DISCLAIMER: Women's Murder Club and its characters are the property of James Patterson, 20th Century Fox Television and ABC. Dollhouse belongs to Joss Whedon and Fox. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Until the break of Dawn
Staring up at the ceiling, Lindsay tries to hold back the tears that threaten to break her fragile composure. The woman curls up against her side, an arm around her waist in a loving gesture. Lindsay can't look at her, look into those amazing eyes right now.
They used her as a distraction and she used her as a way to fill the gaping void that had been stretched over her life since Cindy had gone missing in LA, when she was about to uncover the story of her life.
It's an appropriate punishment Lindsay thinks, that now the guilt is starting to eat her from the inside. She is no better than the ones who sent her this imitation. A severely traumatized woman whose identity has been taken away to be replaced with the thoughts, feelings and memories of another.
She finally caves, turning to find the other woman already looking at her. It's scary. There's the familar affection, now with a hint of worry in her gaze, the love Lindsay needed so long to believe it was really there. Too long. It's all there, but this is not the face or the body of the woman she'd die to protect.
It makes her wonder what they have done to Cindy in order to make this happen, and that really makes her cry. She's at the end of her wits. She's crossed a line she never should have approached in the first place. But Lindsay had been helpless, and they'd known it; she couldn't have not been attracted to the infectious enthusiasm, the intelligence and the gentle soul that made up Cindy Thomas's personality. In every way.
"Don't cry," the woman whispers. "I'm right here. I won't go anywhere."
No. Until they snatch you again and wipe all traces of her from your brain.
Lindsay disentangles herself from the embrace and sits on the side of her bed, bending over with the sheet wrapped around her. She can't take this anymore.
Even without looking, she knows that it will be Cindy's hurt showing on the other woman's face because she can't possibly understand what she's done wrong.
Lindsay didn't know right away, but her excuses ran out when Agent Ashe faxed her the files of a colleague of his. Still, she let her in, made love to her just to hear a whispered 'I love you', to have someone touch her exaxtly like Cindy would. Because if they'd made an imprint... You couldn't get that from a living person, right?
She's starting to shake, wanting nothing but to escape from this nightmare, any way.
"You can't give up now." The voice doesn't sound soft anymore. Lindsay wonders with wary interest if the ones running this show can turn switches inside their brains from the outside.
"Who are you to say?" Chances are, this is just another way of trying to deceive her. Lindsay isn't sure if she even cares anymore.
You can't make imprints from living people.
She looks up into the face of the woman standing in front of her. There's no hint of Cindy anymore and for sure, Lindsay can't recognize the picture of the young woman that was in the file Ashe sent her, Caroline.
Everything that Cindy found out is true and most likely, she paid for it with her life.
"What the hell do you want from me?" It doesn't feel strange at all to talk to her like this, because this isn't the same woman who has, just moments ago, cried out her name. Nothing left of the feverish passion they've shared.
"I've got a message from Cindy for you," Echo says.
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