DISCLAIMER: Watch out, this is femslash (lite). Don't read it if you're not into this sort of thing. I own nothing of Grey's Anatomy. I'm only having fun with the characters I'm fast becoming obsessed with.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is a story about Erica Hahn finding another "pair of glasses" after the events of the S5 episode, "Rise Up." This chapter was written in late February, 2009. Thanks to Jules68 for her honest and objective opinions. See Chapter 1 for original Author's Notes and Disclaimer. "Odd accents" and overuse of the word "hon" are strictly Baltimorean.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By DianeB


Part 5

It seemed to Erica that many hours had passed, but in reality it had only been about twenty minutes. Her world had spiraled down to an enveloping warmth, a steady heartbeat and a curious vibration beneath her head. It was not until another few minutes had gone by that Erica realized she was in Veronica Taylor's arms and that Veronica was singing softly, stroking her hair, and rocking gently, much like a mother would do to comfort a frightened child. Another minute passed before Erica could make out the words Veronica was singing.

"Sometimes it takes a rainy day/Just to let you know/Everything's gonna be all right, all right.

"I've been dreaming in the sun/Won't you wake me up someone/I need a little peace of mind.

"When you open up your life to the living/All things come spilling in on you/And you're flowing like a river/The changer and the changed/You've got to spill some over.

"Filling up and spilling over/It's an endless waterfall/Filling up and spilling over/Over all."

Erica stirred and felt Veronica's arms open immediately, her singing abruptly stopping. "Hey there, doc, welcome back. How ya doing? Feeling better? I bet you are, getting that poison out of you."

Erica pushed herself to a sitting position, still embarrassed over her loss of control. "I-I'm sorry. I'm not usually like this. I don't know what came over me." She sniffed and wiped at her eyes, offering a weak smile.

Veronica leaned over and grabbed a tissue from the box on the nightstand, handing it to Erica. "You're kidding, right? Life came over you. Tell me, what'd you do, go straight from your disagreement with Callie to the airport?"

Erica applied the tissue to her nose, her voice distorted with the effort. "Just about. How'd you know to even ask that?"

"Let's just say I've been there, or somewhere nearby. Not for many years, thank God, but I've been through it. I like to think it's a rite of passage for gay people because it's all muddied up with sexual identity, first time loves, and coming out, but it probably isn't. Straight people have similar woes. Are you going to call her?"

Erica balled the tissue and tossed it toward the wastebasket, where it landed on the floor beside it. "No. Yes. I don't know. I haven't really thought about it yet."

"You should, you know. Call her. I mean, much as I'd love to just smack her one for breaking your heart, it sounds to me like she was pretty significant in your life. She outed you, fergodssake! That's not nothing, you know. If you're not going back to Seattle, she probably deserves a phone call, if for no other reason than to provide some closure.

"But lemmie ask you this. You said she wasn't happy about the gay thing, but she still slept with you? What's that about? Didn't she also say you were lesbian virgins? I'm no expert, but I am pretty damned queer. I know it usually goes better if you're either gay or straight. Being both is great in theory, but it's hard to manage in real life, know what I mean?"

Erica, who had by this time slid off the bed and was standing, said, "Yeah, I do, and that's sort of what I told Callie. Um, I mean, that she couldn't 'kind of' be a lesbian. But she said she could. Hang on a sec." Erica turned and went into the bathroom, closing the door behind her. Two seconds later, she heard Veronica on the other side of the door.

"Here's the thing. In my not-so-humble opinion, bisexuals have it rough. Everyone else is insisting they have to get off the fence, pick one or the other. Anyone who's with a bisexual person ends up feeling insecure about the relationship for a million reasons on both sides of the sexual coin. It's exhausting, and trust me, I know from exhausting."

Inside the bathroom, Erica could think of no response, since Veronica had basically nailed what she'd been through with Callie, and then decided to employ one of Veronica's tactics. "I can think of no response to that." She heard chuckling through the door.

"Sheeyeah…maybe some time when we're drunk on our asses, ask me about sweet Abigail. God, she was precious, but she about killed me with her love of the dick."

Erica sat slack-jawed, thankful Veronica couldn't see her, and took a moment to wonder if this was the way all lesbians talked, or if this was unique to Veronica. Erica suspected it might be Veronica, but she had no way to know for sure – at least not until she met a few more lesbians. Which might be sooner than I expect, considering how out this woman is.

Finishing up, Erica turned to the sink and nearly gave herself a heart attack when she raised her head to the mirror. Her face was a tear-stained mess, her hair even worse. She could not leave this bathroom without tidying up and wished she'd thought to bring her toilette bag in with her. She would have to go and get it.

Out in the room pulling the small bag from her suitcase, Erica felt a need to explain. "I'm a fright," she said, waving her hand in the vicinity of her head. "I just want to freshen up a little."

"I hear you, doc. I have seen you looking fresher. Oh, don't look at me like that, I'm just kidding!"

"Fine. I'll be done in a minute."

"Hey, you hungry? What the heck time is it? Maybe we should get some dinner. There are certainly plenty of restaurants right nearby, not to mention the hotel's."

Erica, in the bathroom again, but this time with the door open a crack, said, "It's only four-thirty, but I could eat. You're the native. What's good?"

"You like steamed crabs?"

"Never tried 'em."

"Really? Wow. Shit. Hurry up then. We're going to Phillips. It's late in the season, but I bet Phillips still has 'em. Good thing we're early; this is going to take a while. Besides, now I need the potty, so get out of there."

Erica Hahn could not recall eating anything as messy or as hard to negotiate as a Maryland steamed crab. By the end of the meal – if you could even call it that – she smelled like a fish market and was up to her armpits in Old Bay seasoning.

She was also up to her eyeballs in Pinot Grigio, so the whole endeavor had been really quite pleasant. She thought of Callie only once, after she and Veronica had clinked glasses to new friendships, but after that, there was no comparison. Veronica Taylor was so at ease with herself, she was a joy to be around. Plus she was a certified expert at what she called "picking" a crab, and with each crab and each sip of wine, the lessons became more hysterical. They even had neighboring tables joining in on the merriment.

The walk back to Erica's hotel had been just as rollicking, especially when a couple of guys tried to pick them up. Erica made a mental note she knew she'd never remember to ask Veronica just what it was Veronica had whispered to the guys to get them to leave. Whatever it was, they left without a bit of rancor; in fact, they waved and wished Veronica good luck.

Good luck?

Part 6

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