A Deal to Die For
Chapter One: Eight Years Left...
I was never the praying type. I wasn't a devout Catholic like my partner, Elliot. After witnesses the horrific things we encountered daily, I wondered how he could still believe in a higher power. If there was a God, he either didn't care or he simply looked away from all the sins happening on Earth. How many victims pleaded to him as they were being raped and tortured? Murdered?
What about me? God must have abandoned me before I was even born. Otherwise, he wouldn't have given me a rapist for a father, and left me with the broken alcoholic that became my mother.
Because of the circumstances of my birth I decided to become a detective. I was determined to help the women like my mother and stop the bastards reminiscent of my father. I wouldn't turn my back on them like God had. I would save them.
Despite my good intentions, I was young and naive. Some of the victims went on to lead normal lives but many...most did not. The healing process was slow. The wounds were gaping and infected. I couldn't save them like I wanted to. Hell, I couldn't even save my own mother. Back then every new case took a small piece from me.
After darkness comes dawn, right? Cliché? Sure. Cheesy? You bet. In my case those words spoke the truth. I had my fair share of romances and one-night stands. Brian Cassidy was what I liked to call a one-night mistake. At one point in time, I even thought I might be in love with Abbie Carmichael. That quickly ended once she decided that transferring to Washington D.C was the best move for her career, and I decided that I didn't have time for a long-distance relationship.
Then along came Alex and my world changed. She was absolutely spoiled, arrogant, too ambitious...intelligent, and beautiful. Shining.
Of course, I played it off cool in the beginning. I know what people say about me, and I had an image to keep up. The leather, the hair, and the swagger was no mere accident. I couldn't keep my composure all the time; sometimes, I think Cabot knew just how to get under my skin.
I will admit that I had almost given up. I mean sure, Alex threw subtle hints of interest towards me: a lingering touch here, a rapidly beating heart there, the occasional flirting, but nothing that I could be sure of. She simply would not warm towards me.
Somehow, we both managed to get past the Eric Plummer and Sam Cavanaugh fiascoes. When I look back, I realize that those were two of the three most defining cases of our relationship. Those were the cases that almost ruined us beyond repair, but also formed a bond that couldn't be broken. The Cavanaugh case stripped her down; it exposed her. We finally got to see the woman behind the expensive suits and the relentless pursuit of political power. On the inside Alex was like the rest of us; just another lost soul trying to leave her mark on the world. I asked her to have a drink, and for the first time she accepted. We both were staggering drunk, and I ended up crashing on the couch at her place. From there on it was a whirlwind.
I don't think any two people fell in love so easily throughout the history of time. A year went by and my fucking heart felt like it wanted to explode. It felt even better because I knew deep down that she felt the same way. Elliot seemed a little irritated at first, but he got over it. He must have figured out that it would be a cold day in hell before I let Alex go.
We moved in together.
Before I knew it, I was going ring shopping. I made it a big deal to ask Elliot and Kathy to come along with me. Kathy was so enthusiastic that we spent most of the day in the city trying to find the perfect ring to symbolize my love. Maybe she was just happy to get out of the house and away from four kids or she was finally just relieved that I wasn't trying to steal her husband. Either way we were both happy.
She said yes, and we lived happily ever, right?... Not exactly
First, there was Alex's mother. To say she disapproved was an understatement. Alex invited her over to share the good news, and she just snapped. She started screaming about how Alex wasn't really a lesbian, and that I was ruining her life. She said that Alex could flush her political ambitions down the toilet because no one would vote for some dyke. If she wasn't Alex's mother I would have punched the old broad's fucking lights out.
I couldn't believe that Alex was just sitting there and taking the abuse. I jumped out of my seat ready to defend her honor if not anything else. I felt a hand take my arm, and gently pull me back down to my seat.
Blue eyes turned to meet blue. Alex and her mother were almost identical in physical features: they were both slim, pale and blonde with blue eyes. However, there was a distinct difference in their personalities.
