Olivia Benson is just a rookie. She's been at SVU a year and is in a steady yet secret relationship with her hot partner. Her whole world is turned upside down when news on her one year anniversary shakes her up. Does she accept it or does she fight it and what does she do when she realises she's getting everything she ever prayed for?
DISCLAIMER: I don't own. I just use and and sometimes abuse the characters and story lines belonging to Dick Wolf
A/N: Kathy and Maureen exist, Kathy and Elliot never married. Maureen is seven years old.
Donald Cragen was a strong man. Having suffered with alcoholism after he lost his wife and managing to overcome the disease with the help of AA he'd managed to become the Captain of the toughest crime unit in New York. He was also a proud man. Proud of the four lead Detectives who currently worked for him. As standard, Special Victims Unit Detectives didn't last more than two years however he had two Detectives who had already beaten that record and two who were definitely heading in that direction.
One Detective in particular had caught his attention one year ago when they'd graduated from the police academy. Don Cragen remembered the phone call like it was yesterday.
"Cragen." He snapped into the phone, it had been a particularly long day and he wasn't in the mood for a new case.
Captain Donald Cragen Manhattan SVU? An unfamiliar voice asked him in such an authorative manner Don found himself adjusting upright in his seat though the person on the other side of the phone couldn't see him.
"Yes, I'm Don Cragen." Don replied his voice automatically becoming official.
I am Captain Gavin Rolland, the current senior administrator at New York Police Academy.
Don Cragen frowned, he hadn't heard from anyone at the police academy in a long time and he wondered what this unique situation was that required his attention.
As I'm sure you know tomorrow will be the graduation ceremony for new Detectives who have all applied for different units we have one Detective in particular who is insisting that they be allowed to volunteer for Manhattan SVU even though normally you take on more senior Detectives we were wondering if you'd be able to give this young newbie a chance.
Rolling his eyes Don Cragen thought of his current team. He already had three Detectives, one had quit on him earlier that morning so he was going to be looking for a new one.
"Does this applicant have a reference?" Don asked, he wasn't going to be saddled with a newbie who didn't know their stuff.
Yes of course. I wouldn't be calling you if I didn't think this Officer had a chance of making it as a Detective in your squad. The only thing I can really tell you is that I am definitely giving a glowing reference to this young officer.
"Do I even get to know his name?" Don asked impatiently, he still wasn't sure but SVU was a volunteer squad, beggars couldn't be choosers.
Her, Captain Cragen and her name is Olivia Benson.
Don Cragen had almost dropped the phone at hearing the name. She had become a cop? She wanted to work in Manhattan SVU? This was too much information to handle all at once but he knew that the man on the other side of the phone needed an answer.
"I guess I'll be seeing you tomorrow." Don said before hanging up the phone, he needed to get his blues ready because tomorrow he would be presenting a Detective Shield and one six pins to a rookie and he hoped she was going to be worth it.
He gazed at Olivia Benson through the blinds of his office. She was hard at work with her partner who had never kept a partner this long before and he knew he was glad to have given her a chance.
The day Olivia Benson received her gold shield was the day Don Cragen had asked her why she wanted to work SVU as a rookie. She'd opened up quite easily to the years of abuse by her alcoholic mother and her later finding out that her father was a rapist and Don knew that how she had grown up was everything that had influenced this young woman to want to join the highest stressed unit known to cops everywhere. To top it all of it was all, almost, a lie.
As he watched her grow and advance over the year he knew that she was tougher than anyone gave her credit for when she first joined SVU. She was tough, she was emotional, she was sensitive, companionate and full of empathy, the one thing the other female who once worked SVU didn't have. He had known that day when he talked to her that he'd made the right decision in allowing her to come straight into SVU however the secret he harboured about her identity killed him and everyday it became harder and harder not to tell her.
Today was her one year anniversary. She'd been at SVU exactly a year and he could see that she was still as vibrant about her work as she had been that day she introduced her to Elliot Stabler the young hot head who couldn't keep a partner more than five minutes.
