Title: Inside These Lines

Rating: T

Disclaimer: I do not own any part of Law & Order. This is for entertainment only (and something I would've loved to see happen).

Pairing: Mike/Connie

Summary: With Sam gone to Guns and Gangs will Andy cope on her own?

Notes: This is my first Law & Order fic. I was watching repeats and I have always loved Mike and Connie and I was reading DaisyDay's fic and spent days trying to work around the LA thing (that I didn't like). I do like Mike in SVU I must admit.

A big thank you to Elfsquire90 for betaing this for me

She's Not There

It's too late to say you're sorry

Please don't bother trying to find her

She's not there...


It had taken him weeks after she left to stop walking to his door to call out to her only to remember that she'd left. Mike still remembered her expression when she'd received the call from her sister; it was a mix of pain and shock. Worst was the way it seemed to fix in place as he rushed her to the airport, he realised just how close she was to her family. The next flight out she could get left two hours after that call and Connie wanted to be on it. No going home to pack, nothing. She left for LA with a coat she wouldn't need still dressed for court. 'Her mother had had a stroke and she needed to be in LA.'

The changes that followed pushed him into an unknown area; he'd tried to convince her to stay in New York without outright asking her to. He'd lost count of the number of ways he'd tried to get her to explain why her sister couldn't look after her mother, why she had to be the one to leave her life and return to LA. Why did she have to move to the other side of the country?

Twelve months later and the new office had managed to stop him expecting her to walk through his door and it also meant he could no longer stare at her old desk. That was a good thing, the desk now belonged to a young male ADA, about 25 Mike had guessed and he also guessed that having the EADA staring at him half the day was making him every uncomfortable.

The second benefit of his new office was its size, he had a desk, a table and on the far wall a large bookcase. He however didn't see the point of filling it with law books he'd never use, so each shelf served as a holder for things like his bat, that now had a stand, along with a signed glove and ball. A few frames with different certificates and photos. The thing that had his attention right now was a photo of him leaning against a desk with a beer bottle in one hand, his head slightly dropped and his eyes flicked up, mirroring this next to him in the photo was Connie. It was taken at her hastily organised farewell party, he wasn't sure who had taken it and it was just one of many that were emailed around the office in the following days. It however now had taken the place of her desk. He would find himself leaning on the end of the table staring at it. He realised at some point it must look to anyone that passed his office that he was staring into an empty bookcase, so to fix that problem he filled one shelf with books and added a small flat screen TV so maybe the people who were working for him wouldn't think he was completely crazy.


"Yeah." The sound of Alex's voice caused him to spin around, "Hi." He looked down at his watch, so wrapped up he'd forgotten what he was meant to be doing.

"Are you ready for me? I can come back?" Alex offered.

"No." He grabbed a few pieces of paper from the printer, the reason he'd gotten up from his desk and set them on the table. "Please sit." He picked up the file from his desk and sat it next to the print out. "What have you got?"

"A problem." Alex pulled a second file from the bag she rested on the chair next to her.

"It looks pretty straight forward to me." Mike flicked to the second page of his copy of the file. "This is the James Henry case? Has he recanted his confession?"

"Yes, but that's not the problem. It's the unknown DNA sample." Alex handed Mike the second file and continued. "We thought it belonged to his girlfriend and that Henry confessed to protect her, only when the lab tech ran a sample against the girlfriend it didn't match."

"Okay." Mike voice was halted as he read the lab report in front of him.

"But as you can see we did get a hit, Jodi Mitchell."

"Have the detectives linked Ms Mitchell to Henry?" Mike knew that name, he'd been trying to place it since he opened the report.

"No. Jodi Mitchell was raped six weeks before Tara Kane, the victim in the Henry case."

Mike dropped the report and ran his hands through his hair, "Please tell me that Jodi Mitchell's DNA was in the system because she has an arrest record?"

"No, it seems that a lab tech entered a sample that was meant to be used for elimination into the offenders database." Alex paused, "And it gets worse."

"Ms Mitchell also had an unknown female DNA sample in her rape kit and that also links to another victim who's DNA was entered into the database by mistake."

"The same technician?"

"It seems he handled both cases, he's has been suspended pending an investigation."

"I should hope so." Mike stood and started to pace the length of his office. "When you say unknown DNA in the rape kit?"

"Tara Kane, the one Henry confessed to assaulting and raping had unidentified female fluid in her kit, this was later determined to be a mixture of blood and virginal fluid."

"This has been identified as coming from Jodie Mitchell?" Mike asked as he continued to pace.

"Yes. The same mixture was found in her rape kit and this was matched to the third victim Naomi Glenys."

Mike stilled, tapped the end of the table a few times before he spoke. "Was her rape kit checked?"

"It also contained an unidentified sample, as do four other cases so far." Alex added.

"Seven in total?" Mike said almost to himself. "Has anyone checked Henry's alibies for the to other six?"

"They are running them down now, however Henry has recanted his confession claiming he only gave a statement because the detective threatened to arrest his girlfriend and that he's never heard of any of these others." Alex let out a breath as she closed her file. "He also confessed when it was still assault, not murder."

"Wasn't she pronounced on arrival?"

"Yes but the police didn't tell him that until after he confessed, also of the seven this is the first to be beaten to death. Each offence has taken place in a different location, except the last two. Jodi Mitchell and Tara Kane were the first two that were attacked in their homes and both were found in the kitchen, both were beaten but these were the first two overt acts of violence."

"You mean besides the rapes." Mike said and raised his hand to stop Alex's reply. "Who's got the case?"

"Detective Benson, but SVU is putting a task force together."

"Okay, are the police sure Henry is the right guy? -" Mike was cut off by the vibration of his cell. "I want …" He stopped again as he seemed to focus on the name flashing on his screen. "I want to know where Henry was for every one of these attacks." Again Mike checked his phone and pressed the button to answer before Alex was even out of his office. "And get permission to collect DNA from each of the victims."

"Hi." His tone in an instant had switched from harsh and demanding to surprize as he turned his watch over to check the time. "Is everything okay?" His first thought was that something must be wrong, they'd exchanged regular emails but had only spoken a few times and if he had to admit it he had always called her.

"Is everything okay?"

Mike knew that tone, she'd used with him more times then he cared to remember. "I-" Was all Mike managed to get out before Connie continued.

"I just listened to my boss call me a loose cannon because that's what you told him."

"Wait, what?" Mike was taken back for a moment trying to place what Connie was referring to.

"I am new here … how could you do that to me!"

"I didn't say anything like that. I said you kept me on my toes. I said you weren't afraid to do what you thought was right, if Dekker took that to mean something else that wasn't my intention." Mike realised that he was starting to draw attention to himself and pushed his office door closed.

"Well I'd ready appreciated if you'd keep your intentions to yourself from now on."

"Connie I." Mike stopped trying to explain his late night comments as he looked at the screen of his phone to see that she was no longer there. "I told him you pushed me to be better." He said this time he looked back across to the framed photo that was now on the opposite side of the room.