A/N: Okay, so this is a fairly old story.. I started it a while ago, posting it on my Liveournal. I was suprised by how many people liked it there! See.. I love crack. Especially when it contains two of my favorite women, ever.
Unfortunately, Brooke Smiths' dismissal from Grey's Anatomy SERIOUSLY put a damper on my enthusiasm for the show. Maybe in the future I'll be able to watch it, but I knew from the moment I saw Erica Hahn say "I am so gay~~~!~!' that it was over. Which is unfortunate. However, I do LOVE this pairing that I've created for myself, and I hope some others do too.
That said, this is the first three/four chapters I wrote (I dun remember :3 ) all condensed into one. This was originally posted on my fic journal oioilady at livejournal. Feel free to check it out, if you'd rather read it there.
I apologize for spelling mistakes and the like, I often work unbeta'd. If you see something that's glaringly nasty, don't be afraid to point it out.
Now... on with the show!
Okay, we should be good to go -.-
The thing she remembered the most was the cold. She had never really been able to get the chill out of her bones. Of course, it was winter. And she was in New York. But it was colder than she had expected- and it wasn't just the temperature. The people were cold as well, nobody making eye contact with her on the streets, people just weaving their way in and out of the throng of other people with not even the slightest bit of human contact.
She remembered thinking that it shouldn't be this way. There should be more contact, more laughing, more noise than the cars going by on the streets. Of course, that was just the small-town mentality that she'd grown up with, it wasn't the real world.
When she'd ducked into the small coffee shop- 'Central Coffee', she hadn't expected the woman at the counter to smile at her, and make small talk. But she- Gladys had. She'd chattered about the weather, and asked Erica if she was from around here. When she'd found out that no, Erica wasn't and to be honest she found the city a little daunting, she'd smiled and told the young blonde woman to come back the next day, and she'd 'look after her.'
So Erica had. Come back the next day and then the one after, and kept coming back. She told Gladys it was for the coffee, but it was really the interaction with another human being and the smile that greeted her every day that kept her coming back. Gradually she withdrew from the shell that had sheltered her as she fled from med school, exams, and Preston.
As the days went by, she was able to cool her rage at him, going from housing a roaring inferno of anger in her belly, to a cold hard knot of bitter anger that she was sure would never go away. It wasn't until her last week in New York that she began to contemplate her revenge. So engrossed in her scheming she was she didn't see the tall form in front of her before it was too late. A collision with a solid form and they both went down- Erica definitely the worst off, her black (oh thank god she hadn't worn a skirt) slacks covered in coffee, and her ass planted firmly against the floor.
Gladys came around the counter to check if she was okay but Erica was already on her feet courtesy of the stranger she'd walked straight into. The other person kept their hand on her forearm, checking her balance. Pushing their sunglasses up onto their forehead with their free hands, the person- she!? examined Erica. "Are you alright?"
Erica blinked in surprise. She definitely wouldn't have guessed that the figure that had knocked her to the ground so easily belonged to a woman. "Yeah, I'm fine."
Looking down at her pants, she pressed a couple of fingers experimentally against the wet material, making a face when her fingers came away coffee-stained. "I'm not sure my pants are though.." The taller (well that was new) woman frowned, and looked at Gladys.
"Glad, can I get another of what she had, and my usual, to go?" The older woman nodded, and bustled around, making their coffee. "My apartment is pretty much across the street," the brunette said, as she handed Gladys the money and picked up the coffee. "How about you come over, and let me lend you some pants, while I get yours washed and dried." Erica opened her mouth to protest, but the woman shook her head. "I won't take no for an answer. Come on."
"Hey, sleepyhead. Time to wake up.."
The blonde mumbled in her sleep and wrinkled her nose, which, if Olivia was completely honest with herself, was absolutely adorable. She smothered a smile, and reached out to gently shake the other woman by the shoulder. The mutterings subsided and her eyes fluttered open, revealing a gorgeous pair of baby blues. Looking around confused, the woman on her couch opened and closed her mouth a few times before finally asking, "Where am I?"
Olivia grinned at her crookedly. "You're on my couch. I spilled coffee on you, and forced to to my apartment so I could wash your pants. Which are clean by the way." She held the bag up so the blonde could see it.
