Jordan McKee is not a fan of Audrey Parker, has never been a fan of Audrey Parker, and will never be a fan of Audrey Parker. Currently, Audrey Parker is watching her, annoyingly calm, her chin on her fist.
Jordan shifts and wishes, not for the first time, that they would go ahead and clear out a cell so that she could be comfortable behind bars instead of being visually dissected by the cool, searching gaze of Audrey Parker.
Because it is Audrey Parker, and as hard as she'd tried to convince the Guard that she was otherwise, everyone knows it now.
It's good, Jordan knows it's good. She'll shoot Nathan, that bastard, and the Troubles will end, and Jordan will find a nice stranger who knows how to judge pressure, and everything will be fine. Still, she doesn't feel particularly relieved. After all, Nathan is still walking around being his usual hypocritical self, and Lexie was, well. Not Audrey Parker.
"Whatcha thinking?" Audrey asks, because of course she does, that perky bitch.
"I liked you better as Lexie," Jordan tells her.
Audrey hums. "Would've thought you'd be thrilled."
"You haven't shot Nathan yet," Jordan says. The hardness in her voice surprises her, but she has to be hard. She'd tried being soft with Nathan the last time, and that ended… poorly.
"I'm not gonna shoot Nathan," Audrey says calmly.
Jordan hates her for being able to declare that so easily. Audrey's not Troubled. She shouldn't get to make that decision. She shouldn't get to force Jordan into cold solitude while she searches for an option that's easier on her fragile psyche. Jordan shouldn't have to keep her weapon-grade skin locked away while Audrey makes love to the only person who might be allowed in Jordan's isolation chamber. It isn't fair.
There's Wade, of course, and he's proven easy to play so far, but Jordan doesn't like him. He seems slimy. Plus, he's related to Duke, which is deeply unfortunate in any potential boy toy, even if it is the point of the whole endeavor.
An officer comes in, then, to inform Audrey that Jordan has been cleared and can leave.
Jordan does so, feeling unfulfilled and wondering how that still surprises her.
Jordan's wiping down tables at the Gun & Rose when the door rattles.
"Closed!" she yells.
The door rattles some more.
"Goddammit, I said-" she breaks off when she looks up and sees Audrey perched on a table, smirking.
Only it's not Audrey. Audrey doesn't smirk like that. This is Lexie DeWitt, and that's impossible, because Lexie DeWitt doesn't exist.
"What are you doing here?" Jordan snaps.
She raises an eyebrow. "Aww. And here I thought you liked me."
"I know Lexie DeWitt isn't real."
Audrey/Lexie/whoever the fuck raises a finger. "Firstly, she does. She's a very sweet bartender who has no idea that her memories have been accosted by a supernatural Barn for my usage. Ask someone about Audrey II sometime. And secondly," she raises another finger, "Although I am not the original Lexie DeWitt, I am still a Lexie DeWitt. Let's put it this way- I may not really be Lexie, but I'm sure as hell not Audrey Parker."
"Why should I believe you?" Jordan demands.
Probable Lexie makes her way to the bar, calmly pouring two drinks and sliding one toward Jordan. "Well, I'm here. Audrey Parker wouldn't be here."
"You were lying about being Lexie."
"Ah. Audrey was lying about being Lexie, because Audrey is not Lexie. I, however, am," Lexie says, taking a sip from the glass. Jordan sighs, making a mental note to charge her for that later.
"So if Audrey was lying about being Lexie before, doesn't that mean that you're Audrey lying about being Lexie?"
"No. Because I'm Lexie," she says, rolling her eyes. "It works like this. Both of us are in here. Just Audrey and Lexie, for now, although who knows? Maybe the rest will come with time. When Audrey's in charge, she can remember me. My memories, both real and implanted from some other Lexie, are accessible, but… foggy. Like a dream. Whenever she chooses, which is annoyingly rarely, she can pass the wheel over to me and I can run the operation, at which point I have all of her memories, but they're just as foggy. I'm the one who came out of the Barn. When the Trouble shit got real, I gave her control because she knows how to handle it, and she just impersonated me. I've been out a couple times since then, but not for very long. Sometimes I wake up as myself, I guess by accident. I could just take my life back, but… I don't want to risk fucking something up with the Troubles because I was too slow to access a memory that isn't mine." Lexie pauses to take a long pull from the glass.
