A Knight of Comebacks


AUTHOR: Sadira Jewelsten
EMAIL: lucyabby_2624@hotmail.com
CATEGORY: Carter/Lucy Friendship
RATING: PG
SPOILERS: None
DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT own any of the characters from "ER". They belond to NBC. The only characters I own are Lucy and Carter's twin daughters, Annabelle and Gabriella and Gretel.
SUMMARY: An old habit comes back to haunt Lucy and she confides in Abby for help.



"A Knight of Comebacks"



It was one of those fast-pace nights in the ER. Lucy had been working harder than ever before and she was beginning to feel the aftermath of it. Her head was pounding and she felt like she couldn't go on anymore. Just as she sat down at the admit desk to rest, she heard the familiar sound of an ambulance pulling up. As she forced herself to her feet, she groaned.

"Hey, Luce!" Her husband, John Carter called from across the hall, "we've got a multiple MVA at the back door. I need your help."

Lucy nodded as she felt her mind begin to spin a little bit.

"I'll be right there," she replied. "Which trauma room are you going to?"

"Truama 4 I think," John replied, heading for the door.

"I'll met ya there," Lucy said as she headed for the ladies room. "I have to use the bathroom."

"All right, but make it fast."

"Yes master," Lucy said with a slight grin.

"Don't be funny," Carter replied, matching her smile.

As Lucy headed for the bathroom, she stopped and turned toward the lounge.

As she swung it open, her hands started to shake a little as she reached inside. When she had closed the locker, she opened her hand to reveal a brand new bottle of Ritalin that she had just picked up from the pharmacy. As she stared at the bottle, she heard a voice from behind.

"Hey, what cha doing?" Startled by the voice, she stuffed the bottle into her labcoat and whirled around to see Anna standing behind her.

"Nothing," Lucy said quickly. "I was just getting my palmtop and heading back to the trauma room to help John out."

Anna nodded and smiled as she went toward her own locker to retrieve her purse.

"Are you okay?" Anna asked, glancing at the way her friend's hands were shaking.

Lucy nodded.

"I-I'm fine. Uh, I have to get to Carter-I-I mean to the trauma room, I'll see ya later."

"Yeah," Anna murmured, not knowing whether to go after her or to just let the matter drop.

*******

As Lucy entered the ladies bathroom, cold sweat ran down her face. She hadn't taken Ritalin in over three and a half years. But then again, she hadn't had a stressful night like this for a long time. As she opened the bottle, and dropped two pills in her left palm, she stared at them for awhile. As she continued to stare at the little whilte tablets, she began to feel sort of dizzy and her mind began to spin again. The sound of her beeper, brought the young doctor back to reality.

"Okay," Lucy thought to herself, "it's not or never."

As she filled a cup with water, she put the pills in her mouth and forced herself to swallow. After a couple minutes of trying to make herself looke half decent, she went to do her job. Leaving the bottle of Ritalin on the counter, half open.

*******

"I need four of atrepine and two of saline," Carter urged the group which Lucy had now joined. They were trying to save a ten year old girl who had fallen from a set of monkeybars during recess. And so far, it didn't look too good.

"I'll check her vitals and get a blood gas," Lucy offered quickly.

"Thanks, Luce," John said appreciarttively. "I really appreciate it."

"Sure, no problem," Lucy replied as she checked the young girl's BP and preceeded to tdo the blood gas.

"What's her name?" A new medical student named Araina asked Laura, who was one of the paramedics.

"Alyssa Rochell."

Araina nodded and mouthed a thank you to Laura who just smiled politely and nodded.

As Carter began to put more antibiotics into Alyssa's IV, Lucy started feeling dizzy and kind of sick to her stomach. As the dizzy feeling wore off, the nausea increased. A few seconds later, Lucy threw the syringe to the ground and hurried out of the trauma room as fast as she could.

