This is part 2 of Past and Present. For disclaimers: see part one
The song used in this part is from Ilse DeLange, copyrighted by Warner Bros records.
Monday morning found Sydney struggling to leave her comforting sleep. She didnt really want to wake up cause she knew the feeling of being safe and cared for wasnt something she could find in her everyday life.
This was the reason blue eyes popped open in surprise when she found out the secure feeling didnt leave when fully awake. Next thing she noticed was the position she was in, her head in someones lap, with an arm draped over her shoulders in a comforting gesture.
She peeked up and found Kelly still fast asleep. Ouch! Thatll hurt when she wakes up Sydney thought, wincing in sympathy when she saw the blonde had slept with her neck bent backwards all night.
Gingerly she got to her feet, pleased when she managed to avoid waking the reporter up. After a quick glance at the clock she padded to the bathroom before decided to see if she could conjure up anything for breakfast.
"No, no its not morning yet." Kelly groaned, "I see no sun, hear no birds go away!" She mumbled, keeping her eyes firmly closed.
"Sun will be up in a few minutes and birds I can arrange.." Sydney answered, starting to whistle.
"Come back in a few minutes then..With real birds this time"
"Okay then, well that means I can drink all that nice coffee by myself and those muffins are for me alone too. They smell really good actually, cant you smell them?" the dark haired woman asked. "Thanks for giving me yours, they taste as great as they smell," she continued around a bite.
Sydney chuckled when Kelly sniffed the air and as if on cue her stomach started to rumble.
"Oh, Ill get the muffin shut up already" was directed to the demanding stomach. "How long have you been ..Damn, that hurts!"
Kelly reached for her neck, making rolling motions with her head and rubbing the sore spot. She startled a bit when she was pushed forward but it didnt take long before she completely relaxed and a blissful sigh was released. "Where did you learn how to do that? It feels fantastic." She said gratefully.
Sydney, who was massaging her neck answered, "Ah, I can do many good things with my hands..this is one of them. Are you ready to eat?"
"Sure" came the distracted reply. Suddenly Kelly had all sorts of images about what those hands could do exactly.
She was roughly pulled back to reality when she got pushed into the kitchen. "Lets go then!"
Sydney was just about to leave after dropping Kelly off at her apartment where the blonde needed to go to change before heading to work, but a short distance from the door she turned around and faced a puzzled reporter.
"Uh, I just wanted to apologize for using your lap as pillow all night, it wasnt a very comfortable position for you to sleep in. First I almost bite your head off after a perfectly reasonable question and then I am literally a pain in the neck by forcing you to sleep on my couch. In a sitting position."
Kelly smiled gently and said: "Dont even think any more about it Sydney. I was the one who decided not to wake you up and I dont regret it at all. It felt very right."
Before Sydney could stop herself she admitted: "Yes, it felt very good. I havent felt that kind of comfort in a very long while. You make me feel safe and "
The cop trailed off, shook her head and turned to leave. It was impossible to get out the door though, cause Kelly was holding her back, "Youre not walking out on me with that What were you gonna say?"
Locking her eyes on blue she softly said: "Come on, dont be afraid. Tell me, please."
They stood facing each other in the hallway. The blondes heart racing in her chest, wishing fervently she hadnt pushed too hard and that this wasnt going to be the question that would scare Sydney away.
The brunettes heart was racing as well, her thoughts tumbling through her mind. Was it fair to say what she was meaning to say? My past isnt pleasant, I dont have a very good track record when it comes to relations of any sort ..can I start something with Kelly? If I do I might not be able to say goodbye, but do I want to do that? No! But what if she does when she finds out everything?
Looking into green eyes she saw many emotions, a lot of them were similar to ones Sydney was wrestling with, but there were others as well. Confidence. Trust. Strength. And most importantly: faith.
Just as Kelly felt the disappointment over not being able to break down the other womans walls Sydney reached out and rested her palm against the blondes cheek. "You have me looking forward to the future, believing I might be able to find happiness and love again," came out in a whisper.
A broad grin broke out on the smaller womans face "You had me worried there for a minute. I thought I had finally asked the question that would push you away forever."
"That could never happen." Came the quiet statement.
Sydney became aware of the close proximity of the green eyes, seeing them get a shade darker. A tongue darting across teeth caught her gaze and slowly she leaned in to taste moist, slightly parted lips. Kelly sighed when in an ever so light touch Sydneys lips brushed against hers. This wasnt enough for both women though and soon firmer contact was sought.
