Disclaimer: Although these characters are my own, I am adding this in case someone would see any resemblance of the character of Xena and Gabrielle, who belong to MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No infringement on their rights is intended.


Subtext disclaimer: Anyone against two consenting adult females in a loving relationship? Bye-bye. Underage? See ya later, like when you're old enough. Illegal where you live? Sorry, but again back out. Anyone left? WELCOME.

And thank you for your time.

Thanks April, and also a friend who said to keep going!

Send any comments to djhw57@hotmail.com




A dark green Saturn slowly turned and pulled up in front of the gray ranch styled house. The engine quit, but no one got out. Two figures sat in the front without moving.

"Well, here we are." Commented Kate looking at her garage door.

"Yep. Here we are, home." Agreed Sam, smiling as she said the last word. Home. She was finally home...finally had a home to come to.

The dark head turned to the driver and returned the smile. "How does that sound to you, to be home?" Needlessly asking, because the look on the light complexioned face said it all.

It was late morning, almost noon. They could have made it in last night, if they had wanted to push it, but the opposite was true. One more night to themselves before beginning the work of combining two households. So they took the extra night and relaxed, getting more of a suite with a hot tub. The accountant shook her head at the price, but her eyes twinkled too. Why not splurge? It might be a while before they got a chance to get away again. Though to Sam's way of thinking, every day would be a vacation if she got to spend them with her new roommate.

They had traveled from Sam's apartment in the bigger city to Kate's suburban house in the green Saturn. Taking their time as they drove, stopping at shops or tourist traps just for the fun of it. Sam discovered that Kate loved gadgets...even the junky 99 cent ones, as they stopped and looked around. Just a big kid-eyeing everything up, and her enthusiasm and good nature made the trip fun even with the miles and miles of driving.

Kate was right in her early comment as they had left Sam's place. With no schedule, or timetable or real route, the writer was going to have some problem with that. They DID end up looking at the computerized map before the end of the day. But the time together had relaxed her lover, and she was getting the hang of 'going with the flow'. Especially when Kate popped in a CD from the disco stash that the quiet accountant had. They had taken turns driving, which had caused giggling from the shorter adult, as she fell into the place vacated by her taller friend...falling almost onto the floor because she had anticipated the seat to be...where it wasn't. For God's sake she couldn't even touch the dashboard! That meant of course that Kate had bruised knees from slamming into the steering column or dashboard when they exchanged places.

"Ugh! You forgot to let the seat back again, Shortstuff." Her new nickname for the blonde, rubbing her knee and setting it back. But then she laughed as she saw Sam sprawled in the side almost on the floor, because she's missed the seat again!

"Wow! What a trip! Well, you forgot to get this out of the back seat when you got out." Trying to rearrange herself with at least a little dignity.

Three days on the road was a long time for driving, but not long enough for the two women, who enjoyed nothing more than spending time together. Now the trip was over, and the work was looking at them from behind the garage door. Kate got out and hit the button to open the door. She looked in to see how full it was with Sam's furniture, walked in front of the door, looked again and then turned to look at the driver. The driver had gotten out as soon as the door had opened enough to see inside.

"WHAT THE…." Said in unison as they looked at each other. The garage was empty...well except for Baby Girl and Kate's Explorer parked in their usual places. NO FURNITURE.

"Oh God Kate, do you think the movers got lost or were in an accident?" Horrified that something had happened to the drivers.

The taller woman stepped back to check the roof, just in case. You just never know with her brothers...nope, nothing there either. "Nah sweetheart, they do that for a living...they don't get lost. I mean not for long. I guess we'd better go in and find out what's going on. Dad didn't say anything when I talked to him. But I never thought to ask about the moving van...I'm sorry. I should have." As an apology to her companion.

They walked through the garage to the back door and Kate used her key to open it up and walk in. Sam was right behind her and walked right into a very firm body ahead of her that had stopped without warning.

"Oh God...wait till I get my hands on them!" Looking around, and gritting her teeth.

Sam looked around the tall form and started to laugh. The BOYS had brought all the furniture in for them. Now there were two couches, two recliners, two TVs, two entertainment centers in the living room. Hardly a path to walk between items...sometimes none at all.

"Oh Kate, it's a riot!" Laughed the co-owner of the mess.

"A riot! Sam, now it's going to take twice as long to figure out what goes where, trying to move in all this mess." Hands on her hips looking around the room.

"I think it's funny...Come on Kate! Look at all the work they went through..."

The taller woman used her height advantage to scan and then turned to her partner. "Do you think THAT'S funny too? Think THAT was just being helpful?" Pointing towards the dining room. There was Sam's bed, put together and made up, ready for use.

"Well uhm" Now embarrassed, but trying not to show it. "Well, it's facing the TV sets, and it's close to the refrigerator." Scrambling to come up with something to defuse the situation.

Kate looked at her and then looked around again. She shook her head and started laughing. "I guess it's better here than on the roof, or out in the yard with a 'for sale' sign posted."

The blonde's eyes got big at the thought. "They wouldn't do THAT, would they? Wait...no, don't answer that question. It was stupid. But we have to think of something REALLY GOOD to get even with them." Narrowing her eyes now, thinking revenge.

"That's my girl." Complimented Kate. "You're getting the hang of it. Well let's empty your car and then see what we can do in here."

So they backtracked out and brought in the computer and suitcases. Not really knowing where to set anything. The long legged one climbed over one recliner and end table carrying the suitcases to their bedroom. When she got back out, she saw Sam reading a note on the outside of the fridge. "What's that?" Walking up behind her.

"Well, by the sounds of this, there's a full fledged conspiracy. Mom wrote us a note to say she stocked the fridge with the essentials so we didn't have to go shopping right away. So she had have known about this...which means Dad knew too."

