Let Me Fall After Her

AUTHOR: brin
EMAIL: angel794@hotmail.com
RATING: Probably my standard PG-13. This is a Carter fic (of course) so there will be Carter angst, drama, and probably heavy swearing. It's just the way I write.
SPOILERS: All through Season Seven. Just small note, Mark Greene has recovered from his surgery and is back to working in the ER. Carter did tell Abby off that he does not want to be her friend. This continues in this story. Everything else is basically where it left off at the end of the season, but I'm not getting into Mark's fiasco that happened in "Rampage". No spoilers of that epi except Carter telling Abby he no longer wants to be friends with her. This subject is discussed in Chapter 2
DISCLAIMER: ER characters property of NBC and writers. None I own.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: this is my new fic. be gentle! i'm working hard to get it done as quickly and as efficiently as possible. please send comments, or anything. just so everyone knows, i'm a bit rusty with the er history, so if i get anything mixed up or forget anything, don't get mad. im remembering the best i can.
SUMMARY: Anna Del Amico comes back to visit Chicago. However, her meeting with Carter does not go smoothly. Something happens to her while she is there, and Carter gets thrown into another tragic loop.

The woman's pale eyes were locked on something invisible from the back of the cab. The driver cleared his voice, startling her from her thoughts.

"We're here, ma'am," he told her. "You want me to wait?"

The woman shook her head, her loose blond hair sailing easily in the air.

"No, that's okay." She handed him a few bills, and fumbled for the door handle. "Keep the change." She exited the cab. As it drove out of the lot, she returned her gaze to the sign. Cook County General Hospital. She'd missed seeing that sign all the years she was gone, yet when she looked upon the building, she felt like she had never left.

Taking a breath to try and clear the butterflies from her stomach, she slung her bag over her shoulder and approached the entrance. She would have been giddy had she not been so nervous. The idea of returning to her home scared her. She'd been gone for three years; three years without any contact from anyone inside. No cards, no phone calls. She guessed they were all too busy to call or write, for she had never found the time to do so either. She wondered, as she stepped out of the sun into the florescent lights, how they would all react to seeing her.

Finding the emergency room was easy. She could do that in her sleep. But another question arose in her mind. How many of the staff would still be working there? She'd left. Many others could have, as well. Her butterflies turned to stone as she approached the desk, not at all expecting what she would find.

Chapter 1 "A Happy Reunion"

Randi watched with narrow eyes as the blond woman approached the front desk, her long hair dancing delicately as she balanced a bag on her shoulder. She busied herself with a nail filer, waiting for the woman to speak.

"Excuse me."

Randi looked back up, meeting the woman's eyes with her own. Today was not her day for playing secretary. "Yes?"

"Hi, my name is Anna Del Amico and I was wondering if I could speak to someone…" She paused, glancing around the desk. "Isn't Jerry around?"

"Jerry? The desk clerk Jerry?" Randi raised an eyebrow when the woman nodded. "He left a long time ago. Like years ago. What do you need?"

The hospital had a new desk clerk. Anna's worst fear deepened that none of her friends would be here.

"Um… is Dr. Greene around, Mark Greene? Or Dr. Ross?"

"You wanna speak with Dr. Greene?"

Anna nodded again. "Yes, please."

The secretary swiveled around in her seat just in time to see Kerry Weaver exit an exam room. "Dr. Weaver," she called. "Someone's here to see Dr. Greene."

Kerry looked over at the desk. Her blank face immediately radiated.

"Anna?" she exclaimed. Limping over to the desk, she enveloped her in a long hug. "Oh my god! What are you doing in Chicago?" she asked as soon as she pulled away. Anna grinned at her.

"Just visiting a friend, so I thought I'd drop by, see everyone and all that."

"I can't believe it. It's been… years! How have you been?"

"Great. I'm an attendant at CHOP, working in the Pedes department."

"That's wonderful. Everything's working out then?"

"Yah, it's great. So how are you? How's Dr. Greene, and all the others?" She'd meant to ask about one specific person, but she couldn't quite bring herself to asking boldly. She listened intently as Kerry rambled on about everything that had changed.

"Mark's doing great. He just got married and had a baby."

"That's cool. What about Dr. Ross? Still terrorizing Chicago?"

Kerry refrained from once again bitching about everything about Dr. Ross that got on her nerves. "No, Doug left, a little while after you did. He's living in Seattle. Carol moved out there with her babies a couple years ago."

Anna held a hand over her mouth. "Oh my god. I'd meant to call Carol, and all you guys, but I've been so busy."

"It's okay. We've all been busy." Kerry motioned around the recently finished ER. "We just remodeled everything down here last year. There's new equipment, new doctors. A lot has changed."

Anna nodded in agreement. "I guess a few years does do that sort of thing."

"Oh there's Mark. Hey Mark!" Kerry called out to him as he passed by, toting a baby carrier under one arm and Elizabeth's hand in the other. He turned, brightening as he saw the woman standing by Kerry. Him and Elizabeth made their way through the small crowd, and Elizabeth threw her arms around Anna, laughing.

"My god, I can't believe it's you," Elizabeth cried in her prim accent.

"Anna, welcome back. Coming to join our ER again?" Mark grinned.

"As much as I'd love to," Anna answered. "I'm here seeing a friend. Couldn't resist coming by." Her eyes focused on the bundle that shifted her position, letting out a small coo. "Oh, Mark, she's beautiful. I'm happy for both of you."

"Thank you. How long are you staying around?" Mark asked, letting Anna peek at his new daughter.

"Just a few days. I haven't really decided actually."

"Well, I want to get together with you," Elizabeth announced. "Catch up on old times."

"That would be great."

"Lizzie, I wasn't aware you were back from maternity leave so soon!"

Another person joined the group, stepping in between Anna and Kerry.

"Afternoon Robert," Elizabeth returned primly. "No, actually I was just paying Mark a visit for lunch."

Robert nodded his approval. "Kerry, where's the drug boy? He called me for a surgical consult."

Kerry rolled her eyes at Robert's referral to Dr. Carter. Since his return last year, Dr. Romano had never bothered to call him by his name. "Robert, I do wish you'd treat my doctors with the respect they deserve."

"Believe me Kerry, that is all the respect he deserves. Now, where is he?"

"Kerry's right, Robert," Mark said. "We don't need to hear that crap from you."

"Well, maybe if you were courteous enough to inform me of this whole situation as it happened instead of three months after…"

"Robert knock it off," Kerry interrupted. "That was over a year ago. I can't believe you!"

"Kerry," Mark said calmly. "Dr. Romano, we apologize, but this is all over and done with. Yes, Carter made a mistake, but he's paid for it. And he's done exceptionally well since then. Treat him with some decency, if you please. We all have been able to move on. I suggest you do the same." With that he turned and left, with Elizabeth following. Robert said nothing for a moment.

"Hey, you!" he snapped at the desk clerk. "Page Dr. Carter and tell him to get his ass down here." He stormed away.

"That was our Chief of Staff, Dr. Romano," Kerry explained to Anna's confused look. "Why don't we go into the lounge? Randi, if you see Dr. Carter, have him meet us in the lounge."

Randi gave both an odd look as they headed in that direction. Picking up the phone, she muttered, "Jeez, what the hell did Carter do?"

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