2007-06-15: I Should Tell You


Judah_icon.gif Mara_icon.gif Tamara_icon.gif

Summary: Judah is finally busted by his partner for harbouring Tamara. Mara and Judah have a long overdue discussion about her abilities.

Date It Happened: June 15, 2007

I Should Tell You

Judah's Apartment

Mid-afternoon at the Demsky household isn't a particularly busy time. Judah, on the other hand, is definitely a busy person; even though today is his day off, he sits on his couch with a slew of case-related paperwork spread across the coffee table, a glass of seltzer in one hand and a black felt-tip pen in the other. In the background, his television — tuned in to the Home and Garden network — plays on mute. He isn't watching it, but he finds that the flickering images and the light they cast across his work have a hypnotically placating effect. That, and 'Spice Up My Kitchen' should hopefully give his underage houseguest something to focus on other than whatever brought her here in the first place.

Focus? Tamara? Someone's indulging in wishful thinking. She's staying out of Judah's way, so that much was accomplished at least - but while she does look at the television screen for a while, it's not exactly captivating. Eventually, the teen walks away from it. She moves over to stand behind Judah's couch, folded arms resting lightly on its back. If Tamara gives the paperwork any notice, she doesn't give it any comment. Instead, she eyes the glass in his hand - but, in the end, decides not to comment on that either, and offers Judah an innocent smile that probably isn't the most reassuring expression.

Oblivious to the serenity of the scene inside the apartment, someone knocks on the door softly. Well, maybe they aren't entirely oblivious to the serenity of it. Outside the door, Mara's leaning heavily on a black lacquer and silver handled cane, tucking her hand into the pocket of her rather unseasonable duster after her knuckles have rapped on the door. She waits patiently, listening for the sound of movement from within.

Judah doesn't smile much, but when he does it starts at the corner of his mouth. Judging by the twitch of his upper lip, he's about to break into a full, toothy grin when the knock resonates through the apartment, its echo brought to life by an open floor plan and nine foot ceilings. He cranes his neck back, peers up at Tamara and affixes her with a quizzical look as if to ask: "Why didn't you tell me somebody was out there?" Under normal circumstances, his stomach would be twisting into a big, fat, heavy knot of fear — but these aren't normal circumstances. If the person standing on the other side of the door posed a threat, then Tamara wouldn't be here. When he speaks, his voice comes out as a hoarse whisper. "Do you think I should answer that?"

Because then it wouldn't be a surprise. He may not complete the smile, but Tamara has no trouble at all grinning down at Judah. Probably the only time the teen will ever be looking down at him. Reaching down to confiscate the pen and glass, Tamara nods towards the door. "Go say hello," she affirms.

Mara retrieves a canvas shopping bag from the floor near the door with only a little difficulty as she shifts her weight to get it. She loops the handles around her arm and waits a few more moments. Maybe he isn't home? It is his day off. Maybe he's indulging in a social life of some sort?

Judah surrenders the pen and glass without putting up a fuss, pausing to adjust his sleeves and the collar of his shirt before he rises to answer the door. Although his appearance doesn't usually rank high on his list of concerns, he's always careful he doesn't look /too/ rumpled, lest he draw extra attention to himself. Outside in the hall, the ceremonious click of a deadbolt answers Mara's unspoken question, and her former partner pokes his head out of the apartment. "Oh," he says. "Damaris. It's you."

Apparently done meddling for the moment, Tamara steps around the end of the couch, planting herself in the corner seat. The glass is carefully set on the table, only a faint clunk heralding its placement. She blinks in Judah's direction - "Of course." Then the teen leans back against the corner of the couch and proceeds to idly draw on her left hand with the pen.

"Don't be so happy to see me," Mara smirks, quirking a brow. "I come bearing gifts." She holds the bag out toward her fellow detective. "Thank you for the flowers. They were lovely. The card was nice, too." Her smirk gives way to a genuine smile, flashing those gapped teeth. "Mind if I come in?"

Judah looks from Mara to the bag and then back again, apparently at a loss for words. "Ah—" He reaches up with one hand and claps it against the back of his neck. The other remains firmly on the handle of the door. "Act~ually," he says, drawing out the word in a way that isn't like him at all, "now isn't the best time…"

The drawing is paused as Mara and Judah talk at the door, blue eyes lifting to settle on the man's back. Tamara smiles, draping her right arm on the arm of the couch and leaning against it, the pen still held in her hand; her head leans almost far enough over to touch her shoulder. The teen chuckles lightly. "You can be a better host than /that/," she chides, amusement in her tone to match the grin. In other words: Mara's allowed to come in, Judah, really.

