Disclaimer: These characters are not mine. They belong to Dick Wolf.

Author's note: This kind of explores a less traditional view of Olivia's childhood, so if it offends you, don't read.

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Alex Cabot ran a hand anxiously through her long blonde hair as she stared up at her new school. It was the first time she'd be going to a public school – for the last eight years, her parents had sent her to the best boarding school money could buy, but Alex had begged them to let her come home and try a 'real' school for grade nine.

So there she stood in the parking lot with her designer outfit and $400 Gucci purse slung over her shoulder, wondering if this was a mistake.

She noticed four or five boys who looked to be seniors, juniors at least, sitting on the curb, smoking cigarettes. Sitting between the boys was a girl who looked to be about Alex's age, maybe a year younger, with big chocolate eyes. She was wearing an oversized black sweatshirt and ripped track pants, her shoulder-length brown hair hanging in her face. She took a drag on her own cigarette, but there was something in those chocolate eyes that made Alex wonder about her and want to get to know her better.

The bell rang and the boys ground out their cigarettes. The girl, though, continued to smoke unperturbedly.

"Hey, Benson," called one of the boys, a muscular African-American. "You're gonna be late."

She punched him lightly in the shoulder though he was at least twice her size. "Fuck off."

The other boys chuckled good-naturedly and so did Alex. She found it amusing to her such vulgar street talk coming from a girl her own age.

They all stopped laughing and the girl whirled around to glare at Alex. "What are you laughing at?"

The boys grinned at her and scampered off as she stubbed out her cigarette and started toward Alex, who hastily wiped the grin off her face. "Nothing."

The girl looked at her appraisingly, taking in the perfectly coordinated outfit and platinum blonde hair, not a single strand out of place. "You new here?"

Alex nodded and held out her hand. "My name's Alex Cabot. It's nice to meet you."

The girl rolled her eyes at Alex's outstretched hand, "Benson. Olivia Benson. What do you have first?"

Alex took out her schedule. "Um, French."

"With Brailin? I do, too. She's a bitch – hates my guts. Wanna walk with me?"

Alex just stood there, gaping.

Olivia snapped her finger under Alex's nose. "Cabot! You coming?"

Alex nodded and followed Olivia to the French room and sat down next to her.

"Olivia, take off your coat," said the woman at the front of the room without even turning around.

Olivia groaned. "It's a sweatshirt."

"I don't care. Take it off."

She rolled her eyes. "See?" she muttered to Alex as she removed the sweatshirt.

Alex was drawn to a fading purple bruise on Olivia's neck. "What happened to your –?"

"Nothing," snapped Olivia, raising her hand to cover the mark. "Leave me alone!"

Alex drew back, putting her hands up in surrender. "Okay, okay. Calm down."

Olivia gritted her teeth. "Don't tell me to calm down."

She turned away in disgust as their teacher started to walk around the room collecting homework. She stopped at Olivia's desk. "Where's your homework?"

"I forgot it."

"For two weeks?"

"I said I did it and I forgot it," growled Olivia.

"My hearing's fine. It's your homework that's not."

Alex could see that this was a power struggle they had daily. She didn't know what to make of the mysterious Olivia. Alex could tell there was something she was holding back, a secret she hid from the world, but she didn't know what it was.

Olivia shrugged. "I'll bring it for tomorrow."

"Olivia Benson, that isn't good enough. I've given you two weeks of leeway and now I'm fed up. I'm going to call your mother."

"Don't!" exclaimed Olivia, her chocolate eyes flashing. It took Alex a moment to recognize the expression on her face, but then she did – it was fear.

"You should have thought of that before, Olivia."

"I'll have it for tomorrow!"

"I'm sure you will. Your mother will make sure of it."

Olivia closed her eyes and leaned back in her chair. "Bitch," she muttered to her teacher's retreating back.

Ms. Brailin didn't even turn around. "Detention, Olivia. One more word and I'll make it a week's worth."

Olivia turned to Alex but didn't say anything else until her teacher was out of earshot. "She really has it in for me."

"You shouldn't have called her a bitch," replied Alex, realizing the second the words were out of her mouth that this was the wrong thing to say.

"Right," said Olivia sarcastically. "It's my fault. It's always my fault." She turned away and refused to speak to Alex for the rest of the class.

* * *

Olivia and Alex had the next class, gym, together. Alex started for the change room but Olivia didn't follow. She turned back. "Are you coming?"

Olivia shook her head. "I don't do gym."

"Is that allowed?" asked Alex.

Olivia shrugged nonchalantly. "Probably not, but there ain't nothin' they can do about it."

Alex changed into her gym clothes before coming back out to the gym where she saw Olivia leaning against the wall, twiddling her thumbs. Alex debated saying something to her, but she didn't want to seem too prissy, so instead she turned and sat down on a bench. She was picked last for the soccer team – no one wanted the new girl to be with them.

* * *

At lunch, Alex sat by herself, reading a book and pretending she didn't care, though she did. She didn't like being alone.

"Yo, Cabot!" called a voice from the other side of the cafeteria. "What are you doin'? Come sit with us."

Alex got up and made her way to the table where Olivia was sitting with the group of seniors. She gingerly pulled out a seat next to Olivia and sat down.

"Hey, guys, this is Alex Cabot. She's new. She's in some of my classes," said Olivia.

A tall, thin boy with dark hair raised his eyebrows. "You made a friend, eh, Benson?"

She punched him lightheartedly on the shoulder. "Screw you."

"Screw you," he replied.

Everyone laughed. Alex giggled uncomfortably, not knowing how to react to these older boys who swore like sailors.

The boy smiled at Alex. "I'm Elliot. This is Fin, Chester, John, and Brian."

"Hi," she said shyly. "It's nice to meet you."

Chester laughed. "Why would someone as prim as you wanna be friends with our Benson?"

"Shut up," said Olivia, grinning.

Alex didn't understand their casual banter but she laughed along with them. But she couldn't help but think that her parents would not be pleased with her new group of friends.

* * *

"How was your day, Alexandra?" asked her mother after school.

"It was fine, Mother," replied Alex.

"Did you make any friends?"

Alex hesitated. "Yes. Her name is Olivia."

"That's nice. Why don't you have her over this weekend? I would like to meet this new friend of yours."

"Maybe," said Alex, thinking to herself, No way!

"Go upstairs and do your homework now, Alexandra," said her mother. "Your father and I are going out for the evening. Have the cook make you something when you get hungry."

"Yes, Mother."

Alex retreated to her room and turned on her computer. She emailed some of her old friends from her boarding school and played a couple rounds of solitaire. Then she took out a book and read three chapters before setting it down in frustration.

She couldn't get Olivia out of her head.

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