Above All

AN: I'm honestly not sure where the inspiration for this one came from. You know those moments, for example when you're sitting in your friends car discussing university courses with her dad, and that inspiration pops into your head, and makes you sit there for the rest of the journey in silence? Not that that happened to me of course (!) So anyway. On with the story. It's Abby's POV, and if you don't like her and Carter together, I suggest you don't read on.

~Sarah~

Spoilers: Nothing specific. Bear in mind season 8/9 if you've seen them, if you haven't, it won't make that much of a difference

Disclaimer: It was pointed out to me the other day that I actually own very little. And sadly, that's true. I borrow things. I promise I returned the two characters in perfect condition. . . The songs are: "When you believe" by Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston "Little by little" by Oasis

. . .

Above All. . .

. . .

I always used to wonder when people talked about the spark just fading away. I never used to think it could happen, not if you really loved someone. Surely if that was the case, you'd never really leave that phase where the only thing that matters is the two of you?

But maybe it is true. Maybe. After all, four years is a long time. But I just never thought it would happen to us, you know? Even though we've been through so much, so many bad things, I thought we'd got through. I thought. . .

. . .that we'd be okay. I really thought we'd be okay, despite it all.

Everyone else thinks we are. To outsiders we're still Abby and Carter, or John and Abby depending on who you're talking to, still the head nurse and the chief resident. . .still the ones happily in love, living in our own perfect little world. We're still the subjects of idle ER gossip, still the ones everyone predicted would be together. Still the couple everyone thinks will go on forever.

And maybe that is true, to an extent. But it's also completely wrong. Because things just aren't the same. We still seem affectionate, loving, comfortable. But where are the shivers of excitement, the tension. . .the passion? It's all but gone. And what are we left with? A routine. Together day after day, night after night. Comfortable, content.

Many people would kill for that. Just having someone there. Someone to be strong for you. . .someone to hold you. . .someone who knows you. And it's good. I'm not saying otherwise. We have a good relationship. . .it just used to be great. Out of this world.

I can be myself around him. I don't have to pretend to be someone I'm not. But. . .I just can't help wondering what's happened to the times when he could leave me breathless from the touch of his lips? To the times when my heartbeat rose just because he was nearby?

I don't want routine. I don't want contentment. Well, I do want those things. But not just those things. I want everything else too. I want the passion. . .I want all those feelings. When you'd sacrifice anything just for a stolen moment together. Sneaking into empty trauma rooms, avoiding Weaver when we couldn't be bothered to get out of bed morning after morning, and bribing Chuny or Susan to cover the end of a shift so we could sneak off early.

I want it back. I want to be able to defy tradition. When people moan about how their relationship has lost that spark, how passion has been put on the back burner, I want to be able to say, "that hasn't happened to us. We've still got that spark." I want it back. . .you have no idea how much I want it back.

12:37. I should be asleep, I've got a shift tomorrow morning. John is. He looks so peaceful when he's sleeping, like nothing could ever hurt him, not like I know so much has. I thought, when we got together, that because we'd both been through so much, maybe this was our reward. That maybe we'd never leave that "honeymoon period". But slowly, it faded. At first I didn't really notice it. But it was happening. Soon we gave it up, in favour of routine. Why?

I don't know. It was stupid. I wish it hadn't happened. It's just not fair. I lay here praying it won't last. But I know, deep down, that I've got to do something about it. Break the routine myself.

I reach out to him, tentatively, almost as if I'm scared. I trace a light pattern on his arm, and then move my hand under the thin material of his shirt, making contact with the warm skin of his stomach. I move my hand gently, massaging the area I know so well.

His eyelids flutter, but they don't actually open. I intensify my touch slightly, and he eventually opens his eyes, looking slightly bewildered and confused.

'Hey. . .' he murmurs, reaching out a hand to cup the back of my neck. 'What's wrong?' I look at him, biting my lip for a moment, studying the emotions in his eyes.

'What's happened to us John?' I whisper, my voice breaking as I lower my eyes, trying to fake an interest in the sheet. But he moves his hand under my chin, making me meet his eyes. 'I want it back John.I just want it back. It's not fair. We used to have. . .'

