Project #5 - “A New Beginning”

Timeline: Missing scenes between “Chaos Theory” and “Tell Me Where It Hurts”
Contributors: Juliana, Angelfish & Sarah Langworthy
Total number of scenes: 4
Rating: PG-13
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

Something New Everyday - by Juliana

While Sandy was recovering from her injuries before their trip to Barbados, Kerry got used to having her around. After the vacation, Sandy never really went home. During the two-week period Kerry was off work after the lockdown, she and Sandy decided it was time to take the next step in their relationship.

"Whew," Sandy breathed a sigh of relief as she heaved a cardboard crate full of random stuff up on the kitchen table. "I'm glad this is the last of it!"

Kerry paused from polishing the tarnish off of Sandy's grandmother's antique silverware to appreciate the sight of her girlfriend flushed and breathless. "The truck's empty?"

Sandy nodded, and lit up. "It's official!"

Kerry beamed from ear to ear, even as she shook her head in disapproval of Sandy's packing job. "It would have been official hours ago if we'd sorted through your stuff before the move."

Sandy's eyes widened. "We tried that, Ker." She couldn't hold back a wicked grin. "Or was that just your excuse?"

"What are you talking about?" Kerry sounded just too innocent.

Sandy knew she hadn't forgotten the night they had every intention of starting to pack. "My Saturday off... your long weekend... a little wine... a little opera... sound familiar now?"

Kerry went back to polishing the forks. "Okay, my fault too."
Sandy hugged her from behind, pressing her lips into the softness of her freckled neck. "Unless you want to blame, uh... Kiri Te Kanawa."

Sandy's lips sent shivers through Kerry's body. It was all she could do keep them on task some of the time. "That's okay, I'll take the credit."

Sandy shrugged. "Curtains are curtains. I liked your place before, and I like it now. Why change anything?"

Change was something Kerry knew she needed, for one thing. But more importantly, "Because it's our place now. I feel like it's a whole new apartment."

Sandy had no interest whatsoever in the six crates of old curtains Kerry pulled out of closets she didn't even know existed, but she did have a point. They were starting over.

It was fun, making decisions with Kerry, who'd likely get all analytical over lavender or lilac, and just end up asking Sandy to choose one or the other. "So," Sandy joked, "What do we have behind door number one?" She ripped the masking tape seal off of the first box and pulled out... a cross between a tablecloth and a flowered mumu.

Kerry looked as though she were seriously considering this pair. "What do you think?"

"You got to be kidding!" Sandy sputtered, cracking up. "I thought you had good taste!"

Kerry was offended for half a second, then realized they were ugly curtains. "Well then," She thought for a moment, and held up her hand before Sandy could take even one more panel out of the box. "Let's take these boxes out to the dumpster."

"Why? We haven't even..."

"Let's just do it," Kerry insisted. "We're getting new curtains, and that's that." She paused. "They'll go nicely with our new bed."

"Where are we going to sleep tonight?" Sandy wondered, mindful that the bed wasn't to be delivered until tomorrow.

"The question is," Kerry corrected her, "Are we going to sleep tonight?" Kerry wished she was teasing, but the amount of work that needed to be done was frightening.

Two hours later, Sandy was moaning. "Can't we throw away some of my stuff too. I don't need all this crap."

Kerry was a lot more patient, and had painstakingly helped Sandy go through about two thirds of her boxes already, sorting, discarding, displaying, and repacking what needed to be saved but not seen. Truthfully, she loved every minute of it. Sandy knew so much about every little detail of her life, because they'd spent most of their time there.

It was nice to be able to see Sandy's high school yearbook, all of her firefighting medals and awards in one place, a ragged stuffed puppy named Doc she'd never be able to part with, her set of mismatched neon plastic dishware. There were just as many oddities as there were things she'd expect the Sandy she knew to own.

Sandy had four times the amount of shoes she ever thought any woman could have. Not because she cared a whole lot about shoes, but because she never threw anything away. She had ten identical pairs of faded jeans, and didn't even know it. She had a lot of movies, everything from James Bond to Harry Potter.

Sandy was off in the kitchen getting two cans of iced tea when Kerry delved into one of the last few boxes. There, underneath some rumpled shirts, was a pile of papers. Kerry blinked twice. Poems?

Kerry was just about to start reading when Sandy came back, with the drinks and a bag of Doritos. She was about to toss Kerry a can, and realized she'd been found out.

"What are you doing?" she asked, with nervous laughter.

"Poems! Sandy, you write?" Still in awe, she leafed through the titles.

For a moment Sandy was frozen in place. "I don't! I mean, I did, but..."

"A New Beginning, Finally Found You, Forever, love poems! I never would have thought that..."

"They're not that good! They don't even sound like real poems!" Sandy sat down to try to reason with a girlfriend who was too excited to even listen. "Why don't you just give me those?"

