The Waking by Fewthistle

Disclaimer: These characters are the sole property of NBC television and Wolf Productions. No copyright infringement was intended. No profit was made from their use.
Rating: PG-13 I would guess. There is a discussion about the
consequences of an act of violence in Benson's past. Further, theseare MY thoughts. I have no personal experience with being a child of rape nor would I ever think to put myself forward as an expert. This is fiction. I intend no disrespect or additional pain to anyone having a more personal experience.
Pairing: Detective Olivia Benson and ADA Alex Cabot from Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. Established relationship. It helps to know that Detective Benson is the child of a rape.
Further Disclaimer: This is my first attempt at this pairing and story type, so bear with me. These two are a far cry from J/7 and Athena, so it may take me a while to get the atmosphere and voices down properly.
Comments may be made to
fewthistle@aol.com

The Waking

 By Fewthistle

In the darkness of the loft, the shrill red sound of the phone startled her out of sleep, the ringing echoing against the back of her eyes like strobe lights. She didn't bother with the lamp, her hand seeking out and finding the receiver with unerring skill, the sense of touch as ever blind and needless of the light.

"Hello," she murmured, her voice almost unrecognizable, clogged and altered by sleep.

"Detective Benson? Olivia Benson?" It was a man's voice, the nasal vowels of the city pronounced.

"Yes, who is this?" she asked, pushing herself up against the pillows and raking slim fingers through her thick black hair.

"Nobody. I unnerstand you been looking for your father. I might know where you can find him. For the right price, of course," he replied. Olivia had a vague feeling of being in a very badly written mob movie, the man's accent and words conjuring images of DeNiro and Peschi.

"How did you get this number?" Olivia demanded, the last vestiges of sleep swept clean, the man's words as efficient as the brittle winter wind that even now blew the trash down the unsparing streets of the city.

"That ain't important. You wanna know who he is and where you can find him or not?"

She hesitated, her mind racing over the possibilities of who this was, of where he was getting his information and of how he had found her. The warm blanket of darkness beside her rippled with movement as her companion stirred, troubled no doubt by the change in Olivia's tone, the subtle tremor of some unnamed emotion.

"Who is it?" asked a husky voice, as Olivia felt a slender arm slip around her waist from behind, the softness of her companion's body pressing gently against her back.

"You still there?" the man prompted brusquely, "Cause I ain't got all night. You want this info or not?"

"Give me a minute. It's 2:40 in the morning and I was asleep. Let me wake up enough to be able to understand you, ok?" Olivia lied.

Her mind was overwhelmed with images, pictures of her mother, of her as a young child longing to know the truth, and of her adult search for the man who had fathered her in an act of violence.

"Olivia? Who is it? Is everything all right?" The sound of the familiar voice tore through her reverie.

She covered the mouthpiece of the phone with her hand, sliding it down over the edge of the bed for extra measure, as she whispered to her companion.

"I don't know who he is. He says he has information about who my father is and where I can find him. He wants money," she explained succinctly.

"How did he get your number?"

"I don't know," she responded, turning her attention back to the phone. Raising the receiver once again, she spoke to her unknown caller.

"What do you want for your information? And how do I know that it's legitimate? And how did you know where to find me?" She asked, finally reaching over to flip on the light, searching for the pad and pen that normally sat on the bedside table.

As the remorseless illumination brought all of the blurred edges of the loft into sharp relief, Olivia turned to look at her companion. Alex's blonde hair was tousled and out of place, her usually sharp and brilliant blue eyes darkened and hazy as the remaining traces of sleep still lingered. Her expression was concerned, a slight frown marring the line of her forehead.

"Trust me, it's legit. I found you, didn't I?" The man explained, his tone a bit smug, "And as for what I want, well, let's say I would be willin' to part with the info for say a couple thou. After all, that don't seem like much to find out who your old man is, now does it?"

"You know I'm a police officer? That you are attempting to extort money for information from someone who could arrest you?" Olivia asked, her eyes focused on Alex's face, tracing the well-known lines and curves. Alex had moved so that she now sat cross-legged in the middle of the bed, the rumpled sheets and blankets tossed carelessly to the bottom of the bed.

"Yeah, I know. But, I'm thinking you won't. I mean, why would ya? You get what you want and I get what I want and it's just between us, you know? Besides, extortion is an ugly word, specially considering that I am offering you something you really want and the only thing I am asking is a little something for my trouble. More like a trade. You know what I mean?"

