DISCLAIMER: Not mine. I promise I'm only borrowing them and will return them to their rightful owners whenever they ask for them back. My imagination took a flight of fancy.....my bank account stayed empty. (Not mine, no profit, just some day-dreaming I wrote down - everything belongs to NBC, Warner Bros and anyone else who has a stake in this televisual monument).
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I watched ER a bit when it was 'new' but hadn't ever really thought about it in a fandom sort of sense. In the last few weeks thanks to youtube, some reading of stories here and on Passion & Perfection and a few episodes from Google Play, I've rediscovered the Kerry/Sandy pairing and the urge to write. I'm not sure where the muses will go, or for how long, but I'm just pleased to be writing again. Please pardon any slight wrinkles with canon (such as which doctors are around and whether they're residents/attendings etc), medical stuff (including show jargon) I'm neither medically trained nor familiar with US healthcare beyond what I pick up from watching a few episodes of a few US medical shows over the years. I'm not writing in this fandom because of the medicine, but because of the characters. Thank you in advance for reading.
SPOILERS: Not really (I'm not sure anything can be spoiled when it's more than a decade since original broadcast?) but some references will make more sense (and be recognisable as 'in joke' type references) if you are familiar with the Kerry/Sandy story arc season 8 and 9 certainly (not sure about 10).
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To ncruuk[at]gmail.com
Moments in a Life Just Ordinary
"Hmm?" Not looking up from the chart she was reviewing, Dr Kerry Weaver waited for Randi to ask her question.
"It's for you " Randi thrust the telephone in the direction of the ER Chief, " Lieutenant Lopez?"
"Thanks." Focussing on trying not to grab the phone from Randi, Kerry failed to stop the involuntary half-smile that flashed across her face. Fortunately for Randi, Kerry also failed to notice the intense scrutiny the younger woman was subjecting her to.
"Lieutenant Lopez?" asked Kerry, emphasising the rank.
"Hi! I wasn't expecting you," admitted Sandy, dropping her feet down to the floor from the desk and sitting up more correctly in her chair.
"Why not?" Kerry was confused and, in her confusion, stopped reviewing the chart. Looking up, she caught Randi's hurried attempt to 'look busy'.
"Because I expected you to be with a patient. I was going to leave a message," explained Sandy patiently, smiling as she pictured her girlfriend working through Sandy's logic.
"I can take a message," suggested Kerry, suddenly conscious that she was stood in the middle of the ER, surrounded by many of her staff, feeling like they were eavesdropping.
"You surrounded babe?" guessed Sandy, unexpectedly grateful for the tiny cupboard that 38 called a Lieutenant's office. It wasn't much, but it had a chair, desk (or footstool) and, most importantly, a door and a telephone, enabling her to make and take calls in relative quiet and near privacy.
"Yes." Kerry hoped she wasn't blushing.
"You're blushing," said Sandy, grinning as she tweaked her mental picture of her girlfriend.
"Trying not to," muttered Kerry, once again marvelling at how well Sandy was getting to know and understand her. It still felt strange, every time Sandy did or said something that showed Kerry she was paying attention to the Doctor's moods, mannerisms, likes and dislikes, but it was a good strange, and a feeling she was starting to crave and cherish and hope she was creating for her girlfriend too.
"You finish at 8?" asked Sandy, deciding she'd probably teased Kerry as much as she dared to, with much more resulting in either Kerry hanging up because she'd gone too far (she knew she got a little further every time she tried) or one or other of them being forced to hang up if a call came in somewhere.
"I'm off at 6 thought I'd come by and take you to breakfast?"
"I'd like that, but it's supposed to rain."
"You can't eat eggs when it's raining?" Now it was Sandy's turn to be confused.
"Don't wait in the rain," said Kerry quietly, certain she was blushing.
"Sure?" Although she was a reasonably frequent visitor to the ER when she was working and had met Kerry a couple of times outside, she'd not yet waited for Kerry inside the ER, because no matter how much she liked Kerry, she really didn't like hospitals.
"The coffee's ok in the Doctor's Lounge " began Kerry, just as she heard the alarm sound at 38, signalling the end of their call.
"Sounds like a plan, gotta go babe," and, without waiting for Kerry to say anything, Sandy hung up, something that Kerry didn't mind, knowing that if it had been a trauma she'd have done exactly the same thing.
