Project #4 - “Live A Little”

Timeline: Missing scenes between “The Letter” and “Lockdown”
Contributors: Powder Skier, Yankee1, Juliana & Piney
Total number of scenes: 4
Rating: R
Disclaimer: All ER characters belong to NBC, Constant C Productions, Amblin Entertainment and Warner Brothers Television. We only lovingly borrowed them for a while. No attempt is made to profit from them.

Scene 1

The Lava Lounge - by Powder Skier

The El train rumbles from station to station. Inside, Sandy and Kerry discuss the tragic circumstance of Mark's death.

"You've lost a friend."

"I think I have."

Kerry's expression is one of deep regret and pain over the loss of her colleague. Sandy has experienced this loss and understands exactly what Kerry is going through. She reaches over and places her hand on Kerry's knee, gently squeezing it in a sign of support and caring. Kerry responds by placing her hand over Sandy's, gripping it tightly as if she would not, and could not, let go. No more words are spoken, but Sandy's expression speaks volumes to Kerry. I'm here for you, as your lover, and your friend, and it's going to be OK.

Kerry wrestles with the dichotomy of her emotions. She feels pain at the loss of her long-time colleague, but at the same time the happiness of knowing she now has a lover and a friend in her life who will support her without judgement. A tear travels down the side of Kerry's face as she leans her head back against the wall of the train and lets out a sigh. Her furrowed brow relaxes as she stares at the ceiling, lost in thought.

A minute later, the train comes to a stop. Sandy releases her grip on Kerry's knee. "This is us. Come on, Kerry. It'll be fine. You'll see." Kerry's lip trembles a bit, but she cracks a slight smile at Sandy's reassurance. They both get up and depart the train.

As they reach the bottom of the station stairs, they can hear the slightly muffled sound of island music coming from the bar up the street. Sandy turns to Kerry, "Sounds like it's this way." Kerry notices how the moon reflects brightly in Sandy's eyes and can't help but smile. She nods in agreement, "um hmm," as they turn and head up the block toward the bar. The closer they get, the louder the music sounds until they finally reach the steps of the entrance. Kerry stops before proceeding up to the door.

"Sandy, I don't know if I am ready for this." Sandy stops and turns to face her. "Ready for what? For us to be out together in front of your co-workers?" There is a slight hint of exasperation in Sandy's tone. Sensing this, Kerry retorts, "No, not us, me. I'm not sure I'm ready for ME to be socializing with my co-workers. I've really never done this before. I always try to keep my professional relationships professional, not social. I've known these people for so long, yet I have never socialized with them. It feels awkward, after all these years, to suddenly just … um … well … spend time with them outside the ER."

"Kerry, it will be fine. They invited you. They wouldn't have done that if they didn't want you here. Besides, I'll be right by your side. O.K.?" Kerry is looking at the ground now. She nods her head in agreement, "Yeah, O.K. I'm just glad you're here with me." Sandy winks and smiles, "Then let's go."

Kerry pushes through the swinging door into the bar. Sandy is a half step behind with her hand on the small of Kerry's back, gently guiding and supporting Kerry as she enters the bar. They see the gang sitting at a table on the other side of the room. Seeing them enter, Susan calls out, "Hi Kerry." Kerry replies, "Hi" as Sandy flashes a huge welcoming smile to the group. They walk over to the table. Gallant gets up, grabs a couple of chairs from a nearby table, and pulls them up so Sandy and Kerry can sit down.

As they remove their coats and sit, Kerry begins her introductions. "I think some of you know Sandy Lopez. She works over at the 38. Sandy, this is Susan, Abby, Gallant, Luka, and Haleh." They all politely exchange hellos. It is obvious the crew has been at the bar for a bit because the effects of the alcohol are already noticeable. Sandy spies Susan's tropical drink and immediately pipes in, "Well, Susan, that's quite a concoction you have there, what is it?"

Susan laughs as she tries to respond, "It's a Coconut Mumba Wumba. But don't ask me to tell you what's in it, because I have no earthly idea. Whatever it is, it's potent." Sandy giggles and says, "I think I'll just stick to beer, then. Do you think I can get a basic Budweiser around here?"

Luka responds, "Yes. That's what I'm drinking. I'll go get you one. Do you want anything, Dr. Weaver?" Kerry asks, "Do they have any red wine?" Sandy leans over, "Why don't you try one of those Mumba Wumba thingies." She pokes Kerry lovingly in the waist with her finger, and whispers closely in her ear so the others cannot hear, "Loosen up, Kerry. Give it a try." Kerry smiles back, "O.K. I'll try that, whatever it's called, drink." Everyone at the table laughs as their normally uptight boss appears to be settling in with them. Luka gets up to go get the drinks.

When Luka returns, everyone is happily chatting. Sandy and Kerry thank him for the drinks as the conversation continues. Sandy tells one joke after another as everyone laughs hysterically. Haleh and Abby have tears running down their cheeks because they are laughing so hard. Even the normally reserved Luka can hardly contain his amusement.

Sandy notices her beer is empty and decides to go up to the bar for a refill. "Hey, I'm going up for another. Anyone need anything?" Susan responds, "I'll take another coconut mumba wumba, or whatever this thing is called." Everyone giggles. "Anyone else? " Everyone shakes their heads no. Abby speaks up, "I'm good for now."

