Lie To Me Fan Fiction / Law And Order - Series Fan Fiction ❯ The Meaning of Family: Kinship ❯ Chapter 8: Misplaced ( Chapter 8 )
The Making of Family: Kinship
Chapter 8: Misplaced
Tagline: "Radical honesty did start as a way to rebel against my lying no good father," Eli gave her.
"The instinct of a natural is there but for some reason, that I've never really gotten, you won't let yourself listen to it.”
"No...no... I'm sorry... I'll give him the message as soon as he comes in.... Yes I know FBI cases are suppose to be a priority... You would have to ask agent Reynolds about that... I don't have any say sir I just work here.... Yes... uh huh... bye," Eli let out a loud sigh as he hung up the phone and greeted his coworker who were returning from their long lunch.
"Thanks for watching the phones, Eli," Anna said as she walked around the desk to reclaim her chair.
"No problem. Did you guys enjoy your lunch? Eli asked as he grabbed his laptop off her desk.
"We sure did. Hey did you know Katie is dating a lawyer named Larry? You would think she would be better at catching manipulation," Mark told him as he ducked away from Katie's playful punch.
"Ignore him. We brought you back some food," Katie said as she handed him a takeout container all the while casting a glare at Mark.
"Awesome, a lawyer huh? I knew there was someone new but on to business. The FBI has sent over some footage that we might as well start combing through before we call it quIts today. I want to break it down as much as possible before the big cheeses decided to grace us lowly minions with their presence again," Eli said while directing everyone but Anna back to the lab. Within ten minutes the lab was running smoothly without any sign of the directionless it had that morning.
It wasn't until it started to get dark and Eli had already released the other employees that Gillian and Ria made an appearance. Reynolds came in shortly after. He had already put a call into Emily once she was home from school to be informed that Ria had shown up at their door late last night upset about her sister. Emily didn't know much but it was enough to figure out that the rest of the team was working on something big and hadn't even bothered to tell him which well hurt, not that he would ever say as much.
"I mean all day not one of you thought to say, hey, let's just call Eli and tell why nobody's in the office," Eli vented as soon as Gillian finished giving him a bit of a run down on that day's events.
"Loker, a girl was murdered," Gillian said as if that excused all that he was feeling on the subject.
Eli wasn't deterred from expressing his current thought, "Well, that's exactly my point. It's a scary world. Bad things happen."
"I-I worry," Eli faltered as he tried to control his emotion before directing his attention a Ria, "And apparently you have a sister."
"Half sister," she said as if trying to justify her never mentioning her sister before.
Deciding not to cause anymore grief because he knew his feeling weren't helpful at the moment Eli jumped into work mode, "All right, so, if, um, this Maurice kid with the proclivity towards violence was framed, then who killed this pregnant girl?"
"The youth center psychologist is a maybe. Uh, there was, there was definitely something between him and Marly on those tapes," Ria said trying to switch to work mode as well.
"Alright, well, I'll call the deputy warden, see if I can sweet-talk her into giving you more access," Reynolds said stepping in.
"Why don't you not," Lightman said out of nowhere as he came in with a teenage dressed in orange.
"Oh, look, is this little Torres?" Eli asked excited as there was no missing the family resemblance.
The girl just walked through the room and sat across from her sister not looking happy at all at being there. Lightman stopped long enough in front of Eli to give him a look that told him he was not welcome in the discussion. Eli did nothing to mask the hurt he was feeling as he looked back at Lightman.
"You know, I just remembered, I got some work to do downtown. And I'm going to pretend I never even saw her. You call me if you need me," Reynolds said before retreating to get away from the evidence of a jail break, breaking Eli and Lightman's stare down.
"I've got some research to do," Eli said to no one before following Reynolds out.
"You could be charged with aiding and abetting. Or kidnapping," Eli heard Gillian say as he left his lab.