Passing the phone back to Randi, who knew better than to try to pretend she hadn't been listening, Kerry raised an eyebrow and waited for Randi to say whatever was on her mind.
"I'll make sure the Lieutenant finds the lounge when she gets here Dr Weaver."
"Ah " For a moment Kerry was surprised, having been braced for some remark or comment before remembering that this wasn't Frank, or Romano or anyone of the number of people who didn't think she knew what they called her behind her back. This was Randi, who right now was looking exactly like she always looked. " thank you. I guess she'll be by about 7.30."
"No problem Dr Weaver, I'm on 'til 9." And, with a final half-smile at her evidently surprised boss, Randi grabbed the ringing desk phone with one hand whilst passing Kerry another chart with her other: it was time for the ER Chief to get back to patients.
"There's a fireman in the Doctor's Lounge," said John Carter as he approached the admin station, pleased to see that Kerry wasn't around, meaning he might just have escaped a mild rebuke for starting his shift 20 minutes late.
"Is he cute?" asked Susan Lewis, deliberately ignoring Randi's rather pointed eye-roll.
"He's a she."
"Who's a she?" asked Pratt, one of the medical students currently on placement in the ER.
"The fireman in the Doctor's Lounge, apparently," explained Susan, barely concealing her disappointment.
"Is she cute?" asked Pratt, stretching his neck and shoulders much like a boxer does right before they enter the ring.
"I guess if you like that sort of thing " mumbled Carter, suddenly feeling like he was missing something important, particularly given the twin glares he was receiving from Randi and Abby, " but what you'll like better is this laceration which you can practice your suturing on in Exam 2," he announced, grabbing the nearest chart and motioning for Pratt to lead the way. He still didn't know what was going on, but he felt better being somewhere else and not leaving Pratt to further irritate Randi and Abby about whatever it was.
"They're unbelievable!" muttered Randi as the spontaneously formed crowd of medics dispersed (and in hour 10 that's almost 11 of her 12 hour shift when they were unknowingly gossiping about their boss' boss's girlfriend, 3 was most definitely too much of a crowd for Randi), leaving only Abby behind.
"Yeah. I guessed it was Lieutenant Lopez."
"Yeah, waiting for her," Randi tilted her head subtly in Kerry's general direction, although realistically, there was only one 'her' in this context and waited for Abby to nod her head in understanding, "to finish her shift."
"She on 'til 8?" Abby glanced at the clock that was only 8 minutes away.
"Yup " began Randi, only to look towards the Ambulance Bay as paramedics arrived pushing a gurney with a young girl clearly in pain, surrounded by her parents who were moving their hands frantically, " that sign language?" she asked, already knowing the answer but hoping it wasn't, hoping that Kerry might actually catch a break and be able to finish her shift on time.
"Yup. Where's Dr Weaver?" Abby was already moving to catch up the paramedics who had stopped a little way down the hall, realising they hadn't yet collected a doctor.
"Thanks Randi. Hey Doris? Head to trauma 1 I'll go get Weaver."
"She on? Thank god " and, with a nod to her partner, the experienced paramedics redirected the gurney with its agitated escort towards trauma 1.
"Excuse me, Dr Weaver?"
"What is it Abby?" asked Kerry, not looking up from the EKG she was studying.
"You're needed in Trauma 1."
"Excuse me a moment," said Kerry, stepping away from the patient whose heart rhythm appeared to be normal despite his complaints of pain and dizziness and crossing the room to Abby. "There was no page and my shift finishes in less than 10 minutes. Why me?" and why me on a day when I have plans she thought, not wishing to further jinx herself by asking the question aloud.
"It's a kid, I put her in trauma 1 because it's quieter and her parents are really upset and scared and signing way too fast for me to understand and it's you or a long wait as I doubt the interpreters are in yet " finished Abby in a rush, aware she was rambling, watching Kerry closely for any sign she was about to be 'Weavered'.
"Okay." She suppressed the urge to sigh, she was a doctor, she took an oath and that oath meant you sucked it up, particularly for sick children for whom you were their only immediately available option. "I'll be right there, wait here," she said, before turning back to her patient, now ex patient, "Mr Golantz? I must attend to an urgent patient, Dr Carter will be in shortly to complete your tests," before she gestured for Abby to lead the way to trauma 1.