"Hmmm. We'll have to really think about revenge now." Rubbing her large hands together.

"Kate! We can't to anything to your parents." Sounding shocked.

"Why not?" Sounding genuinely confused.

"They're your PARENTS, for God's sake." Wondering why she had to explain this in the first place.

"Yeh--Parents who set us up like the rest. So they fall into the revenge category, just the rest. Besides, who do you think taught the boys half the stuff they're doing now?"

Sam thought this must be another 'family' thing that she had to learn. Sounded kinda fun though! Looking around she turned to walk out of the kitchen only to be caught up in a pair of strong arms. Leaning into the embrace, she closed her eyes and enjoyed the feeling.

"Welcome to the family, sweetheart." Punctuating the end of the greeting with a breath stealing kiss. Kate was thinking about taking advantage of the dining room bed, but couldn't figure out a way to carry Sam there without the possibility of seriously injuring one or both of them. So she reluctantly released her precious package and just looked into those green eyes...right now a shade darker than a few moments before. Well, maybe she could get her over to that bed somehow….

"OK...family...welcome. Thanks." The writer sounding a little confused as she mumbled. Oh God...she still couldn't think straight when Kate kissed her like that. She turned back to look into the jumbled rooms with a pair of arms holding her close from behind, and a dark head resting on hers. "Where do we start?" Suddenly it looked like a lot of work!

"Knowing my brothers, they're just waiting for me to call them screaming at the top of my lungs...which of course I normally would do, before you. So I can call them and thank them for all their hard work, or we can do nothing and wait for their patience to run out and have them come to US. Which do you think?" Asking the other's opinion.

"Well, let's let them simmer. When they can't stand it any longer, they'll come over, and then we'll put them to work. But how will they know we're here?" Liking the basic idea.

"Oh, I'll call mom and just say we're back and not mention anything about this. That'll kill her too." Looking at the ceiling, thinking.

"Ooooo-sounds like a plan to me." Smiling at the idea of playing with her new family. Something she had no experience with, but willing to learn!

"But we can do a lot of small things ourselves." Said Kate who was not very patient herself. She spied the traveling CD case from the car and smirked. "Of course I can just put in the disco CD and sit back, and you'll have the whole place shipshape in no time." Backing up from the approaching small fireball, and tipping over the back of a couch and landing upside down on the cushion." Umph"

The little fireball looked over the top of the couch at the sight. "Serves you right! But I agree we can get a lot of stuff figured. First we have to sit down and decide what we keep and what goes downstairs, and what we want to trade for something else." Ms Organizational of 2000, taking charge. A glazed expression taking over her face.

"Sounds good." Seeing her friend go into 'list mode'. Crawling up over the couch again, she grabbed a writing tablet and pen, only to have it disappear from her hands as smaller ones took them away.

"OK. Three columns...up, down and trade." They ended up sitting on the kitchen counter to make out the list. Of course Kate's couch stayed right where it was...it was the place of honor, and their island of calm each night. Their 'date' place. So Sam's couch went downstairs. They decided both recliners would be traded for a love seat that had two recliners built in. Kate's entertainment center was larger than Sam's was, so that stayed to hold the combined collection of CDs, cassettes and videos. Sam's went into the trade column. Sam's earth toned colored overstuffed chair was a good mix for the couch so that stayed up along with the end tables that were in better shape than her partner's. Sam's TV goes into their bedroom with its stand. The new 'daughter' thought her stereo should go to the folks, as they had never bothered to get a nice sounding one.

That touched Kate's heart for Sam to offer. "Oh they'd love that sweetheart. You sure though? It's a nice system. We could put it in our room… but I kinda wired the whole house to my system, upstairs and down." Looking sheepish at her weakness for the 'whole house sound'.

"If you think they would accept it, I'd like to do that. They've been really wonderful to me, and it would just be a way to say thank you."

"OK. We'll check that off...I mean put it in the…what column would that go under?" Trying to keep to the account's organized list, but having a hard time categorizing everything in just three columns. So she made a neat notation along the side and hoped for the best! "Next would be the bedroom sets. What goes where? Might as well move that around while the boys are here for muscle."

"What do you want to do?" Asked Sam, already sure of her own answer.

Kate's eyes darted from her friend's face to anywhere else, uncomfortable with having to make this decision. "Uhm...I want to split things up so you've got your

own things through out the house, just as I have some of my stuff. But...umm-I kinda…." Stuttering out an explanation for her idea, and was glad when interrupted.

"Yours is special isn't it." Finished the blonde looking into suddenly shy blue eyes. Leaning over, she put her arm around the other's waist and squeezed.

"Yes it is. It's where we first made love...it's where we talked out our troubles. Next to the couch, it's the most precious piece of furniture in the house." Not looking away from the green eyes that had filled with tears as she spoke.

Her voice a little rough, Sam added. "It's the first place where I found out what love really was, with you. It was the destination of all our baby steps. I'm kinda attached to it too. We can move mine into the spare room and give your old set back to your parents."

Though it took a little ingenuity and balance, Kate managed to place the smaller woman on her lap, even sitting on the counter, for a hug and long tender kiss.

"Thank you. I'm glad we feel the same way. Not that we can't try out other places too now that we've got the whole house!" Wiggling her eyebrows and nibbling on her partner's neck. "You know...I bet I could get you over to the dining room in one piece if I had enough incentive." Whispering in an ear that she had discovered while roaming with her lips.

The accountant's inner voice told her to keep going with the list, as they were almost done with the big items, but a much louder voice yelled out to her consciousness, 'GO FOR IT' which of course sounded like a lot more fun!

