Disclaimer: Characters and situations are all from my imagination. In fact, a couple of them might be familiar from other stories I've written.

Warnings: Sex and love between women.

Spoiler Alert: This story is set after my upcoming novel "On the Air" and, therefore, contains situations and comments that may be considered spoilers to that story. If you've read the story here at the Academy, you have nothing to worry about. But if you're waiting to buy the book (pleasebuythebook ;-D), I'd suggest keeping this one on the waiting list for the moment.

Feedback: Constructive criticism and feedback, both welcomed at neil_j_miser@yahoo.com

Rounding Home

by Geonn


Copyright © 2007 Geonn Cannon


It was the best break-up of all time, it was the worst break-up of all time. Apologies to Charles Dickens, Kate couldn't help smiling when she thought of it that way.

Her separation from Nadine Butler had been hard, as all break-ups are, but this one involved such epic proportions that she wasn't sure where to begin. The beginning of their end was a newspaper article Kate herself had written, which had spawned a lynch mob, which had led to Kate making a half-assed suicide attempt. But when all was said and done - when the rock-throwers were taken care of, when the furor had quieted down - their break-up had come down to a few softly-spoken words next to a hospital bed. They were still friends and were able to sit and have the occasional dinner together.

And somewhere during the entire debacle, they had both ended up with new partners. Nadine was happily cohabitating with her boss, while Kate had been spending a lot of time getting to know Amy Wellis. Part of that 'getting to know each other' period involved long, hot hours working up a sweat together.

Kate bent her knees and leaned forward, squinting as the sweat burned her eyes. Her hair was bunched in a ponytail and hung like a weight between her shoulders. She wrapped her fingers around the wooden shaft with both hands, steadied herself and planted her feet shoulder-width apart. She squinted and adjusted her weight to her right leg.

A second later, she lifted the bat off her shoulder and swung it in a wide arc. The wood cracked against the leather ball and sent it back in the direction it had come from. With one smooth motion, Kate dropped the bat and pushed off her right foot. She ran towards first base, ignoring the swarming yellow uniforms of their rivals. She saw that the players were all facing away from her, so the ball couldn't be nearby.

She pounded her foot into first base and took the moment to check the ball's position. Just as she spotted the outfielder throw her hat to the ground, Kate heard someone from the dugout screaming like a banshee. She slowed to a trot when she realized the yellow caps were drooping and blue uniforms were rushing onto the field. She pushed the brim of her cap out of her eyes and looked towards the outfield.

Home run. She'd broken the tie right before they would have had to go into overtime.

She threw her arms in the air and turned in time to be grabbed around the waist. Jill Colby, their shortstop, pulled Kate into a rough hug and screamed, "God, I cannot believe that! If I didn't know better, I'd say you had planned it that way."

Kate smiled and accepted the hugs and back-pats from the rest of her team. When she spotted Amy through the crowd, she reached out to grab her hand. They squeezed each other's fingers, Kate being mauled by the rest of the team and unable to break free, and shared a smile over the shoulders of their teammates. Kate smiled and said, "The ringer comes through, huh?"

Amy laughed and gave Kate a double thumb's-up.

Kate let the team lead her off the field towards the parking lot. She lost track of Amy in the crowd, but knew they would see each other again at the celebratory dinner. Kate put one arm around Jill Colby and the other around their pitcher, Patricia Hood. "Okay, guys, who is going to buy the heroine dinner?"


Joe Lack's Pizza could fit twenty customers on a good day. The three booths along the wall next to the door could comfortably sit four people each, six if they didn't mind being packed in. The two tables between the booths and the counter each had four seats. When the Squire's Knights baseball team and their various fans, spouses and family members swarmed in, however, it was standing room only.

Kate managed to escape her team on the boardwalk and found Amy before they swarmed into the pizzeria. They had gotten separated at the field and Kate had been forced to get a ride with Dana Purcell. Amy's hair was still wet from the locker room shower, but she had gone to the trouble of putting her uniform back on. She could have changed into street clothes, but this way she was showing solidarity with her team. Kate hooked her arm around Amy's elbow and pulled her into the restaurant. They found a booth and took a seat, joined by a group of fellow players a few seconds later.

