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Strangers Like Me

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Summary: Fin’s new partner raises some questions and Kathleen Stabler finds herself part of a world she thought belonged only to horror movies.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > Law and Order: SVUgesundheitFR1823,8933328,8371 Oct 062 Oct 06No

Chapter 1: Outsider

N/A: Here's the second chapter. You'll see I've taken some liberties with the timeline, but it was necessary for the story to make sense. No worries, it's nothing extreme. Oh yeah, and Casey is a redhead. Block any images of her bottle blonde self. Think Season 5 Casey. I'm still hoping the producers will come to their senses. That said, be warned that I know next to nothing of police procedure except what I see on SVU (which isn't that much, since I pay more attention to the plot than the procedures). Thanks to everyone to reviewed the first chapter, I hope you keep reading and enjoying it.

There's something I can see
There's something different in the way you smile
Behind those eyes you lie
- Behind Those Eyes, performed by 3 Doors Down

Elliot got to work early that day. He wanted to check out Fin’s new partner. The Captain hadn’t shed much light at all on who it was going to be. They’d guessed someone transferred from Homicide or possibly Narcotics. He had to admit, he was curious about this new guy. He hoped Fin wouldn’t suffer much breaking in the new partner. Elliot shuddered at the thought of having to break in some wet-behind-the-ears newbie. They’d worked with Munch for so long, it would be strange having to work with someone else. They’d miss Munch’s off the wall conspiracy theories. Well, not really.

He chuckled to himself, entering the squad room. His partner was already at her desk.

“Did you sleep here or something?” he asked suspiciously.

“Nope. You’re the last one to arrive.” Olivia grinned at him.

Elliot ignored the jib and asked: “Where’s Fin?”

“With the Captain in his office, being introduced to his new partner.” Olivia said with studied casualty.

That, of course, picked Elliot’s curiosity, which was exactly what she wanted. “Did you see him, then?”

“Who, Fin?” Olivia was being deliberately obtuse.

“The Pope, who else?” Elliot huffed. “Did you see his new partner or not?”

Olivia chuckled. “Yup.”

“So?” he narrowed his eyes.

“So, you’ll have an interesting surprise.” Olivia smiled mysteriously.

Elliot threw his hands up, muttering to himself something about ‘annoying women who didn’t know when to gossip’. Olivia laughed to herself, making a show of ignoring his grumbling by leafing through some old reports.

Not five minutes after Elliot had settled for a day of desk duty - damn that puny injury - the Captain’s door opened and both Detectives perked up to see who came out. First came the Captain, followed by Fin and then out came the new partner.

Olivia watched her partner’s reaction with barely restrained amusement. His eyes went wide and his jaw sagged a little. Whatever he’d been expecting, the slim, dark haired woman certainly wasn’t it. Clad in tight jeans, white tank top, boots and leather jacket, the woman didn’t look a day over 25, though Olivia knew she had to be at least 30.

“People, this is Fin’s new partner, Detective Faith Lehane, formerly of Cleveland PD.” Cragen introduced. “These are Detectives Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler.”

Olivia came forward and shook the woman’s hand, but Elliot needed to be nudged out of his torpor.

Faith smirked at the astonished Detective, squeezing a little bit harder than necessary, just to make him wonder.

“Charmed, I’m sure.” she drawled.

Elliot discretely flexed his hand, quietly impressed by her strong grip. Must take her vitamins, he mused.

“Boston?” Olivia recognized her accent.

“Good catch.” Faith grinned.

“Well, now that’s done, you two have a DB on Brooklyn and you have paperwork to do.” Cragen pointed at Elliot and Olivia.

Elliot sighed. It was going to be a long day.

Fin covertly watched his new partner as they drove to the vic’s address. He had to admit, he’d had his doubts about her, but she surprised him with how coolly she handled the case. The crime scene hadn’t been pretty; young woman raped and stabbed to death. Multiple puncture wounds, a lot of blood. Not a very good way to be welcomed into a new job.

Where most people would have blanched, Faith didn’t bat an eye. She did her job with a calm efficiency that made him wonder what kinds of things she’d seen that desensitized her to such violence.

“Ask me already.”


“You want to ask why I didn’t toss my cookies or fainted, don’t you? What I worked with in Cleveland?”

“Yeah.” Fin confirmed bluntly.

“Nothing like you, Mr. Undercover for Narcotics, but death and violence is old news to me.” At his surprised look, she grinned. “I did my research before applying for this job, ya know? I’m sure your buddies are digging as much info on me as they can.”

“Are they going to find anything interesting?” Fin shot her a sideways look.

“Who knows?” Faith shrugged. “Maybe I’m just your run-of-the-mill cop, trying her luck in the Big Apple.”

Fin snorted. “I doubt it. You ain’t like most cops I’ve met.”

