Disclaimer: ER is not mine-they wouldn't accept my bid for it. Damn them!

Authors note: Okay, this is set after 'A Hopeless Wound' but before Romano is demoted to the ER. Its one of those doc in peril ones so plenty of drama and the thinking out of feelings. Its less or a romance than some other Cordano pieces because I am crap at writing that kind of stuff. I've read the others-they v. good.

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It had been a long day, too long as far as Elizabeth Corday was concerned. All she wanted to do was go home to Ella and sleep. The two did not naturally fit together but she was hoping to let Ella run around the house until she fell asleep. Dear lord Elizabeth you're referring to your daughter like a dog! I need to get home, she thought.

Romano had been crabby as hell all day, still dealing with his arm although she didn't see why she had to put up with crap from him. Yes she did-she felt sorry for him. She wondered how she would react if it had happened to her. Could I cope with never being able to do surgery again? That was like asking her not to breathe. Of course she had more to her life than Robert did. Her daughter, her parents. He was alone.

She remembered in a flash, his touch in the lounge that day. What had she felt then? The pity faltered, the fear of him getting the wrong idea set in, but also an intense desire just to hold him. Home Elizabeth, she thought, now before you get anymore crazy ideas.

She finished her latest patient and nodded to the anaesthetist.

'All done and dusted, thank God,' she sighed.

'Ready to leave?' asked the anaesthetist.

'Hours ago, I just hope there's nothing else I have to do,' said Elizabeth fervently.

She helped wheel out the young man and removed her cap and gown. She sighed and leaned against a wall.

'Hey Dr Corday you look beat!'

She opened her eyes and saw Paul Nathan in front of her, smiling.

'Up here again?' she asked.

'Just doing some paperwork. You know I think my hand's gonna fall off from that not the Parkinson's,' he joked.

They walked together down the corridor.

'Yes, it does mount up doesn't it,' agreed Elizabeth, wiping her eyes.

They walked to the elevator, where Nathan climbed aboard.

'I'm jealous of you going home,' said Nathan, 'I've still got three more hours!'

She grinned as the doors closed. She felt bad about her behaviour to him when they had first met but now she saw his gift, as a physician not a surgeon. Doesn't have the arrogance for a surgeon, she thought, walking to the desk to sign off her patients.

Blimey, you are in a strange mood, must be the lack of sleep.

A voice boomed out behind her down the corridor.

'Lizzie!'