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FANDOMS/PAIRING: Gilmore Girls/Law & Order: SVU Lorelai/Alex(Claire)
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
When the Truth is Found to be Lies
The first time Alex revealed her identity, it was an accident. Lorelai had brought a copy of the New York Times from a conference in the city. "Let's see how real people live!" She said, and threw the paper on the counter.
Alex saw how real people lived, right there on page 3. Her picture, the size of a postage stamp, in grainy black and white. One Year After ADA Slain, Killer Still at Large. She'd wanted to tear it out of the paper and burn it, but she had to run for the toilet first. Retching over the porcelain, she'd heard Lorelai come in behind her. "You all right?"
"Fine. Something I ate." Alex closed her eyes. Lorelai touched her hair, drawing it back from her face, the long, unnaturally brown strands curling around her fingers.
"What did you eat?"
"I don't remember."
Lorelai felt her forehead, and Alex tried to ignore the cool touch. Lorelai's tenderness made her even more homesick for New York, where things were harsher and the the colors unsaturated. Lorelai had brought her into the house when it was apparent Alex would be in Stars Hollow more than a few weeks. Apartments were hard to come by and Alex couldn't cope with a house. She had told Lorelai she just didn't need the space, but really she was claustrophobic. Too much light, too much backyard, and Alex imagined mobsters could see right through the walls. Being inside Lorelai's domain was safer.
Lorelai was here, running the sink for water to wash off her face. Alex was out there, on the kitchen counter, in New York. Alex would have to tell her the truth, because Lorelai had been making her intentions known, and Alex craved her, craved gentle touches and comfort and the lust she felt whenever she looked at Lorelai's fingernails. Or eyes. She'd tell the truth, because she couldn't make love to someone and lie, but if when she told, they'd move her anyway, and it wouldn't matter.
Her stomach dropped. She lowered her head, and waited for the churning to stop.
"Can I do anything?" Lorelai asked.
Alex gritted her teeth. She inhaled the chemical scent of treated water. "Don't ask."
"So, Claire, want to get drunk?"
Alex had come through the door at ten minutes to nine. Philadelphia was a long drive from Stars Hollow, but the city had the cheapest printing presses in the northeast, and Wolfram and Hart was buying. She had ink on her hands and her hair had stopped shining an hour ago, and she stared dully at Lorelai.
Lorelai was on the couch, and all Alex could really see were her feet, sticking above the arm. The socks were what drew Alex in for a closer look. Red cotton with white hearts, which Alex examined, and then said, "Is it Valentine's Day?"
"It's day-before-laundry-day," Lorelai said.
"Ah, my favorite day."
"Very preferable to laundry day, at least."
Lorelai swung her feet off the couch, and Alex was sitting down before she'd come up with a good reason about why she was heading straight to bed. A bowl of popcorn, a bottle of vodka, and one shot glass on the coffee table. "We're doing straight shots?"
"We are." Lorelai lazily reached for the remote control and turned on the TV.
Alex turned to the screen. "And watching the Karate Kid?"
"I hope he wins the big match!"
Alex thought of bed, and quiet, and a warm, cozy bed without Daniel-san. She thought of the drive up from Philadelphia, how she'd spent all of it wanting to be back in Lorelai's house, wanting to be home, wanting to bury herself in what lay unspoken between them. She might as well enjoy what she'd gotten. "So is this a date?"
Lorelai ran her thumb over the shot glass. "Yes."
"Aren't we a little old for the Karate Kid?"
"Please. Without 80s nostalgia, we aren't even alive."
Lorelai leaned back against the couch cushions, and rolled her head to look at Alex. Alex could smell the vodka on Lorelai's breath, and wondered how many shots she'd already had. The bottle looked nearly full. She wondered, guiltily, if Lorelai had been psyching herself up for this. Tempting her with cute socks and a damned smile. If Alex had said no, maybe Lorelai would have followed her upstairs, and into bed.
"I remember the 80s," Alex said.
"Yeah? How old are you, anyway?"
