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Taking Back The Night
By Demeter


Case closed. It's one of the most satisfying phrases in Lindsay Boxer's life. So it's not really a bad thing that she's up at three in the morning, glass of wine in hand, once more checking the locks and enjoying the peaceful if surreal ambience set by the full moon light. It's part of the ritual, the letting go.

Like hanging out with her friends at Papa Joe's and rehashing the details of the case.

Martha is awake, too, watching her attentively from her observation spot on the couch. Martha clearly understands about the need for closure.

Lindsay traces her fingertips over the cool shiny metal of the locks. They are brand new. This last one got close, a misogynistic murdering son of a bitch who got furious when his game was spoilt – by a club of women, nonetheless. He was in here, but in her mind, she has mostly erased his presence. It's not an option to move every time one of them challenges her to a final showdown in her own home. Lindsay laughs softly at her thoughts. She must be still out of it, just a little.

The twinge in her shoulder is also reminiscent of that last encounter, but she brushes that aside, too. She's had closer calls.

This might be some twisted kind of reasoning, but in the end, Lindsay is kind of grateful for how things have turned out. If it hadn't been for this case, who knows...

"Funny, isn't it?" she asks Martha who yawns in return. Lindsay is tired, too, it's the wine after a long day, and looking forward to the first of a good night's sleep in a while. The idea prompts another smile; it wasn't all work that made the day long. She really loves their routine, gathering together in Claire's office and finding the one clue leading them to the perp; Jill taking just a few minutes to push through the warrant, finally arresting the bastard – "and we're on the record," she says, feeling giddy. Martha's look says that if she could roll her eyes at her mistress, she would.

"You're right, I'm getting silly. I should go back to bed."

A soft bark is the appreciative answer. Lindsay will stay for a little while longer though, taking this moment for herself to stop and wonder about how her life has turned out, in a heartbeat. She goes through her own little slideshow, the memory causing a pleasant shiver down her spine. Lindsay realizes two things when she gets up to carry the glass back into the kitchen. She's happy. And with being happy, there comes this black bottomless pit of fear, of losing it again.

Not this time, though, she won't.

Lindsay walks back into her bedroom a few minutes later, slipping under the covers, and she's sure she'll be able to sleep now. The ghosts are banned for a while.

"Is everything okay?"

She relaxes into the embrace of the arms coming around her immediately, smiling. What's it with all the smiling lately anyway? She's getting soft, that's for sure, and there's only one person to blame. "I'm fine." Words Lindsay has often used as an evasion, but this time, they're the simple plain truth.

Cindy sighs softly, party relieved, partly concerned. She has yet to figure out all of Lindsay's weird habits, late-night and otherwise, but Lindsay has no doubts that she will. They have a lot of time for these things now. Like, the rest of their lives.

"We're on the record now," she says, still giddy, her vision blurring a little. Case closed. Those are such satisfying, hopeful words.

"We totally are," Cindy says, and there's a smile in her voice, too.

The End

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