Title: Circumstances Beyond Control
DISCLAIMER: All main characters either belong to Dick Wolf/NBC/Universal or Jerry Bruckheimer/CBS/Warner Bros.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FANDOMS: Law and Order:SVU/Cold Case.
SPOILERS: Post "Loss."
Part I - Skeletons
Next year, she was going to take a vacation the same time as her partner. Not that she wanted to take her vacation with him, she just wanted her time away from the office to coincide with his.
While he was off in Orlando, enjoying the first ever vacation with his wife and kids at Disneyworld, she was relegated to clean up all the paperwork from their most recently closed cases. Occasionally, her boss, the strict but accommodating Captain Cragen, asked her to accompany one or two of the other SVU detectives on a call but it was never anything that amounted to much. Not comparatively. It was a quiet week, thankfully for the victims, not thankfully for her sake, as the week just dragged. Until the phone rang.
"Benson," she said into the mouthpiece, brushing some dust off her black jeans. She was grateful for the distraction as she had just read the same paragraph four times and thought her head was going to fall off her neck. As she told M.E. Warner earlier, after Melinda brought up some signed documentation of her own to help clean up some cases, if she looked up the word 'ennui' in the dictionary, there would be a picture of Olivia next to it.
"Detective Olivia Benson?" the female voice on the other end of the line asked.
"Speaking." Olivia leaned back in her chair and tried to stretch the restlessness out of her bones.
"Hi. My name is Detective Lilly Rush from the Philadelphia PD. Do you have a few minutes?"
Olivia checked her watch and sat forward. "I have the whole day. What can I do for you, Detective?" She closed her eyes, pinching the bridge of her nose and then ran her hand through her hair.
"Boy...how do I start this?" Lilly began, hesitantly. This made Olivia suddenly alert. Why would a detective be calling her from Philly? Why did she sound like she was about to give her bad news? Was it Alex? Had she been this close all along? Had something happened - or, more accurately - had something else happened? Olivia suddenly couldn't find her voice and breathlessly waited for Detective Rush to continue. "Detective Benson, I work cold cases and I just finished one that I am sure will be of interest to you."
"You work cold cases?" Relief. Alex wasn't a cold case in Philadelphia.
This made Lilly smile. With the type of crime Olivia worked every day, the thought of working cases that had been long forgotten and unsolved must have made Olivia's eyes cross with boredom. Lilly could have sworn she heard the SVU detective yawn. "Yes, Detective, by choice."
Olivia realized that she might have just unintentionally insulted this stranger and, out of professional courtesy, felt the immediate need to rectify it with an apology, even though Lilly did not sound indignant or defensive. "I'm sorry, Detective Rush, I didn't mean to sound -"
"No, it's okay. I hear it all the time."
Olivia heard the smile behind the Philly detective's words. "So," Olivia began, getting back to business, "to what do I owe the honor of this call?"
"Does the name Tabor Rogerios mean anything to you?"
Thinking about the name as it filed through her memory banks, she shrugged and shook her head. "No. Should it?" She heard Lilly put her hand over the phone and speak to someone briefly, soon returning her attention back to the phone call.
"Sorry, Detective Benson. Distractions...you know how it is."
"Sure." Olivia was getting a little impatient. "So who is this Tabor Rogerios?"
"Mr. Rogerios is sixty-eight years old. He's dying of cancer."
"Okay. Still no bell."
Lilly now rubbed her eyes, trying to think of how to put this to Olivia as diplomatically as possible. "Mr. Rogerios has admitted to fourteen rapes over the past forty-six years. I guess he wanted to absolve his sins before he left this world."
Olivia still didn't see how a cold serial rapist case in Philadelphia tied to her. "Uh huh. Do you liken him to any cold case rapes here in New York?"
"As a matter of fact, yes. He confessed to committing three rapes on the west side of Manhattan. One involved a college student walking home from the campus library in 1968. He raped her in an alley. We got the full report form the original 5's and -"
Olivia's mouth suddenly went dry and she finished the sentence for Lilly. "And her name was Serena Benson."
"Yeah," Lilly agreed, quietly.
"Are you sure?"
"His recollection matches the exact details of your mother's rape report. What I couldn't get online, I had faxed from the 55th Precinct." There was dead silence on the other end of the line. "Detective Benson?"
"Yes. I'm here." The news hit her like a sucker punch in the gut. The ramifications of this, if it was true, were much more than Detective Rush could ever realize at this moment.
"I'm so sorry. I just thought you should know."
"No. I appreciate it. Really." Although the last thing she sounded was appreciative. Her mind was racing a hundred miles a minute.
"Sure...are you all right, Detective?"
"Under the circumstances. Listen, this...Rogerios...how close is he...what kind of time do you think he has left?"
"Unknown. A few days, maybe? A week?"
"And he just decided to confess?"
"Honestly, it was a bit more complicated than that. We were working on an old rape case. One tied into another, then another. All evidence kept coming back to this Naval shipyard worker named Tabor Rogerios. As a government employee, all of Rogerios records were on file, health and otherwise. We had him dead to rights. We tracked him down through his son -"
"His son?" I have a...brother?
"He has two boys. And they seem to be good guys, too. Both of them. Never in trouble and both were extremely respectful of us during our interrogation process. It was the oldest boy who talked Rogerios into confessing."
"You keep saying 'boys.' How old are they?"
"Rikard is thirty and Kristof is thirty-two."
"Tabor - Rikard - Kristof...what nationality is that?"
"Hungarian, I believe they told me."
I'm half Hungarian? she thought to herself. That nationality never entered her mind. The only thing she knew about being Hungarian was goulash and the Gabors. "Listen. I...uh...have some time coming to me and I think, uh...would it be a problem if I came to Philadelphia for a few days?"
"No problem at all, Detective. I had already figured that you would want to."
"Give me about a day to get things squared away here and I'll be there."
"Sure. Looking forward to meeting you."
"Thank you. You, too." Olivia hung up the phone, stunned. It felt as though she had tunnel vision and everything was swirling and crashing down on her.
Just then Cragen came out of his office. "Olivia, I need you to go meet Novak on the -" He saw that she was not paying attention to him, in fact her reaction was such that she hadn't even heard him. She was ashen and the look on her face was quite alarming. "Olivia? Olivia!"
She snapped herself out of her subconscious at the elevation of Cragen's tone. She focused on him but it was obvious her concentration was elsewhere. "Sir?"
"What's wrong? You look like you've just seen a ghost."
"Captain Cragen, I'm going to need some time off."
"Impossible. With Elliot gone, I can't spare you."
"Captain," she looked into his eyes, seriously pleading with him to understand, "that was Philadelphia PD on the phone. They found my mother's rapist."
"What? Are they sure?"
"Yeah. They're positive."
"Dead or alive?"
"Alive. But soon to be dead. He is in the last stages of cancer."
"And you feel you need to go?"
"Yes, Sir. I do. I need to do this."
"What does Philly say?"
"They are okay with it."
"They don't know he's your father, do they?"
Olivia shook her head negatively. Cragen studied his most compassionate detective. Even though her eyes were full and looked ready to spill over, she looked empty, devoid of any real emotion. "Are you sure this is a good idea?"
"No," Olivia whispered, not looking at him. "But I need to go anyway. I have brothers." She looked up at her commander, suddenly appearing very vulnerable.
Cragen nodded. "You do what you need to do, Olivia. I know you have time built up, it shouldn't be a problem. We'll manage here."
"Thanks, Captain. I'll...uh...keep you updated."
"I would appreciate that." He pursed his lips together, not knowing quite how to interpret her pain. "Olivia…if you need anything…"
Olivia stood up, straightening up her desk. "I know. I appreciate it, Captain."
Why couldn't Alex be here now? She needed to share, to vent, to rage. She needed someone with her who would understand that her anger wasn't personal and, basically, be just as furious as she was. She needed Alex to hold her, to comfort her, to tell her that everything was going to be okay. Why wasn't her mother here? Why wasn't Elliot here? The most important people in her life had abandoned her. Not really. But that's what she felt at the moment. It was all circumstances beyond their control. Just exactly how she came to be in the first place. She angrily slammed the steering wheel with the heel of her hand as she drove.
When Olivia pulled into the parking lot of the motel just outside of the city limits of Philadelphia, there was a part of her that wondered how she got there. She had been so deep in thought, she had honestly blocked out most of the trip. She was so torn. Why couldn't this man, this Tabor Rogerios, have just died this horrible death as his punishment and kept his mouth shut? On the other hand, she would now finally be able to research her roots and fill in all the blank spaces in her family history.
Two brothers. Did they know about her? How could they when she was positive the old man never knew about her? Were there others out there like her? If so, had Detective Rush contacted them also? Was she going to walk into the hospital waiting area and see men and women somewhere around her age lined up, either anxious to meet this man or put him out of his misery sooner than the Lord was going to? Did she have nieces and nephews? Did Rogerios have a wife? Would these brothers even accept her into the picture so she could learn more about her heritage? Would she even want to be accepted into the picture? Was she betraying her mother's memory by being here? Olivia was giving herself a pounding headache with all these questions.
She quickly settled into her room and dialed Lilly Rush's number. "Detective Rush?"
"It's Detective Benson. I just got here. Where would you like me to meet you?"
"How about I meet you in the main lobby of the VA Hospital."
"The VA? Why is he being treated by the VA? Isn't he an immigrant?"
"He became a naturalized citizen when he was eighteen. Enlisted in the Navy when he was nineteen, put in two years of service, got out and then went to work for the Navy as a civilian." Lilly looked at her watch. "How familiar are you with Philadelphia?"
"Not overly comfortable with driving everywhere but I know my way around okay."
"Would you like me to come and get you and bring you to the VA?"
"No, no. Thank you, though. I appreciate you wanting to go out of your way but I think I'll take my car."
"Sure. Do you know how to get there?"
"It's the hospital by CHOP and the university, right?"
"That's it. I'll meet you there in thirty minutes?"
"Thank you. That'd be great." Olivia hung up the phone and went to the bathroom to splash her face with cold water. Her insides were shaking and her chest felt tight. She needed to calm down.
Part II - Junction
Standing in the vast lobby of the Philadelphia Veterans Administration Hospital, Olivia wondered how she would know who Detective Rush was and vice versa. Then Olivia realized that it would be difficult for any cop worth their badge not to be able to figure out who she was…she would be the one pacing like a caged animal. Olivia looked at her watch. Another five minutes until she should start looking for someone named Detective Rush.
"Detective Benson?" a strong yet distinctly feminine voice said behind her.
"Yes." Olivia turned around to see an extremely attractive woman with a face like a movie star, sporting a very unruly pinned up blonde mane, but the attire was one hundred percent cop. Gray slacks, matching blazer and white shirt, very androgynous style. Olivia remembered when she dressed like that, too, when she first started working with Special Victims Unit. It was hard to be taken seriously if you dressed like a girl in the good old boys' club so the first step was always to de-feminize yourself. Either Cold Cases was a newly developed unit or Lilly was a recent addition to it, Olivia thought to herself.
