"It's like being caught in a riptide. No matter how hard you seem to fight it, it just keeps dragging you under. In the end I think I just gave up. I was lucky that home out in the big blue sea was safer than home had ever been on the shore."

Admin Note:

Here with a new fic! Not gonna be a massive one, just wrote out my feelings and we'll see where it heads.

Trigger warning: Suicide, self harm, rape.

Please reach out if you are struggling.

This chapter is pretty long, whoops!

Disclaimer: I do not own SVU, or any of its characters nor am I making a profit from this work.

The city almost looked pretty from up on the roof ledge I was standing on and I breathed in the beauty from where I stood. It gave me the undeniable feeling that this was it. All it was ever going to be anyway.

The view was deceiving and I knew the streets of New York weren't a pretty place, but for a moment I tried to let myself believe that they were.

I moved to sit with my back against the waist high barrier and shut my eyes. I didn't want to see the sunrise and the towering skyscrapers. As when I saw them all I could think about was the sad way the sun sunk at night and the time that my brother had pushed me down the stairs in our apartment complex.

Where there was beauty, I knew all too well that there was ugly and everything seemed so disgustingly tainted in a way that ruined it all.

Still there with my eyes closed, I heard the footsteps before I saw the person approaching and I tried ignoring them at first. After all, maybe they had bothered to climb all the flights of stairs for the same reason I had.

The view was something, but the pain of life was more. It was overbearing in a suffocating type of way.

It turned out that they wanted to tell me how good life was. I opened my eyes at one point to see a casually dressed, middle aged women. She looked like she was a mother. Had a family. People to come home to each night that loved her, and that loved her even when she wasn't there. I studied the laugh lines around her mouth as she spoke, letting the words wash over me.

I didn't know who they were, or why they'd come all the way up here and I didn't care. They didn't seem to get it, why I didn't respond and when I showed no signs of moving or even listening to their words they retreated back to the door where I saw them on their phone, talking rapidly and casting worried looks in my direction.

I stood when they weren't looking and turned back to face the view. I rested one foot on the barrier in a casual way. Almost being tempted to climb over and stand on the small space behind it. The weather was cool, despite the rising sun and I tried not to shiver as I watched a police car pulled up down below, followed by a dark blue car. I couldn't really see the people from up here but I knew they were here for me and I also knew that they could see me from where they stood.

The fire truck hadn't shown up with the emergency air bag I'd seen too many of on TV. I didn't matter that much. There wasn't even an ambulance that I could see.

I wasn't complaining. I was up here to die, not to be saved.

I was annoyed. The woman was still standing at the door silently and it was awkward. Maybe she thought I was selfish. Maybe she was thinking about how hard it would be if she lost one of her own children this way. To suicide.

It was harsh. But it was also reality.

She had absolutely no idea.

I flinched as I heard the door open softly, and whispered voices spoke in the background. Despite wanting to see who was there, I ignored them and peered over the edge again.

It was a long way down, but I'd never been scared of heights.

Knowing it would be quick was what had brought me up here, though the longer I thought about it the more I realised that the drop was where people felt the regret. Perhaps it was stupid. I'd read things about people wishing they hadn't jumped only it was too late, but how did anyone really know that? I was brought out of my 'late night' thoughts as I liked to call them by a male voice and that made me flinch even more, and the foot I was resting on the barrier slipped back onto the roof.

I turned slowly, placing one hand behind me on the concrete as if to show I meant business. That their words were my last hope. Instantly I felt bad, the man in front of me was young and the empathy he perhaps felt for me radiated from him. It made me feel incredibly guilty and I tried to shake it. It wasn't supposed to be this way. I was supposed to come up here, look at the view one more time and then take the plunge.

It was no longer something I considered a view anyway. It was just what it was, looming structures and loud noises.

Really, I had never been a kid to dive straight into a cold pool and get it over with. I was always the one who lingered at the steps, dipping one foot in at a time. Why I thought I could do this, I would never know. Desperate times called for desperate measures I guessed. Maybe I was in over my head. As always, and nothing was ever for certain.

He stood quietly and I kept my eyes low, on his shoes. They were squeaky clean and I thought that maybe he was the new kid, sent up here for the pathetic girl leering over the edge.

I wasn't worth the time of any one important. He didn't know what to say, that much was obvious and I didn't know if I wanted to give him the luxury of speaking first.

There was room for one more favour.

"If you're here to preach some crap about how good life is, you can piss off right now."

I didn't mean for it to sound so rude, but the pained expression on his face diminished slightly. Perhaps he was just glad I'd said something first.

"How about you come away from the edge and we talk about it somewhere else?" He chose his words carefully and I gave a shrug.

"Not much point." It was dismissive. I'd also always been good at conversation enders. I wasn't much of a people person.

"Tell me your name?" He asked taking a different angle and I figured he was trying to distract me. He cast an eye at my hand, still gripping the barrier before glancing back at me.

