There To Catch Him If He Falls
AUTHOR: Carrie Verkman
SPOILERS: Season 6-7
AUTHOR'S NOTES: This sequel is being written for my own pleasure and your entertainment, not by the popular demand of writers everywhere. I was told that it's pointless to write a sequel if everyone else wants it but you. But I wanted to write a sequel, so here you go! And yes, I do know that Anna hasn't been on the show for years and Carter has recovered from his drug addiction since then, but I just wanted to finish this story.
SUMMARY: A long awaited sequel to "The Way It Should Be." Anna and John seem to be living the American Dream, but the accident on Valentine's Day, a drug addiction, and a painful recovery tear the happy family apart.
Let me bring you up to speed as to what's happened so far. You really should have read the first story, but if you didn't...
Anna and John finally became a couple after a few minor obstacles. John got Anna pregnant and then Anna found out she was having twins. John decided that he should marry Anna and she went into labor at their wedding. Anna and John were married in the ER right before Anna delivered. They had boy and girl twins, Julia and John Junior (technically John Truman Carter the Fourth, but we'll call him J.J. for short).
Now the twins are two years old. Anna and John are still happily married.
John Carter yawned as he opened his sleepy eyes. Silence had awoken him. Ever since him and Anna had twins, the old brick house (a wedding gift from Kerry Weaver) they lived in was never calm and quiet. He was used to the sound of crying, laughter or arguing early in the morning. There was never a dull moment in the Carter household. John, being awoke naturally, was something he hadn't done in a long time. It was not unusual to have two kids as their alarm clock. And once the alarm clock went off, there was no ignoring it. No snooze button.
Now the house was completely silent. John prayed that it would last for a long time. He had forgotten what peace and quiet was like. John smiled and lied back on his pillow. Might as well enjoy it, he thought. John looked over to his sleeping wife Anna. He gently brushed a lock of golden hair from her face. She was beautiful and John couldn't think of a day where he didn't love her. He carefully planted a small, soft kiss on her lips, trying his best not to wake her. Anna needed all the sleep she could get, since she was the one who mostly ran the household and kept a busy job at County. No matter what Anna did, John loved her the same.
It was still peace and quiet in the house. Anna snuggled closer to John and whispered, "It's quiet."
"Too quiet." John said.
"The kids must be into something." Anna said, with her eyes still closed.
"I hope not." John said. "This may be our only chance for some time alone."
Anna opened her eyes and kissed John. "Is this what you had in mind?" John just nodded since his lips were locked on Anna's. He wrapped his arms around her.
That's when the Teddy Bear hit John in the head.
John looked away from Anna to see little John standing at the foot of their bed, smiling. J.J., short for John Junior, was a rambunctious child, full of energy. Anna, who was the first to call him J.J., still knew he was a mamma's boy at heart. Whether he was a mamma's boy or not, he always got into trouble.
"What are you doing in here?" John asked his son. He was upset over the interruption for potential lovemaking.
J.J. didn't say a word and climbed into bed with Anna and John. Anna brushed the hair out of J.J.'s face. "You know you're not supposed to throw toys."
"Sorry." J.J. said, putting his thumb in his mouth. He squirmed his way in between John and Anna and made himself comfortable. John and Anna both knew that Julia wouldn't be far behind him.
Soft footsteps became louder as Julia approached the bedroom. She was dressed in pajamas with the feet attached at the bottom, and was dragging a blanket behind her. Like J.J., she had her thumb in her mouth too. Julia was the exact opposite of J.J. She was quiet and well behaved most of the time, and J.J. wasn't. John always joked that Julia was quiet because she held a secret grudge against J.J. since he was born first. J.J. was 45 seconds older than Julia. You could definitely tell that they were twins. They both had the same dark hair as their father. Julia had her father's dark brown eyes and J.J. had his mother's.
Now Julia had crawled into bed with her brother and her parents. John liked the sight of his family together.
"Hey, this is nice." John said. "Everyone I love in the same room at the same time. Anna, you pop out one more kid, and we could have a family basketball team."
"In your dreams John. I'd like to toilet train these kids before I start thinking about having another one."
John looked at the clock on his nightstand. "We're going to be late if we don't get dressed right now. Come on kids, let's get ready." He pulled on a robe and left so Anna could get ready.
