Title: Missteps and Counterbalances
Feedback address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date in Calendar: 16 December 2009
Fandom: Women's Murder Club
Pairing: Lindsay Boxer/Cindy Thomas
Word Count: 1248
Summary: "Even you can admit that you don't do relationships well. What makes you think your track record with women is any different?"
Spoilers: None that I know of.
Advertisement: Part of the FSAC:DW09
Disclaimer: "Women's Murder Club," the characters, and situations depicted are the property of 20th Century Fox Television, Rat TV, and ABC. This piece of fan fiction was created for entertainment not monetary purposes. Previously unrecognized characters and places, and this story, are copyrighted to the author. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author. This site is in no way affiliated with "Women's Murder Club," ABC, or any representatives of the actors.
Author's Notes: This is the third in a series of loosely related stories taking place in the same universe. I'm calling it the Left My Heart series. Takes place immediately after A Lot Like Vegas.
Beta: With thanks to AJ for the help, any mistakes remaining are because I'm stubborn and hard-headed.
Cindy and Lindsay drop Alex and Antonio off at the airport with a flurry of warm hugs and gentle threats against forgetting them, and then watch as they disappear behind the security checkpoint, before turning and making their way out of the airport. Outside on the sidewalk, Lindsay turns and looks at Cindy.
She struggles to find words that make sense, then closes her mouth, shoulders dropping. "So."
Cindy's looking back at her with the same trepidation, combined with a hint of amusement. "So," she echoes. "This is going to be awkward, isn't it?"
Lindsay's, "God, I hope not," is both a prayer and a plea.
The silence drags on for what seems like an eternity. Then, "Sooo..."
"So I'll call you," Lindsay blurts, then curses herself for a coward and a fool.
"Oh..." Cindy wavers, a little uncertain, and then she nods. "Okay, well, that's cool. I have a deadline anyway that I should go make sure I'm on top of."
"Right, and I have some cases to work."
"Right. So, call me," Cindy says, backing away. "You know, if you want."
"I will," Lindsay nods, edging back in the opposite direction. It's not until she's made it safely into the haven of her home that Lindsay realizes she just left Cindy stranded at the airport, and feels like a first-class jackass.
"You did what?" Jill asks, spitting out her coffee in shock.
"Shh!" Lindsay exclaims, looking around the building lobby nervously. "The last thing I need is for everybody to think I was consorting with the enemy."
Jill rolls her eyes. "You can't blame a girl for being surprised. I mean, unless there's something you're not telling me, the last time you were with a woman was me, and that was --"
"Before Tom, I know."
"I was going to say an unmitigated disaster, but yes, before Tom works, too."
Lindsay stares at her, betrayed. "Jill!"
"What?" Jill smiles and nudges Lindsay's shoulder. "Even you can admit that you don't do relationships well. What makes you think your track record with women is any different?"
"I know it's not," she responds glumly, following Jill into her office. "I didn't exactly plan for this, you know."
"So what happened, anyway?"
"I just woke up one morning and she was there!" The oh, please stare from Jill had Lindsay throwing up her hands. "Even I know not to turn down the feisty, adorable redhead when she's naked and in my bed, Jill."
"Okay, well, how did things go after Cindy's friend left?"
"About that..." Lindsay drops into the chair across from Jill's desk and tells her about that train-wreck of a conversation.
Jill stares quietly into her coffee for a moment, then raises her eyes to Lindsay's. "You're an idiot," she says bluntly.
Lindsay cringes, then nods. "I know."
"No, like you're really an idiot. I didn't know it was possible for you to screw up that monumentally! Did you call her?"
Jill makes a frustrated sound of disapproval and then pushes the phone in Lindsay's direction. "Do it now," she orders.
"What?" Lindsay throws up her hands as if to ward off a blow, then sits on them, dark eyes wide.
"Call her now. Right in front of me so I can make sure you do it."
"I can't call her now! She's working! I'm supposed to be working! Besides, what would I say?"
Jill purses her lips and picks up the phone, stabbing at buttons. "Start with, 'I'm an idiot and I'd like to humbly beg for your forgiveness,' and finish up with 'So how do you feel about dinner Friday night?' It's ringing." She holds the phone out expectantly and then smirks when Lindsay snatches it from her.
"Cindy?" Lindsay runs a hand through long, dark hair and slouches sideways. "How are you? I'm all right. Listen, about the other night...at the airport? Oh... Lunch?" Lindsay brings her gaze up to Jill's, looking a little like a deer caught in headlights. "Tomorrow? Really?" Jill quirks a smile and nods encouragingly. "Yeah, that'd be great. I mean, if nothing comes up...yeah. Okay. I'll see you later. Bye."
Jill takes the phone back and gives Lindsay a few seconds, letting her stare at the phone in bewilderment. "So?"
Lindsay transfers her gaze from the phone to Jill. "We're having lunch tomorrow. Like a date."
"Well, I know that," Jill says, impatient. "What did she say?"
"I brought up the airport thing, and she told me not to worry about it, because that was partly her fault as well. Then she said that she'd had time to remember exactly how bad I was at relationships... so she asked if I was free for lunch tomorrow."
Jill sits back and grins. "I didn't think she had it in her."
Now Lindsay's expression is resigned as she pushes herself up from the chair. "You know, having met her ex, I can't say I'm entirely surprised."
"Yeah. Apparently her nickname in college was 'Sin', as in, 'You could drive a saint to sin.'"
Jill's grin grows. "And we already know she's tenacious."
Lindsay stops in the doorway and shoots Jill a wry look. "Which is why I asked if the temptation was to strangle her."
The next day, Lindsay's cell phone rings at eleven, while she's sprawled over her desk. She answers without bothering to look at the caller ID. "Boxer."
"This is your hour-long reminder, Inspector." Cindy's voice is amused and a little husky. Lindsay sits up straight. "You and I have a date at noon."
Lindsay fidgets a little as she glances around the squad room, trying to hide her smile. "Thanks for the reminder."
"Mm-hmm. See you in an hour." Cindy hangs up and Lindsay stares at her phone, pointedly ignoring Jacobi's smirk.
"Hot date?" He asks.
"Shut up," she responds, turning back to her work.
Forty five minutes later, she receives a text message, Fifteen minutes, Inspector, and starts to panic.
"Oh, my God." Lindsay turns to see Jill and Claire hanging out in the doorway, staring at her. Jill's the one that speaks, while Claire can only stare. "Please tell me you are not going out like that."
Lindsay looks down at herself. "What's wrong with it?" she asks defensively.
"Other than the fact that you look like you just rolled out of bed?" Tom asks, strolling by with a cup of coffee. "Nothing. Why? Got a hot date?"
Tom and Jacobi trade smirks. "That's a yes."
Lindsay rolls her eyes and turns back to Jill and Claire. "Come on. I don't look that bad...do I?"
Cindy pokes her head around Claire's shoulder and takes in the scene, then gives Lindsay a thorough once-over, prompting Lindsay to flush. Her small smile widens into a smirk. "You look just fine to me, Inspector."
"I'll bet she does," Tom mutters, hiding his grin behind his coffee and turning towards the stairs. "See you in a couple hours, Boxer."
Lindsay waves and allows Cindy to pull her into the hallway. Finally she stops and tugs on Cindy's hand. She can't help it, she feels compelled to say, "I'm probably going to mess this up, at some point."
Cindy arches a brow and offers a small smile. "I know. Lucky for you, I'm probably going to help you fix it."
Finally, finally, Lindsay relaxes. "I guess I'll just have to let you lead, then."
"That, Inspector, is a very good plan."