The Trouble With Happiness

AUTHOR: Tracey
SPOILERS: I don;t think there is
DISCLAIMER: I don't own any of the ER characters mentioned in this Fic, but I hope you like the new ones I've introduced.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Reviews are great, if you want to read more let me know...
SUMMARY: Prologue is set straight after Lockdown, but the rest as you shall see is set way into the future. And you'll have to excuse any lack of medical knowledge. My only reference is the snatches I get from ER.

The Trouble With Happiness


"Let me sleep John."

"Not likely. If I can't get comfy, then there is no chance I'm letting you get comfy and sleep up there."

Susan had come in earlier with bedding so they could get some sleep, while the results of the small pox epidemic came through, and being the gentleman Carter had let Abby take the gurney while he obligingly took the floor.

"Hey you offered to take the floor!" Turning over she peered over the side to look at him.

"You do look funny down there!" She grinned.

"Aarrgghh!!" A hand reached up dragging her off the bed she landed on top of Carter and immediately tried to scramble away; but there was no use he had her held tight.

"If I'm sleeping down here so are you!"

"Oh you think that do you." Squirming her hands free she began to tickle him.

"If that's the way you're playing," he teased and began his own assault. IT didn't take long to find her weak spot positioned in the crook of her back and he took full advantage.

Laughing the tears began streaming down her face, it was time for revenge but nowhere seemed to get the wanted effect.

"Did I forget to tell you I'm not ticklish! Or at least no where you'll find at this rate!"

"Well in that case."

With a glint of mischief in her eye she managed to free herself and get up. Walking purposely across the room she reached into the supply cupboard and immediately found what she needed.

Carter sat bolt up and tried to see what she was doing.

"Abby? Abby? No, stop it. Abby don't you dare!"

In her hand was the make shift water pistol aimed straight at his trousers. Scrambling to his feet he had no time to hide, she hit him slightly off target but still created the desired affect.

Laughing as he charged at her she couldn't get away he grabbed her round the waist swinging her into his arms. Suddenly he was kissing her again. Their third of the night but this one was more relaxed, no tension or awkwardness. It was perfect.

It felt soft at first, his hands resting lightly on her waist, and then the intensity rose as he pulled her closer towards him, his mouth reacting to hers as the atmosphere around them faded. They were only aware of each other and the pleasure they were experiencing, instinct taking over Abby reached under his shirt to find the hot sweaty skin she wanted to feel him next to her. While Carter brought his hands up to stoke her soft beautiful hair…

The knock at the door broke them apart, rearranging Carter's shirt she then hid behind him as Susan entered.

A smile developed on her face before she had chance to suppress it. Twice in one night she had caught them - so much for Carter's denial!

"Abby you may want to straighten your hair before you leave this room. And um Carter I'm not even gonna ask about the trousers!"

"Susan I…" Realising there was no explanation Abby took the only path left open. "Hey Susan this isn't want you think. We were just having a bit of fun and I kinda got carried away with the water pistol."

She motioned to the offending weapon lying innocently on the floor next to where they stood.

"That's all, nothing to mention to anyone. Okay?"

"Sure Abby." She would keep it quiet, but that didn't mean she couldn't have some fun."

"We've had confirmation and it is a variant of small pox, but not as terminal or as infectious. There is a vaccine for it, so the patients will receive it first so we can clear the ER, then the staff will get there's followed by a debriefing session. So that should give you two about an hour and a half to erm relax and sort yourselves out." Grinning she turned to walk out of the room, but added, "Oh and if you don't want people to see you two having 'fun' then you may want to close the blinds."

"Phew! That was close huh?" Abby looked at the outline of her reflection in the window and tried to straighten out her hair. "So she knows, but I don't think she'll say anything. She didn't look too shocked though did she?"

He didn't reply, which confused her. "Carter? This place is a tip. You want to help me clean up?"

She began picking up the bedding from the floor and piling it neatly on the gurney and then started on her own bedding.

"What is wrong with you?" He had moved over to the window, which looked through to the trauma room with the small pox in it, but wasn't looking at anything. Reaching his side in a few steps she rested her head on his shoulder.

"Nothing." Bringing her into his arms he closed his eyes. He couldn't be happier, he finally had his girl, but something was niggling him.

The next hour flew by, they had moved over to the gurney, where they had remained entwined as they fell into a deep sleep.

When Susan came back, she gently woke Carter, careful not to arise Abby. She told him they had moved Adam upstairs and the debriefing would be starting in 10 minutes in the lounge.

"How is Abby?" she continued, whispering in the hope not too disturb her.

"Tired. I'm going to take her home straight after."

"Take things slow ok." Susan advised. "She may look and act tough, but that's all it is, an act. I don't want either of you to get hurt."

"You don't think I know that?" Carter replied softly. "I've waited so long for this…"

He paused as Abby stirred in his arms, smiling back at Susan he motioned for her to go. He didn't want Abby to hear their discussion.

