Hanging In Disclaimer One:  Yadda, yadda, yadda.  I'm sure you know the drill, but here we go anyway.  These characters are mine, and only resemble those seen in XWP who is owned by USA studios.  A little subliminal as Lisa would say.  No (movie) copyright (movie) infringement (movie) is meant.  I'm only (movie--hurry!) borrowing them  (movie with a real kiss).

Disclaimer Two:  There may be some foul language here, but I don't know these gals have minds of their on.  This story depicts a loving/sexual relationship between two women.  If that still offends you in this day and age, I can only hope that your ignorance is bliss, and hopefully you will bypass this story for those stories where Xena giggles for Ares.  Rolls eyes.  This is the next installment in the Catt/Lil story.

Dedication:  Gives a huge shout out to the folks at the Mindom!!  You are a very special group whether you know it or not.

Hanging In


Copyright  2001

The reluctant morning sun peered into the pristine bathroom. The bath water sloshed around the occupants, going over the rim in little trickles as they both tried to get comfortable.  Catt ran a wet hand over and down Lil's equally wet torso and pulled the lounging woman closer to her chest.  The blonde's longer legs rubbed against the cold tile of the bathtub but at the same time basked in the warmth of the thighs caressing against her own.  Naked wet flesh slid sensuously and goose bumps appeared as a testimonial to the coolness of the bathroom and fire in her touch.

The exec kissed Lil's damp head then peered over the side of  the tub.  She chuckled, "We're getting more out than in."

Opening deep blue eyes momentarily, Lil arched her back and stretched spilling more of the cooling water onto the soaked red area rug and the linoleum floor.  "Mmm, don't care.  This feels too good."   She reveled in the feel of the tall blonde molded to her back from breast to hip.  Grabbing onto the blonde's larger hand, she intertwined their fingers before bringing them to her mouth for a brief kiss.

Catt pulled the brunette closer, finding her hands caressing her lover's belly once more.  "Yeah, I know."   Her skin felt wrinkled and heavy, but inside and out she was deeply satiated. . .for the moment.  She groaned at the thought of what had transpired long minutes before. "Who knew that could be done in this little bathtub?"  the exec asked quietly.

The smaller form of the brunette shook with laughter.  "I didn't.  I think we defied the laws of physics that I have to read about."  She shivered--lost in the afterglow and pleasant memories.

"Mmm hmm."   The blonde frowned at the shiver, noticing that the water was losing its heat a while back.  She lifted her left foot and bumped the hot water knob with her big toe.  She heard a satisfied sigh as the hot took over the tepid.  In tune to everything around her, Catt listened to her lover's breathing, the running water, and her own heartbeat.  It all seemed right, but in her heart, she knew something was missing if only for two days over the weekend.  "It's so quiet without her here."  The exec added softly.  She stared at the baby monitor, sitting on top of the hamper.  It was usually alive with sounds of cooing, babbling or just deep breathing. Today, it stood quiet.

She misses her.  Lil smiled, knowing that Jamie was probably missing the blonde's presence too.  "I know.  The good thing is that we can walk around naked if we want."

Catt snorted.  "We do that anyway."

"Yeah, well there's no one pointing and shouting out boobie,"  the brunette added with a smirk.

The exec snickered this time.  "There is that."  Silence followed, and long fingered hands began to move.  With a smirk, Catt flicked her thumb across a nipple.  "Boobieee!"

The younger woman laughed outright.  Flailing about in mirth, Lil made sure that more water met the floor.  She turned to her lover as much as she could.  With a wide smile and sparkling eyes, the brunette whispered, "You are bad."

Catt grinned rakishly, "Uh, huh, and you wouldn't have me any other way."    With the same toe, she turned the water off as the tub neared capacity.

Lil turned back around, pillowing her head against a strong shoulder and sighing at the feel of full breasts pressing against her back.  "Very true."   Blue eyes closed, and the younger woman waited, knowing there was more to come.