"Incentive huh? Now just what form of incentive would that be?" Tangling her hands in the dark hair and drawing her into one mind numbing kiss after another.

After a few minutes of that, the kitchen counter was starting to look good to them. "Is THAT the incentive you wanted, my love?" Planting small kisses along the jaw and throat of her partner.

"Well...yes...that d-does give me specific...i-ideas. Now the only question is if my legs will hold both of us. Ohhh--God, you do that g-good!' Throwing her head back to give easier access to a certain lady on her lap.

A gurgle of laughter floated out of Sam as she checked out Kate's pulse point and just about took the tall woman right off the counter. "OK...that does it...hang on honey...you're taking a ride!" Praying that she wouldn't hurt anything she wanted to use in the immediate future! Off the counter they went and Sam's arms went around a neck with closed eyes--not wanted to know what was in their way to her bed. With only one more step to go, Kate relaxed...not a good thing to do. Her shoe hit a leg of an end table and they both ended up in a heap on the bed. Romantic-NOT!

"Umph!" Said the little blonde that landed on the bottom after a short flight out of Kate's arms onto the bed.

"Umph" Said the dark haired woman as she felt herself lose control of herself and her passenger...landing on the bed...which was good. But landing ON her passenger, which was not good...meaning not good till it was known that she was OK, then it would be really good!

"Wow" Blinking her green eyes to focus in on the woman above her. "That was fun...wanna do it again?" Teasing the worried look off the dark features.

"I don't think so...I'm pretty comfortable right where I am. Remind me to thank the boys for their consideration when they get here." Grinning at the blush she was causing.

"Oh geez Kate, we can't stay here...we'll get caught!" Starting to struggle to get up, and getting nowhere fast.

"Relax Shortstuff...remember...we haven't called them yet. They don't know we're here." Nuzzling any skin she could reach.

"Oh? O-oh!" Both said from the same person, but with entirely different meanings and voice inflections. "Come here then..." Pulling her partner down onto her, and enjoying this time in her new home...enjoying it a lot, for a long time.

Later in the day still snuggling in the dining room. "I suppose we should get up and call the folks." Said very sleepy sounding woman...holding her petite love to her.

"I suppose." Not moving.

"Can't reach a phone from here." Making a halfhearted attempt to reach a phone that was in the kitchen.

"Oh...too bad." Came the answer that was slowly losing the battle to stay awake.

Looking down, Kate smiled. "Well, I can't move now...I'll wake her up." Snuggling down and closing her own eyes for a rare afternoon nap.

Two hours later though, the bed was made, the phone call done and freshly showered and changed owners were moving some boxes into the appropriate rooms.

"Kate, this box of dishes. Why don't we just put it downstairs for now? It's nothing special--just some every day dishes I had. Oh, but this…" Reaching in a box and pulling out her coffee maker. "This goes front and center right away." Carefully setting it down on the counter making the other woman laugh.

"As far as kitchen space goes...I think we can combine everything we've got without having to store anything." Walking into the area and opening cupboard doors. On one shelf were a few pots and pans in front...behind them it was empty. Table setting of dishes for 4 were in the above shelves.

Sam had never really looked around when she had visited. Just grabbed what she needed when she cooked, and Kate mostly took care of handling the dishes as she set the table. So she looked in the cupboards and smiled. "I bet the shelf where you have your paper plates is full." Causing the tanned face to go darker.

"Hey...be nice! I'll hand you the stuff out of the boxes and you put it away where ever you want to...that will be easy for you to reach when you want. Just tell me when you want something put away on the adult height shelves, and I'll do that." A smirk on her face, getting even with the paper plate remark.

"I keep telling you...I'm not short...just height challenged! And really I'm average height except around your family." Defending herself. "But I'll tell you when I run into something that needs your 'special' touch."

So they emptied all the boxes marked 'kitchen', and tossed the empties by the back door. The wardrobe boxes were pushed into their bedroom for later. The boxes that Kate had filled from Sam's entertainment center were set over by their new home, and she almost drooled, wanting to get her hands on them.

They were about to start moving end tables when they heard two trucks pull into their driveway, honking horns.

"You know." The blonde said seriously. "Those boys should try to come out of their shells...they're just too shy." Smiling at the end.

"Geez...any LESS shy and they'd be arrested!" Complained their sister.

They both made their way to the back door to the garage to open it for their guests, stepping around the empty boxes. The writer grabbed a box to move it out of her way and stopped, an idea having arrived. Motioning to her partner to also pick up a couple boxes, they opened the door and threw them out...right into the group of guys just stepping up to the door.

"HEY!" Multiple people said, trying to shield themselves from the cardboard onslaught.

"Oh gee, I'm sorry." Apologized Kate, her voice dripping with insincerity. "I didn't see you there. Did you Sam?" Turning to her partner in crime.

"No. Not a clue they were there...you know how quiet they are." Trying to keep a straight face. "Come on in...we seem to have an overabundance of furniture from when we were here last." Stepping aside to let them through.

"Yeh- guys." Patting shoulders as they walked past...eyeing their sister suspiciously. "Thanks for bringing everything in. It was a lot easier to see everything and make decisions where things are to go. You were a big help." Winking at her friend, who had covered her mouth to keep from making a noise.

"Oh...uhm, glad we could help." Answered Jack, two years younger than his sister.

"Yeh...we thought it would be a help." Cut in Robbie, the youngest." Grinning at his older sister.

"Good...good." Turning to face everyone in the house now, as they were trying to find somewhere to stand without running into or stepping on something. "Sam and I went through most everything and you guys can shove it…I mean carry it to the place we listed it. Sam? You want to tell them where to go?" Winking again.

