Title: Heart Bugs
Author: Mobiustripper42
Rating: NC-17
Summary: A totally fluffy chapter where the girls and friends go camping!

A/N: Oh my gosh, I have learned in this endeavor that I am terrible at updating. Hopefully, I kind of make it up to you by being unable to write chapters shorter than 9,000 words, haha. Anyway, I'm done with some traveling I was doing, so the next few installments should actually come more quickly, and I really do still have an idea of where this story is going, so no fear. Enjoy.

Erica, Marsh and Laura were piled into Marsh's bright orange Element along with a number of bags that Erica found quite excessive. Marsh insisted that you could never be too prepared for camping, even though Erica went out of her way to remind the younger woman that they were staying in a cabin and that she and Kate were hardly the mountain man types.

Erica had spent the entire previous day thinking about her brunette and the night they had shared together. Sydney had resorted to snapping directly in front of Erica's face to get her attention at one point, while Jake had chivalrously offered an ear should Erica have found the desire to 'talk about it.' While Erica found their responses annoying as usual, she knew both that her spacing out was her own fault and that she was happy her two residents were no longer at each other's throats.

Marsh had spent the day prior helping out the two grad students in her lab that were closest to obtaining their Ph.D.s. She was naturally inclined to help and these students happened to have problems she could assist in solving. She was still waiting for the final word as to when her most recent paper would be published, but for now she was in limbo with the head of her lab up and leaving. She decided to not think too much about that and instead focus on Erica. She was sure that whatever she could be thrown professionally, she could handle it in the face of this new relationship she was delving into. She knew there were no less than one million things that could still go wrong, but on some level she simply didn't care, and on another level she just had a feeling that this one would stick, that she and Erica were going to become something.

"Alright, Kate's place is right . . . here," Erica said as they pulled up.

"Ok, I'm not gonna lie, Erica. Kate still intimidates me," Marsh said as they walked up to the door.

"Oh, don't worry about her. She's a big softy at heart, and I know for a fact that she does actually like you." Erica turned toward Laura, "And you shouldn't worry either, Kate usually waits a little while before becoming too crass."

"Oh I'm going to be fine. Don't you get it? We get to bond as the friends of the two dorks who are falling in love this weekend."

Marsh shot her dear friend a surprised and slightly accusatory look that Erica didn't fail to catch. Laura shrugged and continued.

"See, we get to talk about you and make fun of you. Marsh, you're right, you're still doing the 'proving yourself to the best friend' bit, but Kate's got no reason to be difficult with me."

Erica jumped in suddenly realizing something. "So wait, am I still doing the 'proving myself' thing with you?"

"You saved my aunt's life, I think that's good enough."

Erica smiled warmly. It was actually rare that she got to experience follow up on her patients. She knew each time she gave a life back to someone and for her that was enough, but it was still satisfying to hear when the lives she gave back were good ones.

Just then the door opened and Kate, arms crossed, spoke as she leaned against the door frame, "Took you people long enough. Who wants coffee?"

Laura and Erica raised their hands and began following Kate back to her kitchen.

"Kate, this is Laura. Laura, Kate Robinson, she's another surgeon I work with."

Kate held out her hand. "Nice to meet you. So we do get to spend this weekend talking about these two and embarrassing the shit out of them, right?"

"See? Told you," Laura reveled.

"Oh, brother. I'm already dreading this." She looked to Marsh for support when she realized the brunette was not in the room with them. Kate and Laura had already struck up conversation, so Erica retreated to find her girlfriend.

Wait, are we girlfriends? Erica thought to herself, finding the pluralization of the word a little odd. She never cared much for labels anyway, but couldn't help wondering at what point she and Marsh were. She had briefly entertained the idea that she and Callie were going to have to come up with a name for what they were doing, but that game was over before it ever got to that point. As much anxiety as this issue was suddenly causing Erica, she was still somewhat glad it was becoming an issue at all.

She wandered to the back of Kate's place, following a noise she thought she recognized. Turning the corner, Erica's inkling was validated as she saw Marsh gently examining the keys of the baby grand piano that took up most of the back room. Erica stood in the doorway for more than a moment as she watched Marsh hit a couple keys, stringing a few notes together. She then brought both hands to the keys and began playing a sweet melody as if it were nothing. Erica unconsciously smiled.

The blonde listened a while and then finally walked over to the brunette causing her to turn around, a small smile turning into a big one as Erica came and joined her on the piano bench.

"That was beautiful. You're really good, aren't you?"

"Yeah, pretty much," Marsh laughed.

"Yeah, it's a good thing this surgeon thing worked for me, because man, I was terrible at music. That flute deserved a much better life than I ever gave it," Erica said all too seriously.

"Oh please. Anyone can learn music, it's not like science, it's already ingrained in us."

"Not in me, honey."

Marsh squinted as she thought for a moment. "What is it called when someone's heart isn't beating right?"

"What do you mean, an arrhythmia?"

"Bingo. Our hearts, the very things that keep us alive - " she pressed her hand against Erica's chest, partially to illustrate and partially to more intimately touch the blonde, "have a rhythm to them."

She continued. "It's true. The vast majority of time signatures in musical pieces fall within the range of rhythms of our hearts."

"Is that really true?"

"I have no idea, but it sounds good, doesn't it?" Marsh laughed as Erica slapped her on the arm.

"You liar. I guess it's true though." She paused. "I remember the first time I used a stethoscope. I mean, all doctors use them, but the first time I heard a heart through one, I got the chills. It felt so intimate to hear the inner workings of someone's most important organ."

Marsh smiled at Erica. "Was that in med school?"

"No, I was eight. My mother was in the hospital for something and the doctor let me play around while I was there."

"Really, you knew that young?" Marsh imagined a tiny blonde haired, blue eyed girl and lit up.

