Lie To Me Fan Fiction / Law And Order - Series Fan Fiction ❯ The Meaning of Family: Kinship ❯ Chapter 4: Turning Point: Breaking ( Chapter 4 )
The Making of Family: Kinship
Chapter 4: Turning Point: Breaking
Eli smiled as he walked out of the Lightman Group and into the afternoon sun. It was a nice day and he held no grudge about being forced out by Ria to go pick up their lunch for the day. Yeah this would be so much better than listening to Lightman's last minute insulting instructions before he head out to catch his flight. He could walk to the deli and enjoy the day and call his sister to see if she had any plans this weekend because well he didn't. They had talked and texted each other all week and Eli was willing the drive all the way out to New York if only to catch her at her lunch break if that meant he could see her face to face again. It wasn't like he had anyone else in his life to invest his spare time in and he was really enjoying having someone to call family.
Unexpectedly, a man with a hat covering his face bummed into Eli without a word, nearly knocking him off his feet, before disappearing around a corner. Feeling his ego sting a bit at his invisibility he steady himself and started walking again in the direction of the deli. Soon he reached the sidewalk adjacent the main street and reached into his jacket pocket to pull out his cell phone. He was just about to bring up Olivia's contact info when a voice called out to him.
"Loker... Eli Loker?"
Eli looked over to see he was being called by a man in a car. The car was dark and non-discrepant as was the man's suit. Obviously a government man and judging by the fact the man knew enough about him to call him out on the street Eli guessed worked with the Pentagon. Although, Eli had never seen this man before but that didn't mean much considering most of the Pentagon contracts were dealt with personally by Lightman or Foster.
"Yes?" Eli responded suspiciously as he walked closer to the street.
"I'm here to speak with your boss but I've never..." the man told him with a wave of his hand that spoke volumes more than his words.
"Oh right just continue straight and at the next right and you will see a parking garage. There an exit in there that will lead to straight to the office," Eli direct the man.
Eli stepped back and the man redirected his car back into traffic. He was turning and redirecting his attention back at the phone when he heard the explosion. There was just enough time for him to turn towards the sound to see the man he had just spoken to be engulfed before being thrown violently to the ground. For the next few moments all he was aware of was a loud ringing in his ears and the feel of the pavement painfully pressing into his face. Everything had suddenly taken on a surreal feel and he felt more like an observer than a participant as his sight began to return to him and he pushed himself off the ground.
Once he finally found his footing he stood and stared at the destruction and chaos around him. At the sight of what the explosion had done to the surrounding cars he abstractly knew he was very lucky to be alive. He knew he should be doing something...feeling something... but all he could do is vacantly scan the area as if it knew the answer. After a moment he realized his phone was ringing and that by some small miracle it was still in his hand. Ria... he had to get back to the Lightman group, Lightman would have the answer.
Eli was only vaguely aware of Ria running ahead of him yelling for help. The only thing he knew for sure was he had to tell Lightman. The pain running through his body was starting to register and he momentarily stopped in his tracks until he saw Foster and Lightman round the corner. Foster reached him and he started to try to explain.
"There was a man in that car and he's in...He's dead. He...it was..."
Foster quickly shook her head as if to dismiss his rambling before turning to Torres, "He's in shock. Let's get him to the break room. "
She then turned concerned eyes onto Eli as she gently grabbed his arm to lead him, "Come on this way."
Lightman hung back and Eli knew it was to try to get a hold of Emily. Eli kept his attention trained on him as Foster made him sit and the girls started fussing over his wounds. He hoped Emily was nowhere near where he was when the bomb went off. He let himself concentrate on that and slowly felt reality return to him as he reconnected with his body. Which unfortunately meant he was becoming more aware of how injured he was and the effect of the alcohol being used to clean his wounds. He tried distract himself by keeping his eyes trained on Lightman and Foster while absently listening to the radio account of the incident.
Strangely he was so focused on observing Lightman and Foster that he almost didn't register the look that passed between them when the broadcast started talking about the man he just watched die but it fully register when Ria called them on it.
"All right, what's important for me right now is to talk to Emily, so make him comfortable and give him some tea." Lightman told them with a wave of his hand before turning to walk away as Foster got up to follow.
