DISCLAIMER: All "ER" characters and institutions are the property of Warner Bros., ConstantC Productions and Amblin Television. This is written strictly for entertainment value, no infringement of copyright or ownership is intended, and nobody is making a profit on this piece. I'm just borrowing the characters in question. Just wash 'em off when I'm done, and they'll be as good as new.
As always, any errors in continuity, characterization, or common sense are entirely my own fault.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: My second response to Aeris' fanfic challenge. This time, I'm following the rules established. See, I can be good (even when I'm being bad!) Again, hope you'll read and like it even if you skim past the sex scenes.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By Scott J Welles

Part One...

...The door to the doctors' lounge flew open and Susannah Loomis stood framed in the doorway. "You brazen hussy!" she exclaimed.

Mary spun about, taken by surprise. "Dr. Loomis, what is the meaning of this outburst?" she demanded.

The taller resident crossed the room to stand before her superior, glaring boldly into her upturned face. "You can't deceive me any longer, Dr. Seaver," she stated. "I've guessed your secret. At last I know why you have hounded and tormented me all year!"

The petite chief resident squared her shoulders and frostily replied, "I assure you I have no idea what you are referring to."

"Liar! You know full well what I mean!" And with those words, Susannah flung caution to the winds and took her fellow doctor in her arms. "You love me," she declared, "Whether you admit it to yourself or no, you love me just as surely as I now realize I love you!" And she pressed her lips against those of the astonished Mary Seaver.

Mary's amazament [sic] gave way to purest joy as her cold heart was finally melted. At last the forbidden love she had harbored was rewarded by the woman who meant more to her than life itself...

"Oh my GOD!" Susan shrieked, dropping the dog-eared paperback on the patio table. "That bitch, I don't fucking believe she wrote that!" The author's true identity had come to her, all of a sudden, and it was about the last person in the world she would have guessed.

Just to check, she glanced at the author's name on the cover. "By KELLY WALKER...?! Un-fucking-believable! She couldn't come up with a better pen name than that? Oh my god, oh my god, oh my gahhhd!!" She clutched her head in disbelief.

Susan took a swig from her Coke bottle, trying to calm herself. She'd only recently gotten Susie down for a nap, and her swearing might carry through the bedroom window and awaken the child. It wouldn't do to have Little Susie hear her Aunt Big Susie use that kind of language. It was bad enough that Chloe still cursed around her sometimes, and they didn't want a repeat of that month early in the child's speech development when she toddled around for a week happily babbling, "fuck off, fuck off, fuck off..." all the time. That child got very vocal around company, and she loved to show off her newly expanded vocabulary.

Even in her cutoff jean shorts, sandals and brief halter, Susan was hot. Phoenix was being scorched by a freak heat wave, and not the dry kind. The air was muggy and thick, and she could feel a sheen of perspiration all over herself. The lounge chair in the backyard of Chloe and Joe's house was perched in the shadiest spot she could find, but there was no breeze to cool things down. It figured that their air conditioning would break down the same day Susan volunteered to baby-sit. She had placed the only electric fan in the house in the child's room, hoping to let her get a nap during the heat of the day.

Too enervated by the climate to rant further, Susan lay back on the extended chair, sipping at her coke and occasionally muttering, "The nerve of that damn woman... can't believe I didn't figure it out... thousands of romance novels, and Chloe buys that one..." until she heard the car pull into the driveway.

The screen door to the backyard opened a minute later, and Chloe appeared. "Hey, Susie-cakes! Hot enough for ya?" She handed a fresh Coke to her sister.

"Thanks," Susan said, taking the bottle glumly.

"Sorry about the AC," Chloe told her, sitting on the other lounge chair. "The guy's s'posed to come fix it tomorrow."


"Hey, Joe's gonna cook some burgers on the grill when it gets cooler. You wanna stay? We rented that Julie Andrews movie you like."

"Which one? 'Mary Poppins'? 'Sound of Music'?"

"No, the drag one, you know..."

" 'Victor/Victoria'."

"Yeah, that one."

Susan shrugged. "Okay. Maybe I'll stay."

Chloe looked at her strangely. "Whats'a matter with you?"

Susan held up the paperback romance. "You know this book you urged me to read?"

"Uh-huh. Ain't it cool?"

"It took me eight chapters to figure out why it seemed so familiar," Susan snapped. "This is me and everyone back in Chicago! Look at this... 'Martin Bean', 'Paul Denton' from surgery, nurse 'Carly Holliday'...shit, this is me, right here: 'Susannah Loomis'! Do you believe this? I know the woman who wrote this book! I used to work with her!"

