DISCLAIMER: ER is the property of Constant C Productions, Amblin Entertainment, and Warner Brothers Television.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SEQUEL: To In the Familiar Dark
Kerry At 4 AM
"You want to get a booth? I need to wash up I'll, uh, be right back."
Abby gave her an assessing look.
"You okay? You need a hand?"
Kerry waved her off.
"I've never sobered up so fast in my life."
Abby was sure dismay was written all over her face but she deliberately kept her voice light.
"Nothing like driving through Chicago in the middle of winter with the windows down."
Kerry said nothing, simply turned and ambled down the aisle to the back of the diner. Abby seated herself in the booth furthest from the door and pulled a menu from its stand. The waitress didn't bother coming out from behind the counter, pouring two coffees and pushing them towards Abby who rose and carried them back to the table.
Not at all hungry and yet strangely engrossed in the menu, Abby failed to hear Kerry's return until she was sliding into the seat next to her. She ducked her head back down, unable to meet Kerry's searching eyes.
"What'll it be ladies?"
The waitress magically appeared at their table, pen and pad in hand. Abby shook her head.
"Nothing for me, thanks."
Kerry's eyebrows rose but she didn't comment, directing her attention to the waitress.
"A double cheeseburger, side of fries and a large strawberry shake."
As soon as the waitress drifted off Abby shot Kerry a look.
"Heart attack on a plate."
Kerry turned carefully in the booth, drawing her leg onto the seat and shifting closer to Abby.
The thought tickled and Abby's eyes widened a split second before she burst out laughing. She let her hands race across the table, gathering cream and sugar and alternately spilling them on the table and filling her coffee. She felt Kerry's knee press into her thigh and she shivered. It took two tries but she finally managed to call the waitress out from the kitchen.
"Can we make that for two, please?"
It was Kerry's turn to burst out laughing and Abby felt the smile desert her as she directed her remark to the formica table top.
"Take me home, Kerry?"
The question was heartbreaking in its simple need but Abby knew Kerry recognized the out being offered. She could deliberately misconstrue the question, drive Abby back to her apartment and that would be that. Fucking a co-worker in the parking lot after a bender was hardly unique but to take Abby home, to her home, and be intimate, that was something else altogether.
Abby wrapped both hands around her coffee mug to still her nervous fingers. She was handling this so badly and she didn't know how to get the conversation back where it belonged. Kerry solved the problem for her.
"Why now? Why me?"
Abby released the breath she'd been holding and her shoulders relaxed. This doubt, this fear, this she understood.
"I think I've been intrigued by the idea of you for a long time now. You make me nervous, like I can't quite find my balance. I feel like every time we have a conversation you're just testing me."
Abby grinned, more to herself than her companion.
"I like that."
Kerry couldn't stop herself from asking.
"Have you ever--?"
"No, but it doesn't matter."
"You say that now "
Abby couldn't return Kerry's stare but she could lean over and kiss her. There was a discreet cough behind Kerry's back and Abby giggled and pulled away as the waitress set down glasses of water and cutlery before making a hasty exit. Kerry was oblivious or if she noticed she didn't particularly care. Abby felt herself begin to blurt before she even realized she was speaking.
"I didn't plan any of this."
Kerry dropped her gaze.
"So you said."
Unsure about the sudden change of mood, Abby forced herself to continue.
"I'm not unhappy with how things turned out."
Kerry grimaced and reached up to pinch the bridge of her nose, "Not exactly a ringing endorsement but I guess it'll do."
Abby stroked her hand down Kerry's cheek, then pressed the palm against her forehead.
"Do you feel okay? Headache?"
Kerry shrugged noncommittally.
"Maybe. Nothing that won't keep."
"Come on, let's get going. You look like you could use some aspirin."
Kerry didn't move.
"Kerry, come on. You need to get some rest, you've had a horrific day. I'll drive you home."
Kerry shook her head but not before Abby saw tears forming.
"I'd rather stay here and talk, if you don't mind."
And all at once Abby knew. She pulled Kerry closer until their foreheads were touching, breathing the same breath.
"I didn't mean I'd drive you home and then leave."
Kerry's eyes remained closed.
"I can think of a lot of things I'd like to do. To you."
Kerry released a shaky breath and stared at Abby.
"Do you mean 'what' as in 'I can't believe what you just said' or do you mean 'what' as in 'I'd like a thorough and complete list'?"
"That's what I thought. Where's your purse?"
"Kerry, the waitress is coming with our order and she'll probably want to get paid."
"Oh. Right. Uh, it's right here."
Kerry held the object in question in nerveless fingers and Abby grabbed it and rifled through it.
"Let's leave her a nice tip for almost giving her a heart attack, okay?"
Kerry nodded on autopilot. Abby carefully placed the sugar jar on top of a twenty and returned her attention to the statue in front of her.
"Kerry? I'll drive, okay?"
"Sure, sure. That's fine."
"You're going to have to give me directions. I've never been to your place."
Bewildered, Kerry could only nod in acquiescence. Abby called the waitress back over and requested the orders be packed to go. Five minutes later they were on their way.
