Disclaimer: I don't own Law & Order SVU, I just wish, desperately.

Strength

Everyone thought she was weak, but they were wrong. When she was in school, the kids teased here, so she'd grown a thick skin. It was hard, but she survived. That's what she did best: survive. The teachers found out she was the child of rape and pitied her. She hadn't needed that either. They had no idea what she went through at home, what made her strong.

When she became a cop, there were still very few women on the force. Her fellow officers thought she was weak too. She ignored them and worked harder. She put her tough skin to good use. Looking back, she could smile to herself. Of her graduating class, she was one of the few who had made it to the rank of detective. She was stronger than they believed too.

As a detective in SVU, her fellow detectives thought she was weak, too, easy, soft. Her own partner asked her if she was ok about ten times a day over each case they took. He didn't realize that her past made her even more capable, that it made her stronger. All they saw was her compassion, her sympathy, her feelings. They always seemed to conveniently forget that she was a cop first. She had proved to them she was strong more than once, but they always coddled her. Even the Captain tried to look after her. She always pushed them aside. She was a survivor. She was strong, stronger than they gave her credit for, stronger than they would ever be able to comprehend.