justdidntseeit: (she's got some work to do now)
[ previously: "'bout damn time." ]

Kate shifts her weight on the stepladder, and twists slightly, all the better to reach the junction box. This new chrome fixture is going to be a gorgeous accent, if she can -- just --

"Ow ow ow ow ow."

She drops the wrench, and presses down on the pinched skin between her thumb and forefinger. A thin line of blood blooms beneath the pressure she applies; she bites her lower lip, blinking hard, and determinedly does not look at her reflection in the bathroom mirror.

She's not going to cry.

She's not.
justdidntseeit: (mission: organization)
To say that Kate is on a mission would be an understatement.

She's a force, today, as she tackles her latest project: fitting a new DIY bookshelf in Bill's living room.

It's gorgeous — or will be, once she puts it together — all rich, warm wood, clean lines, and glass doors.

She just has to do a little re-arranging, so it'll actually fit along the wall she's chosen.

- - - - -

The Front Door swings open an inch, then two.

"Oh, come on."

Another inch, and the plaid arm of a checkered couch becomes visible.

From the other side of the door, Kate gives the piece of furniture one more shove into the hall; half the sofa slides across the bar's threshold.


None the wiser, she turns around to survey how much space she just created to work with, swiping at her sweat-damp forehead with the back of her hand.

An indignant squeak cuts her victory short.

Surprised, she turns to face the hall, and sees Milliways, instead.

"You have got to be kidding me," she all but groans. With a resigned sigh, she grabs the couch, and tugs.

And tugs.

"Now you're really just messing with me," she mutters under her breath, fighting the urge to curse the Landlord.
justdidntseeit: (time here all but means nothing)
[ "Bill, I'm Kate. It's really nice to meet you." ]

She should tell him.

She should, shouldn't she?

A thousand and one possibilities cycle through her thoughts, the same fear shadowing each of them: What if this damages his timeline, somehow? What if she ruins something by telling him she met his younger self in the bar?

- - - - -

She falls into a fitful sleep, well before Bill comes home.

- - - - -

She wakes a few hours later, still in her short khaki skirt and summery top, to the sound of Bill snoring next to her.

She scrubs her eyes and sits up, rumpled and groggy. The light blanket Bill must've covered her with before bed slips to her waist.

Squinting at the clock on the nightstand, she breathes out something between a sigh and a yawn. With a glance at her wrinkled clothes, she slides out of bed to change into actual sleepwear.

She pulls on a fresh camisole, and finds her favorite pair of yoga pants, worn soft and thin from hundreds of washings. In the bathroom, she pulls her tousled hair into a ponytail; she washes her face and brushes her teeth as quietly as possible, in hopes that she won't interrupt Bill's sleep.

- - - - -

She can't turn off her brain.

Giving up, she pads out of the bedroom, careful not to wake Bill. She pours herself a glass of white wine, and flips on a single lamp in the living room.

She settles into her favorite corner of the couch, a navy scrapbook in tow. Its contents have become as familiar as some of her own family photo albums, each newspaper clipping and photo caption holding information that feels firsthand, now, instead of second and third.

As horrifying and heart-breaking as most of the photographs are, she draws a strange kind of comfort from every page she pores and flips.
justdidntseeit: (she's got some work to do now)
[ everyone loves him. ]
She kisses the corner of Bill's crooked smile.

"Have a good day, sheriff."

"That can't be it," he says.

She's chuckling against his chin when he pulls her closer for a true goodbye.

"Anything more than that, and I won't let you leave."

"Maybe I don't really want to in the first place."

Kate gives his ass a playful swat as he makes for the door, and he reminds her she's assaulting an officer.

She's still smiling to herself as she returns to the kitchen.

As soon as the breakfast dishes are drying in the rack and the counters are spotless again, she completes what's become her morning routine: She changes into a pair of battered jeans, a faded Stanford track and field tee, and paint-splattered Timberlands.

She has a bathroom to gut.

- - - - -

She's reaching into the fridge for a fresh bottle of water when the doorbell rings.

Wiping her forehead with one sweat-slick forearm, she heads for the foyer.

She doesn't recognize the man on the other side of the door; for one stomach-clenching second, she wonders if he's a friend or relative of Eric Lawson.

Don't be silly, she tells herself, but if Los Angeles and Wheelsy, South Carolina have taught her anything, it's that the worst is possible.
justdidntseeit: (so careful when i'm in your arms)
[ "so you're glad we decided to stay?" ]
Kate all but melts into Bill's side, her heart beating too fast.

The carriage house is dark and silent, save for her breathing and Bill's; waves rolling onto the nearby shore are a low, relentless blanket of sound.

"I should let you pick out unmentionables more often," she says, hiding a grin against his chest.
justdidntseeit: (sand and surf)
[ "that would be georgia." ]
Kate takes in a deep lungful of salt-sharp air, savoring the smell of the ocean and the spectacular view.

Foam-flecked waves lap at her bare feet and ankles; she gives Bill's hand a squeeze, not sure who needs the reassurance most.
justdidntseeit: (Default)
[ "that was better than dessert." ]
Kate wakes with the sun, wrapped in a warm knot of sheets and limbs. Bill is snoring lightly, sprawled on his stomach with most of his head buried beneath an over-sized feather pillow; what little of his hair she can see is sticking in every direction.

