DISCLAIMER: I do not own them. Yet.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is my first story. Wow.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILER: early-ish season 7.
Here to a Star
The bouquet of roses was a bright spot of color and a point of intense interest on the desk, and Randi did her best to pretend she was ignoring them. But the name on the card was driving her crazy: "DR. KERRY WEAVER". Fourteen of the reddest long-stemmed roses she'd ever seen were expertly arranged in a large crystal vase, clearly a gift worth well into the hundreds of dollars. And there were fourteen: she'd counted twice, just to be sure. Careful to keep her eye out for Dr. Weaver, she peered closely at the card, hoping against hope that she'd be able to discern the sender just by looking at the envelope.
"Who got the flowers?" Randi nearly jumped a foot off her chair, momentarily terrified that the recipient of the card had busted her for snooping. But it was only Haleh, fortunately, and Randi was grateful for small favors.
"You won't believe it." Randi gently pulled the envelope out of the holder and covered the addressee with her hand.
Always up for a challenge, Haleh inspected the flowers with a discerning eye. "Long-stemmed, red, beautifully grown, not to mention the expensive vase, and look--the thorns are gone." She inhaled slowly, readying her answer. "Elizabeth. She and Mark were arguing yesterday in the lounge and these are probably an apology from him." Haleh raised her eyebrow as she inspected the roses, measuring the cost in her mind. "Must have been a hell of a fight. Either that or Elizabeth's baby hormones are raging out of control."
Randi sneered. "Not even close."
She paused. "Cleo?"
"You might as well stop guessing."'
"Don't tell me they're for you."
"Ha. Thanks for the vote of confidence. Not for me. Ready?" She handed Haleh the card with a wicked gleam in her eyes.
Her eyes grew round at the answer. "Ooh, there's something the good Dr. Weaver has been keeping a secret..." Haleh's instinct for blood was high, and she silently pondered how to convince Randi to be the one to open the barely sealed card.
"Lydia!" Randi called out to the passing nurse.
"Wow," Lydia approached the desk and stuck her nose dramatically into the bouquet. "Who got these? Al usually sends flowers on our anniversary, but that was months ago. And he's never sent a dozen red roses."
"Fourteen," Randi countered.
"Fourteen. Hmm, interesting. Who are they for?"
Randi got that silly grin on her face again. "Guess."
Haleh could handle a little guessing game, but not a second round. "Please, they're for Weaver. The big question is: who are they from, and what's the occasion?"
Lydia's face was surprised, but she smiled gently as she stroked the petals of one bloom. "Weaver? That's so nice. I'm glad she's with someone. She was alone for a long time. At least I think she was." She shook her head free of the kind sentiment, then turned to Haleh. "You're right. Who are they from? Randi, open the card."
"What?" Randi practically screeched. "Not a chance! She'd kick my ass from here to next Tuesday, and I am not about to get into hot water over a bunch of stupid flowers." She thrust the card into Haleh's unwelcoming grasp. "You do it, if you want to know so badly."
Haleh contemplated the situation. Randi had what appeared to be an unmovable expression on her face, and Lydia just eyed Haleh with an amused look. She huffed in exasperation. Squinting at the envelope, she murmured, "Where's Chuni when I need her?" Carefully she slid a manicured thumbnail under the small area where the card was sealed and prayed for a helping hand. Her prayer was answered; the flap popped up cleanly and without a tear. Suddenly realizing the trio probably looked a bit suspicious hovering around the card, she quickly scanned the area for petite, red headed, sharp-tongued doctors. With none in sight, she gently removed the card from its envelope and turned it over.
Randi's eyes were popping out of her head. "What does it say? Come on Haleh!"
Haleh read the card once to herself, then read it quietly aloud. The two lines of lowercase handwritten print read, 'how deep is the ocean, how high is the sky.' A smile quirked her lips. It rang a bell; there was a song in the words but she couldn't pinpoint what it was.
