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: Mostly fluff, bit of angst. Must have angst; builds character and puts hair on your chest. Good for the soul. Never written this fandom or pairing, never even seen the show, but the author's here wrote so well I felt I knew these women already. So this goes to you guys at P&P who turn dreams into realities. Hope it's not too wildly out of character
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Lindsay drew in a big breath and faced her quarry, willing herself to disregard every distraction. She was a police officer, had mastered the art of denial, and could most definitely keep her head with this one. She hoped
"It just wouldn't work." She started, eyes steadfastly locked on a pair of boots in front of her. She'd have to work on eye-to-eye contact.
"It so would." Was the eager reply, the smile unmistakable. The boots came closer.
"We don't know that." Boxer responded, holding her ground; she hadn't expected this to be easy. "We shouldn't ruin the relationship we already have over a superficial crush." She placed the palm of her hand against a rapidly breathing chest as the boots edged closer. She still wouldn't look up.
"It's superficial now " The statement tailed off but the implication of domestic bliss was obvious.
"No." She reiterated, flexing her fingers to counteract the less-than-gentle push of a breastbone against her hand. "I'm old enough to be your mother."
"Pfft." Her detainee huffed, a grin curling pouting lips. "I never got hot over my mother."
"Come on!" Lindsay removed her hand as if burned, plainly appalled. "That's just not right."
The mock-up conversation dissolved as ADA Jill Bernhardt folded over into laughter. Lindsay gave her a disgusted glance before moving over to the other side of the autopsy room to bang her head against one of the freezer doors. The loud clang echoed in her ears with Jill's laughter.
"You're supposed to be helping." Lindsay spat, curling her hands into fists at her sides. If Jill didn't stop laughing at her, all bets on the legal-wonder's safety were off.
"I'm just getting into character." Jill recovered, wiping at a tear threatening to spoil her mascara.
Lindsay turned on her with a glare. "She wouldn't say that."
"She so would." The lawyer contested, moving her gaze from the tall inspector to the other woman in the room who was casually unfolding the wrapper of a chocolate bar as though she were at the cinema. "She would, right?"
Claire Washburn, medical-examiner-extraordinaire, shrugged her shoulders and continued with the treat in her hands. "Hmm."
Jill wouldn't be dissuaded from her line of attack, regardless of the other woman's noncommittal answer. Time to crank it up a notch. "Oh please, she's like a bitch in heat and you swagger through here with your legs and curves, all leather and smoulder, driving the poor thing to keel over in a fit of wet hormones."
Lindsay's face went scarlet but any retort through pursed lips was cut off by the bellowing of Claire's motherly disapproval. "Jillian Bernhardt!"
The blonde lawyer ducked her head and Lindsay looked almost mollified. Until that is, Claire finished the sentence, to which Lindsay nearly bit off the end of her tongue. "'Dog' would have been completely acceptable." She chided. "The use of language like that was unnecessary."
Jill nodded, accepting the point, but turned to Lindsay with a wicked, shit-eating grin. "Told, ya."
Lindsay flipped her antagonistic friend off, almost tempted to do the same to Claire. "You're not helping." She said, gritting her teeth against the heat pushing up her neck. She needed to get out of this situation, not muddy the waters with talk about sex and legs.
"Honey." Claire stated, imminently patient. "What is it you want us to do? You obviously have a tiny crush on the girl and thanks to Jill " The lawyer grinned shamelessly at the fleeting look of disapproval. "We know exactly how she feels about you."
Lindsay jack-knifed. "That's it; 'girl'!" She threw her hands up and then ferociously ploughed them through her hair. "She's a girl and I'm a damn pervert for even thinking about-!"
The inspector's mouth clamped shut upon seeing the predatory glint flash in Jill's eyes at her unintentional words, even more terrified a moment later to see a similar probing glance from Claire. They had latched onto her slip and she was not going to like anything that followed.
"Think about ?" Jill encouraged slyly, advancing on her friend who backed against the freezers with another clang. Claire was blocking any escape in the other direction and between the two of them, they were making Lindsay's throat convulsively swallow. "It's the hair, isn't it?"
"Has to be." Claire agreed. "Haven't seen her look twice at you."
Jill stuck her tongue out at the jibe but none the less, relentlessly pursued Lindsay's 'apparent thoughts'. "Long red hair, chocolate, coy eyes and legs " Jill bit her lip, playing to Lindsay's struggling libido and released a pent up sigh that was too erotic to not be well practised.
It had the desired effect and Lindsay's eyes rolled into the back of her head, fingers slipping for purchase against the bank of body freezers. "The hair." She admitted breathlessly, almost able to feel the silkiness of it under her restless fingers. "And the eyes, and the legs and all the stuff in between."