A surprised yelp escaped the taller woman when Kelly molded her body against Sydneys, effectively pinning the dark haired woman against the front door. Her hands started roaming over the powerful body and with her tongue she asked access, which was granted. Tongues started moving with each other and both women let out moans when the passion started to flare. Sydney put her hands on firm cheeks and pulled the reported between her legs, starting a grinding motion that made them gasp for air.
Sydney put her head in the crook of Kellys neck and tried to regain her breath. A hard thing to do with small hands still caressing firm breasts. She caught the hands with her own and mumbled: "We have to stop now Kel, we both need to get to work."
The blonde woman groaned, but stilled her motions. Sydney was right, she needed to get to the paper and the cop needed to talk with the witness that was found the day before.
"I know, will I see you tonight?" she inquired, looking up at blue eyes so very close by.
"If you want me to."
"Yes, I want," she stated, "drop by when youre done and Ill have dinner ready. Are you okay with chicken?"
After an affirmative nod Sydney leaned in and placed a kiss on Kellys nose. She turned around and left, leaving the reporter staring at the door. Kelly felt the loss of strong arms around her and sighed: "A girl could get used to the feeling of being in that womans arms very, very soon."
Shaking herself out of her reverie she decided on taking a shower before going to work. A cold one she told herself before making her way to the bathroom.
"What do you think J?" Sydney was staring at the owner of a motel at the edge of town. They had had a tip from one of the guests in reaction to the profile they had sent out regarding Thomas Shine. He was sure the man in the motel room next to him was the murderer the police was looking for. And after a search of the place Sydney was pretty sure Shine had been there. Not anymore though she sighed.
"Hes telling the truth." J grumbled in response, "I dont think the guy has a clue where his own backside is, let alone him being smart enough to be an accomplish of Shine."
"Thats what I thought. Damn!" she exclaimed, "I want to catch this man J and I want to do it soon, Ive been waiting long enough already."
"I know Rambo," the tall man softly said, "its personal for you, but let it go for now. Were doing all we can do and we do have some new leads thanks to the witness in the motel. Lisa and Goat are working on them as we speak."
Sydney made an effort to calm down. J was the only one in the force, besides the commissioner, who knew the real events around Corys death. He had been such
a great friend to her and he was right once again. They were on the right track. Fingerprints were found in the room, they were being checked as they spoke, some agents were doing housecalls in the direct neighborhood of the hotel to find other people who might have seen something, but the biggest break was the information about the car Shine was driving.
The young man, who had come in saying he had seen Shine, worked as a mechanic, he just happened to be able to recognize several cars by the sound of the engine and he was able to tell them that Thomas Shine was driving a Toyota.
The receptionist could remember the car to be darkgray and that it was a rental car, so this was the next thing on Sydneys and Js list: pay a visit to the rental companies in the city, starting with the ones around the airport.
Just as they were about to make their way out the station, Sydney caught a glimpse of familiar blonde hair. Turning her head she saw Kelly come out of the bathroom and she said: "J, hang on a minute. Ill be right there" before moving to
intercept the blonde reporter.
So wrapped up in her thoughts, Kelly didnt notice the tall cop at all and she barely managed to avoid bumping into her.
"Hey! Watch where youre going shortie," Sydney teased, grabbing the reporter by the shoulders.
"Shortie huh? I like to think my height can be convenient for some things." Kelly replied in a purring voice, quirking an eyebrow and looking straight ahead. Which happened to be in the direction of Sydneys breasts. This elicited a low chuckle: "Ok, I get your point. What are you doing here?"
"Well, I heard about the commotion at the motel Does that have anything to do with Thomas Shine? Any new leads? Whats the story?"
"Easy, easy," Sydney held up her hands in defense to the questions, "yes, yes and can we wait a few days with the story? I really dont want to tip him off just yet."
Kelly looked up at Sydney and said: "Tell you what, Ill only write what I can find out on my own. As long as no other paper has more info than I have, if thats the case I will have to dig deeper to keep my boss happy."
"Thanks, I can live with that. Are you free for dinner this evening?" the tall woman asked, nodding to J to indicate she would join him soon.
After a glance at her watch, which showed 3.30 PM, Kelly regretfully shook her head. "Im sorry, but Ill be busy with writing a story this evening that has to be done by midnight. Im free for lunch tomorrow though." She added hopefully.
"Lunch it is then. Look I have to run now, J is waiting for me. Dont work too hard this evening and Ill pick you up at work tomorrow. See you then." And with a quick pat to the butt the cop was gone. Leaving the reporter behind, thinking: at work? Nobody has ever picked me up from there. I can just see the stories develop she groaned, knowing how her co-workers loved to gossip.
