Love Takes Time
AUTHOR: Julianna Peterson
DISCLAIMER: Please note that I do not own any of these characters!
AUTHOR'S NOTES: This storyline includes Drs. Benton, Weaver, Romano, and Carter. And Nurse Abby Lockhart. Main characters are Carter and Abby.
SUMMARY: Dr. Carter finally asks Abby out for a date, after he is told that she will be moving to California for good. Carter must find a way to keep her and make her his.
"I can't believe you would even think about an offer like this." Carter told Abby as they were walking down the Subway Station-stairs.
"Well, nothing's keeping me here in Chicago, so I might as well go," Abby replied, pulling her jacket together. It was three weeks before Christmas, and already everyone had caught on with the Christmas spirit. "And besides, I've always wanted to go to Los Angeles."
"But this is different," He tried to convince her. "You would be living in a Smog City your whole life. As a nurse you should know that smog is the number 1 suspect of Cancer." Carter signaled to forget it just as Abby wanted to protest. It would be hopeless anyway. If Abby wanted something, she would always get it. No use trying to persuade her. They were walking around the corner where the ER was in sight.
"Carter, Abby, take this trauma patient." Weaver hollered as she pushed in one with the Gurney.
"We're not on till 10 minutes." Abby said, walking through the door. She stopped turned around and walked over to the trauma patient with Carter in front of her.
"What have you got for me, Doris?" Carter asked pulling out his stethoscope. Abby went to the opposite side, and was checking for external injuries.
"17-year-old male was involved in a hit-and-run car accident with three other people. Was shot by a gangmember twice in the chest. BP is 170 over 80, pulse AUX is 90. Respiration is 12"
Carter, Abby, Doris and another paramedic were already wheeling the patient into Trauma Room 3, since Traumas 1 and 2 were already being busied with patients.
"Okay, Chuny, start a new chart." Abby, Get a CBC, Chem 7, Cardiac Enzymes, chest x-rays, and a tox screen." Carter ordered while checking the patient. Abby was just coming from the other room with a blood machine. Abby was stunt at how well Carter could handle traumas alone. To think that a few years back when he was a med-student he couldn't even explain the difference between cardiac arrests, and seizures.
"Someone go get Dr. Weaver and Benton!" Carter hollered. "I need an intubation tay". He said between orders. Abby stepped out of the Trauma room in search of Weaver and Benton. Fortunately, Weaver was in the Lounge giving a med student lectures. Abby walked over to Weaver holding some distance, since she is well known to talk loud.
"Um....Dr. Weaver, Carter and I brought in a Trauma patient, and we need your help." She said carefully. Weaver stepped away from the patient, and was on her way. "Which Trauma Room?"
"3". She answered, walking the other direction in search of Benton.
"Dr. Benton, we have a patient that needs a Surgeon." She said quickly.
"Okay, let's go." He said grabbing his stethoscope and following Abby. Abby showed him the way to Trauma Room 3, where the patient was lying.
"Hey, gang, what's up?" He said looking over at the patient.
"17-year-old male was in a car accident." Carter answered. "I ordered CBC Chem 7, Cardiac Enzymes, chest x-rays, and a tox screen." He finished. "And I will be intubating him now." He said in a pleasant tone, going to the patient's head with the tray.
"Carter, you should have told me this patient is a minor." Weaver lectured. "You're not a pediatrician! Step Out!" She ordered. At the same time, Dr. Romano walked into the room.
"Hello fellow ER staff, who is it that we need to save a life?" He asked giving Carter a pat on the back.
"He's a 17-year-old male from a automobile accident, with gunshot wounds. I previously ordered a CBC chem 7, Cardiac enzymes and they've just finished with the tox screen. Carter explained. "I wanted to intubate but Dr. Weaver told me to step out." He finished.
"That's right, Carter now go!" She said taking the intubating tray.
"No, Kerry, I would much rather like Carter to stay here and run this Trauma." Romano said pushing the intubation tray to Carter. "And no buts about it." He pointed to Weaver. Carter was glad he wasn't pushed out by Weaver again. He hurried out to the patient's head again, and began intubating him.
"Oh God!" Weaver said.
"What!" Romano answered in a harsh tone.
"I think this is my nephrew!" She said between tears. "I don't care what you think, but I'm running this Trauma." She hurried over to her nephrew.
"Kerry, I said no!" Romano shouted. "Don't make me call security on you!" The patient was having seizures under the tube, and the staff was frantically trying to hold still, while Benton was opening his chest to remove the bullet.
"Hold him still!" Benton shouted.
