DISCLAIMER: I do not own these characters; please forgive my treading on any toes. I do it only for my sanity.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: (1) Written for the Dead of Winter Femslash Advent Calendar, possibly December 28th, depends on whether aj wants it there. (2) I originally jotted this down as a Catherine/Sara/CSI piece and I still have a smaller, different version of that one to finish, then I was struck by the chemistry between Kerry and Abby in ER and decided to give this a go. Hope the characters aren't too out-of-character and hope I've kept reasonably to canon. See what you think?
SPOILERS: Um… season 6 though season 1 and most definitely "All About Christmas Eve". If you've seen this episode you'll recognize the cryptic comment about Luka near the end, if you haven't, don't worry, it don't matter one iota *g*
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Fuck Buddies
By Debbie


I know it's corny but it seems like we always find each other.

Luka's compass and words were beautiful; the perfect Christmas Eve sentiment. So why am I sitting here a few days later with the longest face ever and a mind swirling with thoughts of how to tell him it's over?

Because Luka wasn't the first person to say those words to me, that honour belongs to Kerry. Kerry Weaver MD, Chief of Staff, wonderful doctor, tyrant of the hospital corridors, or that's what others would have you believe, to me she is just one amazing woman. A woman I keep finding again, keep returning to, over and over.

For the last six years we've had an on/off relationship like no other; together it's wonderful, apart it's soul destroying; together we fall into a rut, apart we work together to perfection, able to think for and with each other, able to finish each other's sentences; the perfect team. But when we're together we never talk, we belittle each other with cheap comments, we test each other's professionalism with stupid wise cracks, until, eventually, one of us cracks and lambastes the other in front of colleagues until we go our separate ways: her to her women and me to my men, taunting the other with our availability, our desirability, our sexiness.. What a fucked up relationship we have, huh?

And yet, for the last six years she has been the one main constant in my life and nobody but the two of us know.

Six years since I first crossed swords with this fiery redhead who just happened to be the new Chief of Emergency Medicine. Six years since I went against Kerry's orders to discharge a man by asking him to come back and see another doctor, thereby saving his life. Six years since Kerry admitted I'd done the right thing, asked me to Doc Magoo's to say she was sorry, and six years since we first went back to my place to… well, you get the drift, I think.

Fuck buddies? Friends with benefits? Terms like that describe our relationship, but they really, really incense me. We were, are, more than that. I love her. I've always loved her. In fact, most days, I think I'll always love her. She loves me. It's just we can't live together, can't sustain a relationship, can't stay together. Yet I guess we've never really tried. Never allowed ourselves the luxury of becoming a couple; a couple that others recognize as a couple, I mean. How stupid is that?

Early on what we shared was very physical. Kerry still hadn't admitted to herself that she was lesbian, and I was so screwed up with the drink I couldn't have cared less if I was with a male or a female as long as I got the physical connection I craved to stop me turning to the bottle. In other words, as long as I had sex.

Later, it was just too hard to admit we wanted something more. Within the first year of seeing each other on a needs must basis, she met Kim Legaspi, I got together with Luka Kovac and my mother reappeared. Jeez, the Gods certainly transpired against us and back then I didn't mind. You see Kerry was, for a short time anyway, very happy with Kim and, if Kerry was happy I was happy. For the first time ever she allowed herself to love a woman before she let her damn insecurities harm even that budding relationship.

The night she blew that relationship completely was one I didn't forget for a long time. Kim had decided to leave town, Kerry had told Romano she was lesbian, and me, I'd decided my thing with Luka was going nowhere and then been blind-sided by Carter insinuating he wanted me too. That night all I wanted was Kerry, and like Luka said, she managed to find me. She turned up on my doorstep as if she'd never been away and just took over. God, the sex was awesome. Don't ask me how I knew the difference but that was the first time we really made love. Gone was the rawness of our previous trysts to be replaced with such sweet tenderness, I fell hook, line and sinker.

So what did we do? Become a couple? No, of course not, that would have been too easy. Kerry found Sandy and I found a mess, dumping Luka and chasing Carter. I think I was just trying to forget the fact I was jealous as hell of Sandy Lopez. She was gorgeous and Kerry, my Kerry, was a goner. Oh she fought it for a while but it was obvious they would make a go of things, and they did, even going as far as marrying and having a child, Henry.

