Title: Whispers in the Dark (3/7) PG-13
Author: Darshann (Kiss)
Spoilers: RPS, Surrender
Setting: post-RPS, pre-Surrender
Disclaimer: Women in love, who knew? Kim, Kerry, et al... not mine, but I WUV them.


Whispers in the Dark, part 3

 Click Click

"God Dammit!" Why does everything go wrong just when you're in a hurry? Stupid Barbecue! I slam the heavy cover back on my (so much for Super freaking Deluxe) BBQ. Sweat is already heading south between my breasts, soaking through my shirt. Who knew it could be so hot in the middle of the winter? Heat wave, my ass. More like hell in my back yard. Only, if hell was in my back yard, I'd have a fire going in this blasted hunk of metal...Sigh.

Fifteen minutes until Kerry arrives and I can't even get the damn thing to light! I'd swear I just filled up the propane tank... I kick the metal can with my foot, expecting resistance from a full container and instead hear it rattle to the ground, just hanging on by the tubing. Shit! It's empty! Idiot! How the hell could you forget the propane?

I lower my face into my hands and shake my head morosely. This is not a good sign. Maybe I should postpone... no... no.. too late. Back up plan. Do I have a back-up plan? No... that would be something an organized person would do... I laugh out loud at myself. Right... fine... ok now what?

So much for BBQ chicken... sooooo how are you on PB&J, Kerry? Mmmm... Kerry on PB&J.... My mental breaks suddenly engage, leading to the inevitable eye roll. I slap myself, and shake my head like a wet dog. Get it together, girl! She'll be here any second! Yikes! I must look just peachy! Ok... ok... Plan B... lets see.. we can order Chinese Food.... Oh, but I really wanted to watch her cook... sigh. Well, what do we have in the kitchen?

I practically sprint into the kitchen and rip open the fridge, frantically hoping I still have those gourmet noodles... Something, God, anything... The little green plastic container of noodles smiles up at me from the bottom shelf. Thank God! Now what to go with it...?

I shove my head deeper into the humming appliance, a welcome relief to my burning face. Amazing how strenuous cleaning one's house can be, if you wait long enough... I'll have to remember that next time I get bored with running. God, this is so stressful...! You see? This is why I never bring chicks to *my* place. Ah, pesto.. hmmm could we make a chicken-pesto-noodle thing...?

The doorbell reverberating through the house startles me out of my musings and I hit my head against the bottom of the freezer. This is NOT a good omen.

Backing out of the fridge carefully, I quickly glance at my reflection in the microwave oven door. Jesus Christ, my hair couldn't be more of a rats nest!... I step closer so I can smooth it into some semblance of a reasonable shape.... Good God.... Charcoal dust streaks both cheeks. I grimace at the guilty hands and shove them under the kitchen faucet, then quickly grab a paper towel to wipe off my face as I march to my doom.

Scrubbing my face frantically, I shuffle down the hall, discarding the used paper in a waste bin just inside the front door. I pause. She would be early.... well this is Kerry you're dating, of course she's early. Inhale. Exhale. She's *just* a woman, you can handle this.... Right....

I peek through the glass panels in the door frame and spot the top of Kerry's head. She must be staring at her feet. A warm flush instantly creeps up my chest and I roll my eyes. Pathetic, that's what I am, pathetic. Just then, she looks up, having sensed my presence, and our eyes meet. My heart flip flops into my throat and I feel that idiotic grin, that Kerry's proximity always illicits, creep across my face instantaneously. Blinking dumbly, I scramble to regain my faculties as I open the door.

Stunning, is all I can think. She's decked out in Kerry's idea of 'lounging around garb'. I had told her to dress casual and comfy. She'd opted for casual and hot damn sexy. Or maybe I'm just biased. The dark green turtleneck under a brown suede jacket sets off her eyes, making them seem dark and stormy like a deep ocean. Practically new jeans hug her small form, tapering down to a nice pair of brown suede shoes.

"You look gorgeous."

I'm answered with Kerry's patented shy grin, before her eyes slide back down to her feet. "So do you." Comes the soft reply.

I laugh and rake my fingers through my tangled mass. "Good one, Kerry." She steps closer and I feel the force of her statement licking at my skin like a raging forest fire. I slide past the heat between us and stand to the side, leaving her passage inside unencumbered.

She doesn't move for a moment, staring back deadpan as she does a surreptitious sweep of my body before limping past me. Her gentle words float up to my ears as she passes. "You do."

Well, I'm not going to argue with *that*... "Well, I'm glad you think so, I kinda ran out of time. I was going to get all cleaned up, but..." I trail off as I notice she's lugging a huge bag besides her purse and I silently offer to take it from her. She silently accepts my offer, sheepishly transferring the straps to my waiting hands.

"I said I'd cook, so I brought some stuff to make my special chicken and well...." She casts her eyes at the bag again. "I think I brought enough to feed two armys.. I got a little carried away."

"You brought more than the chicken?" I peer into the depths of the sack, wondering if it holds the answer to the BBQ disaster.

