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: Prompt Jill/Cindy, “without doctor’s permission” from the episode “The Truth Will (Sometimes) Set You Free.” So spoilers for that one. Goes to [info]serenitymeimei, who prompted me. I kind of like this one, as far as Jill/Cindy goes, so I hope you do as well. Title and cut from Taking Back Sunday’s You're So Last Summer
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

These Grass Stains On My Knees
By TexasWatermelon


Jill doesn't really think it's strange, to be lying there in the hospital bed, head pressed back into a flat pillow with the thin, scratchy sheets surrounding her body. Cindy's tiny body is pressed against her; her head is resting heavily on Jill's shoulder, her normally-bouncy-now-flat red hair brushing lightly against the blonde's pale cheek. Her chest is rising and falling in time with the beeping of the heart monitor and her breath is soft with morphine-induced sleep. Jill has her arm wrapped protectively around the girl's waist, the IV tubes tickling the back of her hand as she stares blankly at the Spanish soap opera on the tiny television, the only channel she could find.

To anyone who doesn't know them, it might be strange. To anyone who does know them it would definitely be strange. But Jill promised that they were friends now, and she meant it. It isn't strange.

Cindy wakes up some three hours after visiting hours have ended, but for some reason Jill's still there, still watching the same channel, still holding her tightly. She smiles softly when she realizes she's awake and asks if she's feeling okay. Cindy nods to the affirmative and glances at the TV.

"Good show?" she questions playfully. Jill shrugs.

"I'm not really sure what they're saying, but I think I've gathered that Carlos has been cheating on Manuela with Ricky's wife Vanessa," she says blandly. "Of course, they could also all be siblings fighting over their dead father's estate. I haven't decided which."

Cindy laughs, which turns into a weak cough, which makes her wince. Jill frowns, squeezing her even more tightly against her body until she recovers.

"You shouldn't be doing that, you know," she says sternly after Cindy's had a sip of water.

"What, laughing?" Cindy asks, raising her eyebrow at the ridiculousness of it. Jill concedes that the thought was stupid.

Cindy rests her head back on Jill's shoulder and they lay there watching the show together. "Tell me what they're saying," Jill requests softly after a few moments and Cindy begins to translate for her until she drifts off to sleep again.

Cindy's released from the hospital a week later, with strict instructions from the doctor to take it easy and get plenty of bed rest and a pharmacy full of medications and bandages and creams. Jill doesn't even think when she offers to stay with her because she knows that Cindy doesn't want her mother hanging around anymore, and she can't stay by herself for another few weeks, and Lindsay's too busy screwing Magic Muffin Boy with every spare second she has before he goes to Cambodia, and Claire's still trying to work things out with Ed and take care of her kids at the same time. Jill doesn't really have any obligations other than her job, and she's really been looking for an excuse to get out of Claire's place for a while anyway.

There's a quick realization that taking care of Cindy isn't going to be quite as easy as Jill thought it would be because Cindy doesn't want to be taken care of. She hates the way that her medicine makes her drowsy, and the fact that Jill has to dress her wound for her after each shower, because she can't quite do it herself. She hates the fact that she's not allowed to go to work or help them with the newest case because she's not really allowed to leave the house just yet. She resents the entire situation, and she resents Jill for being so damned diplomatic about it all because when Cindy gets bitchy, Jill never bites back.

"Where are you going?" Jill asks one day when she comes home to find Cindy struggling to tie her Chuck Taylors because she's bent down in a position that makes her chest ache.

"Out," is the reply, and Jill raises an eyebrow somewhat condescendingly.

"You're not allowed to go out," she reminds the redhead.

"And who are you, my mother?" Cindy snaps, finally pulling the strings into a sufficient loop. Jill merely looks down at her and Cindy sighs. "I'm sorry. But I have to get out of here. I can't… I just can't stay here any longer."

The look in her eyes is that of a prisoner who hasn't seen daylight for ten years. She knows that if it were her, she'd be tired of being so helpless all day every day. She can only imagine that the feeling is amplified by a power of twenty for Cindy, who already possesses so much energy on a normal day.

"I'm going against doctor's orders, here," she says, grabbing Maggie's keys from the hook on the wall. Cindy smiles.

"I know. Thanks."

They end up on a large hill overlooking a deserted soccer field, its nets long since eaten away by weather and time, leaving behind the framework of rusty goals. It's not a very pretty spot in Jill's opinion, but it's where Cindy wants to be.

The reporter rests her head against Jill's shoulder, and Jill's happy enough to put her arm around the tiny waist and pull her in closer, the body contact a shield against the chill breeze that's started to blow.

"I used to play on this field when I was little," Cindy says informatively. Jill chuckles.

"Really? I never pictured you for a soccer player. Field hockey, maybe. Or perhaps softball."

"I wasn't very good," Cindy replies shamelessly. "But my dad would come and watch me play every Sunday. He would cheer so hard for me that sometimes I could imagine I was the best player in the world."

Jill doesn't know exactly what to say to that, so she rests her head on top of Cindy's and stares out onto the steadily darkening field, imagining a tiny redhead running up and down it frantically, a look of pure determination on her face. The image isn't very different than the present-day Cindy, which makes Jill smile a little.

"I'm glad we're friends again," Cindy says softly a few minutes later.

"Me too," Jill agrees. Cindy yawns widely, but Jill doesn't offer to take them home just yet. She knows that Cindy will tell her when she's ready to go. She turns and presses a tiny kiss to the top of Cindy's head instead.

The End

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