That day in NICU when I was present at Henry's birth was another I didn't forget for ages. Kerry was beautiful that day, she so wanted a child and at last he was here. Putting my arms around her as he gave his first cries was like coming home, I think Kerry felt it too because she whispered so quietly in my ear I barely heard it. To this day I'm not entirely convinced I heard right but I've kept the words I 'heard' in my heart ever since; love you.

At least that day vanquished the bad memories of the one night we had spent together in the time since Kerry had met Sandy. You see, she's not really the sort of woman to have an affair on the side, no matter the depth of her feelings for another. Yet, when I found her in the ER searching forlornly for her own dead child's heartbeat it was almost the only outcome that could come from that scenario. It seems we are nothing without each other to support and the loss of a child is one of the most obvious times a woman needs love and gentleness. I'm ashamed to say I gave it to her.

I was so pleased that Kerry was with me that day; pleased I was there to help her through the dark night of loss, to share with her the despair and the possible hope. I didn't have time to consider any damage we might be causing Kerry's relationship with Sandy. No, the guilt came later. Yet, they obviously came through it despite my attempts at sabotage because my gorgeous redhead went crawling back to her real partner after just one night of tenderness with me.

That's how it was then, you see: Kerry and Sandy, Abby and whoever.

Until, until Sandy died. Not a lot to say about that, I guess. Kerry was heartbroken and I was there, waiting to catch her and hold her close as the loss sank in. Later, after the goddamn Lopez family stole Henry away from her it was me she once again turned to. Thankfully, that little fiasco was settled a lot more amicably than we'd thought possible and, to be truthful, the Lopez family now support Kerry wonderfully with the care of their grandson.

The other good thing to come from that whole sad mess is that our friendship, mine and Kerry's, is stronger than ever.

Don't get me wrong though, this relationship has never, ever been one-sided, despite what my words seem to say. I've been there for Kerry, yes, but she's sure as hell been there for me too. About a year after Sandy's death we'd got back to sharing the odd dinner date and Kerry was starting to live again when I was involved in an abduction incident. Scared to death after being held at gunpoint while I tried, unsuccessfully, to revive a young gang member, I immediately found my way to Kerry's office. She was wonderful, taking me home and holding me through the night, listening to my words, offering no pressure to tell my tale to the cops. That was our turning point, I think, the night Kerry realized I was invested in this relationship just as much as she was.

And so the cycle began again. Only this time it feels different, 18 months down the line, and still no sign of us falling into that rut I mentioned. This time we are friends rather than occasional bedfellows and it's been good for us. This time we are good together, no signs of the name calling or the cheap comments designed to upstage the other, we think as one, answer each other's questions before they are even asked, and in the hospital we are dynamite.

We're spending more and more time in each other's life, sharing lots of gentle, loving kisses, and caring for each other as never before. No sex as yet, and so, like a fool, I've been getting that from Luka. Kerry knows about Luka, hell she knows everything about me, and she's not happy about it. She's jealous, I hope. Me? I'm not happy too. Yet, I am happy. No, I don't know what I mean either. With Kerry I'm the happiest I've ever been; with Luka I'm the unhappiest I have ever been. Can I tell him? No. And now it's going to be even harder to end that one. But I must.

I'm so scared of ending my relationship with Luka though. Deep down, I know that I need someone in my life. In the past, with Kerry, it's always ended eventually and this time I don't think I can cope with the loneliness that follows. I'm not sure I can take the cycle repeating itself, not sure I can cope with losing Kerry. I'm at the stage in life where I want some stability, I want to settle down. I want to be part of a committed relationship, part of a family. I have that family now with Kerry and Henry but do I have the commitment? And yet, if I don't end this thing with Luka, I will lose Kerry again. I suppose my decision has already been made.

Tell me, if she knows what I'm thinking and I know what she's thinking why can't I tell if she believes we have a future together?

When the two of us are like this, this is what I want for ever. I look at her and can see she wants it too. Older than me I can see in her eyes that she is lonely. I can hear in her voice that she wants someone to share her burdens with. I can do that, I will do that.

My Christmas present to Kerry, my Christmas present to myself, this time the cycle will be broken. Kerry Weaver and Abby Lockhart, no longer the fuck buddies: Kerry and Abby, the soulmates.

The End

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