The One You Love

AUTHOR: Kris Ginn
RATING: PG (simply because these are adult relationships. There's not anything risque in this story.)
SPOILERS: This takes place after the season 4 finale but before the season 5 premiere.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters and am not making any money off of them. They belong to Warner Brother's, Amblin, and Constant C. I am just borrowing them for a little while. Although I am chomping at the bit to keep my beloved Carter, I will give him and all the others back when I am finished. I promise.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: The song is "The One You Love" by Glen Frey. I'd like to thank Sharon for looking this over before I posted, and Sharon, Debbie, and Kristen for encouraging me to post in the first place! :o)
Please email me with any constructive criticism or for any other reason! This is my first fanfic. Thanks!
SUMMARY: Anna has a decision to make: Will she stay with the one who loves her, or is she going back to the one she loves?


I know you need a friend
Someone you can talk to
Who will understand what you´re going through
When it comes to love
There´s no easy answer
Only you can say what you´re gonna do


Dr. Anna Del Amico sighed as she tiredly hung her lab coat up in her locker.

"Long day?"

Anna jumped, and turned around, startled. She hadn't heard anyone come in. She saw that it was Carol Hathaway. Carol laughed at Anna's startled expression and said, "Sorry! I didn't mean to scare you."

Anna laughed too. "Oh, don't worry about it. I just have a lot on my mind, that's all." Anna grabbed her things and shut the locker door.

"Anything you want to talk about?" Carol poured herself a cup of coffee and took a sip.

"No," Anna replied. "Not right now. I just want to go home and crash. I may take you up on the offer later though. Is that okay?"

"Of course," Carol said. "You know where to find me!"

Anna smiled at her friend and thanked her, then headed out the door of the lounge. As she headed to the parking garage and her car, her mind went over the events of the past few months, up to and including last night.


Her old boyfriend, Dr. Max Rosher, had been in and out of rehabs for abusing prescription painkillers. She had worked and worked with him, trying to help him. He would say he was over it, and start doing it again behind her back. She had suffered so many disappointments regarding Max, that eventually, she had decided to move away, trying to start a new life. So, she left Philadelphia and moved to Chicago, Illinois. There, she got a job at Cook County General Hospital, working in the ER.

CCGH is where she also met Dr. John Carter. The tall, brown-eyed brunette had caught her eye from the first. He was not only very good-looking, but he also had an innate gentleness. Anna had seen how he had handled his patients, and how he treated all of his coworkers. She had thought he was a very sweet man, and the two quickly became friends.

Eventually, Anna had realized that Carter seemed to be interested in her. This made her a little uneasy. When he finally asked her out, she had told him that she wasn't over Max Rosher yet. He said he understood, and decided to give her the time she needed to sort things out.

Not long after that, Max himself had shown up at CCGH. Anna had been happy to see him, but also a little nervous. She wasn't sure what to say or do or how to act around him. She had also noticed Carter withdraw from her. He had begun avoiding Anna whenever Max was around. One day, he had finally blown up, admitting that his feelings for her hadn't changed. It was also obvious that he was jealous of Max. Anna hadn't been surprised. She had known something was wrong, and had assumed it had to do with Max.

Anna was shocked, however, when Max had announced his intention to move back to Philadelphia. She was hurt, too, that he was leaving her. He asked her to go back with him, but she had been too angry had said she liked her job at CCGH and didn't want to give it up, especially for him. It was his turn to look hurt, and he turned and left without a word. She had watched him drive away from her living room window, her heart aching.

The next few months were hard, but she eventually succeeded in convincing herself that she was over him. So, when John asked her out again, she had said yes. They had been dating for several months now, and really enjoyed each other's company.

Last night, he had come over for dinner. They had talked and laughed. Then, the phone call. While Anna headed toward the ringing phone, John excused himself to go to the restroom.

"Hello?" she said into the phone.

"Anna, hi, it's Max."


