A/N: Branching out to a different fandom, of course keeping my old one in perfect condition ;) It has also come to my attention that someone has been leaving hurtful reviews using my name. If I EVER read a story, I will NOT leave awful reviews, and I will ALWAYS sign in or let you know somehow that it's me. Please, ignore any flames you were left by someone using my name as it WAS NOT ME!
DISCLAIMER: Dick Wolf owns SVU and its characters. TStabler© owns the narrative, dialogue and plot of this story.
Jiddu Krishnamurti once said, "When you love, you are very near truth. For, love makes for sensitivity, for vulnerability. That which is sensitive is capable of renewal. Then truth will come into being. It cannot come if your mind and heart are burdened, heavy with ignorance and animosity." I doubt he knew how very true his words were.
Her thoughts were interrupted as she tried to listen to her boss, his words hitting her ears like nails on a chalkboard. She shook her head as she sipped her coffee, trying to keep her thoughts from drifting back to the life she'd left behind.
"He'd be between eighteen and twenty-five, based on the extreme sexual nature of the crimes. Maybe his inadequacy with women is triggering violence." Aaron Hotchner looked up from the file in his hands, meeting the eyes of everyone on his team. All eyes, he noticed, except hers. "Am I boring you, Benson?"
Olivia Benson, the newest member of the BAU and a transplant from the NYPD, shook her head without looking at him as she dropped her coffee mug to the desk. "I just think...he might be older. Eighteen...there's an awful lot of anger here for someone that young and if sex was the stressor, wouldn't it be more probable that it's an older man?" She shrugged and lifted her coffee up again, staring down at it. "Maybe someone who's not getting any from his wife? Maybe a guy who can't get it up anymore...it gets to that point and that's when the rage hits..."
"She's right," Spencer Reid, resident genius, interrupted. "We might have the profile a little skewed because of the ages of the victims. What if he's simply targeting younger women because he knows he'll never really be able to have a woman like that again?"
"So you two think this is some sort of extreme mid-life crisis?" Derek Morgan asked, tossing a rubber ball into the air with a chuckle. "What happened to buying a Porsche?"
Hotchner, teetering on the edge of agreeing with Reid and Benson, shut the file and tossed it onto his desk. "Get Garcia on the phone," he said. "Tell her to narrow down the search to men between the ages of...thirty and forty-five...who are either recently divorced, separated, or..." he paused to look at Olivia, who was still staring into her coffee, "Seeking treatment for any type of ED." He kept his eyes on Olivia as he said, "JJ, get the plane ready."
A pretty blonde walked out of the room as Morgan dropped the ball to his desk. He shifted in his seat, then dialed a number on his phone and pushed the speaker button. He smirked when he heard Penelope Garcia speak.
"The Oracle is in, and ready to serve you," the spunky computer whiz said, the hint of need in her voice directed at Morgan.
"Hey, doll face," Morgan said with a chuckle. "We got a little goose-hunt for ya."
Garcia laughed. "My gun is loaded and aimed, just tell me where to shoot."
"New York Metro area, men between thirty and forty-five who are recently divorced, separated, or widowers." Morgan leaned back as he heard the clicking of Garcia's keys. "You're an angel, ya know that?" he said, closing his eyes.
Reid scoffed and squinted a bit. "Just ask her out already," he joked.
Garcia hummed, ignoring Reid's comment, thankful they couldn't see her blushing through the phone. "Okay, weaving my way through court records. Divorce is a pretty common practice in New York, it seems." There was more clicking. "Divorces and separations, coming at ya. It's a pretty long list, being sent to all of your phones...now."
Simultaneous bleeps and chirps rang through the office, and everyone grabbed their cell phones to scroll through the list. "Cross reference," Hotchner said to them. "Look for any names that have already come up in this investigation. We'll start there."
Garcia cleared her throat. "Oh, my lovelies, I'm one step ahead of you. Gimmie ten minutes and you'll have the men from that list who have been prescribed, have bought, looked at, or even sniffed a bottle of Viagra in the last six months."
"Take your time, sweetness," Morgan said, reading through the long list of names on his cell's screen.
But Olivia had stopped scrolling, her eyes focused on one name that hit her almost immediately. Her coffee fell out of her shaking hands, luckily landing in the trash bin to her left.
"Hey," Reid said, reaching for her shoulder. "You okay?"
"Uh, yeah, yeah," she assured him, nodding. She stood up off the edge of the desk, and she made eye contact with Hotchner for the first time all day. "I just need to make a phone call."
Hotchner nodded at her, watching intently as she left the room fast. He cleared his throat and said, "Hey, Garcia, that list get any smaller?"
"A ton! Newly revised and edited list of lonely, horny men," Garcia laughed, "Hitting your phones right now."
Reid, knowing something was wrong with Olivia, looked around before rising from his seat to follow after her. He stayed out of sight, only listening to the bits of the phone call he could hear. It was obvious he'd missed a good chunk of it, and Olivia was knee-deep in conversation with someone.
