Characters: Lindsay; with bits of Danny, Stella and Mac (canon!Danny/Lindsay)
Challenge/Prompt: fanfic100, 004. Insides and psych_30, #5 Multiple Personality
Rating: PG (one use of bad language)
Genre: Gen (implied het)
Summary: Lindsay is more people than she ever planned to be.
Author’s Notes: I wrote this at work on the last two feet of a till roll in red biro pen, with the paper curling up and trying to stop me writing on it. When I was typing it up, however, I discovered that the colour actually complimented the fic, so just be warned if you click on the cut you’re going to have to read in red. I make Lindsay sound really insane in this but hey; maybe she is.
I am not what I am.
(William Shakespeare, Othello)
It is hard being her.
You resent her. Always a smile but yet she has nerves of steel. Logical. Observant. Smart. You spend forever choosing her clothes, fixing her smile down to the last millimetre in the mirror (don’t want it to be too wide, that would imply you’re hiding something, but too small, too weak, and they’ll know just how vividly you don’t feel it). Choosing her tone of voice, and steadying her hands in their latex gloves. She gets frustrated, never angry, though, and when it’s late and she’s been staring down the microscope for too long you would like to shout and throw things to express how very annoyed you are, but it’s not the sort of thing she would do so you can’t. You grimace and drink coffee and ignore the way your feet hurt in the stupid high-heeled boots she wears because it doesn’t do to have a weakness around criminals and she insists that she wants to be taller.
But sometimes it is harder being Montana.
One would think being a state would be easy, but it isn’t. Montana resented herself to begin with and you were just plain confused about a lot of things, in particular your emotions towards the man who created her. Flirtation, or something more? You don’t care, but Montana does. Montana adds a little too much mascara to Detective Monroe’s eyes every morning, pulls her necklines a little lower than they should be, curls her hair until she starts to resemble Stella.
Montana is a tease.
She couldn’t keep up the frosty demeanour long enough, realised that she liked her name and settled into smiling too broadly and flirting all the time. Montana is subtle, but persistent.
Detective Monroe is frustrated by Montana, because Montana is not nearly as professional as she should be. Detective Monroe is calm and steady and strong, content to shout at suspects over the table in the interrogation rooms, to run and take down suspects, to investigate the most disgusting of crime scenes with barely a tremble (you tremble, fuck do you tremble, but Detective Monroe decided long ago to pretend that you don’t exist). Montana jeopardises all that, because all she really wants to do is make eyes at Danny and smile all the time. Thankfully, Montana is easily overruled and you and Detective Monroe keep her in check. No good compromising everything you’ve worked for and strained to hold together just because he has blue eyes (and an accent that makes Montana weak at the knees, no matter how many times you snap at her to shut up).
You’re sick of the way she acts like a teenage girl in love, when you don’t even know if Danny’s serious yet (“But,” Montana wails, “Sid said Danny only calls me this ‘cause he’s got a crush on me!” and you have to forcibly stop her writing Mrs Danny Messer all over the lab reports, because that’s going to achieve… ooh, nothing). And Detective Monroe pretends the whole thing isn’t happening and you watch Danny through narrowed eyes because you’re not sure yet if he’s actually worth all this, and Montana keeps winding him up, oblivious to the caveats, waiting to see if she can make him crack.
Some days, like when she invites Danny for a drink under the pretext of watching Mac’s jazz band, and then flirts in an infuriatingly chaste and virginal fashion all evening, you think that you might actually hate her.
But, if Montana is irritating and difficult to control, and Detective Monroe is just plain exhausting, they are nothing when you compare them to Lindsay.
Lindsay saps all your energy because everything about her has to be carefully planned out in advance. Sometimes you think – and then you know – that you lost the knack of social interaction years ago, somewhere after- yes, well, that. Although you can’t always blame everything on your rather unfortunate past, and really, sometimes you think you’re just lazy.
Lindsay gets on with everyone because she’s sweet without being naïve or prissy. It took a while for you to get the hang of that; but it is getting easier to figure out what she’d say in any given situation, how she’d react, and from time to time the divide between you and her falls through entirely. You liked the look on Mac’s face as he laughed when you discovered how much fun archery was; reaching for another arrow with a light in Lindsay’s eyes that almost felt natural.
And Lindsay goes out after work for drinks with Stella. At first, you resented being the replacement for Aiden (not that Lindsay ever showed this, but you ranted silently every time she picked up her glass), but now you feel that Stella has got pretty attached to Lindsay and you’re not averse to spending time with Stella either. Lindsay never gets drunk, never gives too much anyway, but smiles and laughs and has halfway normal conversations that don’t involve dead bodies or who created them in the first place.
Detective Monroe firmly believes that getting attached to co-workers will just result in her being unable to function when they get hurt, but she always was a single-minded isolated bitch. Montana just wonders why you won’t let her go out for drinks with Danny. You’re simply pragmatic, realising that you need people and more than that, you need girltalk.
It’s taken time to slot her pieces all together, but the end result is rather beautiful. Lindsay teases Don, stays late for coffee with Sheldon, manages to make Mac laugh on a regular basis, has a close friendship with Stella… but falls to pieces whenever Danny gets near. Lindsay is the person you always thought you might be, before the world changed for the worse, and sometimes you wonder what it would be like not to have to work so hard at it.
She tires you out, but Linny destroys your soul.
Linny was your parents’ nickname for you when you were growing up, and they still call you by her name. She obediently calls home once a week, speaks to your mom and lies through her teeth about her – your – life. Linny is an obedient daughter, returns home for Thanksgiving, never fails in her supportive and rather restricting role of Only Child. You resent her, but she is necessary because without her you’d never be able to pick up the phone and call home.
Linny speaks exclusively to your mother; your father won’t speak to you after the argument when Linny told him she wanted to leave for New York. He was reluctant and then he was angry, but Detective Monroe wouldn’t back down and now he won’t forgive her or you. Up until they dragged the Montana girl out of the river, Linny always finished the call with “tell Daddy I love him”, but now you won’t let her say it. You won’t forgive your father for that argument and when it comes to making amends you’ll let him crack first or it won’t happen at all (and won’t he be sorry when they pull Linny’s body from the river).
Detective Monroe is determined to crack cases and bring killers to justice, which is all well and good. Montana just wants to seduce Danny and Lindsay concentrates on being liked and attempting to be sane and have fun once in a while, whilst Linny acts more out of duty than anything else (she’ll never really grow up). It is murderous, separating all these agendas and trying not to let any of them slide.
You like that you have no purpose. You just enjoy the silence and try to keep everyone else in check while refusing to get emotionally involved with anything because you’ve lost enough.
You’re the one who keeps Detective Monroe cold but passionate, who prevents Montana from getting too close to Danny, who makes Lindsay turn away so that she can drop her smile, and you make Linny refuse to back down and apologise to your father. But mostly, you’re just glad at the end of a long day, when you can pull the covers over your head and breathe in the dark and ignore the fact that you’re no longer sure who you are any more.
(If you ever were to begin with.)