House Arrest (4/35) – WMC fic

(Lindsay’s POV)

At ten o’clock, Lindsay called Cindy to tell her she would be very late coming home.

At three-thirty in the morning, Lindsay realized that her late night had officially become an all-nighter.

At around six, Lindsay decided that she had every right to bathe in her own bathroom despite the fact that there were “perfectly adequate” facilities at the station.

She opened the apartment door as quietly as she could, assuming Cindy would still be asleep. And she was, her face turned into the cushions on the back of the couch, one hand hanging down and resting on Martha’s back. Martha lifted her head and looked over at Lindsay, but didn’t get up to come and meet her at the door as usual, apparently content to stay right where she was. What was it with that dog and Cindy?

Minutes later, Lindsay realized she’d been standing there for quite some time. She couldn’t help it. After what she’d spent her day and night looking at, Cindy sleeping, in relative tranquility, on the couch with her security dog by her side made for a very healing image.

But she couldn’t stand there forever. Cindy, undoubtedly, had an entire arsenal of unnecessary questions saved up for just such the occasion that she should awaken to find someone watching her sleep. She was in no mood to answer those questions. And, if she was going to solve a murder sometime in the near future, she really needed to get back to the station.

She sighed, shrugged out of her jacket, and glanced at the sofa again. Cindy hadn’t moved. She considered waking her and offering her the bed. If Cindy had kept to the couch, maybe she had been a little too harsh when doling out sleeping arrangements. She’d actually thought that, knowing she wouldn’t be home, Cindy would take the bed.

Cindy didn’t look terribly uncomfortable though. She actually looked rather at peace where she was. So, Lindsay let her sleep, and went off in search of hot water and a loofah.

Twenty minutes into her self-steaming session, Lindsay became aware that either her shower was having the opposite of its desired effect or someone in the house was cooking bacon. Her stomach growled in earnest. The last thing she’d had to eat was a stale bag of chips from the vending machine and that was yesterday afternoon. Jesus, no wonder she kept getting run-down.

When she walked into the kitchen, Cindy was standing at the counter, looking considerably more chipper than the morning before.

“Good morning,” she said with a smile.

“Morning,” Lindsay said back, feeling her own lips turn up in reaction. “I have bacon?”

“You hardly had anything. Grocery stores, luckily, have delivery options.”

“Sorry. I don’t spend a whole lot of time at home.”

“Good thing. You’d starve.”

Lindsay felt Martha nuzzling her leg and looked down to find great big puppy eyes gazing up at her.

“Glad to see you can fit me into your schedule now,” she muttered, scratching the dog’s head all the same.

When she looked up, she briefly caught Cindy smiling at her, before she turned around to check on the bacon in the oven.

“Almost done. You like eggs right?”

“I do. And it smells great,” Lindsay admitted, “but I should probably get back.”

Cindy turned to look at her, her disappointment clearly visible, before she masked it with a brilliant grin.

“You can’t take ten minutes?”

For Cindy’s sake, and the sake of her own health, Lindsay decided even twenty minutes wasn’t going to make or break her case. She sat down at the table and watched Cindy, victoriously, pull two plates out of the cabinet.

“No sleep for you?” Cindy asked her.

She sounded concerned. It was kind of nice.

“You know how it is when something is timely. If we don’t find this guy now, we won’t.”

Cindy nodded.

“Coffee then?” she offered as a substitute.

“Yes. That I will definitely take,” Lindsay responded, and before she could even make an effort to get up for it, there was coffee sitting on the table in front of her.

“Thanks,” she said, watching Cindy go to the refrigerator to retrieve eggs and return to the stove with them.

“Fried okay?”

“Fried’s fine.”

Cindy set about her breakfast-making tasks. Lindsay watched her crack the eggs into the pan, reach into the oven to pull out the bacon, and break off a small piece, which Martha caught in mid-air. She looked completely comfortable in this kitchen, almost like she belonged there.

