Fandom: Rizzoli and Isles
Pairing: Jane and Maura
disclaimer: I do not own the characters or the show, I have no intent or desire to make money from this little fic.
A/N Ventured into this fandom for a short little fic, at Pibby's request.
A Mattress with no Sheets.
Jane was exhausted, what with everything she’d been through in the last couple of weeks, and then tonight, having to shoot that scumbag. Not that she regretted it, per se. She’d been justified, and had taken out a major sex trafficker. But still, it was never something you wanted to happen, shooting someone. She was a cop, not a vigilante, and preferred arrests to deaths.
But, it happened, and she would deal with the rest of the fallout tomorrow. Right now, she just wanted to sit here with Maura. Seemed that was all she ever wanted to do after a tough day. She knew why, really, she wasn’t a moron, and there was an obvious theme in the Maura centric thoughts that ran through her head. She just hadn’t said anything yet, and had only recently been honest with herself about it. Jane flopped back onto her mattress, which they’d neither finished dragging into the bedroom nor put sheets on, and looked a Maura.
Maura looked back, half inclined to comment on how Jane shouldn’t be laying her sweaty body on a mattress with no sheets, but got distracted by said sweaty body, and the strip of skin showing between the bottom of Jane’s tank top and her pants. She had the sudden urge to lean down and kiss her, but snapped back to reality, chastising herself for the thought when her friend clearly needed some support and reassurance about what had happened that day.
“You did good work today”
“Thanks,” Jane replied, smiling at her. That is why she always wanted to spend time with Maura. Maura always knew how to make her feel better. Though, really, it was probably more due to the fact that it was Maura, more than anything she said or did.
Maura then lay down next to her, surprising Jane slightly, as she hadn’t realized this had the potential to turn into a sleepover, given the lack of sheets and…box spring. Maura smelled good. She smelled…girly. Jane didn’t know what it was. Flowers? Coconut? Some combination? She wasn’t sure how she couldn’t differentiate between flowers and coconut, but she just knew it vaguely made her want to bury her nose in Maura’s hair. She then realized Maura was talking again.
“So you must have had a wedding fantasy when you were little.”
Jane thanked whatever saints might be watching over her that Maura had specified ‘when you were little,’ and that her earlier comment about being five the last time she’d dreamed about her wedding had apparently sunk in. Because otherwise, she would have had to either lie, or explain that the only part of her wedding she’s fantasized about lately was...well, Maura being the one she was marrying.
Instead of saying that, she hesitantly launched into her explanation about the wedding at Fenway, knowing Maura would think it was stupid. But even then, she couldn’t stop herself from picturing Maura standing with her, in her own Red Sox jersey. Maura would never go for that. Maybe the rest of it though, if Maura could get the cake she wanted.
“Can I come?”
Jane turned on her side toward Maura, and gently put her hand on Maura’s arm. Perhaps being a little too caught up in her own mental image, said, “Wouldn’t have it without you.” That came out a little more serious than I meant it to, she thought.
Maura, having had both personal experiences with love interests, and also reading extensively on the manifestation of romantic overtures, could not help but think there was some loving meaning behind Jane’s statement, and accompanying body language. And yet, Jane had consistently rejected all of her subtle advances over the years, even clearly stating Maura was not her type on one occasion. (There was that one incident with Giovanni and the LLBFF scenario, but Jane had laughed later about how ridiculous it was that he ‘bought it.’) Could she have been lying? Maura knew that many people had silly hang ups about sexuality, which were not based in logic, but rather societal prejudices, and she felt that her friend maybe have been among those who were, well, hung up.
Meanwhile, Jane was still watching her, but now biting her lip, furrowing her brow, and looking increasingly like she was about to bolt out the door, even though it was her apartment. This was all the confirmation Maura needed. She turned to face Jane, and brushed some hair behind her friend’s ear, letting her hand linger on her cheek. Jane involuntarily closed her eyes at this, just in case Maura had needed further proof.
“Jane, you’re my best friend—“
“Maur, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean anything, I don’t know—“ She got up to move, panicking over the fact that Maura had apparently read her mind, and was about to let her down easy.
“Jane, please,” Maura said, in her most commanding tone, grabbing Jane’s wrist before she could fully sit up, “Just…lay back down, with me. And let me finish talking.”
Jane didn’t know who could resist that request, accompanied with that look. She obediently settled herself down on the mattress, somehow moving even closer to Maura in the process.
“ ’Kay, you were saying?” Jane asked, clearing her throat. They were so close that she could feel Maura’s breath.
“You’re my best friend. But I am relatively certain that if you were only that, I would not be feeling the things I am feeling right now simply because you are three inches away from me.”
Jane laughed, in spite of herself and the crushing anxiety she was feeling. She then quickly reached out for Maura, seeing the brief look of hurt on her face. “I wasn’t laughing at you, Maur,” she said softly, “I was laughing because I could say exactly the same thing.”
“Oh.” Maura sighed, “for a moment I thought I’d misread…the way you said you wouldn’t have your wedding without me…”
“No, you read it right, Maura.” Jane was trying to respect her friend, and her need to talk about things, despite Jane’s complete discomfort with all of this emotional stuff. Not to mention how much she wanted to kiss her, instead of wasting her lips on word formation. “I uh, I don’t really know how to say it.”
“Say what?” Maura asked in a teasing tone, with that infuriating, adorable, smartass smile on her face.
Jane rolled her eyes, “All right. I can say it. Maura, the reason I wouldn’t have my wedding without you, and the reason I didn’t want to talk about my dream wedding before, is because, you’re in it. And, I don’t mean like a bridesmaid. I mean like….the bride, other, bride” she mumbled, before adding hurriedly, thinking she sounded crazy,” I mean, well, I’m not…trying to say we are getting married, or like, I want to marry you right now, but just, well, I do, but that’s not the point….I mean, we haven’t even been on a date yet and I don’t know if you like me, but,” she took a breath, because she didn’t want this next part to get lost in her rambling, “I am so in love with you. You’re brilliant, you’re kind, and you’re honest, and god you are gorgeous. And I don’t—I wasn’t expecting this, but it’s not something I can deny, or want to deny. And apparently I’m the only Rizzoli child who has good taste in women.” Jane grinned at her with this statement.
Maura’s eyes had welled up at this uncharacteristic verbalization of emotion, and she blinked back her tears. She wasn’t going to be a ridiculous basket case right now, “Jane, I don’t ever think I’ve heard you talk so much at once, unless it was about a case or some complaint about your family.”
“Well, I—“ she frowned, “you have any other thoughts you want to share about what I actually said?” The fact that Maura was trailing her fingers up and down Jane’s side, pausing each time she reached the spot where her tank top had started to ride up, made Jane think Maura approved. But she still wanted to hear it.
“Jane, I love you, I am completely and utterly in love with you. And why do you think I kept asking you about your wedding? Not, like you said, that I am suggesting anything right now, but it’s…relevant, perhaps, for the future. I hope. Right now though, I just want to be here with you. I never feel so happy, and so safe, and so…well, loved, as when I’m with you.”
Jane leaned in and gently kissed her friend, who deepened the kiss until they finally had to pull apart to catch their breath.
Maura looked at her and smiled, moving her hand back to Jane’s side. “Now, about this tank top….”
disclaimer: I do not own Bomb Girls or receive or want any profit for this. Bomb Girls belongs to Adrienne Mitchell and Michael MacLennan.
Summary: One possible other reason for Kate's reaction after Betty kissed her.
A/N Trigger warnings for discussion of physical abuse/the existence of anti-gay sentiment in the world and anxiety about such.
Kissing in Public
As soon as Betty sat next to her at the piano, Kate felt better. Even after everything that had happened recently, Kate felt like she would be all right, as long as Betty was there. She thought about how scared she’d been when Vera had sent the projectiles flying on the line today, and she instinctively scooted closer, rubbing Betty’s back where she’d been hit by the bomb. He fingers moved against the fabric of Betty’s shirt, and she tried to keep the amount of touch to a level that was acceptable between friends. She wasn’t quite sure she’d succeeded though, given the way Betty just looked at her.
When Betty kissed her palm, and said she really liked her, Kate knew for certain they were moving into dangerous territory. She was hoping maybe they’d finally be able to talk about how they felt when they got back to the boarding house that night. But she never expected Betty to actually kiss her like that. In the split second that their lips made contact, Kate was thrilled, and then terrified. What was Betty thinking? They couldn’t kiss right here, in the middle of the club! Leon was right there! The bartenders!
“What are you doing?” Kate nearly yelled, as she pulled away from Betty, every beating from her father for her “unnatural” behaviors flashing through her mind. She was panicked, thinking of everything from physical violence—she didn’t know the bartenders, and who they might know or what they might think—to being shut out from singing at the club, all because of Betty. Betty, whom she looked at just then, and who she realized was nearly in tears, and saying something—some kind of apology, having understandably interpreted Kate’s reaction to mean Kate was not interested. But even that sight couldn’t stop the fear coursing through Kate’s body, or her instinctive need to keep herself safe. Without thought, Kate went back to the denial that she had relied on throughout her childhood, yelling, “What do you think I am?” and calling that kiss, and then Betty herself, disgusting. After that, Betty ran from the club, leaving Kate standing there, stunned.
Slowly, she turned to check the location of their audience, and saw Leon looking directly at her with an inscrutable expression. For Kate though, there was no doubt as to how he would react.
“Leon!” She ran breathlessly over to him, “I’m not like that!” I am like that, “You have to believe me, I didn’t know what she was going to do.” Kate ran her hands through her hair, agitated and beginning to cry. Not only did she have this…tendency inside of her that might make Leon hate her, but now she was flat out lying to her friend. There was no excuse for that. Despite Kate’s upbringing, and being told she was a sinner repeatedly, Kate had come to a place where she did not believe she was inherently bad, and certainly did not believe that loving women made her so. Therefore, she realized, not only had she just hurt her best friend (whom she happened to be in love with) but was now also lying to another friend, whom she respected immensely, for no reason but self preservation. Surely this was not the person she wanted to be, and not the way she wanted to live her life. Consequences be what they may.
Leon continued to simply look at her, waiting. Kate looked down, ashamed with herself, and also worried about Leon’s reaction to what she was about to say. “Leon, I’m sorry, I’m…I do like Betty, I am like her. I…I’m not going to stand here and deny it to you.”
Leon sighed, “Church mouse, it doesn’t make a bit of difference to me who you love. It’s going to make a difference to plenty of people, sure, but I’m not one of them. You don’t need to worry about me.”
He said all of this very nonchalantly, though to Kate it meant the world. Still, she was worried about the two bartenders, whom she barely knew, and Leon caught her side glance in their direction.
“You don’t have to worry about them either. They’re here for a job, and there are plenty of other bars they could go work for if they were in the habit of making judgments. This is The Tangiers, not the Pavilion. People won’t bother you here.”