Alex raised an eyebrow.
"I haven't had a chance to look at your driver's license yet. Come on." Lorelai nudged her wrist with her fingers curled.
"I'm 34." Alex told her first truth since arriving in Stars Hollow, looking into Lorelai's eyes. She waited for the mask to be pulled off. Waited for Lorelai to laugh at her. Waited for the armed men to burst through the door and haul her away, crying and hurt and mostly dead.
Lorelai's brow furrowed. "34, arriving in a small town, no family mentioned, no local job, no pets, no ties..."
"Are you fishing?" Alex leaned closer. Lorelai didn't back away. Their foreheads touched. Then their noses.
"I might be fishing," Lorelai said. "I might just want to know everything about you."
Alex began her lies.
Lorelai had cried when Daniel-san's leg was broken. Alex had held her hand, and tried to feel something, but could only think of what she'd said earlier, and the kiss the words had wrought. Lorelai had tasted like sweet vodka and the kiss had only ended when Lorelai began laughing against her mouth.
With the credits rolling, Alex stood and offered her hand. "We should do something foolish."
"Go toilet paper the Dragonfly?"
"No." Alex smiled.
"Crank call Rory?"
"Do the wild thing with an almost-stranger living in my home?"
"I was hoping it was that foolishness."
Alex turned for the stairs. Lorelai grabbed her hand. "Wait." Alex let herself be pulled around. Lorelai smiled, tentatively, and asked, "How do I know it's really you?"
"What if I told you I was really a district attorney in New York? Here for witness protection?" The words rushed out of her mouth before she could stop them, and she squeezed Lorelai's hand. Her whole body shook with a chill.
Lorelai was still smiling. "What would that make me?"
"I don't know." I can only keep up with my own lies.
Lorelai walked around her, tugging her toward the stairway. "You live in my house. You see the brand of toilet paper I buy. It doesn't really matter, does it."
Lorelai tugged. "Cold feet?"
"It does matter."
Lorelai stood on the first step and let go of Alex's hand, to take Alex's face into her palms. "It's all right there, obvious as sunlight. I love the New York Times, Claire. Every Sunday I do the crossword puzzle over coffee, with Rory shouting the answers at me, and Sookie making cookies. That's what life is like here."
"That's what it was like the day you died."
Alex trembled. She grabbed onto the railing to keep herself standing under the featherweight of Lorelai's fingers. "Why are you telling me this?"
"Because we're about to make love."
Alex closed her eyes. "So, what do you know?"
Lorelai must have leaned closer, because her voice was low, right against Alex's ear. "You think I know anything because of some article a year ago? You think that's who you are?"
"It's who I was."
Alex opened her eyes. "Okay. Not tonight." She let Lorelai lead her to bed, and the burden of truth lasted between them until Lorelai pushed off her shirt and ran her fingers down her shoulders.
"Wax on, wax off," Lorelai said, and kissed her shoulders.
"I should tell you something." Alex pushed her backward, toward the bed.
"You have a Santa fetish?"
"You want a spanking?"
Alex's lips curled. "Not yet."
"I speak Japanese."
"Like Mr. Miyagi?" Lorelai's eyebrows shot up to her head.
"More like the daughter of powerful people who wanted to get ahead in the world. Everyone was doing it. It was the 80s."
"I don't believe you."
Lorelai sprawled back onto the bed, and Alex crouched over her, and said, "Daniel-san wa chou-okama da yo."
"Ralph Macciano is really, really gay."
"Oh. I couldn't tell, you got the syntax all wrong."
Alex's hands paused on their way up Lorelai's stomach and under her shirt. "Hey, fuck you."
"Fuck you back. Are you trying to tell me we're not watching Karate Kid II tomorrow?"
"We are not. I get to pick the next date."
"How about a weekend away at a little bed and breakfast?"
"I like, that, Claire. Just like I like where your hand is at." Lorelai gasped shortly, and then bit her lip. "Should I call you Claire?"
Alex kissed her throat. "Yes. I like Claire."
"So do I."
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