by Marsha Hyatt
Author: Marsha Hyatt
Archive: Anywhere is fine with me just let me know about it.
Rating: Part I PG-13
Disclaimer: If I owned the character, besides Sara, I would be a lot richer and Kerry would be having a lot more fun.
Author's Notes: Once again thanks to Danie for her wonderful editing and suggestions. Over the past few months this board has been the repository of some wonderful writing and I have loved reading all of it. This has taken me a while to start but I decided to continue the story of Kerry and Sara, I received some wonderful feedback and that made me think that y'all wanted to read some more, if I was wrong just let me know. This will follow the format of the last series and I will try to post every week for the next seven weeks. If you want to read the preceding parts, the series is archived at Inclement Weather and ERFEMSLASH. Happy reading!
Too Many Cooks: Christmas
The Kitchen of the Oaks December 20th
"Tim are you sure that me going home for the holiday isn't going to be a problem for you?"
"Nope not a problem at all, I told you I'm not going home this year. Mom and Dad are going to Barbados and my sister and her brood are going to be in Hawaii with her husband's family so I am all-alone. Sniff, Sniff!"
Sara laughed at the young man she had come to think of not only as a colleague but also as a brother. Tim was one of the best chefs she had ever worked with and with his help The Oaks had become one of the hottest restaurants in Chicago. Before she left for her vacation she planned to brighten his holiday with a bonus check that even made Kerry whistle at its generosity.
"So what do you have on the agenda?" Sara asked as she turned back to the twenty-pound block of chocolate she was making curls off of. "Planning on doing a little holiday cooking for a nurse I know?"
"Jeez, nothing gets by you does it? We have plans in case she isn't working on Christmas day but it's just a friendly sort of thing. Her brother is in Minneapolis visiting their mother and Abby didn't want to go. She's still a little raw from last year, but she's doing better."
"I'm glad to hear that, Kerry was a little worried that she didn't go with her brother but knowing Abby she has her reasons."
Getting lost in the minutiae of the dessert she was preparing Sara grew quiet and Tim recognizing that silence went back to prepping the veg for the nights special. Sara was soaking a vanilla genoise cake layer in Kaluha simple syrup while she went over a mental list of things to do before leaving the restaurant that evening. Okay, give Tom the codes to all the alarms, phone list for home and cells, purveyors numbers for the squab for the Christmas Eve dinner, make sure he knows all the menu changes. God, stop thinking about this Sara, you trust Tom he'll do fine. Snapping back to the present the anxiety about the trip shifted from leaving the restaurant at one of the busiest times of the year to the real reason she had been snappy all day, she and Kerry were going home. Home, such a small word but in this case such a big declaration, her family had known about her for years but this was the first time Sara had ever brought anyone home.
After the Thanksgiving Day party Sara's life had changed, something was different now; there was a peace where questions had punched at her. There was knowledge of love where doubts had ruled, Kerry loved her and that was all that she needed to know. That and the fact that she loved Kerry. A week after the party she moved into Kerry's house, their house, it was their house now. Her things had been integrated with an ease that surprised them both, she felt right when she stepped into the door every night and smelled the air ripe with oranges and anise. The house was a home now, that's what Kerry had said the first night together, lying in bed wrapped in each other she looked into Sara's eyes and said,
"This house has always been just a house to me, a place to go to sleep, now because of you it's a home."
Sara had cried at that but she had been very emotional to begin with, Kerry just smiled and wiped away her tears hugging her closer as they fell asleep.
Smiling at the memory Sara iced the soaked cake layer with bittersweet Mexican chocolate mousse and added 3 more layers of cake to the growing dessert covering them all with the mousse. Placing the iced cake in the freezer she started making the Ganache, melting the Callabut semi sweet chocolate with fresh cream and Kaluha until it was a shiny incorporated glaze. Setting it aside she dipped the large coffee beans in chocolate and laid them on a piece of parchment paper. They too went into the fridge to set. Sara checked the cake and it was frozen enough to set the ganache, pouring the thick stream of chocolate over the cake she spread it out until it was mirror smooth. The cake was almost ready now and she thought to her self, I need to bring a piece of this to Kerry tonight. Sara loved to surprise Kerry with little treats from the restaurant every now and then and this was a cake she knew Kerry would drool over.
There was so much to do in preparation for leaving, packing clothes, wrapping gifts for the family and friends, trying to calm the fears that knotted her soul at times. As much as she loved her family she knew how much their approval played a part in her life. Sara didn't want to let Kerry see that side of her. The side that would do anything to have her family accept her and her life, which was a side, that Sara kept to herself and showed only to Jen. She realized by doing that she was leaving Kerry out but Sara wasn't sure if Kerry was ready to handle that just yet.
Sara finished the cake by piling the chocolate curls in the center of the Whipped cream rosettes that were topped with the chocolate covered coffee beans. Cutting a piece and packing it into a box to take home she turned to Tim,
"When is Rachel getting here?" she asked wondering about the pastry sous chef.
Tim glanced at the clock, "about 20 minutes, why?"