After quite some time, the kids were dressed and ready to go. Anna and John loaded the kids up in their nuclear family mini-van and drove to County. The family entered though the ambulance bay doors and were greeted by the nurses who began to drool over the twins.
"Ooooh, look how big they are getting!" cooed Haleh.
"They are so adorable." Chuni said, tickling J.J. who was tugging on Anna's hand.
Anna thanked them for the compliments. John was holding Julia in his arms.
"Anna, John, how nice of you to bring the kids by. Hi there!" Kerry said to Julia.
"Anna wanted to show them off before we dropped them off at daycare." John said.
J.J. tugged at Anna's hand. "C'mon Mommy. C'mon!"
"I guess we're going right now." Anna said.
"You two get settled in, Chuni and I can take them up to daycare." Haleh said.
"Are you sure?" Anna asked, talking off her scarf.
"It's no problem." Chuni said, taking Julia from John.
Anna kissed her kids good-bye. John and Anna walked into the lounge. Abby greeted them cheerfully. "Good morning Dr. Carter and Dr. Carter."
"Good morning Abby. What's that you got there?" John said.
"It's a list of the people coming to the Valentine's Day party tomorrow." Abby explained.
"Valentine's Day?" asked John.
"Don't tell me you forgot." Anna said.
"I did. I totally forgot." John said.
"I guess that means you haven't gotten anything for me yet."
John felt terrible for forgetting. "I promise you that I will get you something." He watched Anna leave the lounge and then John picked up a phone book to order flowers to be delivered.
"I am so exhausted!" Anna said, as she threw her tired body onto the bed. Her and John had just given Julia and J.J. a bath that resulted in more water outside the tub than on the inside. John gave her shoulders a massage.
"Me too. Except I am the one who always seems to be giving the massages." John said. "Are you going to go to that Valentine's Day party tomorrow?"
"Probably not. I don't want to have to be away from the kids all day and all night. You can go if you want. I can take the kids home with me."
"Gee thanks mom, you're the best!" John said. Anna threw a pillow at him. He threw it back and Anna giggled like a little girl. The two of them wrestled like children until they fell asleep in each other's arms.
End of Chapter One
There To Catch Him If He Falls
February 14th Valentine's Day
John and Anna stopped by the ER again before they brought their kids to daycare. They saw Amira decorating the admit desk with hearts and Yosh handing out Valentine cards.
"Happy Valentine's!" Yosh said happily, giving heart-shaped cards to Anna and John.
"Oh thank you Yosh, how sweet." Anna said.
"I've also got candy for J.J. and Julia." He handed them heart-shaped lollipops. Their eyes lit up.
"What do we say to Yosh?" Anna said.
"Thank you!" said the twins, answering in unison.
John led Anna and the kids to the lounge. As he opened the door for them, Lucy Knight came up. "Dr. Carter, I need your help."
"Geez, can you at least let me take off my coat?" John said exasperated. He liked Lucy, a lot actually. He saw her as the little sister he never had. And just like a little sister, she was constantly on his back asking questions. She had a lot to learn yet, but she was fourth year, and could do a lot of things on her own without supervision.
"It will only take a minute."
"Tell me what's going on as I try to get ready for work." John said taking off his coat.
"I have a 24 year old law student with three day of right orbital headache, fever and nausea. I was thinking, a CBC and lytes and 5 of morphine?" Lucy said.
John put his stethoscope around his neck. "Go for it."
"You don't even want to see him first?" asked Lucy.
"No, I trust you. Come on Anna, let's get these sticky kids up to daycare." John picked up his son, with the lollipop in his mouth, while Anna picked up Julia. Lucy watched them leave. She was still unsure of what to do.
"June Connelly?" asked John.
"Yeah." said Abby. "She said you saw her husband when their nursing home caught on fire."
John immediately recognized Mrs. Connelly when he saw her in the suture room. How could he have forgotten the sweet old woman that had to say goodbye to her Barry less than a year ago? After a brief visit with her, John was paged to Exam 3. He walked in to see Lucy and Malik trying to clean up after a vomiting patient.
"Is this the law student?" asked John, putting gloves on.
"Yes, Paul Sobriki." Lucy said. "I was-"
"How are you doing Paul?" John asked.
Paul muttered incoherently.