Joe Lack, proprietor, stood between the glass sneeze guard and the huge mural of Italy that graced his back wall. "Pepperoni, pepperoni and veggie are ready now," he shouted over the din, "Mozzarella and sausage'll be in fifteen minutes!"

"Add a mushroom!" someone called from the front door and Joe lifted two fingers in acknowledgement.

A handful of unfortunate tourists had been in the restaurant during the invasion, and the lucky few who had already been served quickly evacuated to the safety of the boardwalk. Kate and Amy held hands under the table and Patricia Hood, their pitcher, offered to bring them plates. "Pepperoni for you both?"

"Veggie," Amy said.

Kate said that pepperoni was fine with her and sagged against the high back of the red-vinyl seat. Jill was still expounding on the most impressive plays of the game - Kate's contributions appearing heavily throughout the impromptu highlight reel - when Patricia returned with three plates of pizza. "Pepperoni... veggie... and I took a guess for pepperoni?" she said, placing the extra plate in front of Jill.

"That's fine. Thanks, Trisha," Jill said. She took the plate from Patricia, their fingertips brushing during the hand-off.

Kate sprinkled parmesan cheese on her pizza and held the shaker out to Amy. Amy shook her head, so Kate handed it across the table to Jill. They had barely gotten started on their slices when Joe Lack's voice boomed out over the crowd. "Okay, we're at maximum capacity times two here! Some of y'all will have to leave. Sorry for the inconvenience!"

There were groans and grumbles, but people started to move towards the door. Kate gestured with her chin and Amy nodded. Amy told Jill they would talk to her later, and took Kate's hand as they headed outside.

Joe Lack's Pizza was hidden between Gail's Seafood Shack and the back wall of a tourist shop. As they exited the shop, two female chefs were standing by Gail's kitchen door, sharing a cigarette. Their conversation stopped as one of them noted Kate's bright blue uniform. "Hey, you guys win?" the taller chef asked.

"Sure did," Amy said. She lifted Kate's hand over their heads. "Thanks to this one. Minnie Mantle, I'm telling ya."

They walked to the railing of the boardwalk and sat down, letting their feet dangle over the cars below. "Veggie pizza any good?" Kate asked.

Amy held the slice out and Kate took a bite. She chewed carefully and wrinkled her nose. "I think I'll stick with the red meat."

"I'm not a militant vegan," Amy assured her. "I just like to eat healthy every now and then. Trust me, get me out on the town and I like a thick, juicy steak as much as the next girl."

"Good to know," Kate said. They had only been seeing each other for a month, and most of those dates were informal, baseball-related activities. The practices, the after-practice dinners and rare dinners that were just the two of them. They were still getting to know one another, still a little awkward when they kissed. But it was good, it was getting comfortable to just sit silently and share pizza.

Amy was obviously thinking along the same lines. She broke her staring contest with the setting sun and turned to look at Kate. Kate caught her looking and said, "Stop it."

"You're really beautiful."

Kate blushed and took a bite of her pizza. She brushed tomato sauce from her lip and said, "Sure. Covered in sweat with pizza sauce on my lip."

Amy chuckled and leaned in. She kissed Kate's cheek and rested her hand on Kate's thigh. She kept her eyes open and moved her head slightly. Kate leaned back and snaked her arm around Amy's waist. They kissed slowly, close-mouthed and tenderly, and Amy licked away the excess sauce when she pulled away. "I like pizza sauce."

"Mm," Kate said, looking down at her plate and trying to pretend everything was normal after that kiss. "What, uh, what about the sweat?"

"You have a shower, don't you?"

Kate shrugged. "Technically. I mean, I live in an apartment building. If I don't time my showers just right, I end up cryogenically preserved."

"Suck," Amy said.

"Much," Kate agreed.

"Well, I have a shower if you wanted to... well, borrow it, I guess."

Kate considered the request and said, "Ah, I didn't pack a change of clothes. I'd have to change back into my sweaty uniform to go home."

"You wouldn't have to," Amy said. She let the offer hang and then looked at Kate. "You could borrow some pajamas. Sleep on the couch."

Kate looked at Amy for a long time and quietly said, "I don't like sleeping on couches."

