Chapter Three: A Pebble in the Water Makes A Ripple Effect
Liz looked up at her father as he pulled back from their embrace, and stood. Reaching his hand down toward his daughter, he was offering to help her up off of the bathroom floor. She looked from his calloused and scarred knuckles that he had extended up to his icy blue eyes. Her own stormy eyes trying to find the right words to say to him to thank him for being so patient, so understanding. As she reached her hand out, she gripped his wrist as he took hold of hers. Her navy blue nail polish was starting to chip on her fingernails and as she looked at them, she couldn’t help but feel as though she were 8 years old again reaching out for her father’s hand. He pulled her up as she bit down on her bottom lip to keep from crying.
Her father always did his best to spend time with her and her siblings – even though sometimes he had to dip out during the middle of events, - he more than would try to make up for it later. He would apologize profusely, try to find out if anyone had recorded the whole thing, talk to them about it, buy flowers, or even stuffed animals for them. He was a good father, she just didn’t understand why sometimes she wasn’t comfortable sharing everything with him.
Even though Richard had been acting out lately, it had made her father promise to spend more time with them all as a family. He was trying. So far, he’d been coming home earlier and had been more present in the last few weeks than he’d been in a long time. Liz suspected this had to do with Olivia. She probably was taking on more of his work and freeing him up so he could be the father and husband that Olivia knew he was capable of being. The type of “good man” that Olivia had mentioned once that her father was.
Elliot braced one arm around Liz’s shoulders and led her to her room where he sat her down on her bed and gave her a sad smile. “I’ll be back in a few minutes, Liz. We can continue this discussion then.”
She just stared up at her father. He was a complex human being. Soft with children, harsh with people who crossed the lines. He was gentle when he needed to be, and a wildfire when something went against his beliefs.
She was tired. Her body obviously needed nutrients, even if she wasn’t planning on keeping the foreign intruder for much longer, there was no reason to waste away herself. Her eating habits had never been what one might call “healthy”, per se, but she’d been feeling even crappier than usual. That’s why she’d decided to take the stupid test to begin with. It was a long-shot, she figured, since her periods had never been regular – her eating disorder didn’t allow for regularity. It was always sporadic. She was in control of things at the moment though…well, almost. She was in control of her purging. Until she wasn’t last week. As far as she knew, it required you to have something in your stomach to throw up and she’d been getting sick during the day without having had anything in her stomach.
“Okay.” She whispered quietly, as her father made a perceptible nod and left her room. After she heard the front door close, she grabbed the heart-shaped pillow on her bed and held it close to her stomach. Resting her chin on her arms.
When the hell had she lost control? Her twin wasn’t on the same wavelength anymore. They barely spoke, if she were going to be honest about it all. He felt like a complete stranger to her. Liz wasn’t like the rest of her siblings, she knew this, it was because she was the planner, the map-things-out and follow the plan from point A to point B child. She had to have a specific schedule and timeframe for things. Any deviation threw her for a loop.
She’d danced ballet for a few years. She played piano. She did voice singing. She was in theater and drama club. Ballet was probably the catalyst for her eating disorder. Ballet is always the catalyst for eating disorders. Her teacher’s name was Esenia Ivanova. She loved to point out all of Liz’s flaws. “You look like you ate baby watermelon. Dancers do not eat baby watermelons.”, “Your arms are like twig. You cannot hold them up? I will tie them to a rope from the ceiling.”
Esenia was psychotic. Or she was a former KGB assassin. Liz wasn’t sure. She quit Ballet about four months ago. She decided to focus on Theater, studying, and her piano playing. A lot of good being active in those things had done for her.
A bitter laugh escaped her lips as she sighed.
When she’d used her strawberry body wash yesterday morning, and found herself bending over the toilet…she cursed. She knew where Katie had stashed some pregnancy test boxes in the top of the closet behind some blankets when she was self-medicating and taking pills and drinking. Katie was not the angel of the family…at all. So, she took one of the boxes down and took it upon herself to rip the box open with her chipped fingernail polish and stuff the box into her backpack, sliding the test into her pocket she had slipped into the bathroom when everyone was preoccupied. Before dinner.
Everything from that moment on was what had transpired to lead her here. Sitting on her bed, with the test wrapped in a Kleenex in her pocket. If she were two years older, and hadn’t had a solid plan for her future, she might’ve actually considered keeping this foreign invader in her body. But, she still had two years left and didn’t want to be like Chelsea McGivney, who got knocked up at fourteen and got shipped off to some school for young mothers. Liz didn’t want to be that girl.
