DISCLAIMER: ER and its characters are owned by Constant C and NBC. I own no one except for EMILY, (she's mine). I get no money, have no money, and do this strictly for fun, blah, blah, blah....Please don't sue me. Of course if ER wanted a few new ideas, I work CHEAP. And now, on with the show...
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Abby's Southern Roots
So, this is county, huh? Unsupervised screaming children run everywhere, medical staff barking out orders. A little more hectic than what she was used too, and people sure did seem rude. The waiting room reminded her of an asylum, and it looked like the loonies were running this bin.
Abby said that it would be like this. She told her to expect the worst. Just as the young woman recounted the words Abby told her just the night before, an unclothed elderly woman streaked past her, followed by a handsome young doctor. Wonder if that is Luka or John, the young woman thinks, she listens and laughs as the old woman yells back, "I told you, I'm a married woman!"
"Do you need something ma'am?" a voice brings her from her observation, "Ma'am, can I help you?"
The young woman looks sheepishly at the obnoxious tone coming at her. The owner of the voice looks street tough with a bad attitude. She knows immediately, this is Randi.
"You must be Randi," the young woman says with a crooked smile, "Abby said I would probably meet you first."
"Yeah, I'm Randi all right, who the hell are you?"
"I'm Emily Condon, an old nursing school buddy of Abby Lockhart's. I am here from Charleston, South Carolina, and I am supposed to meet Abby - is she around somewhere?"
Randi looks up at Emily as if she is trying to buy the story. She picks up the phone, dials a few numbers and hangs up.
"Nice to meet you Emily" Randi says with a hint of sarcasm, "Sit over in the chairs and Abby will be with you soon."
Wow! That Charleston sun really does wonders for you, Abby thinks as she spots her friend in the waiting area. Ten years and she still looks like she did when we graduated, only better. Wish I could have held up like that. Look at me, I look a mess. What was I thinking? Abby starts smiling as floods of images race through her mind - laughing girls, lots of booze, and lots of, well.... God, I miss those South Carolina beaches...
"Emily!" Abby yells as she makes eye contact with the Southern beauty. Almost instantaneously, they are in each other's arms. "You look great!" the two say in harmony, "I can't believe it's been this long!" "Too long!"
"ABBY!" a familiar yet unwanted voice shrieks in their direction, "Gun shot walking thru the door. We need you now!" Good old Weaver, five other nurses standing around scratching their asses and she would have to yell for me Abby thinks. Am I the only one who knows which way is up?
"Go ahead Abby" Emily says, urging her on, "I'll wait, believe me, I understand."
"But, I hate...to..." Abby stumbles "leave you alone again. Who knows how long I'll be?"
"Don't worry" Emily says glancing a twinkling eye are Abby, "Randi here will keep me company, right Randi?"
"Only if you tell me dirt so I can dish later" Randi insisted.
Emily nods her head, and with one quick hug, Abby runs off to follow Weaver's commands.
After 30 minutes or more of waiting area chaos, Emily decides that she was completely insane to have even contemplated the move to Chicago. Randi looked as if she could use a break and Emily knew she was ready, so she took a shot.
"Hey Randi" Emily said as she walked toward the desk, "You need a break, and so do I. You drink coffee."
"Not if I have a choice," she replied smugly.
"Well, you don't have one" she returned with a perfect Southern drawl. "You'll be coming with me and you're going to show me where I can get a decent cup of coffee."
Randi appeared a little unsettled at the demand in the stranger's voice, but gave in at the sight of her perfect smile. Seems it is true about Southern girls, they really are more beautiful.
"Okay Charleston, you're on. But, not in the cafeteria dungeon. I'm gonna take you to the classiest joint in town, Doc's." Randi gathered her bag and jacket and yelled at the top of her lungs, "I'm taking a break, get over it!"
As the two headed out the door, Emily just shook her head. Abby was right about Randi, she sure did fit her reputation. Maybe she would end up liking Chicago after all.
"NO! Really!" Randi squealed in delight, "Abby really did that in front of the whole church?! What the hell did the groom do?!"
"Well" Emily said half choking on her water, "He looked at the priest and said, Well, if we're all being so honest, I guess I'd better make some frat house revelations - then he reached out and smacked his best man square on the ass."