Amy shrugged. "Eh. We'll figure something out." She looked down at her plate, finished the last few bites, and tossed the crust into the street. Within minutes, three birds were fighting over the treasure. Kate finished her pizza and then began nibbling on the crust. Amy said, "What about the birds?"

"I didn't have the veggie pizza. This is my nutrition for the night."

Amy chuckled and said, "I'm going to go say good-bye to the ladies." She brushed her hands down her thighs and grabbed the handrail of the boardwalk to pull herself up. She hesitated and looked back at Kate. "You, uh... y-you coming by for that shower?"

Kate nodded. "I am."

"Great," Amy said. She exhaled a sigh of relief and smiled when she saw that Kate was blushing. She brushed her hand over Kate's knuckles and said, "I'll just... I'll just go say good-bye. My car is..."

"I know," Kate said.

"Great," Amy said. She hauled herself up and went back into the restaurant. Kate turned to watch her go, noting how spectacular Amy's ass looked in her white uniform pants, and then smiled down at the street. Feeling generous with the world, she tossed the remains of her crust to the seagulls. Kate pulled herself up and dumped her paper plate into a trash can as Amy exited the pizza place.

"Ready?" Amy said.


They walked down the boardwalk together, identically-dressed in their white-and-blue uniforms with Knights written in white script across their breasts. Amy unlocked the car and Kate climbed in, settling against the seat and buckling her seatbelt. She loved Amy's car; it always smelled like the cookies she baked in her shop.

As Amy pulled out of the spot, Kate said, "Did you see that thing with Patricia and Jill?"

"What thing?" Amy said, craning her neck to check traffic.

"The hand thing. Jill kind of brushed Patricia's fingers on the plate..."

Amy shrugged. "I don't know. I think Patricia's son is in Jill's class." She glanced away from the road to smile at Kate. The lights of the dashboard lit up Amy's profile, making her eyes dance with the borrowed glow and reminding Kate of a Meat Loaf song. Amy chuckled, "You know, not everyone on the team is sleeping together."

"I didn't say everyone," Kate said. "We're not even sleeping together yet." Kate immediately kicked herself for breaking the seal on that conversation topic.

Amy didn't seem flustered. She slowed at a stop sign, looked to make sure traffic was clear, and pulled out onto Spring Street. "Well," she said casually. "We'll have to see what we can do about that."

Kate blushed. They drove the rest of the short distance to Amy's house in silence, Kate taking the opportunity to check the CDs in Amy's glove compartment. "Queen, okay. David Bowie, I can deal with as long as it has..." She turned the CD over. "Space Oddity. You're two for two."

"I keep my really embarrassing stuff at home," Amy said.

"That's good to know," Kate said.

Amy lived in a shotgun apartment attached to her shop, Coffee Table Books. The shop was still open, soft, late-night light spilling out of the windows and onto the curb. Amy parked along the curb and reached into the backseat to gather her things; her baseball bat, her bag and water bottle.

As Kate approached the apartment door, she glanced at the curtained window that stood to one side. Since she and Amy had started seeing each other, she had driven by the apartment countless times, always taking note of the soft, red-gold glow against the curtain. Sometimes there would be no glow, but a flickering blue light of a television. Kate always spent the rest of her trip, no matter what she was out doing, wondering what Amy was doing behind that thin curtain. Now she'd get a chance to find out.

The front door unlocked, Amy stepped inside and turned on a lamp. She gestured around the small living room and adjoining kitchen and said, "My humble abode."

"It's wonderful," Kate said, closing the door behind her. "Did you want to grab a shower first, or..."

"No, I showered at the field," Amy reminded her. "You go ahead. Bathroom is in the hallway right there, towels are in the cabinet under the sink."

"Okay. I'll, uh... I'll be right back."

"Take your time," Amy said as she crossed into the kitchen. When Kate was about to leave the living room, Amy said, "Oh, and Kate? Use all the hot water you want."

Kate grinned and said, "You may regret saying that." She turned and found the bathroom door. She casually glanced down the hallway and saw that it terminated with Amy's bedroom door. There was a queen-sized bed, illuminated by curtain-filtered moonlight. She paused with her hand on the bathroom door, captivated by the neatly-made sheets and white pillows. She forced herself to swallow, to breathe, and then walked into the bathroom.

