Title: Defeating the Monster
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Michael Cutter/Ryan O'Halloran
Fandom: Law & Order/Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Rating: PG-13
Table: Charloft prompt challenge, tv_universe
Prompt: Monster
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.

***

Ryan sighed as he turned a page in the book that he'd been trying to read, wishing that he could remember anything about the last four pages or so. But he'd been letting his thoughts wander, rather than concentrating on the words he was reading.

He couldn't keep himself from thinking about the upcoming trial, and his part in it. He'd already had to testify against Stuckey once, and that had been hard enough, considering that he'd had to face the man who had almost taken his life.

Just thinking about Stuckey made him shudder; this time, when he was in courtroom and had to take the stand to testify, he would be facing not only the man who had tried to kill him, but the man who had brutally raped him.

It didn't matter that the rape had happened so long ago; all that mattered was that it had happened, and even though he'd blocked it out, it was firmly entrenched in his memory now. And it wasn't going to simply go away and hide again.

Ryan didn't want to remember what had happened; he wanted to put it out of his mind for good and all time, to bury it within the mists of old memories so that it could never be found again. He wanted to slam a door on that memory, lock it away and never take it out.

But he couldn't do that, at least not until the trial was over. That was what he had been doing for the years that had passed between the rape and his remembrance of it, after Stuckey had attempted to kill him. He couldn't let it keep hiding away.

He had to make sure that the bastard was punished for his crimes -- not only for the attempt on Ryan's life, but also on the life of a police officer. He had to testify, to add more years to Stuckey's sentence, to make sure that he would never get out of jail.

Testifying wasn't going to be easy; he was sure that Stuckey's lawyer would try to tear him apart, to make it seem as though he was lying. But he wasn't. Even though the rape hadn't been reported, and there was no evidence of what had happened, it was the truth.

Stuckey was a monster, and he belonged in jail. Ryan had seen his share of monsters in his line of work, seen the pain they could inflict, the suffering they caused. But this was his own monster, one that he had to grapple with and somehow manage to defeat.

Facing Stuckey in that courtroom wasn't going to be easy for him; the man knew that he'd gotten away with what he had done, knew that he'd affected Ryan's life in numerous untold ways. But Ryan was determined to prove that Stuckey hadn't wrecked his life.

Of course he hadn't. He had Mike by his side, after all. Ryan's lips curved into a smile as he thought about his boyfriend; he had never thought that he would be so lucky as to find someone who loved him as fiercely and protectively as Michael did.

They were lucky to have found each other. In all of the people in this city who he could have connected with, somehow, he had managed to find Mike, and the spark between them had been instantaneous. And the connection only kept getting stronger.

A monster like Stuckey wasn't going to pull the two of them apart; he might try, but he would be ineffectual. He couldn't do anything to hurt them now; he was in jail, and with Ryan's testimony in this new trial, he would stay there for the rest of his life.

Not that he would have gotten out before, Ryan told himself. He had, after all, tried to kill a cop -- that was considered a lot more horrible as crimes went than raping another man. But at least he would be prosecuted this crime. He'd know that he hadn't gotten away with it.

Would he even give a damn that he'd been caught in this? Ryan wondered about that; he wondered if a twisted monster like Stuckey cared about anything except his own selfish desires. But that didn't matter, either. He cared.

He was the one who wanted justice. Not vengeance, he told himself sternly. He wasn't doing this to get even with the man who had raped him. He just wanted to see what Stuckey had done be publicly acknowledged, to get some closure.

How many other men had Stuckey raped? None had come forward, even after the case had been publicized in the papers. But Ryan was sure that there were others out there just like himself who had suffered through a hell on Earth because of this monster.

Well, he was going to make sure that such a monstrous abomination of a human being was put behind bars, by adding years onto his other conviction. He was going to make sure that Stuckey was one monster who would never wreak havoc and spread terror again.

And Michael would be by his side while he was fighting that battle, supporting him and loving him. He was lucky to have Mike in his life, lucky that they'd found each other when they had. He didn't know how he would have gotten through this with his lover's support.

But he had gotten through most of it, and that was the important thing. Though the worst was still to come, Ryan thought, wincing. He still had to sit in that courtroom and testify, still had to feel Stuckey's eyes on him.

It would almost be like reliving one of the most horrific experiences of his life. But he would push that thought away, and he would do what he had to. This was the last time he would ever have to see Stuckey. After this, he was free.

He would slay this monster, and lay it to rest. Then he would move on into the rest of his life with the man he loved, and he would never look back. Ryan closed his eyes, taking a deep breath. He could do this. He would do this. He had to.

He had already taken the first steps, and now, there was no going back. The trial was set for next week, and he had done all he could to prepare himself. Now, he just had to wait, take the stand, and look that inhuman monster in the eye for the last time.

It wouldn't be as hard as he thought it would be -- at least, he hoped not. And if it was, then he would still have Mike by his side, to encourage him and be there for him. His lover wouldn't let him down; Mike would give him the courage he needed to face this.

Just thinking of Michael made him smile; his boyfriend gave him all the strength he needed to defeat any monster that might come his way. With Mike by his side, and the love they shared in his heart, he could vanquish any foe.

Ryan only hoped that he could manage to hang on to that thought when he was in the witness box, facing Stuckey. Taking another deep breath, he took a firm hold on his courage, determined not to let it go until this was over and the final sentence had been pronounced.

***