"No, but it sounds good, doesn't it?"

Marsh punched Erica in the arm this time as the blonde retorted, "Well, we both have good poker faces. That could be dangerous."

Marsh shook her head as Erica continued, "But I think I know what you mean. It's how I know I've done what I was supposed to in surgery. I have to hear it."

"See. And a good sense of rhythm is the hardest thing to teach new musicians." She dropped her voice to a whisper and leaned in close to Erica's ear. "And trust me, I already know you have an excellent sense of rhythm, Dr. Hahn."

Erica shuddered, looking over her shoulder to make sure no one was watching them. She leaned in and kissed Marsh hard. The brunette responded instantly, wrapping her arms around Erica's neck. Lips and tongues snaked out, finding their own timing as they met in a growing battle. As Erica reached to grab Marsh around the waist, she accidentally came down hard on a group of keys, a dissonant barrage of notes flying out of the piano. Immediately the two women heard laughing from behind them.

"Ya know, Marsh, I was going to invite you to perform as a guest in my next show, but you sound like crap."

Marsh turned beet red and buried her face in Erica's shoulder. Getting ribbed my Laura she could handle. Getting caught kissing she could handle. But having Kate standing there smirking at her like she was actually did embarrass Marsh. She was used to people liking her; she hadn't had to prove herself as a person in a very long time.

"Yeah, and if that's the only action that piano is ever gonna get, maybe we should just bring it along and use it as firewood."

"No! This is a gorgeous piano, I haven't played something this nice since college."

"Well, you are more than welcome to come over and play it anytime you want. Seriously, my aunt left it to me and really it's just too heavy to get out of here."

Marsh couldn't read Kate well enough to comment, so she just smiled and nodded.

The women were an hour into the three hour drive and Marsh was just beginning to regret that little bout of kissing over the piano she and Erica had gotten into. They were holding hands across the back seat of Kate's SUV as the shorter blonde drove and Laura navigated in the passenger seat. Kate had insisted on driving and Laura had called shotgun even as she explained to the group just how carsick she could get. Marsh hadn't minded, but even holding her blonde's hand was distracting her.

Laura had already described how her new show was going while Kate had made asinine comments about not being able to shake your ass to classical music. Erica had yelled at her and told her to behave and Marsh had politely described her last research project in as little detail as possible to allow the other three women to understand it.

She briefly smiled for a moment, realizing how all four of them had to speak about their careers in much simpler terms for outsiders to understand just what it was they did on a daily basis. Teachers didn't have to do this, nor maintenance men or bankers. But scientists, doctors especially, were constantly having to remove all but the basics to convey their deepest passions. Marsh thought momentarily that she would probably read mountains of textbooks to better understand the fire that made Erica drive forward, that made her burn. Hearts she understood, but every time Erica began to drop jargon into casual conversation, Marsh couldn't help but get lost.

Marsh tried to distract herself from the emotionally intense thoughts she was having, because only two nights after they made love for the first time, those thoughts were leading to increasingly dirtier ones.

"So Kate, are we at the point where you start telling embarrassing stories about Erica yet?"

Erica immediately interjected. "Oh, no no no. We aren't even there yet. And I have no place to run away inside this car. I would say no embarrassing stories at all, but with you people, I know there's a slim chance of that. So can we please wait until we get there at least?"

"Oh, fine, E. This'll just give me a chance to think of some really good ones."

Marsh heard Erica mumble something slightly foul under her breath and Marsh smiled. Something about Erica struggling with her outer defenses, the way she could let people in but had such a difficult time doing it made Marsh happy. Because what she was seeing was change, was someone who was not accepting the easy road. Many people Marsh knew were good at talking about themselves, good at sharing and while that made for good, healthy relationships, the effort they put forth was minimal. Marsh knew that Erica, on the other hand, worked every time she told a story from her past, every time she held Marsh's hand in public, every time she fell into bed with Marsh and let herself go. Marsh knew she had an incredibly strong woman that was capable of pushing her own boundaries.

And at that moment in the car, that was just one more thing Marsh found incredibly sexy. She slipped her hand from Erica's which earned her a confused look until she replaced the hand onto Erica's thigh. She smiled sweetly and started tracing small circles with her fingertips on Erica's legs. The innocence of the gesture melted away as Marsh's fingers inched closer to the blonde's center. Erica shot Marsh a warning look which only fueled her desire. Her hand danced around Erica's inner thigh, moving steadily toward her goal.

Erica's face was twisted in a odd mixture of building pleasure and reproach at Marsh for getting frisky in the back seat of the car. She hoped Kate wasn't choosing this moment to check her rearview mirror. Her body wanted Marsh's fingers in between her legs, she wanted Marsh's hands everywhere. But then there were two other women less than a couple feet from the couple and Erica did not want to get caught. She was not a woman who was going to get caught touching inappropriately in the backseat like some frisky teenager.

"Oh!" Erica exclaimed as Marsh's fingers finally found the apex between her legs. Marsh's eyes went wide, as Erica caught herself.

"We should play a game!" Erica continued, with an unusually high level of enthusiasm in her voice.

"Um, ok little Erica," Kate mocked. "Wanna play the license plate game?"

"Uhh . ." Erica couldn't think as Marsh's middle finger started making small circles over Erica's most sensitive part.

"How about state capitals," Marsh jumped in and offered, never missing a beat.

"Nerd." Laura joined the conversation.

"Well traveled nerd. I'll quiz you guys." Marsh kept going as Erica turned to her to mouth 'stop it.'

"I know 'em all, shoot." Kate's competitive streak was legendary and Erica would have commented had she retained the mental capacity for such a task as Marsh quickly brought her the closest she'd ever come to an orgasm while wearing clothes.

"Florida?" Marsh glanced over and saw Erica's eyes tightly shut. She knew Erica was close.


