Title: Scene of A Perfect Crime
Pairing: Michael Cutter/Ryan O'Halloran
Fandom: Law & Order/Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Warning: Mentions of rape, previous non-con
Disclaimer: This is entirely a product of my own imagination, and I make no profit from it. I do not own the lovely Michael Cutter or Ryan O'Halloran, unfortunately, just borrowing them for a while. Please do not sue.
***"It's never easy to look around the scene of a crime." Michael sighed, glancing over at Ryan, worried that this might be too much for his boyfriend to deal with. He hadn't been back to his former place of employment since he had dredged up the memory of what had happened here.
He himself didn't want to think of what had taken place in this room. Ryan had nearly died; in fact, those idiots Benson and Stabler had assumed he was dead.
But Ryan hadn't died; he had miraculously clung to life, through all that had happened in this room. He had heard all that had happened, and his testimony had helped put that little rat Stuckey away for life -- not that the testimony had been needed, in light of the evidence.
And all that was before more of Ryan's memories had surfaced.
Now Stuckey was facing a rape trial, and Ryan would again be one of the witnesses. But this would be much harder on him; before, he had only been one of the victims that Stuckey had left in his wake. Now, he was the only victim.
Mike was sure that Ryan hadn't been the only man Stuckey had raped, but no one else had come forward. He didn't expect them to; in most people's eyes, Stuckey was already serving a life sentence for trying to kill a cop, and that should be enough.
But it wasn't enough for Mike. He wanted to see Stuckey tried and convicted of rape. He wanted to see Ryan get his closure.
Ryan deserved that closure. He deserved to be able to live his life in peace, to know that Dale Stuckey was paying for what he'd done. He deserved to have the freedom that only that kind of closure could give him, and Mike was determined that he would have it.
The man he loved deserved nothing less.
He didn't know why Ryan had wanted to come back here, to see the room where he had laid on that floor for hours, bleeding out slowly, bit by bit, and almost losing his life. But Ryan had somehow felt that it was important, so Michael had given in and come along with him.
"This could have been the scene of a perfect crime," Ryan whispered as he looked around the room. It was used by another forensic pathologist these days since Ryan had transferred, but it was still kept neat and tidy, just as he'd always done.
Or so Mike thought, anyway. He knew that Ryan had a passion for neatness; he was OCD in some ways, but it was one of the things that Mike loved about him.
"But it wasn't," Michael reminded him, moving to stand beside Ryan and taking his hand. "You didn't die here, Ry. You could have, but you didn't. You survived. And you're going to keep surviving. You're a lot stronger than you give yourself credit for."
Ryan shook his head, turning to look at his lover.
"The only reason I'm strong is because of you," he whispered, his voice trembling slightly. "You make me strong, Mike. Knowing that you're here by my side, and that you're not going to run out of me because the going might get tough. That's what keeps me strong."
This time, it was Michael's turn to shake his head. He raised a hand, cupping Ryan's cheek, his fingertips gently stroking the other man's face.
"It's not just that," Mike said softly, swallowing hard to push back the lump that seemed to have suddenly appeared in his throat at Ryan's words. "It's you, Ry. You've got a core of strength inside you that doesn't give up easily. You wouldn't have survived if you didn't."
Ryan nodded slowly, turning to look around at the room again. "I don't know why I felt like I had to come back here," he said with another sigh. "I guess it's just because this was more or less where it started. Where I almost lost my life."
Mike nodded, swallowing again before he spoke.
"And maybe some of your memories started to surface then, when you realized what Stuckey was really like, the psychosis he was hiding behind that bland exterior," he suggested, hoping that his words rang true. "They started to come to the surface then."
Ryan nodded slowly, taking a deep breath. "Yeah. But it took a while longer for them all to come to light. Sometimes I wish they hadn't."
"But now that they have, we can both work to put them into the past, where they belong," Mike told him, keeping his voice strong and firm. "You're not alone in this, Ryan. I'm right here beside you. And trust me, I'm not going anywhere."
"I know you aren't," Ryan murmured, a small smile on his lips. "I know you'll stand beside me, Mike. I just wish that you didn't have to deal with all of this. But at the same time, I'm glad that I don't have to carry the weight all by myself. I'm glad you're here."
"So am I," Michael answered, meaning the words with all of his heart and soul.
With that, the two of them turned away and walked out of the room, neither of them having to ask the other if it was time for them to leave.
That place had almost been the scene of a perfect crime, at least in Stuckey's eyes, Mike told himself as he and Mike walked side by side down the long corridor to leave the building. But it hadn't turned out that way -- and he was thankful every day it hadn't, and that Ryan was here with him.