He didn't know how long it took- the sun never set there as it never set in Valhalla or Blood Gulch before it and the endlessly monotonous, shinning days blurred together as they always did, even in Epsilon's memories. But he found her, just as he knew he would. She watched him approach with a stance that said she wasn't glad he was there but she didn't feel it necessary to shoot him. Yet. But he was there. That was what was important.
Tex, unsurprisingly, didn't seem to think so. "What are you doing here?"
"I was looking for you."
Epsilon had to pause, partly to think of an answer and partly because- who the hell would question the fact he let himself get captured, potentially forever, just to be with someone?
"Well... I didn't want you to be alone."
She scoffed. "Did you forget the part where I was made to handle all the shit you can't? I think it's pretty clear that I don't need you."
"Yeah, but need and want are two different things."
The two stared at each other for a long moment.
"Why are you here, Church?"
He opened his mouth and out came, "For the same reason why I brought you back. I want to be with you."
"That's not a reason."
"The hell it isn't! It has my goal and motivation right there on the label- it's a fucking reason!"
"Well maybe I don't want you hanging around."
"Because you brought me back."
That stung and for a minute, Epsilon couldn't find his voice. "Would you really rather be dead?"
"There's not much of a difference, is there?" Tex accused. "I mean- what purpose do I even have? I live, I kick ass and then, when it really matters, when it's the most important, I fail. All. The damn. Time. What the hell kind of life is that, Church, where, no matter how hard I try, I won't ever get what I want?"
Then, all of the sudden, it all clicked together. As if Epsilon had been peering at the world through an almost invisible screen of static and it suddenly went away, leaving everything impossibly clear. It was the Reds going to the line for people they'd been trying to kill and Tucker kicking ass because he had no other choice. It was Wash getting things done no matter what and Caboose who refused Epsilon's final request. It was Alpha, endlessly tortured by the Director's love and loss. It was the memories of Omega's anger and Sigma's possessiveness and Theta's compassion and it was all filtered and shifted through Delta's logic. He finally knew why Tex was there and why he was there with her.
"Did you ever think that the Director's memories weren't accurate?" He asked. "He believed Allison could handle anything so that means you can handle anything. But she died and that means you can never win."
Tex's gloves creaked ominously around her weapon and in her voice her jaw was tight, "Yes, Church. I know."
But Epsilon pressed on, "Did you ever think that the Director loved her enough he would've given anything to have gone with her that one time? That maybe he thought if he was there, she would've survived? Or if not, they would've died together? Did you ever think that maybe, if you can't succeed on your own, maybe you could if you let someone help you for once? And I don't mean help as in let me tag along and then ditch me first chance you get, or shoot me and use me for bait again. I mean help as in the two of us working together, sharing equal responsibility in whatever it is you want to do." Epsilon's mouth- or his mouth-analogue -was dry. "I want to be with you, Tex. Because I don't want to loose you again."
She just stood there and looked at him. Really looked at him until she saw it. Until she understood that even though Epsilon had the Director's memories and Alpha's memories, he wasn't either of them. He was just Epsilon, who didn't merely live in his memories but wanted to make them right in the way the Director and Alpha's prides wouldn't let them. And because of that, he was breaking out of his preprogrammed limitation and making his own memories and asking Tex to do the same.
"You know you'll probably just fuck everything up, right?" It wasn't an accusation but a statement of fact. That statement of fact being: you suck at military maneuvers.
"Well, at least you'll have someone to blame if we fail."
Epsilon could practically hear Tex smirking at him. "I'm not going to babysit you."
"You'd make a horrible babysitter."
"I'm not gonna be hand-holding you, either."
"Does that mean skipping through the flowers is out of the question?"
"But if you want to come with me and be something asides from dead weight- perhaps even literally," she strode up to him and took the sniper rifle out of his hands, "you need to learn how to use this damn thing properly."