Sandy turns to Kerry, "How about you, honey. You need anything?" Kerry replies, "No I'm fine. I still have half of this drink left." Sandy winks at Kerry, gives her a quick kiss on the cheek, " O.K., I'll be right back with one Budweiser and one coconut mumba wumba." She smiles back at the table where everyone is still laughing thanks to their waning sobriety.

As Sandy turns to go up to the bar, Susan leans across the table, "Hey, Kerry. Where did you find her? She's soooo nice … and funny." Kerry turns slightly red with embarrassment at the question, not sure if she really wants to answer. Everyone at the table leans in, wanting to hear the answer. Kerry stutters a bit, "Oh, um… well…" Abby interrupts, "Yeah, Dr. Weaver, fess up." Then Haleh chimes in, "Yeah. How did you meet her?"

The drinks are now having an effect on Kerry, so she starts to give in to the pressure. " Well, uh, remember the night of the big storm when Gallant and I went out to that accident site?" The group responds in unison, "Yeah?" "Well, Sandy was at the scene and we worked together to save that lady and her baby." At this point, curiosity starts to get the better of Abby, "So, how did you hook up?" Kerry really doesn't want to answer this question. It's too personal and she is not used to sharing personal details with the staff. But they are all drunk and trying to egg her on. They have worked with this doctor for so long, yet they hardly know her. She has remained so private. This is the perfect opportunity because they are all relaxed in a social setting. Kerry is very hesitant, "Well, umm, I don't know … I don't want to talk about that." Kerry is turning beet red, but the group won't let her off the hook. They all start in, "Oh come on, Dr. Weaver. Yeah Kerry, tell us." Kerry starts to cave to the pressure, " Well … uh … well."

Just then Sandy gets back with the drinks. "phew … saved." flashes through Kerry's mind. Sandy places the huge tropical drink in front of Susan. "Hey. Here's your mumba wumba." She can hardly say it with a straight face. "Thanks," Susan laughs. "No problem. Sorry to interrupt. What were you all talking about?" Abby quickly jumps in, "We were just asking Dr. Weaver …" But Kerry interrupts, "They weren't talking about anything important." Susan counters, "We were talking about you two. How did you meet?" Sandy laughs out loud. "Oh, no wonder Kerry looks a little flustered." She laughs again. "Yeah we met at that accident scene in the storm. I had to literally throw myself on top of her so we could mud wrestle in the rain. She couldn't resist my charm."

Everyone starts laughing. Kerry's face turns redder as she cries out, "Sandy!" But it's too late. Susan prompts for more, "Mud wrestling? What?" So Sandy explains, "Yeah, a huge electric wire came down and I had to jump on top of her to save her from becoming a crispy critter." Luka is surprised, "Kerry, you never mentioned that." But Kerry is still somewhat speechless, "Yeah … well …"

Abby now realizes that Sandy is willing to reveal the juicy details and redirects her questions. "So when did you hook up? Who did the asking?" Sandy laughs, "Oh, Kerry asked me to go ice fishing." Everyone laughs loudly at this surprise response. Luka actually snorts beer through his nose, which makes everyone laugh even harder. "Ice fishing?" Susan practically cries she is laughing so hard. Kerry finally realizes the humor of the whole situation and starts laughing with everyone. Sandy very matter-of-factly replies, "Yup. Ice fishing." Abby responds, "Never had anyone use THAT pickup line on me." Luka is still fascinated by the approach, "And it worked?" Sandy responds, "Well, I'm sitting here aren't I?" Luka is in disbelief. "Ice Fishing. I'll have to remember that one."

Everyone continues laughing and drinking, and Kerry suddenly looks very relaxed. She exchanges a very loving glance with Sandy, mentally thanking her for all she has done. Making her go out, helping her feel comfortable with her staff, helping her feel comfortable in her own skin. Sandy smiles back and rests her arm on the back of Kerry's chair. They both then turn to rejoin the conversation at the table.

(Author’s note: Many thanks to Trinity, Treelint, Snack-Sized and Iceturkee for their editorial guidance.)

Scene 2

Restless in Chicago - by Yankee1

Kerry and Sandy left as they arrived: arm in arm.

They walked in silence, listening to their own closeness. Sandy thought how well they fit together. And how good she felt about being with Kerry tonight, when she needed her. Sandy glanced over towards Kerry and a gentle smile crossed her face. They had come a long way since “The Kiss.” Kerry was becoming more comfortable in her relationship with Sandy. And Sandy adored Kerry.

Sandy spoke first. “Nice bunch.”

“Yeah. Well, we go through a lot together. Life. Death. Despair. Hope. They’re good people.”

“They seem to genuinely like you Kerry.”

“Honey, they liked you, especially, Luka. Should I be jealous?” Kerry said with a slight giggle.

Sandy flashed her glorious smile and with a twinkle in her eye, replied “Sorry, my heart belongs to this doctor who has this great butt. You know the one, the red head that loves to be a hero at accident scenes.”

“Yes, I know who you’re talking about. She’s taken though.”

‘You better say that.” Kerry’s forehead tapped Sandy’s forehead and the two women laughed at their mutual understanding.

They made their way to the train station.

“Your place or mine?” Sandy said without much thought.

“Anywhere, with you.” Kerry said softly.

“And just what is that supposed to mean?" "I think you know, " Kerry said. "Humor me." So Kerry turned to Sandy and gently touched her hand. Their eyes locked. "I just . . . I adore you. . .  you . . .and me.” Kerry reached up and gently stroked Sandy’s face. No words were needed to explain how the two lovers felt about one another. They were communicating without uttering a word and for a moment their world stood perfectly still.

