Notes:

This is the first in a set of hypothetical stories about various ER characters inspired by a ficklette challenge… These will contain spoilers to varying degrees… Some will be sad, some will be happy…

Disclaimers:

ER isn't mine.


She held the small revolver, an antique derringer, she wasn't a gun aficionado, so it was a bit ridiculous that she had spent so much on the little antique pistol, but it was perfect, beautiful, and graceful, mother of pearl handles, and beautiful scrollwork all around the barrel and action and cylinder, even the trigger guard was ornate, so perfect.

She had thought at first that the money she was spending on the little gun was a waste, she would only use it once, but then again, she made good money, and she would never need any of it again.

Besides, a little grace, a little beauty in her final act was that too much to want, after a life that had been so cumbersome.

Reflecting on her life thus far, it really had been cumbersome, she'd never been the beautiful model type, and had always been clumsy, both physically and socially. Her love life hadn't been any better. A string of men, and then a woman, and none of it had worked out, and then there had been Sandy, then Henry, they had been the only things of grace and beauty that had seemed real, that would stay. And then they were both gone.

Sandy killed in a fire, and to add insult to injury, their son taken away. It was too much.

And after limping awkwardly on that damn crutch for so long, after loosing everything that mattered, having her wife and child ripped from her arms… a little grace wasn't too much to ask. That's why she'd chosen the pretty little derringer.

She'd thought of other ways at first, but this was the only way out that couldn't be screwed up, the only way to regain grace and dignity that had been lost. An overdose, she'd thought at first, she could write herself a prescription for something, maybe vicodin, or something more bizarre… glucophage, really, it could be anything. In reality, it didn't even need to be a prescription, if she wanted, it was possible to overdose on vitamins. Either way, it wouldn't be pleasant, she'd be found a mess, maybe found in pools of her own vomit, or maybe a crumpled heap where she'd finally collapsed as she had died with a restorative. Worse, being found alive, being resurrected, or maybe dying in spite of what they tried. Either way, stomach pumping and so much charcoal was a mess, and that's how she'd be remembered.

Wanting a pretty corpse, that'd ruled out hanging, which would leave ugly marks on her neck, and so many bruises, and, if she was strangled by the rope instead of having her neck snapped, her eyes would be bloodshot, and her face… she'd be found with such an unpleasant expression. It had also eliminated slitting her wrists (or her throat… or femoral artery for that matter) bleeding to death left a corpse looking so horrible, drained and she might not be found until she had begun to rot, meaning she'd be a rancid body on top of it. It'd also eliminated falling to her death and stepping in front of the L, both for obvious reasons.

How she'd be remembered, how her corpse looked, it was funny how much that mattered to her, probably because of all the pain, all the ugliness she'd experienced in life.

Morbid, she mused, how morbid that I'm so concerned with how my corpse appears., how I'm choosing this.

Morbid or not though, the derringer ensured perfection, no discoloration, no mess, and best of all, she could leave the crutch behind, and decide exactly how she'd be found. Odds were in favor of someone hearing the shot, she'd still be warm when they found her, and the only marring of her body would be a tiny bullet hole. Perfect. So perfect.

She tossed the crutch down from the top of the basement stairs and listened to it clatter as it bounced down each step, then laboriously made her way into her bedroom, and she sat on the bed, and she looked at the tiny gun, tracing the curling spirals that decorated it with her finger. She glanced over at the note sitting on her bed stand, written the night before.

Should anyone care enough to grudge me for what I've done, for all of this… mess, simply know this was the best end I could have hoped for, to be with Sandy again, as I know I'll never be with my son. Should anyone care more than that, this is my doing and no one's fault, just the way the cards fell. The last day in court, that was the day that sealed this, the day I was told I would never hold him again, he would grow up without knowing his parents, and I would have to go on without him, but without him, and without Sandy, I cannot go on.

Mark Greene once told me never to let my work become my life, but I did, and then came the woman who gave me my life back, Sandy. She forced me to see, and forced me to live, and so I no longer lived for work, but now the life she helped me build is gone, and after knowing the fulfillment of living, I cannot be satisfied solely by work.

In closing, I will simply say that I wish on all of you lives far better than the one I have lived, that when you find happiness, it is not taken from you, and I apologize for all the insensitivity I have shown you, as it has been the only way I have ever known to get anything done.

Kerry

She thought for a brief moment of rewriting it, but there were some things that couldn't be put into words, and others that shouldn't. It wouldn't do to leave them a novella instead of a note. She'd signed it as simply Kerry for no reason other than that she felt undeserving of her title if she couldn't even help herself, and including her last name was so… stiff…

She thought back to the little gun in her palm and its placement, trying to decide where the shot would be best placed. Eating the bullet was an option, but when found, she would have no graceful pose…

It was then that she realized if no one heard the shot, her death wouldn't be noticed until she didn't come into work. It was pathetic really, she had no close friends to speak of, and now, no family. Only co-workers that hated her, or, at best, couldn't care less either way…

Who's kidding who now? There was no 'at best,' they hated her, from the beginning, they'd hated her. She knew it for a fact. She remembered back to her arrival at county… Doug's mocking in the lounge, not realizing that she had heard every word.… she wasn't supposed to hear it… it was just innocent fun… but it had been so humiliating… she couldn't just turn back… it'd have been an admission of some sort… so she had strode into the room just to hang up the phone…

… and then there'd been that damn cake. They'd left it in the fridge, how could she not find it. Surely every last one of them had assumed she would somehow never notice… but she had… how can one person make herself so hated after only a few days?

All the more reason to end it now.

'My greatest talent…' she mused out loud, 'it's my greatest curse… No one likes a woman in charge.'

Being hated at work was something she could deal with on her own once upon a time, when she was used to handling everything on her own, from the death of her parents to a divorce she never spoke of, there was a time she had thought it easier to simply not say a word.

Then she had been with someone who cared enough to make her open up a bit, and she became accustomed to going from the conflict of work to the sanctuary of home, her beloved wife, and eventually their perfect son.

When something is right, but then is somehow made wrong, things can never go back to the way they were before, because the memory is there, the memory of a time when things didn't hurt, not like this. When walls are torn down, they are harder to rebuild.

When things are right, but are then made wrong, there is a storm.

A flash of lightning and a roar of thunder, and that was the storm.


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