Inamorata (31/36) – WMC fic

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

Lindsay woke to the aroma of coffee, amazingly invigorated despite the truncated sleep session. The barely five hours she’d gotten was about five hours more than she’d been getting on any recent night. The fact that Cindy getting out of the bed hadn’t roused her was a good gauge of just how worn out she’d been, but as soon as she came to and realized Cindy wasn’t still beside her, she was alert in a heartbeat.

Her panic was abbreviated. As she started down the stairs, she spotted Cindy sitting at the table below her. Cindy looked up at her and smiled gently, and Lindsay returned it, feeling her world right itself just a little bit more.

The phone was to Cindy’s ear, she was listening intently to something on the other end, so Lindsay went into the kitchen, taking her time, wondering whether it would be intrusive to join Cindy at the table. Being so unsure about such a small thing was utterly wrong. She wished that she had a better idea of what Cindy wanted from her.

It was her own need that ultimately made her take her chances and go in to the table. Cindy still held the phone with one hand, the other writing rapidly. When she didn’t look up right away, it slowed Lindsay’s approach, but then Cindy did, smiling again fleetingly, just enough to let Lindsay know she wasn’t in the wrong, and dropped her eyes back to the page.

Lindsay took the closest seat, which these days never felt quite close enough, drank her coffee, and read the paper that Cindy had already been through. It almost felt like a normal day for an ordinary couple, one who’d just started living together without going through a real-life nightmare first.

“What did you guys talk about in Claire’s office?” Cindy questioned softly. “I don’t think Lindsay remembers much from that night.”

Lindsay felt all oxygen rush from her body as if she’d just been sucker punched. By the time this was all said and done, Cindy was going to know more about her role in all of this than she did. She glanced over at Cindy, who gave her a passing look before returning to her note-taking.

Lindsay tried to tune out the conversation, but that was virtually impossible. Cindy didn’t ask many questions. She barely led the dialogue. Either Jill or Claire was talking enough to keep her hand moving at a rather rapid pace. But Lindsay got enough of the gist for it to be too much.

After the time it took to drink two more cups of coffee and read the entire newspaper, Cindy was still on the phone. Vacillating between not wanting to, and desperately needing to escape, Lindsay motioned upstairs and Cindy nodded briefly.

The feel of the shower beating down on her back wasn’t as alleviating as Lindsay would have liked for it to be. There were no comforts in it. No strength. No answers. Just the constant pressure of the water and the tiny scrap of normalcy that it brought into her life.

“Jill’s going to come by. She had court this morning,”Cindy informed her as she came back downstairs.

“Oh… okay,” Lindsay responded.

“I know you probably think this is crazy,” Cindy glanced up at her through her lashes.

She looked so young and vulnerable that Lindsay gravitated toward her before realizing what she was doing and pulling herself to a stop. It was all self-discipline and in complete discord with what she actually wanted to do. The feel of Cindy in her arms was a ghost sensation that haunted her constantly now.

“No. Whatever you need,” Lindsay said quickly, but her real feelings rested in everything that went unsaid.

If there was anything in this universe that could just lift this burden from Cindy, Lindsay would sell her soul for it. She wouldn’t even wait for the offer to come to her. She would seek out the devil and be ready with terms if she thought that it would make a difference. But it wouldn’t. So reassurance was all that she had to give.


Jill brought lunch with her. They all went into the kitchen together and Jill put the food down on the counter, turning to Cindy with her arms out and a smile. Cindy walked into her embrace without the slightest hesitation.

Lindsay turned away and unpacked the contents of the plastic bag, which had smelled exceptional when Jill first walked in, but now turned her stomach in the most violent way.

Lindsay could still sense Cindy’s reticence to her every time she got near her. The logical part of her knew that Jill’s touch would be different, that her own touch and Jill’s possessed different implications, but she couldn’t help the visceral reaction.

“Hey,” she heard Jill saying. “Why don’t you get all your reporter stuff together and let us bring in the food, okay?”

Lindsay glanced back, watching Cindy quickly interpret the suggestion as what it was, an attempt to get rid of her, and nod with a softly spoken “okay” before leaving the room.

“Are you okay?” Jill asked once they were alone.

“Yeah. I’m fine,” Lindsay shot back, taking plates out of the cabinet.

“Now really,” Jill softly led.

Lindsay gripped the edge of the counter, warring with the resentment. Jill didn’t deserve this. She’d done everything for the two of them. There was a very real anger, though, at the ease with which Cindy could interact with her. Lindsay hated herself for feeling it, and she hated Jill for earning it.

“I don’t know,”she answered. She was sure Jill could clearly see that she was anything but okay.

“Have you even left the apartment?”

“I don’t think Cindy wants to leave the apartment.”

“I’m sure she doesn’t, but maybe you should.”

