Lie To Me Fan Fiction / Law And Order - Series Fan Fiction ❯ The Meaning of Family: Kinship ❯ Chapter 3: Seperate but Together ( Chapter 3 )
The Making of Family: Kinship
Chapter 3: Separate but Together
Eli groaned and pulled a pillow over his head for a moment before reaching over and turning his alarm clock off. It took all his self control not to hit the snooze and convince himself to sit up and swing his legs off the bed. Eventually, he stood and headed towards the kitchen all the way making a good impression of a zombie to start the coffee. The reason being he didn't get home until 2 that morning and found himself so wound up over the events of the day that he had trouble falling asleep. Needless to say 6 am came way too quickly for his liking.
As expected, traffic coming home had been terrible and after getting back to the office he had wasted a good amount of time trying to savage Mark's work but he was just unable to follow the incomplete not to mention flu influenced thought process. He couldn't help but wonder if video analysis was anything like detective work since there was many different routes could be taken to end up at the same destination. Same destination or not Eli eventually had to discard Mark's work if he was going to get any sleep that night. This allowed him to go back to what he originally left and finish quickly.
After making sure the coffee pot was functioning he headed to his bathroom for his morning shower. It was only after he was heading back to his room with a coffee cup in his hand that he realized that although he felt tired he was actually in a pretty good mood. He felt good and confident about the responsibilities of the day and he was sure he had Olivia to thank for that. His sister had an encouraging presence about her. In all the time they were together she hadn't made one negative comment towards or about him and beyond that she laughed at all his jokes. It was like she really understood where he was coming from and actually wanted to understand more. It was a new and exciting experience for him after spending so much time with the Lightman group.
Smiling, Eli set his cup down and looked in his closet and spotted a shirt he had bought a while ago. It was more professional than he usually wore, a short sleeve button-up but had an unusual circle pattern on it that you wouldn't catch a normal business man wearing. He had been drawn to it instantly but had yet to find a time he felt comfortable enough to wear it. Probably because it said too much about him when he preferred to blend in with the background. Today it just felt right, since he would be in charge a bit and felt like being himself.
So he put the shirt on and even added a red tie and looked at himself in the mirror. Outlandish yes but it made him happy as he grabbed his cell phone and went to eat breakfast. Deciding to embrace his new found confidence even more he brought up Olivia's contact info and opened a text message to wish her a good morning. Who knew what the day was going to bring but he decided he was going to embrace it and try to make some mark on it in a way only he could.
Olivia's day started earlier then she would have liked as well when she got a call shortly after dawn about a body in a church yard. She was still yawning as she got of her car and greeted her partner who was waiting for her.
"Good morning," Elliot greeted her much too chipper for the early hour, "how was your date yesterday? You're here so I'm guessing he wasn't a total psychopath. Although I'm still can't believe you didn't bother telling me until you were already out of town. If I didn't call you yesterday no one would have known what happened if you suddenly went missing."
"Yeah good morning. It went great actually so there was absolutely no need for you to be noisey. Besides we both know what you really be annoyed about is the idea that if I went missing you would have to do your own paperwork. Where is the body?" Olivia answered dismissing his concern before directing her attention to the crime scene ahead of her.
The first impression upon seeing the body was that it was a ritualistic killing considering the positioning and location of the body and the fact he had no eyes. Melinda quickly derailed that easy line of investigation though and enlisted Olivia and Elliot to spend the next good thirty minutes catching birds. By the time they were done she couldn't help but wonder what Eli would think about her little adventure and caught herself wondering when she would hear from him.
She just parted from Elliot to drive to the station and was just about to get into her car when her phone started to play a Weird Al song I Love Rocky Road Olivia gave a little startled laugh before pulling out her phone and seeing the text message her brother had sent her. She could see Elliot pausing to give her a strange look as he was opening his car door. Olivia just gave him a non-communal shrug before getting into hers. Turnabout was fair play after all, Olivia thought, as she realized that while she was snooping her brother was personalizing his contact info. She couldn't help but smile at the fact he was already texting her just to say good morning before texting him back and starting the car.
