Lie To Me Fan Fiction / Law And Order - Series Fan Fiction ❯ The Meaning of Family: Kinship ❯ Chapter: 9 Suckered ( Chapter 9 )
The Making of Family: Kinship
Chapter 9: Suckered
Episode: Lie to Me Season 2 Episode 17 Bullet Bump
(This chapter introduces a character that is taken from Law and Orders one season spin-off show Convictions, Billy Desmond ADA. The show itself isn't relevant to the story but for canon buffs, you can consider from Billy’s timeline the events in this story happen after the events of the show. He will be a recurring character.)
The day was clear and comfortably warm on the Saturday Eli drove the Torres sisters to Richmond. They arrived at the school by ten and the principal gave a tour and some introductions to staff and residence. When it was time to leave, Eli guided a subdued Ria back to the car. Consequently, the teary parting required a time of melancholy silence before Eli decided to intrude into her thoughts.
"Hey just ahead is a decent diner. How about you let me buy you some lunch?"
Ria turned her head and studied him thoughtfully before responding, "Sure I haven't eaten since last night."
"Perfect then you should be fine indulging in some comfort foods," Eli said with a slight smirk.
"Why would you say that?"
"Well isn't it a rule that when a girl is sad she eats a whole container of ice cream or something?" Eli teased.
"That's for breakups," Ria said playing along, "Ice cream, chick flicks, and your closest girlfriends."
"I should have known that there was a complicated set of rules about it. So what does leaving your sister in a strange new place call for?"
Ria took a moment to think, "Hmm, a bowl of warm soup and the tallest iced coffee I can find."
"Well then you are in luck because this diner can provide both," Eli said as he pulled into the parking lot.
Soon they were seated with their orders given to the waitress. It wasn't very long until they received their food as they were only one of three occupied tables. Eli took the time to savor a couple of bits of his food as he watched Ria enjoy her bowl of vegetable beef soup and coffee.
"Is it good?" Eli asked rhetorically.
"Oh, yes," Ria answered delightedly, "Much better than I expected actually but still no competition to my Mom's."
"Is that why it's your comfort food of choice today because it reminds you of your mother?"
"Yeah, she would make it for me whenever I got back from visiting Eva and my dad. She hated that I had to go over there because she knew what he was like but what can you do about something court-ordered? So before I left she would always tell me to make it about Eva because I would be coming back but she had to stay. Then after I came home she would serve me a big homemade bowl and just sit and listen to whatever I needed to say," Ria explained with a noticeable shine in her eyes.
"Really vegetable beef?" Eli asked with a raised eyebrow distracting her from the pain of the memory.
"Yeah, why? You think a poor Latina girl can only grow up eating tacos?" Ria threw back a bit defensive.
"No, but for all you think of me, I never got homemade vegetable soup growing up. Now that's love," Eli said with an envious look that made her smile.
"Well after my dad split my mom started taking these culinary classes. You know one at a time here and there as much as money and time would allow. I'm pretty sure it was her way to rebel against my dad because he was very strict on what was cooked and how. After I graduated she got some kind of culinary degree. She works as head chef of a pretty famous Japanese restaurant in New York."
"New York City?" Eli asked scheming.
"No, she is about an hour out actually. She's great you know. She still calls me at least once a week to check on me. Always worrying," Ria said wistfully.
"You miss her," Eli stated.
"Yeah, I haven't seen her in like eight months, and with everything that's happened with Eva..."
"You want to go see her? I'll drive you....now," Eli said nonchalantly.
"What!?" Ria exclaimed, taken off guard.
"We still have some of today left. I could have you there in time for dinner."
"But how would I get home?"Ria asked reasonably.
"I would pick you up tomorrow."
"No, Eli. What would you do in the meantime?"
"Hour outside of New York right? I have someone I can crash with, in the city. I can just go and hang out there."
Ria looked torn so Eli gave her his brightest smile as he leaned forward to give her his best pitch, "Just give her a call. For all, we know she may be busy right? Besides, it is by no means an inconvenience to drive you there. If she's free take it as a sign. I'll go take care of the check while you decide so we can get out of here."
Eli got up and walked over to the register before she could reply. When he got up to the register he looked back to see Ria on her phone and let out a little relieved sigh. Helping Ria and getting to see his sister? A win-win if there ever was one. With that thought, Eli took his time paying and making his way back to the table to allow Ria her privacy. As he approached, Ria put her phone down and stood smiling.
"Orders Captain?" Eli jested.
"Make it so Number One," Ria replied in her best Captain Picard voice, making Eli's inner nerd do a very happy dance as he followed her out smiling like an idiot.
