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: Thanks to Melissa for the beta! :) This is an epilogue/alternate ending for episode 1x11.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
"Wow. If that's the result of you feeling guilty, I must make you feel guilty more often."
My voice still sounds slightly raspy as I curl up against her side, smiling when she pulls me into her arms.
"I don't need a reason," Lindsay whispers. "You inspire me every time."
No, she doesn't need a reason to make my heart stop; it happens every time she just looks at me that way... I was pretty chanceless from the day we met. But what's more important at the moment, with me being all fired up with adrenaline still, she makes me feel safe like no one else can.
I really was terrified. I know my job, and I'm willing to take a risk for the sake of a story, but this was a whole different league. Lindsay just goes into this kind of situation on a daily basis, because it's her job.
I've known all this for quite a while, but it's a moment like this when the realization hits home and I can't deny the real danger, the possibilty that one day, in some other context, some other guy will pull the trigger.
The thought makes me shudder, and she wordlessly tightens her arms around me. "Thank you," I say, and there isn't really much else to say, except I can't bear silence for too long, and I just have to get this out of the way: "I mean, for coming here when you could have been on a date with Scone Guy."
Lindsay chuckles. "I think I'll take a brave girl over a guy who's almost being scared off by an invisible gun any time. Two weeks... He'll be gone anyway."
I don't have the words to express how glad this makes me.
"Two weeks is way too short to explore the possibilties." I rest my head on her shoulder, and her fingers tangle in my hair, the familiarity startling. Like it's been forever. We'd known each other for three weeks, two days and 14 hours the first time. Yes, I've counted.
"I hope you plan to stay around - and not bail on me for some wild story happening on the other side of the globe."
My heart flutters with happiness at this unexpected revelation. Lindsay's always playing it cool, this, us, and that's okay, I know her boundaries and won't overstep them. Not yet.
"I'm not going anywhere. I promise."
"That's good." She kisses the top of my head, and this time, the shiver that travels all along my spine is not caused by any flashback of today's events. Inspired? I am. I extract myself from her embrace moving until I'm poised over her, resting my weight on my elbows. I can feel her breathing quicken and I smile.
With some corrections, this day still turns out to be perfect.
"You know something, Lindsay Boxer?" I say. "You're very pretty."
Lindsay laughs at that, but pretty soon that changes until there's only the breathless whisper of my name.
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