"Watch it sis…" Growled Jack as he looked at the two women.

"What do you mean, Jackie?" Sounding confused. "She's just going to read off her list what rooms the furniture goes in. What do you think I meant?"

And so the sibling rivalry and good-natured arguing bounced back and forth for the rest of the afternoon.

The eldest child had a wonderful time ordering them around--and if they questioned her, referred the list to Sam, who always agreed. All the guys had a slight crush on their sister's partner, and so everything SHE said was law. At least until she had them carry Kate's couch all over the living room and hold it while finally deciding that where it had started, was the best place after all.

But by suppertime everything was back in general order, though there was still some boxes to be opened. But that was something the women could manage easily. Kate surprised Sam by taking her down the hall to the exercise room and showing her that she had converted it into an office for her. The boys having carried all the equipment downstairs, and carried her desk in while someone else distracted her. That's where the extra phone line had been brought in, and Kate explained she thought it would nice as it had two windows so would have good light and a view of the back yard for scenery. But she could do whatever she wanted for decorating it as her office.

Sam really wanted to throw herself into her partner's arms, but held herself in check with everyone watching her. Not thinking it would be right to that in front of them. But as she stayed behind to look around, she heard Robbie whispering to his sister. "Gee...I thought she'd be real excited about your surprise, but she didn't say anything except thanks. Do you think she liked it?" Sounding a little hurt at her response, or lack of response. Oh Lord, this 'family' stuff was even harder than she figured, so many people to keep track of, when she was so used to being the only one.

Kate put her arm around the younger brother's shoulders and explained. "Yeh, she really thought it was cool. She's just kinda shy about showing it. She's not used to bouncing around like us...just give her time, Robbie. Pretty soon she'll be as crazy as the rest of us." Slapping him on the back as they moved out of hearing.

Green eyes filled with tears as she listened to her partner cover for her. The problem was she thought too much...had to learn to let her emotions run first, and not worry about things before. That would take time...time that Kate was willing to give her, and so the rest of her new family. No time like the present to start practicing though. So taking a deep breath she left her new office and joined the others.

"Well, guys I guess that takes care of all the big stuff, right?" Looking at her tall friend for confirmation. "So I guess I have to feed you for all your hard work. What do you want...my treat, as a thank you." Then trying to tease them without blushing herself. "Especially for the dining room furniture, huh?" Turning away before they could see her face...looking at the dark haired woman that had her jaw dropped and her blue eyes huge.

Complete silence for about 2 seconds, and then the place exploded in laughter. Not only for the comment, which really took them by surprise, but also just the look on their sister's face before it turned beet red, was worth all the hard work. It wasn't often that anyone got the last word in with their sister, and they all enjoyed being witness to it. Sam was going to be a great addition to the family.

Pizzas were orders, delivered and devoured. Now that there was room to move around, the floor became littered with tired bodies now full, and resting comfortably. As it got later, they slowly got up and made their way to leave. Kate hugged them all as they went by her in the kitchen, thanking them again, and promising a barbecue later on when they were more settled. But what surprised everyone was the other hostess waiting for them at the back door to give them all hugs too with a thank you for them, for helping her and welcoming her into the family.

The trucks were barely backed out of the drive when Kate grabbed Sam and pulled her into the living room to the couch, where she sprawled out and laid her head on the smaller woman's lap. "Ah...now I feel like I'm home." With a big sigh and turning her head to look up the woman she loved beyond words. "Looks a lot better now than when we first got here huh?" Watching the green eyes look around the room...seeing both her own and her partner's furniture scattered throughout, a nice blend of different tastes...bright with sedate, almost new to well used, all different but complimenting each other...like the owners.

"Sure does. I like how it all fits together somehow." Smiling at the results of their work.

"Just like us...different, yet fitting together." Reaching up to pull the hand stroking her hair and kiss its palm. Then noticing a yawn from her friend.

"How about we continue this snuggle where we'll be even more comfortable, huh?" Getting up to start shutting off lights and locking the doors.

Pulling herself up from the couch, the writer stretched and yawned again. "Sounds like heaven to me. I've missed that bed. It's so much more comfortable than hotel ones." Waiting for the tall form to return to her. Putting her arm around the other's waist, they walked to their room and got ready for bed, sighing as they climbed between soft cool sheets.

"Hmmm--this is nice" Pulling the blonde closer onto her shoulder to get comfortable.

The blonde burrowed her head and put her arm across a waist and threw a leg across other's legs and sighed again. "Yep...this is worth all the work we've done--this moment right here." Turning her head to kiss the convenient shoulder.

It didn't take more than a few moments before they both fell asleep...happy and content...and together.

They spent the next day finishing up the rest of the boxes, finding the only hard part was closet space. They decided that there was room to add another dresser without it getting too crowded and would shop together for one later...storing lesser-used clothes in the spare bedroom for now.

The accountant disappeared into her 'office' and emptied those boxes, setting up her desk again so everything would within reach. After an hour, she came back out...her green eyes shining, finding Kate sitting on the floor by the entertainment center with piles of CDs, cassettes and videos all in separate piles.

"I thought we were putting things away...not making it worse." Teased the blonde who joined the other woman on the floor.

"Well...yeh...but when I started putting them away, I thought it would be a good time to organize everything into their own sections. You must be rubbing off on me already." Grinning and poking the smaller woman in the ribs with her elbow.

Green eyes widened in mock horror. "Oh no! You mean I'm gonna…"

"Watch it little girl." Interrupting with a scowl.

"Maybe I was going to say something good." Poking back.

"Yeh, like that's gonna happen. You'd have to look hard to find something good in me that you're missing." Shaking her head. "Any special way you want these stored so you can find them?" Trying to change the subject unsuccessfully.