"You didn't tell me this when you presented him to me." John said.
"You were going to see a patient. I was about to get you."
John looked at the vomit. It made him nauseous. "Dammit Lucy, you should have told me. It could be meningitis!"
"Well I was coming to get you." Lucy persisted.
"I'm going to get an LP kit!" John said leaving the exam room frustrated.
John met Anna in the drug lockup. He noticed that she was wearing a green scrub top instead of her blouse.
"What happened to you?" asked John.
"I'm helping Luka with some six year olds. They ate way too much candy and are puking all over us." Anna said.
"I've got a puking law student. Care to join me?"
"No thanks!" Anna said. "Hey where's my Valentine's Day present?"
"Oh it will come. Don't worry." John said. He gave Anna a kiss and started to leave. "I don't know why I'm the one giving gifts all the time."
"I heard that!" Anna said.
"Atavan put him right out." Malik said.
"Good." John said. He wrapped his around Paul to hold him still. John gave instructions to Lucy and she followed them perfectly. Lucy began to advance the needle into Paul's back. When she did, Paul suddenly exploded with a jolt and a scream.
"Whoa!" John was surprised at Paul's reaction. He tightened his grip.
"Paul, calm down! It's okay!" Lucy said.
"Please stop! You're hurting me!" Paul screamed.
John watched Lucy. "Keep going."
"I can't. There will be blood in the spinal fluid, and it will a traumatic tap." Lucy said.
"Yes you can." John encouraged her to keep going.
Paul's screams turned into heavy sobs. "Stop hurting me. Please."
Lucy pulled out the needle and spinal fluid began to fill a small vial. She sighed.
"Hey Paul, it's okay now." John said reassuringly.
Lucy held up the vial of fluid.
"Crystal clear. Good job Lucy." John said.
Lucy sighed again. That was too much for her.
Throughout the day John checked on Mrs. Connelly. Sadly, she was suffering from multiple organ failure. John was worried about her. He was also worried about Paul Sobriki. He had done hundreds of spinal taps and no one ever reacted like he just did. The symptoms Paul had were puzzling. The spinal tap came back negative and he told Lucy to get a psych consult.
As John left the suture room, he saw Paul angrily arguing with someone. He broke up the fight between the two of them and was told by Mark to watch Lucy and her patient more closely. Malik brought Paul back to his room. John saw Lucy looking for him. "Oh there he is. Thank you Malik."
"Why aren't you watching him?" asked John.
"I am. I stepped out for one second." Lucy said.
"I just had to break up a fight between him and his friend." John said.
"Did you call psych?"
"Yes, but they're backed up."
"What about that leg lac?"
Lucy held up a chart. "I'm going to suture it now."
"Okay then. Suture his leg and call psych again." John said. "You've got medical patients waiting."
Lucy slammed the exam room door as she went in. Did John think she was incapable of suturing a simple leg laceration? But when she went in, Paul wasn't there. She traced him to the lounge where Chuni and Lydia were preparing for the party.
"Come on Paul." Lucy said, leading him back to Exam Three.
Anna was in the lounge, putting her coat on. She was about to pick up the kids from daycare. "So what time will you be home?"
"It's hard to say. Whenever Weaver comes on and breaks up our party." John said smiling. "I won't be out very late."
"Okay." Anna said. "How will you get home?"
"I can take the EL or get a ride. I'll be fine."
"I know." Anna said, kissing him.
"I'll try not to wake you when I come in." John said kissing back.
"No, wake me." Anna said, with her lips buried in John's. They shared a long passionate kiss.
"I love you Anna." John said. "Happy Valentine's Day."
"I love you too John." Anna said.
They kissed one last time.
John met Abby on the roof. She was guiltily smoking a cigarette. Abby told him that Mrs. Connelly had just died.
"Today was the first time I saw an old person die and I guess I'm just not used to it." Abby said.
"Well I've got good news and bad news for you. Which do you want first?" John asked.
"Give me the bad." Abby said.
"The bad news is, you don't get used to it. But the good news is, you don't get used to it. At least I haven't." John said.
"Mommy! Mommy!" cried Julia and J.J.
Anna scooped her kids up into her arms. She loved their excited looks on their faces after having been separated all day.