Kelly was at her desk, looking up at Tom who was perched on top of the corner, grilling her about why she hadnt followed up on the supermarket victims.
"I can understand you want to protect that bond youve seemed make with that Rambuletti-guy Ash, but I do need to put something in the paper and the promise of a background piece on yet another detective just isnt enough to fill the Gazette with."
"Okay Tom, tell you what, Im having lunch with the detective this afternoon and I know there were some new leads. I give you my word that by tomorrow evening youll have an exclusive." Kelly promised, hoping that Sydney was willing to co-operate and that she didnt have to run around town trying to dig find everything out on her own.
Suddenly an arm was put around her shoulders and an amused voice sounded: "Hmm, does that mean youll have to cancel lunch? Since youll probably be very busy trying to dig up everything you can "
Kelly stiffened, she could feel the stares from around the room and knew this was going to lead to gossiping as soon as she left the building.
"Hi, Im Sydney Rambuletti, the detective you were just discussing. I take it youre her boss?" nodding to the still quiet reporter beside her.
"Ehm, uhuh yes, sorry. Im Tom. Tom McNeal. Nice to meet you. I thought you were a guy," he blurted out.
Sydney raised an eyebrow and looked over at Kelly, who was doing her best not to laugh at her embarrassed boss.
Standing to her full height and spreading her arms she stated: "Take a good look Tom and then tell me if Im a guy."
The blonde man let his eyes roam over the tall, athletic body. Yes, she was pretty tall for a woman and you could see she was strong, but there was softness in the right places. Nice breasts he thought, blushing when he realized he had stared a bit too long in one direction.
Sydney decided to let him off the hook and turned to Kelly: "Ill go and get my bike, its illegally parked. Meet you there?"
"Youre a cop, you can shred a ticket, cant you?"
"Yup I can, but I need to be an example Sydney said, walking to the elevators.
Kelly watched her go, she made quite a view in her black leather pants, black boots, white turtleneck and brown leather jacket. Turning to get her purse and jacket she heard Tom mumble: "And what a fine example you make."
"Couldnt agree with you more boss," she said, "but hands off. I saw her first."
When Kelly reached the elevators she looked back and saw Tom standing at her desk, staring at her with his jaw almost on the floor. She gave a sweet wave before the doors closed and went to meet up with her lunch date.
Over lunch Sydney had given Kelly the details on the leads they got from the motel, telling her that she and J had spend all their time going round the rental companies. So far without much success. That afternoon they would visit the last ones on their list and the cop hoped they would come up with something then. All they had to go on now was the car, some sightings in the neighborhood and various aliases he seemed to use during the years.
"Lisa and Goat are now working nation wide to see if his prints come up in any other state. We want to know what he did before 4 years back. Theres absolutely nothing to be found on him from that period up until now, but were hoping these prints we found in his room are good enough to get some additional information." Sydney ended on a positive note.
Kelly was busily scribing away in her notebook, humming and nodding in response. "So its okay to use all this info for tomorrows edition?" she checked with the woman sitting opposite from her.
"Yeah, go ahead. If we dont find out anything on the car this afternoon it doesnt matter if he dumps the thing or not. My guess is he already did anyway, but even if he didnt, after reading your article he will. We just have to work faster." Sydney sighed frustrated with the developments so far.
The reporter decided to lighten up the mood a bit, Sydney will have more than enough time to get frustrated this afternoon she thought.
"Hey Syd, why does everyone call that cop Goat anyway? He doesnt look like it, does he?" she smiled.
Sydney chuckled: "You know, I was wondering the same thing when getting here so I finally decided to ask J. Goats name is really Erik, but nobody calls him that anymore since he decided to grow a goatee. It looks good on him now, or at least I think so," she shrugged, "but when he first came to the station they say he really did look like a goat with that hair hanging under his chin. The name stuck and theyve called him Goat ever since."
Kelly grinned. "Ill have to see about looking for some photos during that period." After looking on her watch she offered: "Ive got another half hour to spare, what do you say to getting some ice cream and take a walk in the park?"
"I say if youre paying, Im game." Sydney answered with a smile on her face.
The smile froze and the tall woman paled considerably while focusing on a point behind Kelly.
"Sydney!" A small boy came running towards her with a delighted smile on his face. Automatically she bent down to catch the little guy before making eye contact with the woman whom came after him.
"Stacy," she softly said, "how are you?"