"Do we know anything?" asked Kerry as she fell into step alongside Abby, trusting the experienced nurse to have seen enough to not challenge the swift but easily matched pace she was setting once Kerry had removed her gown and gloves.
"Not really. She came in with Doris kid seems distressed but quiet, parents agitated and vocally loud don't know enough sign language to know if they were being coherent. Doris seemed relaxed so vitals must be good," summarised Abby, recalling what she'd seen in that split second glimpse of the gurney.
"Could be anything from sinusitis to a splinter, but it doesn't sound like a trauma. Umm " Kerry paused at the door to trauma 1, clearly wanting to say something else but not knowing where to start, only for Abby to intervene.
"Chuny? Can you get Carter to look at Golantz in Exam 3 here's the chart."
"He part worked up?" asked the experienced nurse, taking the chart that Weaver held out.
"EKG run, nothing obvious."
"You got it Dr Weaver." Chuny headed off in the direction of Exam 2 where she'd just seen Carter finishing a suturing demonstration, scanning the chart as she went.
"You want me to let Lieutenant Lopez know you're going to be late?" asked Abby quietly, almost smiling at the startled expression that flashed across Kerry's face it was always the same with doctors, every time a nurse put two and two together and got four.
"Let's find out how late I'm going to be first," suggested Kerry, relaxing her face into a proper smile when she restarted her breathing, not having expected the question.
"Sure thing Dr Weaver," agreed Abby as they both pushed through the doors into trauma 1.
"What have we got Doris?" asked Kerry, striding up to the gurney as her hands started to instinctively sign 'Hi, I'm Dr Weaver, do you sign?' Abby and Doris didn't need even a rudimentary knowledge of sign language to understand the answer even if they hadn't been able to guess the meaning of the 3 simultaneous 'yes' signs coming from the family, the nods, smiles and general looks of relief from the parents confirmed to them the unwritten rule of the ER: if in doubt, get Dr Weaver, she'd know what to do.
"Uh, Lieutenant Lopez?"
"That's me," said Sandy, standing up from her seat on the couch and turning towards the speaker, "Abby right?"
"Yes, wait " momentarily wrong-footed, Abby lost her train of thought whilst she tried to work out how the Lieutenant knew her, belatedly remembering she wore a name-badge, " name-badge, right," she muttered, more to herself than Sandy who nevertheless heard.
"And Kerry, umm, Dr Weaver's a pretty good describer of people." Sandy shoved her hands in her pockets as she spoke, suddenly wondering if she'd said too much. Kerry was always trying to get her to understand that her hospital reputation was rather different and, up to a point, entirely well deserved.
"And maybe one day I'll ask you what she said," joked Abby, liking how the firefighter's voice and face changed when she mentioned the doctor, only to quickly refocus on delivering her message and getting back to trauma 1 with the brightly decorated children's hospital gown she'd come out to get in the first place. "Dr Weaver's sorry but she's going to be a while, she's caught a patient right on the end of her shift." Abby paused, not exactly sure what she was going to say next, as Kerry's message had been somewhat vague and rather defeatist and hadn't exactly prepared her for the Lieutenant's laid back attitude.
"No worries, sick kid?"
"Uh " again, the unexpected question momentarily caught her off-guard before she remembered the gown in her hand, " yeah, a deaf sick kid with scared parents."
"She kicking me out?" asked Sandy, only partially joking she knew enough about the hospital hierarchy now to know that when her girlfriend talked about 'my ER' she wasn't exaggerating.
"No, but she did say you didn't have to wait." Abby's tone didn't convey that she'd actually believed that was what her boss wanted when she'd said it.
"Tell her I'll wait 'til the hockey starts," said Sandy semi-cryptically, "but I hope the kid's not that sick."
"What time does the hockey start?" asked Abby, knowing she had to leave but intrigued by the unusual reply.
"Way later than her next shift starts." Kerry was always frustrated that not only did Sandy not blush easily, but when she did blush, it wasn't very noticeable: Sandy was certain she was blushing, but if she was, either Abby couldn't tell or was in possession of a very good poker face.
"You got it Lieutenant wait, Weaver, umm, Dr, Kerry, I mean "
"Does my girlfriend what?" asked Sandy, trying not to laugh at the nurse's verbal trip-ups.