"Oh..." the younger woman shifted uncomfortably on the couch. "Well, I guess I'll.. uh.. I'll go change then." She grabbed the bag quickly, and shuffled to the bathroom holding it tightly with one hand, and keeping the sweats up with the other. Olivia stifled a giggle and leaned back into the couch. Keeping one eye on the bathroom door 'did I remember to take my dirty laundry out of there?' she reached out for the remote, flicking the TV on to some random sitcom as she waited for the blonde to emerge.
After ten minutes of laughing at 'Married With Children' Olivia realized that the other girl wasn't coming out any time soon. Hitting the mute button she got up and walked over to the door. "Hey," she said knocking, "you going to come out anytime soon?" The only response she got was a squeal and a thump, so she pushed the door open slowly and peeked around it. What she saw was the younger woman, slightly rattled, sitting on the floor with her back against the bath. The look on the blonde's face was so bewildered that Olivia couldn't help but laugh as she pushed the door all the way open and went to sit down next to the other woman. "Are you okay?"
"I.. I'm sitting on your bathroom floor, and you just washed my pants, and you're the first person apart from Gladys that has been nice to me the entire time I've been here, and I don't know your name, and-" She snapped her mouth shut before she could finish her sentence, the bright blush that was creeping over her cheeks making Olivia extremely curious.
"And.. what?" She nudged the blonde in the side with her elbow, and was amused when the other woman started.
"N-nothing!" She tried to shift away from Olivia, but the older woman wasn't having it and kept shifting closer until the blonde was wedged between her and the wall.
"Aaaaand?" Olivia drawled, moving her face imperceptibly closer to the blonde's. The younger woman swallowed heavily once, twice, and then her tongue darted out to wet her lips, and Olivia had to stop herself squeeing happily about how cute it was. 'Woah, wait. Did I just think about how cute her *tongue* is?' Olivia shook the thought off and moved closer. "Well?"
The blonde started to breathe faster, her hand coming up to play with the necklace she wore. She leaned in slightly, and then shook her head as though she was only just realizing what was going on. "I-I.." she stammered, climbing quickly to her feet, "I have to go. I'm sorry. I have to go."
Olivia got to her feet as well, as she chased the blonde to the door of her apartment. Just as she'd almost got the door open, Olivia spun her around. "What?" She asked innocently, "Not going to say goodbye?"
Olivia leaned in again not as slowly as she had before, and pressed her lips firmly against the other woman's. She felt the blonde stiffen then relax as Olivia slipped one arm around her waist, and braced herself against the door with the other. The other woman's hands had also found their way onto her body, one tangled in her hair, the other cupping the back of her neck. She bit Olivia's lip gently, causing the brunette to gasp. She took the opening of Olivia's mouth as an invitation, sliding her tongue between her lips, pressing lightly against the other woman's teeth and tongue. She coaxed Olivia's tongue into joining her dance, and they continued it until they had both run out of breath.
Olivia was the first to break away breathing heavily, but noting that the other woman was breathing heavily again. But when she made eye contact with the blonde, it was the shy girl who had all but run out of her apartment who wouldn't meet her eyes, not the woman who had taken total control of their kiss. The brunette took a step back as the other woman fumbled with the door handle, eventually getting the door open and going to leave.
"Well.. uh.. bye." She mumbled, her cheeks crimson. Olivia just grinned.
As she watched her figure retreat down the hallway she quickly made a decision, and ran down the hall. When she reached the blonde, she stopped her with a hand on her arm. "It's Olivia." When all she got was a blank look, she elaborated. "My name. It's Olivia. And.. I'll see you at Central Coffee sometime." She walked back to her apartment before the other woman had a chance to reply.
Whoever she was, she was a damn good kisser.
Erica dropped her head to the Formica table with a loud 'THUNK', startling several of the other customers. She had been driving herself batshit insane all week with thoughts of the brunette woman. "What the hell is wrong with me?" She muttered to the tabletop, not expecting an answer.
"Maybe it has something to do with the fact that you're talking to yourself." Erica snapped her head up to see the object of her thoughts (desires, affections, insanity?) staring at her with an amused look on her face.
"I was not. I was talking to the table." Erica said rather brilliantly, the words out of her mouth before her brain could put a filter on them. "Ah.. fuck."
This amused Olivia to no end, and she laughed so hard she practically collapsed into the seat opposite the blonde. "I didn't know you did cute and funny." She pulled her sunglasses off, revealing a rather nasty looking black eye.