"But you have to let me..."

Sandy's face was getting redder and redder. "No way!" Sandy lunged for Kerry, who flung her arm out of reach.

"What's the matter Sandy?" Kerry teased, as Sandy started to worry that Kerry actually wouldn't give them back.

"We have a lot left to do," Sandy pleaded.

"We can take a little break."

"Yeah, a wrestling break!" Sandy was able to overpower Kerry hands-down, but never chose to do so. It was too exciting to let the redhead fight and struggle. They rolled around on the floor over scattered belongings, papers flying, laughter and shrieking echoing through the apartment.

Kerry's arms were pinned over her head.

"You know, you're hot when you're at my mercy."

Kerry made a face. "Now you may have to go find your poems, but you got me."

"Nah," Sandy kissed her prisoner before conceding. "You got me. You always got me. Go ahead, have your laughs."

Kerry sat up. "Laughs?"

Sandy gathered the poems and handed them to Kerry.

"Aren't you going to read them out loud?"

This was not an option. Sandy started for the painting supplies across the room, muttering about optimal vision, primer, and shelf life. Kerry caught her arm to stop the rambling, which she found beyond endearing but never told Sandy for fear she'd not do it anymore. "We'll do that together! Just sit with me. I'll read them."

They leaned against the back wall. Sandy was just as embarrassed as Kerry was thrilled.

"Kerry, you bring new joys to my life,
excitement to simple things like
making dinner and walking you home
music to the sound of words I thought were stupid
like sweet, longing, unrelenting
purpose to frustration, a new perspective,
visions of a better me...
You bring it all to life.
When you're by my side you light up the room.
but when you're out of reach I'm reminded
there are different ways of being with you.
I can love you just by being happy in the morning
or watching the rain when you're not at home,
but I can't ever love you enough...
So you never need to wonder why:
For always finding the exact words
to describe what this poem can't, for being there
to hold me when words aren't enough,
for your devotion, for admitting you need my love,
for loving me, and for just being Kerry."

Six poems later, Sandy was sitting cross-legged with Kerry's head resting on her lap. Kerry had a way of not making too much of someone's discomfort, and Sandy knew how deeply she was affected by how quiet she got. That was just Kerry's way, and she squeezed Sandy and stared off into a fireplace that didn't have a fire.

Sandy stared into the empty fireplace too, and took a moment to try to remember what it was like to have ever been lonely. "You know, I never thought I'd be looking forward to cold, winter nights."

Kerry sat up to move closer. She tucked a loose curl behind Sandy's ear, a habit she now had, and traced her jawline to her chin. "You know what I'm looking forward to?"


"This." Kerry closed her eyes, and kissed her, pulling back for effect before kissing her again. "Every moment." Kerry's third kiss was a longer moment, the point she was making almost lost in their passion.

"Kerry..." Sandy gripped her shoulders, struggling for restraint. "We still have this room to paint. It's only five-thirty. If we start this now, I can't promise we'll stop at all."

Kerry knew that was an absolute possibility. It was much too early to reach the point of no return. What she wanted was to finish everything tonight, make love until morning, and sleep away tomorrow. For once, just once, to celebrate this amazing step they were taking. "You are so right," she told Sandy. "Let's get moving!"

Kerry pulled away too quickly. As Sandy watched Kerry start taping around the baseboards, she regretted her own sensibilities. "Ker?"


"Let's hurry."

Sandy rolled fresh Soft Candlelight over the last bit of bland Eggshell and stepped back to admire her work. In doing so, she tripped over a little paint can and fell backward, sprawled into a growing puddle of White Silk.

It was Kerry who screamed. "Oh my God, are you okay?" She rushed to Sandy's side only to realize she was rolling on the floor laughing.

"There's paint all over my butt!"

Kerry was kneeling in some. Her bib overalls were splattered and she even had a streak of it in her hair. She was just glad Sandy wasn't hurt. "Look now," she laughed. "There's some on your nose too." Kerry tweaked it, and then there was.

"Oh, playing dirty?" As Sandy's hands were in the paint, she reached around and pulled Kerry toward her. "There's some on your butt now too!" Sandy was relieved that they were done with everything they had planned to do, and it was only ten. She was ready to unwind. "I'd kiss you, but I might get paint on my lips." Sandy smudged a little paint by the corner of Kerry's mouth.

Kerry sighed. "Maybe I should go take a shower."

Sandy couldn't wait to take one herself. "You go do that, and I'll clean up." When Kerry reached the doorway, Sandy called to her. "Oh by the way..."

Kerry spun around.

"Maybe you should put on the nightgown at the bottom of the bottom drawer." She looked incredibly satisfied with her apparent discovery.

