SPOILERS: I'm not sure. Late season 7, maybe sometime after "The crossing".
ARCHIVE: just tell me where!
DISCLAIMER: They're not mine. I wish they were, though.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Just a few things you'd better keep in mind while reading this: I don't live in the U.S. so I haven't seen all season 7 yet. Therefore I'm sorry if there will be inaccuracies or out-of-character things but it's not (entirely) my fault. English isn't my first language too and I truly hope I didn't make too many mistakes. Bear with me, please! Last but not least, I NEED any kind of feedback. Enjoy!
SUMMARY: Abby ponders. Told from her POV.
I watch the smoke of my cigarette fluctuating in the air and forming indistinct figures right in front of my eyes. I'm trying to guess what these evanescent figures could resemble to, but before my tired mind could come up with any idea a sudden blow of wind has already swept them away. Damn I forgot taking my coat. Here on the roof it's pretty cold and nurse scrubs aren't known to be the warmest of clothes. I'd better go back inside before I catch a bad cold but I want to finish my cig before. I bring the cigarette to my lips and take another long puff, ready to start that sort of guessing game again. I've always liked it, since when I was a little girl. Only that when I was a kid I played with clouds, not smoke. I instinctively raise my head up: tonight there are no clouds and the sky is clear. Too bad that you can't see stars anyway. Funny that I've never noticed this lack of stars till Luka has made me. I mean, I've been coming up here since my first day in the ER, but I guess that most of the times I was too tired or sad or whatever to notice that. Luka says that's the same in every big city, it's because of lights that you can never see stars.
Luka. I don't want to think about him. Or to be precise I don't want to think about him and me. Us. When it comes to our relationship I can't really think straight. Everything's so complicated and I'm too tired now. The truth is that things have never been easy for us, right from the beginning. On our first date he killed off a mugger smashing his head on the concrete and that's not what I'd call a good start. I still don't know if I must be scared of him because of this or be grateful to him because he saved my life. Sometimes, when I see that Maggie's about to ruin my life yet again, for example, I wish someone would kill me, though, but that's not Luka's fault. That's my problem.
If I could forget just for a moment that Maggie is my mother and that bastard of my ex-husband didn't pay my tuition (which is an almost impossible thing to do, but I'm just talking hypothetical, anyway), I'd admit that things in my life are going better. Since when he met Bishop Stewart Luka has changed. I wish I could take credit for this but I know it happened only thanks to the bishop. I've been by Luka's side for months now but he's started to act like he really wanted to be part of this relationship just a few weeks ago. I still can't understand how we managed to get where we are because I went through all this with Richard too and I know that relationships are impossible when there is only one person working. But Luka kept calling me, and then he acted as if he wasn't really with me, his mind always wandering through lots of memories he couldn't get rid of. I'm so glad that this phase is over now. I know I couldn't take it any more.
Things haven't become easier, though. Not that I've expected them to. I should be used to that by now and I don't need anyone to remind me once again that life is never an easy game to play. I learned my lesson well.
But now I have this comforting feeling that I'm no longer alone fighting for this relationship to go on. Luka is too. And he's much stronger than I am. He is a survivor. When I feel his strong Croatian arms wrapped around my body I feel like the world can't touch me and I'm not going to be alone again.
Not wanting to be alone, that's what got me to Luka in the first place. Besides that exotic accent of his, of course. And I think it was the same for him, too. We were both two basically lonely people. We both have received more than our fair share of pain, too.
We are way too similar from this point of view. I thought there was some kind of physics law saying that two similar magnetic charges repel each other. Why Luka and I keep being attracted instead?
"Earth calling Abby. Are you there?"
A big yet gentle hand is waving right in front of my nose.
"Hey, Carter. I'm sorry, I was just thinking." I see a glimpse of preoccupation passing through his eyes.
" I've been standing here for, say, five minutes but you didn't seem to notice. You just kept staring at me but it was like you didn't really see me. You're ok?"
My good, good friend Carter. Always caring and affectionate. I am supposed to be his sponsor but sometimes it seems like it's the other way around.
" I'm fine Carter. I told you, I was just thinking. Do you want …?" I ask him, offering to share my cigarette.
He smiles apologetically. " I'm trying to quit. You should try, too."
" I know. I'll be a doctor too someday…or at least I hope so"
" Don't worry. When the time comes you'll make a wonderful doctor"
" Yeah…but when?" I sigh with frustration. I notice only now that he isn't wearing his lab-coat.
" You're off? "
He nods. " You where nowhere to be seen so I thought I'd better check on you…"
He trails off probably because he has seen my furrowing face. What's with people always wanting to know if I am ok? Just because Maggie is in town it doesn't mean I'm gonna explode any minute now.
He has realized he's committed a faux pas. " …And I wanted to know if you're going to the meeting tonight "
" I'm a grown woman, Carter. I can take care of myself. And yes, I'll be at the meeting" I reply, sounding harsher than I actually want to. I can't stay mad at Carter for long. I smile, trying to make up for my unfriendly words.
Carter smiles back and gently pats my shoulder " See you later then."
I'm alone again. And it doesn't feel so bad, too. Don't get me wrong, Carter is such a good friend, the last gentleman on earth, but tonight I simply don't feel like talking with anyone. I guess that's because I'm in my thoughtful mood. Carter understands this. Sharing things with him has always been so natural for me. That's probably because we have a similar background. And he doesn't have Luka's unhealthy tendency to keep things to himself. Sometimes I wish that things between Luka and me were as simple as they are between Carter and me. Stupid comparison. These are two worlds apart. I couldn't express in words why Carter is my friend and Luka is my lover and not the other way around. I would be crazy if I tried to explain love. Love is irrational. In this very moment Luka is my love. There's no reason or explanation for that. It's true just like it's true that once I loved Richard. And who knows? Maybe one morning I'll wake up and find out that I've hopelessly fallen in love with Carter too…that's funny. I don't think it's very likely to happen, though. Carter is like a brother to me. No, that's not true. He's something different altogether. I mean, Eric and I, we have never become so close, the way Carter and I did these last months. Maybe the reason is that Maggie's specter has always gotten in the way. I sometimes fear that Carter might have feelings for me. I truly hope he doesn't. I don't want to lose him as a friend... Damn, I guess I've just understood why women and men are not supposed to sponsor each other. And I can't handle this kind of situation, not now. I have enough problems just dealing with one man at a time…I don't think that dating Rena could do Carter any good, but if playing with a kid could keep him from falling for me, in that case…
I've finished my cigarette and my break is over, too. I'd better go back now. I'm so tired. And what's with patients puking all over me today? I'm already on my third scrub top! I glance at my watch. Just three more hours, just three more hours. That's my new mantra. Just three more hours, then I'll be out of here, done with the AA meeting, gone home, to Luka.