"Know what time the hockey starts?"
"Ah no, and it's Sandy."
"Call me Sandy, I'm not your boss Abby."
"No," agreed Abby, smiling as she turned to leave the calm quiet of the Doctor's Lounge, braced for returning to the busying ER, "you're my Boss' girlfriend, Lieutenant." And, with a final friendly smile, the nurse disappeared, leaving an amused Sandy to drop back down onto the couch and continue reading the paper she'd brought with her. She wasn't going anywhere.
Her shift had finished 3 hours ago. 180 additional minutes that she had been wearing her white coat. 10,800 additional seconds that she had been within sight and shout of the ER staff. Part of her was curious to know what would have happened to the 37 patients whose diagnoses and treatments she had confirmed, reviewed, changed or signed off on whilst she waited for her 1 additional patient to be admitted and transferred up to Orthopaedics for treatment: she would have to try to remember that little detail for the next time she found herself in a competency and skills debate with a resident or worse, an attending; but what she was more curious to know was how the Ortho Chief would react to that piece of news when she brought it up in the Chiefs' meeting next week.
"Dr Weaver, could you just "
"Ask Carter please Chuny, I'm off." 10 paces, she needed 10 paces to get to the Doctors' Lounge.
"Dr Weaver, about those forms "
"Tomorrow Susan, ask me tomorrow." 6 paces, 6 little paces.
"Hey Doc Bitch!" She tried never to acknowledge patients who shouted at her when she was on shift, she certainly was ignoring patients who rudely shouted and made obscene gestures at her when she was this far beyond shift. 4 paces, 2 if her hip wasn't spasming.
"Oh thank god " Finally in the relative sanctuary of the Doctor's Lounge, Kerry let the door close behind her as she slumped against the wall pleased to be able to lean against something and close her eyes for a moment as she waited for the throbbing in her hip to settle back to a more ignorable rhythm.
"Tough day?" Startled, Kerry's eyes snapped open and she made a brief attempt to try and stand up properly and look 'Weaverish' before she registered the identity of her audience.
"You're still here?" Those were definitely not the words she'd planned on saying to her girlfriend at the end of her shift.
"Course I'm still here how's the kid?"
"Kid? Oh, the kid you know about her?" She was doing badly at this. If it didn't involve heading back out into the busy ER, she would have been tempted to ask for a second attempt at entering the Lounge and discovering that Sandy was still here, waiting for her.
"Didn't know she was a she, but Abby mentioned your extra patient was a kid. How is she?" asked Sandy, trying to focus on how tired her girlfriend looked rather than how cute her frown of confusion was, something 'Dr Weaver' was probably not going to appreciate having pointed out.
"Ah, ok now. Well, not ok, but, well " The frown was back as Kerry ran out of words.
"So still alive, but suffering something non-fatal and fixable?" interpreted Sandy, familiar with the problem admittedly her problem usually involved trying to distinguish between fires that destroyed livelihoods and buildings, and fires that took lives as well.
"Yeah broken collarbone and dislocated shoulder."
"Ouch tough for a kid."
"Very tough for a young kid who can't move their arm or fingers much and so can't sign to their parents what's happened or what they feel."
"Kids are tough, she'll be fine. Hardest part was working out what was wrong. After that it was just slow."
"You think that wall can stand up on its own?" teased Sandy, wondering if she was going to have to carry Kerry out of the hospital, totally certain that such an action would not go down well with 'Dr Weaver', though it would probably get her a free pass on any 'cute' comments.
"I should move," agreed Kerry, trying to muster some energy to do that, "I shouldn't have stopped."
"I'll meet you at your locker," suggested Sandy, gesturing her head towards the metal door labelled 'Weaver' that was halfway down the far wall, a few steps from both of their current positions.
"That sounds like high school."
"You were meeting girls at your locker in high school?" asked Sandy in mock outrage, knowing that if she teased Kerry enough, she'd get moving again if only to find something to playfully hit her with.
"What? No " Shaking her head, Kerry pushed her weight back onto her legs, only wincing when she failed to transfer enough of her weight onto her crutch fast enough, reminding her of the muscle spasm.
"Thought you were a late bloomer?" Noticing the wince, Sandy took a couple of steps towards the locker as she continued her teasing, trying to keep Kerry's attention away from her hip and her pain. There would be enough time on the journey back to Kerry's place (there was no way she was making Kerry suffer the longer journey back to hers) for that.