Kerry remembered having Sandy clean out some drawers to make room for her stuff, not thinking about what was in them. She'd gone lingerie shopping on impulse weeks ago and never had the nerve to show Sandy her purchases. Not sure what she should say, Kerry left the room without another word. Damn, the things people found while in the process of moving in together.

Later on, Sandy was in the shower. Kerry was walking from room to room, satisfied by the change, feeling good to be sharing her life with the woman she loved, in every sense. The smell of frozen pizza baking filled the quiet townhouse. Kerry knew she and Sandy were probably not going to watch all of "Deep Impact."

She wandered into what was once her office, now a massive storage closet, mainly to take inventory. She didn't see boxes and piles of her and Sandy's displaced belongings. She saw a little girl chasing a butterfly, some painting she'd bought at an auction years ago, dusty and wedged in the corner behind the desk. Just an old painting, of a child who happened to look like her.

She propped herself up on the desk to wonder why she couldn't shake these thoughts. Why now? She didn't feel her age. She felt younger than she had felt in her twenties. She and Sandy were so good together, with so much love to give, and someone deserved that. It only made sense the less she thought about it.

Kerry jumped at the warmth of hands.

Sandy, who had slipped into the room, was still wrapped in a towel. She wedged herself between Kerry's knees and put her arms around her waist. "What's on your mind?" The weary smile on her lips hinted at desire.

Kerry put her arms around Sandy, allowing their closeness to bring her out of herself. She wasn't sure this was the right time. She played with the damp ringlets that didn't make it into Sandy's ponytail at the nape of her neck. She wasn't sure of what she wanted, and didn't know how to explain. But her hesitation had confused Sandy, and it was only an idea. "I was thinking about this room."

The puzzled expression grew more pronounced.

"What color we might paint it." She leaned in so their foreheads were together and Sandy could see how serious she was. "What we might use it for... in the future." She laughed nervously, not wanting to say too much.

It took Sandy a long moment to process this suggestion. She pulled back, wide-eyed, and took both of Kerry's hands, wondering if they were on the same page. She proceeded with caution. "I never would have thought you..."

Kerry looked away, took a deep breath, and looked back. She was relieved to see that Sandy seemed interested. Her smile was less weary and the question in her eyes was not why, but how. Kerry allowed herself to be helped down from the desk. "I guess we'll be learning something new about each other every day."

Scene 2

When It’s With You - by Angelfish

Sandy looked down, and began to tap her fingers nervously on Kerry’s back. She reached out and placed her hand on Kerry’s chin, and lifted it up.

“Hey,” Kerry said, her smile fading with concern, “What’s wrong?”

Sandy stared at Kerry before she turned and headed towards the door.

“Nothing,” she lied, turning back towards Kerry, running her fingers through her long dark hair, “I...uh...I... nothing. I need a drink.”

Sandy left the room and walked down the hall towards the kitchen. Kerry sat on the desk, shocked by her lover’s reaction. She grabbed her crutch, which leaned against the desk, and went after her.

She found the brunette leaning against the kitchen counter, pouring a glass of vodka. She walked up behind the Sandy, and set her crutch against the counter. She put her hands around Sandy’s waist, rested her chin on her shoulder, and waited for her to speak.

“It just seems too soon,” Sandy began. Taking a sip of her drink, she continued, “I mean, I just moved in. My stuff’s not even unpacked...the truck’s still outside...”

Kerry laughed, “I don’t mean right here, right now. I’m just saying that it could be something to talk about.” She tightened her grip around Sandy.

“I don’t want to rush things” Sandy said, quietly.

Kerry loosened her grip on Sandy’s waist, and turned her around so they stood face to face. Her head hung towards the floor, afraid to meet the eyes of her lover; afraid that her eyes would be disappointed. Kerry placed a hand below Sandy’s chin, and lifted her face to meet hers. Sandy saw that Kerry’s face was not filled with disappointment, but with understanding.

We can take as long as we want,” Kerry said, looking deeply into Sandy’s eyes, “Just as long as we’re together.”

She placed her hands on either side of Sandy’s face, and pulled her close.

“I love you,” Sandy whispered, before their lips touched. They were so close, Kerry could almost taste the words as they left her mouth.

“Always,” she replied, drawing Sandy’s lips to meet her own.

A month later:

Sandy sighed as she opened the heavy oak door. Her day had been exhausting, and she just wanted to sit back and relax. She entered the Chicago townhouse, and was greeted by the delicious aroma that she assumed was supper.

“Kerry?” she called, as she took off her Chicago Fire Department jacket and bent down to untie her sneakers, “I’m home.”

No verbal reply came, but the sound of bare feet against the hardwood floor was audible, as Kerry came to meet Sandy in the porch.

“Hi,” she said, a huge grin on her face, “How was your day?”

“Oh, utterly exhausting,” Sandy replied, then looked inquisitively at Kerry, “I guess a better question would be, how was your day? I thought you had to work?”

