Categories > TV > Law & Order: SVU > My World

Chapter 3: Wounded Bird

by SVU_crazy_Kelly 0 reviews

Olivia could swear she felt her heart, which had long since stopped beating, give a small twinge reaffirming that life still resided in the body that surrounded it.

Category: Law & Order: SVU - Rating: PG - Genres: Action/Adventure, Angst, Romance - Characters: Elliot Stabler, Huang, John Munch, Odafin Tutuola, Olivia Benson, Other - Warnings: [!!!] - Published: 2006-08-07 - Updated: 2006-08-08 - 4310 words

Wounded Bird

She stood slowly, the voices in her ears pounding, assaulting her brain. This couldn't be happening. All she could see was the gun, the gun pointed at Elliot's head. Gitano spoke to her as she tried to hold her gun. In her heart she knew that nothing could make her pull that trigger, nothing could make her responsible for Elliot's death.

They were both talking to her now and both voices only served to make her stomach clench more violently. She did the only thing she could do, commanding the only person who she knew would listen to her to be silent "Shut up Elliot," her voice wasn't even her own in that moment. Never before in her life had she been this nervous, this afraid. She turned her attention to Gitano; she was ready to do anything if he would just let Elliot go "Put the gun down," she tried to tell him without the nervousness showing. She failed and he saw right through her.

"Oh, I see," Gitano sized her up in one glance. He had this woman right were he wanted her. As long as he kept the gun to the man's head both were at his mercy. Victor Gitano knew better than anyone else that he was incapable of mercy "Do you love this man?" he asked, his voice dripping with evil.

Olivia could swear she felt her heart, which had long since stopped beating, give a small twinge reaffirming that life still resided in the body that surrounded it. She wouldn't answer the question; it would only give Gitano more leverage against her. Then again Gitano held all the cards here anyway. Still she remained silent, ignoring the look that appeared on Elliot's face; ignoring the furious mouthing of the words 'shoot him damn it'.

"Answer the question bitch," Gitano forced the gun flush against Elliot's temple and cocked the hammer.

"I won't answer your question you sick bastard," Olivia spoke slowly, evenly in a low voice that she could barely hear herself.

Gitano glared at her "Too bad," he pulled the trigger. In an instant Elliot fell to the ground, the blood spurted from the hole in the side of his head. He was gone before he even hit the ground.


She sat up shrieking in the hospital bed. The pain meant nothing to her at that moment; the beeping of the heart monitor that warned the doctors and nurses that something was wrong didn't register in her brain. 'He's dead! He's dead!' was all she could think as her own screams filled her ears. He was dead, his blood would forever be on her hands and she never got the chance to tell him how she felt. She should have answered the question, if she had maybe she could have stalled Gitano; maybe she could have saved Elliot. But now he was dead and she never got to tell him that she loved him. Her screams became actual words "I'm so sorry!" she repeated as she sobbed, unaware of the strong arms that enveloped her.

He was careful as he tried not to hurt her but at the same time tried to keep her from hurting herself. He knew that if she was going to heal properly, she couldn't move around like this. She had finally taken some Tylenol for the pain and although it had done her little good, it had allowed her to fall asleep. He had sat by her the whole time, wanting nothing more than to be able to hold her but now that he was he would do anything just to let her have that peaceful sleep once more.

She sobbed into his neck, still unaware of who he was and where she was. He stroked her hair lovingly as she did so "Shhh its ok," he soothed her. The heart monitor began to register a safe level once more and the nurse and doctor who had rushed into the room left the two alone.

She slowly became aware of her surroundings. The hospital and why she was there, the memories all came flooding back to her "Elliot," she whispered.

"Its ok," he told her "It was just a nightmare," he could see the fear that still swam in her eyes, just behind the tears that were still falling. He slowly lay her down on the bed but he didn't want to let her go. She shifted to one side, allowing him room to lay on his side facing her as he held her.

