SPOILERS: "The Letter" and "On the Beach"
DISCLAIMER: Well the usual I guess: I do not know anyone who even comes remotely close to being familiar with the show. None of the actors, producers, writers and so on...
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Please note that this is my first fanfiction that I'm currently writing, so be gentle ;) But I would really appreciate feedback. Either good or bad, I don't mind criticism
SUMMARY: Well, Carby addicted as I am, Abby and Carter finally get together... and we'll see how it goes from there
Abby looked at her watch one last time before she ran out of the kitchen. My god, she was soooo late! It was 8.50 already and her shift started at nine. She grabbed her car keys from the table and ran outside. Ten minutes left to get to County or Kerry was going to have a fit again. She'd been late a lot lately, sleepless nights were the cause of that. Tossing and turning, thinking things she shouldn't be thinking.
She got outside and pulled on her coat, it was freezing like hell. She loved snow, but not when she was late and it was all over her car. She turned her key in the ignition and drove away. When was Carter on? She couldn't remember but she hoped he'd had the night shift. She didn't want to avoid him really, but he was the main reason she stayed awake at night. She often wondered how they had let it come this far. It was mostly her fault, she knew now that John was right when he'd told her she wasn't over Luka yet. She wasn't then…but she definitely was now. The problem was they seemed to be stuck. And she had no idea how to fix it, she was scared. Hell, at least she was admitting to herself that she was atrracted to him, she'd told him how she felt.
She parked her car and walked to the ambulance bay. She prayed that it would be a calm day. She could use one for a change. Ever since 2 other hospitals were down for a week, they had been swamped. She walked in and saw Susan lazily filling in a patients chart. She saw Abby and smiled, walking with her into the lounge.
Abby: "Hey, I didn't think you'd be here already. You were here when I left last night."
Susan: "I know, but I had to stick around for the shift change because Chen called in sick. She has the flu, which isn't weird with this type of weather. You get a cold and then you just automatically get the flu. Which means I've been here for about 20 hours and I've been dying to get some sleep.
"Well, if I were you I'd go home. Kerry's not here yet anyway and I think Luka is on in about an hour.
"No, Luka has the night shift I think, but Carter's on at eleven."
Abby pulled a face. So much for good luck, she mumbled. Susan saw her face and she started laughing.
"You two are very comical, you know that? Walking around the hospital like nothing is going on, while everyone working here is just watching you two every day, it's like the goddamn Young and the Restless!"
"Ugh, well maybe instead of watching and gossiping about us you could actually work", Abby grinned. "In the meantime, I have some patients I need to go and take care of. See ya later Susan".
Before Susan could say something else, Abby walked out and went to the board. Too many patients, she thought to herself. As she walked in to curtain 3 she was thinking about tonight. She was gonna go to a meeting. As much as she wanted to make herself believe that she had everything under control, she had to get rid of it. Everything, let it all out. John was right that night outside the Lava Lounge. The last time that she'd gone to one had been too long ago. But now she was determined, there was a meeting at five, she was off at four. It was perfect.
Here comes Johnny singing oldies-goldies
Be bop a lua, baby what I say
Here comes Johnny singing I gotta woman
Down in the tunnels trying to make it pay
He got the action, he got the motion
Oh yea, the boy can play
Dedication, devotion, turning all the night time into the day
He do the song about the sweet lovin' woman
He do the song about the knife
He do the walk, he do the walk of life
Abby couldn't remember when she had last heard this song. It was years ago, when she and her brother and had been taking care of Maggie together. Eric was a fan of the Dire Straits and it used to annoy her that he always listened to their cd's when she and him were together. Now it just made her smile, as much as she hated the times that Maggie went crazy on them, she couldn't ever go back to the time when Eris and her had been inseperable.
She went to the lounge to get a cup of coffee and saw Carter who had apparently just arrived and was getting ready. He smiled when he saw her and she couldn't help but smile back. God, she loved it when he looked at her like that.
"Hey Abby, how you been?"
"Fine I guess, just been having a little trouble sleeping lately, but other than that it's all good"
"Why haven't you been sleeping well? You should try to relax half an hour before you go to sleep. Just watch tv or take a long hot bath or something, that always works for me"
"Yea maybe, I don't know why I can't sleep though." Like she was gonna tell him that he was haunting her mind day and night and that was the reason of her insomnia.