"…Do you have date in there, Judah Demsky?" Mara's smile is nothing short of devilish. "You can tell me. Leggy blonde? Nice Jewish girl?" But then she hears the girl's voice from inside the apartment and it wipes the smile right off her face. That voice was little too young… A little too familiar. Mara plants her hand on the door and pushes against it lightly. "Who have you got in there, buster?" The tone is chiding enough, but Demsky should know Damaris well enough to know that she's curious now. And when curiosity takes hold, there's just no stopping her.

There might be no stopping her, but that doesn't mean Judah won't put up a token struggle. In spite of Tamara's reassurances, he leans into the door as Mara pushes against it. "I don't think," he says through gritted teeth, pointedly enunciating every word, "that my love life is any of your business." Tamara, however, is. Judah knows it, too — which might explain why he isn't trying as hard as he could be to kick her off his doorstep. He glances over his shoulder at the teen on the couch, an exasperated expression on his somewhat gaunt face. Are you /sure/ about this, kiddo?

Since she hasn't looked away, Tamara meets Judah's eyes, grin settling into a small little smile. Blue eyes, slightly darkened, flick to the door. "Some surprises aren't so much," she replies. "It's okay," the teen confirms. It really is. As if to illustrate that fact, Tamara straightens up again, and goes back to decorating the skin of her left hand with Judah's pen.

"It isn't your love life I'm concerned with, Jude. You can stand some teasing anyway." Mara pokes him lightly in the chest. "Tell me that isn't the Brooks girl in there. It is, isn't it?" That voice and the simple way of saying things… And the way that everything always seems to be connected. It's got to be.

"The Brooks girl isn't in here." But even as Judah says this, he's stepping away from the door and unblocking Mara's view of the couch, and thusly, Tamara. If there's one person he can trust with this secret, it's his ex-partner.

Blue eyes flick up as Judah steps back; a crooked smile is given to Mara. The teen neatly caps the pen and places it on the table - about time, too, as her hand is nearly half-covered with lines and curlicues, on both sides - then settles back into the couch. This time, Tamara has but one word to say as she watches the adults: "Boo."

Mara nods her head knowingly, though she actually looks vaguely disappointed. Not that she can blame him. "I should have known better," she murmurs as she steps inside, pushing the door close behind her. "We're alike that way." She shakes her head at Tamara with the ghost of a smile. "Hello, poppet. I suppose I can stop worrying about you winding up in a gutter somewhere now, hm?"

With a roll of his eyes, Judah turns the lock and re-fastens the security chain. It's Mara, yes, but there's no such thing as being too careful with everything that's happened these last few months. Her use of the word 'poppet' earns Mara a raised eyebrow, but the tall detective says nothing as he moves around the couch and into the kitchen to get her something to drink. He has no way of knowing that the two girls are already acquainted.

Tamara's smile turns into a thoughtful expression at Mara's words, her head canting to one side while she takes a moment to consider them. "…Gutters are wet and dirty," she states with evident disdain, indicating that she for one has no desire to 'wind up' there. As Judah makes for the kitchen, the teen pushes his glass down the table towards the other end of the couch, on the chance he might want it. Then she smiles again at Mara, now cheerful. "I don't go where I didn't want to be."

"It's good to see you, Tamara. Though I certainly didn't expect to find you here…" Mara limps her way toward the couch, "Do you mind if I have a seat, Jude?" Not that she really cared earlier when he said it wasn't a good time to be over in the first place. The bag, should he decide to peek inside, holds a rather large bottle of seltzer. She doesn't wait for permission to settle down onto the couch. "How long have you been hiding out here?"

Watching Mara sit down with unusual attention - for anyone else, at least; Tamara is as apt to focus on odd things as much as expectable ones - the girl blinks at her question, then frowns. She doesn't seem particularly fond of the query, but she takes time to think about it before finally shaking her head in negation. "Too much stillness," Tamara answers - or makes an attempt to, at any rate. "Glasses went walking in the quiet. I liked walking better."

Mara pinches the bridge of her nose lightly. She lowers her voice, leaning in slightly, "Does he know…?" I mean, he might know something's… off about Tamara Brooks, but does he understand that she's special? That is, not crazy?