“Well, I decided to take the day off,” Kerry replied, “I figured every doctor in the ER were taking days off, why can’t I? Besides, it’s one of the perks of being Chief of the ER.”

Kerry took Sandy’s hand in hers, and led her further into the house.

“I’ve got a surprise for you,” she whispered in her ear. They rounded the corner to the kitchen, and Sandy stopped in her tracks. Kerry smiled as she watched Sandy’s reaction to the exquisite sight laid out before her.

The room had been darkened, and the table bore a white lace tablecloth, dressed with red rose petals. Two white candles danced in the darkness, as a bottle of white wine chilled in a silver ice bucket next to the table. The table was set for two, and each plate covered with a silver lid.

“Kerry,” Sandy said, still trying to get over the sight which lay before her, and inching closer to the table, “It’s beautiful.”

“You really like it?” questioned Kerry.

Sandy turned to face her, “I love it. But, what’s the occasion?”

“Well,” Kerry began, “we’ve been living together for a month now, and I decided that we should celebrate in style. So, I’ve planned a special meal, just for us.”

Kerry walked Sandy to the table, holding her hand as she pulled out her chair. She reached for the bottle of wine and made a funny face.

“Wine?” she asked in a phony British sophisticated accent, “ ‘98 Cakebread Sauvignon Blanc, excellent year.”

Sandy laughed, “Thank you, ma’am.” Kerry poured two glasses, and placed the bottle back in the bucket.

“Now,” she said, “Like I said, I’ve planned a special meal for us. I hope you like it.”

She lifted the lid off of Sandy’s plate, to reveal an array of delicious foods.

“Wow,” Sandy said as Kerry took her place across the table, “This looks wonderful.”

Sandy lifted her fork, but before she could began to eat, Kerry spoke up.

“Wait,” she interrupted, “Do you notice anything special about the food? A theme perhaps?”

Sandy looked up at Kerry, who gave her a gentle wink.

“Oh,” said Sandy, a little confused, and looked back down at her plate, “Ok. Let’s see, there are baby carrots...and baby corn...ribs...”

Baby-back ribs,” Kerry corrected.

Once again, Sandy shifted her gaze from her plate to Kerry’s face, finally catching on to what she had done.

“Cute,” she replied, as she sat back in her chair and she smiled at Kerry.

Later that evening:

After dinner, the girls retreated to the living room to relax and finish their drinks.

“You really want this, don’t you?” asked Sandy, tracing her finger tips over Kerry’s legs, which were resting on her lap.

“You know what?” she replied, sipping the last of her wine, “I do. I never thought I would want this, but I think it would be nice.”

“Do you want another glass?” Sandy asked, motioning to Kerry with her wine glass.

Kerry nodded, and Sandy got up to fetch the remainder of the wine.

“How many?” Sandy asked, as she retreated into the kitchen.

“Excuse me?” replied Kerry, as she pulled herself into a seated position.

“How many?” Sandy repeated, a little louder.

“What? Children?” asked Kerry.

“Yeah,” said Sandy, as she returned from the kitchen with two full glasses. She placed Kerry’s feet back on her lap, pulled one leg of her pants up, and returned to tracing invisible pictures on her skin.

“Well,” sighed Kerry, slouching back down on the couch, “It was only me growing up. I never had any brothers or sisters. I would have loved to have someone else to grow up with. You?”

“One’s enough for me,” came her reply, “Remember, I grew up with 8 brothers and sisters, and we fought all the time. Mama always said ‘I hope your children don’t put you through half of what you put me and your father through’. No, no, one is plenty.”

“Ok,” Kerry chuckled, “So more than one, less than nine.”

Sandy laughed.

“Well,” Kerry continued, “If we’re going to do this, then we have to weigh our options. I mean, there’s Artificial Insemination, In-Vitro Fertilization. We could find a surrogate mother, or perhaps adoption.”

“No, I don’t want a surrogate mother or adoption,” Sandy said sternly, realizing what she had said only seconds after it left her mouth.

“Why not?” Kerry said, offended, “What’s wrong with adoption?”

Sandy bit her lower lip, trying to think of a way to explain her response to Kerry. She could feel Kerry’s eyes piercing through her skin, but when she looked up she only saw hurt in Kerry’s face.

“There’s nothing wrong with adoption,” said Sandy, reaching over to tuck a lock of Kerry’s hair behind her ear, “Just look how perfect you turned out.”

Kerry looked up, and Sandy raised her eyebrows seductively. Kerry stifled a quiet laugh.

“I just think that if we’re going to have a baby,” Sandy continued, “I want it to be ours.”

“I understand,” agreed Kerry, “So it’s either Artificial Insemination, or In-Vitro.”

“What’s the difference?” asked Sandy.