"Hello! I missed you so much!" Anna gave them kisses all over. Anna was about to leave with her kids when Grace, the daycare supervisor, called Anna back.
"Dr. Carter? There's something you're forgetting." Grace revealed a dozen roses for Anna.
Anna was shocked. She read a card that said:
I told you I didn't forget. I've been thinking of you all day.
Anna smiled. John was always good at surprises.
"Pretty flowers!" said Julia.
"Yes, sweetie. Pretty flowers from Daddy."
"Isn't there some Valentine's Day party going on tonight?" Abby asked. "You think they started without us?"
"I hope not." John said laughing. "Heads will roll!"
Anna was putting the kids to bed when Julia asked, "Where's Daddy?"
"Daddy's at a party. He'll be here when you wake up." Anna said.
J.J. jumped up in his crib. "Party!"
"No silly, not a party here. At the hospital. Now go to sleep you two." Anna shut off the bedroom light and closed the door.
Back in the ER the party was in full swing. Abby was surprised. "We never had parties like this up in OB."
"Yeah, we like to party down here in the ER." John looked up at the board. "Oh, Lucy hasn't sutured that leg lac yet?"
"She's still in Exam Three." Lily said, yelling over the music.
Well I might just have to do it myself, John thought. He walked towards Exam Three rolling up his sleeves.
Anna crawled into bed. She looked over to where John slept. There was a small dent in the mattress. Anna wished he was home this Valentine's Day, but he was only going to be gone for a little bit. Anna grabbed his pillow, which smelled like his cologne, and hugged it. She breathed in the smell deeply and fell asleep thinking of the man she loved.
The mood of the ER was a good one and John liked seeing everyone so laid back. He watched as a nurse wrapped an arm around her boyfriend and walk down the hall together. It reminded him of when Anna and him were a young couple, crazily in love. And yet to this day, they still were.
John walked into Exam Three. The lights were turned off and John thought nothing of it. It was quiet except for the echo of the loud music being played at the admit desk. He looked around for a bit, unsure for a minute of what he was looking for. John did find a heart-shaped card like his own addressed to Lucy. That Yosh is one nice guy, he thought.
Before he could even read the message written to Lucy, a sudden, sharp, piercing pain came of nowhere. John dropped the card he was holding. He felt the pain again and a presence of someone behind him. John uttered a moan of pain. It was his back. John suddenly couldn't breathe. He shakily reached a hand to his wounded area and it returned covered in bright red blood. His blood. His face turned pale. Pain swept over his body. It was a burning piercing pain that was made up of everything bad in the world. He suddenly couldn't keep himself standing anymore. Struggling to walk, he was only able to catch himself on an exam tray.
"Somebody!" John cried. He was injured, hurting and scared. However his cries for help went unanswered. The music. That damn music was too loud and no one could hear him.
The exam tray shook and finally gave way due to John's weight. He fell to the cold, hard floor, bleeding profusely. He used all the strength he had left to try to lift himself. He brought a bloody hand close to his body and tried to get up. John collapsed in defeat. Was this how he was going to die? John was scared, but not alone.
Across from where John lay, Lucy was there, bleeding from her own wounds. Her breathing was shallow. Lucy was paralyzed with fear. John could see it in her eyes. John was just as scared as she was. Lucy was deathly pale and the sight of her lying in her own blood sickened John.
"L-Lu-Lucy!" John cried. There was no answer. Lucy was unconscious.
John began to breathe heavily. He tried to stay awake, but the pain, the blood, and the fear was just too much for him. John passed out.
End of Chapter Two
There To Catch Him If He Falls
Kerry Weaver hated Valentine's Day. She hated it ever since she was a little girl. At school, it was bad enough she got teased about her leg, but she only got a few Valentine's from her classmates every year. It made her feel very lonely. Kerry sighed and walked up to the ambulance bay doors, preparing herself for the night ahead, filled with drunks, people who had eaten too much candy, and all the weirdos that would float in.
Kerry moved to avoid the ambulance leaving. Zadro was in the passenger's seat and he called out to Kerry. "Hurry up Dr. Weaver! You're going to miss the party!"
"What?" Kerry yelled, but no answer. She soon figured out what he meant when she heard the loud music. After a brief report from Cleo, Kerry walked in on a happy group of people. Luka greeted her cheerfully before she went to the lounge. When she came out, Kerry snapped into her boss mode and demanded that her colleagues get to work.
