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She felt so stupid. She couldn’t understand why she had done whatever he demanded of her. Amanda knew she should have fought harder, but she let him do whatever he wanted to her. She gave up, when she should have punched him in his arrogant face. 

Olivia must think she’s pathetic, weak even. It’s exactly what she thought of herself.  The great Olivia Benson she’d read articles about while she was on patrol, would never lose control like that. She wouldn’t put herself into those situations. Olivia would have fought back and stood up for herself.

Olivia wasn’t a coward. She was the sole reason Amanda chose New York as her fresh start. Her career inspired Amanda, who dreamed to be even half as good a detective as Oliva one day. Before moving from Atlanta to the big city, Amanda studied up on some of Olivia’s previous cases. It helped her get through many sleepless nights. Instead of fighting through nightmares, she read case after case that featured Detective Benson and her passion for taking down scumbags. Olivia gave Amanda hope, and briefly distracted her from her shitty life.

Nothing went the way Amanda assumed it would when she arrived for her first day in Manhattan’s Special Victims Unit. To be frank, Amanda didn’t think Olivia liked her for the first few months. While Amanda was studying up on her idol’s cases, it appeared that Olivia wasn’t even interested enough to remember where the new transfer was be coming from. She had incorrectly guessed Dallas. It stung Amanda more than it should have, but she brushed it off, not wanting to give a bad first impression, and remained hopeful they would still become close coworkers.

Olivia’s standoffish vibe didn’t prevent Amanda from attempting to connect with the woman she admired, but it certainly didn’t allow room for trust. Amanda wanted to trust Olivia. She wanted to share what Patton did to her with the detective who had decades more experience handling victims of sexual assault. She wanted to no longer feel alone.

Amanda, however, did not want to be handled. She could take care of herself. She always had. She wasn’t about to open up and tell Olivia everything right away, and by the looks of Olivia’s disinterest in her, Amanda begrudgingly kept her distance. Amanda knew she had to wait until Olivia approached her. Trust clearly  didn’t come easy for Olivia either. 

Having grown up with two women who loved playing their victim cards, Amanda made a promise to herself when she was 13. She vowed to never be like Kim or her mother; she wouldn’t play her victim card — ever. But with Olivia around, she constantly thought about breaking that promise.  

 


 

 

“It started day one. My job interview. Patton said, ‘Oh, you’re beautiful, you’re bright, you could make detective one day.’ But... I interviewed five other women that are just as qualified and I’m going to hire whoever shows me she wants it the most.”

Olivia had been at a loss for words when Amanda had shown up at her apartment unannounced. Noah was asleep, and Olivia was prepared to support Amanda with her full attention.

Gently, she urged Amanda to continue. “And then what happened?” 

“He put his hand inside my blouse. His tongue... in my mouth. I was shocked. Frozen. But I didn’t run out of the room and I got the job.”

There was silence from Olivia as she listened and held back an urge to reach out to Amanda, to comfort her. Olivia knew Amanda had been holding onto this secret for so long that she needed to let it all out without any distractions or interruptions.

“And the behaviour continued. Touching... Kissing, groping. He would demand that I visit his office after work, before going home. Before I could leave, I’d have to give him...” Amanda went silent for a moment and bent over, using her hands to hide her face.

“I did a lot of undercover work in Atlanta, mostly honey traps. Patton would demand I wear that I wear... lacy panties, thigh-high stockings. Before I met with the Johns, I’d have to pretend to seduce him for the website they created, and he would tape me.”

“How long did this go on?” 

“Years. I didn’t think things could get any worse, until June they did.”

“Okay. Tell me about that.” 

“I was about to make Detective, and I told Patton, if he wanted me to stay in Atlanta, I wanted a promotion. He— He locked the door, threw me onto his desk, pulled off my clothes... and he raped me. I fought him... but I couldn’t get away. He said if I complained, he’d release the tapes that he had or worse. And that if I wasn’t happy in his precinct, he’d hire somebody who was.” 

Amanda looked down, no longer able to maintain eye contact with Olivia.

“So I didn’t report it. I straightened myself up, walked out, and I went back to work.  Like a good girl. Like a good, stupid girl.”

“Did you confide in anyone?” 

“The irony is, my Captain was the one person I told. He said he’d allow my transfer if I... God. How could I let them do that to me?”

Olivia dropped her pen onto her notepad, and rolled her chair around the table so she was closer to Amanda, but made no move to touch her subordinate. She leaned forward.  “Listen to me.”

Amanda slowly raised her head to briefly share eye contact, before losing confidence and returning her gaze to her hands.

“I know how hard it is to forgive yourself, to believe it wasn’t your fault. What Patton did to you was a crime, and if it were up to me he’d be at Rikers already.”

Amanda grinned at the thought of Olivia arresting Patton. She’d quite enjoy seeing him go down and knew Olivia wouldn’t make the experience entirely pain free.

”If it had been me instead of you, would it be my fault?”

”That’s not fair.”

Olivia slowly leaned forward and gently placed her hand atop Amanda’s before whispering, ”If it wouldn’t be my fault, then why is it yours?”