"Anyway, I'm off at six, what do you say we grab a cup of coffee? It's been awhile since we've talked and all."
She felt her stomach twitch. Stop it, she silently scolded at it. "Ummmm I can't, I have…other obligations."
Figures he'd ask, way to go Abby. "I was thinking of going to a meeting at five"
She looked to see his expression. She wasn't really sure what he was thinking, she saw surprise and… was that relief?
"Well that's good, I'm glad you decided to go to a meeting. So how about dinner then? Have you tried that new Italian place yet, a couple of blocks down? I could buy you dinner."
Italian sounded good, she loved Italian food and he obviously knew that. So just say it, say you'd love to go!
"Yea I'll think about it, let me get back to you on that". Great, she frowned. "I gotta get back to work now, so I'll talk to you later".
She grabbed her coffee and was about to leave when he asked her:
"What made you decide to go to a meeting after all?" She turned to look at him. "I thought you didn't feel like it at all, why go now?"
She looked into his eyes and saw the questioning look. She sighed and said: "Because you would like it if I went" and then she walked out, leaving him alone in the lounge.
(song: Walk of life by Dire Straits)
Abby walked into the waiting area, about at least 30 people were getting agitated and were yelling that they were there first. She sighed, I should have never been a nurse. But then again, I love it too much to just give it up. She looked at the chart in her hands.
"Mrs. Beidermann?" She looked if anyone responded and an elderly lady stood up with a smile. "Could you please follow me into the next room? I'll do your monthly check-up this time if you don't mind."
"Oh that's lovely dear, but I was kind of hoping that that wonderful doctor could help me again. He did my check-up the last three times or so and he's just so friendly and nice."
Abby sighed. Ever since Mark died there were a lot of patients who came here under the impression that he was still alive. They just didn't know and it was amazing how loved he was.
"I'm sorry Mrs. Beidermann, but if you're referring to Dr. Greene then I'm afraid I have some bad news for you. He died a couple of months ago, he had been sick for quite awhile." She saw the woman's face sadden as she looked a bit shocked. "I'm really sorry."
"But how? And when? I mean, my friend came here last month and she was treated by him as well. I distinctively remember because she was very fond of him too. I don't know if his name was Greene, I never asked him."
Just then Carter walked into the room and he smiled as he recognised his patient.
"Mrs. Beidermann, how have you been? I was expecting you to show up for your check-up."
Abby frowned. Carter was the doctor she'd been talking about? Ugh, she should have known, friendly, wonderful, bla bla bla. It was as if every force in the universe was giving her signs or something.
"Oh Doctor, I'm so glad you're here. This lady told me you had been very sick and you had died!!" The woman looked truly relieved to see him there. Carter looked confused.
"She said what?"
"I thought she was talking about Mark", Abby whispered and she couldn't help but laugh a bit. Carter nodded his head understandably.
"Well, I don't think I'm going anywhere soon", he smiled as he looked in Abby's direction. "Now, lets take a look at you shall we?"
Abby looked at her watch and walked towards the lounge. Her shift ended in 5 minutes and it was fairly calm, so she decided to go to that meeting. She realised she hadn't talked to Carter anymore about dinner that evening. Maybe it was for the best, she didn't really know what to decide. Why did she have to doubt on everything, acting on impulse would be good for a change.
As she walked out of the ER she lit up a cigarette. She pulled a face at it though. Ah well, one bad habit at a time. It was four o'clock and you could see that it would be dark early again. It had been snowing most of the day and she actually felt good at that moment. Maybe because the day went better than she had expected.
She got in her car and turned on the radio.
Saturday I'm running wild
And all the lights are changing red to green
Moving through the crowd I'm pushing
Chemicals all rushing through my bloodstream
Only wish that you were here
You know I'm seeing it so clear
I've been afraid
To tell you how I really feel
Admit to some of those bad mistakes I've made
"YES" she yelled to herself. She loved this song. It seemed to perfectly describe her in every way. She always thought of her and Carter's trip to Oklahoma, they'd been in the car when this song had come on. She turned up the volume and started singing along.
If you want it, come and get it
For crying out loud
For the love that I was
Giving you was, never in doubt
Let go your heart, let go your head
And feel it now
She parked her car by the sidewalk and walked into the building. Here goes nothing, she thought to herself.