Freer with her emotions these days, especially with this woman, Catt let the words spill from her mouth as if she had said them a thousand times, "But I still miss her."

Lil smoothed her hand over a knee.  "I know you do, but he gets one weekend a month."

The exec shook her head in disbelief.  "I can't believe that's all the time he spends with her.  She's a great kid."

"Yeah, I know."   The younger woman shrugged.  "But that's all the time he wanted.  I guess he spends other weekends with his other kids."  Lil bit her lip as she felt the older woman stiffen behind her. There was a lot she hadn't told her.

Catt blinked.  "What do you mean by that?"   She wasn't angry but felt a little out of the loop where the brunette's ex was concerned.

Lil sighed.  "I guess we should have talked about this--about him.  Josh is older than me, and  I found out that he was sleeping with another woman while he was with me.  She called and told me gleefully that she was carrying his child--children really.  They have a set of twin boys.  I didn't find out that I was pregnant until after we broke up.  I didn't keep it from him, but at least he was honest about wanting to be a part of her life, however minute that part is."  Her tone of voice was light.  The pain of that humiliation had passed long ago.

The blonde cringed. He sounds like I used to be.  "That must have really hurt."    She tightened her arms around her lover.

Lil shook her head.  "Not in the way you think.  My pride was hurt more than anything.  He was the only man I've ever been with, and I think. . no, I know that the only reason that we were together was because my parents wanted it.  They know his parents and he grew up not even a block away.  I was pretty much just going through the motions. I gave them what they wanted, and I gave Josh what he wanted.  I was pretty much trying to make everyone happy.  Josh wasn't a bad guy. He doted on me and treated me well, and it made me feel like I was wanted, needed by someone. That was as far as it went.  My parents went crazy when they found out that I was pregnant.  He wasn't so respectable anymore.  The funny thing is that when I told him that I was pregnant, he pretty much came clean with me too.  He was in love with the other girl, but his parents didn't see her as respectable.  In their eyes, I was.  So we just ended up going through the motions together, I guess. There was never really anything there.  I mean, we're friends now, and I know he loves Jamie. But that's all there is."

Catt leaned her head back against the lip of the tub.  The silence stretched between them.  Feeling the stiffness of the woman in her arms, the blonde finally broke the quiet.  "There's a lot we don't know about each other.  Yet, here we are.  . .together.  That should be scary."  Stormy eyes closed as she waited for the other woman to comment.  Despite that knowledge, they fit.  She felt it slide into place they day she walked across the threshold of the younger woman's apartment.  With everyday that passed things between them felt more right.  Catt knew this, but hearing it was another matter.

Lil knew the older woman's insecurities well.  She faced them everyday, defeated them everyday with the knowledge that someday they wouldn't come back.  Grabbing onto the edges of the tub, she flipped herself over, sloshing a fair amount of water onto the soggy floor.  Getting comfortable and folding arms over her lovers belly, she peered up into questioning gray eyes.  The battle was about to begin again.  "It is and it isn't because I know what I need to know--what scares you, what makes you smile and laugh, what you love, and what makes you cranky."  She added a smile to the last part.  "I know what every expression on your face means even the blank ones."  She paused. "Is living together going to be easy?  No.  I'm not that naive, but we learn more about each other everyday.  I share with you and you share with me.  I would never keep anything from you.  Not a thing."

Catt raised a wet hand and pushed damp, curly bangs from her young lover's eyes.  She studied Lil quietly, seeing conviction, honesty, and confidence written all over her face.  She believes, so should I.    Feeling the doubt recede, a slow smile of acceptance spread over her face.  "You know I feel the same.  I've told you about my family and how I used to be --the women and the way I went through them, the games I played.  You even saw some of it.  Some of it is hard to talk about because I was in a pretty dark place for a long time.  You made me see that there was a way out.  I think I will eventually get around to telling you all of it, but whatever you want to know just ask."  She paused then added softly, "You're too wise to be so young."

Lil grinned impishly, glowing from the words whispered.  The battle was over for the time being.  "It's a family trait, I think." She reached up to finger the locket around the exec's neck.