Mara's question earns her a long look, the girl's eyes dark and steady. Considering not the words, which are really as ambiguous as could be, but how best to answer. That's the only part that /matters/. "Sometimes he was very confused, but he's learning." Tamara blinks at the woman. "Are you?"

"Learning or confused?" Mara grins at the girl and shakes her head. "Always a little confused, but I am learning." She glances toward the kitchen and slings an arm across the back of the couch.

Judah reemerges from the kitchen with a glass of what looks like grapefruit juice, which he sets down in front of Mara before picking up his own glass of seltzer. This must be awkward for him, because he says nothing, not even as he adopts a seat beside her, staring straight ahead at the television. Maybe he's interested in what's playing, maybe he isn't — more likely he's just looking for an excuse to pay attention to something else. "Don't tell Holcombe."

To Mara's words, Tamara merely smiles. The pen is reclaimed from the table, idly turned end-over-end in her hands. She watches Judah cross the room about as intently as she watched Mara earlier, one brow lifted. And when Judah finally /does/ speak up, the pen is lobbed at him, for all that he's sitting right next to Tamara. It's a harmless throw, meant at most to bounce off his chest, accompanied by a click of the girl's tongue against her teeth. You know better. "She didn't."

"Yeah, I like my head firmly attached to my shoulders," Mara assures Judah. She smirks at Tamara. "I didn't, won't. Besides, if I told her about this? Then they'd haul you in and you'd tell them about the couple times I didn't bring you in and then I'd be in more trouble than I'm already in." She picks up the glass of juice and takes a sip. The gaze on Tamara turns curious and she opens her mouth to speak, but apparently thinks better of it as she settles for a smile instead.

"Ow." The pen bounces off Judah's chest and into his lap. It didn't hurt — the empty expression on his face doesn't even change. "Tam' won't rat you out," he tells Mara, voice flat, "but in the extremely unlikely, infinitely minuscule event that she does, you won't have anything to worry about — you'll be halfway across the country by the time Holcombe wraps her brain around what she's trying to say."

Though Tamara looks right back at Mara, she doesn't show any reaction to the woman's words. Her expression is nonchalant, shifting to curiosity only when Mara opens her mouth but chooses not to speak. What? But the teen doesn't ask, either. Twisting to better face the pair, she instead studies them both with a mildly bewildered expression.

That's it! Mara waves a hand in front of Judah's face. "What's the matter? I know things sucked when I left, but even you aren't usually this distant." She sits forward and casts her eyes to the papers strewn about the table. Case got him down?

The hand in front of his face seems to snap Judah out of his stupor. At least for a few moments. "Sorry," he says, reaching up to drag his palm across his forehead, "it's been a rough couple of weeks." Gesturing to the paperwork spread across the coffee table, he leans back in his seat and begins twirling the pen between his fingers. "Parkman and I are still looking for charges we can bring Gray in on, but nobody's seen him for— God, I don't know. I'm starting to think he's gone and skipped town again."

Sitting back in her corner of the couch, Tamara remains quiet. She looks at Judah, but it's more sidelong now, waiting to see what he decides to do next. The girl doesn't fidget at all - unusual in and of itself. Just watches.

"I'm almost certain he did," Mara confirms. A shudder runs through her body. "It's been too quiet lately. I doubt he's simply laying low in New York. He's gone somewhere to find a new victim." She doesn't try to sugarcoat things for Tamara's benefit. That girl knows way more than either detective probably realises, and Mara isn't about to insult her by pulling punches. She doesn't need to be protected from knowledge.

"Mara." Unlike Detective Damaris, Detective Demsky /does/ have qualms about being so upfront while Tamara is around. Now he's the one fidgeting, watching the teen in his peripheral vision. "We all saw the tapes, read the transcripts. There's no question the man killed his mother — he's a complete nutjob. If we can prove she's not the only one…" He trails off, his dark eyes focused on Mara's, imploring. "You and Suresh. You have a history with him. There are things you aren't telling the rest of us."

As Mara speaks, Tamara looks away. She twists a bit of tangled hair between her fingers, looking at the apartment door mostly because it's there to be seen. Judah may be watching her, but she's not looking at him. Nope - not at all. Dropping the strands of hair, letting them fall back against her shirt, Tamara folds her hands in her lap, though they don't stay still long. It's not that she's bored. She doesn't want to be asked.

