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Better Late Than Never

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"What do we have?"

"Female victim... approximately fourteen to fifteen, I'd guess. She was banged up pretty badly. Someone really did a number on her." A young uniformed officer stated.

"I assume she was raped since we were called?"

The officer nodded.

"Where is she? We need to get a statement?" Olivia asked glancing around.

"I think your statement might have to wait. She was taken up to surgery a few minutes ago."

"Damn. Did someone get a rape kit?" Elliot asked.

"Yeah. The head nurse said that the doctor on call was performing it."

"Good. We'll need the evidence."

"I was going to wait for the kit.... you know... but since you guys are here...." The officer trailed off hoping that he would be able to leave.

"We can take it from here. We'll be in touch." Elliot stated firmly.

Olivia glanced down at her watch and sighed. She knew the surgery would take a few hours at least.

"One of us should be here when the vic wakes up. I'll wait for the rape kit and have Munch or Fin come take it to the lab. It's going to be a while. Why don't you go home and see your kids. I'll give you a call as soon as I hear something."

"You sure?" Elliot asked hesitantly. He wanted to go home, but felt bad leaving his partner there for the long wait.

"Yeah. It's not like I have any pressing engagements to get to." She joked. "Go on. Say hi to Kathy and the kids for me."

"Alright. Thanks, Liv."

Olivia gave him a nod as he turned to leave. She walked over to the small waiting area and took a seat. She grabbed an old copy of People magazine and started reading. She knew it was going to be a long night.


Four hours later...

Nearly brain dead from reading mind numbing magazine after magazine, Olivia tossed the latest edition of National Geographic back on the small table and ventured out to get what seemed like her tenth cup of coffee. She stopped by the nurse's station on her way to check up on the status of the victim.

"Excuse me." She lifted her badge. "Do you have any information on the victim that was brought in earlier?"

"Sorry. I really can't give you any information if you're not family...and we haven't been able to reach them yet." The nurse said not even bothering to look up.

Already on edge from too much bad coffee and the usual lack of sleep, Olivia bristled against the attitude. "I'm not asking for a complete disclosure of her medical history. I'm just asking if she made it through surgery. As the officer assigned to her case, I will need to take her statement."

"Listen Officer...."

"Detective" Olivia quickly corrected.

The nurse rolled her eyes. "Detective... if you haven't noticed, we are really busy around here and..."

And we will be glad to offer any assistance you need to find the person who hurt that matter how busy we are." A smooth accented voice said from behind Olivia.

Olivia glanced over her shoulder and saw a woman approaching wearing a pair of dark green scrubs. "Isn't that what you were about to say, Nurse Cannon?"

The nurse seemed flustered. "Umm... of course, doctor."

"Good. You could start by locating the patient's file. I'll inform..." She glanced in Olivia's direction and waited for a name.

"Uh... Detective Benson."

"I'll inform Detective Benson of any other information she needs."

Of course, doctor. I'll be right back with that file."

Olivia raised a brow at how swiftly the nurse shuffled away. She turned and faced the doctor fully.

"I'm Dr. Delong. I was the surgeon on call when the patient in question was brought in."

The woman extended her hand for a quick handshake then gestured toward the small waiting area. "We can speak over here."

Olivia pushed herself off the desk and followed. She found herself watching the doctor intently as she removed the scull cap releasing long dark locks. It fell in loose waves over her shoulders. The detective swallowed hard as she took in the beauty of the woman before her.

Christ, she's absolutely gorgeous! Olivia thought to herself as she looked directly into piercing green eyes. Get a hold of yourself, Benson. You have a job to do.

Once they were seated, the doctor seemed more relaxed than before. She smiled warmly at Olivia.

"I apologize for any difficulty you might have had with my staff. I think we sometimes forget that we're both on the same side.  Frustration is a constant around here. Long hours tend to do that to people, but it's still no excuse."

"That's alright. You're not responsible for anyone else's behavior."

"Oh but I am. I'm Chief of Surgery. That makes me responsible."

Olivia kept her suprise hidded as she nodded and cleared her throat. She pulled out a small note pad and pen.