"Oh my god." Erica said, her hand moving over to cup Olivia's cheek so she could examine the eye better. "How did you get that?" Olivia tried to pull away, but the blonde kept a firm grip. "Quit that."
"Some gangbanger thought I was hitting on his girlfriend, that was all." The brunette shrugged and gave her a weak smile. "So he took it out on my face. Well, he tried. He's definitely worse off than I am."
"He thought you.. huh?" Erica tried to make sense of what Olivia had just said, worrying a napkin under the table. "How would he get that idea?" She stole a glance at the brunette who was staring at her intently.
"Well... I might have been actually hitting on his girlfriend." Olivia said with a shrug. "But it's not like she didn't end up flirting back." Erica looked at her with disbelief.
"You actually.. flirt with people you don't- huh. Okay, never mind."
"Nothing." Erica flushed crimson as she tried not to look at the other woman.
"Come on, tell me." Olivia wheedled, leaning in closer to the blonde. "I won't tell anyone, promise."
"It's just that.." Erica covered her face with her hands in embarrassment, peeking out at Olivia. "I was just going to ask if you flirted with people who you don't know are interested or not, then I realized that that's exactly what you must do, because you didn't know if I was interested or not, but you were all flirty.. unless that wasn't you being flirty, and I've just made a huge ass of myself." She exhaled deeply, her hands still over her eyes.
Olivia began to chuckle. "Well, are you interested?" She reached over and pulled Erica's hands away, bringing their elbows to rest on the table and entwining their pinkies.
"I.. might be.." Erica said bashfully, still avoiding the brunette's gaze. "I just, uh.. I'm not really.."
"You've never done this before?"
"I've never .. acted on this before.. I live in Washington, but where I grew up you just.. it wasn't something that you did, let alone were meant to think about. And, I mean.. there was this girl in med school but it wasn't really anything, it was more.. uh.. we.. it was a dare, mostly. I wanted to, but I didn't know if she did, and it was a dare, and then we kissed, but she uh.. she had a boyfriend, and I'm sorry, I'm rambling."
"It's cute." Olivia said, slowly intertwining the rest of their fingers. "So.. interested, huh?"
"Yeah. Yes. I am." Erica said, meeting the brunette's eyes for the first time. "I don't know what I'm supposed to do, but I'm definitely interested." She gave Olivia a shy smile, and queezed her hands gently. "This is insane, we've barely met and I've practically told you my life story! It this what it's like in New York?"
Olivia laughed. "Pretty much. Things move pretty fast around here, if you're not careful you can be left behind."
"I'd believe that."
The two women slipped into companionable silence, Erica only freeing her hand to drink her coffee. They sat there for nearly an hour in silence until Gladys came over to their table. "I'm sorry to interrupt you sweetheart," she said to Olivia as she refilled Erica's coffee cup, "but Serena's on the phone wondering where you are. She sounds pretty mad. Might be best if you got home to her." The older woman patted Olivia on the shoulder as the brunette sighed.
"She's always wondering where I am. I'm surprised she pulled her head out of the bottle long enough to make the call." Standing, she sighed. "I'm sorry, I've gotta split." As she reached over to press a kiss against the blonde's cheek she frowned. "You know, I don't even know your name."
"Erica.. pretty name for a pretty lady." Olivia winked, and hugged Gladys as she walked past. "Thanks Gladys, I'll see you tomorrow morning then. You, too pretty lady."
As they watched the older woman depart the store, Gladys looked at Erica. "I sure hope you know what you're getting yourself into, honey."
"Haven't the faintest," replied Erica with a small smile on her face. "But I'm sure I'll find out."
It was just like her mother to interrupt the first good date she'd had in forever with one of her drunken phonecalls, Olivia thought as she searched through her pockets for the key to hermother's apartment. Not that the rendezvous in the coffee shop had really been a date, but it had been nice, sitting in Central Coffee holding hands with a pretty girl. It had been the firsttime in a long time that she had done that.
When she found the key, Olivia took a steadying breath before she entered the apartment. It never got easier the more she had to deal with it. She wondered what kind of state her mother would be in today; would she be in one of her rages, blaming Olivia for everything from her father to the fact that it was too damn cold, or would she be depressed and using her daughter as a shoulder to lean on. Olivia hoped it was the latter. She really didn't need anymore bruises, and it was kinda.. nice.. to have her mother need her like that, if she had to need her at all.
