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SERIES: In Deep Series

Tonight While I'm Making Excuses
By Demeter


"I'm sorry. I... I can't."

Maura leaned back against the wall with a frustrated sigh, raking a hand through her disheveled hair. "God, Jane, you're such a tease."

Given Maura's state of undress, unbuttoned blouse and her skirt up to her thighs, Lindsay couldn't blame her. She had only herself to blame. She should have never let things get this far. Too many lonely nights and the taste of the girly cocktail on Maura's lips had driven her right off the righteous path.

She couldn't pretend any longer, and Maura sure wasn't drawing her lines for her. That was because she had no idea.

"It's not what you think." And that was at least half of the truth. Lindsay had embraced being Jane Rizzoli pretty well. Except... She had her answer now, yes, she could be attracted to another woman. The realization only brought a wave of longing for that past that was painful.

Maura was smart, with a mind no doubt as sharp as her scalpel was, and she'd been taking care of herself long before Lindsay came around. That didn't mean Lindsay wasn't feeling protective of her, in a way that was eerily reminiscent. That was why she couldn't just give in. It wouldn't be fair to either of them.

"It's late," Maura said with more than just a hint of regret as she straightened her clothes. "I should go."

Lindsay slumped on the side of the bed, leaning forward to cover her face with her hands. She had a job to do. People's lives depended on it.

But Maura, she wasn't the enemy.

"I'll see you tomorrow then. Bye Jane."

"Maura, please," Lindsay whispered, embarrassed to feel her vision blur. She'd been braver when coming face to face with serial killers.

At the door, Maura hesitated. Lindsay studied her friend who was, unaware, reminding her of everything that was so very wrong with her life right now. A medical examiner, one of the best in her profession. Like Claire. A woman with an unmistakable sense of style – like Jill. These women had shared some of her darkest hours. And then, Maura kept tying her to a dream never to be lived.

"What do you want me to do?" Maura asked, obviously at a loss.

"Just... stay?" She was standing close to the slope, so why not jump? "There's something I need to tell you."

Maura came back to sit beside her. Kicking off her shoes, she leaned close to embrace Lindsay.

Letting herself be held, Lindsay just wanted to pretend for a moment that she still knew where friendship ended and confusion began.

Maybe it wasn't the healthiest reaction, but even with a madman in her face, Cindy couldn't bring herself to cringe in fear. She was simply tired. So very tired.

"Lindsay is dead," she said, the words causing more pain than the cut on her temple. She was still bleeding all right, and if it could all be over soon, who was she to disagree? "I'm sure you read the article. They said it was an accident."

"But she isn't," he grinned, raising the knife again after he'd adjusted the webcam. "And I know just the thing to lure her out of hiding."

How ironic that someone who wanted her dead would give her the illusion of hope. However, Cindy didn't think she had much use for that illusion any longer.

"Whatever you say," she murmured, gritting her teeth against the pain even as the scream was rising within.

The End

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