Title: Chapter In Your Life Entitled San Francisco
Fandom: Women's Murder Club
Summary: AU The build up & break down of a relationship. "She knows Lindsay cares about her but knows she also somewhat of a trial run as to what Lindsay can and can't live with about herself." C/L
A/N: title taken from a song by the Lucksmiths
A/N 2: really i'm not all that sure where this came from, any mistakes are mine, hell all the mistakes are mine, any feedback would be appreaciated, it's a lot more angsty than i usually do, i usually always give my girls happy endings but all you angst bunnies will probably be disappointed and the fluff babies won't be happy with me either. if people like it that's great if they don't well that's not so great. it doesn't really follow any cannon events at all so there's no spoilers.
PLEASE READ & REVIEW!
DISCLAIMER: i don't own Women's Murder Club books or TV show or the Lucksmiths or the song 'Chapter In Your Life Entitled San Francisco' PLEASE DON'T SUE!
Cindy tries so hard to please Lindsay, bringing her coffee and information as often as she can but Lindsay doesn't seem to notice instead she spends her time telling Cindy off for all the 'dangerous' things she does as though she's a child, though this only makes Cindy more determined to impress Lindsay, there's something about Lindsay that draws Cindy in, brings her back each time no matter the outcome of the last encounter. Cindy cares about Lindsay, though she cares about Claire and Jill, with Lindsay it's entirely different, Cindy admits to having a crush, no not crush because that would reduce her the school girl Lindsay thinks her to be, Cindy admits to having feelings for Lindsay, Cindy knows what that means and she's ok with it. But it doesn't matter how Cindy feels because even though she thinks she and Lindsay could be great Lindsay is adamant she's straight so Cindy has to grin and bear it.
Even with Cindy's million mile a minute questions and her poking her nose into every possible case Lindsay admits that she finds the reporter endearing, cute even, although the stupid things she does like getting taken hostage by psychos with guns and constantly putting herself in harm's way makes Lindsay's heart stop. Through it all Lindsay likes Cindy and that's ok because friends are supposed to like each other but Lindsay looks at Jill and sees someone she wouldn't mind holidaying with and then she looks at Cindy and sees someone she wouldn't mind kissing. Lindsay likes Cindy but she's afraid, for one, she likes another woman, for another, what will people think and for a third Lindsay's never had much luck with love.
It's 10:30 on a Wednesday night, Claire's son is sick with the flu so she stayed home to look after him and Jill met some guy in the club and has been flirting up a storm, Cindy and Lindsay step out the back to get some fresh air and somehow Lindsay's tongue ends up in Cindy's mouth, not that Cindy's complaining. They pull away and Cindy looks at Lindsay, she's about to ask about the kiss when Lindsay kisses her again and Cindy's trying to remember if Lindsay had three or four cosmos but after a minute gives up and tries to commit Lindsay's taste to memory knowing that this might not happen again. They pull away and before it can get awkward Cindy tells Lindsay she's going to and says she'll see Lindsay tomorrow, she kisses her again quickly and walks away leaving Lindsay deep in thought. The cab ride home is quiet and uneventful and Cindy tries not to get her hopes up but Cindy is an optimist and can't help thinking it would be great for a repeated performance. The image in her head of how great the two of them would be returns and Cindy can't wipe the smile off her face for the rest of the night.
Lindsay's happy and she's happy with Cindy which although somewhat surprising to her is never the less enjoyable so she lets herself get caught up in the short sweet kisses when no one is watching and ignores the whispers and looks that are most like in her head. Lindsay's phone buzzes and she flips it open to read the text message 'still on for tonight? Your place at 5 right?' she grins and is about to reply when Jacobi notices the grin.
"What's got you so happy?" he asks and Lindsay quickly shuts the phone without replying and turns her attention back to the case. Jacobi doesn't stop trying to work her for information the rest of the day. Cindy arrives at five and asks if everything ok, Lindsay smiles and tells her everything's fine, Cindy grins and starts to talk about her day as she settles into Lindsay's living room, she catches Lindsay starring and tilts her head smiling.