I shrugged again and leant against the barrier. He took a step forward. There was a small crowd of people gathered at the bottom and again I felt bad for the young man in front of me. If I jumped he would have to do a walk of shame through them.

There I was again, feeling bad but I couldn't help it. It was better than feeling nothing.

If I'd been feeling nothing I wouldn't be humouring him. I'd already be dead.

I sniggered at my thoughts and must have caught him off guard.

"My name doesn't matter."

"What does matter then?" He asked, obviously gaining a little confidence. I bet whoever sent him up here was regretting it. He wasn't so good at the whole 'talking down' thing.

"Nothing I suppose." I spoke softly. It was funny, because everything mattered.

He hadn't told me his name either and I raised an eyebrow. "And what's your name?" I wondered aloud. I shouldn't care, but apparently I did.

He gave a small smile that I didn't return. I just wanted him to leave. I wanted everyone to just go away.

"Detective Carisi." He introduced and I gave a nod. I didn't care, but me asking must have given him the idea that I did.

Not wanting to break his heart I let down my guard a little. "My name is Charlotte."

"Pretty." He mused and I shrugged. I was doing a lot of that.

"My name, or the view?" I quipped. Making an effort to look at the still rising sun.

"Both." I rolled my eyes and after a moment of silence I spoke again.

"You can go if you want. I mean, it's not your fault if I jump, right?"

He paled, but didn't show any other signs of panic. The casual way I said it would scare anyone.

"Just talk to me. I can help you."

I shook my head. Nobody could help me.

"Please?" He tried and this time I shrugged. Talking would just prolong the inevitable.

I could tell him all about how my mother had moved south and how my brother liked to do more than just pick on me. How I had no friends, and the way I spent most mornings taking empty beer bottles to the bin for my father. It was a pretty hopeless situation and I'd spent years just dealing with it. I had my ways and that seemed to get me through until this year.

Now things were different. I was older and so was my brother.

I blinked, hard. Trying to rid the swarming memories.

"What's the point?" I said dully and he inched forward.

"There may not be a point to any of this right now. I get you're in a tough spot, but we can help you out of it."

It would have been a moving sentence. "we?" I spoke sharply and he looked taken aback.

Now I wanted to leave. This was hopeless. I'd taken too long and maybe I didn't have the nerve. If I really wanted to die right now, I would just jump.

But something seemed to be stopping me.

"My team." He said slowly and I gave a half nod.

"I just don't want to do it anymore." I whispered.

"Do what?" He tested, and I paused to lick my chapped lips.

I was so cold. I knew the sun had risen just enough to hit him in the eyes but he kept his focus on me.

"Deal with any of it." Everything I said just took us in circles.

"Come away from the edge. We can talk about it."

"You'll judge me." My words were harsh, but they were the truth. No one could listen to the story of a girl being raped by her own brother with a straight face. It was sick. I was sick.

"You're probably right." He started truthfully, and I liked that. "But at least I can help you then." He continued and I considered it.

It was true. He couldn't help me if I didn't tell him, but the mere thought of doing that made me feel ill.

I knew that there were other ways to kill yourself. More private ways. I could lock myself in a bathroom and slit my wrists if I wanted. Maybe talking about it would help, and even if it didn't, I still had a chance.

He seemed to know what I was thinking and took it as an encouragement to keep talking. "I mean I may not know you, but I can see you're a pretty special kid. Let me help you."

Lame. That was what my mother had called me before walking out... A "special kid." I didn't feel so special.

"Maybe." I said quietly. "I don't want to talk to anyone else." I blurted out. They would all look at me with prying eyes and an expression of pity. I couldn't think of anything worse.

"That's okay."

I took a step forward away from the barrier, and turned my back on him. Maybe one day I would look at the rising sun and see it as a sign of hope. But not yet.

As soon as I moved away from the edge I felt shaken, like I'd made a huge mistake. My head was heavy and I felt like throwing up.

You're a coward. You're weak. You're making a mistake.

I told myself this over and over but I didn't cry. Not once. I let myself be led back down the stairs. We had reached the first floor when I suddenly stopped in my tracks. I didn't want to see everyone and I didn't want everyone to see me.

It was too late to run and jump so I simply swallowed my pride and kept my eyes downcast.

People swarmed around us as soon as we got outside and I couldn't breathe.

The dark blue car I had watched pull up was our destination and without looking at anyone, we finally got there.

He opened the back door for me and I clambered in, all too glad to be out of everyones view. When he got in the passenger seat, I realised someone else was going to be driving and the small inkling of hope diminished.

I didn't speak, the whole time and spent the car ride with my nails digging into my palms. I didn't look to see if they drew blood. I hoped they did.

The squad room they were set up in seemed homely. Busy, but with a sense of order, everyone in their own place. That was nice.

We sat in a side room with the door closed, but I was immediately aware of the one sided mirror on one wall. People were watching, listening.

