onebehind: (never been defeated & i won't stop now)
Special Agent Dylan Rhodes ([personal profile] onebehind) wrote2013-11-05 05:38 pm

(no subject)

Who: Dylan, Evans, Robert Torre
What: Dylan gets called in for a psych evaluation. It does not go as planned.

"Rhodes. My office."

Dylan looked up from his phone, still ringing in his hand, and spotted Evans standing by the door to his office. He didn't look particularly thrilled, and based on the look of the man standing behind him, beyond the glass, a file folder spread out on the desk in the office, Dylan couldn't blame him. It looked like the Office of Professional Responsibility had sent someone to darken their doorstep again, and while that struck him as odd, everyone who'd been involved in the Horsemen debacle already cleared weeks ago, just as he'd planned, it was the least of his worries at the moment. He was more interested in his phone, still vibrating insistently in the palm of his hand, and more importantly, who, exactly, was calling.

He glanced back down at it with a frown. Merritt. Merritt wouldn't call him at work unless something was wrong.

"I got a minute to take this?" he asked, raising the phone slightly to indicate it.

Evans shook his head. "Whatever it is, it can wait."

Dylan hesitated for a moment, squinting at the other man, trying to get some inkling of where this was going. When he came up blank, and that, too, was odd, he let out a breath, squared his jaw and slid the bar on his phone over to ignore. A moment of silent apology followed as he tucked the thing back into his pocket, and then he moved to join Evans at the door, straightening his tie as he tried to turn his thoughts away from the Horsemen and get his head back on straight. He couldn't be worried about them and walk into this, whatever it was, convincingly. If something was going on, Merritt would leave a message.

"You wanna tell me what this is all about?" he asked, that in mind and as they crossed into the office.

Evans closed the door behind them and shuffled past what Dylan was still assuming was a OPP guy to take a seat at his desk. He gestured to the chair opposite him, OPP moving to loom behind him like some kind of demented adviser, and Dylan sat down, glancing between them. Already he didn't like this and for more than just the fact that it wasn't according to plan. There was something about their visitor that set his teeth on edge but hell if he could say what. That bothered him even more.

"Rhodes, this is Robert Torre," Evans began, with a vague gesture in his direction. Torre leaned forward, holding out a hand at the introduction, a faint, cool smile on his lips; Dylan pointedly ignored him, save for a glance, and slid his eyes back to Evans expectantly. He shook his head faintly, apparently narrowly resisting the urge to rub at his eyes, and continued. "Doctor Torre's with the Behavioral Science Unit, and he's here to do a psych evaluation on you."

Not Professional Responsibility, then. Dylan stared at him, the surprise on his face sudden and real. First Merritt and that phone call (a faint buzzing against his thigh informed him that he had a voice mail) and now this. What the hell was going on today? "What? Boss -- "

It was Torre, not Evans that cut him off. "Agent Rhodes, the Behavioral Science Unit feels you've gotten a bit too ... invested in the Horsemen case. We want to make sure you're still -- "

"You're kidding, right?" Dylan glanced at Evans, something nearing a sneer crossing his face. "He's kidding, right?" A beat and then to both of them, "Have you seen my desk, lately? It's -- "

Evans held up a hand and he stopped short, growling. When he lowered his hand back to the desk, he offered Dylan an most apologetic look. "I got a call from Washington this morning -- this came down from over my head. So, regardless of how your closure rate's looking at the moment, you're gonna have to deal with it. My hands are tied here."

From the faint flicker of emotion that crossed his face and despite the unspoken apology before, Dylan could tell that Evans at least partially believed that he needed to see a headshrinker, too. Dylan breathed out a sigh and closed his eyes, briefly. Fuck -- just fuck. "Okay, fine." He opened his eyes, stared balefully up at Torre. "When're we doing this?"

"If you have a free minute now, my schedule's clear for the rest of the day."

Dylan glanced to Evans, who nodded, then got to his feet. "Let's get this over with."

"If you'd follow me, then," Torre responded, already rounding the desk to head for the door.

Dylan followed in silence, torn between worry for the Horsemen, his fingers practically itching to go for his phone, and wondering how the hell he'd drawn so much attention to himself to warrant a psych evaluation. Not that he felt he couldn't handle it -- regardless of whether or not this asshole had been trained to read facial expressions and body language, he had no doubts that he could still lie his head off and fly under radar while doing so -- it was more the fact that he hadn't seen this coming that bothered him. That it hadn't been part of the plan or that he hadn't even thought to factor in its possibility. There was something else, too, something that he couldn't quite put his finger on. He had little time to consider it, however, as before too long, they were pushing into an empty room back beyond the interrogation suites and the break room.

