House Arrest (11/35) – WMC fic

(December 22nd, Cindy’s POV)

When Cindy awoke and heard Lindsay moving around in the kitchen, it was the first day she really wished that she was already gone. She did not want to explain last night. In an effort to prevent that very dialogue, she feigned sleep for over an hour, hoping that Lindsay would leave.

Then the phone call came. She could hear Lindsay answer it in the kitchen, and it became apparent that Lindsay was being bullied on the other end of the line by the sudden volume and irritation in her tone.

“I said I’ll be in soon. I find it kind of humorous, and not in a good way, that I was forced to waste time last night, and this morning you’re mad because I’m not there yet.”

There was a long pause during which, Cindy deducted, the person on the other end must have alluded to the party qualifying as time off, because Lindsay scoffed loudly.

“Relaxing for who? I find making small talk with my co-workers and making nice with my superiors tedious.”

What response that statement received was anybody’s guess, but, whatever it was, Lindsay must have stopped it partway through.

“Just… I will be in soon. I have something I have to take care of first.”

Cindy shuddered. That something was so her.

“I want to catch this guy just as much as you. Probably more.” Lindsay paused for only a split second. “I don’t mean anything by it. I just… listen, I will be in as soon as I can.”

The call ended so abruptly that Lindsay had to have hung up on… Tom, she was guessing.

So Lindsay had been waiting for her to wake up. She was afraid of that. And pretending to sleep had just cost Lindsay one very unpleasant phone call. It was pretty clear from her side of it that Lindsay wasn’t going to leave the apartment until they had this conversation. Unfortunately.

With that in mind, Cindy finally sat up on the couch. She really did want to spare Lindsay any further reprimanding, but she couldn’t seem to get the rest of the way up from her makeshift bed to actually do so. It only took a few minutes after the call ended, though, for Lindsay to come in after her. She came out of the kitchen sporting a look of determination and a cup of coffee, which she nearly spilled upon realizing Cindy wasn’t asleep.

“Hey,”she said, pulling to a stop.

Cindy took some satisfaction in the fact that Lindsay’s determined expression faded pretty quickly into one considerably less assured.

“Hey,” she said back.

Lindsay remembered her feet again and continued on her path toward the sofa.

“This is for you,” she said, holding the mug out to Cindy from a safe distance.


Cindy took the mug and held it between her hands. She stared down into the warm liquid and waited for it, whatever it was going to be, but, surprisingly, Lindsay let her off the hook with one simple question.

“Everything okay?”

Cindy looked up at her, and smiled. She couldn’t not smile, not with the way Lindsay was unconsciously bouncing on the balls of her feet and fidgeting with two of her belt loops, hooking an unhooking her thumbs in them. She looked like a five-year-old asking if she could have a puppy for Christmas.

So, she was in love with Lindsay. There were worse things, like, for instance, how screwed up she would have to be to not be in love with Lindsay.

“Everything’s fine,” she said and took a drink.

Lindsay kept staring at her, apparently trying to discern how much of that statement was truth, and continued her edgy bouncing. Cindy was certain there were more questions to come, but she wasn’t anticipating the next one.

“Do you want a muffin? I didn’t make them. I ran down to the bakery. I got all kinds.”

Whoa. That nervous rambling thing was way adorable.

“Yeah. I’ll get one in a minute.”

“Okay,” Lindsay said, and finally stopped bouncing, as if the acceptance of her offering brought some sort of relief. “I wanted to talk to you about something.”

Cindy really just averted her gaze back to her coffee, but in her mind she was hanging her head in despair. She thought she’d gotten away with it. When she glanced over at Lindsay again, Lindsay motioned to the couch beside her, asking permission to take a seat on her own sofa. Cindy nodded her consent and Lindsay sat down next to her, close but not touching. Again Cindy waited.

“What are you going to do about the holidays?” Lindsay eventually asked. “Obviously, you can’t leave here.”

Surprised by the topic of conversation, but grateful for it nonetheless, Cindy shrugged.

“Then I guess I’ll wait them out here.”

“You can invite your family over here if you want.”

Cindy turned her head and found she could meet Lindsay’s eyes for the first time since her discovery. Not getting completely lost in them was a greater challenge. She seemed to do that a lot.

“Where are you going to be?”

“Um,” Lindsay faltered and looked away first. “I guess I’ll be here.”

“I don’t need to invite them,” Cindy returned quickly.

“Are you sure?”

Lindsay’s voice was so soft when she asked it, like a relaxation CD. Only it definitely wound her up instead of down. She could admit that now.

“This isn’t exactly something that I want to make them aware of, you know?” Cindy said, pointing to the ever-present addition to her leg.

“You could wear snow boots,” Lindsay suggested.

“I can see them after the holidays. Maybe we could just…” Cindy paused. She sure hoped this limb was sturdy, “…hang out. I mean, you are taking off Christmas right?”

“Yeah,” Lindsay said, in a badly faked disbelieving tone. “I wouldn’t work on Christmas.”

Cindy fought back the comment that apparently her inability to lie well was contagious.

“I’m almost sure I won’t be home tonight though,” Lindsay prattled on. “I should tell you that now, for when I forget to call again.”

“Thanks,” Cindy responded.

And this time, where their eyes met, Lindsay wasn'”t quite as quick to look away.

“But I should go now,” she said after a few glorious moments of silence in which Cindy did, in fact, allow herself to get lost in those eyes. “Before there’s any drama.”

“You mean any more drama,” Cindy corrected.

“Heard that, did you?”


“Don’t be,” Lindsay said, turning back into serious Lindsay. “So, you’re good? We’re good?”

“As a team?” Cindy asked in mock seriousness.”We’re pretty much awesome.”

The dimpled smile that Lindsay cast her way in response to that was pretty much awesome too.

“That pretty much describes us,” Lindsay agreed with a chuckle and started to get up.

From somewhere deep in her braver self, Cindy found a sudden flash of nerve. She reached out for Lindsay’s arm and pulled her back down. Before Lindsay could ask for an explanation, she leaned over and kissed Lindsay’s cheek, not long enough to expose her secret, but long enough to form an easy-to-access memory of her lips against soft skin, Lindsay’s smell, and the barely audible gasp sound effect Lindsay made when her lips first made contact.

“Thanks for worrying about me,” she said in answer to Lindsay’s surprised and questioning expression. “I really am fine.”

“Good,” Lindsay responded with a shaky breath and a nod. “I really should go.”

Cindy nodded and released her arm, and Lindsay stood up and walked directly into the corner of the coffee table. The noise it made was pain-inducing and Cindy grimaced on her behalf.

“Are you okay?”

“Table,” Lindsay muttered, rubbing her shin.

“Yeah. It’s been there.”

“The whole time,” Lindsay reluctantly admitted. “I’m fine. See you later.”

She hobbled off to gather her work belongings and was leaving the apartment a minute later. Cindy just sat there and watched her go, wondering what about Lindsay injuring herself at that exact moment was so exhilarating.

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