"You're early," Lilly commented, smiling. It was an adorable expression, Olivia thought. This woman's eyes actually smiled when her mouth did. "But I guess I'm not surprised. I am sure I would be, too."
Lilly studied the woman standing before her, wishing they were meeting under entirely different circumstances. If nothing else, obviously because of the situation itself but she also found herself quite unexpectedly drawn to this New York City detective. So this was the infamous Olivia Benson she had heard so much about, Lilly thought. Not at all the visual she had in mind. Since Olivia seemed to make no comment about recognizing Lilly's name, the cold case detective decided that now was not the time to bring up she knew who she was and how she knew of her. Besides, Lilly decided, selfishly, that little secret might go against her if things took a…different…turn, while Olivia was in town.
Both women spent a few seconds silently appraising each other and both also thought the other one looked familiar but neither could put their finger on just what it was.
"I guess I can't hide that this case is important to me," Olivia confessed, as they started to walk up the corridor toward the elevators.
"I would say I understand, Detective, but I don't think you'd buy that."
"Please call me Olivia. I am not here doing departmental business, so we can just forget the formality, as far as I'm concerned."
"Fine. In that case, please call me Lilly. I have a cat named Olivia."
Smiling, in spite of her mood, Olivia said, "Well, I hope I make a good impression on you while I'm here. I would hate for you to have to call your cat a name that reminded you of a person you couldn't stand after I left."
"I have no doubt that you and I will get along just fine," Lilly told her as they turned the corner and stopped at the elevators. She pressed the Up arrow, lighting it up. "You know, you look familiar to me but I can't place from where."
"I was thinking the same thing about you. Something in your facial expressions reminds me of someone but I'm stumped, too."
"We're both good detectives, I am sure we will figure it out."
They rode the elevator in silence. Lilly couldn't stop sneaking glances at Olivia. The more she looked at her, the more attracted she was becoming to her. She would bide her time, knowing that Olivia had come alone and would more than likely need a shoulder while she was here.
Strolling down the hallway toward the wing that housed terminal patients, Olivia could see a partially filled waiting room. "Were you able to contact any of his other victims or their families?"
"The ones we could locate. Which turned out to be four, including you. The other three basically told me the same thing: that they hoped he died a torturous death and rotted in hell. I was kind of expecting you to say that, too, but then, knowing you're a cop…well, I'd have to see him, too."
"Detective Rush -"
"Lilly, does his family know that I am going to be here and under what circumstances?"
"Yes. I told Kristof, the oldest son. Rikard still isn't taking the news of his father's criminal past too well. I'm not sure how receptive he's going to be."
"Does Rogerios have a wife?"
"The old man, you mean?" In response to Olivia nodding, she said, "she passed away a couple years ago. Car accident, I think the boys told me."
"And the sons…do they have family?"
"Yeah, both are married. I believe they have six kids between them. Why?"
Olivia stopped before they reached the waiting area. Not looking at Lilly, she drew a deep breath and ran her hand through her hair. "Rogerios is my father."
Lilly couldn't have been any more shocked if Olivia had reached over and slapped her. "What?"
"My mother became pregnant as a result of her rape. I'm the by-product of that. That man is my father and his sons are my brothers."
Lilly was about to go off on Olivia for not sharing that vital little tidbit of information earlier, when she saw Rikard Rogerios walking toward them. And then it hit Detective Rush why Olivia looked so familiar to her.
A few rare times in the past, Olivia had been curious as to what she might have looked like had she been born a boy. She needn't wonder any longer. When she observed the approaching Rikard Rogerios, she was stunned to find a masculine version of herself. Same dark hair, same intense brown eyes, same angular jaw line, same height, same slender, muscular build. If Rikard hadn't had a four-day growth of beard, they would have looked like carbon copies of each other. It was uncanny. So uncanny, Olivia and Rikard weren't the only two caught speechless. Lilly could not find any words immediately, either.
"Detective Rush," he greeted after regaining the use of his vocal chords, "I was not expecting you today." His dialogue was directed at Lilly but he could not stop staring at Olivia.
"I spoke with your brother last night and told him I would be here."
"Kris had to go back to the store and take care of an order that got really messed up. He didn't tell me."
Waiting for Lilly to make the introduction, Olivia scrutinized her half-brother. She realized this had to be extremely difficult for him. At least she knew she existed and under what circumstances, these two brothers first had to have been nothing short of paralyzed by the news of their dad being a serial rapist and now needed to confront the fact that he had fathered other children besides them.
"Rikard Rogerios, Detective Olivia Benson from the NYPD. We discussed yesterday that she would be here some time before your father passed away," Lilly offered, those once adorable eyes now throwing daggers at Olivia.
Rogerios reluctantly extended his hand and Olivia just as reluctantly shook it. "Call me Rik, please. Detective Benson, as I am sure you know, my father is not well and the doctors have given him very little time left. I understand the reason you are here today. But I am asking you to please not say or do anything that will upset him and possibly speed up the process of his death anymore. He may be a monster to you…but he is my father and my children's grandfather and we don't know that side of him and would like for his transition to be as peaceful as it can be under the circumstances."
Olivia nodded and looked at Rik. "First of all, I'm not sure what you think it is I might do. I am here to get closure. This is something I have lived with for thirty-six years. I am sure after seeing my face, it has to be clear to you that your father was not just my mother's rapist. He is also my father."
"Yes. It's like looking in a mirror. With obvious differences, of course." Rik began strolling down the hall, flanked by Olivia and Lilly. "I was reluctant to believe it when Detective Rush and her partner, Detective Valens, came to my house and told me. I was actually reluctant to still believe any of it up until a minute ago when I saw you. But you're also the spitting image of my Aunt Maggie, Dad's sister. I would have to be blind not to see the family resemblance."
Lilly nodded, feeling foolish. "Some detective I am, " she mumbled.
The trio passed the waiting room with no acknowledgement of any of the occupants. "Is any of your family here?" Olivia inquired, her thumb pointing back toward the area they had just walked by.
"No. As I said, Kris, my older brother, had to leave suddenly. Our wives are working and our kids are in school. My Dad's family, what's left of them, are all in Hungary and my mother's family won't come near here because they blame him for my mother's death two years ago."
"Yes, a car accident. Detective Rush told me. I'm sorry."
"Dad was drunk. It was the only time we had ever known him to get intoxicated. He never forgave himself." They stopped in front of a closed door. "He's in and out of consciousness. Mostly out. He so pumped full of morphine, I am surprised he opens his eyes at all. But when he is conscious, he seems fully aware of where he is and who we all are."
"I would like to see him," Olivia stated, finally. "Alone, if that's possible."
"I'm not so sure that's a good idea, Detective," Lilly interjected, with the intention of stepping in front of the door to block Olivia if she had to.
Before Olivia could react to that, Rik stepped forward and opened the door. "Certainly, Detective. I think it's only fair. I will take you at your word that you will behave appropriately."
"Thank you," Olivia responded, giving Lilly a clear reprimanding glare as she stepped into the room. Rik closed the door behind her.
She stood by the closed door and took in the room, machines pumping and beeping and hooked up everywhere. The man who lay in bed looked small and helpless and weak. The oxygen mask and tubes attached to him made him look inhuman. A different kind of inhuman than Olivia had always imagined. She stepped closer to the bed to get a better look at this man who had helped create her life. Her emotions welled up to the point of an inevitable release and she began to cry, hating herself for her weakness. "You son-of-a-bitch," she whispered. "All these years and this is how I get to confront you? I can't even take my anger out on you."
Tabor Rogerios' features were distorted by the medical state he was in and the equipment that was assisting in keeping him as comfortable as possible. From what she could put together, he looked as though he may have once been a strapping, good-looking man. She wiped the tears from her face and took another step closer. He had obviously been a decent man to his own family. The shock and disappointment in his son's face was still obvious. It's unfortunate her conception had to happen in the manner that it did. Maybe if her mother had just had an affair with this guy and gotten pregnant, he would have been a decent father to her, too. God, what was she saying? Her mother didn't have a choice in getting raped and this man had brutally raped her. She sat down in the chair next to the bed. "This is not how this was supposed to be," she told him, her voice barely audible. "I had all these scenarios built up in my head about what I was going to do if I ever found you." She leaned over, resting her elbows on the edge of the bed, placing her chin on her folded hands. "I have all this venom toward you saved up inside of me and now what? Venting on you now has certainly lost the appeal it once had."
Olivia closed her eyes and sighed. She felt movement at her right elbow and looked up, suddenly, to see Rogerios staring right at her. She had his eyes…his cheekbones. Her first instinct was to recoil immediately but instead she just stared back at him. He appeared to be trying to say something to her. She hesitated but then reached over and lifted his oxygen mask.
"Mm…Mag…da?" He forced, looking almost hopeful.
She replaced his oxygen mask. "No," she shook her head. "Olivia." She saw him form the word, 'magda' again behind the mask. She hadn't heard the door open.
"He thinks you're his sister," Rik told her, standing at the foot of the bed with Lilly a step behind him. "I didn't mean to interrupt but I heard his pulse rate go up on the monitor."
"And you wanted to make sure I wasn't in here killing him?" Olivia smiled through her tears. "That would be redundant now, don't you think?"
Lilly's heart suddenly went out to Detective Benson, watching the reaction she was having to seeing this man for the first time. It was enough to almost bring tears to Lilly's eyes. She took a couple deep breaths. The lump in her throat she could deal with but she refused to start bawling like a baby at something that never should have touched her as much as it did in the first place.
Tabor took his eyes momentarily off Olivia, looking at Rik and then Lilly, his expression acknowledging recognition, he returned his attention to Olivia. "Mmmaggdda," he attempted again, shakily reaching for Olivia's hand. She slowly moved her arm out of reach and stood up.
"No, Dad. This is Olivia. Aunt Maggie died last year, remember?"
The old man looked away from what he was sure was an apparition to his youngest son. "Kristof?"
"He had to leave but he'll be back later. He's going to bring the boys back with him so that they can see you."
Tabor nodded and returned his attention to Olivia, who had never stopped staring at him. He then faded off, back to sleep. Just then, a nurse walked in. "Anything I should know about going on in here?" she asked, crisply. "His telemetry sounds like the William Tell Overture out there at the nurses station."
"No, everything's fine, " Rik told her. "We were just going to leave and let him get some more rest."
"That would be advisable," the nurse agreed. "Besides, no one should be in here but immediate family, anyway," she commented looking at Olivia. She knew why Detective Rush was there and although she didn't approve of her presence in the room, she could do nothing to stop it.
Olivia was silent and ready to leave when she felt Rik's hand gently on her arm. "She is immediate family," he advised the nurse. "She's his daughter."
The nurse looked more than puzzled. "I wasn't aware he had a daughter…just two sons."
"We were not made aware until recently that he had a daughter, either."
"Shall I add her to the list?" the nurse spoke to Rik as though Olivia was invisible.