"NO WAY! I always heard that Southern weddings were different, but I never imagined!"
"Yeah, this guy looks at the priest and says, Alright Padre, on with it already!"
Both were in fits of hysteria, so they did not notice that Abby had snuck up on them and heard the tail end of the conversation.
"EMILY!" Abby demanded, "I can not believe that you are telling her our wedding story!"
"I couldn't help it Abby" Emily said with her best puppy face. "Randi was being mean to me and she wouldn't talk to me unless I gave her some good shit."
"Uh-huh" Abby grinned pushing Emily over in the booth. "You always did excel in that peer pressure thing!"
"So Lockhart!" Randi quizzed, "How come you never told us you were such the party girl? If I knew all this I would've invited you out with the girls."
"Going out with the girls is what got me into trouble Randi" Abby smiled and hugged her friend. "Those days are lone gone now. I'm much more responsible and much more mature, " Abby said this as she grabbed Emily's face and licks her from chin to forehead.
"GOD! ABBY!" Emily yelled, " I always hated that about you!" As she grabbed Abby and returned the unwanted favor.
The timing could not have been perfect. At the same time Emily's tongue slid across Abby's face, Dr.'s Kerry Weaver and Kim Legaspi walked in spotting the action.
Weaver turned to Legaspi without missing a beat, and said in her most serious doctor voice, "See Kim, I told you Abby was sister!" Legaspi tried to contain herself, but laughter got the best of her. She could not hold it anymore and burst out, "Abby! I thought you said you didn't have a toaster!"
Abby thought to herself, shit, I always wanted to get Legaspi's attention, but this is ridiculous. I guess it is better than nothing though. Not that it will do any good, she's so consumed by Kerry that Angelina Jolie could walk right up to her and she'd still only see Kerry Weaver.
Emily Condon on the other hand was an old nursing school friend of Abby's. She was also one of the smartest, sweetest, and most beautiful women Abby had ever had the pleasure of being acquainted with. Emily was also the first and only woman that Abby had feelings for. Emily of course had never known that, that Abby had feelings for her that is. They had only had occasional drunken one night stands, dirty dancing at social functions and long talks along the beaches in Charleston. Emily always had a boyfriend, hell for that matter - Abby had always had one as well. Although, if she would have had the choice, it would have been the two of them. However, times were different, and so were they. Maybe it had just been all the drinking and partying...
Emily Condon came from an old Irish family, with state political strongholds from the coast of South Carolina. On their breaks from nursing school, Emily would fly Abby home with her, and made her part of the family. At first Abby thought, that Emily felt sorry for her because of Maggie. Nevertheless, after a while, the now knowing began to wear off.
Emily of course, ha moved on with her life and Abby with hers. However, somewhere locked in her heart she always wondered what would have happened if they had really tried to really be together. Since Emily called and told her that the divorce was final and she was ready for a change - Abby had dusted off the lock, and thought about those feeling once again.
Abby did not know what was wrong with her really - there were so many things, so many emotions going on with her. She began to think maybe she was beginning to be increasingly like her mother. She thought about Kim Legaspi a lot. There was something about the way she kept pushing and not relenting when Abby was dealing with her Mother. Abby was good a locking people out and not too many withstood her brooding storms. It was almost if she had been a challenge for the sexy Dr. Legaspi. Ever since their run ins, Dr. Legaspi was becoming a challenge for her.
She could not get her out of her thoughts lately - and every time she saw her with Kerry, it made her heart thump. Sometimes as self-punishment she would think of them together, imagine what their lovemaking must be like. But then again, her mind would
wander back to Luka and John. That's were it belonged, right?! Well, sort of. She still wondered if she would ever be able to convince herself.
It had been more crowded than normal on the El, and the two friends barely had time or privacy too talk. "So Abby, " Emily said sweetly. "It is as exactly as you described. Randi is a hard ass - Weaver is a bitch, and the Dr. Legs, well... What the hell does she see in Weaver?" She smiled with a mischievous grin that made her look as tempting as she had all those nights in nursing school.
"But, You ABBY!" Emily placed her hand on her shoulder. "Everything with you is not as described." She looked at Abby up and down and her eyes scoured Abby's apartment. "You said that you looked like hammered shit, and you do not - You are sexier than ever" Emily embraced Abby " And I'm delighted to be with you, once again."
