For The Last Time
RATING: PG, some PG13
SPOILERS: Not that I know of
ARCHIVE: Not that you’d want to archive this, but if you do, please ask
DISCLAIMER: Unfortunately, I don’t own ER or Noah and Maura. But hey, Christmas is coming up, right?
AUTHOR'S NOTES: This is my first attempt at fanfic, so please send reviews, but NO FLAMES PLEASE!!!!!!
SUMMARY: Please, just read it! All I can say is its Carby, very Carby.
Her shift was finally over. It had been a long day, complete with three patients who threw up on her, a drunk who hit on her, and of course Kerry Weaver, who was being herself- a terrible thing to have happen. The worst of it was, she couldn’t even talk to her best friend Carter- he had been dating Susan. Susan had talked to Carter about how she was jealous of the attention Abby got from him, and now it seemed like he was avoiding Abby at all costs. She missed Carter- but he’d learn his lesson. After tonight, he’d never have another chance.
Abby sighed as for the final time, she tossed her cigarette and stopped by the trash can on her way down the stairs to throw her coffee in the trash. What she really wanted was a beer- but she’d made it a point to be a good person in her last hours of life, no matter how pointless it seemed.
She ran down the stairs quickly, arms hugging her waist, looking down at her feet. Abby was so lost in her world that she didn’t notice the pounding feet sounding up the stairwell, or even the figure rapidly approaching- until she ran into it.
Abby looked up.
“I, uh, I... I broke up with Susan.”
For the longest time, she stood, gazing in to his liquid chocolate brown eyes. She was so happy that he was willing to do that, break up with Susan, for her. Why would anybody want to do anything like that for her? Abby knew she’d do anything for those eyes that stared back at her- and yet she wouldn’t usually let herself. But this time, she couldn’t resist doing something.
Abby reached out and took the hand that Carter held outstretched. She let her other hand rest on his chest, and let go of his hand to wrap her arm around him. Carter began leaning in for a kiss.
This was what Abby had wanted for the longest time- ever since she saw him. But it wasn’t fair to him- and the last thing she wanted was to hurt Carter. It just wasn’t fair to get him to do this when she wouldn’t be around the next day. So Abby did the only thing she knew how to do- she ran.
Carter watched, feeling totally helpless, as the girl he was in love with let go of him and ran away. He wondered what about him wasn’t right. Silently he cursed himself for not being good enough for Abby. Abby was all he wanted.
Carter was all she wanted. As she drove angrily out of the parking garage at County General, she thought about the fact that she’d just seen him for the very last time. And yet, she hadn’t been able to bring herself to tell him how she felt- how she wanted him, would do anything for him. How all she thought of when she lay awake, alone in her bed at night, was that she would rather be in his arms. Hell, she was instantly happier being anywhere near him. But she didn’t ever let him know, and now she was going to die alone because of it.
Abby slammed the apartment door behind her. She didn’t bother to lock it, it didn’t matter anymore. She went into her bedroom and changed into her silk pajamas. “Why am I dressing up for this?” she thought. As Abby passed the mirror on her way to the kitchen, she looked at the terrible excuse for a person standing in front of her. How could Carter be in love with this?
Abby left the mirror, thinking to herself that she’d seen herself for the last time. She wished she could stop thinking about the fact that everything she did was for the last time. It almost made it seem like she didn’t want to go through with this- but Abby knew she did.
Picking up the pills she’d intentionally left on the kitchen counter this morning, Abby grabbed a six pack of beers and headed for her living room. “Amazing how you have to die to get what you want.” she thought as she took a big drink of beer. Abby looked at the label. Perfect. The combination the bottle held was deadly- so much so that just one of each of the pills would kill her- but she was going to take it in beer. Even better.
She took a deep breath, a swig of beer, and before she knew it, she was staring at the bottom of an empty white pill bottle.
