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The Color Of Truth
By Demeter


The man jumps up with indignation, probably ready to yell at his secretary when she walks right into his conference. "Ma'am, you can't--"

"Inspector Lindsay Boxer, SFPD," she cuts him off. "Mr. Tanner, I'm sorry to interrupt." The tone of her voice reveals the complete opposite. "I have to ask you some questions regarding a recent investment of yours."

The other participants of the meeting look at her with open interest.

"Make an appointment," Tanner says. "If you don't leave now, I'm calling security."

"You do that, but I'm afraid they're busy being questioned by the FBI at the moment."

Getting remarkably flustered, he shuffles some papers on the huge polished table. "I'm sorry," he tells the other men. "We have to reschedule. I'll have my secretary make a new appointment." Tanner sounds just a tiny bit desperate now, and Lindsay is savoring it. He's going to feel worse yet today.

"Good luck," one of them says ironically before they indeed leave one by one.

"Oh, and gentlemen, don't make any plans for today. There'll be an agent waiting for you outside the door," Lindsay tells them with false cheer.

Tanner just throws up his hands in frustration. When the two of them are alone in the room he asks, "What the hell do you want?"

Lindsay slams the photograph on the table, trying hard to focus on the gratitude towards the Bureau for letting her being part of this – not on the obvious fact that makes her sick to her stomach and wanting to punch his lights out. Mark Tanner has been a client of the Dollhouse. Cindy has been his 'engagement'. Literally.

"Tell me about her."

He shoots her an irritated look. "That's Jenny."

"Is that what you called her?"

"That's what she called herself. Look, I haven't done anything illegal."

"That's what we're trying to determine. Mr. Tanner, what exactly did you need Jenny for?" Sarcasm is the only thing keeping her sane at this moment.

"Look," he rakes a hand through his hair nervously, "I'm good at my job. I'm going to own this business one day, and it encompasses a lot more than this building. I'm also enjoying my life, okay? That's not against the law."

"With women who've been the victim of some sick mind control experiment?"

"It's not what you think. My parents are kind of conservative, so they kept pressuring me about settling down. My father thinks that is necessary before he can sign over the business to me. So yes, I lied to them and told them I was going to marry her. You want to charge me for lying to me parents? I bought her a $2,000 designer dress, shoes not included and took her and my parents out to dinner and to the opera."

Tanner slumps into his chair, and she can't believe he wants her to feel sorry for him.

Lindsay has seen that in the file. That night's play had been Orpheus and Eurydice. She can't help the shudder passing through her body. Tanner might not have known that his fiancee for one day never was allowed to keep the dress and the shoes he gave her, or that all traces of their encounter with him had been wiped from her brain. It doesn't change the facts.

"And then you raped her."

His jaw is practically dropping, and Lindsay thinks that this is the worst about them, that none of them wants to take responsibility for what they have done.

"Oh, no, that's not what happened. I have no idea what it is they do in that house, but she did enjoy it just as much a--"

A moment later, his expression is even more stunned as he hastily gets up from the floor.

Lindsay's knuckles hurt, but it's a pain that feels damn good.

"That's it, I'm gonna sue you for--"

"For you tripping over a chair and falling? I don't think so."

Behind her, Boyd Langton has entered the room. Lindsay smiles at him, before she slaps the cuffs on the Dollhouse client. "Mark Tanner, you are under arrest..."

It has hardly ever felt so good before to say the words, but even then, a bit of the nausea remains and part of it, Lindsay knows, is her own guilt.

The End

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