DISCLAIMER: Don't own the characters, never have, never will.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
An Honest Conversation
Peyton could hear the inept clanging of high heels coming her way and steeled herself knowing that there could only be one person on the rig making that particular kind of racket. Loosening her hold on the gun and then tightening her grip once more she slowly raised the piece as red-hair became visible, breathing in deeply and then schooling her features toward impassivity as Rachel turned around and saw her for the first time.
"Surprise," Peyton said softly, trying not to smile as her eyes ran up and down Rachel's body, taking in the outfit she was wearing. She'd seen many sides of Rachel Gibson, but the trashy tart had not been one of them.
"Oh my god, you're," Rachel started jerking back a little as the shock of seeing a gun pointed in her face warred with the feelings of excitement and dread that had been produced upon seeing Peyton for the first time since the last time.
"Alive?" Peyton asked watching Rachel closely, seeing the different emotions flash across her face. Even behind the tacky glasses, the big hair, and the make-up, Rachel Gibson was still book easy to read. The woman's complete lack of guile almost made Peyton smile fondly. Loath as she was to admit it, she'd always kind of liked that about Rachel. She hadn't thought that they made them all sugar plum sweet and innocent anymore but there was Rachel Gibson, proof that anything was possible.
"I was going to say evil," Rachel shot back immediately, her back straightening as she glared at Peyton. The other woman's face, voice was so familiar, but she was like a stranger to her as she gazed at her. The wind sweeping through her hair, black wetsuit half undone with a big black gun pointed at her, Rachel wondered how she could have ever how could she have been so completely fooled by this woman. She had hoped, after everything had gone down that Peyton wasn't in on it, she had hoped that their entire relationship hadn't been based on a lie. She needed it to have been real, after everything that had happened; she needed to be able to remember Peyton and her smile, and her voice. She needed to be able to think to herself, "What would Peyton say?" when the life she now found herself living seemed to be too much for her, because Peyton had always known what to do, what to say to make it all better.
"Tell me I'm wrong," Rachel continued, actually meaning it, an almost pleading quality in her voice. She wanted to be wrong.
"Let's just say we're working for different teams," Peyton responded gently, her tone just loud enough to carry over the noise of the rigs machinery and the rush of the ocean below. That had always been the problem really, and in an odd sort of way she found it cathartic to say so. Cocking her head to the side as Rachel's jaw tightened, Peyton thought that they might just be on the verge of having an honest conversation.
"You knew the whole time, you were in on it with Dean," Rachel ground out, her voice pained, her heart hurting like she had just been kneed in the chest. Jesus, Peyton knew, she had known the whole time. She had lied to her for three years, to everyone. She had comforted her, and sat beside her talking her through her first assignments all so that she could make her comfortable betraying the country she loved and thought she was protecting.
"I wanted to tell you," Peyton responded earnestly, surprising herself as the words came out of her mouth. It was true, she had thought about telling Rachel in the past. It was wearying sometimes for her, having to keep all of Dean's secrets, having to be the middle-woman as it were, running interference within the office, keeping the lie in check. She sometimes wanted someone to talk to about it, someone to share her frustrations and difficulties with, to comfort her like she had comforted Rachel. But then the damn woman would launch into one of her girl-scout, 'I love serving my country', apple-fucking-pie speeches and she knew that she could never tell Rachel. She wanted to, but she just couldn't, not Rachel.
"You blew up that building! You killed all those people," Rachel exclaimed fighting against Peyton's tone. For a moment, for a split second she found herself being lulled by Peyton, hearing that sympathetic and understanding voice that she had gotten to know so well over the years. She needed to remind herself that the person she remembered, Kelly, wasn't the person standing before her. She wasn't hanging out with her friend; she had a killer training a gun on her.