Lydia sighed. "I suppose I get the general idea, but it doesn't exactly reveal the sender, does it? If there's no signature, I guess we'll never know." She smirked as she started for curtain three to check on a patient. "Unless Weaver shocks the hell out of all of us and says something other than 'I want this board cleared immediately!'" Lydia was genuinely interested in Dr. Weaver's life, if for no other reason than that she knew almost nothing about it. 'If she wants us to know, she'll tell us, otherwise, just forget it and hope it works out, for all of our sakes,' she thought. If Dr. Weaver had been in a good mood lately, she didn't want to imagine her after a bad break-up.
Meanwhile, Haleh thoughtfully slid the card back in the envelope, and licked her thumb to reseal it. The lines of the card were running though her mind, and she knew the lyrics were knocking around inside her head among the thousands of songs she knew.
Randi just looked disappointed; she was hoping to get wind of a secret, any secret, for the gossip mill. The pools lately had been a little dull, what with everyone already knowing the sex of Elizabeth and Mark's baby and the air of general quiet between the other romantic couples of the hospital. "Any idea what the words are from?" she asked.
After sliding the card back into the holder, she replied, "Yeah, I know I know them. They're from a song, I'm sure of it. I just can't think of the tune." As she stared at the bouquet unseeing, there was an odd sounding gait approaching the desk from the entrance. Randi exhaled in relief--they'd timed it just right.
Kerry walked around the desk and inquired politely, "Haleh, who sent you flowers?"
Haleh nonchalantly responded, "They're not for me, Dr. Weaver." She paused for effect. "They're for you."
Kerry's expression was worth the wait. She nearly dropped her crutch, and a telltale flush crept slowly up her neck. Swallowing her surprise, she squeaked, "Really?"
Randi just nodded, gum snapping.
Kerry approached the bouquet as though afraid it would disappear, trying in vain to school her expression into one of disinterest. Almost against her will, she caressed the blossoms reverently, and leaned in to inhale the heavenly scent. Her breath seemed to catch, and she tried to mask it with a little cough. "How many do you think there are?"
Too quickly, Randi responded, "Fourteen." Haleh glared at her, but Kerry just seemed mesmerized by the flowers. "Fourteen," she whispered, under her breath. "Fourteen weeks to the day." She reached for the card with a shaking hand. Haleh tried not to hold her breath as Dr. Weaver opened the card, but Randi openly gawked at her. Shyly, Kerry hid the written words from the prying eyes of the women as she read them. To both Haleh's and Randi's surprise, an unmistakable sheen of tears formed in Kerry's eyes, and they could see the liquid threatening to spill over with one false move.
They were speechless.
Kerry inhaled deeply, schooling her features with a remarkable show of self-restraint. The air of indifference she was aiming for didn't quite erase the shine in her eyes, the faint curve of mouth. As she leaned in again to smell her flowers, a figure appeared across the desk. It was Dr. Legaspi, and she hopped up a little on the counter to lean over the arrangement. She met Kerry's eyes as they both sampled the fragrance. A similar smile graced her features as she said, "These yours?"
Kerry nodded and gazed into Kim's eyes. "They're perfect, aren't they? I can't remember the last time I got flowers, much less roses."
Kim raised her eyebrow. "From somebody special?"
"Oh yeah, someone very special."
Kim crossed behind the desk as Haleh let out a small grunt of exasperation. "You gonna keep us in the dark?"
Kerry smiled down at the card still resting in her hands, and when Kim reached over to take it from her, she did not protest. "For a little longer, I think. You'll know soon enough."
Kim let out a heavy breath, running a finger across the text. Out of nowhere, Frank appeared over Dr. Legaspi's shoulder and took it upon himself to read it aloud. "'how deep is the ocean, how high is the sky.' Hey, that's from a standard. Billie Holiday recorded it, didn't she?" He hung up his coat and fished his smock out from underneath the desk. "Take off, Randi, I'm sorry I'm a few minutes late."
Randi just glared at him and snapped her gum again. "In a *minute*, Frankie. Can't you see we're having a little discussion?"
