The Answer To Our Lives


AUTHOR: Rachel
EMAIL: ercarterfan@yahoo.com
CATEGORY: JC/AL
RATING: PG-13 maybe
SPOILERS: If you've seen up to the start of season 9, there's nothing new yet.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own the characters of ER. They belong to Warner Brothers, NBC and some other talented people. I am just borrowing them for a creative outlet, which is profitless.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: I haven't quite decided where this is going yet. This is the first part of many to come I hope.
SUMMARY: Carter ponders his relationship with Abby. He tries to sort out his relationship and find the answers to their lives.



Part 1:

Carter stood on the roof of the hospital. Looking up at the stars that were shinning down on Chicago. The roof was a place to escape the hectic life of the ER. He had spent many hours up here during his time at County. The solitude of the roof was a welcome relief after being so busy downstairs. They had been swamped with patients all day and he was pulling a 36-hour shift. He was missing Abby. Being close to her, spending time with her and most of all lying next to her watching her while she slept. After all this time, he still couldn't believe that they were together. What a road they had traveled. From her being with Luka and being his sponsor to them being a couple. Oh how he loved her and it felt so good to be able to openly love her. Not being afraid of pressuring her when she was with someone else.

Yet there relationship had been anything but smooth. It was filled with bumpy spots, yet she was always able to put a smile on his face when he needed one. And he had turned out to be the rock in her life now. He had no intention of leaving her out in the cold to deal with Eric and Maggie. Her brother had recently been diagnosed as bi-polar and Abby was having a hard time dealing with it. Maggie had insisted that she was able to care for him better than she ever could. They had some bond now that they were both bi-polar. When they went back to Michigan Abby told them not to bother calling her cause she was done with them. She wasn't going to get hurt by her family anymore.

Carter had meant what he said when he told her that he would always be there for her, but Abby didn't want to seem to let him in any closer than what he was now. She seemed to be holding something back from him. He wanted her to know that she could trust him. He wanted to be more than just her lover; he wanted to be her friend and confidant. To be the one that she could tell anything to with out fear, no matter what it was. But how could he get her to see this. That he wanted more from her than just company and sex.

John was lost in thought and didn't hear her come out onto the roof. Elizabeth liked the solitude that the roof gave her. She came up here when she missed Mark the most. If she needed to shed a tear or two up here no one would notice and most of all no one would ask any questions. She was surprised to see Carter standing there. She could tell that he was either lost in though or on another planet. It had been a busy day in the ER. She had been paged down there several times already for surgical consults and had ended up sending four patients up to the OR.

"Carter, you okay?" She asked him.

"Oh yeah Dr. Corday." He said, hearing her voice snapped him back into reality. Not that he wanted to be there. "I was just thinking."

"Around here this seems to be the best place to do that. I come up here a lot now." She said looking down at the ground. She hadn't expected anyone to be here.

"I used to come up here a lot. I had several talks with Lucy up here when she was my med student."

"Oh I see." Was all that Elizabeth could muster to say? She knew that Lucy's death had been very hard on Carter.

"It's okay. Are you okay? I thought that you'd be in surgery with everyone that we had to send up there today." He said to her.

"Nope, that's one of the perks of the job that Romano gave to me. I can either do all I want or pass it off to others. Right now, with all your surgery consults going upstairs, it is one of those passing off periods. Besides I am almost off anyway. I don't want to be late getting home to Ella." She explained to him.

Carter looked at her. "Did you want to be alone? I can go back down to the grind."

"It's okay Carter. It's just that I come up here for a breath of air when things get to overwhelming for me." She said.

"I can understand that. I know that it must be hard going down to the ER with Mark gone."

Elizabeth nodded her head as a tear started to fall. She wasn't going to lie to Carter. But still she hated for him or anyone to see her cry now. After all it had been over 6 months now. She shouldn't be crying on the job.

Carter put his arms around her and gave her a hug. "We all miss him. It's okay to cry still. After super surgeon mom, you're only human."

"Yeah I guess that I am." She said wiping the tears from her eyes.

"I'd better get back down their before Weaver comes looking for me." He said.

"That might not be a bad idea." Elizabeth said laughing. She knew that for Carter, Weaver was almost as bad as working with Romano.

She watched as he headed off back down off the roof toward the ER.

