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


It is the moment she realizes she is standing on a cliff and there is no turning back, and in front of her... A long way down.

Cindy is reading over some notes, so focused on them she doesn't notice her glasses slipping from her nose. Lindsay has been watching TV; a nice domestic scene the two of them make together.

But it's when the news show for the third time Adelle DeWitt, flanked by her lawyers, telling the press that some short-sighted people in law enforcement misunderstood the importance of science that Lindsay realizes the end of the line is reached. If she listens to a single more word, she might do something crazy, like shooting at the TV.

Slowly on shaking legs, she gets up and is already halfway across the room when Cindy notices her departure. "Everything okay?" she asks worriedly, has just now noticed the pictures on the TV screen.

"Sure," Lindsay says. "I'll be right back."

In the bedroom, she sits on the side of the bed, after a moment drawing up her legs and lying down. There's a pressure building behind her eyes. She feels strangely detached. She reaches up to touch her face, almost surprised to feel her fingers come away wet.

There is no reason. Sure, nothing is really like before but Lindsay has made a lot of promises to whoever might have been listening; if Cindy was okay, they'd be dealing with everything else. Mostly, they have.

There is no immediate danger anymore. Nothing left to fear.

Except it doesn't help her as the solid ground Lindsay thought to be standing on is breaking away, unleashing an emotion she had hoped to have gotten away from. She hasn't. Her body is shaking to the point her teeth are slightly shattering with the effort of holding back the torrent but she can't, so Lindsay just gives in to it.

It might be about the delayed move and uncertain future, but in reality she cries over the time ripped from them, the betrayal, the pain never acknowledged until now.

She is distantly aware of the door opening, and she wants to turn and assure Cindy that she is not losing it and this is just a temporary glitch, but the bone-deep weariness that has gripped her, proves to be stronger.

Cindy kicks off her shoes and then moves closer, fitting herself against Lindsay's back, an arm around her waist. Lindsay thinks it's rather silly for her to come apart at the seams like this when it's Cindy who has been in that house suffering at the hands of so-called scientists. She can't stop it either.

Cindy remains silent for a long time, just lets her cry before she says sadly, "I'm sorry I can't be what you need right now."

It's hard to find an honest answer to that, when right now Lindsay isn't even sure what exactly it is she needs. She just doesn't think she can handle any more fear for the future. "You're doing fine," she finally chokes out, and Cindy reaches up a hand to touch her face, brushing the tears away softly.

"I'm not. I'm far from doing fine, but I can do my part. Even if it's not... Like before. You don't have to carry it all on your own."

Lindsay isn't convinced of that yet, but she has finally stopped shaking with the cold. Cindy draws the blanket over them both and then switches off the light and so she allows herself to slip into sleep.

The rain continues to fall.

The End

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