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Broken Glass

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Bell closed her eyes tight and took a deep breath. This job never gets any fucking eaiser. She looked over at Jet who was clicking furiously away at the screens in front of her. Bell was actually worried about what Jet was going to find. Because there was something to be found. She knew there was a connection. Richard Wheatly doesn’t hire the former ADA of SVU for no reason. She paced behind Jet trying to connect the dots.

“Stabler left SVU before this Barba character even showed up. Do you think Wheatly is even aware that he was the former ADA?” Jet put her head down, answering her own question and the clicking continued.

“What is Wheatly playing at? I feel like I'm so close, but I’m just not getting it.” Bell said, defeated. She looked at the clock and swore, “Listen, I gotta run. Don’t stay too late ok? I’ll see you in the morning.”

“Copy.”

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“Listen Stabler, we gotta talk.”

“Ah, so this isn’t going to be a silent dinner?” he teased.

She smiled, “Wheatly hired a new lawyer.”

“Ok…?”

Bell took a deep breath, “Rafael Barba.” She said, searching his eyes to see if any light bulbs were going off.

Nothing.

“He’s the former ADA of SVU.” She added hoping that might help.

“Barba? Never heard of him.” Elliot replied. “When was he at SVU? He probably wasn’t there long, they go through ADA’s faster than Jet cracks a cell.” He laughed at his own joke.

“6 years.”

“Oh. That has to be some kind of record for them.” He took a sip of his water in front of him. “So what are you thinking?”

Bell shook her head, “I just don’t know. I mean I’m sure Barba has no idea what he is getting into with his client, but Wheatly---you know there are no coincidences with him. He picked Barba for a reason...and I just can’t figure out what it is.” She sat back in her chair and took a deep breath as her phone pinged, bringing them both back to the present. Stabler saw it was Jet who had texted Bell and he caught just a couple words before Bell had her phone out of his prying eyes.

Cellmate w Lewis

Bell looked down at her phone and her blood went cold. That mother fucker...and that other mother fucker.

“What is it?” Elliot asked urgently.

“You know the name Lewis?” Bell asked, starting to dig into something she was most sure she had no business being, but most importantly she was digging into something deeply personal, something dark and something evil.

She knew parts of the story, and she knew well enough to know that it wasn’t hers to share.

“Dana?”

“Uh, no.” Bell felt utterly sick.

Elliot shook his head. He could tell something had changed in Bell. He knew that look. It came from the gut. It was the look that made you physically sick. He had seen that look too many times to count. He didn’t know who this Lewis was, but he knew he was trouble.

OK, so Stabler had no idea about Lewis. Which means he has no idea about what happened to Liv...

Bell’s heart sank deep. Since she had started working with Captain Benson she did everything in her power to keep her memories at bay. She fought with her inner self to see the Captain just as she presented herself --Strong, brave, compassionate, and she would be damned if she saw Liv as a victim. However, no matter how hard she tried, the flashbacks began to flood her memory. Memories of the TV news report, memories of her searching…

 


“All hands on deck!” Her Captain yelled. “We have a missing Detective at the 1-6. Taken by a William Lewis.” Digital photos of Lewis appeared on the board as everyone started to gather. “He’s a sick son of a bitch, if I don’t say so myself. We need to find him and we need to find him fast.”

Photos of Lewis’s past victims started to appear and the squad's eyes popped out their heads. They were not SVU detectives. They did not see this type of thing everyday. More details of Lewis were given only making the squad more disgusted and then... and then her photo appeared on the board and in that moment you could hear a pin drop.

“Detective Olivia Benson, been missing for 2 plus days.” Bell's Captain stated.

Everyone in the squad room knew of Detective Benson, and everyone’s hair on the backs of their necks stood up as her photo appeared. Everyone was given an assignment and no matter how horrible or awful the task assigned, not one person in the entire squad complained, no one even moaned or groaned. It was the first time Bell had ever witnessed that.

Bell was on the team searching Benson’s apartment. A scene she will never be able to forget. A scene that hurts her heart every time she thinks about it. The smell of burnt hair, cigarettes, metal and skin come flowing back into her memory, along with the panties ---There were four pairs of panties that were each covered in blood (and God knows what else) and they were tied around a chair where she was clearly tied up and tortured.

That's the screenshot in Bell's memory that breaks her heart.

That fucking chair.

That’s the image she is seeing now as she looks across the table at Elliot. She suddenly feels something change in her, although she can’t identify it just yet. She can feel something building.

“You ok?” Elliot asks, pulling Bell out of her daytime-nightmare.

“Yeah, I’m fine.” She says unconvincingly, “But I gotta run. Jet’s got something for me.”

“Wait, who is this Lewis guy?”

“Noone, Just another dead guy. Talk to you later?” She asks standing up.

“Uh yeah. You sure, you good?” Elliot asks, confused and concerned about her sudden departure.

“I'm fine, Stabler.” It comes out a little hostile and she’s not sure why.

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“I mean everyone and their mother knew. It was on every freaking news channel, every station house was out looking---” She felt the tears starting and she quickly wiped them away. She took a deep breath and a sip of her very strong drink.

“I've never had to tell anybody,” she starts slowly, “that it happened.” She explains further. She rubs her sweaty palms along her thighs, knowing all those emotions were all going to come to the surface, again. The flashbacks, the panic attacks, the nightmares. “You know at the time, I hated that. Hated that everyone knew. I couldn’t go anywhere without people giving me that look...that look of pity.” She took a big swig to finish her drink and signaled for another.

“Look Liv, I’m here for you. Anything you need, I got your back, ok?” Rollins said.

