pg-13 | mentions of violence

It's a trick.

Well, no, not really. The word 'trick' implies some sort of intent - deception on purpose.

It's an anomaly.

Except no, not really. It's not a deviation from the norm; it's perfectly normal.

It's a misinterpretation. A misinterpretation of a normal reflexive response.

There ya go. That works.

There's more light inside the van than out. There's more light being reflected off his face than off the trees and the house and the waitress's broken-down car. There's more light and that's why her pupils dilate every time she looks at him.

"He's not coming," she says in between yawns.

It's evidence of nothing. It's proof that her pupils function properly, nothing else. He should move back, away, so that she's not so close and it's not so easy for him to make them out.

"He will," he assures her as he pours her a cup of coffee.

What he'd really like to do is grasp her wrist, press two fingers to the blood vessels there, and monitor her pulse as he runs a hand down the side of her body. He wants to see if her heart would falter as he caressed her neck, if it took off as he cupped a breast, if it stopped as he slid it between her legs.

He doesn't because there exists the possibility that all it would earn him is a slap on the face and a sexual harassment lawsuit. He'd lose his woman and his work, and he'd probably end up getting drunk, forgetting about his mother, and eating his gun.

She glances over at him then, her forehead wrinkled, and he entertains the thought that she can read his mind and picked up on him referring to her as 'his woman'. He could blame it on the fatigue, on the stress, on the nearly full moon.

"What if he just decides to go to a prostitute? Or rape some random woman on the street?"

There go her pupils again. Perhaps he could conduct an experiment later, in the office, where the lighting was more uniform.

"He's not addicted to the sex. He's addicted to her." He nods towards the house. "If it was just about sex, he would have gone home with that stewardess from the bar."

"Maybe he just doesn't like brunettes."

"No." He watches her roll her neck, stretch out her arms as much as the confined space allows. "Amy gives him something that he can't get somewhere else. There's no satisfaction in paying for it, or taking it by force. He needs whatever she's giving him. It's been six days. He'll be here. Maybe - maybe not tonight, but soon."

She leans against the side of the van, exposing the side of her neck to him. He can almost convince himself that he can see her blood pulsing beneath the surface.

"Let's just hope it's before he decides to kill another bank teller."

He doesn't really have a response, partly because it's already three in the morning and his confidence is eroding, partly because he's becoming obsessed with her pupils. Her eyes are darting around randomly now; it's something she does when she's about to fall asleep and she's desperately trying not to. The rapid movement makes it almost impossible for him -

"Have I sprouted a third eye?"

He smiles, shuffles around some photos in his notebook. Before he can answer, her phone goes off. He watches her stifle a yawn.

"Are you sure?" She pauses, looks up at him, rubs her forehead. "Yeah. Okay." She hangs up, sighs heavily. "Well, the good news is, we can call off our surveillance."

"I never like it when people start with the good news."

"The bad news is, a patrolman just found our guy sprawled out on a park bench with three bullet holes in his brain."

"He's sure it's our guy?" He doesn't really mean to sound like a condescending bastard, but that's how it comes out.

"Crescent-shaped scar on his forehead, the name 'Sherri' tattooed on his forearm, missing two fingers on his left hand. I think we can safely conclude it's him."

For the first time in a hour, he's not thinking about her involuntary pupil response. "That doesn't make sense."


"His accomplice. His - he's not the violent one. It doesn't make any sense for his accomplice to get rid of him now."

"Bobby, it is possible that one of the other eight million people in the city did it."

"Maybe," he murmurs, but his mind is already off and running. Pondering the secrets that might be hidden behind Eames's physical reactions will have to wait for a few hours, at least.