Let Me Fall After Her

author's note: i had this story going one way, then all of a sudden, it took over and went on its own, to my surprise. this chapter takes a turn for the worst at the end, and continues to go downwards after that.
lyrics have been borrowed from SR71 and Splender. I admire both their music and was listening to their cds today when i heard the perfect songs for this chapter. so read on...


Chapter 5 "A Simple Talk"

What a Mess

I confess
It's all true
I'm a mess, what a fool
Now what I do I do
I need your help to get up from my feet
I can't seem to see the forest for the trees
As I wait in my silent misery
All I'm asking is please… forgive me
Now she knows me
She wants me to be
Someone I can't be
… and she wants me… and she needs me… and she wants me
Because she loves me
Now you see inside
I no longer hide
Or fall between the cracks you left behind
Shattered, now you're out of time
You've come too far to be denied
What a shame, I'm to blame

Lyrics by SR71

That evening, Anna came into the ER looking for Carter. She had finally built up the nerve to talk to him and straighten things out. And all of that was going to happen tonight. She wasn't giving up.

She found Mark at the desk and asked him where Carter was.

"Went home," Mark said automatically, his eyes glued to his papers in front of him.

"Oh." Anna was disappointed. "Where does he live?"

Mark looked up. "Are you going to talk to him?"

"No, I thought I'd send him a Christmas card. Yes I'm going to talk to him. Do you have his address or not?" She was too focused on Carter that she didn't want to spend too much time making idle chitchat with anyone else. Mark rattled off his address which she wrote down and wished her luck as she hurried out.

She paused in front of his apartment number. 281. It sounded like a nice number for him. And his apartment building was nice, as well. Clean and safe. She was glad he didn't live in a dump, but surprised he didn't live somewhere that his grandparents paid for, like a condo. But, she knew he wouldn't be like that. She was foolish enough to think of him as a rich brat before she'd even known him.

She rapped on the door and waited. Hopefully, Carter wasn't sleeping. The door opened widely. Carter was standing there, with nothing on except a towel wrapped around his waist.

Shit, Carter thought. He hadn't bothered to put anything on when he heard the knock, thinking it might've been a neighbor in distress. He turned and quickly disappeared in a room, leaving the door open. Anna took the hint and stepped in.

The apartment was large and stylishly furnished, his living room adorned with a couch, two chairs, a coffee table, and even a t.v. on a small table. The kitchen was plainly visible, and clean.

Anna felt bad for showing up unexpectably, but she figured he wouldn't have wanted to talk to her if she planned it ahead of time. She thought of the scars. They were pale but still visible. She had seen a large one on his stomach and when he had left she saw two smaller ones on his back. Her heart ached knowing that Carter had suffered tremendously. She wondered if there were any scars still on his wrists, knowing he must've had to inject the narcotics into him. A lot of them wouldn't have been in pill form. Or maybe not. She really didn't know.

Carter appeared again, wearing a black shirt and grey sweatpants. He wouldn't look at her as he passed by into the kitchen. He was waiting for her to say something, for he couldn't bring himself to apologize. He felt awful about what happened, but he was still so confused. With work, he hadn't had time to sort things out in his head. Not when most of his thoughts were of getting high again. And it scared him. He wasn't sure if he was strong enough to fight the cravings for much longer. He hoped they would just go away when Anna did.

He brought out two cups of coffee, and handed one to Anna before sitting on the couch. He motioned for her to sit as well. She perched in the chair closest to him.

"John, I'm sorry about what happened," she said. "I can't even believe we've been fighting like this." She smiled. Her smile lifted Carter's heart; he'd always love to see her happy.

"I'm sorry, too." He couldn't let her apologize for the whole thing. "It was my fault."

"Who cares who's fault it was. Let's just forget about it."

"Why are you in Chicago?" He'd been dying to ask that question.

"I was visiting a friend. She went back to Madison yesterday."

"Why are you still here?"

"Because you are." She looked over at him. He looked really good considering all he'd been through. All except his eyes, which were blacker than usual, and sad. "John, I never meant to hurt you. I'm sorry that I did. If I'd known back then how you felt about me, I would've thought it through some more."

Carter rolled his eyes, biting back a nasty sarcastic response. "You did know how I felt. I told you I loved you and I wanted to be with you."

"I didn't know it was that deep. I just thought it was a casual crush. After I left, I assumed you would've gotten over me."

"I hadn't."

"John, you do know we could never be together. Believe me, I do love you. A lot. I just… I just have someone else."

"Max?" Carter concluded.

"Yes. I've known him for so long, and yes I do love him."

"Even after all he's done?" He looked away, examining the corner of the table which he held his foot on.