“Oh. Oh.” So many things fell into place. That’s why Betty came here, that’s why she’d known about the club in the first place. That’s why she’d known it was okay to make her intentions clear to Kate here. The more Kate thought about it, the more obvious it seemed. Gosh! She could be so naïve. Just thinking of the crowd at the Tangiers--Betty’s hep friend, interracial couples—clearly it was a more open place than your average bar. Kate put her hand to her forehead, “Oh Leon, what did I just do?”
Leon shrugged, “Got scared. You have reason to be careful in the world, Church Mouse, just make sure you don’t let that run your life. You have to know you have friends too.”
Kate nodded, and looked toward the door, “I have to go find her, and explain. She thinks…oh Betty.” Kate thought back to what she’d said, and how Betty looked, and, after Leon nodding at her, she fairly flew up the steps.
Kate made it back to the boarding house in record time, but Betty was nowhere to be found. None of the other girls had seen her. She called Gladys, who hadn’t heard from her, and who nearly interrogated Kate as to what had happened, but eventually backed off when Kate promised to tell her everything once she spoke to Betty. Kate had no idea where else she would go, or who she could be with, so she just sat on a chair in the hallway. It looked odd, she was sure, to all of the other girls who walked by her as they came and went, but she didn’t care. Finally, at least two hours later, Betty came walking down the hallway, all of her usual confidence gone. She glanced up and saw Kate, but then continued to her room, closing the door behind her.
Kate, not deterred in the slightest, walked over to Betty’s door, and knocked. “Betty? I need to speak to you.”
Betty, as hurt as she was, and as embarrassed as she was over what she’d done, was never one to shy away from a confrontation. She opened the door and Kate walked in, moving so quickly across the room that before she knew it she was staring out the window of the outside wall.
“Kate, I’m sorry,” Betty said simply, looking at Kate’s back, “I thought—it doesn’t matter what I thought. It won’t happen again. I hope we can still be friends—you’re the best friend I’ve ever had.”
Kate didn’t say anything for a moment, and didn’t even turn around, feeling like she’d been punched in the gut with how much she’d hurt Betty. When she finally did turn around, she was crying, and shaking her head.
“Betty, you don’t understand. I—you’re my best friend, but I don’t want to just be your friend. I want more than that.”
Betty, who was now being extremely careful about potentially misunderstanding anything Kate said or did, tilted her head to the side and said, “I’m not sure what you mean. I heard what you said at the bar.”
Kate closed her eyes, “And I’m sorry, for saying those things. I don’t know—you’re not disgusting, that kiss wasn’t anything approaching disgusting, and…after so many years of hearing my father say those things…that’s what—I don’t even know! What I thought someone who wasn’t like us would say? What I needed to say so Leon wouldn’t know?”
What was Kate saying? “Kate, pushing me away and calling me disgusting was pretty clear. Whatever you’re saying right now?” She waved her hand between them, “Isn’t. So, can you just spell it out for me?” Betty thought maybe she was being a little sharp with Kate, and said more softly, “I just want to understand, and know where I stand with you. I don’t want to make any more mistakes.”
Kate had thought she’d been clear enough, but, all right. She stepped forward and took Betty’s hand. “I grew up hiding, and lying about, who I was. But, well, not hiding it very well. My father knew, and tried to beat it out of me every time he saw a hint of my interest in women. Whether he caught me kissing a girl under a tree, or thought I smiled too kindly at a waitress in a diner. But I couldn’t change, I tried, as a teenager, but I couldn’t. By the time I left home, I’d come to believe that my father was wrong, which—if you knew how I was raised, and how important the commandment to honor thy mother and father was…well, it was a long struggle. But that was why I left, because I knew he was wrong—and my mother knew why I needed to leave, and she helped me. That’s why, even though yesterday my father tried to sell me on that line that she was sick…I knew she would want me to stay here, above all else. There have been times here when I’ve thought maybe I should just go back, maybe my father, and, well, much of the rest of the world, were right, and I should remove myself from the temptation of this life. But then I come to my senses again. This life is my life, and here I am truer to myself, and to God than in any other life I could live. And meeting you just made me know all the more that that was true.
“Okay.” Betty had so many thoughts crashing around in her head—anger at Kate’s father, and the world, for making Kate (and her) feel so badly about themselves, respect for Kate for getting away from that, even though it meant leaving her whole life behind, and hope that what she was hearing, was really what she was hearing. But she had been spooked good by Kate’s reaction in the bar, and was still waiting for Kate to say the words that would remove all doubt. “I, uh, it must have been really hard for you. I’m glad you left—I think it was the best decision you ever made.”
Kate smiled, big and genuine, at Betty’s honest, but slightly stumbling, support. She also knew that Betty was still holding back, and would, until Kate told her the rest. She took a breath, “So all of that, Betty, that’s why I said those things—because I was thinking ‘People can see us!’ and I was so terrified of what that would mean, of what they would do. But in the effort to protect myself, I completely just…threw you to the wolves. That wasn’t right.”
Betty very nearly smacked herself in the forehead. That was the connection. No wonder Kate panicked.
“Aw, Kate, god, I’m sorry. It’s the Tangiers, it’s…there were only three people there, and I knew they all couldn’t care less. I thought you knew. I thought…you’ve been singing there, and—“
“I know. I don’t know how I missed it.” Kate shook her head at herself, “And I should have known you wouldn’t do something like that unless you were sure that I--” Kate blushed at how true she knew this was, “that I wouldn’t be put at any risk.”
“I’d never put you at risk, Kate.” Betty said seriously, “I probably could have, uh, mentioned it to you first, though. Here, or, in private, or, at least, made sure you knew that the club was okay. Told you about me, flat out, earlier. I just, you…you touched my shoulder, and…then you were looking at me…I felt like I was in a movie for a minute.” Betty mumbled this entire last line, and couldn’t even make eye contact with Kate, hearing how ridiculous she sounded.
Kate laughed, thinking how adorable Betty was when she was bashful, but then feeling badly all over again at what she had done. But going in circles about it would get them nowhere. “Well, let’s just agree that we both could have done things differently, okay?”
“And I’m truly sorry.”
“Kate, I couldn’t stay mad at you when you almost blew up the factory, I can’t stay mad at you now,” Betty said, smiling and winking at her.
Kate laughed again, “That was the day…” she paused, realizing she still hadn’t told Betty exactly how she felt about her, “That was the day I realized that I liked you, more than a friend, that I wanted you to kiss me. As soon as you put your hand over mine.”
Betty couldn’t even respond to that for a moment, as she was trying not to choke, but then pulled herself together and said, “Me too. I knew—well, that I was done for, as soon as I didn’t fire you.”
They just looked at each other then, before Kate bit her lip, and leaned closer to Betty, “I love you Betty McRae, and I would very much like to kiss you now.”
“W—okay,” Betty was so happy that she couldn’t even muster up frustration with herself for the puddle of mush she had become. “And oh!” Betty said suddenly, just as Kate was about a millimeter from her lips, “I love you too.”
Kate was laughing as she leaned into into the kiss, and Betty felt the hum of her words as she said “I know,” against her lips.
Rating: PG, I think, PG-13?
disclaimer: Bomb Girls belongs to Michael MacLennan, Adrienne Mitchell, and probably some Canadian TV executives. I do not own anything, or profit from anything, or wish to.
A/N Final chapter, finally! Thanks to everyone who has been reading! Warning--this is sappy, fluffy, awkward Betty and Kate.
Once Betty had finished showing Kate around the house, they settled down in the living room, both sitting on Betty’s green couch. Kate had turned so she was facing Betty, and Betty was leaning forward, elbows on knees, fidgeting with her glass of whiskey on the coffee table, occasionally glancing to her right to look at Kate.
Kate watched this with some level of amusement, but also sadness, that Betty could so easily become uncomfortable around her. No one to blame for that but herself, of course, and she’d only had two days so far to prove that she’d changed. Kate touched Betty’s arm, and looked down for a moment before making eye contact, and saying, “Betty, I hate that I seem to be making you so ill at ease in your own home. I just…I just want to hear what’s been happening in your life since I left. I’ve wondered about you so often over the years.”
Betty had to bite her tongue to avoid the snappy retort she initially thought of, about how Kate could have picked up the phone and found out, or never left in the first place, or, say, left a forwarding address. But Betty reminded herself that she wasn’t angry anymore, she truly wasn’t, and she didn’t need to be defensive. She willed herself to remember everything Kate had said since they saw her at Eaton’s yesterday, including everything she’d just said in the car. She moved herself more comfortably onto the couch, leaning against the armrest, and with one knee pulled up toward her, and took a sip of her drink.
“It’s not…you’re not making me ill at ease. It’s not your fault. It’s just…I still,” Betty took a deep breath, forcing herself to admit this, and thinking of every conversation she’d ever had with Gladys about what she wished she could say to Kate, “I still don’t know where the line is with you. I can’t tell if you’re just being kind, because that’s the kind of person you are, or if it’s really okay with you that I’m…that I’m the way I am.”
“That you love women, you mean.” Kate needed to make sure that they were really talking about this, before she went further into the conversation. The two of them couldn’t afford to be vague.
“What? Yes, that’s—yes, I mean that I love women! I didn’t think you’d have a problem with the fact that I was…short, or had blond hair.” Betty paused, regretting her sarcastic outburst, though Kate didn’t seem too disturbed. “I’m sorry, this—but yes, that I love women Kate, the way people think I should love men, that I think they’re beautiful, and want to be with them and settle down with the woman I love, and…get a couple dogs and, live our lives, or something like that.”
“I want that too.”
“You—what? You want me to have that?”
Kate laughed softly, “No, well, yes, of course, but I meant…” saying it out loud was different than saying it in her head, and she was hoping her last comment would have gotten the point across. But again, they couldn’t afford to be vague with each other. Betty’s emphasis of ‘me,’ seemed like she’d almost gotten Kate’s meaning, but wasn’t completely certain. Kate knew she had to make her certain, “I meant, I want to have that. I’m—like that, like you. I’m not…interested in a husband.” She still couldn’t quite say it out loud, and looked at Betty for help, though that wasn’t entirely fair.
Betty was staring at her, blinking. It wasn’t that Betty was dense, and it certainly wasn’t that she hadn’t considered Kate might be like her, a million times, and in fact, had been confident enough to kiss her, once, but, the idea that it was really true? That Kate was (almost) telling her exactly that? Betty couldn’t believe it. She realized she hadn’t breathed for the last thirty seconds, and inhaled deeply before speaking,
“You’re telling me, you’re like me—you prefer women. You could love, be in love with a woman.”
Kate nodded, then said simply and quietly, “I am in love with a woman, Betty. I just don’t know if she loves me back anymore.”
“But what about your fiancé?” Betty asked, completely ignoring the implication of Kate’s last statement, because she still wasn’t ready to believe it.
