"I’d like you to stay."
There, she had said it, and now the words hung between the two of them, held in suspension by the silent intensity of their gazes. Not that there was much silence to be found here otherwise; Doc Magoo’s was doing a bustling business as usual at this hour, and Kerry was aware of a few curious looks from some nearby patrons. She didn’t particularly care.
Finally Kim asked, "To talk?" It was a blunt question, but without the sarcasm from earlier, and nor had Kim pulled her hand away from Weaver or stepped back from the intimacy of their stance.
Kerry nodded, and felt the familiar end-of-day hunger pangs in her stomach. Along with something else.
Well, she could take care of one of those things at least.
"Over dinner," she suggested, and before Kim had time to offer a response, Weaver added simply, "As my date."
Or maybe just maybe if she was fortunate enough both.
She smiled the sincerity of her words, and realized that her lips were trembling ever so slightly as she watched for Kim’s reaction. The blonde woman’s expression had been unreadable up till now, but then slowly, so slowly, her mouth curved upwards and her gaze softened.
* * * * *
Thus did the pair find themselves back at the booth it had looked like they might abandon a minute earlier, after agreeing that they were too exhausted to think about going somewhere else. Kerry wasn’t actually that tired, she admitted to herself; she simply didn’t want to waste valuable time debating where they should spend the evening together ... when they could actually be spending the evening together. Especially given that it had been so long since she’d had the pleasure of Dr. Legaspi’s company and conversation; certainly their horribly fraught exchanges earlier today counted as neither.
When the server came, Kerry, contra her usual habit of getting the special, ordered a full three-course meal, saying to Kim only a little shyly, "Special occasion." Kim raised an eyebrow, gave a soft laugh, and did the same. As their various dishes came and were consumed and cleared, the crowd, and noise, at Doc Magoo’s thinned out. But the intensity between the two doctors never wavered. And when Kim finally noted wryly a couple of hours later, "I’m starting to feel like we should order another meal," Kerry knew that she wasn’t ready for the night to end.
For as first dates over dinner went, Weaver thought, this one had gone well. Exceptionally well. They had ended up talking like they had prior to-- well, her day of hiccups. And the tension that had plagued them at the hospital had dissipated, only to be replaced by a different sort of tension. They hadn’t touched all night. Not after she had let go of Kim’s hand to return to their table at the beginning of the evening. Even when the check had come and they’d both reached for it saying almost simultaneously, "My treat," one’s fingers had managed to miss the other’s. Yet Dr. Kerry Weaver, Chief Attending Physician at the County General ER, felt infected with a profound and delicious excitement. Somewhat reminiscent of those nervous first dates in high school, but different, because, after all, she wasn’t a teenager anymore, and the person sitting just a few feet opposite her was no awkward gangly boy, but a woman who displayed an abundance of intelligence, wit, warmth; and more than a little steel.
This was how it could be, Weaver thought more than once with delighted surprise. This was really how it could be.
"I’ll walk you to the garage," said Kim as they exited the diner, and Kerry simply nodded, acutely aware of the fresh night air, the orangy glow of the streetlights, and the steady hum of traffic which all seemed to be offering a benevolent backdrop to her very own personal drama. The two of them had fallen silent after the continuous conversation over dinner, and Weaver felt no compulsion to talk, still sensing a connection to the other woman that was almost tangible. She wondered if Kim felt the same.
All too soon they reached her car, and suddenly Kerry needed very much to speak again, though without knowing exactly what she wanted to say. She turned to Kim, who was looking intently at her, not quite smiling, but with the warmth in her eyes that had been there all during dinner. Carefully, Weaver put her bags down on the hood and set aside her crutch. Almost of their own accord, it seemed, her arms reached for Kim’s, and as the other woman reciprocated, they found themselves staring at each other in a loose embrace. It was electrifying.
The words felt unfamiliar to Kerry as they left her mouth; no, she amended, not the words, but the emotions behind them. In any case, the compliment was only too well deserved, she thought in a sort of daze as she looked at the face before her. And then she needed very much to touch it. Bringing one hand up, she started to trace Kim’s features with tentative fingers, a burst of joy surging through her when a smile appeared on that lovely face. The blonde woman remained still for long moments as she allowed this gentle mapping; but when Kerry began to drag her fingers lightly through her hair, Kim leaned her head into the touches, silently inviting a firmer caress. As Weaver heard the first soft moan from her companion’s lips, the need to touch more of her became more urgent, and Kerry found both her hands moving over Kim’s shoulders down to the bareness of her neck just above her collar.
And then she hesitated, unsure where her attentions might be welcome at this point. Kim took Kerry’s hands into her own with a slight smile, and for a moment Weaver thought the other woman might guide them to her chest. Instead, Kim lifted Kerry’s palms gently, placed each one on her shoulders, and brought her own hands around the back of Kerry’s head.
Unlike their kiss in the hospital lounge, Weaver knew what was coming this time, and could feel her heart hammering both its eagerness and apprehension. She had closed her eyes last time, before pulling away in confused turmoil, but now she wanted to see, wanted to take in all the features of this beautiful, captivating woman. Kim’s blue eyes were darkened, her hair a little tousled from Kerry’s earlier explorations. And as she approached, Kerry had time to marvel once again at the aquiline beauty of her nose. But then the caresses of Kim’s tongue in her mouth were rushing the blood, and coherent thoughts, from her head, and she leaned more into their embrace as she let her eyelids flutter shut.
The apprehension fell away from Weaver in that moment, and her heart knew now what she wanted. More.