Title: The Edge of Night
Rating: So NC-17 it isn't even funny.
Spoilers: "A Simple Twist of Fate"
Pairing: Abby/Susan (I know, I know but what can I say? I got an idea and went with it.)
Summary: Susan brings Abby home after she attacked and
Disclaimer- ER, the characters and situations depicted are the property of Warner Bros. Television, Amblin Entertainment, Constant C Productions, NBC, etc. They are borrowed without permission, but without the intent of infringement. This story is in no way affiliated with Maura Tierney or Sherry Stringfield.
The edges of the night blurred past my field of vision so I kept my eyes focused on the patches of road exposed in the headlights. I gripped the steering wheel tighter, my palms slippery with sweat against the cold plastic. The blip-blip-blip of the broken yellow line before me was like the beep-beep-beep of an EKG.
Systole, diastole, systole, diastole like breath, like water
I stared, transfixed, until a rustling noise made me jump in my seat. I dragged my eyes away from the road.
"You okay, Dr. Lewis?"
"Yeah," I said, in my firmest voice. But it didn't sound firm enough. Goddamnit Lewis, get a grip. I sat up straighter in the seat. "I'm fine."
Abby snorted and pulled a rumpled pack of cigarettes out of her pocket. She shook one loose and held it between her lips, about to strike a match before she met my eyes again. "You mind?"
I shook my head and cracked the windows. "What was so funny?"
She took a deep drag from her smoke and leaned back in her seat, smirking. "A friend of mine used to say that 'fine' meant 'fucked-up, insecure, neurotic and emotional'."
I chuckled, "Yeah, well. I'm just tired." Abby turned toward her window with a muffled 'hmpf' and leaned her face against the cold glass. The harsh white light of the fluorescent street lamps accentuated the purplish contusion that spread across her left cheekbone. I wanted to reach out and touch her face, to soothe her and tell her that everything would be alright. My knuckles glared white as my hands tightened around the wheel. She shifted in her seat to meet my gaze. I quickly averted my eyes.
"It's pretty bad, huh?"
"That's not what I was--"
"It's okay. How far out do you live anyway, doc?"
"About five more minutes."
Abby tossed the cigarette out of the window and settled back in her seat, closing her eyes. The silence stretched between us like a field of freshly fallen snow doomed to be splashed with gray muck.
"Uh, Abby "
She tilted her head and raised an eyebrow.
"About Carter "
She rolled her eyes and slumped down in her seat again. "You made me open my eyes for that?"
"I just wanted to tell you--"
"Look, Dr. Lewis--"
"Whatever. Susan. I'm sick of everything at County revolving around Carter. You can have him."
"I wanted to tell you that we broke up."
Abby's eyes widened. "Oh. What happened?"
"Nothing. That was the problem." I turned into my driveway, punching the button on the garage door opener hooked onto the visor. "Here we are."
A short while later I was pulling open the sofa bed while Abby rooted around in my kitchen for something to eat.
"How old is this Chinese food?" she called.
I backed out of the closet, tucking a large stack of blankets under my chin. "Uh I honestly don't know."
"I'll risk it."
I dropped the blankets on the couch and walked into the kitchen. "I think there's some red wine somewhere if you--" I stopped short.
"I forgot that you don't drink. Sorry." Blood rushed to my cheeks, making me feel like I'd already had a few glasses of Merlot.
"Who told you that?" Abby's eyes narrowed.
"John said you--"
"Carter again," Abby said, cutting me off. "I am so sick of hearing about fucking Carter!" She slammed down the carton of sweet and sour, spraying grains of rice across the counter.
I backed away, leaning against the sink, hands gripping the edge of the counter. We stared at each other for the space of a few breaths that felt like hours. Abby sighed heavily and raked a hand through her hair. She tried her best to hide it, but I still saw the tremor that worked its way through her fingertips.
One of us had to talk. "Abby "
"Dr Susan, I am so sorry. I I don't know what came over me."
"You've had a hard day."
"It's not just that, though I guess that's most of it. I don't know why Carter makes me so mad, it's just "
"You really liked him," I finished.
"I used to." Abby smiled wistfully. "But he didn't want to be my girlfriend."
We stared at each other again. Her mouth quivered, then twitched into a smile. We giggled helplessly, the jagged spikes of tension washed smooth by waves of laughter.
I grinned. "Maybe you should have asked Weaver." That brought on another fit of laughter.
"It's too bad, really. Carter would look pretty cute in drag," Abby said with a snort. After a few minutes the heaving laughter wound down to giggles and sighs, then silence. Abby smiled warmly. "You know, I think we could be friends."
"Me too," I said, returning the smile. "How was the sweet and sour?"
She grimaced and shuddered dramatically. "Awful."
I glanced at the kitchen clock. "Oh, man," I whined, "I have to be back at the hospital in four hours."
Abby shook her head. "And I thought I had the monopoly on exhaustion." She pulled the ibuprofen I'd given her at the hospital out of her pocket and dry swallowed two.
"I do have water, you know. Is it that bad?"
