DISCLAIMER: Quite simple: I do not own them.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: The timeline for this story is mid season 3.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Angels In Chains Again
By Tashe Dangerous Eyes


Chapter 3

I feel like I'm going under. "Breathe, Garret, breathe." Kelly's closed fist hanged hesitantly in the air, just inches from Sabrina's apartment's closed door. Finally, she let her hand drop by her side for the third time in as many minutes. Shaking her head from side to side she wondered where her resolution from the night before had gone. Forget the heart and follow reason. She was there now because the three of them decided to have a meeting away from the office and a very unnerving Bosley so they could talk about and plan some final details for the case before they had to go their separate ways. Bosley had almost turned into a mother hen and they could tell he was very worried about them; appreciative they were, they just didn't need the added drama.

Kelly was the first to arrive and she was not sure is she was relieved to have a few minutes alone with Sabrina so they could talk about what had happened the night before, or if she was aggravated and nervous for the same reason. Since she had been standing in front of the closed door unable to bring herself to even knock for almost five minutes, she decided it was the latter. Why am I doing this to myself? I don't have to talk about it. I can just go in there and act as if nothing had happened. Just like Sabrina have been doing all day long. Kelly's mind went back to that morning when all of them arrived at Charles Townsend Private Investigations at the same time, no room for her or Sabrina to address the situation with Kris right there in front of them. So Sabrina, ever so casually, greeted them both and immediately brought up some newspaper article that sent them down the very animated however amicable debate road that lasted all the way to the office and then some. If Bree can act like nothing happened, then so can I. I'm quite capable of handling what is apparently happening only to me. Of course, it would be so much easier if all these feelings didn't make me feel like… "Jesus!" Kelly practically screamed when the door, to which she has become accustomed by now, was suddenly opened to reveal a perplexed Sabrina.

"Kel, I'm starting to get a complex here." Kelly had her right hand on her chest like trying to keep her heart from jumping out of it.

"Sorry, it's just that you surprised me."

"I'm a bit surprised myself." Sabrina said raising an eyebrow. Kelly looked at her confused so she continued to explain. "I thought I heard someone at the door and I looked through the peephole and saw that it was you, fist in the air and all, but you wouldn't knock. You looked like you had something on your mind so I decided to wait. But I've been waiting for you to knock for like five or six minutes and, you know? I'm not that patient. So, what's on your mind?" Kelly didn't register the question. Her thoughts were in a whirlwind, trying to remember what she had done. Did I think out loud? What did I say? What did she hear?

At Kelly's unresponsive demeanor Sabrina took her by her hand and pulled her inside the apartment closing the door. Neither was aware that the whole interaction had been seen by Kris. The blonde Angel arrived a couple of minutes after Kelly, but instead of taking the elevator she decided to take the stairs still needing to burn out the pent up energy brought up by the nerves and anticipation of their upcoming case. Arriving at Sabrina's floor, Kris saw Kelly standing in front of their friend's door about to knock but then deciding not to. Kris observed as Kelly once again raised her hand only to bring it back down. The odd behavior of her partner didn't faze her as much lately. Not like it had done when it started a few weeks earlier. More and more she noticed how Kelly's demeanor was becoming even erratic at times, and some of those times Kris had found herself at the wrong end of it. She tried to reason the cause of Kelly's occasional frown thrown her way, or the undeserving spats, even the reluctance to talk about certain things. More accurately, a certain someone. Kris thought, starting to consider a possibility she never thought of before.

She had considered that maybe, after all this time, Kelly was finally being impacted by Jill's departure, and so the honeymoon with the new partner, meaning her, was over. She also considered other things that were not as profound, like work related stress, escaping death over and over, and even PMS. However, she never considered this. Kelly's body language in front of that door talked volumes. If she thought about it, Kelly's body language has been doing that for weeks. Kris let her mind wandered, trying to remember details, instances, conversations, anything that could corroborate what she was thinking. And as she did so, she realized that even though it was much more subtle, Sabrina's body also had a thing or two to communicate. Of course, she could be wrong about her friends and just be reading too much into things. But, if she was right, she couldn't think of a better time for her to find out since her friends seemed to be going through a rough spot at the moment. Still, Kris thought it was better to be sure before she did anything if indeed there was something she could do. Well, I know I can give them some time alone to resolve whatever it is that needs resolving. Kris looked at her watch to judge how much time it was appropriate to give them without being too late to their meeting and make them suspicious of their 'lucky break'. Wow, once you start doing the 'secret' thing paranoia doesn't take long at all to set in. Kris thought amused as she leaned against the wall for the wait.

Inside the apartment Kelly let Sabrina lead her to the sofa where she gratefully took a seat, feeling her knees were getting weaker by the second. "You haven't answered my question, Kelly. What is going on with you?" Kelly met Sabrina's eyes searching for a glimpse of what she had seen in them the night before. Instead, she found a well guarded and neutral expression that would not betray anything. Kelly became angry, and filled with renewed energy she left the sofa and walked away, far enough to have her back to Sabrina. "Kel?"

