DISCLAIMER: Don't own ER, Kerry would be back if I did.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: Skye's the Limit, S14E9.

It Only Burns at First
By Babydykecate


Chapter 2

Abby opens her eyes to the morning light that invades the peace of the hotel room. She wakes up feeling safe for once, and Kerry's arms around her remind her why. As she snuggles back into Kerry's embrace, the events of last night come back to her.

The hangover sets in, reminding her of the countless drinks that lead to her cheating on Luka. Yet, she can't make sleeping with Kerry what she regrets. She regrets falling back into this trap of drinking and self-hatred. She regrets hurting Luka. But she has loved Kerry for so long that finally holding her is too precious to regret. So she denies reality for one more hour, and lets the safety, happiness and love with Kerry be the only thing she feels.

Waking up an hour later, reality is back, with all its responsibilities. Luka and she have a son, and she has to go back to them. She kisses Kerry tenderly and whispers in her ear, "I've loved you for quite a long time. Through every woman or man between us, you have been my best friend, and you have always been the only one with my heart."

Kerry takes her hand and holds it tight. She looks Abby in the eye as she whispers, "I love you too."

They kiss again before Abby gathers her things and heads for the door.

Kerry stops her, "Abby?"

"Yes?" Abby replies.

"Please take care of yourself, Abby. I'll be here for you whenever you need me, but you can't let this alcoholism and depression consume you."

"I know," Abby says softly.

Kerry touches Abby's check, "You're too precious to lose, Abigail Lockhart," she says with a gentle smile.

Abby hesitantly starts to hug Kerry, and Kerry pulls her tightly against her.

"I love you, Kerry."

"I love you too, Abby. Call me whenever you want."

Abby finally brakes away and opens the door, not breaking eye contact with Kerry until she has to.


Chapter 3

She fell out of love with him. Or maybe she never loved him the way she thought she did. Either way, it's the worst feeling in the world. It's worse than regret, betrayal, jealously or guilt. You feel empty… like you're living a lie. The moment you realize you're no longer in love, the moment you admit it to yourself, your world changes irrevocably. You're not the same person you were before, and you're pretty sure you can't ever be that person again. You feel terribly alone. What you had, what you dreamed of, is over. You have to finally admit it's over.

Abby can't say why she tried so hard to fix things with Luka. Maybe she felt it was the commitment she made when she had a child with him. It could be that she felt she owed him for hurting him over and over. A small part of her realized she was hurting him again, trying to stay with him when she never love him the way she did Kerry, but she ignored it. Somehow it seemed like she'd be a better person if she stayed with him and dealt with the mess she made. She tried so hard to do the right thing, that she wasn't sure who she really was anymore.

Yet she's sober and staying that way, and that's no small feat. So, if in trying to fix things and make amends, she had to sacrifice what made Abby happy, so be it.

But the ER is a poor place for Abby to forget who she is. Somewhere in between the fire in the ambulance bay and saving a baby and mother, Abby remembered who she was. She's tough, and dedicated and compassionate- and she really did want to be an Attending.

It's now, in the aftermath of her conversation with Luka. After him telling her that he can't forget everything that's happened and he has to move out. It's now… that she finally knows what she wants, what she needs. It's not that her heart isn't breaking over what has ended. She hurt Luka, knowingly and willingly, though not maliciously. She must take responsibility for that. She did love him, and still cares about him, though her love for him paled in comparison to her love for Kerry. She made the choice not to tell Kerry or him sooner. Another thing she regrets. She had a child with Luka, and she must bear every responsibility that came with that, that their lives will always be interconnected through their son.

With all mistakes she made, this moment is still one of the most important of her life. She is sober. She might become an Attending. She knows she loves Kerry and Kerry loves her, and she is free to commit herself to Kerry if she wants. So, she picks up the phone, and dials the number.

"Kerry?" She asks her excitement building.

"Abby? Are you ok?" Kerry automatically worries.

"Yes, well… it's over…" Abby replies.

"What's over?" Kerry asks confused.

"Luka and I. He told me he couldn't forget everything that's happened…" Abby starts to tell Kerry.

Kerry is stunned. She only manages to reply, "Wow."

"Kerry, I know I've been weak and stupid… I should have been honest with you and Luka. I should have been braver. All I can say is I love you so much. I'll do anything to be the woman you need. Do you want to try trans-state dating? Do… do you still want me Kerry?" Abby asks, a little scared.

"Of course I do Abby. I love you so much," Kerry reassures Abby. "I don't blame you at all Abby… I did so many stupid things being afraid and in love with Kim. We are all fools with love; we just have to try to do the least damage."


Chapter 4

The laughter of toddlers fills the room. Henry and Joe have become fast friends since Abby moved to Miami 3 months ago to live with Kerry. Joe runs into the room, with Henry close on his heels. Abby catches him, covering him with tickles before he has a chance to protest.

Kerry's soon at the door, watching their escapades with a smile. As soon as Abby releases the squirming Joe, Kerry's arms wrap around her. Abby turns in her arms, brushing her lips against Kerry's. Kerry kisses back, her arms tightening around Abby.

The End

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