Olivia did her best to steady her breath in determination to finish her last mile on the treadmill. Her ego was stinging at the difficulty and time it was taking her to reach her magic number. Just another piece of proof that she had been seriously lacking in personal time the last few months. Making sure to grab her water bottle, bag, and apartment listings she was thumbing through she headed into the next room where the punching bags were kept. She was pleased to find the room sparse and quickly chose a bag to go to work on.
It had only been about ten minutes in when a voice intruded in on her concentration, "There is a lot of anger under all those gentle curves isn't there?"
Olivia barely glanced at the man to determine threat potential before ignoring him and delivering a devastating roundhouse kick to the bag sending it flying. Despite the display of violence the man just stepped forward steadying the bag.
"There we go," the man said with dark eyes laughing, "give me all you got."
Olivia only paused momentarily before deciding to take the man up on his offer but quickly became annoyed at how effortless he made the task look.
"I think that right hook and feral look confirms it for me. How long have you been a cop?" The stranger questioned.
"What makes you think I'm a cop?" Olivia grunted not slowing her assault.
"Well, it's actually detective, right? I should know since I work with law enforcement regularly. After a while, it's easy to spot the signs such as the pent-up hostility towards innocent gym equipment you seem to have."
Olivia couldn't help the smile that broke through as she stopped to study the very charming dark stranger. As she gave him a once over she was pleased to see the amount of sweat that had formed on his chocolate brow as he held her bag.
"A lawyer then?" She stated as she finished her exam.
"Oh, don't worry I'm not the enemy. ADA Billy Desmond at your service, " Desmond introduced himself as he held his hand out to her.
"Desmond? You worked on the college date rape cases with Munch and Fin last year," Olivia stated remembering the name.
"Yeah, that was me. So does that mean you work in SVU?" Desmond asks, not yet letting go of her hand.
"Last eight years. Olivia Benson," Olivia said introducing herself.
"Really eight years? Well, that explains the anger issues. Here feel free pound away since I know you need it," Desmond said as he got back into position.
"I do not have anger issues," Olivia protested even though she went back to her assault on the bag.
"I've been watching you since you hit the treadmill. Creepy I know but even as distracted as you were with what you were reading there was no missing it. Tough case?"
"I'm between cases at the moment."
"Then why all the aggression?" Desmond probed and oddly it didn't bother her.
"Maybe I'm just a naturally angry person," Olivia answered as she decided she was done and headed to her bag for a towel.
"I doubt that. Your eyes are kind and you have too many smile lines," Desmond told her flirty.
Deciding to be difficult Olivia asked, "Are you calling me old?"
"No just observing and you can't be that much older than me," Desmond responded confidently.
"Guess that depends on how old you are, " Olivia said as she started to head towards the locker room.
"Try nine years."
"Really?" Desmond responded as he looked over her disbelieving, "Well you sure don't look at it."
"Thanks," Olivia replied before feeling that her phone was vibrating in her bag. She fished it out and read the text message.
Hey sis it has worked out that I need to crash in New York for the night. If you buy the food. I'll cook. It looks like I'll be there a little after 6.
Olivia smiled as she closed the message and checked the time to find it was after four.
"Thanks for holding my bag, " she thanked Desmond before turning to disappear into the locker room.
She wasn't too surprised to find him waiting on the other side.
"Are you thinking about moving?" Desmond asked, gesturing to the magazine hanging out of her bag.
"Yeah looking for a bigger place."
"In this market why?" Desmond asks curiously as he follows her out.
"Maybe my boyfriend wants to move in," Olivia quipped.
"You forget I know your job and I just held a punching bag for you for the last 40 minutes. There is no boyfriend," Desmond told her confidently.
"Well, aren't you sure of yourself? If you must know I want a spare room for my brother to be able to crash in," Olivia found herself saying.
"Your brother?" Desmond questioned.
"Yeah he lives and works in DC but comes out as often as he can and I figure I will never be able to convince him to move in and stay in New York if he only has the couch to call home."
"You want your brother to move in with you? How old is he?" Desmond asked, curious.
"He's 26 and fully capable of taking care of himself but I am not happy with his job situation since his boss is a jerk and I worry abusive but his skills are not easily transferable so if he did leave he would need a safe place to lay low a bit while he figures himself out. And why am I even telling you any of this?" Olivia exclaimed as she was surprised with her talkativeness.
"I'm the undefeated rising star of the prosecutor's office. Getting people to open up is part of my charm," Desmond told her without shame.
"Also completely full of yourself. Please have a pleasant evening," Olivia told him as she headed to her car.
