Inamorata (29/36) – WMC fic

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

The sun had risen high into the sky before Lindsay was forced to abandon her post in search of something to keep her from toppling over from the very real exhaustion. Even then, she went slowly, inhibited by her body’s fatigue or her disinclination to leave Cindy lying there alone. Maybe both.

She fumbled around the kitchen, trying to figure out where essential items had been stored, releasing an unconscious groan upon discovery of the vital caffeine source. Then, leaning right there against the kitchen counter, she threw back enough coffee to fuel her with false alertness. Between each cup, with slightly more ability to function every time, she made the journey up the stairs. Cindy showed no signs of waking up, and the day continued to move on without them.

It was just after noon when Lindsay finally topped the staircase and open eyes rose from where they were focused on the blankets to take her in.

“Hey,” she softly breathed, approaching the bed guardedly.

“Hey,” Cindy returned even softer.

“You slept for a while,” Lindsay gently smiled.

Cindy’s eyes drifted away from her.

“We had a late night.”

It wasn’t meant to be tantalizing or said in fond remembrance. It was just a fact, stated as such, impassive. Regardless of the lack of emotion with which it had been delivered, Lindsay’s soul craved to return to those moments just the same.

Things had changed. She’d known it already, but, standing there in the same room with Cindy, she could feel the difference. The air didn’t move the same way between them. The connection was fractured.

“Are you okay?” she asked.

“Uh huh,” Cindy answered in the most abbreviated possible way. “Is there coffee?”

Yeah. A whole pot flowing through her own system at the moment.

“I’ll make you some.”

Lindsay was rather grateful to have a task she could fulfill at Cindy’s request.

Cindy barely nodded in reply, and, as much as she didn’t want to, Lindsay left her alone to go back down the stairs and fetch the one thing for which she had been asked. She tried not to ponder all of the things Cindy could have asked from her, but didn’t.

She could hear Cindy shuffling around in the bathroom above her as she waited for the coffeemaker to percolate enough for a cup, poured Cindy’s coffee, and fixed it to order. She had every intention of walking it upstairs, but when she stepped into the main room, Cindy was already set up at the table, the front section of The Register open in front of her.

“There was blood on your shirt,” Cindy said without looking up.

Lindsay paused in her forward movement, and Cindy did look up at her then, their eyes holding across the room. Even at a distance, Cindy’s looked clouded. They’d been so bright yesterday before the storms rolled in.

“I saw it on the floor.”

Lindsay really thought that she had hidden the evidence better. She’d meant to. There was a perfect lie on the tip of her tongue. Paper cut. It could have happened. It would have made things easier.

“You hit me,” she reminded Cindy, unable to get anything but the truth past her lips. “Remember?”

Cindy’s eyes went back to the paper, though Lindsay suspected they weren’t actually seeing it.

“Kind of,” Cindy answered, just above a whisper. “Sorry.”

Lindsay didn’t want an apology. At all. She wanted to make it better. She still didn’t know how. And she wanted to tell Cindy all of this, but she didn’t know how to do that either.

Remembering the coffee in her hand, she walked over to the table, setting it next to the rest of The Register. Her other hand slid onto Cindy’s back. There was a further objective, a kiss Lindsay was desperately craving, but when tension instantly seized Cindy’s shoulders at the touch, it, quite effectively, doused the impulse. Lindsay pulled her hand away, pausing to allow the fleeting pain at Cindy’s negative response to move through her, before pulling out the nearest chair and sitting down in it.

Cindy’s eyes stayed focused on the paper, either reading or pretending to read, it was hard to tell. Lindsay was more than ready to talk about everything, get it out where they could deal with it, but it wasn’t hers to talk about, and Cindy didn’t want to talk to her. That was plainly written in the way that she sipped her coffee and slowly turned the pages, holding the paper high enough to inhibit Lindsay’s view, though her distinct height advantage made it nearly impossible for Cindy to block her out completely.

“Do you want something to eat?”

“I’m not hungry,” Cindy answered abruptly, as if to make her go away faster.

So Lindsay didn’t ask anymore questions. At Cindy’s unspoken request, she remained silent, but she didn’t go anywhere. She just sat there while Cindy read the entire paper, deserting her chair just long enough to refill Cindy’s coffee when the hollow clink of the mug indicated that it was empty. Cindy didn’t, in any way, acknowledge the service.

Lindsay could tell that her hovering was making Cindy uncomfortable, but she couldn’t bring herself to leave her alone. When Cindy ran out of sections to occupy her and finally stood, Lindsay twitched not to immediately jump up as well.

“I’m going to take a shower.”

The announcement was really a plea for her not to follow, and Lindsay heeded it as such, staying where she was and watching as Cindy started up the stairs.

She listened to the sounds of Cindy moving around again. When the door to the bathroom clicked shut, she dropped her head into her hands. At a loss, she thought for a moment about calling Claire, but somehow knew exactly what her friend would say – this was to be expected, and to just keep trying.

So that’s what she would do. Just keep trying.

