Written because I agree with LightWoman but I had a little bit of a different take on the end of 'In the Red'. Mostly because I'm perpetually optimistic and idiotically happy that I find hope in the smallest, darkest little moments.

Disclaimer: If I owned Lie To Me* I'd never have to write fanfiction. Probably wouldn't even, contractually, be allowed to read it.

Thinking back on the exact moment he'd said it, it still startles you. The way he'd meant it, with the cold harsh reality that he'd actually follow through with it. He's sent you mixed signals for next to a decade, but that one was loud and clear and it meant exactly what he'd said - you'd be through. But typical man, while he was over there sweating for the company with his name on the sign, he sometimes forgets; forgets you've been out the back there in the quarry, grinding out your own sweat with no such recognition. Or perhaps he does remember, sometimes. Sometimes you feel that he sees it. He's told you before. He told Dave. And you feel your heart restrict at the thought.

And it pisses you off just a little, that he remembers only when it's convenient.

He'd begged you to be his business partner and the fact that he remembers that; that he's the one that brought it up, only solidifies the fact that he may very well have been telling you the truth; but the past seven years only make it perfectly clear, that it'll never be the whole truth.

You mess with my finances again, and we're through.' Financially, economically, equitably. Never emotionally. And at the slight upturn of your lips as he'd said it, you knew that he knew that you knew. He may let you go, but he'd never, ever, let you go.

He'd fire you, perhaps. But could you really fire someone that you'd never 'hired' to begin with? You think not. But this is Cal and believe it or not, you both know that he needs you; wants you around. He's told you before that you're his weakness, his blindspot, his main grounding force and as long as he'll have you, you're not afraid to admit that you'll be there, no matter what. You're not ashamed of that weakness. That lack of willingness to simply throw in the towel on him. Because it could never be that simple. Nothing you ever say to one another, could ever simply have one meaning. Because there is nothing you can say to each other, that you could ever say in simply one way. Because when your eyes talk, your lips say something else and when your lips betray you, your eyes keep you honest.

He may have meant what he said, but his words hadn't conveyed the whole message. His words alone, never did. And like water off a duck's back, you absorb only as much as you need to continue on, to stay hydrated. You deflect as much as you need, to keep you sane.

An hour later, you can see the apology in his eyes. The words are still harsh and you can still remember the clear finality of his statement. But you stand there in the centre of the hall, he looks at you and you can see the apology in his eyes, the honesty, it's weak and incomplete, but it's there. The truth that he'll never, ever, completely let you go and you smile, you smirk, you laugh. You feel safe. Perhaps not in every way that matters, not in every way you should. But a part of you, feels you'll always be safe with Cal and for now, that's enough.

The end.