Inamorata (26/36) – WMC fic

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

Leaving the hospital wasn’t something that she’d been particularly keen to do, but after five days of letting Jill and Claire bring her clothing, handle her personal errands, communicate information back and forth for her, and sneak outside food in, there were a couple of things that Lindsay absolutely had to take care of herself.

The day after next, Cindy would be released from the hospital, which was a damn good thing, because Lindsay was fairly certain that any extension of her sentence would result in Cindy going not just stir-crazy, but crazy for real. As she’d so eloquently put it, “Do I really have to be monitored every hour while I do nothing? Can’t I watch crap TV at home?” With luck, there would never be an occasion for Cindy to find out that the length of her stay had everything to do with Lindsay’s demand that the doctors keep her there long enough to ensure that everything was as okay as it could be. Apparently that magic time period was one week. Cindy had been more than ready to make her escape from day two.

So, Lindsay called in one last favor from Jill and Claire, though they had seen it as part of their friendship duties, not as a favor, and ventured, rather reluctantly, into the real world to handle some less than pleasant tasks. Halfway through them, she was all but desperate to be back at the hospital. At what point two hours became the length of time she could stand to be apart from Cindy, she wasn’t sure, but she wasn’t just anxious, she was getting downright twitchy.

She knocked softly on Tom’s door, pushing it open, and he looked up, giving her a small smile. Very small. No one’s smiles had been very sizeable around her of late. Even Jill and Claire. The huge grins they would display in front of Cindy would become instantly stilted as soon as they were out of her sight. It was such an extreme disparity, it was almost like talking about her behind her back.



Tom got up from his desk and walked over to meet her.

“Come on in,” he said. “Sit down.”

She did as directed, despite the fleeting thought that remaining standing might get her out of there quicker, and Tom closed the door behind her, returning to his seat, appearing somewhat hesitant to start.

“Everything go okay at the FBI?” he finally asked.

Lindsay had planned to wait for Cindy’s release before going to FBI headquarters, but, once she’d made her decision, she found she couldn’t wait to unload Kiss-Me-Not.

“Yeah,”she told him. “I disclosed it all. What they didn’t already have at least. They found Ashe’s notes in his car. There was barely anything left for me to say. It’s their case now. For real this time.”

Tom took her words in, his arms crossing before him, the posture shielding. She hated having to tell him this, because it had to hurt, hearing what she had done, what she had chosen to do, for she and Cindy, that she’d never been able to do for the two of them, letting go of one thing in order to hold onto the other.

Or maybe she had done that.

“How’s Cindy?” he inquired softly.

“When I left she was playing UNO with Jill and Claire,” she answered.

“So, she’s doing okay?”

Lindsay observed the expectation on his face, sighing deeply. The commission of dashing everyone’s hopes wasn’t exactly one she was enjoying.

“When I left she was playing UNO with Jill and Claire,” she repeated.

She couldn’t give him anything beyond that. It’s all that she had.

As Lindsay had struggled to walk out the door, Cindy was complaining about her handicap, claiming one since she couldn’t use both arms, as if that had anything to do with her terrible playing of the game. A faulty limb was hardly what had her so behind in points. She just didn’t have the vicious heart for the game. No matter which way the circle was going, she didn’t have it in her to nail either of her friends with Draw Twos or Skips.

“I bet you’d like to hurry and get back.” Tom seemed uncharacteristically nervous.

“As soon as I can.”

“Okay,” he nodded, finally uncrossing his arms, though, instead of it dissipating, his tension seemed to multiply. He leaned forward, his hands folding solemnly in front of him. “I’m going to need to know, Linds. Everything. You can’t leave anything out.”

She swallowed. So this was it then.

“Internal affairs?”

“Yeah. They want to talk to you.”

“I figured,” her voice was barely a whisper.

“I’d really like this not to escalate, if at all possible, and I know it’s a lot to ask, but I have to know. So will you tell me? Please.”

Lindsay stared across Tom’s desk. It was a real plea. He was trying to help her, and this was the information he needed in order to do that. As much as she didn’t want to go over it again, she did know how. She sucked in a breath, and sometime in the midst of releasing it, she turned off. Completely. She had to. It was the only way she could go back there.

It was exactly the way that she had told Jill and Claire, in the hospital hallway not far from the door of Cindy’s room, as far as she’d been willing to venture, while Cindy slept inside. She just narrated, standing emotionlessly, as if immune to the facts, to Jill and Claire’s crying, to the way that they had to lean into each other for support. It was as if she was an outsider to the grief.