“Ok, um,” Kerry began to explain, “Artificial Insemination is when donor sperm are inserted directly into the uterus. In-Vitro is when they remove mature eggs from the ovaries, fertilize them in a lab, and when fertilized, transfer them into the uterus.”

“Either one sounds good to me,” Sandy said.

“Well,” Kerry continued, “there is one thing.”

“What’s that?”

“You said you wanted the baby to be ours, right?” asked Kerry.


“Well, it’s sort of impossible seeing as only one of us could technically be the mother,” Kerry explained, “But, if we chose In-Vitro, one of us could donate the egg, and when fertilized, it could be transplanted into the other. That way we could both be the biological mother and one birth mother.”

“Can we do that?” asked Sandy.

“I don’t see why not,” replied Kerry, “I could always check it out, I suppose. We might also want to consider who would carry the baby.”

“Ho, ho,” Sandy interrupted, “Not me, forget it.”

“Why not?” Kerry challenged, “You’re younger and healthier. Physically, I don’t think the added weight would be good for my hip.”

“Yeah,” Sandy followed, “But my job is more physically demanding and dangerous. Can you imagine me 6 months pregnant, 30 floors up in a burning high-rise. Na-uh, I don’t think so. And besides, you’re the doctor. You’d be around people who understood all the medical stuff.”

“I suppose you’re right,” Kerry laughed, “But, it would be funny to see you trying to waddle up the ladder.”

“So, we’re really going to do this?” asked Sandy.

“I guess so,” replied Kerry, her face lighting up, “We’re going to have a baby.”

Sandy smiled and she set her wine glass on the end table. She turned, and putting her hands on either side of Kerry’s body, she leaned across and gave her lips a tender kiss.

Scene 3

Mood Swings - by Juliana

Kerry sat bolt upright, a sob choking from her dry throat. In a second, Sandy was up too.

"How, how could you?" Kerry sputtered.

"It's that dream again, isn't it?" Sandy murmured, reaching for her.

Kerry pushed Sandy off and stumbled across the hall to the bathroom. The room was spinning, a marbled tile grid dancing before her eyes, dizzying, making her sicker.

Sandy was kneeling beside her, holding back her hair even though it wasn't necessary, as Kerry vomited over and over. Her head cleared as her stomach emptied. Of course, it had nothing to do with Sandy. Sandy loved her. Instead of collapsing against the cold floor, she fell into Sandy's arms, sobbing in earnest.

"Kerry, honey," Sandy soothed, rubbing her back, "What can I do?"

Of course Sandy loved her. This was the fourth night, the same intangible nightmare. Kerry didn't know what to say. "I'm so sorry, San." She felt too weak to stand.

"Don't be sorry. This is what I'm here for." Sandy effortlessly picked her up, carried her back to their bed, and went to the kitchen to get her something to drink.

Kerry reached for the phone on the nightstand. Romano answered on the first ring. "This better be worth my time!"

Kerry rolled her eyes. "Good bloody morning to you too, Robert. I won't be in today."

"I don't want to hear that! We're short, the house is packed, nurses everywhere are whining about that dumb-ass Kovac you hired, and you need-"

She was in no mood. "I just said I'm not coming in, so it looks like you're short one more."

"You'll come in, or you're fired."

"Great, fire me." Kerry hung up, unconcerned, in part because he couldn't fire her. Who the hell wanted her job?

Sandy carried in a glass of tepid ginger ale and two graham crackers on a napkin. Kerry pulled the covers over her head.

"Baby, you're getting weaker. You haven't eaten since you started taking those hormones." Sandy pulled back the covers. "I don't work today. Why don't you eat something," she urged, "Get a warm bath, and I'll build a fire. We'll just relax together all day."

"It's six o'clock in the morning, Sandy, leave me alone."


Kerry came out of the bedroom at 10:30. "You're up early," she observed, without acknowledging the cheese omelette, the bacon, the toast, juice, or coffee that was ready for them, hot, on a beautifully set table.

I went to get groceries and ran a few errands." Sandy walked around the table to hug Kerry, who demanded, "Did you get light bulbs?"

Sandy shook her head. "I'll go back for them after breakfast."

Kerry wanted the food to disappear, so she wouldn't have to smell it. Her stomach churned. "It looks great, but I'm not hungry. You eat."

"I'll make you some tea." Sandy got the kettle, and started to fill it with water.

"I hate tea," Kerry snapped, and thought about apologizing. Instead, she made a face as she reached into the refrigerator.

Sandy raised an eyebrow when she pulled out a can of Pepsi and last night's cold chicken wings.

"Problem?" Kerry's sharp look made Sandy look away to hide her concern. "Nope. Not at all. I love you."

Kerry cracked open the Pepsi and took a swig. "Why, I'll never understand," she muttered, as she wandered into the living room.

