Extreme Sensitivity… as an appeal for clemency. – A Women’s Murder Club Series, part 3

TITLE: Extreme Sensitivity… as an appeal for clemency. (3/?)
PAIRING: Lindsay/Cindy
DISCLAIMER: Women’s Murder Club does not belong to me. The characters do not belong to me. They are the property of James Patterson, 20th Century Fox Television and ABC. I have no problems with that as long as I can borrow them for short bursts and use them in pursuit of my own enjoyment. I am not trying to infringe. Though, I don’t know why anyone has a problem with fan fic. After all, it really is a compliment. If anyone wants to write fan fiction about my book, feel free.

(Lindsay’s POV)

“I’ve come to beg forgiveness.”

Lindsay trailed her eyes from Cindy’s overly enthusiastic gaze to the ingredients sticking up from the bag in the crook of her arm.

“Are you going to build a shrine or something?”

“Yeah, Linds. The well-known whole grain and vegetable shrine of forgiveness,” Cindy deadpanned.

Lindsay crossed her arms, no smile coming to her face to soften the gesture. She felt Cindy should be aware up front that smart aleck remarks weren’t going to fly. If she’d come to beg forgiveness, that’s exactly what she could do. Beg.

Cindy got the point, wilting slightly under her stare.

“Actually, I was hoping to make you dinner.”

“Were you now? And what if I’ve already eaten?”

She was being mean. She was doing it on purpose. She was still really, really, inexplicably, hurt. But Cindy’s face fell so fast in reaction to her words that Lindsay found herself scrambling for more words to fix it.

“I haven’t. I was just asking,” she muttered.

Feeling considerably more stupid than when she’d first opened the door, she left it standing open and heard Cindy follow her inside the apartment.

Like her home’s own personal Benedict Arnold, Martha ambled up to greet Cindy with an eagerly wagging tail.

“Hi girl,” Cindy whispered, as if she knew she wasn’t supposed to feel welcome right now.

Which was correct. She wasn’t.

Five minutes later, Cindy was set up in her kitchen and Lindsay was settled with a bottle of beer at her kitchen table, enjoying a front row seat to what she suspected from Cindy’s barely detectable mumblings to herself was going to be a magnificent performance.

“Squash, zucchini, cabbage…” Cindy listed softly as she laid the items out.

“I hate cabbage,” Lindsay drawled.

Cindy didn’t even pause in food removal. She took a moment to consider, though, before halting her ingredient roll call to respond.

“Except in the cabbage casserole we had at Claire’s house, the Borscht at Papa Joe’s, and the fact that I’ve seen you consume more sauerkraut than any other human being I know,” Cindy rattled off, before glancing back over her shoulder. “Don’t start with me.”

Lindsay was torn between being irked that her cruel joke had fallen flat and oddly exhilarated that Cindy had delivered an accurate montage of her eating habits, the facts of which could have been ascertained only through careful, long-term observation.

“And I’m still learning to cook, so be nice. I’m extremely sensitive about it,” Cindy tacked on.

“Is this like your extreme sensitivity to light?” Lindsay smirked.

“No,” a small smile played at Cindy’s lips, though she tried hard to hide it, “this is real.”

Lindsay sat in silence, trying to determine whether or not she believed that, and watched Cindy washing vegetables in her sink.

“Who’s teaching you to cook?”

“My mom,” Cindy replied. “I go there once a month and she shows me something new. It’s not something I was particularly curious about as a kid, so I never learned.”

“There was something that you weren’t curious about as a kid?”

“Just the one,” Cindy murmured. “But I figured it was high time I learned.”

Lindsay twirled her bottle on the table, watching the movement of glass on wood. A thought settled into the pit of her stomach before it even fully entered her consciousness. When it did, she glanced up at Cindy, observing the way her hands were moving against the counter. It wasn’t particularly worthy of note other than the fact that it was something she hadn’t seen Cindy do before.

“Someone you need to cook for?”

Cindy did pause in her movements then, but it was fleeting.

“You never know when you’ll owe someone a meal. I’m cooking for you, aren’t I?” she teased, peeking back at the table and away again just as quickly. “But I’m serious. Be nice.”

