Rating: PG-13 to be safe but NC-17 and R will be popping up in coming parts.
Length: 3433 words
Notes: For those who have been reading this, I thank you even though there hasn't been Casey/Olivia goodness, but much is coming, I promise.
“Wait, what’s this?” Olivia asked the desk sergeant, coming across what looked like gap in the records of last night and held it out for him to see. “There seems to be sixteen minutes missing here.”
The sergeant took the book from her and looked at it. “Oh yeah.” He said, remembering. “They said there was fight outside of the club on Clarke street they had to break up.”
“How come they didn’t call it in?” Eliot asked.
“Hoffmen and Choice said they didn’t have a chance, it looked bad so they just jumped out and took care of it.”
“Did they call for back up?” Olivia asked.
“No. No need. They were able to handle it, stayed around to talk to the boys who were fighting. Two young teenagers who seemed to be in the wrong place, they were friends, Hoffmen said there was no need to charge them.”
“Between one thirty two and one forty four.” Olivia told Eliot.
“Alright.” Eliot walked away and when he and Olivia were far enough away to be out of ear shot, said quietly. “We’ll go back to the house and have Cragen get their files. See if they’ve had any complaints filed against them.”
When they got back to the precinct they gave their captain the update. “I’ll take care of it.” Cragen said. “But I just got a phone call. There seems to be a problem at the hospital.”
“Gwen?” Olivia asked, not even having the stomach to form the words to ask the question if she had died.
“No. A disturbance right outside her room.”
“Let’s go.” Olivia said and she and Eliot moved quickly.
Even as they stepped off the elevator to the floor where Gwen’s room was they could hear the shouting.
“I have every right!” They heard a female voice, high shrilled, scream out.
“It’s all your fault!” Another female voice quickly answered.
Eliot and Olivia turned the corner to see two orderlies holding Karen Winslow and Billie Hester apart even as they struggled to get at each other.
“What’s going on?” Olivia demanded, placing herself between the two young women.
“She has no right to be here!” Karen screamed out.
“Okay, calm down!” Eliot ordered.
Both girls visibly did just that but still continued to glare at each other.
“Okay thanks.” Olivia told the orderlies. “We’ve got it.”
Billie shrugged the orderly off her even as he moved away.
“Okay, who wants to start first?” Olivia asked, looking from Karen to Billie, her voice harsh, making no room for an augment.
“She can’t be here.” Karen said, pointing to Billie. “If it wasn’t for her, her woman hating boyfriend wouldn’t have done this to Gwen.”
“He’s not my boyfriend!” Billie quickly answered.
“The moment he finds out you’re here he’ll come back to finish the job!”
“She needs me!” Billie cried out, now close to tears. “I love her!”
“You should have stayed away from her! None of this would have happened if you had.”
Billie shook her head and walked away slightly.
Olivia looked at Eliot who nodded and walked up to Karen. “Come on, let’s get some coffee.” He said gently, leading the distraught girl away.
“Are you okay?” Olivia asked, coming to Billie’s side.
“No!” Billie almost screamed. “They won’t tell me how she’s doing! They won’t tell me anything! They told Karen because she’s family.” Billie spit out the word.
“What about her parents?”
“I called them, they’re driving up.” Billie slumped down into a chair. “I told Karen to tell me what the doctors had told her and she just…started saying things.” Billie put her face in her hands. “She’s right though, this is all my fault.”
“It’s not your fault.” Olivia soothed, sitting down in the chair next to her.
“Did you arrest him?” Billie asked, jerking her head up.
“No.” Olivia answered simply. “We talked to him.”
“And what did he say?” Then off of Olivia’s look Billie laughed a humorless laugh. “Of course he denied it.”
Olivia looked up and saw one of the doctors she had spoken to earlier this morning and telling Billie she’d be right back she walked over to the doctor. “How is she?”
“Better.” The doctor said, but still grim. “She’s been upgraded to stable but…” The doctor shook her head. “She has just as much of a change of waking up as she does never waking up so.” The doctor shrugged.
“Okay, thank you.” Olivia walked back over to Billie. “She’s doing better.” She offered comfortingly. Olivia took a long hard look at the young woman. “You should get some sleep.”
Billie shook her head. “I can’t leave her.” She pleaded.
“Alright.” Olivia put her hands in her coat pocket; she hadn’t expected Billie to say anything else. She saw Eliot walking up with Karen at that moment. “Do you think you two can behavior yourselves?” Olivia asked sternly.
Billie gave a weak nod.