"Before I start…" I began as he pulled up another chair, "I'm not looking to press charges or have you start arresting people. I'm just getting this off my chest… Okay?" Pausing, I waited for his answer. What I was about to tell wasn't going to be easy and I hoped he knew that.

An uneasy expression on his face he gave a half nod. "We'll see." He spoke softly, obviously trying not to hurt my feelings. I chewed on the inside of my cheek, contemplating my options. Either way, I was screwed. I would talk, but not too quickly. That seemed like a simple plan.

"Okay, so I was 12 when my mom left. My dad was cheating on her so she moved out during the night to go somewhere south. I don't really know where, because we never heard from her again. I mean dad's a tool really. He drinks, has working girls over and hardly works himself. As bad as he is, my brother's 10 times worse. He learnt from the best I suppose." I gave a soft laugh. It wasn't funny, but maybe in that moment as I talked it over it was in a sick kind of way.

"When we were kids, he always had the upper hand over me. I mean, he was bigger and older but what 12 year old me thought was hard, was nothing compared to what came about the year I turned 15."

He offered a sympathetic smile and I trailed off as the memory of my 15th birthday sprang to mind.

There were no presents, not even a poorly sung version of "happy birthday". I didn't expect anything obviously, but the dull sense of hope I'd held onto the night before still meant I was left, heartbroken.

I hadn't asked for anything and the one thing I wanted more than anything was a day in peace. School was the same as every other day, with no one casting me a second glance. Only my English teacher wished me a happy birthday when I was the first to hand in our assigned essay.

No one had been home when I got there until nearly 9.00pm and I had spent the entire time simply sitting on my bed, in tears.

It seemed like such a big deal, having no one say happy birthday and really, really mean it.

"Charlotte." A soft voice harshly broke through my thoughts and I flinched, my eyes slightly hazy as they refocused on the table in front of me.

"Right. I was home alone and was planning on sneaking out, running away, whatever you want to call it and when I finally got the courage to get out, my brother came home. He'd just lost a football match and he was so, so mad. I thought he'd just hit me and that would be that, but he did so much more. I didn't have a chance, he just shoved me backward into my room and kicked the door shut."

I took a breath. "He doesn't hit me anymore. I bruise too easily. He's not hurting me if he can't see the damage." I trailed off and after sitting in silence for a few minutes I finally looked up to catch any sign of a reaction.

When I was expecting disgust, I was met with sadness. I didn't have a clue how long he'd been on the job but it was obvious this detective was not hardened to this kind of shit.

"That's pretty much it." I prompted and it was his turn to flinch.

"You said you didn't want to press charges but he shouldn't get away with it you know?" He had a hopeful expression on his face.

"And then what? I get kicked out of home and go live on the streets." I snapped, almost rudely. I quickly gave an apologetic shrug, but what could I say? It was the truth. I had no where to go if I wasn't where I was.

Nobody would want a nearly 17 year old foster kid anyway, who was I kidding?

I wasn't some chubby cheeked toddler with bright blue eyes and a bad start. I was just broken. I should have jumped. Dammit.

"There are shelters, you could go to that could help you get on your feet. You could finish school, go to college and never look back you know?" He suggested and I gave a kind smile. It was a nice offer and sounded okay, but I knew that it would fall apart quickly. There would be a moment of calm and then everything would break and throw me back off my feet.

"I don't know…" I managed and dug my nails into my palm again.

"You deserve so much more." He tried. He really was doing his best.

"These shelters – What are they like? Would I not go into foster care? I thought that's what happened."

Maybe he didn't know, because he didn't answer straight away.

"Child protection services would start an investigation if you were to go into foster care. A shelter would give you more of a fresh start, I suppose."

I had no idea what to do. How was I meant to decide?

"What do you suggest?" I asked quietly.

"Well because of where we found you... I think you should let us take you into the hospital –"

A burning feeling of anger crossed me and I stood quickly, knocking my chair to the ground. I flinched and felt hot tears press behind my eyelids.

Everything was a mess.

A big fucking mess.

I should have jumped.

"Dammit." I muttered to myself.

"Charlotte." He spoke calmly, but I hardly noticed him.

"We just want to do what's best for you." He said slowly.

"Well it's not, I told you. It'll make things worse, just leave me alone."

I backed away from the table, almost tripping over the chair I'd knocked over.

Not noticing anything else he was trying to say in an effort to calm me, I fumbled with the door handle and as soon as I got it open I fled, I ran and when the elevator doors didn't open I made it to the stairs.

The cold air of outside was welcoming and I accepted it with open arms.

I heard someone call my name as I hurried down the sidewalk.

Little did I know, I'd made the worst decision of my life.

I should have fucking jumped.


That probably made no sense, so apologies for that!

Next chapter will be up in a few days.

I'll base it of the response I get from this.

No idea if ya'll like this, but drop a review either way.