Jordan gapes at her. "Shit, really?"
"Really," Lexie says, nodding. "You thing you have issues, honey? I'm barely allowed to exist. Now that we're officially Audrey again…" She grimaces. "It's the right thing, really. She's the one who can handle this ridiculous town. But I'm… I'm real, and I'm not her, and that doesn't matter. I'm not who needs to be real, so I don't get to be."
Jordan takes a sip of her drink. "Okay. So, tell me, Lexie DeWitt. What about you is completely, utterly, not like Audrey Parker at all?"
Lexie considers this. "I have nothing against Christmas, her fashion sense is awful and I genuinely do not know what she is thinking, I'm not a fan of dogs, my comfort food is booze instead of cupcakes, I prefer whiskey over martinis, I am not a perky person and dislike those who are on principle, and I have a much different sense of adventure. Oh, and her taste in men is awful. Sorry."
Jordan shrugs. "No, I agree." And she does. It's her feelings that are somewhat more contradictory.
"I'm just- I'm not her," Lexie sighs into her drink. "She's fine, I guess, but we're so different and I hate that everyone loves her so much that I'm just..."
"Why are you here?" Jordan asks.
"So far, you're the only one I've met in this town who actually prefers me," Lexie tells her, grinning sadly. "Closest thing to a friend I've got. Sorry about that."
Jordan and Lexie didn't really talk, before, but Jordan's finding that her instincts were right. Lexie is easy to talk to, intriguing, and… well, kind of addicting.
"Must be weird, having her memories in your head."
"Almost none of the memories in my head are mine," Lexie points out. "I think I'd really like at least one good one."
Jordan hopes that she'll be a good memory, then catches herself and wonders why she's been having such a ridiculous thought.
"It's strange, every time I get to wake up and find some new, exciting cache of memories in my head I wasn't present for," Lexie comments. "I am not looking forward to waking up to discover my body has been all over Cheekbones. That will suck." She considers this. "On the other hand, he hasn't been able to feel touch in a few years, so it will probably be a very short memory." She remembers who she's talking to and winces. "God, sorry."
"No, it's all right. Audrey hasn't been with Nathan?" Jordan asks.
Lexie's eyes glint at Jordan's interest. "Nope."
"Hm," Jordan hums noncommittally. She's not sure how to feel about it.
"Out of curiosity… Why? You seem like a lady with better taste," Lexie prods gently.
Jordan sips her drink. "He's the only one who can."
"Ah. You wanna know what I think?" Lexie prods.
Jordan actually does. It surprises her. She shrugs.
"I think you need to think more outside the box," Lexie says calmly. She reaches over and runs a finger gently down the shell of Jordan's ear, causing Jordan to shudder. "Or maybe more within it."
Jordan gasps, her pulse thrumming madly under her skin. "Oh, god," she whispers. "Of course. You're immune."
"I'm immune," Lexie affirms. She gently tugs off one of Jordan's gloves and slides her hand into Jordan's. Her voice is much huskier when she adds, "And if you'd like to revel in the knowledge that you touched these tits before Nathan ever got the chance, feel free."
Jordan shudders and, reflexively, looks. They are very nice tits. "That's why you're doing this? To spite Nathan for wanting Audrey and not you?"
"Of course not. I don't want him to want me. He's cute and all, but he's just a lot more serious about everything than I am about anything, and it's annoying," Lexie murmurs. "No, I'm doing this because… because you're hot, and I want to, and because Audrey Parker wouldn't. What do you want?"
Jordan swallows and pulls off her other glove.
Lexie grins wickedly.
"This can't be permanent?" Jordan says, not really intending for it to come out as a question.
"Just because I'm real doesn't mean I'm living," Lexie mutters, pulling away from Jordan. "I'd like that, I would, but I can't be me full time."
