A Knight of Trust
AUTHOR: Sadira Jewelsten
CATEGORY: Carter/Lucy Friendship
SPOILERS: Last episode seen "How the Knight Saved Christmas"
DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT own any of the characters from "ER".
SUMMARY: Lucy helps Valerie through a set-back and Carter meets Valerie for
the first time and hears about Lucy's heroic save. Also, Carter comforts
Lucy when a tragedy happens.
"A Knight of Trust"
It was 4:34 in the morning, and I was still at the hospital. I would have
been at home sleeping, but I decided to stay with Valerie until she woke up
for awhile and was able to keep some liquid down. The L-VAD implantation
had been successful, but there were still a few things to clear up. As I
entered the recovery room for what seemed like the ninth time, Valerie
started to wake up. I saw her eyes begin to flutter, and she started to move
a little. I quickly went over to the bed and put my hand on her shoulder.
"No Valerie," I said gently. "You can't really move that much. At least not
Valerie nodded, as she let out a frustrated sigh and a pained look crossed
"Do you want some more Morphine?" I asked, sitting down next to the bed and
putting my chin in my hands.
Valerie nodded. "Yeah, it's sort of really hurting."
I gave her a sympathetic look. "It's okay," I assured her. "It's gonna
hurt for awhile. But you'll be fine, I promise. Are you thirsty?"
Valerie shook her head.
The fact that she declined a drink of Apple Juice after being intubated and
asleep for so long, got me a little worried.
As I stared at my watch, I noticed that it was almost 5:00. I would have to
leave and get ready for rounds soon. And leaving Valerie, knowing there might be something wrong, wasn't an easy thing to do. I had to figure out what was up, if anything. And I would have to figure it out fast.
Throughout rounds, my thoughts were on Valerie and her imminent setback. I
couldn't quite place my finger on what was wrong yet though. Carter sensed
that I was off in another world, and he pulled me aside. We sat down
together outside, and he looked into my eyes, concerned.
"Are you okay Luce?" he asked. "You seem kind of distant. Brighten up, it's
Christmas." He smiled, hoping to get a similar reaction from me. But I was
too worried to think about the holidays. I was kind of reluctant to dump my
patient's problems on Carter, but, since he was a respected doctor, I
figured he might have a chance to help her, so I took a chance.
"It's this patient of mine, Valerie Page. 24 year old with cardiomyopathy,
implanted an L-VAD until she can receive a donor heart." I said, hoping he
was interested in assisting in the case."
"An L-VAD?" he questioned. "I thought those weren't available here until
"Well, I got one transferred here and got Romano to implant it for me. It
took some convincing, but I got him to do it for me…for her." I responded.
He laughed. "So the rumors were true. I heard about a 'midnight visit' you
paid to Romano but I didn't know the details. So what's the problem?"
"She awoke around 4:30; I extubated her. She declined a drink after being
intubated for hours, and is in a lot of pain. It also appears as if she may
have a low-grade fever. I'm not completely positive what might be going on,
so I want another opinion" I grimly replied.
Carter's face stiffened. He sat up straight in his chair, visibly worried.
He looked at me a moment before speaking. "I'll be honest with you Luce, it
doesn't sound promising. But let's not get too concerned just yet. Can you
show me to her room?"
"Sure," I said, relieved that he was willing to help. We walked together in
silence towards Valerie's room, both wishing that she would be well enough
to celebrate Christmas today, even from her hospital bed.
Carter paused at the door, and stepped aside.
I gave him a confused look.
"What?" I asked. "What are you waiting for?"
He smiled sheepishly. "Ladies first."
I laughed. "And besides, she might get a little nervous if she sees someone
new coming in the room after you've been there with her all day. Especially
if it's a guy."
I nodded and smiled. "Carter….." I said as I gave him a quick hug. He
returned it with a kiss and waited until I lead the way into the room.
As I walked into the room, I could see that Valerie was still asleep. I
went over to the bed and gently placed my arm on her right shoulder.
"Valerie," I whispered gently. "Valerie. Are you awake?"
A few minutes later, she started to stir. And move a little. As she opened
her eyes, I could see tears welling up.
"What's wrong?" I asked in concern.
"It hurts," Valerie whispered. "Really badly."