Alex would not be controlled by the society she was raised in. She took my hand in her own and calmly explained to her mother that we would be together, and there was nothing she could do to convince her otherwise. I wanted to kiss her right there...so I did. Her mother got up and left, and that was the last time she ever saw her daughter.
We set a wedding date. I couldn't have been happier.
I should have known it was too good to be true. Life hadn't given me any breaks, why should it start now?
They shot her.
When Alex went after that murdering rapist bastard Raphael Zapata, a hit was put out on her. She refused to back down or go into hiding. It is amazing how the things I loved her for, were the same things that drove me crazy.
When the bullets started ringing I threw myself down. Call it a cops instinct, but I hate myself for it now. She wasn't quite as quick as Elliot and I.
By the time I reached her, Alex was already gasping for air. I pressed my palms as hard as I could against her wound, but her life kept rushing through my fingers.
Alex survived the trip to the hospital but she was already slipping away. Every breath was becoming a struggle.
Baby, they say that you might not make it.
I stare through the glass my insides hollow as they try to resuscitate her. I'm alone watching her die, they wouldn't let Elliot come back.
…..She flat lined.
I pound on the glass so hard that my knuckles bleed. The hospital security soon showed up and made me wait in the lobby.
Soon Captain Cragen and the rest of the squad come. Alex's mother also barges in demanding to see her. I couldn't even look at her; Alex's blood was all over me. Elliot talks for me. I can't speak. I am consumed with rage and guilt.
When they pronounced her dead; I walked out.
I could hear her mother's screams behind me.
I made it back to the precinct in record breaking time. I can feel my heart slamming painfully against my chest, and my temples throbbed constantly. I threw my locker open and grabbed the Teflon vest that I kept stored inside. I strapped it on over the shirt covered with your blood, my black leather goes on top.
I took all of my spare clips, and stuffed them in my pockets for easy access. I also tuck a 9 mm against the groove of my lower back.
I slammed the locker shut, and sobbed forcefully doubling over. After a moment, I managed to pull myself together and clip my badge to the front of my jacket. I want Zapata to see who is coming.
As I am leaving, the door bursts open and Elliot rushes in. Luckily, the precinct was deserted and most of the squad were still at the hospital with Alex's body. He freezes for a moment when he sees the vest I am wearing and the dead look in my eyes. I tried to rush past him but he easily scooped me up and slammed me on a nearby desk.
"What the hell are you doing?" he demanded.
"Get the fuck off me, El." I said in a deadly whisper.
"Liv, the Feds picked up Zapata, he's going to rot in prison. There is nothing you can do about it. This won't bring Alex back and you know it."
I shoved him off me and swung wildly with my fist. He just dodged the blow and slammed me back down on the desk. I thrashed madly and called him every name I could think of, but he refused to let go. He just stood there taking it.
Would he be so fucking rational if it were Kathy on the slab instead?
No, but the logical woman still in my mind knows that I would try to stop him too if the situations were reversed.
Fuck that. Fuck logical. He can hold me down now but he can't hold me forever. I will find some way to get to that bastard even if it kills me.
After a few moments of holding me down, Elliot finally released me. I made a beeline for the door but he touched my shoulder.
" You can go, I won't try to stop you. Go on a rampage if you want." Elliot said quietly. "Barge into a secure lock down and try to get to Zapata before they kill you."
I was halfway out the door to the elevator before he spoke again " But, I'm going with you."
I froze midway and glared behind me "No, you aren't."
There was no way in the hell I would allow Elliot to come. If I was honest with myself I knew this was a suicide mission. There was no way I could get to Zapata. The government probably wanted him dead a lot more than I did. He had killed one of their own. If I died my partner and the squad would miss me, but they would eventually move on. Elliot, on the other hand had a wife and four kids who needed him.
"I'm going alone," I said coldly.
"How you gonna stop me, Liv?" he dared. "You'll have to kill me first."
I sighed inwardly burning with rage and loyalty towards my partner. I just couldn't bear to lose another person I loved.
"I'm going home." I said accepting defeat, but not wanting to say so out loud.