"Ma?" She called as she opened the door warily, the smell of old liquor and dust assaulting her nose as soon as she stepped into the foyer. "Ma, where are you?"
"In the kitchen.." came the reply, Serena's voice steadier than Olivia would have expected. The brunette made her way through the apartment to the kitchenette. She was shocked to see her mother standing in front of the stove, cooking. Dear god, was she having a functional day? Olivia scanned the room warily for any open bottles of liquor, but could only see a glass of wine and a beer on the counter.
"Hey, ma. Why'd you call?" She leaned against the counter and picked up the beer. She assumed it was for her, as her mother rarely drank beer, preferring the hard liquor to the low percentage of alcohol in beer.
"We had lunch plans, remember?" Serena threw Olivia a glance over her shoulder, giving Olivia's black eye a scrutinizing look before turning back to the stove. "We made them two weeks ago. You didn't think I'd remember, did you."
There was no question in Serena's voice, and Olivia knew how her mother felt about Liv assuming that she wouldn't remember things that had happened when she was drunk, so Olivia decided to lie to avoid her mother's temper.
"No, ma.. I just, I was at the coffee place by Central park, you know that, and I met up with someone and I guess I just lost track of time, that's all." She shrugged plaintively, willing her mother to believe her story.
"Ah." Serena said, pulling the pan off the heat and turning to face her daughter. "I don't understand why you dress like that."
Olivia sighed. This was her mother's favorite argument to have with her, about the way she dressed. "Ma, I told you. I like the way I dress."
"You dress like a boy. You should wear skirts once in a while, maybe a dress or two."
"I do wear dresses."
"What's wrong with that?" Olivia twisted the top off her beer and took a swig. "If I'm happy, and the people I'm around are happy with the way I dress, why should it be a problem?"
"You look like a ruffian."
"It doesn't matter if I get into the academy." Olivia followed her mother into the dining-room, picking up the cutlery on the counter-top as she went.
Serena pulled out a chair and sat down, her wineglass in one hand and an unlit cigarette in the other. "I don't understand why you can't choose a nice career either. Being a police officer is such a.. low-class job."
"Ma." The younger woman said, sitting down opposite her, "can we not do this? This is meant to be a nice lunch. You can tell me what a disappointment I am after, okay?"
Serena studied her over the rim of her wineglass. "You're not a disappointment, Olivia. You may disappoint me sometimes, but you're not a disappointment." She took a swallow of her wine before serving their lunches. "Now, why don't you tell me about this person that captivated you so much that you forgot about our lunch today."
Olivia, suddenly aware of her mother's intense gaze felt uncomfortable under such close scrutiny. She shifted nervously in her seat and fiddled with the silverware. "Uh, well. It's just this girl I met, in Gladys' coffee shop a couple days ago, I spilled my coffee on her and we got talking today."
"Just this girl, huh?"
"Well, yeah." Olivia was saved by the oven timer buzzing, and her mother leaving the table to tend to the contents of her oven. She dropped her head to the table in much the same way that Erica had earlier, and cursed. This was something she really didn't need. Her last relationship had driven her mother's drinking to an all-time high, and Olivia still had the scars to prove it. Maybe she should just call this thing off before it began, to save herself, and her mother from the stress that this new 'thing' that she had with the blonde might cause. Though to be honest, it wouldn't be fair to Erica, or herself, to cut the relationship off before it even began. Maybe she'd just have to talk to the other woman, explain what her mother was like, and the dangers of being in a relationship with Olivia, maybe Erica would choose to call it off herself.
Olivia sighed. Who was she kidding? She didn't want it to be over. She found the blonde charming, cute and great company, which was a lot better than most people she'd met in the city. And she'd only known the blonde for less than three days. "I guess I'll just go with it then." she mused out loud.
"Go with what?" Serena asked, as she returned to the table.
"Nothing," Olivia said, "just thinking out loud." Her mother raised an eyebrow but otherwise remained silent.
They ate in silence punctuated by stilted comments, both of their minds elsewhere. Olivia really wished her mother had never called. Then, she might still be at the coffee shop with Erica.
The visit only extended briefly past lunch with akward silence while cleaning up. Olivia finally broke the silence by saying, "Well.. I guess I'm going to go now, ma." Serena nodded, and Olivia just let herself out, without saying goodbye.
"Yeah, I'm fine."