Logically Eli knew it was better not to get involved in Lightman illegal stunt but Ria was his friend and he wanted to help her if he could but his help and concern was obviously not needed or wanted. Eli stood in the hall for a minute in indecision before heading to the door. They wanted to take over his lab and kick him out after he waited the entire day for them that was just fine. He would just go home and get some much needed sleep. It wasn't like anyone would notice if he was there or not anyways.
Personally, Olivia had a very good reason why she did not like it when Elliot became to personally involved in a case which was her partner liked to go off doing stuff on his own without telling her, leaving her with both their share of paperwork. Then he had the nerve to call her to meet him places without a word of explanation or apology.
This lead her to the Rice's home to re-arrest Jordan who had been let out by a Judy Donnelly who thanks to web postings was reevaluating her decision on lenience. It was once they were let inside by Rebecca that they found Jordan sleeping with Rebecca's mom. This really should have shocked her more but the fact was Olivia knew there was something really off in a desperate kind of way after observing how she acted towards her partner the first time they were there. Unfortunately there was no provable crime they could charge the woman and it was Rebecca who was suffering the most.
Through the courts Jordan, Reagan, Luke, and Mark went a second time and they finally got Jordan to admit it was Lillian, Becca's mom, who supplied the alcohol that lead to Melanie's death. This victory as forced as it was, was short lived as Olivia got a call late that night to an accident scene. Jordan had killed himself and Reagan by driving drunk. The streets seemed extra dark on the drive back home. She spent the rest of the night tossing and turning before giving up and getting up to shower. Looking at the clock it was still pretty early but she picked up her phone anyways. Eli only had texted the following night which Olivia was coming to realize was his way of avoiding lying and truth when he was upset about something.
"Hello," Eli answered by the fifth ring.
"Did I wake you?" Olivia asked though from the background noises she was hearing she knew that was not the case.
"No actually I'm already at the Lightman group. Is everything okay?" Eli asked as he started what sounded like a coffee pot.
At the Lightman group at 6 in the morning? "No it silly really I just needed to hear your voice."
"Something like that. It is just making me think how much of your life I missed out on. So tell me did you do a lot of underage drinking? I mean you did start college rather young," Olivia asked thinking about what Elliot had asked her.
"No I didn't and just to be clear it is because there was never any fun involved in it for me. I ticked way to many people off to be that vulnerable like ever. I did try to join a fraternity my first year and let's just say after the first round of hazing I learned it was better to keep my wits about me at all times. Even now I only drink as part of appropriated adult bonding rituals," Eli explained.
Olivia let out a small laugh, "You make it sound like animal documentary but thanks for letting me know."
"I would love to chat more but the truth is I'm kinda in the middle of something," Eli told her.
"Okay then I will let you get back too it and you can tell me about it later," Olivia promised.
The Lightman Group was dark and deserted with the exception of the lab that Eli occupied even though it was 5:30 in the morning. He had spent the last hour reviewing his team's work on the video's the FBI had sent over of a man leading up to him murdering his ex-wife in a government building. He was so immersed in writing down correction notes that he didn't even sense someone was in the room until Gillian spoke from directly behind him.
"Corrections? Huh, so you still make them find it themselves instead of just correcting it," Eli jump in surprise but tried to cover it by staring intently at the screen ahead of him.
"Yeah well I want them to learn and improve you know. Just telling them they're wrong and then handing them the answer won't accomplish that. Though I do make my own version with the corrections as backup in case they don't finish in time," Eli told her as he finally turned to look up at her.
"Gillian your face!" Eli exclaimed not even trying to cover his concern as he stood to closer inspect the purple bruise that was forming on her right cheek.
Gillian held up her hands to wave him off tiredly and defeated, "Can we not?"
At her quiet reply Eli paused and took all of Gillian in. Her purple shirt and black skirt had a way of minimizing yet complementing the damage and overall she looked, well, fragile. Every protective instinct in his body was going off telling him to hunt down who did this and make them feel pain but the logical side of him knew Lightman would more than handle that. No, what Gillian needed was a distraction. Why else would she be at Lightman Group this time of morning?
