Broken Beyond Repair
SPOILERS: Abby's abortion, Carter's brother Bobby, Carter's drug problem...
ARCHIVE: Please please please email me!
DISCLAIMER: These are not my characters; they belong to NBC and Warner Bros. I wish they were mine, but their not. I'll have to deal with it...
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Yeah, this fic was started because of Keri… I needed something to keep her wondering while she kept me wondering about the whole Carter/Abby/Luka/Susan road trip. LOL Thanks tons Abby! Love ya!!! And other thanks are always due to Heather because if it wasn't for her and her wonderful site, I doubt I would even feel like typing all these up and posting... Thanks!! Also, this is dedicated to my dog, Tara, who died on Tuesday June 24th, 2003… RIP
SUMMARY: Abby reveals a secret to Carter with earth shattering results.
Carter walked into the dark apartment silently, hoping he wouldn't wake her. But unfortunately he did. She stood at the bedroom door, wiping the sleep from her eyes. "Morning sunshine!" She looked up at him with scorn in her eyes. "Carter! For Heaven's sake! It's 12:25 in the morning!" He saw she could barely stand up on her own. She had just worked a 36-hour shift, covering Lydia then Chuny. He walked over to her, and picked her up. She wrapped her hands around his neck, and dug her head into his chest. He held her under her knees and massaged the small of her back with his other arm. He walked back into the kitchen and turned off the kettle he had set for tea, which would turn into coffee very soon. He felt a nudge around his neck, and her hands slipping away from him. He put her down and heard the slapping of her bare feet against the tile. He watched her walk over to the radio and turn it on. He heard the familiar song play quietly through the speakers. "... I'll be your dream, I'll be your wish, I'll be your fantasy... I'll be your hope, I'll be your love, be everything that you need..." He looked at her. That was the exact way he felt about her. He loved her. She wasn't perfect, but she was his. That's the only thing he needed. She walked towards him, and wrapped her hands back around his neck. His hands found the most perfect spot on her hips and they danced. In the middle of Abby's kitchen. In the middle of the night. With every step they molded closer to each other until Abby was standing so close to him she could practically feel his heart beating. They didn't need words. Only to be close. This was his best friend. His angel. His guardian angel. Without her he wouldn't have been alive.
He had chickened out before, but now he was sure. Not a doubt was left in his mind. He had been thinking of doing it soon. The ring was in his right pocket. He heard the song end. She let go of him, nodded towards the bedroom. Exhaustion screamed from her face. "Abby, wait." She turned around, concern evident in her light brown eyes. He held the ring in his hand, toying with it. "Abby, I love you. I can't live without you. I want to wake up every morning with you and fall asleep next to you every night. You are the best thing that ever happened to me. You are the reason I am alive today." He paused. Tears were forming in her eyes. "I want to be with you forever. Grow old together. Raise our gorgeous children together. Please, Abby, will you marry me?" He looked at her face. Tears began to stream down it. He moved his hand to wipe them away, but she ducked her head instead. "I'm sorry, John, I can't." He watched her run out of the kitchen, grab her shoes and coat, and dash out the door. He heard her sobs all the way down the stairs. He didn't even realize his own tears until he felt them sliding down his cheeks onto his shirt. "Why, Abby, Why!?"
She ran down the stairs, almost falling over her own two feet. How was she supposed to tell him?! She was so scared he would leave her. Why had she decided to do it? She had been young and naive. Sick and tired of dealing with her mother. She didn't want to deal with it. The disease. She might not be Bipolar but what if she held the gene? It would destroy her whole life completely. She couldn't have done that to Richard. Their relationship had been falling apart. All they needed was a baby to make it official hell. So she did it. She aborted it. She was terrified. That Richard would find out. That she wouldn't survive it. That it would haunt it for the rest of her life. And it would. It still did. She collapsed on the steps leading down to the beach. The moon was full, stars lighting up the sky. A chilled wind blew from the North, that only made her realize she was in her PJ's, in the middle of November in Chicago. She wept silently, watching the waves lap along the shore. She sat there, by herself, for what seemed like forever.
