If He Hadn't...


AUTHOR: Sylvia
EMAIL: ellaspyrka@yahoo.com
CATEGORY: JC/AL
RATING: PG... Only the beginning's sort of sad, a few words here and there.
SPOILERS: Maybe? After all Carter is with Abby now. Who knows what might happen.
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. Can I have them for Christmas?
AUTHOR'S NOTES: It's written in three points of views, but they're not hard to decode. So have fun and please email me with any comments. Please! Bad or Good. And tons of thanks to Vicky, you're the best. And Heather for hosting and posting all these! You are the greatest!!
SUMMARY: Carter regrets a choice he made.



~*~


Abby walked up to her window and looked out. The sun was slowly rising. It used to be her favorite time of day, but now, it was all a blur. Her days revolved around Michelle, and her nights around the ER. She had been happy, yet all good things came to an end. It was the happiest day of her life when she found out she was pregnant. She loved Carter so much, back then at least. When he found out, he couldn't stop smiling. Then that one night with Luka. It ruined everything. The baby girl that she loved so much had a father who didn't acknowledge her, a grandmother who was crazy, and an uncle who had too many problems to count. Why did she decide to have this baby? Because of Carter? Maybe he would come back? No. She received the check once a month. No phone call. No pictures. No visits. He erased her from him memory. Left her standing there. A fairy tale gone all wrong. Michelle started to cry. She walked into the room to comfort her. She loved her daughter, yet the threat of Bipolar was always there. So was the threat of herself. She had gone back to drinking, and smoking. About two packs a day. Suicide followed her everywhere. Yet she knew she had to get her life together, for her only child. Maybe make up some of the mistakes her mom made on her. She had to start from the beginning. She dreaded this. She didn't want to; yet she needed to explain, well try to at least.

With Michelle back asleep, Abby picked up the phone. Her hands were trembling. It was 3:00 am in Chicago, which meant 4:00 am in Boston. But Carter started at 5:00, so she wasn't afraid of waking him. She dialed the number she knew by heart, from many failed attempts. The phone rang. Once. Twice. She heard his sweet voice answer.

"Hello?"

She was worried.

"Carter? Hi, did I wake you?"

Stupid question.

"No, Abby. You sound horrible..."

Yeah, she knew that.

"I'm okay."

She lied. Then, his voice changed.

"How's Michelle?"

So maybe he still thought about her...

"Getting bigger. She had your eyes..."

Abby knew she pushed that too far.

"Please, Abby, don't start with me."

She knew it was the truth.

"Carter, don't deny it..."

The phone clicked. Her mind clicked. She knew that was it. She knew it was the end for her too, as she walked into the bathroom, with her only friend, her full bottle, and never regretted anything as she popped her last pill...

~*~

Carter knew something was wrong. He had just spoken to Abby. She sounded horrible. Throughout all the pain and suffering she inflicted onto him, he still loved her. And his heart was aching with what he had just done. He had this silent, unspoken connection they still shared. It was telling him something was wrong, horrible wrong.

As he tried to get ready for work, he couldn't concentrate on anything but Abby. He ended up grabbing the phone. He first called the medical center. Told them he wasn't coming in. Then the airport, for a flight back to Chicago. He was impatient the whole time.

~*~

As Carter walked up the steps, he remembered the squeaky stairs and broken railings, as if it was yesterday. He hadn't been there since he moved to Boston. One year ago. He grabbed his wallet and pulled out the extra key he had made to Abby's apartment, right before he had left. He never gave it back. As he opened the door, he heard Michelle crying for mommy. Mommy. Where was Abby? Her apartment was the same as before, except now it had toys everywhere, along with bottles and cigarette stubs. She had started drinking again. She started to feel guilty. Maybe she hadn't really done anything with Luka. Maybe he should have at least let her explain. Michelle was crying, and as he walked into her room, he thought he was looking at himself, and Abby. Michelle had his eyes, face, and hair. She had the rest of Abby's beauty. When she saw Carter, Michelle stopped crying. She stopped crying, and hid her head as he picked her up. She then dug her head into his chest. She was shy. Then, after a while, she looked up at him... "Daddy?" His heart melt. He took her in his arms, and cuddled her. He felt horrible for not savoring her earlier. This truly was his daughter. As he carried her into Abby's bedroom, he could not find Abby. It was really not like her to leave her responsibilities. He was running out of places to check. As he walked into the bathroom, he almost fainted, if not for the support of the wall. He rushed back into the kitchen, put Michelle down, and called 911. He went back. She was still breathing, but very slowly. It was suicide. She knew what she was doing. He knew it, too. Her breathing became slow and forced. He started CPR. He didn't want to loose her. He couldn't. He loved her. He needed her. As the paramedics entered the apartment, he grabbed Michelle, put her in the paramedics' arms, and started barking out orders. He couldn't lose her. He just couldn't.

