Sins of the Father
A/N Apologies for the long delay. After reading and re-reading this story, I found that I could do better, so it has been revised. Thank you for your patience. I only want the best for my readers.
For SVU, this actually happens after the events of Undercover, and includes elements from the tenth and eighth seasons. And I brought Cabot into the mix. For JAG, this happens around the seventh season and includes elements from the fourth season.
Characters do not belong to me.
Perfection was so sweet and so close. Perfection lay on a bed of roses, her hair splayed across her face in fragile wisps. He watched her chest rise and fall and felt a tingle of ecstasy. It was not love. No, he did not love anyone, nor did anyone love him. But that did not disturb him in the slightest.
He stared intently at her, longing, lusting. It began, and he lost himself in the intensity of the climax. But even then he was removed from his subject. He wanted to be there with her, but it was not possible. After a moment of relief from the darkness that compelled him, he succumbed again to his despair.
All he could do now was wait. Wait for perfection to come again.
Those eyes. Fearful, uncertain, tearstained eyes looked up at Olivia, crushing her with the weight of a violent and humiliating rape. The victim, Elizabeth Beyers, hunched over in her chair and wrapped her arms around her protectively. An experienced professional, she had everything going for her until two nights ago, when she was knocked unconscious and raped. She awoke in her car with a pounding headache and no clothes.
Olivia rubbed her forehead and sighed. They were done reliving the nightmare. She put her pencil down among shredded tissues and thumbed the 'stop' button on the tape recorder. "Thank you for coming forward, Elizabeth," she said, compassion emanating in her voice. She covered Elizabeth's cool hand with her warm one.
"Will you find him?" the question hung in the air like a guillotine.
Olivia felt Elizabeth's pain, saw her emotions flicker from outward control to a tense agitated state and back again. With every part of her, she tried to convey strength and reassurance so that Elizabeth would feel safe in trusting her. "We'll do everything we can," she said. She looked out the window into the squadroom to see Captain Cragen watching, he gestured for her to come over.
"I'll be right back," she said to Elizabeth. She stood up and walked to the door and then paused. "Can I get you something? Tea? Coffee?"
"Tea would be nice, thank you." Elizabeth managed a grateful smile.
Walking out, Olivia nodded to her Captain, "What's up?"
Cragen gave Olivia a sympathetic glance. "We got a lead from the canvass, Elliot's picking him up now," he put his hands in his pockets and leaned against one of the battered desks of the squadroom.
"It's too bad she showered, if we had some samples, we could nail this bastard."
"CSU is going over her car, I'm sure they'll find something." Cragen said. "Do you think she can ID her attacker?"
Olivia wasn't sure. "I don't know." She looked back up at her Captain, "She came to partway through the rape when he was on top of her, but she was vague on the details, caucasian, light hair, blue or green eyes-"
A sharp click-clack of heels on the linoleum floor caught her attention and Olivia looked over her boss to see ADA Alex Cabot approach, her blonde hair bouncing over her shoulders as she strode toward them. "I heard we have a suspect in custody?" she asked.
Cragen crossed his arms and turned slightly to face the lithe prosecutor. "Elliot got a lead from a barista at the coffee shop that the victim was last seen at," he said. "We're going ask him a few questions."
"What evidence do we have?" Alex asked Olivia.
The detective pressed her lips into a frown and shook her head. "Not much, unless she can identify him."
"I'll get Fin and Munch to gather some people together for a line-up," Cragen said, taking charge. "Olivia, see if you can convince Elizabeth to ID him. In the meantime, I'll brief Elliot on the details and see if he can sweat our suspect into giving up the particulars of our case."
Alex crossed her arms over her Gucci pantsuit and regarded them both. "If she ID's him, he can be subpoenaed him for his DNA, we can get a warrant for a search of his home... anything."
Olivia understood, and once again felt the weight on her shoulders. The burden of proof. She wanted justice, she wanted Elizabeth to have some kind of closure in knowing that the perp was behind bars. The hard part would be convincing the victim that that's what she wanted too.
The stark interrogation room was a few degrees cooler than the squadroom, but Elliot Stabler didn't mind. It was designed that way, to make it uncomfortable for suspects, put them on edge. He paced the room, a little bit frustrated but trying not to show it. In contrast, his suspect John Aberdeen, watched him cooly from his seated position.
"So that's your alibi? You didn't do it because you were mugged?" Elliot questioned in disbelief. He leaned against the wall with the two way mirror, knowing that Alex and Captain Cragen were watching.
Aberdeen nodded, unfazed. "That's right."
"So why didn't you report it?"