"Oh, come on my dear...you're so far above me...I'm just glad you let me share your shadow." Finishing softly and rubbing the athletic shoulders.

"I'm only above you in height. I'm the kind of person I am because of the way I was raised, and by whom I was raised. YOU, turned into a kind, compassionate, caring and nice person, IN SPITE of your upbringing. That shows an inner strength...a strong character. I don't know that I would have risen above it all. I admire and respect you more than you know." Explaining very seriously, and maintaining eye contact through out.

Sam was speechless...never having thought about it before. "I just did what I had to do...what seemed right." Shrugging her shoulders, lacking a better explanation.

"Well, a lot of people don't use their upbringing as a challenge...but as an excuse for their failures." Sliding over so they were shoulder to shoulder, and kissing her tenderly on the cheek. "I'm very proud of you and very proud to be a part of your life."

"Wow." Was all that came out before wrapping her arms around her partner and holding her close.

Knowing that she had overwhelmed her, and also gave her something to think about, Kate decided to change the subject. "Did you get your desk all set up and your computer running?" Pulling back and looking into shimmering eyes.

"Uh...yeh...all set. You made me forget why I came out here! I, uh, wanted to thank you for giving up your exercise room and turning it into an office for me. That was a really special thing you did...I didn't know what to say or how to act in front of your family. I had to really concentrate on not just jumping into your arms. I guess I should have...overhearing what Robbie said afterward. I don't want them to think I don't care. I'm just not used to being affectionate in public...Lord knows I didn't see it at home in private. ANYWAY...thank you for such a beautiful gift, and thank you for covering for me with your brother. I'll relax...I promise." Now looking down at the carpet, ashamed at not expressing her joy no matter who was around.

Cupping the lowered chin, Kate raised up the face till she could meet her eyes. "I understand, sweetheart. I can read your face, and your voice and your eyes-they were shining brighter than a kid at a surprise birthday party. Besides you more than made up for it hugging everyone good night. You know, they all have a crush on you. You probably made their whole month!" Grinning at the shocked look on the face next to hers.

"They what?! No! They're just being nice. No! Really? Wow!" Stuttering and stammering...her mind in a complete jumble.

Taking pity on her, she left it at that. "How about you help me put these away and then we think about supper...want to order out?" Not being able to resist a little joke on that subject.

"No-No ordering out. I've got plenty of time to start something for supper. If I have my way...all those phone numbers you've got memorized for take out places are going to fade away." Tapping the dark head still close to her. "There's stuff in the freezer, right?"

"Yeh, we'll go look after putting this away. Just kidding lady!" Tickling the petite form and rolling her around on the carpet like a couple of children. By the time the little play session was over, the CDs and cassettes, and videos had been pushed and shoved into a jumble again. Of course Kate landed on top...waiting to hear the magic word. "Come on...you know you can't win...just give up. I win...I'm the champion." Gloating her victory.

"OK...uncle...now let me up you goof." Trying to catch her breath.

Kate was about to roll off, but then stole a very thorough kiss as long as she was so close--and another as extra payment to get up. And another even longer one for…whatever. By now Sam wasn't trying to get up anymore, but had wound her arms around the tanned neck and pulled her down for more contact. Lost to time, place or any other thought...it all slipped away as inconsequential.

Finally slowing down, now dark blue eyes looked into dark green ones. "Have I told you yet today Ms Samantha that I love you?" Almost whispering the words, and her breath brushing against the face below her.

"I do believe you did...but I won't stop you from saying it as many times as you like. Cause I happen to be just crazy about you...and love you very much." Reaching up to kiss those full lips gently and lovingly one last time.

Together they made short work of the entertainment material, and then moved onto the next order of business...food. Deciding as long as it was nice out, that Kate would grill a couple steaks along with a couple potatoes, with a salad to balance it out, though someone didn't think it was unbalanced as is!

Evening found them in their favorite spot with their favorite person doing their favorite thing...or one of their favorite things: laying on the couch and relaxing with each other.

"Tomorrow's Monday, right?" Asked the accountant, who tended to lose track of the days without a structure of work.

"Yep...a new week starting. Why?" Only half awake with her stomach full and also her arms.

"Well. I was thinking that maybe we could call your Doctor, and have him refer you to a plastic surgeon for a visit and get that scar taken care of, if you still want it off, that is. Have you changed your mind?" Not wanting it to sound like she was pushing to get it done. She hadn't seen her any other way, and she didn't even notice it any more.

"Oh." Suddenly very awake and her mind picking up speed. "I suppose the sooner I get it done, the sooner it will be over. I'll call tomorrow and see what I have to do. Will you...uh...go with me when I go see the surgeon?" Suddenly not so brave about facing the whole thing again.

Reaching up to stoke the tanned cheek, Sam smiled. "Of course I'll go with you. I'll be there every step of the way. Anything you want. I want to help in any way I can."

"Just staying close by during this will be wonderful. I gotta admit to not wanting to go through another surgery and cut and bruising again. But in the end, if I get my face back, and with you by my side, I'll be fine." Sounding more sure of herself than she felt. "How about we get comfortable in bed and see if there's anything to watch on the TV...now that we have moved up in the world to having a TV in the bedroom." Smiling as Sam rolled her eyes.

So they shut off the lights, and locked up and moved to the bedroom, snuggling down in the blankets, getting comfortable and turning on the TV by remote. It didn't take very long before they found more interesting things to do than watch TV. It was still all so new to them...this freedom to express their feelings. And they were also riding a wave of joy of being together full time. So in the light of the television screen, they discovered a little more about each other and celebrated this special time in each other's arms. Then falling asleep, both content and happy with their life.