"Gitano," she whispered. The nightmare was still fresh in her mind; she wished that it wasn't. She didn't want to fall asleep again ever.

Elliot found himself terrified at the mention of the name. He stroked her bruised cheek gently "It's over now Liv, it's over."

She needed to get it out. She knew she needed to let him know. It had been too late and she didn't want it to be. She took a deep shuttering breath "I love you," she whispered.

He dropped a kiss gently to the top of her head, careful not to hurt her "I love you too," he wasn't sure if he wanted to know what happened in the nightmare but he knew that it would do her good to talk about it. He kept his silence though and waited for her to speak about it.

"The warehouse," she mumbled. She wished she could stop crying but she couldn't control tears "He..." she began "There was so much..." she found herself choking on the words "And you were... and I never..."

Elliot fought the urge to pull her into the tightest embrace possible; he didn't want to aggravate her injuries. He restrained himself to another gentle kiss and a soft squeeze of her hand. He understood the nightmare even if she hadn't explained it all "I'm here," he told her "I'm here and I'm not going anywhere."

"I never got the chance," she whispered "You were... and I couldn't tell you," she left out that in her nightmare Gitano had asked her if she loved Elliot before he had pulled the trigger.

"I'm here," Elliot repeated "Gitano is dead," he reassured her. In his heart he knew that although the man may have been dead, the memory was still very much alive. The memory of the man, the memories of what he had done would haunt them both.

She rested her head against his chest "I do love you," she whispered "I just wanted to let you know that in case..." she trailed off.

"Nothing's gonna happen," he told her firmly. He knew that what ever came his way in life, he would be able to face it with her by his side; he knew that he would always fight, knowing he had her to come back to.

"You can't promise that," she murmured, her words coated with exhaustion.

"Try and get some more sleep," he whispered gently to her as he tried to leave the bed.

She whimpered slightly "Stay with me?" she pleaded softly.

"I'm not going anywhere," he reassured her as he sat up.

"No," she elaborated "I mean, stay here," with her good hand she patted the place where he had been lying only seconds before.

Elliot nodded and lay down beside her once more "Sleep well," he told her with a gentle kiss placed on her lips.

She leaned her head against his chest, the beating of his heart a soothing lullaby as she drifted into a peaceful slumber. Just before she had truly fallen completely asleep, she reached her good hand up and caressed his cheek ever so softly "I love you," she murmured.

He bent to look at her sleeping soundly beside him. Her face although still bruised registered nothing but the most peaceful of expressions. He knew that he was truly blessed to have this woman in his life. Over the past two days he had come too close to losing her more than once. He knew he could never let that happen again "I love you too," he whispered, brushing a few strands of hair back from her forehead. They were still sticky with the cold sweat of the earlier nightmare. He leaned in and placed a lingering kiss on her mouth "More than you'll ever know."

He watched her sleep, not daring to take his eyes off of her in case she vanished into thin air. He didn't dare go to sleep himself; he wanted to be awake in case something happened. The sun rose and peeked in through the hospital window, falling across her face and giving it that angelic glow once more. He thought though that perhaps that glow was always there. She was after all his angel. Olivia Benson, his perfect angel.

She felt the light dancing across her face and was slowly drawn back into consciousness by it. Her eyelids fluttered once, twice. Her vision slowly focused on the objects that surrounded her. The IVs, the monitors, the large window that took up one whole wall of the room with the counter below it with various things scattered haphazardly across it. Finally her gaze met Elliot's "Good morning," she whispered in a voice still thick with sleep.

He smiled at her "Good morning to you too," he gave her a small peck on the cheek "How are you feeling?" he ran a concerned hand gently down the side of her face.

"In a lot of pain," she admitted "but its not so bad," she tried to dismiss his concern.

He smiled to himself when he recognized a hint of the old Olivia in her tone. But the fact still remained that she was in pain "I'll go ask the nurse if you can have some more Tylenol," he told her as he got up from the bed.