I turned to Carter for help. "It's gonna be okay," I whispered gently as I
tried to sooth my friend and calm her fears. "I'm here with you. Don't
worry. Dr. Carter might be able to help too. I brought him to see if he can
help us figure this whole thing out. He's a good doctor. Believe me."
Valerie nodded and glanced at Carter for a minute. "He's also good looking!"
Valerie said with a small smile.
I laughed slightly and so did Carter. It was a good sign to see that even
though Valerie's health wasn't all the great, her sense of humor wasn't that
far gone. A few seconds later, I turned to Carter. "What should we do?" I
asked, hoping he would have a solution.
"Well, we have to figure out where the-"
Just then, Valerie started swallowing really hard. This, made me concerned.
"Does your chest hurt?" I asked, trying to figure out why Valerie had
started swallowing as hard as she was. Valerie shook her head.
Carter must have known what was going to happen before I, because he got a
bowl from across the room and brought it over to me. I gave him a puzzled
look, but took it anyway. What was he aiming at?
A few minutes later, Valerie started coughing al little bit. As she started
to gag a little bit while coughing, I started blushing as I helped her to
sit up. I can't believe I was so stupid! Just as I put my arm around her to
steady her balance, she started vomiting.
"Good call," I said to Carter as I straightened out Valerie's IV and made
sure that nothing else was tangled.
"Tell me about it," Carter said as he filled a cup with ice chips. "These
are new pants!" I laughed slightly. For some reason
Carter was finding a joke in everything tonight.
The vomiting didn't stop for about fifteen minutes. This was definitely a
BAD sign. I mean, it was normal for people to get sick after an operation,
but not every fifteen minutes. Something was wrong. VERY wrong.
A few hours later, I decided to go up to the roof to do a little thinking
and regrouping. As I sat there, watching the commotion below, I felt a
gentle hand touch my shoulder. I turned around to see Carter standing behind
me. Without warning, I collapsed in his grasp in tears.
"I didn't think it would turn out this way," I sobbed. "I just wanted to
make a difference in Valerie's life. To give her a little hope. I didn't
think in a million years it would turn out this way. All I wanted to do
was….." My voice trailed off in the distance as more tears came down.
"Shh, Luce, it's all right. Just let it out." Carte rsoothed as he began to
stroke my light brown hair gently. "Shh, that's my girl, that's my girl.
As I let the tears fall, I felt like I had totally betrayed Valerie. And
that's exactly what I had done. I lied to her. Even if I didn't mean to, I
still did it. And right now, I felt HORRIBLE.
As I clung to Carter, I began to feel like I didn't want to leave his arms.
I felt safe with him. Like nothing bad could ever
happen. And there, I didn't have to worry about facing what I had done. But
I knew deep down inside that I had to face it. Whether I wanted to or not.
I rested my head on Carter's right shoulder for a long time while he
continued to stroke my hair and rock me back and forth in efforts to sooth
me and help me to calm down.
A few minutes later, the tears started to cease and I started feeling a
little bit better.
As I lifted my head for just a moment, I met Carter's loving and comforting
eyes. As if he were reading my mind, he hugged me to him and whispered,
"It's not your fault, Lucy, it's not your fault at all. You have to believe
me when I tell you that. Because it's true."
"Then why do I feel so awful?" I asked as I let the last few remaining tears
"You feel awful because you care about Valerie. Because you care about
people. You are a VERY caring person, Lucy Knight. And that's what I love
about you the most. And I meant what I said back when we were looking for
Corrina's father. You were one of my VERY promising students. And now you
are on your way to becoming a VERY promising doctor. I only saying these
things because they are true. And because you are one my BEST friends, Luce.
And when I see you hurting, I hurt even more." As Carter gave me another
hug and planted a kiss on my cheek, the tears came again. This time it was
mixed from leftover hurt and a newfound friendship that I had forgotten
existed. Carter really and truly cared about me and that made me feel a
WHOLE lot better.
As I got up to go back into the hospital, I gave John a hug.
"Thank you, Carter," I said gratefully. "Thank you for everything."
"No problem, Luce. And remember what I said."
"I will," I replied earnestly.
As we entered the hospital, my beeper went off.
"It's Kerry," I said in surprise.
"Why would she be paging me?"