Just at that moment the train blared into the station.

Sandy couldn’t quite figure out what to say in response to Kerry. Sandy came to the realization early on in their relationship that she had fallen hard for this brash, sensitive woman but now their bond had blossomed into something more, something stronger than a physical magnetism. She wasn’t really sure if Kerry wasn’t simply reacting to the emotions of the day, Mark’s death or if Kerry was acknowledging the same bond. All that Sandy knew was that when she was with Kerry she couldn’t get enough of her and when she wasn’t with Kerry she couldn’t wait to get to her.

Sandy let out a big sigh that got Kerry’s attention. She turned to face Sandy, her head slightly tilted, as if she were about to rest her head on Sandy’s shoulder. “Me too.”

They made their way home in relative silence. Kerry seemed about a thousand miles away and Sandy wanted to give her the time she needed.

“Sorry, tonight was such a downer, Sandy. You were expecting more festivities.” Kerry apologized not expecting a response.

“You don’t really think that I’m in this just for just the good times? Kerry, you’re the one. The only one.”

“How many times are you going to save my life?”

“As many times as it takes, baby.” Sandy smiled as she turned her palms up to the sky.

They made their way from the train station to Kerry’s place and were officially greeted by Stinky as soon as they entered the house.

“Hey, boy. You miss us? Sure you did.” Kerry and Sandy pummeled Stinky and Stinky approved. It was hard to tell whose tail was wagging with more fury: Kerry’s, Sandy’s, or Stinky’s. “I’ll take him out Ker, you had a long day.” “Thanks.” Kerry took her jacket off and worked her way to the bedroom. Even though she knew that Sandy and Stinky would be back shortly, Kerry didn’t like being alone. The house that she had always felt so comfortable in, her home, just wasn’t the same without them. She looked at her reflection in the mirror for what seemed to be a lifetime her thoughts were scrambled but finally landed. “Face it Weaver, you love her. And don’t blow it. Live a little. Right Mark? Oh Mark, poor Mark.” She closed her eyes.

Kerry could hear her two loves bounding up the stairs through the front door. “C’mon buddy, good boy. Here’s a biscuit for my good boy. Give mama a kiss. Yes, boy. Yes, good boy.”

Kerry could only smile.

Suddenly, she felt Sandy standing behind her. She listened to the sound of Sandy breathing behind her. It was a ragged, uneven sound. “Kerry?” She turned around slowly and met Sandy's gaze. Something in those eyes made her lips tremble. Kerry felt very vulnerable and began to visibly quiver. Those eyes were so warm. Sandy surprised her by reaching out and touching her hair. Kerry found herself drawn forward, her heart racing. She wanted this woman. “I love you, Kerry. You’ve stolen my heart.” “You’re lucky I’m a doctor then, because I’ll take good care of it.”

For a brief moment Kerry thought maybe she should be more careful with her words, with her emotions. Why does everything have to be so serious, so permanent? This is a mistake. Yet, as the thought crossed her mind she closed the space that remained between them as small as it was, and their mouths came crashing together. “I love you.”

It was like the first time they kissed and Kerry was thoroughly entranced by the lushness of Sandy's full, sweet, tender lips. There was softness in them that delighted Kerry.

She felt hands on her hips, just resting there, nothing more, but the touch warmed her insides so much she began to perspire. Then Sandy's tongue found hers and the heat inside of her flared out of control. Kerry moaned. She cupped Sandy's face in her hands and the kiss deepened, mouths opening wider in growing hunger. Their tongues engaged in a frenzied tango. Kerry finally pulled back, still holding Sandy's face in her hands. She stared into the other woman's eyes, finding a longing in them that generated an uncontrollable heat.

She had never wanted someone like she wanted Sandy. The two of them stood there for a long time transfixed, just looking at each other.

Kerry pulled Sandy's mouth to hers, taking those delectable lips in a fierce, demanding kiss. Kerry slipped off her shoes while Sandy tugged anxiously at her blouse. Hands moved fast and furious. Both in step with the other, like a well-choreographed ballet. Their mouths were fused together in a searing kiss.

Gasps and sighs . . . grunts and moans . . . wordless affirmations of their yearning for each other.

Kerry felt light-headed. Sandy's hand was running up her thigh, stroking Kerry’s firm buttocks, kneading the firm rounds until she was breathing fast and hard. The touch sent tremors through her body. She broke free of the kiss and cried out, catching her breath then moving to nibble on Sandy's ear. Her lover moaned. "Kerry . . . Oh . . . Kerry . . . I love that." "Then I'll keep doing it, " Kerry whispered seductively. She nibbled on Sandy's earlobe a little more, sucking it. As Sandy was drinking Kerry in, she dropped her shirt from her shoulders and Kerry’s hand found Sandy’s bare breast and she gently stroked Sandy’s firm, erect nipple.

Fingers immediately went to work on the buttons of her blouse and Kerry moaned softly, her own fingers tracing the shape of Sandy's breast. The supple mounds felt delightful. She cupped one in her hand, squeezing gently. Now it was Sandy that moaned. Her head bending back with desire. Hearing the need in that voice made Kerry stir with excitement. Sandy reached the last button and pushed Kerry’s blouse off her shoulders. Her bra soon followed after it. Hands found her bare breasts, caressing them, and Kerry whimpered with need.

