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

Part II: Seconds

By Chris


"I informed him that I was a patient and that he was hampering my recovery."

Before I can comment she's speaking again. Warning bells go off when an impish grin crosses her features as she delivers the punch line.

"Then I told him to fuck off."

I almost swallow my tongue; I can't ever remember Kerry using that particular epithet.

"You did NOT!" I am flabbergasted at the turn our conversation has taken.

"I most certainly did. Hey, I'm not the Chief in here, I deserve the same care and respect that any other patient does."

She stops suddenly and a faraway look captures her gaze.

"Can you believe I just said that? Now why would I have to bleed out onto my own bathroom floor to get any care and respect? God, I need serious therapy."

I keep silent until the urge to agree disappears.

"Actually, I do you know," she says, nodding at me.

"You do what?" I ask warily.

"Need serious therapy."

I clamp my lips together in a determined line and stare back at her. But she's not joking.

"Susan gave me the name of her therapist and I've been seeing him for about three weeks."

I need a drink.

"I think it's going…badly. I hate it, it makes me uncomfortable to talk about all these things that I should just be able to get past, you know?"

"It's only been three weeks, Kerry. Do you at least like him?"

"Yes, I do. He's pleasant and he doesn't answer my questions with a question or say things like, 'It's not important what I think, it's important what YOU think'. And he has excellent taste. He has a Stickley that makes my mouth water every time I look at it."

"He doesn't let you sit in it?"

"It's a Stickley, Kim." This as if she's speaking to a slow child. She smoothes the sheets and blanket around her waist before absentmindedly reaching up and fingering the stitches on her forehead.

"When are you leaving?"

I blink once, twice.

"Going back to California, you know, returning to work."

"Uh, I'm not sure, really. I was in such a rush to get here. I have a vague memory of demanding a leave of absence in case…um, I suppose I should check in and see how things are going."

Kerry nods silently and I wait, uncertain what she wants to hear. Uncertain what I want to tell her. Wait a second, that's not true, I know exactly what I want to tell her.

"I'm due to be discharged in a couple of days, barring any complications."

I swallow hard. Reading her first EEG almost gave me a heart attack.

"I need you to stay."

To say that I'm astonished that she would just come right out and say it is the understatement of the year. I must resemble a guppy as my mouth flops open and closed, caught between responding and being struck dumb.

"At the very least I think we should finally talk about things, don't you?"

I know I'm staring but I can't stop myself.


I reach into my bag and retrieve my cell phone.

"I should tell them I'll need at least a week."

She smiles and the world disappears.

"You didn't really tell Romano to fuck off did you?"

There goes that impish grin again.

The End

Return to ER Fiction

Return to Main Page