Kate frowned, not sure what this response meant, and wondering if she still hadn’t made it clear enough, “Betty…I didn’t love him. And, for a moment, I thought maybe it didn’t matter, maybe I should just marry him because he was a good man, or maybe I would learn to love him in time. But I just couldn’t. And I kept comparing him to you, to how I felt when I was with you, and how much I thought about you. I realized those feelings, the feelings I had for you, weren’t friendship. If I’m being honest, I’d wondered if that wasn’t the case the entire time I was at VicMu. There was never a soldier I saw at the dances, or anyone at Tangiers, who I was as drawn to in the way I was drawn to you. But—it was impossible for me to know it then, to admit it then. And I ran away, and I said things that were meant to distance me from you, from this. And then, with William, it was so clear. How could I call myself a moral person and lie to him, and everyone?”
“And did you tell him why you ended it?” Betty asked, so aghast that Kate laughed.
“Well, no, I wasn’t quite that brave. I just told him I couldn’t go through with it, and that I was in love with someone else.” Kate looked at Betty, reaching across the short distance and taking both of Betty’s hands. “Are you going to keep ignoring that I’m saying I’m in love with you?”
“I—you didn’t say it, exactly,” and I’m too afraid to trust that I’m not reading you wrong again.
Kate closed her eyes so Betty wouldn’t see that she was rolling them, “I’m in love with you, Betty McRae, and have been for five years, and was a complete idiot about it for most of that time. And right now I’m terrified to stop talking because it’s been five years and I think you’ve moved on, because why wouldn’t you, you’re wonderful, you could have anyone you want, and, you have this Ana person—“
Betty put her fingers over Kate’s lips to stop her babbling, and smiled, “Kate,” she moved her hand from Kate’s lips to her cheek, “I…I haven’t moved on. I tried, believe me, because I never thought—after the way you left? I definitely wasn’t expecting this day to ever come. And Ana…” Betty paused, not sure how much Kate would want to know, and also not wanting to hurt her, “Well, she’s been a friend—“
Kate looked at her skeptically, “Betty. You don’t have to do that. Don’t make it less than what it was.”
“I—I’m not! I was going to say more, not just that…” she trailed off unconvincingly, “But, really Kate, she was a friend, and, we dated, off and on, but she always knew the deal. And she didn’t love me either. And besides, I told her you were back last night, and that whatever she and I had been doing was over—even if I wasn’t sure what was going to happen with you and me, I couldn’t keep on with it. I know you probably think that’s pretty awful, to…be in a relationship like that, but…I—loneliness makes you do things you wouldn’t have otherwise,” Betty scratched her head and mumbled, “this is embarrassing.”
“Betty, I have no place to say anything about what you’ve done while I’ve been gone. And honestly, all I’m really feeling about your relationship with her is…jealous, and regretful that I missed all this time with you. I don’t hold any judgments about it.”
“You don’t have anything to be jealous of when it comes to my heart, I can promise you that.” Betty said, and then made a face, “That was probably the sappiest thing I’ve ever said in my life, but…I don’t care. I love you, Kate, and if you—“ Betty stopped talking, noticing that Kate was again giving her that special smile, and leaning closer. Kate kissed her softly, and then pulled back,
“I love you, Betty,” she whispered again, “And if, I know this is quick, but, whenever you’re ready, if that housemate invitation is still open, you’re still on.”
Betty broke into a grin, and Kate could still feel her smiling as they kissed again. “I’m not sure I’d call this ‘quick,’ sweetheart. It seems like forever from where I’m sitting.” She bit her lip, as she actually started to feel tears well up in her eyes, “I can’t believe it’s happening. I feel like it’s a dream. I had so many just like this after you left.”
“Oh, Betty, it’s not a dream, I promise. It’s you and me, together.” Kate, herself, was also starting to cry, out of happiness and relief that she hadn’t lost her chance, in letting all her fear and foolishness dominate.
“We’re a mess,” Betty said, laughing, and wiping tears from both Kate’s face and her own. “Listen, if you want to sleep here—“ Kate’s eyes widened, and she corrected, “I mean literally sleep!”
Kate burst out laughing at Betty’s comment “I know Betty, I know. It wasn’t because I was thinking that, and I would love to sleep here,” she leaned in close and quietly added “literally or otherwise,” before raising her voice once again, “but Mrs. McGuire would send out a search party if I wasn’t there when she woke up in the morning!”
“Uh,” Betty paused, still stuck on the ‘literally or otherwise’ piece, and then her brain eventually caught up with Kate’s point, “Oh! Right, sure. Of course she would. So, then, we can figure that out later,” she smiled, as everything really began to sink in, “In the meantime, can I take you out tomorrow? After work?”
“On a date? I’d love it.” Kate looked so excited, Betty was a little surprised she didn’t actually clap her hands together.
The two of them sat there and smiled at each other like idiots for a few moments, before Betty realized it was getting pretty late, and Kate might want to actually get home. But, when she mentioned this, Kate shook her head vigorously.
“I don’t want to go yet, Betty. But, oh, you have to work tomorrow morning, don’t you? We can go, if you’d like.”
“Kate, I’m not worried about getting enough sleep right now. You can stay as long as you’d like. As long as it doesn’t lead to Mrs. McGuire having a coronary.”
Kate smiled, and then pushed Betty back against the cushions, so she could settle herself in her arms, “ I want to keep talking.”
Betty laughed, still surprised to find herself lying on her couch with Kate snuggling next to her. They talked into the night, periodically interrupting themselves to kiss. They talked about what they’d missed in each other’s lives, and their plans for the future. By the time Betty brought her home, and got back to her own place to call Gladys, it really was 3am. She figured she’d be exhausted at work tomorrow, but couldn’t bring herself to care.
disclaimer: Bomb Girls and its characters belong to Michael MacLennan and Adrienne Mitchell. I don't own them, or make any profit, or want to make any profit.
A/N: Sorry this took a few days, and I THOUGHT it was going to be the last chapter, but everyone becomes so long winded in my stories! So, it's not the last chapter. Thanks for the continued feedback. Also, thank you Canada, for having marriage equality, and awesome TV shows with representation. Parts of the U.S. are sucking tonight, and it's nice to know that everywhere isn't sucking. So here, immerse yourself in some lady love.
Relatively early on in the dinner conversation, it was revealed that Betty planned to bring Kate back to her place later, ostensibly to show her around. Gladys was relatively confident that both of the other women had hopes for activities or declarations in addition to the house tour, judging by the longing glances they kept throwing at each other. She felt like she was right back at the Tangiers, the first night she went with them. James noticed too, if the perpetual raised eyebrows were any indication.
The more she watched, the more Gladys thought that Kate had loved Betty all those years ago, as she’d suspected, and that those feelings hadn’t changed any more than Betty’s had. Granted, Kate saying horrible things to Betty and then running away had made Gladys doubt herself back then, but she’d also thought that Kate was afraid and confused more than anything else. And, watching her now, it certainly seemed like she’d found a way to sort things out for herself since.
Given all of these observations, Gladys took it upon herself to get the dinner finished as quickly as possible, despite her own selfish wish to spend time with Kate. (Though she was pretty certain she’d have plenty of other chances to do so in the future, given how things were going). Therefore, Gladys gave the brief version of her current life—James still working with the grocery, her having left VicMu for involvement in local politics once the war ended. Their marriage, the house, a few quick stories about Vera, Carol, Edith, and Leon, plus Mrs. Corbett and her little boy.
Kate, who was no fool, knew that Gladys was purposely trying to end dinner early. When she initially realized this, she’d been hurt, thinking that Gladys wanted to be rid of her. However, she then took note of Gladys’ warm smile, and efforts to make her feel included in the stories she was telling, even though she’d been out of their lives for so long. And if she’d had any doubt about Gladys’ kinder motives, they were erased just prior to James going to get dessert.
“Geez, Princess, you’re talking a mile a minute. Got a hot date later?”
Gladys, without missing a beat, or even acting surprised at having been caught, responded, “I have a hot date every night, but I also don’t want to keep you two too late. I want to make sure you have plenty of time to show her your place, and…do anything else you two need to take care of.”
Betty blushed more than she’d blushed since she was fourteen, and not even because of the double entendre. It was simply the fact that Gladys’ comment implied that there was something between Betty and Kate, still. And that Gladys could see it, so it must not just exist in Betty’s head. Kate, further adding to this blushing catastrophe, beamed at Gladys, and reached across the table to place her hand on top of Betty’s.
“Thank you Gladys, you’re so sweet to be thinking of us.” She paused, losing the burst of confidence after a moment, and taking her hand back, “I hope…I hope we can talk about…things,” she trailed off rather pathetically, and Gladys took a giant forkful of cake to avoid saying the first comment that sprang to mind, which would have been to the effect of ‘Give me a break! Man up, one of you!’ Betty, for her part, was again starting to look like she might pass out, so Gladys nudged her under the table with her foot. Kicked her, Betty might say. Whatever it was, it had the desired effect, as Betty’s head snapped up from where it was practically buried in her plate, and, after she glared at Gladys, she smiled over at Kate.
“I’d like that.”
“All right,” Gladys literally clapped her hands at that, making James jump slightly, before smiling at her and shaking his head, “now that we’ve settled that, eat your dessert and be on your way.”
“Here’s your hat, what’s your hurry?” Betty replied, making a face at Gladys, who just laughed.
“Please excuse Gladys’ dinner manners, we don’t have company very often,” James said teasingly, looking at Kate.
“Yes, I’m sure my mother’s skin is crawling all the way across town, and she has no idea why,” Gladys replied.
Betty still couldn’t believe that they were all…talking about the situation, if not openly, then in some sort of strange approximation where everyone knew something was happening, but it just hadn’t been said out loud yet. She wondered if Kate felt embarrassed. God knew, after the way Gladys had seen Betty throughout much of 1942, there was nothing that could happen that would embarrass her in front of that woman anymore. She knew Gladys was never going to abandon her, or judge her, no matter what happened.
Betty glanced over at Kate, who was having a conversation with James, about Buffalo, apparently, and how much Kate would like the visit the States someday. Betty then looked over at Gladys, who nodded her head toward Kate, and winked at Betty, before getting up to clear plates.
“You, uh, you think you’re about ready to go, Kate?” Betty asked, as soon as a natural lull in the conversation allowed.
Kate nodded, seemingly shy again, all of a sudden. As Gladys walked them to the door, she thanked them for coming, and reiterated several times that they would do it again soon. Thankfully, she avoided any comments about an outing to the Tangiers. She pulled Betty into a tight hug, and whispered, “I think she’s ready for it this time, Betts. It’s going to work out. And if not, you call me, I don’t care if it’s 3am. Actually, call me either way, I want details!”
“Thanks Gladys,” Betty said, laughing quietly as she moved out to the front stoop.
Gladys used the same strategy of a goodbye hug to whisper to Kate, “If you’re not interested Kate, please say it nicely this time.”
Kate pulled back, a little wide eyed, but nodded emphatically. “You don’t have to worry Gladys.” Gladys nodded at her, and Kate joined Betty outside, both waving their final goodbye for the evening as Gladys closed the door behind them.
