CATEGORY: JC/PB Friendship
SPOILERS: Season 6 and 8
ARCHIVE: Email me and tell me where
DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of the characters in this fan fic.
SUMMARY: This is a John Carter/Peter Benton fan fic. Takes place on and around 'I'll Be Home For Christmas'. 1 parter. ENJOY! *FEEDBACK (POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE) & SUGGESTIONS VERY MUCH WELCOMED*
"I'm glad it's you…"
"Lucy's dead isn't she?"
"Carter, man, I'm gonna get you through this, you hear me?"
The words replayed in John Carter's mind over and over. He sat at the island in the middle of his kitchen, thinking. It was 4 a.m. There's no use trying to get some sleep. I've got to be at the hospital in 2 hours, anyway, he thought.
John turned to see Susan shuffling tiredly into the kitchen. "What are you doing, sitting here all by yourself?" she asked.
"Just thinking," he said, sighing.
"About Peter?" Susan asked, pulling out a stool and sitting beside him.
"Yeah," he said, nodding.
"I'm sorry," she said. "I know how much he meant to you. But… he just didn't feel like he belonged here anymore, you know? Like when I moved to Phoenix. I thought I didn't belong here, either."
John looked at Susan. "But you eventually came back," he said. "I don't think Dr. Benton will come back."
Susan smiled to herself. The way John still called most of his colleagues 'Doctor' amused her. She also smiled because, in an odd way, she loved when John was like this. Like a sad, lost little puppy who you just want to scoop up and take home.
"You know, Susan… if you don't mind, I'd really… I just would like to be alone right now, okay?"
She rested a hand on John's shoulder. "I understand," she said, hopping off the stool and gently kissing his cheek. When she got to the entryway of the kitchen, she turned and said, "I love you, John."
But John didn't hear her. His mind was already on the events of the day…
EARLIER THAT DAY
Carter unlocked the door to his apartment and laid his bag and coat on a chair. He routinely pressed the button on his answering machine. Gamma. Susan. His father. Gamma again. Then a message caught his attention. "Hey, Carter, it's Peter. Um, listen man, I… I'm leaving County." John stopped and stared at the machine. "I had it out with Romano, and Cleo got me a job in Shaumburg. I've… I've got to do this for Reese, man. It's the only way I'm gonna keep my son." After a pause, Peter continued. "Take care of yourself, man." ::click:: John stared at the machine for several moments after the message ended. Peter had been his mentor ever since he came to County. He had saved his life more than once and his career countless times. What was he supposed to do now?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
John was snapped out of his daydream by the ringing of the phone. When he reached for the receiver, the Caller ID read 'Out of Area'. He didn't usually answer those calls because they were almost always telemarketers or someone with the wrong number. But this time, he decided to answer. "Hello?"
Carter could hear the smile in his voice. "Call me Peter, Carter."
Carter just laughed. "What's up?"
"I just wanted to say… thanks."
Peter laughed. "The El token."
"Oh. That. Yeah, well, it just seemed to fit."
"Thanks, man. I've got to get going. I guess I'll… I guess I'll see you around, then."
"Yeah, okay. Thanks for calling, Peter."
"You're a good doctor, man."