Max? Her heart skipped a beat. "Oh, hi, how are you?" Anna was nervous. She didn't know what he wanted. She had thought she'd never hear from him again.

"Listen," Max said, "I am so sorry about the way I left. I wanted to apologize, and ask if you'll give me another chance."

"What do you mean? A chance to be friends or..." Anna heard the toilet flush, and her eyes darted down the hall, praying that the bathroom door would stay closed a little longer.

Anna heard Max take a deep breath and let it out. "I want to know if you'll take me back." *Boy, he sure doesn't beat around the bush!* she thought to herself. She didn't know what to say to this request. She had thought she was over him, but just hearing his voice brought some of her feelings back vividly. Turning her back on the hall, she said to him, "I don't want to talk about this right now. You haven't even called me the past few months, and you are in Philadelphia. How could we possibly work this out?!" Anna was so intent on her conversation with him, that she didn't hear the door to the bathroom open.

"Anna, please, can we talk about this? I'm here in Chicago for the weekend. I just want a chance to see you and talk about 'us'," he pleaded. Anna was surprised. She was also angry. "What right do you have to just show up here, expecting me to drop everything to see you? You could've called before leaving Philly!"

"Max answered simply, "I didn't know if you would see me if I called in advance. I didn't even know if you would this way, but I thought my chances were better this way. Please, will you let me in your home so we can talk about this?" She knew he was probably right.


I heard you on the phone
You took his number
Said you weren´t alone, but you´d call him soon
Isn´t he the guy
The guy who left you cryin´?
Isn´t he the one who made you blue?
When you remember those nights in his arms
You know you´ve gotta make up your mind.

Are you gonna stay with the one who loves you
Or are you going back to the one you love?
Someone´s gonna cry when they learn they´ve lost you
Someone´s gonna thank the stars above.


Carter heard Anna's voice as he stepped into the hall. *She must still be on the phone* he thought. He headed toward the living room and sat down on the couch. Picking up a magazine, he began to read. Carter hadn't been paying attention to Anna's conversation. He had stopped reading and had begun thinking about Anna. He wondered how he had been so lucky to finally have her. He loved the beautiful pediatrician, and hoped she felt the same way. He was thinking other similar thoughts when he suddenly heard Anna whisper yell. He knew it was wrong to eavesdrop, and knew that Anna would understandably be upset if she caught him. However, he was alarmed at the anger in her voice. When he heard her tell the caller that he should have called "before leaving Philly", Carter felt his heart sink. Somehow he knew who it was -- Max Rosher. The thought never crossed his mind that it could be a family member or other old friend. He continued to listen as she spoke again.

"Look, Max, I can't talk right now. I'm not alone. I'll call you later and you can come over then." She paused, looking down the hallway as she listened to him. "It's really none of your business who is over here right now," she said indignantly. Max quickly apologized. Anna sighed, "It's okay. Now, give me your number at the hotel, and I'll call you as soon as I'm able." She had seen that the bathroom door was open, and hoped Carter hadn't heard any of her conversation.

After writing down the number, Anna repeated it back to him. Max told her it was correct, then she quickly said goodbye and hung up the phone. She pasted a smile on her face as she walked into the living room. She saw Carter reading a magazine. He looked up as she walked into the room.

"Sorry about that," She said. "What are you reading?"

"Redbook," he quietly answered. He was trying to figure out how to ask her about the call without sounding too nosy.

"Oh," Anna said. "Finding anything interesting?"

"Not really," he said.

He could tell Anna was distracted. *Probably thinking about how happy she is to see good ol' Max!* he thought to himself angrily.

"Well," he said, "I'd better hit the road. I'm on early tomorrow."

"Oh, okay," she said, a bit too eagerly. "I'll walk you to the door."

"I can manage," he replied. "Thanks again for dinner."

"You're welcome."

Anna watched as John put his hand on the door then just stood there. *Oh no. He heard me!* She thought. Turning around, he confirmed her fears. "I heard you on the phone," he quietly said, looking at the ground.

