Inamorata (27/36) – WMC fic

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

Cindy’s release from the hospital came in just enough time to go off-site for a cup of coffee and return to the medical compound for an appointment with her orthopedic surgeon.

Sitting in the waiting room, her fingers lightly entwined with the disinclined patient’s on the armrest between them, Lindsay had been struck by the moment of relative normalcy. Cindy was with her, upbeat, and talking. A lot.

At the coffee shop, when she hadn’t been moaning over the deliciousness of the decadent coffee treat she decided to try, she’d asked a dozen questions about the place where they were going to be staying, none of which Lindsay could answer because she hadn’t actually seen it. So she just relayed all of the hearsay that the place was ultra-chic and had an awesome view. That seemed to appease Cindy. She smiled so brightly that Lindsay felt her very battered heart rattling inside her ribcage.

Cindy was happy to be free again. She was excited. Why couldn’t Lindsay just give into it, Cindy’s exuberant enjoyment of a new place, sunlight and the coffee drink? Or at least coffee-like drink (it had caffeine at any rate). Why couldn’t she return every smile with equal vigor? Why did it feel like she was waiting for the other shoe to fall?

“I just got out,” Cindy complained, once they had been transferred back to a room to continue their wait. “I feel like she’s my parole officer.”

Lindsay looked up at her, perched on the edge of the table, from the place she had taken up in the chair against the wall, and her laugh came a little more naturally in response to the joke.

“I’m giving her five more minutes, and then I start playing inappropriately with all of the gadgets in here,” Cindy threatened. “Hey, want me to check your vitals?”

Lindsay actually felt herself blushing, which seemed ridiculous at the point that they were at, but lighthearted teasing hadn’t exactly been something they’d had time to explore and it hit her just the right way…or wrong way, considering they were in a doctor’s office and would be for a while.

“Is that a yes?” Cindy further tempted in response to the completely inadvertent reaction.

When she glanced up, Cindy motioned her out of her chair with a tilt of her head, and Lindsay rose automatically and walked over to her. As soon as she stepped within arm’s reach, Cindy latched onto her belt loop and pulled her up to the table.

“Or you could just kiss me. Time seems to fly when you do that.”

A soft eagerness filled Cindy’s eyes, but, despite such an open invitation, Lindsay couldn’t stop her gaze from making a downward expedition to inspect the now nearly invisible marks on Cindy’s lips, just in case something had changed since the last time. Fading fast, exactly like the time before. And the time before that. Status check complete, she leaned down and captured those lips gently as requested.

Cindy’s theory of time reacting in direct correlation to whether or not they were kissing was quickly verified. No sooner did their lips meet than a short knock intruded on them, immediately followed by the opening of the door. Lindsay pulled back, redirecting her attention in time to see Cindy’s doctor pause, taking in the sight of them. It might have been the way that both she and Cindy raised fingers to their mouths to wipe away any traces of the kiss that provided the most telling sign. The doctor didn’t even do them the service of pretending to be ignorant. She smiled knowingly and pushed the door closed before walking over to them.

“Sorry it took so long. Hope you found some way to entertain yourselves.”

Lindsay smiled at the woman as she positioned herself in front of Cindy, and started right to work, removing Cindy’s bandages. Lindsay’s relationship with the doctor had improved substantially since that first night in the hospital waiting room. Once Lindsay had been promoted to her proper role, the doctor had been more than forthcoming, never hesitating to provide her information about Cindy’s condition whenever she asked for it. Which was often.

“These look good. How does it feel?”

Lindsay leaned over Cindy’s shoulder to eye the sutures. How one could describe an ugly line of dark stitching as looking good was beyond her understanding, and she felt the usual sickness to her stomach at the sight of them.

“Okay,” Cindy responded, concentrating fully on a spot on the wall across from her.