Olivia smiled, “Thank you, Amanda. I just thought I was past this. I just feel like…like...”

“...like you’re never going to be free?”

Olivia looked deep into Amanda’s eyes. She knew. She got it. She understood, because she too would never be free from her chains. Olivia reached onto the bar and grabbed Amanda’s hand, “Exactly.”

They both looked at each other, “Cheers.” Rollins said, lifting her drink.

They continued to drink and chat, just the two girls.

“When Elliot did come back, it was nice that he didn’t know. I didn’t want to tell him--well not like I could, I mean the man’s wife just died, but, well you know what I mean. It was just nice that someone who knew me wasn't treating me any differently... that's all going to change now, isn’t it?” She asked, receiving her answer with Amanda’s silence.

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“I just figured he knew. I mean how could he not?! It was literally everywhere. Every newspaper, news station, every damn department was out looking for her! It was the biggest case of the year!” His emotions yelled out at the Sergeant in front of him. “I had my own mother looking for her---” he choked out.

Bell watched the man come apart in front of her. She literally had no idea what to do. There was no good answer. She fucking hated that.

“And now? What am I supposed to do now? I can’t tell him!” Barba says, “I can’t make her tell him. Are you sure he doesn’t know?”

Bell nods.

Barba grunts. “Do we have to tell him?”

The look that Bell gives is a classic, but then she thinks about it for a minute, does Stabler have to know?

“How does she do it?” Bell asked. Just remembering the crime scene she felt like she needed a mental health day. And that was just the one crime scene. Bell knew Olivia was taken to multiple locations. The Sergeant frowned. If these were the feelings that started coming to the surface for her, she couldn’t even imagine what was coming to the surface for Olivia.

Barba smiled for the first time, “Superwoman.”

“You would have to be.” She smiled at the broken man in front of her, “Come on man, I’ll buy you a drink.”

 

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She was actually having a nice time. Olivia glanced at the people in her company. Rollins, Finn, Bell and Barba all together, sitting nicely having drinks. It was by chance that the group of them were gathered together at the local bar by the 1-6. She knows the reasoning for which they gather and despite it, she was still enjoying herself.

They were mostly just ripping on Barba, maybe that’s why she was laughing, having a good time. She just knew she had to focus on the good. Not let her flashbacks destroy her. She was a different woman now. She was stronger, braver. If she could get through it then, she could do it now. She smiled as she gave herself this little pep talk.

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“She’s not here.” Denise stated as she tried to soothe a very cranky baby in her arms. The new mother looked absolutely exhausted as she opened the door to Elliot. “I’m surprised you’re not with her, actually.”

Elliot looked at her, “She’s out, huh? She must be ignoring me then.”

Denise looked at him, unamused.

“Can I try?” Elliot asked, nodding towards the crying baby boy. “To see if I still got it?” he said, outstretching his hands.

“Screw it, at this point I’ll try anything.” Densie said, passing him the fussy baby.

After a few minutes Elliot had the baby sleeping in his arms, “Mind if I ask you something?”
“Sure,” Denise mumbled, she was half asleep herself on the couch.

“You know anything about Rafael Barba?”

Denise perked up a little, “Ahhh, you jealous, Stabler?” She teased with a smile on her face.

“Jealous? What? No, why? He is Wheatly’s new lawyer.”

“Awe, damn.”

“Why would I be jealous?”

“Uh, oh, nothing.” She shook her head, “I guess I just really need some sleep.” She lied, and both she and he knew it.

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When Bell got home, one of the last things she expected to see was Stabler on her couch with her little man in his baby lounger next to him, both of them passed out. She looked around to find her wife.

“Hey Baby, I’m home.” She said as she placed a kiss on her forehead. Denise looked so peaceful sleeping and she hated to wake her, but she couldn’t resist placing a kiss on her.

“Hey,” She replied, very sleepy, “Is Stabler still here?”

“Yeah, he’s passed out on the couch. Can I ask, why?”

“We are going to have to start charging that man rent,” Denise teased. “He came by looking for you. I put him to work while he waited. Elliot Stabler–The Manny Whisperer.” She chuckled. Bell was changing into her PJ’s as she stumbled a bit making Denise laugh. “You’re drunk.”

“I’m toasty.” Ayanna replied with a smile, “But it’s not really my fault, those folks at the 1-6 can drink! And they needed it today.” She took a deep breath and took a seat at the edge of the bed, “Barba is representing Wheatly,”

“Yeah Stabler filled me in-”

“Yeah, Well---that’s not really the kicker.”

Denise sat up in bed, excited. She knew whatever her wife was going to tell her was going to be a juicy piece of gossip, “Spill!”

“No, no, it’s not good, D.” She exhaled, “It’s something that isn’t even mine to share. I think all hell is going to break loose. And unfortunately, it involves Lewis.”

“Lewis? Ain’t that man dead?”

“He is, but a man with that much evil lives on forever, I guess.” Bell shook her head, and Denise could see her wife starting to get emotional so she took her in her arms.

“So what’s the connection?”

“Wheatly and Lewis were cellmates for a while.” Bell said completely defeated.

“Oh my God. That poor woman is never going to be free of him, is she?”

“I don’t know, but that crime scene still rips me up inside. And just knowing what this is doing to me---well I can only imagine what it’s going to do to Liv.”

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In the other room Elliot picked up and cuddled the most innocent thing in the world. All the while he wondered who the hell this Lewis was, and what the fuck did he have to do with Olivia? He was glad that he had one of the most beautifulest babies in his arms, it reminded him that there was still good on this earth. And after the conversation he had just overheard on the baby monitor he sure needed the reminder.