“What doesn’t she have to worry about?” Betty asked, as they began to walk down the front path, having overheard Kate’s parting comment to Gladys.
“Oh. Just…I suppose that I’ll hurt you again.”
Betty smacked herself in the forehead. Gladys, always having to push it one step further. What the heck had she said to Kate?
“Listen, Kate, Gladys is just a little…insane. You remember. Don’t worry about whatever she said.” Betty shrugged and gave a side glance to Kate, who was looking down and smiling. “What?”
“She’s just…protective of you. I understand. I would be too, if I were her. I’d like to say that I am, but…”
“But what?” Betty asked, opening the door for her.
“But…I didn’t…my reaction, to you, before I left last time. It wasn’t the way a friend would have reacted, and certainly not someone who was protective of you. So I’m not sure I have the right to say that.”
Betty closed the door and walked around to her side of the car, needing a minute to think before she responded. On the one hand, she felt like Kate shouldn’t even be apologizing (again), because she was the fool that kissed her and said all those things when Kate clearly didn’t want to hear them, and on the other hand, Kate’s reaction was pretty hurtful, so it was nice that she was apologizing (again). And on the third hand, if there was one, Betty was a little thrown that Kate used the word friend, because everything in their interactions over the last two days seemed to be leading away from that word and toward something else, and what if she was wrong all over again?
“Kate, you don’t have to apologize, and even if you did have to, you already did yesterday.”
“I know I just—I don’t feel like I can say it enough. It was wrong, no matter how I felt. I know, and I knew then, that you wouldn’t have intentionally hurt me, even if the worst parts of my mind were trying to tell me otherwise. And I should have written, or called, and told you that, once I’d calmed down a little. It took me some time, Betty,” she said quietly, “I was scared.”
Betty blinked back tears, thinking that the last thing she wanted to do was run off the road because she was crying, she shook her head, feeling all of her old guilt resurface, “What a joke I was, I told you that you were safe, and that I’d make sure of it, and then there I was, the one making you feel scared, and unsafe.”
“That wasn’t you,” Kate said, in a soft but determined voice, “that was still my father.”
They sat in silence for a few moments, as Betty wasn’t quite sure what to say to that, and sensed Kate had more to add.
“You know he treated me badly when I was growing up, and told me that nearly everything I ever felt or thought was wrong, stupid, or sinful. And he especially thought any kind of romantic interest was sinful. I was terrified of any such feelings, in general. I was taught that God would punish me for my sins, and made to believe that the bad things that happened in life, or even in the world, were my fault. So, when my father showed up, and said my mother was sick, and Pearl Harbor happened, after I’d been doing so many things I was taught were wrong, and enjoying them so much,” Kate laughed a little at this, “I thought for sure it must all be a sign. A sign I should repent, and that my father had been right all along.”
“I understand,” Betty said, glancing at Kate, who had looked up in surprise, “I mean, I understand what it’s like to be told those things, and try to shake them off, and how they come back when you least need them. I had some of that too, growing up. But not like you did, so I can’t even imagine…I wish you’d told me more about it. Not to say you should have, but I wish you had. Maybe—maybe I could have been a better friend to you.”
Kate nodded, as Betty pulled into the driveway of a little white bungalow, with red shutters. “You were the best friend I ever had, Betty, and don’t ever doubt it. But I wish I had told you more too. I think it would have helped us both, so things didn’t…weren’t so difficult for us. At the time I thought I was being strong, trying to do it all myself, handle it all myself. But looking back…well, it’s just one of the things I’ve learned over the last few years, that it’s okay to rely on someone. Especially someone like you.” She paused, and then looked through the driver’s side window, “Are we here?”
Betty nodded, and grinned, “We are. You want to come in?”
“You know I do!” Kate said, and scrambled out of the car before Betty could even open her door, grateful that she’d been able to say what she’d said in the car, and also grateful for a break in the heavy mood.
“Well, this is it. This is my house,” Betty looked as if she was nearly bursting with pride as she guided Kate up the small gravel walk, with her hand on the small of her back.
“Betty, it’s lovely!” Kate exclaimed, looking up at the front of the house. She repeated the same as Betty unlocked the door and they stepped into the living room, and then added, “You did it! This was your dream, and you did it.” Kate looked at her with what could only be described as awe, and spontaneously threw her arms around Betty again.
Betty just stared at her for a moment, after she pulled away, before regaining her ability to speak. “It’s definitely part of it,” she said, thinking that her true dream involved Kate calling it her home as well, but, one step at a time. “Want the nickel tour?”
“I most certainly do, Miss McRae. Lead the way.”
To be continued.
Pairing: Kate/James...no just kidding!! Kate/Betty
disclaimer: Bomb Girls and all its lovely characters belong to Michael MacLennan and Adrienne Mitchell, not me. I have no wish or intention to make a profit from this.
A/N Thanks for the feedback! Just a short chapter before bed. These multi chapter stories always end up being longer than I intend...
When Betty arrived to pick Kate up for dinner, she was just the mixture of chivalry and awkwardness Kate had expected. She introduced herself to Mrs. McGuire, from whom Kate rented her room, and leaned against the door frame while the older woman looked back and forth between the two girls quite a few times.
“Well, yes, then, you two have a nice night, and you take good care of our Kate,” said, smiling at Betty. Betty felt for a moment as if she was a teenager, picking Kate up for their first date. That would explain the nervousness.
“Yes ma’am, I will,” Betty said, shuffling her feet, and then looking at Kate with raised eyebrows, as if to say ‘Let’s get out of here.’
“Good bye Mrs. McGuire!” Kate said cheerfully, “Don’t wait up. I’m seeing a lot old friends tonight, so I’ll just let myself in when I get home.”
She linked her arm through Betty’s as they walked toward the car, catching Betty off guard. Despite what she’d said to Gladys last night, and the endless speculation the two of them had engaged in all afternoon while preparing for dinner, she still wasn’t confident that Kate was really ready to accept her, never mind anything more than that. And yet, it was so hard to keep that hope under wraps. Especially with Kate looking like a vision.
“You look really nice,” Betty said, or, mumbled, really, glancing at Kate briefly from the driver’s seat.
“Thanks!” Kate beamed, thinking that the money she spent on her new dress was well worth it, just for that one compliment. “You look nice yourself,” she added, remembering her manners. Plus, Betty really did look nice--sharp in her jacket and pants.
Betty smiled bashfully (Kate was the only one who ever saw Betty do anything bashfully) and rubbed her chin to deflect from her embarrassment.
“So, when did you get the car?” Kate asked, looking around the modest but beautiful Ford.
“Oh, not too long ago, when production started up again after the war, a bunch of older used cars started showing up for sale, so I figured I’d get one. Couldn’t keep relying on Gladys and her Packard anytime I wanted to go beyond the street car line,” She looked over at Kate and smiled, wishing suddenly that the ride to Gladys’ house was much longer, or, better yet, that they didn’t have to go there at all, but could spend the whole night talking alone.
“And the house?”
“A couple of years ago. I’ve had a couple of promotions at the factory since…since you left, and luckily they kept me on after the war.”
“I bet they can’t do without you,” Kate replied, smiling at her in the way she had, like Betty was the only person in the world.
Betty cleared her throat, hoping that would make her heart stop beating so fast, or feeling ridiculous feelings. It didn’t work. “Well, yeah, guess so. I managed to make Mr. Atkins think so anyway. I knew it was going to be tough once the guys came back from war, but…well, I need to make a living, so I made sure I had a way to do it.”
“So it wasn’t so much luck then, as the patented Betty McRae determination.”
“Suppose so, if you want to call it that.” She cleared her throat again, now feeling happy that their ride was almost over, because she didn’t think she could keep this up without betraying her feelings, “We’ll be there in a few minutes.”
“Oh.” Kate couldn’t keep the disappointment out of her voice. Not that she didn’t want to see Gladys and James, but she felt like she just couldn’t spend enough time alone with Betty. There was so much she wanted to ask, and explain. It seemed now wasn’t the time though, as they pulled up in front of a lovely white house with green shutters.
“Here we are,” Betty said cheerfully, “Pretty isn’t it? Don’t expect anything this big when you see my house.” Betty kicked herself for saying something so presumptuous, but her agony was lifted relatively quickly.
“Oh, I would love to see your house! Do you think we could go after dinner?” Kate caught the shocked look on Betty’s face and quickly added, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to overstep. I just…of course, if you’re not comfortable, I—“
“No, no, that’s fine,” Fine, FINE? How are you going to have this woman standing in your house and not have your heart break all over again with imagining what could have been? “I just wasn’t expecting that you’d want to, but…I’d like to show it to you later.”
“Truly? Thank you Betty,” as they stood on the stoop, waiting for Gladys or James to let them in, Kate had another, more painful, thought about why Betty might not have wanted her to come over. “Do you…do you live alone? I know you’d said you’d need a housemate…” Kate’s voice trailed off, knowing that she’d agreed to be that housemate once upon a time, and that she’d left, and let her friend down.
Betty took the risk to say what was on her mind, especially since she knew that they’d be surrounded by two other people any second, should Kate be put off by it, “Kate, there was only one person I ever wanted as my housemate, and, there’s been no one else to take her place, so yes, I live alone.”
Kate felt her whole body warm, at that. But just as quickly, anxiety seized her once again, and she felt the need for more reassurance, despite that fact that it was utterly undeserved. “Not even that girl Ana?” she blurted, and didn’t even have time to be horrified at her complete lack of propriety, because the front door finally flew open just as the words came out of her mouth.
“Oh my, I see you two have had time to already get involved in some good conversation,” Gladys said, ushering them into the hallway, and giving Betty a pointed look, which she ignored.
“We were just…” Kate trailed off, not even knowing how to finish that sentence.
“Talking about Ana? Did you go see her last night?” She asked, looking at Betty.
Betty was too surprised at the direction this conversation had gone in to even be angry. “Uh, Princess, not sure this is the time or place for that discussion. Can we maybe just start off with some cocktails instead?”
“Certainly!” Gladys said cheerfully, immediately wanting to set Betty at ease, and switching into hostess mode, calling to James to come in from the kitchen and join them for drinks. He greeted Betty with a giant hug, before enthusiastically addressing Kate.
“Kate Andrews! I couldn’t believe it when Gladdie told me they’d run into you yesterday, of all things. Here, have a seat. It’s good to see you. What brought you back to town?”
“I’m pretty sure I was promised a more detailed story about a fiancé, if that has anything to do with it.”
“Gladys, lay off, she just walked in the door,” snapped Betty, making a face at her friend.
Kate laughed, feeling for a moment as if she’d never left, and nothing had changed—Gladys and Betty bickering, Betty always looking out for her. But then she remembered Gladys’ comment, and that she did want to tell the story, but not perhaps to all three of them, right now.
“Well, actually, Gladys, it was well after the engagement. I stayed on in Alliston for awhile on my own, working here and there, but just couldn’t stop thinking about—Toronto. So, about, well, a year ago now, I came back.”
