Inamorata (24/36) – WMC fic

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

The feel of Cindy’s hand ripping from hers jerked Lindsay abruptly from sleep. Full awareness was slower in coming, but it still took her only seconds to recall where she was and why she was there.

That reason was currently gasping for breath, having some difficulty coming to terms with her own surroundings, and looking the kind of startled that could be expected after what she’d been through.

As much as she wanted to, Lindsay knew better than to touch her. Instead, she waited for Cindy’s eyes to find her. When they did, those eyes lacked recognition. But only for a moment. Then they filled with recollection, relief, and such stark need that Lindsay’s breath caught in her chest, even as Cindy’s began slowing back to normal.

“I’m sorry,” Cindy whispered.

It really didn’t need apology.

Cindy’s hand reached out to her again, in offering. Lindsay took it, lifting it slowly to her lips and placed a kiss to Cindy’s fingers, once again suppressing tears.

Not here. Not now.

There were so many issues at hand, but one thing at a time.

“How are you feeling?” she gently asked, holding Cindy’s hand between her own and allowing herself the small luxury of letting her cheek rest against it.

“Tired,” Cindy responded, sounding every bit of it. “A little confused.”

“That’s the medicine.”

Cindy’s gaze shifted from Lindsay to her injured arm after she made an attempt at lifting the appendage and was met with difficulty.

“You had to have surgery to repair some nerves in there, but they said you’re gonna be fine,” Lindsay quietly informed her.

The arm held Cindy’s attention for an extended period. Lindsay could see her overactive mind trying to fight its way out of the haze of drugs and emotional exhaustion to form a cohesive thought.

“How long did he have me?”

The hesitant question was one of many that Lindsay presumed she’d have to answer at some point. Her strong preference was to postpone the conversation, but she knew it was too much to ask for Cindy to take time out to just heal. It wasn’t in her makeup, one of the many unfortunate traits they had in common.

“Almost two days.”

The actual timeframe, when spoken aloud, sounded so diminutive in comparison to how that time had felt. Every minute was like an infinite span. Every conversation went on forever. Every one of Ashe’s absences was an eternity, filled with limitless opportunity. Two days? It was hard to believe.

“I don’t remember,” Cindy started in a volume that was audible only because of Lindsay’s close proximity. “I just remember him shooting Jacobi. I saw him coming. I thought he was just walking up to talk to us, and then he shot him. But I thought that I saw him… Jacobi… when we were there.”

From her delivery, it was obvious how unlikely Cindy believed that to be.

“You did,” Lindsay told her. “Jacobi is okay.”

Cindy’s eyes finally returned to her. There was a surprising hopefulness in them.

“He is?”

“He’s hurt, but he’s… he’s Jacobi, you know?”

“Yeah,” Cindy breathed. Then she smiled. It was tiny, but it was there, and it felt miraculous. Sadly, it was short-lived. “Where was he shot?”

For half a second, Lindsay thought about lying, believed it might be better if Cindy didn’t know. But she couldn’t do it, lie, not to her.

“In the head.”

“Jesus,” Cindy exclaimed, horrified.

“Cindy, you saw him,” Lindsay soothed. “He was there, walking on his own. He’s going to be fine.”

After a few seconds, Cindy nodded, her eyes drifting down to the white blanket covering her as she nibbled reflexively on her lower lip. The highly typical action brought her uncomfortably close to the six small puncture wounds from the needle. Lindsay couldn’t stop watching the space between white teeth and the tiny red dots.

“Then what happened?” she questioned softly.

Cindy’s gaze moved back up to her. The unconscious biting ceased.

“He pulled me out of the car and put something over my mouth. I guess it made me pass out.”

Lindsay just listened. She didn’t need to confirm. Cindy knew what she was talking about.

“Then he woke me up not long before you got there.” She looked away again, struggling with the next words. “He made me take my clothes off for him.”

Lindsay closed her eyes, held on as tightly as she dared to the hand in hers.

“You saw the rest. But the time between, I don’t remember anything. I don’t know what happened.”

What he did to me, those were the words that went unspoken.

“Nothing,” Lindsay cut in right away. She didn’t want Cindy’s mind going there. Her own mind had spent enough time going over those possibilities for both of them. “You have been thoroughly checked out. There is no indication that he did anything when he was alone with you. And he wasn’t alone with you much. He was with me most of that time at the station.”