"She's not stupid, Jude." Mara frowns faintly. That's right, Tamara. Mommy and Daddy are fighting. "I don't know what to tell you," she admits with a heavy sigh. "You're right. There's more going on. But I don't even know how to begin to explain. I want to tell you. But I know how you are, because I know how I am. If I tell you, you're obligated to use it." Not that she's been listening to those obligations lately. Sorry, kiddo. "What have you told him about your situation, Tamara?"

Tamara doesn't have to worry about Judah asking her any uncomfortable questions. He learned a long time ago that waiting for her to volunteer information is easier than trying to weasel it out of her. But when Mara brings up the teen's 'situation', he turns his head toward her and wordlessly furrows his brow.

The girl still doesn't look back at the adults, though she runs one hand through her tangled hair at Mara's question. There is no right answer. "Telling. Sounds in the river; edges rattle," Tamara muses, words seeming more directed at herself than either listener. She straightens, face visible in profile, eyes closed and brows drawn in. Her lips press into a thin line, the girl remaining silent for an extended period. Concentrating. "Situations. Sticky things. They might catch flies. They don't catch fish," Tamara concludes with a weary and frustrated sigh. Though her eyes open afterwards, the creases don't leave.

That draws another sigh from Mara. She tips her head to one side and regards Judah. Here's how she gets her answer. "Did that make any sense to you?"

Rather than answer Mara's question directly, Judah gives a slight shrug of his broad shoulders. "She's special," he says, as though that explains everything. "She knows things, things that nobody else can. Or should. I haven't really figured out how it works yet, but — we're getting there."

Laying her arm over the end of the couch again, Tamara braces her head against her arm. As the two adults talk amongst themselves, her expression smoothes back out, until she finally just draws in and releases a deep breath, attention mostly refocusing on them.

Mara nods at Judah's response. Then, she emits a quiet chuckle, looking away from both the other occupants of the couch for a moment as she gathers her thoughts. Finally, she turns her attention to Tamara, grinning in spite of herself. "Did I… Have I told him?"

Judah squints at Mara. There's no doubt in his mind that she knows more about Gray, more about the Brooks girl, more about /everything/ than she's been letting on. He'd be lying if he said that didn't bother him, but he does an admirable job from letting his annoyance show.

The teen echoes Mara's grin with a smile, if a distracted one, recognizing the difference in this question. This one, she can answer. Her eyes darken, unfocusing on a point past the end of the table. "Hard not to, here," Tamara remarks obliquely - but more plainly, she nods to Mara.

"All right then. Nothing to be done for it, I suppose." Mara hunts for the remote. Once finding it, she shuts off the television. "You want to know everything, right? I'll tell you. But you have to promise me that you won't tell Holcombe. People wouldn't understand this. Just like they wouldn't understand why you're protecting Tamara like this." She doesn't wait for a promise. It's understood. They've been partners long enough that she trusts him completely. "I have an ability. So does Tamara, so does Matt Parkman, so does Gabriel Gray. So do countless people living in New York City." She takes in a deep breath and holds it. Can we get past this part?

"Parkman?" Judah mouths, though no sound comes out. Before his jaw locks into place, he closes it, purses his lips into a thin line and gestures for Mara to continue with a curt nod of his head. His questions can wait until she's finished.

"Stop me if you need clarification. I've never really had to explain this to someone before." Mara tries to offer Judah a reassuring smile, but it's shaky at best. "We have these abilities… It's why so many of us have copies of Doctor Chandra Suresh's book. Activating Evolution… We've been searching for answers. Gray was looking for answers once, too. He… I think he was as scared and confused as the rest of us were once. I think I'm getting ahead of myself. I feel like I just don't know where to begin." She rakes her fingers through her red dyed hair and stares toward the ceiling.

Judah would tell Mara to begin at the beginning, but that would be a little too cliche, wouldn't it? Instead, he drapes his arms over the back of the couch and lets them dangle into space. "You can start by explaining what you mean by 'ability'. Tamara can see the future. Gray has the power to be a monumental asshole. What can /you/ do?"

Apparently not so captivated by the conversation herself, Tamara abruptly slides out of her seat, shoes carefully kept quiet on the floor so as not to be /too/ disruptive. She retreats across the room into the kitchen without comment, setting about to get her own glass of juice.

