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ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Meeting a Deadline
By Ann


Sabrina glanced at the calendar on the wall, noting the impending circled date. She'd given herself exactly one month to make her feelings known to her colleague, and the deadline was finally upon her. Today was the day.

She'd been dropping subtle hints here and there along the way, but she'd never actually come right out and confessed her attraction to Kelly. More than likely the realization that the attraction had become so strong that it now bordered on that thing called love caused the brunette to reevaluate the situation. If Kelly didn't return her feelings, she'd be crushed, and in the back of her mind, Sabrina couldn't help wondering what would happen to the close friendship they'd forged through the years.

Sighing, the angel pushed herself up and grabbed her jacket from the back of the chair. Yesterday, she'd promised to pick Kelly up for a quick breakfast before work, explaining that she had something important to discuss with the other angel, but now, she was cursing herself for forcing the issue.

"Okay, stop it. You can't turn back now; you've got to do this for your own sanity. It's time to finally face the music. Now, get your ass in gear," Sabrina muttered, heading for the door, her resolve more shaky than her words.

Pulling up in front of the apartment, Sabrina placed her hand on the handle of the car door; however, Kelly stepped outside and motioned for her friend to stay put which turned out to be a blessing in disguise seeing as how Sabrina could hardly breathe when she caught sight of the smiling vision walking towards her.

Opening the door, Kelly greeted the other brunette, teasing, "Hey, you're late," and climbing into the passenger seat, she added, "I hope you don't mind, but I called Bosley and asked if we could come in at ten instead of nine. He said there wasn't anything pressing for us today so we can take as long as we need."

"Um, okay, that's fine with me," Sabrina answered, pulling away from the curb and attempting to control the nerves that already had her hands shaking and her palms sweating.

The conversation on the drive to the restaurant was very one-sided as Kelly controlled the conversation, much to Sabrina's relief and delight. One, because she wasn't sure how steady her voice would be, and two, just because she loved to hear the smooth, sexy voice of her friend.

The two women entered the restaurant, and the hostess seated them in the back corner booth. Kelly had taken the initiative and asked for a quiet spot, and Sabrina didn't offer any resistance to the request, deciding that if she was going to get shot down then at least there wouldn't be any witnesses to her failure. She'd just hoped that she could hold it together until they got back to the office, and then she could find some excuse to leave for awhile to deal with her broken heart.

"So, what did you need to talk about?" Kelly questioned, sliding smoothly across the seat and settling into the middle of the booth.

Not expecting to have to broach the subject so soon, Sabrina suggested, "Why don't we order first and then we can talk."

Smiling, Kelly picked up the menu and began to read while a relieved Sabrina took a seat across from her friend. She didn't need to look at the menu, certain that toast and coffee were the only things she could keep down.

The waitress reappeared to take their order, and Kelly immediately protested when she heard her friend's request. The young girl glanced back and forth between the two older women, mentally placing her bet on the eggs and pancake order, and had it been a true bet, she would've won handily as Sabrina changed her order to a western omelet.

Kelly relaxed in her seat, deciding to let the other angel start the conversation. Sabrina had been uncharacteristically nervous the entire morning, and the brunette didn't want to do anything to make her friend any more uncomfortable.

As they ate their breakfast in silence, Kelly kept a close eye on the other side of the booth. Whatever Sabrina had to say must be a doozy because she'd never known the brunette to hold her tongue for very long.

Soon, both women had consumed their breakfast, and the waitress had left the check when she refilled their cups. Sabrina looked up into friendly dark eyes and made her decision. She'd never run away from anything in her life, and she'd certainly never missed a deadline.

"Um, Kelly? I promised myself I'd tell you something, but I'd like for you to hear me out before you get upset or disagree. I value our friendship more than anything, and I truly don't want to jeopardize it. It's just that I can't hold this in any longer."

Kelly reached across the table and took her friend's hand in hers; not realizing the friendly gesture would make it more difficult for Sabrina to confess her feelings. It was one thing to be this close when declaring one's affection, but it was an entirely different matter to be in physical contact with the object of her desire.

Clearing her throat, Sabrina looked down at their joined hands and began. "When I first joined the agency, I was rather cocky and ..."

A snicker from across the table stopped the brunette's words, and Kelly quickly apologized, "Sorry, Bree. It's just that you're still a little cocky, but don't worry; I find that quality to be quite endearing." She squeezed her friend's hand and smiled, adding, "Now, I promise to behave and let you finish."

Smiling sheepishly at the other angel, Sabrina once again focused on their hands and found herself not ever wanting to let go of the smooth, silky skin. Mesmerized, she ran her thumb over the back of Kelly's hand and continued with her confession.

"Um, well, anyway, I'd always done things myself because I didn't trust others to get it done the way I wanted, so it was extremely difficult for me to work with you and Jill. However, slowly, but surely, I began to trust you more and more until I realized that I trusted you with my life," the dark haired angel explained, hesitating before making her final declaration.

Taking a deep breath, she closed her eyes and said softly, "And now, I trust you with even more; I trust you with my heart."

An awkward silence ensued, and the feel of warm skin against hers was the only sign Sabrina had to assure her Kelly was still there, and she took solace in the fact that the other angel hadn't ripped her hand from hers and fled the restaurant.

Finally, Sabrina risked the chance of opening her eyes and looking towards her friend, and to her surprise, she was greeted with big brown eyes filled with tears threatening to spill over and down a pair of flawless cheekbones. With a shaky hand, the confessing angel reached over to catch the errant drops before they could track their way down Kelly's face.

Her heart stopped in her chest when the angel intercepted her hand and brought it down to rest beside their already joined pair. Awaiting her rejection, Sabrina was relieved that Kelly chose to maintain physical contact with her. It gave her hope that perhaps their friendship would survive in the aftermath of her disclosure of affection.

The two women stared at each other, both seemingly afraid to voice their thoughts; however, the ever impatient Sabrina opted for the rip the band-aid off quickly approach and said, "You don't have to say anything, Kelly. I'm sorry for putting you in this position; I should've just kept my feelings to myself. Friends?"

A lump formed in the brunette's throat at the sound of Kelly's simple one-word reply, "No."

Now, it was Sabrina's eyes filling with tears as her earlier hopes of keeping it all together seemed to be slipping away. Feeling the urge to flee before her friend could see her turmoil, Sabrina attempted to remove the lifeline she'd been desperately holding onto as she moved to release her hands from Kelly's.

"Oh, no, Sabrina Duncan. You're not going anywhere until I've had my say," Kelly stated, increasing her grip on the other woman's hands.

Sabrina took a shallow breath and nodded, waiting for the other woman to express her displeasure. It was finally time to face the consequences of her actions.

"Do you know how long I've waited for you to acknowledge that there was something more between us than friendship?" Kelly paused, waiting for her words to make their mark on her friend, and she didn't have long to wait as Sabrina's eyes snapped up and locked onto her own.

"I was hoping this was what you wanted to talk about today, and when you seemed so nervous, I knew you'd finally decided to say something. I was expecting you to stumble over the words, but no... You had to go and blow me away."

Sabrina smiled, and Kelly squeezed her friend's hand, adding, "Let's call Bosley and tell him we aren't coming in today. I think we need to go somewhere quiet and discuss our feelings. What do you say?"

Throwing two twenties on the table, Sabrina stood and held out her hand to her angel. Smiling, Kelly took the offered hand and allowed the other woman to pull her from the booth.

The couple started towards the door, and Sabrina finally uttered her first words to her soon to be lover.

"I just love deadlines, don't you?"

The End

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