Alex never understood. Never understood why Olivia pushed herself to stay late nights at the precinct, took the hardest of cases, and never took breaks or vacations.

She wondered all this when she first met Detective Benson. So she asked Elliot.

"Why is she so devoted to this job? It's probably the worst kind a cop could have." He just looked at her grimly, his face set in a hard mask. He knew, at least slightly, why Olivia acted the way she did.

"Her life has been hell since birth. She's afraid, truly afraid to let people see who she really is. What lies beyond the big bad cop. Because she's been told her whole life that, 'Hey! Your a failure and a waste of space!' Without this job, I doubt she would still be living."

And then the same Detective walked in, carrying coffee. She handed one to Elliot, and a file to Alex. "Got another one. Little girl. Raped, beaten, and neglected by her mother." Her eyes were burning again, and Alex saw something new in them, something dark and deep and haunting.

Elliot sighed. "Why is it always the kids?" It was a rhetorical question, but as Olivia headed to her desk, she answered anyway.

"That leaves the most scars." It was a comment that Elliot didn't blink and eye at, but Alex saw the double meaning in her words. The hint towards her own pain and suffering.

"I wonder how many scars Olivia has?"