"No," Olivia spoke up. "I doubt very seriously I will be coming back here." Lilly walked outside the room behind Olivia.
"Her name is Olivia. Add her to the list anyway," Rik told the nurse, authoritatively, and followed the two detectives outside. The nurse took out her small notebook and wrote, 'Add Olivia Rogerios to visitor list.'
Rik caught up to Olivia and Lilly as they silently strolled down the hallway back toward the elevators.
"Olivia…I know that had to be incredibly hard for you and, honestly I am still in shock myself. I can't take back what my father did and I only wish you could have known him like we did. I can't speak for Kris, but I am very anxious to get to know you better and would be very grateful if you would consider the same for us. Well, at least me. Dad may have done things that were shameful but I would like you to know that Kris and I…we're good people. And that you should get to know that side of the family and find pride in your Hungarian background."
Olivia stopped walking and looked at her three-dimensional mirror image. "I appreciate the offer, Rik, I really do. But I need some time to absorb all this and I am pretty sure you do, too. Let's not force something on each other until we have a pretty good idea that it's not going to somehow backfire on us. Every time you look at me, you are going to be reminded of your father's shame. I had to grow up with everybody looking at me like my mother's shame. And as nice and accommodating as you seem to be, I am not sure I want to be affiliated and connected with my mother's rapist's family. Even if they are my own flesh and blood. I am going to need time to reconcile all of this and I think you should take the time to do the same."
Rik nodded, knowing he could not argue with Olivia's philosophy. "Will you be going back to New York tonight?"
"No, I need to do a few things while I am here. I will stay until at least the end of the weekend."
"Do you want to know when my - our father - passes away?"
"I am sure Detective Rush will let me know, but thank you." She willingly extended her hand to Rik this time and he just as willingly accepted it. "It was nice meeting you. I am grateful for your hospitality, under the circumstances."
"Nice meeting you, too. I hope we can all work this out. I always wanted a sister."
This brought a small smile to Olivia's face. "Well, you have one whether you wanted one or not. I will be in touch, Rik, I promise. I just cannot guarantee when."
"I understand. I can't wait to tell Kris about you. You take care, Olivia. You, too, Detective Rush." He turned and walked back toward the waiting room.
"And he was supposed to be the one least responsive to all this?" Olivia asked Lilly as the elevator doors closed.
Responding only with, "Mmm hmm," Lilly was trying her best to remain civil while they rode to the lobby in the crowded car.
As they stepped out from the side entrance of the VA, which faced the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia across the street, into the blinding sunlight, Olivia was about to turn right toward the parking area to go to her car. Lilly scooted around and stepped in front of her. "Where are you going?"
"To my car. Is that okay with you?"
"You should have told me first!" Lilly spat out, unable to hold back any longer.
"Why? It wouldn't have changed anything." Olivia did not want to get into this with her.
"That's not the point and you know it, Detective!"
"Oh, we're back to 'Detective' now?"
"Fine! Olivia. I expected professional courtesy from you, that's all! Put yourself in my place. That could have been disastrous up there!" Lilly's arm thrust heavenward. "I am trying to put myself in your place -"
Olivia took a menacing step toward Lilly, closing the personal space between them. Her hard brown eyes were now glaring into Lilly's steel blue ones. "All due respect, Detective Rush?" She purposely put the emphasis on Lilly's title. "In a million years, you couldn't put yourself in my place! And I wouldn't want you to. My mother spent her entire adult life an alcoholic, never being able to come to terms with the twist fate had given her. She never got over the shame and humiliation of what that man did to her. And as much as my mother loved me, she never let me forget, especially when she was drunk - which was most of the time - how I came to be and how different her life would have been without me in it!" Olivia, in spite of her anger, was tearing up again. "I loved my mother. She was a strong woman but we both paid dearly because of him. And I don't even get the satisfaction of telling him how we - among many others, I'm sure - suffered at his hands and by his actions!"
"You seemed to have turned out okay," Lilly challenged, not backing down. Lilly's childhood had not been a Norman Rockwell painting, either.
"Yeah! I did!" Olivia shot back. "But I struggle every day trying to find where I fit in, in this world. Every day, wondering when or if I will ever be able to maintain a 'normal' relationship - with my friends, with my co-workers, with my lovers. I grew up feeling like damaged goods and even though I am fully aware that we cannot blame our childhood for choices and decisions we make as adults, getting passed the stigma is a high hurdle I have not managed to get over yet."
Olivia finally blinked and looked skyward, then back at Lilly, taking a step backward. "And I am enraged that they -" her arm shot out and her finger pointed back toward the entrance, indicating the Rogerios brothers, "- got to live this great home life with this perfect father and I had to grow up constantly questioning my self-worth and my reason to be at all!"
"That still doesn't explain why you didn't tell me -"
"Detective Rush!!" Olivia began, her voice now rising into an exasperated tone, "You're expecting me to be rational at a very insane time and -"
They were approached by a VA Police Officer with an arrogant smirk on his face. He had been observing this brewing catfight and although he rather enjoyed watching women get heatedly into an escalating argument, with visions of making out, mud and wet t-shirts dancing in his head, too many people were staring and he figured he needed to calm these two broads down. "Ladies," he interrupted, reaching them, "you are going to have to either tone this down or take this else -"
At the same time, both Olivia and Lilly whipped out their badges and IDs and shoved them into the uniformed man's face, threatening impalement, and said, in unison, "Shut up!!"
The VA cop put his hands up in defeat and backed away, nodding. They didn't pay him enough to get in the middle of two 'on the job' females duking it out.
Both women watched him walk away, looking at each other, startled, trying their best not to crack up in hysterical laughter. Lilly grinned that adorable smile Olivia liked, looked down at the ground, shuffled her feet, then looked back up at the SVU detective. "Truce?"
Olivia looked out over the parking lot, then over toward the university dorms and smiled, in spite of herself. "Fine. For now."
"You're so tough," Lilly commented, good-naturedly.
"You're not so candy-assed yourself," Olivia responded.
Lilly laughed, her eyes crinkling. She looked at her watch. "There's a pub about three blocks over from here and two blocks down. I think you'd like it. How about a drink?"
Olivia checked the time on her wristwatch. "Can you do that? Aren't you still on duty?"
"Technically. But I have been working nineteen and twenty hour days to get this case closed. I am sure my boss will extend me a few hours here and there."
"Why would you want to have a drink with me? I get the feeling you don't even like me."
"Your instincts would be wrong. I don't know you well enough to like or not like you," Lilly lied, "but you have just been through a traumatic situation and I think you need to vent."
"You're right. I do need to vent. But not at a bar. I need to find someplace to physically get this rage out of me."
Lilly blinked. That couldn't mean what she hoped it did. She shook her head, expelling the fantasy. "A gym?"
"Do you know of one?"
"I know of several. What is it that you'd like to do?"
"I need to be left alone in a room with a bag. I need to punch and kick thirty-six years of anger and frustration into that bag and not be disturbed until I pass out from exhaustion. Know any place I could accomplish that?"
"Absolutely. Two really good places, actually. One is a cop gym and may be too crowded for what you need but the other is a place that I keep as my secret because it's in the basement two doors down from where I live. The guy who owns it gives boxing lessons but lets me use it for free to practice my kickboxing. Quid pro quo. If he ever needs my help, I owe him."
"You kick box?"
"Only what I learned from an ex and video tapes. But it keeps the juices flowing."
"I would really appreciate the use of one of them."
"Let's go to my friend's place, see if he is using it. If not, he has work out clothes in various sizes and you could annihilate the bag to your heart's content."
"Thanks, Lilly. Lead the way."
Part III - Assent
While Olivia was changing into work out clothes, her irritation and resentment began to build again. She thought about the results of the last two days: A father identified. Two brothers revealed. Hungarian descent…well, half-Hungarian anyway.
She began pummeling the bag, giving it everything she had. She had wrapped her own hands, had Lilly secure her gloves and then she sent Lilly on her way. Or so she thought. Olivia began thinking about Alex. Damn her! Why couldn't she be here?! Maybe Alex couldn't make it all go away but she could certainly make it all bearable. She started punching the bag harder with every word. "Alex! Where! The! Fuck! Are! You!! I!! Need! You!!!"
Alexandra Cabot, Olivia had known when it was too late, had been the love of her life. Her soul mate. There had been other women and there had been a few men. But no one had affected her like Alex. She and the former ADA complimented each other and fit together. Perfectly. Of course, they had their problems and their disagreements but making up with Alex was always a pleasurable event, regardless of who had to apologize.
Olivia had always made it a point to keep her private life private but Alex had changed that. Who wouldn't have been proud to have the magnificent Alex Cabot on their arm? Alex, the calm, refined, put together attorney, who was ferocious in the courtroom and a tiger in the bedroom.
Now Olivia was really pulverizing the bag. The frustration of the last two day's events and then Alex being absent from her life wore on her nerves. The SVU detective was just starting to work up a sweat when something in the corner of the room pulled her focus. As the bag swung back, Olivia grabbed it to steady it, hanging on to it. She looked over at Lilly, wearing sweats.
"What are you doing here?" Olivia didn't mean to sound accusatory, it just came out that way.
"Calm down, Olivia, I just thought you might want someone to spar with."
"Sparring?" Olivia hit the bag once, smiling. "I don't think that's such a good idea."
"Not in the mood I'm in," she said, throwing random punches at the bag. "Too angry. Too much repressed rage."
"Are you afraid you'll hurt me?"
Lilly walked over and held the bag. "I can hold my own, Detective Benson."
"I have no doubt that you can, Detective Rush. But I don't want to be responsible if you can't. I mean, I am really…really pissed."
"I copy your last," Lilly said, not backing down, "but I can handle it."
Olivia stopped punching and looked around the bag at Lilly. "Are you challenging me?"
Lilly smiled that disarming grin at her. "Is that what will get you to spar with me?"
Olivia shook her head, took a deep breath and then recanted. "Okay. Don't say I didn't warn you."
They touched gloves and started to move around each other. Olivia looked at the casual but defensive stance Lilly had taken and stopped. Olivia put her arms down, about to say, "I can't do this to you," when she suddenly saw a red-gloved fist coming at her at lightening speed. Olivia instinctively blocked the punch feeling a surge of adrenaline.
"Nice block, Detective," Lilly admired.
"I was about to say that I didn't want to fight you…but you're right. This should work off some negative energy."
And, with that, they began to spar. Each impressed the other with their moves, blocks and obvious skill. But Olivia was more impressed because Lilly deftly deflected everything she threw at her. Then, as an invitation to take it up a notch, Lilly said, "Come on, Olivia, is that the best you've got?"
Olivia then went all out, throwing a battery of punches and kicks that would have made Charlie's Angels proud and, although Lilly had no time to throw any punches or kicks herself, she never once felt the connection of one of Olivia's strikes, either. Lilly was starting to tire as Olivia just seemed to get stronger and more aggressive. 'This is just what she needs,' Lilly thought to herself.