Their mouths came together again. The feel of Sandy's naked breasts pressed into hers made Kerry absolutely dizzy. It was heaven. Sliding her hands over Sandy's waist, she lingered their a moment before moving up to cup both breasts this time. Sandy sighed between kisses. Kerry brushed her thumbs over Sandy's nipples and her lover sighed again, feasting on her lower lip while she rolled the soft nipples between thumb and forefinger until they hardened. Her own nipples ached. Then, as if reading her mind, Sandy moved down her neck with kisses to suckle her breast. Kerry tossed her head back and cried out, raking fingers through soft brown hair as Sandy eagerly tongued her nipples.

That soft, pink tongue flicked over them wildly, taking each in turn, licking them for a long time then sucking them again. It was making her crazy! Kerry ripped Sandy's mouth from her breast and smothered it with hers. The ferocity of the kiss left them both gasping for air. Stepping back, Kerry unbuttoned her pants and let them fall to the floor. She took great delight in the hunger that flared in Sandy's eyes and even more delight in the little whimper Sandy gave when she slowly rolled her panties down over her hips to stand there naked.

Heat flushed her cheeks under the other woman's appraising stare. "You are so beautiful, " Sandy whispered.

Now, it was Kerry’s turn to admire. Kerry hooked her finger in the waistband of Sandy's jeans and pulled the woman to her again, kissing those soft lips as she worked at getting Sandy's pants off. Hands moved up and down her back in long strokes, hovering for long, delicious moments over her bare buttocks. She unzipped Sandy's fly and with great strength pulled the jeans open, getting her own eager hands inside. Her lover wore a pair of loose-fitting boxers and Kerry pulled them and the jeans down in one fluid motion. Sandy stepped out of them just as smoothly. The two of them stood there admiring each other's nakedness for a long time, tension brewing to intolerable levels.

She took in the sight of Sandy's round, shapely breasts then her gaze moved lower, over that flat tummy, to rest on the curls that covered Sandy's mound. The woman was gorgeous. Her attention lingered there for a long time then began the slow journey up again. She found Sandy staring back at her in much the same manner a lion watches a lone gazelle. That she could elicit such a look made Kerry shudder.

Sandy pulled her close and kissed her, their nude bodies fitting together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Hands roamed bare flesh for several minutes then Kerry felt herself being nudged backward. She tumbled into bed, laughing, getting on her back and pulling Sandy on top of her. Sandy pinned her down with a deep, passionate kiss, moving against her, rocking back and forth.

Their legs intertwined, Kerry could feel the wetness of the other woman's sex against her thigh and arched against it. "Oh . . . Kerry, " Sandy moaned. Sandy never looked more beautiful. Her lover reached up and put a hand on her cheek. Kerry nuzzled against it. She covered that hand with hers and held it there for a long moment before guiding it to her breast.

Sandy writhed between her legs, undulating like an ocean wave, thrusting those hips against Kerry’s wetness as she guided the other woman's hand from one breast to the other. She circled both their hands around her rock-hard nipples, teasing them, then bent forward so Sandy could get at them with that hungry mouth. The firefighter latched onto a nipple and sucked it ardently. Kerry moaned. She arched her back, offering more of herself, and Sandy willingly accepted, again and again.

Her nipples were aching from Sandy's attention, and while she would have enjoyed having Sandy suck on them all night there were other things she wanted to do first. Inching down the bed, Kerry met Sandy face to face and kissed that lush mouth. She steered her mouth and tongue down the other woman's throat, moving lower in search of a breast. Sandy had firm, plump nipples, like sweet, ripe berries, and Kerry took one between her lips and sucked it. Her lover whimpered.

She moved from one breast to the other, lavishing them with attention and kisses. The firm mounds get more delicious with each taste and Kerry gorged herself on them, flicking the nipples with her tongue, nibbling them, sucking on them hard. Sandy cried out under her ministrations, wriggling anxiously. The urgency Kerry heard in that voice was unmistakable.

Kerry amused herself with Sandy's breasts for a while longer than began working her way down the curves of that body –that beautiful body- with soft, nibbling kisses. Sandy willingly and with desire spread for her. Kerry stared in wonder at the sight of Sandy's essence, so wet, so pink, so swollen. Reaching out feeling something akin to reverence, Kerry brushed her fingers over Sandy's sex. Her lover sucked in a sharp, hissing breath. "Touch me again, Kerry . . . Touch me again . . . "

Scene 3

Birthday Gift - by Juliana

Kerry sat on the edge of the bed and just stared, glad she was ready for work early. She didn’t want to wake Sandy up, not even for the privilege of holding her one more time, kissing her goodbye, or saying “I love you” and having the thrill of hearing it back. Something about the raw emotion in Sandy’s voice, and the way she looked at her when she said it, was so thrilling. Like the first time, every time.

“I love you, Sandy,” she whispered.

Sandy almost reached consciousness, stirred a little, turned more to her side and snuggled closer to Kerry’s knee. “Stay here with me.” It was an almost coherent plea. Kerry laid back down for just a moment to try to share the warmth that filled her heart. But she could not close her eyes, for fear of being swallowed up.

As she drove to work that morning, she thought of all the reasons it was so hard to get up and leave. She’d been having long nights. Very long nights, but such good nights. Such a shame that at her age, this was novelty. She regretted having to be told, “Don’t let your work become your life, Kerry. Live a little.”

She missed Mark Greene. Some people just come and go, day after day, breathing the same air and imparting wisdom with such subtlety. She hadn’t even known she was being taught. She had taken for granted he would always be there, until he wasn’t anymore.