Karen’s agreed to be civil.” Eliot told Olivia as they walked away.
“Billie too.” Olivia turned and looked back to see Karen take the chair that Olivia had been sitting in a moment before and the two started to talk softly.
“It’s late.” Eliot muttered. “We’ll talk to the ME tomorrow; see if Warner’s found anything.”
Olivia nodded, realizing then how tired she really was. “Okay.”
“Good night.” Eliot put a hand on Olivia’s shoulder, looking at her in concern but when Olivia wouldn’t make eye contact he shrugged and walked away.
Olivia lay awake in her bed, staring up at the ceiling. Sleep wouldn’t come to her. She couldn’t get the memory of Gwen Stadford’s battered broken body out of her head. And every time she closed her eyes she heard Billie Hester’s voice, recalling the reasons why she had fallen in love with Gwen.
Olivia shook her head, telling herself to snap out of it. But she couldn’t. All they had done was fall in love. Why did it have to be so hard for them? Why couldn’t the world just give them a break for one moment? For one day couldn’t things just be right and let Olivia and Casey be together, just for a little while and not have it complicate things?
Olivia’s breath was sucked in involuntarily, suddenly realizing now easily her thoughts had slipped to Casey Novak.
In that moment Olivia felt her heart squeeze up painfully.
She missed her
That realization hit Olivia so hard it felt like being hit with a stack of bricks. How long had it been since she had seen her? Olivia shut her eyes tight, concentrating. Five days. They had fought over what they always fought about, work. Olivia demanding something, Casey arguing and Olivia taking it as a personal attack and lashing out. They had both snapped, both yelled, both glared.
Olivia grimaced and held both hands tight against the sides of her head, she felt like she was getting a headache. Why did it always have to be so hard?
Without even thinking about it Olivia found herself getting the phone off of her end table and dialing Casey’s home number that she knew by heart. Before she could even asked herself what she was doing the line was picked up.
“Olivia.” Casey’s crisp voice came through.
“Yeah.” Olivia muttered, thinking it was too late to hang up now.
“What do you need?” There was a sigh.
Olivia glanced at the clock, it was almost eleven, it was late, and Casey had probably been sleeping, what Olivia should be doing at that moment. “Did I wake you?”
“And if I say yes?” Casey’s voice was cold. No, not cold, just blocked, she was just protecting herself.
“This isn’t a business call.” Olivia whispered, trying desperately to think how she could get out of this.
“Oh.” Casey voice seemed to soften. “Olivia, are you okay? What’s wrong?”
“I just…I couldn’t sleep.”
“Yeah.” Olivia covered her eyes, the last thing she wanted to do was get into it, she didn’t want to have to think about it anymore. She didn’t want to have to worry anymore; she just wished everything was okay, not just for Gwen and Billie but for herself and Casey too.
“Do you want to talk about it?” Casey asked hesitantly.
“No, I really don’t.”
“Okay.” Casey fell silent, not sure what to say.
“I just…” Olivia clamped her teeth together tightly. Oh just say it Benson! She ordered herself. “I miss you.”
“Off the record?” Casey asked quietly.
“I miss you too.”
“Tomorrow…” Olivia started to say.
“I know, tomorrow we’ll act like we’ve never had this conversation.” Casey finished for her.
“Right.” Olivia said quickly, hating herself in that moment.
“What do you need Olivia?” Casey asked gently.
“Just to hear your voice.” Olivia whispered.
Casey paused before saying slowly. “I still think about you.”
Olivia gave a small laugh, knowing exactly what she was talking about. “Me too.” Olivia tired to swallow the rock in her throat. “But we can’t…”
Casey gave a chuckle on the other line. “I know Liv. Don’t worry about me. I’m alright.”
Olivia couldn’t help but smile, wishing more than anything Casey Novak was here right now, beside her in her bed. “Listen if things work out well tomorrow I’ll need to ask for a search warrant. So I hope I see you.”
“Me too.” Casey said easily. “I mean, not just the seeing you part but the…I hope things go well with the case you’re on.” She added, stumbling.
There was too much to say, too much had been said already, too much would never be said. “Goodnight counselor.” She somehow managed to get out.
“Sweet dreams detective.”
Olivia hung up the phone and whispered out the darkness. “Only if I dream of you.”
“You look like crap.” Eliot greeted her the next morning outside of Melinda’s office.
“Thanks.” Olivia said sarcastically. “I couldn’t sleep.”
“I figured.” Eliot sympathized.
That ended their conversation and they went in.
“Tell us you found something.” Olivia almost begged.
