DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and all characters are property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: AU - 'Ghost' does not happen.

By ohmanhattan


Chapter One: Our Mrs. Green

The door was ajar. Given her professor's constant punctuality, after failing to show up to her class, Camille had tried calling her twice. The twenty-five year old teaching assistant had began to worry and had arrived at her boss' apartment. She entered hesitantly but saw nothing out of order.

Her voice wavered as it echoed through the living room. "Miss Green, hello? Your students are waiting and you know how much they enjoy -- " she trailed off as she found the body. "Oh my God," Camille whimpered, reaching for the phone.

Across town, The Twelve O'Clock Diner was abuzz with customers. It had been Olivia's choice to come here for hamburgers, her cast-iron stomach able to withstand even the greasiest spoon. She and Elliot had just put in an order, shouting over the cacophony of dishes clattering and various bits of conversation, when the phone rang.

"I was about to ask, why don't we do this more often? I got my answer," Elliot remarked as he called the waitress over to cancel their order.

Olivia listened to the details from the station as they climbed into the Sedan. "Upper East Side. Rape homicide," she informed him.

As Elliot drove, Olivia stifled a yawn. "Didn't get any sleep?" Elliot asked.

Olivia drank the last of her coffee as she stared out the window. It had been nearly a year since Alex had left, and still Olivia found herself occasionally haunted with nightmares that she couldn't fathom.

Last night had brought the usual dark images, leaving her to stare at the clock blindly. She'd only shared this with Elliot, knowing full well that if Cragen knew of the nightmares, she'd be forced to undergo a psych evaluation.

"If sleep is the hour between now and last night, then yes, I got sleep. Not enough though," she said.

"It never is," Elliot replied as they arrived. He flashed his badge at a NYPD cop on the sidewalk. "Detectives Stabler and Benson," he informed the officer who nodded at them both.

"Charlie Baxter," he replied. He led them several flights up to the crime scene. "Vic's Lucille Green, an English professor at City. When she didn't show up for her morning lecture, her teaching assistant came looking. She's pretty shaken up," he added, gesturing at Camille.

As Olivia followed Charlie, Elliot introduced himself to Camille and she recounted how she found the body.

"Ms. Green was supposed to be covering Sylvia Plath this morning. It's a favorite in her 'Passion and Pathos in Poetry' class and she's always on time. Ten am on the dot. It's her most anticipated lecture among the students and when she didn't show up, I called her but there was no answer. Then I found her and she was just lying there covered with blood..." Camille sobbed.

Elliot pulled out a notepad and tried to calm her down. "We'll get whoever did this, don't worry. Now, are there any students who had a grudge against Mrs. Green?"

Camille wondered how many times Elliot had repeated that reassurance and whether it actually worked. "No, I can't think of anybody. Except Marcos Williams," she replied. "I saw him the other day outside her room."

"Is that out of the ordinary for Marcos?" Elliot asked, jotting all the information down. Camille frowned.

"No. Not really..except that day he was really angry. He nearly punched a hole in the wall," she offered. Olivia came out of the bedroom and called Elliot over.

"Elliot, come take a look at this."

Lucille Green was lying sprawled on the bed, nude. Brain matter soaked the purple wallpaper coating it with little gray bits of tissue. Blood had seeped on the bed's once-flowered sheets, leaving spots of red among the pink and white roses.

Warner was already on the scene and was just wrapping up the examination of the victim. "She's positive for fluids and we found a few hair samples," she said, displaying the evidence bag.

"Dumb bastard left his calling card," Elliot remarked. "Let's hope he's in the system."

"No sign of the weapon though. It was a blunt object, you can tell from the spatter pattern. All the damage was done to the back of the head at an angle, as if she were laying down. I'd say about three blows did her in and she's been dead about four hours," the ME offered.

Olivia noticed a needle laying on the nightstand and bagged it for evidence. "No tracks on the vic?" she asked, lifting the arm. It was clean. "So maybe, it's the perp's. Junkie breaks in, he surprises her, rapes her, grabs something handy to hit her with. Accidentally leaves his needle behind. Careless, but he doesn't notice because he's high."

Warner shrugged. "Whoever did it, they didn't want her to live. This one was personal. I'll get these to the labs."

Olivia looked around the room for any evidence and stopped at the book case. "Elliot," she said, pointing at the rows of books. "There's got to be 5 copies of each Robert Green novel here. Look and Seduction, Killing Rachel, Time of Death. In every language."

Elliot opened a copy of Time of Death to the author page. "Robert Green lives in New York with his wife, Lucille," he read out loud. "I never pegged you for a murder-mystery reader, Liv. Seems like the real thing would be enough," he commented as they bagged the books for evidence.

"Alex used to read them," Olivia replied, instantly regretting the mention of the ADA to Elliot. She pulled a copy of Look and Seduction off the shelf and opened it to the front.

The book's inscription read: 'To my darling Lucille.' She turned to look at the victim again and shook her head. "Looks like Robert Green just moved on to True Crime."

To Be Continued

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