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Quirks, Quips, and All
By diamondforever


I once asked Lindsay how she could possibly stand that redhead -- quirks, quips, and everything else attached.

It was one of those days where everything that was not absolutely necessary was considered an act worthy of capital punishment. Cindy, in her usual way, was over-curious and overbearing; and I, not in any mood to deal with it, all but kicked her out my office, lunch-date cut short and all.

Only Lindsay understands these days that I have. She has a collected way of being able to perceive what it is I need from her. And so when she saw me at Joe's, fully determined to avoid Cindy's persistent questions of why I wouldn't tell her what was wrong, she only smiled. And waited.

It was after we had finished discussing the case that she affectionately whispered something in Cindy's ear that caused her to smile and ask Claire to drive her home. Once they had disappeared down the road, Lindsay turned back to me, and said nothing.

She just fixed me with that stare of hers -- the one where she communicates that she's not giving up until you come clean, that she has all the time in the world to wait for it.

"How can you take it?" I finally blurted out.

"Take what?" she asked, all feigned ignorance.

"Cindy. Her...just...her. How can you date that...energy?"

"Maybe you're just getting too old for this, Jill," Lindsay teased.

"Seriously, Linds, all day. She, like, bounced, around my office during lunch. And I mean, I love her to bits and all, but she's like that every day as far as I can see," I complained. "Maybe I am too old." I put my face in my hands, exhausted just thinking of what had happened earlier that day.

"She means well," she answered, suddenly much more candid. "She just wants to see you happy, and she doesn't want to pull it out of you like she would for a story." She placed her hand reassuringly over mine. "She's worried sick that you're angry at her, and it's her nature to just ask. She doesn't like deceptions and subtleties when it comes to people she cares about."

I straightened up and nodded, picked at the fries on the plate in front of me.

"How are you, though?" she asked gently.

"It's just one of those days," I answered, grateful that she had just come out and asked. "I have a pile of cases to work through, and Luke is just starting to talk to me again. And I haven't been sleeping too well at Claire's. Could you tell Cindy I'm sorry for ignoring her?"

"I think she'll just be relieved to know that everything is okay between the two of you," Lindsay smiled. "I'll tell her."

"Thanks," I said, grinning sheepishly. "I'm glad that you understand."

"Who else would you turn to if I weren't here?" She laughed, happy and heady. "Come on, I'll walk you to your car."

I had parked a few blocks away. We walked companionably down the sidewalk, taking in the crisp fall air.

"So, you never answered my question." I broke the comfortable silence. "How do you stand her?"

Lindsay didn't answer for another block. I knew that she was just putting the right words together. She was like that when it came to Cindy.

"When Cindy smiles, it goes all the way up to her eyes every time. And when she laughs, she shakes. When she asks a question, she wants the truth, whether it's good or bad. She cooks me dinner when she knows I'm having a bad day, and she always looks at me as though there's no one else she would rather be spending time with. I guess...I like to know that I have something good and honest to come home to after listening to lies all day."

She glanced over at me, a tenderness that she reserved for soul-baring moments like this in her eyes. "That's how I can stand her -- quirks, quips, and all."

The End

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