Disclaimer: Like you don't already know-I don't own the characters.
A/N: I started this fic over 2 years ago. I vowed to finish it for wmcday-last year's came and went, so I again vowed.
I apologize if parts feel rushed but in my defense they kinda were. If I spent the time doing exactly what I wanted it would be another two years to complete.
Happy Women's Murder Club Day!
"Ms. Bernhardt, is your witness going to show this morning or not?" Judge Betts did not bother to hide the irritation in his voice.
"Yes your Honor. I was assured that she would be here," Jill answered as she stood.
The defense attorney shot to his feet. "Your Honor, even if Ms. Thomas does show there is no guarantee she is going to reveal the name of her source. The inspectors in this case have failed to find any evidence that points to my client outside of the information obtained by Ms. Thomas and her supposed witness."
"That's only because the defense was successful in suppressing the only..."
"Objection!" The defense attorney yelled before Jill could finish her argument.
"I'm sorry your Honor," Jill apologized after a stern look from the judge. "Ms. Thomas was going to speak with her witness and was confident that she could compel them to come in and testify for this morning's hearing." Jill shot a look over her shoulder to Lindsay, who immediately pulled out her phone and moved out of the courtroom.
The attorney shot Jill a condescending look before returning his gaze to the Judge. "You see your Honor, the District Attorney's office is delaying the inevitable and wasting the court's time," he argued.
Not wanting to let the other attorney know she was rattled Jill kept her voice calm, "I assure you..."
"Okay I've heard enough," the judge cut her off. "Ms. Bernhardt I will give you, another, 24 hours to find Ms. Thomas and her witness. This is the final extension I can offer. If you cannot produce them by tomorrow morning then I will have no choice but to dismiss all charges against Mr. Temple."
"But your Honor, my client has already spent enough time in jail."
"So one more night won't hurt." The bang of the gavel announced the end to the arguments.
As soon as the judge had exited through the front of the courtroom Jill grabbed her case and hurried through the back. "Well?" she asked Lindsay.
"It's just going to voicemail."
"Dammit. Where is she?"
"I don't know," Lindsay replied softly as she tucked her phone into her pocket.
"If you hadn't let your ego get bruised you could've brought her yourself."
"Wait." The inspector's head snapped up and she snared the arctic blue eyes with her own. "Are you saying this is my fault?"
"You're the one that ran off to spend the weekend on Claire's couch. I'm getting a material witness for her, you are just going to have to find her." The attorney turned from her friend and without another word stormed down the hallway.
Claire sat in her office waiting for the phone to ring with an update about the morning's hearing. Part of her felt that she should be there but she had nothing to offer for this proceeding, except support. Plus she had her own work to do and quite honestly she was tired. She and Lindsay had stayed up incredibly late talking and even after she made it to bed Claire could only lie there and worry.
This current case had put a strain on her friends' relationship and even the club as a whole. The hardest part to deal with was the fact that they were all right. Lindsay needed certain information to make her case, Jill needed that information to get her conviction and Cindy had that information, or at least knew who did. But as easy as it was to just demand the name from the reporter Claire understood her need to keep it secret and Claire could see the internal struggle the girl was going through. Unfortunately the other club members were too caught up with what they needed to see any other point of view.
She was pulled from her bitter reflections by Lindsay entering the office and plopping down roughly onto the couch. "How was court?"
"She never showed."
"What?" Though she was surprised Claire tried to keep her voice even. "Where is she?"
"I have no idea, but Jill is getting a warrant and wants me to go find her."
"So what are you doing here then."
Lindsay held up her hands to show they were empty. "Waiting on the warrant," she replied harshly.
The ME ignored her friend's tone. "Do you think..." Claire's question was cut short by Jill storming through the door.
"Figured I'd find you hiding on Claire's couch again."
Lindsay shot to her feet. "I was just waiting for you."
"Right," Jill retorted. "Well here it is," she pushed the paper into the inspector's hand.
"Let's all relax." Claire kept her tone quiet to try and bring some calm to the room.
"This is not my fault," Lindsay asserted.
"Yeah, well you aren't helping matters. She knows the only way you'll talk to her is if you're arresting her."
"I've tried calling. I can't help it if she's hiding from me," Lindsay returned angrily.
Jill opened her mouth to fight back but Claire ended the argument. "Stop." Both women looked to their friend.
"I can't believe you two," Claire began. She pointed at Jill, "you really think Cindy would jeopardize your case to get back a Lindsay? And you," she said firmly, turning her attention to the inspector. "When has she ever hidden from you? From the day you two met she's been right there by your side, whether you wanted her there or not."
"So then where is she?" Lindsay asked with more heat than she intended.
Claire hesitated, not wanting to voice her worry. "Maybe her witness was less willing to testify than she thought."
"So, she could have still come in," Jill reasoned. "At least we would have had something for the judge."
Claire leaned forward, placed her elbows on her desk and rested her chin on her clasped hands and simply waited for her friends to catch up to her train of thought.
Lindsay furrowed her brow and studied her friend. "You think ..." she began softly, only to stop herself. "No," Lindsay insisted as she backed toward the door. "You're wrong," she said, trying to convince herself more than anyone else.
As she made her way to the elevator Lindsay pulled out her phone not bothering to wait for a greeting when the other line picked up. "We have a witness warrant for Cindy, I need you to put a bulletin out for her car."
"Don't you think that's a bit extreme?" Jacobi asked with a chuckle.
"Warren please," Lindsay begged. "There's a picture of her car in my top drawer with the license and vin numbers. I'll be up in a second and we can head out," she finished as she disconnected.
The use of his first name had Jacobi straightening and moving immediately. He smiled when he pulled out the picture, remembering the day it was presented to his partner. Lindsay had been in overprotective mode, as usual, and had left several messages on Cindy's voicemail each one more demanding than the last. When the reporter finally made her appearance at the station she had presented Lindsay with the picture to help in any future searches. Then to make sure Lindsay knew how ridiculous she was being the reporter offered to borrow Martha's GPS collar whenever she had to go out on an assignment. It was always a show he loved to watch, not just seeing the small redhead stand up to the mean ole' inspector but the way his partner would almost immediately crumble.
Jacobi's smile faded as he thought of the tone in his partner's voice, he picked up the phone and urgently called in the bulletin. Lindsay would not be happy if she got up there and he was just standing, staring at the picture. He was just hanging up when she approached, barely slowing down for him to join her, and they left the station together.