'Everything?' he finishes, and I nod, willing myself not to cry. He's still the same man, the same one I fell head over heels in love with. But refused to admit it for so long. I can't help but think that it's all my fault. That if I'd told him how I felt instead of hiding behind the walls I can't seem to stop myself building. . .maybe we wouldn't be like this now.

'I love you' I say. 'I love you so much that I can't put it into words. I just want to break the routine. I don't want us to live stuck in the same routine, I don't want. . .' Damnit. I tried not to, I really did. I tried to stay strong, but it's impossible. The look in his eyes just makes me crumble.

'Hey. . .hey, hey' he murmurs soothingly. 'Don't cry Abby, please. Come here' he opens his arms and I go willingly, clinging onto him for dear life. 'I love you. I love you Abby, more than anything. We can get that everything back. . .if we both believe in it enough'

My God that man is amazing. He never fails to astound me. Right when I think I know him inside out, he says something so. . .perfect, so right. It just reminds me why I fell in love with him. . .why I fall even more in love with him each day. It reminds me of that song. . .

"Many nights we pray, with no proof anyone could hear. In our hearts a hopeful song we barely understood

Now we are not afraid, although we know there's much to fear.

We were moving mountains long before we knew we could.

There can be miracles when you believe.

Though hope is frail, it's hard to kill."

And there is hope. We were a miracle right from the start. It's still hard to believe that something so amazing could begin right in the middle of something so terrible. And I've got a feeling we've just turned a corner. As I pull away from him, I can see him smiling, that smile he saves for when we're alone. That smile I haven't seen for so long.

He leans forward, kissing the tears away, his lips soft on my cheek. And then he moves, capturing my lips with his own. It's soft and slow. Lazy in a way, reacquainting ourselves with the feelings that are finally surfacing again. But it's also strong, proof that we can get through anything. And there's the passion. That's the thing that makes it so special. We can mix all those feelings together, and get the most amazing results.

My hands are in his hair. . .his hands slipping beneath the thin cotton of my shirt, setting my skin ablaze with the path his fingertips travel. Leaving me breathless. . .

I manage to whisper is name as his lips move down to my neck, instantly finding the most sensitive spot and making me shiver. I move my hands, taking a path down his back I know only too well. At first I avoid them, my hands moving round the area of his lower back that causes him so much pain.

But eventually I do trace my fingertips lightly over the scars. And it pleases me that he barely flinches, like he would do if anyone else were to touch that area. And then I bring my hands back up, resting them on his shoulders as I catch my breath.

His eyes catch mine, and the sparkle I see there makes my grin spread further across my face. 'Too much for you?' he asks, his voice low and teasing. I shake my head, giving a gentle tug on the shirt he's wearing.

'This. . .shirt. . .just isn't working' I raise my eyebrows, and he lifts the shirt easily over his head. I laugh softly. 'Much better' I murmur, nodding my head in agreement. I run my fingertip down his chest, smiling as his breathing quickens.

'Abby. . .' he whispers, capturing my lips in another kiss. One of those kisses that can only be described as mind-blowing. Nothing more, nothing less.

Maybe I got things wrong earlier. I was wishing to have that honeymoon phase back. I'd rather have this though. There's the comfort, the security of knowing that we've been together so long. I'm not trying to put on an act, or worrying about what he'll think, and neither is he. Yet we can still manage to have nights like this.

It's. . .I don't know. Perfect sounds to cliché. It's not perfect. You remember that line,

"True perfection has to be imperfect. I know that that sounds foolish but it's true."

That kind of sums us up right now. I mean, we're far from perfect right? We both have our faults, probably me more than him. But hey, if something like this can come out of. . .well things like that, imperfection sounds pretty great to me.

Actually it feels bloody fantastic.

His lips have an amazing ability to wreak havoc wherever (and whenever) they choose. To be honest, I'm finding it a little hard to concentrate on any coherent train of thought right now.

But there's one thought lingering on, pushing itself to the front of my mind.

Above all, we're okay. We're still okay.

And I have a sneaky feeling we're going to be okay for a long time to come.

~ The End ~

A/N: I hope you enjoyed it. E-mail me, surrendersomething@yahoo.co.uk if you have any comments, or just wanna chat!

~Sarah~