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A fine state of affairs, part 7 by Marieke Vink

"It is you"

Kerry took a few seconds to register the answer.

"I don't understand Abby. What about me? Are you having trouble working with me? Have I upset you recently?"

" confuse me. I..........I don't know what it is or how to describe it. Like hold me and all I want to do is just stay like this...........I think I am in love with you."

Kerry tried not to show her shock at Abby's answer. Abby slowly pulled herself away from Kerry and stared her straight in the eyes. Kerry felt her face get flustered. She could have known of course. Kim had tried to tell her only a few minutes ago. When she had said that Abby needed her more than she needed Kim right now. Thoughts raced through Kerry's mind. Then suddenly she realized that of all the emotions she felt, discomfort wasn't one of them. In fact, in some strange way, for Kerry, Abby's words had come as some kind of reassurance. Unable to place the feeling Kerry pushed it aside and focused on Abby.

"How long have you felt like this? And why did you not come to me sooner?"

"I didn't know what I was feeling. Hell I still don't know right now. I am afraid to wake up tomorrow and find I have made a big fuss about some silly crush. I KNOW that lots of women have a crush on another women at least once in their lifetime so maybe I am overreacting but Kerry, I can not take it anymore. I don't eat, I can't sleep, I tried to make it go away. Because I know how you feel about relationships with people in the workplace and even if you did think there was something possible between us, then how would I ever be good enough for you and I just don't know what I want and what I feel and maybe you think I am being childish and making a fool of myself but I just............I just.............."

Abby's voice faded to a mere whisper.

"Please don't hurt me, whatever you are going to say. Just don't hurt me. Would you please just hold me right now. I need you."

For the second time that night, Kerry felt her heart being torn out of her chest. Abby looked totally lost and desperate. Kerry reached out to her and pulled her against her chest. She could feel Abby clinging on for dear life. Well aware of Abby trying to get as much contact between herself and Kerry's chest, Kerry, rocked the nurse again. There were lots of things she wanted to say but none of them sounded right at the moment.

"Is this why you broke up with Carter?"

"I don't know. I think so. He pointed out to me at some point that I was working only to please you. It used to upset him. He felt like I wasn't taking him seriously because I would always call you instead of him when I needed help. And then he said that you actually asked for me more often so I started thinking. And I realized I was just friends with John. Friends who slept together and were very comfortable together but that......I just......I just didn't feel like I wanted to make the world right for him. And that is what I feel when I see you. I want others to know that there is so much more about you than what they see in the ER."

"And where does Kim figure in to all of this? I assume you talked about this with her?"

For a moment Kerry felt uncomfortable with the idea that her ex-girlfriend had discussed her qualities with a member of staff. Kim would have been discrete enough not to reveal anything too personal but still, the idea made Kerry uncomfortable. She would take that up with Kim tomorrow.

"Kim saw it before I did. She eventually challenged me on it. She just asked me what I thought I was trying to hide from her. And she told me it wasn't working because she could see right through me."

Kerry smiled at the memory of Kim doing that to her. One of the downsides of dating a shrink. You can't hide anything from them.

"And then she just said: Yes, Kerry is wonderful and I think you two would be really good together. I had not even mentioned your name yet. And then she told me that you would talk about me a lot when the two of you go out for dinner and my heart just jumped. I could have handled it if it had all just remained me having a crush of you, thinking there would never be a snowball's chance in hell of anything ever happening. But when she told me about you being...................I don't know............interested just made things worse."

Kerry began to feel a little uncomfortable with the direction the conversation had suddenly taken. Abby looked at her as if she was expecting a confirmative answer right there and then but Kerry wasn't prepared to go there. Not now and certainly not so unexpected. She checked her watch and decided it was time to get some sleep.

"Abby, it is 1:30am, we both have to work in the morning so I think it is best if we go to bed. I am willing to stay here if you like but I can imagine it might be difficult for you."

If Abby was disappointed by Kerry's words, she didn't show it. She shook her head and said that Kerry could go home if she wanted. And Kerry decided it would be better to sleep in her own bed tonight. She suddenly felt there were some thing she seriously needed to think about. She waited until Abby had finished getting ready for bed before driving home. For a second the contemplated going via Kim's house and talk to her. but the thoughts in her head needed more time before they could be spoken out loud.

A fine state of affairs, part 7b