Disclaimer: Like most authors on this site, I would give my right arm to own ER. Unfortunately, I don't. These characters are not mine, only the storyline is. Enjoy!

In A Moment's Time

I stood next to Carter on the roof of the hospital. I tried to console him but he just pushed me aside. He was hurting and had a right to be. Abby had just committed suicide with her long time lover, alcohol. Lovely way to die when mixed with a bottle of sedatives. She couldn't even leave quietly; she passed out in the ER.

John felt responsible. He had tried to save her. He had put his heart and soul into bringing her back to life and had lost both when she died. It was over before they brought her to Trauma One. When Luka called time of death 10 minutes ago, John had fled up here. I might as well not have followed because the last thing he seemed to need was me. I tried again to reach him, this time gently touching his arm.

"I'm sorry, Deb." John turned around and wrapped me in a hug."She's dead and I couldn't do anything to stop it." I stroked his hair and let him cry. After all, what are best friends for? I never liked Abby. She was a helpless, worthless alcoholic who was about as happy as a morgue. She made John smile and I'll always be grateful for that, but then there were the times where he looked like he hadn't slept in months. It was all because of her. This job had added sorrow and age to a face that had once seemed ageless and full of joy. Abby Lockhart hadn't helped much either.

I was the first to see her drop and watched as John rushed over to her. It was Carol Hathaway all over again, but with one deadly twist. He started yelling out orders for IV, pulse, and finally a stomach pump. It almost worked but she went into cardiac arrest, the coal dribbling down her chin as her body convulsed. Luka shouted for a crash cart and we worked on her for 45 minutes. It was over. Luka had tears in his eyes as he called it. I truly believe a part of him still loved her.

We lost her. The realization rolled over us like a wave. The whole group was there for her, to try and to save her. All of us were there to witness her death. No one escaped the feeling that their best effort just hadn't been enough.

"Carter, it wasn't your fault. She couldn't handle it. Hell, your probably the only reason she lived this long. She loved you and you loved her but it was her choice. She took the pills. Sinking into a depression is only going to hurt those who love you. It won't help anything. We don't want to lose you too, Carter. I don't want to lose my best friend." I cradled him against me as we sunk down onto the hard concrete. I rocked him back and forth.

"I won't do that Deb. I could never do that to you." I heard him whisper. Curse her. I hope she rots in hell for what she put him through, is putting him through even now. It felt like we sat there for an eternity. My beeper went off at the same moment his did. Forget personal tragedy, duty calls. We slowly picked ourselves up. Someday I'll tell him that I love him. For now I'll have to be content to watch over him and honor my promise to Lucy. 'Thank you Lucy' I prayed. Back to the ER and life.