"Mmm, score one for the family."   The blonde canted her head to the side.  "Speaking of which, how's your sis and T doing?"

"Ah, they're still taking it slow, trying to start all over again must be hard.  Especially after what happened, but I hear mom worked wonders."  She added sarcastically.

"I can't even imagine.  I would do it for you, but I think this just shows how much they love each other."   Catt tweaked  the younger woman's nose.  "As for your mother, that's a different story. I know you want the acceptance that Gabrielle got, but she has to be eased into this, especially with Jamie involved."

The brunette sighed for the tenth time in as many minutes.  "I know.  I know.  I hear you.  She used to comment about us when I dropped Jamie off before I went to class.  She is pretty much quiet about it now.  I'm trying to be patient, and I imagine it's hard finding out that both your only daughters are lesbians. "

Catt nodded.  "Yeah it is, and look at it this way.  She cares. She's not going to stop loving you.."

"You're right.  Have you talked to your mom lately?"

The exec chuckled derisively.  "No, that bridge is better left burned.  I just had some things to get off my chest a while back."  Gray eyes darkened.  "Besides you and Jamie are all the family that I need."

Lil smiled and flushed at the sentiment.  The smile widened as a pout formed on the blonde's full lips.  Here it comes.

"But, I still miss Jamie."

Lil snickered.  "I knew you were gonna say that.  I miss her too, but the weekend will be gone before you know it."   The brunette frowned and reached back, trying to cover fleshy globes with one hand.  "As nice as this is, I think we need to dry off.  My ass is all cold and goosebumpy."   She let out a yelp as a larger hand covered her own, groping one cheek in hand.

"Hmm, you might be right.  We wouldn't want that to happen."

Lil eyes narrowed.  "So bad."  Raising to her knees, she placed both hands on the side of the tub and pushed up.  Rivulets of water rolled off her her slim body, mingling in the pool below her.  She continued to stare at her lover, recognizing the look in stormy gray eyes.  Lil smirked but felt her body swell nonetheless.

Catt watched as droplets of water dribbled from glistening breasts, making a path down her torso into the dark patch between the younger woman's legs.  She licked her lips, remembering how the skin tasted, remembering the feel of a plump nipple in her mouth, remembering the salt-sweet liquid that melted against her tongue with the help of the water.  Fire curled a hard edge into her stomach, shooting flames of heat to her groin.  She remembered it all and wanted it again.  Her eyes glittered with anticipation and need.  She glanced up into dark blue that peered at her knowingly.  Catt growled.  She knows what she does to me.

Getting up on her knees, Catt moved fluidly to her destination with the help of the warm water.  She glanced up the length of leg into amused but smoldering eyes.  Pale eyebrows raised in acknowledgment as her gaze moved down to eye level. Crisp dark hair greeted her, still dribbling with water, still smelling of arousal.  She nussled the sparsely coated triangle with her nose and growled as smell of renewed wetness greeted her.  I know what I do to her too.  Snaking hands around the brunette, she first palmed fleshy globes before taking on a firm hold to pull her lover forward with a surprised jerk.  A questing tongue bathed the front of her lover's thighs with insistent licks, moving slowly but totally avoiding the center of attraction.

Lil gasped in surprise then moaned as desire eased its way up her spine and heat scorched her thighs.  How can I want her again so soon?  Her thighs parted of their own volition--wanting, waiting.  Her body chilled in the open air but inside she burned, aching for familiar hands to touch her, mold her, take her.  Her head fell back and her breathing went ragged.  The tendrils of her own hair tickled her back, scraping over nerve endings that were coming to life once more.  She jerked back up in the next instant.

