Four Weeks


AUTHOR: Caitlin
EMAIL: shoebox28@hotmail.com
CATEGORY: JC/AL romance with Cast
RATING: PG-13
SPOILERS: None
ARCHIVE: Sure, just tell me
DISCLAIMER: I wish these characters were mine, but they aren't!
AUTHOR'S NOTES: So this is for all of you who want Carter and Abby forever! This episode takes place right after "Kisangani", and Mark's alive, because he was cool and should never have died. Feedback would be great, really great, feel free to say what you think! I can take it! This is a finished story.
SUMMARY: What should have happened when Carter got back from Africa!



(Carter and Abby are walking along the street from the El towards the ER. Carter has his arm around Abby, they are talking and laughing.)

Carter:
I can't believe I have to work today after a month off!

Abby:
I can't believe my shift starts in half an hour; you still have three hours to go!

(They stop as they near the ambulance bay.)

Carter:
If you have half an hour, do you want to grab some coffee first?

Abby:
Oh, I want to put of the inevitable goodbye as much as you, but I really shouldn't, I need to catch up a bit first.

Carter:
Ok. Do you realise this will be the first time we'll have been separated for over an hour in four weeks?

(Abby smiles.)

Abby:
God, yeah, I'm so sick of you, can't wait to be rid of you!

(He smiles at her, and hugs her tenderly. Abby whispers to him.)

I'll miss you.

(He smiles, and then whispers back.)

Carter:
I'll miss you too.

(They break apart, and then he kisses her quickly.)

I'll see you later. Good luck!

(Abby groans, and moves away, holding his hand until the last minute. She goes into the ambulance bay, and sees Mark playing basketball. She calls to him as Carter watches.)

Abby:
Hi, Mark!

Mark:
Abby!

(He looks up surprised, and turns to see Carter.)

Carter!

(Abby laughs, and goes into the ER. Carter smiles, as Mark watches Abby, then walks over to him carrying the basketball looking pleased and surprised.)



(Shot cuts to Abby going into the ER, she walks up to the admin desk, where no one has yet noticed her. Jerry, Malik, Haleh, and some other nurses are standing there, working busily. Jerry's on the phone.)

Jerry:
So you're 85, diabetic, and you think you're having a heart attack? Ok, put down the phone, and dial 911...Right, yeah, see you soon!

Haleh:
Incoming, ten minute ETA.

Malik:
Where's Kovac?

(Luka comes up to write on the board.)

Luka:
Here, what is it?

Haleh:
Auto vs. ped, a fifteen-year-old girl going to school, minor head trauma, probable concussion.

Luka:
Ok, I'll take it.

(Abby suddenly pipes up.)

Abby:
I'll assist.

(They turn and see her, and smile with disbelief immediately. Malik runs round to her.)

Haleh:
Abby!

Malik:
I don't believe it!

(He picks her up and spins her around; everyone laughs.)

Abby:
Woah put me down! Nice to see you too!

Luka:
Where's Carter?

Abby:
He's not on until noon.

Jerry:
I can't believe you've been gone for a month!

Abby:
Yeah, well; now I'm back, and I'm early!

(They all look at her expectantly. Abby smiles, but looks confused.)

What?

(They still look at her breathlessly. She smiles, and opens her mouth to say something else, but just then Jing-Mei and Susan come up, and each grab an arm and start to drag her out of the ER.)

Abby:
Hi...uh, where am I going?

Susan:
Luka, cover for us, we'll be back in twenty minutes.

Luka:
Ok. Bring me some coffee!

Haleh:
Tell us what she says!

Jing-Mei:
Will do!

(They walk out, with Abby looking flabbergasted.)



(Cut to inside Doc Magoo's, Jing-Mei and Susan are sitting on one side of the booth, Abby is on the other. Abby is talking to the waitress.)

Abby:
Just a cup of coffee, thanks.

(The waitress moves away. Abby looks at Jing-Mei and Susan, they are looking at her strangely.)

What is it? What is with everyone today?

(They laugh, and Susan speaks questioningly.)