“You could have taken the bed you know?” she said to Cindy’s back, and realized it might have been an extremely random comment by the look Cindy turned on her. Apparently, she grasped the meaning though.

“I thought you might make it home to sleep.”

Lindsay’s chuckle wasn’t entirely amused. “Your bubbly optimism failed to produce results.”

Cindy glanced back, just a touch of uncertainty on her face. “Are you making fun of me?”

“No,” Lindsay replied, with absolute honesty. “I think it’s nice that you still have all that hope.”

Cindy didn’t respond until she was sitting down, with their food, at the table.

“I’ll share with you,” she offered with a smile.

Lindsay smiled back at her. When they had first met, who would have ever thought the way that Cindy would grow on her as much as she had? Who would have thought that she’d one day find the youthful buoyancy endearing instead of annoying? Not that she was saying she did. There were still times when the enthusiasm for everything was grating as hell.

But not today.

“So, what’s the case?” Cindy asked.

It was so clear how much she wished she had been at the crime scene finding out that Lindsay actually felt bad for her.

“Some whack job,” Lindsay said, shaking her head. “A Santa suit. An entire family with three kids. You should be glad you’re stuck in here.”

Her attempt at trying to make Cindy feel grateful for her circumstance was a complete failure, but Cindy smiled at her efforts anyway.

“Who’d they send?” she asked.

“From the Register?” Lindsay asked back, though she didn’t really need to.

Cindy just nodded in response.

“I didn’t get his name. Young guy. Goatee.”

“Reynolds. Yeah, he’s a contender,” Cindy said, seeming to lose interest in her food.

“I half expected to look over and see you just beyond the yellow tape.”

Cindy smiled, but it was definitely a sad one. “I told you I’d be good.”

“I’m sure they can’t wait to have you back,” Lindsay tried again.

“I don’t know,” Cindy shook her head. “He manages to get the same stuff I do without the arrest record.”

“Have they sent over anything for you to work on?” Lindsay asked softly.

“Yeah. Big story about the new sewer system. I’m really looking forward to the research.”

Somewhere in her joke, Cindy found her appetite and a real smile, and finally started eating again.

Lindsay knew that she and Cindy shared similar feelings about their jobs. They were both defined by them, needed them. Honestly, neither of them had much else. She couldn’t imagine facing the possibility of having it all taken away.

“Off the record…” she started and Cindy’s eyes lit up. “For now?”

Cindy nodded eagerly.

Lindsay took a deep breath. She spent way too much of her life trying to block out images in order to keep her food down.

“The entire family had their throats slit. It was textbook. They had no chance. The mother is the only one who survived. The killer didn’t cut her as deep.”

“She must be the luckiest woman alive,” Cindy responded immediately.

“That’s kind of what I’m thinking,” Lindsay returned.

She could actually see Cindy’s brain start working. Wasn’t thinking that hard painful? Before she could ask, she heard her cell phone ringing from the living room.

“That’s Jacobi. He’s probably got something.”

“You should go,” Cindy said.

“Yeah, I should,” Lindsay agreed, standing up. “Breakfast was good. Thanks.”

Cindy smiled up at her.

“Oh,” Lindsay said, “I did take a minute last night to make this.”

She produced a folded piece of paper from her pocket, and could tell from Cindy’s expression that she knew right away what it was.

“More chores,” Cindy feigned enthusiasm and took the paper from her hand. “How thoughtful.”

“You can start with the dishes,” Lindsay smirked and walked off.

“Linds,” Cindy called, and Lindsay pulled to a stop in the doorway and looked back at her.


“Three dead kids?”

“Yeah,” she answered.

“I’m sorry,” Cindy said quietly.

Lindsay felt her breath catch and tears well instantly, but she shook it off. She was not going to lose it now. She just nodded in return and left Cindy in the kitchen. She had to. She had to remove the temptation. The longer she stood there, the more she wanted to just walk over and put her head down in Cindy’s lap and take all the comfort she was trying to offer.

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