DISCLAIMER: Women's Murder Club and its characters are the property of James Patterson, 20th Century Fox Television and ABC. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Written for the Big Bang challenge at femslash_land.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To mysensitiveside[at]yahoo.com
Cindy woke up alone.
It took her a minute to remember that she hadn't gone to sleep that way. The fact that she wasn't in her own bedroom was a pretty good clue, though. She listened for sounds of life in the rest of the apartment a shower running, maybe, or some movement about the kitchen but was met with only silence.
Realizing that there wouldn't be anyone coming back to bed, Cindy finally released a sigh of disappointment and dragged herself to her feet.
She did find a note, at least. Tacked onto the refrigerator with some tacky magnet from Las Vegas.
Linz called, and I had to head downtown. You know, the usual gruesome murder to attend to. I didn't want to wake you. I don't have much in the fridge, but help yourself to whatever you can find. Coffee, I've got plenty of.
Papa Joe's with the girls later today? Claire or Linz will call you with details.
Of course. Claire or Lindsay would call her. But not Jill. Of course not.
"I swear, sometimes criminals are so dumb, they almost make it too easy!" Lindsay finished her story with a laugh.
Jill and Claire chuckled along as well, happy to have solved their case so quickly.
Cindy, however, was not in the mood. "No, what would be 'too easy' would be if that poor woman were still alive. Her murderer may be dumb enough to leave lots of evidence, but that doesn't do her much good, does it? She's still dead."
The laughter quickly cut off. "Well way to be a buzz kill, Cindy," Lindsay murmured softly into her beer, before tipping the glass back for a last gulp.
"Are you okay, honey?" Claire asked with concern. "Something's been off with you today."
Cindy didn't answer right away, but stole a quick glance towards Jill. The blonde hadn't met her eyes even once all day.
"Perfect," Cindy responded sadly. "Everything's just perfect." With a sigh, she went on, "Well I've actually got to head out. Congrats on the easy case, you guys. I'll talk to you later."
The reporter gathered her things and then left the table before anyone could protest or ask any more questions.
Just before she left the diner, though, she managed to hear the twin notes of confusion from Claire and Lindsay, and Jill's assertion of "I'll go talk to her, you two stay here."
Cindy sped up as she hit the cool night air, deciding to ignore the clacking of high heels behind her, trying to catch up.
"Just wait a second, Cindy, will you?" Jill finally called out.
The redhead sighed in resignation, slowing to a stop and allowing Jill to reach her. She still didn't turn to face her friend, though; there was no way she was going to make this easy on Jill.
"Look, Cindy," Jill sighed, running a hand through her short hair. "About last night..."
When no more words seemed to be forthcoming, Cindy finally turned to stare at Jill. "Is that it? 'About last night.' That's all you've got?" She released an unamused bark of laughter. "Yeah, thanks, Jill."
She turned to continue walking away, but Jill managed to reach out and grab her arm before she could get very far.
"Don't go, Cin. Cindy, I'm sorry. Please," Jill pled softly, holding the redhead close. "You know I'm not good at this. I'm still the same damn person I was two days ago; still only good at breaking hearts."
The tone to Jill's voice quiet, and insecure, and ashamed finally cooled Cindy's anger. She turned to face the attorney once again. "That's bullshit," she chided gently. "Sure, you've made mistakes, but maybe that's just because you haven't found the right one yet. It's not that you're inevitably a heartbreaker, Jill, you're just a coward. Too afraid that no one can trust you."
Without warning, Cindy reached up and grabbed onto the lapels of Jill's shirt, pulling the attorney down into a sudden, searing kiss. It wasn't long, but it left Jill breathless and clinging on to Cindy for support.
Jill's eyes remained closed, as Cindy continued, "I know what I'm getting into, Jill, and I trust you. So stop being so scared that you're going to break me. I'm stronger than I look."
That brought a smile to Jill's lips, and she opened her eyes for Cindy's final pronouncement. "The ball's in your court now. Be brave, and do something with it."
With that, the reporter took a few steps back and turned away, walking briskly into the night.
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