Fandom: Charlie's Angels (classic)
Archival: P&P of course. Everyone else, please ask.
Spoilers: For episode 3.10, called "Angel on My Mind". Although I'm not sure it can be called a spoiler if the original episode aired 11/22/1978. Which was six days before my ninth birthday. God help me. I even remember exactly where I was when I saw this episode that day. We lived in a boarding house. It was loud in the living room where the TV was because everyone else was playing UNO. I got in trouble for shushing people so I could hear the TV. LOL
Summary: Kris Munroe, private detective, witnesses a crime behind the restaurant she's leaving and is hit by a car driven by the perpetrator. She is briefly knocked unconscious and when she comes to, she doesn't remember anything--not even her own name. When she regains those memories after a harrowing day and night of trying to stay one step ahead of a man who is trying to kill her for reasons she can't begin to understand, Kris finds that she remembers more than she wanted to about her feelings for a certain brunette. The close calls that she's suffered compel her to Kelly Garrett's front door. Will she find the solace that she seeks?
Content Disclaimer: Depictions of love between consenting adult women are almost certainly to be found in this story. You've been fairly warned. Also, angsty but ends well. ;)
Source Disclaimer: I do not own Charlie's Angels or the characters therein depicted. I do not seek to profit from this story.
A/N: It has been an awfully long time since I've seen this show. Please keep that in mind.
Thank You: To angelonmymind, who provided the userpic that I'm using for this particular story (it happens to be from the episode "Angel on My Mind") and who wrote the first Kris/Kelly fanfiction I ever read. She resurrected a part of my childhood that I thought buried for good and for that, I will always be grateful.
The knock at her door startled Kelly Garrett and she looked at the clock on her mantle, wondering who would be on her side porch at almost ten o'clock. She closed her book and set it on the end table next to her cup of orange pekoe tea, rising to see who it was. She glanced at her purse where it hung on the back of a dining room chair, calculating how quickly she could retrieve the gun from inside it should her visitor not be her elderly next-door neighbor, as she suspected, but rather one of the many threats that seemed to find Kelly or her friends no matter where they went. Such was the life of a Beverly Hills private detective.
She peeked out the curtains that covered the window of her kitchen door and was surprised to see Kris Munroe standing on her side porch, hands jammed into the pockets of her jeans, a look of agitation and worry plastered on her face. Kelly opened the door immediately.
"Kris? Is something wrong? Are you okay?"
Kris' large blue eyes darted up to meet Kelly's concerned brown ones and the older woman's features crumpled into a delicate frown. Tears rimed Kris' pale lashes and the younger woman's tears always had the same effect on Kelly: they made her heart ache.
"No, not really," said the blonde, making a small sound of frustration. She hugged herself against the chill of the late November air and looked at Kelly almost desperately. "Can I come in?"
Kelly reached for one of Kris' hands and tugged her inside. "Of course you can, Kris," admonished the older woman. "You don't even need to ask."
Once Kris was inside, Kelly shut the door against the mercurial weather and turned to her friend. "Can I get you some tea? Something stronger? I think I have some scotch in the cabinet. It might help--"
"No," said Kris, shaking her head. Her blonde hair was pulled back into a simple ponytail and her eyes kept darting from Kelly's to the floor and back again. "No, Kel. I want to be...I need to be clearheaded right now. Especially after...what happened. Does that make any sense?"
"Of course it does! God, Kris, I don't know how you got through all of that. You're so str--"
Kris held up a hand. "Please don't tell me how strong you think I am, okay? I don't think I can take it. Not right now." The younger woman's cheeks pinked with a faint blush and she turned her eyes back to the floor, jamming her hand back into her pocket almost angrily. Kelly couldn't tell if Kris was angry with her or with herself. Either way, her sense that something was just not right climbed another few notches up her spine.