Abby guided the car through darkened streets, Kerry pointing when a turn was needed, apparently having lost the power of speech.
Abby pulled to a stop in front of a modest brownstone and turned to her companion, considering her next move. Kerry may have agreed to the plan back at the diner but it was becoming increasingly obvious that the thought of Abby spending the night was scaring the crap out of her.
"Are you okay?"
Kerry swivelled her head and contemplated Abby's profile.
"What would you do if I said no?"
"Make sure you get inside safely and then get a cab."
Silence greeted her pronouncement and she waited, relaxing into the quiet.
"God, you make it sound so simple."
"Because it is."
"No, Kerry, it is. If you want it to be, it is. You can go inside or we can go inside. And after that comes another decision and you can make that simple, too. And that's it."
Kerry drew in a deep breath and Abby counted to ten, waiting for her exhalation but she kept it to herself.
"We don't have to do anything I mean, I just want to hold you...and be held "
Abby lowered her head and let a smile ghost her features. She blindly reached out beside her and touched Kerry's shoulder, her fingers pressing, Kerry's hand reaching up to rest atop hers.
"Whatever we want, Kerry just whatever you know?"
They sat quietly for several minutes and then Kerry roused herself and opened her car door. She climbed out and waited on the sidewalk while Abby locked the car, then held out her hand, grasping Abby's tightly and leading her up the front steps.
Once inside, Abby wasted little time shedding her jacket, turning to help Kerry do the same. Again, Kerry held Abby's hand as she led them down the hall and to the bedroom. She didn't bother turning on the light, simply stopped next to the bed and waited. Abby gently turned her around until they were facing each other. She reached up to Kerry's collar and slowly undid the top button of her shirt, then the next button, then the next. Their breathing was calm and settled and Kerry's gaze never wavered as Abby undressed her.
Abby reached down and pulled back the covers and Kerry didn't hesitate, leaning her crutch against the wall and sliding into bed. Abby made short work of her own clothes and then walked around to the other side and slipped in next to her.
Kerry's skin was warm against the cool sheets and Abby snuggled in behind her, snaking an arm around her waist and pulling her tight. This was so different from anything Abby had ever experienced. The simple act of cradling someone, holding someone instead of being held, caused a wave of tenderness to rush up and constrict her chest.
Kerry must have felt the change in her breathing because she pressed back minutely, encouraging Abby to slide her other arm under her neck. They lay quietly, unmoving save for their breathing and Abby felt Kerry become heavy in her arms. She let her hand trace lightly over Kerry's stomach, drawing aimless patterns, pressing her other hand flat against the hollow of her throat, thumb and pinky finger aligning with collarbone. Kerry's heartbeat thudded sluggishly and she twisted her head, bringing her cheek to rest against Abby's mouth.
Abby trailed her hand down Kerry's stomach and slid her fingers through an astonishing amount of wetness. Arousal raged through her nervous system accompanied by a roaring in her ears. Her hand abruptly stilled its caress. She pulled away just long enough to encourage Kerry to roll onto her back, then slithered down the bed, moving on top of Kerry as she descended.
Abby's fingers pushed into Kerry's mouth at the same time as she dipped her tongue into Kerry's folds. The taste was a heady combination of need, of desire, of Kerry and power and vulnerability. Abby lapped and thrust, sometimes gathering Kerry's engorged flesh into her mouth and sucking, other times content to gently lick and soothe. She let it build slowly, not hurrying but not teasing, guiding Kerry ever upwards. Inarticulate sounds coupled with deep sighs penetrated her brain and the realization that she was giving Kerry pleasure fueled Abby's own desire. She pulled her fingers from the liquid heat of Kerry's mouth and trailed down, lifting her hips and beginning to rub herself. The maddening sensation drove her to redouble her efforts and Kerry's hips bucked up to meet her mouth.
Abby felt Kerry dig her heels into the mattress and lock her thighs, her hands tightening in Abby's hair, everything suddenly going still but on the inside god, the inside was a frenzy of uncontrolled spasms and gushing wetness and Abby drank deeply and greedily, not wanting to waste one drop of the precious gift that Kerry was giving to her. She raised her head to stare up the length of Kerry's body and her eyes were caught and held by Kerry's smouldering gaze. The intensity of that look pushed Abby over the edge and she came, pressing her mouth and her groans into Kerry's leg, biting down as her climax fired the synapses of her brain. She continued to stroke herself until she was still, alternately panting and licking the salty sweat from the inside of Kerry's thigh. She raised her wet and trembling fingers and painted Kerry's mouth, wearily pulling herself up until they were face to face, tracing her tongue over sticky lips, the combination of flavours shooting tremors straight to her centre.
Kerry pulled Abby's head to her chest and lazily wrapped her arms around her shoulders.
"Shhhh, it can wait until morning. Whatever we want, remember?"
Abby leaned up and pressed a kiss into Kerry's neck then sank back into her arms.
It took mere minutes for them to drift into an exhausted sleep.
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