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


Like every day, Echo and Libra sit together for breakfast at the small table. Victor and Sierra are out on an engagement, but it's not like they'd know or even miss them. It's another day in paradise, a perfectly safe environment where they don't have any responsibility and everything they need is just there for them.

"The fruits taste very good," Echo says with a smile.

Libra smiles back at her. "Vitamins are good for you."

They are friends after all, happy for each other.

"I'm going on a new engagement today." Echo is still smiling. "To San Francisco."

Libra sits up straighter, torn between an unfamiliar excitement and the uncanny feeling that something is going to jolt her out of her blissful state. She doesn't like that feeling. It's not safe.

Something changes in Echo's expression; she looks around warily, but the only other pair of actives sits at a table too far from theirs to listen in on their somewhat pointless conversation.

"I'm seeing Lindsay today," Caroline says.

"You are? How?"

There's a small window of opportunity that's been opening though neither of them knows how long it will last. The fancy wellness hotel environment Cindy knows to be a golden cage made of barbed wire blurs for a moment as the pieces are falling into place. She is aware of what's been going on but not what exactly. She knows that she's been here a while, but not for how long.

All that is really on her mind at this moment is a longing so strong it hurts.

"Is there something you want me to tell her?" Caroline asks.

There is something about her that makes Cindy trust the other woman, because she senses that she's too damn smart for the people who declared themselves the puppetmasters of this sad play. Cindy has signed the contract. There's no reason for them to harm Lindsay, is there? "Tell her not to give up. To find me." Her eyes well up; she just can't help it.

Taking her hand on the table, Caroline looks sad for a moment and they both know that they have to be lucky and trust in another opportunity to arise once Caroline actually is in San Francisco.

Then the other woman hastily takes her hand away, the blank look back on Echo's face.

"Tell her--"

Echo shakes her head sharply. The smile is back when she says, "I think I'd like some more fruit. How about you?"

Tell her I love her. She never manages to finish the sentence.

"Are you enjoying your breakfast?" Adelle DeWitt who has walked up to their table asks sweetly.

"Yes, thank you, it's very good," Echo answers for both of them.

"I'm glad. Libra, you need to go and see Topher for your treatment now."

Libra feels slightly dizzy as she gets up obediently. There's a pressure behind her eyes she doesn't understand and her heart is beating way too fast.

Hopefully, it will all be better after the treatment.

The desperate voice from within doesn't stay silent.

San Francisco. Lindsay. Find me.

The room is starting to spin around her. Echo catches her before she hits the ground. Friends help each other out is the last conscious thought Libra has in a while.

The End

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