"Come on, Benson!" Lilly yelled. "Come on!! Get it out!! Get it out!" Before Lilly could react, Olivia had, unknowingly, boxed her up against a wall. Lilly's back hit the hard concrete with such force, it nearly knocked the wind out of her. While Lilly was momentarily incapacitated, the look in Olivia's eyes almost scared the cold case detective, her eyes so dark, it was difficult to decipher where the pupils ended and the irises began.
Olivia's sweaty, panting face was about three inches away from Lilly's. Rage was surging through Olivia's veins and then suddenly, without warning, she was very aroused. The look on Lilly's face, defiant but surprised, and now helpless against Olivia's weight and strength pressed against her.
Olivia fought every urge and instinct in her body to lean in and start kissing and overpowering Lilly Rush while she seemed defenseless. Then it hit her - this instinct must be inherited from her father. For a few seconds, Olivia only saw Lilly as prey. Prey that needed to be conquered and dominated, regardless of the cost. Olivia then yelled loudly enough to register on a Richter scale and hit the wall behind Lilly three times in rapid succession with her fist.
Suddenly the sound of Lilly's voice was very soothing, comforting, "It's okay, Olivia. Let it out."
Looking at the cold case detective again, Olivia now saw only compassion, not fear. The SVU detective put both hands up against the wall behind Lilly, taking a couple of deep breaths…and broke down. Lilly's arms instinctively went around Olivia's waist.
"It's okay. Get it all out of your system," Lilly pacified. "It will be okay."
Olivia let her arms drop to Lilly's shoulders, then returned the embrace. Even if she had wanted to be sexual now, she couldn't be. She was suddenly too broken. Too exhausted.
Lilly held her for an undetermined amount of time before Olivia broke the caress and moved away.
"I'm…I'm so sorry," Olivia spouted, almost inaudibly.
"For what? Being human? Get over yourself, Detective," Lilly stated, good-humoredly.
This made Olivia smile, regardless of the complicated emotions she was experiencing. She wiped her eyes as she walked toward the locker room. "You're pretty good," Olivia called over her shoulder to Lilly, who was walking behind her, removing her gloves.
"All I did was keep up with you, I never even got to throw a punch - not a legitimate one, anyway," Lilly protested.
"Yeah, but you never backed down and I gave you everything I had."
"I backed down when you had me up against the wall," Lilly said, catching up to her.
Olivia stopped, turning to face Lilly. "I'm sorry about that."
"About what?" Lilly looked sincerely confused.
"You're a smart woman, Detective -"
"Lilly. You saw what was in my eyes."
"I saw someone who -"
"Who probably would have raped you if I had been a man." Olivia looked away, embarrassed.
"Olivia," Lilly said gently, urgently, putting her hand on the older woman's arm to stop her, "that's not what I saw. I saw someone who had years and years of built up anger and rage that needed to be released. Someone who was crazed, confused and very vulnerable because of it. You are not like your father!"
"Are you sure about that?"
"You didn't hurt me, did you? You had the chance. You certainly had me defenseless but you stopped yourself."
Olivia regarded Lilly's response and nodded silently. "Thank you."
"You're welcome. But I didn't do anything."
"Yes, you did. You allowed me an outlet."
Lilly smiled at her. "It's the least I could do." She studied the enigma that was Olivia Benson. "Want to go have that drink now?"
"Can I shower first?"
"Oh, please do," Lilly smirked. "I will shower at my place two doors up." Lilly pointed in the direction away from the staircase. "Meet you outside in twenty?"
Olivia nodded. "That works for me."
The sun was starting to set when Olivia walked up the steps from the basement gym, onto the street. Her arms hurt, her legs hurt and her soul hurt. She was seriously considering backing out of the drink date when she looked over and saw Lilly Rush descending the stoop of her apartment building.
Lilly smiled at her as she stepped on the sidewalk and began approaching the SVU detective. A smile that was beginning to completely disarm Olivia and an expression she was beginning to seek refuge in. This woman was strong and seductive at the same time. Those blue eyes, that blonde hair, that attitude…so much like Alex yet so different.
The attire was much more feminine, she thought as Lilly got closer, consistently more suited to the personality Olivia had seen earlier. The cold case detective wore form hugging blue jeans and a bold salmon-colored blouse, buttoned low enough to reveal a hint of cleavage and her hair was down, loose around her shoulders. Olivia liked Lilly's hair - a grown-out retro shag that appeared as untamable as Lilly, herself, did.
"You look nice," Olivia commented, giving her an appreciative once-over. "Different."
"God, I hope so," Lilly grinned, flattered by the attention Olivia had just given her body. Short, though it was, it was sweet. "How are you?"
"Aching…but it will pass. How about you?"
"Hungry, actually. Dinner and drinks?"
"My appetite leaves a lot to be desired right now but I am not opposed to drinking while you have some dinner."
"In that case, let's go have a drink or two first and then see if you feel like something more substantial."
As they began strolling toward Lilly's car, Olivia said, "Honestly, I am not sure I am up for a full evening, if that's okay. I'm very scattered and not very good company."
Lilly unlocked the passenger side door of her car for Olivia. "Listen, it's not a problem. I can take you back to your car if you'd like and you can go back to the motel. I'd be disappointed but I'd understand."
Olivia liked Lilly's candor. "No, let's go to your pub. One drink certainly won't hurt me. Today, especially."
"Great." Not only did she open Olivia's door for her, she shut it, also, a gesture that did not go unnoticed by the SVU detective. Damn her libido, Olivia thought. It always showed up full force at the most inopportune times. Not able to forget the momentary fear and surrender in Lilly's eyes when Olivia had her up against the wall, and now looking at the absolute courage and resolve in those same eyes, it was difficult for the SVU detective to collect her thoughts. She very suddenly realized that she wanted this woman and felt just as strongly that this woman wanted her. The vibe was undeniable.
Lilly glanced over at Olivia briefly before she stuck her keys into the ignition. The look in those beautiful brown eyes conveyed so much, Lilly actually blushed and had to look away. No one had ever had that kind of effect on her before. Just as the engine turned over, Lilly felt a hand on her arm. A wave of heat involuntarily surged through her.
"You know," Olivia began, "I'm really not in the mood for a loud, crowded place but I would like your company. How about if we order a pizza, pick up some beer somewhere and you come back to my room and we'll chat. Just the two of us."
Lilly swallowed hard. 'YES!' she thought to herself, very aroused by the idea of sleeping with this wildly attractive woman. "My place is right here, we don't have to go anywhere." She was hoping her voice didn't sound as shaky as she felt.
Lilly handed Olivia a Rolling Rock from her refrigerator and then grabbed one for herself. Leading the way, she sat on one side of her couch, her guest on the other side.
After being introduced to two cats, the one-eyed, feline Olivia and her three-legged "brother," the SVU detective felt very comfortable in her surroundings. Lilly's apartment was very homey and relaxing.
Both women knew the real reason they had decided to spend the evening alone together, as opposed to sharing each other with the public but now that they were there, Lilly was questioning the possibility of her being a little overzealous regarding her attraction for Olivia and prayed that she had not misread the signals.
Trying to temper the excitement that was building in her, Lilly took a long drink of beer and suddenly had the urge to let go with a thunderous burp. Yeah. That would have been a mood breaker. A little small talk never hurt. "So…Olivia…how long have you -?"
"Thirteen years, seven with SVU," Olivia answered, moving a little closer to Lilly on the couch.
"Ever had to -?"
"Shoot anybody? Yes. It never gets easier," Olivia moved even closer.
Lilly tried not to react to the proximity. She wanted the closeness but at the same time was terrified of it. Laughing nervously, Lilly then said, "What are you, -?"
"Psychic?" Olivia finished for her. The SVU detective was right next to her. "Yes." She took Lilly's beer out of her hand and gently set it on the coffee table. She put her mouth right next to Lilly's ear. "You know we really didn't come up here to eat pizza and chat, right?" Her voice was low, barely above a whisper and her warm breath on Lilly's neck only elevated the blonde's excitement. Olivia lightly, seductively, began kissing Lilly's throat, cheek and chin.
Lilly started to speak but couldn't…and really, at this point, what was there to say? She closed her eyes, expelling a deep sigh and turned to face Olivia. Their lips met, an introduction, the kind of experimental kiss between two people who had never had the pleasure with each other before. Lilly loved how this felt, Olivia's lips were so warm and tender. She could have melted right into her. The kiss deepened, becoming much more intimate and less exploratory. Just as Olivia's tongue had gained entrance and Lilly was slowly reclining onto the couch with Olivia on top of her, the phone rang.
The sound startled them both and they softly laughed, nervously. "Damn," Lilly whispered, licking her bottom lip, not looking away from Olivia's face.
"Don't answer it, " Olivia whispered back, starting to unbutton Lilly's blouse. She leaned in and kissed Lilly again, slowly, purposefully, picking up where she left off. Lilly was on her back with Olivia hovering over her. The blonde's blouse was now open, revealing a very flat, toned stomach and a black lace bra. Olivia smiled and settled herself on Lilly, content to just kiss her for a while.
Lilly's body suddenly felt like one gigantic nerve ending that only Olivia could tend to, cover and heal. She never remembered feeling the need for anyone like she did for the brunette right now. Reaching her hands behind Olivia's head, Lilly applied just enough pressure to keep the SVU detective's lips on hers. The tickling sensation that had started between her legs was now a throbbing ache. She knew she was soaking wet and could not remember the last time she had been as turned on as this. Her last girlfriend had never even come close to getting her this stirred up.
The incessant ringing of the phone had finally stopped, the stillness now giving in to the sound of heavy breathing. Just as Olivia placed her thigh between Lilly's legs, Lilly's cell phone started wailing the tune to the theme song to 'Cagney and Lacey.' Olivia stopped abruptly and Lilly could feel her chuckling into her neck. "Don't ask," Lilly commented, embarrassed. "I really better get this, it's my partner, Scotty."
Olivia, sat up, an amused expression crossed her face and Lilly slid out from under her. She grabbed her cell phone. "Yeah, Scotty, what's up?" Olivia watched her as the brunette sipped on her beer. "No, didn't hear it ring." Picking up her own bottle, Lilly suddenly stopped, putting the bottle down. "When?" She looked over at Olivia. "Yeah, no problem. I'll…uh…contact Detective Benson and we - I'll be right there." Lilly snapped her cell phone shut. "Rogerios died about thirty-five minutes ago," Lilly told Olivia.
Nodding at the news, Olivia showed no sign of surprise, remorse or sadness. "I figured."
"I need to get to the hospital, talk to the boys. You don't have to go with me, I just thought -"
"No. I'll go. It'll be the ultimate closure, I guess."
Lilly stood up and began buttoning her blouse. "Sorry about this…"
Standing up, Olivia smiled at her. "The only thing I am sorry about is that we couldn't finish what we started here."
"Well, " Lilly grinned, almost shyly, "not right now, anyway."
Olivia scratched the one-eyed cat under her chin as Lilly grabbed a light jacket and her keys. "Cagney and Lacey?"
"It's an inside joke between my partner and I. His rings to the theme of 'Starsky and Hutch'."
