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Eye of the Beholder

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1.

Carter shakes her head as she scans the evidence sheet from the hit on Ivan Yogarov. She hadn't liked the guy, but what a waste. With both his sons in custody, that leaves all the Russians' territory in Brighton Beach ripe for the picking.

Elias is tearing her city apart, and all she's accomplished so far is to clean up after him. It's maddening.

She supposes she knows now just whose side the Man in the Suit is on.

Carter hopes she's wrong; there are pieces that still don't fit that theory. But after the theft from evidence lockup and yesterday's rescue, what else is she supposed to think?

Damn him, anyway. She'll catch up to him one of these days, and then they'll see.


2.

Reese replays the events of the last twenty-four hours again and again in his mind as he storms away from the boardwalk. How the hell had this happened?

Finch's machine is only half of the equation. He's supposed to be the other half, the 'doing something about it' part of their enterprise. It's not as though Charlie had been the first of the Numbers to turn out to be a perpetrator; Reese had known it could happen. He should have seen it coming.

He's getting soft. He has attachments, now. Things he cares about. People that influence his thinking. If he hadn't been anxious about losing contact with Finch, would he have connected to the "teacher" so easily?

Elias had been so sincere, and he'd bought into all of it: every gushing word about his kids, every grateful smile, every gesture of physical weakness. But he'd been using Reese all along.

Not only had Reese exposed himself-- a fair sample of his skillset, his goals, and his face-- to an ambitious, intelligent criminal, he'd also made his partner and the cop working with them vulnerable to Elias' manipulations. He doesn't know if Elias has the resources to trace the completely unsecured call to Finch, but he wouldn't bet against it, and Fusco has the bruises to prove he's been compromised as an asset.

He has a feeling that the next time they meet, it won't be Reese's life that Elias threatens.

That... is not going to be a pleasant day.


3.

Lionel chews his split lip as he stares at his inbox.

To: a3re@x7anonz.com
From: lfusco@fast1mail.com
Subject: …

Somewhere along the line from Oyster Bay, he's apparently started to care about the job again. Go figure. Call it Stockholm Syndrome, or whatever, but it had really stung when Mr. Friend of a Friend doubted him. What, had he actually thought Lionel called that morning because he'd been working for Elias all along?

Maybe it's dumb to be pissed that the vigilante blackmailing him isn't completely omnipotent, but he can't help it; he's furious that he's the one bleeding while Elias is wandering around free.

He flexes his fingers, then attaches the Yogarov report to the blank message and clicks Send.

He's pretty sure that says enough.

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