She would cry later. It had become like a mantra. Everyone was counting on her to be strong. Especially Cindy.

So, once again, like a phantom, she traveled a few days back in time. She walked through the parking garage, got the upper hand on her colleagues and protectors, intimidated them, bound them. She drove through town, eluding any followers, and listened in horror to Ashe’s escape on the scanner. She lost it temporarily, long enough for Ashe to have time alone with Cindy. Then she remembered the photo on Tom’s desk, something he’d probably already figured out for himself. She went to their old house, climbed the old tree they used to play on, back when she had play left in her, broke into a house she used to live in. She went to the attic. And, in the attic, she found Cindy, trapped and vulnerable. With Ashe. And Ashe wouldn’t stop touching her.

Lindsay flat out refused to feel it. She just relayed it, everything, as Tom had asked her to. Mechanically. By the book.

About the time that Ashe started his exploration of Cindy’s body, Tom propped his elbows on his desk and let his head hang between them, clasping his hands behind his neck. After she got Cindy down from Ashe’s apparatus and the paramedics arrived and she got into the ambulance to ride to the hospital with Cindy, the beginning of that journey the end of what Tom needed to know, it took a while for him to lift up from his position. When he did, he looked across his desk at her, a barely masked fury on his face, and pushed up from his chair to pace.

She wasn’t surprised that he was mad about this, at her for choosing to get even, making it more difficult for all of them in the process. Internal affairs. Inside investigation. Tom forced to cover or not cover for her. She wasn’t asking him to. There was a possibility that he would have two good cops off of his force after this. But she wouldn’t apologize. She couldn’t.

When he’d decided that he’d worn enough of a trench in the floor beside her, Tom finally stopped at the corner of his desk and looked down at her. She didn’t wait to be ordered. She looked up immediately to receive her reprimand. She found Tom’s jaw set tight, his fists clenched at the front of his thighs like there was nothing he would like more than to just wail on something until it learned a new definition of pain.

“But she’s alright?” he asked hoarsely.

“I don’t know,”Lindsay answered.

Any other response would have been a stock answer, and, more than likely, untrue. She didn’t know how Cindy was doing. Cindy hadn’t talked about it much. She’d said the most that first day. Then she”d been unusually mum on the subject, as if ignoring it might make it never have happened.

Tom nodded once, stiffly, and returned to his pacing. There was a certain tell in his face as he turned from her. He wasn’t angry at her, Lindsay realized. It was Ashe. Yet again she was reminded that hers was not the only heart that Cindy had won over. Even if there was a period of jealousy, as was to be expected, Tom liked Cindy, and, like everyone else who liked Cindy, he hated Ashe for hurting her. It was a popular sentiment these days.

“So, Cindy got herself out of the way,” he started, trying his best to return to his post as lieutenant. “You shot him, realized he was wearing a vest…”

Lindsay waited for it. Even when she was doing it, she’d known it could never go away quietly. You don’t release your wrath on a perp and not anticipate consequences.

“You didn’t know Jacobi had come up there…”

He was her biggest concern. She would take the heat from whatever fires they could build, just as long as Jacobi walked. There were so many ways to explain his involvement. She was shooting when he came in. He had no reason to believe that Ashe was unarmed. She knew that she could make it work. Jacobi had been on the force for so long, nothing but decorated in his service. He didn’t deserve to be sent off in disgrace. Not that many officers would see it that way… but some would.

“Ashe came forward, drew his weapon…”

Lindsay’s head lifted, almost of its own accord. Surely, he had to know that Ashe didn’t have his gun in hand when he was killed.

“You both shot at the same time. Jacobi went high. You went low.”

Tom stopped and looked down at her again. She raised her eyes to his, trying not to give too much away.

“It’s understandable that you wouldn’t be thinking straight and would just aim outside of the range of the vest. I mean,” Tom faltered in his lieutenant persona for just a moment, “who could be thinking straight after that?”

Not really sure if Tom was expecting an answer, Lindsay shook her head and shrugged.

“It was really just an errant shot.”


As inaccurate as it was, Tom’s recitation of events was preferable to any she could offer. It made her seem a hell of a lot less culpable at any rate. But how would it fly? Wasn’t there evidence against his theory?

Tom stepped back to lean against his desk.

