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Sunrise Over The Desert
By Demeter


"I can't believe this. This is gonna cost you extra. I swear, the paperwork is going to be a nightmare."

Lindsay smiles politely at the realtor though the urge to shake the woman is strong. She does not have any ideas about nightmares. Not those like the one that left Cindy shaking and crying for minutes after she woke up, the most frightening minutes of Lindsay's life when Cindy didn't recognize her. Or nightmares like the ones Lindsay had, finding the pod empty over and over again.

They've seen the attic of the dead souls, so Lindsay knows her fears weren't unfounded. The place was excluded from the tour they had taken once; only for the investigators to see. Boyd, Agents Classen and Ballard and Brenda had been up there with her and a dozen other agents and members of the DA's office, the shock etched into all of their faces.

"Money is not a problem," she says. "Of course you're going to be reimbursed for your trouble."

She could have sworn the woman was about to roll her eyes. "Okay, let's get this over with."


She spins around at the sound of Cindy's voice, turning to look at her. Oh no. The last thing Lindsay wants now is sympathy or understanding. She needs to do this on her own. Still, she can't take her eyes off Cindy who is dressed for some happy occasion in her white shirt and red skirt.

"Wait. Don't we want to give it a try first?"

Now the realtor lady is rolling her eyes. Lindsay couldn't care less. She can hardly hear Cindy's words over the sudden rushing of blood in her ears. "You don't have to do that," she says, while hope is holding her in a tight cruel grip. It was so hard to get here, to detach herself from the vision of a shared future and at least pretend to move on. Any distraction, and she'll fail.

"But I want to, Linds. I want us to be together... Here, like we planned to."

If this is a dream, it's a particularly cruel one. "Cindy, but--" There are no words to describe her dilemma.

"I always thought there would be a certain moment when it would all be over and we'd just get on with life. Once I'd have my mind back and sorted out which memories were mine for real. Now. the story is out there and that moment still hasn't come, and I realized... I don't want to wait any longer. I want to live. My life. With you."

Lindsay wants nothing but to tell her just how much she wants that too, but the words just don't come. She's too afraid that whatever she does or says will jolt her back into a reality where Cindy never said this. She looks at her, that brave beautiful woman who has stolen her heart the moment they first met. Lindsay doesn't really know what she has to offer to a woman like that, but for sure, she can't imagine a life without her.

Well, in fact she can and it has been a living hell.

Cindy reaches up to touch the side of her face. The tenderness is almost more than Lindsay can take yet she craves it. "If they'd never gotten me back to relatively normal, what would you have done?" she asks.

It's a somewhat odd non-sequitur, but at least her voice is returning. "I would have taken you home with me," Lindsay says. There's nothing to add to that.

"Part of me always wanted to be with you. They couldn't wipe that from my brain. But I'm back now. I can make that choice, and I want to be with you... If you still want it, that is." There's just a hint of nervousness to Cindy's voice.

"I do."

"You might need to be patient with me a while longer. I know it won't be easy, but I'm not broken. That's because I knew I could always count on you even when it got worst. And there I was hoping this would make you happy, not make you cry..."

"I am happy. I am." Eventually she'll certainly be able to form whole sentences again, but for the moment, it's enough to just say it, for the first time in a long time letting her guard down as Cindy wraps her in a tight embrace.

They both forget about the realtor completely until she speaks up, "I guess we still have a deal then. Excellent, girls." With a sigh she adds, "Be my guest. I'll come by later."

"Welcome home," Cindy whispers.

It might be only afternoon, but for Lindsay, it's the first break of dawn after an endless cold night.

The End

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