"Nevada?" She asked again, her feeling bad over touching Erica in the backseat of the car fading altogether as she saw Erica biting her cheeks to not cry out. She would pay for this later, but it was oh so worth it in the moment.

"Carson City."


"Cleveland. No! Columbus!"

"North Dakota?" Marsh continued asking away as drove Erica higher.

"Pierre. No, Bismark. No, Pierre. Oh crap, I always mix these up. It's one of those."

Laura jumped in, "It's Bismark. The capitals are in alphabetical order from North to South."

"Oh my god!" Erica nearly screamed as Marsh's workings because too much and she convulsed into orgasm, just barely catching herself after an awkward, silent pause. "You're an even worse well traveled nerd."

Laura looked a little confused and just a bit scared, but answered Erica anyway. "Um, yeah, musician's brain, you know. Too creative for our own good."

Erica's breathing slowly returned to normal as she looked over to Marsh with a look that made Marsh glad she would never have to intern under Erica. She mouthed a 'you're dead' at the brunette, adding a twist of a smirk as she sat back to face forward. Marsh kept her hands to herself the remaining hour of the ride, but not without a rather self-satisfied look on her face.

Erica, Marsh, Kate and Laura were walking, kayaks in tow, toward the small river near their cabin in an area that Erica had lovingly referred to as 'the middle of nowhere.' In actuality this remote mountain area tucked up near the border of Maryland and Pennsylvania was quite beautiful, and although Erica had appreciated that fact as they navigated the dirt rode that led them to their cabin, she also realized it had been quite a long time since she had been without modern amenities.

Upon arriving at their rustic log cabin, they had claimed rooms. Kate demanded that Erica and Marsh take a room of their own because she 'didn't need to be seeing any of that.' The new couple protested enough to be polite but not enough to give up the privacy of their own room. Kate had then demanded that Laura take the remaining room, which seemed noble enough, until she revealed that she just wanted to be able to fall asleep to the only tv in the cabin, which happened to be in the living room area. Erica was about to question her best friend's tv addiction out here in the woods but thought better of it. She was determined to use this weekend to relax.

They reached the river and Kate addressed the new couple who she had already noticed were stealing glances of each other left and right. "Alright, you two take the red one and Laura and I will take the blue one." She used her hands to indicate each of the two person kayaks.

Erica again questioned Kate's intentions but, as stubborn as she knew she was, she had seen firsthand in the hospital that Kate was worse than her.

"Ok!" Marsh responded with her usual amount of enthusiasm.

"Kate, I think you should know I'm not much of an athlete," Laura said quietly to the small blonde, whom Laura feared was entirely too competitive for her ambition.

"Oh, me either honey," Kate whispered quietly, adding, "And we're going to use that to our advantage. These two won't be able to help themselves."

"Wait, what?"

"You'll see."

The four women, occupying their two kayaks, made their way down the river. The water was calm, the early June weather was cooperative and each of these professionally driven people took a few minutes to simply relax. Erica momentarily envied Marsh and the fact that her job centered on these outdoor areas, until she felt a twinge of almost fear at the idea of never holding a scalpel again.

"This is really great, Kate. Thanks again for inviting us all out here," Marsh said across the gap of water.

"No problem. Been out here once before, I really loved it. But there was no way I was coming back out alone!"

"Would have been bored?" Marsh ventured.

"No, just afraid of the dark." Kate kept talking through the outburst of laughter, completely unfazed. "Whatever, after the Blair Witch Project, I won't be caught dead alone in the woods of Maryland."

"Um, Kate, you know there were three people that didn't make it to the end of that movie, right?" Laura said gingerly.

"Shut up. All of you. I will be the last one laughing when you three are attacked by the forest witches and mass murderers hiding in the woods out here."

"No, you'll just be the fourth one dead," Erica said. Marsh turned around and caught the smirk that accompanied the comment and smiled wide. Erica cocked her head to the side, not understanding just how cute Marsh thought she was.

"I hate you all. Ok, enough of this. How about a race?"


"Hell, no."

"A race?"

Kate jabbed Laura with one end of her paddle and quietly added, "Just go with me here."

Laura wasn't convinced, but she wanted to be here for Marsh this weekend, and apparently that included keeping Erica's half crazy friend happy.

"Yeah, you two. A race. We'd kick your asses."

Erica and Marsh exchanged a quick look that suggested otherwise, their competitive drives quite a sight to be seen when acting in sync.

"Oh, you're on. And you're going down." Marsh jumped in.

"Oh look, the new lovers think their boat runs of looove. Erica'll probably spend the entire time staring at Miss Marcia's ass - "

"Ok, that's it! Let's go!" Erica blushed even as she interrupted their friends.

"Yeah, and Marsh used to be in shape, but I think the only workouts she's been getting lately are in - "

"To that grove of trees down there, where the stream bends! Now!"

Erica and Marsh began paddling furiously, focused only on the water in front of them. They quickly fell into a rhythm and sped ahead, one stroke after another. Erica did let her mind wander momentarily to the thought of Marsh at the gym, sweaty mid-work out, in the locker room showers after she was done. The blonde thought she might just have to get a gym membership herself to play out that fantasy . . .


The surgeon snapped out of her daydream as the object of her desire called to her. She was about to yell at her girlfriend for her pause in paddling when she followed the brunette's pointing finger and realized that Kate and Laura had not moved more than the few meters the current had taken them. She and Marsh, however were a few hundred meters down the stream.

"What the hell?" Erica asked.

"I think they tricked us. Those bastards."

"This probably isn't good."

Meanwhile, Kate and Laura sat laughing for a good long while in their own kayak, staring at the two determined women. They certainly were a force to be reckoned with. Kate thought Marsh might have even made a good doctor in another life.