"Yeah. You know, in case you don't ... I don't know ... I just.." She gives me another shy smile and flicks her eyes away. She's nervous. How adorable!

I smile to myself and rush by her to set down the bag before holding my hands out to her. She hesitates for a moment, staring at me before I explain. "Let me take your jacket and purse... ?"

She nods slowly, the ends of her lips turning upwards and starts shrugging out of her jacket. It's a struggle with her crutch cuff in the way and I instinctually move closer to offer help. Her shoulders tense and she freezes before I can even complete the gesture. Oh, Duh, Legaspi. Make her feel like a cripple why don't you?

I let my hands fall from where they had been hovering and move back to the bag, mumbling..."I'll just put this in the kitchen. I'll be right back." I quickly sweep out of the hall, through the living room and back into the kitchen to deposit the bag in the fridge. Turning, I stop in front of the microwave and grimace at my dull reflection. Odd, but it feels like a year has passed since I last stood here. I turn and head back to the hallway, hoping the awkward moment has passed.

When I return she's standing inside the living room, jacket and purse dangling from her free hand as she takes in the room with all the curiosity of a child. Though, she couldn't be less of a child, with the supple curves of her breasts so well accentuated under a shirt that's tight in all the right places. Without a jacket, the slope of her small waist is also revealed far more than any other time I've seen her before this moment. Thank you, God, for creating such beauty.

I move up next to her, taking the burdens from her hands and opening a closet behind her to stow them away. Oh Shit!

Winter coats bulge out into the opening as if trying to escape. Twenty of them, at least. I don't think I've worn one of them in the last 5 years. "Uh..." I push limply at the mass, searching for even the slightest give to indicate a hidden pocket of space.

Kerry, following my movement with her eyes has witnessed the entire comic event, her eyes are growing wider by the second and her lips have curled into a teasing grin. I glance at her, noting gratefully that she's clearly trying to hold back her laughter for my benefit. I vainly nudge the unruly mass a few more times before giving up and trying to close the closet door again. Something which proves to be much more difficult than opening the blasted thing.

After much trial and error, my eventual strategy is to use my back to shove the coats inward, then quickly jumping free and slamming the door shut before they can spring back. It isn't the perfect plan, but the third time proves the charm. By this time Kerry is far beyond holding back her laughter and is doubled over giggling uncontrollably with tears running down her cheeks.

"Finally." I announce as the door clicks shut. "Remind me to never open that door again."

Kerry answers with another giggle and I roll my eyes. "Why do I get the impression you would *never* have this happen to you?" Kerry shakes her head frantically, still unable to speak.

"Fine." I march back through the living room, calling over my shoulder. "Make yourself at home."

I smile to myself as I place her things on the coat rack by the back door. Well, at least she's having fun... let's just hope it doesn't continue to be at my expense... at this rate...

"Are the rest of your closets like that, or was that one special?"

I spin back around, startled to find Kerry standing in the door frame, grinning at me. Kerry Weaver is in *my* house, grinning at me. I can't help, but grin back.

"I suppose that one might be worse off than the rest... " She raises her eyebrows slightly, not buying it. "Well... maybe... slightly... I open and shut the ones in the bedroom quite regularly." She shakes her head and chuckles to herself. "What!? Ok... so I'm a pack rat, you caught me."

"Do you even use all those coats?" Kerry moves toward me, smiling gently.

"Not really.." My throat catches as Kerry casually leans against the island a mere foot away, her eyes gazing at me intently, still shining with amusement. It's catching. I smile back, blushing as I inch closer, our eyes locked. My voice comes out low and soft as I near her. "When I find something I like, I don't want to ever let it go."

The double meaning isn't lost on her. Tremors of seriousness and fear cross her face, quickly transforming into flushed cheeks before she looks down shyly. In the silence, she slowly reaches out her fingers to brush them against the flimsy fabric of my shirt where it bunches in folds at my waist. I watch her breathlessly as she tumbles through an internal conversation.

With Kerry, I always feel like I'm dealing with two wildly different, though complimentary, people. One strong and fiery, overwhelmingly powerful and yet emotionally aloof. The other, insecure and vulnerable, while being intensely tender and intimate. Both such a contradiction within their own sphere's and yet incredibly logical. Kerry always strikes me as a puzzle, waiting to be pieced together, only to reveal something completely unexpected, even to Kerry.

The first Kerry is the one most people see as she makes her way through the world. She is the Kerry who runs the County General ER and keeps countless doctors, nurses and students in precise formation in spite of their objections. She's the one others see as a cold bitch, fighting her way up the hospital ladder, not caring about those she steps over on the way up. She's the one with an iron cage around her heart... or so it seems from the outside. The truth is, its this other one, which I saw peeking out from beneath, which has drawn me to this fiery powerhouse of the ER. This soft, vulnerable woman beneath the armor.

This hidden Kerry, is the real woman, I suspect. Not that she's truly a weak person beneath it all. Not even close. No, the truth of Kerry, that I am thankfully coming to know, is that she's a very sensitive and genuinely sweet person, once you get past all the barbed wire. The truth is that Kerry cares far too much about everything and everyone around her. So when the world threw her a couple of curve balls over the coarse of her life, it in effect pushed her genuine self into the dark depths of a high security closet... in more ways than one.

