The last time she had been down there was nearly five years before, the
last time she believed she had a lead. When she still believed it was worth
it. But as it turned out, the only lead then was her friend John leading
her on. He had been sympathetic to her plight, the battle that wouldn’t
end, but he could never know, he couldn’t bring her anything new. She had
seen everything, looked through everything, listened to that tape countless
times. It was the one case she could never close, and in reality the only
one that mattered, because for her, every other case, her need to solve
those other rapes, attacks, all sprung from this one, the one from which
she sprung herself.
But now, now it was over. All those times she thought she had him, all
those times she felt like a failure as a detective because that one
omnipresent case just lingered on and on. Her mother’s case. Her case. It
And so Olivia was down on that dimly-lit landing, the one she had visited
over and over, never quite conceding to the fact that all the evidence was
gone. The one she had finally managed to leave behind, if only physically.
Because now, the forensics were no longer needed. She had found her father.
Or rather, the squad had found her father. Not in an effort to help her,
they had given up on that, the ones that knew, but accidentally. After all
those years of yearning to know who he was, to hurt him, to hug him, to
just know that he still existed. To be able to fill out the father’s side
of her medical paperwork. After all those nights she stayed up reading the
police report over and over, they had found him by accident.
And that was the thing that had killed her. They hadn’t found him in time.
He had been put away for another rape, one that had never been connected to
her mother. The same M.O., but no one had caught it. She hadn’t caught it.
He had been let out of Sing Sing, and he had raped another woman. And then
the DNA. She had ordered the test because of the circumstances. He had
napped Aimee Moore on her way home, in the dark, and raped her on a
landing. He had sideburns. The bruise pattern matched all those pictures
that were etched into Olivia’s head, that had been taken of Serena Benson
the night of her rape. So she pulled some strings, and the lab ran the
test, and her worst fears and her greatest dreams were confirmed. It
matched. Half her genes belonged to that bastard, but now any fundamental
urge she had ever had to meet her father and forgive him because he was
just that, was long gone. She wanted to kill the son of a bitch.
And as they should have, warm, salty tears ran down Olivia’s face. And
sniffles turned to gut-wrenching sobs. And then Elliot showed up. He sat
down next to her. They were sitting on cold, dirty ground, but it didn’t
matter. Nothing mattered now.
Elliot rubbed her back, platonically, until Olivia got too tired to cry,
and her sobs turned into low moans. Olivia was inclined to ask how Elliot
had found her, but she was a detective, and detectives didn’t ask questions
that they already knew the answer to. He knew all about her past, her
heritage. She had brought him here before, he was the only one. He was the
one who had finally caught Cliff Knox. She had told him everything, and he
went along with her, reassured her. He saved her the collar. He knew
everything about her, he could read her emotions. They didn’t need to
Elliot kept holding his partner. She needed him. Cliff Knox had tortured
her for years; Olivia was just as much a victim of her mother’s rape as she
was the product of it. As his partner continued to cry, Elliot pushed her
short, brown-blond hair out of her face. His hand remained on the back of
her smooth leather jacket. She looked at him. Her deep, dark eyes were full
of a million emotions, the pain of 34 years. She looked haunted, angry,
relieved and beautiful. Her stance, her vulnerability, spoke the million
words that were thought to be non existent in the relative silence of the
below-street level landing.
And Elliot thought about Olivia. He had respected her since the moment she
arrived in SVU, even when he didn’t show it. She always identified with the
victims, because she herself was a one. And he knew that every case she
closed was worth ten of his, because she felt every case with her entire
being. He knew he could do his very best, he could be the best detective in
the world, and it would only be the beginning of what Olivia could be.
Elliot finally broke the silence, because he had to tear her away from here
before Olivia let this case destroy everything she had ever worked for, and
everything she aspired to.
“C’mon, Liv. We’ve got paperwork to do.”