The brunette, a good-looking woman in her thirties, looked at Sydney with compassionate gray eyes. Smiling gently she answered: "Im doing okay Rambo. Weve missed you though, Bryan in particular," nodding to the boy attached to the cops legs. "I didnt know you moved down here as well, your mom never said anything."
"Mom didnt know," Sydney answered between clenched teeth. She gently removed Bryan from her legs and handed him back to his mother. "And please dont call me Rambo, I didnt do anything to deserve being called Rambo by you."
The last sentence came out in a painfilled whisper, abruptly the darkhaired woman turned around and almost ran to where her bike was parked. Not acknowledging Kellys call to wait she fired the engine and drove off with high speed.
Kelly had been monitoring the conversation closely, she had seen the shock fill Sydneys eyes, followed by fear and pain obviously caused by memories that had something to do with the woman and boy standing beside her.
She turned to the brunette and offered her hand: "Hi, Im Kelly Ashwood. A friend of Sydneys, well before she left me standing here with no means to get back to the paper." She added wryly.
"Stacy Micheals and this is my son, Bryan." The woman motioned to the table Sydney and Kelly had just left and both women sat down facing each other, slightly uncomfortable.
"Youre probably wondering whats going on?"
"Sort of yes, but if this has anything to do with Cory and all that, Ill wait until Sydney is ready to share with me."
Stacey looked surprised. "She told you about Cory?" After seeing the affirmative nod she mused: "Then you must mean a lot to her, if she knows it or not. You are maybe one of 5 people who she has told about that. Four actually, since shes not keeping in touch with her mom."
Stacey seemed to drift of in thought so Kelly turned her attention to the boy on her lap. He looked to be about 4 years old, curly blonde hair and big brown eyes. Really a cute kid she though, smiling at him which he returned tentatively.
"You know what?" the brunette stated, getting the blondes attention once again. "I can understand why you want to wait for her to tell you, but I think shes gonna need someone to support after seeing me. It obviously brought back a lot of memories she hasnt dealt with yet and I think youre the one she needs to be there for her. I'll tell you my part of the story and she can fill in the blanks when and if she feels like it."
Kelly focused all of her attention on the woman sitting in front of her and nodded to indicate she was ready. Stacey got a far away look in her eyes and started to talk, unconsciously tightening her hold on Bryan.
"My husband, Patrick, was Sydneys partner in LA. They were very close, needed to be very close cause their lives depended on one and other. When I got to know Patrick I knew of his connection to Sydney so it wasnt hard for me to accept, partly because Sydney made it clear she was in no way interested in him.
We all became good friends and we spent many fun nights together, Cory was part of it as well after his move to LA, Sydney was being the perfect big sis and had taken him under her wing. Like she always did actually, they had a bond to be jealous of, no one could come between them."
"Everything was going great for a while, Sydney got promoted to detective together with Patrick and Cory was doing good as a cop as well. Until that horror day when Cory got killed, but you know about that right?"
Kelly answered: "Yes, she told me that whole story. Must have been an awful time for her."
"O yeah, it was. She was absolutely devastated and not capable of doing her job. Patrick had sent her home after they heard the news, saying that she should be with her mother in a time like that. So she went home, arranged the funeral and returned to LA a day after. We were surprised about that actually, she was supposed to stay there a while, but something happened between her and her mother which made her come back. Sydney insisted on getting back to work, saying it helped to get her mind of what happened, Patrick sent her home after half a day though. She just couldnt handle it, no matter how much she wanted to forget it all."
Stacey got tears in her eyes and had to stop before being able to continue with the story. Kelly leaned forward and put her hand on the brunettes: "Take your time or just stop now, I think I heard enough."
"No, its not all. That afternoon Patrick had sent Sydney home He, he was killed." Staceys eyes closed while fighting to compose herself.
"Nobody really knows what happened, he had taken Syd home and was driving back to the station when he stopped at a gas station. They think he interrupted a robbery and upon seeing he was a cop the robbers started shooting. He died on his way to the hospital. "
"I think this was just too much for Sydney to take, both her brother and partner dead. And she blames herself for Pats death, she feels that if she didnt have to be brought home she would have been there and the whole thing would have gone completely different. I tried to reach her and tell her I didnt blame her, but she wasnt able to face Bryan, or me. John and Alma made several attempts to help her, but we couldnt do anything than watch her slip away from us."
"She left during Patricks funeral and we havent seen her since. Bryan really missed her, didnt you honey?
I dont think anybody knows where she went and what she did exactly this last year."
Stacey returned to the present and looked Kelly in the eye: "Would you please tell her I miss her and so does Bryan? Tell her I would love to see her again, Ill give you my address. Try and get her to come. Please."