"Don't be such a hypocrit, Carter. You're just like him."

"I'm surprised that doesn't make you run to me."

Anna was taken aback. "What is that supposed to mean?"

"What exactly did Kerry tell you about me?" he asked, changing the subject.

"She told me you were attacked, and that you started using." He nodded, frowning at his foot. "How close were you to Lucy Knight?"

He shrugged. He hated talking about Lucy, in any situation. Even hearing the name Lucy brought back too many painful memories.

"Did you love her?"

"What makes you think I loved her?" He looked her way.

"You both were attacked. She died. Her death must've been pretty upsetting for you to start using drugs."

"She died because of me, because I didn't pay any attention. I've been living with that guilt ever since then, not because I loved her. And the reason I got addicted was because I started overusing my pain meds."


"I found it harder to live each day without them. They helped me get through." That was mostly true. He also wanted to forget about Lucy, and him being attacked. If he was painfree, then he didn't have to think about his attack.

"How did everyone find out about it?"

He sighed. Their conversation was sounding like his first therapy session in Atlanta. The psychiatrist had a persistant way of prying into what he didn't want to talk about, just like Anna did. "I got caught at work. Abby saw me taking Fentynol after a trauma."

"John, I'm sorry this happened to you. I wish I could've been here to help you out."

Carter smiled a little. "It wouldn't have worked. I didn't talk to anyone, not Kerry, not Mark, hell, not even my family. Not that they really cared, anyways."

"How did they react when they found out?"

"My parents were in Norway. They sent me a Get Well card. Gamma was the only one who really cared whether I lived or died. I stayed with her after the attack. Going home to an empty apartment wasn't first on my list." He chuckled, remembering how Gamma had easily talked him into moving in with her, then mothered him to death the whole time he'd stayed. Part of him liked it, part of him felt like he didn't need it.

"I wish we never lost touch," he confessed to her.

"I'm sorry. I should've called or something."

"Or let me know you were leaving," he added.

"Or that." She set her mug down and sat on the couch beside him. "John I am sorry all this happened. Me leaving, and you having to deal with all you've dealt with. I'm very proud of you. Most people would've just given up back there."

"I almost did." He stared into her eyes. An overwhelming sense of despair washed over him, causing his eyes to tear tremenduously. He quickly averted his eyes from her, taking deep breaths. He covered his face in his hands and fought the urge to scream.

Instantly she put an arm around his shoulder, but he shrugged her off. "What's wrong?"

"I needed you. I needed you so badly, Anna. I couldn't take it. I couldn't deal with what happened. I just wanted you there. I needed you to help me, but you weren't there," he rambled, his throat raw from the tears that were trying to flow. "I couldn't take it. I wanted to die. I still do sometimes. And I can't fight these cravings anymore. They weren't so bad but they got worse a few days ago." He was a rambling mess. This change in emotion was a complete surprise to him; he couldn't control it.

"John, it's okay. It's okay. I'm here for you now." Anna attempted to hold him in her arms but he fought her away.

"No, I don't want to hear that anymore." He finally looked up at her. "You're just saying that so you wouldn't feel guilty." He shot up off the couch and took off for his bedroom, where he slammed the door. Anna took a moment to collect herself, then went to the door.


"Just go away, Anna. I don't want to see you anymore. I can't handle seeing you. Just leave and don't come back."

"John, what are you talking about? I'm not going to leave…" "Damnit Anna! Leave me the hell alone! I don't want to see you ever again!"

Through the door, she could hear his muffled cries. Still dazed and confused as hell, she relented.

"Okay, John. I'm going now. But I'll see you later." She got no response. After taking their mugs to the kitchen, she shut off the lights and made sure the door was locked before she left his apartment.

There was a bright light
But it was an off white
Upside down memory
I'm caught in a landslide
I'm caught in a joyride
As my blood
Begins to thin...
You say it's a fact
You say it's a feeling
To stab in my back
So long, sorry
It' makes me cry
(It makes me sad)
So wrong, so rare
But I don't feel
And you're not there
And I don't want you back
Well you had a hard day
Of pushing me away
Please don't push
I fall easily
Well you put a hard strain
Hard on the membrane
I react to words you say
It's not like I care
Its not like I'm bleeding
Or numb everywhere
But I don't
'Cuz I stopped spinning around for you
There was a bright light
But it was an off white
All the world came
Crashing down
I'm caught in a landslide
I'm caught in a joyride
As my blood begins to thin...
You say it's a fact
You say it's a feeling
To stab in my back
But I don't feel it coming on again
It's making me high
'Cuz I stopped spinning around for you

Lyrics by Splender

Part 6
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