"Oh, geez. That was certainly funny. You just wanted to egg them on, huh?"

Kate answered slowly, "Well, that was part of it, yeah. But, I'm also looking out for Erica, I suppose." Laura's eyebrows told of her confusion. "See, Erica is kind of my person. I've grown to like her this past year, she keeps me sane. But I know she'd kick my ass if I started interrogating Marsh already, so I figured you're the next best thing."

Laura slowly nodded. "Ah, I think I get it. You're protecting her. What do you want to know?"

Kate went for point blank, as was her usual style. "Is Marsh gonna end up pulling the 'I'm ok on the outside now, but I'm actually still crazy because my wife died' act?"

Laura didn't bat an eye. "Is Erica going to eventually run away because she's been overworked and slightly repressed her whole life and waited until she was 41 to realize she's gay?"

Kate's steely gaze slowly broke down into a smile. "They make a good pair, don't they?"

"I think they do actually. I haven't seen her this happy in years. And I knew Lisa, knew them both really well. I think . . . ya know, if she and Erica had met years earlier, who knows. So yeah, they're a good match."

"I'm glad. Because Erica's beaming, and as much as that kind of scares the shit out of me, I think she deserves it. I mean, mostly I don't want to feel bad about telling her stories about my hot 25-year-old husband."

Laura first laughed at Kate's attempt at a heart-felt response and then processed exactly what the doctor had said. "Wait, 25?"

"Yup. And hot."

Laura leaned back across the boat and offered Kate a high five. "Damn, that's impressive."

"Yeah, I know. Alright, should we go get them?"

"Yeah," Laura looked downstream and saw her friend and Erica kissing. "And soon if you want to return these boats without any questionable substances all over them!"

"Gross." They began paddling.

In protest of their dear friends' antics, Marsh and Erica had agreed to the silent treatment for the time being once they got back to their cabin. After several unsuccessful attempts to mollify the situation, Kate and Laura gave up and decided to make dinner. The pair continued to chat away while they prepared a selection of hot dogs and hamburgers over their open flame grill. Erica had wanted to object to the unhealthy meat choices, but the fact that she didn't bring a healthy alternative herself kept her quiet. That and her pride in making Kate suffer out the consequences of her little stunt. Besides, she had other pre-dinner plans.

"Hey, come here." Erica grabbed Marsh's hand and drew her into a long, slow kiss. Erica had made sure they were around the corner and out of sight, but Marsh could have cared less once Erica's lips were on hers.

"Mmm, what was that for Dr. Hahn? Is all this fresh air making you frisky?"

"Maybe. Thanks for coming out this weekend." Erica smiled as she tucked some unruly curls behind Marsh's ear.

"Are you kidding, I love this kind of thing. If Kate hadn't suggested it, I would have dragged you out to the forest at some point or another. Besides," she said, nuzzling close into Erica's neck, wrapping her arms around the blonde, "outdoor sex is kind of the best sex ever."

Erica resisted a blush. "Oh really, Dr. S.? And have you had a lot of outdoor sex?"

"Well, I am an outdoors kind of girl . . ."

Erica glanced down briefly to the silver necklace at the hollow of Marsh's neck. She couldn't help it. She only spent an instant thinking about Marsh's life before her; the brunette had assured her that she had moved on and although it was incredibly difficult for Erica at times, she knew she had to trust her. So she did. And so, Erica decided to put her plan into action.

Her lips hovered at the edge of the brunette's ears, coaxing the tiny hairs to stand on end. She felt Marsh quiver slightly at the almost touch. "Well, maybe we can take a walk before dinner?"

Marsh caught the tone evident in Erica's voice and all she could do was nod. "I think there's a path back here that Kate said loops around." She was already dragging Erica by the hand beyond the nearest line of trees.

Erica had to practically break into a jog to keep up with Marsh. She laughed silently to herself at the younger woman's enthusiasm, entirely glad that she had found someone who could make her smile like this. A year ago, she had been forging a friendship with Callie, their relationship just beginning to turn into something more. She never imagined herself back on the east coast, running through the woods, chasing a beautiful woman. Running after a beautiful woman for secret outdoor sex of all things.

At this thought, Erica closed the distance between her and Marsh, grabbed her hand and swung her around so they were facing each other. She pounced on the brunette's lips, drawing her into a fierce open mouthed kiss. Marsh moaned loudly at Erica's ferocity as she brought both hands up to the blonde's face. Erica backed her up until she had Marsh trapped against a sizable tree. The uneven bark dug into Marsh's back, but she thought anything would be worth it for this kiss, for this woman.

"Hey, Erica, can I ask you something?" Marsh suddenly demurred, looking apprehensively at the ground.

"Yeah, of course," Erica replied, suddenly nervous.

"Are we . . . you know, are we . . . exclusive?"

Erica's eyes narrowed, trying to interpret what Marsh was asking. "Is this where you tell me you actually want to sleep with Kate?"

"What? No! Ew. I just meant, I was wondering if, if you and I, if I could say we were, you know - "

"Hey rambles!" Erica interjected, cutting Marsh's adorable rant off. "I know I don't want to be dating anyone else right now. I want you, just you, only you. If you feel the same way, then yes, we're exclusive. And if you don't, well, then, I'm sure I could convince Kate to leave you out here." Erica smiled wide.

"Good! Because I've been wanting to call you my girlfriend for a while now, but I just wasn't sure. I know this is only your second . . . foray into lesbian land, I just needed to make sure."

The brunette looked into Erica's eyes. "Marsh, I would love to be your girlfriend." She cocked her head slightly, "Although, I do have to admit, the semantics of it all are still taking some getting used to."

"Yeah, it does take a little while. For the little things to sink in."

"Yeah, but I've never felt more right about anyone before, about this." Erica blushed at the realization.