Susan:
Abby, where have you been?

(Abby smiles secretly.)

Abby:
Barbados.

Jing-Mei:
For a month?

(Abby nods.)

Susan:
With Carter?

(Abby smiles, and nods again. Susan sounds excited.)

Well, how was it?

Abby:
It's been the most romantic four weeks of my entire life.

Jing-Mei:
But what happened? You were so mad at him when he was in Africa!

Abby:
Yeah, I was.

(She looks at them for a second, deciding what to do.)

Ok, I'll tell you.

Jing-Mei:
You'd better!

Susan:
We're your girlfriends, tell us everything!

Abby:
Ok, so one night completely out of the blue, he turns up at my house when I was asleep...

(The shot cuts to the scene that Abby is describing. Carter walks through the door of her apartment, it is really dark inside, with only faint moonlight from the window. He drops his bags silently, and shuts the door behind him. He walks through into another room, he is standing by a bed, there is a window behind it, casting slightly stronger moonlight into the room. There is someone in the bed, but they are facing away from us. Carter walks round the other side, and looks at the figure in the bed, almost in awe. He hold out his hand, and touches her face, as he moves his hand back, we see that it's Abby, sleeping peacefully. Carter bends over, and kisses her forehead with his eyes shut. She stirs only very slightly. He calls to her quietly, leaning slightly over her.)

Carter:
Abby? Abby?

(She stirs slightly, disturbed. She half opens one eye. She sees him, shuts it again and mutters sleepily.)

Abby:
Go away, Carter, I'm tired.

(There's a split second pause, then she opens both her eyes suddenly and looks up at him in amazement.)

Oh my God! You're back?

(He nods, and can't help from smiling. She sits up, and suddenly hugs him tightly.)

I'm so glad you're ok!

(She lets go of him suddenly, and moves away, remembering. She still looks at him intently. She speaks quietly, trying to sound casual.)

I mean, you are ok?

(Carter half smiles, looking at her with love.)

Carter:
Yeah, I'm ok. How are you?

(Abby looks sad, and then angry, and speaks quickly.)

Abby:
Oh, I'm fine, there's just one itty bitty question I'd like to know the answer to, just for future reference.

(She pauses.)

So when's the next time you're going to leave me without saying goodbye?

(Carter looks down and sighs, while Abby looks upset, watching him. Then Carter looks up and speaks confidently.)

Carter:
Never. I'm never going to leave you again, I promise you. Look, when I left I was angry that things couldn't be perfect between us, I was disillusioned with life here, I was confused. If I'd have stayed here, it wouldn't have done either of us any good, things would have just got worse. And I didn't mean to leave like that; I would do anything to change the way we parted. It took a gun being pointed to my head...

(Abby gasps, and looks at him more sympathetically.)

...to realise that that's always been you. All I could think was, "God, I never even said goodbye to her," You are the most important thing in my life, and I couldn't live without you. I realised that whatever bad things happen here, there's always worse things going on somewhere else. And whatever bad stuff does happen, I'll still have you, and you'll still have me, and that's a lot. I've missed you so much; I never want to be without you again. Maybe going away was a mistake, but it made me realise this much. I'll always love you; Abby, and I want us to be together always too. So, I want to ask you something.

(He pauses, looks at her, and takes a deep breath.)

Abby, will you marry me?

(He produces from his pocket a black box, and he opens it to reveal a diamond ring. She looks shocked, he quickly continues.)

...And forgive me? I know I've been foolish, and I know you're angry with me, but I also know I love you, and want to marry you. I know this is sudden, but we've wasted enough time.

(He looks at her expectantly; she still looks shocked. Shot cuts back to Susan and Jing-Mei looking at Abby surprised with their mouths open. Susan grins, and asks excitedly.)

Susan:
Well, what did you say?

(Abby smiles.)

Abby:
Well, I started crying, fell into his arms, and said...

(Shot cuts back to Abby and Carter in the bedroom.)

Abby:
Yes!