"Interesting way of looking at it. So, say I do agree to this little trade of yours? You realize that I wouldn't pay you until I was certain that the information you provided was correct and that the man in question really was my father? Not that I am agreeing to it. I need a bit more information first. How did you know where to contact me? And how did you know that I was looking for this man?"

"Fair enough. I used to live in the neighborhood. I remember your mom being raped and then having you. They never found out who the guy was, but I had some ideas. I saw your mom's obituary in the paper not too long ago. It got me to thinking. So, I went to this bar I used to go to and I got talking to this guy. Bought him a couple drinks, got him talking bout the old days. Long story short, turns out I was right about who raped your old lady. Then I got to thinking you might wanna know. And here we are," he replied, his voice matter-of-fact.

As he spoke, Olivia reached out almost unconsciously and grasped Alex's hand. Alex covered the hand with both of her own, her fingers lightly stroking along the fine lines of Olivia's palm. She could see that Olivia was becoming more and more distressed as the conversation continued, and yet, Alex knew that this wasn't a situation where Benson could simply hang up and go back to sleep.

"So, this man you were talking to? Is he the man you're referring to or did he know who committed the rape?" Olivia demanded, her voice growing harsh as the repressed emotions of a lifetime came surging to the surface.

"That's all the info you get for now. You want more, then I need to see some of the dough up front. Along with your promise that I ain't gonna be arrested. I'll call you back in an hour, after you had a chance to consider my offer," he responded.

Before Olivia had an opportunity to reply there was a click on the other end of the line, its finality taking her by surprise.

Slowly replacing the receiver, she looked up to meet Alex's worried countenance.

"Olivia? Tell me what he said," Alex urged softly, the almost blank expression on Olivia's face causing a wave of dread to surge through her.

In a dull monotone Olivia relayed the conversation to her, her eyes as empty of emotion as her voice. Those dark eyes that Alex loved, that usually flashed with laughter or anger or passion, were now flat, as some unrevealed nightmare slowly made its way to the surface of those black orbs.

"He's going to call back in an hour," Olivia finished.

"Good. If we hurry and have them put a rush on it, that gives us time to get a trace placed on your phone. When he calls back, we'll simply have the line traced and have him picked up," Alex pronounced firmly, easily slipping from the role of concerned lover to Assistant District Attorney, "We can charge him with attempted extortion."

"No, Alex," Olivia began.

"Olivia. This man is a criminal, plan and simple. The chances that he has any real information about who raped your mother after all these years are slim to none. Clearly, he knew of the circumstances. He probably did live nearby and so he undoubtedly would have heard about the rape. He also probably did see your mother's obituary and thought that it would be an easy way to make a quick buck. But, I honestly don't believe that he knows who the man is that raped your mother. I know how difficult it's been for you--"

"Do you?" Olivia interrupted bitterly, "Did you grow up knowing that you were the product of an act of violence? When you were going to all those cushy private schools, did you have to pretend and make excuses about your father because you couldn't bear to have anyone know that your father was a rapist?"

"Olivia," Alex began, drawing in a deep breath at her own insensitivity, "I'm sorry. Really love, I am so sorry. You're right. I don't know. I could never know what it must have been like for you. I do know that I hate to see you so upset and I just want to be sure that you're thinking this through. Talk to me. Tell me what you're thinking."

"I'm not sure what I'm thinking. Part of me knows that you're exactly right, that there is no way that this guy could come up with this information after all this time. Part of me knows that he's just trying to make a little easy money. But, Alex, part of me wants to know so desperately that I would be willing to give him the two thousand dollars just to have a name, some where to start," Olivia admitted. She rose from the bed to cross over to the window, brushing away the thin layer of condensation that had gathered on the inside, as the heat of the loft met the pane of glass made frigid by the winter air outside.

"Why?" Alex asked her gently.

Turning to face Alex, Olivia rummaged through her jumbled thoughts. She tried to find words to explain the ever-present hollow feeling that existed inside of her, the one she that she had become so accustomed to, that it registered as no more than a tightness now, not an actual pain as much as a lacking, a void. So many unanswerable questions, so much of who she was that she had never known, would quite probably never know. Words that would explain that feeling of incognizance when she looked into a mirror and examined each, individual feature of her own face, unaware of whose nose or eyes she had, of which uncle or grandmother had bequeathed her the broad forehead or full lips. And hovering over it all, the knowledge that she had been brought forth, not in love and desire, but in hatred and anger and fear.

