A Matter Of Faith

AUTHOR: Lockhart
EMAIL: Katie@ballantyne24.freeserve.co.uk
CATEGORY: John Carter/Abby Lockhart
SPOILERS: Yup, major ones here for Episode 11 of Season 8
ARCHIVE: Yeh sure but please let me know first
DISCLAIMER: I don't own ER or any of the characters, I just wish I did
AUTHOR'S NOTES: See end of fic
SUMMARY: After Paul Sobriki's return, Carter reflects on the day on the rooftop of the hospital and finds some comfort from a dear friend.

John Carter raised the cigarette to his mouth and inhaled the sweet nicotine. He had given up this bad habit months ago but when his life hit a rough patch he needed some sort of comfort. Some sort of relief from all the troubles in his world. Just when the male doctor finally thought he could put the horrible events of Valentine's Day well behind him, he had to show up. Paul Sobriki. Even just the sound of the man's name filled John with anger and hatred. Although Paul had been ill with a disturbing mental disorder on that fateful day in February, Carter simply couldn't bring himself to forgive the man for his actions. He took Lucy's life, cruelly snatched it away from the young medical student. Nobody deserved that cruel fate, least of not dear Luce. John rubbed the temple of his forehead irritably as he clearly remembered the distressing scene. Lying there on the stone cold floor in a pool of her own blood. The fear could be seen in her artic blue eyes, she must have known she was going to die that night. How frightening and unfair it must have felt for the young woman to have known that tonight was going to be her last night on this earth. The very moment John laid his eyes on Paul, that very scene flashed before his eyes. He felt the pain of the knife piercing through the flesh on his back. The intense agony cascading through his entire body like an avalanche of snow crashing down the slopes. The memories, the pain, everything flooded back into his mind at that sickening moment.

"Would you care for some company?" a female voice startled John from his deep thoughts.

"Sure, birthday girl" he smiled as nurse Abby Lockhart took a seat beside him. "Sorry I didn't buy you a present"

"It's fine" Abby laughed as she noticed the cigarette the male doctor was holding between his fingers. "Thought you gave that dirty habit up months ago"

"I did" John replied whilst running a hand through the short strands of his hair. "Then I started again"

"Oh I completely understand" the female nurse nodded, her short, dark brown hair blowing wildly due to the strong wind. "I'd give up, then I'd have an arguement with Richard or my mother would turn up and I'd start all over again"

"Yeh" he sighed as he watched the twinkling, little stars light up the dark, gloomy night skies. Such a beautiful and wonderful sight to gaze your eyes upon.

"I wish you would talk to me John" Abby said seriously, carefully watching the man that sat beside her. "We used to talk so much to each other, now we're lucky if we say a handful of words to one another"

"We grew apart Abby, that's all that happened really" John answered, refusing to meet her watchful stare.

"Tell me what's on your mind, I know something is troubling you"

"It's nothing" he tried to reassure the nurse with a bitter laugh. "I'm absolutely fine, honestly"

"Don't lie to me John Carter" Abby replied sternly. "I know he is on your mind"

There was a long pause of ackward silence before John finally spoke again.

"Seeing Paul brought back all those painful memories. I had finally learned to come to terms with what happened on Valentine's Day. I never completely forgot about it, but as every day passed by life became much easier for me. Now I'm back to square one again and I'm quite frightened. Frightened of what the future may hold for me"

"I'm so sorry" Abby apologised sincerely. "I should have protected you more, perhaps then you might have not caught sight of him"

"It's not your fault Abby so please don't torture yourself. This is my problem"

"It's my problem too John. You're my friend, we share each other's worries and fears. Have you ever heard of the phrase 'a problem shared is a problem halved'?

"What made me so angry was that he was leading a normal life with his family whilst Lucy is dead. She can't take a summer's stroll along the lakeside or trundle through the heavy snow to work, but he can. It doesn't matter if Paul feels guilty or shows any remorse for his actions, it doesn't bring Lucy back"

"I know John, I know" Abby nodded her head in agreement as she reached over and took a tight grasp of the doctor's hand. "Do you think Lucy would wish to see you like this though?"

"He........he took my life as well" Carter cried in a mixture if anger, sadness and frustration. "My whole life turned into a downward spiral after that fateful day. I lost my respect, my dignity, my courage..... I'm afraid.......well I'm afraid I could be heading down that same path once again"

"No, you're stronger than that John Carter" Abby spoke passionately as the pager in her pocked started bleeping rather loudly. "You're not a weak man, you don't have to follow that same path if you don't wish to. You need to find some faith in yourself, perhaps you simply don't realise you can accomplish anything if your heart desires to do so. I've never told you this before Dr Carter but you have a beautiful soul, please, don't destroy it"

"Thank you" he whispered, understanding the words she had just told him.

"I'm needed in the ER right now" she informed, placing the tiny pager back in the pocket of her pink scrubs. Leaning closer, she kissed him tenderly yet lovingly on the forehead. "Remember what I told you tonight John" she quickly stood up and began walking away from the man she deeply cared about.

"All you require to do is have a little faith in yourself"

John Carter threw the cigarette to the ground and watched the female nurse walk out into the distance enveloped by the surrounding darkness. As tiny, white snowflakes fell all around him, he contemplated his friend's kind, comforting words. Abby was correct like she always was, it was simply a matter of faith.

Author's Notes: Just a short story of what I would like to see happen after that episode. Please let me know what you all think, even if you would perhaps like a sequel and what ideas I could introduce. Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it, byeeeeee!!!!

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