TITLE: The Last Piece of Cake
SUMMARY: You've got to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince.
SPOILERS: Probably through 3x02 "Not What It Looks Like". But I haven't decided yet.
PAIRING: Danny/Lindsay
RATING: T. May up it later but probably not. It's mostly swearing and suggestiveness.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own them. They aren't mine. Please don't sue. I have student loans to pay.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Thanks to Ash and Spunky for betaing this for me! Thanks to their ideas, I cured my writer's block.

The number of reviews I get determines how long this goes, so if you like it, hit review and tell me! I'm a review whore.

The Last Piece of Cake

"True love cannot be found where it does not truly exist. Nor can it be hidden where it truly does." – François de la Rouchefoucauld

When Lindsay was a little girl, she and her friends decided that they would make a list specifying every attribute and quality that they wanted their dream men to have. At ten, her list was comprised of silly childish traits that had seemed immensely important at the time – such as, "he will always give me the last piece of cake." She had no concept of men or love beyond what she could learn from her friends and her brief "relationships" that consisted of passing notes to each other in homeroom and chaste pecks on the lips when they thought no one was looking, so she had no idea what true love really was. But she made the list all the same, giggling with her friends as they added things like, "he will have a cute butt" and "he will tell me I look pretty when I look like crap."

Her mother cleaned up her room a few days later, and Lindsay never saw the list again. She didn't really care. It wasn't important.

When Lindsay was in high school, she sat next to a cute boy in trigonometry. His name was Colt – "After the revolver," he would joke. To Lindsay's seventeen-year-old mind, he was her ideal. He was sweet and funny. He did impressions of the teachers when they sat together at lunch, even though he used the same voice to imitate everyone. He opened doors for her and pulled out her chair for her. He was charming and witty, but he was quiet, too. To the rest of the school, they were the perfect couple. He was on the football team, and she was a cheerleader. They had the same circle of friends; they were both in the popular clique.

She liked being around him, because he was cute and he made her feel special. She thought about him all the time and hated the days when they couldn't see each other. She was so certain that she loved him. She gave him her heart on a platter, and after they were together four months, she gave herself to him. It was awkward and weird and nothing about the sweet, charming boy she thought she loved was visible in the panting, moaning person that moved above her. She went home and cried herself to sleep.

He dumped her the next day, having finally gotten what he wanted, and she vowed that she would never love again. And if she did, it would be someone who was the complete opposite of Colt.

When Lindsay was in college, she had Criminal Psychology with a boy named Dexter. He had a Mohawk and drove a motorcycle, and his body was covered in tattoos. He was wild and exciting and dangerous and he made her feel alive. He made fun of her in front of her friends – "Just joking," he would say. He got her drunk so she wouldn't complain when he did things that he shouldn't do. He took advantage of her giving personality and acted like she should be thanking God that he was condescending enough to date her.

He was so different from Colt that Lindsay convinced herself that this was the kind of man she wanted. She needed someone different. She didn't want to be reminded of the sweet, charming boy who had taken her heart and shattered her innocence. So she gave her body to Dexter, hoping that her heart would follow suit, and he claimed it with possessive ferocity. She even got a tattoo to please him. He wanted her to get his entire name inked down her arm, but she instead had a small letter "D" tattooed on the small of her back.

He cheated on her with one of her suitemates, and she vowed that she would never let another man claim her so completely, the way that Dexter had, and that she would never again allow sex to define her relationship.

When she first became a CSI, she had a partner named Martin. He was quite possibly the most boring man on the face of the planet. He droned on about varying types of trace that could be found on ammunition and all the ways that bleach contaminated a crime scene. But he was a nice man. He brought her coffee when he went to the break room, even though he never made it the way she liked it. He offered to take her on a tour of Bozeman once she was settled.

He was intelligent. He taught her so many things. She gave him her mind, delighting in the intellectual stimulation that he gave her, and when their relationship eventually crossed from friends to lovers, she tried to ignore the complete lack of passion between them. Martin was a good man. He was kind and honest and he treated her well, but she actually dreaded being intimate with him. He was safe and boring, but he didn't satisfy her, and she didn't love him.

He proposed to her, and she said no. She vowed that she was done looking for love, since she never seemed to find it. She had dated different types of men, and none of them were her dream man, and she was done. She decided that when it was real and true, love would find her.

When she moved to New York, she met Danny. He was without a doubt the most infuriating man in the world. He played a joke on her on her first day. He never called her by her given name. He was always trying to one-up her, like the über-competitive son of a bitch that he was. She often caught him staring at her – whether it was from across the lab or from his adjoining desk. He would flirt shamelessly, then head off for a date with the flavor of the week.

But sometimes, when they were working late on a case in their shared office, he would let his guard down and not be a complete jackass. And eventually what she considered hurtful teasing morphed into playful banter – so gradually that she could not point out when exactly she had gone from detesting Danny Messer to not disliking him.

Coming up…

How exactly Lindsay went from detesting Danny to not disliking him.