Title: Tin Badge
Feedback address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date in Calendar: 19 December 2014
Fandom: Law & Order: SVU / Once Upon a Time
Word Count: 1101
Summary: Some Christmas adorableness with an Avenger, a couple highly competent girlfriends and a mouthy sidekick.
Spoilers: Nope! In fact, this is a big, fat alt verse I made up!
Warnings: Schmoop! The aftermath of danger! Heroics!
Archive: ShatterStorm Productions & AO3 only.
Feedback: Constructive criticism is always welcome.
Advertisement: Part of the FSAC:DW14
Author's Disclaimer: Not my characters, obviously. Though it's pretty obvious where the inspiration for them came from!
Author's Notes: So this is based on SPL's love of FearlessQueen, who consist of Once Upon a Time's Regina Mills and Law & Order: Special Victim Unit's Olivia Benson.
Story setting notes: Keep in mind this is a non-Storybrooke version of the Mills. This is a straight-up no magic or Storybrooke verse for the sake of simplicity. Consider it an intro for anyone that wants to pick it up and run with it!
It was a phone call every parent dreads. Their child, in the hands of the police in the aftermath of a traumatic event. Though Regina had to admit, once the hysteria wore off, that the scenario had played out to its optimum. Some sleazebag had tried to snatch one of Henry's classmates, only to find himself kicked and battered by her brave boy. Battered enough, in fact, that the pervert was in the hands of the police now. Henry had not just stopped him, but slowed him until the authorities had arrived.
When she could breathe steadily again, Regina was going to be so proud.
"You look like you could use a drink," said a throaty woman's voice and Regina startled, turning away from watching through the glass as her son interacted with the classmate he'd saved. For a moment, she was left wracking her brain for some context to the stranger standing there with a faint smile on her handsome face. She cut a dramatic figure in her crisp black police uniform and waggled a Styrofoam cup enticingly. "Possibly not as strong as you might like, but I promise it's not as bad as you may have heard."
Amazingly, the gentle banter earned the smile she was fishing for and something hard and anxious in Regina's chest finally started to ease. "Thank you," she murmured and soaked up the warmth of the cup that was carefully set in her hands and the brief kind touch to her upper arm. The smell and a long sip provided more warmth and the bitter bite of black coffee settled her. "Well, it's not terrible."
Not usually one to be playful, Regina was surprised at herself, smiling faintly over the edge of the cup. The policewoman smiled and chuckled warmly, gesturing through the glass where Henry and the younger child were getting into the paper and crayons left out for them. "He's an extraordinary boy, your Henry. I was ready to hire him on the spot."
Both warmed and horrified at the thought, Regina held onto her self-control, but not by much.
"I keep expecting him to be kind, but weak, like my father was, and that's not fair to him." The quiet confession spoke volumes to Olivia, experienced as she was in the traumas of women. Breathing deeply to stop the shakes in her hands, in her voice, Regina pulled calm around her like a cloak. "He's more like his father than he'll ever know."
There was a wealth of hurt there, a wound never fully healed.
In the end, work called Olivia away and the moment Regina could escape with Henry in tow, she was gone. But neither forgot the meeting, the odd zing of connection that lingered. So much so that Olivia ignored her own misgivings and dug out a tin badge as a good excuse to look the Mills family up. That highly-trained memory for details came in handy and soon Olivia found herself wandering the wide-open greens of Central Park in search of a familiar face.
"I hope you don't think I'm being forward."
Nearly choking on her lunch in surprise, Regina stopped herself from leaping to her feet out of a case of sheer nerves. "Sergeant Benson. What a surprise."
Perversely, Regina could only fixate that she must be quite the sight. Dressed down in jeans and a school t-shirt like half of the other parents in the crowd, mouth and fingers shiny with greasy fries and diet coke. Even her makeup was barely there, thick hair pulled back into an adorable tuft at the back of her neck. Olivia was dressed similarly, no sign of the experienced cop to her save a certain hardness that would forever linger at the corner of her eyes and mouth.
"I promised your Henry thatů"
"Sergeant Benson, hi!"
Grinning from ear to ear, Henry had raced up, barely restraining himself from throwing his weight into her in his enthusiasm. Crouching down, Olivia cupped a hand under the boy's elbow and doled out her best smile.
"Hi there, Henry, good to see you again. When I got called away at the station, I didn't get a chance to say goodbye to you and your mom. However, I remembered you talking about your soccer game today and it was an excellent excuse to come see you and get in some fresh air."
Henry beamed, all the more adorable in his crisp soccer uniform. "I'm glad. Are you going to stay for the game?"
"Sure. As long as work doesn't call me away. Hang on a second."
Halfway turned to return to warming up, Henry was all curiosity, as was Regina. Olivia reached into her pocket and pulled out something small and shiny.
"I told your mom that you were a smart one, and brave too. So, I brought you a badge so you can be an unofficial deputy."
Henry lit up like a million sun, his grin fit to split his skull, but when he put his small hand on the badge, Olivia gently trapped it between hers, once more getting his attention.
"A badge is serious business, Henry, and I want you to remember something very important about it."
"Okay," he agreed, completely focused.
"When you protect others, you always have to remember that it's a group effort. It helps get the job done quickly and safely, okay? No one with a badge works alone."
She could tell that the small gift meant more too him now, more than a pressed-tin reminder of his brush with danger and evil. "I promise."
"And you can call me Olivia. We're friends now, right?"
Crowing with delight, this time he didn't hold back, giving her and then his mom a crushing hug. Much as it was obvious he wanted to babble at Regina, his coach was yelling for him to get out on the field and the women were left with the void of his missing energy behind.
"He's a great kid," Olivia smiled at the smaller woman. "And I really hope I didn't overstep my bounds here. We had some time to chat before you came to get him and he made quite the impression."
"He does that. And I appreciate your trying to restrain some of his more powerful protective urges."
"You've got yourself a hero in the making, huh? That's always a mixed blessing."
It was an insightful observation and it made something nervous and tense in Regina ease. "Thank you, Sergeant."
The older woman smiled warmly. "Olivia. We're all friends here, remember?"
"Olivia. I'm Regina, pleased to meet you."