Pairing: Lindsay/Stella (with a smidge of onesided!Danny/Lindsay)
Challenge/Prompt: fanfic100, 095. New Year, and psych_30, 026. Obsession
Summary: She shouldn’t care the way that she does about such a little thing, a little thing that doesn’t even matter.
Author’s Notes: My Lindsay muse got a bit sick for a while but it’s recovering now, so expect lots of Lindsay stuff on its way. CSI:NY came back on Saturday which was shiny. I’m getting quite into L/S, not sure why, but hey; I gotta ship Lindsay/everyone to get through this.
Lindsay knows that she shouldn’t still be thinking about this. It shouldn’t continue to be on her mind, turning itself over and over, all possible angles and motives and views. This isn’t a crime scene. There’s no murder, no death, no suspects, no evidence. And she shouldn’t care the way that she does about such a little thing, a little thing that doesn’t even matter.
Except that it really, really does.
It’s stuck and it stings and Danny keeps telling her that she’s distracted, you ok Montana?, brash and oblivious (but yet, unerringly, sweet), and Lindsay nods and fakes a migraine. For almost a week. Danny becomes convinced that she’s got a brain tumour after five days of her saying “it’s just a headache, Danny” every time he asks why she’s so lethargic and vague, and Lindsay is forced to reflect that, considering she spends 80% of her time around people who make up believably creative excuses, she really is a godawful liar.
She’s not little and lost in this city anymore. She’s got a decent apartment, friends, a job she really loves and coworkers who respect her (Danny might even more than respect her, but Lindsay can’t allow herself to think like that, it’s just too complicated), and everything is sane and normal and pretty tame, which is probably all that really counts. But she is still fixated with this one tiny thing, this anomaly, and she just can’t get it to make any form of sense.
Perhaps she ought to have gone home for Christmas, but she and her father are not quite on speaking terms yet (he never wanted her to leave and Lindsay thinks that she might never forgive him for that- everything in shards of arguments and tears and there’s a relationship that might never repair itself). Her mother begged for weeks, Lindsay declined, spent Christmas day in her pyjamas with a tub or two of icecream and festive films on the television so saccharine they made her teeth ache. Mac would probably have let her take a fortnight off, Christmas and New Year, she could have gone home, been the Dutiful Daughter. But she wouldn’t and maybe this is her punishment.
Danny brings her a couple more headache pills and a bottle of water to wash them down, and Lindsay does have a headache by now, so she takes them gratefully. He asks her if she’s alright, and she assures him that she really is (he’s so sweet; she knows that she’s going to have to tell him no at some point before he gets hurt), and they get talking about fibres and trace evidence until Lindsay can make her mind go blank.
With hindsight (that beautiful, irritating creature), Lindsay reflects that maybe she shouldn’t have accepted Stella’s invitation to a New Years’ party. But she didn’t want to spend the holiday alone, like she had Christmas, and Stella had almost looked pleading as she said that she wanted someone to come with her, and so it really didn’t take much to persuade Lindsay to go. She found a halfway pretty dress and it was a good evening. She’d forgotten how much fun it was to socialise with new people and it was a fantastic party, as far as Lindsay is concerned, because no one got murdered (maybe that’s a rather low standard, but it still important).
… Danny tells her that she isn’t listening to him. Again. Lindsay apologises and her head really is starting to thump with pain because she can’t make herself stop thinking (or maybe she really does have that brain tumour. Tempting fate with her lies and all that). It’s unsettlingly like being insane and it’s set her right on edge.
“I’m sorry,” she mumbles, helpless, dizzy, frustrated with herself because she can’t even distract her thoughts with a serious case.
“Why don’t you take five, Lindsay,” Danny says, squeezing her shoulder and letting his hand linger a little too long (shit; sooner, rather than later, she’s going to have to have that conversation entailing the words you and me and I like you but this is never, never going to happen). Lindsay leaves him in the lab and almost stumbles as she goes out to get some air, clear her head, tell herself she’s being fucking, fucking stupid.
It’s something so tiny that it’s almost ridiculous to fixate on it, but ridiculous or not, Lindsay can’t concentrate on anything else. Can’t think of anything but Stella’s mouth on hers, stroke of midnight, tasting like champagne (but Lindsay knows that neither of them were drunk- and if they weren’t then why would Stella even-). But it’s been a week and neither of them have said anything, and Lindsay knows that it’s stupid and potentially the first step on the road to full-blown madness, and it was only a kiss, but she just can’t get it out of her mind.