"What's wrong?" she asks and Lindsay shakes her head and settles in with her trying not to think for the rest of the night. Twenty minutes after Cindy arrives they break away from each other when both their phones start buzzing, Lindsay checked hers and saw it was Jill, Cindy checked hers and found it was Claire, Lindsay went to the bedroom to take the call just to be safe and keep the secret. An hour later, sitting in their booth at Susie's across from Jill and Claire Lindsay tries to stay focused on what her friends are saying about the case but it's hard, Cindy's hand brushes against her leg again and Lindsay momentarily forgets where she is, realising she takes Cindy's hand in hers under the table to stop any future 'accidental touches' and tries to push her doubts and insecurities about being with Cindy into a dark corner of her mind hoping to leave them there until they die like that pot plant someone gave her last Christmas. Lindsay's happy and she's happy with Cindy; why can't that be enough?
Cindy can tell Lindsay still hasn't dealt with the issues she has in the beginning of their relationship, Lindsay hasn't even agreed to tell Jill and Claire and Cindy knows she should be angry and adamant they tell people but she's weak and she knows it because even if Lindsay is ashamed of her she'll take what she can get, she tells herself it doesn't matter that Lindsay doesn't want to tell anyone, not even their two closest friends, she tells herself it's fine that Lindsay stiffens harshly at even the most casual of touches between them in public, in the quiet moments when it's just the two of them Cindy has Lindsay and she tells herself that's all that matters, she wants it to be all that matters but deep down she knows it's not.
Weeks later when Lindsay has still refused to tell Jill and Claire about them Cindy begins to wonder if Lindsay see's an out and proud to everyone future for them or if it is in some ways a sort of experiment because she knows Lindsay cares about her but knows she also somewhat of a trial run as to what Lindsay can and can't live with about herself.
Somehow those doubts and feelings she tried to push away have found their way back and although she really does like Cindy a lot, no matter how much the redhead reporter infuriates her, she really does care for her, maybe even love her, but somehow Lindsay can't get over other people opinions, what would they all say? Claire? Jill? Jacobi? Tom? Her parents? Her co-workers? Strangers? Lindsay can't even get over her own opinion, the one that she still hasn't figured out, the same opinion that she shoved away into a dark corner and hoped not to have to deal with again but it's still there in the back of her mind along with everything that stops her being true to herself. Instead of taking Cindy's hand in public, kissing her on impulse no matter where they are and not caring what people thought about the fact that she had a girlfriend Lindsay slowly starts to push Cindy away and Cindy is hurt and Lindsay knows it and it breaks her heart but as she breaks yet another set of plans with Cindy Lindsay knows she's still caught between a rock and a hard place.
It's getting harder for Lindsay to pretend it's just her and Cindy in their own little world because reality is starting to creep in and Lindsay doesn't know if she can deal with it, Cindy wonders if she ever will, one morning over breakfast when Lindsay pulls away from a quick kiss on the lips Cindy lets her annoyance shine through and asks Lindsay straight out if she's going to flinch today when their hands brush because they both reach for the same set of notes about a case like she did last Thursday and somehow they end up in a fight and Cindy storms out and heads to work in the same outfit she wore the day before because telling Lindsay how she felt meant she didn't have enough time to get a change of clothes. For three days they don't speak at all which sparks the beginning of the end of the relationship between Lindsay and Cindy, they still get together with Claire and Jill to talk about cases and offer opinions but they're careful, almost too careful, they don't sit next to each other, they don't make much eye contact, they make certain not to be left alone together for too long and they spend as little time together as possible, it's awkward and Cindy doesn't like the distance between them and Lindsay misses Cindy but neither of them do anything to change the situation either. Cindy's too proud and Lindsay's too scared.
Two weeks later Cindy appears on her doorstep late at night on a Tuesday and demands answers, are they together or not? It's been three weeks since Cindy's been in her apartment and Lindsay would have been happy to see her if she hadn't looked so angry, Lindsay says nothing for a moment, just stares at the woman in front of her and Cindy prompts her again, Lindsay tries to explain, tries to calm the situation but Cindy's having none of it.
"Just tell me!" she shouts "Do you want to be with me or not?" Lindsay says yes but starts to explain all her fears but Cindy's heard it all before, Cindy's been through it herself and Cindy can't stand there and hear Lindsay make excuses for ripping her heart out and stomping all over it,.
"Were we ever even together in your mind?" Cindy asks and Lindsay thinks for second and finally tells the shorter woman in a quiet whisper "Yes, we were" and Cindy nods.
"How about now?" she asks and Lindsay suggests in soft terms that they take a break, Cindy says ok and leaves before Lindsay can finish explaining, before Lindsay can see her cry. In her car Cindy allows her tears to fall, she realises that she was living in a fairytale, deluding herself and she has to face the fact that at this time she and Lindsay won't be together. Lindsay sits at her kitchen table and sobs; she tells herself breaking up was the best thing to do but that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt.