I thought I saw Elliot sigh with relief but I ignored him and waited for the elevator. I saw him come to stand in my peripheral vision.
"Liv, you know that I can't let you leave here with a gun."
"I'm fine," I snapped.
He held out his hand, " I wasn't asking. Captain already gave me permission to take it."
I snatched my gun out of the holster and checked its safety before handing it to him. "Happy?"
"Not until you give me the 9."
That son of a bitch knew me too well. I shake my head, and reached behind me taking the spare 9mm from my lower back. Normally, I would keep the gun at home, but I had stored it in the precinct while my apartment was being repaired.
I put the 9mm in his hand and stepped on the elevator. As the doors closed, I looked up at Elliot and tears begin to brim my eyes.
"I'm so sorry, Liv."
I'm grateful that the door closed shut before I started sobbing again.
Alex. Alex. How can you be dead?
I woke up to a sharp probe against my rib cage. I opened my eyes and quickly shielded them against the blinding sunlight.
A beat cop was standing over me and holding his nightstick " Rise and shine. Look lady, you can't sleep here go somewhere else."
" Where is here?" I croaked blinking my eyes to clear my vision.
"Central Park. Now get going."
I sat up on the hard bench and watched him walk down the runner's trail. I staggered to my feet trying to clear my head of the massive headache that had formed.
I remember after I left the precinct I couldn't face an empty apartment. I wandered the city all night instead. Apparently, I winded up sleeping on a bench in Central Park. I desperately needed a shower and a fresh change of clothing but I still couldn't bring myself to go home. I now had my whole life to go home to an empty apartment.
I stopped at the nearest twenty-four-hour liquor store and bought a bottle of scotch; last night it had been vodka. I must have looked odd standing there disheveled with blood shot eyes wearing a Teflon vest underneath a leather jacket.
Outside of the store, I twisted the cap and took a long swig from the glass bottle. I shut my eyes against the taste and cringed as the warm liquid burned its way down my throat. I finished the bottle sending it crashing onto the brick wall of the store.
My cell phone rang and it was Elliot probably checking in on me. Stupid Elliot. " Hello?" I heard my voice slur.
The voice on the other end sighed " You're drunk Liv. Where are you?"
I looked around too quickly and nearly fell. I staggered managing to keep my balance and the phone in my hand, "H... How the hell should I know?" I answered laughing at the stupid questions he always asked.
I threw the phone against the wall as well, and enjoyed watching it explode into tiny little pieces of plastic.
The store owner ran out yelling at me in Chinese or something that sounds like it and threatened to call the police. I laughed at him and pretended to shoot him with my index finger and thumb 'gun.'
"I am the police," I said before stumbling away.
Before I knew it the sun was falling and I managed to sober up a little after vomiting a few times. I decided to go home and face my empty apartment and then Elliot. I took the quickest route of transport, the subway.
I found an empty car and sat down on one of the filthy seats. I tried and failed not to think about Alex's cold body in the morgue. I cried again and pulled my knees up to my chest.
"Are you alright, ma'am?" an unfamiliar voice asked.
I looked up to see a woman with dark hair and bright green eyes leaning towards me. She wore a black spaghetti strapped top, a pair of blue jeans and high heels. The cop in me quickly decided it wasn't safe for a young woman like her to ride the subway alone. I told her that I was fine and put my head back down. She sat down in the seat next to me.
"Are you sure that you're alright?" she asked.
I decided not to respond in hopes that she would go away. Not only did she not take the bait, but she asked me what my name was.
"Olivia," I mumbled wiping my eyes and setting my feet on the floor. I noticed that she hadn't said her name, but I didn't care to ask.
"Why were you crying?" she asked smiling, I couldn't place it but something was off about this woman.
"A woman I loved died," I replied staring blankly out of the window.
"Olivia, death is a natural part of life. We shouldn't mourn those who leave us, but instead rejoice for them."
"Don't preach to me. There wasn't anything natural about the way she died," I snapped at the woman.
The smile never let her face; even as I got up and moved away.
" I'd bet you'd give anything to have her back, wouldn't you?"
