Disclaimer One: There aren't any. These characters belong to me and me alone.

Disclaimer Two: There is a little angst, a little fear, a little language, some kissing, and lots of love in this one. I'd say it's about PG-13.

This story is a sort of peak into the lives of Catt and Lil from the R' Place Series. I'm not saying that they are going to have their own series as of yet, but they may in the future. I just thought you might like to know what's going on with them, and how they are feeling after the events of Under Her Spell. Hope you enjoy this little foray into their hearts and minds. Because at the start of a true relationship, we all feel that fear, that anticipation, that need to run away and run to her at the same time. Enjoy.

Dedication: This one is for you Kitten.

The Fear Inside

By

Minerva



**************
They stood outside the red brick apartment building while Lil juggled the keys, trying to find the right one. Puffs of white smoke filled the entryway as the occupants breathed the brisk late night air. There was only one who was oblivious to the tension and the nervousness radiating. She was coddled and fast asleep in the tall blonde's arms.

Lil swallowed and willed her shaking, nerveless fingers to obey her command. They were here. Their new home. She peaked discreetly over her shoulder at the blonde. 'She's given up everything for me. All the luxuries, only to live with me in a Spartan existence. Could she take it? Losing it all to be with me? Or would she just someday leave without saying a word?' A vice like pain gripped the brunette's heart, knocking the wind from her chest. The keys fell with a muffled plink, near the luggage.

"Dammit!" She said cursing her clumsiness and the uncontrollable feelings.

The younger woman bent down quickly to fish the key from between the bags. So much had happened. The brunette quivered on the inside, remembering the cryptic message over the radio waves. . . all presumed dead. And now she was here. Moving in. Nothing was asked. Nothing was planned. It all happened in one giant leap. She resisted the urge to swear again. Flipping long, curly tresses over her shoulder, she tried the keys again.

'Yes, I'm relieved that she's here, alive, breathing. . ." Where the pain gripped her heart minutes before, fear permeated it, making it thud. Her hands shook harder. They had skipped quite a few steps in this relationship. She was sure of it, and that combined with the fact that there was a lack of communication between them scared her. 'Sometimes I have no idea what goes on under that blonde hair or behind those eyes. Would she tell me if she tired of tending to the baby? It she needed space? If she needed more. . . anything? Or would she retreat into herself like I have seen her do?' There were so many fucking questions that she was afraid to ask and get answered. Yet, here they were moving in together, sleeping together, waking up together every night and every morning. With a snap of a finger, it could end in devastation. In desolation. In unbelievable pain.

Finally, the correct key slid home with a click. The door opened to their new lives. She blinked, blind in the darkness. Clicking on the light, she could see again.

********
Catt hugged the toddler closer to her body for warmth, for comfort, for security. Gray eyes skittered around the bleak cold outside then at the darkness inside. Her heart rammed against her ribcage, and she tried to desperately hide the increased cadence of her breathing. Prickly sweat ran down her back under the layers of clothing, and she wanted to whimper at the sinewy shivers that crept down her back in accompaniment. The blonde licked her lips and swallowed. Her mouth full of cotton wool. She recognized the symptoms to the reoccurring disease she'd had for years. Fear. Physically and mentally debilitating fear. Her mind was a jumbled mass of reasons to flee. 'She's too young. I don't know how to take care of a kid. Her parents would never accept me. I'll find some way to screw it up. Run. Run now! Tell her!'

The older woman had felt this before, been through this a few days ago. Hoping the fear had been conquered, simply by getting off that plane and coming back. She was wrong. Straight white teeth bit down hard on her bottom lip to stop the impending scream. 'I've given up everything, my career. Everything. To be a part of something that could dissolve like sugar in water. Is this worth it? Is she worth it?' Questions. There were so many unknowns. Still, the tall blonde followed her lover into the darkness. Maybe illumination would come.

Lil sat the keys on the nearby table and scanned the small living room, hoping it was clean. Somewhat satisfied, she turned to her lover and said softly, "Well, we're here. Welcome to my place."

Not hearing her, Catt looked around with wary eyes, taking in the two piece gray/black striped living room set with black slip covers thrown over the back and the matching coffee table with complimentary in tables. All trimmed in black. Heavy gray lamps illuminated the beige walls littered with knick-knacks and posters in frames. It looked lived in. Homey. Welcoming. Not at all what she was used to in her sterily decorated condo. Continuing to look around, she felt dark blue boring into her.