Olivia put her hand up in concession, "It's okay. I don't want to know."
Part IV - Extended
In very little time, they were back at the VA hospital, walking once again toward the terminal ward. It was after hours so the VA police, tied up in other areas, had not had time to escort Rogerios' body to the morgue. Lilly and Olivia walked by the waiting room where one of the women pointed at Olivia and exclaimed, "Mother of God!" Just before they entered the hospital room, Lilly said, "That was Reta, Rik's wife. Either she recognizes the resemblance to her husband or she thinks you're Aunt Magda reincarnated."
Once in the room, Olivia absorbed the atmosphere. Still. Thick. Sadness. Death was definitely in the air. Tabor Rogerios was still in bed but all tubes had been removed and there was no rhythmic beeping from any machines. His eyes were shut but his mouth was agape, as though he had died gasping for his last breath. It was very strange to be included in this sacred family circle during this time of mourning and transition. Rik noticed Olivia first and stood up to greet her. He had tears in his eyes that were still swollen from grieving this loss. His father had obviously meant a great deal to him.
"Kris," Rik, said, sniffing. He led Olivia over to a man sitting in another chair on the opposite side of the bed, holding the older man's pasty, lifeless hand.
Kristof Rogerios looked up at his brother, his eyes and nose also red-rimmed. Once Kris' hazel eyes fell on Olivia, his jaw dropped. He stood up. "Oh my God. You not only are the spitting image of my Aunt Maggie, you and Rik could have been separated at birth," Kris stated, disbelief in his tone of voice. He looked less like Rikard Rogerios than she did. He had sandy blond hair and a lighter complexion than his brother. He was a few inches taller than Olivia, too, and stocky, where Rik was slender. He unexpectedly pulled her into a hug, which stunned her.
"Kris, this is Olivia. Olivia, this is our brother Kris," Rik introduced.
Letting Olivia go, Kris said, "I apologize, Olivia. We are an affectionate family, I meant no disrespect."
"None taken," Olivia responded, still apprehensive about the unabashed acceptance into the fold, as though she had always belonged. "I'm sorry about your father. I understand this whole thing must be difficult for you," she said, not really sure where her emotions took her on this one. She knew she definitely wasn't sorry for herself, this loss meant nothing to her, but she did feel sadness for these two brothers. Their loss seemed overwhelming.
"I am going to go speak to the doc on duty and get the paperwork I need, " Lilly informed anyone in the room who was listening. "I will be back in a bit." Lilly caught Olivia's eye before she left the room. It was a look of concern, one that said so little yet so much. Olivia nodded at her, acknowledging that she was fine.
"She is a nice girl, huh?" Kris commented, indicating Lilly. "She has been great to us through all of this. She and her partner could have made our whole family feel responsible for the things he did so many years ago. But she has treated us fairly."
"Kris, you do understand that I am the result of one of those things he did so many years ago, right?"
An intern and a VA Police Officer walked into the room with the intention of taking Rogerios down to the morgue. Kris leaned over and kissed his father's forehead with Rik repeating the gesture directly after. They escorted Olivia out of the room and walked to the waiting room.
"Olivia, all we can do is apologize to you for our father's actions. We know it does not help or make it better. We know it erases no pain from your life. But we do feel responsible for the sins of our father and the only way we know how to make it up to you is by being there for you now. If we had known about you before, believe me, we would have been there before," Kris told her.
"I'm pretty sure your father didn't know anything about me."
"We are positive he didn't, either. These incidents -"
"Rapes. Please, let's be clear on that. I won't allow you or your brother to hide behind semantics."
"These series of…rapes…" it was difficult for Kris to say. At least out loud. "They ended before my father married my mother and my brother and I were born. Something happened to him to make him change his ways. I know if he knew about you, things would have been different."
"Kris, he committed fourteen rapes - that we know about. That is not behavior that suddenly just ends. Trust me, I investigate sex crimes for a living. It was the circumstances surrounding my conception that put me on this path. I understand that you would like to salvage anything good you possibly can about your father. But please do not try to sell him to me as a nice guy. We will never see eye to eye on that."
Walking around the corner to the waiting area, Olivia came face to face with Reta Rogerios, Rik's wife. "You have to be the long lost sister!" Reta exclaimed, grabbing Olivia and pulling her over to the couch.
Olivia wanted to scream. Don't these people get it??!! She looked around, hoping Lilly would come back soon and rescue her.
"I'm Reta, I'm married to Rik and these are our kids, Ricky, Robin, Risa and Ronnie." Olivia attempted a smile at the group of four pre-teens, sitting together, wishing they were anywhere else but a hospital waiting room. "This is Kris' wife, Deedee. And their children, Brandon and Dylan." Two more pre-pubescent darlings that just oozed with angst. Deedee stood up and grasped Olivia's hand with both of hers.
"This must be like entering the Twilight Zone. Would you like to go grab a cup of coffee?" Deedee offered, her expression hopeful and sincere.
"That would be wonderful," Olivia breathed a sigh of relief.
"We're heading to the cafeteria," Deedee announced to the others. "Don't follow us!" she commanded, lightheartedly. Olivia already knew she was going to like this woman.
"If Detective Rush comes back, I will let her know where you are," Rik called after them.
Olivia followed Deedee down to the lobby. "Actually, the cafeteria is closed but there is a convenience store on the corner. They have great coffee. How about we go get a cup, bring it back here and talk?"
"Sounds good to me," Olivia agreed.
Being that it was after hours, back in the VA lobby, Deedee and Olivia had no problem finding a place to sit and talk, uninterrupted. They had walked down to the corner WaWa and both bought flavored 20-ounce coffees. Neither said much to each other on the stroll back. The traffic was still too noisy to hold any kind of intelligible conversation.
There was something about Deedee that Olivia immediately grabbed onto. She was down-to-earth and seemed ready to take on the world. They settled in a couple of chairs by the now vacant desk, almost under the monitors that posted names of veteran's whose prescriptions were ready.
"Right." If Olivia had to compare Deedee to anyone, she could only think of a darker, plumper Michelle Pfieffer. Something about Deedee's tone of voice, delivery and pronunciation of words reminded her of the character Pfieffer played in 'Married To The Mob.'
"Girl…don't let this family drive you nuts. They are different. And I say that with all the love in my heart. I spawned two more of 'em, so I must have loyalties somewhere. My boys are good kids, they are just at the age where they feel the world owes them a living." She smiled at Olivia, still looking somewhat dazed. "Well, enough about us." She looked at Olivia, expectantly.
"Deedee, I don't know where to begin," Olivia stated, honestly. "Do you know…has your husband told you about who I am?"
"That his no-good, scumsucking, piece of crap father raped your mother and she got pregnant and had you?"
Olivia blinked, a little caught off guard by Deedee's frankness. "I…I guess that's as good a place to start as any…"
"Hey," Deedee began, waving the subject off," they talk about that old coot like he walked on water. I know different."
"Like I have to tell you? He was a cunkhound. And that's being nice."
Olivia's eyes snapped wide open at that one. "Did you say 'cunk' hound?"
"Yeah...I hate that other c-word, so I say that one instead. But you get my drift, right?"
"Could you be a little more specific?"
"You're a cop, right?"
"He screwed anything that moved! I swear he would have done a knothole if it hadn't been for his fear of splinters."
"Knotholes don't move."
"Well, there you have it, " Deedee blew on her coffee and sipped it.
"How do you know this side of him and his sons don't?"
"The old man never let them see it. They paint him as the perfect family man but I know for a fact that he was a nasty SOB."
"How do you know?"
"Well, for one thing, he kept trying his damnedest to get into my pants."
"That had to be awkward. How did you handle that?"
"I kept telling him one asshole in my pants was enough."
"Didn't you ever tell Kris?"
"Oh, Kris wouldn't have believed me. Not about Tabor. The way Kris and Rik talked about their father, I expected an incident of stigmata every Easter dinner when he came over."
Olivia's head was spinning. "Kris told me that his criminal behavior stopped when he married their mother."
"Do you know for a fact that he raped anyone else after that?"
"Yeah…he raped Reta. Repeatedly."
Part V - Changed/Unchanged
Lilly walked Olivia to her car on the second lower level of the VA parking area. "Are you sure?" Lilly asked, not out of doubt in Olivia's recollection of conversation but out of disbelief and not wanting it to be true.
"Positive. Deedee said that, as far as she is concerned, as least two of Rik's kids are actually Tabor's." Olivia shook her head in frustration. "See? Sex offenders never change. They are wonderful at manipulation and cover-up but they never change."
They reached Olivia's car. "What do you think, Olivia? What can we do about this?"
"Unless Reta wants to do something about it, we can't do anything. Rogerios is dead, so he cannot be charged and prosecuted. We can only hope she finds some peace of mind now, I guess." Olivia unlocked her door.
"Don't you think Kris and especially Rik should know?"
"I do, yes. But it's not my call, Lilly." She leaned against her driver's side door. "I feel bad for these two sons that they are so blindly loyal to this monster. They so worship this man…"
"Maybe we could -"
"We nothing, Lilly. I have made my peace."
"But, Olivia, Kris and Rik were willing to accept you and your circumstances, maybe it's not that far out of reach to hope they will believe he could have done this to his own daughter-in-law."
"Olivia, I think Reta needs help."
"We need to help her."
"We? We? I have no jurisdiction here, Detective Rush. You are preaching to the wrong flock"
"Oh, " Lilly said, not able to hide her hurt, "we're back toDetective Rush again?"
Olivia took a deep breath and pulled Lilly to her. She guessed they were probably on surveillance somewhere but didn't care. Lilly unexpectedly slammed up against Olivia's front where Olivia securely held the detective in place, Lilly suddenly being too mesmerized to move. It suddenly felt dangerous for her to be this close to Olivia Benson. She got too lost in the brunette's brown eyes. "Lilly. I'm sorry," her voice was apologetic and soothing. "This is definitely not where I want to be with you. Please understand that I feel like I am on a roller coaster here. And that has nothing to do with you. I would love nothing more than to go back to your place and finish what we started earlier. But my head is exploding right now. I need some distance and some perspective. Please, please don't take it personally."
Nodding, smiling in comprehension, Lilly secured her arms around the older woman and hugged her tightly. "Go back to your room," Lilly urged. "Get a good night's sleep. We can deal with this tomorrow."
Kissing Lilly's forehead, Olivia released the blonde and opened the door, getting in behind the wheel. "I will see you tomorrow. Don't forget about me," Olivia smiled, wearily, so emotionally tired from the day's events.
"Impossible," Lilly shot back, as she walked to her car two spaces down from Olivia's. Lilly wanted to follow her, wanted to ravish her in her motel room, get her mind off everything but she felt it best to wait until the time was really right and Olivia was willing and not distracted.
Stopping at a fast food joint on the way back to her motel, Olivia had just about demolished the meal when she reached her motel room. She had stopped at the corner convenience store and picked up a Daily News before settling in for the evening.