Eli knew that tone and attitude. He was being dismissed and Lightman was using his worry over Emily to do it, to justify brushing Eli off to a corner of forgotten thought. Usually he might have logical reasoned that Emily of course should take priority over him but he was shaken, in pain and it was written all over both Lightman and Fosters face that Emily was only part of what plagued Lightman's thoughts. Ria saw it too but she understood less.
"No, No, No, You know something about that bomb or at least you think you do," Ria yelled after them, "I know that look!"
Ria turned back and looked helplessly at Eli but Eli was too busy getting angry at what he wasn't ready to acknowledge to be touched by her concern. He started to try to stand.
"Woe, woe. What do you think you're doing. You need to stay sitting," Ria told him panicky as she rush to his side and tried to get him to sit back down.
"They can't just walk away from me!" Eli told her as he shook her arm of him and finished standing showing her his determination to follow.
The walk to Lightman's office was slower than he would have liked but he was way too angry to regret the pain of moving. He would find out the truth no matter what the consequences. They had no right to keep things from him. He had been apart of this group for nine years which was even longer than Foster and he was no longer a kid. They had no right to just walk away from him. He startled momentarily as the lights came back on and without a single thought to courtesy Eli opened the door to storm in as gracefully as an injured self-indignant man could into the room.
"You can't just sit in here and talk about me," Eli yelled out a Ria tried to stop him but Lightman's look stopped him first.
Their concerned conversation most definitely did not have anything to do with him so Eli walked over and turned on the TV in order to observe and let them continue their conversation which they did for a moment.
"Did, uh, Anna reach Emily yet?" Lightman asked Torres.
"No, no, she's still trying," Torres dutifully informed him.
"I can't just what Loker?" Lightman sarcastically asked as he finally directed his attention to Eli.
"You can't just walk away from me when anyone with half a brain knows that you both know something about that bomb, which by the way came this close to killing me," Eli told him with more defiance than he had ever mustered in the nine years working for Lightman.
The news chose that moment to release the name of the man he watched die, Mr. Andrews. A fossil fuel entrepreneur? Right... well that most definitely a lie even if Eli hadn't seen him in person. That was a really weak and obviously rushed cover. The look on both Foster and Lightman's face confirmed that they knew him.
"You do know that man," Torres said stating the obvious fact that Lightman and Foster were trying to avoid.
The Director of National Intelligence came on and started spinning that they didn't know who was responsibly but were using every resource to find out.
"That's a lie," Lightman told told the room bluntly.
"Ok, Lightman, we know you knew the victim. What else do you know," Torres asked and once again Eli was grateful for her asking the obvious questions that needed to be asked because he was close to losing it which would get nothing with Emily still missing.
"That man was killed by Jimmy Doyle. One of the most dangerous men I've ever come across," Lightman informed them.
"Doyle? Irish?" Eli questioned which earned a surprised look from Foster as it should because he recognized the named from seven years ago.
"Belfast," Lightman said confirming Eli's unspoken question seemingly not surprised that Eli remembered.
Seven years ago Eli helped Lightman gather research material on Belfast and a man named Doyle. It wasn't anything awe-inspiring or suspicious but a few months later Lightman changed and Foster entered their lives. Lightman group then started evolving from a small group of people who helped Lightman research and improve his theories to what it was today. Eli never knew what had happened to change Lightman but saw the fall out of his marriage falling apart and a hardening in his attitude. He remembered Doyle only because he reviewed the months preceding Foster joining for clues many times in his mind.
"You okay, Foster?" Torres asked at Foster slightly paling at Eli's question.
Foster just looked at her before trying to say convincingly, "Everything's fine."
"All right, the man that was killed by that bomb was not a fossil fuel entrepreneur. He was British Liaison for counter-terrorism at the pentagon and seven years ago he was my boss."
"Okay, who was he to you Foster.Did you work at the Pentagon too, or..." Foster's face answered Torres' question, "Oh my you did."
"Dad?" Emily's voice saved Foster from having to answer.
"Where have you been? I was worried sick," Lightman exclaimed as she hurried into the room to him.
"I was stuck out in the mess with everyone else," she told him as she went in for a hug, "What's going on?"
The relief Eli felt at seeing Emily safe was quickly overshadowed by his frustration with Lightman and Foster. Now that everyone could see she was safe he saw no reason to hold himself back anymore.
"That's what we all want to know," Eli told her ominously.