"Okay," she agreed reluctantly. She watched him leave the room. As much as she hated to admit it, the nightmare was still in her head and she couldn't help worrying. She told herself that her fears were completely irrational but still the image in her head of Elliot, the blood flowing from the side of his head in a river of red loss. She couldn't get that image to leave her mind.

A nurse entered the room with a glass in one hand and two Tylenol pills in the other "Good morning," she greeted cheerfully, as she handed the pills and glass to Olivia.

Olivia took the pills in her hand first while the nurse set the glass on the table beside her bed. Olivia popped the pills into her mouth and the nurse gave her the glass of water. She swallowed quickly. It was then that she realized that Elliot still hadn't returned "Excuse me," she said to the nurse just as the other woman was turning to leave.

"Yes?" the nurse asked turning back around.

"Have you seen the man who was in here with me?" Olivia asked. She tried not to be nervous. She knew it was foolish to be worrying about him. It was silly she told herself but that didn't stop her from being concerned.

"Oh," the nurse began "He had a call he had to take," with that she turned and left.

Olivia sighed in relief. She had been so worried. Now a new worry crossed her mind; who was on the phone? Was it Cragen? How much of what had happened would Elliot tell him? She wasn't in the mood for a whole bunch of visitors and she knew that's what she would get because once Elliot told Cragen, everyone would know.

She lay in bed a little while longer before she heard the sound of the door opening and quietly closing. She lifted her head ever so slightly to see Elliot. He approached the bed and sat in the chair beside it. He took her good hand into his and just held it, not saying anything for the longest time. He was silent, too silent for Olivia's liking but she knew he wouldn't speak about it unless asked. It was up to her to make the first move but it was up to him to answer or not. She remembered how many times in the past year and a half he had pushed her away. She didn't want him to push her away but she knew that she could pull back just as hard. She opened her mouth "Who was on the phone?"

He looked into her eyes trying to make her believe what he was about to say "No one important," he told her. He knew how she would react if he told her that it was Kathy. He knew how she would react when she figured out that he had asked her to keep the kids this weekend. He knew that she would figure it all out on her own when she realized that it was Saturday. He didn't want to hear her profuse apologies for something that wasn't her fault. He truly could sacrifice this one weekend to stay by her side. She needed him, she didn't have to tell him that she did but he knew it. There would be other weekends with his children. His children would not be alone this weekend; they had Kathy. Olivia had no one.

She could tell instantly that he wasn't being entirely truthful with her "Elliot-" she began.

"No Olivia," he cut her off. He gently stroked the back of her hand "It wasn't important. Don't worry about it."

She shook her head "Was it work?" she asked.

"It was nothing Liv," he told her soothingly as he leaned forward "Just forget it please."

She refused to forget it. Whatever it was it was affecting Elliot on a deeper level than he realized. She wanted to help him but he needed to let her in. If it took her forever to climb the walls of his fortress and rescue him from his inner demons she would. "Who was it Elliot?" she asked again softly in a tone that expressed only love in its softness.

"Olivia," he spoke the words in a half groan "It isn't important."

"If it wasn't important," she countered, her patience with him not wavering even for a millisecond "Than why are you so unsettled?"

He groaned inwardly. This woman knew him too well; maybe that was one of the things he loved so much about her. Even after twenty years of marriage, Kathy didn't seem to know him at all but Olivia could read him like a book. It had been like that since the day they met. "I love you," he told her.

"You're avoiding the question," she informed him. Her voice held only the slightest sternness and tinge of agitation.

He sighed in resignation and gave a sad smile "You are persistent," he told her. He found himself no longer able to meet her gaze and he stared out the window. His eyes scanned the tops of buildings, the reddish brown bricks of Manhattan buildings. Two pidgins flew by, one landed on the ledge outside the window while the other continued to fly past. The pidgin on the ledge held one of its wings at a crooked angle and Elliot knew that the bird was injured. He was just beginning to wonder why its companion had abandoned it when the second pidgin doubled back and alighted on the ledge next to its mate. The second pidgin managed to help the first off the ledge and the two flew clumsily but safely away together.