Kelly accepted wrote down the address and answered: "Ill see what I can do, if she even comes to see me or wants to talk to me that is."
"She will, trust me. If she told you about Cory, she will come to you."
"I hope so," Kelly murmured, "I kinda like her."
"Thats good, she deserves something good for a change," Stacey smiled at the blonde. "Do you need a lift back to work? I thought I heard you say something about that, my cars over there."
"That would be great, thanks. I need to get back to the paper and get my work done so that I can call a certain cop this evening." Kelly gratefully accepted the lift and the two women and small boy walked to the car, chatting away.
Sydney had been in a foul mood all afternoon, after returning from her lunch with the reporter. Finally J just couldnt take it anymore.
"Look here Rambo, if youve gotten into some sort of lovers quarrel with blondie dont take it out on me. There are plenty more fish in the sea. I suggest you focus on that in stead of making my afternoon a living hell."
When no reaction was forthcoming he turned to catch the other cops gaze and he swallowed nervously. Oh boy, if looks could kill I would be in a shit load of trouble right now
Noticing the tight grip Sydney had on the wheel of their patrol car he thought: correct that, I might still be in there.
He hastily tried to weaken his earlier statement: "Okay, never mind what I said, Im sure the reporter is a bit more special than "
"I saw Stacey during lunch. And Bryan." Stopping in front of the station she turned in her seat to look at her friend who was staring at her, at a loss for words.
"It shook me up big time, I didnt know how fast to get out of there. Did you know she had moved here?" she directed to J in a slightly accusing tone.
J sighed. "Yes, I did Rambo. And before you ask: I didnt tell you because you probably wouldnt have wanted to listen anyway. Be honest; if I mention your mom you cut me off and walk away. You would have done the same if I mentioned Stacey or Bryan."
Sydney had to admit to herself he was right. You havent exactly been very open to any news that was related to the past and you know it.
Out loud she said: "I see your point. Well, I dont think I handled this very well either. I practically ran away and left Kelly standing there with her."
"Kelly was still there? Uhm Rambo, did you think about how she had to get back to her work? You said you were going for lunch near Dolores Park, thats not exactly close by for her and I assume you drove her there by bike."
Sydney groaned and let her head fall in her hands: "My god, I can be such an idiot at times. I just left her there. Shell probably be pretty mad at me for that and here I was dreading to tell her the whole story. Ill be lucky if she even wants to listen."
J shook his head and looked at the woman slumped in her chair. "Dont be stupid and think about this. You left her there with Stacey. You know Stacey, what do you think the most logical thing is that happened?"
Seeing comprehension dawn in blue eyes he continued: "Precisely, she will have offered Kelly a lift to the paper and I think its also a safe bet that she has told your blonde friend about Patrick. Stacey was always pretty good at judging the human relationships, so Im sure she knows how much Kelly means to you."
"Or can mean to you," he amended when Sydneys head shot up.
Sydney blew out a breath, "No, youre right J. For some reason Ive grown to like her a lot very fast. Dont know what it is about her, but.." she shrugged helplessly.
"Be careful my friend, this sounds like it could be serious," J smiled gently, "but thats a good thing. You deserve it girl. Just get out of the car, get on your bike and make your way over to that special lady. Ill be doing the paper work of this afternoon and inform the rest of the team about the name and the license plate of the car hes using at the moment."
"Thank you, Sydney said sincerely, "you have been a great friend. Like always."
She stepped out of the car and poked her head back in when J made his last comment: "And Syd, tell her about Patrick. Share, let some things out. Youve been keeping it in long enough, you need to deal with it someday. If you like her that much, let her help you do it. Okay?"
Acknowledging his statement with a short nod and a pat on the car roof Sydney walked to her bike. Feeling a bit reluctant to see Kelly, afraid of what the blonde would do or say, but also strangely relieved. She knew this would be the night she had to deal with certain things from her past she had avoided for the last year, yet she felt good about having decided to finally deal with it.
Hopefully with the support of a certain cute blonde reporter. Sydney thought, revving her engine and heading for the blondes apartment.
"Hey Ash, are you gonna send the article to me or keep staring at it all evening?"
Tom poked his head through the door of his office and looked impatiently at his reporter.
Kelly had been distracted all afternoon. The facts Stacey told her kept playing through her mind and her heart went out to the tall cop. She had seen the emotions going on behind the blue eyes before a shield was drawn up and the woman had nearly fled.
It must have been so hard to lose two of the most important persons in your live shortly after one and other, she mused.