"I didn't want the hassle."
Elliot was still suspicious. John Aberdeen was too slick, too prepared with his answers. Something wasn't right about this guy and it bothered him. "But you had enough money to go back to the coffee shop and buy a coffee."
"I had five dollars in my back pocket."
Aberdeen shrugged his shoulders, "Black. Medium height and build, had a hoodie and ball cap. I didn't get a good look at his face, it was dark out."
"Uh huh." It was clear to Elliot that he would have to share some details of the case in order to get Aberdeen to say something incriminating. He rubbed his chin, feeling the stubble that lightly dotted his face. "Let me tell you what I think happened, John," He said as he pulled out a chair and sat down. Let's play, he thought. "You're sitting in the coffee shop and you see Elizabeth come in and you like what you see," Elliott paused, looking for a reaction. There was none. "So you wait till she leaves and follow her to her car. When she opens the door, you grab her hair and smash her head in!"
Aberdeen had no response. He sat quietly in his chair, his hands on his lap. Elliot continued, raising the volume and accusatory tone in his voice. "You shove her in the car and drive it to a secluded area where you rape her while she's unconscious. But then she starts coming to, and you get scared, so you throw her in the car and drive her back to the coffee shop."
There was a glimmer of amusement in Aberdeen's eyes, but he remained as relaxed and cool as ever, as if he was watching a movie. "I told you detective, I didn't do it."
Elliot smirked and ignored the comment. He had figured out which button to press. "You know, I've been working special victims for a long time, and you know what? There are two things that rapists want, power and sex." He squinted, trying to see into the psyche of his suspect. It wasn't hard for him, he had done it many times before. But would Aberdeen play into it and admit what he had done or otherwise incriminate himself? That was the challenge. "It seems to me that you don't have any control over your life... sexually, I mean." Elliot leaned forward in his chair, "You scare them off, and so the only way to get in their pants is to knock 'em out and do them when they can't turn you down. Is that it?" the detective's gaze drilled into Aberdeen's stone grey eyes.
Aberdeen's jaw worked and the corner of his upper lip twitched ever so slightly. That silent admission of guilt was exactly what Elliot was looking for, and he was going to milk it for all that it was worth. "We got you nailed now, John, because your latest victim remembers what you look like and she's going to finger you as the guy who did it." Elliot walked around to the other end of the table, leaning in to Aberdeen's ear. "Tell me what happened, and things will be much easier for you."
An odd smile played across Aberdeen's lips, "You haven't arrested me detective. You have no proof. I'll be going now." He stood up, causing the metal chair to scrape against the hard floor.
The door swung open suddenly, revealing Captain Cragen's stern bearing. "Actually, Mr. Aberdeen, you'll be coming with us for a line-up."
Alex stared at the ghostly reflection of the victim through the window of the line-up room. Miss Beyers' dark hair was disheveled, her eyes covered raccoon-like in mascara, and her pale face bore thin lines. A large bruise covered the right side of her forehead. The ADA had seen many victims in her career, but this case hit home. Miss Beyers was just a year older than Alex, single, career driven, and passionate about her work. Alex even frequented the same coffee shop. iShe could have been me./i
"CSU called, the car was wiped clean of fingerprints, but they did find blood." Cragen's voice interrupted her thoughts. "It's at the lab now."
Alex turned to Cragen. "If she ID's him, I can get a warrant for his house, see if we can match the blood that we found in her car to one matching his clothes."
"Let's hope so."
Six men walked up to the platform. They all had short blonde or light brown hair, and light eyes. Alex watched as Elizabeth's fingers trembled with fear. To calm her, Olivia touched her elbow.
"They all look alike," Elizabeth whispered.
"It's ok," Olivia said. "Concentrate on their faces, do you notice anything familiar? Scars? Moles? Freckles?"
Alex could feel the uncertainty, the fear, that paralyzed the victim. Come on, she thought, you're all I have. Line-ups were one of the most difficult ways of identifying the perpetrator, not because of inaccuracy: ninety percent of the time they had the right suspect; but because of intimidation. Even behind a two-way mirror, a suspect could instill enough fear into the victim that they would doubt their decision.
A crackling voice over the intercom ordered each man to step forward one at a time. As they did, Alex stared straight at the prime suspect John Aberdeen. She watched as the men stepped forward, holding their numbers like they were targets. They all looked like average guys that sit next to you at the deli reading the paper and drinking coffee.
"I'm sorry." Miss Beyers said after looking at them all. For a moment, she covered her mouth with her hand, resisting the urge to cry. "It was all a blur, I don't remember what he looked like," her voice trembled and she shook. "What if he's the wrong one?" Knuckles white, she chewed on her thumbnail as she looked back at them.
