The Room Where She Died

SPOILERS: * Major spoilers for; ‘All in the Family’ *
DISCLAIMER: (See any other fanfic in the world.) Obviously they are not mine, I did not create them, I am not making money from them, I will return them, and I promise not to hurt them (too much!) The characters belong too M. Crichton, Warner Bros. and co. This takes place three days after the stabbing incident.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: A lot of characters thoughts, angst, drama, and friendship. Occasional swear word nothing terribly obscene.
Please send me feedback, believe it or not I am interested in you thoughts! Hope you enjoy it.
SUMMARY: Another post stabbing angst story. Don’t read this is you are sick of this subject but just thought I’d add my two cents.

It was eight thirty-two pm when Dr Romano stepped into the eerily quiet angiography room on the fifth floor of Cook County general hospital. He preferred to come here early in the morning; it was his personal mourning time, but he had been on since seven am and had just lost a young boy with a GSW in the OR. For some reason it had made him think of Lucy, he wasn’t sure why, maybe because it was another young life cut short in violence. He had needed to come here just for a moment before he went home. Every morning for three days, the tough Robert ‘Rocket’ Romano had sat in this room and cried, for the loss of a sweet young woman, and a promising young doctor. Lucy Knight had died at two fifty six am. On his table, his table! God Damn It! He hadn’t been able to save her, of all the people he’d saved he had let her die, one of their own, and he had lost her. Ever since he had kept a solitary vigil till her time of death. He sat on the one gurney in the room, the same gurney Lucy had died on, and went over the operation and the events that followed again. Like always trying to think of anything he could have done differently, any way he could have saved her. He sighed looking at the floor, and then he noticed the small pool of blood that had collected, and the small splashes leading to the supply closet.

“What the hell?” he said as he approached the door. He could hear muffled crying from behind the door, and when he opened it he saw a very pale, very bloody John Carter huddled into the corner.

“Carter what happened?” he asked bending down to take a closer look at the young man. “You’re bleeding Carter, you shouldn’t be in here. Ah...lets get you some help huh? He ventured reaching out to help Carter to his feet.

“No!” Carter yelled “I’m not leaving her again, I’ll stay here and protect her this time. She’ll live, I’ll take her place, me for her.” he rambled slowly pulling himself up.

“Ah Carter what are you talking about” said Romano hesitantly stepping towards John. He stopped suddenly as he saw Carter raise both his arms as if to keep him back, his left had a large laceration two inches from his wrist, which was slowly pumping his blood on to the floor, and in his right fist he clutched a scalpel.

“Carter why don’t you put that down, ah ... let me take a look at you arm huh?” said Romano warily eyeing the scalpel John still clenched.

“No! No! No! Lucy I’m sorry please don’t die please...........” John continued to cry.

“It’s alright Carter just calm down,” said Romano calmly, as he slowly backed away towards the door. “Just take it real easy there Carter everything’s alright” when he was close to the door, he quietly opened it and signaled a nurse who was walking by, “Get Peter Benton down here now, tell him it’s Carter, ...ah John Carter. For God’s sake woman hurry up I need some help in here. Move!”

He stepped forward a little and observed Carter, who was staring at the gurney, the gurney where Lucy had died. Romano sighed he could only imagine what Carter was going through both emotionally and physically, Jesus the poor guy hadn’t even had his stitches removed yet. As Romano looked Carter over he noticed that he was also bleeding from the wounds on his back, he must have torn his stitches out. “Car...ah...John, I’d like to take a look at your wounds, your bleeding I think your stitches have come loose. You want to let me take a look?”

John reached behind his back, pulling away his hand he saw the blood. Suddenly he was back in the darkened curtain area where he could hear the loud music from the party, then he felt the pain, searing, threatening to pull him into unconsciousness. He saw himself fall, he saw Lucy, poor Lucy bleeding, dying looking for his help. Then he saw himself give up as his eyes closed. He didn’t help her! He let her die! It was all his fault!

