DISCLAIMER: Women's Murder Club and its characters are the property of James Patterson, 20th Century Fox Television and ABC. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Thanks bcharmer and mercurychkita for the beta! This one is for grumpybear1031.
CHALLENGE: Written for the first International Day of Femslash.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
WARNING: Possibly disturbing images.
Walking Away A Winner
She stared back into the eyes void of any human emotion, unflinching. Lindsay knew that she was going to die.
There was nothing she could say or do to change that fact. She was way beyond flinching, or feeling, and she had made her peace. There were only very few regrets, because Lindsay knew she had done what she could in her time. Made a difference. Stepped right into the path of other monsters like him and came out alive.
He stepped closer, and Lindsay braced herself. No more pain, just the odd comfort of the warm blood trailing down the side of her face like an odd caress, and down her arms that were bound above her head, the rope cutting mercilessly into her skin.
Regrets? You, she directed her thoughts at him. You bastard becoming number eight of those cases I didn't close. Screwing up my stats.
And... you. She felt the emotion well up within her, tears she choked back, because she didn't want to give him the satisfaction. It wasn't about him or what he was going to do to her. It was about waiting too long for the right moment to come, until the last chance was gone. Guilty, Linds.
When he raised the knife, Lindsay closed her eyes, consumed more by anger than by fear. She hated to lose.
The gunshots sounded like an explosion, and then there was more blood, splattering onto her skin. Not her own blood, though.
He'd wanted to make her choose, use the knife or the saw. There was no choice for the killer as Jacobi emptied his gun into him. Lindsay watched her partner, breathing hard as he stood over the unmoving man who lay on the ground in a crumpled heap.
"Hey. It's enough. IA will want to hear about it as it is. This one doesn't move any more."
He looked up at her, and Lindsay could swear his eyes were just a little bright.
"Thanks for the tip, Boxer," he said in his usual dry tone, then moved to cut her loose.
They were both silent, except she couldn't help the gasp when he removed the rope from the bleeding skin, sensation returning with full force. There was something to be said for being dissociated.
The killer had bound her so that only the tips of her toes were reaching the ground, and logically, her knees gave way as the restraints to hold her up were gone.
"Whoa, easy." Jacobi steadied her, keeping a firm hold on her until she was able to stand on her own. "Paramedics are on their way. Good to have you back, partner."
Lindsay attempted to smile, knowing it was turning into a grimace. And then she thought she was hallucinating as she heard - Cindy's voice? No way.
"I cleared it with Inspector Jacobi, now will you let me in here?"
Lindsay gave him a questioning look, and he shrugged. "We didn't know -- how bad it was. How much time we--"
"He could have killed me already, and you would have let a civilian in here?"
"Not just any civilian." He gave her shoulder a gentle squeeze. "Now be brave and do nothing I wouldn't do."
Lindsay shot him a dubious look, then flashing back on those famous not-last thoughts she'd had, a couple of minutes, a lifetime ago. "Thanks for saving my ass, by the way."
"You're welcome. Just repaying the favor."
Cindy came rushing in, every emotion - fear, shock, relief and a few more Lindsay would later take the time to interpret - clearly visible in her naked expression. For a moment, Lindsay worried that she would faint.
But she just got close enough for a light embrace, the scent of strawberry and tears. Of life and promise. Why she'd ever hesitated this long, Lindsay couldn't understand, because it seemed very easy now.
"I love you," she whispered.
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