Kelly didnt have much experience with loss; sure she had lost her grandparents while growing up, but she hadnt been close to them. If she really thought about it she couldnt even name anyone that had meant as much to her as Cory and Patrick had to Sydney.
She had always been kind of a loner when growing up, playing mostly with her sister. There were childhood friends, but they were sparse and never long lasting, a young Kelly was always happiest when doing her own stuff and imaging whole stories she played out with Tamara, her younger sister.
I should call Tam again very soon, it has been too long. She sighed; calling Tam meant having to talk with her parents as well. Something she didnt look forward to. Her parents had never been overly affectionate, but when Kelly moved to San Francisco and told them she wouldnt marry anytime soon they had been so disappointed that the distance between parents and child grew.
Kelly came from a small town where going of to write little stories, as her father put it, wasnt expected from a girl. Many evenings were ruined because of heavy discussions until at one night, after her 21st birthday, she had just packed her things, left a note and moved here. A decision she hadnt regretted ever since, even if it meant a more strained relationship with her parents.
A hand on her shoulder made her jerk back in reality where she saw her article being sent to Tom, who was leaning over her shoulder and looking at her with a concerned expression.
"Are you okay Ash? Youve been distracted all afternoon and you didnt hear me call you just now. I must have tried 3 times."
The blonde patted the hand on her shoulder and smiled: "Im fine Tom, just thinking about some stuff that happened during lunch."
Tom tilted his head, drawling: "Aaaahhhaaaa .does blue eyes have anything to do with those very interesting thoughts?"
Chuckling when his reporter started to resemble a tomato. "Yes, the hands off comment tipped me of, Im not *that* dense you know."
"Go on now Ash, its almost 6 PM, time for you to go home. Im sure youve got better things to do than sitting behind your desk and stare into nothing."
Kelly got up to leave: "Yes, youre right. There is some stuff I need to handle this evening."
Giving her boss a kiss on the cheek, "See you tomorrow Tom."
On her way down in the elevator she contemplated what to do: Go home first and call Sydney or go by straightaway? Finally she settled on a compromise; taking the tram that went through Sydneys neighborhood and deciding when she was there.
Driving through Sydneys street Kelly was disappointed to see the apartment dark and not a sign of the tall cop anywhere.
Ill try calling later this evening then. I just hope nothing happened to her.
Nah, nothing has happened she told herself, J would have called to let me know if it had or if she hadnt shown up this afternoon.
Still, she had hoped to be able to talk with Sydney about what had transpired that afternoon. Kelly was starting to feel a bit doubtful What if Stacey was wrong and shes gonna pull back from me now in stead of opening up?
The blonde woman set her jaw and got a determined look in her eye, I just wont let her. After an affirmative nod to herself she settled down in her seat for the rest of the ride home.
Sydney was sitting in front of the door to Kellys apartment when the blonde woman arrived. She saw her approach, so deep in though that she didnt notice the cop until Sydney stood up to her full height and took the grocery bags Kelly was carrying.
"What Oh, hi."
Both women stared at one and other, both a bit uncomfortable and unsure of what to do. Eventually Sydney lifted the bags and asked: "Do these need to go inside?"
Kelly shook herself into action, opened the door and motioned the tall woman in.
"Take a seat, Im just going to put these away," reaching for the bags she brushed against Sydneys hand.
A little hurt when Sydney pulled her hand back immediately, she briskly said: "Go on, you know the way."
When Kelly came into the living room the dark haired woman was standing near the window, staring outside. Kelly moved to the couch and sat down, patiently waiting for the other woman to turn around.
After a few minutes Sydney turned around and looked the blonde woman who looked back expectantly. "Im very sorry for leaving you this afternoon Kel, I should have handled it all differently and it was extremely rude of me to to just drive of. It was just that I wasnt prepared to see her, Stacey I mean, it brought back memories and I did what I always do: run away."
Kellys expression gentled and she patted the couch, "I understand Sydney, really its no problem. Im a big girl; I can get back to work all on my own."
She offered her hand to the still standing woman, relieved when it was taken and pulled the woman beside herself on the couch.
"She told you didnt she?" it was more a statement than a question.
"Stacey told me what she knew, yes. Im so sorry Syd, it must have been an awful period." Kelly squeezed the hand she was holding, glad that it wasnt pulled back.
Sydney snorted. "Dont feel sorry, I dont deserve that. Did she tell you about the scene I caused at Patricks funeral?"
"I bet she didnt tell you I showed up drunk, feeling extremely sorry for myself and disrupting the whole service before storming out the church."