Carter couldn't sleep. He had a shift the next morning at 7:00, but couldn't even think of sleeping. He watched the clock tick away minutes, then hours. Millions of possible scenarios ran through his head. Why had she left? Where was she? What if she was drinking? What if she passed out? What if she didn't love him? What if she was with Luka? He didn't know what to think anymore. The clock hit 4:00 am. A couple more minutes and the sun would begin to rise. And not an ounce of sleep. He walked into the bedroom and grabbed a pair of sweatpants and an old shirt. He found his running shoes in the back of the closet and put those on too. He took a jacket just in case and began to stretch. He needed to do something to get his mind off her. Running was relaxing. He headed out the door. He soon broke out into a fast run on Lake Shore Drive. He ran until his chest hurt, his heart couldn't pump any more blood through his body. He began to walk. Through the still dim lights he noticed a body, curled up in the shadows. He knew who it was. He quickly took off his jacket, wrapped it around her arms. Her eyes purposely avoided contact. He sat down next to her. They sat together. In silence.
Her whole body was numb. She was frozen, probably on the verge of catching pneumonia. She didn't care. She wanted to die. For putting him through everything. He didn't deserve her. She was a worthless, selfish person. But he had come. She sat down next to her, not saying a word. The tension in the air was completely evident. She didn't want to explain. He didn't want to not hear her explanation. She wondered who would say the first words. He did. "Abby... I thought..." She couldn't deal with this game. "I had an abortion." It came out of her mouth like any other words. She hadn't meant for it to.
Carter was in shock. When? How? More importantly, how could she? When was she even pregnant? He knew they went through a tough time during the time he was in Kisangani. Nothing made sense. "Why? Abby?" His voice clearly began to shake. He noticed she couldn't look at him. "Because everything was falling apart. We stopped talking. He worked all the time. I studied and pulled shifts to pay for everything. We weren't ready. I wasn't. I was so afraid." Carter looked at her. "He?" She finally looked back at him. "Richard." A stone dropped from his heart. "Oh Abby! It doesn't matter to me. We can work through it." He looked at her face. She still had the look of pure fear on her face. "No Carter, There's more. There were complications. The doctor doing it was nervous. Some types of protests were going on. She scarred the womb and I almost bled to death. Best part is: I can't have children. Ever." He looked for something to say, but there was nothing he could say to make the situation better. "Yeah John. I thought that way too. I can't give you heir. I'm broken beyond repair. You need someone who's worthy." He watched her begin to get up. "I'll stay with Susan until I can find a new apartment. See you around Dr. Carter." She walked away. He let her walk away. What had just happened?
He couldn't move. As much as his mind willed him to go, his body declined the offer. So he sat there. The sun began to rise, encompassing the "city that never sleeps" in a light golden tint. He thought about what had happened. Abby had an abortion. Years before. Now she couldn't have children. God, he thought, why did the fates have to pick on her? Hadn't she been through enough? Well maybe it was for the better. She wouldn't have to deal with the disease again. He stopped himself. What was he saying? Any kids they would have, or rather, would have had, would have been perfect. He had been lost in his thoughts for hours. He finally remembered and glanced at his watch. 6:47 am. Shit! He began to move, and actually had to sprint to get to the ER on time. He wasn't sure if Kerry was on today or not.
Abby wandered through the streets. She didn't want to go to their apartment. What if he was there? She didn't need the compassionate looks, apologetic eyes. But she didn't know where to go. What to do. So she headed to the one place she had some comfort in. She didn't realize where she was headed until she ended up on that familiar doorstep. She knew she could trust him. He didn't ask questions. He didn't push her. He would just silently support her, regardless of the situation. That was what she needed right now. She pulled herself up the stairs, and knocked on his door. She heard his bare feet heavily pounding on the wooden floor, and a few words she would never understand, but could begin to comprehend what they meant. He opened the door. His face was silent and shocked. But amidst that he held the door open for her. She remembered the familiar scent he held, the curves on his now visible chest. His brown eyes, hurt and broken after so many years that still held so many secrets. His dark hair, the few strands always covering his eyes. They always drove her crazy, and instinctively she moved to tuck them back. He grabbed her hand gently and immediately pulled her into a tight embrace. She broke down crying in his arms. She knew he knew why. He always did. The unspoken words they never shared. Strangely enough this developed after they had broken up. After she found out that Luka still loved her. After she realized she still had feelings for him too. But both decided on friendship. It was less complicated that way. She felt like she had shed every tear ever held inside. Yet they continued to flow. And he continued to wipe them away.