"Kris, you're scaring me," she said softly, looking at the hurting younger woman with shining eyes. "Talk to me." She reached out to touch Kris' arm but Kris skittered away from the touch as if it burned. Kelly made a tiny sound of anguish and felt tears rush to her eyes. What could be so wrong that Kris would shy away from a simple touch? They'd touched so many times before. Today, even! When they'd finally found Kris on that godforsaken beach, she'd clung to Kelly with arms that felt like steel bands, reluctant to let her go, even when the danger was over. If Kelly was going to be honest with herself, she'd been reluctant to let Kris go, too. She'd been so worried about her! Especially after that run in with the three street toughs that had Kris' scarf. When she saw that scarf around the tallest one's neck, her heart had practically seized in her chest. She was so afraid that they'd found Kris and overpowered her, leaving her bleeding or broken--or worse!--in the dunes somewhere. She was so relieved to hear that Kris had fought back, had pulled her gun on them and escaped, that she'd wanted to cry right then and there.
But she couldn't. Not in front of Sabrina, whose sharp, discerning eyes never missed a thing.
"Please, Kris...." she whispered. A tear finally crested her lashes and she swiped at it with the back of her hand as it fell.
"Oh, Kelly, please don't cry!" Kris' face fell and she turned, taking two strides away from the brunette, putting as much distance as she could between herself and the brown eyes that had been haunting her all day. "I knew I shouldn't have come here," she berated herself. "I knew I should have stayed at home--tried to sleep! I'm so...so stupid sometimes!"
"No, Kris, you aren't! You say things like that and you don't realize what it does to me! You're not stupid. And you're always, always welcome here. You know that. My home is always open to you."
The younger detective looked up, her own tears glinting on her cheeks in the dim kitchen light. "Don't you see, Kel? That's exactly the problem!" She broke her gaze and began to pace with tight, frenetic movements, folding her arms protectively across her chest.
"The problem is that you're always welcome here?" Kelly shook her head, her long mahogany hair shivering around her face. "I don't understand, Kris."
"Not that I'm welcome here," corrected Kris, exasperated that she wasn't explaining herself well. "That I want to be here. More than anywhere else in the world, I want to be right here. In your kitchen. And that's-- You're--" She stopped and hung her head, unwilling to continue her treacherous thought. "It's wrong. It's wrong of me to want that."
Kelly finally managed to grab the sleeve of Kris' tweed jacket. "Why is it wrong, Kris? What's wrong about it?"
"This is!" cried Kris, clenching her eyes shut against emotion lodged deep in her chest, fighting to keep it there, to keep some semblance of control. She cupped Kelly's face in her hands and captured her lips in a desperate kiss. A desperate kiss that tasted like the sea, salt-tinged and wild.
After a second of stunned paralysis, Kelly kissed Kris back, pulling the smaller woman into her long arms, pushing her up against one of the dining room chairs, parting her lips with a softly insistent tongue. When she felt Kris' tongue twine with hers, she made another sound, this one of need. Her heart felt like it would pound right out of her chest and her blood thrummed through her veins, a quicksilver mixture of desire and apprehension, of relief and fear.
When they parted and Kris opened her eyes, Kelly saw desperation still painted in blue. She started to reassure her, but Kris cut her off, words rushing out of her like a dam had broken somewhere deep inside.
"Please, Kelly..." she whispered, tears still slipping silently down her cheeks. "Please let me have tonight. Please pretend that you love me the way I love you. Just for one night! I promise--I promise tomorrow everything can go back to the way it was before and we can be friends again. But I need--I need to--to hold you--" She gasped and seemed to collapse in on herself, agony showing in her eyes. "I couldn't find you in my heart today. I was so lost without you. Wandering up and down that beach, trying to find my way back to something--someone--I couldn't find, couldn't remember. It was an ache, Kelly.... And I thought the ache would go away when I remembered who I was, how everything was. But it didn't. It didn't and I'm still so lost without you. So please..." She closed her eyes for a long moment, gathering her courage. "Please," she begged. "If you love me at all, even just a little, please let me have this one night with you. Because I don't know how to live in this world anymore. Near you but never having you. Loving you but never saying it."
Once the words were out there, Kris knew she couldn't take them back. Looking at Kelly, waiting for the disgust or pity--or worse--that she knew had to be coming, was too hard. She covered her face with her hands and sobbed.