The statute of limitations had run out on the crime long ago, but for Olivia, the act was as real and recent as it had ever been. The only punishment available now was through her actions, not those of the justice system. She spent her life seeking out and arresting the perpetrators of violence. Yet, this case was different. It was about her.

Alex watched the emotions flit across Olivia's face, as plain as images across a movie screen. She saw the longing, the need to know, the anger, the hatred, the shame. Standing quietly, she walked across the cold hardwood floor to where Olivia stood, her back to the window, the limited glow of the lamp casting a shadow that fell just short of her bare feet.

"I wish I could explain it, but I can't," Olivia began, only to be silenced by the feel of Alex's fingers along her lips.

"You don't have to explain. I can see it in your eyes, on your face. But Olivia, listen to me for just a minute, ok?" Alex said tenderly, slipping her arms around Olivia and pulling her close to her, the warmth of her body seeping into her against the chill of the loft.

"Ok," Olivia answered, obsidian eyes locked on Alex's own sapphire orbs.

"I know that your mom must have told you this a million times, but I think you need to hear it now. It doesn't matter, Olivia. It doesn't matter who he is or was, or what he looked like. It doesn't matter what he did for work, or where his family came from, or if he was short or tall. It doesn't even matter why he raped your mother, not anymore," Alex told her, her voice soft and full of love, "You are more than a sum of genes, Olivia. You are who your mother raised you to be, who you worked to become. And what you are is a beautiful, smart, loving, kind, and caring, strong and honorable woman. Nothing that you could ever find out, nothing that man on the telephone could tell you would ever be able to alter those facts.

"He doesn't deserve the reward of knowing you, Olivia. He doesn't deserve to know that his act of rage and violence produced anything but pain. And he most certainly doesn't deserve to be able to console himself in any way by knowing that his horrendous act created such a precious thing as you," she finished, one hand coming up to cup Olivia's cheek, catching the tears that flowed freely down her face.

Breathing a little raggedly, Olivia gazed into Alex's eyes, seeing the truth there, as well as the love. Alex was right, her mother had told her the same thing, over and over throughout the years. She had tried to believe them, but there were times when the doubts and the need to know threatened to overtake her. The phone call had brought all of it back, along with the immense and overwhelming sadness of her mother's death.

Slowly nodding her head in acknowledgement, Olivia allowed Alex to draw her back to the bed, turning off the light and pulling her gently down beside her. She covered them both with the blankets, tucking them tightly around them against the cold air and the tangled emotions that brought a similar shiver to Olivia's soul.

Wrapping herself around Olivia, Alex held her as if she might shatter and break into irreparable pieces. Not speaking, they lay in the darkness, listening to the ambient sounds of the city and the mournful wail of the wind as it hastened down the alleyways. Her mind crowded with 'what-ifs' and 'whys' and 'hows', Olivia must have dozed off, enveloped in the warmth and safety of Alex's arms.

In the darkness of the loft, the shrill red sound of the phone startled her out of sleep, the ringing echoing against the back of her eyes like strobe lights. She didn't bother with the lamp, her hand seeking out and finding the receiver with unerring skill, the sense of touch as ever blind and needless of the light.

"Well? We got a deal?" the voice asked.

"No. To tell you the truth, I've decided I'm not interested in your information," Olivia answered, her voice even and strong.

"After all these years, you don't wanna know who your Pop is?" The man reacted immediately, his voice incredulous.

"Doesn't matter," Olivia replied, "Besides, he doesn't deserve for me to know."

"He don't deserve?" the voice queried.

"No, he doesn't deserve to even know I exist. I don't expect you to understand. Don't call me again or I will find you and have you arrested for extortion," Olivia told him, feeling Alex's lips smiling against the skin of her shoulder.

"You positive about this?"

"Goodbye." She said, replacing the receiver and turning into the circle of Alex's arms. It occurred to her that it was too bad that her mother had never had the chance to meet the determined and talented young ADA. She had a feeling that they would have liked each other.

"Your mom would be proud of you," Alex whispered against her lips, "And so am I."

"I decided to limit my interactions to people who do deserve me," Olivia murmured, capturing Alex's mouth fully, kissing her with an intensity that left the blonde gasping for air, "And you, Ms. Cabot, definitely deserve me."

"Give me a second to catch my breath and I will show you just how deserving I can be, Detective," Alex assured, her voice low and full of promise.

"Thanks, Alex, for what you said, for everything," Olivia professed, her tone warm.

"I meant it, Olivia."

"I know. Come here, Counselor and let's see if I can be a proper reward," Olivia inveigled.

The End
comments to fewthistle@aol.com

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