Time was not on her side. Life was too short. But she had been given life’s greatest gift. The simple appreciation of every second.

She parked her car and thought of Sandy, curled up like an innocent child in her bed, so safe and lovely. It was her day off. Tomorrow would be Kerry’s day off, and Sandy would be the one to drag herself out of bed to go put herself, quite literally, in the line of fire.

There had to be a place where only the fires of passion burned. Where the only sickness was love sickness. A place where it was perfectly appropriate to stay up laughing and dancing until four in the morning-- with nowhere to be three hours later. She rolled her eyes and stepped into the real world, the ER.

Hopefully the formidable Chief of Staff was not already there. She needed to brace herself for the inevitable confrontation. She was very surprised to see him heading her way up the hall, still dressed in the same scrubs he’d had on last evening. He’d obviously pulled another all-nighter and was sure to be in a rare mood. Oh, but it was now or never.

“Robert... Hey Robert...” Apparently ignoring her, Romano sped up and increased his stride, brushing past her toward the door. Kerry Weaver was not a woman to be outrun. She pivoted and caught up with him. “What, Romano, are you hard of hearing?”

He spun on his heels. “Only to the ever-endless drone of ER staff, yes.”

His sarcasm gave Kerry the jolt of irritation she needed to state her business without feeling guilty. “I'm going to take some time off." There. It was said.

He shook his head, dismissed her. "I've been here way too long, Kerry. Call my office for an appointment."

Appointment my ass, thought Kerry. He never mentioned the word appointment on the phone at 3 a.m. when he needed her to fill in for someone at 5! Perhaps she hadn’t made her intentions clear enough. It was not a request. She raised her voice a notch. “Two weeks immediately!”

“It's not a good time for you to take off!"

“It’s never a good time.”

“Seven days, in July!” He spoke as though his “offer” was final.

July? And seven days didn’t cut it. She wanted to give Sandy the best early birthday present in the world, and couldn’t wait to get both of them away from the stress. “Nine days starting Saturday! You owe me three times as much."

She was right, and he knew it. No one worked harder than Kerry Weaver. But lacking the presence of mind to relent gracefully, he chose the low road and retorted, “Not my problem you have no life.”

No, Kerry thought. Not my fault you haven’t had any sleep. Those undying words of Mark Green had been playing on loop in her head. Don’t let work become your life... Instead of getting angry, she smiled. “I’ve decided to get one.”

Romano threw his hands up in the air. “Great! I suppose you want my first born child too!”

She shrugged, as he continued on up the hall. “Just thought it was about time...”

He yelled back over his shoulder, “Seven days, in June. That’s my decision. I want it in writing, on my desk by tomorrow morning.”


Sitting in the lounge drinking coffee, she thumbed through several brochures she’d picked up from Triple A just the day before.

Susan dragged herself in with a bag of McDonalds and plopped herself down in a chair across the table. Carter came in behind her, looking like he’d been run over by a steamroller. In the last few weeks he’d been going overboard, it seemed, to prove to the hospital he was up to the challenge of filling Mark’s shoes. And being quite humble about his efforts. His behavior impressed Kerry.

“How much overtime have you been working, Dr. Carter?” she asked, though she knew the answer. She wanted him to know she noticed. Everyone deserved to feel valued.

He just shook his head. “I do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done.” He looked down. “Any other doctor would do the same.”

Susan was suddenly blinking back tears. Carter’s statement was true of few doctors, but specific to one she could think of. To distract herself, she turned her attention to Kerry’s brochures. “What’s up? What are those?”

Kerry figured it wouldn‘t hurt to explain. The level of disclosure had risen among the small group of ER doctors learning to live without one of their own. Life was definitely too short to deprive herself of friends. “I’m taking Sandy to Barbados.”

“No kidding!” Susan’s eyes widened. “I heard you and Romano had a blowout in the hall about an hour ago!”

“A blowout?! Well, people really must like to talk!” She paused, and cracked a smile. “I simply told him the way it was going to be.” This was true, to a degree.


Sandy held the door for Kerry as they entered Lost Chicago. “So what’s going on?” Her curiosity had been piqued when Kerry had requested they meet for lunch, and a really big surprise. “And what’s with the suitcase?”

Slung over Kerry’s shoulder was a black shoulder bag, bigger than a book bag, which bulged to capacity. “The question is,” Kerry drew out the mystery, “Do you have a suitcase?”

“What do you mean?” They were seated quickly. In the booth, Sandy noticed Kerry’s starched lab coat peeking open to reveal that shiny St. Florian’s medal, worn with pride. She reached for her hand under the table.

The waitress arrived. “My name is Arlene. I’ll be your server. Can I get you something to drink?”

Kerry let go of Sandy’s hand in a fit of excitement and blurted out, “Two Pina Coladas!”

Sandy was shocked, but didn’t protest, merely added, “Better make them virgins...” When the waitress left to get the drinks, she demanded with more interest than disdain, “What in the world is on your mind today?”

"I've been dropping clues left and right, here's a few more." Kerry reached into the monstrous shoulder bag and took out a lime green gift bag with orange tissue paper and a pink envelope sticking out of the top.

Sandy was perplexed. Did Kerry think it was her birthday? It was more than a month away. June 13. And she thought Kerry would know. “This is really sweet. But it’s not my birthday, Ker.”

Kerry pushed the gift across the table. “Oh, I know. Open this first, and then the envelope.”

