A/N: Thanks for all the comments! I really appreciate them and I'm glad to know there are other Linden/Holder fans out there. That was QUITE a season finale! But, frankly, not enough of them in it. Fingers crossed for a third season so we get more of these two amazing characters.
2x13 - WHAT I KNOW
He leans against the concrete wall of the transport bay. It's almost five a.m. and the November air feels damn good, cold and fresh. He sucks it in deep. The sky is clear today. It's going to be sunny later. A beautiful day.
The prisoner van left three minutes ago, taking Terri Marek to County. He watched her get loaded in. She looked at him one last time with vacant eyes and he couldn't muster up the energy to hate her or pity her or scorn her or even fucking wonder how she could do such a thing. She don't matter anymore. She'll be a court date on his calendar in a few months and then he'll never think of her again.
He fell asleep in their office, a sore-neck snooze, while Linden watched Rosie Larsen's home movie. He had no interest in seeing it. That's Sarah's deal, not his. She's the one who breaks bread with the dead. Someone woke him up, told him Marek was being transported, and he looked around for Sarah, expecting to find her still watching the film, OCD-style. He found the projector, still hot, but didn't find her.
Now Linden finds him and she's brought the coffee this time. He's kinda beyond needing a pick-me-up but drinks it anyway, out of habit. "Why again did we decide to stop smoking?" he asks.
"You're the one who decided we should."
"Oh yeah I forgot."
"How're your ribs?"
And before he knows it, her little hand is inside his jacket and trying to pull up his sweatshirt. He grabs her hand, stilling it. "Ah ah ah! At least buy me dinner first," he teases her. He doesn't want her seeing the long expanse of blue-brown-purple-green-yellow flesh that is his right side, doesn't want her seeing that ugly fucking mess. He re-aggravated the injury a couple times the past few days, falling when he tripped Janek Kovarsky's guy, and then trying to subdue the gorilla-like Stan Larsen. But he doesn't want her worrying about it, about him. He gives her hand a squeeze. "It's fine, Dr. Mom. I swear. Can we go home now?"
She drops her hand from his side and shakes her head. "One last thing to do."
"All I want is to take a hot shower and sleep for like a week, yo," he says, sagging against the wall.
She nods slowly but she's got this thousand-yard stare. "I want my child," she finally says and that's just the knockout to the emotional pummeling he's taken. Quietly his heart breaks for her. "I need to go to Chicago."
He expected that. "Okay."
She suddenly looks up at him, back from that distant place, and asks, "Do you want to go to Chicago with me?"
He was not expecting that. He stares down at her, trying to read her, not sure if she means that the way it sounds. Does she mean that? He imagines he has this look of dumb shock on his face.
"Jack likes you better than he likes me at the moment," she says, chuckling some. Is she covering, joking around, back-pedaling? Or does she really mean that, too? He's so confused. She stares at the cement wall. "I'm worried he won't wanna come back with me," she explains finally, honestly. "That he wants to stay in Chicago."
"No, Linden," he says seriously, trying to assure her. "No. He wants to be with you. You're his moms, y'know?" She doesn't seem convinced. "I mean, come on - they put tomatoes and pickle spears on the hotdogs out there. What's that about, huh? That's nasty."
She chuckles again and he does too, but it's brief and the silence feels awkward because he's still not sure if she meant it and maybe neither is she. She coughs. "Will you be able to give me a ride to the airport tomorrow or whenever? Or will you be sleeping?" she asks.
She didn't mean it.
He was letting his wild imagination run off down the road, buck naked and screaming. He's an idiot. He hopes he doesn't look as disappointed as he feels. "Of course. Anytime. I'm your ride, Linden, you know that."
"I do know."
She leans closer, leaning into him, slipping in under his arm and leaning into his good side, pressing her face into his sweatshirt. She's surprised him yet again. He sets his coffee on top of the cement wall and lets both arms come around her, hugging her to him. She's so small in his arms. She's nearly engulfed by his open jacket. "What's this for?" he risks asking.
"For everything. 'Cuz you're my BFF, Holder."
They hold onto each other, hold each other up, and that's a familiar feeling, but not like this, never like this before. The feel of her hair under his cheek isn't familiar. The feel of her fist clutching his sweatshirt isn't familiar. He lets his eyes close. He lets the moment linger. He's so tired. Her hair smells like cigarette smoke and shampoo. He wants to sleep for a week with his face buried in her hair. "Can we sleep now, Linden?"
She steps away from him, but he doesn't let her go far, keeping his arm around her shoulders, steadying himself. "One last thing," she says, taking something out of her coat pocket. It's a DVD in a paper sleeve. "Rosie's film."
So that's where she's been. Up in the lab, having the film transferred to digital. He knows where they'll be going now, what they'll do when they get there. He nods and she smiles up at him, her skin glowing white like marble in the pre-dawn. He knows it's her goodness glowing from within. It lights her way in this world. It lights his way.
He keeps his arm around her as they head for his car. It's five a.m. and they're alone out here, two angels of the morning with a special delivery to make.