Kelly pulled Kris' hands away from her face and cupped it in her own, brushing away the younger woman's tears with her thumbs, smiling at her through tears of her own. She couldn't speak just yet--her heart was lodged in her throat and burned there fiercely--so she took one of Kris' hands and knotted their fingers together, pulling the blonde out of the darkened kitchen, through the living room past her abandoned book and tea, and down the hall to her bedroom.
Kris shook her head and her chin began to quiver as fresh tears rolled down her cheeks. "I've barely been with a man," she admitted, shame staining her voice. "The two times anything happened were...were pretty bad." She dropped her eyes again and Kelly surged forward to take Kris' hands in her own.
"Kris," she began, her voice low and serious, "you weren't....?" She couldn't bring herself to say the words. Even the thought of someone forcing themselves on Kris made Kelly want to shoot someone. All her worry from the long, uncertain day came flooding back and she felt her jaw tighten as she gritted her teeth.
Kris saw the change in Kelly's bearing and she blinked twice before reassuring her. "No! Oh, no, Kelly! Nothing like that." She shrugged. "I just...don't see what the big deal is, really. I...I didn't feel anything with them. I thought I did--before. Tom was very sweet, very nice to me. And Mark was so good looking. He could have been a model. I was excited to be with them at first. It's exactly what I was told all my life to expect. You know how Jill was about men...."
Kelly smiled, her teeth very white in the half-light. "Yes, I remember," she agreed, shaking her head a little in indulgent reminiscence. Then she frowned. "But it wasn't good? The sex, I mean?"
Kris shrugged again. "Neither of them complained. But whatever I thought I'd felt before seemed to...disappear as we got closer and closer to spending the night together. And during, well...I just wanted it to be over with, you know? With Tom, I thought it was because it was my first time and I didn't know what I was doing. After Mark, I wondered if it was me."
"Oh, sweetie...." Kelly pulled Kris into a loose hug, not wanting frighten her or make her any more uncomfortable than she already was. Her skin already tingled everywhere it touched the young blonde. "It's not you. Not the way you think, anyway." She nibbled on her bottom lip for a minute, wondering what to do. Finally, she had an idea. She turned to her dresser, pulled out a sea-blue nightgown, and handed it to Kris. "It'll be a little big on you," she said somewhat self-consciously. "Why don't you go and change into it?" When she saw Kris' eyes grow wider, she added hurriedly, "I just want us to be together, Kris. However you want to be. You mentioned wanting to hold me.... Should I....?" She held out her hand, waiting for Kris to give her the nightgown back. But she didn't.
She looked thoughtful for a moment and Kelly watched all the emotions she was feeling march across her oh-so-expressive features. Eventually, she came to a decision and grinned at Kelly shyly. "Bathroom?" she asked.
Kelly pointed at a door on the far wall. "Through there," she said softly.
Kris quickly disappeared through it and Kelly turned to retrieve another nightgown, this one an electric shade of lemon yellow. She changed into it and, by the time Kris came out of the bathroom, face scrubbed clean of tears and hair unbound, she'd turned down the covers on her bed, had arranged the pillows against the headboard, and she herself was already nestled amongst them. Kris, looking sweet in Kelly's choice of lingerie, held onto the door knob as if it was saving her from losing her way in a deadly blizzard and she gazed at Kelly with very blue eyes, a curious mixture of hunger and timidity showing in them. Kelly opened her arms to the younger woman.
"Come here, beautiful," she said, her voice thick with emotion. Kris treated her to another all-too-brief dazzling smile and let go of the door knob, slipping quickly into Kelly's bed and then into Kelly's arms, closing her eyes over a sigh of utter relief.
Kelly pulled the covers up over them both and swallowed the lump in her throat that was making it difficult for her to talk. Brunch at Casa España yesterday had been so innocent, the memory of their good natured teasing of Bosley's frugality and Kris' tendency toward being a clothes horse making her smile. All that innocence had seemed to evaporate when they figured out that Kris' seeming tardiness this morning was really something much more sinister and that no one had seen the youngest detective since she'd left the restaurant the previous day. Kelly had battled dread all day, had fought tears for so many hours as the picture of what had happened to Kris seemed to get worse and worse that she wondered if the lump in her throat would ever go away.
