Inamorata (17/36) – WMC fic

PAIRING: Lindsay/Cindy
DISCLAIMER: Characters, not mine. Story, mine.

Eventually, Tom came back into the conference room. Lindsay knew that he would.

“Ashe is back at FBI HQ.”

She knew that too.

“And the rest?”

Which was what she really needed to know.

“Twenty unis around the perimeter,” Tom told her.

He was clearly unsure about his decision. She wished that she could make him sure. If she thought that it would help, she would tell him about Cindy’s instincts, but she knew that would make things worse instead of better. Around these parts, trusting in a reporter’s guidance was roughly the equivalent of asking someone born after 1990 for a recommendation in music.

“Good,” Lindsay breathed, unaware until that very moment just how worried she had been.

“Are you positive about this? You don’t think we should spread our search a little wider?”

She couldn’t convince Tom that she was positive. She was still trying to convince herself. But she could justify the decision. And she had time. Ashe would loiter for a while. She was almost certain. She only had to leave ample time to escape, and a little time to plan the getaway. She had no clue yet how she might manage it.

She had to get away though. From Tom. From everyone. What she absolutely did not need was back-up. Anyone who was with her could only serve as a witness.

When she found him, there weren’t going to be any courts. There wasn’t going to be a respectable citizen with a clean record dedicated to public service to be believed or not believed. There would be no jury of peers. There would be only the two of them, and when it was over, only one of them would remain.

Tom would never let her take on what he would certainly think would become unconscionable guilt. He was wrong. In her mind, Lindsay held that image of Cindy, meek against her will, and, on Cindy, the hands of an unforgivable offender.

She wasn’t about to take chances with justice.

“How much do you know about astronomy?” she asked Tom.

Clearly surprised by the question, Tom took a moment to consider it none-the-less.

“Not much,” he answered.

“Let’s just say you know only the moon.” She waited for Tom’s nod to continue. “You have a telescope and you look at the moon through it every night. One night, you go to look and the moon isn’t there. And you remember you know one more thing about astronomy. You know about the legend of the North Star. So you decide to use your telescope to start searching for the brightest star in the sky.”

“Okay,” Tom nodded. She hadn’t quite lost him, but as a realist, this analogy was bound to be slightly difficult to tolerate.

“But the North Star is Polaris, and Polaris isn’t the brightest star in the sky. There are a dozen stars brighter. When you do find the brightest star, you’ll be looking at Sirius, and once you realize you aren’t looking due north and start searching again, you’ll find a series of next brightest stars. It could take a while to get to Polaris, and even then, you still haven’t found what you went searching for in the first place.”

Tom crossed his arms and sighed. He got it. He didn’t want to, but he did.

“The question is, where’s the moon?”

Tom shrugged in response.

“What’s the likelihood that it’s gone completely and not that you just can’t see it? It’s probably still there. If it’s what you were looking for to begin with, you should have kept searching for it the whole time. Everything else is wasted effort.”

“Stay on the moon,” Tom recapped.

“It’s better than finding all the wrong stars.”

And that’s what they would find, because they didn’t know what they were looking for. That fact she couldn’t verbalize.

“Since when do you know so much about astronomy?” Tom quietly queried.

She suspected he already knew that it was in no way her own expertise.

It was a few months ago that she’d happened into Jill’s office to find Cindy there. Cindy had shown up with one of her astonishing discoveries, enough to break yet another case of Jill’s wide open. Lindsay had been rather content to lean by the door and watch the two of them converse about the find, and was especially drawn in when Jill outright asked Cindy how she always managed to uncover these integral elements for them.

Cindy had glanced over with a self-deprecating smile, as if she expected Lindsay to find her answer childish or idealistic, but she’d delivered the analogy regardless.

It made perfect sense. In her own work, there were times when Lindsay lost sight. She would chase after whatever was burning the brightest. But Cindy never lost focus. She stayed on the moon, and, as a result, she always found it.

Lindsay had learned from her that day. When she had Cindy back, she needed to remember to tell her that, because she didn’t admit to it at the time. Why hadn’t she told her?

“I’ve got an idea,” Tom’s careful words interrupted her thoughts.

Out of respect, she gave him all of the attention she could manage.

“One thing that you never look for when you’re searching for the moon is the sun, but we know it’s still there for sure. Let’s say Cindy is the sun.” The tone of his voice said that he knew it was more than just metaphor. “How about I see just how many bodies I can get in here, volunteers, anybody who will come, and we canvas outward? If we are looking for both moon and sun, we’re bound to find one of them.”

“That’s a good idea,” Lindsay whispered and nodded.

It really was. And she was incredibly grateful for the effort. She felt a tear lose to gravity and quickly wiped it away. Tom didn’t pause to take it in for long. He was immediately on the move to assemble a crew, but when he opened the door, something caused him to momentarily freeze.

“Jacobi,” he said in a disgruntled tone and stomped out.

Lindsay got up and went to look. Then she saw Jacobi too, embedded between Jill and Claire, his arms around their shoulders, though he was leaning on them a lot less than he should have been. She drifted toward them, nearly as ready to tear into him as Tom was.

“What in the hell are you doing here?” Tom barked.

Jacobi just looked at him coolly without any real reaction.

“Jacobi, are you crazy?” Lindsay asked when she reached them, her voice coming out a lot softer than she’d anticipated it. The urge to yell had apparently faded en route.

“He was insistent,” Jill asserted, trying to talk their way out of trouble.

“He was in a hospital bed. How insistent could he be?” Tom asked sharply.

“You need us.” Jacobi only had eyes for Lindsay. “Cindy needs us.”

Tom looked in her direction, as if waiting for her to contradict the statement and send them on their way. Part of her really did want to tell Jacobi to get his ass back to the hospital, because what she really couldn’t handle was one more thing to worry about, but she couldn’t, because he was right. She did need them. Desperately.

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  1. Wow, another great chapter! I’m having mixed feelings about this: I do want her to catch the bastard and get her Cindy back, but I also want the story to keep going, so I don’t know what I should hope for!


    “When she found him, there weren’t going to be any courts.”
    This is just so Lindsay! (I do hope that when she finds Cindy there aren’t going to be any courts either… :D)

    Thank you so much for the metaphor of the moon, I absolutely LOVED it! (And I also loved it was originally from Cindy..)

    ““Stay on the moon,” Tom recapped.
    “It’s better than finding all the wrong stars.””
    Really, I find these two lines just beautiful!

    ““Jacobi, are you crazy?” Lindsay asked when she reached them, her voice coming out a lot softer than she’d anticipated it. ” Ehe, she loves him too much to be mad at him when he’s in such a bad shape, especially if he wants to help find her sun! I adore their relationship, you got it just right!

  2. You should hope for Cindy back! You know that whole… better together than they are apart… thing.

    I liked the moon metaphor too 🙂

    Jacobi is the best. Just wait.

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