Carter's shift had started a little over an hour ago. Susan had kicked him out of the trauma room. He had been so preoccupied thinking about her. He had asked Susan if she had come by. She hadn't. She had just disappeared. He left a message, but knew he would be the one to hear it when he got back. He sipped his now cold coffee, the wind on the roof blowing his hair everywhere. Even here he couldn't stand anymore. His favorite place. Held too many memories. He had proposed here, on this very roof. He hadn't heard Susan come up. She stood faithfully next to him, a fresh cup of coffee in her hands for him. "Remember I'm not Weaver." she joked. He managed a small smile. "What's going on, John? I haven't seen you like that in a Trauma since you were a med student." Her voice screamed concern for him. "Please. You know I was the best med student you ever worked with." He knew that this was supposed to be a conversation starter. "What happened?" He knew he couldn't escape this situation. And he knew Susan would listen. He could trust her. He always had. "She had an abortion." He saw her head nod. "A few years ago. But she can't have kids now. There were complications.... She can't have kids..." No one said anything for a while. Suddenly he heard Susan's voice, stern and unrelentless, "Do you love her?" He didn't even think about the answer. It was automatic. "Yes. I do." He was sure. "Then don't let her slip away." She turned around and began to leave. "Go get her. You're fired until you come back here married to her." He laughed silently. If only it was that easy.
Abby walked with Luka at her heels. She hadn't wanted him to come, but he insisted on it. Never try to dissuade a Croatian. Bad consequences. And he carried her bags. That was always a plus. She quickly neared the entrance portal for her flight. She saw him put her bags on the luggage rack and they were quickly taken away. "Flight 267 for Minneapolis, Minnesota boarding now." Her heart weighed heavily. "That's my flight." They stood silently. "Are you sure your doing the right thing?" No. Of course not. She knew she wasn't doing the right thing. She was running away. Again. But she silently nodded her head. "Luka, I need to get out of here. I need to think. I just... I don't know anymore...." She felt him quickly rush in and hold her. "Abby, Shhh... Abby... Everything's going to be okay. Everything's gonna work out. Believe me. If you need to go, go. Check on Maggie and Erik. And come back. It's not running away if you come back. Now your flight's leaving. I'll handle Kerry for you. Call me when you get there. And remember, Abby, I love you... I love you and will always be there for you." He kissed her forehead and wiped the tear that began to fall. After one last hug, he pushed her towards the ramp. "Abby, please come back." He said quietly, as if he was only talking to himself.
Carter quickly ran to his apartment. Hell, he was suspended. Hopefully Susan was just joking about the whole 'your fired until your married to her' bit though. He reached the apartment, and noticed it seemed quite empty. Then he realized all of Abby's stuff was gone. Why is all of Abby's stuff gone? She hadn't gone to Susan's like she said. Where was she? He automatically reached for his keys. He drove the six blocks towards Luka's apartment. He had only been there once, but the one time had been quite memorable. He had almost gotten arrested for heaven's sake! He parked his car in the No-Parking Lane. He didn't care. This wouldn't take long either. He jumped up the stairs, taking two at a time. He reached Luka's door and began to pound on it. "Luka!" He waited a few minutes before he realized Luka wasn't home. Damnit. Now what was he supposed to do?