Sandy reached inside the bag and pulled out a bottle of coconut oil. She opened the bottle. “This smells so good.” But that didn’t explain anything. She reached inside again and pulled out a New York Yankees beach towel. “My favorite team! Where did you find this in Chicago? Thank you!” She hugged the towel and lunged forward to hug Kerry from across the table, before the confusion set in once again. “Can I open the card now?”

“Uh huh.” Kerry could barely sit still. Her face exploded into a thousand smiles as Sandy slowly looked over the brochure she found inside.

“Tamarind Cottage?”

The waitress arrived with the Virgin Pina Coladas and set them down. “Going on vacation?”

Sandy looked up, as if to wonder the same thing.

Kerry was impressed with the perfect timing. “Hopefully!” She smiled at Sandy, whose jaw dropped. “And I will have a Cajun Chicken Salad, with ranch dressing on the side.”

Sandy could barely speak. “I’ll have the same.” The waitress went away again. A small card fell out of the brochure. Sandy picked it up and read it.

Dear Sandy,

You have been here for me through so much change. I don‘t know what I would have done without your loving support. I have never been as happy as I am with you. I want to be with you forever, and I want every day to be filled with joy and laughter. All this time, I’ve been alive but never really lived. We’ve both seen enough to realize we shouldn’t waste even one moment. It’s time for us to get away and spend some time together, to have the fun we both deserve. This was supposed to be an early birthday present, but I can’t get the time until June. So it can be an on-time birthday present instead. Will you join me in Barbados, from June 12-19? I love you.


Sandy was almost in tears. She took a deep breath to regain her composure, then jumped out of the booth, practically knocking over someone as they passed in the aisle. She slid into the booth beside Kerry and hugged her hard. “Of course I'll go, it’s going to be great!” She shook her head in disbelief, touched to realize how much Kerry did love her. “I can’t believe you would do this for my birthday! You just get more and more amazing every day.”

“Maybe I did it for selfish reasons. Maybe I wanted you all to myself. Maybe I wanted to rub coconut oil on your back all week,” Kerry teased.

Sandy laughed. “You’re the one who needs the tan, Dr. Weaver!”

As their laughter became tender smiles, Sandy gently caressed Kerry's face, kissed her cheek and whispered in her ear. “Thank you, Kerry. And I love you too.”

Scene 4

Bullet Proof - by Piney

“You’re late.” Kerry remains focused on her patient file while Carter mumbles an apology and inaudible excuse as he stands scouring the board for a patient.

“Yeah, Carter. I think that should earn you the night shift next week while Dr. Weaver is gone.” Susan chimes in hoping she has correctly read Kerry’s mood this morning. “What do you think Dr. Weaver?”

“I think you are right! Dr. Carter you are acting Chief on the nightshift next week. Dr. Lewis you have days.”

“What?” Carter whines. “Just for being five minutes late?”

“Dr. Lewis has to cover three meetings for me.” Kerry is firm but clearly enjoys teasing Carter. “I’ll assign Abby to nights to make it a little easier. Thanks for volunteering Carter.” Carter turns back to the board then spins on his heel to grab a file.

“Sure,” he says, smiling over his shoulder as he speeds off to Exam 1. Kerry swallows her smile.

“Frank, What happened to that request for maintenance on these lights? This hum is driving me crazy!”

“They have it in their hot little hands they just haven’t shown up yet.” Frank spins in his chair, papers in hand, trying to look busy and moderately responsive.

“Well, call them. Gallant, you’re with me. There’s a classic appendicitis in Exam Three.” Kerry hands the intern an open file just as the ambulance bay doors burst open.

“Pressure 160 over 90, smoke inhalation, possible fracture of the clavicle, head lac, pain in the left knee,” the young woman says in one breath. “There are more I have to get back.”

“How many?” Kerry checks the firefighter’s badge. He is from the 75th.

“Don’t know. The roof fell in.” She grips the sheet under the man’s head and shoulders. “They’re still pulling people out,” she grunts as they lift the battered firefighter off the ambulance gurney onto a trauma bed.

“Who’s there? Which divisions?” The EMT is already heading for the door.

“Don’t know. Lots,” she calls without turning. The doors close behind her leaving Kerry staring into their slow swing.

“He’s lost consciousness,” Abby reports to the room.

“Go Kerry, we’ve got this.” Susan checks his pupils. Each eye is a white slit against a soot-blackened face. Kerry looks from Susan to Abby. Each wears a look of insistent compassion.

Out in the lobby Kerry shouts to Frank as she receives a gurney carrying another soot-covered firefighter. “Call the 38th. Find out where they are. Find out how many are coming.”

“What? I thought he was from the 75th?”

“Call them too.”

“We could call all the divisions…?”

“Just do it, Frank!” Kerry follows the gurney to Trauma Two listening to the EMT’s report. Everyone is now checking the division badge. This one reads “24.”

“Seventh intercostal fracture and collapsed lung. Chest tube!” Kerry works the tubing through the incision and begins to inflate the lung as Frank shouts though the half-opened door.

“How many can we take?

“What?” Kerry is aware another firefighter has replaced the first one in Trauma One.

“There are a lot of guys down. Four divisions. Including the 38th. They want to know how many we can take.”

“Four critical, six non-critical. And bring any from the 38th here.”

“Got it. And Captain Shaw is on the phone for you.” Kerry removes the tube, patches the opening and watches to see if the newly inflated lung holds. “He called us. Wants to talk to you personally.”