The tall, raven inspector was almost writhing against the blank surface, struggling with morality and sexuality. She couldn't deny, not to herself, that she wanted Cindy Thomas; the newest addition to their loose club. She had been ingratiating at first, a wet behind the ears reporter whose reckless disregard preyed on Lindsay's taught nerves. But somehow she had turned into a woman and crawled into Lindsay's 'bed thoughts' and frosted heart. It was utterly mortifying and she wasn't about to declare it to those who would undoubtedly torture her with it, mercilessly.
"She's Irish." Claire added. "She'll definitely have the constitution to deal with you."
Lindsay's eyes shot open wide to look at the shorter woman. All the allusion of why Cindy would need great vigour bombarding her all at once.
"Please." Lindsay rasped, determinately pushing all and any thoughts of entertaining Cindy's apparent crush to the back of her mind. "Just help me."
Jill smiled sadly, the game lost. Lindsay was desperate and she was frightened, and it wasn't right to torment her anymore, much as the results yielded endless material for future emotional blackmail. If Claire's consoling glance to her, while the southerner's eyes were shut in defeat, was anything to go by, she was thinking the same thing.
Pseudo conversations where Jill pretended to be Cindy and Lindsay tried to explain the whole lot of wrong that would accompany any relationship between them, was not cutting it. It was time to go for gold and help their friend out, even if it was not the way she intended.
The blonde lawyer looked around the room for a moment before reaching across to one of the side panels. In her slender fingers she clutched a stethoscope, one of the many superfluous medical items that Claire kept down here. She placed the rubbery ear pieces in Lindsay's ears, before placing the bell over her chest.
"Listen." She instructed. There was no room for argument and so Lindsay obeyed, picking out the steady thump of her own heart that was almost drowned by the sound of heaving lungs.
Jill reached up on her toes so her lips almost skirted Lindsay's ear. When she spoke her voice was barely a whisper, deadly serious with intent. "Now listen to this Cindy loves you."
Lindsay's heart made a painful lurching sound where she could feel it strike her ribs, stop, then beat forward with something akin to a palpitation. The initial jolt had been for fear at the implications but the following thunderous noise was for something entirely different.
She removed the ear pieces with a desolate smile. She appreciated the effort her friends made in showing her a truth she already knew but it didn't change anything. "I could never make her happy " She confessed, her eyes shining.
And so they reached the root of Lindsay's reluctance. The delicate reporter had already tamed the wild beast. But with the awareness of the gentle emotion between them, Lindsay's protective instincts had tripled and she wouldn't allow the one person she felt such a deep emotion for, become hurt by it.
It was so like Lindsay and so terribly frustrating. Her heart was ceaselessly in the right place but her devotion to her job and purpose as a police officer made the woman immovable.
"You don't know that." Claire soothed, her chocolate forgotten as she lightly cupped Lindsay's cheek.
Lindsay's resolve broke and the inner demons she had wrestled with for many years, even before Cindy's appearance, threatened to surface all at once in hot tears. She fought them back with everything she had, the hoarseness in her voice betraying the battle. "I can't I can't do what I did to Tom, to Cindy." She slipped down the freezers until she was slumped on the floor. "I can't hurt her."
The uncharacteristic display of emotion nearly rendered both women speechless. Their friend loved them, that they always knew, but she would be the last person to express, or admit to, emotions like that. Lindsay Boxer just couldn't take the pain that accompanied a liberated heart. Not like Jill could, or Claire, and especially Cindy. Too many years on the trail of a deranged serial killer had turned Lindsay into a bit of a headcase herself.
That wasn't to say she was without emotion. Lindsay smiled, laughed and slumped with the rest of them. But she would never let on the depth of the emotion. She was cool. Always.
Jill and Claire also dipped to the floor with Lindsay, both dying to reach out but aware of the barrier between their needing touch and Lindsay's resilient interior. They wouldn't be able to reach her, only push her back. Yet, the desire was too much and both women placed comforting hands on their friend's knees, urging the tremulous regard to connect with theirs.
"You ever think she could hold her own against you?" Jill asked gently, treading forward on egg shells. "I mean, joking aside, the woman is a firecracker Lindsay; she's pulled you down a peg or two."
"I know you're scared, beautiful It'll be tough and God knows we can do without the drama." The last was said with a grin that Lindsay reciprocated with a sad half-smile. "But you aren't that woman any more. You won't make the same mistakes again and you know what; it's gonna hurt so much more to say no, than it will to say yes."
There was silence, even the burgeoning smile slipped away, back into the smoky depths of Lindsay.
"Can " Lindsay looked up, face devoid of inflection. "Can I be alone for a while?"
Jill went to protest but Claire stopped her with a firm grip on her forearm. "Sure, honey." She rose to her feet, drawing the lawyer up with her. It was end of shift; there was no one down here anymore, other than them, and Lindsay had the keys to lock up. "Call if you need us?" She asked, the hope clearly evident.
Lindsay nodded. "Sure."