After a brief time at the station Olivia spent the rest of her morning canvassing the neighborhood with Munch while Elliot and Fin ran down some gang leads which lead to nothing but dead ends. Truthfully the only useful thing she had accomplished was the texts she sent trying to nail down a time to have a phone conversation with her brother, in her free moments of course. With no other leads they photoshopped a picture of their vic and appealed to the media which meant waiting around St. Mark's for someone to show. Olivia couldn't help but noticed her partners earlier good mood was long gone and was a bit more irritable than the situation warranted.
"I'm sorry there's nothing I can do about it," Olivia heard him say discreetly into his cell phone, "Yeah...Bye."
Olivia, concerned about his behavior, approached him as he hung up his phone, "Something wrong?"
With an exasperated sigh Elliot told her, "Kathy, we were supposed to have a drink tonight. I'm moving back home."
Olivia was not expecting this and was a little thrown off from vibes Elliot as sending out, "When?"
"We haven't decided. That's why we're going to have a drink."
Despite Elliot not having the outward enthusiasm Olivia would have like to see she was glad for the news because she knew that was what he needed. Quite frankly since she came back from her undercover assignment to find him separated he had been quite moody. Well even more moody than what she was normally use too. She wasn't lying when she told Eli that she thought the best thing for her partner was to lighten up a bit, admit his mistakes and beg Kathy to take him back before she wised up and ran for the hills. Olivia didn't have to think about voicing any of this though since someone choose this time to visit there John doe.
As fate would have it the visitor turned out to be their vic's mother. It would never get any easier have to tell someone that their loved one was murdered especial with the special circumstances that always surrounded their cases. The less dark side though was they had a name, Richard, and an apartment to search. The search turned up Richard's cell phone or rather what use to be his cell phone before Olivia stepped on it and damaged it so bad that Morales their TARU technician could only pull up the last text message. Still it was enough to get an address.
The investigation eventually lead to New Souls Church but they decided to wait until the morning to question Reverend Curtis about Richard out of respect for his son's, who was killed in Afghanistan, funeral. This gave Olivia a chance to head home for a shower and to sleep in her own bed but not before hopefully having a chance to talk her brother.
"Yeah so I was having a bad day, it was raining, and no cab would stop when it hit me that this would not be happening if I had a car. You really don't need a car in New York but it wasn't like I was spending my hard earned money on anything else. Considering I spend most of my life at the station. So I decided hey I want a car! So I got a car. Maybe it was a mid-life thing but I wanted to use my salary on more than bills, necessities, shoes, and savings," Olivia said lively with a self-effacing laugh.
It had been more than an hour since her brother texted her he was home and she had called him. After deciding neither one of them wanted to discuss work they settled into a comfortable conversation that just drifted from topic to topic. Olivia was pleased to find the connection she felt with Eli the day before was still there even if just over the phone.
"You must get paid well," Eli commented breaking into her thoughts.
"Well not as well as I'm sure you do working with a consulting firm for the FBI," Olivia responded.
"Well I use to when I still got a check," Eli confessed reluctantly.
"Used to?" Olivia ask curious at the phrasing.
"Yeah, I don't get paid any more because I got demoted to an unpaid intern about...well getting close to a year ago now," Eli explained
"Demoted? What did you do? I mean the way you talk I know how important your job is to you so I can't imagine..." Olivia exclaimed.
"Yeah well I was fully expecting to get fired at the time so accepting the demotion was a relief."
"You are avoiding the question," Olivia stated because she wanted an answer since Eli seemed to have left out the fact that he wasn't getting paid for the job he had described the day before.
"Well Lightman Group was working on a case to track down money that was stolen from people retirement in a pyramid scheme. They got the guy but he was dying and not giving up the money so we were called in by the victims to recover their money. Well it turned out it wasn't the guy but rather it was his spawn daughter. Foster tried making a deal with the father that he could take the fall for the daughter and he would get the money back but I couldn't let it go. I felt the girl had to be punished or she wouldn't stop. So I told the authorities and lost our client their retirement."