"Elizabeth," Alex pleaded, "One of those men pushed you into your own car, drove you to a park and raped you. If he goes free, you won't be his last victim." The pale visage that was Elizabeth looked at the men again. Time stretched on. Alex stopped herself from tapping her foot. This was the critical moment. If it was legally possible to identify the perpetrator any other way, she would do it, but this was the only way.
"Number three?" Miss Beyers rasped.
"Number three step forward," crackled the intercom.
John Aberdeen stepped forward. Nothing about him stood out, his face was completely devoid of emotion. Blank. But the ADA's trained eye could see the glimmer of hatred stirring in his eyes. She exchanged glances with Olivia, did she see it too? She did. A surge of anger filled Alex, she waited. One word, one word would send this no good scumbag to hell. Alex was sure of it.
"Is that the man who raped you?" Detective Benson asked.
"N-no, that's not him." Elizabeth wrapped her arms tightly around her. Her body screamed to say what her mouth could not. That he was the one. He was her worst nightmare.
"Are you sure?" Alex asked in disbelief. It can't end this way. Everything else in this case was circumstantial. To lay a charge, Miss Beyers needed to ID her attacker. With that statement, the DA's office could do nothing to stop this man from walking out the door.
"I don't know! I can't do this," she sniffed, "I'm sorry, I can't." Elizabeth straightened and looked up. As much as she tried to regain her composure, Alex could see that Miss Beyers was failing. She didn't have the courage to see this through to the end, to confront her attacker and put him behind bars. John Aberdeen had gotten to her, disintegrated her self confidence into nothing. It was a lost cause.
Olivia patted Elizabeth's shoulder, murmuring a few words of comfort. It was harder for the detective, Alex realized. From the very beginning, Olivia had heard the story, supported the victim. And now? They were walking away empty handed.
"It's okay honey. I'll drive you home." Olivia said softly to Elizabeth. But Alex did not leave the room right away. Her gaze followed Aberdeen out of the room. iOne day, I'll be staring you down in the courtroom, and you'll be the one cowering in fear./i
"So we're back to square one," Stabler said. Frustrated, he tossed the file on his already overcrowded desk. Nothing angered him more then letting a perp go, especially considering that it might happen again. He rested his elbows on the arm rests of his chair and steepled his fingers. "There's gotta be something," he muttered
"We ran his credit, and we got nothin' on him, he's cleaner than a whistle." Detective Fin Tutuola crossed the room to the board. A photo of Elizabeth, her car, John Aberdeen's name and several other notes were laid out. The streetwise detective crossed his arms and scrutinized the information. "Guy doesn't even have parking tickets." Fin spat.
Behind him, Detective John Munch put his feet up on his desk. He counted off with his fingers, "One, no evidence on the victim- her clothes are missing and she showered after the attack. Two, no crime scene- it rained last night which eliminates any DNA and blood evidence we might find- if -we even knew where in the park the rape took place." Munch adjusted his tinted glasses.
"What about the car?" Stabler asked.
"CSU's still processing everything. So far all we got in the car is the victim's blood," Fin reported. "Perp had enough time to clean up. This whole thing smells like skunk's ass," he said in disgust.
Elliot looked to Cragen for answers and saw that there were none. The Captain looked just as dismayed as he did, perhaps even more so. They had worked so hard and there was nothing to show for it. The perp was too slippery.
The Captain cleared his throat, "If the victim won't identify her attacker, we don't have a case gentlemen." Cragen announced, "We'll have to move on."
Elliot looked up to see Olivia walking in. Marching in, really. This case really bothered her from the start. And the fact that there was no concrete evidence to pin their suspect with meant that there would be another victim, and they may not live.
"We can't just move on," she argued. "Did you see what he did to her? Elizabeth's a wreck, he destroyed her. We can't just move on."
Elliot knew Olivia's empathy was crucial in their investigations at SVU, and the hardest part was not getting closure. "Liv, we have no evidence," he said despondently.
His tone must have struck a chord with her. She slumped in her chair and held her head in her hands. "So now what? We wait for his next victim?"
Fin, Munch, Stabler and Cragen all exchanged glances.
"We move on." Cragen said.
The dim lighting of the squadroom combined with the dull text of CSU's lab reports made Olivia's eyes ache. She couldn't get this case out of her head. It was strangely familiar, but she couldn't put her finger on it. As the lines blurred, she blinked wearily. Darkness pulled at her, and she could not resist. Her eyelids dropped like lead weights and she grudgingly accepted her fate.
