The Message

SPOILERS: Lucy's dead. ER scene (for season 7)
DISCLAIMER: There is a little "Sixth Sense" mixed into this one…The character of Carter is owned by Warner Bros…DO NOT COPY ME, IT IS ILLEGAL AND REALLY MEAN!!
SUMMARY: Sixth Sense mixed into this one....Takes place near the beginning of season 7, shortly after Carter's return from Atlanta.

(It's Dr. Carter's first week back from the rehab clinic. He was scared at first - to come back - not believing he had been an addict just months before. But being cured had given him a new high - a new confidence, and he felt recovery was looming in the distance. But he still had the guilt - he figured that time would only take that away. But...he could have done something to stop the stabbing, could have listening to Lucy, not have her left alone in the room, had the insane man put in restraints, screw the legal restrictions on doing that...)

Setting: Saturday, double shift, 2:00 p.m. Slow day, Carter is looking at some films outside Exam 1. He nods his head and wipes some sweat from his forehead as he sighs. He coughs as he takes the film down and puts it back into the manilla envelope, then he opens the door beside him and enters Exam 1. There he finds an 11-year-old boy sitting with a supported leg upon the gurney, dressed in a gown, and waiting patiently. Carter smiles.

Carter: Well, Haley - hey, where's your mom? Haley: She went to get something to eat. Carter: (nods and sits down beside him) Ok. Well, I'll tell her everything later. Anyway, your films came back. Haley: (stares straight at him intently) Uh-huh. Carter: (props up Haley's broken leg, spreads some cleanser over it) It's broken. And I just have to suture that cut. Other than that, you're fine. Haley: Fine? (his eyebrows bent upward) Carter: (takes irrigation needle and presses it to Haley's skin) This will poke - you know that though. Yeah, you're fine - even more than we thought. (pause) Carter: Your leukemia's in remission. Haley: Finally. (sighs contently) I was missing the other remission. Carter: I know how you feel. (discards needle, tosses it in trash. Takes out needle and thread, begins to suture) Haley: How? Carter: My big brother had leukemia - it was crazy. First we thought he has getting better - then he felt crappy again. (shakes head a little, concentrating on his work) Haley: (seriously) He died, didn't he? Carter: (glances at Haley, back at suturing) Yeah. (awkward pause) Haley: Dr. Carter? Carter: Yes? (nearly done with sutures) Haley: There was a lady in here…before you came… Carter: Aw, just one of the nurses. Checking your IV - your medicine… Haley: She said she knew you. (begins to pick at a hang nail) Carter: (cuts string, stands and moves suture tray away. He begins to get the cast tray ready) I know a lot of the nurses here. Haley: How long have you worked here? Carter: Me? Well, about 6, 7 years now. Haley: Kinda short, had blonde hair down to the shoulder…(he held out a flat palm and situated it at his shoulder) Big, blue eyes. You know anyone like that? Carter: (creases his eyebrows, confused) I guess. I don't know. She said she knew me? Haley: (nods) Carter: (shrugs, begins to wet his hands and spread the plaster on Haley's leg) Huh. Did she say her name? (he smiled at this) Haley: (shakes head) She wanted me to tell you something. Carter: Really? Hmm, this is getting more interesting. (smiles, doesn't understand) Haley: (looks up at him closely) Do you wanna hear what she wanted me to tell you? Carter: (glances at Haley, oblivious) sure, shoot. If whoever this is wanted me to know. Haley: (swallows, takes a deep breath) She said…She doesn't blame you. She doesn't blame you for what happened. Carter: (creases eyebrows) What? What happened? Haley: (pause) It - it happened in this room. Carter: (stops working for a moment, stares at the boy, then back again at the cast. He had a vague idea that had just hit him, but he shook it off, knowing that anything reminded him of the stabbing nowadays) I - I don't get it, Haley. Haley: She said more. (silence) She said…she's glad she saw you…one last time. when she was…she was…on the floor. She was thinking about you. She said she was so scared she couldn't breathe…She said she wanted to warn you about the - the man. The patient when she heard you walk in. walk through that door - (absent-mindedly points to the door) Carter: (pauses and stares with frightened eyes down at the cast. He looks at his fingernails, confused, bewildered, overwhelmed. He is beginning to realize something. His voice cracks as he begins to speak) You said - (clears throat, swallows, shuts eyes, then looks back at Haley) you said she didn't tell you her name? Haley: (shakes head) She had a lot to say…. Carter: (realizes this is crazy. The kid is making everything up. He tries to grin) Uh-huh. Haley: You yelled at each other that day…fought over some patient - (leans head back, trying to remember the name) Paul…Sobrinkly or something. Carter: (gives a cold stare at Haley. His hands tremble a little at the name. He squints his eyes at Haley, speaks almost with a whisper) How'd you know that, Haley? Haley: She says she's worried about you. (Carter continues staring, shocked, not believing this. Haley continues) But she's proud of you. Proud that you've come this far. Glad that you…um, beat the addiction. She - she's sorry. She thinks she's causing you pain… Carter: (agitated, finishes up cast) Haley, you're going to be just fine. (stands and clears supplies) Haley: (voice volume rises) She says thank you. Carter: (takes off gloves, turns around, stares at him again) For what? (hoarsely,he almost whispers it) Haley: For being there - For being a great teacher. (Haley is scrutinizing Carter, trying to understand, but he can't possibly.) For being a friend. (smirks) she liked you… Carter: (stares at the floor where he had fallen…He remembers the scent of his own blood…then seeing her - so different. She was a good person, made him happy - she was the last person to deserve what happened to her. He holds his forehead in between his fingers and grins a little at Haley's remark, thinking back) Haley: (cocks his head, eyes boring into Carter) Dr. Carter? Carter: (head rises up to meet his gaze) Haley: She hasn't left you yet. Carter: (stares past Haley, the words are sinking in. He looks off to the side, and is at a pause. He scratches his arm apprehensively, then turns around, mutters) I'll get your discharge papers.

(Carter shuts the door slowly, and leans his back against it. He looks up at the paneled ceiling and sighs. He closes his eyes. All his old fears are returning, his thoughts are racing. He clenches his fist and puts it to his forehead, he holds his breath, his eyes flutter intensely. All at once, his eyes pause, and he opens them. He lets out a huge breath and drops his fist. He is calm, and he stares at the wall in front of him. His head perks up a bit, and for the first time in months his thoughts are quiet. He lurches forward to the phone on the wall, looks to his right, then straight ahead. He picks up the phone and dials a few numbers. He waits a moment, nodding his head down. Someone picks up and he speaks)

Carter: Psych consult to ER. (he hangs up after the person on the other line says OK. He stands there for a moment, puts his hands behind his head, and he stretches. He turns around slowly and walks down the hall - a sense of peace has overcome him, but it will take ages to understand it.)

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