"Lucy, wait!" She heard Carter yell from hehind, but she didn't look back. She couldn't. Not now.

As she entered the bathroom she raced into a stall and started vomiting instantly. That's all she did for seven straight minutes was throw up.

After her stomach had finally calmed down, she washed her face at the sink, fixed her ponytail and took a small sip of Sprite from her water bottle that she always carried with her to work. As she started gathering up her things, she felt like she needed to tell someone what happened. A good friend.Someone other than Carter.

**********

When Lucy entered the ped's playroom, she found Abby sitting at a table with her six year old daughter, Brooke, and Lucy's twin daughters, Annabelle and Gabriella. They looked like they were having a good time playing whatever game it was that they were in the middle of.

"Hi Mommy!" Annabelle said happily and ran to her mother with Gabrielle following close behind.

As Lucy picked Annabelle up, she patted Gabriella on the shoulder with her free hand.

"Aw, how are my girls?" She asked, giving both of them a hug and kiss.

"Fine!" They replied in unison which made Lucy laugh.

"Aunt Abby's teaching us how to read!" Gabriella said exactedly. "That's great!" Lucy replied, sharing in her daughters' joy for a few minutes.

As she put Annabelle down, the girls ran back to where they had been sitting and Abby looked up from the game she she was doing and smiled at her friend.

"Hey, Luce! What's up? Do they need me downstairs?"

Lucy shook her head.

"Nope. They've got it covered. But uh, I ne-need to talk to you. In-in private. Now."

Abby nodded as a look of concern and worry crossed her face.

"All right you guys," she said turning to Brooke and Annabelle, "why don't we stop here for just a sec? I need to talk to Aunt Lucy, so I want you guys to do sometning quiet til I get back. Okay?"

Brooke nodded.

"Can I show Annabelle and Gabriella how to play Minuet on the piano?" Abby nodded.

"Sure, sweetheart. Go right ahead."

Brooke grinned and jumped to her feet, motioning for the twins to follow her.

After Abby made sure that Yosh would watch the girls til she returned, she and Lucy went into an exam room across the hall and shut the door.

"What's wrong?" Abby asked, looking Lucy straight in the eye.

"I took two Ritalin," Lucy replied, barely whispering.

"You what?" Abby asked, feeling panic surge through her body

"I-I don't know why I did it. I wasn't even thinking about it. I've been Ritalin free for almost four years. I honestly don't know what caused me to do it. Honest."

"It's okay, Luce, it's all right. Calm down." Abby replied, putting a reassuring hand on her friend's shoulder.

"The weird thing is I think my body rejected it."

"Why do you say that?" Abby asked, having the feeling she already knew what was coming next.

"Well after I took them, I went to help John in a trauma and about fifteen minutes later, I started feeling dizzy and nauseas. I ran out of the trauma room and got sick almost immediately when I reached the toliet."

"You vomited them up?" Abby asked, looking at her friend's pale complextion.

Lucy nodded.

"But I wasn't planning on it. It's not like it was voluntary getting sick or anything. It was just like as if I had the flu or something."

Abby nodded and sighed as she sat down next to Lucy.

"Well do you feel like you're gonna vomit now?" Abby asked, trying to get a clear hold on what was going on.

Lucy nodded.

"Sort of. The nausea feeling isn't as bad as it was before."

Abby nodded as she tried tof figure out what to do next.

"Did you tell Dr. Greene?" Abby asked, putting her chin in her hands.

"No!" Lucy replied in alarm. "I-I can't tell him. I'll be fired for sure."

"I think you have to," Abby said quietly.

"Didn't you listen to what I said?" Lucy asked frfatically. "If I tell Dr. Greene, I'll loose my job!"

"Well, at least tell him you have to go home."

"I have three hours left," Lucy said with a sigh. "I can't."

"Tell him you're sick. You threw up. He'll have to let you go home then."

"He's been pretty snappy lately," Lucy said with a slight laugh. "Do you think he'll believe me?"