(She falls into his arms, he shuts his eyes, breathes relieved, and hugs her tightly, savouring her presence. She is crying silently. Cut back to the diner, Jing-Mei and Susan look incredulous, with their mouths open and shock and happiness on their faces. Abby smiles blissfully.)

Susan:
Oh my God, Abby, I am so happy for you! You both have been through so much, you totally deserve this!

Jing-Mei:
Congratulations! Can I see the ring?

(Abby holds out her hand, previously concealed under the table. Jing-Mei comes and sits next to her and looks at her hand, amazed.)

Wow, that is some rock.

(Abby laughs.)

Abby:
I know, it's ridiculous, isn't it?

Susan:
How are you going to hide that from everyone at work?

(Abby shrugs.)

Abby:
I guess everyone's going to find out eventually, and Carter's never going to be able to keep it a secret!

(She smiles affectionately.)

Jing-Mei:
So, what was the Bahamas?

Abby:
Well, he said it was like an engagement honeymoon, he literally swept me off my feet, so we spent a lot of time...together, if you know what I mean!

(They laugh.)

Susan:
Gotcha!

Abby:
I spent every moment with him, and with anyone else I would have gone crazy, but with him...I don't know. I had missed him so much; it was like a gift to be around him so much. I can hardly believe I get to marry him.

(Jing-Mei and Susan are sitting in a daydream, with thoughtful expressions on their faces.)

Susan:
That is the most romantic story I have ever heard.

Jing-Mei:
Why can't I find someone who's as romantic as that?

Susan:
Why can't I find someone, full stop?



(Shot cuts back to Carter walking up to Mark, who's playing basketball in the ambulance bay, just after Abby's gone inside.)

Mark:
Carter!

Carter:
Hey, Mark!

Mark:
Where have you been? The rumour mills have been working overtime, even for the ER! Someone was saying you and Abby had gone to Vegas to get married!

(He throws Carter the ball, they start playing.)

Carter:
Well, sort of.

(Mark looks shocked.)

Mark:
You got married???

(While he was stunned, Carter grabs the ball and runs to the hoop.)

Carter:
No, we went to Barbados, we felt we deserved a break.

(He makes a slam-dunk. He speaks while he's turned away from Mark.)

But I did ask her to marry me.

Mark:
Really?

Carter:
Yep.

(He dunks the ball again.)

Mark:
Well, what did she say?

(Carter slowly turns to him, smiling.)

Carter:
She said yes.

(Mark smiles, and comes up to him, and shakes his hand.)

Mark:
Well, hey, congratulations! I know you'll be happy, she's really great.

(Carter smiles and throws the ball to Mark.)

Carter:
Thanks; let's just hope I don't blow it! Time for a little one-on-one?

Mark:
Sure! So how was Africa?



(Shot cuts to Carter walking in to the ER. He stops a few steps in, looks around, no one notices him, and he sighs, and starts to walk on. Suddenly the door of the doctor's lounge beside him opens, a hand comes out, grabs him and pulls him in. Cut to inside the lounge, where we discover it is Abby, and she is kissing him passionately, pulling him into the room. When they stop, she keeps her arms round his neck and his round her waist.)

Carter:
Did you miss me that much, or is it hell here?

Abby:
Both.

(There is a pause; their faces are very close together still.)

Actually, it really is hell here, everyone's asking questions about where we've been, like it's any of their business.

Carter:
Mark said people think we went to Vegas to get hitched.

Abby:
Did you tell Mark?

Carter:
Yeah. Did you tell anyone?

Abby:
Susan and Jing-Mei.

Carter:
Did you tell them...everything?

Abby:
They went crazy over the ring! I guess this is what I get for agreeing to marry into virtual royalty!

(She smiles, he speaks jokingly, like her.)

Carter:
Well, you know I could take it back if you're uncomfortable with it...

(She pulls her hand back, covering the ring with her other hand.)

Abby:
Don't you dare!

Carter:
Oh, I knew you were just in it for the money!

(Abby laughs, and puts her arms round him again.)

Abby:
I love you so much, you know that?

Carter:
(seriously) I am so lucky, you know that?