Sandy followed, determined to take care of her. "I bought you some things." She reached for the shopping bag near the door. "The Norah Jones CD you've been wanting to get. And I know you wanted this book." She held out a hardback edition of "The Poisonwood Bible." Kerry was almost excited. She just didn't have the energy...

Kerry kicked back on the couch. "Why read, man, when you got TV?" she sulked, but smiled weakly at Sandy and accepted the book.

Sandy laughed and curled up beside her. "Cute. I'll have to remember that line." She hesitated. "I got our baby something too." She produced a furry white teddy bear with a white ribbon around its neck.

Kerry gasped. Her eyes lit up and she pulled Sandy closer. "I don't know what I'd do without you. Thank you for everything."

Sandy was just glad to see Kerry smiling, and buried her face in her shoulder, kissing her through the material of her soft, cotton nightgown. "I just want to make you feel better, babe."

Sandy's warm breath and throaty whispers always did it for Kerry.

Sandy was still in full-on support mode. "Anything you need, anything you want me to do..."

Kerry lifted her chin, looked her dead in the eyes, and said, "Make love to me," in a low voice that awakened all of Sandy's senses at once. Sandy wordlessly pulled the nightgown over her head, lowered her to the couch, and passion exploded suddenly with a smoldering kiss.


Kerry sat up, out of breath, and looked around-- having noticed the sky getting dark. "What time do you think it is?"

Sandy tried to pull her back down to the floor. "Who cares?" She was disoriented from hunger and felt like she'd just run a marathon. Kerry's intensity blew her mind. She could not so quickly recover. "Just lay here with me."

Kerry wrapped her arms around her lover's washboard abs and laid her cheek against a chiseled tan shoulder, listening to Sandy's breathing, running her hands along her hard body to appreciate the softness. It was funny how Sandy's nakedness reminded her of... cheesecake. "Sandy..."


"Aren't you hungry?"

Sandy thought that maybe this was what it took to get Kerry to eat, and quickly suggested, "Let's order Chinese."

"Nah," Kerry sat up again, and crawled over to the base of the couch where she'd left her clothes and crutch. She took a moment to put a lamp they'd knocked over back up on the end table. "Let's make reservations for Chez Blashpeme."

Sandy didn't know what to think. It was some kind of experimental dinner theatre where they served gourmet food and insulted you in French all night. Clientele typically threw food at the actors when the show was bad, and it always was. It wasn't a place Kerry would like, it seemed, but Sandy just nodded. "Okay, that sounds like fun."


An hour later Sandy was dressed, and had been dressed, in slacks pressed to a crease, a silk shirt tucked in, and a black sports jacket. Her curls hung loose around her shoulders. Kerry was trying on her sixth dress. "I don't know about this one."

"Hon, you look beautiful." Her voice was a little impatient. They were not going to make it if Kerry didn't hurry. The place was just outside of Chicago at the other end of town.

"I don't know," Kerry decided, and started to remove the dress. "It makes me look old."

"What?" Sandy couldn't believe what she was hearing.

"Old and frumpy. I don't know. I just don't look good anymore." She spoke like some horrible revelation had overcome her. Her bottom lip quivered.

Sandy wasn't sure where it was coming from, but acted quickly. She casually caught Kerry by the waist. "I just made love to you all day." Her eyes were suggestive but compassionate. Did Kerry really feel that way? She hoped it was just some weird mood swing. "I think you're pretty damn sexy."

Kerry blushed, even though this was Sandy talking, and wasn't sure how to take the compliment. "We're going to be late." She finished pulling on the dress. "Let me just get my shoes."

Twenty minutes later Kerry called from deep within the walk in closet, "Have you seen my other black suede pump?" She poked her head out and showed Sandy the match. "The other one like this, with the straps?"

"Uh, no." Sandy hooked her thumbs in her belt loops. "Can't say I wear those..." She took a glance at her watch. "Maybe you should put on another pair. We really have to go!"

Kerry's voice escalated just a little. "I need to find my shoe! If I could see in here, it wouldn't be a problem. You said you'd get light bulbs."

Sandy looked pointedly at her. "I got a little busy this afternoon, remember?"

"You know what," Kerry decided. "It doesn't matter. Look at this closet. We were supposed to go through all this stuff a month ago, and now junk is piling up in every corner of the house. I just don't know what to do anymore."

"Kerry, a missing shoe is no reason to overreact. Let's just go, we'll have a good time, and-"

Kerry cut her off. "Overreact?"

Sandy nodded.

"I am not overreacting. You don't understand. How can we go anywhere? We have so much to do. We are going to have a baby, and nothing is going to be ready in time!"

Sandy processed all of this. She did understand. Kerry was in such emotional turmoil she couldn't even see the big picture. As long as they had each other, everything would be fine. "Okay Ker," she said gently, and sat down at the edge of the bed. "Let's just skip dinner and talk about this."

