A/N: So, this story is going to be a bit different than my others, and I'm a little nervous about it, but I hope you enjoy! In the episode Stalked, it was said that Olivia had started working at the SVU for about a year and half prior to season 1, so that's where this starts. Also, it's a bit AU because Elliot is already separated from Kathy, but not yet divorced. Let me know what you think after you read :) Oh, and the past is in italics and the rating will turn to M in a later chap ;) Also, the first scene in this story is from my one shot called Haze of Wine :)
She walked into her empty apartment after a long and challenging day at work and eyed the bottle that had been taunting her from it's place on the kitchen counter for the past few days. She'd resisted as long as possible, but tonight she would give in to the sweet temptation.
She craved it. Deserved it. It was Friday evening after all, and as usual she had no plans.
Serena placed her briefcase by the door, toed off her shoes, and let her jacket slide from her shoulders and onto the plush, beige carpet.
As she eyed the bottle of Cabernet, her mouth watered in anticipation. She knew she shouldn't. Knew she was often a mean drunk, but tonight she was alone. Just as she preferred it.
The entire process was a seduction of sorts. She felt the cold metal weight of the corkscrew in her hand as she gripped the smooth, glass bottle with the other. Once it was opened, she leaned in to deeply inhale the woodsy bouquet. Her pulse quickened as she poured a glass, the crimson liquid flowing until half full. She swirled it twice before pressing the glass to her lips.
Serena sighed, almost in sweet relief, as the wine filled her waiting mouth. Various flavors danced over her tongue as she savored it for a moment before swallowing. The delicious burn soothed her parched throat and the heat swirled deep in her stomach.
She walked over to her overstuffed, pale blue loveseat and sunk into the cushions. Immediately she was able to relax and after two more glasses, her body hummed through a haze of wine as she lost herself. The stress of the week all but disappeared and her muscles became like jelly.
She looked around the dim, simply decorated apartment, her eyes finally landing on a wooden door. Olivia's room. Perhaps she should pick her up from day care. Perhaps she should attempt once again to spend some quality time with her four year old. The thoughts were fleeting, painful. Olivia was better off at day care, better off without her. She stood up to cross the room, eying her demon once again.
The bottle was practically empty, save for one more small glass worth of the sweet, warm burn she desired. Just one more glass and she could retreat into the darkness of sleep, to once again avoid her reality.
Olivia stood at the bottom of the concrete steps leading into the sixteenth precinct and stared up at the building before her. Pulling her light jacket tighter to her body against the cool breeze, the air filled her lungs as she inhaled a deep breath trying to calm her nerves.
She was here.
As she walked up the stairs and made her way into the squad room she knew it was finally time. Time to face her demons and get justice for women like her mother. Justice for children who had to grow up with parents like her own.
At twenty-nine years old, she was no veteran, but she'd be damned if anyone told her she didn't know about special victims. As nervous as she was walking into the large open room bustling with life, she was also confident. She felt at home as soon as the balding man that was her new captain walked toward her with an outstretched hand.
"Detective Benson, good to see you again." He had a firm handshake but a warm smile that put her at ease.
"Captain Cragen," she nodded as she shook his hand and scanned the busy room, taking particular notice of the three men and one woman watching her with interest.
"Let me introduce you to the team and your new partner and then we can go over any questions you may have." Cragen led her over to the group and one man stood as she came closer.
He was striking with his deep blue eyes and a trim, but seemingly muscular build. He was masculine looking, but his warm, sensual smile prevented him from being intimidating…at least not to Olivia.
Her heart fluttered as he took a step closer and extended his right hand. "Elliot Stabler. I'm your new partner…try to keep up." He released her hand that was now tingling with electricity and gave her a cocky smirk.
Who the hell did this guy think he was anyway?
Olivia raised an eyebrow at him and tilted her chin. "You can call me Benson…and bring it on."
The other woman chuckled while the two men let out a low whistle at Olivia's tenacity.
"I like her already. John Munch, welcome to our humble crew."