Two chairs had been set up inside and on either side of a long table, and Torre gestured to one of them, indicating that Dylan sit. He did so, grumpily; Torre, on the other hand, made no motion to take the other chair. "I hope you don't mind if I stay on my feet? I spent the last hour and a half sitting in a cramped seat on my flight up here and, beyond that, I don't want you to feel like you're being interrogated."

"Whatever," Dylan grunted, glancing back at him as he moved to take up position in a corner of the room behind him. "So, what do you wanna know?"

"Not an interrogation, Agent," Torre repeated, lightly chiding, "but let's start with the Horsemen. If you could describe the nature of your relationship with them? Explain the case to me? That sort of thing."

Dylan leveled another look at him from over his shoulder, this one nearly as incredulous as the one he'd given him when it had been announced someone upstairs thought he wasn't quite right in the head in the first place. When Torre failed to flinch, Dylan let out a huff of a sigh and turned back to the table. "You watch the news at all?"

"Humor me."

"The Horsemen did three shows, each of them set up to rob someone as part of the closing act," Dylan droned as if he were a bored student, forced to rehash what his teacher had been talking about a moment before to prove he'd been paying at least a cursory amount of attention. "The guys they targeted were Credit Republicain, Arthur Tressler and Tressler Insurance, and Alcorn." He ticked them off on his fingers, paused, and then asked, "Do I need to explain the part where they're magicians, too, or can we skip that bit?"

Torre, having abandoned his post in the corner to take laps around the room as he spoke, paused too, and then shook his head. Dylan wasn't sure if the pacing made him feel better or worse, but either way, he made an effort to ignore it and continued. "Fuller and I ended up being the guys assigned to looking into it, along with some woman Interpol sent over, and it kind of ... turned into a clusterfuck."

"They publicly embarrassed you at the show in New Orleans."

"Yeah," Dylan agreed with a grimace. A pause followed, and then, as if it suddenly occurred to him, he added, "But my interest in nailing those assholes now has nothing to do with wanting to get back at them for that or whatever."

Again, Torre stopped mid-step and somewhere behind him again, and Dylan could feel his eyes boring into his back. He couldn't help the tension that suddenly came to his shoulders, though to what he felt was his credit, he managed to keep himself from bristling like a wary cat. "What is it about, then?"

"Justice," he answered, feigning a heat that only seemed to build as he continued. "These guys have screwed with a lot of people. Doesn't matter if you believe what they said about Tressler and whoever else about these guys aren't being what you'd consider good people, or the fact that the they're justifying it all by pretending to be Robin Hood -- they still broke the law. And not only that, they're practically getting off on it, doing it on stage. They're cocky little shits, and while we got their boss and they seem to be playing nice now because of it, it's only a matter of time before they go back to old tricks and hurt someone else." Dylan paused again, this time to shrug. "Someone's gotta put them away -- someone who knows at least some of the crap they're liable to pull. Might as well be me."

"Thank you, Agent Rhodes. That was all I needed to hear."

That, along with more or less everything else today, was not what he was expecting to hear. Add in the fact that there was something off in his tone, and Dylan glanced over his shoulder at him, confused. Or, well, he tried to, at any rate.

At some point during his monologue, Torre had come up behind him and was looming over him, now. Dylan started, then nudged back his chair a fraction of an inch, trying to get to his feet, but Torre reached over his shoulder, jabbing two fingers into the space between his chest and stomach. All of the air went out of his lungs in a rush, and he gasped, suddenly panicked and for more than just his inability to breathe, and sunk back down into his seat.

He recognized that move, had seen it during the Horsemen's show in Vegas, even if he hadn't been there, and had probably done it himself a handful of times before and when he could justify it. When the cameras weren't watching. When he needed to hypnotize someone and they were being difficult. The loss of breath kept you from fighting back physically and the stunned shock that followed kept you from putting up mental walls, assuming you knew how to do that sort of thing. It was a mentalist's trick, and fuck, that explained why this had seemingly come out of the blue. Why he hadn't been able to read this guy. Why he set him on edge. Why --

Torre inserted himself between Dylan and the table suddenly, sharply and leaned to put his mouth near his ear. "I think we're going to work well together."

-- why, as he struggled to find his feet again, he pulled down every mental curtain he could, trying to fortify himself against the incessant stream of whispers that followed. He tried to fortify himself, to make himself resistant or, at very least, to struggle and fight back, to win. Like running a car into a brick wall at a hundred miles an hour, however, his efforts ended in ruin, instead. Rather than making Torre stop, full on, all he managed was the slightest of hesitations in the other man's voice and the feel of something bursting behind his eyes. The sudden warmth of blood on his face followed.

Torre pushed him back down into the chair and he went, his head on fire and blackness threatening the edges of his vision. If anything ran through his head before it closed around him, he wouldn't remember it even if he could.