"I don't want to talk," Kerry said, shaking her head stubbornly.

Sandy bit her tongue and stood back up. "Then we'll get busy. We'll clean out the closets. We'll do everything that needs done."

Kerry's voice grew high pitched and desperate. "You're not listening to me at all! I can't."

Sandy tried to keep her growing frustration from overcoming her. "I am listening to you, but all I'm hearing is that I'm wrong. No matter what I do, no matter what I suggest, I'm wrong." She moved past Kerry to take a deep breath.

Kerry spun around and pleaded, "I just need you to listen."

Sandy lowered her voice to practically a whisper to keep herself from sounding angry. "I can't listen when you won't talk."

Kerry eyes were wild and focused on a point beyond Sandy. "I can't do everything. I can't be everything. I just can't handle this!" She threw herself face down on the bed and cried in defeat.

Sandy threw up her arms. "No one put this all on you! I told you, whatever you need, I'll take care of it. But I'm no mind reader." She looked down at Kerry crying and understood, better than before, why Kerry felt the way she did. The physical hardship was all her burden. No matter what, Sandy herself would never really know what that was like. What Sandy could not explain was how hard it was to be in her own position, the odd woman out, considered by her own partner not part of the process, at times. It was hard to watch Kerry suffer, to feel helpless too, and to be shut out intentionally or not.

She had to make Kerry understand how devoted she was to her and their future.

She crossed the room and pulled Kerry to her feet. "Shh," she hugged her for a long time, before pulling back. "I'm so sorry." They both said it at the same moment.

Kerry swallowed a lump in her throat. "I'm the one who should be sorry," she said, in a very small voice. "I've been like this all day."

"I knew this was going to happen." Sandy looked down, and regrouped. What she was about to say was important. "You need to know how excited I am about you getting pregnant. You know we're in this together, right?"

Kerry looked away, panic welling up all over again. "I'm ruining everything."

"No you're not!" Sandy said fiercely. She put everything she had to say on hold for the moment, because Kerry's needs would come first. "Come on." She led Kerry to the couch. "First of all, I am making you dinner. Then, we are going to spend the rest of this night relaxing."


"You really should cook more often, Sandy," Kerry insisted, stuffing her mouth. "This is the best thing I've ever eaten."

"That 'thing' is a pastelle. I learned to make them growing up, quick and easy, feeds a family of ten in less than an hour," Sandy stated. "And it's not my best effort. You really are starving."

Kerry pushed her plate back. "Not anymore. That was great."

Sandy just smiled a weary smile, and reached across the table to touch Kerry's hand.

Kerry was still uncomfortable about the fight. She wasn't sure why Sandy was so quiet at times. Was she thinking, or was she resentful? "Are you... sure you're okay?" Kerry ventured. "With me, with all of this?"

Sandy paused. "Let's talk in the living room."

They left the dishes where they were and found the couch. Sandy sat facing Kerry and leaned in. She knew what she wanted to say, and the love in her heart was almost choking off her words. "You have no idea how much respect I have for what you're doing," she admitted. "I couldn't."

Kerry scrunched up her face. "Couldn't...?"

"Take hormones, get pregnant, deal with all the sickness, be laid up for nine months... I just couldn't. I'm really glad you want to, because I'm not.." She chose her words and relayed them with admiration "I'm not maternal, in that way. I'm more of a... I don't know... a protector?"

Kerry smiled. "Someone's got to do the dirty work." She teased, "And someone's got to put up with me." She wasn't entirely joking. She got very serious. "Are you sure you want this, after today?"

Sandy kissed her with more thought than passion, with her eyes open and her mind clear. "All of this is going to be worth it. We're going to be parents." She let Kerry think about what she was saying before taking the conversation to the next level. "I'm more than your girlfriend right now. You have to trust in my love enough to let me do the worrying for you."

Kerry was listening, but not reading into anything she was saying. Sandy would always love her, and that's all that mattered.

Sandy knew Kerry was comprehending her words on the simplest level, and was just glad for it. It had been enough drama for one night. Words were just one way of being there.

Kerry settled into Sandy's arms, her heart at peace. This was how it should be, and how it always would be. She knew as long as they were together, everything would be perfect. "I love you. " She turned her cheek against Sandy's chest and sighed with contentment.

Sandy knew that Kerry loved her. But as they drifted off to a shallow sleep, and memories of the day ebbed and flowed in Sandy's mind, she had to wonder if Kerry actually needed her. Kerry's sleep deepened with her breathing. For a long time Sandy was still, but drifted in and out wondering But could she live without me?


Sandy woke up to Kerry's stirring, and smiled, still half asleep. It was still dark. "Do you need me to get you something? Pickles and ice cream, or beef jerky?"

Kerry squeezed her. "I'm not pregnant yet, Sandy. I just can't sleep."