Once back at her motel, she changed into a t-shirt and sweat shorts to sleep in, tuned in the local news on TV and glanced over the headlines in the paper. Just before she was ready to get under the covers, she scanned the comics for her two favorites, "For Better Or For Worse," and "Foxtrot." She then folded the paper back and concentrated on the Jumble. Sometimes these puzzles were no challenge at all.
Throwing the paper aside, turning off the light, flipping channels on the remote, Olivia thought about Lilly Rush. She had been a nice surprise. She couldn't replace Alex but she could certainly be a deterrent. Olivia smiled at the memory of Lilly walking down the stoop from her apartment. Clothes by Calvin Klein, body courtesy of good self-discipline, hair by El Nino. Olivia further reminisced about the foreplay that had begun earlier in the evening. Olivia's hand started snaking beneath her covers as she remembered more about her evening with the cute and sensual blonde. She had barely finished satisfying herself before fell into a deep sleep.
Olivia was on the phone to Cragen when there was a knock on her motel room door. "Hold on a sec, Captain," she said to him, setting the receiver down and answering the door. Lilly stood there, smiling, looking very refreshed, holding two cups of coffee. "Come on in, " she directed the blonde, closing the door after her, "I'm talking with my unit commander," Olivia whispered to her. She took one of the coffees, leaned over and gave Lilly a quick kiss on the cheek and returned to the phone. "No. That was the Philly detective working on this case. We are going to tie up some loose ends and then I'll be back." She winked at Lilly, taking a sip of her coffee. "It is a little more complicated than that," she advised her boss. She looked up at Lilly again, smiling. "No, we are all getting along just fine. It's amazing, it's like we have always been meant to work this case together." Olivia rolled her eyes, "I'm sorry, I meant to say that they are being very cooperative with me regarding sharing information and vice versa."
Lilly laughed silently at this. She studied the gorgeous SVU detective. Olivia appeared to be in a much different mood than the day before, almost playful. Reaching over to Lilly, Olivia pulled her close, nuzzling her neck.
"Hmm? No, Sir, like I said, we are all getting along great. I am on my best behavior," Olivia promised him, nipping at Lilly's earlobe. Lilly leaned back into Olivia's arm, grinning like a fool, loving every second of being in the brunette's embrace. "Yeah. Exactly, Captain. Okay, well, I am going to go ahead and get my day started here. I will call you tomorrow with anything new. Uh huh. You, too, Sir. Bye." Olivia replaced the phone on its cradle. She kissed the back of Lilly's neck. "Good morning."
Lilly turned around, grinning at Olivia. "Good morning to you, too. I am going to guess that you got a really good night's sleep."
"How could I not? I dreamed of you."
"Really? Just me? How boring."
"Oh," Olivia shook her head, "I think not." She took another sip of coffee and held the cup toward Lilly. "Thank you for this. What do we have going on today?"
"I think we need to talk to Reta. Don't you?"
Olivia looked at her watch. "Eventually. If she has kept the secret and protected it this long, getting it out of her is not going to be easy. Really, Lilly, what else is this going to do but open raw wounds that will never be healed. Do you think Rik will ever believe that two or more of the kids he has raised since birth are actually his father's and not his?"
"Do you think it is fair that this deception continues? I mean, for God's sake, Olivia, he is raising his half-brothers. His biological children are living with their uncles. Shades of Chinatown."
"Again…should this be our call? Granted, this is all the fault of the old man but our interference will cause even more irrevocable damage to this family."
"Olivia, do you want these men - your brothers - to go on believing that you were just a fluke? That their precious father was incapable - in their lifetime - of doing these horrendous things? It's all fine and dandy that they are so receptive in getting you into their family circle but…"
"They need to know."
Olivia walked to the motel window and sat down at the little round table in front of it. She looked out toward the street. "I do know what you're saying, Lilly. I am just not sure what we will accomplish by exposing it. Rogerios is gone. He can never hurt anyone again. Kris and Rik seem like really good guys. Reta acts like she has come to terms with everything and, honestly, we don't know if Deedee was telling the truth or if the whole fucking family is nuts. I just think we need to do a little more investigating before we unnecessarily open a can of worms."
"What do you suggest?"
"Subtlety. We know Rogerios' DNA is on file. Maybe we can match it against the kids, somehow. I don't know. I really don't want to do that and I doubt Reta would give us permission, anyway. I think we should talk more with Deedee. See exactly how she knows what she claims to know. The problem is - what do we do with it after that?" Olivia took another long swallow of coffee. "We'll walk away with the knowledge of everything we need to know and leave how many other lives dangling in the balance."
"Kris and Rik seem like they really would like to get to know you, Olivia. Do you think, if you chose to begin a relationship with them that you could keep all this information to yourself?" Lilly stepped behind her chair. "Because I know I couldn't."
Olivia tilted her head back and looked up at Lilly, who looked down at her. The SVU detective's eyes invited her closer. Lilly obliged. Olivia's hand reached up around Lilly's neck and pulled her face down to meet Olivia's. Kissing her softly, Olivia broke the kiss and said, "Any particular place you need to be right now?"
Blushing, knowing what was on Olivia's mind, Lilly said, "The only thing on my agenda today is to attend to and close this Rogerios thing."
"Does that include comforting his illegitimate daughter?"
"I think that might be considered in the realm, yeah."
"Hmm…" Olivia winked at Lilly, "then lock the door and get to work."
They had shut the curtain, drawn to each other like magnet and steel. The two women tried to sexually ingest each other simultaneously. Olivia completely dominated Lilly in bed, much to Lilly's pleasure. She wasn't inexperienced but she had never met anyone quite as accomplished as Olivia before. The brunette knew what to do, when to do it and how to do it for the maximum effect. Lilly could have stayed in bed all day with this woman, knowing she would never get bored with Olivia's sexual inventiveness.
Guilt of job obligation was starting to overtake them both and they reluctantly uncoupled and got out of bed. To Lilly's delight, Olivia joined her in the shower, with the initial intent to speed the process up so Lilly could get back to duty, with Olivia riding shotgun, however, it didn't turn out that way. They both ended up needing another shower.
Part VI - Lineage
Lilly's car stopped in front of a small but nice Cape Cod-style house outside of the city in the suburb of Chester and checked the number. "2418 - this should be it," Olivia confirmed matching the house number to what she was reading on a piece of paper.
They exited the vehicle and started strolling up the walkway to the front door. "We're sure we want to do this, right?" Lilly asked, suddenly apprehensive.
"No. I'm following your lead, remember? This is your case, not mine."
Lilly looked over at Olivia and smiled, slyly. "Oh, please…if you didn't think this was the right thing to do, you wouldn't be here with me right now."
"Oh? Think you know me, huh?" Olivia teased.
"I know all the good parts," Lilly blushed, lowering her voice. She pressed the doorbell.
Olivia looked her dead in the eyes. "Not all of them. I have to save something for later."
The front door opened and Dylan Rogerios stood there, looking annoyed. Lilly was about to reintroduce herself and Olivia, when the boy stood back and yelled, "MOM!! THE COP AND THAT AUNT MAGGIE-LOOKING PERSON ARE HERE!!!" He then walked away from them, leaving them standing there with the door wide open.
Deedee rushed in from another room, wiping her hands on a dishtowel. "Please, come in. I can't believe him sometimes. You could be Jack The Ripper and he would stand at the door, announce you in a voice they could hear in New Jersey and then walk away, leaving the door wide open. I fully understand how some animals can eat their young." She gestured the two detectives inside and closed the door behind them. "Kris isn't here. He and Brandon went to meet Rik at Tabor's apartment to start sorting through things."
"Yes, we know," Lilly told her. "My partner is meeting them over there in case they find anything that ties into Mr. Rogerios past criminal history."
"What is it I can do for you?" Deedee asked, pleasantly.
"Deedee, we need to talk about what you told me last night in the lobby," Olivia advised her.
Deedee looked around, making sure Dylan wasn't anywhere within listening distance. "Can we not do this now? I really don't want to take the chance of my son overhearing any of it. He adored his grandfather."
"Is there some room a little more isolated where we can go?" Lilly asked. "We do need to know more about your allegations."
Thinking about the options, Deedee said, "Sure. Just give me a second. Come on in the kitchen, there's still some fresh coffee in the carafe. Make yourself comfortable."
Olivia and Lilly looked around the immaculate kitchen, located which cupboard the cups were in and removed two mugs. They stood at the counter fixing their beverages when they heard Dylan yell in the distance, "AW RIGHT!!! SWEET!!" The two detectives looked at each other, wondering what provoked that outburst, heard the front door slam and, within seconds, Deedee was back in the kitchen.
"He would like you two to stop by more often. Especially if it means my bribing him with money for new Xbox games to get him out of the house." She sat down at the table and Olivia and Lilly joined her there. "Now…what would you like to know?"
Lilly looked at Olivia then at Deedee. "You told Detective Benson last night that your sister-in-law was repeatedly raped by your father-in-law and that you believe that two of her children were actually fathered by him, is that correct?"
"That is correct."
"I need to know how you came by this information, Mrs. Rogerios."
"Deedee, please." She sighed, shaking her head. "I always knew the old man was a scumbag. I never felt comfortable around him. He did blatantly proposition me a few times and I finally told him if he mentioned it again, I would pull a Lorena Bobbitt on him while he slept some night. That was the end of that."
"And you never told your husband or brother-in-law?" Olivia inquired, puzzled.
"I swear to you, they would have never believed me. He did not behave like that around them. He was like two entirely different people. To the boys in the family, he was the saint. To the women in the family, he was a disgusting pig who felt he was entitled to sex with them and didn't like to take no for an answer."
"With him being a confessed rapist, I am surprised he didn't try to get you, anyway. I would have thought it would have pumped him up to have been able to dominate you and humiliate you," Olivia commented.
"I think he knew that I wasn't an easy target. I would have fought back and left marks and that would have been harder for him to lie his way out of. Reta, on the other hand, she is and has always been very easily intimidated. She is - was - scared to death of him."
"How did you find out about what he was doing to her?" Lilly wondered.
"She told me. I went over one day to drop by some brownies I had made for the kids. As I was just about to knock on the door, the old man came running out, half-dressed. He looked a little shocked to see me but then he just smiled at me. This sickening sneer. I went inside and found Reta on the floor of the den, clothes just torn off her, crying hysterically."
"Why didn't you call the police?" Lilly asked, incredulously.
"I was going to. She begged me not to. She was terrified of him. He had convinced her that if she told anyone, he would make her life a living hell and she would be the one ostracized and banished from the family. That his wife would protect him and his sons would never believe her. And she bought it." Deedee shook her head again. "I could have gone ahead and reported it anyway but then, if Reta didn't back me up, where would that leave me?"
"What about the two kids maybe being Tabor's?" Lilly inquired.
"Reta told me that at the time the two youngest, Risa and Ronnie, were conceived, Rik was away on business and by the time he was home, the timing was all off. But the old man had made a couple unscheduled visits while Rik was gone. If you know what I mean."
