AUTHOR: Lynne Facella
EMAIL: Mulderette@aol.com or Lynne1919@aol.com
CATEGORY: JC, PB
SPOILERS: Episodes through All in the Family
ARCHIVE: Sure, just ask so I know where it is going.
DISCLAIMER: All ER characters are the property of Warner Brothers, NBC, etc.,
etc. (The bad guys are mine).
AUTHOR'S NOTES: This is just something different that I wanted to try. It is not terribly realistic but I couldnít get the idea out of my head. In it Iím assuming that the events of May Day did not take place - it would more likely follow my other story, First Step. Hope you like it :)
SUMMARY: Dr. Carter is held for ransom and an unwitting Dr. Benton gets dragged along for the ride.
February 15, 2000
The prison rec room was bustling with activity. Some inmates sat in groups talking and playing cards. Others were reading. Bill Rivers sat with a small group watching the local news.
"In other news," said the newscaster, "A medical student was fatally stabbed at Cook County Hospital late last night and a physician seriously injured. Lucy Knight died of a pulmonary embolus after undergoing surgery for multiple stab wounds. Dr. John Carter remains in serious but stable condition after receiving two stab wounds to the back. Details are still sketchy but it appears that the two were stabbed by a patient, Paul Sobriki, who they had treated earlier in the day. He is in custody at this time and is scheduled to undergo psychiatric testing. Dr. Carter is the son of multimillionaire Roland Carter.
"Hey I wonder if weíll get that crazy dude in here!" yelled Duke, a rough-looking man serving a life sentence for murdering two men. "Iíd like to slice him up for killing that little doll."
"Yeah, she was a real cutie," replied another inmate.
"Too bad it wasnít the other way around," bellowed Sam Austin a big, beefy man, serving time for dealing drugs. "He shoulda killed the doc and the girl shoulda lived.
Bill remained silent, deep in thought. He was an average-sized man, 40 years old, with coppery hair and a hardened face that rarely smiled. He had grown up in a very poor family but all his life had envied those with wealth and wanted it for himself. As a child he had started out with petty theft, a candy bar here, a toy car there, eventually moving on to clothing, records and jewelry that he would sell on the streets. Finally he had graduated to armed robbery but he had been caught and sentenced to 10 years in prison. He never could get over that yearning for the finer things in life though.
Bill wondered why young Dr. Carter had not entered into the family business. Bill would have killed to have been born into a family such as that. "Young fool," he thought to himself. As he sat there, the germ of an idea started to develop. His sentence was almost up and he would be be free in six months. Bill began to chuckle softly. "I hope you get well real soon, Dr. CarterÖ"
August 23, 2000
John Carter yawned ferociously as he completed the chart on the patient he had just finished up with not too long ago. The employee lounge was deserted except for him. He looked at the clock, 9 p.m. He still had three hours left of the double shift he was pulling and he was exhausted. He absently massaged his forehead which was beginning to throb. Actually his whole body was feeling kind of achy. He hoped he wasnít coming down with something. It seemed like they had been treating every illness under the sun in the ER lately. Using his arm as a pillow he put his head down on the table. He would just rest for a few minutes and then he would feel better...
Dr. Elizabeth Corday walked backwards through the door of the silent employee lounge pulling Dr. Mark Greene by the hand. It was the first chance they had had to be together all day long. She pulled him towards her for a kiss and their lips met eagerly. Then Mark abruptly pulled away, a smile on his face.
"Come back here," Elizabeth said enticingly, grabbing his collar. "Iím not through with you yet."
"Uh uh," Mark whispered, shaking his head. "Weíve got company. Get a load of sleeping beauty."
Elizabeth turned and saw Carter sprawled over the table in a rather awkward position, deeply asleep.
"Should I dump some water on him?" Mark asked with a mischievous grin.
"Youíre mean," replied Elizabeth studying the young man for a few moments. "He looks very sweet sleeping like that, just like a little boy."
"Well if he keeps sleeping in that position heís going to end up with a stiff neck." Mark went over to Carter and shook him lightly on the shoulder. "Carter...come on Carter wake up."
Blearily Carter finally managed to open his eyes and struggled into a sitting position. He blinked a few times and focused in on Mark and Elizabeth watching him. "Hey," he said. "Sorry. I guess I fell asleep."