With the feeling of defeat weighing his confidence down, he started back down the stairs. If he had only gone after her. If he had only told her the truth. He loved her. No matter what could go wrong. He couldn't stop thinking about her. He walked straight into Luka looking quite down himself. "Luka! Have you seen Abby??" His face went into a panicked state. Carter guessed it was whether he should tell him or not. "Don't worry about her. She's okay." Don't defend her or try to help her now. Just tell me where the hell she is, he thought. "Luka, please! I need to find her. I acted like a stupid-ass earlier, but I can't lose her. You know how it feels to love someone so much that you can't breathe without them. Don't make me lose Abby." He looked at Luka's face. He was giving in. "I never made you lose her. You did that all on your own." Carter stood in shock. Luka pushed his way by him. He felt like giving up. He just wanted everything to go back to the way it was. He started down the stairs when he heard Luka's voice, quiet and stead. "She loved you." Then the door shut. For him. For his future. Forever.
Abby hesitantly got off the place. She didn't want to. She wanted to get back on that place and fly back to Chicago. But she couldn't. He didn't want her. She needed to comprehend that. But she couldn't. Every heartbeat yearned for him, like it was only beating for him. Now she was driving towards Maggie's farm. Farther away from him. Yeah. A farm. She laughed to herself. Who would have thought? From the little snip-its she had heard, Maggie had bought it for practically nothing and completely rebuilt and refurnished it. She was growing her own corn and potatoes and working on her designs. She had finally gotten her life together, so why couldn't she???
Abby finally reached the address, and she stood in awe. The house was gorgeous. The surrounding landscape just added to its majesty. A forest and river to the left, a lake visible in the back, and fields beyond fields of crops to the right. The suns slow setting added just a bit of shimmer. She parked the car and walked up the front stairs to the veranda. She knocked once. Twice. No answer. Suddenly she saw a dog running towards her. A huge German Shepard. She froze, but strangely the dog didn't bark or growl. It ran straight up to her and jumped on her, almost knocking her over. She was covered in drool and kisses in a matter of seconds. After the dog, who she discovered was named Tara due to the tags, got over her excitement, she began to push Abby towards the back of the house and Abby was pretty much obliged to follow. At the back door she found a note tacked to the door.
"Erik, Sorry I had to run out to town for something. I'll be back in about an hour or so. Love you,
She turned the handle and the door popped open. She walked into the newly furnished kitchen. She dropped her bags by the stairs leading into the cellar. She decided to shower and change before she started anything. She grabbed a black tank top and a pair of dark Capri's. She went searching for the linen closet for a towel and then for a bathroom. Every room of the house seemed in perfect order. Clean. Organized. She found Maggie's room and saw her bottle on the nightstand. 1500 MG's Lithium Once Daily. Dr. Maura Wyle. She had pulled herself together. Abby put the bottle down and then picked up a picture. It was of Erik and she from when they had been little kids. Abby was holding Erik close while they both swung on a tire swing. They were both smiling from ear to ear. It was one of her happier childhood memories. She replaced that on her mother's nightstand as well. She finally found the bathroom and decided to take a shower in there. The water managed to wash away all her pain and frustrations. But only momentarily. After what felt like forever, she got out and dried herself off. She put her damp hair up into a loose ponytail and headed to the kitchen. She heard the rattle of pots, pans, and a knife hitting a cutting board. She stood in the doorway watching Maggie work for a few minutes. "Hi Mom." Her voice came out weaker than she had expected. Maggie automatically turned around; her face was christened with both shock and surprise. "Abby! Oh my God! What are you doing here? What a surprise. I'm so happy to see you." Abby realized this was what she had always wanted. A traditional mother. "I love you, Mom." She liked being held by her mother. At that moment she was ready to forgive her for everything else. "You mind if I stay here for a while?" Maggie smiled. "No. Of course not. You're always welcome here and you know that." A feeling of warmth and belonging rushed over Abby's body. "Thanks mom."