The blonde nudged her nose on the still hooded ball of nerves.  The sudden whimper above her made the hair at the back of her nape stand on end as shivers jolted her spine.  She glanced up the still sensitized, straining body until two chips of blue met her, slightly unfocused but no longer amused.  She smirked, slowly, sexily and let her eyes drop to the swollen peaks of her lover's breasts, knowing the blue gaze would follow. Brazenly, Catt appraised them, watching as they lifted with each breath; watching as the sexy flush deepened and elongated to cover her chest; watching as the turgid tips seemed to get tighter, bigger right before her eyes.  She licked her lips and groaned at the sight, hearing at the same time another whispered gasp from up above.

Lil's chest was burning from the heated gaze, and she longed for a mouth, her lover's mouth to cool things down.  Sharp tingles of awareness shot through her torso as the gray eyes watched her swell to an unbelievable fullness.  For an instant, each pass of  her lover's eyes  felt like fingertips tweak her nipples,  felt like a tongue flicking them as if it was really there.  Her heart hammered as the pleasurable pain quickly became unbearable.  It wasn't enough.  Unable to control herself, hands that had been clenched at her sides traveled until they met throbbing peaks.  Heat flooded her as well tutored hands palmed the flesh, meshing it.  Restless fingers pinched and pulled at diamond hard peaks. Lil cried out in wonder and pleasure and her hips surged forward as the slow throb between her legs became an insistent pulsing.  "Oh, god!"  The moisture pooling between her legs had nothing to do with water.

Catt's heart jumped to her throat as she took in the display with her own sense of wide-eyed wonder. They had barely touched and the fire was already spiraling out of control.  She whimpered as the attempt to breathe failed and whimpered some more at the continued teasing above her.  Each pull of a nipple corresponded with the sudden pulling of her groin.   She flexed her hands against the firm, slippery flesh in her hands.  She felt swollen, eager,  achy, and unbelievably hungry.

Thighs parted even more for her, making her split her attention between busy hands and hot, slippery flesh.  Catt groaned in indecision.  Her mouth watered as she took in the sensual sights.  In a wanton display, Lil lifted a leg and steadied it on the edge of the tub.  At that moment, Catt knew that the decision had been made for her.  Her eyes were riveted on the pink folds of her lover's swollen, wet sex.  Lips parted like the petals of a flower, revealing their fruit to the taker.  The exec trembled with the need to taste, to devour, to hear her lover scream.  Without a word, she surged forward, opening her mouth wide over aroused flesh while releasing a decidedly guttural moan. 

"Ah, fuck!"  Lil screamed.  The blood roared in her ears as pleasure beat a path through her body.  Forgetting about the tingling in her breasts, she wound small hands deep in blonde hair, to see to the rage between her legs.  She pushed her sex into her lover's face, feeling Catt's talented tongue probe deep before it went back to teasing.  Full lips nibbled and sucked at her until everything between her legs felt like one throbbing mass of exposed nerves.  She couldn't control her body or the sounds that were wrenched from her throat--breathy whimpers and long moans. They mingled well with the hums of delight coming from between her legs.

Catt felt the muscles between her own legs contract with each pass of her tongue,with each suck, and with each moan.  Her head spun as her senses neared overload.  Instinct and love for the woman above her drove her on, making her lap at the copious amount of fluids and flick and plunge into and over sensitive places.  Caught in the moment, she speared her tongue deep into her lover's soppy opening, using her neck muscles to gain momentum andpower behind each thrust.  The sound that resulted was heavenly, leaving her ears ringing and her sex spasming.  She pulled Lil into her, letting the woman ride the wet muscle, forgetting her need to breathe, forgetting her own strain.  The thighs around her head began to tremble, wetness greeted her tongue in a hurried gush, and the moans had become high pitched and hoarse.  They were all signals she recognized.  It spurred her on.

Lil could feel climax sneaking up on her from somewhere deep inside.  The tingles of electricity assaulting her body turned to all consuming waves that shook her body from the inside out.  The tongue inside her abruptly changed to long fingers that curled deep.  It shook her.  But,the hot, insistent sucking on the exposed clitoris broke her then remade her again.  Her scream reverberated off the bathroom walls, making her own ears ring, but that was minute to the riot of feelings pummeling her body.