"That is the strangest reason anyone's ever given for not calling me back," Jordan mutters.
"On the plus side, no one's gonna ask me to murder you," Lexie says flippantly.
Jordan grimaces and steps away, turning her back.
"Hey, now, come on," Lexie whines. "I'm sorry. What?"
"I'm pushing that. I'm pushing you- her- whatever to kill Nathan," Jordan whispers.
Lexie sighs. "I hate to be the one to break it to you, but she won't do it."
"Fucking selfish bitch. No offense."
"None taken," Lexie replies, taking another sip of the whiskey. "Not her, remember?"
Jordan does. She doesn't know why it surprises her so much. Nothing in Haven is ever simple, and the closer it gets to Audrey, the less normal it becomes. Lexie's pretty damn close. Still, they inhabit the same brain, and Jordan feels the need to explain herself.
"I swear it's nothing personal. Against either of them."
Lexie laughs. "Darling, I'm a bartender. If I've learned nothing else, I've learned that everything is always personal."
Jordan drains her glass and pours another. "Fine. It might be a little bit personal," Jordan says. Lexie throws back her head and laughs, and the admission is worth everything it cost in personal comfort. "But mostly I just want to be normal again."
Lexie stills, and Jordan remembers yet again that Lexie will never be normal. "Yeah," Lexie says finally. "I had hoped you'd feel that way."
"Why?" Jordan asks, blankly.
Lexie rolls her eyes and grabs Jordan's hand. "Has it not become obvious yet," she begins, her voice dropping in register, "that I am here to seduce you?"
"Oh," Jordan says breathlessly.
"Normal is a service I can provide, in this case," Lexie hums. "Trust me, it's a novelty for me too."
"Right," Jordan says, which is a stupid thing, so she forgoes words and kisses the woman in front of her.
Lexie tastes bitter, sharp, and deep- a complex taste Jordan's sure she could spend the next several months trying to unravel. But they don't have that long, so Jordan takes what she can have- pulling her hands free of Lexie's so she can bury them in the other woman's long, soft, two-toned hair.
Lexie lets out a tiny moan. "Your skin… Fuck, you feel perfect."
"Only for you," Jordan says, and it probably counts as a miracle that it comes out as a promise instead of another epithet to her bitterness.
Lexie lets out a deep breath and slides her hands under Jordan's shirt, caressing the skin of Jordan's hips. "Jordan. Tell me you live close and we don't have to drop this place's health code rating."
"Across the street," Jordan says, even though she doesn't want to take her hands out of Lexie's hair and she doesn't want Lexie to take her hands off Jordan's hips and she's really not that concerned about the health code or this job right now.
Lexie gets all of this, because she's smirking naughtily as she pulls back. "Three minutes. And then I am all yours."
Audrey Parker knows it's gonna be a bad day when she wakes up naked in an unfamiliar bed.
"Hey, how do you take your coffee?" a voice calls, and…
Audrey sits up, mortified, quickly covering herself with a sheet. Not a moment too soon- Jordan McKee walks in an instant later, wearing an apron. Just an apron.
The noise that comes out of Audrey is completely undignified, and rather difficult to categorize. Perhaps a squeal.
Jordan sighs. "Audrey. God, I was hoping this wouldn't happen."
"You- we- oh, that bitch!" Audrey hisses, mortified. She puts the pieces together- she fell asleep last night, something startling happened, but Lexie woke up instead of her, and chose to take the opportunity to have freaky sex with Jordan.
"Bitch?" Jordan repeats coolly. "Lexie's a real person. She can have sex with whoever she chooses. And so can I."
"Okay, yes, that's true, but… Nathan can't ever know about this. No one can ever know about this!" Audrey insists, horrified. She glances down at her naked body and immediately back up, unwilling to dwell on the purple marks along her collarbone and breasts.
Jordan smirks. "Yeah, I get a little fired up. By the way, those piercings? Hot."
Audrey blushes hotly. "Those are not my piercings. Get me my clothes."