Carter headed back down to the ER. He was half way thru his shift. The days were getting harder to handle. And he didn't know where things were going with Abby. Some day’s things between them were really good and other days; he just didn't know where he stood with her. He knew that he loved her, but it was almost as if she didn't want him to love her. She didn't want to let him get close to her. It was almost as if she didn't want to let herself become totally open with him. He couldn't fully understand why either. He wasn't sure if it was because of what had happened with Richard, with Luca or if it was just she. For all he knew it was because she was drinking again. He knew that she had started several months ago. That she was drinking the night that Brian had assaulted her. He told her where he stood with the drinking. He didn't want to be an enabler. He didn't need to be around it either. He didn't want to be selfish, but he was still a recovering addict and he didn't want to be sucked back into that world ever again. Getting clean was the best thing that he ever did. The stabbing was the start of his downward spiral that he had worked so hard to overcome. He didn't know where this was going. He knew what he wanted, but he didn't know if she wanted it, that was the bigger question.

Carter knew that he needed to confront Abby on this and see what she really wanted. He didn't know how to get them on the same page. He didn’t know if it was even possible for them to be on the same page anymore. He wanted a family; she didn't want to have kids. She was afraid that she would pass the bi-polar on to them. He had dreams of the typical American home. White picket fence, kids in the back yard, and a dog. Could they be happy together? He hoped so. They had been together for almost three months now, ever since the Small pox scare. He had loved her for a long time though, but the opportunity for them to be together before now just never seemed to materialize. There was always something there to keep them apart. If it wasn't one thing it was another. He pushed his way into the ER. Patients were starting to stack up and he could see Weaver was on the warpath. He hated to work with her when she was this way, but then for the most part when it came to the ER that was the way that she always was. He glanced down the hallway and saw her. There Abby was talking with a young patient trying to calm them down. She smiled at him when their eyes met. He needed a reason, some sort of a sign that this was going to work. He needed her to tell him what she wanted. What he needed to do to make her happy.

"Carter!" Weaver bellowed at him.

"What Kerry?" He barked back at her.

"If you're not seeing a patient in less than 5 minutes, I am going to have you doing nothing but impactions for a week." She barked.

Good ole Kerry nothing like scaring your colleagues into working. The last thing that Carter wanted was to be stuck doing that for a week. He'd rather have his teeth pulled. He took the first chart that was on the rack and headed down the hall. He stopped next to Abby to talk with her for just a second.

"Do you have a minute?” He said looking at her.

"I'll be right back Jeremy." She said to the young man sitting on the gurney. "Yeah. I do what is it?"

"What time are you off?" He asked.

"In an hour." She said.

"I'm off at seven. Do you mind if I stop by?"

"No that's fine." She said, "but I really need to get back to my patient if you don't mind."

"I'll talk to you later." He said walking off. He didn't know what to make of what she had just said to him. She was distant, but he had also pulled her away from a patient. She was so hard to read at times, so different from him. Carter was an open book. He had always worn his emotions on his sleeve and wasn't afraid to show them at anytime. She seemed to keep everything bottled up inside of her. He thought that she might be a time bomb waiting to go off. She was his tornado in the Chaos theory. There was no denying that. She always had been. It was almost as if Murphy himself was plotting against them. Oh well off to busy himself with the endless stream of patients that was life at county.

 

 

Part 2:

He was finally off at last. He was beginning to think that the shift would never end. Everyone and their dog must have come into the ER tonight. He had no idea that tonight was going to be a full moon. He wanted to get over to Abby’s and curl up on the couch for a little while, to feel her next to him. Right now any place was better than staying here. He was numb from the head down. The day had worn on him like few others had. He didn’t know if it was just because he was pre-occupied with Abby and what was going on between them, or if there was something else bothering him. He was pretty sure that it was Abby and their relationship. Tonight he was going to get the answers that he desperately needed. He didn’t want to put an ultimatum on the table, but if need be he would. She had to talk to him, she couldn’t go on being silent for too much longer. He didn’t want to see her self destruct. But he had told her before, on the night that they had the fight over her drinking, that he was just going to sit back and wait for the train wreck. He was hoping that it wasn’t coming soon. That she was telling him the truth and that everything was under control. He hadn’t seen her drink in a long time, but that had been to many things in the past and couldn’t take anymore from her. He needed her to give him one good reason why he should stick around and ride her roller coaster. That was it, he loved her and there was no doubting that. It was ultimately up to her to help him make things right and get them to start everything anew and in the right direction. A direction that they could both handle.