The look on Olivia's face was registering anger all over again. "What about your mother-in-law? She had to be aware that something wasn't right with this man."
"She was miserable with him. But she came over with him from Hungary. He was a man and her husband and she had ridiculous loyalty to him. She held that family together and she was the one who instilled the values in Kris and Rik. She was the saint, believe me. I miss her every day."
"Do you think she knew he was out raping women?" Lilly asked.
"I think she thought he was out having affairs. She thought it was her place to look the other way."
"Rik told me that her family wouldn't have anything to do with him because they held him responsible for her death. What's that about?" Olivia questioned, sipping her coffee.
"The man never drank. Never. They had stopped over here that morning and I knew they had been fighting. She had been crying but there was something else in her eyes besides pain. It looked like rage to me. My guess is that she found out about something, maybe even that one or more of Reta's children belonged to that bastard. Next thing we know, the police are at our door, saying there's been a terrible car accident, Emina's dead and Tabor's been arrested for DUI. Not a scratch on him, though. I don't know how he did it but I think he killed her on purpose. And so does her family."
"Any incidents you know of with female members of her family?"
"No. She only had brothers and I don't think they left their wives or daughters alone with him ever." Deedee folded her arms across her chest. "It's awful to say and I know it implicates me, as well, but we all had a hand in keeping this monster alive. Me, by my silence, Emina by her tolerance, Reta by her fear and his sons by their ignorance. I'm glad the old crotch cricket is dead. Maybe we all have a chance to start living normal lives now."
"Do you think Reta will be able to live a 'normal' life with the memories of what he did and knowing that two of her children may not be her husband's?" Lilly wondered.
"I think that Reta will get in to therapy and I think she will deal. She will very much want to keep her family together and now with the threat of the old man gone, she'll be able to handle it all on her own terms."
"But you don't think Rik should know?" Lilly asked.
"Why?" Deedee responded. "I think everybody has been through enough. It's over. If Rik and Kris want to go to their graves believing their pig of a father had changed and was a beacon to the community, then, I say, let them. Unless Reta suddenly feels the need to confess to Rik and turn the world upside down - which I honestly can't see her doing - let these two brothers get on with their lives. I cannot say enough wonderful things about my husband and my brother-in-law. It's hard to believe they and, well, you…" she looked at Olivia, "…came from this man. They are hard workers, great providers, good husbands, exceptional fathers and decent men." Deedee stood up, moving to the sink and rinsing her cup out. "And, despite the fact that dear old dad was a rotten egg, they are concerned that you will allow that to reflect on your Hungarian heritage, which they are extremely proud of. They both want to you to get to know your roots through them and be proud, too."
Lilly and Olivia traded glances. "I…uh…I hate goulash," Olivia offered, sheepishly.
"So does Rik," Deedee laughed.
The detectives stood up and brought their empty coffee mugs to the sink. "I guess that's it for now," Lilly advised Deedee. "Thanks for your candor."
Deedee walked them out through the living room to the front door. "I can't tell you what to do about Reta. And I hope to God they don't find anything at the old bastard's apartment that implicates a connection to her. But you have to do what you have to do and I understand. I just hope whatever else comes out of this doesn't destroy this family anymore."
"We'll take everything you've said into consideration, Deedee. Thanks again. We'll be in touch," Lilly told her.
Once they got back in the car, Lilly dialed up Scotty on her cell phone. "Hey, it's me. Find anything of interest? Really? Other than that, it's clean? Okay. Right, yeah. Listen, I am going to grab some lunch with Detective Benson and then take her back to her room and go over some paperwork with her, so I probably won't be back to the house today. Uh huh. Okay, give me a call if you need me. Bye." She snapped her phone shut and stuck it back in its holder.
"Other than what?" Olivia asked. "You said,' other than that it's clean.' Other than what?"
"They found a scrapbook of newspaper articles coinciding with every Philadelphia rape he confessed to committing."
Olivia shook her head. "Sick prick."
"Yeah. I still feel strange about letting this thing go with Reta."
"I agree with Deedee. It has to be Reta's choice. The woman has obviously been victimized enough."
Lilly started driving out of the tree-lined neighborhood. "Hungry yet?"
Olivia smiled, looking over at the blonde. "I could eat."
Shaking her head, laughing a dirty little chuckle, Lilly said, "I'm not going there."
"Yeah, you say that now..." Olivia teased. She watched the blonde's eyes smile as Lilly turned crimson. "You blush a lot for a cop."
"God, Olivia, I've never met anyone who drives me to distraction like you do."
"I'll take that as a compliment. In the meantime, I think I would like a genuine Philly Cheesesteak sandwich somewhere. Take me to the best place in town."
Part VII - Family
Two hours later, the detectives walked into Lilly's apartment. Closing the door behind Olivia, Lilly tossed her keys into a ceramic bowl on a table against the wall. She shuffled through her mail, setting that on the table also. "Something to drink?" Lilly asked.
"One of those Rolling Rocks would be great, thanks." Olivia sat on the couch next to Olivia, who was stretched out with her tummy flat against the arm of the sofa. The cat turned so that she was laying on her back, paws in the air, looking at Olivia, the house guest. The brunette started to scratch the exposed area on the feline, when the cat suddenly grabbed Olivia's wrist with all four paws, dug in and started to bite. "YEEOUCH!"
Lilly came back in with a beer and handed it to Olivia. "Tell me you did not rub her belly..."
Gingerly extracting herself from four sets of claws, Olivia spoke with a sharp intake of breath, "I did."
"Never rub her belly."
"She offered it to me," Olivia protested, checking her hand for blood.
"Don't you know anything about cats?" Lilly sat down next to the SVU detective, looking over the surface scratches on Olivia's wrist.
"Obviously not." Olivia looked at the cat, whose body position appeared ready for another strike. "Damn, kitty, I'm going to get you a black eye patch and a sword, if you're going to act like a savage."
"Hey, watch the one-eyed remarks, " Lilly kidded. "She's very sensitive."
"Sensitive, my ass."
Lilly scratched the cat's chin, settling her down. "Be careful, sweetie, she's going to need that hand later."
"Pretty sure of yourself, aren't you, Detective?" Olivia grinned, taking a swig of beer.
Lilly boldly slid over and straddled Olivia's lap, facing her. "Yeah. I am." She took the beer out of Olivia's hand and set it down on the coffee table behind her. "What are you going to do about it?"
Olivia glanced quickly at the other Olivia, who was glaring at the SVU detective, fixated, and whose tail was suddenly swishing in ever direction. "That depends...am I going to get attacked?"
Gently taking Olivia's chin in her hand and making her face the blonde, Lilly said, "Not by her." She leaned in and kissed the brunette's sensuous lips. She held Olivia's face as Olivia's hands slid around Lilly's hips and pulled her closer. She reached under Lilly's jersey, running her hands up the blonde's back. As the passionate kiss broke, Olivia unhooked Lilly's bra. Just then, Olivia stopped, as though she were poised for something to happen.
"What's wrong?" Lilly asked, breathlessly.
"I'm waiting to hear the theme to Cagney and Lacey."
Lilly pinched Olivia's side in response. "My cell phone is off. I forwarded all voice mail to my computer."
"What theme do you have to alert you to that? Charlie's Angels? Beverly Hills Cop?"
"Very funny." She looked away. "Deep by Nine Inch Nails."
Olivia laughed. "Nine Inch Nails? You're just full of surprises."
Kissing Olivia several times, quickly, Lilly said," If you had a theme song, what would it be?"
Without hesitation, Olivia said, "Kashmir. Led Zeppelin. My mom played that album all the time and that song always stuck in my head." Olivia lifted Lilly's shirt over her head. "You know what? Let's not start something out here. I'd much rather be lying down with you. In bed."
Having just finished a frenzied but oh, so satisfying marathon sexual evening in the sack, Olivia was winding down, lying on top of Lilly, kissing her neck, when she raised her head. "I don't want to sound crass and crude but I have a pussy between my legs."
Lilly lifted her head and saw Olivia's - the feline's - one-eyed stare looking back at her. She began to laugh, almost uncontrollably. "Technically, you now have two-"
"Ha. Ha. She seems very content, she's purring." Olivia commented.
"What a coincidence. So am I," Lilly was almost giggling.
"She's not going to, you know, muckle on to anything else of mine, is she?"
This made Lilly laugh even harder. "Okay. Roll over. I'll get her off the bed, although she's not used to sharing her bed with anyone but me."
Olivia kissed Lilly. "That's good to know." She rolled to the right of the blonde, who sat up and coaxed the cat off the bed. Settling back in, Lilly snuggled with the older woman, perfectly content to stay right there forever.
"So...when are you going back to New York?" Lilly wondered, not really wanting to know the answer. Her head was resting on Olivia's shoulder.
"Hmm...I haven't decided. My partner will be back from his vacation on Monday. I should be back by then."
"At the risk of sounding ridiculous and needy, I'm going to miss you."
Olivia kissed the top of Lilly's head. She sighed, relaxed. "Yes, this has been an interesting, if not complicated couple of days. Thank God for you."
Lilly nuzzled her face into Olivia's neck. "I love the way you smell. What is that?"
"Paris. Yves St. Laurent."
"Mmm..." Lilly inhaled deeply. "Olivia, what's it like working with Elliot?" She needed to bring this up now before Olivia called or returned to her job.
Time suddenly seemed to stand still. "Elliot? You know Elliot? Elliot Stabler?"
"Yeah. He's my cousin."
Olivia couldn't have left that bed any faster if she'd been shot from a gun. "WHAT?!"
"Is there a problem?" Lilly asked, calmly, propping herself up on one elbow, watching Olivia standing naked at the foot of her bed.
"A problem??!! Gee, Lilly, I don't know, do you think you might have mentioned that to me before..." Olivia's hand made a sweeping gesture indicating the bed, "...before all this?"
"It didn't seem important."
"Didn't seem important???"
"Olivia, I wanted to get to know you and I wanted you to get to know me. I didn't want you being nice to me just because I was Elliot's cousin."
"Lilly...!! I wouldn't have gone anywhere near you - this way - if I had known."
"Exactly my point."
Starting to pace back and forth by the bed's footboard, Olivia began to think out loud. "Oh, God. Oh, God. That's why you look familiar to me. You have the same eyes, similar expressions. You're his baby cousin Lilly he's told me about..."
Lilly grinned and threw back the covers. "In the flesh...literally."
Jumping on the bed, throwing the sheets back on Lilly, all Olivia could do was shake her head and say, "Oh no, no, no, no, no, no ..."
"It's okay, really," Lilly tried to placate the SVU detective.
"No, it's not okay! I just spent the last three hours doing what could only be described as jungle fucking with my partner's favorite, perfect, virginal, baby cousin."
"Favorite? Sweet. Perfect? Hardly. Baby? Yeah, youngest of all the first cousins on his side of the family. Virginal? I think the last couple of days has proved that's a lie..."
Rubbing her temples with her hand, Olivia shook her head. "This can't be happening."
"He doesn't have to know."