She flicked on the lights and, out of habit, turned the lock on the door. She wasn't particularly comfortable with this, being naked in someone else's house. Not in this context, anyway. Here she was, undressing in one room while Amy ghosted around somewhere outside. Going about her business, maybe stowing some underwear in the hamper and making sure she didn't have any dirty socks lying around. Kate stripped quickly and folded her sweaty uniform on the counter. She found the towels under the sink as promised and pushed aside the clear plastic curtain.

There was a small bar of soap in a porcelain holder, and a stand of three shampoo/conditioner bottles standing on the edge of the tub. She started the water and gasped as the first burst of cold water hit her. She bent down and fumbled with the knobs, trying to find a nice medium between ice cold and searing hot.

She washed quickly, running her hands through her hair but not daring to use any of Amy's shampoo. She used the soap sparingly, running it over her breasts and stomach and forcing the lather to last. Force of habit kept her tensed, expecting the water to turn ice-cold without warning at any second. When she was satisfied that she didn't reek, she turned the still-hot water off and stepped from the tub. She dried herself with the towel and, eyeing her sweaty uniform, wrapped it around herself. She tucked the end under her armpit and hesitantly stepped from the bathroom.

If she felt ill at ease being naked in someone else's house, Kate felt downright edgy at the thought of searching the place naked. So she stood in the open bathroom door and called, "Amy?"

"Yeah?" from the bedroom.

Kate turned towards that dark doorway and stepped into the hall. She stopped in the doorway and spotted Amy sitting on the edge of the bed, turned at the waist to face her. Amy's face was lost in shadows, but her body was outlined by blue-white moonlight. Kate reached down and touched the bottom edge of the towel. "I, uh... you said you had some pajamas I could borrow...?"

"Oh, yeah." Amy bent down and pulled open a drawer on the nightstand. She pulled out a pair of black pajamas. When Amy stood, Kate saw that she had changed into a pair of sweatpants and a Mighty Mouse t-shirt. She held the folded pajamas against her chest and rounded the foot of the bed. She held the pajamas out and let her eyes trail over Kate's body. Kate looked down at herself, saw her gangly legs sticking out of the towel, her freckled shoulders covered with the spider web tendrils of her wet hair.

"Here you go," she said. When Kate didn't immediately take them, Amy said, "You don't have to. You know. You could always go au naturale." She swallowed hard, her hands shaking against the pajamas.

Kate smiled. "You just don't want me wearing your PJs."

"No, that's not it at..." Amy exhaled and smiled. "You bitch."

Kate took the pajamas from Amy and tossed them onto the bed. With the same motion, she brought her hand up and brushed it up Amy's side, ending with her hand in the curve of Amy's hip. She stepped closer and bent her head. Amy inhaled sharply as Kate's lips met hers. Kate opened her mouth and let her tongue tease Amy's bottom lip before moving inside. She had just gotten out of a three-year relationship; she'd forgotten what it could feel like to be nervous like this. Amy moaned and slid her hand across Kate's bare shoulder. She cupped Kate's cheek and sighed when they parted.

Amy moved her hand down to the edge of the towel, easing her fingertips between terrycloth and flesh. She met Kate's wide, brown eyes and saw desire, impatience, and most of all permission. She tightened her fingers around the towel and stepped back. The towel fell and Kate brought her hands up out of instinct. With Nadine, she'd walked around the apartment naked. But, again, it had been a long time since she'd been undressed in front of somebody new. Amy put her free hand on Kate's wrist, moving it away as her other hand dropped the towel to the floor.

Both of their hearts pounded out a steady rhythm as they came together again. Kate grabbed handfuls of Mighty Mouse and yanked upward, breaking the kiss just long enough to pass the cotton over Amy's head. Amy moaned and pushed her sweatpants down. She stepped out of them, now as naked as Kate, and put her hands on Kate's hips to guide her toward the bed.

