Title: PROJECT WINGMAN
Author: Misty Flores
Fandom: Women's Murder Club
Genre: Lindsay/Cindy, some Jill/Cindy implied
Teaser: Jill has plans to make Cindy her perfect wingman: she just has to get Cindy over that pesky 'hopelessly in love with Pete-Devoted Lindsay' issue first. Lindsay might just have a problem with that.
Lindsay had a boyfriend. A long distance boyfriend, whom she hadn't seen in over six months.
When Lindsay wasn't around, Jill liked to call him Lindsay's 'excuse'.
"Just another reason not to have a real relationship," she remembered Jill blurting, one late night when it was the two of them sharing a couple bottles of wine.
Secretly, Cindy suspected some bitterness on Jill's tone, because as much as Jill liked to believe in fantasy, her single life exhibited the fact that she had more than embraced her flaws.
Lindsay, so outwardly content with her long distance relationship, couldn't understand that Jill had normal with Luke, and had lost it. She had been tried by the one man who wanted her most and been found lacking.
But Cindy would never tell Lindsay that.
Just like she would never admit to Lindsay that she actually liked it this way. Deep down, in a selfish part of her that she tried to bury, Cindy liked that Pete was a half a world away, and Lindsay was right here, free to be herself, free to work and smile and be Lindsay without Jill and Claire shoving a man at her every other second.
As long as Lindsay was with Pete, Lindsay was all hers.
It wasn't the healthiest perspective, but Cindy told herself she didn't mind that. Everyone was inclined to be twisted about something, and at least this way, she was the one who Lindsay called when she was bored. And she was the one who got pulled into Dog-sitting duties and late night evenings with old movies and a six pack of beers.
In some respect, she even knew that Lindsay took her for granted, always assuming she'd be available when she needed companionship, when she needed someone to take Martha for the weekend. When she needed a surrogate date because Pete was gone, all she had to do was pick up the phone and dial Cindy's number.
She had accepted it. It was almost okay. In the long run, it didn't really matter, as long as Pete was around to keep her from having to see Lindsay pine over Tom.
Apparently, it mattered to Jill.
"We have GOT to hook you up with someone." The gorgeous lawyer, with a twinkle in her eye, wore an expression that was appropriately saucy, tilting a beer bottle up to her lips.
Blowing out her breath and managing an exaggerated scowl, Cindy turned to her own Cosmopolitan, and flicked a cherry from the bartender's stash toward her busy body friend. "God. What IS it with you and your perpetual need to get everyone laid? You do it enough for the two of us."
Only Jill Bernhardt would ever take that as a compliment. Nose scrunched adorably, the older woman leaned sideways and planted a borderline inappropriate kiss on the corner of her mouth.
"Because sitting around mooning over Lindsay is getting pathetic." Sneaking in closer, Jill's hand clasped her shoulder and forced her away from the bar, and toward the crowded mass of people grinding themselves against each other on the small dancefloor the bar provided. "Look at that. We're hot. You're young. I'm sexy. We can take the world by storm and leave a litter of broken hearts in our wake, but you refuse to live up to your potential. And quite frankly, it cramps my style when we tag-team and then my Girl Friday ducks out to go walk Lindsay's dog."
Tossing her tipsy friend a sympathetic look, Cindy let her temple fall against Jill's cheek, reaching up to tangle her fingers with that of the hand slung over her shoulders.
"You're right," she said sagely. "You need a better wingman."
She couldn't fault Jill. It was true. Jill's perpetual glee at discovering that Cindy could be the perfect doubles partner she never had, crashed hard upon discovery of the depth of Cindy's devotion to all things Boxer.
Cindy could understand her disappointment.
"I have an awesome wingman," Jill murmured in her ear, and squeezed for her benefit. "You've just got that one thing that we've got to work on."
"You mean that 'completely in love with our straight best friend' thing."
"Like it or not, Cindy, Pete's coming back."
Cindy blanched, because Jill really did have a knack for hitting the nail on the head. "I know that."
"Then you also know that when he does, Lindsay is going to actually HAVE a boyfriend who walks her dog and waters her plants and watches movies with her, and you, the surrogate-"
Shuddering, Cindy tried hard to ignore the sudden rupture in her chest, mouth twitching into an unsure smile. "Yeah. I get it."
And she did. Really, she did, because as much as she wanted Lindsay, Lindsay wanted Pete. And she was what she was: a surrogate. When Pete came back, at the fast approaching one year mark, Lindsay was going to have her boyfriend back and Cindy… would have this.
Not that this was all bad.
She took another sip of Cosmo and sighed into the shoulder of who had become, oddly enough, her best friend.
A few months ago, she really hadn't seen that coming.
A gunshot wound in the chest really did do wonders for enabling intimacy from affection.
"Then we're agreed," Jill answered, as is if it were that simple. "It'll be like a patch. We'll wean you off of her. I'll seduce you myself if I have to. What?" she asked, almost offended when Cindy rolled her eyes. "I'd so totally do you."
"I'd so totally do you," Cindy replied drolly, "If I wasn't all about the Boxer, and you weren't all about the penis."