Marsh used a finger to lift Erica's chin up to where it had embarrassedly fallen against her chest. "Hey, me too." And with that she leaned in to kiss the blonde, her girlfriend, effectively ending the conversation.

Erica immediately began kissing down Marsh's neck, down her low cut v-neck shirt, and then dropped to her knees. She silently thanked Marsh's decision to wear one of those sexy athletic skirts that looked like they belonged on a tennis star. She ran her hands down Marsh's legs, toned and strong, but quivering under Erica's wandering hands. She placed a single kiss on the inside of each of Marsh's knees before looking up at the brunette with saucer plate eyes.

"So, that little stunt you pulled today in the car," Erica said sweetly, only her eyes suggesting that this was the calm before the storm.

Marsh knew she was about to pay anyway. "Um, I'm not sure what you're talking about, Erica."

Erica's baby blues narrowed. "Oh really, is that how you want to play this?" She pushed just her fingertips up the insides of Marsh's legs, slower than seemed realistically possible. Marsh unconsciously took a wider stance, wrapping her arms backward around the trunk of the tree she was sidled up against.

She couldn't help but keep egging on the blonde. "Play what, darling?" Her breath caught in her throat as Erica's fingertips reached the edge of her thin cotton panties. Though Marsh tried to thrust forward with her hips, Erica's fingers lingered on the edge of the fabric, barely tracing the brunette's skin.

"Hmm, because I seem to remember a certain brunette, a very cute brunette, with gorgeous green eyes, and a beautiful smile, and," Erica whispered in her gravely alto as she let one hand begin to graze Marsh's panties, which were already absorbing her desire, "hands that she just could keep to herself."

"Ohhh," Marsh cried out as Erica's hand found her most sensitive spot. "You mean that little stunt. I might have some memory of that." Marsh's eyes were closed, her brain barely able to muster up the banter needed to keep Erica talking, keep her hands moving.

Erica continued to talk to Marsh intermittently as she placed gossamer light kisses along the insides of Marsh's leg, working her way north to Marsh's center. Her fingers continued tracing ever so light lines from Marsh's now soaked core up to her overly sensitive clit. Marsh kept trying to increase the pressure from Erica's fingers through her flimsy panties, but Erica moved with her lover, keeping her touches teasing.

"See, it's not that I didn't enjoy it. Because I did, really I did." Her fingers, still on the outside of Marsh's panties began to move faster. "It's just that, the way you were touching me, made me want to scream, made me want to be loud, made me wish I could have thrown you down and had my way with you right there in the back seat."

Suddenly, Erica slipped two fingers past the cotton barrier, into Marsh's core. The brunette cried out into the forest and nearly lost the ability to hold herself up. Erica wrapped a strong arm around Marsh and slowly began to move in and out of her, slowly pulling her fingers out and quickly thrusting them back in. Marsh began to subtly bob up and down to the rhythm the blonde set.

"See, this is what I wanted you to be doing to me."

"Oh, Erica," Marsh said out loud as she momentarily thought that this was easily the best punishment she'd ever endured.

Erica then slid Marsh's panties all the way down her legs, but stopping short of pulling them all the way off. She landed a few sweet kisses on the patch of hair at the apex of Marsh's legs and then let her tongue delve into the younger woman's folds. Marsh was crying out and although Erica knew the chances of anyone else being in the area were slim, she briefly realized they would be getting a show if they were.

Erica's original pre-dinner plans had including a lot more teasing and a good chance of leaving her brunette lover completely unsatisfied. But as Marsh stood above her, eyes closed in the falling dusk of the forest, writhing and in tune with her touch, Erica knew nothing would stop her from bringing this woman as much pleasure as she could.

"Oh god, Erica, don't stop."

Erica quickened the pace of her tongue and fingers at the same time, and not moments later, Marsh began to spasm as she came against the tree. Erica held her up through the waves of pleasure, then slowly lowered her onto the ground where the two women caught their breath. Never did Erica think she would be so happy laying on the dirt floor of a forest with a girl.

"Fuck, Erica."

"Ooh, that sounds fun too," Erica said, rolling onto her side to embrace Marsh.

Marsh laughed heartily, "Oh I will, but I think if we stay out here any longer, Kate is going to suspect foul play and come looking for us."

"Eh, I don't think finding me in flagrante delicto is anything Kate ever wants to be a part of. Plus, I think she and Laura are getting along."

"Yeah, I was a little worried about that, but it seems like they're bonding."

"Yeah, they've probably moved on to telling stories about - " Erica stopped abruptly and looked seriously at her girlfriend.

Marsh understood at the same time, "Oh god, we have to get back!" She stood up quickly, forgetting the fact that her underwear was still down around her ankles, and proceeded to trip. Erica's surgeon reflexes were quick, though, and she quickly caught the brunette. She pulled her into one long, searing kiss before fixing her underwear and taking her hand and leading her back down the forest path.

The four women were seated around a large fire that Marsh and Laura had eventually set burning. At first, the two surgeons were determined to start the campfire, an extension of their mission to supply the full camping experience for the other women whom they considered their guests. About a half an hour and some not so silent giggling from the peanut gallery later, the doctors gave up and challenged their counterparts to do a better job. Which they did. In a matter of minutes.

Egos having recovered, the women were now enjoying post-dinner marshmallows. Again, Erica commented on the lack of healthy dessert options.

"Really, Erica. Stop being a wet blanket, Marsh here is going to realize, I mean think, you're boring or something," Kate laughed.

"Oh be quiet. It's just that overloading myself with copious amounts of sugar is not my idea of fun."

"Did I not also provide you with several bottles of your favorite wine?"

Erica took another sip of the pinot which Kate did think to bring for her. It was these little details that let Erica knew she really cared. "That you did, Kate."

