Somehow It Would

AUTHOR: Sylvia
RATING: PG-13 <Language>
SPOILERS: S-9 Nothing major.
ARCHIVE: Email me and tell me about it, but otherwise your free to take.
DISCLAIMER: Not mine. Don't sue. No money
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Okay so it's Wednesday during summer vacation. I'm completely bored. I have nothing to do. I start to write. It takes me a few hours to finish, it keeps me busy, gives me a good cry... What else could you ask for? Well besides Noah and Goran... Hehehe... Thanks Abby for well, keeping me busy... Indirectly... LOL And thanks to Heather for allowing me to post my stories on her great site... :-)
SUMMARY: Carter gets visited by old memories.

Dr. John Carter heard the familiar voice of his colleague, Dr. Susan Lewis, insisting that he get up quickly. The night had been long and grueling. He had finally laid down for a bit of rest only a few minutes ago, and he was up and running again. Sometimes he regretted agreeing to be Chief of Emergency Medicine. The paperwork never stopped, the resident's charts were unreadable sometimes, and he was up to his neck in past due forms and payments. But at least he worked. It kept him from falling into a deep depression sometimes. He held the highest chair of Gamma's foundation. Dinner parties, weddings, funerals, receptions, galas, the works. He had no time to be down, no time to wonder what she was doing, no time to even be sad that he was going home to an empty house everyday. He had finally pulled his life together. He was happy to be alone. He didn't have to deal with the pain and heartache, the arguments, the apologizes, the tears. He had been through it all. He didn't want any more of it again. If he needed a friend, Susan was always there. She had been his support all through the worst times. She had practically moved in with him at one point or another. But both knew that it would never go past friendship. And he was happy it wouldn't. She was married anyways. Finally Chuck and she had a proper wedding, in a church, with all their closest family and friends. They were made for each other. Chuck was funny and nice, and he made her happy. And he wasn't possessive or jealous. He trusted Susan. That's what had scared him before, that Susan wouldn't be there when she got married. But she was there, anytime he needed her. He was there for her also. Chuck worked to support the two since Susan got pregnant. She was taking a break, she needed the rest. He would keep her company while Chuck flew hearts, livers, and bodies across the while United States. Pretty exciting job...

He walked around the ER. A few renovations had been done, and the place actually looked decent. Kerry had been extremely supportive of his course of action for the ER. He worked out a schedule for the nurses and doctors that both enjoyed. They were able to pick their own shifts, and rotate them around if needed. It had taken a few tries, but everyone got into the gist of it, and now the whole hospital was trying his plan. Organization was perfected. Somehow they hadn't had bad day in a while. He felt proud of what he had done, of how everything was working out. He barely went back to think of how things had been. He double-checked the board. All the patients were taken care of, no one was waiting to be admitted or checked on. He did another quick round, ducking into every room. Full beds, dimmed lights, beeping cardiac monitors. Everything normal and stable. He walked out into the ambulance bay, watching the world begin to etch with a slight tint of bright orange. The sun would be coming up soon, yet the stars and moon stood out magnificently against the still-dark sky. The weather was a bit on the cool side, but it was better than having either freezing temperatures or boiling hot days. He turned around and headed into the lounge.

He swung the door open, and saw Susan's face. She looked excited yet uncertain. He noticed she was talking to someone. Her hair was short and dark brown. Her figure thin and tiny. He knew who it was at first glance. No. This could not be happening to him. Not today. Not ever. She was the one who had run away, leaving him to weep silently. Suffer through days without her in his arms. He was not going to allow himself to be hurt again. He had worked so hard, accomplished so much. She was not going to come into his life again and destroy him. He would do anything to keep her from breaking down the walls he had build, opening the doors he had locked many years before. He saw Susan leave with a cup of coffee in her hands, mumbling something about leaving the two of you alone. He heard the door slam shut and instantly he felt the tension in the room. It was actually palpable. He didn't want to be the one to say the first words, to break the silence. He couldn't face her just yet. He had never forgiven her. He could not break down. He walked casually over to the coffee machine, pouring a cup for himself. She stood in the same position since Susan had left. She was starring out the window, watching the sun gently rise. With his coffee sweetened and stirred, he began to make his way towards the door. He heard her voice, soft, low, and scratchy. "I'm sorry." He wasn't going to deal with her. She came back to beg for forgiveness, win her power over him back. "It's a little too late for apologizes..." And he walked out of the lounge, letting the door swing shut.