"Hey sleepyhead." Carter said once she'd woken properly, but he didn't let her leave his embrace.

"I fell asleep huh?"

"Oh yeah. And your snoring nearly woke the hospital." He teased.

"I don't snore."

"Sure you do. Only no one has been brave enough to tell you."

Punching him in the ribs, she took his teasing light-heartedly.

"The debriefing is in 5 minutes we should get ready."

* * * * *

The meeting lasted about half an hour. They were told about Monkey pox, what they could and couldn't tell the press and finally were told they had three days off, while the ER closed to sort out the situation.

"Abby? Are you okay?" Quizzed Luca as he approached her afterwards.

"Yeah. I'm just tired. I need my bed." Gathering her bag and coat they headed out of the lounge. She would wait for Carter outside.

"If you need a lift I can take you." Offered Luca once they were outside.

"I'm good thanks. I think Carter and I…"

"Are you two?" He interrupted. "Together I mean?"

"I'm not sure. Things are just starting." She smiled.

"I wish you luck."

Then surprising her he gave her a hug. Watching him leave, she didn't notice Carter who had seen the episode between the two ex-lovers, his face like thunder with a jealous rage forming inside.

"Having fun?"


"You and Luca looked pretty cosy."

"Stop it Carter."

"Stop what? I was just making a casual observation."

"Carter, don't say another thing, before you say something you'll regret. Luca was wishing us luck." Walking off, she didn't want to say anything she herself might regret. And the way he was acting and her own tiredness making her feel testy; she didn't want to risk ruining their fragile stance.

* * * * *

She awoke to the knocking of the door, having slept for over 16 hours the clock read 9:30am. Yet as she turned over and stretched, the past few days and the events that had befallen them seemed like weeks ago. As she had walked away from Carter last night, Luca had been pulling out of the car park and reiterated his offer of a ride. She had appreciated his no questions asked attitude as they had driven home and he had left without accepting her offer of a coffee. Secretly she was pleased he had refused, they made better friends than lovers and she hadn't been in the mood for playing hostess.

Pulling on her dressing gown she made her way to the door, hoping it wasn't her landlord who needed to fix the heater - she wasn't in the mood for company today.

"Carter!" she exclaimed as the door opened to reveal the unlikely visitor. Well at the time it seemed unlikely, now as Abby felt her brain churn into motion it was obvious it would be Carter.

"Who were you expecting?"

"My landlord." She replied, but knowing he expected her answer to be Luca. "How did you get in?"

"The catch downstairs is broken. Are you going to let me in or do I have to stand out here all day?"

She pushed the door aside letting him enter before closing it behind herself. Thing she would need to mention the broken catch to her landlord, but knowing it would get fixed for weeks if not months.

"Abby about yesterday." He turned to face her; she was lent against the door her face revealing nothing. "I'm sorry."

H held out the flowers he had just brought as a gesture. "I'm sorry I didn't have time to let them dry up."

She laughed, taking them she went to get a vase from the kitchen, then called back. "I'll forgive you this time, but next you'd better make sure they are long dead!"

Placing the flowers on the bookshelf by the bedroom door she then walked back to Carter who had made himself comfy on the couch. As she sat next to him his arm came around her pulling her close.

Closing her eyes, Abby wrapped her arms around him and snuggled closer. The warmth and musky scent he provided intoxicated her; she felt safe and content.

They had woken just after lunch, had a pleasant meal at Milo's Italian Haven and now were walking hand in hand by the river.

"We must look like a real couple." Abby exclaimed. Stopping she turned him towards her. "And I know another thing couple's do."

Reaching up she kissed him lightly on the lips. "I've been wanting to do that all day."

A smiled formed on his lips as he returned the kiss, his tongue tickling her lips as he began to explore the depths of pleasure that only she could provide.

* * * * *

They had made it back to her apartment in record time and spent the rest of the day making love. First Carter had been slow and caring, not rushing her and ensuring every ounce of pleasure was amplified beyond anything either had felt before.

Waking up it was dark; she could make out the digits on the alarm clock, 4:27. Smiling she turned to the sleeping form beside her and gently began kissing his neck, throat, chin and mouth until he woke up.

* * * * *

The smell of bacon and coffee invaded her senses as she leisurely climbed out of bed, wrapping the sheet around her she ventured through to the kitchen. Where she found a dishevelled Carter looking rather fetching in her dressing gown, making breakfast.

"If I'd known you were this domesticated I would have invited you round much sooner."

He turned to find her stood leaning against the doorframe; she even looked amazing first thing in the morning.

"Well hey if I'd known that." He joked back. "Sit down breakfast is almost ready."

"What do you think we should do for the rest of the day?" She innocently asked without disguising the devilish look of anticipation in her eyes.