"Wow Eli I...," Olivia started.
"It gets worse," Eli told her.
"Instead of owning up to what I did I panicked at the thought of losing the only thing I cared about and lied about it to Foster when she questioned me. Then because I couldn't handle the guilt I brought Ria into it by telling her what I had done. After an agonizing week of questioning I finally realized that betraying what I stood for with my radical honesty, endangering Ria job, and being overall miserable was not worth keeping my job. Not to mention it took Ria’s then boyfriend to give me the epiphany that I was on the road of becoming my dad, uh James. But by the time I had built up the courage to confess, Lightman called me into his office only to tell me he knew and he was using me to test Ria ability to keep confidence which she passed with flying colors. He then gave me the choice of being demoted and losing my paycheck or leaving and so of I course chose to stay."
Olivia processed the story for a minute, "Why couldn't you let it go?"
"Excuse me?" Eli asked surprised she asked that out of all the things he imagined.
"You knew you could lose your job but you still turned the daughter in, why?"
"Truthfully, the whole case hit way too close to home. Both the father and daughter remind me way too much of James and I knew what he would be thinking in their shoes. He wouldn't have stopped. He just would not have got caught the next time and some other people would have been out of their retirement money with the main difference being they would never have a chance for justice. I would like to say making sure justice was served while it could be was my motivation but that would be a lie. I'm really not sure myself, though it probably was just a projection of some deep rooted issue that I will never give the time of day."
"Which leaves you without pay? How do you live?" Olivia questioned unable to get the idea of college age bachelors living off of instant noodles out of her head.
"Just fine. I had a pretty good savings built up and the next day I downgraded my apartment to a cheaper one with a roommate. I've cut out all extra expenditures and started getting paid at the youth center I was volunteering at. That is actually where I have been spending my free time when I'm not at Lightman's."
Olivia did not like this at all. Yesterday Eli described what he did for the Lightman group which sound just as involving as her job as a detective and he wasn't even getting compensated for it. Plus he was working a second job on top of it. Yes he made a mistake and seemed to deserve it but a whole year? The protective feeling that was welling up in her was new and alarming to her and she had no idea how to respond. Luckily for her Eli seemed to sense her distress or maybe he took it as displeasure towards him but he decided to end the awkward silence that was starting between them.
"Look we both have an early day ahead of us tomorrow. We should call it a night and talk again tomorrow?" Olivia hated the uncertainty in his voice and knew her lack of response was the cause.
"Yes I look forward to that. I will talk to you tomorrow. Goodnight," Olivia told him.
"Goodnight," Eli told her and then the phone disconnected.
Olivia looked around her room awkwardly before reaching out to hook her cell to the charger when a text came in wishing her sweet dream with no bedbugs. Once she was sure her phone was charging she slipped into bed with a small smile on her face. They were going to be just fine.
The next morning Olivia arrived to the station bright and early ready to go with Elliot to pick up their suspect. Olivia was original reluctant to wait because of the funeral considering the Reverend was a murder suspect and Richard's mom had lost a son too and this feeling was reinforced when they had to wade through the vultures known as the media to get Curtis back to the station. Who had tipped them off anyway? They better hope she never found out.
After a lengthy and unconventional interrogation Elliot finally got a confession out of the Reverend by taking him to his church and appealing to his faith. The only thing left to do was to wait for him to be processed and finish filling out their reports.
"Hey Liv! I have something I got to show you," Munch called out to her as he walked over desk and took over her computer.
It took a few moments and by the time he brought up the news video he wanted Fin and Elliot had gravitated over to see what he was doing. Olivia was surprised to see her brother's face appear on the screen. Eli looked nice but slightly out of place to her dressed fully in a suit and tie but perfectly in element sitting next to a slightly eccentric looking older man.
"To be clear the Lightman Group is putting it's hard-won reputation on the line for a UFO sighting?" The reporter asked Eli incredulously.
Eli just smirked as he flippantly relaxed in his chair, perfectly natural, "Now that we have a second eyewitness and physical evidence, we think it is time that we got some answers from our government."