Olivia smiled, already feeling comfortable with the older man and then introduced herself to the rest of the group, including Monique Jeffries and Ken Briscoe.
"Hey, Cap, this call came in a few minutes ago, but I'm due in court in twenty. Shall we break in the newbie?" Briscoe gave her a goofy grin as he handed Cragen a pink slip of paper.
"Looks like orientation is over, Detective. You and Stabler can take this one." He patted her on the shoulder as Olivia took the paper from his hand.
"Showtime Benson, let's see what you're made of." Elliot breezed past her and grabbed his jacket, walking out of the squad room without giving her another glance.
Olivia sighed as she slipped her hand into her jacket pocket and slowly ran her index finger over what was tucked inside. Thinking of her mother, she followed after Elliot, exiting through the double doors and heading out to her first case.
The lights, sounds, and people swirled around her as she danced. She felt free and uninhibited as her body swayed in time to the music; it felt as though she was the only person in the bar.
Taking another sip of her vodka cranberry, she glanced briefly toward Stan, her favorite bartender. Serena smiled as she saw him readjust her five year old daughter on his hip. She'd have to remember to thank him properly for minding Olivia while she enjoyed her evening.
Olivia squirmed in Stan's arms as she waved at her mother, trying to capture her attention as she danced. "Mommy's so pretty," she whispered wistfully.
"She sure is kiddo. You're very lucky to have a mommy like her." Stan's leering eyes never left Serena's gyrating form.
"I don't look like my mommy," Olivia sadly informed Stan. "I look like the filthy monster…that's what mommy says."
Finally tearing his stare from Serena, Stan's eyebrows wrinkled into a frown. "What monster, Livia?"
"The one that made me…"
"You mean your daddy?"
Olivia shrugged and wriggled out of his grip until he placed her on the ground.
"Where ya going, honey?" Stan questioned, confused as she started to walk away.
"I gotta go wash my face now. Maybe if I keep washing off the filth, I can be pretty like Mommy someday…"
The drive to the scene was filled with awkward silence with Elliot sneaking quick glances at his new partner. Out of the corner of his eye he saw her brow furrow in question.
"Aren't we supposed to be heading to the Seaport? You probably should have turned-"
"Look, Benson, I've been doing this a little longer than you have, so don't worry that pretty head of yours. I know where I'm going."
Olivia glared at him and crossed her arms over her chest. "Pretty," she scoffed, rolling her eyes.
Did she really just dismiss the fact that he called her pretty? Elliot sighed and wondered how anyone that looked like this woman could possibly not think she was anything but beautiful. He sure as hell thought she was. A pain in the ass yes, but also very attractive.
As much as it aggravated him to be stuck with a rookie, Elliot had to admit Olivia had balls. There were not many women in the SVU in general, and especially not many that looked like her. She was going to have a tough road ahead, dealing with all the scum and perverts of Manhattan. Perhaps it was hasty of him to brush her off from the start the way he did.
There was just something in the way she carried herself and didn't back down from him that made him curious and he suddenly found himself wanting to know more about her.
"So uh, Benson, what made you volunteer for this unit?"
Olivia froze in her seat for a moment, then cleared her throat and turned to look at Elliot. "Pretty heavy question for the first day, don't you think?"
"Probably, but we're partners now. We should probably get to know each other better."
Raising her eyebrow in amusement, Olivia chuckled lightly. "Oh, so now you want to be friendly, huh? What changed between the station house and now?"
Elliot couldn't help but smile when she laughed. It was a unique sound and it made his heart clench, sensing that Olivia was not one that laughed often seeing as how she'd barely cracked a smile since she'd walked into the squad room.
"Forget I said anything, geez." He grinned and briefly touched her arm. "How about an easier question, like, when do I get to call you Olivia?"
Stopping at a red light, he turned to look at her fully and winked playfully. He couldn't deny the way his heart rate quickened just the slightest bit when she smiled shyly and bit her bottom lip.
This was definitely the start of something interesting.