* * * * *

Abby couldn't believe how fast the last few days had flown by, leaning over to gently kiss Carter awake, she thought ahead to tonight they were both back at work today doing the same shift finishing at 8pm and she couldn't wait to be back here at her apartment.

"Good morning beautiful," she smiled passionately as he woke.

* * * * *

"Hey Luca." Abby called out as she headed into the lounge. She'd left Carter outside to deal with the impending MVA.

"You two made up then?" Luca startled Abby, she hadn't realised he'd followed her. Putting her coat and bag away she turned to Luca smiling.

"Yes." She didn't elaborate, forcing Luca to watch in fascination as she floated out of the room in order to claim her first patient of the day.

The next time the door opened Carter came in, nodding hello to Luca he made no attempt to talk to his old adversary.

"Carter, congratulations. Looks like you finally got the girl."

There was something malicious lying in his undertone, making Carter question his motives.

"Abby is a great girl." Luca continued.

"I know, she's amazing"

"She's been through a lot."

"I know that too." 'Probably more than you.' He added silently to himself, trying to calm his rising defences.

"Good. Then you should know you really upset her the other day." Pausing Luca took the time to find the right words. "She didn't say anything, that's not her style but it was in her eyes. Just like the time she find out you were with Susan and again when you came to the apartment that time when she was drinking. She cares about you, she always has. You're the reason we broke up; you started her drinking again and now that you're with her."

Luca stopped again, looking at Carter hoping that what he was saying was being taken in, but he couldn't tell. Carter's head was bent down his mind racing with every moment spent with Abby and couldn't believe how stupid he had been not to have taken her in his arms and made her his 9 months ago.

"Carter. If you hurt her."

"You don't have to play big brother." Carter's head shot up at that, who does he think he is. "You lost that right a long time ago."

"I didn't lose any right. I am still her friend and I care deeply about her."

"Keep away from Abby she doesn't need your help."

Not waiting for a reply he stalked out of the room, bumping into Susan on the way.

"What's wrong with him?" She casually asked, then sensing the tensed atmosphere that had been created. "What did you say to him?"

"Nothing that wasn't necessary."

* * * * *
"You hungry?" Asked Susan, as she reached he admin desk.

"Famished! A trauma really brings out the hunger in me." Joked Abby.

"DocMagoos or the canteen?"

"DocMagoos." They said in unison.

"Right my treat. Go get your coat and be ready to tell all."

Watching Abby got to the lounge her line of vision was interrupted by a pair of curious eyes.

"What are you up to?"

"Taking your girlfriend out to dinner. Why? Are you jealous?"

"Nope just curious."

"Hmmm. I hope you don't think Luca was butting in earlier." Susan attempted to change the subject. She didn't like it when her friends argued. Not that Luca was really a friend, she hadn't known him long, but they shared an understanding and both wanted the best for the newly united couple.

"Susan." He warned and dragged her out of the apparently engrossed in something else admin clerks earshot.

"He just cares about Abby."

"Well he doesn't have to. She has me now and I would never hurt her."

"Not intentionally."

"Why is everyone worried about her? She's a grown woman capable of looking after herself."

"It's not just her. I care about you too Carter and I don't want you putting too much on this relationship. I know you both and it's taken this long for you two to admit your feelings for each other, so it will take time for you…"

Interrupting her, "you don't have to worry…"

"You ready to go?" Abby appeared beside them, becoming concerned when she noticed their guilty looks. "What? What did I miss?"

"Nothing. Come on I'm starving." Susan dragged Abby behind her.


"I'll have a burger, medium rare and fries." Susan ordered, as the waitress came to their table.

"I'll have the same." Abby smiled at her as she walked away. "What were you and Carter talking about?"

"Nothing. Well you, but it was all good." She didn't want to reveal anything; it was up to Carter to decide.

"Me?" Shaking her head. "I'm not that interesting."

"You'd be surprised."

"Oh really?"

"Yup, we discussing what a cute couple you two make."

"Huh." Abby laughed, what a weird conversation to be having with Carters ex. Not that she thought of Susan as being that anymore, sure she'd been jealous but now she could see their friendship for what it was.

"It's true, you guys look great together." She was getting further away from her task, how did she tell Abby to slow down and ease into this relationship. "So how did the second date rule go?"

"What? Oh." The coin dropped as she realised what Susan meant. Embarrassed she continued, "um we kinda went straight past the 2nd date rule and, I can't believe I'm discussing this."

"Hey we've already discussed our first loves. Well if they can be classed as that. So tell me, do you want to compare notes or not?" She laughed as she asked this question. Carter was gentle and slow with her and she just wanted to know if he was doing the same for Abby.

"You're mad."

"Well as long as you're happy."

"I am, I really am." The smile radiated her entire being.

Prologue   Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4   Part 5   Part 6   Part 7   Part 8   Part 9   Part 10
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