Marsh stuffed third marshmallow into a mouth full of beer and asked, "And Erica, you're still on your first one anyway."

"I'm just roasting the marshmallow properly. Giving it the respect it deserves and - "

"Fuck!" Everyone looked up at Kate to see a burnt crispy mess falling half onto the ground and half into Kate's mouth which she had angled sideways under the melting, sugary mess. The women laughed in unison while Kate muttered obscenities through her mouthful.

"I'm with you, Erica. You might as well do it right. They're called toasted marshmallows, not burnt, drippy, falling apart sugary blobs," Laura joined in.

"Oh, you're gonna get it," Kate said through her full mouth of sugar. "And after we shared all those stories this afternoon."

Both Erica and Marsh's eyes widened at the idea of their best friends spilling their most intimate secrets. The other two left a dramatic pause before busting into loud laughter.

"Oh, thank god," Marsh said, her hand dramatically pressed against her chest.

Erica noticed the gesture and jumped in with, "Um, Marsh? Do you really have stories that are so bad you don't want me to hear them yet?" Her half smirk and flashing eyes assured Marsh that she wanted to hear all of her stories, no matter what, but Marsh still hesitated through her smile.

"No, it's just that some of the stories probably require a lot of backstory, an explanation that explains why I . . . did some of the things I did, not that any of them were particularly terrible, I mean I don't want you thinking I'm some kind of - "

"Marcia! Calm it down." Erica was going to say until Laura said it first. The blonde appreciated the way her girlfriend's friend knew her.

Kate acted on the twinkle in her eye and suggested, "Ok, 'never have I ever' then."

"What's that," Laura and Marsh asked together.

"We go around and each say things we've never done. If you have done it, you take a drink. If it's something crazy, you tell a story. That's all."

Neither of the other three women were sure about it but when Kate launched into the first round, they knew they were playing no matter what.

"Ok, never have I ever made out with a girl."

Erica and Marsh took sips of their drinks, blushing a little at their pastoral fantasy that had played out hours before.

Laura went next. "Never have I ever . . . done cocaine."

The other three women took drinks together, all looking at each other accusingly anyway.

"Erica, really?" Kate was surprised that she didn't know this fact about the woman who she had easily come to consider her best friend at Georgetown.

"It was the 80's?" She shrugged her shoulders, adding, "I was trying to impress a boy, what can I say. It was once, it just made me talk a lot, people said I was pretty funny."

Marsh laughed at the thought of Erica being a bad girl and jumped into the game, "Ok, never have I ever slept with a boy!" The statement came out of her so proudly she beamed.

Everyone else around the fire drank, but only Erica gave a brief shudder afterward.

"Oh, come E, it's not that bad," Kate insisted.

"You know, it was what it was. But the alternative is just so so so much better." She reached out to grab Marsh's hand.

"Gross. Ok, E, your turn."

Erica thought long and hard, playing this game as she would any others. Her contribution had to be surprising enough to impress the three women she was with, while still not encroaching on the barriers that Erica still held near and dear.

"Ok, never have I ever had surgery."

Kate cocked her head to the side, even more confused. "Wow, really."

"My tonsils are healthy, all my wisdom teeth came in, and knock on wood, no traumas. Yeah, it's something I think about every now and then when I watch them putting my patients under. I've never been on that table."

"That's crazy, Erica," Marsh said, "Do you ever feel like you're missing something?"

"Um, no? I don't know I guess. No." Erica shrugged.

"Don't worry, Erica. When you're old body starts to kick it, I'll make sure you end in my OR," Kate didn't wait for Erica's surly comeback before she continued, "Never have I ever used a sex toy."

Erica and Laura blushed into the darkness of the forest night while Marsh hurriedly took a large swig of beer, obviously thinking she'd be drinking with company. On realizing that she was the only woman drinking, she giggled and almost choked on her beer.

"Wait, really? There's no way none of you . . . even just a . . . really?" Marsh tried to defend herself.

Laura simply shook her head no while Kate bluntly said, "I don't need 'em, not with my 25-year-old hottie husband."

"Yeah, but with that IQ, he qualifies as a sex toy anyway," Erica threw across the fire, more than tipsy on the bottle of wine she was almost done polishing off.

"Um, don't hate. Besides, I figured with you being all alone for the last century or so, you'd have bought stock in your favorite vibrator corporation."

Erica quickly went through the motions of being embarrassed, being angry and relaxing into passive grin. She took a deep breath and gave Kate her best Dr. Hahn glare while willing herself to keep calm at the very personal accusation.

She chose to respond with, "I've just been spending my money on hookers, not sex toys."

The beat Erica waited kept the group silent until she cracked half a smile at which they all burst out in laughter. Kate couldn't get over the idea of Erica Hahn on a street corner trying to correctly negotiate for a working girl. Laura was put at ease by Erica's obvious sense of slightly self-deprecating humor. And Marsh's brain was riddled by dueling ideas of just how much she was falling for this intense, complicated and sarcastic woman and just how much she wanted to be the one to introduce the blonde to the world of sex toys.

Laura figured it was her turn again. "Ok, never have I ever . . . "she was ether thinking hard about this round or getting as tipsy as the other three were, "been to a shrink."

The mood didn't drop necessarily but each of the other three women paused more than a brief second to think about the time they had each spent in the chair. Each silently pondered the hard times they'd come through, how they'd made it through and where they were now.

Marsh nodded to herself as if she suddenly realized that she was in no way ashamed of the time she had spent dealing with grief and took a large sip of her beer. "I think everyone here knows my story. I'd be crazy if I hadn't done the whole crazy doctor thing."

Erica jumped in, emboldened by her new girlfriend's admission. "Gay at forty!" was her short response, fully realizing there were other things she had talked to counselors about and double that number that she should have.