Carter parked his Jeep in front of the mansion and pulled out his key. He hadn't been there since Gamma died. Yeah, he had people come every few days and tend to the place but for the most part it was deserted. The furniture and pictures were covered with white sheets to protect them from dust and decay. It reminded him of those old houses in horror movies. Carter couldn't bare to sell the place and had actually planned to move back in with Abby, but obviously those plans had quickly changed. He walked up the stairs, holding on the already dust covered railings. His memories flashed before him. The races down the stairs with Bobby and Barbara. The trio had been inseparable until Bobby got sick. Then the weight of holding their parents fell onto Barb's shoulders, since she was the oldest. Then Bobby died. He knew what had happened. His best friend was gone. A fierce pain shot through him when it happened. He knew. No one had to tell him. He knew.
The death had hit everyone hard. Barb was sent off to school in Europe. His mother and father traveled. Anything to get away from reality. They had left John alone. No one had even bothered to ask him how he was doing. He had promised Bobby that he wouldn't cry, that he would be strong. He was supposed to make mom happy and dad proud. He broke all his promises. He cried very night for years. Of course he wouldn't do it in front of anyone, but only when he was alone at night, in the dark. It bit into his soul. He had been 10 at the time. No one gave a damn about him, except for Gamma of course. He failed his mother and his father equally. He wasn't what they wanted. He was supposed to be some family businessman throwing charity galas and sipping expensive champagne while chatting with senators and other businessmen. He turned out as the exact opposite. He worked for the people who paid for the senator's houses, cars, and other unnecessary crap. And he always would.
He walked up to his bedroom and ran his hands over the knobs. No, he decided. He couldn't go in. He headed towards Gamma's room. On the way there, he passed Bobby's room. A strange force pulled him towards the room. He walked in. The room had always remained unchanged, as if Bobby was only gone on vacation and he was soon to return. Action figures lined the walls. An outfit lay across the bed, as if there was an important gala tomorrow. Bobby's soiled shoes were in the corner. His backpack lay next to them, clearly full of schoolbooks. He walked towards his desk. Bobby's Math book was open. A page in his notebook was written on. The pencil was almost completely faded away.
August 30th, 1981
Page 366 (#1-27)
The writing was scribbled and quick. The first few numbers where completed, but the rest were probably meant for later, after a quick round of tag in the backyard. Carter felt his eyes begin to water and quickly exited the room. He felt so emotionally drained. He reached Gamma's room, which had been cleaned, by request of his mother no doubt. He sat down in Gamma's rocking chair and sat looking at blackness. Out of desperation he reached over to her bedside table. Her prescriptions still lay in their bright orange bottles. Zoxazolmine for her spine, Calcium, and multiple others he didn't want to pick up. He was unconsciously searching for something. Anything to ease his pain. He was hurting. Mentally. Physically. Why did everything he tried to do, try to fix, always end up ruined? He couldn't do anything right, even love. He didn't know how to. He had always thought he knew what to do. He was clueless. He got up and headed to Gamma's bathroom. He opened up the mirror. Toothpaste, mouthwash, makeup, lotion, more prescriptions. Meperidine, Alfentanie, Buprenorphine, Oxycodone, Halcyon. All pain killers. Some Gamma's, some Grandpas. But all there. Every one given for something different. Sprained ankle, post-op pain, hip and joint pain. He played around with one of the bottles. I don't deserve to live. It hit him from nowhere. I shouldn't be alive. It echoed through his mind. I want to die. It stuck with him. It will make the world a better place. He made up his mind. He opened the first bottle he saw. Damn. Only seven pills. The others looked empty as well. He felt defeated even more so now. But it was something he had to do.
He walked back into Gamma's bedroom after creating a bottle of mixed pills. He began to empty the other ones into the bottle as well. Over 70 pills no doubt. All lethal. All worthy of death if taken together. No wishing for this to be undone. He was determined. He grabbed a bottle of Vodka from the tray by the window. His father had definitely been in there. Here goes everything, he thought. Only when he had swallowed half of the pills, Abby's face ran through his head. He continued his quest. "I'm so sorry Abby. I still love you..." He began to feel the effects of the narcotics. He was floating in a painless, emotionless bliss. The thud of his body against the wooden floor echoed through the empty castle. It would be days before anyone would realize he was missing. Weeks before they found his body. All too late.