"I'm trying!" Carter said holding the patient and gritting his teeth.
"He's in B-Fib." Abby said checking the machine. Weaver was on the other side trying to help, but everything was taken care of, and Romano told her to stay out of this Trauma, since he was the ER Chief of Resident, Weaver was only the attending.
"Okay, get Litocane, and 15milograms of Vitamin K." Benton ordered quickly. Within 45 minutes the patient was going in and out of flatlines, being shocked by Carter, and heart compressions by either Abby or Romano. Whoever wasn't too busy with the rest.
"Why can't you move faster?!" Weaver cried.
"Kerry we're doing all we can, you should know that." Romano said, checking his pulse.
"We can't do anymore for him." Benton said. "He's done."
"No!" Weaver cried, you have to keep working!"
"Carter, do you wanna call it?" Benton asked him, taking off his gloves.
"Sure." Removing his gloves also he glanced at the watch on the wall. "Time of Death 8:02." He walked out of the room, and removed his glasses.
After everything has walked out of the room, Weaver was the only one in there, grieving after her nephrew she hasn't seen for three years. She had spent nearly two hours in the Trauma Room with a dead patient, before she deciding to put in a CC to the United States Medical Association.
"Dr. Romano, Carter, Benton, and Abby, go to the Lounge. We need to talk." She said over her shoulder walking to the lounge herself.
Romano just looked stunt. Well, he wouldn't hurt to listen to Weaver, he thought. At least he thought it wouldn't.
While they were all seated in the Lounge, Weaver went on.
" I think this morning's patient was a disgrace the way you four handled it!" She lectured paced to and fro. "If you haven't noticed that was my nephrew---"!
"Kerry what do you want us to do, huh? Bleed to death because a drug-addict got shot and died?" Romano said.
"I'm putting in a CC to the USMA." Weaver said quietly.
"Good." Romano answered not looking shocked at all. "You can also tell them that you ordered Dr. Carter out of the room without a decent reason, and we would've ended up outside of the Trauma Room with Benton, because you were afraid he wouldn't live." His voice grew stronger.
"Well, he died, didn't he." Weaver said.
"Weaver, we tried everything we could do for your nephrew, but he had internal bleeding that could only be handled up in OR. And he wasn't stable enough to do so." Benton explained.
"You could have tried something else, and you know it."
"Kerry, let me make myself clearer to you." Romano said standing up. "As long as I am in charge of the ER, I will do the orders here while you will fulfill them. And trying to throw Carter out of the Trauma Room wasn't a wise decision you encountered." He explained. "Since you have ordered people out of the room, although you do not have that authorization given from me, killed a patient two days ago, and wrote out the wrong prescription, and also threatened me to place a CC, you will be laid off until further orders given." He finished. "Is that clear?" From the corner of Weaver's eye she could see a tiny smile curl up Carter and Abby's lips.
"Okay, fine," She said, "I quit." Throwing her stethoscope on the table and walked out. Romano didn't even bother to go after her. Everyone was sitting in the Lounge quietly, thinking.
"Do you think she'll come back?" Benton asked. Rubbing his forehead.
"I don't think so." Romano was shaking his head. She was pretty stormy anyway, and would have had to step down from the Attending position."
"Why?" Abby asked.
"She was the attending for 6 years, and it would have expired in two weeks anyway." He said.
"Which is one of the reasons why she was so depressed, not having control over somethings makes an animal out of her." Romano finished.
"I'm sorry if I was in the way, today." Carter apologized. "Abby and I arrived ten minutes before our shift and Weaver told us to take the patient." He finished.
"Oh, no need to apologize." Romano said waving his hand, as he walked out of the Lounge.
Eight Hours later. The shifts of Carter, Abby, Luka and Benton are over
"Brrrr....I can't believe how cold it is here in Chicago." Carter said shivering. "And to think that you'll be moving to California where the sun even shines in the Winter, makes me jealous." He said grinning. Abby only nodded, and looked away. She didn't really want to talk about it. She knew Carter didn't want to go.
"So do you have anything planned for tonight?" Carter asked shyly.
"Other then with my TV and couch, no. Why?" Abby said humorly. Carter cleared his throat and started speaking.
"I was wondering if you'd like to go out for dinner with me, that's all." Carter's face was getting red with embarassment, and Abby could see that.
"It all depends on where we're going." Abby said smiling at Carter.
"Well, it's definately not Doc Magoo's." He said chuckling.
"Okay, sure, why not. "Abby agreed. "You pick the place and call me afterwards, and I'll get ready." Abby suggested. "Deal?"