Lucky for her Eli was great at distractions. Growing up, it was something he had helped his mother with more times than he could count. Late at night when he would catch his mother in the kitchen unable to sleep they would talk about anything other than the obvious until she could pull herself together.
"Well I try to anyways," Eli said as if his outburst hadn't happened, "but I don't think I should quit my day job to become a teacher. I had a hard enough time teaching them when I could do this over their shoulders so I don't have much hope that what I'm doing now will improve their skills but at least it will stop mistakes from getting through."
"You do an exceptional job at guiding them," Gillian told him gratefully as she gingerly sat down unable to hide a flinch.
Eli gave her a look but didn't comment, "I doubt that. I've been working with some of them for a few years now and only Mark can be trusted to work unsupervised without any mistakes but his work still doesn't have the speed I would like to see. Plus there are still a few areas he needs to get acquainted with to have full knowledge of running the lab."
"Like you?" Foster asked slipping into psychologist mode.
Eli wasn't sure if he wanted to go this route but knowing it would make Gillian feel better decided to comply with his radical honesty, "Sure...um...yeah I guess. I mean I am the unpaid intern after all but I never get to slack off. I mean they are the ones getting paid with the fancy master degrees and perfect resumes they shouldn't need a lowly unpaid intern covering for them."
"Do you want to slack off?" Gillian asked.
"Well no but that really isn't the point," Eli said sounding a bit silly to himself.
"I think they each do extraordinarily well in their expert areas. Do you really think it's fair to compare their abilities to yourself considering you are a natural?" Gillian asked earning a snort from Eli.
"Uh I learned the science remember? That's why I help develop so much of our analysis equipment."
"You're thinking of Ria? You might not be a natural in the same sense of the word she is but that doesn't mean you're not gifted as well. You just have a different skill set that you use to read people," Gillian said but decided to change her approach at the look of skepticism, "Take Ria and her sister Eva. The way they were raised made them both naturals at reading people's emotions as a survival mechanism but while Ria turned that into the ability to detect the truth without any outside training Eva used it to perfect lying and the ability to manipulate people."
"You make Eva sound like Lightman," Eli commented.
"I don't think that is too far off. From what I know of Cal's childhood I wouldn't be surprised if they were the same but I think it is that ability that to manipulate people that gave him the insight to break down the micro-expressions and create the science. If Eva studied and learned the science she could probably be just as good," Gillian said.
"Now that's a scary thought, a mini-Lightman but what about you? What is your gift then? Because we both know you are just as good if not at times better then both Lightman and Ria and while you can pull off a big con if necessary you are no means a natural manipulator, " Eli asked, curious on how she would describe herself.
"Well I don't think it should surprise that it would be connected to why I became a psychologist in the first place. I have always been able to spot the lies people tell themselves and since I was a child I've always wanted to help people with those lies without being seen as busybody so psychologist. Inner lies also happens to be something Cal is mostly blind too. It's why we make such a good team," Gillian told him before adjusting to respectfully lean into Eli's personal space, "Now your gift is the science."
"You mean I'm learning the science," Eli supplied.
"No I don't. I never had the privilege of knowing you before you had training and from what I understand neither has Lightman considering you were self teaching yourself about deception even before you knew about micro-expressions. Despite that and from the fact the only spontaneous comments about your family has always been negative, I would bet that you had some level of natural talent to start with and that is where things like radical honest came from and your search of understanding the nature of truth," Gillian explained.
"Radical honesty did start as a way to rebel against my lying no good father," Eli gave her.
"The instinct of a natural is there but for some reason, that I've never really gotten, you won't let yourself listen to it. You like to rely on the tech but unlike the others, let's say Mark who excels in facial recognition or Katie with voice analysis because of the instinct you are able to see every part without losing the big picture. You work with the tech like it is an extension of your natural abilities rather than a tool to compensate for a lack of ability. That is why you can run the lab so effortlessly and have been so hard pressed to train a qualified replacement. Guess I should just be glad you haven't been contemplating other job offers," Gillian told him making him give off a little snort.
