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Zapruder and Carrot Cake
By Ruby

Part Six


Since it wasn't in her nature to declare her feelings, for fear of them being used against her, and knowing that her excuse to spend time with Sam was slipping away, Nicole had decided to have one last shot at getting Sam to tell her if she felt the same. "I think we should go to a gay bar" she stated since they were discussing ideas for the last of the articles.

"What... why?" the reporter replied, when she had finished choking on her carrot cake.

Nic raised an eyebrow "Look on it as an empirical experience" she challenged.

"Still not seeing the reason".

"We're writing an article on sex, part of that article is on gay teens and coming out, I just think we should do some research".

"You're not going to suggest we look in to teen pregnancy as an empirical experience as well are you?"

"No... although a field trip to an abortion clinic might not be such a bad idea".

"Are you kidding! Mom would kill me!"

"Mmm, death would be the least of my problems if mother found out, ok scratch that idea".

Sam breathed a sigh of relief, "Lily's volunteering at a drop-in-center for teenage moms, I could get her to find someone I could interview".

"You mean you're not going to ask Brooke for the false alarm point of view?" Nicole smirked.

"Thanks but I've discovered that I value life too highly".

Well that's good to hear, "Ok... we'll I guess I'll find someone to do the whole in the closet/coming out interview then" Nicole said, thinking that she wouldn't have to go far for material. She looked at the brunette, "This is the last article Sam, I just want to go out and celebrate, and if it's at a gay bar, so what!" Come on, I know you want to go...

Sam felt guilty, she knew she could do Nic's interview without leaving her room, and while it didn't look like the blond would freak about it, she might if she found out that she was the object of Sam's affection, she may even have suspicions about it after she'd given her the rose... It was then that it dawned on her what Nicole had said, she wanted to celebrate the fact that they were finished with the articles and that, by extension, they didn't have to work together anymore. Closing her eye's, she felt that statement like a physical pain, well if that was the way things were, so be it. "Ok, how about Friday night, the 'rentals are going away for the weekend and Brooke is on a date".

"You're on" the cheerleader said as Sam got out of the car, "One other thing" Nicole said watching the brunette lean back in, "no flannel!" waiting until Sam's head had once again been removed, Nicole drove off, so pleased with herself that she even forgot to ask who Brooke was on a date with, ok so I convinced Sam to go, now what?

"Would you like to dance?"

"Sorry I'm going to dance with my girlfriend" Nicole said, nodding her head in Sam's direction, noting the look of shock on her face.

"What did you say that for" the brunette hissed when the woman had left.

"Hey you're the one who told me to try being polite to people, no way I'm dancing with anyone looking that skanky, would you have preferred it if I'd told her that?"

"No, of course not!"

"Well then! Now dance with me before anyone else tries. Coz I swear I never saw so many women who need to be tweezed!" Nicole grabbed her hand and Sam barely had time to put her drink down before being dragged away from the bar.

"Uh Nic, I don't think this is such a..." All coherent thought suddenly left her as she felt the cheerleader's body against hers. The fact that it wasn't a slow dance apparently didn't matter to the blond as she wrapped her arms around Sam's neck and swayed to the music as close as she could get and them still be fully clothed.

Sam, not sure where to put her hands and desperately trying to get her senses off overload, pulled back until she could see daylight between them and breathed a sigh of relief. "What's the matter?" Nic asked.

"Nothing, I just... I just... don't dance much" Sam replied lamely.

Nic smirked and grabbed the brunette's hands, wrapping them around the small of her back before putting hers back where they had been, "Humor me" she said.

Sam wasn't quite sure how she managed, but as Nic didn't seem to have a problem with it she relaxed, and slowly began to enjoy herself. She could smell the blond's shampoo when she put her head on Sam's shoulder. Sam closed her eyes, oh yeah as empirical experiences went this one was right up there. Sighing she pulled the blond closer, her right hand straying to... Pulling away sharply she looked horror struck at the cheerleader before turning and making her way back to the bar, leaving a very confused Nicole Julian standing alone.

"Excuse me, would you like to..."

"Sure" Nicole said, "Still replaying previous events in her mind and definitely not ready to speak to Sam... Sam, her eyes widened slightly as she realized that Sam had pulled her in, she was sure now that the feel of a hand moving down her back wasn't a figment of her overactive imagination.

Sam watched as the two of them danced, if she hadn't been so stupid that would have been her. Dammit McPherson you sure know how to screw up. Her eyes narrowed as she saw the woman gave Nicole a piece of paper, "Phone number?" she asked when the blond came back.