Kate dramatically chugged at her bottle until it was empty, burped loudly into the calm forest night and exclaimed, "Shitty childhood in the middle of a shitty bumpkin town in the south with even shittier parents."

The other women softly smiled in sympathy until Kate continued. "Oh, and I'm friends with this one," she said pointing to Erica, "and I suppose that makes me certifiable." Erica leaned over and punched her best friend square in the arm harder than she intended to, spilling a bit of her wine in the process.


The night continued on much like this for a while, the four women sharing secrets of varying magnitude one at a time. Eventually, the fire weaned and they collectively decided not to stoke it. They each retired to their sleeping areas of the cabin and Marsh and Erica found themselves sharing a bed once again.

"You're certainly cuddly right now, Dr. Hahn."

"I just drank a bottle of wine and one of your icky, thick, black beers," Erica laughed, adding, "And what have I told you about calling me Dr. Hahn. We are in a cabin, in the middle of the woods, no where near a hospital. And for the first time in a long, long, long time . . . that feels really good."

"You're cute when you're drunk." Marsh smiled, sidling up closer to Erica as they laid on their sides, face to face in the dark of their bed. She put her hand on the blonde's waist and traced light circles on Erica's skin just above her light sleep shorts.

"Whatever, you're drunk too," Erica partially slurred.

"Oh, I never said I wasn't." She continued as she eased her hands up into Erica's shirt, lingering just shy of anything Erica really wanted her to touch. "Just that you're kind of adorable when you are."

"Cute . . . adorable . . . I don't think I do these words."

"Oh, I think you do them just fine."

Marsh leaned in and kissed Erica, at the same time moving her hand to cup one of Erica's freed up breasts. Erica sliced through Marsh's unruly curls with her long fingers as she grasped the brunette's head. They unconsciously pressed the lengths of their bodies together, their thin choices of clothing to sleep in leaving little in between them.

One of Erica's thighs managed to slip in between Marsh's legs and Marsh rolled them both slightly so the blonde was now on top of her. They traded a variety of kisses from slow and teasing to quick and reaffirming while gently rocking against each other, neither with any need to rush the moment, and indeed still adjusting to the new feelings of their bodies moving together.

Suddenly, Marsh started giggling. Erica pulled back, unnerved.

"Um, am I amusing you, Marcia?"

"Eww, don't call me that, I hate it. And no." She ran a couple of fingers along the side of Erica's face in reverence. "Just still embarrassed that I'm the only person here who's ever used sex toys. Makes me feel all dirty like."

"We had a guy come into the ER a few months ago who had a . . . an object lodged in his - "

"Ok, that's not helping. Nevermind."

"No, sorry. I think it's . . . fine, hot actually, very hot. I've just never been in a situation to buy one . . . or use one," Erica said slowly, tentatively, her hands tracing absent-minded patterns on Marsh's skin.

"Well, maybe we'll just have to wander into a certain store and shop around sometime." Marsh rose up to nibble on Erica's earlobe before adding, "Because the idea of you all dominant and Dr. Hahn-like, fucking me makes me kind of melt."

Even as Erica blushed and slightly winced at Marsh's dirty talk, she felt the wetness pooling between her legs. "Well, I'm not totally convinced but I do find it hard to resist anything you want . . . which I'm starting to realize is really dangerous."

"Erica, I'm going to make you two promises tonight. One, I know you're still new to a lot. I would never pressure you into something you really didn't want to do. That being said, number two, I will always push your boundaries." She smiled and ran a hand through her mess of brown curls, taking a breath. "You have walls. And I'm not looking to break them, I just . . . want to chisel at them a bit. Because I already know that the Erica behind those walls is the Erica I want to spend a lot of time with."

Erica wasted no words and instead pulled the brunette into a searing kiss. Erica used her touch at that moment to convey without speaking what her looks and glances did at other times. She let the majority of her weight rest on Marsh as she unconsciously began to move her hips. Marsh lifted a leg over the blonde, drawing her in closer.

Marsh rolled over so she was on top and lifted her shirt up over her head. She shivered just a bit in the cool mountain air but wasted no time tugging at Erica's shirt until it too came off, with some help from the blonde. She quickly kissed down Erica's neck, chest and stomach to the edge of her striped boxers and in one shot ripped those and her simple cotton panties off. She shimmied her own off and dropped back down onto her lover.

"Aahh, now that's better, isn't it?"

Erica groaned at the contact, still novel, still more exciting than she was used to. She mustered up her voice and responded, "Yes, yes it is . . . not as exciting as sex in the woods, but ya know."

"We could always take a walk." Marsh trailed both her hands along Erica's chest, relishing in the simple exploration of Erica's body.

Erica laughed out loud. "Um, no. It's cold outside. And there are bears . . . and wolves . . . and crawly things."

"I can't take you seriously when you're naked, I hope you know that. And really, Erica? Bears and wolves? And crawly things?"

"I'll have you know that you should take me seriously no matter what state of dress I'm in," Erica said through a growing smile. "Now we can wander around in the dark, dangerous night where we could very easily get eaten by a giant beast . . . or you could take me right here, right now in this bed."

And that was all that Marsh needed. She leaned into the hollow of Erica's throat and lapped up Erica's taste with an eager tongue. She alternated between quick, gentle kisses and rough exploration of Erica's skin with her mouth. Erica's head was thrown back, her mind slowly losing conscious thought as Marsh tuned into her corporeal drive.

She trailed an eager hand down Erica's chest, over her stomach, and lightly tickled at the blonde's hips. She wanted to draw this out, she really did, but she needed to touch Erica more closely, she needed it then and simply didn't want to wait any longer. As a scientist, she had learned patience as a skill akin to statistics or calculus, but in all honesty, it was a virtue she constantly had to fight to retain. And although she and Erica had only been dating several weeks and had been physical for only a fraction of that, she already knew Erica had about as much patience at any given time as she did.