"Technically, I think they're not your clothes," Jordan says glibly, but turns to get them anyway. Audrey blinks and stares at the ceiling- Jordan's apron doesn't cover anything in the back, including a some scratch marks and a very interesting tattoo.
"You're not going to tell anyone about this!" Audrey orders. Fuck, fuck, this could ruin everything.
"Ugh, you're annoying. I won't tell anyone. Now can you bring Lexie back?" Jordan asks hopefully, dropping the (slightly torn) clothes on the bed beside Audrey.
"Why, so you can have round two?" Audrey asks sarcastically, pulling on her pants under the covers, as if modesty makes a shred of difference at this point.
"Two? I thought you had access to her memories," Jordan says sweetly.
Audrey flinches. "I am trying not to think about it. Look. I am going to go home, shower a lot, go to work, continue with my life. Lexie is going to stay locked up in my psyche. You are going to do whatever you were planning to do before this. And we are all going to pretend this never happened."
Miraculously, Lexie wakes up again a few days later. It's just past midnight, but she's sure Jordan won't mind, because she's sure that the last time was the most fun Jordan's had since her Trouble kicked in.
She jumps out of Audrey's bed, grinning, and going for the box where Audrey keeps Lexie's jewelry- the things Audrey won't wear, but for some reason won't throw out.
There's a note inside, in her own handwriting.
If you fall in love with her, I'll tell the Guard.
She's not in love with Jordan, of course- they've only had a few hours of real interaction, and that isn't enough for something like that. She just doesn't trust Audrey not to take the affinity between them and oversell it to save Nathan's life. Because that's exactly the kind of thing Audrey would do.
Lexie lets the note fall to the floor. She puts the jewelry back down and kicks off her boots.
So this is the cost of being real.
Jordan plots with Wade, considers the possibility of having him kill Audrey. He would, she knows, if she played him the right way, and playing him is almost too easy to believe. She knows she'd be killing Lexie too. And, more importantly, she's willing to kill Nathan. She's willing to kill Audrey. She hates Nathan (mostly) and she hates Audrey (certainly), but more importantly, neither of her lives are worth extending the Troubles. Jordan's life isn't worth that much. No one is. If Jordan values Lexie more than she values Nathan or Audrey, she's a hypocrite, and if she values Lexie more than herself, she's something much worse.
And Lexie, she reasons with herself, is only barely a person. She's had only a few hours of real interaction with life and, as mind-blowing as they undoubtedly were, they just weren't enough. Experiences, Jordan has always believed, make people who they are. If Lexie's only experiences are fucking Jordan (spectacularly, and surprisingly gymnastically) then, well, Lexie just isn't much of anything. Lexie said it herself: "Just because I'm real doesn't mean I'm living."
Jordan hates herself for thinking like this, but that's nothing new. Jordan hates herself pretty much every moment of every day. It's a life condition.
So she manipulates Wade and plots the destruction of a woman she could have loved under different circumstances. After all, it can't make her life much worse.
Lexie wakes up in an office chair, which is unusual for many reasons. She's sure that Audrey gave her control voluntarily, which was unusual before the Jordan Affair and only dried up since.
There's a closed file in her hands. She opens it.
A shuddering gasp rips through her. Lexie drops the file, unable to hold it with trembling hands. This is why Audrey woke her up. This is what she wanted her to know.
Jordan McKee is dead.
There's nothing in the file except a copy of the death certificate and a photo Lexie can't look at too closely. Still, Lexie has access to Audrey's memories, and after a few moments of screwing up her face and concentrating, she has as much of the picture as she can.
Wade killed her. Jordan should have known better- Jordan did know better, but she didn't care and no one saved her. As far as Lexie can tell, no one even tried to save her. Lexie would have tried.
Wade's dead too- Nathan told Audrey today. Lexie can't even avenge her.
"You were my only friend," she whispers, and she's surprised by the tears that stain the page. She doesn't think she's ever cried before. "You were the only one who liked me." Lexie pauses, then adds, "And I was the only one who loved you."
And if this isn't strictly true, well, it's true enough. This is Haven, after all.