The next morning the phone call was made to the Doctor's office. "Oh really? Today? A cancellation? How nice. Sure...11:00. I'll be there. Thank you." The one sided conversation from the soon to be patient told the whole story to her friend. After hanging up, Kate turned around and smiled; though it didn't warm her blue eyes. "Gee-guess what? They had a cancellation today at 11:00, so I get in a lot faster than I thought." Not sounding as pleased as the words sounded.

"Well, that's good. Then you don't have so much time to dwell on it before hand. You said you've got to run over to the folks' for business, and I have some work to do, so that should give us both time to do that before leaving. Sound like a plan?" Walking over and rubbing the tanned arm.

"Yeh...you're right. The less time to worry, the better. I'd better get going, then I'll be back in about an hour, OK?" Turning to hug and kiss her partner. "Thanks for going with me, I appreciate it."

Squeezing back in the hug, Sam answered. "No problem, my love. There's no place I'd rather be. If I stayed here, I'd just pace around until you got back, and not get any work done anyway. Might as well be useful. I'll be waiting for you...about an hour, right?" Walking arm in arm to the back door. "Oh, are you taking my stereo system to them?" Trying to get out of being there in the spotlight, and really not knowing how to handle Kate's folks.

This time the baby blues sparkled with the grin. "Nope. You get to do that. I'll go with you, but it's your idea so you have to be there. Don't worry, they'll think it's really sweet of you." Trying to convince her friend not to be apprehensive around her family.

"OK...OK. Maybe later then. You'd better get going so you don't have to rush." Stealing one more kiss.

"Yes ma'am." Sounding like a student to her teacher.

Swatting the form walking as it swayed past her, going out the door. "I'll Ma'am you!" And then laughing and walking back towards her office. Sitting down at her desk, she couldn't help but swing the chair around in a circle and look out the window into the back yard. "Wow. I still can't believe that I belong here...that this isn't just a dream." Leaning back and putting her hands behind her head with a happy sigh. "Well, this dreamer has to work now...numbers to crunch...columns to balance." Turning back to her desk, and turning back into the accountant, zoned in on her computer screen to work. She only returned to be aware of her surrounds when her timer went off. Learning the hard way how time got away from her, she always set an alarm to quit at a certain time if there was something to do or someplace to be. Her accounting concentration was bad...her fiction writing was almost impossible to keep track of time. Just shutting down her PC, she heard the back door open.

"I'm home...anybody miss me?" Calling out the tall woman as she entered her house.

Getting up, Sam left her office and walked out to 'meet and greet' her roommate. "Always...it's quiet here without you." Getting and giving a hug and kiss.

"Are you implying that I'm noisy?" With an exaggerated facial expression of shock.

The blonde woman laughed and then grabbed the large hand to lead her into their bedroom. They only had about 20 minutes to change and leave to be to the Doctor's office on time.

Someone wasn't in any hurry though. "Why Miss Samantha...are you trying to coax me into your boudoir to have your way with me?" Using her thick, fake southern drawl, and slowing down their progress to their room.

"Why of course, sugar." Playing along with the game. "And my way with you happens to get ready to leave here. Now let's go before we're late." Pulling her companion into their room.

"Gee-you take the fun out of it." Pouted the tanned face as she walked to the closet door. "Think it's OK to wear jeans, or Dockers?" Looking at the selection

in front of her.

"Well, since no one should be noticing that particular part of your anatomy but me, I don't know why you can't be comfortable and wear your jeans. They look nice on you. Like everything else." Walking over to join her partner at the open door. Lifting up on tip toes to whisper in the other's ear. "But what I think looks best on you---is nothing." Enjoying the flush on the tanned skin as she chuckled. It was fun to surprise Kate once in a while with a comment like that, when she least expected it. It was kind of a game they played...points scored for every time one surprised the other with a comment or zinger.

"Uh...oh...OK. Then...jeans it is." Stuttering a bit as she reached for a hanger.

Darn...she got me again!

So at least they left the house in good spirits, Sam trying to keep her partner as relaxed as possible. At the medical office, the Plastic surgeon went over her file with her and examined the scar before making any comments. "Well Kathryn,"

"Please, call me Kate. Kathryn makes me think I've done something wrong." Trying to mask her nerves with humor. Though it only worked minimally.

"OK, Kate." The Doctor agreed smiling. "Looks like you were very luck to walk away with as few problems as you did. Another inch and that eye would have been in danger." Looking at the scar.

"Yes sir. I realize that. If I had been driving a smaller vehicle, I might not have walked away at all." Agreeing with the information. Not realizing that this was news to her partner...green eyes widening and color draining from her face.

"Well, let's see then. The scar is well healed. We usually like to wait at least 6 months before scar revision to allow the healing to be complete. I think we can make this a lot less noticeable. But you should know that no one can make it disappear. But we can lessen it to the point where it won't be noticed. Is that something you're interested in?"

Yes, sir...it's really bothered me a lot. A lot more than I thought it would. If you can help lessen it, I would like to go forward with it. Do I have to go to the hospital?" Crossing her fingers and praying not. The time she spent there after the accident was not pleasant. She hated to be confined and indoors with no fresh air, and at times felt the walls were closing in on her.

"Sorry Kate, we will be doing this in the hospital, but as an outpatient procedure. What will happen will be that the old scar is removed by an incision and replaced with one that will blend with the contours natural lines of your face. Since yours is long, I'm going to make small breaks or zig zags to break the scar up and make it even less obvious. I'll close the wound with very fine stitches. I'll do this at the hospital early in the morning. It will take 1-2 hours and another 1-2 hours in recovery and you should be home by early afternoon. For the first 24 hours I want you to take it easy and rest. I'll go into more detail that day and have everything written down for you also. You shouldn't drive for a day or two. You should expect some bruising and swelling for 1-2 weeks. I'll give you a prescription for some pain medication and you shouldn't take aspirin as it increases the risk of bleeding. But don't try to remember it all now, I'll go over it again with both of you before you go home and have it written out with instructions to take with you. Do either of you have any questions right now?" Sitting back and looking at both women.