~*~



She was scared. Her mommy was put on a big white bed, while some man pushed something into her mouth. He was nice. She felt special when he picked her up. He was big and strong. But now he was making mommy bleed. It must hurt. She cut herself once on the kitchen cabinet. It hurt and had blood - yuck. But mommy made it better. Maybe this man would make her better too? She snuggled into the woman who held her in the big car with really loud honking noises. She was tired. She wanted nap.

~*~

Carter saw Susan coming towards the ambulance. No time to explain, everything happened all at once. Well, by the look on her face, he didn't need to explain.

"She's barely breathing. I had to crack her in the ambulance."

"What happened, Carter?"

"Overdose."

Carter couldn't believe what he just said. He couldn't believe this was happening. Maybe if he hadn't hung up the phone. If he had talked to her. It was all his fault. He snapped back into present time as they started to push fluids in the trauma room. Boston's ER was totally different. After a couple minutes Kerry came in, and shoved him out. His next thought was Michelle, and maybe calling Maggie? Erik?

He saw Luka, and he came over to talk to time, to see how he was. Carter knew he should apologize; yet everything was left unsaid, yet understood. Finally Susan came to Carter. Kerry was trailing along very slowly.

"Carter, I think you should sit down."

Holding Michelle, who was sleeping in his arms, he slowly sat down with Susan. She continued.

"I'm not sure how to tell you this, but it's not easy. Abby's in a coma. Whatever she took, combined with alcohol was a deadly mixture. It deteriorated her system. We're not sure yet, but we think she might be brain dead. I'm sorry, Carter."

Carter couldn't talk. He was paralyzed. Yet his only reaction came out.

"But she can get better right?"

Carter didn't want to hear the answer. He knew what it would be.

"It's a waiting game now."

Carter felt a tear fall down his cheek. Then Michelle, who had just woken up, wiped it away. He hugged her. His only treasure now.

~*~

Mommy didn't want to wake up. She was sleeping, for a very long time. It scared her to see her. It looked like an oct-y-pus was attached to mommy's body. The man, John, or daddy {it's easier for her to say} is nice. He buys her dresses and toys. But he is sad, just like mommy used to be sad. But he smiles when he sees her. People say she looks like him.

~*~

Carter was terrified. He surely couldn't raise Michelle on his own. She needed someone who knew what they were doing. He didn't. Maybe if she could talk, then everything would be a little easier. But she didn't, and she cried. A lot. Maybe for Abby. He spent his days with her in the hospital, praying. Something he hadn't done in ages. And his nights were spent with Michelle. He felt guilty. If Abby never woke up, it would be his fault. He got out of bed, because Michelle's crying broke his thoughts. He loved her, even though she drove him to insanity. She was the sweetest person alive, and he regretted not being there earlier. She looked like Abby, even though everyone said she looked like Carter. She also acted like Abby: stubborn. He laughed. The good old days. Nothing was certain anymore. Abby's prognosis wasn't good. She was a vegetable. Only a miracle would bring her back. Carter couldn't arrange that. Yet he still loved her. Wished it were he on that hospital bed. He laid Michelle on the bed next to him and dozed off watching his daughter sleep. Tomorrow was the big day. Tomorrow they would decide whether to keep Abby on the ventilator or not.

~*~

Carter let Susan lead him into the room. Abby lied there, looking like she was sleeping. She was beautiful. He loved her. Susan tried to calm Carter down, yet nothing worked. He was nervous. He said a short prayer before Susan was about to disconnect the ventilator, to see if she could breathe on her own. Wait. He wanted to do this. Maybe he had an angel somewhere that would answer his prayer.

"Susan, wait. Can I do it?"

"If you think you can."

"Yes, I need to."

Carter grabbed Abby's hand, and kissed her on the forehead. Then he grabbed the tube, turned off the ventilator. If she didn't breathe for 3 minutes, she was pronounced brain dead. The countdown began, every second lasted hours. Susan had the face of knowing where everything would end on her face. Carter didn't want to give up... But did he have a choice? As the realization hit, he started to cry...

~*~ A few years later... ~*~

Carter helped Michelle dress for her first day of school. She was nervous, but he was ten times worse. He wished Abby was there to help. Yes, finally, he thought, done. She looks beautiful. As he prepared breakfast, Brian started to cry. He ran to the crib, and picked him up. Trying to handle the house in the morning, along with two kids was hell. As he rocked Brian, he heard the door slam. He heard his favorite laugh, and Abby walked over to Carter, kissed him, and took Brian out of his arms. He loved her. His Abby. She was even more beautiful at nine months.

"Abby, you know I love you?"

"Yes, you've said that everyday for the last 4 years."

"And I've meant it every time I've said it. Your my angel."

"I love you too, John."

He couldn't live without those words.




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