Author's Notes: Kind of a short chapter tonight but I didn't want to put it off another day. I hope you enjoy it. Wow, 40 chapters. I never thought this story would end up being so long when I started first started it. Who knew that an idea of Lindsay being taken hostage during a bank robbery would grow into such a long story. Still have a few more chapters left but it will be wrapping up soon.
Disclaimer: Still not mine.
Wrong Place, Wrog Time
Lindsay slipped out of her lab coat and hung it on the peg near the door. It was almost noon but it felt like she had been there a full day. She was beyond tired but it was a good kind of tired. The type of tired she got as a result of working hard. True, all Mac had allowed her to do on her first day back was help run tests in trace lab. Her ribs made working any reconstructions difficult and it was if he knew she couldn't handle being in the ballistics lab. Still a triple homicide outside the Pelican Club had given them plenty of trace to run. She still had many scans to run but she'd promised Mac she would take small breaks during the day and a full two hours at lunch - time to eat and then hide out in her office to put her feet up and relax. If she agreed to that, he would let her work until three, just in time for her to make her four o'clock appointment with the ENT who was going to check on the progress of her broken nose.
She walked to the break room. She knew she needed to eat but she was almost too tired to even take her leftovers from the night before and heat them up in the microwave. Still, if Mac discovered she hadn't eaten, he might just send her home and refuse to let her come back for several days until he was convinced she was ready. If Danny was there, he would have already had the containers out, heated and sitting on the table for her, just to make sure she ate, but he had been called to a crime scene about an hour ago. In fact, just about everyone in the lab was out on calls leaving only the lab techs and Adam there with her.
She sank into the couch intending to rest her eyes for just a few minutes before fixing her lunch. When the sound of someone clearing their throat penetrated her sleep-filled brain, she opened her eyes to find that thirty minutes had passed. She rubbed her eyes and then looked over to see Adam standing in the doorway holding a bag from a nearby Chinese restaurant. He smiled at her nervously.
"Care to join me? I always order way too much."
Lindsay smiled. He was a terrible liar but she appreciated the gesture. She pulled herself up and over to the table. "Thanks Adam. It sounds great."
He set the bag on the table and retrieved two plates from the cabinet before joining her at the table. After a couple of bites, Lindsay looked at him with an eyebrow raised. "Did Danny tell you to keep an eye on me while he was out on the call?"
Adam took a big bite of his fried rice and chewed thoughtfully. Only once he had swallowed, did he answer. "Danny. Mac. Sheldon. Jo. Flack. Even Sid called up from the morgue when he heard that everyone had gone out on crime scenes and told me to keep a careful eye on you. Not that I needed even one of them to ask it of me. Must be a pain to have so many people care that much about you."
Lindsay smiled warmly. "Must be." It would have irritated her if she didn't remind herself that they all did the same thing for any one of the lab family that was going throug a rough time. Because that's what they were, a family, and family looked out for each other. The two friends ate in silence for a few more minutes. Then Adam looked at her, his eyes filled with concern.
"How are you doing really? I couldn't help but notice the other night when we all went out that you seemed pretty freaked out most of the night. I don't think the others noticed because you hid it pretty well but I could tell."
Apparently she hadn't hid it as well as Adam suggested because just about everyone had either questioned her or Danny about that night. They had just chosen not to make a big deal out of it so as not to embarrass her. "Physically I'm getting better. I can get through most of the day without taking anything stronger than a Tylenol but I'm usually ready for something stronger by night time. Hopefully I get the big bandage off my nose this afternoon but I may still have to wear a splint at night for another week or so. It'll be nice to actually be able to breath through my nose again. Compared to what I could have experienced, I can't really complain."
"Sure you can. You've more than earned the right to complain if anyone has." Adam raised an eyebrow, for once looking completely serious. "But emotionally it's harder to shake everything that happened. The foundation of everything you have always trusted has been shattered and you don't know exactly what you can trust anymore. Things that other people take for granted or trust without question, you can't because you know how quickly it can all be taken away. You want to run and hide away from anything that could hurt you but you can't because as much as you want to, you don't want to give him that power over you even more. Afraid if you show the least little weakness, someone else could exploit it and use it against you."
Lindsay just stared at him, amazed that he had so succinctly put her fears and feelings into words. Then she thought about how he had suffered at the hands of his father growing up and realized that more than probably anyone else in the lab, he really did understand what she had been through. She blushed slightly. "Get out of my head, Ross. It's a scary place sometimes."
Her tone was teasing and he knew she hadn't taken offence to anything he had said. She reached out and gave his arm a grateful squeeze. "Seriously though. I have my good days and my bad days. Some of those good days have even been what you could call great days but at the same time some of those bad days have been pretty hellacious. I guess as time moves on the good days will outnumber the bad ones. It helps being back at work though."
Adam shook his head and then admitted, "I don't think I could have come back as quickly as you have."
Lindsay had been just about to take a bite of her sweet and sour chicken. She paused with the meat still on the chopsticks. She looked at him pointedly. "This coming from the guy Mac had to send home for coming to work with a 104 degree fever?"
Adam rolled his eyes. "It wasn't 104, more like 102.6. That's not what I mean though. Working through sickness is easy. I don't think I could get past the fear. We have a tough job; we see humanity at its worse. Or at least I thought we did until I realized you didn't just see it you had to live through it. How can you not want to stay as far away from that as possible?"