"Look, you know, I'm sorry about what you just went through," Lightman said but all his micro-expressions said the opposite and he wasn't even trying to hide it, "but right now I need a moment with my daughter. After that, I'll figure out how I'm going to use you guys on this. That's how it works, so end of conversation, all right?"
In a moment, just like that, something finally broke and clicked into place for him. Something he had been fighting with since he willingly posed as a criminal that a homicidal grief stricken man wanted dead in order to save Lightman and only got jokes about his demotion for his trouble. Eli had always half-hearted assured himself that Lightman was only softer and showed personal interest in females like Foster and Ria but his recent interest in Reynolds had cracked that delusion. Now he could see the truth clearly now. Lightman only cared how he could use Eli to benefit his agenda. He could care less Eli stood here asking questions instead of lying down stairs in the street dead. The Lightman he had inwardly sworn his loyalty to when they first met was gone and only indifference remained.
"That was a conversation?" Eli spat out deflated yet he could feel his muscles tighten as the desire to physically lash out started to overwhelm him.
"Hey," Torres quickly made her way to his side and started guiding him away, "okay... alright."
Eli made himself breath and let her guide him out but he knew it wasn't alright, might have never been and might never be again.
Olivia was getting frustrated at her partner's frustration. It wasn't her fault that the confession Elliot got out of the Reverend got thrown out. Yeah there slam dunk case just became a lot more work for them as they ran down financials and tried to trace down a blackmail trial and any other evidence of the Reverend's guilt. They found evidence of a love nest which in turn caused the wife to turn over a pretty incriminating voice recording of her husband and Richard. They confronted the Reverend and tried to get him to confess in order to save his family and church any further humiliation but he refused so they headed back to the station. Olivia was surprised when Elliot pulled in front of the station to drop her off instead of parking.
"Sorry Liv there is someone I want to talk to about this. Something just isn't sitting right with me," Elliot explained.
"Oh sure. I'll let the captain know. I'll see you later," Olivia told him before getting out of the car and heading inside.
Once inside Olivia made her way straight to the captain's office to tell him before heading to her desk to work on paperwork. She had been working for about an hour when Fin walked in and called her into the break room.
"I heard about this on the radio on my way in and thought you would want to see," Fin told her as he turned the TV on and flipped to find a good news channel.
It was a story about a car bombing in Washington D.C.. Right in front of the Lightman Group's building. She stood and absorbed the info offered by the reporter before turning towards her desk to grab her phone.
"Thanks Fin," Olivia said as she passed him.
She picked up her phone and sent a hurried texted message before walking back to the break room to wait for a response. Thankfully he responded quickly to tell her he was fine but busy because of the bomb and wouldn't be able to talk to her until later. She didn't have much time to dwell on the short message because soon she received a call informing her there were shot fired at New Souls Church and that Reverend Curtis was down.
Ria didn't let go of Eli's arm until they were safely back in the break room as if Eli might go storming back into Lightman's office. It was a pointless worry though since Eli knew he would get nothing else out of Lightman. He started to move away from her when his phone went off and he pulled it out of his pocket to reveal a worried texted message from his sister. He texted back letting her know he was fine but busy because he was just too focused on what was going on at the moment to risk speaking to her. Eli ignored the pointedly curious look Ria gave him as he slipped his phone back into his pocket.
"Look Eli Lightman is...." Ria started to say but stopped unable to complete the train of thought proving how bad the undercurrent must have been back in the office, "Foster... she and Lightman..."
"Torres... please stop. Believe me I know exactly what Lightman and Foster are doing. Which is badly covering their backsides. What I don't get is why they feel the need to shut everyone one else out. Look I got work to do. You should find something to do until Lightman needs something as well," Eli told her before quickly side stepping her and making his way to his desk.
Eli breathed a sigh of relief when he got to his desk without Ria following him. The last thing he needed was someone hovering asking questions or worse trying to talk him out of what he had determined to do. With expert ease he used his mouse to bring up the security cameras in order to track the whereabouts of Lightman and Foster and was more annoyed than surprised to find Lightman had already fled the building without a word. This suited him just fine anyways since he already had figured Foster was the more prime target if her constant guilt indicators were anything to go by. He spent the next 40 minutes just watching what she was doing on her computer before printing out some screen captures and heading to her office. When he got to her office she was still busily rereading e-mails from Mr. Andrews making it easy for him to take her by surprise.
"Porn? You are human," Eli said as he made it a point to acknowledge her guiltily closing her laptop.
