DISCLAIMER: NCIS and its characters are the property of CBS, no infringement intended.
SEQUEL/SERIES: First in the "Corruption of Caitlin" series, follows Johnnie Walker Wisdom.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Jesus in a Pacer
Kate's first orgasm was in a church, behind the holy water font at the insistent fingers of Jeremy Hogan. He'd been horny, she'd been curious and the church had been the most convenient location either could think of. The doors were unlocked all night, they didn't have to worry about waking their parents... it was the perfect location.
Until Jeremy got his hand into her jeans and she realized that she was staring up into the bloody face of the crucifix. She'd buried her face in his shoulder, working hard to get it over with as soon as possible, but it still haunted her. Those mournful eyes, that down-turned mouth... She might as well have done it in front of her priest or her father.
Abby stood next to her in the pew, busily scanning the rest of the congregation. She smiled whenever she caught someone quickly averting their gaze back to their hymnal, waving her black-gloved hands at the kids who stared openly, without hesitation or shame. Kate, on the other hand, touched Abby's elbow and whispered, "Abby..."
"What?" she whispered back. "It's fun. It's like I showed up wearing a devil's costume or something."
Kate was embarrassed to admit she'd thought the same thing when Abby asked to come to church with her this morning. She was wearing a sleeveless black tuxedo shirt, complete with ruffles down her chest. Her hair was up in four knobs that dotted the top of her head like stubby antennas.
And then there was the black lace parasol she was carrying.
She had conceded to keep it closed during the service in deference to the people behind them. But she'd kept it open the entire time they walked through the foyer, while Kate shook hands with the people she knew and tried very hard not to make excuses for Abby. "This is my friend, Abby. We work together."
"Good Sunday to you, Abby," they all said, eyes dancing in an effort to try and find the best place not to look. Lace and black and deep dark mascara... what was this, a witch on her way to check out the competition? A spy from a satanic cult looking to dig its roots into the community? Had they already gotten Caitlin, that sweet young girl from the Todd family who had always seemed so sweet? Oh, and was that a spider's web on her neck? Oh, it's tattooed? What the devil could that mean, eyebrows arched at the word play.
Kate had come up with the brilliant idea of inviting Abby to church with her that morning, just after their shower. Abby was wearing her bowling shirt and underwear, eating breakfast as she complained about separating to their respective churches for the morning and meeting up again for lunch. As if possessed, Kate had said, "Why don't you just come with me?"
Abby had thought it a great idea and rushed home to change. The entire time she was gone, Kate's mind worked overtime trying to figure a way out of it. But Abby had shown up, so happy at being able to share this important part of Kate's life and she had been powerless to turn her away.
Halfway through the service, Kate remembered the night before. Sweating beneath Abby, holding her tightly like she was afraid of falling off the bed... hell, the planet. They'd made love for the first time, held each other under the sheets until Kate's alarm woke her and she realized that it was the Lord's Day. She had blushed all through her shower, blushed when Abby joined her and throughout their second session of lovemaking.
Shame hovered over her like a shroud. She'd expected Abby to head off to wherever she went. Instead, when she'd mentioned she had to get ready for church, Abby had eagerly asked if she could come along. Unsure how to refuse a request to attend church, Kate had agreed.
Now, she was regretting the decision. True to Abby's word, they were the center of attention. She'd heard the phrase "Goth" whispered more than once both ahead of and behind her. She sunk lower into the collar of her blouse, wishing for a hood to yank over her head. When the hymnals were closed, they all took their seats. Abby, Kate noticed, was separated from the next worshipper by a conveniently-placed barrier of hymnals, Bibles and jackets.
The priest took the pulpit, laying both hands upon it as he smiled out to the crowd. "Blessed be to God," he said.
"Amen," the crowd replied in unison.
"It is always a joy to gather in the Lord's house and send our praises up to him. It is wonderful to worship with friends and with family, and it is also truly wonderful when we can share our blessed Lord with... someone new. Perhaps a lost sheep, who has lost their way. To bring the blessings our Lord bestows upon us to those prodigal daughters and sons is truly a blessing to us all."
"This guy should have a drinking game," Abby whispered in Kate's ear. "One drink for each 'Lord,' two for every 'bless.'"
Kate bit her bottom lip to keep from smiling, reaching up to touch the back of her neck as she nervously scanned the crowd. More furtive glances, more heads quickly turned-away. Kate turned her attention back to the priest.
"We pride ourselves on acceptance," he said. "But what happens when someone slightly different is introduced into our midst? We become hesitant. We judge them by looks alone or by their clothing. We forget that our Lord rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, refusing more stately modes of travel... what would we think today? If Jesus were to ride into town in a..."
"AMC Pacer," Abby said.
The priest smiled. "Yes, precisely. If Jesus were to come today driving an AMC Pacer, would we dismiss him simply because of his car? Just because of how he looked?"
"Just a stranger on the bus," Abby said in sing-song.
The priest laughed, and a few of the congregation snickered as well.
Kate fervently attempted to discover the secret of invisibility.
"Yes, precisely. Now, if we could move on..."
Abby smiled proudly at Kate and settled into the pew. She withdrew her Bible - the black leather cover lined with red velvet, and opened to the chapter and verse the priest indicated. Kate moved closer to share Abby's Bible, putting her hand on the other woman's thigh underneath the book. Abby smiled proudly and squeezed back.
After church, Abby went back to Kate's apartment. She shed her gloves and coat, putting her parasol just inside the door as she waited for Kate to get changed out of her Sunday best. When they reunited in the kitchen, Abby said, "Were you ashamed of me today?"
"A little," Kate admitted. "And for that, I'm sorry, Abby. If I hadn't been so busy worrying about what you looked like or what you were wearing, I would've noticed."
"The way you didn't need the hymnal to sing along with us. The way you turned immediately to the book Father Bender requested. You... belonged there. More than some of us, in our buttoned-down suits and prim-proper ways."
"Religion doesn't always have to be button-down," Abby said. "I should take you to my church sometime. We really know how to get down. Like this one time, Reverend Bubba..."
"Reverend Bubba?" Kate said.
"Well... he was the reverend that week..."
Kate laughed, shaking her head. "I don't know, Abby. It's just... an entire life of catechism doesn't erase overnight. I can't just... start..." She motioned at Abby said, "What we're doing? I've been told it's wrong since I was fifteen and started feeling... things."
"It's love," Abby said. "The Bible has some very positive things to say about love."
"But between two women..."
"Love is love," Abby interrupted.
Kate closed her eyes. "I'm just worried. Scared. That I won't be able to balance my religion and our... relationship."
Abby grinned. "I can totally help you with that, if you want."
Kate looked at Abby for a long moment, staring into the other woman's dark eyes. After a long moment, she nodded. "Yeah," she said softly. "I'd really like that."
Abby's grin widened.
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