“Complimenting me already? I’m touched.” Faith smirked. “Or is that your way of flirting? If it is, I gotta say I’ve heard better.”

He ignored her comment and parked the car. “We’re here.”

Faith looked at the shoddy building in the run-down neighborhood. “Real inviting.”

“This place is full of skels.” Fin said. “Better be careful.”

“So, how are we doin’ this, boss man?” Faith asked as they entered the old apartment building. “Can I be bad cop?”

Fin stared at her for a long moment, then nodded. “You lead, I follow.” He wanted to see what she would do.

The brunette Detective gave him a toothy grin. “Shall we dance, then?” and knocked.

Once. Twice. Three times and finally they heard someone shuffling inside. The door opened to reveal a thin, haggard man with scruffy black hair and a three-day stubble. He looked at them through bloodshot eyes.

“Who the fuck are you?” he slurred drunkenly.

“NY-fuckin’-PD.” Faith snarled and they flashed their badges. “We’d like to ask you a few questions, sir.”

The man looked like he was going to refuse and Faith chose that moment to casually part her jacket, showing her sidearm. Message received. The scoundrel quickly shoved the door open and motioned for them to come in, suddenly looking much more sober.

The place was a mess. Beer bottles were strewn around, what little furniture there was, was broken. Not to mention the smell.

“I’m Detective Lehane, this is Detective Tutuola. You?” Faith crossed her arms, staring the man down.

“Charles Keller.”

“Well, Charlie, you wouldn’t happen to know a Miss Diane Jordan, wouldja?”

Keller looked at her blankly.

“Real small girl, about four-foot-ten, blonde hair, gray eyes. Ring any bells?” Fin showed him the girl’s driver’s license.

“DJ!” the man blurted. “Yeah, I know ‘er. Picky bitch. What about ‘er?”

“She’s dead.” Faith stated coldly. “You wouldn’t know anything about that, would you, Charlie?”

“I didn’t kill ‘er, if that’s what ya mean!” Keller said defensively.

“She didn’t say you did.” Fin narrowed his eyes.

“Look, I ain’t seen DJ in three weeks.”

“Yeah? And why’s that? Did she leave your drunken ass?” Faith stalked forward, forcing the man to step back against the wall.

“Alright, fine. She cheated on me and left me, wanted to move on to bigger ’n better things. Bitch. Serves ‘er right.” Keller spat.

“She was raped and stabbed to death.” Fin glared at the cowering man.

Keller shrugged. “So what? Good riddance, I say! It’s what ya get for fuckin’ around with-” he suddenly cut his ranting of, as if realizing who he was speaking with. It caught the Detectives’ attention.

“Who she was fuckin’ around with, Charlie?” Faith asked silkily, almost pressing up against him. “Hmm?”

“I, I…” Keller stuttered, obviously flustered. He shook his head, refusing to say anymore.

Faith stepped back, assuming an air of casualty. “Charles… You know, I have a friend with that name. Charles Gunn. We’re real buds, I think I should give him a ring soon.”

If it was possible, the man’s ashen face turned even paler. “G-Gunn?”

“Uh-huh. We met in LA, worked together a few times.” Faith ran a hand through her long mane. “Say, how about you come have a chat with us down in the precinct?”

The man was clearly scared, but nodded quickly.

“I knew you’d see things my way.” she looked at Fin, who looked more curious than suspicious. “Shall we?”

“Let’s go.”

Back at the 1-6, Elliot and Olivia had foregone paperwork to check up on the new kid. What they found was interesting to say the least.

“High School drop-out, got her GED, though. Ten years ago enrolled herself in Cleveland State University and got a BS in Criminal Justice.”

“Then she joined the Force. Got promoted to Detective pretty fast too. Less than two years. Her record is very good, but she’s got some incidents of excessive force. Her superiors say she’s ‘dedicated, competent, with excellent instincts, but sometimes prone to fits of righteous anger’. Sounds like anyone you know?” Olivia looked at her partner slyly.

He shot her an annoyed look before turning back to the computer. “It doesn’t say much about her life before ‘95, strange.”

Olivia shrugged. “Oh, hey, look at this. She used to teach martial arts at an all-girl school in Cleveland.”

“Weird. She doesn’t look the martial arts type. Wonder what discipline she taught?”

“Jiu-jitsu, Aikido, Karate, Judo and Tai Chi Chuan.” Faith’s voice made both Detectives jump.

They looked up guiltily, like children caught stealing from the cookie jar. Faith laughed.

“Nosing around on my record, are ya?”


“You see…”

Faith waved them off. “It’s five by five. I did a little bit of research too. It’s only fair that you look me up too.”

“Five by five?” asked Fin, who’d just come back from dropping Keller off into the interview room.