He saw Susan standing a few feet away, a strange expression on her face. "I didn't know, John. I swear. She just came out of nowhere." He nodded his head. He knew Susan would have tried to warn him, or at least tried to protect him. "Are you okay?" He nodded once more, heading towards Trauma 1. He had a dying patient in there. A little boy only about 7 years old. He had leukemia, and his parents had died a few hours earlier. They were just heading off on a trip to the mountains, so Josh could have a good few days. He was dying, and he knew it. John went by the bed and sat down, took the boy's pale hand. He looked so old and feeble. He saw the waves on the Cardiac Monitor move into V-Tech. Then Asystole. He already had the monitor turned on silent. They had had so many false alarms all day with him. They just wanted him to go by himself. Silently, but not alone. He turned off the monitor and the IV's. "Time of death, 4:09." He took the white sheets and covered his body with it. He took the child's hands and face and cleaned them with warm water and a towel. Everyone deserved to die with dignity. Especially this little boy. He had never given up his fight with the disease. Only it was stronger than him. He spent the better portion of an hour in there, taking precise care and delicacy with the boy's body. Finally he walked out.

He found the nurses sitting around the admit desk, finishing some charts, and going over last night's patient developments. The place was still and silent. What he wouldn't have done for a trauma at that moment. He saw Susan backing into the lounge and he followed her in there once again. He walked over to the sofa, almost molding into it. She came a few minutes later, two cups of coffee in her hands. "I heard about Josh." Carter looked around the room slowly. "Yeah. He went peacefully." He could feel the tears in his eyes forming. Not for just loosing a patient. They weren't patients to him anymore. They were people. Every person had a different story to tell. This boy's life was cut short. Way too short. He felt her grasping his hand, a silent show of compassion. "Why was she here?" He saw her shoulders slightly shrug, and she squeezed his hand before letting go. "She wanted to talk to you." Wonderful. Now she wanted to talk. "About?" Another shoulder shrug. "John, she looks horrible..." His turn to shrug his shoulders. He had no more compassion left for this woman. His heart beat and his lungs contracted only for her at one point. That was then. This was now. "I have to go. I wanted to run over my charts and patients before rounds begin." He slowly got up off the comfortable couch. "Please, just consider it." He turned around and looked at her, disbelief in his eyes. There was no way he was going to go to her. There was no way that she could explain everything. There was no way that he would even be able to begin to forgive her. "I can't." And he walked out of the lounge.

He walked up the stairs to Pediatric Oncology. The doctor that had been called for Josh's consult needed to co-sign the death certificate. The hallways was painted with smiling suns and flowers, although all that dwelled in these rooms was pain and suffering. He remembered sitting with Bobby at his bedside for days, wanting to paint the walls black. Nothing happy was every present in a hospital. Well, except for the OB floor, but they too had their share of tragedies. He reached the main desk, and asked for Dr. Jacobson. The nurse, who looked like an overweight pig in her pink scrubs, told him that Dr. Jacobson was in Room 204 in Pediatric ICU Cardiology. Great. He didn't want to go up another flight of stairs. He didn't want to go searching the halls for some doctor he's seen once or twice. Probably bitched at millions of times though. He reached the nearest staircase and began the descent up. His muscles ached and his back hurt. He hadn't been getting a lot of sleep since Dr. Kovac departed. He went back to Croatia to care for his dying father. He might return, but Carter thought it unlikely. His whole life is back there, he will begin to rebuild it slowly but surely. Finally he reached the Cardiology Unit. There was a large room for the newborns, parents pacing up and down the narrow walkway. Half of the babies probably wouldn't make it another week. And there was not a damn thing any doctor could do for them. Experimental procedures would never work. They were just a playtime for those all specialists who think that they can play god. He got past the major rooms, and the ward broke off into separate rooms for families with children slightly older. He peaked into a room, a toddler, no more than maybe 2 and a half years old was hooked up to over 15 different machines. One breathing for him, one breaking up his food, one going to the bathroom for him. He looked like a battery operated toy, but that one hand movement, those few blinks, gave the parents hope. That is why their child was suffering, because maybe there was a god. And maybe he was looking over them. He reached room 204 and noticed Dr. Jacobson talking to another doctor. He knocked slightly, and when Dr. Jacobson acknowledged him with the nod of his head, he retreated back out into the hallway, sitting down on a chair. The hallway was dark and the lights had been dimmed to make it easier for the children to fall asleep. These walls, like the ones in Oncology, were also painted with smiling Disney characters and rainbows. Why wouldn't they just paint the walls white? It would probably make the parents less depressed. The children are already so drugged up they wouldn't be able to tell the difference between Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh or Eeyore. He heard a door open and he gently shifted his gaze towards the sound. He saw a figure walking out of the room. The same figure he had seen earlier today. It was her. He heard a few sobs and her hand went to wipe them away. She soon disappeared down the hallway, and the only thing that could be heard was the slight echoing of her heels against the linoleum floor.

