A/N So I haven't had an L&O story for awhile, been up to other things. So, here's a new one, enjoy! We're saying Elliot and Kathy are divorced, just to make things easier.
Olivia groaned as her phone rang noisily on her nightstand, jerking her out of the first decent sleep she'd had in weeks. Sneaky bastard, she thought, referring to the Captain. He didn't want to deal with her biting his head off, so he'd charged Elliot with the job of calling her.
"Hey Elliot," she answered blearily.
"Hi Liv. Sorry to wake you up this early, but we got a case," came Elliot's equally tired voice. Olivia sighed.
"I'll pick you up in five minutes," he said and hung up. Olivia groaned, flopping on the bed before yanking herself up in search of clothes. She sighed again, realizing she'd have to wear yesterday's jeans. She blindly pulled on a shirt and jacket. Her phone rang again, signaling her that Elliot had texted her that he had arrived. She gathered her gun and badge, locking her apartment.
"Oh my god, I owe you my life," Olivia said as Elliot handed her a cup of coffee after she settled into the car.
"I know," he answered smiling.
They didn't talk much on the drive. They were both tired and neither one was bothered by the silence. The crime scene was already taped off and guarded by two officers when they arrived.
"Detectives Benson and Stabler," Olivia called as they ducked under the yellow tape. "What do you have for us?"
"21 year old female, raped, beaten and murdered about four hours ago according to the ME. She was wearing pajamas and an ID bracelet, both with the name of a mental hospital, Harrison's Center For The Mentally Ill."
"Does that bracelet have the victim's name on it?" Elliot asked.
"Yes sir, Carrie Andrews. Age, weight, birthday and mental disease. 'Brain injury'," the officer said. They thanked him.
"Let's see whether Warner can give us a specific cause of death," Olivia said.
"Then pay Harrison's Center For The Mentally Ill a little visit."
"I'm Doctor Franks," the pudgy balding man said, extending his hand. Elliot shook it dutifully before introducing Olivia and himself. "Have you found Carrie?" Dr. Franks asked.
"Yes, we have," Elliot answered.
"Oh thank god," Franks sighed in relief. "Where is she?" He peered around them as if they were hiding her.
"When did you notice she was gone?" Olivia asked.
"She ran out yesterday. Some orderly didn't close her door all the way so she left," Franks said.
"Left while the going was good," Elliot muttered. "You filed a police report?"
"Yes," Dr. Franks answered promptly.
"Do you know anyone who would want to hurt Carrie?" Olivia asked.
"No, no one," Franks said. "But if there was anything, Rebecca would know about it."
"Who's Rebecca?" Elliot asked.
"Something along the lines of Carrie's best friend. Carrie told her everything."
"All right, where is Rebecca now?" Elliot asked. Dr. Franks nodded to an orderly.
"Take the Detectives to Rebecca Reynolds' room," he ordered. He turned back to them. "She's dead isn't she?"
"I'm afraid so," Olivia answered. Franks sighed and motioned for the orderly to take them.
"So what are you thinking?" the orderly asked.
"Nothing yet, we don't know anything about her," Elliot answered.
"What was Carrie being treated for?" Olivia asked.
"Brain injury. She fell at some point, giving her memory problems and paranoia. I guess that's why she and Rebecca got along so well though…"
"Rebecca have the same problem?" Elliot asked.
"No, they were the two most normal here. Neither of them really had a disease per say," he said. "This is Rebecca's room."
"Rebecca Reynolds?" Elliot asked softly, flashing his badge. "I'll Elliot, this is Olivia."
"Cops?" Rebecca asked.
"Yes," Olivia answered. Rebecca was young, no older than 19 by looking at her. Her light brown hair was pulled back into a sleek braid running down her back. Her room was spotless and her appearance impeccable. In short, the exact opposite of what they expected. Her dark blue eyes were sharp and keenly aware, unlike the rest of the patients.
"It's pretty clean in here," Elliot commented, glancing around. "And lots of books."
Rebecca glanced at the bookshelf Elliot has motioned to. She shrugged and gave him a sad smile.
"There's not much to do here. Other than clean and read," she said sadly.
"These are some pretty advanced books, you teaching yourself?" Olivia asked.
"I graduated high school early, when I was 15. They're college textbooks, just getting ready," Rebecca answered. "What can I help you with?"
"Did Carrie like to read?" Olivia asked.
"Carrie likes to complain. Did-did something happen to Carrie?" Rebecca asked.
"She was found murdered this morning," Elliot told her softly. Rebecca closed her eyes and turned away.