"I have paperwork and calls to make before I go for the day and I wanted to talk to her about the specials and what I wanted to run while I was gone."
"Sara, she is going to do whatever you tell her to. Stop worrying and just enjoy the time off with Kerry and your family."
Sara smiled, but in the back of her mind the neon sign flashed "IS THAT POSSIBLE".
December 20 Thursday 9 am Cook County ER
This had always been her favorite time of the year, a fact that would have surprised her staff, over the years it had been a time to lose herself in work but now it was a time of decorating and celebrating. It amazed Kerry that in one year so much could change. Last year at this time Kerry was nursing a broken heart but now since Sara things had changed. There had been a shift in her life that she never thought would happen, Kerry found herself willingly sharing her life, her space and her heart in a way she never thought possible. Kerry stared at the papers on her desk and sighed at the thought of one more minute in the office that seemed at times like her prison. She looked up as Abby knocked on the door and opened it a crack.
"Kerry, I know you are going to be in a meeting for a couple of hours, can I get you to sign off on these charts before you go?" Abby asked breaking Kerry out of her thoughts.
"When do you leave?" Abby asked as she placed the charts on the desk. "I have the key so I can take care of the plants."
"After the meeting, I have some paperwork and then I'm free."
"You sound happy about this trip, how is Sara doing? I know she and her mom and dad are not really on the same page about this."
"Well, after Thanksgiving when she called them and told them she was moving in with me they were not exactly happy. I called her mom and dad a couple of weeks ago and had a long talk about how much I love her and how committed we are about this and that seemed to alleviate their anxiety about it to a degree. I still think that they would rather we not be there."
"Does Sara know you called them?" Abby asked with a worried frown.
"No, I haven't told her. I wanted to do that on my own, besides she never would have let me. She is very protective of her family and of us, but somehow she can't see that us, we, are a part of that family."
Abby stroked Kerry's shoulder; "I know you are ready for what happens but be sure Sara is, okay?"
Kerry looked up into the face of the nurse that had become an important part of she and Sara's life and smiled "don't worry, Abby. We will watch out for each other."
The Walker-Weaver Home
A light snow had started to fall as Kerry packed her briefcase, said her good-byes and left County. By the time she pulled up in front of the home she now shared with Sara the streets were more than just a little dusted with flakes, leaving her things in the car Kerry made her way to the foyer of the warm house.
"Sara?" she called as she shook snow from her hat and coat taking them off. "Where are you?"
`In the kitchen making hot chocolate, want some?"
"Yeah that would be great it's getting colder out there." As Kerry walked into the kitchen she was struck at how happy she was to see Sara finally comfortable in their home.
"Enjoy it now I talked to Diana about an hour ago and she said that the high today at home was 68, the kids were in shorts this afternoon." Sara turned with a mug of coca in her hand and keeping it just out of reach kissed Kerry before handing over the drink. "Damn, who needs hot chocolate to warm up when I have you," a small grin lit up her face.
Kerry returned the smile and putting her mug down drew Sara into her arms slowly she kissed Sara delving deeper and extracting the little noises from her throat that drove Kerry wild. Breaking off the kiss because of the need for air Kerry looked deep into Sara's face searching for a hint of what was going on in her head.
"Hi honey, I'm home." She whispered as she started to kiss her favorite path down Sara's neck from her ear to the hollow of her throat. Sara's skin was warm and willing. Kerry's hands traced patterns on her back as her lips and tongue drew out sighs and moans, Sara was there physically but mentally it felt as though she was a thousand miles away. Kerry stilled her lips and laid her cheek against Sara's chest, hugging her close Kerry felt Sara's heart pounding away like she was staring into the abyss seeing no way out. "Baby? What's wrong?" Kerry asked not moving from where she was tucked into Sara's arms and body.
A deep shuddering sigh came from Sara and a long silence followed, "Nothing really, just nerves I guess. You are the first woman I have brought home and I'm worried about how things are going to go. Diana, Todd and the kids are thrilled that we're staying with them. Ruthie and Bobby are happy `cause I'll be home for Sara's christening. David and Toni want to meet you, as David said he has to pass judgement on you just like he did with the guys." Sara said with a small chuckle. "I know it's all gonna be fine, I guess I'm just obsessing about it. I just want everything to be perfect."
"Sara, nothing is perfect but it's going to be wonderful. I can't wait to meet your sisters and brother, even though I am going to feel like I'm being vetted to meet the President." Kerry straightened up and took Sara's face in her hands. "I want you to know something, I'm real stubborn when I make up my mind about something nothing can make me change my path. My mind is made up about us and I'm not letting go that easily, ok?"
Sara gazed into Kerry's determined face and slowly relaxed, "Ok" she breathed.
The bond between the two women kept growing and deepening much to Sara's amazement. She breathed a silent prayer for the love of this woman who wouldn't leave at the first sign of trouble.
"Oh I brought you something." Disengaging from Kerry's embrace Sara crossed to the fridge and pulled out the cake turning to Kerry watching her face light up.
"God Sara if you keep this up I'm going to be the size of the house."
"That's my plan that way I have more of you to love."