I suppose I was drawn to her much in the same way I feel the need to help a patient when I know I can... but its more than that... if I'm honest... so much more than that. The Kerry of the ER, she makes me burn... but this Kerry, the one still twining her fingers lazily in the folds of my shirt, she makes my heart melt.

I snap back to the moment as I notice the atrocious rag I'm wearing on our *date* and I'm suddenly self-conscious again. "I should really change into something else."

Without looking up, Kerry shakes her head and softly whispers, "I like you this way." She raises her eyes to look up at me.

The desire that meets me makes me blink a few times before my lips stretch into another smile. "...but my clothes are all dirty..."

"Then take them off."

We stare at each other open-mouthed and gaping for a few silent moments before Kerry turns deep red and covers her mouth with her hands. "Did I just say that out loud?"

I nod, still speechless, madly trying to catch up to the rollercoaster of emotions before me. She drops her hands and looks down laughing nervously. "I ... uh... I.... I..."

Silently, instinctually, I move forward. My lips end her stammering in a blistering kiss that envelops us both for the next few minutes. The world seems to float in a gentle space of peace while we reacquaint ourselves with lips, tongues and pulsing heartbeats. Two sighs shifting between murmurs, burning a trail ever downward. My hands press firmly into her back, feeling her warmth through her shirt. Her hands tangle into my hair, fingertips softly digging into scalp as she pulls me closer. The waves of emotion crashing through me, leave me spinning and unable to feel the ground, that quiver that starts in your stomach and spreads ever outward in a multitude of tingling sensations until it swallows you whole and complete. Its been a very long time since a kiss has done this to me. Only a kiss.

I release her mouth, leaving a breath of air between us, our noses hovering in that heady after kiss space. My eyes flutter open and we find ourselves staring deeply into each other's eyes. Her eyes are so full, so deep. Looking at her this close, I can see even the tiniest striations of her iris's. All the colors of Kerry swirling around the window to her soul. If I could just dive in...

Her eyelids flutter halfway down and she dips her head under my chin, resting her cheek against my chest. A deep sigh escapes her mouth as I tighten my arms around her. I nuzzle her short red hair, smelling the sweet scent of some unidentified shampoo and Kerry's clean skin.

Her voice breaks the silence. "I can hear your heart."

I smile into her head, my lips touching her scalp. "What does it say?"

"Hmmmm, ..... 'Thump thump, thump thump' ..."

"Not terribly original."

"Well, I think its in shock...."


"Mmmmmhmmm, I might have to perform extraordinary measures...."

My chuckle brings her eyes back to me as she raises her head to share the moment. I smile back at her. "I think you've already done that."

"Have I?"

"Oh yeah." My eyes widen to punctuate my words and she breaks into a huge grin, proud of herself. Perhaps this is a good moment...

"So um..." My fingers find her cheek and I lightly graze the side of her face, feeling the silky softness of her skin. "I have a slight confession...." I pause and smile sheepishly to assure her it isn't anything to cause panic. Her right eyebrow arches in a question. God that's sexy.


"Uh... right... I .. uh. I kinda forgot to fill the BBQ's propane tank..." I stop to see her reaction, briefly wondering how the ER Chief would usually handle a disorganized buffoon like myself. I bet, if I were under her direct supervision, she'd have nailed me to the wall on my second day.... Mmmmmmm...

"Your BBQ is propane powered?"


"But you forgot the propane."


She peers at me incredulously. The little gears are already turning, but for the moment, she's speechless. I can just imagine, to Kerry, I have done the impossible. Something akin to forgetting to order blood for a blood transfusion... yeah... something like that... God I'm an idiot, I bet she's sooooo impressed.

My defense system suddenly clicks into high-gear, automatically rolling my eyes and shifting my body away from Kerry's. I turn my face from her, placing my hands on the cool countertop of the island. "I thought the tank was full...but it wasn't..." I shrug. "Can you do without?"

"Do you have a loaf of bread?"

I shift my weight and turn back to gaze at her. Her gears are in overdrive, eyes far away and thoughtful. "Uh, yeah?"

Her eyes return to the room and they find me again. "Why don't you go change and I'll rummage around and see what I can do... ok?"

"I thought you liked this look?"

Kerry smiles mischievously. "I do." Her gaze emphasizes her words, making me flush. She cocks her head with a grin. "... but if *I'm* making you a world class meal out of thin air, you can at least dress for the occasion and besides, it will entertain me... Now go choose wisely, while I figure this out." Her hand shoos me like a child of five. With that, she turns and pulls open the fridge, clearly done with me for the moment.

No wonder she's Head of the ER...Geez, she's already ordering me around in my own house... Yeah, and you like it... Heh, with her in my life.... if I'm lucky... I'll never have to deal with the frustration of disorder again...

I turn towards the living room, and start heading upstairs. Ok... Hmmmm. What to wear for my little ER Chef....oh yes, what *shall* I wear?



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