(Just then they see Malik, Conni and Jerry peering through the glass in the door, watching them. When they see them, Malik, Conni and Jerry jump back suddenly. Carter sighs.)

Ok, are you ready?

Abby:
Yeah.

(They walk out of the door, into the admin area. Malik, Jerry, Frank, Haleh, Conni, Luka, Jing-Mei and Susan are all there, looking busy and being quiet, obviously pretending.)

Carter:
It has never been this quiet in here!

(They turn and call out to him, as if they'd just seen him.)

Jerry:
It's Dr. and Mrs. John Carter!

Abby:
Ha, ha, Jerry.

Conni:
Is it true?

Carter:
So, I'm very well, thank you for asking!

(He sees Susan.)

Susan, how are you?

(He kisses her on the cheek, and turns back to the others.)

Lydia:
Is it true?

(Suddenly Mark comes up with a big board, not having seen Carter or Abby.)

Mark:
Ok, I got it...

(He sees them, and stops.)

Oh.

(He shrugs and hands the board to Carter, who looks confused.)

Oh well, Carter, you can be the judge.

Carter:
What's this?

Luka:
The biggest bet the ER has ever had!

(Carter reads off the top of the board.)

Carter: (reading)
"Where have Carter and Abby been? Make a guess for fifty cents! Closest wins the jackpot!"

(He smiles, and glances at Abby in the corner, smiling shyly, watching him. He jumps up onto the desk to sit.)

All right! Ok, so let's see what we've got here. "Married in Vegas", "married in Reno", "married in a quickie chapel"...I can see a pattern here!

(They laugh.)

"Married in Jamaica, on the beach, watching a sunset". Conni, I like that one!

(Connie smiles. Carter frowns as her reads one.)

"Carter got busted in the Congo, and got put in jail, Abby had to go and bail him out, now they're both in jail"...Malik!

(Malik grins.)

Malik:
Hey, Vegas was taken!

(Carter smiles, and scans the list.)

Carter:
Well, on a less, uh, depressing, note, I am pleased to award the grand jackpot of...

(He turns to Mark.)

Mark:
Nineteen dollars fifty.

(Carter looks impressed.)

Carter:
...Nineteen dollars fifty to Lydia for "Sunbathing in the Caribbean", which is the closest. Applause is in order, I think!

(They all clap and cheer, and Mark gives Lydia the plastic tub of coins and notes. Carter speaks when the commotion has died down a little.)

For all those who don't know, we were actually sunbathing in Barbados.

(He glances nervously at Abby.)

But, actually we do have an announcement to make.

(He holds out his hand to her, she comes over to him quietly and takes it. Carter jumps down from the desk and puts his arm around her waist; she puts her hand on his chest. She looks up at him lovingly. Susan whispers to Jing-Mei in the corner.)

Susan:
God, she adores him!

(Jing-Mei whispers back to Susan.)

Jing-Mei:
The feeling's mutual!

(Carter looks at Abby lovingly and smiling.)

Carter:
We'd like to say that, well, uh, we're going to, I mean, well...we're engaged.

(All the people who don't know cheer, and shout their congratulations. Carter shakes Jerry's hand, Luka kisses Abby's cheek. He whispers in her ear.)

Luka:
I'm happy for you, Abby.

(She smiles as he pulls away. She then looks seriously up at Carter, then down. After a pause, she calls out to silence everyone amid the commotion.)

Abby:
Uh, everyone, actually, we have another announcement too.

Carter:
We do?

Abby:
Yeah.

(Carter looks at Abby, concerned. Abby looks nervous, looking up at Carter.)

Abby:
Ok, we're going to get married...

(She smiles, but looks a little nervous. She takes a breath.)

...And we're also going to have a baby.

(Everyone gasps, but doesn't say anything yet, waiting for Carter's reaction. His expression doesn't change for a second, and then shock covers his face. Abby looks worried.)

John? Are you ok?

Carter:
Did you just say…?

(Abby smiles.)

Abby:
I'm pregnant, Carter.