Abby already felt sick, even though she’d just taken the pills a few minutes ago. She couldn’t stop thinking about Carter. The only picture she had of them together was at her side, and she picked it up
and held it close. There they were, dancing together at that Carter family foundation function a few years ago. There was happiness mixed with a great deal of lust in her eyes as she stared into his. He looked the same. Abby wondered how he’d really felt when that picture was taken. He couldn’t really love her, she thought, that would be asking the impossible.
Oh god. This is it, she thought, this is it. Her stomach felt terrible, she scrunched up her whole body in pain. Carter hadn’t left her mind. As the worst of that particular pain washed over, she reached for the phone and dialed the only number she knew by heart- that of John Carter.
He rolled over in bed. He hadn’t been sleeping, but instead staring at the face of the one person he wished was in his bed with him. He had a great picture of them together, at one of his family’s functions a few years back. He’d been looking at her, feeling happier than he ever had in his life as she looked back. Carter couldn’t read her eyes, he wondered if she’d been happy that night too.
Suddenly the shrill urgency of the phone’s ring interrupted his thoughts. As Carter planted his feet on the floor, he thought about how much he wished it was her on the other end, saying the words he longed for her to say since the very first time he saw her. But he knew that he’d probably never hear those things, and die wishing he had.
He picked up the phone.
Carter heard rapid, shallow breaths on the other end. He furrowed his brow and tried again.
With much effort, a word was worked out. He almost couldn’t understand it at first, but then he realized what and whom it was, and instantly sat up straighter.
That word was “Carter.”
And it was all he needed to hear.
“Abby? Abby, are you there? He knew that she still had the phone on, but she wasn’t responding to him.
Suddenly he heard a loud thumping. The breath sounds had long ago stopped without his realization. There was nothing for a few long moments, then only a dial tone.
Carter threw aside the phone. He grabbed his keys and ran toward his car. He drove haphazardly, not concentrating at all on the road. Horns blew at him, drivers yelled at him, and yet he was oblivious to all of it. All he could think about was Abby.
When he got to her apartment, he left the keys in the car and ran to her door. He banged and yelled, getting the attention of her neighbors but not her. Finally he just opened the door.
What he saw sickened him. She lay, beautiful as ever, yet there was one thing different about this time. This time, she appeared dead.
He ran to her side. She had a pulse but was not breathing at all. He lifted her small, light body up and ran to his car. Gently he placed her inside. Then he gave her rescue breaths. Carter almost laughed as he thought to himself that this was not all how he imagined their first kiss, something he’d thought about a lot, to be.
He continued to check on her as he sped to County. He hadn’t even bothered to look at the bottles in his pocket that would tell him what she’d taken. Honestly, he didn’t care. All he wanted to know was why.
Tonight at County, Mark was the attending. Chuny, Haleh, and Lydia were on in terms of nurses, his beautiful wife Elizabeth was the surgical on-call, and Gallant, Chen, Pratt, and Susan were on as well. Kerry was due on in a few minutes, but Mark could honestly live without that happening. There were almost no patients in the ER, and everyone was enjoying their few minutes of quiet. Chuny, Lydia, and Haleh were gossiping as usual at the nurse’s station, Pratt was following Chen around looking for a date, Gallant was reviewing some charts at the admit desk, and Mark and Elizabeth were in the lounge fooling around. Having realized this, Lydia had moved and was now peeking into the occupied lounge and loudly reporting to everyone that wanted to hear (which was everyone but Gallant) what was going on in there. Suddenly, Kerry Weaver walked in to see everyone who was on gathered around the door to the lounge. Noticing her, Chuny motioned to the rest, and in minutes they were up acting like they had something to do. All of them watched nervously as Kerry pushed open the door to the lounge.
Seconds later a sheepish Mark and Elizabeth came out. Elizabeth was buttoning up her lab coat and Mark was wiping lipstick of off his face and neck. Everyone else stifled laughter.
Briefly they kissed, with Mark saying he’d call her later.
Suddenly Susan called out, “Ah, Elizabeth, I wouldn’t go too far.”
Everyone, including Kerry, who had just walked out to the desk, turned to look as the doors to the ER suddenly swung open. An all too familiar voice called out, “I need some help!”