"What? What was that?" Gillian asked reading his face.
"Well funny thing is I just got offered a job yesterday," He told her.
"What! By who?" Gillian asked a bit alarmed.
"Jack Rader," Now Gillian just looked perturbed, "Don't worry I would never seriously consider taking it but that doesn't mean I might not rub it in Lightman' face if he annoys me."
"Why wouldn't you consider taking it? As much as I would hate to see you leave I'd be lying if I didn't tell you that you would probably be better off," Gillian told him thoughtfully.
"Better off? Not a chance. At least in a way that matters most to me. I mean sure I would get paid but for what exactly? My skill? I highly doubt that. Rader would be paying me for betraying Lightman and you can call it ego or pride or just plain old masochism but back when everyone else bailed I promised myself that I would never become a person who would do something like that. Bite the hand that feeds in a manner of speaking even if that hand is of a taskmaster like Lightman. Beside Rader is like dealing with a Lightman with no morals in a con man suit and believe me I see every ounce of humor in that," Eli told her earnestly but shifted uncomfortable as he thought over what was just said.
“but speaking of Eva..." Eli deflected, done with the topic and needing answers.
Gillian sighed and was about to speak when Eli's cell phone went off. Eli looked over to see it was his sister. Alarmed Eli stood and grabbed the phone.
"Hold that thought. I need to take this. Stay here and I'll make us some coffee," Eli received a nod as he headed out of the door and answered the call.
Gillian let out a defeated sigh. She knew it was unfair to use Eli as a distraction when he was so obviously worried about her but he at first he played along just fine. Even though the line of conversation she was bent on pursuing obviously made him skeptical. The truth was that even though she had been making the effort to get to know him better she felt she had barely scratched the surface. It was too easy, like now, to make him unconsciously shut down and show just how long he had been repressing what was underneath. It was to easy to take his radical honesty at face value and forget to dig deeper. Maybe that was the problem, she was heading towards areas she should have sought out years ago. Maybe that was why with all her training in micro-expressions all she could see was pain and sadness underneath his smile.
It wasn't long until Eli returned with the promised coffee, "Sorry about that. So what were you going to say?"
"A group of... people broke into my home, three boys and a girl. They had to be from Covington. They broke in and attacked Eva and me," Gillian told him deciding to stop avoiding the topic.
"How badly are you hurt? Was Eva hurt?" Eli asked examining her face again.
"We're fine," Eli gave her a look, "A little banged up but it's nothing really just a bruised face and some sore ribs. I'll be fine in a day or two.
"I'd ask what the police had to say but we both know that would be silly considering Lightman aided in Eva's escape. It can't be a coincidence that you brought Eva home with you and your house gets broken into with you home," Eli told her.
"No you're right. They were after this jeweled egg Eva had on her. I have Reynolds tracking it down," Gillian told him as she stood and motioned for Eli to follow.
"Why not just ask Eva?" Eli asked as in fell in step with her to exit the lab.
"She ran away shortly after Cal and Torres showed up. They are looking for her now," Gillian explained.
"Right so now we think Eva's evil," Eli interjected half-serious as they rounded the corner to the front entrance way.
"No, no, Loker. She's just a confused and scared girl. Overwhelmed and," Gillian sighs, "I don't know what I think."
"We got company," Eli said drawing Gillian attention to a rough looking young man.
The man's name was Dax and he worked for the deputy warden of Covington. He quickly dropped off a box of group therapy tapes before making a skittish and hasty retreat. Gillian then directed Eli back to the lab so she could try to identify her attackers. Not for the first time Eli marveled at how effortlessly and graceful Gillian merged her instincts with her science. Rader was not kidding when he had said long ago that Gillian might be better at this then Lightman.