Lindsay tensed and turned in Jill’s direction.

“Just for a little while,” Jill added in the face of Lindsay’s obvious and instantaneous rejection of the idea.

“I’m fine,” Lindsay stated plainly, true or not.

“Linds, this will take us a while. Go out. Come back in a couple of hours. I think it’s a good idea.”

Well, sure, if her notion of a good idea was something wise and beneficial that could possibly keep her from going insane.

“What if she needs me?” she asked, her voice sounding startlingly weak.

“You’re a phone call away,” Jill softly answered.

“You can’t leave,” Lindsay reminded her.

“I know,” Jill took the unnecessary reminder gracefully. “I won’t.”

After a moment of utter indecision, Lindsay gave a gesture that could roughly be construed as agreement.

“Good,” Jill said. “Do you want to eat with us first?”

“I’m not hungry,” Lindsay shook her head.

It was true, but also remarkable, because she’d been starving when Jill arrived.

“Alright,” Jill responded.

Lindsay helped drop everything off on the table, and when she told Cindy that she was going for a run, there might have been a flash of unease in Cindy’s eyes, unease that would have changed Lindsay’s mind for sure if not for verbal consent that came much too quickly. It wouldn’t hurt for her to get out of the apartment for a while, but it would hurt a lot less if Cindy didn’t want her to go.

The doorman gave Lindsay another warm greeting as he opened the door to let her out and Lindsay granted him the best smile she could manage.

She tried to let go of everything as she started down the street, concentrate only on her breathing, on her feet hitting the pavement. It usually worked for her. She was deluding herself if she thought it had any chance of working this time though. She couldn’t turn off her thoughts. They didn’t even wander. They remained singularly focused on the one great concern in her life right now.


No matter how many streets she took, no matter how many miles passed by beneath her feet, Cindy was right there with her, begging for remedies that she didn’t have.

She didn’t want to return to the apartment empty-handed, and a sharp fury moved through her when she realized that, now that she knew everything, bringing Cindy flowers was probably out of the question for a good long time. There had been no flowers in the hospital, because everyone knew the part flowers had played, everyone except for Cindy, and no one wanted the reminder. Cindy hadn’t seemed to miss them, but it would be nice to have that option available now.

There was nothing that seemed appropriate.

It was by chance that Lindsay took a corner on an unfamiliar street and jogged right past a shop that drew her up short. She backtracked to the window, looking in, finally deciding that what was appropriate and what wasn’t was fairly subjective right now.

“Hi. Can I help you?” the storekeeper asked as she walked through the door.

“Do you have a program from Super Bowl twenty-four?” Lindsay volleyed back.

“Wow, that’s specific,” he seemed impressed by her lack of dilly-dallying. “Hold on. I’ll check.” He tapped away at the keyboard, before his eyes lit up, almost in surprise. “We do. It’s sixty-five dollars. Do you want it?”

“Yeah,” Lindsay instantly replied, nodding eagerly.

The guy went to a nearby drawer, shuffling through it and came up with the program.

“Mint,” he said, handing it over for her inspection while he ran the credit card she had stuffed in her zippered pocket for just this type of instance, and she stared at the piece of memorabilia.

The San Francisco 49ers v The Denver Broncos, Louisiana Superdome, January 28, 1990.

Cindy was nine. She and her dad had flown down to the game, just the two of them. It’s one of the childhood stories that Cindy had shared with her during their nightly conversations by phone. A reminder of happier times.

The clerk handed Lindsay her credit card and slipped the program from her hands, putting it into a brown paper bag and handing it back to her.

“Have a nice day.”

Lindsay smiled at him, feeling as if she’d just scored the greatest prize on earth.

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  1. great chapter! but it’s a bit sad with the cancelation and all. kinda bittersweet. i hope cindy likes her present.

  2. Yay! New chapter! – Dammit! I’m already done.

    I too hope Cindy likes her present. It feels as though there’s so much riding on her liking it. If she just takes the program, looks at it a bit, meekly thanks Lindsay and puts it down on the table, it’s just gonna push Lindsay over the edge.

  3. I think this chapter was hella awesome. Very vivid in it’s shortness but you know what they say about short and sweet. I’m waiting on the edge of my seat about how Cindy is going to react to her present and I’m really impressed with Lindsay’s thoughtfulness by meaning of the present. Very well done. But I think the best thing about this chapter was how you wrote Lindsay’s jealousy which is so in her character. Very cool. If I was her I would have decked Jill then stormed out of the apartment. But then, Lindsay does have some form of control. Once again, very cool chapter and I’m so looking forward to the next.

  4. Very moving chapter. I hurt for both of them, but right now, mostly Lindsay. I love how she reacted to Jill’s ability to interact with Cindy in a way that she can’t right now (it is right now, right?). Hoping that there will be some spark of reaction with the program…

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