Dampen My Fears

by Teagen2

Alternative Content Warning: This story contains scenes of a loving relationship between two women.

Uber Warning: This story is an uber. The two characters are based off of the leading ladies of XENA WARRIOR PRINCESS.

Author's Notes: All POSITIVE comments are welcome. Negatives I will simply ignore. Send your thoughts to startrek@ellijay.com.

These Georgia summers are enough to drain your life forces. I haven't been able to get near a pool since I was ten. Here I am at Wagner's City Recreation Center. I agreed to meet Greg here with his family. As I pay and walk through the door to the outdoor pool, I catch the scent of chlorine. I hate that smell. I spot Greg and his wife, Jill on loungers. "Hey, Tay." he waves. I'm in my one piece red swimsuit, but my black nylon pants hide everything from the waist down. My bare feet made me aware of the wet tiled floor.

"Hey guys. Where's Jason and Jana?"

"Over there with Tim." He points and waves when his twins turn and look at him.

"Hi, Aunt Tay." Jana smiles.

"Hi Sweetie." They return to their frolicking.

"So, how's life Tay?" my sister-in-law asks.

"Fine." I sigh. Lonely is more like it.

A sharp whistle blow jolts my attention to the lifeguard above us on her platform.
"Walk! No running." she said to two teenage girls racing for the diving board. I couldn't see her clearly, but I was mesmerized. She was wearing a black suit similar to mine with black shorts. When she stood, I noticed NIKE printed across the rear of her shorts. I smiled. Nice rear. I observed her. She was wearing sleek, dark shades. Her hair was black and long. She ran her fingers through it as she reached for a water bottle at her feet. She grimaced and whispered, "Damn." I reached into my insulated bag and pulled out my bottle of Auqafina. I stood from my seat and walked up next to her platform.

"Hey." She looked down at me. I tossed the bottle up and she caught it easily.

"Thanks." she smiled. "What do I owe ya?"

"Keep it." I waved and sat down on my lounger.

"Somebody's flirting." my brother sang.

"Am not." I pout. "I just gave her some water." I nudged him with my elbow.

"Yeah. Uh huh."

"Shut up Greg." I felt the blush creep into my cheeks.

"Miss Baywatch was checking you out."

"When?" I asked, not believing.

"When you turned around and had a clear view of your 'assets'" he grinned.

"She did not."

I was oblivious to the flurry of wet kids and adults around me. My heart nearly stopped when I saw she was coming down. I watched her as she gracefully descended the ladder. She walked right up to me. Greg decided to make an exit. "Thanks for the water." she gestured with the now empty bottle.

"No problem. Gets hot up there I'm sure."

"Not going in?"

"I don't swim." I said, looking at my feet.

"Oh." She rocked back and forth on her heels slightly. "I'm Christy by the way." She extended her hand. I couldn't get mine out there fast enough. "Everybody calls me Chris."

"Tay Tucker."

"Tay? That's an interesting name." She slowly took off her shades and I nearly stumbled backwards. "What?" she asked. I was awestruck by the beauty that face contained.

"Nothing." I said shyly. "Its..actually short for Taylor."

"Oh." she smiled. "Nice to meet you, Tay." I watched as she walked over to the next platform and yelled up something to another guard before making her exit.

Last night I was cursed with my drowning nightmare again. I have not gone in the water because of it. Watching movies like Jaws or The Abyss terrify me. However, I returned to the city pool again. This time watching the kids through the fence. My niece and nephew live in this pool during their summer vacation. "Hi Tay." I was startled by a voice behind me. I turned around and found Chris. "Sorry, didn't mean to scare you."

"That's okay." Standing in front of her, I noticed how tall she really was. She stood at least eight inches taller. She was wearing the same outfit as yesterday, except for red NIKE shorts. A bag was slung over her right shoulder. "Working?"

"Nope. Just got off. What brings you back?"

"My niece and nephew. Hardly get to see them at all in the summer if I don't come to the pool." I chuckled.

"I know what ya mean. My ex said that about me once." We stood merely exchanging looks.

"Man its hot as hell out here. How do you stand it?" I fanned the front of my T-shirt for emphasis.

"Oh sometimes a beautiful young pool patron will throw me a bottle of water." Beautiful? I saw her look towards the parking lot.

"Do you have a car?"

"Yeah, but its at home. My friend Janna dropped me off this morning. She promised to come back for me, but she's always an hour or so late." We started walking towards the lot and to a bench. There was a definite 'wobble' to her pace. She straightened her leg out before sitting.

"You okay?"

"I have stitches in a three inch gash in my leg."

"Ouch." She laughed.

"The ouch came from when I got hit by a car."