"No. Not that I can think of." Answered the patient to be. "It's a lot of information to digest, so if I think of something I'll write it down and ask later." Starting to feel like she needed to leave...now.

Sam saw the blue eyes start to dart around the room, and the tension in her body sitting there and something different in her voice. Time to get her out...now. So standing up, she held out her hand to shake his. "Thank you Doctor, you have given us an idea of what to expect. Just call us when you can set it up." Not really aware of all the 'we's and 'us'es' used. "Any time you can fit her in, we can make arrangements for."

"OK. I'll have my nurse arrange it and call you." Shaking Sam's hand and also Kate's as they walked to the exam room door to leave. "I'll have her call you this afternoon. It was nice to meet you both and I'll see you soon." Smiling, he left them outside the door to see his next patient.

The blonde had a hard time trying to keep up with her long legged friend until they left the building and out into the fresh air. Kate stopped then and took a deep breath, and then another. "Thanks for wrapping that up for me. I was starting to feel a little claustrophobic." Looking gratefully at her partner.

Sam smiled and took the larger hand in hers to squeeze and then release it as long as they were in public. "Yeh, I could tell. I guess it paid to hear your voice on the phone so much. I can pick up on things like that now. " Not being able to resist patting her on the back as they walked down the sidewalk towards her car. "Well, that part's done and we know what's going to happen."

The tall woman looked over and smiled. "Think you can put up with me for a week while I'm stuck in the house, if I promise to be a good girl?" Feeling more like her old self now that they were out in the open.

Looking up at the smirk on the other's face decided to get another point on their continuing game of 'gotchas'. "I'll put up with you being a good girl, and I'll enjoy you being a bad girl even more." YES! Another point smiling as Kate almost tripped on the sidewalk.

"Hey...if I fall down Shortstuff, I'm taking you with me! And I'll make sure you're on the bottom to cushion me." Trying to sound threatening.

But Sam was on a roll and loving it. "Promises...promises. That's where I usually am anyway!" Watching the blue eyes widen, and then they both laughed as they got in the car to go home.


As promised, the nurse called Kate and set up the procedure for Friday morning.

That would give her time to set things up for work and arrange things like they had been after her accident. Doing more of the paperwork and phone calls and ordering things and coordinating work, letting the family and workers do more of the foot work, and she'd still be working...just at a more sedate level.

The writer was pleased it was set up yet for this week. She could see the worry and tension on her partner's face and thought the sooner this is over, the better,

and told her so when they talked about it.

"I just wish I didn't have to go to the hospital. I really hate that part. I spent too much time there." Stopping her sentence and looking deep into green eyes. "Get me out of there as soon as you can OK?" Sounding a little panicky...so unlike Kate. This was a new side to the usually so relaxed and easygoing woman that she was used to.

Looking back, she reached over and stroked the tan cheek with her hand. "Of course I will, my love. As soon as you can do whatever it is you have to do, I'll pack you up into a wheelchair and escape with you back here and into bed." The grinning mischievously to break the tension. "And you know that's just where I like to have you." Succeeding in getting an answering smile.

"You're in top form today aren't you sweetheart." Grateful to have this woman to share this with. "But thanks...for coming with me today...and volunteering to watch over me while I have it done. If it wasn't for you, I might not even being doing this." Leaning over to brush her lips on the soft cheek.

"Well, quoting a wise woman I know." Repeating the phrase that Kate had used on her earlier. "That's one of the good things about being together all the time. We don't have to go through anything alone anymore." Wiggling her eyebrows. "But you're welcome. You know I'd do anything for you."

Blue eyes were a little misty, but also full of love for this woman who had changed her life...all for the better. How had she lived for so long without all this love and laughter in her life? It was certainly something she didn't want to do without again...ever. And she would do whatever she could to make it last forever. Trying to get the mood back to an easier level, she asked. "Do you think this warrants getting the chocolate chip ice cream out?" Asking for their favorite comfort food. They had even just brought out the container with two spoons on an occasion, much to the delight and embarrassment of Samantha.

The blonde reached out her little finger to her companion. "Twist my arm." They both laughed and got up to get bowls and spoons.

The rest of the week went by much too quickly for Kate, torn between wishing it was over, and wishing it would never come. The two women made the trip to the hospital early Friday morning, both much more somber than the trip to the Doctor's office earlier in the week. Sam stayed in the room with her friend until they took her out for the procedure, and then followed her out holding her hand as they made their way down the hall where she would be put under anesthesia. No one seemed to notice them, or if they did, ignored it. As this point neither one of them cared who was around. As they stopped at the door, the writer leaned over and whispered in the patient's ear. "I'll be right here when you wake up, OK? I love you." Kissing her on the cheek.

With one last squeeze of the smaller hand Kate whispered back. "Thank you-- love you too." Then she was wheeled out of sight.

Sam walked slowly back down the hall to the surgical waiting room, knowing it would 1-2 hours for the procedure. Trying and failing to sit down and read, or work on a story idea that she had brought with her, finally got up and alternated between staring out a window and pacing. The hands of the clock just crawled by until finally the phone rang and a volunteer answered it, wrote down some information and hung up. Handing the paper to Samantha she smiled. "Here you go dear...your friend has been moved to this room."