“I have a hard time believing there’s something you’re not good at,” Lindsay said, feeling in need of a cover as soon as the words were out of her mouth. “I mean, besides staying out of trouble. And holding your tongue. And not unnecessarily putting yourself into danger.”

“I get it,” Cindy called out to stop her. There was exasperation in the proclamation, but there was also laughter that Cindy was fighting to keep a lid on. Then, both of those things faded into something softer and more sincere. “I know that I hurt your feelings more than I realized and I’m sorry.”

“What feelings, kid?”

Cindy completely stopped what she was doing to look back at her with such a remorseful look that it killed Lindsay’s endeavor to turn it all into a joke. Cindy’s dead serious, silent, ‘I know that I’m right about this’ argument. And she was. Undeniably right. That, and she had a knife in her hands.

“Yeah, you did,” Lindsay admitted, with some degree of difficulty, and took another drink from her bottle. “And you’re forgiven.”

Cindy smiled and turned back to her work. Lindsay watched her. Really watched her. Silently, she found that she couldn’t look anywhere else.

“Did you mention that they washed up still holding hands in your article?” she finally broke the warm stillness of the room.

“Of course I did. That was my lead,” Cindy responded, a melodic whimsy to her voice.

“You’re a hopeless romantic at heart, aren’t you?”

Cindy glanced back, her smile fading. There was a wounded quality about her as she turned back to her chopping and dicing of vegetables on the kitchen counter.

“Not that there’s anything wrong with that,” Lindsay found herself scrambling again. “It’s just… I’m not… which you know.”

Cindy didn’t respond. She just kept cutting, and Lindsay feared she was now the one who owed an apology.

“You’re not going to agree?”

“You’re kidding right? That’s how I ended up in this position in the first place.”

Joking as it was, the declaration reminded Lindsay that there was a reason her friend was standing in her kitchen trying to placate her with food, instead of out tracking down a lead somewhere, which she had started to believe was the only thing that Cindy ever did. Except for, apparently, taking a monthly trip to visit her mom and learn to cook.

The image of Cindy standing in her mom’s kitchen, exasperatedly taking instruction from someone else, was enough to bring a bona fide giant grin to Lindsay’s face. If Cindy took direction from her mother as well as she took direction from her, there had to have been numerous cooking incidents in that household of late.

“I told you you’re already forgiven,” Lindsay’s smile faded as she forced the words out. “You don’t have to stay here and cook me dinner if you have some place you’d rather be.”

It could be a hot story or it could be something more personal. She thought that she would know if Cindy had somewhere worthy of running off to in her personal life, but maybe she wouldn’t.

The knife hovered in the air for several seconds, in which Lindsay wondered if Cindy was about to say “cool” and abandon her to a night of reheated food to eat alone, before it resumed its work.

“If you think you can talk your way out of eating my cooking, you can think again, Boxer.”

Relief. Extreme. Lindsay refused to acknowledge it.

“No way. I’m excited. You know I love an adventure.”

The next second, Lindsay was dodging a fast-moving zucchini slice. No sooner did it land than Martha wandered in from the living room, smelled it, licked it, took it into her mouth, and promptly spit it back out onto the floor.

“I don’t know if I’m hopeless,” Cindy picked up their earlier conversation, sounding more like she wished that she could be than that she was proud that she wasn’t, “but it was romantic.”

Lindsay swallowed hard and took another drink from the bottle. She couldn’t just leave it floating out there. It felt… dangerous.

“It was really only romantic for the first few hours. Once rigor set in, you needed a crowbar to pry them apart.”

The look of revulsion on Cindy’s face as she turned was almost comical in its earnestness. Then she exhaled a laugh, shaking her head.

“Only you, Linds.”

Lindsay managed to turn the sudden choking cough into a throat clearing, the alcoholic fumes burning her throat slightly. She’d heard the words that Cindy had spoken perfectly, but for a brief moment, she’d really misinterpreted their meaning.

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  1. Riley, thank you! Between this and Inamorata, what joy! This cooking scene is *great*! Like “Cindy’s barely detectable mumblings to herself”

    And I consider your 24-hour-written episode kind of a “what might have been” epitah. That was impressive.

