Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. :( We all wish we did though! Maybe NBC will be nice and let us all have a go at it. Doubt it.

*Set after the season finally, immediately after. I'm a Lubby, but I've found myself drifting. I don't know what I am anymore, so I don't know where this story will go.

Abby sat on the bench dumbfounded as she watched Carter walk away. He didn't want to be her friend? Why?

"Don't ask stupid questions Abby. You know damn well why," her mind told her.

Carter liked her, and maybe deep down inside she had known all along, she just never wanted to admit it. She liked the way things were and didn't want things to change. Why did Carter have to go and mess up her nice little world?

She took a deep breath and then looked straight ahead. Carter had already walked out of view, never once looking back.

"I don't want to wish bad things for you and Luka."

The words were echoing through her head and she was beginning to get sick to her stomach. She always got sick to her stomach at times like these, when she was forced to deal with issues she was hoping would just go away. Why did he have to be so gutsy? Why couldn't he have stayed quiet?

Abby wasn't thinking straight, so she decided to walk to clear her mind. She stood up from the bench and began to walk in the opposite direction Carter had walked away in. The wind suddenly picked up, but she didn't mind. Abby always did like a cold breeze on her face.

"What do I do now, Carter?" she said to herself. Obviously they couldn't be friends anymore. He didn't want to and besides; it would be far too awkward. She didn't even know how they were going to work together after this. She'd just have to stick by Luka so she wouldn't be forced to talk to him about it.

Maybe he doesn't even want to see her again. Maybe he was trying to tell her that he couldn't stand to have her in his life anymore. He is looking for work at other hospitals. He's probably trying to move on and told her to stay away from him so it would be easier on him.

"He's better off without me," she thought to herself. If anyone knew how dark she was inside people would be trying their hardest to stay away from her.

Luka was different. Luka was a kindred spirit. He and Abby could understand each other's sadness, even though it wasn't the same. They knew what it was like to hate the world, to wish you could just disappear. They understood each other in a way that few other people could.

But lately, for Abby, he had been too much. Their relationship started on a bad note, and it had sent Luka in a downward spiral. He needed her, and Abby's always been a nurturer. Even though she wasn't the one to ease his mind, at least she was there to carry him through. She assumed he'd been trying to return the favor, but Abby's never been taken care of before, and she didn't know how to feel about it. Abby was a fiercely independent woman. She was always the caretaker and never asked for or wanted help for herself. It was abnormal, and she didn't like it. She didn't want him to make calls to get her application in. She didn't want him looking over her shoulder and doing things for her. And she especially didn't want his money. Did he think she was incapable of making it in the world on her own? She had been on her own since she was seven years old. She knew what the world was like and didn't need anyone to lead her around by the hand.

"Oh, he was just trying to help," she told herself, though she still resented it.

And then there was Carter. He was the first person she ever found who would just listen to her. She didn't want him to help her, and he seemed to understand that. They would lean on each other and that would be it. He could also understand her. He knew what it was like to grow up without parents; he knew what it was like to be addicted. Luka could never understand those things. You can only understand things like that if you've been through them yourself. Carter was fun too, and easy to talk to...

But what was she thinking? He didn't want her in his life anymore. Luka was all she had left in the world, and she cared about him, so she should just forget about what Carter said.

Fortunately for Abby, her shift was over. She decided some ice cream and some quiet time would be in order.

"I missed you last night," Luka Kovac told Abby as she was putting her things in her locker at work. "Are you feeling better today?"

"I am, thanks," she replied. "And thanks for letting me be alone last night. I really appreciated it."

"It was no problem," he said. "It let me catch up with my television watching." He smiled at his comment and then bent down and kissed the petite brunette. It wasn't a long kiss, but Carter happened to walk in the door just as it began. He paused for a split second before walking over to the coffee machine to refill his cup. Abby and Luka withdrew from each other.

"I, uh, better get to work," Abby said as she fumbled to close her locker. As soon as she heard the door clang shut, she rushed out of the room throwing a stethoscope around her neck. Luka remained by her locker, slightly perplexed, but then he shrugged his shoulders and left the lounge as well. Carter heaved a sigh then, letting his head fall back on his shoulders. He squeezed his eyes shut before moving on. He couldn't wait to get out of that hospital, but until he heard back about his applications, he would have to try and avoid the two of them.

Carter stirred the cream in his coffee as he pushed the lounge door open with his shoulder. He barely had time to sip it before a trauma came rushing through the door. Drs. Weaver and Kovac were already running along beside it, so he decided he wasn't needed just then. He walked to the admit desk and checked out the board. Nothing much going on, just a few lacerations and one broken bone, and they had all been signed off on, except for one case of a deep cut. He decided to go check it out.

As he pushed the door to the room open his heart jumped slightly when he saw Abby already there stitching the man.

"I'm sorry," he said when he saw that she had already noticed him. "I didn't know this case had been signed out."

"Weaver told me to take it just before that trauma came in," she explained. "I'm almost done though, so if you want to stay you can sign off on him for me."

"Well it's about god-damned time. I don't know how much more of this I can take," said the patient.

"No, that's alright. I'm sure there's something else I can do in the meantime," Carter said, waving his hand that had the chart in it.

"No really, you don't have to go," she said, trying to gesture towards the man with her eyes and head at the same time. She was trying to be discrete, and thankfully Carter picked up on it. She didn't want to be left alone with the patient.

"Okay," he said as he took a seat on the bed beside them. "Did you flush out the wound?"