"Go convince him," Abby replied firmly. "And go now."

Lucy sighed and nodded. Before leaving the room, a thought struck her mind.

"What am I going to tell the girls?" Lucy asked.

"Tell them you have the flu. It happens."

"I can't lie to my daughters. They mean too much to me."

"Then you have to do it," Abby said firmly, but at the same time a little warmness filled her tone.

Lucy nodded. Then another thought came to mind. "What about John?"

"You have to tell him," Abby said solemnly. "And soon."

Lucy nodded and left the room to find Dr. Greene.

*********

A few hours later, Lucy was at home, getting dinner ready. The twins were sitting in the living room watching "The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea" while Gretel was in her playpen playing with some toys. The girls seemed like they were having a fun time so Lucy didn't bother to tell them anything. At least not yet.

A few minutes after Lucy had put the ravioli in the oven, the phone rang. After letting it ring three times, Lucy picked it up.

"Hello?" She said as she tried to cook dinner and hold the phone at the same time.

"Hey Luce," the familiar voice said. "It's me, Abby. Are you feeling better?"

"Yeah. A lot better. Thanks."

"I was calling to see if you wanted me to take the girls for a couple hours. I'm taking Brooke to see the Christmas lights and I thought that Ambrosia and Annabelle might wanna come."

"Thanks for thinking of them," Lucy said gratefully.

"They are my nieces. Why wouldn't I?"

Lucy laughed at this. She had to admit, she was feeling a LOT better, but she still could use some time alone.

"I'll ask them," Lucy said as she turned th vegetable casseroloe ove rin the frying pan. "Hold on."

"Kay," Abby replied.

"Hey you guys, do you wanna go with Aunt Abby and Uncle Luka to see the Christmas lights after dinner?"

"Sure!" Gabriella said with excitement. "That'll be awesome! I'm in."

"Well, I'll say that's a yes," lUcy said with a laugh. "And how about you, sweetheart?" She asked, turning to Annabelle.

"Do you wanna go with your sister and spend time with Aunt Abby and see the Christmas lights? I bet it'll be fun."

Annabelle thought for a moment, then frowned slightly and shok her head. "Come on, Belle," Gabriella encouraged her twin sister, coming over to where Annabelle sitting and pausing the movie for a moment so that Annabelle would have to pay attention to her, "why don't you wanna come? It'll be fun."

"I wanna stay with Mommy." Annabelle replied as her lower lip started to quiver a little. "I-I don't want her to be alone."

"Aw, it's all right, honey. I'm not going to be alone for long. Daddy will be home in a little while. He'll probably be home when we're finishing dinner." Lucy replied as she put her arm around Annabelle and gave her a hug. "So you don't have to worry about me being alone. I promise you, okay?"

Annabelle nodded, but tears welled up in her hazel eyes and she buried her face in Lucy's blouse.

"Aw, it's okay, sweetums. Come here." As Lucy picked her youngest daughter up, Annabelle clung to her as if this was her last time that she would ever see her mother again.

As Lucy turned the oven timer on, she got back on the phone.

"So what's the verdict?" Abby asked. "Do they wanna come?"

"Gabriella is all for it, but Annabelle isn't quite as excited. I think she needs a nap. She just burst into tears and buried her face in my waist. I have in my arms now."

"Aw, poor thing. Well, maybe she'll change her mind when I get there."

"Maybe," Lucy replied half listening to her friend.

"Did you tell her that Brooke will be there?" abby asked, hoping she had said it loud enough so that Annabelle would hear her.

"Did you hear that, honey? Brooke is gonna be there too." Annabelle shook her head while the tears continued to fall.

"I still don't wanna go."

"All right, sweetheart. It's all right. You can stay here with me. We'll have fun."

"Still no?" Abby asked, knowing the answer to the question.

"I'm hoping that once she sees that Carter will be here, she'll change her mind."

