Inamorata (9/36) – WMC fic

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

Wakefulness was incredibly slow in coming, and once she had woken, it took Lindsay’s eyes an abnormal amount of time to recall what they were supposed to do.

Then she could see.

A brick wall. Bars. A cell.

Wherever she was, she was trapped.

She bolted upright, swinging her legs off the edge of the less-than-soft surface on which she found herself. She felt every bit of the earth’s rotation and put her hands to the cold matting on either side of her. Relying on sluggish deductive reasoning, she recognized the dimensions and sparse decor of the holding cell, and then Tom standing in the open door.

He didn’t give her much time to summon up all the facts of her current situation, but it didn’t take the grim reality long to come crashing back in. If she weren’t so intent on staying alert, the sudden deluge of misery would have put her right back down.

“The hospital called. They’ve already removed the bullet,” Tom said. “It lodged in his skull. It didn’t reach his brain. He’s doing really well.”

A shot to kill that missed. What fairy tale is that from?, Lindsay thought, but didn’t give any outward indication that she’d even heard him.

“I called Agent Ashe. He’s on his way,” Tom informed her.

This time, her disgust was difficult to hide. She’d given Ashe plenty. He’d taken it without appreciation. Then, he’d failed to follow through. Why should he get another chance to prove that he couldn’t stop this?

“I know that he’s one of the last people that you want to see right now.”

Truth be told, everyone was kind of lumped together into that category. There was only one person that she wanted to see right now.

“The sooner they can find this guy,” Tom continued when she failed to respond, “the less chance he’ll have to…”

“Don’t you dare fuckin’ say it, Tom,” Lindsay finally found her voice to hiss.

She glared at Tom with a hatred that wasn’t directed toward him personally, but forced him to avert his gaze just the same.

“Where’s Lindsay?” Claire’s panicked voice came from outside the cell.

Lindsay dragged her eyes from Tom to see an officer pointing her out to Claire and Jill. When they looked in and met her eyes, she shook her head at them sharply. Just as it had forced Tom to turn away, the intensity in the look succeeded in holding them off. Jill and Claire looked from her to each other, and then made their retreat, followed by their respective officers-on-duty.

Lindsay knew that they wouldn’t leave. They would head to Claire’s office, hoping she would give in and come to them. But they could keep hoping. She wasn’t about to make that mistake again.

“They’re just worried about you,” Tom said.

“They should be more worried about being seen with me.”

“I thought you’d gotten past all of that reclusive crap,” he angrily retorted.

“Clearly that worked out really well for Cindy.”

There was a twinge, a fleeting moment of feeling when she said her name, and just as quickly it was gone again.

“I know this is hard, Lindsay. I know that she’s your friend.”

Lindsay clasped her hands between her knees, her eyes locking on them. She could feel her body rocking back and forth, but couldn’t seem to cease the motion. Clearly he didn’t know.

“I know that she’s more than your friend,” she heard Tom say softly.

Then again, maybe he did.

Lindsay raised her head to look at him.

“Come on, Linds. I’ve seen those looks. There was a time when you looked at me like that.” He took a deep breath, unable to hold her gaze again. “Well, maybe not quite like that.”

She somehow knew that he was aware of it before the obvious display she and Cindy had made of disappearing from the meeting for twenty minutes. That was just confirmation. It’s probably why he had been so hard on Cindy. If Tom saw it, and Jacobi saw it, maybe she was being a lot more transparent than she’d thought.

“I knew it,” she shook her head. “I knew I’d get her killed.”

It was that voice again, the one that sounded unfamiliar and distant. In every way that wasn’t physical, she was absent from the whole experience.

“She isn’t dead, Lindsay. As far as we know, Cindy is still very much alive, and we are going to treat it that way until we have proof of something different!”

Tom was getting genuinely infuriated at her defeatist attitude, but Lindsay couldn’t help it. She’d messed everything up. She’d known the best thing to do was push Cindy away, but she couldn’t take Cindy being indifferent to her. She’d wanted both, the connection and the safety, knowing the entire time that one might risk the other. More than anything, she’d wanted Cindy, so she’d given in to those desires and, as a result, made her own worst fears come to pass. Now all that she wanted was to not exist.

“I don’t know how you must feel,” Tom softly uttered. “But you can tell me.”

He was sincere, appealing to her as someone who still cared about her, who wasn’t trying to be anything to her that she didn’t want him to be anymore. He was trying very hard to be her friend, even accepting the fact that she was truly, desperately in love with someone else. And it was working. Though he might not have been her first choice, he was a decent choice, and, right now, he was her only choice. She wanted to tell him the truth, that she wasn’t feeling anything, but she knew it was because her soul was ripped out of her body in the parking garage, so there was nothing left for her to feel.

“Inspector Boxer.”

Agent Ashe appeared beside Tom from out of nowhere, breaking the deceptive spell of empathy.

“Lieutenant,” he greeted Tom, before launching right in. “There was no evidence on or near the car or the scene. Nothing that can help us. So, it’s back to you, Inspector Boxer. Maybe you could remember some of those details that you’ve been forgetting.”

“If I have to talk to him right now, I’m going to kill him,” Lindsay directed her remarks to Tom.

“Waiting to talk to me isn’t going to help Miss Thomas,” Ashe said. “Why do you think he went after her?”

Lindsay looked at Tom pleadingly. She could not have this discussion with Ashe right now. He really hadn’t earned a right to the intimate details of her life. Or Cindy’s.

“It’s hardly a surprise,” Tom responded for her. “We’ve had a guard on her for weeks, just like Jill and Claire. We knew that he might go after Lindsay’s friends.”

“Everyone in my life with estrogen was at risk,” Lindsay bitterly cut in.

