Disclaimer, Spoilers, et al: Yeah, they're not mine and this is pretty AU from the beginning of season 2.

A/N: I am sure this has been done before, probably several times, but here is my take on it. Just something I've been writing to clear the cobwebs when I run into a block on other things. Not sure when I'll be updating or really what kind of quality it will be but I'm hoping to just have fun with this one. Enjoy!


This whole 'leaving Montana for the Big Apple' thing was turning out to be a lot more difficult than Lindsay Monroe had ever anticipated. She'd been prepared for the homesickness and the culture shock and the faster pace and even the accents that were so foreign sounding. She knew things would be different, knew that she'd have moments of wanting to go home and that the first few weeks would be hard, at least until she found her footing. What she wasn't prepared for was the constant self-doubt and second guessing.

When she'd started down this road she'd been so convinced that it was right, but now she was having massive doubts. Had she really done this for the right reasons? Was she running because she was afraid, or was running a defense to legitimately protect herself? Would she actually be able to pull it off or would it all come crashing down around her ears? Pride goeth before a fall and the fall she could experience had the ability to ruin everything.

Even now at work, while everyone was sitting in the conference room sharing information and theories on their latest case, her mind was nowhere near the file in her hand. It was back in Montana, lost on the most beautiful set of brown eyes she'd ever seen.

"Do you know how much I love you?"

"Yes."

"It won't be long."

"You said that."

"I have to do this. Eventually things will be better."

"I'll miss you-"

"Lindsay?"

"Hmm?"

"Initial findings at the scene?"

"Oh sorry. Um, splatter patterns shows a cast off concentrated three feet from the victim. Other blood spatter indicates the height of our killer between 5'11" and 6' tall, which is unfortunately the average height of most men and interestingly not the height of anyone we like as a suspect."

As her new colleagues discussed this piece of information, she sat back in her chair and looked out over the skyline, hearing an old familiar tune in her head, as if it had always been there, never going fully away, just like a memory that she recalled unbidden.

He gives beauty for ashes,
Strength for fear
Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair

They were words that had comforted her so many times, through different changes and adventures and she felt if she could listen to them a few more times, even just in her head, she could make all the questions turn off and leave her alone for a while.

Everyone had gathered their things and left by the time she broke out of her reverie and she was startled to find herself alone.

Well, almost alone.

Adam had dropped his report and was cleaning it up off the floor, cursing when he got a paper cut.

"You okay down there?"

"I'm fine, just one of those 'I made coffee but forgot to turn it on' kind of days.

"I've had my share of those."

"Like today?"

"What tipped you off?" she chuckled, hitting the lights as they left the room and made their way down to reconstruction.

"I think someone could have let loose twenty turkeys in there and you wouldn't have noticed."

"I was hoping it wasn't quite that bad. I'm just tired. I finally found a place but moving in and buying furniture and everything else is exhausting."

"Weekends coming."

"Two days of blessed sleep and cooking actual food. I can't wait."

"So where was your mind this morning?"

"Back home on the front porch swing."

"Sounds better than here."

"It is."

They worked quietly together for a while, setting up the reconstruction of the crime scene so they could recreate the blood spatter and make sure that her measurements had been correct. She'd been vaguely aware of Mac assigning them this project and she was glad Adam had been paying attention to the specifics or she would have to admit to Mac that she'd been completely off in another world.

"Alright, you want to do the stabbing or should I?" Adam asked, positioning the mannequin on the floor.

"You're taller than me," she shrugged. "You can stand on this box to make up for the rest of the difference."

"I'm not that short."

"On the box, Ross."

"Geez," he muttered, stepping up to the box and donning the protective face mask. "It's no wonder women always think us men enjoy gratuitous mayhem. You force us into it."

"I'm not even sure how to respond to that," Lindsay chuckled, stepping away so she wouldn't get splattered with fake blood.

"You clear?"

"Yeah, I'm good."

He looked at the photograph of the body once more before he went at the mannequin, making sure to stab it in the same places as the victim.

"Well that's probably the weirdest part about our job," Lindsay said, taking pictures of the blood spatter patterns before measuring them.