"There is that." As if to prove her point, her friend was now happily eyeing a dark haired, handsome jock of a guy fingering a shot glass down the bar. "Doesn't mean I can't appreciate a hot red-head. Unlike some Inspectors."
"I thought we were moving on," Cindy remarked dryly.
"We're totally moving on," Jill said, nodding with a little too much force, drifting from tipsy to 'drunk'. "And I have a plan. I'm going to get my wingman, if I have to kill you to do it."
"We're in the right business for it," Cindy mumbled, draining her Cosmo, referring of course, to their friendly habit of catching murderers. "Speaking of which, did you get that warrant Lindsay asked for?"
"Uh-uh!" Jill tssked, removing the empty glass form her hands and snapping her fingers at the bartender, requesting another. "No work tonight. Tonight, we discuss on our new project. Project…" she blinked, obviously searching for an appropriately cool name.
"Wingman?" Cindy asked, more amused than she cared to admit.
"Too cliché," Jill dismissed. "You're the reporter. Think of something original."
"What's the purpose of this project?"
"To wean you away from 'Lindsay's Platonic Girlfriend' and turn you into 'Jill's Awesome Girl Friday Who Helps Her Pick Up Hot Guys and Girls'. Orgies optional."
The snort was unintentional. "Long-winded, but I'm for it." Carnal objectives aside, her always perceptive, always sexy Devil-on-her-shoulder did have a point. Pete was going to be back in two months. Lindsay wasn't any less in love with him than she had ever been, and logically… if she could be logical about all this…
She needed to move on.
She really, really, really didn't want to get her heart trampled on, and that was where she was heading.
That, or she would somehow slip and one late night get so horny and enamored of her gorgeous Inspector she'd be straddling her and sticking her tongue down her throat, and she was pretty sure THAT would be most unwelcome and friendship damaging.
Better to take what she could get and run with it.
Jill's forehead drifted down against her cheek, and the whisper drifted into her ear. "So we need a name."
"A name," she repeated, and took the drink Jill handed her and raised it to her lips, watching the crowd writhing and bodies thumping. The liquor was starting to do its work now, buzzing pleasantly along her senses and making her feel heady; impulsive. Ahead of her, there was a woman dancing, tossing the intimately entwined pair a curious smile that smacked of interest. When their eyes met, Cindy found herself suddenly exhaling. "Let's start with getting hers."
"That's my girl," came the gleeful chortle, and then Cindy's phone rang. "Stop," came the automatic order, when Cindy immediately reached for the blackberry.
"But it could be work!"
"It could be Lindsay," Jill corrected, eyes squinting suspiciously. "Let me."
Yanking the phone out of her hands with suspiciously quick reflexes, her friend glanced at the caller ID, and arched a knowing eyebrow. Immediately, Cindy scrambled. "Look-"
"Ah!" Jill snapped her fingers warningly, slapping at the grabby hands. "Are you serious about this?"
Her thumping, panicked heart told her she was not. "I guess-"
"Not strong enough. I’m taking charge." Pressing a button, Jill held the phone out of Cindy's reach and turned into the bar. "Cindy's phone!"
This was one of those times when Cindy really, really hated being short. Her friend, bend-y and a fan of yoga, held the phone to her ear, and batted away any and all attempts to reclaim her phone.
"Hi Lindsay!" she heard chirpily, and then Cindy found herself actually yelping, redoubling her efforts to get closer to her lifeline. "Yeap. It's Jill. We're hangin'. At a club. No, I'm not drunk." Her eyes rolled expressively. "No, Cindy isn't drunk either. But she's caught the eye of a total hottie and-"
"Stop it," Cindy yelped, blocked again when Jill shoved a barstool between them.
"She's not available at the moment!" Jill chose the moment to get violent and smacked Cindy with her palm against her forehead. "Was this work related? I see. Right, well I'm sure your neighbor could let Martha out if you're still working-"
"I can let Martha -mpph!" Jill's well-placed hand landed over her lips.
"One sec, Linds. Scuze me-" she began merrily to the hunk she was cruising before. "Hi. Would you mind taking this lovely little redhead to dance? Thanks." She winked. "You're adorable, by the way."
But the big oaf was happy to do her bidding, and before Cindy knew it, she had been dragged into the crowd, watching helplessly as Jill explained whatever she was explaining to Lindsay, and proudly hung up the phone.
Waving to her, Jill's smile was positively evil, working her way through the crowd, grabbing hold of the female Cindy had been eyeing on the way.
"Trade?" she suggested, and before Cindy knew it, she had taken back her oaf, and Cindy was now staring into the face of a brown-haired woman with curly hair and a gorgeous smile.
Arm snaking over her shoulders and pulling her back against her, Jill pressed a kiss just below her ear and whispered, "Just remember, this is all for your own good. Now don't even think about calling her back."
Staring helplessly at the brown-haired, brown-eyed girl who smiled like she had a hanger stuck in her mouth, Cindy for the moment, was lost.
Until she thought about Lindsay. And about stupid Pete, and Jill laughed and the brown-haired girl smiled and Cindy just became too buzzed and despondent to care.
The music thumped, and Cindy looked at the woman dancing with her who so obviously thought she was fuckable.
"Hi," she said.
-- end chapter one