“No!” John screamed falling to his knees on the floor “Lucy I’m so sorry, it’s all my fault and I’m so sorry Oh God! Lucy please don’t die please!......I’m sorry Lucy”

Romano considered rushing Carter and taking the scalpel off him, but he didn’t want to hurt him. He also wasn’t to keen about getting stabbed himself if John thought it was an attack and became even more scared. He didn’t get a chance to consider it any further however when he heard Peter Benton, Elisabeth Corday, Mark Green, Kerry Weaver, Carol Hathaway and no doubt a few other nosy nurses approaching.

“Where is he, is he okay!” shouted Peter running up behind Romano “Oh Jesus” he moaned as he saw Carter crouched by the gurney.

“What the hell is going on here?” asked Kerry

“Robert is everything alright? You paged us for help” said Elisabeth joining the group inside the room.

“No Lizzy, I paged Peter I didn’t expect, or want a whole god damn convention!” said Romano, giving the other approaching gossipmongers his most forceful stare, thereby sending them into a hasty retreat. The doctors stayed however, as did Carol. It amazed Robert how some people couldn’t take even the most blatant of hints, but then this was Hathaway, super nurse, who thought she could solve everyone’s problems if she stuck her nose in far enough, what the hell did I expect? He thought, just as super Doc decided to shock everyone with his stunning observation. That man was nothing if not a wonder of modern medicine.

“Oh my god he’s bleeding, he must have cut himself with that scalpel, and maybe he ripped his stitches. He’ll need sutures; we better get him to the ER he might have to be restrained. Carol get psych down here now!” said Mark just a little too loudly.

John jumped up quickly, only to sway and almost fall again. He grasped the gurney still clutching the scalpel, his blood slowly dripping onto the floor. Tears streamed down his face as he backed away from the doctors, his voice filled with fear, “I am not crazy, Mark. I’m not like Sobriki. I didn’t stab Lucy. Yes it was all my fault. I know you blame me. I know it was my fault but I didn’t plunge that eight inch knife into her.” his voice lowered to a mere whisper as he backed into a corner, “I’m so sorry Lucy. I’m so sorry, it shouldn’t have been you Lucy, you shouldn’t have died not you. It should have been me.” With that he raised the scalpel and sliced it into his left arm.

“John Carter! You put that scalpel down right now!” said Peter Benton in his usual firm tone, stepping further into the room.

“Peter we should let psych handle this you don’t know what your doing you could make him worse ” said Mark.

“I’ll be damned if I’m gonna stand here and watch him hurt himself,” replied Peter stepping closer to Carter. “Carter I said put that scalpel down.”

John who now had deep cuts to both arms, and was still bleeding from his torn stitches, suddenly looked at Benton. “Dr Benton?” he sounded so weak and frightened, he could have been six years old.

“Yeah, I’m right here, everything’s gonna be alright I’m going to help you ...Carter,” promised Peter moving slowly towards his ex student.

“Peter someone from psych is on their way down, let them handle it, he needs professional help! They can sedate him and admit him to psych he’ll need restraints if he’s going to hurt himself,” said Mark angrily

Peter wished that man would just shut the hell up. In fact he wished they would all just back the fuck off. He wasn’t about to let anyone pump Carter full of drugs and put him in those Goddamn restraints. Jesus what was Mark thinking, if some unfamiliar Doc from psych burst in here it would put John right over the edge. John would listen to him he knew he would, but the last thing they needed was an audience. He was about to voice his thoughts when he heard Romano speak.

“Back off Green, Peter’s got this,” said Romano practically pushing both Kerry and Mark into the hall.

“Robert! What are you doing we have to let a psychologist handle this!” shouted Kerry almost falling over her crutch and taking Mark with her.

“Kerry, Mark, if both of you are up here might I inquire, you know, just out of interest, being the Chief of staff and all. Who the hell is managing the ER!” said Romano his voice getting louder, with each word, as he ushered them into the hallway.

“John’s going to need stitches for those cuts, he’ll probably need some blood. Psychology could restrain him. We need to get to him now he needs to be treated, he needs a doctor now,” said Mark staring down at Robert.