"I always feel a little creepy afterwards," Adam agreed. "How are we looking?"

"Well I didn't make a mistake the first time, all the measurements and calculations match up."

"You think Mac asked you to do a reconstruction because he didn't trust what you'd done the first time?"

"No. Well yeah, a little. He doesn't ask anyone else to go back over their work."

"He just wants you to prove yourself. He makes me go back through everything too. New kids and all."

"Yeah, well this isn't middle school and I don't like it."

Adam gave her a look and she sighed, shaking her head.

"I understand why he does it and that's okay. I just wish I didn't have to prove it. He hired me, that should be enough."

"Well, keep plugging away and before you know it you'll be looking down your nose at some intern and asking them to check their work again."

"Very funny."

He shrugged and took the clipboard from her, signing his name to indicate that he'd witnessed the reconstruction, as was customary for everyone, not just her.

"Let's clean this up and go tell Mac you were right and he needs to look for more suspects."

"I dare you to walk up to him and say that."

"Me? Have you seen me try to talk to anyone at all?"

"You seem to do pretty well with me."

"Yeah, but that's because you don't make me nervous."

She nodded and they continued to clean up before heading back upstairs with their findings.

"So what are you off to do now?"

"I've got some stuff from another case to work on. I am the tech guy after all. You?"

"Considering I've been here six hours I might take a break, but I'm sure there's something else to do."

"One perk to not being field rated."

"Hush."

They parted ways in the hall and she went to her desk, checking over papers and letting her mind wander back, back, back.

Life would never be the same again. She knew that already, no matter the outcome she knew it would change her. But a two pink lines were obviously more life changing than just one and she sat there breathing deeply for a few moments, not really believing that she was going to be one of those girls. Knocked up in college, by a guy she barely knew, a complete disappointment and shame to her family. The guilt of not following the life path that they'd all seen for her was worse than the thought of actually telling them, and her stomach grew even more upset.

She went back into the bathroom and threw up hard, until her body collapsed on the floor, unable to move from the physical exertion and the emotional toll. Without knowing what made it happen, her hand moved over her stomach, her thumb stroking up and down gently as if this child could feel that small motion of comfort.

After a while she got up, walked on wobbly legs through the dorm room and curled up in her bed, crying roughly and trying to figure out where to go from here. She had to tell Josh, there was no getting around that. She was pretty sure how he would feel about it, but she didn't know if he would at least try to be a father, or if he would see his kid once a year. Lindsay didn't really care about that part at the moment. She wasn't in love with Josh by any stretch of the imagination, no matter how fast their relationship had gone. Was it really only a month ago, the end of August when everything happened? It seemed like longer than that, but she knew a month was no time at all. Especially considering that she'd met him and gotten pregnant in the space of about two weeks. She couldn't believe herself, was too embarrassed to even think the thought completely through. This was not her. This was not the girl her parents had raised. This was not the girl she wanted to be.

She lay there for almost an hour, crying for what she'd done, the parts of life that were over. She never cried, however, with regret about the life that was growing within her. Never once. Each time she let herself think about this unborn child, her heart leapt with joy and wonder. She was terrified, but she knew this child was going to be loved absolutely beyond description, no matter who was happy about it.

After a while she rolled over and picked up her phone, calling Josh just to get it out of the way. He didn't answer, which wasn't that much of a surprise and she was too worked up to leave a message, so she hung up and rolled over, closing her eyes and falling asleep, shutting the world away.

"Montana?"

"Hmm."

"Hello? What's goin' on?"

"What?"

"You're like, in another planet."

"On another planet."

"You're really quibbling over a conjuction?"

"Preposition."

"Am I givin' you a headache?"

"No, I already had one, but you're makin' me laugh. Keep goin' School House Rock."

"Anyway, we've got a scene to get to."

"I'm already in the middle of one case."

"Don't worry, you're not gonna be distracted. Flack thinks it's the same killer."

"Ug. What is my motivation to actually get out of this seat?"

"Um… I'll buy you coffee on the way."

"Okay, sold."

He offered his hand and helped her up, then handed her the kit she had stashed next to the desk.

"This is the job that never ends."