Abby did not know what to think or do at this point. Should I just jump her like in my dreams, or - No, it is nothing. It's just been the loneliness, ever since the breakup with Luka, then John, Abby had talked more and more with Emily on the phone and found comfort with her old friend.
Abby returned the hug, "I'm not sure about the sexy thing - but I sure am glad you're here now, if we can get you convinced to stay!"
"First persuasive tactic, pour me a scotch."
Abby shook her head no, "A beer?" no again, "Blue Nun?" Abby continued with her no headshake until they both broke down in laughter.
"Okay, so when you go in this morning to meet with Weaver, she should be pretty cool with you - unless she's doing that Attila the Weaver act. Hopefully she and Kim got to spend some quality time together last night."
Emily cocked her head and rolled her eyes as she listened to Abby's advice for the third time since 5am. She had not got much sleep the night before and all she wanted was ten more minutes. It would not have been so bad she guessed, but Abby insisted that she stay at her apartment and with only one bed - it made it rather difficult to get thoughts of Abby out of her mind. Especially since, she had been dreaming about being with her since they resumed their relationship over the phone.
Ever since she had begun talking to Abby again, those old issues began to come up. Mainly, it was the unspoken feelings that she had always had for the small woman. She had known her marriage had been a sham, and talking to Abby through it all had made it
easier on her. She had always been such a comfort. She knew her husband had married her for the money he thought she had. However, once he found out he would never gain access too it, he decided that he did not love her anymore. Unfortunately, she did love
him, and the divorce, plus all these old and new feelings for Abby made "just sleeping" with Abby or anyone for that matter impossible. She would have to figure out a way to gracefully get of sleeping with Abby - wither that, to just confess what she had been feeling more recently.
"Okay Lockhart! Okay! I get the drift - me be good - Weaver be hard - Now go to work before you're late for work!" Emily said as she shoved the smaller woman out the door. " You're one of my references, don't make me look bad!"
Abby turned to say Okay and ended up dangerously close to the beautiful woman who she had only previously known as a school girl. Being this close - Abby realized again how much they had changed and grown. Jump her right now Abby, lay it on the line. If you do not do this now, then you are a coward. Abby reached out and gently brushed hr face and pulled her close and gave her a little squeeze. "Good luck, EM - I'm off at 4- then we'll head to the Water Tower and I'll teach you how we shop in Chicago"
Emily returned the hug, half disappointed that it was not more, " see you in a bit."
As Abby left, Emily began to think again, why had she even come back to Abby? The simple thing was that she needed a friend, someone who knew and understood her. That was definitely Abby. All of their recent late night talks had sparked something though, something different and new. Emily tried to shake it off, physically shaking her head as if that would do the trick. Emily turned and headed towards the shower. Her interview with Weaver was not until 10, she had plenty of time. Maybe she should just take a cold one.
"We'll its pleasure to meet you on a more formal basis, Miss Condon" Dr. Weaver started. "Not to say that our first meeting didn't leave a lasting impression" Kerry smiled gently and extended her hand.
"And to meet you - please call me Emily" the graceful Southern woman said with the utmost charm, "and, please, excuse my actions yesterday, I was overly excited, and don't normally conduct myself in that fashion."
"Well, damn." Kerry shrugged " I thought it looked like fun. I just wish that I was that uninhibited."
Emily smiled - this was going to be much easier than she imagined. In addition, Abby said that Weaver was a hard ass - she was much softer than that.
"So, tell me some about yourself, Emily" Kerry asked in a less than 'Weaver" fashion. " I now you went to school with Abby."
"Well, I am from Charleston, South Carolina, and it's not much like this at ll. I grew up wit the tides off Isle of Palms. I come from a well-oiled political machine, and life has been pretty much lived under a microscope. I was number two in my graduating class, much to the chagrin of my Father." Emily continued, wondering why she had just added in that last part. True, but personal. " Went to work at the College of Charleston Medical Center, and have worked trauma there my whole career. Although, I did take some time off and went to Northern Ireland to provide medical assistance to the International Peace Keeping force when they were at the height of fighting."