"Yup." Carter said walking to the Subway trains. He was going in Train 7 and Abby in Train 12, which were in different directions. "See ya then."
"Okay." Abby said over her shoulder.
One Hour later. Carter has already reservated a table for two in a very fancy restaurant.
The Telephone rings at Abby's place. After four rings Abby tries to manage to pick up the phone despite that her hair was hanging in every direction.
"Hello?" She said into the receiver.
"Hi, is there an Abigail Lockhart?" Carter joked.
"Um....yes there is...."Abby laughed.
"I've reservated a table for two." Carter said. "I will be at your house in 30 minutes, OK?"
"Yeah, sure..." Abby had to hurry if she was going to go out for dinner. After she hung up, she blow dried her hair into nice waves, dressed in a beautiful black long evening dress with black 4-inch high-healed shoes. Thirty minutes later, Carter was knocking at the door. She walked over to the door with the ends of her dress flowing behind her.
"Hi" Carter said when she opened, he looked at her from head to toe, suddenly smiling deeply.
"You look great!" Carter commented her. Abby blushed, and got nervous.
"Thanks, you too." She managed to say. He was dressed in a black tux with very shiny shoes. As she walked out of the door, she suddenly stopped and glanced at the car he drove in.
"Carter," Abby said shocked. "You didn't tell me we were riding in a Limo." Carter put his arm around her waist.
"Well, you never asked, and by the way, that Limo belongs to my parents." He warned. "So no high hopes." He said jokingly. As they drove off, Carter wanted to ask Abby why she would even think about moving away from Chicago. But then he thought he wouldn't want to spoil they're planned evening. But he was amazed that she started to explain without him asking.
"Carter, the reason why I wanted to move to L.A was because of a better opportunity of a job."
She said quietly. "I may have not told anyone yet, but I really want to continue Med-school." Abby explained. "And I think I might have a better opportunity of earning money as a Nurse in L.A. to raise money for the tuition." She finished.
Carter looked thoughtfully out of the window, he was trying to find a solution to solve the problem for Abby.
"I probably might come back after I finished my Internship." Abby added. Carter knew that would take a long time, and she then probably had found another guy she was madly in love with.
As they arrived at the Restaurant, Abby peered out of the Window, with her eyes shining.
"Wow this place is great!" Abby said to Carter as they stepped out.
"Pick us up in two hours." Carter told the driver. Abby looked at him.
"So everyone listens to whatever you say, huh?" Abby joked.
"Yeah." Carter answered. "At least they do to people with money, like my parents."
"I see." Abby said holding on to Carter's arm as they walked in.
After 1 hour, they had already eaten their dinner, and Carter was glancing out to the huge dance floor, and then back at Abby. She noticed he wanted to go dancing.
"Carter, I can't dance." Abby said. "Otherwise I would go." She said in an apologic way.
"Well, then I'll teach you." He said taking her hand and moving out to the dance floor. The band was playing slow music that was good for Abby to get a hang of.
"Don't look down to the floor. Look at me" Carter said.
"If you had the money for your tuition, would you stay in Chicago?" Carter asked her.
"Yeah, I probably would." Abby said. "Why?"
"No, just wondering."
Another hour later, they just got out of the limo in front of Abby's house
As soon as the Limo had stopped in front of Abby's house, The driver opened the door and Carter climbed out followed by Abby. They were walking to her front door, and stopped.
"Carter, I think you should know that I had a really good time, tonight." Abby told him in a small voice. Carter looked into her eyes and nodded. After a few seconds Abby looked away and became uncomfortable.
"I had a really good time, too." Carter answered moving closer to Abby. He took her arms and placed them around his neck, and then put his arms around her waist. Abby was now looking into his brown eyes, too.
"Carter---" Abby started.
"John." He corrected her.
"What are you planning to do?" Abby asked in a small voice looking deeply into his eyes. They were moving even closer to each other.
Soon after a few seconds, Carter drew her even more closer to him, and they kissed. Suddenly Abby interrupted their passionate kiss, and drew away from him. She licked her lips and looked away from Carter.
"I think I'd better get inside." Abby said nervously.
"Okay, Abby." Carter said. "I'll see you tomorrow at work, then." Carter said in a departing voice.
As Abby went inside her house, she glanced one more time at Carter. He winked at her, turned around and left for the Limo.
The Morning After
"Morning Abby." Haleh said as Abby walked through the doors in the direction of the Lounge. A small 'hey' was all she could answer, right now.
"Hey I heard you and Carter were out on a date, last night," Chuny announced. "Anything we should know?" She asked grinning sheepishly.