Kerry absently answered Frank's query. "Yeah, I think just about everyone recorded it then--Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Dinah Washington. But I like Etta James' the best."
Frank looked pensive, as if considering Etta's soulful, romantic recording versus other versions of the Berlin classic. "Oh, I like that Etta. What's the card mean anyway?" he asked offhandedly.
Everyone around seemed to lean in, waiting for the response.
Kerry's secretive smile reappeared. "That song was playing when I first realized I was in love." The statement was met with utter silence as her gaze turned inward, remembering. For a moment she was back there, in her kitchen, holding a glass of wine as she watched Kim put the last of the dishes away. Kim hummed slightly off tune along with Etta's crooning, and her careful hands dried a deep blue dish and gently placed it back in the cupboard where it belonged. At that instant Kerry was overwhelmed with such a powerful wave of tenderness that her knees nearly buckled. It was a familiar sensation, but time had obscured the memory of it. She could hardly breathe; everything went blurry as she realized the depth of what she was feeling, what she'd *been* feeling for months. A small sound of helplessness escaped her and Kim looked over, distressed.
"Ker? You okay?"
There was a brief pause. Kerry blurted, "I love you." She was met with silence. 'Try again, idiot. Make her believe.' "I mean...I...I'm in love with you. I love you."
Kim's stunned expression mirrored Kerry's; neither one of them had been expecting the admission, much less while standing in the kitchen after a spontaneous late dinner. Their relationship had progressed at a snail's pace following an inauspicious and awkward start. For weeks Kim had been waiting for Kerry to retreat as she'd done after that first kiss, that first stab of pain they'd each caused in the other. It was a risk to court Kerry, but she believed in the end, it would be worth it.
She was right.
After a minute of standing there in shock, Kim broke the stillness with a quiet "Thank God," and strode over to Kerry to take her in her arms. She'd kept a tight rein on her feelings up until this point, trying, however unsuccessfully, to keep from getting in too deep. They trembled together as Kim continued to whisper, "Thank God, thank God, oh thank you." She held on tightly as Kerry's mouth met hers, kissing her desperately, sweetly.
If only Randi or Haleh, or even Frank had bothered to look over at Dr. Legaspi, they'd have noticed a matching air of remembrance in Kim's eyes, but they were simply so riveted by Dr. Weaver's unusual display of emotion that they missed it. Shaking herself out of her stupor, Kerry turned to Kim and took the card back into her own hands. "I'd like to keep that, if you don't mind."
Kim swallowed and shoved her hands into her pockets. "Sure." She didn't trust herself to say any more. She'd been patient for what seemed like an eternity and had been rewarded with one of the deepest connections to anyone she'd ever known. She could manage to wait a little while longer to kiss her girlfriend in the midst of their colleagues. In fact she could probably be happy waiting forever, as long as she got to keep Kerry. It was funny; Kim hadn't expected to be as affected by the giving of flowers as Kerry was in receiving them, but she guessed that was what happened when you were in love.
Kerry slid the card into her handbag and seemed to instantaneously transform into her typical hurricane self. "What the hell am I still doing here? Look at that board! Haleh, get back to doing whatever it was you were doing before, Randi, scoot before I fall over you. There are too many people back here. And Frank, if anyone lays a hand on those flowers tell them... Well, just tell them that they're mine and I'll be taking hostages if even one petal is disengaged from its original bloom, is that clear?" As she turned to pass Kim on her way to the lounge, she grasped her hand for an instant and kept on walking.
Kim smiled. Message received.
No one noticed, but it didn't matter. They'd know soon enough.
How Deep is the Ocean--Irving Berlin
How much do I love you
I'll tell you no lie
How deep is the ocean
How high is the sky
How many times a day
Do I think of you
How many roses
Are sprinkled with dew
How far would I travel
To be where you are
How far is the journey
From here to a star
And if I ever lost you
How much would I cry
How deep is the ocean
How high is the sky
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