Inamorata (32/36) – WMC fic

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

Jill and Cindy were still talking when Lindsay returned to the apartment, but the grim topic over which they had originally convened had dissolved into small talk and trivialities. Any semi-normal conversation Cindy was engaging in was hardly insignificant though.

Lindsay laid the brown paper bag down with her phone on the table inside the door and excused herself. Her second shower of the day was slightly quicker, and when she returned fully dressed, Jill was preparing to leave. Lindsay wondered if she had made her feel that unwelcome.

“Call me if you need anything.”

The offer was made to both of them, and, as undeserving as she might have been to receive it, Lindsay was grateful.

She didn’t have to look away as Jill hugged Cindy goodbye. Clearly stepping outside of the situation, even for only a short time, had its intended positive psychological effect, at least to a small degree. Jill gave her a wink, squeezed her arm and then she and Cindy were once again alone, which under any other circumstances would have been Lindsay’s favorite way to be.

“How was your run?” Cindy asked her, almost nearing casualness, as she resettled in her spot on the sofa.

“It was good,” Lindsay returned, her smile small but genuine.

Cindy looked at her for a moment, just looked, and Lindsay waited for something more that she could build on.

“I wanted to ask you,” Cindy nervously hesitated. “Is it okay if I call Tom?”

Any shock was due more to the fact that Cindy had asked permission than that she wanted to make the call. Lindsay had known very well that, once Cindy got started, she wouldn’t be able to leave her subject half-investigated.

“Yeah, of course,” Lindsay responded. “You can call anyone you want to.”

Relieved that the inquiry had been relatively mundane, she went to grab her phone, finding Tom’s number and walked it back over to where Cindy was sitting, holding it up for her. Cindy jotted the number at the top of her legal pad, and when she reached for the house phone, Lindsay instinctively stopped her hand with a soft touch. There was only curiosity in Cindy’s expression when she looked up at her, but balancing on a high wire as she was, Lindsay pulled her hand back as if she’d seen terror.

“Just… before you do…” she tried to cover her overreaction and really regretted not continuing to touch Cindy while she had the chance.

She could feel Cindy’s curious gaze following her all the way as she backtracked to the table by the door, laid her phone down and came back with the paper bag.

“This is for you,” she said simply, presenting her offering to Cindy.

It might have been the packaging that drew such a peculiar expression, but Cindy took it from her hand, reaching inside and slowly withdrew the program. Lindsay fought the nervous bounce that wanted to enter her stance.

“I remembered you saying that you lost your program from the game in one of your apartment moves. It’s not the one you brought back from New Orleans with you, but you know…”

Her need to fill the suspension and silence with words faded instantly when Cindy looked up at her. The expression on Cindy’s face was so utterly flawless, so bursting with the emotion that she hadn’t been showing for days, that Lindsay lost all ability to form cohesive thoughts and craft them into words.

She’d actually done something right.

Cindy slid the program back into the bag and laid it on the sofa beside her, then she stood up, taking the first step around the edge of the coffee table, and Lindsay fought the unnatural urge to take a step back. Two more small steps and Cindy’s hand came to her side. Though it was merely for balance, the touch sent a series of chills through Lindsay’s tired body. Cindy pushed up onto her toes and their lips met in a soft kiss that went straight to Lindsay’s head, giving her an overwhelmingly dizzying sensation. Like drinking a wine too sweet.

Too sweet. It was something she suspected she would have to get used to with the redhead.

When Cindy lost her balance just a little, Lindsay instinctively reached for her elbow, gently clasping it and holding her in place. The innocently-intentioned action had the inadvertent result of a marked increase in the press of Cindy’s lips against hers, and Lindsay moaned raggedly from deep in her throat. Even with that, her fingertips didn’t detect the typical rumble of unease moving through the small frame in front of her. Cindy was okay with her touch, with all of this, even if only for this one instant.

There was a clinging need from both sides that made the kiss last longer than either of them had been anticipating, and when Cindy finally pulled away, she gently gasped for breath before finding her voice.

“Thank you.”

Cindy’s face hovered below hers, her cheeks lightly tinted, her full lips a deeper red, darkened eyes partly obscured by long lashes.

“You’re welcome,” Lindsay returned.

There were no other words. Only the sudden, profound inner silence that came from experiencing something so fucking beautiful.

Cindy’s smile was slow and small. Angelic.

They stood there, a few inches apart, Cindy’s hand on her side, hers still lingering on Cindy’s elbow. It was as if any more would be too much. And it would be. Lindsay knew that, even if she didn’t want to.