"I know! I figured it out right away, and I knew you'd get a kick out of it!"

Susan glared at her grinning sister in exasperation. She had to admit that Chloe had come a long way since moving to Phoenix. She was a surprisingly good mother and a responsible person, holding a steady job as assistant manager of a bookstore. But her sense of humor remained somewhat...well, insensitive at times. "You could have warned me, you know," she said.

"Are you kidding? I wanted to see your reaction when you figured it out. Eight chapters, huh? What tipped you off?"

Susan felt herself blushing as she showed Chloe the page she was on. "This bit, here, where I start making out with 'Mary Seaver'."

"Oh, right. She's the one you told me about, huh? The chick with the limp who used to drive you up the wall all the time." Chloe stood and mimed a Long John Silver limp. "Nag, nag, nag, nag, nag..." she whined.

"Don't do that, that's not funny," Susan told her.

The screen door opened again, and Joe came out, carrying his not-yet-entirely-awake daughter, her head propped on his shoulder. "Hi, Susan," he said brightly. "You staying for dinner?"

"Hi, Joe. Yeah, thanks, I'd love to."

"We were just talking about the book," Chloe told Joe. "Susan got freaked 'cause it turns out she's a dyke."

"I am not a--!" Susan caught herself and lowered her voice. "A dike is an engineering structure designed to retain water, in which leaks are traditionally plugged by the fingers of little Dutch boys," she said, "and I am not gay, as you know full well."

"Yeah, I know, don't worry about it," Chloe breezily assured her. "Whoever wrote it probably just threw that part in 'cause the public's into that lesbian shit right now."

"Chloe, your child can hear you, you know."

"Ahh, she doesn't understand grown-up talk, do ya, Susie-Bear?" She reached over and ruffled her daughter's hair. To her husband, she added, "Joe, why is it you guys all get off on two chicks doing it with each other?"

"Oh, don't even drag me into this," Joe answered her, easily. Joe seemed to do everything easily, Susan reflected. He was a cop who didn't seem to act like a cop. At least not the swaggering, macho movies-and-TV type of cop. Much of his work was in community relations, which meant he did things like public safety seminars, workplace violence prevention, teen counseling, and things of that nature. His easygoing personality leant itself ideally to his job. In another moment, he had changed the subject entirely, without being obvious about it. The way he neatly diffused the tension he had felt from Susan impressed her.

The little family enjoyed a good dinner, passed the evening playing board games - Susie won, to her delight - and then the adults put the child to bed and settled on the couch to watch the movie. Chloe and Joe loved it, but Susan had trouble concentrating.

"Hey, you still upset about that book?" Joe asked her later, as she was preparing to leave. Susan was struck, as always, how perceptive he was.

"Yeah," she replied. "I know it's all just a bunch of made-up bodice-ripping stuff, and I shouldn't get upset about it, but..."

Joe lowered his voice. "That bit with you and your friend really touched a nerve, huh?"

She found herself blushing. "She wasn't my friend," she told Joe. "In fact, we never really got along at all. She spent all her time either on my back or in my face, until I finally told her to back off. We didn't have as much friction after that, but we never became friends or anything."

"So she just made up that part about you two being...?"

"Oh, yeah. I don't know what she was thinking with that..." But there was just the slightest hesitation before she said it. From the look on his face, she knew he'd caught it.

"Susie's sleeping fine," Chloe said, joining them from the hall. "Hey, thanks again for sitting, Suze. Joe and I really needed some time alone together."

"Oh, no problem. You know I love taking care of her." Susan kissed them both and said her goodnights.

Driving home to her apartment, though, she couldn't help dwelling on that scene in the novel, and all the memories it brought back.

Susan should have realized who wrote the novel as soon as she read 'Susannah Loomis' declare that she'd rather be drawn and quartered than associate closely with the patronizing 'Mary Seaver' any more than absolutely necessary. Seaver had smiled quietly and replied, "Ah, at last, your true fires are unleashed! Perhaps you do, indeed possess the strength of character to which Dr. Bean has attested." Except for the ridiculously flowery prose, it was the exact same damn thing that had happened years ago, back at County!

Then, of course, there was that melodramatic scene where Loomis burst in on Seaver and declared her undying love for Mary. The one that had finally clued Susan in to the author's identity. Joe had suspected that there was more truth to that scene than Susan was willing to admit; she could see in his eyes. It was just her good luck that Chloe had interrupted them before he could ask her anything more.