"Maybe. But if she doesn't, it's fine. After all, I'm sure it won't be the last time we go to see the lights. They are displayed through the holidays."

"Okay," Lucy replied with a sigh. "I guess you're right."

Just then, Lucy heard the front door open and close.

"Hey, Luce!" Carter's voice came floating to the kitchen. "I'm home. Luce? Honey?"

"Daddy's home," Annabelle said through her teasrs as she tried to calm down, but continued to cling to Lucy.

"In here, sweetheart!" Lucy called from the kitchen. "In the kitchen."

"Gotcha!" Carter called back as he walked through the foyer and lliving room toward the kitchen.

When he entered, he smiled at the sweet aroma that was coming from the oven and stove.

"Hmmm," he said as he came over and gave Lucy a kiss, which she returned instantly. "It smells good in here. What cha making?"

"Ravioli and vegetable casserole."

"My favorite. So how's my girl?" Carter asked, referring to Lucy.

"Fine. Couldn't be better."

"Liar," Abby hissed through the phone.

"What was that?" Carter asked.

"Nothing. I didn't say anything. I was talking to Abby before you came in. Uh, Abb, I have to go. Gabriella is definitely going, but like I said before, Annabelle is still an if so we'll see when you come."

"All righty," Abby replied. "I'll see ya when we get there."

"Okay, bye." After Lucy hung up the phone, she put Annabelle down, who ran after her and tried to bury her face in her waist once again, while Lucy tried to get dinner on the table.

"Hey, Pumpkin," Carter said as he picked Annabelle up and gave her a hug and a kiss. "What's wrong?"

"She wants to stay here while Gabriella goes with Abby and Luka to see the Christmas lights and pick out her Christmas present from them."

"Huh! That sounds like a LOT of fun! Why don't you wanna go?"

"I don't want Mommy to be alone," Annabelle managed to say through her remaining tears.

"Aw, it's all right, sweetheart. Mommy won't be alone. I'll be here. And besides, I'll bet if you go with Aunt Abby and your sister, you'll have a wonderful time. So what do you say? Will you do it? For me?"

Annabelle thought for a moment, then nodded as a small smile crossed her face.

"Okay." She replied. "I'll go."

"That's my girl. Now, come on, let's you washed up for dinner."

Annabelle nodded as she jumped down and went upstairs to wash her face and hands for dinner.

After Annabelle was gone, Lucy shook her head in amazement.

"I don't know how you do it," she said giving him another hug.

"Well, I'm just the best," Carter replied with a smile as he planted another kiss on her cheek.

"I guess you are," Lucy agreed as she returned the kiss while resting her head on Carter's right shoulder for a minute or so.

************

After dinner, Abby showed up to take the girls on their little outing.

When Abby walked through the door, Annabelle ran to her aunt and threw her arms around her waist, happily squealing,

"Aunt Abby! Aunt Abby! Aunt Abby! Aunt Abby!"

"Annabelle! Annabelle! Annabelle! Annabelle!' Abby exclaimed in similar excitement as she picked Annabelle up and gave her a hug and kiss.

Annabelle giggled as she rested her head on Abby's right should for a minute.

"Look who woke up," Lucy announced as she entered th room carrying Gretel in her arms.

Abby smiled fondly at the nine month old baby girl and touched her gently on the shoulder.

"Hey there, sweetheart. And how are you doing today?"

"Say I'm fne. Teething like crazy. But fine nonetheless."

At this, everyone laughed, and Luka took Gretel out of Lucy's grasp and sat down on the couch, gently rocking the small child in his arms.

"Hi, there little one," he said softly. Brooke joined her father on the couch and began to sing Gretel a song that she had learned in church.

"Well, are we leaving or what?" Annabelle asked as Abby put her down and she ran to give Lucy and Carter a hug good-bye.

Abby laughed at this.

"Yes we are, my darling niece. Just as soon as you get your coat and mittens on. Go on now."