  2. Mmm. Dinner at the Casa Boxer, innuendos and I’m sitting with my chin in my hands just waiting for the next installment 🙂

  3. This makes me smile. I love that Cindy is just ever-so-slightly socially awkward (what nerd isn’t?) and am torn between being annoyed at Lindsay for being ‘mean’ and delighted that she’s acting like a 5th grade boy pulling the hair of a girl he likes.

    I suppose you’ll just have to write more so I can decide. 😀

  4. Cuteness ahoy, hoy! Yeah, that was pretty sweet. And yeah, you really nail Cindy’s awkwardness so well. Makes me wonder what her childhood would have been like. Particularly in high school. Plus, cooking is really hard. Good on her for trying to learn. And what better excuse than to practise on an emotionally hurt inspector. Plus, you really do focus on Lindsay’s inability to speak and explain her feelings. Which is great. And this chapter was great. And this story is great. And… before I forget… Cindy does have an amazing ability to be able to remember things and it was such a squee moment when she recited all the things Lindsay eats pertaining to cabbage. How she could eat that shit, ugh, is anyone’s guess. But again, so cute.
    “Could we please have some more?”

  5. I loooooove Cindy in this story!! She’s super-cute and a little nerdy too. Gotta love that about her.

    And I also like Lindsay, especially the fact that she’s behaving almost like a child to get Cindy’s attention… 😀

    “If she’d come to beg forgiveness, that’s exactly what she could do. Beg.”
    Heh. I agree. And after the begging comes the forgiveness and after that comes the make-up sex, rigth?

    “Cindy’s barely detectable mumblings to herself”
    I always mumble to myself when I’m particularly concentrated on something or very very scared… 😀

    ““Is this like your extreme sensitivity to light?” Lindsay smirked.”
    I cracked up at this line… I love their banter in this chapter!! They’re playful (but also serious when the situation requires them to be) and we don’t get that a lot from Inamorata. I’m not complaining about the other story, you know I love it to bits, but it’s still very fun to see how they play with each other.

    “Cindy completely stopped what she was doing to look back at her with such a remorseful look that it killed Lindsay’s endeavor to turn it all into a joke. Cindy’s dead serious, silent, “I know that I’m right about this” argument. And she was. Undeniably right. That, and she had a knife in her hands.”
    This is so like Lindsay, to be terribly afraid of admitting and talking about her feelings! I can totally see her trying to get out of it with any means necessary..

    “If Cindy took direction from her mother as well as she took direction from her, there had to have been numerous cooking incidents in that household of late.”
    Aaaaah, cooking incidents… Cindy seems so prone to them. And I’d LOVE to see Lindsay’s reaction to one of them!

    “The next second, Lindsay was dodging a fast-moving zucchini slice.”
    WOOOO-HOOOOOO! Go Cindy!!!! She actually threw a piece of zucchini at Lindsay!! I loved, loved, loved this part. I mean Cindy THREW a zucchini at Lindsay! As from now on, you are my hero.

  6. I tried my best to keep the stupid grin off my face while I was reading this chapter. I lost the battle somewhere along the second line.

    Lindsay’s inability to be mean to Cindy is cute (her effort is admirable though), Martha and her wagging tail are adorable, and Cindy is just too precious.

  7. LOVE IT!!!!!For some reason this is one of my favorites.I can’t wait for the next update.Hopefully soon?! 🙂

  8. Arlene – thanks for the kind words about my 24-hour episode. I sure would like to see Aubrey Dollar and Angie Harmon sinking their acting chops into something like that. *Sigh*

    I am actually using ‘double-stack’ in an upcoming story… but not this one.

    Uh… as for cabbage… I love cabbage. Pretzels and sauerkraut are the biggest tells of my half-German ancestry 🙂 I feel like Boxer and I would have that in common. I mean we do share an affection for a redhead, a penchant for flying off the handle, and daddy issues.

    Luce, I wasn’t your hero already? I must try harder!

    Never try to fight the stupid grin! How can you do anything but smile when thinking of Lindsay/Cindy. They are so hot together, if you don’t open your lips and let the steam escape through your teeth, your head will explode. Seriously. It’s been studied.

    Soon… I promise.

  9. Uuuh, if you want to try harder let me give you a hint:

    over-protective and pissed-off Lindsay works great with me. Along with food (zucchini!!) throwing.. 😀

    Of course you just reached your new hero status so you don’t HAVE to try harder, but I’m just suggesting here… 😛

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