She went into the kitchen and looked through her options, each second moving by in slow motion. Cindy was taking a ridiculously long shower, and the fact that she was alone in there, after last night, made Lindsay nervous to an extent that she couldn’t possibly explain. Cindy wasn’t the type to do something irreversibly drastic, but there were some things with power enough to change what a person was capable of doing.

When she heard Cindy come back downstairs, Lindsay walked into the living room to find her emptying a bag of the books she’d picked out from her apartment and stacking them in a pile at the edge of the couch.

“Pizza or leftovers?” Lindsay asked more jovially than she felt. She didn’t make whether or not to eat an option this time.

“Leftovers are fine,” Cindy returned. Tersely again.

Lindsay nodded, though Cindy didn’t bother to turn around to see it, and went back into the kitchen to heat up their food. The entire time she was doing it, she listened for any sound from the other room that seemed to call to her. It was an unreasonable wish, and went unanswered.

She took everything out to the table before going over to Cindy, who was sitting with her knees tucked to her chest at the end of the couch, focused intently on the book in her hands. She looked even tinier than usual, as if she was purposely trying to occupy as little space on earth as possible.

“It’s ready.”

Without bothering to offer some indication she’d heard, Cindy continued reading for a few seconds, then bookmarked her place and got up. When Lindsay was certain she would follow, she went to the table and sat down.

Lindsay let Cindy take her first few bites in the same silence they’d been in all day, then took a deep breath and a sip of water.

“Have you been having nightmares or was that the first one?” She tried to keep her voice soothing as she set her glass back on the table.

“Lindsay, I don’t want to talk about this,” Cindy’s answer came so fast, Lindsay suspected she’d been ready with it since she’d woken up.

“I’m sure you don’t,” Lindsay tried to tread carefully, “but I think that we need to.”

Cindy looked up at her as if she had something to say, her breath becoming more rapid, her face flushing lightly. Then she seemed to think better of it and looked back at the table. After a suspended moment, she put her fork down on the edge of her plate and got up, moving to the sofa. She reclaimed her place and started into her book where she had left off.

Clearly the light treading had been no way near light enough. She waited for a while, trying to get up the nerve to make another effort, but it felt too soon and she knew that it would be rejected again. After that, she waited some more, hoping that Cindy would return and finish her half-eaten meal.

She didn’t.

Long after all food left on the table had gone cold, Lindsay picked up their plates, cast Cindy a longing look, trying not to let herself be overcome by the thought that yesterday seemed so dreadfully far behind them. She filled the kitchen sink with soapy water and washed dishes, using that time to recuperate from what felt like a fight, even though it wasn’t, before walking back into the living room.

The only thing that had moved at all was Cindy’s place in her book.

“Can I sit with you?” Lindsay hesitantly queried. It was desperate and needy, but it came out sounding astonishingly level.

Cindy nodded, her eyes never straying from the page, and Lindsay sat down next to her, giving her plenty of space. She’d brought things to do, magazines that she’d had at the hospital, popular fiction, but, when Cindy finished the first book several hours after Lindsay had settled in beside her, Lindsay put down her own reading material and reached for Cindy’s. She needed to know what was inside her head, even if it was only part of it, and the part that was inconsequential.

Cindy cast her a sidelong glance, but she didn’t say anything. Lindsay really wished that she would. Anything.

All movement throughout the rest of the day was meant only to sustain – food, bathroom, stretching, return. Far from being relaxing, though, it was hellish. Lindsay was resisting with all her might the nervous energy that made her want to fly up from the couch and do something physical. Like maybe put her fist through the wall.

After the sun had been down a while, and the effects of not sleeping the night before really started to set in, Lindsay glanced over at Cindy, surprised to see that, despite her late rising, she looked rather drained too. She closed the book in her hands and slid it onto the coffee table.

“Are you ready for bed?”

“Not yet.”

“Okay,” Lindsay responded.

She stared at Cindy for a few moments, and despite her preoccupation, she could tell that, for once, Cindy was well aware of the scrutiny, and not particularly fond of it. Lindsay considered picking up the book again, but she couldn’t even stare blankly at it anymore. The way the words had started running into each other had caused a fairly massive headache. Or maybe she was just that tired. She sunk down, her head coming to rest against the arm of the couch, getting comfortable to wait.

There was a distinctive lullaby in the tiny sounds coming from the direction of her feet, the turn of the pages, Cindy’ occasional sighs that she probably had no idea she was producing. When Lindsay closed her eyes and focused, she could swear that she heard Cindy’s heart beating. The tune sang her into a sense of relaxation, and she drifted off briefly, jerking awake again.

“Go to bed, Lindsay,” Cindy uttered without looking at her.

“I’m okay.”

“Go to bed,” Cindy repeated.

Though her voice never rose above that of a normal exchange, Lindsay felt more ordered than excused.

The ache in her chest was so great as she got to her feet, turned away from Cindy, and ascended the stairs that, if she had any other symptoms, she would have been convinced that she was having a heart attack.

That pain stayed with her as she changed clothes, remembering the nerve-racking, yet exhilarating, feel of Cindy’s eyes on her just yesterday as she had done the same, and crawled into the bed alone. Despite her exhaustion, without Cindy there beside her, she couldn’t find a peaceful enough place to drift into slumber. She could find snippets though, little recollections of the night before.

