Bruised Hearts


AUTHOR'S NOTE: Since Jing-Mei "Deb" Chen appears in this part, I am referring to her as "Deb" for the section is written from Carter's point of view and he thinks of her as "Deb". If I use her in the future and her section is written from Dave or Kerry's point of view, she will be called Jing-Mei or Dr. Chen.


Kerry hoped Malucci didn't leave. Doing that was not even a 'Doug Ross' action. But sure enough, just as she exited the doors, there he was, crouched up against the wall, obviously upset. The dark, pathetic little figure curled up in a fetal position was none other then the bold, brash, smarmy Dr. Dave.

Dave looked up to his surprise to see Kerry standing there. His eyes were red and bloodshot and his face was tear-stained. He attempted his usual smirk, but his face crumpled and the waterfall cascaded down his face once more.

Kerry was shocked to see this version of Dave. Normally, he was a jokester and a flirt; if not a little self-conscious about his work. However, this Malucci was a mess. He needed someone. Normally, Kerry was neither the one to reach out to others, nor took the time to listen to their problems. Sure, she expressed her concern towards Carter, but that was a given now. Still, she was compelled to this young man, to his complexity and his secrets that almost reminded her of herself.

***

John was feeling much better. No one would know that he had taken extra painkillers that day coupled with the other medication. Besides, even if someone did find out, they knew his circumstances. They knew he still hurt. If he just kept working, everything would be all right. Then he felt someone tap him on the shoulder, and it sent shivers up his spine.

Carter spun around quickly. Standing behind him was none other then Deb Chen, with a pile of charts in her hand. "Oh, hey Deb."

"John, are you okay?" asked the pretty Asian doctor.

"Yeah, Deb. I'm great. I just ordered a ton of Chinese food. We can have a picnic in the lounge. I'm on ''til eleven. You're on from now until morning, right?" Good, he thought, just play it cool.

"Yep. Seems like trying to get Romano wasn't such a good idea. He told me to take Kerry's shift because she needed to leave early," she responded with a clear sound of displeasure in her voice. She looked at Carter. Something was wrong. Very wrong. "Apparently, Kerry couldn't stay tonight because of something to do with Malucci," she responded with a more playful tone to her voice.

Carter decided to use this... Dave seemed to have quite a thing for Deb. "Jealous, huh?" This made her turn red, but she recovered quickly.

"Hey, you lived with Weaver." Now it was Carters turn to turn beet colored. "Listen, John, I've got these charts to work on. I'll talk to you later." Deb turned around as was out of sight in seconds.

What had Deb been trying to imply about his relationship with Kerry. Sure, they had gotten to know each other, and there was the way the light seemed to catch her strawberry tinted hair. But nothing had ever gone beyond that, and maybe a hint of flirting when they lived together, but that had all been gone since he moved out.

Just as Carter was finally drifting into fantasy land for the first time in a long time, his pager sounded and he was lurched back into the pain of reality. "Shit!"

***

Dave looked up at her. Her pretty red hair glistened from the lights blazing out of the ER. And her eyes glowed with compassion and concern. Dave wanted to tell her why Shelly had effected him so much. The horrible secrets of his past. And why it affected both his work and the lifestyle he had become accustomed to.

Just as he was about to pour his heart and soul out to the "Chief", another waterfall began to stream down. But this was not from his eyes. The rain came down if sheets and quite unexpectedly. The two souls were now soaked as they stared in bewilderment as the tears came out of the sky as if they echoed Dave's own anguish and sorrow. Then, Kerry broke the silence.

"Well, your shift is over, Malucci." Dave managed to rack a small smile. "Listen, I'm off in about 10 minutes and well,,," she paused in disbelief at the words coming out of her mouth "... you look like you could use someone to talk to." This felt extremely awkward for Kerry. She rarely let other people in. And she... well it wasn't easy for her to invite a cute male co-worker over for coffee. The last time she had coffee with a cute male co-worker it was Carter.

Dave tried another smile. "Thanks, Chief." He was a bit tentative, though. Sure, she was pretty and sure, he normally would've made some smirky comment. Plus, she was the boss, the head honcho, the "Chief". She was miles above his head, but right then he had a huge pile of bricks on his shoulders and he had to get them out to someone.

"You're welcome, Dr. Malucci." Kerry and Dave walked back into the ER. They left together a few minutes later, not exactly sure what to expect.



Part 3
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