"Nothing's going on between Carter and me." She said, being tired of this conversation. "We're just friends." She hollered over her shoulder as she went into the Lounge.
As she walked toward her Locker she heard the door open behind her. Her instinct told her it was Carter.
"Hi Abby." He greeted her, as he walked towards the Coffee machine to get a cup of coffee. Abby didn't dare to look at him, for what happened last night. She was sure she was blushing.
"Good Morning, Carter." Abby returned the greeting. Carter was having trouble with the Machine, as it was broken before.
"Oh Darn it!" Carter cursed at the Coffee Machine. Carter gave up having a cup of Coffee and turned towards Abby. She was scrambling with her locker combination, but finally got it open; She quickly opened it, and hung up her coat and scarf, and placed her stethoscope around her neck. Carter walked over to Abby.
"We sure had a nice night, last night, huh?" Carter asked. Not sure if she would agree.
"Yeah." She answered. "About the um.....the....kiss....." Abby stumbled with words. "The kiss last night was an accident." Abby blurted out as fast as she could, she knew she would be embarassed afterwards. Carter looked stunt at her.
"What do you mean, an accident?" Carter said amazed.
"You and I know we couldn't start a relationship since I'm moving to California in a few months anyway." Abby explained. "I'm sorry this happened." She turned to Carter with an apologic look and walked out of the door. After all, she had patients to take care of. Minutes later Carter walked out of the Lounge like a Zombie. From the day Abby started to work as a Med-student, he was madly in love with her. Last night he had kissed her, and the day after she tells him it was a mistake.
"Carter, abdominal pain in Curtain 1 is waiting for you." Randi told him standing by the computer. Carter walked passed her.
"Do you know where Abby is?" Carter asked her looking around.
"I don't know she took the Elevator, she didn't tell me where she was going." She answered waving the chart in Carter's face.Carter pushed it down.
"It can wait another 20 minutes." She said as he walked towards the Staircase. Abby was sitting on a chair on the Roof, as Carter walked towards her. She didn't even bother to turn. She knew it was Carter.
"Abby I don't know what to say." He started.
"Then Don't." She replied.
"Abby you probably don't realize that I care about you more than just a friend." Carter explained.
He was glad she wasn't looking at him, as he blushed.
"I'm just can't." Abby couldn't find the words.
"You can't what?" Carter was really pressing her now. Abby turned around and revealed her tearful face to Carter.
"I can't establish a new relationship. I'm just not ready yet." She said crying. "And I don't want to fall in love and then leave you for California." She explained. "I have had too many relationships that I broke, I can't loose another one." She finished shaking her head.
"Then stay here in Chicago." Carter tried to persuade her.
"You just don't get it, do you?" Abby's face was full of tears.
"Yes, I do get it." He started. "I was the one who helped you get off the Alcohol, when Luka was encouraging you to drink." He lectured. "I helped you with all of your problems you had, while Luka turned his back on you." He grew more and more angry from the words she had told him.
"And what do I get? An 'I'm Sorry-it-was-an-accident' phrase." He should his head. Abby broke down in Carter's arms in tears. He put his arms around her back and comforted her.
"I'm sorry, Abby. I shouldn't have said that." Carter Apologized.
"No, you probably woke me up." Abby glared at Carter. "I have to be getting back to work." She said turning from Carter, opening the door and walking down the stairs.
I dearly hope I can convince Abby before it's too late, Carter thought.
Two weeks later Abby has already packed some of her stuff together. She would be leaving a day after Christmas.
Since Abby only had one bedroom, living room, dining room and kitchen, she didn't have a lot of stuff to pack. She had planned on renting a Truck for all of her belongings and drive all the way down to California, instead of flying like she had planned in the beginning. She would have stayed in Chicago because she was feeling a slight bond with Carter, but she promised herself that she wouldn't give up on something she had set her mind to, without a good reason. Okay, now I just have the living room left to pack. She thought.
Just as she wanted to prepare another box for her music CDs and films, she heard a knock on the door.
"I'm coming." She hollered as she climbed through the boxes she had lined up at the door. When she opened the door, she said a mailman holding a small-sized envelope. "Ms. Abby Lockhart?" He asked.
"Yes." She answered.
"I have a package for you from Dr. John Truman Carter. Would you sign here, please."
"Sure." She replied, after signing the label, he handed her the envelope and left. What could be in the envelope? An engagement ring? She joked. She closed the door behind her and walked into the living room, and sat down on the couch, and quickly opened it. When she unscrambled the letter, it contained another small envelope. She opened it first out of curiosity.