"Yeah, I've kept up with that." Kerry added, "I read some articles in the Journals about some new advances in treating bombing victims. I'd bet you'd never guess that I was Irish too," The doctor added with a twinkle in her eye.
Emily said bluntly, "I am gonna have to talk to Abby about you - she had me scared to death."
"Well" Kerry sighed, " I don't bite all the time, and especially not someone who has such a fascinating accent. Bullshit aside, I have read your resume and checked out your references. The job is yours if you want it."
"My accent?!" Emily responded, "Ya'll are the one that talk funny! And to your offer Dr. Weaver, I'd be delighted - but you have to help me with one thing."
"And that would be?"
"You got to help me fins a good hotel close by, I can't take two girls and one bathroom. I have not done that since college. I'm afraid that before I started working here there would be the unfortunate homicide of Miss Lockhart that you would have to deal with." Emily laughed, "That's one messy girl."
"Well. Miss Condon" Kerry chuckled "I'll do you one better than a hotel until you find your own place. I have a basement apartment that is vacant, and is yours if you'd like it."
"Great - offer accepted on both counts" Emily walked toward the redhead and extended her hand, "But where I come from it's not a deal unless you shake on it."
Kerry looked down, took the delicate had and smiled, "all right, now for the details. How about we work those out over some coffee, and I'll give you a tour?"
As Emily gathered her things and they walked towards the lounge door, on thought crossed Kerry's mind, whatever happened to the day when all lesbians looked like truck drivers and not so much like supermodels.
"You offered her what Kerry?" Kim insisted, "You offered to let her use the apartment? Do you not remember that "we' live here now?"
"Yes, Kim" Kerry rolled her eyes "I didn't think that it would be a big deal -"
Kim's look was definetly one of approval. To Kerry it appeared that Kim was acting like a child. Without thinking Kerry shot back "Plus, since this is my house - I didn't realize that I had to clear this with you!"
Kerry immediately knew what she had done. My God Weaver, why are you being so stupid! "Kim" Kerry reached for the blonde woman/
"You're right Kerry, it's your place," Kim replied, in an obviously hurt voice, "I had not right?"
"You're moving where?" Abby turned and asked with an arched eyebrow as they made their way up the escalator of the Water Tower mall.
"To Kerry's" Emily paused, "to her apartment. We decided on a reasonable price and decided I would stay until something caught my eye."
Does Emily have any idea what she is doing here? What the hell was she thinking? What the hell was I thinking? "Sounds like a good deal to me, Carter used to live there you know?" Abby walked through the door of California Pizza; "He seemed to like it okay. Pizza right?"
Emily nodded her head and followed behind her friend. Wow! No fight, no please stay with me, no reaction at all. Maybe I am crazy, and all these thoughts have been born out of loneliness. Damn! Pizza it is - guess it is the next best thing.
" I wish you didn't have to leave tomorrow - it seems like you just got here" Abby whined.
Emily replied with a puppy face, "But look at it this way, I'll be back in two weeks - and then you'll be dying to get rid of me."
"I wouldn't count on it!" Abby blurted - damn, Abby thought; did I just say that aloud? As she finished getting ready and glanced in the mirror, she caught herself blushing.
"Well, regardless, only two weeks and I will be a certified resident of Chicago" Emily said, trying not to read into the energy that she was getting from Abby. "We are going out tonight, right. - You're off at when?"
"6, meet me at the ER and we'll leave from there okay?"
Abby made her way to the door, "Whatcha' gonna do today?"
"Make some calls, lie around, be useless" Emily shrugged and smiled.
"See you at 6?"
God, what a day. Weekdays in the ER were usually pretty steady, but this was past the point. Between the ongoing gang, wars and the psycho's it was: before anyone realized it. Weaver was sitting in at the table in the lounge pouring over charts, mumbling something about committing murder on Malucci and how somehow it would be justified when Abby walked in.
"Hey Abby, I didn't realize anyone was in here" Kerry said as she continued to review the charts.
"That's okay Chief, " Abby replied playfully, "I'd like to kill Malucci on a daily basis, maybe if we partner up we can get away with it."
With that said and with the days events, both women broke down laughing.