Even though Kate was still under the effects of anesthesia, the blonde relaxed in a chair next to the bed, happy to be in the same room again. And as soon as the patient was aware of her surrounds, was anxious to leave, but had to keep some liquids down before being discharged. True to the surgeon's word, within two hours, they were walking out to the Saturn to head home.

As soon as they walked into the house, the caretaker tried talking Kate into laying down as the instructions said with some ice on the wound to help with any pain, bruising and swelling. But the negotiations stalled, until both parties agreed to lay down and nap. But since neither one had slept well the night before, and Sam was still recovering herself from her first waiting room trauma, worrying about all the things that could go wrong, she relented and they both slept for a much needed couple hours.

Per instructions, they used the ice for a couple days, and with threats of a call to her mother, she kept semi-quiet by reading or watching TV. But by the end of the week she was up and around, feeling pretty good again, really glad that it was behind her. Now it was just waiting for things to get better. After a couple weeks the bruising and swelling were gone and the stitches were out, and to Kate's eyes, it already looked better. It would not be considered completely healed for a full year.

A lot had happened to the two of them in a short amount of time. It seemed like they hadn't stopped running since they had flown out of town to move Sam back. So these two weeks of quiet, was just what they needed to settle into a routine.

Going through this face surgery a second time was so different than when it first happened. And one night in bed she explained it to Sam. They were laying down relaxing after turning the lights out.

"You know sweetheart, I've never really said much about the accident. At first it was because it was too painful, and then I just wanted to forget it, but the scar wouldn't let me. Even though I was only in the hospital a few days, it seemed like weeks of being trapped in that room with no open windows for fresh air or being able move around as I pleased. After I was finally discharged, everyone volunteered to stay with me or tried to talk me into staying with them. But I couldn't let anyone help...had to handle it alone...probably to prove to myself more than anyone else that I was OK. But the nights were long, and sometimes I had to leave the stereo on all night just for some noise. Then I found this author on the computer, and nothing's been the same since. With you here in my life, this time it's not so scary...I don't have to be brave...the house isn't so empty, and I don't have any nightmares when I'm in your arms."

The words touched Sam deeply, and she quietly added her version. "I've never been needed by anyone before, so it's been wonderful for me to be able to help you. I don't feel so useless. Those couple hours in surgery were like days, not being with you...even to just watch over you." Then she smiled. "I think when you were in recovery, I even synchronized my breathing with yours, as if that would make you breathe easier and wake up faster." Chuckling to herself.

Long fingers stroked the blonde head on her shoulder. "You've helped me in so many ways from small to large...I can't even begin to name them all. I thought my life was full before I met you, but now I can't imagine going back to that again. I'm so at peace...so...I don't know how to describe it." Trying to find the words for this feeling of completion she'd had since they met.

"I know love, I feel the same way...but my life was so different before, that I can't even compare them. I only know that before I met you I was existing, and now I'm living...not just breathing." Her voice cracked as she finished.

Strong arms held her tighter. "Well, I guess it's unanimous then...we're both pretty happy at the changes in our lives since we met."

"Oh yeh...very happy." Agreed Sam, snuggling into her favorite 'pillow', the shoulder of the one she loved. Thinking out loud, the writer continued in a serious voice. "You know, we both had our scars when we met. Mine were on the inside, and yours on the outside, but with finding each other, we've helped the other heal them. You taught me and showed me that what I thought and had been told was so wrong."

Caressing the blonde hair, Kate continued. "And you made me see that I didn't have to keep my scar out of guilt or thinking I was vain. You gave me back something I had lost with the accident...a part of me." Kissing the top of her lover's head.

Now Sam had a lump in her throat, but talked around it. "It's like your surgeon said, scars can be moved, broken up or made smaller, but they cannot be completely taken away. Because of what we went through, we're not the same people we would have been if we'd never gone through what we did with them. You say I'm stronger because of what I went through, and I think you now know that you don't have to carry the world on your shoulders...learned NOT to try to be so strong."

The taller woman rolled to her side to face the one she wanted by her side, always. "That's because I was lucky to find someone who helped me...you looked at me and saw inside...not just the surface, and that alone started to heal me enough to ask for help to heal the rest of the way. I'm very lucky to have found you sweetheart, and luckier to have you in my life." Punctuating the end of the sentence with a long and tender kiss, losing herself in the soft lips, and unconsciously deepening it.

Sam had to work hard to keep track of what she wanted to say...Lord, that woman can kiss! When the world stopped spinning, the green eyes focused on the blue ones. "And that's exactly how I feel, my love. The odds of us finding each other and reaching this point are astronomical. But we have, and not only do I feel extremely lucky, but I say a prayer of thanks each and every day for you." Now the writer figured that this conversation needed to lighten up, or they'd both be in tears. So rolling both of them till she was looking down at the face she loved so much, gave a mischievous smile, and let her hands start to roam. "And speaking of lucky...feel like getting lucky?" Hearing a gasp as her hands found a particularly sensitive spot, then adding her lips to her travels.

Kate closed her eyes, enjoying the sensations spreading through her, and the weight of her lover resting on her. This woman in her arms, was the same woman who had trouble even making that first phone call to talk to her...this woman who was now taking control of their lovemaking. Not that she minded...oh not her...won't hear her complain! "Oh, I think I can be persuaded...o-oh yes...that's very persuasive." Letting her own hands now caress and stroke the soft skin above her.

Their breathing became ragged and their hearts pounded, and their movements became faster until they pushed each other over the edge into that special place that they had found together, and then slowly returning to awareness of their surroundings...very happy and very sleepy. Again moving to their favorite sleeping positions, they settled down for the night.

"I love you, Kathryn Elizabeth."

And I love you, Samantha May."

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