Annabelle nodded and ran upstairs, followed by the family's cat, Sprinkles.

"Wow!" Abby said with a laugh. "For someone who didn't wanna go a couple hours ago, she sure is rearing to leave now!"

Lucy nodded.

"Well, that's a four year old for you."

"I guess you're right. Come on, sweetheart," Abby said turning to Luka. "Give Gretel back to Lucy and let's get a move on."

Luka nodded.

"Thanks for getting her to sleep," Lucy whispered to Brooke. "I really appreciate it."

Brooke nodded and went to put her coat on.

After the gang had left, Lucy settled down on the couch with Gretel in her arms and sighed.

"Well, sweetheart, it's now or never."

As she saundered into the kitchen, her heart skpped a few beats.

"Uh, John, sweetie, I need to talk to you."

"Sure thing, Luce. What's up?"

Lucy took a deep breath before saying what was on her mind. Right as she was about to speak, Carter's beeper went off.

"Darn it!" He said, hitting his hand to his forehead. "It's the ER."

Lucy sighed with relief. This would bide her some time.

"Is what you wanted to tell me important? Or can it wait?"

"It can wait," Lucy replied. "it can definitely wait."

"Are you sure?" Carter asked, giving her a kiss. "Cause you know there's nothing in this world that is more important to me than my beautiful wife and lovely daughters."

Lucy smiled and nodded. "I'm positive."

As she watched John leave, she sighed. Once the door was closed, Lucy layed Gretel in her crib gently. After she made sure she was all right, she went to the living room and collapsed on the couch in tears, crying herself into a restless sleep.



"A Knight of Comebacks" Part 2



PREVIOUSLY ON ER:

Lucy- I took two Ritalin.

Abby- Did you tell Dr. Greene?

Lucy- I can't! I'll get fired.

Abby- I think you have to.

Lucy- What am I going to tell the girls?

Abby- Tell them you got sick, it happens.

Lucy- I'm not going to lie to my daughters. I love them too much.

Abby- Then you'll have to do it.

Carter- I have to go into work. Do you mind waiting until tonight to tell me whatever it is you wanted to tell me? Is it important?

Lucy- Nope. Not really.

Carter- Are you sure?

Lucy- I'm positive.

Carter- Okay. If you're sure. I'll see you later. (He kisses her and leaves. After he is gone, Lucy puts Gretel back down for a nap and cries herself to sleep.)

*********************

Two weeks later...

Lucy walked into the ER, feeling nervous for some reason. So far, nobody had found out about what had happened. So far, she was in the clear, but for some reason, something didn't feel right.

As Lucy walked through the hallway, she approached the admit desk and took a look at the board. No new cases had arrived, but Lucy had been there long enough to know that that could all change in a matter of time. And did it ever!

Within twenty-five minutes of Lucy's arrival to work. Four traumas came in. Three involving children and one involving a drunk driver who hit a lady's car on his way to work. It was a mess.

During one of the traumas involving a little girl named Anya, Carter came in and said, "Lucy, when you get a minute, I need to talk to you." Lucy nodded and continued what she was doing.

******************

When the trauma was over and Anya had been sent up to the ped's OR, Lucy went in search of Carter. Shivers ran down her spine, but she knew she had to talk to him. She couldn't wait any longer. As she entered the lounge, she saw Carter sitting at the table.

"You wanted to see me, Carter?" Lucy asked as she came in and tried her best to act as nonnervous as possible.

Carter nodded.

"Yes, I did."

"Well what about?"

"I think you know what this is about, Lucy." He held up the bottle of Ritalin and then slammed it down on the table which made Lucy jump back a little.