He got off the EL and headed over to her apartment. There was a knot in his stomach. He didn’t want to be doing this. He didn’t like the way that he was feeling but this needed to be done. He had to confront her and get the answers that he thought that he needed to hear. She had to talk to him, he needed her to prove that she wanted this to work. He had to find a way to get her to talk to him, to open up to him. To understand what he needed from her. Right now what he needed was more than she had been willing to give. Come on Abby, please be willing to do this for me, to do this for us. I don’t want to walk out on you. I don’t want to have to make that decision.

He walked up to her door and used his key to get in. She was sleeping on the couch, obviously she had the same kind of day that he had. The ER just seemed to drain it out of you on certain days. There was no getting around that. He stood by the door for a minute watching her sleep. To him, she was the most beautiful person on the face of the planet. She was so peaceful under the blanket, stretched out on the couch. He watched her breathing. He could tell that her sleep wasn’t as peaceful as it should be. He sat down on the end of the couch debating on whether or not he should wake her up. When she opened her eyes a little.

“Hi there, how long have you been sitting there staring at me?” She asked.

“I just got here. I was trying not to wake you up.” He said looked at her.

“What time is it?” She asked.

“I got off late tonight. The ER got slammed and I was stuck there. It’s after 11.” He said.

“Oh I am glad that I got out of there when I did then. My day was long enough as is. I think that everyone and their dog decided that the needed to come to County today.” She said with a half smile on her face.

“I was thinking that to as I was walking to the EL.” He told her, “great minds must think alike.”

“Is there any reason that you stopped by tonight.” She asked.

“Other than for your beautiful company.”

“Yeah other than that.” Abby said turning to place her head on his chest. "You mentioned earlier that we needed to talk. Is something wrong? Or is this about you going away with Doctors with out borders?"

“Yeah there is, and no I still haven't decided if I am going to take Luka up on the offer and go with them.” Carter said, pausing for a minute. He knew that it was either now or never to let her know what he needed to talk about. He would prefer that he would never have to do this, but maybe just maybe he could convince her to talk to him and with him, he needed her to help him to make this relationship work. She had to want that didn’t she?

"I love you. You know that don't you?" He said looking at her with an intensity in his brown eyes that she had never seen before.

"Of course I know that Carter." She said, "why wouldn't I. It's not like you go around hiding it. I love you too."

"Do you trust me?" He asked knowing that he was opening up Pandora's box now. There was no going back. He had to take this all the way thru.

She looked at him wondering where this was going, "of course I trust you. Carter what are you trying to get at? You're are acting really weird tonight."

Carter watched Abby get up off the couch and take a defensive posture at the end of the couch.

"I'll be honest with you Abby. I need to know where we stand? I trust you. I am here for you any time you need me, but it seems that no matter what happens you turn away from me, you try to deal with everything on your own and you never want to let me in to help. You don't even seem to want to let me be the shoulder for you to cry on, let alone the shoulder for you to lean on when things get rough." He said looking at her watching her reaction.

"I love you and of course I trust you. Why wouldn't I? You have never given me a reason not to trust you. So what if I don't deal with things the way that you do. I don't feel like talking about everything that is bugging me." She said.

"Abby you don't talk to me about anything. That's the point. You won't talk to me about anything. You didn't want me coming home from my vacation when Eric disappeared, you push me away. Things get rough and you want me to turn my back and pretend nothing is going on. I don't want to sit back and watch you deal with what goes on. It kills me to see you hurting and yet you want me to do nothing. I want you to stop playing games with me. Why don't you want to let me in?"

Silence filled the room. There was a large amount of tension and both of them could feel it. Things were coming to a head and she was either going to talk to him or push him further away.

"I don't deal with things the way that you do. I didn't grow up the way that you did."

Carter cut her off, "Stop Abby, just stop you are not the only one who didn't grow up in a perfect family. Every family has their problems, mine was perfect by no means."

"Yeah Carter I know, but please understand that I am not pushing you away. I just prefer to deal with things on my own. You don't have to get involved in every little thing that goes on with my family."

"Don't you understand me, I want to be involved that's what I am here for. I want to be in your life, not just parts of it either, or when you feel it's convenient for me to be there either. What happens to you, with you, it affects me. I don’t like seeing you deal with things with a bottle of booze.” Carter was getting angry with her and he didn’t like that.