Olivia turned to look at the pretty blonde. "You're right. He doesn't. But he'll know. It will appear on my forehead in neon next time I see him. He knows me better than I know myself sometimes."
"He doesn't know me."
"Obviously." Olivia stood up again and then sat back down. "He's going to blame this on me."
Lilly laughed. "Blame? You're funny."
Olivia glared at her. "Yeah, I'm a fucking riot. I can see Elliot laughing now, after he beats the piss out of me in the parking lot."
"Olivia, Elliot has nothing to do with this. This is between you and me."
Taking a deep breath, Olivia said, "You're right. You're right. We're adults here. It's...oh, I just wish you had said something before. Fuck!"
Smiling, trying to temper Olivia's rising panic, Lilly said, "Again? Why, Detective Benson, you really are a legend..." Catching the SVU detective off guard with that remark, Olivia stared at the blonde, speechless. Lilly reached over and grabbed Olivia, pulling her into an embrace, securing her with her arms. "I'm sorry. I know I should have said something. But I didn't. Now you know." She kissed Olivia's neck, her shoulder, then her lips. Lilly's hands moved slowly, sensually over Olivia's body. "Relax."
"Not when you do that," Olivia whispered, out of breath. She turned to respond to Lilly's touch and encouragement. They made out aggressively for several minutes before Olivia broke contact. She cleared her throat and tried to collect her thoughts. "Does...um...does Elliot know about this?"
"Not unless he's channeling us right now."
"Don't even joke about that!" Olivia warned. "You have no idea."
Lilly let her hand wander while she spoke. "It's not something I feel appropriate to bring up at family reunions. Especially when two cousins are nuns and one's a priest. I mean, how exactly do you bring it up, anyway? Please pass the potato salad to your lesbian cousin, Sister Margaret Mary?"
Laughing, enjoying the location of Lilly's adventurous fingers, Olivia said, "No. You have a point."
"I mean - God forbid, she could pass it to the wrong cousin..."
"...and pandemonium would ensue..." Olivia continued for her.
"Ah. You've been to one of my family reunions? Nah. I definitely would have remembered you."
Olivia's breathing started to become very labored, thanks to Lilly's persistence. "Any other secrets I should know about?" Olivia closed her eyes, her body slightly rocking to the rhythm of Lilly's hand.
"None that I can think of at the moment," Lilly whispered to Olivia. She watched Olivia's face as her expression changed from mere arousal to full climax. Wave after wave overtook the brunette and she arched her back, clutched the sheet with one hand and caressed the back of Lilly's head with the other. Gasping Lilly's name into the blonde's ear over and over, Olivia suddenly couldn't care less whose relative she was, especially if she kept making her feel this good.
Olivia had declined the invitation to attend Tabor Rogerios funeral on Saturday. She felt no obligation to pay her respects to a man she had none for. Accepting her refusal graciously, understanding why, the brothers invited Olivia to go to lunch with them on Sunday before she returned to New York, just the three of them. That invitation she accepted.
She had checked out of her motel and spent the previous two nights with Lilly at Lilly's apartment. Friday night, she and the blonde stayed up most of the night, talking, getting to know each other better. Lilly openly volunteered the details of her troubled childhood. Her mother was Elliot's father's sister. Her father abandoned her mother, brother and her shortly after Lilly was born. Her mother struggled to make it on her own without the family's assistance but it was difficult. They finally went into the system and stayed there off and on most of Lilly's adolescence. Her fondest childhood memories were the times she got to spend with her cousins and the yearly family reunions. And it was her cousin Elliot who inspired her to become a cop. By the time they got to bed that night, they were exhausted and just fell asleep holding each other.
On Saturday night, Lilly took Olivia out to a cozy Italian restaurant for a romantic dinner. The establishment, which was fashioned after a grotto, was owned and run by a gay couple and was patronized mostly by the gay community, so both women felt very at ease to hold hands and look lovingly into each other's eyes if they desired, without having to worry about possible repercussions from an unaccepting crowd. They returned to Lilly's, made love, fell asleep, woke up in the morning and made love again. When they parted, it was with no promises but each knew they had found something very special in each other. There was no doubt in either woman's mind that they would see each other again.
Part VIII - a csaladhoz tartozik
Olivia found the restaurant where she had agreed to meet Kris and Rik. It was just across the Delaware River, in New Jersey. The sign read: Benedek's, Home of Real Hungarian Cuisine. Walking inside, she immediately liked the atmosphere. It felt older, intimate, filled with ancestral pride. And it smelled wonderful. She didn't recognize what was cooking, a mixture of things she was sure, but her stomach started to growl, regardless.
"Olivia! Hey, glad you made it!" Rik said, approaching her from what looked to be a private dining area. He gently took her arm and guided her into the section of restaurant where Kris was waiting at a table. Kris, stood up, smiling and pulled Olivia into another unexpected hug. He pulled her chair out for her, pushing it in as she sat down.
"Hungry?" Rik asked, he and Kris seating themselves at the same time.
"I wasn't until I walked in here." She looked around and saw that they were the only diners in this room.
"We're going to take care of you. Do you mind if we order for you, since you aren't familiar with the food?"
"Well...okay, as long as it isn't goulash or anything with liver."
"Welcome! Welcome!" a voice from the side, boomed. He was a jolly, white haired man with very rosy cheeks and a thick accent. He was wearing clothes that were dusty with flour and stained with what Olivia guessed was paprika and cooking oil. He wiped his hands on a towel, tucked in his waistband, like a football player. He walked toward Olivia with his arms outstretched, eyes twinkling and a smile mostly hidden by a thick, white mustache. "You must be Olivia!"
Knowing she was going to be hugged again, whether she resisted or not, she stood up just before the older man reached her. He initially squeezed her so hard, she thought her eyes might pop out of her head. He released her and held her at arms length. "I am Uncle Anyos. Ohh, you are beautiful. We always tell Rikard he's too pretty to be a boy - you are living proof!" He poked Rik. "You see her?"
"Yes, Uncle Anyos. Let the poor girl sit."
Anyos laughed heartlily and pushed Olivia's chair back in when she sat again. "I am not really your uncle," he said to her, "I am the brother of the boys' mother. I am, uh, how do I say this...I am sorry for your circumstances. I am trying to be respectful for the boys but it is difficult. Tabor was...well, he was not a nice man."
"She knows that, Yoyo," Kris said, calling the man by his nickname.
Nodding, wanting to say more about his horrible brother-in-law but knowing he had already said enough, he smiled again at Olivia. "The boys have embraced you into the family. They are good boys. You are welcome here anytime. You are now my family, too."
"Thank you," Olivia responded, feeling a little overwhelmed by all this unconditional acceptance.
Anyos clapped his hands together so loud and unexpectedly, Olivia jumped. "What would you like to drink?"
"Do you like wine, Olivia?" Kris asked her.
"I love wine. Nothing too sweet."
Kris looked up at his uncle. "What would you recommend? The Muskotalyos or the Nagyburgundi?"
"I will bring out a bottle of both and let the beautiful lady decide." With that, Anyos disappeared into the kitchen.
"These wines are from the Boglar region of Balaton. Lake Balaton is famous for its vineyards."
Olivia nodded and began looking over the menu. It was entirely in Hungarian.
"For soup, I would recommend the Magyaros gombaleves. It's a mushroom soup that's -"
Rik interrupted his brother. "She seems to have taste more along my lines." He looked at Olivia, smiled and then pointed to an item on the menu. "I think you'd prefer the lebbencsleves. That's a pasta soup."
"Honestly, I'm really not a soup person. I'd rather have salad. Especially if I am going to have a big meal," Olivia informed them.
Anyos returned with two bottles of wine and two wine glasses. He opened the Nagyburgundi and poured a sample into one of the glasses. He looked at Olivia expectantly. She tasted the wine, the flavor more than meeting with her approval. "That's very good." She waited while Anyos poured the Muskotalyos and then she tasted that. "That's good, too."
"We'll keep both, Yoyo. Maybe have some palinka after dinner." Kris looked at Olivia. "That's brandy."
"We'll see. I still have to drive back to New York tonight."
"Save the palinka for another time, then. It is a little strong," Kris offered. "Yoyo, any salad specials tonight? Maybe the Bugaci paraszt-salata?"
"What's in that?" Olivia asked, cautiously.
"Tomatoes, peppers, onion, cucumber. It's good. It's topped with a dressing made of white wine, salad oil and grated kaskaval cheese."
"Okay," Olivia nodded, taking another sip of wine, "I'll try that."
Kris looked at Anyos. "Three of those and toportyus pogacsa, please."
"Excellent," Anyos commented and returned to the kitchen.
"It's an appetizer of pork scones," Kris clarified to Olivia.
While they waited for their salads and appetizer, Olivia started to relax. The wine was helping but the warm hospitality of her "new" family was the real icebreaker. Through the beginning of the meal, the brothers shared some important Hungarian legacy with her, such as the 4th century settlement of the Carpathian basin and the Magyar tribes establishing the Hungarian state in the 9th century. Their enthusiasm for their culture was contagious and Olivia was almost spellbound, learning all this history that now pertained to her.
"No kidding, Latin used to be the official language?" Olivia said, surprised. She was now enjoying a main course of stuffed pork spare ribs.
"Until, what, Kris...the nineteenth century?" Rik couldn't remember exactly.
"I believe it was 1844."
Rik was a wealth of information when it came to boasting about famous Hungarians and Americans of Hungarian descent. "...Johnny Weissmuller, Harry Houdini, Bela Lugosi, Franz Liszt, Calvin Klein, Adrien Brody -"
"His mother is Sylvia Plachy, the photographer." Rik went on to tell her that Hungarians were also responsible for inventing the dry fire extinguisher, the automatic camera, the NASA moon rover, the telephone switchboard, the dirigible, the torpedo, the atomic bomb, Rubik's Cube, among so much else that changed the world, and several were recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize.
By the time dessert was served, most of which Olivia took with her because she was stuffed, she had been dazzled by her new "family." By the time she reached her apartment in Manhattan, she found herself overcome with emotion from the events of the past week. She left the brothers like she had left Lilly, with no promises or commitments but definitely the feeling that they would meet again.
After her shower and before she went to bed. She emailed Lilly, telling her about her evening, thanking her for her help and asking her if she was going to come to New York anytime soon to visit her favorite cousin. Olivia smiled, knowing, at least hoping, Lilly would read right through that message.
She turned out her light, shut off her television and climbed under her covers. Tomorrow she would go back to work, with a new sense of self, her life forever changed. She and Elliot would have a LOT to talk about and she instinctively knew Elliot would be supportive. Well...at least of her meeting her family, maybe not of her meeting his. That wasn't fair, she admonished herself, Elliot loved her and would want what's best for her. Even if it's awkward. She yawned and rolled over onto her side, trying to find a more comfortable position and smiled when Lilly unexpectedly popped into her head. She sighed and said, "Oh, Alex, don't stay away too long. I don't know if I'm going to be able to control myself with this one."
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