Catt  squeezed her thighs together and moaned loud and long as orgasm sang through her slow, sweet and hard.  It was enough to taste her, feel her, and see her.  It was enough to teeter her over the edge and make her jump into the rush below.  She felt Lil slide down to her knees and splash into the water helplessly but there wasn't a damn thing she could do about it.  Water met the floor in a loud slosh as her own body continued to hum and tremble.  She watched as the brunette sailed back slowly until the lip of the tub greeted her, barely missing the water spigots. There was a thump then an, "Ouch'  followed by a moan and chuckles.

With her fingers buried deep between her lover's legs, Catt felt the laughter and the still small groping of the muscles around her digits.  Finally able to move, she leaned forward, bracing herself with one hand against the tub and hovered over the younger woman.  Their chests rose and fell with harsh breathing.  Hooded eyes met as goofy smiles spread wide over both their faces.  "You know. . ."  Catt husked out then paused in an attempt to catch her breath.  "Making love to you is becoming dangerous.  Maybe we should stick to the bedroom?"

Lil shook her head and cringed.  "No way too vanilla."

Catt leaned forward more brushing full lips with her own.  She wiggled her fingers and smiled at the moan that resulted.  "Now who's bad?"  She waited patiently as the younger woman licked her mouth and chin clean.

The brunette laughed smokily as she nibbled on the older woman's chin.  "I guess we're in this together then."

They kissed again.  "Mmm hmm.  Guess so."

The cold water sloshed against them.  With sparkling eyes, Catt looked down at her lover.  "Now, my ass is cold."  The bathroom filled with laughter then a loud smack as a wet hand met wet flesh.

* *

They sat in the now still car outside their daughter's apartment complex.  With his lips still pulled into a thin line of annoyance and anger, Stu turned to look at his wife.  "I still can't believe you didn't tell me, Jean.  If I hadn't seen how you were treating her with my own two eyes, I wouldn't have suspected a thing.  You were down right cold yesterday when she brought Jamie over. Don't you think she needs us right now more than anything?  I can't believe you put this all on yourself, despite our granddaughter.  This is her father's weekend isn't it?  Maybe that's a good thing."

Jean peered into her husband's eyes before allowing her gaze to skitter away as she hung her head..  "I think so, but Jamie . . .I thought--"

He reached over to pat her knee.  "I know what you thought but you being angry and treating her like this isn't going to change anything.  I think we both learned that from Gabrielle.  Lilian's our daughter too for Christ sake.  Can you imagine how she's feeling?  You accepted her sister but refuse to do the same for her.  It must hurt."

Jean's head still hung.  "I-I didn't think about it like that.  I was so worried about Jamie. . ."

"But you said that this woman, Caitlin, seems to be really good with her from what you saw.  I know I acted like an ass with Gab, but I won't lose her.  I won't lose either one of my daughters.  Times are changed, Jean.  Things aren't like when we were young.  There's still a lot of hate in the world but there's some tolerance and acceptance too.  People are trying and we should too, despite what Father Steve says."   He rubbed a hand across his wife's thigh then squeezed through the material of her skirt.  "I think I understand where you were coming from, concerning Jamie, but again, the only thing we can do here is try to guide Lil and help her when the time comes.  Ostracizing her won't change a thing.  As Jamie gets older, she'll pick up on things like that." He sighed and pushed a hand through dark, receding hair.  Some of his anger flitted away.  "We need to fix this.  I hope you realize that?"

Jean nodded as she looked outside the passenger side window.  She wondered how she could become so open for Gabrielle and so closed for her youngest.  Selfishness?  Preservation of some normalcy?  She knew the reasons included Jamie, but Stu was right things have changed.  I knew that.    Maybe she was trying to hang onto something that was no longer there, Lil's childhood.  Despite the baby, despite Josh, deep inside she still saw  the little chubby curly haired girl when Lil walked up to her--a curly haired girl who looked just like Jamie.  Jean sighed.  It's time to let go or try to.  I guess today will be the first step.  She turned back to her husband.  "Yes, I realize that."