She had been saving herself for marriage. She believed in the preaching of purity and abstinence until marriage. She had seen the scares that her sister had experienced and never wanted that. She never thought she’d ever face that. She’d wanted to experience the joy and absolute surrender of handing herself over to her spouse on her wedding night, clean, untarnished, whole. Maybe she was just naïve to believe that it actually mattered. She put too much pressure on herself for this goal.
Fate is funny like that.
This whole ordeal was making her question religion. Her beliefs. Everything she’d ever been taught. She closed her eyes, placing her hand under her cheek, she lay down on her pillow. Her father had said he would be back in a few minutes and they’d continue the conversation, but she just wasn’t in the mood to continue it…not tonight. She was tired in her soul.
She knew her father was struggling with this whole thing. Knew he was struggling with the fact that she admitted that she was scared to come to him. She knew it was selfish to ask Olivia for help – to put her in the middle of all of this clusterfucking mess that was her life all of a sudden. She’d heard her father talking to Olivia one morning at 2 am when she’d woken up to get a glass of water after a nightmare, and knew a small piece of Olivia’s past because she had eavesdropped on the stairs.
Once they’d parked, they had walked into the Emergency room to be greeted by the triage nurse, which Olivia had pulled out her Captain’s badge and flashed it.
“Captain Benson, I need to get a victim examined.” She looked over at Liz, who was studying Olivia quietly. The words she’d just said weren’t quite registering in her brain at the moment. But small words had managed to squeak into the part of her brain that comprehended words were being spoken regarding the extent of her injuries and reason for needing to be seen. The nurse pulled in her bottom lip as she clicked the mouse on her computer.
Liz watched Olivia’s brows rise to her hairline. “Right. Listen, Captain, she’s not bleeding out, so it’s going to be probably about fifteen to thirty minutes before we can get a bed available for her to be seen. We have to move some patients around, you know it is a full moon.” The Nurse, Danielle, according to her badge seemed to not comprehend the seething rage that was rising in Olivia’s eyes, nor did she seem to care. She also didn’t seem to understand the severity or urgency of Olivia’s request.
“Unfucking real.” Olivia mumbled below her breath. “Alright, you know what, - “ she began her town had dropped to a dangerously low tone and Liz was genuinely worried for the well-being of Danielle-I-give-no-shits the triage nurse.
“Captain Benson?” A voice came from a small hall off to the side, “What are you doing here?” Liz watched as relief flooded Olivia’s features as she walked toward the white coat.
“Thank God, Dr. Williams.” Olivia looked over at Liz, “I’m trying to get a victim examined. The sooner the better.”
Olivia’s usually composed and calm demeanor was starting to slide, and Liz reached her hand out to touch Olivia’s arm. It was this touch that elicited a sigh from Olivia as she turned to meet Liz’s dark blue eyes. She swallowed whatever agitation had been mounting. Dr. Williams looked between the officer and the victim. Liz hated that word, ‘victim’. It has the connotation that she was somehow broken, cracked, beyond repair. Like she should be dead but wasn’t. Something. No, Liz wasn’t a ‘victim’ she was a ‘survivor’. This wasn’t her first time.
Elizabeth hated that as well, that it wasn’t her first time, - like the universe was playing a cruel joke on her. As though being assaulted the first two times weren’t enough. They weren’t two times too many. Liz’s eyes shut for a moment as she took a deep breath, squeezing Olivia’s arm, reminding her that she was still there next to her.
Dr. Williams looked from Olivia to Nurse I-Will-Be-Unemployed-Tomorrow-for-pissing-off-Captain-Benson Danielle.
“Follow me, Olivia.” Liv placed her hand over the top of the back of Liz’s hand. And hovered her other hand over the middle of Liz’s back as they walked to the private exam room. “Just wait here and I’ll call Donna and Rachel to come in.” Dr. Williams smiled kindly as Olivia thanked her and told her that Sergeant Tutuola would be arriving shortly and to show him in.
Dr. Williams reassured Olivia that she would and then left the two of them alone.
Once she was out of sight, Liz looked over at the exam table which had butcher paper over the top of it. She took a deep breath.
“Hey, Liv.” Liz’s voice sounded timid and shy once more.
