Disclaimer: I don't own these characters; I only borrow them when I'm bored. They will be returned in the same condition they were received.
Author's Note: I know it's beginning a bit slow, but it will definately get better! Please give it a shot!
It was an unseasonably cold, rainy, windy October evening. Olivia was circling her apartment trying to pack all of the things she would need for her latest undercover assignment. Her hands shook as she folded a t-shirt and put it into her suitcase. The feeling of dread was intensifying in the pit of her stomach. She hadn't gone undercover since Sealview a year ago. She scanned her apartment trying to remember any other items she would need. It was a long time since she had been to college. She couldn't even remember what student life was like anymore. She hoped the graduate student housing would be a step up from what she remembered from her undergrad days.
Olivia was going undercover as a psychology graduate student at Columbia University. She had been taking classes since the beginning of the term in September. However, Cragen felt she could dig deeper if she was a resident student. Her unit was investigating the rape and murder of both a student, Gertrude Bigsby, and psychology professor Dr. Shannon Lawrence, at Columbia. Dr. Marcus Emery was at the center of the investigation. He was the last person seen with both victims before they were found dead. A tip had been called into the precinct that Dr. Emery had been romantically involved with both Bigsby and Lawrence. Olivia had only been in Emery's class for four weeks, and could easily see that Emery enjoyed relationships with his female students beyond the classroom.
Olivia zipped up her suitcase. She went over to her desk, and turned on her desk lamp. She reached into her book bag, and pulled out her advanced psychology text book and note book. The course work was killing her. If Huang wasn't helping her, she would have definitely have flunked out by now. Even with Huang's help, Olivia still struggled. She had to take the exams on her own. She had to do well because it would not make sense if she did well on papers, but bombed the exams. It would seem as if she was buying papers from a paper mill. She didn't want to cast suspicion on herself. She felt as if she was spending every free moment she had with her nose in a book. It was especially difficult for Olivia because she had no background in psychology. She had majored in Criminal Justice.
Olivia tried to concentrate on her notes, but couldn't. She did not want to go undercover full time again. It was one thing to go to classes, hang around the campus, and go home. It was completely different to move into a dorm room and pretend to be a real grad student indefinitely. She felt as if she was giving up her life once again for her job.
The next morning, Casey helped Olivia move into her new dorm room. When she opened the door for the first time, Casey was shocked.
"They're making you live in this dump?"
Olivia looked around the room with a look of disgust on her face. She was shocked to find out she would be living with a roommate. Cragen was supposed to arrange a single room.
"I guess they were out of singles," Casey said.
Olivia was horrified. The accommodations at Sealview were more posh. She shuddered at the thought of sleeping on a plastic mattress on a metal framed, rusty bed. The walls were cinderblocks painted in a puke green color. She opened the curtain only to find her view of garbage dumpsters in an alley. Olivia couldn't believe this was real.
"Casey, I can't live here. This is horrible."
"Liv, calm down. It's only temporary. Besides, this place is almost decent compared to my room at NYU. I don't think are even any rats!"
Olivia rolled her eyes. If this was graduate student housing, she shuddered to think how the undergrads were forced to live.
"Before I forget," Casey said. "I got you a going away present!"
Olivia gave Casey a skeptical look as she opened a large cardboard box. Inside was a memory foam mattress topper, a 3 pack of Clorox Wipes, and a 3 pack of Lysol disinfecting spray.
Casey smiled. "Well you know swine flu is going around. Better be safe than sorry!"
Casey helped her make her bed, and put a few things away before she left for the evening.
A few hours later as she was putting her clothes away in the closet, she heard the door open. A petite woman with burgundy hair and many tattoos walked in carrying a huge stack of books. She seemed to be in her mid-twenties. She didn't seem pleased to see Olivia in her room.
"I guess you're my roommate," she said flatly as she put down her books on her desk.
Yeah, I'm Olivia. My apartment fell through, so I was lucky enough to get a spot on campus."
"Lucky me," she said sarcastically. I'm Kat. Are you in the grad psych program too?"
"Yeah, I am" Olivia said. "First year."
"Me too," replied Kat.
Olivia didn't know whether or not she should continue talking. Kat didn't seem very friendly.
"Well, if you'll excuse me, I have to get ready. I have plans tonight."
"Sure, no problem. I'll see you later then."
Olivia had a strange feeling about Kat. She seemed very cold. She knew they had just met, but she knew something just wasn't right.
Olivia had a lot of studying to do that night. She needed to be prepared for the class discussion tomorrow. She didn't want to make an ass of herself if she was called on. She pulled on some old sweatpants and an old freebie t-shirt. She wanted to check in with Elliot, but realized that it was already past midnight. He was probably asleep. She couldn't help but wish it was her sleeping next to him in bed. He was much more than just a partner, but she could never act on her desires. A fire alarm pulled her out of her day dream.
"You've got to be kidding me," she said to herself while putting on her ugg slippers, hooded sweatshirt, and grabbing her keys and phone. She headed down the stairwell along with the other dorm residents. They waited outside in the rain for what seemed like an eternity. There were neither flames, nor smoke coming out of the building. The firefighters did not seem alarmed. Olivia assumed they would be allowed to re-enter the building shortly. All of a sudden, she heard the familiar sirens of police cars approaching. She spotted Elliot and Fin along with a few uniforms getting out of the cars. Why would SVU have been called for a fire alarm? Something wasn't right. She made eye contact with Elliot through the crowd. She knew she couldn't break her cover. The detectives made their way into the building, and remained inside. Something was wrong. All of a sudden, her phone beeped. She looked down at the new text message from Elliot.
"Body found in basement. Raped, then shot."
Olivia felt her blood go cold.