"Uh-huh," she said, nodding at the same time but not taking her eyes off the sutures.

"Yeah," chimed in the patient, "but god only knows what she used. Incompetent bitch. It hurt like hell!"

"I assure you, sir," said Carter, "that all the employees here are the best around and no one is incompetent. It's just a deep wound, that's all."

"Alright, Mr. Sercy, you're all done," Abby said as she cut the last bit of thread off. "Dr. Carter here will sign your chart and then you'll be good to go."

"It's about god-damned time," he replied.

"Yes, I know. You told me so already and I'm sorry for the inconvenience."

"Hey!" he said as he stood up. They didn't know if they should take it as a hostile gesture or if he was just standing to leave. "Don't get smart with me. You don't know the day I've had."

"No one was getting smart with you, Mr. Sercy," Carter explained, also standing up. "She was only apologizing. But you're ready to go home now."

"I'm gonna get your ass fired, you incompetent bitch. You don't hurt me and then get smart with me. Just you wait and see," he said harshly, pointing his finger at Abby.

"Look, sir," she said. "I'm sorry and I didn't mean any disrespect."

Mr. Sercy mumbled something under his breath before storming out of the room.

"Thank you so much for staying," Abby said, breathing a sigh of relief. "He'd been acting like that ever since I started suturing, but he wouldn't let me leave to get someone else. I was getting a little scared."

"No problem," was all he said before leaving the room.

Abby put her head down. She was having a hard time getting used to the fact that Carter wasn't her friend anymore. She already missed him.

Two weeks had gone by and Carter and Abby had been pretty successful at avoiding each other. They worked alternate shifts, and when that didn't work out, they just stayed on opposite sides of the ER. Abby figured that the nurses must have noticed something, because they all seemed to hush up when either she or him walked by. And even though they were avoiding each other, they put on a very professional air. That still didn't stop Dr. Weaver from noticing.

"Abby, Carter," she said approaching the admit desk where they both happened to be standing. "I need to talk to you two. In the lounge, now."

They glanced at each other curiously, but then followed her without question. Weaver held the door open for them as they filed into the lounge.

"Have a seat," she said, gesturing to the round table in the middle of the room. "Now, almost everyone around here has noticed the way you two have been acting. You're avoiding each other. It's very unprofessional and it's creating gossip among the nurses, and gossip equals distraction. So, whatever the reason you two are angry or uncomfortable with each other, it needs to stop. It's slow here right now, so I want you both to stay in here and work through whatever problems you have with each other. I'll let you know if a trauma comes in."

"But Dr. Weaver," Carter began to argue as she was stepping out the door.

"No 'buts'. This immature behavior needs to stop. Now don't come out of here until you've worked things out." She pulled the door shut tight as she left, leaving Abby and Carter sitting in an awkward silence.

"I thought we had been doing pretty good," Abby said with a nervous laugh. She was getting sick to her stomach again.

Carter laughed almost inaudibly.

"Look, we both know why we've been avoiding each other, so what's the big deal?" Abby finally said.

"Yeah. I guess we don't have to do it so much if it's going to tick off Weaver," suggested Carter.

"I miss you, Carter," Abby then blurted out. She was shocked at her own candor.

"I miss you too," he replied.

"So why does it have to be like this?"

"Because it tears me up inside to see you and know I can't have you." Carter got out of his chair and started pacing. "I just thought it would be easier for me to move on if I didn't see you so much, but it's almost made it worse," he explained.

"Do you think it's not driving me crazy either?" Abby argued, also getting out of her chair. "I'm so confused right now. I don't know what I want anymore."

"Yes you do," Carter stated, letting his annoyance come through in his voice. "You want things to be back the way they were. You want me to be the friend you run to with all your problems so you won't have to open up to Luka. That might work for you, but it doesn't for me, Abby."

"Your acting like you've never unloaded problems on me. It was a two way street, Carter. I never asked for your help, you were just always there. But you have to understand, I didn't know. I thought you were just a good friend," Abby said in return. They were both now getting pretty upset with each other.

"Dammit, Abby! I don't want to be your friend. It might have started out like that, but it's not that way anymore. I want to be the one you wake up to every morning, and if it can't be that way, then it can't be any way. It hurts too much otherwise."

Abby's eyes began to water. This just reconfirmed what had upset her two weeks ago when she had first found out: They could never be friends again.

"Oh, don't cry Abby," Carter said regretting having snapped at her. He wrapped his arms around her and let her cry into his chest, although Abby opted not to cry very hard. "I'm sorry I got angry with you. You just don't understand how bad it feels."

Abby pulled away from him and looked up into his face. He did look hurt, she decided, and it made her fell terrible that it was her fault.

"Don't cry," Carter repeated, softer this time. He took her face in his hands and used his thumbs to wipe away some of her tears. Then he stayed still, looking down at her and not letting her face go.

Abby was getting nauseous again.

"Oh shit," she thought to herself. "He's going to kiss me, isn't he? Oh God, why won't he kiss me?" Her eyes widened. She was shocked at what she had just thought.

And then it happened. Carter let go of his inhibitions, leaned down and kissed her, a sweet but short kiss.

He let go of her face and took a step back.

"I'm sorry," he said just before he left her alone in the room.

Abby stumbled backwards onto the couch. Carter kissed her, and now she was a little scared. She liked it.

She buried her face in her hands, mumbling to herself.

"What am I going to do?"