"It wasn't personal," Peyton said resisting the urge to take a step forward. She wanted to get Rachel to let her guard down, but she didn't want to lose the advantage. If she was on this mission, they must have given her some combat training. "I always liked you," she continued beseechingly. And it was true. Rachel hadn't been regarded as a threat by anyone during her years at The Shed. Peyton had befriended her because she genuinely liked her, because she enjoyed spending time with her. Despite what the blonde thought, it wasn't all an elaborate rouse, she wasn't faking friendship, in fact her relationship with Rachel had been just about the only honest thing she had.
"It was a lie," Rachel responded unable to keep the pain out of her voice any longer. She didn't want to be there, she didn't want to be having this conversation. It didn't matter. None of it mattered. It didn't matter that Peyton was the friend she'd had that hadn't even blinked when she came out to her. It didn't matter that she'd been half in love with the brunette since the night she had fallen asleep in her arms after watching DVDs and eating too much ice-cream. It didn't matter that after Rachel had been dumped, Peyton had sat her down and told her that Melanie was an asshole who'd be outside her window within a week serenading her when she realized what she'd given up. It didn't matter that Peyton had stroked her hair softly repeating that she was beautiful and then leaned in and kissed her softly whispering that they could be special friends. It didn't matter that Peyton had meant it, and had kissed her many more times after that. It didn't matter that it didn't matter because, "It was all a lie!" Rachel continued, overcome, unable to stop herself, stepping forward, wanting to strangle Peyton, wanting to slap her. "Everything we did"
"That's enough!" Peyton barked immediately waving her gun, her voice cracking minutely as Rachel moved towards her. She wanted to scream! Did Rachel really think that she wanted it to end up like this? If she had just stayed behind the fucking computer none of this would've happened. She wouldn't have needed to kill their co-workers, she wouldn't have needed to help Dean track down Rachel's family. She wouldn't have needed to be on this fucking oil rig trying to convince Rachel that she actually was her friend. They could've just gone on. She could be touching Rachel instead of threatening to shoot her, but no. Rachel just had to be a fucking do-gooder, and now they were where they were, and she didn't like the situation anymore than Rachel did. But that didn't matter, it didn't matter to Rachel that she wanted her back, that she was trying to protect her, that she missed her, because she was the bad guy now and bad guys didn't feel. Only they did. She did.
"Now you're going to kill me," Rachel said softly, disbelievingly as she stared at the woman whose arms she had once sought refuge in.
"That's what Dean wants," Peyton replied choosing her words carefully. She wanted Rachel to know that there was a difference between what she wanted and what Dean had told her to do. "You've made it really hard for him since you left," she continued not bothering to mention how unpleasant it had been for her, having to turn Rachel in, having to track her down. "But like I said I've always liked you," she went on gentling her tone, knowing that Rachel responded to soothing tones like a puppy getting its belly rubbed. "I don't want to kill you. Give me the software and you walk away from this." She could see the doubt on Rachel's face, but she meant it. She'd have to wound her, she'd have to make her bleed a little so she could at least tell Dean she had tried, but she'd be a friend. She just needed Rachel to meet her half way. After all they'd been through she didn't think it was a lot to ask. "Come on Rachel, you're in way over you're head. I don't want to shoot you. Give me the disk."
Rachel closed her eyes behind the big gaudy glasses she was wearing, happy to have them for the first time as Sydney's voice rang in her ears, telling her that if she believed Peyton would actually let her go to give her the disk; that they could get it back from her later.
She looked at Peyton, at those big brown eyes. She used to fall into them, they used to pull her in and make her feel so warm that all she would do was gaze at Peyton with the goofiest grin on her face before turning her head away. When she was scared or worried, Peyton's gaze used to wrap around her like a blanket.
She looked sincere. As Rachel gazed at her all she could think was that Peyton looked sincere.
"Okay," she mumbled holding the brunette's eyes for a moment longer before opening her purse.
Her fingers wrapped around the handle of the hair brush Marshall had given her, her thumb running over the button that would release the ice-pick. She straightened back up.
She couldn't trust Peyton's eyes anymore.
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