God she was so glad to be going home. White walls, medicinal smells, and Kim's voice were the only thing that she really remembered from the last few weeks. Alex Taylor knew that others had dropped by to check on her after the accident but everything was so jumbled. Most of it was due to the massive amounts of painkillers that she had been on up to yesterday when she finally had pleaded with the doctor to cut back. He agreed after she assured him that she could endure a little pain in exchange for not having hallucinations. The illusions had started off wonderfully as Alex imagined her coworker Kim stroking her hair and telling her how much she meant to her but then they had started to change; to get a little strange. Like the time she had looked out the hospital window and swore that she had seen Jimmy Doughtery, Kim's ex-husband, paddling a gondolier down the riverfront and reclining upon it, naked and eating grapes was Ty Davis, Taylor's ex-boyfriend. “Now that was freaky.”
“Partner, you talking to yourself again?” She had been so lost in her thoughts that she had not heard Kim enter her room, although a moment more and Alex was sure that she would felt the dark haired woman's presence. It seemed that they had always had some sort of a bond, however small, from the minute Alex had met the NY Paramedic. At first it was probably because they were the only two women at the Station. However, the bond had really started to grow when Alex transferred from the Firefighter unit to the EMS and she and Kim Zambrano had hooked up as partners. Damn, she thought, I can't go there; I can't think about us ever being together that way.
“Hey, are you all right?” Kim asked as she pushed back the close-cropped pale blond hair and felt her friend's forehead. “Do I need to get the doctor?”
“No. I'm fine really.” Yeah, sure she was that's why she was blushing. “It's just that I'm ready to get out of here that's all.”
Nodding Kim moved to help the petite woman get out of bed. “It's raining like cats and dogs so we need to get you bundled up.” With that a slender arm was slipped around Taylor's waist and she was pulled slightly into Kim as the tall woman helped her own with her coat. God, she smelled good!
At that moment Alex realized that the next few days were going to be hell since Kim would be staying with her virtually 24/7; it was the only way that the doctor would release her. Originally she was to go stay with her mother but those plans had changed due to the older woman having a bout of the flu.
“Come on let's get you up.” Kim said as Alex stood, if rather wobbly, and begun to attempt to walk to the door only to be stopped by a snort. “What?”
“Sorry,” Kim began, “But if you could see yourself and that little duck walk thing that you're doing. You'd crack up too.” And with her friend holding one arm and trying not to laugh, Alex was on her way home.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The drive was uneventful and pretty quiet. They made small talk about the goings on at the station house and the precinct across from it. Once they arrived at Taylor's apartment Kim had not taken no for an answer and had made Alex rest but at least she got to do it on the couch in front of the big screen TV with the DVD/VCR. Now at least she could watch something besides, Dude, Where's My Car? Which seemed to be on every cable station while she was in the hospital.
“You never struck me as a trekkie.” Kim's laugh cut into her thoughts as her friend pointed to the signed poster of the original Star Trek cast that was stuck in the back of the closet.
“I'm not. I won if off a Canadian friend in a poker game and she assured me that it might be worth something someday; so I kept it. You know, as an investment.”
Smiling Kim replied, “You are such a fake. I see the Star Trek sheets.”
She had forgotten about those when she had instructed Kim where to look for the extra blankets. “Those might be worth something too.” She muttered while trying not to stare at the beautiful woman who had now come to kneel in front of her.
“Here, let me tuck you in.”
Such a simple phrase but one that along with a gentle touch started a fire in Alex that she had not felt in a while. It was a different kind than Ty had caused only months before. This one seemed to stir her soul, not just her loins, and before she knew what she was doing; Alex acted.
Slowly her hands came up to frame the heart shaped face before gently stroking the other woman's bottom lip with her thumb. She saw fear and then something more flicker across Kim's features before she leaned in and brushed her lips across the other woman's only to be stopped by a howling noise. “YEOW!”
For a brief moment she thought it was Kim, but that could not be since the tall woman was running towards the kitchen.
"Uh, you didn't tell me you had a cat!" Kim called out and then quietly added, “And I'm not going to tell you that the cat's in the oven.”
"His name's Drip! Did something happen to him?"
"No, Alex, don't try to get up." Kim was now in the kitchen doorway. "He's fine. Honest. Just a little seared."
That got her attention. "You burnt my cat?!" God, she had just had the thing a few months. Her neighbor had been watching him while she was away but Drip must have snuck away from her and wandered in when Kim brought the rest of her things into the apartment.
"No, actually your socks are on fire. Well, I mean they were. You see I had put our wet socks and tennis in the oven to dry with the door partially opened and I guess . . . there's . . . no other way to say it; 'curiosity almost killed the cat'. Get it?"
Yeah, she got it. That and a little tinge as she found herself looking once again into Kim's dark eyes. What must she be thinking about the kiss? Alex laid back and closed her eyes trying to regroup and come up with the right thing to say.
“Coffee grounds?” Hearing her say that she wanted used coffee, was not in the top ten things of what she expected to hear.
“What?” Alex answered.
“I asked, 'Do you save your coffee grounds'. You know to mix in the plant food for your roses.” Kim said, not from a kitchen doorway, but from the driver's side of the SUV.
It had all been a dream or may be another hallucination. “Uh, no. No, I hadn't thought about that.”
“Yeah, well my mom uses them and her flowers bloom every year.” Replied Kim as she pulled into a parking spot right in front of Alex's apartment. “Ready partner?” She asked, putting her hand over friend's.
Looking down at the two hands together Alex could only reply, “Yes”. Mentally she made a few notes; call the doctor about lowering her medicine slightly, try to keep her emotions in check (at least for now), and look for the damn cat!