"Aren't you worried this could become a national security issue?" The reporter countered.
The Professor took this opportunity to jump in, "If the Air Force is telling me the truth and they didn't pick up an object this size, then we already got a huge problem."
"Mr. Hickson is telling the truth. When you know that, why not bet the ranch?" Eli told the reporter cheekily which made Olivia laugh out loud. So this is what Eli didn't want to talk about last night even though she could tell he was enthusiastic about his work.
"UFO sighting really? Don't you have anything better to wasted out time on?" Fin asked not yet catching the connection, "just another whack job to add to your conspiracy club."
"Hey! He not a whack job! A bit of a dork maybe but if he is willing to back the teacher up it because the fact say it's the truth," Olivia defended automatically while realizing that she could sound like she was defending UFO's.
"What you know that guy?" Elliot questioned even as he put the pieces together, "Really Liv? That's your brother?"
"Yes that's my brother and don't say it like that. He really is a great guy. He may come off a bit odd at times but that is only because he lives by a set of standards that he isn't willing to bend just to appear well..."
"Non-loony?" Fin offered in jest.
"Well I like the guy already," Munch told her brashly, "admit it...he is the dorky little brother you always wish you had."
"As in he is a geek but he is my geek so only I get to pick on him kind of way? Yes absolutely," Olivia told him honestly.
"As I said my kind of guy which begs the question when do I get to meet him?" Munch questioned.
"Yeah when do we get to meet him," Elliot mimicked.
"You guys! I only got to meet him a couple of days ago you really don't expect me to share," they just looked at her, "not anytime soon, okay? Oh look Curtis should have been processed by now and I still have half a report to finish...
Olivia made it home just after eight and took her time changing as she waited for her dinner to arrive. It was just about nine when she was settled nicely on her couch with a carton of orange chicken in her hand when Eli finally called.
"Hey I saw you on the news today," Olivia told him after they exchanged pleasantries.
"Really? I know it didn't get picked up by the big news channels," Eli told her confused.
"Well one of my colleagues monitors things like that and knew I would be interested since it was you and showed me."
"Oh people at work known about this... about us?" Eli asked.
"Yeah well they already know my history and I got yelled at when I did a background check on you and had to explain myself so they have known for a few weeks. I hope that isn't a problem," Olivia asked worriedly. It was a sensitive subject after all.
"Oh that's fine really. I was just surprised since I haven't told anyone yet. Though that's mainly due to fact I don't really have anyone to tell. Lightman Group just isn't that kind of place for me."
"What kind of place is it to you?" Olivia couldn't help but ask.
"Most days home... Family," Eli said in a joyless tone that told her something was bothering him.
"Is something wrong?" Olivia asked
"You can tell? Well I wasn't going to bring it up, it's fine," Eli told her which she knew was the closest thing to a straight lie he had told her since they meet.
"No really I want to know. You have been nothing but happy and charming the last three days I want to see the other proofs of humanity too," Olivia coaxed.
"Proof of humanity? Really?" Eli asked incredulously.
"Yes to know and truly accept someone you have to take the good with the bad while encouraging the best. Something my mom taught me. It's okay to allow yourself not to be the most relaxed person in the room," Olivia told him.
"I lied today, on purpose. Actually I perpetrated a lie on a whole school," Eli confessed bitterly.
"I assume this has to do with the Professor who saw the UFO," Olivia concluded.
"Yeah, my media stunt got the attention of the government enough to send a guy over with a really weak cover story. There was no way the Professor was going to buy it. After I talked to the guy I realized that it was a strong possibility that the government might not know what that thing in the sky was but they were never going to admit that. The way things stood the only thing that was certain was that Professor Hickson was going to lose his job and he still wouldn't have the truth. So I helped the guy come up with a better story to pacify Hickson and save his job."
"That's good though isn't it? The only thing that pursuing it further would have done was ruin his career and Lightman group's reputation," Olivia reasoned.
"Maybe but that isn't really the point," Eli told her.
"Then what is the point?"