She shrugged. "I've felt better, but I'll be okay."
We cleaned up the mess and pulled out the sofa bed. It was small but comfortable, just as I'd promised. Abby snuggled down in the blankets, looking like a small child without her teddy bear. "Are you gonna be alright?"
She nodded, looking at me intently. I almost asked her if she wanted to sleep in my bed. I bit my lip and swallowed, holding her gaze. God, what if she thought I was coming on to her? What if I was? "I'm gonna go to bed now," I said, shifting back and forth from foot to foot.
One of her eyebrows arched. "Okay."
"Goodnight, then." I turned toward my bedroom.
"'Night. And Susan?"
I turned back to look at her.
I bowed my head, face flushed. "You're welcome."
My sleep was awkward and restless, punctuated by uneasy dreams of Abby. It was like bobbing up and down in ten feet of murky water -- losing myself in the depths for a few moments, only to break the surface again, confused and gulping air.
Abby was hurt, she was calling my name. Blood ran down her face. I ran to her, arms open and straining, but every step I took forward, she shrank back. A dark silhouette of a man stepped behind her, but I couldn't warn her; everything was frozen. He grabbed her and pulled her around a corner --
I woke up grabbing at my sheets, panting. The numbers 4:08 glowed red through the darkness. I sat up on my elbows, dimly aware that my pillow was wet. God, had I been sweating that much? I felt my cheeks. No, I'd been crying. "You've gotta be kidding me," I mumbled. And then I heard it -- the muffled whimper of someone crying but trying to hide it. I didn't want to invade Abby's privacy, and yet and yet
I couldn't leave her alone, either. "Abby?" I asked, a step above a whisper. No reply. I tiptoed into the living room. Abby was curled up, trembling in a patch of moonlight. I hovered at the edge of the room, unsure. Would she be angry with me if I tried to talk to her? Embarrassed? But how could I not comfort a friend in pain?
I kept quiet and stepped toward the sofa bed. I climbed onto it tentatively. Her body jerked at the movement. "It's me," I whispered. She relaxed. I crawled up behind her, softly stroking her hair.
"I never should have opened that door," she whispered. "I feel so stupid "
I moved closer, pressing the length of my body against hers, wrapping one arm around her chest to pull her close. I took a deep breath, inhaling the sweet scent of her hair and skin. "Shh it's okay," I said, gently caressing her arm, "it's okay, everything's alright now " Her cries slowly subsided.
I didn't want to get turned on; I didn't mean for it to happen but God, she smelled so good. I rested my head against her back, listening intently to the rhythm of her heartbeat and breath. I swallowed hard and let my hand wander down her arm, gliding along the soft curves of her belly. I stopped at her thigh, running my hand slowly back and forth along her leg. I closed my eyes, lost in the velvety softness of her skin.
A tiny voice in my head kept whispering:
you shouldn't be doing this you shouldn't be doing this you shouldn't be doing this
and I agreed with it completely. She was hurt and vulnerable and probably shouldn't be doing this with anyone, especially me -- someone she didn't even consider a friend until now. Hell, I'm not even gay. But.
But my nipples were hard against my soft cotton t-shirt.
But her flesh felt like it was on fire in my hands.
But I never felt this aroused with Carter, or any man.
Abby groaned and arched her back, pressing into me. Any debate I might have been having was quickly forgotten. Everything was stillness. She slowly pulled away from me again and my stomach lurched at the departure. Seconds ticked off in the night. Her body stayed still, asking a question.
I answered it with a low moan and a ragged breath. She pushed herself into me again, this time making sure my clit felt the pressure. I don't know how long it went on, that delicious push-pull, but our bodies were soon covered with sweat. I was dripping, my desire soaking into my shorts, hot and sticky.
I reached around her waist, eager to touch her. She grabbed my hand and held it tight, pushing against me more firmly, her body shuddering. I let go of her hand and proceeded down to the waistband of her sweatpants. She whimpered as I moved my fingers smoothly through the coarse strands of hair before I reached her engorged sex. I slipped two fingers between her lips, quickly finding her swollen clit.
"Oh!" she grunted, arching against me, exposing her neck.. I'd never slept with a woman before, but I knew very well how to stroke a clitoris.
We found a slow, shuddering rhythm. She pushed her ass against my clit on every downstroke of my fingers. Everything pounded, pulsed, ached. Our voices rose together -- first just moaning low in our throats, then groaning openly. I'd like to say we were making love...but we were animals, grunting and fucking, oblivious to everything except for one goal.
Abby's toes curled against my leg. She sucked in a short breath, murmuring, "Fuck, oh, fuck "
That was enough. My body was on fire, burning from my clit down to my toes and I was spiralling up, up and we were arching, flexing, perishing in the flames. We both let out strangled cries and froze, clenching together. We held on to the throbbing heat as long as we could, whimpering softly.
After, I wanted to tell her something not that I loved her, I didn't but that maybe I could. I swallowed, holding her tight against me, listening to our breathing slow.
"Susan," she whispered, curling into my embrace. We slept, finally