“I don’t deal with everything with alcohol Carter,” She was getting even more defensive with him. “Do you have to bring that into everything. Whenever something happens, you see it fit to remind me that I was an alcoholic. You don’t see me bringing up your drug problem when things get bad.”

“I don’t run to it.” He said turning away from her. It didn’t know if he was trying to put up a wall between them or hide the tears that were forming in his eyes. He wasn’t getting anywhere with her. “Why do you feel that you can’t talk to me Abby?”

“Carter, I do talk to you. I don’t know why you are making me hash this out with you. There’s nothing wrong with things between us. Let it go.” She said.

“I can’t Abby, I can’t let it go. I wish I could but I need you to feel that you can open up to me, not take the burden of everything that is going on yourself.”

“John, I am happy with you. I am happier than I have been in a long time. We have a good relationship, there’s nothing wrong between us, please just leave things the way that they are.”

“I can’t Abby, really I want this to be a two way street and I am stuck traveling up a one-way. I love you and I want to be with you, but I want you to trust me enough to be able to open up to me when things are going bad. Right now you just don’t seem to be able to do that.” He turned and headed toward the door. “I can’t do this anymore.”

Carter started to head out the door.

“Don’t do this. Don’t walk away from me.” She said.

“Abby you’ve left me no choice.” And with that he stepped out into the night.

Carter stood on the street for a minute debating what he should do with the debacle now. That hadn’t gone the way that he had planned. He wanted so badly to be with Abby and the pain that was tearing thru his heart right now was almost unbearable. He had waited for her for years and now he had just walked out on the woman he loved. He wasn’t sure what was going to happen next would Abby still know that he loved her. He didn’t leave because he didn’t love her, he left because he wanted something that she was not willing to give. The more he thought about it the greater his heart ached. He wanted her to need him the same way that he needed her. The tears burned his cheek as they began to fall from his eyes. What he didn’t know was that Abby was looking out the window down to the street where he was standing with her own tears falling freely.

Part Three:

Carter rolled over in his own bed, and swung at the annoyance of the alarm clock. It was disturbing his sleep. Sleep that had taken way to long to reach him after he had gotten home last night. He couldn’t stop thinking about Abby and what he had just done. The pain was still fresh in his mind and was worsened by the lack of sleep.

Work, the alarm was blaring at him because he had to work today. He was needed in the ER today. He looked at the clock, it was 6 am. He was on at 7. There was just enough time to take a shower before he had to walk out the door. It was going to take him a little longer to get there today because he wasn’t nearly as close to the hospital as Abby’s apartment was. He staggered toward the shower. The smell of fresh coffee coming from the kitchen. Thank god for automatic coffee makers. At least he could have real coffee before getting to work and having to drink the sludge that they had there.

He let the water flow over his body. It soothed him a little as the heat warmed him. He couldn’t get his mind off last night. No matter how hard he tried not to think about it, it was still there eating at him. He climbed out and threw on his clothes. He couldn’t remember if she was working today or not. Either way Carter was just going to have to try to make it thru the day at County.

He drove his jeep to work, something that he hadn’t done in a long time. It just didn’t make sense to drive when he was at Abby’s since she was so close to the EL and there was a station right next to the hospital. He walked thru the doors of the ambulance bay.

“Good morning Dr. Carter.” Jerry said from behind the desk.

“Morning Jerry.” He said as he headed toward the doctors lounge. He threw his stuff in a locker and headed back out to the admit desk.

“What we got going on this morning.” he said glancing at the board.

“Nothing much, it’s been pretty quiet. Things really slowed down after you left last night.” He told him. “Dr. Lewis is here, she is sleeping in Exam 3.”

“Great.” Carter said looking at the rack. He picked up a chart and headed off to start his day. There she was standing in the drug lockup. He wondered if she was as miserable as he was. She saw him and the look that he received made the hair on his arms crawl. If looks could kill he would be dead. But he knew that he had done what she had forced him too. All he was asking her to do was talk to him, not hide things from him and she just wasn’t willing or ready to do that. Carter wasn’t sure how long he would wait in the wings for her to decide if she was going to be able to that.

Dr. Lewis walked up. “What is going on between you and Abby?”

“Susan what makes you think anything is going on between us.”

“That look she just gave you, that and she wasn’t all that happy this morning. You can tell that something is going on both of you are not yourselves today. So are you going to tell me what is going on or not?”

“Nothing is going on.” Carter said and right now that was the truth there was nothing going on between them.

“What did you guys have a fight and just haven’t had a chance to make up?”