“Yeah and what the hell is Peter, a chef?” said Romano crisply not the slightest bit intimidated with super Docs lanky presence. “Contrary to what you might think there are other Doctors in this hospital they’re not all wasting away in the ER. In fact since both of you have decided to interfere up here, there’s not even one supervising Doc down there now, so why don’t you go spread your medial wisdom where you wanted.

“Oh for Christ sake!” shouted Mark angrily stomping off towards the elevators.

“Robert what the hell is wrong with you?” asked Kerry “There is a young doctor in there gone completely over the edge, he is bleeding and all you can do is.....”

“Peter is handling this” interrupted Romano.

“Like hell, I’m calling psych again” Kerry snorted as she began to limp away.

“Kerry you will do no such thing!” shouted Robert “You, Dr Weaver will go back to the ER immediately and do the God damn job you’re paid for.” His voice lowered, his tone deadly serious, he dismissed her by saying, “Now! Doctor. Because don’t think I’ll hesitate in suspending you, if you don’t”

Kerry visibly paled, turned and headed back to the ER. While Elisabeth who had followed Romano out, turned to stare at him.

“Don’t you care at all?” she asked sadly.

“I care,” said Romano simply. He turned to look through the small window in the now closed door of the angiography room. Praying that he would not loose another young doctor in that damn room at the hands of Paul Sobriki.


Peter had never been more grateful to anyone than he was to Romano for clearing that room. Now if he could just get through to John every thing would be fine.......well at least a little better, he reconsidered, nothing would be fine for a long time.

“Carter?” Peter approached John who was rocking back and fourth in the corner still clutching the, momentarily forgotten scalpel. “Carter look at me man,” Peter continued as he knelt down in front of John, grasping the hand that held the potentially fatal instrument tightly. “Hey man you don’t need this, no one is going to hurt you, I won’t let anyone hurt you. Come on Carter give it to me.”

John looked at the bloody scalpel, and then at Peter Benton, his former teacher, he was here now he could make it go away. Carter opened his hand, and heard the clang as Peter threw the scalpel across the room. Yeah Peter would help him, but he couldn’t bring Lucy back, could he?

Peter wasted no time in getting rid of the danger then he began to assess Carter’s injuries. He could see that John was bleeding badly from the cuts to his right arm and the site where his IV had been ripped out; as well as his previous stab wounds where the stitches had come loose. But it was the lacerations on his left arm that concerned Peter, they were gushing, “Jesus Carter we got get these sutured now!” he said pulling a gauze pad from his lab coat and pressing it over the cuts. John didn’t even wince. This frightened Peter, since he should have been in considerable pain from his back alone. John couldn’t even walk unaided, getting down here from his room without his wheelchair must have been agony, probably why his stitches had come loose. However right now he seemed caught in a flashback completely removed from reality, Peter was afraid he was slipping into shock, or somewhere even darker where it would be hard to pull him back from.

“Carter! Come on man listen to me, I’m gonna get you out of here and get these lacs stitched okay?” said Peter searching John’s face for any signs that he understood him. What he saw however seemed like all the sadness of the world welled up in his young brown eyes.

“It was all my fault” John whispered breaking into huge sobs, “Lucy’s dead because of me”

“Shhh Carter shh, it’s not your fault, it’s not your fault. It’s alright shh,” soothed Peter applying pressure to his arm. “Come on man, we got to get you fixed up. Hey look at me, you got to stay with me Carter, just stay with me man,” he said bending to pick Carter up.

John focused on Peter Benton and he slowly became aware of his surroundings and reality seeped into his mind pulling him back from Valentine’s night. Hearing Peter’s voice reminded Carter that he had destroyed the neat stitches in his back, “I’m sorry ‘bout the stitches” whispered John he was so tired, his eyes fluttering closed. Then a sudden onslaught of pain jolted them open as he gasped against the agony, “Ah....Ah Oh God it hurts”

As glad as Peter was to hear Carter become lucid, it killed him to know how much pain his former student was in. He hoped someone had supplies ready, he didn’t want to wait to get him down to the ER. He lifted John relatively easily, surprised by how light he was. John cried out in pain clutching at Peters scrub top.