“So what I remember… that was it?”

“It was enough,” Lindsay declared, barely able to keep the sudden flash of fury in check. It was more than enough. It was the very reason she had taken the time out to punish before aiming to kill.

Tentatively, she reached up to run her thumb over Cindy’ cheek, incredibly grateful when Cindy didn’t jump at her touch. The physical sensation brought Lindsay right back to the moment. Ashe was gone. Any residual rage could be dealt with at some other time. Right now, it was just Cindy, and while there were emotions that could probably do her some good, anger wasn’t one of them.

“Look who’s awake,” the nurse greeted as she walked through the door, far too jovial in the current atmosphere, but unaware of her out-of-place-ness as she walked up behind Lindsay. “Can I get in here for just a second?”

Lindsay looked to Cindy for the okay before releasing her hand, then moved from the chair and stood back watching, arms crossed, feeling an unresolved tension rolling through her back and shoulders.

Cindy was lying there, appearing, for the most part, safe and healthy. The injuries lacked in comparison to what had actually transpired. Lindsay’s eyes moved up Cindy’s frame, over her arm and to her lips. The wrist and her mouth, they would heal, if well cared for with negligible scarring even, but there were scars inside that would persist long after those she could see faded into near nothingness, and she didn’t know quite how to deal with them.

Cindy was interacting relatively normally with the nurse. It seemed quite abnormal given the circumstances. Of course, with the amount of painkillers they were pumping into her, it was somewhat anomalous.

The nurse took her time, monitoring monitors, asking insignificant questions, and Lindsay suddenly remembered that there were other people in their world. She tried to remember where her phone had ended up, since all of her clothing had been taken away at her own request. She didn’t want to see it, or have Cindy seeing anything that she was wearing the night before, ever again. She finally found her phone on the window ledge, just as the nurse finished up by elevating Cindy’s bed to a more upright position.

“All done,” she said, turning to go.

Lindsay smiled at her, as much of one as she could manage anyway, on her way back to her spot at Cindy’s bedside. She resumed her position in the chair as the nurse disappeared back through the door.

“I’m just going to let Jill and Claire know that you’re awake.”

Cindy nodded at her, and Lindsay struggled to pull her eyes away to send the message. Even as she typed, she was unable to stop glancing up every few seconds. That’s why she saw Cindy lift her hand to her face, witnessed her fingers finding the marks left by the needle above and below her lips. The sight made Lindsay pause in her task, before imparting her hands with a burst of speed. She finished the message fast, probably misspelling most of it, and put the phone on the bedside stand as she got to her feet again.

“Can you make room for me?”

Cindy looked up at her with a softly open gaze that told Lindsay she was glad to be asked, and scooted over on the bed. Lindsay slid into the space generated. She was almost scared to put her arm around her, but when she did, Cindy instantly turned into her, melding against the side of her body, Cindy’s cheek burrowing into her chest. In her efforts to get closer, Cindy struggled to lift her bandaged arm, so Lindsay helped, pulling it carefully over to rest across her waist.

“Is this okay?”she asked, partially in regards to the arm, and partially unsure if Cindy wanted to be held this close so soon after… everything.

“It’s good,” Cindy responded with a sigh, her able hand clasping onto the fabric of Lindsay’s shirt between them.

She was only quiet for a couple of minutes, which wouldn’t have been surprising under any circumstance, but this time Lindsay suspected that Cindy’s need to converse was actually a need to remind herself whose arms she was in.

“Did you solve the case?”

The light words drifted from below her chin, and Lindsay was more than a little confused, since she was currently holding the proof that they had.

“Was it someone getting even with the photographer?”

It was so unexpected, and so Cindy, a laugh actually made it past Lindsay’s lips.

“That case was kind of back-burnered,” she uttered quietly.

She ran her fingers through Cindy’s hair, reveling in being so close to her, for the first time without the threat hanging over them. Though they now had so much more to deal with, she could hold Cindy at least, and it didn’t matter where or when or who saw them.



Cindy was slow in following up. Lindsay could feel the telling shifts in her body, the slight rigidity, the deep breath she drew in slowly, and wasn’t entirely sure if this, whatever it was Cindy was about to say, was a conversation she wanted to have.