"You seem to be making a speedy recovery," Gillian said without looking at him as she started fiddling with the things on her desk before finally trying to make eye contact.
All of which were classic manipulators and a big sign of a guilty conscience. Gillian Foster might be one of the world's most leading psychologist and deception experts but she was definitely not a natural born liar. It was obvious to Eli that her main problem at the moment was a long time lie was coming undone around her and she could no longer keep up whatever facade she had been using perpetrate it.
"What are you really working on there?" Eli probed in hopes she would just come clean before he called her on it because he knew that would be the best thing for her.
"Personal stuff. It's my personal laptop," Gillian evaded
"Personal stuff. In the middle of all this? That's what I call compartmentalization," Eli said calling her bluff as he walked to her desk, "Did they teach you that at the pentagon?"
"Can I help you with something, Eli?"
"Actually, you can...Gillian." Eli said her name to make sure she understood this was personal as he showed her the print outs.
"You hacked into-- You can't do that!" Gillian yelled as she stood indignant.
"In my sleep." Eli stated firmly without missing a beat and without a hint of backing down because he was done with being pushed aside and dismissed.
"Here's what I know. In 2003, you were at the Pentagon when Henry Andrews, the man whose blood I just cleaned off my face, ordered you to evaluate a member of his team, Dr. Cal Lightman. Who was acting irrationally and I quote, 'In danger of causing serious harm to ongoing counter-terrorism operations.' "
Eli waited a beat to let what he said sink in before continuing, "It could have been worse... It could have been porn."
The look on Gillian face almost made that betrayal he was feeling at the moment worth it. Almost... but well you know not really. The secret of what brought Gillian into Lightman's life and ultimately into his for better or worse was now after seven years being brought out onto the table.
"Lightman didn't believe the robbery-homicide story," Gillian explained as she showed him news clippings.
"You mean the Pentagon's cover up story," Eli retorted.
"Those two men were found guilty of the murders of Mary and Bernadette Doyle by their peers in a court of law," Gillian said detached.
"You know what I hear in that official, very un-Foster like speech pattern? Fear and doubt," Eli told her earning him a studied look.
"Lightman wanted to go public with what he believed was the real story."
"He wanted to blow the whistle on a botched Pentagon order hit?" Eli asked amazed.
"To prevent him from doing that or at least to discredit his mental state if he tried, his boss sent him to see me."
"His boss-- Henry Andrews-- the man who was killed in that car bomb," Eli stated once he took a seat, "Did Lightman ever blow the whistle?"
"His life was in serious danger," Gillian tried to justify.
"See, that doesn't sound like Lightman."
"A lot of what Lightman does these days is because of what... He didn't do back then," Gillian explained which made a lot of sense.
Eli never saw the work side of Lightman until after he stopped working solely for the government and Gillian joined as a partner to make the group a private firm. That made the personality change easier to justify and ignore at least in the way it personally pertained to himself but it always been there.
"So I was almost killed by a terrorist who is after Lightman," Eli stated more to prove a point to himself than anything.
Almost killed by a terrorist after Lightman and Eli was viewed in Lightman's eyes as an obstetrical and a tool rather than an innocent bystander. That was just... was.
“So I was almost killed by a terrorist who is after Lightman”
The sound of Eli’s voice stopped Emily in her tracks as she took a minute to absorb that information. Eli was almost killed by a guy trying to kill her dad. She saw he was injured and mad earlier but with her dad's fretting didn't really think about what that might mean. With the fact her dad’s face was all messed up and wasn't talking… again she really didn't have hope that Eli was exaggerating.
“Hey Gillian,” Emily said as she glided in the room very aware of the tense atmosphere in the room, “My dad needs to see you, seemed urgent.”
“Uh, right. Eli… we will continue this later. For now, rest, you still need to recover,” Gillian said detached.
Emily watch Gillian walk out of the room before turning to see Eli sitting there for a minute clearly unhappy and brooding before he stood and walked out of the room without acknowledging her. Worried Emily hurried to catch up annoyed at his wide stride.
“Hey are you okay? Eli!” she said as she reached out to tug the sleeve but accidentally bumping his injuries arm.
“Yeah Emily. I'm fine,” he said with a flinch, turning to her.
“Don’t lie. You promised me remember? No hiding thing in the name of protecting me. I'm not a kid,” Emily proclaimed because he had back at Christmas when they were waiting for Lightman to return from Afghanistan.