“I know man, I know it hurts, I’m gonna take care of it, it’ll be alright shh,” said Peter moving towards the door with Carter in his arms. Jesus a little help would be appreciated. True he didn’t want anyone from psych upsetting Carter more than he was and he did want to treat John himself, make sure the sutures where neat, so he wouldn’t have scars, but someone to bring him a gurney right about now would be great.

Robert Romano watched Peter disarm Carter and apply a gauze pad to his arm. God that man was prepared for anything. He was sure it would have taken Peter longer, but then Carter responded well to Benton, and Robert knew that what John needed was friend not some pseudo Doc with his fancy suit and bullshit psycho analysis, who didn’t know John Carter and didn’t care. Well Peter cared, he thought as he watched Benton scoop John up in his arms, and he cared.

“Shirley get me a gurney now, and Kit get two units of O neg. a saline IV five milligrams of morphine and suture kits” said Romano addressing the two nurses as they walked down the corridor.

“For John Carter? Don’t you think you should get him to the ER?” asked Kit.

“No! I think you should just get the things I asked for,” yelled Romano “Now! Move!” Jesus why did everyone in this hospital have to be told everything twice before doing anything, he thought turning to open the door for Peter.

“Shh it’s gonna be okay. No, no we’re not going to the ER don’t worry. I’ll take care it shhh your okay. I know Carter, I know it hurts I’ll give you something for the pain just hold on,” said Peter still trying to reassure John as he came through the door.

“Dr Romano” said Shirley wheeling a gurney towards them. “Do you need any help?”

“We got this thanks Shirley” replied Romano, “Peter lets get him to OR three its empty, we’ll fix him up in there.”

“Uh..... Yeah right.. uh... good” said Peter gently laying John on the gurney. He had definitely not expected Romano to be waiting to help them, but strangely the man did look genuinely concerned. He focused his attention back on Carter who was still holding onto his top. “Carter it’s okay, you’re okay” he said taking Carter’s hand as he and Romano wheeled John to the empty operating room.

“I’m so sorry,” said John weakly “I’m so stupid, so stupid,” he mumbled as he began to get a grip on reality again.

“You better not be stupid your one of the best Docs here.” said Romano speaking first to John then Peter “Kit’s getting everything we need. Ah..... Jesus these are deep” he moaned examining Carter’s left arm as they entered the OR.

“Yeah I know, he’ll need blood,” replied Peter pulling on gloves “Hey Carter stay with us okay”

“It hurts” John cried softly

“We know we know Carter, where the hell is that damn nurse!” said Robert impatiently, as he kept pressure on John’s deepest cuts.

“Right here Dr Romano” said Kit “running up with the supplies, “Dr Green wants to know what’s happening, “

“Well everyone wants something, and right now we want to be left alone” said Robert evenly “thank you Kit.” He dismissed her. “Peter you wanna start the IV and run in the morphine, take care of that pain huh John. Alright, I’m gonna set up a second IV on this side and get this blood in quick.”

“Okay John, I’m starting the IV now,” said Peter sliding the needle into his hand and hooking up the saline.

Peter glanced back and forth from John to Romano. He was unsure who was behaving more strangely. John’s eyes were squished tightly together in pain, but he was no longed sobbing. Romano was hanging the O neg, and looking for any tendon damage to Carter’s arms.

“There doesn’t appear to be any tendon damage. John I’m just gonna take a look at you back,” said Robert “Peter is the morphine on board? Good you suture his arms start with the top lac on the left, it’s really pumping; I’ll stitch his back. Okay John, can I get you to turn over”

“No, please don’t” he whispered. He knew he was being stupid but he couldn’t turn his back to anyone, he was just too scared. ”Please no! Please”.

“Hey Carter it’s okay man, no one is gonna hurt you, your safe now.” soothed Peter already starting to suture John’s arm. “It’s just me and Dr Romano here, you know we won’t hurt you”

“I know” John whispered, focusing his eyes on the ceiling. “I....I’m just.. so .... scared” he cried softly tears running down the sides of his face.