The stumble over the name was barely existent, but Lindsay’s ear, trained for quite some time now to the slightest variations in Cindy’s voice, couldn’t mistake it.

“He said he wasn’t Kiss-Me-Not.”

Lindsay swallowed hard, hoping against hope.

“What?” she husked.

“That’s what Ashe whispered to me. He said, ‘I’m not Kiss-Me-Not.’ Why would he say that?”

Lindsay put her lips to Cindy’s hair, lingering there. Stalling. She really wished that Cindy hadn’t asked, because she couldn’t avoid telling her. She was going to find out eventually, but Lindsay had really been hoping it could wait until Cindy was further removed from the situation, and until there was time for her to get it more under control. For now, she had really wanted to let Cindy believe.

Apparently Ashe couldn’t resist one last parting gift.

“Because he wasn’t,” Lindsay finally answered.

That was her difficult truth.

Ashe wasn’t Kiss-Me-Not. The killer that she had tried so hard to find, thrown away so much of her life to eradicate, was still out there somewhere in the world. She had caught one man. Not THE one man.

“He was an FBI agent who became obsessed with a serial killer. So obsessed he wanted to be like him. Or wanted to be him, maybe. To do that, he needed to know everything he could about him. He did what he had to do to get that information. From me.”

“He was a copycat?”

“In a way,” Lindsay replied faintly. “Yes.”

Cindy was absolutely silent, digesting the facts.

“So, it’s not over then,” she uttered miserably.

“It is over,” Lindsay asserted.

She wanted the point perfectly understood. This resolution was one she had made before she’d even found Cindy, and had every intention of keeping. A vow. Her pact with the universe. If she got Cindy back safe…

Cindy lifted her head, looking up into her eyes uncertainly, questioningly.

“Kiss-Me-Not was never fixated on me,” Lindsay explained, staring into Cindy’s rapt gaze. “I was right about that. He’s still out there, but he was never after us. It was always Ashe.”

For once, Cindy didn’t have a million questions. It looked instead as if she couldn’t form a single one.

“Ashe wanted to get to me because I had information that no one else had. A lot of people are going to have that information now. I am giving everything to the FBI. There will never be reason for anyone else to come after us. Least of all Kiss-Me-Not.”

Cindy just continued to stare at her, an unreadable expression on her face. Then she softly shook her head. It was rebuttal, doubt, and Lindsay hated that it was her own past behavior that made it hard for Cindy to believe her now.

“You can’t just let him go.”

“Yes I can,” Lindsay said quickly, eyeing the blemishes on Cindy’s lips, her thumb outlining the ones on bottom. “I can’t let you go.”

She tried to fight them back, but some of the tears that had been in wait since the attic broke free as she realized just how true that was and how close she had come to having the decision taken from her. When it came down to the simple reality that there was one way to ensure that it would never happen again, it was astoundingly easy to let go. Someone would find Kiss-Me-Not. Somewhere. Some day. Just not her.

“Ashe took our beginning away from us. I’m not giving up the rest to anyone. If you’re willing to let go of the story…” she paused. Cindy did have the right to make up her own mind about that. “…it’s over for us.”

Cindy pushed herself up more, her good hand traveling up to rest against Lindsay’s collarbone. The heat from it permeated the scrub top and warmed Lindsay’ skin beneath.

“I am willing to let go of anything for us,” Cindy whispered fervently, her eyes locking intensely with Lindsay’s before her gaze fell to Lindsay’s lips.

Lindsay wanted nothing more than the kiss, but when her eyes trailed again to Cindy’s lips, all she could see were the marks there.

“I don’t want to hurt you,” she murmured.

“You won’t.”

Cindy leaned forward slightly, and Lindsay raised her hand to the side of Cindy’ neck, pulling her in until Cindy’s lips touched lightly down upon hers. She wasn’t going to take it further, but Cindy parted her lips, sighing as she deepened the kiss just enough that Lindsay could feel the rough reminders of their nightmare, only a few hours healed. If it was causing Cindy any discomfort, though, it wasn’t enough for her to pull away.

The sound of the door came a second before Jill’s voice interrupted.

“Oops. Sorry.” She sounded partly surprised and partly pleased by her discovery. “Guess we should get used to knocking.”