Judah's assessment of Gray's abilities actually causes Mara to laugh briefly. Nerves. "I… I'm not sure exactly how to explain what I can do. You know how I have those awful fainting spells? Well, sometimes I touch an object, and I have a vision. I see the past, usually. Sometimes I see the future. It's a dodgy process. I don't always know if I'm seeing something that has happened, or will happen."

"Psychometry." Judah is familiar with the concept, but this is the first time he's ever heard of it being real. "Why didn't you tell me this earlier? Did you think I wouldn't believe you?" To be fair, he wouldn't have; Judah is still coming to terms with what Tamara can do. The idea that she's not the only one brings a frown to his face and darkness to his eyes. Although the possibility has always been lurking in the back of his mind, he never expected to find confirmation.

Returning with her juice, Tamara doesn't reclaim her seat on the couch. No - instead, she goes to the far side of the table, sitting cross-legged on the floor. Her glass is set atop the table, though with the consideration of rearranging Judah's papers so they aren't under the glass. Undoubtedly, keeping them in order was not so accounted for.

"I didn't know how to approach the subject. I wanted to. So many times. I wanted to tell you when we found Gray. When I discovered what it is that he can do. But then you started looking at me like I was nuts. And I didn't think you were…" Mara shrugs, trying to find the words. "Didn't think you were ready to hear, I guess. I'm sorry for that."

Judah can try to understand, but he knows that he'll never be able to, no matter how many angles he approaches the situation from. This is one breach of trust that he has no choice but to forgive. "Nobody else needs to know," he tells her, "but I can't promise I won't give Parkman an earful the next time I see him."

Tamara looks across the table at Judah, head tilted slightly. "Some times less than others," is her observation, before taking a drink of her juice. Setting the glass back down, she fidgets in her seat, restless. The girl's attention doesn't seem to be really here anymore, but that hasn't quite translated into leave-taking yet, if it's going to.

"You won't be able to hide what you know from Parkman anyway, Jude." Mara's smile is actually… truly apologetic. "Matthew Parkman is a telepath." She takes another drink of her juice, not letting that implication hang too long. She moves on to darker things. "Suresh has been working with people like me. He's really working with me to help control my blackouts. I was leaving a consultation with him when Gray attacked me." The official story is still that Gray threw the first punches, and Mara isn't about to say differently this late in the game. Not unless she has to. "Gray's victims fall into two categories. People like Tamara and I, and those who got between him and people like us."

"People like you," Judah repeats. This is a lot of information for him to try to wrap his head around — and in such a short amount of time. He draws his mouth into a thin, unimpressed-looking line and turns his head so he can focus on something other than the two girls. Anything to distance him from the situation and the two other people in the room. He always knew that Tamara was special. He just never could have fathomed /how/ much. "Does he know about Tamara?"

Something about the adults' conversation clearly catches Tamara's interest, as she turns to look at them, laying one arm along the edge of the tabletop. Head tilted to one side, eyes narrowed, her expression is that of someone who didn't /quite/ catch what was said - and didn't hear enough to formulate more of a question about it than 'what'.

"Tamara would know if he did." Mara glances to Tamara once, as if expecting her to confirm. But she turns her attention back to Judah quickly. But that doesn't last. She has to know. She turns to look at Tamara again. "That man, Gabriel Gray. He doesn't know about you." Part statement, part question. Damaris desperately wants to believe that the girl her partner's been looking after will be safe from the Bogeyman.

Of course Tamara would know if he did. What a stupid question. Judah lets out a sigh through his nostrils and leans just a little further back in his seat. "If he /does/ find out, what can we do about it? Parkman and I don't have anything on him. There's no solid evidence linking him to his mother's murder, so we can't even hold him for questioning. And that's assuming he even decides to poke his nose out from wherever he's been hiding."

Unfortunately, all Tamara does is tilt her head the other way. Her pupils fluctuate a bit, brow creasing as she tries to answer the almost-question. She turns it over in her head for a bit; it's not the sort of inquiry whose answer is easily pulled from her perceptions. "Do you need to know?" she asks of Mara - though it's less a question, almost an offer. Falling quiet, the girl looks to Judah as he speaks, expression neutral, even slightly guarded.

"Only if you feel the need to tell me," Mara assures Tamara. She gives the girl a small smile and then takes in a deep breath, trying to find a way to answer Judah's question. "There's a… There are people who handle people like me. They're looking for Gray. They don't exactly care about things like evidence." She flashes her fellow detective an apologetic look.