All three of them stared at her, but Betty was the first to speak. “You’ve been here a year?” she said quietly, clearly hurt.
Kate reached out and put her hand on Betty’s arm, hoping she wouldn’t pull away. When she didn’t, Kate began to rub small circles back and forth with her thumb. “I’m sorry Betty. It’s not that I didn’t want to find you. I thought about it every day. I was just…I wasn’t even sure if you would want to see me. I was…I was just afraid, plainly. And it’s no excuse.”
Betty looked at Kate, and could see her eyes filling with tears, and really, when had Betty ever been able to stay mad at Kate when she was about to cry?
“I understand. Don’t worry your pretty little head about it, okay?” She asked, smiling crookedly.
James had made himself scarce during this small interaction, while Gladys had just stood, watching. Now that it seemed no one was going to have a breakdown, she jumped in with the question that had immediately sprung to her mind when Kate revealed how long she’d been in town,
“You’ve been working at Eaton’s the whole time? How have I never seen you? I’ve easily been there twenty times in the last year, if not more.”
“Because I usually work in the catalog department, not on the floor. It’s only sometimes that I take shifts there,” she paused, and then looked at the two woman in front of her, “I always hoped I’d see one of you when I did.”
“Dinner’s ready!” Yelled James from the other room, breaking the serious feel that had again settled over their conversation.
“He’s quite the little Suszy homemaker,” Betty said to Kate, in a conspiratorial voice, causing Gladys to laugh out loud and add,
“Not really, but he is good at helping out, and keeping me on task when I get distracted.”
“Suzy homemaker,” Betty repeated, and winked.
To be continued….
disclaimer: Bomb Girls belongs to Michael MacLennan and Adrienne Mitchell, and not at all me, and I have no wish to make a profit.
A/N Thanks for the feedback. Hope you like this chapter! Our ladies are trying to hold back a little, in the middle of the department store.
Kate watched as Betty strolled closer, her heart nearly pounding out of her chest. It was happening. Finally. Finally, she could see Betty again, talk to her, touch her. She could still remember the feel of Betty’s green blouse under her fingers that night at the Tangiers. Before everything had crumbled.
Kate tried to resist throwing her arms around Betty, but couldn’t. She could tell Betty was caught off guard, and it took her a moment to awkwardly return the hug, before pulling away. Kate couldn’t blame her, given the last interaction they’d had.
“Betty! I…it’s so good—I’m so happy to see you!” She had tears in her eyes, and willed herself not to become a blathering idiot. She wanted to tell Betty that she’d wanted to go find her a million times, that she’d never stopped thinking of her. That she came back to Toronto, and took the job at this store, in the hope that they would run into each other, because she was too afraid and ashamed to seek her out directly, but couldn’t give up altogether. It seemed a small chance, that they would actually cross paths like this, and she thought it must mean something that it had actually happened.
Betty smiled bashfully, still trying to find her voice, after that hug and, well, the last five years. “I, uh, me too. I’m surprised to see you here, in Toronto.”
“She works here!” Gladys burst out, widening her eyes at Betty pointedly, though Betty wasn’t sure what, exactly, she was trying to communicate.
“Here in Toronto?” Betty could only repeat simply.
Kate bit her lip, smiling, before saying, “Yes, but, also here in this store, specifically. It’s my day off, but, well, I get a discount, so I thought I’d buy my nephew his birthday gift here.”
“Oh, your nephew! I thought, maybe…” Betty stopped, midway, realizing she hadn’t entirely meant to verbalize how she’d imagined a whole life for Kate that included a husband and children as soon as she’d seen what department she was in.
Kate realized what she meant anyway, as Betty glanced down at the small shirt the sales girl had given her a few moments earlier. “Oh! No, this isn’t—I’m not, I don’t have any children, I’m not married. I was engaged, but, I—I’m not now.” Kate only barely managed to not clap her hand over her mouth in horror at having said so much in her first three sentences. Particularly as she’d seen Betty’s face register something akin to devastation when she’d said the word engaged. Betty was about as good as she’d ever been at hiding her emotions around Kate.
“Engaged?” Gladys jumped in, “To whom?”
Betty turned made a face at Gladys, both because she didn’t necessarily want to hear about this, but also because Kate had clearly indicated it was over, so it might not be something she wanted to discuss either. Gladys was well aware of both these things, but, as always, felt the need to push some more information into the light.
Kate blushed, and looked away briefly. She didn’t particularly want to get into the whole story right now, nor did she have any intention of doing so, but, she supposed, she could give Gladys the short version. “No one you know, Gladys,” she said, with a teasing smile, “He was involved in the church community of one of the towns we stopped in shortly after I’d left Toronto. He’d been wounded in the war early on, and was preaching by that point. My father was thrilled with the idea of him as his son-in-law, and…allowed me to stay there,” she could see Betty clench her fists before consciously relaxing them, “I lived with his parents for a time. He was a very nice man, but…it just wasn’t right. But it allowed me to get away from my father, as have both my brothers by now. It was worth it, the engagement, for so many reasons. Even though it didn’t end as I’d expected.” She looked Gladys full in the eye at that point, “I can tell you more about it, but just not in the middle of the store, all right?”
“Oh, yes, of course Kate, I’m sorry. You know, why don’t you come over for dinner tonight? Betty you can come—oh, or are you going to see Ana sing at the Tangiers?”
“Uhhh…” I’m going to kill you Gladys, I swear. Did she just mention the Tangiers and the woman Betty’d been sleeping with off and on for the last several years, in the same question? “I was…I was going to, but” she shrugged, “it wouldn’t be till later anyway, plus—it’s not important that I go.” She wanted Kate to hear that last part, even though she knew it would make no difference to Kate. Well, other than her knowing that Betty was still involved in her ‘deviant’ life, but not with someone she was particularly in love with.
Kate was actively blinking back tears at the implication brought on by both Gladys’ question and Betty’s response, and thinking that she had no right to be feeling this way. What had she expected? Betty would just sit in her room and not change, or move on, in all the time Kate had been away? Especially when she had dismissed her so thoroughly, and not even stood up to her father when he hit Betty right in the face. She had a flash of Betty standing in front of her, crying, in the boarding house hallway, begging her to stay. And she walked out the door anyway.
“Betty, I’m so sorry!” she burst out, causing both Gladys and Betty to take a step back at the force of her emotion, which gave her a moment to collect herself somewhat. “I’m…I’m sorry for the suddenness of that, but, I was just thinking of how I left, and what I said and didn’t say. And my father. I should never have let him lay a hand on you.” She reached toward Betty, and let her hand hang there, until Betty stepped toward her again, and she could place it on her arm.
“Kate,” Betty said kindly, struggling not to let her own emotions overpower her right now. In public. With Gladys and about seven other patrons watching her. “It was a long time ago. I’m not—I’ve never held a grudge against you for it. You father’s a different story, but, you don’t have to apologize for him. I made my own mistakes back then, and I’m sorry for...those. We can call it a truce, if you’re game?”
Kate nodded, and once again threw herself into Betty’s arms. Gladys was starting to think that either she needed to leave them to it, or she needed to take Betty and get out of there before the other woman somehow ended up hurt and alone all over again. Though it didn’t quite sound like it would end up that way.
After a few moments, Betty and Kate both remembered Gladys’ presence, and turned to look at her in unison.
“So, dinner,” Betty said, looking back at Kate, “Can you come?”
“I—“ Kate was thinking of how she had a collection of old, faded dresses, and how she wanted to look nice for this dinner, and how she got paid tomorrow. “I can’t tonight, but could—would tomorrow be okay instead? I’d really like to come.” She was looking at Gladys, but squeezed Betty’s hand to emphasize that this was in no way a rejection. “Besides,” she turned to Betty, “then you could go see your singing friend tonight.”
“I don’t care about her,” Betty said a little too quickly, and thought it sounded heartless, “I mean, uh, I do, a little bit, but I see her all the time. I can see her anytime. I…” There was no way to end this without making herself look like an idiot, again. She looked at Gladys, pleadingly, hoping that she could say something to save her.
“Well maybe we could all go to the Tangiers!”
That was not what Betty’d had in mind, as she couldn’t think of a worse possible suggestion. Did Gladys just actually say that? What had Kate called it? A den of sin? Gladys thought it would be a good idea for them to drag Kate back to said “den of sin,” to watch Betty’s lover sing? Betty was either going to drop to the floor and die of shame, or laugh, so she laughed, “Well, as you can see Kate, our dear friend’s mouth still works faster than her brain. Princess, I don’t think she wants to go to the Tangiers.” Betty looked briefly at Gladys before returning to Kate, not wanting to speak for the girl entirely, “Or do you?”
“Actually,” Kate said slowly, knowing this would surprise Betty, “Sometime, I would like to go. I’d like to see Leon—oh…I guess--does he even still play there?” Betty and Gladys both nodded, smiling. “Well, I’d like to go. It’s just, I can’t tonight, really. But maybe we can have dinner tomorrow, and the Tangiers another night?” Kate thought she would just about die if they said no. If her vanity and lust for new clothes had just led her to lose out on this chance to spend time with them. Sinful idiot. She was about to tell them to forget everything she’d just said, and they could go anywhere Betty and Gladys wanted, right now, but Gladys spoke up first.
“Of course we can do that! Anything you’d like Kate, I know tonight was short notice, I’m sorry. So, tomorrow then? You’ll come to my house—oh! James and I got married last year—“
“—about three days after the war ended.”
“And just bought a little house on Weston Street.” She simply nudged Betty in response to her remark, and continued on, “I’m sure he would love to see you too.”
“I’d like to see him again as well. So, tomorrow then?” Gladys nodded, taking a slip of paper out of her purse and writing her address and phone number on it for Kate.
Betty started to worry that somehow Kate would fall off the edge of the earth again, in the next twenty four hours, and they’d never be able to find her (the fact that she worked at this store, notwithstanding). She was saved from utter panic by Gladys asking Kate for her phone number, just in case they needed to contact her, and Kate happily obliging. And she knew she really had nothing to fear, when Kate spoke up again.
“Betty, do you think you could pick me up?” Kate asked, “I’m—I don’t want to get lost, I’m not exactly sure where Weston Street is.”
“S-sure,” Betty said, cursing herself for the stutter, “I have a car now, actually, so I can definitely pick you up in that. I have a house now too.” She smiled shyly at this last.
“Oh Betty, that’s so wonderful!” She scribbled out her address just as Gladys had, and pressed it into Betty’s hand.
Gladys took note of Betty’s increasingly pale features, and thought perhaps it was time to leave.
“All right, so! We will have plenty of time to talk tomorrow and catch up on everything that we’ve missed. Five o’clock, Kate, all right?”
Kate nodded, and hugs were exchanged again, this time between Kate and Gladys as well. Then, Gladys linked her arm through Betty’s, and angled her out of the store.
“Betts, you all right? Don’t pass out on me.”
“Did that all just really happen?” Betty asked when they finally got to the street.