"Oh, um, do you need to talk?" Sandy forced herself out of twilight and sat up in bed. Her eyes adjusted. The clock said it was 4 a.m.

Kerry was overcome by the raw beauty of her partner's disheveled hair and incoherence. "Not exactly." She was a little uncertain of herself when she pulled Sandy toward her into a passionate kiss. "You know what I need." Her hands moved over Sandy's muscles and tugged at the edges of her tank top. "I need what I always need -- I need you."


Scene 4

15 Percent - by Sarah Langworthy

Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery. I quit such odious subjects as soon as I can, impatient to restore everybody, not greatly in fault themselves, to tolerable comfort, and to have done with all the rest.

“It seems so sterile. What did they say, a catheter? Yikes, that really creeps me out.”
“It’s not as bad as it sounds.”
“Still. So what if it doesn’t work? On the first try, I mean.”
“We try again in another month.”

It is true that Edmund was very far from happy himself. He was suffering from disappointment and regret, grieving over what was, and wishing for what could never be. She knew it was so, and was sorry; but it was with a sorrow so founded on satisfaction, so tending to ease, and so much in harmony with every dearest sensation, that there are few who might not have been glad to exchange their greatest gaiety for it.

“I must have read this thing a million times. And here I have a walking, talking red-headed Harrison’s textbook sitting right next to me.”
“Were you looking through my books?”
“I soaked up every bit of literature on this stuff I could find, Kerry. I’ve been carrying this pamphlet around in my back pocket for a month now.”
“It shouldn’t be too long now. That couple there got here right before we did.”
“The woman in the picture looks happy. I wonder if her husband was as nervous as I am right now.”

The University of Chicago program uses cryopreserved (frozen) donor sperm which the patient selects from a sperm bank. The program is strictly confidential in keeping with guidelines published by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). Thawed sperm live for a relatively short time in the female reproductive tract, so two inseminations, one on the day before and one on the day of ovulation, offer the best opportunity for pregnancy. The chance of conceiving is about 15 percent each cycle.

“Kerry, what exactly is micro. . . microdermabrasion?”
“What? Well, it’s like a chemical peel. It’s a non-surgical procedure...kind of like a face lift.”
“Why on earth are you asking about microdermabrasion?”
“I read it in one of your textbooks.”
”I see.”
“There was a whole chapter on eyelid reconstruction.”
“Yep, there’s a lot of money in plastic surgery.”

Fanny was indeed the daughter that he wanted. His charitable kindness had been rearing a prime comfort for himself. His liberality had a rich repayment, and the general goodness of his intentions by her deserved it. He might have made her childhood happier; but it had been an error of judgement only which had given him the appearance of harshness, and deprived him of her early love; and now, on really knowing each other, their mutual attachment became very strong. After settling her at Thornton Lacey with every kind attention to her comfort, the object of almost every day was to see her there, or to get her away from it.

“What’s taking so long? We’ve been here nearly an hour now.”
“They’re probably backed up. Don’t sweat it.”
“I need to move around. Stretch my legs. This place is suffocating.”
“You’re a nervous wreck!”
“I don’t like doctors offices.”
“After we finish here, I’m taking you home and fixing you a nice big dinner.”
“I thought you were on tonight.”
“I traded shifts. I had a feeling I wouldn’t feel like going in to work tonight.”
“Hey, I’m the one getting pregnant here.”
“Then how come I feel like I’ve got a thousand butterflies crawling around in my belly?”
“Sit down, relax.”

With so much true merit and true love, and no want of fortune and friends, the happiness of the married cousins must appear as secure as earthly happiness can be. Equally formed for domestic life, and attached to country pleasures, their home was the home of affection and comfort; and to complete the picture of good, the acquisition of Mansfield living, by the death of Dr. Grant, occurred just after they had been married long enough to begin to want an increase of income, and feel their distance from the paternal abode an inconvenience.

“I’m going to ask the secretary to see what’s taking so long. This is ridiculous.”
“They’ll call us when they’re ready.”
“I’ll be right back...”

On that event they removed to Mansfield; and the Parsonage there, which, under each of its two former owners, Fanny had never been able to approach but with some painful sensation of restraint or alarm, soon grew as dear to her heart, and as thoroughly perfect in her eyes, as everything else within the view and patronage of Mansfield Park had long been.

“Well she was no help.”
“The clerk. Kind of rude, too. Did you finish your book?”
“Yeah. I’m done. Come on.”
“What? Where? Kerry, where are you going?”
“Can you tell Dr. Watkins that Dr. Weaver is ready to see her now?”
“Oh, that’s rich.”
“I wanted to finish my book before I went in.”
“So this is it, then.”
“Yeah. I guess it is. Are you ready?”
“I think so. Kerry, I love you.”
“I love you too. Let’s go make a baby.”


Sandynista Fanfic Series

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