"John, I can explain."

He looked up at her, waiting. "He's just in town for the weekend, and wanted to talk. I said we could," she told him, averting her eyes. Carter sensed that she still had feelings for Max, and he didn't like it, not one little bit.

"Anna," he said. "I thought you and I had something special going. I also thought you told me you were over Max."

Anna felt a pang of guilt as she saw the pain in his eyes.

She decided to be completely honest with him. "John, I thought I was over him, too. When I picked up the phone and recognized his voice, I realized I wasn't. I'm sorry. You are a wonderful man, and we do have something special, but I want to give Max a chance to explain things. Can you understand that?"

John looked at her angrily. "No!" he said adamantly. "I have done my best to treat you like a queen, to make you the center of my life. Max is the one who made you cry over and over again. Max is the one who keeps upsetting your life. Max is the one who was addicted to drugs! Have I ever made you cry? Have I ever upset your life? I would never become addicted to drugs!" He was shouting by this time, and Anna was angry, too.

"John!" she yelled, "How dare you judge him? Max has overcome his addiction, and is a good man. I owe it to him to at least hear him out. I didn't say I was going back to him, but I didn't say I wasn't, either." She lowered her voice. "Look, I'm sorry about this. Maybe you should just leave. I'll call you tomorrow."

"Don't bother calling," he said. "I love you, Anna, but I'm not willing to share you with another man. Until you are over him or make up your mind, I don't want to talk to you." With that, he walked out the door, slamming it behind him. Once in the hallway, he ran down the flights of stairs, and out to his car. Tears streaming down his face. *Why does this always have to happen to me?* he wondered. *Why can't I find someone to love who'll love me back? Am I really that unlovable?* He slammed his hand on the dashboard, then stuck his key in the ignition, starting the car and driving away.


What you gonna say when he comes over
There´s no easy way to see this through
All the broken dreams
All the disappointments
Oh girl -- What you gonna do
Your heart keeps sayin´ it´s just not fair
But still you´ve gotta make up your mind

Are you gonna stay with the one who loves you
Or are you going back to the one you love?
Someone´s gonna cry when they learn they´ve lost you
Someone´s gonna thank the stars above.


After John had left, Anna had sat down and cried. *What have I done?!* She knew John Carter was one of the best men in the world. He was loving, caring, respectful, sweet. She knew any intelligent woman would be supremely happy to have him. *What is wrong with me?* she wondered. She knew the answer, she was still in love with Max. In spite of all he had put her through, she still loved him, and knew in that instant that she would go back to him. She had called and invited him over. They had sat up talking all night, and finally got to bed with just two hours of sleep before she had to be to work.

At work, John had carefully avoided her. She wanted to talk, to tell him her decision. He refused to talk to her, though. Finally, when her shift was over, she had gone into the lounge, ready to go home. When Carol had walked in, Anna wanted to talk to her, but didn't feel like she should before she got a chance to talk to John. So, she said goodbye and left.

The next day, She told Kerry and Mark that she was giving her two week resignation notice. When they asked why, she said that she was going back to Philadelphia.

Anna finally got John to talk to her about a week later, and she explained what was going on. He was leaving the next day for a medical conference, and she would leave before he returned. With tears in his eyes, he told her he loved her, and that he would miss her. Anna's eyes teared up, too. "I'll miss you too," she said. "Someday you'll find the woman you deserve." She kissed his cheek, hugged him, and left. He sat down on the couch and thought about her parting comment. "But no one else will ever be you." he whispered to the empty lounge.

The door flew open, and Malik told Carter that there was a trauma coming in. "MVA. Car versus pedestrian. ETA 5 minutes." Carter stood up and thought, *Well, back to work.* Heading out the door to wait on the next patient, he happened to glance at the street as a car went by. He realized Anna was in the car. She looked at him and waved, then continued to drive out of his life.

The End.

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