If there was one thing that Lindsay wished she had been coherent enough that night to avert, once they had made it as far as the hospital, this was it. Not once in all the fretting that took place in the waiting room did she consider the closing stages of Cindy’s surgery. Not once did she consider that, without any kind of alternative instruction, they were going to close the deep lesion in Cindy’s wrist with stitches not so unlike the ones with which she’d come in.

It hadn’t even occurred to her until the day after the surgery, when they had removed Cindy’s bandages for the first time, and the sight stopped her like a dose of cold water to the face. It was the realization that Cindy had frozen up too that made her snap out of it, that made her put her hands on Cindy’s cheeks and turn her face away from the stitches. Cindy had blinked and said that she was fine, but it was one of the very few signals that she had given so far that proved she wasn’t.

Since then, anytime the wound was uncovered, Cindy just didn’t look at it.

The doctor went back to collect a small rubber mallet from a drawer behind her and sat down on the stool, rolling back over.

“This will probably hurt a little bit. Let me know if it hurts too much, okay?”

Cindy nodded and Lindsay put her hand on her back, the idea of any more pain for Cindy, no matter how minimal or necessary, increased the nausea she was already experiencing ten-fold.

The doctor hit the arm softly, Cindy’s hand jumping in reflex, which Lindsay assumed was a good thing. There was a small contortion of Cindy’s face every time the doctor’s hammer made contact, but she never complained.

“It’s doing really well,” the doctor smiled at them. It was genuine and encouraging.

“So, can I use my hand?” Cindy nearly stumbled over her own tongue to get the question out.

The doctor’s eyes fleetingly drifted over to Lindsay, and Lindsay definitely saw a restrained smirk. For the second time in ten minutes, Lindsay felt her face get hot and searched for something else to look at.

“Sure. Use it. And when it starts to hurt, don’t use it.”

Cindy laughed. The doctor laughed. Lindsay smiled. Maybe things really were healing that quickly.

When they left the doctor’s office, Cindy’s good spirits translated into an enthusiastic, and incorrect, notion that she was going to drive Lindsay’s SUV with one bandaged hand and a head still full of pain medication. Lindsay just chuckled at the idea and helped her into the passenger seat.

She drove to Cindy’s apartment, not sure if it was a great idea, but she really wanted Cindy to have the things that she wanted. Her own stuff had been easier. Somewhere a group effort had been initiated to clear both her apartment and the safe house of her things, and she’d let them pack it all into boxes and put it in storage. There was very little that she needed or wanted right now. Only her clothes and necessities had been taken to the new place, and she was fine with not being a part of it.

From the time they walked through Cindy’s apartment door, Lindsay watched carefully for any indication that Cindy was uncomfortable, negatively affected, but there were none visible to the naked eye. Cindy’s picking through books and clothing took a couple of hours, and Lindsay did most of the packing. Anything left behind became an afterthought that they could deal with at some point later.

The doorman of their new building greeted them warmly, despite it being their first introduction. He helped with the bags and asked if they needed anything else. He knew them by name, and Lindsay wondered just how many people attached to this building had been notified of their arrival and told to be overly accommodating.

Once the elevator took them to their floor and they tossed all of the bags filled with Cindy’s belongings out into the swanky hallway, Lindsay unlocked the door of their apartment and was hit with an aroma that made her mouth water and her stomach remind her that several hours had passed since lunch.

“Mm,”Cindy said, walking up beside her.

Lindsay pushed the door open further. The object in their sightline that commanded the most attention was, by far, the card. Claire wasn’t kidding. Nate’s token was huge. No wonder she’d never brought it to the hospital. Several pieces of poster board stuck together, the card stood taller than Cindy. The letters in the big “Get Well” were each a foot high.

Cindy chuckled as she walked past her, and Lindsay laughed in return as Cindy went to inspect the inside of the card and disappeared from view.

The sound of their laughter beckoned Jill and Claire into the room.

“Hey guys,” Claire said warmly.

“Hey,” Lindsay returned.

Cindy stepped back out of the card with a smile big enough to rival the card. “How did you get this here?”

