DISCLAIMER: ER and its characters are the property of Constant C Productions, Amblin Entertainment, and Warner Brothers Television.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
By Susan P
Kerry ducked into the drug lock-up, needing a moment to recover. It wasn't her. The young woman, whoever she was. Tall. Blonde. And with her hair pulled back, she almost looked like... Facing away from her and from a distance, anyway. Thankfully, the uniform left room for doubt, and Kerry had held back long enough to see the woman turn. Not Kim. She wasn't sure whether to be disappointed, or relieved.
She was relieved she hadn't made a fool of herself in front of her staff, but she still needed a moment to rein in her facial expression. She had always worried that she telegraphed her feelings for Kim on her face every time she was near. Now that Kim was gone, going slack-jawed at the mere thought of her seemed even less wise than before. Not that anyone around her seemed to pay that much attention to her feelings, anyway.
She had turned back toward the door almost as soon as she entered the drug lock-up, surreptitiously watching the young blonde woman. Making sure. When she recovered enough to notice her surroundings, she realized she wasn't alone.
The young nurse either hadn't noticed her, or had and was trying to be discreet or remain unnoticed herself. Kerry couldn't decide which. Abby had seemed lost in thought, a letter hanging limply in her right hand.
"Dr. Weaver. I'm...um... I was just taking a break."
She knew that look. The 'how do I placate the boss from hell' look. It was almost cute on Abby, though, and she was in no mood to play the part right now.
She just nodded and waved her hand. "It's slow. Might as well take advantage of it."
She looked surprised. Why do they always look surprised?
After a moment, Abby nodded and replied, "Yeah." She still looked distracted. Kerry closed the distance between them and placed a hand on her arm.
"Are you okay?"
Abby looked up as if she'd forgotten Kerry was there. "What? Oh. No." She shook her head, then indicated the letter in her hand. "Med school. I'm in."
Kerry smiled at the news, "That's great, Abby! So, you'll be back as a student next semester?"
"Um... I'm not sure." The young woman shrugged. "I almost didn't send in the application.... Would you?" She seemed unsure. "Would you want me back? As a student?"
Kerry thought of Carol for a moment and tried to temper her enthusiasm somewhat, not wanting to make the same mistake twice. She gave Abby's arm a little squeeze. "Abby. I'd be glad to have you in this ER, no matter what. You're a skilled and compassionate nurse. I also happen to believe you could become a great doctor. But, ultimately, it's your life and your decision to make."
"Yeah," Abby nodded, but still looked a little uneasy.
Kerry wasn't sure what the problem was. "If you do decide to come back as a student, Abby, I'd be happy to mentor you. Unless..." she frowned, just for a moment. "Or, if you'd rather, you could work with Greene or Lewis?"
Abby shook her head vigorously. "No, Dr. Weaver. That's not it. You can..." She avoided Kerry's gaze at first, but then looked into her eyes, taking the direct approach. "Well, you can push a little hard sometimes, but I don't have a problem with you. Most of the time." Abby grinned slyly, knowing she was pushing it a little.
Kerry just smirked in return. "Well, then...if you don't mind my asking...?"
Abby shook her head again. "I'm not sure." She hesitated. "That's the whole problem, really. I'm...not sure. I don't know if being a doctor is what I want any more. I just... I don't know."
Kerry imagined it must be a big step for Abby to change careers at this point, and she wondered whether her uncertainty had more than a little to do with the fear of taking the risk.
"Well, if you think you might just need a little more time to decide, there should be a way to postpone your enrollment a semester. I'd be glad to speak to someone at the Med School about it. And if you ever want to talk, Abby, I can make the time."
There's that surprised look again.
Abby nodded once. She was studying her intently. So intently that it put Kerry's senses on alert, though she couldn't have said why.
Abby seemed nervous, suddenly. "Um. Don't hit me or anything, okay?" Abby spoke quickly, before leaning in to press her lips to Kerry's.
The kiss was short. It had to have been. But it seemed to last much, much longer. It was tentative, soft, sensual, and soooo good. So. Very. Good.
The first touch of Abby's lips had set off warning bells and about a dozen voices telling her why she shouldn't allow this. All of which she resolutely ignored. The hell with what she should or shouldn't do. Whatever the consequences, she would deal with them later. This was about the moment, and she allowed herself to get lost in it.
Abby's lips caressed hers, and she responded as enthusiastically as she dared, afraid the young woman would realize what they were doing and pull back in shock. Instead, Abby pushed things a little farther, sliding her tongue along Kerry's lower lip. God, women seem so much better at this, Kerry thought, before admitting Abby's tongue and reaching out with hers to join it in mutual exploration.
Whatever doubts she had left about her sexuality were burned away in the heat that was quickly spreading through her body, making her heart race and her breath quicken. She indulged herself in exploring the heat of Abby's mouth a few minutes before gently disengaging from the kiss, pulling back slightly and taking a few deep breaths.
The two women just stared open-mouthed at each other.
"Wow," Abby breathed.
"Yeah. I...can't believe you did that."
"I can't believe you let me!"
"Hmph. Me either. Why, Abby?"
The young woman broke eye contact, seeming suddenly more uncomfortable than even this situation warranted.
"Um. I don't know what happened exactly," she spoke quickly. "I don't need to. But, Dr. Legaspi..." Abby almost flinched as she looked back at Kerry, judging her reaction.
Kerry tried to hide her own reaction to the name, and whatever Abby saw in her face, it apparently didn't discourage her for long.
"She, umm..." Abby still seemed nervous. "She would, um, look at you... When you weren't looking, and... Well, it was the way she looked at you." Abby was obviously having a hard time looking her in the eye. "It was like she saw something no one else did." Abby ran a hand through her hair and looked up at Kerry from beneath her lashes. "I just--I kinda wondered."
Kerry reared back a little in shock. It was so hard to believe, she didn't know how to respond, exactly. She fell back on one of the many questions running through her mind, though she wasn't quite sure how to ask it. "Um. About me? Specifically?"
Kerry's unconscious echo of Abby's earlier response sent them both into silent giggles. Their shared amusement broke the tension, and the moment. They both looked at each other in quiet wonder.
Before things could get too awkward again, Abby spoke up, "Well. I should probably get back to work."
Kerry backed against a nearby row of shelving to allow Abby to pass, bracing her hands against a shelf. "Yeah."
Abby fumbled with the letter, struggling to get it back into its envelope. "I..." She looked up from the letter and into Kerry's eyes. "I have a lot to think about."
The look in Abby's eyes made her breath catch, but Kerry managed to choke out a response. "Yeah."
Abby slipped past her and made it to the end of the row of shelving before half-turning back. "Is there any chance that...?" She hesitated a moment. "Could we? Maybe?" She grabbed onto the nearest shelf and took a deep breath, turning to face Kerry again. She let the rest of the words out in a rush, "Try that again sometime?"
Kerry's breath quickened at the thought, and made no attempt to hide her reaction from Abby. Still, she wasn't willing to let her hormones run away with her just yet.
"Should we? Absolutely not." It was the proper, and expected response, but she didn't leave it at that. "Could we?" Kerry let out a shaky breath, holding Abby's gaze. "Well. Now might not be the best time for me to answer that."
Abby stared back at her and smiled. "So. I can...ask again?"
Kerry nodded before she knew it and Abby slipped out before she could think to take it back.
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