His focus shifted gradually back to Olivia. He knew he had to tell her the truth; she wouldn't let him get away with anything less than that "It was Kathy," he told her softly.

The realization showed on her face as she remembered what day of the week it was "I'm sorry," she whispered.

He sighed, she had reacted exactly the way he had known she would; apologizing for what she couldn't control and was not responsible for in the first place "Don't be," he told her, knowing that his words meant nothing now. She would blame herself for this now, no matter what he told her.

"Your kids," she looked away as the words fell from her lips.

"Hey," he called softly to her, pleading with her to look at him again "I'll have plenty of time to spend with them some other weekend." He wanted her to hear him; he spoke to her mind body and soul, telling her that it wasn't her fault.

"But Elliot," she still insisted on sacrificing for him "You should go spend the day with your kids. I'll be fine. Go."

He brought her hand to his lips and pressed a gentle kiss to it "Listen to me," he said in a voice that while still gentle, commanded her attention "There is no one I would rather spend the day with today than you."

His words brought a thin film of moisture to her eyes. For once in her life she accepted that someone cared for her and inside, a small part of herself, a part that had been wounded long before the accident began to heal. "Thank you," she whispered as she squeezed his hand gently.


He stepped out of the car, pushing his sun glasses up on his nose as he did so. He walked with his partner to where the homicide detectives stood. The events of the past week weighed heavy on his mind. He had nearly lost two people that he considered family. He wished he had been there with the rest of them at the bus station instead of being outside in case Gitano tried to run, a precaution that in the and had done no good.

"Detective Munch," one of the homicide detectives who knew him called out to him.

John walked up to the man and shook his outstretched hand "Jerry, it's been a while." He turned to Fin "This is Jerry Dobbs," he introduced before turning back to Jerry "This is my partner Detective Tutuola."

"Nice to meet you," Jerry said as he shook Fin's hand.

"Yeah same here," Fin muttered in an attempt to be polite. He really just wanted to know what the case was; he had little time for pleasantries.

"We have to stop meeting like this John," Jerry said half jokingly as the three men ducked under the crime scene tape.

The smell of blood assaulted John's nostrils as he nodded politely at Jerry's statement. They approached the body which was already covered with a white sheet. Techs swarmed the area, dusting for prints and collecting evidence. John noticed Melinda Warner kneeling beside the body.

She looked up as they approached "Detectives," she said somberly "This is just too familiar."

"What do you mean?" John asked as Melinda stood up to face him.

Melinda took a deep breath "The victim's throat was slit with a knife that had a gut hook."

"A gut hook," John and Fin said at the same time in a moment that would have been comical if it weren't for the realization that they had both come to. Gitano had used a knife with a gut hook.

"We also found this," a tech handed Fin a plastic evidence bag. Inside the bag was a business card. Fin could read the print on the card easily in the bright morning light 'Detective Elliot Stabler'.

"Do we have an ID on the vic?" John asked the group of people who stood around him.

"Glen Portney," a tech holding an evidence bag that contained a wallet answered.

The name resonated in Fin's head and he tried to remember where he had heard it before "Can I see the body?" he asked Melinda. She obligingly pulled back the sheet to reveal the face of the dead man and instantly Fin was overcome with panic "Was there any sign of a little girl?!" he shouted to the officers in the area. When everyone only answered his question with matching looks of puzzlement he began to make his own inspection of the area.

John followed his partner, knowing full well that Glen Portney was Ryan and Rebecca Clifford's biological father and that Rebecca was supposedly in his custody as of yesterday. That little girl had been through hell already, John shuttered to think what could have happened.

A small whimper from behind a dumpster caught John's ear as he passed by. He bent down and saw a small figure huddled against the wall, knees hugged against chest and shoulders shaking. "Rebecca," he called softly as he reached a hand towards her. The child looked up at John with frightened eyes but she inched closer to him anyway. He carefully picked her up and held her close to him "Its alright sweetie," he told her as he walked back to where the others stood.