He gave her a sad but understanding smile. "Ready then?"


Stu got out of the car and sauntered over to the passenger side to open that door.  Hand in hand they walked up the sidewalk.

* *
In just a few minutes they got lost in each other again.  More kisses were exchanged along with softer, 'I love you's', and they still buoyed in the now chilling bath water.  With eyes that sparkled with emotion, Catt watched  as her fingertips traced her lover's features.  "Mmm, as much as I'm enjoying this, we'd better get out of here before we start to prune."

Lil chuckled and chomped at a finger as it trailed over her lips.  "Okay, this thing is digging into my back anyway, but you go first since you're well . . on top."   She grinned sheepishly.

Catt smiled sensuously.  "Good thing I know that you like me there."   Steadying herself, she pushed up and the tall, lanky form rose.  Drops of water cascaded down her body.  She looked down to see blue eyes dancing.  Wagging her finger, she peered down at her lover. "Oh no, don't look at me like that.  Vanilla or not.  I'm not getting back into that cold water."

Lil laughed heartily as she watched the blonde pull on the robe hanging on the back of the open bathroom door.  "Well what about sinks.  You seem to have a thing for sinks and bathrooms for that matter."   Lil squealed and dodged the towel that came flying at her.

The sudden sound of the door bell made them both groan.

"I can't believe this!"   The younger woman hissed.  "Do you think that who ever it is will go away."

"Don't know lets give it a minute."   They both stood stock still as if whoever was outside could hear the tinniest movement.

Catt rolled her eyes when the pounding started.  "Well I guess that answers our question."   She pulled the terry cloth robe closed over her still wet body and glanced at Lil who waited in the bathtub.  Full lips pursed.  "Well, I guess it's up to me to answer it, huh?"

Lil placed on leg on the edge of the tub as she started to dry herself.  She glanced up briefly at the older woman's statement.  "Uh huh, you are the top after all,"  she added with a chuckle.

Gray eyes rolled again in amusement.  "Oh har, har, we need to enlighten you on the definition."  Tying the robe off she headed out the door.

* *

"You sure they're home?"  Stu asked.  He looked down at his watch.  "It's still kinda early, barely 9am.  They could be sleeping."

Jean shrugged.  "Don't know.  Their cars are here."

Stu banged on the door again then stood back when he though he heard a growl from the other side.

Catt jerked the door open not even attempting to get the scowl off her face.   She stared at the couple who stood there.  Oh shit, not again.  I swear her mother has the worst timing!   The exec schooled her features into something resembling a smile.

"Uhm, hi?"

Stu blinked as he took in the woman before him.  He knew Tara was beautiful but this woman was exquisite.  And wet?  Why is she wet? His face flushed red as he realized that the young woman wore nothing under the robe.  He turned to his wife, who looked at him in confusion. With his eyes lowered respectively, he asked, "Um, is Lil home?"

Catt groaned inwardly.  "Yeah, she's in the bathtu. . .um yeah she's here.  Come on in."    I close big time deals but I can't deal with parents?  Get a grip, Catt. 

She showed them to the couch then resisted the urge to run for the open door of the bathroom.

With flushed face, she entered the bathroom, shutting the door behind her and leaning against it.  Blue eyes looked at her quizzically. "Sweetie, you won't believe this."

Blue eyes widened.  "Oh no.  Don't tell me.  She is not out there!"

Catt cringed at the panic in her lovers voice but added anyway, "Um, your dad is too."

The pastel pink towel slid from Lil's fingers.  "Oh shit!"  She covered her face with her hands and mumbled.  "I love them to death, but they have the worst timing."

Catt almost laughed but thought better of it.  "Mmm, that's what I said. . ."   At least we were done this time.   The statement was barely out before a flutter of activity commenced.

Lil ran from one end of the bathroom to the next.  "Oh my God, I can't go out there in a towel!  I bet you sat them on the couch, didn't you?"   She pointed an accusing finger at Catt.

"Uhmm. .."