“As for the foreign object we can rule out something easy like a pipe or something made of wood, both would have left some evidence. But what she was raped with was long, smooth, probably round at the end so not to leave any rough tears.”
“Like a police baton?” Olivia asked, perking up.
Melinda seemed taken off guard for a moment but then nodded. “Yes that would make sense, along with a dozen other objects but…are you looking at a police officer?”
Olivia nodded, feeling like she was tasting bile in her mouth.
“She was raped the good old fashion way as well though. I found traces of condoms. Two different brands.”
“Two rapes.” Eliot commented, raising an eyebrow at Olivia not needing to say anything for her to know what he was thinking.
“I checked them against the FBI data base. You’re looking for Rough Rider and After Party brands.”
“Anything else?” Olivia asked with a sigh.
“In the vaginal swap you sent over I did find saliva in it, DNA didn’t match anyone in the system.”
“It might not be from the rape.” Olivia explained. “She had sex right before she was attacked.”
“Her girlfriend.” Olivia shut her notepad. “She’s been cooperative so we’ll get sample from her to rule her out.”
“Okay.” Melinda said easily and went back to her work.
“We’ll talk to Cragen. See if he’s gotten the file on Hoffmen and Choice yet.” Eliot said as they stepped outside of lab and the two partners moved off.
“They’ve got a good number of complaints against them.” Olivia observed as she looked over the two police officer’s file. “All of them dropped though.”
“Misunderstandings?” Eliot suggested, not serious.
“Oh, I recognize this name.” Olivia said. “Our old friend Star Smith.”
An hour later Eliot and Olivia parked their car and made their way over to where a group of working girls were hanging out. The moment they saw Olivia and Eliot they all took off in the other direction except for one. A woman in her thirties though she looked twenty years older with a short leather skirt and sparkly halter top. A tattoo of line of stars curving along her neck up to her cheek.
“Good morning Eliot. Olivia.” Star greeted them, not cold but not friendly either. “What did I do to get such a pleasure?”
Olivia held out the cup of coffee they had just bought and Star took it at once. “We’re not here to jam you up.” Olivia said easily. “Just gotta ask you some questions.”
“I didn’t do it. I wasn’t there. It wasn’t me.” Star said, even as she began to take sips of the coffee.
“Star.” Eliot said in a friendly warning tone. “You know us, don’t jerk us around.”
Star looked away, seeming to think it over before clicking her tongue against her teeth and asking. “What do you need?”
“You were arrested by two officers last year. Dale Hoffmen and Greg Choice. You filed a complaint against them for physical injury but dropped it no more than an hour later, what happened?”
Star shrugged. “They didn’t charge me. I figured I’d repay the favor.”
Olivia took a step towards Star. “Well right now we’ve got a girl, young, twenty two who was beaten, raped reputedly, she’s in a coma now, there’s a good chance she’s not going to make it.”
“And you’re looking at those two officers?” Star asked.
“Just tell us what happened.” Eliot said softly.
“They found crack on me. When they handcuffed me I didn’t resist but Choice said not to fight him and slapped me hard. Then they brought me to the station house. Officer Hoffmen said that if I had sex with him and his partner they’d let me go.”
“Did you?” Olivia asked.
“I said no.” Star quickly answered. “But…Hoffmen, bastard, pulled out his baton and smacked me with it a couple of times. Then officer Choice threw me to the ground, put his knee to my neck, I couldn’t get up, he had my face pressed so hard against the floor I couldn’t even scream. Dale Hoffmen did me. Then Choice let me up and they let me go. They said that I had kept up my part of the bargain they would be gentlemen and do the same.”
“That’s called rape.” Olivia said gently.
“Don’t you think I know that?” Star snapped, throwing away the coffee.
“Thank you.” Eliot said sincerely.
“Yeah no problem.” Star sneered.
Eliot started to walk away but Olivia stayed back, holding out a business card.
Star didn’t take it, she just looked at it. “I didn’t take that last time, I’m not gonna take it now.”
“How long have you been out here?” Olivia asked, still holding out the card.
“Nine years.” Star said softly.
“Next time I see you it might be to identify your corpse.”
Star laughed, looking away. “Maybe. Maybe not.”
Olivia took a step back, holding up the card and jiggling it a little bit. “I’m going to try and give this to you when I see you again.”
Star smiled a genuine smile, sad, broken. “Yeah I know.” She shrugged. “Maybe next time you’ll get lucky.”
‘I hope so.”
