AN: Repost under new account. Other post is deleted.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters. They belong to Bill Lawrence.
Something isn't right; he knows that. He knows that because people won't look him in they eye. When he walks near them, they avert their gaze. They look down at a chart, go into a patient's room, pretend they're busy doing something else. The seldom few who dare to make eye contact look at him in a way he doesn't understand. With sad, apologetic eyes. He doesn't understand why they're apologising.
There's nothing we could have done. There's nothing we could have done. He hears it over and over again, like a mantra. But it doesn't mean anything to him, because he doesn't believe it. There's nothing anyone could have done. He hears it over and over again, like it is supposed to make him feel better. But it doesn't, because he doesn't believe it. There has to be something somebody could have done. There has to be something he could have done.
There are police officers in the hospital. Lots of them. They say there were a few vehicles involved in the accident and other witnesses, and they're speaking to the other people who were involved to figure out what happened. They haven't spoken to him yet.
Her blood is on his clothes and on his hands. He doesn't want to wash it off.
He's standing in the ICU, but he doesn't know how long he has been there. He doesn't remember walking there.
He doesn't remember driving down the highway.
He doesn't remember being brought here in an ambulance.
He doesn't remember being told that she was dead.
Or, at least, he tries not to remember.
Somebody – Turk maybe – leads him out of the ICU and into the doctors' lounge. He sits down on the sofa. It's instinctive; he doesn't want to do it, he just does. Turk kneels down to his height and tells him to sleep until somebody can take him home. He sees his best friend's eyes are red and puffy and ready to overflow.
Turk is wearing different scrubs than he was earlier. Because the ones he was wearing earlier are covered in her blood too. Because they told him that Turk kept trying and trying and trying to get her heart started again, even when they told him that is was no use because she had lost too much blood.
Turk says that Doctor Cox is will be here to take him home soon, and that later on he and Carla will be there to take care of him, so as he's not alone. He wonders who will be here, taking care of her so as she's not alone.
When he is taken home, he cries. He cries because he can see the milk in the cereal bowl she used this morning. He can she the book she's reading on the coffee table. He can see her favourite lipstick sitting in front of the mirror. The coat she wished she had taken with her hanging on the door. Her slippers at the side of their bed. Her tidy nightstand and his cluttered one. Her shoes in her side of the wardrobe. The birthday present he was going to give her next month in his side.
He could have taken the back road like she suggested. He didn't have to take the highway.
Carla keeps leaving him messages. I hope… I won't say I hope you're okay, because I know you're not. Just… call me back. Please JD. He doesn't hear them. He doesn't hear them because he's listening to her iPod. He's listening to her favourite songs. Listening to the songs they danced to at their engagement party.
They're engaged. They're getting married in two months and four days so this can't be happening, he thinks.
But he knows it definitely is happening. He knows this because Doctor Cox is still in their apartment. He knows it is happening because Doctor Cox is hugging him while he shakes violently.
He hears her laughing at some stupid joke he makes.
He smells the new perfume that she sprays.
He sees her frowning when she drops the lid.
He hears her screaming as a car ignores the red light.
He sees the blood running down her face, turning her hair a crimson colour.
He hears himself telling her it's going to be okay.
He feels her hand go weak inside his.
She told him to take the back road home, because the highway would be busy with rush hour traffic. No, he said, there are road works on the back road. And besides it's Friday, so the traffic won't so bad. And she trusted him. She trusted him and now look what's happened.
When he proposed to her, he promised not to hurt her. He promised to love her, and protect her from any hurt. She trusted him.
He didn't have to take the highway. He could have taken the back road like she said, even if there were road works. If he hadn't taken the highway, then they would never ended up at that intersection for some idiot to run the red light.
She would still be here.
He promised to protect her from any hurt.
She trusted him.
She trusted him, and now she's dead.
She's dead because he chose to take the highway.
She trusted him to keep her safe, and he failed.
So why the fuck is he here, and she's not?
They say he shouldn't blame himself. He couldn't have known what was to happen down that road. He shouldn't feel guilty because he was the one driving that car. But all he can do is feel guilty and blame himself.
They tell him that the bastard who ran the red light is dead. Died on impact, didn't stand a chance. They tell him this like it's supposed to make him feel better. It doesn't. She had everything to live for. She had a job that she loved, friends she cared about, a married life she was so excited to begin. And where has it all gone? She didn't deserve to die.
Doctor Cox has to go now. The kids and Jordan will be waiting for him at home. But he doesn't say this, because how do you mention your family, to someone who has just lost theirs?
Carla and Turk will be coming to take care of him later, but for now he's alone. Alone in their apartment.
He watches the front door. He waits. He waits for her to walk through the door, with a smile on her face. He waits for her to take off her coat, throw it precariously onto a chair and slump into onto the sofa. He waits for her to tell him how her day has been, what song she liked on the radio this morning, ask how his day has been. He waits for her to take her shoes off, put her feet up on the couch and snuggle up beside him so they can spend the night together, maybe watching the television, just being together.
He waits all night.
When Turk and Carla arrive, they try talking to him but he doesn't answer, because he's watching. He's watching her as she sits at the table, manically trying to sort out the seating arrangements so that her mother and aunt aren't sitting near each other. He's watching her as she washes the dishes and tries not to spill water. He watches her as she dances around the living room to his favourite song – Don't Stop Believing by Journey – and invites him to join in. He watches as she heads for a collision with Carla.
"Elliot, you're going to bump into Carla," he says and he laughs at the face she pulls.
He sees Carla and Turk looking at him strangely. He hears them mutter quietly to each other. They try to ask him what he saw then try to tell him that Elliot isn't there because there was a car accident. There was a car accident and she died.
But he doesn't listen to them. Because he's still watching Elliot dance in the living room.
They tell him he needs to get some sleep. He needs some sleep because it's well after midnight and it's been a long day for him and exhaustion is making him hallucinate. They guide him to the bedroom, and Elliot's already there, waiting for him.
He climbs into bed and he can smell the new perfume Elliot bought. "I'm glad today is over," he says quietly.
"Me too," she whispers. "It's been the worst."
"Yeah it has. But it's better now that you're here."
Elliot smiles and then closes her eyes. "Goodnight," she says quietly.
"Goodnight," he says too. He switches off the bedside lamp, and tries to get comfortable. He does.
But when he tries to hug Elliot, she isn't there.