“His gun was right beside him,” he stated in a way that made it very clear he didn’t care if it had been the entire time or not. “It would be open and shut. It was only your shot that drew I.A.’s attention. Once they know the whole story, I don’t think they are going to delve too far into this. I’d guess most of them can imagine your position. And none would want to be in it.”

Lindsay just nodded in response. She didn’t know how or why this was working out in her favor, but she would accept it, because she needed to be free to take care of Cindy, and it kept Jacobi out of trouble.

The next moment was weighed down in such a heavy silence she could hear the sound of Tom picking at the molding on the edge of the desk and the occasional noises from the officers still at work below. She shook off the shock that had settled over her in reaction to Tom’s presentation of events and remembered why she had come in the first place.

“I need some time off,” she said.

“I assumed. How much?”

“I don’t know. As long as it takes.”

Tom nodded at her, grasping that she wasn’t working on her own timeframe, but on Cindy’s.

“As of now, you are on extended medical leave.”

“How can you-”

“I can do anything,” Tom cut in. “I’m the boss.”

He smiled down at her, her first real one in days, and she returned it.

“I should get back,” she said, getting up.

“Where are you guys gonna stay?”

The words stopped her cold. That was a good question. She hadn’t actually thought about it. She probably should have.

“Cindy’s place, I guess. It’s kind of our only option.”

Cindy never had to know that Ashe had been there to collect the flowers. The times that he had been in her apartment in the past, invited, maybe they could be ignored.

“I can get you a place,” Tom said. “Something in a fancy building with a terrace and a pool and a doorman. For a month or two. If you think that would help.”


“Really. She’s gotta have some peace after everything.”

“It would help,” Lindsay acknowledged. “A lot.”

“Done. I should be able to secure something by tomorrow.”

It was an above and beyond thing to do, he didn’t have to, and there were really no words for her gratitude, so Lindsay walked over. Tom held his arms out as he pulled himself upright and she walked into them. It was warm and comforting, and didn’t feel anywhere near as right as it once did.

“Thank you,” she said, pulling away from him. “I should go.”

Back to Cindy.


Tom’s whisper made her turn back with her hand on the door.

“I’m sorry it took me so long to believe you about Ashe. I don’t know how I would have lived with myself if… if we didn’t make it.”

That made two of them.

“We did,” she replied.

It consoled Tom some. She was getting quite adept at that.

“Tell Cindy I said to get well soon.”

“I will.” She smiled at him.

Tom being on her side was no guarantee that Internal Affairs was done, but somehow, as Lindsay walked out of his office, she knew that, from an investigatory standpoint, Ashe’s shooting would never come up again.

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  1. Tom was awesome in this chapter and I’m glad you’re getting IA off their backs. I’m really looking foreward to finding out how Cindy’s actually doing with everything. Keep it up.

  2. omg! i got the most exciting piece of mail yesterday! i’m almost half way through the most intriguing book. i think i may have found a typo of sorts on pg 85. also, i have a bad feeling on what may happen to Cinderella.

    favorite line so far:
    “what about your mother,” hansel ased rapunzel.
    “she locked me in a tower.”
    don’t know why, but i definitely loled.

  3. Yay, you got your book! Yeah, there are a few typos… five I think… that I didn’t have the funds to fix. It’s not bad though, considering I did all the editing myself 🙂

    See, I’m not just trying to get people to buy my book because it helps move the two thousand I still have left out of my apartment. I have read it like twenty times and I still think it’s a good read.

    Ah, that is an enjoyable scene, but your fave line?? I can’t believe it’s not something that came out of a Cinderella/Esteban spat. Those crazy kids.

  4. I don’t think I’ve told you that every time you post a chapter from Inamorata I squeal of happiness, then start reading it and halfway through I stop and very very quickly and worriedly go back to the top to check if you have posted a number instead of that question mark there still is to indicate the total number of chapters. I LOVE that little question mark as it indicates that I still get at least some more of this greatness!

    I loved when you described Cindy as not vicious enough to play UNO! That game does bring up people’s (at least mine) dark side and Cindy does not appear to have one!

    And I adored this paragraph:
    “it had to hurt, hearing what she had done, what she had chosen to do, for Cindy and her, that she‘d never been able to do for the two of them, letting go of one thing in order to hold onto the other.

    Or maybe she had done that.”
    I think it shows how much she loves Cindy and how much she’s ready to do for her adorable, young, brave, sweet, cute, loving, broken Cindy.

    Really, you GOTTA love this couple.

    So, where’s the next chapter???

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