Summary: One little white lie and it all looks deceiving…
Disclaimer: I do not own Lie to me* and the summary comes courtesy of "Save Yourself" by Suzy Bogguss, also not mine.
Season: 2. Set during the final scene of Sweet Sixteen.
A/N: Happy #Lietomelives day! I wanted to write fluff for the occasion. This isn't it. Hey, I have no control over my muse! This has been niggling at my brain since I first saw Sweet Sixteen. Inspired by Cal's expression when Gillian is explaining what happened seven years ago. I apologise for what this does to the scene, but you gotta write what you gotta write. Right?
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He's listening to what she's telling him but he can't process what he's hearing, what she's admitting. Even when it became clear that she knew more than she would say - when he told her she was forgiven - he hadn't imagined that she was hiding this.
He's always felt quite proud of her ability to play along with his cons; to deceive suspects. He's always thought she learned it from him. Perverse as it was to be proud of teaching her to lie, he was. Now he's trying to understand; he's trying to focus on why she did it, but he can't help but wonder what else he doesn't know. He's thinking through every conversation he remembers from the last seven years; he's wondering what he might have missed. He's wondering how she managed to deceive him all this time; how she became his blind spot quite so quickly. And he's desperately trying to decide how to move on from here. Right now, he feels like their entire relationship is built on deception - in a completely different way than he had thought - and he can feel it shaking. And telling himself that she has been loyal to him all these years isn't helping. Because niggling at the forefront of his thoughts is the other, much more recent, lie that he just can't get past:
"I've never kept anything from you, Cal."
He had wanted to believe her. He wishes that was still an option.
He realises she has stopped speaking and he can see the fear in her eyes, on her face. She's waiting. How they go on from here depends entirely on what he does next and he doesn't feel ready to make that decision. But he needs to voice some of his disappointment.
"So all that talk about you being a bad liar, that's just an act, right? That's a lie."
He watches his words hit home; knows that she is sorry; that she's as terrified of what this means for them as he is. But as she tells him that it depends on the lie, it frightens him to realise that, despite how scared she is now, she would lie to protect him again. He can't decide if he's touched by that or not. But is he really in a position to judge her about lying? How many lies has he told her? How much is he still concealing from her? He knows that his instinct to walk away - to hurt her like all of this has hurt him - is hypocritical. He also knows that she wouldn't walk away from him. She never has.
So, instead, he does what they are both, apparently, so good at: He steps forward to embrace her, knowing that she'll think it means that everything is okay… What's one more lie?
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