Olivia jerked up, gasping. She looked up to see Fin in front of her, his eyes hinting at concern and amusement. "God, Fin! You scared the crap outta me," she combed her hair with her fingers as she sat up.
"You okay? Been here a long time." He looked at his watch, "It's ten o'clock."
"Yeah, I'm fine," she yawned. "Just going over the Beyers case." Olivia shuffled her papers and placed them in a file folder.
"Got me there," she confessed. Chuckling, she wiped the corner of her mouth.
"That was one helluva case, Liv. Don't know if there's anything left to salvage."
"There's always something" Olivia stared at the file folder. "There's gotta be," Her fingers drummed the desk for a moment and her mind flashed back over the day, going over all the evidence. "You know what gets me?"
"What?" Fin asked.
"Why'd he wipe his prints?"
"Didn't wanna get caught." Fin answered, like it was a no brainer.
"Yeah, but Aberdeen has no record, so even if we hadn't brought him in, there would be no match on the prints."
Fin nodded, comprehension dawning on his face. "Our perp has somethin' to hide." He grabbed his keys out of his locker.
"Yeah, like a record." Olivia shrugged her jacket on. "Maybe it's not Aberdeen." She didn't want to admit it, but she had to be objective.
"This guy's a predator, knows how to cover his tracks."
"I just don't want to see another victim," Olivia said with regret. If Aberdeen was the perp, he was out there now, walking the streets, picking his next target, making his move. It was enough to make her shiver. She wasn't afraid for herself, but it seemed inevitable that there would be another call, another early morning, another victim.
"Walk with ya," Fin offered.
"Sure." Olivia picked up her purse, and the two walked out of the dark squadroom together in silence. They had gotten through the hall and were heading down the stairs when someone approached them.
"Olivia!" She turned to see Melinda Warner coming towards her.
"Melinda?" she asked in surprise. The Medical Examiner was the last person she thought she'd see tonight.
"Hey, glad I caught you in time," Warner approached the detectives. "The results from the kinship analysis you ordered." She held up a white envelope.
"You got a match?" Olivia all but snatched it out of the ME's hands. She had submitted her own DNA to be ran through a database that would match it to any person whose DNA was in the system. The kinship analysis would check to see if they shared common alleles, which would make them relatives. Her desire to find her father, or anyone related to him had been a driving force in her life. Of course, Warner didn't know that it was her DNA.
Melinda crossed her arms, looking at Fin and then Benson, "I found an uncle, he's in Rikers."
Wide eyed, Olivia stared at Warner, "Father's side or mother's?" As far as she knew, her mother didn't have any living relatives that had a criminal record.
Her heart did a triple backflip when she heard that word. In shock, she stared at the envelope. "Melinda... thanks," Olivia said, eyes still on the envelope.
"Anytime," said Warner, unaware of Olivia's anxiousness as she walked away.
"Whassat about?" Fin asked as they trotted down the stairs.
Olivia hesitated for a split second as she thought of what to say to her colleague and friend. "Nothing, just a cold case," she lied. She stepped ahead of him and opened the door, letting him through first.
"Hm," Fin grunted.
They walked in silence the rest of the way.
After leaving Fin at the metro, she continued walking through the city streets, absorbed in her own thoughts, oblivious to her surroundings. Blinking, Olivia found herself at a late night diner a block and a half from her apartment. She sat down at a window seat and ordered tea. It had started to drizzle outside and streaks of rain reflected the glow of city lights in the window. Her hand reached into the inside pocket for the envelope, the eggshell texture of it giving her the goosebumps. What was it that Melinda said? A one in ten thousand chance that there was even a hit? Impatient, Olivia tore open the envelope and pulled the two folded white papers out.
Her hands trembled as she read the information contained on the pages. One page was a summary analysis of the DNA alleles that had been tested and matched, and the other was a brief of the man that she would identify as her uncle:
Birth date: 02/27/1945
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 163 lbs.
Charges and Convictions:
Assault and Battery in the 2nd degree
Assaulting an officer
Date of conviction: 09/17/2002
Sentencing:15 years maximum security
Parole: 10 Years
Current Prison Facility: Rikers Penitentiary.
A soaring feeling caught in her chest. Was it hope? Olivia didn't know. Questions littered her thoughts. Was her father alive? Did he have any children? Did he rape her mother? She folded the papers up and slid them back in the envelope. Her tea was cold and untouched. Tossing a couple folded dollar bills on the worn table, she walked out into the night. She held the key to her very existence and she was afraid what doors it would open.