Dr. Legaspi bounded through the door just in time to find the women wiping tears from their eyes. "Hey guys - I know I've had a rough day -" Kim chuckled, "But, do I look that bad? You don't have to laugh at a girl" pulling at her unusual scrubs, rolling and fluttering her eyes.
"No, Dr. Legaspi" Abby explained, "Weaver and I were just planning Malucci's untimely but impeding demise."
"Sorry Kim" Kerry caught her breath = "Definitely not laughing at you - I love it when you wear your scrubs!"
Kim blushed, as Kerry did not normally make remarks like that at work, especially in front of other staff members. Although they were now out, Kerry usually played the Chief role well.
The three women continued to have a laugh at Malucci's expense and they began to chat about their hectic day. The clock said and Abby jumped up to get changed for dinner.
Emily would be here in 15 minutes. Abby then remembered that is why she came in the lounge in the first place.
"Where you going Abby?" Kim asked as Abby scurried about. She does know I am alive after all, interesting.
"Gotta change, - I'm sure Emily doesn't want to be seem with me in this: - pulling a her uniform.
"Well, Dr. Weaver" Kim backed up, " I mean, Kerry and I were going to get a bite and more importantly a drink"
Kerry's eyes flashed lightening at her lover, what the hell is she thinking?
"Would you and Emily care to join us?"
"Well, I'll have to check with Emily, but it seems like a good idea to me" Abby smiles, immediately realizing there was a motive behind this, just not sure what that was yet.
"Well, I figured I should spend more time getting to know her since she's going to be new here and Kerry's tenant."
Abby sensed the tension but figured that what the hell, this should be fun. Emily found the lounge just as the decision had been made - as she walked through the door Abby smiled and with a goofy grin said, "Hey Em - Guess who's coming to dinner?"
"I don't agree with that," Emily stated emphatically as she shook her head no and took a drink of her favorite Shiraz, "I think ya'll do the kids who are truly anti-social a huge disservice"
"But, the DSM IV clearly states that you can not give that diagnosis before the child is the age of majority" Kim insisted "Could you imagine the stigma that would follow a child who had been diagnosed with that prematurely?"
Kerry agreed with Kim and Abby did not really seem to have an opinion one-way or the other. Between watching Kim and the wine flow freely, her mind was full of her own concern.
"No, I can't - but isn't it better for them to start treatment and face it right on - no psychobabble bullshit around it?!"
Kim liked this girl. "You're absolutely right" Kim said laughing, "You are not afraid of your opinion are you, Miss Condon?"
Kim really did not mean to be flirty, but something about an aggressive and opinionated woman turned her on. Kerry had immediately noticed Kim's reaction and shot her a 'what the hell?' look. Abby had been too lost in daydreams to notice - and all Emily could do was blush. Kim quickly recovered with Kerry by grabbing her hand and giving it a tight squeeze and seductive smile.
"So ladies!" Emily suggested, "Dinner was great, but I know that Chicago has more to offer than the Bergoff. I'd ask Abby for suggestions, but since she's sober sister, I'll defer this to Kim - any suggestions?"
"If my lovely escort isn't too tired and doesn't object, may I suggest a little girl bar that I know near the house." Kim said this with a questioning look at Kerry, "What'll it be sweetie?"
"I'm up for it - I'm not on until Saturday morning" Kerry beamed, all the while thinking maybe going would get Abby's eyes off Kim and Kim's off Emily.
"Oh, just one thing - you won't be uncomfortable will you Emily? I don't want to assume" Kim offered.
Emily shot back with a wink and smile, "Abby and I have been too a couple of those bars before, and I think we used to do a bang up job - right Abby?" She reached over and ran a hand down the length of Abby's arm.
"All right Em" Abby returned the gesture, "Just promise me that we won't end up on some sort of transportation heading to Vegas again. This last time was really hell on me."
"Okay Abby deal" Emily laughed, "No matter how good she looks?"
"No matter how good."
"I haven't danced this much since I was in school" Emily panted as she made her way back to the bar where the girls were sitting, "The girls here are so forward" she smiled "I'm so glad they like to dance - much different than at home. You never told me it was like this Abby!" giving her a quick kiss on the cheek.