She was looking at her father’s former partner. Olivia had perched herself on the edge of the black plastic chair, her face was hidden by her hands. Liz took the moment to really look at her for the first time in the harsh light. There weren’t any signs of rings on her fingers, not even a tan line. The lack of a ring honestly didn’t mean anything, there were tons of cops and agents that didn’t wear rings for the fear it would make their families easy targets.
“Yes, Liz?” Hearing the tone of Liz’s voice scared Olivia. So she turned her attention back to the younger woman. Olivia was worried that she was going to disappear. She’d seen it once before with Liz. She didn’t like it.
“I was just thinking about 2009.” She began, “On the way here.”
Olivia tilted her head back and looked up at the lights. “Jesus, Liz. That…” She tried to find the appropriate words. It was hard to reconcile the child she’d known back then with the woman standing in the middle of the room now. “Was a lifetime ago.”
“It’s just…” Liz began, “the whole situation back then Liv…it could have turned out so differently.”
Olivia’s eyes widened at this admission. She took in Liz’s appearance and swallowed the lump that had risen in her throat. “What?” She croaked out, barely a whisper.
Liz gripped the edge of her dress. “I just mean…I would have considered what dad had suggested to me as an alternative. Even if it pissed mom off.” Liz winced, obviously, the adrenaline that had been sustaining her was wearing off because she was shaking like a leaf and feeling the pain. She had winced several times in the course of a few minutes. She was beginning to feel sore all over. “I was considering it, you know just before the, -“ she took a deep breath. “It would have been the easiest decision to make without a second thought if you had asked.”
“Liz…As much as I appreciate the sentiment. I don’t think it was right to have been offered. I could have strangled your father for even bringing it up.”
“He loves you, you know.” Liz blurts out. Olivia leaned back in the chair and took a deep breath. She wants to laugh out loud, but can’t seem to find air. “I know you didn’t ask him, Liv. I would have agreed though. I just wanted to let you know because after…” Liz swallowed, and Olivia watched as her eyes disconnected from the current location. Olivia knew Liz was going back there to 2009 in her mind. Olivia had a tendency to disappear sometimes as well. It was PTSD, according to Lindstrom.
The “nature of the beast of PTSD” he had said. In a very poorly worded statement. Knowing full and well whom referred to himself as “the beast” so…that was a fun discussion.
Liz pushed forward, “Dad never brought it up. We never sat down and spoke about it. Mom was pissed off that the three of us kept it a secret from her.”
“Liz, it wasn’t like that, - “ Olivia began, but before she could finish her statement there was a knock on the door and Fin peeked his head into the room. “Fin.” Olivia wheezed. She was grateful for the interruption. Lizzie’s eyes turned to the door and she gave him a small sad smile.
Fin felt awkward, standing in the doorway looking at his former colleague’s youngest daughter and his Captain, who looked slightly untethered. He supposed that seeing someone you hadn’t seen in ten years would do that to a person. He was the only one left from those days in the immediate squad that knew Benson and Stabler together. He remembered what she’d been like when Stabler had left. He knew what these kids meant to her and remembered the very last time he’d seen Liz in a hospital.
It was something he’d never wanted to witness.
“Liv, you alright?” Fin asked, his brow raised. Liz looked over at Olivia and suddenly felt guilty about reaching out to her tonight.
“I uh…I Have to get some fresh air for a minute. Can you stay with Liz? Please?”
“Yes. Whatever you need, Captain.” Fin moved toward her and reached down to help her stand, “Go, get some fresh air. Take your time, Cap.”
“Elizabeth, I’ll be right back, I have to go make a call. I’ll be right back, I promise.” Olivia didn’t leave until Liz had nodded that she understood.
Fin clicked his tongue as the awkward silence sat in. Liz just looked at him. It’d been a long time since they’d spoken last. It had been years and years ago. Things were going to get uncomfortable again, so Liz decided to break the ice.
“Sorry that you’re stuck here, Fin.”
“Nah. I don’t have a budding social life anyways.” Fin made a small joke, and Liz had to believe he was telling the honest truth. “So, other than this terrible situation…what have you been up to?” Fin winced, this question didn’t quite come out the way he had meant it to. Liz had to chuckle at the awkward phrasing.
“Well…I went to college. I majored in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology…this degree gave me a ton of options but I’ve been working in the city for the FBI.”
“Wow.” Fin was impressed, but he always knew she was smart. “Good for you. What about your acting and singing?” Fin asked, genuinely interested. “You were talented as hell.’”
