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's the day Lindsay almost murders Cindy's boss along with a completely innocent employee of the San Franscisco Register. She's come back, even more desperate in her quest for answers. The man in question had been on vacation the first time, unavailabe for an appointment the second and this time, Lindsay won't let any secretary send her away.

Time: She has lots of it. It seem like the only thing she has in abundance lately – and yet, she is painfully aware of how time is running out on her. On Cindy.

On her way, she passes Cindy's desk, expecting it to be empty as usual, but it isn't. The sight of the woman typing away at Cindy's computer makes her stop cold and her temper boil over.

"Hey! What the hell are you doing here?"

People might have said, a time or two since she had to realize that Cindy wasn't coming back from L.A., that she has changed. Not to the better. They might have a point.

The woman looks up from her work, smiling at Lindsay who's losing her speech for a moment, growing all cold inside. Long wavy brown hair, tamed back from a pretty face by a few pins. The woman wears a cute vest over a white blouse, stylish wire-rimmed glasses. She smiles as if she's actually happy to see Lindsay. "Inspector Boxer, right? I'm Cindy, funny, isn't it, just like the woman who worked here before, and I was wondering if you could tell me something of the arrest made on the robbery last--"

Her words fade out as the light-headed feeling takes over. Lindsay can't breathe. This can't be true.

"-- A glass of water?" It is pushed into her hands, the cold smooth material under her fingers helping her focus, fumble her way back to reality. She doesn't remember sitting down. "Cindy," she whispers.

"Yes. I'm right here. You scared me there for a moment, I thought you were going to faint on me."

Now, Lindsay is embarrassed. By her almost fainting just as much as by the fact that she can't stop staring at the woman, even if it hurts. "How long have you been working here?"

"It's my first day," the other Cindy smiles. "The crime desk is a big career leap for me."

"I guess so."

"Would you be okay to talk about the arrest now?"

"Actually, no. I need to talk to your boss for a minute."

"How the hell could you?"

"If you could be so kind and keep your voice down?" Cindy's boss asks mildly. "I'm sorry, Inspector, but this is business. Ms. Thomas promised what would be the story of the year. She didn't deliver. We can't keep this spot open for her forever."

"Did it ever occur to her that she might have been the victim of a crime?" It's getting more likely with every day, the implications – unbearable.

"Which would be terrible. Still, about half a million people wait for their newspaper every day."

"Aren't you a tad too optimistic there?"

Her sarcasm doesn't reach him. "The show must go on. Speaking of which, I don't really have time to chat with you right now. If you excuse me..."

The man might be an ass, but Lindsay believes that he's told her the truth. Cindy didn't give anyone a lot of details, because she thought it was safer that way. Safer, for whom? Lindsay wonders as she walks across the room, where Cindy sits frowning at the monitor.


Again, a smile. She feels familar. This Cindy isn't any more fazed by her at times less than polite behavior. "I changed my mind on the robberies. Come on, I'll buy you dinner."

"Really? That's awesome! Give me just a minute, I'll--"

She's bouncing with excitement. Trying to grab her coat and purse at the same time, Cindy nearly knocks over a picture frame.

That makes Lindsay smile, though she really wants to cry.

The End

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