She's here. She's right here--in your arms! Stop reliving the dread, Kelly Garrett, and hold her, she scolded herself. She tightened her hold on the trembling woman resting against her and kissed her forehead. Kris looked up at her with a smile and Kelly brought one of her hands up to cup the blonde's cheek, leaning in to kiss the other one. Her kisses were light, ephemeral--barely the press of lips against skin--but Kris closed her eyes and said softly, "Oh...."
Kelly continued with the slow, sweet kisses until her lips found the corner of Kris' mouth again. The younger woman whimpered and blindly sought Kelly's mouth with her own, opening her lips immediately, lifting her hand from where it rested on Kelly's stomach to wind her fingers in long, dark hair. The brunette deepened the kiss, the wet heat of Kris' mouth setting her heart thudding in her chest. The desire she felt for the lovely blonde in her arms was immediate and powerful and she pulled away from the kiss with a gasp.
"Kelly," whispered Kris, pulling her down again, finding her mouth and laying sensual waste to it. Kelly's fingertips slipped lightly over Kris' shoulder and down her arm, then over, where they found the blonde's nipple beneath the sea-blue satin of her own nightgown. Now it was Kris who wrenched herself away from the kiss, crying out as she did so, arching into Kelly's touch.
"Do you want me to stop?" whispered the brunette, her voice low and serious. She thought they should stop, should talk about what was going on between them, but she couldn't seem to control her hands at all. Her thumb moved across the hardened peak of Kris' right breast practically of its own volition and the younger woman moaned appreciatively.
"No, Kelly, no," she begged breathlessly. "Please don't."
Mollified slightly, the older woman kissed her way down the column of Kris' throat and across her collarbone as her fingertips left their tender caress to find the strap of the nightgown. She kissed her way to Kris' milk-white shoulder as she slipped the strap down, baring the soft, creamy, pink-tipped breast she'd been teasing to the air.
"Talk to me," she demanded gently, her mouth hovering over a nipple that seemed to tighten even more as she watched. "Tell me what you're feeling, Kris." It was a compromise, a concession to her better judgment. She didn't want this to be like Kris' other encounters--cold and empty of feeling, of sensation. If Kris had nothing to say, Kelly knew she would stop.
Kris swallowed heavily. "It's like fire," she said haltingly. "Like ice. Like...like...." Kelly closed her mouth over the raspberry pink nipple she'd been admiring and Kris cried out. "Oh, God!"
Kelly swirled her tongue around the pebbled bud then suckled it, tiny sounds of desire catching high in her throat.
"It's like falling off my board for the first time in February," continued the younger woman, her heart fluttering against Kelly's lips. "The water's...so cold...and the sand...burns...."
Kris became aware that her hips were rocking in a way she'd never experienced before. She wanted...something...but she didn't quite know what. Her body ached for it, though, whatever it was.
"Nngh, Kel," she whispered desperately, half sounding like she was in pain. She moaned with it, her hips rocking harder, her body writhing beneath Kelly. Even if she'd wanted to be still at this moment, she didn't think she could manage it.
Kelly surfaced from the attentions she was giving the younger woman's breast. "What do you want, Kris?" she asked, cupping her cheek in her hand, forcing the blonde's eyes to look at her. They were almost navy blue with desire in the half light of the room.
Kris shook her head. "I don't know. I...I need...."
"What do you need, honey? Tell me...."
Kris gasped as Kelly's hand disappeared beneath the comforter and caressed the inside of her thigh.
"Yes," she breathed, her legs parting as if of their own accord. "That..."
Kelly wasn't going to let her get away with anything so vague, though. She needed Kris to be certain, to be precise. Kelly never, ever wanted Kris to regret what was happening between them. Not like she did with Tom and Mark.
"What, Kris, honey? Tell me."