“Still am, Fin. That doesn’t go away.” Liz leaned her head back and smiled. Fin was watching the young woman and couldn’t help but realize how deliberately she used her words. It was almost as though Olivia was sitting on the table next to him. Easy little banter, snide little remarks. Fin knew that Liv hadn’t seen nor heard from any of the Stabler progeny in over ten years. He knew how broken she really was about their absence. He had offered to make a phone call after Lewis, - he wanted to give Olivia the thing that she needed the most. Stability. But, like Olivia had a tendency to do, she’d put herself back together.
She’d yelled at Fin for a good thirty-eight minutes before she finally broke down and confessed to him why she was broken. Why she didn’t want him to make the call around to get Elliot there.
Fin always had his suspicions. He never knew for a fact until Olivia stood there in her leggings and oversized t-shirt, her feet bare, her arm in a sling with her freshly sheared hair and tears running down her freckled cheeks. She admitted why she was adamant that Elliot not be called. Fin would never forget what it felt like when Olivia Benson admitted out loud that she had been and always would be in love with her former partner, Elliot Stabler. That he was the love of her life and the one she compared every single other man to.
She yelled at Fin that he should have stopped Elliot from leaving. How she’d lost her partner and her family. How she’d lost her best friend. She then had whispered that she never wanted him to see her like this. She didn’t want him to see her as weak…or a victim. Somewhere, lost in his thoughts, Liz must’ve been speaking to him because she’s snapping her fingers in his direction.
“Fin? You still here?” Liz’s voice cut through his thoughts finally as the two nurses entered the room. Donna was one of those no-nonsense veteran nurses who had administered so many kits in her career and had worked alongside the SVU squad for years. As soon as she saw Fin in the chair, she took a deep breath. She’d been a SANE nurse for twenty-five years. Olivia walked into the room two minutes later to see Donna and Rachel.
“Captain Benson.” Donna greeted Olivia. Donna was approximately fifty-seven years old, didn’t have a single gray hair on her head, and had large green eyes that reminded you of a warm forest of pine trees. Comforting. If you listened to her speak for a period of time, you could distinguish her Irish accent.
“Donna. I’m glad to see you, but not under these circumstances.” Rachel was busy taking Liz’s information and vitals. Olivia let out the air she’d been holding in. Fin stood and put his hand on Liv’s arm.
“I’ll just wait outside, you okay?” he whispered. Olivia gave him a small reassuring smile, patting his hand softly as he left the room.
Donna turned her attention to Liz. “You look familiar, dear. What’s your name?” Donna asked.
“Elizabeth Jo Stabler.” Liz answered. Olivia inhaled as she saw the look of recognition cross Donna’s face.
“Olivia?” Donna turned toward the Captain, “Stabler, as in your former partner?”
“Jesus.” Liz whispered. “Is there anyone that didn’t know the two of you?”
“Nope.” Liv answered, she was used to entertaining stupid questions nearly all the time. “And yes, Donna, one in the same.”
Donna shook her head sadly as she sat up straight on the stool. “Elizabeth, you may stop, pause, or skip any part of this process. Do you understand?” Donna asked, “Do you consent to this exam?”
Liz just looked straight ahead as she one-syllable word escaped her mouth. Olivia sighed, as Liz moved behind the blue partition and began to strip her clothes off, and telling her story.
The next day, Olivia and Elliot were sitting behind their respective desks catching up on paperwork. Elliot had been tapping his pen against the outside of the manila folders for a solid five minutes straight. Olivia had sighed and stared at the man across from her about twelve times now. Each sigh becoming increasingly louder and more agitated.
Munch and Fin were sitting at their desks, watching the two partners inconspicuously. Cragen was sitting behind his desk, his door opened as he kept hearing the rapid tapping and Olivia’s increasingly agitated sighing. When he saw Olivia’s shoulders rise again as she inhaled a deep breath. Cragen began to push his chair back but he was too late. Olivia walked around his desk, yanked his pen out of his hand, tossed it somewhere to the right and braced herself on the arms of his chair.
“Damnit, El. Stop the fucking tapping. It’s getting on my last damn nerve.”
“Benson! Stabler! My office, Now!”
Munch reached in his pocket and tossed Fin a ten- dollar bill, as Fin took it and folded it to put it in his wallet.
“Double-or-nuthin’ they go to the roof to continue ripping each other to shreds after the Captain is done with them.” Fin bets. Munch shakes his head.