“Yes. Yes it did. And, forgive me for being presumptuous, but, things seem to have changed for Kate Andrews.”
“It seemed it, didn’t it?”
To be continued
Pairing: Betty/Kate, Betty/Gladys friendship
disclaimer: Bomb Girls belongs to Michael MacLennan and Adrienne Mitchell, and probably in some manner Global TV, but I'm not entirely sure. Either way, not me, and I have no wish to make a profit from this
a/n: A little bit of a different take--five years have passed, and Betty and Gladys haven't seen Kate since she left right after Pearl Harbor. What's happened in those five years, and what will happen now?
I don't think this one will be as long as my other multi chapter fics, and Gladys probably won't have as big a role, though who knows, because I love her, and writing her.
Hope you like....
Betty poked at the various children’s toys on the shelf in front of her, trying to entertain herself as Gladys looked at what could possibly be the four hundred eighty seventh set of drapes in the store. She shook her head and wondered how on earth she managed to get dragged along for this outing.
“Princeeeess,” Betty dragged out the word in what could only be called a whine, “Why is this taking so long? I could be drinking, or…other things.”
Gladys scoffed, “Yes, other things. I can imagine what those are.” She lowered her voice, “Is Ana singing at the club tonight?”
Betty glared at her. “I wasn’t even talking about—yes, coincidentally, I believe she is, but I was talking about gardening, or, watching paint dry, or any number of other things more interesting than this display,”she said, waving her hand between the pile of merchandise in front of Gladys, and Gladys herself.
Gladys smiled and shook her head, before returning to examine the fabric in her hands more closely, “I’m sorry, I needed advice!” she paused, “of course, had I known you’d be completely worthless, I would have left you at your place.”
“Hey! I’m not completely worthless. And I was giving you advice when we first got here. Three hours ago. Don’t get me wrong Gladys, I’m glad you and James have the nice new house, but…curtains aren’t going to make or break it.”
“All right, I promise, ten more minutes.” Gladys shook her head and affectionately muttered, “like a child!” She was surprised Betty didn’t respond to this with a comment of her own, but it wasn’t until she felt Betty grab her arm and squeeze it as if she was trying to crush the bone, that she realized something was the matter.
She looked over at her friend, who was suddenly pale, and looked altogether ill. “Betty? What’s wrong? Do you need to sit?” Betty continued to stare over Gladys’ shoulder, eventually prompting the other woman to turn and follow her gaze. “Oh my goodness,” she said in a rush, “Is it? Is that her?”
Betty swallowed and nodded, apparently coming back to herself with that question. She looked away from a thin, red haired woman looking at children’s clothes about twenty feet away from them, and back at Gladys, “Without a doubt, Princess.”
Gladys immediately started to walk towards her, only to be stopped when Betty’s vice grip pulled her back. “Betty, we have got to go say something to her!”
“Are you kidding me?” Betty whispered sharply, “She leaves five years ago, like that, and you want to go say hello like she’s one of your finishing school friends you lost touch with?”
”Yes,” Gladys said forcefully, yanking her arm out of Betty’s grasp. If there was one thing she loved about their friendship, it was that they could be unflinchingly honest with each other. “If you want to hide over here, and act as if this isn’t happening, so that three hours from now you can regret letting this opportunity pass, and drink yourself into a stupor, that is your choice. I, however, want to say hello. She was my friend too, Betty. And more than that, she hurt my best friend, badly.” Gladys narrowed her eyes at the entire area of the store to their right.
“Princess, don’t you dare start a fight in the middle of Eaton’s Department Store. What would your society friends think?”
“Oh, we both know I’ve got no society friends! And I’m certainly not going to start a fight, Betty. Goodness, who am I? I just want to say hello, and maybe see what’s happened to her since she left…and maybe ask her why she left.” Betty’s eyes widened at this, but Gladys continued, undeterred, “We looked for her for over a year, Betty, and now here she is, right in our laps.”
Betty watched in both horror and anticipation as Gladys marched toward Kate determinedly. As much as she hated to say it, she’d known Gladys would do just this, and more, she wanted her to. Meanwhile, Betty wasn’t sure what she herself should do. Hide? Lean casually against something? Hide? What on earth was Kate Andrews doing back in Toronto anyway?
Betty couldn’t hear the exchange between Gladys and Kate, but watched as Kate’s face lit up and she drew Gladys into a hug. Betty then saw Gladys gesture over her shoulder, and Kate looked toward her, searching for a moment before their eyes met. She gave a small but sincere smile, and an awkward wave. Gladys then said something to her, and Kate nodded. This, apparently, was Gladys asking if Betty could join them, as Gladys followed it by fairly yelling, “Betty! Come say hello!” across the store.
Betty rolled her eyes. That Gladys, always has to make a scene. Then, she crammed her hands into her pocket, and tried to walk toward the once and forever love of her life as casually as possible. She was pretty certain she failed miserably.
To be continued…
pairing: Kate/Gladys friendship, Kate/Betty, although Betty is literally unconscious for nearly the entire story, while Kate talks to Gladys
disclaimer: Bomb Girls and its characters belong to their wonderful creators Michael MacLennan And Adrienne Mitchell, not me. I mean no copyright infringement, and make no money
A/N: Just another fluffy one shot. Oh, again AU, because it doesn't go down the path toward episode six, and Kate is more certain of herself. This probably occurs around episode 4. Gladys is again the shipper heroine. Thanks for reading!!
Kate needed to ask Gladys a question. She’d been thinking about this question for a couple of weeks (all right, months, but intensely in the last two weeks), and had very little doubt as to the answer, or what that answer might mean. However, she just needed to hear it from someone else. She would normally have asked Betty, who was her go-to gal for nearly everything in this life, but she was hesitant on this one topic. She needed a more neutral party.
Kate gave one last glance over at Betty, who was unceremoniously flopped on the bed to her right, mouth open, and drink still in hand. She figured this was as good a time as any. She stood and walked over to Gladys, who was smiling at her almost mischievously, and swaying to the music. Gladys raised her eyebrow, and her glass, as Kate settled against the wall in front of her.
“Gladys, can I ask you a question?”
“Sure thing, fire away.” This was all very curious, Gladys thought. She had not gotten remotely as drunk as Betty, and had been watching Kate consider something for the last five minutes, looking back and forth between her and Betty.
“But…I’d prefer you reserve any kind of judgment. It’s hard for me to ask. I just—“
“Kate, dear, you witnessed my father trying to drag me off the line in front of the entire factory, you knew all about my…soldier situation, and when I slept with James, and when James cheated on me with Hazel, and even that she gave him VD! Where on earth would you get the idea I would judge you?”
A few months ago, Kate would have cringed at Gladys rattling off that list of ‘personal business,’ but she’d grown used to the frankness of her friends, and even found that she appreciated it.
“Okay, okay,” Kate said, making a ‘settle down’ gesture with her hands. “So, you’ve had a lot of female friends, right?”
“Yes. “ She paused. “That question did not live up to my expectations of the question. Which makes me suspect it’s not the question.”
Kate huffed at her, shaking her head, “No” she drew out the word, “That was just the context. So, here is the question. Did you ever wonder what it would be like to kiss one of your friends?”
Gladys was caught slightly off guard by the lack of subtlety, but she guess she’d just asked for such. She didn’t know if it was the devil or the gin in her that made her want to give Kate a playfully hard time about what she’d said. Possibly both. “Are you trying to tell me you want to kiss me?”
Kate narrowed her eyes at Gladys, “Why must you always be wise? You know it’s not you I’m talking about.” Okay, that last piece was possibly more than she’d wanted to say. They both looked over at their still unconscious friend, and then back at each other.
“I’m sorry…I thought a little joke would lighten the mood.” Gladys shrugged, and touched her friend on the arm, to show her that she hadn’t meant it as a joke on her. “So, why not ask her?” Gladys nodded her head in the direction of Betty.
“Because… I know she’d either worry about why I was asking, worry that I was worried about her intentions toward me, then deny it and,” Kate rolled her eyes and shook her head, “bolt from the room or something, or, she’d just say yes, because…well, she likes girls.”
Gladys was unsuccessful in keeping her eyebrows from raising to her hairline, Why didn’t Betty tell her she’d told Kate? “She told you that?”
“Yes, one night as we were walking back from the Tangiers. A couple of weeks ago. I was asking her questions about that woman she’s friends with—the one you called hep, remember? And she told me. Not sure she really meant to, because then looked at me like a scared little kid, and started to babble. She was asking me not to tell anyone, and saying that it didn’t mean anything about our friendship and she would never want me to be uncomfortable when we’re sleeping together and how—“
“Whoa there! Sleeping together?”
Kate blushed, as she realized how this sounded, and put her hand to the back of her neck, turning toward the window, “Just…I have nightmares, so…we just sleep…in the same room. Bed. Because then I don’t have nightmares.”
Gladys was nearly dying to ask additional questions about this, but restrained herself, wanting to hear the rest of the conversation Kate was relaying, and figuring she’d have time in the future to grill Betts. She was just finding out so many interesting things tonight!
“Okay, that’s…sweet, go on. So, she told you all of this and then got nervous…”
Kate nodded, “So afraid of my reaction. I told her I didn’t care, she was my best friend. Honestly, Gladys, it wasn’t that much of a shock. I’m not…I hear whispers of the other girls. What they say about her, especially after that movie. Even if they like and respect her as a worker, they still talk.” She looked over at Gladys, “You don’t seem shocked either, but I thought you’d know, otherwise I wouldn’t have said it.”
Gladys shrugged, “Same as you, I heard things, and then one day, she told me. But didn’t get scared, she just stared me down, daring me to say something,” Gladys laughed at the memory, “I just gave her a big hug, to make her stop staring. She told me to stop making a scene, and then bought me a drink. Our friendship was forever solidified.”
“Why…why was she so much more afraid of my reaction?”
“Probably because you were sleeping with her,” Gladys said smartly, and then clapped her hand over her mouth, “I’m sorry, I didn’t even mean to joke again.” She paused, “Why do you think?”
“Well, as much as that comment was unnecessary, it’s probably partly true—she thought I would misconstrue her kindness. Plus my upbringing. I’m sure she expected I’d be judgmental. But I’m not my father, and I don’t believe what he does. I like this life, and I like my friends. I believe love is good. And I told her as much, so she finally calmed down. I wanted to tell her—I wanted to tell her that I’m like her. But I wasn’t sure. Not…well, not completely. I was pretty sure, but I didn’t want to say it and then have to take it back, because that would be a terrible thing to do to her, and—
“My dear, now you’re babbling.”
“Sorry, I just, I needed to make sure. I needed to ask someone else if the things I feel are what all the girls feel, or…not. And you never answered my question.”