For long hours Lindsay rested against the body banks in the morgue. Her backside went numb and her eyes drooped but sill she didn't move, comforted by the silence that was broken only by the flitting of a fly caught in the overhead lights. She just stayed, let the world wash over her.
Eventually, she drifted down the solid surface and rested bodily against the floor, falling asleep in short order
Awareness came through the fog of a dream; slender fingers in her hair, a weight being rested over her prone body and her head readjusted to a pillow. She mumbled an objection, shifting closer to the warmth now close to her own chilled form.
"I should take you home." The voice whispered, fingers ceaselessly moving through her hair in a soothing motion.
"Comfy." Was her sleep-thick reply. Lindsay inhaled deeply as if to affirm the declaration, instantly recognising the light scent that sailed into her senses. "Figures " She mumbled, curling closer.
"Figures you'd be in my dreams too." She replied after a moment, wrestling with the pull of conscious thought. She didn't fight too hard with it, content to stay here were there was comfort. The dream of Cindy's fingers in her hair never stopped and the muscles in her thigh were the softest thing Lindsay had ever rested upon.
"Been thinking about me?" Cindy asked, curling a lock of ebony hair behind Lindsay's ear, the tip of her nail scraping the soft skin.
Lindsay felt a shiver run down her spine. "Only all the time." She said offhand, voice still heavy with slumber. She didn't open her eyes.
Cindy seemed to take it in stride, like Lindsay dreamed she always would. Her voice was smooth. "What do you dream about?"
"Hair Eyes, legs and all the stuff in between." She sighed, a mix of peace and restlessness. "'Dream about this."
Lindsay curled her fingers into the folds of Cindy's jeans, revelling in the closeness that only came in dreams. In the grip of midnight reveries, she never had a problem burrowing into the other woman's arms. The fear, the hope and the desperation all wilted away.
Her grip said 'Hold me always ' and for once, her mind did not dissuade her.
"Just this?" The evaporation of Cindy inquired.
Lindsay felt like she was free-falling. "Sometimes Other times I can kiss you." She breathed, instantly finding she was rising to her knees.
Cindy's brown eyes traced a burning line to Lindsay's lips, the desire flickering there like embers when Lindsay leaned in pressed a chaste kiss to her jaw. For a desperate moment, Lindsay almost thought she wasn't dreaming. The heat funnelling down her neck and the shiver that rushed up her spine, meeting in the middle to explode outwards, felt too real to be the imagery of a dream.
But it was definitely a dream, because only in dreams would she throw pretence aside and grab at Cindy like she was about to fall off the edge of the world. She wouldn't suffocate the other woman with demanding, insistent lips that were rough but hot. Their teeth wouldn't catch, tongue's warring along gums as Lindsay's dream tumbled to the floor, held there by her own weight. She most certainly wouldn't drive sharp nails under Cindy's blouse, popping buttons and tearing skin.
"God, what are you doing to me ?" Lindsay rasped, begging. Something inside her was falling apart and she couldn't stop it.
Cindy arched into the hand scoring up the inside of her thigh. "I don't know " She moaned, splitting her bottom lip with her teeth. "But don't stop."
Lindsay's eyes flew open, her hand skirting away to support her weight as she suddenly realised she was prone over Cindy's smaller body; very much awake and not dreaming. For a moment her vision was filled with the image of Cindy's head thrown to the side, her fist in her hair as her bottom lip slid through clenched teeth. She was the picture of helpless desire and Lindsay's head swam with the closeness of her. Fragrant perfume filled her nose.
"I-I... I-." Lindsay's stammering and shaking head was halted by a painted nail over her lips.
"You can." Cindy affirmed, using her own confidence to steady the woman who was teetering on the edge of panic. "And I want you to."
God, she wanted her to
Better sense told Lindsay to back off; that nothing good would come of a relationship between them. She lived in the firing line of every maniac in San Francisco, was obsessed with her job and already had one failed marriage under her belt. Much as she wanted nothing more than to collapse into Cindy's warmth, she didn't want to face her in five years time as awkward ex-lovers.
"I know what you're thinking." Cindy admonished, her voice still thick with want. "You're thinking you don't have room for this in your perfectly organised regime, that I'm too young for you and a whole bunch of other crap." She reached up so her lips were brushing over Lindsay's, her breath a warm caress. "But we both know I'm the best thing that's ever happened to you."
"It hurts to hold it back " Lindsay admitted. The torture in the confession was evident in her dark eyes that trembled.
Cindy cupped her cheek with a gentle smile, still whispering her words over Lindsay's lips. "So don't."
The following kiss was more than an inevitable follow on from their close proximity and the previous moments of delirium. It was more than a surrender of control.
It was admitting the truth and that there was just no hiding from it anymore.
Initial moment of panic aside, seeing Lindsay and Cindy wrapped around each other on an autopsy bench, Claire wasn't surprised to find them so the following morning. The location could do with work, but so long as they stayed together, were always there for one another, the dark woman would be happy.
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