House Arrest (8/35) – WMC fic


The absence of distinct dog smell had enlightened Lindsay to the fact that Martha’d had a bath when she came home the previous night. Now, the fairly intricate fur styling, complete with bow, that she noticed immediately upon coming through the door, reminded Lindsay of just how bored Cindy had to be stuck in the apartment all day long.

“Hey,” Cindy said, looking up over the top of her laptop.

“Hey,” Lindsay returned. “I can’t believe she didn’t bite you for that.”

“Come on. She looks cute,” Cindy asserted, then grinned. “It was nice of you to free me before you left this morning.”

“That’s my couch you’re sleeping on,” Lindsay said, shrugging out of her jacket. “What if you had to pee?”

Cindy laughed, which made Lindsay feel like laughing for the first time all day.

“I can’t believe that you’re home during my waking hours. Case closed?”

“Not quite yet,” Lindsay sighed. “I have to get dressed.”

“I know you haven’t been getting much sleep, but you are dressed,” Cindy teased.

“I have to get dressed differently. City holiday party.”

She motioned for Cindy to follow her into the bedroom, and Cindy instantly put her laptop down on the coffee table to oblige.

“You are taking time off for a party in the middle of a case?” she asked, hopping up onto Lindsay’s bed.

“It’s pretty much mandatory. So I was told,” Lindsay said from the closet.

What in the hell was she going to wear? She hated these stupid things.

“And it just kept getting better,” she complained to Cindy as she sorted through her clothes, trying to find something appropriate for a semi-formal event she didn’t particularly want to attend. “Jill found me a date for the occasion, because she knew I would have no time to myself. Can you believe that?”

She expected an eager response about her having a date, a cheer for her success, something to make her feel like a high school girl for whom dating was a new and exciting experience. What she didn’t expect was silence. Especially since she’d asked a direction question.

She pulled her slip over her head, grabbed a maroon dress she hardly ever wore, and stepped out from behind the door. Cindy was picking at an, as far as she could tell, non-existent bit of fuzz on her comforter.


“Oh sorry,” Cindy said, looking up, then turned her head away instantly upon discovering Lindsay half-dressed. “Who’d she set you up with?”

“Get this,” Lindsay responded, stepping into her dress, “A defense attorney she argued a case against.”

Cindy looked around the room, seemingly wanting to look everywhere but at her.

“Wow,” she said. “She really has a thing for those doesn’t she? What? Did she decide to be faithful for the holidays and pawn this one off on you?”

The bitter tone to Cindy’s voice was not only unusual, it was unsettling enough to halt Lindsay’s attempts at zipping up the back of her dress. She watched guilt splash across Cindy’s face, before Cindy took a deep breath and finally glanced over at her.

“I’m sorry. I don’t know why I said that.” She shook her head. “I didn’t mean that about Jill. I really didn’t. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”

“I do.”

“You do?” Cindy asked softly.

“You haven’t been able to leave the house for almost a week. You’re bound to be cranky,” Lindsay explained, struggling with her zipper. “Could you get this for me?”

“Yeah,” Cindy responded, seeming rather relieved to have a reason for her bad humor.

Lindsay moved to the bed and Cindy rose to kneel behind her. A moment later, one of Cindy’s hands grasped the fabric at the base of her spine, and she could feel the other sliding slowly up her back. For some reason, which she really didn’t want to attempt to decipher at the moment, that hand was leaving goose bumps in its wake. Whether she leaned back or Cindy leaned forward, she wasn’t sure, but she was incredibly aware of the sudden closeness of their position. Just over her shoulder, she could hear Cindy’s quiet breathing.

“You’ll get out of here soon,” Lindsay struggled to keep her voice steady. “Not in time for these holidays, it’s true, but then there is Valentine’s Day, Easter. There is always some holiday right around the corner that gives you an excuse to overeat and get drunk.”

Cindy laughed so lightly that if she hadn’t still been right at Lindsay’s ear, Lindsay never would have heard it. But she was right at Lindsay’s ear and Lindsay was very aware of the soft, throaty sound. Maybe too aware.

“Thanks,” she said quickly without looking back and stepped forward, both relieved and disappointed when Cindy’s hands fell away.

Running her fingers through her hair, she stepped into the bathroom to apply just enough makeup to cover up the fact that she hadn’t had any sleep, and to give herself a moment to breathe, not letting that moment fall too much into any kind of contemplation, before walking back into the bedroom, where Cindy had rediscovered the fuzz ball that still wasn’t there.

Lindsay looked around for anything else she could see to, but there was nothing left. As far as her appearance, she had done what she could. Or at least what she was going to do. She was as ready as she was going to get. And the sooner she got there, the sooner it would be over.

“Do you need anything before I leave?”

“I’ll be fine,” Cindy replied, still picking at the spot on the bed.

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah, I’m good.”

That clearly wasn’t true, but she could tell that Cindy wanted her to believe it, so she let it go.

“I’ll sneak you out some food.”

“Okay,” Cindy responded, finally looking up.

She smiled a little, so Lindsay smiled back.


“Would you please not tell Jill what I said?” Cindy asked softly.

Lindsay had no intention of telling Jill. Did Cindy really think that she was that much further down on the totem pole for her that she wouldn’t automatically keep in confidence the spontaneous outburst? Especially when A) she knew Cindy didn’t mean it and B) she and Cindy were just as good of friends now as she and Jill were. Sometimes it felt like better friends even. Though Cindy could get on her last nerve (considerably less frequently than she used to) no one made her laugh harder or smile more often. She’d been forgetting a lot recently just how short a time they’d actually known each other. She wanted to tell Cindy this, but she was also somewhat uneasy just thinking it.

“As you wish,” was all that she could get out. “I’ll see you later.”


She didn’t know if it was the sad shadow in Cindy’s eyes or the fact that she didn’t want to face another awkward and unsolicited date, but she really, really didn’t want to leave her.

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