arrived and began to work around them. They decided to leave them to it, Queens SVU detectives helping in collecting the evidence, and made their way back to the surface.
"Good work Detectives," Cragen's voice said in their ears as they got back into a signal range.
"I'm just glad that's over," Fin said, beginning to un-strap his bulletproof vest as they made their way to the equipment van.
They reached it just in time to witness Olivia placing an eerily calm Bordeau into the back of a squad car. Kelp sat sobbing in the car next to hers, Cragen conferring with an officer outside his door. Cragen saw them approach, gave some final instructions to the uniform, and made his way over to them.
"The brass is happy," he commented as the detectives began to divest themselves of the electronic and protective equipment.
"What do you think will happen Doc?" Elliot asked, as Huang and Olivia joined them, watching Bordeau being driven away.
"They knew what they were doing," Huang replied, "There'd be way too many holes in their argument if they were to plead insanity. It's up to Casey and the DA to make a decision"
"Speaking of," Cragen said, pulling out his mobile, "I'll call her and let her know how we went"
They stood in silence, observing the building in front of them. It was far less impressive now that it was stained with the blood of so many innocent victims. The clouds had now completely dissipated, but the sun had practically set, a ghostly glow emanating off the building and surrounding trees. It would have been beautiful had they not just been in a hostage situation.
"I don't know about anybody else," Munch began, breaking the silence, "but I could use a drink"
Elliot smirked, "amen to that"
"I hate DD-5's," Olivia complained, stretching her arms over her head.
Elliot smiled at her over his computer screen, "well maybe if someone kept up with their paperwork…hey!" Elliot exclaimed, ducking her pen, "I'm not picking that up," he folded his arms over his chest and leant back.
Olivia narrowed her eyes at him in a challenge, "if you love me, you'll get it for me"
"Liv…" Elliot started.
"Elliot," Olivia goaded, biting her bottom lip in what she hoped was a seductive manner.
The way that Elliot's eyes grew wide, she'd succeeded. Suddenly, it was too hot in the room and there were way too many people. Elliot unbuttoned his top button, loosening his tie slightly, answering her advances. He grinned at the way her tongue flicked out of her mouth, licking her bottom lip.
"We're at work Liv," Elliot reasoned, his voice dangerously low.
"So?" Olivia replied, arching an eyebrow.
He swallowed audibly as her eyes flickered in the direction of the cribs. He knew she was just teasing; she'd never act on it while they were at work. But there was no harm in some light flirting.
He still shifted uncomfortably in his seat at the heat coming from her gaze, "you want to scar Munch and Fin?"
"Don't mind us," Fin said, not looking up from the file he was working through, "we've learnt to tune you guys out"
Olivia burst out laughing, as Casey entered the room, "I miss something?"
"No," Munch said, sitting back, "just Elliot and Olivia undressing the other with their eyes"
Casey snorted, as Olivia's ears went red, "Well I have good news"
They looked at her expectantly, "both Kelp and Bordeau plead out. Bordeau was the mastermind and got life; but Kelp murdered and raped them so the DA signed off on the death penalty. It was his hair in the last victim"
"Good work counsellor," Olivia said, going back to her paperwork, trying in vain to get the images of the children out of her mind.
Elliot rose from his chair, moving over to the coffee machine, "Cragen in his office?" Casey asked as he passed.
"Yeah, he's in a good mood because the Commissioner gave us some credit in the press," Elliot supplied, pouring a coffee in one cup and boiling water with a teabag in another.
Casey nodded, striding into Cragen's office.
"Thanks," Olivia said, taking the mug of tea Elliot placed in front of her.
"You up for dinner tonight?" Elliot asked, taking a cautious sip of his coffee.
"Well that depends," Olivia replied, the playfulness from earlier returning.
"On what?" Elliot asked, tilting his head to the side.
Olivia leant forward, "On whether I get strip searched tonight or not"