“I can’t believe you remembered that,” Cindy murmured.

“I do listen…” Lindsay husked, smiling a little. “To you anyway.”

There was another unexpected, forceful surge of energy, a tiny flash of anxiety in the eyes staring up at her, and Cindy’s gaze finally fell away. It was too much too fast, but it wasn’t anything that they had done or hadn’t done. It was just them. It was that same spark that had always been there, increased by time and the fact that it had taken so long for them to get to this place. Unavoidable.

Lindsay wasn’t sure if her heart would burst or deflate as Cindy broke contact, stepped back to the sofa and took up her place and the phone. She understood the need for an abrupt finish, but it didn’t make the longing to continue any less real. It was far too short of a moment, but it was so much something that it felt like a lot more.

“I’m going to call Tom,” Cindy gave the unnecessary excuse.

There were no excuses. This wasn’t fair to either of them. This barrier wasn’t even of their own making. It was crafted by violence and malice and someone else’s sick fascination with the same psychopath that had once possessed her own thoughts. Lindsay had let go of Kiss-Me-Not, but he hadn’t quite let go of them yet.

Lindsay nodded, watching Cindy start to dial, and left her to it. She went into the kitchen to get a drink, hopping up onto the counter, and tried to calm her racing heart. It was a good moment. She was proud of her purchase. She also felt remarkably fulfilled by the kiss. It was going to be slow going, but they would get there. They really did deserve a better beginning than this doubt and disconnection, but then, maybe they’d already gotten one.

She leaned her head back against the cabinet, remembering their first meeting at The Register, and allowed the automatic smile to stretch across her face. It was hard to believe now that there was a time when she had made Cindy so overtly nervous. Whether she would ever admit it to Cindy or not, that feeling had always been mutual though. She may have had the wisdom of age and the cuffs and a demeanor to hide her nerves better, but it didn’t mean that Cindy hadn’t made her anxious as hell from the get go.

Cindy was always just too willing, too receptive, too fascinating, too… good. It was hard to imagine what an, at times, insensitive, skeptical, hard-edged homicide inspector could offer someone like that. But, either it had grown substantially in the time since, or no one had ever fully tapped Lindsay’s ability to love, because now she knew what she had to offer Cindy.


She could give her everything, and she would spend every day of her life finding a way to do it. She wanted to. What she had come to realize since that first meeting was that the cynicism and the aloofness just didn’t hold up in the face of someone like Cindy. That’s why she had fallen. So fast. So hard. It was momentous and it was terrifying, but there it was, the truth, abridged.

Her stomach gave a very audible indication that she’d skipped lunch and burned all sorts of calories she hadn’t actually consumed, so Lindsay jumped down, found what was leftover of the food Jill brought and heated a portion. She needed to remember to call her later and thank her properly for everything. And apologize.

She took her plate to the table, sending a glance toward Cindy as she walked by, rather surprised a few minutes later when Cindy came over to sit with her without being beckoned. Not that she wasn’t wanted. Lindsay softly smiled up at her and Cindy returned it gently.

“Did you get everything you needed?”

“Tom didn’t pick up. I left a message.”

“He’ll call,” Lindsay assured her. “How about from Jill?”

She could hear the residual hurt come through in her voice, though she’d really tried not to let it. The subtle change in Cindy’s demeanor indicated that the misplaced sentiment was noticeable.

“She answered all my questions,” Cindy responded.

“That’s good.”

Having some vague idea of the essence of what she was about to hear was a talent Lindsay had honed through years of trying to read the people she was talking to in order to extract confessions more easily. Cindy had always proven a little more difficult for her to interpret, but not now. In the next charged pause, Lindsay knew that she was about to be told something that she didn’t want to be. She also knew that Cindy was stalling just long enough to let her finish eating, which didn’t make her feel any better.


Her deep breath was far from calming as Lindsay looked up at her. Only when Cindy was actually missing could she remember being more scared of what she might hear.

“I, um… I need some time,” Cindy stated quietly.

Lindsay swallowed against the pressing panic. It was a small appeal. There was a bigger picture here considerably more important.

“It’s just… There’s… I, um…” Cindy struggled in a way that Lindsay had never seen her struggle with words, but there was really no need. Lindsay got the point.

“It’s okay. You don’t need to explain,” Lindsay said, her eyes skittering away. She didn’t want Cindy to see the pain. She could carry it alone.

Cindy’s hand landed on hers on the table.

“I want to,” Cindy asserted.