"I can't believe it!" Carter said quietly, shaking his head. "I can't believe you did that and didn't even come to me for help. When you knew damn right well that I would have helped you as muc has I could. For goodness sake! I love you, Luce! Does that mean anything to you? Of course the whole fact that I helped you when you first told me you were on it. But that doesn't matter now does it? You had to go to Abby for help instead of me. Your own husband. A person who you are supposed to love for the rest of your life. I-I just don't understand it, Lucy. Why? Why did you do it? And WHY didn't you come to me for help when you knew you were in over your head? WHY!?"

Lucy sighed as she tried to fight back tears and figure out what she was going to say in response to her husband's ouburst of truth and hurt that he was feeling.

"Are you finished now?" Lucy asked quietly as she gazed into his brown eyes that were filled with hurt and betrayal.

Carter nodded and sat back down.

"Okay, here goes," Lucy began. "I didn't tell you because I didn't feel safe telling you. I know that sounds silly, but it's the truth. And for another thing-"

"Why wouldn't you feel safe telling me?" Carter asked, interrupting her.

"Can you let me finish? I didn't interrupt you when you were ranting and raving. So don't you think I deserve the same respect?"

Carter nodded.

"Yes you do. I-I'm sorry. Go on."

"It's okay. Anyway, as I was saying, I didn't tell you because I feared that as Cochief of emergency medicine, you would fire me or turn me into Weaver."

"Why would you think that?"

"Because usually when a personal domestic case comes up in the ER, they tell you to use your PROFESSIONAL judgement first."

"The hell they do! And you me all too well, Luce. I would NEVER do that to you!"

"I think we need some cool-off time," Lucy suggested. "I'll be up top."

"Fine, whatever."

Lucy didn't respond, she just left.

********************

On her way up to the roof, she stoped at the admit desk and spotted Abby doing some paperwork.

"You told didn't you? You ratted me out!"

Abby shook her head.

"No I didn't honest!"

"Then how does John know then? HOW?"

Abby sighed in frustration.

"Can you just let me explain?"

Lucy nodded.

"I'm sorry, go ahead."

"Thank you. Anna found the bottle of Ritalin in the bathroom and gave it to Carter. She thought that it was a half-used prescriptions from one of his patients who is on it. That's all. And that's the truth. I promise."

Lucy nodded.

"I-I'm sorry, Abby. I shouldn't have accused you of telling Carter. I knew you wouldn't do that."

Abby nodded an gave her friend a hug.

"it's okay. I know you're under a LOT of stress right now."

Lucy nodded and then left for her destination.

***********************

When Lucy got to the roof, she let the tears of guilt and pain fall from her eyes. She felt so guilty and scared about everything that had happened.

A few minutes later, she started praying.

*****************

Meanwhile back in the ER, Carter was having trouble concentrating on his cases. He fumbled on an IV and almost didn't complete a cross-intubation. All he could think about was Lucy and how he had tore her apart verbally. It was fair. She must be feeling worse than he did and he knew he shouldn't have treated her the way he had. After his last case was over, he went up to the roof.

As he came through the door, he saw her sitting on the roof, crying. Her face was turned towards the street, but he could see tears coming down her cheeks. He also could hear her talking. It sounded like she was talking to God.

"I was just scared that's all. Scared of what might have happened if I did say anything. I'm sorry though. I truly am so sorry. If you could help John realize that, it would be like a miracle in itself."

Carter gritted his teeth when he heard this. He deserved it though.

As she finished her prayer, he walked over and put his arm on her shoulder.

"I'm sorry, John," she said through her tears. "I was just scared. I din't know if-"

"Shh, Luce, it's okay. I'm sorry too," he said sincerely as he began to stroke her hair and rock her back and forth. "I am so sorry. We'll get through this together, I promise. The way I see it, if Abby is helping you too, I'm happy about that.

The more people helping you through this, the better chance you have of coming out on top."

Lucy nodded as she layed her head on Carter's shoulder and let the remaining tears fall. It felt good knowing that they were going to be able to work it out. And Lucy knew deep down in her heart that it would work out for the best. She just knew it.


THE END



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