He got out of the chair, and walked over to the room that she had just exited. He had never known her to cry before. And she had never taken a particular liking to children either. She worked with them when she had to, but otherwise, he knew she didn't want any. That was one of the things that destroyed him. He had always wanted the love of a child. A little baby to hold in his arms. Someone to protect, to nurture, to mold, to be proud of. He wanted to give his children the life he never had. He wanted to be there for every birthday party, holiday, and school pageant. He wanted to tuck his own children in, not have a nanny or babysitter do it for him. He would always listen, never yell. He would be present in his children's lives, much unlike his own parents. His father was off spending the family fortune through his whole childhood. His mother lived at public events, coming home drunk and depressed every night. They had forgotten about him altogether. He spent more time alone than anything. He liked the silence and peacefulness. He looked left and right, making sure no one was coming. Of course what he was doing was completely legal, he just didn't feel like explaining what an ER doc was doing in Pediatric ICU Cardiology Unit at 5:40 in the morning. The hallways was clear, and Dr. Jacobson wasn't hurrying himself. He flipped open the metal chart holder, and just because of habit, went straight to the diagnosis: Arital Spetal Defect. Bi-Pass until new heart becomes available. Survival not probable. He was silently thanking the powers that be that parents usually couldn't decode doctor's handwriting nor their shorthand script. He flipped through the rest of the chart, looking at echos and x-rays, tests and taps, cardiac strips. All show this poor child was deteriorating into heart failure. And there was probably nothing that would be done. Babies die during birth, and their organs are usually not revivable. Toddlers and children were usual the only ones that survived big crashes or accidents. They had this special "guard from harm" label on them or something. This little girl would die within a matter of days. But who was she. Why was Abby here? Especially in this hospital? Maybe it was a friend and she had referred her here. The hospital was one of the best. It might have a bad reputation, but Ped's Oncology and ICU was one of the top 10 in the Midwest.

He flipped the massive chart back to the front. He pulled up the first sheet, since that was patient number and diagnosis. That what administration was. A number, diagnosis, course of treatment taken, and how much everything cost. No respect for the family or patient. He finally found the second part, the admit orders, which were the first part, were only supposed to be about 1 to 2 pages, were about 4 in this case. Name: Annette Carter. Mother: Abigail Lockhart. Father: Dr. John Carter. DOB: June 4th, 2002. He continued to read the rest of the chart, but everything blurred together for him. How? When? This was completely absurd. He dropped the chart back into the slot, and started into a slow jog back down to the ER. Susan knew. He knew she knew. Why the hell hadn't she told him? He reached the ER's admit desk in under 4 minutes. "Jerry, where's Dr. Lewis?" The over-weight desk clerk nodded over to his right shoulder, curtain 3. He held a phone between his right ear and shoulder, a donut in his left hand, and a chart in his right. That wasn't going to come out for the best in a few minutes. He walked into the room, and saw Susan working on a teenage girl, about 16. She had been vomiting blood, and had just started again when Carter entered the room. Chuny was standing next to Susan, and was a bit surprised at the sudden rush that came into the room. "Hook up another IV, wide open. She's dehydrated and she has food poisoning. Send out the usual labs. Susan, a moment please." He saw her face, a look of pure fright. He looked at her, sending her an evil glance. She quickly got up and followed him into the empty trauma room. He got in there. He wasn't exactly sure how he was supposed to start. What the hell was he supposed to say? He looked out the window for a few minutes, and finally turned around and faced her. He saw her hand run through her short blonde hair and push the strands out of her face. "Why didn't you tell me? I trusted you..." She looked at him. Now she was going to play stupid. She wouldn't' want to screw anything up, she wouldn't want to ruin whatever relationship they had. "Because Abby told me not to." Clear, crisp, and direct. "Don't' you think I should know that I have a daughter that is upstairs dying?" He didn't doubt that the child wasn't his. He knew this was probably the one thing that she would never lie about. He didn't get a response out of her, so he turned around and looked at her. She didn't flinch. She knew what this would lead up to. "Where is she?" He saw her famous shoulder shrug. He jetted out the door.

