"What?!" barks Lindsay, managing to sound like she's in interrogation, despite having drunk five margaritas. She squints, attempting to laser-vision an answer from the two smirking girls opposite her.
Jill just smirks harder. Claire raises and eyebrow and tilts her head, looking to Lindsay's right. Lindsay cranes her neck round, and is rather surprised to notice a weight against her shoulder and hair tickling her skin.
Cindy is nestled against her, head neatly tucked into the curve of her neck. At some point, Lindsay's arm has apparently migrated, slung around Cindy's shoulder, snugging her into her leather jacket.
It's only half-past nine. Lindsay glances again at Cindy, then arches an eyebrow at Jill and Claire.
"She was here and down at least three drinks when we arrived," Claire explains. "Tough day for her."
There's a brief pause where Lindsay prevaricates. Jill sips at the last of her drink. Claire finishes hers, turns to Jill and shouts over the music, "I should get back to Ed. Share a taxi?"
Jill shrugs. "Sure."
They both look to Lindsay. "Wha-at?" she shoots at them.
"Linds? You gonna be okay with Cindy?"
Lindsay blushes, hard, and is thankful that the lights are low. Not that Claire, eagle-eyed, hasn't noticed. She smiles (it's more like a grimace) and pats Claire on the arm. Looks down at Cindy, and feels her heart tug a little when she sees the adorable half-smile on her face. She briefly wonders if Cindy is dreaming, is unsure of quite hot to wake her. Awkwardly, she shifts her shoulder in an attempt to jog the red-head awake.
"Cindy?" No response. Lindsay rolls her eyes. "Cindy. CINDY."
"Mmmlindswhatokay." Cindy's smile widens and she snuggles harder into Lindsay, throwing an arm across her midriff so that Lindsay's trapped against the seat. She rolls her eyes again, but despite the irritated look on her face, a quiet voice at the back of her consciousness declares that she could get used to this. Although preferably they would be horizontal, beneath her quilt, rather than slumped in a booth in the corner of an overly loud club.
Jill and Claire shuffle out of the booth. On the way out, Claire ducks her head and whispers, "Look after her."
Lindsay didn't know she could actually blush harder. It must be the temperature of the club, which is pretty much equivalent to an average day in the Amazon rainforest. To counteract the blush which still stains her cheeks, she glare the best she can at Claire and Jill.
Jill is still smirking. She winks, and Lindsay mouths, "Shut up" at her. Claire just smiles sweetly and waves on the way out.
Lindsay death-glares at their retreating forms. Sadly, they don't disintegrate into neat piles of ash.
To her surprise, when she begins to shift (she's been sitting so long that her butt's gone to sleep), Cindy yawns and opens her eyes. "I fell asleep?" she asks. "In here?"
Lindsay can't help but smile down at her. "That's what happens when you're three drinks down before we turn up." Cindy opens her mouth to interject, but Lindsay presses on. "What were you drinking anyway?"
"Some sort of… cocktail-y thing? Honestly? It didn't seem that strong, it tasted like fruit juice."
"You also pulled three all-nighters in a row. And," Lindsay points out, "you were nearly shot."
"Oh yeah," Cindy responds blearily. "That. I think that's what made me go for the fruit juice in the first place."
"Share a cab?" Lindsay suggests? She's not comfortable to leave a wobbly Cindy to make her own way home. There's a long pause. Cindy takes a breath, looks away, looks back.
"Can I stay at your place? I'll take the sofa." She looks up with those goddamned doe eyes, and Lindsay can see that she's barely holding it together.
Lindsay swallows. "Course you can," she says, roughly, and guides Cindy out of the club, one hand on the small of her back.
In the taxi, Cindy leans against Lindsay again. "I hate closing my eyes," she whispers. "I keep remembering it all." Lindsay isn't sure what an appropriate response would be, so she just hugs her closer, murmurs quietly.
The idea of Cindy staying in her apartment makes Linsday's stomach flip a little. The good kind of flip, she realises, and she tamps the feeling and rasps, "You'll be okay. We'll deal, we always do."
"Thanks." Cindy closes her eyes, slides her arm back around Lindsay's midriff, a warm hand slipping casually beneath layers of leather and shirt and tank top. Lindsay's stomach tenses reflexively and she bites at her bottom lip, but the weight it somehow comforting and she slowly relaxes, letting the passing streetlights wash over them.