“There’s no making up from this one Susan.” Carter said walking off down the hall to look at the patient who’s chart he just happen to be holding.

He didn't want to explain to anyone what was going on between him and Abby. No one needed to know, in his opinion. What they did was between the two of them. Carter tried his entire shift to avoid Abby and it was working until he needed to get meds. She was standing in there mixing up an IV bag. Carter wanted to turn and wait until she moved on but it needed to be done.

She saw him and started to speak, "are you avoiding me?"

"No, just been busy." Carter was a lousy liar.

"Liar. Carter you never could tell a decent lie." She said looking at him, "are we done speaking to each other for good."

"You know where I stand Abby and what I want." He said giving her the cold shoulder, "have you changed your mind."

"Carter I don't know what you want from me. You say you want me to talk to you more, that I'm not open enough for you, but yet you're the one who left last night not me." She said.

"I left because you weren't talking to me. You were giving me the run around for all the reason that you won't open up to me. Abby nothing has changed. I'm not going to get into an argument here at work. Not now." He said.

"Well then, just when are we supposed to work this out if you're not going to talk to me." She said.

"No, that's not what I said, not here." He was getting frustrated and had patients to see right now. "I don't have time right now."

"Well then, come over tonight." She said.

"Has anything changed Abby?" He said.

"No." She said, "I love you and I want us to work this out."

"I love you too, but this is something that you need to work out. You have to let yourself trust me."

He walked off. He wasn't going to get into it anymore with her in the ER. That was the last place that he wanted a fight with her. As he was heading into an exam room he noticed that Susan was standing in the drug lock up talking to Abby. He was sure that they were talking about them.

Carter rode home from the ER. He couldn't get his mind off Abby. He loved her damn it why couldn't she see that. Why couldn't see just open up and talk to him, what made that request so horrible that she couldn't bring herself to do it. He didn't know what to do. It seemed as if they were now at an impasse and he was going to have to wait for Abby to come to a decision as to what she wanted.

 

Part 4

Carter walked into his apartment. He hadn’t been there for several days and there was very little to eat. He realized that he had been spending most of his time over at Abby’s. Now it looked like he was going to be spending more time here than over there. Maybe now would be a good time to make a decision about going off with Doctors with out Boarders. He wouldn’t have to worry about what Abby would do with him gone. It would also give her a chance to figure out what she wanted with out having to see him every day. It might also give him a chance to reflect on what he wanted. He was sure that Kerry would give him the time off to do this since his vacation had been cut short by Eric’s disappearance. Although he would be gone longer than just a few days.

He looked at the manila envelope sitting on his kitchen table. It had the information in it about going on a mission. He walked over and picked it up. Carefully taking the contents out, he flopped down on the couch and started to read over the material to see just what he would be doing if or rather when he went. His mind had been made up. He would be taking a short trip to help where medical attention was needed the most. There was nothing to keep him tied down in Chicago now. His family could deal with him being gone for awhile.

Carter was starting to drift off to sleep when he heard the phone ring. He debated answering it. "Let the machine get it," he thought to himself. There was really no one that he wanted to talk to tonight anyway. He had said all that he had to say to Abby earlier today.

“John, it’s Abby, I know you’re home please pick up.” Abby’s voice said over the machine.

John just sat there, he wanted to run to the machine and pick up the phone but he knew that would be a mistake. What could she have to say to him. There was nothing that was going to change his mind about where they stood. She couldn't have made her decision that fast. Changing wasn't something that she could do overnight.

“John, I need to talk to you, come on please pick up.” Her voice sounded almost desperate.

John sat there glued to the couch he was forcing himself not to get up and run to the phone.

“John when you get this would you please call me. I know that you think that I can’t open up to you, and that I am hiding things that I should share with you. But this is really important.” She said.

John heard the sound of her hanging up the phone. He wasn’t sure what he should do. A voice in his heart told him to call her back right away, but the voice in his head told him to wait. What could be so important that she would leave a message like that on his machine.

