DISCLAIMER: Women's Murder Club and its characters are the property of James Patterson, 20th Century Fox Television and ABC. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Cement Shoes Won't Stop Her
By GilliganKane


Part 1

Lindsay Boxer closed her eyes, blocking out the harsh florescent lighting of the precinct. She was supposed to be out on her second date with Simon, instead she was sitting at her desk with her shoes off, her feet up and eating Chinese takeout. 'Claire was wrong' she thought as she wrestled with her chopsticks. 'I don't need a man, I'm fine on my own.' Abandoning the chopsticks that just didn't seem to want to grasp her lo mien, she ransacked her desk drawer for a fork.

"You still here?" her partner asked, a hint of humor in his voice. Jacobi shuffled through some papers on his desk, putting on his jacket.

"I want to look over the…"

Jacobi cut her off. "I know you're not going to say the 'Kiss-Me-Not Killer' case files. Because Tom told you to leave it alone."

"Tom also said 'for better or for worse' and look where we are now," Lindsay responded with a wry smile.

"Just go home, if you still know where that is," Jacobi said as he jingled his car keys.

"I have a pretty good idea, yea." Lindsay was already putting her shoes back on and her lo mien was in the trash, along with the chopsticks.

The precinct door banged open and Lindsay saw a flash of red hair headed in her direction. Jacobi winced as the swinging doors slammed back together and then grinned at Lindsay who was half in her jacket, half out.

"Good luck with this one," he said as he moved away from her desk. "And tomorrow, I want to see you in a different shirt, not the one that you've been wearing for four days straight."

"You notice what I wear?" Lindsay asked playfully.

"I notice the stench alright," Jacobi shot back over his shoulder. Lindsay grinned lazily and remained standing, watching Cindy Thomas approach her. The young reporter didn't look happy.

"You gave the story to someone else," the redhead accused Lindsay, pointing a finger in the Inspector's face.

"What are you…"

"Don't try it. You gave the story to Ben Nichols! He's a junior reporter! He's nobody! He's the…"

"The one who was there when the story broke. You weren't around," Lindsay interjected, taking a step closer as her voice got more urgent, matching Cindy.

"That's bullshit Lindsay, and you know it. We had a deal. I help you, you help me. You screwed me over." Cindy's eyes were bright with rage and tears.

"You weren't there. What do you want me to do?" Lindsay slammed down an empty paper coffee cup, accomplishing nothing.

"Call me! Email me! Send a goddamn search party!" Cindy held up her cell phone and waved it in the air.

"It's not my problem anymore," Lindsay said as she locked her desk drawer and grabbed her gun. She pushed her chair in and zipped her leather jacket up halfway.

"What is your problem?" Cindy asked, stepping into Lindsay's path of escape. The brunette laughed hollowly.

"Me? My problem is I've been wearing the same shirt for almost a week now. I haven't had a good night of sleep in three days. My ex-husband is my boss. I can't catch this damn "Kiss-Me-Not" killer, and you not being around is the absolute last thing I'm worrying about!" What Lindsay didn't say was that her problem was Cindy hadn't been around and that it had been the worst four days of her life.

"I was around," the redhead said meekly, a little bit of her steam lost.

"Cindy, go home," Lindsay said in a defeated tone. The Inspector moved around the shorter woman and headed towards the exit. Her steps were slow and tired. She hadn't been this tired a minute ago.

"Lindsay. Wait." Lindsay heard footsteps behind her and then Cindy was standing next to her. "I'm sorry." Lindsay resisted the urge to smile at the apology.

"It's fine."

"No, it's not," insisted the redhead with the ghost of a frown on her face. "I let my personal life interfere with work and that…"

"I said it's fine!" Lindsay all but screamed. She stopped walking, but Cindy took an extra step forward. The Inspector looked like she was red-hot angry now, eyes ablaze with fury. "I don't care about your moral ethics or your 'work before a life' idea. You weren't there, so yea, I gave the story to someone else, someone who actually cares about their job; someone who isn't out on a date when a story breaks. Excuse me for doing my job. You should have been doing yours!" Her breathing got heavy and her hands were jammed inside her jacket pockets. It seemed like someone turned the heat on in the precinct, and Lindsay felt herself start to sweat.

"So that's what this is about, huh? That I was on a date, and you weren't; that you sat at your desk, probably eating takeout again, wallowing in your own self-pity. Well get over it Lindsay!" Cindy's fury matched the brunettes. "You're sad and lonely, but that's not anyone's fault but your own."

"I'm not sad. Or lonely!" Lindsay insisted. "I've got Martha."

Cindy scoffed. "A dog you brought home after its first owner was murdered."

"Well I'm sorry I'm not running around with the News Editor," Lindsay shot back.

"Right, cause you're so much better off than me. You went on a date with Simon, a man you pretended was your long time boyfriend so that people would think you were over Tom. And tonight? I know you had another date with Simon, and instead you're sitting here in the dark. At least I get out." Cindy marched towards the door, but turned back. "And for the record: I'm not sleeping with the News Editor. Not that it's any of your business."