From the tapes they were able to find the girl who was apart of the group who attacked Gillian. Around the same time Lightman was able locate and bring in Eva and her friend Tyrel. From them they were able to determine that the deputy warden was the head of a theft ring using the kids of Covington. The problem was proving the deputy wardens involvement since all evidence pointed to Dax as the ringleader and mastermind.
"Dax's word is not enough without cooperation. The only way to help these kids is to get a confession," Gillian exclaimed in frustration over how well the blond deputy warden covered her tracks."
"That's easier said than done love. You've spoken to the woman. She's a pretty good liar to start with without adding the massive god complex. My normal charm will not be enough to shake her," Lightman told her obviously contemplating what abnormal method he wanted to use.
"To bad the kids are criminals," Eli said thinking out loud.
"Why do you say that?" Reynolds asked.
"Because feeling justified in yourself is a lot easier when you don't have to confront the eyes of those who should be able to trust you. Especially when you are in the middle of lying," Eli spoke from experience.
Lightman just stopped and started waving a finger in Eli's direction, "I have a call to make."
"We could do her interview at the detention center," Reynolds tried offering not liking the look Lightman had on.
"No she can't be on her own turf. That would diminish the effectiveness," Lightman said before turning and head out the door.
"Wait Cal! What are you thinking? If you do anything else illegal today I swear I will turn you in myself. Cal!" Gillian called after him but didn't bother trying to follow.
It shouldn't be surprising that Lightman actually managed to get all the kids under the deputy wardens care legally transported to the Lightman Group to be used to bring her down. It was good for the kids and Eli was proud to be apart of it. A bonus of the adventure was Lightman seemed to be ready to back off and let Eli work but only tomorrow would tell. That's why Eli was taking his time to clean up the lab after today's activities when Ria stormed in.
Eli looked up startled and wary of the obviously irate Latino girl,"Who does he think he is? How dare he act like he knows more about my life then I do. So what if I want to take my sister in to keep a promise I made to her. She's my sister!"
"What did Lightman do now?" Eli asked knowing there was only one person she could be venting about.
"He is sending my sister to a school in Richmond," Ria explained.
"Virginia? Oh so she got in already. I knew Gillian had pull but that sure was fast. There is a waiting list like a mile long," Eli interjected.
"You knew about this?" Ria asked slightly betrayed.
"Well Gillian asked for a recommendation from me since I am acquainted with the school and it's principle. I've even been out there a couple of times for kids from the youth center who have gotten themselves in trouble. Hey I can drive you guys out there if you like and introduce you to some of the people I know," Eli explained.
Ria sat down defeated, "It's really that good?"
"Oh yeah and I think Eva would make a good fit. It would be good for her. I know because I personally know a few success stories. Doesn't mean you'll stop being her sister," Eli assured.
"You serious about that ride even though I never told you I had a sister?" Ria asked.
"Of course. It's not like I asked and you lied about it right?" Eli shrugged the question off.
"No," Ria answered thoughtful, "Why is that? I mean we're friends, right? Yet you never ask me anything about my family. Isn't that strange?"
"I don't ask because we are friends. Don't get me wrong I would love to know more about you. Actually all about you but if I asked would you have told me the truth? I mean you are a natural and all natural share one trait in common which is something you have made clear you have no desire to discuss. So would you have told me the truth?" Eli probed.
"No," Ria answered simply.
"And what is the one thing I can't stand above all other?" Eli questioned.
"Lies and half-truths," Ria answered starting to understand.
"I'm not saying you might not need help dealing with your family issues and so we are clear I will always be here to help but what good is pressing a person who is not ready to talk about it yet? So why would I ask you about something that I know you would lie about? Because if you lied I would be mad and what kind of a friend purposely does something like that?," Eli told her as he lend in close enough to smell her body spray before sitting back, "Besides I'm fairly confident that when you are ready you will tell me."
"That makes sense... I guess...I would never had thought about it that way but thank you," Ria said softly.
"So go talk to your sister about the school and if you guys decide on it just let me know and I'll drive you both there."