"Bree, I don't think I can do this anymore." Kelly said without turning around.

"You mean the job?" Sabrina was a little confused with the way Kelly was behaving. A bad feeling was starting to set in her gut.

"No, I mean you and me." Sabrina was on her feet in a second at the abruptness of the words. She knew this was coming. There was no way the night before was going to fall under the 'harmless flirtations' they both had gotten dangerously accustomed to. Last night Kelly had tried to kiss her, or so she wished. Then, why the hell did you ran away, you coward. She had been afraid, no, terrified, but not of where that kiss could've taken them, but of what that kiss, or the decision to be together, could leave them without. It was obvious to her now that she was the only one not willing to take the risk, and her retreat was about to cost her the very thing she was trying to preserve.

"Kelly…" She started, but her so called brilliant mind was failing her at the worst possible moment.

"No, Bree. Let me have my say." Not waiting for a response Kelly just continued. "I feel like I'm drowning. It's a torment that I can no longer take. For a moment I thought a saw a possibility, I don't know, a future, happiness within my grasp…Something to help me come afloat, after all this time." Kelly finally turned to face Sabrina and saw her walls coming down, falling apart. Sabrina, who was the strongest of them all, was coming undone at the seams in front of her. Hesitation started to filter through but Kelly held on. She needed to say this. "But when I look at you, when I looked at you just now, everything blurs, not only it is impossible for me to see beyond tomorrow, I feel like I'm drowning you with me." Sabrina tried to grab Kelly's hands but Kelly just raised them to keep herself out of Sabrina's reach. "I can't. I can't keep doing this half way, and it is not going anywhere either. It just keeps me in a stand still, eating at me everyday, and I'm afraid that if I wait one more minute there will be nothing left of me."

"Kelly, what are you trying to say?" Sabrina barely managed to hide a tremble in her voice. Have we really come this far just to walk away empty handed and broken hearted? Have I really been so blind, so stupid to not see that what was happening to me was also happening to her? Is she trying to say it's all the way or nothing at all? God, am I too late? Sabrina felt her eyes starting to mist, fearing the decision had been made for her already.

Kelly allowed her soul to be naked in front of the woman that already had her heart. Looking into her brown eyes she saw a kindred spirit. At that very moment their souls were exposed to one another. The pain she was feeling she was also seeing in her friend. Where had all of it come from? The courage to tell the truth, the words that she never planned, the heartfelt confession of the love she felt. A confession that only half took her by surprise. That feeling she had tried to deny, ignore, hide…it had had a name all along. She was in love; deeply but painfully alone in love. She was convinced that the sadness she was observing in Sabrina's eyes was the same she would eventually feel as well. The pain of a long and beautiful friendship and partnership lost.

Perhaps her question was going to fall in deaf ears, perhaps it was going to be unfair to even ask it, but she couldn't trust herself anymore. She didn't know if she ever was going to have the opportunity again to be this blunt and say and do what she needed to do to save what was left of her sanity. But at the same time she also had to give them both the chance to turn things around once and for all. Part of her wanted to believe that Sabrina was going through the same thing she was going through and that she had the same fears. One way or another, this was going to be the moment of truth for the both of them.

"I love you, Bree, and I mean I'm in love with you. But I can't live pretending that it is enough to love you from afar, that it is enough to be with you during cases and not have your company at nights. That flirting is better than feeling, touching and kissing you. Or that showering together on some forsaken prison shower is the closest we'll ever come to making love. I'm no longer willing to put myself through this. I need to know where you stand. I need to know if you are also tired of this dance. Where do we go from here, Bree? Where do I stand in your life?" Kelly's tears fell freely down her cheeks, and she wondered if they were going to be the first of many from now on.

Sabrina's tears however, wouldn't go beyond being on the verge of falling. Kelly saw that the other woman was in turmoil, but some how still managed to hold on to that last stitch. Kelly closed her eyes unable to look at her anymore, but the darkness almost seemed to make the wait abysmal. For a moment she had the odd feeling that she had always been waiting for Sabrina. Waiting for Sabrina's next plan, next move, and next idea; waiting for Sabrina to find her, to rescue her, or to save her life. Rescue my heart, Bree. Kelly felt Sabrina's thumbs gently wiping her tears away but still no words; until finally... "Kelly…" A knock on the door was the next sound she heard and her heart sank. But she didn't open her eyes, neither did Sabrina stop touching her; it was like they were trying to freeze time, trying to keep themselves from being robbed of the moment. The knocks on the door became more insistent and Sabrina's hands disappeared from her face. Time ran out for her for the second night in a row, and for the second night in a row Sabrina had walked away. Even if this time was not her decision. Nevertheless, Kelly couldn't help to feel defeated once again. I'm definitely going under.

Part 4

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