“Oh. What?” Gladys was trying to process all of the information Kate had just thrown at her. Gladys had suspected, sure, but she hadn’t given Kate enough credit. She didn’t think the girl would have been able to admit it to herself. Well, she proved her wrong! Okay, now, what was Kate saying? Ah, the question. “Right. True, I didn’t answer it, I apologize. Well, have I ever wanted to kiss a friend?” Gladys stopped to think it over, wanting to make sure she was honest with her friend, though she was pretty sure Kate had already come to the conclusion she was looking for when she began the conversation anyway. She shook her head slowly, “No, Kate, I don’t think I ever have. I used to wonder what it was like to kiss boys, but not girls. Did you ever wonder about boys?”
The face Kate made was almost comical, like Gladys had asked if she’d even thought about eating gum she’d found stuck under a table in the break room, “I…no, well, in a curious way, I suppose. In a…’why does everyone think it’s so great?’ way. Which lets me talk about it with the other girls and pull it off like I really care. Not that I was trying to be purposefully deceitful, but--” She cleared her throat, “but it’s different than the way I look at women,” She shrugged, and looked at Gladys, “I guess I just needed someone to say that out loud to, and make it real. I’m not sure I wanted it to be real.” She looked at the floor, and said quietly, “ I don’t want people whispering about me, judging me.”
“Kate, let me try to be as delicate as I can right now. You know what they say about Betty, and…you’ve been sleeping in her room? Honey, they’re not going to whisper about you any more than they already have been!”
Kate looked at Gladys, and for a moment Gladys was worried she was going to cry, but instead she burst out laughing. “I hadn’t even thought of that! Oh, I’m so naïve sometimes! I can only imagine what they’ve been saying!”
“Oh who cares!” Gladys said, laughing along with her, “ You know they’ve been gossiping about me and James and Hazel for the last three months too! At least you’ve given me a break!” She snorted, entirely undignified, “Hold on, how long have you been sleeping in here?”
“A month!” Kate yelled, bursting out in a new round of giggles, whether from actual amusement or sheer relief at having finally told someone this secret, she wasn’t sure.
I took them a full three minutes to finally get themselves under control, and Gladys needed several tries before she was finally able to ask Kate seriously, “So, Betty then, you like her? She’s one you’d want to kiss?”
“Well, not just kiss…” Kate trailed off and looked over at Betty.
“Kate Andrews!” Gladys yelled in a scandalized manner, smiling.
“What? I love her!” Kate yelled back, starting to laugh again.
They both clammed up immediately as they heard a groan from the bed, followed by Betty half opening her right eye to glare at them.
“What is the ruckus?”
“Kate’s drunk!” Gladys said, pointing, “and being loud.”
“I am not drunk! I had one drink three hours ago! Gladys is just harassing me!” She yelled indignantly, pointing back at her friend.
Betty opened her eyes, solely to roll them, before muttering, “Stop bothering my girl, Princess,” and then rolling over and falling back to sleep.
Gladys looked at Kate, who was wearing a dopey smile.
“She just called me her girl.”
“Yes, she certainly did. I’m sure she would be mortified if she realized that.” Gladys pressed her lips together for a moment, “Are you going to tell her she doesn’t have to be mortified?”
“Yes.” Kate turned to look at Gladys, “Of course, Gladys. But not right now, she’s…look at her. She probably wouldn’t even remember.”
“Of course. That would be tremendously poor timing. So…I suppose I will just leave you to your little sleepover—are you going to put on her pajamas?”
“Gladys! No, I just…take off her boots, usually.”
“So nice that you have a little routine to your domestic evenings.” She bumped Kate’s hip with her own, “So, then, again, I shall take my leave of you, and I thank you for the lovely evening.”
“Thank you Gladys. I’m so lucky to have such a wonderful friend.”
Gladys gave her a crushing hug, and kissed her noisily on the cheek, “I love you, Kate Andrews, and the two of you make a lovely couple. You’ve got me on your side forever, all right?”
“All right,” Kate said, still smiling, “And you, us, if I may speak for Betty. She really thinks the world of you.” She said this last sentence in an exaggerated stage whisper.
Gladys laughed, “Yes, I suspected as much. Tell her I said goodnight.”
“I will, get home safely.” Kate locked the door as Gladys left them, and turned back to look at Betty. She looked a mess, one leg hanging off the bed, face crushed into the pillow, jacket rumpled on the bed next to her. And my, how Kate loved her. She wasn’t sure how she’d ever had any doubt, or why she’d needed her interest confirmed, but she wasn’t inclined to question herself, now that she’d arrived, ready, at this new understanding. She quickly changed into her nightgown, then took Betty’s boots off, and helped her under the covers, before climbing in beside her. They usually simply slept next to each other, not touching, but tonight Kate wrapped an arm around Betty’s middle, pulling her close.
Betty woke up briefly, making a small noise of surprise, before relaxing again, and whispering goodnight to Kate.
“Goodnight Betty,” She drifted off to sleep almost immediately, thinking that she couldn’t wait for tomorrow to come.
Pairing: Kate and Betty
disclaimer: I do not own these characters, or the show, or anything relating to it. I make no profit.
AN; Okay, this is AU I suppose, veering off in the middle of the season. It is fluffy and trite. There is no smut, because I can't write it, and also, I'm pretty attached to my career, and pretty sure I have readers under 18, so, I just can't post that. Just, use your imagination, given the setting of the entire story.
Despite telling Betty that she thought she’d be having better dreams, and changing the subject to the boys at the dance, Kate still found herself waking up in a cold sweat and gasping for air, on the regular. She just couldn’t shake them. No matter how happy she was during the day, or how safe she felt around her friends, it seemed that as soon as she closed her eyes, she was back under her father’s control. She desperately hoped she wasn’t waking up the rest of the boarding house, but she suspected she was disturbing at least a few of the girls, given that Betty had known what went on before she’d even told her.
Kate remembered the quiet way Betty had said “I know,” without judgment, wearing a small smile of comfort, when Kate had first confided that in her sleep, she was never able to get away from what she was running from. It was only a few nights later that Betty had made the offer to have Kate sleep in her room. In that moment, the initial joy and comfort Kate had felt was tempered by a slight terror. Of what, exactly, she didn’t know. She’d tried to reason it out, what had caused her to almost go running from Betty’s bedroom after that, but couldn’t quite make sense of it. It wasn’t that she was embarrassed, because she knew she was strong enough to handle the nightmares, and that Betty would never think less of her for having them, or for needing to stay with her. But even though she knew she could make her way through each night on her own, Kate desperately wanted to stay with Betty, to know she was right there, and to rest in her arms. And there was the thing. There was the thing that gave her pause, and made her want to run. But she didn’t know why.
Surely, there was nothing wrong with sleeping next to a friend, and gaining comfort from them? Isn’t that what friendship was? To comfort each other in times of need? Kate determined that this conclusion was accurate, and there was no reason she shouldn’t accept Betty’s offer, if needed. It was all right to accept Betty’s offer, and nothing to worry about. For some reason though, she was still nervous, and it took her three days (nights) to finally work up the nerve to knock on Betty’s door.
Betty, for her part, had been awoken during those same three nights, more than once each night, by Kate’s cries. They were always short lived, and quickly muffled, as the girl herself woke up, and then worked to calm herself—or at least quiet herself. Betty wanted so much to make it better for Kate, to save her from her dreams. But, she’d offered, and Kate declined, so Betty had no other option (nor inclination) than to wait. Kate was a grown woman, and if she didn’t want the help, she didn’t want the help. Betty didn’t know why she was so drawn to Kate, and to protecting Kate. Well, yes she did, but she preferred not to think about one of the reasons, as she knew the girl would never in a million years return her feelings. So, Betty resigned herself to friendship, and to being the best friend Kate Andrews had ever had. Because the girl was one in a million, nah, one in a billion, and deserved everything good that could come to her, not the least of which was a good night’s sleep. But Betty waited. When she finally (three nights seemed like eternity) hear the soft footsteps, and light knock, she let out a sigh of relief and opened her door.
“Hi,” Kate whispered in the dimmed light of the hallway, “I’m really sorry if I woke up, but…the other day, when you offered…” she couldn’t finish the sentence, why couldn’t she finish the sentence? Luckily, she didn’t have to, as Betty grinned and nodded her head back toward the interior of her room.
“Come on in, Red.”
Kate smiled at her, in that beautiful and utterly sincere way that she had, before nearly flying to the bed, and then sitting awkwardly on the side. Betty gestured at her to make herself comfortable, and, once she had, laid next to her. After some maneuvering around, Kate ended up on her side, with Betty behind her. Kate reached back to pull Betty’s arm around her middle, knowing that would make her feel the safest.
“Thank you, Betty,” she whispered sleepily, already drifting off.
“I just hope it works…” Betty whispered back, though mostly to herself, hoping above everything that her friend wouldn’t be tormented anymore that night.
It did work. Kate didn’t have any nightmares that night, and it became a ritual. By the time Russell Joseph made that terrible movie, they spent each night in the same bed, sometimes in Betty’s room, sometimes in Kate’s. Even when Kate did have a whisper of a bad dream, that was all it was, and either Betty woke her up right away, or she pulled Betty’s arm closer to her while still half asleep, and that was enough.
That night, after the movie, Kate lay there next to Betty, feeling content and wishing she could make her friend feel the same. She found herself drifting off, despite her best efforts to stay awake and think of something brilliant to say that would lift Betty’s spirits. She thought maybe she’d succeeded, with her line about how Betty only needed the ones that mattered to like her, since Betty stopped talking soon after.
She felt Betty get up to turn the light off, and then come back to bed, settling in behind her. Kate moved back toward Betty. They were so close that she felt Betty’s breath on the back of her neck, as she let out a small sigh. Kate shivered involuntarily at that, which led Betty to somehow move even closer, and whisper,
“No,” she whispered back, actively working to not shiver again, as Betty’s lips inadvertently brushed her ear as she asked the question.
This small serious of events meant that Kate was now wide awake, and thinking. She was thinking about what Betty had said a few moments earlier, about wishing she was like other girls. She was thinking how much she loved that Betty wasn’t like them. She wasn’t some vapid, superficial girl focused on make-up and a husband. She was independent, patriotic, and tough as nails, but with the kindest heart Kate had ever known. The more Kate thought about this, the angrier she became at Russell Joseph, for trying to make Betty into something she wasn’t, particularly because it made Betty doubt herself, and feel badly about the life she’d made!
Kate got so worked up about this that she flipped over abruptly, so she was facing Betty. ‘Oh. We are close’, she thought in the moment she had before Betty almost comically flew backward, nearly falling off the bed before Kate caught her and pulled her back, between much gasping, fumbling, and giggling.
“Sorry!” Kate said between laughs. They were both trying to stifle their snickering before they had a neighbor or two bang on the wall and tell them to shut it.
It was a minute before Betty finally caught her breath, and regained her composure, her heart rate slowing after the combined anxiety of suddenly finding Kate’s lips half an inch from hers, and then almost landing on the floor. “What—why did you flip over like that? Lightning speed!””
Kate could see Betty’s smile in the blue moonlight that was seeping through the curtains, and smiled back.