“That,” Claire paused dramatically, “is a story that involves a three-person carrying committee and a ride on the cable car that was apparently very annoying for the tourists.”

“I’m sorry I missed that,” Lindsay chuckled.

“Hundred shades of jealous,” Jill cut in. “This place is so nice.”

“You could always become a defense attorney,” Claire recommended. “Then you can get your own.”

“That price is way too high. Seriously, you should look around,” Jill said.

“Just let me get Cindy’s stuff from the hallway.”

“We got it. You look around,” Claire responded, shuffling forward to push Lindsay in the direction of the rest of the apartment.

Lindsay allowed herself to be guided toward Cindy and the main room. She rested her hand on Cindy’s waist to walk with her through their provisional lair.

Jill wasn’t kidding. Tom had really outdone himself. High vaulted ceilings and a wall of windows, presenting a fantastic view of the bay, were the main room’s best features. A comfy-looking living room setup bordered a large floor rug in the middle of the space, and, somewhat separated from the living area by the circular staircase, a dining table filled the rest.

“Wow,” she heard Cindy utter.

Lindsay walked up behind her, looking through the doorway of a small room that had been set up as an office, with a computer, printer, fax machine, the works.

“Guess they thought you might want to work from home,” Lindsay said, internally marveling at just how much thought had been put into all of this.

Cindy grabbed her hand and pulled her over to the stairs leading up to the loft, their temporary bedroom, which was outfitted with a queen-size bed already made up.

“Wow,” Cindy breathed again.

Lindsay followed her lead and turned away from the bed. Looking out from the loft, the whole room was just expansive, and the windows granted an even more dramatic view. It was quite possible there was no better location in all of San Francisco for waking up.

She moved behind Cindy, wrapping her arms around Cindy’s waist, staring past the windows at seagulls flying over the water. Cindy leaned back into her, and Lindsay sighed, just for this one moment allowing the incredible apartment, stunning view, and having Cindy in her arms to wipe everything else from existence.

“Hey,” Jill’s voice called up at them. “Dinner’s ready.”

“What are we having?” Cindy asked.

Wishing the stillness could have lasted a little longer, Lindsay moved with her to the stairs and they started to circle down.

“Chicken, potatoes, veggies,” Claire responded, stepping out to join Jill below them. “You know soul food.”

Claire winked, and Cindy’s response was best classified as a giggle, a giggle that sounded so light and carefree, it shot straight through Lindsay’s being. Maybe things really were going to be fine.

Jill and Claire led them to the table, now set with serving dishes and place settings. Just two.

“You aren’t staying?” Lindsay asked.

“We’re going to scoot and let you have some quiet time.” It was Jill’s turn to wink.

“You know, you two didn’t have to cook for us,” Cindy quietly said, but they all knew that the ‘us’ was really a ‘me’.

“I cooked,” Claire corrected. “Jill floated… like Tinkerbell.”

“Excuse me. I totally put the rolls in the oven, and you know what?” She went to the basket, feeling through the towel. “They’re still warm.”

Claire put her hand on Cindy’s arm, tugging her over gently.

“We wanted to,” she stated simply, hugging Cindy. Lindsay watched her smile disappear over Cindy’s shoulder. “Take care, Sweetie.”

As she pulled back to where Cindy could see her, Claire’s grin rematerialized like magic.

While Jill hugged Cindy goodbye, Claire approached Lindsay. There was worry in her eyes, well-hidden, but Lindsay could see it.

“The refrigerator is stocked. You should be okay for a while,” she said in a hushed tone. “If you need anything, call.”

Lindsay nodded, hugged Claire and then Jill, and then she and Cindy were left alone.

She wasn’t unaware of the significance in the moment as they settled across from each other at the table. This was their first meal like this, alone together, as a couple. It wasn’t a fancy dinner out. It wasn’t a date. It wasn’t even a permanent home. They would get to those things eventually. Sometimes it felt like they were doing everything backwards. But having a sit down meal together was still amazingly pleasant. Even though Cindy didn’t have much to say on the issue, the way that she kept smiling up across the table made Lindsay think the feeling was mutual.

