On the outside, looking in

Title: Tears & Kisses

Author: Claire (queenclaire@chickmail.com)

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters.

Spoilers: "Witch Hunt".

She wrapped her arms around her body as she walked along the road, trying to block out the cold. It took her a few moments to realise that she wasn't actually cold, that she needed to stop herself from shaking.

She wasn't too surprised to feel moisture on her cheeks. That wasn't due to the weather, either. She'd been doing a lot of crying lately. For someone who was known around the ER for being a seemingly cold-hearted bitch, she'd grown softer lately.

And let's just recap exactly why that is, shall we? she sing-songed to herself. Well, it all began when Kerry met Kim. They could make it into a movie, really. Kerry meets Kim Legaspi. She's absolutely beautiful but of course Kerry denies any attraction she actually has to the other woman, because she's straight. So she tells herself.

She gets friendlier with Kim. Eventually it becomes clear that Kim's attracted to her. Kerry does the "I'm flattered, but…" routine and goes home wondering exactly why she's in tears. Of course, she doesn't let herself accept the fact that she might be the teensy bit interested in Kim.

And then stuff starts to happen. It's great, but she still insists on hiding it from everyone else. She's so scared of anyone else finding out that she puts herself first all the time. Even when Kim needs her to stand up for her.

She regretted what had happened earlier with Romano. She regretted being such a wimp. She'd tried to say more in Kim's defense. She really had. She'd even gone back to talk to Romano after Kim had left, but words refused to come out. She couldn't think of any way to support her without letting them know of their relationship.

Damn it, Romano probably knew exactly what the situation was and was just amusing himself by putting her through this.

She loved Kim, of course she did, but announcing that to the world meant forever being categorised as a lesbian, and she didn't want that to be her defining characteristic.

On the other hand, she loved Kim.

She sighed. There was no easy answer. There never was in life. In medicine things were generally simpler. You're a doctor, you do whatever you can to save the patient. And sometimes it got more complicated, but usually it was clear cut.

She brushed the tears away from her eyes. Tears. That was when Kim did to her. There were too many tears.

Then there were kisses. Moments of intimacy. Moments when she felt completely safe. She felt loved. It had been a long time since she'd felt that way.

When she was around Kim, everything else seemed so unimportant. But alone, she was scared.

When she knew that she wasn't going back to Kim's apartment after her shift, or that she didn't have someone to talk to, she was miserable.

She'd cope. She'd survived on her own before. She could do it again.

She kept telling herself that as the tears began to fall again.