Their feet moved together, like a prearranged dance move, and Amy fell backward onto her bed. She pulled Kate with her and they both collapsed onto the mattress with simultaneous grunts. Kate put her hands on either side of Amy's head and pushed herself up, gazing down at her girlfriend. Amy's eyes were wide, her light brown hair fanning around the blanket around her head. She opened her mouth to say something, then bit her bottom lip and dragged her knuckles over Kate's bare stomach.

"Is this okay?" Kate whispered. She was afraid of speaking louder in case the spell could be broken. The moonlight on Amy's face, the silence all around them, the so-right feel of Amy's naked body underneath her... she didn't want to risk anything changing.

Amy cupped Kate's breasts and nodded. "Yeah," she said, her voice also a whisper.

Kate moved her hips and settled between Amy's thighs. They kissed again as Kate settled her body against Amy's. She shifted her weight slightly, sliding up against Amy and watched her face crumble. Amy's eyes closed, her bottom lip dropped and she pressed her shoulders into the mattress. "Ooh, Kate..."

Kate crossed her feet at the ankles and thrust forward again. She put a hand between their bodies, her knuckles against her own pubic hair as her fingers explored Amy's slick, puffy lips. She bent down and kissed the line of Amy's jaw. Amy whimpered and lifted her head, wrapped both arms around Kate in a desperate clinch. Kate whispered, "Tell me."

Amy whimpered and said, "What?"

"Talk to me." Kate brushed her nose against Amy's smooth cheek and closed her eyes.

Amy kissed Kate's neck, swallowed and began to speak in a quick, panting voice, "Rub me, stroke me, oh, Kate, touch me, put your fingers in me, yes, Kate, yes, make love to me."

During Amy's chant, Kate kissed the curve of her neck. She bent her fingers, the tip of her middle finger slipping inside as commanded. Amy gasped and trembled. "Was that good?"

"Mm," Kate replied. She moved her lips to Amy's ear and whispered, "Yes, baby, that was wonderful. How about this?" She shifted her hand. "Is that good? Hmm? Do you want another?"



"Yes, put... three fingers in me."

Kate moved her hips and one finger became two. Kate's ring finger brushed against the outer lips for a moment, gathering moisture, teasing Amy wider, and then slid in along the other two. Amy whimpered and her fingers became talons in the small of Kate's back. Her nails made thin white lines from Kate's spine out towards her sides. Amy said, "Kiss me, kiss me," and Kate lifted her head to comply. She found Amy's mouth, pushed her tongue inside and muffled a deep half-growl, half-moan that rose from Amy's throat. Kate buried her toes in the mattress and used her hips to drive her hand harder against Amy's pussy. They rocked against each other, Kate's body driving down as Amy thrust up to meet her.

Amy moaned something, barely discernable, against the shell of Kate's ear. Kate suppressed the urge to laugh and instead gripped a handful of Amy's hair. She pulled Amy's head back and bowed her head, kissing and licking along her collarbone as Amy's body twitched in her arms. "I'm coming," Amy sighed.

Amy's muscles tightened, her fingernails digging into the soft skin of Kate's back until the tremors died down. Kate eased Amy down onto the mattress, leaving a trail of kisses along her upper chest before moving up to kiss her lips. Amy pushed her hair out of her face and Kate said, "Did you call me Kitty just then?"

"Sorry," Amy said with a bashful smile. "My mind wasn't focused on speaking just then."

"S'okay," Kate said. She kissed the corner of Amy's mouth and said, "I kind of like it." She purred and nuzzled Amy's cheek. "You want to, ah... you want to..."

Amy rolled them both so that she was on top. She tightened her thighs around Kate's waist and sat up, towering over her. "What? Return the favor?" She took both of Kate's hands and lifted them up towards the headboard. Crossing them at the wrist, Amy bent down and kissed Kate softly. "What kind of hostess would I be if I didn't?"

She adjusted her grip so she was holding both of Kate's wrists with one hand and slid her now-free hand down Kate's cheek. She ran her thumb over Kate's bottom lip and said, "Hold onto the headboard."

"You're not going to tie them up there?" Kate asked playfully.

"It's our first time, darling," Amy whispered. She shifted against Kate's hip and they both groaned. "I've got to save some of my kinks for our anniversary."

