Bruised Hearts


AUTHOR: Kim
EMAIL: Keg41182@aol.com
CATEGORY: KW/DM/JC (romance/angst)
RATING: M14 (special disclaimer in part 4)
SPOILERS: Part 1 begins immediately following "Loose Ends", entire fic has spoilers for season six through "May Day"
DISCLAIMER: I do not own these characters, the are property of Michael Chritcton, Warner Bros., John Wells, etc.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: This story is in seven parts. All parts are now complete. I want to thank everyone who aided me in finishing this fic, and to Heather for archiving it on her site. Thanks, guys!
SUMMARY: Kerry learns a secret about Dave, Carter falls further into his addiction, and somewhere along the way, a love triangle develops.



Dave Malucci pushed open the ambulance bay doors. A gust of wind hit him suddenly. He moved over the side of the building and leaned back on the hard brick surface. He let out a sigh of anguish. The air once again rushed upon his face, swirling his hair in front of his eyes. Normally, he would have suavely brushed it back and smirked at whatever pretty young thing he was trying to impress, but this time he would just let the wind do it's thing. It was not a concern to him.

A tear began to form in his eye, but Dave held it in. He had promised himself that he would never get close to that situation again -- that he would never remember it. Until now it was always hidden in his unconscious, under the layers of the brashness and cockiness, under his hoping for female companionship and even under his willingness to prove to his coworkers that he was a good doctor, lay the demons of the past.

Dave had no desire to confront them. He never had any. They were all hidden. But after what he had seen today, the frightening memories came flooding back. The fear, the confusion, all of it came to the forefront of his mind. As the salty tears began to rush down his cheeks, he knew that what he told Carter was true. "Her cuts will heal." His did, but he still had the memories

***

"Her cuts will heal". That was the last thing Dave said to Carter before leaving him to take the stabbing victim coming in. Didn't Dave know that HIS wound would never heal? The knife, that feeling of it entering his back came again as Carter winced in pain. Who had he been kidding? Did he really thing that the nonstop work would get him over his near death experience? Did he really think that trying to be super-teacher to Abby would really make up for what happened to Lucy?

The trauma had been horrible. The guy died, and to make matters worse, he had to treat him on his own with none of his coworkers their to assist, to help him out, to take over the task they knew he was sensitive to. Carter leaned on the desk just staring at the guy's chart. He was about to write something, but without warning, he hand lingered, and moved deliberately from his pen to his pocket.

DeRaad had given him some antidepressants. Although DeRaad made him promise to follow up, Carter decided that he only needed them now. His hand fumbled with the package. He couldn't take them everyday, even though, the medical part of his mind told him that that's how the medicine worked.

Carter walked into the lounge. He breathed a sigh of relief when he realized no one was there. The pain ripped through his back once again. He went over to his locker to produce several more pills. Painkillers. Sure, his prescription had run out a while ago, but he had his way of getting them. He would eventually need something easier then pills. He picked up a paper cup and filled it with water. He then popped all four pills into his mouth, took a swing of the liquid, closed his eyes and swallowed hard. These would make him feel all better.

***

Just as John had felt the pills go down, Kerry limped into the lounge. Her leg was bothering her, but she was upset, too. "Carter, have you seen Malucci?" Carter shook his head.

"Last time I saw him, he was leaving. I offered him the stabbing victim, but he seemed kind of upset. You know it's not like Dr. Dave to pass up a nice, juicy trauma."

"Well, he's not off for another hour," retorted Kerry. My god, she thought, Dave Malucci is turning into another Doug Ross, with no regard for the rules. Then she remembered the look on his face. The twisted, confused look when he told her to take over suturing the guy who had molested his daughter. No, she told herself, there's more to Dave. There's something not right. There's more to Malucci then there was to Doug. Kerry smiled to herself when she thought of the way Dave affectionately called her "chief". How he offered to fix her car. And how he didn't have the guts to question her about her crutch. She probably would have told him, too.

But then, she looked up at John's face. Despite the cheery, hardworking attitude he displayed earlier, it was clear he was a mess. After all, she knew him from when he had lived with her. She had let him in where no one else had and then she shut him out. Now, when he was hurting, she couldn't shut him out anymore. "John, are you okay?" she asked him compassionately.

"Sure, Kerry. I'm fine. I've got to get back to work." He put on a big, fake smile.

"But, Carter, you've been working so hard today and you know you're still not supposed to exert yourself like this. Go home. I'll get someone to cover the rest of your shift." She was worried about him. Very worried.

Carter smiled at her. That's when Kerry forgot about Dave Malucci. Carter's big brown eyes bore into hers. When ever he did this, Kerry felt like she was going to melt. Her knees became weak and felt like spaghetti, barely holding her up. He was so young and attractive, yet he still gave her distorted self one of his gorgeous smiles.

"No, Dr. Weaver. I'm fine." He was not giving up. He couldn't let her see inside.

"Carter, you're worrying me. The way you defied Luka earlier, without even thinking twice, the way you're working yourself to death. It's not like you."

His face turned for a moment. It was something ugly Kerry had never seen before. "Dr. Weaver... Kerry... I'm fine. I've got a guy in four complaining of abdominal pain." His face returned and he flashed her that smile again. She had no defense set up for that. That's when she remember Malucci. Her leg throbbing slightly, she crutched out of the lounge to find Malucci.



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