"Nevermind!"   The brunette ran to the hamper and groaned at the emptiness of it.  "Laundry we did laundry, and its all in the bedroom!"

Gray eyes widened when fingers pointed back at her.  "Quick!! Give me your robe!"

Catt began to oblige her.  "No stop!  You can't go out there in a towel either!"  Okay, I need to get a hold of myself here.  Arggh, but how?!

The exec tried to hide the forming smirk.  She's too adorable like this--all flustered.

"Are you laughing at me?!"

The blonde snapped back to attention.  "Um, no?"

Lil walked up to her lover until they were nose to nose and hissed, "You'd better not be, missy!"

Catt swallowed and bit her lip to keep the smirk from returning.  "Uh, why don't you let me go to the bedroom get dressed, and I'll bring you some clothes after I'm done?"

Blue eyes narrowed suspiciously.  I know she was laughing at me.  Is she up to something?  "Mmm, make sure you come right back!"

The blonde held up her hands in surrender.  "Okay, promise."  She leaned in and kissed a scrunched up nose.  "I love you, cutie."   As slick as she could be, Catt slinked out the door, leaving a goofily smiling Lil behind.

Minutes later, they stood in the bathroom fully dressed in jeans and sweaters.  Lil took a deep breath, trying not to let her growing trepidation show.  "Why do you think they're here?  Do you think daddy knows?"

Catt heard it in her voice anyway.  "Don't know, Sparky, but we'll go out and face it together."   She reached for the younger woman's hand.  Apprehension and doubt crept up on her.  Ah, Sparky.  I hope you're ready for this.  I hope we are.

Lil didn't hesitate as their fingers linked.  I have to tell her this before we go out there.  Blue and gray met.  "No matter what happens out there, you have to know nothing is going to change between us.  I'd choose you and Jamie every time."  Deep blue glowed with strength and belief.

Catt nodded, seeing the same truth there as when her lover's mother denied acceptance to them both not long ago.  "Let's go then."

* *

Jean turned to her husband.  "I wonder what's taking so long?"

Stu's face flushed again.  "Um, they probably had to get dressed."

"What do you mean they . . ."

They both turned at the sound of oncoming footsteps.

Stu saw the linked hands and sighed with acceptance.  He also saw the apprehension and determination written on their faces.  Wanting that look to go away, he rose slowly and went to his daughter.

Lil glanced at her lover, looking for that extra ounce of strength.  She got it with a squeeze of her hand and love shining in gray eyes.  She turned back to her approaching father and waited.  Blue eyes widened in surprise as she was suddenly engulfed in a hug.  As pure reflex, her free arm wrapped around his back, but she held steadfastly to the hand holding her own.


Stu took a step back.  "I didn't know, sweetie.  I just found out yesterday.  I'm sorry you had to go through this by yourself.." 

Lil's eyes skittered from her father to the slumped shoulders of her mother, who still sat on the couch.  She pulled linked hands to her chest.  "I wasn't alone, daddy.  This is Caitlin."

Catt swallowed as she reached out a hand.  Her eyes bulged when it was clasped warmly by both of the older man's appendages.  Gray met blue of almost the same color as her lover's, but Catt remained silent and waiting.

Stu cleared his throat.  "Uhm, I'm not graced in the protocol of this, so I'm just going to create my own.  This may not be what I wanted for Lil, but I accept it because it obviously makes her happy."  He looked down at the women's linked hands.  "I'm her father, and nothing is going to change that.  You're her lover, and nothing is going to change that either.  I see in her eyes the same look I saw in Gab's, and I refuse to lose either one of them over it.  She loves you, and I hope to God that you love her because if you don't that's where my trouble starts.  As for Jamie, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.  She just needs to know that she has people who love her."

The exec blinked, knowing that she just got told the equivalent of "Hurt my daughter and I'll come after you with a shot gun."  But the next words came easy for her even though they hadn't not too long ago.  "I do love her. I love them both.  More than she probably knows."  Catt felt her hand being squeezed.  She glanced at her lover and smiled.  With just one look, they got lost in each other.