“No, Partner. The Crib.” Munch smiles as they both look toward the office.
Cragen's office - 2009
“Do you want to explain to me why you’ve turned into a metronome on crack, Elliot?” Cragen asks, rubbing his forehead while reaching into his drawer for the extra-large bottle of Excedrin Migraine he keeps in there for dealing with these two. He never had children, but these two are the closest thing to kids he has.
“Just some personal stuff, Captain.” Elliot answers, looking over at Olivia who has an impassive look on her face.
Cragen turns his attention to the woman, “Benson, I get that the tapping was obnoxious as hell but was it really necessary to curse at your partner and toss his pen to China by way of air mail?”
Olivia just glanced over at Elliot who shrugged. “No, Captain, it wasn’t necessary. It won’t happen again.”
“You two have to get yourselves together, I can’t have you pissing off the rest of the squadroom. I don’t have time to babysit you two and Elliot? Don’t bring home to work. Olivia? Try not to murder your partner or I might have to consider splitting the two of you up. Might do you both some good.”
“No.” Olivia answers a little too quickly, “We’ll sort through it. I apologize, Captain.”
“Go take a breather and then get back to work.” Cragen opened his office door and shook his head as the two Detectives moved from his office towards their jackets. Cragen spotted Munch and Fin right as Fin held his hand out and Munch placed another bill in his hands.
“You two betting on Benson and Stabler?”
“Someone has to.” Fin replied as Munch agreed. Cragen shook his head, he needed a long vacation.
Roof - 2009
Up on the roof, Elliot took a deep breath and tilted his head back against the wall. Olivia was standing right next to him, their shoulders touching. “I’m sorry for tapping my pen. It’s a nervous habit.”
“I know.” Olivia answers. She didn’t need an explanation. She didn’t need anything.
“I’m just…God, Liv. I told Liz to consider her options. I wanted an answer by tomorrow evening.” He turned his head and looked down at his partner. She felt her throat constrict as she looked up at him.
She hated this for him and his family. She hated this for Liz. She hated this for herself. “El, she told you what she wanted already. You just aren’t listening. Just help make the appointment and be there when it’s over…it’s the best you can do.”
“Liv, there’s no legal recourse for this damn kid. She didn’t feel comfortable telling me it happened. Liv, I’m a SVU detective, if anything that should make my family more likely to talk to me about things like depression, anxiety, sexual assault.” he shook his head, “I mean…she felt more comfortable telling you than myself or Kathy. I don’t know what to do. Hell, I haven’t even told Kathy yet. I don’t think I’m going to.”
“El. You have to. She’s going to need her mother.”
“Kathy’s not the most understanding person you’ve ever met, Liv. She’s not the understanding person you give her credit for. She’d rather people have the babies and put them up for adoption
“Jesus. Elliot. Have you explained the long-term effects of forcing juveniles to carry a child to term vs. a young adult?”
“Liv. I know this is a touchy topic with you, - “
“Like hell. If she were my daughter, Elliot, I would do whatever she had decided on. I wouldn’t think twice about the request.” Olivia closed her eyes, “Yeah, it sucks. It doesn’t hurt any less to know that. El, one day my chance will come…one day.”
“Liv. You’ll be a great mom.” Elliot studied his partner in the light on the roof. She was radiant, and he really did believe it deep within his chest that she was going to be a wonderful mother one day.
“It’s because I don’t judge her. Elliot. She trusts me because I don’t judge her. I trust her, and I know she doesn’t ever want to disappoint you. She deserves to see all her dreams come true, Elliot. Make the appointment. If she changes her mind between now and then, you cross that bridge when you get there.” Olivia placed her hand on his arm and his breath hitched at the contact. “She’s lost control El. How’s her eating going?”
“I uh…left her some crackers in a sandwich bag next to her bed last night, I know it’s not the most nutritional thing on earth, but I figured it would settle her stomach. I was going to cut up some celery sticks for her but forgot to do it this morning before leaving. I think she’s in a purge cycle right now.” He shook his head, “I wish this was easier for her. I wish I could take away all the problems she’s having right now, Liv. How did things get so fucked up?”
Olivia sighed, “I’ll talk to her again, if you think it’ll help.” Olivia offered. It was the best she could do, offer to help.
“That’d be great.” Elliot nodded. “Hey…Liv?”
“For what?” Olivia asked, confused by the sudden thank you he was throwing to her. As far as she knew, there was nothing to be thanked for.