"Oh, Kerry, why'd you have to write that..." she sighed to herself as she entered her cozy bachelorette. She opened the windows to let the stuffy apartment air out and retrieved another Coke bottle from her refrigerator before settling onto the sofa and picking up the novel again. Part of her wanted to read on and see what other exploits her literary counterpart was engaged in, but she still found herself unsettled by the amount of reality that had been reproduced within those pages already.

Susan leaned her head back and remembered what really happened that day...

Part Two...

(Four years earlier...)

...The door to the doctors' lounge flew open and Susan burst in. "What the hell is wrong with you?!" she yelled.

Kerry spun about, taken by surprise. "I beg your pardon, Susan?" she said, archly.

The taller resident crossed the room to stand before her superior, glaring boldly into her upturned face. "I just yelled at you in front of the staff, telling you I'd rather sabotage my career than work with you, and all you say is 'that's the first time I've seen you act like a Chief Resident'?! Jesus, Kerry, don't you know when you're being insulted?!"

The petite chief resident looked away, opening the lounge's refrigerator. "Susan, it's no secret that you don't appreciate my offers to help you become a better doctor and administrator," she replied coolly. "I won't say I'm not disappointed by your attitude, but if that's really how you feel, I'll leave you to fend for yourself."

"Just like that?" Susan demanded.

"Isn't that what you wanted?" Kerry calmly answered her, removing some small plastic dishes from the fridge. "To be left alone?"

"That isn't the point!"

"Perhaps you could tell me what the point is, then, because I don't see what you're so angry about. I've tried to help, but if you don't want to work with me..." Still maintaining that infuriatingly calm demeanor, Kerry opened a Coke bottle and raised it to her lips.

Susan grabbed her wrist before she could drink. "I don't just not want to work with you, I don't even want to live on the same planet as you!"

Kerry's carefully blank expression became even more glacial as she listened.

"I don't know how to make this any more clear," Susan went on, releasing Kerry's wrist so she could gesticulate with both hands. "I can't fucking stand you! You drive me absolutely insane! Read my lips, Kerry: I...HATE...YOU!"

The object of her wrath became very still and quiet, her face revealing nothing.

"You see?" Susan added, when it was clear Kerry wasn't going to speak in her own defense. "Even after a tirade like that, I can't get a real reaction out of you."

Kerry's eyes dropped. "What sort of reaction were you expecting?" she said in a voice that could have had icicles hanging from it.

Susan sighed in frustration. "I don't know, anything. Yell back at me, slap me, just something to show me there's a real person inside you, and not just some kind of efficiency machine."

Kerry nodded solemnly. Then she said, "Something like this?" Before Susan could react, she capped the open Coke bottle with her thumb, shook it violently...

...and sprayed soda all over Susan.

The taller woman shrieked in surprise as the ice-cold beverage splashed over her face and chest. When the soda barrage died off, she opened her cola-covered eyelids and gaped at Kerry in astonishment. Carbonation fizzled in her hair. She couldn't have been more shocked if Weaver had revealed herself to be an alien life form from Cygnus Antari XII or something. When she was able to regain control of her jaw, she said, "I can't believe you just did that..."

For the first time that Susan could recall, Kerry Weaver looked embarrassed. "Susan, I'm sorry," she stammered. "That was so inappropriate of me..."

"Completely inappropriate," Susan agreed, plucking gingerly at her soda-soaked blouse. She could feel her nipples stiffening in the damp chill.

"That...there was no excuse for that," Kerry babbled, setting the soda bottle on the counter and reaching for a paper towel.

"None whatsoever," Susan said, picking the bottle up while Kerry's back was turned.

"I don't know what came over me - AAAHH!! Susan, what the fuck...?!" Kerry screamed as Susan pulled the back of her collar away from her neck and poured the soft drink down her back.

There was a brief struggle as Kerry squirmed and tried to wrest the bottle away from Susan's grasp, with the result that most of the soda went all over both of them. They broke apart, gasping and giggling involuntarily.

Then Kerry's hand darted into the open refrigerator...and Susan got a faceful of cottage cheese. She flinched and laughed harder, grabbing for a bowl of fruit salad...

When things died down a few moments later - a few long moments later - both women looked like they had been caught in an exploding cafeteria. Susan had the remains of someone's chocolate birthday cake smeared down her front, and her shoes were soaked with leftover chicken soup. Kerry was festooned with barbecue sauce, fettucini noodles, and a tuna sandwich that should have been thrown out a week ago. Kerry leaned against the counter, gasping with wild laughter, while Susan was on the floor, laughing equally hard and sitting on someone's old banana.

"Oh, Susan, I am so sorree-hee-hee...!" Kerry gasped, unable to control herself.