(Carter still looks shocked, and then happiness takes over. He grins, and suddenly picks Abby up, and swings her around, whilst everyone else claps and cheers. Mark calls out.)

Mark:
Be careful, Carter, lady-with-a-baby!

(Carter stops instantly, and puts her down, and holds his hands out flat in front of him near her to protect her.)

Carter:
Oh my God, he's right! I'm so sorry, are you ok? You should sit down, why are you even working?

(Abby laughs.)

Abby:
Calm down, Carter, I'm ten weeks, I'm not going to break!

(Carter looks shocked again, but he is smiling.)

Carter:
Ten weeks! My God! So, you're due in…

Abby:
26 weeks! Mid January.

Carter:
Wow.

(He stares at her, and she smiles back at him for a few seconds.)

Uh, we need to talk some more.

(Shot of everyone else leaning in, curious.)

Um, alone!

Jerry:
Exam 2's open.

Carter:
Abby?

(She smiles, and he gently leads her away, while people call to them.)

Haleh:
Congratulations!

Malik:
Double congratulations!

(When they disappear in the corridor, they watch after them, and talk amongst themselves.)

Susan:
What a day!

Lydia:
Yeah, I won nineteen fifty!

(They laugh.)

Haleh:
I'm so glad for them, though, they've been through so much.

Luka:
They deserve any happiness they get.

(They all look at Luka, surprised by this comment. Mark changes the subject.)

Mark:
You know what this means, don't you?

Jerry:
What?

Mark:
New all-ER bet! We'll have the day the baby's born, whether it's a boy or a girl, weight, names for it, everything!

Frank:
I'll get a new board!

Haleh:
I'll get my purse!



(Shot cuts to Abby and Carter going into an exam room. She goes in first; he treats her carefully, watching her as she goes in. He comes in after, and shuts the door. He slowly walks over to her, not saying anything. He suddenly speaks quietly.)

Carter:
You're pregnant.

(Abby nods, frowning, looking suddenly worried.)

And you want to have the baby?

Abby:
Yes.

Carter:
But I thought you didn't want any kids? I mean, I know we've never really talked about it, but after the...

(He stops, Abby nods, and continues.)

Abby:
After the abortion? Although the disease had something to do with it, I realised I didn't want Richard's child. That's kind of when it ended for me.

Carter:
You want to have my child?

(Abby puts her hands on his chest, coming closer to him. She speaks earnestly.)

Abby:
Yes!

(Carter still doesn't smile. Abby looks worried.)

Are you ok with all of this? I thought you wanted children?

Carter:
I do, I just want you to be sure.

Abby:
I am sure. It was a bit of a shock, but I was so happy when I found out, and from your face earlier, I think you are too.

(Carter grins at her, and kisses her.)

Carter:
Really ten weeks? Have you had a scan? When did you find out?

Abby:
Yes, yes, when you were in Africa.

Carter:
Why didn't you tell me?

Abby:
Because I wanted it to be just us for a while longer, to sort it out a bit more. I think it would have confused things even more then.

Carter:
So you haven't had a scan or talked to a gynecologist for four weeks?

Abby:
Five. I've got an appointment today. Want to come?

Carter:
Yes!

(Abby smiles uncontrollably, Carter does too. Abby bites her lip, and touches his cheek.)

Abby:
There's another thing - do you want to know the gender?

Carter:
Do you?

(She shrugs.)

God, this is all happening so fast! Six weeks ago we weren't really speaking, now we're getting married and having a baby! I can't believe it.

Abby:
You're going to be a father!

(Carter smiles.)

Carter:
Let's be surprised, huh? Plus, it gives something for everyone to bet on!

Abby:
I bet they're out there right now making guesses!

(They laugh, and start to walk out of the room.)

So who've we got, Coburn?

Abby:
God, no, McLucas! Coburn hates me! Ever since I quit OB…I think she has a crush on you though!

Carter:
Hey, I'm engaged and a father-to-be!

(Abby laughs, and they go out of the room with his arm protectively round her waist. She door swings shut behind them.)

THE END




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