“Your gonna be okay, John I won’t hurt you, but I’ve got to stitch up your wounds, okay” said Romano softly. “Okay Peter hold up there a sec and lets roll him, nice and gentle that’s it” he said as they turned Carter on his side.

“Oh damn almost all of these are busted, lets pick up the pace a bit here Peter, I want to start him on IV antibiotics clear up any infection in these.” said Robert as he began cleaning and stitching the wounds. “You doin’ okay there Carter?”

“Psych are going to lock me up,” John said fearfully.

“No Carter that’s not going to happen, everyone knows that you’re upset. It’ll be okay,” said Peter as he and Romano looked across Carter at each other. Both of them knew that John needed to talk to someone, however they both knew that someone shouldn’t be a shrink, and definitely not one from the hospital since when had they ever done anyone any good.

“I slashed myself badly, I don’t remember much of it, but Mark thinks I’m crazy” Carter replied shakily.

“Hey, you were just scared,” said Romano, not wanting Carter to get overwrought again. “Yeah this was real dumb but no one will force you to talk to psych, certainly not Greene.”

“I’m so tired” whispered John. The morphine was taking effect he felt little pain as both Peter and Romano finished suturing and dressing his lacerations.

“We can get you back to your room now and you can get some rest.” said Romano pulling the sheet on the gurney up over Carter.

“I... I don’t want to wake up in the psych ward restrained to the bed,” said John reluctantly slowly meeting Peter’s eyes.

“Carter that’s not going to happen, come on man everything’s gonna be alright.” reassured Peter as they began to take Carter back to his room.

“Please don’t let them lock me up, please Dr Benton, Dr Romano Please!” said Carter softly fresh tears threatening to spill from his eyes.

“As chief of this Hospital I will make damn sure that doesn’t happen, you have my word Carter. Peter you will stay with him for a few hours I’ll pull Corday in on that Ex lap. Right?” said Romano as they wheeled Carter into his room.

Peter knew Romano wasn’t giving him a choice but it didn’t matter, he wanted to stay with Carter anyway. He couldn’t risk any of those clowns either from psych of the ER coming up to upset him.

“Yeah right” he answered Romano who was signing off on John’s chart.

“They’re swamped in the ER, so none of those clowns should be up poking their nose in. However Greene may think he’s entitled to barge up here and demand answers. Tell him I left orders that Dr Carter was to have no visitors from the ER today, If he’s got a problem to speak to me about it.” said Romano, as he injected more morphine into John’s IV.

“You think a lot about Lucy too don’t you?” asked John suddenly looking up at Romano.

Robert looked down at the young doctor, “Yes” he replied simply. Before glancing up at Peter, “he needs rest.” Then he was out the door his confident stride taking him to the elevators and his usual impassive mask back in place.

Night turned into early morning. In Cook County General Hospital room 401 John Carter woke from a horrible nightmare. Peter Benton got up from the chair beside the bed and took Carter’s hand in his own all the while reassuring him that everything would be alright. Kerry Weaver watched silently through the small window before limping towards the elevators. Down in the ER Mark Greene helped the paramedics wheel another patient into Trauma one. In the lounge Dave Mallucci was dosing while Carol and Luka chatted. At the admit area Jerry answered another ringing phone. In exam one a drunk was sick all over Lydia. In chairs a family anxiously waited to here how their son was doing after being hit with another drunken diver. On the surgical floor Elizabeth Corday rubbed a hand wearily across her face as she exited the OR following a gurney in which a man who had needed a bypass slept as he was wheeled to recovery, no idea how close he came to dying only thirty-four minuets ago. Throughout the hospital nurses changed saline drips and checked vitals, doctors operated, signed charts and tried to get some desperately needed sleep. Life went on. In the angiography room the hands of the clock approached two-fifty six, Robert Romano sat quietly on the gurney, tears unshed in his eyes, and across town in the cemetery Lucy Knights body rested peacefully in her flower laden grave.

The end.

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