As Marsh's fingertips dipped in between Erica's legs, she learned she was right. A sheen of moisture already clung to Marsh's fingers; she moaned and threw her own head back at the realization that this amazing woman was so turned on by her.

Erica unconsciously let her legs fall open and Marsh took full advantage, slipping two fingers inside her new girlfriend and beginning to stroke slowly. She moved fluidly, reacting to the movement of Erica's hips and the increased sound of her breathing. Marsh quickly added a third finger and let the weight of her hips strengthen her thrust.

"Ohh, Marsh. That feels . . ." Erica barely expressed as she suddenly reached two hands backward to the headboard of stylishly whittled logs to get a grip on something.

"Here, come here," Marsh said in labored breaths as she steadied herself with one strong arm as the other grabbed one of Erica's hands with the other, wrapping it around her own waist. She then drew Erica's head up and kissed her.

At this point, it was a sloppy kiss. A tongue hurriedly swept along lips, teeth lightly clashed in an effort to get closer, an effort of the two women to join together wherever they could. Someone moaned into the other's mouth and the other one panted with quick, shallow breaths.

Marsh began to feel Erica's hips quicken beneath her. She met the older woman's pace and let Erica's head drop down to her pillow, her face tensing as Marsh brought her to the edge. Erica rocked and Marsh thrusted until suddenly, Erica cried out in a voice so high Marsh's pride was partially pushed out of the way by a sense of embarrassment Marsh knew her girlfriend would feel if she were to hear herself.

She had come hard and it took a long while for her to return to the present moment. Marsh rode it out until Erica settled into a restful position. She gently withdrew her fingers, slowly enough to make Erica buck in aftershock just a couple times.

"Oh my god . . . I've never . . . not from just that," Erica drawled, her voice impossibly low, "Just . . . wow."

"I . . ." Marsh suddenly felt emotion rise up in her chest at the moment, at this woman beneath her. "I . . . am really glad you invited me this weekend."

Erica smirked and cocked her head a little as if she knew what had almost just happened, but dismissed the awkwardness of the moment immediately, still unbelievably turned on, despite having just had an intense orgasm.

"I'm glad you came," Erica smiled goofily, all teeth and gums. "Oh wait, you haven't yet."

"Really? Did you really just - "

Before Marsh could try to react to the terrible joke, Erica had reached a hand up between the brunette's legs and started gently stroking, rocking her wrist back and forth. She attempted to keep control, protected by her lingering smirk, despite the fact that Marsh was soaking wet and Erica could barely contain herself.

"Ohh, ok, make any bad jokes you want. Just keep doing that."

"Oh, I intend to."

In one quick move that Erica wished were a little smoother, she flipped her girlfriend over so that she was on top. She continued to stroke between Marsh's legs, drawing the moisture all over. She lightly graced Marsh's clit, but made no commitments, letting her skilled hands explore leisurely. Well, as leisurely as it could get for two women so turned on by each other.

"So, you really want me to fuck you? Like with a . . .?" The thought had been bouncing around Erica's mind since the campfire, but the reality of idea, including the language, evaded her.

Marsh could barely register what was coming out of Erica's mouth at this point; all she could process were the blonde's fingers, ones she desperately needed more of. But she couldn't resist furthering the discussion.

"Yeah, I do. This right here. Is hot. And you all harnessed up . . . I wouldn't last long, that's all I have to say."

Erica bit her bottom lip and studied Marsh, the look of lust in her green eyes, her unruly hair splayed on the pillow underneath her. She didn't think she could deny this woman much if anything. And that went double in bed.

"Ok. Fine. Shopping when we get back to civilization then." Erica kept her face straight as Marsh's face lit up and then tensed in pleasure as Erica suddenly slipped two digits into her lover. "You still take yoga, right?"

"Uhh . . . what? Yeah, I . . . ohhhh . . . I do." Marsh's brain partially turned off as Erica's hand moved in and out of her.

In a split second, Erica withdrew her fingers and quickly shifted Marsh's legs so they were both resting against her, Marsh's ankles at her shoulders. She quickly reached down and let her fingers find Marsh's folds, eventually using three fingers to enter her girlfriend. Erica leaned toward Marsh, gently bending her legs backward.

Marsh let her eyes close and her body feel as Erica did things to her no one else had or could. She silently thanked her yoga instructor of four years for teaching her the flexibility that allowed her to get into this position. It was, by far, the sexiest thing she'd done with Erica; physically Erica had command over her body but it was the emotion, the subtle power and gentle domination she displayed that sent Marsh over the edge.

"Oh god, E, oh god!" Marsh cried out as she came under the onslaught of Erica's deft fingers.

As Marsh slowly came down, Erica gently shifted the brunette's legs so they were again wrapped around her waist. She moved to settle herself next to Marsh but instead the younger woman grabbed the blonde and pulled her down directly on top of her.

"I still want to feel you. I need to still feel you close."

Erica nodded slowly and let her weight blanket the gorgeous woman beneath her. She really couldn't resist this woman, although if the demands kept coming in veins like this, Erica really didn't see a problem with surrendering a little control.

In the rooms adjacent to the new couples', an amused young Asian, and a grossed out small blonde both shook their heads simultaneously, wondering if the barrage of sex noises was over for the evening. And although they were each happy for their respective friends finding happiness, they were each tired, in need of sleep, and already thinking up ways to get back at the happy couple the next morning.

A/N: Yes, no? Am I slightly forgiven for taking ages to update? So this story has been fairly happy go lucky so far, but come on, it's Erica we're talking about. A little bit of freaking out and power tripping to come. Also, perhaps, some adventures with strippers, incidents with residents, and a trip to a scandalous store!