Abby suddenly felt like she was fainting. In that small envelope contained a Check for the amount she would need to pay her tuition. She double-checked to see if it was only a prank from Carter. But it had the same water trademark every check had. She laid it down, and unfolded the letter. The letter read:
Probably your first thought was that the check in the envelope is another one of my pranks. It is not.
This is a check for your tuition fee that I am giving you as a present that I am giving you if you'll stay
in Chicago with me. I love you with all of my heart and I don't want to loose you the way I lost Lucy.
Please change your mind and stay!
Abby was stunt at the words Carter had said. Did he really mean what he said that he loved me? Would it be worth leaving him for another job offer in California, if I can finish Med-school here? She thought. Her mind was reeling with different solutions. She knew one thing. She had to see Carter now....
Just Kiss and Say Goodbye???
Abby grabbed her car keys and jogged out of the house. She was going at least 55MPH in a 40-speed zone. She didn't care. She drove to Carter's mansion. Since Carter had a huge black gate in front of this property, Abby had to talk into the small speaker. She pressed the button to ring the bell.
"Hello?" Carter Answered from the Speaker.
"Carter it's Abby, I need to talk to you. It's urgent." Abby blurted out. Seconds later the gate opened and Abby drove through. As she stopped she instantly saw that Carter was walking out of his front door. Abby got out and slowly walked over to him. Carter was standing by the door with his hands in his pockets.
"I...uh...got your letter..." Abby said slowly. Carter looked into her eyes and nodded, waiting for an answer.
"This is just so sudden." She explained confused. Carter walked over to her and took her hands.
"I love you, Abby." Carter started. "My love to you is growing stronger by the minute. I can't afford to lose you. "Carter hesitated. "When you were dating Luka I felt a sharp pain of jealousy, because he was mistreating you with Alcohol." He explained. "And when you broke up with him, I was feeling terrible for you, but glad for Luka." He suddenly grew more serious. "And over the last few weeks I knew I can't live without you, anymore." He finished.
"Carter, I didn't know what I was suppose to feel about you. I was hurt from my previous relationships before." Abby said shaking her head. Grey clouds were slowly forming over the sky, a cool wind swept through and a crash of thunder announced that there was going to be some heavy raining. Carter motioned Abby to walk inside of the house to avoid the rain.
"So does that mean you will be staying in Chicago?" Carter asked carefully. Abby looked up at him, still deciding on her decision. Abby recalled the good times she had with Carter, and how much he cared for her in her alcoholic days, and most of all the thought of helping her out to become a med-student again was the kindest of all.
Suddenly the phone rang, and Carter excused himself and walked to the telephone.
"Hello?" He answered into the receiver, still looking at Abby waiting for her decision. Abby turned and looked out of the window in deep thoughts. Would I regret ever staying in Chicago?
Everything was just a huge puzzle she had to unscramble, with so little time. Minutes later Carter hung up the phone, and was standing there motionless.
"What's wrong?" Abby asked him, turning around to face him. Carter rubbed his chin, and suddenly a small smile curled up his face.
"Huh? Oh, it was only Dr. Romano." He answered still thinking. "He just told me that Dr. Weaver officially announced that she is leaving County General." He finished.
Abby walked over to Carter astounded.
"Why would she do that?" She asked him in a tiny voice.
"Romano didn't say why. He told me I was the most promising resident in the ER who would have a chance at the Attending position." He said grinning down at Abby.
"That's great. My congrats to you." She said smiling at him. Carter glanced back at her, and gave her a questioning look. Abby cleared her throat and started speaking.
"You know, I was kind of glad that I received a job offer in California." Abby started. "But I've been doing a lot of thinking about us, too." Abby explained. "And I think we should be together." She said, turning away from Carter. She didn't want to reveal her blushed face to him. This was the first time she had ever confessed to a guy before.
Carter took her arm and turned her around to face him.
"I must have scared you at first," Carter said playing around with her hair. "But I did really mean a relationship, and not an engagement for a while." Carter finished. Abby exhaled and was relieved that he wasn't the one who was pressing her. She had a different vision of what he wanted. Abby looked up at Carter, and Carter looked into Abby's eyes, and Abby stepped towards Carter and they drew a kiss. For long happy minutes Abby didn't know if this was real or just another one of her dreams. But when they parted, she knew it wasn't a dream.
"So I'll take that as a Yes?" Carter asked her grinning sheepishly at Abby. Abby bit her lip and answered.
This time Carter pulled her to him, picked her up and gave her an affectionate hug.
"I love you, John." Abby said hugging him back.
"I love you, too, Abby."
This was how it was suppose to be. Carter and Abby belonged Together!