" I didnt even say goodbye to him," she whispered, staring at the floor.
"God, I havent even let a single tear for either one of them. I completely shut off all my emotions and turned into a heartless bitch. You really dont want to know what I did this last year, " she looked up to catch Kellys gaze.
"I was almost constantly drunk, had sex with anyone who wanted to and fought in bars to relieve my tension. I nearly killed a guy about 2 months back." Seeing shock in the green eyes she stopped talking, afraid she might have said too much, but she wanted to be completely honest.
"He tried to rape a girl and I intervened. I completely lost my control, I had him down but I just kept hitting him and hitting him ..Hes still in a coma now."
Sydney closed her eyes, reliving those memories: the cops that had to drag her of
the mans body,the complete stranger that faced her in the mirror when she was pulling herself together in the bathroom and finally the realization what she had become, where she was heading.
Feeling hands cup her face she opened her eyes and saw understanding, support and love? Could it be I havent pushed her away by telling all this?
"Like I said before Sydney, it must have been a very hard period for you. You did some things youre not proud of, nor should you be, but thats in the past. You have to move on and that means saying goodbye to Cory and Patrick. Forgive yourself Syd, dont you think thats what they would have wanted?"
Blue eyes teared up and Sydney tried to turn her head, but Kelly held on: "No, you dont, dont put up those walls again. You hear me?"
"Think about them Syd, about the good times you had and mourn them. Let them go, its what they would have wanted. You know that. They loved you, they wouldnt want you to blame yourself like this."
And for the first time in a very long time Sydney allowed herself to cry. Cry for her brother, Patrick, Stacey, Bryan and cry for herself. She couldnt undo the past, but she was here now, in the present and she owed it to them to live her life as they would want it. Being happy, loved and loving.
Kelly took the crying woman in her arms and whispered all sorts of nonsense in her ear. Tears leaking from her own eyes in response to the emotions coming from Sydney.
After a while the sobs lessened and Sydney pulled back smiling, a little embarrassed for her vulnerability, but very grateful for the support Kelly had given her. Chuckling a bit she wiped the tears from Kellys eyes and placed a tender kiss on her lips.
"Thank you for being there. I needed that." She said, caressing the blondes cheek.
"Ill always be there if you need me." It came out before she knew and she anxiously awaited the response, afraid she might have gone too soon.
But the only response was a sweet smile, a hug and a whispered thanks in her ear. "Im going to freshen up a bit, is that ok?"
"Yes, the bathroom is through there, towels are in the closet next to the door. Im going to order a pizza, you interested?" Kelly replied.
"Starving is more like it, surprise me with the pizza. Just no ansjovis." Sydney made a face to show her dislike before disappearing to the bathroom.
After having eaten the pizza Sydney managed to convince Kelly to take a nice bath while she cleaned up the kitchen by stating that wanted to do something in return for crying on her shoulder.
Wiping her hands and looking around the kitchen she was satisfied with her efforts; everything was put away where it belonged, after some serious searching through the various cabinets. Sydney was sure there had to be some logic in the way items were placed, but she couldnt see it. But then again, not much of her time was spent in a kitchen.
Glancing at the bedroom she saw that Kelly still hadnt emerged from the bathroom so she decided to browse through her cd collection for some background music to entertain herself.
"How did she get this cd?" Sydney mumbled to herself upon spotting the cd of a singer she herself had found out about during a trip through Europe. It happened to be one of her favourites so she put it in the player, softly singing along with the opening song.
Kelly left the bathtub feeling totally refreshed and moved into her bedroom to put her sleeping outfit that consisted of a short and t-shirt that stated Guess who the best man for a job is on the front and Yes thats right, youre looking at her on the back.
After towel drying her hair she went through it with her fingers to get it in some sort of order and padded barefoot to the living room. In the door opening she stood still, hearing sounds and surprised by the alto voice singing along with one of her cds while the dark haired woman was slightly swaying to the music.
"I don't know where I'm going
it's an unchartered sky
I don't think I even really know
what I'm feeling inside
love is so uncertain
who can say what's in store
this is deeper, farther, higher
than I've been before "
Kelly was almost afraid to move, she didnt want to disturb Sydney and risk her stop singing. She had always loved this song and with her singing it It felt like it was written for her, for the way she felt about this strong, yet vulnerable woman that had come into her life.
"I'm flying blind
wherever your heart takes me
I'm letting go and I don't care if I fall
I'll close my eyes with you beside me
follow faith and let it guide me
tonight I'm leaving all my fears behind
I'm flying blind "
Slowly Sydney turned around as if sensing the blondes eyes upon her, for her it also felt so very familiar. Catching the green orbs watching her she moved forward, holding out her hand for Kelly to take.