"Radiology is looking for Carter." Randi said.
"Well go find Carter." Kerry replied.
"Kerry there's a man dressed as Cupid waiting for his ankle x-ray. He's outside Exam Three." Luka said.
"All right." This was one of the weirdos Kerry had thought of earlier. She found the man and was about to look at his x-ray when the light on the board went out.
"Is my ankle broken?" he asked.
"I don't know. I need to find another board." Kerry was about to walk into Exam Three when Dr. Chen came up to her.
"Dr. Weaver, can you talk to toxicology for me? Some kid drank this and they wont run tests on it."
As Kerry talked to Jing-Mei, John could faintly hear voices outside. He could also see their shadows. John used all his strength to open his eyes to look at Lucy. She was still unconscious. He then tried to speak, but no words came out and he closed his eyes again.
Kerry noticed a bloody footprint outside the door. The longer she looked at it, the more curious she became. Kerry opened the door and her eyes met at John and Lucy. Kerry screamed.
Jing-Mei wasn't that far from Exam Three when she heard Kerry. She ran back and said, "Dr. Weaver what is...oh my God!"
"Get everyone over here with two gurneys!" Kerry yelled. Jing-Mei did as she was told. Kerry went over to Lucy and John to check their pulses. They were still alive.
"They're still alive." She said to herself. "They're still alive."
Luka, Dave and some nurses arrived with a gurney and a backboard. They were horrified at what they saw. Dave bit his lip to keep from crying. Luka and Jing-Mei lifted John onto the gurney, as Kerry and Dave got Lucy onto a backboard.
"Spin a crit right away! Send 8 units of O-Negative down here!" Kerry yelled. "Someone page Benton and get Mark and Elizabeth over here!"
Jing-Mei and Luka worked on John with the help of Abby. "I was just talking to him." Abby said.
"I can't believe no one saw anything." Lydia said, trembling and trying to hold her tears back.
"We can talk about it later." Luka said. He too, was shocked at such a thing. He had only just met John and he still saw him as a friend.
Lucy was severely bleeding out. Kerry and Dave rolled Lucy to see where her injuries were. Randi came in and nearly fainted at what she saw. "Dr. Weaver, the cops a-are looking f-for anyone who took care of the p-patient. T-they want to close off Exam Three."
"Handle it Randi!" Kerry yelled.
"The son of a bitch sure sliced the hell out of her." Dave said. "Oh my God, look at this. Look at this!"
"Dammit, tracheal laceration!" Kerry said, wiping away more blood from her neck.
"She needs a trach, get Benton in here!" Kerry said.
Jing-Mei shinned a light into John's eyes, and then he finally came out unconsciousness. He shook his head violently as if he was having a seizure.
"John? John!" Jing-Mei said. "Do you know where you are?"
"You were stabbed."
A police officer was in the room also. "John I'm Officer Benigni, did you happen to see the man who stabbed you?"
John shook his head no. The officer was about to ask him another question when Jing-Mei pushed him out of the way.
It was too much for John to take. The last thing he could remember was being in that dark room looking for Lucy. The loud music that muffled his cries for help was still echoing in his ears. Now he was lying on a gurney, just like the patients he took care of everyday. John looked up and saw Abby, Luka and Jing-Mei. He was too scared to think straight.
Peter Benton was a tough guy. He had seen a lot. But he had never seen one of his students lying on a gurney bleeding to death. Peter immediately took over when he saw John. He was diagnosing John with a bad renal line, when Haleh announced that Kerry needed him to trach Lucy. Everyone stopped what they were doing. At this point everyone realized just how serious this was. Peter ran over to Lucy.
John looked over to Lucy. He could see her pale face. She looked so innocent, why did this have to happen to her?
"Lucy?" John said.
"She's alive." Abby said, who was holding his head.
Just then, John's blood pressure began to drop. John cried out in pain.
"He needs to go up now! Get Benton over here!" Luka said.
By that time, Elizabeth and Mark had arrived and they helped Kerry and Dave with Lucy. Peter and Lydia began to bring John up to surgery.
"I need you to stay with me Carter. Stay with me, you hear me?" Peter said.
