The knocking catches him off guard, has him reaching for the service pistol he keeps in his nightstand. It now lives on the floor next to his bed, his nightstand in the wind with the rest of his furniture. Warily, he makes his way to the door, heaving an exasperated sigh at the voice that floats in from the hallway.
"Tommy. It's me." He swings the door open, staring incredulously down at the sodden girl on his doorstep. He glances down at his watch, hour hand just past three. Realizing she's still standing in the rain he steps back, lets her in.
"Lindy what are you doing? It's the middle of the night. And it's pouring. Are you trying to make it easier for this guy?" He winces when she glares at him, shrugging off the sweater that's too wet to be of any use to her. She seems to straighten when it's off, and he wonders how much all that clothing weighs soaked with water. Turning on his heel, he disappears down the hallway, grabbing one of his clean t-shirts and a pair of sweatpants and carrying them back to her. She takes them gratefully, then hesitates, and he realizes this is the first time she's ever been to his place. He points at the bathroom, and then she's gone, leaving a trail of tiny puddles behind her.
Tommy sighs, scrubbing his face tiredly. One way or another, she would have been keeping him up tonight. Her recklessness doesn't mix well with his newfound possessiveness, and he finds himself itching to call her at night now, just to check in. It's not his place, but he sometimes wishes it was. He looks up as she emerges, and for the first time cracks a smile. His pants are comically big on her, the nearly foot in height difference making itself known. She's rolled them up, but one leg slides down as he watches her, and she just sighs, shaking out the other leg to match. His shirt is equally big, the faded lettering on her chest a testament to his Ramones phase in college. She looks… like she belongs there. In his clothes. In his apartment. In his life. He shakes off the thought.
"So." He stares at her expectantly.
She seems to remember herself and crosses the room to sit on his couch, flipping open a laptop he hadn't seen her take out. It powers on to a picture of her and her sister, and he's reminded of where this all started for her. It's easy to forget, not that he does often. Lindy is unbelievable in her resilience. It's one of the things on a rapidly growing list of things he admires about her. She taps away on the keyboard and code that means nothing at all to him fills the screen. She expertly navigates through it, and then he's staring at the ad for his apartment, the one filed in his name inviting the entire city to come clean out his things. He frowns.
"What is this?" She knows he isn't asking about the ad. He's seen it before, but it didn't amount to much. Neither they, nor the cyber crimes unit, could come up with any leads. It had been infuriating, but not surprising. Whoever this is, they always seem to be two steps ahead.
"I hijacked the connection of the IP address the ad was posted from. I followed it back to the source, and managed to activate the webcam for a few seconds."
"I thought that was a dummy address."
"It was. But whoever was using it was still active on it. I captured this." She swivels the laptop to face him, and he squints at the screen. He's looking at a very dark, very blurry picture of a wall. His squint turns toward Lindy.
"It's a wall."
She huffs in frustration.
"Aren't you supposed to be a cop?"
He raises an eyebrow. Lindy just rolls her eyes and goes back to fiddling with her computer, the image slowly sharpening a few pixels at a time. As pieces of the image become clearer, Tommy stills, lips parting in horror. The wall in question isn't only recognizable, it's familiar. The mint green wardrobe against a cream wall, a set of pictures hanging in a square beside the door. His hand flicks toward Lindy automatically, the instinct to protect her always just beneath the surface. It's her wall. It's Lindy's.
"My house." She looks up at him, and for the first time he sees fear in her eyes. He's been waiting for that, wondering when it would finally sink in that this wasn't some anonymous empty threat. She's in danger. He doesn't like the way it feels now, her shivering on his couch, pupils wide with nerves.
"Sophia." He realizes, glad Lindy is safe but wondering if her roommate is too. She shakes her head.
"Sophia's fine. She's staying at her cousins place tonight. I was going to go with her but…" She bites her lip. Tommy wishes she would stop doing that.
"You came here." He says. There's a question there, and she hears it.
"I thought you should know. I thought you'd want to know." He thinks she's talking about the ad, about the fact that she's found a lead, but he also thinks she's talking about herself. She didn't come here at three in the morning to tell him about it. She came to be here. It means more to him than it should, more, he imagines, than it does to her. He nods, sits down beside her, his eyes trained on the picture on the screen. He feels violated on her behalf but endlessly comforted by the fact that she's here, in front of him.
"Well you're not going anywhere else tonight. I'll sleep on the couch." He nods toward the bedroom. Lindy gives him a look, one that always ends with her doing something she shouldn't and him getting a headache. He groans. "What?"
"Aren't you going to do something? We have a lead!"
"We have a picture of your bedroom. Do you still have a connection to that IP address?"
"Then there's nothing we can do right now that can't be done when the sun is actually up." He lies back on the couch. "You should get some sleep." She doesn't move.
He sits up.
"Hey, it's going to be fine. You're here, and Sophia's safe, and that's all that matters for now. I told you I'm not going to let anything else happen to you." He means that. She's his top priority, he'll drop everything to protect her if he has to. After everything, he hopes she knows that. She's safe here.
"I know." Her eyes linger on the gun that he discarded on the coffee table. "I don't believe in guns." She says softly, and there's something there, a memory maybe. He isn't sure how, but he knows she's thinking about Ben.
"Well, I don't believe in illegal hacking and spyware so I guess we're just going to have to learn to compromise." She brightens. "Not that I condone any of your illegal activity." He quickly corrects, and her answering smile is like a shot of whiskey, warming as it goes down. She nudges him with her shoulder.
"I don't know, I think we make a pretty good team." She says, grinning. He frowns to cover his satisfaction at hearing her call them a team.
"Team? I'm the cop. You're my-"
"Source. Yeah I know." But her smile stays in place. She finally stands up, and he immediately misses the warmth of her beside him. "I can take the couch, I've slept on worse." He rolls his eyes.
"Okay, that's nice. You're not sleeping on the couch." As if to make his point, Tommy leans, back, sprawling his limbs across it. Lindy's smile widens, then she sighs.
"Fine. Do you need blankets, or-"
"Christ." He cuts her off, throwing one of the couch cushions at her. "Just go to bed. I have stuff in the closet." She dodges his cushion with impressive reflexes, then shrugs.
He waves her off, getting up once she's gone to lock the door. He checks the windows too, just in case. Suddenly he has something worth protecting.