The stairs seemed to go on forever. The building had 8 floors and over 120 steps. He managed to get up on the roof at last. This was the once place he hadn't bothered to check. He knew she would not leave the hospital. She had to be there somewhere. So many questions ran through his head. But most of all, rage pulsed through him. Anger that he hadn't know about his daughter, frustration that she had just ran away, all but disappeared, and suddenly she shows up tonight, thinking everything will be okay. It won't and never will. He opened the door, and the crisp air hit his face like a thousand pins. He scanned to the front, left, and right. She wasn't there. He finally went around the stair entrance door, and saw her petite figure leaning against the railing, head hung low, shoulders hunched, coffee in hand. He silently walked over to her. "I don't want to talk about what happened to us. I don't want to know your reasons for leaving me. I don't care why you stopped loving me. I'm not going to worry about what hell you've been through and how sorry you are. I just want to know if I can see my daughter." His voice had come out louder and more angry than he had originally planned. But he had a reason to be angry. There was no excuse for what happened. He waited for a response. He saw her head softly nod, she didn't even turn around. That was all he needed. He headed down the 2 floors to the Ped's ICU, and froze right in front of her door. He couldn't do it. He couldn't go in. He couldn't go in there, there was no preparation for what he was about to see. He had seen gunshot wounds, and stabbing victims, and brain matter had been splattered all over him, but there was something controlling his body from walking in there. He knew what he would see. He knew she would probably have tubes and catheters and machines covering every in of her body. Bruised and poked and prodded. But this was his daughter. She was supposed to be okay, be healthy, be happy. He couldn't put himself to open that damn door. And every time he thought he could do it, memories of Bobby flooded his mind. All the pain he had been through in his last days. But this wasn't Leukemia. Her heart was failing. She probably couldn't breathe, every breath was forced and painful. He couldn't do it. He just couldn't.

But he did. He opened the door, absorbing the scene before him. The room was dark, a single nightlight and the green and red monitor lights where the only illumination that the room had. The walls were painted light blue, with butterflies, flowers, and suns to cheer up the atmosphere. It only made it more heavy. There was a wooden cabinet, locked with nursing supplies. On it stood a vase with simple flowers and Abby's purse and coat. Next to that was a chair, and then a window. Next to the window he saw the first signs of a hospital room. There was the famous doctor's stool, the first few monitors showing her breathing patterns and heart palpitations. He heard the constant beep beep of the heart monitor and the wheezing of the ventilator. He saw the 3 IV's dripping medications and hydration into the body. He saw the metal stand that the nurses and doctors used when performing tests, to set their utensils on. He saw another set of her chart attached to her bed. Then he saw her. Light brown hair, light brown eyes. She had Abby's facial features, with his nose. Her figure was small and petite, probably exactly like Abby's. In her arms she held tightly on to a stuffed teddy bear, that looked like it had been dragged to the end of the world and back. Then he saw her as a patient. Her color was pale, almost deathly white. The dark circles under her eyes where evident even in the given light. Her arms and legs were bruised from all the IV's that had been attempted, and her fingers and toes were turning purple from the lack of oxygen. Her lips were almost blue, but still held a bit of pink in them. The breathing tube was taped down to her cheeks, so it wouldn't fall out. She probably had no energy to even move. The pulse-oxygen glowed red on her finger. It looked so big compared to her tiny hand. She was perfect in every way. He moved closer, and noticed that she was, in fact, awake. He grabbed the metal stool from by the window and sat down next to her. He saw her pulse began to race, and he knew she was scared. She had probably seen so many doctors before, and endured so much pain that anyone who approached her would scare her. He slowly and gently brushed the few strands of her away from her face, and then scooped her hand into his palm. It was so tiny. It took up only about half of his palm. She was probably almost 2 years old. Abby had been gone for about 2 and half. How hadn't he noticed. How the hell hadn't he cared? He saw her pulse began to go down, and she began to relax once again. He felt her grasp around his index finger and hold on to it. He smiled. "Hi Annette." He saw a small smile forming behind the tape and tube. She soon closed her eyes and fell into a deep sleep. But she never let go of his hand. He sat there for hours, just watching his baby daughter breathe.