'She's said something, and I missed it.' Catt pulled Jamie closer. Deep blue eyes stared back at her glowing with hurt.

"Uhm, I said welcome," Lil said a little louder.

"Oh, it's nice. Feels comfortable."

She tried to smile but failed miserably when facial muscles refused to lift on both sides. 'Shit, messing up already.'

Lil sucked in a breath, 'She doesn't like it. She's just placating me.' In an automatic defense, she hid the hurt. Her psyche starting early in building a wall it assumed was needed. That same part of her subconscious pushed for a subject change. "I'll take her. She needs to be put to bed."

Panic mingled with the fear, making the blonde's legs decidedly wobbly. The little girl had made her feel warm and safe for some inexplicable reason, and she didn't want to give her up just yet.

"No!"

It came out harsher than she intended. She looked up, waiting to see the flash of pain. It never came. "Uh, sorry. Just tell me where, and I'll do it."

"Uhm, okay, it's right through there." Her voice sounded lack luster even to her own ears, as she pointed to the unlit hallway past the small kitchen.

Catt disappeared into the dimly lit hallway. Walking into the open door of the bedroom, she flicked on a light further inside the room. Looking around, the gray eyes spied the toddler's bed equipped with bars. Lifting them up, the she lay Jamie down gently, and looked down at the child with envy. The sleep of the innocent. Guiltless and without responsibility. She wiped a stray curl off the small forehead. "Your mother and I have a lot of talking to do little one, an awful lot." Removing her coat, she continued to stare down at the child, knowing right then that the little girl already held a special place in her heart just like her mother.

These feelings sparked fire making her want to fight, to win. 'What was it Tara asked me? Is she your life now?' Closing her eyes, she answered the question once again. "Oh God, yes." Her life had never been so full or felt so complete. A different kind of fear, just as debilitating, ceased her, an unfamiliar one. The fear of losing what she loved most. A wave of pain made the blonde unsteady on her feet. She sat down on the queen-size bed, trying to control her suddenly hampered breathing. Tears sprang to her eyes, and they were wiped away by the backs of the older woman's hands, making room for more. Another wave of pain made her cry out softly. She felt it, a gaping wound in her chest. An empty hole only filled by the brunette in the other room. Shaking her head vehemently, she tried to alleviate both forms of fear. Something. Anything that made her feel this much must be worth fighting for, sacrificing for, changing for.

**********
Having shed her coat, Lil sat sprawled on the couch and deep in thought. ' I'm scared, but I love her. I've got to make this work. I know this is all new to her, loving me, now living with me, but it is to me too. If we're feeling the same things, why can't we talk about it? I need to know what she's thinking and feeling for both our sakes. I should be able to approach her and talk about this, but God help me, it's so hard.'

Feeling frustrated, Lil jumped up pacing around the living room and noticing the message light blinking on the answering machine. She pushed the button, waiting for the tape to rewind.

"Hey sis, call us when you get home, kay?" There was a slight muffle. "T says kiss lil bit for her and tell her she's missed."

The brunette smiled then felt it fall slightly. She hated leaving after what had happened to Gab, but there was school. The younger woman saw it in her sister's eyes. She had killed a man, and she was far from okay. Neither was T. 'God, I hope they'll be alright. Their mother wanted her to come home, but both Gab and T convinced her that it would be better not to run away. So, they agreed that she would come to Terre Haute, next week to stay for awhile. That alone should be interesting. She thought.

Thinking of her own situation, she knew her parents would be upset because she didn't stop by, but it was entirely too late. Besides what was she going to say? "Mom here's Jamie's new mother?" Sitting down again, the brunette tapped her feet against the carpeted floor. Waiting. Restless.

Having left the bedroom long minutes ago, Catt leaned her lanky body against the wall. Her head rested against the beige plaster, while her foot tapped against it. She blew a honey strand from her eyes. "I have to go in there, but what do I say?' Just tell her what you feel, and take it from there, a little voice said. She pushed off the wall, straightening her tall frame, and slowly headed into the living room, into the light.