(song: Babylon by David Gray)
Carter started walking to the El while he took out his cellphone. If she thought she was gonna get away that easily, she had another thing coming, he grinned to himself. It was only 20 past six which left him enough time to go home, shower and get ready and (hopefully) pick up Abby. He had his thoughts set on Italian food now, there was no way out of it. The meeting would nearly be coming to an end now, so he was going to leave a message on her machine. Hèhè, leave her no choice but to be ready. They needed to spend some time together anyway.
"Hey it's Abby, leave a message and I'll get back to you *BEEP*
"Hey Abby, it's John. You never got back to me about tonight, so I figured it was a yes. My shift just ended, so I'm gonna go home and take a shower. I'll pick you up around 8 ok? See you then, I'm looking forward to it! Bye."
As he hung up he couldn't help but laugh. He could picture her pulling faces at the machine when she would hear this message. She was always pulling faces at either him or herself, he didn't think she even realised she did it. He often wondered if there was ever going to be any change between them. Basically they had both said they had feelings for each other, only it wasn't at the same moment and never ever at the perfect timing. If everything went as he had planned in his head, maybe that would change tonight. He would once again be the one to take the first step, he only hoped she wouldn't chicken out now.
Abby put her keys on the table and plopped down on her couch. She was actually glad that she had gone to that meeting. Maybe things were starting to come together right now. She looked at her machine and saw a red three blinking. She hit the button while she kicked off her shoes.
"Hi sweetie, it's Maggie. I was just calling to ask how you were, we haven't talked in awhile. I was thinking that maybe you could come by sometime when you don't have to work or something, because I'm really doing good at the moment and I would like to see my daughter every now and then. So when you get the time, call me ok? Love you honey."
She smiled to herself, it would be nice to meet up with her mom. She had to take advantage of the fact that she was doing well for once. Her smile disappeared as she listened to the next message. It was from Carter. The Italian place!! She knew she should have said something. The message ended and she sat dumbfounded on her sofa. So he just assumed she would go and he was gonna pick her up at 8. Oh no, she checked her watch: 7.40pm. Oh my god, she knew she should have gone straight home after the meeting. But Jing-Mei was at home with the flu and she had paid her a visit. There was no way she was gonna make that in time! Maybe she just shouldn't go, call him and cancel. Problem was, she wanted to go, she'd had a great day and well… staying at home would just leave her thinking about Carter anyway.
She dashed to her bedroom and grabbed an outfit from her closet before speeding to the bathroom. As she stood under the shower and washed her hair she was thinking about what could happen tonight. Maybe they should have "the talk". Oh god, that sounded like a third date sex talk or something. She laughed as she stepped out of the shower.
Just as she was wiping the condensation from the mirror she heard a knock on her door. Already? She looked at the clock : 8.02. Ugh he was annoyingly on time again.
She quickly wrapped a big towel around her body and walked to the door. Ok, so it wasn't the best way to open the door, but at least she was going with him right?
She opened the door and she saw his mouth drop. She laughed, he had brought roses and everything. He didn't know what to say.
"Ummmmm…you look nice." He gave her a thumbs up. She could see a grin spread all over his face. She rolled her eyes, men.
"Yea I only got home 20 minutes ago, so that left me with little time. Do you mind waiting some more? Because I don't really think they'll be happy to see me like this."
"No problem, do you have a vase somewhere?"
"Umm yea, there should be one in that dresser over there, second cabinet. In the meantime, make yourself comfortable."
As she walked back to the bathroom she looked at him over her shoulder and smiled as he bent down to grab a vase. He looked amazing, at least from where she was standing.
They were walking back from the restaurant and it was a beautiful night. There were a lot of stars out and dinner had been fabulous. They were walking arm in arm and she knew where they were headed. "Their bench" by the river. It was like their own special spot and she knew that she wouldn't be able to back out now. All of the evening throughout dinner they had basically avoided the subject. Maybe she should lighten the mood a bit.
"You do know that I missed Survivor to go out to dinner with you right?"
"Ah yes, and like that is such a great loss", he laughed. He never understood what people saw in that show. As they got to their little bench he thought about how he was going to approach this. He didn't want her to run away or anything. He layed his head back and was just watching the stars. The silence would have to do for now, he didn't feel like talking right away. All they needed was light snow falling down and it might just be classified as perfect.
"It's beautiful isn't it?" she said silently.