Kris bit her bottom lip so hard, she broke the skin. "Can you...be inside me?" she asked, her voice small and needful.
Kelly nearly collapsed with relief, plundering Kris mouth with a deep, torrid kiss. "Yes, angel," she said, pulling away finally. Her dancing fingertips found the edge of the short gown she'd given her and she teased it up over Kris' hips, quickly finding that there was no further barrier between them. "Sweet Jesus," she swore, slipping her fingers into the searing wetness between Kris' thighs.
"Kel...ly," cried the blonde, her voice shredded by her need. The brunette's strong, elegant thrusts inside her drove Kris to arch her back nearly off the bed, her hips matching their rhythm. "Yes," she hissed, throwing her head back. Kelly took the opportunity to nip her way from Kris' thundering pulse point to she sensitive shell of her ear. "Yes...."
She'd never felt anything like this. An ocean of fire licked at her blood, and her body mimicked the turbulent waves, rolling and rocking and crashing again and again against the beautiful woman holding her literally in the palm of her hand. She couldn't breathe. She couldn't do anything but feel, her body throbbing to the beat of her hammering heart, the shimmering ache coalescing inside her where Kelly's fingers caressed her deeply.
The sudden loss of Kelly's touch left Kris feeling empty and bereft--until she opened her eyes to investigate and found Kelly shimmying out of her bikini briefs after having shed her yellow satin nightgown.
"Just us, Kris," explained the brunette, reaching for Kris' gown and tugging it over her head. "Nothing else between us. Not anymore." She lifted herself over the younger woman and settled herself between her thighs. Kris groaned with the new sensation; Kelly released a ragged sigh. She worked her hand between their bodies and filled Kris again, her fingers able to reach new depths with the change of position. Kris' fingernails dug into Kelly's shoulders in response.
"Oh, God, Kelly!"
Kelly moved against Kris, moved inside her, peppering her with kisses and nips, moaning softly as she heard the blonde's voice catch, as she felt muscles begin to clench around her fingers.
"You are so beautiful," she whispered, looking down at younger woman with wide eyes the color of cinnamon in the light.
The words filled Kris with blissful warmth and joy. For long seconds, she thought she could fly, could soar--like a rainbow clutch of helium balloons escaping their hawker at the fair, a riot of color rising into heaven. But doubt kept her from letting go of the ribbons. Doubt that wondered if this was only for tonight after all. If she'd have to go back to simple friendship with Kelly when the sun rose. She turned her head and closed her eyes, unwilling to face that fear.
Kelly saw it all before Kris turned away, saw doubt follow on the heels of breathless joy like foxhounds running down their prey. Her fingers stilled but she didn't pull away. She brushed a lock of gold back from Kris' face and whispered, "Look at me, Kris."
Eyes the color of new bruises turned to her. Kelly kissed each one and nuzzled Kris' cheek.
"This isn't just for one night," she whispered and Kris' eyes widened, shocked by Kelly's accurate appraisal of her fears. Kelly smiled gently. "I've wanted this, too. You have no idea how much. Today was--" She closed her eyes against the tears that even now threatened to fall. When she finally found her control again, she opened shining eyes. "I haven't let myself feel it yet. Not really. The fear I carried with me all day, the unshed tears, the uncertainty and the desperation.... I couldn't let Bri see that, couldn't let her see me break down. She would have known...."
Kris lifted a hand from Kelly's shoulder and cupped her face in its warmth. "Would have known what?" she asked softly.
Kelly drew one finger down the curve of Kris' cheek. "How I feel about you. How I've felt about you for a while now."
Kris' breath hitched in her throat, hope flaring in her eyes. "How?"
Kelly slid sensuously against the smaller woman's body as she adjusted their positions. "Let me show you," she breathed, her voice a ragged shadow of it's usual silky elegance. She kissed her way down Kris' body, mouth and lips and tongue bestowing benedictions of desire everywhere they touched. Her once stilled fingers came to life again and thrust gently, slowly, rebuilding the pace they'd abandoned for reassurance. Kris' eyes fluttered shut as the coil in her belly tightened once again.