"Oh man." she nodded. "How can you swim?"

"I'm not actually. I just serve as a look out. Rodney does the rescues for now." I nodded.

"Need a lift?"

"You mind?"

"Not at all." I waited patiently for her to stand and then we walked to my car.


"So Tay, what do you do for a living?" I asked as I smiled at this gorgeous woman.

"I paint."

"Pictures?" She smiled.

"No, houses. My brother owns a painter's service. Its hard work, but I love it."

"Third one on the left." I motioned. She pulled up in front of my house. She shut the car off and walked around. Tay reached out a hand and helped me out of the low car. "Thanks for the lift."

"No problem. Need any help getting inside?" Oh yeah! I didn't want to take advantage of her good nature though.

"No thanks. Guess I'll see you around. Bye."

"Yeah." It was an ackward moment, but it was soon over when I walked away into my house.

I found myself looking for that cute little blonde everyday at the pool. Its been two days since she gave me a ride home and I haven't seen her since. I caught a glimpse of her brother, at least I think that's who it is. He and his wife sit on the same chairs every time their here, right beside my platform. I was just about to start up my ladder, when I heard him say, "Hi." Like every other man at this pool, married or not, he says hello.

"Afternoon." I nod. As I start to climb up, I say over my shoulder. "Your Tay's brother aren't you?"

"Yeah I am. I'm Greg Tucker." he smiled. I got to the top and sat in my seat. I draped my whistle string around the armrest. He gets up and and walks to the base. "You know my sister?"

"Chris." I nodded. "I talked to her briefly. She was kind enough to give me a ride home a couple of days ago." I said without removing my eyes from the swimmers.

"Oh, that's Tay alright."

"Haven't seen her around." He sighs heavily.

"She hates the water."

"Yeah she says she can't swim. I'd be happy to teach her sometime."

"Its not just that." I wasn't going to pry, but he did make me concerned. "How much? I'll pay ya. Maybe that's what she needs." I didn't know he meant by 'needs'.

"No, I'll teach her for free."

"That'd be great." he smiled. "In fact, she should be by later today."

"Actually I can't get in the water for another couple of days. I can talk to her though. I get off at eleven." I looked at my watch, ten fifteen.


I climbed down at exactly eleven. When I came back from punching out, I saw Tay and her brother in a heated conversation. "I don't want to learn how to swim, Greg." She was visibly shaking.

"Tay, listen it might do you good." He reached for her, but she pulled away with tears forming in her green eyes.

"No." she sobbed. "I won't do it."

"Chris said she'd teach you." With that I saw her bolt from her brother. I chose that time to make my presence known.

"Greg, I'm sorry. If it upsets her...."

"She'll come around." he interrupted.

I watched Tay move to her lounger today. I signaled Rodney I was moving. He waved and I hopped down and hobbled to her. "Hi, Tay."

"Hey." she said softly, looking at her hands in her lap.

"Can I sit for a sec?" She immediately moved her legs over, making room for me to sit.

"Oh sure. Leg better?"

"Got the stitches out yesterday afternoon. I can go back in the water in a day or two." She
chose not to comment. "About Greg and yesterday, I'm sorry. I was the one that offered to teach you." I could easily read the fear in her eyes.

"I...umm...I almost drowned when I was a kid and I have constant nightmares about it."

"If I can help, I'd like to."

"My brother's right. I need to get over my fear."

"I DON'T want to push you into anything, but I'll be happy to teach you."


"Sure. I can meet you here at seven. The pool doesn't open till eight-thirty if you want a private lesson." Oh how am I going to handle myself around her alone?

"Okay, seven tomorrow."

I was there bright and early. Tay arrived right on time. She was dressed in an aqua blue one piece suit. I had to force myself not to look at her for very long, out of fear of being caught. "Okay." I slid into the shallow end and motioned for her to join me. I held out my arms to guide her descent into the waist high water. I felt the slightest of trembling begin. I gently pulled her towards deeper water. When the water got to her shoulders, she began to shake and whimper, reminding me of a puppy's reaction. "Shhh. Its okay. I've got you." I talked softly in her ear as I wrapped my arms around her for support, making sure to keep her feet firmly planted on the bottom of the pool. "You trust me?" I ask. I receive a meek nod. "We're just going to stand here in the water. Just relax and get the feel of it. She started to cry. Oh gods, what have I done? "Shhhh." I rubbed my hand to reassure her. Her hands gripped my forearms like vices. "Do you want to get out now?"

"No." she sniffed.