He was pushed out of the room by a Doctor Leyens. He walked out into the hallway, the sun piercing his eyes for the first time. The blinds had been pulled in Annette's room, and he hadn't realized that it was almost 7:30 in the morning. He had missed rounds. He was off. He walked down the hallway, and didn't know what to do with himself. He would only be in the way if he wanted to stay with Annette, but he couldn't go home. He didn't want to go downstairs. Susan was on today, pulling a double, and he didn't feel like talking with her. So he stopped by the doctor's lounge, grabbed a cup of coffee and headed up to the roof. He always went on the roof when he needed to think. The view was marvelous, the lakefront and beach was visible on a sunny day, the Sears Tower and John Hancock filling up the sky. The new hotels and condo's were going up very quickly as well. But that's what pulled him towards the city. There was always an adventure, always something new and exciting. He popped the door open gently, much calmer than the last time he had been up here. He scanned the roof like he usually did, front and side to side. He turned around to head to his usual spot and noticed that she was still there. She hadn't moved since he had seen her last. He stood there, looking at her in the sun. She had changed so much. Her hair color had gone back to it's original dark brown, her facial features stood out more, probably due to her weight loss. She looked so thin and fragile, like the Chicago wind could break her in two pieces. Her eyes had dark circles under them, her pout lines adding more detail to her face. But she still took his breath away. She always had. He walked closer to her, noticed her eyes were permanently red. She had obviously been crying all night. He didn't even know how to approach her. He didn't want to get hurt again. His mind screamed at him to get away from her, his body stood rooted right where he was standing, but his heart pulled him towards her. It was a strange feeling, not knowing where to go, what to do. And he had felt this way before. Right when she had left. It happened so quickly. He had come home from Kisangani, went straight to her. She had told him to leave his keys, that they needed time apart for a bit. He agreed. Time apart from each other, but not a stop in their relationship. Then he had been called back to get Luka's body. He was gone four days. He returned and found out she was gone. Just gone. She didn't leave a number, address, anything. He couldn't track her down. Maggie didn't know anything, neither did Erik. He fell apart. Every place he went he thought of her. Every thing he saw it reminded him of her. He just wanted her in his arms. He loved her. He loved her with his whole heart and soul. It was an unexplainable feeling. And it was all coming back to him. He hadn't wanted it to. He really hadn't. He kept on telling himself in Annette's room that he would take care of her, that he would be there for her. But he would stay away from Abby. He wouldn't allow her back into his life. It just wasn't a feasible possibility. He needed her in his life like he needed air to breathe and water to drink. She was his salvation. And she stood before him now, more broken and torn than ever. He wanted to take her into his arms, and kiss all her fears and problems away. But he wouldn't do it. Maybe, somehow, he would be able to get away with not falling back in love with her. Too late. She grasped him by the heart and was tearing it out. He couldn't get away. She wouldn't let him go. Pain physical and mental. Too much. So he just stood there, watching her.