"Going to call it?"

"I might... any objection?" Nicole asked.

Hell yeah! "No, she just didn't strike me as your type", Sam shrugged.

"Really, so what is my type?"

"I, er..."

"Well come on Sam, you obviously think you know".

"Well you do have kind of a reputation".

"Really? You of all people should know not to believe everything you hear Sam!"

"Nic, I..."

"Look just drop it, now are we going to dance or are we going to go?"

Sam didn't think she could cope with the thought of the cheerleader's body pressed up against hers again, but the thought of her pressed up against someone else was even worse. "Go" she decided.

Nic sighed, "fine". Well that was a bust, now what?

"Thanks, it was... an experience" Sam said when they pulled up near the palace.

"Wait up" Nic said forcefully as the girl put her hand out to open the door.


"Sam", she began seriously, "Have you ever kissed a girl?"

"What? No of course I..." the sentence was left unfinished as Nicole brought her hand up to the back of the reporter's head and pulled it toward her.

Sam couldn't have told you how long they kissed for, it could have been seconds, it could have been eternity, all she knew was she didn't want it to end. When it did she couldn't think of a single thing to say, "I.....I.....what I mean is....um"

Nicole, who had definitely felt her respond, sighed, "Just look on it as another empirical experience... night"

The brunette got out of the car, still unable to form a sentence and watched the taillights as they faded into the distance.

By the time Monday came, both girl's were regretting Friday night and were not particularly desirous of seeing each other. Nicole regretted taking things too far; she knew she could provoke a response from Sam, but she didn't want to lose her friendship. Despite her supposed popularity, Brooke was the only other person who knew and liked her for herself so she really couldn't afford to lose either of them. Sam on the other hand regretted making an idiot of herself the only time the person haunting her dreams was actually in her arms. They had no trouble therefore in completely ignoring each other, apart from the occasional snipey comment between peer groups. Still, Sam was not surprised when she heard tapping on her window on Tuesday night.

Hauling up the window and helping Nic in, she stood with her hand still in the blond's, "Hey".

"Hey" Nicole pulled away and sat on the edge of the bed, fearing that she'd do something stupid if they stayed that close. "Did you get it finished?"

"Yeah, I've just got your's to put in", Nicole handed her a disk and she turned. "I can do it now, so we can read it finished... if you've got time to stay?"

"Sure". For several minutes the only sounds in the room were the whir of the computer and the click of the mouse. Taking a box out of her bag, Nicole carefully placed it behind her while Sam's back was turned.

Printing a couple of copies, they both read it through in silence, and then read it through again. The cheerleader sighed and looked at Sam, "It's good. So this is the last article finished right?"

"All Done, It's the last thing to go in, I'll take it to the printer's in the morning" Sam nodded, kneeling regretfully to get the tape.

"I think you'll find that walked a long time ago", Nicole smirked.

Sam frowned, "When?"

"Does it matter".


"I told you, I don't like being blackmailed."

"But you still did the articles?"

Nic smiled to herself, "Yes I did..." Silence descended again and this time it was uncomfortable. Climbing off the bed she made as if to move towards the brunette before changing her mind, "as ever Mcpherson it's been an experience". She turned to the window and climbed halfway out before leaning back against the frame and closing her eyes, "Sam... you remember Friday night?"

Sam colored, "Yeah".

"If we'd met in that bar and I'd given you my number, would you have called me?" Nic opened her eyes, the desire in them visible even from half way across the room. Sam stood opening and closing her mouth, her mind saying yes, but no words would come out. Nicole smiled self-consciously, she couldn't bring herself to say more than that, the rejection would hurt too much and her survival instinct was too well honed, "Never mind, forget I said anything" and then she climbed fully out and disappeared from sight.

Stunned that the blond had left so quickly, Sam stuck her head out and watched as she reached the street. Turning she noticed a box on her pillow, "Hey Nic" she hissed sticking her head out of the window again, "wait up you've left..." but the cheerleader had gone.

Sam tried to work on her latest assignment but couldn't keep her eyes from straying to the box. Finally she gave up and opened it, inside was another box and a note.


Thanks for getting to know the real me.


The box contained the bracelet she had been staring at in the boutique, the day they had spent at the beach together. Trying to swallow the lump that had appeared in her throat, Sam stared out into the darkness, willing Nicole to return. Finally giving up, she sat back at her desk, her head on her hands.

Part 7

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