Kelly took the offered hand and was pulled into the taller womans arms, they were dancing together with Sydney continuing to sing.
"I won't question tomorrow
it's a mystery to me
I just know what your touch in me does
I know this is where I wanna be
It's a risk worth taking
I don't want to come down
play my heart
got my cards on the table
got my head up in the clouds"
Both women felt like they were floating, no words needed to be spoken; this song said it all. Kelly tilted her head to stare into blue eyes when she joined in for the chorus.
"I'm flying blind
wherever your heart takes me
I'm letting go and I don't care if I fall
I'll close my eyes with you beside me
follow faith and let it guide me
tonight I'm leaving all my fears behind
I'm flying blind"
After their voices faded away the women kept gazing in eachothers eyes, Sydney was the first to break eye contact. She briefly hugged the woman in her arms before placing a kiss on Kellys forehead.
Keeping her arms loosely around the little blonde she leaned back and asked: "How did you come by this singer? I didnt know she was well known over here."
"I dont know if she is actually, youre the first person I met who even knows her. I stumbled upon some of her songs when I ended up on some Dutch site while I was doing research for a story. And in this time and age, everything can be bought on the internet." Kelly explained, "But how come you know her?"
"Oh," Sydney waved dismissively, "I saw her perform during my trip to Europe."
"Trip to Europe? You never told me about that! Hold on, Ill get my pen and you can tell me all about it, it can go in your background story."
Kelly pushed an amused Sydney to sit on the couch while she scrambled around to get pen and paper. Seating herself next to her, turning to be able to face her, she indicated the woman could start with her story, fully prepared for an interesting bedtime tale.
Sydney told the reporter all about her summer trip in which she explored Europe for a period of 2 months. Visiting all major places, sniffing up culture and learning a few extra languages.
"You speak other languages? Like what?" Kelly interrupted.
"Ehm, I can speak Spanish, some French and I picked up some Dutch and Italian when I stayed with friends there. I like learning new things and I quickly get the hang of it, so that works out." The cop shrugged, not thinking it was a big deal that she knew how to speak multiple languages.
"Youre lucky," came the slightly longing reply, "I wanted to take Spanish classes during highschool and German, but my dad thought it was nonsense for a girl like me to put effort in that sort of thing. So I didnt."
Kelly shook her head, "That was the time when I still listened to him and tried to be a good daughter. I disappointed him a lot when I practically ran away from home."
"You also had a sister right?" Sydney asked, not envying Kellys upbringing. She had some problems with her mother now, but growing up she always knew she was loved and supported. It had meant a lot, especially with missing a father.
"Yes, Tam. I still keep in touch with her and that means also speaking to my parents since she still lives at home, but Im afraid that if she moves out I wont talk to them anymore. They sure arent going to phone me." She added in a sarcastic tone.
"You never know, they might surprise you. They are your parents and Im sure they love you, even if it was hard for them to show it." Sydney told her.
"Not that Im one to talk, Im not on speaking terms with my mother."
"Did you notice the time? Its getting rather late and we both have to get up on time in the morning. Id better go so that you can get to bed."
Kelly decided to go along with the obvious change in subject and got up to put her stuff away. "Well, you could stay here tonight. Its already 11 p.m. and it will be a lot later by the time you get home and are ready for bed." She offered to the tall woman.
Sydney observed the other woman for a few moments, thinking the offer over in her mind. It did make more sense. Just accept you idiot, what do you think is going to happen? Out loud she simply said: "Thanks, Ill take you up on your offer. The couch looks comfy enough."
Kelly gave the dark haired woman a look. "The couch No, no, my bed is big enough for the both of us, no arguments. I like to think we both know where we stand. Dont you agree?"
Sydney had to laugh at the feisty blonde: "Sure, I give up. I was just trying to be polite and respectful."
Kelly had gone through all her bathroom rituals and was lying in her bed, waiting for Sydney to be done and join her. She had provided the other woman with a shirt of her own, one that was too big, but obviously not big enough.
The blonde woman had to swallow when Sydney emerged from the bathroom; the shirt didnt cover much and the sight of those long legs made her mouth go dry. Behave Kel, you are both tired and need your rest. Just close you eyes and sleep she admonished herself.
She felt the bed move when Sydney climbed in, sighing contentedly when she noticed a hand searchin for hers and hold it. She felt slight squeeze and heard a mumbled goodbye before letting herself drift of to sleep.
to be continued in part 3
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