"When did this happen?" Olivia asked, one hand over her pounding heart. "It wasn't...I meant you didn't...because of me...did you?" She stopped, listening to the voice on the other end. "I don't know if I would have, but If I had known...you should have called. I would have come back," she said, her eyes closing. "I know...I'll be in the city tonight. We got a case that...oh, right," she laughed. "You're the ones that called us," she bit her lip and rolled her eyes. "I guess...I guess I'll see you soon, then. JFK at ten if you want to...I dunno, meet me there or..." She paused to hear the man say something, it made her smile and she almost let herself giggle. "Me either. Bye, El."
"That sounded friendly," Reid said, folding his arms.
Olivia jumped and turned, then put her phone in her pocket. "Yeah, it was a friend so...it was friendly."
Reid tilted his head and took another step toward her. "Just a friend?" he questioned. "Because your voice got a bit higher, louder than usual. You stuttered, like you were nervous, and you kept biting your lip and twirling your hair. All things a woman does when she's flirting."
"You think I was flirting...with my phone?" Olivia asked, her eyes narrow.
Reid let his arms fall and he shoved his hands into his pockets. "I think you were flirting with the man on the other end of it," he said with a short nod. "You smiled, and you took a deep breath before you hung up, like you were trying not to laugh. That says something."
"I thought you weren't supposed to profile people on your own team," she returned, a slight attitude in her voice now.
"Just observations," Reid said, shaking his head. "I don't think I've ever seen you like that before. Whoever that was...he must make you happy."
"He used to," Olivia said, looking down.
"And you want him to again," Reid said. "Just another observation."
Footsteps grew louder and closer and they heard Morgan's voice. "All right. you two, to the hangar!"
"Garcia narrow down that list?" Olivia asked, falling into step at Hotchner's side, following the group toward the plane.
Hotchner nodded. "Down to thirty," he said. "You make that call?"
"Yeah," she said, clearing her throat. She shot Reid a look, and he smiled at her. She knew he wouldn't say anything to anyone about what he'd heard, or seen.
The team loaded into the small private plane, sitting in cushioned seats and strapping in. Olivia opted for a seat near a window in the back corner. Hotchner watched her sit, knowing she was purposely alienating herself from the team. He sighed as he sat across from her and flipped open a file. He waited for her to look at him, and when she didn't he shook his head and started reading.
"What's going on over there?" Agent Rossi, the director, aimed his question toward Morgan.
The suave agent leaned back in his couch-like seat and kicked his feet up on the table. "You know Hotch," he said. "Always going after the forbidden fruit."
Rossi shook his head and knocked Morgan's feet off of the table. "I meant with her."
Morgan raised an eyebrow. "She's been acting weird since she found out we were heading to New York. Distant, quiet."
"Did anyone ask her what the problem was?" Rossi turned, looking at JJ, the blonde case manager, and a tall brunette agent sitting beside her.
Both women shook their heads and turned slightly pink.
Rossi scoffed. "And you wonder why she doesn't trust anyone here, yet." He got up and walked toward the back of the plane, and he sat next to Olivia, ignoring the questioning look Hotchner was now giving him. He leaned into Olivia and said, softly, "A wise man once said, 'You can't go home again."
"Thomas Wolfe," she returned, turning her head. "What the hell did he know?" She laughed and uncrossed her arms.
Rossi smiled at her, thrilled to get a reaction from her. "You gonna be okay? Seeing your old..."
"I'll be fine," she interrupted. She eyed Reid who was sitting across the aisle, and she looked back at Rossi when he nodded at her. "Really, I'm just...not ready for all the questions."
Rossi sat back and finally looked at Hotchner, who was all but glaring at the older agent. "You're there on business," he told her, "You don't have to answer anything personal. If you'd rather, I could always make sure you're never alone with..."
"I think I can keep her busy," Hotchner cut in. "She's a field agent, so she'll be...in the field."
Olivia looked awkwardly from Rossi to Hotchner, a warning in her eyes. "I'll be fine, thanks. I'll just...deal with it when we land." She cleared her throat and looked back out the window. "Someone's meeting us at the airport. He can fill us in on the case, and I'll ride back to the police station with him, if..."
"Who?" Hotchner asked, suddenly sitting up straighter.
Just thinking about him made her smile. Her eyes sparkled as his face crossed her mind and she let her voice do whatever it was that Reid said it did when she talked to or about him. "My partner."
"Your ex-partner," Hotchner corrected, looking down into his file with a huff. "Wonderful."
Rossi furrowed his brow as he observed Hotchner's behavior, and he gave Olivia a small smile and a quick nod as he got out of his seat. He moved the few feet toward Reid and sat across from him and said, "This is gonna be interesting."
"That," Reid said with a sigh, "Is an understatement."
A/N: Chapter Two? Maybe?