He'd taken to Olivia like a duck to water and Cragen had known straight away that he would be watching him like a hawk to make sure no advances were made towards the younger rookie, so far had been so good, if something was going on between the two he hadn't been able to tell at all.
A knock on his office door brought his attention back to the real world. He could see her by the door and he knew she was coming because he had asked her to step into his office before she clocked off because there was something that he needed to tell her.
"Come in." He called and the young Olivia Benson walked with a gentle smile on her face. "Take a seat." He said nodding to the chairs in front of his desk.
Her smile vanished as soon as the words left his mouth. The only time he ever asked his detectives to take a seat was when they were in trouble or something serious was going on. Olivia was instantly wondering if she had done something. Nine times out of ten she was called into the office to get Elliot out of trouble because as well as she had gotten to know him over the past year she hadn't quite figured out how to calm his temper before he kicked off, afterwards though she was a damn genius and could always make him calm before Cragen bit into him.
"Olivia." Cragen said taking his own seat.
The softness in his voice and the gentleness on his features made Olivia wonder if something bigger was wrong. She thought of her Mother, wondered if she was dead yet, probably drank herself into oblivion or jumped off Brooklyn bridge and that's why he had called her in however the look in his eye wasn't something that resembled sympathy so she decided it probably wasn't the untimely death of her mother, she also knew if that were the case he wouldn't have made her wait till the end of the day and have her tell her co-workers that she'd meet them at O'Malley's where they were celebrating her one year anniversary as Elliot Stabler's partner, his longest since he'd left homicide for SVU.
"What's going on Cap?" She asked her voice visibly nervous to herself and her superior.
"There's something that I need to tell you Olivia that I should have told you a year ago." Cragen said looking directly into her deep brown eyes, always so warm and caring that at the moment it sent shivers down his spine.
"A year ago? Cap that was the day I…"
"I know." He said his hand up stopping her in her tracks. "I know that it was the day you graduated the academy, the day I brought you here and introduced you to your partner, however Olivia this is something that I found difficult to tell you and something I'm sure you're going to find difficult to accept so I've been spending the past year trying to figure out exactly how to tell you."
He was rambling. He knew he was rambling but that didn't stop him and the only prominent thought in his head was that he badly needed a drink. Fuck twenty five years of sobriety, he needed a drink more than anything in the world, it would give him that edge he needed, that Dutch courage.
"Olivia." Cragen said looking at her once again. "Did I ever tell you why I stopped drinking?" Cragen asked.
"No." Olivia replied shaking her head, he'd told her why he started, he told her that exactly a year ago when she had told him about her parentage, she remembered the exact words he had told her too.
We all have something in our pasts who have made us who we are in the present, the good, the bad and the ugly.
She'd carried those words with her every day since she'd become and SVU Detective, he didn't know that of course but she had. They had been very valuable words.
"I stop drinking twenty five years ago." Don Cragen said and Olivia nodded slowly to show she was listening. "Proudest thing I ever did."
"I'm sure." Olivia said knowing he'd understand she was thinking of her drunk of a Mom.
"When I lost my wife Olivia I buried myself in a bottle, it killed me but under the influence of alcohol I fell in love again, or at least I thought I did. I was a drunk and this woman… this beautiful kind hearted young woman let me into her life and tried in vain to save me. I was more sober during that time than I had been since the death of my wife but nowhere near as sober as I am now, I drank a lot less because of her." Cragen had tears in his eyes and Olivia wanted nothing more than to reach over and take his hand but she knew it was inappropriate given that he was her commanding officer and not her friend, though, she did sense there was a reason he was telling her this story.
"What happened to her?" Olivia asked.
"We'll get to that in a minute." Don chuckled at how eager Olivia was to hear the story, he could see all the emotions flickering through her face even if they were only there for a minute second. "One night she comes home to me and she says. 'Donald, I'm pregnant'. It was the happiest moment of my entire life, I was being given a second chance at having a family. So that night, I held her in my arms in our bed and I told her that I needed to get sober and I was going to book myself into rehab and then once I was strong enough I'd be back and continue through AA meetings. She thought it was a splendid idea at first and then the next day she helped me pack and drove me to the rehab centre and kissed me goodbye." Don wiped a tear from his cheek and Olivia's heart ached for him, she could see that telling her this was hurting but she knew that there was a reason for him telling her.