Just one night before…

Cindy was smiling down at her. Cindy’s voice was whispering against the night. Cindy’s lips were making gentle contact with her own. Cindy’s body was warm against her. Even though she knew that they were going to go through some difficult times, Lindsay had known a moment of elation just from the knowledge that, whatever came to pass, Cindy would be right there beside her. That thought was haunting her now. The half-vacant bed felt exceedingly cold because of it.

She laid there in the hush and the cold and the emptiness waiting for Cindy. But Cindy never came.

Neither did sleep.

It was once again the middle of the night, this time for no good reason, when Lindsay glanced at the clock. She noiselessly got out of the bed and went to the loft’s edge, glancing down over the railing at the sofa. Cindy was still at the end, almost in the exact same spot, but her book was on the floor beside her. She was curled up in a ball, sound asleep.

As Lindsay suspected, it wasn’t that Cindy didn’t want to sleep. She just didn’t want to sleep with her.

Cindy was shivering, barely. It was hardly even detectable, but Lindsay was certain that she saw it. Then again, she might have been imagining the movement so she would have an excuse to quietly plod down the stairs.

She took the blanket off the back of the chair, the same blanket Cindy had used while they watched the movie the previous night, and draped it over Cindy. Cindy whimpered lightly when the blanket made contact, and moved restlessly in her sleep. Uncertain in her ability to do so, but needing desperately to be a comfort, Lindsay lowered herself to her knees next to the sofa.

“Shh, Baby. Just sleep.”

Cindy began to settle at the sound of her voice, and Lindsay risked a touch, raising her hand slowly to Cindy’s head, smoothing Cindy’s hair back with a delicate motion, whispering the whole time so that Cindy would know whose hand it was.

“No one’s going to hurt you. I’m right here.”

Cindy calmed more beneath her tone and her fingertips, but the real peace was Lindsay’s. Knowing that, at least, some part of Cindy still wanted her there gave her enduring strength to face another day.

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  1. I’m going to cry 🙁
    Such amazing writing! Your truly gifted <3
    pyro_girl is right. completely heart-wrenching and so well written omg.

  2. Ow. Ow Ow Ow. (((Cindy))).
    How do you do this? Sniff. As usual, well-written and must agree – makes my heart ache. For both of them.

  3. ah wow. I go away for 5 days and when I come back I find this WONDERFUL chapter waiting. It is adding to my general happiness and fueling my enthuisasm!!

    This chapter was perfect, in so many little details that it hurts to even think about what they’re both going through…
    I hate to think that their connection is fractured, (that’ one of my favourite paragraphs) and I want Cindy to open up to Lindsay and I also want Lindsay to be able to support Cindy in what she’s going through. I think it’s great you’re showing Lindsay’s fears in dealing with her girl’s issues. She knows that this is big and it’s going to take time and that she could screw up so she’s being careful, and she’s afraid…

    you’re a wonderful writer and I’m loving this story like no other I’ve read so far…

  4. Thought since I’ve gone through all your fanfiction, and since I’m not so stalkerish as to comment on every single chapter, although I will if it makes you write faster, I wanted to review this chapter and the story in general.
    First word: heartbreakingly gut wrenching. Cause it’s all one word now. When Cindy’s missing and Lindsay’s going out of her mind, I found it very hard to concentrate on anything other than getting through those chapters until Lindsay found her again. Talk about suspended disbelief and suspense in general. Some one needs to snatch you up and pay you – properly – to write.
    Second word: Brazen. Brazen in going the places you went, not only with the sex, but with the scene in which Cindy was found by Lindsay. I’ve got a strong stomach but some of the stuff she went through… you went raw and brutal and I think that’s gold on your part. Suits the tone of this dark little piece like checks on a kilt.
    Third word: Descriptive. You do have a way with internalising Linday’s thought process. And that’s something I particularly enjoy in any kind of writing. Snaps to you.
    Fourth word: This is really more for the other stories but there’s tones of your well writing sarcasm in here too. Plus you nail Cindy’s quips so well with it. Brava.
    Fifth word: This chapter, in itself, was brilliant for it’s sole focus on the dislocation of their relationship. Things can’t be the same as they were before and you nailed that thought with this chapter. I really felt for Lindsay. She doesn’t strike me as very patient and you have her turning herself inside for Cindy in this chapter. And Cindy, that girl, totally zeroed in the vulnerability she has. I was gutted with how you described her reticence with Lindsay. They need to get through this shit. They need to do it now.
    So, with such a humongous review, I hope it puts the spurs to you write and update your story soon. I’d settle for another update on Extreme Sensitivity. Or you could do both. Please. I’d pay you myself but I’m on the flat-broke side of things.
    Please, update soon.

  5. Thank you peeps! I know it takes me a while to turn out a chapter of this story, but it’s rather challenging to write.

    And I have zero problem with comments on every single chapter 🙂 It’s not at all stalkerish. In fact, I kind of love it.

    Getting paid to write one day is kind of the plan, but that’s not so much working out… obviously.

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