"Wait let me buy you dinner," Desmond said, trying to keep her from taking off.
"Haven't we already established that I'm like a decade older than you?"
"Doesn't matter. I find you interesting and I want to get to know more about you. You know good relations with the police department and all that," Desmond jested.
"Interesting?" Olivia snorted.
"Yes, all those curves and anger issues have to have a story," Desmond said, earning him a playful glare.
"Well sorry but I got plans," Olivia countered but found she kind of meant the sorry.
"Family," Desmond guessed.
"My little brother actually. He is making me dinner," Olivia answered honestly.
"Then let me take you out and you can bring him back something," Desmond tried.
"You obviously have never tasted my little brothers cooking and there is not a chance I'm passing it up but if you are serious you know where I work. So rain check?" Olivia decided to offer, out of work relations of course.
"I'm going to take you up on that," Desmond promised as he headed to his car.
"We'll see," Olivia said as she got in her car to drive to the store on her way home.
Come Monday morning Eli was pretty pleased with himself. The detour to New York lasted long enough to allow Eli and Olivia to spend Saturday night and a good portion of Sunday morning together before Olivia got called in on a case. From there Eli occupied himself by finishing half-done chores that were spread throughout the apartment. It was like his sister kept starting spring cleaning but never had the time to complete the task. He was pretty sure it had something to do with the apartment brochures he found spread around but he couldn't figure out why she would want to move out of such a great apartment. The chance never came to question Olivia about it though because Eli had to leave to get Ria before she returned.
Ria's mood and attitude on the drive back to DC more than confirmed that Eli's decision to get her to go see her Mom was the right one. Eli couldn't deny Ria’s flirty banter on the drive home was a great benefit to his pride and heart even if his motives for driving her were not purely selfless. His motives why and what he did in New York though were of little concern as the lightness that the visit brought Ria was visible to all who cared to looked as she walked into her apartment building and through him a last smile and wave before disappearing inside
The high Eli felt from the weekend lasted until Monday night before it plunged back to where his ego usually resided. Lightman, over interfering with Eli's work, for the time being, allowed Eli to put in a full day's work before cutting out to head to the youth center. Eli knew if storm Lightman had really passed he would have to cut his hours back but he had promises to fulfill first, such as the summer enrichment tutoring DJ had requested from him. This left him dead tired and unprepared for the conundrum he was faced with in his email, a notification of a friend request from Emily.
Tuesday greeted Eli by rushing him into work early thanks to the botched assassination of Governor Brooks. A bystander at an early morning groundbreaking ceremony was hit in place of the Governor landing them the FBI case. A tired and distracted Eli was glad to keep to himself how one stupid friend request was making him thankful he could do what for him was mindless busy work as Ria was assigned the more finely detailed readings.
"Wow. No. That guy is a lone wolf. No way he's gonna help Corey," Ria exclaimed as they watched a video of a crazed man cocking a rifle in front of a flag.
Eli's computer chimed distracting him as he responded, "Oh. Well, you know, don't lose hope. We still have 42 more videos of guys...who claim they want Brooks dead."
Eli's computer chimed again as he started messing with it getting Ria's attention.
"Are you chatting online... while I'm over here looking for an assassin?" She asked in disbelief.
"What?" Eli asked, distracted before panicking as Ria quickly walked over.
"You have a new girlfriend?"
"No, no, no. Just a friend who happens to be a---" Eli tried to say as he scrambled to unsuccessfully close the window.
"Emily Lightman?" Ria questioned in disbelief mixed with something else.
"Mmm-- Please try not to judge," Eli told her knowing she would never understand while knowing how bad it looked.
"You're cyber friends with Emily?" Ria asked as if she was trying to comprehend.
"Look-- Judgement all over your face. I mean, look, she friended me. She's the boss's daughter. What am I supposed to do?" Eli tried not knowing what to say without telling her more about himself than she cared to know.
"Hit "Ignore"?" Ria told him obviously thinking he was an idiot.
Eli followed Ria as she went to fill her coffee cup and tried to explain his concerns about the music fest, Hus fears fell on deaf ears. The truth was Eli agonized over Emily's request for over an hour before accepting it because as he said she was the boss's daughter and he used to play tea parties with her as he worked when they were younger Even to this day he helped her with her homework when she was in the office. Not to mention he seemed to be becoming her go-to guy for information when her dad was stonewalling. There was no way Emily wouldn't notice and not have hurt feelings over him ignoring her. So after reasoning that there was nothing inappropriate on his page, he accepted only to see she was going to a music fest and some of her friends who were going were destined for jail time.