"Thatís okay," said Mark. "I know youíve been on for a long time. Weíve quieted down though. Why donít you find an empty exam room so you can get some real rest?"
Elizabeth who had been watching Carter closely leaned forward and felt his forehead. "Do you feel all right, John? Youíre flushed and you feel warm."
"I guess I might be coming down with a little cold or something," admitted Carter. "Iíll be okay though."
"Hmmmm..."said Elizabeth. "Stay here, Iím going to get a thermometer."
"No wait...I...." Carter watched helplessly as Elizabeth scurried out the door.
"I think she wants to mother you," Mark said, unable to hide the amusement on his face. "When you were sleeping, she said that you looked like a sweet little boy."
Carter blushed and looked at the table, obviously embarrassed by Markís comment. Markís grin broadened.
Elizabeth came back in with a thermometer. "Open up," she said smiling.
Carter obeyed just wanting to get back out to work.
Mark and Elizabeth exchanged a few moments of small talk before the thermometer beeped. Elizabeth grabbed it quickly before Carter even had a chance to take it out of his own mouth.
"101.2," she stated.
"Go home, Carter," ordered Mark. "Iíll get somebody to cover the rest of your shift. You donít belong here."
Carter was about to protest that he was okay but he actually didnít feel all that great and the prospect of curling up in bed at home sounded really, really good to him. "Alright," he agreed. "Iíll go home."
"Keep us posted how youíre doing," said Mark.
"I hope you feel better," said Elizabeth.
"Thanks. Iíll be fine," said Carter as he went over to his locker to get his stuff. "See you guys later."
By the time Carter had arrived back to his apartment he really felt awful and could hardly wait to get some rest. He opened the key to his apartment which was like an oven and turned on the air conditioner in his bedroom. Then he went in to take a quick shower. When he got out his bedroom had cooled down considerably. He threw on some lightweight cotton sweats and a T-shirt, sank into bed and quickly fell asleep.
August 24, 2000
Bill Rivers had been sitting in chairs at the ER for most of the afternoon. Luckily it was very busy so no one had looked at him with any suspicion. He had not even caught a glimpse of Dr. Carter as of yet. He had spent much of his remaining time in prison doing research on the Carter family in the prison library. He had learned that they were even wealthier than he would have ever thought. Roland Carter was one of the richest men in Chicago. His assets were valued at 178 million dollars. Billís heart raced as he dreamed of what he could do with a fraction of that money. This young doctor would be the key to the life he had always dreamed of but could never attain.
His ears suddenly perked up as he finally heard mention of Dr. Carter. A petite red-haired woman with a cane was asking a doctor with thinning hair if Carter would be in that evening. He answered that Carter was out sick and he would be taking his shift. Bill mentally noted it was odd that they just called him Carter but that was all he needed to hear. He left the ER and went out to the garage where he had two partners stationed in a van. One, Tony Ciccio, had been one of his best buddies since childhood. The other, Frank Ryan, was a heavyset muscleman who Bill did not know but Tony said he was trustworthy and Bill trusted Tonyís judgement implicitly.
Bill squeezed into the front seat of the van. "The kidís home sick."
"Now what?" asked Frank. He wanted to get this over and done with. He was planning a fine trip to Vegas at the end of this caper with plenty of food, gambling and women.
"I think we should just nab him at home," said Bill. "He doesnít live in a particularly secure building. I think it would be easier than trying to grab him here anyhow. Not so many witnesses around."
"Youíre the boss, Bill," said Tony and he turned the key in the ignition.
Dr. Peter Benton walked through the ER on his way to the garage. He wanted to let Carter know that a young boy with very serious injuries from an MVA the day before had improved and it looked as though he would recover.
"Hey Randi," he said, walking up to the front desk. "Is Carter around?"
Mark, who was putting away a patient chart, overheard Peter. "Carterís sick, Peter. I sent him home last night at the end of his shift."
"Whatís wrong with him?" asked Benton.
"I donít know," said Mark, "Probably just some viral thing. He was running a fever and was really fatigued. He was at the end of a double though so he probably just needs to get some rest."
"Yeah, okay thanks," replied Benton. As he walked out to his car he could not shake a nagging feeling that something was wrong. Carter didnít get sick very often. He decided to stop by Carterís apartment. He knew he was just probably being silly but ever since Carter had been stabbed he had felt more protective of him and he would just feel better if he checked and made sure he was alright.