A Psych Story by silverluna
After several hours where no words had been used or needed, they'd fallen into soft speaking, with Carlton eventually praising his new wife on her killer martial art skills which he had yet to witness but had heard were spectacular. He'd asked a question a few minutes ago but Marlowe had gently changed the subject, and even though Carlton didn't seem to notice, the answer stuck in Marlowe's throat.
Marlowe bit her lip, looking longingly into her lover's—husband's—deep blue eyes. She had considered this during the long nights she spent in the Lompoc correctional facility and had come to the conclusion that she should be honest with him. He seemed to appreciate that, even though she'd feared in the half-seconds which followed her admission that Pink Cadillac was not a better Clint East film, it had turned out to work in her favor. "Sweetie," she breathed, trying to ignore his nibbling of her ear, "I've got something to tell you."
"Are you pregnant? It's so soon," Carlton guessed, but a smile was forming across his lips, as if he could count among the few intimate times they'd had together before being wed just which one it was.
Marlowe pressed her finger to his lips.
"No, I'm not pregnant. At least, I don't think I am. But that's not it. It's a secret, one I've kept since I was 16 years old. And since we're married, I think you need to know."
"What?" Carlton looked a little less pleased, but he was still intent on listening to her. He pressed himself up on his elbow and moved closer to her on the heart-shaped bed. He ignored the early morning light filtering in through a window behind him, knowing that too soon he'd have to get up and go into work as he'd promised.
Marlowe took in a breath, slowly releasing it. "You were asking about my martial arts skills? The ones I used to fight off my attackers in the hotel hallway? I didn't . . . I didn't pick those moves up at Lompoc." She closed her eyes, reliving the moments of the fight and the moves which her muscles remembered, as if instinctively. When she opened her eyes, she saw that Carlton's features had lost all traces of amusement. His mouth was pressed into that same flat line that she had seen when he found out she had stolen the blood.
Here goes, Marlowe thought. "You see, I used to be known, rather briefly, by another name. Buffy."
When there was no recognition or flicker in his eyes, she continued with a sigh, "Buffy, The Vampire Slayer."
"Vampire Slayer?" Carlton repeated, his eyes boring into hers with such intensity that she almost looked away. "Buffy?"
Now that she'd begun her confession, Marlowe felt at a loss. There was less relief in expressing her words as she'd thought—and when she really thought about it, telling her brand new husband that she had once had prophetic dreams and staked vampires and blew up her Los Angeles high school went far beyond her vow for honesty. In fact, she had done such a good job of covering up her past that she herself almost needed convincing that the supernatural side of life still existed.
Marlowe's throat tightened as she recalled Carlton's first appearance at her door, recalled how she'd been nearly unnerved until he'd stated he was a cop—there had been nothing supernatural in the way he'd tracked her down.
In spite of having her speech well planned out and well rehearsed, Marlowe faltered with what came next. "I was only 16," she repeated, "when this man approached me at school and told me that I had a calling. His name was Merrick. He said he was my Watcher, and that the time had come, that I was my generation's—"
"Marilyn Monroe?" Carlton interrupted. "Peggy Lipton?" He misread the confusion on Marlowe's face. "What? Why are you so surprised? I've seen other movies, not just Clint Eastwood films."
A small smile made its way to Marlowe's lips. It infected her husband's demeanor; some of the sternness which had gathered in the downward slope of his eyebrows abated. He reached out and grasped her hand, pressing his long fingers against her smaller ones. "You don't have to say anything else, Marlowe. I think I understand."
Marlowe's fingers curled over Carlton's, enjoying the warmth coming from his body. She wanted to hold on, not just to him but also to what they had, as a couple, even for a few seconds longer, before she broke out the rest of the truth. "Carlton—"
He shook his head. "It's really nothing to be ashamed of. I get it. You were 16, young and vulnerable, and obviously gorgeous. You were approached by a talent scout and you ended up doing a movie." He gave her that intense look again. "Lucky for this talent scout . . . Merrick? Was that his name?"
Marlowe pushed her lips back together, astounded at what was unfolding. "Uh. Yes. That was his name," she confirmed, allowing a brief look at the memory of his death. She shook it off just as quickly.
"Well, lucky for him he was recruiting for a legitimate movie and not some adult skin flick." He scowled. "Because if he had been, I would be forced to hunt him down and arrest his sorry ass and get him to confess that he'd ruined your innocence. Not forced to, really. I'd enjoy it."
Marlowe's eyes widened slightly. She had to admit that she was flattered to have a strong man by her side who wanted to protect her—even her long ago 16 year old self—and defend her honor as if he were some gallant knight (with a penchant for guns of all models from all ages), but it was also a little funny to think that she couldn't defend herself.
"So you made a movie called Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It was about '92, wasn't it? I bet you needed some extra money to buy a car, am I right? And if you must have done martial arts training for it, it must have been an action flick." Carlton's eyes filled with pride and warmth.
"Movie?" Marlowe asked, a little startled that he was using her title as if it were actually the title of a movie. She watched him carefully but he seemed to have completely accepted that this had been her big secret, that her former alias had been one of an actress.
Well, wasn't it easy enough to say that it had been? When she ran away from Los Angeles on the back of Pike's motorcycle, she had intended to never look back. She had seen little reason to in the years that followed, and saw even less reason to confess it all now. While in prison she had thought that getting it out in the open would be healthy for their relationship, but now she knew the truth.
Carlton already knew who she was and now knew who she wasn't. He had already forgiven her for being a one-time criminal, and didn't need to forgive her for anything else.
Marlowe leaned forward and placed a soft kiss on his lips, then smiled at him. "You're right. It was, at the time, an opportunity I couldn't pass up. You're the only one I ever told that secret to."
Carlton smiled back and returned her kiss. "It's a secret that's safe with me."