Title: Stronger
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Michael Cutter/Ryan O'Halloran
Fandom: Law & Order/Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Rating: PG-13
Table: 1drabble
Prompt: 05, Memory
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.


Just thinking about walking into that courtroom made him feel nauseous.

Ryan sighed, knowing that he had no choice but to do just that if he wanted Stuckey brought to justice for the crimes he had committed.

He was the one person who could tell the story, the only one who was willing to stand up and accuse the man who had so cruelly violated him. Ryan didn't doubt that there had been others, but they were either too afraid to come forward, or they just wanted to forget the past.

He wished that he had the luxury of doing that, but he couldn't. He wasn't going to let Stuckey get away with what he had done. He would be the sole accuser.

Somehow, he would get through this.

If only he could have Mike by his side in the courtroom! he thought with another sigh. But his boyfriend was far too close to this case. He couldn't prosecute it.

If he and Mike had never gotten involved, then he might never have had the courage to come forward. The memories of what had been done to him might never even have come to the surface, he told himself. But no, he doubted that. They would have broken out eventually.

He couldn't have kept that horrific night hidden in the back of his mind forever. In fact, he was surprised that it had taken those memories so long to break free.

Ryan didn't want to live with those memories forever, and he knew that the only way to exorcise them, to be sure that he could be free of them, was to get this over with.

He had to sit in that courtroom, take the stand, and tell about everything that he had been through, if that was what it took to convict Stuckey and be sure that he paid for what he had done. If Stuckey's defense attorney tried to rip him apart, he would have to deal with that.

But he would have Jack McCoy on his side. Michael had made sure of that. Jack was the best, and Ryan was sure that he would be able to put Stuckey behind bars.

If Mike couldn't be the prosecuting attorney, then Jack was next in line.

Michael had told him that Jack would tear Stuckey's attorney a new one if he was given the chance, and Ryan had to believe that. Jack would win the day.

This wasn't going to be easy to deal with; he'd known that from the beginning. But this was what he had to do to make sure that those memories were finally laid to rest, and he could get on with his life. He had to know that justice had been served before he could move on.

Ryan took a deep breath, closing his eyes. He would get through this, and he would come through his trial by fire a little singed, but cleansed.

And he would be stronger in the end.