"Okay. Let go of my arms whenever you're ready and just move around a little. Your feet are on the bottom, your not going to go anywhere." After several minutes, it was clear she wasn't going to let go. I gently pried my arms away from her body and held them straight out, taking hers with mine. I moved my arms back and forth. Soon, she got the courage to release my arms and stand on her own. I slowly moved away from her until I was not touching any part. "Good, Tay." I smiled. I got that smile returned. I moved in front of her. The water just barely came to my breasts. I took both my hands and ran them through my hair, a habit I have developed. She stared at me, her movements forgotten.

"You okay?"

"I'm good." she grinned strangely. I had to smile.

"Is this enough for today?" I ask.

"Does that mean your leaving?"


"Well, I guess it is." She moved past me and walked to the ladder. I followed behind her, watching the view as she ascended out of the water.

I could barely breath with Tay around now. There was no doubt that I was in love with her. Greg seemed to think she liked me too, or so he says. I was surprised when the twins yelled, "Hi Chris!" while I was up on my platform. Tay was a normal visitor during the day after she got off from work. I smiled when I saw her boldly go into the shallow end today with Jill to toss a ball back and forth. I saw Tay wink at me. I dropped my shades and returned it.

We became good friends. That was obvious to anyone who cared to watch. Today during my lunch break, I joined her poolside where I finally got some background on her fear of water. "I didn't know how to swim. My stepdad held me under for over four minutes and I came close to drowning. They used CPR and brung me back."

"Why did he do that?" I caressed her shoulder.

"He was drunk, Chris. That and he hated me. He was killed in car accident when I was eighteen."

"I'm sorry. If it makes you uncomfortable, we don't need to continue."

"I need it." I reached up and brushed the bangs out of her hair.

"I've gotta go." I whispered.

"Go." she grinned.

Today we made good progress. Chris held my hand as we dove under the surface in the swallow end. When we came up, we were in each other's arms. I don't know what possessed me, but I leaned forward and kissed her full on the lips. I was surprised she didn't pull back or tense. She merely relaxed into me, wrapping her arms tightly around the back of my neck and my lower back. Opening her mouth I tasted the chlorine that lingered on her skin. This way it doesn't bother me. When we both ran out of air, we parted. "Where did that come from?" Chris smiled.

"I'm sorry."

"No, no. I liked it."

"You did?"

"Yes I did."

"Does that mean..."

"It means whatever you want it to, Tay."

"I want you." I whisper. She closes the distance between us, wrapping herself around me.

I saw the inside to Chris' house today. She made me watch the Blue Lagoon. She called it research. Whether it was actually on the swimming or on the kissing, I couldn't be sure. we ended up making out twenty minutes into it. During a heated session on my neck, she murmured, "I love you." which I gladly returned.

Our relationship has been steady in its progress. Now I am finding it harder to keep my hands to myself around her. She is beautiful. I watch her from my spot below her. When she can, she smiles down at me. "Baby, you need any water?" I smile.

"Sure." I toss up a cold bottle. "Thanks." She chugs it with vigor. I worry about her getting heat exhaustion, but she's tough.

It happened so suddenly, I didn't really understand what was happening. A man ran towards us and reached up towards Chris. She didn't see him because she was seeing a drowning child. Just as Chris started her dive into the water, the man grabbed her ankle. She groaned as she was thrown off balance and hit the water on her left side. "CHRIS!" I jumped up. Two guards pulled the man down, who was still trying to get on the platform.

"My baby! She's drowning!" he screamed. Rodney had dove in and rescued the child. I suddenly realized Chris didn't come up.

I closed my eyes and tried to remember what Chris taught me. I jumped in at the same location she fell in. My heart pounded as I swam to the bottom to see Chris grabbing her side, unable to swim. I wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her to the surface.
"Oh gods that hurt." she whimpered, her eyes squeezed shut. A guard lifted her out of the water. She coughed up a small amount of water.

"You okay, Dalton?" Tim asked.

"Yeah." she coughed. "Wind got knocked outta me." She looked up to see the guards motioning the crowd back.

I was sitting on a lounger with my brother. He just wrapped a towel around my shoulders, but I was still shivering uncontrollably. "You did it, Sis." He rubbed my back as I leaned into him. "You swam. I saw you."

"Who pulled me out?" I heard Chris ask.

"Your girlfriend did, Silly." Kate smiled.

"My..." I saw her get up and make her way to me. Greg immediately made room by relinquishing his position to Chris. "Tay." She took me in her arms and I cried.

"I was so scared." I breathed.

"Thank you, Tay. I love you. I'm so proud of you. You saved my life." I really didn't see it that way, but I guess I really did.

"Are you okay?" I pulled back worried.

"I'm fine." she comforted. I was finally able to conquer that pool and my fear.

I don't think my summers will ever be the same.


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