"Not that it was ever my business," Lindsay muttered under her breath. Cindy heard the mutterings, but couldn't make out the words. She turned back to Lindsay, eyes narrowed, and demanded to know what the Inspector had just said.

"I said, not that it was ever my business. Face it Cindy, you never told me anything, not even when we were…you know. So not showing up at the crime scene, I kind of figured that. But what else was I expecting. You vowed to have nothing to do with me, so why are you even here." Lindsay felt like a teenager in high school, waiting to hear why she wasn't good enough.

"You gave the story to someone else." Cindy looked at the ground and wrung her hands together.

"You gave your heart to someone else," Lindsay whispered softly. Cindy's head snapped up.

"You said…"

Lindsay waved her hand in the air, then ran it through her hair. "Forget what I said. I was wrong, I was angry. I was trying to be understanding and…damn it. You suck Cindy. You honestly…" Lindsay trailed off, not sure how to express her frustration. Before Cindy could get a word in, Lindsay picked the sentence back up again. "It wasn't just a thing to do between cases or interrogations Cindy. It meant something, you meant something, and when I saw you with that damn News Editor, I just…I…"

"Felt the need to fight him in public? Totally humiliate him? And yourself?" Cindy supplied meekly.

"What if I said I was drunk?"

"I wouldn't believe it, because I know you weren't. You're just lucky that Claire got him not to press charges." Cindy took a tentative step towards the brunette, but Lindsay didn't seem to notice.

"There was nothing lucky about that night." Lindsay's eyes changed in that moment. They pleaded with Cindy and the reporter had to look away. "Let me fix it, whatever it is. I can be better, I promise."

"You didn't do anything wrong," Cindy insisted. Lindsay was confused.

"Then what? What happened?"

"It was me. I…"

"Don't you dare say 'its not you, it's me,' because that's total crap." Lindsay started walking away, out the door and all Cindy could do was jog beside the long legged woman and try and keep up. Outside the Hall of Justice, Lindsay could see Jill and Claire headed to the restaurant, and she tried to catch them. But Cindy's words stopped her cold in her tracks.

"I'm sorry. I didn't want to hurt you." Cindy took a breath. "The first time it happened, I didn't think it was real. I mean, look at you Lindsay. You're incredible. And I'm just this reporter who only hung around to get a story, and then to get into your "club" because I don't have any friends of my own. But then I kissed you and yea, I was drunk, but my god…I've never kissed anyone like that in my life, let alone make the first move. You make me nervous Lindsay. You're so sure of yourself, and you know what you want. Put a little alcohol in me and you get a completely different person." Lindsay's face fell in defeat. She didn't want to stick around to hear about being a drunken mistake – she already had too much on her plate.

"Jill! Claire!" In front of her, the two women turned around and noticed the tall brunette. They stopped and waited for her to catch up.

"Lindsay, please," Cindy pleaded from behind her. "Can't we go back to how it was." Lindsay turned suddenly.

"Kiss me."

Cindy looked stunned. "What?"

"Kiss me, right here, right now. If you don't feel a single thing – other than repulsion – then we go our separate ways. I'll be your friend and tell you about investigations, you write the stories. But if you feel something, anything, for me, then you give me a second chance."

"No," Cindy said, shaking her head.

"Why not?"

"Because," Cindy looked past Lindsay at Claire and Jill. "Because we both know that if I kiss you now, I'm not going to stop and that can't happen."

Lindsay took a desperate step towards Cindy, stepping into the reporter's personal space so that the redhead had to look up to see Lindsay's eyes. "Who says it can't happen?"

Cindy shook her head sadly. "Lindsay, it's…"

"Just kiss me."

Lindsay grabbed Cindy's chin and lifted it up. The Inspector's mouth descended upon the redhead's, cutting off any protest. Cindy tried to wriggle free, but Lindsay's grasp was steady and Cindy gave up, submitting to the feel of Lindsay's lips on hers. When they broke apart, Cindy looked away.


"Cindy," Lindsay said with a smile.

"This isn't funny."

"Who said it was?"

"You're incorrigible."

"You use big words."

"It means you're hopeless."

"I know what it means, Ms. Thesaurus."

"I can't." Cindy looked away. Lindsay sighed and shoved her hands back into her pockets – her defense mechanism. Lindsay Boxer was shutting down.

"I have to go catch up with Jill and Claire. They're probably wondering what the hell just happened. It's going to be a long dinner." Lindsay started walking away, the first couple of steps still facing Cindy. Her eyes were shining in the streetlights, tears forming. Her shoulders were slumped over and she looked like a teenage boy who had just been rejected by the prom queen. Then she spun on her heel and hurried down the street.

"I'm sorry," Cindy whispered to Lindsay's retreating back. She wanted to chase after the brunette, but her feet were stuck and she couldn't move them, no matter how hard she tried.

Part 2

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