Kate grinned and hooked her fingers between the headboard and the mattress. Amy released her, sliding her hand down Kate's arm and moving slowly down her body. She kissed Kate's breasts, teasing the nipples and pressing a kiss to the valley between them. Kate was starting to sweat again, tiny droplets forming on her soap-scented flesh. Amy brushed the drops away with the flat of her tongue and paused over Kate's stomach to tease her belly button.

Kate squirmed on the mattress and bent her knees. She spread her legs and bent her knees, planting her feet on the blanket. Her toes curled and she used the headboard as leverage to thrust her hips against Amy. "Come on," she whispered. "I think we've waited long enough..."

Amy smiled and slid lower, settling between Kate's legs. She ran her hand along the underside of Kate's thigh to her ass. She closed her eyes and lowered her head, her cheek against the warm flesh of her lover's thigh. She'd been aching for this since their first date, but Kate had wanted to hold off. She wanted to make sure they had a strong foundation to the relationship before they just fell into bed. Amy had understood, but it felt so wonderful to be here, now, her lips on Kate's skin, hearing Kate's quiet whimpers of encouragement coming from above. Amy opened her eyes and looked up over Kate's body. They locked eyes and Amy softly kissed Kate's pussy.

"Oh, yes, my God," Kate groaned. She arched her back and lifted her hips to meet Amy's mouth. Amy parted Kate's lips with her tongue and gently explored, moving in and out with casual slowness. She closed her eyes and focused on her sense of touch and taste, hoping to remember every miniscule part of this for future reference. Kate's sweetness in her mouth, the tension of Kate's thighs on either side of her head, the tight clench of Kate's ass in her hands.

Kate's feet came up and she crossed them at the ankles, placing them in the center of Amy's back. Amy accepted the weight, added the curling and uncurling of Kate's toes against her spine to her gallery of sensations, and lightly dragged the tip of her tongue across Kate's pussy and circled her hooded clit. "Right..." Kate gasped, "there..."

Amy knew she was sweating. She felt it trickling down her back, between her breasts. Her hair was sticking to her forehead and cheeks. She gasped and inadvertently exhaled across Kate's slick, sensitive flesh. Kate groaned and squirmed against the mattress and Amy blew again, this time more deliberately and focusing on the hard bud of Kate's clit.

The result was instantaneous. Kate released the headboard and dropped both hands to the back of Amy's head. She sat up, her spine bowed forward, and squeezed her eyes as every muscle group in her body tensed. She trembled once, twice, vibrating around Amy's still-sweeping tongue, and gasped her lover's name.

When her climax faded and Kate's body became boneless, she sagged to the mattress. She reached for Amy and found that she was already making her way north. Amy kissed her hips, her belly button and breasts, drawing a trail with her tongue and finally collapsing on top of Kate's body. They kissed, both exhausted and sated, Kate's hands drawing nonsensical paths over Amy's naked back. Amy slipped her tongue into Kate's mouth and they rolled until they were lying side-by-side, facing each other.

Kate slipped her leg between Amy's thighs and Amy clamped down on it. She brushed the sweat-darkened hair away from Amy's face and kissed her closed eyelids. "Wow," Kate whispered. Her voice was like laughter in church; almost blasphemous for shattering the silence, but hard to be angry about. "I'm going to hit the winning home run every time."

Amy laughed and cupped Kate's face. "Well, I do believe in rewarding my team for a job well done."

"Well, then look out, championships."

Amy laughed again and leaned in. They kissed and Amy rocked her hips gently against Kate's captured thigh. Kate broke the kiss and whispered, "Again?"

"Is that okay?" Amy asked against Kate's cheek.

Kate shrugged and rolled on top of Amy. "Yeah. It just saves me the trouble of making the first move."


They worked each other for another two hours, losing track of orgasms and eventually ending up just as sweaty as they'd been after the game. Kate didn't mind; this was a good sweat, a clean sweat. They finally stopped when Amy begged exhaustion and curled against Kate's side a few minutes past midnight. Kate held her and tried to fall asleep, but found that she was nowhere near slumber. She was wired, she was buzzed and completely awake. Her hand on Amy's naked shoulder, Amy's arms and legs around her, she wondered if it would be possible to sleep even if she'd wanted to.