Abby had just finished her third helping of apple pie. She felt Erik's gaze upon her. "What? I haven't had homemade pie in ages." He said nothing but smiled. She rose from the chair and began to clear the table. "Thanks Mom. It was delicious." She walked over to the sink and threw the plates in. "I'll wash them when I get back. I'm gonna take a walk by the river." She saw the nod of her mother as she flew out the screen door. She quickly walked through the overgrown fields until she reached the river, hidden in-between a multitude of different trees. She needed time to think. She finally reached a calm section of the river, where the rapids were small, and the silence engulfed her. A few birds chirped and she heard crickets singing. She found a rock and sat down. She pulled off her shoes and dipped her feet into the stream. Somehow everything would have been perfect if only John was right next to her, holding her. Why had she chosen to run? There must have been something she could have said, or done differently. But reality was reality. She couldn't have his kids. He didn't want her anymore. She saw a tear hit the still water and send out waves. Yeah. Chaos Theory ruled. A tear hits a pond and sends out waves that create a deadly Tsunami halfway around the world. She looked up at a lone bird, flying a few feet above her head. A feeling of dizziness suddenly hit her. She grasped the sides of the rock and steadied herself until it passed. This had become a regular thing. It would happen every so often, along with the nausea and soreness. She should really run some test when she gets back, but it's probably just the stress. The body has to adjust itself to deal with the pressures of life. She was soaked with sweat. It had to be at least ninety degrees outside. She couldn't feel the humidity, like in Chicago, just the piercing heat. The water was clear, and glistened like diamonds had been laid out all over the bottom. It tempted her. She gave in.
She peeled off her shirt and unhooked her bra. No one was around for miles and she felt safe. She slipped out of her pants and underwear. She sat there for a second just feeling the light breeze hit her naked body. It was relaxing, and then again, it pointed out how sore her stomach and chest were. It was probably from the sex, or lack of, in this case. Strangely enough, she thought she was bigger. She stopped wondering and eased herself into the stream. The temperature was perfect. She could barely touch the bottom, and used her feet and arms to keep her afloat. She lied on her back and let the stream gently carry her away. The pitter-patter of the water against the rocks and the song of nature lulled her into a completely separate world. After a while, she heard a voice screaming, but it seemed almost like a whisper to her. "Didn't your mother ever tell you to wait an hour after eating to swim?" She began to swim forward until she managed to grab a hold of a rock sticking out into the stream, only a few feet away from Erik. "And didn't your mother ever tell you it's impolite to spy on your sister when she's skinny dipping?" He laughed. He then pointed out to the woods and Abby turned around. She saw a mother deer and her fawn walking up to the stream for a drink. "You look better, Erik." She watched him sit down on the same ledge that she had left her clothes. "Yeah, well, it's finally beginning to sink in." She looked at her younger brother. He was playing with his thumbs, just like he used to when he didn't know what to say. "I'm going back to the Air Force in a few days. They agreed to take me back if I allow them to monitor my meds and psych appointments." Abby nodded. "That's good." Erik's turn to nod. She saw him begin to get up. He pulled a towel off from around his neck. "Take your time, just be careful. After dark you might get lost. I'm leaving the dog with you." She saw Tara jump out from the hedges and sit down near the shore. She felt like she was finally being protected. The roles were reversed. She continued to hold her gaze on him. He quickly whipped around and started a slow retreat. "And Abby, congratulations." What the hell is going on, she thought. "What are you talking about?" Erik smiled. "Carter's gonna be a wonderful father." He turned around and continued his walk. He left Abby in a more confused state than she was before. She pulled herself out of the stream and tied the towel around herself, momentarily leaving her clothes on the edge. "Erik, wait! What are you talking about?" He gave her a look as if she was annoying him. "Please, Abby... What do you think I am? An idiot or something? You randomly show up at Maggie's house, eat more than your own body weight, and become moody if we ask you about it. Your clothes barely fit, and your boobs are popping out of your shirt and sore. And when I accidentally hit you, you screamed bloody murder..." He turned back and headed towards the house. Abby stood in shock. It's impossible, right?