A/n: So, I've been addicted to PLL since 1x01, and I've yet to post a fic for it. This was written extremely quickly and isn't my best work, but I wanted to get something out there. Spencer and Toby, the alleyway, way back in season one. Reviews are love.
logic tells lies
"The Devil has a name, and it's Toby."
When she said that, she was sure of it. She didn't care that Toby was an outcast. She didn't care that it was a harsh accusation.
Because she was right. She was methodical and intelligent and hardworking. She could read people and figure out every detective novel she'd ever read, and she was right. Everything in the world pointed to Toby. Toby was a killer and a villain and pure evil and a psychopath with no feelings.
And none of this broke her heart. There was no disappointment that Toby was a creep and a murderer. There was some kind of relief in knowing she knew who it was, a great deal of fear, and a feeling of certainty.
But all of it falls away in a single moment.
She's going for her everyday run, pushing herself farther, letting her music calm her burning muscles and push her another mile. She's tired but satisfied, the way she always is when she's in motion.
She's surprised to see him.
He's walking down the other side of the street, hands in pockets, head down, hair falling in his eyes, and something about it makes her slow down.
She comes to realize that she honestly hasn't seen Toby in the flesh very often. The majority of her judgements about him have been made behind safe doors, far from his burning blue eyes and down-turned mouth.
As she watches, two young boys are walking towards him on the sidewalk. They're small and adorable and make a smile tug on her lips. Surprisingly, she notes that Toby has the same reaction. His face softens in a way she's never seen. There's a sweetness in his eyes, and his whole face is a hundred times brighter when she sees a small smile grace his lips.
The older child looks up from the sidewalk, and sees Toby ahead of him. His face, in an instant, is a mask of horror. He grabs the smaller one's hand and pulls him to the side of the sidewalk.
Toby's smile drops. And it pulls on Spencer's stomach in an unexpected way.
It shouldn't make her feel sick.
Because she knows herself, and she doesn't lie to herself. She would cross the street if she saw him too. She's always acted that way. She's cruel and arrogant and all together too sure of herself. She's set in her ways and convinced that every person who she labels remains in the little niche she's set them in.
But as she sees him walk away as fast as he can and throw open the metal gate to a darkened alley, her chest hurts, and something pulls her across the street. Her head screams that this is the worst idea she's ever had, that it doesn't matter how anyone reacts to Toby Cavanaugh because he killed one of her best friends.
Because Spencer Hastings doesn't do sympathy.
But that all shatters when she creeps to the corner of a building and peeks into the alleyway. She wants to convince herself she's followed him out of curiosity, out of a need to know the enemy, for research and investigative purposes alone.
But then she sees him.
He's thrown himself on the ground, and is holding himself together with his arms wrapped around himself. His head leans against the brick wall, and tear tracks streak his face.
She's never seen anyone look so broken.
And Spencer Hastings doesn't do sympathy, but her heart hurts.
Part of her wants to throw open that gate and walk into that alleyway. Part of her wants to be brave enough to look him in the eye. Part of her wants to reach out and touch him, but she's scared that if she does, all of her carefully crafted rules and illusions and faulty logic will fall away at the seams.
And she lets her head rule her heart, and isn't brave enough to walk into the alleyway. But she knows she won't be able to blindly go on accusing him anymore, because she's seen him cry and it's terribly intimate and no one who looks like this could kill anyone.
So she forgets all the evidence, because she can't explain this with logic.
She walks home, slowly. She leaves her earphones out, it feels wrong to listen to music right now.
She never tells anyone about that day. And when she reaches the comfort of her front porch, her chest still hurts, and she's thinking that Toby has the bluest eyes she's ever seen.