He sat on the couch, pondering what to do. Should he call her back or let it go. She did call him so maybe he should call her back, it could be something important, or it could be that she was trying to get him to talk to her about something else. Changing the subject was something she could do well, but he had gotten tired of the whole poor Abby routine. She seemed to love misery all by herself, letting those who cared about her was something that Abby just didn't do. John heard his pager begin to beep. What could be going on at county that needed his attention right away. Surely they couldn't be swamped and in need of another doctor already. He had just put in twelve hours there and wasn't ready to go back he wanted some down time. He got up and walked over and picked up the pager. The number said 911. That was his cue to get back over there. They didn't use 911 unless it was absolutely necessary. Being the chief resident sometimes had its downside. He could ever get away from there fully. He was once told, the longer you stay, the longer you stay. It was so true. The ER had a way of sucking you in and never letting you go. He grabbed his coat and headed back out the door. He got in his jeep and headed toward the ER. Things were a nightmare when he got there. There had been an accident at a high school. People were piling up everywhere. Some bleachers had collapsed at a football game and at least 50 people had been seriously injured when they were trapped under them and the majority of them were coming into county. He threw his bag into his locker, grabbed his stethoscope, lab coat, and dug in treating those who were injured the worst. He bumped into Susan.

"Carter, sorry that you got called back in here, but we are getting buried. We had to call in extra help for this tonight. There was no way that Kovach, Weaver and Chen could have handled this all themselves." She said wheeling a gurney into an trauma room.

"No problem." He said following her in, "on my count one, two, three."

They moved the patient from the paramedics gurney on to a hospital one. Carter listened as the paramedic rambled off a report to them and began working the girl over.

"Susan go, I've got this." He said as he listened to the girl's chest. "She's stable. Really I got this. I'm sure that there are more that need help."

Susan walked out of the trauma room as Carter worked to make sure the girl made it. He had Gallant and Pratt in there helping him. He couldn't see the need to keep another doc tied up. The three of them could handle it. He saw Kerry peek her head in.

"What you got in here Carter." Kerry asked.

"Multiple fractures, LOC at scene, possible spleen fracture." He replied.

"Can you move her out of here, we have three more coming in. Two of them are critical."

"Yeah Kerry." He said turning to his med student, "Gallant go with her up to CT we'll move her into a exam room when she gets back down. Unless she needs to go to surgery." Carter barked at his med student. "Pratt page surgery and let Corday know what we have coming up. Then go find Dr. Lewis and see if she needs anything."

Carter followed Kerry out to the ambulance bay as Gallant headed up to the CT scanner with the young girl. There was nothing else that Carter could do for her until they knew what the CT showed.

"Sorry about calling you in for this but we were getting overwhelmed." She said.

"Understandable Kerry. Don't worry about it." He said.

"Is everything okay with you and Abby. I noticed that there was some tension between you two earlier today?" She asked making small talk while they waited for the ambulance to get there.

"Just a lover's quarrel Kerry nothing more than that." He replied.

"Okay just so that you know, if you need anyone to talk to, I'm here for you. Not as your boss, but as a friend." She said smiling up at him.

He knew that Kerry cared about him as a friend. She had shown that during his rehab. She might have been hard on him, but Carter now knew that was only for his own good. She didn't want to see him throw away his career. She thought that he was a good doctor.

"Thanks Kerry, but I think that we can work this one out on our own." He said as the ambulance pulled into the bay.

Carter threw open the back door, "what we got?"

"Found him under the bleachers at the bottom of the pile. Intubated him at the scene. Good breath sounds on both sides. BP 90/60 pulse is 120. Started a 14 right arm bolus on the way in." The paramedic rattled off. John and Kerry headed into the trauma room that he had just left.

"On my count, one, two, three." Carter said as they moved him onto a hospital gurney and dug in treating the young man.

After they got the boy stable and headed up to CT, John walked out to the admit desk. It was two in the morning now and he was completely exhausted. He had to be back for his shift in five hours. That wasn't going to give him much time to go home and get sleep, if he even could get sleep. He decided that he would just crash in the hospital until he was on again.

"Chen," He called as he saw her standing there at the admit desk.

"What John." She answered.

"Are you on the rest of the night?" He asked.

"Yeah, I'm off at seven."

"Could you do me a favor." He asked.

"What do you need."

"I'll be sleeping in my office could you wake me up at shift change please. I am on in the morning at seven, but there really isn't enough time to go home and get any kind of good decent sleep so I am going to just crash at the office." He said laughing.

"Not a problem. Thanks for coming in tonight to bail us out." She said, "goodnight."

"Thanks." John said taking a piece of paper he had written on and headed down to what used to be the old pediatrics unit. He plastered the sign on the door. "Working in the office, don't disturb" the sign said. He stretched out on a gurney and tried to get some sleep it was turning out to be a long 24 hours indeed.





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