“I’m sorry,” she said again, touching the side of Betty’s face briefly, “I was just thinking. About you.”Kate wasn’t entirely sure how much further she should go in revealing her thoughts. She’d figured out several weeks ago that she loved Betty. Loved Betty in the way she’d always expected to love a man. That was why she was so drawn to her, and why she had been so terrified of that fact. She knew what her father would say about it, and in fact, what most of the world would say about it, but she didn’t much care. It felt right to her, and good, and beautiful, the way she always believed love would feel. Kate believed in herself and her morals enough to know that it meant something if she felt it was right. It meant it was right, no matter what anyone said. She just hoped Betty would believe that too. Gladys had made enough vague comments to Kate, when tipsy, well…smashed, which alluded to the fact that Betty had feelings for Kate, but Kate was still afraid it wasn’t so. How reliable was drunk Gladys? And if Betty didn’t feel the same…well, there was a chance that she could lose this friendship, the most important in her life.
Betty watched Kate in the dim light, seeing various emotions play over her face, and wondering what, exactly, she had been thinking about her.
“You can tell me anything, Kate.”
Kate tangled their hands together before speaking, thinking that telling Betty would be easier if she could physically hold onto her. Maybe then she wouldn’t run away.
“I—“ How to start? “I…like laying here with you, every night.” She was talking quietly, and her words were inadvertently breathy, given that she was nearly hyperventilating. She wanted to make herself less anxious by saying something like ‘Gladys says you like me,’ and putting it on Betty. But she knew that would only cause Betty to panic, and maybe reel back off the bed again.
“Okay,” Betty said, drawing out the word cautiously. She wasn’t sure where this was going. She had a hope as to where, but couldn’t quite believe that would come to pass.
Kate smiled bashfully and broke eye contact. “I’m sorry Betty, I’m not—I want to tell you something, but I’m afraid I’ll lose you if I do.”
“You’ll never lose me, Kate,” Betty answered quickly and definitively, without even thinking before the words were out of her mouth. If she wanted Kate to be sure of anything, it was that.
“Thank you. You’ll never lose me either.” She paused, drawing up all the courage she could, “Betty, I don’t want you to think about Russell Joseph, or about being like any other girls. Well, you can think it if you want to, I suppose, but…just know that there are those of us who see you as you are, and love you as you are. And,” she paused again, taking a deep breath. She hadn’t told spoken any of this aloud before, “well, I’m not like the other girls either. I may look it, and act it, so I fit right in, but that’s just on the outside.”
Betty only just barely got the end of that speech, as she was a tad bit stuck on the ‘love you as you are’ piece. She couldn’t have meant love love, right? She meant friend love. Yup, must have been. Although, the way she was looking at Betty just then? Betty wasn’t a complete dolt. Vera never looked at her like that.
“So,” Betty whispered softly, “what are you like then? The real you,” Betty said this last piece in a playfully sarcastic tone, waggling her eyebrows slightly.
Kate laughed, “I think…in a lot of ways I’m like you,” she bit her lip and then continued, “Betty, when you asked me to be your housemate, and talked about having a place of your own…I don’t know why I made that comment about a husband. That was the last thing I was thinking. I was thinking about you and me,” she stopped and cleared her throat, realizing that she was about to sound like a crazy person, revealing this entire life she had imagined for the two of them together.
“Me and you?” Betty repeated, “Instead of thinking about a husband…you were thinking about you and me.” She said this matter of factly, and almost to herself.
“Well…so was I.” Betty felt confident enough in what Kate was saying to make her own vague comment, which she could pretend meant nothing if Kate backtracked. But she pretty quickly decided she didn’t have to worry about that, as Kate’s face lit up in what was the most adorable expression Betty thought she had ever seen in her life.
“Really?” Kate felt that she needed to make sure Betty knew what she meant, “Betty, I just want to be clear—I love you. I’m in love with you. You are beautiful, and lovely, and the best friend I’ve ever had, but I want so much more than that. Sometimes I can barely keep my hands off you!”
“Kate!” Betty whispered, laughing, and almost looking scandalized. She had no idea how else to respond. She certainly couldn’t think of a smooth comment while imagining Kate trying to keep her hands off of her.
“Well it’s true!” she said, looking at her in the eye and smiling, before returning to a more serious tone, realizing that Betty hadn’t really acknowledged the rest of what she’d said, “Honestly Betty, that was why I ran away from you that first night you offered to let me sleep with you, next to you. I was afraid. But then I thought—why am I afraid of love? Even if you don’t feel the same, I’m not afraid of how I feel.”
Betty snapped out of her trance, realizing that Kate was still uncertain of how she felt. “Kate,” she shook her head, almost not believing this was real. She actually paused to pinch herself, realizing that the last thing she was sure had happened was her talking about that horrible movie. It hurt. “Kate, of course I feel the same way. I can’t even tell you how much I feel the same—I thought, maybe you knew—I thought I was being obvious, at least Gladys is always telling me I am.”
Kate laughed, “Gladys is one observant girl.”
“That she is. She’s been telling me for weeks that you had feelings for me, but I didn’t believe her,” Betty paused, “Kate, are you sure—“
“Betty, please don’t ask me that question. I’m nothing if not sure. I know my own heart. I don’t care what anyone else says. I don’t care if Russell Joseph thinks we should have husbands and children. There is a war going on, Betty, and we have love. I’m not throwing that away.”
Betty was still wrestling with her own self doubt, that someone as wonderful as Kate would actual love her. But, it would seem to be the case. “You’re something else, Kate Andrews. And I love you for it.”
Kate smiled, before asking the question that had been on her mind for three weeks, “Can I kiss you?”
“Thought you’d never ask.”
disclaimer: I don't own anything connected to this show, and I don't make any money from this
A/N--okay, I have a short and silly little epilogue, because a couple people requested it, and everyone has been so great with the feedback, how could I refused? And I wanted to see Gladys' reaction too! So, I hope you enjoy. The last line or two is complete mush--I could barely handle it myself. (And just for the record, Gladys has their permission for the call she plans to make after they leave)
Gladys tapped her foot impatiently, checking the clock again, and throwing aside the book that was not at all effectively holding her attention. She knew how long these picnics took, she’d been living with them for weeks now. It was four thirty in the afternoon! They’d left before noon! Usually Kate swung through the door at around three, with a dreamy little smile on her face, and a “wonderful,” in response to Gladys’ question of how it was.
But today, apparently, they were delayed. Gladys could only hope this was because they were busy with declarations of love, and other…activities. What exactly did two women do together? She’d tried asking Betty once, but Betty had so deftly changed the subject that Gladys hadn’t even realized what’d happened until forty five minutes later. She’d have to ask her again. Gladys smirked at the idea of Betty’s facial expression when she realized Gladys actually expected an answer this time. She told Betty what she and James did, she didn’t see why it should be any different the other way around. Betty could be so proper sometimes.
Before Gladys could continue down that train of thought, and inevitably get to missing James more than she already did, the door to the apartment fairly burst open, and Kate plowed through it, pulling Betty behind her. Once inside, they simply stood there with idiotic grins on their faces, holding hands. This could only mean one thing.
“Oh my goodness,” Gladys said, drawing out the phrase, “what interesting developments did I miss at this latest picnic ‘event.’” She still was afraid to use the word date, but it wouldn’t stop her from being sarcastic with any other descriptor. When no one answered immediately, she added, “Please don’t keep standing there just grinning at me. Put me out of my misery.”
“Well,” Kate said, swinging their arms together, and then looking at Betty. She stared at her adoringly for so long, Gladys felt certain they’d forgotten she was in the room, and prompted,
“Yesss? Well what?”
Kate leaned over and kissed Betty full on the mouth, and even though Gladys had been expecting this was the big news, she started in surprise nonetheless.
“Oh, bestill my little heart! So this means…finally?”
“Yes, Princess, we finally spilled our guts to each other—“ she stopped, catching both Kate and Gladys looking displeased with that unromantic phrasing, “that is to say,” she cleared her throat, “she loves me, and she told me so, and you know I, obviously, feel the same, so, it’s…we’re official now.” The shy smile she sent in Kate’s direction gave away the depth of her feelings on the matter, even more so than her fumbling sentence. And she didn’t care.
“Oh!” Gladys put her hand over her heart, and then flung her arms over her head, “Thank God in heaven! Love is declared, broken hearts are mended! The sun is shining!—“
“You been drinking, Princess?” Betty said against Gladys’ shoulder, as she wrapped both of them in a giant hug.
“Be quiet.” Gladys said, glaring at Betty as she pulled back, “And no. I’m just so happy for you! And so happy I won’t have to see the two of you moping around and trying to pretend, anymore…ugh! One more day of that, I swear, and I’d have lost my mind.”
“Well, it was all about you, after all,” Betty said, rolling her eyes, but then smiling genuinely at her, “But, in all honestly, Gladys, I…” she trailed off, not knowing how to word how grateful she was for her friend’s support, without sounding like a complete sap. Though Lord knew, Gladys had seen her be a sap on countless occasions by this point.
“Aw Betty, your eloquence is beyond measure,” Gladys joked, knowing it would lighten Betty up enough to get out whatever it was she was trying to say.
Betty laughed, “Give it a rest, I was just trying to say thanks, for being such a good friend through all this.”
Gladys walked up to Betty, and linked their arms, pulling her, and by extension, Kate, over to the couch to sit down. Kate had done very little but stare adoringly at Betty for most of the time, so Gladys felt compelled to bring her into the conversation again.
“Kate, dear, has love turned you mute?”
Kate just smiled again, “Something like that. And yes, to second Betty, you’ve been a lovely, if sometimes pushy, friend through all of this. I don’t think either of us knew, before today, that you’d been hearing it from both of us this whole time.”
Gladys made a combined facial expression and head movement that could only be described as, ‘you have no idea how exasperating it was’ but then she said, “Well, that’s because I am an excellent friend, and better secret keeper, but…oh!” she knocked her head against Betty’s shoulder, “I can’t tell you how glad I am it’s over.” Her tone then softened, and she said seriously, “For you two, really. I think you are both lovely, and to know that you have stopped trying to ignore what you have between you reaffirms my faith in…the entire world.”
“Not to be too dramatic,” Betty muttered, while the two other women hugged again across her.
“Now, I would like to celebrate this momentous occasion with a toast,” She stood and pulled a saved bottle of champagne out of the liquor cabinet, “but I also understand if you’d prefer I get out of your hair, so you can celebrate alone.”
“Pop the champagne, Princess, and let’s all have a drink. She and I will be celebrating on our own later, don’t you worry.” She winked at Kate, and although she blushed, Gladys noticed that the look she gave Betty in return was anything but bashful. If she had to describe it at all, in fact, she’d have said it was a ‘come hither’ look of the highest intensity. She therefore figured she should probably make quick work of that toast, and send them happily on their way. Besides, she was already planning her phone call to Vera, to give her this glorious update.
“Well then, to true love.”
Really the end.