All John could do was nod his head. Above him he saw the lights on the ceiling and the faces of Lydia and Peter. John was still in shock.
"Anna!" John said. "Where's Anna?"
Peter didn't know. "I don't know Carter."
"We'll call her right away." Lydia said as they moved into the elevator.
John nodded again. He felt a small tear come down his face.
Back in the ER, Luka went over to Trauma One to help with Lucy. Kerry began to scold everyone for not watching Paul Sobriki, who was now missing. Kerry couldn't believe this was happening. She also couldn't believe that she had just cut open a med student's chest. As soon as Lucy was stable, Dave and Haleh brought her up to surgery.
Mark and Luka sighed. "I can't believe this happened."
"She has a good chance. Both of them do." Luka said.
"Yeah." Mark said. He saw Kerry leaving. "Kerry?"
Kerry didn't answer. She didn't answer anyone who tried to talk to her. She had just witnessed two of her colleagues, two of her friends, suffering and bleeding. She didn't need this. Especially on the loneliest holiday of the year. Kerry went outside into the cold February air and vomited into a nearby trashcan.
John blinked. He saw bright lights up above him. It took a while for his eyes to adjust and then he realized where he was. He was in the OR. He looked around the room and memories of his surgical internship came back. But now he was the one going under the knife. John noticed a tray of tools that would be used in the surgery. He could hear his own pulse ox monitor beeping. John could see he was wearing a surgical cap and nothing from the waist up. He could also hear Peter yelling at a nurse.
"I asked for type specific! This is O-Negative!" Peter said to a nurse, waving the bags at her.
"It is type specific. He is O-Negative." The nurse replied.
John looked over to Peter and nodded. "That bad, huh?"
"Yeah, I mean...well it could be a lot of things." Peter said. "Don't worry Carter, I'm going to check out everything. I'll get you through this."
"I'm glad it's you." John said. "Have they called Anna yet?"
"I don't know. Someone in the ER will and they'll send her up here. Just try to relax now." said Peter.
The anesthesiologist gave John some Verset to relax. Before John fell asleep he whispered, "Peter, tell Anna...and my kids...that...I...love...them."
"He's out." said the anesthesiologist.
"Alright, prep him and I want to be able to cut in two minutes!" Peter began to scrub with Elizabeth and Dr. Anspaugh. No one said a word, but they were all thinking the same thing. Peter was thinking about what John had just said to him. What if he had to tell Anna that John loved him, and that he wasn't able to save John? Peter shivered at the thought and continued to scrub.
"Amira!" shouted Kerry. "Get Security to open up personnel and find emergency contact numbers for Lucy and Carter. Bring them down here."
Amira scampered off and did what she was told. Kerry looked over to Luka who was talking to Samantha Sobriki. The ER was eerily quiet as other doctors and nurses went about their business. She saw Jing-Mei and Abby leave through the ambulance bay doors with concerned looks on their faces. Kerry sighed. Out of all the terrible Valentine's Day's she had had, this was the worse.
"Here you go Dr. Weaver." Amira said.
Kerry jumped. It was hard for her to be calm knowing a schizophrenic with a knife was missing. "Thank you Amira."
Kerry sat down in the lounge and took a deep breath. She called Lucy's mother, Barbara, first. After a few failed attempts, Kerry finally reached Barbara who was out of town. Barbara was horrified to hear what had happened and would be on the next flight to Chicago. Kerry hung up the phone and then dialed her old number to her house. The phone seemed to ring forever.
"Come on Anna. Pick up. You need to answer the phone." Kerry said nervously.
Anna moaned. She wasn't sure if the phone ringing was part of her dream or not. Then she thought the kids were making noise. Either way, she was not happy to be woken up.
"Hello?" Anna said, sleepily.
"Anna? It's Kerry, I'm at the hospital."
"Hi, what's going on?"
"Anna, I need you to be fully awake to hear what I have to tell you. Are you with me?" Kerry asked.
Hearing the seriousness in Kerry's voice made Anna sit up in bed. "I'm awake."
"Earlier tonight a patient of ours, Paul Sobriki, who we know now to be schizophrenic-"
"That was John and Lucy's law student!" Anna said.
"I know. Paul went missing right before the staff started their party and no one could seem to find him."
"Kerry," Anna said. "Did Paul do something?"