Smothering a smile, she eases out of bed; she wants a shower before breakfast, and she's sure he will, too.

She pauses in the bathroom's threshold, a line between her brows.

She glances over her shoulder.

The clothes they left in a careless, haphazard mess on the hardwood —

They're folded in a neat stack on top of the dresser.

And Bill's belt is draped over one arm of the sofa.

- - - - -

Breakfast is phenomenal: pesto and feta omelets, homemade sweet potato fries, buttermilk-and-brown sugar pancakes, and fruit so fresh Kate's mouth waters with every bite.

She spears another blackberry with her fork, her eyes moving from Bill to Mrs. Palmer as the woman brings out a second French press.

Kate breathes deep, the scent of rich coffee filling her nose. Feigning nonchalance, she offers a smile.

"Mrs. Palmer, this is fantastic."

"Thank you, dear. I take it you two are enjoying yourselves?"

Kate nods, mirroring Bill.

"But, um." She clears her throat. "Did housekeeping make an early round?"

Mrs. Palmer's eyebrows lift as Kate continues.

"Maybe someone dropped in to straighten up while we were still asleep?"

A half-smile tugs at one corner of Mrs. Palmer's mouth.

"That would be Georgia," she says, chuckling as she offers Bill more turkey sausage. "She always did love to keep this place in tip-top shape when she was alive."
justdidntseeit: (all that glitters)
[ "this is about relaxing, having fun -- that's an order, sheriff." ]
As they enter the darkened suite at the bed and breakfast, Kate's warm and loose-limbed from dancing and three glasses of wine.

After flicking on a low-burning lamp, she steps out of her heels with a murmur of relief; taking one foot in hand to massage her tender arch, she can't help a soft groan.

"Remind me why I'm a slave to fashion again?"
justdidntseeit: (when we walked in fields of gold)
[ "I'm sure I can make good time." ]
The Palmer Home is even more impressive than its photos implied.

After a warm reception and a short tour from the innkeeper, Kate and Bill return to the third floor to settle in.

Kate crosses the spacious suite and steps onto the piazza, taking in the view of the harbor and Fort Sumter.

"God, this is gorgeous."
justdidntseeit: (bare shoulder)
[ "see you soon, sheriff." ]
Despite the anticipation humming in her veins -- or maybe because of it -- Kate takes her time in the shower, reveling in the simple pleasure of inhabiting her own body once more.
justdidntseeit: (time here all but means nothing)
[ "s'alright, we're gonna get you looked at." ]
After her fever breaks, Kate doesn't move around much as she sleeps, exhaustion settling like silt in her blood.

She doesn't dream, either, but occasional lines appear between her brows or wrinkle her forehead.

At some point, she takes in a deep breath -- deeper than the others, so far -- and her eyelids flutter before opening.
justdidntseeit: (so not happy)
[ papering over the cracks ]
God, she's tired today.

She pushes herself harder on her morning run, tacking on an extra half-mile, then another for good measure.

(The more she works out, the more energy she'll have, she reminds herself with every punishing stride.)

By the time she makes it back to the house, there's a stitch behind her ribs and her knees have turned to oatmeal.

Should've eaten something, she thinks as she fumbles with the back door.

The house is quiet when she leans against the kitchen counter, sheened with sweat and shivering. Nausea washes through her, and she closes her eyes and breathes deep.

Bill will be up soon; she needs to make coffee and jumpstart breakfast.

She grips the edge of the counter with one hand, flipping on the faucet with the other.

The sound of running water fills her ears, fading to mute as her vision tunnels and the sink yellows at its edges.
justdidntseeit: (tidings of comfort and joy)
After leaving a few notes and gifts with Bar, Kate returns upstairs.

She still has one more to deliver.
justdidntseeit: (time here all but means nothing)
[ "about last night ... " ]
Kate wakes early -- too early, judging by the near-darkness of the bedroom.

After a few minutes, when it's annoyingly apparent she won't be drifting back to sleep, she presses a soft kiss to Bill's cheek and murmurs near his ear when he stirs.

Easing out of bed, she pulls on a pair of sweats and tugs on a couple of layers; she wants to keep warm during her jog.

After checking to make sure Boo's still sleeping soundly across the hall, she slips downstairs to make fresh coffee for Beckett and Bill before her morning run.
justdidntseeit: (time here all but means nothing)
[ every alcohol-soaked night has a morning after ]
Kate flicks off the lamp and slips into bed next to Bill, her eyes slowly adjusting to the faint light from the crescent moon filtering through the window.

She can't keep still-frames of the night before from flashing through her mind -- of Bill, of Beckett, of herself, together in a tangle of sweat-slick skin and limbs and lips and tongues and teeth; she's been seeing snapshots all day, a mental slideshow she can't turn off.

Despite how well the morning after went, Kate knows she and Bill need to talk.

But, rolling onto her side to face him, she can't bring herself to say we need to talk.

(For one, it's cliché.)

(For another, she can't.)


justdidntseeit: (Default)
Kate Warner

May 2012

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