"I know what you're doing " grumbled Kerry, gingerly testing her right hip by shifting her stance slightly.
"Yeah " first step, "you're trying " second step, "to get me " third step," to admit " fourth step, "that I never " fifth step, "made out " sixth step, "by my locker " seventh step, "in High School."
"I really wasn't," said Sandy, leaning her shoulder against the adjacent locker as Kerry came to a stop in front of her.
"No." Sandy's answer brought about the return of the frown.
"Oh. What are you smiling at?"
"You. You're cute when you frown."
"Shut up." Blushing, Kerry focused on Sandy's fingers which were now tangled in her white coat.
"You know what I was thinking?" said Sandy quietly, prompting Kerry to look up at her face which was almost but not quite in kissing range.
"That we should get out of here and go have that breakfast we planned."
"I don't want eggs," said Kerry, obediently reaching for her lock and starting to try to find the combination, "I need my glasses "
"I got it," said Sandy easily, turning the dial through the three digit combination she'd set it to for Kerry when she'd bought the new lock the previous month, " and I wasn't thinking of eggs."
"Thank you." Kerry opened her locker, feeling Sandy come and stand behind her, "I'm not really hungry."
"I know," agreed Sandy, reaching around in front of Kerry and removing her stethoscope, which she then placed on the top shelf of the locker, "which is why we're going back to your place," Kerry obediently dropped her shoulders and let her crutch rest against the locker door when she felt the tug on her white coat, enabling Sandy to it pull off and again, reach around her into the locker, this time swapping the MD's jacket for her outdoor jacket, "for you to have a soak in the bath I am going to run for you..." Like a waiter in a fancy restaurant, Sandy helped Kerry into her jacket, resisting the urge to kiss her neck as she straightened the collar.
"That sounds wonderful " said Kerry softly as she instinctively reached for her crutch with her right hand and her backpack with her left, only for Sandy to gently push her hand away, reaching for the bag herself, " is the 'chef' going to join me?"
"In the bath? If Madame would like zis " Sandy rested her chin on Kerry's shoulder and wrapped her in a loose embrace with her free arm, feeling Kerry lean back into her.
"Madame would like zis very much " agreed Kerry, imitating Sandy's silly French accent as she sighed in contentment, the stress and irritation of her over-long 24 hour shift slowly retreating.
"You ready to go?"
"It's tempting to just stay like this "
"As good as this is " began Sandy, feeling Kerry shift her weight off her, preparing to go.
"It's going to be better at home?" Kerry shut her locker door and relocked it.
"There is that," agreed Sandy, shouldering Kerry's backpack, ready to follow her out of the Lounge and ER.
"But I was going to say that it wouldn't be much fun when we got interrupted."
"Good point." Kerry turned around so that she was facing Sandy. "Thank you."
"Staying. And being here now. And the bath."
"No problem. We heading out?"
"In a minute. I never did, you know " began Kerry cryptically, catching the hem of Sandy's denim jacket in her hand.
"Never did what?" asked Sandy, taking Kerry's hint and stepping closer to her girlfriend so that they were almost leaning against each other again.
"Make out by my locker in High School."
"This isn't High School."
"Nope. It's so much better than High School," whispered Kerry before leaning forwards and catching Sandy's lips in a kiss, a kiss that quickly deepened as feelings and emotions that had been pushed behind layers of professionalism for both their shifts quickly reasserted themselves.
"We should go," reminded Sandy quietly when they parted a moment later.
"You're talking about moving again," grumbled Kerry, obediently bracing herself for the inevitable discomfort getting walking again would cause her.
"Yup," agreed Sandy easily, taking half a step back from Kerry so that she was not in kissing range.
"You're evil," Kerry's grumbling was entirely without threat but not lacking in feeling as she dutifully started to turn with Sandy towards the door.
"Yup, but only 'cos you're cute when you grumble."
"I'm not "
"Cute?" teased Sandy, pleased to see Kerry start to resume walking, albeit more slowly than she would have done if her hip hadn't been sore.
"But you are cute "
"Am not " muttered Kerry one final time before they left the relative sanctuary of the Doctor's Lounge and headed back out into the busy ER and onwards to Kerry's house. It was time for breakfast
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