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: I had to reverse Claire’s words at the end of “The Past Comes Back To Haunt You”. This says Pt. 1 as I do have another fic that continues this. There may be three total in the end. Maybe more. We’ll see. =)
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

The Affects of 'Like Liking' Somebody Part 1

By e-dog


You just couldn't believe it when you heard Cindy was abducted by some random guy at pretend gunpoint. And at a crime scene! You were happy that both Jill and Claire were just as shocked and disgusted as you, otherwise, Cindy might have noticed how much you really do care for her well-being.

Jamie Galvin (the non-abductor), had given you many good reasons to utterly hate his guts, scaring the pants off of Cindy being high up on that list. You'll probably never forgot the shiner he gave you either.

Oh, oh, oh but you had to draw the line when Claire had to suggest that maybe Jamie Galvin found Cindy attractive. Seriously. . .

"What the hell was that?" you find yourself whispering to Claire, trailing both Jill and Cindy out to your parked cars.

Claire's quick reply, "What the hell was what?"

"That. Back there. Telling Cindy about Jamie maybe liking her," you clarify.

Claire stops walking, prompting you to do so as well. The rest of the non-club walks on without you, which leaves you feeling quite anxious considering the last time you had a private chat with Claire. Claire has this way of making everything you say or do feel. . .

"And what's so wrong with me saying that?" Claire demands.

Stupid. You feel stupid. Claire always makes you feel stupid and usually, you feel worse than you did in the first place. You know those aren't her intentions, or maybe they are, but she means only to protect you from yourself. Unfortunately, you have a feeling you just walked into another one of those conversations and you're only somewhat prepared for it.

So, you try very hard to come up with some reason that doesn't involve the words "jealously" or "overprotective" because frankly, you feel none of those things toward Cindy or her might-be-attracted-to-Jamie-ness. You just think that maybe . . .

"It was presumptuous, that's all," you reason. Claire just folds her arms, clearly not the least bit swayed by the use of your big SAT word. Okay, you'll have to elaborate. "I'm just saying, the girl is young and naive and giving her these crazy, romantic notions of 'young investigative reporter saves young man's dad, then ride off into the sunset together' is a bit. . .presumptuous."

"You said 'presumptuous' already," Claire points out unmercifully. "And you said 'young' about four times."

"I counted three times and okay, maybe my vocabulary is very limited right now. Not enough sleep and most certainly not enough coffee," you argue, unconsciously tapping the swollen mass of skin under your eye. You could still kill Jamie Galvin for hitting you, but Cindy was so fond of the little bastard. . .

Claire immediately slaps your arm to keep you from messing with the injured eye. With an exasperated sigh, you pettily (and certainly not as aggressively) tap her arm back to retaliate.

"I still don't see what the problem was," Claire shrugs.

You almost roll your eyes, but doing that might get you slapped across the face this time. Instead, you say, "Just don't do that, okay? Cindy gets these fantasies about how this job works and you don't need to encourage them."

You go to walk away, but Claire yanks you back by the arm and pushes, "What are you afraid of?"

"Excuse me?" you say, raising an eyebrow suspiciously. Certainly not one of the responses you were expecting. You were thinking Claire would simply take offense or maybe she would go on some tirade about how you of all people should be talking about romantic notions or fantasies.

"You heard me. What are you afraid of?" Claire asks again. She lets your arm go and continues, "Cindy may be young, but from what we've all seen these last few weeks, she's far from stupid."

You have to look at Claire sidelong for that one.

Claire concedes, "Okay, maybe she's a tad on the freewheeling side, but she can take care of herself. She's helped us many a time on our cases. If you ask me, you're overreacting."

You scoff, "Me? Overreacting?"

"Yes, yes you are," Claire actually smiles at you. She then begins to lead you toward the street, hooking an arm in yours as she also states, "You like Cindy, we all do. I think we all want to protect her because we've had more experience with this job thing, but Jamie is harmless and I do think he likes her. I was just calling it like I see it."

"Oh," you mumble, as you reach Claire's car. You watch Claire open the driver's side door, a nagging question lingering on your tongue. "So. . ."

"So?" Claire looks up, just before hopping inside the vehicle.

"So," you repeat. "I like Cindy?"

"More than you'll ever admit, yes." Claire smiles warmly again.

"And you think Jamie likes her too?" you ask, wondering where the hell this line of questioning is going.

"Yes, I think so," Claire answers, her expression looking just as confused as you feel.

"And this isn't one of those 'like like' situations, right?" you go on, not quite sure why your mouth is still running. You have a problem with not 'shutting the hell up' sometimes.

"No, I don't think it's like that and honestly, who says 'like like' anymore?" Claire says, giving you a funny look. "Are we in elementary school?"

"No," you answer quickly. You back away from the curb and wave goodbye. "Night, Claire."


"What?" you say, facing Claire again.

"When you say 'like like', you mean . . .?" Claire asks, hands on her hips now.

"As in more than 'like', but less than . . .," you go to explain, then falter. You bite your bottom lip as you attempt to find the right word. You try again, "Less than 'like like . . . like'?"

Claire just gives you a blank look.

You don't even know why you said that and try to escape again. "Night, Claire."

"No, wait. That's not what I meant," Claire calls after you again. This time when you turn around, she's right next to you and you'd be damned to know how she got there so fast. She leans in and repeats, "When you say 'like like', you're definitely referring to Jamie and not you?"

"What?" you say, almost too nervy, too high pitched to be casual.

"I knew it!" Claire gushes, hitting your arm with more force than necessary. "You 'like like' Cindy!"

"No. No, no I do not!" you argue, stepping back and away from Claire. "You said that, not me. I don't. Never will. Impossible, improbable, ridiculous."

Claire raises an eyebrow at you and you fold instantly. With a sigh, you mutter, "Okay, maybe."

"Lindsay Boxer, you are a mess," Claire proclaims, her grin all too mischievous. "Of course, after what happened with Tom, I would definitely consider this more a step in the right direction."

"What? Are you nuts?" you hiss. You glance around just to make sure Jill and Cindy have actually gone home. You grab hold of Claire's sleeve and tug on it repeatedly. "Firstly, I'm 100% straight. Secondly, she's, like, twelve! Thirdly, and most importantly, I am straight!"

"You said that twice," Claire cuts in. "Are you trying to convince me of that, or yourself?"

"Oh, for crying in the sun! Would you stop correcting my speech and listen to me?!" you nearly yell. You were trying all you could not to create a scene, but some random passerby does pause in their steps at your tone of voice. You lower your voice and make solid eye contact with Claire. "Hear these words and remember them. Never, ever will I ever consider . . ."


You and Claire straighten up quickly, watching Cindy bound up to you. You thought she went home! Your worries of being overheard, however, are quickly quelled. She's all smiles, thankfully unaware of the conversation that just transpired. "Jill and I are famished! We're going to grab a bite to eat. Wanna join?"

"Sure," Claire answers for the both of you. As Cindy walks away, Claire remarks discreetly, "Look, putting sexuality aside, if you ever considered it. . ."

You go to protest, but Claire raises up a hand in defense. "I said if. If you ever consider it, I wouldn't be against it. Would sure save me another pregnancy test scare."

You open your mouth to respond to that, but honestly, you're not quite sure what to say to that.

The End

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