Nobody In the Mirror
AUTHOR: Gin Werdo
RATING: The same as ever. Read only when you're old enough to watch. PG-13 for a little swearing, don't you think?
SPOILERS: "May Day", if there is anybody who haven't seen it yet.
ARCHIVE: It would be an honor, but because I'm a curious person, you've got to let me know. But if you don't have to time for telling me, or you simply forget to do so, I won't sue you if I see my fic on your site.
DISCLAIMER: The cute doctors at ER are not mine, and not any other character in this fic. They're owned by Warner Bros., and by the great storytellers known as John Wells and Michael Crichton.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: My apologies for anyone who thinks that there's more than enough Carter-stories, I know how they feel. I just wanted to write about him, because I haven't done that before, and behind those problems he is a very good and interesting character. And, my thanks to my beta reader, Tara, who's doing a great job beta'ing my stories.
SUMMARY: What was going through Carter's mind in that night in the airplane, on his way to the rehab?
A glass almost full of water, with ice. A seat in the second class of the plane. The night, the wish of being anywhere else. The quiet friend in the next seat, reading a book. All the dark corners of the plane. The darkness outside trying to swallow them all. The plane almost full of passengers, everyone with their own problems and own bad memories. Anyone of them could murder anyone in next month, or next year. Time didn't count. Anyone of them could ruin anyone's life. The thought of it made him shiver. He could be sitting on the same plane with anyone's future murderer. And he knew the only reason he was thinking about that. The same reason why he was here, the same reason that drove him to his downward spiral and eventually to the bottom.
Memories from his work, memories from the hard way of knowing the pain. Memories from the worst night ever. The Valentine's Day party, the loud music. Malucci dancing with Chuny and Connie and some other guys. The annoyance he had felt before he had even opened up his mouth as he walked towards the room where he thought that Lucy had struck out again with her patient. Opening the door, stepping in. The card on the floor that had made him smile, the happy unawareness of the coming tragedy. The pain, the blood on his hand. The lost control. His own screams, the terror that ran through him as he saw Lucy. The whisper. Lucy's hopeless eyes staring at him, as if she knew she was facing death, as if she were just waiting for it to come but praying that he'd be able to save her anyway. Not understanding why it had to happen, why to them, why in this night? This wasn't just something that was going to be forgotten, or gone from his mind. This was forever, never a chance to change.
Carter had felt the pain too strongly to believe in second chances. He had woken up to this world too many times to thinking "What if?" He had had too little of delightful surprises for thinking otherwise, and too many disappointments. Lucy had died, and there was nothing he could do to change it. The thought had scared the hell out of him, and he had been going down as the fear changed into depression and meaninglessness. It was funny, how he hadn't committed suicide. He sure had no reason to live anymore, but the fear was holding him back. Because he knew the only thing worse than depression was facing the fear of no way back. And that was what the death was all about, right? He could remember the countless prayers John's mind made to the God he was taught to believe in while he breathed and tried to do whatever he could do in that form of state.
That was his life now. He cursed the time what wouldn't take any jumps for him, and made him travel every millimeter of the rough road known as life. He had to be right here, right now, and there was no way he could get out of this. It was almost as if it were some sort of game that someone with a higher level of power had control of, and it was almost as if they were only testing him and his strength. Oh God, he was anxious to get better. He couldn't function this way anymore. Yes, everybody was great and offered him help when he needed it, and they had understood his situation and treated him nicely, but in a way, that only made the matter harder to handle.
John had imagined years ago that if something really bad happened to him, everybody would be there for him, tell him to take vacation, a time to think things through. Now it was all like the way he had imagined it to be. Except for Lucy. He let out a heavy sigh and glanced at the man sitting next to him, and was glad that the guy had made him to go to rehab. John tried to trick himself to believe that it was soon over, though he knew it wasn't. The next weeks were going to be hardest time of his life when the last months didn't count.
Carter stared out of the window. It was all dark except for those little lights in the plane's wing. He stared at darkness for so long that his eye's blind spot found the light and he couldn't see it anymore. Just like his life story.