DISCLAIMER: Fastlane and its characters are the property of Fox and Jerry Bruckheimer. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By Juri


"Hey. My name is Wilhelmina," she mumbles, blue eyes trained steadily on the floor even as her hands shake where she has them stuffed into her pockets.

"Hi, Wilhelmina," dozens of voices reply, and her eye twitches. Glancing to the left, Brody gives her a thumbs up and an encouraging nod.

"Is this the part where I ask how many Hail Mary's and Our Father's will absolve me of my sins?" she asks, only half joking. She gets a chorus of sympathetic chuckles. With a sigh, she forces herself to look at the crowd, gaze touching and holding everyone's before she continues again. "My name is Wilhelmina, and I've been sober for three weeks…"

Stepping out into the approaching darkness of the night and shivering – no matter what she does, she always seems to be cold these days – Billie Chambers automatically scans the street. It's deserted, no surprise there considering the neighborhood and time of day, but something seems off. Not for the first time, the brunette misses her gun; her hand practically itches with the needs to wrap around the perfectly fitted handle. She had given it up when she had agreed to take time off, knowing better than to have a weapon within reach when she started de-toxing.

Shoving her trembling hands into her pockets – even after the initial withdrawl, when she is stressed or remembering the drugs, she gets the shakes – she begins to walk quickly. Rounding the corner of the block, she stops short, eyes narrowing dangerously. "Fancy seeing you here." The woman leaning casually against the dirty brick of the wall pushes off, shrugging.

"I stayed away as long as I could," she says, stepping towards her.

"Well, not long enough," Billie growls, immediately regretting it when the smaller woman flinches, but unable to force herself to apologize. The itch is starting behind her eyes, and the buzzing at the back of her head.

"Maybe too long?"

They stare at each other for long moments, blue eyes locked with blue, until finally Billie has to look away, afraid to give away too much. Sara Matthews has a way if getting under her skin that makes her confused, and right now confused means craving the sweet oblivion of the needle. "This isn't a good time, Sara," Billie grinds out through clenched teeth, hands clutching the insides of her pockets to try and stop the agitated trembling.

"I know, I… I heard you got caught up… I wanted to see you," the blonde says softly, holding out a hand in the universal non-threatening gesture.

"I can't deal with anyone else's issues right now, all right? I know we left things… up in the air, but… I can't think about that right now…" the taller woman almost pleads, suddenly finding it hard to breathe.

She suddenly needs Sara to understand that it wasn't about her, wasn't about what happened between them. "I, it's not you really, there was, look… fuck, this is hard."

"Hey, hey, it's okay," Sara interrupts, moving forward and engulfing her in a hug. Immediately Billie feels warmth spread through her body, and her breath catches in her throat, tears forming in her eyes. It's been so long since anyone has touched her, even a hug, so long since she has been anything but cold.

"Ssh, ssh, it's all right Billie," Sara coos into her ear, and it takes her a second to realize that she is sobbing. She can't work up the energy to be mortified like she thinks she should be. Instead she lifts her arms and returns the embrace, burying her face in soft blonde hair and allowing the other woman to comfort her.

They stay like that for long minutes, tangled together, until Sara slowly pulls back. Embarrassed now, Billie's eyes find something interesting to look at on the other woman's light jacket. "Hey, look at me," Sara murmurs, hand coming up and wiping the tears away from the brunette's face, sliding to her cheek to cup the over-heated skin. "It's gonna be all right, okay?"

"How do you know? I can't even make it through a hour without thinking about it…"

Smiling gently, Sara runs the pad of her thumb over Billie's cheekbone. "What, do you think you're the only one in the world that had a problem with drugs?" she asks, shrugging at the incredulous look she gets. "It is never easy, but it gets better."

After a long moment of silence, Billie takes a shaky breath; she wants desperately to believe. "Promise?" Her voice is small, almost child-like. Sara nods, hugging her again.


"Why did you come back, Sara?" Billie asks as they pull away from each other, clearing her throat and attempting to put some space between them. Immediately the cold is back, chilling her to the bone.

"Glutton for punishment?" the blonde responds, smirking. "Like I said, I stayed away as long as I could. You were good to me when you didn't have to be. When I heard what happened, I… I had to see you."

Wrapping her arms around herself, the taller woman glares. "You don't owe me anything, Sara," she insists, suddenly hurt but unwilling to examine why.

"It's not even like that and you know it. Walking away from you that day was one of the hardest things I've had to do, okay?"

"We knew each other for less then a week," Billie points out, oh-so-reasonable despite the ache that sets up shop in the pit of her stomach at the words. She is being a coward, and a liar, but she is too scared to do otherwise.

"If you tell me that I imagined everything, I'm gone, okay? I don't want to make trouble for you," Sara says, clearly hurt. "But I think it was real. You didn't have to give me a deal, but you did. And I saw the look in your eyes Billie…"

"Shaky ground to base your theory."

"Fair enough." The smaller woman nods once, jaw flexing as she swallows back emotion. "I came back because I needed to know if there was anything between us. Guess I got my answer."

Before the ex-thief can make it more then two steps, Billie breaks, calling out to her. "Sara, wait," she says, eyes filling with tears again. "I… I missed you, okay? But, I-I can't right now. I can barely tie my shoes in the morning." Sara nods, turning back around.

"I'm not asking you to do anything Billie, I just, I… I wanna help. I know what it's like, and I wanna help."

"No strings?"

Sara laughs, shaking her head. "No strings, no expectations. If you come out the other side and decide you hate my guts, there isn't really much I can do about that, is there?" Smiling kindly, she shrugs. "And if you happen to decide that you want to give it a shot, well… can't really do much about that either."

Smiling genuinely, for what seems like the first time in… months, if she is honest with herself, Billie takes a deep breath, releasing it slowly. "Okay," she agrees, reaching out a hand for Sara to take.


"Yeah, okay?" Their fingers tangle, hands fitting together in that almost perfect way that the brunette had been surprised at the first time they had held hands, months ago, and Billie suddenly doesn't feel so cold.

The End

Return to Fastlane Fiction

Return to Main Page