Eli looked miserable, “I know. I'm sorry. I just can't, okay? I'm not fine. Please understand I just can't be the one to explain things right now.”
Deciding to go with instinct, “Not even about Doyle,” Emily questioned making Eli eyes go wide.
“How do you know that name?” Eli snapped.
“I just meet him. He came in with my dad, who looks like he's been in a bar fight,” Emily replied growing confused at the unusual expression on his face.
“Yeah they headed to the labs… what's going on?” Emily asked as he quickly walked off leaving her in the middle of the hallway.
Emily slowly followed behind until she reached Eli’s desk and looked over his shoulder to see what he was doing, “You're following my dad on the camera feeds?”
“What are you going to tell on me or do you want answers?” Eli said as he reached for his ear phones obviously to keep her from hearing what was being said. “Not like he is going to let me walk in there and find out what's going on.”
“Who am I to stop you? I'm not even supposed to be here anyways.”
Emily's convenient answer brought a small smile to Eli’s lips that quickly vanished as he started listening to the audio.
“Whatever it is that you are hiding. I forgive you,” Lightman meant that too. It was clear all over his face.
“I have never hidden anything from you, Cal. Let it go,” There was obvious fear maybe more closer to terror in every word. Her true feelings written across her face. Eli felt like a voyeur but the feeling of betrayal was stronger.
“Why don't you ask Doyle about Andrews. ‘cause I've always valued your opinion,” Eli switched to the camera in the box long quick enough to catch the end of the introductions.
“What are you making him do?” Contempt
“I just need to find my wife and daughter's killer” determination.
“To avenge them? Are you prepared to hunt and kill another man? I don't believe that. Even if he has a gun to your head. “ Foster said to Doyle though her words were direct towards Lightman.
“You know seven years ago I helped murder this man's wife and child and now I would like to know exactly who it was I helped,” regret and contempt.
“Why now?” Foster asked not taking her eyes off Doyle.
“Why now what?”
“I didn't kill Andrews. I just talked to the man.” Doyle said and from Lightman and Fosters reaction Eli knew it was true.
It was enough for now. Lightman was battling his own demons and Eli could conceded that finding the bomber and the man responsible for the murder of Doyle's family overshadowed anything he might be feeling.
“Your dad is just helping him out. There's nothing to worry about I'm sure he will figure out who's responsible and you guys will be on a plane to Berkeley in no time.”
“Really?” Emily asked wanting it to be true.
“Yeah why don't you go hang out in your dad's office or go check in with Torres,” Eli told her and was grateful when she just took the hint without any problem.
Lightman, Foster and Doyle left shortly after and Eli didn't hear from them for a couple hours until he received a call from Lightman telling him to grab Ria to analyze a press conference that he and Foster planned to crash. On national television no less which was well... awesome. Both Eli and Ria quickly saw why this was their task as they identified a man with obvious character issues.
It was eerily easy to fall into work mode and push all his troubled feeling into the box he affectionately labeled 'deal with it...later'. That box was to be put on a forgotten shelf in the back next to daddy issues to hopefully be lost in the recesses of his mind. At least that was his hope until he was left with a minute to himself, but hey denial was a beautiful place this time of year and it allowed him to do his job.
Soon, very soon actually, Lightman was walking in with the man from the press conference. You had to love having FBI resources like helicopters at your disposal. Eli got comfortable in his favorite chair and brought up all his programs that he would need for monitoring as Ria watched the interview and waited to step into the box on cue to deliver the phone. After Doyle made himself known on the phone Eli stood and just watched the show as Lightman and Foster accused him of ordering a hit on Doyle, blotching it, and ending up killing an innocent woman and child, and then killing a British consultant to protect himself. The man could barely contain himself much less successfully lie so he confessed and gave up someone code named Finch which allowed Doyle the chance to face the man who murdered his wife and child.
When it was finally over Eli walked out without a word unable to continue pushing his turmoil to the back of his mind. He knew he probably should just go home and sleep the weekend away until he could properly file what he learn today away and go back to how thing were but he found himself heading to his car and just sitting vacantly in his seat. He was just so empty and spent. He didn't think this was something he could come up with a convincing enough lie to fed himself to fix what had been broken, the trust that was lost. After a few more moments he started his car and pulled out of the parking garage and started to drive. Going back to his apartment being the furthest thing from his mind.