“Wait a minute, you know all those fighting styles?” Elliot asked skeptically.

“And street fighting, but that I don’t usually teach.” Faith didn’t add medieval weapons training, but mentally pictured Stabler’s face if she told him how good she was with a broadsword. She laughed.

“What’s so funny?” Olivia asked with a small smile. She kind of liked the younger woman.

The look Faith gave her clearly said ‘wouldn’t you like to know?’.

“Back already?” interrupted Cragen, coming out of his office.

Faith gave the Captain an overview of the case.

“We got a suspect waiting to be questioned.” Fin added, nodding to the interview room.

Faith shook her head. “I don’t think he killed DJ, but he knows who did.”

“How do you know?” asked Fin.

“He got real twitchy when I asked who DJ’s new guy was. Probably some big wig in the streets she pissed off, Charlie boy must be scared he’s going to get it too.”

“But he’s more scared of Charles Gunn.” Fin concluded.

“Who?” asked Cragen.

“A good friend of mine.”

“She said his name and Keller looked like he’d seen a ghost. Whoever this Gunn is he must have a lot of street cred.”

“Hell yeah.” Faith grinned.

Cragen didn’t look very satisfied with the vague answer, but relented. “Alright, you two go ahead and see if he talks.”

Faith saluted playfully and went with Fin into the interview room.

“Olivia, call Novak, she'd better be here for this.”

“Sure.” Olivia dialed the DA’s office.

Ten minutes later ADA Casey Novak walked into the squad room, clad in a black pants-suit with a white blouse and heels. She smiled at the Detectives and turned to the Captain with a questioning look.

Cragen led them to the one-way mirror, quietly explaining the case to the attorney. Inside the interview room, they could see Lehane comfortable lounging on the chair before the sweating Keller, with Fin watching from the sidelines.

“Is that Fin’s new partner?” Casey studied the unknown brunette.

Olivia nodded. “Faith Lehane.”

“She’s good.” Elliot commented, as Faith carefully manipulated Keller into waiving his rights to an attorney.

“She looks dangerous.” Casey couldn’t help but mentally compare the new SVU Detective to a big cat, toying with her prey.

“She probably is.” Olivia then told Casey what they found out about Faith and to say the redhead was impressed was an understatement. “She reminds me of those kids that grow up on the streets, fighting their whole lives.”

Elliot frowned. “You think she…?”

“I don’t know. Maybe. She might be just the rebel type.” Olivia shrugged.

“Or maybe both.” Casey added quietly, not taking her eyes off the interview.

“He’s going to break soon.” Cragen nodded approvingly.

It didn’t take much longer. Faith took a pocket knife from her jacket and used it to leisurely clean under her nails. Keller looked back and forth from the knife to the piercing brown eyes that kept staring at him. He broke. Keller spilled everything he knew about the drug dealer DJ had been having an affair with, Jameson ‘Shark’ Thornton. How DJ ran off with one of his rivals, and how he and his men came to his apartment looking for her. When he couldn’t tell them where she was, they trashed his apartment, roughed him up a little. Keller knew they would find her sooner or later. They did.

Cragen turned to the ADA. “So, is that enough for a warrant?”

Casey blinked. “Yeah, bring this guy in.”

The newly partnered Detectives walked out of the interview room feeling pretty good. Though Fin missed his old partner, and he didn’t really know Lehane very well, she seemed like a competent, if unorthodox, Detective. They would get along just fine.

Cragen congratulated his Detectives on a job well done and introduced Faith to the ADA.

The brunette looked up at the tall woman before. “Whoa, Stretch, how’s the weather up there?” she blurted out.

Casey’s mouth opened and closed a few times before she finally managed to say something. “What?”

Faith smirked at the woman, who was easily five inches taller than she was. “What do you need heels for?”


The brunette chuckled. “Never thought I’d be able to leave a lawyer speechless.” she looked at Olivia. “Shouldn’t I get a toaster? Oh, wait, that’s for something else.”

That snapped Casey out of her daze. “Well, shorty, not everyone is produced in micro scale.”

The Detective’s eyebrows rose and she grinned. “Nice comeback.”

“Nice interrogation technique.” Casey countered.

Faith tossed her pocket knife up. “Sharp objects. I just love to make ‘em sweat.” she winked suggestively.

“I’ll bet.” Casey grinned. “Well, it’s been a pleasure, Detectives, but I have a judge to badger and a warrant to get. I’ll send it with an Uniform.” then the redhead ADA made her exit.

“You go find this Thornton guy. Olivia, go with them.” ordered Cragen.

Elliot opened his mouth, but the Captain swiftly cut him off.

“You, paperwork.” he pointed at his desk.

Elliot deflated. A long, boring day alright.

The End?

You have reached the end of "Strangers Like Me" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 2 Oct 06.

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