“Looking out for my kids.” Elliot answered, “Even though you have no obligation to do so.”
“We’re partners, El. For better or worse.” She answered, looking out at the city skyline beyond them.
“Hey, Liv.” Liz’s voice cut through the memory as the nurse was preparing to insert the speculum. Liz jumped at the sudden intrusion.
“Sorry Elizabeth.” Donna apologized, “Should’ve warned you about that.”
“It’s okay, Donna.” Liz reassured the nurse. “You’ve been gentle enough so far.”
Olivia shook her head as she snapped out of it, hearing the conversation around her. “Yes, sweetie?” She turned her attention to Liz’s eyes. Liz tilted her head back onto the pillow she’d been given and closed her eyes.
“Do you remember the day we spent hiking on those trails upstate?” Liz asked, “Do you remember the waterfall?”
“Yeah. I remember, Liz. What made you bring this up?”
“I just…it was a good day. It was nice to have a distraction after, - “ Liz trailed off and Olivia moved closer to her. Donna had finished and was pulling her gloves off.
“You can touch her now, Captain.” Donna nodded sadly as Olivia wrapped her hand around Liz’s head, her hand resting on the girl’s cheek. “I’ll be back in a bit.”
“Sure.” Olivia answered. Liz took Olivia’s hand in hers and they both stared at their fingers. Remembering the trip they’d taken upstate.
“I remember how beautiful the moss on the tree was that we saw walking along to trail to get to the waterfall. I remember the rocks at the bottom and the way you could see clear to the bottom of the pool where the water landed from the level above. We’re all kind of like rocks that have been molded by water…aren’t we?” Liz asks, her eyes searching Olivia’s for answers. Olivia never knew how exactly Liz did it, but she could always ask the most profound questions and then search for the answers within her eyes. Sometimes she found them, sometimes she didn’t.
“I guess we are.” Olivia answered, “That was your father’s idea. The hiking. He’d asked your mom to go with him but she declined so he figured he’d ask me and we’d go together, you, me, Katie and him. He thought it would be good for your soul to get fresh air, a change of scenery after everything that had happened.”
“He saw I was fading. That I was disappearing.” Liz responded, a small tug at the corner of her mouth.
“I think I saw you start to piece back together that day.” Olivia nodded, kissing the back of Liz’s hand.
“I didn’t think I ever would be whole again, Olivia.”
“He had asked me what I would’ve done if you were mine. I told him I would take you away from this place and to somewhere peaceful.”
“Thank you for that trip, Liv.” Elizabeth licked her chapped lips as she turned her face toward Olivia. ”Do you think you and I could go back? After today, I just need to see if it’s still a place that heals my soul. I’m tired, Liv.”
“I know.” Olivia answers, “It’s a lot of rain in one place for you, Liz. I thought we were going to lose you the second attack.”
Elliot had spoken to Liz, and they had made the appointment for termination. It was scheduled for Friday at 2 pm. She told her father she was positive that this is what she wanted. He was still trying to accept her decision religion aside as Olivia had told him. It was complicated. He’d even mentioned maybe even having her carry the child to term and passing it off to Olivia in an Adoption. Liz felt all sorts of ways about the idea, but had a feeling that Olivia didn’t know anything about this offer that was seemingly on the table.
If she were older and not in High School, Liz might’ve agreed. She knew Olivia would be a fantastic mother. Just seeing how she was in dealing with Katie and herself, and all their curveballs, all their challenges they had thrown to their father and he had gone to Olivia for help. Well, Liz just knew Olivia would be fantastic. She would've considered bringing the child to term and giving it to Olivia if being a pregnant teen in High School wasn't exhausting and had so many negative ramifications. To be labelled a slut and easy. People would look at a growing belly and think automatically that you were going to put out and please them all they wanted because you were growing a human being.
Yeah, no. Liz could not do it.
Wednesday Afternoon Liz was at Drama sitting in the audience chairs when Jason came strolling into the auditorium like he owned the damn place. She was sipping on her water bottle and eating the celery sticks her father had left her for a “snack” he had claimed.
When she saw Jason, she felt a wave of nausea overwhelm her and had to get out of there…and quickly.
True, they went to school together so it was inevitable they would cross paths again eventually. However, Liz didn’t want that to be any time soon. So, she stood abruptly and grabbed her bag, tossing it over her shoulder. She wanted to put as much distance between the two of them as possible. As she passed by the Teacher’s lounge he caught up with her and yanked on her arm. His fingers digging into her flesh harshly.