Kelly continued to descend Kris' body, her mouth a melting softness wherever it touched. She pulled the comforter with her unwittingly and smiled softly at the vision of Kris nude and wanton in her bed. When she kissed Kris' inner thigh for the first time, she felt rather than heard Kris' surprise and frank, unadulterated need.
"Yes, that," whispered Kris, arching up to meet Kelly's mouth. "That..."
Kelly smiled, lasciviously pleased. When she tasted Kris for the first time, the smile disappeared, replaced by a groan that felt wrenched from her toes. Kris was hot and slick and rich against her tongue, like clarified butter. But there was also something else, a sweet, sharp tartness, citrusy and slightly bitter, like--
Like sugar-dusted grapefruit, she thought, moaning as she delved more deeply for the complex and coveted taste of her lover.
This--this amazing sensation was nothing like anything Kris had ever felt before and she wondered why it had taken her so long to pursue it. Some part of her that still clung to rationality wanted to ask Kelly about it, but the rest of her was so completely unhinged by what Kelly was doing with her mouth and fingers that she couldn't hope to be coherent at the moment. Lost in a confusing storm of feeling, Kris gave herself over to the maelstrom, letting instinct and need guide her. She tangled her fingers in Kelly's long hair and pulled the woman tightly to her, rolling her hips forward to meet the brunette's every caress. She wondered how she could be drowning and flying at the same time, caught between sea and sky, tumbled and battered, gasping for breath one minute and keening softly the next.
Then she felt it: the beginning of the end. A winding, writhing, twisting thread of ecstasy that stole her breath and curled her toes and made her back arch almost painfully off the bed.
"Kelly...." she breathed. "God, Kel...."
Kelly hummed her appreciation of Kris' breathlessness, smiling when the blonde gasped, her fingers winding blindly in long, dark hair. Sensing that Kris was close, Kelly fine-tuned her dual attentions: focusing her tongue on the sensitive underside of Kris' clit while curling her long, slender fingers as she thrust into her. For three seconds, Kris balanced on a knife's edge of kinetic potential, utterly still, utterly undone. Then the twisting thread coiling inside her snapped and she came apart, her orgasm unwinding in one long ribbon of shivers and sound until Kelly finally stopped her caresses and gently gathered Kris into her arms.
"I've got you, Kris," she whispered, her heart aching when she felt the younger woman wind strong arms around her. They were like steel bands again, just like earlier on the beach, but this time she felt Kris' mouth on her throat as she pressed molten, burning kisses to her pounding pulse point. The difference between then and now, the difference that a mere eight hours had made in her life.... Kelly sighed, tightening her arms around the smaller woman for a moment before reaching for the comforter and pulling it over them both.
Kris looked up into open brown eyes, reaching out to cup Kelly's face with one small hand. "This isn't only for tonight?" she asked shyly.
"No," said Kelly simply, shaking her head to emphasize the word.
"You might be stuck with me then," replied Kris, treating her lover to yet another dazzling smile.
"I'm counting on that," she said, leaning in for another kiss. When Kris parted her lips to deepen it, the only other word Kelly could think of was heavenly.
Then she couldn't think at all.
"I like your room," said Kris softly, much later. She took a moment to really look at the bedroom now that they had succumbed to a warm and pervasive lassitude, their urgent lovemaking having given way to tender caresses and softer kisses. Tastefully conservative beechwood furniture acted as the shore to the sea-hued walls and bedclothes of Kelly's sanctuary. A few nice pieces of art graced available surfaces, at least two of which Kris recognized as Art Deco Lalique figurines. Photographs--sixteen of them, all framed in beechwood frames--took up one wall.
"Who took the photographs?" she asked. From what she could see from where she was most comfortably ensconced, they seemed to be local beach scenes. Sunsets over a glass-like sea, waves crashing against a battered wall of sea-rock, a crab darting sideways across the sand, driftwood dotted with sea snails.... They were really good.
"I did," said Kelly, her voice uncharacteristically shy. "Do you like them?"
Kris stared up at her with wide, unbelieving eyes. "You took them?"