A month later there's a club meeting at Susie's Lindsay is sitting in a chair she pulled over from a nearby table in order to keep as much distance between her and Cindy, who sitting in between the window and Claire, Jill is sitting across from her and makes use of Lindsay's empty place in the both as a bag holder, both Claire and Jill are aware of the tension and have been since it started but neither has said anything to either one, it's not their place, not that they'd get answers anyway, they both know Lindsay and Cindy well enough to know whatever's going on between them will stay between them. A waitress comes and clears their empty plates and once she does Cindy makes the announcement, she was offered a job in New York and leaves in five days, before she even finishes telling them about the job Claire's hugging and praising her, Jill grins and cheers congratulating her friend and Lindsay, Lindsay stares and seems heartbroken, Cindy pulls away from Claire and everyone looks at Lindsay.
"Congratulations" Lindsay tells her, her voice raw and low, it's awkward for a moment until Lindsay heads to the bar, somehow the 'celebratory drinks' she buys them taste bitter with regret, betrayal and heartache, Cindy tells herself it's nothing and drinks them anyway. The rest of the night she tells them about the job and is careful to avoid Lindsay's hurt stare, Cindy tells herself again and again the job is a good opportunity, a fresh start and reminds herself it's been hurting for months to stay here, this job is the change she needs because nothing was going to change in San Francisco. Lindsay drinks them all under the table that night, Cindy's close behind.
It's late and Claire has left an hour or so ago to tend to her lovely family when Jill tells them that she's heading home, she has a court case in the morning and doesn't know if she'll regret the last three rounds she had, this leaves Cindy and Lindsay alone together for the first time in months, it's still awkward and painful but the alcohol helps dull the pain and tension, after a while, the time it takes to finish their drinks, Cindy stands and grabs her bag and coat and Lindsay asks her why she's leaving.
"I think it's time to go" she says with a small smile motioning to the clock that reads 11.45 but Lindsay shakes her head and pulls herself up to stand, wobbling and swaying slightly she stands in front of Cindy.
"New York" Lindsay begins and shakes her head leaving those to words to sum up all the questions she has inside her, questions Cindy doesn't have a good enough answers to and besides that she doesn't know if Lindsay would be able to stand the answers she could come up with. New York. Cindy repeats her earlier statement that it's time for her to go and they leave it at that.
All her things are packed and Cindy in standing in the middle of her now empty apartment looking around, five years of her life in now tucked away in boxes, boxes that are divided into staying and going, 'staying' boxes on one side 'going' boxes on the other, all the boxes are sorted but one, the offending box sits in the middle of her living room has yet to be decided on, it's full of Lindsay stuff, not Lindsay, Jill & Claire stuff, there's a box of the club things already in the going pile, this box is just Lindsay, Lindsay and Cindy and their two months thing and Cindy doesn't know what to do with it. The 'staying' boxes have a truck coming for them to take them to a storage unit, the 'going' boxes have a truck coming to take them to New York, everything is sorted except that box. Cindy stares at the box and moves it to one side of the room before leaving for the airport all the while wondering if she chose the right side. Cindy tells herself her relationship with Lindsay was a lesson, her last few relationships had caused her pain and she didn't want that with Lindsay but she had no choice. What was done was done and she had a chance to start over in New York.
After a week of sleeping on a blow up mattress and eating take out Cindy is thankful that her things have arrived and she can finally start her new life, she spend the weekend unpacking, bedroom boxes first then kitchen and bathroom boxes and all the others follow. Putting another now empty box to one side she looks around and she's almost finished, her small apartment is as close to home as she can get without ferry boats, trams, the club, Susie's or the 49ers. Cindy takes the empty boxes to the garbage shoot and it takes her ten minutes but she manages to wrestle them all down it, returning to her apartment she stands in the doorway and surveys it, the rug she bought in a second hand store her first week in San Francisco is there, her couch and the cushions, complete with the nail polish stain are where they should be, the photo of Jill, Cindy, Claire and Lindsay is sitting on the bookcase that's full of all her books both dog eared and not yet read, her clothes are in the wardrobe, she actually has a comfortable bed, her kitchen is finally useable and she's getting cable on Monday, her apartment it hers now. Sitting next to the coffee table is the Lindsay box, Cindy leaves it where it is and goes to have a shower. She has a life to get on with and tells herself she's happy about it.