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: For aubztastik, who prompted with the lyrics to "Skyway Avenue" by We The Kings.
SPOILERS: Takes place post-finale. Will eventually contain lots of angst.
CHALLENGE: Written for the first International Day of Femslash.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Brick Walls
By mysensitiveside


Part 1

Jill was pulled from sleep by the sound of the ringing phone. For what seemed like the millionth time, Jill cursed her career choice, already intuiting that only something job-related would warrant a call at such an ungodly hour.

Pulling her pillow over her head, Jill heard a muffled voice answer the phone out in the hall, but she refused to get out of bed. If it was anything serious, Cindy would come get her.

Sure enough, Jill soon heard a light knock, and she peeked out from beneath her pillow to see Cindy poke her head around the door.

"Hey. That was Lindsay. Coffee'll be ready in five minutes," came the sleepy explanation, before Cindy retreated back out of the room.

It was hardly a detailed announcement, but it was all Cindy needed to say. In the month since Jill had moved in to the redhead's spare bedroom, similar phone calls had already come often enough that they'd settled into a routine for dealing with the late-night summons down to crime scenes.

Jill allowed herself another minute to soak up any last remnants of comfort she could squeeze from her bed, before dragging herself to her feet.

Padding barefoot into the kitchen, Jill found Cindy pouring two large mugs full of steaming coffee. They didn't speak, neither one fully awake yet, as Jill simply sank into one of the chairs at the table. She smiled in gratitude as Cindy slid a mug in front of her, prepared just the way she liked it.

After quickly finishing the first cup, they separated to change from tank tops and boxers into more suitable attire. As usual, Cindy was the first one ready, so when Jill exited her bedroom once again, she was immediately handed a second serving of caffeine, this time in a travel mug.

Jill finally spoke her first words since waking up as she slid into Cindy's car. "So, where are we headed this time?"

Cindy yawned before replying, "Just north of Market Street, in the Tenderloin area."

"Lovely. Nothing quite like a trip down to the seediest area of San Francisco at 3:30 in the morning. Why do I need to be there, again? I doubt that my legal expertise will actually be needed at this point. And whatever; I know what you're going to say, but screw solidarity to the club."

Cindy just smiled. The rest of the ride was held in comfortable silence, and by the time Cindy parked Maggie within sight of the flashing police cars, both women had managed to fully wake themselves up.

Jill was always amazed at the quick turnaround Cindy was able to make from half-asleep to wide awake and raring to go. She smiled amusedly as Cindy chose to jump over the police tape, instead of ducking under it.

"Hey, when did we start letting you just waltz onto crime scenes?" Jill asked, making no effort to stop Cindy.

"Um, Lindsay gave up trying to keep me away about a week ago. Way to pay attention, roomie." Cindy rolled her eyes, but softened her expression with a smile. "Anyway, there they are," Cindy pointed out, nodding her head in the direction of a cluster of people, including Lindsay, Claire, Jacobi, and Tom. "Aw man, apparently we're late to the party. I totally forgot until now that I bet Claire I could make it here faster than her this time."

Jill chuckled. "Well, you can blame it on me, I guess."

"Meaning you'll pay the bet?" Cindy batted her eyelashes, looking up at Jill with an exaggerated innocence.

"Hell, no," Jill replied, smirking. "That one's still your problem."

Cindy pouted adorably, but at that point, they were close enough to the core of the crime scene that Jill knew she didn't want to go any further. Instead, she simply watched as Cindy sent her one more smile and then turned to join the rest of the group.

Jill frowned, though, as she saw Cindy almost immediately stagger backwards. She might have collapsed to the ground, if Jacobi hadn't quickly caught the reporter's arm, holding her upright.

Ignoring her usual reluctance to getting within ten feet of a dead body, Jill rushed forward, grabbing hold of Cindy's other arm and staring in alarm and confusion as the color drained from Cindy's face.

Cindy's gaze was still fixed firmly to the body on the ground, though, and she only looked away when her own body suddenly heaved, with Cindy looking for a moment like she was going to be sick. Again, it was only the strong grips around her that kept her on her feet.

Cindy had gained the attention of the others, at that point, but it was only Jill and Jacobi who heard Cindy's whispered declaration.

"I know her."

Part 2

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