Kerry walks quickly to the relative quiet of the admission desk. She watches as a fourth firefighter is pushed through the bay doors. The emblem of the 38th is clearly visible on the shoulder of a large man.

“Hello, This is Dr. Weaver.” She listens for a long moment looking only at the phone and the desk; wiping imaginary dust from the number pad.

“Thank you. Yes, I will. Thank you.” Kerry puts the receiver down slowly. She ignores Frank’s curious glance and returns to Trauma Two.

Susan is working on the latest firefighter, the one from the 38th. He is conscious and his pain medication is taking hold.

“Hamilton,” she reads his name from the back of his St. Florian's medal. She wonders if she will ever meet them all. “Were you with Lopez? Do you know where she is?” Kerry is very near his face. She knows the medication is making his room smaller and smaller.

“Yeah. We went in together but then I lost her. She was ahead of me. We still had two kids to get.” He coughed and worked to catch his breath. He would be sleeping soon.

“Can she get out?” Kerry’s voice is tight and impatient with the groggy man.

“Don’t know where she was...roof collapsed…” Hamilton is no longer able to answer. Kerry backs away to lean against the wall while he is wheeled out, and another member of the 38th is rolled in. This man is screaming in pain. His arm is crushed and bleeding through the bandages. Kerry stands frozen against the wall as Susan asks for vital signs and orders blood and drugs to stabilize him for surgery.

“Kerry what is it? What do you know?” Susan stops the bleeding and wraps the arm in fresh bandages for the trip to the OR. Kerry isn’t responding. “Kerry!” Kerry hears her name and looks up at Susan and then to the patient not knowing where her attention is being called. She steps forward to assess the patient but her hands shake uncontrollably. She makes two fists and puts them in her pockets.

“Chuny will you finish wrapping this?” Susan takes Kerry by the arm gently. She walks her out of the Trauma room and into the lounge.

“Kerry, are you okay?” Kerry sits and breathes slowly in and out until the trembling stops.

“Sandy’s missing. She was in the building and they haven’t found her yet.”

“It hasn’t been very long Kerry. They are still bringing people out faster that we can care for them. It is too soon to think the worst.” Malik pops open the lounge door.

“We’ve got another one.” Kerry and Susan both look up with the same question. “It’s another guy,” Malik says quickly.

“I’ll be right there.” Susan stands to leave.

“I am coming too. I need to be busy.” Kerry starts up to claim rank but sits just as quickly, dizzy.

“Kerry you’re preoccupied and Carter and I can handle it. If we need you we’ll come get you.” Susan’s voice is soft. She is mindful of her place in the hierarchy but she knows she is right. “For now stay here and try not to worry.” Susan disappears and the noise of the ER follows her out the door.

Just like Mark and Ella, Kerry broods. Susan has pulled her out of the ER just as she had pulled Mark from Ella’s care. It seems long ago now. So much has happened. If Mark were here today he would be my first choice to care for her. “Would have been.” she reminds herself. She wouldn’t take his life so for granted given the chance again. She won’t take Sandy for granted she reminds herself over and over. That resolve was woven into their relationship when Sandy cared for her after Mark’s death.

Kerry finds her feet again and wanders to the window to look out on the sunny spring day. After Mark’s funeral, she had little energy for the most mundane of tasks. Sandy performed them all without asking. She held Kerry when she cried in the night, weakened by half sleep and regret. When it was time to end the mourning, when looking back had served the last of its purpose, Sandy came into her bath of self admonition, her guilt for putting her ambition ahead of Mark’s humanity, and washed her back, her arms and her face. She forced Kerry to smile and to face forward. She gave Kerry peace. What would I be if I lost her? Kerry could feel the tension in her body rise again.

“Kerry, she’s here.” Abby guides Kerry, barely keeping pace, to Trauma One where Susan and Carter were already at work.

“BP 90 over 60. Respiration shallow at 120.” The words echo in the room. Susan is working quickly.

“Two liters of O-neg!” She cuts through the bandages on Sandy’s thigh and inspects the open wound while Carter slowly releases his weight from the pressure point at the bend of her hip.

“There it is.” Susan watches for fresh color in the wound. Abby watches Kerry lean into a rush to the table steps in front of her quickly. Kerry pushes past her to stand next to Susan.

“Get Romano.” Susan calls. “Chuny, call him now! Tell him it's Sandy Lopez.” “Carter, what about the head lac?”

“Slight concussion.”

“Kerry, she has an exposed femur fracture that nicked the femoral artery. I will close the artery but I want Romano to look for any other damage. OK? We need to get her stable for surgery. She has lost a lot of blood.” Kerry nods knowing better than to make Susan’s job more difficult. She watches the monitors and the blood flow into Sandy’s arm. Sandy’s uniform is partially cut away and Kerry stares at the exposed leg, and the pale bluish foot.


Romano strides into the room in full scrubs as if he has just walked out of surgery.

“What do we have? I see someone has hacked their way through the artery repair. Can I take her now? Call my office tell them to find Davidson.” Susan asks for another round of vital signs.

“BP 100 over 70, Respiration 80,” is called from the middle of the small crowd that has formed in the room.

“What do you think this is people? A monster truck pull? Give us some room.”

“Dr. Romano it is your office.” Chuny stretches the receiver to Romano’s ear as he inspects Sandy’s lower leg.

“I don’t care if he is lunching with the queen! I want him scrubbed in 20 minutes!” he barks, then softens as he hands off the phone.