"Anna, Paul stole a knife and stabbed Lucy and John in Exam Three earlier tonight. I found them both unconscious. John and Lucy both went up to surgery. They-"
"Stabbed?" Anna said.
"Yes, Anna I'm sorry to be the one to tell you but-"
"They were stabbed?"
"Anna I think you should come down here right away." Kerry said.
"Is he okay?"
"John? Yes, we stabilized him in the ER, and Dr. Benton is with him in surgery." Kerry said. "Lucy is also up in surgery."
Anna's hands began to shake. She felt nauseous. "K-kerry, I don't think I can drive to the hospital. Can you come and get me? Can you help me with the kids?"
"Of course. Anna, I want you to know they both have a good chance of surviving this. Anna? Are you there?"
Anna had dropped the phone. She stood up and felt her knees go weak. Anna fell back to the bed. A wave of nausea came over her and she ran back to the bathroom. The thought of John lying on the cold hard floor, bleeding to death, made Anna retch even harder. She flushed the toilet and stood up, but then quickly fell to the floor in a dead faint.
Kerry knocked on the door but there was no answer. Kerry then used her extra key to get into the house. As she walked in, Anna was nowhere to be found. She heard a baby crying, but couldn't tell who it was. Kerry walked into the babies' room and saw Julia standing in her crib, eyes red and tearful.
"Hey sweetheart." Kerry said, softly. "Don't cry. Everything will be all right. Let's go find your mommy."
Kerry found Anna in her room with a small suitcase. "He'll probably be in the hospital for a while. I'm packing a few of his things."
"Okay. I'll get Julia and J.J. ready for you." Kerry said.
"Thank you." Anna threw in a couple of John's shirts, pants, a pair of pajamas, toiletries, underwear and finally a picture of the whole family together that John kept on his nightstand. Kerry came back in the room with both kids bundled up.
"Anna are you ready?" Kerry asked.
"He always loved this picture. He always wanted to see his family when he woke up." Anna's voice was trembling.
Kerry smiled a sympathetic smile. "We should probably get back soon, you know, in case there's any news."
"Okay." Anna stood up. She began to cry.
"Oh Anna." Kerry said, while hugging her.
"I'm scared Kerry." Anna said.
"Me too." said Kerry. "Me too."
End Of Chapter Three
There To Catch Him If He Falls
Anna was numb. Kerry glanced over to her every so often just to make sure she was awake. Kerry looked at her watch. It was 2:00AM. The kids were sucking on their thumbs and sleeping quietly in the back seat of Kerry's car. Finally they reached the hospital.
"Anna?" Kerry said gently. "We're here. I'll go get the stroller."
Anna nodded as Kerry got out. She took a deep breath and helped Kerry with the kids.
The two doctors solemnly entered the ER. Julia and J.J. were sound asleep in their double stroller. As the doors opened, Anna was overwhelmed by police officers, detectives, news reporters and hospital security. Anna saw Mark talking to a reporter who was trying to get a statement from him. She noticed officers taking pictures of the ER and security checking ID's.
"Oh God." Anna whispered.
"Excuse me? Are you Dr. Carter's wife? Are these your children? How do you feel about the other staff here neglecting a schizophrenic patient?" A female news reporter jabbed a microphone at Anna and demanded that her questions be answered.
"What? Who are you?" Anna said. Mark pushed the reporter out of the way and led Anna, Kerry and the kids into the lounge. Anna walked in first.
"How's she taking the news?" Mark asked quietly.
"She's in shock Mark." Kerry said. "She's barely been able to put two sentences together."
Mark nodded. He sat down next to Anna. "I'm so sorry Anna. I just want you to know that John and Lucy are in good hands."
"I know. Any news yet?"
"No. None yet. They'll tell us right away."
"Why don't we go up to the surgical waiting room?" Kerry said. It's a bit quieter up there."
Anna agreed and followed Kerry upstairs.
Kerry looked at her watch. It was 2:45AM. It seemed like the longest night ever. Anna was flipping through an old magazine when Peter ran into another OR.
"Peter!" Anna said. "Where's John?"
Peter stopped in his tracks. "Anna, he's still in surgery. Dr. Anspaugh is suturing now. We were able to save his kidney but he's going to have a colostomy bag for a while. I've got to do an emergency laporotomy, Shirley or one of the other nurses will tell you any news." And with that Peter walked away. A little while later Cleo came out. She pulled off her gloves and saw Anna.