Lindsay shrugged. "You're right, we do see humanity at its worst but at least through this job we get a chance to clean it up a little bit, one crime at a time. In a way, it helps. Doesn't it make you feel better if we can prevent some other child from going what you went through?"
"Yeah, but it hurts like hell while we are doing it."
Lindsay looked down at her plate, not sure if she should ask the question that was forming in her mind. Finally she looked up at him. "Adam, you don't have to answer this if you don't want to. But, do you ever wonder if what your father did to you changed the person you were meant to be?"
Adam stood and cleaned up their lunch remains. With his back to her, he answered her question. "I don't have to wonder. I know it did. The same way surviving what happened to your friends changed you, and being in that wheelchair changed Danny. You can't live through something terrible and not have it change you. But it's up to you as to whether you let it change you for the better or for the worse. I used to worry a lot that I could become like my father. Kept me from taking relationships too seriously at times, maybe it still does. A good friend once told me though that worrying about being a good person is a step toward being a good person. It's kind of advice that keeps me going sometimes."
Lindsay blushed remembering having told Adam that after he had told her about his girlfriend Angie and he'd explained about feeling like a bad person because he was unable to be around friends who had been hurt because of how much they reminded him of her. "Maybe I should meet this good friend of yours some day."
He turned around and smiled at her and gave her a slight wink. "She's a little bit MIA for now but I think she's finding her way back. At least I hope so, cause really good friends like that are hard to come by." As he passed the table, he reached out and gave her hand a reassuring squeeze. "I have to get back to work. DNA samples wait for no man. However, when I talked to Mac earlier, he recommended you spend the remainder of your lunch break crashed out on the couch in his office. He claims it's more comfortable than the one in your office. Although how he knows that I'm a little puzzled by. I mean about the couch in your office, not. .." He laughed nervously. "Never mind. I'm going back to work now but I'm always available if you need to talk."
Lindsay smiled. "Thanks, Adam. I really appreciate it. Not just for lunch but for company as well."
She followed him part of the way down the hall but then turned to head toward Mac's office. She let herself in and slipped her shoes off before lying down on the couch. She was asleep before she could even think about pulling the soft blanket he had folded along the top over her.
- CSI: NY - CSI: NY - CSI: NY -
When Mac stepped into his office at 2:00 he wasn't surprised to see Lindsay curled up on his couch sound asleep. She didn't stir as he entered and he didn't have the heart to wake her. He took the blanket from the back of his couch and gently covered her. Then he picked up a few files he needed to work on and quietly exited the office.
Danny had come back to the lab at the same time and seemed to be hunting for his wife. Mac explained that she was still peacefully asleep on his couch. Danny looked relieved. He had been worried that she would stubbornly refuse to take it easy but he gathered that stubborn or not her body really did know what was best for her.
"You realize though she's gonna be pissed at us if we let her sleep past her agreed upon lunch break." Danny warned Mac.
"You want to wake her up?" Mac asked with a slight grin.
"Hell no. I don't think she's gotten a really good night of sleep since she came home from the hospital. But she apparently kept up her end of your bargain; if we don't keep up ours, then she might not be as willing to play nice tomorrow so I don't guess I have much of a choice."
Mac looked worried. "She still having the night terrors?"
Danny shook his head. "No, but I think in some ways the nightmares that have taken their place are even worse. She remembers those. I thought about asking Hawkes about sleeping pills for her, but didn't because you know she'd refuse to take them. She's told me before that she's scared of getting addicted to them or something like that."
"If she's not sleeping well, then you aren't sleeping well either, I'm sure. I know you want to be there for her but if it gets too much for you…"
Danny nodded. "I know to ask. Just promise to cut me a little slack if you find me passed out at my desk when I'm supposed to be doing paperwork. I better go wake her up"
He made his way to Mac's office and sat down beside her on the couch. She looked so peaceful that he truly hated to wake her up. Before he could make an attempt though, her eyes opened slowly and she smiled at him. "Hey there, Handsome."
He leaned down and kissed her gently. "Looks like you were having a pretty good nap there. Maybe we should sneak Mac's couch home with us for you to sleep on there. Looks like you were having the best sleep you've had in a while."
She shook her head, slowly sitting up and leaning against him. "Only one problem with that; it wouldn't be big enough for the both of us. I seemed to recall you promising to at least hold me through the night even if that's as far as it'll go for the time being. I plan on holding you to that."
It wasn't the first time since Friday night that she had alluded to their talk about waiting about sex until he was sure she was ready. Though she had agreed to trust him, he wasn't sure if she was truly happy and okay with the plan. That mind field he'd described for Mac seemed to be getting trickier and trickier to navigate. He was willing to admit he needed help getting through it. He loved his wife too much to allow his pride to get in his way.
She gave him a quick kiss and sat up completely. Putting on her shoes she then folded Mac's blanket, wondering how it came to be covering her. Then she gave his shoulder a squeeze before leaving Mac's office to return to work. Danny continued to sit there for a few minutes and then reached for his phone. He searched for a number that he'd just recently stored there and waited for the person to answer.
He sighed when the voice came on the other line. "Hey, this is Danny Messer. Do you have time to give me some advice?"