Tell Me No Lies

By Andie O'Neill

Rating: K+

Genre: Friendship, Romance, Drama, Angst

Pairing: Eli/Ria (Friendship), Cal/Gillian

Summary: Ria can see through his lies, and she knows everyone else can too, but why won't they tell Gillian?

A/N: This was just a little something I thought of during class. Enjoy! :D

Disclaimer: I don't own the show or it's characters.


"Disgust," Eli Loker whispered in her ear, and Ria immediately turned her heard, not quite sure what he was talking about. One minute she'd been watching Doctor Foster's husband lie to her once more and the next… oh. Eli had smug smile on his face at having caught her so quickly. Ria wasn't sure, bit it seemed like a game to these people, catching each other in their lies and then celebrating each victory. Ria had yet to find the humor in their games, often played by Doctor Lightman himself.

"That's the fifth time he's lied to her in two weeks. How do you stand it?" she asked, following him down the hallway towards Eli's office… if you could call it that. "How can she fall for it?"

Eli simply shrugged, and Ria noticed a glimpse of sadness cross his face. "Some people prefer the lie, Ria. If Gillian wanted to see it she would."

Of anyone in the group Eli was often the easiest to talk to. Despite his pathetic attempts at flirting, he was always open and honest. He never held back, and Ria had to admit she liked that about him. There were no pretences. He spoke what was on his mind. "Doctor Lightman won't tell her," Ria said at loud. Lightman called her a natural, only she knew less about the science, though she'd certainly been working her ass off trying to learn it. She'd watched Lightman's pupils dilate, noticed the way his skin flushed when Gillian got too close. All signs pointed to arousal… attraction. What Ria couldn't figure out, was why he held back when it was so obvious he felt something for her.

Eli nodded. "Of course he won't. It's not his place."

Torres turned around to face the taller man, disturbed by his words. "So you're saying if I was dating a jerk who was probably cheating on me you wouldn't say a word?"

Eli smiled. "That depends… am I the jerk or is it someone else?"

Ria resisted the urge to roll her eyes. "You wish."

"I certainly do," he agreed.

Ria moved out of his way, following him down the hall once more. "Eventually she'll figure it out, and she'll want to know why we never said anything."

Eli shook his head. "She won't need to wonder. If she wanted to know… she'd know." She couldn't disagree with his logic, and that seemed to infuriate her more than anything. He was right. Foster had the training. She knew the science. "Sadness," said Eli, pulling Ria from her thoughts.

"What?"

"Sadness."

Ria sighed as they reached his office, leaning against the door frame. "Lightman… he cares about her… doesn't he?"

Eli takes a seat at his desk, rolling his chair around as he grabbed the video from their latest case. "Funny isn't it? They're the experts and yet they still end up just as clueless as the rest of us."

"I wouldn't exactly call that funny, Eli." And this time it was Ria that was calling him out. "Regret," she whispered.

Eli simply nodded, looking into her eyes. "Look closely enough and you'll see it in them too."

Not for the first time, Ria wondered if the job would ever get easier, or if she'd ever get used to it. It wasn't easy being picked apart day in and day out. "Does it ever get any easier?" Gillian had been telling her time and time again that it did, but Ria had never been so sure.

Eli looked away, turning on his computer. "Nope."

It wasn't exactly the answer she was looking for, but she knew right away that it was the truth, and suddenly she could understand why Gillian seemed so content believing the lies. "We all claim we want the truth, that we don't want to be lied to… but somehow I get the feeling even that in itself is a lie."

Eli's smile immediately returned. "You know Ria, I think you're gonna fit in here just fine," he told her turning on the video.

"Right," Ria muttered, pulling a chair to sit beside him. They had work to do. As she looked out the door she could see Lightman walk by, talking to Gillian about their own case, and she silently wondered if they'd ever open their eyes and accept the truth. Either way, Eli was right. It was just something they'd have to figure out for themselves. If they'd rather believe the lie, than who was she to crash their beliefs with reality?

"Acceptance," Eli pointed out, and the smug smile had returned.

This time Ria did roll her eyes. "Just play the tape, Eli."

Eli laughed, pushing the DVD into the computer, the smug smile only growing with his triumph.

The End