Kay, well, let me just start out by saying that I (of course) don't own ER. If I did (can you say it with me?) Romano would be alive. Not ONLY would he be alive, but he'd be well... and of course, he'd be with Elizabeth. ::sigh:: If only they would've hired ME to write their shows. But, they didn't... and, I'm not making a cent off of any of this.

Let me also say that I've been on a music kick lately, so, a lot of my stories may be based on songs... you are forewarned. This one is based on a song, but I'll wait to tell you which one it is. You'll see soon enough. Muahahahahaha!

Background information: Mark has died. But in the world I've created there is no Ella. (Sorry, I love children... just not writing about them.) Uh, and Romano never lost his arm. Nor did he die. *grumble grumble*

Here we go....



Elizabeth Corday sat staring out the window. She heard the sounds of the rain pelting the window and watched silently as the droplets ran down the window. She had always been an admirer of rain. There was something so peaceful about it, so serene. It made her think of better days, of times when she felt complete. But tonight, the rain took on a brooding presence, and she quickly reminded herself that she hadn't been complete in a long time.

Not since Mark died.

That was the first time in her entire life she'd felt complete happiness. Not when he'd died, of course, but when they were together. Elizabeth stared out the window remembering how much she loved him. How much happier she had been when in his arms, and she couldn't help but smile. It was, indeed, the happiest time of her life. Suddenly everything that had ever gone wrong was forgotten, everything was okay when her and Mark were together. It was as though the world didn't matter. Only what they saw in each others eyes, and that, she remembered, had been everything.

But nothing lasts forever. She had come to realize that.

The saddest time in her life had been perpetual since Mark's death. She never felt alive, she never felt free, and she never felt loved. It was as though the entire world had stopped turning for Elizabeth Corday. And in many ways, she guessed, it had. Mark was the only true happiness that she had ever known...

And now he was the only true sadness.

She sighed as she continued staring out the window. The weather was bleak, ironically matching her disposition. She usually adored such weather, but tonight it was a cold reminder of how her life would never be the same.

She sat in the chair completely silent, listening to the rhythmic sounds of her own breathing.

She was alone.

But in her imagination, she pretended she was with Mark. She closed her eyes and she could feel his arms around her, holding her. He was whispering in her ear, telling her that she was beautiful, and that everything would be all right. And she believed him, because he was there. She felt him bring a hand to her cheek and caress her jaw as she looked deeply into his eyes. She saw the love embedded in his soul there, and she was complete once again. Looking in his eyes she saw the happiness she once knew, and it made her feel whole. She inhaled deeply, pretending she could smell him. That irreversible scent that was Mark Greene. She loved it. She loved him.

But as the grandfather clock chimed signaling 12 O'clock, Elizabeth was brought back to reality in a painful moment where she remembered once again that she was alone.

She knew it wasn't healthy to go on like this, but in actuality, she didn't care. She didn't care how unhealthy it was to pretend that the only thing that had ever made her happy was still here. And she didn't care how many painful realizations she had to go through when she finally realized over and over again that it was all in her imagination. Because for a fleeting moment, she was loved. She was complete. She was whole. And however unhealthy that might have been, didn't matter.

She felt the tears stinging at the back of her eyes, like a million needles pricking the sensitive area. She hated that feeling worst, she decided. Not the moment of crying, not the actual tears flowing, not the sad truth of admitting defeat. No, she hated most of all, the second before the tears came. That burning moment in which one does one's best to hold the tears inside. The one moment when the pain seemed most unbearable. Because one was suffering from two feats at once: The cold hard reality of the pain at hand, and the task of not allowing oneself to cry. Yes, it was in this moment she felt most helpless, and she hated every moment of it.

"Tearless grief bleeds inwardly." She had once read that somewhere, or seen it printed. Where, she couldn't remember.

She knew it was true. If one does not cry, the pain only worsens. But what whomever issued that quote had forgotten is that tearful grief also bleeds inwardly.

Because tears of such pain, such sorrow, that one cannot hold them in mangle the heart. The pain itself does enough of that, but the tears worsen the situation considerably.

But still, she didn't hate to cry. It gave her something to do. Something to think about, something to concentrate on. And if she had nothing to concentrate on, her thoughts would only lead her back to the painful memory of Mark.

And on this rainy night, that was too much to bear.

The forecast for the city of Chicago looked bleak, mirroring perfectly the way of Elizabeth Corday's life: Bleak, hopeless, teary, completely and utterly despondent.

Her only hope was gone. The life she once knew was over, and though she was a brilliant surgeon, there was nothing she could do to resuscitate it.

She remembered once when she had looked to the future for hope. The hope of her and Mark together, growing old, dying. She closed her eyes at that. Death. The inevitability of it frightened her now as she sat in the freezing house once made warm by love.

She now looked to the future with despair, with caution. The only thing that gave her hope was the past, and the life she had once known, but had now lost.

But still, outside, the rain fell down heavy on the streets of Chicago, as people roamed the city. Some happy, some loved, some wonderful, and some, like Elizabeth Corday, completely hopeless.

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There will be more to come.

I know, I know, I have about 6 stories I'm working on. And I was going to try to write the next chapters in either "Invisibility" or "Never Been All Right"... But this had been brooding in my mind since last night (err... this morning at 3:00)... and I just had to get this first chapter out.

Thanks everyone...

Reviews Please... they make me feel happy... and warm and fuzzy inside.