Recognizing the voice at once, Mark, Kerry and Elizabeth ran over to where Carter stood. Everyone else followed. All of them gasped as they saw the limp figure in his arms.
“Carter, what the hell?”
“Abby overdosed on something- I found her at her apartment this way. She has a pulse but isn’t breathing. I don’t know what she took, I didn’t look, but I did grab the bottles.”
Elizabeth read the labels and showed them to the others. There was silence for a few moments. Then, realizing the urgency of the situation, everyone sped into action.
As Abby was carried into Trauma 1, Mark called back to Carter:
“Carter, we’ve got it.”
Both men knew that it would be best for Carter to stay out. For a few moments he stood at the trauma room doors, but soon couldn’t take it any more and sat in Chairs.
Carter hated that helpless feeling he had. He was a doctor, and yet he could do nothing to help the one person he loved more than anything. He silently vowed to himself that he would tell her as soon he got the chance.
If he got that chance.
An hour later, a gurney was wheeled out of Trauma 1 and down the hall. Carter didn’t notice, as he was fast asleep. When he woke, Mark sat beside him. All Carter could do was stare up at him anxiously.
“She made it.”
Never had such simple words meant more to Carter. He shot up and immediately asked, “Where is she?”
“She’s in the ICU. At this point there are no signs of neurological damage, but as you know, it’s hard to tell so early. You picked a good one, Carter.”
With that, Carter shook hands with the older doctor and headed to the intensive care unit. He’d looked up to Mark Greene since the beginning of his career, but never as much as he did now.
As a doctor, Carter should have been prepared for what he saw. But regardless of his work, Carter had never seen anything that worried him so much.
Abby looked small and helpless amid the great many monitors surrounding her. She was pale, and her skin was red in places from the many needle sticks she’d undergone. And of course, she’d been intubated, and her pouty lips were now open wide with a taped tube protruding from them. But her beauty still took Carter’s breath away.
Through the night, he never left her side and his hand never released her cold, small one. Even when nurses came in to check on her and test her. He actually did most of their work, checking her stats and giving her medicine. In between doing these tasks, Carter just gazed longingly at her beautiful face.
Abby awoke to a sharp pain in her stomach. She opened her eyes and the beautiful eyes of her Carter stared back at her.
“Oh, my god. Abby.” That was all Carter could manage.
Abby looked down at her hand to see his enclosing it. Still weak, she managed to lock her fingers within his.
Carter looked up at her and smiled, though she could see that he was holding back tears.
“Abby, you scared the hell out of me tonight.”
“I actually thought I was going to lose you. Just that thought was enough to kill me. If you had succeeded in what you tried tonight, I...”
Carter’s voice trailed off slowly.
“Abby, I love you more than anything in this world. I always have, and I always will. You’re what keeps me alive. During the day, you’re in my every thought and action. At night, I think about how much I want you there beside me. But from now on I don’t want to just think about you. I want to be with you. And I don’t want to waste any time. I want to spend the rest of my life with you, Abby, and I want to start now!”
Carter looked at Abby. Though she couldn’t speak, the joy in her eyes said everything for Carter.
“Thank you for making me the luckiest man in the world.” he said.
ONE MONTH LATER
“Abby, I don’t know why you’re getting so dressed up. You should know that I’m going to rip those clothes off of you as soon as I get the chance.”
“It’s our first date, Carter, and I’m celebrating getting out of this place. Besides, would you rather me wear this hideous hospital gown?”
“It’s not hideous when it’s on you!”
Abby turned bright red.
“I love embarrassing you, it makes you look so cute!”
“Shut up, Carter!”
They both laughed. Suddenly, Abby looked up to find his face just inches away from hers. Carter leaned in and kissed her. At first the kiss was gentle, but it grew deeper and more passionate as he sucked her lip to get her to open her mouth, then let his tongue explore. Finally, Carter pulled away only because Abby was clearly out of breath.
He looked at her, bewildered.
“On second thought”, he said, wrapping his arms around her as he shut the door with his elbow, “we could just stay here.”