“It’s okay,” Cindy replied, pulling away to glance toward the door. “Come on in.”

She turned around, completely unguarded in her joy at seeing Jill and Claire standing with a wheelchair-bound Jacobi in her doorway. She managed her injured arm on her own, her good hand coming to rest on Lindsay’s thigh as she settled back against her shoulder.

“We were already out in the waiting room and when we snuck back to let Jacobi know you were awake, he made us bring him,” Claire justified both their unexpected appearance and Jacobi’s participation.

“So you sprung him? Again?” Lindsay asked, trying for authoritative, but failing to bend the room even an iota to her will.

“He was insistent,” Jill recycled the same excuse.

Her eyes went to Cindy’s neck.

Lindsay knew exactly what Jill was looking at, the mark left behind by Ashe’s ‘kiss’. When it became apparent that it was going to linger for a while, Lindsay had already planned to keep Cindy away from her reflection until the stain was gone.

Claire rolled Jacobi right up to the bed, and he and Cindy regarded each other for quite some time without a word passing between them.

“Does it hurt?” Cindy finally asked.

“It hurts a little,” Jacobi responded. “You?”

“It hurts a little,” Cindy admitted.

Her hand deserted Lindsay’s leg to reach out for Jacobi, and he stretched up to receive it.

“Look at us,” Cindy offered, her voice deceptively strong. “We’re awesome.”

“Damn right,” Jacobi returned.

Lindsay placed a leisurely kiss on Cindy’s temple. She didn’t know whether to be inspired or heartbroken by the tremendous courage. And she wasn’t alone. It was a prevalent dilemma on the faces of Jill and Claire as well.

“My son is making you the world’s biggest card,” the latter announced. “I don’t know if it will fit through the door. I should have brought a measuring tape.”

Cindy laughed a little and it carried a sense of ease with it.

They didn’t say much more, really, just light, inconsequential conversation about anything that happened to come to mind. If they went too in depth, there was nothing good that they could discuss, not right now. So they didn’t. Just being in each other’s presence was what mattered. They could do that with minimal talk.

When the nurse returned with Cindy’s breakfast, she took one look at Jacobi and knew that he shouldn’t be there.

“What are you doing?”

“Busted,” Jill said.

“You look like you just rolled out of ICU,” the nurse proclaimed, then took in the shamefaced looks. “You’re supposed to be in ICU?!? I am taking you back right now.”

“Don’t get excited. I’m going,” Jacobi responded with an exaggerated roll of the eyes, looking at Lindsay. “Can I get a push back?”

She hesitated. She had a very acute urge not to leave Cindy, but Jacobi was asking and she didn’t want to say no to him either. She looked to Jill and Claire.

“You’re staying, right?”

“We’re not going anywhere.”

Lindsay nodded, still not quite wanting to take her leave, but feeling better to some extent about being duty-bound.

“Is that okay with you?” she whispered to Cindy.

Cindy looked back, then leaned into her, kissing her softly in response, and pulled away with a small, consenting smile.

“I’ll be right back,” Lindsay promised.

And she would be. She would be gone just long enough to get Jacobi tucked safely into his bed, and then back to stay for as long as Cindy would have her. Even with that in mind, this letting go wasn’t easy at all.

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  1. So that comment I made a few chappies back about Ashe not really being KMN but being so obsessed he decided to use Cindy to get more info from Lindsay was right? Ha, I was right! I was right! YES! (hand shoots in air) Okay…done gloating. Seriously, good chapter. It’s nice to see Cindy recuperating but I’m guessing the drugs are going to wear off soon and then’ll hit.

  2. tom is the Kiss Me Not Killer!!!!!
    jacobi is the KIss Me Not Killer!!!!!
    Claire’s husband is the KIss Me Not Killer!!!!!
    Jaime Galvin is the Kiss Me Not Killer!!!!!
    Lindsay’s dad is the Kiss Me Not Killer!!!!!

    am i getting warm?

  3. This chapter is all kinds of awesome!

    Oh! And, do you realize we get all the pretty back in 3 days people?!! 3 days!!

    As I was saying, this chapter awesome.

  4. What a great chapter! I hope we get to hear some of Lindsay and Jacobi’s conversation. Please post another one soon! 🙂

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