When Olivia got back to the car she found Eliot waiting for her, his cell phone in his hand.
“Gwen?” Olivia asked at once, fearing what he would say. “Is she d-”
Eliot cut her off. “She’s awake.”
When Olivia and Eliot entered Gwen Stadford’s room they saw the young woman, looking horrible but sitting up, wake and alert.
Billie had somehow managed to squeeze herself onto the small hospital bed and had her arms around Gwen, holding her close, protectively. Karen was walking around the room, fussing over where to put a basket of flowers.
Gwen saw them, lifting black and red swollen eyes to look at them. “Who are you?” Her voice was weak and sounded like she had just eaten a hand full of rocks.
“It’s okay.” Billie soothed. “They’re the detectives working on your case. You can trust them.”
“My name’s Olivia Benson, this is my partner Eliot Stabler.” Olivia placed herself close to the bed on Gwen’s side. “It’s nice to finally be able to say, nice to meet you.”
Gwen smiled weakly.
“We’d like to ask you if you could tell us what happened, if you’re up to it.” Eliot suggested gently.
Gwen glanced at Karen and then Billie and then back to Karen.
Seeming to read her best friend’s mind Karen said. “Come on, Bill, let’s go see if we can smuggle some real food in from the cafeteria for Gwen.”
Billie looked at Gwen who gave a tiny nod. Billie pressed herself closer, whispering something in Gwen’s ear, causing her to smile before kissing her on the cheek and leaving with Karen.
Gwen watched as they left, closing the door behind them. “She’s been great.” Gwen said, a faraway look in her eyes. “I woke up and she was sitting there.” Gwen glanced at the empty chair next to her bed. “Waiting.”
“Gwen-” Olivia started to say.
But Gwen cleared her throat, stilling Benson’s words. “I didn’t want her to…have to hear…I don’t want to her to have to deal with it…you know?”
“I understand.” Olivia said, nodding and smiling.
“Where do you want me to start?” Gwen asked, looking from Olivia to Eliot, looking shaken up but determined.
“How about after you left Billie’s?” Eliot suggested, taking a seat in the chair.
“I was walking to my car, it was parked pretty far way. It was about…I don’t know, sometime after one and I was almost there when I heard footsteps behind me.” Gwen closed her eyes. “Two pairs. I started to turn around but before I could I was hit in the back of the head with something. It knocked me down and out and when I came to I was in an alleyway. It was dark; all I could see were their silhouettes. Two men, they were hitting me with something, hard, smooth, long like a stick of some kind. They kicked me too, in the stomach, in the head. I tried to put my arms up…” Gwen stopped, shutting her eyes suddenly.
“It’s okay.” Olivia soothed. “What happened then?”
“I was flipped onto my stomach. One of em put his knee to neck and held it there, he pushed down, I couldn’t get up, I thought I was going to die. I thought he’d snap my neck and I’d die with my mouth full of gravel. I felt my pants being pulled down…then…I was raped, vaginally. I tried to go somewhere else. I didn’t scream, I didn’t even try to say no, I just didn’t want them to kill me…I just didn’t want to die because I wanted to be able to see Billie again, she was all I could think about, all I could hold on to.” Gwen swallowed hard, reached for her water and Olivia handed it to her.
Gwen took a sip, breathed, took another one before handing it back. “I started to black out, I couldn’t breathe. I felt…air on me as he was done and then I felt the pressure being released from the back of my head and I thought, “Thank God! It’s over!” but it wasn’t over. There were hands on my head, shoving my face into the ground, I couldn’t see, I couldn’t breathe and then…I was raped again. I heard laughing as they started to hit me again, I couldn’t even try to put my hands up or my arms around my head because I was just so…I just couldn’t do it.” Gwen sighed. “Next thing I know I’m here and Billie and Karen are crying and fussing over me.” Gwen looked away. “Did you get what you needed?”
Eliot nodded, standing up. “Yes. Thank you very much.”
“There’s probably going to be a trail. If you’re feeling better, will you testify?”
Gwen shrugged. “I guess.”
“Okay.” Olivia allowed, not wanting to push her, the girl had been through hell already. “We’ll check back in a little later and check on you.”
As Olivia and Eliot stepped outside they found Billie and Karen waiting. Karen went in without hesitation but Billie stayed back, looking at the two detectives with pleading eyes, looking like she was going to start crying.
“It’ll be okay.” Olivia said. “We’ll find who’s responsible for this and they’ll pay.”
Billie didn’t say anything, just went into the room.
*** Thanks for reading! More coming tomorrow night most likely.