"I'm not!" Susan replied, which just set off further hysterics in both of them. Indeed, she thought, she hadn't had so much fun in weeks.

The hardest part about showering wasn't washing off all the goop, or getting all the sticky stuff out of her hair, but simply getting from the lounge to the shower with her dignity intact. Everyone had stopped and stared at the two women, but nobody dared ask what had happened to them. If it had just been Susan, she'd never have heard the end of it, but one look from Weaver sent them all about their business.

Kerry, already in green scrubs, was toweling off her red hair as Susan pulled on a pair of scrub pants. They hadn't spoken since the splatterfest, but Susan could swear she noticed Kerry glancing at her in an odd way. "What?" she asked as she reached for the scrub top, wishing her bra hadn't been soaked with soda as well.

"Um, you...missed a spot," Kerry said, pointing.

Susan craned her neck around, but couldn't find anything on her arms, breasts, or shoulders. "Where?"

"That little bit of grape jelly," Kerry said. "Here, let me..." She stepped closer, moving a little awkwardly without her crutch, and raised the towel to rub carefully at Susan's neck.

"Oh, thanks," Susan said, suddenly aware of their proximity. She pushed her mild discomfort aside. So she was topless in front of another woman. Big deal. Kerry wouldn't pay any attention. Then again, she never thought Kerry Weaver would have initiated a food fight, either.

"What are you smiling about?" Kerry asked her, adding a little spit to the towel in her efforts to remove the stubborn smear from Susan's neck.

"You," Susan said. "You surprised me again, Kerry. I didn't think you'd ever do anything so playful. It's the first time I've ever seen you react like a human being. You're always like...I don't know, Mr. Spock meets the Wicked Witch of the West." She chuckled. "Did you know they actually call you 'Robodoc' behind your back?"

The rubbing at her neck halted, and Susan could feel the stiffness that suddenly pervaded Kerry's body.

"I...I'm sorry," she said, suddenly ashamed. "I didn't mean that..." Kerry's head was bowed, so Susan couldn't see her face, but from the slight vibration of her shoulders, she thought Kerry was...crying?

Ignoring the fact that she was nude to the waist, Susan took Kerry gently by the shoulders and let the shorter woman lean against her. She felt the moisture of Kerry's tears against her collarbone.

"Do you think I don't have feelings, too?" Kerry mumbled against her chest.

"No, of course I..." But Susan bit her tongue. Secretly, she'd always believed just that. "You never show them."

Kerry sniffled. "It doesn't help that I'm intimidated by you, you know."

"By ME...?"

The redhead nodded, her face rubbing against Susan's bare skin. "I wanted so hard for you to like me, and you just laugh at me with Ross," she said, her voice higher than usual. "I'm the strict one everyone grumbles about, and you're the sweet, beautiful one everyone loves..."

Susan tightened her arms around Kerry's shoulders, deeply moved by this unexpected confession. Kerry's warm breath tickled against the upper swell of her breast. She stroked Kerry's hair comfortingly, at a loss for words.

There was a subtle shiver in the air, and something changed.

"Shit, Susan..." Kerry gasped, and then Susan felt a warm mouth close on her left nipple. She gasped, but surprised herself even more by pulling the other woman closer, rather than push her away. Kerry sucked harder at her breast, her arms tight around Susan's waist.

"Oh, yess..." Susan's fingers ran through the red hair as she pulled Kerry's face against her breast. Kerry's mouth moved to the other nipple, affording it the same attention, and Susan felt a sudden, immediate wetness between her thighs. God, this had never happened before. Not with a woman...

Kerry's hands slipped beneath the waist of her scrub pants and cupped Susan's buttocks, the fingertips digging in sensuously. Susan let her head fall back with a moan as one of Kerry's hands slid between her legs.

Susan leaned against the wall, Kerry leaning against her and still eagerly suckling at her erect nipples. None of Susan's male lovers had lavished such attention on her breasts before. The thought penetrated her brain - much as Kerry's fingers were now penetrating her folds - that someone might enter at any time and catch them in an improbably amorous embrace, but this thought only excited her more. "Ohh, Jesus, Kerry..."

The simultaneous stimulation of Kerry's fingers and tongue were driving her wild with unexpected desire, and she felt the blood pulsing tightly through her veins as her peak approached. Susan ran her tongue down Kerry's temple to her ear, taking the cartilage between her teeth and biting gently. Kerry matched the bite with one of her own, on Susan's nipple, and drove her fingers deeper inside her.

Susan's orgasm flared brightly within her, turning her knees to butter. She bent them, bringing her face to the same level as Kerry's, and saw that her uncontrolled desire was mirrored in Kerry's face. "Susan..."