"Well honestly Em" Abby shot back "I never knew"
Kim and Kerry were so lost in each other that they did not notice that when Abby returned the kiss she lingered a little longer than she should have. They also had not
noticed that while Emily was on the dance floor that Abby and the bartender had slammed a couple of tequila's.
Kim turned and screamed when she heard Melissa Etheridge playing over the speakers, as the opening bars of Crazy 'bout me" blared, "I love this song! Kerry lets dance!"
"NO, no...not really in the mood" Kerry smuggled, almost testing to see what Kim would do, "But if either one of these ladies would like, I'd have no objections."
Abby's ears immediately perked, what would she do if Kim asked her, she surely would not be able to hide her feelings. Just as Abby (and the tequila) found the courage to say yes, Emily jumped in and took Kim by the hand "Well, Dr. Legs is it? Let's see what those legs can do" She forcefully pulled the doctor to the dance floor, not giving her or anyone else the time to change their mind.
Kerry swallowed hard at the sight of the two walking towards the floor. What she would not give to be able to do that, to be normal.
Abby watched as the began dancing, awkwardly at first, daring to touch one another, and then finding their space and letting go with the music. She did not know who or what she was more jealous of, the fact that Emily was dancing with Kim or just the opposite.
The two began to grind as the thumping bass line moved,
Do not expect anything when I catch you alone, BABY!
They sang along and laughed as Emily turned Kim so that she was behind her, grinding and wrapped her arms around the blonde's. Kim seemed to be carried away and lost in time as she threw her head back and continued to sing, you must be crazy for me. Emily caught up in the moment, the wine, and in the blonde's seductive good looks brought her face towards Kim's and the two caught themselves in an instant, just before a kiss. They gracefully backed away and turned it into a tease.
Striking a chord in both of them and in the two women that were watching from a distance, they turned around and finished the dance in a more legitimate fashion. As the last notes echoed, Kim took Emily's hand and led her back to the bar area, "Thanks Emily" Kim smiled, "I needed that."
Emily turned to Kim nodded and whispered, just as they landed in front of their dates, "you're dangerous Kim."
Kim looked at Emily with a newfound curiosity as Emily looked at Abby with regret.
"Abby" Emily said, as she slid next to the small nurse, "Next dance is me and you"
Abby agreed and excused herself quietly to the restroom.
"Wow Kerry - I need a drink after that one. Emily here tried to kill me," Kim laughed.
Kerry replied, "Well looked like you enjoyed yourself - I'm buying - so get anything you'd like - you too Emily, just make sure it's cheap!" Kerry laughed.
"You mean the Chief's not only sexy, she's generous too." Emily laughed.
As the three enjoyed their new drinks, Abby sauntered back from the bathroom. The DJ began talking and what she said grabbed Emily's heart. "This one is for Charleston, Lockhart missed you."
Emily teared up as she listened to the music, it was Beth Nielsen Chapman's, Emily, Kim and Kerry watched in amazement as the aggressive woman that they were beginning to know suddenly turned into much softer, right before their eyes.
Emily took Abby's hand and without a word, led her to the dance floor.
"Abby" Emily choked, "How did you?" She was immediately lost in Abby's soulful eyes, "Without me knowing?"
Abby returned the look, losing herself suddenly in Emily and old memories of the two of them together, " When I went to the restroom, I made a pit stop. Thought it was the least I could do on your last night"
"Thank you" Emily sobbed as they continued to sway, Abby sunk deeper into Emily's arms as the music played,
And I knew right away, when I saw you today, Emily we'll always be friends
Best friends are made through smiles and tears
Kim and Kerry looked on both with tears in their eyes, for their own reasons. Kerry thought how sweet it was of Abby, how she would have never thought that of her.
"Abby" Emily said seriously
"Can we go home now?"
"Sure, why right now though? I thought you were having fun. And I'm not sure that Kim and Kerry are ready just yet."
"I don't care if they are or not - it's just not what I'm concerned with right now. It's you Abby, I want for you to take me home."
"Damn it ABBY! Do I have to say it?"
"Take me home and make love to me."
To be continued..... What will happen in the next episode?????? Will Abby and Emily turn out to be? Will Kerry and Kim survive this Southern hurricane called Emily????? Will Malucci be killed in a freak accident in the ER??????? Tune in next week, same bat time, same bat channel....
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