I shook my head and laughed bitterly " Anything." I buried my head in my hands quickly hiding the tears coming to my eyes.
I felt the woman sit next to me again, but I refused to look up. "What if I told you that I could give her back? And it wouldn't even cost you anything, not for eight whole years."
I lifted my head fury quickly igniting inside my chest " Listen, I don't know who in the hell you are-"
I suddenly lost my voice because the once emerald eyes were now a crimson red. They changed back to normal so quickly that I wondered if it was just the after effects of the alcohol.
She kept smiling, "Do we have a deal?"
I must have been still been drunk because I asked, " What happens after eight years?"
That damned smile, "I think you know the answer to that."
I knew what she was implying, but I refused to believe that it was possible. The concept of a human soul was simply our conscious within us, not an immortal life force.
" If I were you, I would stay away from PCP."
The subway screeched and slowly came to a halt. Before I could step off onto the platform the woman spoke again.
"What are you going do Olivia?" she asked, "What will you do when they put her six feet under the ground? Where will you be when her flesh begins to rot, and her bones turn to dust?"
I looked up at the ceiling as a wave of anguish washed over me. I spun back around facing the woman. I felt so desperate and hopeless. What else could I do?
"I will do whatever you ask," I heard my voice say.
The lights flickered and went off. When they came back on the woman was standing right in front of me.
"Do we have a deal Olivia Benson?" she asked. I didn't bother to ask how she knew my full name. In my heart, I knew the answer.
I swallowed hard and clenched my jaw, my eyes set with determination, "Yes, just bring Alex back."
The stranger grabbed me by the collar of my leather coat and pulled me into a deep kiss. I returned it equally pouring all the love I felt for Alex into it.
It was the coldest kiss I ever had.
"I'll take care of all the details," she replied, " Oh, and Olivia...I'll see you in eight years."
The lights flickered off and when they returned, she was gone.
Despite a protest from Elliot, I went back to work a couple of days later. I tried to forget about what happened on the subway, and told myself not to drink so much again. Alex was gone and no amount of hocus pocus could bring her back.
When the Captain came out to tell us that Zapata had been killed in a holding cell with no witnesses, I smiled. I only wished that I could have been there to pull the trigger on the bastard myself. He then told us that Agent Hammond wanted to see us about closing the case.
As far as I was concerned, until I saw Velez and the assassin that killed Alex burn, the case would never be closed.
I went along with Elliot to a secluded area surround by tall sedge plants. There were black cars and SUVs lined up behind the lanky row of plants.
Upon our arrival Hammond immediately stepped out of the passenger's side of a Chevy Caprice and began leading us towards another black vehicle
"Nice location...convenient," said Elliot sarcastically taking in our surroundings.
"Sorry," said Hammond unfazed my partners sense, or lack of humor. "Only way to do this."
"Wouldn't take no for an answer. A real pain in the ass this one."
A Marshall opened the door and a ghost stepped out. I felt too many emotions at once: relief, joy, love...and fear. Alex was alive, but her ice blue eyes were filled with such despair.
"I am so sorry about all of this," she whispered.
I could barely find my own voice. I tried to take in every ounce of her at one time and tears came to my eyes, " Your funeral is tomorrow."
"You're both expected to attend. For the time being Miss Cabot is better off dead." I heard Hammond say from behind me. "If Velez can get to Zapata, he can get to her."
"Witness Protection?" Elliot asked.
"Until Velez is extradited or otherwise dealt with." she confirmed woefully.
"How long?" I had finally gotten Alex back, only to find out that she was leaving me again
She struggled for the answer before finally shrugging. Too soon and Hammond was saying that it was time to go. Alex reached for my hand and I saw the ring glistening on her finger. It gave me a small glimmer of hope as they hauled the woman I loved away.
I only have eight years left to see her, it was bitter sweet. I was overjoyed that Alex was alive but bitter that she was gone. Every second steadily ticked towards my certain doom. What in the hell would happen after eight years?
At that moment, I know that there had to be a god, because I had clearly made a deal with the devil.