Title: Fairly Slashy – Part 1 (of 9 or 10)
Fandom: Fairly Legal
Pairing: Kate Reed/Lauren Reed
Rating: M (not through all of it but definitely at some points)
Spoilers: References to season 2 eps 1, 3, and 5. Part 1 has scenes from ep. 5, which I added after the fact because they fit in so well (oh the slashiness!).
Disclaimer: They aren't mine, otherwise not-actual-incest would be a definite future for Fairly Legal.. And yes, there are direct quotes from ep 5 in part 1.
A/N: I wrote most of this before we saw most of the house so some of the blocking is a bit off..
A/N 2: Thank you to my lovely live-in beta (i.e. wife) Starbuck1980 who took time away from her epic Swan Queen fic to beta this and then cursed me for it drawing her in…
Kate lay on the bed loaned to her by her widowed stepmother and stared at the ceiling. While she was grateful for the roof over her head after her boat blew up, she was finding it odd sharing a roof with the woman she had long hated for taking her mother's place in her father's affections. And it was easy to hate Lauren when she was standing beside her father like a trophy wife or when she was chastising her for having a conscience that wasn't in line with Reed & Reed's bottom line. It was less easy to hate Lauren when she was cursing the boiler for not working (particularly when it was after Kate had enjoyed a particularly luxurious shower) or when she was pouring herself a glass of wine after work, slowly pulling out the pins in her hair and letting her tough-edged persona melt away with the day. This Kate found disorienting.
And then there was her date. Lauren had walked by the District Attorney's office with her hair falling past her shoulders and a white dress hugging her body, a smile on her face. She was flirting, with someone. Kate supposed the 'with someone' was a bit obvious but the image so struck her that her brain had to emphasize the point that Lauren was with someone. And she looked amazing, physically beautiful and glowing in a way Kate had never seen. Kate wasn't horribly proud of her next move but the image of Lauren in that dress caused Kate to follow her and her date into the elevator. The awkward conversation that followed was made even more awkward by her final comment as she held on to Lauren's shoulder, assuring her 'roomy' that she wouldn't 'wait up'. But that is exactly what she was doing.
She didn't understand her compulsion, they were barely friends and yet something between guilt, jealousy and curiosity compelled her to investigate this new side to her stepmother. Kate was half asleep in her downstairs bedroom when she heard the keys rattle in the front door and Lauren's laugh ringing through the empty entrance hall. She left her bed and snuck quietly to the top of the stairs to see if she could catch any of their conversation but all she could hear was Lauren saying she had a 'wonderful time.' It would've sounded like a line but Lauren's voice had a, certainly unusual, timbre to it that gave it the necessary earnestness. The door closed and Kate heard the click of Lauren's heels across the floor. She quickly moved to the couch as if to say she was listening unashamedly and as Lauren passed the edge of the protruding wall she paused for a moment at the sight of Kate watching her. She rolled her eyes and continued; realizing part of her had expected this.
"I didn't think you were going to wait up 'roomy'," Lauren quipped as she walked by, heading for the upstairs.
"Wow and you can be funny too, the many mysteries of Lauren Reed," Kate countered, feeling safer now that Lauren's sarcasm had jolted her from the disbelief at how stunning Lauren still looked and back into their usual pattern of behavior.
Lauren stopped in her path and turned to fully face Kate, "Look, I'm not going to indulge your questions so go back to bed," Lauren stated with a sigh.
Kate was silent for a moment, not sure where this earnestness left her.
"I loved your father you know," Lauren added with a hint of nervousness, as if by way of explanation but more to cover Kate's unusual momentary silence.
Kate nodded. "I know," she said, looking down at her lap as the memory of her father washed over her. She looked up at Lauren and saw the memory of him etched across her face as well. Lauren focused on Kate's face and the memory was gone.
"Good night Kate," Lauren replied somberly as she continued on her route to the staircase and up the stairs.
"Good night Lauren," Kate replied before heading back to her bed.
The next few days passed without incident, or at least incident beyond their usual bickering at work and avoiding each other at home. Perhaps the avoiding had become less pronounced but either way when Kate walked in to the kitchen the following Tuesday to find Lauren staring at her solemnly she knew something was up.
