Well, here's the new story that I was hesitant to start until I got back from vacation. However the voices in my head that control my writing kept screaming at me to write it. So, I am.
Oh, I invented a crime that they worked on in the past, so stop trying to rack your brains thinking of where you heard it before…or didn't.
I need to give MAJOR credit to the boyfriend for coming up with the basic plotline for this one. Without him the story never would exist.
DISCLAIMER: Not only do I not owe anything related to L&O:SVU, I also don't own the Hampton Inn, Tioga Downs, or any of the higher ranking law enforcement officials or medical examiner mentioned in this story. That credit goes to the people themselves and the companies that own the businesses.
Don Cragen stepped out of his office, looked around the bullpen, and noticed everyone was there finally.
"Meeting. My office. Now." He called to them, before stepping back into his office.
The five detectives exchanged confused questioning glances before getting up from their desks and walking to their captain's office. Once they entered the office the scrambled for seats and anxiously awaited hearing what this meeting was about.
"We got a call this morning. Raped and murdered female harness racing jockey by the name of Michelle Flanders. Body was found last night in one of the stables at the racetrack. "
"There are no horse tracks in Manhattan Don." Chester Lake pointed out.
"You're right. However, the M.O. matches the stable hand murder we worked last year. I spoke to Jeanne Hyde, their Medical Examiner, and the murder weapon, cause of death, staging, everything matches the Charles rape and homicide." Don told them all.
"So where's this one, Yonkers? Monticello? It's got to be upstate somewhere." Fin chimed in.
"Nichols actually." Don said.
They all looked at each other like they were all lost here. No one had a clue where Nichols was.
"Where?" Elliot asked.
"Nichols, New York. Tiny little town upstate. It's about 3 ½ hours northwest of here. Benson, Stabler, since you caught the Charles case I'm sending you two. Go home, pack, meet back here in an hour. I'll have directions as well as all your contact information. The rest of you, I expect you to all pick up any slack around here in their absence." Don told them and sent them all on their way.
Olivia and Elliot walked out of their captain's office not exactly looking forward to this trip. Granted it got them out of town for the weekend, but not exactly how either had planned. They grabbed a few things off their desks and left the office, heading for their cars.
"Why don't I swing by and pick you up on our way back to the station? That way you can leave your car at home." Elliot suggested.
"Sounds good. I think I have copies of the paperwork from the Charles case, I'll bring that too. We can go over everything on the way to this Nichols place or something."
They each got in their own car and drove off to go pack for their weekend away.
Olivia got home, went and found a suitcase, and walked into her bedroom to pack. Hoping to only be there for the weekend she grabbed a couple of pairs of jeans, some shirts, and her undergarments including socks, and threw them all into the suitcase. Suddenly thinking that maybe their hotel would have a pool, she tossed in her brown bikini. Satisfied with clothing, she moved on to her bathroom to begin packing up her toiletries.
A few blocks away, Elliot was going through similar motions. He too threw a couple of pairs of jeans and shirts in his bag along with socks and boxers. When he was done in the bedroom he moved on to the bathroom.
30 minutes after Olivia had gotten home Elliot was at her door to pick her up. She buzzed him up to her apartment and waited for him to knock on her door.
"I keep forgetting you live so close." She told him as she opened the door.
"Just about five minutes, more if traffic's bad. So, you ready to go back to the station?"
She started to pick up her suitcase and he pushed her hand out of the way.
"I've got it Benson." He said, as he picked up the suitcase.
The two left Olivia's apartment, she locked up, and they headed for the elevator. They got to the lobby and walked out to Elliot's car. He put her suitcase in the trunk with his bag and they both go in the car. 10 minutes later they were parking at the station and heading for the 1-6. As soon as they walked in the door Don grabbed them and took them to his office.
"Alright. Here's directions to your hotel and the racetrack." He handed them a folder with papers in it. "Also, your main contact there will be Gary Howard, Tioga County Sheriff. He will fill you in on what they know so far about the case." He paused briefly.
"When are we expected?" Elliot asked.
"You should get going now. They'll be looking for you at 2pm at Tioga Downs. That gives you about 4 ½ hours to get there, just incase you get lost or anything." He said as he ushered the detectives out of his office.
Elliot and Olivia said their goodbyes and left the squad room yet again. This time headed on a 3 ½ hour drive to small town New York.
No more than two minutes into their drive Olivia was bugging Elliot.
"Can we stop? Please? I need some snacks or something."
"Didn't you eat breakfast?" He asked her.
"Yeah, but I can't travel without snacks." She whined.
"Fine, fine. The next place I find with a parking spot we'll stop at."
They drove for about three more blocks until Olivia spotted a bodega with one free parking spot. She quickly showed it to Elliot who pulled in the spot and turned off the engine.
"I'll be right out. Do you want anything?" She asked her partner.
"Just a coffee. Maybe some chips for later."
Olivia stepped out of the car and walked into the bodega. Three or four minutes later she came out carrying a bag with chips, candy, some sodas, and magazines, as well as two coffees.
"Geez, you buy out all the junk food in the store?" He chuckled.
"Shut up." She glared at him.
They spent the next hour and a half traveling in mostly silence. Elliot could be heard humming along with the radio every once in a while as Olivia did a book of People Magazine crossword puzzles. Neither really saying anything to the other. Other people would be bothered by the silence. They found it comforting to be in each others presence without saying anything.
"Hey El?" Olivia broke the silence.
"Wake me when we get there, okay? I'm gonna take a little nap." She yawned.
Olivia reclined her seat and closed her eyes as Elliot continued driving along. Every once in a while he glanced over at her.
A little over two and a half hours later Elliot pulled into their hotel, a Hampton Inn, in a town that was apparently called Owego.
"Liv." He gently shook her. "Wake up. We're here."
"Hmm…what?" She replied groggily.
"We're at the hotel. Ready to go check in?" He asked.
They both go out of the car and went in the hotel to the registration desk. They took out their licenses for ID purposes and gave their names to the clerk. A few minutes later they were being sent to their room with two key cards and map in hand.
Opening the door to the room they were both shocked to find that it was a suite. The only thing was one of them would have to use the sleeper sofa as there was only one king sized bed.
"Holy Shit! Guess someone went all out here!" Olivia said amazed.
"I know. Wow! Almost makes me not want to bring up the fact that we should probably head to the racetrack now."
Olivia glanced at the clock, and knew he was right. They left the room, hopped back in the car, and took off down Route 17 headed east towards Nichols.