"Yea, I was just thinking the same thing. Too bad it's so cold, I could stay here all night."
"Well maybe in the summer we should." He looked over at her questioningly. "You know, just come out here on a hot summer night and watch the stars and then just talk all night."
"That would be nice…although I was kind of hoping we could do the talking thing tonight. We haven't in awhile you know. How did the meeting go?"
"If you're asking to check if I went, I did and it was fine thank you."
"Abby that's not what I meant. You don't always have to look for things that aren't there. I was showing normal interest."
She looked over at him. She couldn't tell wether he was upset or not, she hoped that he wasn't. Truth be told she didn't feel like talking. Why couldn't they just skip that and move on to what they both wanted anyway? All the talking might cause her to back off again and she didn't want that.
"I'm sorry, John" she whispered.
He smiled, she didn't call him that often so he knew she was turning serious now. He turned around to face her, but he didn't say anything. He loved to just watch her when she wasn't aware, but of course now she was fully aware, because he saw her blush.
"Don't stare, it's not polite", she smiled. Ok, now she felt really uncomfortable. Why was he just sitting there staring? Say something, she shouted to herself.
"What?" she asked.
"Nothing", he smiled mysteriously. He turned around again and continued watching the stars and he still had that mischievous little grin on his face. That couldn't be good, she thought to herself.
"You really scare me sometimes you know that?" she joked. She hadn't expected the next thing, AT ALL. He turned over again and looked deep into her eyes before kissing her. Without even realising she responded and deepened the kiss. So much for talking…
When they broke apart she smiled at him. She was ok with this, finally maybe it would happen for the two of them.
"I didn't feel like talking anymore all of a sudden", he said. "It was just the moment I guess. Anyway, I'm glad I did it."
"Yea me too. You must've read my mind, because I was hoping we could skip the talking."
He stood up and offered his hand to her. "You wanna go and have a cup of coffee somewhere?"
"I'd like that."
They were sitting in Doc Magoo's above a mug of hot chocolate. No wonder they came here, it was so familiar, she absolutely loved it. As she took another sip she heard the door open and saw Luka enter. He saw them immediately and came over.
"Hey Luka, are you on tonight?" she asked.
"No, my shift just ended actually." He looked a bit weird, probably feeling awkward.
"Do you wanna have a cup of coffee or hot chocolate with us?" Carter asked. Now it was her turn to be surprised. Did he really just ask that? She could see that he was just doing so to be polite, but still… it was typically him.
"No thanks, I'm just gonna head home because I'm exhausted. I'll see you tomorrow."
As he walked away they both sat in silence. Abby was pondering about Luka. She knew that he still had feelings for her, he showed them enough. She still had feelings for him too, but they were just friendly feelings now. She loved him, but not in the way you love a man you want to marry someday. Not like she loved…
"You ready to go?" Carter asked, pulling her from her silent dreaming.
She smiled: "Yea, let me just finish this up and we can go"
He drove her home and walked her to her door.
"Thanks for coming tonight. "
"Well thank you for inviting me", she smiled. "We probably still have to talk sometime, but I'm glad we didn't have to tonight."
He kissed her on the forehead and looked at her. "When are you off tomorrow?"
"I'm on from 10 to 8pm, how about you?"
"Nah, I have the day off tomorrow" he grinned. "Do you want to do something tomorrow night? Or are you gonna be too tired?"
"No, what you wanna do?"
"Your choice, I picked the restaurant for tonight so it's up to you."
She looked at him with an evil smile. "Maybe, instead of going to a restaurant, we could eat at home tomorrow. And seeing that you are home all the live long day…"
She let her voice trail and he started laughing. "You are not suggesting that I cook for us right? Unless you actually want a disaster to happen, you don't wanna try that."
"Oh come on, you're are totally exaggerating. Your cooking isn't that bad. I was surprised the first time that you could cook and I really enjoyed it!"
He looked her over sceptically. "Insane woman, but alright", he put his hands up in defeat. " Don't come complaining to me when you're in bed with food poisoning the next day. I will not be held responsible."
"You are such a drama queen, you know that?" she smiled. "I'll come by your place when I've finished my shift, ok?"
"That sounds great. At least up until the part where we will have to eat the food", he winked.
She kissed him lightly on the lips and opened the door. "See you tomorrow".
"Bye", he said as he went downstairs.