"Anna I'm so sorry." Cleo said. "I'm sorry John was hurt."
"Thank you. Will you go and see how John is doing? Peter said it's just Dr. Anspaugh suturing in there." Anna begged.
"I will. It shouldn't be much longer now. I'll make sure he's set up in recovery." Cleo put on a gown and entered the OR.
Anna must have dozed off, because she awoke to the sound of a crying baby. Kerry was holding J.J. "I think he wants his mommy."
Anna nodded and held J.J. "It's okay. Mommy's here. We're at the hospital now. Go back to sleep, it's late. What time is it Kerry?"
"2:56." Kerry said. "You look worn out. Maybe you should get some sleep."
"I want to be awake in case they say anything about John." Anna protested.
"I will wake you up the minute I hear something." Kerry said. Anna gave in and put J.J. back in the stroller. She stretched her body out on the couch and fell asleep.
Kerry looked across to see Cleo and Robert Romano come out with grim looks on their faces. Robert's cheeks were wet. A sign that he had been crying. Kerry walked over to them.
"John? Lucy?" she asked nervously.
"Lucy. Pulmonary embolism. Died at 2:56." Robert said. "Son of a bitch."
Kerry looked at her watch. It was 2:58. Lucy had died while her and Anna were talking. "And John?"
Before Cleo could say anything Peter came out and also wanted to know about John's condition.
"He's extubated and in recovery." Cleo said. Kerry sighed with relief.
Peter noticed the long looks on all the other doctor's faces. "What?"
"There were some complications with Lucy." Cleo announced.
Peter, Kerry, Cleo and Robert stood silently. Kerry looked over to Anna who was restlessly sleeping.
"We have to wake her and tell her." Kerry said.
"No. Let her sleep. I want to tell John first." Peter said. "I think it's important that he know about Lucy."
Kerry nodded. Cleo headed back to the ER.
"I have to go and close Lucy's chest. I let Elizabeth go home." Robert left, dragging his feet with him. Peter was already gone to John's room. Kerry walked back to Anna. She sat down next to her, and started to cry, hoping Anna wouldn't wake up just yet, but it didn't work.
"Kerry what happened?" Anna said with a scared look on her face.
"Lucy. Died of P.E." Kerry wiped her tears. "John is okay though."
Anna dropped her head. She sighed knowing her husband was okay, but felt grief for the innocent medical student.
"Anna?" Peter said. "You can see John now."
Anna wiped tears from her eyes. They were tears of sadness and of joy. She headed towards his room. Kerry stayed behind to be with the twins.
Anna entered the dimly lit room. It was quiet, except for the rhythmic beeping of John's pulse ox machine. She saw him lying on the bed. Numerous tubes were poking out of his body. He had an oxygen tube up his nose. John's eyes were closed.
"Peter, is he conscious?" Anna whispered.
"Yeah. I'm sure he's just asleep or resting his eyes." Peter said. He quietly left the room so Anna could be alone.
Anna found a chair and sat down. She caressed John's hand softly. And John woke up.
"Anna?" he said, hoarsely, his throat still raw from the intubation.
"Yes, it's me John." Anna began to cry. "I'm here."
"Lucy's dead." He announced.
Anna was a bit surprised at John. "I know. I'm so sorry."
"Pulmonary embolism." John said. "She died tonight because of me. I'm responsible for her death."
"No you're not." Anna explained. "You're not responsible for Paul or what happened to Lucy. This isn't being blamed on you. It was an accident."
John tried to sit up. "I was supposed to be supervising her!" John tried to move, but sunk back down in pain. "My back. It's killing me."
Anna adjusted the pillows on the bed. "Relax. I'll see if I can get some morphine for you."
John sighed. "Where are the kids?"
"With Kerry in the waiting room. Just relax John. You needn't worry about the kids or me. We'll be okay. Just try and get some rest now. Please." Anna begged.
John nodded. "It could have been me Anna."
Anna saw the worried and scared look in his eyes. It frightened her. "I know." She whispered softly. She stood next to the bed and wrapped John in her arms.
John felt tears run down his face. "It could have been me."
End of Chapter Four