STANDARD DISCLAIMER: Constant c Productions and Amblin Television in association with Warner Bros. Television, NBC and probably a slew of other people have prior claim. Anyone you don't recognize comes from my imagination.
RATINGS DISCLAIMER: Sex = a same sex relationship but otherwise PG, Violence = PG, Language = PG.
CONTINUITY DISCLAIMER: To be precise canon up to Rampage and then alternative universe. This is a segment of the Thing-verse, a chronological list can be found at the site.
BLAME DISCLAIMER: Sharon Bowers. I didn’t even watch the damn show until she started writing it.
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It was, Kerry knew, the eye of the hurricane. A calm between disasters when the emergency department personnel were either looking after minor ailments or taking a much deserved break either on the roof or the near by river walk. Leaving, Kerry knew, the lounge empty.
Juggling an armful of files, her mug and her crutch she was halfway to the coffee maker before she became aware of the figure huddled into one of the easy chairs. Mug balanced precariously on her knee, Kim watched Kerry with half open eyes.
“I could…” Kerry began, half turning to leave.
“Don’t. It’s your lounge.”
Putting the files on the table Kerry poured two coffees, taking one over to Kim and retrieving the now cold mug from her grasp.
“No problem. You hiding out here?”
“Yeah, you'd think it was a full moon. Crazy today and I thought I’d save myself an elevator ride by just staying on the floor.” She paused to give her next words a double meaning. “And I'm tired of running.”
Kerry nodded, sipping the bitter coffee and trying to ignore the fact that Kim was still watching her.
“Can I ask you a question?” Kim finally asked.
“Sure,” Kerry nodded.
“You mean Shannon Wallace? The meeting?” Kerry asked, knowing the answer.
“That was just the last straw. It built all that day. It had been building ever since, no since before we started.”
“Look, do you play baseball?”
A small smile quirked across Kim’s lips. “If I want to keep my gay card I do.”
Kerry sighed. “Did I just hit another one of those in-jokes?”
Kim nodded solemnly. “Yes, Kerry. Sports, Birkenstocks and toaster ovens. And U-hauls, of course.”
“God, there should be a handbook.”
This time Kim laughed out loud. “And allusions to a non-existence handbook. Now, get back on track. Softball.”
“Baseball,” Kerry corrected, pausing slightly to gather the ideas that were so clear in head but managed to get lost before they became actual words. “I’m a woman in a man’s profession. I’m a cripple in a job that demands mobility. I’ve worked hard…”
“No, wait, hold that thought. You see being a lesbian as third strike, you’re out? No pun intended.”
“I fought to keep the science and math courses that I knew I’d need to get into med school. I fought to get a specialty in emergency medicine and not get railroaded into a GP or some field where my ‘limitations’ wouldn’t be a problem. I didn’t want this to be another battle which, even if I won, I’d loose some more of me.”
“And this wasn’t worth fighting for?” Kim asked.
“Is it wrong to want something to be easy for once?” Kerry asked in response.
“No. But you made it seem like it, like ‘we’ weren’t worth the effort. It would be wonderful if there were a handbook so you’d know exactly how to act and what to say. A chart of what emotions you should be going through at what stage. But there isn't.”
Kerry shrugged. “I shouldn’t expect one. There wasn’t one for being a woman and a doctor or a wife and doctor. Or how to be a cripple.” She paused and smiled. “Did you know you wince every time I use the word cripple?”
“Matches that tic of yours every time I say lesbian,” Kim said, the smile taking any sting out of the words. She paused. “Kerry, you know that a take out dinner and letter aren’t going to vivaciously fix everything. This isn’t one of those stories you read on the Internet.”
“Chapter 2, researching your emerging sexuality through reading online erotica. That and watching Bound.”
“Ah, well. If it were one of those stories I’d have decapitated Romero with an ashtray or staked him with my crutch. If it were a story I would have been a hero instead of a coward.”
“You seem pretty brave now. Aren’t you afraid that someone will walk in?”
“I could go for points and say, ‘no, let them.’ But in truth it’s because I know exactly where everyone is, what he or she is doing, how long they’ll take. The usual.”
“Well, points for honesty at least,” Kim said, finishing the coffee and staring into the bottom of the cup.
“Yeah, not quiet ready to start broadcasting over the PA system,” Kerry said and Kim gave her a suspicious look. They fell silent for a few moments, each lost in private thoughts.
“You look terrible,” Kerry said suddenly.
“Is that a personal opinion or your professional, Dr. Weaver?”
“I didn’t think I…”
“Didn’t what, Kerry?” Kim finally prompted.
“I didn’t think I had a right to a personal opinion.”
Kim looked thoughtful. “Much as I hate to admit it, you do. Regardless of our current situation our past relationship makes you feel that you have certain rights, an emotional commitment of sorts.”
“Is that a personal opinion or your professional, Dr. Legaspi?”
“I don’t think I have a right to a professional opinion. It’s asking for trouble to treat friends.”
“Today you said friend once or twice to me,” Kerry finally said.
“Last chapter in the book, breaking up and remaining friends.”
Kerry sipped the last of the coffee, setting the mug onto the tray. “That would do.”
“Kerrrry,” Kim cautioned, dragging the name into a rumble of caution and fear and warning.
“Friendship,” Kerry said firmly. “That which doesn’t grow, dies. The favorite saying of my grade 10 biology teacher. I’ll be the first to admit that this relationship of ours isn’t growing the way we hoped or planned. On the other hand, we, or rather I, haven’t killed it yet. And I don’t have enough friendships to just let this one die.”
“Okay,” Kim finally said. “I’m willing to try friendship. And who knows, you’ve surprised me before, Dr. Weaver.”
”Dr. Legaspi, you have no idea.”
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