One But Two

by Liza

Disclaimer: "ER", the characters and situations depicted are the property of Warner Bros. Television, Amblin Entertainment, Constant C Productions, NBC, etc. They are borrowed without permission, but without the intent of infringement. This site is in no way affiliated with "ER", NBC, or any representatives of Lisa Vidal or Laura Innes. This site contains stories between two mature, consenting adult females.

Sometimes, they would drive together, ride past the city limit sign and throw down the top on her father's old car. Sometimes, her hand would reach past the gear shift, touch a leg - sometimes bare flesh - move upward, remove sunglasses, caress lips. And her eyes never left the road before them. Ocassionally, the other woman would smile, say something - anything, really, to confirm that she was there and real - or flip her hair, add her fragrance to the stale air inside the car or the breeze that blew about them when the top was down.

Then there were the other times, when Kerry's hand would drift from the passenger seat to her own knee, skirt up toward the hem of her shorts, dance beneath the fabric, cause a hitch in her breathing, their breathing. It was when she did this, when she said nothing at all and refused to look at the clutch or the gears or what she could not do herself, that Sandy was unsure whether to laugh or cry or if she was strong enough to do neither.

On Saturdays she begged off to match her lover's, it often rained or snowed or the alarm would not go off in time, so the car would remain tucked away in a forgotten garage miles away, and they would sleep, curled together, spooned against each other, legs tangled and fingers entertwined. And the cotton sheets were dry and warm and comfortable, much like they were - together.

On these Saturdays, they would eventually rise and make way to the kitchen, where one would sit and the other would cook, and they would dine as the food was made instead of waiting for it to cool. Sometimes, Sandy, in all of her eagerness, would burn her tongue on still-hot bacon, or dance around the kitchen holding her hand where the grease had popped and splattered on her arm. Kerry didn't like french fries for breakfast, broke the mold of the world she was used to, but on Saturdays she didn't mind so much, so Sandy made french fries a little too fast. Youthful, exuberant, alive.

And sometimes, when the weekend was wet and cold and the heater and insulation opted not to cooperate, one would speak of Africa, the other of Puerto Rico, light and smiles and smoke filling the room, no walls to hide behind or mirrors to look into. They were different and they were beautiful, and they had begun speaking of only the good things. When Africa turned dark and massacres shattered villages and killed innocent children, and Nana Lopez died and children left, family scattering to the ethereal corners of nothing-and-nowhere, the rain would drum against the roof and the darkness would close in around them, but they were together and not alone, so it was okay again. Comfortable and real and all that they weren't when they were one, alone. False bravado and oversized egos, fear of emotions and one of the guys.

Sometimes, they'd rent old movies. Out of Africa, All About Eve, The African Queen, and they'd curl up on the sofa wrapped in each other and themselves, always together but always seperate, watching as Meryl Streep or Bette Davis or Katharine Hepburn pranced across the screen attracting strikingly exotic or ordinarily simple men or exacting revenge on those that deserved it. And once, Kerry'd extracted a book from the shelf, Isak Dennison, and determined to introduce Sandy to the older style of writing and the beauty of Africa off screen.

Together but seperate. One, but two.

Then there were the days where she'd lost one to fire or the other to a bullet wound, and the movies and the rain and the car and the wind could not heal what they had lost, for on these days, they'd lost yet another minute piece of themselves that they'd never find again, never refill its place, never regenerate. Regeneration was for starfish and livers, not human emotion and guilt and soul. And they were fragile and alone, but together and comfortable - comforted - like beams of steel and rivers of glass.

On Saturday nights or Sunday mornings or Wednesday on their coffee breaks, they'd curl into each other both figuratively and literally, and hands would caress and lips would heal and fingers would reach, thrust. And it was as close to the familiar and the regeneration of souls and the freedom of home that they would find in themselves, each other. She would remember the wind in brunette hair and a soft smile, and Sandy would know that doing her job would suffice because she was not God, the other one was. As close to it as she would find, touch, or see, at any rate, and that was good and real. Because Kerry was not infallible and knew pain and anger and vilification, yet she was still there, with her, herself yet one of the 'them'. And she was comforted by her presence even though her mind was rarely there, and smoke and smiles and laughter were comfortable between them.

Sort of alone, but not lonely, for them. They were comforted and comfortable, and sometimes that was enough. Love was never mentioned, never right, because it was not real, was not true, was not in their vocabulary, expected. Alone they were unknown and unmentioned and unreal, mirage in the desert, hazy lines over the cotton field; together they were fire and majesty and beauty and serenity, and lips soothed burns and fingers healed aches.

Together, they were comfortable, and sometimes, Sandy could make herself believe, Kerry could make herself believe, that for now, it would be enough.