He had been to a music fest before and with all the knowledge he was quickly gaining from his sister no matter what Ria thought anyone could become a victim. Especially a trouble magnet like the daughter of the eccentric Dr. Cal Lightman who he knew from observation was clueless at how ill-intended people could be. He had to at least warn Emily if not go there himself and watch out for her. He never wanted anyone else he cared for to have to live through what his mother did.
Eli failed as miserably as he expected at defending himself before Reynolds came to take them to the prison that held the potential shooter. If truth be told any prison was the last place he wanted to be for any reason. He had spent a good portion of his childhood visiting the man he thought was his father in prison for one white-collar crime or another but his true phobia started to emerge five years ago when he learned the potential truth about his origins. He started having nightmares of switching places with the man who raised him except the crimes he was guilty of were far eviler and beyond his control to stop no matter how much he wanted to.
Despite his uneasiness, Eli did his job to the best of his abilities all the while distracting himself. He thought he had done a good job of hiding his disquieting thoughts. Then Ria decided to call attention to his fear to use as a comparison to the suspected shooter to gain the suspects' trust. This rubbed Eli the wrong way for several reasons. First, he did not like being compared to someone who while innocent of the crime charged was clearly deranged. Second Ria purposely publicly humiliated him in front of a said deranged man earning him some very disquieting looks the rest of the interview. Lastly, Ria even after their road trip still held tight to the improper view of who and why he was and had no interest in learning more about him. Who knew the day could and would continue to get worse?
Eli was so done. Really he had had it. This was the conclusion Eli quickly came to as Lightman retracted his fist and Eli collapsed to the floor. Then to make the insult of the situation worse Lightman didn't even give Eli a second glance as he sauntered out of the room.
It should have been clear as day looking back. The punch obviously but especially the kiss. Emily was a 16-year-old girl after all and though he personally skipped having to deal with 16-year-old girls when he himself was 16 he had heard the stories. Add to that Emily... Well Emily was
16-year-old daughter which meant she naturally had all kinds of potential in the crazy department. Then there was the fact Lightman was psycho overprotective. So he really should have penciled in getting punched into his schedule as soon as he received the friend invite because with his luck hitting ignore probably wouldn't have been the perfect solution either.
Not surprisingly, it wasn't until Lightman left his office that Eli finally caught his breath enough to rock back and take a seat on the floor. As he gingerly checked his ribs he rebuked himself for not seeing this coming. The problem was that he truly believed, despite all the verbal abuse and mind games, that he was safe from the more violent part of Lightman's nature. This naive belief stemmed from their silent understanding that Eli always considered their game. They both knew and knew they both knew about the other's abusive father, just as much as they knew about Ria. As men though they handled this information differently than they did with her because while Ria most desired a father figure they most desired to forget and defeat an unchangeable past. In Eli's heart and mind, that should have been enough to keep Lightman from crossing that line but he now knew better.
As luck would have it Eli was just finishing his body check when Emily came gliding in looking for her father.
"What happened to you?" Emily asked, fighting between embarrassment and worry.
"Your dad happened," Eli croaked, winded.
"Why? I mean there is no way he could know..." Emily started alarmed.
"I told him," Eli stated matter-of-factly.
"You told him? Are you insane?" Emily yelled horrified.
"You're sixteen, Emily, and his daughter. I had to tell him. I should just be thankful that he didn't kill me and bury the body. Only my pride has died today," Eli said trying to pass it off as a joke.
Emily didn't buy it, "But I was the one... I mean you were only worried about me.."
"Doesn't matter. I'm still responsible. Just call it a perk of being an adult. Besides it's not that bad, see?" Eli told her while making a good show of standing nonchalantly.
"But he hit you," Emily said very distressedly about the fact.
"Yeah well wasn't the first time I've been sucker-punched and I guarantee it will not be the last," Eli played it off as he went to leave.
"Come to the house tonight," Emily called out, stopping his retreat.
"Excuse me? Do I look like I have a death wish?"
"Come over so my dad can apologize. This is all my fault and he absolutely should not have hit you. So please..." Emily implored guilt-ridden.
"I don't know..." Eli said swaying because he hated Emily feeling so bad.
"Please for me? Just... just come."
"Only cause I can see it's important to you but Em I wouldn't get your hopes up, okay?"
"I know but I will see you tonight?"
Might as well get it over with anyway because there was no way he was going to stay in a situation where he had to worry about being hit. He might not be a kid anymore and he sure could hold his own when he had to but he already put up with way too much of Lightman's crap to add physical violence to the list. Besides he couldn't even imagine his sister's response. Well on the upside he wasn't fired...yet. Yep better to quickly deal with the situation and move on one way or another.