After she had eaten far more than she needed to and was letting her food settle, the sound of Cindy getting up lured Lindsay’s attention away from the windows. As she watched Cindy walk in her direction, she scooted her chair back from the table. Cindy took the available seat in her lap, without any words, and kissed her.

“I could handle this every night,” she said.

“Good thing,” Lindsay responded, drawing a truly radiant smile. “Do you want to do anything special?”

“Let’s just watch a movie or something.”


Lindsay was somewhat surprised, since that’s all that Cindy had been able to do in the hospital, but if that’s what she wanted to do, that’s what they were going to do.

They relocated to the overstuffed sofa, and Cindy settled against her side. Lindsay was grateful when she picked a comedy from the listings for her choice of fare. Anything lacking tragedy was most welcome these days. More than any image on the screen, though, Lindsay was occupied with the feel of Cindy against her, the soft smell of her shampoo wafting up, and more than any dialogue, Lindsay’s ears were tuned to Cindy’s melodic laughter every time it came by.

When the movie ended, they turned off lights and made their way up the stairs. Lindsay took her turn in the bathroom after Cindy, and when she came out, Cindy was already dressed for bed and under the covers. Lindsay quickly found a t-shirt in her disorderly stash of clothing and changed into it, exceedingly aware of Cindy watching her every move, before she crawled into the bed next to her.

Cindy scooted into her space and pushed up so that she was hovering above her, cast from behind in the lights of the night and the city. A faint smile and a slight dip of her head brought their lips together for the first time in the privacy of, what was for now, their own bed. When Cindy’s lips broke away and she pushed back some to look down at her, Lindsay raised her hand to Cindy’s cheek, her fingertips just barely making contact.

“I love you,” she whispered.

Cindy’s sigh was one of contentment, such a relief when there were so many other things it could be right now.

“I love you.”

It was just a wisp against Lindsay’s bottom lip and then Cindy pulled the skin between her teeth and sucked on it gently.

That’s how the night moved for them, in soft kisses and murmurs that had no meaning for anyone but them, and Lindsay refused to think about anything outside or beyond those exchanges, until one of the times that Cindy pulled back to look at her, there was real lethargy in her eyes. Lindsay looked to the clock on the nightstand to confirm that what had started as an early night had, hour by hour, become a very late night.

“We should get some sleep.”

Regardless of how little she wanted this day to end.

Tomorrow would come though, whether or not they submitted to it.

“‘kay,” Cindy responded.

Cindy pressed one more kiss to her lips, and she felt a powerful sense of loss when Cindy moved the few inches away to lay her head on her own pillow. She rolled to her side and Cindy’s hand found hers on the bed between them.

Like an infant, Lindsay watched Cindy fight sleep. The hand that wasn’t holding Cindy’s cleared the expanse between them and pushed a strand of hair out of Cindy’s face, before slowly tracing over her cheekbone. Cindy’s eyes fell closed under the touch. Some minutes later, her breathing changed to a slow, even rhythm.

Lindsay made no attempt to follow her into oblivion. Instead, she concentrated on the feel of Cindy’s hand in hers, on the serenity on the youthful face, on the refreshing newness of this experience.

There had been nothing false about this day. Every instant of joy had been real. Every kiss meant. Every word true. And Lindsay wanted so much to believe it, that this was the beginning of one ideal moment after another for them. The nightmare was over. This was the dream.

But she couldn’t just give into the fantasy that Cindy walked out of that attic virtually unaffected. As perfect as the day had been, and it had been, as amazing as it was to spend so much time that was quiet and romantic and uneventful with Cindy, the naysayer inside of her couldn’t shake the feeling that it was almost too easy.

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  1. you know i keep wanting more and more i never want it to end this is high up on my list of favs from you! keep em coming!

  2. Amazing! But I am nervous wondering how Cindy will finally react when everything hits home. Even a spirit that bright will have a hard time coping, I think.

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