DISCLAIMER: ER and its characters are the property of Constant C Productions, Amblin Entertainment, and Warner Brothers Television.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
I Can't Believe I Did That
By Susan P
Abby stepped out into the ambulance bay, needing a temporary escape from the numerous demands she'd been subjected to since being called down to the ER that morning. She stopped short a moment when she noticed the person occupying the bench she'd been heading toward. Dr. Weaver. She thought about turning to go back inside. She wasn't sure which she'd rather face: the craziness she'd just fled, or the woman before her. But, she would have to face Dr. Weaver sooner or later.
Might as well get this over with. She moved forward and perched uneasily on the bench next to the ER Chief. The redhead didn't seem to even register her presence. "Dr. Weaver?"
"Hm?" Kerry swung her head around, again becoming aware of her surroundings. "Abby. Did you need something?"
"No. I, uh..." She was suddenly very nervous. She blew out a long breath. "I shouldn't have put in that chest tube. I... I'm sorry."
Kerry nodded, suddenly remembering. "No. You shouldn't have." She had to say this, but she deliberately kept her voice soft to take the sting from the words. "Look, Abby. I know it must be hard for you to be back in the ER and be reduced to nursing duties again. But until you're able to come back as a med student, I just can't have you doing procedures. It's a lawsuit waiting to happen, and one that we cannot afford."
Abby nodded, holding Kerry's gaze. "I know." Then she bowed her head, studying a spot on the pavement. "I know."
They sat in silence a few moments, each lost in her own thoughts. When Kerry heard Abby sigh, she took a moment to study the young woman. She looked tired. "It's been a busy day for you today, huh?"
Abby gave a brief chuckle. "I know. What's that about?"
Kerry only shrugged in response. Abby looked away a moment before continuing, "I am everybody's favorite nurse." She heaved another bitter sigh, "But that's the problem, because as a med student I screwed up everything. Everything. Things I could do even with my eyes closed."
"I think it's all in your head," Kerry pointed to her temple to illustrate her point. "You're a good nurse Abby. But you would make a great doctor. You just need a little confidence."
Abby was stunned by the unexpected praise. Coming from Dr. Weaver, no less! She'd come over expecting Weaver to chew her out and instead the woman was giving her a pep talk! And it was just what she very much needed to hear at that moment. On impulse, she leaned over to kiss Kerry in thanks. She had been aiming for her cheek, but at the last moment, Kerry moved her head slightly and what her lips met were another pair of lips. She pulled back, embarrassed. "Oh my God. I'm sorry. I can't believe I did that." I kissed Dr. Weaver! Oh God, she's gonna think I'm nuts... She rose from the bench, shaking her head slightly. Not quite able to meet Weaver's eyes.
"N-No. I...i-it's okay," Kerry stumbled over her response. Trying to reassure Abby--whose embarrassment was obvious-- that she hadn't taken the young woman's gesture the wrong way. Trying to assure herself she hadn't wished...just for a second. She found herself staring at Abby's lips--those warm, soft lips--and hoping desperately that she was the only one who noticed she was noticing.
Chuny's interruption saved them both further explanations. "Abby." It was clear from the look on her face that, however long she'd been there, she'd seen plenty. She was clearly as surprised as they both were.
"Yea-ah?" Abby turned slightly, but didn't quite face the other nurse.
"We've got a code brown with Mr. Pazoni."
Abby did turn then, "Again?" At Chuny's nod, she swiveled back. "Geez, how much can that guy eat?" She looked at Dr. Weaver and made a vague gesture toward the ER. "I gotta go."
Kerry just nodded in response, glad to be released from the awkwardness with Abby, and from Chuny's inquisitive gaze. Her eyes followed Abby's progress, so she had time to recompose her neutral expression when she noticed Abby turning back toward her.
"Thank you, Dr. Weaver."
Kerry set the grin that had been threatening free, then, and nodded, still not willing to trust herself to form coherent sentences. If Abby noticed her silence, she said nothing. But, she still seemed a bit embarrassed, too, so maybe it didn't seem strange to her. She continued to watch until Abby disappeared through the doors, then turned back to stare ahead into the momentarily quiet ambulance bay.
The kiss had surprised her. Pleased and embarrassed her, as well. It would have in any case. But there was more to her reaction than that. Because, on some level, she had recognized Abby's intent, and she had turned to meet those lips. She had wanted to feel them against her own. It seemed like she still could. She raised fingers up to touch her lips. They still felt tingly and warm, despite the chill in the air. "I can't believe I did that."
She knew the voice, but it startled her nonetheless. She hadn't realized she'd spoken aloud, and she'd thought she was alone. She jerked her head toward the other woman in response. "Dr. Legaspi."
The young blonde smiled down at her and she again found herself captivated by the sight of another woman's lips. Kim's this time. They looked full and inviting, and she wondered, just for a moment, what they felt like, what they tasted like... Oh, God. Get a grip, Weaver. Are you really so lonely that you're going to start fantasizing about anyone who pays you the least bit of attention?
"Kerry? Are you all right?" The young woman was looking at her oddly, her head tilted to the left.
Great. She caught me staring. Kerry shook her head, trying to clear it. "Uh, I'm fine."
"Aren't you cold? You should come inside." Kim's arms were wrapped around her clipboard and she shivered once.
"Um. Yeah." She rose and headed back to the ER, Kim falling into step beside her.
"I thought you might like an update on Mr. Karmatovich."
"Yes. I've been worried about him. I've never had a patient set himself on fire before." She turned slightly to face the psychiatrist as she asked, "He did...set himself on fire, didn't he?"
"Basically. All those alcohol swabs he used on the blanket. He put a match to it and it just went up... Some patients will go to great lengths to try and prove their delusions to others."
Kerry nodded in understanding, though she wasn't entirely sure she did. "How is he?"
"In pain, but under sedation and in restraints to try and keep him from doing further harm to himself. First and second degree burns to his head, arms and back, but they think he'll recover with little permanent damage. He's in the burn unit now, and under psychiatric observation."
"Thanks for letting me know. I'll tell Dr. Chen, too."
"You're welcome." They stopped near the admit desk. "Well, I should get back up there. It was a little quiet when I left, but that won't last, I'm afraid."
"Mardi Gras?" Kerry couldn't resist.
Kim's answering smile made it all worth it. "Mm. Yes. Well, I hope your day gets better, Kerry."
"Thanks." As the other doctor moved toward the elevator, she called out, "I hope yours doesn't get worse." She watched until the other woman pushed the button to call the elevator, then turned to study the board a moment.
She didn't notice the other woman turn back to study her, or see the speculative gleam in her eye.
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