Stu flushed again, feeling like an intruder.  He slowly released the blonde woman's hand and stepped away.  He glanced back at his wife, seeing her look of shame and the burgeoning look of acceptance and motioned her over with wave.

Jean came forward waiting for her turn to speak.  Her daughters eyes were the first to appraise her.

Lil held her breath.  What had happened?  She had seemed so passionately opposed to this before.  "Mom, I know you're concerned about Jamie, but. . ."

"No, Lil I wasn't completely honest with you two or myself before. It's so much more than Jamie.  I see her in you, and it's so hard to see you as you are now when I want back that little girl."   Jean paused and lowered her head as emotion ceased her.

"Oh, mom, I had no idea."  Lil reached out and grasped the older woman's shoulder.  "I was so scared.  I mean, I remember how you guys acted when I was pregnant with Jamie, and I think this just piled on top of old hurt."

"I'm so sorry.  Nothing is going to make us stop loving you.  I didn't mean to make you think this would."   She pulled her daughter into a long hug, refusing to let go even as she stepped back to glance at the tall blonde.

Catt felt three sets of eyes on her.  She refused to turn away from any of them.  Taking a stand, she peered at Jean, but before she could speak the older woman beat her to the punch.

"Caitlin, I saw something or felt something rather when I saw you three together for the first time.  It looked right.  You all fit together without any effort at all.  It threw me, seeing my little girl so grown up like that.  I can admit that now.  You stood by her when I went on my tirade.  I'm glad she found someone who loves her and will stick by her no matter what because her mom seems to be slipping."

"Mom,"  Lil whispered as she pulled the woman back into her body.

"No, no Lil let me say my piece. Be good to them both that's all I can ask.  I saw that they really love you."

Catt's eyes glittered with relief.   It wasn't a glowing reception, but it was a start.   "That means so much.  I'm new at this family thing, but it feels right.  I haven't felt that in a long time, if ever."

Lil glanced from one person to another, happiness brimmed over in her eyes.  She leaned one way gracing her mom's cheek with a kiss. Then, she leaned the other way, brushing lips against Catt's.

Stu made his way back over, draping a supportive arm over his wife's shoulders.

It was a start for them all.

Long minutes later, Jean followed her daughter into the kitchen hoping to help prepare breakfast for them all.  The older woman let out a 'oof' as her daughter clobbered her with a bone crushing hug.

"Oh mom!  Do you have any idea what this means to me?  I mean  I was so prepared to live without you, but I didn't want that.  You've given me back so much today."

Jean returned the embrace as the shock slowly wore off.  What did I almost do?    "Oh, sweeheart.  I'm so sorry."

"Me too, mom."

Catt watched her go, enjoying the look of joy crossing her lover's face.  It was contagious.  She could feel the emotion bubbling inside, threatening to spill over.  She sat down in the chair and watched the swinging kitchen door until it settled.  It wasn't till the sound of rustling that she remembered that someone else was in the room.  Uh, oh never did the father thing before. 

Stu sat on the couch and brought his hands together warily.  He glanced around the new improved living room until their eyes met, and nervous smiles followed.  He cleared his throat.  "Um, how bout those Pacers?"

Catt's eyes widened.  Then, before she could help it a bark of laughter escaped.  "Is that the football team?"

Stu followed her into laughter.  "It doesn't matter neither one of them are doing too good."  He paused.  "You haven't done this before either have you?"

The exec shook her head, unable to stop the continuous chuckling.

"Well, we are a pair aren't we?"

Lil leaned against the door, peaking out of a slight crack.  The sound of laughter beckoned her, and what she saw made her heart warm.

Jean looked over her daughter's shoulder. "What is it?"

Lil's smile was so big.  She was sure it could be heard in her voice.  "Just watching things come together.  That's all."

Hope you enjoyed it.  I know it was a long time coming.  Let me know what you think.  Drop me a line at merci_nerva@hotmail.com.

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