"Lie's always have consequence, Olivia. It doesn't matter if the ends seem to justify the means. It is never worth it in the end. I might not see what the consequence are but they will happen and if anything I have just seared my own conscience. Will this just make the choice easier next time?"
"It's possible. Considering you are not being completely truthful now," Olivia stated.
"What do you mean?" Eli asked surprised.
"I can tell you're upset about having to lie and I know how important that is to you but I can tell that's not what's wrong or at least not the biggest part of it."
"Ah yes my sister the talented detective. I'm not meaning to lie, which by the way is why my work so important because it is against human nature to be 100% truthful all the time. So I'm not meaning too, it's just hard to think about much less talk about... I almost lost Ria and Lightman today," Eli explained.
"Lost as in?" Olivia clarified.
"Killed well murdered by a Ted Bundy wannabe," Eli quipped bitterly.
"What happened?" Olivia asked concerned.
"Well the reason I was in charge of the Professor Hickson case was because Lightman was teaching a class for a old University Professor but of course Lightman can't just be like anyone else in the world and do his job and go home. No he had to find that one of the students was a woman hating murdering sociopath which of course he immediately brought to the school's attention which they didn't buy since Foster didn't see what Lightman saw even though there was a open missing person case on campus. So Lightman of course decided to stop the guy himself by having Reynolds follow the guy with him, speaking to his mother, handing out warning flyers at the school," Eli ranted.
"Really?" Olivia asked slightly impressed that Eli boss would go to that extent to stop someone he perceived as dangerous.
"Oh yeah Lightman is like a bloodhound on a scent when he is convinced he is right. Well the guy obviously wasn't happy about it so he retaliated by stalking Ria and following her into a coffee shop and proceeded to charm her into agreeing to go to a concert with him and dropping her guard. After she had turn her back to him to fish out a card from her purse he informed her that he knew LIghtman and if he was who Lightman thought he was Ria would have been dead."
"Did he do anything?" Olivia asked slipping into cop mode at the thought of that kind of monster being that close to someone her brother cared greatly for.
"No, no that was it. It totally freaked her out and made her question her ability to read people but she was fine. But of course Lightman just stepped up his attack plan up several notches and enlisted his Professor which I guess he had slept with as a student who was now currently bedding Martin the psycho. Lightman had her break up with him in hopes that he would attack her. He had a whole sting set up but misjudged the guys pure hatred of him because instead of going for the Professor, Martin, took Lightman. He abducted Lightman right out of the office at gunpoint. I can't tell you how my heart stopped when I brought up the security footage.
Everyone went into panic mode because we had no idea where Martin might be holding Lightman. We had no clues to where Martin tortured his victims but we did have a survivor that escaped and were able to track down where the creep was going to bury her. When they got there they found Martin trying to force Lightman to dig his own grave which was all kinds of coincidence and would be funny if it wasn't so messed up. The psycho had repeatedly waterboarded him and most definitely would have killed him if Reynolds team hadn't showed up."
"Eli, I'm sorry," Olivia told him.
"Don't be Lightman got what he wanted after all even though it wasn't the way he wanted it so I think that is suppose to make it alright in the grand scheme of things. I mean they did find four bodies in that area which happens to be within Virginia borders so I'm hoping he gets the chair and I get to watch," Eli darkly told her.
"Eli, you don't mean that. I know how you feel because I have had that same thought many times but the best course of action is to never give that creep another thought and be thankful no one you care about was permanently taken," Olivia told him sisterly.
"I know you're right because I need to take the time to be thankful now because who knows when Lightman will get himself or one of us killed in the future. It kind of goes with the job. People do not like the truth exposing their darkness but that is easier said than done. I mean when I think about how close that murderous scumbag was to Ria I..." Eli stopped as he started to choke a bit.
"I know Eli. You really care about her don't you?"
"More than I will ever probably be able to admit," Eli admitted honestly before taking a moment to compose himself and change the subject, "Well since it seems I broke the no work talk rule I think it's only fair you tell me about this case you have been working so hard on these last couple of days. I promise not to tell your boss or the media you talked."
"I think I can trust you. So tell me what do you know about crows?"