Lindsay’s father talked at great, almost excessive, length about how she wasn’t going to be a scientist, no matter what she said, and she was going to stay at home and help out on the ranch like he’d always told her she would. He talked until he’d convinced himself with his pompous tone; but he hadn’t convinced Lindsay and she told him so, completely calmly and matter-of-factly, and watched him shout. It didn’t make a blind bit of difference to Lindsay, because she’d made up her mind years ago that she had to get out. No matter what he said.
Lindsay loves the reconstructions, however gruesome. In Bozeman they didn’t have the money to painstakingly recreate what had happened to their latest victim. But in New York they do them all the time, whether it’s because they need to establish which weapon was used to kill their victim, or they need to know just how the injuries were actually caused, or any number of other reasons. And Lindsay is always fascinated, whether she has to stab a pig with a screwdriver, or watch Mac wielding swords, or gets to be carried by Danny (although that one might be her favourite).
Lindsay had been so busy fighting with Danny over her decision to go undercover that she didn’t really think about what she was doing until her shoes were clicking down the empty hall and she actually realised that she was entering a room with a hostage and far too many guns, and although she was armed with a grenade, it wouldn’t be much good to her if they shot her outright. But she clenched her hand hard around the “I Heart NY” bag anyway and walked up to the door. It would be all right. It would have to be.
In the moments before she arrives to work, Lindsay takes the time to take a deep breath or seven, in and out, preserving the last of her calm before she steps through the glass doors to discover just what kind of blood-soaked corpse she’s going to become intimately acquainted with today. It’s something she ensures that she does every day, because if she can keep the slightest shred of calm with her constantly, then she might just hold off the almost inevitable breakdown that comes with this job. It’s not a foolproof method, but it’s really all she can do.
“Do you believe in fate, Montana?” Danny asks, bent over a microscope looking at the fibres pulled from the body of their latest vic. Lindsay bites her lip as she considers the last case that made her have to get out of Bozeman, the simultaneous free space in the New York CSI department, and the fact that she could have gone anywhere in America but she ended up here, in this room, with Danny.
“No,” she lies.
“You might change your mind when you see what I’ve found here,” Danny tells her, tapping the microscope; and frowns at her expression.
Lindsay looks out of the window of the skyscraper; the view over the city is incredible. It’s so busy and loud and full of people, all of whom, at least from experience with those she’s had the chance to meet, are doing something illegal, planning on doing something illegal, or have just done something illegal and are covering it up. The twisted mazes of streets are full of various degrees of evil and cruelty, and she smiles wryly. Whatever Danny might say about wheat fields, as least you can look at them and know they’re not planning on killing you.
Your head is thumping, because you’ve spent the day in badly-lit bars drifting with cigarette smoke, and all you’ve been able to conclude is that your victim hung out in some real dumps, and that everyone is going to claim they didn’t see him, and you’re getting ever increasingly tired.
“You look dead on your feet, Lindsay,” Hawkes tells you, slipping you a glass of water and two pills, and you hope you manage to smile gratefully at him before sipping them down, hoping you can keep yourself going for the next few hours, or as long as it takes.
Sensible shoes, protein bars and at least four hours of sleep a night had been Stella’s suggestions. Lindsay was trying to implement them as best she could, but really, she hadn’t had more than about two hours’ worth of sleep in more days than she could actually count. She tried to work out whether more and more people were dying in suspicious circumstances because it was April, or whether it was because New York was filling up with more psychopaths than normal, but she honestly couldn’t tell any more. All she could tell was that she really needed some caffeine.
“I’m leaving,” Lindsay announces, waiting for the world to fall apart around her. She isn’t disappointed, as Chris looks up from the couch.
“Leaving where?” he asks suspiciously. Lindsay takes a deep, deep breath, fingers tight around the handle of her suitcase.
“New York,” she replies steadily. Chris is at her side in a moment.
“And you were going to tell me when?”
“Never,” Lindsay tells him. “I can’t stay here with you any more.”
His eyes are on her back as he watches her leave, and Lindsay bites her lip hard to stop herself from looking over her shoulder.
Sunday morning. Lindsay stretches out in bed, warm and comfortable, with the sunlight warm on her face as it filters through the blinds. No work today. Absolutely no reason to get up. She set the alarm early just so that she could wake up and turn it off, then lie there and think ooh, I don’t have to move for the next few hours. It’s been a long week but it’s worth it, because now there’s no deadline and no pressure, and she can just lie here in the soft peace and quiet and think of nothing; nothing at all.
It’s almost ridiculous, the way the idea of losing control has her so sick. It’s almost unnatural, given that she, if anyone, ought to know you can’t control anything. The way you die. Maybe even the way you live. It’s strange how some people like to spend their lives giving up control, tying themselves down for the sake of sex or love or because they don’t know what else to do. It’s all the rage now, to have a kink in your closet, to like to be helpless. Lindsay thinks that would kill her.
She knows that would kill her.