Susan stopped her words by molding her lips tightly against Kerry's. Her tongue drove forward, filling Kerry's mouth and further damming conversation. Kerry returned the kiss with vigor, pressing her body against Susan's, their bodies separated only by Kerry's thin scrub top. Susan pulled apart just long enough to strip this off, then remove Kerry's scrub pants. She embraced the naked woman with a passion she hadn't anticipated, kissing her deeply again. It came to her how many times she'd felt a desire to reach out and strangle Kerry Weaver, and now that same intensity flooded through her, mysteriously converted into physical longing.

Kerry slipped out of her arms, kneeling. Susan helped her down, and Kerry pulled Susan down on the floor beside her. Wet towels and discarded scrubs were insufficient padding against the cold tile floor, but Susan couldn't find it in her to care at the moment. She felt Kerry drawing the scrub pants down over her legs, and then she was also nude.

Susan took control, using the aggressive side Kerry had tried so many times to unleash - and now finally succeeded. She flicked her tongue tantalizingly over Kerry's rosy nipples, eliciting delighted moans from the other woman. Kerry's hands guided her head down until Susan was between her legs, and she shocked herself by diving in without hesitation. She applied herself with nose, lips, and tongue, the way her boyfriends had done for her - not often enough, in her opinion. The response from Kerry was electric.

Kerry writhed on her back, emitting sounds Susan would have never imagined from her. She twisted, reaching for Susan's hips. "Please," she gasped, "let me...I want...ohhh..."

Susan obliged her, turning to straddle Kerry's face, completing the circuit. She felt her actions reciprocated deliciously, and redoubled her own efforts.

They lay on the floor in the center of the room, in clear view of anyone who might enter. God, if anyone sees us like this...

The thought was enough to drive Susan over the edge, and she climaxed again, more intensely than before, flooding Kerry's mouth. Kerry came soon after, trembling uncontrollably beneath her.

As the natural high subsided, Susan lay on her side, looking at Kerry Weaver, who looked back at her. Neither one spoke for some time.

"I thought you hated me," Kerry said at last.

"I thought I did, too," Susan replied.

Kerry smiled ruefully. "It's a thin line, isn't it?"

Susan stood, helping Kerry to her feet as well, and they dressed in the now-damp scrubs again, reconstructing their dignity and trying to rationalize what had just happened between them.

"You know what turns me on more than anything?" Kerry suddenly asked, as though imparting a confidence.

"Uh, what?"

"People who argue with me."

Susan gaped at her.

"Sometimes, after Doug Ross has been a real pain in my ass," she whispered, "I have to lock myself in a bathroom stall and relieve myself."

Susan had to laugh in surprise. Doug had that effect on a lot of women, she knew, but she'd never have guessed Kerry was among them, and certainly not for that reason.

Kerry laughed with her easily, the tension between them evaporated. "This never happened, okay?" Kerry said.

Susan nodded. "Sure." She looked carefully at Kerry's face, as if measuring it.

"What?" Kerry asked again.

"I still don't like you much," Susan said in a resigned tone.

Kerry smiled. "Fair enough," she said.

Susan kissed her once more, just a soft peck this time, and then they walked out and got back to work.

They never made love again after that day. The resentment and frustration Susan had felt toward Kerry had been excised from her system, and Kerry seemed more inclined to leave her alone after that. Perhaps her added responsibilities as the new Attending afforded them less opportunity to conflict, or perhaps they no longer felt the need, now that they had discovered each other's boundaries. Whatever the reason, they remained no more than cordial colleagues until the day that Susan left for Phoenix, leaving behind no regrets except for those involving Mark Greene...

But Kerry had apparently never forgotten their one encounter. She had never spoken of it with Susan, and Susan was certain she hadn't broken her word and revealed it to Jeannie or anyone else either.

Yet now, here it was in print, transposed into the fictional Susannah Loomis and Mary Seaver.

Well, Susan supposed it wasn't enough to get upset about. Probably no one at County would ever read this book, or believe a word of it if they did. Besides, she reflected, even though she had agreed never to mention what happened, the part of her that still treasured the memory was secretly gratified to see it commemorated. Immortalized, even, to the degree that such novels can immortalize anything.

She took another sip from her Coke bottle - amazing how many places she could still find these things - and picked up 'Kelly Walker's' novel again. She rested the bottle against her breast, letting the condensation soak through to her skin, and opened the book to where she had left off.

"Susannah, you little flirt," she whispered to herself with a smile, "let's see what tawdry business you and Mary are up to now..."

The End

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