"So you got sober." Olivia said softly.
"I did. I went back home six months later and knocked on the door a new man. There she was, a seven month baby bump and that's when she told me… that's when she told me the baby wasn't mine." Don sniffed. "I asked her what did she mean it wasn't mine, was she unfaithful? No. She'd been raped and the baby was a product of that rape. She admitted she was terrified and I told her it didn't matter, that I loved her and her child and I'd always be there for them but then she told me she didn't want to be with me anymore, that she was sorry but she told me to move on with my life and forget about her.
I tried in vain to fight for her. Weeks and weeks passed and she still wouldn't budge and on the day that the baby was born she told me that if she ever saw me near her or her daughter again that she would file for a restraining order and make a complaint of harassment and being a cop I didn't need that in my jacket.
So I left her be. I didn't go anywhere near her or her daughter until … until her daughter came to me." Don sighed heavily and wiped another tear from his cheek.
"Cap?" Olivia asked.
Don shook his head and went into his drawer. He knew he had to tell her himself in words but he couldn't so he handed the envelope he'd pulled out over to Olivia who was surprised to see her name scrawled on the front.
"Open it." He told her as he pulled out the vodka bottle from his desk and poured Olivia a glass knowing she would need it, and if she didn't, then he would.
Olivia's hands shook while she opened the letter. She wasn't sure why but she was nervous and afraid of seeing what it said inside.
The first thing she saw was the ME's office emblem at the top. That alone was enough to make her mind go mad but she said nothing and kept her features completely stone cold while she read on.
Based on the DNA Analysis, the alleged father CAPTAIN DON CRAGEN shares genetic markers with the child OLIVIA BENSON. The probability when combined with the Mother's DNA and Genetic Markers are shown below.
Probability Percentage: 99.4679
Olivia didn't bother to look at all the scientific mumbo jumbo below. She'd read all she needed to and her shaking hands and stone face still gave that away to a terrified Don Cragen.
"No." Olivia said shaking her head and closing her eyes. "No, no, no, no this is not possible." She placed the letter on the table. "Please tell me I read that wrong."
Don Cragen managed not to be insulted, he knew Olivia was in complete shock at what she had just read.
"No you didn't." Don said handing the shot of vodka to Olivia and watched her knock it straight back.
"It's not possible, my Father… he raped my Mom…" Olivia's voice quivered.
"No Olivia." Don said. "A monster raped your Mom. But your father… I'm your Father." He said it confidently.
Olivia shook her head. She wasn't hearing this, not now, not after everything she'd been through to get to the place she was now. Her whole world had just been turned upside down.
"You've known for a year?" Olivia asked and he nodded softly, he hoped she was going to accept this but he understood her reluctance. "How?"
"How did you know to test my DNA, how did you get my DNA, how did you get my mom's DNA?" She asked the questions straight after each other.
"The second I received the phone call telling me about you… when your Captain at the academy gave me your name I knew that you were Serena's daughter." Cragen began softly and Olivia paid rapt attention wanting to know everything. "When you gave your DNA to be ran through the system to make sure you had no aliases I took the second swab and asked Melinda Warner to run it against a swab of my DNA and we already had your Mom's on file from a drunken driving charge a few years before. Melinda ran the test and delivered me those results. Other than me and now you she is the only person who knows."
Olivia stood up and shook her head. She didn't want to hear anymore.
"I'm sorry." She said before rushing out the office.
"Me too." Don said to the empty room, the only thing that he could hope was that Olivia would accept it, he wanted to be a part of his daughter's life, he'd already missed twenty four years and had no plans on missing anymore, the only hope he had was that as she'd grabbed the result when she rushed out that she would read it over and over again and eventually it would sink in.
There was one thing he had to do though but it would have to wait until Olivia gave him the go ahead, because she may want the pleasure of seeing Serena about this herself.