"First time for everything I guess." He replied with a laugh as we went our
As I reached the admit desk, I stopped to catch my breath.
"Where's Dr. Weaver?" I asked Randi who was in the middle of filing charts
and answering phones.
"Uh, I think she's in room 242," Randi answered and went back to her
"Thanks!" I replied as I dashed for the elevator.
As I entered the room, Kerry quickly ushered me out of the room so that we
could talk in private.
"Valerie is VERY sick," she began as we sat down on a bench outside of the
room. "And I don't think she's going to make it through the night."
I nodded as I felt a rush of tears welling up in my eyes. I fought them
back and forced myself to act professional.
"I-is there anything we could do?" I asked, trying to sound as calm and as
otomistic as possible.
Kerry shook her head.
"The only thing you can do is be there with her and try to make her as
comfortable as possible. I know it doesn't seem like much, but believe me,
sweetie, in Valierie's eyes, it'll mean a LOT more."
I nodded as I went to go back into the room.
"And Lucy?" Kerry said as she turend to leave also.
I turned around.
"I'm sorry," she said sincerely and then headed back downstairs.
As I entered Valerie's room, I felt a shiver run down my spine. Then
Carter's words of encouragement came floating back and I suddenly felt like
I was ready to face anything.
"Lucy?" Valerie whispered as I walked into the room. I smiled.
"Yup, it's me."
"I'm going to die, aren't I?"
As I sat down in a chair, I took Valierie's hand in mine, I nodded.
"This might sound really stupid, but I'm scared."
At that point, tears came rolling down her face. As she turned away, I
shook my head.
"Valerie," I said softly. "You don't have to go through this alone. I'm
here. I was with you when you first came into hospital and I'm with you now.
Valerie nodded as more tears came out. Realizing that she needed
comforting, I helped her to sit up and I just held her for several minuites.
As I helped her to lie back down, I got an idea.
"Where exactly does it hurt the most?" I asked, putting my right hand on
Valerie's shoulder and fixing the IV with the other.
"My right side," Valierie replied.
"Okay. I have an idea that might buy you some time. I'm going to take you
to CT and get a cardial-gram just to check something out. Do you mind?"
Valerie shook her head.
"Whatever will do the trick."
When we reached CT, I tried to be as unsuspicious as possible.
After the scan was over, what I feared came true. The scan revealed nothing.
Absolutely nothing. I felt like I had failed. Failed myself, failed
County, and most of all, failed Valerie.
"Anything?" Valierie asked when I approached to wheel her back to her room.
I shook my head.
"I'm sorry," I said sincerely as we returned to the third floor.
"It's not your fault," Valerie reassured me. "It was just meant to be."
As the hours passed, Valerie went in and out of consciousness and I tried
not to go out of my mind waiting for it to happen.
Finally around 2:45 in the morning, the heart monitor started blaring like a
car alarm on the fritz and the screen read asistaly. As it hit flatlined, I
heard someone come into the room. It was Carter.
As the monitor beeped for the last time, I chocked back a sob as I
whispered, "Time of death, 2:47 PM."
As I turned to leave, Carter put his arm around me, but I pulled away.
I shook my head and my blue eyes blazed with anger and hurt.
"Just leave me alone, John! Just LEAVE ME ALONE!"
As I ran out of the room, I didn't even bother to look back. I was too
upset and confused.
When I reached my destination, I sat down and just let the tears fall. I
must have fallen asleep, because the next thing I knew, someone was shaking
me and calling my name.
"Lucy, Luce, wake up." I opened one eye to see my best friend, Abby
Lockhart standing behind me.
As I sat up, everything came floating back to me and it hit me like a pile
of IV poles. The emotions came back, along with the tears.
"Aw, Luce," Abby said gently and took me into her arms. "Shh, it's okay.
It'll get better, I promise."
As Abby began to stroke my hair, I let out a frustrated sob.
"It's not fair!" I whispered. "It's not fair at all."
"I hear ya," Abby replied truthfully. "Believe me, Lucy. I hear you."
As Abby sat there, helping me through my time of need, I made myself a
promise. I promised myself that I would try my best to treat my patients
with care and not get as close as I got to Valerie. I knew it was going to
be a hard goal, but I was determined to reach it.
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