For Rebecca Clifford, this was the second time in the past few days that a detective had told her that it was 'gonna be okay' and the little girl didn't believe it anymore.


"The gut hook was a detail we held back from the press," Captain Donald Cragen pinned photos of the crime scene on the evidence board in the SVU squad room "This person has to have intimate knowledge of the way Gitano operated."

"I'll look through the taped sessions again," George Huang appeared beside the detectives and spoke up "But I don't think it'll tell us anything."

"What about his shrink," John mused aloud "Dr. Greenfield, would she know of anyone close to Gitano?"

"When we spoke," George began "She didn't mention anything. Besides, Gitano was such a devious liar that we may never know if we go on what he's said alone."

"That's just great," Cragen slammed his hand down on the nearest flat surface "We have a traumatized little girl and now another mad man on the loose and who knows what kind of damage this one will do," Cragen had come too close to loosing two very good detectives, too people he considered family. If this associate of Gitano's had gone after Portney who knew what he was up to. "Where's Rebecca now?" he asked.

"Upstairs," George answered "She's sleeping now. I'm gonna try and talk to her when she wakes up."

"Why would he kill Portney?" Fin asked.

Realization struck George "Portney wasn't the target, Rebecca was."

"What are you trying to say?" Fin asked, confused.

"He's finishing what Gitano started," George explained. He suddenly realized something "Oh my God," he ran back to his office without a word of explanation.

"What was that about?" Fin asked.

"Who knows with him?" John said turning to the evidence board "Where should we start?"

"You two interview the people who live in the neighborhood where Portney's body was found," Cragen told them decisively. He turned towards his office but turned back just as quickly "Has anyone heard anything from Elliot or Olivia today?"


"Oh not now," Elliot's cell phone interrupted the peaceful silence that had developed between the two of them. He glanced at the caller ID and saw that it was Huang. He groaned, remembering that he had neglected to tell George that Olivia was alright. He flipped the phone open as Olivia listened with interest from the bed "Stabler," he answered.

"Elliot," George sounded out of breath and frantic "Is Olivia with you?"

"Yes she is," Elliot answered and began to explain "She was in a car accident and we're at the hospital-" he would have said more but George interrupted him.

"What kind of accident?"

"A collision with a UPS truck," Elliot told him. His voice dropped to a whisper in an effort to keep Olivia from hearing what he had to say next and he turned burring his face in his jacket in as he stood up and started to walk out of the room.

"Elliot," she called after him when she saw him leaving. She had a right to hear what ever he had to say about the accident.

Elliot ignored her and stepped into the hall outside Olivia's hospital room "They're still looking for the driver. He's charged with leaving the scene of an accident."

"Glen Portney's dead," George blurted out the reason for his call without even easing into the subject.

"What?!" Elliot nearly dropped his phone. He finally managed to compose himself enough to ask "Where's Rebecca?"

"She's at the station house; she's fine." George began "It's a long story but it's likely that you and Olivia are in danger."


Dr. Melinda Warner finished the autopsy of Glen Portney's body. There was no question that the same knife that had been used in the Clifford murders was the one used to slit Portney's throat or at least the knife was of the same size and weight. That would have to be the answer; there was no way it could be the exact same knife. Gitano's knife was still with his personal effects waiting to be claimed by next of kin which hadn't been located as of yet.

She took off her gloves and washed her hands, all the time unable to get rid of the notion that tugged at the back of her mind. She walked to the room where the personal effects were stored and opened the appropriate drawer. Taking the corresponding list from the clipboard that sat on the desk in the middle of the room she checked off the items in her head. She came up one item short. Quickly she ran to the phone and called Captain Cragen.

"Special Victims Unit," the captain's voice came over the other end of the phone.

"Don it's Melinda," she began, her voice shaking slightly "We have a problem.

Sign up to rate and review this story