"Have you talked to James Denali yet?" Rebecca asked through gritted teeth.
"No, who is he?" Elliot asked.
"He used to work here. He…propositioned Carrie," Rebecca said, turning back to them. Tears were swimming in her dark blue eyes but they weren't spilling over yet. "It freaked Carrie out. She wouldn't report him so I did. It got him fired and it pissed off James. He told her he'd 'get her', but that was like a year ago."
"Thanks Rebecca, I'm sorry we had to tell you this," Elliot said, standing.
"I understand," Rebecca said, nodding. "Will you call me when you catch whoever did this? I'd like to know…"
"You got it," Elliot said. He handed her his card. "If you think of anything else, don't hesitate to call."
"If I think of anything. Goodbye Detectives," Rebecca said as Elliot and Olivia walked out.
"Well, that was strange," Olivia said once they were out of earshot.
"Very strange, if I met that girl on the street, I wouldn't peg her as crazy," Elliot said. "And we know crazies."
"Yeah," Olivia answered.
"Dr. Franks!" Elliot called. "We need any and all files on a James Denali."
"Sure. Do you think he had something to do with this?"
"We're investigating all leads," Elliot said. "I'm curious about Rebecca Reynolds."
"Tragic, isn't it?" Franks mumbled before calling his secretary to find the records.
"What's wrong with her?" Elliot said. Franks looked up.
"Other than maybe a mild case of OCD? Nothing."
"Then why is she here?" Olivia asked shocked.
"Carlotta Reynolds signed her in when she was 15, after her father died," Franks answered.
"For what?" Elliot asked.
"Schizophrenia," Franks answered.
"Is she schizophrenic?" Elliot asked.
"No, quite the opposite. I'd say she's probably healthier than some of my employees. But every time we call Carlotta, she refuses to let Rebecca out. She says Rebecca threatens her with suicide or various other stories. We can't release her because she's actually only 16, she's a minor."
"That's pathetic," Elliot said, disgusted.
"Yes," Dr. Franks said, pressing James Denali's folder into Elliot's hands. "But that's the law."
"Hey Liv! We got a match on the fingerprints off the bracelet your victim was wearing. Does the name James Denali mean anything to you?" Fin handed to address to Olivia.
"It's our sexually deviant ex-orderly," Olivia said.
"Let's go pick him up.
Two hours later, James Denali sat quivering in the interrogation room. He was average sized with dark features and a jittery disposition. The Captain watched while Elliot and Olivia got a full confession out of him in 7.26 minutes. He smiled, glad he had Elliot and Olivia working together.
Rebecca had weighed on Elliot's mind for the next few days, so he decided to drop by the institution, carting with him a bunch of Maureen's old textbooks.
"Hey Rebecca, do you remember me?" Elliot asked. Rebecca rolled her eyes, smiling slightly.
"Yeah Detective," she said.
"Elliot," he corrected. He picked up the overflowing bag of textbooks and handed them to her. Rebecca's bored eyes snapped to excitement as she rifled through them.
"Are these for me?" she asked, shocked. "These are amazing!"
"I thought you might like that," Elliot said. "I came to tell you also…that Carrie's killer and rapist was caught." Rebecca's eyes snapped up.
"Rapist?" she asked. Elliot silently cursed himself. He hadn't told her that the day before.
"I'm a detective with Special Victims, do you know what that means?" he asked.
"Sex crimes," Rebecca answered promptly. Elliot raised his eyebrows. "I read a lot. Like I said, there isn't much to do here."
"It was James Denali," Elliot said. Rebecca hung her head sadly.
"We'll need you to testify about what happened," Elliot told her. Rebecca laughed harshly.
"How well will the testimony of a teenager in a mental institution hold up?" she asked darkly.
"Rebecca, you and I, and hell, Dr. Franks, all know that you don't belong here," Elliot said. Rebecca gazed at him sadly.
"Doesn't matter though, does it?" she asked.
"Why did your mother put you here?" Elliot asked. Rebecca's head snapped up.
"She's not my mother," Rebecca said. "She's my step mom. And my aunt." Rebecca stood and walked to the window, staring out disgusted. "After my mom died, my dad was stupid and married her sister. When he was murdered, she stuck me here."
"Your father was murdered?" Elliot asked, sympathy growing for the 16 year old.
"It was ruled a suicide," she said angrily. "But he did not kill himself.
"Who do you think killed him then?" Elliot asked.
"I know who killed it. It was my step mom, Carlotta."