She reluctantly disentangled herself from Kelly's embrace, wrapping herself in the discarded sheet and leaving the bed to look at the photographs more closely. There were other scenes she hadn't been able to see before. A child in a floppy sun hat squatting over a seashell, laughing. Purple-tinged lightning hitting a choppy sea at night. Three blond surfers mugging for her camera, their colorful boards stuck in the sand behind them. And one she didn't remember being taken: one of herself, soaking wet in a white bikini, sitting on the sand, looking up at the camera, shading her eyes with one hand. Her smile was wide and free. Her eyes were very, very blue.
"When did you take this one?" she asked softly, running her finger along the edge of the frame.
"This past July. Remember when we finished that case for that real estate mogul whose son had disappeared?"
Kris nodded but didn't turn around. "The one we thought had been kidnapped, but it turned out he'd just flown to Greece to go surfing with his much older girlfriend and didn't want anyone, especially his father, to know?"
Kelly smirked. "That's the one. Anyway, Bri wanted to treat us to Mai Tais on the beach and you wanted to surf, so we all went down, even Bosley. I packed my equipment, hoping I'd get a few good shots. I took that one right after you took a tumble from a bad wave. We'd all run over to see if you were okay because it sounded like you were crying when you hit the sand. But you were laughing."
"And coughing up about a gallon of ocean water," said Kris, turning toward Kelly finally, looking at her with slightly haunted eyes. "Why did you take it?"
"You're beautiful," said Kelly, stating the heartfelt words as irrefutable fact. "You know that."
Kris looked shyly away, a soft smile on her lips. "It matters to me more that you do." She crossed back to the bed and climbed back in, resettling herself in Kelly's arms. "They're really good, Kel. I wish I'd known you were a photographer before. I feel like I should have known."
"It's not something I make a big deal about. Really, Kris, it's okay."
Kris shook her head. "No, it isn't. There's so much we don't know about each other. We're all friends, we're close, but there are things we don't share with each other."
"That's normal, Kris. People--especially these days--like to protect themselves." She closed her eyes for a long moment. "No one wants to be hurt," she added quietly.
"I guess." Kris looked up into Kelly's big, brown eyes. "I couldn't do that anymore. With you, I mean. It hurt so much all day--feeling that ache and not knowing why. Then my memories came back and the ache only got worse. I remembered it was only a dream to begin with.... I had to come here tonight. I had to know--one way or another."
"I think there's an Anaïs Nin quote about that. 'And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.'"
"But what have I blossomed into?" whispered Kris, her voice trembling.
Kelly didn't answer for a long moment, stroking Kris' cheek with long fingers instead. When she finally broke the silence, her voice was very soft.
"Does it matter, Kris?" she asked. She looked into her lover's blue eyes. "I mean, it's 1978. A woman joined NASA last year. New Orleans elected its first black mayor. Someone, a woman I think, walked alone overland to the North Pole. President Carter got Sadat and Begin to sign the Camp David Accord. Do we have to label what we are to each other? Can't we just be 'in love' without worrying about the semantics--mpf--"
A kiss, deep and insistent, stopped Kelly's quiet rant. When Kris finally pulled away, Kelly whispered somewhat breathlessly, "What was that for?"
"I love you, too," said Kris, grinning widely.
Dizzied by Kris' words, it took Kelly a minute to catch up. When she did, she treated her lover to a dazzling smile of her own.
"Oh," she said, chuckling. "Didn't I mention that?"
Kris hooked one hand around the back of Kelly's neck and tugged, pulling the brunette down for another kiss.
"You hinted," she conceded. "But I'm blonde, so I need things spelled out for me."
"Oh, you do, do you?" asked Kelly, a wicked gleam in her dark eyes. One teasing hand slid down over Kris' hip. "What does this spell?" she asked innocently, her touch light but deeply intimate.
Kris' eyes fluttered shut.
"Ohhhhh...." she breathed.
Close enough, thought Kelly, leaning in to nibble Kris' earlobe as her fingers danced. Close enough.
Hope you enjoyed it!