After what seemed like eternity to him, she turned around. She looked at him, her eyes brimming with tears. "I never once stopped loving you..." She looked up at him, he was supposed to say something. But he didn't. She began her walk towards the door, and he stood rooted in his spot. His body acted without his permission, he ran around, and grabbed her by her arm. "Why did you leave me?" He saw her look down, like she always did when she was ashamed or couldn't face reality. He took his other hand and pulled her head up, locking eyes with her quite forcefully. "Why the hell did you leave me?" He was getting annoyed with her. "Abby..." She put on her pouty face, and began to chew on her lip. He knew this routine all too well. It had been almost two and a half years since he had seen it last, but he could give every detail in her routine. "Because I loved you." She began to turn away, he wouldn't let her. He held onto her arms and if he let go now, he would never see her again. " You don't fucking pick up and leave someone that you love!" He saw the tears begin to flow down her face in a smooth pattern. "I left because you didn't deserve to be with me. I never made you happy, or proud... All I did was make your life hell... And you shouldn't have had to deal with it. I told you to run. You didn't, so I did. I just couldn't put you through it..." He was storming and frustrated. "Abby, just shut up! Shut up! I don't want to hear it. I don't care how screwed up your life is. I don't' care that you will never be normal. I wanted you, for better or for worse! Will you get that through you head? And you left me! And I'm not going to do this again, I can't. I've had enough." He pushed her off to the side, and went running down the stairs. He rushed back to Ped's ICU and sat down next to Annette. She had fallen back asleep. He kissed her forehead gently and laid his head down on her bed. And he started to cry. He cried for everything that had every happened to him. For Bobby, for his mom, for his dad, for Lucy, for Luka, for Abby, for Annette, for himself... The tears just continued to come down in pools, and he kept on wiping them away. Nothing ever went right in his life. Never. He was doomed to darkness and sadness. Everything had been so simple only a few hours ago. Just 6 hours ago he had planned his whole future, and now everything was falling apart, breaking into tiny little pieces and disintegrating before his very eyes. His one and only daughter was before him, dying. His soul was upstairs on the roof crying because he all but told her he hated her and hoped she would die. And he didn't know what he was supposed to do with himself. He felt a tiny hand grasping for his own. He looked up and noticed Annette had woken up. He had probably woken her up. She held on to his hand for a bit before reached over to his face with her last bits of energy and wiping away the tears that ran down his face. "Annette, I love you..." She put her hand down and clasped onto his hand once again. She closed her eyes, the monitors began to beep. He heard the regular sounds of the ER Trauma room. Right before death. Then he walked out. He saw the doctors go rushing in.

He stood outside, pacing the hallway. He didn't know what was going on. He really didn't want to. He knew what it would ultimately end up as. So he went to go talk to her once again. The third or fourth time he planned it out. The third or fourth time that he would end up yelling at her for giving his baby this illness. But it wasn't her fault. It wasn't anyone's fault. He vented his anger at her, instead of going and punching a wall he yelled at her, defenseless and already destroyed. He started up the stairs again. One more time he would try to control himself. One more time he would try to be civil. Maybe this time, it would be okay. He opened the door, she was curled up in the corner. He walked closer to her, and she automatically cast her gaze anywhere but at him. "Annette..." She already knew the news was coming. He felt it from her sight, from her presence. His pager went off. "They're rolling her into surgery now. They have a new heart." She looked up at him. His eyes screamed of happiness. Her eyes were rolling with tears. She had smiled the first time in ages. He knelt down next to her, and held her body against his. They molded together perfectly, like they always had. All he could hear from her crying, sniffling, figure were "I"m sorry's..." And he wanted to forgive her. He just couldn't. He needed to know the truth. Needed to know what was going to happen if he let her back into his life. He loved her with everything he had. But he couldn't be hurt again. It was this mental tug-of-war he always played with himself. He finally let himself go. He gave up. He unlatched himself from her, and walked back into the warmth of the building. He walked down the stairs, back into the ER. He felt the gazes of the nurses and other doctors. But he didn't care. He went to his locker and pulled out his keys, wallet, and pack of cigarettes. He hadn't smoked since the day Abby left. It was her vice, not his. He went to go sit outside in the ambulance bay. He played with the keys and the cigarettes for a while. The operation would take about two hours, which was extremely short, but then again, her heart was the size of a kiwi, and they had her on Bi-Pass already. All the operation was to hook up the right arteries and veins. And the best doctors in the city of Chicago were doing it. He decided to get away from the hustle and bustle of the ER. He headed back up to the sixth floor. He would have scrubbed in, but it was too painful for him. He headed towards the OR Waiting room. He walked in and saw Abby was already in here. Her eyes were still streaked red, her legs pulled up to her chest, her head leaning against her knees. He walked up to her. Her head moved up to lock gazes with his voluntarily. He knelt down in front of her, and pushed her bangs out of her face. "I never once stopped loving you, Abby..." He pulled her left hand out. "And I should have done this from the very beginning..." He took out the pack of cigarettes, and tilted it. Out came a small diamond ring secured in platinum . He slid it onto her finger. "I never want to loose you again." He felt her collapse into his arms, she couldn't stop crying. Tears of pain or joy, he couldn't exactly tell. But everything would work. Somehow it would.

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