Somehow she sensed the blonde’s presence and looked up. Gray and blue clashed, sending secret messages of confusion, fear, and doubt. The things they could not or would not voice as of yet. Catt made her way to the couch and sat down a few inches from her lover. Lil smiled as the familiar scent of Chanel enveloped her.

"Hey," she simply said.

After a brief pause, the greeting was returned. "Hey yourself. Uh, Jamie barely woke when I put her to bed."

"Mmm, thanks again."

The silence strained between them, making nerves raw and fears multiply. Lil wiped her sweaty hands on the fabric of her jeans. Someone had to say something. They hadn’t reached the point where silences were cherished. Yet.

"Uhm, C-Catt can we talk?"

The blonde held her breath. ‘This is it.’ Scooting a little closer, she answered, "Yeah, I think we need to."

Then nothing but breathing pierced the quiet. Lil rubbed her hands on her legs once more, maybe fishing for a little courage. Somewhere she got it.

"I know you gave up a lot to be with me. I wanna know if that was what you wanted to do?" She shook her head not fully understanding her own words. "God, that didn’t sound right. Uh, are you here because you want to be or because it’s what I wanted?" She asked softly, while licking the nervous sweat from her upper lip.

Catt was stunned not, expecting to hear that line of question. ‘I thought she knew.’ "How can you ask me that?" Her voice was high and accusing.

Soft blue eyes stared back at her with conviction. "Because, I don’t know for sure."

Startled gray eyes widened. ‘Yes." She said hoarsely. "Of course I want to be here."

"You want to stay with me, living like this, raising a child and dealing with my family?" Courage and need to save the relationship spurned her on. ‘I need to know.’

The blonde held her hands up totally unprepared for the bombardment. "Whoa, whoa, where is all of this coming from? You sound so unsure and insecure about us."

Lil jumped up, suddenly filled with energy. "I am dammit! Aren’t you? Look at me Catt!" Bending down on her knees, she framed the confused face with her hands, turning gray into blue. "Look at me. I’m scared to death. Can’t you see it?! I don’t want to lose you baby. That scares me even more."

The older woman flinched. It felt strange to hear her own fears voiced for the first time. It was a type of release. She closed her eyes, hoping to gain some kind of steady ground. When she opened them again, it was to tears dripped from blue eyes onto her own face.

"Don’t leave me. Please don’t."

Something tore inside Catt upon hearing the entreaty mixed with such emotion. Something tore then fell. It was the last wall around her heart, her soul. Covering small wrists with her larger hands, she brought shaking fingers to her mouth, kissing each one with reverence. Like an erupting volcano, emotion bubbled through her, making her gasp and stormy gray water.

"Shhh, it’s okay. Shhh."

After quiet moments of comforting sounds, a sob wrenched from her red lips. "Oh God, Lil I’m so scared. So scared of so many things. I’m afraid of loving you too much, losing me, not being enough. It’s so much." Lil cradled the older woman’s slumped body in her arms as mutual tears flowed.

Long after the rived dried, they talked about fears, doubts, needs and choices. Hours into the night, the living room was sometimes filled with quiet laughter but more times than not it was tears. Just when the sky lighted with waking colors of red and orange, they still sat, huddled on the couch. Lil straddled the slim thighs of her lover, giving them room to hold each other. She lovingly pushed back blonde bangs, peering into expressive gray. The silence wasn’t tense, but neither was it comfortable. It existed somewhere in between. Eyes that had communicated wariness and fear before, held a higher grade of confidence in love.

Finally, the silence was broken. "I could never leave you. I’ll fight as long as there’s something here," she pointed to her heart.

Small fingers traced red, full lips, fascinated that such words could fall from them. The brunette’s breath hitched as she read the truth in pale eyes and quivering lips. A truth she wanted to share physically. Leaning in, lips touched hesitantly, tentatively, and softly like a whispered promise. Then they clung moistly like a promise kept. Murmured sighs escaped as bodies meshed closer, gravitating toward heat. The kiss ended with another promise.

"Catt, will we be okay?"

"Only if we work on it. Only then."


What can I say? I get mushy sometimes, so why not share it with all of yall? Tell me what you think because I was gracious enough to give so please give in return. That and I know where you live!—smirks. Drop me a line at Minerva

Copyrightę Minerva 2000

More from R’ Place coming soon.


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