“Ow. Jason, let me go.” Liz hissed. Her heart was pounding out of her chest and she was starting to feel shaky, like she was going pass out. She tried to pry his hands off of her wrists but couldn’t.
He wasn’t listening and Liz felt herself getting sick. It would serve him right if she threw up all over him.
“Liz. Why are you avoiding me? I love you.” He was acting funny.
“What?” She asked, incredulous. “Are you being serious right now?”
“Yeah, I mean…we had sex, Lizzie. Didn’t that mean anything to you?”
“What?” She swallowed the bile in her throat, it burnt. “NO. You raped me, Jason. I didn’t want to, - “ She pulled her arm away and started to walk away but he grabbed her by both of her biceps and slammed her back into the lockers, the latches digging into her back. He yanks her around and then pushes her into the stairway that’s to their left. Her eyes widen when she hears the click of the door.
“You enjoyed it and you know it.” Jason licked his lips as he looked down at Liz who was backed into the corner.
“No.” Liz responds, her head shaking, she tries to pull her arm away. “I said NO, Jason. You didn’t listen and you took it from me.”
“Liz, stop lying. I felt your orgasm.” Jason answers, his eyes glinted dangerously and she suddenly felt like a small fish in the ocean and she was facing down a shark. She was going to get devoured. “You will always think of me as the best you’ve ever had. In fact, I bet you want more, don’t you? You can’t resist me.”
He was pressing into her now, his face inches from hers as she attempted to shove him back. He spun them around and pressed her against the railing as she protested to him that he was hurting her.
Liz spat in his face, and suddenly she realized what a monumentally stupid decision it was to spit in his face. When he pulled his hand back and landed the worlds hardest slap across her face, splitting her bottom lip which instantly started bleeding. She went to reach up and touch the corner of her mouth, but he grabbed her arms in his and held them so she couldn’t get free and spun her around bracing his leg between hers and preventing her from running. The bar was digging into her stomach. She looked over her shoulder at the steps that were inching closer.
“Jason, let go of me.” She pleaded, trying to push him back. He ignored her as he held her hands behind her back. Once he had her arms restrained he lifted her skirt up and pulled her panties down and she heard the sound she was dreading. The zipper.
It was like watching a horror film, - like someone else was in control as silent tears made their way down her cheeks and she bit down on her split lip, drawing even more blood. When he finished he spun her around and shoved her.
She fell in slow motion, or that’s how it felt to her. She’d put her arms up to protect her head and neck but when she landed she found that everything hurt. Immensely. He ran down the steps and took her underwear off, and for good measure kicked her ten times in the stomach and ribs. When he went back up the steps he spotted her book bag and tossed it down the steps so that it hit into her. “Tell anyone it was me, and I’ll fucking kill you, Liz. Do you understand?”
He callously walked out of the stairs, leaving her there, broken, bruised, and bleeding. Violated, once more.
She could barely reach into the bag to find her phone. She dialed 911, but requested they contact Detective Olivia Benson from the 16th Precinct Special Victim’s Unit. She knew if Liv got the call she’d get her justice. She knew that if Liv got the call, she would protect her father and prevent him from killing Jason.
The began to feel the cramping and for the first time since she’d seen the positive pregnancy test result, she pleaded with God that everything was okay. She was second guessing the abortion. She began crying but everything hurt too much, and she couldn’t allow the sobs to rack her body like she wanted to. It all hurt too much.
Olivia was the first one to barge through the door and when she saw Liz on the landing she cursed under her breath and ordered some uniformed officers to hold Elliot back. He didn’t need to see this. The EMTs needed to get to work, they needed to save Liz.
Liz was studying Olivia with the same intensity that Olivia was studying Liz.
Fin was standing awkwardly in the background, unsure of what intensely traumatic experience they were both being haunted by behind their eyes. He knew the moment Olivia had said something had happened to Elizabeth Stabler that the ghosts would be haunting them both intensely.
There was so much trauma, so much loss, so much pain between the two of them.
There was also a lot of love, a lot of understanding, and a lot of potential for healing.
Olivia was the first to break out of the trance as she shook her head and began sobbing, dropping Liz’s hand and hiding her face from the room.
“Shit.” Fin never liked to see Benson cry, and wasn’t sure what he should be doing about it.