"You know, what terrifies me is I think I'm actually becoming sensitive to your moods so what did I do? Did I forget to replace the towel roll?" Kate asked flippantly, pouring herself a cup of coffee.
"Kate we have to talk," Lauren said seriously.
Kate sighed, walking past Lauren dismissively. It was work then. Justin, Kate's ex-husband was running against the current District Attorney, Davidson, who they both knew to be corrupt and Lauren had the audacity to back Davidson. "If this is about Davidson and the campaign, I don't want to talk about it," she said in a sing-song voice, passing Lauren and exiting the kitchen.
"Kate," Lauren insisted as Kate reached the wall separating the kitchen from the living room, Kate rolled her eyes and reluctantly turned to listen, "When you were married, Justin wasn't faithful," Lauren said with a slow evenness. Kate's face fell but she didn't respond. "Please say I am not the first one telling you this," Lauren added, hating the pleading sound to her voice.
"Did Justin tell you?" Kate asked.
"No, Davidson did," Lauren responded, "That is why I said yesterday that I think he's going to win," she added downcast, interlacing her fingers.
"No one knew about this Lauren, no one," Kate said hurriedly, trying to track the possible ways he could've found out.
"Davidson told me in confidence but," she paused taking a deep breath, "he thinks it is about to hit the press," she finished, watching Kate's face fall further and wishing there was something she could do to stop this happening to her.
Kate stared wide-eyed, trying to comprehend the implications, before her phone vibrated in her hands. She took a breath, composing herself in a moment before answering it and, after a few words, running off to a mediation-related emergency.
Lauren watched her helplessly as she ran from the room.
Lauren stood in the shower, letting the water beat down on her back before tilting her head back and feeling new rivulets forming down her front, falling from her chest or meandering between her breasts to follow along her toned stomach and snake around her legs. She hadn't realized she was thinking but without meaning to she realized the perfect way of getting Davidson off Justin's back.
After her shower she dialed the number of a blogger she knew, creating a path of information insurance that should hold Davidson in check and save Kate the distress of a very public scandal.
She tried to kid herself that she was doing it for the firm, the scandal certainly wouldn't be good for Reed & Reed, but in reality it wasn't the firm she was thinking of at all.
"Are you waiting up for me?" Kate asked as she walked into the living room that night, later than usual, to see Lauren reclining on the couch. The parallel to the night she stayed up for Lauren did not go unrealised.
"Yea, actually I am," Lauren said closing the file she was working on.
Kate felt her stomach infuse with warmth at Lauren's words as butterflies began to form, waiting for her to continue.
"I thought you'd like to know that you can rest easy tonight," Lauren said oddly nervous now that Kate was standing in front of her, "Your personal business isn't going to go public," she finished calmly, enjoying the relief that passed across Kate's features as she took a few steps forward and sat on the couch at Lauren's feet.
"How can you be so sure?" Kate asked, her brows furrowed.
Lauren, hyper conscious of Kate's body inches from her bare feet, pulled herself to a sitting position.
"Just trust me," she said, folding into herself, her hands in her lap, "I have a keen hunch," she hinted.
Recognition spread across Kate's features at the realization that Lauren had done something to stop this coming to light.
Lauren smiled, it was honest and a little sleepy and Kate found it only added to the warmth of happiness pulling at her stomach and radiating to her extremities.
"Good night," Lauren said, moving off the couch and walking across the carpet to the stairs leading to the upper floor.
"Lauren," Kate said, turning to face Lauren's departing form.
Lauren turned, hugging her case file to her as if to protect her from the feelings Kate's presence was causing.
"Thank you," Kate said simply, her eyes radiating the depth of meaning this held for her.
"You'd do the same for me," Lauren responded before giving Kate a thin-lipped smile and wishing her good night.
Kate watched Lauren leave with a lump in her throat, unsure how to process what had just happened between them. She flopped back on the couch, basking in the warmth and electricity in the room, trying not to think too hard about the reasons for them.