“Yes. Every woman in your life could have been at risk,” Agent Ashe seemed even less humored by her than usual. “But he didn’t go after every woman in your life. He picked this woman. Over Jill. Over Claire. Even over you, Lindsay, the person who was the real target. So, why did he think that this would be worse for you than your own abduction?”

Of course Lindsay knew exactly why Cindy had been chosen, but it took someone else asking the question aloud to make her realize that Kiss-Me-Not also had to know. Not just suspect. Not just presume. He had to know for sure. And there was only one way in hell that he could.

She flew up off the bench and toward the cell door so quickly that Tom and Agent Ashe parted for her. She didn’t respond to Tom’s inquiry as to where she was going, instead just marching on, he and Ashe behind her, and her detail scrambling to trail after them.

When the decision came, she chose the stairs, knowing that the elevator could only move at its normal pace and hers would be faster right now, and got to the morgue in record time. Claire and Jill were in Claire’s office, as she knew that they would be, speaking in hushed tones, until they saw her and both got to their feet.


The concerned tone to Claire’s voice was more than Lindsay could handle. She couldn’t take on anyone else’s fear or distress or grief. She had enough of her own. She ignored her, along with Jill, Tom, Ashe, and the detail watching her every move from the doorway, and moved about the office, sweeping her hand under the edges of counters, looking for holes in the walls and ceiling, staring into the dark corners.

“What are you doing?” Jill sounded almost afraid to pose the question.

“He saw us,” Lindsay answered.

She knocked several books from Claire’s bookshelf as she ran her hands along it and looked carefully at the wall behind them.

“Lindsay, I’m sure it feels that way,” Jill tried. “But he already had the article. He didn’t need to see us to connect you to Cindy.”

“Not all of us,” Lindsay responded without halting in her dismantling of Claire’s office. “He knows. I know it.”

“Knows what?” Jill asked.

“About Cindy and me,” she whispered.

Again, that pang of remorse as Cindy’s name flowed over her lips.

She looked back to see Claire and Jill exchange a look, but it didn’t take long for them to adjust to the news, probably because, like everyone else, they had seen it coming from a mile away. Then, she returned to the task at hand, searching for the source of Kiss-Me-Not’s knowledge. When she didn’t find anything at ground level, she grabbed the chair from Claire’s desk and started up onto it.

“Lindsay,” Claire rushed up and grabbed her before she could make the ascent, holding her in place. “I can’t imagine what this is like for you, because I know how it feels for me, but there’s no way. No one is watching us in here. This place doesn’t exactly have easy access. He never could have gotten in.”

Claire’s eyes begged her to stop the frenzied destruction. They also silently told her that she looked crazy. Undoubtedly she did. She was crazy. This was crazy.

“You’re right,” she acknowledged.

Kiss-Me-Not couldn’t have gotten into this office. There were too many guards and security cameras. It would have to be someplace more public, easier to infiltrate.

She shrugged out of Claire’s arms and moved back to the door without explanation, pushing past the officers in the doorway. She went for the stairs again, and could hear her protective forces and Tom and Ashe trying keep up with her determined strides, certain that Jill and Claire were now with them as well.

She pushed through the door at the top of the stairs and picked up speed down the hallway, shoving open the bathroom door with a force certain to leave a mark. Even in this moment, all of the men paused in the doorway. She was only somewhat aware of Jill and Claire pushing past them to end up standing in the bathroom with her.

Lindsay’s eyes swept the room, looking for anything out of the ordinary. Her hand ran carelessly along the underside of the sinks, in the off-chance that there was something there, but not really expecting to find anything, because she somehow knew, when she made her discovery, exactly where it would be.

When she reached the handicapped stall at the end, she felt the walls and the doors, finding nothing. It was in looking down at the place where she and Cindy had sat that she thought to look up. She stepped up onto the toilet seat and pushed up on the first piece of corkboard ceiling. It moved aside easily, but offered no hint of evidence.

Whether it was a sixth sense or manic conviction urging her on, Lindsay couldn’t stop. It was on the fifth piece of corkboard she punched up into the ceiling that a small wire fell out to dangle in front of her. She stared at it without moving for several unbearable beats, then a firm rip brought five feet of wire no wider than floss down, and she stared at the microscopic camera, no bigger than a pinpoint, that hung off the end.

The control, the stoicism, the relative calm, that’s when she lost all of them.

“No!” She kicked the stall wall, the shooting pain up her leg one of the more agreeable things she’d felt all night. Pleasant enough to compel her to kick the wall again. The stall groaned, swaying in protest, and she attacked it. She could feel it give way and it crashed into the next stall over. She fell on top of it, sliding down it to the floor. It was painful enough to end her demolition, because, once she was down there, she had no strength to get back up.

And now she could cry.

Sobbing, she could hear the cautious approach of apprehensive footsteps. Someone took the camera from her hand. Claire sat down on the floor beside her. Lindsay offered no resistance as Claire pulled her head into her lap. She grasped a handful of Claire’s jeans in her fist and held tight.

This was all her fault. Kiss-Me-Not. Jacobi. Cindy. All of it.

She knew that this could happen, she knew that it would happen, but she did it anyway. She let her defenses down. She was weak. And it had cost her everything.

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  1. oh god, my eyes are wet with tears!
    I can almost feel Lindsay’s pain. And how you describe her feelings makes them so real…

    “The control, the stoicism, the relative calm, that’s when she lost all of them.” I love this part and the one following.

    I hope they will find Cindy soon, and I hope Lindz will find the strength to keep fighting for her.

    Thanks for this wonderful story!

  2. ok, ok, ok. hold the phone! does this mean that lindsay and cindy are going to be apart for the rest of the story until the end???

    if so, you can’t make this thirty some odd chapters, riley. it’s too much. just too much!

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