“Kerry, he is the best orthopedist in the city. We will do everything to make her good as new.” He reaches over to squeeze her arm and then barks again.

“Let’s go, time is mobility.”


Kerry peers through the recovery room window to see Romano leaning over the end of Sandy’s bed. She can see him checking the blood flow to Sandy’s foot and the wound closure for infection. She could enter and evaluate Sandy herself as an ER doctor but she waits at the door as a patient’s family would. Romano sees her but speaks with the recovery room nurse before coming out into the hall.

“Kerry, the reset went well. I was with her the entire procedure. I inspected and repaired every thing I could find. Davidson tapped in two pins but the break was clean. It appears to have been a fulcrum break not a crushing injury.” For the moment the ir war has stopped. Like children play-fighting until someone gets hurt and no one can remember the score.

“She was lucky, Kerry. She lost a lot of blood but she still had enough arterial flow to keep the leg oxygenated. She was lucky she didn’t bleed to death. Any longer and one or the other would have happened.

“Is she awake?”

“She will be soon.”

“Thanks, Robert. Really.” Kerry sees Mark’s shadow fall across the wall behind Romano.

“Well, Kerry, lesbians are people too.” Romano signals the end of the truce. “I’ll check back in an hour.”

“Hey.” Sandy steals Kerry’s attention from the blinking monitor and squeezes Kerry’s hand after 20 minutes of lifelessness.

“Hey.” Kerry answers softly. Her eyes are bright with love and are framed in the face of relief.

“I made it”

“Yeah Hon, you made it.”

“Did everybody get out? All the guys?”

“Yeah, everybody. The kids too. You were the last one out.”

“Sorry Kerry. I…” Kerry cuts her off.

“Shhh. Just rest. You have a fractured femur and a minor concussion but you are going to be fine. You’ll just have to learn to sit around for a while.”

“Not me…” Sandy’s eyelids drop again and her breathing deepens. Kerry will sit here holding Sandy’s warm hand until Romano returns.


Kerry pushes the bedroom door open with her hip and sets her breakfast tray on the night table.

“Good Morning.” She places a kiss on Sandy’s forehead and waits sheepishly to see if she has awakened Sandy from a sound sleep. Sandy hums before opening her eyes.

“Hi.” She says softly as she slowly pulls herself up on the pillow, her back stiff from sleeping in one position all night. Her casted leg lies slightly bent over a pile of pillows. Kerry reaches beyond the door to retrieve a breakfast tray filled with coffee, and scones. One large scone has a lighted candle, and a single plastic palm tree stands in the corner of the tray. Kerry places the tray on Sandy’s lap and begins to sing.

“Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, Happy birthday dear Sandy, happy birthday to you!” Kerry’s voice cracks slightly on the third line causing them both to laugh. Kerry finishes on a strong note and gives Sandy a hug and another kiss.

“It isn’t Barbados but I am glad to have you anywhere today.”

“Thanks, Hon. Me too. You’re the best.” Kerry sits on the edge of the bed to share the scones and drink her own cup of coffee. It was the first good night of sleep for Sandy without pain medication. Kerry holds a smile as she evaluates Sandy’s skin color and the brightness of her eyes.

“You slept hard last night. I was afraid I would wake you if I tried to snuggle but I don’t think you would have even noticed.”

“I feel good. I think I will tool around in the chair today—get out in the sun. It is my birthday after all.”

“It is and we have plans for you.” Kerry is lifted by Sandy’s good spirits and by her own relief.


“Your mom called. Are you up for a small family party tonight?”

“Kerry, nothing in my family is small. I’d like that.” Sandy drops her smile and her focus. “I am sorry to ruin your birthday present. We should be sitting on a beach right now sipping guava juice smoothies or something.”

“It is Ok Sandy I have a new plan. I think we should go the last week before you return to the station. I have already talked with Capt. Shaw. He knows you will try to work before you are ready so we are plotting together.”

“Yeah. How’s that?” Sandy takes a long drink of her coffee and lies back into the pillow.

“By the time you’ve finished physical therapy you’ll be completely bored. Right?”

“Right.” Sandy smiles at Kerry’s girlish mood and the fact that she thought to talk with Shaw.

“You’ll drive Capt. Shaw insane begging to get back to work.” Sandy doesn’t try to offer an argument. “So that last week, when you’re recovered but not quite back in shape, you and I are going to the island.”

“Ahhh. So it’s decided is it?”

“Well yes, if you still want to go.”

“Are you kidding? Yes! Yes, of course I do. Kerry, it will be a great trip. I know I’ll be antsy to get back to work but I can work out with the guys before we go and I won’t feel so left out, if you know what I mean.”

“Shaw and I talked about that too. And the Tamarind Cottage has access to a full weight room and you can run on the beach every morning. Except those mornings you decide to sleep in with me!”

Sandy pulls Kerry into a hug. Kerry puts down her cup and moves the tray off Sandy’s lap. She jostles and wriggles until she finds a place she can lay on Sandy that isn’t hard or painful for either of them and holds her closely. “We dodged a bullet, Hon.”

“I know baby. We were lucky, but luck counts too. I am here and safe. We are still together.”

Sandy delivers a scatter shot of kisses to Kerry’s face and neck. “I love you; I love you; I love you.” Kerry hums a laugh deep in her throat and returns kisses of her own.

“Happy birthday to me!” Sandy rejoices.


Sandynista Fanfic Series

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