"So, can you tell me the status of the victim?"

The doctor sighed slightly before going back into serious mode. "She's stable at the moment. She had a serious head laceration.  I'm willing to bet that she was hit with a blunt object.  We didn't see it right away, but there was swelling around the brain.  We had to relieve the pressure and fortunately for her we were able to with little complication. As far as the rest of her..." She took a deep breath. "There was significant damage to her lower extremities. Significant bruising and tearing in the genital area. She took quite a beating, detective. Luckily, there was no internal bleeding to cause further problems. She'll recover....eventually."

"And there was a rape kit performed?" Olivia asked hopefully.

The doctor nodded. "Fortunately, she was lucid when she was brought in, which is saying something. Most wouldn't be in her condition." She ran her hand over he forehead tiredly. "She was able to tell the nurses that she had been attacked. I'm sure they would be willing to provide you with their statements.  The other physician on call performed the kit prior to surgery."

"I'm going to need the names of those nurses and that doctor."

"Of course."

"Did she say anything to you?" Olivia asked looking up from the notes she was taking.

"No. By the time I was paged, she was being prepped for surgery."

"Okay. Thank you for your help."

By this time, the nurse had returned with the needed file. "Excuse me. Here is the file you requested, doctor."

"Thank you." She took the file and flipped through it. "Her name is Rachel Hunt. She's fifteen. That's about all that I can tell you."

Olivia sighed heavily. "I need to go try and locate her parents and..."

Olivia moved to stand, but the doctor placed a hand on her arm stopping her. It sent a chill up Olivia's arm.

"There's no need. Her parent's are already here. They are up in recovery with their daughter."

Seeing the look on Olivia's face, the doctor let out a long breath. "And I'm assuming that you had not been made aware of that? Sorry."

Olivia waved her off. "Don't worry about it.  I'm going to need to speak with the parents and get a statement from Rachel. Any idea when she will be able to speak with me?"

"Well, you can speak with the parents now if you'd like. As for Rachel, she probably won't be awake until morning. Your best bet would be to wait until then if you want her coherent."

"Okay. I'll just..."

"Dr. Delong?" The nurse had returned again, this time with a small plastic bag. "I'm sorry for interrupting, but these were some additional items taken from the patient."

The doctor signed off on a form and took the bag. "I think this goes to you." She said handing the bag over to Olivia.

When Olivia reached out and took the bag, she winced. "Oww."

The other woman eyed her closely. "Are you hurt?"

Olivia looked up and waved off the concern. "Oh no. Just my stupid wrist. It's no biggie. You'd think that after all these years on the force that I'd learn not to jump on the back of a two hundred pound man resisting arrest."

"Now what would be the fun in that?" The doctor chuckled.

"But...why don't you let me take a look at it just to be sure it' biggie."

"You don't have to do that. I'm fine."

"Humor me, detective." She said holding Olivia's gaze. Olivia considered the offer for a moment. Her wrist did hurt like hell.

"I...I can't. I should get this back to the station." Olivia said gesturing to the bag of evidence.

"If I'm correct, as long as you keep that bag in your possession you won't break chain of evidence. Besides, we can't have one of New York's finest out there hurt, can we?"

Olivia raised a brow. "You seem to know a little about police work... although it doesn't exactly work that way."

The doctor shrugged her shoulders. "So I'm not a police officer, but I have patched up quite a few of you guys in blue over the years. I'd like to think that I learned a thing or two along the way."

Olivia laughed softly. " gonna let me check out that wrist or not? I'll even let you hold that bag in your other hand."

Olivia bit her lip and considered it. There was just something about this woman that wouldn't allow her to say no. "Okay, but we have to do this quick."

Dr. Delong smiled genuinely for the first time. She looked directly into Olivia's eyes. "Generally, I don't like to do things....quick. However, I have been told that I do work well under pressure... and I'm very good."

The doctor stood and made her way towards the busy hallway. She turned back to Olivia who was still seated. She smirked. "Coming Detective?"

Olivia suddenly felt her mouth go dry. "Not yet." She mumbled under her breath as she followed.