Holcombe won't like that, but they've already established that they aren't telling Holcombe anything, haven't they? "Good," is all Judah says for the time being. He doesn't ask any more questions — he knows everything that he needs to, at least for now. "We should make an appointment with Dr. Applebaum at Mount Sinai," he suggests after a brief pause. "You don't work in an environment like that without seeing some strange things. Maybe she can shed some light on what's happening to Tamara." Whoever these people are who handle people like Mara, he gets the distinct impression that he doesn't want to deal with them. Not if they're already dealing with Gray. Dark eyes flick back to the teen. "That all right with you?"

Tamara wrinkles her nose at Mara. "Shadows run thick with people; it's a needle in mud. Not close." She blinks as the woman continues speaking, as if what she's describing is somewhat familiar and not of pleasant connotation; but the girl doesn't comment on it, her attention shifting to Judah instead. A pause; another blink, blue eyes darkening. "I don' /like/ white," Tamara mutters after a bit, in the sullen tone of a child's complaint, the dragging of figurative heels. But she doesn't protest the idea, at any rate.

"Be careful, Jude. Sam's already been reading Activating Evolution. She could be like Tamara and I." Mara has never had the courage to come right out and ask Doctor Applebaum if she's got some sort of strange ability, but she's got hunches. "Or she could just subscribe to the possibility of people having abilities like we have. I just…" Her hand taps against her knee absently as she gnaws her lip, trying to find words. "I suppose I shouldn't have to tell you to watch out. Tamara can take care of herself."

"You don't have to come with," Judah assures Tamara. "I won't even mention you by name if you don't want me to." Judging by what Mara's just said, it's probably a good idea if he doesn't. What he /will/ need to do is pick up a copy of that Activating Evolution book. Assuming he can even find one. To Mara: "The only person I need to watch out for is Gray. He's not getting to Tamara — or to you. If he tries, he'll have to plow through me first."

After considering Judah for a moment, Tamara simply shrugs. She'll leave that matter for the day it happens, apparently. That, or Judah's decision suits her just fine. But his subsequent remarks earn him a solemn look. "Be careful what you ask for," she says, tone soft and dark. On that note, at least. On the other… Tamara tips her head, her eyes unfocused, directed just beyond Judah.

Mara fixes Judah with a frightened look. Tamara's sentiments are echoed. "There's things you still don't know… If you see him, you have to run. You have to run as fast and as far as you can. You can't take him on. I can't take him on." She grabs both of her partner's arms. "Promise me you won't do anything stupid. Please promise me you won't even look at him for more than a split second. You just have to turn around and run if you see him. And especially if he sees you."

"I won't run." Judah doesn't recoil from Mara, but the tight expression on his face suggests that he might like to. "I'll walk. Don't you remember anything that they taught you at the Academy?" Maybe he's teasing her, maybe he's not. The point that he brings up, though, is a valid one. "I promise not to draw attention to myself. Is that fair?"

Judah may not recoil, but Tamara does, if from nothing but words, drawing her shoulders up and her arms close. The name 'Gabriel Gray' may not have evoked a reaction earlier, but the possibilities associated with this subject clearly strike a chord now. Her attention seems to turn inward; Tamara murmurs under her breath, seeming to debate with herself. Or perhaps chase a thought in circles. Either way, she breaks out of it at Judah's last remark, giving him only a thin not-quite-smile.

Mara cracks a grin and a small huff of nervous laughter before rubbing a hand over her face. An attempt to hide the emotion there. Tears that threaten, due to nerves. "That's fair. That's good. Just do what you can to keep yourself safe. That's all I ask." She sits back and sighs quietly, smacking him lightly on the arm as she goes.

Judah reacts to the tap on the arm with a small grunt. Tamara's not-quite-smile leaves him a little uneasy, more so than Mara's warning about Gray, but he brushes it off and returns the gesture, saying nothing. For now, he's content to sit in silence, enjoying the company of two of the people who mean the most to him. Although circumstances could be better, he's in no position to complain; he has them together in the same room at the same time, and that's more than enough for him.

As that subject of discussion seems to come to a close, Tamara offers Judah a more honest smile. Inevitably, the moment doesn't last long; she has the presence of mind to take another drink of her juice, but then stands up, stepping back from the table, attention visibly shifting to somewhere else.

Mara nudges Judah gently with an elbow. "Put in a movie. I'll order a pizza." She smiles genuinely to the other detective. "Pretend things are normal for a couple of hours, huh?"

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