DISCLAIMER: ER is the property of Constant C Productions, Amblin Entertainment, and Warner Brothers Television.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

The rules of dieting and dating
By ncruuk


"Hey! That's my cigarette..." protested Susan feebly, watching as Abby took a long drag on her part smoked cigarette.

"I know..." observed Abby calmly, passing the smoke back to her friend.

"Get your own!" retorted Susan, taking her own deep drag on the shrinking cigarette and looking disappointed when she realised how short it was getting. Abby's long drag was making her feel like she'd been short-changed by this one.

"Haven't got any..."

"Buy some...hey, wait a minute....aren't you quitting?" asked Susan, remembering a conversation overheard a couple of weeks ago.

"Yes, two weeks without one," declared Abby smugly, looking at Susan with a proud grin on her face.

"Until just now..."


"You just smoked half my cigarette in one drag!" protested Susan, somehow recognising that she was loosing this debate.

"You ate half my fries at lunch..."

"So?" Finishing the cigarette and stubbing the butt out on the window ledge, Susan turned from contemplating the city to look at her companion.

"You're on a diet..."

"So screw me..." declared Susan robustly, lighting another cigarette and missing the look Abby shot her on hearing the comment.

"What was your excuse at lunch?" teased Abby, watching the cigarette leave Susan's lips and admiring the way the exhaled smoke caressed her lips.

"Someone else's plate so doesn't count?" guessed Susan, reciting her usual justification for breaking her diet discipline.

"Same for me..."

"Huh?" Blinking in confusion, Susan turned to look at Abby who, propped up against the window frame, was suddenly a lot closer than Susan had remembered.

"Someone else's cigarette doesn't count..." explained Abby, plucking the freshly lit cigarette from Susan's grasp and taking another decadent drag.

"Ah..." In a daze, Susan accepted the cigarette back from her friend, attempting to wonder if the light-headedness she was feeling could possibly be attributed to the smoke. Given that she'd bought them from the store and not from the random guy on the corner of 1st and Jackson, she decided that excuse really wasn't available to her....thank god.

"You know..." began Abby nervously, wondering how her friend would take this revelation, only to be cut off by Susan's sudden observation.

"If I were John Carter we'd be in bed by now..."

"If you were John Carter you'd not be here..."

"Oh?" Cigarette forgotten, Susan was now transfixed by Abby, who, her brain was certain now, was certainly nearer than she had been a moment before.

"No..." confirmed Abby, reaching out to run her fingers through the ends of Susan's hair.

"I always knew I had reason to be grateful I wasn't Carter..." breathed Susan, leaning towards Abby as their lips met in a tender, timeless first kiss that tasted of lipstick and cigarettes...and promised so much more.

The End

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