She searched the headboard and finally found a remote for the television. She squinted at it in the darkness until she found the power and mute buttons and then hit them both in that order. The TV slowly faded up from black, revealing an almost painfully bright shot of white static. The mute was indeed working, so Kate wandered across the channels until she found something worth watching. The close-captioning came on with the mute, so she put the remote down and watched some movie on AMC.

At 2:45, halfway through an episode of Wings, Kate looked down and saw that Amy was awake and watching the screen. "Hey," she whispered.

Amy looked up and smiled sleepily. "Hey." She kissed Kate's neck and scooted closer.

"The TV didn't wake you, did it?"

"Mm-mm." She nestled her head against Kate's shoulder and said, "Who is that guy? He looks familiar."

"Tony Shalhoub. He plays Adrian Monk now."

Amy made a sound and pushed herself up to look at the clock. She groaned and dropped back to Kate's shoulder. "Ugh. I have to be up in three hours."

"Want me to turn this off?"

"No," Amy said. "It'll help me fall asleep."

Kate reached up and brushed Amy's hair. During the credits for the episode, she looked down and saw Amy had indeed fallen back to sleep. Kate turned the television off, casting herself into blindness for a few seconds until her eyes readjusted. She stroked Amy's hair and let her hand drift south. She traced curves, the line of Amy's arm and the now-smooth surface of Amy's pink nipple. The part in Amy's hair, once straight and orderly, had become sloppy from repeated passes of Kate's fingers. Kate kissed her hair and closed her eyes, knowing she wouldn't be able to fall asleep. Not tonight, not after what she'd just experienced. There was just no way she could sleep.

When she woke, she smiled at herself and blinked at the sunrise-painted curtain. Amy was still cradled against her side. Kate drew her fingernails up Amy's side, making her shiver and eventually wake. Amy turned sleep-bleary eyes to Kate and said, "Morning."

"Morning. You need to go?"

Amy pushed herself up again and then dropped back. "Not for a half hour." She burrowed against Kate's body and amended, "Or so."

Kate smiled. "You should probably take a shower."

"I probably should."

Kate slid her foot up Amy's calf and kissed Amy's forehead. "Come on. Don't make me the responsible one in this relationship."

Amy grumbled and pushed herself up. She held the blanket against her breasts and ran a hand through her hair. Kate looked up at her, transfixed by the divot of Amy's spine, the small dimples just above the curve of her ass. Amy's light brown hair, almost blonde in the early morning light, stood in every direction. She coughed, ruffled her hair and looked down at Kate. Her voice was all business, but her eyes were locked on Kate's bare breasts and flat stomach. "There were other clean towels in the cabinet last night, weren't there?"

Kate nodded.

"Okay." Amy threw the blankets aside and bent down to get something off the floor. She wrapped a robe loosely around her shoulders and said, "Going to be responsible and get ready for work."

"Good girl."

Amy made a sound that resembled, "Mer," and disappeared into the bathroom.

Kate remained in her lover's bed for a moment, spread across the mattress and getting used to how the room looked in daylight. She threw the blankets aside and got out of bed, not bothering to cover herself as she crossed to the bathroom. Amy was just stepping into the shower when Kate opened the door, and she glanced over her shoulder with a shocked expression. Her face softened and then spread into a smile when she realized what Kate was doing. "Well, hi."

"Hi," Kate said. She shut the bathroom door and crossed to the tub. "I was thinking. There's no reason responsibility has to be lonely."

"Right," Amy said, getting into the shower and holding the curtain aside for Kate.

"And I figure you have a half hour." She stepped into the tub. "That gives us, what, fifteen minutes to shower?"

Amy tilted her head in the general direction of the bakery next door. "With my commute, it's more like twenty-five."

"A twenty-five minute shower," Kate said. She draped her arms around Amy's waist and pressed her against the lime green tile.

"Mm," Amy said as Kate kissed her. Water sluiced down their faces, forming a seal around their lips. When they parted, Amy looked down at the waterfall running between them and said, "Will you do my back?"

Kate nodded. "Yeah."

And she did. Eventually.



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