Chapter Seven

It had taken almost the entire day but Kate had taken Laurie to every place she could think of. They had walked through almost the entire town and at this point, she was sure Laurie was familiar enough with the place that she wouldn't be in danger of being lost or putting herself in a bad situation. Kate had made a point to tell Laurie about the sketchier places. 

Eventually, Kate ran out of places to take Laurie that didn't involve exposing herself and they found themselves walking aimlessly through the park.

"Are you tired? Do you wanna go home?" Kate asks as Laurie stops to sit on a bench. It was late afternoon and they had been walking the entire time, with the exception of stopping for lunch. Kate was sure Laurie had developed an addiction to the milkshakes at the diner Lucas's mother managed.

"No, I'm good. It's nice out here." Laurie sighs, patting the space beside her.

Kate slid down next to her, close enough that their shoulders were touching. "It is."

"You know, if you had told me a year ago that I would be living here, so far from a city, I would've laughed in your face. But I've been here a few weeks now,"

Kate senses the shift in the mood and turns to face Laurie, moving her arm so it rests on the bench behind her. "And?"

"And I kinda love it." 

Kate finds herself feeling relieved at her response. One of her fears had been that Laurie wouldn't like it here. She didn't know what she would do if Laurie decided she'd had enough and decided to leave.

"Do you miss it? California, I mean. Your job." Kate asks.

"Honestly? No." Laurie shifts slightly, moving closer to the taller woman. "I mean, I love being a doctor and saving lives, but I don't think I'm ready to go back there. I moved for my sister and I didn't have anything to stay for. I went back to work a week after the accident and I just- I couldn't do it. I still can't. At least not yet."

Neither of them spoke after that. Laurie was close enough now that Kate could wrap her arm around the smaller woman and she had taken to rubbing soothing circles on her arm.

"You know, I broke that swing once," Kate says after a while, breaking the silence pointing towards a swing set a ways in front of them. She didn't like seeing Laurie upset and was determined to change her mood.

"Did you hit it with a sledgehammer?" Laurie asks, teasing.

Kate lets out a chuckle. "I deserved that, but no. My friend Connor said I couldn't swing higher than him."

"Could you?"

"I don't know, it tipped over before we could find out," Kate says, smiling as Laurie starts laughing beside her.

"I can totally picture little you flying off that thing," Laurie says, turning to face Kate.

"It was like, eight months ago." 

"Oh my god." Laurie bursts out into another round of laughter.

"They had to weld it down."

Laurie was shaking with laughter, leaning on her fully now. Her back was pressed up against Kate's side and Kate's hand had migrated down to the smaller blonde's hip.

They sat there in silence for a while before Laurie started to play with the end of Kate's shirt sleeve. She lifts the ends up a fraction and starts tracing the tattoos lining the brunette's skin. The pattern surrounding the base of her wrist resembled a cluster of trees and Laurie knew from quick glimpses that there was a detailed drawing of a full moon at the top of her forearm. 

"Do you want me to tell you what they mean?" Kate asks, enjoying how Laurie was running her fingers through the lines of the tattoo. 

Laurie shakes her head, pulling the sleeve of Kate's shirt back down, turning her face to look up at the older woman. "No."

"No?" Kate asks, confused.

"I mean, not no. Just, not yet." 

Kate nods and Laurie can sense her confusion but she wasn't about to tell Kate that she wanted to see the entire thing. She knew Kate had more than just the ones on her left arm and she wanted to see all of them. 

Asking Kate to take her shirt off in a public park probably wasn't the way to go. Of course, she wouldn't be opposed, but she'd rather it be done when they weren't in public.

Honestly, Laurie was a little surprised Kate hadn't tried to do anything but hug her or hold her hand. She had been dropping hints for a while now and the older woman remained oblivious. It wasn't as if she was being subtle. Laurie was sure Kate had caught her staring at her more than once.

"So is there anywhere else you wanna take me before we go?" Laurie asks, weaving her hand into Kate's.

Kate thought for a while before she remembered the shelter, not a block from where they were sitting. She wasn't sure how Laurie felt about animals but seeing as the blonde woman was in no rush to get home, she might as well ask. She herself wasn't a huge fan but short of going to the mall or a bar, Kate couldn't think of anything else.

"Well, that depends."

"On what?" Laurie asks, curious.

"Whether you like furry four-legged creatures. There's an animal shelter about a block from here if you wanna go." Kate watches her mate's eyes light up and had a feeling she was gonna be in that shelter for a while.

Laurie abruptly, smiling as she hears Kate grumble in light protest as she pulls away from her.

Laurie absolutely adored animals. She had always wanted a pet but her parents never got one and when she started living alone, her job didn't afford her the time to give any animal the care it needed. But now she had a lot of time on her hands and had been thinking of getting a pet since she moved. 

Laurie holds her hand out for Kate to take and pulls her up as soon as she takes it. 

"Let's go."

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