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.

By Demeter


At 4:30 in the morning, Lindsay wants to collapse on her bed face first and sleepp for 24 straight. The former might be an option, but she is way too wired to sleep after four solid hours on the phone with Cindy's mother, trying to convince her to give consent for her daughter to undergo a procedure that is possibly painful and dangerous.

That's because Lindsay can't make this decision. What they have, what they once were to each other and God, she hopes so much that they can get there again – it doesn't count in this situation, because the People of California have said so. Not all of them mind you, but enough to make this mess happen. She doesn't really have the energy to be mad over politics at it at the moment but it scares her, because she doesn't know what happens once Cindy comes out of that chair.

Her only solace is that Sarah Thomas doesn't hate her, not even when she hadn't told her right away that Cindy was missing. Lindsay remembers that conversation clearly

"I really didn't want to tell you as long as I still have hope."

"Did it never occur to you that I would have wanted to share that hope with you?" Sarah had asked.

They don't know each other well, but they both want what's best for Cindy. Her mother was reluctant when Lindsay told her as much she could about what was necessary to hopefully make Cindy herself again.

"What did they do to her? Did they hurt my baby?"

For a long, painful moment, Lindsay couldn't breathe. For sure, the bastards did. Then, Sarah had asked an uncomfortable question, "Is she happy the way she is now?"

Lindsay walks into the living room where Cindy is sleeping on the couch, peaceful and relaxed still with the same small smile on her face. She doesn't want to disturb her, but she can't not sit down and reach out, brush a strand of hair from her face.

Warm skin under her fingertips, reassuring her that it's not a dream.

"It's not her."

And still, for the moment, it's easy to uphold the illusion. That Cindy could just wake up and be herself again, without going back to the haunted house and getting imprinted with her own mind.

When Sarah still had doubts, Lindsay had given the phone to Cindy who'd taken it with a happy smile. Not because of talking to her mother, though. "Hello," she said. "This is Libra. Who are you?"

When Lindsay had taken back the phone, Sarah was crying.

"She is sad," Cindy said wistfully.

Lindsay had done more explaining and reasoning and if she recalls it correctly, some begging, just so Cindy's mom would sign the form that the D.A.'s office in L.A. had come up with for the actives' next of kin, because in their 'wiped' state, they could hardly grasp the concept of what was happening in the chair enough to make an informed decision. How could anybody be sure?

In the end, Sarah agreed to print it out from the e-mail and send back a fax.

Lindsay jumps up at the sound of an incoming fax and seconds later, she picks up the sheets with trembling hands. It's the key to Cindy's, to their new life.

"Thank you," she whispers.

She returns to the living room where she sits in the armchair this time. She might not be able to sleep but maybe, she can get a little rest tonight.

The End

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