When Lindsay looked back up, the anguish raging in Cindy’s eyes offered a perfect reflection of her own, before Cindy’s gaze fell to their joined hands.

“Do you feel this?”

Cindy’s thumb softly moved across her skin, and Lindsay’s eyes closed of their own accord at the softly spoken question.

“Yes,” she breathed.

“Things have always been so intense with us. That hasn’t changed. If anything, it’s gotten more so.”

Lindsay’s eyes opened into Cindy’s and she mutely nodded, wondering when exactly Cindy’s brain and her own brain had started running on the same wavelength.

“It’s a good thing, Linds. We’re so good together. I just…” Cindy exhaled unevenly, her voice dropping to barely a whisper. “I can’t handle us right now.”

It wasn’t surprising, but it didn’t make it any easier.

“I remember what happened in that attic,” Cindy carefully led them into the depths of the ocean. “I know how far things went and how far they didn’t go. But in a lot of my dreams, you don’t get there in time and they go a lot further.”

Lindsay’s hand turned up to cradle Cindy’s, holding it tightly but gently, her thumb rhythmically moving to the cadence of Cindy’s confession.

“Things are getting really confused in my head.”

Tears that Lindsay desperately wanted to wipe away spilled onto Cindy’s cheeks, but she knew that it would be too much, so she held back, grasping more tightly to the hand that she already held.

“I want so much with you, but I don’t want either of us to get hurt.”

“Me neither,” Lindsay softly replied.

It wasn’t only agreement. It was her utmost fear. There was still such potential for further damage if they weren’t careful.

“I really want you to touch me,” Cindy whispered, her free hand penetrating the distance between them and the backs of her fingers slid like slow silk down Lindsay’s cheek. “That makes it even harder. Just… please don’t give up on me.”

“Never,” Lindsay vowed, giving into the warmth of Cindy’s hand on her face, the gentle pressure of Cindy’s palm against hers, but there was also a chill at some of her words. “Cindy, maybe you should talk to somebody. I mean, besides me.”

“Maybe,” Cindy acknowledged, taking Lindsay somewhat by surprise. She’d actually expected more fight. “But not now. Now, I just need time.”

Alone. That was understood.

Jacobi did say Cindy would tell her what she needed. He never said it wouldn’t hurt.

As Cindy’s hand abandoned her cheek, Lindsay struggled to form a reply, any kind of reply, and felt roughly like she supected an unstable chemical compound felt, with the potential to either detonate or fizzle into irrelevance.

“Okay,” Lindsay husked, staring at the pleading face before her. “So then… you want me to leave?”

“No!” Cindy sat more upright, looking horrified at the prospect. “I want you here.”

Though it seemed somewhat contradictory to everything she’d just said, the last part filled Lindsay’s lungs with oxygen and she found that she could breathe again.

“It’s just,” Cindy tried to find the words. “I need to process.”

Lindsay nodded robotically, though she wasn’t sure quite what she was agreeing to.

“I’ll be right here,” she responded, and she would be. For as long as Cindy needed her to be.

Cindy smiled at her. It was sad and achingly beautiful and it would singularly possess Lindsay’s soul for hours after. Then Cindy released her hand, their last point of physical connection, and got to her feet. Lindsay watched her go to the sofa, gather up all of her notes and information, grab the phone, and disappear into the office, shutting her out with a soft click.

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  1. I swear, you writing is utterly beautiful. This is probably my favorite out of your L/C series. It is just full of so much emotions and has been an up and down roller coaster. Amazing work!

  2. i… i’m confused, and lost and crying. it was wonderful, your thinking is amazing. and well i hope you dont drive the dagger in too much father. if you catch my drift. 🙂

  3. I think I literally felt my heart break for Lindsay and Cindy. This chapter was absolutely heartwrenching. But entirely amazing, too. Utterly poignant. Cindy’s reaction to her gift was a whole lot better than I was expecting and so very sweet. And I think it’s literally ripping Lindsay in two to set herself back and give Cindy that time she needs. This was completely awesome and beautifully written. Definitely looking forward to the next chapter. 🙂

  4. This chapter is so utterly beautiful, and sad, and poignant, and yet there’s that hint of hope. Lindsay is trying so hard to be strong that I can’t help wondering what’s going to happen when she finally let’s go.

  5. Wow. I think this is the first time I got misty-eyed over a fan fiction. This chapter was really beautiful, bittersweet and wonderful and made me want to go and cuddle up to someone.

    I haven’t got anything to say that haven’t been said already. This is amazing.

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